Progress!

Well, I am feeling a little better about motherhood:) (at least at the moment…) I have learned not to let these tantrums and things of toddlers scare you into never leaving the house again. You must get back up on your feet, march back out into the world and show your child that mommy is boss!!! A friend suggested going for the grocery delivery service (thank you, Angela!!) and don’t think that thought hasn’t crossed my mind!!
On Tuesday I decided to go to the store to pick up a few things (a different and non-super Target) and thought everything was going find until about 2 minutes into the store when Samuel started to cry over….THE WHEEL!! I could not believe after all we went through that he was going to do this again! I stayed very calm this time and tried my best to talk him out of it; even had him get down and inspect the wheel,which was totally fine. Finally we made a trip outside where I tried to get him calmed down. He was sobbing and saying, “I want to go home!” but I knew that if I gave up and went home, he would learn that his behavior in the store was okay and he would win. I was determined not to give up (even if people would stare and judge!!) so I gave him 2 choices. 1) He could walk and hold my hand or 2) he could sit in the back of the cart. Unfortunately, we had to make a trip out to the car to have a talk and calm him down….I let him cry for a little bit and told him that he couldn’t act like this in the store and mommy needed to get some things and he was going to have to go back in with me. Finally we compromised, I let him choose another cart and voila! The tears stopped and he was an angel the whole rest of the trip!! I even met another mom in the elevator at the store who said her child had the same fear of the dreaded shopping cart wheels! And that was the reason why she brought in her stroller. It made me feel so much better to know that I wasn’t alone and my child is normal!!! I felt so good that we had worked through this problem and Samuel felt so good, too, after Ben and I praised him many times for “working through his tantrum” and “being such a good boy.” Thank you, God!!!!
One thing I love to do is change over our toys every couple of months. I hide away toys in the closet in the toy container and bring out “new” toys. The boys think they’ve hit the jackpot and they are so entertained with the “new” toys for days!! It keeps everything fresh and I don’t have to buy anything new:) One of the toys Samuel requested yesterday was a green caterpillar that you pull on a string. It has been following him around the house for 2 days now! It even came with us on a family walk last night. We got lots of smiles as people looked at Samuel pulling his caterpillar down the sidewalk.
Zakkai is trying to add more words to his vocabulary! He really wants to communicate with us! One of his favorite things to do is look out the window. It’s the first thing he wants to do in the morning when we come get him and open the shade, he looks out the window while he eats…all day! So he’s started saying “Ah-sa? Ah-sa?” for “outside!” He loves to be outside! He is so entertained when we walk, just looking at the cars, people, dogs, airplanes, that he hardly makes a peep! It’s when we come inside that he gets loud:) He also likes to point out “eyes” on people and in books. I’m sure every mom has experienced many pokes in the eye from a curious/learning toddler baby! Maybe that’s why I keep getting headaches…
We are still making small strides with potty training. I bought a few used potty books off Amazon for Samuel to read and he LOVES them!! One of the books is about a boy named Michael and it is so realistic and he talks about Michael now. He now wants to sit on his potty when we use the bathroom. Still no action but at least he’s trying! He is so excited to get his “Percy train” as a prize when he actually goes. The other day he sat on the potty for at least 30 minutes and I had him drinking cups of water and a cup of OJ and he was SO CLOSE to going! He was begging me for his diaper and I kept stalling him but finally his poor bottom was getting red from sitting for so long and it was dinnertime so I gave up and put his diaper on. He went right away in his diaper. Grrr! I know it will happen and I am trying to be patient. I know he won’t be 12 and still in diapers:) I hope anyways!! Ah, the joys of toddlerhood! We may have days of frustration but it is so worth it when they look at you and say, “I love you, mommy” and come give you hugs and kisses:) Samuel gives us kisses all the time now and loves to have conversations about who loves who in our family! Do you love daddy, mommy? Do you love your Samuel? Do you love Zakkai? I love daddy, I love mommy , I love Zakkai! So cute!
I’ll end on a cute story. We always tell the boys that we love them (a million times a day!) right before they go to sleep and we tell them that Jesus loves them. We have also been talking about the things that God made. For instance, Samuel doesn’t like the cold wind (wrong city to live in!!) and he was begging me last week to take the wind away. I told him “I can’t make the wind go away. God made the wind and only He can make it go away!” So yesterday it looked like it was going to storm all day but didn’t until later in the evening. I went to the produce market with the boys in the late morning and told Samuel we had to go now because it was going to rain, which prompted a conversation about the rain. He said, “Is is going to rain, mommy? Jesus loves the rain, mommy!” I smiled and agreed and said, “Yes, He does and He makes the rain!” I thought that was so cute!

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Funny stories and the horrible, awful, very bad day…

Well, we’ll start with all the funny cute little stories and sayings of the last fews days that have almost (but not quite) erased my memory of my terrible, no good, rotten, very bad day (ever read that book??)
Samuel has said some funny things lately! The other morning I went in to get Samuel and Zakkai up and as soon as I walked in Samuel exclaimed, “Mommy! The boys are up! The monkeys are awake!!” I started laughing because he was so earnest and excited to tell me! He has started referring to them as “the boys” since then. “The boys are eating” or “the boys are playing”…he also tell us he’s not a big boy, he’s a “goose” and Zakkai isn’t a big boy yet, “he’s jus a ‘mall boy”:)
The other day at lunch, Zakkai who doesn’t care for bread, was staring at his grilled cheese bites like they were aliens and refusing to eat it so Samuel (who thinks he’s a boss) said, “Zakkai, mommy and Samuel are not happy wif you. You aren’t eating your food. Mommy and Samuel are not happy.” I had to hide a smile because this child listens carefully to EVERYTHING we say and repeats it later! I guess he’ll be a good example for Zakkai now that he know “proper” eating habits:)
Then Samuel came running up to Ben the other morning and grabbed his legs and said, “Daddy, you’re my best friend!” That melted Ben’s heart! He stopped what he was doing immediately and got down and gave Samuel a big hug! It’s nice when they are at the age to tell you they love you all the time or other sweet things. It helps balance out the other times when they make you crazy!!! (like Friday….)
Zakkai is starting to change a lot! Just in the past few days he has started to talk more! His “ma ma ma” for “more” is starting to change to a “more” sound. He also stole my heart (for the zillionth time!) by patting me one morning this week and saying “mamam.” Now I finally have a name! He’s done it several times since:) He says “buppup” for “button” and “baba” for “buh-bye” and waves as he’s doing it:) He’s really understanding more what we’re saying when we talk to him and picked up some new signs. “All done” (when he feels like doing it!), “doggie“, and “milk”.
AND…up until now he has only taken 1-2 steps at a time (like when Grandma came to visit last weekend!) but this afternoon I peeked in their room where he was playing and he looked up at me and took 8 steps!! I was so excited and so was he! He refuses to walk when we try to have him walk between us while sitting on the floor but when he has a toy in his hand and his distracted, he’ll go! It won’t be long….
And now for the story that will make you sympathize with me and shake your heads in horror and probably laugh (I don’t know if I’m quite there yet…) It started out a peaceful, lovely day on Friday. I got the boys up and fed them and decided that it would be a good morning to do grocery shopping. Instead of waiting until 11am when Zakkai would be up from his morning nap, I decided to just go right away and get it over with. Grocery shopping is not an easy thing to do by yourself with 2 children! The whole way to the store (my newfound favorite “Super Target!”) Samuel kept saying, “We won’t get a cart cause the wheel is broken.” The last time we went there, we just happened to get a cart that had a broken wheel that locked up on me and made terrible noises, which freaked Samuel out. So I kept telling him I would make sure to pick out a non broken cart with good wheels and it would all be fine. Foreshadowing??? On first glance, the cart seemed fine and the wheels sounded good so I loaded the boys up, Zakkai in the front and Samuel in the back. Wheel was fine until we got into the store and already had a couple things in the cart. Samuel started to get a little worried but I told him it was fine and don’t worry about it…It seemed like a pain at the time to switch carts when they were all settled and I didn’t want to feed his weird obsession with the wheel….but I should have!!!! He was totally fine until I made him get down and help me push the cart so I could load it up with groceries. Then he heard the wheel (got a little louder and funky as the cart got heavier) and started to cry. He’s sobbing in the dairy aisle and I’m trying to reassure him that it’s okay. I’m getting smiling looks of pity from old ladies at this point. I keep going and finally he calms down after about 7 min. I think “Whew! That was a close call…” He starts back up again:( He’s getting a little more upset so I have him switch and walk on the other side of the cart and tell him, “I can’t do anything about the wheel so you need to calm down.”
The crying escalates and I have stopped about 3 times at this point to try to reason with him. Anyone tried to reason with an unreasonable two year old?! I’m getting very frustrated at this point. He had calmed down one more time and was riding on the side of the cart (hey, it kept him from crying! for about 2 minutes…) We’re off to the side (I recall it was by the beef jerky..) and I start telling him, if he doesn’t shape up and quit throwing a tantrum, we’re going to talk in the bathroom. Does he settle down? no…..So I give him one more chance by the bathroom and then have to push the cart over to the side, unstrap Zakkai , grab my purse and drag a screaming 2 year old into the bathroom. I’m mad at this point. Nothing works so I even call Ben and have him try to talk to him! Samuel quiets down when he hears daddy but then as soon as I try to leave the bathroom and finish my grocery shopping, he’s screaming again! He’s so irrational at this point, I’m grabbing things off the shelves left and right just trying to get out of the store, Zakkai is sitting happily….The screaming escalates into one of those tantrums that has every person in the store wondering who is this terrible child throwing a tantrum and why isn’t the horrible mother stopping it? The old ladies are now glaring… I am seeing red at this point. I didn’t leave the store because it takes so long to get there and go grocery shopping with 2 boys that I’m not willing to try again later. I drag him in the bathroom (for the second time unstrapping Zakkai, grabbing purse…)where he receives a spanking (last resort but trust me, it was time) I try one more time to finish my shopping but his screaming tantrum is so out of control that I am practically running through the store with tears just streaming down my face trying to force him to walk. I’m throwing things in my cart and sobbing. People are staring, I forgot half my list and I just wanted to disappear!! Finally, I made it to the check out where he’s starting to settle down, not because he’s over the tantrum but by this time, HE HAS SCREAMED HIMSELF HOARSE…oh yes, hoarse. We made it to the car where I am too mad to say one word to him. He is perfectly quiet the whole way home while I am driving and thinking “Who is this child that took over my sweet Samuel??” It was by far the worst tantrum he has ever EVER had in his life and it was all over…a cart wheel….A grocery trip that should have taken me 2 hrs, took me 3 1/2 hours!

Will I go grocery shopping again? I have to. Will I take Samuel? I’m not sure yet. It’s going to take awhile for this traumatic event to blow over. Can I face the people in Super Target again? I may have to go in wearing a hat and sunglasses. I got home and realized I’d forgotten to use my coupons and burst into tears, I cried in the elevator on the way up, cried on the phone to Ben….It was a terrible day (other things factored in, too, but this took the cake!) but I’m sure I’m not the only mother out there to wonder what alien took over their child for a mad two year old moment…Am I??

Updates

Well, here are a couple of updates for you! First, it looks like Ben is really going to Turkey this summer! He will leave in early July and return beginning of September (8 weeks). He is working hard to get ready, getting in shape and trying to conquer his health problems. Please pray for us this summer, for physical safety and health and financially!
Second, we have made progress in potty training! It may sound small to you but in our books, it’s a victory!! My sweet Samuel is more sensitive (like mommy!) and has a hard time with change so he has been building up a fear of the potty lately and stubbornly has refused to even look at it! Finally yesterday I decided that we needed to battle it out and help him just sit on the potty and see that it wasn’t scary! As soon as I took his pj’s off, he started howling and screaming and was in a genuine terrified state. I wasn’t sure what to do for a few minutes, just remained calm and kept telling him what we were going to do, step by step. It took awhile but I finally got him relaxed and brought the potty chair to his room. I still couldn’t get him to sit on it so I had the brilliant idea to have giraffees sit on the potty with him! MAGIC!! He even sat there with his diaper off for at least 20 minutes ( no action though) and got a sticker on his chart, lots of praise and hugs and a conquered fear of the evil potty! Today he sat on it again before naptime with no fusses at all…Hopefully we can keep progressing so that he will be wearing the Thomas Train underwear instead of his stuffed animals:)
Zakkai is doing funny (and scary) things these days like…dancing to music, throwing things, trying to feed himself with a spoon (Zakkai +yogurt+spoon=messy!), throwing tantrums (at 13 1/2 mos!! Yikes!!), closing himself into rooms (he’s obsessed with opening and closing doors), and trying to climb a little bit! He is such a fireball at home but an angel in public! I can take him anywhere and he rarely makes a peep, just looking at everything and sucking his finger or something and everyone comments on how good he is. I didn’t think having two kids close together was very hard until recently when Zakkai started turning todder (although we still consider him our baby:) but I’m afraid for when he starts walking!!
Zakkai is getting dedicated this weekend! Ben’s mom will be coming up for it. We’ll take pictures and post them!

Beautiful Day!

Happy April! It was a GORGEOUS day here today! We spent it going to Sam’s Club and to the zoo!!! Samuel’s favorite place! There were about a million and one people there; you’ve never seen so many minivans and stroller and wagons all in the same place in your life! We probably spent the longest time watching the polar bears, where baby Hudson was entertaining the crowd by jumping in the water, splashing and playing. The lemurs were also a hit with Samuel. They are cute little creatures:) We followed the zoo trip with naps for everyone, including a very tired mommy and daddy:)
Zakkai has started some new fun things lately! He started dancing to music and thinks it’s great fun. His new favorite song for me to sing is, “Ho, Ho, Ho, Hosanna” and he tries to sing it after me. He says, “He, he he,” and gives me a big smile:) He has been a little stinker! He loves to turn on and off the tv and goes back a hundred times after you take him away. He’s going to require some patience as he enters the toddler years! There has been some more hitting, too:( He got mad that I wasn’t preparing his dinner quick enough tonight. He kept saying “ma ma ma” (more) and then screamed and started hitting the table. Temper, temper! Pray for us!!
Samuel is so happy to be spending more time outside! He just brightens up so much when we go out. He loves to dig in the dirt and go down the slides, obviously loves the zoo, watching for helicopters…It’s going to be a fun summer! Tonight Samuel was eating chicken nuggets and he was bringing a piece to his mouth, stopped and said, “Mommy, there’s a chicken inside here!” and then ate it:) He makes me laugh!
Life is busy here in the Thomas household and each day with these busy boys is an adventure! We miss our families and friends and wish we could see you more often, especially Mugga and Grandma!

Back to Routine

It’s been awhile since I posted last. We have been busy and it took awhile to get back into routine and back onto Chicago time (who would have thought an hour would make such a big difference?!) Ben is back in school as of this morning. He is very excited about his classes (taking 3, auditing 2) and is ready to finish up his 3rd year! Can you believe so much time has gone by already?
It was nice to see family last week. Samuel loved seeing Mugga, Papa and Grandma! He spent the whole time driving around in Mugga’s red car and playing with her Thomas the Train set. Needless to say, he has been Thomas OBSESSED since we got back! (even more than before..) I found two Thomas videos at Once Upon a Child (great store) and he wants to watch them all day, every day! He builds train tracks and drives Thomas and Friends back and forth. They come to lunch…They are NOT allowed to nap with him:)
So, we have been working more towards beginning potty training (yikes!) and we decided to work with the Thomas obsession and get a new train or two (Henry and Gordon for the Thomas buffs out there) as a prize for when he starts going potty. He saw them and we had to explain what they were for. Now all he can think about is how to get them! Yesterday, he was playing with his trains and he must’ve thought about his prizes so he ran to me and said “Mommy! I need to go potty!” I said, “okay!” and we rushed off to the bathroom where… he refused to take off his clothes or diaper, sat on his potty for about 20 seconds and jumped up and said, “okay! Let’s go get a prize!” Hmmm…is he smart or what! I’m open for suggestions on potty training a smart child who doesn’t like change…..
Zakkai is starting to turn toddler overnight! Not my sweet baby! He definitely has a little temper and likes to have his own way. He wanted to do something today and I wouldn’t let him and he started hitting the air and the floor to show me that he was very frustrated. I got the message very clearly! He is also into everything and extremely persistent (how many times can a parent say no??!!) He loves to bug Samuel and tear up the train tracks and thinks it’s hilarious when you try to redirect him 800 times. It’s very hard not to laugh when he does because he’s so cute! It could be those fangs he has…
Please pray for us as we start a new quarter. It’s always hard to adjust to the busyness and the lack of family time. Samuel really misses daddy. He was getting into a routine of snuggling with daddy in the morning for a litte bit over this spring break so this morning when he woke up, the first thing he said was, “Can I go ‘nuggle wif Daddy?” It make me so sad to tell him daddy was at school! I think Saturdays will be the official snuggle day! Enjoy the video! (press play twice) P.S. Pleast post comments!! I really want to hear from you! I fixed it so you should be able to comment without signing up for an account (which is free, by the way!)

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