Living in our new place

So we have been living in our new apartment for a week now.  I was wanting to get it all set up before moving in, but I gave up on that pretty quickly.  My parents were willing to let us stay with them for longer, but it was getting annoying.  There were a lot of reasons.  I didn’t like having to keep going back and forth.  I wanted to be just my family again.  I wanted to be able to spread out instead of having all four of us stuck in one room.  And I hate being in between.  It is a lot more difficult getting things put together now that we are living here.  Before I would come over, get some stuff done, then go back.  While I was here I was just focused on getting the apartment unpacked and sorted.  Now there is food to cook, dishes to do, cleaning, and all the normal life stuff.  I am loving having my own place, though, even if it is hard still not having everything unpacked and put together.  I feel so much more relaxed, and when Kaanas is home and it is just the four of us it is really wonderful.



Last June we moved in with my parents.  At the time I was pregnant with Iella and really sick.  I wasn’t able to take care of Mingli the way I needed to, and my parents offered to let us live with them.  At the time it was such a blessing and I am so grateful to them for helping us, but there is a reason the scriptures talk about leaving father and mother when you get married.  It is hard having two family units living in one house.  Our families get along well, but there are still conflicts.  About a month ago Kaanas and I started looking for a new place.  At first we were looking down where he works, which is about half an hour from us, but we were having trouble.  There are a lot of drugs in that town and we couldn’t find anywhere in our budget we felt safe, so we started looking elsewhere.  Last week we found a place in our current town that we like and we started moving in Saturday.  I am really excited about it.  It is the biggest place we have ever lived, and it has a master bathroom!  And self-cleaning oven!  And private balcony!  And swimming pool!  And duck pond!!!!!!  In case you can’t tell, I’m excited.  I can just picture my family being happy there.  We are not currently living there yet, but we are working on it.  It is less than 5 minutes from my parents house, so I am trying to get things set up and unpacked before we start living there.  It is just a pain to be cooking with no dishes and all that.  Right now I am moving over everything except a few essentials and spending as much time as possible unpacking.  I am hoping to be ready to actually move over there by like Thursday.  We’ll see how that goes.

First escape room

My family loves escape rooms, but I have never been to one.  The reason is simple, I have two kids and I have never wanted to ask anyone else to have to sit out the escape room so I could go.  Well, last night my family was going and my dad asked if I wanted to go too.  As usual I told him I couldn’t, but this time my dad told me to just bring the kids.  I had never thought about that, but after talking to Kaanas we decided to try.  The room that my family was going to had exactly enough spaces for our family, so that was good.  I would never had tried to bring small children to an escape room with people I didn’t know, but since I knew that every single person in the room was ok having my kids there and helping me take care of them I decided to try it.

The story behind the room we went to was we were in a lab where a terrible disease had been released.  The cure was hidden somewhere in the room and we had an hour to find the cure and get out of the room before it was too late and the world was doomed.  It was actually really fun, but a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.  Mingli really loved it.  There were lockers in the room and he had fun turning the locks.

I’m still not sure if we actually beat it or not.  We solved it, but we couldn’t decide if the guy said “time’s up” or if we entered the code in first.  It was so close.  We are counting it as a win, though.

Changing my waredrobe

I am redoing my wardrobe.  I have decided that I really don’t like the clothes that I wear.  Well, I like them, I just don’t like to wear them.

The first change I decided to make is that I am going to start wearing more skirts.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  First, I have sensory processing disorder and anything tight on my legs makes me anxious.  People talk about how they don’t like wearing skirts, they would rather wear a comfortable pair of jeans and I just don’t get it.  How can you actually be comfortable with something squeezing your legs?  I often buy pants that are actually a few sizes too big for me just so they will not be too tight, and leggings are even worse.  Skirts are so loose and wonderful.  Not only do I feel better physically when I wear skirts, I feel better emotionally.  I like feeling more feminine.  When I wear skirts I feel more confident, prettier, and more relaxed.  I think women can be pretty and feminine without wearing skirts/dresses, but wearing them helps me feel that way.  I will still wear pants, there are some things that it is just inconvenient to wear skirts while doing, but I plan on wearing skirts the majority of the time.  Honestly the only reason I have been wearing pants my whole life is because I thought that was what I was supposed to do.

The other change I am making is to my shirts.  I like wearing clothes that I feel are modest, so when I get a shirt that doesn’t meet my modesty standards I have to find undershirts that make it modest.  It is a pain.  I have many shirts that require undershirts, but I don’t have enough undershirts to go with them all.  I actually wear Kaanas’s t-shirts more than I wear my own clothes because of this.  I have decided to get rid of all of my shirts that require anything to make them modest and for now on just buy shirts that are already modest on their own.

Now, we don’t have the money to do this all at once, but Kaanas and I decided that we have the money to get me a few cheap things to start off.  I am so excited.  Just looking at this stuff online makes me feel so happy.  This is the kind of clothing that I want to wear, that I feel good in.  I can’t wait until I get my new clothes.

Rough night

Last night was a stressful night.  It all started while I was cooking dinner.  Mingli wanted to watch me, so I was letting his stand on a chair so he could see.  This is something that he does frequently, so I didn’t think much of it.  I was almost finished, just checking to see if the noodles were done, when Mingli fell off the chair and hit his chin against the counter.  There is a good amount of blood, so I start looking to see where it came from and see that he bit all the way through his lip.  I call an urgent care place and they say I should come in to have it looked at.  I start trying to figure out how that is going to work, since Kaanas is at work and Iella is going to need to be feed any minute.  So I call Kaanas and tell him that he need to come home, and my family agrees to watch Iella.

I get to the urgent care before Kaanas, which I was expecting since his work is half an hour away.  We get checked in and just wait.  Mingli is constantly asking for daddy, and I keep telling him that daddy will be there soon.  Meanwhile my dad calls me and tells me that Iella is screaming, they can’t find the baby cereal I have for her, and he is going to the store to try and get her something.  I feel like such an awful mom because my baby is hungry and I am not there because I let my toddler get hurt.  I wasn’t properly taking care of either of my kids that night.

We get called back and the doctor starts looking at the lip.  Kaanas arrives then and Mingli is so happy that daddy is finally there.  We discuss options with the doctor and decide to glue Mingli’s lip instead of stitching it because that will be easier on Mingli.  Kaanas holds Mingli while that happens because Mingli wants his daddy.  Then we all go home.

Iella was really upset when I got home.  They had managed to get her to sleep for a little while, but she had woken up and started screaming again.  As soon as I took her she started smiling.  She just wanted her mommy.  I held and fed her while Kaanas rocked Mingli.  Mingli got to fall asleep being rocked in his daddy’s arms, which made him really happy.

Now if we can just stay out of the doctor for a while.  I feel like I have been in the urgent care and emergency room more in the last couple of months than in the rest of my life put together.

Our first nature study

I have not been doing school with Mingli lately, and I want to start again.  I have been busy planning so I can have everything ready when we move, hopefully in the next couple of weeks, and we can start (I will post more about my planning soon).  One thing I have wanted to start with Mingli is a nature study.  I have never done this before and felt like I needed some guidance, so I started looking up toddler/preschool nature study curriculums.  I wanted something simple that included a lot of exploration, and I found something that is just perfect!  We are going to be using the Charlotte Mason nature study.  Basically, all you do is take your kid into nature once a week and let them explore.  You can bring things like magnifying glasses and stuff like that if you want to, and you can take things home for further examination, but the child is supposed to be able to spend the time exploring however they want.  It is so simple, I don’t know why I thought I had to have lesson plans and all that every week for our nature study.

Even though I am not starting school again until we move, we had our first nature study today.  My mom wanted to go to a local national park, so I decided that it would be a good time to test out our nature study.  The place we went had an interactive visitor center that was were most of my family stayed, but I took Mingli to the trail that was just beside that.  He went a few feet down the trail, then got interested in the leaves.  We spent probably half an hour in one spot as Mingli played with the leaves.  I kept wanting to try and get him interested in something else, point out the moss, the trees, something beside the leaves that he had been exploring forever, but I didn’t, because it was his time to explore and when he had learned everything he wanted to about the leaves I knew he would move on to something else.  Instead I sat on a log nearby and did some nature study with Iella.  I picked up a pinecone and let her touch and look at it.  I held it in my hand so she didn’t stick it in her mouth, but I made sure it was within reach so she could explore it.  This kept her attention for a very long time.

Mingli did eventually move on to looking at sticks, for about two minutes, then he went back to the leaves.  He had such a good time, and even though I wanted to get him exploring more thing, I am glad I let him lead.  Sometimes I could see him pick up a leaf that looked different from the other leaves and concentrating on it so hard.  There will be plenty of time for him to explore other things, but it will be when he wants to.

Car shopping

We recently got our tax return, and one of the priorities with it was a new car.  Our van is still working, but we are not sure how much longer that is going to be the case.  It makes terrible noises, doesn’t have much power, misfires, and a few other things.  We decided that since we were going to have money from the tax return it would be better if we went ahead and bought a new car, rather than waiting until our van breaks down and just hoping we have the money to do it when that happens.

Yesterday morning we went car shopping.  I was really hoping that we could find a car within a couple of hours, buy it, and be done.  To me it shouldn’t be that hard of a decision, after all, a car is a car.  If it runs well and is in our price range then do we really need to keep looking?  It’s not like a house where there are different layouts and flooring and all that stuff.  Kaanas wanted to look a bit more than I did, wanted to see several cars, and didn’t think we would find anything that day.

There is a used car dealership less than five minutes from us, and online it looked like they had several cars in our price range that met our criteria, so we started there.  Turns out a lot of the cars we had looked at online were sold over the weekend.  The guy did say that he had one car that he could show us, and went to get it.  It was a little more than I was wanting to spend, but it was still within the budget that we had agreed upon.  Since there was only one car I was losing hope that we would be able to find a car that day.

When the salesman brought the car to us he told us it was a hybrid, which Kaanas instantly liked.  He wanted a car that was good on gas because sometimes he has to drive a little ways for work meetings.  It was also newer than we had been thinking, so that was nice.  We took it out and it drove great.  Well, it seemed like it did.  Kaanas drove it and I just rode.  It is going to be his car for work anyways, and honestly I grew up driving cars older than I was, so I am not the best judge of a good car.

Then we started talking to them about actually buying the car and things started going south.  Our plan had been to pay off the car loan that we already had with the tax return and then get another loan for this new car.  That way if our van broke down we would not be paying on a car that was no longer working.  Well, the dealership told us that because of the miles on the car our interest rate would be more than 10%!  Since our last car loan was only 3% that seemed outrageous to us.  We decided that we did not want to do that, so they quickly began looking for a different car for us, hopefully one that would be easier to get a good loan with, and Kaanas and I began discussing our options.  We almost just left at that point, but then we started discussing the possibility of just buying the car for cash.  We quickly recapped everything that we had been wanting to do with the tax return and realized that if we put some stuff off we could do it.  The biggest thing was that we were no going to be able to pay off some of the other debts we were hoping to pay off, but then we also won’t have a car loan, so it all evens out.

So now, for the first time, we are a two car family.  I am really enjoying it.  Today while Kaanas was at work I was able to run out and do errands, and on the way back I stopped by the park with the kids and let Mingli play while Iella and I sat in the grass.  It was such a lovely day, and I was so glad I was able to get out and go places.  It was also nice that I didn’t have to wait until Kaanas’s day off to get my errands done, especially since often his days off get canceled lately.  I know the whole two car thing may not last forever, our van will break down eventually, but until then I am going to enjoy it.

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