FHE, about Jesus

I’ve recently realized that Mingli is old enough to start understand some of the basic things that our church teaches and that wee believe, so I have been looking for good ways to teach him at his level.  Yesterday after Kaanas got home from work we went out to Deseret Book and got Mingli a My First Book Of Mormon Stories board book.  It is really simple and meant to toddlers.  I am wanting to start reading some to him every night.  We also bought him a couple of little pictures of Jesus with children.  When we got home we had a simple family home evening lesson.  In our church we are counseled to have family home evening every Monday night.  It is a time when families can gather together and learn about the Gospel, do service, and just spend time together.  Kaanas and I have not been very good about doing this, but with Mingli getting older we thought this would be a good habit to get into and a good time to teach him about what we believe.  I showed him the pictures of Jesus one by one.  As I did Kaanas and I helped him point out Jesus and say His name.  I told him over and over, with each picture, “Jesus loves Mingli.”  He seemed to actually be getting it, and he seemed to really enjoy it.  After the lesson we took the pictures and hung them on the wall above Mingli’s crib so he can see them as he is falling asleep and when he wakes up.  We will probably repeat this lesson at some point, maybe many times, and I want to add in more about Jesus as Mingli begins to understand more.  I am really excited about how this lesson went, and especially that Mingli seemed to enjoy it.

Happy Easter!

Last night Kaanas and I got our apartment set up with Easter baskets (really simple, just a chocolate bunny, one special treat each, and a few plastic eggs with chocolates) and hid some plastic eggs (with the same chocolate) around our living room (by hid, I mean put around in plain sight so a young toddler could find them).  When Kaanas got home from working the night shift we brought Mingli out to the living room, showed him the baskets, and showed him how to put the eggs in the baskets.  He had a lot of fun gathering the eggs, until he discovered there was chocolate in them, then he just wanted to open them and eat the chocolate.  He was a little upset when we only let him have 1 piece of chocolate and a bite of his chocolate bunny. After our egg hunt and breakfast we called my parents and then watched some Christ centered shows.  It was really a nice, relaxing morning.

Church was pretty hard today.  I was really excited about the lesson I was teaching, and I had come up with some ideas that I thought the children would like.  I did feel like the lesson went really well, and that the children were able to feel the importance of what was being taught and able to feel the spirit.  The only problem was that I was feeling horrible sick all through church, and since Kaanas worked last night and again tonight he was sleeping, so I was teaching alone.  I really wasn’t sure I was going to make it all the way through, but I did.

When we got home we woke up Kaanas and went outside to take Easter pictures.  I think we got some cute ones, and I am excited to send them out to family.  We didn’t have anyone to take a family picture of us, so I set the camera on a picnic table and set it to record.  We recorded ourselves for about 30 seconds, and I am going to go back and take pictures from that video.

In my family our traditional Easter dinner is foods that Christ ate during his life, specifically ones mentioned in the scriptures.  We have fish, mini bread loves and honey, olives, figs, and grape juice.  I loved that tradition, but Kaanas hates fish, so we have been trying to work out a new Easter dinner tradition.  This year we went ahead and had ham and potatoes.  Kaanas cooked it,  because I was really not feeling well.  I was really happy that I was actually able to eat it, but then I wasn’t able to keep all of it down.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!

Wedding reception

Last night was my cousin’s wedding.  It was so much fun.  They had a lot of great slow music, which I loved because I don’t get to dance with Kaanas very often, but it is one of my favorite things.  Mingli also loved the music.  He ran around most of the time just looking at everything.  He also really got along with one of my little cousins, who is 4 or 5.  They went out on the dance floor together and she danced in circles around him while he sat there watching, then he started copying her and they danced together.  Then he kept following her around whenever he saw her for the rest of the night.  It was so cute to watch, and I wasn’t the only one who thought so.  I am pretty sure more pictures were taken of Mingli than anyone else except the bride and groom.  Pictures were taken by the photographer of me dancing with Mingli, Mingli dancing by himself, Mingli just sitting there, Mingli playing, Mingli dancing with others, and Mingli eating.  It seemed like every time I turned around the photographer was back taking pictures of Mingli.  I am pretty sure the bride didn’t mind, since she has always adored Mingli.  Anytime we are at family gatherings she immediately comes and starts playing with Mingli.  She spent much of the dinner the night before her wedding playing with Mingli, and much of her reception dancing with Mingli (which is one of the reasons Mingli had so many pictures, but there were definitely many pictures taken of him when he wasn’t with the bride as well).  I am going to have to ask if she would mind me copying some of the pictures of Mingli, because of a lot of them will be really cute, and I don’t get professional pictures of Mingli very often (or ever).

The last week

So, a few things have happened since I last posted.

On Saturday our whole family went out to get haircuts.  It has been a long time (like two years), since I got a haircut, and Kaanas was wanting to get a haircut to look good for a possible interview for a promotion that they should be doing soon, so we both made appointments at a nearby beauty school.  I found out that they also do haircuts for children Mingli’s age, and his hair is getting pretty wild lately, so I thought why not get him a haircut as well.  We scheduled it so Mingli and Kaanas got their haircuts at the same time while I sat with Mingli, then when Kaanas was done he took Mingli and I got my haircut.  I was pretty nervous about Mingli getting his haircut, but they did a great job.  One of the instructors actually did Mingli’s hair because the student had done a haircut on someone so young, but the student watched and helped out.  They were super patient and it turned out great.  They took off just enough so it looks really neat, but he still has plenty of hair.  He also looks a lot older with his hair cut.

On Sunday we got to meet our new primary class.  We got to keep one of our girls from last year who actually was not supposed to be in our class because she was a year younger than all of our students, so it was fun to get to have her again.  Then we also got four more little girls.  We are supposed to have two boys as well, but we were told that at least one of them doesn’t really come.  It is a huge change from last year.  I loved our class last year, but it was also difficult.  We had nine kids, including some very rowdy little boys.  They kept us very busy and were quite a handful.  This year our class is much quieter.  I really miss our old class, they really were some amazing kids, but I can already tell I am going to love our new little ones, and honestly it will be nice to have a little bit of an easier year.

Our church is also at a new time now.  Before it was at 11 in the morning, now it is a 1 in the afternoon.  For most people this is their least favorite time for church, but it is working well for us.  Mingli takes a nap at 12:30 everyday, so we went to church early, at about 12:15.  Kaanas went to the chapel to spend some quiet time reading scriptures while I went into the mother’s room where there is a rocking chair.  Once Mingli was pretty soundly asleep we went to the chapel to join Kaanas.  Mingli slept on the bench beside us for almost the entire sacrament meeting, waking up about 5 minutes before it was over.  This meant that Kaanas and I were able to spend the entire meeting sitting together and listening to the talks.  It was such a restful, renewing time.

Monday was Mingli’s doctor’s appointment.  He missed his 15 month appointment because we lost our insurance, so we made him his 18 month appointment for as soon as our new insurance kicked in.  Part of this appointment was discussing how to get Mingli caught up on the vaccines he missed.  I also had a couple of concerns about Mingli’s development, particularly that he doesn’t have any words that he says clearly, it is all still things like “ba” for ball.  He does have a ton of words that he says, but all of them are just the first couple of sounds.  After discussing our concerns with the doctor he doesn’t think there is anything wrong right now, but we will see how he is doing at his new appointment in 6 months.

Monday was also Mingli’s first library story time.  Normally it will be on Wednesdays, but since we had a funeral on Wednesday they let us go to the Monday one.  Actually, they said we are always welcome to come to any of them, even though we signed up for the Wednesday one, and we can even come to all of them if we want.  Mingli loved the story time.  He had trouble for the first couple of minutes, because the librarian was talking about the background knowledge needed for the stories we were going to read (stuff about sheep and their wool), and this was a little difficult for him to sit quietly through, but it was less than five minutes, then as soon as the songs, activities, and of course books were started Mingli was transfixed.  The librarian doing the story time was perfect for it.  She was not shy at all, and was loud, enthusiastic, and silly the entire time. Just perfect for keeping the attention of the toddlers in the group.  After story time was over Mingli played with some of the foam letters that had been placed on the floor.  He sorted them all by color, then helped put them and the blankets away.  I am so proud of him and the fact that he loves to help clean up.  He is only little, but he is already very helpful and developing the beginnings of responsibility.

Wednesday morning we had the funeral of one of Kaanas’s grandfathers.  He has been sick for a few years, so everyone recognized that it was better for him, which made it a little easier, even though everyone was still sad.  It was a lovely service.

Kaanas’s family came into town for the funeral and came to visit us on Thursday (Wednesday after the funeral they spent visiting other family and helping Kaanas’s grandmother).  We got to spend several hours with them, and everyone had a lot of fun.  Mingli loves all the attention he gets when family comes, and is really starting to love them, as opposed to just seeing them as the people who come and try and take him from mommy.  He is getting a lot more comfortable with strangers.  It was also really nice for Kaanas to have his family over.

Happy New Year!

It’s hard to believe 2016 is over, but now we are moving into 2017.  Kaanas and are are both trying to be more organized this year.  I have used a lot of different types of planners in the past, but none of them have worked for me.  Last week we got me a Day-Timer and I am liking it so far.  It is more like a binder, so I can add in and take away pages, which is something that is making it work a lot better.  I have taken out all the pages that I don’t want, and have designed and printed out pages that I needed that weren’t in there.  We’ll see how this goes.

Last week I hurt myself at work, or rather rehurt myself.  During my pregnancy with Mingli I had really bad morning sickness.  I threw up so much that I actually pulled the muscles in my abdomen.  They were never able to heal correctly because after pulling them I continues to throw up multiple times every day for the next few months, and then they were also stretched with the pregnancy.  Because of that I frequently have a bit of trouble with it.  If I get sick or lift anything too heavy my abdomen will start hurting for a few days.  Usually it is not too bad, but last week at work I tried to help lift a hot water heater.  That was a very bad idea.  For the rest of the night I could barely stand and they had to get me a stool to sit on while I helped customers.  It hasn’t gotten much better since then.  I am having a hard time lifting Mingli, or even just doing the ordinary bending and twisting it takes to pick up the living room, and any kind of strenuous activity is out.

Friday we left to visit Kaanas’s family.  We don’t get up to see them nearly as often as we would like, so when we discovered we both had a few days off over new year’s we decided to take the opportunity to visit them.  It was especially nice since Iwan, Kaanas’s brother, is engaged and we got to meet her for the first time.  We were going to go play laser tag with them, but had to cancel after I hurt myself, since it was hard for me to walk and move around.  Instead we went out to see a movie, Moana, which I thought was pretty cute.  It was nice to get to know her a bit better, since she will be our new sister in law.  The rest of the time we hung out with Kaanas’s family.  It was really nice for Mingli to get to spend some time with his grandparents and aunts and uncle.  I always figure the more people a child has in his/her life who truly love them the better they are, and both of our families definitely love Mingli.  Mingli also got to spend some time around cats and a dog, which he doesn’t get to do often.  He was especially fascinated with the dog, probably because the dog didn’t run away from him like the cats.  He also learned pretty quickly that the dog was called both dog and puppy, and he started using both words for it.

We didn’t have too much of a New Year’s Eve party.  We bought games, snacks, a movie, and noise makers, but then almost everyone went to bed before midnight.  Both Kaanas and I ended up going to be early, because we were driving home the next day and wanted to make sure we were well rested.  I was a bit disappointed, but I also didn’t want to crash on the way home because I fell asleep.

So quite a bit has happened the last few months.

First, I started working part time as a cashier at Home Depot.  Kaanas and I decided that we needed just a little bit of additional income, so I am working 2 evenings a week.  I work while Kaanas is home so he can watch Mingli, that way we don’t need childcare.  It was a bit stressful at first, I didn’t like leaving Mingli, but now we have adjusted and it is getting better.  Mingli and Kaanas like spending time together and have gotten closer with all the father son time.  It is also nice for me to be out of the house more.  I go a little stir crazy sometimes cooped up all day.

I am an aunt now.  Roark and Anais had a little baby just before Halloween, I’m calling him Ebo.  He is 2 months old now and he is pretty cute.  Mingli is fascinated with him.  He just stares at him like he is the most amazing thing he has ever seen.  It is adorable.  We got to see them for a bit, then they moved to Indiana so Roark could work with our dad.

Things got really hard for a while with the miscarriage.  I thought they were getting better, but then it got so much worse.  I couldn’t move on.  Everything felt wrong.  I just thought about how different my life was supposed to be.  I felt like I was supposed to move on, to get on with my life, but part of me just refused.  My baby had died, how could I, as the baby’s mother, just move on and forget?  I got stuck.  I thought I was supposed to be grieving in a specific way, but grieving in that way was just making it harder.  I couldn’t move on and leave my baby behind, I just couldn’t.  I finally started seeing someone to get some help, and it helped so much.  I realized that the way I was trying to grieve wasn’t right for me.  I started doing things to help me remember my baby.  I started talking to my baby, and when I do I can feel my baby close to me.  I thought trying to do things to remember my baby would make it so I got stuck in grief, but it did the opposite.  When I feel sad now I do something to help me feel close to my baby, I let myself feel sad for a little bit, then I feel better and am able to live my life.  I am happy.  My baby’s due date was last week.  I thought it would be a sad day, but it wasn’t.  Instead of grieving I felt like celebrating.  In my church we believe that families can be together again after we die.  I believe this includes the baby I love.  I felt so grateful for this baby, and I look forward to the time when I can see my baby.

Mingli started nursery at church a few weeks ago.  I was nervous that he would cry or be really upset.  He did cry when I left the room, but I waited outside the door and it only took about 30 seconds for him to stop crying.  When Kaanas picked him up his teachers said he had been fine the whole time, just a little quiet.  The next Sunday Mingli didn’t even seem to notice when I left, even though I said bye to him (I know some people think it is easier for the child if you sneak out without them seeing, but I don’t like to do that because I feel like sends the message to the child that mommy and daddy can disappear at anytime, without any warning).  When I picked him up he was playing with blocks.  He didn’t notice when I came in, so I sat down beside him.  He looked at me, smiled, then went back to playing with his blocks.  He didn’t want to leave.  I was really relieved that Mingli is taking to nursery so well.  He loves being with other kids, and he doesn’t get that too much.  It is also easier on Sunday for Kaanas and me.  We teach a primary class with 5-6 year olds.  It was a bit difficult doing that with Mingli.  Now we can focus on our class and Mingli gets to have fun playing with toys, other kids, having singing time, and eating snacks.  It is great for all of us.

Well, that’s all I can think of right now.

Visiting family

Last week we went to visit Kaanas’s family.  We had planned on leaving Tuesday after Kaanas got off work and coming home Sunday, but because of the miscarriage we had to change our plans.  Tuesday morning I felt awful, but in the afternoon I started feeling a lot better physically, so we decided that instead of cancelling our vacation we would just postpone it until Thursday, as long as I was feeling ok on Thursday.  That gave me some time to rest and recover a little before we left.

On Thursday I was feeling fine physically, and a little better emotionally, so we went ahead and left.  It was a good trip, and I am glad we went.  Kaanas’s family loved seeing Mingli, and as long as I was very close by Mingli enjoyed playing with his aunts, uncle, grandparents, and great-grandpa.  Mingli also had a lot of fun with the fact that Kaanas’s parents have a dog and two cats.  I was worried, but the dog was great.  The only time there was a slight problem was because Mingli had finished eating his pancakes and was having fun feeding them to the dog, who had sat very patiently and waited for Mingli to be finished and had never once tried to take them off his highchair.  At one point the dog accidentally got Mingli’s hand.  The dog was being careful and very gentle, but it scared Mingli and he started crying.

We spend some time at Kaanas’s grandpa’s house and he got to meet Mingli.  While we were there Kaanas helped him till his garden.  I love that Kaanas is so willing to help, even though I feel like sometimes his family asks to much of him.

We ended up having to come back Saturday instead of Sunday because we were asked to give a talk in church, but I will write about that in another post.

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