FHE on prayer

In our church we have been asked to set aside one night a week as a family night, we call it Family Home Evening, shortened to FHE.  Different families do different things during this time.  Often there is a lesson, sometimes an activity, sometimes a service project, often a snack.  As Mingli has been getting older Kaanas and I have decided to make FHE more of a priority, so we have started planning simple lessons to teach him.  Tonight we had FHE about prayer.  It was very, very simple.  We told him that when we prayer we are talking to Heavenly Father (who was the subject of our last FHE lesson), that we tell Heavenly Father what we are thankful for, and ask for what we need, then end the prayer in Jesus name, and say amen.  We told him that when we prayer we fold our arms and close our eyes.  That was pretty much it.  That was also as long as his attention span lasted.  Our lessons are really simple right now, but as we teach our son these things I can feel the Spirit in our home, and I hope he can as well.

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Halloween

We didn’t do a ton for Halloween this year.  Mingli is still young so didn’t really know what was going on.  Kaanas had to work, but we decided that me and my dad were going to take Mingli trick or treating.  Kaanas got to do the trunk or treating, so he was ok missing the trick or treating, especially since we really thought Mingli would have a lot of fun.

Once my dad got home from work we got Mingli all dressed up and ready.  He seemed to remember the trunk or treating, so he was actually excited when we dressed him up and gave him his bag.  I never could get him to say trick or treat, but he had fun going from house to house and dragging his bag behind him.  He had the most fun at the houses where he was able to pick out his own candy instead of just having candy put in his bag.  Although his favorite part was when we got home and I let him pick out 2 pieces of candy to eat.

One house was so funny.  They let him pick out a piece of candy, then told him to get another, then another.  By this time Mingli seemed to think he was just supposed to take all the candy, so before I could grab him he reach out to grab a 4th piece of candy.  The person handing out the candy thought this was really funny and told him he could have as much as he wanted.  I did stop it at 4 because I didn’t want him taking all the candy.

Even though we weren’t out long it was a lot of fun.  Mingli wasn’t ready to come back, but he really didn’t need more candy, and I knew that he would start getting tired soon.  I love that Mingli is getting old enough to start enjoying the holidays, because they are a big deal to me.  Holidays are going to start getting more and more fun.

Trunk or treat

Every year at our church we have what we call trunk or treat.  One evening everyone comes, decorates their cars, and the kids go from car to car trick or treating.  Saturday was our trunk or treating for the year and it was a lot of fun.  The first part of the night was a chili cook off, and I honestly wish that we had just skipped that part.  Everyone who wanted to brought chili that they had made and it was set on a table with numbers.  That was the dinner for the night as everyone went around trying different chilis and voting on which one they liked best.  I have been to several chili cook offs, and they are fun, except for the fact that I don’t like tomatoes, I don’t like onions, I don’t like peppers/chilies, and I don’t like anything spicy.  All of that combined usually means that I don’t like hardly any chili.  It was ok, though, and I had fun showing Iella off to people in my church.

After the chili cook off was what we were really there for, trunk or treating.  This year for costumes I crocheted Mingli a dinosaur costume, and decided to have Mingli and Iella match.  Mingli was a blue dinosaur with purple spikes, and Iella was a purple dinosaur with blue spikes.  They were so cute together.

Right at first Mingli did not want to go trick or treat.  Kaanas had to drag him to the first car, but as soon as that first car let him pick a chocolate and put it in his bag he decided that he really liked it.  After that he was dragging Kaanas to the cars then standing very patiently and waiting his turn for candy before moving on to the next car.  I was really impressed with how patient he was waiting for the kids who were in front of him to get their candy.  The only problem he had then was that he was not ready to stop when we ran out of cars.

I was really glad that Mingli had so much fun.  The best part was the Kaanas was able to be there.  He is working Halloween night, and I was really sad that he wouldn’t be able to take Mingli trick or treating.  It was great that he got to be there this time.

Our little girl

I have been trying to figure out how to write this post for a while.  I keep going back and forth because I want this to be a happy post, but at the same time there is a lot that happened that I wanted to write about.  I have decided to just write 2 different posts.  This one is the happy post.

Last week our beautiful, wonderful little girl, Iella, was born!  I am so amazingly happy and all I want to do is hold her.  I ended up having to have her a little early and was induced at 36 weeks.  The morning of the induction I was so, so excited to be meeting our little girl.  I was also terrified that she would be sick because she was being born 4 weeks early.  I spend a lot of time in the days leading up to the induction reading online about what to expect with a 36 weeker.  I tried to prepare myself for whatever might happen, but I was still scared.

During the labor, soon after I got my epidural, Iella started going into distress.  In order to keep the epidural working evenly on both sides the nurse wanted me to lay on my back, but every time I did that Iella’s heart rate started dropping really low.  They would put me on my left side for a little while, let her recover, then try to switch me to my back or right side so the epidural would keep working.  At one point Kaanas left to get food from the cafeteria and Iella’s heart rate dropped and wasn’t coming back up.  I was so scared I started talking about a c-section because I didn’t want Iella to be hurt.  I called Kaanas and just as he got back Iella’s heart rate started coming back up and she started doing better.  At that point I didn’t care if the epidural stopped working on one side.  We had found a position that Iella liked and I wasn’t moving.  Luckily it didn’t get too bad and about 12 hours after we started the induction I was ready to start pushing.

When Iella was born was one of the most terrifying moments of my life.  She was born completely blue, not moving, and not crying.  I honestly thought she was going to die.  They put her on my stomach right away and let me hold her while they were cutting the cord.  As soon as that was done they took her to a corner of the room where they had some equipment and tried to get her breathing.  They ended up having to take her to the nursery and Kaanas went with them.  Before Iella was born we had agreed that if she had to be taken to the nursery Kaanas would go with her, but I didn’t realize how hard it would be watching him leave the room.  I was so scared and all I wanted was for Kaanas to hold me and help me feel better, but I also knew it was important for someone to be with Iella in case something happened.  The next couple of hours were the longest of my life.  I had to get stitched up, then I couldn’t go see Iella right away until I had recovered a little more.  Right as they were getting me into the wheelchair to go see her Kaanas came back in and the pediatrician came in after him.  They said that it looked like Iella was having seizures and they were preparing to transport her to a nearby children’s hospital.  They let me go spend about an hour in the nursery with her while they were waiting for the transport to get there, and that helped so much.  They warned me that seeing her might be scary because she was hooked up to a lot of stuff, but when I went in the only thing that mattered was that she was pink, moving, and making noises.  I didn’t care about anything that she was hooked up to because she no longer looked like she was dying.  During that time my mom arrived.  We weren’t planning on having her come up that night, but Kaanas was going with Iella to the children’s hospital and we decided that it would be best if my mom came to spend the night with me so I wasn’t alone.

They released me the next day as early as they could and my mom took me straight to the children’s hospital to see Iella.  It was actually a lot nicer than I thought it was going to be.  The NICU was an entire floor and each of the babies had their own room.  The room had a couch and a recliner so Kaanas and I were able to sleep there with Iella.  The other fantastic thing that happened was that as we were driving there Kaanas called and said that he was holding Iella!  I was so excited, especially since Kaanas said that as soon as I got there they were going to let me start doing skin to skin.  It was so wonderful getting to hold her, and everything just felt right with the world again.

We were in the hospital for a week with her.  It was so hard, but also so much better than it could have been.  After monitoring Iella for 24 hours they determined that she wasn’t having seizures, but she did have some very mild damage from lack of oxygen.  We don’t know exactly how that will effect her, the doctor said it is possible she won’t be effected at all because the brain damage is mild enough, but it is also possible that she might have some developmental delays.  The thing that really kept us in the hospital was breastfeeding.  It took a little while for Iella to learn how to do that, so for a while she was being fed through a feeding tube.

The hardest part about being in the hospital was being away from Mingli.  I knew he was safe because he was at home with my parents, but I wanted to be with him so bad.  Kaanas went home regularly to be with Mingli, and even spent some nights at home because Mingli didn’t want his daddy to leave, but I stayed at the hospital.  Since we were working on breastfeeding I didn’t want to mess things up by leaving.  Having one child at home and one in the hospital was like having my heart cut in half.  I had never felt so torn in my whole life because all I wanted was to be home with Mingli, and all I wanted was to be with Iella, holding her and making sure she was ok and felt loved.  Luckily the hospital we were at had playrooms and different things for children to do, so Mingli came up to visit a few times and we were able to have fun with him.

When Iella was exactly a week old she was finally discharged from the hospital.  It was so wonderful bringing her home.  My family is back together and it is amazing.  We have been home for almost a week now and are settling in.  Iella is doing great.  She is feeding and gaining weight, and you can’t even tell she was early or needed time in a NICU.  I love it when she snuggles with me, she loves to curl up into me and it is the sweetest thing.  She also smiles all the time.  Mingli loves his little sister and is fascinated by everything about her.  He keeps trying to do things like share his food with her or brush her hair.  I am working on showing him better ways of showing his affection, like blowing her kisses.  I was worried that he would be jealous, and he seemed to be the very first time he came to visit in the hospital, but now he gets so excited when he sees her and even comes to find her.

I love my new family so, so much.  Life just seems so wonderful right now.  I feel like this is how it is all supposed to be.

Picking apples and raspberries

Today my family decided to all go to a local u-pick place and pick some apples and raspberries.  I though Mingli would enjoy being outside and possibly enjoy picking the fruit, but I had no idea how much fun he would have.  The best part for him was that we were allowed to eat as we picked.  Kaanas managed to get him to reluctantly try and apple, and then he wouldn’t let go of it.  He roamed over the hills in the orchard eating his apple and enjoying being outside.  But the best part was the raspberries.  We picked them and he would grab our hands and stuff our hands in his mouth.  He just could not get enough of those berries.  They also had a little store there that we stopped by and got some of their treats.  Mingli ran around the store while Kaanas followed after him to make sure he didn’t get into anything.  He had a lot of fun exploring the new place and seeing everything.  Mingli cried so hard when it was time to leave.  We all had a wonderful day, and it was so nice being outside.

Up in the mountains

Last week I was really wanting to take a drive up in the mountains, so we got in the car and went to the nearest canyon.  It was beautiful and fun to just spend time together.  Mingli started getting pretty restless just being in the car, so we found a little pull over spot by the river and got out for a few minutes.  It was nice just sitting there and watching it, very relaxing.  Mingli wanted to play in the water, but the river was moving pretty fast with the snow melting in the mountains, so we didn’t think him playing in it was the best idea.  We did let him just barely dip his toes in the edge while Kaanas was holding onto him tight, and he loved that.

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.

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