Snack baskets

I have been struggling lately with food for Mingli during the day.  He really needs 3 meals and 3 snacks a day to stay happy, and it is really hard for me.  I do it, I am not going to let him starve, but often we are not eating very well.  I am still coming up with good solutions for the meals, but we have found something that I think will work really well for snacks.  Monday Kaanas and I went to the store and bought a bunch of snacks, especially ones that I am ok with Mingli eating often.  This morning I took all of those snacks and separated them into individual Mingli-sized servings and put them into snack bags.  We got 2 plastic baskets from the dollar store, one big and one small one.  The small one is now sitting on a low shelf that Mingli can get to and contains snacks that I am ok with him eating pretty much whenever he wants.  Right now we have some fruit pouches (they are in the baby food section, but have just purred fruit in them.  Kind of like apple sauce, but lots of different fruits, and they are drinkable so toddlers can feed themselves.  The one Mingli had this morning was strawberry, pear, apple, and pineapple), raisins, fruit and grain bars, whole grain crackers, and 1 bag of teddy grahams( I know, not the healthiest).  I only put a couple of each in there so Mingli can easily see his choices and not get too overwhelmed.  This also gives Mingli a bit more choice over what he eats.  All of the rest of the snacks, including snacks that I don’t want Mingli to have constant access to, got put in the big basket in a higher cabinet.  Every few days I can take this big basket down and use it to replenish Mingli’s little snack basket.  I can also occasionally give him some of the special treats in that basket.  I had the baskets ready when he woke up from his nape and needed a snack, so I showed him where it was and let him pick what he wanted.  When it was time for his bedtime snack we told him to go pick something and he immediately ran in and got something.  So far his favorite seems to be the fruit pouches, which makes me super happy, so we are getting more of those.  I am really excited about this and feel like it is going to make the days easier.

My husband

Kaanas has taken this entire past week off work.  We didn’t take a vacation, we didn’t do anything special, he took it off to help me.  Every morning except one he has let me sleep in while he gets up with Mingli.  Every afternoon I have gotten to nap as long as I want.  He has changed all dirty diapers because it makes me nauseous.  He has put Mingli down for almost every nap and in bed almost every night.  He has cooked almost every meal.  He has rubbed my back when it has hurt, let me watch all of my shows to help me feel better, done anything he could to make me happy.  There have been many times this week when I have been in tears because I have been so overwhelmed with his love for me.  I am so lucky to have him.  I can’t even describe the depth of my gratitude to have a husband who is so good to me and loves me so much.  I love him with all my heart.

Going to the temple

I’m a little behind in posts, so I have a few I am trying to write and post.  A lot has been going on, and I haven’t been good at writing about it.

First, Kaanas and I were finally able to go to the temple together!  For those who are not LDS, our temples are where we go to make covenants with God.  It is a very sacred place, and going is a special experience.  Because of the sacredness of what we do there you have to meet certain worthiness requirements in order to be able to go.  I have tried to go regularly, but Kaanas’s pornography addiction made it so he was not able to go to the temple.  Kaanas has now gone long enough without looking at pornography that he can attend the temple again.  On Wednesday we got a baby sitter and were able to go together for the first time in almost 2 years.  It was so wonderful.  I was so happy to finally be able to attend the temple with my husband.  We are hoping to be able to go regularly for now on, but if we can go together really depends on if we can find a babysitter that often.  Mingli seemed to like the girl we left him with, but we feel bad because we didn’t pay her (we tried to, but she said she doesn’t charge if we go to the temple and refused to take our money), so we don’t want to take advantage of her by having her spend 3 hours every week watching our son for free.  Oh well, we’ll figure it out.  Now that we are able to go together again it is going to take more than finding a baby sitter to keep us from going.

A few things

The last three days Kaanas has been home.  It has been wonderful having him home, but the reasons weren’t so great.  He was supposed to have Monday and today off, since he worked the weekend, but the Monday I was having a lot of anxiety, and that night my anxiety and depression got really bad.  Kaanas decided to stay home the next day so he could help me.  I felt so guilty about it, but it really did help.  I am so lucky to have such a wonderful husband who is willing to use his sick days on me, instead of saving them for when he needs them.  We spent Kaanas’s days off doing some of the things around the apartment that have been contributing to my anxiety.  We got many of them done, and it has helped a lot.  Tomorrow Kaanas goes back to work, but I am feeling ok with that.  Sad because I have loved having him home, but the things he has helped me with have been wonderful and just what I needed.

Speaking of Kaanas, I haven’t posted about his addiction in a while.  Things were pretty hard for a while, but now they are so much better.  I realized today that it has been more than two weeks since he had any problems.  We are really trying to change some of the things in our lives that are contributing to the addiction, and it is helping.  Really addiction is just an unhealthy way of dealing with negative emotions.  We have been trying to help lessen those negative emotions by doing things like making sure we get enough sleep, and then find healthier ways of dealing with the negative emotions when they come up, like talking, reading, going for walks.  We are also doing an online program that Kaanas found online, found here, and it has been helping.  We are behind in it, but the videos are good and I think it is part of the reason we have been doing so well.  I know that this is still going to take a lot of work, and there will still be relapses in the future, but I really believe that things can keep getting better.  And our relationship is a lot better and easier when this isn’t such a problem.

This morning Mingli and I were playing.  He has a toy that is basically a spiral ramp, kind of like the circle slides at playgrounds, and you put a ball at the top and it rolls down in a circle.  It is split into different pieces, and each is in a different color.  I was pointing out the colors to him this morning, and I asked him where the blue was.  He picked up the blue ball and was so proud of himself.  Then I asked where the orange was.  There was no orange ball, but I expected him to point to the orange section of the ramp.  Instead he looked around, then went and got his orange train.  I thought that was so smart.  He is connecting colors in multiple contexts, and I think he is really getting it.  He is also bringing his toys to us for us to hug.  He holds them out to us and says hugs until we finally hug the toy.  I think it is super cute, even if sometimes I am busy and don’t feel like giving a plastic monkey multiple hugs until he is satisfied that the monkey feels loved enough.  He is really getting into his pretend play.

It has been a while since I have written.  Quite a bit has happened, and instead of making separate posts I decided to put it all in one post.

Kaanas’s parents came and visited us over the weekend.  They had a lot of family to see while they were down here, and only a limited amount of time before they had to go back, but we got to spend some times with them.  We are planning a trip to see them soon, then we will get to spend more time with them.

We have been trying to get Mingli to fall asleep without nursing and sleep in his own bed.  Up until now he has always nursed to sleep and slept in bed with us, but we have decided that it is time to start transitioning him away from that.  We wanted to do it gently, with no crying, but we have discovered that isn’t going to happen.  Now we go through the bedtime routine like normal.  Mingli helps pick up his toys (I hand him a toy while he is sitting next to his basket and he watches while I put toys away, then puts the toy in his hand in the basket, then I hand him another.  He will usually put 1-3 toys away each night, which is a start), then he takes a bath, I give him a massage, put on his P.J.s, then Kaanas reads him a story.  Next is nursing, and this is where we have changed the routine.  I used to turn out the lights and have everything quite so he could go to sleep.  Now I keep the lights on and interact with him (playing peek-a-boo, pretending to eat his hand).  I try and balance keeping him relaxed with not letting him go to sleep.  When he doesn’t seem to be hungry anymore (unlatching himself multiple times to play with me, not nursing even when he is latched on) I give him to Kaanas then leave the room (if I stay he screams harder and wants me).  This is usually where Mingli starts crying.  The first night it was pretty awful, but since then it has gotten better.  I hate him crying, but at the same time I know this is different than leaving him in his crib to cry.  Kaanas holds him, rocks him, sings, strokes his face, and pats his back until he falls asleep.  The entire time he is in the arms of someone who loves him and who he loves, and who is actively trying to comfort him.  After he goes to sleep he is laid down in his bed, where he spends about half the night before coming into our bed when he wakes up to nurse.

Mingli now gets really excited when Kaanas gets home from work.  Yesterday we were sitting on the floor and Kaanas walked in the door.  Mingli climbed out of my lap and tried to follow Kaanas into the kitchen.  As soon as Kaanas realized Mingli was following him he sat down and let Mingli climb all over him.  They played together for a while and every few minutes Mingli would look at me with a look of pure joy, like he was trying to tell me how amazing it was that daddy was home.  Seeing them together makes me realize how blessed I am to have such a wonderful life and family.  Nothing makes me happier than having my husband and son with me.  Sometimes I am amazed at how wonderful my life is.

Well, that is what has been happening here.

 

Date night (well, afternoon)

We spent yesterday visiting my brother, Roark, and his wife, Anais, who live about an hour away from us.  First off, we found out they are having a baby!  That means Kaanas and I will be an aunt and uncle!  And Mingli will have a cousin!  We are so excited for them.  Roark told me that I am a bad influence on Anais because I told her that morning sickness is better if you eat before getting out of bed in the morning, which means Roark should bring her breakfast in bed.

While we were up there Roark and Anais watched Mingli so Kaanas and I could go out on a date.  We went out to eat at a Chinese place, which was ok but not the best, and then we were going to go to a movie.  When we were finished with lunch we still had half an hour until the movie started, so I thought it would be fun to go to a home decor store in the area.  I had been to this store and gotten several things for wedding decorations from it, so I knew I liked it.  I promised Kaanas that I would not buy anything, I just wanted to walk around with him and wait until it was time to go to the movie.  I really meant it when I said I wasn’t going to buy anything, but then we got to the store and they were having a huge sale.  Even with that I started off trying to be good, I really did.  The problem is that Kaanas just loves me too much and knows it makes me happy when he buys me things.  We spent $80 in about 10 minutes.  We got a tone of good stuff, though, including a large bookshelf, a mirror for the entryway, some artwork, a large vase, and some Easter decorations.  Really it was a great deal, all at least 50% off, some more.  After that we went to a movie.  It was nice to watch a movie without having to be constantly entertaining a squirming baby and trying to keep him quiet/having to sit outside the theater because he is refusing to be quiet and you want others to be able to enjoy their movie.

After we got back we hung out with Roark and Anais, then headed home.  It was a really fun day.

Father-son relationship

One of my favorite things lately is watching Kaanas and Mingli develop their relationship.  Mingli now cares about more than just eating, so that has given Kaanas an opportunity to really help in Mingli’s care.  The thing Kaanas excels in is playing with Mingli.  He can make Mingli laugh even better than I can.  Sometimes Mingli will start laughing as soon as Kaanas picks him up.  I love that I have married a man who takes being a father so seriously and invests so much time into his relationship with his son.

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