Little things

Mingli does lots of little things that I don’t want to put as a whole blog post, but I still want to share, so I am going to start collecting several and then putting them all in one post.

One morning Mingli dropped a pack of tortillas in my lap and said “cheese,” so we had cheese quesadillas for lunch. Mingli was so excited, they are one of his favorites. He is getting better and better at expressing what he is wanting.

One morning I brought him into our bed to cuddle for a few minutes while we were all waking up, which is what usually happens in the morning.  For a while Mingli had been responding with “love you” when I told him I loved him, but this morning as we were cuddling he spontaneously said “I love you.”  He said it to me, and then a few minutes later he climbed onto Kaanas’s chest and said it to him.  It was so cute.

One evening Mingli was playing with his Duplos in the living room and he threw one of them.  He looked at me and said “where Duplo go?”  That was his thing for the rest of the evening.  He wandered around the apartment for the rest of the evening saying that and bringing me all the Duplos he could find.

We left our vacuum in the corner of the living room one day and it was still plugged in.  Mingli was walking by it and he dropped one of his heavy toys, right onto the button that turns the vacuum on.  He had never seen the vacuum come on without mommy or daddy touching it and he completely freaked out.  He wouldn’t stop hyperventilating(seriously, he was almost having a panic attack) until we put the vacuum in the closet and let him shut the door.  I had never seen him so freaked out, and I felt really bad.  Since then we have made sure not to leave the vacuum where he can accidentally turn it on, although he pretty much stays away from it.

My brother went out and got us Dairy Queen one night and I shared my blizzard with Mingli.  I took a bite and then I gave him a bite(though much smaller because I didn’t want him eating too much).  After a while of this Mingli stopped, pointed to me, and said “you,” then he pointed to himself and said “me.”  It was so cute, first because he was talking about us sharing the ice cream, and second because he has never used pronouns before and was able to get them correct his first time using them.

I got up with Mingli one morning and as we were going out into the hall we heard scratching coming from the laundry room.  Mingli’s eyes got really big and he pointed and said “what’s that?”  Just then my dad came out of his bedroom and Mingli started pointing and asking my dad “what’s that? what’s that?”  Dad said it was a door, but I told him Mingli meant the sound from behind the door.  Dad opened it and the dog ran out.  Mingli was a bit amazed.  That is also the first time he has ever asked a “what” question.

Tot school-Oh My, Oh My, Oh Dinosaurs

This morning our tot school theme was Oh My, Oh My, Oh Dinosaurs.

Since it is a book mostly about opposites, I decided to start off with a big and small sorting.  Mingli and I have talked about big and small a little, mostly at the part.  Some we will find big and small sticks and he likes that, but I have never asked him to figure out if something was big or small, he would just find a stick and I would say “you found a big stick” or something like that.  Since this is the first time we have formally worked with this concept I wanted to have all the items be mostly the same.  I thought about going to the store and buying something to sort, but I was tired, so I decided to pull out my Russian nesting dolls.  I was nervous about this, because I actually got them in Russia and they are special to me, but it was what I thought would work best, and I thought if I was watching him it would be ok.  I had 5 dolls, and I decided to just use the 2 biggest and 2 smallest from each doll so there is more of a difference in size.  I helped Mingli sort the first couple, then he did the rest my himself.  He seemed to get it pretty quickly and actually enjoy it.

He had even more fun when he realized that the dolls could be opened, put back together, and would fit inside each other.  He figured this out all by himself and this activity lasted much longer than the sorting.  He was concentrating so much on it and learning a lot.  He had to get the angle right to get the dolls to fit back together, he tried to put bigger ones inside of smaller ones, and he tried to put pieces together that didn’t fit.  I could see the wheels turning in his brain as he figured out how these dolls worked.  I think I want to get him his own nesting dolls that he can play with whenever he wants without me having to worry about him messing up my special ones.

 

Since we were reading a dinosaur book we of course had to get back out Mingli’s dinosaur play set and play pretend.  We had fun making the dinos drink, eat, go down the slide, and play peek-a-boo.  I know for some thing may not seem like school, but learning to play pretend is an important cognitive skill, so I figured why not take the time to encourage it.

Last we took the dinosaurs and did dino painting.  I made some paint out of flour, water, and food coloring then let Mingli dip the dino feet in the paint and use the dinosaurs to make prints on the paper.  Mingli LOVED this.  His eyes just lit up when I demonstrated how to do it.  This was the first time I have done painting at the table instead of the bathtub, but it actually didn’t get too messy.  I mean, he was covered in paint, and so was the table, but the paint was only on his arms and there was none on the floor, so I thought it was good for painting with a toddler, especially since I didn’t want to restrict him too much.

 

Of course he didn’t want to stick to just putting the dinosaur’s feet in the paint.

And in the end it turned into finger painting.

When he tried to dump out the paint onto the table I decided the activity was done.  I was really happy to have a day where Mingli finally liked all the activities I had planned and prepared.  Sometimes he is not quite ready for the things I think he is, but today the activities were just right for him.

Yarn winding helper

So a while back I posted about my new yarn winder.  Since then I have been busy getting my entire stash of yarn all nicely wound and put into storage bags so it will not get tangled anymore.  As I was doing that I found out I am not the only one who likes my yarn winder.  Mingli came and started “helping” me wind yarn.  At first he was actually turning the handle to wind the yarn, but then he got tired of that and started doing this.

It was a good thing that ball of yarn was already a tangled mess, he didn’t actually make it any worse.  He loves playing with my yarn, but he doesn’t get to very often.  Since he could strangle himself with the yarn I only let him play with it if I can be sitting right beside him the whole time, especially since, as you can see in the picture, he enjoys wrapping the yarn around his neck.  Since I had many balls of yarn to wind I let him play with this one for a while and did my other one.  He was so happy.

Mingli’s baby

Since we have a new baby coming Kaanas and I have been talking about getting Mingli a baby doll.  It has been the subject of a lot of discussion lately because both of us believe more in traditional male and female roles.  We don’t believe that the husband should be able to control the wife, Kaanas and I are a team and make decisions together and we both have an equal say in everything, but we also believe that men and women are different, that those differences are good, and that we shouldn’t try to ignore or suppress those differences (I am not looking for an argument on this, just explaining what we believe relevant to what is going on.  I know people have different opinions about this.  I respect other people’s right to believe and live differently than I do, please do the same for me).  Our difference of opinion was in whether we should get Mingli a doll.  Kaanas didn’t want to because dolls are traditionally girl toys.  I wanted to because I believe that being a dad is a divine role, and that little boys should be encouraged to want to become a dad just as much as little girls should be encouraged to want to become a mom.  I also really want to teach Mingli about being gentle with babies, which is why the topic of a baby doll came up right now, and he loves babies, so I thought he would like a doll.  After many discussions and us each explaining how we felt, we decided to go ahead and get him a doll.  We went to Walmart, and I was a little disappointed because they didn’t have any little boy dolls, but I guess those just aren’t as popular (I saw some online and was hoping to find something similar in the store).  We ended up just getting him a girl doll, and honestly he really doesn’t know the difference.  He really loves it.  It came with a bottle, sippy cup, pacifier, and stuffed animal and he loves taking care of it and giving it hugs.  It was so sweet when I first gave it to him watching him give the baby the bottle, although apparently the sippy cup is for him.

Here he is giving his baby a hug.

Tot school

We have been doing some tot school again.  The book I was wanting to use was in the car with Kaanas at work, and I already had everything prepared, so I just decided to do without it.  We sung a few songs using the new shakers we made recently.  When I get my nausea medication filled they only give me 9 pills at a time, so I am going through 1-2 bottles a week.  I decided that instead of just throwing the bottles away I was going to do something with them and decided to make shakers for Mingli.  I put rice in 2 of them, the cut construction paper to fit around the bottle.  I let Mingli color the paper, then glued it onto the bottle.  I then hot glued yarn onto the lid.  Now it doesn’t even look like a prescription bottle!

After that I taped some contact paper with a picture of a rabbit onto our ottoman.  After I had already taped it there I realize that it was hard to see the picture because of how dark the ottoman was, but I didn’t want the tape to pull paint off the walls.  It didn’t seem to matter to Mingli, though, so we just went with it.  I gave him some cotton balls to stick to the contact paper and he had a lot of fun.  He didn’t really stick many cotton balls to the contact paper, but he enjoyed putting his hand on the contact paper and playing with the cotton balls.  Cotton balls are one of his favorite things, so any time I include them in tot school it is a big hit.

   

After that I brought out some animal touch and feel cards I had.  He wasn’t interested in the touch and feel part, but he loves animal noises at the moment, so we did a lot with that.  We also talked about the animals as we were looking at them.

Our last activity was some gross(large) motor play.  My parents got Mingli a set of tents and tubes that connect together last time they visited and he really enjoys them.  There is not room in our apartment for the whole set, but I got out 2 of the tents and 2 of the tunnels and set them up.  They were up for the rest of the day because Mingli loved them so much.  He brought some of his books into the biggest tent and had fun with that.

 

It was a simple tot school day, but a really fun one.

Big news

So it has been a while since I posted.  Life has been crazy with packing and pregnancy stuff.  I am going to try and catch up, but first I thought I would share our big news.

That’s right, we’re having a girl!  We weren’t sure how long it would take for me to get into an OB after we moved, and I was really impatient to find out, so we went down to the mall and got an ultrasound at one of those ultrasound studios.  We were going to get just a basic ultrasound that cam with a couple of pictures, but there was a coupon for a 3d ultrasound, and it came with a lot more pictures, including some in color, so we got that one.  I was so excited, and honestly a little nervous.  This pregnancy is really taking a huge toll on me, both physically and emotionally, and I am pretty sure I want this to be my last.  The only problem is that Kaanas and I really want at least one boy and one girl, so I was afraid that if we were having another boy I would feel pressured to try again for a girl, even though Kaanas said we didn’t have to.  I would have loved a little boy just as much as a little girl, but I probably would have had to work through some disappointment.  So I was nervous going into the ultrasound, and felt really guilty about being nervous.  When we started the ultrasound the baby wasn’t in a good position and we couldn’t see much, so I poked her.  On the ultrasound we actually saw her stretch, give a huge yawn, and then start moving around.  It was the cutest thing.  We got to see her sucking her thumb and kicking around.  After we got to see her for a while and got some good 2d pictures they did some 3d pictures.  Those were a bit hard, because she had her feet in her face, but actually one of my favorite 3d pictures is one were you can barely see her face, but you get a good view of her feet, including her little toes.

Since we were in the mall already we went to a baby store after the ultrasound so I could get a little pink dress.  I wanted a cute little newborn dress, but when we started looking all they had were sun dresses.  I guess that makes sense, since it is almost June, but this baby is due the beginning of November, I don’t want to put her in a sun dress in November.  I ended up finding this dress in size 6-12 months and am hoping that it fits her in summer/early fall.  At the register they asked me if I wanted the matching headband.  I didn’t know there was a matching headband, but when they showed it to me I fell in love with it, so I got it.

I am so excited that we are having a little girl.  Little boys and little girls are both so special in their own ways, and I am glad we will have one of each.

Using meal times

Mingli always takes much longer to eat than I do, but I don’t like to just leave him sitting at the table alone when he is finished.  He likes having us with him.  Up until now this has meant that after I finish eating I just sit there waiting for him to finish.  I got an idea on another blog recently and today I tried it out.  When I finished eating, way before Mingli as usual, I pulled out a book and began reading to him.  I decided to go with a book that he would normally have trouble sitting through, so I pulled out the original Winnie The Pooh book and started reading that to him.  In college I learned that there are a lot of benefits to reading chapter books to young children, but it is only good if the child is enjoying it.  Today was just trying it out, seeing if he would enjoy a long book like that, and he did.  We only got through 2 pages this morning before he was done eating, but he was actually paying attention to the book as I was reading it.  As long as he continues to enjoy it I think this will become a tradition.

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