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.

Advertisements

Getting adjusted

Lately I have been trying to get more done during the day.  Up until now I have been resting and recovering, which has been really nice, but I am trying to get back into real life.  The problem is I will have a huge to do list at the beginning of the day, then feel like I am super busy all day, but when I look back at the end of the day I can’t figure out what I have actually done.  I’m realizing that this is part of motherhood.  With just one child I was actually able to accomplish things, even though it wasn’t as much as I wanted, but now that I have 2 I feel like keeping them alive and fed is all I do all day.  Part of that is having a newborn.  Iella is still so little, and she was early, so it is expected that she will need a lot of attention.  Mingli is little as well, and he also still needs a lot of time and attention.  I am working on settling into a rhythm that will work for me, and until then I am so glad to have the help of my family.  Kaanas has been trying to help, but isn’t able to much.  He had a little more than a week off work for Iella’s birth, but then between the time I was in the hospital before the induction and then the time Iella was in the NICU Kaanas only had 2 days off with Iella home, so he wasn’t able to help me adjust to having 2 kids instead of 1.  I also was never given time to recover after Iella was born, because less than 24 hours after she was born I was discharged and went to the children’s hospital that Iella was in where I had to sleep in a chair, do a ton of walking, and overall just wasn’t able to focus on any of my needs.  My family has kind of filled in the gaps and let me have some time to recover and helped me figure out having 2 kids, and I am really grateful for it.

It has still been a tough transition, though.  One night Kaanas was working, my mom wasn’t feeling well, my siblings were at a church activity, and my dad had gone to bed because he was leaving for work at 4-5 in the morning not not getting home until at least 7 at night, sometimes as late as 10.  This meant that when it was time to get Mingli ready for bed I was the only one doing it.  It was my first time doing the whole bedtime routine by myself, but I didn’t think it was that big of a deal.  I got Iella’s little bath seat and put that on the floor so she could sit in that while I gave Mingli his bath.  As I was getting Mingli in the bath Iella started crying and acting hungry, so I quickly got Mingli settled, brushed his teeth, washed his hair, and then just let him play in the bath while I sat in the bathroom nursing Iella.  A couple of minutes in Mingli decided that it would be fun to use his boats to dump water all over the floor, which meant bath time was over, so I had to stop nursing, but Iella, who was now screaming, back in her seat, and get Mingi out of the tub.  I quickly dried him off, got him dressed, and put him in his crib, then sat in his room nursing Iella while reading stories to Mingli and hoping Shand, who Mingli shares a room with, didn’t come home.  I am ok nursing in front of other girls, but I don’t use a cover so I really don’t want to nurse in front of my 12 year old brother.  Typing it out doesn’t sound that bad, but it was super stressful at the time.

I am slowly getting the hang of this, and loving my new life.  Everyday I am so glad I have both of my kids, and the more I settle into my new normal the better it becomes.  It is much harder than I thought it would be, and some days I feel like crying, even with help, but it is wonderful.

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.

Tot school-Ducks and farm animals

Yesterday we were able to do tot school again, and it was great.  I didn’t get any pictures because I had finger paint on my hands, but we had a lot of fun.  Cousin Ebo joined us and I think Mingli really enjoyed that.  Ebo is almost a year and a half younger than Mingli, but the two of them have become best friends lately.

Our first activity was finger painting.  We took some of the plastic farm animals that my parents have Mingli used them as stamps.  Ebo was a little young for the stamping, so he just used him hands.  We did it on the kitchen floor so they could both get to the paint and so we were in a place that it would clean up easily.  At first I tried to get them to only paint on the paper, but eventually they started painting on the floor as well and I gave up.  I try not to say no too much during tot school because it is supposed to be about exploration, so I decided to let them make as big of a mess as they wanted.

Eventually we transitioned from painting to our water play.  I had a container of water that had sponges and rubber ducks and that may have been an even bigger hit than the paint.  They especially loved the sponges and trying to squeeze the water out of them.  It was great being able to do this again and having the energy and emotional bandwidth.  I feel like I have really neglected Mingli over the last few months, and we are both enjoying our time reconnecting.

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.

Previous Older Entries