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.

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A little in shock

Kaanas has been doing a lot of job interviewing over the past few days, having a few interviews a day.  Some of the jobs were not that great, like the warehouse job, some were ok, and a couple were great.  He went to one interview on Tuesday that we really have no idea how he got.  He applied for a call center job at the company and got called in for an interview, only they didn’t interview him for the call center job, they interviewed him for an upper management job, that would be making $85,000 a year after he finished his training.  We were both a little shocked that they did that interview, because he doesn’t have his degree yet and he doesn’t have the experience for that job, but he got a call back later that afternoon saying that he was one of their top 10 candidates and that they wanted him to come in for a second interview.  We were again shocked, but he went into the second interview.  It was actually at a Sam’s Club (the company finds clients who have products they want to sell, gets them made, and then sells them in stores).  A few hours later he got a call back saying he was now in their top 3 and they wanted him to come in for a 3rd and final interview.  That was yesterday morning, and yesterday afternoon he got a call back saying that he got the job.  We are a little in shock.  This had to have been God’s doing, because there is no other way this could have happened.  They had over 600 applicants, and out of those applicants they for some reason said, “let’s interview the guy who has no degree and no experience!”  He was told a few times that the other applicants were more qualified than he was, but somehow he still got the job.  He will start next week on his training.  He will start by selling products in stores, mainly Sam’s Club, and his pay will be mostly commission based, then when he learns that they will move him to an assistant manager and he will be making about $45,000 a year.  After he learns that they will move him to the position that he is actually training for and he will make a salary based on how many clients he takes on, but the low end is $85,000 a year, upper end is $125,000 a year.  They want him finished with his training and at the upper position in 6-9 months.  By the beginning of next year he will be making $85,000 a year.  We are amazed.  This is a huge blessing.

Moving and pregnancy

So we have moved and are working on getting all settled in at my parents house.  There is still a lot of unpacking to do, mainly because I can’t do to much or I get so tired.  Things are getting a lot easier now that we are here.  I am able to rest a lot more and my siblings and parents help with Mingli.  I am able to sit in my rocking chair crocheting for a good part of the day while Mingli plays with his toys on the floor without having to worry about cooking, cleaning, or doing anything else tiring.  Kaanas is also still home all day since he is looking for a job.  We are hoping that he is able to get a job soon, but he should, since he has put in a couple dozen applications this week.  There are still many things we are trying to work out, but Mingli is loving the extra attention and getting more time to rest is really helping me, which is good since things with the pregnancy are getting worse.  We have found a chiropractor here and she is really helping with my hips and back, but other things are now getting worse.  I am getting really dizzy a lot, to the point where I feel like I am going to pass out, and if I do anything I get really exhausted and out of breath.  Just taking a shower gets me so tired and out of breath that I need to lay down.  I don’t have an OB here yet, so I was having trouble getting into a doctor, so we finally decided to go to an urgent care place because even when I was laying down I would feel like I was going to pass out.  The urgent care told us that they couldn’t do the tests I needed so they sent me to the ER, which I really didn’t want.  They ran a bunch of tests and the only thing that came up was my blood pressure is low, but not low enough for them to need to do anything about.  They basically told me that my body doesn’t like being pregnant and I should rest as much as possible..  At least they did an ultrasound and I was able to see that the baby was ok.  

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.

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.

Tot school-Bear Feels Scared

We had a tot school lesson with the book Bear Feels Scared as the theme.

We haven’t really done anything with emotions, so I wanted to introduce those to Mingli, and this seemed like a good book to do it with.  Our first activity was singing If You’re Happy and You Know It.  We did a verse with happy, sad, and angry.  I drew little faces for each of the verses, and we also practiced making happy, sad, and angry faces.  Mingli loved pretending to cry.

The next activity was sorting emotions.  I drew happy and sad faces and helped Mingli sort the emotions.  He didn’t really get it and had a hard time knowing which bowl to put each face in.

I still don’t feel like he has much of a concept of emotions, but we will keep working on it.  I also try to talk about emotions during the day by naming the emotion he is feeling and talking about how characters in book feel.  It is something that will probably just take time for him to learn, and I just have to be patient.

I also made rain cups by poking holes in the bottom of plastic cups.  Mingli took them into his bath with him instead of actually using them during tot school.  I thought he would really enjoy them, but he didn’t really seem to.  Oh well, maybe we will try again when he is older.

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.

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