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.

The other baby

At the wedding reception on Saturday I finally met my cousin’s new baby.  Honestly, I have been avoiding this ever since she was born because I knew it would be difficult for me.  I also avoided my cousin while she was pregnant if I could help it.  I have been around other pregnant women and newborn babies since my miscarriage, but this was different.  My cousin was due just 3 days before I was supposed to have been due.  She also had a little girl, which is what I always think of my baby as.  Every time I heard about her pregnancy milestones (ultrasounds, feeling the baby kick, etc.) I would just think, “If I was still pregnant I’d be in the same stage.”  Now it is the same with her baby.  I see things on facebook about her, and I think, “River (the name I gave my baby) would be at the same stage.”  Most of the time now I am doing fine.  I am able to focus on what I gained from my short pregnancy instead of what I lost when it ended, but when I see or hear about my cousin’s baby all I can think about is what I lost.  I feel drawn to this baby, I want to take her in my arms, hold her, kiss her, love her, because she is the same age as my River would have been, but she is not my River, and because of that I can’t bring myself to hold her or be near her.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am extremely happy for my cousin.  They had difficulty getting pregnant, trying for years before they finally had this baby.  I don’t resent them or their baby, but being around them hurts.  Saturday night I cried over my miscarriage for the first time in a long time.

Mommy brag

So, I just have to brag about my little boy for few minutes.  Today when I picked him up from his nursery they asked me if he ever cried, and told me about how wonderful he always is in class, and how he goes around giving all the kids in class toys.  He is only 19 months, but he is already a fantastic sharer, and I don’t even know how that happened, because it is never something we have actually worked on at home.  We have never needed to, it just seems to come naturally to him.  He is the happiest, most affectionate little boy.  He is also so smart, and figures out so many things.  None of this is because of anything I can think of that I have done, he is just naturally wonderful.  I don’t know how I got lucky enough to be his mom, but he is definitely one of my biggest blessings.  I am thankful every day for him.

Grief

While reading another blog I came across this quote that I really loved by Jamie Anderson.  “Grief, I’ve learned, is really love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot give. The more you loved someone, the more you grieve. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and that part of your chest that gets empty and hollow feeling. The happiness of love turns to sadness when unspent. Grief is just love with no place to go.”   I feel like it describes my grief over my miscarriage perfectly.  It is hard to really understand how much you can love a baby you that have never met, that you had only learned a few days ago even existed, until you have felt that love.  Four days was all I had with my baby, but already I would have given my life for it.  For months I was crushed by the grief of losing my baby.  I would think of all the things I would never do with my baby.  Being with Mingli was difficult because in the middle of playing with him I would think “I’ll never do this with my other baby,” and then all of a sudden I could barely breathe.  I loved my baby with every part of me, but that love had no where to go.  That is also how I finally stopped grieving, by letting myself love my baby.  I don’t believe that death is the end.  I believe in Heaven, and I believe that after we die we can be reunited with our loved ones, and that families can be eternal.  I also believe that we can feel close to the spirits of the loved ones we lost.  Now when I feel sad and miss my baby I imagine her spirit (I don’t actually know if she was a boy or a girl, but I imagine her as a girl), I picture her near me, sometimes I hold the teddy bear we bought for her and talk to her.  I think of how happy I will be when I get to see her again.  As I do this my sadness turns to love and gratitude.  I have managed to stop grieving by giving my love a place to go.

More time in the day

Lately I have been trying to figure out a routine that will let me fit in everything I want to do in a day, and I just can’t seem to figure it out.  There doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day.  Everyday I would like to be be cooking good meals for my family, cleaning, doing tot school, doing yoga, crocheting, scrapbooking, reading my scriptures, reading a book, blogging, journaling, and spending time with my husband.  Then I also need time for things like grocery shopping, meal planning, library story time, work, and anything else that comes up.  There are also many other things like keeping in touch with friends and family, church stuff, and other things.  I don’t know how to do it all.  I need like 10 more hours in my day.  I know that a lot of people feel this way as well, it is not just be, but that doesn’t make me feel better.  I am trying to figure out what I can cut out, but it all seems important.  The blogging seems like the least important, but it is therapeutic for me, and I feel like I need it.  I guess the answer isn’t really in cutting things out but in figuring out what actually needs to be done every day and what can be done a couple of times a week, or maybe less.  I also need to stop adding in so many extra things like web surfing that are not important.  I think that I need it to relax, but things like reading, crocheting, and blogging also help me relax, and they are more productive than randomly looking at pintrest.  Also, if I can stay caught up on my cleaning instead of falling behind, then catching up, then falling behind again it will give more more time in the day.  It takes far less time to maintain than it does to catch up.

Letting him do it

Recently I’ve been fighting against the impulse to do things for Mingli.  I’ve realized that sometimes he has to do them for himself.  One of the skills Mingli is practicing is pulling himself into a standing position on furniture.  The other day he started doing that in his room, and I wanted to help him.  I could tell it was difficult for him, and I wanted so badly to grab him and pull him up, but I knew that he could do it himself if I let him.  I know that he needs to be more independent, and sometimes that is going to mean he struggles a little, falls down, or has to figure something out.  I firmly believe that babyhood is not the time to force a child into independence.  I believe it is the time to build trust and attachment.  The older Mingli gets, though, the less of a baby he is and the more ready he is to do things on his own.  Before I know it he will be a toddler, and me constantly fixing things for him will be detrimental to his development.  Like I said, I believe that babyhood is a time of attachment and bonding, but I believe that in toddlerhood a parent’s role changes.  I believe that we become more of a home base, a place of safety that the toddlers can come back to for reassurance as they explore and try new things.  This means that we hang back and let our children leave us to go do things on their own.  We give our children the chance to explore and do things, but we are then there if they need to come back to us.  I am entering this stage with Mingli.  I know he is not a toddler yet, but he is becoming more like one as far as his need for independence goes.  I am entering a new stage of parenthood, and it makes me a little sad.  I miss my baby relying on me for everything, knowing that I was his whole world.  His world is expanding, and I have to let it.

Sorry if this is a little rambling and doesn’t make a lot of sense.

My new steam mop

Kaanas and I decided to buy a steam mop the other day.  We have been wanting one for a while, especially since I hate regular mops.  I don’t know why, but using traditional mops just drives me crazy.  I can use a Swiffer mop and I don’t mind that, but I would rather use a rag to hand mop the floor than use a regular mop.  This meant that Kaanas often did the mopping because he thought it was silly that I would hand mop the floor when we had a perfectly good mop that I could have used.  Since I am fine using a Swiffer, we thought I might like a steam mop.  I have been reluctant to get one because it is a lot of money, but Kaanas finally convinced me.  I used it for the first time yesterday, and I like it.  It was pretty easy to use and got the floor pretty clean, even though we didn’t use any cleaner (there are steam mops that you can put cleaner in if you want).  The floors dried almost instantly, which was great.  There was no bucket or mop water involved, and I loved that I wasn’t worrying that there was chemical residue on the floor that Mingli crawls around on and sometimes tries to lick (I know, gross, but we try and stop him).  The steam also sanitizes the floor, again good for Mingli.  A few minor negatives/things I noticed.  The mop head gets hot as you are mopping.  This isn’t a problem, unless you have a baby crawling around after you as you are mopping.  This isn’t a huge deal, I just had to keep Mingli out of the room as I was mopping, which I have to do with any other kind of mopping I do anyways because I don’t want him in the mop water.  I had just originally thought that if there was no chemicals he could be in the room with me, but quickly realized that couldn’t happen.  Also, it said that it heats up and is ready in 30 seconds.  The first time I used it it took much longer than this.  The instruction manual said that the first time it could take a little while longer because the water needs to work its way from the tank to the mop head, but I didn’t expect it to take quite so long.  After sitting and waiting for about five minutes I finally left it while I went to go read some blog posts.  After a few minutes I came back and it was ready.  After mopping the kitchen I unplugged it, then later that day decided to mop the bathroom.  The second time I used it it heated up much faster.  I plugged it in and then swept the bathroom.  By the time I was done sweeping my small bathroom the mop was ready to use.  Overall I am really glad we bought it and I think it will make my life easier.

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