Our Weekend Adventure

So on Sunday Kaanas, Mingli, Iella, and I were on our way to church when we passed our exit.  We were trying to find a place to turn around when we got a call from Anais saying that church had been at a different time that day and we had missed it, so obviously the only thing to do was to just go home.  As we got off at an exit to turn around Kaanas said that it would be fun if we could just keep going and spend the rest of the weekend in Louisville.  I laughed and said that I wished we could, so Kaanas said “ok” and got back on the interstate and a couple of hours later we were in Louisville.  I was kind of in shock.  I has thought we were just joking, but it was so much fun, and really exciting.

Our first stop on our adventure was to Walmart.  Since we had just been on the way to church we were all in church clothes and had nothing with us except a couple of diapers that I had put in my purse.  Since we were planning on staying until Tuesday morning we definitely needed some supplies.  We had to buy clothes, jackets, shoes, diapers, phone charger, swim stuff, and several other things.

Our next stop was the hotel.  By this time it was getting late, so we picked up dinner on the way and settled into the hotel for the night.  After dinner we got ready in our swim stuff and went down to the indoor swimming pool.  This was really important for me because I have really fond memories of hotel swimming pools as kid and really wanted to share that with Mingli.  It was so much fun.  The pool had pool noodles that people could use and Mingli just loved them.  After we had been playing around for a bit I actually let go of him and just let him kick around on his own.  I of course made sure I was always within arms reach, but he had so much fun and was able to make himself go in circles, forwards, and backwards.

The next morning we had breakfast at a local bakery before heading to the zoo.  Mingli loved the zoo!  Not all the animals were interesting to him, they either had to be close to the glass or moving, he didn’t want to have to look for them, but there were plenty of animals the he had fun with.  The orangutan and the emu both got right up next to him so he could see them.  Many of the other animals, like the pink flamingos, were active and interesting.  And of course there was grass to run around in and squirrels to chase.  We also got to see the elephants, which are still Mingli’s favorite animal.

After the zoo we went to visit my brother.  Earlier this year my parents bought a large plot of land in Kentucky, like 80 acres.  They are letting any of my siblings who want to build a house on their land, and my brother, Roark, is the first one actually doing it.  He has been talking about buying land and building his own house for years, now he actually is.  Right now he is living down there building a tiny house(like 8×12 feet, 2 stories) that him, Anais, and Ebo can live in while they are building a larger house.  Since we were going to be down in Kentucky Roark invited us to come see the house that he is building and have dinner with him.  We got there just before dinner and explored the land for a bit while dinner finished cooking over the fire.  We also got to see their house, which really is tiny, but he has all the walls up, insulation in, and carpet in the upstairs.  It is really exciting because right now he is down there by himself building the house while Anais and Ebo stay up here with my parents because they don’t want Ebo camping at a construction site in the middle of winter, but they really want to be able to join Roark and all be together again.  It is looking more and more likely that they will be able to go back down with him after Christmas.

We stayed in a hotel again that night, and the next morning (yesterday) we headed back home because Kaanas had to work that evening.  We were going to just come straight back, but we got sidetracked when we saw a billboard for the largest McDonald’s in the Midwest, and it said it had a tree house play place.  We stopped for lunch and let Mingli play.  It wasn’t as big as I was expecting, but the play place was pretty cool and Mingli enjoyed it.  After that it was back home, and our adventure was over.

Doing this felt completely crazy and something that normal people just doing do.  It was completely spontaneous and unplanned, and so exciting.  I am so glad that we did it.

Advertisements

Thanksgiving

This was the first Thanksgiving I have spent with my family since Kaanas and I started dating.  The first year we dated we went to his family’s house for Thanksgiving, then after that we were married and he was working at Walmart, which meant he couldn’t get Thanksgiving off so we couldn’t travel anywhere.  It was fun to get to participate in all of my childhood traditions and spend the holiday with my family.  All of my siblings except my brother, Siarl, who is on a mission for our church, were there.  Glynae even brought a boy home.  They are just friends, but he seemed really nice, so we will see what happens.

Thanksgiving morning started off with the Macy’s day parade, just like always in my family.  When Santa came at the end I grabbed Mingli and we cheered.  He had no idea what was going on, but I wanted him to know who Santa was.  Then of course we had all the usual things for Thanksgiving, and even more.  This year in addition to the normal turkey and ham that we always have we also had duck.  I know this seems like a lot, and it is, but we have a large family, and all of the food means that we have left overs for a week.

After dinner we set up our Christmas tree.  We usually don’t set it up so early, but it is one of Glynae’s favorite things to do, and she was only here for 1 day because of her work schedule, so we decided to go ahead and do it.  I decided to put myself in charge of the music this year, so I sat against the wall finding songs to listen to while everyone else decorated.

Kaanas and I also went black Friday shopping, something we have never done before since he has always worked that evening.  We managed to get all of the presents we wanted for Mingli except 1, all of the presents we wanted for Iella, and all of the clothes we needed for Mingli since he just moved up a clothing size a week ago.  Kaanas also has his shopping done for me, so now I just have to do my shopping for him.  It is nice to have it done early so we don’t have to worry about it, but now I am really impatient for Christmas.  Honestly I think I am more excited for Christmas as a parent than I ever was as a kid.  I remember as a kid waking up early then laying in bed waiting for my parents to wake up so I could see my presents.  Last year I actually woke up even early than I did as a kid and just laid there waiting for Mingli to wake up so he could see his presents.  I keep imagining how happy he will be and I can’t wait.

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.

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.

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.

The last week

So, a few things have happened since I last posted.

On Saturday our whole family went out to get haircuts.  It has been a long time (like two years), since I got a haircut, and Kaanas was wanting to get a haircut to look good for a possible interview for a promotion that they should be doing soon, so we both made appointments at a nearby beauty school.  I found out that they also do haircuts for children Mingli’s age, and his hair is getting pretty wild lately, so I thought why not get him a haircut as well.  We scheduled it so Mingli and Kaanas got their haircuts at the same time while I sat with Mingli, then when Kaanas was done he took Mingli and I got my haircut.  I was pretty nervous about Mingli getting his haircut, but they did a great job.  One of the instructors actually did Mingli’s hair because the student had done a haircut on someone so young, but the student watched and helped out.  They were super patient and it turned out great.  They took off just enough so it looks really neat, but he still has plenty of hair.  He also looks a lot older with his hair cut.

On Sunday we got to meet our new primary class.  We got to keep one of our girls from last year who actually was not supposed to be in our class because she was a year younger than all of our students, so it was fun to get to have her again.  Then we also got four more little girls.  We are supposed to have two boys as well, but we were told that at least one of them doesn’t really come.  It is a huge change from last year.  I loved our class last year, but it was also difficult.  We had nine kids, including some very rowdy little boys.  They kept us very busy and were quite a handful.  This year our class is much quieter.  I really miss our old class, they really were some amazing kids, but I can already tell I am going to love our new little ones, and honestly it will be nice to have a little bit of an easier year.

Our church is also at a new time now.  Before it was at 11 in the morning, now it is a 1 in the afternoon.  For most people this is their least favorite time for church, but it is working well for us.  Mingli takes a nap at 12:30 everyday, so we went to church early, at about 12:15.  Kaanas went to the chapel to spend some quiet time reading scriptures while I went into the mother’s room where there is a rocking chair.  Once Mingli was pretty soundly asleep we went to the chapel to join Kaanas.  Mingli slept on the bench beside us for almost the entire sacrament meeting, waking up about 5 minutes before it was over.  This meant that Kaanas and I were able to spend the entire meeting sitting together and listening to the talks.  It was such a restful, renewing time.

Monday was Mingli’s doctor’s appointment.  He missed his 15 month appointment because we lost our insurance, so we made him his 18 month appointment for as soon as our new insurance kicked in.  Part of this appointment was discussing how to get Mingli caught up on the vaccines he missed.  I also had a couple of concerns about Mingli’s development, particularly that he doesn’t have any words that he says clearly, it is all still things like “ba” for ball.  He does have a ton of words that he says, but all of them are just the first couple of sounds.  After discussing our concerns with the doctor he doesn’t think there is anything wrong right now, but we will see how he is doing at his new appointment in 6 months.

Monday was also Mingli’s first library story time.  Normally it will be on Wednesdays, but since we had a funeral on Wednesday they let us go to the Monday one.  Actually, they said we are always welcome to come to any of them, even though we signed up for the Wednesday one, and we can even come to all of them if we want.  Mingli loved the story time.  He had trouble for the first couple of minutes, because the librarian was talking about the background knowledge needed for the stories we were going to read (stuff about sheep and their wool), and this was a little difficult for him to sit quietly through, but it was less than five minutes, then as soon as the songs, activities, and of course books were started Mingli was transfixed.  The librarian doing the story time was perfect for it.  She was not shy at all, and was loud, enthusiastic, and silly the entire time. Just perfect for keeping the attention of the toddlers in the group.  After story time was over Mingli played with some of the foam letters that had been placed on the floor.  He sorted them all by color, then helped put them and the blankets away.  I am so proud of him and the fact that he loves to help clean up.  He is only little, but he is already very helpful and developing the beginnings of responsibility.

Wednesday morning we had the funeral of one of Kaanas’s grandfathers.  He has been sick for a few years, so everyone recognized that it was better for him, which made it a little easier, even though everyone was still sad.  It was a lovely service.

Kaanas’s family came into town for the funeral and came to visit us on Thursday (Wednesday after the funeral they spent visiting other family and helping Kaanas’s grandmother).  We got to spend several hours with them, and everyone had a lot of fun.  Mingli loves all the attention he gets when family comes, and is really starting to love them, as opposed to just seeing them as the people who come and try and take him from mommy.  He is getting a lot more comfortable with strangers.  It was also really nice for Kaanas to have his family over.

Previous Older Entries