Tired of multi-story homes

Currently I live with my parents.  Kaanas and I are hoping to move in the next couple of weeks, so I have been looking at apartments.  Before when I have looked at apartments I have always looked at townhomes and wished I could get one.  I like the idea of the privacy that having my bedroom on a floor separate from the living room brings.  It also feels more homey than an apartment to me.  This time, though, after having spent the last several months at my parents’ two story home, I am dead set on having a one story apartment.  I have decided that having multiple stories with little kids is a pain.  Mingli is good enough at going up and down the stairs that I don’t worry about him falling, but I have to be on the floor he is on.  This means that whenever I need to go to my bedroom to nurse Iella I have to drag him upstairs with me unless there is someone downstairs willing to watch him.  Mingli hates this.  If I force him upstairs he often spends the whole time I am feeding Iella laying on the floor crying.  Then, if I need to cook or do dishes or anything and Mingli wants to be playing upstairs I have to drag him downstairs.  It was so much simpler in my little one story apartment back in Utah.  Mingli could run around and be in whatever room he wanted to be in and I could be going around the apartment doing my stuff.  I could hear him playing so I knew what he was doing, and ever couple of minutes I would walk to whatever room he was in and check on him.  It was lovely.  I am really looking forward to that again.



For a while the evenings have been hard with Iella.  She screams and screams, and acts like she just can’t get enough food and is starving.  I learned that sometimes milk flow can be slower at different times of the day, especially evenings.  Since then I have given her a bottle of pumped milk a few times, and it helps, but I don’t really like doing that much because then I have to spend the time defrosting my frozen milk, which is a pain.  Then last week Iella had a doctor’s appointment and I got the OK to start her on rice cereal!  With MIngli I didn’t want to start solids until he was 6 months, but with Iella I just feel like she has different needs and that this would help her, so I started her on the cereal.  Now she gets about a tablespoon of rice cereal mixed with breastmilk every evening.  Tonight was the first night she actually finished it.  Before she seemed to not really know what to think about it, but tonight she was smiling, smacking her lips, and leaning into the spoon to get more.  It is hard to believe she is big enough to be eating solid foods.  I am going to be going slower than I did with Mingli because she is younger, so we will stick to rice or oatmeal cereal for a while, but she is loving it.

4 months

Iella is 4 months old now!  I can’t believe how big she is getting.  Really, she is growing much too fast.

She has made big gains in her physical development.  She can now roll from her tummy to her back and she has started scooting.  That’s right, she started scooting at about 3 1/2 months old.  I could hardly believe it the first time she did it.  I thought I was seeing things.  Surly she wasn’t actually moving.  Now there have been several times when I have put her a foot or two away from me on her tummy and sat there as she determinedly kicked and pushed until her head touched me.  I was so proud and excited.  She is also trying so hard to sit up.  Whenever she is propped up against something she tries to pull herself so she is sitting independently.  She can’t sit by herself yet and just falls over, but she tries to hard.

Iella loves playing with toys now.  She is able to hold onto them and being them to her mouth.  Her favorite toy is a little lion lovey that has teethers in all four corners.  Her eyes get so big whenever she sees it and her feet will just kick, kick, kick.  The best thing to play with, though, is people.  She loves talking to people and has the cutest coos.  She has just started liking peek-a-boo, so we have fun playing that.

She is mostly a happy baby, and her little laugh is great, but she also has a temper.  She knows what she wants, and if she doesn’t get it she screams.  She likes being held upright instead of laying down, so if you try to hold her laying down she instantly goes from smiley and happy to screaming.

I am so grateful for my wonderful, beautiful Iella.

Therapy evaluation

I have been concerned about Mingli for a long time now, since before he turned a year old.  He just didn’t seem to be meeting his speech milestones.  I tried to do what I knew how to at home, because I learned some very basic speech techniques in my special education classes, but it was just a couple of basic things that were touched on, and the things I knew weren’t helping.  At his 18 month appointment I mentioned it to his doctor but when they did the screener he was in the range that they said we should monitor it but not low enough that they thought we should get him therapy.  At his last appointment our doctor agreed that we should get him tested.

A couple of weeks ago two therapists came to do an evaluation on him.  It was a little strange because I have done unofficial evaluations with children before at school, but it is so different as a parent.  It was actually kind of hard watching them try to get him to do things that I knew he couldn’t do.  He scored lower than I thought he would, but they are going to get him therapy.  Starting in January he is going to have weekly speech therapy.  We are not sure how long it will last, it may just be a couple months, it may extend longer.  We will just have to see how it goes.

2 1/2 years!

This month Mingli turned 2 and 1/2!  He is just getting so big.  He is such an affectionate little boy.  He loves giving hugs and kisses, and has even started saying I love you.  The other day I was sitting with him and I said “I love Mingli, I love daddy, and I love Iella.”  He thought a minute then said “I love mama, love daddy, love Iella, love baby (he calls himself baby).”  His speech is also getting better every day.  He actually asked Kaanas to open a door for him the other day by saying “Daddy, open door.”

Mingli is currently obsessed with Moana.  He wants to watch it a few times every since day.  He tries to sing along with some of the songs as well.

Mingli still loves cars, but more than anything fire trucks right now, which is funny because he used to be so scared of fire trucks.  He will walk around the house going “wa, wa, wa (his fire truck noise).”  He really loves any noise, actually.  He knows so many animal noises and loves pointing out different animals and telling people what noises they make.  His favorite animal is an elephant, but he also loves the alligator noise.

He loves singing songs and is constantly learning more.  His new one is wheels on the bus, and he constantly wants to sing it.  He will even tell me which verse he wants to sing.  He also love patty cake, itsy bitsy spider, teasing mr. crocodile, and ABCs.

I love my little boy so much.

River’s day

The 21st of December was the 1 month anniversary of the due date of the baby I lost last year, our precious River Noel.  I’ve written on here about how I couldn’t move on.  My grief was keeping me from being a good parent to Mingli.  Then I started counseling and realized that the problem I was having was I was trying to move on with my life and not think about my baby, but I just couldn’t do that.  River was my baby and I couldn’t just leave her behind.  My counselor helped me figure out how to honor River so I could find peace again (the first thing was actually naming my baby).  Part of that is celebrating my baby every year on the day she was due.

This year was really difficult.  I remember how excited I was when Mingli was turning 1.  I started planning months in advance for his party just because I was so excited.  All this month I have been thinking that if I hadn’t lost River I would have been planning her party.  It makes me really sad that I will never get that.

Kaanas took the 21st off so we could spend the day as a family.  We had a few things planned, first being going out to eat as a family.  After that we went to the mall to find Santa.  There was a long line, but we were able to get pictures with both of the kids and Santa.  By the time we were done with that it was dark so we drove around and looked at the lights, then went to Walmart.  Every year I am doing something for a charity in River’s honor.  This is another way I have managed to find peace.  Even though River is gone the world is still a better place because she was here.  This year we decided to make a donation to the children’s hospital Iella was in after she was born.  They had a list online of toys they need, so we took that to Walmart and bought some of the toys of the list.  We also bought some holiday sugar cookies to cook when we got home.  At home we cooked our cookies and cuddled in bed while eating them.  It was actually a really good day.  I like celebrating my baby.

“The world my never notice if a rosebud doesn’t bloom:

Or even pause to wonder if the petals fell to soon.

But every life that ever forms, or ever comes to be

Touches the world in some small way for all eternity.

The little ones we longed for were swiftly here and gone.

But the love that was then planted is a light that still shines on.

And though our arms are empty, our hearts know what to do

Every beating of my heart says ‘I remember you'”



I will love you forever, my sweet River.

Tot art

On Friday our county library was having an art class for children ages 1-3, so we decided to take Mingli and Ebo.  I wasn’t sure how much Mingli would like it, but it was a lot of fun.  His favorite part was painting a snowman.  They gave him a large cutout snowman and some kids paint rollers with different patterns on them and let Mingli roll paint onto his snowman.  Then they had glitter to put on the snowman, and Mingli just loved this.  He put his own cup of glitter on his snowman, rolled it around, then went around the table looking for more glitter (we were late and the other children had already finished this activity).  After that was a craft where they made reindeer hats.  We didn’t want to force Mingli to do it any certain way, so he ended up with several eyes and noses glued wherever he felt like putting them.  It was a strange hat, but I liked it even better than if he had done it correctly, because he did it how he wanted.  The last activity was coloring, and Mingli just didn’t seem interested in this, even though he usually loves it, so instead he went and played with toys on the floor.  It was so much fun, and I am so excited to go again.  Our library has this activity every couple of weeks, so we can go often.

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