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.

2 months

Yesterday Iella turned 2 months old.  I can’t believe how big she is getting.  At her last doctor’s appointment she was almost 11 pounds!  She is such a sweet baby and loves to cuddle.  She often tries to get herself closer to me if I am holding her or laying with her, and I just love when she nestles into me.  In the past week she has hit a couple of cool milestones.  I have started laying her down on Mingli’s old playmat sometimes, and a few days ago she started swatting at the toys hanging above her!  She was really intent on it and managed to hit them several times.  She now does that almost every time I lay her on the playmat.  She also started cooing on Friday.  I love her little noises.  Her smiles are also getting more and more frequent, though I have still only heard her laugh a few times.  I love her so much.

Tummy problems and hurt toes

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, but a big thing that happened was that last week both of my kids had their first emergency room visit, and both were unnecessary.

For a couple of weeks Iella has been acting like she wasn’t feeling great.  She was having dirty diapers less than once a day, throwing up (it was very forceful and she would cry like it hurt her), and often acting like her tummy was hurting her.  At first I was just hoping that she would get over it, but after about a week and a half of her being uncomfortable I decided I needed to do something, so last Monday morning I called her doctor and asked if she could get an appointment for the next couple of days.  The person I was talking to put me on hold, then after a couple of minutes told me that they thought it was best if I took her to the emergency room.  At this point I started freaking out a little.  I had called the doctor with what I thought was a minor problem, and they told me to take my 5 week old to the  emergency room, so it much have been a lot more serious than I thought, right?  I remembered that when Iella was in the NICU they wouldn’t let her have breastmilk for the first little while because they told me the oxygen deprivation could have done something to her bowels, so what if it had damaged it, what if she needed surgery?  If they were sending us to the emergency it must be serious, right?

When we got there and told them what was going on and that our doctor had sent us there the nurse actually said “Why would they send you here instead of just taking care of it in their office?  They could have handled it.”  That actually made me feel better, because obviously the hospital nurses didn’t think it was anything serious.  I also found out that one of the quickest ways to get through the emergency room waiting room is to have a newborn.  They didn’t even let us go sit down, they immediately took us back because they didn’t want Iella exposed to whatever contagious diseases were in the waiting room.  Even with that we were there for hours.  They checked for an infection and made sure she didn’t have a blockage, then told us to go to Walmart and buy gas drops.  That was it.  Hours at the hospital to be told that she needed some gas drops.  It has been helping a lot, though.  She doesn’t seem nearly as uncomfortable, isn’t crying a much, and is happy again, so I am glad we went, I just wish that our doctor could have told us that.

Our next emergency room visit was when we went down to visit my grandparents.  Mingli was exploring the new place and was looking in the drawers in the living room when he pulled one out and it landed on his foot.  I was in one of the bedrooms laying down with Iella and I heard a crash then heard Mingli start crying.  I started getting up to go in, then I heard someone say that he was just scared, so I started settling back into bed.  My mom was out there and could handle Mingli being scared.  Just as I was getting settled again I heard people start yelling, “There’s blood!” “Oh my goodness!” “We need to take him to the doctor!”  At that point I figured I definitely needed to go out there so I jumped out of bed and ran out.  The drawer had landed on Mingli’s toe, smashed it, and pulled his toenail mostly off.  Honestly, it looked terrible.  Mingli was screaming, Avana was crying as hard as Mingli, most people had to go into a different room because they couldn’t look at his toe.  Even my grandmother, who was a nurse, wouldn’t look at Mingli’s toe.  I was really grateful for Roark because he was the one taking charge and the one who actually examined Mingli’s toe to see how bad it was.  The fact that he was willing to do that meant that I could put all my focus on Mingli and comforting him.  Poor guy, I had never seen him cry so hard.  There wasn’t much I could do, but I held him and sang to him and played wit his hair.  After Roark looked at the toe we decided to take Mingli into an urgent care because the toenail needed to come off.  We got there and and the doctor came to look at him after taking an x-ray to make sure his foot wasn’t broken.  Honestly, the doctor didn’t really know what she was talking about and actually told us that the toenail would never grow back and that she needed to take it off and then sew it back on.  She told us she wasn’t comfortable doing it because it was a child, there could be permanent nerve damage, and that we needed a plastic surgeon.  So she sent us to the emergency room.

At the emergency room they were again surprised we had been sent there because they should have been able to take care of it at the urgent care.  Being at the hospital was so hard.  Mingli was still screaming, he had been screaming for a couple of hours at this point, and all I wanted to do was break down and cry, too, but I couldn’t because Mingli needed me, and if I broke down who would be there to help Mingli.  The doctor gave me the option of putting Mingli under general anesthesia, but recommended again it because there were more risks and we would have to put an IV in his arm, which sounded awful.  I decided to go with his recommendation of using local anesthesia, but regretted it as soon as they started.  He screamed so hard and I felt awful.  He is doing a lot better now, though.  He barely limps when he walks and doesn’t scream when someone even talks about touching it anymore.  I am just glad my baby is feeling better.

So I had my first emergency room visit with both kids in the same week.  I thought once I was not pregnant anymore we could stop going to the emergency room so much, but I guess not.

1 month!

Iella turned 1 month old this week!  This was also the week she was supposed to be due, which is funny.  Iella had grown so much in the past month.  She can hold her head up for a couple of minutes at a time, and a couple of times has even lifted herself up on her elbows while laying on her tummy.  She has been smiling since she was a couple of days old, and has laughed in her sleep a few times.  She is starting to get really interested in what is going on around her and if I hold her in a sitting position she will start turning her head everywhere trying to look at everything around her.  She loves to cuddle and if we are laying in bed she will scoot over as much as possible so she is cuddled right up next to me.  I love her so much and am so grateful for her.

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