Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Newest Venture

In an effort to put more structure, productivity and learning into our days I have embarked on a new and might I add, very fulfilling adventure. I am attempting to try my hand at some make shift homeschooling. Albeit it is on the preschool level and I figure it is best to start small and with baby steps, this way I can figure out if I am really cut out for it down the line when she is older and ready to be challenged even more. I am not really using any structured curriculum at this point, I am mainly pulling from my job experience and my education (I knew that college degree in child development would come in handy!). I have also found several websites that I am incorporating various ideas from and molding them all together to form my own impromptu lessons. I have found Starfall to be a very helpful website, some of the site is geared more for older kids, but like I said, I am picking and choosing. I have also found some great Christian home school stuff, so we are trying to incorporate some Bible lessons/verses daily. Sophie loves to read her Bible and we have found that she is also retaining so much info from Sunday school so I thought this would be a great add on to what she is learning at church.

Right now my plan is to work on a letter a week, so right now we are on A, we have started by creating an alphabet book, she had so much fun coloring, gluing and cutting (Mama helped with the cutting) and I was really impressed with her gluing abilities! All the while creating the "A" page we talked about the letter A what sound it made and what things started with the letter A. I was blown away at how much she really seemed to enjoy it all and at the end of the day when Neal came home she was able to share with him some of what she learned. I certainly don't spend all day "teaching" Sophie, of course I see everything as a teaching experience whether it is intentional or not, but my new concentrated efforts of teaching last anywhere from 15-30 minutes (or however long she can focus!), and then sporadically throughout the rest of the day we will talk about and incorporate what we worked on that morning.

I have also implemented Quiet Time bins for times when I need to get things done, i.e. cook dinner or get a shower and don't need her underfoot. Each bin is labeled Monday through Friday and has toys/activities in them that are to be used on a specific day and during a Quiet Time (or Mama needs a time out) moment only that way if the bins are only pulled out at a certain time on each day they stay fun, new, and alluring. The various bins contain coloring books and crayons, a magnetic dress up doll, Little Einstein figures, My Little Pony, Stringing Beads (for hand eye coordination and fine motor skills), stickers, clothes pins with yogurt containers (clipping the pins onto the containers is good for the fine motor and practice for holding a pencil), measuring cups, number identification/counting cards, a blank notepad and crayons, each bin also contains a couple of books that she has not seen in a while so that should excite her!

I am really excited about all this mostly because Sophie seems to be excited too, but also because as I mentioned it gives a little structure to our morning and day and I am not constantly wondering what we are going to do to fill our time. I will keep you posted on how it all goes!

The front cover still needs her name and some of her own personal flair added, but this is a start!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sophie Videos

Neal has gotten yet another new toy. He is so super excited about his new camera, not only does it take still photographs, but high definition video as well. He came home from work, he has all important things delivered to him at work so he gets to be the first to see it, like a kid from the candy store! He could not wait to start playing around with all the neat new features and Sophie, his little muse was happy to oblige. We have posted two of the videos taken from the new camera.

Sophie Learns To Cut

Snow White Says The Blessing

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Interesting Prenatal Appointment

I had my 20 week appointment with my midwife today, technically I'm only 19 weeks 4 days, but she sees patients every 3rd Tuesday of the month so it's close enough to 20 weeks! It was a very interesting and exciting appointment. The baby sounds great and I am doing wonderfully too! Now for the interesting and exciting part......I am 19 weeks, but I am measuring 24 weeks, yes that's right a whole 5 weeks larger than normal!!! So this could mean a variety of things:
  1. The baby had a really big growth spurt this month and by next month I should even back out and measure right on where I should be.
  2. That my dates are off and I really am 24 almost 25 weeks into this pregnancy and we are having a baby the beginning of October, but I am pretty sure we were pretty darn precise about when this baby was conceived. ;)
  3. Or there are two babies in there and we are having ourselves a set of TWINS!!!
My midwife said that we should definitely know more next appointment. (I really do love the little bit of mystery that comes with natural birthing and using a midwife!) By the next appointment the baby or babies will have grown more and she can literally get a better feel for things. What she does know is that I have consistently measured over or larger at each visit, so she feels as though we may be welcoming baby #2 in October, which could explain the intensity of the punches and kicks and Neal being able to feel the baby move a couple of weeks ago, but as I said we will know more next visit! At this point she did say that she only heard one heartbeat, but she also said babies have been known to hide and have the amazing ability to do so for a while. Who knows! All I know is that the baby is strong and healthy with a good strong heart rate and packing some powerful punches and kicks and for that we are truly blessed.

So whether the outcome is 1, 2, or 3 from the above list we are happy, excited, and full of anticipation, we are actually really enjoying the surprise that surrounds this pregnancy and could not be happier with the choices we have made and the care that I have been receiving. For now I will leave you with some funny pictures of Sophie and her baby. I do apologize the photos are not Neal quality, I edited them myself and I tried my best! :)

Proudly displaying that she too has a baby in her belly "Like Mommy".

"Getting the baby out".

Telling me that her baby is crying and that I need to hold her!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Do You Curl Your Two Year Old's Hair?

As everyone well knows, Sophie has beautiful long hair with pretty little ringlets/curls on the ends. Sophie and I were out running errands and a lady commented on her hair, "Oh I just love her hair, is it naturally curly like that or do you curl it?" REALLY???? Do I curl my two and a half year old's hair?? This is not the first time I have been asked this. I just smiled and politely said, "No, Ma'am it is naturally curly" and continued on. This happens to us at least 2 to 3 times a week, it doesn't bother me one bit, I actually have to refrain from chuckling out loud when these complete strangers ask such an absurd question. I mean have these individuals really run into or know that many folks that curl a young child's hair, how vein can you be and for goodness sake what is that teaching your child? Not that I am judging, but it is something I would never do nor would ever expect Sophie to sit long enough for me to curl her hair. I thought I had a good 10 or 11 years before I really had to battle/teach her about the Beauty Myth , but in today's society where mid-drift bearing, short skirt wearing, overly made up dolls are marketed to young girls I think it is closer than I thought and clearly I have my work cut out for me if I am going to instill proper self respecting morals and values in my girl.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hilton Head 2009

Finally, I have gotten around to posting some pictures from our '09 Beach trip. We have been back for a week now, but with the grocery shopping that needed to be done (restocking the pantry after a week long trip is always fun and not to mention always more expensive!), the laundry, and just all around getting readjusted to real life took about a week! So, I will basically let the pictures do the talking, we had a great time and we have some great pictures to show for it. Neal is really into "the belly" as he refers to it and is loving maternity shots lately, for now I will let him since it is all round and cute, but when I start looking like a house boat all bets are off! Enjoy the pics, there are lots!

Lugging all her toys down the the beach!

The first day at the beach we had a great science lesson with all the sea life that we found.

Loving the pool and the new found freedom that her "floaty thing" gives her.

My favorite picture.

The Belly.

I about fell over the little bugger has a tight grip!

Painting her Japanese fish shirt (Gyotaku) for the 3rd year in a row.