Thursday, February 23, 2012


All three of my children were playing with blocks this afternoon and it was funny to see their personalities in their building styles.

When Maeve plays with blocks, she builds cities, houses, and animals to live in the houses. She wants to use all of the blocks and needs her village to be perfect.

Finnegan doesn't build anything that has a purpose. He puts blocks together in a numerical pattern and fills them in according to how many empty pegs are on each block.

Oren creates animals. He was very proud of his mama T-Rex and his baby T-Rex. Everything he does always has a mama and a baby. Every now and again, he'll throw in a daddy for good measure. Oren loves to build and puts blocks together in a certain order.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


We have decided on a name for Baby Girl. Finally.

I love her name and believe it's a bit more mainstream than the other three kids' names. We've told a few people and have heard "oh" and laughing without further comment. Why bother asking if you're not going to say something nice? How hard is it to say "oh, that's nice" or "pretty"? We've been met with criticism for each name that we've chosen and I'm tired of listening to everyone's opinion.

The reactions thus far make me want to name her Niamh and then leave people guessing how to pronounce it correctly. Niamh is her middle name, by the way.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Homeschool Update

School is going well so far this year. If all goes according to plan, we should be done by the time the baby is born. I use the word "done" loosely because we are never done learning. I've strayed a bit from my original weekly plans because Maeve wanted to do a lizard lapbook and because studying history does not hold Maeve's attention. Lately, the focus has been on reading, writing, math, and science. Maeve loves science and I am happy that we will spend the spring and summer exploring ponds and everything related to frogs. Frogs, dinosaurs, and the Titanic are her favorite things. Maeve is becoming a more confidant reader and her lower case handwriting continues to improve. We use Life of Fred for math and she likes the story format so much better than a text and workbook.

Finn has been more involved with our structured learning time lately. He and I are working through Singapore math together and he's almost finished with 1A. He's been working through Explode the Code and his handwriting has improved tremendously. I've started Progressive Phonics short vowels with Finn and he's already shown an understanding of short vowel "a" and has moved onto "e". Finn loves workbooks and is extremely motivated to learn.

Oren's language has exploded. He is finally saying more than one word sentences and can/will repeat just about anything. He is able to communicate all of his thoughts and will often come up to me, wrap his arms around my neck, and say, "Aw. Mama is so cute." Saying such things almost makes up for the entire bottle of maple syrup he dumped into my plant and all over the kitchen floor.

I have ordered all of our books for next year. I want to have a rough sketch in place of next year's plans before the baby arrives in April. If anyone is curious, here's what we're using:

History: Lesson Pathways (it's online and it's free). I'm combining year 1 and year 2 and filling gaps with a couple of Usborne books.

Science: Sonlight Science C. There's a dinosaur section I will revamp and might adjust a few other things once I look it all over. I wanted something directed and already organized so that I won't have to come up with experiments or lessons on my own.

Language Arts/Reading/Phonics: We'll continue with Progressive Phonics and Explode the Code. I'm adding Handwriting Without Tears. We'll continue to read lots of books.

Math: Life of Fred for Maeve and Singapore 1B for Finn. I also ordered Usborne math workbooks and plan to use those as needed and to give Maeve just a bit more practice with some of the concepts covered in Life of Fred.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

30 Weeks

10 weeks to go! Hoorah.

I wish I could say that I love being pregnant, but I don't. I sort of enjoy my pregnancies until I get to about 20 weeks when my uterus starts to push my internal organs up into my rib cage. I am short and short waisted so my babies take up all of the space between my pelvis and ribs. This baby is facing the wrong way and has her back against my back. It's fun feeling so much movement on my belly, but her position makes my belly super sensitive to touch. A super sensitive belly and a very loving, very active two year old do not mix.

I have only gained 20 lbs so far and am happy about it. I'm really trying to stay within the 25-35 weight gain and think I will be successful. I gained 50-60 lbs with each of my other pregnancies so this is a huge accomplishment for me. It might have something to do with chasing an extremely active two year old.

We weren't going to hire a doula this time, however, we stumbled upon a doula in training and are going to have her attend our birth. I think she will do a good job motivating me and keeping me focused. I suggested she learn about pressure points and massage so maybe she'll want to practice those at our next meeting.

My birth plan is finalized and the baby's clothes for the hospital were picked out by an excited older sister. The car seat has been installed. All that's left is packing a hospital bag, washing the Boppy, and sewing a pouch.