Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Great Outdoors

We have been spending most of our extra time outside this week.
Today, while playing outside, Arin said to Ella, "Isn't nature wonderful?"


Examining Leaves ~ Perhaps a Future Horticulturist?  :)

"Wow, look at this bark!"

Discovering New Life ~ Signs of Spring

Hmmm, I wonder how far I can throw this rock?

Ella loved jumping in this leaf pile.

Climbing Trees

Walking Sticks

More Fun with the Leaves

"You Shall Not Pass!" ~ Pretend Play

Fun with Acorns

Sitting Pretty

Comforting a Grumpy Sister

Giddy Up! (pretend horse)

Nature's Balance Beam

Dissecting a Flower

Whatcha doing, Arin?

Oh, Wow!

Blowing Dandelions

"Mom, why is there a hole in this tree?"

I'll Race You Downhill!
Linked to:

Hula Hooping



Arin's been practicing, practicing, practicing and she can keep the hula hoop up for close to a minute now!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pregnancy Journal: Week 6

The girls are both so excited about the new baby.  One day, this week, I was sitting on the stairs reading, when Arin came and sat beside me and kissed the baby (my stomach).  Then, Ella came up behind me and started scratching my back!  The girls have been so sweet all week and have been pampering me with lots and lots of hugs and kisses for for both me and the baby. Arin says that she's already taking good care of the baby every time she kisses it!  The girls have also been extremely helpful this week.  They have both offered to help with chores without being asked.  It's really been fun to see how excited they are. 

We've been spending more time outside, enjoying the beautiful weather.  It won't be much longer until it'll be so hot that we won't want to be out in the middle of the day unless we are swimming.  But for now, we are spending more time outside playing and taking daily walks.  I have also been working on cleaning up my diet - drinking more water, adding in more produce and protein, etc.

Photo Source:
You can read about week six development here. According to Baby Center, our baby is the size of a lentil this week and the nose, mouth, and ears are beginning to develop. Amazing!

So you may be wondering how I am feeling.  Well, honestly, I don't feel pregnant.  It is very odd.  With all of my other pregnancies, I have felt queasy by now, but this time, I am having a hard time believing that I am pregnant because I feel normal. 

What does that mean?

1. I am not sure if I should be worried since I have a history of miscarriage. 
2. Or if I should be excited with the possibility of an easy pregnancy after two losses and two difficult pregnancies. 
3. Or if it's just early still and the symptoms will kick in soon. 

We are praying for option 2 or 3, but only time will tell... 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Q is for Quarter

We had another "take it easy" week.  Did we do a lot of academics?  Not so much.  Did we have fun?  Yes, of course!  During our learning time, we worked with the letter Qq and the theme of quarters.

The roll the dice, cover a letter game that we did for Rr week was such a hit with the girls that I repeated it for Qq week, except I made sure there were more spaces to cover this time. 

To make this game, simply cut out squares (or whatever shape you'd like).  Write a lowercase q on half of the squares and an uppercase Q on the other half.  Glue the squares to a larger piece of paper, alternating the upper and lowercase letters. 

To play the game, each player is given one playing board and a pile of quarters.  The first player rolls the die and covers that amount of letter Qq's on their playing board with quarters.  Then the play goes to the next player.  The first player to cover her board wins.  So simple, but the girls seem to really enjoy this game.

Next, we did a quarter toss.  I cut out a large letter Q and laid it on the floor.  One at a time, the girls took 10 quarters and tried to toss them into the center of the Q.  I tried it too and it is harder than it looks.  Arin was good at it and she was able to get three of her quarters into the center.

Arin really had fun with a game of Heads of Tails?  She made her prediction of which she'd flip the most.  She guessed Tails.  Then, she flipped a quarter ten times, recording the results each time.  She was right, tails won.

Then, we played a quick game of drop the quarter in the jar.  The girls took turns.  Each had 10 quarters that they were to drop into a jar.  Ella went first and she sat for the beginning of the game.  It proved too easy while seated, so she stood for a bit more challenge.  She did really good at this and Arin thought it would be a piece of cake.  She was a bit surprised when she stood and was not able to drop every quarter into the jar.

Finally, we worked on a very special project.  If you've read my blog for any amount of time, you know that we try to teach our children the importance of giving.  We make and give things to our family and friends, but we also want to teach our children that it is equally important to give to those that we do not personally know.  Now, when we lived in Georgia, we had a great homeschool group.  We all miss them and Arin especially speaks of them often.  A few weeks ago, I read of this fun project that they were doing.  From January until May, they are collecting money to give to an orphan assistance agency.  When I learned that they were doing this project I thought it'd be perfect for us too.  It'd be a way to continue our "Better to Give..." lesson as well as stay connected to our friends.  This project is especially dear to us as many of our homeschool friends were once orphans themselves or their families are in the process of adopting orphans.
I gave each of the girls a jar and some stickers.  They had so much fun decorating the jars.  Once they were done, I gave them each some quarters to put in their jar.  Eventually, we will be filling the jars with other coins/bills as well, but for now we wanted to tie the project in with our quarter theme!

Over the past couple of days, I have been trying to explain to the girls (especially Arin) what an orphan is.  She cannot wrap her four-year old mind around the fact that not everyone has a mom and dad or enough food to eat, toys to play with, etc.  Yesterday, she suggested that we buy the orphans a television so they can watch kid shows.  Funny little girl.  I told her that I'm sure they would love a tv, but food and clothes were more important.  So as she was decorating her money jar, she asked if she could send the kids a snack along with the money.   She is sweet and her heart is in the right place even if she can't fully understand what an orphan is.

Linked to:
Preschool Corner
Tot School

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pregnancy Journal: Week 5

First, I want to thank everyone for their sweet comments and prayers for this baby.  They are very appreciated.
Secondly, my friend, Joli, requested that I add a pregnancy widget to my blog so that her and anyone else can follow the baby's progress.  So that has been added to the upper right-hand corner.
Third, I am going to attempt to give weekly updates (or maybe bi-weekly depending on how I feel) throughout this pregnancy. 

Photo Source:

I have now completed week five in the pregnancy journey.  According to Baby Center (<--- click the link to read about week 5 development), our baby is about the size of a sesame seed.  It continually amazes me how much growing and developing is happening in such a teeny tiny embryo!  I am still in the honeymoon phase of pregnancy.  We are super thrilled, but still in a bit of disbelief that I am finally pregnant again, as it's been a full year since we lost the last baby.  Pregnancy symptoms are ever so slightly beginning to appear.  I have been very crampy this week, but if memory serves me correctly, I was that way for all four previous pregnancies.  So although the cramps do make me slightly nervous, I know that it is not actually a sign that there is a problem, in fact it could just mean that the baby is embedding, which is a good thing.  I have been a bit more tired the past few days.  Other than that, all is well.  If history repeats itself, then around six weeks is when the symptoms really kick in and they stick around until I deliver the baby.  My symptoms were not super strong with my last pregnancy, so I am actually looking forward to the morning sickness this time, as it seems to signal a healthy pregnancy for me.

We told the girls about the baby last Friday.  Ella immediately said that it was a pink baby.  Pink is her favorite color.  I asked her if she thought it'd be a boy or a girl.  She said girl! 

Arin has been asking for months and months for us to have another baby.  On Friday night, we showed her the test and told her if there was two lines then there was a baby, but one line meant no baby.  She was so excited to learn there was a baby in my tummy.  I wish I would have gotten a picture of her eyes light up and the huge grin on her face.  She laid in bed with me and non-stop talked until after midnight.  She is such a planner.  She was thinking of names, thinking of toys to share with the baby, telling me how she'd help take care of it, etc.  She's so sweet and this will be such a great learning experience for her.  She is finally old enough to understand what's going on, as I've not ever seen her this excited with my other pregnancies.  She also says the baby will be a girl, but then decided a boy would be okay too, or better yet - one of each! 

On Saturday morning, Arin and Ella were eating breakfast, but I was getting ready to meet up with our families.  Arin said, "Mom, you need to feed the baby" meaning that I needed to eat.  Then, later she told me that I needed to eat healthy foods to help the baby grow.  And one other time, I was drinking some water and she told me that I was giving the baby a drink. 

We were together with most of our families on Saturday.  We let Arin share the news as she had been incredibly anxious to tell people.  (By the way, for any of our friends in GA that are reading this, Arin told me that she really wants to tell her homeschool friends in Georgia too.)

One of the things I never look forward to is finding someone to deliver our baby.  I had the same nurse midwife deliver Arin and Ella and I LOVED her.  She was awesome, but she works two hours from where we live now, so it doesn't seem practical for me to drive that far.  I found another midwife online a couple of days ago and have set up a consultation appointment to meet with her on March 1st.  Hopefully, things will go well with that and I will not have to look any farther. 

I guess that's about it for now.  I will update more next week!