Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pregnancy Journal: Week 18

There's been one big change since I last updated my journal.  Exactly two weeks ago, I first felt tiny baby movements!  I don't feel them every day, and somedays I feel more than other days, but this is the part where pregnancy is feeling real and fun.  I love every little movement that I feel.  Amazing!  I am getting very anxious to know the gender of the baby.  This pregnancy is so different than that of the girls that we all think it's a boy (except Ella who continues to say it's a girl), but we are looking forward to knowing one way or the other.  The ultrasound has not been scheduled yet.  They only have the tech come once a month to the birthing center and since I cancelled the early May appointment, I have to wait until sometime in June.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Interview

Mommy: Why do you like Mother's Day?
Arin: Because we get to give cards to mothers.

Mommy: Why did God make mommies?
Arin:  So they could marry dads and have healthy babies.
Mommy: What are mothers made of?
Arin: skin and blood

Mommy:  What do mothers do?
Arin: Play, clean, and do schoolwork with their kids.

Mommy:  What food do you like your mommy to make:
Arin: spaghetti

Mommy:  What's the best thing about being a mommy?
Arin:  You get to give the best hugs and the best kisses!

Mommy:  If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
Arin:  She'd take me to the best park ever every week!

Mommy: What do mommies do for fun?
Arin: Play with their kids and give them lollipops!

Mommy:  What's the best thing about your mommy?
Arin:  You let me watch tv.

Mommy:  What's your favorite thing to do with your mommy?
Arin: Swim!

You might also be interested in Last Year's Interview

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Five Senses: Hearing

This week, we started learning about the sense of hearing.  We read fiction and non-fiction books related to the subject each day and did an activity to go along with the lesson.

Arin learned the simple parts of the ear and now knows that sound travels through the outer ear, down the ear canal, through the ear drum, to the middle ear, and the inner ear, and finally to the brain.  We made a model of an ear drum.  We used a plastic cup with a piece of thin rubber (we cut open a punch balloon to use) stretched tight over the top, and secured with a rubber band.  Then, we put a few grains of salt on top of the balloon.  Finally, we made noise (we used a knife to tap on a plastic egg, but any noise maker should work).  We watched the grains of salt vibrate, just like sound vibrates through the ear drum.

We also made a noise shaker matching game.  We put matching objects into two identical containers (we used plastic eggs because they were readily available in the stores when I planned the project, but any identical, non-see through containers would work).  We had a total of eight identical containers, so we were able to make four pairs of shakers.  I mixed the containers up and handed them to Arin.  She shook them and listened carefully to find the matching eggs.  Some were a bit tricky, but she was able to get them all on the first try.  Ella just liked shaking the eggs and saying they all matched.

We learned what it means to be deaf.  The girls also watched their Baby Signing Time dvds and they learned to finger spell their names.








We played a game of what is it?  I didn't get any pictures of this, but I had Arin sit, blindfolded, while I made several noises.  She guessed what the noises were.  Some of the noises I made were tearing paper, crumpling paper, tapping a fork on a plate, knocking on a window, shaking coins, etc.

The girls played several rounds of Neighborhood Sounds Bingo.  It's a listen and match game.  Instead of calling out what the picture shows, the "radio" plays the picture's sound.  The girls find it on their board (if it's on there) and cover it up.

We also took a field trip to use our sense of hearing.  We went to see a Wind Ensemble at a nearby college.  The girls liked this, but it was a bit loud for them.

Books we read:
How Do Our Ears Hear? by Carol Ballard
What is Hearing? by Jennifer Boothroyd
Sound and Hearing by Angela Royston
Hearing by Robin Nelson
Our Senses: Hearing by Kay Woodward
Horton Hears a Who! by Dr. Seuss
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr
Can Anybody Hear Me? by Jessica Meserve
Moses Goes to a Concert by Isaac Millman
The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pregnancy Journal: 16 weeks

Wow, sixteen weeks and I feel great!  This is such a different pregnancy than I had with either of the girls. It's been so, so easy, which has been a welcomed change.  Originally, we had planned to have our ultrasound for yesterday, but due to a few factors, we decided it'd be better to wait a few weeks. Now I am not sure when it'll be scheduled - probably four to five weeks from now. I had a prenatal appointment today.  We met with a new midwife at our birthing center and are excited to go forward with the decision to birth outside of a hospital.  We heard the heartbeat today, which still sounds healthy and strong. 

The girls are super excited about this baby.  They talk about it every day.  One night, Arin woke up in the middle of the night, came into our room and told me that she was so happy about our baby and she thought it was a boy!  She told me that if it is a boy, she wants to name it Blueberry and if it is a girl, she wants to name it Strawberry.  Both girls pretend to have a baby in their tummies.  Arin typically "gives birth" to her baby every night before bed.  Ella is more patient and her baby has not been born yet.  One night, Ella finished her dinner and asked for seconds.  I questioned her to make sure she really wanted to eat more.  She paused for a second, put her hand on her belly, and said, "Baby's still hungry!"  Also, one afternoon, she had hiccups and she told me to feel her belly because the baby was moving! 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Snip Snap! What's That?

We found this book when we lived in Georgia and it quickly became a favorite.  However, we don't own the book and we hadn't read it since we moved back to Florida.  I knew the girls would be thrilled to check it out from the library again last week.  Each day, we read the story and did a quick activity to go along with it.

Summary of the story (copied from front of book)
Three siblings are frightened by the wide mouth, long teeth, and strong jaws of the alligator who has crept up the stairs - until they decide they have had enough.

Day One
A week or so ago, the girls painted pottery.  It was such a hit that I knew they would like to do something similiar again.  This time, I found wooden alligators ($1 at Michael's) that they were able to paint (paint and paintbrush included). 

Day Two
Arin reviewed some of the three letter words ending in "-ip" or "-ap". 
I cut out two alligators.  On the first I wrote -ip and on the second, I wrote -ap.  The story stars three children (two girls and a boy).  For each word, I cut out two girls and one boy.  I wrote the word's consonants on the girls and the vowel on the boy.  Then, I orally gave Arin a word, she found the correct letters, spelled the word and put it under the correct heading (-ip or -ap).  This quickly became too tedious, which did not surprsie me.  It's been so long since we've worked on structured reading activities that I was mainly trying to see what she remembered.  I ended up finishing the spelling of each word and then we read them together.  She liked that much better.

Day Three
Ella has been begging to do school.  I didn't plan as many activities for her to go along with this book, but I did find these counting cards.  She loves to count and she wanted to do this activity over and over and over!

Day Four
Arin worked on a math project using the alligator theme.  I printed out five alligators and  20 eggs.  On the alligators, I wrote the numbers 1 through 5.  I cut the eggs in half.  On each half of the egg, I wrote part of an addition problem.  Arin was to find all of the math facts that equalled each answer and put it under the correct alligator.  So under the "1" alligator, there would be an egg that had the number 0 on one half and 1 on the other half.  The second egg under the "1" alligator would have a 1 on one half and a 0 on the other half.  She continued this for each egg.  This actvity seemed to be very enjoyable to her.  She enjoys math and she liked finding the pattern under each alligator.

Day Five
We took a field trip to Gatorland.  It was the first time that we've been there and we enjoyed it.  We saw alligators of all sizes (baby up to 13').  Ella got to pet an alligator (Arin was too scared to, even though its mouth was taped shut).  We saw several shows, fed alligators, walked around the swamp, saw all types of birds, fed animals in the petting zoo, and the kids played in the water area.  Their favorite activity was feeding the birds. 

This is the snake Andrew caught on our swamp walk.

Arin's Summary of the Story
The alligator was creeping up the stairs because it wanted to eat the three children.  It bit open the door and walked close to the children.  The children were scared and ran away.  At the end of the story, they said "Alligator, You Get Out!"  Then, the story asked if the alligator was scared.  And it was!  It left and went all the way back home.  The children were happy when the alligator left!