Monday, August 23, 2010

If I'm Being Honest...

I can't wait to have this baby, and for purely selfish reasons. I hurt. My back hurts, my hips hurt, my pride hurts.

As with all of my other pregnancies, I've gained at least 50 lbs. I really thought that because I started at a healthy weight and maintained an exercise routine through most of this pregnancy, I wouldn't gain the same kind of weight. Apparently I thought wrong.

Now when I look in the mirror, all I can think is "That's not me." I'm not used to having all these chins, all this booty, all this arm flab.

I've got a plan, of course. In fact, I'll be blogging about it at least monthly at work. I imagine I'll also do a bit of what I did last time around on this blog with the weigh-ins and progress reports.

I'm looking forward to exercising again without feeling like I'm being split in half. Can't wait to lift weights without having contractions. SUPER geeked about returning to Pilates and kicking butt. I so miss early morning runs, when the sun has just crested the horizon and the children are still asleep. So much to look forward to.

Of course, this time I'll have a newborn, four children under age six, and homeschooling to contend with, but I'm sure I'll get back into shape. Might take a bit longer, but I'm also hoping to give myself more grace than I've managed in the past.

Can't wait!

Friday, August 6, 2010

We Survived the First Week!

Well, we made it through the first week of homeschooling. The Princess was up at 7:00 Wednesday morning, "all set and ready for school" she said. Yesterday it was 6:30. Today she managed to sleep until almost 7:30 am, still an hour early for her.

As I've said before, we're using the Charlotte Mason method, although we haven't gotten any nature observation in this week. First, I'm eight months pregnant in Atlanta's August. Second, I don't do the outdoors much. I don't like heat, I don't like cold, I don't like bugs, I don't like birds. I don't like wind, I don't like my hair or makeup mussed. I am HIGHLY allergic to poison ivy, and that's reason enough for me to stay in until I have to venture into the wilderness.

The Music Man is the one who takes the children on shady hikes, points out the trees and birds, gently leads them over stepping stones in a shallow creek and the like. He will largely be responsible for implementing the science portion of this year's curriculum, as it's based on the Burgess Bird Book for Children. Did I mention I hate birds?

I also learned some things about my child. She struggles with handwriting and cutting a bit. These make perfect sense because I've never really worked with her on these skills.

She's got an AMAZING memory for detail. CM stresses narration, that is, her retelling a story to me that has been read to her. Princess' recall astounds me, honestly, especially given that most of our books have no pictures on the Kindle.

She understands poetry better than I've have guessed, which impresses me. We're going to have to work on sitting still, as she likes to move around while I'm reading. This wouldn't bother me too much, but I read in segments of less than 10 minutes. She's going to learn this skill, so we're working on it.

She loves math and can't wait to learn time and money. We're using Horizons Kindergarten book 1, and in three days I've allowed her to do 12 lessons.

She's extremely eager to please, and actually apologizes when she makes a mistake. We're working on that, too. I don't want her to be like me, always afraid to try things for fear of looking foolish.

Her favorite part of the day is the Enrichment Bucket. I put some flash cards for various subjects, some learning games, and sight word blocks in an old sucanat bucket, and after working hard all morning, she gets to choose one game to play. She looks forward to it each day, even telling me before we start in the morning what she'd like to do.

The Target dollar spot is a FANTASTIC place to get those flash cards. Yesterday I got addition, subtraction, and phonics levels one and two cards for the bucket. They also had math bingo. Music-in-law also got the Princess animals, shapes and colors, and alphabet cards for the bucket. It's super fun!

I'm also learning some things about me. I'm not at all patient about the handwriting issue. She writes some letters and numbers backwards, and when I correct her, she actually just changes hands with the pencil. How strange is that?! Funny thing is, when she changes hands she actually seems to get it right. I haven't figured out what that means about how her brain is wired.

I really enjoy learning these things with her, but my patience on the whole leaves something to be desired. It's a character flaw that I need remedied, so I'm hoping that teaching my girl (and the others, when it's time) will be abrasive enough to smooth away my rough places.

So that's week one! We're loving the Ambleside Online schedule, though I'm adding some things to meet the length of day requirement we have in Georgia. Can't wait for next week. Good thing they provide a great deal of enrichment reading!