Friday, January 28, 2011

Delving Into The "Uncomfortable" Questions

My husband and I have always agreed that when the kids started asking the "uncomfortable" questions about their bodies, where babies come from, sex etc. We would always answer them truthfully and age appropriately, of course. We also agree that we want them to feel comfortable enough to come to us when they have those types of questions. This is one of many subjects, where we differ from our parents who were a bit more "old school".

Another thing we have always agreed to do is teach our children the proper, technical names for their body parts, including their sex organs. The boys all know they have a Penis and girls have a Vagina. So will Annabella when she's old enough to understand. (This even helps make your child less likely to be sexually abused.) This is something that I have always felt is important to do.

Last night Alex, my 8 1/2 year old son, had an interesting question for me. "Mom, what are the balls for on a boys private parts?" I was a little taken back because he sort of asked out of the blue. I told him "The outside is your scrotum and the balls are called testicles." His reply was "Yeah, but what are they for?" I answered "They are part of what is needed to make a baby when you grow up." He was satisfied with that answer. A little later he asked if I could get him a book that explained all of that stuff or find something online. I have no problem doing that, so I started searching for an anatomy book that wasn't too old for him and didn't go into too much detail for him. I'm sure for many, what I don't find to be too much detail, would be way too much for them. We're all different of course.

Alex is a pretty average 8 - 9 year old boy, but he is relatively mature when it comes to matters such as this. He doesn't get squirmy or uncomfortable when he asks or is given the answers. In fact, at 5 years old he asked me how babies get out of the mommy's belly. I told him honestly. I explained there are 2 ways out and what they were. That is also when and how I explained to him why girls have different private parts than boys (Since he already knew that they are different). Well, the explanation was in regards to them coming out. He has yet to have the conversation as to how they get in lol. I'm sure that's coming soon enough.

I had a few different anatomy books suggested to me by friends. After looking at those suggested, I ultimately I chose the book The Way We Work by David Macaulay. It doesn't look to be too far over his head, but it can also grow with him. The reproductive stuff aside, Alex and his brothers are very curious and inquisitive about many aspects of the human body and how things work. This is right up their alley. My friend who suggested this particular book has her Masters in Biology, so this is sort of her area and she really loves this book. I imagine if she loves it that much, it has to be worth a look! From what I have seen of the book online, it really looks great and I'm excited about the different Science lessons I'll be able to get out of it over the next several years.

This is just the beginning of the tougher questions my husband and I will be asked and we are both on the same page as far as how we'll handle each subject. I think we're ready for it. As ready as we can be anyway!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A New Journey - I'm Excited!

I previously mentioned that I was waiting for South Carolina DHEC to approve the waiver for me to get my prenatal care and give birth at the Charleston Birth Place. They state that women who have had 6 or more pregnancies can not have care at a birth center.

D. Professional Care
1. Limitation of Services Offered by Birthing Center: (I) In order to be delivered in a
birthing center, the woman and/or her infant shall exhibit no evidence of:
a. Severe anemia;
b. Diabetes mellitus;
c. Symptomatic heart disease;
d. Severe hypertension or preeclampsia;
e. Renal disease;
f. Thrombophlebitis;
g. Multiple gestation;
h. Active herpes (within one week of delivery), syphilis, or HIV positive;
i. Placental abnormalities;
j. Premature labor;
k. Intrauterine growth retardation;
l. Fetal disease;
m. Previous caesarean delivery with classical incision;
n. Desire for transfer;
o. Anticipated macrosomia;
p. Breech birth;
q. Six or more (nonmiscarriage or nonabortion) pregnancies;
r. Polyhydramnios or oligohydramnios, or chorionitis;

A couple of weeks ago I finally found out they did grant the waiver! I am really excited about this. While natural birth and giving birth are not new to me, being able to have prenatal care and hopefully give birth in such a wonderful environment is! The facility is beautiful, the birthing rooms are amazing and the staff are all great. I am now hoping that everything goes smoothly and I am able to give birth to this baby there. Not being hooked up to monitors and being able to move freely throughout my labor as well as having access to a huge birth pool to labor in will be so nice!

On February 15th I have the usual 20-ish week ultrasound with the OB that the Birth Center consults with and then my second appointment at Charleston Birth Place after that. I am 19 weeks today, so I'll be 1 day shy of 22 weeks at the ultrasound. I'm sure they'll confirm he's (still) a boy at that time as well.

This is a new journey I'm really excited to be on. I'm thrilled that we're having another baby and I really love the life my husband and I have together with our children. Here's to hoping everything goes smoothly!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Timberdoodle Review - Critical Thinking Press - Mind Benders A3, Mind Benders Beginning Book 2 and Mind Benders Beginning Book 1

My older 3 boys and myself were recently given the opportunity and pleasure to review 3 workbooks from Critical Thinking Press by Timberdoodle. The titles we reviewed are Mind Benders A3, Mind Benders Beginning Book 2 and Mind Benders Beginning Book 1.

Before I go on, I just want to stress that these products and others that you can find at Timberdoodle are not only for Homeschooled Children but are also great Supplements or Summer Work for Conventionally Schooled Children. There are not only Books, but there are Educational Games, Puzzles and many other fun Hands On Activities, Projects and Items.

Alexander, who is 8 has been using the Mind Benders A3 for grades 3 - 6.

Alex has found Mind Benders A3 to be fun. It really makes him think and utilize his deductive thinking skills. Alex finds satisfaction in riddles and the like.

The workbook contains only 14 problems to solve but it does have Examples and Answers in the back, which is helpful if you want to double check that it's being done correctly.

The workbook is very simple and only black and white. This can be a good thing for easily distracted children. It may make the book less appealing to some children, but for it's age range I think that's less of an issue. I would like to see more problems in it and some diversity in the type of deductive thinking problems. All of the problems are the same style. Overall we like it and would use it again.

Cameron, who is 6 has been using the Mind Benders Beginning Book 2 for Grades 1 - 2.
Cameron has enjoyed using Mind Benders Beginning Book 2. He likes a challenge and finds satisfaction in being able to answer problems without using the chart!

The workbook has 42 problems to solve. The back has Answers which are helpful to look at if you're unsure if it's being done correctly or not. The last couple of pages in the book also have a few sample activities from other Critical Thinking Workbooks.

The workbook is very simple and only black and white. This can be an upside for some children and a downside for others in this age group. My son is more interested in the brain work and less interested in the graphics, so this is not an issue for him. I would definitely like to see a little diversity in the types of Deductive Thinking problems. Although each problem is different, the style is the same and can feel a little repetitive. We would use this again.

Wyatt, who is 4 has been using the Mind Benders Beginning Book 1 for Grades PreK - K.
Wyatt likes Mind Benders Beginning Book 1, but he has not found it as interesting as his brothers. The problems do make him think, but are not as engaging to him.

The workbook contains 43 activities. The back of the book has the answers which is helpful if you're unsure if the activities are being done properly or not.

The workbook is very simple and black and white only. This can be an upside for some children and a downside for others. My son at this age would definitely have been a little more interested at first glance if there were some colors and graphics. After beginning the activities he was more interested. He was clearly satisfied when he successfully completed them, which was nice to see. As with the other 2 books, I would like to see some diversity in the types of Deductive Thinking problems. A little diversity in the style of Deductive Thinking problems would make it feel much less repetitive. However, I do feel it was effective in it's intended purpose and would use again.

We already use the Complete Curriculum Kits and the large selection of fun curriculum to add to it that Timberdoodle has available is something we really love and appreciate. Timberdoodle has a great selection of Homeschool Curriculum, Supplemental work for Conventionally Schooled Children and Educational Games that you can see online or in their Free Catalog.

As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of Mind Benders A3, Mind Benders Beginning Book 2 and Mind Benders Beginning Book 1 in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.

Looks like it's boy #5 for us!

Last week we went to Small Wonders Imaging to get a gender determination ultrasound like we did with our last 2. The woman Holly who owns this one is such a nice woman! I love having her do ultrasounds for us. She was even so kind and gave us a free 3D/4D ultrasound! She was very confident that baby #6 is a boy. I'd love to have another girl, but I'm happy! Maybe we'll have a girl next time, right? ;)

I still can't believe we'll have 5 boys! I love all of them so much! The kids are really excited to have another sibling <3

Here is beautiful baby #6! Remember, 16 week babies still look like Aliens! hehe