It's been so long since I've updated our family journal. Mostly because I update on Facebook. But other family members don't use Facebook, so they don't see our updates. Plus, I wanted to try to keep up with my journal!
In the previous entry, Seamus had just become an orange belt in Taekwondo. Well, he's now a yellow belt! <3 Doing great in the class, though he's not so great at the kicks, haha. He's a couple months shy of 5 years old and growing like a weed. He's still one of the shortest kids in Taekwondo though! Not surprising, considering my (lack of) height... and Gwydd didn't shoot up in height until he reached puberty. So, it's not at all surprising that our kids are shorties for now.
We've started homeschooling "officially"... yet not OFFICIALLY. Meaning, we've had a school schedule since he turned 4 that we mostly follow (we're very flexible), but he hasn't officially entered school age according to the law, so there's no official forms or anything like that we've filled out. Yes, we do plan to home educate all our kids for most of their schooling years. Next year we will be enrolling Seamus in the Iowa Street School... which is a homeschooling-based public school in our town. They have two programs: (1) Students spend part of their schooling in a classroom and part of their schooling at home; and (2) Students are homeschooled the whole time, minus school functions and get-togethers... and the school provides the curriculum and help should we need it. We will likely go with option 2, but we'll see. It's so great that we have resource like this though!
How has Seamus been doing with homeschool? Well, right now our homework schedule is:
Handwriting at about 9am
Sight Words at about 2pm (he does these during his "nap", at the end of each week we have a spelling test using these words)
Telling Time homework right after dinner
He's almost done with his Telling Time section, and next we will be alternating days where one night he will do Money homework, and the next night studying the Solar System (he chose that subject). We have math homework planned for him, but the math curriculum we got won't be here until January (it hasn't released yet, but I pre-ordered it). He's doing very well overall. We have issues with him sometimes... like him goofing around and not doing his work. But all-in-all, for a 4-year-old, he is rather advanced. He's reading *chapter books* on his own now. Really. Right now he's reading "The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle", which is a 4th grade level book. And he's reading it on his own (he reads it during his nap). Every day he reads a chapter. The first chapter he read to us in the truck, and he's now on chapter 5.
He's still occasionally having "accidents". They are FAR less often than they used to be (it used to be rare that he'd wake up and his bed was dry, but now it's the opposite). He'll go weeks and weeks without an accident. However, the last two days he's peed his bed for some reason. :-/ He says it was because he was too tired to get out of bed. :-/ I hope this doesn't last. I like not having to waste water by doing laundry every day.
Things Seamus loves: Blue and orange, Snow White, Aladdin, watching Dad cook, video games (*sigh*), saying "poop" at the dinner table, he says his favorite foods are "stir fry and kabobs" but I don't think that's true... he's just saying that because he's playing with his pretend stir fry and kabob sets, lol... He also likes painting and reading.... and annoying the hell out of his sister. Speaking of...
Rain is currently just under 21 months old. Her personality is SOOO different from Seamus, it's crazy! I mean, not crazy because they are separate people, haha... but you know what I mean. Sometimes I think of her as Grumpy from Snow White. She's mastered that pushed out bottom lip look. She is totally a little miss cranky pants. When she's just looking around, she has this scowl on her face... it's kind of funny. I created our family in The Sims 3 a couple days ago and made sure to give Rain the "grumpy" trait.
Conversely, she is also extremely affectionate and clingy. Seamus was NEVER like that... he was always Mr. Independent and was never keen on too much hugging/kissing/holding. I mean, Seamus is affectionate, but in a quick kind of way. Hug, kiss, Eskimo kiss, butterfly kisses, big hug, big kiss, done (that's his hug/kiss bedtime routine). Rhiannon, however, she can hug you for several minutes at a time and loves to be held.
Signing: Rain know TONS of sign language (just like her brother did -and still does- when he was her age). She watches Signing Time every morning while eating her breakfast (did the exact same with Seamus pretty much). The words she signs most often: milk, more, please, thank you, I love you, good night, doll, Seamus, dog, cat, cereal, banana, potato, mom, dad, Seamus, Rhiannon, annnd... I can't think of any more she uses frequently... though I'm sure there are a few more.
Talking: She babbles more than anything. "Toddler talk" is what I call it. She says "hi!", "bye" (though it sounds more like "hi", as she doesn't really get the b-sound... but you can tell it's "bye" based on the context), eye (her favorite body part), nose, no, yeah! (exclamation point necessary), banana ("nana"), Nana (my mom), nawnaw (me... She has trouble saying M's... so she says that instead of Mama), um... oh! She's also been saying "8, 9, 10!" a lot recently... which is very cute.
Potty Training: Basically, NON EXISTENT. She is not interested in the potty.... at all. She'll sit on it for like a second or two (with her diaper on), but she is just not interested AT ALL. *sigh*
Rain thinks Seamus is HILARIOUS. Well, 70% of the time. The other 30%, he annoys the crap out of her, lol.
At her last appointment (18 months) she weighed 21 lbs, 12 oz and she was 31 inches tall.
Gwyddion and me:
Well we are now officially trying for our next baby! The month of September, we were NTNP (not trying, not preventing) as I wasn't TOTALLY ready to full-on TTC (try to conceive). I was hesitant at first because... well Rhiannon is SO dang clingy and needy (she's a total sweetheart though) and sometimes the chaos of a clingy/needy/grumpy toddler and a 4-year-old going through a talking-back/disrespectful phase was just.... too much to handle. However, things have started to calm down in the past few months. Rain's becoming more independent (she loves playing outside in our backyard by herself a lot, so that's nice) and Seamus' attitude has been better. So when September finished up, I felt a LOT more at ease about trying for another baby. And now I'm really excited!
When we do get pregnant, we will NOT be finding out the sex of the baby until birth. I made this choice for a couple reasons. One, we already have one of each, so we have what we need and don't need to "prepare" really; two, I'd really really like the surprise of not knowing until I give birth... I used to think people who did that were crazy, but I really think it would be awesome to have it be a TOTAL surprise <3; and three... this is a more, um, I guess political/idealogical/feminist/whatever-word-I'm-looking-for reason, but... I feel like the sex of my baby really, really, REALLY doesn't matter. Whether it's biologically male or biologically female, it's treated no different, and therefore, shouldn't matter. It's the least of my concerns about the baby. Besides, he/she could always grow up and change their gender... so it's something that I just don't think is very important. Sure, I'd like to surprise of knowing what sex my child is biologically, but I don't put much actual *importance* on it. That said, even though I feel that way, I have different bedding sets and names and such picked out depending on what sex the baby is, haha... so I guess I'm a little hypocritical... but I've decided what aspects of that are and are not important to me. *shrugs*
I'm nervous and excited at the same time about having another baby. More excited than nervous. But that first year with Rhiannon was pretty difficult. A very needy baby with a just-out-of-toddlerhood child who wanted attention. It was pretty nerve-wracking. So the idea of going through that again is kind of... not appealing, haha. But thankfully Seamus will be 5-6 by the time the next baby is born and can probably entertain and play with his sister if the baby needs my undivided attention.
Do we have names picked out? Why certainly! And I don't mind sharing them. Opinions aren't really welcome... I mean, you can give them, but they aren't going to mean much to us. We've had these names picked out for a long while now, so they are set in stone.
Boy name: Conan Iain Searlas
Conan, we've had picked out for about.... 3 and a half years. I initially wanted Calum, but Gwydd chose Conan from an Irish names book. At first I was indifferent about it (thinking people would assume we are fans of either O'Brien or the Barbarian... and truth be told, we ARE O'Brien fans, lol... and Gwydd has played the Barbarian video games... so that made me wonder even more if people would think we got the name from either of those sources... when it was simply a name that Gwydd thought sounded nice). But the more I tossed around the name in my head, the more RIGHT it felt. Now, almost 4 years after choosing Conan, I can't imagine our next son being named anything BUT Conan. <3
Iain is pronounced like EE-in... just like Ian (Iain is the Scottish spelling). It's the Scottish form of John. This is one of my ALL-TIME favorite names (#3 on my list behind Seamus and Padraig)... and it's also a family name (tons of Johns on Gwydd's side), so that makes it all the more perfect to me.
Searlas is "SHAR-les", it's the Irish form of Charles. This was Gwydd's choice. Most of the John's on Gwydd's side are named John Charles, so this is a nod to them. And for that reason, I love it. However, there was much debate between us over this at first. I wanted to use Aengus (my #4 favorite male name... and the name of an Irish god)... Conan Aengus Iain. I loved the flow of that too... as it bothered me that Conan and Iain kind of rhymed and they were right next to each other, so Aengus also served as a buffer between the names. But at the end of the day, we went Gwydd's choice. The family significance was more important (to both of us). I've now gotten used to it and love it. But there was one condition... if I can't use Aengus as our next son's middle name, we WILL be using it as a first name for a third son, should we have one, lol.
Girl name: Brigit Gwyneira Aine
Brigit is the name of an Irish goddess. For the longest time, we were spelling it Brigid, because that's the spelling I'd always seen used in books that mentioned the goddess. However, I did further research, and it turns out that Brigid is the common spelling used when talking about St. Brigid... but Brigit is actually the spelling that refers the the goddess (even though people often use Brigid for the goddess, Brigit is actually the correct spelling for her). That put me in a bit of a dilemma because I'd gotten so used to the D-spelling. But I'm a stickler for accuracy. If I'm specifically naming her after the Irish goddess (which I am), we should use the spelling that is the correct spelling for the goddess. I'm still getting used to it, but I think I like it more anyway.
Gwyneira is Welsh and means "white snow". This is for Gwyddion and for me (my name is Niamh Guinevere).
Aine is "AWN-ya", which is an Irish goddess. Her name means "radiance" (which happens to also be what Niamh means). Also, Aine is often used as an Irish form of Ann/Anna (even though the names are not actually related... just in sound)... so this is also after my mom, who's middle name is Ann.
ANYWAY... ! This was *insanely* long, kudos to anyone who actually read all of this. Sorry there are no pictures! Consider yourselves updated!