I thought I'd jot down a few notes about how integrating Rosebud into our schooling rhythms is working out, for those that might be interested. (And I figured a few more pictures of the darlin' would be nice for the rest of you!)
Our day starts at 7:30 -- I wake Zoo Boy up (J gets up on his own at some point before 7, not sure when actually, because I personally am still asleep until 7!), and both boys get dressed and go out and do their chores. J feeds the pony, goes across the street to take care of the neighbor's chickens (his "paying" job), then returns here to let the ducks out of their shed for the day. Meanwhile, Zoo Boy feeds the goats, opens up the chicken coop for the day, and collects the eggs. Then they both take care of their rabbits, and come back into the house. They then have an hour or so to play -- by then I've fed and changed Rosebud, and I deposit her in a bouncy seat in their bedroom to hang out with them while I take put the dogs out and take a shower. She finds her brothers so entertaining that most days she's happy to stay with them while I cook breakfast, but on those few days where she's had enough before breakfast is ready, she joins me in the kitchen until breakfast is served (she loves hanging out on her changing table, which is in the kitchen, so she's safely out of the way of hot things). Then I nurse her again while I eat, and she generally naps nearby while I prepare the kids' worksheets for the day.
When the kids are done eating, they brush their teeth, then come pick up their worksheets. They are doing practice work with Language Arts (synonyms and antonyms, prefixes and suffixes, and defining words by context) and Math (long addition and long subtraction, word problems, and measurement). It takes them about 45 minutes to complete 6 worksheets each morning. We then work on a bit of multiplication (I'm very gently introducing the times tables and starting work on memorizing them), and then I read them a chapter from our book. This block we're reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It's the perfect choice, with the winter farm setting, and with Almonzo turning 9, just like Zoo Boy is about to. The boys are really into the story, Zoo Boy keeps commenting on how much harder life was back then (he says it's hard to believe that it's a true story) and how many rules there were. I think he's fairly appreciative of how easy he's got it in comparison.
Then comes lunch, followed by free time to play until we need to leave for dance and/or karate. They'll be starting work on a Science Fair project for our Monday Homeschool Classes Science Fair starting next week (they'll have 4 weeks to complete it) -- Monday classes are currently not running, they decided not to hold the winter session, but we'll have a Science Fair meeting this coming week, then get together for some seasonal fun for the few weeks before the Science Fair. Classes will start up again mid-March-ish.
J also just started a weekly Homeschool Astronomy class being held in the planetarium at one of the "local" museums. (Zoo Boy is too young, the class is for kids 10 - 14.) Plus he will again be singing with the youth chorus that he loves for the spring season, that starts in another week. And our Science Friday co-op starts up again tomorrow. So we've got plenty of outside classes and activities on our plates.
Here's Rosebud's lot in life, every afternoon. We've been mini-van gypsies the past two weeks, since Rosebud hasn't been approved for public visiting, we've spent a lot of time sitting in the van in the parking lot while the boys are in classes. She's actually really good about all the driving around, and she doesn't seem to care if she's nursing and snuggling in a house or in a vehicle, so long as the milk is warm and Mom gives her plenty of kisses. It's certainly wearing a little thin on me, however, and I'll be quite relieved to be able to just take her inside with me at the various studios, etc, starting next week. (We're cheating and starting tomorrow, actually....technically today is the 2 week mark, and I'm going to stick by that!) Then everyone who's been asking can finally meet her at last! She's going to have a busy weekend as she attends a couple of "coming out" parties at relatives' houses so that everyone who's dying to see her can.
So anyway, that's what life is like for us! I feel like we've transitioned a baby into our lives fairly seamlessly. Life is good. Very VERY good!