Monday, November 16, 2015

{This and That} :: Babymoon Edition!

Some of you noticed the sweet baby boy pop up on my Instagram widget over on the sidebar and already shared your congratulations, but I wanted to share our happy news more formally:


Justin Vianney finally decided to make his appearance last Monday, eight days late and perfect.  We arrived home with him first thing on Tuesday and were greeted by a crew of very excited siblings clamoring to be the first to hold baby brother.  

Drew, who is 17 months now, was very intrigued and was happy to blow kisses and wave--but has kept a healthy two-foot distance from this strange new arrival.  Ha!  He has gotten over it--mostly--and will now approach him (still a bit trepidatiously) and kiss his little wiggling feet.  No signs of jealousy, but definitely a bit of healthy suspicion. ;)

On Wednesday we had the baptism, which was lovely.  And Xavier got to join Vincent as an altarboy again, which he was absolutely, positively thrilled about.  Happy day.



I got a post-baptism picture with all my kids together, which was pretty great too.  (You moms, and especially you moms of many, know how hard it is to get a decent photo of all the kids!)


Since then, I have been parked on the sofa with lots of pillows and moving as little as possible except to head to Mass yesterday.  Recovery is going fine and I'm already feeling stir-crazy, but I know from experience that it's best if I take it easy as long as possible.  Thank you so much for the prayers!

~~~

A couple days before he arrived, we spent the morning at the farm park.  We hadn't been there in a while, and Clara didn't even remember her last visit, so it was time!

Speaking of Clara, she was positively thrilled upon seeing this just inside the entrance:


Her self-determined, years-long nickname is Piggy, and every time she sees pig, she's sure to shout, "That's ME!"  So this--and the pot-bellied pigs we saw inside--were a real treat.

I always look forward to seeing the Muscovy ducks, who are my personal favorite. 



I mean, really, right?  They are just so cute.

She is pretty cute too:


~~~

Before giving birth, I made a little Babymoon Checklist for the kids.  The checklist basically keeps them going with school while taking me out of the equation as much as possible--or at least keeps the activities that require me to get off the sofa to a minimum.  My plan is to use it for a few weeks while I recover.  After Thanksgiving, I think I'll be ready to go back to our usual plan.

In case you're interested, here's what it looks like:


You'll see it's basically just a modified version of my kids' usual weekly checklist.  I just cut-and-pasted the original columns into different places and added/subtracted from there.

I made one for Cate too, since she cannot bear to be left out of anything that involves checklists.  (She is her mother's daughter.  Ahem.)  At the bottom of hers I cut-and-pasted my list of readings that I need to do for Years 1 and 4, which I snip off and keep in my agenda.  We hit those during naptime, as usual.


As you can see, we're definitely doing a lighter version of school here.  We're skipping grammar, dictation, picture study, music study, and recitation.  I'm also not doing math with the two younger kids--they're just reviewing for now with worksheets and math games with the Big Kids.  The Big Kids are only doing their daily work twice a week rather than four times, freeing up more time for outdoors play with the littles.  And memory work and Italian, usually done partially with me, are scheduled as independent activities for now.  It's not bare bones, but it is scaled down just enough to accommodate a new-newborn in the house.

We did our checklist this past week and things ran very smoothly, so I think this will be a good fit for us for the next few weeks!

~~~

Some favorite finds lately...

Brandy has a Pay-What-You-Want collection of Charlotte Mason talks if you're looking for an audio injection of inspiration!  I'm treating myself to a couple for postpartum listening. ;)

Kimberlee's talented daughters created some really neat coloring pages in honor of Veteran's Day that would be wonderful for armed services-loving kids any time of year!  (Maybe a little stocking stuffer?)

As soon as I'm back in the kitchen, this apple bread is happening.

Looking for a fall handicraft?  I wish I knew how to crochet!  I also think they would look really nice hanging from the Christmas tree.

Amazing wealth at Cornell's Natural Sound Archive.  I'm bookmarking it for some nature study on a rainy day.

Have you checked out the Charlotte Mason blog carnival for November?

And don't forget: Keeping Company is up and ready for your entries!  I've seen some great posts floating around--don't forget to link them up for others to read and enjoy. :)

42 comments:

  1. Congrats to you all :)

    I'm due in 2 wks ish so when I get on the laptop I'm going to go thru your revised checklist for some great ideas. Thanks for sharing!! Take it easy :)

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    1. Enjoy your last few weeks, Lacey! I'll keep you in my prayers as you approach the finish line. :) And I just love seeing toddlers with newborn siblings. The interactions are so funny and sweet!

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  2. I too have a little (15mo) and I'll be curious of his reaction.

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  3. SO precious, many congrats, what a sweet, sweet family!!! I LOVE that little buddy in his cassock and surplice, seriously! Thanks for sharing! Happy Babymoon!

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    1. I am such a sucker for little boys in cassocks. Melt!!

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  4. Congratulations! Love your idea of the Babymoon checklist :)

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  5. Hmmmm...Muscovy ducks and cute do not belong in the same sentence. I am still completely skeeved out by those creatures...but think of them with a bit of fondness as my first-ever nature journal entry was that of a Muscovy duck. I was inspired by you and grabbed a couple of broken crayons and just "did it". That creepy duck started my love of nature study with the kids.

    But it's still not cute. Jared is cute. Super cute. As is "Piggy" and the rest of the clan. You should have a dozen more.

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    1. I just realized I referred to Justin as Jared. Would it help if I told you that I couldn't remember Elijah's name for the first three days and the nurse had to write it on the hospital room white board for me? Seriously. Who forgets the name of their newborn? Me. And I can no longer blame it on pregnancy brain. Sigh. Please forgive me. :)

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    2. Sarah, I'm pretty sure you're allowed to claim Mommy-to-a-newborn brain on that one! ;) At least I hope so, because I too forget my baby's name right after birth, and, um, for up to a few weeks afterward. LOL

      And you don't think those ducks are so ugly that they're cute? I mean, look at them! :)

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    3. Hahahaha...I am soooo glad I am not alone.

      Your affection for the Muscovy is adorable.

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  6. I do believe I have to agree with Sarah Johnalagadda. Muscovy Ducks and cute? Maybe it's your baby hormones? Ha! ;) And yes, your children are adorable. Have more, seems like y'all do a fine job of it! God has sure poured out the blessings!

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    1. Thanks, Virginia! Those ducks just pull at my heartstrings, what with those scarlet deformities...I can't resist. ;)

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  7. Congratulations, Celeste! What a beautiful family you have!

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  8. You finally identified the Darth Maul Duck for us! Ours had a darker body, which threw me off when I looked in our ID book. Thank you! (and thank you Dawn, for pointing it out to me here!).

    I know you don't read Parables from Nature, and I know 8 might not be your total, but here's a little something for you: "Eight darlings in one nest! What a sight to fill one's heart! There may be trouble enough, it's true, and very little room to rest, but one's own eight beautiful creatures round one, under one's wing, all chirping and alive - this is perfection of happiness, indeed!" (exclaimed the hen-mother in the parable "Birds in the Nest"). Of course, then there's more beyond that part of the story, but that little bit made me think of your family. Hope you do get good rest! You're an amazing mother with a lovely family. Thank you for sharing so much inspiration on your blog.

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    1. YAY for a positive ID for Duck Maul! Celeste, as my nature study inspiration (surprise! if that is news to you) I hope you will understand that I was most excited to share the contents of this blog post not due to the darling baby and family pictures but because I have been had this duck in my mind for several weeks after Jessie described it to me on a hike and I became intrigued. When I saw it here I instantly knew that this had to be Duck Maul!! AND the other pictures are beautiful, too:).

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    2. Okay, you ladies are hilarious! I am so pleased to be of service. I almost didn't include my little write-up about the farm in this post because I thought it was too long already, but I decided to throw it in anyway--I must have been divinely inspired! LOL

      Jessie, that bit from Parables of Nature is just lovely and totally spoke to my heart today, so thank you. <3

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  9. Congratulations! He's precious! My babymoon fell over summer break, but I love your checklist for when it falls during school time.

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    1. My last one fell over summer break too, so this was my first time having a newborn with older, independent students. The checklist really has kept them moving along over the past week and a half--in fact, it's giving me ideas of how to structure my older kids' work next year, when I anticipate giving them more leeway than they have now. Anyway, glad it's helpful!

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  10. Welcome Justin! And congratulations to the whole family! I love these pictures, especially the one of all 8!!

    Praying for you for a very sweet and peaceful babymoon and a great recovery.

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  11. Squeeeeee! Look at those cheeks! He's beautiful.

    Love the group shot, too.....what a lovely family you have.

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    1. Thanks, Erin! Baby cheeks are one of THE sweetest things in the world, aren't they? :)

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  12. Justin is so darling, Celeste. The family picture of all of your kiddos together is magnificent!! I hope your rest continues for as long as needed.

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  13. Congratulations! Justin is adorable. And congrats on getting a picture of all the kiddos too, it turned out well! Even with 5 I find those shots almost impossible.

    And I love those crochet pinecones! I'm thinking I'm going to buy the pattern for my daughter to make. I'm sure she'll enjoy making them, and I'm sure there's family members who will enjoy receiving them!

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    1. Thanks, Amber! Yes--almost impossible, that's exactly right. :) And I'm sure Emma will really enjoy the pinecones. Come to think of it, maybe instead of learning to crochet I need to find someone to teach Gianna and then pass along the project to her! :)

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  14. Congratulations! Deo Gratias! I've been waiting for this happy post! Justin is so beautiful, and I love his name. You have the sweetest little altar boys ever. Love that family picture of all the children. Hope you are enjoying a most lovely time on the couch during this blessed, happy babymoon. Deo Gratias!

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    1. Thank you, Kimberlee. Deo Gratias indeed!

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  15. Congrats, Celeste! :) I love your children's photo and yes, I hear ya on pictures where everyone is smiling! :)

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  16. Congratulations with Justin! God bless your family! I love your checklists for the kids. Would love to hear how using them worked out. I love studying Plutarch. Is this your Y4 kids' first year reading Plutarch? How do you do study Plutarch in your home?

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    1. Thank you so much!

      Yes, this is my kids' first year reading Plutarch. We just read and narrate as usual! This year we're following AO's rotation as written.

      I like Anne White's Plutarch guides over on the AO site: https://www.amblesideonline.org/PlutarchSch.shtml

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  18. Congrats!! You have the most adorable family:)

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  19. Congratulations! I love the picture with all the children.

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    1. Thank you! I'm happy that now we're set with a Christmas card photo! :)

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  20. Congratulations on your new precious bundle Celeste! The family photo is wonderful. God is good!

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