Apparently, I didn’t learn much in kindergarten. Everything I know, I’ve learned from my kids. Or from being their mom. Or both

Everyday I learn something new.  And it’s not from reading it in a book (um, who has time to read anymore?!?) And it’s not from watching television (except I’m sure I could totally rock the whole Bering Sea crab fishing gig after I finish flipping cars in Texas), and it’s certainly not from checking Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (shocking, I know).  No, everything I have learned has been from watching my children.

The five of them combined are grace, truth, creativity, ingenuity, positivity, beauty, wisdom, wit and strength personified.  For the most part, they do not understand that if they want something that they cannot have it.  Because in their minds, they can have it, they just need to figure out how to get it.  (How many times have I wished I could believe this is true in my life? I’m getting closer to that belief watching my babes in action though).

Today is Miranda’s third birthday.  She is a delight and a demon (the answer will depend on who you ask and when) but when she smiles, my world ceases to have problems.  When she cries (her legitimate cry, not her boundary testing, patience-stretching three-year-old I’m-going-to-cry-until-your-ears-bleed-and-you-give-me-what-I-want cry), my heart aches in my chest for her.  I love watching her learn about her world, conquer her fears and worries and take control of her environment.  At three, she has not yet been told that it is not okay for a girl to speak her mind, so when she feels someone has crossed her line, she can often be heard saying things like “leave me alone!  Get your hands offa me! I’m mad at you!”  She doesn’t smile politely and take it.  And I admire that.  And I hope that as she grows and matures that she refines her delivery but does not soften her stance and start doubting her own right to 1) be heard and 2) be treated with respect.  She will learn compromise and communication techniques, give-and-take will come, but I hope that she never gives so much that she loses her beautiful, fiery spirit.  Happy Birthday, my Miranda.

Rocking the granny look.  Shopping bag?  Check!  Sunglasses?  Check!  Bubba (Pacifier)? Check!  She's ready to own the shops.  Please, Ms. Moon.  Never lose your sense of individuality, never lose your sense of self, and never let anyone tell you that you're anything less than perfect.  Just the way you are. P.S.  This was taken in March, the pacifier and the winter coat are both distant memories now *grin*

Rocking the granny look. Shopping bag? Check! Sunglasses? Check! Bubba (Pacifier)? Check! She’s ready to own the shops. The only thing missing is the cane to whack people out of her way – LOL!  Please, Ms. Moon. Never lose your sense of individuality, never lose your sense of self, and never let anyone tell you that you’re anything less than perfect. Just the way you are.
P.S. This was taken in March, the pacifier and the winter coat are both distant memories now *grin*

My first born.  Can't believe how grown up he is, can't believe how much we've been through together and cannot believe how incredible proud I am of the person he is and the man he is becoming.  Hard working, artistic, strong and very likable.  He's been with me my whole adult life and I don't know what I would do without him. Life may send him for a loop sometimes, but he does not give up, he keeps working hard to figure out his life path and how to live his dreams.

My first born. Can’t believe how grown up he is, can’t believe how much we’ve been through together and cannot believe how incredible proud I am of the person he is and the man he is becoming. Hard working, artistic, strong and very personable. He’s been with me my whole adult life, was the reason I became an adult, really, and I don’t know what I would do without him. Life may send him for a loop sometimes, but he does not give up, he keeps working hard to figure out his life path and how to live his dreams and achieve his goals.

 

Mason - strong, fit and intense.  Three things that admire and something I aspire to be one day.  And it doesn't hurt that he's cute as all get out too!

Mason – strong, fit and intense. Three things that I admire about him so much and something I aspire to be one day. He’s so smart and quick.  Once he knows what he wants, the world better get out of his way, because he’s going to get where he wants to be, one way or another.  And it doesn’t hurt that he’s cute as all get out too!

Paxton taught himself how to ride a two-wheeler yesterday.  In under an hour, he had mastered it and was ready (in his mind) to go "speeding fast!"  Once we shared the secret of braking, he stopped Flintstoning that bike and he was a pro.  So proud of his determination, perseverance, and self-confidence.  I love and admire his gentle, quarky spirit so much.

Paxton, four months away from being five years old, taught himself how to ride a two-wheeler yesterday. In well under an hour, he had mastered his new skill and was ready (in his mind) to go “speeding fast!” Once we shared the secret of braking, he stopped Flintstoning that bike and he was a pro. So proud of his determination, perseverance, and self-confidence. I love and admire his gentle, quirky spirit so much.  Paxton, you “fill my bucket” * everyday.

An impromptu picnic in the backyard.  My smalls pulling funny faces and just

An impromptu picnic in the backyard, Victoria Day weekend.. My smalls pulling funny faces and enjoying being outside together, eating peanut butter sandwiches. I am keeping this memory very close to my heart and using it to remember that it is okay to relax and just be silly for no reason at all.

Sharing, caring and smiling.  I can't remember a time that I didn't love this kid's smile.  I called him my sunshine and my sunshine he remains.  He works hard with his daddy, no matter what they are doing and he is the first to try and help in the kitchen.

Sharing, caring and smiling. I can’t remember a time that I didn’t love this kid’s smile. I called him my sunshine from the beginning and my sunshine he remains today. He works hard with his daddy, no matter what they are doing.  He does not frustrate easily and is generally one of the happiest-go-lucky kids I am blessed to know.  I wish I could learn his secret, I would be a better person if I were more like him.  We all would be.

So many lessons to learn and I so want to be open and available to learn them all.  I really need to figure out how to simplify my life to give myself time to not only learn the lessons my kids have to teach but to practice those lessons as well.  Stream of consciousness to do list: Lunches to make, dishes to wash, husband to kiss, carpets to vacuum, laundry to wash, hang, fold, dinners to cook, errands to run, showers to take, kids to cuddle, vitamins to take and distribute, sunscreen to apply, boo boo’s to kiss and family to cherish.  Not in that order, at all.

*to fill one’s bucket is to increase their happiness – at least I think that was the gist of Paxton’s explanation   He learned about the concept at school 😉
P.S.  If you’ have not ‘Liked’ The Keswick Blog on Facebook or ‘Followed’ along on Twitter or checked out The Keswick Blog on Pinterest, then you’re missing out on micro-blogging that happens when time or circumstances do not allow for a full-blown blog entry 🙂  Come on over and share the insanity!
P.P.S.  So now The Keswick Blog is on Instagram , find thekeswickblog there to see some random things that do not make it to Facebook, Twitter or the blog – Too. Many. Sites. Where will it end?  *thud*

And Then Our Miss Moon Turned Two!

I was always afraid to one day have a daughter.  Having been a girl my whole life (just in case anyone was thinking we had another pregnant man situation here, rest assured, we do not), and having been a teenage girl for seven or so years (a couple of decades ago), the thought of parenting a girl, quite frankly, scared the shit out of me.So, I became a mother to boys.  One after another, until there were four of them.  But we didn’t feel like our family was complete yet, so one last time, knowing, just knowing that we’d have five boys at the end of it, we got pregnant again.

And then Miss Moon was born.  And our lives have never been the same.  I love my boys, all of them, big and small, but having a daughter is so very different for me.  I know, it’s only been two years and her teen years will probably kick my ass, but I can’t help it.  She delights me.  And I was meant to have her in my life.

Daddy holding Miss Miranda just hours after she was born. It was love at first sight.

And when I saw these perfect little feet, I knew that they would carry her safely for thousands and millions of miles throughout her life, and I wanted to remember them, brand new and perfect forever.

So perfect, like her brothers before her, yet completely and totally her own brand of perfection.

And somehow, we made it through a year with her, juggling her needs and the needs of her brothers and each other.

Miss Moon’s 1st Birthday, a year ago now (and her feet are still lovely!).

And then, in the blink of an eye, and a million life changes, buying and selling our home, moving, her eldest brother moving out, not to mention all the milestones she passed (and continues to pass almost daily) she turned two.  Out of nowhere, my baby girl turned two.

In the past year she has grown up so much.  She doesn’t talk much (or more accurately, she doesn’t speak very much English, she talks all the time, it’s just in Miranda-ese), but she understands absolutely everything we say to her.  She is very proficient with the word “NO!” which, while cute the first hundred or so times, is not so much cute anymore.  But, watching her do things that she sees us or her brothers do is fabulous and she melts my heart on an almost hourly basis with her sweetness.  And she’s headstrong and fiery (hmmm, with Mr. KB and me as parents, was fiery at all avoidable?  I think not), and independent and loving, helpful and gentle.  She is all curly blonde hair and serious big blue eyes.  She looks before she leaps (which I really hope that she continues to do throughout her life, but know that she probably will not) and she has the wisdom to reach for my hand when she’s unsure of something.  And I love that.  I cherish those moments.

So, while I am still sure that I will be forced to start drinking heavily or develop some serious pill habit to get through her teen years, I wouldn’t trade her, or being her mom, or the experience of raising a girl, for anything in the world.

Happy 2nd Birthday, sweet baby girl.  We love you.