Saturday, August 11, 2012

You are 5 now...

My firstborn turned 5 this weekend. It's absolutely crazy. The past 5 years have taken us through 3 different states, and so many adventures, but parenthood has been the best adventure of all.


You have gone from a sweet adorable baby that I never wanted to leave, to this big boy that I still don't.

You're now a big brother twice over, and such a good one. You have your moments of "oldest child syndrome," but you're learning to let Andrew have his own voice too. I'm sure you will help him learn to allow the same for Nathan.

Both of your brothers adore you. Nathan's eyes will follow you more than any other person, and Andrew usually wants to do or have the same as you, even if it's not what you want. =) But you are a great helper to both your brothers. You help Andrew brush his teeth every night, and just the other day, when I got out of the shower, I found you comforting Nathan who had awoken and was crying.

I love your imagination and enthusiasm for everything. You have a sweet sensitivity that I pray you never lose. I you will always remember that tears are okay sometimes, and that you will never forget to show love to those around you. Your hugs every morning are the best way to wake up, even when I don't want to get up yet. =)

Next week I will be waking you up as you head for Kindergarten. Kindergarten! You'll be gone all day, and I think I'm more nervous than you are. You haven't been away from me for that long since you were a baby and I had to leave you to go to work. I know you'll do fine though. You are so excited to meet your new friends, to see what new things you will learn, you don't have room to be nervous. That's okay. That's how it should be. =)

For your birthday this year, we agreed to have friends and throw a party outside the family. You'd been planning it for months, as each of your friends turned 5, and had so many ideas. You did settle on a Captain America cake, since he's your current favorite super hero. I think the cake turned out pretty well.

Sadly, the rain kind of interfered with our plans for a pool party, but our friends the Stones who had been gracious enough to invite us to use their pool, also opened their home and we had fun inside also. There was some swimming by the hardy souls, so I think everyone was happy.

Even though you love Captain America, you still want to be a firefighter. Captain America was a long time ago, firefighters are now. Although, since you found out that you can get paid to set off fireworks, there may be a secondary career aspiration in the works. =) 

Then there's your ongoing Star Wars obsession. I think I'm okay with that one too. =)

Timothy, my wish for you this year is that you will grow and learn as much as you can. Not just as school, but everywhere. Don't leave your learning at the door. I pray that I can continue to teach you as well. I have so much that I want you to learn, but mostly I want to help you grow in the Lord. He will guide you throughout your life, especially when your father and I can't be there. Listen to that still small voice, and you'll be okay. He loves you more than we ever can. 

I love you Timothy David.
"I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be"

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

3 Years of Andrew

My dear little man,

Today you are three. You are so excited about it too. This is the first birthday that has really meant anything to you, and it has been fun to watch you experience it.

You wanted a Curious George cake, and while Mommy is not a professional decorator, you seemed very happy with the results. The fact that it was a banana cake probably didn't hurt. =)

We celebrated a day early, since Mommy and Daddy had scout stuff to go to on your actual day, but since you got your whole birthday to play with your presents, you didn't seem to mind much. It's hard to say if you liked the parrot puppet or the Marbleworks better, but they're both providing hours of fun, along with your other little presents.

You have changed so much in the last year. When you turned 2, you still weren't speaking much, content to let your big brother do most of the talking. Now, you are just as talkative as he is, and say the funniest things. I love seeing how your mind works. One of my current favorites is the way you say "our" instead of "we." " ("Our had hotdogs for dinner") We try to correct you, but you persevere. I figure it will work itself out. =)

It has been fun to have just "Mommy and Andrew time while Timothy has been in school this year, but it has also been nice to see you just have Andrew time. You announce that you want to play in your room, and off you go. Sometimes I sneak up there and eavesdrop. The things you play show off your wonderful imagination, and I love it.

Your big brother is your best friend, and while you will usually follow his lead, you aren't afraid to let your opinion be known. Watching you play together has made some of my dearest memories.

You are a big brother yourself now, and such a good one! You love to help Mommy entertain Nathan, you tell me when he's crying, and you love to show him off to everyone we meet.

You are very independent these days, which is so fun to see. "Me do it" is a very familiar phrase. Yet you still love to cuddle, especially when you're tired. May you never grow out of that.

When we ride in the car, you point out all the landmarks that you know. When we would take Timothy to school, Mommy was treated to a litany every day: "Stephanie's school!"  "Ice Cream Store!" (This one is still very important) "Bank!" "Winn Dixie!" "Gas Station!" "Karen's School!" "Publix!" "Timothy's School!" (Stephanie & Karen being the big sisters of our carpool mate) You also like to play "Rollercoaster" in the car. Tallahassee has some nice hills, but I didn't think they were that steep until you and your brother invented this game. For never having even seen a roller coaster, you do a pretty good impression.

You've also proved yourself quite the ladies' man this year. Not among your peers, but among Daddy's fellow students, and the teenagers at church. Karen, your 14 year-old babysitter may be your favorite person outside the family, but that didn't stop you from also making valentines for the girls in Daddy's program. Those baby blue eyes, and that smile, who can blame them for melting?

Andrew, you are a wonderful little man, and I am so glad you're in our family. You are such a blessing to all of us. Happy Birthday my Son!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Graduation: I'm a big boy now!

A few weeks ago, Timothy had his Pre-K graduation. I still haven't figured out exactly why there are so many graduations in the younger grades, but it was still cute, and he was very very proud.

Timothy has been attending pre-k in the afternoons this year. I couldn't have been happier with his school.  It was a small school, a small class, and he just thrived. Sadly, it's a private school, and other than the 1/2 day pre-k, it's out of our price range. New school is on the horizon for the fall. It's sad to leave such a great environment, but Timothy says he's looking forward to making new friends.

Anyway, the Pre-K graduation was held an afternoon about a week before the end of the school year, and was short and sweet. Perfect for a bunch of 4 and 5 year-olds. They came out for a short skit, poem and song...
Then they went inside and changed into their little caps and gowns. I thought they looked adorable, but Andrew thought they were wearing rain coats. A comment that drew several chuckles from the audience. =)

Timothy was so proud to get his diploma, and struggled to understand that his rolled-up yellow paper wasn't really his diploma. Once he got his "real" one, he was okay.

We are very proud of our little man, who has
learned so much, building on what I'd already tried to teach him, and went even further. He can write his name, and as long as I help him with spelling, he can write pretty much anything he sets his mind to. He's not reading yet, but he's close. He works on words constantly. (I personally do all I can to encourage a similar obsession with books to my own.) He's also putting 2 and 2 together, and always tells me about all the other things he's learned. Weather, bugs, you name it. And my favorite part? He's always showing his brother what he's learning. I love to watch that. =)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

And Baby Makes 3... boys that is...

So, it's seven weeks overdue, but here's the story:

On Thursday, April 19, 2012, Nathan James Keisling joined us. He was 9 pounds, 4 ounces, 21 inches long, and absolutely adorable.

After the last two labors, we were expecting this one to take a while too. Maybe not eight hours, but when my contractions started coming fast and hard, I figured we had time. I finished making dinner, we fed the boys quickly, took them to a friend's house for the night, and arranged to arrive at the Birth Cottage at 8pm. After a quick labor, and the most comfortable I've ever had (As far as labor can be "comfortable" anyway), Nathan was born at 8:40. Good thing we got there when we did. =)
 The entire experience at the Birth Cottage was wonderful and unhurried, yet we still slept in our own beds that night. Our friends kept the boys until Saturday, but they did bring them over for a short peek at their new baby brother. Timothy was so excited, we thought his face might crack.

 Andrew was a little unsure at first, but within a few days, he was right on board. He kept saying "I hold him on Sunday after church" Right after church on Sunday, he proclaimed that he was now ready to hold the baby. And he did. Checking out all little brother's features, and asking me about each one. He's pretty much been in love since.

At first, there was a lot of sleeping, and thankfully I had some great help from John and my Mom the first few weeks.

Since then we've been adjusting to 5 people in the family instead of four. The boys and I have been slowly rebuilding our routine, and seem to have found a good rhythm. We haven't made it to playgroup again yet, but I blame the weather for that one. But, there's always a new baby to interact with...

Nathan has grown like a weed, and is a sweet happy baby. He will cry for hunger or when needing a diaper, but he's very alert, and loves to watch and interact. He watches his brothers play, he coos at the baby in the mirror, and loves it when people talk to him. I'm still trying to catch a good smile on camera, but we have seen plenty of them when the camera's now around. At 14 pounds, he he's no lightweight, but we think he's pretty cute.

Now if he'll just stop outgrowing his carseat... =)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Spring Happenings

So.... between a lack of energy and motivation (due mostly to being hugely pregnant), and the general business of becoming not pregnant (There's a baby! Yay!) my blog and journal have both become sadly neglected.  Here is a sad attempt to partially catch up.

The first weekend in March, was the Father/Son campout at church. John bravely decided to take both boys, who couldn't be more thrilled. They started out nearly jumping out of their skins in excitement, and came home the next afternoon utterly exhausted. But once they had a bath and a short nap, they were ready to tell me all about it. They got to cook out, sleep in a tent, go fishing, and helped with a service project before they came home. John says that AJ needs to be potty trained next time, but other than that, it went very well. 

About a month later, John talked his very pregnant and uncomfortable wife into family trip to a FSU baseball game. It wasn't too bad. It was an evening game, so it wasn't too hot, and the boys had so much fun! There was a rain delay, and the stadium cleared out about halfway through, leaving the boys lots of room to watch the game, and even join in the heckling of the opposing pitcher. They kept hoping to catch a fly ball, but I didn't have the heart to tell them that the net overhead was preventing that....

The next day we met at the church to help with the cub scout service project. They were washing chairs. T was very helpful and intent. AJ... well, there were bubbles and water. And thankfully a towel to dry him off at the end. =)

Just before Easter, we spent a day at the beach. It was beautiful, and we all had a great time. There was a few moments of panic when Andrew took off into the surf alone, and I pulled my groin running to pull him out, but no one was hurt. And he now has a much safer appreciation of the surf. Hopefully that will last the next time we go... I'm also glad no one has evidence of my mad dash. 9 months of baby in my womb I'm sure made quite a sight....

The next week, Timothy's school had a family field day, and we went to that too. We didn't last the whole time, since it was pretty hot, (April in FL, go figure) but we had fun. The boys threw beanbags, races in sacks, and did the obstacle course. Over, and over, and over...

 Oh, and there was a free football game. Spring scrimmage. Probably the only one I will take small children to, but it was a fun family time. Good to get all those family activities in before.. Well, that's for the next post. =)