Friday, June 13, 2008

The Bright Side

Don't worry! It's not all poop and bloody owies here.
We have tons of fun too.

Dylan and Elizabeth are pretty typical siblings I'd say. They love each other so much they make each other crazy. Elizabeth says they are best friends. Sometimes that love tips over into the insane hatred zone, but that's usually only when limited quantities of awesome toys are involved.

They both are madly in love with Benjamin.
This morning I remarked on how big Ben is getting already. Elizabeth said...
"Yes. He's getting so big! He's our special little boy!"

I swear, I almost cried.

And unlike when Elizabeth was a baby, or even when Dylan was a baby...I've got two built-in helpers now!

Elizabeth loves to clean the kitchen. She wipes down counters, sweeps up crumbs and helps put away clean dishes. She also loves to help me make dinner, she calls it my "cooking show" and says that she is my helper girl.
Elizabeth is also in charge of putting her own dirty laundry in the hamper and she's more reliable at this than her dad. Lately she scolds Bob for leaving his shirts on the floor! This is quite funny to me. One less thing for me to do!
Daddy's dirty laundry relocation program is firmly assigned to Elizabeth.
She also helps pick up toys and clean Dylan's room since that is their main playroom also.

Dylan is not as GREAT of a helper yet...but he's a boy and more concerned with trucks, bugs and getting dirty than he is with cleaning up or cooking. Eating,, not so much.

Despite this he is a great trash picker upper and loves to put dirty dishes in the sink -- and sometimes the trash can when he gets twisted around. I have no idea how many spoons have been accidentally tossed out. I've caught three that were on their way into the trash bin...very disturbing.

His new favorite chore to complete is collecting all the shoes from around the house and putting them in line on the shoe rack by the front door. Then once or twice a week I'll relocate all the shoes from there back to their real spots. The kids each have a hanging shoe caddy on their bedroom doors and I have a shoe rack in my closet.
Sadly, I'm the worst offender with leaving my shoes all around. The kids do it too, but they are still kids and I'm almost 30 with no excuse.!

Both the biggers love to help water the garden and pick up the yard. Collecting pine cones is an excellent way to kill time on an otherwise boring day AND it tires them out. Our property is an acre, and about half that is rough terrain. The other half is pretty flat and we can hike around that half acre collecting pine cones for at least an hour...very tiring.

Both big kids are also FANTASTIC baby helpers. Dylan likes to "re-bink" the baby, aka replace his pacifier when it falls out.
Elizabeth loves to "babysit" so I can do laundry or wash dishes or start dinner. She also is familiar with my whole diapering system (we use cloth diapers) and gets diapers and wipes for Dylan AND Benjamin when I'm stuck changing one or the other of them on the wrong side of the house. Dylan's stuff is in his room, Ben's is in mine - opposite sides of the house. Inevitably I end up changing Dylan in my bedroom or Ben in the living room and I'm woefully underprepared.

The big kids also keep each other occupied a lot. They make a mess together, eat lunch together, watch movies together, take baths together, kill spiders together, play in the yard together...they hang out a lot. I pride myself on being able to understand Dylan's sort of pigeon English pretty well, but Elizabeth is the best translator of all. Though sometimes I think she is saying that he said things that he did not say like "Dylan said he wants us to have cookies. And he wants me to have three cookies. Yeah, that's what he said." Hmmmm.

I am a bit nervous about entertaining Dylan when Elizabeth starts preschool in August. She has the energy to keep up with him, whereas I do not. She will sit and blow bubbles with him for two hours, where I cannot spare quite so much time on fun.

I know once Dylan is less of a "flight risk" things will get better insanity-wise and we'll be able to leave the house more. Right now I'm always afraid that he is two seconds away from running into the road or through the parking lot or out of the store or through the store like a maniac, etc.
He spends a lot of time buckled up into something or holding hands because of that. Once he gets over this particular stage of development and has more self-control (he will right???) everything will be smooooooother. Then Ben will go insane and start walking. Grr.

It's always something right?
As long as I never ever run out of coffee, I'm good.
I even have an emergency $5 Starbucks gift card in my wallet just in case of extreme conditions. Seriously.


Anne Marie said...

YAY! Thank you! This was the post I wanted to see- I'm banking on the "Big kid helper" factor being a HUGE help this time around. I love seeing Elizabeth and Dylan being such good friends to each other, loving little Ben, and so willing to assist mommy! Now I'm ready for numero 3. Thank you for the confidence boost... and for sharing such cute photos and stories of your little ones.

As for the potty training... I wish I knew the answer. Owen just took to it TOO easily, he has actually surpassed poor Kylee on the potty training skills. Kylee has more accidents, she won't take a break from playing and holds it WAY past her limit. Owen's good about getting to the potty in time. What worked for Owen when we transitioned from diapers was the timer, sticker chart and M&M rewards. He's addicted to candy, so it was a huge incentive for him. I can't imagine you starting up potty training right now, with little Ben needing constant attention. Good Luck- I know only 1 in diapers would be so awesome for you right now!

Chris said...

Marcus was leaning on me while I was reading this and point to all of the pictures. "Who's that?" He now knows who Elizabeth, Dylan, and Ben are and was saying their names.