Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's Not Child Labor if They Enjoy It

Even though I hate winter (OH how I HATE winter), the boys have given me a lot to celebrate this month.

Joel and Evan have finally discovered how to use the ShopVac that I use regularly in the kitchen and playroom. I am overjoyed at how clean my kitchen floors have become since this discovery! We no longer walk around with dried food stuck to the bottom of our socks; they do a great job of cleaning the floor multiple times per day. Immediately following meals, Joel gets up from his chair and begins vacuuming any crumbs. After he finishes, I lift Luke, shake off his mess, and Evan follows up with whatever mess is left behind. These are glorious times, folks! For two years our floor has been endlessly covered in bits of food, and now I can walk across the room without so much as a cheerio to step on!

A photo of all the "fun stuff" that needs to be cleaned up. Evan did a great job cleaning under the table!

Joel works hard to get any crumbs or bits of dust that gather in under the cabinets. God bless both these children for finally making my day that much easier!

(We remains pants-free most days, as it makes using the potty much easier on little boys who have yet to master pulling pants down. In case you were wondering.)

Joel continues to love caring for his baby brother. A few nights ago, I was feeding Luke yogurt. Joel asked for a piece of celery. When I gave it to him, he grabbed the yogurt and starting feeding it to Luke, using the celery as a spoon.

(After Joel realized how messy the "celery spoon" was, he decided to use the real thing instead.)

My three sons. Don't ask about Evan's hair... I have no idea.

Without regular mental stimulation, the twins, now 28 months, tend to get bored and cause trouble. I've been trying to come up with a variety of activities that require little effort on my part, but a lot on theirs! One activity they really enjoy is putting (uncooked) spaghetti into an empty spice container. They have to really focus in order to get each noodle into all the little holes.

(Evan in orange, Joel in green.)

(Do you see the green L in Evan's workspace? It's a magnet that he carries around and pretends is his gun. When the L is unavailable, he'll settle for the 7 magnet instead.)

Luke is now 8 months old and a complete handful! He puts everything in his mouth (I mean EVERYTHING.) Luckily, the twins are good at recognizing when he has something he shouldn't (which is about 90% of the time), and they quickly take it away. I'd love to be Supermommy and childproof well enough that we don't have to worry, but with toddlers running around, things are never where they should be. I glanced down at Luke the other day to see him gnawing away at Lemon Biscotti... I have no idea how he got it (but he sure enjoyed it!) I'm glad I used the baby-led weaning approach with feedings, because it means he is well aware of how to properly "chew" and swallow foods (or at least he's well skilled at not panicking when he incorrectly swallows.)

He is learning skills at a rapid pace. Wanting desperately to keep up with his brothers, Luke chases the boys using his lightning-fast crawling ability. He loves standing against furniture, and this weekend let go and stood on his own for a few seconds. He has a push toy that he has begun using to practice walking on his own; it's only a matter of time before he's going to be running after his older brothers.

I can't believe my baby is growing so quickly!

And finally, I have to share that my WONDERFUL husband gave me an incredible 30th birthday! To celebrate, he arranged for my parents to babysit for the day, and we went downtown to celebrate. We had a delicious habachi lunch, followed by a tasty tour of chocolate shops in Chicago. We had the most amazing chocolate truffles at this place; I highly recommend trying their chocolate if you ever have chance. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
THANK YOU TODD, for a fabulous birthday!! I LOVE YOU!!