I know the thought of having 4 kids all 2 1/2 years apart equally horrifies and intrigues many people...at least I know it has either made my friends schedule a vasectomy or think maybe it's something they would like to have for their own family! (probably depending on how much time they've spent at our house-- hahaha, just kidding, more likely depending on how much I've complained or cried to them on the rough days)
So, all joking aside, I thought I'd help ya'll along in your decisions by letting you in on a few of the benefits of having all your kids close together:
1) the simplest things can entertain them ALL for hours- think open window and cars going by or your neighbor mowing his lawn or the kids getting out of school and walking home...all those things are incredibly entertaining for little kids and keep them occupied for quite a long time!
they play together...or fight, but mostly it's cute when they play :) now that the twins have started moving around more I've started to notice them actually playing together. (Hailey had actually crawled under the stool to "work on it" and Maysen copied her- only to get stuck and have Maelle try to help her out) :) Jackson and Hailey truly are the best of friends and can spend hours playing trucks and dress up and house and all sorts of things together, because they are truly on the same "level" for play- neither of them really wants to play anything else or do anything else.
3) you can buy them simple and cheap things and they are happy- think halloween costumes a few days after halloween, baby treats, graham crackers, straws- a very special thing at our house is "kid cereal" and not the homemade stuff- they think that is great to get!
4) they all nap at the same time. Obviously, Maysen and Maelle always nap at the same time in the morning, but every afternoon at 12:30 or 1 we have "naptime" and all 3 of the littlest ones go down for naps and a 1/2 hour later Hailey goes into her room for a rest and she can't get out until the twins wake up from their naps. It doesn't always happen wonderfully or go as smoothly as I would like, but it's a great little perk to having all 4 be little!
5)they all enjoy the same things. taking a walk to the park, going on a bike ride, playing on the swings and going down the slide are things that all of my kids enjoy. I don't have an older one who wants to do different things or a baby to tote around- all my kids are essentially babies :) plus- they're all so cute together!!
6) along the same lines of napping is the early bedtime! We start putting kids to bed at 6:30 (or 6, if it's been a long day and Daddy's working late) and by 7:30 (almost every night) all kids are in bed and sleeping. That leaves a good 3 hours for Korey and I to spend together- kid free. I'd like to say that we always do "good" things with our time, but there are days that we just crash on to the couch, flip through the channels and 1/2 sleep the night away :) which is necessary, sometimes, too.
7) date nights are no longer something that you feel compelled to do to be a good couple. They become a necessity and a life-line. I never love my husband more or feel more cherished as a wife than when I see him shell out $50 to babysitters just to take me out to dinner and grocery shopping!
8) you learn what's important and what you can let go of very quickly. There are just not enough hours in a day to fill our lives with frivolous or unnecessary things over here, so we've really "pared" down our life and cut a lot of unnecessary things out without much sadness or regret over loosing them.
9) you learn to appreciate one another. The sight of my husband walking through the door has never filled me with more thankfulness and more giddiness than it does these days- especially on those hard and rough days where everyone's been crying and needing me all day. I know that Korey=break and for that I love him and appreciate him much more than I ever did.
10) the biggest benefit, in my eyes, to having all your children so close together is that our house has become much more grace-filled. (we still have a ways to go, obviously, but we're working and striving each day to become more and more grace-filled- and, shockingly, our kids are really helping us out ;)) Before our life fell apart--aka--the twins were born Korey and I weren't necessarily short with one another, but I don't think that we practiced showering each other with grace, either. I'd say that we are much more willing to let the other person have grace, because we have come face to face with our own shortcomings and have been shown, so obviously, how we can't keep it all together.