Sunday, June 24, 2012

To Do's

A lot has been going on in the Menoni house and with a new little guy in our lives, I find it more challenging to find the time to write. 
Tonight as I tried to quickly soothe a fussy baby and lay him down one more time in his pappasan chair so I could get at least one thing done on my ever-growing to-do list, I realized that he was much bigger....much taller. 

I had many newborn photo ideas that I wanted to capture that he's....well, too big for now. 

This time is quickly slipping away like sand slipping through fingers while I grow angst over to-do's that I won't even remember two years from now. 

I felt guilty. I love snuggling my squishy, delicious new baby but, I haven't done it nearly as much as I would have liked. And why? Because the multiplying of activity in our house has made me feel as if I can't keep up. There is too much to do and not enough of me to do it.

I have learned; however, that I can accomplish more in five minutes than I used to in forty-five. I can't get everything done I'd like to but these days I find I'm more happy when I can just check little things off my list; such as, changing a single light bulb or collecting all of the crushed goldfish and used baby wipes in my car. 

Doing these simple to-do's make me smile. And doing more than one in a day makes me feel somewhat accomplished. I hope that eventually I can let all of the bigger to-do's on my list go to indulge the wiser side of my head and heart. The side that nudges my inner being to spend time with my littles because all of those to-do's will wait. And the things that really do matter won't be able to. 

The most important to-do's on my list:

1) Exploring one of our favorite hidden playgrounds which has been witness to good days, bad days and just one of those days.

 (Full diapers help us jump further. Yup, its a well-known fact.)
2) Taking the time to enjoy my kids in the morning while not repeatedly saying, "Mommy will be right there" as I frantically try to throw a load of laundry on or wash a few dishes, but really taking the time to sit down and enjoy them. 

Because if I don't, I'll miss seeing the world through those small, rose-colored glasses.
 4) Remembering to take a deep breath. 

Earlier this week Hunter was running around, rolling around, throwing his clothes up into the air begging "but I need heeeeeelp!" with a side of pinching and pulling innocent bystanders' hair. My patience had run thin after kindly requesting that he get dressed for the last half hour so I could get us out the door to do a fun activity I had planned.

I overheard our sitter, Kathleen, saying, "Hunter, sometimes when you're frustrated it helps if you take a deep breath like this" and modeled a big inhale and exhale for Hunter. It worked like magic. 
(Chef Hunter and the green eggs he made with Kathleen.)

It helped to remember this piece of advice another day this week when, after suffering the "get dressed" saga again, I finally took Sissy and Cash outside and told Hunter we'd see him out there once he had dressed himself. Shortly after he came bolting through the door saying, "I'm heeere!"....
(Well, at least he wore the rain boots.)
Deep breath. Because life it short and years from now I'll only remember laughing over the birthday suit and rain boots. 
(Like brother, like sister. These days its all about the rain boots. 
For two years I have heard moms complain about kids who refuse to wear anything but rain boots. 
I secretly wished for the day to arrive when my kids did that. It finally did and 
I have loved every bit of it.)
5) Finding stickers strategically placed on my newest little's body and leaving them there recognizing the innocence of it all.
Both my older son's "sharing" and my younger son's inability to be aware. 
(The adorable "I Crawl the Line" onesie was a gift from my sweet friend 
Andrea--a.k.a the Easter bunny.)

 6) Watching my husband run (and win in his category!) a Father's Day race with a TRIPLE jogger. 
 And being able to enjoy it with friends.
Top that? 

He ran the last two miles with a flat tire. 

7) 5 a.m. wake up calls that start me off feeling as if I'll never sleep again and then two hours later never wanting it to end. 

 8) Early dinners at the beach with sunshine, cool breezes, 
 and some serious sand castle making. 
This particular visit also ended with one of my children, who will remain unnamed, throwing sand in my face when they did not get their way. (Remember those deep breaths I mentioned earlier??!!). 

I calmly walked him them back to the car, fastened him them into their seat belt and tried to stomach the rest of my sand filled burger. After that, Kathleen and I packed up the rest of the kids and our things and I announced that we would all be going to get ice cream except for him that child. 
He seemed fine until he saw all of us enjoying our ice cream in the car and I saw his tiny heart break as big tears rolled down his cheeks. I silently cried the rest of the way home realizing that tough love is not for the faint of heart. 

9) Wiping the slate clean because those days are always followed by those days and those are the kinda' days that deserve ice cream.
10) Stop wishing for what I don't have (soft, white sandy Florida beaches) and being thankful for what I do have (a number of fully accessible beaches that may have rough, pebbly sand but killer views). 
11) Spending days finding joy in the discovery of little things.
12) Taking time to send text pictures so others know they are thought of although they may not be able to be there. 
 13) Stopping to enjoy the sunshine and flowers and forgetting all about dirty windows.
14) Doing something different because life's too short not to--even if it takes a couple of tries.
(After two trips to the salon, two days of babysitters and two-too many tears, 
I finally got the ombre' I wanted.)

 15) Knowing that toddlers showing their hinnies aren't always a bad thing.
 16) Bathing sweet, new, delicious babies.
 17) Making my own rainbows when life just doesn't deliver.

18) Going out for ice cream when thrown sand and forgiveness just don't matter.
19) Lingering over first baby smiles,
because they'll be gone before I know it. 
I've stayed up way past my bedtime to complete this post. My brain was trying to get the best of me by reminding me of the amount of times I'll be up tonight but, my heart won out by proving that the clock is ticking and I want to be my family's memory keeper. 

I may be a little more tired tomorrow but, God willing, I have many more days to catch up on sleep, change light bulbs and wish I had crushed goldfish to collect. For now, I'm going to peek at all three of my sleeping babies and linger. This time a little longer. 

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the "good" living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather rambling about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted
in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television, and more
while watching life.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment, realising that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you's" and more "I'm sorry's"

. . . but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute . . .
look at it and really see it . . . and never give it back.”
― Erma Bombeck


  1. In my mode of nesting and tackling my "to-do" list before baby arrives...your post makes me take a breath and think that those things aren't really the important's spending time with my kiddos and enjoying these last couple days. I will have to re-read this post once my little girl makes her appearance! xo

  2. What a beautiful post....words and pictures. Love you all. I think I'll pick up the phone right now and call you! Life is too short :-) not to hear your voices! LU! kiki

  3. Just beautiful! Oh, and I love that my little Chook LOVES his gumboots (rain boots) too! I laughed when I read about your boys 'non-dressing' moment, I think I have a similarily spirited young man. I need to take a leaf out of your book and "take a deep breath" and enjoy the moments, including the more challenging ones. x

  4. That little baby booty picture made me smile..I miss that!


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