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Monday, August 1, 2011

Slowing It Down

Bedtime around here is usually a really rushed time.  It's been almost a year since any of my boys had a daily nap.  With summer here and my boys with me all day, their quick go-to-bed routine is probably more for my benefit than theirs: so I can have quiet to work or read or watch tv or have a glass of wine.

They always fall asleep quickly, so they must be ready for bedtime, too.

But, one night last week, I put aside all that I needed or wanted to do that didn't involve my kids.  My youngest cuddled on my lap while my two oldest actually shared the couch peacefully.

I ran my fingers through my baby's hair, knowing that he's now old enough that he'll be headed to preschool in just a few weeks.

I looked over at my big boys: one headed to first grade and one to kindergarten.  All day long they will be gone.

And while the snarky side of me wants to rejoice in all the peace and quiet I will have, the reality is that I will miss them.

So, I let the clock slide way past their normal bedtimes.

And when my youngest's eyes were starting to close, I took him to his room, got him settled in, and laid beside him until he drifted off.  No quick tuck in, kiss goodnight, and bolt out the door that night.  Instead, I watched his eyelashes flutter against his cheeks that are losing their baby roundness and realized how quickly time passes.

Back downstairs, my big boys were insisting they were watching the movie on the screen, when I could see that they weren't going to last much longer.

But, for once, I didn't push it and insist they head to bed.  Because what was the harm? What was my rush?

It was a sweet, quiet moment.

Soon, I could hear by their slow, even breaths that they were fast asleep.

And I realized that sometimes, this mama needs to chill out and stop trying to rush everything.


Blogger Unknown said...

They are only small once. Glad you got tus moment with them.

August 1, 2011 at 7:06 AM  
Blogger Oka said...

Love these moments...I'm guilty of allowing them too often.

August 1, 2011 at 7:27 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Aww I miss those days too. Mine are so big now that they do stuff trying to stay awake that requires them being loud and in motion..now quiet time around here.

August 1, 2011 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger The Mommyologist said...

Beautiful boys! You enjoy your chill out time, mama! You certainly deserve it! Hope you are doing something super fun with those little men today! :)

August 1, 2011 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

What a great post. What great advice. I love it when I can realize, in the moment, that I need to stop and cherish. They grow SO fast!

August 1, 2011 at 7:52 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

So beautiful Shell. This post really made me feel...I can so relate. Your boys are so precious. And blessed to have a mommy like you.

August 1, 2011 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger The Sisters' Hood said...

Stopping time .... how much we need to stop and enjoy the time that we do have.
Lovely post Shell!
And HUGE thank you for 'hosting' our 'Why I Started My Blog' link up this week with me, really appreciated ... so fun to read everyone's stories, each and every one is special! Thank you again xxx


August 1, 2011 at 8:03 AM  
Blogger livingsj77 said...

My oldest does not go to bed easily, and some nights I want to scream, so I have to remind myself to just take a deep breath and be thankful that she wants to cuddle with me for hours before falling asleep. There will be a day that she's 14 and won't want to breath the same air. That always calms me down a bit.

This is a lovely moment.

August 1, 2011 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

I love little moments like this, moments that smack you in the face and help you slow down.

August 1, 2011 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger Kmama said...

I'm guilty of trying to rush and hurry everyone through everything. It is nice though, to someones just relax and enjoy the moment.

August 1, 2011 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Samantha said...

We too, often run through bedtime, but there have been times when I've savored it all. I love laying down with Bree and just watching her go to sleep.

August 1, 2011 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Di said...

Jellybean woke up at 11:30 last night wanting to play. Instead of griping about needing sleep - I got down on the floor with him, played and read a book. I know that all too quickly he'll no longer be a snuggly little boy and I'm going to what every single of those moments back!

August 1, 2011 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Tara R. said...

This was so incredibly sweet. Sometimes I watch my baby boy sleeping. He's 18 now, but every now and then I can still see the little kid in him. They really do grow up so very fast. Enjoy these precious moments whenever you can.

August 1, 2011 at 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely reflection! Some of my best moments with my daughter are times when I've put aside everything to focus on the fun moment with her; I find I enjoy our time more without the pressure I often (very reasonably in the day to day grind) put on the experience. There is nothing like that quiet cuddly time!

August 1, 2011 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Well said. I love moments like these.

August 1, 2011 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Amen, sister! SO true! I loved these pics. Glad you had a moment to cherish. I love when I can pause and realize what's important.

August 1, 2011 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

You are so right...time passes much too quickly. Glad you are able to slow down and go with the flow...and soak in all the small moments! :)

August 1, 2011 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Evonne said...

How sweet! Our bedtime routine is also a crazy one. I think we all need to slow down more often.

August 1, 2011 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

I'm in such a similar place. Well, I only have 2, but Kate is starting full day kindy NEXT WEEK and Maddie is starting 3-day-a-week preschool!

We will now live by the school calendar. :)

August 1, 2011 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Kir said...

Shell, sometimes I think you are in my head. I have been thinking and doin these things myself this summer, just slowing down, trying to take it all in...just being in the moments. They won't be little long, and I am finally trying to just enjoy and not rush it too.

August 1, 2011 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger tessica said...

it's a reminder all of us moms need every now and then!

August 1, 2011 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I'm guilty of always rushing my son to bed just so I can get some "me time". I really need a reminder to take the time to appreciate all of these moments before he grows up!

August 1, 2011 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Renegades said...

I can rush bedtime to for simply the reason you stated: myself. I've tried to chill out more and realize soon they'll be to old to even want bedtime kisses. So it's time to slow down and enjoy them.

August 1, 2011 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

Beautiful sweet post Shell. Your boys are adorable. And you're right of course. They are only small once, we should stop and just inhale all their lovely goodness!

August 1, 2011 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger The Woven Moments said...

What a great moment to capture! I, too, have to remind myself to SLOW DOWN. I'm constantly rushing myself, the kids, the dog, and life in general.

It's a great reminder, Shell. Thanks.

August 1, 2011 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

So true! I'm so glad you enjoyed all that sweetness of your boys!

August 1, 2011 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger Brandi said...

This is something I needed to read today. Thanks.

August 1, 2011 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Emmy said...

What sweet photos. And such an important reminder. It is easy to forget and want to celebrate the quiet and peace, but sometimes it's a little too quiet. You seem to be in a good place lately- I hope that sticks around for you

August 1, 2011 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Lizbeth said...

Our kids are about the same age and I got a nice smile with your post. I just did this the other day and it was Heaven. I wish I could have held back time.

August 1, 2011 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Tractor Mom said...

Those are the best times...

Come by when you can...www.frugaltractormom.com

August 1, 2011 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Loukia said...

The sweetest times, for sure. I just blogged about my son turning SIX, and I sort of still can't believe it... how do they grow so fast?

August 1, 2011 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger BNM said...

aww what a sweet post! I love holding my baby until he falls asleep its bittersweet to know they grow up so fast

August 1, 2011 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger The Mommy Therapy said...

What a sweet night for all of you.

I desperately need to chill out and try to enjoy times like these more often....or at all. I am desperate to get them in bed by the time 7 pm comes around and they are ready too so I do not waste even a moment. I even sing their favorite goodnight song extra fast, that's sad.

I definitely need to work on my enjoying the now skills. You are right, it goes WAY too fast.

August 1, 2011 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger Kristina P. said...

I wish I could have a daily nap!

August 1, 2011 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

This is such a great reminder. Thank you. I too fall victim to the "hurry up and go to bed so I can have some peace" way of thinking. I need to remember to step back and just take them in because time goes so quickly as it is.

August 1, 2011 at 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well put.
Sometimes I am anxious for the girls to go to bed so I can have some time. Then I remember, soon they won't need me for bed and I'll miss it, so I make sure to cuddle them each night and a lot during the day.

August 1, 2011 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I am so guilty of this. I have been trying to do the same here.

Boys really are sweet when they are sleeping!

August 1, 2011 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

Great post! We've been letting our kiddos stay up later too. But I could definitely slow down more and appreciate my everyday moments.

August 1, 2011 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Too soon they will be the ones looking at YOU asleep on the couch. THat is what mine do to me.

Those pictures are great. I love some tired kiddos.

August 1, 2011 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger KSK said...

Awe! So sweet!! :)
That's something I'll have to remember to do when LB gets older..
*Love the photos! Very precious!

August 1, 2011 at 12:56 PM  
Blogger Cindi said...


August 1, 2011 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger Jennie said...

So fantastic! Brought warm fuzzies to my chest! Thanks for the reminder.

August 1, 2011 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Rach (DonutsMama) said...

Same thing here. We rock a little longer now, and sometimes *gasp* she falls asleep on me!! It goes by too fast.

August 1, 2011 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Jayme said...

We do this a lot during the summer- so many nights my kids fall asleep on the couch cuddled up with us. (it also leads to them sleeping in longer in the morning, score)

August 1, 2011 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger Christine Siracusa said...

Those moments are great! The pace of life can be so insane...the times when it is possible to ignore the clock are just precious. I bet the boys loved it, too! And, for once, we don't have to be the nagging voice reminding them of the schedule. Just Love It!

August 1, 2011 at 3:23 PM  
Blogger Tina @ Life Without Pink said...

Oh this is something I've been thinking about lately. Summer has been crazy and I need to slow down and savor every moment. One day they will be too big for me to hold and will be off hanging out with friends. Lovely post :)

August 1, 2011 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger Laura @ My Thoughts-Uninterrupted said...

We are facing the same thing right now...needing to slow down, enjoy it, and just take it in. So many sweet moments happen if you just let them!

August 1, 2011 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger Hutch said...

What sweet photos! Now you'll have this to look back on :)

August 1, 2011 at 3:59 PM  
Blogger Not Just Another Jennifer said...

Good for you!!! Bedtime is so tough. I want to keep them up to see them longer after work, but they are grouchy and I need to get laundry/dishes/etc. done, so I also long for the day when I can give them a hug and a kiss and send them upstairs without further monitoring. But I know I will miss the endless - one more story, one more drink, just snuggle for one more minute, Mommy - times.

August 1, 2011 at 4:02 PM  
Blogger Missy | Literal Mom said...

Amen, sister. What a great moment and evening for you. We've had a couple of those around here recently. It's so sweet and helps with some of the "less sweet" times. :)

August 1, 2011 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger Leigh Powell Hines said...

so sweet!

August 1, 2011 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Eschelle Westwood Mumfection said...

awww that is so sweet, definitely a warm and fuzzy moment.

August 1, 2011 at 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Galit Breen said...

Oh my that was beautiful. And, admittedly, an excellent reminder.

August 1, 2011 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

So sweet, Shell! We've been doing this too, because in just a few short weeks, the school routine starts again...and I want to cry just thinking about it.
Thanks for the great reminder :)

August 1, 2011 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger Courtney K. said...

What a sweet, sweet moment you were able to experience with your boys. Bedtime can get rushed around here, too in hopes of catching some extra peace and quiet. But, after reading this, I have a feeling tonight it will drag out just a little bit longer.

August 1, 2011 at 4:52 PM  
Blogger Mommy Inconsistent said...

A really great post! Brings us back to what is really important!

August 1, 2011 at 5:23 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

This is precious. I told Nikki not to long ago that a big regret of mine was not slowing down to have more memories like this when her and Kelly were small. Let the dishes sat in the sink, floors go unswept and clothes not get folded right away to spend time because in a minute those moments will be gone. They grow up way to fast.

August 1, 2011 at 6:19 PM  
Blogger Babes Mami said...

Lovely! We have recently taken away Babes naptimes because he wasn't sleeping well through the night but he still conks out for 30-60 minutes most days and he does it on my lap. I used to spend naptimes working but now that it's gone and the nap isn't guaranteed I just let him sleep on me while I snuggle him. I take time to chill out with hima nd it has become a favorite part of my day.

August 1, 2011 at 7:18 PM  
Blogger Erica@PLRH said...

Savor these moments! My "big boy" has been away at school for a month and I miss him terribly.

August 1, 2011 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger JamieAnne of A Dash of Domestic said...

It's amazing how quickly time passes when your a parent. 365 days seems like a lot, but when it pertains to a child (especially when they are at the stage where they seem to change daily).
Slowing down and just living in the moment is a wonderful thing to do.

August 1, 2011 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger Stasha said...

Sometimes you just have to relax and enjoy those moments.

It won't be long til you have 3 teenagers and the moments like this will be few and far between. . .

August 1, 2011 at 8:10 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Fantastic post. THis is part of the reason that we put PJ to bed and wait till he falls asleep. It's usually relatively quickly, but I know in a few years I'll be lucky to get a kiss good night.

August 1, 2011 at 8:51 PM  
Blogger championm2000 said...

Oh, so true.

My husband was gone the other night, so I decided to bring one of the babies in to sleep with me. Emily slept with us last, so I brought Drew in. Long story short, he tossed and turned, didn't want to snuggle, and finally I just put him back in his crib. And then I cried. My baby didn't want to snuggle.

Thankfully, he was back to his cuddly self for a nap on Sunday. I promised myself to nap and snuggle whenever he's in the mood before he outgrows me all together.

S-l-o-w it way down :-)

August 1, 2011 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

It's the little things we forget and not take the time to notice sometimes. We all do it. Then we are reminded when we stop and "smell the roses" that time goes by so quickly.
The photos of your sweet boys were so adorable. :)

August 1, 2011 at 9:19 PM  
Blogger Cyndy Bush said...

I love this post. It's so easy to get caught up, but you never ever regret taking those extra moments to cherish your kids.

August 2, 2011 at 1:28 AM  
Blogger Tracie Nall said...

Awww. SO sweet!!

I need this reminder to slow down and appreciate all those moments.

August 2, 2011 at 3:11 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Sometimes I love these relaxed late nights with my kids. My youngest is normally up late but my oldest isn't so it's nice to occasionally just chill with her.

August 2, 2011 at 3:53 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Awwww...I love this! Thanks for reminding us!

August 2, 2011 at 6:54 AM  
Blogger For the Love of Naps - Sarah said...

always worth it...and I don't take the moemnts enough.

August 2, 2011 at 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Girl stopped napping before she was 2. And I make sure she gets to bed at 8, or shortly after, otherwise she's a nightmare the next day. Of course, that doesn't stop someone else of the adult variety in the house to not care when they get to bed and keeps them out running errands past bedtime. The Boy insists on a nap every day, and he's been 2 for a month now.

Also, I think we have the same couch. Freaky.

August 2, 2011 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Renee said...

I think mamas need the cuddle time just as much as the kiddos. I, too, cannot wait for them to go back to school although I will miss them SO MUCH!

August 2, 2011 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


And this post is SO timely for me because I've been doing the same thing this week. Just letting them "be" at bedtime.

Of course school starts soon so I need to get them back to a better bedtime but still...

August 2, 2011 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger mypixieblog said...

This post is so beautiful, Shell. And also so true. Life goes by so quickly and I'm so glad to hear you are taking time to remember the moments that matter.


Also, these photos are all so precious.

August 2, 2011 at 11:14 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Thanks for the reminder for all of us. I know that lately I have to stop and just absorb the moment. Before I know it the girls will be holed up in their rooms wanting to be far away from anything family related.


August 3, 2011 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Melissa Haak said...

I LOVE this! It's the whole point o our Thursday Link up (Simple Moments, Bigger Picture) to slow down and enjoy those simple everyday moments with our kids. So precious and fleeting.

August 6, 2011 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This makes my heart ache - mine are growing up so fast too. Although I wouldn't mind a little faster for my son who has one month to potty train before schooL

August 7, 2011 at 3:49 PM  

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