Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Blessings in Disguise May 17, 2015

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:48 pm

I wish I’d been there. More than that, I wish I could speak. Because had I been there and been able to I would have given this nurse a piece of my little doggie mind.

There is my mom, going into labor with dear baby Conner a few short nights ago, and she said it. One of the only things none of us were prepared for.

“More likely than not, he will be in the NICU,” she said. “I had a friend who had a baby around when you are and he was in the NICU for six weeks. You need to prepare yourself for that.”

I understand she had a job to do as well as I know there is good reason for the warning. Yet I feel there could have been a slightly more tactful way to deliver such an emotionally jarring message. I’ve heard the story retold several times to those who have come to visit dear baby Conner in the last 24 hours and my reaction to it has not changed.Ice Cream

I wish I’d been there and I could have told her to consider delivering messages of that sort with a bit more empathy. Because I know my dear forever mom. And I can hear it in her voice when she recounts the story. This was devastating news. She had everything else figured out in her head beforehand. Everything else was ready to go. But this? This was something she needed to adjust to.

With the help of dad, she was able to overcome the mental challenges associated with her gradual processing and have a fairly easy experience (if you can call labor and delivery easy, which I’m not quite sure you can). And, as predicted, Conner was whisked away to the special care unit all too soon after delivery. At first, the nurses said he would be there a week.

He outperformed all of their expectations and was able to come home after one extra night after mom was discharged. One extra night that was spent embracing a bit of transitional time with dear Carter. One extra night spent getting a little extra rest. One extra night celebrating my birthday.

While I would never wish anyone ill, I would say there was a pretty clear silver lining to this story. Not only is Conner doing swimmingly, but everyone seems to be adjusting quite well to the change. Even though I still wish I could have been there to fix that moment with the nurse, I know life is bigger than moments like that. I know that even things that seem like the worst case scenario at the time can develop into a blessing in disguise.


Chronicle of a Big Day May 16, 2015

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:14 pm

Nothing about today was normal. This morning mom left instead of dad. She didn’t go to that place called work, though. She went to the hospital to be with dear baby Conner. Meanwhile, the house I thought was as ready as it could possibly be for bringing home a new little person got even more organized. There was bottle washing and assembling of various contraptions for baby sleep. There was cabinet cleaning and diaper stacking.

We were ready. Because, after three days in the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital, it was finally time to meet my new little person. He was coming home. Happy family

I waited anxiously as they packed up and left the house to go get him. I paced around the house for a bit. I tried napping, but couldn’t (which is unusual for me). It took forever before they came home.

And when they did I realized how nothing about today was normal. And nothing about the days to follow will be either.

Pure chaos was unleashed the second they arrived. As I sniffed and introduced myself to Conner, dear toddler Carter ran around giggling as he attempted to climb the aforementioned sleeping contraptions. But something magical happened once Conner was settled.

Carter kissed him. And then he pet him. And I swear he said “nice baby” as he did it. My heart melted. I frantically scanned the room to be sure mom saw it happen. She did. Dad did. And just like that our new normal began.


Both worlds May 15, 2015

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 11:29 pm

I finally got my ice cream.

Now I realize how small potatoes that really was.



Still No Ice Cream May 14, 2015

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 10:11 pm

It’s kind of funny actually. Two nights ago all I could think about was ice cream. From what I could tell my forever parents forgot the tradition altogether. They remembered and acknowledged that it was my birthday but that’s where the party crashed.


I knew it had to be for good reason. And it was. Yesterday my second little person was born. A new life started. It was a beautiful day.

Now I have a different thing to obsess about. I can’t wait to meet him and sniff him and give him kisses. I can’t wait for all the food that falls to the ground or the hugs. I can’t wait to meet this new little man.

Maybe we can share a birthday ice cream next year.


It’s a Boy (again)! May 13, 2015

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 10:28 pm

My dear little person no. 2 was born today! He was 7 pounds, 6 ounces and 21 inches long. Born at 35 weeks, he’s being taken care of by special doctors and nurses and I guess that means I won’t get to meet him as soon but 8 sure am anxious to see him as soon as he’s able.



For Good Reason May 12, 2015

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:31 pm

All right, all right, I’ll admit it. I’m a little hurt. A lot hurt, actually. At least I was until I better understood what is going on today.

Today. May 12. The day when, for the last five years, we have celebrated my birthday, has all but come and gone with (almost) no recognition from my forever family. There were no presents. There was no birthday ice cream cone I always get. There was only a brief mention by mom this morning as dad left for that place called work that it was my birthday. Cue some extra love from dad. And a little extra love from mom throughout the day.

But I know my family and the day is now almost over. And nothing.

In most other situations I might consider letting this bother me as it did for the majority of the day. This is not a normal situation. This is not a normal day. Standing Strong

I figured that out after mom returned from a quick unscheduled visit to her doctor with news. “It could happen any time now,” she told dad, Carter and I. I’ve known she’s in pain. I’ve known she’s been struggling to do basic everyday tasks. But this somehow managed to take me by complete surprise. Dad too, for that matter. Carter carried on as he usually does, running amid screeching giggles throughout the house.

It hit the three of us then, in that moment, the truth we’ve known but somehow felt unreal until now. This is happening. There is going to be a new little person. Soon.

Mom cried. Dad got quiet. And I stood by, opting to set aside my prior disposition toward the day. They need me now more than ever. I know they love me as well as I know I will get that ice cream cone eventually. Sometimes special things get rescheduled to accommodate life. And that’s okay. Because this is life we’re talking about. And that’s worth shifting things around for.


Love’s Heartbeat

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:23 pm

Stability and hope are a powerful combination.

Wiley's Wisdom

I’ve seen it a million times in the last couple of months. So I’m not sure how I didn’t notice it sooner. A single moment transported me through time today, and I’m so thankful it did.

In the blink of an eye I was back with my birth mom and brothers all of those years ago. I was just a little pup and we were settling into our new locale on a chilly winter’s night. I didn’t give it a second thought and simply did what I always would do in that situation. I scrunched my shivering little body as small as I could, cuddled into mom, and listened for her heartbeat. As chaotic and uncertain as our lives were at that point, her heartbeat brought me peace. Stability. Hope. Cuddles

I felt these things today in such an powerfully different yet ironically similar way. I was snuggling myself into the…

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Taking it Easy May 11, 2015

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:56 pm

It’s another one of those things I think people could learn from their four-legged friends. Beyond that, it is certainly another one of the many situations when I wish I could speak up. Because I know the benefits first paw and it really is something straight from the pages of A Dog’s Life 101. Getting cozy

People need to learn to relax. Even though I’m certain I could literally run circles around my dear forever family, I chose not to. Instead I rest and am a silent watcher as the chaos unfolds around me. The schedules and the errands and the bills and the laundry…it’s all too much for me to even begin to comprehend. I know and respect that.

Yet I understand the importance of occasionally sitting down, taking a deep breath, and letting things carry on without you sometimes.

It took stern talking to from several people to make it happen, yet that is what mom finally did today. She called in “pregnant” to work and called in reinforcements to tend to Carter (for a portion of the day at least). And she did as she was told. She rested. She didn’t work. She didn’t open her computer. I caught her checking her phone too much, but I’ll allow that at least.

The point is she hit pause at a time when she really (really) needed to take a break. To take it easy. For the most part, I find these words to be so often disregarded for what they really are. Taking it easy doesn’t mean doing half of the to-do list. It means setting the to-do list aside altogether and enjoying the rejuvenation there can be in doing so. It means keeping the computer off and maybe even in another room so it doesn’t cause temptation. It means asking for help.

I know a lot of these things are hard for people to do just as well as I know everyone has their own personal interpretation of what it really means to relax. Yet to me it’s simple. It is another one of those things that makes me wish I could scream from the mountaintops. It is okay to stop sometimes. It is okay to say no. Beyond that, sometimes its necessary.

I may not be able to say so out loud, but I was proud of mom today for taking some time to simply be. People need that every once in a while.


With My Thoughts

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 6:13 pm

“You are the architect of your own destiny…” What will you design?

Wiley's Wisdom

I thought I had forgotten what it sounds like. Which is okay with me, since I never really cared for it in the first place. But I’m not going to lie. Today it wasn’t so bad. Silence. From the ground up, the sounds of silence brought me joy today.

It was the first day in what feels like a very long time that I was all alone at my forever home for an extended period of time. In the past, this would have made me a bit melancholy. I would have spent the majority of the time wishing I were with them on whatever adventure they were encountering. But today they took with them all things noisy and it wasn’t so bad. Deep thinking

I think everyone needs some alone time every now and then, so I can’t say I minded it. There I was, alone with my thoughts. Alone to count my blessings. Like my spot basking…

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Nothing Will Ever Change That May 10, 2015

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:50 pm

First she was a mom to only me. I was her fur baby. Her one and only. I think fondly upon those times, when we’d go to the dog park and I’d accompany her on car rides and we went on long walks and other journeys to nowhere in particular. Those were good times.

Then dear baby Carter was born and everything changed. I wasn’t number one anymore, and I didn’t handle it well at first. Don’t get me wrong, I was incredibly excited to finally meet my new little person. Beyond that I was thrilled to see the joy he brought my beloved forever parents (it made up for all the crying newborns do). But I didn’t like sharing the person who had truly become my person in my heart. Throwback to my first few days at my forever home

Soon there will be another little person and I find myself regressing back into a doggie depression just thinking about the reality of what that means for me. Those were some dark days for me when Carter first came home (literally, I hung out under the bed a lot). I don’t particularly want to let myself go back to that place emotionally.

So today I decided I won’t. I will fight the urge to be jealous and instead do what I can to soak up all the positive that comes from change like what’s about to happen around here. Because today, on the day we Americans celebrate mothers, that I’m not giving her the credit she deserves if I do anything other than trust that her love for me remains unchanged.

I feel it in her warmth. In her snuggles. In the precious alone time we get after Carter is sleeping. And today, I saw it in her delicate treatment of Carter as she appreciated him for making her a mom. I feel it when I see them snuggle together on the couch. Doubting her is not fair. Letting change get to me is disrespectful of how hard I see her work each and every day to be the very best mom (and wife and employee) she can be.

Even though she was only a mom to me at first. The time is gone now that I was her one and only and it was us against the world. I’m so proud to see what kind of mother she’s become. She’s my hero, and nothing will ever change that.

Happy Mother’s Day, mom!