Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Quality Time with Me May 19, 2015

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:33 pm

It doesn’t happen often, but when it does I make the most of it. I know it’s probably unusual for a dog to say so, but it’s time I anxiously look forward to. I went and saw my friends at the groomer today.

Mary and all her doggie comrades were in full force and I was in doggie heaven. It’s nice to see everyone and catch up with things, and (most of all) be pampered. I came home feeling refreshed and renewed.

It was a good reminder of something I think people frequently forget to do. I know my mom does it. And my dad. And my extended family…they all have this weakness with putting themselves last on the priority list when it comes to certain things. I know it’s not just them, either. It seems to be a commonality among the way a lot of people with big hearts function in the world.Sitting pretty

Yet I can’t help but wonder how life would be different if they just paused every now and then and did something nice. Not for each other or for the stranger in the grocery store, but for themselves. A little bit goes a long way, too. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Or fancy.

But just taking the time, taking a moment or two to pause and breathe and find renewal (in whatever form is best suited) is so powerful.

“Take a walk with a turtle and behold the world in pause,” suggests American writer Bruce Feiler. It doesn’t have to happen often, but when it does it’s simple. Do something you love and make the most of the time. You won’t be disappointed.


Life As We Knew It May 18, 2015

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:33 pm

It hit me tonight as my forever family was together in my backyard paradise. Dad had just finished mowing the lawn. Carter was causing trouble with the water from the bird bath. Mom was holding dear baby Conner. And I was there, in my favorite spot by my tree. I'm Sorry Now

Life is different now. Obviously. It seems silly to even say so out loud. Of course having another little person around will change things in major ways. Most of which we were prepared for. Yet that doesn’t subtract from the reality of change. It’s real. It’s significant. And it’s happening daily.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sense a bit of fear in the hearts of my forever parents. Change is scary, too.

But we’ve been through this before. And I’ve learned a thing or two about change in the process. It’s less scary with each passing day as the new normal takes its place in our hearts.

It hit me tonight as my forever family was together in my backyard paradise. Dad had just finished mowing the lawn. Carter was causing trouble by the bird bath (and other places). Mom was holding dear baby Conner. And I was there, blessed to simply bear witness to it all.


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.