Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

My littles are getting SO big!

Ginny's first night in a "big girl" bed

Ginny playing with the dollhouse

Wiley eating some sweet potatoes, I forgot how fun it was to have a baby who enjoys eating!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wiley 6 months old

Wiley guy…6 months old. It’s hard to believe! It’s hard to believe and you’re really a little over a week past your 6 month landmark already! I have had a hard time sitting down to write this out, partially because it’s been so busy, partially because you’re the 4th and mostly because I’m in denial.
I can’t believe my little man is 6 months old. I can’t believe 6 months ago we welcomed you into this world as a snuggly newborn and now you insist on rolling all over the place. You definitely don’t stay where you’re put anymore. You love to roll, wiggle and squirm. Anything and everything goes into your mouth to explore and you love jumping in the exersaucer, Johnny jumper and on our laps if we hold you up. You’re working on sitting up with the help of Lucy and Murray (and Mom and Dad), I think you would have it down if you would just sit still for a minute, instead of leaning and reaching for the nearest object!
You got your first tooth the last week in November, just in time for Thanksgiving and your 6 month birthday! Your bottom center tooth on the left poked through after a few days of rosy cheeks. You also tried your first food on Thanksgiving…just a few days before you turned 6 months! You tried sweet potatoes and ate them like a champ, but were pretty gassy the next day so we decided to wait just a little longer before incorporating it into our daily routine.
You got your helmet this month. A cute little blue helmet that makes your cheeks squish out even more. It’s going to shape your head into a perfect round head and get rid of that pesky flat spot in the back.

At the doctor you weighed in at 19 lbs 10 oz and measured 27.3 inches tall! That makes you in the 81% for weight and 76% for height. Your head circumference is 45 cm putting you in the 80% for head size! 
At 6 months old you’re more smiley than ever and are starting to share your giggles more generously. You recognize your siblings and watch them intently, I can only imagine what you’re thinking and what life will be like when you can chase after them and join in their fun.
You met lots of new people, and saw some old when we went to Chicago to visit with Grammy and Pop Pop for Thanksgiving. We had lots to do and lot of people to see. You even met one of the people you’re named after my Uncle Breen from Mexico! (He’s William Breen). Everyone comments on how big you are and how happy you seem, both are very true!
I can’t believe I can love you any more each month and then I do. Watching you grow and change is just such a joy. Everyone tells you that you look just like your brother…I always point out that you have blue eyes not brown, but I do wonder if you’ll continue to look like him as you grow. Your personality is beginning to show through and you continue to be easy going and happy. We are so blessed to have you in our family!
We love you to the moon and back!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wiley-5 months old!

It seems like every time I blink it's time to write yet another monthly update on Wiley! Oh, smiley Wiley, you're another month older, you're learning more tricks and becoming more interactive with each passing day. We went to the doctor just the other day for a nasty cough and ear infection you've had and you're 18 lbs already! Growing every chance you get.
You're rolling over now. You don't like to show it off much, but we often leave you in a room and come back in to find you 5 feet away from where we left you, a few times you've rolled off the carpet and knocked your head on the wood floors. You're not too far from "getting around" and we're excited and anxious for what adventure that will bring.

You're a pretty great sleeper. You still have nights where you're up often, but most nights you visit with mommy just once and you fall back asleep quickly.

You've stolen everyone's hearts. Ginny lovingly calls you "MY Wiley" and both Lucy and Murray snuggle you and talk to you when they're home from school. Daddy and I can't imagine life any other way.

5 months old little man...this year is going WAY too fast for me! We've packed away the 6 month clothes and you're solidly wearing 9 month and a few 12 month outfits! You're so tall, and everyone we meet comments on how big you are! You're holding yourself up nicely, trying to sit  by yourself with someone behind you...Lucy LOVES this job, and hanging out in the exersaucer.

We took you to get your head measured this month. You have a little flat spot in the back, so you'll be sporting a helmet soon so when you get bigger you'll have a perfectly shaped head.

We love you to the moon and back little man. Slow down...because the next stop is 6 months old and then you just keep getting closer to your first oh man slow down!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Wiley- 4 months old

4 months! In the same sentence I can confidently say that I can NOT believe that you are 4 months old already and I can NOT believe you've only been here 4 months!
You my son, have made your mark. You are part of this family and I can not remember life before you. I can remember pieces of anticipating your arrival, but I can not remember the day to day without you in it, and I'm certain everyone else would agree!
We LOVE you so much! We call you Smiley Wiley and there hasn't been a day that you haven't lived up to your name. Sure you get cranky or fussy, but you're still always full of smiles once you're rested, or changed or snuggled.
You take after your big brother with the best pouty lip I ever did see. Occasionally your older siblings play a bit rough around you, and more than once I have failed to protect you from a flinging arm or leg and you make sure to let us all know. It's hard to discipline when everyone just thinks you looks so cute with that little lip hanging out!
You're becoming quite the "squealer" you enjoy hearing your voice and adding to the noise in the house with your squeals of joy throughout the day. Murray especially loves this and is always encouraging you to "scream more Wiley!"
This month we've transitioned to you and Ginny being home all day with me while Lucy and Murray are at school. It's a bit slower pace, but also a bit busier as well. We are the ones entertaining Ginny so you've been quite busy going to play group, taking walks, helping with art projects and cooking with me from the ergo. You are easy going and enjoy the ride.
Early in this month (the first Friday in September), you went for your biggest adventure yet. You sir, had a renal scan. You were a champ about it and very brave as you went off without mommy and daddy and were sedated. We were especially nervous about not feeding you for so long before the test, but you did GREAT and while you were a bit angry after the test was over and the anesthesia had worn off, we allowed it, snuggled you and I nursed you and by the time we left the hospital you were our happy boy again.
We will be watching those kidney's of yours. They're both too big, and they both are slow at processing because of a narrowing in the ureter. So, we'll watch them and pray and we'll keep re-evaluating to see if they need to be fixed by the doctor or if they're fixing themselves as you grow.
Speaking of're HUGE! At your 4 month appointment you were 17 lbs already and 27 inches long. That's the 85th percentile for weight and off the charts for height. You are definitely our big little man!
We love you Wiley! We're so thankful that you're here and we're enjoying all you bring to our family. Can't wait to see what this next month brings!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First Day of School!

A few pictures from our first day of school 2013! 

Murray at his hook at school

The boys took Murray to his first day of kindergarten

Murray on his first day of kindergarten 9/3/2013

Lucy on her first day of 2nd grade 9/3/2013

and just so we can prove Ginny was there and looking cute! She dressed like Lucy on her first day (and wore a backpack up to school too).
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Sunday, September 1, 2013

I'm Not Ready Yet!

It's been a busy summer around our house. We kicked it off (a little early for Lucy, but Murray had finished we'll count it as summer) with a new baby brother! We're so glad Wiley joined us this summer!
Following Wiley's arrival we had a slew of guests we absolutely LOVE to see.  A little bit of travel while Nick was out of town, a short weekend adventure in Chicago (more on that later) and then when we landed at home we started the preparations for Jr. High VBS, and by "we" I mean Nick worked like crazy and we tried to hold down the fort, feed him when he was home and get in any "daddy time" we could when he was available. August was VBS (the kids LOVED it), then Nick was gone for 4 days and I tried my hand at being the sole parent to 4 children...let's just say things went really well, but I was just as excited as the kids with Nick arrived home!
Finally last week we had a breath of fresh air. The summer busyness died down and we spent a week of vacation together as a family. We did not turn on a TV once, I was offline the whole week (Nick did check his email a few times and post a few pictures from his phone). It was GLORIOUS! We came back rejuvenated as a family with memories that will last us a lifetime. (Thanks to our friends and their generosity so we could enjoy this time together).'s back to school. This is the first year we've done this back to school thing. The first year we've jumped right in with the rest of the world. The first year we're not homeschooling, the first year that going to school is every day, all day...and for more than 1 of our kids.
To say there are nerves in our house is an understatement. As the mom, I'm keeping my feelings to myself. Telling the kids what a great time they'll have. Getting them excited about their teachers and their friends that they'll get to see. But, inwardly I'm crying...throwing a bit of a tantrum if you will. I'm not READY to send them off for the day. Oh, sure, I have thoughts of what the days will be like quieter, how great it will be to spend time with just Ginny and Wiley...but then my thoughts wander to Ginny in the backyard with Murray, to Lucy snuggling Wiley on the Lucy reading stories to Ginny and Murray making Wiley smile and coo with his crazy noises.
This is when I know I'm sending part of my heart away for 7 hours a day. Ok, that may sound dramatic, but it's true! I know our family dynamic will change, I know that our house will run at a different beat. It will take a while for us to find our school "tune" if you will. We'll find it, we'll settle into a rhythm and a routine soon enough, the kids will enjoy school and I'll enjoy the time with my littles at home...but I still might make a paper chain counting down to Thanksgiving break...I may hide it in my closet so the kids don't know about it, but I can't say I'm excited to send them off to school. I'm excited for them to have a taste of independence, excited for them to learn and grow, but I'm not quite ready to let them go. So I'll just keep counting the days until I get them back for awhile again.
So today and tomorrow you'll find me with my family. Working together, playing together and wishing that summer was just a little bit longer...

Friday, August 30, 2013

Wiley-3 months old

Another month has flown by! I can't believe how busy August was an how much you've grown yet again! You're smiling lots and lots now. Smiling at daddy, your siblings and me when we talk to you. Lucy, Murray and Ginny love when you make faces or coo back when they talk to you. It just makes them giggle in delight. 

You're getting longer and bigger it seems, and just this week before you turned 3 months you ROLLED OVER! I can't believe it!

This month we had a busy month. You came and helped me be on the welcome team at VBS. Lucy and Murray attended VBS and Ginny played in the nursery. All the ladies loved seeing you, and they were amazed at how easy going you were.

Daddy went out of town for a few days and you were super great while he was gone. Making things a bit easier for me to hold down the fort.

We vacationed to Traverse City. Once again you were a trooper in the car and you loved all the outside time in the shade watching the trees blow in the wind and falling asleep whenever you needed and then just waking up happy again.

To say you enjoy getting a diaper change is an understatement. As soon as we place you on the changing table you start kicking your legs and smiling at us. I don't think you've ever cried while getting a diaper change (unless someone pokes you in the eye or headbutts you...yes, that does happen, I'm sorry Wiley, it's the pains of being baby #4).

You're sleeping pretty much through the night. You usually get up around 4 or 4:30 for a quick feeding and then go back down until 7 or later. Since I'm feeding you between 8 and 9 pm for your last feeding, I'd say that's as "through the night" as I can ask for at 3 months old! You're a super eater and a super sleeper :) It makes me happy to feed you and know you're growing so much from what I'm making for you.

Oh that smile and your sweet disposition. You're just a go with the flow baby and we LOVE having you around. We call you "Smiley Wiley" a lot and sometimes I've been calling you "Wy guy". I can't imagine life without my little snuggler a part of it. This next month looks like it will be just as exciting as the last few and we can't wait to live each day with you in it. 
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Friday, August 2, 2013

Thankful Thursday (on Friday...I'm off this week)

Yes, I know I'm supposed to be thankful on "Thursday" for my blog...and I was thankful yesterday, but I was also busy and didn't get a moment to sit at the computer: loving this cool summer weather with the kiddos.
Anyway, I think it happened on purpose, because today I have something to be really thankful for.
Two months and a few days ago I sat in the hospital room snuggling my sweet baby boy. The visitors had left, Nick had gone home to take care of the kids and I was left with my sweet boy and my iPad for the night. We hunkered down, we snuggled, we nursed and we perused facebook. As a mom I have a love/hate relationship with facebook. I often feel like it draws me away from my kids, but it also is my window to the adult world when I can't get out into it for real. It connects me with real people and life beyond my home. I love life in my home, but it's important to enter the outside world on occasion.
So, on that night I held my newborn son I posted pictures and read comments from friends sharing in my joy. Then, it happened. Around 4 or 5 in the morning I read an odd post about a friend having trouble sleeping, being nervous, and dancing in the rain for relief. I was curious so I clicked on her name and went to her page. This is a friend I haven't spoken to in years, a friend...a classmate from high school. She was starting chemo in the morning. She was preparing to go to the hospital to have this horrible medicine put in her body to kill a cancer that was already there. I was sitting in a hospital room celebrating and snuggling one of the happiest moments of my didn't seem fair. How could I be holding this sweet new life, while she was about to fight for her own.
I had known before she had cancer, I had written words of encouragement, and even said a prayer or 2 for her, but it didn't hit wasn't "real" to me.
In that moment in that dark hospital was real, it could be me. I promised to myself and to her (on her facebook page) that each time I sat down to nurse this little boy I would pray for her. Think of her. and fight along with her.
For two months around the clock...every 2 hours throughout the day and a few times at night I have said a prayer for strength, for comfort, for friends to surround her in real life (and not just on facebook).
Well, 2 months later she has completed chemo. She has made it through this dark time in life, she celebrated with a glass of wine and on facebook said to join her in a toast. So I did. I poured a glass of wine and was thankful that she has made it through this chapter. But I realize that it's only a chapter in her book, and that things don't just go back to "normal" now that chemo is done. So, I'll continue to pray, but on this day I'll be thankful that she's done...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Wiley-2 months old

I know I'm going to say this every month, but where had the time gone?!? It seems like just yesterday you were born, just yesterday I was snuggling you in a hospital room in awe that you were in the world.

Wiley, you're 2 months old.

You smile, you coo and you melt my heart each and every morning. You're a great sleeper, maybe even better than your brother was at this point and while I am loving the sleep that I get, it means that my quiet nighttime snuggles are becoming less often already.

You're getting BIG! We went to the doctor and you're in the 91st percentile for weight, weighing in at 13 lbs 12 oz (with your super cute cloth diaper on) and you're in the 53rd percentile for height measuring in at 23 inches.

You're starting to focus more on objects and faces. You like to make eye contact and then give a big smile. It's the BEST way to start the day. Your eyes are still blue and can light up a room.

Lucy, Murray and Ginny still love you to pieces. They like to read books to you and lay near you on the floor. You've starting kicking your legs a lot and moving your arms around. Lucy likes to lay near you and have you "kick" her to play. Murray likes to laugh with you and he certainly finds way to amuse himself when you're around...he just thinks your faces and movements are funny...especially when you stick out your tongue. Oh and Ginny. She just loves you to pieces. She has learned from your big brother though and likes to yell "boo" at you...but for some reason she doesn't scare you...I think this is a good thing.
You've started taking medicine to help your spitting up this month and it seems to work...most of the time, but you have had some epic spit ups. Often it makes it to your toes and beyond. Once this month you almost got daddy and mommy just laughed and laughed at daddy jumping back from your projectile spit up. You make mommy laugh lots, especially when you get me with your love (that's what I call your spit up).

We saw the urologist this month again. We're working on figuring out your kidneys little man. (I'll write more on that when I get my mind around it). Something isn't quite right, but it isn't holding you back. You're a strong little man Wiley and I'm thankful for that.

You're easy going. This month we traveled to Chicago, then to Wisconsin for a night, back to Chicago and home again. Just 2 weeks later we went back to Chicago for a few days. You are a great little traveler and not too fussy in the car. Whenever you do cry Ginny says "Uh-oh mommy, baby Wiley crying." She is very concerned that we stop and take care of you right away. 

You're a great little guy Wiley. We're so thankful for you each and every day. You bring so much joy to our family. We love being a family of 6, love that we're a "big" family now...and we couldn't be that without you. You make us better, you make us smile and laugh, you've made us grow in the time you've been here. We love you...and if you can, just hang on a little longer to staying itty bitty...don't rush it Wiley...we can't go back to this time ever again!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thankful Thursdays

I'm sitting on the floor of the dining room nursing Wiley and watching Ginny sit on her potty seat eating a graham cracker. Yes, the potty seat is in the dining room and yes, she is eating while sitting on it...I know, I know. Lucy and Murray are busy at the table making books and projects with glitter, markers, scissors and anything else messy they can find.
We were up late last night, and had short naps this afternoon...I am SO incredibly tired that my head hurts, when in that moment I am overcome with thankfulness.
I think to myself, "this is your life..." and then I think it again, and again. I never knew I could be so tired and have no sign of rest in sight, I never imagined I'd sit on a hard floor and feed my baby or watch my toddler potty train, or let my kids make such an explosion of a mess so close to dinner time...
But, then I think about it and I'm thankful. I'm feeding MY baby, milk is dribbling down his chin and it's food created from me to nourish his body. My big kids are creative, they're playing together and the brother/sister dynamic is at it's finest. My toddler IS potty might only be because she didn't want a diaper and I was too tired to fight that fight, but she sits on the potty and SHE PEES!!!
What could be better?
I'm thankful for these 4 gifts given to me and being able to watch them grow. I'm thankful for the lessons I've learned that have brought me to a moment to know that perfection is not needed, that life can be messy and strange, and that's ok. I'm thankful to share these everyday moments with the people I love more than I ever thought possible. I'm thankful Wiley doesn't care where I feed him as long as he eats...and I'm thankful that Ginny didn't pee on the floor.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Belts Ice Cream in Wisconsin

Ginny with Granny Lu
July 2013

Who doesn't love ice cream or that adorable smile?
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Monday, July 22, 2013

Tired of tired comments...

I was grocery shopping this morning when I ran into a parishioner, she made a comment that I only had half my kids with me and how cute they were (I had Ginny and Wiley with me at the time) and then said, "You look tired, are you tired?"
I'm not sure what I said in response, I think I mentioned we had been in Chicago this weekend and maybe I was still tired from the drive. Then the conversation politely ended and I continued on to pick out my deli items.
(I enjoy this parishioner, she is always kind and conversational, and she is not the only person to make comments about me looking if by chance she reads this...know this is not about this's just the conversation that inspired the blog.)
I couldn't help but think about this. Quite a few people have told me in the past few months that I look tired. A lot of times it's on days I haven't showered, or just put on a light amount of make-up before leaving the house. I've decided...that telling a new mom they look tired is basically calling someone ugly, or saying they did a poor job with their make-up today.
Am I tired? Absolutely. Would I deny it? Not one bit. But stop and think about why I am tired. I am tired because I haven't slept for 8 hours straight in well over 2 years. With the exception of possibly a few lucky times while pregnant. I get up in the morning to the demands of my job beginning immediately and I'm occupied for more than 12 hours straight.
Would I change a moment of this? Absolutely not! I wake at night to care for my baby. A baby that is a gift from God. A baby that I do not for one second take for granted. I wake at night to feed a healthy growing baby and I know women who would give anything to be doing the same thing.
I'm busy during the day caring for children who are curious, adventurous, energetic and healthy!! I asked for this. I want a large(r) family and the demands that come with it.
Am I tired? Yes! Will this pass? Absolutely! One day they will sleep through the night and I'll be the one shaking them awake in the morning...and when that happens I will miss the midnight snuggles, the kisses in the morning light as they wake me.
So, unless you're offering to take my children to the park while I take a nap...don't tell me I look tired...I know I'm tired and saying I look it really just means I need more make up...or a shower...and I think I'd rather you just tell me I smell (which could be a while different blog these days!)
And here's a cute picture of my 4 little blessings!
The top is Lucy and Murray in October of 2008 celebrating Reformation day and the bottom is Ginny and Wiley taken today for the start of the Synodical convention.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thankful Thursdays

I'm really trying to get back into the blog writing regularly thing...and what better way than with bringing Thankful Thursdays back. It's always good to stop what you're doing in your crazy, busy, wonderful life and find something to articulate you're thankful for.
So, here it goes:
I'm sure I've been thankful for this before, but I am SO incredibly thankful to be home with my kids. I may be exhausted at the end of the day, I may smell a little (or more than a little depending on how much Wiley spit up on me), and I may feel like I'm going crazy at different moments, but I LOVE my job. Every difficult moment of it!
There are so many other things I could be doing, but I choose to stay home. I am thankful I have a husband who supports me in my endeavor and makes sacrifices alongside me so I can stay home and not earn a paycheck.
I am also incredibly thankful when I'm able to share this with my friends' kids. Yes, I enjoy the extra money I may bring in with babysitting, but more than that, I am thankful to share a crazy, messy, fun day with other kids. It gives my kids friends to play with, it helps me to refocus our daily schedule AND it gives those other kids a chance to just be in a home and play, play and play some more. If you can't be in your own home all day, why not be in a friend's home and have the freedom to play and make creative messes every once in awhile as well.
So, while my floor may have looked like a page out of an "I Spy" book today, I'm thankful for it, because it was 2 year olds building towers, little boys playing superheroes and cars, and everyone just having fun! I'm thankful I got to share it with them...and thankful they napped when they were done!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Evangeline Kate -2 years old

Sweet Ginny Girl, how did you turn 2?!? I think I'm finally ready for you to be 1 and there you go turning 2 again. These years are going way too fast. I remember the night you were born, I remember the magic of your labor...what a sweet labor it was bonding your daddy and I together as he helped me through all my back pains. The joy of sharing it with one of the best friends I could have ever prayed for, thank you Lisa for sharing that magical day with us...for pushing end encouraging me to welcome Ginny into the world drug free!
Oh Ginny, Lisa found this song today and it makes me cry to think of you growing up. Happy tears of course, but sad too. I know I will never get these sweet moments back, never get the tantrums, the giggles and the love you have for only me and your daddy (and Lucy, Murray and Wiley). This song makes me think back to the night you were born, how alert you were! How I didn't stay awake feeding you or calming a fussy infant, but just snuggling you and staring into your alert little eyes!
Ginny you're 2! You're trying so hard to talk adding words to your repertoire everyday. You're active, climbing, running, jumping and wrestling with your big brother and sister. Things that take my breath away with fear as I watch you climb at the playground you do with what seems to be little effort. You're riding your scooter and push yourself along on your bike. Anything Lucy and Murray do, you want to try to.
You're becoming more and more independent, you express this with the world's greatest tantrums. You have opinions on where you sit at meals, what you wear, if you should have on a diaper and a myriad of other things.
You're such a joy to all of us Ginny. You test us with those tantrums, but the truth is you have your entire family wrapped around your finger. You love hugs, and kisses, books, and babies, cars, superheroes, legos and helping in the kitchen, or with the laundry.
You have such sweet relationships with Lucy, Murray and Wiley; each unique, but each so wonderful. It is obvious that you will have no shortage of friends as you grow up, because your siblings will always be by your side to cheer you on.
We love you Evangeline Kate, love your sweet laugh, those bright brown eyes and oh those dimples...they get me every time!
Today I will cuddle you a little longer and think back to the day you were born and how far you've come...but please oh please, just for today "don't ever grow up"!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Wiley-One Month

One month! I can't believe it's been a month already. It's amazing how time passes so quickly, and yet so slowly at the same time.
One month. It's hard to believe that 1 month ago I looked at you for the first time. I can hardly remember a day when I didn't get to look at those sweet blue eyes, tickle your baby toes, touch your soft curvy ears, or kiss your cheeks. Oh those cheeks! Everyone who meets you comments on your cheeks, when Pop Pop visited he liked to watch your cheeks jiggle in the stroller or the car as we moved. You have the best baby cheeks around!

You've had a busy month meeting friends and relatives, your cousin Betsy and Owie Owie (Aunt Katie) and Uncle Tony came the day you were born to meet you. Grandma Koschmann was next to come for a week to help out. Then Grammy and Pop Pop drove in from Chicago and then since Daddy had to leave for Texas the day after you turned 1 month, Grandma Koschmann came back to help and brought Grandpa with her! Everyone has loved you and enjoyed your snuggles.
You're sleeping well, napping throughout the day and sleeping in 3 hour stretches at night. Sometimes you wake more often, but usually you let mommy sleep 3-4 hours at least once during the night.

You're my gassy make the funniest burps and tend to spit up more than your brother or sisters ever did, we don't mind though. Your brother laughs so hard when you burp and once you spit up all in Lucy's hair...we call that payback for whatever she's going to do to you as you grow bigger! You got her at least once already!
Speaking of your brother and sisters, they can't get enough of you. Just a few minutes after waking up someone is asking to hold you. Not a day goes by that you aren't smothered in kisses, hugged till you cry and lovingly held by them. They're spending a few days in Wisconsin and I know when they see you again they'll be over the moon!
Murray loves having a brother. He adores sharing a room with you and asks when you're coming to sleep each night, if you fuss and he hears you I find him talking to you and shushing you in the middle of the night in the sweetest way. I love watching this brotherly bond growing between you.
Lucy loves you! She takes so much ownership in caring for you and while she already has decided one day you will be annoying "just like Murray" I know she will always love you, besides, I have this hunch you two will be my blue eyed kiddos... She loves to kiss and hug you and I have seen her grow so much in her maturity in this past month.
Ginny...oh Wiley, you made my sweet Ginny girl into a big sister! It was so hard for me to imagine while I was pregnant what Ginny would be like to you. I was so afraid she would resent you, I spent many prayers asking for her to love you. Guess what! She loves you SO much! Ginny thinks you are the sweetest and likes to give you kisses and hugs as well as point to your toes, ears, eyes, nose and hair. I am going to really enjoy watching you two get into a rhythm together!
In your first month of life you've had 2 ultrasounds, multiple doctor visits and a VCUG...hopefully you're in the clear and you won't have to continue to get things checked out like this! If we're lucky, we'll be done soon and you won't even remember the discomfort you went through! Your most recent doctor visit was for your 1 month check up and you weighed in at 11lbs 4 oz measuring at 22 inches long! You've certainly been busy growing this month!
We love you Wiley! You are truly my gift from God. I thank Him everyday for letting me be your mama and our family is full of more love than I could have ever imagined because of you. You William Reinhardt have already done great things in one month of life, and I am certain you will do much more in your lifetime!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Life with Wiley

37 weeks 1 day pregnant with Wiley!
 I've been absent from the blog...for almost 40 weeks I've hardly written. It's been a difficult pregnancy and I've sat down to write a few different times and have a few different meandering blogs written, none of which made it to print. I wasn't quite sure how to put this pregnancy into writing. It just seemed difficult to get the words onto the paper. 

Today is Wiley's due date. We've had him here with us for just over 2 weeks and I can no longer remember life without him. I CAN remember how miserable I was toward the end of my pregnancy (or the entire thing...let's be honest), but I vividly remember the moment he was placed on my belly and I fell totally and completely in love with him. I remember awhile later when they took him over to weigh him and warm him that I realized I felt completely better physically as well. It was literally that fast. Once he was born my body started to feel "normal" again. Of course, I then started the recovery of delivering a baby, but I'll take that over the awful sick feeling of pregnancy any day!

There is nothing like snuggling your newborn. Nothing like cuddling him close touching his tiny soft toes, hair, nose. Nothing like listening to the little grunts and noises as he settles into a really great nap. 

Life with Wiley is wonderful. 

There is no other way to say it. He fits into our family perfectly. 

I was so nervous about how Ginny would react to me snuggling a baby, nursing a baby, holding a baby. She is quite possessive of me with her older siblings. She has gladly and willingly shared me with Wiley. She does demand my attention and my cuddles, she often comes over to whisper a secret in my ear and give me a kiss, she'll stand outside at the door crying for "mama open it" until I can get to her to let her in, screaming at anyone else who tries to open the door for her. She is still demanding of me, but she's sharing with Wiley and for now, that is all I can ask of my sweet Ginny girl.

Murray "just loves him, he's so cute". This is what Murray tells me over and over again throughout the day. He is just head over heels in love with his brother. I look at the way Murray is with Ginny, so gentle, so loving and helpful and I can just imagine what Murray and Wiley will be like as brothers as they grow up together. I can imagine the lessons they'll learn together and the mischief they'll find. Murray already likes to joke around with Wiley and likes to hold him and talk to him. What a wonderful gift God gave Murray in giving him a brother!

Lucy...ahh Lucy. My oldest sweet girl. She has taken quite well to the "motherly" role that has been assigned to her. Some days it's a bit too motherly, but she is quickly learning. While I was thankful she had school to go to during Wiley's first weeks, I think now I am thankful she is home for summer. Settling into an all day routine with her siblings. Learning to balance playing with them and playing without them. She's eager to help and finds Wiley absolutely adorable. She's also learning to take on more responsibility and helping out around the house's to hoping this lasts! I'm thankful Lucy gets another chance to have a baby in the house. She just loves babies, loves cuddling them, singing to them and caring for them. All too quickly they grow into squirmy babies who wiggle out of a big sister's arms and become more of a "bother" in play than a "doll" she can play with. I'm thankful she gets another chance to enjoy this newborn stage. I also am thankful that it's showing her how "big" Ginny actually is. She's learning ways to include Ginny in her play and noticing all the times that Ginny and Murray are copying her every move. 

Now onto Wiley. 

Wiley, I just love you. I think back to the moment I found out I was pregnant and the weeks that followed and I am SO incredibly thankful that God determined what was best for me and our family and didn't leave it up to me. I'm thankful for the way you worked your way into my heart. Thankful for the many ultrasounds we had that let me see you, made me anticipate your arrival to see if you would have lots of dark hair like your don't have quite as much, but you do! I love that as you grew in my belly my love for you continued to grow and as I said earlier, the moment you were placed on my belly I knew I'd love you unconditionally forever. You are my little man and you now own a piece of my heart. 

You've been an easy baby so far. I've had lots of help with the "big kids" so we've had lots of time to snuggle. I love the few times a day you open your eyes, I can't quite tell what color they'll be just yet, but if I had to guess, I'd guess they'll be blue. It seems to me they're getting a little more blue each day, a bit like Lucy's did. Only time will tell. 

You nurse like a champ! You had no issues learning how to eat and you enjoy every minute of it. You eat A LOT, just like your big brother and I love to look down and see milk dribbling down your chin as you eat, you can be a messy eater already and you're only nursing! 

You're definitely still a "sleepy newborn". You sleep most of the day and have started giving me longer stretches at night which I'm thankful for. But, I do love snuggling you in the quiet of the night, sitting in your room just imaging "my boys" and what each of you will grow into. 

Your daddy and I are so thankful for you. You are our exclamation point, our "bonus baby" if you will, and we can't imagine life without you in it. You've been such a gift to us already, completing our family and giving your daddy and I lots of time together to talk and catch up as we take you to the doctor. You're strong and healthy and that's all we can ask for, we're so thankful for that. You were born at 37 weeks 6 days and weighed in at 8lbs 15oz (a runt daddy said since you didn't quite make the 9lber club). BUT you showed your daddy who was boss because by Monday (you were born on a Thursday) you were weighing in at 9lbs 7oz, same as your big brother when he was born! You are 21.5 inches long. While I had contractions for days leading up to your birthday, I can never hold your labor over don't let me! I didn't have regular contractions until 6:30 am on Thursday May 30th. Daddy and I went to the hospital around 8 am and you were born at 12:03 in the afternoon. It was relatively quick and since I decided to get the epidural it was a pleasant labor experience. 

We decided on your name for sure the morning you were born. Grandma Koschmann sent us the history of all the Williams on her side of the family, that combined with the Williams on my side of the family sealed the deal. You would be William Reinhardt. A strong German name for my strong guy. Our doctor loved it, and even started coaching me in German. I love your name William, but I also like to call you smiley Wiley :) I was so thankful you arrived in May! It would have been fun for you to be born at 38 weeks 2 days like your brother and sister were, but the doctor wanted you out. Your kidney was getting larger and he hoped that once you were born it would get a little smaller (it did...just a little, but it still did), and mommy wasn't doing super great with the pregnancy either. If you hadn't decided to arrive on Thursday we were going to evict you on Friday...I am SO THANKFUL you decided to come on your own. Much easier on Mommy! Also, now each of my 4 beautiful children has their own month for a birthday! We'll spend the spring and summer celebrating all of our birthdays, starting in April and ending in July! 

We love you William Reinhardt!

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Salt and Vinegar

When I was pregnant with Ginny I tasted salt and vinegar potato chips for the first time...they were to say the least one of the most delicious things I had ever tasted as a pregnant lady. I was at a friend's house and politely ate a small serving with my sandwich. The next time I was at the store I bought myself a bag figuring I'd indulge at lunch every once in awhile...well, a few hours later the bag was empty and I went back to the store for some more later that week. 

It became a joke at our house to see how long the bag would last...totally out of character for me to indulge in such a junk food, but at the time when keeping food down was a challenge something that tasted good and remained where I put it was a welcome change. 

The kids hated the smell of the chips, just opening the bag would send them running...and Nick didn't love it either. When we went to a hotel and were overcome by a strong vinegar cleaning odor Murray cheerfully said "Mommy, it smells like your chippies in here!" 

Once Ginny was born I didn't allow myself to purchase a bag...EVER. So, I don't know if I actually only like the chips pregnant...I was always too afraid I'd eat the whole bag in 2 days again...something ok when you're pregnant, but NOT when you're trying to lose the baby weight!

So this October when I found out I was expecting the chips suddenly started calling to me at the store once again. I resisted...for many months I resisted, telling myself I didn't really like them...didn't really need them. Then one day about 2 weeks ago I just couldn't resist anymore. They were on sail again and they found their way into the cart. 

When I arrived home I hadn't even unloaded all the groceries before I opened the bag. The kids eagerly ran over to see if they could get a few chips, a rare treat at this house...until they got close enough to smell them...and then they turned up their noses and walked away from the bag...all of them EXCEPT Ginny that is. She happily reached into the bag and started eating the chips and came back for more. The chips have become a weekly purchase once again, but this time I can't say I've eaten the entire bag on my own...if left within her reach Ginny has often been found breaking into the bag and eating some chips at all hours of the day. Guess it's true that pregnancy cravings continue in the child...Lucy does love sausage and mandarin oranges and Murray can't get enough salad or pb&J...wonder what this little boy will love like that?!? Maybe salt and vinegar chips and mashed potatoes!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

27 weeks

Tomorrow I'll be 27 weeks pregnant. It seems like this pregnancy is finally starting to pass me by. Those first few weeks dragged and each moment of the day was almost painful to make it through. Struggling physically and emotionally with a pregnancy is not an ideal situation. But our little guy hung in there with me while the Big Guy did some work on me...and now we're here. Just 8 days away from the 3rd trimester. No more than 11 weeks away from meeting this little man! 

My body must know something is changing, a sense of urgency to begin preparing the things I can prepare. This week alone I've starting collecting baby boy clothes, socks and hats for the warmer weather, I reserved our newborn cloth diaper rental and picked up the car seat we'll be using from a friend. There's more to do and I know nesting will kick in at a later date, but for the time being I'm embracing this pregnancy and savoring thoughts of warmer weather, baby snuggles and the occasional glass of wine. I can almost smell it if I close my eyes and wish it here. Some of the most delightful times in my life have been warm summer nights snuggling a nursing baby or sitting in the 3 season room on a warm evening talking with Nick while passing a new baby back and forth. 

This little man. This little man is proving difficult to name. We have a list, we have preferred names on the list, but no front runner...and to make it even more difficult this time around Lucy is offering quite the opinion. I hope she isn't upset when we tell her the baby's name at the hospital! For that matter...I hope Nick isn't upset when I snuggle this boy in his first moments of life and decide on his name. This baby boy is definitely mine to name! 

This baby boy who I've visited so many times on an ultrasound screen that I'm getting good at picking out the heart, the umbilical cord and the kidneys as the technician does her measurements. Little fingers and toes are always a joy to see and of course that sweet baby profile. While I'm not thankful for why we're having ultrasounds done so frequently, I am thankful for the visits with my little man and the presence he's making in our lives already. It may have taken a bit longer to get here, but this little man has crawled his way into my heart and is there to stay. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


We've had a week of high fevers at our house for the youngest two, and while the fevers are gone we're still getting back on track, trying to get our routine going in the midst of runny noses and coughing. 

Yesterday I insisted that the tv get turned off and some quality playtime happen. There's no reason to just lay around when you're healthy. So Murray ventured into the game closet and picked out Marble Works. 

I was finishing up a few cleaning chores with Ginny asleep on my back. Murray couldn't wait any longer and began piecing together a track for the marbles. I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but I let him keep at it. When I had finished my chores he had a great race track built and the marbles made it to the end! He was SO proud of himself and I was really proud of him. So we got down to racing. He had the 5 blue and green marbles, I had the 1 red marble (strangely enough...he kept winning). 

In the midst of our marble noise Ginny woke up from her nap on my back. I took her down and she watched the marbles carefully, looking down the pipes and pieces to see where they would go. After a few minutes she picked up a marble and started figuring out how to make it work. Within a few minutes she was clapping, laughing and doing her best to shout "go" as the marbles raced down the track. 

Murray decided to hook up the "marble slide" it's a piece that can be a bit tricky sending marbles shooting out all over the room, but he wanted to give it a try. Sure enough marbles went rolling, but they all landed safely and Ginny laughed and clapped. So of course, Murray did it again. 

A minute or two later Murray sent all 6 marbles flying down the slide at the same time shooting them across the room at Ginny. She smiled and clear as day shouted out "MARBLE!!!", then laughed and chased after them. 

The rest of the day we kept getting her to say "marble". She has a few words, Mama, Da, Na/No...but really hasn't started naming objects yet. She does lots of pointing, grunting, signing and sometimes screaming to get what she wants. Sure enough...she's just holding out on us! Marble is her first "true word". 

Love it! I love hearing her say it in her sweet little voice and I love how proud both Lucy and Murray are toward her. Prompting her to say it, clapping for her and Lucy even told me how "cute" it sounded when Ginny said it. I love watching these little people grow!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Quiet Giggles

On Friday mornings Nick walks Lucy to school and then takes Murray into work with him so he can spend the morning at preschool. Ginny and I are left home in the quiet...that's right...quiet. 

We often find ourselves going back up to my big bed with a bucket of books and snuggling and reading for a chunk of the morning. We then get up for a snack and do some playtime. Some quality mommy,Ginny playtime. This morning it was tents. She hid in them and played peekaboo, I stuck my hands in and tickled her toes and chased her around for almost an hour of giggles and hiding and just plain toddler fun. 

We watched the garbage man take the garbage away, we shared a few secret jelly beans and played with her baby doll. It was a glorious morning. 

Then she started watching out the window, pointing at cars and people passing. I looked at the clock and noticed on a normal Friday Nick and Murray would be coming in the door to share lunch with us and our quiet would end. Today, Murray was joining Nick at the junior high for lunch and we were on our own. So we made some lunch and sat at the table. Sharing a conversation full of "yum" and "more" and other chatter. 

It was in the midst of this lunch that I said to Ginny "I think it's going to be very quiet around here next fall with just you and a baby brother around." and then I chuckled. I laughed because it would be true, with two big kids off at school it will seem quiet and calm around the house...but the reality is that it will still be very full. Full of giggles and a crying infant and lovely moments of life. 

So we're just enjoying our last few moments of quiet around here before the boys come home and it's time to settle down for nap. 

Hope you get a few good giggles and snuggles today.

Monday, January 7, 2013


We're supposed to get a "January Thaw" later this week, temps as high as 48...if we're lucky they may even reach 50! I have to admit, I'm looking forward to it, hoping to go on a few walks around the block and send the kids out back in boots to slosh around on the swing set. 

While today wasn't warm by any stretch of the imagination, you could tell we're headed in that direction. The sun is shining and the roads were wet as the piles of snow starting to melt along them. 

It made me excited. Not just excited for the end of this week when we won't be fighting the bitter cold, but excited for spring. 

Excited to see plants blooming, grass growing and the ducks return to our stream. Excited for the sun on my face and grass in my toes and feeling warm inside and out. 

Mostly, I'm excited to meet this little guy growing inside me. I can't wait to count his fingers and toes, snuggle him close and find out his name. I can't wait to be finished with the pregnant stage of my life and enjoying our family with our newest addition. 

I'm sure hoping the groundhog doesn't see his shadow in a few weeks, because I'm not sure how much more winter this lady can handle! Hurry up spring!