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Category: Family

Weekly Wesley: Seventeen


Well this week was stressful. But good. And more stressful. And a little more good.

Like I mentioned last week we ended a weekend visit with my dad by having to call an ambulance for him. Frankly it sucked and was stressful and scary. He was never unstable so at no point was I afraid he was going to die immediately but it was still pretty awful. We spent hours in the ER which was actually pretty entertaining. We were in a room that was just divided by a curtain from the other room so we got to hear all the goings on of the people next door. There was a hilarious 80+ year old man with a broken hip who had a strong opinion about everything. Then there was a teenager who was airlifted in with a massive head injury from skateboarding. They finally found what they believed the problem was with my dad and admitted him.

Since we’re so far from the rest of my family out here, Wesley and I were the only ones who were able to be with my dad during the day.


Normally when my dad goes in the hospital we only get out to see him once because the round trip of 3-4 hours is a lot to do in a short amount of time. This time Wesley and I got out to see him everyday of the four days he was in there.


It was so neat for him to be able to bond with his grandpa a little.

As glad as I am that I was able to be there for my dad it was pretty draining for all of us.


More so for us than Wesley, apparently.

The very next day after he was released was the beginning of BlogHer 2013,


and that was the rest of our week. It will get it’s own post because this one is about Wesley but it was fun and completely exhausting.

Other milestones:

  • Mister Dude finally wore his first pair of shoes. Baby shoes kill me. Dead.


  • Mirror baby is more fascinating than ever. It is Joel’s go-to when Wesley is upset and I’m not available. Works 9 out of 10 times.


  • Wesley finally sat happily in the stroller. It was only for about ten minutes but it felt like a big deal.


And finally, as promised I have video of Wesley laughing. This isn’t the first time he laughed but it’s pretty freaking adorable, if I say so myself.

Nothing better.

First Father’s Day

Letters to my boys on Joel’s first Father’s Day:

Dear Wesley,

Your daddy loved you long before you were born.


In fact, I think he let himself love you before I even could. He just could not wait to meet you.

He never dealt with many babies before and I knew he was nervous, but he took to fatherhood like he was born to do it. He was the first one to change your diapers.


The first night you were alive he stayed up most of the night with me just to stare at your face and make sure you were still breathing.


He so clearly adores you.


I’m pretty sure you adore him too.


I’m so proud of what an amazing father he is to you. If mommy’s milk doesn’t do the trick he puts you to sleep better than anyone, even me.


Your father is an amazing man who loves his family and would do absolutely anything for us. He is brilliant, creative, a hard worker, tender, loving and extremely passionate. He is my rock and I know he will be yours too. I hope you grow up to be just like him.


Dear Joel,

Happy first Father’s Day. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner to raise our son. You amaze me every single day. I absolutely could not do this without you. I can’t thank you enough for all that you do.


Nothing sexier than my man wearing my baby. I love you.


My first Mother’s Day

My first Mother’s Day was lovely and low key, just the way I wanted it. We started the day with brunch with Joel’s mom.


Wesley slept through the whole thing like an angel and woke up at the very end, just in time to let his Gigi hold him for a few minutes.

From there we went straight to hang out with my family. We had a little cookout and just enjoyed our time together.


It’s not easy to get this many people together, all looking in the same direction and still long enough to get a picture.

My mom gifted me this beautiful necklace.


It is a tradition that she started that she gifts us girls a necklace like this on our first Mother’s Day. It’s very special to me that I’m finally one of the mothers who gets to wear this.

The weather was a little chilly but sunny and gorgeous so we grabbed some outdoor shots.


All of us mothers.



My little family.


I really love being a mommy to this little dude.

Weekly Wesley: Four


Lights have become the most interesting thing in the world this week. Obviously.

This week Wesley has become so much more interactive and alert. He has also started cooing which absolutely slays me. He is a super happy, sweet baby. Unless there’s a problem (ie. he’s hungry, sleepy or needs his diaper changed) he is just a content baby who likes to stare at lights and out the window.


I finally got my first real smile this morning and it was one of my favorite moments ever. It came after a really crappy night of sleep. He woke up around 4am and didn’t sleep for more than 10-20 minutes at a time after that. Thankfully he wasn’t fussy, he was just awake. I still wasn’t thrilled to be up and the sleepiness had me a bit grumpy. That went away in an instant when he looked me right in the eyes and, with a coo, flashed me the most adorable crooked smile. I’ll never forget it. Bad mood? Gone.


He had another big outing this week. My dad turned 75 so we had a little party to celebrate. It was so nice seeing my dad so happy. Wesley was a dream. I put him in the wrap and he passed out and slept the entire party. The weather was beautiful so we got some of our first family shots outside by the lake.


I love our little family.

The next day is was still beautiful out so we took Wesley for his first walk.


I’m so freaking glad spring finally decided to show up.


Other milestones:

  • I finally got around to cutting little man’s nails. I was nervous but I waited until he was sound asleep and I didn’t cut anything but his nails.
  • He can now relatch himself when he’s nursing. He isn’t great at it and I have to help him more times than not. Still, it’s nice that he can sometimes do it himself.
  • He took a pacifier for the first time. I rarely give it to him but every once in awhile, when he’s definitely not hungry but seems to want to suck still, I’ll give it to him.
  • He actually enjoyed a bath for the first time. Up till then he hated them. This time though he was content and happy in it. I hope this continues.
  • He met his Oma (my mom’s mom) and his Aunt Bekah.

One last adorable thing happened this week. At the party my nephew Jordan kept asking to hold Wesley. I let him a couple times and he was so sweet and gentle with him. I snapped a couple of pictures and then later my sister sent me this text.


There really is nothing like the bond of cousins. I look forward to seeing him grow up with them. He has a whole group of best friends who can’t wait to wrestle, play and run around with him.

Surprise Baby Shower!

I’m still so completely blown away that this happened. Joel wrote about the planning process on his blog. I’m honestly still in disbelief that he kept a secret for that long. I have to practically force him to not give me birthday or Christmas presents the moment he buys them and usually all I have to do is question him and he gets the guiltiest look on his face. He is an open book.

Except I guess not anymore because wow did he keep a secret.

Actually, I think the fact that I assumed he couldn’t keep a secret worked in everyone’s favor here because I truly thought there was no way I could be having a surprise baby shower without Joel spilling the beans to me at some point. People asked me if I was really surprised and the answer is YES. It’s not that I didn’t have many times where I was a little suspicious but Joel had a quick answer for

I asked him why a childcare interview would be scheduled on a Saturday and he told me it was an open house. Oh, makes sense. He even had the director call me earlier in the week and confirm our appointment! That is some serious commitment. There were so many other details that went into keeping it from me. You really should read his post about it. It will blow your mind.

So yeah, really extremely surprised. Can you tell?



The theme was travel which is obviously perfection. So many cute little details.

So many people I love were there and so many more told me how much they wished they could have been (after the fact of course, no one said a peep to me before). I didn’t get pictures with everyone but I’m so excited for each and every person that showed up. So much love.

We were utterly and completely spoiled with gifts. Seriously this little guy is completely set.



Also, had to point out this picture because it cracks. me. up. My face! I don’t even know, but clearly I was excited.

As I said yesterday we had planned to wait to announce our little guy’s name until he was born… but I clearly have no patience. We had a couple options early on but quickly fell in love with one. We have been calling him by his name for months and after almost slipping dozens of times we agreed to share it with family. I also mentioned that if I had a shower it would be neat to reveal his name publicly there. Joel remembered that and so, if you attended you got the first look at our little boy’s name….

which is….

dramatic pause….



My sister-in-law made that name from wood and covered it in maps from places Joel and I have been. So freaking amazing. It will hang in his nursery… when we get a place with more than one bedroom.

It was truly such a special day. So many people worked so hard to make every detail come together. It was pure magic and I will never forget it. I’m still floating on a happy high more than a week later.

More behind the meaning of the name and a cute little video on Joel’s blog. Go see!

Saying goodbye

There’s so much death surrounding me. Most notably I found out my uncle had cancer.

Four days later he was gone.

Yes, you read that right. Four days from diagnosis to death.

He was a really great guy and, even though we weren’t related by blood, when he married my aunt he definitely became family. Nothing can take that away. Not even death.

He lived in Alaska and I haven’t seen him in a long time. He loved Alaska. He always spoke of it beautifully and I meant to go visit him there one of these days. I put it off too long.

He frequently commented on my Facebook updates and I could always count on a couple cheesy email forwards from him on a regular basis. They never annoyed me though, I enjoyed the silliness or the ridiculousness even if I never forwarded them on to anyone else. He was the only one I knew who forwarded those kinds of things on still.

I’m going to miss those stupid emails.

I’m going to miss him a lot. Even if I didn’t see him much he was very much a part of my life. The internet is awesome like that.

In memory of him I’m posting an incredibly embarrassing picture of myself with him. Because this is how I’ll always remember him.

This was him, my baby sister, me and his beautiful wolf  Tawny.

Okay take a minute, we’ll acknowledge. Oh god, the shorts! the bangs! the awkward smile! So much going on here. It was 1996 y’all.

Moving on.

I feel completely blindsided by this. Like, knocked over, could puke, blown away, out of my mind that someone can get taken away this fast. It makes no sense.

I’m happy that he didn’t suffer for a long time though. According to his daughter he passed away peacefully and in no pain. Really that’s better than the long drawn out awfulness that cancer can be.

Still, I wish he didn’t have to go at all. I feel robbed. I’m mad at myself for not seizing the moment and taking a trip up to Alaska to visit him. I will go to Alaska one of these days but it would have been better to have someone that I love and who loves the state show me around.

Since I couldn’t be there to say goodbye this will have to do. He is already very, very missed.

Two birthdays

This past Wednesday my nephew turned 1.

Today my dad turned 74.

Seventy. Four.

In celebration of both their birthdays we all met downtown at Lincoln Park Zoo.


We ate lunch, saw animals, acted like animals…


turned into super heroes….

And basked in the glory of the brisk spring weather and each others company.

My dad’s birthdays are always kind of hard on me mentally, especially since he had his stroke last year. I love him so incredibly much and it’s hard for me to accept the fact that he’s getting older. It’s hard for me to not view each birthday as one step closer to losing him.

I hate that those thoughts creep in. Birthdays are supposed to be happy. They are supposed to be a celebration of life. It’s easy to celebrate life when that life is so fresh. My nephew is such a sharp contrast, just turning one. He has so much life ahead of him and it’s exciting to imagine what it will be like.

It’s harder to purely celebrate when you know the life has more years behind it than in front. I don’t want to think like that but it hangs over me like a shadow.

Today, instead of letting those thoughts consume me, I fought to stay in the moment. Because today had so many special moments. Maybe made even more special because of the bitter-sweetness in them.

I will not let the fear of the future spoil the potential happiness I have today. Today I celebrate my dad. My funny, stubborn, loving, outgoing, wonderful dad.

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