Saturday, April 23, 2011

Because He lives!

Have you ever heard or read the 2nd verse of "Because He lives?"
Because He Lives

God sent his Son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died, to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives.
But greater still, the calm assurance,
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because he lives.

And then one day I'll cross the river
I'll fight life's final war with pain.
And then as death gives way to victory,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know he lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

Words: Bill and Gloria Gaither

What an encouragement and testament to what Christopher and our family have been through this year. We can face uncertain days because HE lives! Happy Easter 2011!

Stacy { <>< }

Friday, April 22, 2011


I packed up my winter clothes and put out summer ones! Yeah, yeah - no big deal, right? Well, I was pregnant and post-baby last Spring/Summer so I actually haven't worn these clothes in 2 years! :) My closet is stuffed with skirts and dresses! Bright colors! Of course, I believe a day is coming in which I will have to get rid of half of this stuff because I didn't shrink back enough for them...I'll save that for another day!

Stacy { <>< }

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Special Moments

Special moments are all the more sweeter now ~ one week at home! :) Michael moved his pillow to the foot of his bed and cuddled up with the cat! He loves it when she joins him in bed...and I think she loves it too! Note the stuffed animal doggie too...

Christopher snoozing and sucking his thumb :) SO sweet :) He got used to hearing channel 10 in the hospital (nature scenes and calming music) because it would help him get back to sleep after being woken up. When we came home, I substituted Baby Einstein videos for naptime and he loved them!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well, I hate to leave out the rest of the pictured moments, but I can't get any pictures to upload for the last 3 days! Any suggestions? In the meantime, our special moments included these: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My last day of Spring Break I met Casey out for lunch - Christopher ate corn casserole at the restaurant! We're slowly getting him back into various foods other than just bananas and cereal. Of course, we're just happy to see him eating and gaining weight! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The boys and I had a great time home together in which they were modeling their awesome hats that my cousin Rebekah Ricker made. I wish you could see the picture! (Hop on over to facebook) She rocks at making hats and was so sweet to send me 2 (matching!) hats before all of our hospital mess. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We finally got to go back to church last Sunday and it felt GREAT! For some reason I still feel all emotional sometimes. Especially when I am playing in the orchestra and the music is very dramatic or impacting. Or if the words are touching. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Casey has been using his new bike! We went out for a walk one night and it was awesome! Michael took a bucket along to pick up rocks. We stayed on Mosshill in case he needed to go potty. :) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Michael had an Easter Egg homework project in which I dipped yarn in glue and made patterns with it within the egg (very messy!). Michael insisted that you're not supposed to put your fingers in glue. He refused to even try it! So who did the homework, mommy of course. At least I had good company! What kind of kid doesn't wanna stick their fingers in GLUE? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Christopher enjoyed a bath for the first time this week! Up until now, he has HATED them. This time, he splashed and had a blast. Michael had a good time too. He poured water on Christopher's head before I could say NO, but Christopher didn't even cry. That's my boy! He's been through worse I guess :) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This week was spirit week at the daycare. You'll have to check out the pictures on facebook. It is strangely fun to dress the kids up everyday. And even more fun to take pictures! We are lucky to have a fun daycare that works hard to keep the kids learning and having fun at the same time. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am swamped at work and at home, but if anything, I have learned how to prioritize everything. I can end a day with mounds of junk around my bed, but I can't end the day without cuddling with my family. We are taking baby steps towards catching up in the house. It will take a long time! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Well, that's the very short version of a very long post I started on Sunday that simply wouldn't work due to pictures not uploading. ALL of these pictures can be found on facebook soon. Based on our week, it's hard to believe we went through 33 days at the hospital and 4 additional sick weeks this year. I'm sure we're stronger for it and will be able to use this to minister to others in our lives. Stacy { <>< }

Saturday, April 9, 2011


We had a blast at church today! Michael got to do the Easter egg hunt and the bounce houses. Oddly enough, he dislikes tattoos, stickers, ice in snow cones, and face painting so that killed the other activities. He was even kind of afraid of the bunnies which surprised me since he has one at school and held one in our recent photo shoot. Mind you, the ones at church were HUGE! I'm not even sure I knew they could get that big.


What I really wanted to say about church is ~ we get to go to church tomorrow! YAY! We have had SO many weekends in the hospital this year, but every Sunday we are home, we go to church. Tomorrow is the only Sunday Christopher won't be going to nursery so Casey will have to sit out and hold him while I play in the orchestra, but it's worth it. We love the people. I love the orchestra. We love being back in God's house. I love being surrounded by the people that cared so much for us while we were going through our recent trials. Sundays aren't complete without church! I'm so glad we can go again tomorrow. Here's a picture from one of the Sundays 'between' surgeries. I love my boys!


The kids are sleeping and I am making a crazy effort to get through another daunting project for Spring Break ~ going through the last 10 months worth of pictures on the computer! This involves:

1) Sorting through pictures and deleting a lot (you know, I always take 50 to get a perfect one, so I have to delete about 40 of those 50)

2) Organizing them by month and year

3) Selecting the ones to print for our family photo albums (it has to be perfect, of course!)

You can see why this would take a long time! It wouldn't be so bad if I had kept up with it every few months, but this has been a crazy year and we had computer complications that have just made months pass without this being done.

On a positive note, I get to re-live some fantastic moments in life! I love seeing Christopher's baby pictures and how happy our last 10 months have been! Again, you can see why this would take so long! :)

I had a sick-to-my-stomach moment when these 2 pictures came up back-to-back. We look SO happy by the pool at our friends' house in Pauline. We had no idea we would be in a car accident driving back to my parents' house that night, total our vehicle, and have a TERRIBLE night in the ER. I can still see the scene in my head and how terrible it felt - snatching up the kids, everyone crying, calling my parents, unloading our stuff, Michael crying in the ambulance, 6 week old Christopher clutched to my chest... but in the grand scheme of things, we were fine. But still. I was a wreck. It was complicated. It made a month of our life complicated. Casey still has back pains semi-related. All because someone did not hook up their trailer correctly.

I could go on and on and on about that night, but why? We have an upgraded van that I am loving and a great relationship with Matzner Chiropractic who also helped us through our hospital stresses.

So anyway, I am spending an hour sorting through the beloved days of the past 10 months of our lives and it is WONDERFUL. I can't wait to update our photo albums, sit around, and look through them again :)

Stacy { <>< }

Friday, April 8, 2011

1 project down!

Today, I finished a dreadfully tedious project that all parents encounter each season.... changing out the kids' clothes! I don't know why, but this project usually takes me forever. I'm pretty sure Casey dreads the very mention of this project. Luckily, my sister kept me company yesterday while I got a head start, Casey got tons of containers down out of the attic last night, and today I finished! It sounds SO simple, but it is actually pretty tedious for the baby sizes - packing away 3-6 mo winter, 6-9 mo winter, getting out 6-9 mo summer and 12 mo summer and 18 mo summer, packing away Michael's clothes for Christopher in a year or two...* whew! * ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ This time, I had another reason to dread the project. As I emptied Christopher's drawers, I found outfits he never even got to wear! I missed 33 days of dressing him because we were at the hospital! (of course, I snatched one of those peach gowns from the hospital so I can save what he DID wear - but he was naked in the PICU) . Sounds ridiculous, I know, but there are outfits I bought specifically for HIM that were not big-brother-hand-me-downs (matching hats too!). And he never wore them. A cute outfit from Casey's Great Aunt too - packed up in hopes of being brought out again in YEARS. But what if our next child is a girl? How long until these clothes come out again? So many questions to consider when packing up the baby clothes! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now, I'm starting to hope my next baby is a boy (even though EVERYONE knows I was hoping for a girl this last time). I have acquired A LOT of cute hats, cute shoes, babylegs, cute clothes, and lots of other great boy stuff with Christopher! So another boy would be a great blessing :) I can always enjoy my niece, Violet for a girl fix! :) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Well, until that day comes again, I'm just hopeful that we'll have a few cold days this month. I saved out a few of my favorite outfits I didn't get to dress Christopher in. :) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Stacy { <>< }

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Trying to tackle this mess of stuff we brought home from the hospital, but so far all I have done is administer meds, feed bottle, change diaper, feed cereal, administer meds, change sheets......... so much to do and so many projects I was hoping to get done this week (Spring Break), but little Christopher always comes first! So happy to see him eating! A little Baby Einsteins and he is out for a nap!

Today is going to be a GREAT day!

Stacy { <>< }

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Home Again :)

Home again :)

21 days in the hospital last time and 12 days this time. Interesting how the numbers worked out! I am SO glad to be home! My house was not even an unbearable mess this time. My neighbor did a ton of dishes and changed cat litter, my parents did a million loads of laundry, vacuumed, organized outside under the carport, and did a lot to straighten up, and Casey made the bed and straightened up so that I would be welcomed to a clutter free home instead of STRESS MESS like last time! So I am feeling MUCH better than the last time we came home...which is great considering CHRISTOPHER is feeling MUCH better too! I can hardly keep up with him! It's like nothing ever happened! I finally feel like he is getting better.

I will be home the rest of this week on Spring Break. Christopher has an appointment with our new pediatrician on Thursday. He will also be getting speech therapy this week to help with his eating aversions. It will be SO nice to have a support person this time who understands what we are going through. It takes a lot of patience, perseverance, and TIME to get him to eat! Luckily, they will come to our house. If he continues therapy next week, they will even go to the daycare. What a relief! His post-op follow-up is next Thursday. Believe it or not, I am expecting good results this time! Our daily goal for eating is 32 ounces of formula/nectar mix and a few bowls of cereal/bananas/etc. He eats in small amounts so we have to feed him almost every 2 hrs! Also, he gets meds for thrush 4 times a day, topical treatment for yeasty diaper rash 4 times a day, and some powdery stuff to help with his diahrea twice a day. Lots to keep up with.

The kids and I played outside and went on a long walk this evening. We missed Casey, but he had to work. I even managed to pull together a decently well-rounded meal for the kids (I never cook)! Michael continues to be the cutest and best brother ever. He is very helpful and sweet to his brother. In fact, he just carried some toys in here and said, "look what I got for Christopher" ~ I didn't even ask him to distract Christopher this time! We plan on sending Michael to school most of this week so that he stays in a regular routine and I can get more stuff done. I might just go to the zoo with the kids on Friday though :)

Well, once again, more to say than I should fit in one post. Things are going fairly well here at the Wiley house :) Home again...and loving it.

Stacy { <>< }

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Beautiful Day

Today was a beautiful day. From the hospital window, I had not realized its beauty. When Casey got off work and came to the hospital, I asked him to sit with Christopher so I could simply go on a walk to the hospital waterfall with Michael. He loves the water! Before this afternoon, I had not been outside since Wednesday (and those were rainy days). When I finally got out today, it seemed so new and fresh and BEAUTIFUL. As I walked up the path with Michael, I couldn't help but feel a little anger and sadness. "Such a beautiful day stolen from me and my family." I know this was not very positive, but after 10 more days in the hospital, it is getting harder to balance patience and understanding with downright frustration. After convincing myself that it would be more productive to enjoy the warm sunshine with Michael, he and I had a blast.

Michael, Michael, Michael. I have missed him so much! Sometimes I worry that he realizes more than we give him credit for. I've noticed that he babytalks asking for "mama" sometimes and that he is very clingy to me. Despite everything, he is the best brother EVER! Today, Christopher was sitting in a little car and fussing. I told Michael to push him around the room a little and instead, he pushed him straight to me and said, "I'm pushing him to you so you can pick him up - he's crying" in a sweet caring voice. He was so excited to see us that he never napped and became quite grumpy. I hope we can get back into a regular routine soon so that he can have a normal life again. Luckily, I know he had a fantastic time in Spartanburg with my parents. I never had to worry about him even though I wish with all my heart that I would have had more time to think about him and his needs. I'm sure I'll spend some extra time these next few weeks doing fun activities and having special moments with him to make up for it :)

Christopher ~ sweetness. The nurses all LOVE him and word spreads quickly that he is sweet and cute. We know a lot of the nurses here on the 3rd floor, but we have actually had several new ones over the last few days. Luckily, he isn't really taking many meds or having many problems so they mostly leave us alone and see him as an "easy" patient - trust me, he's been the needy one before too - especially in the PICU. I finally feel like I can say Christopher is back to himself though. I haven't felt that way since JANUARY! It is a great feeling. He is certainly hard to contain in a hospital room, but I am glad to see him standing, cruising, and playing. He has also been picking up some new habits - good and bad. Teeth gritting: BAD. Tongue clicking: ADORABLE. Laughing at and with me: HEARTWARMING. Cruising furniture: EXCITING. Clinging to me constantly: good AND bad. I am so happy to see him making advancements considering all of the setbacks he has had the last 2+ months.

I am praying to go home soon. This is taxing on our family in SO many ways. Christopher will probably require constant attention when we get home as well. I have been feeding him every 2 hrs or less to meet the doctor's goal of 32 ounces! That's tough! I was thrilled that he ate 36 ounces today and even some bananas. He still has food aversions, but I was able to tempt him with bananas off a straw today (don't ask me why he liked the straw! I do whatever the speech therapist says!). I am wide awake right now because Christopher is on the bed next to me. I guess the crib was too far away from me. How can I say no to that precious face?

Another day at the hospital...

Stacy <>< Wiley

Short and Sweet

No, this post is not neccesarily going to be short and sweet - but I discovered why I never keep up with my blog. I formulate this awesome, inspiring, detailed, and full of pictures blog post in my head and when I realize how much time it would take to type it and post it, I decide to do it another day. So from now on, my goal is to remind myself that I can keep it "Short and sweet"!

A few weekends ago, Casey and I had a blast visiting family in Spartanburg! It helped me feel a little more "back-to-normal". At that point, we were struggling through Christopher's "recovery" but had no idea he would be having surgery again. We had a photo session (the one we won on facebook) with Gena Murphy, a fantastic children's photographer! I was SO happy with the boys' outfits (if you know me very well, you know how matchy-matchy I like to be and how hard I find it to be with 2 boys!). We were SO happy with the pictures too :) So I may be posting more of them here from time to time.

The Tuesday after our fantastic weekend, Casey took Christopher to the surgeon (we had been seeing him almost weekly since the first surgery for testing to see why he wasn't getting better). He called me at work to tell me the bad news - surgery again in 1 week. Those poor little girls in my classroom - I asked them through tears to please put their violins down and go with me down the hall and they were so caring and sweet. I pretty much cried the whole day. "AGAIN? my family has to endure this AGAIN?" Luckily my school is filled with loving and caring people that helped me make it through the day (and sweet students too).

Same week - Thursday - Christopher ate 3 ounces. 3 ounces! all day! Then he threw up the last 2! It was a different color from all of the other throw up we had seen so we went to the ER. The triage nurse and the resident didn't really take it too seriously although they did give him an IV and fluids. I thought, "well maybe I am just being a crazy mom after everything we went through before," but when the pediatrician came in, he listened to every word I said, agreed with me, and called our surgeon. The rest of the story - we were admitted, got a room at 5 am, I went to work to tie up some loose ends, surgery all afternoon, PICU at 6 pm.

I'm not really going to get too detailed here, but the surgeon's first words were, "it was worse off than we thought". His intestines had separated at the site of the original intussuception. No wonder he wasn't getting better! Surgery went very well though. He prepared us for 1) a longer recovery than planned and 2) the possibility of future surgeries depending on where scar tissue develops. We've been in the hospital ever since - 10th day today! I cannot even express enough thanks for the kindness of our church, friends, and family through this! We had people sit by our side during surgery, bring us meals continuously for several days, visit and pray with us, and leave daily messages of encouragement on facebook (yes, that is way more powerful than you think!). Michael has been well taken care of by my parents too (ask them how potty training went). I have truly learned how to depend on others through this situation ~ I can't always be strong and do everything myself!

Well, that's the short version on the last few weeks. We spent 3 weeks in the hospital, 4 weeks at home, and now another week+ in the hospital. What a crazy year this has been. Through it all I have learned that I am blessed, blessed, blessed beyond measure.

Stacy <>< Wiley