Mom Story: Abigail from aewilder
My name is Abigail Wilder. My husband and I live in Louisville, KY with Baby Jesus and The Gerber Baby, nicknamed so because we still wake up and gawk at how awesome our kids are. In real life their names are Luke (5) and Lucy Wren (3). I’m a part time children’s minister. Another part of my time is spent sewing for my Etsy shop aewilder, and the rest of my time is spent chasing kids and chickens, laughing with my husband, and drinking coffee.
What kind of house do you live in – are you and the kids happy here, or is there anything you find lacking, or would like to change?
We live in a 6oish year old house that is actually smaller than the one bedroom apartment we lived in before we had children. It’s adorable and yellow! Evidently houses in the 50’s were built without foyers or shower heads because our front door leads you right into our living room and the first shower head was installed in 2006.
What do you like best about living there?
I love, love, love this house. The best parts are the ginormous back yard, the arched entryways, the wood floor, and the street on which we live.We’ve also loved that we’ve developed relationships with neighbors. There’s a clown caddy-cornered to us who isn’t afraid to get his mail in full costume, and there are Germans behind us who have us over for Raclette.
Do you like to spend time decorating your home, and your children’s room?
To be honest, my husband is more of the decorator. It kills me! We work well together though. I have a knack for collecting cool stuff and he has a knack for knowing where it should go.
What are your children’s favorite items in your house?
Lucy spends a lot of time playing music on an old record player my husband bought and restored for my birthday. Luke has a passion for the front porch because it lets him keep an eye on the comings and goings of everyone in the neighborhood. By the time he was 4 he could tell you which neighbor drove which car. Inside, though, he’s usually on the couch either in a hideout made from the cushions, or flipping over it during an important “spy training exercise.”
Some tidying tips? Do your children tidy up after themselves?
I was a Montessori teacher before I had children and a principle of the classroom was that you had a place for everything so the children always knew where things went; nothing was arbitrary. I’ve carried this into our home and it’s indispensable. When they’re not looking I will trade old toys out for things they haven’t seen in a while. They have both developed pretty good habits of putting things away before they get new material out, and my husband and I emphasis how cleaning up your things is done out of consideration because you share the house with others.
What is it like to raise a child in your town?
Our suburb is amazing. There is a tiny “downtown” area with a coffee shop, ice cream shop, craft store, and park all within walking distance. In the summer the town holds outdoor concerts and picnics.
What is a normal day like with your children? What do you do on the weekends?
Our busy days are busy, but our slow days are very slow. My husband and I both work, but we also share the task of childcare. I work three days a week outside of the home before he goes into work for a night shift. Our “weekends” end up being on Sunday’s and Monday’s when we keep our lives simple and playful as a family. We bake, we do art, and we hike through area parks. The one part of every day that remains consistent is the family quiet time each afternoon. Lucy sleeps, Luke runs off to his room with a pile of books, and my husband and I take a deep breath with an hour to ourselves.
Tell us a funny story, quote or remark one of your children recently made.
The other day as Luke was climbing into the car for some errands he said, “Mom, how ‘bout we skip the store and just go out for coffee so you can tell me about when you were a girl.” I mean, who says that? It makes sense, now, doesn’t it, why we call him Baby Jesus.
Can you mention some of your ‘how-to-raise-children’ advice?
Ha! No. We’re all doing our best to bring up these amazing SMALL PEOPLE. I think mothers and dads around the world are doing fantastic things for their families. All we can do is our best. I had awful postpartum depression with both of these guys and it put me in a funk that tried to convince me the family would be better without me. I see now that each day with these guys is a gift for me. I don’t care anymore if we accomplish anything. As long as I can hold them, smell them, and feed them I have done all I need to do that day.
Are you a crafter or DIY person?
I hand embroider linen and sew things like growth charts and makeup cases for the shop on Etsy. I love how the shop has forced me to work on something long enough to get really great at it. It’s true what they say about things being more fun when you’re good at them. I still do most of my sewing after the kids go down for the night.
What do you do with all the projects your children make at home or in school?
I’m not sentimental and my husband and I are constantly going through our things to throw the excess away. Having children makes you rethink that a bit because they feel differently about the box of rocks they found that they’d like to see on the kitchen table. Every. Day. In honesty, though, I do have a folder where I tuck sweet art I’ve confiscated.
Lots of pretend play, Hide & Seek, and a variation of CS Lewis’ The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe that involves faux injuries that need healing through magical cordial.
Are there musical instruments in your house?
I’m taking a stab at the ukulele and Lucy plays one mean harmonica. Luke has recently gotten more specific in his likes and dislikes and often tells me that the ukulele isn’t rock-band enough for him.
What are your all time favorite children's books?
Now that their attention spans are longer, we’re venturing into the world of Chapter Books. So far they love everything I remembering enjoying as a child :: Charlotte’s Web, Peter & the Wolf, The Narnia Series, and the Little House on the Prairie series. They have a penchant for Roald Dahl right now. I think it’s his gothic descriptions of the characters. Not everyone in those books is nice and sweet or even pretty to look at.
Where do you buy your books? Bookstores? Online?
We have a bookstore here with the largest, ever changing area of clearance children’s books. We’re talking 25 cents! I am there monthly. My kids also enjoy books on CD. They’ve heard longer books this way because it allows them to play while they hear it being read. We love our library and get most of our books and CD’s there.
How do your children prefer to spend their leisure time?
This duo is outside in the front yard or the back for 3 of the 4 seasons. They like the swing set, the sandpit, the chickens, the bikes, the running, the jumping…everything. We have a lot of campfires in the back yard and have even tented out back. The street has 7 boys on it, all older than our kids. Yet somehow Luke and Lucy have managed to befriend them all in their own 3 & 5 year old way. Once winter hits they come indoors to make elaborate ramps for their cars, tall towers for demolition, or creative training exercises for spies. And there’s dancing. Lucy is always dancing.
What a sweet Mom Story, thank you Abigail for sharing it with us!
*If you are interested in being considered for a Mom Story, please contact Tiffany – tiffany.bloesem(at)gmail.com