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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Things I Love About this Life Season

There are plenty of things to complain about in life for everyone.  Instead, I try to focus on the things worth celebrating and remembering.   It helps me to be more positive when I focus on what I love, what makes me happy, and when I focus on Jesus.  This is a list of things I love about my life and family right now.

Jonah reaches up and puts his hand on my cheek while I rock and sing to him at nap/bedtimes. It makes my heart melt.

Karis smiles when Jonah touches her nose.
These go from top right, to left, to bottom right.  Jonah touches her nose, she smiles, then he smiles at her.

John sneaks back into bed after his early morning Bible study, and he makes it so much more warm and comfortable.

Jonah picks up a clear plastic lid, presses it to his face, calls it a plate "pate" and then keeps saying "I see you!" like he's looking through a window, nose squished and eyes big.

Karis grunts like a little pig and clears her throat like a grouchy teacher while she sleeps.
Southern Made Photography

I cry out to God for leaving us jobless so long and that same night a pastor from Tennessee calls and sets up an interview with John.  The next day my Bible study is when Moses cried out to God for Pharoah adding to the Hebrew workload.  His words sounded similar to mine.  God's answer to Moses boiled down to: I will save you.  Trust me because I AM that I AM.

Jonah stands up in the bathtub and says "Peeeeeee!" then pees, sticks his hand in the stream and says "Hot."  He does this regardless of our protests.  We empty the tub and give him clean bathwater if he hasn't been in long.  This is the "time to get out" moment if he's already been soaped up.

My mom comes over and brings one of my favorite meals.  She makes half of it here so it's hot, and then she holds babies so I can eat while it's still hot.  Then she washes the dishes.

I can pump 5 to 8 ounces of milk per day, and feed Karis every 2-3 hours.  I feel like Dolly Parton or a dairy cow, but I am thankful to have so much more milk this time.  I will continue drinking the lactation tea, eating oatmeal and avocados, and praying it lasts.

If I mention anything about nursing, my father in law immediately relates it to his cows.  For example, he commented on how much I ate one night and I said, "Nursing makes me really hungry."  He nodded and said, "I've got one cow almost dead, her calf eats so much.  The rest are doing fine, but that one is just turning to skin and bones no matter how much I feed her."  Yes, I do love being compared to a cow, lol!
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Being able to button a pair of jeans again is nice.  Sure, my three week postpartum belly provides an unsightly muffin top, but just being able to fasten the pants feels like quite the accomplishment after so many months of elastic stretch-belly pants.  It's not like I have to wear them anywhere - I just wanted to see if I could button them.  Score.

I ask God why it's so very hard to wait for our family to serve together, and that night a pastor from Florida calls about a position.  The next day my Bible study includes Psalm 27:14, and I realize that waiting requires courage and bravery, and more waiting, and that's OK.
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Jonah does not like to say "I love you" at a normal volume when you say it to him.  He will either scream it at the top of his lungs or whisper it.  He will also growl it.

Karis does not like to sleep at normal times, but when she stops scream crying and finally starts to fall asleep and then smiles off and on for about five minutes straight, it makes it all worth it.

John's mom comes over and brings food and hair bows.  She holds the baby so I can give Jonah a bath.

Because we don't have a job or clue where we're going, it makes dreaming very open-ended.  Dreaming about Tennessee hills one day, Florida beaches the next, or staying in Huntsville and having the continued luxury of being able to easily ship our kids off to their grandparents, and maybe a big kitchen...I look out the window and smile at all the possibilities.
Jonah with my dad, aka "Papa Ketch"

Jonah has figured out how to use our iPhones even when the screen is locked.  He knows how to swipe the little camera image up and this results in a variety of Jonah photography:
Pictures of things he dropped when he realized he could swipe my phone without being caught.

I deleted 19 pictures like this of his leg.

Occasionally he flips the camera and then we have partial-face selfies.

Some particularly restless nights when Karis just does. not. stop. crying, result in John taking Jonah out in the morning so I get to go back to sleep as long as she is asleep, in order to catch up on what I missed from nursing/rocking/standing/bouncing/swaying the night before.  Or if it's the weekend - John taking Jonah to Nana's!
Southern Made Photography
When she finally falls asleep though, she is beautiful.
We have found that the three hour long "Labor Playlist" I had John put together for me (but I was saving for the hospital - when I thought it would get really tough, so I didn't use during labor, because, well, we didn't make it to the hospital) actually helps Karis to sleep!  I love hearing so many of my favorite worship songs over and over.  I have spent many nights rocking her and singing along.

I ask God to please show himself to be faithful and He says, "You asked for a husband who would pray with you and read the Bible.  You got John.  You asked for a teaching job and you were offered two.  You survived a really awful car wreck without a single broken bone, and woke up to say that you wanted to be a mother.  A year later you were pregnant.  You got Jonah.  Two years later you had a baby in a car, in a gas station parking lot without a single complication.  You got Karis.  When have I ever not been faithful to you?" He is so faithful even when we are faithless.
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*However, even if I was still single, or paralyzed from the waist down, or had two miscarriages and no babies - God would still be faithful and good.  I don't know why He has chosen to bless me so very much, but I am thankful every single day.
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Jonah says "weed-a-book?" or simply "weed-book?" and then climbs up in my lap with a book.  I read and point to pictures and ask him to find things on the page. He likes to pretend to eat pictures of food and smell flowers.  He is at the developmental stage where he understands about 4 times as much as he can actually say, and he is trying to repeat almost everything he hears.  I am greatly enjoying his speech acquisition.  He cannot make the 'K/ck' sound, instead it is a 'T', so my mom is Katie Nana - or 'Tatie Nana,' and he says OK as OTay.  His combines are 'tumbine,' and he likes to point out the corn head - 'torn het.'

Karis likes to be held and cuddled, (I did pray for a child who liked to be cuddled and held, since Jonah didn't/doesn't much), so I put her in the Moby or a pouch wrap frequently and wear her around the house.
I am fast learning about "Babywearing."  Jonah wanted to be in the picture, too. :) 

John goes to Hardees some mornings when we're out of most breakfast foods.  He takes Jonah, and this usually gives me time to pump. He brings back hot food and I eat it shamelessly.

Jonah takes goldfish all over the house and tries to feed them to a variety of his stuffed animals.  Elmo is the only one who comes close to ingesting them though, as Jonah manually mashes them into his mouth.  He also tries to feed them to Karis.

Karis has that unique and exclusive-to-newborns baby smell. I wish I could just breathe in that sweet smell forever. When wearing her gets heavy, I put my head down and get a big whiff of her hair, and it seems like she doesn't weigh as much.

John hugs me when I crawl back in bed from nursing the baby two or three times a night.

Jonah loves to make a tent "tet" by getting under a large blanket with anyone else.  When John arranges it just right, enabling Jonah to stand up, his hair gets static and looks like this:

It's Winter, but soon will be Spring. It actually snowed in Alabama today.  It reminded me of my childhood and many fond memories in South Dakota.  Jonah has a raging snotty-nosed-watery-eyes cold so we decided not to introduce him to the snow today.  We all enjoyed watching it from inside the warm and cozy house.  There is nothing quite like snuggling up with the people you love the most!

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