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Saturday, March 29, 2014

What I Learned in March

Yay for fun link-ups!  I am linking up with the talented Emily Freeman at Chatting at the Sky

1.  I am officially gluten intolerant/allergic.  Not full blown Celiac, but definitely not something my body will tolerate any longer.  It began as a serious stomach ache with cramps, nausea, and lower bowel issues for a few weeks, then I figured out what it was and cut it out of my diet for about a week, and felt much better.  After a week of gluten-free, I accidentally had the equivalent of one piece of bread and was throwing up my guts two hours later.  It has also way reduced the amount of fussiness/scream crying in the baby.  It's not that bad to go gluten-free.  I still have lots of carb options with rice, oats, corn, potato, and quinoa products.  Anything that causes me to violently throw up and causes my baby to scream cry for an hour non-stop, is just not worth eating anymore.  Good-bye gluten!

2.  Salome was a neat mother in the Bible I never knew about, until a few weeks ago!

3.  All babies are incredibly different.  This may sound like a "Duh" fact, especially from someone who has cared for multiple babies, but it never ceases to amaze me!  I was fortunate enough to visit some friends and family this week who have babies, and it was so good to see such a wide variety of behaviors and preferences already in these tiny people! Then when I compare my two kids, they are little opposites in behaviors.  Jonah ate better, but Karis sleeps better.  Jonah cried less, and was 14 pounds at his 2 month check up.  Karis has been screaming so much (although we do now attribute most of that to the gluten), and only weighed 11 pounds at her 2 month check-up.
Both kids at 2 months old.

However, in pictures, their facial features are surprisingly similar!  In real life, Karis is much smaller than Jonah was, and has a darker complexion, much more hair, a smaller nose, and a rounder face shape.  She is beautiful and we love her more every day.  God is such a wonderful creative creator!

4.  Cloth diapering a newborn is not as bad as I had anticipated.

5.  God wants our hearts surrendered to him more than he wants us comfortable and happy.  As we go on our sixth month of looking for a ministry position, we are prayerfully considering what may be next.  One church is supposedly going to vote on hiring John soon, but they keep putting it off, so we are hopeful and waiting.  At first I wasn't sure about this church because it seemed too good to be true, and my flesh wanted a job so badly.  When I finally surrendered, God broke my heart for the congregation of people - it wasn't about the job anymore.  Now I just want to serve and love on them and teach and participate and grow with them, if they'll give us a chance.

6. Suicide doors are not convenient for putting babies in car seats.  Although this car was useful when we had to pull over so I could give birth in it, it has served it's term and we are ready for something a little more baby friendly.

7.  A good night's rest + Bible study + Coffee = Great Days
     A poor night's lack of sleep + no Bible study + no Coffee = The Worst Days
     A poor night's lack of sleep + Bible study + Coffee = Potential for Personal Growth

Taking even one thing out of these equations drastically changes my mood and my ability to think clearly and make decisions based on what is the most loving, instead of what is the most easy or comfortable.

8. I want another baby eventually.  We are certain we want to adopt next, and I want to have some time to own my own body again when breastfeeding is over, but Oh My - putting away the maternity clothes this week almost made me cry!  I am exceedingly blessed to have very healthy pregnancies, labor, and deliveries, so would it be wasting a gift to not do it at least one more time?

9.  This volumizing root spray is my hair's new best friend.
Photo credit

10. Do NOT post a picture of yourself with your baby in a carrier in the wrong position on the facebook group: Babywearing 102 board, unless you want 26 comments explaining exactly why you are wrong in less than an hour (a few were kind and offered other wrap options).  Then when you post yourself doing it correctly on the thread to clarify, you will only get 6 positive responses.  FYI - in the "original ergo" the baby must NOT face out like this:

Rather, she MUST face your body like this:
Because of all of these reasons.

11.  Getting pictures of my kids together has not gotten any better since I originally discovered the difficulty back in January.  This compilation for my husband's birthday (he's a Bama fan), came pretty close to my idea of perfect, after I discarded the 572 pictures that were awful.

12. Forget the Frock is a really awesome movement aimed at people spending money on a t-shirt that goes toward Orphans instead of brand new fancy Easter clothes.  This is one of the best ideas I've heard in a long time, and I can't wait to participate! Jonah has a $3 WalMart suit we got last year on clearance, and Karis has a beautiful dress someone gave us as a baby gift, but John and I will be sporting our Orphan-care clothing! 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Who Was Salome?

I woke up with a cold sore today.
Cold sores/Fever blisters, whatever you call them, are my body's way of saying,
"Danger! Danger! You are so stressed out your immune system is being compromised! Something worse will come soon if you don't calm down!"

Why am I stressed out? Oh, yes, the babies played a game I call 'Scream Tag' yesterday for over an hour.  One screams for about 5-10 minutes then I get that kid happy for about 27 seconds, then the other kid starts screaming as if the first child's silence was actually code for "Tag! You're It! Scream!"

Then in the evening Jonah got extremely whiny for no apparent reason, so I even documented it with a few funny selfies:
He liked seeing his face on the screen.

He wanted to hold the phone.

Attempting to grab the phone.

Then he threw up twenty minutes later.  Epic mean mommy fail.  I thought he was being a brat and so I was trying to not get frustrated and instead find the funny side of it.  He actually had a stomach bug and felt like crap. Poor little guy!

I put him in the bathtub where he proceeded to wail for about 5 minutes and then threw up again.  By this time the baby was very tired but wouldn't fall asleep on her own.  She requires swaddling, rocking, a sound machine playing 'Rain' loudly, and music.  Jonah wailing in the bathtub is not on her list of favorite iTunes songs for chillaxing.  So I had two screaming kids, all by myself because John was helping out at his nephew's baseball game.  At one point Jonah was wailing on the bathroom floor after I had gotten him out of the bath, while I was changing Karis' very wet diaper as she screamed as well.  I knew both babies wanted me, they both wanted to be held, and I just couldn't get them there fast enough.  Slightly stressful situation.

Plus, we thought we had a definite position in a ministry job, rejoiced and were excited, then the church decided to put the decision on hold and vote on John next month.  Back to life-in-limbo land.  Life spent in the waiting room while we hope and pray this position is God's will.

You may be wondering, 'What does your life stress have to do with the title of this post?  Who was Salome?'

Reading through my One Year Bible has been so fulfilling as a daily Bible reading plan!  This week the New Testament reading has come from the end of the gospel of Mark.  I read this verse today from Mark 16:1:
Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body.

I went back and re-read it.  I thought the only women who went to anoint Jesus' body after burial were the two Marys.  Who was Salome?  I have read the entire Bible twice before - cover to cover both times.  I have read the whole New Testament several times.  How on earth have I not known about this other person?  Who was Salome?

A quick google search led me to this great article about her.  She was the mother of James and John, wife to Zebedee.  Only the gospel of Mark gives her name.  Further reading tells about this woman who pointed her sons to Christ.  She did have a little too much pride at one point and requested her sons get to sit beside Jesus in "His kingdom," but she was thinking still that Jesus would have an earthly kingdom, and just did not understand.  When her mind was set on earthly things, she was not honoring Christ.  The rest of the time she was a devoted follower of Christ, and encouraged her boys to be the same.

At the end of the day, her greatest accomplishment was pointing her kids to Christ.

She did not receive accolades for the way her house looked, the organic food she prepared, or the amount of laundry she managed to fold and actually put away.   She did not receive any praise for holding screaming babies and being stressed.

She is known for wanting her kids to be close to Jesus.

Babies grow faster than Superman can fly.  I swear sometimes I put Karis down for a nap and when she wakes up I can tell her little cheeks are fatter! It's fascinating, beautiful and sad all at the same time. I love my kids more every day.  Parenting teaches me so much about God's heart, His patience and my flesh.  Jonah is almost two, and acts every bit of it.  He makes us laugh more than ever before as he tries to say new words, mimics everything we say and do, and surprises us by naming shapes, colors, and letters we had no idea he knew.
Southern Made Photography

Karis is 8 weeks old, can almost hold her head up all the time now, and cries a lot in between her adorable smiles and coos.

I have to ask Jesus to step in for me daily.  I don't deserve these beautiful kids, but I am given the opportunity of a lifetime to make disciples out of them. "Please move Kelly out of the way and put Jesus here to love these loud, screaming kids, because Kelly just wants to hide and cry."

At the end of the day, my biggest accomplishment desperately needs to be pointing my kids to Jesus Christ.

I should have been praying out loud while those two babies cried.  I should have calmly sang to them instead of rocking in silence, pouting and feeling sorry for myself, and wanting to cry.  I let my phone play worship music, but my heart was not worshipful.  I should have let Christ be the peace in my heart I needed, instead of allowing stress to build so much that it became visible on my lip the next morning.

I am hoping and praying to be a mother a bit more like Salome.  I have worked in the two days since beginning this post to pray aloud over my kids more.  We are putting Jonah in time out for screaming tantrums.  Spanking did not stop the crying, giving him whatever he was screaming about only showed him that screaming would accomplish what he desired.  The goal is to stop the crying, so we just stick him in his crib until he stops.  I ask him, "Are you all done?  Are you sorry?" Then I pick him up, give hugs, and he says, "All done.  I sowwee."  I say, "I love you. I forgive you."

More prayers, less pouting.  Point them to Jesus.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Welcoming Karis in Pictures


We met the Saturday before Christmas, around 36 weeks pregnant, on Monte Sano to take some last "family of 3" pictures.


I was going to title this part "Birth Pictures," however, since we had the baby in the car, it didn't seem like the right title.  However, an ambulance picked us up about 15 minutes after she was born and drove us to the hospital, so then we met our parents and recovered there.  I met with our photographer, Ashlea Chance at Southern Made Photography and she gave me these beautiful pictures.  I wanted to share my favorites.
John giving Jonah to the grandparents so he could find Karis and I,
wherever the ambulance entrance had taken us.

Hannah and I, right after getting stitches.

My poor husband was so stressed out.  He kept saying
"If Hannah wasn't there, I would've dropped the baby!  She came out so fast!"

8 lb. 6 oz.

I kept saying, "She's so pretty!"

Tiny baby feet in her daddy's arms.

"You're two days late, but half an hour early."

Sweet little gift from God.

The best doula ever!

Proud daddy

Small hands with long fingers

"What can I do next to scare my parents this much?"

In daddy's hands

Bundle of love

Hannah holding my hand at one point.
 I feel like this perfectly shows her "Hands-on Approach" :) 

She's Here!

I love you.

Jonah comes in to visit!

Meet Sissy!

"She's a baby.  This is Sissy."

Katie Nana

Both Nanas!



Papa Ketch

Flashing one of those early smiles!

God did such a good job, as usual!

From the outside of our hospital room looking in.


Then, 6 days later we went to Ashlea's home studio to do these:

Jonah eating an m&m we tried to bribe him with to sit with us.

He thought her 'bum bum' was the funniest thing he had ever seen.
He kept patting it.


During the two hours she refused to sleep.

Getting sleepy and grinning!

Baby girl 

We are so blessed to have two kids now!

Next up on the Honea agenda:
1. Find the ministry position where God wants us to serve
2. Adopt!