the netolickys

phillip . amanda . keller

have a very merry christmas.

I apologize for the lapse in time for those like to keep up with our family. This year has gone by so fast. Since my last post, we have bought a house (closer to our friends and church), Keller  turned ONE, we have been back to MN for a visit this summer and to AZ to meet our new (7 month old) nephew/see Phil’s family,  we have merged with a new life group (Bible study), and we hosted our first Thanksgiving – turkey and all! Florida has become our home and, even though we miss our friends and family back in MN, God has provided some incredible friends here in Orlando.

I have been adjusting every day to being a stay-at-home mom. It has been harder then I thought it would be and have looked into going back to work several times. Every time I do, God reminds me of how precious this time is I have been blessed to be able to stay with Keller. I am thankful to be able to watch him grow and instill in him the values, discipline and love that Phil and I desire for him. He is soooo funny too. Laughing, running and playing hide-n-seek are his favorites. He can’t get enough of the outdoors either. We are at the playground most days and it has been a great way to meet people too.

We hope that you experience the joy of Christ’s birth this Christmas season and the hope that he brings for the hurting, the lonely, and those who are doing great. From our family to yours, Merry Christmas. Phil, Amanda and Keller

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A Savior to cling to.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. – John 16:33

When the Boston bombings happened, I couldn’t help but think how soon this happened after the Sandy Hook shooting. Should this be so surprising though, with sin loose in the world? A lot worse things happen in other countries, many of which we never hear about.  It would be a terrifying thing if I didn’t have a Savior to cling to. I think of Jesus’ promise before he was crucified in John 16 … “in the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” I mourn for the people who have suffered in these bombings and shootings and even more for those who have committed the crimes. We are all sinners and I pray that the gospel of Christ would rescue each of us, no matter what the sin.

so there was a winter?

It seems crazy that it is already March. Having a snowless winter makes it feel like time is standing still but then I remember all of the things that have happened in the past few months.

Making a tent for himself!

Making a tent for himself!

Keller is 6 months old! I never thought the day would come. He is an incredible baby and has the sweetest personality. He loves to laugh (especially at Sherman and Daddy) and plays constantly with toys and books. We have become regulars at our church’s Tuesday playgroup and hang out with a group of baby friends on Thursdays. I joined a bible study at church on Wednesdays and Keller enjoys play time in the nursery. He loves the childcare workers there. He has been getting his bottom two teeth in and his left one popped out today after his nap! He is also rolling around a lot now and still likes to play with his toes. He had his first bad tummy ache last night and threw up a lot of avocado. Becca was over so we each got a turn getting puked on. 😦 What a way to turn 6 months old. It was scary but thankful his tummy settled enough for him to sleep. Guess we shouldn’t have fed him a whole avocado – lessons we don’t really want to learn, right?

We put an offer in on a house this morning, We have been looking for about a month now and found one that is in between work and church. It is near one of the few real lakes in Orlando. We like the neighborhood because it reminds us of Minnesota – mature trees, established neighborhoods, older homes. We went for a walk around the area and met some nice neighbors. Hopefully the woman who owns the house accepts our offer! We are excited to be homeowners again. The backyard is nice for Keller to play in when he’s older and there is an orange tree and a lemon tree!

Our life group (bible study) is starting to study Philippians and our goal is to memorize the book. It has been good to learn from each other and to focus on the Word more. It is also fun for Phil and I to help each other memorize the verses and soak up Paul’s encouraging words to the Philippians. I am thankful for the people that God has placed in our lives and how easy it has been to get to know them.

We are in the season of visitors right now and it is awesome! My mom, aunt Shirley and (foster) sister Autum came to visit at the end of February. A couple of friends from YouthWorks stayed over on their way to a cruise. We met up with my friend April and her family last week. Our cousins, Katie and David, are coming to town. Pete Z (college friend) will be here for a church-planting conference in a couple of weeks and, in April, Nina and Wayne will be here!! Phil’s mom and stepdad will be here in May too. We love hosting people and catching up on life in Minnesota. We’ll be home at the end of July and can’t wait for Keller to see the farm 🙂

We also celebrated with our friends Brian and Kelly at our first Orlando wedding. It was a rainy day but the sun came out right when Kelly started walking down the aisle. So beautiful.

Next week, we are in a bowl-a-thon for a local teen program. Hopefully I don’t embarrass myself too much!

3 months old!

It has been awhile since we have written. Keller is doing wonderful. We moved his crib into his own room and he has been sleeping through the night – whooo hoo!! We are so thankful but I still wake up to check on him 🙂

Keller was 25.5 inches at his 2 month check-in – over 95%. He is loving sucking on his fists and has even found his thumb! He smiles a lot and chatters all day long. He rolled from his tummy to his belly yesterday and uses his legs to scoot around on his back. He is growing fast and it is so awesome to watch him develop.

Sherman got his front paws declawed in our last post and has been doing good. He had to go on antibiotics because he had a fever but has recovered now. He likes sleeping under Keller’s crib and be next to us as much as possible. He doesn’t ever try to touch Keller and respects his space so that is nice not to worry about.

Our friends, Channing and Jayme, invited us to their house for Thanksgiving. It was wonderful with lots of good food and fellowship. We met Jayme’s parents and friends from library storytime and from North Carolina. Jayme’s aunt, uncle and cousin were there too. We watched football and played games. Jayme had everyone write what they were thankful for on the table cloth to start a tradition. Keller slept through dinner but that was nice for us because we could actually eat 🙂

We are heading to Phoenix in a couple weeks and are excited to see Grandma and Grandpa and the rest of the family because they haven’t met Keller yet. My family is coming down for Christmas so we will get to spend lots of time with them when we get home from Phoenix. Courtney and Caitlyn are ecstatic to hold baby Keller.

Have a lovely day!


Sherman is getting declawed. It has been a long decision process but we finally came to the conclusion that the pros outweigh the cons. I’ve been talking to him about it today and hope he doesn’t resent us after it’s done. I’m usually not an empathetic person so it is pathetic I am toward a cat. Maybe it is because I still remember giving birth to Keller. 🙂

On a much brighter note, Nachelle is coming tomorrow! Cannot wait for the fun we will have!!

Keller has been eating his hands and exploring with his mouth. He is also grabbing on to things! The last few nights he has been sleeping a good 7 hours, only waking looking for his pacifier. Last night he slept 8 hours! We just learned about the 5 “S” – swaddling, shushing, swaying, side or stomach (not for sleeping) and sucking. We were already doing them so I guess we are naturals at parenting – haha. We are thankful that God has blessed us so undeservingly with Keller. It is a reminder every day of Christ’s grace and salvation. We will celebrate KW’s 2 month birthday on Sunday!

Ode to Sherman

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We’ve had a baby for 6 weeks …

and we still can’t get over how incredible he is! Keller has gotten so long now that he is barely fitting into his 3 month onesies and has graduated to 6 months. His little legs and arms are long and lean with a couple little rolls. Things we have learned about our little one:
1. He loves sitting on our porch and listening to the highway traffic.
2. He sucks on his hand when he is trying to nurse.
3. He likes his star toy that sings and blinks.
4. He likes looking in the mirror with Daddy.
5. He doesn’t like formula but loves breast milk 🙂
6. He kicks his legs up when he is hungry.
7. He has incredible toots!
8. He laughs when he is full.
9. He likes to go on walks in our neighborhood.
10. He LOVES baths!

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This last weekend he slept 6 hours straight 2 nights in a row! We don’t know if this will continue but we are thankful for a little respite from interrupted sleep. All in all, it seems like we have had a pretty good run of things with his sleep patterns. I am also thankful for great friends to email and call for advice and a listening ear. All babies are different but it is nice to have some counsel and encouraging words!

On another note, we are excited to watch the Vikings game on TV Thursday night – we usually have to listen to the game on the radio. I am slowly creeping up our Fantasy Football league’s rankings. I usually start on bottom and then swoop in for the win (2 years in a row!) – I just need to pass up Phil now.

We also have a dessert party at our pastor’s house on Friday night for newcomers. We are excited to get to know the pastor and his wife as well as meet some new people. Every week we meet someone new at church that makes us feel even more welcome. It is interesting to become a part of new church with a baby. Phil and I are so used to jumping right in by volunteering and getting involved with different groups that it has been a shift with a baby.  Now we have to plan more and get the energy to want to hang out with people. One step at a time now 🙂

This morning Keller was hanging out in his swing (sleeping) and I had worship music playing. He raised his hand in the air like he was worshipping the Lord. It made me smile and made me pray even more for him to know Christ as his Savior.

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It seems like 4 weeks have gone by so fast but slow at the same time. I thought the first 2 weeks were never going to end and things were always going to be crazy hard. God is very gracious and thankfully it only lasted a short time. I also thought I would cry every day for the rest of my life but that ended as well 🙂 – I’m a little dramatic to say the least. God has also been very kind in giving us a content baby who only cries when he needs his diaper changed or if he is hungry. I know this will probably change but He knew what we needed to make it through those first weeks.

God has been teaching me every day how to let go of my expectations and live in the moment. I still make my lists of “things to do” but those things don’t really matter when the sweetie wants you to hold him. I have been learning to be patient in an ironic short period of time. I always want things done as soon as I think of it or succeed at something the first time I try it. Nursing Keller has proven to be a good lesson in patience and taking things one day at a time. It makes me think of the future and how this patience will be needed as Keller learns and grows cause he isn’t going to have everything figured out – haha. Am I a tiger mom?? I hope not! All of this reflection shows me how much I expected of the YouthWorks summer staff to remember everything the first time they were told and the grace I could have extended them in training and on site . Numbers 6:24-26 is a verse that has been on my heart and a prayer I have been praying over Phil. “The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you, the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” How thankful I am for God’s grace on us when we don’t learn as quickly as we probably should/could!

Keller has smiled, laughed and rolled to his side in his 3rd week of life. Phil likes to call him Booper which my Grandpa used to call me! I’ve started to call him Butter and I’m not sure why – it just comes out! Last night he went 6 hours between feedings and it was awesome rest for everyone.

Final thought. I miss Cities 97 and Phil just told me I can listen to it on my phone! Wow 🙂 Well, time to feed Keller again. Until next time …

Love, the Netolickys

2 Weeks Old!

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We always heard that babies grow fast but we didn’t realize how true this is now that we have our own. Keller has grown so much over the past 2 weeks. He has gained back his birth weight and then some. His facial expressions are even different day to day. Phil and I love when he makes an “O” shape with his mouth – so adorable. He scrunches his forehead up like his dad and sneezes like him too. He loves to grunts when he eats and his cry is a little raspy but so cute. He is starting to focus on our faces and follow us with his eyes. His hair is looking more brown then black and has already grown a little bit in the back. He loves to eat and his belly is really filling out. We are still working on breastfeeding and have gone to a great lactation consultant but I am having a hard time being patient (surprising? haha).

I cry sometimes still – some out of exhaustion, some out of frustration and some out of just plain not knowing what to expect. I pray every day that God would help me be a good mom. I am feeling a lot better physically so I don’t feel as much of a burden. Phil has been incredible and loves taking care of Keller. We are blessed to have a content, happy baby boy!

My mom and dad are here and it has been great having them meet their grandson. My mom has been here for two weeks and has been a huge help with everything. We are very thankful for her and will be sad when she leaves this Tuesday. Dad will leave the same day but he is driving home with our family friends, John and Sandy.

We can’t wait for Keller to meet his Grandma Cheryl and Grandpa Rod – Christmas won’t come soon enough. All of his cousins on both sides are excited to meet him too.

My friend Nachelle is coming to visit at the beginning of November and I can’t wait! We are thankful for the friends we have made in Orlando and everyone’s offer to help out but it will be nice to have an old friend here.

The Vikings are doing pretty well today but we are trying not to get too excited yet. We want Keller to have realistic expectations of our team but hold onto the hope that this could be the season! (I just read this to Phil and he said, “Yeah, right.”) Guess dad isn’t has confident as mom 🙂


Keller Warren’s Birth Story

We woke up on Saturday morning, September 8, with no signs of Keller’s arrival coming any time soon. My dad was convinced we would have him this day because it was my parent’s 39th wedding anniversary! I hadn’t had any Braxton-Hicks and was feeling the normal pregnant self. This lasted for 5 minutes. At 7:30 am I had my first contraction but thought nothing of it. I was craving pancakes so Phil was so nice and made me some with peanut butter on them. I took a shower and at one pancake. Then the contractions started coming more consistently so I thought I better start timing them. They were about 45-60 seconds long and 3 minutes apart. When it kept up this rate, Phil kicked into gear and got everything packed in the car for the hospital.

We arrived at 9:30 am to Winnie Palmer Hospital. My sister met us there and was prepared to stay the whole night even though she had to work at 7 am the next morning! We got checked into triage and continued to labor there with a great nurse, Trish. We had written a birth plan out from what we learned in our Bradley Method class and the nursing staff was very happy that we had one and supportive of our decision to give birth to Keller naturally. The hospital was very busy that day so we were in triage until around noon. I was handling the contractions okay, practicing our relaxation techniques. Phil was amazing and encouraging the entire time. I had dilated to 7 cm by this point.

Towards the end of my pregnancy my doctor thought Keller would come early because I was 4 cm dilated that Tuesday and his head was very low. With this in mind, we thought we’d have Keller and be out of there quickly!

Once we were in our labor and delivery room, our nurse, Glenis, helped us settle in. I requested no fluids so they just did a lock on the IV in case I would need them. Dr. Snow was my attending physician but he had his hands full with 3 other women giving birth the same day so he was in and out of our room throughout the afternoon. By 5 pm, my contractions were coming stronger at 2-3 minutes a part and I was getting pretty worn out by the pain. Dr. Snow came and talked to Phil and I what he believed our options were because I hadn’t dilated anymore since noon. He thought my contractions were not strong enough or Keller was just too big for me to birth him naturally. He said we could measure the strength of my contractions and if they weren’t we would have to consider Pitocin to help them get stronger or do a c-section if they were strong enough because that meant Keller was too big.

It turned out that the contractions were not strong enough. At this point, I had gotten very anxious about the contractions getting any worse because I couldn’t imagine it being any harder then they already were. I had been praying the entire afternoon for the Lord to give me strength and endurance but I couldn’t handle it anymore. I told Phil, Glenis and my sister that I just wanted a c-section and broke down because this was not going the way we had hoped. The reason we chose natural childbirth was so Keller would be safe from any form of medication to alter his health. After everyone helped calm me down, Glenis told me that she supported us in what we chose but that jumping to a c-section may be too hasty and that the doctor was giving me a chance to have Keller vaginally. We finally decided to go with the Pitocin to try to kick up the contractions. After the first couple contractions on Pitocin, I asked for the epidural. It was a hard decision but everything was just too much.

As the anesthesiologist administered the epidural (which was hard because I was having back-to-back contractions the entire time), he commented that I have a back the size a 6 ft 5in person and couldn’t believe how big it was… what woman wants to hear that???

Once the epidural kicked in, things settled down and we were all able to rest. I was able to clearly communicate and be aware of what was happening after being in a fog of pain the whole day. Sadly, Glenis’s shift was over but Polly took over for her and she was also great. We loved all of our nursing staff, they were simply amazing. We had a good time joking around with Polly as we waited for my contractions to get stronger. Dr. Snow said he would like to make a decision by midnight if a c-section was still needed. Thankfully, by 10:00pm I was finally 10 cm dilated! Phil and Becca held my legs (Becca saw more of me then she ever thought she would!) and Keller and I started to push. Right away Polly could see his head. Phil and Becca thought his head was going to be so small when he started to come out – little did they know it was just the cone-shape of the top of his head. We all thought this was going to happen quick, even though it was our first. Dr. Snow came down at 12:00vam to assess my progress and when he got there he had everything prepared for Keller’s birth. At some point, I guess a nurse went running into the hall yelling, “We need a baby nurse now!” and it freaked Becca out because everyone was moving so fast. I was concentrating on pushing that I didn’t realize about 12 nurses joined us in the room for my final pushes. Courtney, our baby nurse, yanked my leg back so far it took a couple days to recover for how sore it was! I pushed until 12:26 am when Keller made his wonderful appearance to the world. It was the most painful thing to have a baby sticking out of me halfway through 3 contractions!!!!! Dr. Snow had even tried using a vacuum because he wasn’t coming out but it fell off right away.

It was amazing to hold our little man for the first time. The nurses gave us plenty of time to get to know him before they took him to weigh him and assess him. They even gave him a bath in our room so he didn’t have to spend as much time in the nursery when we moved to our post-delivery room. He was holding his head up and checking everything out as soon as he was born. I was able to walk soon after I drank my orange juice and ate some crackers.

We eventually got situated in our new room by 4:30am and was able to sleep for a bit. Keller is the most laid-back, calm baby we could ask for. The hospital staff loved him and a couple nurses were so glad that they got to be his nurse because they had heard about him 🙂 The lactation consultants were also great and would check in on us throughout the days that we were there. Keller got jaundice pretty bad so we stayed in the hospital until Tuesday. It worked out well because my mom flew into town on Tuesday so we were able to transition home with her help.

If anyone needs a birthing coach, I recommend my husband because he is incredible! It was hard for him when he wanted to hold me or touch me during labor when I didn’t want him too. He loves changing Keller’s diapers because it’s “their time” together. He was fascinated by the whole birthing process and Keller’s circumcision and wanted to know everything that was going on. He is an excellent Dad!

I thought that labor was hard but recovery may be up there with it because I CAN’T DO ANYTHING! I am so thankful my mom is here to help this week and next. I am finally starting to feel with it and need to be reminded to take it easy so I can recover completely. Keller has kicked his jaundice in the butt and doesn’t have to be on his bili-blanket anymore. It is wonderful to hold him without having to have it on his back! I am patiently trying to learn how to breastfeed but it is hard. I am hoping to go to La Leche soon or to the hospital’s free Mommy and Me teas (breastfeeding clinic).

Keller is 1 week old today and he has already witnessed a Viking win and listened to a Viking loss. Let’s hope the season is not the latter. We purchased listening privileges through KFAN since we will only be able to see the games when Jacksonville (last week) and the Buccaneers play against them.

Here are some pictures of our handsome Keller Boo.

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1 week

Hello everyone! We have one week to go before Keller makes his appearance. My doctor is very optimistic and thinks that he is going to arrive any day. I am 3.5 cm dilated and am feeling pretty good today. Two friends who were due around the same time as me both had their babies on the 29th – two more beautiful boys.

I finished some paintings for our bedroom (check them out on my art website I am running out of projects to do so am getting antsy for Keller to arrive.

Phil is getting into a routine at work and feels pretty comfortable in his role. He basically works in “manland” again and likes all his coworkers. We have hung out with a couple of them several times and had fun. It is exciting to make new friends and be refreshed in intentionally living out our faith as we get to know them.

Our fantasy football drafts were on Monday night. I am hoping for another big year in the old YW league. Phil is in that league as well as the Hiawatha church league. We are sad that we can’t get Vikings games down here – Kfan doesn’t even broadcast them over Iheart Radio. We are going to look into the NFL package 🙂

We are already miss anticipating the crisp, fall weather but I guess a couple trees down here change colors and lose their leaves. It has cooled down at night with Hurricane Isaac sweeping through the Gulf.

Hopefully next time we post, Keller will be out of my belly and in our arms!!

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