Friday, August 31, 2007

Air Mattress Woes

As Christians, I really believe that the Lord brings people into our lives to grow us and shape us into people that glorify Him more and more as time passes. Sometimes they are so-called 'good' influences, and sometimes they are 'Ugh' influences... either way: loving a God who is in control means that we should be thankful for all those people and the circumstances we are put in.
Who knew putting up a simple air mattress would be such a stressor on a relationship? I could chalk it up to us both being tired, my fat feet (truly!), his being stubborn (I like that one -
heh - kidding!), and the pressure of wanting to get something done... but what it comes down to is sin.
Since I cannot speak for his heart (as tempting as it is... lol) I'll deal with mine:
pride. How ironic that we had just spent a half-hour (at least) talking about it at bible study. :) My flesh may as well have screamed: "Thou shalt listen to me!!!" (sigh)
Anyway, the details of the argument are not important... they're actually laughable in the light of day. When I took these pictures we weren't exactly on speaking terms - and the dog was left to try and cheer us both up (which added to the generalized irritation of the situation... chuckle). We've reconciled now... thanks to getting up at 4:30 in the morning (providential, no?) But here is the point of this post (directed to Kurt):
Sweetheart - what can I say? I love you even with your grumpy face. Thanks for - once again - forgiving me. Thank you for loving me despite the sin that seems to always come up between us. Our relationship and your love mean so much to me - and I can't wait to grow old with you... learning how
not to sin against one another - but, undoubtedly, still stumbling often. You take such good care of me and our baby - and Oscar - and I am daily humbled by your example of gentleness and kindness... you are a good leader. :) I'll keep working on that 'submission' thing... partly because I have to - but mainly because I want to. It is a joy to be your wife, and to walk with you on a daily basis... and even when it seems we keep tripping each other up - there is no one else I'd rather be tied to. :)

As for the rest (if you're still reading - chuckle): If you're putting up an air mattress with someone you love - humble your heart first - and maybe don't take pictures of them when they're irritated at you, either... even if they look cute with their "mad" face.
And if you have to: at least be subtle about it... lol!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Rock On Preggo-Mamma!

We purchased a rocking chair (glider-rocker, actually) for the nursery. We're quite pleased: not only is it comfortable, but it is also low-maintenance. Micro-fiber is easy to clean - and it is super-soft, too. I think we went to nearly every furniture place in the city... and there are more than you think! But we found this one at
Uncle Ed's... and not only was it a couple-hundred dollars off, but they paid both taxes. We also saved another chunk of change when they had none left in the warehouse and we were able to get the floor-model (which had been on the floor no longer than a week).
The is the last of the nursery furniture we needed/wanted to pick up... now there are the "little" things like the travel system, the snuggly, the playpen, and the chair that 'vibrate-eth' . All in good time, but - ugh! It never ends! Kiley and Jessica were over last night and Kiley said, "Boy, it costs a lot of money to have a baby... more than a car." :) And, truth be told, we haven't even spent
that much: all we've bought so far are the change table and the rocking chair, 'cause the crib is on loan and the bassinet is a gift. (lol)
Ah-well... may as well get used to spending some money on the little kumquat sooner-rather-than-later, right? ;)

Hmmm... but for now we're both sitting in the chair, in the nursery simply
visualizing... the baby, not spending more money... and it is starting to get super-exciting! Only 46 days (give or take a few) until we can put that crib & bassinet, rocking chair and - yes - even the change table to use... praise God!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Thinking Funny Thoughts

Ha, ha!!! :)

Oscar Recovered

Good morning - only 47 days to go! I think we're buying a rocking chair today... so that is my excitement! Besides our dog feeling better, that is. Speaking of whom...

Not the best quality... I have to work on the lighting... not sure how yet but I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually. Google just added this feature a few days ago... and I wanted to see how it worked. So bear with me! :)
BTW: Dad, I know I stink at whistling... at least I
try! :)
BTW: the top of the page ticker wasn't working this morning... so I added another below the slide show... can't get enough of these things! And it's 3D... how cool is
that? :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pregnancy Poops Me Out!

Kurt took this picture yesterday. I'll consider this a "humility" and "death-of-vanity" post... lol! Could that smile be any weaker? :-D
On a bright note: I
clearly felt a little heel last night - twice. The baby shifted, and then stuck his/her little foot up so that I could trace it. It was about 1.5-2 inches long and I laughed out loud when I felt it. I "tickled" it and then the baby moved away... but came back for a second tickle 10 minutes later. What a delight for my weary spirit! :)

This morning I was cuddling with Kurt and he felt the baby kick his back - the movements are getting much stronger... I'm so thankful! He (Kurt) has an ultrasound machine for use on pigs - so I tested it out on me yesterday (to make sure it works, wink-wink!) and sure-enough... there was our little kiddo - napping for once... but with his/her hands up by the face and looking like a real baby. (I won't be doing that much more... but it was sure fun to try at home!)

Anyway, I was praising God for the "heel" last night, and because I couldn't sleep (despite the picture's indications of exhaustion) I spent time praying for this little one... and his/her mommy! There are so many responsibilities looming ahead of us in the next few months... but God will sustain us - of that I have no doubt!

But wow - how
did I get so pregnant-looking in such a short time?!? :)

BTW: Check out the cute link on Julie's blog this morning... I chuckled but almost teared up... these crazy hormones! :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Newest Manz!

No - not ours - yet! Sorry! (but not really 'cause we're only 33 weeks!)

Our brother and sister-in-law got a new puppy: thought it appropriate to post her oh-so-sweet pictures here... sad that Oscar couldn't meet his new "cousin"... but there will be time for that later. We have a soft-spot for this puppy already because she looks like a tiny mastiff with her face wrinkles... so a close relative for Oscar... chuckle!

These were all taken at the cabin this weekend where we celebrated Gramma E's 75th birthday: congrats again Grandma!

(Dean, Amanda, and Josie - the tiny puggle (half pug, half beagle)!)

(Dean: the proud "papa" - Kurt beside and my father-in-law on the right.)

(Amanda with Josie during "nap-time".)

Feeling Better...

Some people knew about this, and others didn't... but Oscar got really sick last week.
It started out as a common canine (kennel) cough... but through various circumstances turned into a pretty serious pneumonia.
Last week he progressively got worse: lethargic, wheezy, full of phlegm, weak, not eating or drinking... and horrible lung sounds. This was basically what he wanted to do:

He ended up spending the entire weekend (Friday through Monday) at the veterinarian's on IV antibiotics to get the virus controlled. His bloodwork had shown that his immune system (white blood cells) was losing the battle with the infection... it was attacking it so it couldn't get ahead. The vet told Kurt that he thinks Oscar would have died if we hadn't used IV antibiotics over the weekend - so we're glad we did.
We picked him up today... still weak, but he wagged his tail when he saw us - which was more than what he had done last week. They had to shave both his legs go give the IV meds... so we're back where we started out a couple of months ago after he got "fixed" and had his leg shaved. Check out his neat ankle-warmers... very 80's retro:

(Kurt said they asked him, "Pink or purple bandages?" He said, "Um... option three?" LOL!)
At least he has matching patches this time!

He's still on oral antibiotics... but it seems as though the worst is behind him... he is just sleeping a lot - with good reason. Still a little wheezy, but way better than before! He's got his appetite back, and he got a little playful with Kurt today - took over his rope and wanted to play... but then petered-out pretty quickly.
But it's a great sign that "our Oscar" is on his way back!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Change Table

(The end product: It was exactly what we wanted! Not too high or low, white, and with drawers - matches the crib nicely.)
It took until 12:30 last night, but Kurt finished the change table. Nice, huh? Lots of room on top, plus 3 drawers and a cupboard - so I can stash stuff without it being visible. Very important. (lol)
Next? Hopefully a rocking chair - found one (glider plus footstool) at Toys R Us for way cheaper than anywhere else (like, at least $200 cheaper!)... and it's green - so it matches! :) Here's hoping!

(Imagining... hope the baby is a little more chubby than this! Chuckle...)

(What the heck: I only have two sleepers - and it helps me visualize... LOL!)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cool Shirt

Found this on can think of a few people who would like it. :)
Murray? (chuckle)
By the way, the link to the site is here
. So far, what I'm seeing is enjoyable...

The Start of a Nursery

(Stuffed animals from Gramma Lori & Grampa Gord)

We've started! Preparing a place to bring home Baby Manz is thrilling - and I must say that he or she is kicking up a storm lately... probably can sense mommy's excitement! :) Every little step we take is starting to make it feel more real that there might possibly be changes coming - but good ones... praise-God-kinda-ones! :)

Last week Kurt moved pretty much everything from the "yellow room" into the "blue room" (when we painted last summer we were trying to get pregnant - so the rationale was that we would already have two potential rooms if/when it happened - glad we did that! Much less work at this point in time.) Now the blue/spare room is our office, and the yellow room is going to be the baby's room. Everything is still disorganized... but we're gradually carving a niche out of the chaos to create order. ;)

The floors in both rooms squeaked horribly - so Kurt tightened them down. I only have pictures from last night - but the process was the same: lift the carpet, and insert 2-inch deck-screws into the floor joists to stop the old nails from moving in the wood. It worked great in the blue room - it is practically a cone of silence now.

(Tightening the floor)

The yellow room is more disappointing. The joists that squeak extend out into the hallway - so it still creaks along the wall regardless of of the number of screws put in. We'll probably end up putting the change-table there to reduce foot-traffic on that side of the room... so much for putting the rocking chair there like I'd originally planned! Kurt winces just walking over a squeak - so covering it can probably eliminate some stress on his part. Besides: the yellow room is only over the kitchen downstairs - not a bedroom... so it could be worse. I'll remind him of that - probably lots... chuckle. :)

(Assembling - and the finished project. What a handyman!)

After that was done, he put together the crib loaned to us by Tasha & Derek. Of course, earlier that night, he had been super-gracious in taking me out to pick up the crib accessories at JYSK... not to mention he had needed more screws from Co-op, and I needed to pick up some stuff for my mom at London Drugs - so it worked out nicely. He assembled, and I washed linens. :)

(Doing my part: putting on the sheet, and fastening the bumper pad... the pattern is little teddy-bears riding geese with stars around - cute, huh?)

They're pretty cute, if I do say so myself! :) They're so perfect for such a bright room... and not too feminine or masculine. We both like it... and the pattern gives us lots of other colors to accent the room with. We bought the crib sheet, a baby-quilt, and the bumper pad. We may yet go and get the matching window-panel to go over the blinds... budget-permitting (and it was only 9.99 on sale so that isn't too likely to destroy the fiscal balance!). I love JYSK!

(Ready for Baby? Not quite - but getting closer!)

The final results: the bookshelf behind the bassinet will be uncluttered for pictures, stuffed animals, etc. And, of course, the bassinet will be in our room after Baby comes home. The change table will go on the left of the picture, and the rocking chair will go about where I am standing to take the picture. I'll keep my eyes open for pictures, or other "stuff" that can go on the walls to make it a little more cozy... but it is truly amazing what assembling the crib will do. :)

Kurt wants to put together the change table tonight when he gets home... so more pictures to come later! :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

One More for the Day...

For those who wanted to see our new painting - only took four years to get one for that big empty wall... lol. :)

Oh - and for those who have inquired: our baby registry is done at "Babies R Us"... I'll put the link here. The last name is "Manz" and the first is "Kurt" or "Kurt & Kendall" - city, of course, being Saskatoon.
Most of the items are "big"... and we're by no means expecting to receive it all (or any of it for that matter) - but it serves as a memory marker for us when we go, "Hmmm... what else were we going to pick up?" :)
Alrighty then - have a great August 22nd!
Only 54 days to go! Woo-hoo!

For my Mother...

From the last post: I know what other project needs to get done... pitying my mother here 'cause I love her and don't like to tease her unnecessarily - for the most part. ;-D

We got it (official "needing to finish that nursery") started with a whole basket (literally!) of baby-goodies:

Mom and Dad Manz dropped off a bassinet (a Cadillac bassinet at that - lights, rocker, mobile... etc.), a stuffed animal (labeled 2007), a bag of "bounty" (cute sleeper, hand-crocheted jacket/hat/booties from Oma Epp (Kurt's Gramma), 3 change pads... Now we really have to get the nursery done - ' cause the basket is just sitting in the living room right now. :) Thanks so much for your generosity guys! :) We love you both very much and your excitement about your first grandchild is catchy! :) We just keep looking at all the 'stuff' and the bassinet going, "We're going to be putting a baby in there soon... wow." :)

As for the pictures: forgive my vanity, but I looked unusually red in them... Kurt assured me I didn't in "real-life", but I've tinkered to even out my skin tone - a-la: black-and-white. :) The bassinet is a soft green with cream accents - very pretty, but not too much in case it is a boy. :)
Don't we just look oh-so-prepared for a baby? ;-D
Yeah.... that's what I thought. :)
So keep praying for us, okay? (lol)

The Front Yard is DONE!

It's done! (For the most part...)
Here is the before (for those who don't' remember the last front-yard post):

And here is the after:

The digging, trenching, edging, laying of sprinklers, placing the rock, grooming of the trees, laying of a whole lot of sod and rolling it (to make sure it doesn't roll up) in the middle of a gigantic downpour is DONE!

80 yards of sod in all (720 square feet), and he used all of it!

Finding out that one of our drain-pipes was clogged - nothing like unclogging a downspout in a rolling thunder-boomer! (I took this from under the safety of an umbrella... chuckle!) I don't think his boots have dried yet...
It is important that the lawn get rolled with a heavy roller so it doesn't curl at the edges. The drum is filled with water to make it heavy... and it is easy to "lighten" when transported. So back and forth he went while the lightning flashed and the thunder boomed and that blessed, wonderful heaven-sent rain kept on falling... and falling, and falling! We haven't had to water yet (and the lawn looks great!)
I took these pictures from the front-door and out our front-window. Notice he changed to flip-flops? :) Smart guy!
Now about that other small job we had to get done... what was it, again??? Something that needs to get done before October... shucks - can't quite remember... (lol)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The 'Me & You Tour'

Well, my wonderful hubby pulled it off... took me on a surprise trip to "somewhere", to do "something" that I would "probably really enjoy". :) He even came up with a title: "The Me & You Tour". Sounded great to me!
It all started a few months ago when I mentioned that I'd like to go somewhere before the baby came... it didn't have to be far away, or for a long time - just some "me and you time" before it would be impossible for a while. He had kinda nodded in that way that seemed to imply, "That would be ideal yet highly unlikely." (lol) So I mentioned a few times how easy I would be to please in this case, and eventually, he seemed to believe me.
Lo-and-behold: he planned something! :) The surprise was hard to keep - and a few things slipped out over the weeks - but - overall - I was surprised and VERY pleased at what came about.
The first thing: I slept after my night shift on Friday and he did his running around to prepare - telling me that he wanted to leave by 4pm. We got away by 4:15 - not bad for me having only 3 hours of sleep. :)
We drove through a massive thunderstorm all the way in the direction of Regina (remember: I didn't know where we were going for sure). People were pulled over on the side of the road because it was raining SO hard that it was very difficult to see - Kurt plowed on through.There was a Rider game going on that night, but I was pretty convinced that we weren't going - despite all the cars passing us with flags and people wearing green. I said to Kurt, "Boy, I'm glad we're not going to the game - they're going to get soaked." He said, "Oh really?" That should have been my first hint. (chuckle)
We got to Regina (surprise!) and he informed me that we were
, in fact, going to the game. Oops. :) I hastily assured him that I was happy to go to the game, but "you do have rain-gear, right?" Of course he did - what a smarty-pants! I have no pictures of this event, because Kurt thought best to leave the camera in the car in case it rained. Boy - what foresight.
For those
not attuned to Saskatchewan Roughrider football and the game and events that made history on Saturday, let me break it down: Scroll past if you're not into football. :)

The game was close, and fast and fun - and it sprinkled on and off for an hour-and-a-half. At the start of 4th quarter (with the Riders down by 5 points), the skies opened up, lightning, thunder, wind... the players all ran off the field, we fans all hunkered down for a bit of a downpour... and then the lights all went off. Really. Over 26,000 people plunged into darkness in the middle
of a super-storm - and the loud-speakers weren't even working to say what was going on. I had visions of the Super Dome in New Orleans...
Although Kurt and I were wearing rain-coats with hoods and good quality Columbia jackets underneath, the lower-regions of our bodies were immediately soaked. The fans started chanting over the thunder, "Go Riders, Go!" We stood there, in the dark and the rain in the thunder and lightening, for about 15 minutes - before I used the "Sweetie, I'm 7-months-pregnant" card to get us out moving. Even the inside of the stadium had water standing on the concrete... so I asked as sweetly as I could to just go get dried off. When we left the stadium the lights still weren't on and we were fairly convinced (with the storm and all) that the game was going to be suspended.
We drove to Kurt's brother's house where we threw our clothes in the dryer and went to get a bite to eat: turned on the radio to discover that the game had resumed! We drove to Boston Pizza to catch the end of the game: where the Riders won: 39-32! Kurt struggled a little with having left the game - but who knew? Oh well - at least they won.
The next morning, we visited with Dean for a while (missed you Amanda!) - had a wonderful and relaxing breakfast together, and then went shopping at 'Toys R Us' where we picked out a stroller and other manner of fun-things for the baby... (we're going to create a registry there for anyone wanting to get us something but not sure what - FYI. :)) and a change-table for the nursery.
Then my sweetie informed me that we were going to see a movie together: I highly recommend 'Stardust'. SOOOO good - we both loved it and agreed it was the best movie we've seen in a long time. After that he took me to the hotel where we had the king-size jacuzzi suite booked. I hopped around that room for a while: very nice and super-luxurious. Here are some pictures:

Above: The view entering the room.

The suite with the
super-big king-sized bed! Woo-hoo!

The jacuzzi -
double woo-hoo!

The view from sitting on the jacuzzi - very nice room!
We went to The Keg for supper - quite the splurge - where Kurt enjoyed a New York striploin and I had fillet mignon. Kurt took a while to enjoy his and I took some pictures... the close-up of the steak was for my dad's benefit: Kurt wanted to share the amazing steak experience. (lol) Don't look if you can't handle red-ish meat!

We also had a great visit - talking about the day and the lead-up... just kinda renewing the sense of who we - as a couple - are. We're both very aware that things will change after the baby comes - so it was also a chance to plan and dream about what we're looking forward to, as well as what we don't want to lose. Suffice to say - The Keg saw 'mr & mrs manz' fall more in love that night - praise
God. :)

The next morning, after all that my husband had already done to make me feel like his "most cherished possession" (sighs and heart-flutters - lol) he had one more surprise for me: a card that opened and SANG (really) "How sweet it is to be loved by you", plus revealed his heart and his desires for the years to come. No denying: I cried - happy tears - but tears nonetheless. :) He said it was a challenge to write while I was sleeping because it kept almost playing... so he wrote it half-open... and it was a long card - so I was impressed. :) We had a leisurely breakfast, and pulled out of Regina holding hands and smiling. I think I floated back to Saskatoon. (chuckle)
Awww... yes - sickly-sweet to the highest heavens - but just what this girl needed to be reminded how much God gives good things... and to be thankful and not take advantage of those gifts - or one gift in particular - namely Kurt. :)

It was a GREAT "me-and-you" tour.... have I mentioned I like being married? :) BTW: I've passed the 7-month mark: can you tell? :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Back Yard Changes

I promised a long time ago to give a side-by-side comparison of what we've done with the backyard... so here we go!
Kurt came up with the whole idea of what to do himself - not an easy feat considering there wasn't much to work with at the start (besides what he had already done from when we just rented the place) What a genius I've married! And a hard worker... plus a cutie-pie to boot... blessed thy name is 'mrsmanz'! :) But I digress... ;-D

Some of these pictures have already been up - but this is so that the changes are that much more obvious. This whole yard-work saga feels like it has been underway forever... but we're thankful to have a yard to work on. We're just really looking forward to being done with it. And then on with the nursery... ;)

The biggest view of the deck changes and... uh... grass! :) The deck had to be primed (white) and painted - twice! And - for those who observe closely, the base of the entire house was also painted - now it is a dark brown vs just a concrete/peach color. Oh - and we built a fence (with the help and tools of our friend Kirby), and changed the light fixture by the door and painted both sheds - the one in the fence-building picture is green - now it is brown and white.
Not in the pictures? The "before" gate (which was crooked and ragged) since Kurt built a new one almost at the start of the summer. Also, the entire 'old' fence (including the part extending past the new fence into the back alley) had to be repainted because it was less than covered. :) In fact, if you want to catch a glimpse there is a picture in my slide-show of Kurt and I looking over the fence at each other - you can see the fence in the background.
This picture is to prove that I did help out, under the direction of my fearless leader. :) It was a painting the deck day - see the determination on my face? Kurt had also tilled the back soil to be ready for the sod - now Oscar enjoys the final results plus trees and gravel. :) Notice how many of the pictures are in the dark? Even though it was Canadian summer (daylight until 9pm at least) we worked late many nights because our days were full. No wonder we felt like we had no summer last year!

The reason I'm putting these up now is that our sod for the front got delivered today - and I'll put up the before and after pictures - after it is done. :) The front changes are truly amazing... if you're in the area drive by and honk at Kurt (who is almost certainly out there working to get it done before the big storm hits). No worries about the rain, though - saves us watering it this weekend! We were actually just out there looking at the big gray/blue clouds hoping that it hits us. :)
Speaking of which: I just heard the sky open up - I'd better go check on my sure-to-be-wet hubby! :) Perhaps I should put on some coffee...
Stay tuned!