Monday, September 29, 2008

Too Funny

Who but Driscoll could get John Piper into a DG skateboard sweater? My biggest crack-up? Watching them connect knuckles at the end... :-D

Make sure to pause the music player...

On Another Note...

I'm off to Regina for a few days for my last nursing related event before the baby comes. It's a 4-hour drive (or 4 and 3-quarter hour drive according to google maps)- so I'm hoping to get away by 3pm so I can get there by 6 - 6:30. Not to mention drive in daylight through whitetail deer country... You should be able to click all those links and find out some extra details I'm not willing to type out right now. :)

I'm not that eager to go by myself - but the guy Kurt is working for has just over a week left for harvest (Lord willing) so he's going to stay and make sure that gets done sooner rather than later. I think he has recurring nightmares about being in a truck somewhere when my water breaks....

Anyway, I'm staying with my wonderful brother and sister in law - and there will be at least one of my coworkers there so I won't be completely by myself at the conference which should be very interesting - really. My lack of enthusiasm has more to do with the lower body discomfort and size of my belly than the content as slated in the brochure... chuckle.

Ye-gads! 34 weeks and counting....
My brother-in-law informed me they're taking me to Tony Roma's for supper... so I'll be starving myself in anticipation today. (grin)
What? It isn't like people will wonder where my appetite comes from... (chuckle)

Anyway, I should go pick out the music I'm going to listen to on my many-houred (word?) trip. Blessings, everyone!

Autumn's Headstone

We're very pleased with how it turned out - both quality of workmanship and the overall appearance. We had a surprise when we came home from church and noticed it in the graveyard... we weren't expecting it to be delivered for another month.

But - and this is the truth - I feel such a sense of satisfaction that it's there and it says what we want it to say. Who she was and what happened. How we feel about losing her. Trusting the One who has held us up. I feel that we've done something for her - and I really needed that.

It's the first time I've visited the graveyard since October 26th last year... and it was perfect. For this I praise God.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm Shameless...

Okay... this is a horrible thing to do.
Maybe not.
What the heck - here goes...

Out of all of you who read this thing and live in the booming metropolis of Saskatoon or somewhere within driving distance: who would be interested in coming to a Party Lite party I'm "hosting" at the Party Lite lady's house? :)

And... of those of you who may be interested: would you be available on the 15th of October? You can pat my oh-so-pregnant belly one more time before I'm induced...

Yeah, so - shock of shocks - this isn't a rhetorical group of questions. I really am 'hosting' a party Saskatoon on the 15th of October at 7pm.

Soccer friends. NEPS friends. 5100 coworkers. Church friends. Friends from none of the above-listed groups who - although I have not met you - just read the blog... All of you - you're invited.

If anyone from other provinces or the States want to fly over for my party I'd be flattered. I'd feel badly - but I'd hide it in the delight of seeing you. :)

So... yeah - wanna come? She said she could fit up to 50 in her house. I think that's overly optimistic... but who knows? :) Do I even know 50 people?

Regardless: I love Party Lite stuff - and it's just in time for Christmas for which they have LOADS of cute things... hint, hint, hint... check out the website by clicking the 'hint-hints'!

It also may be my last opportunity to get out and do some seriously woman-ish socializing before BManzII makes her arrival... and since the hostess provides drinks and snacks I'd need to know who'd be interested in coming and wishing me happy labour before it happens. :) You can RSVP to my email addy: (substitute the @ for at).

Really. Come. There is no pressure to buy (she's a good sales person) and it'll be a blast. :)

See? I really am shameless.
But what is the use of a blog if not to push my own agenda?
Bah-ha-ha-ha.... you must buy a candle....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It IS a Girl

A change to point out: I've added some of the blogs on my reader to the sidebar link. I figure if I enjoy ya'll so much I should let the rest do so also. :)

The ultrasound yesterday was delightful. That is simply the most descriptive way I can think of to describe it. We confirmed that she is - indeed - a girl. That part was very obvious and not hidden at all - much to our relief. But due to her position and the big pocket of fluid around her head we got to spend a really, really long time looking at her face. She's a chub! Seriously - this kid's cheeks and lips are so plump and healthy looking - even on the ultrasound. I'll see if I can cut and past a picture. For almost the entirety of the ultrasound she had her feet up by her head - but - again - thanks to the fluid we were still able to see her in all her chubby-cheeked glory. :) She would not open her eyes for anything, though - and at the end of the ultrasound declared it was over by unceremoniously rolling over and facing down. I hope she's more accommodating to pictures when she's born...

The tech spent a lot of time looking at her heart - all chambers and valves look healthy - and her little lungs are doing lots of practice breathing. We were even able to see the fluid moving in and out of her nose as she's preparing for the real thing. Everything is really well formed and although the cord is near her shoulder, there was (yesterday) nothing looped around or knotted. The only thing the radiologist said when he came in the room was, "She's a really big baby." No kidding: she's measuring 5 lbs 13 ounces! That estimate can vary a pound or two in either direction - but with the way I've been feeling it didn't shock me at all that she was so big. It makes me feel better about a 38 week induction, too! At this rate, she will still be almost 8-ish pounds - but that's better than a 9 pounder. :)

Check out those cheeks!!

Thanks so much for all your prayers...

Monday, September 22, 2008

11 Months

Yesterday it would have been Autumn's 11-month birthday. I can hardly believe it. All day it kept registering that it was the 21st - and that 11 of those markers have passed since she left us... but it seems so unreal at times. We've had so many changes. Moving, new jobs, renovations, another pregnancy - a new nursery with new things...This past year is difficult to describe. Overwhelming sorrow. Cautious enthusiasm. Unbroken trust. And just really, really missing our baby girl.
The sadness feels very near today, though. All the wondering what she would look and act like makes me realize that it will forever been an unknown. But it's also partially because I'm empathizing strongly with Molly as it is her daughter's one-year birthday today. If you think of it, pray for both of our families. Sadness deep in the heart is something only God can cure - but He uses the prayers of His people to accomplish that.
I'm listening to the words of Mercy Me's "My Heart will Fly" as I type and remember (it's on the player if you want to find it). It echos my heart today.

"Why this happened I can hardly explain -
Why write the script with such heartache and pain?
Could there not have been an easier way?
Watching life through this glass so faded - I cannot see the bigger picture taking place...
Oh to understand one day...
And my heart will fly - when I finally see you face to face
and my tears will fly away
It won't be long till we all go home
with all things revealed - and on that day we'll finally know
Oh - as we are fully known...
And what appears as incomplete
is still completely yours
and one day we'll see as we've been seen and we'll soar..."

I believe, Lord - help me in my unbelief!

Blessings to all of you,

Friday, September 19, 2008

Post 5 of 9 (September 14-20)

The logic of the count is that I'll be posting the 9th the week we GO for induction. Like - this morning I'm 33 weeks - and that means I have five FULL weeks left to go. Just in case anyone was confused.

Kurt's been super-busy with harvest: he's been working consistent 12-15 hour days driving truck for the farmer he's working for. He's really enjoying it - even with the sleep deprivation. Last night when he got home (at 0030) I was actually still kinda awake so he showered in our bathroom (versus the one out by the kitchen) and then we half-consciously held hands until we fell asleep about 30 seconds later. Ahhh... the romance of harvest combined with the ardor of pregnancy... (lol!)

I hadn't mentioned it yet - but we get to have another ultrasound next week. I'm pretty excited - because normally we only get one at 18 weeks and if baby is fine then it is unnecessary to have others. But with our history the doctor thought it would be a good idea to check her out. The actual reason on the referral form? "Maternal reassurance". I'll take that. :) The smallest benefit of this would be making sure she really is a girl. :) The biggest delight is going to be seeing our baby at almost 34 weeks. I hope she's really active and I can figure out the parts that have been moving so much. I remember the huge difference it made with Autumn between the 18 week and 30 week ultrasound. Like: the difference between alien and human child (snicker). So that is exciting for both of us - pretty major understatement, that one. (grin)

I've also started begging off of shifts. (sigh) The waddle is getting more pronounced - as is the shortness of breath. That isn't anything I can't cope with at home - but getting in and out of the car and in and out of people's houses is acutely exhausting. Plus my pulse is still pretty volatile. Again - I can control it at home (when I feel it picking up I do the pregnancy equivalent of a full-stop: sit down, recline, feet up) but at work there isn't as much of an option for that. I would much rather control it with lifestyle than drugs... so fortunately I have a great group of coworkers who are really understanding.

Just so you can see how big I've gotten I'll post my 32 week picture (from last Friday). It's getting to the point where even I am wondering how big I'll be in another 5 weeks... zoiks. I've only gained 20 lbs - and have 5 weeks go... so that is actually really good (normal gain is 35-40 lbs) - but all I am is tummy and bum. Yes - I wrote bum on my blog. (grin) But I was definitely starting behind the 8-ball with this pregnancy because I hardly lost any weight from my pregnancy with Autumn. Lord willing, I'll have the time and energy and initiative to be healthy in the weight loss after this baby comes: not getting pregnant again 4 months after delivering this baby will probably help. (small smile)

To illustrate the delightful inconvenience of all this: Yesterday I had to take the truck for fuel and some groceries and my tummy touched the steering wheel - that doesn't happen in the car because of the telescopic steering column. Not a great thing when thinking about air bags... but for this, also, I trust God. :) But the point isn't so much that my tummy touched as that my feet almost didn't. (lol!) Hard to drive when you can't reach the pedals! Probably the last time I'll drive the truck until the baby is born...

32 weeks and counting...

Thanks for reading and praying, everyone...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Three Shows

Satellite TV has really expanded my viewing options. My three favorite shows are:

1) The Dog Whisperer on National Geographic: and Caesar really rocks! He actually had a BoerBoel on there the other day - a big chunk of dog. I realized it isn't just our dog being a wussy - big dogs often are super-dooper insecure. Oscar is a big wimp. He is afraid of the lawn mower. (rolling eyes). So anyway, Kurt and I are both trying to practice our positive energy with Oscar and other canines. :-D

2) John & Kate Plus 8 on The Learning Channel: Wow. If you haven't seen that show - watch it. Wow. (thanks for the tip, Ruthie! :-D)

3) The Factor with Bill O'Riley on FOX: Strange, huh? At first I thought he was straight up obnoxious. He is, actually. But I get a good laugh because he is so sure of himself. :) "Caution: You are entering a no-spin zone!" (big grin)

I'm still working on Autumn's album, by the way. It's kinda like nesting... but rather than being physical labor I'm finding it a real emotional undertaking. I think the worst is over, though. I got the journaling all done regarding the day before and of her birth. It took about 4 pages - but well-spaced pages with pictures. Now my plan is to just do some photo pages. The hard part is that I keep thinking of extra things to put in the album... I'm not really sure where to draw the line. I think my instincts are saying "just go" and when it's done - I'll know it. But I only have 5 weeks, 3 days before induction... so I better "go" hard just in case I think of more stuff to put in there.

I'm also in quite a bit of physical discomfort. I'm not dilated or anything like that - but I think that the bones "down there" are starting to relax - which - ironicly - does not cause the rest of me to do so. I am even having trouble getting out of bed in the morning - and wake up each time I move in bed because my lower back and legs are aching so much. Yaaaayyyy.... Fortunately, this coincides well with the shifts for work not being too heavy - so I'll try to rest and... elevate?... for the next week.

Okay - gotta go - my dog is pacing back and forth on the deck because a big grain-truck just rolled by. (sigh.) I must rescue him before his tail gets any further between his legs... lol. :)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Bed For Oscar

We picked up this thing at Costco.
It's Oscar's new favorite place - we keep it in the porch so he can rest after being pooped out outside. :)
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Friday, September 12, 2008


My friend Beth from Colorado lost her little girl - Lily - in September last year. Through this blog she contacted me and we've been "in touch" for almost a year now.
I'm so thrilled to announce she successfully got through her next pregnancy and has delivered her baby boy Drew Alan. I'm so, so excited for her. And - I have to say - he is an extraordinarily cute baby boy. :)
Each new baby that is born - and in particular each baby that is born to a family that went through what we did - is a reminder of God's grace and goodness.
Congratulations, Beth! Love you - and thanks for trusting God along with me these last few months. :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Hey - did you know I've been sick for the last week?

*cough, cough*

Glad to get it out of the way before I give birth... I hope.

But now Kurt has it, too.
We always do this - I wish for once I could be sick all by myself so that he could take good care of me and then vise versa.
What ends up happening is that we both get sick and wander around feeling too unwell to do anything other than wish the other would take care of us. Such a quagmire...



I'm convicted of how horribly impatient I am.
The problem with impatience? It can kill the enjoyment of what is now.
And when the enjoyment of now is gone - it is easy to worry that what I really want will never come - or be taken away from me.

Practically trusting God is realizing:
a) Nothing in His big-picture plan is going to change
b) Everything is happening just as it should - exactly when it should.
c) Worry changes nothing.

I was reading Matthew today: had a few holy and yet gentle slaps.
Jesus sleeping in the boat - his disciples are panicking as the storm gets worse. His simple and pointed response when they wake him up? "Oh you of little faith - why are you afraid?"
Hmmm... this kind of reply from a human who is as impotent as me in the face of creation's fury would garner an eye-roll and an irritated huff."Why am I afraid?Oh, I dunno.... Because there are huge waves! Because there is lightning sizzling overhead! Because we're in the middle of a big stinkin' sea and we have no life jackets!"
But the beauty of Jesus' reply is that he controls the wind and the waves. He's not being sarcastic or unkind - he's just reminding them of the truth. He's absolutely not going to let anything happen to them - yet - because He has a plan that will be worked out for all of them. It's not faith in anything other than who He is.

In my case there are so many "because" factors when it comes to justifying my fears (at least from my perspective). One of those fears is that his plan for me will include more heartbreak - and that next time it could hurt even more than it did when our firstborn died.
Maybe it will. In fact, I should probably plan on having more things disappoint me for the duration of my stay on earth - it is, after all - not heaven.

But - as a human- I want to know what things I might lose. I tell myself (foolishly) that being able to be prepared beforehand would make another loss bearable. When we were talking the other day about this baby, Kurt phrased it perfectly. "I wouldn't even mind waiting if I knew things would turn out in the end." It's the unknowns - having to sit powerless and helpless as circumstances work themselves out for us to observe and live in - that drive us crazy and cause us anxiety.

My fear - when broken down and examined at it's root level - says so many things about what I think of God. And it isn't' good stuff. It says He's unstable. Less trustworthy than myself. It says that my plans are the best. It says that knowing He has a plan isn't good enough for me. It says that He isn't satisfying enough - that I would get more satisfaction from my circumstances working out to my liking.

See - that's always the danger, isn't it? I love the gifts he has given me - but there is always that pull to cling to them as though I alone have achieved them and maintain them. And that is both the blessing and hardship of being a Christian: to love the Giver more than the gifts - especially when he has taken what seemed to be my most precious possession.

But - almost 11 months later - the truth is there to be examined in depth if I will only stop and look. He has held me. Loved me. Caused me to love Him more than I ever could have before.
He has taught me that the end of fear is just that - fear. It accomplishes nothing short of it's own mass reproduction.

But the end of trust... where do I start that list?
Peace (incomprehensible peace).
Anticipation of the future.
Embracing of my powerlessness - and waiting to see what He does.
Knowing this baby's life is as secure as any on earth - including mine and Kurt's.

The thing about the Matthew passage: the disciples were in a real deluge - it wasn't just their imaginations. But - boy oh boy! - they had the right Man in their boat! :)
And in my storm, Jesus - strong, compassionate and powerful - has me sitting snugly beside Him in His boat, and on His sea. He holds my cheeks, trains my eyes on Him alone, and asks gently, "Have I let you drown before? Do not fear, my little one - I control every storm."

So although I am impatient - so indescribably anxious to hold our little girl and smell her baby skin and love her from head to toe - I can give even that emotion back to God. I can face uncertainty because it isn't uncertain for Him.

It will work out in His timing - the best way possible. And it will be good for me.
Hasn't everything so far?


Last night Kurt prepared a delicious supper: cucumber salad, drumsticks and crinkle-cut french fries. He shake'n'baked the chicken and was quite anticipating the results. I know because I took exactly 2 minutes too long to get to the table and he called me three times. Each with increasing urgency. (chuckle)

Anyway (after I finally got there), we thanked the Lord for the food and dug in. About three bites into his chicken he asked me, "Does this chicken taste sweet to you?"

"Hmmm..." I mused, "Yeah, kinda." I'm not normally a "sweet food" person - but it was passable. That, and I was hungry.

On his third drumstick he commented again, "This really tastes sweet."

"Uh-huh." said I (I'm not a big conversationalist when I'm busy chewing fries.)

All of a sudden he stops eating and tosses down his drumstick. With a horrified expression he blurts out, "That bag of stuff you had in the fridge - that wasn't shake'n'bake was it?"

Thinking quickly, "Umm... no - that stuff in the drawer was crushed graham crackers."

No wonder it was sweet....
I'm sure some fancy restaurant somewhere has created sweet graham chicken and sells it for fifty bucks a drumstick - but us poor simple people from Manzville aren't ready for that kind of culinary experience just yet.

Anyway, I had a really good laugh - and Kurt managed to get over if after saying, "I was really hoping this would be a good supper." about three times. :)
The actual sign of how much he disliked it? He threw the last drumstick out. For my frugal husband he had to have been really disgusted with the results to throw out a perfectly good piece of chicken.

I hope this doesn't discourage Kurt from making supper in the future.
I love you, honey! :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Post 4 of 9 (whoops!) - September 7th-13th

So I think I missed last week's "weekly post". Oh well - it just feels like I lost a week- which in this case isn't a bad thing. :)
We've been pretty busy - in a good way, I think.
I had a good friend from nursing get married on the 1st (yes, a Monday) and we bought a few more things for the nursery (pink-ish things... not too much - but boy - does it ever look good on that dark plumb colour!).
I opened up Autumn's box of clothes and blankets and washed everything for the new baby. That has been good - I never saw her wear any of it - or use any of it... so with a fresh perspective I can once again fold them and prepare my heart to place them on our baby girl.
We also officially ordered/signed the contract for Autumn's headstone. That accomplishment really pleases me. I felt in some strange way as though I could finally do something for her. It's been a long year in so many ways... yeah. A year. I'll post pictures of it as soon as we get it placed. And - because I haven't blogged about this it may surprise some of you - with it's placement I'll probably visit her grave for the first time. I never have. I've stood at the edge of the cemetery - and each time I drive by it I strain my eyes to see her spot - but I've never been able to go in and stand there. I think the headstone will really hit it home that my baby is buried there. It is her mark. I won't ever have kindgergarten crafts or diplomas... so this is the place where we will declare, "She was here. She was real. She was ours." We're hoping it will be delivered and placed before the new baby arrives.
On a brighter note: Our very dear friends had their baby girl on Saturday - congratulations again, you two! (or, you three as the case is now.) This is the friend that almost could have delivered 4 weeks ago - but she held on. Baby K.L.M (hey, same initials as me!) entered the world early Saturday morning. We are so, so thrilled for them... but with that thrill comes the anticipation of, Lord willing, it being our turn in 7 weeks.
We got a chance to visit them in the hospital on Sunday. She is the first newborn we've held since our own. It was emotional - but really a good experience for us both. I had wondered how Kurt would do - but after we sat there for a while he asked, "So... can I see what a seven pound one ounce baby feels like?" :) I feel like my heart's prayer has been since then a simple, "Please, please, Lord?"
And that about wraps it up for today. I'll try to get another post in this week... hopefully. :) I'll be attempting to scrapbook some more pages - but that is also a "hopefully"... the stuff is spread all over our desk - so it isn't too hard to undertake. We'll see...
Thanks for reading, everyone!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Some Journaling

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So, (as you can see) the majority of the past week was spent scrapbooking the prenatal shots. I tried to choose pictures that showed how deep the emotion went. The joy, the anticipation... and thus the total shock when we found out she had died. As unreal as it seemed on the day we took these pictures, the fact that my daughter was gone became my reality in a matter of minutes two months later. But I still need to remember how it felt to hope.

I sit in the office with my blog music playing in the background as I sort through these pictures, and often find myself pausing, remembering and finding tears pooling in my eyes in a way that hasn't happened in a few months. It's painful - but with the words of the songs I love constantly serving as a reminder - I cannot drop into despair or hopelessness. And the grief - while still present because she isn't - is now like a backdrop to my days versus the main-stage feature it was for so very long.

I've moved now more into the actual birthday photos (as in the first post) and I'm trying to capture exactly what my feelings were. I've done lots of journaling - some freehand, some borrowed from this oh-so-handy blog. I'm not sure if that kind of stuff will actually "interest" anyone - but I find myself almost belligerent about capturing my memories. For better or for worse - that was our only day with her. I need to remember - and to make sure I won't forget as time and more children come.

In response to your comment about pictures/albums, Hannah - the fact of the matter is that I'm not sure who will see this album. Some of it feels so private - and yet there is part of me - as a mommy - that wants to take out a book and show the world. "This was my baby girl - she was very, very real to me." I'm working through it as I go. :)

BTW: in the original post ("A Snapshot") I've added the second of the two page spread. So you can go and take a look if you like. For ease of movement, just click the link and it'll take you right there. :)

30 Weeks - 2007

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This was a hard one to get done - but with a quote search online I found exactly what I wanted to say. The closer I get to meeting this new baby, the harder it is to believe I got through that day and the days to follow.... God is gracious.
I miss Autumn every single day - but how I anticipate being a real-live mommy!
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I'll post a few other pages for you to see. Stay tuned...