Monday, December 29, 2008

The Girls

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Renovation Pictures (Finally!)

Had a little spare time today... obviously. :) Feel free to skip this post if the layout and design of my house bores you. To the three of you who keep reading? Enjoy. ;)
Before I start - a few disclaimers:
1) It was my grandparents house before it was ours. My grandma's colours worked amazingly well with her stuff - but for our stuff it wouldn't have looked so great. Thus the need to change. But if you do comment, please don't say anything horrible about the "before" pictures. :) Thanks.
2) We changed the flooring and countertops in every room (even if it doesn't show up in the pictures)
3) Not every room is pictured - just enough so you can see how big the changes really were. I left out the office, and two bathrooms, the laundry room and our big pantry. They really weren't as riveting in either sets of photos.
That said - here we go!
The living room before:

And after (plus Christmas decorations):

The other side of the living room before (with our faithful painters Gord and Lori):

And after:

The kitchen before (Oscar included) - the view from the living room:

The kitchen after (we added the island) and - as you can see - drastically changed the colours:

Main bathroom before:

Main bathroom after:

Master bedroom before (closet door open):

Master bedroom after (complete with baby):

Peyton's room before (Kurt had to fix a floor break):

Peyton's room now:

The amazing thing is that I feel tired looking at these pictures. I remember how long it seemed to take to get to this point and am happy we're pretty much done all the major changes. It's just minor stuff now - like lighting and trim boards.
But wheeewwww... what a trasformation, eh?

Some Christmas Shots

Opening her Christmas book from Daddy and Mommy.
December 27th: the smiles start and just don't stop!
The three of us (Peyton all pooped out).
The picture I hope to include in the thank you cards I hope to get sent out eventually. :)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Manz family. Thanks for your love, prayers and support over this past year...
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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Best Christmas Song EVER!

Hey - check out Abraham's blog and listen to the song he links.
It's totally worth your while... I have tears streaming down my face.
It does do something to the heart... very Christmas spirit-y.
Let me know what you think. :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


This is the most heart-wrenching song I've heard in years.
The first time I heard it, we were driving in Phoenix, and I wept for Autumn and what would never be.
The second time I heard it I wept for Steven Curtis Chapman who had lost one of the little daughters he wrote it for.
The third time I came from the back of the house to see my husband holding his baby daughter and dancing around the living room. Peyton was fascinated with her daddy, and the joy radiated out of Kurt. He barely noticed me standing there except to give me a brief smile that said he didn't care if it looked silly. :)
So I stood at the counter in the kitchen and watched the waltz that had waited a year to take place.
I cried - again - for Autumn and all the "if only's".... but my heart rejoiced for the gift of Peyton and the delight she brings to us.
I've added the song on my play list (it's at the very bottom) so if you listen to it you might see why I tend to tear up when I hear it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Is it An Addiction?

... when the first thing I say to my husband in the morning is, "Did you make coffee yet?"


We're back from Melfort, surviving (barely!) the cold and counting down the days to Peyton's first Christmas and our 5th since we became the first set of Manz juniors back in 2003. So hard to believe... but I'm so very thankful.

The fellow Kurt worked with at harvest just stopped by to give us chocolate (darn!) and told me that it is supposed to be horridly cold for the rest of the week. Perspective: it's -33 C. That is -27 F before windchill (which I choose to not think about...)

But on a bright note we discovered that our car does have a block heater after all - so it's chances of surviving the winter are much better now. :) We didn't really have to deal with it in Saskatoon last year because of the garage and it so happened that we never traveled anywhere when it was really cold. This year our garage is actually heated so we really hadn't thought about it... and then we had to start our car after it had sat in the driveway in Melfort for 2 days of the above-mentioned weather. I'd try to describe the sound it made, but it's really too pathetic. I'll say this for our refurbished 2005 Mazda 3: it's got a great battery.

I forgot to take pictures this weekend - but as soon as my mom-in-law sends me some I'll put a couple of them up.

And congratulations to Jessica and Jen - who both delivered healthy boys within the past week. I'm praising God for the blessings you've both received - Merry Christmas, you guys. :)


Friday, December 19, 2008

2 Months


One month
Two months
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Even Sick She's Still Cute...

Peyton fought - and seems to be winning - her first major battle with the flu virus. She's only 8 weeks old - so it hardly seems fair that she had to deal with it so early... but that's life.
The poor baby... she would cough and cough... and then just kinda whimper 'cause it hurt. It was heartbreaking. Kurt and I took turns sitting up with her during the night because she found it easier to breathe and she coughed less.
But now - other than the occasional spit-up that is full of guckies - she's doing much better - personality is back and she's our happy girl once again. :)
I'm just so happy for pediatric drugs which made her and my life easier this week.
Now Kurt and I are fighting it. Truthfully, in the past I would already have been down for the count with my lack of sleep. However - and I cannot believe I'm saying this - the flu shot seems to have helped me not get too sick.
Go figure...
We're off to Melfort for Manz early Christmas this weekend. I think Gramma and Grampa are a little excited about Peyton's first time visiting - not to mention showing her off to all their friends at church. Yes - I'm downplaying it. I think Gord was actually bouncing on the phone this morning. Kurt joked that instead of asking when we were coming, his dad would ask when Peyton was going to get there! (chuckle) We love you guys and are looking forward to seeing you in a few hours. :)
I'll post when we get back - thanks for reading, everyone... Merry Christmas!
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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mother and Daughter

This is what two hours of sleep looks like. (chuckle) She - apparently - thanks this is funny. :) She's been running a low-grade fever yesterday and today and that has affected both of our sleeps. The baby Tylenol is helping, though - for which I am very thankful.
Loving her anyway and thanking the Lord for the opportunity to go through even this mommy "rite of passage".
MORE than two hours of sleep. :) (for both of us) Just for contrast... lol!
The Snuggli trip down the street to a Norwex party. We made it even though it was cold for me - she slept great all the way there and back. You know it's a good product when a 5 minute walk knocks her out! (chuckle)

More Pictures (are you shocked?)

Grinning (with the big bear) at Daddy while Mommy takes a picture of her in her first "dress-up" dress.

Nice bright toys hanging on the floor-gym.

Sleeping soundly in the snow-suit made by Gramma. She had just survived her first trip in the Snuggli with mommy. :) No doubt this is terror induced. ;)

My two favorite people in the world. :)
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Friday, December 12, 2008

So It's Winter...

... and you have some time on your hands.
You think, "How can I spice up the long, long winter nights?"
One evening, while watching a war movie and listening to hymns (trust me this will make sense in a minute) the idea bursts upon your brain!
You go to Costco.
You purchase some Christmas lights.
You dedicate a month (at least) of your life to decorating your house -
- and then you tape it and put in on the Internet: Pause the music player on the side before you press 'play'.
(my advanced apologies to anyone who finds this melody sacred... chuckle)

Ho-ly smokes!
just throw the lights on a tree and plug them in! (lol)
Thanks for sending me this, Jessica... after watching this 4 times my jaw is just now rising up from the desk where it dropped. :-D

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Tub

I would just like to publicly say that I love my deep laundry tub with the spray-hose.

Especially on those days when Peyton decides that the diaper just isn't big enough to hold her deliveries.

If you know what I mean

Incidentally... today was one of those days when I loved it a lot more than usual.

It's great to be thankful!


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pictures For Today

Cranky-pants (or lack thereof) post Saturday night bath. Even with a ducky blanket she is upset...Somewhat mollified by the clown mobile (see last post). That, or my silly faces as I dried her off.
The AMAZING letters custom made by my friend Katrina to go above Peyton's crib. I actually told Katrina Peyton's name before she was born in case she wanted to start them early. :) We're so pleased with how they turned out and how great they look in the room. Thanks so much Katrina! :)
Cranky-pants (or lack thereof) before her Saturday night bath. Check out those chunky thighs! What a rolly-polly chunky-monkey. :)
Yes, that's me hiding behind her. Oh, you want a picture of the two of us? Okay. :)
Her skin is so much darker than mine, isn't it? I'm amazed and how much like the Manz (or Podhordeski) side she looks. It hardly seems fair that even after a summer of sun my newborn daughter (who has never been exposed to those golden rays) is more tan than than me.
Sigh. Love that Scottish gene pool...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Canadian Politics (an analogy)

Anyone who was paying attention to Canadian politics this past week will appreciate the humor in this write-up.

I hope... chuckle...

My thanks to Janelle (from whose blog I pinched this). :)


NHL Coalition

Having decided that the Detroit Redwings technically won the 2008 Stanley Cup, the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers and Dallas Stars have formed a coalition demanding a three way ownership of the league title. Rational for their decision revolves around their total combined scoring in the 2008 Semi-Finals, their total share of season ticket holders versus the Detroit Redwings and their horror at discovering the Detroit Redwings are using a more cost effective and efficient but non-union made Silver polish to keep the Stanley Cup gleaming.

The three teams are being assisted in their bid to overturn the traditional results by members of the Quebec Hockey League who have no real interest in the success of the NHL in general but sense an opportunity to demand Zambonis and other critical equipment be manufactured in Quebec. Player representatives, Team Owners and Nike are expected to submit their proposals to Don Cherry in the next few days. Fans and ticket holders are neither being asked or allowed a voice in the final decision.

Comments and Gifts

Hey Katrina: I'm trying to not be insulted that you called my kid a "mr". (lol!) :)
BTW: I got the letters and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them! I haven't put them up yet - but that will probably be a tonight or tomorrow project. I'll be sure to take a picture and post it here so everyone can see how talented you are. Ummm... but you'll have to let me know if you approve of the hanging of them. :)
And Beth: thanks for the outfit - so cute and appropriate for Christmas. You guys are wonderful to make the effort to send that stuff up here. :)
Lauren: I got your package WEEKS ago and just forgot to thank you: She has two plush pigs now to enjoy - and the outfits are adorable.
Since this has turned into a post where I thank people who have mailed me things, I want to thank Kurt's Auntie Dora, my mom-in-law's good friend Allison and my sister-in-law's parents the Turners for the gifts as well. It is always such a treat to get a package in the mail: and three at one time is pretty exciting!
Thanks for the comments everyone. I honestly feel the love and support so much. Maybe someday I'll get back to posting regularly to express that - but for now a simple "thank you" will have to suffice. :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

And Now a Word from Peyton...

Hello everyone - Peyton here.
Just thought I'd give you an update on my life, 'cause
it's riveting! :)This is me sitting on daddy and mommy's bed. Yes: I'm somewhat alert - probably because this was taken at bedtime and that is when I like to start my party. Poor daddy...

That big wet stain on the comforter may, or may not have been put there by yours truly. In fact, I may, or may not have been wearing a different outfit before these pictures were taken which may or may not have been changed because it was soaked. Some mysteries may never be solved...

... all I know is that I
sure like that ceiling fan!

This is me enjoying the clown mobile my Gramma Manz made me. It keeps me appropriately distracted when daddy takes a long time changing my diapers. Don't worry - my mommy is closer to the change table than the picture implies. :)

This is my favorite bib.
Don't tell Daddy - he thinks I like the one that says I love him best... Sigh. Although I try, I can't please everyone!
And this is me in a sleepy moment after the public health nurse left. Guess what! Not only have I grown 2 inches, but I weigh 11 pounds, 5 ounces. Mommy calls me her "chunky monkey".

Is that flattering?

Monday, December 1, 2008


It's December 1st, right?
'Cause it's raining.


My sister and brother-in-law are in Hawaii.

People from Saskatchewan have one wish when they go on a "hot" vacation:

"Please, please let it be -40 while I'm there!"

Wish denied! ;)

See you soon, Dean & Amanda - we'll hold the freezing weather until you get back to enjoy it with us. :-D

Guess Who Is Taking A Bottle?

And guess who that means more sleep for?
That's right - me! :)
Although the flip side is less for Kurt, I suppose. I'm more than thankful for a husband who is not only willing to assist this way - but who is eager to. (I love you, honey!)
I still have to pump - but since supply isn't much of an issue (Mooo-ooo!) there are 3 full bottles at all times in the fridge. Have I mentioned that my Modella electric pump was the SINGLE best purchase I've made in the last month-and-a-half? :)

Just so you know I am really, really trying hard to not make this blog about breastfeeding, peeing, pooping, and gassy nights. However, my life is really revolving around that right now.

Humor me: Saturday night was about as bad as it has gotten. Even the gripe water didn't work until the 3rd try. She exhausted herself crying, nursed, and then fell into a deep sleep around 2:30. So, between that and "the person who sleeps on the alarm clock side of the bed"(hint: not me!) forgetting to set that aforementioned clock, we missed church Sunday morning. At 8:15 (we're supposed to leave by 8:30), Kurt got up, fed her (yay!) and I was able to sleep until I woke up.

At 11:30!

Hokey-Dina... I must have been exhausted. But the upside of sitting up with a fussy baby until late at night was that if you crossed my mind, I prayed for you. :) I was also able to truly thank the Lord for her without resentment or frustration - I just felt bad that she felt so bad. That, more than anything, is a true indication of how God has changed me over this last year. The old Kendall would have been crying, too, I'm sure. :)

Sunday night - by comparison -was heavenly. She was content, alert, and even cheerful. I changed her at 10, nursed her a little and then she (brace yourself) slept like a log until after 2:30. Yeah, I know. I've got the Hallelujah chorus running around my head.

She's done 3-5 hour stretches since we brought her home, but I was starting to wonder what had happened to my content "If you lay me down Mommy, I promise I'll go right to sleep!" baby.

As a result of this unexpected occurrence, I had all this energy (plus a cup of strong coffee) running through my veins. So I had a perfect opportunity to clean under my bathroom sink. Yes, at 10:30 at night. (shrugging shoulders)

It's been bothering me. I think I have post-natal nesting. Whatever.

Which brings me to another point which I will start with an ardent disclaimer: I am not a pack-rat. It's actually gotten me in trouble before - throwing out things that in the heat of the cleaning moment I think, "I'll never use this!" and then later I think, "Dangit! I needed that!"

Anyway, when I was cleaning under the sink last night, I found the pregnancy test I took on March 4th (in a ziplock bag, relax). It made the move from Saskatoon and everything. And there was a moment when I was like, "Ewww... I peed on this stick and I'm keeping it?" and I was half-way (literally - my arm was extended) to throwing it out, then froze with rare indecision.

I never kept the one for Autumn. Why would I keep this one? And really - what am I going to do with it? Horrify people by placing it in a scrapbook? Ick. But as I held it, I walked over to the bassinet to look at my sleeping daughter and I just couldn't make myself pitch it in the garbage can.

There was something just so momentous about it. That pregnancy test was the start of a journey of faith that I'm realizing will probably never be over. When I look at it I'm reminded that God has taken care of me - He has never stopped. The tears that came when I saw that positive sign over 9 months ago were the second deepest I've ever cried and I was floored at His mercy and compassion.

The tiny, faint little "plus" reminded me of the day hope was conceieved after so much heartbreak, and how that hope was fully realized October 19th in the form of a tiny little girl we named Peyton Grace Elaine. Just like He had done on March 4th, 2008, God used that test at 10:30 last night to reassert His sovereigty and love for me. Looking at her chest rise and fall in peaceful sleep while holding the sign that told me God had begun to knit her inside me was enough to - once again - bring tears of thankfulness to my eyes. I remembered I can trust Him with her - after all, she was His before I even knew her.

Sigh. A lot of emotion from something that should probably just be thrown away, huh? :) Hormones...

So for now, anyway, it's sitting on my bathroom counter - still safely in a ziplock bag (because although I am sentimental, I am not unhygienic). I suppose it doesn't hurt to keep it for a little longer...

... I'll just put it away when company comes over. (lol!)

This One's For You, Uncle Kiley...

Who-Raaaa! Go Oilers!
(I'm sure that's what she's thinking...)