Friday, December 31, 2010

Monkey See...

Peyton fiddling with remote for portable DVD player at table after supper.
Mommy and Daddy casually visiting when their daughter's actions come to their notice.

Mommy: What are you doing, Peyton?

Peyton (without looking up and still pressing buttons): I'm teckting Papa.

Parents exchange odd looks.

Mommy to Daddy (quietly): Did she just say what I think she just said?

Daddy: Peyton? What are you doing?

Peyton (raising her eyes slowly and appearing somewhat exasperated at having to repeat herself when it should be more-than obvious she is busy): I am teckting Papa, Daddy.

Pretty sure that wasn't one of my play-pretend scenarios as a 2-year-old...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Oh Holy Night

*a "pause-the-music-player" post*

I'm not a huge fan of most Christmas albums - seems like a gimmick for most in the music industry to cash in on this time of year. That said, I could see myself buying this particular one. :)

I've liked these guys a lot ever since I saw their overwhelmed and humble reaction when Celine Dion surprised them on Oprah.

The harmonies give me literal goosebumps.

Plus - some voices just suit Christmas music. This is probably one of the most stirring versions I've ever heard of this song - one of my favorites. Hope you enjoy as much as I did!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

The Canadian Tenors - O Holy Night
Uploaded by UniversalMusicGroup. - Explore more music videos.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Still Here!

Busy preparing for Christmas as well as living real life.
Let me just say that I'm so thankful for makeup these days... it covers up a multitude of sleep-deprived nights. (grin)

Monday, December 6, 2010


Last night at about 12:30 am Tenley and I were both awake.
I was trying to sleep - but hearing her little baby-noises coming from the bassinet made it difficult. She wasn't fussing - just 'talking'.

Then all of a sudden it hit me:
We came really close to losing her this week. I have no doubt that without the medical attention she received, she would have sustained long-term injury, or worse. The beautiful, sweet, content little girl who has only been part of our lives for 3 weeks could have been lost to us so easily. It happens to others... why not to us?

I clearly remember how I would have given anything in the weeks after Autumn died to spend sleepless nights with my baby.

So with a prayer of thanks to the Lord that the reason I wasn't able to sleep was those very sweet baby-noises, I clicked on the light and picked her up.

Kurt - fortunately - can sleep through pretty much anything... because she and I had a conversation about how good Jesus is, and how much I love her and am thankful that God has given her to me.

Eyes wide open, she gave the impression of listening intently.
And then it happened.

She smiled at me.

Three times. While singing to me.
And there was no gas involved, either. ('cause you bet I was listening for it even as I was exalting in the toothless grin...)

Today I was taking her one-month piggy pictures: and just in case I could have thought it was a fluke, she did several repeats of the same big grin.
Peyton didn't smile until she was almost 11 weeks: after Christmas.

Tenley isn't even 4-and-a-half weeks old.

I woke Kurt up with an exclaimed, "Look honey! She's smiling!"
I think he raised his head off the pillow and muttered, "That's great..." but since I'm highly doubting he remembers that exchange, I guess it's a good thing she's in the mood to repeat. (chuckle)

What a gift this child is... the joy in my heart today is overwhelming.
Thank you, thank you for your prayers and love: here and on facebook and in private emails... I am a blessed woman to have friends who care and reach out.

The song on my music player while I type is Light Up The Sky. It's the very last one (#42)... Give it a listen - crank it up, even. I dare you. (grin)

With palms open and up, eyes closed, and tears nearing the surface - it's my prayer regarding the events of the past week.

Love to all...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tenley Update

I know some of you know - but others won't:
We took Tenley to the emergency room on Wednesday the 1st because she was in respiratory distress: her lips and face were blue, she wasn't eating and she was lethargic.

It was probably the scariest day of my parenthood so far.

It was determined that she was likely in an acute phase of some virus - although meningitis was not able to be ruled out due to her symptoms.

They immediately (as immediately as they can with a less-than-one-month-old) started a scalp IV and placed her on a heart monitor. The monitor indicated that, yes, she was not well saturated with oxygen and she was also experiencing multiple episodes of bradycardia - a slow heart-rate. When they tried to get her to nurse, she turned blue and her heart rate dropped below 60. In a baby that young, they get worried with anything below 90 - so it was determined that she was probably so full of 'something' she wasn't connecting the suck/swallow reflex. They gave an 'npo' order (no oral intake) until further notice.

The long and the short is that Kurt and Peyton headed back to Leask while Tenley and I headed upstairs to the pediatric isolation unit.

The doctor we talked to seemed to be fairly confident it was a virus: but with that possiblity of meningitis they wanted to do a lumbar puncture... that thought of which put me into tears. She was such a trooper with the blood draws (twice!) and the two unsuccessful IV pokes (they tried her hands first) and the successful start, plus two catheterizations for urinalysis - but I knew the LP would be horrible. However, due to her heart rate dropping so severely when she tried to nurse, they weren't willing to risk stressing her more with a LP that night and opted to hit her with three broad-spectrum antibiotics 'just in case'. I was more than okay with it.

Fast forward: it took just under 72 hours - but her nasal swabs came back positive for para-influenza (a virus) and her blood and urine cultures were negative by Saturday afternoon. The antibiotics were overkill (don't need them for viral infections) but at the time it was the best course in case it was a meningeal infection. The biggest difference probably was the 48-plus hours of IV fluids... I'm thankful to live in 2010, if you know what I mean!

I've shed a lot of tears over the past few days: my goal during everything was to trust God with my precious gift - and know He would take care of me. But it has been a battle. I'm exhausted from the days and nights at the hospital - plus the emotional strain of being on the pediatrics unit...

... but we're home and she's doing well.
She's snuffly, but alert and hydrated and eating like crazy. Praise God.

For everyone who knew and prayed - not to mention those who extended offers of help! - thank you. For the rest of you: sorry for the delay in information - but things are good now.

Please pray for continued healing for Tenley, wisdom for me as I observe her - and thank God that He has let us keep her for a while longer. I'm worn out - but very, very thankful.

Goodnight for now from the Manz house. :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Matching Jammies

Kinda a self-explanatory title, isn't it? :)
Never having had a sister, this wasn't part of my life growing up - but I can see why people do this to their kids...
It's so stinkin' cute! (lol!)
(Christy V: Not sure if you read the blog - but just in case: thanks for the awesome pjs! :))

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Perfect Day For...

Baking cookies with Daddy!
(and using the new apron made for you by Gramma Lori!)

Besides: what else are you going to do when it's -25???

"Auntie Kendall"

The above title sounds good, I think. :)

My brother, Kiley, and his wife, Jessica had their "little" (8lb, 3oz, 20&3/4 inch) boy last night just after 7:00 pm. He was born on his actual due date, people!

I'm SO impressed!

Welcome Kaden James Podhordeski!
Auntie Kendall is already in love with you - and she's only seen pictures!

Your cousin, Peyton, is already practicing your name - and informed me, "Baby out Auntie Jess tummy." (We've been practicing understanding of that concept four a couple of weeks... she knows that Tenley came out of Mommy's tummy at the "ho-pee-tal"...)

Tenley is preparing to be the older cousin - although you already dwarf her by a good half-a-pound - if not more! I'm sure all this sleeping she's doing is just to grow and catch up... ;-D

Praising God for my nephew's safe arrival - and his parent's (especially his Mommy's) endurance!

Monday, November 22, 2010

My Daughters

Life is pretty much absorbed with being a mommy these days.

Tenley's days and nights are righteously mixed-up. :)
Peyton daily bids for attention I'm trying my best to give.
Kurt is working really hard to get the barn fully winterized as winter has officially arrived - so that means some long hours with the girls in my snowbound house.
Thank goodness for satellite tv and a new season of What Not To Wear. (grin)

Life is good. Hectic but good.
Hopefully I can blog soon.
Hopefully. :)

I told Kurt that Tenley brings Autumn to mind more than Peyton did for some reason.
I think it's her eyes.
When closed, they remind me so much of Autumn on that last and only day of holding her. Peyton's eyes were smooth when she had them closed.
Autumn and Tenley both have wrinkles.
I never saw a resemblance between Autumn and Peyton - but Tenley brings glimpses and reminders of both her big sisters.
Genetics are a strange thing at times...

I wonder if God is giving me a glimpse of what my beautiful firstborn baby girl would have looked like had those eyes opened.

These are bittersweet musings... pain mingled with humble thankfulness and joy for our third daughter's safe arrival.

But I do miss Autumn these days. More than in a while. Tenley's life is bringing to mind, on a daily basis, the loss of her oldest sister.

Not expected emotions on my part.
I guess I should learn to stop thinking I know what to expect. (chuckle)
I'm not depressed - lest anyone be worried. But I am reflective. That's not a bad thing.
Honest. :)

Thanks to everyone who continues to keep our family in your thoughts and prayers. :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

One Week Later

- The gas issues seem to have resolved. It hasn't been too bad... just enough that she curls up her legs and cries uncomfortably. The gripe water has relieved her both quickly and effectively. So far, no indication she's fighting a nasty bout of colic. Yay! :)

(There could be a bunch of "so far" comments in this post, I think... lol!)

- Peyton has adjusted well (so far - see?). Today she came in from her visit with Baba and Gydo (went to see the horses, kitties and Lexi (the dog)) and said, "Where Tenley?" the second she walked into the room. After asking to hold her, and doing so for a few minutes, she leaned in, kissed her sister gently on the forehead and whispered, "I miss you, sister." Awwww....
- Sleep. (slowly shaking head...) Well, it isn't like I had high expectations, anyway. (lol!) Besides, this phase really only lasts a little while in the grand scheme of things...
Tenley is starting to schedule herself - just at odd hours. My mantra is to not get used to anything - 'cause when (not if - when) she changes, I'll just be that much more ready to go with the flow. :)

- As of the Public Health Nurse's visit on Wednesday, Tenley had not only regained her birth weight - but gained another half-ounce. Weigh (ha! pun!) to go, kiddo.

- On that note: she DOES like to eat. And eat. And EAT. So the jaundice is fading - not that she was that bad in the first place, but it's almost unnoticeable now. She also poops a lot more than Peyton did. Not too many blown-out diapers yet, though. (I said "yet" - same as "so far"...)

- The birth story is still in the works. Suffice to say that I'm thankful for the doctors and nurses around me - and the mainstream accepted low-intervention approach mindset that exists in health care here.
If we had been on TLC's Baby Story, the docs would have been telling me several days earlier: "You're not progressing. I think we need a c-section."
(I don't know how many times I've yelled at the TV while watching that show, "Good grief! What's the rush???" No wonder one-in-three births result in sections down there when they have no patience! - ahem... rant over. lol!)
As appealing as it would have been to meet Tenley a few days earlier, my health care team was perfectly alright with letting it take as long as needed and with as natural of an approach as possible to get things moving. Which - eventually - it did. Whoa-boy... did it ever. :)

- I hear Peyton waking up, so I should go spend some time with her before Tenley wakes up and needs me again.

Thanks for reading, everyone! :)


People have been telling me the girls look alike.
What do you think?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Update (sorry this is the best I can do right now)

I just gotta say that gripe water is the best baby invention ever.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Getting There and Going Home

Two shots which - when I viewed them on a screen bigger than my Canon - brought tears to my eyes...
Pure joy.

My heart overflows with it.

Thank you, dearest Jesus, for these three precious gifts you have given me...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The 3 Manz Girls

Tenley Breanna Lynn Manz came into the world November 6th, at 0741 hrs.
She weighed 7 lbs, 0 ounces, and is 20-and-a-half inches long.
Our hearts are full of joy!

But we are POOPED-OUT, people.
I tell ya... not exactly how we planned it to go... but stay tuned. :)
Full story to follow, I promise - asap. What that means with a toddler in who is in full-blown mommy & daddy withdrawal and a newborn is yet to be defined.
But I'll do my best... lol!

Thank you, thank you for all the prayers and hope sent our way. :)
Kurt, Kendall
Peyton & Tenley
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November 2nd

It's true... the day we've been waiting for for months is almost here.
November 3rd is tomorrow.

I still have to pack that darn hospital bag. I know, I know.
Bad. I really do know that.
(parts of it are 'stacked-neatly' in my room - ready for placing in a bag... so it isn't all bad)

But - I dunno... deep down I just kinda know I won't go into labor early. It isn't even something that runs in my family (maternal side, anyway).
Having been through this twice before, I think there would be a few more signs - and I never got that sense.

That said - if I'm wrong and my water breaks in the next two hours - you have my permission to say, "Silly-procrastinator, Kendall."

But the girl's (plural!) room is done.
And absolutely delightful! :)

Kurt did a super job of building a closet-organizer - from scratch. I told him what I wanted (handed him a scrap of paper and said, "Can you build this closet for me by next week, honey?"), and he did all the measuring, cutting, painting, and placement.

Everything fit perfectly the first time. I'm so proud of him.
Peyton - after seeing the completed project for the first time - said, "Wow! Good job, Daddy!" I think that might have meant even more to him than my praise. :)

All of the kid's clothes now have a place in the closet, and the change-table can be kept solely for diapers, blankets, bedding and receiving blankets. A dream come true...

Peyton is beyond thrilled at her big-girl bed. The first thing she did when she saw it put together this morning (we finished up after she went to bed in our room last night) was grab a book off her shelf and "read" in her bed. She also keeps looking at the two new pink walls and exclaiming, "Wow! Pink!" with a big grin. :)

(Funny story: After the first coat, Kurt stood back and said, "We're promoting our own breast-cancer awareness with this room." lol!)

The only things missing are the closet doors, toy box and the new baby's name-lettering.

The first item is in Saskatoon waiting for pickup at Rona. (We had to custom-order them because the size of the opening isn't 'standard'.)

The second is waiting for pick-up at my parent's house (a 3rd generation toy box, no less!). It will likely go at the foot of Peyton's bed (where that tub is now).

The third is an item custom made by my dear friend Katrina - who has her own family (including a baby daughter!) to contend with. :) But we'll eventually get it hooked up - and the letters will go above the crib just like Peyton's are above her bed.

Both the first and second item(s) have to be primed and painted - but Kurt has this lovely thing called a 'heated garage' which makes painting an easy task even in the dead of winter. :)

Having a room which can hold the belongings of two children in an organized fashion made us decidedly more relaxed - versus last week when we were thinking something along the lines of, "Where the heck are we gonna put TWO kids??"

It also helped that I was successful at washing, sorting and organizing all of Peyton's old clothes. I purged just the right amount of "stuff" to assure I'm not overwhelmed later.

Today holds the intensive house-cleaning that has been severely neglected the past few weeks.

(I need clean bathrooms before I can go give birth. Is that strange?
(I already know your answer, Jen V.T. - lol!
Disclaimer: I will not be washing my floors on my hands-and-knees today!)

Laundry (including sheets, clothes and towels) washed, winter-bedding on, dusting, garbage out, fridge cleaned, and - of course - the bathrooms, vacuuming and washing the floors (with a mop!) are all on the list.

Basically, I don't want to worry about anything but sleeping and nursing when I get home. :)

Anyway... thanks to all who are praying for us. Peace of mind seems to be a harder thing to fight for as we get closer. Even last night as we finished the girl's room, I was dealing with, "What if..." thoughts.

But I am choosing to trust God with hope - which is pretty all-encompassing - be it hope that all things will turn out well - or hope that He has done and will always do what is best for us.

I'll do my best to keep you posted! :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


My life, that is.
(I do love the Steve Carell version of Get Smart. Saw the malfunctioning cone-of-silence scene on TV the other day and started laughing out loud...)

I thought about taking a picture of my bedroom - which currently has all of Peyton's clothes from the last 2 years in various stages of sorting and stacking... what to keep and what to give away?

(If I keep a third of what Peyton owned, this next one is still gonna be one trendy baby!)

Today I said to Kurt, "Well. I guess I should get about packing that hospital bag."
Bless his heart. All he said was, "Yeah, that would be a great idea, Kendall."

This, of course, led to taking out all the tubs of clothes for sorting, etc - 'cause I have to put baby clothes in my hospital bag, too, right?

How do I have only one week to go and still feel like it's gonna be forever until I meet this baby?

Oh well... whatever gets done, gets done. The rest can wait.
In k-os, I guess.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shock? (no, not really)

I gotta say I don't mind the snow.
Despite my girlfriend not being able to visit today (next time, Shiela!).
Despite Kurt having to go to Shellbrook for a truck check-up. (glad it's a 4x4)
Despite the chill - and the swirling snow tornadoes outside...

I have a warm house with TWO furnaces, cozy clothes and no need to venture outside today.

Besides - it's kinda like biting the bullet, you know?
We knew "it" was coming.
It's here now.
So we move on with the year.

Thanks God for the changing seasons...
(but I do pray it is nicer this weekend and next week as we head to Saskatoon to hopefully meet BManz III!)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Autumn

3 years already...
We purchased 3 balloons, which worked with with it being her 3rd birthday - as well as there being 3 of us. We sang "Happy Birthday" with Peyton filling in the "you" parts with "Autumn".

Peyton released not only her own balloon - but helped with mine as well. She watched them fly away for as long as her little eyes would allow.
When she turned and noticed her mommy and daddy's tears, she came up to us and hugged both our legs.

The story of the puppy...

We bought this little dalmatian puppy for Autumn's grave last year - and took it home a few months ago to get it cleaned up. But after it was washed, Peyton noticed it in a batch of laundry and became quite attached to it. She refers to it as "Autumn's puppy".

We asked her to leave it for her sister on her birthday - but I wasn't going to force the issue. I told her if she left it for a while, we would come back in a few months and take it home again to clean up and care for.
She teared up and said, "No, mommy." and I was prepared to let the whole thing go. She's only two, after all...

But to my amazement, she gave it a big hug, then walked over and placed it on Autumn's grave all by herself... and then started to cry in earnest - that's the above picture.
But she never once asked for it back. All she said was, "Autumn's bushdee."

She clung to her Daddy for a few tearful moments after he picked her up. She rested her head on his shoulder, then sat up, wiped her eyes and said, "Come'mere, Mommy."
When I got close, she reached out and put her little arm around my neck - then held us both close and gave us kisses on our cheeks.

Her sweetness brought more tears - but joyful ones at just the right time. She truly is such sunshine in my life... and having her be both aware of her sister - and to hear her little voice say Autumn's name were both gifts of today.
It was a good day - thanks to those who I know are praying for us...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Custom Bushdee Shirt

Attention wives, mommies, sisters, aunties, grandmas... and men who think ahead and like to get unique gifts. (?)

Ha-ha! Okay - not to male-bash - but that last one might be a stretch...

Regardless of who you are! Check it out!
My friend, Amber, makes these awesome - custom-order designs. :)

Although in hindsight I should have ordered Peyton once size larger (how did this kid get so long-bodied???) - the shirt exceeded my expectations in both quality and cuteness.

Peyton - throughout the day - kept looking down and saying, "Happee Bushdee!" (see above picture and imagine it...) *chuckle*

Christmas is coming, right? In fact, I think I saw a "Christmas is only 9-and-a-half weeks away!" status on Facebook this morning...

Check it out, everyone! You won't be disappointed.

For Comparison's Sake...

So much more hair...

But similar personalities... (lol!)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2 Years

Happy birthday, Peyton Grace Elaine.
I could not even begin to describe the joy, peace and healing having you in our lives has brought me.
We love you, baby girl! :)
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Friday, October 15, 2010

Autumn Remembered

It just so happens that the official day chosen to remember little ones lost was her due date.

Robert Munsch has given me the perfect words of reflection regarding my feelings on the life and death of my firstborn daughter.

"I love you forever. I love you for always.
As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be..."

"To lose ones parent is to lose the past.
To lose ones spouse is to lose the present.
To lose ones child is to lose the future."

I know my future was not truly 'lost'. I still live. And I love my 2nd and 3rd daughters with renewed hope .

But when I look at this picture - especially Kurt's expression - I experience, again, how it felt to lose the hopes and dreams we held for her.

One short day was not enough for this Mommy.
We miss you, Autumn.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


She was already starting to crack up.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hey! We're Twins!

Kinda like Arnie and Danny, right? ;-D

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Birthday in Pictures

Hung out with the farmers...

Especially this cute one... my personal favorite of the bunch.

Ate birthday cupcakes made by Gramma Lori while waiting in the truck.
Peyton was the messiest by far - but a fairly easy cleanup thanks to being in the field. ;)

Despite the colds, it was a gorgeous day and a great snippet of family time. Hard to believe it was 3 days ago already... a foreshadow of the weeks to come? Sheesh...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bruised Fingers & God Thoughts

Peyton got her fingers caught in a door for the first time today.
The ironic part is that she was the one closing the door. Slowly, I might add.

She froze in panic - not comprehending the pain. All this while still leaning on the door. I was notified of the situation with wails and tears - and I rushed to the rescue.
"Rescue" only actually meant stopping her forward-pushing action - as well as finger kisses and the wiping of tears. My superior (used tongue-in-cheek) strength and wisdom literally saved her from herself.

It's a little comical, I'll admit. If she would have just said to herself, "Hey. I alone am causing this pain. I should stop." That whole 'cause-and-effect' rationale might have saved her from further injury.

But in an introspective twist, as I wiped away her tears and kissed her fingers, I wondered if we every really do come to that full-circle of understanding in our lives.

For example, I'm realizing how much in my own life I do the exact same thing as her: Create my own problems and then make them worse - when humbling myself and calling for rescue would be so much easier.

By God's grace, I want less panic, and more trust. Less emotion-based decision making and more careful thoughtfulness. Less agony and more resting. Less trying to solve things myself, and more asking Him to direct me.

Ahhh.... the revelations out of a 23-month-old's pinched fingers.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

October 3 (in a nutshell)

I'm 30.
I've got a cold.
So does my daughter...
therefore, no trek into Saskatoon this morning.

Kurt is trucking.
... but we had a great visit this morning and he 'told' me what his birthday card would say.
He's very sweet, and I am mega-in-love with that man.

It's a gorgeous day - so despite the runny noses and annoying coughs:
We're planning on having a picnic in the grain truck this afternoon.

Baby is active!
I love coffee.

We bought a new truck yesterday
... and I said goodbye to both my minivan and my SUV. (sigh)
But I'll put up a picture of the new truck very soon.
It's pretty much as sexy as a 1/2 ton(ne), 4x4, extended-cab truck can be.
At least I think so. :)

Drama, right?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Family Photo

A tiny sample of our family photo-shoot with Julie Cortens on the 19th of September.

In other news, I've picked an end date for work. After a heart-to-heart with my doctor which revealed that I'm a little to... cumbersome (?) to continue to work this job in it's full-capacity right now, I've sent in the paperwork to my manager
It's actually a relief.
2-more 8-hour shifts to go!
I woke up the other morning and realized I'm only days away from my 30th birthday. Sheesh.
I bought the baby's 'going-home' outfit yesterday. It's amazing what a leap of faith it feels like.
I felt that way after we bought Peyton's 'Apple-of-Daddy's-Eye' onsie, too.
I woke up at 5 am this morning (thanks bladder!) and couldn't get back to sleep because I hadn't felt her move.
So I poked and prodded and jostled until I felt some wiggles... which enabled me to be able to drift back off.
She avenged herself by a series of super hard kicks which actually hurt. It was kinda like, "Now you know how it feels!" (chuckle)
Sorry, Goobers.

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's A...

Double-check successful today: little girl parts were clearly visible.

Baby Manz III is - with almost absolute certainty - a third daughter. :)

She's also pretty chubby and cute already - only at 32 weeks! Even in a less-than-state-of-the-art ultrasound picture - that was wonderfully obvious to us. Her heartbeat was strong, bones were straight and her size was exactly where it should be. She was also very, very active - the picture we got printed off was a little blurry 'cause the child would not sit still for even a moment! :)

We cannot wait to meet her!
Nor can Peyton - who announced to the receptionists at the doctor's office (while pointing to the ultrasound picture she was allowed to carry to the car) "My baby sister!" :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Harvest 2010

Praising God for a SECOND day of great weather...
Visiting Daddy in the field.
Posing in front of the "ka-bine"s...
In the "semi-tuk" with Papa...
Waiting for the fill with Daddy...
In the meanwhile, the road outside of our house in town is a semi-super-highway!
Lots of dust, lots of noise - and lots of delight for Peyton! :)
Looking back at 2009, it sure is obvious the changes that one year can make.
At least I'm not the only one who looks bigger different. (lol!)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Tragic Dunking of Zoe Doll

I like to encourage creative play.

It's really neat to see Peyton put pieces of "life" together. She, for example, likes to pretend to "cook" things - complete with microwave sounds.

Not exactly sure what this says for her parent's culinary example, but I digress...

Anyway, this morning, while I was getting ready for the day, she was in my bathroom with me. She had her Zoe doll and said, "Pee-ewww! Poopy!" so I encouraged her from over my shoulder to do what needed to be done for Zoe.

I meant to change the stinky diaper.

I vaguely registered the sound of the toilet lid being lifted and Peyton saying, "Potty, Zoe."
This was followed by a giggled exclamation. "Oh no! Wet toes!"

It felt like one of those slow-motion "Noooooo....oooo....oooo!" scene from a movie - but Zoe was partially dunked before I had a chance to turn around.


It was - thankfully - just Zoe's toes that got wet.
As I sponged off the doll as best I could, I explained to Peyton that she was just supposed to pretend to potty Zoe. Which meant keeping the lid down.

With a pert little grin she replied, "Ohhh.... okay, Mommy."

Which causes me to wonder... maybe the child knew she could freak me out?


PS: For those of you who have sent prayers God-ward for us these past couple of days: I continue to remember - not without pain - but without the despair knocking at my door. Thanks times one-hundred million - and even that is not enough.
Much love....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I did it again tonight.
Found myself in Peyton's room - cuddling her while she slept in my arms.
Such a big girl now - she stretches from my shoulders to just above my knees when she's all flopped out. :)

I've heard the second pregnancy after a loss is a challenge. I've found that my third is causing some struggles.
Even the way this baby moves reminds me of Autumn.
Maybe because my second pregnancy was so close to my first - in a lot of ways they seemed to blend into one, two-year (almost!) experience... and the end result was Peyton.

But - there have been some mornings and I've woken with a sense of panic. I haven't felt the baby move. I remember the morning of the day we found out Autumn died. How absurdly normal it was. How I must have walked around for hours without the awareness that she had slipped away...
This baby squirms around at night while I'm reading - I remember how very similar Autumn's last movements were. Her last movements.
I remember stretching out our firstborn daughter on that hospital bed and taking her all in: her tiny perfection - and I remember weeping with the futility of it all.

Oh God.
My prayers are so feeble.
There have been more tears in the last week then in the last 6 months.
In church on Sunday I looked at my picture of her and cried. Exactly what emotion was behind it, I'd be hard pressed to give an accurate answer.
At the baby shower, watching another of my friends expect her first with eager anticipation, I ached. Not with jealousy. Not with anger. Just with memories - remembering planning and hoping and being so close to meeting our firstborn...
On the way home, I cried as I told Kurt about the shower. I cried for me: for hope deferred. For my baby girl who never took a breath. For Kurt, who spent a lifetime with Autumn - holding her for two hours in a leather rocking chair in the room she was born in.
But that's been the case lately.

This morning, while drinking coffee I flashed back to locking myself in the bathroom at my parent's house after the funeral. It was easily 2 or 3 in the morning - and I couldn't breathe. I sat down on the edge of the tub and wept. Deep, wracking, lack-of-breath sobs that knocked me out of a sitting position and left me curled in the fetal position on the floor. My baby girl was gone and she was never coming back. The terrible finality of it was so overwhelming. Months of hope replaced by... what? There were no clear answers.

My mom was the one who heard me - still tuned to the noises her children make when all is not well. She knocked softly and came in. I heard her whisper, "Oh Kendall." and then she sat on the floor beside me and rocked me like a baby. I remember her saying she wished she could take it for me as she wept.
Me too.
27 years old... happy marriage, career in place - but wishing with all my might that my mommy could just make it better again. That part of the memory has become really clear as Peyton is daily healed by my kisses. I know now - in a very small way as I have only dealt with a toddler's woes - how hard that must have been for my mom to watch her only daughter crumpled on the floor in grief and not be able to do anything.

I remember so clearly how the tears never really helped for a very long time - they just left me empty. Remembering that despair is hard. That is the pit that God took me out off. The fear of falling back in does funny things to my heart.

Flash forward.
Do I believe lightning can strike twice? Do I trust odds, or the God who loves me?
I hold Peyton and am thankful for the reminder that He can make healthy babies. But I don't take anything as proof I shall have another healthy child. This reality has never changed. The difference is in how I react to it. Do I cower? Or do I stand?

As of now, God is giving me strength to stand. And all the while, this little child squirms and wiggles... her 'sweet spot' mere finger-breadths from where Autumn's was. So bittersweet.

The memories are part of my history. But more than that, they've molded the woman I am. So I'm not fighting them right now. I'm walking in with a deep breath. Talking through stuff with Kurt... and taking lots of time to hug and cuddle my almost 2-year-old child of grace.

I'm also letting myself cry again. But the difference is that the tears don't leave me empty anymore. They're actually making me feel better. The despair is gone. I'm overwhelmingly grateful to God.

We're getting there...
Thanks for your prayers.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Domestic Bliss

For you girls who are - like me - working out-of-home; and even for those of you who are able to be there full time:

Do you ever have one of those days where your subconscious mind screams at you to be a homemaker?

It's one of those days. I guess it isn't really subconscious, though. I have the time and energy (for the moment, anyway!) and I'm just acting on those impulses. :)

Not only do I have a pot of delicious-smelling soup simmering on the stove, but I'm also tearing through my cookbooks looking for the perfect combo of visual appeal, cooking-time allowed and ingredients I already have in the house for our supper tonight.

I think it's the thrill of being home - but also the rain and cold make me want to just settle in and provide for my family. It helps that there is literally no pressure for me to do this on a daily basis from Kurt. :)

With all the hours I've been working, we've both been pretty pragmatic about the amount of house-ish duties I can/should undertake. He's done a lot of cooking and baking while staying home with Peyton: and I cannot emphasize enough the blessing that has been to me.

That said: I've kinda had to go with the flow a few times. The other day I got home at 5 and couldn't quite bear the thought of his planned supper: perogies, bacon and some token carrots (to make it "healthy", I think).

I probably couldn't even begin to describe the face I made when I heard that delightful combination of food groups. But imagine, if you will, an "Oh sweetie. You're so thoughtful to plan supper." mixed with an, "Are we trying to get coronary artery disease by the time we're 32?" kind of expression.

Anyway, when he left to do chores, I mustered up a rare energy burst. It was probably fueled by dismay. But that's beside the point...

I made a batch of meatballs and gravy, garlic rice and a fresh cucumber salad. All while Peyton stood underfoot and made a less-than-subtle play for my undivided attention. But the fruits of my labor were soon evident by the awesome smell coming from the oven, the salad chilling and ready in the fridge and the fragrant rice cooking in the microwave.

I also did all the dishes and put them away, wiped the counters and kept Peyton happy the entire time by singing silly songs and telling her stories.

(Supergirl? Little 'ol meeee??? Why - you're too kind!)

Relax ladies.
This idyllic tale of domestic bliss concludes somewhat unflatteringly and abruptly for Supergirl.
Keep reading.

When he came home an hour later, he took a big sniff of kitchen air, winked at me and said, "I was really looking forward to perogies and bacon." Let's just say that the wink probably saved him from another combination of looks that wouldn't have been overly edifying or good humored. I also crashed, energy-wise, midway through eating, put everything in the dishwasher (including the pots) and was in bed with puffy ankles elevated by 8:30.

I feel like there should be some "Whah-whah-whaaaahhhhh." music at the end of that story. (chuckle)

But - shaking head sharply - back to the present!
Peyton is napping, and I think I'm going to make a crock-pot meatloaf for supper.
I am loving life today, people. Loving it tons.

Suzie Homemaker, over-and-out.

Twinges and Stuff

So yesterday it all hit me.
The lower back pain. Shortness of breath. Achy legs.
In Rona. :-P
I did a 5-minute squat in the hinges aisle attempting to give my back a rest.
If I wasn't so uncomfortable I would have laughed. I seriously considered asking Kurt if I could ride in the cart with Peyton. (lol!)

30 weeks, 2 days.
Subtract 14 days - and it's less than 55 days until we meet our 3rd daughter. With that amazing thought, I've created an all new "must do" list for Kurt us to accomplish. I'm also mulling over a hospital bag: remembering what I needed, what I didn't and wondering how long I'll actually be there this time.

According to our doctor yesterday, she's head-down and measuring roughly 32 weeks in size. This isn't a shock: 37-week-Peyton was only 3 ounces smaller than 4-days-overdue-Autumn. This kid won't be hurting too much with a 38 week induction, size-wise. With that logic, neither will I.

I'll be honest: I am less ambitious about my original "I'll work until 36 weeks." plan today.
But I do have several days off - in a row! Thanks Lord.
I need it and Peyton needs it.

But mostly I need it.

On another note, Kurt broke down yesterday. I didn't fight too hard, though.
NFL season starting (a Saints/Vikings rematch!), constant rain, the early darkness, and no TV was a little too much.
Our Star Choice is now hooked back up... so I have an excuse to sit on the couch with feet elevated when time allows.
Bring on the new season of 'What Not To Wear"! (chuckle)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What's That Smell?

I came home the other morning to get a cup of coffee and check my tire pressure.
When I came in the door, Kurt was on the phone, but I heard Peyton yell, "Mommy! Mommy!"

"I'm here, Peyton!" I called back.

She raced towards me as I came around the corner of the doorway, and threw herself with abandon into my arms.

My first thought was, "This is so nice. She doesn't always do this..."

My second was, "Hold the phone. What's that smell?"

The little girl was not only diaperless, but but she left a large streak of fecal matter all down my left arm. She had been sitting on the potty waiting for her Daddy to clean her up - but due to his distraction on the phone she was able to make a premature escape.

I reminded myself (during my impromptu wardrobe change) that I had planned on washing the bunny hug anyway, thanks to the muddy water that had dripped on it earlier from the hatch of my CR-V.

Baptized with poop.
I guess I'm officially a parent now.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Land of Living Skies

*first - pause the music.*


With the exception of the first two shots, all of the other scenes are Saskatchewan.

I would almost swear the elevator shot is Leask... (I actually asked them on the website I found this on. I'll let you know when I do!)

But seriously. Doesn't it just make you want to move here?
I live here - and it makes me want to spend more time on a blanket, looking up at these incredible skies! And I'm super impressed with their Maker. :)

Land of Living Skies from Two Brothers Films on Vimeo.

August 30th, 2010 post-script:

They wrote me back. The elevator shot is actually Kronau - which is where my Auntie lives! :)

Monday, August 23, 2010


It's funny how fear creeps in.
And I don't mean funny, "Ha-ha."

It's not like my world doesn't have the reality of a lost baby. I have friends all over who are living with the same heartbreak - some even more tragic than my own. But all these joint experiences seem to combine, at times, into a mindset where it is a true miracle that any baby is born healthy and alive.

I lay down for a nap on Saturday and got up around 4. Between 4 and 7 I only felt the faintest of flutters - odd for a baby who is getting pretty active. Crazy active at times.

So I prepared supper and played with Peyton and prayed. Ate supper praying with each bite. Bathed my daughter and reminded myself of Who gave her to me. I did some stuff on the computer with my mind and heart pleading, "Please Lord. Not again."

The end of that story was that she did - of course - start moving more urgently as the evening wore on. By the time Kurt got home at 10:30, she was causing my whole stomach to shift from side-to-side. I was beyond relieved.

I'm not ever in a place where I can think, "Of course she's okay." because I know that isn't necessarily true. Just wanting something to be fine doesn't make it so. Telling yourself positive mantras doesn't affect reality. Laughing at your fears doesn't make them irrelevant. When the world crashes around you, the anti-stress workshops seem almost comic in their simplistic approach to life.

This world is a place where bad stuff does happen. To think otherwise is kind of a head-in-the-sand approach.

So how does anyone cope?

In my case, it's Jesus.

Because I know He loves me. He has planned my future.
This baby, Peyton and Autumn are known to Him. He has given me all my children - but they are ultimately His.

I am known to Him. Whatever circumstances come across my path - tragic or triumphant - are for my good, His glory - and I will see that someday. I believe it - really I do.

He has humbled me and made me dependent. That's okay. Because just like chanting positive thoughts doesn't make tragedy disappear - thinking I'm in control doesn't make it so. How much better to embrace it - and better yet! - to embrace the One who has a firm grasp on the steering wheel?

Thanks to those of you who keep our family in your prayers and thoughts... it means so much. Keep up the good work! :)

I have no doubt that God is using all of that to keep us stable and sane. :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Until Death Part Us...

Go check out this post from Abraham's blog.
Keep the Kleenex box close by...

27 Weeks

To quote Peyton: "Holy 'mokes!"

Another holy 'moke?
How quickly the counter is edging towards 100,000 visitors!
So thanks for that, friends. :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Facts of Life

Me: "Peyton! We're having chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy with brussel-sprouts for supper tonight!
(About those exclamation marks: I'm always enthusiastic about food. It's the best meal of the day.)

Peyton: "Chicken?" (looking questioningly to her Fisher Price farm-animal collection across the living room) "Eat chicken?"

Me: "You bet, kiddo. We eat chickens."

Peyton: (with a devious grin) "Heh-heh-heh."

A farm kid in the making, I'd say...

3rd Trimester, Dead Ahead

Today I have a foot, or elbow, or knee - something pointy! - sliding back and forth across my belly. 'She' has really ramped up her activity - and I'm really feeling the subsequent energy drain. (chuckle)

I told my manager I'd work until October 18th - but I'm wondering how that's going to play out. Not for lack of willingness to try, though! Take yesterday for example: I didn't even have to "do" too much, but after an afternoon of computer work I was almost limping as I left the office. It felt like 'she' was plucking at my sacroiliac nerve like a bowstring. (grin)

Even with this being my 3rd pregnancy, I'm surprised to remember how quickly the 2nd trimester "honeymoon" turns into 3rd trimester exhaustion. I guess it is official tomorrow - so I really shouldn't be shocked that I'm starting to get achy, short of breath, and am also - on top of everything! - waddling. (lol!) I'm not complaining - really. I'm just kinda amazed at how fast we got here.

It doesn't 'help' that our past 4 weeks have been a constant stream of activity: working, lakes, camping, driving, date-weekends (:))...

We want to do all this stuff - but when I wonder, out-loud, at 7 pm, "Geez. I'm tired. I wonder why?" Kurt just looks at me, my belly and our calender as if it say, "Duh, woman."

So onward we press - and this summer is flying by. We've gotten to do pretty much everything on our list: lots of swimming, time outside, and quality time together. B-G-III continues to grow, and is making up for her lack of activity over the first few months every night. I have two weekends back-to-back come end of August and September long... and then things will start to - please Lord? - slow down a little.

Just in time for harvest. (grin)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Isn't He Handsome?

Never mind. You don't have to answer that. :)
On another - and completely unrelated - note: 79 days! :-O

Monday, August 9, 2010

Nice Ride, Kid.

After swimming all afternoon, the method of transportation is both creative and effective when dealing with little legs + a steep hill.
But the question remains: just who came up with this idea?

The Most Adorable Picture of the Weekend Is... ?

Votes? :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Two Years Difference

A comparison of these two pictures made me feel a little better about my 25-week gestation body. :)

After looking at them too long, I started to think there was no actual difference. Then I asked my mom and she said, "Wow. You're doing good." (grin!)

So yeah - that extra 30 lbs I was carrying while pregnant with Peyton does show in the first picture a little bit.

One more point which makes me happy: the first picture was taken around 7 am - before I went to work. Fresh hair, fresh makeup - clean clothes... you get the point.
By the end of the day I was no-doubt puffy, saggy and otherwise severely- haggard looking. :) It was also an emotionally challenging pregnancy - which I think aged me a little bit around the eyes.

It really started to show up around 28-29 weeks. In those pictures, I look exhausted and big.

So that said: this second picture was taken at 11:30 pm Wednesday night: after I had worked all afternoon and been kept awake because of coughing the night before. I was also having a less-than-perfect hair day, and wasn't wearing much for makeup.

Don't get me wrong. I'm no pregnant Heidi Klum (sigh...), but overall I'm thinking, "Meh. (shrug-sound) I guess it ain't so bad after all..."

With only 13 weeks go go, I'm thanking Jesus that this pregnancy has been relatively stress free so far. Baby is kicking like mad - growing great, and I'm busy enough that I'm literally forced to let God do his thing.

I'm thankful that despite everything every pregnant gal goes through with body-image, etc - I've been able to get pregnant again and that my body is doing okay so far. :)

I'm also very thankful that my bum hasn't gotten as big as it was. :-P

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Life At Ease

My brother (Kiley) and his wife (Jessica) - along with Peyton's "boy cousin" (due only a week after her 'bebe sisser') have started a new business called "Life at Ease" which allows the convenience of online shopping and home delivery - anywhere.

As a bonus, if you spend over $75 it's free shipping. I don't know about you, but that's an easy feat for me. (sigh)At least this way I haven't spent the gas to get somewhere!

So far pretty much everything I've tried I've loved. Especially the laundry detergent, the facial tissues, the diapers and the skin care line (including foundation).

If you are so inclined, please feel free to check it out. You gotta shop anyway, right?
(The link is also in my "loved links" bar waaaayyy down on the right-hand side.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Currently Featured On My Desktop...

Feeling a little nostalgic for my sweet, chubby, baldish baby girl - only about 6 months old when this was taken. :)
Hopeful that I'll soon - Lord willing - have another one to cherish.
But look at the chubby arms and fingers!
Sigh. :)

Time Adjustment

This kinda feels like cheating - but with the 14-day adjustment, my countdown clock should actually read, "about 92 days to go."

Holy Cow!
How did it get below 100 so quickly???