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.