Oh Boy!



It's Jan 2. I'm almost 24 weeks pregnant. And this is the first blog post about our baby boy. Say it with me now: third child syndrome.  Let's start at the beginning. And since Mr. Lindquist Jr. is due April 25, we'll go with the tried and true list of 25 things (24 for Faith since she was born on the 24th; 23 for Gabby since she was born on the 23rd).

1) Yes, this was a planned pregnancy. Not sure why I feel the need to share that, but people keep asking like we're not sure how this works. No, we weren't trying/hoping for a boy. A left-handed child, maybe.

2) We found out in mid-August. I told Rob with a message on the mirror written in blue marker similar to what he left for us when he went on an out of town trip a few weeks before. When he saw it, he came out looking surprised. (Not sure why; he should know how this works by now ;) We smiled at each other and hugged in silence since the girls were standing right there.

3) I felt horrible from weeks 7-14. While it was comforting to have morning sickness, I was grossed out by the mere mention of certain foods (pork meatloaf still activates my gag reflex). Chewing three different types of gum helped get the bad taste out of my mouth most days but I've never been so happy to see the 2nd trimester.

4) My clothes shrunk. OK, so I started showing earlier than normal. Of course I didn't take any pictures because this is the third baby.

5) We had our first ultrasound on Tuesday, Sept. 27th. It was an excruciating wait til the 10 week mark. The minute baby popped up on the ultrasound, we saw the flashing light of a heartbeat and relief washed over me. That happiness is unmatched by anything I've ever felt other than the other two times I've seen it.


6) The next day I headed out of town to Detroit. Rob joined me there a few days later and we experienced the city the best we could for a girl who didn't feel like eating and couldn't drink, not to mention was incredibly tired. He was a trooper and I am grateful he was by my side.

7) I had/have major fertility guilt. So many women I know have struggled to conceive or had multiple miscarriages. Having experienced one of my own, I am familiar with how it feels to watch everyone but you walking around with a baby belly. It's something I will never take for granted, but I still wanted to celebrate each milestone of this pregnancy, knowing it is highly likely it's my last.

8) So we took fun pictures to announce we were expecting baby number three. The girls weren't very cooperative for the photoshoot, but we got the shot we needed. Rob's shirt says "I am the father." With the light sabers for added effect, it was Star Wars nerdom in full force, pun intended.



9) We finally told the girls at about 12 weeks. Their reactions were priceless. I can't wait to show baby brother this video when's he older.


10) Faith kept the secret for about 5 minutes. She asked if she could tell her friends at school and I said no, to wait a week or so. That Saturday at her soccer game, all the other moms started congratulating me. I wasn't too upset since it just made me realize how excited she was to share the good news.

11) This may sound silly, but making the announcement Facebook official was so rewarding. After keeping it to ourselves for so long, it was amazing to see the outpouring of support from our friends and family. I'll never underestimate how encouraging others can be in good times.



12) About 18 ish weeks in I started feeling flutters. Faith made me wait until 24 weeks and I think Gabs gave me a break and started moving around at about 14-16 weeks. These movements are indescribable and help with pregnant lady anxiety.

13) Yes, anxiety. While I would love a care-free pregnancy, that is out of the questions after losing one at 7 weeks and hearing all of the stories of women who've experienced a loss at some point along the way. The one thing that has helped me through it is prayer and faith in God. As much as I would love to be in control, the truth is I'm not. He is.

14) Another thing I'm not in control of is my appetite. Since getting over the nausea, I have become a voracious eater. Second helpings are my jam. Oh, jam sounds good. On Thanksgiving, I got a few side glances at the portion of sweet potato casserole I placed on my plate, but there's no shame in my game. Like I said, a last hurrah will do that to ya!



15) We thought for sure it was a girl. Our doc even said the chances for an XX were higher because we already had two little ladies. Since my first and second pregnancy were so different and they were both girls, I didn't know what to think. As time went on, I became more and more sure it was a chica in there.

16) So much for that idea. Our ultrasound on the 6th of December revealed "it's a boy." After the sonographer did such a good job of not using the pronoun he, a tech that had been there one week wanted to do some practice while the OB reviewed the photos. She kept saying "his" so we had an inkling, but weren't sure until we looked at photo ourselves.



17) I may have said the words, "Is it really?" about 40 times when we found out. Mentally, I was ready for a girl. I thought we'd get the news and then keep on keeping on til the baby was born because this was old hat for us. We had the clothes, every pink toy imaginable and even a "Welcome Baby Girl" sign for the door. The boy was the left turn I didn't know we were taking but I am so so ready for this road and the journey that comes with it.

18) Everyone asks if Rob is excited. Of course he is, but I truly haven't noticed that it's any more so than when we found out with the girls. I think he will have a special bond with baby boy just like I do with the girls, (we just get each other sometimes) but a kid is a kid. You love em just the same no matter what.

19) But the girls wanted another girl. Mainly to add another party to our "girls' nights" when dad has to work, etc. I was worried they would create an America's Funniest Videos-style meltdown when we told them, but they were excited. Gabby said "I love boys" and Faith just couldn't wait to spill the beans to her friends.


20) I am finally processing what it means to be having a son. While I have no idea of the reality, I am looking forward to it now. And I've realized that I've been a bit too "pro girl" in the past only thinking of the scarier parts of raising a boy: the rambunctiousness, the peeing everywhere, and worst of all, liking girls. I've never thought my girls needed to be perfect, but I've thought the boys who they may date should be. Now that I'll have a boy, I realize what a double standard that was to place on the opposite sex. We're all human. Very different, but more alike than anything else.



21) On a lighter note, have I mentioned how much it sucks to bend over? As soon as baby is out, I will be picking things up off the floor with a smile just because I'll appreciate being able to do it with ease. Nowadays, I just stare longingly at the floor after I drop something knowing it's a long ways down. I'm currently trying to perfect the toe grab.

22) It's crazy to think that next Christmas we'll have another child in front of the tree, an 8 month old no less. Though tempting, we resisted buying him anything this year, so 2017 might get a lil crazy.

23) Opening a box of boy clothes Granny Janny bought made it seem that much realer. Everything down to our dryer lint has been pink for 6 plus years, so this is so surreal. I will wait until he's 37 ish weeks to want him here, but I am very anxious to meet the other man responsible for this bump ;)



24) We're hoping to decide on a name sooner than later. Because Faith and Gabby's names both have 5 letters, I was kind of hoping to do another 5 letter name that starts with an E, but those are pretty slim pickens. Now only if Rob and I can agree before April 25th. No, we will not be naming him Dak, Ezekial, or any other Cowboy football player name.

25) The rest of the story is unwritten right now, but I am happier than ever to cherish and celebrate the rest of the milestones along the way this being the last go round. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the little boy kicking me. Your goofy family loves you already.


Intangible 34th Birthday Gifts

As these posts seem to get fewer and farther between, they get harder to write. The ideas are always rolling around in my head, but they don't usually make it to my typing fingers. Actually, I don't know when the last time I've used this laptop was...these days between Faith's activities, Gabby's plea for my undivided attention and Rob claiming that he needs clean pants to wear to work (diva!) I haven't had the time or energy to blog.

But I recently turned the ole 3-4, and there's nothing like a birthday to remind a writer to write before they forget. And here I am with some me time, so I thought I'd talk about what made this year's birthday so special.

Let me begin with my hatred of even numbers. I despise turning even numbers. It makes me feel two years older instead of one. So when this year's even birthday fell on a Monday, it wasn't exactly lining up to be a memorable one.

Still, my family just knows the way to my heart. Below are the birthday gifts I'll treasure long after the flowers are dead (OK, they already died - this post is more than a month after Sept. 19th).

From Rob: As mentioned in the previous sentence, Rob sent me flowers at work. I am not even a huge flower woman, but knowing that your special someone wants to surprise you gets me every time. He could send a loaf of bread and a stick of butter from Hy-Vees Online Aisles delivery service and I would still swoon. But, that's not what hit me right in the feels from him. One night before my birthday I arrived home with both girls only to be greeted by a yappy dog and no husband. In my haze to get out of my work clothes, I went directly to the bedroom and walked right past the giant new painting on the living room wall. Now, some might see the painting as the gift. While it's beautiful, and I love the way it fits with our colors and aesthetic, I was happier that he finally just went ahead and picked something out and hung it up rather than wait for me to make a decision by the time I'm 54 and hang it up a year after that. He took something off my to do list I've been wanting to do for so long and for that, I love the man I married even more.



From Faith: Now here's a girl who cannot sleep past 6 a.m. Most days she comes in our bedroom and I'll tell her to go back to bed, or if it's at least 6:30, she can watch a cartoon. One morning she came in around 5:45 and I told her she could go back to sleep on the couch. When I awoke 30 minutes later to take the dog for a walk, I came out to this picture. The flash ruined it, but essentially I walked out of my bedroom to see a small green light illuminating a 6-year-old girls face. "Faith, what are you doing?" I asked, and upon closer inspection, I noticed that she was reading her children's bible and had been for about 30 minutes. It immediately brought tears to my eyes and I felt like I actually had some cred at this parenting gig. Most of all, it was my chance to learn from her. Reading scripture in the morning is something I want to make a habit of doing. My anxiety tends to run high in the mornings, with everything from doubts about getting to work on time to making sure the girls have everything they need for the day and I think reading would help. My firstborn is setting the example for me!



From Gabby: This little lady has been attending performances at the Rose children's theatre in Omaha since she was an infant. Not alone (that would be weird) but when big sis went, lil sis got to come too. Faith always enjoys staying after the show for the Q &A session with the actors, and has frequently been called upon as she sits in the front row with her hand held high. Well, at the most recent show Gabby decided she wanted to ask a question for the first time. As protector of her feelings, self-worth and toddler dignity, this made me nervous. I envisioned her not getting called on and being devastated, forgetting her question or just completely freezing and not knowing what to do. Well, wouldn't you know it. She raised her hand high, and when the actor called on her, she called out her question. "How did the cow jump over the moon?" loud enough for everyone to hear. My heart absolutely SOARED. This kid is 3. Most of the kids who participate are double that. So my gift from her wasn't going to the show together, but just seeing her with the confidence to speak out in front of her older peers. It's just another one of the little things.



I also have to thank my parents for the thoughtful cards and meals and my sisters for a coffee cup that describes my personality a little too well. Happy 34th birthday to me!


16 Scholastic Children's Books We've Read in 2016

My name is Nicole, and I am a Scholastic-holic. Admitting you have a problem is the first step. The second step is ignoring the problem and continuing to order cheap paperbacks while living vicariously through your 3 and 6-year-olds. Of course my children benefit from this addiction, but now so can you, with this handy dandy list of 16 best/not-the-best children's books we've read this year. As the adults who are forced asked to read the same thing time and time again, it helps if we actually like the book. Here are the ones we like, love, and would like to love a little more.

1)

This books kicks some serious big-bad-wolf-butt! It's all about female empowerment with a great iambic pentameter to accentuate the fierceness. LOVE!

2)

This one caught me with tears in my eyes when I was least expecting it. It's all about adjusting to life with a sibling and while it may be initially painful for the older sib, the relationship will be unlike any other out there. Great for parents feeling guilty about spreading their love as their family expands. LOVE!

3)


This book was our introduction into Todd Parr, and I cannot buy enough of his books. In a nutshell, they teach kids that looking different, feeling scared and showing you care are all OK, in fact, more than OK, it's encouraged. I've snapped all of these up and encourage you to do the same. LOVE!

4)

Remember when I talked about reading books over and over and OVER again?! Yeah, that was this book for my oldest. She could not get enough of it when she was 3-4. It's about a cupcake with several eccentric relatives and a candle who has the same problem. They become friends and you won't see the ending coming. It also includes a recipe for cupcakes and frosting in the back that we've tried. The cupcakes were good, but the frosting was pure sugar aka the best part. LOVE!

5)

There are so many phases in learning to read. I didn't realize how painfully slow of a process it was until our daughter worked on letter recognition, letter sounds, sight words and is now finally reading pretty darn good for a 6-year-old (not-so-humble-brag). These books can be compared with the ole Dick saw Jane. Jane ran away. Dick is sad. books of my youth. LOVE. (As if the photo with two box sets wasn't enough evidence.

6)

This is a series that we fell in love with by checking out at our local library. While paperbacks just aren't the same as hardcovers, these books are just charming with their sweet art and heart-warming messages throughout. LOVE!

7)

Hopefully you've read "On the Night You Were Born" by Nancy Tillman. Each time I page through it, I'm transported back to the night Faith was born (11:15 p.m.) and I became a mom for the first time. I thought Gabby should have her own Nancy Tillman book that spoke to how I feel about her, so I got this one. It's all about a mother/father's love and how it's with you no matter where you go. It alwaysleaves me feeling comforted that my own mama is with me everywhere I go. LOVE.

8)

The Whatever After series has quickly become a fan favorite in our house despite the fact we are reading them backwards. The author put a spin on the princess fairy tales we all know and find extremely sexist :) While in chapter format with no pictures, our 3-year-old sits and listens to the stories while hopefully imagining them in her own head. LOVE! 

9)

The story of a piece of peanut-buttered bread searching for a BFF almost goes on too long while you feel sorry for the poor shlup, but you-know-who arrives just in time. Impressive pictures of food in action with laugh-out-loud puns along the way. LOVE. (We bought the sequel "Milk Goes to School" and weren't really impressed.)

10)

We were introduced to this series by my sweet little nephew. If I'm being honest, the original book is the best, but the others are good, too. Iambic pentameter shines here, too. LIKE.

11)

I realize it's a tad late to be recommending "The Night Before (insert grade level here)" books. But maybe they're on sale and you can save it for next year. There are several of these types of books out there and I've found this author's versions to be the best. Plus, it makes for a fun "night before school" tradition. LIKE.

12)

This is a series of books about different types of "busy people" and what their workdays look like. My youngest demanded I start calling her Dr. Mike for a good six months after we read this one about a veterinarian. Not the best dialogue, but kids won't notice. LIKE.

13)

The colors of this book did not photograph well, but it's a fan favorite in our house. A quick read, all about the alphabet, both uppercase mom and dads and lowercase kids. And let's face it, the title is just fun to say. LIKE.

14)
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I thought this series (are you starting to gather my Scholastic problem is no joke?) would be good for little ears to hear. Instead, the little boy is just kind of a jerk, and there is dialogue with a story happening at the same time. I don't enjoy reading it because frankly, there are just too many words, ideas and concepts on one page. Sad to say, but it's the truth. DISLIKE.

15)

We bought this book a few years ago when getting our toddler to brush her teeth was similar to pulling teeth. While it is very educational, our plan backfired. Instead of being horrified at the thought of her teeth falling out due to cavities, our lovely little one stopped brushing as well as she should have been with the hopes of them falling out being followed by a visit from the tooth fairy. Possibly better for an advanced audience! DISLIKE.


16)

Let me just start by saying that I LOVED Amelia Bedelia growing up. I thought her mishaps were hilarious, but kids (at least my kids) just look confused as to why she does things so literally. For older kids, I think these would be a hit, but understanding sarcasm might help here. Since Amelia and I go way back I'll say love/hate.

That's it for our list of 16 books we LOVE, LIKE and would like to love a little more this year. What do you think? Have you read any of these? Do you have other recommendations to add to the list? Are you also slightly pissed at Sam Science for making your daughter think cavities will make the tooth fairy come faster? Me neither. Would love to read your reactions in the comments!