11 resolutions for 2011

My mom used to recite the "be's" to me before I left the house in jr. high and high school. Be-have. Be nice. Be kind. And be especially nice to (insert the name of a girl I didn't particularly like). For 2011, I came up with 11 "be's" (some call them resolutions) .
In no particular order...

1) Be more like Faith, and Howie.
Every time Faith glimpses herself in the mirror, a huge smile spreads across her face.If only we all greeted our reflections like babies. Instead of seeing the blemishes, wrinkles or other negatives, I plan to look in the mirror and smile, cause gosh darnit, people like me
As for Howie, Rob or I could leave the house for one minute and when we return, the reunion resembles that of long-lost lovers, at least on his end. I don't plan to lick Rob's face when he gets home, but I certainly can show more enthusiasm for the guy I married by getting up and giving him a hug when he walks in the door.

2) Be less like a sailor.
Little ears are listening now. All I need is for her first word to be sonofabitch. Cursing doesn't make me sound intelligent so I will try to find more appropriate verbs, nouns, adverbs etc. that don't contain the syllables !%##^&$^&*)^!

3) Be healthier. 
Vague, I know. My plan is to write down the foods I consume so that I will be less likely to a) enter a brownie eating contest at work and b) eat more green stuff. My goal is not to lose weight. Currently, I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight and before you call me a word that rhymes with witch you should know that 1) I have "pumped" enough to power all the houses on our block and therefore burned a $hi#ton (resolutions don't start until tomorrow) of calories and 2) though the number on the scale is the same, my mid-section now resembles Santa's bowl full of jelly. 

4) Be a better wife.
This just in...marriage is hard. It's harder when you have a baby, even if she sleeps through the night. Rob and I have gotten into a habit of tit for tat. An "if you do this, I'll do that" philosophy if you will. I would like to let go of the notion that just because I give one day means I should receive the next. I want to get better at giving without expecting anything in return.

5) Be a dam runner. No, that is not a typo.

6) Be aware of my appearance .
Right now, doing my hair consists of scrunching it with mousse for 15 seconds. While time might be too tight to dry and straighten my hair and put on more than minimal makeup every day, I know that if I look good, I'll feel good.

7) Be a more frequent blogger. A new mom asked me the other day how I found the time to blog. I told her I have plenty of time (on my lunch hour, after Faith goes night night) but it was more a matter of motivation. Usually I use the excuse of too tired or too busy, but the truth is I could write more often. It's kind of like putting on your shoes being the hardest part about going to the gym. Once I click "create new post," it's easy. It's a matter of logging on and one click of the mouse.

8) Be a girlie girl.
The opportunities to get together with girlfriends are there, but I have this crazy mother's guilt any time I leave Faith. While I know it's good for me to get away, my heart refuses to believe it. My hope for 2011 is to have a change of heart.

9) Be in the moment more. Maybe it's the Facebook freak in me, but I'm always thinking in status updates and tweets. When Faith does something cute (which is often :) the first thing I do is yell for Rob to get the camera. While I like documenting her every move, I don't want to remember her childhood from behind the lens of a camera. The next time she smiles or giggles, I'm going to pause and sear the sound in my brain by just soaking it up like a sponge.

10) Be-lieve in the power of prayer. Instead of just reciting a few names of pregnant ladies and babies with health problems in my head during the prayers of the faithful when the lector asks us for our own special intentions at church (whew), I want to thank God more often for my food, my family and all that is good.

11) Be me. And love me for it. I know I can be impatient, stubborn, lazy, rude and (insert other less than pleasant adjectives here). While I will work on #s 1-10 to be a better person, I want to love myself for who I am and forgive myself for not being perfect. All I can do is BE the best me that I can BE!

-Nicole

Redesigns

So, a man walks into a bar. He sees stars. He sees his child and wife. He realizes the bar he walked into should not have been in the middle of the baby's room. (ba dum) So my corny jokes will never be redesigned; but the blog has... obviously.

It took four long hours of deciding what I want, deciding what Nic wants, changing what I want, figuring out that what we both want doesn't want to work, and wanting to settle on this... after four hours. I suppose we didn't "settle" on it, we just agreed that we both liked it enough to use until I'm summoned to change it again. Now that baby Faith is controlling the life as a Lindquist, we are going to make it a simpler design (simpler is relative to everyone who didn't spend four hours on it).

So redesign... to the right you'll see the lovely sidebars, and to your left is some space. If you look off into the distance, you'll see another corny joke coming.

Think about this though. You can redesign a lot of different things: your look, your house, your attitude, etc. Sound familiar? Especially this time of year? I'm talking about resolutions people. So I want to take a minute, just sit right there, I'll tell you how I became a prince of a town called Bel Air (I didn't even have to look up those lyrics).

During my redesign, I realized (more than ever) that I'm sometimes not the greatest person in the world. I know, hard to believe. Nic called me Oscar. I also suck at waking up early. You'd think that with a now six-month-old, morning basketball practice, and the fact I've been getting up at relatively the same time for five years that I would be used to getting up early? Nope, not this stubborn mule.

So resolution/redesign number one? Not be a bear in the morning. Number two? Cut down on lists.

I have the most wonderful, understanding, considerate wife... so I should probably act like it. Hopefully, it started today. I woke up (with little to no resistance) and fed Faith (after Nic warmed the bottle and changed the diaper) and let Nicole go back to bed for an hour and a half (even though she was supposed to be up at 7:00am). Hey, it's a start!

Happy New Year (again)
~Rob

Meet the Team

As Hillary Clinton once said, "It take a village to raise a child." Meet our Village. By no means is it all- inclusive. Aunts and Uncles were replaced by their much-cuter kids, many cousins were left out and several friends aren't on the roster below, but we still appreciate them all very much! 

As Faith marks her big 6-month milestone today (Merry Christmas Eve), we thank God we are blessed with everyone who has been there for us this past half-year. It seems like just yesterday she was born!
Here's to the next 6 months sure to be full of fun! Life as a Lindquist is good. Now meet the team.


 Dad
-sings “Hey Soul Sister” when Faith is fussy
-has a knack for ignoring morning wake up calls from his daughter
-not sure if Faith is laughing at or with him

Mom
-the crazy lady behind the dorky videos
-in charge of “groceries”
-falls asleep at 8 p.m.


Granny Janny
-the mom’s mom
-they don’t call her a grandma hog for nothin’
-tries to feed babies mashed potatoes

Papa Stevie
-calls his granddaughter lil Rob
-loves to compare Faith to Cam
-the only person who still plays with Howie


 G’Pa John
-thinks Faith is the cutest baby in “history”
-delights in Cubs-themed photos
-saving for his granddaughter to go to law school

  
Grandma Mac
-finder of adorable bracelets
-Santa's famous stocking stuffer
-enjoys boring people with excessive photos of Faith

  
Grandma Cindy
-likes grandaughters on her lap
-gave birth to a pretty cool guy herself
-spoils babies at Christmastime


Kylee
-cute cousin and knows it
-will hopefully teach Faith to put herself in timeout like she does
-terrified of Santa Claus




 Auntie Rachel
-never turns down a date with her niece
-Faith’s paparazzi
-loves buying girlie clothes

Auntie Ramey
-calls herself the “baby whisperer”
- grossed out by spit up
-prefers babies with strong necks


 Cam
-chief cousin in command
-always the first to do things
-looks exactly like her daddy when she cries



 Bub
-keeps Faith’s mom sane during basketball season
-calls Faith “lilly,” “nugget” and “peanut”
-plans to corrupt her

Cari
-will probably buy Faith a tutu
-won’t ever tell Faith stories from when her mommy was in college
-can’t wait for Faith to be her flower girl


 Summer
-photographer extraordinaire
-hopefully less afraid of children since she met Faith
-enjoys conversations with kittens and infants

 
Liam
-future prom date
-saw Faith naked on their first date
-total mama’s boy


 Dr. Loucks
-makes the nurses give Faith her shots
-calms parents' fears about odd syndromes
-best pediatrician on the planet

 
Harleigh
-the hander of hand-me-downs
-grows at the speed of light
-can’t wait to boss Faith around at family gatherings



And last only because he weighs the least, Howie
-dog whose life’s mission is to destroy all pacifiers
-licks babies into submission
-looking forward to solid foods more than anyone

Fun with the FlipCam

The girl does it all: laughing, singing, typing, sitting, dancing and last but not least, looking cute!

p.s. yes, I'm biased.
p.p.s. yes, I'm a touch crazy.
p.p.p.s. yes, Faith knows.
p.p.p.s.s. so does Rob.
pppppsssss And they STILL love me!

Enjoy the video! Christmas cards coming soon :)

Luck, or something like it.

If I didn't know any better, I would consider myself the luckiest man alive. How else can a kid from small-town Iowa who didn't break 100 lbs. until a junior in high school, whilst getting glasses that same year end up with the life that I have, the experiences I've had, and the future that I'm surely about to get? Especially considering that I'm a huge baby when I get a cold, I've never been a morning person (and I am up ├╝ber early), and I use lists way too often. Oh, and I complain all of the time. And I still got the girl?

Consider this: I have always had goals in life.

1) I wanted to be on ESPN. 
I was on ESPN once, and my mom even called me right after she saw me. I was a freshman in college who just figured out that if you drink half of the bottle of Coke before going into a soon-to-be nationally televised basketball game between your Iowa State Cyclones and the 5th ranked Texas Longhorns, you can fill the other half with whiskey. On top of that, some nice upperclassmen in the row in front of me needed the letter "S" for the shirtless/painted-chested section of I-S-U (a solid buck-fifteen by then). Pssht. And I couldn't figure out why my mom was calling me during the second half of the game? I called her back later that night to find out they showed us more than a few times (ISU ended up winning that game by the way). I'm sure I made someone proud.

2) I wanted to get the girl.
And I got her. It took some fighting for, but she was worth it. To make things better - I have two of the best girls in the world right now. My stupid high school goal of not getting married was, stupid. It took me three months to figure out that Nicole was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It took another 10 months to save up for a ring on the budget I was on. And 16 months after my Wheel of Fortune episode aired, I was married. (Yea, luckiest guy stuff all rolled into that one). Fast forward three more years and baby Faith completed my circle.

3) I wanted the house.
Looking back, I am very thankful for the life I've had. My childhood was very good for me. If not for what I had, when I had it, or the lack thereof, I would not be me. *Very narcissistic post, I know* I didn't get the newest things in the world, but I got what my mother could provide. She cared enough about me and my sister to work three jobs to provide what she could. But, we moved a lot. I know now why that was. And I'm fine with that. So growing up, all I wanted was my own house. I'm a greedy bastard.

4) I want to share my good fortune.
This one is tricky. I know it's good to pay it forward. Nicole and I donate clothes every six months to Goodwill (or somewhere else). I teach, that counts for something. I don't know. I could do a lot more. Everybody could. Think about it.
But, if I get one kid to not beat up another kid, or give one extra buck to the red bucket, I am sharing my good luck. The saying is "luck is opportunity meeting preparation," but how do you prepare for luck?

This post started as a way for me to pass good holiday cheer to my family, friends, and others by sharing stories about my little family and good fortune. Maybe I planned on offering up some tips for preparing for luck. Maybe, I really am that narcissistic and just wanted to show off. But isn't that the point of a blog?

Anyway, I am lucky. I have the house, the girl(s), have been on TV, I have the opportunity to tell my life story post-by-post, I have great friends, great families, and I hope that everyone who decided to read this far knows that I only brag about this stuff is because I'm truly proud to have it. I am glad I get the chance to have things that are good, and I just hope my good fortune does spread to you in some way this holiday season.

~Rob

How our first date did NOT go...

(The waiter at Taco Bell seats us and walks away)

Rob: "So....were you breastfed?"
Me: "Excuse me, what?"
Rob: "Yeah, cause that's like really important to me that my life partner was breastfed as a baby."
Me: "Well yes, my mom breastfed, but she also supplemented with formula if you must know."
Rob: "Oh. Well, you're kind of cute so I suppose I could get past it."
Me: "Lucky me."
(awkward silence)
Rob: "When exactly did you start solid foods?"
Me: "Uh, I have no idea."
Rob: "Oh, cause I started them at four months. I was really advanced for my age. My mom told me I was in the 90th percentile for weight."
Me: "Congratulations. You must be so proud."
Rob: "Yeah, and I sat up, crawled and walked before all my baby friends too."
Me: "Interesting. But all your baby friends eventually learned to sit up, crawl and walk right?"
Rob: "Well yeah, but I did it first. Most women find that irresistible."
Me: "Do they?"
Rob: "Yeah. Weird that you don't. Say, I was wondering, did your mom use cloth diapers?"
Me: "That's a very odd question for a first date, but yes, I think so.
Rob: "Oh thank God. I just don't think I could be with anyone that used those awful disposables."
Me: "Wow. Just wow."
Rob: "What? No one's ever asked you these questions before?"
Me: "No. And I really don't think they're all that important. I know my mom loved the hell out of me and told me so. She kissed me, hugged me, fixed my booboos, played catch with me in the backyard, took me on my first plane ride, played those crazy hand-slapping games with me cause we were the only two in the house, let me win at Chutes and Ladders, sang Oldies to me, took me to church, sat through my soccer games, my basketball games, and filmed them all. She stayed up late worrying about me, then got up early to drive me somewhere. She worked to buy me clothes, food and too many stuffed animals. She put herself second so that I could go first. She loved me and gave me the very thing that every kid wants most: time. And THAT is what has made me who I am today."
(end date here) :)

My point is this: Most of the stuff parents of new babies spend their time thinking and worrying about doesn't matter. Every adult I know is potty trained, though I don't know when they hit that milestone and I don't care. I might not be the best parent in the world, make the right decision every time or follow all the so-called "rules" but I will ALWAYS be there for Faith when she needs me. It's what matters most.

Bonus for you: I don't have a picture of Rob and I on our first date, but this is the earliest one I can find on facebook. It was taken about three and a half months after we started dating. We've been together a little more than 6 years now. Who knew I'd have that guy in the picture's baby someday? I mean, he's wearing a shell necklace and a shirt with beer spilled on it. I know what I was thinking when Mrs. Nikki Hartz snapped this photo... "Hands off ladies, he's mine!"

Christmas decorations

I've always liked the holiday season. From elementary school, through high school, college, and now back to high school, the holidays allow for a recharge of my batteries. Christmas will get here sooner than later, but oddly enough, I like the small break for Thanksgiving a little better. Here is a look at why Thanksgiving break is better for me:

1. The first break
This is the first, real, vacation as an educator. Most employers give this as a long break as well (unless you work in retail). Yes, we've had a couple of long weekends, but this is the first five-day weekend. As my intro alluded to, it's enjoyable because I can recharge, reflect, and relax. And grade papers.

2. Gathering of families and friends
My uncle makes a mean smoked turkey. And normally, I'm one of the two or three that will eat the juicy, smoked dark-meat the weekend before the holiday. That's right. My family usually meets the weekend before the actual holiday, so it's an appetizer to the government-issued day off. (Fact: President Lincoln made Thanksgiving an official holiday.) Usually we all eat too much, talk about Christmas, and have a good time watching a game. Thanksgiving day we go to Nicole's side to get stuffed to the brink of unconsciousness yet again. The food is always good, and it's always fun to catch up and meet "new" family members (babies are contagious).

3.The food
As if I need to go into any more detail on food (note - I started the last point with a food reference). But Rob, Christmas has great food too! Yes it does. But we don't give Buzz Aldrin as much credit for stepping on our moon second, so why give Christmas dinner as much credit for being the second holiday with a big feast? Plus, Christmas gets presents, so there's that.

4. Sports
Yes, I'm giving a whole point just to sports. College football is winding down, which means the games have that much more importance. College basketball is just starting up. I'm watching with a whole new set of eyes (figuratively and literally with Faith). Nothing is better than getting overly stuffed, with nowhere else to go, and vegging out in front of a good (and hell, even a bad) game.

5. Christmas decorations
Griswold's 250 strands of lights, 100 bulbs per strand.
Finally, this is probably the most important point, now I get to put up decorations. Thanksgiving break is the best time to put up all of my Christmas gear. I don't have Clark Griswold's 250 strands of lights, but I do enjoy putting up lights and decorations around the house. It affirms that I am doing things right in my life. This year I put up the tree with Faith in my arms. She helped me unfold the branches on the tree (although, she did try to eat a few of those branches). After some initial heckling, Nicole really likes all of the new lights this year (new lights on our little tree in the back yard, on the roof, and the lit mailbox from her grandpa).


So with basketball season's games starting this week, I may not get to blog as much as I (or my wife) would like. Thanksgiving is the start of it all, Christmas is the peak, and the New Year is the hangover. No matter which you enjoy the most, I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season!


~Rob

Damn You Carrie Underwood

Girl always makes me cry. This time it was her latest song I heard on the way to work after I dropped Faith off for day care the other day. It's called Mama's Song. Goes a little something like this...

Mama you taught me to do the right things
So now you have to let your baby fly
You've given me everything that I will need
To make it through this crazy thing called life
And I know you watch me grow up and always want whats best for me
And I think I found the answer to your prayers

And he is good, so good

He treats your little girl like a real man should
He is good, so good, he makes promises he keeps
No he's never gonna leave
So dont you worry about me
Dont you worry about me


Ha, "don't you worry about me." Telling a mom not to worry is like telling Howie not to go in the closet full of dirty clothes. No matter how many times you tell him, he just can't stop himself.

The part about letting your baby fly is what really gets to me. I know being a good parent means eventually putting yourself out of a job one day, but I never want to let Faith "fly." Maybe when she's 30 I'll let her start dating. She's already growing up so fast....so when I ran into a guy whose son is thinking about going to Iowa State while walking out to my car from work the other day, it was no surprise our conversation brought tears to my eyes. It went a little something like this...

Him: "So you went to Iowa State?" (My re-usuable grocery bag always gives me away).
Me: "Yep, graduated in '05. Loved it there."
Him: "My son is thinking about going to school there."
Me: "Really? I would highly recommend it. It's a great school and I loved my experience there." (Yes, I'm paraphrasing as I didn't have a secret tape recorder in my pocket).

We talked some more about the possibility of his son going to UNL (boo ;) and in and out of state tuition.
Then out of the blue he just stopped talking.

"Ya know," he said. "I'm really gonna miss him." Tears welled in his eyes, causing tears to well in mine.

I didn't know what to say so I mumbled something about how they grow up too fast and having to go pick up my daughter from daycare.

"Give her a thousand kisses each day," he said.

I started bawling.

"Nice meeting you," I replied, and quickly turned to get in my car so he wouldn't see me crying.

I started the car. Guess what song was on the radio. That's right, Mama's Song. Damn you Carrie Underwood.

Carrie and her mom, Carole

Ode to Day care

*Disclaimer:
The following poem was written by a psycho, first-time, overbearing, insert-your-own-adjectives-for-crazy- here, mother. It's not that I hate all day cares or the people who work there. It's just that they're not me.
Or grandma. Or Aunt Rachel. Or anybody else who's ever babysat for Faith and gushed over her every move. I blame them for setting my bar too high.
Anyway, the following is an attempt to be humorous while still relaying my experiences with day care. i.e. don't be offended. I think that's usually the last thing a person says right before they offend someone.
I digress. And I apologize for the fifth-grade style poem. Here goes nothing...

Ode to Day care

You’re a necessary evil
Most of the time
For us hard-working mothers
And our hard-earned dimes

I drop off my child
You barely mumble ‘hello’
As soon as I leave
She’s stuffed in the bumbo

She was crabby today
You say as I arrive
I get home; she’s poopy
It didn’t happen on the drive

The clothes she’s wearing
Aren’t even hers
Neither is the binky
Just think of the germs

I realize they don’t pay you
Anywhere near enough
But as a first-time mother
My expectations are tough

So please offer a smile
Don’t mix up her clothes
Change her diaper when it's dirty
Don’t turn up your nose

When you have children
You might understand
That going to day care
Is just part of the plan

We don’t enjoy leaving babies
Behind every day
We only work to make money
Staying home doesn't pay

You’re a necessarily evil
It’s that you don’t see
Just remember I’m trusting you
With my only baby

A day in the life of Faith Lindquist

Mr. Lindquist left for a Journalism conference in Kansas City at 5 a.m. on Friday which left me with Faith all to myself Friday night and all day Saturday. Since "pop pop" as I now affectionately/annoyingly refer to Rob was missing out on all things cute, I decided to chronicle 24 hours of Life as a Baby Lindquist - minus those glorious hours when she sleeps. Here goes nothing...
5:39 p.m. - Home from daycare and ready for a girls nite!

5:45 p.m. - Tummy timin' it/doing my best impersonation of Superbaby

6:06 p.m. - Can't you heat that bottle up any faster?!

6:20 p.m. - Mmmm milk. I look like I'm holding my own bottle here. Cool.



7:45 p.m. - Sleeeepin. Seriously, mom, the flash?!

7:46 p.m. - That's better.
8:36 p.m. - Mom's other baby. He's pretty cute too.
9:54 p.m. - Time for mom to tackle these.
10:19 p.m. Thanks, mom!

11:05 p.m. - Time for Howie "little bladder" Lindquist to go out one last time...pretty white stuff!
2:15 a.m. - Howie surprises mom w/ a special present at the front door.
4:42 a.m. - Mom has a nightmare one of these guys was eating Howie's food. No more crack before bed mom.

5:03 a.m. - I'm awake and ready to par-tay. Again though with the flash?


5:05 a.m. - Much better. Now where's that baba?

5:10 a.m. - Life is good.

5:55 a.m. - Mom, why do you look so tired?

6:30 a.m. - Bathtime. Thankfully we didn't have a repeat of this episode.

7:01 a.m. - Time for one of my 5 minute naps.

8:18 a.m. - Hangin' out in my bouncer while mom's in the shower. Howie took this pic.

9:35 a.m. - Bonding time w/ the bro. We fight over toys a lot.

10:15 a.m. - Mom, can we go shopping?

10:45 a.m. - I passed out just as we strolled by the lingerie section.

11:27 a.m. - You paid HOW MUCH for my Christmas dress?! (I found out later it was on sale for $12).

11:48 a.m. - Not a good day in the life of a Lindquist passenger side mirror.

12:57 p.m. - Squeezing in a nap before my playdate with cousin Cam!

1:41 p.m. - She's heeeeere, and she brought me some cool Christmas clothes. Thanks, Cam.

1:45 p.m. - Look, Cam. I can roll over.

1:46 p.m. - Yes, but can you sit up? (Touche).

from 2-3 o'clock - Merry Christmas from the cutest cousins eva!

Seriously, we are adorable!

3:50 p.m. - Worn out from all those pictures!
4:43 p.m. - Chillin' with grams before going out to dinner. Bummed about my Cyclones but still a true supporter.
The End. So dad, I hope you missed me as much as I missed you. Glad to have ya home again!