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!


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 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

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!

The Interception

Two weeks ago today I wrote about the highs of life with Faith. The very next day, I experienced a low low.

The story starts just as Rob described it in his post, Intussusception. Faith refused her morning bottle and then threw up twice. What he left out was that while he was trying to console our miserable baby, I was in the shower, doing something I don't do enough of (no, not scrubbing behind my ears and in my belly button) I was praying. My prayer to God was short and sweet. I just asked for him to give me the strength it would take to deal with a sick child, not knowing that later I would need every ounce of strength I had to make a very important phone call.

After Rob left for work, Faith seemed tired, so I let her rest in her crib. In talking with my mom, who has enough motherly instinct for the both of us combined, she convinced me that no matter how tired Faith seemed, she needed to eat because with her small size she could easily get dehydrated. I agreed and tried again to feed her. I dribbled milk on her lips, put the nipple in her mouth...nothing. I called her name. No response. "Faith,' I said a little louder. "You need to eat." Still nothing. Panic started to rise. "Faith,' I yelled. "FAITH!" She opened her little blue eyes but only for a second before drifting back off.

I knew something wasn't right. My baby had never done this before. She had a doctor appointment scheduled, but it wasn't until 11:20 and it was only 8:45. I knew I couldn't wait that long. More importantly, Faith couldn't wait that long. My baby needed help. And she needed it now.

This is when I started to lose it. I quickly strapped her in her car seat, put her in the car, then ran back in the house to get her food and diaper bag, almost forgetting my phone on the couch. If ever there was an angel watching over someone, it was now. I can just picture my grandma Willie up in heaven willing me to grab my phone before I left the house. I saw it out of the corner of my eye on my way out the door and thew it in my pocket before getting in my car and speeding away from the house.

We were barely down the street when I lost it for the first time. Faith wasn't responding again. I screamed her name, turned the radio on full blast, touched her head. Nothing. I pulled over and threw the car in park. I jumped in the backseat. She was breathing. Thank you God. I quickly got back in the driver's seat, my mind spinning. "How the hell do I get to Children's Hospital?" I wondered. I speed dialed my mom and told her what was happening. Calmly she said the words I'd been silencing from my own mind. "You need to call 9-1-1." Full freakout mode. "I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know," I kept repeating. She told me again to call 9-1-1. This time I listened.

Now, I wanted to try to obtain the call from the police, but was told that I needed some forms signed by somebody important. I didn't want to jump through a bunch of hoops, so I declined. What follows is my memory of the call. I did not cry. I did not sob. I knew I had a job to do and that was to get help for my baby.

"9-1-1, what's you emergency?"

"I'm on the Interstate. I'm getting off on the 13th Street exit. I have a 4-month-old. She's unresponsive. I need an ambulance. I'm turning into the Jimmy John's on 13th street. (runs red light) My baby won't respond. Faith. FAITH! Please hurry! PLEASE!"

I proceeded to repeat myself a few times. She asked me several questions and I pleaded with her to hurry some more. I whipped into the JJ parking lot, threw my car into park and jumped into the backseat for the second time. I hadn't been able to tell from my position in the front seat if Faith was breathing in the backseat and it was the longest 5 minute drive of my life. I'm afraid to type the things that were going through my head at the time. In short, I thought I was losing my baby girl...and my dream of being a mom. I thought it was going to be gone. All gone. In the blink of an eye. And to think she'd been perfectly healthy and fine when we put her to bed the night before. But she was breathing. My eyes were glued to her chest rising and falling.

It wasn't two minutes later and I heard sirens. Sweet, glorious sirens. Help was here. All the commotion woke Faith out of her daze. When the paramedics went to tend to her, she seemed to be doing OK, other than I knew she was not OK. I pride myself on being able to read people and I read from their faces they thought I was nutso. First time mom, one of them asked, but only after determining that Faith was not in life-threatening danger.

I told them I wanted Faith to go to Children's and they asked if I wanted to follow the ambulance in my car. This right here defies the myth that there is no such thing as a stupid question. I wouldn't have cared if they towed my car to Timbuktu, I was riding in the squad with my baby to the hospital. My mind was still zooming 100mph on that ride but I knew that at least Faith's breathing was being monitored. (I know now in hindsight that Intussusception has nothing to do with the lungs, but at the time, the lethargicness that Faith was exhibiting scared me more than anything).

We rode to the hospital without the bells and whistles. Apparently the medics didn't feel it was necessary. Their call. All I can say is that when I saw a woman in the waiting room at the ER holding a toddler who was puking into a towel, I was glad we had ridden in an ambulance and thus got right into a room.

I don't care if anyone I crossed that day thought I was crazy for calling 9-1-1. I know in my heart I did what was right. And I will never, ever, ever, regret doing what I thought was (and turned out to be) the best for my baby. Rob arrived to the ER shortly after Faith and I got there so his story on the blog pretty much takes it from here. I just wanted to fill in the blanks that he wasn't present for.

And I know what some people may be thinking. Why would you ever want to hear the phone call, feel the panic in your voice, and relive the awful, horrific moment in your life all over again? Because. Because I don't ever want to take one second of Faith's precious life here on Earth for granted. When she throws a fit in Target for the first time, when she breaks something of value to us, when she stays out past her curfew, I want to remember how freaking lucky I am to have her here with us. I want to remember the feeling of absolute and utter dread that washed over me during the car ride from hell in order to appreciate the polar opposite feeling of joy even more.

When I think back to that day 10 years from now, I will remember it not as Intussusception (that's extremely hard to pronounce and spell) but as "the Interception," the day in our lives when we thought everything was going our way only for it to change directions in an instant. We will remember because we don't want to forget how fortunate we are to have such a blessing in our lives. To have Faith.

AKA, this girl.

They're Creepy and they're Kooky...

The Lindquist Family!

Someone asked us last Halloween what happens when the "Lindquist Legos" connect...
Take a guess. Please circle one.

If you chose the adorable drooling baby that looks just like her dad you'd be correct.

Rob is always kind enough to play along with my Halloween costume ideas and this year was no exception. Faith was given a hand-me-down costume and though I wanted to make ones to go along with hers, Rob knew he'd have to do most of the work, so he convinced me we should just buy them. I obliged...this time.
That's a bull and a cow and a baby calf in case you can't tell. Mr. I-hate-fun refused to change into black pants and a black shirt for the full effect. And in case you were wondering, yes, I answered the door and handed out candy to the trick-or-treaters in that sexy outfit.
close up of the cows. you know i got the milk for it.

And here's the Lindquist pumpkins.
Mine. This is a Google image though. Thanks to Mr. Let's-put-the-Halloween-decos-away Nov. 1
And Faith's. Rob was a bit disturbed by the stem. We really need a guard dog sign on our front door.
And here's where I tie the title of the post in. We finally caught Faith laughing on camera. Apparently my singing or the Adams family theme song is hilarious. Probably my singing. I told Rob to grab the camera and he was so stealth-like that I didn't even notice him sneaking up on us. I turned around at the end looking for him and there he was. Way to go Dad!
Warning: I didn't know the lyrics, so I substituted with the word "dooky" a few times. Bonus for you.

Happy belated Halloween everyone! Rob can’t wait, is mildly excited doesn't want to know what I'll force him to dress up as next year :)