24 things at 18 months

People who've never met Faith tell me that they feel like they know her from this blog. While some parents might be hesitant to overshare as much as we do about our daughter, I couldn't be happier she has touched some hearts through the Internet. May the happiness she brings to our lives reach far beyond the walls of our household in 2012 :)
Happy New Year! And with that, I give you 24 more things: my letters to Faith.

1. You know all the Sesame Street characters by name including Cuukie, BiBa, AbbEEE, Growo, Cown, Ahkur and most importantly, Emo (for non-parents of toddlers: Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Abby Cadabby, Grover, Count, Oscar the Grouch and Elmo). We want to capture this on video, but every time we try and ask you a character name with the camera rolling, all you say is "No."

2. You are such a mommy's girl these days, most likely because Daddy is gone at nights with basketball so we get our bonding time in. You love to say "Mom-eeee" and hand me stuff that's mine. You also like to hand your Dad his shoes and say "Wob" (Rob).  Guess I need to start calling him Dad more often.

3. You are obsessed with your snowboots. If you see them and they aren't already on your feet, it's tantrum time. Since there hasn't been any snow on the ground, there's been no need to wear them, but you do look like a cute lil' ski bunny with them on.

4. You talk. A lot. You pretend to read your books (sometimes upside down). You are babbling at Mickey Mouse (also known as MiMo as I type this). You know what you're saying and most of the time, we do too. I never thought I'd be one of those parents who understood jibberish, but I officially feel like I've earned that badge now.

5. I don't let you splurge very often and I regulate your meals so that they incorporate a vegetable or fruit better than I do my own, but we shared a hot chocolate chip cookie recently and to say you liked it would be the understatement of the year.

6. You are a little acrobat these days. You can climb up on the couch by yourself, scale the stairs and tumble all over. Dad roughhouses with you while I nervously watch in the background.

7.  I know all kids love Howie because of his small size, but you get to have him all the time. Still, you are constantly looking for him and calling his name, "Hooobie." We taught you to "pet him nice" and now he likes playing with you too.

8. Apparently you're a big Iowa State fan. The first time I tried to take off your Cyclone sweatshirt to give you a bath, you threw you first/worst tantrum. We're talking sobbing. I just held you in my arms til you got over it.

9. So far, you've been bitten twice and scratched once at daycare. Being a first-time mama, I was irate before I learned this is more common than I thought. I wish I could teach you to bite back, but I'm sure you'll learn to retaliate soon enough.

10. You had your first timeout on Christmas. Honestly, it was hard not to laugh because you had no clue what was going on. Tears were streaming down your face, but you still sat there for about a minute before we came to tell you it was over. Trust me, it was harder on us.

11.  You love to smooch...especially people your age. Mostly you're on the receiving end, but today you went after Liam guns hot.

 And you give - hands down - thee best hugs in the world. Feeling your little hands pat my back makes those 5 a.m. wake up calls well worth it.

12. You still use a binky at night and for naps. Hopefully that isn't the case by the time you turn two, but now that you can ask for it by name it's gonna be a battle royale to take it away.

13.Though exhausting, our nighttime routine is my favorite. After our ice cream snack, we go upstairs, brush our teeth, read three books of your choice, turn off the lamp and say our prayers for Bubba's babies and other infants. Most nights I put you in the crib, tuck a stuffed giraffe under your arm and cover you with a blanket. Some nights you stand back up like "wait a second, lady, I ain't goin' down this easy." I don't mind holding you until you're snoring because it reminds me of when you were little.

14. Favorite foods: Mac n Cheese. Grilled Cheese. Shredded Cheese. Sliced Cheese. String Cheese. Cottage Cheese.

15. You have no idea how many people love you. Grandpa John comes to visit you every Saturday and your Granny Janny would kidnap you nightly if she could. I assume there are a lot of people that would. You are partial to the people that you see on a regular basis.

16. You are finally learning how to go down steps. We still use the gate when you're upstairs though. We don't want what goes up to come down with a bump on her head.

17. Your Papa Stevie taught you to say Hawkeyes. Mommy's trying to teach you to say "Boooo."

18. You and your cousin Cam had your pictures taken together for Christmas. You didn't smile in a single shot. While you did sit very still while Cam ran around you in circles, I would've preferred at least a smirk instead of the frowny face. I'm kind of glad you don't just say cheese for the camera, so that when you do smile, I know I'm truly capturing your happiness.

19. I keep trying to put your hair in pigtails, but daycare keeps reminding me off all the hair-ties in your cube. I will win this one.

20.You are learning pretend play. Fake tea parties and watching you feed a baby a bottle are the reasons I wanted a baby girl. We left a specific nativity scene at your height just so you could play with all of the figurines. And your plush Elmo has Fruit Loop crumbs in his mouth still from you feeding him.

 21. One of your favorite pastimes is to watch videos of yourself on my phone. I just wish I knew if you knew it's you.

 22. For some reason, you are obsessed with the bathroom. Hopefully you'll be obsessed with cleaning it someday.

23. You have a wonderful sense of humor. Even if you don't get the joke you laugh. Kind of like your mom. If you know the room is laughing, you'll join in. Dad can always count on you for a smile when he tells a bad joke.

24. You are beautiful. Seriously, I could stare at you all day long. Except for when you're taking a nap. Then I stare at the back of my eyelids. We just took your 18 month pictures (password: faithiscute) today and I got choked up realizing how much you've grown up.You're a kid now. It's crazy, but I love it.

This past year and a half has been the most rewarding, tiring, rewarding year and a half of my life. Thank you for being you :)

Christmas Letter Plus Extras...

Editor's note: Sorry we've been MIA. Our internet is currently doing an impression of a turtle and there was this holiday called CHRISTMAS we celebrated five times this month. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming... 

The Lindquist Christmas letter is a big deal to me. So much so that I/Faith wrote and re-wrote the thing more than Carter's got pills. I have no idea what that means, but my mom says it all the time so it must be true. Anyway, I wanted to include more Lindquisty-goodness in the letter, but my graphic designer slapped me and told me that I couldn't put my text in eight point font just to include more photos of a child that already has her face splashed all over the Interwebs. (That didn't really happen.) He did convince me to cut down on the number of pictures, but since I have this here blog thang, I can do what I want when I post it here. #winning (What? That's out now. Then I'll go with a classic #booyah.) So here's the Christmas letter with bonus pics/hyperlinks and a look back at 2011.

First Faith's firsts.
First time cheering Daddy on at a bball game. (pre-I hate headbands and pre iPhone camera)
First Easter.
First swimming lesson. No, I will not admit you were too young/small for this.
First spaghetti, followed by "The Episode."
First Cubs' game in Chi-town circa the 3rd inning
5th inning.
First Iowa State Fair (for mom too).
First pigtails. Awwwwwwww.
First trick-or-treat as Little Bo Peep.
First time in a germ-infested play area.
And the biggest first of all. Your first BIRTHDAY!
So that's what I wanted to include. Here's what I/Faith ended up with...

When we last left off a year ago, I wasn’t yet crawling and hadn’t even tried real food.
(Why didn’t anyone tell me about syrup!? Or Ranch dressing!?) Please don’t get me started on the cardboard that is rice cereal. I do love I-cream though. And cheese, but not together.

Syrup =Whoa
So, this walking thing is pretty cool. Mom even captured my first steps on video captioned with “She Can Walk.” She sent it in to Good Morning America’s “Your Three Words” segment and –much to everyone’s surprise – they aired it on August 21st. I was just
playing with Howie’s toys in the living room early one morning when suddenly mom screamed, “YOU WERE ON TV!” It woke up dad and made me cry.  

Since my dad is a teacher, he thought he had the summer off. Yours truly made sure he
realized his job teaching intro to journalism, newspaper, broadcasting and yearbook is more like a 9-month vacation. He and I went on daily walks (yes, in the stroller. I just learned this skill, geez.) to check the water levels of the creek behind our house. Thankfully it never came over the banks. Dad also played nursery rhymes on his guitar while I danced (I get all my moves from my Papa Stevie in case you’re wondering). 

Dad is coaching basketball again this year, but all the Varsity games start at my bedtime. I do keep up with the team through their Facebook page (duh, who isn’t on Facebook by now? Ahem, Granny Janny). It’s “CB Thomas Jefferson Boys Basketball.”
One other cool thing about Dad; he ran Dam to Dam, a 12.4-mile race in Des Moines this summer. Mom had to watch from the sidelines after she hurt her foot in an incident she likes to call “the slowpitch softball debacle of 2011” but she did run the 5K. The parentals both ran the Corporate Cup 10K together in Omaha in September. Mom hopes to run
12 races in 2012.

Speaking of the lady who gave birth to me, she drops me off at daycare during the week to go write for the Public Relations Department at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She’s one thesis away from getting her master’s in Communications. She hopes to graduate from UNO next spring, but her loyalties will always be with her alma mater, Iowa State.

My claim to fame is going to be that my parents were at the game when the Cyclones upset #2 ranked Oklahoma State in Ames, Iowa. Mom and Dad rushed the field like they were college kids and sang “Sweet Caroline” with 50,000 of their closest friends. It was
unforgettable, they said.

As for Howie, he hurt his back, or neck, (he still isn’t saying) this fall and was out of commission for 10 days. It was a bummer as I love chasing him and he loves eating all those vegitubles that “just so happen” to fall from my highchair. My parents laughed when I

uttered my first phrase, but really I’d heard them say it a thousand times: “Howie, NO!”

And me, well, I pretty much do it all. Eating with a spoon? Check. Drinking from a cup? Check. Blowing kisses bye-bye? Check. Animal sounds? Check. Sleeping through the night without a pacifier? Next question. I also turned 1 on June 24 and dominated my birthday cake surrounded by family and friends.

If you’d like to keep up on my every move, my overeager parents will probably blog about it on Life as a Lindquist. They sure do love me. And I love them. And, well, you. Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

p.s. in case you were wondering...


A Tale of Two Babies

Baby A:
Fed a cookie beforehand.
 Baby B:
Not fed anything beforehand.
You win some. You lose some.

Read 'em and Sleep

One of my favorite things about my/Faith's baby shower was all the books she received. Instead of a card that would be recycled anyway, my sister Rachel put a poem in the invitation that asked for guests to bring a book in place of it. That, coupled with the fact that my sister Ramey never saw a children's book she didn't buy (when Borders closed, they just called her up to come haul the entire kids' section away) means we have quite the Lindquist library here at home.

I'll never forget the time one of my college professors, right in the middle of her lecture, stopped talking about Communication 101 for a moment and said something like, "I'm going to give you the best piece of advice anyone can ever receive." I got my pen ready to take down her wisdom. She paused for a second and then said four words: "Read To Your Children." I didn't write it down but it stuck with me ever since.

I read Faith at least three books every night and Rob reads to her too when it's his turn for nighttime duty. I've seen "what are you reading?" type posts on other blogs and thought it would be fun to share Faithy's favorites with you all. If you have any recommendations, I'm all ears. In no particular order, our top 10:

Faith knows exactly which page Elmo asks for a kiss and leans in for it before I even get to that part.
This one has flaps that she can unfold and then pet the animals.
Start em young.
This one is more my favorite to read. The message is you can be anything you want to be. I always point out the writer and teacher options :)
I've blogged about my obsession with these books before. Faith likes them too.
There's a reason this one is always on top of the Dr. Seuss stack. It's a popular request.
By far my favorite children's book ever. "Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn on the wonderful, marvelous night you were born."
This is one of a series. We also have the farm and colors versions. Faith first learned to turn pages with these.
Faith requests this one nightly by fidgeting in the rocker until I finally grab it off her table. Rob is thinking about putting the lyrics to music.
A classic from my youth. "It all began with that shoe on the wall. That shoe on the wall shouldn't be there at all."
'K's' are hard for kids. In other words, this one can also be called: "Ohhh Pooooopie." Gotta love her.

Bubba's Babies

When you find out your best friend since 5th grade is having a baby, you're excited. When you find out your best friend since 5th grade is having two babies, you totally freak out and make a really high pitch squealy noise (just ask Rob). Ericka (also known as Bubba) and I (also known as Coco -- yes, my mother called me by the name of the Gorilla who knew sign language) go way back. So far back we once did this willingly.

We met Easter weekend of 1993. I pretended to pick up sticks in our yard while secretly hoping someone in her family would ask me to come over and join in their Easter egg hunt. (Oh, how sad that must have looked.) Eventually, my wish came true. Little did I know that day would be the beginning of a friendship that has lasted almost 20 years! (Sidenote: Shit, that makes me sound old!)

One big happy family!
 Ericka convinced me to join the basketball team - a sport I'd never played but fell in love with in middle school. She asked a boy I liked, over the phone, to "go out" with me. She consoled me when that boy broke up with me for another girl a week later (oh the perils of 6th grade). She did my hair for every school picture day. She helped this city girl learn to drink well water. She taught me how to snap beans, navigate a bike on a gravel road and how to put peroxide on my knees when that didn't go so well the first time.

Still playing bball together 15 years later at the March Whoopers and Hoopers tourney in Hastings.
The two of us hosted handstand competitions, "Vivian Richards" talkshows and a very poorly orchestrated dance to Tim McGraw's "Indian Outlaw" for my mom. We've been caught eating cheeseballs in the hottub together. We started a roller rink in my old basement together (RIP CB's place). We've taken the moped on the highway to grandma's for a picnic together. She and I were even involved in the world's slowest half-rollover car accident, a story that I can't tell without pretending I'm on my side. In short, we've made a lot of great memories together and I couldn't be happier she is going to be a mom soon.

BF for life!
Her recent baby shower made it even more real that she and her husband Chad will be bringing not one, but two people into this world. One boy, one girl. I'm still not over how awesome that is...

To celebrate Bubba's babies, due at the end of January, but more likely to make an appearance in time for Santa Claus, we threw them a party at the Loess Hills Lavender Farm outside of Mondamin. 

 Here is Faith's reaction when she found out the party wasn't for her...little does she know she already had one.

We ate.
The spread: my only contribution was the "double-stuffed" Oreos. Clever, huh!

Cari's awesome cupcakes!!
We played games.
The Price Is Right basket of goodies.   
 We scrapbooked.
All she has to do now is all the pictures :)
Someone's page that turned out a lot nicer than the one Faith put 62 stickers on.
And then she opened the haul.

I wanted to get her something special in addition to the basket of goodies for the game so I bought 10 plain white onesies and some iron-on felt letters. This could be a separate post entitled "How to Get Angry and Throw a Tantrum Like a Two-Year-Old When Your Craft Project Doesn't Go Your Way." However, I will attempt to explain how I/Rob did this since they turned out so damned cute. Hopefully they don't bleed in the wash and peel off, rendering them undershirts for the rest of their onesie lives.

Anyway, first I decided on sayings. I'd planned to do three of the five I ended up doing. I wanted to do a "he did it; she did it" version but didn't have enough white letters to color so I wound up using the black ones and coming up with new sayings. I actually liked these the best when all was said and done. So, the sayings were:
Rockin' on one onesie and Rollin' on the other
Two Peas on one onesie and In A Pod on the other
Thing One on one onesie and Thing Two on the other
PB on one onesie and J on the other
and finally, because Chad is a basketball coach...
Double on one onesie and Dribble on the other.

Next, I colored the letters, but got distracted watching TV and screwed up. Rob saved the day again by telling me to alternate the letters on the Thing One/Thing Two set. Genius stuff I would have never come up with after 8:30 p.m.

When that was done, I attempted to follow the directions on the package, but realized I had skipped an entire step by not cutting the letters out of the sheet to begin with (insert lots of swearwords). I tried to do what it said to do after the step I missed, but the letters would not stay on the onesies FOR THE LIFE OF CARTER'S! Enter Mr. Lindquist. The man made those letters his bi -- this is a family blog. He made those letters stick to the onesies. I did a happy dance and then Wayne and Garth's "We Are Not Worthy" move.

The man. The myth. The legend.
The final result.

And hopefully they can wear these to match:
Adorable hats made by Angee's Originals.
So Bub, to sum it up, these two people can't wait to meet your two people...

Photo credit goes to Cari Anne McClannahan, who remembered her camera that day unlike moi. Her pictures are the non-blurry ones not taken with an iPhone. Thanks, Cari!