Happy Birthday baby!

My baby is 1. O-N-E. That went fast!

What an awesome year. Our lives truly changed forever at 11:15 p.m. on June 24, 2010. We knew we'd love her but I don't think we realized how much.  Because of Faith, we smile more, laugh more and say "did you see what she just did?" a whole lot more. She continues to amaze us daily.We are proud of our little lady, or shall I say "yiddle yady" as I did when I was 3.In honor of the big 0-1, here is another list of 24 things...

To Faith:

1) Happy Girl - I don't know what we did right, but you are one of the happiest and most content babies anyone has ever met. You smile your little ornery, scrunched-up-nose grin at pretty much everyone.
2) Howie lover -  You have learned the difference between dog toys and your toys. Now when we hand you one of his, you hold it out to him like, "Hey, come get this from me." You are getting better at petting him though sometimes you treat him like a toy. He is wary of your flying sippy cups but loves that you (purposefully) drop scraps for him. It's a great working relationship.

3) Big Kid Now -You went and grew up on me these last few months. You can't quite walk yet, but you do this thing where you pull yourself up onto your pink rocker, jump down, grab a paci, shove it in your mouth and climb up in the chair again which just blows me away because it makes you seem like such a toddler.

4) Teeth - you are finally getting your top chompers (yes, 3 all at once). We recently started brushing your teeth and you seem to like it better than Howie, so that's good. The first time we tried it though, your expression cracked me up.

5) Yum Yums - You don't eat much pureed food anymore and are a pro at feeding yourself. You recently started going "mmmmmmm" when you think something is good and it appears you like everything, especially breads and cottage cheese. But not mac and cheese (that's against kid code by the way).

6) You Scream for Ice Cream - literally, we gave it to you once and when I ran out (silly me, I took a few bites too) you got mad and cried. You definitely have Weis blood in you.

 7) "The books" say no more babas for one-year-olds. The books never met you. You are a grump in the morning until you've had that bottle and then it's a personality transplant. So hopefully you're not drinking beer out of Dr. Brown's when you turn 21!

8) Cartoooooons - Daddy got you hooked on Little Einsteins and Special Agent Oso (3 Special Steps!). You can often hear him saying "I cannot BElieeeve it!"

9) Peek a Boo -You absolutely love "peek-a-boo" books. You turn over the flaps yourself and then mumble jibberish like you are reading.
10) Dr. Seuess - Too bad there's not a game show that involves having his books memorized. Mommy would win big $. We read to you every night before bed and depending on the night, you listen to anywhere from 2-16 books. You'll probably be a rhyming genius by age 3.

11) Daddy's girl - You and dad continue to develop a bond like no other. He is so proud of his baby girl! Sometimes I get a little jealous that you two get to spend so much time together, but that is such an awesome opportunity for both of you that most dads and daughters don't get.

12) Sleeping Beauty - We've had it pretty easy in this department, but on nights when I go into your room 3 or 4 times to search for the pacifier underneath your crib and replace it in your mouth, I wonder if I'm doing either of us any favors.
13) Creepy Crawler - I didn't think you'd ever crawl like a normal kid, but a couple months ago you just started doing in and have really improved your 40 yard dash times. I predict you'll be walking in the next month or two!

14) Wordy woman - Your first official word was bye-bye, complete with the wave when I dropped you off at daycare one morning. Dad also got you singing na-na-na. You love to point at any and everything and say ba-ba?

15) Mwwwaahhh! I kiss your chubby cheeks approximately 572 times each day. I just love how they feel and I know you won't let me do it all that much longer :( You on the other hand and not a good kisser, but a biter. People are going to think daddy and I are weird if they see bites marks on our necks, K...

16) Before you go thinking you're a complete angel, you must know that you've also slapped a few people (and I'm not talking about high fives). They mainly just laugh which I'm sure only encourages you. Ornery much?

17) Curly Q - Everybody asks where you got your curls. I present to you Exhibit A.

18) Animal Lover -You are amazed by animals. We took you to the zoo today and I loved watching you watch the sharks and eels. I love seeing the world through your beautiful blue-green , but mostly blue, eyes.

19) Small Fry - You are still a petite little baby. You weigh 18 pounds and some odd ounces. We officially find out Tuesday at your 1-year-checkup where you will be getting too many shots. I probably shouldn't be telling you this.

20) Snack attack - You've moved on from Gerber puffs to veggie crunches. May the force be with the person who tries to get between you and your veggie crunches.

21) Picture People - Your daddy and I took you and Howie to have your pictures taken yesterday. All the pictures cost $75 (don't judge) but I think I would've paid more than $100 if there were a video of the process. Let's just say photographer Dave earned his paycheck that night.

22) Stairmaster - You are quite the climber, and when you get to the top, you love to reward yourself with a big handful of Howie food. Don't worry, we never let you eat it. The relationship between you two is not reciprocal.

23) You're a TV star - You woke up just in time to see yourself on first birthdays. Daddy laughed when he saw your picture. Others said you look just like your mama! I said "thanks" assuming that's a compliment :)

24) Blessed- Just so you know, you are the best thing that's ever happened to your dad and me. We are so happy and proud to be your parents. Please don't get all embarrassed of us too soon OK? I cannot wait to see what this next year brings. Happy Birthday baby girl!

Happy Father's Day!

On this Father's Day I am a lucky guy. See, I'm typing this early because I don't know how much time I'll actually be home on Father's Day (Sunday).  I know, but I'm not an ass. In fact, I think of this (and I hope Nicole does too) as a little Father's Day present. ISU Guys Golf Weekend is this weekend; kind of like the US Open, except one group has talent. The plan is to get home early afternoon, to quickly turn around and go to a College World Series game with Nicole's dad, John (thanks Jocelyn for the tickets!).

Now, first and foremost, I am a truly lucky man. If you know me at all, you know that I feel this every day. With everything I've been able to do and accomplish, nothing is as important and meaningful to me as starting my family with Nicole. We have had Father's Day celebrations in the past (yes, Howie got me a card), but this one is THE ONE. I have my own beautiful, wonderful, gorgeous little girl. *If you didn't know this, shame on you - I only talk about her every moment I get.

It's been almost a year (literally) that she came into this world, and my life has changed awesomely. I am a summer stay-at-home Dad. It's probably the most demanding job I've ever held, and I love it. And because of this, Faith has become a Daddy's Girl (which I also love). We have learned a lot in just the couple of weeks I've been home with her... in fact she can take two steps now before lunging for my arms. *Because I'm doing this on the Mac I have at home, I have no photos or videos. I know... bad blogger.

We have a routine, we have patterns, and we know when it's time to just let her be (in the playpen, with my eyes on her of course). Becoming a father is an amazing thing. So to all of the fresh-out-of-the-box dads, and the fathers that have been at it a while, this Bud's for you... wait, wrong blog.

Happy Father's Day!

Faith's first spaghetti!

I posted some pictures of "The Spaghetti Experiment" on Facebook, but for those of you (my mom) who don't drink the Kool-aid, you can view them by clicking on those underlined, red words.

As a bonus to those who have suffered through the 98 posts that is this blog (maybe 99, I didn't use a calculator) I thought I would provide an extra "never-before-seen" picture for your viewing pleasure.

After Faith finished her spaghetti, I wiped her arms and face down so she didn't look like she tried to apply bronzer while drunk. I noticed that she was wet, so I removed her diaper. Not wanting to put another one on before I gave her a bath in five minutes, I placed her in her dad's lap while I took my last few bites of spaghetti. You can see where this is going...naked baby + one unsuspecting dad = Rob peed his pants.

This is his "I'm not amused" face.
Just kidding. He didn't, although Billy Madison says you ain't cool unless you do. Well, consider Faith Miles Davis.

My Last Dam Update (until next year)

"I have no desire to do anything that ends in a K." -Summer Evans

The above quote came after I tried, very unsuccessfully, to convince my friend and college roomie how much fun it is to run a race, ie a 5K, 10K or 20K like Dam to Dam. "You feel like you're a part of something really special," I argued. She wasn't picking up what I was putting down.

But my feelings were only reinforced as I watched hundreds of runners cross the finish line on Saturday.
-one girl in her late teens drug her friend across
-a man with a shirt that said "blind dude" smiled as his guide led him across
-a dad and daughter held hands as they stepped across
-a man in a wheelchair pushed a loved one across
-a girl puked up some yellow Powerade as she ran across (just in case this was getting too mushy)
-a woman cartwheeled across

Some sprinted, some limped and others raised their hands in victory, savoring the moment. It was an awesome experience to be a part of and that was just the 20 minutes I watched.

I also saw our friends Ben and Amy cross the finish in sub two hours, which is amazing by the way. And then I saw a bright yellow shirt in the distance. As my husband ran by at 2:11:59, I tried to cheer, but my voice got caught it my throat. I was so choked up I could barely muster a "GO ROB!" I was and am SO PROUD (for all you Paul Rhoads groupies out there) of him. And everyone who crossed the finish line that day. Whether they crossed at one hour or three, it's an impressive accomplishment to run 12 + miles.

Go Rob!
As for me, I survived the 5k (this post isn't being ghostwritten is it?). My foot didn't hurt as bad as I thought. My lungs hurt worse than I thought. And the beer was mighty tasty afterward. All in all, I was very happy with my decision.

The date for next year's race is June 2 - our 5-year wedding anniversary. I told Rob I would wear a veil and he could sport a top hat and we'd hold hands as we crossed the finish line. My very sore and tired husband's reply: "I thought you wanted to go to Hawaii for our 5-year wedding anniversary."
My response: "I guess Des Moines will have to do."

p.s. Please pray for one of the Dam to Dam runners, a man named Josh Brungardt, who collapsed from heat stroke with the finish line in his sight. He continues to improve at a hospital in Des Moines, but the saddest part of his story is that his family became terrified as they waited for him to cross the finish line and he never came. I cannot imagine how scary that would be. Rob ran with his iPhone so was able to call us immediately after he finished, but this man was running alone with nothing to show emergency contact info. The family is working with Dam to Dam to put that info on the race bibs next year and I completely agree. No one should have to go through that again. Please keep Josh and his family in your thoughts and prayers...


It's 6:06 a.m. on Saturday, June 4 (oh wow, I'm turning into my dad). I've been wide awake since 4:44 a.m. You see, I'm not supposed to be sitting here at a computer. I'm supposed to be on a bus headed to Saylorville to run Dam to Dam today. But God had other plans. So did the softball that hit me directly on top of the foot four weeks ago.

After initially being told it was broken, the doctor (and I use that term loosely) called back eight hours later to tell me another radiologist reviewed it and read it as "normal." If only my foot felt normal. I tried to run once, about 2.2 miles to be exact, and the entire run my thoughts went back and forth from, "Yeah, this isn't so bad...I could totally still do Dam to Dam," to "Sweet baby J, make the pain stop."

Lots of tears were shed these past few weeks as my brain slowly came to the conclusion that a 12.4 mile race probably wasn't the best long-term decision for my foot. My ego doesn't agree and still isn't talking to me. I asked several friends for advice prior to today. One, who knows me better than anyone in the world, told me just to try the 20k and see what happened. She doesn't wish pain upon me (at least I hope you don't Ericka) but she said I wouldn't be satisfied running just the 5k or cheering Rob on from the sidelines (probably true, though I am very excited for Rob). Others told me just to skip the whole thing. The thought of that just gives me a case of the Bummers.

It wasn't until yesterday at packet pickup that I finally decided....drumroll please...to run the 5k. I can walk if the pain gets to be too unbearable and still finish, rather than realizing somewhere in the middle of miles 7-8 that I made the worse decision of my life. I remember how difficult the Lincoln half marathon was in 2009 and I was injury free and in shape. Did I mention I've run once in the last four weeks? Probably not the best training regimen if you're about to embark on a 12 mile journey.

The good news is I will get to see Rob finish before my race starts at 9:45. I'm so proud of him for all his hard work in preparation for today. He hasn't stuck to a strict running schedule, but he's one of those annoying, natural-abilitied people who can just go out and run a 20k without batting an eye. If he's reading this while waiting for the race to start (gotta love iPhones) good luck dear!

Who knows how I'll feel at the end of the 5k and in all reality, who cares at this point. Eventually my foot will heal and there will be other Dam(n) races.