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!

Thankful x 24

I usually reserve my 24 things posts for Faith's big milestones, but her 17th-month birthday landed on Thanksgiving, so I thought I'd make a list of 24 things I'm thankful for this year. I would love to post a picture with each thing, but I need to save some photos for the big 24 things post on Faith's 18-month marker, also known as Christmas Eve. And away we go...

1) a healthy baby. plain and simple.

2) my husband, who is secure enough in his manhood to enjoy crafty Christmas decorations, black Friday shopping and a dog who wears sweaters.

3) a mom who I can only hope to turn into someday. The woman is a Thanksgiving goddess.

4) ISU friends who are willing to arrive at a game 6 hours early even if we are picked to lose by 30 points (Kaylee and Eric) and rush the field with us like we're college kids (Summer and Luke).

5) best friends from high school who will always be best friends no matter how much time passes and the distance between us.

6) in-laws who accept me with welcoming arms into their family and are easy to get along with...just don't try to compete with grandma's yams. :)

7) Faith's expressions. The girl can grin, scowl, act surprised, play shy and light up the room with the smile in her eyes, but my favorite one is just her look that says "I'm OK, mom" when I need a little reassurance that I'm not a total screwup at this whole parenting thing.

8) a dad and stepdad who love my daughter like she is their own.

9) my job. I come up with fun things to post on Facebook and Twitter and get paid for it. Pretty soon I'll be paid to blog for UNMC. You don't even know how thrilled this makes me.

10) my health. Remind me of this next time I need motivation to go for a training run.

11) Howie's personality. You never know what you're gonna get with a dog, but we got a personable one. I trust him with children of any age, too.

12) Not that we're rich, but I'm thankful we don't have to worry about money. Or putting food on the table.

13) For the belief in God that was instilled in me from a young age. I love knowing there's something for us all beyond this life.

14) Where we live. There's nothing like being close to family for more than just the holidays.

15) My sisters and stepmom. Talk about some of the most caring, kind people you know.

16) Daycare. This one might seem weird, and maybe it's a little bittersweet, but I'm really happy with how Faith is learning new things each day and how she gets along well with other babes.

17) my Nikon. I can't wait to capture more of Faith's future memories with pictures that will do them justice.

18) Paul Rhoads. He's the only reason I maybe be going on vacation this year. Thank you bowl game.

19) my past. Sure, I'd change a few things, but I've loved my journey up to this point and can't wait to see where the path leads.

20) Technology. I love that I know what so many others are thankful for this year solely because of Facebook.

21) Country music. It's not for everyone, but Lady A, Sugarland, Zac Brown and Mr. Garth just speak to me.

22) everyone I should have mentioned but didn't because I don't do my best work after 8 p.m.

23) The fact that I'm a mom to a human being I helped create. How freakin' cool is that.

24) The Native Americans and Pilgrims. Without em, I might not be typing this "Thanksgiving" post.

What are you thankful for?

We Were There

And that, my friends, is why they play the game. Because on paper, Iowa State is a 27-point underdog to #2, undefeated Oklahoma State. But paper doesn't account for a Friday night game on ESPN. Paper doesn't account for needing that sixth win to become bowl eligible. Paper doesn't account for a stadium filled with fans armed with gold "terrible" towels.

Rob's towel picture.
My attempt at a towel picture, just as Rob bumped my arm and my phone almost went flying.
Going into Friday night's game, I thought the setting just might be wacky enough for a Cyclone victory. Sometimes you just have that feeling. It's one of confidence in your team and being an Iowa State football fan, it's not exactly a familiar feeling I get at Jack Trice.

Rob, Lukey and I had a good feeling. Summer - not so much.
If you saw the game, Iowa State dug themselves a hole of 17 points. But it never felt like 17 points and slowly but surely, the Cyclones stormed back to tie the game. Credit "Sandstorm" for about half of those points. It made the crowd go nuts and by that I mean Rob Lindquist broke out his air glowsticks.

(Damn me for not taking a picture of this).

By now you probably heard Iowa State won in double OT.

In case you can't read it, it says 37 - 31. Cyclones Win! Let me repeat, CYCLONES WIN!
Let me put that in perspective for you.

Earlier this year we took Faith to the Texas game in Ames. Let's just say our corndogs were the highlight of her first time in section 18.

Seriously, the Longhorns just scored again?! says Faith.
 We left at halftime because even if the Longhorns had left for Austin, the Cyclones could not have scored enough points to win. It was fugly, as it sometimes is for our beloved cardinal and gold.

The game was ugly but Faith is always cute.
Despite being on the losing end of many an Iowa State football game, Rob and I still chose to get season tickets every year. We enjoy tailgating with our crew whether it be a game of bags, giant Jenga or the occasional Flip  Cup that we are too old for never gets old.

And the food. Beer bread and fruit salsa. Summer's famous Monster cookies not pictured :)
Guys and horseballs.

You do not want to cross this angry bird at horseballs.

Me, Luke, Summer, Eric and Kaylee! Diehard Cyclone peeps.
Nick and Brooke. They missed the victory, but stayed warm in Jamaica!
But it's not all about what happens in the parking lots. As the loud dude on the big screen always says during a third quarter timeout, "We love Ames, Iowa and WE. LOVE. THE CYCLONES!"

 We went to school for four years at Iowa State. It holds a special place in our hearts. Hell, even my license plate says 05CLONE. Not only do we owe our family to that place, but most of our best friends in the world graduated from there too, so they understand how big of a deal Friday's win is for us. There is NOTHING like cheering for your alma mater. Especially when they upset a team they weren't supposed to and especially when something like that happens for the FIRST TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY. I liken it to the UNI victory over Kansas during March Madness in 2010.

The pride in our team was so overwhelming that when the clock struck 0:00 fans young and old, short (me) and tall (Luke) bounded down the bleachers, hopped over the wall and ran onto the field to celebrate and scream our hearts out.

 The chorus of "Sweet Caroline" echoed around the place. It was 11 o'clock at night, but no one cared about sleep right then. The smiles from the crowd on the field could've been featured in one giant Delta Dental ad. Eyes were glued to the screen waiting for a Paul Rhoads speech. No one wanted to leave. It was definitely a "life on pause" moment for me.

Warning: REALLY bad, annoying singing by yours truly. And that's being nice.

The victory is one I won't ever forget. I can't wait to tell Faith the story of the time the Cyclones beat Oklahoma State on a crazy Friday night in my favorite college town. Hopefully she'll realize that I'm SO PROUD to be a Cyclone.

I wanna close by acknowledging the most important thing about the game on Friday: the moment of silence for the two women's basketball coaches killed in an airplane crash. When I heard the news, it made me sick to my stomach. How awful for those families, their players and the rest of the Okie State community. I know how much it would have affected our football team if we lost one of my favorite coaches of all time, Bill Fennely, the Cyclone women's b-ball coach. While I am happy my Cyclones won, when I was watching the game the next night on our DVR, it made me want to cheer for the other team, so they could have something to smile about. It sucks their national title hopes were dashed, but that is insignificant compared to the difficulty Oklahoma State faces as the other coaches and players of the women's basketball team pick up the pieces. An Iowa State fan's sign said it well, "Our Thoughts Are With Stillwater." And our hearts go out to the Cowboys as well.

A thank you letter...

So I was told I don't blog on here much anymore, and there is good reason: my wife is such a better blogger than me. That doesn't excuse me from writing on here, I mean, I am the one where the moniker for the title is derived from (I know, Nic's a Lindquist... but she had to meet me at ISU for the alliteration to work) so I need to be a part of it. *I just deleted a winky-smiley-face here, and I'm much happier about it.

Truth is, Nic holds up my end of a lot of deals. Especially starting yesterday: the start of my second coaching season. She's already joined the support groups (Coaches Widows), but I know that she is already doing a lot. In fact, tonight I came home to a prepared dinner, and a nekid baby. All I had to do was watch the breakfast pizza (from "scratch") to make sure it didn't burn, and watch the baby until the bathwater was ready. I know it's a lot of work to do it all, and she does it well... much better than me. I usually complain a lot more (I'm kind of a whiner sometimes). Last night was the same deal - except all I had do to was eat all of the Chinese (food, not people) left out for me.

Consider this my "Ode to my wife"... eh, that title was just used recently. How about, my "thanks". And now that it's on the interweb, it means more, right?

Oh, and blogs are always better with pictures:
My little helper and I putting up Christmas lights... yes they're up already.

Ode to Howie

A couple weeks ago our 5-pound Maltese dog, Howie, let out a yelp in pain. Not knowing what caused it, we didn't really think much of it. Until it happened again during the middle of the night. And twice the next morning, one of which really upset Faith. It was so random we couldn't pinpoint what was causing it. So we decided to take him to the vet for an emergency appointment.

An oldie but a goodie...Howie LOVED the boppy!
 Dr. Lee was immediately alarmed when, as she was trying to check Howie's heart, he yelped in pain and acted as though he might bite her, which I know he would never do. Even she said it was "really unlike him."
 She thought it might be a slipped disc and said it could a) be a one-time episode b) be chronic pain or c) make him go paralyzed. Upon hearing this, I lost it. Howie is our first baby. We call him Faith's older brother. While things usually change for pets once people are born, it really hasn't been that different for Howie except that there is now a stroller on his walks and a new girl who gives him more scraps than we ever did.

BFFs from day one!
After an x-ray that revealed no slipped disc, but a fused vertebra (we now think he strained his neck) Howie was prescribed some pretty heavy pain meds for 10 days, along with strict orders to rest. In case you haven't met a dog like Howie, a Maltese doesn't ever stop moving while awake, let alone rest. He could be sound asleep, hear a knock at the door, jump off the couch and be biting the ankles of the doorbell ringer in approximately 2.4 seconds. So, seeing him at less than half speed was tough for his mama.

Howie at speed 0.
But enough about that before I make myself cry again. He is doing so much better and I haven't heard a yelp in at least a week, so I'm a happy pet mama. I hesitate to say he's back to 100% because I don't want to jinx him, but things are pretty much back to normal...now where is my wood for knocking on?

Howie looking dapper on a recent occasion
I want to share some Howie stories with you all so you know why I became a basketcase (sidenote: how did basketcases get such a bad rep?) when he was hurting.

Rob and I decided we wanted a puppy the fall of 2007. Full disclosure, I saw a picture of Leona Hemsley's Maltese that inherited her fortune and said to myself, "Now, that's the kind of dog I want." *Husband Hack: I actually told Nic that Malteses were both shed-free and hypoallergenic, which helped convince her. If you know Nic, you'd know that she WAS terrified of all dogs... ALL.*  I remember how snow-white and adorable the Maltese looked sitting on her lap.

We visited a few pet stores just to see the dog in person. My cousin told me not to buy from a pet store, but rather a reputable breeder so we checked ads in the newspaper for a few weeks and Rob did some Internet searching. He's the one who found the breeder from Walnut, Iowa and more importantly, the dog we have come to know and love as Howie. When we met him for the first time, our hearts melted at the 2.2 pound ball of fluff. His sister was for sale too and I dreamed of pink bows in her hair, but because I got to pick the breed, Rob got to pick the sex, and he wanted a male. So glad he did.

Seriously, could he be any cuter?
Love at first sight!
We decided on Howie's name after we met him but before we took him home for the first time. I remember we were driving to the pet store to buy supplies and trying to come up with name. Cubbie? Snoop? Rob threw out "Dave" after Dave Matthews and I vetoed it. In thinking of other musicians, he threw out "Howie Day" who sang our wedding song, "Collide," and that was it. We were both sold. He looked like a Howie, and it just seemed to fit his personality. Howie it was.

When Howie was less than a year old, he was playing in our backyard when the neighbor's English Pit Bull Terrier (think the mean dog from Toy Story) furrowed underneath our chain link fence and attacked him. Howie let out the yelp of a lifetime and pissed all over the place (sorry for the unlady-like term...not really). Thank God Rob was outside at the time and dive-bombed on top of "Lizzy" (who we now know as "Crazy") to get her to release her grip. That bitch (what? it's used literally here.) had bitten Howie underneath his arm, but we couldn't see it at the time. He was limping and shaking pretty badly. After a trip to the emergency vet and a $500 bill (that our neighbors who we still don't care for to this day did pay) Howie was back to himself after just a week... and as fearless as ever.

Another thing about Howie, he is a perpetual little brother. If there are two dogs in the room and Howie is one of them you can guarantee two things. #1 - he will not be the alpha male and #2 - the other dog will get tired of playing with him. He's always trying to start sh-tuff with other dogs and by that I mean a game of "chase me, chase me, chase me."

Howie and the Hulk!
Howie gets these short little bursts of energy where he runs around the house like he's on speed. Especially after his infrequent baths, but sometimes they're just out of the blue. Faith thinks it's hilarious. A friend at mine at work calls this the "zoomies" I think. And I concur.

Howie after one of his first baths...shortly before the zoomies!
 The second time we got Howie a haircut, we took him to this ghetto pet store and when we picked him up two hours later, the dipshit woman who cut his hair turned him into a Schnauzer. Needless to say we never went back there again even though the place Howie goes to now takes longer to get an appointment than my salon.

Howie's first haircut.
This is what he looked like after the 2nd haircut.
 We have never had a problem with Howie chewing up our shoes or our furniture or really anything, except my underwear...or any female's underwear for that matter (don't wanna make it seem like I'm special). He also likes chewing up tissues, but that wouldn't be as funny as watching Rob catch Howie in the act. (No worries, totally PG).

Last but not least, Howie is a smart dog. He's so smart that he learned all his tricks like sit, lay down and rollover within a few months. Now he does them in succession before we even ask just so he can get his treat sooner. And ever since he got hurt, a blink is worth a treat in my book. Let's just say he might be tipping the scales at 6 pounds next year. Lookout!

Howie on his 2nd birthday!
And if all of the above doesn't give you an idea of why I love him as much as I do...here's some puppy pictures to help you fall in love with him too...but not too much. You gotta get your own Maltese. Might I recommend Walnut, Iowa ... also known as "Home of the Howiedogs" in case you hadn't heard!

I believe this is his shirt that says, "Dear Santa, define naughty."
Isn't he just a teddybear?
Howie trying to steal a look at my Christmas list.
Howie and dad rockin out before that first haircut!
Howie never found a sleeping position he didn't like.
And he's great with very tolerant of kids.