The BS that is Pinterest

For those of you who don't know what Pinterest is (Mom, Dad) consider yourselves lucky.

While I do like pins that make me laugh:

and ideas for new recipes are always welcome (just ask Rob, he makes most of them):

I feel like Pinterest is SUCKING THE LIFE OUT OF CREATIVITY AS WE KNOW IT, specifically the creativity of motherhood.

Now when we women want to do something/plan something/make something, instead of using what's between our ears, we turn to the Internet. And I feel like it creates an unrealistic expectation for how things are supposed to look, what we're supposed to be doing, etc. etc.. I'm as guilty as the next person and stole several ideas off Pinterest for Faith's Sesame Street birthday party:

so I need to heed my own advice here. BUT, there are some things I consider sacred, and how to be a parent is one of them. I won't turn to Pinterest to show me how to spend time with my child(ren). (Gabby's too young right now anyway - the pin would just be a giant boob!)

I started a board to call out these "BS pins"after a friend repinned a photo with a caption "This girl just had a baby and still looks good" pin. Are you FREAKING kidding me? This is LABOR we're talking about. You are SUPPOSED to look BAD. And WHO REALLY CARES? (I am FEELING the ALL CAPS today!) Baby will not be like "Oh, this is my mom? Oh, yikes. She really needs some chapstick and could someone get her a brush before she holds me?" STOP THE INSANITY.

Anyway, the pins I want to focus on in today's rant are the lists of activities to do with your small children.

I get it. Trust me. I have a 3-year-old that can turn something I think will entertain her for hours into a few minutes of fun. A few minutes? Really, Faith. That is not enough time for me to even use the bathroom and certainly not enough for your dad. (Sidenote: what are men DOING in there?)

So, I feel everyone on how challenging it is to keep a kid busy without using our friends the Bubble Guppies, or Sponge Bob, or Dora, or any of the other commercialized cartoons my daughter loves. However, Pinterest is not the answer. When your child is bored, or just needs to be occupied, the best solution is not to say, "Now, honey, according to this pin, we haven't made a fort out of hand-carved twigs this year," or "Well, we really haven't tried numbing our brains with Origami yet, so let's cross that one off the list." NO!

Turning to Pinterest to help you parent your child is depriving them AND you of creativity. Allow me to share with you some of Faith's favorite activities that you will NEVER find on Pinterest. I say the name of a food and Faith gives it the thumbs up or thumbs down. That's it. Not real mind-boggling, but effective entertainment. Sure, she thumbs down most vegetables, and thumbs up anything with sugar, but hey, it costs absolutely nothing and most importantly was something we came up with just the two of us. She and Rob also have a fun game called "tickle chair." Rob holds his arms out like a chair and when Faith sits down, they become (you guessed it) tickle chair arms. Once again, no cost, hours of entertainment and something that would be hard to find on Pinterest.

She also likes me to say the words, "Who is the girl who wore this shoe?" 3,000 times in a row and each time she'll come limping in with one slipper on and say, "Me!"I could go on, but I think you get the point, which is, BE YOURSELF. MAKE STUFF UP. BE SILLY. DON'T CONSULT PINTEREST.

And if you don't always have time to be part of the action, that's OK. There's a reason coloring is a time-tested activity. They can do it a million times and nothing bad will happen to your parenting card. Also, and I am most guilty of this by always trying to set up some sort of fun activity (puzzles, games) for Faith when I'm busy, but LET KIDS GET BORED. The things that keep my 3-year-old entertained the longest are the wacky ideas she comes up with on her own. For example, the other night she lined up all her books from her room across living room and into the kitchen. Was it a giant mess? Absolutely! Did it take her 30 mom-free minutes to complete? You betcha! Will you find it on Pinterest? DEFINITELY NOT! And did I forget to take a picture? Of course. So here's a picture of her doing something else weird. Feel free to Pin it ;)

A Tale of Two Eaters

Not gonna lie, when it came time to start solids with Gabby, I wasn't exactly excited. I'm not one to rush into it anyway, as my pediatrician recommends the "drink on tap" exclusively for the first 6 months. But I knew as Gabs got closer to the half-year mark, it was time. Why was I hesitant? Well, I give you exhibit A below. I had a ton of footage from when we started real food with Faith and decided to make it into a short ,comical video after Gabby proved this wasn't necessarily normal.

And then there's Miss Gabrielle Grace. From day one, she showed an interest in food. It was such a relief to be honest. While it seems silly now, I truly believed at the time of the above video that Faith might not ever eat like a normal child. Feeding her was a daily exercise in frustration. With Gabby, it's the complete opposite. She cleans her plate/bowl and smiles the entire time. Thank you God for making each child of yours unique in their own way. We needed this :)


You may have seen this pic on Facebook already, but here's the story behind it. Gabby often sits on my lap during my dinner. This is usually the last thing my food sees before it makes its way to my mouth.

"Uh, are you gonna eat all that?"

23 Things about Gabby Grace: 6 month edition

1) Let's start off on a good note. You are on a sleeping hotstreak. 5, possibly 6 nights of all through the night with very few peeps. We usually put you to bed between 7:45 and 8:45. (I totally screwed myself by typing this.)

2) We are still breastfeeding. Yay! You nurse about 5 or 6 times a day and are getting hard to handle as you get bigger.

3) You carry all your chunkiness in your cheeks and knees. It is adorable.

4) We are currently experiencing a bad case of thrush right now. You've had your mouth painted purple and are now on an antibiotic that we have to give you four times a day. I hope it goes away soon.

5) Things that make you laugh include: making fart noises on your legs and belly, the words "poopy pants," and raising your arms above your head or you above our heads.

6) You can SIT. As of about a couple weeks ago, you can go anywhere from 10-30 seconds sitting by yourself.

7) Anything and everything you see gets grabbed and goes directly into your mouth. I know all kids do this, but it's hard to read a book to a child that wants to eat it.

8) Speaking of your mouth, we started putting some solid foods in it. This is going to be a separate blog post, but you are MILES ahead of your sister in this category. You open your mouth like a hangar when the food comes your way and try to grab the spoon (see No. 7). Even daycare was impressed at you trying to feed yourself at the ripe age of 6 months.

9) I still haven't spent the night away from you yet. Or I could say you haven't spend the night away from your food source yet.

10) You have the cutest colic/tuft of hair that will not stay down for the life of a comb. I don't think you're going to have curly hair, but I think it's going to be thicker and longer than big sis'. I look forward to doing some braids -- no promises on how they turn out.

11) You've discovered Howie. And he's realized No. 7 and that you don't exactly let go easily. He yiped the other night and you had no idea that you were the reason he did.

12) Ahh, binkies. Nuks and MAMs save the day again. I am elated you take and love a pacifier. Ask me about this in 18 months.

13) Much to daycare's dismay, you like to be held. A lot. That's OK with me. I could hold you all day every day if I didn't need to shower, use the restroom or eat.

14) No teeth to report yet and I'm A-OK with that. We did buy you the teething toy Coco and you thoroughly enjoy gnawing on it. It's also a squeaky toy which confuses Howie to no end.

15) Dad had his first day out with two daughters and no mom. He took you to a TJ basketball game (even dressed you in a tutu with school colors). I may or may not have kidnapped you at halftime from said basketball game.

16) I hate to say much about Faith since this is YOUR 23 things, but man she loves you and goes to great lengths to make you smile. She thinks if she claps you'll stop crying. Sometimes you do stop momentarily because you're so startled by someone clapping in your face, but this is so helpful when I'm scrambling to get ready in the morning and you're getting ready for your first catnap of the day.

17) The car is your kryptonite. You cannot stay awake no matter the distance or time of day.
18) Nicknames I/we have for you include: Gabby Grace (not really a nickname I guess), GG, Gabbs, Gabby Girl, Gabster. I thought about choosing another F name when you were born, but you're such a Gabby and I'm happy it fits!

19) I swear you're going to start crawling tomorrow. You saw the remote the other day and started trying inch your way toward it. Luckily you can't get your belly off the ground yet or you would've changed the channel to Little Einsteins.

20) You like bathtime, especially when I get you out and wrap you in a big, comfy towel. It gets a smile every time.

21) Really the only time you cry is when you're tired. (Apparently, I don't let you get too hungry.) But man were you pissed the other day until we figured that out. Still trying to get you on a good nap schedule.

22) Being able to come feed you at daycare every day over my/our lunch hour has been a blessing. You are my mid-day pick-me-up. It's so fun to get to see your little face light up when I arrive.

23) Words that describe you include: loveable, huggable, kissable, undeniable :)

Bonus 24th thing: HALF A YEAR. It's so hard to believe how quickly time has passed. You've fit right into this family like a puzzle piece we didn't know was missing! Mom and dad love  you very much!

Faith Funnies

Me: "Looks like this recipe calls for one egg."
Faith: "How bout three cause I'm three?"

Faith: (randomly while we were driving in the car) "I like being a kid."

Rob, asking a rhetorical question: "Why am I the only one cleaning?"
Faith, not understanding what a rhetorical question is: "Because I'm not."

(a scream)
Me: Faith, don't scream.
Faith: It wasn't me. It was glo-worm.

Faith: "Am I pretty or crazy?"

Gabby: Achoo!
Faith: "Gabby just said, 'I love my big sister!'"

Gabby: "agagdeaagagaga"
Faith:"Gabby just said, 'Whatever!'"

Faith: "When your beard gets long, will you still be my dad?"

This isn't really a "funny" per se but Faith starts every sentence with, "How bout you say" and then follows it with something like "Oh no, the pony is going to get us." Girl loves to control the dialogue. And we're just fine with that. One of these days I'll be on the computer during one of her paragraph rants and will be able to type it up. Then you'll be in for a real treat!

Movember: and why my wife hates my facial hair

It's No Shave November. Movember. And this is the first time in my 30 years that I have participated. In fact, I got a head start the last week of October (but don't tell anyone).
The whiskers look like a shadow... 
But, as is obvious by my photo, I do not have the genes necessary for being a hairy man. I am a creature of habit. I don't usually shave on Mondays, I sometimes do on Tuesdays (if not Tuesday, then definitely by Wednesday), sometimes Sunday; and usually the small stubs of blondness fill in a patch here or there that more resembles an uninhabited plot of prairie struck by a drought.

My wife doesn't like my facial hair. I'll test her sometimes. I won't shave until she says something. It's never more than a week. She says it's itchy. More-so, I think she's jealous (tonight she said, "How would you like it if I just didn't shave my legs for a month?"). Point taken.

And also understand: I am completely aware of my lack of moustache-growing skills. But, on the back side of the Man Card, rule 27r. states: A man must give a valiant attempt at beard and mustache growing before the end of their 30th year. Or something like that.

But I have good reason this year. This week while I called my mom, I realized I hadn't told her something I'd thought I did. And it dealt with both my facial hair and men's health. And realizing that I hadn't told her until now, I figured it's a good time for everyone.

By the way, Movemeber has become a worldwide movement. Just check out the Movember official website. The site is doing it's part to raise awareness for cancer in men like the Pink movement has for breast cancer.

And I have had my scares (and been checked for) both testicular and prostate cancer in the past four years. Remember, I'm just 30. Both turned out clean. The following couple of paragraphs are void of the intimate details, but you will get the point.

It's a scary moment to find a lump. At first, I thought it was a mistake. So I checked every day for the next week, and it didn't go away. About the size of a peanut M&M (sorry if I ruined that candy for you, I still enjoy them), I told Nicole and we scheduled an appointment to get it checked out. After an ultrasound, it turned out to be just a mass of fluid that had hardened (poses no health risk, but I still have to check). Nicole and I had one worry - would it affect us having children? The answer is obvious.

The prostate cancer was actually something that I didn't even consider before I was checked. I had some weird swelling (I thought testicular cancer was a shoe-in here). WebMD had nothing on the type of swelling I had. So, Nicole and I called the doctor again.  They ruled it could somehow be related to prostate cancer... and I was checked (they didn't even buy me dinner first). Luckily, the docs ruled that out as well.

While I have been lucky (I'm hoping there isn't a third time), I am writing this post because something amazing has happened since I started growing this dreadful beard. People have asked me, "why would you do such a thing?" And Movember, No Shave November is the perfect platform. Because when people ask, I immediately answer that it is to raise testicular and prostate cancer awareness. And that's what I'm doing. Getting the conversation started, just to have you get it in the back of your mind to check. I'm not trying to raise money - although the website accepts donations.

The Gabs and I raising awareness, and our eyebrows.

So, while my beard isn't growing on my wife... well, growing in general... I will keep it going this month in hopes of raising awareness.


Gabby's Nursery

It's hard to believe, but we've lived in our new house for six months and Gabby's been around for five of them. It's about time we shared pictures of her nursery.

It started as a blank slate. The former owner had a love for beige. My mama, painter extraordinaire, quickly fixed that problem with some Gem Turquoise before Gabby's arrival. I LOVE the color. 1) It's not pink (no offense, Faith) and 2) It makes all of her raspberry accents pop. This includes the letters above her crib. These letters probably deserve a post of their own as no less than four people contributed to their completion. Me, Rob, my bf Ericka and the painter extraordinaire herself. If I recall, we started winding yarn around these letters just a few days after Gabby came home. And if I remember correctly, Rob said something to the effect of "They should make people in prison do this." Ericka agreed and threw in the glue not long after she started. This was a task that only one woman could handle and it sure wasn't me. Mom saved the day again by undoing everyone's work and redoing them all herself. When I mentioned that I thought maybe we should do Gabby in all raspberry and then add Grace in the orange below, it was not well-received, so alternating colors it is. I purchased the photo hanger below at Target. I was going to do framed newborn pics, but when I saw that they were owls on a wire, I just had to pull out my Redcard. Hootie hoo!

Next I ordered the decal you see below from Uppercase Living. Since it's hard (for an amateur photographer at least) to photograph this side of the room, I will just tell you that it's raspberry and orange (I custom ordered it) and says "Owl Love You Forever." The blackout curtains also came from Tarjay as the French pronounce it. Last but not least, the Scentsy in her room is the smell of "newborn nursery." Because nobody wants the smell of "poppy pants."

Now for my favorite view of the room. Gabby's dresser, which used to be Miss Faith's. This was definitely worth the investment. Not only does it hold books, but makes for a functional decorating space as well. We have a custom birth announcement in the frame on the top left, a Faith Lindquist original in the top middle and a framed prayer that my mommy used to recite to me when I was a little girl on the top right. On the middle shelf is the handmade plate with Gabby's birth info along with a cute naked photo of her in the middle. Tins and a little owl cage from Hobby Lobby fill out the shelf. If you're wondering what all those yellow things are on the bottom left, it's every single sheet my daycare has ever given me, including Faith's when she was in the infant room. Some day I'm going to figure out something cool to do with them. Let me know if you have any ideas!

I'm able to post this because my wonderful husband just hung up the shelf you see here and we're calling her room good for now. These are all gifts Gabby got for her baptism. Rob also hung the ceiling fan in here, which I think my daughter was more grateful for than me giving birth to her. Kids these days.

I'm so over the cheap-o lamp below and would like to get a little nightstand to put a lamp and books on, but for now, we still don't have a bedtime routine that includes this chair. I look forward to the day that we do as Faith and I shared a lot of stories rocking in this guy. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the calendar right inside the door from my auntie Donna. It's one where you can add stickers for all of baby's firsts. We hope to add sitting up to the calendar very soon.

And we can't show you the nursery without showing you the reason behind it all. I give you: Gabby Grace, the cutest thing in the room.

Lindquist Chili

Hi all. Rob here. I haven't posted on here in a while (you're welcome). But there is no time like the present to mess that up for you!

Anyway, I'm going to share my family-friendly, secret-ingredient, chili recipe... that I just made up today.

Call Me, Maybe?

Dear friends and family,
I won't blame you if you never want to call me again. For anyone who's talked to me on the phone in the last three years, I apologize. Most of our conversations have gone a bit like this:

The amazing, incredible person that

Did you know the energizer bunny's name is actually Jan? Well, now you do.
My mom. She's way overdue for her very own blog post. I've been typing it in my head for awhile now. Probably going back to this spring when she painted 4 (yes, your read that right, FOUR) rooms in the matter of a month after we moved in.

Mom's 1st videoblog

Be gentle. I have no idea where to look when vlogging (yes, that's a word -- I just looked it up). My background is non-existent. And I say the word "and" a lot. Go figure. But hey, I figured it'd be fun for Gabby to look back on what her mama was thinking the day she turned 4 months old and for me to look back 40 years from now and think, "hey, I looked pretty damned good," even though that's not what I think now. Anyway, without further ado, the vlog.

It Ain't All Rainbows and Butterflies, Folks

Several posts on Facebook lately, are dispelling the myth of Supermom. I think the reason we all think there is a real Supermom (aka perfect mom) out there is because we only talk about the positive on social media sites. Let's face it, no one wants to hear people complain constantly. While it might make you feel better momentarily or the person who is reading it glad for their own problems, the truth is there's enough "bad news" out there in the media. My point is, I'm fine with only seeing the positive 99% of the time, but I think we all need to know that others are human, too. I had a friend who didn't want to put on Facebook that her baby was fussy because people would think she was complaining. However, when we make ourselves vulnerable and post things that aren't all rainbows and butterflies, we seem the most "real" and others jump to comfort and console us. I think if this friend would've posted on Facebook that her child was simply driving her nuts, many others would've chimed in, agreed that theirs was too, and offered words of encouragement that would've made her feel "normal" instead of guilty. All that to say, it's high time I talk about how life in the Lindquist household is far from perfect. Sorry if I just shattered the image you had of our family ;)

#1) We fight. Ohhh yeah. Raising a kid is not easy. Doing it with someone who had a different upbringing, has their own opinions and is of the opposite gender is a recipe for disagreement at times. You might remember this from my Daddies Do It Different Post. Throw in a lack of sleep, no time to work out, and hunger and you have a bitchy Nicole on your hands. Gabs wakes up a few times a night needing her binks (lack of sleep). Since I'm breastfeeding, I can't exactly break away to the gym in the morning and there isn't always time over my lunch hour (no time to workout). I want to be one of those people that meal plan, but I just cannot get ahead of the game, which means "peanut butter jelly time" is a song we sing way too often and thus, (hunger). End result: I tend to take it out on my husband. The other day he was taking a break after working on the basement and mowing the lawn in 100 degree heat. I was doing laundry when the baby started crying. He didn't get up. Let's just say there was a heated exchange and next thing you know a piece of the washer door broke off after I shut it very forcefully, OK. I slammed it. I slammed it, damnit. Five minutes later we both apologized and all was forgiven and forgotten. But an occasional raising of voices in not uncommon at our house. Just ask Rob about the time he tried to make me a grilled cheese, which was so weak it should've been called a grilled ch. Moving on...

#2) Our house is a mess. You laugh and say, "oh, my house is messy, too." No, our house is messier, so take that. Proof: I almost lost my life recently after tripping on a Hello Kitty purse hidden beneath some random dirty clothes behind a music stand. Yes, a music stand. In my living room. Better than last week when I thought I might need a tetanus shot after my foot came in contact with a princess crown. There are currently 2.5 billion sprinkles on the floor after I made some cupcakes and last night Rob asked me if I wanted to eat off one of Faith's snowman plates or a plate with a bee on it. All our dinner plates were dirty. How sad is that? Two grown adults eating off plates with characters on them.  I'm so perpetually behind on laundry that the laundry basket has become another dresser drawer for us. I don't even know what dusting means anymore, just that I should probably do it to our vaccuum, which is now being considered a decoration it's been sitting in our bedroom so long. We're going to get to it once our clothes are picked up and put away, right around never. The one benefit of all this is that when we think we've lost something, there's always a chance we'll find it when we clean.

 #3) While they're cute as can be, our kids can definitely do wrong. Faith has been known to shut her bedroom door, sometimes very forcefully (it's genetic, OK) and tell us she wants new parents. So not cute. The other day I brought her a snack for the ride home from daycare and when she ran out, she whined for more. When I said no, she tantrummed the whole way home. Yes, my daughter managed to turn tantrum into a verb. If we say there are hamburgers for dinner, she'll thrown herself on the ground, sobbing, "But. I. Wanted. Chicken. Nuggets." Too bad sista. Gabby isn't all innocent either, though she mostly is. That girl wants someone in her face constantly. "Yeah, do that thing with your lips again. Oh, you bugged your eyes out. That was good. Wait? Why are you walking away? I'm not finished smiling yet! Wahhh! Wahhhhhhh! WAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH! How dare you try to eat your dinner while it's still warm? Don't you know I'm adorable? Oh, you're back. Hi! WAAAHHHH! This diaper is wet again! Who keeps doing that? Ugh, I wish I could talk."

I think that's enough for today. Don't want you to think our lives are the opposite of butterflies and rainbows. I was even a little hesitant to post this because it shows that yes, I get frustrated with both my husband and my kids and sometimes we do fight in front of Faith. I'm not proud of that, but I don't want her to grown up and think life is hunky-freaking-dory all the time. If we fight in front of her, we try to make it a point to make up in front of her. We are far from perfect at this parenting stuff, and no, it's most certainly not all butterflies and rainbows all the time, but sometimes it is. Sometimes it's a double rainbow. All the way across the sky. :)

Oh the words that are comin' outta her mouth!

Me: "Faith, we need to take your libary books back."
Faith: "Or they will find us?"
Me: "No, Faith, they will FINE us, with an E."

Faith: "Dad, will you take my picture?"
Dad: "Sure." (click)
Faith: "Can you facebook it?"

Me, struggling to get a booger out of Gabby's little nose.
Faith: "Here's how I get a booger." (starts to put index finger up to nose)
Rob and I: (dying laughing)

(Driving by an antique shop with a mannequin outside)
Faith: (Squeal)
Me: "What? What is it?"
Faith. "A barbie. A big one."

Faith, stumbling into the living room after she just woke up
"My car ran out of gas. And I don't have money to buy any."

(Guy with no shirt on rides by on a bike)
Faith: (in a tattletale voice) "He's naked."

23 things about Gabby Grace: 3 month edition

Does this baby look like her mama's baby pics or what?!
The "24 things" posts that are a fairly regular feature on this blog started when Faith was 3 months old. She was born on the 24th of June, hence the reason for the number. Since Gabby was born on the 23rd,  she gets 23 things and a bonus item to keep it fair. Don't want either of them claiming I have a favorite as I love em both equally, yet for different reasons (something I couldn't fully understand until Gabs was born three months ago!) THREE MONTHS! Wow!

To my precious Gabby Grace,

1) You are a good sleeper! Since about 7 weeks old, you've been sleeping through the night (10 ish to 5-6 ish). Last night you slept from 10 to 6:30 when I had to wake you up (nursing mothers can't wait all day if ya know what I mean). You must have wanted me to brag about you on the blog today :)

2) After you sneeze, you make an audible sigh. It's pretty much the cutest sound ever.

3) Baby crack just doesn't do it for you. Neither does "Hey, Soul Sister" by Train which worked every time for your older sister. I sang some Adele the other day when you were fussy and you stopped crying. You must have better taste in music than Faith.

4) You like Nuk pacis, but use MAMs too. You pretty much only take it when you're tired. Have I mentioned my love for binkies?

5) There's a red tint to your hair. No, I don't know where you got it from, but I think it's beautiful! It's more of a deep red and makes your eyelashes look golden in certain lights.

6) This is random, but I feel like we go through soooo many diapers. You are the most hydrated child on the planet!

7) Your dad sure loves you. Whenever he sees you, he says, "Hello, hello, helloooo!" and the light in your eyes just shines!

I think you look like Auntie Rachel here!
8) Mom knows the trick for getting a surefire smile. I just make a "brr" noise with my lips and you can't help but turn up the corners of your mouth.

9) Faith has accepted you from day 1. She is protective, inclusive and concerned for you. "Where's Gabby?" "We need to go pick up Gabby." "Gabby spit up." "Gabby doesn't like me." It's so sweet. I can't wait til you can show your affection back toward her.

10) Sometimes you smile in your sleep. Is it fountains of breastmilk or a mountain of binkies you're dreaming about?

11) You're kind of a spitter. It's usually the second burp after your feedings that has me doing more wardrobe changes than Cher.

12) We have you on a pretty good feedings schedule. 4 ish ounces about 6 times a day. You seem full, content and are sleeping good, so we'll stick with that routine for a while.

"Who the hell do Kim and Kanye think they are...naming that child North West. Seriously."
13) Don't even try giving you a cold bottle. (We can add the Iowa State Fair parking lot to the list of weird places I've nursed you.)

14) In the last few weeks, you've really found your voice. We have some pretty compelling conversations. You: "Ahhhhgaahhhhh." Me: "Oh, really?"

15) Bathtime took a dramatic turn for the better. I haven't gotten water in your eyes since day one and you are actually relaxing in the sink. We've only done one bathtub bath and thank Gob you didn't do this.

16) The key to a good nap or sleep for you is a long-sleeve onesie and a swaddle. Babysitters take note ;)

17) While you're by no means a big baby, you're certainly chunkier than your sissy ever was...this is a good thing. I love your double chin and leg rolls.

18) You started day care last week and seem to be doing OK. Other than the day I dropped you off after you had a blowout in the car and simultaneously spit up all over, I think you've made a good impression. Today the daycare lady said, "I wanna keep her." That made me happy!

Mom, you're boring me.
19) When people ask who you look like, wondering if it's mom or dad, we respond with, "her sister." Yes, you look a lot like Faith, but I am starting to think you look like my baby pics. (Sorry, dad. Hopefully she'll get your musical talent :)

20) You're getting a lot better at holding your head up and doing a pushup during tummy time. Aunt Ramey will be happy to hear this.

21) Your clogged tear duct FINALLY went away...or maybe you just haven't cried in awhile. Let's not find out.

22) You held out on us with the smiles until 7 weeks, but have since made up for lost time. I can't wait to hear you laugh for the first time. So what's your schtick? People in pain? Funny faces? Animal noises? I'll do it! All of it!

23) I wondered what having baby #2 would be like and how I would feel about you as compared to your firstborn sister. And the result? I love you so so much. It's not even comparable as I love you each for who you are. You're a joy to have around, be around and take around. As the song goes, "Til my last day, I'll be lovin' you."

*Bonus item: Today I took a few hours of vacation and stayed home with you in the morning. We nursed, napped and took some pictures in your sticker onesies. We then took some photos at JCPenney of just you and no big sis. I want you to know you are a little sister, yes, but you are an individual and an amazing, incredible and strong willed one at that. I love you for you. And I always will!

And with that, this photoshoot ended abruptly.

The Incredible Summer of 2013

Wow, what a summer! I can't believe it's coming to a close already. It seems like last week Rob and I were on our way to the hospital (the second time) to welcome beautiful Gabby Grace into the world.

Since then, we've marked our anniversary, his birthday, Father's Day, Faith's birthday, my sister's wedding and many more milestones. I cannot sum up in words what this summer has been for our family, but it has simply been incredible (and let's not lie, sometimes stressful as all hell) to spend these last 12 weeks just the four of us.

I feel blessed, lucky, and beyond grateful that Rob's profession allowed him to be home during the duration of my maternity leave and when he couldn't be there because he had grad class, that my mom sacrificed by working the late shift to come help me in the mornings. It has been amazing to be a stay-at-home mama for the summer, and as happy as I am for us to have a real routine (and a daily shower) again, I am truly going to miss not knowing what day it is, hours flashing by in the blink of an eye, and seeing my children learn and grow before my very eyes.

I don't know that we'll ever have the opportunity to spend this much time as a family ever again, so I will cherish this summer in my mind and my heart for many years to come. I hope the pictures will help me recall what an incredible time it was, the summer of 2013.

Welcome, Gabby!
First pic as a family of four! Not sure what gang sign Faith is throwing up...
Gabby's first bath -- I still laugh every time I watch this video! The expressions on our faces in this photo are quite telling.
We celebrated our anniversary by going out for a burger and a beer, buying a treadmill and then a quick Target run. Who says there is no romance after six years? ;) I heart the Tap House...and cheeseballs!
My sister's bridal shower...great pic of us ladies!
Faith is an awesome big sister. She truly loves her Gabby Gracer- yes, with an R. I know they'll be many fights in their future, but I hope they grow up to be best friends.

Faith's first haircut...which was totally unnecessary, but hopefully it will continue to make her hair grow in thicker and faster. Mama wants to do a braid already!

Many of you have asked about Howie...he had a pretty good summer too!

Unfortunately he's no longer the baby of the family and is having a hard time adjusting.

I celebrated my 5 year anniversary at UNMC and while we were at the awards dinner, babysitter Grammy Janny sent me this pic...I so wanted to rush home and cuddle them up, but the promise of a hot meal and a cold drink kept me from doing so!

Story time at the CB library. Faith acted like she was way too sophisticated for the teacher's shenanigans. (And I checked out books for the first time since college :)

For Father's Day we got Rob an Iowa State polo, a Cubs 'W' flag and some Reeces Pieces. Howie forgot to buy a card.
He truly is a wonderful (and artistic) dad. Something about this photo makes me weepy. It's just one of those "captured in time" moments of Daddy and Daughter playing outside together. 
Is there anything more fun than running through the sprinklers when you're a kid?
Sisterly love!

Bouncy castle birthday fun! Yes, that's Rob Lindquist in there.

She's 3!

Will we ever all be smiling at the same time? That remains to be seen!
Howie, snuggling up with Gabs on a lazy, weekday afternoon.

Faith, doing her lazy ,weekday morning thing.

They were also lots of naps, and sometimes a refusal to nap...I walked in to check on Faith one day and found this.
Wow, that was fast!
Celebrating Faith's actual 3rd birthday with what else, a vanilla ice cream cone!
Enjoying one of her birthday presents...
Awful, but rare picture of me with both girls!
Spending 4th of July with her buddy, Liam, for the 4th year in a row!

Faith got more than her fair share of candy at the Logan parade! She was majorly jealous that Cami got to ride a horse!
Celebrating my sister's bachelorette party!
I won for best bouquet...and about died of shock.

Faith's first "real" swimming lessons! (These don't count.) It didn't seem like they were making much progress, but Faith now lays on her back in the bathtub, puts her head underwater and then says, "My voice is gone!" since it's hard to hear yourself underwater. She even jumps in off the side now. #Progress!

Taking in a little Jazz on the Green when Gabby was just 7 weeks old.

She was so good on her first big outing, we decided to take her to the Iowa State Fair...more on that later!

And while Faith loves her sister, she isn't above a little sibling torture. Here she is smiling after piling the rings on top of Gabby's head. Gabby is not impressed and would really like to figure out how to use her hands.

 She wanted to include lil' sis in "I Wear My Sunglasses at Night" so here they are with them on upside down!
One of the major highlights of the summer -- Rachel's wedding day. She was a beautiful bride and the wedding and reception were so much fun...this mama even busted out her rusty dance moves. 
Congrats, sis!
Faith with her new husband, I mean, the ring bearer, Jack
Seriously, these kids love each other.

Meeting sweet baby Blake for the first time!

Gabby meets Charlie...our first road trip with Gabbers.
Practicing our swim lesson skills at Pirate's Cove...that's Faith on the right.
On nights when Rob had grad class, life was a little hectic, but I survived  and so did Faith and Gabby! Our house however, did not.

Read any good books lately?

Paging Dr. Faith!

Rob Lindquist on bass at Bagels and Joe in Lincoln. It was the first of hopefully more gigs to come.
Gabby meeting Henry, and holding hands already.

There were trips to the zoo.
and to the Children's Museum, where Faith took advantage of being one of the few kids there by hogging all the purple balls. I'm not surprised.
The one, the only: Darius Rucker! Thanks for the tix, Dad!

Darius Rucker concert with my aunt Kris! He played "Hold My Hand," "Let Her Cry" and "Only Wanna be with You." And yes, I cried when he played "It Won't Be Like This for Long."
This is Faith, wearing clothing on her legs. It was a big moment for our family, OK!
We got a little cocky toward the end of the summer and decided to drive the Iowa State Fair. Things started off shaky when Gabby wouldn't take her bottle upon arrival and I had to breastfeed in the car. It was also kinda hot, I stupidly wore flip flops and people were everywhere our strollers tried to go. All in all, it was a good time, a learning experience and a memorable way to close out our summer.

I can't believe she ate the whole thing!
Gabby pretty much did this most of the time, other than when she ate in the nursing room (which is a huge bonus to the fair). Soon afterwards, I caught her smiling at something and I didnt' know what it was. I followed her line of vision only to see this:
World's largest ceiling fan!
And last but certainly not least, here is the obligatory first day back to school photo.
I love Gabby's expression're taking me where???
What an incredible summer!