Things a Big Sister Says

(upon her cousin arriving at the hospital to visit our newest family member, Faith made the introductions)
"This is Gabby... and this is my 'nola (granola) bar."

Faith to me: "Do you have a new baby in your tummy?"

(in reference to Gabby being a newborn)
Me: "Faith, do you remember when you were this little?"
Faith: "And I ate your boob?"
(Let's just say there's lots of nursing going on in our house right now.)

(while changing one of Gabby's diapers)
Faith: "Her butt is yellow!"
(during the same diaper)
Faith: (moving away from Gabby) "My sister is stinky."

And now for some random Faithisms...

Me: "Faith, you are so brave!
Faith: "I am NOT Brave (the movie character).

Me: "Faith, what are your favorite things?"
Faith: "Cupcakes, rainbows and Oreos, too...and you."
(For the record, I have no problem ranking behind Oreos...they're that good."

Me: "Go wake up dad and tell him 'Happy Tuesday.'"
Faith: (runs into our bedroom and gets in Rob's face) "TUESDAY!"

(after I told her I wouldn't read another book during bedtime)
Faith: "I want a new mommy."

Rob: "Faith, finish your green beans or no dessert."
Faith: "Ohhh, what's for dessert?"

(playing with her toys)
Faith: "The mad queen took Ariel! (evil laugh)

(Faith has a new tactic when she gets in trouble of trying to distract from the point)
Me: "FAITH! NO!" after she tried to do an underdoggie with Gabby's swing -thankfully Gabby was not in the swing at the time.
Faith: "There's a bug on the ceiling."

Faith: "I have a pink and purple puppy dog."

Faith: (after every performance in our living room)
"Clap for the beautiful girl."

(and my personal favorite)
"I like my fam- u- lee!"

She's 3

Is there a better age than 3? From a parent's perspective, I don't think so.

Every morning when she wakes up, Faith runs into the living room full speed and asks me, "Is it "a-wake-up time yet?" Then it's time for a "cartoonie" and a "nola bar." When that's over, she wants nothing more than for me to "talk to her" which means take two of her random figurines (anything from My Little Ponies to Care Bears) and create a dialogue back and forth between them. She still calls me mommy, rather than mom, and needs my help brushing her teeth and putting on her shoes ("Is this the right foot, mommy?"). She (gulp) reaches for my hand everywhere we go and I happily oblige. When Rob and I plan on going somewhere, she always asks "Can I come too?" as if we weren't going to bring her. No matter if we spend 5 minutes preparing dinner or 50, she usually proclaims it "delicious" even if she eats one bite. Her imagination is so incredible she makes up words like Crary for her elephant her aunt and uncle bought her at the circus and Scootie Goggles for the play car her aunties got her last Christmas. She is still perfecting the art of running and trips over her own feet daily, only to stand up and proclaim "I'm OK!" When she plays in her room by herself and we start to worry when we don't hear anything for awhile and yell "Faith?" she responds with, "doing good." When we go on walks she asks if she can "go meet 'dem" so we're finally getting to know our neighbors thanks to a toddler. The girl is just FULL of personality.

Not one person she's met hasn't been charmed by her friendly, outgoing nature....probably because she's so quick to strike up a conversation, even if it begins with, "Who's your boyfriend?" (doesn't everyone have one?) "Whatchu got in your nose?" (a nose ring) or "This is my puppydog, Howie. He got a haircut." (about a month ago, but whatever).

It's hard to capture everything about Faith in one blog post, but I wanted to try because I simply love this age and don't know that Faith will remember any of it. She's potty trained, eats table food and can communicate when she doesn't feel good, but she's still innocent, tires out by 8 p.m. and thinks mom and dad know can solve all her problems.

So how do I feel about her getting another year older? Of course time seems to have passed by all too quickly, but when I look and listen to her, I feel she's ready to be 3. Sure, I'd love to hit pause and have her need me forever, but just like TV on DVD when you can't wait to pop in the next disc, I can't wait to watch what happens next. My little lady is ready for the next steps of toddlerhood (I refuse to call her a preschooler): swim lessons without mom by her side, getting dressed all by herself and making new friends at daycare.

It's awesomely heartbreaking to watch a kid grow up. But it is my pleasure. I found my advice book from Faith's baby shower the other day. On one of the 3x5 index cards, one of my wise aunts wrote that being a parent would be my greatest accomplishment. Because I contemplate mortality more than the average person should, I think about this a lot. How who Faith is and how that is a reflection of me and of course, her dad. And how I'm proud of that. And how I realize it's not just us, her parents, but all the wonderful people she's surrounded by each and every day.

And if you're reading this and lucky enough to play a part in her life --no matter how large or small --thank you. Thank you for shaping who she is today. Everything from her sweet tooth and sense of adventure to her love for cats (and a hatred for bugs) and a very feminine fashion sense (this certainly did not come from me) it came from somewhere. From her lack of shyness (OK, this might have come from me) and a love for performing in front of people (her Dad is quite the rockstar here at home), to her enjoyment of reading books and making music, I am proud of who she is becoming.Though Rob and I play a major role in her development, we are by no means the only people who contribute to her beautiful personality.

And to Faith, thank you for being you -- the life of the party!

Gabby's birth story: Part III

Have you ever been told that it would only be 15 minutes before your table was ready and it turns out to be closer to 45 minutes to an hour? Yeah, that's what happened to me once I was "complete." Just substitute doctor for table.

Because of a scheduled c-section, I was forced to wait before being allowed to push. Rob's hands took to the brunt of my frustration and pain as I squeezed with every contraction. Finally, the doctors arrived. They told me to try a practice push before they called my OB over from the clinic. Two seconds into my practice push they dialed up Dr. Carlson. Not knowing the urgency, she later told me she lolly-gagged over (good thing she waited until after Gabby was out to relay that news). Once she arrived and I was allowed to push, things happened fairly fast. I could definitely feel the pain more this time and it took slightly longer, but after only 15-20 minutes, Gabby Grace entered the world, SCREAMING AND CRYING!

Allow me to pause momentarily and recall that when Faith Janna was born, we didn't know what to expect. She came out with the cord wrapped around her neck AND body, tightly. They basically unwound her and whisked her away and we thought that's how it was supposed to be. Once she pinked up, we got to hold her and so did our family members who'd been standing by in the waiting room.

But with Gabby, things were so much different and, in a word, better. They placed her on my chest right away and cleaned her up right there. Rob even got to cut the cord this time. She opened her pretty little peepers and just stared up at me. I asked if I should try to breastfeed and the nurse said that I didn't need to right away. I know there are different schools of thought on this, but I was relieved to not be pressured into nursing so soon. I just got to hold and enjoy my baby, Rob's and my beautiful creation, and just "be" from 9:43 when she was born for two whole hours. No family was standing by in the waiting room, so there was no rush at all. I love my family and am so grateful they later came to visit, but that two hours was absolutely glorious.

We took a picture with Gabby and I could've cared less how terrible I looked. After less than 5 hours of sleep the previous two nights and giving birth, I was just happy my baby girl was here with us. Hopefully you can see the joy in my face that I felt in my heart!

I did feel bad that Rob didn't get to hold her during that time, but after she peed on me because the nurses forgot to put a diaper on her after they weighed her (7 pounds, 8 ounces) I don't think he minded.

Besides, he was too busy calling and texting everyone. And crying. That's right, every time my husband would go to tell a family member our daughter's name, he would get choked up and couldn't get the words "Gabrielle Grace" out of his mouth.  It was so sweet. We had a difficult time coming to an agreement on a name, but Gabrielle/Gabby was one of the originals that we kept coming back to. I was completely sold on it, but Rob was a little hesitant -- naming a child is a big job. But seeing him so smitten by a little girl and her beautiful name on the day of her birth solidified that we made the right choice.

After I hogged her, I passed her off to Rob who cradled his second born in his arms. She was perfectly content against her daddy's chest while mom scarfed down her traditional helping of post-partum pancakes and the visitors started to roll in.

Later, Miss Gabby was given her first bath. That sentence makes it sound like a present but it was far from it. She let us know her lungs were working at full capacity but calmed down quickly afterwards.

I don't like to brag -- oh, who I am kidding, when it comes to my children, I absolutely do, but the nurses were all saying what a great baby she was in just the little time they'd spent with her. We couldn't agree more. She was finally here and all was right with the world. Welcome, Gabrielle Grace, to the family.

23 things about Gabby Grace

We interrupt your regularly scheduled birth story to bring you 23 things you need to know about Gabrielle "Gabby" Grace Lindquist!

1) She's a blondie. Blonde eyelashes and blonde hair when it's freshly washed. Some say it has a tint of red -- luck of the Irish I guess, but I can't wait to see what it looks like as she grows.

2) Girl was born was with manicure-ready nails...we've trimmed them twice and they've already grown back...time to break out the polish.

3) She burps like a man after chugging a liter of soda!

4) Her days and nights are all mixed up. She likes to nap all morning and party at night.

5) She nurses like clockwork. And the intervals get closer and closer together the more tired I get.

6) Her eyes are big, blue and beautiful. I love gazing into them.

7) I would describe her demeanor as content. Unless she's hungry, hungry or hungry, she's pretty happy!

8) My lil gal has already taken to binks. I bought a bunch of different ones to see which one she liked the best and struck gold on the first try with Nuks...same kind her sis liked.

9) Her big sister is enamored with her. "Can I hold her?" "Can I see her eyes?" No jealousy to report yet, and I have a running list of funny big sister sayings that I'll have to post soon.

10) Getting a bath is her least favorite activity. Probably because I got water in her eyes the first time. My mom captured it all on video. Not sure if her asking if she should shut off the camera and get a towel is the funniest part or if it's Faith eating an earbud in the background amidst all the chaos.

11) She smells good. And like any new mom, I even think her $#!* don't stink. I love changing diapers -- those of my own offspring only of course!

12) Gabby loves to be swaddled and snuggled against someone's chest. If that chest happens to come equipped with food, even better!

13) She's starting to squeak and coo -- it's pretty much adorable.

14) Though she developed a little jaundice toward the end of her hospital stay, she didn't need treatment and her color looks perfect these days. Notice the difference in these two pics.

15) Everyone says she looks like her sister, and she does to a point, but from the moment she was born I have been loving all their differences!

16) We're not sure how Gabby feels about baby crack, partially because Faith hid the toy somewhere and we can't find it!

17) She's quite the diva, getting at least four outfit changes a day if she spits up, but dressing an infant never gets old!

18) Her hunger cues are so obvious she might as well be able to talk.

19) This might be TMI, but girl can go for two days without a present in her pants, and then leave the gift to end all gifts -- let's just say I won't be putting mustard on anything for awhile!

20) She's starting to get the eye goop in her right eye that her sister got at the exact same time. The good thing about this time is that I'm not freaking out -- as much!

21) My peanut was one ounce from her birthweight at her 12 day checkup so I'm hoping she tips the scales at 8 pounds by week three.

22) This isn't really about Gabby as much as it is about me, but I could stare at her and hold her all day! With Faith, I worried so much about everything and just her getting bigger, etc. that I didn't really cherish her newborn-ness. I thought since Gabby is our second-born that she would get the shaft on many things (hand-me-downs, fewer photos)  but her version of mom is much more laid back and appreciative of who she is right now, it makes me happy for her.

23) Gabby has made me realize I don't think I want to be done with this whole having babies thing... (surprise, Rob!) and yes, I did just say that out loud. (Calm down, mom!) Seriously though, we're kind of good at it, wouldn't you agree? ;)

Gabby's Birth Story Part II

When we last left off, we were on our way to the hospital. This drive was eerily familiar from the night before, but this time we knew we'd be bringing home our baby.

Upon arriving, we walked past the same security guard, who probably thought he was seeing double. We continued up to the 4th floor and attempted to check-in. Before we could even get a word out, the woman at the front desk told us someone would be taking us to the Clarkson side of the hospital because that's where the available nurses were. (Basically there are two delivery areas at the med center and I'd hoped to have Gabby on the University side where Faith was born). Now, this shouldn't have been a big deal, but it was to me because of the unfamiliarity. The switcharoo also meant I had to waddle a ways with my water broken...not exactly my idea of a good time.

I got into room 4416 and Doc McDisappointing from the night before entered a short time later. She checked me and (drumroll please......) still one centimeter...whahhh whahhhhh. The decided to place a Cervidil to help my cervix dilate, and the waiting game was on. Soon enough, nurse Mary came to put in my IV. With Faith, it took 5 needle sticks, so I had high hopes of a better experience. Apparently, I have good veins but they like to roll (reason #977 I don't do drugs). Fortunately, the head nurse Michelle only missed once, so between the two of them they avoided breaking any records with a grand total of four needle sticks. #Ow.

My contractions were getting somewhat painful, but it was too soon for an epidural. Mary offered me some Fentanyl, but warned me that it wears off in about an hour or two. Since it was about 1 a.m. and I wanted to get some shut eye, I took her up on it. Fentanyl: reason #978 I don't do drugs. Not only did it immediately make me feel like my head was notoriously BIG, not to be confused with the size of Notorious B.I.G.'s head, which is also very large. It also felt like I'd been hypnotized and my thoughts were very, oh, shall we say, cray cray. (I just read the side effects and it said "unusual thoughts." All I can say is "yep!" Despite all this, I asked for another dose an hour and a half later.

When that dose wore off, it was almost 5 o'clock and the doctor came back to check me again. Three centimeters. Not exactly what they were hoping for, so she recommended Pitocin. When I asked about the epidural, knowing Pitocin would make the contractions much worse, she acted like she wanted me to see how things went before I got it. I completely ignored her and said I'd like it now, thankyouverymuch! Call me a wimp, but I knew I would need it eventually and it didn't have any negative effects on my labor with Faith, so I was hopeful it wouldn't with this one.

The anethesiologist walked in shortly after that and noticed Rob in his full Iowa State getup. "Oh, Iowa State fans? I did my undergrad at Iowa State!" he exclaimed. And I knew I was in good hands. It seemed to take awhile to get the epidural started, but it was well worth it. Soon after that everyone let me be and said they be back around 8 to check on me. The next few hours consisted of me trying to rest while keeping a close ear on baby's heartbeat monitor while Rob read a book. At some point, a nurse came in and rotated me onto my left side and put a giant "peanut ball" between my legs since the baby's heart rate indicated that she wasn't liking me laying on my back anymore.

The minute the clock struck 8, I expected someone to come into my room. At 8:15, I was really wanting someone to come check on me. At 8:30, I started to feel some pressure down there. "ROB! Someone needs to come check on me NOW," I said, in my kindest, sweetest voice :) We hit the call button. Yet another nurse named Michelle appeared. I told her what I was feeling and she said she would have to check me. Normally they would've waited for the doctor, since checks are supposed to be minimized once your water breaks, but I gave her no choice.

Michelle was DocMcDisappointing's opposite. "Oh, she exclaimed. The head is right there." She quickly picked up the phone and dialed a number. "Um, yeah, I have Nicole Lindquist here. She's complete."

10 centimeters dilated. Here we go. Little did we know, it'd be about an hour before we'd welcome Gabrielle "Gabby" Grace Lindquist into this wonderful world. Yay for peanut balls!?!?!?!

Sneak peek of what's to come...

p.s. I promise Part III will be the final installment of this series. She will definitely be born before it concludes. :)