Gabby Grace at 9 months (23 Things)

1) Your eyes stayed blue! They say eye color sets between 6-9 months and yours are still the same baby blues you were born with...I love it! Now let's hope you're left-handed like me, too.

2) About two seconds after I hit publish on the 6 month post about you, your two bottom teeth sprouted up. Now you have between 2-4 coming in. Your top two and maybe a couple side ones. Pass the Tylenol!

3) You successfully made me look dumb at the doctor's office. After getting diagnosed with an ear infection, you were treated with an antibiotic for 10 days. Soon after, you began pulling at your ears again and would not lay down on your side whatsoever. We went back to the doctor. Your ears were fine. Turns out you just wanted to start sleeping on your tummy and found your ears to be interesting. Thanks for letting me know.

4) At night you sleep with a lovey. It's a pink taggie/blankie with a bird on it. Every night I tuck it under your arm and you drift off to dreamland. I will jinx myself by typing this, but you are the best at falling asleep on your own. The downside of that is you don't like to be cuddled before bed or at nap time. I do miss that, but am not complaining!

5) We're still breastfeeding. Hoping to make it all the way to a year :)

6) As for food, you love everything, probably because you're the one putting it in your mouth! Baby-led weaning is my favorite thing ever. Basically, the concept is that you eat little pieces of what we eat, rather than messy, pureed baby food. I'll write in more detail at another time, but for now, I love watching you eat everything from beans to blueberries.

7) You have a little vein line that goes across the bridge of your nose. At first we thought it was a bruise, but you are just really pale so we can see right through you. Just one of those things that makes you you.

8) As far as crawling, you're just not that into it. You sit really well, can transfer to a crawl position and can reach for things you want. But as far as putting one chubby leg in front of the other, it's a no go at the nine-month mark.

9) Your schedules is as follows: wake up and eat at 5:30, fall asleep for 30 minutes to an hour afterward, eat breakfast around 8 or 8:30, take a nap, breastfeed around 10:30, eat lunch a little bit later, bottle (if it's a weekday) around 2:45/3, dinner around 5:30, bath afterward, playtime, books/attempt to read books, nightcap around 6:45 and bed by 7. There's lots of cuddles and coos in between.

10) You still love your binkies. Unfortunately so does Howie, who chewed up 5 out of 7 I bought less than two weeks ago. Maybe he can just wean you naturally when it's time.

11) Speaking of Howie, you LOVE him. We love to squeak his toy and then hand it to you. You get so excited when he comes to grab it out of your hands. And you're always trying to slip him your food. If we ever get the house picked up, we're going to film the next Cheerios commercial.

12) Sisterly love is on again off again. Most days Faith shows you patience and kindness. For example, when we went to take Valentine's pictures and you fell asleep in the car on the way there, she told me she didn't want to listen to any music, so we could keep the car quiet for you. Before you say "awww," the other day she took something out of your hand, which made you fall down and cry. She then proceeded to do nothing to help you up. Not so "awwww." p.s. I think Faith will still remember the time I yelled at her for the above when she's 16. Not my finest parenting.

13) As for words, you prefer grunts and screams, but can say dada, mama, baba, etc., just not in context. Dad and I swore you were going to say "verde" the other day after listening to one of your toys in Spanish mode, but you stopped after "ver."

14) You love to wave bye bye, but instead of opening and closing your hand, you like to flop your hand at the wrist, back and forth. It was pretty much the cutest thing ever until you started pointing  the other day. That's even cuter.

15. While you're not loving learning to crawl, you like to stand. You can stand with support for a good amount of time before plopping down for a break.

16.  You are a tough baby to read to. Either you want to eat the book or you just try to close it on my hand. I keep trying to get you to lay back and snuggle, but you are always trying to wriggle away. Get back here, young lady!

17. If I had to describe you at the tender age of 9 months, I'd say laid-back, scrunchy-smiley and mama's girl.

18. You're still a lightweight in the babyfat category. If I dunk you in the tub before your checkup, maybe you'll weigh 16 pounds with your clothes on.

19) As far as what makes you laugh, Daddy's kisstickles (that always leave a rash on your face if he hasn't shaved), Mommy's dance moves and peekaboo. Always peekaboo.

20) Your favorite toys are anything that Faith is playing with, all our electronics and Howie's tail.

21) I know you're not supposed to watch TV yet, but I've tried introducing you to Little Einsteins while I cooked dinner and you didn't really notice or care. Oh well. Faith forces us all to watch Bubble Guppies anyway. Bubble bubble bubble, guppy guppy guppy!

22) Unfortunately you're on your third ear infection and now have a cough and a runny nose. Seeing you sick sucks, but you're much tougher than your dad ;)

23) I wish I had better professional pictures of you. Every time I try, it ends up that you're hungry or tired when the appointment rolls around. So don't feel like you were neglected as the second child. It's just a timing thing. For your first birthday, I'll schedule 10 appointments if I have to

This letter is a reflection of my thoughts about you, but you have so many people that love and care about you, including your grandparents, your teachers at daycare and even those random people at the grocery store, whose smiles you help create. You're special, Gab. Never forget it.

The time my Valentine was on Wheel of Fortune

For those of you who don't know, my husband was a contestant on Wheel of Fortune.

For whatever reason, the fact I made an appearance on the non-televised Price is Right Live in Las Vegas, only to be outbid by $1 in bidder's row, never seems to excite people as much as the charming Pat Sajak, the big, heavy Wheel and the always-stunning Vanna freaking White.

All that to say, my biggest claim to fame is my husband's claim to fame.

On Jan. 30, we celebrated eight years since his episode aired, and by celebrated, I mean we watched Wheel of Fortune and Rob beat me at solving the puzzles as usual. For this Valentine's Day, I thought I'd write about the experience (at least from my point of view) for a few reasons.

1) We're not getting any younger and will eventually forget the little details.
2) Rob's had 8 years to blog about it and hasn't.
3) We're on a finish-the-basement budget, but this is one thing I could give him for V-Day.

So, without further ado: the story. In bullet points. Because otherwise it would be a book.

-WOF came to Iowa State for Big 12 week and students submitted their names for tryouts.
-Rob's name wasn't chosen.
-But his friend Eric's was.

Rob and Eric cozying up hillside at Jack Trice in Ames. There was a big group of us, but this is an unfortunate (or fortunate, depending on your opinion) crop job.
 -Eric had to work, so he gave Rob his tryout spot (just remembered we owe Eric our firstborn. Shit, we're kinda attached to her now.)

-Rob and I asked my cousin Jill and her husband, who appeared on WOF earlier that year during Sweethearts Week, for advice.

Jill and Nick, with their sweethearts
-They said, "Act like the tryout is the real deal."
-Rob worked the night shift and didn't go to sleep before the tryout.
-My man aced the tryout. He clapped like a madman and solved the puzzles like a pro.
-He went home and slept.
-Life went on.
-He got a letter in the mail saying he didn't make the cut for Big 12 week.
-But WOF reserved the right to call him as a contestant for the next 18 months
-He got a call.
-The wanted him to be on the show November 2.
-This was about 10 days away.
-Rob, his mom and I were California bound.

I love Cindy's expression in this photo!
-No, WOF didn't pay for our flights, or our hotel. That's why they give contestants the $1,000 minimum parting gift.
-We arrived in LA and checked into the Radisson Hotel, where all the contestants stay.
-We all crashed early do to pure exhaustion and the time difference, not to mention the next day was a biggie.
-We were all up at 5 a.m., rearing to go.
-Rob took a shuttle to the studio.
-His mom and I later took a cab ride to the studio lot.
-We tried not to freak out. Moms and girlfriends get nervous, too.
-We arrived and they told us DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH THE CONTESTANTS AT ALL, approximately 734 times.
-We stepped into the WOF set.
-And there was my now-husband's face on the giant big screen.

Like this, except eight years younger and without the beer.
-He had been chosen for the first show (they tape six in one day) and was practicing.
-Rob's mom told me not to look at him 734 times.
-I told her not to look at her son 735 times.
-We took our seats and silent-freaked out some more.
-Rob practiced winning the final puzzle and sprinting toward the car.
-Rob fell down.
(pause for laughter)
-We did not sue WOF.
-The contestants took their places. Rob was in the red spot.

-Pat Sajak was hilarious.
-Rob solved the tossup, then another tossup.
-Rob solved a puzzle, then another puzzle, then another.
-Rob won a giftcard (and thus where my journey to Price is Right Live began).

-Rob won the Prize puzzle, a trip to Puerto Vallarta, which would become our honeymoon.

-Rob won $15,450 and went to the bonus round!

-His mom and I were given a chance to wave at the camera (they now do the introductions live).
-Rob said who he was here with: His mom, Cindy, and his girlfriend....
-Yes, Rob left off my name. I still tease him about it to this day.
-The category for the bonus round was "In the Kitchen."
-Rob worked in a restaurant growing up.
-He guessed "Band Grinder" approximately four times.
-The correct answer was "Hand Mixer."
-Other claimed to have known the answer.
-Others weren't standing next to Pat Sajak in a sweat-soaked suit with money on the line.
-The enveloped contained $25k.
-We celebrated our pants off, anyway.
-Rob went to sign some legal papers, while his mom and I watched the next two episodes.
-Production took a break and we left to go celebrate.
-All the contestants got together that night in the Radisson hotel bar to relive one of the most memorable days of their lives.

-We were on Cloud 9.
-We flew home the next day and waited anxiously for Jan. 30th, 2006.
-I decided to host a pizza party at my apartment on Jan. 30th and invite my cousin Jill and her husband, who had been on the show.
-That day came and Rob wore the suit he wore on the show. (He's weird and I never thought anything of it.)
-The show came on. Rob kept doing play-by-play of the show (because he was nervous) and I kept telling him to zip it so everyone could watch.
-This was after VHS but before DVR :(
-The show got over and I went for another slice of pizza.
-Rob said he wanted to show me something in my room.
-I thought it was a sombrero for the Mexico trip.
-I'm not too quick.
-I got in my room and Rob was down on one knee with an engagement ring in his hand.
(pause for tears coming to my eyes)
-My boyfriend asked me to marry him.
(pause for my crying, then and now)
-I said yes (he did just win thousands of dollars)

 A month or so ago, my diamond fell out of that engagement ring and by the miracle of dog, it was found. I went to get the diamond placed back in the ring, and they said it couldn't be done. The band was shot. The bands they showed me were way out of the price range I was looking to spend. The saleswoman was pretty rude about the whole ordeal. No, my ring isn't the most expensive one out there, but it's mine. And it has one hell of a story behind it. That's all that matters to me, the "girlfriend" who got proposed to on the night her boyfriend won Wheel of Fortune. We may not have a fortune to spend on a new ring, but damn if we aren't fortunate to have each other as Valentines.

Happy Love Day, my love!
-the nameless girlfriend ;)

This is My Life

This video is a one minute and twenty-eight second slice of Life as a Lindquist. But it's so much more than that. It's such a representation of what our lives are like right here, right now as Rob and I raise two beautiful girls while our dog interrupts everything. The premise for the video: Faith proclaimed she was going to Home Depot to buy a toilet (we're finishing our basement, hence her obsession with toilets and plumbing). Being the mom, I wanted to capture her saying that on video. The rest, as they say, is history. So sit back, relax and enjoy the show. A few fun things to look for:

-Faith wearing her birthday shirt when it's definitely not her birthday
-Howie barking in the background
-Me cursing Howie under my breath
-The way Faith talks! (I love her 3-year-old voice so much!)
-Rob being Rob
-Gabby's cameo
-Faith's annoyance at Gabby's cameo
-Gabby not giving up on the cameo, courtesy of Dad
-Faith, still not loving the idea
-My persistence at getting the original story
-Faith ignoring my hints
-Rob banging pots and pans around cooking in the background
-The fact the decorative ottoman has been taken over by Sesame Street stuff and Minnie Mouse
-Faith's driving skills looking like they're straight out of a sitcom
-Cake. The kid loves cake.