Things that make me go :)

If ever there was a time that the world could use a smile, it's now. So I give you 9 things that made me turn my frown upside down this past month.

#1) Dubsmash. Five-year-old Faith is a lip-synching sensation. Check out our favorites and download the app to get your Milli Vanilli on. 





It started with this: 

And has spiraled into a 4 part series. 

It made me think of my own awkward moment that happened recently. My husband and I got up to leave a wedding and my cousin across the table rose at the same time. I thought he was coming to hug us goodbye but as he got closer I realized he was just heading outside to smoke a cigarette. Realizing this, I abandoned the hug by pivoting around on my heels, but he was already too far committed. He ended up putting me in a chokehold as we told each other goodbye. Hilarious now. Awkward as hell at the time. 

#3) My nephew. Seriously, I was nervous to suddenly become the mom of three when my sister asked me to babysit her 10-month-old overnight. I had visions of no sleep and crying (mainly me) and lots of diaper changes. But this kid ate better, slept better and behaved better than both my children. And he only pooped once on my watch. Well, not "on" my watch, but I digress. This bodes well for my #3kidssomeday campaign.

I will have this on standby all weekend.

#5) Girl time. 
What do you get when you cross craft beer, flowers and time with friends? A buzzed, happy mama with a Thanksgiving centerpiece! Note: If you take a designer to an event like this, know that yours will be the 2nd best at best.

#6) The Holderness family. Seriously, I want their life. Jello?

#7) Healthy kids. I know this one is obvious, but with the toddler's recent sickness, I was reminded to be grateful. Her spunky little personality goes missing when she has a fever, so I was happy to see it return this week.

#8) The Nutcracker. Men in tights = Heck. Yes! I'd never seen a ballet before, unless you count Faith's performance in a Mickey Mouse themed recital when she was all of three years old. While that was adorable, the Nutcracker's costumes and sheer number of performers were amazing. And those ballerinas on their toes --- dayum! Faith's favorite part was not the sugar plum fairy, but "when the rat queen came."  

Photo from Ballet Nebraska's website.
#9) Ready for this one? It's you. Yeah, you, for reading all the way through this post. Someone I barely see/hear from told me recently that she enjoyed one of my blog posts. Comments like this or on Facebook make my day. So take a good long look in the mirror and know that you make me smile. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Choose Your Own Adventure

I blame Pinterest.

It was there where I got the idea to turn nearly two pounds of perfectly good chicken in "Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Casserole."

Sunday nights are when we have time to prepare a meal versus our typical weeknight in which we are simply scrambling to put things onto our table for fear bombs (our children) will explode (seriously, they will explode) if the task is not done by 5:45 p.m. Fun times.

Step one involved greasing the pan. Check and Check. Thanks, "Pam"!

Step two involved bringing the salsa verde to a boil. F and F! I had forgotten to buy "salsa verde" to make my "salsa verde" chicken and rice casserole. If ever there were a time to say "story of my life" this would be it.

I sent my husband to the store by continuously lamenting that I'd forgotten the main ingredient until he was so tired of hearing about it, he left. By the time he returned, we had a lot invested in this meal. At least $15 worth of "Smart" chicken (does buying this increase anyone else's self esteem?) and a 20-minute trip to the grocery store for a $5 jar of salsa verde just for starters. I decided to 1.5 the recipe because nothing doubles your chances of screwing up a recipe like doubling a recipe. Did you know that half of 3/4 is .375? You're welcome.

*Spoiler alert: our math went wrong.

Mr. Lindquist made the chicken mixture while I made the rice - which somehow was very complex I'll have you know. As we moved to mix the two together, I noticed it was rather "liquid-y."

Now here's the difference between me and my husband.

My brain: WARNING! WARNING! This is doomed. Abort mission. Why did you even try, you Pinterest-loving wannabe?
His brain: This will be fine. Ignoring problem in 3-2-........ Man, I'm a great cook.

I strained the rice out of my watery mixture, but the chicken was too far gone in sour cream and milk to do anything about. It still needed to broil for 10 minutes so in the oven it went and cross our fingers we did.

(Cue 10 minutes of distraction techniques while we defused lit bombs using only tortilla chips.)

Straight out of the oven, it looked edible. We gave it five minutes to "set up" and then I attempted to "slice" it. Have you ever run a knife through soup? No, because if you did your brain would say, "Why am I using a cutting tool on liquid?" and your hand would stop. But I was not about to give in that easily. I cut the entire pan of Liquid Casserole into pieces and began slopping it onto plates. Now I can be pretty convincing and somewhat demanding when it comes to dinnertime with my family. Edamame = magic beans. Also, eat five more bites cause you're 5-years-old (thanks, Mom). And everyone's all time favorite - because I said so, which I mostly use on Rob when doesn't serve himself enough vegetables.

But with this I just couldn't muster up my strength. I placed the dishes in front of the girls and hoped for the best. When the looks came seconds later, (you know the looks) I wasn't offended. In fact, I agreed. I didn't want to put fork to mouth myself.

The thought crossed our minds to turn this into enchilada filling, but with one sorry tortilla left in the fridge and a man that probably wasn't going to go back to the grocery store anytime soon, it was do or try time. The baby got the tortilla filled version. The Kindergartener got the nacho version and hubby took a bowlful with crushed chips on top. I depressingly contemplated my next move. Just as I was about to enter Poutyville (so much time invested, so much $ on groceries) my husband put his typical positive spin on it. "It's a Choose Your Own Adventure meal," he said. "Each one of us is eating it a different way."

I had to laugh. Partly because I wanted to "choose" to throw my version in the garbage, but partly because here I was "choosing" to be down in the dumps about some stupid overpriced chicken breasts when he "chose" to find the humor.

That's when I realized that so much of life is "choosing" what to do. I can choose whether or not to freak out over this meal gone wrong or I can chuckle about it. I can choose to be in a good mood on Monday morning or I can post a meme of Facebook on how much the start of the week sucks. I can choose to walk/run over my lunch hour or I can choose to read about Khloe and Lamar. I can choose patience over yelling. I can choose to call a friend versus watch TV. I can choose to brush my teeth or just eat my 5th mini KitKat. Everything is a choice. And before I get to philosophically deep into this, you should know that believe it or not, I "chose" to eat the leftover "Salsa Verde Chicken" for lunch today.

I call it Liquid Courage.

What will you choose?

The 9th Percentile

Before I became a parent, the word "percentile" was not in my vocabulary. Percenta-what? I would have said. But it entered like an unwelcome relative (cough cough, lady always asking when the next baby is coming) after my firstborn decided to be a "lazy eater." While that sounds like a Catchphrase clue for "couch potato" and actually brings to mind an endearing image of a newborn scrolling through Netflix options while chugging a Dr. Brown's, it actually meant she would rather sleep than eat and thus became dehydrated on day four of her little life. After being born 7 pounds, 1 ounce, she quickly dipped into the lower half of percentiles and has stayed there for good. Her sister followed suit.

For those who aren't familiar, the medical profession uses this term as a way to classify how your baby stacks up against other babies in terms of height and weight. It wouldn't be such a big deal if the parents of bigger babies (yeahI'mjealous) didn't treat it as some sort of accomplishment (bitter,partyofone) like their 4-month old actually got an 86% on a test instead of eating constantly and having tall genes (life'snotfair). I've finally come to terms that percentiles are something to make the Big and Tall people of the world feel good and petite families everywhere feel like fat baby failures.

Because who doesn't love a chunky child? There're squishy, smiley and just look like they're ready to eat a plate of fried chicken. But can you imagine if adults shared their "percentiles?"

"Yeah, Bob, I'm up to the 92nd percentile now. Been hitting the weights pretty hard."
"Dang, Bill. I'm really impressed that you weigh more than 92 out of 100 people. Congrats."

Sorry for my lack of creative names. And the fact that these people sound like they're in their 80s. Let's try that again.

"Duuuude, I'm straight up 96 #percent."
"Damn, brah, you killin' it."

Whip. Nae nae. I give up.

I will always remember heading into the doctor's office, ready to tell her all about my baby's accomplishments (STOP THE PRESSES SHE HAS THREE TEETH!) and leaving feeling like an incompetent failure for my lack of chubby offspring.

The only thing that saved my sanity over the years were my mother's meticulous records of what I weighed at every checkup ("12 pounds, 3 ounces and cute as a button" - gag, mom!). Turns out my kids grow at the exact same slow rate as their madre all along.

I realize we use these numbers to track development in the early stages of the game, as babies can't walk, talk, or do anything but avoid sleeping. I get it. But by age two is it really necessary? My potty-trained daughter speaks in 15+word sentences (Cubby Bear pick me up! Cubby Bear pick me up! Cubby Bear pick me up!), hops as a mode of transportation and asks everyone in sight, "What your name?" as though there will be a test and she plans to score an 86%.

So why does anyone, including me, care that she's in the 9th percentile? That's right, I said it. 9. NINE. 9er. (You caught a niner in there.) I have never shared my children's numbers with the world in a proud way until today.  Nine percent isn't exactly something you humblebrag about, but I'm going to start. Here's what 9 percent looks like. Happy, healthy and STOP THE PRESSES SHE CAN TOUCH HER TOES!