Aunt Veronica: considerate
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Aunt Veronica: considerate
Monday, December 22, 2008
Right now we have two options.
1. Take the United flight to Seattle, or
2. If the flight is cancelled, Josh will rent a car and drive to Portland. Once in Portland he will stay the night at a friends house and then Tao and Jamie, who are driving to Seattle on Tuesday anyway, will bring Josh as well.
So the absolute latest Josh will get home is tomorrow afternoon. Only five days late.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
I can hardly believe you have only been with us for two years. Your presence in this family seems familiar and normal. Your extraordinary personality is sometimes a challenge, but your smile and your kisses make your tantrums worth it.
I thought it would be fun to have your friends and family describe you in one word. Here they are!
Grandma Ann: persistent
Grandpa Jim: affectionate
Grandma Kay: determined
Uncle Christian: defiant
Aunt Veronica: feisty
Uncle Aaron: charismatic
Uncle Ben: cute
Aunt Cyprianna: spunky
Aunt Lora: headstrong
Sbeenti (godmother): active
As you can clearly see, while these traits are tiring and difficult at times now, they will serve you well in adulthood. You make everyone around you smile and laugh. Your voice is sultry and husky; bringing faint smiles to those who stand next to us at church. You love to sing; you know so many songs it would be impossible to list. Miraculously, you love playing with Levi, but definitely need your space from him. There are many times when I find you playing by yourself, perfectly content driving a car on your garage, or pushing a train down the tracks.
Incidentally, you like much of the same things Levi likes. However, you do like one thing that he despises: talking on the phone. It does not matter who I am talking to, you always have to say Hi. Your "hi's" last a long time, and you often carry on a full conversation with whomever is at the end of the line.
You are extremely active. Your favorite activity is swimming, and I am constantly amazed at the risks you are willing to take. That goes for out of the pool too! Many times you are copying your brother, but once you discover you can jump off the couch, or put your face under water, you become so proud of yourself and keep right on going.
I cried the day you were born out of sheer joy, and you still bring tears of joy to my eyes. I love you so much.
P.S. I don't know why nobody stated the obvious, but I will. Bitty, you are loud!
Later in the month Grandpa Jim came to Seattle. He had meetings for two days downtown, so the kids and I picked him up at Sea-Tac and then he took us out to dinner. Levi and Claire had fun watching Veggie Tales videos on YouTube with him!
Sometimes I feel really bad that my children don't know there Alaskan Family as well as their Washington Family. Luckily Levi and Claire are very lovable kids. They were sad when we took Grandpa to his hotel later that night, and Levi cried on the drive home.
After the Bellevue thing, we drove to the Botanical Gardens in Bellevue. This place is amazing. They have a whole garden made out of Christmas lights. It is called Garden d'Lights.
The snow in Seattle started last Saturday night. By Sunday morning, it had melted and then froze enough to leave a layer of ice on the roads. Only after dressing for church and warming the car did I realize it was worse then I thought. I could not get out of our driveway! Now, I did not aggressively attack that hill as well as Josh may have, but I did have two kids in the car and a wimpy attitude. Needless to say, we skipped church and had a snow day.
By Friday, nothing had melted. In fact, I don't think Seattle has gotten above 25 degrees all week. Anyway, Friday schools were cancelled as well, as roads were still treacherous. This happened Friday afternoon. Saturday we knew another major storm was heading our way. Early Saturday morning the kids and I packed up for Kirkland to Christian and Veronica's house. They got even more snow than we did and had a spectacular sledding hill a short walk to their house.
1:00 pm: interview at Maine Medical Center finished. Get in rental car and drive to Boston to catch 6pm non-stop flight to Seattle.
2:30: arrive in Boston, minutes after large snow storm hits the area. Travel out of Boston-Logan airport is impacted. Airport leaves one runway open for arrivals and departures.
6:00: Jet Blue flight to Seattle is delayed till 7pm.
7:00: Flight to Seattle delayed again till 9pm
9:30: Passengers are told they can board the plane. They all get on.
10:30: Flight starts to taxi to runway. Airport shuts down all runways for quick snow removal.
11:10: Airline opens runway.
11:15: Jet Blue flight crew has now worked past their mandated time and flight returns to the terminal and flight is now cancelled.
12:00: Since Jet Blue only flies once a day to Seattle, the flights fill up fast. Naomi finds a United flight on Sunday at 11am. Josh cancels Jet Blue flight and gets a hotel in Boston for two nights.
1:00 am: Josh arrives at hotel.
Josh kills time in Boston and changes flight out of Boston to 9am.
7:30: Josh arrives at airport.
8:30 Passengers begin boarding plane.
9:00: Plane is now broken and maintenance is called.
10:00: United flight finally leaves.
12:25: Josh's connecting flight in Washington DC departs.
12:30: United flight arrives at Washington DC.
12:45-5:00: Josh stands in line with a million other people trying to get to the West Coast. Josh calls Naomi a zillion times with various crazy ideas how to get home. The best one? Rent a car and drive to Seattle. From DC.
5:00: Josh finally gets confirmed on a flight at 10:30pm to San Francisco, but is told to wait on standby for the last flight of the day to Seattle.
5:15-8:00: Josh waits on standby for the flight. At one point they begin boarding and he is only the 20th person on the standby list, then the plane breaks and the flight is eventually cancelled.
8:15: Josh goes to the San Francisco departure gate and waits.
11:00: Josh boards the plane, and, since he has not called me in the past five minutes, I am assuming it has left the airport.
Josh is supposed to arrive at San Francisco around 2am on Monday the 22nd (Claire's second birthday.) Flights to Seattle start to depart at 6:30, and that is when he can start to standby for those flights. Hopefully he will get home in time for birthday cake and for his interview at Virgina Mason on Tuesday!
What a trooper! The only time he totally lost it was after he missed his connection in DC. He swore to me that all East Coast schools were getting ranked last. Apparently we can never visit Boston or DC again. He even wanted me to buy him a ticket to Seattle for $2000! That is when I called in the reinforcements: sister Lora and brother Christian. They obviously had more success than I, his attitude has been stellar since then!
As for the kids and I, this could not have happened at a better time. Seattle got 5 inches of snow last night and we are expecting another 3-8 inches tonight. We have been sledding and snowshoeing all day! I even got a cross-country ski in early this morning! And on that note, now that my kids are in bed and asleep, I am going skiing again. I may never have this opportunity again to ski out my front door in Seattle! Love it!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Maybe if I call them Holiday Lights I can keep them up?
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Levi has a new pet. And, since we can't have cats or dogs, or any other imaginable animal in our apartment, he found a pet that he can keep. At least for now. A worm. We found him on our porch as I was sweeping the massive amounts of dead leaves away. And since it always rains in Washington, a soaking wet cement porch covered with dead leaves is a perfect place for a worm.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
But, of course, I got the wrong directions off of mapquest and we were driving all around Portland totally lost. And totally yelling at each other.
Josh was 20 minutes late to his interview. That is so embarrassing. And it was all my fault. I feel terrible!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Josh and I came down for a couple days so that he could interview at Providence St. Vincent and Legacy Emmanuel Hospitals. They are both first year programs. Christian and Veronica graciously offered to watch our gremlins, oh, I mean kids. V says it is going okay so far. Claire only woke up at 4:30 this morning screaming for Mommy and would not go to sleep and Levi smashed his fingers in the door. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. But let's talk about Portland.
Okay, well I guess I don't really know a lot. All I know is that we went to the Pearl District and the Alphabet District. AMAZING. For anybody who likes cute, unique, small boutiques, these are the places to be! We found a fabulous restaurant called McMemamins. Josh had the beer-battered fish and chips. He said it was great. He did not want to share. I had the hummus platter which was warm pita bread, kalamata olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and, of course, hummus. It was to die for! Plus we both had their seasonal beer on tap. WOW. I would come to Portland again just to eat there. http://www.mcmenamins.com/
Then, as we walked around, we found a place called Moonstruck. It was a chocolate cafe! Yumm! Another reason to go to Portland was found. http://www.moonstruckchocolate.com/
Josh says that my reasons for where we go to residency are not really based on anything substantial. I disagree. I mean, you do have to eat and sleep, right? Why not have a nice house AND eat at nice restaurants? And shopping, just an added bonus.
Monday, December 1, 2008
We all three ran upstairs and sure enough, our toilet had overflowed so much that our bathroom was full of water. Since we have forced air heat and our heat duct is on the floor, that is where the water went, into that big hole. From there, it went onto my dinning room floor.
Thank goodness we are renting! The University immediately sent over the night maintenance worker.
She determined that we have a really old toilet. Really??? Our entire house is old; anybody could determine that. So basically, the toilet never wants to turn off. It just keeps running! So now, we have to physically turn off the water once the bowl fills in order to prevent this from happening again. Oh, and I get a new toilet today! And the special Mold Patrol will come and inspect everything and clean the ducts. And I will get a new ceiling.
Here are some pictures:
The hole in my ceiling. Look, you can even see a drip!
The bucket and towel catching water.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Watch out... this one may be our Christmas card photo!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Here is a piece of information about me that some may not know. I love to cook. I love to bake. And, if my may pat myself on my own back, I am rather good at both. So, honestly, I expected a challenge. Perhaps three.
That is why I am a bit shocked at my assignment. I was asked to bring bread. Not any bread, mind you. Because I could have made something killer! Maybe a loaf with whole cloves of roasted garlic in. Or bread with olives and spices. No, I as asked to bring Finnish Cardamon Bread.
Don't get me wrong; this bread is fabulous, amazing, delicious. Soft and sweet; the perfect bread combination. But it is also something that I make all the time. It is super easy. The hard part is braiding the dough. I am a girl; I was born knowing how to braid.
To me, Thanksgiving is the perfect time to try new recipes, new ingredients, new meals. I love doing new things. Like brussels sprouts. I think they are a totally under appreciated vegetable. And squash. And sweet potatoes. Alas, these are off limits at the Knight Thanksgiving celebration. But to the rest of the Thanksgiving party, it is the perfect time to have the exact same dinner that they have been having for the past twenty Thanksgivings.
Oh well, I will make my bread, and I will be thankful for all that I do have. Because, even if the Knight Thanksgiving dinner has been exactly the same since I joined the family almost eight years ago... I know the company will be entertaining, my kids will be happy, my husband will be full, and my palate will be extremely satisfied.
One more thing to be thankful for... I did not get my sister-in-law's assignment... salad!
P.S. I am going to sneak in some brussels sprouts.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
His interview at Dartmouth went great. He just happened to be there on the seasons first snowfall. He was also pleased to report to me that in the winter, there are x-country ski trails IN TOWN. Sweet.
Friday, November 14, 2008
In case there is any confusion, I am a fan of Survivor. Go ahead, take your cheap shots now. Finished? Great.
Anyway, I like Survivor, but I am just about sick of this season. Seriously, the remaining players are all idiots (except Bob) and at every tribal council, the weaker team members vote out the strong team members, and then they whine the next day because there is nobody around to build them a fire, or catch a fish or whatever they want to complain about. It is so unsurvivorish.
One might say, well obviously this method is working, at least for the physically and mentally weaker survivors. They are still around, beating out the strong ones. But I only have this to say. Those morons are still on the show and still blindsiding people and still making horrible decisions only because the producers of Survivor have to keep mixing and shuffling the teams up.
In the beginning, when there were two tribes, one got beat consistently. AT EVERY CHALLENGE. They lost so many teammates at tribal council, that in order for the game to continue, the writers, or producers, or whoever, reorganized the tribes three times!
Anyway, I may be done. Kenny makes me really mad. He thinks that he is that bag of chips every woman wants. But really, he is hardly worth the salt on a tortilla. Sugar is an airhead, Corrine has anger issues and Randy is definitely mental.
My respect, and now prayers, go out to Bob. He is the oldest tribe member and a physics professor. But he is a good nerd. You know how some girls wear their buff as a bikini top? Some as headbands or scarfs? Bob ties his into a bow-tie! Adorable!
So last night, but tonight for me, Bob was castaway to exile island. He searched for the hidden immunity idol, but Sugar beat him WEEKS ago. So what did he do? Did he lounge around? No; he built his own fake idol. Ah, some die-hard Survivor fans may be saying... Wasn't that tried last season? Why, yes it was. However, unlike last seasons counterfeit idol, Bob's actually looked like the real thing! Luckily I am not that lame, since I do not remember the people that made the last fake immunity idol. All it was was a stick. No creativity there. Check out Bob's:
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Levi got sent to his room and Claire was told to pick up the dirty clothes. She was still crying from the trauma when she was picking up, but still managed to sing her favorite song. "Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere..."
It was really funny listening to her sing and cry at the same time!
On Monday, he got two rejections. Loma Linda and Northwestern (in Chicago)
Then, later in the day on Monday, he got an invitation to interview at Maine Medical Center. This is very awesome, as Josh apparently likes Maine a lot. I did not really know this until the interview came through. Now he talks about it a lot.
Tuesday was another good day. He got two interviews! One at Dartmouth in New Hampshire and the other at Indiana University. YEAH!
The only problem with the Dartmouth interview is that they only had one date available that worked with Josh's schedule. Next Monday. So we scrambled last night and got an okay airfare deal ($240), a great car rental ($30) and an okay hotel deal ($80). He leaves very early Sunday morning and comes back late Tuesday. Wish me luck with the kiddos.
The important thing to remember is that we have reached the coveted 12 interviews. Of those 12, only 2 are on the West Coast! One is in the southwest (New Mexico), three in the mid-west, and the remaining six are on the East Coast.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Today, right after church, we had a family outing.
We first dropped the kids off at the play area. Josh and I then went and worked out ALONE. We did weights and cardio ALONE. It was amazing. Levi and Claire had a blast playing, and then, the whole family went swimming.
Claire loves swimming. Josh's brother, Christian, bought her a swimsuit with a built in flotation device when he went to a conference in Colorado (uh oh. Colorado is on my axis-of-evil list... does this make the swimsuit evil too?) Anyway, Claire is so obsessed with swimming, that I have to hide her suit, otherwise she will wear it all day, every day.
In fact, when we were getting ready for the UW Halloween party a couple weeks ago, she refused to get into her costume because she was wearing her swimsuit. She even takes naps in the suit. She is obsessed.
But she loves swimming, so right now, that is my bargaining tool. "Clarie, do you want to go swimming today? Well, eat your sandwich." or "Claire, do you want to go swimming today? Okay, then be nice to Levi." or "Claire, do you want to go swimming today? Then go and empty the dishwasher."
Okay, that last one is a little far-fetched. But I do make her put her dirty dishes in the sink. I have to follow her though; she likes to throw them in the trash instead. Punk.
Anyway, the Y is fantastic. I like that I get to exercise and the kids can play. Normally, Claire and I will go while Levi is at school, since the Y is not even a block from his school. It is fantabulous.
Just another day in the life of Claire.
First, each med student chooses a specialty. Some choose two (like a fall back one). Once they have chosen a specialty (for Josh it is radiology) they then have to apply for programs at either a community program (ie: hospital) or a university program (ie: University of Washington).
They fill out TONS of paperwork (or in Josh's case, I fill out tons of paperwork), write a personal statement, prepare a CV (a lot like a resume), get their transcripts, and ask for around 5 letters of recommendation from professors/doctors. They upload everything into an Internet database that each program can access and download their information. This part is very convenient. I can only imagine how annoying it would be to mail everything to every program. Horrid.
Okay, so once the programs that Josh applied to downloads his information, we just wait. They review and decide if the applicant (Josh) would fit their program. They then offer an interview or write a short (and often blunt) rejection letter.
If the program wants to interview Josh, that is a good thing. Any program that he interview at, he can rank. Now ranking is where this all gets very complicated.
So far Josh has nine interviews, so he can rank nine programs. Basically, he will make a list of where he wants to go based on lots of factors (that is another subject). At the same time that Josh is ranking programs, the programs are ranking the med students that they interviewed.
One one random day in March, all of this information is entered into a super-computer on a remote island (okay, I made that up). The computer matches each student with a program based on how it was ranked by the student.
Example: Josh ranks Virgina Mason number one and Rochester General Hospital number two. If Virgina Mason does not want Josh, they will not rank him, thus the computer by-passes Josh's choice for VM (since he did not make their list) and automatically goes to his second choice, RGH. If RGH ranks Josh, the computing is done and Josh is sent to beautiful Rochester, NY where his wife promptly purchases a beautiful house with five bedrooms and three bathrooms and a large yard. Levi and Claire then get a dog.
The weird thing is that EVERY medical student in the country get their marching orders on the same day, at the same time. Since we are west coast time, ours are around 1 in the afternoon. They all head to some dark office and are handed an envelope with their assignments inside.
I suppose this is useful, as he is guaranteed a job after med school... I have these eerie images of the Match Day. I imagine sobbing students, enthusiastic partners and confused looks (did I really rank North Dakota so high??)
So Josh thinks that he needs to interview at 12 places, thus having 12 places to rank him, thus creating a high probability that he will match.
The really scary thing??? If you don't match. Apparently, on the Monday before Match Day, any student that did not match is sent an email. I know I will be logging on every two minutes on this day... Me and every other med student and med student spouse.
So if you get that awful email, you have that Monday and Tuesday to research programs and find out which programs actually have openings. Then, on the Wednesday before Match Day, you can contact those programs and see if they will change their minds and let you work for them. Kind of crappy. I really hope we don't get that email. But, on the bright side, only three more interview till we get to that magic number!
Monday: Rejection from Utah and Colorado
Tuesday: Rejection from Wheaton Franciscan (Wisconsin)
Wednesday: Rejection from Vanderbilt (Tennessee); Invited to interview at University of New Mexico
Friday: Invited to interview at Sacred Heart (Spokane, WA)
So we have nine interviews and four rejections. We applied to 38 programs. That is A LOT of programs that we are waiting to hear from!!! Hopefully a few more will come in. According to Josh, he needs to interview at 12 places to have a 99% chance of matching.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
My little brother, Ben, had a five hour layover at SeaTac airport yesterday morning. So, we skipped school and picked him up to hang at our place for a few hours. It was really nice to see him again!
Isn't he a handsome brother?
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Josh got two rejection letters in one day. Both from schools that were on the top of our list. This morning we got an email from Utah saying that they did not want to interview him and then this afternoon the University of Colorado said the same.
My poor husband. He is pretty depressed. Honestly, I do not know what is wrong with these schools. I know Josh would not want me to list his board scores, but I can tell you that he was in the top 1% of all medical students when he took the boards this September. TOP ONE PERCENT. That is smart. That is somebody that these schools would want for a resident. Not to mention that his deans letter is FANTASTIC. I swear, they ran out of positive words in describing Josh's abilities and knowledge when they wrote his dean's letter. The letter breaks students up into quartiles and Josh was in the top 25% of UW students. Oh, did I mention that the UW is one of the top medical schools???
Utah and Colorado?? You Stink!
So far our only West Coast interview is at Virgina Mason. On a better note he was offered at interview at our top choice on Monday. It is a community program in Rochester, New York. (This is where I really want to go... why, you may ask? Google 'real estate in rochester, ny' and you will get your answer!)
Last Friday the University of Mass, in Worcester, offered him an interview too. So that makes one West Coast, two Mid-West and four East Coast.
HELLO NEW ENGLAND!!!
At least my sister will be happy :)
Weird. In the time it took me to write this post, Josh called me back saying that he had been offered an 8th interview. This is at the University of New Mexico. I don't know much about NM, but I guess I should start my research!
Josh and I rented the community center at our complex and had other Obama fans there to watch the election results and (fingers crossed) Obama's acceptance speech. We were not disappointed.
It turns out that I may be a minority; one poll says that only 25% of weekly church-goers support Obama. That is okay. I can understand why the majority of Christians do not support him. I understand that this issue primarily stems from his position on abortion. Unfortunately there are are a lot more issues to vote on and one has to take into account ALL of a candidates positions, not one.
My support for Obama rests on four major positions
1. Health Care
I may disagree with Obama in regards to stem cell research and abortion, but I agree with him on many more. We are a country that decided long ago that religion would be absent from government. And I think that as a country we should remember that Obama will only be President, not a dictator. He cannot wave a magic wand and pass sweeping liberal agendas that the majority of Americans disagree with.
My brother called me the Black Sheep of the family today. That is okay. I know that my views differ from theirs. I know that the majority of my family is quite depressed over the Obama victory. I feel their pain! I was there four years ago! Luckily, I have a family that, while our opinions differ, we still love each other. We still respect each other (I hope), and we still will be and are friends.