Saturday, January 31, 2009

Joshua is the new Logan

The vast majority of my readership will have no idea who Logan is. Here is a bit of information.

Logan, and his family, lived in family housing up until last summer when he had the audacity to graduate. He is now a top-notch dentist practicing in Spokane. Anyway, Logan was famous around Blakeley Housing. Why? Basically because he was (or is) the perfect man.

At least once a week we would walk by the Ditto's front window and Logan would be vacuuming the floor. On sunny days Logan would serenade his children, and others, with his guitar and voice. He was extremely handy, and could fix anything. On Logan's last day in family housing he wheeled over their old dishwasher to my apartment. Now, I had made a previous arrangement with his wife to pay them for this machine. However, Logan would have nothing of it.

Later that afternoon when I tried to run it, the dang thing would not drain. I unwillingly went to Logan and told him what was going on. He dropped everything (they were moving, remember!) and came to my apartment and fixed the problem. Lame me, there was just a kink in the hose because I had not pulled it out all the way.

When a neighbor of ours was moving and had three hours to catch a flight with her son and her apartment was nowhere near being packed or clean, Logan volunteered to drive her u-haul to the storage unit for her. And unload it.

But perhaps Logan's biggest accomplishment, at least from a wife's point of view, is that he regularly cleaned out and vacuumed the Ditto van. At least twice a month, I bet.

Well, this afternoon, Josh beat Logan in at least one of these adoring qualities. Can you guess???

Yes, Josh vacuumed out the car for me today. Amazing. I was so happy that I did not have to do it! Of course, Logan would have removed the seats.

Slug Mountain

Being a non-rainy day in Seattle, we decided to get out! On to Slug Mountain! Or, as the Russians say: Pe-hot Fegori! (okay, so that is just "to the mountains, but close enough)

Really we went to Tiger Mountain which is on I-90 past Issaquah. However, it is officially called Slug Mountain in the Knight household because the first time we went there after moving to Seattle, we were shocked at how many slugs were on the trails. Of course, no slugs today.

But the kids had fun, we had a picnic lunch, and it was incredible doing a "hike" without a child on my back. Here are some pictures.






Levi and Claire update

A quick update on my children...

First, Levi. Levi is totally into games right now. He loves them. His favorite is War, Monopoly, and Candy Land. We are always playing something with him and we quickly learned, kids love to cheat. We put an end to that though, neither Josh or I will play with him if he cheats.

Perhaps Levi's favorite game is Star Wars. I guess Star Wars is not technically a game, but him and Josh have lightsabor battles constantly. I tried to upload a video of them fighting, but cannot figure it out. It is hilarious. Levi will jump off the couch with his sword swinging, do a 360, and usually cut off Josh's foot. Basically, we should have named him Jedi. (ha ha, Jedi Knight, get it?)

Here are a couple photos of him and his precious. I love this picture. You can see the sheer concentration in his eyes as he tries not to clobber his sister.


On to Claire. The big news update on her is... she is potty-trained! She loves going to the bathroom and wearing underwear. Usually that is all she wears, as the photos below prove. When she has to go, she starts yelling "pee pee, mama! pee pee!" Last Sunday she did this rather loudly during church. Very entertaining for the folks nearby.

Here is Claire doing her favorite activity: taking whatever belongs to Levi and running away as fast as possible. Here she is with Levi's knight helmet. She is making a break for it on her scooter.



Joshua's new activity? Making fun of me. Okay, maybe that cannot be considered a NEW activity.

Apparently he has some sick childhood fear of granny squares. Maybe he was attacked by a ghost wearing a blanket made of granny squares when he was five. I don't know. But, I am crocheting myself a blanket of granny squares and every time I pull out my yarn to work on another square, the wise-cracks flood my ears.

Whatever. My blanket will be super warm. And I won't share with him.

Friday, January 30, 2009

25 Facts about Naomi (Tagged)

My Aunt tagged me on Facebook, my other addiction, and I thought I would post it here as well. Only becuase it took me FOREVER to think about things related to me. I tagged my peeps in fb.

Rules: Once you've been tagged, write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

1. I am an early bird. I seem to accomplish a lot of things before 7am.
2. I bake prosphora for my church.
3. I love to bake.
4. I secretly love that my children both have Christmas birthdays.
5. I want Levi to marry Khalila.
6. I love my family. And Josh's family.
7. I hate my job.
8. I love running and most forms of exercise.
9. I am a procrastinator.
10. I am very organized.
11. I am stubborn.
12. I am opinionated. This trait often gets me in hot water.
13. I cannot wait to move in June.
14. I am sick of living in a small, stinky, no-storage space, one bathroom, dirty, hole-in-the ceiling, slug-infested, too-many rules to live by, drafty, apartment.
15. I often call the UW police on the cars that park illegally in the family housing parking lot.
16. I wish I knew how to apply makeup better.
17. I love red wine.
18. I love when Josh plays the piano.
19. I am addicted to NPR. Especially Warren Olney.
20. I enjoy making things with my hands. Especially quilting.
21. I love making gifts for my friends and family.
22. I hate princesses. Hopefully Claire will skip this stage.
23. I think my children are very intelligent.
24. I am VERY proud of my husband.
25. I love my red hair.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Yes, she can handle two crazy kids

Once we found out that Josh had three interviews in three days in Michigan, I knew I wanted to tag along. I had never been to that state, and the dates were so close to our anniversary, it seemed like the perfect time to go. Not to mention that we used our airline miles and the flights were non-stop.

Luckily I have a wonderful mother who offered to buy a plane ticket from Anchorage to watch my children so that I could go. What a blessing. Of course, Josh and I had a great time. But apparently, so did my children. One sure sign, they did not want to talk to us on the phone the entire time we were gone. I could actually hear my mother in the background begging Levi to at least say "hi".

I am so extremely grateful that my mom came. It is hard that my family lives so far away. I try to talk to them about Uncle Ben and his family or Grandpa Jim and Grandma Ann often. We have pictures of my family around the house so my kids at least know what they look like. Levi, I know, really bonded with Grandma Ann when she was here. The other day he asked me if I remembered when we went to Alaska. I said yes, and he then sighed and said that he was ready to go back for a visit.

I know that it is hard on my mom too; us living a three-hour plane flight away. She loves Levi and Claire and did an exceptional job with my crazy children. She took Levi to school and took them both to church. They did fun stuff at home too, like decorating a gingerbread house, coloring, reading lots of books, going to Barnes & Nobel and playing War (the card came.)

Thanks mom. You are the best.



Friday, January 23, 2009

Will We Ever Stop Fighting?

Josh finished up his last radiology interview today in Portland. What a wonderful feeling; no more interviews! Of course, we all know what this means. Now starts the really hard part: ranking all the programs.

Josh and I are so far apart from each other in what we want out of the five years of residency. I would like a house. Josh wants a reputable program. I want a yard. Josh wants to work at a level one trauma center. I want Levi and Claire to have a pet. Josh wants to be someplace where it won't be hard to get a fellowship. I want to enjoy my hobbies again. Josh wants to be close to family.

So far we both really like Vermont. I know they will be in the top five. What programs will be joining Vermont? If you ask Josh: Oregon, UW, Albuquerque, and Yale. If you ask Naomi: Grand Rapids, Maine, Dartmouth, and William Beaumont.

Basically, every time we discuss where we will move to, we end up fighting. I am not kidding.

On a happier note...

We made Joshua's favorite dessert tonight to celebrate the end of interview season, apple crisp.

Here is Levi helping me peel, core, slice and eat the apples:

And here is Claire being super cute:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Younger Brothers

One benefit of having siblings half your age is that they ultimately end up being cooler than you. I have entered that stage in my life. My two younger brothers, one 19 and the other 17, are way cooler than I am. Well, the 17 year old John, is reeking havoc in my mother's life, and that is definitely not cool. My mother tells him that she successfully shooed five children from her nest before him; and those five combined did not give her as much trouble as he is.

The other brother, 19 year old James, just left Alaska for California to be with his girlfriend. According to his parents, that is not cool either. The jury is still out as far as I am concerned. But I digress...

Okay, so maybe we could argue that they are not cooler than me when it comes to lifestyle or life choices, but they are way cooler than me in regards to music. I used to be way into music. I knew all the hot songs, top artists, and new albums. But since I have had kids, I had to grow up. My music library has thus remained pretty stagnant.

Luckily I have these awesome younger brothers! This summer while we were all in New Hampshire, they loaded up my i-pod with their music. Some I did not really like, but others, I am totally into. My two favorites that they introduced me to are The Decemberists and Franz Ferdinand. Thank you, James and John, for making me a cooler sister.

Franz Ferdinand: 40'

video

Alright, I am having problems loading up a video by The Decemberists. But here is a link to their song, Sixteen Military Wives.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK3Ce9md96g&feature=related

Friday, January 16, 2009

Brody Pierce

Forgot to mention that Josh's sister, Lora, had her second baby on Monday January 5th. His name is Broderick (Brody) Edward Pierce. Finally a boy has graced the Knight family once again! There are four girls separating Levi and Brody

The Knight Family

I was looking over some past photos and found this one. It is from Thanksgiving 2006.
We need to take another family photo, since four new members of the Pierce/Knight family have been born since then!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Couple Funny Videos

video

video

Hopefully there will be eight more...

Today Josh and I celebrate our eighth wedding anniversary.

Wow, eight is a lot. But let's be honest here. These past eight years have not been full of flowers and sunshine! We have had some rough goes over the years (and Saturday to be quite frank). There have been fights, cursing, sleeping in different rooms, and some serious threats made. Josh even claims the I hit him one time. I honestly do NOT remember that!

But there also has been love, affection, appreciation and gratitude. Josh may be sloppy, but he still gives the kids a bath every night. He may forget to compliment me on dinner, but he will eat whatever I put on the table, regardless of appearance or taste. Joshua may study a lot and work late hours, but he always manages to find time to read and play with Levi and Claire. He may consistently ask if we have any milk before he opens the fridge, but today, he made cookies with Levi. Josh and I may not agree on everything, but he believes that I am a good mother, and that means a lot.

Basically, Josh is not perfect. But, I know this is a shock, neither am I. In short, we are perfect for each other. I hope we have another eight years together. I will take the wonderful ones along with the crazy ones, by the way.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Ribbon Series

My mother bought me a huge package of fat quarters that came wrapped in a fancy silk ribbon. Joshua took these pictures of Levi and dubbed them "The Ribbon Series". Enjoy!




Goodbye Indiana, Hello UW

Thursday morning a strange thing happened in Seattle. Joshua was offered a radiology interview at his own school, the University of Washington. Yes, this is a very late offer. Yes, we had cursed UW often for not wanting Josh. Yes, I was kind of pissed because I am now loving the idea of moving.

Basically what happened is that Josh had been put on the UW waiting list. On Wednesday, some other med student out there decided that they did not want to interview at UW and that student cancelled their interview. That opened up a date and it was offered to Josh. Only problem was the interview date is January 16. Josh already had another interview that day in Indiana.

Both programs are really good. UW being slightly better. Josh agonized all day about what to do. I am serious. ALL DAY.

For those of you who do not know Josh all that well, let me fill you in. He HATES being put in a position where he is forced to make a decision about something that is so concrete. He is totally indecisive. Of course, there really was no right decision here, or a wrong decision, for that matter. There was just A decision. But still, Josh tortured himself all day (he tortured me too, by the way) going back and forth about which program to interview with and which one to turn down.

In the end, he chose UW.

Friday morning he awoke with a serious case of "The Regrets".

By Saturday "The Regrets" had gotten so bad that he actually accused me of being unsupportive. Excuse me? Moi? Unsupportive? Whoa, that is just too much, mister.

Luckily, I constantly tell myself that I am the most supportive wife alive. I usually do this after I pick up the tenth pair of dirty socks off the floor, changed the fourth poopy diaper of the day, and washed the dark blue cup and spoon a zillion times. (Dark blue is obviously the only color cup and spoon that civilized children will use.) Anyway, I make a mental list of my supportive qualities at least on a daily basis. This came in very handy.

After firing off a few star qualities that I possess, Josh quickly apologized. Well, not too quickly... about seven hours later.

But the point to remember here is this: he realized that he was wrong and that I am awesome. Oh yeah, and that I am supportive!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Michigan

Josh thinks that I am sabotaging his interviews. Here is why.

Remember Portland? I printed the wrong directions to his interview and he was really late. Not a good first impression. Well, now we are in Michigan and a mere 12 hours before his first interview did we realize that we were on the wrong side of the state; and in danger of missing another interview.

Both of us knew that he had three interviews in three days. We thought they were in geographical order: east to west. We flew into Detroit on Sunday morning. Since it was a red-eye flight and the plane was PACKED, neither of us got great amounts of sleep. So Sunday morning we drove around Detroit, drove to Royal Oak (where the William Beaumont interview is) and found a nice parking lot and slept in the car for two hours. By the time we woke up, we could check into our hotel room. After cleaning up we checked out the town. The main attraction: the Antiochian church. And we were SO impressed. A bit bigger than what we are used to, but a beautiful Church.

We got back to our hotel around 7pm and Josh was going over William Beaumont's information in preparation for his interview the next day. That was when he noticed the date. It said January 7th. After some major freaking out by both of us, we realized that our interviews in Michigan went in a west-east direction, not the other way around as we thought. So his first interview, on Monday the 5th, was actually in Grand Rapids, 2 1/2 hours away.

We had already paid for our hotel and we were both exhausted from the flight that we decided to sleep at our hotel for the night and just leave at 5am to make the drive to Grand Rapids.

Not a bad decision I might add.

Now, I totally will take a majority of the blame for the Portland screw-up, but definitely not for Michigan! I finally conceded to 55% of the mistake.

On other notes....

Grand Rapids is awesome! I loved that place! Josh and I got there super early and we had time to grab breakfast. We found a quaint bagel place that had fabulous coffee and great breakfast bagels. Then we drove around and checked out the neighborhoods. This is my kind of place: large brick houses with tons of character.

After I dropped Josh off I found a Y and they let me use my WA membership. This Y had a water slide in the pool. Yeah, freaking awesome. Plus a two rock climbing walls, racquetball courts, indoor track, and a basketball court.

After the Y, I found a mall and treated myself to a manicure. They are SO cheap here! Oh yeah, I needed some perfume too... I was too paranoid to bring mine on the plane and risk confiscation.

Next stop, the local library. It was huge. And everyone was so nice.

Finally, I dropped in at a ReMax real estate office and chatted with an agent for at least an hour. He totally said we could afford a nice house in Grand Rapids. You will never guess what median home prices are there. $90,000. WOW.

Now were are in Ann Arbor and this place is really nice too. We didn't get in till late, so we did not explore as much and I won't have time tomorrow. My grandmother (Jim's mom) lives in Farwell (2 1/2 hours) and I am planning a quick visit with her. Should be fun!

So far, my only complaint about both places I have been to (Portland and Michigan) is the amount of lame radio stations. I know, I know. Who even listens to the radio any more? Well, I do! Anyway, it seems every station was either country or christian. Maybe Seattle is more anti-religion and anti-redneck then I thought... no wonder it is such a great place to live!

PS I totally forgot to mention my kids! What kind of a mother am I? The kind that needs a break, apparently. Anyway, my mom flew down from Alaska and is taking care of my kids for the four days we are gone. Things are going just fine there I guess. Neither Claire or Levi want to talk to us. For Levi, this is not surprising. But Claire? She loves the phone! I know why though. On Sunday her godparents gave her her Christmas present. My mother says that it has not left her hands for two days now. The perfect gift for my Claire: a pink, singing, blinking car. Complete with little people to go in and out. She loves it.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year Resolutions

I really do not like New Year Resolutions. Why would anybody want to sit down and write a list of things they do not like about themselves or things they would like to change? Then only to be disappointed when they fall back into their inevitable ruts...

Well, I do it anyway. Yeah, that's right. I don't sit down though; I stand.

Seriously, it actually is really therapeutic to make mental or actual notes on ways that I can make myself better or my relationships better. I love organization and order, and for myself, I feel the best and happiest when my home and finances are in order. Needless to say, the top "resolutions" I made had to do with these issues. Josh and I need to watch our spending money. I need to spend less on groceries. I need to plan weekly menus. I need to work on paperwork/in our office at least once a week. We need to clean out under beds/in closets/cupboards. We need to downsize our possessions before we move.

I was slightly disappointed this afternoon to find my new years resolutions list from 2008 hanging on our cork board in the office this morning. Although the "moving" references were not on my list last year, everything else was.

So does this mean that for the entire year that was 2008 I did not make menus? Does this mean that I spent too much on groceries and too much on meaningless crap? Does this mean that my house is even more unorganized and loaded up with junk than this time last year? Basically, yes.

Also on the list last year was to eat healthier, work on relationship and exercise more. I think I will add those three to 2009 as well. This is exactly why I do not like New Years Resolutions. Oh well, at least I try, right?