Thursday, June 26, 2008

We did something radical today... well actually it's not that big, but we did sell our TV. No more television at the Friess's. Apparently I sold it for a good price given the 50 responses I had to the Craig's List ad in 12 hours. It took up quite a bit of space and our living room looks much better. Now on to the painting...

Amelia played with her friend Ruby today. As I was mulching I found a baby frog which is now sleeping next to her bed in a cage. Amelia understands I want the frog out of our house by tomorrow and so she told me this will just be like a "sleep-over" or "vacation" for the frog. Oh and she named it too, "Frogme." I wonder how long it will actually be around.

Meredith gets a check-up tomorrow and I think 4 shots. She's proudly walking down the stairs now. This week her vocabulary has really grown. 

Only 3 days left before Boards, 4 days left before I return to residency and 30 days left before we leave for Oregon. Guess I better get a good night's sleep and keep studying. 

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Moving and Going

We had a busy week. Studying, enjoying time with the girls, camping at Put-in-Bay with our friends Derek, Amy, Sarah and Quinn, church picnic, running, yard sale, and choosing a realtor... It's starting to really become real that we are moving. It's also a bit overwhelming all that needs to happen. We've got to clean, paint, organize, pack, take medical equipment to Chicago (to later go on to Cameroon) and perhaps the hardest part, deciding exactly what to take. What clothes, toys and household items do we bring for the next two years?

Amelia is rather sentimental and hasn't found a toy, clothing item, or decoration she wants to leave behind. I keep watching her take-out what I put in the trash or a box and start explaining to me why it needs to stay out. 

Several missionaries in Cameroon have provided a  list of what to take. So I guess that's where we will start. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Amelia, No biting your sister Meredith!

We look over to see Amelia saying, "Meredith sweetie it's ok, I'll kiss your finger."  Meredith elicits a loud scream.   Two bite marks appear on her index finger. 
     "Mommy," Amelia says, "Meredith saw the gum in my mouth and she put her finger in my mouth to try to get it out and I bited her."
      Amelia spent the next hour in her room on her bed thinking about what she should not have done.  Amelia then wrote the following note: 

                    BITING IS NAUGHTY
                    I WILL NOT BITE
                    SORRY MEREDITH
                    I WILL BEHAVE --   AMELIA
(attached is the picture showing Meredith's shiner above her left eye after falling down the stairs)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Roadtrip to Alexandria, Virginia

Friday we left on a 360 mile trip through Pennsylvania, Maryland & Virginia across I-70 to Alexandria Virginia.  
     Saturday the family road the Metro Blue line from King Street Station directly to the Smithsonian stop.  We came up the escalator and to our right was the Washington Monument, to our left was the Capitol, and all around us was the humid weather of our Nation's capital.  We spent several hours at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural Science.  Amelia particularly enjoyed the life butterfly exhibit.  We saw the T-Rex skeleton, Hope Diamond, and touched Moon Rock.   Amelia wanted to see, "where the President lives," but Pennsylvania Ave proved to be to far of a walk.  Amelia also wanted to see, "Hillary Clinton." We took the blue line back to Arlington National Cemetery.  A trolley tour paid honor to the many fallen soldiers, presidents, chief justices, and journalists of our great nation..a cemetery that will fill in 2020..At 3:00 we called it quits and hit the pool back at the hotel to Meredith and Amelia's delight!  You can see the Washington Monument behind Sara's left shoulder.
     Sunday Zobapago ( explains more) debuted at the Alexandria Red Cross Kids festival.  Our music and act was well received by the parents and children attending.    It may have been the first and only time in my life where my bongos and conga drums were sound checked!  The back-stage pass for myself and family was unexpected.  Ralph's world followed Zobapago.  Amelia met Ralph and he signed her frisbee.  It was a wonderful Father's day to have the love and presence of my favorite girls..Sara, Amelia, & Meredith.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Becoming Better

In Atul Gawande's book Better - A Surgeon's Notes on Performance suggestion are given on how to become a positive deviant in society.  That is how can one make a worthy difference is society.  How can one not be content with just being average?  The advice Gawande gives is directed toward surgeons but I find it relevant to fatherhood, dentistry, spirituality, athletics, and much more.  I was moved and motivated by his suggestions and thought to write them down.   

5 Suggestions To Becoming a Positive Deviant 
1) Ask an Unscripted Question- take a moment when you meet someone new to ask them an unexpected question.  A child--what is your favorite food?  A waiter or waitress--do you have kids?  An acquaintance -- How long have you lived here and where are you from?
2) Don't complain- All of us as parents, professionals, members of a congregation, teammates have plenty to complain about.  It is easy to feel worn out.  Resist complaining.  It never solves the problem.  It is counter-productive.  It usually turns to malicious gossip.  It brings the morale of everyone down.  
3) Count Something- How many patients get dry-sockets post extraction.   How many miles biked in 2008.   How many words Meredith can say in June. The number of times Amelia finishes her jobs.  How many times Scripture is read.  You will be surprised at the successes and the failures.  
4) Write Something-  (As you can see I was motivated...)  A blog, thank-you note to a friend or relative, letter of protest to a senator.  It helps give one a sense of purpose.
5) Change-  Don't be afraid to see outside the routine and the habitual. Believe that you can be different and better.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Meredith & Amelia--How they change!

Update on Meredith & Amelia by Dad....

Favorite toy-shoes  (pulling them in and out of the closet and             bringing Crocs, Keens, Nikes or sandals to the appropriate person)
Favorite Food--Dirt, Sand, Crayons, & Shoes
New Words--Ballooooon, Me, Shoe
Most Recent Shining Moment-  In just over 12 hours Meredith 1) pulls antique lamp off coffee table and shatters fixture and bulb 2) falls down porch stairs and receives a shiner on her right eye 3) tumbles down stairs again and receives shiner above left eye...
Most like a Friess- Meredith is specially fitted for shoes and measured to be a five-double wide..(i'm sorry)  I've been told she has a 'high volume' foot..that would mean thick between the sole and the top of the foot.

Amelia (pink of course)

Best Question-  Mommy what does H..E...L...L spell?  After Sara explains what Hell is...Amelia adds, "Oh yeah Mommy, I forgot there was an 'O' on the end of the word."
Amelia's Favorite Foods- Quiche, Salmon Lox on an everything bagel with cream cheese, & pop-tarts (blueberry)
Most like a Cichowski-  1) Mommy that toy Meredith plays with that makes all the gives me a headache. 2)I'm carsick!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Nana's Visit

We were so glad Mom came out for my graduation or at least that was the reason she gave, but we knew she really wanted to see the girls. Amelia and Meredith had so much fun putting together puzzles, shopping, playing dolls, and reading books with Nana. 
I was particularly honored to have her at my graduation. It's hard to believe my education is nearly complete, for a while. As Malin said, "I think the only person happier to see you finished is me." Technically I'm done Sept 30th, to make-up for the time I took off for Meredith. But I do have all this month off to study for the written boards June 30th.  So I better get studying, since playing Scrabble and shopping with mom was more enticing. 

The pictures are from graduation and Stan Hywet Hall and gardens.