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  1. Leaving Maternity Leave

    January 13, 2015 by Kristi Knight

    Well folks, I am at the very end of my maternity leave.  Sixteen weeks (nineteen if you count the loooooong weeks before baby) of what has probably been the best time of my life (hyperbole intended.)  My co-blogger, Lindsay, has already written what I consider to be the best summary of the competing emotions (well, I am not sure there is an emotion other than sadness really in competition here) surrounding my return to work, so I will let those words stand.  Instead, I will try another angle – the best things about my maternity leave (besides getting a baby out of the deal, that’s a given!)


    Long Walks – When I imagined my maternity leave pre-baby, I was very concerned with how terribly bored I would be – the primary image I could conjure up involved me staring at a baby, wondering what to do with myself for an entire day.  I want to laugh at my pre-baby self!  It turns out, there is very little time in which blankly staring at a baby is actually possible!  Babies poop.  A LOT.  So there’s that.  Plus the other side of the digestion equation, eating.  Which involved me and only me.  Of course, there is also my hygiene, which let’s be honest here, my shower count is probably at an all time low.  And the ever vigilant attempts at a regular nap schedule (HAHAHAHA.)  That means that from the hours of 7:00 – 2:00 or so, there is a lot of the just general very, very basic business of life and maintaining the life of a small human.

    HOWEVER!  Around 2:00 or so, everything has begun to settle down.  I have eaten my 100000th peanut butter and jelly (seriously, I think I have eaten more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in the last 16 weeks than I have in my entire lifetime combined), Sailor has eaten her 10000000th helping of milk (of the DAY), and I am beginning to get antsy for some sunshine and vitamin D.  Luckily for us, Southern California exists in a static summertime, so I usually wrap up that tiny baby of mine, and begin my daily long walk/Sailor’s afternoon nap.  Sailor is a huge fan of being wrapped up – I am so glad that I decided it was worth the effort to track down a couple of woven wraps that I love and watched many, many youtube videos in order to learn how it actually works.

    For her first few weeks, being in a wrap equaled almost immediate sleep, but as she woke up out of her tiny newborn-ness, she slowly began staring at anything and everything.  We mostly walk down to the Palisades Park and walk along the path from one end (a random totem pole) to the other (Santa Monica Pier.)  One of my favorite memories was the first time she actually made it to the park awake.  I was like, “Sailor!  You are seeing so many things for the first time!”  It was really awesome to imagine her taking in all the sounds and shapes and colors and attempting to make some sort of meaning out of all these NEW THINGS.  Little babies are so cool that way.  It is WAY less busy at Palisades Park during the week (as a working person, I had no idea!), just us new moms, some tourists, and a plethora of grandparents.  Sailor and I have been stopped no less than four times by grandparents concerned with (1) Sailor’s bare feet – I am not good at remembering the sock thing and (2) Sailor’s general well being – wraps freak older people out!


    Park Sitting – When Blake and I took our two long Europe trips, we discovered the greatness that is park sitting.  When you are travelling for an extended period of time, it is so nice to take daily breaks at whatever park is nearby, and just sit around – napping or talking or sleeping.  It turns out that the exact same thing is true with a little baby!  Starting when she was only two weeks old and my mom was still helping out, we would make the trip down to Palisades Park and set up a quilt and just sort of lay around – playing and sleeping and nursing.  Sailor attracts a lot of admirers during this time – people comment on her hair (“Look at that crazy hair!” or “What a pretty color!”), her eyes (“So blue!”) and her mom’s inability to put socks on her before leaving the house (“Don’t you think her feet are cold?”)


    Naps – Despite my earlier posts on naptime anxiety, I think probably the best part of everyday has been the long naps Sailor has taken on my chest over the past 4 months.  I still try to put her in her crib for her actual nap, BUT after an anxious few weeks where I literally was OBSESSED with naptime (just ask my husband about my sole talking points for about 3 straight weeks), I decided that life is too short, and my maternity leave was even shorter.  Who wants to spend that whole time with an unhappy baby protesting to being left in a cavernous crib/prison when you COULD be spending that time with a happy little sleepy baby, sleeping on your chest like the cutest baby that ever cuted?  NO ONE!  So, with a long trip to New York and then Texas ahead of us, I just gave in, and seriously, I am pretty sure these little naptimes will be what flash before me on my deathbed (hmm, weirdly melodramatic there.)

    First Picture

    Watching her discover her voice – There is a lot of changes that occur with a baby from 0 months to 4 months, but my favorite, BY FAR, has been watching Sailor discover that SHE TOO can use her mouth to make little noises.  She is currently working on “sentences” or rather “long strings of babbling ‘oooo, eeeee, maoenemem bbbbbbb'” (an exact quote.)  She began with simply moving her mouth around, like she was talking – however, minus any sort of noise at all.  Then she began coo-ing.  COO-ING!  Babies literally go, “coo, coo, coo” and no one with any sort of heart can stand it for one second.  Her little sounds keep increasing and increasing – it really sounds like she is trying to talk to you, if only you spoke whatever vowel-centric language she is speaking.  Adorable.


    Wearing Sailor – I know that the expressions “wearing your baby” and “baby-wearing” invokes some strong parenting technique opinions from a sub-section of people.  BUT, as much as I tried, there is really no better way to describe using a giant swath of fabric to essentially tie a baby to your chest.  So, who cares, I am going with “wearing Sailor.”  I started attempting to use baby carriers when Sailor was a teensy one week old – I had a slightly too big baby K’tan that I loaded her into for my short walks around the block or, as my c-section scar healed a little bit, down the six long blocks to the park.  I attempted to use a stroller the first few weeks, but quickly realized that Sailor was NOT a fan of places that didn’t include a beating heart nuzzled against her ears.  I was beyond nervous on those first few walks and basically spent the entire time also negating the point of baby carriers and kept two hands poised under the wrap, in the event that a little tiny baby came tumbling out.

    I have come a looooong way from those first few weeks.  As mentioned, I spend a lot of time walking around the neighborhood and park near our apartment.  I have two different woven wraps (and hopefully more, more, more!  Those things are addictive.) that I use to quickly wrap her up – we then set off for a few hours, Sailor catches a little snooze, and I listen to podcasts.  If she wakes up and expresses her desire to kick her legs around (via some crying, pushing, and/or kicking) once we reach the park, I can simply put the wrap down on the ground and lay her on top of it, and hang out – wrapping her back up to walk home.  It’s great!

    I use the wrap for most of the day – it is amazing.  I wear her around the apartment if there are some chores I need to finish, I want to sew, or I am attempting to calm her down enough so that she will get sleepy enough for a nap.  It makes me feel like I am fully experiencing her for the whole day, without leaving her laying on a little playmat while I take care of the daily boring chores of life.  She gets to be a sweaty little chest nugget and I get to blow dry my hair or set up the crock pot or fold laundry.  Win win!


    Meeting Blake – I haven’t done this in a while, but when Sailor was just a little peanut newborn – I would bundle Sailor up in blankets around the time I expected Blake home from work.  I would walk down the sidewalk to wear he typically parks, and about 75% of the time, it would work out perfectly that Blake would be just pulling up.  It was a great surprise for him, and, I don’t know, it seemed extra special to be able to walk the block or so to our apartment as a new threesome.

    So, there you go.  Those few things don’t really do justice to an entire 4 months worth of memories, but those were the best parts of my daily routine.  I have no idea how the next phase of this whole “motherhood” thing will go, I worry about spending 8+ hours everyday away from my baby, but I know that I am not the only person who has even had these worries/sadness, and that SOMEHOW these other people even more than survive.  I’m never any good at endings, so I will just abruptly stop this particular blog post with this picture which sums up my last few months:

    Last Picture

  2. Hints for Travelling with a Baby while Retaining Your Sanity

    January 5, 2015 by Kristi Knight

    During the month of December, Sailor went from a tiny infant whose furthest journey went from the inside of my body to the outside, to a slightly less tiny baby who had journeyed all the way ACROSS THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES from Los Angeles to New York City (she thinks she is SUCH a jetsetter) AND made a separate trip to the giant flatness that is Texas.  Guys, that’s pretty impressive!

    To say I was nervous before our first flight is an understatement.  It seemed needlessly aggressive to plan a 6 hour flight as your baby’s first.  But, I couldn’t resist visiting New York City near Christmastime, and – despite Sailor surprising me at every turn with her non-high maintenance-ness, I still felt like this might be the last time for quite awhile in which spending that amount of time in a confined space with a non-verbal baby/child was even a possibility (unless I hate people.)


    Two very nervous parents

    Sailor was nothing short of a perfect little doll baby, albeit one who required 6 diaper changes.  It was a Christmas miracle.  She managed to sleep through the majority of the flight, waking up to eat, poop (looooots of poop), and smile at me.  We flew Virgin American which I would HIGHLY recommend  – every seat has a little screen so she also spent a lot of time NOT obeying the APA guidelines of limited screentime for babies.  It also helps that anytime she even looked like she might start fussing, I would shamelessly pop a boob right into her mouth.  The flight was one big cycle of nap, eat, watch screen, smile at mom, bounce around in the aisle, nap, eat, repeat.  Of course, my success went to my head, so now I am pretty sure that I am something of an expert.  So, here you go – my helpful hints for travelling with a 10 week old:

    How can you be mad at that adorable little baby wrapped up in a giant looking scarf thing?  It's impossible!

    1)  Wear Your Baby –  Fact – people in airports hate babies.  Like, as soon as you walk into an airport with a baby, people immediately side eye you – silently willing you to please not be at their flight or even their gate and maybe to just disappear in general.  It is like some sort of opposite land – in normal life, strangers of all types smile at you/your baby, striking up weird conversations about their own children/grandchildren/friends’ children, asking you about the warmth of your baby’s feet (I KNOW SHE DOES NOT HAVE SOCKS ON), and generally behaving like friendly little friend people.  In an airport though?  You and your baby are the worst!  The absolute worst!  So, I have a helpful little hint – people cannot resist babies in colorful wraps.  It might also work with any of the various structured carriers (ergo, becco, etc.), but I can personally attest to the irresistibility of woven wraps.  It makes babies extra adorable!  People are slightly confused by them, thus distracting them from the fact you are bringing a BABY onto a PLANE!  They ask you questions about how in the world that baby is staying in place in what, to them, seems to be nothing more than a scarf (IT’S NOT A SCARF, geez), disarming them against their airport induced baby hatred.  Your apparent leper-ness gets downgraded to mere chicken pox.  BONUS BENEFIT – you can also use both arms AND your baby stays nice and happy and hopefully asleep.

    2)  Bring lots of water bottles onto the plane – Everyone who flies with a baby has heard that the best thing to do on the ascent and descent is to nurse or give your baby a bottle.  If you are me and can never remember to prepare a bottle before the baby is screaming from hunger, this means you will be breastfeeding almost immediately upon boarding.  Which, also as all breastfeeding moms know, results in THIRST SO THIRSTY I AM SO THIRSTY!  And the flight attendants will be too busy being strapped into their uncomfortable looking flight attendant chairs, and therefore unable to bring you water – it has the potential to be so terrible!  UNLESS – you bring several water bottles right onto that plane with you.  You will be so happy.  Which means you can keep that little boob monkey latched on for as long as humanly possible (and hopefully until they fall asleep)

    3)  Fly Virgin American – Guys, I have flown exactly two airlines with an infant, Southwest and Virgin, and based on that extensive experience, I have vowed to only fly Virgin with Sailor from now until forever (or until their ticket prices make it ridiculous.)  As mentioned above, Virgin has screens on every seat!  I know that other airlines might also have these little distractors, but you know who doesn’t?  Southwest.  And a lot of other older planes.  These screens were lifesavers – Sailor and I watched a lot of The Chew with no sound, and it was amazing.  On our Southwest flight, I was reduced to holding an iphone with the camera pointed at my baby and waving it around – not nearly as easy OR as distracting.


    Sailor enjoying Virgin’s mood lighting

    ALSO, based on the four total flights (again, EXPERT), the Virgin American flight attendants were way nicer – allowing me to stand in the back with Sailor while trying to bounce her to sleep and helping me with the changing table in the bathrooms.  Let’s just say that I did not have the same experience on Southwest.  Virgin American planes also have some sort of “mood” lighting happening in the plane, which entranced my small baby and was therefore appreciated by me.  AND family boarding is way better – another plus!  Oh yeah, and they have an awesome little safety video that they play which will get stuck in your head on an endless loop.  Bonus!

    4)  Bring tons of diapers and changes of clothes – Um, I have no idea why this is – maybe it has to do with air pressure – but Sailor pooped SO MUCH on all her flights.  Like way more than I thought humanly possible.  She also managed to poop herself out of a few outfits.  So yeah, we went through basically every diaper we brought onto the plane.  I was getting seriously nervous.

    5)  Prepare to not sleep for the first night – This has nothing to do with the flight, but more about travelling in general.  Sailor’s first night in NYC and in Dallas was not one for the books.  I think her little baby self was more than confused about where she was and therefore was pretty determined that the only place she was going to sleep was in my arms.  So that’s what we did.  She slept, in the comfort of her mom’s arms, while I watched the sunrise out the window – it was actually kind of pretty if you ignore the sleep deprivation part of it.  It was a similar story in Dallas, but a little less extreme.


    Most definitely NOT falling asleep.

    6)  No stroller – Now, Sailor isn’t too big a fan of her stroller to begin with and we live in a supremely walkable city, so I end up wearing her in a wrap or other carrier 90% of the time.  I considered not bringing a stroller with us to New York after reading a few blog posts from other people about going on vacation stroller free.  Knowing that travelling with a baby ALSO meant that our days as “light packers” were over, I was looking for any way possible to minimize the stuff we were shlepping along with us.  I ended up not bringing a stroller to either New York OR Dallas, and it was definitely worth it.  I am sure when Sailor is a little bigger/heavier, this might not be an option, but you know what seems sucky?  Trying to manipulate a stroller through the crowded sidewalks of New York City.  You know what isn’t sucky?  Walking around with a little baby strapped to you!  And I am not sure what a stroller is even used for in Dallas.  You basically go from your house to your car to your destination – I can carry a Sailor sized baby around for that, easy.



    The trips themselves were great – and will soon be getting their own write-ups.  It was an awesome capper to maternity leave and the last stages of Sailor’s little bitty-ness – she is turning into a real live baby now!  I can’t wait to plan more vacations with her little self.

  3. Three Months

    January 4, 2015 by Kristi Knight

    Little Sailor has officially been in existence for a whole year – 9 months hanging out in my tummy, followed by 3 glorious months going from a little helpless jellyfish-esque newborn to a slightly less helpless monkey-esque 3 month old.  It is amazing how much a baby can change in three little months!  I have heard the first three months referred to as the “fourth trimester” and it definitely feels like that might be true.  I have mentioned before that I think I lucked out with a reasonably easy baby but things continue to get easier and more enjoyable.  How is that even possible!  I thought she was already at the pinnacle of enjoyableness!  Does it just keep increasing in awesomeness until the kid reaches 13 years old, at which point it plummets to a new, dizzying low?


    Sailor is a champ at holding her head up – I don’t really have to think about that little weeble wobble head anymore.  Sometimes she does a little bobble head move in order to get full control of the upper half of her body, but even that occurs far less frequently than before.  She also seems a lot less random in her movements – Blake and I used to joke that she was constantly conducting imaginary orchestras, but is now able to keep her arms still!  I had no idea that was even a milestone!  The ability to not move in seemingly random jerks – congrats, baby!


    She smiles ALL THE TIME.  I had no idea how happy that would make me!  I personally think she is the smiliest baby that ever smiled, but I MIGHT just be a little biased.  Her little smile could cause world peace.  Seriously, people.  Someone should bring Sailor to the United Nations or something and then smile at her – she would smile and then voila.  All wars would end.  I spend approximately 99% of all my time with her attempting to get her to smile – I mean, who wouldn’t???


    She is getting some meat on her bones – she has little baby arm dimples, and the best thing in the world – rubber band wrists.  She coos all the time – especially enjoying when I copy whatever noise she made back at her – apparently, that is the height of comedy.  She laughs sometimes – I assume that this will increase like smiling did until I die of cuteness.


    She remains, of course, the best baby of all time.

  4. Tribe: Mom

    December 8, 2014 by Kristi Knight

    There have been a lot of things I found surprising about having a baby – some related to the practical, day-to-day realities, and others the emotional, are-you-kidding-me-with-these-tears-AGAIN feelings that overtake this proudly NON-emotional person.  However, the one thing I definitely did NOT expect was this overwhelming feeling of kinship I now feel with all the other mothers that have ever existed.

    Wow!  Talk about an overreaching statement!  So dramatic, Kristi!

    But really, in the blur of the first few days (weeks?) with Sailor, I distinctly remember staring at her little bitty baby face, and thinking – “Wow.  Once upon a time, I was the little baby, and MY MOM stared at my little bitty face, and I was the one demanding milk even though she was probably so very tired and had um, a not so great situation happening in the nipple area.  Crazy.”

    Me!  A baby!

    Me! A baby!

    And then I would look at my husband and think, “Wow  Once upon a time HE was the little bitty baby, and HIS MOM stared at his little bitty face…” and so on and so on.  I thought about all my friends.  I thought about my grandparents.  I thought about FAMOUS HISTORICAL PEOPLE.  I thought about EVERYONE and reminded myself over and over again, “That person was once a baby.  And they had a mothers who had to take care of them.”  It was crazy.


    Blake! A baby!

    Every time I went anywhere with Sailor, it was seriously like other moms would seek me out – they would make eye contact, and I SWEAR on my non-mushy heart, I feel like we shared a knowing little look.  Maybe I imagined it, but I really felt like they were saying “Hey!  I bet you are so tired!  I know EXACTLY what you are going through right now!”  And a lot of times they would actually say as much.  Now, I usually enjoy making small talk with strangers approximately as much as I enjoy using public restrooms (NOT AT ALL), but I welcomed all these other moms.  It was like we had a club.  They would comment on how tiny Sailor was, make some comment about her wild and crazy baby hair, and congratulate me for being out and about.  To any other bystander, this exchange would seem so banal and trite, but the eyes were like, “No really, I remember being that tired!”


    One tired mama.

    And I know, I KNOW!  These are such cliched feelings, I mean how many times in my life did I hear, “Just wait until you have kids of your own, you will understand then!”  IT IS THE SINGLE MOST ANNOYING THING IN THE WORLD TO HEAR GROWING UP!  But what?  It turns out is TRUE!  I look at my mom and Blake’s mom and my sister-in-law and my best friends and all the other moms I know with this new corny respect.  The feelings!  They are just too much.  Just imagining all these people looking at their respective babies/children with all the overwhelmingness that I feel when I look at Sailor makes me (ME!) get all these tears that just march right out of my eyes, uninvited.


    So, I guess I just have 20-30 years until Sailor knows exactly what I am talking about here – just like my mom had to wait the same length of time for the same thing.  But you other moms out there!  You guys all know!  We can just continue giving each other knowing looks – it will drive our kids crazy!


  5. Three Thanksgivings

    December 6, 2014 by Kristi Knight


    Sailor’s first Thanksgiving was mostly a low-key event.  After our first year in Los Angeles, we decided that it does not really make much sense to fly to Texas for essentially a very expensive three day trip (damn you, time zones and the related super late arrival times when travelling west to east!) especially considering we end up back in Texas for Christmas.  Last year, my parents came out to see us, but this year – it was just me, Blake, and a very tiny, mostly unhelpful baby.

    Despite our lack of family, I was determined to have SOME SORT of meal (it would be too depressing to just eat a frozen pizza or something else equally new baby household friendly) and that Sailor would have AT LEAST ONE Thanksgiving outfit.  As it turns out, the Knight family ended up enjoying three different Thanksgiving-esque meals – which meant that I could compulsively make three different outfits!

    Thanksgiving #1

    For Sailor’s first Thanksgiving-esque meal, we went up to my office to enjoy a delicious pot-luck.  I was, of course, super nervous about the car ride – I was making the ever-addictive, super unhealthy bacon wrapped little smokeys (wrap some little smokeys in some bacon, roll in brown sugar, insert toothpick, bake at 350 for 30 – 45 minutes, eat, clog some arteries, die young but happy), so I started the night before, planning to pop them in the oven before we needed to leave.  I had everything ready to go about an hour before lunch started, when I realized that I couldn’t find my keys, which happens often when you drive a car approximately 1 time per week due to your daughter’s HATRED of carseats (luckily, I live in Santa Monica, where I can walk to most everything I need.)  OF COURSE, this was right during Sailor’s naptime, which wasn’t happening.  But what WAS happening, was a baby who insisted on being held OR suffer the consequences (intense crying.)

    So, I ran around the apartment, searching for car keys, holding Sailor, attempting to move a million burning hot pig wrapped pigs onto a serving dish, while also fending off two small dogs who were jonesing for some little smokies.  Obviously, we left approximately 10 minutes after I was supposed to be there (that means there was an hour and ten minutes that somehow disappeared into a mix of panic and tears.)  We had to fight some Thanksgiving traffic, Sailor expressed her discontent about being strapped into a cushiony prison – but an hour after the lunch began, Sailor made her adorable appearance at Feast #1.  She was mostly well-behaved, and only insisted on public breast feeding ONE TIME!



    Yes, my baby is adorable.

    In case anyone cares, her dress is this pattern (Geranium Dress – size 3-6 months), made out of some old fabric from JoAnn’s (I think) and Kona Cotton.  I knit her a tiny little shrug sweater from this pattern (Entrechat – size newborn), made with retired Berroco Cotton that I have had for approximately 1 million years.  The little bow headband was made with the same yarn and this pattern (Miss Savannah Bow, adjusted slightly to make more adorable.)

    Thanksgiving #2

    Our second Thanksgiving was actually ON Thanksgiving Day!  Never one to scale down, I had planned a full Thanksgiving dinner, despite the fact that there was a tiny baby that, well you know, takes up time and energy, and that our meal would be eaten by only Blake, myself, and a friend – Lisa.


    Sailor being so very helpful!

    I woke up around 6am worried about the timing of all it (especially considering our tiny oven), so began the day by baking some potatoes and googling “how to roast a turkey.”  Good thing I didn’t buy a frozen turkey, or we would have been screwed.


    We were impressed with our turkey.

    Impressively,  Blake and I demonstrated some amazing teamwork (seriously, I thought I would be super stressed and therefore super short tempered, but I wasn’t!  I want to give myself an award!) and were able to combine baby watching, dinner cooking, and kitchen cleaning (Blake was mainly in charge of that last one) to have an entire dinner on the table by the time our friend arrived.


    Outfit #2!

    Now, let me tell you a little bit about Sailor’s “official” Thanksgiving outfit.  It was super easy to make!  Even people who don’t like to sew!  Its basically just some fabric sewed to a onesie.  I added the little belt and flower, but they aren’t necessary.  There are a million tutorials (seriously, just google “onesie dress”), but I used this one.  Fabric was some old Joel Dewberry that I have had for a billion years with a some aqua kona cotton for the belt and a little flower I bought on etsy.  I crocheted her little headband using this pattern using some old cascade wool I had leftover (notice a trend here?  This is what happens when you stockpile craft supplies – you never know the name of what you are using.)


    Father and daughter Thanksgiving nap

    Thanksgiving #3

    Last but least, we had an official, large group Thanksgiving.  One of our friend’s fried a giant turkey, much to the delight of a number of Californians, who had never had fried turkey (and appreciated its super deliciousness.)  Being a GENIUS, I had thought ahead and made extra sweet potato casserole on Thanksgiving #2, so there was barely any prep work for Blake and I!  We even had some bonus stuffing that we brought as well, which was ridiculed by the Texans at this particular dinner for not being made of cornbread (What can I say?  I might have been raised in a variety of Southern states, but those parents of mine – northerners, through and through.)


    Spot Sailor!

    Sailor was most excited about this outfit, because she wasn’t required to wear an impractical dress, cinched at her non-existent waist.


    Oh, hi there.

    Pants (not made by me)!  And a shirt (not made by me)!  AND AN AMAZING CANDY CORN HAT (made by me!)  Pattern here, using three different shades of cascade wool.

    I’m pretty sure Sailor was pretty happy with her mom-made outfits.  I figure I have only a few years (months?) before she starts refusing the ridiculous things I want to put on her, so I am going all in.

    I will leave you with this image.


    Oh my heart.

  6. If Only I Could Morph Into A Puddle

    March 30, 2012 by Kristi Knight

    Blake and I have a good friend who always asks the same three questions upon meeting new people:

    1. What is your favorite literary device? 
      • Onomatopoeia, of course. It’s the number one most fun literary device! – Kristi
      • Anthropomorphism, of course. I do not feel like I need to sell talking animals to you. – Blake
    2. What is your favorite slang term for money? 
      • Cheddah. I love cheese. I also have a hard time pronouncing “r”s. Cheddah is the perfect mix of both those things! – Kristi
      • Duckets. I need street cred. – Blake
    3. If you could have any super-hero power, what would it be? 


    This last one gets the most thought. Usually, people respond with some obvious and mundane super-hero power like “flying” or “being invisible” or “ability to move things with your mind.” These, the common and mostly boring powers represented in the majority of comic books and super-hero movies, are things that “normal” people would consider the most vital and/or fun of all other possible powers.

    NOT ME! I have long claimed that the number one super-hero power to have is the ability to morph into a puddle at any moment and therefore be able to escape a NUMBER of super awkward situations. Obviously, this was inspired by a childhood mainlining “The Secret World of Alex Mack” combined with the enviable talent for turning any situations into a absolute party of uncomfortableness.

    Do you know how many times I have said said something “humorous” (quotes around the humorous, of course), only to receive a response of nervous laughter?  PUDDLE!  Or when I start talking and JUST CAN’T STOP (happens all the time) – PUDDLE TIME!  I would use this ability CONSTANTLY!  In fact, sometimes when I am stuck in a conversation and I feel my heart rate accelerating and my entire body breaking out into a terrible sweat, I EVEN SAY OUT LOUD, “You know what I wish? I wish I could turn into a metallic puddle and puddle my way out of here right now.”  Totally improves the awkwardness of the situation (NO.  NO IT DOES NOT.)

    On a side note – I commented to Blake during Sunday night’s Mad Men episode, that I guaranteed that every person in the room during Megan’s absolutely CRINGE-WORTHY burlesque performance in front of the entire birthday party just WISHED they had the ability to turn into metallic puddles and puddle away NOT EVEN KNOWING THAT THAT REAL LIFE ALEX MACK WAS ACTUALLY IN THAT SCENE!  And not even in puddle form!  The grown up actress who played Alex Mack was actually in that exact Mad Men scene.  My mind?  Definitely blown.

    Enjoy some clips of old Alex herself, escaping awkward situations all over the place (also, using her power for other reasons, but you know.  The puddle ability is BY FAR the best.)

    And, here she is, all grown up….wishing she could turn into a puddle and escape the stifling awkwardness that is Don and Megan Draper

    "I want to turn into a puddle so badly!" - Alex Mack

  7. Learn an Instrument FOR THE LOVE OF GOD

    March 21, 2012 by Kristi Knight

    I know that it is a little bit of cliche to write about “pet peeves” on blogs, but you know what – suck it, it’s my blog and I can write about whatever I want.  Plus, you know who reads this thing?  My mom.  And my dad.  And probably Blake (we aren’t completely sure about that, but I am pretty sure.  At least he CLAIMS he reads it.)

    Anyways.  NEW blog series (again, the first and potentially only entry, but whatever.  I am calling it a series.)

    SO.  You know, you can’t go through life without having some random things that bug.  I don’t know if my list is longer or tinier than most people, but I really love to tell people about them.  But why blow my blog topic wad in one post when I could keep the suspense completely AMPED up for multiple entries?  Exactly.

    Pet Peeve – Number One – Lead Singers Who Don’t Play an Instrument

    I often comment on just HOW awkward I find lead singers when they don’t play an instrument.  I mean, it makes me cringe.  The awkward swaying.  The weird microphone grabbing.  The uncomfortable “dancing” during extended music breaks.  I can’t stand it.  Unless you are a “pop” singer, doing “poppy” choreography, PLEASE LEARN AN INSTRUMENT.  The triangle will do.  Just have something in your hands so that you don’t end up looking like this:

    I KNOW I KNOW.  It’s Mick Jagger.  IT IS MICK JAGGER, Kristi.  But come on.  That is not what I would call “sexy.”  It is certainly what I would call “mostly goofy.”   Even singers that I find completely attractive, like Eddie Vedder (SHUT UP, HE IS) look like they are searching for something to do.  Like the actual thought, “Crap!  I’ve head banged, I’ve swayed, I’ve stood next to the bass player.  Now what do I do?  WRAP IT UP GUYS,” is racing through his head during the entire time.  Eddie (yes, we are on a first name basis) tries to cover for his complete LOSS of what exactly he should be doing by making a variety of noises.  BUT IT IS STILL SO AWKWARD.  Observe (go to the time marker 4:41 to really see some noise making in action):

    I mean, really?  Weird moaning?  If he had, I don’t know, a tambourine or something, it would all be SO LESS AWKWARD. He could just bang on a tambourine the whole time, and the collective world’s audience would breathe a sigh of relief.  It would be amazing.

  8. My Conversion to “Kristi Knight, Coffee Drinker”

    March 19, 2012 by Kristi Knight

    For the majority of my life, I was definitely not what you would call a “coffee drinker.”  Coffee tolerater?  Maybe.  My relationship with coffee was mostly defined by super sweet, mostly whipped cream concoctions topped with a tiny dollop of coffee and best described as “dessert.”  I had many issues with coffee, which I was fond of outlining for people:

    1)  Coffee makes your breath smell like coffee all day no matter what you do.  NO MATTER WHAT.
    2)  Coffee makes your pee smell like coffee and that’s gross.
    3)  Coffee doesn’t actually TASTE good.

    And there you have it.  I was repulsed by smelling coffee WHERE COFFEE SHOULD NOT BE SMELLED.  Oh and also, I didn’t like the taste.

    I attempted to convert myself to a “coffee drinker” upon my first job after college.  In my mind, coffee drinking and “adult living” were synonymous, and I needed to just GET OVER my aversion to coffee smelling pee and just DRINK IT ALREADY, GOD.  So, every morning for the entirety of a 12 week training program (for my job, not for coffee drinking, although that would be hilarious), I dutifully drank a single cup of the prepared coffee (adding a ridiculous amount of sugar and cream – I’m not crazy), hoping that I would actively addict myself to the caffeine and become someone who could credibly begin her day by saying some variety of, “Oh my God.  Don’t even TALK to me until I’ve had my coffee.”  Or could ride up the elevator in her office building, initiating small talk with someone by saying, “Thank God for coffee” or just “Coffee, huh?”  and share a knowing nod.  This did not happen.  All my careful plans to addict myself to the hot cup of bitterness fell apart when I left training and simply forgot about the whole “coffee” part of my day.

    Until recently.

    My building in Nashville is conveniently located above a Panera Bread, which primarily means that I start every day with the deliciousness that is a bagel and cream cheese (breakfast of champions, OBVIOUSLY).  Being the non-coffee drinker that I was, I would usually order a large diet coke, which I would proceed to refill 7-8 times throughout the day.  However, after a particularly late-ish night (hint:  alcohol was probably involved), I decided to try a cup of coffee.  I chose the least offensive-seeming of my options  – hazelnut – filled the bottom fourth with milk and 2 splendas, and started my day, cup of coffee in hand (LIKE A GROWN UP!)  About 2 hours later, I was positively bouncing around my office, commenting to people, “I have so much energy!  How did I get all this energy?  I don’t understand!  Was it the coffee?  Is this what coffee does to people?  This is great!  I get its purpose now!”  GUYS!  I don’t think I had ever had that much caffeine in one sitting, and being the caffeine-lover that I am, I LOVED it!  I was super awake early in the morning!  I had all this extra energy!  Coffee pee was totally worth that!  And with that one cup, my white whale – a coffee habit – was obtained.  Now, every work-day morning, I get a bagel and cream cheese WITH a cup of coffee.  I have officially entered grown-updom.  It’s great!  My three negatives still apply, no amount of teeth brushing, mouthwash swishing, or gum chewing can ever definitively eliminate the taste, and my pee now smells weirdly like coffee for the first half of every day.  And no.  I don’t actually “like” the taste of coffee (I’m still adding a fourth of cup of milk and two splendas to every cup.  Plus, I started adding some cinnamon to the mix as well).  But ya’ll?  The energy uptick?  Totally worth it!

    I now enter the elevator, cupping my coffee LIKE A REAL GROWN UP, and make knowing comments to other office-dwellers like, “I don’t know what I would do without this cup ‘o joe” (note – I have never said that.)  Operation:  Get Myself Addicted to Coffee – Successful.

  9. Giant Marshmallows and Chip Sundaes

    March 12, 2012 by Kristi Knight

    I think most everyone is familiar with the feeling, “why didn’t I invent that?”  Usually, it follows the discovery of some new invention, so simple in its purpose and also insane that it wasn’t discovered previously.  Typically, when I come across one of these new things (typically food in my case, because that’s all I really care about in life), I get a little annoyed – why do I never have good ideas?  I spend all my time watching two dogs find increasingly hilarious ways to fall asleep (seriously) when I could be coming up with the next giant marshmallow!  GIANT MARSHMALLOW!  That’s right up the alley of things that it would be possible that I might invent.  Or chip sundaes!  A little less likely, on the Kristi invention front, but still something involving both food and deliciousness – two things of which I am well versed.  Stupid dogs, ruining my life.  I think I might making this a running blog topic, but there is also the chance that I forget about it and never post anything about it again.  But let’s ignore that for now, and talk about giant marshmallows:


    What is a giant marshmallow?  WELL.  It is a marshmallow that is giant.  Made specifically for s’mores.  Here is the thing.  I love s’mores.  Love them.  I am trying to think of what I would be willing to trade for a marshmallow at this moment in order to illustrate my undying love of the s’more, and I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing that I WOULDN’T trade.  They were featured at my wedding (well, the reception, but I WOULD have featured them at my wedding if Blake was just a little bit cooler.)  However, here’s the deal with the marshmallow portion of the s’more goodness – the normal size jet puff marshmallow is just TOO small.  Typically, I end up roasting two marshmallows at once in order to get the correct marshmallow to graham to chocolate ratio, which is a difficult endeavor.  The marshmallows never roast evenly, resulting in one ‘mallow with an un-melted middle (THE WORST) at the same time that the other ‘mallow is making a slow descent towards the flame (or the stove top, if you are me.)  Well, some genius (I like to think of this person as an alternative world me) was probably sitting around a campfire, doubled up on the ‘mallows for the optimal s’more ratio thinking “There has to be a better way to do this.”   And there was!  Simply double the size!  Suddenly, your marshmallow ratio is in compliance!  There is no heart rendering choice between under cooking and over cooking – no lost soldiers charring in the fire because you were trying to hold on just a little bit longer to let the slow cooking ‘mallow brown up.  It’s ingenious.

    For comparison purposes - normal, wimpy, way-too-small 'mallow compared to giant, perfectly-sized, amazing 'mallow



    While on the previously mentioned trip to Asheville, NC, I discovered a store named “The Gourmet Chip Company.”  At first glance, I dismissed this “chip company” as an ice cream store.  Logical?  Well, not really – but it is telling that my mind connects all chips with those of the chocolate variety.  However, after scouring the internet for restaurant suggestions, I soon realized that this “chip company” did not specialize in various flavors of chocolate chips BUT had taken the concept of the Belgian fry and turned it into an even more delicious potato chip version!  How genius is that?  Everyone loves chips.  People also love delicious cheese or herb toppings.  Together – an amazing chip sundae.  They even have some sweet options, with plantain chips and chocolate powder with caramel sauce.  I mean, really?  What is there not to love here.

    Yeah, that's right. Three orders. And all equally delicious.

  10. Pros and Cons of Vacationing with a Toddler When You Yourself Do Not Have a Toddler

    March 8, 2012 by Kristi Knight

    I am writing this from the couch of a cabin in Asheville, North Carolina, watching my 18 month old nephew “dance” to Ramblin’ Man by Led ZeppelinIt’s mostly adorable.  This vacation marks my first trip (as an official adult) where there was a tiny child in attendance.  Things are different.  There is a lot more Elmo in my life.  Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – there SHOULD BE more Elmo in my life.  Elmo is an interesting cat.  He’s always hugging people and talking in a high pitched voice.  Those things are endearing.  Well, at least endearing for the first 15 minutes.  At some point, the law of diminishing returns takes over, but we are still in those first 15 minutes (for today), so I’m cool.  Which is a good segue into today’s conversation piece – “Pros and Cons of Vacationing with a Toddler When You Yourself Do Not Have a Toddler.”

    Pro: The aforementioned cuteness.  Toddlers can be disarmingly cute.  They do things like pretend to go to sleep, which isn’t that cute when Blake does it, but subtract 28 years and ADORABLE!  There is also the unbridled joy that comes from getting an 18 month old to say your name.  Or some version of it.  I don’t know what it is, but there have been hours of activity based around one adult (let’s be honest here –  me) sitting around repeating, “Say Kristi.  Kris.  Ti.  Kristi.  Say Kristi, Reed.  Kristi.  Kris. Ti.”  And to be rewarded with a tentative – “trish.  Ee?”  Well, it’s basically like I have won some award for most awesome person to ever exist on the planet ever in a million years.


    Adorable toddler being adorable while also enjoying a gigantic marshmallow and having their every need catered to.

    Con:Mornings.  I don’t know if anyone else knows this, but toddlers wake up early.  REALLY early.  And they don’t just want to lie around like giant adult sized slugs, they want to run around yelling, “MAMA!”  In normal situations, where there are three real bedrooms, this would not be an issue (or at least not one for me, the toddlerless), but in this particular cabin, those without kids (Blake and myself) have been regulated to the euphemistically named “third bedroom,” which, you know, is a loft.  So, our mornings have been beginning at our equivalent of 6:30 by a toddler alarm clock, that yells, “MAMA!” instead of beeping.  This is way cuter than a normal alarm clock, but some of us (ahem, Blake), don’t wake up on a normal day for 3 more hours, so a con it is.

    A not-at-all doctored (no, seriously) picture of Blake attempting to delay the inevitable


    Pro: Regulated nap times!  Here’s the thing about little kids:  they get to demand nap times!  All activities must STOP, and naps are had!  This is an amazing development.  On normal trips, naps are hard to procure.  There are a lot of adults that have to be convinced to stop their day so you can take a nap.  But kids?  Well, they trump everything.  There is no negotiating nap time.  So everyone gets a little mini-break and everyone wakes up super refreshed and ready for Day Time Part Two.

    Con: Regulated nap times.  Yeah, this a con too.  Remember what I said about kids trumping everything?  This is literally true.  They can just fall asleep in the car, and there is hell to be paid for interrupting them.  Yesterday, our lunch group splintered in two thanks to an ill-timed nap (or ill-timed lunch, depending on your prospective) that coincided with the drive to the restaurant.  This didn’t really affect me because there were two cars, but I like this particular toddler’s parents and wanted to eat lunch with THEM.  Thanks A LOT, baby.

    Pro: More toys!  I think most people forget this fact in the time between being a kid and having a kid.  But toys are fun!  They can fully occupy six adults and nominally occupy one toddler for hours.  There are tops that spin and play music and shoot lights all over the place.  There are balloon things that zip around, squealing.  And bubbles!  Staring at bubbles is the staring at fire for the toddler set.  As an almost 30 year old, it’s been a while since I have stared at bubbles.  Definite pro.

    Con: Ok, Elmo.  We’ve reached critical mass.  Stop talking, ELMO.

    All around adorable (well, the baby contingent)/being bribed with the previously viewed marshmallow for a successful smile. That smile is definitely not for me. But you know what, I get that. Marshmallows make me smile too.