27 April 2010

Hawaii Rundown

I wasn't sure anyone cared about my Hawaii trip but I guess at least one person does! And we all know that if one person wants something, I'm more than happy to oblige. So here is the breakdown of my Hawaii trip!

We had some Kahuku Shrimp!

Doretha graduated!!

Mr. Smiley slept through most of the graduation ceremony

Some pics from the Jungle Expedition that we took at Kualoa Ranch.
We did the touristy thing for the first time.
This may not look like anything but it is the outside of a Lost set. See the power box??
And a pretty plant

Elizabeth read a book to Mr. Smiley

And here is he again looking super cute!

So that's a quick rundown of my trip. Quick, but well worth the time spent with my brother and his family!

23 April 2010

One More Month!

**I found this in my drafts folder because I kept forgetting to upload the video. That's why I'm posting it a month later**

Today Mr. Smiley is officially 11 months old!

I'll let that sink in for a minute....

Are you with me? That means one more month until my little baby is 1 YEAR OLD! Ahh, I can't believe it. We wanted this little sweetheart for so long so it just almost seems unreal. I can tell you that this last year--or 11 months--haven't been super easy but just seeing that bright smile and hearing that sweet laugh every day is the best reward for my heartache ever.

He took his first steps last week and--finally--a week later we were able to record them.

I love this little guy!

The one where mercy bites me in the butt

So just over two months or so ago my car was hit by someone. I was turning left into a gas station and the guy that hit me was turning left into traffic. He slammed right into me on my driver's side.

Big Sister hit her head on the window but was okay. To cover my bases I called the cops and they came to the scene. The Officer offered to write a report but to do so he had to issue the other driver a ticket. Since the liability was clear at the scene of the accident, I didn't think it was necessary to add more issues for the other driver so I declined. I chose to show him mercy.

Well Mercy has decided to bite me in the butt this time.

Figures this guy would go tell his insurance company that he wasn't at fault and cause all kinds of problems for me. I had to get a rental car and of course pay my deductible for a grand total of over $1000 out of pocket. On top of that we had to fix a part on our car before they would realign it that cost us over $650. Now the guy who hit me is refusing to give his statement to my insurance company. His insurance wants to do a shared fault situation but that's not fair.

My insurance company has escalated my claim to the next level to try to recover the money that we paid out of pocket. It could take at least another month. We could have really used that money.

I thought by extending a little mercy to him he would reciprocate that to me and do what is right. If this ever happens again I will definitely be covering my bases and getting reports and issuing tickets all over the place. I won't be making the same mistake twice.

20 April 2010

Meet Winston

He's my latest little project. I found the pattern here and fell in love right away.

08 April 2010

It's My Turn

I'm going to Hawaii tomorrow--my third time in a little over two years. We went out for my brother's graduation in December 2007, then for vacation last January, and now for my sister-in-law's graduation. T-Bone went in December for his brother's graduation. Since we both had siblings graduating we decided we needed to take turns. You'd think I was excited to go to Hawaii, but eh. I'm just really excited to see my family--especially my sweet niece Elizabeth. Hawaii is just a bonus.

So I'll be gone for a few days and I'll catch ya on the flip side!

06 April 2010

My Little Lab Rat

I'm a big fan of science. I majored in Exercise and Sport Science in college. I love to figure out how things work and I love to help other people figure things out. Usually that means scientific studies.

When I was a Senior at BYU-Hawaii one of my professors was doing a study on muscle strength. He was trying to figure out whether stretching increases muscle strength. To do this he needed to take muscle biopsies from the quadriceps and the calf muscles at the beginning of the study and then at the end as well. I agreed to be part of the study. Now to be fair I should say that I was bribed. He offered to raise one of our grades a whole letter grade if we participated. I figured I could use all the help I could get in Anatomy, Exercise Physiology or some other class (I can't remember now what other ones I had from him).

So they numbed up a part of my leg and took a bit of muscle to store on ice. (Me and a bunch of other students, of course) I stretched one leg for something like six weeks and wasn't allowed to stretch the other one or lift weights at all. I can't tell you whether I actually increased strength in my muscles by stretching but I can tell you that stretching like we had to, increased my range of motion on my right leg immensely! I know what most of you are thinking. Why the heck would she even think of doing something like that?? Well I told you I needed the help with my grades, but I also really like science and experiments and I thought it would be cool!

So it should come as no surprise to you that when I received a letter from UCSD shortly after Mr. Smiley was born about having him participate in research studies, I jumped on the opportunity. I got the same letter after Big Sister was born and signed her up, but nothing ever came of it.

This time he was called in, twice. He is participating in a study on Autism and one on memory in babies. The Autism one is pretty cool because they are trying to see if there is any sibling connection with Autism. Mr. Smiley is a control because he doesn't have a sibling with Autism, but he is matched with another little baby his same age who does. This study is supposed to last 3 years so they get to observe him periodically for quite some time. The other study about memory was much shorter. It was done through the Psychology department at UCSD and they are simply trying to analyze how babies remember things.

The first thing they did was give him a toy to play with at home for a month. Then at the last couple sessions they showed him a couple toys that were two-step toys. They demonstrated the toys and then a couple weeks later they observed him to see if he can remember how he can do them. One of the sessions we went to was the really fun session though. They put the little brain cap on him to measure his brain waves. They just use a little saline solution on each of those probes to act as a conductor and then measure what his brain was doing while they showed him certain pictures. (Nothing goes into his brain, they are just measuring what output there is) It was so cool to be a part of this study and of course see Mr. Smiley in his cute little cap.

He did so good and sat as still as he could as he was shown the pictures. He recently did one with the Autism study too but this cap was a little different. I can't find a picture of what it looks like on line and I didn't get one with Mr. Smiley wearing it but it had a lot more wires.

Some parents probably think I'm crazy for subjecting my son to research and observation but I'm so glad to help out where I can!

I've been really impressed with the Psychology research department at UCSD and hope to be able to see the results of these studies eventually.