28 November, 2008
22 November, 2008
19 November, 2008
His teacher, Janet, came up after Jake and BB had walked away and told me that yesterday Jake had dropped to the ground (mild tantrum) on the way to lunch. BB stopped and said "I know you're hungry, so if you want lunch you should get up and walk. I'll wait." and he stood up and walked with her... AMEN!
18 November, 2008
He's been crawling into our bed in the mornings lately. Not every day, and not in a quiet way at all. It is that same laughing boy, hugging us and wrestling and trying to hug his baby sister. It is my favorite thing... my FAVORITE thing in the world..morning and the sheets still smell like fabric softener and we have way too many pillows, of all sizes and squishiness, and everyone has messy hair and we are all there; all four of us laughing and tickling and kissing and hugging. It never lasts for long. There are jobs to get to and school bells will ring and the private swimming lessons we will pay for whether we make it to class or not. There's always a shower to be taken or a diaper to be changed.
It lasts just long enough to remind me that I have a wonderful life, a terrific husband and two precious children... so it is enough for me.
17 November, 2008
16 November, 2008
They are fine. I'm sure I would received a phone call last night if they had been asked to evacuate. It's so strange for me because I never really lived in the house where they live now because the bought it while I was in college, so I don't really know how far away the fire is. I mean I can tell from Google maps, but I can't tell how "emotionally close" those flames are. Is that where they grocery shop? buy their books? Is that where their friends live? I have been away a long time now.
I can't sleep, so I am going to head back to my home now, to get ready for the day with the other two sets of parents I have (Descartes family is meeting us this afternoon also.)
The sunrise is beautiful here. I imagine it looks the same color orange as the flames on the ridge near my parent's house this morning.
15 November, 2008
14 November, 2008
13 November, 2008
Two large-scale genetic analyses have turned up a trio of new sites associated with autism, including a large-effect allele that seems to reduce the risk of developing the debilitating brain disorder, researchers reported today (Nov. 12) at the American Society of Human Genetics meeting in Philadelphia.
Last year, the Autism Genome Project Consortium performed the largest genome-wide linkage scan to date with around 10,000 SNPs in 1,181 families with at least two affected individuals. The group flagged a handful of genomic regions harboring autism susceptibility genes, although none of the linkage results were statistically significant (/Nat Genet/, 39:319-328, 2007).
Now, a team led by Dan Arking, a geneticist at Johns Hopkins University, has ramped up the SNP count to include around 500,000 markers in 802 affected pairs of siblings. They then eliminated all the error-prone or uninformative SNPs to amass a collection of 180,000high-quality markers for their analysis. "It's the cleanest best set of markers you can imagine," Arking said at a press conference.
This enhanced genome-wide scan proved effective. Arking's team discovered two regions of significant linkage that had not been implicated before with the disease -- one at the tip of chromosome 20's short arm, and one at the end of chromosome 6's long arm.
Arking, together with Lauren Weiss, a molecular geneticist at the University of California, San Francisco, also used the SNP dataset to perform familial association mapping in 1,594 parent-offspring trios to hunt for common variants of major effect linked to the disorder. At first, they did not find any genome-wide significant results. Additional assays, however, revealed a hitherto unidentified site on chromosome 5 where one particular allele was transmitted less often than expected to autistic individuals whose parents carried the allele. Thus, this allele, although only found in 4% of the population as a whole, likely confers some protection against autism, Arking and Weiss argued.
This "protective allele" fell near the semaphorin 5A (/SEMA5A/) gene, which is involved in axonal guidance during neural development. The researchers compared brain slices of 20 autistic individuals with 10 controls and found that /SEMA5A/ had much lower expression levels in the autistic brains, further implicating this novel locus with autism.
Arking and Weiss will present their findings in a talk on Saturday (Nov. 15) and in a poster on Friday (Nov. 14).
12 November, 2008
10 November, 2008
My niece is sick, and when Lucy heard this sad news, she decided that Bubsy would be cheered up by a "giant elmo, and green teddy bear and my furry baby" Here's the photo we just sent little Bubsy.
Next we sat down to see if there were any more photos in the computer we should send. My wallet is sitting in the table, and Lucy was looking at my driver license. She said "It's a nice picture of my mama." Fishing for a further compliment I said "Oh do you think Mama looks pretty?" I meant in the photo...
My daughter thinks I am asking about right now, in the flesh, do I look pretty? So she sits there a moment, shuffles some things in her hands and says sweetly with a cocked head to the side, "Well, Mommy. Your hair is just a little bit wiggly."Which indeed is true.
09 November, 2008
- Jake yelled and kicked and dropped to the ground until I figured out that he wanted to play outside, where he has now been for 30 minutes using all of his happy sounds.
- Lucy woke up at some ungodly hour again. I do not even bother to look at the clock until I decide to make coffee. I try not to make the coffee more than an hour before I think Descartes will get up.
- Lucy tried to pull out my (screw-back) earring while I was sleeping. I had dozed off on her bed while she was playing. When I woke up at the pain and tried to shoo her off she hit me in the eye. I have decided that this is a sucky way to wake up.
- Lucy marched herself upstairs for her own time out. More crisis ensued because she could not find the chair she wanted for time out.
- Lucy can now butter her own bread (nearly) and it is great fun for her to make "sprinkle toast". It was a treat for me to have cinnamon sugar toast when I was a kid too.
- Lucy peed on the living room floor.
08 November, 2008
Ohwell. I've been saying that a lot lately, part of my "letting go of things I can't control" strategy.
I have sent my husband out for the evening to have fun...without me. He needs to get out and have friends and I am happy to oblige (especially since I spent half the day in SF getting a hair cut.
The hairstyle is working so far. I have been wrestling with children for 40 minutes and have yet to have my hair completely entangled in kiddie fingers. Jake and Lucy were playing together just now. She was pretending to be a monster, and when I suggested that Jake and I hide under the covers nothing happened.. until Lucy charged back into the room, which made Jake DIVE into the pillows face down and pull the covers over both of us! He was laughing and smiling. I love it when it all connects.
I am now being called on to read a Pirate book
07 November, 2008
Yearbook Yourself... genius time sink. I had so much fun!
It didn't quite work in the first photo because my modern day photo had bangs
me in 1958:
1960 worked a little better
and I'm pretty sure this was me in 1990
and 1992 no no no.. the soft focus touch
Here I am in 1994 love that perm:
06 November, 2008
05 November, 2008
The next President of the United States o-Ba-Ma!
- how to watch the returns at our house:
- run the children ragged
- feed them a lot of food
- send them to bed with "The Lion King" on repeat on their television.
- open a bottle of champagne
- open another bottle of champagne
- cry watching defeated candidate
- cry watching Next President
- make hubbins play Facebook after second bottle of champage
- call Republican family in Orange County to make sure they are okay.
04 November, 2008
Go Blue (states!)