July has been a miserably hot month in
Michigan. We moved here to escape the heat and humidity of the Ohio
Valley, but it seems to have followed us. Thankfully, we installed
AC last summer when the weather was a lot cooler and not so many
people were thinking about air conditioners. We have definitely
gotten our money’s worth!
Wendy's parents came up in late June to help
get Isaac's room ready. Wendy doesn't trust Craig to paint or use a
circular saw (she prefers him with all his appendages), so Linda and
Randy added some supports to a bookcase we'd found in the trash and
painted it. Of course nothing with Wendy is ever simple (like the
time Randy figured out that our kitchen was just the right size that
we wouldn't have to cut any of the tiles...only to be informed by
Wendy that of course the tiles had to be laid down at a 45 degree
angle to look nice), so the bookcase had to be painted in 4
different colors. It would likely have been more, but those were the
only colors we had in the basement that matched the nursery.
adding cross-pieces to add support and create cubby-holes for toys
hard at work...check-out the original colors on that shelf! It must
have gone to college with the parents of the college student who
threw it out!
Craig’s parents Becky and Steve came up for a
few days to visit early in July. Then Wendy’s parents came for the
weekend of the Ann Arbor Art Fair. They were shopping for art to
fill up their new house. Most of the artists are too modern for
Ankrom tastes, but since this was the largest art fair in the
country (according to the mayor), they did eventually find three
artists who appealed to them. They about bought out the booth of
Charlotte Fung-Miller who does traditional Chinese brush painting on
rice paper. This is definitely one of our favorite artists at Art
Fair—and her originals are only one order of magnitude out of our
price range unlike some of the art that costs more than both of our
Wendy’s lab assistant Nik Kazmers has been
staining bone cells to see vinculin and actin (these are the
skeleton of the cell) under the microscope. On a whim, we entered
several of his images into a photo competition for the Center for
Organogenesis Art Fair Booth. (This is a center at the university
that works on growing new tissues to fight disease—Wendy’s area
of research, although she isn’t directly affiliated with the
center.) A panel of biologists, photographers and artists selected
the finalists from over 100 entries. One of Nik’s images was
selected to be displayed and sold at Art Fair! The committee
responsible for decorating the new biomedical research facility was
considering purchasing Nik’s photo for the lobby—we don’t know
what their final decision was.
Nik's cells. This is the image
Nik and I liked best rather than the one selected for Art Fair.
We have both been busy researching this summer.
Craig submitted his second paper a few weeks ago, and Wendy is in
the process of preparing a manuscript for submission. We’ll keep
you posted. Craig has also been busy teaching a summer General
Chemistry class. One section is incoming students who have been
conditionally accepted to the college of engineering pending
completion of this course. The other section is students who wanted
to get a leg up on Chem 101 in the fall. Craig has really enjoyed
the chance to teach his own class and has decided community college
instruction is where he wants to make a career.
Wendy attended a conference in Seattle the
weekend of the 15th. While there, she got to visit with her friend
Pete Chang who moved home to Seattle after defending his thesis in
November. Pete kindly took her maternity shopping since the Old Navy
in Ann Arbor doesn’t carry maternity clothes, and the other stores
don’t carry small enough sizes. She is now all decked out. When
Wendy got home from the conference she discovered that Craig had a
new hobby: cooking Indian. This is one cuisine that Wendy has never
been able to master. It only took Craig one try to get it perfect!
Wendy’s officemate Khamir (known in the department as an excellent
cook) says he could not have done better.
Some things are pretty much the same: Craig has
been knocking himself out playing soccer and basketball. Wendy has
been going full tilt on projects for the baby
including a quilt (big enough to be used on his toddler bed) and a
birth sampler. Both feature African animals...what else in our
Our monthly visit to the ob went well. Wendy
weighed in at 115.0 lb. She has put on exactly 5.0lbs/month for the
past three months. Now the pressure is on to see if she can hit the
120.0lb. mark on August 9. Isaac has passed all of his prenatal
tests to date with flying colors and his little heart is chugging
along. He has started really moving now and is big enough that there
is no doubt he's in there. This month was another milestone in the
pregnancy: Wendy is finally showing enough that strangers feel
comfortable asking her when she is due. The stylist made the mistake
of asking Craig that during his recent haircut...he can never quite
remember the due date and had to consult Wendy. But hey, there is
only a 5% chance Isaac will be born then anyway.
Well, that pretty much rounds up the news in
Ypsilanti for July.