July 2005 Newsletter 
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Craig

Wendy

Baby Isaac

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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.

Grandpa adding cross-pieces to add support and create cubby-holes for toys and books.

Grandma 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 cars combined!

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 house

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.