Saturday, May 30, 2009

Videos and Pictures

We've had a lot of fun lately, so we've taken lots of pictures. I've even uploaded a few videos so you can see just how much he has grown! This past week, Jackson crossed over into his seventh month. I can just hardly believe it!

On Memorial Day weekend, Derek and I spent some time up at my parents house and we really enjoyed ourselves. The company is nice plus the food is always wonderful! And randomly, an old friend happened to be driving through the city, and she stopped by and we had a wonderful time visiting! What a surprise! Last weekend was also Jackson's first time swimming-- and he loved it! He splashed and kicked and was just so happy to be in the water- even when he got water in his eyes. I think we have a young Michael Phelps on our hands.

I'm still working part time hours at the daycare at church and Jackson has a little friend named Keliko who is one month younger. Both of these boys are so easy going and I really enjoy taking care of these fellas while I'm at work. Plus they are so super cute and give out lots of smiles.

Jackson and Kel

Going for a walk- Jackson was real concerned about missing
what was going on up front!

More Pictures: The most recent pictures are at the end of the album

Derek and I had our Sunday School kids over on Friday night for a game night party and everyone really had a good time. They played Apples to Apples, Spoons, some games on the Wii, and we had a Sorry! tournament. Click Here are some pictures from the party.

Now for the videos:

We had to lower the mattress in Jackson's crib when he started to pull up!

Jackson and his toy

Jackson LOVES to play with Mia and
she is so patient to let him get away with it!

Aunt Laura really had Jackson laughing!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Happy Baby

He's a happy baby!!!

This is what I hear most from other people about Jackson. I love that he is so happy and will just smile at anyone who is willing to offer a glance in his direction-- and even to those who don't! His favorite are bigger kids who run around at church and come up to say hi. I hear a lot of "wow, he's sure big for 6 months." He is getting bigger, 17-something pounds at his latest check up. He is a tad under 50% in weight, but is longer than average with a slightly larger head. Most important, completely healthy-- despite the many inquiries about why this kid spits up SO much. Like my dad says, "Jackson is the only kid I know who can drink 6 ounces and spit up 12." For those of you who think this is an exaggeration-- you just haven't held this kid yet.

Jackson's 6 month picture (more here)

Since my last post about Jackson he has sure grown a bunch. Jackson is now sitting up on his own with only the occasional flop when he is just tired. He plays with all sorts of toys and puts them all in his mouth. I am sure if he could pick a favorite, it would be paper. It is just so much fun to crinkle, stick in his mouth, and tear it to pieces. A few weeks ago, I had baked cookies and put them in a plastic container so that Derek could take them for a meeting. I put the container on Jackson's lap to carry it out to the car and forgot to take it off before I drove away. Somehow during the drive, Jackson takes off the lid and goes crazy with the napkins. I open the door to find napkin wads in both fists and some in his mouth. He didn't touch the cookies. I should have taken a picture-- he was all smiles like it was the coolest thing to ever happen to him.

Jackson is getting to be pretty mobile. He's not crawling, but he rolls and scoots across the floor. Awhile back, I left him playing in his play yard for a minute to go to the kitchen and I found him across the family room chewing on the vacuum cord. He is starting to pull himself up like on his crib rails or using your hands. I'm really not ready for him to be moving around so much!!

The swing is so much fun!

On most days, Jackson eats a couple times of day getting cereal with a vegetable in at one meal and a fruit in the next. We haven't come across a food yet that he won't eat. He sleeps through the night, but his mornings come around 6:50-7:15 each morning. I blame this on the week when I worked at the daycare 4 days in a row and had to get him up at 6:45. Before that, it was normal for him to sleep until 8:00, but I don't think we'll get back there any time soon.

He has gotten to stay the night with Grammy and Papa a time or two and he always comes back expecting to be cuddled and spoiled all the time. Jackson also gets lots of lovin' from Grandpa Forrest and Grandma Linda. And anytime he is over at their house, Great Grandpa Duff comes over to play too!

Jackson will be 7 months at the end of next week. Unbelievable! It's amazing how much has changed in a year! Last year at this time, we were still waiting to find out if we were having a little boy or girl. We are having so much fun with Jackson right now. His little laughs (sometimes really big ones) and smiles really do make each day so great. I still cuddle with him when he'll hold still and we sing and read books sometimes too. Being a Mommy is just so wonderful!!

Be sure to check out the pictures. He has some really cute pictures in the bathtub, at the park, and at his baby dedication. The newest pictures are at the end of the album.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Biological Basis of Behavior.... Blah! ... Not so Blah.

Class is finally over. I took my final last Monday and I was pretty excited when I didn't have class this Monday! I have to say that Dr. Pasqualini did a great job of teaching this course. I went into the class caring nothing about Bio-Psych and every week she made it interesting and made real world applications about why it matters that we study Bio-Psych at all. I learned a lot and I even enjoyed learning it. Unfortunately, I bombed my final. I was so embarrassed to turn it in leaving some of the essays blank! I did pretty well on all of the other assignments so its doubtful that I did so bad as to bring me below a B in the course.

I'll share some of the interesting topics/stories we discussed.

The book Picking Cotton (a New York Times Bestseller) is about the true story of a girl named Jennifer who was raped and picked Ronald Cotton from a line-up as the her agressor. Based on her witness alone, he spends 7 years in prison before finally being released after DNA proved that he was not the man who had raped her. Both Jennifer and Cotton are now friends that tour together to speak at conferences about how memory works in the human mind and are advocates for research about working memory.

Jean Dominique-Bauby is a man who suffered a stroke and was left completely paralized except for the ability to wink with his left eye (with help, obviously). This man went on to write a book, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,that was made into a movie that won a Golden Globe and four Oscar Nominations. Due to the brain monitoring, the doctors were able to confirm that he was still alive and not a "vegatable", which allowed him to communicate with his friends and family.

As an assignment, we were to find a popular press article and do a critique after reading the real research to determine if the author was objective and accurate. I found an article from the Washington Post about how childhood poverty affects the working memory of the children once they become adults. It's more than just that they have less opportunities to learn or have unavailable parents because they work two jobs, but due to the changes made by chronic stress in the brain, the children who grew up poor tested lower as adults in their working memory as those who grew up in middle class. The author deemed this important due to more families crossing into the poverty level with our current economy.

We talked about a man named HM who lost his ability to make new memories after a surgery to remove his amygdala in 1953. He could tell you directions to the house he lived in at the time of the surgery, but could not name the street at which he had currently lived for 10 years. He just recently passed away. Another man, Clive, once an accomplished musician, "wakes" up every moment to claim that now, for the first time ever, he is conscious and writes it in a journal. Moments later, he scratches out his previous writing and writes it again, only this is really the first time that he has been conscious and says that when he wrote it before, he must really have been uncounscoius. Clive lives one hundred percent in the moment and is completely unaware of his past yet he can still conduct music beautifully.

We studied about how the brain process pain and watched a documentary about a woman who fell off a cliff, shattering her leg, yet she managed to climb to help for two days never feeling pain. We watched a video about children who get an entire half of their brain removed and that they survive normally with the ability of language and thinking skills just like the rest of us. And we watched a video about people who feel pain in a limb that has been removed (referred to as a phantom limb) and why/how the brain can process the pain in a limb that is not there.

My intention was not to bore you, but to share just some of the modern day examples about why brain research and study is so relevant. Again, for me to be interested at all to even blog about this, is just a testament to the professor who worked hard at making the class enjoyable for a bunch of counseling psychology students with minimal interest in bio-psych at all.


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