Monday, May 27, 2013

ChemKnits Featured in C&E News!

My knitting blog, ChemKnits, is featured in this week's American Chemical Society publication Chemical and Engineering News!  The feature is in Volume 91, Issue 21, p 56: NEWSCRIPTS - Settlers Of Mars, Molecules Tied Up In Knots.

I have not yet seen a paper copy of the blurb, but the editor is sending me a copy of the issue.  Thankfully it is online so I can share it with all of you!

For those of you that don't know about C&E News, it is a weekly magazine that is sent to all members of the American Chemical Society - I had a subscription while I was in gradutate school.  In graduate school, I published a peer reviewed article in the Journal of the American Chemical Society and attended the national meetings.  You can imagine my surprise when an editor of C&E News contacted me a few weeks ago asking to interview me!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Indy - Still a Baby

We are less than a month away from Indy's 2nd birthday.  This spring, he has started exhibiting some new behaviors that show he is still a puppy and learning how the world works.
  • He is exploring a lot more.  He is taking the time to sniff things carefully to the point where he won't notice us calling him.  I prefer to think he is focused rather than disobedient.  
  • He considers commands before obeying.  We tell him to go somewhere, and you can see him pause and think, "what is in this for me?"  If you have food, he will obey 99% of the time.  We need to step up some of the obedience training again because he thinks that he can make up his own mind.
  •  Scent marking.  Indy pees like a girl, and for the last two years any time he's lifted his leg we've given him loads of praise.  This spring, he started scent marking on walks - 7-8 times each walk.  Half the time he lifts his leg I don't think he has any pee left! (While not on walks, he still pees like a girl.) 

Thankfully he still enjoys things like family nap time (Indy, Rebecca & Chirphead) and other snuggles.

Today, I caught him licking my running shoes.  When it was clear that I was watching him, he just looked at me and wiggled.  Do you think he was trying to tell me it was time to go for another run?  

Monday, May 13, 2013

Reintroducing Indy to the Tunnel

Alan and Jenn gave us a fantastic backyard agility course for our puppy adoption almost two years ago.  Since we don't have a fenced in yard, we haven't been able to set it up outside.  The only part that really works inside is the tunnel because you can just set it on the ground.  Well it had been a while since we had taken it out, and Indy has forgotten what to do with it.  

"You want me to do WHAT?!?"
"I don't know, it keeps moving..."
When in dobt, Indy always goes back to barking.  Sometimes it is for something he wants, but in this time I think the tunnel was frightening him a bit.  Treat lures weren't helping.

"Bark!  Bark Bark!"
I tried moving the tunnel to the hallway where there would be more space for Indy to run through.   Indy was not impressed, and a little suspicious.  He kept running into his jail in the living room, afraid that I was going to try to trap him maybe?  

"I have to keep my eyes on it at all times, expect for when Mommy comes near, then I'll run away and hide."
Treat lures helped a bit, but Indy continued to be suspicious if I moved while he had paws in the tunnel.  He would go in with his front two feet, and then STRETCH as far as he could to get the treat in the middle.  

"I want the treat SO BAD!"
I finally left the tunnel with some treat (pulverized freeze dried chicken liver) in the tunnel.  I could hear him licking the floor of the tunnel from the other room.  I figured that his exploration was a good thing and that he was getting more comfortable.  

Come dinner time, we gave him his food in a dispenser ball.  I rolled the ball through the tunnel and SUCCESS - he chased after it!  He would also go in to pull the ball out if I placed the ball in the middle of the tunnel.  

Finally, 24 hours later... it happened.  Indy got over his fear and started happily running "THROUGH" again!  

And then I was finally able to capture the picture that was the whole goal of this process - Indy laying down in the tunnel.  

"Can I have that treat now?"
Indy has done pretty well with agility at the dog park, but we would love to work on it with fewer distractions.  Now we're ready to go set up this whole set on Mackinac in July!  (Hopefully all of the roaming dogs and passing by horses won't be too much of a distraction...)  

Saturday, May 11, 2013

17 week update

(Caroline, this picture is for you!)  At 17 weeks I am definitely showing that Chirphead is within me.  I frequently feel like I just look fat rather than pregnant, but in yoga pants the baby bump just pops.  

This week we got another batch of test results back, and everything continues to be normal.  A few weeks ago we found out that our risk factor for Down Syndrome and other trisomy disorders (21/18) was as low as it possibly could be.  This week, we had the alphafetoprotein (AFP) screen, and our risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects is also about as low as it can be.  Each time we hear that our Chirphead is healthy it is a huge relief!  

My pregnacy symptoms continue to be "normal" - Aches/pains as the uterus grows, exhaustion levels that would be reasonable even if I didn't have CFS and I cry really easily.  (I have always cried easily, but now I cry at REALLY stupid things... Poor Keith!  He has been a great sport dealing with these new emotional levels.)  


And here is a cute Indy picture with his newest toy, ROPE.  (A fake rubber rope that we thought would last longer than the fibrous variety, but it already has some cracks in it.  This pup loves to destroy "indestructable" toys!)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

15 weeks 5 days

Today we had our monthly appointment with the OB, and we are thrilled to say that everything is still healthy.   Chirphead's heart rate is slower now, ~140 bpm as estimated by the Dr, but this is because it is growing bigger.  My uterus is just shy my belly button now!  

Keith decided to be cute while we were waiting for the Dr to come in, and I couldn't resist taking a picture.   Unfortunately, I missed the great portraits he drew of me next, the first two were actually very cute!