Scarlet Fingerpainting some Monoprints


Scarlet's Second 1st Birthday Party!

Scarlet had a second birthday party so her friend Mirren could make it. We had a fun time! Liz, Michael and Mirren, and Brandon and Melissa came to the party. We just talked and let the kids have a playdate. Mirren was really shy at first, since she's in the stage when any new people scare her, but she came out of her shell after a few minutes and the two girls had a blast playing together!

Mirren got a little upset when Scarlet found her "purse" :)

They loved playing with the wrapping paper!

Both Scarlet and Mirren got homemade Beetle Bugs after the party (from Jungle Junction, which was her first party theme)


Scarlet Getting Her "Shopping" On

Scarlet loved playing in "Pocket Park," the infant and pre-schooler area at Betty Brinn Children's Museum. Here she is walking along behind her vegetable cart!


Visiting the Children's Museum!

Today Scarlet and I visited the Betty Brinn Children's Museum in downtown Milwaukee. It's only about 4 miles from our house, and is across the street from the Milwaukee Art Museum and Discovery World. It was really fun! They have all kinds of exhibits for kids of all ages, including "Pocket Park" for infants and pre-schoolers. Scarlet had a blast!

Scarlet driving the bus in the "Home Town" exhibit--there's a post office, auto repair shop, bank, TV station, etc...; Scarlet "caving " in the Weebles Coast-to-Coast exhibit

Scarlet playing with the Vermont maple tree pictures in the Coast to Coast exhibit; playing with the water treatment plant in the "Home Town" exhibit

Playing in the "Germ Tunnel" in the Kohl's Healthy Kid's exhibit--you're supposed to only stand on the stepping stones and avoid the germ puddles; Scarlet in her fishing boat in the Coast to Coast exhibit

Log crawl in Pocket Park--serious concentration face.

Sending the fruit down the chute to the waiting fruit crates; surveying the fruit that was just brought back up in the "elevator" by some kids below

Afterward we took some pictures of downtown Milwaukee around the museum. We really love it here in Wisconsin. :) 

Outside of the Children's Museum

 Milwaukee Art Museum on Lake Michigan
(the roof/wings are closed because it was very windy today--it's so cool when they're open)

Discovery World on Lake Michigan


Try and guess how well this turned out...

Us, fighting for the spoon.

Then, when I won the spoon battle, she did this:

So, obviously, she wins. Because she'll get the food herself, one way or another.


Sometimes it's like owning a puppy

Much like the Doritos incident, it was a great time to pull out the camera. Now that she moves around, she moves around. Girl's got speed.


Jeremy's Work Featured on NOVA!

Last night, NOVA (on your local PBS station) aired an episode titled "Cracking Your Genetic Code." It talked about how genetics are being used to play a role in diagnosing unknown diseases, how your genetics can tell you your probability for contracting known diseases, and the whole general premise behind Next Generation Sequencing.

Both Jeremy's boss, Dr. Elizabeth Worthey (the Scottish woman talking with Dr. Jacob near the end of the hour), and the head of the Human Molecular and Genetic Center where Jeremy works, Dr. Howard Jacob, were featured on the show. And they were talking about some of the work Jeremy and his co-workers (including our friend Brandon) are doing right now to try and save the lives of children. So cool!!

First up, they introduced a 5-year old boy who is presenting with various symptoms, including chronic fevers and strokes. This is a case that Jeremy has been working on for months now--continually analyzing DNA and finding suspect genes to be looked deeper into. (Jeremy didn't know his name until the program aired last night--he's only known him by a case number.) When Dr. Jacob and Liz were talking towards the end about a list Liz received with a "suspect gene" for the patient, that was a list that Jeremy remembers generating and sending to Liz! Unfortunately, the suspect gene was ruled out as being the cause of the boys unknown disease and so Jeremy, Brandon, Liz, and Howard are still searching for the mutation.

They also introduced a boy named Nicholas Volker, who was close to dying two years ago. But they found the one single DNA marker that had been mutated and were able to give him a donor's immune system and now he's doing much better. That single mutation was discovered by Liz! (He was the boy that Howard gave the present to and asked, "How many PhDs does it take to put together a Green Lantern?")

This is the way Jeremy described where he falls in the whole scheme of things at the center: Jeremy is the intermediate between the actual sequencer and the final analysis.
  1. You have the DNA sequenced
  2. A programmer inputs the information into a database
  3. Then Jeremy uses the information in the database and inputs it into a program he writes to find out whatever they need to find out
  4. Then it's analyzed (this includes Jeremy, Brandon, Liz, Howard, and others, sometimes only some of them, sometimes all of them)
  5. Then Liz, Howard, and clinicians use the data for final interpretation and to determine cause and possible treatments.
Pretty cool!

Last night on NOVA they also mentioned Apolipoprotein E4, which is a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease. Jeremy is no longer working on this research, but it is one of the things that helped him get his current position at the HMGC (where he also just got a promotion and a pay raise to Bioinformatics Analyst I since Human Resources agreed to the job title!). He was working on it while he was at BYU and he presented on it during his interview process here at the Medical College. I've included that Powerpoint presentation below for anyone who is interested in looking through it.

Other Interesting Links:
  1. Local Write-Up of the NOVA Episode
  2. The story of Nicholas Volker and how he was finally diagnosed
  3. A write of a recent conference Liz went to and talked about GapMine - GapMine and what it does is mentioned in the section titled "Worthey Causes"
  4. My previous blog about Jeremy's GapMine project - with his poster presentation for the conference in New York


Whew! So much shopping!

I took care of Scarlet's first birthday, her third birthday, her Easter basket, and part of Christmas with Target's toy sale this week! They've got 50% off coupons on certain groups of toys in the weekly Target ad (Disney Princess toys, Fisher Price Laugh & Learn toys, Fisher Price Little People toys, etc...), and I have some Fisher Price toy coupons I received in the mail a few weeks ago and when I stack those coupons--there are some sweet deals to be had!

I went several times because I kept thinking about the deals and how stupid it would be to pass them up--non-buyers remorse. It was amazing!

  1. 1 Disney Princess Musical Vanity - $99.99 - Clearance for $49.98 - 50% coupon = $24.99
  2. 1 My First Disney Princess baby doll - $9.99 - 50% coupon = $4.99
  3. 1 Disney Princess Ariel Magical Fountain bath toy - $44.99 - 50% coupon = $22.49
  4. 1 Disney Princess Ariel bath doll - $9.99 - 50% coupon = $4.99
  5. 1 Mega Bloks 80 ct - $18.00 - 50% coupon = $9.00
  6. 1 Mega Bloks Play 'n' Go Table - $34.96 - 50% coupon - $5 manufacturer coupon = $12.48
  7. 1 Crayola Character Crayons - $4 - $1 Target coupon- $1 manufacturer coupon= $2.00
  8. 1 Laugh & Learn Pup Playhouse - $19.49 - 50% coupon- $5 coupon= $4.74
  9. 1 Laugh & Learn Musical Table - $43.69 - 50% coupon - $10 coupon= $11.84
  10. 1 Giggleable - $2.48 clearance
$100 even for $305.95 of toys! The Enchanted Princess Musical Vanity is for her third birthday--it was just too good of a deal to pass up right now, and she'll love it!!


Milestone Week!

It was a milestone week for Scarlet last week. Crawling, pulling up to standing, walking around in her walker, cruising the furniture, and sitting up all by herself--all within two or three days of each other!

And, even more fun, blowing raspberries against everything. Funny!


Scarlet's Latest Journal!

Click here to view this photo book larger

I'm a bit behind, but I just finished her 3 month to 6 month journal. Now I'm starting on her 6 month to 9 month journal (she just turned 9 months old yesterday!) and a First Christmas at Disney World journal, too. There's too many good things to share from Christmas and Disney World not to create a book dedicated to it!


Saturday at the Park!

Since it's been mid to high 70's here the last week, we've spent a lot of time at the park. On Saturday, Jeremy got to go with us for the first time and play with Scarlet on the swings. We had a great time!

Loves playing on the swings with her Daddy!

Swinging with Mom and then playing the drums on the playground!

So worn out! Time to get home for a nap.


Grandma's Visit!

At McCarty Park with Mommy, Grandma, and Kati-dog!

Grandma came to visit last week and we had a great time! The weather was perfect, so we spent a lot of time out and around Milwaukee. We visited a local park and walked around the fishing pond in the center, then played with Scarlet on the swing set. We visited Lowe's to pick out kitchen finishes for her new kitchen. And we spent some time walking around downtown Wauwatosa--they have some great cafe's and pubs there, along with some nice independent shops. We found a cute little independent book store--The Little Read Book--as well as discovering Cafe Hollander and Piccola Pizzeria.

We'd heard about Cafe Hollander but never really knew where it was. I ran into this area a couple of weekends ago when I was out Saturday morning doing my grocery shopping and needed to find the closest Ace Hardware to go and pick up some paint (they've been running Saturday "free paint days" on the new Clark and Kensington paint and I really needed some white for some large-scale paintings I'm working on). The closest one happened to be right in the heart of downtown Tosa and the area was so cute that I had to take my mom back to explore with me when she got here.

Scarlet loves the swingset!

We also visited the Spice House. It's a great little store near downtown Tosa that just sells all sorts of spice mixtures, fresh ground spices, vanilla beans, specialty rubs, and more. And at great prices, too! Grandma really cleaned up! They have a cajun seasoning that is fantastic and a really great rib rub that I use on all my pork dishes. Mmm. I used the cajun seasoning a couple of weeks ago to make a fantastic cajun rice. Jeremy and I couldn't get enough of it! Jeremy has never made so many yummy noises while eating. And it was really easy:

Cajun Rice
  1. 4.5 cups chicken broth (I used bouillon cubes)
  2. 2 cups of white rice (you could use brown if you wanted)
  3. 1 can diced green chilis
  4. 1 green pepper, diced
  5. 2 tsp cajun seasoning of your choice
  6. 1 tsp salt
  7. 1 leek, diced (just the white part--you could also use a regular onion, I just didn't have one)
  8. 1 green onion, chopped
Instructions: Saute the veggies, add the broth and seasonings, add the rice and cook as rice package says.

Moving on! I got sick the day before she was going to head back to Minnesota, so she stayed an extra day to help me with Scarlet. That morning she said to Lettie, "You should learn to crawl today so Grandma can see it!" And within 3 hours, she did! And she learned to sit herself up! And then she started cruising the furniture that evening!

It was a big day of milestones for little Scarlet! We're so proud of her. Now she's itching to stand up in the middle of the floor and start walking, so we'll see how soon that starts up. She's always been really great at standing up and her balance is definitely getting better.


2012 Milwaukee Auto Show!

The new Lexus supercar

Last weekend was the 2012 auto show here in Milwaukee. We go to the auto show every year, so we were glad they had the same show sponsored by Motor Trend. It was a blast! It was in the heart of downtown Milwaukee and they had some really fun cars.

In the Fiat with Mom! She loved holding the steering wheel!

Posing with the Transformers Decepticon car with Daddy

With Daddy and the Audi R8

The Nissan Robot! While other kids were crying, Scarlet was interested.


Wonderful Weather for Swingsets and an Epic CVS Haul!!

The weather here has been fantastic! So Scarlet and I have been spending a lot of time out of the house. We went to a park the other day and she had her first experience on the swing set! It was a hit. She was thrilled.

We also headed out to our new CVS this morning to grab a couple of deals. First off, this is not a normal shopping trip for me. I mean, I do well, often very well, but this was extraordinary for a few reasons:

1) A new CVS opened up down the street and sent out a bunch of coupons for free items (free Bayer aspirin, free Pepsi 2-liter, free CVS green bag tag, free CVS brand item up to $3.00)
2) If I went and talked to the new pharmacist, I got a $5 gift card with one of their "grand opening" coupons
3) I had a $10 off a $20 purchase "grand opening" coupon, too

This all added up to THE. BEST. SHOPPING. TRIP. EVER.

As I mentioned, the Bayer was free, the green bag tag was free, the pepsi was free, and I got the CVS disinfecting wipes for free. All together, automatically free items included, this would have cost me $43.90. I paid $3.64. !!!!! I knew it was going to be a good shopping trip, I just didn't really take the time before I left to figure out how good it was going to be!

The Dawn ended up being free because it was $0.99 and I had a $1/1 coupon, the batteries were Buy One, Get One Free, the grape juice was Buy One, Get One Free and I had a $1/1 coupon, the milk was $2.99 and it gave me that $1 extra care buck that you see in the picture (on the bottom of the receipt) for my next shopping trip. After the free $5 gift card for meeting the pharmacy team, my manufacturer coupons on top of the CVS coupons, and my $10 off $20 purchase coupon, it was enough to make me want to dance in the middle of the store. One package of those batteries alone was $4.39.

Man, if only every shopping trip could be THAT good!


Birthday Celebration at El Beso!

There's a great Mexican restaurant here (but with not-so-great service...) and we went there for another birthday dinner. Seriously, the cake they give you makes up for the lackluster service. Mmmmm.

I want some water, too!

The red chocolate lips that came on Jeremy's birthday cake!