Monday, August 21, 2006

Races that are amazing and birthday wishes

Miles is asleep. Junebug, the cat, is roaming somewhere in the house. Casey is at the student center ('headquarters' of our campus ministry) playing Phil, the host of The Amazing Race. My husband being a campus minister, and today being the first day of classes...well, this is quite a busy time for him. But the first week is soooo much fun. We call it 'Disorientation Week' and have a different activity for the students every day. Today they are playing our version of The Amazing Race, in which teams have had to drive to several of our church elders' houses and perform a task, and they came to our house as well, where they had to -- and this made me a little nervous -- start a fire and make it burn through a string above the fire to receive their next clue. It was a lot of fun watching all of the running around, and not just because the rain was perfectly timed to start just as the first team arrived. I wished that I could have been on one of the teams, going to each house and doing these silly, crazy things...maybe next year.

With all that has been going on lately, I completely forgot to note that my blog passed its second birthday nine days ago! So, a happy and a healthy to Trace Talks. I am really wanting to dig in and catch up on all of my favorite blogs out there (I have a HUGE list of them in my bookmarks), but so far I have read maybe one or two posts. Ah, the life of a new mommy!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I knew it was weird, but now I have a name for it!

Did anyone see last night's Primetime on ABC? One of the topics was synesthesia. The following was taken from an online source, which you can find here. My own comments will be in blue until the end of the thing, and then I'll be back to a black font. Don't worry, you'll know when.

"Synesthesia (Greek, syn = together + aisthesis = perception) is the involuntary physical experience of a cross-modal association. That is, the stimulation of one sensory modality reliably causes a perception in one or more different senses."

On Primetime, they featured a woman who sees a different color for each note she plays on the piano. There were also three sisters who see a different color for each letter. But the most interesting one was the man who has a different taste in his mouth when he hears certain words. The name 'Derrick' made him cringe, and he said it tasted like earwax!

"The word synesthesia, meaning 'joined sensation', shares a root with anesthesia, meaning 'no sensation.' It denotes the rare capacity to hear colors, taste shapes, or experience other equally startling sensory blendings whose quality seems difficult for most of us to imagine. A synesthete might describe the color, shape, and flavor of someone's voice, or music whose sound looks like 'shards of glass,' a scintillation of jagged, colored triangles moving in the visual field. Or, seeing the color red, a synesthete might detect the 'scent' of red as well."

General Features (I'm just giving the basics here instead of the entire article.)
* No matter what senses are joined in a given synesthete, it is striking how similar the histories of all synesthetes are.
* Synesthesia runs in families in a pattern consistent with either autosomal or x-linked dominant transmission. (Either sex parent can pass the trait to either sex child, affected individuals appear in more than one generation of a pedigree, and multiple affected sibs can occur in the same generation.) I emailed my family today to find out if anyone else has synesthesia.
* Women synesthetes predominate.
* Synesthetes are preponderantly non-right-handed. (I'm a lefty.)
* Synesthetes are normal in the conventional sense. They appear bright, and hail from all walks of life. Notice they said "appear bright"...what are they getting at?
* Not only do most synesthetes contend that their memories are excellent, but cite their parallel sensations as the cause, saying for example, "I know it's 2 because it's white." Conversation, prose passages, movie dialogue, and verbal instructions are typical subjects of detailed recall.
* Within their overall high intelligence, synesthetes have uneven cognitive skills. While a minority are frankly dyscalculic, the majority may have subtle mathematical deficiencies (such as lexical-to-digit transcoding). Right-left confusion (allochiria), and a poor sense of direction for vector rather than network maps are common.
* As a group, synesthetes seem more prone to "unusual experiences" than one might expect.

Me again...anyway, I had seen a special some time ago about synesthesia, but I guess I had forgotten. They did not mention one form of synesthesia, which is something I have, and that is that I assign gender to numbers, but only numbers 1 through 9. Each number's gender has always been very obvious to me, ever since I can remember, and I could never explain it. I tried once, and was laughed at -- by good friends, not anyone who was being mean, so it didn't bother me. I knew it was strange to them, and I would have laughed too.

But one thing they did mention last night that I could relate to completely was something called 'spatial synesthesia', in which a person sees the calendar year, or even the days of the week, in 3-D. I have done this my entire life as well, and I really thought that everyone did this, but apparently not. They showed some examples of 3-D calendars on a computer, so that some women could explain the way they see the months or days, but they never showed it the way I see it, and so I felt compelled to explain my own view to Casey...who still thinks it's a little weird. I tried again to explain the gender/number thing to him, and it makes no sense to him. I can understand that.

So, does anyone else do this? Are there any other synesthetes out there? I want to know!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Unconditional

Just a quick post before the weekend is officially here...

It's still really hard to believe sometimes that I am a mom. I am somebody's mom! It's just crazy, and really scary too, knowing that this tiny little person depends on Casey and I for everything. He looks at us with so much hope in his eyes that my heart almost breaks every time. And the smiles -- oh, that unconditional love is so amazing! I've messed up so many times in my life, but he doesn't know and doesn't care. All he wants to know and be sure of is that his mom and dad love him and are there to take care of him. If parenthood doesn't teach you anything about God's love, I don't know what else can.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Here's our sweet Miles


I took this picture about a week ago. Isn't he a cutie?

Updates, sister, and -- to quote Lori -- "Churcheros"

I have finally made some much-needed updates to my blog, woohoo!

I saw two of my doctors yesterday, both good visits. I got my PICC line taken out -- it's basically a line that can stay in your arm for a long time so that meds can be administered and blood can be taken more easily. Having that removed is one more step in the right direction. It was a pretty exciting day for us. I am completely done with my antibiotics, but I still continue to take some other meds for pain, my auto-immune disorder, etc.

My sister is visiting this weekend, which is really awesome because I haven't seen her since February, and this was her first time to see Miles in person! It's pretty neat to see Miles with his Aunt Kerry...I will be sad to see her go in a few days, but I am so thankful that I have her here for a little while.

To answer a question that
Lori had: "What are Cruncheros?" -- they are mini beef and cheese chimichangas made by El Monterey, and you can find them in your frozen food section at the grocery store. Casey and I also like the chicken and cheese taquitos, but I could eat those Cruncheros every single day! They are...YUM.

I hope everyone is doing well. I am tired but persevering. This recovery plus motherhood thing is tough! I wouldn't mind at all if anyone wants to put me on their daily prayer list -- I just need peace and a quick recovery. Thanks to all for your thoughts, prayers and encouragement!
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