Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

Meriden Daffodil Festival

We met up with friends for some fun at the Meriden Daffodil Festival.
Japanese greetings from high up on the Ferris Wheel
William and family 
Mike and Sophie
Adorable mischief maker - deciding not to listen
Expert Driver of the #10 Pace Car - He was so excited to get the green one!
What you do while you wait for the big kids to get off the teacup ride
Daffodilly silly! 

Vanessa's Poetry Hour

The Swing

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

-- Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Vanessa Quinn Rasmussen

Born on July 10, 2011 at 8:51 pm
8 lbs. 5 oz. and 19.5 inches

She's a cutie and a beauty. We're all smitten. :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Blast from the Past

In April 2008, Renee volunteered for the Takasegawa Canal Sakura Matsuri (follow the link to read Renee's original post about it). By coincidence, the area was also being filmed that day for a PBS documentary. Then, two years passed, and look what we just found on-line! (The real fun starts at roughly the 2:20 mark.)

In case the embedded video below is showing poorly in your browser, here is an external link: Video.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Dental Story (Part 2)

Warning: Be sure to read Part 1 first. It really sets the mood!

In the last few years, I have had problems with my teeth. I started biting my cheeks and tongue frequently while eating. Also, my only point of contact between top and bottom is with my front teeth -- this has caused excessive wear, and so temperature and pressure sensitivity to these teeth. It has also started causing painful headaches, for example, when I rest my head in my hands. So, when Renee and I moved to Connecticut, I found an orthodontist with lots of positive referrals, and started treatment this summer.

In order to fix my bite, the solution is to either shorten the space for my lower teeth (Boo!) or enlarge the space for my upper teeth (Not-quite-as-Boo!). Because of the cheek-biting, we're going to enlarge the top. This involves expanding the palate in the roof of my mouth. An appliance has been attached to my top molars, which contains threaded screws pointing at each molar. In the middle is a gear-box, which is turned using a small key. As the key turns, the screws push out, thus widening the palate. Using one or two turns a day for a few weeks should reposition my teeth enough to fix my bite.

This works in children, because the sutures that connect the upper jaw to the skull are still open; the pressure from the appliance can actually push the two halves of the palate apart. If you are past a certain age, then the device only works if you first have a surgery that breaks those sutures again. The procedure itself will not take too long; roughly two hours. First, I'll be put under general anaesthesia. Then, the surgeon will lift my upper lip and make an incision above my front teeth. This is to gain access to the palate. Going through that hole, the surgeon will insert a chisel and break apart the two halves of my palate. To be sure the break is complete, he'll go ahead and use the expander to widen my palate a little.

This will be the first time I am put under general anaesthesia, which probably has me the most worried right now. Even though I know the relevant statistics (such as, only 1-in-350,000 dental surgeries involving general anaesthesia lead to an anaesthesia-related death), I'm not too keen on being knocked out. "Irrationally terrified" is perhaps a better description.

The other fun part will be the gap between my front teeth as the expander goes to work. The gap can grow as large as the width of a full tooth. This is charmingly cute in a six-year old, but perhaps will not do so much for me. But at least Xavier and I should be able to match! I've never thought of myself as being too concerned with appearances, but now I spend a lot of time thinking about what my students will think when I go back to teaching in the fall. Eek!

So, I'm freaking out a little before my surgery this Thursday. Just thought a blog post or two might help calm me down.

p.s. - If you're like yesterday me, you didn't know that "suture" could refer to certain bone connections. Here's a wikipedia link which confirms my usage.