Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Are You a Synesthete and Didn't Know it?

I am and didn't :)

Friday night, for family movie night, we were watching NOVA...we're just kind of weird like that :)...
It was on the brain and they briefly mentioned a neurological condition called Synesthesia.
I had never heard of it before but it was fascinating!
Basically, it's a blending of the senses.
So you get people who smell colors and some who taste sounds.
Most of the more common types deal with colors.  Many synesthetes associate a color with each letter of the alphabet...every time they see an "A" it is literally red to them and so on and so forth.
I thought that this was so interesting that after the show was over I hopped on the internet to learn more about it.
I came across a blog called Synesthesia Test and read this post.
I couldn't believe what I was reading!  Especially the comments after the post...what they were describing was so familiar!  I realized I most likely have Spacial Sequencing Synesthesia.
I remember about a year ago I asked my husband what he saw when he thought of the months of the year.  He was confused by my question so I told him what I "saw" and asked him again what he saw.  He said he didn't "see" anything.  I thought that was weird.  After all, doesn't everyone have a picture in their mind of what the months of the year look like?  I really didn't give it another thought until I started reading about SSS and realized not everyone does have a "months of the year picture" in their head....or a "days of the week" picture or a "timeline of years" picture.
So crazy!  Many of these commenters expressed similar thoughts that they just assumed that's how everyone was...until they realized it wasn't and then they thought they must be crazy somehow.  Many of them expressed relief to find a place to talk about it with other people that would understand and not give them a funny look in return.

This is what I see...
Days of the week:  I see the current day with the surrounding days kind of blurred around it.
I see the years as a sort of tilted and ascending timeline with definite century marks.  My birth year is also visible...along with the current year.

I tried to do this on the computer but didn't have much luck...
From my view point (down in the left corner) the circle of months is very big.  It's interesting that my perspective is from in front of my birth month...something I read a couple of other commenters describe.
When I tried to evenly space the months around the circle it just wasn't right.  The way I see it, the summer months are kind of squished down at the bottom and the late fall/winter months are more spread out at the top.

I was fascinated by this on Friday night while I was reading and honestly, felt kind of special all of a sudden :)  However, apparently, some studies have shown up to 20% or so of the population have some type of synesthesia.  It is also believed that it is often hereditary and mostly found in females.
When talking to my mom about it, it seems that she has the same type of SSS tendencies.

Spacial Sequencing Synesthesia is not the most common type nor is it the least common.  (To me, it seems like the most boring least, mine has no color involved, no taste, sound or feel...just a picture).  I also feel that my case is rather mild.  Some of the comments on the above mentioned blog post are incredible as to the detail that some of these people see.  What I see, though undeniable, consistent, and unsolicited, is somewhat dim and vague.

In conclusion, I think it is kind of nifty that I have a mild case of SS Synesthesia...a "diagnosis" :) that I was completely unaware of until this weekend.
So, what do you think?  Did any of this ring true with you?  Might you have one of the many types of synesthesia and be able to proudly claim the title of a Synesthete?!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ben Lately...

Well, lately, things have been...different.
For the last 2 or 3 months he has been on a pretty consistent schedule of two weeks with no (big) seizures and then a cluster (up to 20 in 8 hours) and then two more weeks of nothing...etc, etc.
Our neuro. okayed us to try using Ben's emergency meds to stop a cluster instead of stopping a long seizure.  3 or 4 times I gave him Diastat after the 3rd seizure in a cluster.  It did wonders.  It wiped him out for several hours but then he wouldn't seize the rest of the day.
However, shortly after we started doing this, his pattern started changing.  We're wondering if giving him the Diastat caused the change (It's so hard to know!).  He was having them more frequently.  Not as big of clusters but more often.
Then, over spring break, he got sick and he was having several seizures practically every day for about a week.
He's feeling better now but he has not recovered well from the episode.  He's usually tired and wobbly and a big confused for about a day after a big cluster but this time it is lasting for several days.
Andy looked over at me last night after observing Ben staring off and sitting still and quiet in his chair and said, "Are we losing him?"  Besides SUDEP (sudden, unexpected death in epilepsy) regression is our worst fear.
I can't imagine losing our full of life, comical, and happy Ben to a Ben that doesn't move much and doesn't make an effort to communicate often....a Ben that needs to wear his helmet again.
We're praying that things turn around soon.

The other night while I was holding Ben after a seizure, we were talking as a family about Ben's meds and how they don't help him much.  Matt, very sincerely, and slowly said, "We're lucky to have him."
If you know Matt, this is even more meaningful because he is most often laughing and full of energy and rambunctious.  To see him so contemplative and understanding was sweet :)

Chillin' in his "Dee Do" teepee.

On a happier note, HB105 passed here in Utah which means that as of July 1st 2014 it will be legal to posses a specific kind of cannabis oil (medical marijuana), with a neurologist's signature, to help treat intractable epilepsy.
I'm not sure yet what obtaining it will entail or how soon we will be able to have it for Ben, but we are on a waiting list @ Realm of Caring in Colorado.
I'm just amazed and thrilled that it passed so quickly here in Utah and appreciate all the moms that represented the rest of us at the legislature and worked so hard for our kids.  Well done ladies!!!

Okay, I couldn't decide whether or not I should post this last thing...
Both Ben's bus driver and his bus aide that he has had since the beginning of the year, had to leave their jobs before the end of the school for a pregnancy and one for multiple surgeries.  They have both been so extremely sweet to Ben.  They love him and we love them!

Isn't she cute?!
 I wanted to give them a parting gift and so I decided to make a card for each of them with my silhouette.  I found the perfect image in the online store, cut it out and then sat and thought about what wording I would use.
I wanted to do a play on words and this is the first one that came to mind...
(I did have an exclamation point at the end but it kind of got messed up so I cut it off.  It probably would have helped a little bit :)
Do you get it or is it too much of a stretch?
When you see it, I hope it makes sense (You're the Best!) but when someone hears it without seeing how it's spelled it might sound kind of funny :)
I realized this after I said it a few times but decided to go for it anyway since they would have the spelling right in front of them.  
Anyway, I loved the bus fun :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Felt Froggy

Meet Froggy!

He has a mom...

...a bed

...and lots of clothes!

Ben's preschool class likes to read "Froggy Gets Dressed"
His teacher mentioned it would be fun to have a Froggy that the kids could dress up.
It sounded like a fun challenge so I went to work.

I found a template from kidzclub here.
I printed out the pictures, enlarged them and traced them onto felt.

I tried to stay as true to the colors in the book as possible.
I also wanted to add a little bit of texture so I added some googly eyes, some puff paint to Momma Froggy's nightgown, and Froggy's shirt and scarf.

  I also put buttons on the shirt and coat and added fringe to the scarf and ties to the quilt.

I struggled with the quilt!
I ended up with five versions.
The first one I cut out pieces of felt and glued them on to look more like a patchwork quilt.  It ended up too heavy and I didn't think it would work.  Then I decided to just color with some sharpies.  Versions 2, 3 and 4 just didn't work for me either so I ended up going even more off the color scheme and just doing a red and white checked quilt.  By far, it was the best looking to me :)

Now he's all ready to go off to school in Ben's backpack tomorrow!

Pampered Chef Shower Silhouette Style

I had the fun opportunity to help decorate for a pampered chef shower for my neighbor.
She asked if my silhouette could do an apron banner out of fabric.  What a cute idea!
I found a simple apron on the silhouette online store that had a few different pieces to it.  
I ironed on some heat n' bond to the back of my fabric and put it through the silhouette.

I ended up with three parts for each apron.

I did seven different sets and then mixed and matched the parts to make fun combinations!

Then I added some ribbon/ric rac etc. for the ties and neck piece.
I think they turned out so fun!

I also cut some cooking utensils and oven mitts out of paper...

...and some fun wording.

p.s.  these white frame things have been one of my favorite things to cut so far.  You can use them for so many different things and stretch them and scrunch them to just the size you need :)

For the shower we just clothespinned the aprons to some ric rac.

For the paper utensils and mitts I just tied them onto some baker's twine and strung them along the front of the table.  (It started to sag a bit here...I should have taped it up in the middle too).

Super fun and easy!
I love every chance I get to use my silhouette for a project...especially for someone else :)

*All of the shapes you see here can be purchased from the Online Silhouette Store

Thursday, March 27, 2014

March 27th...a Special Day

This morning I got a text from the hubs...

(The second yellow box)

He's awesome like that...remembering the day we got engaged.
{The weather comment is referring to him proposing outside in the early morning...overcast, but dry.  This morning we had big, juicy flakes falling from the sky}

It was pretty cool to look straight peaceful.

The other day, Josh and I went to the library.  When we checked our books out, the librarian (a teenage boy) looked up our account and when he saw the name he said, "I know who you guys are.  You're Brother Bryan's family.  He's like my favorite person ever!"  He said it very sincerely.  
The thing is, I get comments like this all the time from young adults who have been in his seminary classes.  He is well liked and respected by his students and others.

{I need a picture of the two of us to insert right here...can't find a good one right now...later :}

I am so happy I said yes 12 years ago.  I married a man who's side I am proud to stand by.  He makes me feel very loved every day.  What a blessing to have such a companion to walk through this journey of life together.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Wearin' o' the Green 2014

Even though my shamrock plant looked like this by St. Patty's day,  we still had a grand time :)
 When I was in line at the grocery store, early in March, buying this plant, a neighbor came in line behind me and asked what the occasion was...why was I buying a plant?
I said, "It's a shamrock."
I guess I thought that would explain everything, but by the somewhat blank stare I received in return I figured I needed to explain some more.
I told him I realized not everyone celebrates St. Patrick's Day but it is kind of big at our house.  
My Dad served an LDS mission to Ireland and, well, we're Bryans.
Abby summed it up quite well in this little piece of art...
We are more than a wee bit Irish.  We are Bryans!
I found these super fun moustaches at Old Navy!
The kids loved wearing them...even Ben :)

 I've decided Abby is a face maker when it comes to picture taking.

 Business as usual...just with a green moustache on my face.

 I tried to do a green dinner, but it's nothing worth showing...kind of lame actually but my family were good sports.
We also had a chocolate, gold coin hunt and watched Darby O'Gill and the Little People...a classic!

I hope Abby doesn't mind me showing these last pictures.
They are just so fun!
I found this earlier this month in our guest bedroom.
Apparently the olympic influence was still strong in the imagination at the time.
(Half Pipe.  Sorry, we don't have any mini skate boards so you will have to bring your own.  Come prepared.)

Then, just tonight, I found this thoughtful resting place for some weary leprechauns.
 (I'm curious why she chose the term "bar"! :)

 One penny for each person that comes.  Thank you for coming.

 If necessary, you can chip off pieces of food.  Only take one sip at a time from big cups.

Half Pipe - Only have one skate board.
(I'm glad she found a skateboard for them :)

And a shout out to all of my siblings...
A happy birthday to my wonderful sister Angie!
And safe travels to my two brothers on their trip home from Iceland (because everybody goes to Iceland for their spring break :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Silhouette Stencils for Pride and Prejudice Paintings

A few years ago I found some darling watercolor prints from Slovly on Etsy.
I love her sweet :)
Anyway, these sweet prints have just been sitting in clear sleeves waiting for a proper framing.
I have acquired quite a collection of unfinished wooden frames of late and decided that two of them needed to go to this project.

First, I painted each frame a solid color...

Then, I used my handy dandy Silhouette Cameo to cut out some beautiful patterns from contact paper...

I peeled off the back of the contact paper and placed them on the frames...

I painted a different color all over the stencil and frame...

After a few minutes of drying, I peeled off the contact paper...

After the frames were completely dry I sanded and distressed them and added the pictures.

Aren't the pictures darling?!?
I present Miss Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy.
I was really pleased with the results although they weren't perfect {the damask stencil was so intricate that some of it got torn as I peeled it from the mat and there were such little parts that sometimes the paint got underneath the contact paper} and if I were to do them again I probably would have chosen more complementary colors...but I love them anyway :)

I love that they now are framed and sitting on my shelf.  They make me smile :)