Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Birthday in Pictures{...and some words}

We celebrated my birthday with my family on Easter...just a couple of days early.

I love the cute bee fabric my sister gave me :)!

Speaking of my sister....I knew she was coming into town.  She was in the area for her husband's grandma's funeral but I didn't think I would see her until Tuesday so it was such a fun surprise to arrive at Mom and Dad's on Sunday and have her there and able to celebrate with us.

The day of my birthday, Abby made my breakfast and surprised me with it when I woke up.  Toast with coconut oil :)  She had checked the day before to make sure that's what I liked on my toast.
Bless her!

My sister had given me this gorgeous orchid on Sunday and I love how it brightens up our kitchen.

Andy teaches early morning seminary right now so he zoomed home on an early prep hour and brought me another breakfast (he was unaware of Abby's efforts) and a lovely bouquet.

After everyone was off to school I felt like going outside on the lovely overcast day and taking pictures of my garden.

Matt had found this nest several days before and told me there were four eggs in it.  He must have climbed the tree to see inside because even standing on my tippy toes I couldn't see in.  So, I just held my phone up as high as I could and snapped several shots hoping I would get a good one.  It was so fun to see these four, perfect, amazingly beautiful blue, robin's eggs snuggled up inside.
Side Note:  I have a fear of birds...always have, I don't know why.  As I approached the nest, mother bird flew to the fence a few feet away.  She sure was letting me know she wasn't happy with me as I stood there invading her space.  She and father bird were just a chirpin' and fluttering around and I feared for my life!!!  I was ducking and covering my head worried I would be pecked to death.  As soon as I was satisfied with my pictures I ran away :)

Love my candy striped creeping phlox.

After enjoying my garden and welcoming Ben home from school, I took some time to read and finish off the wonderful Razzleberry pie that my mom had made on Sunday.

When the kids were all done with school, my in laws came and Nancy took me shopping at the nursery for my gift.  I had wanted a little, ornamental tree to go in our quarter circle bed next to our front door.  We had tried 2 Japanese Maples there but I guess that are is just not cut out for those so I wanted to try a blooming, weeping something or other.  While Nancy and Abby and I were going from nursery to nursery, quite a wind and rain storm picked up.  It was kind of a fun adventure and we were able to wait it out in some sheltered green houses.
I finally decided on this lovely weeping cherry.  Here's to hoping this one survives!

Matt had had a soccer game scheduled for that night but it was cancelled because of the weather.
After bringing some Firehouse food home for dinner, Nancy, Matt and Abby and I enjoyed a rousing game of Clue.

My collection of flowers grew throughout the day.  I had some wonderful friends remember and make my day special :) 

Blurry but I love it!
Birthday hugs :)

Easter 2014

I think my niece put this moustache on the peep banner at my MIL's house and I thought it was so funny :)

Saturday night we did an egg hunt in the basement (Sorry for the blurry pics).
One of these days we'll do it outside during the day but there is always just so much already going on that it's hard to fit it in.

Ben was oblivious to the proceedings so I decided to keep it that way and just took the older kids down and left Ben with Andy. {I had thought about doing special eggs for him with non candy things in them but when it came down to it, I was tired and he was happy where he was.}  This is what we found when we came back up :)  He sure knows how to make a mess.

Next year Ben, when you're not on this crazy diet, I will be so happy to include you in the egg hunt!

The next pictures of the farm are not taken on Easter day, but the week before (I think).  On Easter, we went out to the farm also, but I didn't take my camera, for which I am kicking myself because the kids got to hold the lambs that time.  Oh well :)

This mama had triplets...we all think the little black and white one looks like a calf :)

A couple of older ones who had lost their way.

Ben loves the farm!

We had a lovely little Easter surrounded by family and blessed with the knowledge of our Saviour and His great sacrifice for us.

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 though...at 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 year...one 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 itself...so fun :)