Monday, December 22, 2014

Hanukkah

Hi there and Happy Hanukkah,
  So Hanukkah has a couple of days left, but we are headed south tomorrow, so here is the lowdown on our Hanukkah this year. It happened to start the evening of December 16th, which means 8 nights of Hanukkah, then Christmas Eve, then Christmas day...every kid's dream. We kicked off the first night when Larry and Theresa came up to join us at our house. Then, Saturday night we headed down to there house for the 5th night of Hanukkah with Mitch, Katie, Heather, and the of course Grammy and Pops. It was a really nice evening with a delicious Latka meal that Larry cooked on the BBQ once again, which makes it even more enjoyable because you don't come home smelling like a giant latka yourself.
 The boys really enjoyed playing with the Latka Larry doll. And, can I just say, thanks you Mitch, I am so glad you chose to marry Katie...she really is awesome. I know he knows that, but I am thankful! Larry and Theresa got our family our pool membership for the summer, which is awesome!
  In the mean time, we had our annual block party last night and it was really fun and a huge success. It doesn't have much to do with Hanukkah, except that it was on the 6th night of Hanukkah.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Advent

  Advent is always a fun time of year. I really don't like the lack of sunlight, but at least there has been some rain, we have really needed it since we have been experiencing the worst drought in like 120 years (according to one source, and no, it wasn't Freddy ;) We had a fun "crazy meal" with the kids, though it was significantly less crazy than last year. We ended up with salami, bread (Vander), a rotisserie chicken (Justin), nacho cheese, an avocado (Ashley), grapes and bananas (Oliven).
We spent a morning having breakfast with Santa- always a fun morning, we try to go every year. The boys love it and I won a prize this year- a lego car! Yay for me. Hehe. We headed down to Christmas in the Park and enjoyed all the Christmas trees and the ambiance. Afterwards, we took a little walk over to the Children's Discovery Museum for some family fun. The boys enjoyed building up the walls and then knocking them down again.
  We also spent another morning making Gingerbread houses at Polly's house. This is a yearly tradition and it is tons of fun. Vander
made a house this year and Oliven made a train. They ended up being super cute and Polly makes the best cake I have ever tasted...it's amazing (super time intensive, but devine- thank you Polly!)
  Last night, I went to a paint nite with Sarah Zwingman and had lots of fun. It was really neat to just sit and paint with someone showing us the proper technique and hanging out with a friend.   
This was after our family game night- Oliven's choice, we also had a game night of Vander's choice. Tonight starts Hanukkah, so stay tuned...
  I forgot to mention that we had a fun cookbook exchange at
Cookbook club at our cookie exchange. It was really fun and I can't wait to make some soups  from the new soup cookbook.
   Oliven had an end of the year program with singing in reindeer hats, and Vander also had an end of the year singing Christmas program. Both were super cute and sweet. I couldn't get a great picture of Vander's because the guy in front of me was video taping, but I did get a decent video clip of his class singing.
  Starting this month, Vander is going to start making dinner once a month. I will be his sous chef and he will take the lead with my guidance. He says he would like to cook dinner on the 21st of each month since that is his birthday day, except he may need to take a break in May and November due to his birthday and 1/2 birthday, because, "I may be too tired from all the cooking." Such a crack up! This month since it was during advent he made snowman pancakes, decorated with fruit. This was his first time making pancakes and he did great!
  

Why no posts???

   It's not that I am getting lazy, or that I have no time to post, or even that I have just forgotten to blog...it's that I have been unmotivated and downright sad. I have had a hard time finding the motivation to do much of anything that isn't a necessity...why? Because this whole Epilepsy thing has caused havoc on my life...apparently I have complex partial seizures. This means there is confusion or loss of awareness, aimless movements and they can happen several times a night. I always called them "bad tastes" because after the loss of consciousness comes a "gustatory hallucination". I have had this ONLY at night since I was about 16. They got really bad when I had Oliven- I was having upwards of 10 a night. They have been a problem for years...but the doctors all told me I had acid reflux, which I knew wasn't right. So, finally at the beginning of this year I made give me an overnight at the hospital sleep study. The neurologist discovered the nocturnal epilepsy, so it turns out I wasn't just crazy- which most people made it sound like this was "all in my head". It turns out it was in my head, but I wasn't making it up. I feared not taking care of this problem was going to cause long term damage to my body as I wasn't getting deep sleep waking up all night long. There is no way that this could be good for a person over time...as it turns out the medicine to control the epilepsy is horrendous. The list of side effects is long and ugly. 
    As soon as I started taking it, I immediately felt an overwhelming feeling of tiredness, extreme, wake up and need an hour nap 30 minutes later or fall asleep standing up tiredness- zombie tiredness. It was aweful, and later it was also accompanied by depression...not a deep depression, but a feeling of apathy and sadness, like it wouldn't really matter if I wasn't here anymore...not the kind of attitude that anyone wants to have or the feeling I want to live with. I couldn't handle it anymore, so I went back to the neurologist and told him I need a different way to deal with this, because not only was I NOT having good days, I was STILL having seizures at night!!! So, at first I felt like I had traded good days in for good nights, then I felt I was now having crumby days and bad nights- that is a loose loose situation if ever there was one. I didn't like or trust the neurologist I saw first- he was rude, treated me like a disease and unfortunately he is also the head of the department at Kaiser. I requested a different doctor and he was helpful. He is easing me onto a different medication. I really hope it helps, because it makes my birth control pills less effective and increases the risks of birth defects, not an ideal situation. We don't want any more kids, but life is not 100% plan-able. Anyway, I am dealing with all of this on the physical and mental level and trying to maintain a normal life and be a good mom, but it has been challenging. 
    I guess I should mention that they have threatened several times to take my license away, even though I don't have seizures during the day. I would never put my kids in jeopardy. 
    I have changed my life to accommodate this stupid problem as we now know that going to bed at the same time every night, getting enough sleep, and not skipping meals are the biggest factors in not having seizures. So, at 8:30pm every night I have to get ready for bed and try to be asleep around 9pm. It doesn't sound so bad, but it also means we can't go to parties, I have to come home early from meeting and nights out, any late night is out. We will see how well it goes in San Diego for Christmas. It's a big life style change and thank goodness I have such a loving, supportive husband!