Levi had a birthday this past Wednesday. It's been a crazy work week for him, but we had time enough on Wednesday evening for a little celebration, including Rice-A-Roni with dinner, German chocolate cake frosted and decorated beautifully by Samantha, and a few gifts. I love him.
On Tuesday evening we went to Samantha's dance class. I love her instructor - she has so much personality and I feel like these girls are learning a lot for the amount of instructional time. Samantha wasn't feeling very good before and during that class...she was complaining that her legs hurt. I didn't know whether she really was sick, or whether she just didn't feel like going to dance class. So we went, and she made it through, but was quite exhausted. She had a low fever that evening. I let her stay home Wednesday from school, although she was no longer feverish, and she recovered nicely and was back to her normal happy self on Thurs.
Tonight we had a Superbowl party with our good friends and neighbors, with taco salad, pie, and ice cream. A "just until halftime" party is perfect so that kids can get to bed on time. It was fun, and that Game is still going on as I type this. The Ravens vs. the 49ers. I don't much care who wins, but I like the commercials.
I've felt pretty good lately - probably the best I've felt in a year. *KNOCK ON WOOD* Energy is at 75% of normal. With all the nuttiness of Levi's work week, I've been able to make dinner and clean it up afterwards most nights, to vacuum, sweep, clean the bathroom, and generally keep up with everything and not dump so many of what I consider my responsibilities onto Levi. I've been practicing my chanter on and off (click link at your own risk), and am almost ready for a set of real bagpipes. But the full pipes are not cheap. And I should probably take some real lessons. The nearest bagpipe lessons are in Springfield, which means getting on the freeway, which I can only do on days when my brain/vision is doing really well. So probably still keep working on getting healthier, and then...and then...
While my dad was here, he drove me out to an appointment with a psychiatrist, which my GP at Kaiser wanted me to see. Some of the patients in the waiting room made me quite sad to watch them. There is a lot of suffering in the world. Psychology was my undergraduate background, but I'd never been in a clinical setting before, so didn't know exactly what to expect. The psychiatrist and I talked for about 20 minutes. She told me she sees a lot of patients like me, and that she believes that whatever I've been sick with is physical in origin, and that medical science simply doesn't have the tools to help all the people she sees who are in a situation similar to mine. She told me I was handling things a lot better than other people she sees. I don't feel very proud for that, just more sad at hearing so many other people have been sick with similar things and aren't handling it very well. She did not even mention drugs, which made me so happy. She just said she thought I was doing the right thing by doing my own studying and reading, and finding helpful things via trial and error. She talked about some patients with ADHD and autism at one point, so I told her about the GAPS Diet, and she hadn't heard of it but was intrigued, and emailed me a few days later to get more details so she could look into it for some of her patients. She grew up on a farm herself, and her health suffered when she grew up and left for college, and she felt the healthy food and the open air and quiet space kept her healthy as a child, and told me how she felt nutrition was a big contributor. That's how I feel, too. Our food is so depleted. Nutritional analyses of food from our time vs. food from the 1960s shows significant decreases in almost all vitamins and minerals tested, because our food is grown in nutrient-poor soil fertilized artificially with the sole aim of maximum yield and transportability, with no eye to nutritive value. It doesn't have to be this way. We could go back to growing food the way nature intended. But anyway, the doctor told me she'd send a note to my GP saying that I'm just fine in terms of mental health. That concluded my exciting psychiatric evaluation.
Yesterday, Samantha and I attended the baptism of one of her friends from Primary, which was neat. Levi and Glenn went to taekwondo. Glenn has a belt test next week. He is currently a dark blue belt, and I think he will move up to red!
The kids had Monday off school due to some ice on the roads. We drove to Target and A.C. Moore (a craft store) late in the morning, and had no problems. The kids had allowance money burning holes in their pockets. I also needed some new prizes for the kids' piano-practicing motivation. Glenn picked out a little Lego set with a fireman and his motorcycle. Samantha chose to save her money a bit longer.
Week before last, Glenn said, "I love my family, I have the best family in the entire world....well, maybe in Virginia, probably not in the entire world." Today I was giving him a piano lesson and he needed to get into the bench but I was sitting on it. He said, "Um, excuse me," and I said, "Oh, do you need me to move my fat butt?" He said, "Oh, yeah, but it's not really that fat." I love that kid.
I've begun doing a daily photo challenge where each day you take a photo based on a one-word theme. We have a good camera and I have not been using it. In high school I learned how to use all the manual settings and get what I want from aperture and shutter speed, but our digital camera has a lot of the controls embedded in menus on a screen, which I just don't feel like learning. But it's silly to have such a nice camera and not use it. So I'm not very good right now, but I'll try to get better. Here are the photos from the last seven days:
January 28: through
January 29: grow
January 30: down
January 31: yourself
February 1: fork
February 2: pattern
February 3: something beginning with 'e' (Samantha's doll's name is Evelyn, which begins with 'e')