April's Life Adventures
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The ever Sultry man in my life has chosen to go by the name of Sultry Husband within the walls of my blog. Occasionally he will post his thoughts and experiences here as well. A writer by trade as well as passion, he keeps our home a happy and inviting place.
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Thursday, January 04, 2007Leaving Blogger
I wrote a whole post on this topic on my NEW SITE. I won't go into it totally but come visit me! Leave me a note to say you found me, update your sidebar links and lets get going! I really disliked the new blogger and that they forced us all to convert over to it. If I could have stayed with the old blogger, I would have stayed here probably.
For now, as I said on the new site, I have to leave my archives intact here or I would loose all comments. Someday soon however it will all be moved over to my new home, but for now enjoy.
May we all jump on the bandwagon and follow KAREN and JULIA over to wordpress. It is so user friendly that it makes me happy!
Labels: Leaving Blogger
Saturday, December 30, 2006Options
Today is the day that Blogger has chosen to force me into the Beta system. I am quite frustrated here, as I don't like using the Google system, but that is my downfall. I hope it proves to be a better system and as one of my new years resolutions is to be more positive, well there ya go another opportunity to think about the good side.
For now, let me tell you all about what has happened in the last 48 hours or so. Fabulous news all around so be patient with me, it will all come out.
Good News #1
I had sent the x-rays of my hip to a specialist in another state. I was hoping that I would be a candidate for a new type of hip resurfacing system. On Thursday afternoon we heard from him. He stated that I was NOT a candidate for his or ANY OTHER surgery at this time. He did not see any reason to replace my hip for any reason! Perhaps, years down the road it will still need to be done, but not for many years. He thinks that it is a detachment of some muscles or something that is causing my pain. Our new recommendation is that we have an MRI done, get some new medications and Physical Therapy, and then we may be able to have lots and lots of kids! Thats right people, the ban on a large family may be lifted!
Good news #2
We have a very likely renter for our Idaho House! We got the call this morning that there is a lady wanting to move in. She is already with the rental agency and just looking for a different house, so we know that she is responsible and pays her bills. We are so excited, it should go through just after the new year so YAY FOR US!
Good news #3
With our moving out of the Idaho house, the county lowered the taxes on the home because it was no longer our primary dwelling place. We knew that it was all taken out of our Escrow account, so I didn't think too hard on it when we moved. However, we have now received a surplus check from the mortgage company! Yay for late Christmas Presents!
Good news #4
Sultry Husband has always wanted a projector tv. I mean, the kind that is like a movie theater in your own home. Before Christmas, he found one for a steal because of a rebate offer. Now, we have ordered that TV that will be paid for with less than our mortgage rebate check! WHOO HOO! We will have some left to save for a rainy day, so don't be concerned with us "blowing" the unexpected income. This projector was something that we have wanted well, forever, and this was a deal that we seriously did not want to turn down.
Good news #5
Sultry Husband got a great review from his managers at work. Therefore, we really should be getting a raise. This would be the first of our working career ever. We will know in the next few days how much, but yay for our team and for SH finding a job that he loves and who appreciates his tallents!
Things are looking up for us, we have big plans for 2007, but over all I hope that it is the year of stability!
Labels: New Year
Thursday, December 28, 2006The pain of embarrassment
This week, we have been away from home like many others we know. It has been the best Christmas Holiday! I got to see each and every one of my siblings, and we were also able to go visit Sultry Husband's parents. Seriously, it has been a fabulous trip. We are even extending by a day because of bad weather, but we are definitely not complaining.
Anyway, Sultry Husband's parents have a house with many many MANY stairs. Usually it isn't much of a problem because I don't mind that the kids get super tired after a day of going up and down and down then up. They usually zonk right out at bed time. Anyway, with my hip problems lately, I have been a little scared of the stairs. I did venture up but only when absolutely necessary. I really was being careful, but as you could imagine, me with my cane, and I was stupid and didn't put shoes on. My sock clad feet were just too slippery and I fell halfway down the stairs hitting my rear end and hip pretty hard.
Was I in pain, definitely. Am I still in pain, definitely. In fact, I have a nice purple and green bruise that circles from the front of my hip all the way around to the middle of my behind. I must admit however that I was more painfully embarrassed that I fell. It was very loud, and I was instantly surrounded by well meaning family members who wanted to make sure I was alright. I am glad that I am so loved, but I had to put on a brave face because I didn't want them to worry or make too big of a fuss over my incident.
Yes I will mend, I already feel much better than I did yesterday. I am also glad that I have one more day to recuperate before heading home in the morning. I just hope that I can get beyond my own feelings of weirdness to the point where I can just thank them for their kindness and loving embrace. They really do care about me, and perhaps I needed to fall and hurt myself just to have a reminder that even though I am the in-law here, I am still as loved and cared for as if I were their daughter. I love that about them.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006Christmas makes me crazy!
I, like about five billion other people, love Christmas. However, this year more than any other it is making me crazy! As usual, it is all about money heh. In the past, we haven't really had a good job so we were out of cash by December paying the evil heating bill. This year, where we have a real job and we live in the desert thus no heating bill, it should have been easy! Ya.. um... so I told you guys before about the renter situation in Idaho. No, we have not found new renters yet. However, we have found a way to go home after all! YAY for our team!
Ok, so on to my dilemma. I also teach Violin and Viola lessons. One of my favorite families has two students in my studio. The mother of this oh so awesome family offered to pay me for the entire month of January! That is five lessons for two people! Can you say Christmas Presents after all? I had blocked the idea of Christmas presents from my brain. I mean seriously, I didn't think that Sultry Husband could afford to get me anything, so I was prepared to deal with that. What I am not prepared to deal with is his new questions of "What can I get you for Christmas?" Not to mention, I now have to come up with something brilliant for him as well... so here is where you all come in. What are you asking for and what are you giving your husbands?
Tuesday, December 12, 2006Dream House
This was sent to us by a couple of friends, and lets just say that it is Sultry Husband's dream house. Personally, I think that our neighbors would kill us if we did something like this.
So cool! Oh and by the way, this is totally real. They guy is an eletrical engineer. It takes 2 months and 86,000 lights to complete. We totally need to learn how to do that hehe.
Thursday, December 07, 2006A little bit of frazzle
My little sister had her very first baby. It is a huge deal for all of us in the family, we have been waiting for this little one for quite some time. Anyway, in our church we give them a "blessing" which is quite a personal time, but we always welcome all of our friends and family to attend. So, the blessing date was this past Sunday, and of course we all had to be there!
One problem though, I had a concert to play in on Friday night, so the soonest we could leave was Saturday morning. The galloping goose can't be trusted on a drive like that anymore, so we went to rent a vehicle. It added about 45 minutes to our trip, quite worth it if you ask me, to get this car. However, when we arrived at the rental agency, they informed us that the car they had reserved for us had not shown up, it was a day late already. Ugh. We sat there for another 45 minutes while they tried to find us another vehicle. Their lot was totally empty. Eventually they found us a mini-van. So, we rented the van at the compact car rate and they even threw in a tank of gas because they felt so horrible about the incident. Aside from leaving two hours later than we wanted from the city, we were pretty happy. It ended up getting about 25 miles to the gallon so we were alright with the switch.
After leaving the rental agency, we drove all the way to Salt Lake. My parents still live there, and we stopped in with them for the evening. It had taken us about 5 hours to get there. The next day we rose early, drove another 5 hours to my sisters house. We arrived just in time for the blessing, then turned around and drove the 5 hours back to my parents house. Monday, we needed a little bit of fun, so SH, myself, and the kids went to a movie. Following that, we drove home... Straight home. It took us about 5 hours again. By the time I climbed into my bed on Monday night, I was frazzled and extremely tired. Was that the end? Never! Tuesday morning I had to drive back to St. George (1 1/2 hours away) to return the van. Bleh! Another three hour round trip!
I think I could stay in this house for a week and be happy. But of course I had violin lessons to teach, a house that looks like a tornado hit it, oh and I also missed the fungus dog's appointment with the vet on Tuesday. There is more to do than I could accomplish in a week if I worked 8 hours a day. I feel like I need a vacation from my trip.
Oh and one more note on the weekend. Our renters in Idaho have moved out, the house is vacant and therefore we have to cover the entire mortgage on our own. In December. I knew that if we didn't find renters, I had to decide if I would rather go to the blessing or go home for Christmas. I am still hoping that we find renters soon, but every day that goes by without word from the property managers creates the more likelihood that I won't be going anywhere for the holiday. Am I sad about this? Yes. Do I regret going to my sisters this weekend? Never. It was worth it just to have her know that I made the effort just for her. One of those moments that she will remember. Every one of her siblings was there, no matter how far we all had to come. We gathered around one that we love, and that my friends is truly priceless.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006Cute Family Moments
Last Saturday we went into the Forrest and cut down our Christmas Tree! We had a blast, and since this house is the first that has ever had high ceilings, Sultry Husband was totally excited to get a huge monster. I mean a 12 foot tree! This thing takes up so much room! But I do have to admit that it is very beautiful. He also wanted to try all blue lights this year, so we did... However we did not buy enough lights to fill the monster, so this week we will be getting a few more :-)
L had a very cute conversation with Daddy the other day. You know how three year old's can take themselves very serious, well this was important to her so she asked Daddy a question.
L: "Daddy, I like Jesus."
Daddy: "That is great L, its good to like Jesus."
L: "Daddy, can I still like Santa Clause?"
Adorable I tell you!
One not so cute moment this week, we found out what has been wrong with Copper our Golden Retriever. According to the vet "we have a fungus among us." Bleh! He has two very scaly looking itchy spots on his shoulders. We are now treating him with meds, but they told us to quarantine him. I mean, he can't be near our other dog or our kids. What am I supposed to do with a fungal dog at Christmas time?! We were supposed to be boarding him when we go up for Christmas and now I don't know what to do with him. Grumble. It is a very good thing that he is such a great dog. He needs all the positive points he can get!
Friday, November 24, 2006Alone?
This Thanksgiving was like many others for us, that is we could not go home. In our marriage, it is usually a choice between going home for a short weekend for Thanksgiving or going home for a longer stay at Christmas. Which one would you choose?
This year however, we are not surrounded by the myriad of wonderful friends that we had in Idaho. As Sultry Husband and I discussed our options about the celebration, we came upon a wonderful idea! You see, many of the people who work for SH's company have come to this small town far away from their families. Just like us. Why not invite a bunch of them over and have our own feast?!
Sultry Husband sent out a whole bunch of e-mail invitations to co-workers, and we ended up with five very enthusiastic people. Each was single, living down here without family, and choosing to go home at Christmas time, just like us.
The party was fabulous! First of all, our neighbor has a deep fryer that he uses each year and does anyone's turkey that would like... mmmm deep fried turkey that I didn't have to cook myself. I have to admit it was so delicious! I had heard from this neighbor that once you had tried a deep fried turkey, you would never go back. It is so true, that SH and I have thought about getting our own deep frier if we ever move away from here... of course, we had other side dishes, all in all we had way too much food.
The crazy part is that I had planned on making one pie. One of the guests was bringing a pie, so I thought two all together would be enough. I have to interject something here, I HATE and I really do mean can not stand the smell, touch, and especially the icky gross taste of pumpkin pie. SH and I are like minded in this, so we have never made one within this household before. M however, went to her kindergarten "Feast" on Wednesday and tasted the evil substance. She came home raving about how much she loved the pumpkin pie and it was now her new favorite treat and how she couldn't wait for our Thanksgiving so she could have more Pumpkin Pie. Ugh. I made a pumpkin pie that night. Then in the morning I made my traditional Apple Pie to die for. I had extra pie crust left so I got a little adventurous and decided to try making a banana cream pie complete with meringue on top. I was a little afraid, seeing as I have never ever made a meringue before. It was the talk of the party! Everyone loved it so much they all took some of it home afterwards!
We played games, we laughed, we talked. Real, adult conversation! There was only one awkward moment when one of the guests requested coffee with her pie. We explained that we aren't coffee drinkers, then she asked for Tea... uh sorry... Other than that, it was a fabulous and memorable holiday.
Oh and the best part... They all pitched in and cleaned my kitchen when the party was winding down. Today all I have to do is open my fridge and enjoy the left overs. No cleaning for me!
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Sometimes when kids don't feel very well, they want to snuggle. I knew that L had a bad cold so I set her up on the couch with a nice warm blanket. When I returned a few minuites later, Phnarph the ever snuggle happy corgi was curled up under one of the blankets.
I asked L why Phnarph was under her blanket and not her, to which she replied "Mommy, Phnarphie was cold". He was obviously not complaining about the pampering.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006It's Here! IT'S HERE!
Yesterday was a very special day! A little less than three years ago, Sultry Husband started a project. It was no ordinary project, it was to be an amazing journey full of ups and downs, but most of all it was the fulfillment of a dream.
Yesterday, Sultry Husband's first book came to us in the mail! He held the first copy. Then we went out to dinner (of course), and rounded out the evening with a few purchases. Namely a pen to sign the first copy for himself and the second copy for me, and a shadow box to hold the first ever copy of the first ever book published with my husband's name as the author! It won't hit the bookstores or amazon.com until later this month, but we have our first copies! You had better believe that I am excited!
So there you have it folks, for those who didn't know our last name until now, I am definitely not hiding it now heh, you also now know Sultry Husband's real name which is fine with me, but I will continue to call him Sultry Husband here.
Never in the history of the world could a wife be more proud of her husband than I am of Dave right now. He set a goal, I supported that goal, and we achieved it together.
Thursday, November 02, 2006Halloween
Well, Happy Halloween everyone! A few days late anyway...
As usual, please forgive my blur of the kids faces, but I have to show off the costumes as usual. The funny thing about this year is that L was determined to be Big Bird. Again. We always let our kids decide what they want to be (with a little direction of course), so we allowed her to wear the favorite costume again. Totally cute as usual, and since we are in a new area, there was no way that anyone would know that it was a second year in a row costume. She also told me exactly what shapes she wanted her pumpkin to have on his face. I thought the square nose especially cool.
M on the other hand, wanted to be Superman. With some "gentle" prodding from me, she changed her mind enough to be Supergirl instead. I was a little afraid of letting my 6 year old be a man at school, I just think it would invite teasing. With her pumpkin, I had her draw the face she wanted on a piece of paper, then she helped me transfer it onto her pumpkin. I especially liked the three eyes, they are very scary.
I have to admit that I am quite proud of M's costume this year. I bought a pink dance outfit, then made the Supergirl insignia and I even made the cape! The pink that you see is actually the inside lining and the outside is a deep Burgundy. She still talks about how cool the cape was, and I must agree with her there... The first thing I have ever made from start to finish on my very own!
L totally out trick or treated M this year. She ran up to each door as fast as she could. They fought over who's turn it was to knock, but they would both yell the magic words together. At one house in particular, L said it was her turn to knock, but M had beaten her to it. The howl that came from L was scary enough to wake the dead! We kept asking the girls if they had enough of trick or treating, and always the answer was "NO!" Eventually, we cut off the candy flow and took them home. L took about five steps into the house and crumpled to the floor, fast asleep. Her bed was just too far to find. Poor Big Bird!
Curse you Blogger! I have a halloween post all written and ready to post, except for the fact that blogger won't let me post any pictures! I shall keep trying throughout the day, but I am so totally frustrated after spending over an hour trying to coax and prod the pictures to upload. Blogger even went as far as to tell me that the pictures were uploaded fine, I could click the "done" button and place them in the text, but when I did what I was supposed to do, I was rewarded with a blank blog instead of even the text I had written. I am done.
Thursday, October 26, 2006BRAAAAAAAAP, I love you!
The animal sanctuary down here has a beautiful bird department. I love to visit there whenever I can, just to play with the various plumed creatures. Some of the larger ones frighten me, not because they are mean or anything, but because they are just so big! Anyway, the bird department has been getting a lot of animals lately. They are constantly turning poor birds away because they just don't have the room for them all. That is where we come in.
Sultry Husband was told that the sanctuary was starting a new program in which birds would be put into foster care. We signed right up. You see, we love parrots of all kinds, but they are a huge responsibility. Not only are we responsible for their care, but they can live up to 60 years as well! So, I would now like to introduce Jasper. She is a beautiful Amazon Grey Parrot who lost her home when her family divorced. She is beautiful! A little shy at first, and we need to work on her socialization skills, but she will be a great fit for us.
Sultry Husband went to pick her up, "Jasper do you want to come out?" followed by a very soft "noooooo" from the bird. Once she had been here for a few hours, the shy part of her personality was put away and her true character shone through as bright as ever. The phone rang and suddenly I hear this strange voice saying "Hello?", thank you Jasper. A few more quirky words and noises followed. The true Jasper moment happened a few hours later when Sultry Husband walked in with a soda. He suddenly heard a very loud "BRAAAAAAP!" this bird can belch! Sultry Husband laughed so hard! Then came the farts. Now to be clear, the bird isn't really farting and burping, she is only mimicking the sounds that she heard her former owners make. I think I need to catalogue Jaspers words and noises, although I don't know if I could ever remember them all. She is such a sweet bird, who is extremely entertaining at least! Only she could belch then say I love you in the same sentence. Go Jasper!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006Book Club
I am always and forever looking for people to discuss my favorite books with. I read like mad and love to talk about them afterward, so I decided to create a new blog called "April's Book Club". Check it out here. I also put a link on the right side of the blog under Book Club. Let me know if you would like to join it and I will put a link back to your original blog if you like! I hope this catches on because it sounds totally fun to me!
Friday, October 20, 2006Amazing Kids
Like Heather, I have realized that my posts have been a bit down lately. Therefore I refuse to post about my hip, I will update later, in a few days perhaps. For now, here is something really funny that happened.
When my brother was a young boy, he amazed his teachers by telling them all about the types of clouds. He knew the different types and recited them with accuracy. My mom was always pointing out different types and talking to us about them.
Last week, while M was at school it was very dark and stormy. The clouds were very dark and scary looking. A boy in her class was refusing to go outside for recess because for sure there was going to be a tornado. M walked up to him, put her hands on her hips and said,
"tornadoes happen when warm air rises and meets the cool air. Then it begins to spin and a funnel will form and come down to touch the ground. It is too cold here so there isn't any warm air to rise up to the clouds. There won't be a tornado."
She then took the boy by the hand and they ran outside to play, leaving her teacher shocked and amazed at my daughter. M watches "dragonfly TV" on PBS which is all about normal kids and science. About a month ago, they had an episode about tornadoes. She talked about them with her Dad as well, but I seriously didn't expect her to remember how they worked, let alone recite the correct facts to a classmate in kindergarten.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006The story
Several of you have asked me about why I need a new hip so young. Yes I am only 27 years old and yes I need a hip replacement or a hip restructuring. Here is the basic story.
When I was eleven years old I crashed my bike into a truck. My right leg was severely fractured (so much that you could see the bone sticking out), my left knee was broken as well. However, when I was asked about where I hurt, my answer was my left hip. It was fractured and dislocated. When the doctor went to put it back into place, it popped in extremely easy which made him uneasy. He said that the easier it goes in, the easier it could come back out again. I spent the entire summer in a hospital bed, in traction, then finally in a wheel chair, a walker, crutches, and a cane. Thankfully this happened just at the end of school, so I was home taught by my teacher for a month, and I had the summer to recover.
As the school year started again, I was back up on my feet and able to attend as usual. It was not until a year later in the seventh grade that I started having pain. Any time I ran, jumped, or did about anything active I would hurt for days afterward. I was pulled from the Gym program. I was told to choose activities that would not require me to run or exert myself in any way. I hated it. Eventually the pain increased, about the time I started high school. I would have to use a cane, and as I shared in earlier posts, the kids were not very kind to me about it. The curse of my life.
We went to specialists, we went to alternative medicine, we tried about everything we could think of to get me out of pain. When I was eighteen, my orthopedic surgeon told me the devastating news that sometime before I reached age thirty, I would need a total replacement.
I have made it almost ten years since that diagnosis, and it is only in the past eight months or so that I have really begun to hurt to the level that we know the replacement is looming. I have a procedure tomorrow to hopefully get me out of enough pain that we could try for one more child. I would happily spend the entire nine months in bed, in pain if it meant that I could have even one more choice spirit join my family. So that is our choice right now, we try to hold off the pain just long enough. I pray that we are blessed with one more because I know for sure it will be my last. And that just kills me.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006All consuming thoughts
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am having some major hip issues going on in my life right now. The time has come for a replacement of sorts. We thought at first that I would have a total hip replacement, but it looks like I may have a few other options. There is a new technique being perfected that is hip restructuring. We are excited about the concept and the hope that I could be pain free without a total hip!
That being said, the consuming thoughts are all about making the right decision. We are wading through so many documents about different procedures that it is easy to get bogged down. The worst came when I was reading in the physicians section of one of the websites, I ran across a procedure outline that tells how the entire thing is done step by step. After reading what would be done with my body, I felt very nauseated and had to lie down. I think that I will leave those sections to Sultry Husband hehe.
Anyway I have found that when you have a giant decision looming in the near future, it is hard to concentrate on anything else. How will this be paid for, how will we choose which procedure, how can I reduce the pain in the interim, how will we know which decision to make? I am glad that I have other more knowledgeable people in my court. I can make a list of questions and fire them off to a number of people who can interpret them for me. Most of all, right now I am thankful for my family members who care enough to help me through this, every daunting and overwhelming step at a time.
Update: The hopes of this morning have been dashed. I am a candidate for the surgery, but I was told that I would have to choose between having more children or having the surgery. Please don't tell me how lucky I am to have two kids already, I know that I am blessed. I just can't help but mourn for all of the children I wanted but will never have. Perhaps I am being over dramatic, but right now my thoughts are all consuming in a different direction than this morning.
Friday, October 13, 2006Fearless?
Time to update all of you on what happened to me last night. I arrived a few minutes early for rehearsal. There were only three people there! Suddenly I was terrified that they had all heard that I was running the rehearsal and decided not to show up. Can we say inferiority complex?
Fifteen minutes after the rehearsal was supposed to start, I had enough people to actually make it worth the effort. I sent the winds and brass to a sectional, while I worked with the strings. We are playing the Egmont overture by Beethoven, a piece that I have performed more times than I can remember. There is a very difficult section near the end that the strings always struggle with. Our director had been taking it at about half tempo (really slow) and planed on keeping it there for the performance. I asked him why, and he replied that he didn't think our string section could take it. That is where I come to the rescue! I got those strings going enough that they are now up to full tempo! I was extatic! I just gave them some clues to help and suddenly we were there, at the speed we wanted to be at. I can't wait to tell the director!
When I pulled the entire group together, I decided to tell a joke. It lightened the mood considerably, and helped me to bring them all to a happy place where we could actually get some work done.
Q: What do you do with a violist who can't count?
A: Take away their viola, give em' two sticks and send em' to the back.
Q: What if they still can't count?
A: Take away one stick and send them to the front.
*Insert happy sounds of laughter*
I did learn something about myself last night though. Strings I can handle like the back of my hand. I am a string player, and therefore I know how they think and how they function. Winds and Brass however, terrify me. I am intimidated when they look at me wrong, I think they are waiting for me to fail (although I know it wasn't the case). Throughout the rest of the rehearsal, things went really well though. I was scared of those mean ole' winds and brass, but I got through.
The best part of the evening was when we were all finished, packing up, and getting ready to leave. This old farmer guy who plays the trumpet in our group came up to me and said "I really like your conducting style". Said in a very simple, back country way of his but it made my night!
Now that I have substituted for K, I know he will ask me to do it again and again... I am actually going to suggest to him that I always handle the string sectional at the beginning. The director is not a string player and therefore gives very little direction to them other than to play in tune. I think that my idea could really shape the sections and help them to progress a little bit more... Just a thought though. But then, I am probably just getting ahead of myself. At least next time I fill in, I won't have a heart attack the week before. I can do this. I can!
Thursday, October 12, 2006Random Thursday
This is just one of those days where there is way too much to share to make a single post about all of them, so I will do a random post with a lot of little things...
The final edits have been approved, the cover art is fabulous, the author bio in the back is chosen, most of all Sultry Husband's book goes to printing this morning! We don't have a release date yet, sometime in November, but they are actually putting my husbands words into a book form today! Oh, and for all of those who have been asking, the title of the book is "Broken". It will be in many book stores as well as Amazon.com. So I will let ya'll know when it will actually be out so you can all go buy it! hehe.
I get to volunteer in M's kindergarten class this morning. I am actually really excited! She was upset that I wouldn't be riding the bus with her, but I had to explain that they don't want me till 9:30, so she would have some time at school before I come. She will get over it.
This evening I will be pretending to be the conductor of the Symphony. I am terrified. I also have been practicing like mad, so I am prepared. I have always been told that he who is prepared shall not fear... Well guess what folks, no matter how prepared I am, I fear!
Sometime today we are getting a new bed. Our old one literally broke on us, so we decided to upgrade to a King Sized mattress! Whoo Hoo! Space here we come! We bought it last week, and it is being delivered sometime this afternoon.
I went to an orthopedic specialist yesterday about my old hip injury. He took one look at the x-rays and pronounced what I already knew, yup I will be getting a hip replacement at some point. It has been giving me a lot more pain lately, the doc actually said that it is time to replace a hip when the patient can no longer walk a mile without pain. Well folks, if I walk a half a mile I end up crying because it hurts so bad. It is time, but I am choosing to wait. Why you ask? Because I am only 27, and hips will last at the most for 20 years. Therefore I need to limit how many replacements I will need in my life. Each time you have a replacement it gets more complicated and can take away from quality of life. Thus sayeth the doctors anyway, so they counseled me to wait as long as I can possibly stand it. He suggested some things to help me, one of which is to use my good ole' cane again. Ugg. That is the one thing that I really don't want to do. It brings a lot of attention to something I would rather hide from the world. At least the world who sees me face to face every day.
Oh and one more thing about my hip... Normal ball and socket joints are a nice round shape. Mine however is an octagon. So whenever you see a stop sign, think of me. It is what I am walking on. And I wondered why I hurt!
My parents are coming for a visit this weekend! My girls are so excited, and to tell you the truth, so am I. It isn't as if it has been years since I have seen them, but company of any kind down here is something to get worked up about. The only problem is that I am hurting so bad that I know my house won't be clean enough. I know that my mom will spend the weekend helping me out cleaning my house to spotless perfection. It is just her thing. And I love her dearly for it. My dad will have a list of wonderful things to fix while he is here, my mom will clean like the wind, and we will go up to the mountains for one last smores roast before the snows come...
Most of all life is busy, life is good, and life goes on.
Thursday, October 05, 2006Associate Conductor?
The conductor of the symphony I am in is going in vacation for a week. I ran into him this afternoon and he asked me a question.
K: "April, you know how to conduct don't you?"
Me: "Yes, I have had some experience."
K: "I am going on vacation and I was hoping that you would run the rehearsal next week."
Me: "Uh, sure K I would be happy to." (Said while smiling at K, yet screaming inside with every fiber of my being NO! Don't do it!)
What was I thinking?!
Tuesday, October 03, 2006Knock Knock
A while back, I shared M's first joke with you all. L has now followed in her big sister's footprints and told Daddy her first joke this morning.
L: "Knock Knock!"
Daddy: "Who's there?"
Daddy: "Dinosaur who?"
Yesterday L came running inside to tell me something very important! She was huffing and puffing from the effort of running in to find me. And what was her very important message?
L: "Mommy! Mommy! Someone is stealing all of the leaves off of our trees!"
Me: "Oh L, that is why this time of year is called the Fall. It is time for the leaves to fall off the trees."
L: "NO! Mommy! I think it is the birds! They are stealing all the leaves off the trees! You have to tell them to stop!"
There was nothing that I could say that would comfort her about loosing the beautiful leaves... I love my kids. They bring laughter into my life even when they are just trying to understand the world around them.
Thursday, September 28, 2006Stolen from Sariah
The other day Sariah wrote a post about her previous job experiences along with her current position as a wife and mother. I had to steal the idea so here we go on April's journey through employment.
At the ripe age of 11, I became a paper delivery specialist. I had to arise at 4:30 each morning to fold horrible papers that turned my hands completely black. An hour after beginning to fold my papers, I would be headed out the door on my trusty bike to deliver these horrible things to people's homes. One man whom I actually liked, gave me a $20 tip every month if I would put the paper between his storm door and front door. So worth the time. I was lucky that my mom would drive me on Sundays because lets face it people, Sunday papers have WAY too many adds for the poor paper delivery service!
In the 9th grade, some of the students in orchestra noticed that I could play better than they could. They asked me to teach them what I had learned from my private teachers. I was happy to oblige and thus I began to teach. I charged $5 for a half hour lesson. Not bad for a 14 year old kid.
At the age of 16, I decided to go get a real job. McDonalds here we come! I walked in and was hired on the spot. I worked every Friday and Saturday night till 2 am. I worked every day after school. I worked during most dances because my boss would "forget" to schedule me off as I requested. I hated every second of my 9 months there.
Because I was so turned off by the food service profession, a friend of mine got me a job at a place called "Unabase Technologies". To this day, I have no idea what they really did. All I know is that I had a little pass to hang around my neck, which allowed me inside the building, and into my little cubicle. Do any of you remember when Snapple had that national campaign to give a friend a free snaple. All you had to do was call this 1-800 number and leave your friend's address. They would get a coupon for a free snapple. Ever wonder who had to listen to all of those messages? ME. That's right folks, I had to listen to all of you giving your addresses far to fast and sometimes just leaving obscenities. Occasionally however, I would have a "hang up" at which point I would input my own address into the blank form for that file. Heh, I had quite the collection of free snapples.
One of my all time favorite jobs was dropped into my lap by yet another friend. You see, my school district lost some funding and had to cut the elementary school music program. The parents were outraged. Thus the district made a compromise. They hired high school seniors like myself to teach elementary school music classes before and after school. They paid $13.00 an hour. I took on two schools, one before and one after. Not to mention the district would pay me for an hour of prep time per school. I wonder if they realized that I would use the same lesson plan for each school and thus get paid for two prep hours when I only needed one. So, I got paid for four hours a day when I was only doing the work of three hours. I made a lot of money that year and at the end of it all, I traded in my old viola and put all the rest of my hard earned money towards my new beautiful viola which was exactly what I needed as a music major! Unfortunately that job ended with the school year, and I was forced to find other employment for the summer.
I knew that the change in my employment would come, so I planned ahead. My sister was involved in cosmetology school and the owner had been complaining for a while that she needed a personal assistant. Knowing that my teaching would end soon, I applied for the position in March. Therefore I worked two jobs for a while, loving every minute of each. I did all of the computer work and answered phones on occasion. I shared my office with the owner and became friends with her. She would come to me for advice on things that a high school senior really shouldn't have known. Things about life in general. The funny thing was that I usually seemed to be able to answer her questions fully and to her satisfaction. I loved my job again.
The first year of college I did not look for a job. My parents did their best to support me, but I found that my bank account was often empty. It never even occurred to me to look for work... I was having way too much fun! I was on a scholarship and the remains of my summer employment covered much of my rent. Food was the only problem... And I would "home shop" whenever I visited so my kitchen was usually stocked.
As I returned home for the summer months, I knew that I needed to find a job again. I decided to look within retail. A large department store in the mall called ZCMI was looking for makeup artists to work their counters. I told them of my limited experience in this area, but they took me on anyway. The line I worked was called "Roberto Bejon". This crazy Italian guy (Roberto himself) came into the store to train me on his product line. He worked with me for weeks to learn the techniques in make up application. I enjoyed most of my time there, but the main problem was that I had to be on my feet all day long. Man I was always in pain by the end of my shift!
The second year I decided to find a job. The first week of school, I found out that the music department was putting together a MIDI lab (computers and keyboards together). I happened to take several courses in High School that used the exact programs that the college was using. I volunteered my services in the setting up of the lab because he looked stressed out and frustrated with trying to figure out the process that I already knew. The professor hired me to be the MIDI lab specialist and one of three tutors available for drop in tutoring... (the other two were my dear friends Dana and Heather).... I loved that job...
The summer following my second year I was engaged to Sultry Husband. I knew that I needed to earn as much as I possibly could before our marriage in late July. I pulled some strings with the former employer at the hair school. She suggested I look up the high manager of Hair Cuts Plus, whom my sisters all knew anyway so there was another angle to get the job. As soon as I mentioned my last name on the phone to the high manager she hired me. Without knowing which location I would even go into. She found two locations that needed a receptionist. Between the two places I ended up working 6 days a week. It was insane, but great money! Not to mention free acrylic nails for my wedding ;-)
Since our marriage, I have worked in some weird places, and some not so weird places. My favorite is in my home, working as a mom. Followed closely by teaching students out of my home. Right now I have enough students that I will be putting any others onto a waiting list. My schedule is just too full! What a fantastic problem!
Last night at symphony practice, my director mentioned that we are having issues because of our size. We need a cello section, yet the only person who plays has not shown up for the past two concerts. He asked our Bass clarinet if she could read a cello part... To which she said absolutely not. She does not know how to transpose for her instrument. I do. Therefore, my latest position is that of Official Symphony Orchestrator. I will be changing parts around from time to time to fit our instrumentation. I am so excited! I finally get to use some of my orchestration skills that I learned in school! Yay for jobs falling in your lap... They have definitely been my favorite.
When I was a kid, my older siblings loved to watch a show called "In Living Color". In actuality it was a pretty racy show, I would never allow my kids to watch it, but there was one sketch that has stayed with me from those early years. Shenay-nay was a "lady" who had these HUGE lips. I mean, they looked like she kissed a curling iron they were so big. Her line was "I'll rock your world" which always made everyone laugh because she looked so stupid at the same time.
Anyway, I have a problem. I have chronic cold sores. Usually I can avoid them with constant chap stick and lots of water consumption, but occasionally they come back no matter what I do. Yesterday I felt the tingle and ran for my campho phenique and abreva tubes to no avail. They are here. When I say they, I mean four huge sores on my lips! I don't usually get them this bad, perhaps one at a time, but it has been over a year since I have had a sore, so I suppose my body is making up for lost time.
When Sultry Husband got home last night, he took one look at my face and kissed my forehead. I then looked at him and said "I'll rock your world" at which point we both dissolved into fits of giggles. At least I can still laugh, even if I do look stupid and swollen. I hope my poor violin students are half as forgiving as my dear husband.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006New Member? I think not.
When we moved down here so Sultry Husband could work at an animal sanctuary, my brother teased me that I would be getting five new animals. Namely dogs. I swore to myself and to him that this would not be the case. Two dogs and a parrot are enough for anyone right?
I have been told that the sanctuary has a new dog. Well they have more than 150 new dogs this week but that is a different much longer story. The one in particular is named "Belle". She is a two year old pembroke welsh corgi. The caregivers up there know my dogs (including Phnarph my corgi), and istantly contacted my husband to see if we wanted to adopt her. My heart completely sank. I have an insane draw to the corgi family. They are playfull, fun, and most of all they are great with kids. I never have to fear my kids being around a corgi.
We discussed adopting her for about 10 minuites. I don't want to run a farm so we are passing on her. It breaks my heart to see such a beautiful and perfect animal without a home... anyone want to adopt a fabulous sweetheart?
Tuesday, September 26, 2006Philosophy
I am feeling rather philosophical this morning, so I decided that I would look for a quote to match my mood... here is the first one I came across that struck me:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul.
And sings the tune
Without the words,
and never stops at all.
Yup that works.
One of my favorite pictures of Sultry Husband. He is leading L down a path in Zion's National Park (our favorite local park at the moment).
Friday, September 22, 2006Fun with fire
Sometimes parenting is a tough gig. It’s not always easy to know ahead of time what your kids will find sad or upsetting. Consider a family campfire we had a couple days back. Up in the mountains, enjoying the crisp near-autumn air and gorgeous fall colors, roasting marshmallows over the flames. The kind of moments that make the rest of the week fade into the background.
So then, for extra laughs and to add to the magic of the memory, I tossed M’s favorite toy on the fire so we could all cackle gleefully while it burst into flames. And for some strange reason (hard to believe, I know) M had a problem with this! She even cried. I felt terrible. Who knew that kids liked their toys so much?
Okay, okay. Lest you hire a brute squad to send me to sleep with the fishes in the east river, I’ll explain that the cherished toy happened to be a piece of firewood. Yes, firewood. Our neighbor builds log beds and had given us some of the scrap pieces to burn. Some of these logs had worm tunnels in the wood, or “squiggly patterns” as M called them. And NO, we didn’t know she valued that particular chunk of squiggly patterned firewood as a playpiece until it was already in the fire going up in smoke. All kidding aside, we truly did feel bad. In her imaginitive child’s mind, Daddy had just torched what might have been the rocketship that carries her ponies to the moon for lunar picnics. Sigh. At least there was chocolate. That always helps. A little.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006Desperate for change
I have been disenchanted with my blog for a while now but I couldn't figure out why. Then today I started looking through other's blogs and realized that it was all because I was bored with my format. I think that the puke yellow was getting to me. I never liked that color but I loved the picture at the top. I decided to go with colors that make me happy and a format that I like, so here is my new attempt. The site will be changing over time to fit my personality more but for now this is what I have come up with... I know what I want to do with the site, now all that is left is to figure out how to do it :-)
Saturday, September 09, 2006New
It seems that every time I turn around these days something new is happening. From kindergarten to birthdays. We have known for some time that M needed glasses. We held off for a while because we thought she wouldn't take good care of them.
I have memories of my first pair of glasses, I hated them. They were big, they were thick, and most of all they were heavy. I was determined to help M choose a pair of glasses that she could enjoy and look adorable in.
As we looked through the rows of glasses together, I kept picking them out and encouraging her to try them on. After some time, we both agreed upon a pair. We had to wait a week for the lenses to be placed within the new frames. I also purchased a new set for myself as it had been several years since my last pair. This time I chose red...
I placed them side by side for a picture when I realized that I basically bought her a small version of my own glasses. We do have similar face shapes but I still find the fact a bit amusing.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006M's life in pictures continued
This is my all time favorite picture of M. At this time in her life, we called her "The Shnook" which was short for "Shnookums". This picture was taken at 8 months old, the very first time she pushed up on her own.
Always smiling and clowning around. Shnook loved to play with us. Sultry Husband was making faces at her, so she made faces back at him.
Today is my beautiful daughter M's birthday. She is six years old! I wanted to do the typical post for her birthday sharing some of my favorite photo's of her as a little one, so I hope you will all enjoy some of my favorites.
The first time we were allowed to take her outside, we tried to put her in the swing... she didn't like it very much.
She did finally learn to like the swings, although we never pushed her very high till she was much bigger.
Of course we had to take her camping early. I attempted to keep her on that blue tarp and away from the dirt, but I bet you can guess how long that one lasted.
Alas blogger has decided that the picture uploading is at an end... I shall make a second post I think.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006Missed Opportunity
The evenings here have become very pleasant. The breeze picks up and the temperatures fall to a comfortable level. We have started walking after dinner and we have all enjoyed our time together. M picks flowers while L hugs her favorite stuffed animal and they both look for as many horses as we can find on our way. (There are actually quite a few horse corrals in the area so there are always plenty to find).
Today there was a small storm moving through the area, but we headed out for our walk anyway. It was a comfortable warm wind. After walking for about five minutes, we looked to the sky. Typically we find a hawk or two gliding through the skies searching for dinner, but this evening was different. My best guess is that there were some nice thermals caused by the storm, but we first saw five or six hawks. Then we kept looking, and suddenly there were ten soaring above our heads. As we opened our eyes further and really searched the sky's we noticed that there had to be more than fifty beautiful hawks soaring in the wind. Not one dove for the ground in search of the elusive field mouse, they were up in the sky to enjoy flight.
I turned around to get my camera to capture this amazing moment. Alas, when I arrived at home, I realized that the keys were still within Sultry Husband's pockets. By the time he returned home with the kids in tow, the hawks were well beyond the scope of my camera and the moment was lost. It reminded me of a post on Proud Mum's site recently. The moment is in my memory, I only wish I could share it with others... Frustration makes me want to carry my camera wherever I go. Perhaps the next time we have a storm rolling into the area, I will be prepared to capture these graceful animals.
Saturday, September 02, 2006New Car
The Galloping Goose has devoured another alternator. This last week, she decided that two in a year were not nearly enough, so the third was replaced. We are tired of this little habit of our beloved goose, and therefore we have decided that it is time to replace her. We will still keep her around (mostly for Sultry Husband to drive to work), but I will be driving the new car.
Yup, that's right, we are researching new vehicles. Well, new to us anyway. We found some fabulous deals and were quite excited about what a nice car we could still find for under $10,000. That is when my bubble burst. I went to look into financing for our new wheels, when I was told of an obscure law that only exists within this state I live in. You see, Arizona decided somewhere along the line that if someone wanted to finance a car, it had to be worth more than $10,000. That's right, we have to spend more than that or we will not be able to get a loan. What is up with that?! It seems like they want to keep their pockets lined with our tax dollars, and therefore no one can buy a cheap car. Even if it is a cheap car located in Florida, Texas, or Georgia. Because we live 4 miles into this state, we are stuck living by their dumb old law.
Now more than ever, I wish we could afford to live across the border in Utah. We may look more into this before we buy a car that is more expensive than we need. Perhaps there is a great House waiting for us where the politicians don't decide what kind of car I can drive.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006First Day
Yesterday was M's first day of kindergarten! I welled up a little and thought I might cry, but I avoided the classic parental blunder. I did however, take a camera with me and snap a dozen or so pictures.
When I returned to the school to pick her up, she scowled at me and asked, "Mommy, why didn't you let me stay longer?!" followed closely by "Did I miss cyberchase?" (*her favorite PBS kids show). I had to inform her that yes she did in fact miss her show, but that it would be on again in the late afternoon. I was a little sad that there was not even a "Hi Mom," or "I missed you so much mommy", or best yet "Don't make me go again because I want to stay home with you forever because I love you so much and can't stand to be away!" harrumph.
This morning was her first time to get on the school bus. I hope that all goes well and that she can find her classroom again by herself. I am discovering that I am a worrier. Did I prepare her enough to go off on her own like this? Did I baby her too much so she depends on me? Umm, somehow I think the answer is no. After all, I didn't let her stay there long enough yesterday now did I?
Friday, August 11, 2006The Rainbow Bridge
Sultry Husband works for an animal sanctuary. They are a home for around 1500 animals at any given time. They have their own language for things, some are quite interesting, and one in particular was meant to provide those who cared for the animals with some sort of comfort durring a difficult time. At one point it was decided that when the animals died, they did not just turn to dust, but they "crossed over the rainbow bridge". They have a beautiful animal cemetery on the property where the animals who cross the bridge then reside. It is a place of peace and beauty actually.
On to the rest of my story. There were two crows who lived at the sanctuary because they could no longer support themselves in the wild. Their names were "Forever" and "Nevermore". I actually liked to visit the crows just because of their names. "Nevermore" died a few days ago. My husband came home and told me about it. I was a little sad about this because now "Forever" will be alone and the name is not nearly so cool without her companion.
As Sultry Husband told me that "Nevermore" crossed over the rainbow bridge, M asked what that meant. We then told her that the bird died. She then decided to explain it to her younger sister L. She said, "Nevermore died because he crashed into the Rainbow Bridge." I think I liked her version better.
Thursday, August 10, 2006Awe
Last night I played in a concert. It went pretty well, not our best, but pretty good. I was actually feeling somewhat disgusted with the mistakes the group was making... There was a ray of light however, we are playing the music from Pirates of the Caribbean. My kids were there in the front row. They looked pretty bored through most of the concert (as usual), but when we started playing the fast paced exciting music from Pirates, they perked up. In fact, L started dancing. M danced as well, but the most memorable moment was when I looked down at her from my place in the orchestra and she was staring at me with a huge grin on her face. She was so excited about the music that she was looking at me in awe. She didn't realize that mommy's music could be so fun! For the first time, M seemed to get it. I will remember the look on her face forever for it is one that means so much to me. For she was excited about something I was part of... It may not have been the best concert of my life, but M's reaction to that song will not leave my thoughts any time soon.
Saturday, August 05, 2006Crack of Dawn
I just have to pose a question to the cosmos this morning. It is very early, I am writing this on Sultry Husband's handy work laptop computer because there is someone sleeping in every room in my house. I have company this weekend. I am always happy to have company, but it does put very important question into my brain...
Why is it that when I go visit someone, I am always up at the crack of dawn to make sure that my kids are not waking up anyone who does not desire to be awaken. Especially my host family. However, when I have company come, I am still the first one up with everyone else's kids, providing them with the opportunity to sleep in as they desire. Why is it that I never get the extra sleep that is supposed to come with vacations or from having company? I am starting to think that it does not exist.
Friday, August 04, 2006I can't see him!
As I am sure all of you remember, Sultry Husband is in the play "Fiddler on the roof". It opened last night. It is actually fantastic, especially for a small community production. The dancing is far from flawless, but the acting is stellar and the vocal talents in this small area are actually pretty impressive.
I took the girls to see "daddies play" on Wednesday night. It was the dress rehearsal, but they invited family members to come and see the play for free that night. We have family coming in town to see it on Saturday, so I thought it best to take the girls on the free night.
The make-up ladies put stage make-up on all the men. It is helpful from the far distances of the auditorium, but the most amusing is that they glued a goatee on SH's face. To make him look more like a sinister Russian constable. My girls were not prepared for this. As he strutted on stage for the first time and I pointed him out to the girls M shouted out "Where is he?! I can't see him!" at which point the other audience members chuckled.
Later in the show, when his big scene was upon us, (he sings a great vocal solo), he stood in the middle of the stage doing the song and dance that he had been practicing over and over. They recognized the song, they recognized the moves he was making, but at that point L said "it sounds like my Daddy, but I don't see him!" As I explained make-up to my three year old, she seemed to understand a bit better...
They managed to make it a little over halfway through the play before they both fell fast asleep. They didn't even budge as the audience started clapping for the curtain call. It was at this point that I realized that I was in trouble. I was planning to meet SH in the foyer after the show, but just how was I supposed to carry all of our stuff, and two sleeping kids?! I found myself sitting right where I was until he came in the auditorium to find us. It was a fun night, and our girls now understand that Daddy can play a bad guy really well!
Tuesday, August 01, 2006Picture Issues
I really wanted to add a few pictures to the post from yesterday, but blogger wouldn't let me add them... therefore I am adding them to a different post today, lets hope it works.
When my sister was married here, they went onto the middle of the beautiful lawn to get the shot of them in front. On my day however, they had just put a special fertelizer on the lawn. It would have turned the bottom of my dress blue. We had to be content to a sidewalk shot.
Because I am a musician, I decided that the one time in my life that I would get a set of acrylic nails would be for my wedding. I loved having them on, but it felt forign! I removed them just after the second reception in California. I couldn't do anything without the wory that I would damage them in some way. They just weren't me, although they were beautiful. I always loved this picture. It was candid in every way. Sultry Husband literally swept me off my feet into this kiss. The photographer was right there ready to snap it, and I am so glad that he did. It shows the spontanious and passionate nature of my new husband...
Monday, July 31, 2006On this Day
On this day, at this very moment, 7 years ago, I was eating lunch. It was a chicken salad sandwich, a salad, and a chocolate delicacy for desert. Around me were all the people who cared most about me in the world, including most of all, my brand new husband. We sat next to each other, giddy with excitement for what we had just accomplished, and of course, looking forward to that evening and the festivities.
As I look back on that beautiful day, I remember many things. The beautiful surprise at the reception when my new husband surprised me by singing a song titled "Perhaps Love". The new brother-in-law turned waitor who brought us goodies and drinks while we stood in the reception line. Dancing with my Dad to the song "butterfly kisses" hoping that I could refrain from crying, even as I watched the tears pouring down his cheeks. Cutting our cake and realizing that even though fondant frosting looks beautiful, it does not taste very good. But most of all, I remember being hopelessly in love.
Most of all as I look back on this day, I realize how much more I love my husband now. The love is a deeper more abiding and eternal type of love. He is my best friend, he is my love, he is my Sultry Husband.
Thursday, July 27, 2006Blackout
As I was placing the last dish in the dishwasher, I heard it. Silence. Nothing in the house was running. The TV was off, the dish washer was not washing, and most of all the air conditioning was not pushing cool air through the house. The power was out. I thought it a minor inconvenience, I would have to cook dinner on the camping stove in the back yard, but it would be doable.
I had forgotten how hot it is down here. Within minutes, the temperature in the house climbed by at least ten degrees. At first, we tried to keep the doors and windows shut tight but eventually we did have to open everything we could in hopes that we would catch some sort of cross breeze.
As Sultry Husband and I prepared for bed, we checked on the girls who were sleeping fitfully. Their room was an oven! As we walked into our room, we suddenly knew that none of us would be sleeping in our beds. A slumber party in the living room became necessary. Not a great night's sleep, but at least the power was restored late this morning. It was a good thing too, because I don't know what we would have done to survive if it were several days.
It takes examples like this one to remind me how much I rely on technology down here in the desert. I found myself thinking that if only we had the air conditioning last night, we could have played more games and been happy through the evening. Instead we sat around feeling hot, damp, and miserable. I hope they have the problem sorted out, I don't want to experience another night like that one!
Tuesday, July 25, 2006Promises
We feel that it is very important to keep our promises. Especially to our children. Friday evening, the kids asked to go swimming in the local pool. We told them that we could go on Saturday. The problem was, by Saturday afternoon there were very dark clouds and scary lightening. We had to back out on our promise to take them, explaining that the weather was a problem. It was a great teaching opportunity, as we were able to talk about lightening and the dangers therein.
We also promised that if the weather was better on Monday, we could go swimming. All weekend, the girls talked about how we were going swimming on Monday. They were worked up into a frenzy of excitement. It was all they talked about. As Monday evening rolled around, we heard the ominous sounds of thunder. It was far in the distance, so we thought that we would go to the pool and ask them if they were allowing people to swim. Apparently they were, but they were also watching the clouds to see if they would get any closer. If they did, we would be pulled from the pool.
The kids were determined, so we paid our fee and entered the watery bliss. We swam, we played in the kiddie pool, we pretended to have a lemonade stand, all in the first 45 minutes. At that time, the clouds had become so dark and ominous that the lightening was quite close. The pool personal pulled us all out of the water. Some people waited off to the side, just in case they would allow us back in. We however, decided to head home. The wind had picked up and it was feeling cold. Normally I would probably have considered the money wasted, but we did not. For you see, we kept our promise, our girls were able to go swimming, even if only for a short time.
Not long after we arrived home, the storm broke. It rained hard enough to remind me of a Phoenix monsoon! Not once since we have lived here have we seen rain like this. I always find storms like this amazing and a little strange. We opened our garage door and sat in camping chairs while watching the storm. It didn't take long before the water was seeping into the garage far enough that we had to protect the boxes within by closing the door again. The kids were amazed by the storm and M ended the evening by saying "I am glad we went swimming, but I am even more glad that we didn't die in the lightening". I found her words quite poetic actually. At least we were able to keep our promise.
Thursday, July 20, 2006Modesty
I was always taught that if you teach your children about modesty while they are young, it makes it easier for them to make correct choices as they grow older. We have taken it upon ourselves to introduce our girls into the world of modesty. I believe especially in one piece bathing suits. It is a personal choice that we have made and I do not look down upon anyone who chooses otherwise.
This is becoming a problem with M. In the wonderful park that I found, there is a sprinkler type of fountain that is provided for the children to play in. They love to run around in the spray and there are always friends to play with. I always prepare for the park by either putting the girls in their swimming suits or just letting them run through in their clothes. Right now, I can control what the girls wear because I am the boss. If they don't like it, we can go home.
What I can't control is the other parents. People who think that it is alright for a 7 year old girl to be running around without a shirt on. As I said before, I do not judge the choices that the parents have made. I am mostly just frustrated in the mixed messages it is sending to my girls. L who is only 3 after all, tries to take her shirt off the second she sees even the little boys running around naked, its just her age. But M on the other hand, came to me very upset about the little girl who was older than her without a shirt. She said, "Mommy! That girl is not being modest!" right in front of the other parents. I was embarrassed to say the least. I think that I need to teach her more about keeping her mouth shut and being non judgmental... She told me that she didn't want to be this girl's friend because she was naked, I then explained that we can be everyone's friend regardless of how they dressed. She didn't quite get it. I don't know if I was clear enough, but she would not play with this particular girl. She seemed very uncomfortable around her. I wonder what kind of messages I am really sending. Am I, while trying to teach certain principles, creating unnecessary trauma?
Wednesday, July 19, 2006The sleep deprived household
Sultry Husband is in a musical right now called "fiddler on the roof". I can't wait to see the production, it should be a good one. My main problem with this thing is that the rehearsals are at 6 am. Who in their right mind would put rehearsals in the morning?! The director claims that it is to make it easier for people who work to make the practices, but many of them sleep in then say "oh, sorry, I didn't hear my alarm." So, I really don't see the point.
SH has to be up by 5 or so to make it into town by 6. He has been going to bed early so he would feel rested for the day, but of course, he doesn't feel rested. Neither do I. It isn't that I get up with him, its that I wake up with the alarm, several times in fact (by the time he stops hitting snooze), I see the bathroom light on as he showers, I hear him getting dressed, I see the lights come on in the house as he prepares to leave. I am not the only one who can see and hear him. This morning, L climbed out of bed when Daddy arose. She cried when I told her that it was still way too early to be out of bed. She didn't understand why Daddy could be up and she could not.
After repeated attempts to get her back into bed, I realized that there would be no extra sleep to be had in this house today. She is grumpy and throwing tantrums. I am grumpy and want to throw a tantrum. Most of all, I want to go back to bed. Man, I can't wait for this play to be over and done with!
Sunday, July 16, 2006The end of our journey
July 5 Day 7
The morning of July 5 brought a beautiful dawn. We arose at our usual time feeling very rested and excited. Today we were going on a Pioneer Trek! Our girls were actually reluctant to leave Grandma's house and the fabulous back yard. They had been ever so patient so far with all the driving. It was time yet again to drive. At least this time it was only about an hour or so away.
As we passed Park City Utah, I pointed out all the ski jumping hills left over from the Olympics. My kids thought it was neat to see, and I imagined myself jumping off of one of those to soar through the air. Everything went well in my mind till I came to the landing. If I were ever to attempt that type of stunt, I think I would put on a parachute.
Our exit came up before us and we turned off the highway. Anxious to see this place where my parents were staying. There they were, sitting on the gate waiting for us to arrive. I found it very amusing to see my Mother sitting on a gate for some reason. Perhaps because she didn't seem the type to sit on a fence. But then, after spending time there on the mission with her and my Dad, I realized that it totally fit. This rural setting and my parents. They both seem so happy there. I have already blogged about our adventures on Trek, so feel free to read them again :-)
June 6 Day 8
Morning comes early in the mountains. A fantastic breakfast was cooked in a Dutch oven by my Dad. The kids were happy, I was happy, and Sultry Husband was happy. It was a great morning. We returned to the "depot" where we were able to shower before leaving for my parents home again. We discussed at length what we should do with our day. For at this point, we had the only free day of the adventure! We drove down the mountain, and decided upon hitting one of our favorite restaurants for lunch. This is a place that we have not been able to visit since leaving Idaho. We enjoyed ourselves, then realized how tired and worn out we really were. At which point, we went back to the house for a relaxing and carefree afternoon.
When I was 6 years old, my oldest sister entered into cosmetology school. Since that time, I have learned to really love and cherish having my hair styled. It is very relaxing and gives us all a chance to talk. I had two other sisters who followed the example of the eldest and therefore I have three sisters who are all fabulous hair dressers. At family get together, we usually have one day set aside for the hair party. As the evening approached, my sister arrived home from work. We started a short hair party, where she cut and colored my hair. It has been far too long! She also cut my girl's hair. I was in heaven.
June 7 Day 9
We arose early and repacked the car. This was to be the last leg of our journey. As we rented our car in Saint George, we could not take the usual turn off to get to the other side of the mountains and our faster way home. When we arrived, the kids really seemed to be frustrated with driving. SH had a fantastic idea, and we stopped to see Superman! I was a little nervous to see how my kids would react to the scary parts, but they were absolutely fine and they are still talking about it. M addresses Daddy as "Superman". It is very cute.
We finally pulled into our driveway around 10 pm. Our kids were asleep in the back, so we quietly carried them to their own beds. Our journey was completed. We survived, we conquered, we loved every minute. The next big trip is already in the works, for you see, we learned that driving long distances is not as bad as we thought it would be. The world is at our fingertips.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006Continuing on our Journey
July 2 Day 4
We awoke early as usual and hurried to get dressed and jump into the car. Waving goodbye to our friends, we headed down to my Brother's house for a few days. My girls were anxious to play with their cousins, and especially excited to go to church with them! "You mean, I get to go to class with my cousin?!" After church, the kids all played together while my Brother and Sister-in-Law made us a fantastic dinner. This crazy good spicy chicken...mmmmm...
July 3 Day 5
My poor brother had to work on Monday, so we headed off to an adventure without him. His family purchased season passes to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They also had a couple of guest passes, so we ended up only paying for the kids... yay for discounts! It was actually pretty difficult to hang on to our kids, as they are rarely in a crowd of that size. The cousins showed us around and we were able to see all of the amazing things there. And I swear that they knew the names of every single fish! We touched sting rays, we handled star fish, we saw sharks... We only left the aquarium for lunch, which was at this fantastic Mexican restaurant that was right on the water! Our table had these monster windows that the kids could look out of while we waited for our food. It was really fun to hear them squeal when they would find a sea lion in the water.
When we had visited every single aquarium attraction, and our feet were well worn out, we hopped back into the car after hugging our cousins good bye and started the drive over to fishermen's wharf in Monterey. There was a little traffic backed up to get through this smallish tunnel (it fit about 25 cars), which was built out of tile and concrete, so it was one that had a very nice echo. We opened up the sun roof to make it more fun for the kids, then bleeped the horn. We were bumper to bumper in there, still moving, but slowly. As we meeped along, other cars also began honking. M and L laughed so hard as every single car started honking because Daddy did. As we emerged from the tunnel, they asked if we could go back in.
A little while later, we arrived on Fisherman's wharf where we found pizza by the slice for me and the kids, and a very large sour dough breadbowl with clam chowder for Sultry Husband. We all tasted it and M actually seemed to like the taste... Silly girl! Then we went into my all time favorite store. One of the candy shops on the wharf actually has a taffy pulling machine and makes it's own candy! The girls each got to pick out something that they would like (L insisted on getting gummy sharks because we saw some sharks... M chose some sour fruits). My all time favorite? Caramel apples. There is just something about the tartness of the green apple inside that mixes so well with the sticky sweet of the outside. They have improved upon this carnival classic however, for they first dip the apple in caramel, then chocolate, then roll it in mini M'n'M's. The only thing better would be if they had dipped it in Canadian chocolate and then rolled it in Canadian smarties, but this was tasty just the same.
We finally climbed back into our car and started on our long journey for the night at about 7:30 pm. Which to us was actually 8:30 pm... Not a good omen. We drove and drove, the original plan was to get halfway to Utah by the time we stopped, but we only made it about a third of the way before we looked at the clock and it said 3 am. It was time again to find a small motel in a small town. Lovelock Nevada seems to have many charms, but the best of all was a clean room, with a very comfortable bed, and get this, a clean shower! I knew that the birthplace of my Grandfather would take care of me! It was a total accident that we stopped there!
July 4 Day 6
We awoke around 8. Thankfully, the girls had switched to California time while we were there and they let us sleep. SH was totally exhausted from the drive the night before (I slept for a few hours on the drive), so it was my turn to take the wheel. He napped for a few hours while I kept shushing the kids. We were trying to make it to Evanston Wy by nightfall so we could see some awesome fireworks, but somewhere along the road, we changed our plans. We would go no farther than my parents house (they are not there right now, but my sister is living there while they are gone). We surprised her, as I had forgotten to call and tell her of the change of plans. She still seemed happy to see us, and we all went to bed early without even missing the fireworks. There is just something about driving all day that makes you more tired than you were before. We fell into a blissful sleep in a very comfortable bed with clean sheets... See, I am learning to be less picky as we go! No really, it is a great bed, and a familiar place as I grew up there.
As usual, this has gotten away from me again... Way too long for a blog post! I will continue again tomorrow. For now, I am exhausted just remembering how exhausted I was!
Tuesday, July 11, 2006Our Trip
As I have been reading Julia's and ABQ Mommies blogs these past few days, I have realized that I need to give a day by day accounting of our trip as well. We did a LOT of driving, so not every day was fun filled and packed with adventures, but we did enjoy ourselves.
June 29 Day 1
Sultry Husband ran into work to drop off a few things and give our pets to the care givers. Copper didn't even seem to care, Phnarph was up for an adventure, but Tiki the parrot was incensed. We would find out just how angry he was later on. He was home by 3, the car was packed by 3:30 and we were off to Saint George to pick up the rental car.
I had reserved the car two weeks earlier, and the internet promised unlimited miles (which we definitely needed), and a cheap car. The first thing that the lady at the rental counter informed us, was that she had no car whatsoever that we could pick up! Not one! We would have to wait two hours for a car to come onto the lot, oh and she "could not" give us the unlimited miles we were promised. Um, hello? False advertising?
We walked up to another rental agency counter in the tiny airport, the lady felt very sorry for us and therefore, gave us the "reserved early" rate (we had reserved the car early, just not with her). She also gave us the rate for a compact car, even though she had to give us two upgrades because she didn't have one on the lot! So we ended up with a very nice car for a fabulous price... But you had better believe that soon the first rental agency will be getting an ear full. 5:00 pm, we are finally on the road to California. Drive on dear husband, for it will be a long night.
We drove until about 2 in the morning. We could go no further, but we had not banked on one thing... No motel in sight and Sultry Husband was really tired. We drove and drove hoping to find one, and finally, a sign. A cheap, terrible motel. But it was about the only thing we could find and we were tired. The mattress was hard as a rock, and the sheets and blankets felt greasy. We were only given a thin blanket on top of a sheet, so I froze all night...
June 30 Day 2
We were up by 6:30 am and I decided to take a shower. That is, until I saw the shower. It was a terrible concrete shower, the walls and floor were peeling and what did I see all over the floor of it? Black algae!!! Gross! I washed my hair in the sink.
Drive, drive, drive! As we approached Livermore California, we decided to take a favorite old highway instead of the larger and possibly faster way to Antioch. This is the wonderful time when we found the strawberries that we gobbled at a nearby park. M did the monkey bars for the first time, and I captured it on video. It was a favorite park from SH's childhood.
Later that afternoon, we stopped at a friend's house. This is where we would be staying for a few days. We had just enough time to wash up, change clothes, chat for a bit, then leave the kids with them for the evening as SH and I headed to the play. A fabulous show, we both loved it. Afterwards, we were invited to stay for the cast pizza party. SH was a resident celebrity... He was asked for his autograph over and over again. I almost laughed, but thankfully contained myself. We didn't leave the theater until about midnight (which is actually 1 am to us) and I was already moving on about 3 to 4 hours of sleep... urg. It was a fantastic night though, so I felt that the exhaustion was well worth it.
July 1 Day 3
We awoke to our children playing at about 8 am. Thankfully they had slept in a little for us. We both arose and entertained our children for a while. SH was so tired that he went back to bed at 9:30, and we decided that our day would be best spent taking turns for naps. The kids played in our friend's back yard and wading pool all morning, in heaven because they were not in the car... Around noon, it was my turn and I conked out for a couple of hours. At which point, M and L were getting a little stir crazy, but luckily, we had been invited to a pool party that afternoon, so we headed out. I was nervous for L because she doesn't swim well yet, and thus I shoved floaties on her arms. It is a long story, but I didn't swim. I was not feeling well, and lounging in the shade felt more comfortable, not to mention that I really would not have had time for a shower before the next performance of the play. L jumped in the pool over and over again, getting a false sense of security from the floaties. She would always bob right back to the surface... As I was loading up the car and caring for M, L told SH that she was "done". She was shivering so he took off the floaties and wrapped her in a towel. He put his shirt on and turned to say his goodbyes to our friends. He then heard a faint splash and turned around to assure himself of L's whereabouts. He didn't see her, so he ran for the pool. At the bottom, flailing and looking scared was L. Of course he jumped in, shirt and all to pull her out. She had swallowed a bit of water, but was unharmed. I freaked out when I was told about what had just happened, but she seemed fine, so we decided to play it cool so she would not be scared. I hugged her for an extra long time.
We then dropped L off with the babysitter, under strict orders to watch her like a hawk and make sure she was really alright. M was old enough to see the play, so she got to have a special outing with Mommy and Daddy. We had other friends and family coming that night. All told, we had 16 comp tickets... We didn't feel bad at all about this, it was our play after all! M loved it, and still talks about daddies play.
Thus ends the Antioch portion of our journey. This has become longer than it should have already. So I will share the other adventures another day... The play was a success and I got to eat strawberries. The trip was well worth it. Even if I did have to be exhausted.