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, 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.