Tuesday, June 30, 2009

An Unexpected Trip

Last week, Daniel's grandmother passed away. While that's horrible, it did allow me and the kids an opportunity to meet Daniel's family in New Orleans. The kids had never been down there, and so they also got to visit a new place.

At first we just visited with family and hung out around our temporary home (a nice house with just a card table, four lawn chairs, and three air mattresses in it). The kids got sort of bored doing this, and started to climb the walls. Literally.

So, Daniel and I decided to take the kids over the river to see the sites. We hopped on the ferry (just pretend that this is in the right order), and headed over to the city. Since it was a balmy 104 degrees out, and about 200% humidity, the wind felt extra good blowing on our faces.

We headed over to City Park, but unfortunately, there were pigeons at the park. We had to leave soon after we got there, because all those pigeons were trying to talk us into letting them drive the bus.

Once we headed back to Daniel's family's house, we were in for a big surprise - crawfish! Everyone was getting set up for a big crawfish/crab/shrimp boil. Yummy! Avery helped get everything ready, by rinsing off the live crawfish.

Abby was super grateful that Avery did this, because then she got to eat the crawfish! Don't worry, this picture is just for show - we removed the shells before she actually ate any.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Yes, I Do Still Exist

Yes, I'm here. It's just summer... And I've been trying to keep the kids busy and get some long put-off projects finished. Like right now, for instance. I'm blogging, making lunch, trying to finish a birthday gift for my Mumsy, making a grocery list, compiling coupons, and holding Ethan. Talk about multi-tasking!

And so I will blog again. Soon? I have no idea. But I do have some thoughts floating around in my head that I would love to share.

Until then, I'll leave you with these questions:

  • Why is ‘abbreviation’ such a long word?

  • What is an occasional table the rest of the time?

  • Does God believe that there are atheists?

  • What would a burger of ham be called?

  • Why does your nose run and your feet smell?

  • What did the designer of the drawing board go back to when his/her original design was a failure?

  • Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know there is not enough?

  • Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies wake up every two hours?

  • Who was the first person to say, "See that chicken there... I'm gonna eat the next thing that comes outta its bum." ?

  • If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Music For Kids

Sadly, there are people out there who do not like kid's music. Daniel sent me an article today about this very subject, where the author complained about bands such as The Wiggles and the Laurie Berkner Band. Personally, I think kid's music has taken quite a turn since my Raffi days (over 20 years ago). There's actually some very good music out there for kids these days. Not that Raffi wasn't good. I'm just saying that his songs get stuck in your head in a bad way, and now there are kid's songs that get stuck in your head in a good way.

So why, then, does McDonald's insist on putting CDs like Kidz Bop in their Happy Meals?? Abby rarely gets Happy Meals these days, since we're trying not to eat fast food that much. Well, the other day I gave in and bought the kids Happy Meals. Inside I find that CD. And do you know what was on that CD? Songs about boyfriends and money, but sung by kids. There was even one controversial song on the CD that is arguably about a very adult feeling. In other words - nothing that I want my kids to hear.

But, back to the good kid's music. Here are a few of my favorites, along with some new ones that the article introduced me to.

The first one, by The Board of Education, actually addresses a great mystery that I've pondered since I was five...

Now for one of my absolute favorite children's musicians, Dan Zanes. He's pretty awesome, and you can catch his videos every now and then on the Disney Channel, then head to Starbucks to buy them!

And my favorite Dan Zanes song, "Smile":

Now a favorite from my teenage years - Reality Bites, anyone? Here's Lisa Loeb, now doing kid's stuff:

Even though I'm pretty sure this is the type of kid's music that the article was condemning, I really like this song. The kids and I love to sing it, and look forward to hearing it every day on Noggin.

Maybe on Halloween I'll share my favorite Candy Corn song with you guys! Until then, open your eyes up a little bit to kid's music. It's fun, almost always about a positive subject matter, and I don't think you'll have to worry too much about curse words (!).

Are there any other good ones I missed?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Some Thoughts on Riding the School Bus

First of all, I would like to say that my kids will never ride the school bus. Never. No matter what Daniel says, no matter how much he thought it was okay as a kid, no matter what anyone else says.

Now, I did not get molested on a school bus as a kid, or anything like that. I just do not like the idea of my kids riding the school bus. To better understand why I feel so strongly about this, I'm going to try and analyze my own past to find the source of this dislike.

But first, I would like to let you know that Daniel rode the school bus in Thibodaux, Louisiana for years, and still thinks that it is okay for our kids to do the same. His bus riding stories are all full of him getting in trouble, being rude to the driver, or seeing other kids fistfight on the bus. To be perfectly honest, I'm pretty sure that Daniel was one of those kids that I'm trying to keep away from my kids by not letting them ride the bus.

Now, onto my bus-riding past...

I only rode the bus in the Playas, New Mexico area (in the middle of the desert), and for about an hour and a half each day, and only from second grade through fourth grade. Yes, I was able to form such a strong opinion about school buses in only 3 years. After all, I did have to travel 60 miles a day round trip in that thing.

One of my earliest memories riding the bus involves a seven year old me, an older (12, maybe) boy, and a yellow dress. I walked onto the bus that morning, and sat by myself in the usual spot. The boy (who I knew), came and sat across from me. We talked a little, and then he reached over and lightly touched the hem of my yellow dress. "That's a really nice fabric," he said. At the time, this was highly disturbing to me, although I never told anyone about it. Now it doesn't bother me as much. However, if I were to put Abby in my place, then the whole scene is even more disturbing to me than it was when I was seven years old. No one, and I mean no one had better ever touch my daughter's hem.

Next, I remember being on the bus, in the back. I was one of the last kids to be let off the bus, and so the bus was nearly empty. There was a boy I knew (but not that well) that was getting off the bus at a different stop that day, and so he was riding in the back with me. Suddenly, he sits next to me, grabs my shoulders, and kisses me. I was nine, he was ten. That guy ended up forgetting about this and eventually marrying a girl I once went to church with, but me? I was disturbed by the incident, and still am. Would I want this to happen to Abby? Nope.

I can also vividly remember a time when I took the school bus home, and noticed that my friend Sarah was not on the return trip with me. I got off at my stop, went up to my door and could not get in. The door was locked, my mom's car was not in there, and I panicked. Around the same time, my friend Sarah's mom pulled up, looking for her daughter. Apparently, the school had gotten a call from my mom, asking them to send Sara home with a friend (on another bus). They instead sent Sarah. She was at a stranger's house with my mom, and I was alone at my house with her mom. Now, I know this was only a mistake, and those things happen... But I really don't know what Abby would do if she got to our house and no one was here, aside from curling into a ball and sobbing.

Three nice school bus horror stories, no? Yet, I have one more...

It was a hot, hot, hot (did I mention I lived in the desert?) September day. I was riding home on the school bus, when I was thrown into the seat in front of me, and heard a loud screech/thump/crash. My school bus driver curses, loudly. I look in front of the bus and see a horse trailer on it's side. Yup, my bus driver hit a horse. And a trailer.

This naturally caused a delay. A 3 hour delay. And it was hot. There was a near-dead horse on the road. And I was eight years old.

Finally, finally, the accident was cleared up, the horse shot dead (though not in front of us), and we continued home to our bus stops. My mom was actually not that upset, because I guess someone had notified her that everyone was okay or something. However, I can picture the whole thing rather clearly in my mind, to this day. Now don't worry - that school bus driver stopped driving buses about 2 years later, after he ran over his own nephew with a school bus. But really, even with that guy no longer driving buses, I still don't want Abby, Avery, or Ethan on one of those giant yellow deathtraps.

*phew* Now that was painful. But tell me, am I over-reacting? Would you (or do you) want your kids to set foot on a bus after hearing these stories, much less experiencing these stories firsthand? Daniel laughs at me, but my kids will never - no, not ever - ride on a school bus. Period.

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