Do you watch American Idol? I don't usually blog about TV shows but this season of American Idol has driven me nuts! I've watched it for years and have seen seasons that are fantastic- like the season that Carrie Underwood won, and seasons that flat out suck- like last season (does anyone even remember who won? I had to look it up. Couldn't remember a single contestant!). This year, however, has been a dang roller coaster.
In the beginning, I felt like there were so many good singers it was hard to pick who I thought would be the winner. There was a lot of potential for things to go a lot of ways. Ok, I guess it's always like that in the beginning, or at least it should be if there are actually good singers chosen. Anyway, in what I would consider a good season, the eliminations should be relatively predictable. You can probably say from the top 12 who will be the first half to leave and who are your top 5-6. If the season sucks like last year, you just don't watch.
This season I felt like, of the top 12, some of the worst singers held on the longest while a couple of potential winners went home early. I have no problem saying that I can't fathom why the judges felt they should use their one save of the season on Casey. I thought he had a unique sound but he was not American Idol material. His rendition of Smells Like Teen Spirit positively sucked. He sounded like a kid screaming out on a playground somewhere. Further - Jacob?!? No clue how he hung in there as long as he did and actually got positive feedback from the judges. He has had a problem with being sharp from day one. Maybe part of it was that he was just not my style, but I found him just painful to listen to.
On the other hand... Paul, who had a very unique sound and could actually carry a tune incredibly well, got voted off very early. But, too bad, judges had saved loser Casey. Same thing with Pia. I seriously had her pegged as the winner, and I know I'm not the only one. The judges were stunned, it was reported in the news like a major event. She was perfect. Never a word of criticism from the judges. I don't think they ever said anything she should change or improve. At the very end of her run they mentioned she should try something that wasn't a ballad. Her singing, however, was flawless. She should have won. When she left, though, it did blow the competition open in that other people actually had a chance. I held out my hope and figured that James was it. He had this competition in the bag. Judges even told him it was his to lose. He continued to sing better than everyone and bring a totally unique vibe to everything he did. And he left as the 3rd runner up, just like Chris Daughtry 5 years ago.
Of those who are left I like them in this order- 1. Lauren, 2. Haley, 3. Scotty. I don't think the competition will end that way though. My prediction is that Haley will be the winner. I say that mostly because Scotty and Lauren share a genre so the country vote is divided between the two of them and everyone else who votes will be voting for Haley. She's lucky that way because she is not the best singer of the three. Early on I didn't like Haley at all and thought she should have been one of the earliest to leave. I think she's gotten a lot better throughout the competition, but I'm not wild about her style. She over-uses the "growl' that the judges told her they like. To me she seems like she's doing an awful lot of acting while she sings, which to a point is fine, but the artist should seem comfortable too. I like Lauren best because she's the best singer of the three and she's the most fun. She seems completely natural performing and I could actually see myself buying her album. Scotty is alright, he'd have to come out with a big hit for me to buy his album though. I'm not a super country fan and I don't see him doing anything but the really super country stuff.
Ok, there's a big fat post you don't care about. Or do you? If you have something to say about this season of AI, share it in a comment! I should be in bed.
Though it's only Tuesday for many of you out there, it's TuesFri for me! That is a Tuesday that's like a Friday because you don't have to work the next day. I know what you're thinking... I don't work! That's mostly true. I mean, technically I do the whole 24-7 mom thing which some people fiercely insist is work. I call that fun, to be completely honest. Not that it's not ever trying, but I don't consider it "work" work. You know what I mean. What you may have forgotten because I don't talk about it that much is the fact that I do babysit my nephew Austin. This is him:
His parents are going to Mexico until next Tuesday and he will be staying with his grandmother while they're gone. Back when I first started watching him I posted a bit about how I missed having the freedom to do what I wanted to during the day. I don't take him anywhere in my car, so we pretty much sit on the floor in my living room playing with toys all day. We go to the kitchen to eat and then there's nap time, but for the most part I spend close to 40 hours a week on my living room floor. I'm glad I'm there rather than somewhere else away from home or away from my baby, but the prospect of 7 days in front of me with which I can do whatever I want is just plain exciting. It's the life I had for 8 months after my baby was born and before Austin started coming to my house. I miss it. My baby loves going places and we used to get out somewhere just about every day, so being confined to the house has been rough. I also get to go back to caring for just one baby for those 7 days. I think I posted about that back when I started watching Austin, too. Not only is it challenging to take care of two babies that are their ages, but there are times that I can't do something for my baby because I'm doing something for Austin and that makes me sad. Now that she cruises there are also times when she gets in trouble and I get impatient with her because she's wandering away or getting into something while I'm giving Austin a bottle or changing his diaper. I think about the fact that I wouldn't have to reprimand her if I were only taking care of her. But alas, that is not the case. And I watch Austin because I know how I felt when I was thinking about who I would leave my precious baby with when I had to go back to work and the answer was - outside of family, no one. So when my brother and his wife heard that I was going to stay home and maybe babysit a few kids to help make up for my lost income they asked right away if I could watch their baby. I knew what it would mean to them and I said yes.
That's a story that lots of you probably already know. Sorry to be redundant! But all that brings me to what I'm going to do with my little semi-vacay for the next few days. So far we have a play date scheduled tomorrow morning, a lunch with the counseling department I did my master's internship with on Thursday, and then a lunch with daddy on Friday! Saturday morning we also have a shopping date with another friend of mine who is expecting in November. We'll be hitting a local baby consignment store and the famed Hobby Lobby. So far that's what we've got. I'm looking forward to it. I intend to get some projects done, and get my house cleaned. I'm shocked at the amount I don't get done during nap time, but that's another topic you've heard about in another post! Maybe I'll also do a 24-hours with my baby... haven't done one of those for a very long time. Guess you'll have to stay tuned to find out :)
I guess that's it for this post. I was just excited that I'm kind of on vacation and had to share! Now, if it would stop down-pouring so I could spend afternoon nap out on my deck doing something about these winter legs of mine....
Every so often my hubby has a "Guys' Night" at his buddy's house. They drink beer and play video games or watch movies I never care to watch. Typical guy stuff. I think guys' night is important. For me though, it kind of sucks. Tonight is guys' night. Hubby usually gets home somewhere between 2-3 a.m. which means I'm on my own for most of the night. My sister-in-law does live with us, but she has a very busy life so she's often not around on weekend nights. Unfortunately, I am just not wild about being home alone, especially with a baby. I feel like I need to be ultra-prepared for any emergency, mainly if we needed to get out of the house quickly. I turn lights on in the basement and leave the TV running so that it's obvious from the outside that people are in here and are awake. I don't go to bed and don't put my baby upstairs in her bed either. I don't want to have to race up the stairs in an emergency to have to get her. You just never know, I want her with me. I don't even take my contacts out. And if I'm not a little edgy to begin with, I have a dog who goes into high gear whenever the hubs is gone. He grumbles, growls and barks at e-v-e-r-y sound. While it's great to know that he would react if someone was trying to get into the house, it also scares the daylights out of me making me think he hears something I don't and maybe we are actually in danger. Young as I may be, my ticker does not take this well.
So that's where we are tonight. It is, in fact, a dark and stormy night. I'm catching up on DVRed shows. I snuggled my bebe to sleep and she is now happily snoozing away on the couch beside me. I thought about getting The King's Speech on demand, but movies wear me out. For some reason 15 episodes of Dear Genevieve and Sarah's House seem so much less daunting than a whole movie. Mathematically it doesn't make sense, but in my mind, that's how it is.
Seeing as this is my 2nd post of the evening, I'd say it's about time for a bowl of cereal. Wish me luck for the rest of the night! :]
.... but all I got were these pictures of the cute babieeeeees! Oh darn :)
Our bebe girl LOVED Benjamin - and it's easy to see why :)
We were already arranging the betrothal. You gotta nail a face like his down early!
Lydia looks like she could use a little sister...
My very good friend, Andrew (the dad on Planted & Blooming) was in town from Texas for a few short hours so we met up with him at his sister's house for dinner and visiting. His sister's three kids are the ones in these pictures with my teeny tiny bebe. They were so adorable and our little one just loved playing with them. Andrew on the other hand... she was not such a fan of. If you read P&B you know that he now has 3 little girls of his own. This guy is pretty skilled with little kids and I fully expected our baby girl to just adore him. All I could picture were the cute photos I'd have of them giggling together. It went more like this...
We arrived at his sister, Lisa's house. We said hello to Lisa. Andrew walked in the room and gave me a hug (I was holding bebe girl at the time). Bebe girl did not appreciate said hug and burst into tears. Not just a little pout, but loud wailing sobs. She calmed down and played with Lisa's kids for a bit, and then Andrew looked at her. Sobs. More playing. Andrew in the room. Sobs. Two minutes before we had to leave, I recalled that bebe girl thinks it's really fun to scare people. She has learned to say "boo" which she actually says, "DOOOOO" when she's playing peek-a-boo and it's a riot. She especially loves it if the person acts dramatically startled. I explained this to Andrew and he played along. She giggled a few times and it was time to go. So much for my Andrew-Bebe photo shoot. Good thing they'll be back for Christmas!!
**Disclaimer: This post was not expressly intended to make Laura jealous, therefore no responsibility is claimed for any resulting jealousy ;) We, here in The Luckiest household, have nothing but love for Laura.
Supposedly we live in a land where we are ruled by consent of the governed. We elect representatives to make decisions for us so we don't have to vote on every decision that needs to be made. It's called a representative democracy - sorry, that was the history teacher in me coming out. You'd be surprised at the number of people who don't get how our government works, but that's a post for another time. I bring this point up because I'm stuck on the current issue of in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrants. In this case, lawmakers seem to be doing the opposite of what most people seem to want. Without getting into the details of who my sample is and all that crap, suffice it to say that I've yet to come across a person who supports this bill and I live in a state and county that are ordinarily on the same side of the aisle as the lawmakers who are pushing this legislation along.
If you're unfamiliar, here is a news article that explains.
Similar legislation is being considered in several states, all with slightly varying conditions I would imagine. Unfortunately for me, my state is one of them. As a taxpayer, I'm having a really difficult time trying to make sense out of this bill. Supporters make the following points: 1. Many students who are illegal immigrants were brought here by their parents when they were only small children and shouldn't be held responsible/punished for their parents' wrong-doing 2. Better to have educated illegal immigrants than uneducated illegal immigrants who will just drain our system 3. This will be financially advantageous for universities as it makes education affordable for more students
Call me whatever you want, but that just doesn't cut it for me. Not so long ago I was a kid facing high school graduation. I didn't have any money for college. I'd been raised by a single mother who worked full time to make ends meet. I also worked from the time I was 15 to help support myself. When it was time for college, my mom said she could pay for community college and after that we were on our own. I couldn't fulfill my life-long dream of being a teacher with an AA degree, so I had to figure something out. I was able to get a merit-based scholarship* that paid for most of my 4-year degree. I covered the rest myself (not my mom), including books, supplies, a car, gas, insurance, etc. At one point I even had to purchase health insurance out-right. If not for my hard work and good grades, I couldn't have afforded my in-state public education. I had to earn it, not by status, but by busting my a--. I continued to have to work almost full time the entire time I was in college. And I know that my story is one of millions.
So to see people who are in our country illegally being given a "break" so they can go to college is just sickening to me. As an educator, I of course believe strongly that education is the answer to a lot of social problems. Trust me. But this bill just doesn't make sense to me. Let's just call it what it is, a reward for those who have broken our laws? Where were these ideas on the campaign trail? Would anyone have voted for a representative that promised to do more for illegals and less for citizens? It just seems so senseless to me and I can't figure how any taxpayer would disagree. What taxpaying citizen would be in favor of allowing non-taxpaying illegal immigrants to fill up classrooms when we have so many of our own citizens who are trying so hard to get there.
So, taxpayer to taxpayer... what do you think of this legislation? If you happen to think it's a good idea, I'd love to hear the explanation (aside from what's stated above, because I've already said those things aren't enough to justify it).
*While I was still in college, my merit-based scholarship was done away with and became a scholarship based on financial need only, which despite being unable to afford college, I would not have qualified for.
I'm sure you're expecting that after so much time has passed since my last posting that I'm going to have a nice big update for you full of photos and details of all the things we've been up to. Sadly, that is not so. I hate disappointing you, I really do, but my time has been so severely limited recently. In the past 3 weeks I've been 1) preparing for my baby's first birthday & Easter (same day), 2) Preparing for my baby's first birthday party the following weekend, which I still ended up staying up 23 hours the day before trying to make sure everything was done, and 3) Trying to clean up after the party! It's been really busy. I haven't been able to run because I had to use my baby's afternoon nap time to go to the stores and get things. Nap times have been off for both babies, maybe because I've been somewhat "off," but that makes it impossible to do anything during the day. Like, I'm lucky if I got to eat lunch in peace.
But now that all those things are over, I'm focusing on cleaning out some older toys and making room for all the new birthday gifts. I also acquired a chest of drawers from my mom's house that I'm going to refinish and put in the baby's room. We've run out of closet space for all of her clothes! I've tried a couple of different closet organization strategies in an effort to avoid putting more furniture in her room, but the result has just been a messy room because I can't store anything else in her closet. I still feel a little overwhelmed by all the things I feel like I need to do. I haven't uploaded pictures here or to Facebook in weeks, which makes it a huge undertaking that I never feel like I have time to start on. I shrink my pictures at the very least, but also like to clean them up a bit in my editor so it's not as simple as selecting files and clicking upload. I guess it could be, but that's like handing in a project that doesn't represent my best work. Just something I have a hard time doing.
You're probably wondering amidst all this complaining about how I have no time for anything, how exactly I have the time to write this. Well I am currently on what I can only assume is the tail end of a nap. Both babies have been asleep for a while and I've managed to have lunch and run through my kettlebell routine for a little bit of exercise. It's at that point though when I know at any second I'm going to hear one of them wake up. I figured I could at least hop on here and write up a quick hello and brief update. I plan to give the full story on my bebe's birthday, party, and our Mother's day fun in an upcoming post. So stay tuned, I'm hoping it's not too far off at this point!
And before I go, a cute photo to entice you to return for the full story....