Childhood. Oh wow were those the years. My sister and I had a wonderful childhood and looking back on it, I wish that the kids of today had the chance to experience what my sister and I had the chance to live through. From playing outside to movies to toys and also games, I really enjoyed my childhood. Family, of course, made life great too. We spent a lot of time in Farmington, New Mexico with my grandparents and aunt and uncle on my dad’s side. Several of my favorite memories from Farmington include hunting for grasshoppers in my grandparents’ backyard, writing letters to Santa with my aunt, and having tea parties with my grandma. My sister and I grew up without cable TV and so any time we went to our grandparents’ house, we loaded up on our Disney Channel shows, Spongebob, and Animal Planet shows.
When Allyson and I had the chance to watch cable TV, like at our grandparents’ house, we caught up on shows like Phineas and Ferb, Hannah Montana, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Wizards of Waverly Place, That’s So Raven, Kim Possible, Sonny With a Chance, Shake it Up, Good Luck Charlie, Spongebob (duh), The Replacements, The Powerpuff Girls, Chip and Dale: Rescue Rangers, Totally Spies, Fairly Odd Parents, Codename: Kids Next Door, and The Magic School Bus. There’s a lot of shows and that’s probably still not all of them! Off of our good old satellite TV at home, Allyson and I had access to PBS which gave us great shows like Dragon Tales, Clifford, Martha Speaks, Word Girl, Fetch with Ruff Ruffman, Cyberchase, and Arthur. It’s kind of disappointing to see where Disney Channel has gone. The shows just aren’t as good as they used to be! I feel like once Sonny With a Chance (starring Demi Lovato) ended, Disney Channel took a turn for the worst. I also really liked it when the actors would draw out the Disney logo with their magic glowing wands. That was something I always wanted to do as a kid!
As far as movies go, I remember going to theaters to see the first Incredibles movie and also Finding Nemo. When Cars came out, my aunt and uncle took me and that was a really fun movie too. Honestly, going to see most Disney movies in theaters is fun. I truly feel honored to have been a kid at the time of the Wizards of Waverly Place movie, Princess Protection Program, Lemonade Mouth, Camp Rock and its second movie, The Hannah Montana Movie, the High School Musical movies, The Cheetah Girls (Dorinda was my favorite), Princess Diaries, and so many more. I also enjoyed all of the Disney princesses and their movies, Mary Poppins, Robin Hood, The Fox and the Hound, The Aristocats, Tarzan, Lilo and Stitch, Treasure Island, Fantasia, and Peter Pan. Aside from Disney, I also loved several movies including: Thumbelina, Anastasia (after all that is my name!), the Bratz movies, and all of the Barbie movies. Yes, I absolutely LOVED Barbie. From The Princess and the Pauper to Swan Lake to Magic of the Pegasus and Barbie and the Diamond Castle I was all in. One year for Halloween, Allyson and I dressed up as Anneliese and Erika and that was pretty great. Kind of like Disney, it’s been sad to see the path the Barbie movies have gone. The animation is very different and the movies are all too flashy and artificial to me. It is what it is though, and I’m glad I got to see the movies I did.
Moving on from that block of a paragraph, I also remember having a blast with a variety of toys like Polly Pockets, Bratz, Zhu Zhu pets, Barbies, Webkinz, Littlest Pet Shop, Liv dolls, and frogs. Yes, frogs. You might ask, “What do you mean by that?” No worries, I got this. There’s a way you can fold index cards to make origami frogs. My sister and I made an actual village of these frogs. They all had names and some had kids and we had a very particular way of naming them and getting them married. We were weird about our frogs. Oh boy. Liv Dolls were a brand of dolls that you could take the hair off and give them new hair and they were really pretty but very short lived. I think there were five of them named Sophia, Alexis, Katie, Daniela, and Hayden. They all had really pretty eyes and were really flexible dolls. It was disappointing when they stopped producing stuff for them.
I honestly think I can say that I lived through the golden age of Webkinz. That was back in the days when there weren’t deluxe memberships and all the stupid, colorful, and flashy plushies. I was a big Webkinz fan and I think I had about 80 of them. They all had beautiful rooms and I was SO dedicated to my Webkinz. I’ll never forget that Christmas when I got my first Webkinz, a chocolate lab, named Choco. Yes, I know I spelled it wrong but that’s how I spelled it as a seven-year old. I’m pretty sure I still have most of them in my basement too… Haha. On the topic Webkinz, which had the virtual pet world, I was reminded of Club Penguin. Club Penguin was a magical virtual world where you were a penguin and you could chat with others in real time and enjoy life as a penguin. Several times, my parents bought me the membership and that was when Courtney98 (my penguin) lived her best life. She had the best igloo and puffles (those were her pets) and cutest clothes. She was also a secret agent and tour guide for the island. Not too long ago, Club Penguin shut down for good and being the dork I am, I actually went back to Club Penguin to say goodbye to Courtney98 and a big part of my childhood. On that day we finally tipped the iceberg and it was great. If you played Club Penguin, you’ll know what I mean about the iceberg. 🙂 Another website I loved spending time on was Pixie Hollow. You could make your own fairy and have her travel around the world of Tinker Bell and that was pretty great too. Thinking about computer games, my sister and I also played games like Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, Zoombinis, Bella Sara, Poptropica, and on the Build-A-Bear website. Once again Barbie had a great website with good games, Girls Go Games was pretty great, and also the American Girl Doll website was a lot of fun. There was also this fun but really weird math game we played that involved monkeys and this group of kids trying to stop Mathra and bring back the goo. Hopefully, some of you have played this and know what I’m talking about. Unfortunately, we never finished the game because the disk had issues.
In addition to all of this, my sister and I spent soooo much time outside. We played pretend with our friends in my backyard or in the cul-de-sac I live in and it was a great time. We spent hours on end outside and I wouldn’t trade any amount of social media followers or power-ups in some silly game for that. We also played a variety of board games that kept us occupied that were very, very fun. There was this one Disney princess game that helped you get ready for a ball that was really fun. I always loved playing that and really any game involving princesses. I honestly feel like many of today’s little kids are occupied by their iPads and virtual game worlds. They’re focused more on making their game character successful and happy than actually enjoying the real world. Some middle school kids, I feel, are even more worried about being cool and technology than spending time in the real world, enjoying Mother Nature. I’m getting a little off topic here, but I just feel like kids need to spend more time being kids nowadays. They need to put down the iPad, get away from the TV, and enjoy childhood, just like I did.
Back on topic now! Not only did we play outside a lot, but we enjoyed reading a lot. The summer reading program at my local library was one of my favorite things to do. I loved the Wishbone series, Junie B. Jones, the Boxcar Children, some Nancy Drew, Harry Potter, Magic Tree House, Emily Windsnap, The Lightning Thief series, and the Twilight saga. I know I read many more books than what I’ve listed here and I think my love for reading then is what has allowed me to be the bookworm I am today. Books are great. 🙂
Finally, I’d like to talk about the music I listened to. As a kid, it was all about the Jonas brothers, the good version of Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, the Cheetah Girls, Jesse McCartney, David Archuleta, and several other amazing artists and singers. Radio Disney was where the good music was at. I remember being in the car with my parents and any time 1690 AM wasn’t on, I would ask for it to be. Taylor Swift was really good at that time too. Some of her music today is alright, but it’s just not what it used to be, in my opinion. I loved her work as a country artist and even in her early pop years, but now, no thanks. Vanessa Hudgens also came out with some really good music and there were several other people and groups that my sister and I really liked, like Ashley Tisdale, the Black Eyed Peas, Katy, Cher Lloyd, Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, and Shakira. I really loved Shakira when I was younger, and I still do! According to my mom, I did a really good Shakira impression!
Well after all that writing, I hope you’re still reading! This was a fun trip down memory lane. I hope you all enjoyed it and for some of you, I hope this was a trip down memory lane as well! I’m really glad that I grew up in a world without as much technology as some of today’s young children. They’re missing out on all the fun! I remember when iPods came out for the first time. That was pretty cool. And now see where we are today! It’s crazy what technology has done for us and allowed for humankind to do. I hope you all have a good week! Thanks for reading! 🙂