Friday, December 28, 2007

New Year's Noon Party Great for Kids

If you're looking for a way to ring in the New Year with your kids, it can be challenging. Who really wants to keep the kids up that late and get them stirred up so they can't sleep until 3 am? The Children's Museum of Houston offers a family-friendly event each year called the New Years Noon Celebration.

We loved this last year. Read the post & see a few photos at If you're planning to be in Houston, add this to your calendar. Kids can make noise makers to use later on & create a "parade float" to where in the indoor parade. A kid-friendly band takes center stage to get families jazzed up about the New Year and then the countdown begins at 11:45 AM. Yes, this is held during the day on New Year's Eve. At the strike of noon, confetti colors the air and noise rings out. Little K was a bit awe-struck for the first minute but then quickly decided that the confetti was cool. This event gets a big thumbs up from our family. Hope you enjoy it, too.

Until the next nap time...

Day 1 & 2 of Chicago Trip

Day 1 of our trip to Bloomington, IL. for my husband's grandfather's funeral was an adventure. The security personnel took my face lotion so I'm quite sure I'll look like an unravelled mummy by the time the trip concludes. Otherwise, our flight went smoothly. (Thank the Lord!) Five of our family members deplaned, got our luggage and headed to the Avis rental center, where two cars were supposed to be ready for us. We had to boogie because it was 12:30 pm and we had a 2-2.5 hour drive from Chicago to Bloomington. The visitation was scheduled for 4 pm. This should work out fine.

Ha! Only one of two cars was available so we patiently waited for AN HOUR before the second car showed up. No, I'm not exaggerating. As soon as we packed three of us into this 2nd car, a 3rd car showed up for us. I couldn't believe it. It was 1:30 pm so we had to haul it to make the 4 pm visitation. Luckily, the roads were clear. Trent & his sister "Susu" sat upfront, while I napped for 2 hours in the back seat. Way to be supportive, Megan!

When we finally arrived in Bloomington, we checked into our hotel rooms and changed clothes. It was just after 4 pm but what could we do? We booked it over to the funeral home for the rest of the vistation.

I think I must have an odd view of things. No surprise there, I suppose. Visitations/wakes are peculiar customs to me. My husband pointed out that many of the visitors had not seen each other in a long time. They were reconnecting and laughing -- a nice thing, of course. The oddity to me (at all visitations/wakes, NOT just this one) is that while everyone reconnects, it's almost as if the honoree is ignored. It's as if it's so painful to acknowledge the passing of this special person that we look everywhere else. I only wish I could make my family members feel better but this mourning process is a difficult one for most people.

After Grandpa's visitation, we headed to Friar Tuck's, a liquor store, and traveled to a rural part of Bloomington for a family dinner. This was an enjoyable time and, as Susu pointed out, a great opportunity to get to know cousins, aunts and others again. While we wish it wasn't under these circumstances, we had a good time laughing and telling stories on each other.

Everyone turned in for the night but after our return to the hotel, Susu, Trent & I had a night cap. This morning, the hotel parking lot was covered in snow. It's really pretty but we all know that today will be a difficult one. With Grandpa serving in WW II, a military burial is expected. The cold air will chill us further. I try to remind myself that Grandpa is in a better place. It's so tough to see the grief on others' faces and not be able to console them. I pray that some good things, good reconnections are remembered from this trip.

Please keep Trent's family in your thoughts & prayers. We return to Houston tomorrow to close out the New Year. Thanks to my parents for watching Little K and to Colyn for house-sitting & kitty-sitting. Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Difficult Discussion of a Funeral

We had a wonderful Christmas holiday with both my parents & sister as well as my husband Trent's parents & sister. Little K was a delight, opening gifts while wearing a green dress my own mother made me years ago. It's interesting how time develops.

The tough news we received on Christmas Day was that Trent's grandfather passed away just outside Chicago. We'll soon travel to pay our respects and help out however we can. Unfortunately, Little K never met Grandpa so it's difficult to explain to her. I must admit that it's not the first time the thought of this has crossed my mind. My 84-year-old PaPa recently emailed me to say:

"After all, your dad's mom is 94 and your mom's parents are both 84. And, although they are all in good health considering their ages, they are all still past their prime.

How do you explain to a child, say one Little K's age (2.5 years), that a grandparent has died? Do you take them to the viewing and/or funeral ? If so why? And if not, why not?"

So many of us will sooner or later face this challenging discussion. How would you handle it? I simply told Little K this morning that Mommy & Daddy would be taking a trip on an airplane. When she asked if she was going, I told her, no, that instead she gets to visit Grand & PaPa, plus go to the family ranch. Oddly, that answer seemed to suffice her ... for now. Whether she asks more questions over the next few days or the next few years, I'd like to be prepared and give her the information that will best help her.

If you have advice, please post your thoughts to this blog or email me your suggestions. Please keep us in your thoughts & prayers. Thanks.

Many wishes for a rewarding & positive New Year! Until the next nap time...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Strange Smudges Decorate My House

Today is the last day of nursery school before the Christmas break. As Little K ate her breakfast before school, I scurried around the house, picking up, starting the laundry, the usual drill. Oddly, I kept finding pink smudges around our home. It looked like a little person had gotten into some pink nail polish and spread it throughout the house. I found the marks on the guest bathroom sink handle, the pantry door, the kitchen counter... but not on Little K's nails. Hmmm. With a quick wipe, the marks disappeared.

Ah ha! It was that candy cande that Little K had last night. That's a new spin on "the mark of Zorro!"

Until the next nap time...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

3 Safety Tips for Healthy Eating

A special thanks to AllergyKids for providing this great information.

1) Eat Organic Popcorn: Because new insecticidal proteins have recently been added to corn, consider switching to organic corn products to avoid eating insecticide with that next batch of popcorn!

By law, conventional corn and corn products like popcorn and high fructose corn syrup are actually allowed to have insecticidal proteins engineered into them (while, by law, organic corn can not contain these insecticidal proteins).

These new proteins were recently introduced to ensure corn’s profitability for ethanol crops, though no human trials were ever conducted to test their safety. Given that the Europeans don’t even allow their cattle and livestock to eat this new corn, we probably shouldn’t be feeding it to our little ones!

2) Drink "Clean" Milk: If you don’t have a milk allergy (symptoms include eczema, chronic ear infections, bronchial-like coughs, acne), then look for milk labeled "rBGH-free" which does not contain the recent addition of chemically engineered milk proteins and hormones.

Most milk in the US contains a synthetic milk protein genetically created from the growth hormone of a cow. This protein, rBGH, is injected into American cows, but not allowed in milk in Europe, Australia and around the world because of its health risks.

To avoid rBGH, look for milk cartons that say "rBGH-free" in order to avoid exposing your family to these hidden chemical milk proteins.

3) Drink Filtered Water: Drinking filtered water helps to eliminate and reduce your family’s exposure to bug sprays, hidden allergens, chemicals and pesticides that have recently found their way into our water supply.

Reducing your exposure to chemicals and toxins is a great way to help strengthen your family’s digestive tract where autoimmune conditions like food allergies can originate.

Want to go a step further? Install a water filter on your kitchen sink over the holidays. Just visit your local home improvement store to learn how easy it is to do!

Until the next nap time...

Holiday Cooking & Breakfast with Elmo

Cooking during the holidays is a big part of many families' agenda. Don't let this stress you out. Encourage the kids to help you. We get together with my parents, sister and cousin for the "Annual Bake Off," when we bake our favorite holiday treats and wrap them up to give to friends and co-workers. Little K loved frosting the cookies with her relatives. She also proved to be a great taster -- the ever important job. Don't let cooking stress you out. It can be a great bonding opportunity. You'll have to clean up regardless, so enjoy your time together.
Looking for a fun holiday treat this weekend? Enjoy breakfast with Elmo. Breakfast is served on Saturday, December 22 from 7:30 am - 9am at the Health Museum, located at 1515 Hermann Drive at the corner of Hermann and La Branch. This breakfast has been organized in conjunction with the museum's current exhibition, "Sesame Street Presents: The Body" so you'll be able to sneak in the educational aspects, too.
Elmo will also be visiting the museum on Mondays at 2 pm and 3 pm (excluding Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve); on Thursdays at 3 pm and 4 pm; on Saturdays at noon and 2 pm and on Sundays at 1:15 pm and 2:15 pm. For more information, call 713.521.1515 or visit
Happy Holidays! Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tracking Santa

As it has done for more than 50 years, NORAD will track Santa Claus at on Dec. 24. The site will feature 24 key stops that St. Nick makes on his journey around the world. The video and audio reports start on Dec. 24 at 4 a.m. ET and are updated regularly until 4:00 a.m. ET on Dec. 25. Go to the site now for fun interactive activities.

Until the next nap time...

Not to Be Preachy But... The Real Meaning of Christmas

In preparing for today’s devotional at my MOPS, I searched through a book & the MOPS web site to find the perfect thing to say. The search actually pointed out what was going on right before me.

I’ve hurried to send out Christmas cards, bake goodies for today but also for my clients. I still need to get goodies for my neighbors. I’ve bought & wrapped all our gifts. I’ve even planned out how much time we’ll spend with my in-laws versus my parents. With all this preparation complete, why am I still stressed?

Then, my thoughts turn to my 2.5 year old daughter. When asked what she wants for Christmas, she doesn’t really know what to say. After prompting, she finally decides the “Mickey Mouse dog that barks.” (That’s code for Pluto.) But Kylie will tell you nothing else. She simply doesn’t want anything else.

However, I’ve found it inspiring to see her head downstairs each morning and look into our nativity scene. She looks with wonder into the empty manger & announces “No Baby Jesus yet.” While somewhat humorous, shouldn’t we all be so eager to experience the birth of Christ?

This Christmas season, I hope each of you will be able to look beyond the presents, bows and appointments. I hope you’ll eagerly await the true meaning of Christmas and find comfort and peace in that anticipation. As for me, I’m still working on it.
Until the next nap time...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wonderland in Westchase: Dec. 13 5:30-8:30 pm

Interested in caroling this season? The Mothers of Preschoolers in the Heights invite you to join us as we sing Christmas carols to the folks at The Hampton at Pinegate assisted living facility on Wednesday, 12/12 at 2 pm. We will definitely bring smiles to these people's faces. The Hampton at Pinegate is located at 2121 Pinegate Dr., Houston, TX. 77008.
Looking for a fun holiday activity in the evening? Check out this Wonderland in Westchase event, organized by the West Houston Chamber of Commerce. For more information on Wonderland in Westchase, please visit
Until the next nap time...

Friday, December 07, 2007

Words to Christmas Songs

If you're like any of my family members, you'll understand the need for a Web site with the words to traditional Christmas songs. Although we sing these songs every year, we always forget a word or phrase. Other times, we make up words to the songs and don't realize we're doing it.

That's why I like the Web site, which has numerous traditional Christmas songs and the words. I couldn't copy and paste them directly from these Web pages so I right clicked on the page, selected View Source and then did a copy and paste of the lyrics. Finally, I deleted the
which came over from the html coding. Now I have all the words to those songs.

If only the site could improve my singing voice.

Until the next nap time...

Tips for Santa Visit & Helping Local Kids

For those of you thinking of getting photos taken with Santa this year, the Santa at Memorial City Mall had some good advice. First, he said not to carry the children up to him, but rather let them walk or push them up in the stroller. They sometimes fight the Santa experience because they are being transferred from a parent's arms. Santa also said he’s been told that a lot of moms show their kids a Santa movie a couple of times leading up to the visit so that the kids actually recognize him and he seems more familiar. He suggested the Tim Allen "Santa Claus" movie. On the other hand, "Bad Santa" with Billy Bob might not be a good idea.

Here's another great way to help local children and get your car washed!
Precinct One Constable's Office and our area Deputies are doing their annual "CRUISE FOR SMILES" TOY DRIVE. This benefits deserving Precinct One area children. Here are several ways you can participate and donate unwrapped toys.

Wed. Dec. 12 8 am - 6pm Dr Gleem Car Wash located at 3103 Ella Blvd

For a toy or $10 donation, you get a car wash and a complimentary BBQ sandwich. (Additionally, you can preorder BB Brisket and ribs for $20 per slab or brisket. Call Chief JC Mosier or Christine Kendrick 713 7555200).

Tues. Dec. 18 and Wed. Dec. 19, Santa will visit the Garden Oaks neighborhood Gazebo Park, off of 42nd Street, near Shepherd. Toys can be dropped off there when you stop by to see Santa.

Happy Holidays! Until the next nap time...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

St. Nicholas Stopped By

Me and my bright ideas... Yes, St. Nicholas visited Little K last night. She was thrilled to find her little shoes filled with money, a lollipop and candy. I explained this morning that she could choose one candy to have after she got dressed for school. (Pat on the back, Mommy. That's smart.) After careful thought, my daughter chose the largest candy. (Yes, she is also smart.)

Little K quickly got dressed and then we opened her first candy from St. Nicholas. (The last few years, we forgot.) It was a gorgeous citrus candy that barely fit into her palm. I had saved it for a special occasion when I received it a few weeks ago at some event. I thought Little K would like it. (If it's not chocolate, I'm not interested. Sorry.)

Little K's eyes grew big as she delicately licked the citrus candy. Then, she made the oddest face. She licked it again. Hmmm. Maybe she wasn't expecting a citrus taste, I thought.

"Ewww, yuck, Mommy," she said. "I don't like it."

I smelled the candy with the anticipation of orange fragrances. It does in fact smell weird. In fact, it smells like soap! What? How in the world did I mistake soap for candy? Whatever! On St. Nicholas Day, you're not supposed to get your mouth washed out with soap by your sneaky (well maybe dingy) mother.

Little K picked out another candy & didn't think anything else about it... luckily. Next year, I hope St. Nicholas brings traditional candy.

Friday, Dec 7, 7-8 PM Central
Don't miss a full hour of the holiday season's favorite dancing snowman in FROSTY THE SNOWMAN and FROSTY RETURNS on CBS.

Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Dec. 6 = St. Nicholas Day

My mom just called with a fun reminder. December 6 is St. Nicholas Day! So, parents, encourage your kids to put one pair of their shoes beside their bed tonight and wait for St. Nicholas. You may have to help him, but St. Nicholas comes in the middle of the night and fills good children's shoes with goodies. As a kid, I used to get everything from money to candy or markers... anything that can fit into kids' shoes.

Now that my shoes are bigger, I wish St. Nicholas would fill my shoes. That's the trouble with growing up. :-)

Until the next nap time...