Sunday, December 28, 2008

Guest Blog: Review of Tale of Despereaux

Hi everyone. This is my first blog ever... That's right, this is Trent, not Megan. Quick, ladies, go get your husbands and brag about how supportive that Trent is to his lovely, beautiful, near Saintly wife Megan. No, really it is me, Trent. Megan has asked me to do a guest blog spot for her on tonight's fun family activity. I certainly hope that I can make her proud. Here it goes.

Tonight we took little K out to her first bar. Okay that's a lie. We actually took her to the movies tonight. We piled into the family truckster about 5:45 for a 6:00 show of Despereaux. Arriving 14 minutes prior to showtime thanks to some magnificant driving by Daddy, we pealed little K off the back windshield and raced inside.

If you have been to the movies recently you will understand that as usual we spent nearly $2000.00 on popcorn, candy and drinks. We then raced into the theater where our timing could not have been better. Front row seats! Just kidding, because I drive like an absolute maniac we were able to sit in the center about half way up. After the obligatory spilling of "popgold" that some used to call "popcorn," (before the price went higher than crude in the summer of 2008) we settled in for the show.

Now anyone who knows me, knows that I love the movies. But you have to be in the right mindset to go see a kids show. For me the preparation starts hours beforehand with a lot of booze and some greasy food. Then a quick nap and a couple of vicaden later, I'm ready for showtime! But, today I was not allowed to take my usual liberty with preparation so I had to go...sober. I know this is scary, especially if any husbands were really hassled into reading this by their wives. How did I pull this off? Easy actually. Don't watch so much of the movie. Take a look at your kid watching the movie. That is where the real entertainment is.

Our seats allowed little K some "wiggle room" that gave her the freedom to rush the screen as Despereaux made a courageous charge. And come screaming back to us as the evil rats chased him around. Little K had some of those big, deep in the belly, laughs, that make the entire outside world seem insignificant in comparison. She always has a good time but tonight was a better than usual time. And truly the movie did put forth several great lessons that we will continue to reinforce.

All in all, is the movie something that I would have taken my most beautiful, smart, nearly saintly wife to go see when we were dating? No. But, it is a great movie for parents to take their kids to. You bet, the world is short on honorable heros. If the movie studios can only bring back honor, chivalry, and otherwise gentlemenly behavior by using a mouse, I'm cool with it. I would love to see a thousand Despereauxs next year for Halloween, but, that is wishful thinking. After all the Watchmen will be out in 2009.

Dads, take your boys to this movie. Teach them well. For your safety as well as theirs.

Until the next naptime...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Our Christmas Project: Day Two

So we haven't been as diligent about our project as I had hoped but it continues to be interesting and humorous.

Yesterday, Little K & I met my sister at a local Palais Royal to do some last-minute shopping. When we went to check out, we couldn't help but to notice the man in front of us who was pouting. (I'm pretty sure he's on the naughty list.) He shouted that he was late for a party (it was 5 pm) and had been waiting for an hour to return one item. (Actually, he had several items in his hands so I'm not sure if he could count.)

Little K looked at him, confused. I bent down and told her that he was having a very tough day and that maybe she could wish him a Merry Christma to make him feel better. As the salesperson walked off to get some help, Little K looked up at the brooding man & said: "Sir, Merry Christmas." He didn't respond but she said it in a normal voice. I told her to try it again. My sister looked at me as if I was daring my daughter to run across Loop 610. Okay, the guy was visibly angry but who better to receive a little Christmas spirit?

"Excuse me, sir. Merry Christmas!" Little K announced. Still, no response.

Next, Little K held my hand and stepped closer to the man, who was now pacing. "Sir, Merry Christmas!" Still, no response.

My sister & I laughed and Little K just couldn't understand his problem. Finally, another salesperson returned to help the man and a third salesperson offered to help us at another register.

The man turned toward us and said, "I'm sorry but I've been waiting for a long time here."

"It's okay," I responded with a giggle. "Merry Christmas!" Still, no response!

I'm picking up Little K early from nursery school today. With school out for the holidays, we should have plenty of opportunities to determine if folks can enjoy our Christmas sentiments or if we should tell them "Bah Humbug!" I'll try to capture & share some fun photos, too.

Until the next nap time...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Our Christmas Project: Day One

Yesterday, Little K and I went to Target (at I-10 & Taylor) for a few items. It was the typical trip until the end. Little K loves to climb on the large red balls that grace the entrance. They are really intended to block cars from barrelling through the front doors. Still, I let Little K climb on one at the end of our trip. That's where Our Christmas Project developed.

As harried people walked in and out of Target, Little K wished them a "Merry Christmas" in a normal voice. No one noticed. It was AMAZING to watch. It's kind of hard to miss a child sitting on the blockade but whatever. As minutes ticked by, Little K got braver. She stood on the ball with Mommy holding her carefully while minding the loaded shopping cart. She now shouted "Merry Christmas!" to each passerby. One man finally stopped and asked me if the little girl was talking to him. When I nodded, he was shocked. "Well, Merry Christmas to you," he studdered.

Little K beamed. With her new found confidence, she began to call out to specific people. "Hey lady with the green shirt. Merry Christmas!" Little K burst. (PaPa Don would be so proud!)

Usually, Little K got a smile in return but some people didn't even notice. Amazing.

We continued for about 20 minutes and laughed at people's responses. We couldn't believe that with only 8 days until Christmas, so few people were not in the Christmas spirit. Why would you be surprised about a child wishing you "Merry Christmas" at this time of year??? And why would you avoid eye contact with a child? It was as if the customers were afraid that Little K was going to ask for something in return. I was awestruck.

We've decided to continue the experiment through Christmas in the name of research... and fun. Check back here for updates. I encourage you to do the same experiment, too. It feels wonderful. Your kids will love it. Who knows? Maybe people will catch the Christmas spirit after all and remember the real reason for the season has nothing to do with crossing off the shopping list. It has everything to do with spreading deep-hearted joy and anticipation.

Merry Christmas to you! Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

NBC special A Muppet Christmas: Letters to Santa

Despite the hum-drum reviews that it is getting, we can't wait for the Muppet's Christmas special that is showing tonight. Let's watch and see how the kids like it.

• When: 7 tonight
• Where: NBC

Until the next nap time...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Let it snow, Let it snow.

Let it snow... in Houston. What a wonderful memory the snow will provide for so many Houstonians -- young & old. Here's a photo of Little K, Daddy & our reindeer as the snow falls Wednesday night. It was too cool.
Happy holidays!
Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Blast at Dickens on the Strand

Last Saturday, we had a ball at Dickens on the Strand. I was a bit worried about navigating the crowd (especially since my husband had to work that Saturday unexpectedly) but I was pleasantly surprised. We arrived just after 10 am when they opened the gates and walked the Strand. There was a constant line of sight seeing for sure. My favorite was the Princess Baby in the gorgeous coach. In the photo here, you can see Little K and her Cici peeking inside at a real child. Oh, how I would have LOVED to have a stroller like that when I was younger.
We also saw a quick magic trick by a goose, who couldn't lay a golden egg, but could find a candy cane for my daughter. That goose seemed to know my daughter's preferences.
There was just so much to see... from the costumes and St. Nicholas' appearance to the Alpaca named Cici. (That's what Little K calls her paternal grandmother --also pictured -- so it was quite coincidental.) Interestingly, alpacas hum. Who knew? Their fur is super soft and great for blankets.
Next, we ate corn dogs and fresh lemonade. Little K even tried her first Funnel Cake with Cici. At last, we found a kind of cake that my daughter likes. She scarfed it right up.
We enjoyed the real wedding Dickens-style at noon and then decided just to sit for awhile, listening to gorgeous singing. The carolers were the good dose of Christmas that I needed.
Finally, a magician/trickster appeared on stage and performed various juggling acts and tricks. Our favorite was twirling the rope around 5 people and then watching each person slowly sneak out from beneath the rope without touching it or messing up the roper. Of course, we liked that trick mostly because Little K was one of the stars. (See photo below. She's the tiniest one.)
Any ways, if you didn't make it to Dickens on the Strand this year, mark the first weekend of December on your list for 2009. It was a wonderful, calm day that supported Galveston's Historic District. It was hard hit by Hurricane Ike but is coming back, thanks to people like you.
I also took photos of the west end of Galveston... the devastation from Hurricane Ike remains. I'll post those later this week. I'm still in awe.
Until the next nap time...

Friday, December 05, 2008

I know we're past Thanksgiving, but Little K keeps bringing home drawings of turkeys in the shape of her hand. Funny. I remember doing that as a kid, too. Since Thanksgiving seems to be still on our mind, I thought I'd share a photo of Little K playing with her home-made tom-tom. We actually made it on Thanksgiving while the feast was baking at my parents' home. She is still playing with the oatmeal container turned Indian music instrument. I thought my father was going to toss us out of the house if we played the tom-tom any more.
Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Don't forget Dickens on the Strand is this weekend in Galveston. Pack up the kids on Saturday or Sunday and head down for a day of Christmas spirit. Hope to see you there!
Another fun event if you want to stay close to home is the ADVENT FESTIVAL at Faith Lutheran Church, located at
4600 Bellaire Blvd., Bellaire, TX 77401. It's this Saturday, Dec. 6 from 10 am - 1 pm. Prepare for Jesus’ Birth! Bethlehem Bazaar and Food, Advent Crafts and Ornaments, Games, Carols, Storytelling, Bake Sale and Silent Auction. Fun for all ages!
Admission is a canned good or unwrapped toy for Christian Community Service Center’s “Jingle Bell Express”. (What a great idea!)
To close out for the week, I want to share these real comments from moms in Houston. Share your comments to this blog to keep the laughter rolling.
You know you're the mother of a preschooler when you ...
  • double-knot your own shoes.
  • find a half eaten molded sandwich under your driver's side seat!
  • discover going to the grocery store is a twice weekly event.
Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Fun Holiday Activities in Houston

If you're looking for some fun holiday activities in Houston, be sure to check out my December article "Seasonal Sensations" in The Buzz Magazines, page 9.

I also highlight 10 Seasonal Celebrations in my monthly e-newsletter called the Houston Family Fun Newsletter. Check out the December newsletter and then subscribe to this free email newsletter. (I never sell your contact information so no worries.) Each month, you'll receive one email showcasing fun things to do with your family.

As always, your feedback is welcome so send me your ideas for upcoming newsletters and let me know your family-oriented interests. You can also post your ideas & comments to this blog. Thanks.

Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Oprah Brings Thrifty Holiday Music to All

There are not many free things these days, but here is one from Oprah. She has eight free Christmas songs available for download. the artists include: Faith Hill, Tony Bennett, Il Divo, Josh Groban, Brian McKnight, Amy Grant, Harry Connick Jr., and Aretha Franklin. Here is the link: They are only available for the next day. So, this is my way of saying Happy Thanksgiving and may you have relaxed and peaceful month ahead during this holiday season!

Happy Holidays!

Until the next nap time...

Over the River?

Whether for Thanksgiving or the Christmas season, I like my new rendition of the holiday favorite "Over the River", now referred to as "Over the Bayou". It's Houston-style.

Over the bayou and through construction
To Grandmother's house we'll go.
Dad knows the way
on the Katy Freeway
through sun and mug we'll Go -- o!

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Until the next nap time...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Madagascar 2 Cracks Us Up

Yesterday afternoon, Trent & I took Little K to the movies to see "Madagascar 2". It was the first time for Trent to see our daughter at the theater. (I've taken her to a matinee once with our MOPS group.) It was so fun.
Little K didn't seem to remember our previous trip but she was excited to see the show. She LOVED the popcorn. Luckily, we sat on the first row above the handicap seating so Little K actually had plenty of foot space and could occasionally stand up to stretch her legs without bothering anyone.
The "Madagascar 2" show was fabulous. Adults enjoyed it and youngsters were thrilled. I can only imagine watching that flick on IMAX, which is available at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. That would be a blast. Great, humorous lines with some good moral values weaved in. I give the show a big thumbs up. Trent & I have agreed, though, that our favorite part was watching Little K at the movie -- she danced, sang and was enthralled. Now Daddy is even willing to take Little K to more movies. Who knows? Maybe Mommy will catch some free time while the duo heads to the movies.
Until the next nap time...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Paint This

We had a great, no stress time at Young at Art this morning. My sister brought her 4 month old Claire so that we could get her foot print painted. Too fun & cute.
Even though it's a gorgeous day outside, we enjoyed the art studio. I only wish I had taken Little K there when she was a newborn so that I could have gotten her handprint & footprint done. Claire's handprint was so little, it was adorable. Last time, we did Little K's footprint but could only do her toes because her foot is already bigger than the large tile we were painting. Way to go, Mom.
I think we're going to see "Madagascar 2" later today so I'll post my review later this weekend.
Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Flu Shot

Last Friday, I got a flu shot. I've made the mistake of not getting one in the past and regretted it in January when I was sick as a dog. This year, I hope to escape the bug.

But what about my 3-year-old? I know, I know. All the doctors recommend the flu shot in young children, especially those attending school since they're surrounded by other carriers of the flu. With so many runny noses in one classroom, I don't know how any of them stay healthy. However, there's something counterintuitive about sticking my daughter with a needle... voluntarily. And how do I explain that we're choosing to get a shot? Suggestions out there?

I asked my husband his thoughts yesterday & got the brush off with "Let's wait until she's feeling better." She has allergies or a cold or something not contagious, the doctor said last week. Hmm... I want someone to wave a magic wand to give my Little K the flu vaccine without the pain of an injection. I wonder if her Tinkle Bell wand would work?

Until the next nap time...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

My sister-in-law sent me this yesterday and I had to share this magical story.

A full page ad repeated the “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” article from 1897. Macy’s had a page next to it in which children can write their letters to Santa. You put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and then take it to Macy’s to put it in their big giant mail box. Then, Macy’s is donating $1 for every letter to the Make a Wish Foundation. So, it’s fun with your youngsters and a good cause! Check out the web site and have fun!

Thanks, SuSu!

Until the next nap time...

Friday, November 07, 2008

Singing in My Past & Future

My maternal grandfather turned 85 on Election Day. I tried calling but got a busy signal. He was likely talking to one of his numerous relatives. I plan to have Little K call her PaPa Don this weekend to sing for him. In the mean time, I emailed the b-day boy and got the following response. Singing must have been on his mind.

Hi Meg:
I understand and I know you have a full plate. But thank you for the greeting.

Besides your email forces me to write to both you and Colyn over something I found in the files while looking for some other material for your blog.

Surely you remember digging potatoes here several years ago. But do you remember the ditty we used to sing both during the digging and afterwards? Well, while I look for that picture of you two, tell if the following jogs your memory.

Last summer we went to Ohio
We went to help pa pa pick peas
But the rabbits arrived there before us
Dug taters, 'cause there ain't NO peas !
Taters, taters,
Dug taters 'cause there ain't NO peas !

I know that both of my great grand daughters are rising vocalists. Now it's your job to teach them this new lyric.

Pa Pa

Hope you Houstonians get outside this weekend and enjoy the gorgeous weather. Perhaps your family will plant something of your own. Now's the time.

Until the next nap time...

Monday, November 03, 2008

God bless mothers who drugged us!

A friend forwarded this email to me & I just had to share it.

The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a Methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and he asked me arhetorical question,

''Why didn't we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?''

I replied, I had a drug problem when I was young:

I was drug to church on Sunday morning.

I was drug to church for weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather.

I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults.

I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn't put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.

I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profane four-letter word.

I was drug out to pull weeds in mom's garden and flower beds and cockleburs out of dad's fields.

I was drug to the homes of family, friends, and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chopsome firewood; and, if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.

Those drugs are still in my veins; and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, and think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin; and, if today's children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a better place.

Until the next nap time...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Acorns A Many

I forgot to check the pockets on my daughter's clothes before doing a load of laundry. No big deal, you think? Well, I just found the 29th acorn and am betting I'm not done. Apparently, Little K collected acorns the other day at school and put them in her pocket. She carefully sealed the pocket snap closed so the acorns wouldn't fall out during nap time.

I whiz through the laundry and discover 1 acorn, 2 acorns... Not only have the 29 acorns appeared in the laundry basket, but also on my bedroom floor and in the laundry room. "So that's what was making that sound in the dryer," my husband said.

"At least it wasn't frogs," my neighbor said. Her nephew rescued several baby frogs by putting them in his pant pocket. When his mother was later folding his clean clothes, she discovered his collection of frogs. Groce.

I'll be sure to check Little K's pockets from now on. Who knows what she could collect?

Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Meeting Our New Twin Cousins & Painting for a Table

Last night, our family made a short drive to my cousin Jon's house. Just over a week ago, Jon & wife Lisa were thrilled with the birth of twin boys, "B&B" we'll call them. I was amazed at how little they really are, weighing in just over 6 pounds each. Their faces were smooth, perhaps because their Mommy had a C-section but who knows. The best was watching Little K interact with them. She was quite curious and wanted to know if she could play with their toys.

"It won't be long before they have tons of toys for you to play with," Aunt Lisa told my three-year-old. True. Time goes by so fast.

This morning, our MOPS group went to Young at Art to paint pottery. Although I wish I hadn't been rushed to make an 11:30 am conference call, it was fun to paint next to my girl. We each painted a tile for the table I swear I'll update before the end of the year. (There. Now I've set the deadline publicly. Hold me accountable, please!) Years ago, my mom gave me this cool sewing machine table that I really like. It just needs to have the top redone. We've been working on decorative tiles for about a year now so we should almost have enough. It's a great project to do with a child since they can create their own masterpieces and you can put them to good use. I'll have to keep you posted.

Until the next nap time...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Your ID Please?

Earlier today, I went to the grocery store and purchased some adult beverages for this weekend. When the checkout lady asked for my ID, I laughed... out loud. We quickly began talking about how funny it is that at some point you want someone to ask for ID.

It is funny. It was not that long ago that I wanted to look older and be older. Now, I'm caught between just wanting to look my age and wanting to look younger. What an odd evolution we go through.

I just hope my daughter will enjoy her youth. I don't want her to be older. I like her just how she is and want her to remember a childhood filled with happiness.

Until the next nap time...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

When I think of fall, pumpkins always come to my mind. That's why we headed to Dewberry Farm three years ago to pick out a pumpkin from an actual pumpkin patch. Ever since, we've made Dewberry Farm an annual favorite.

They've added quite a bit of activities since last year, from a new fort to climb to the people-size gerbil running wheels that will give the adults a real workout. We should have allowed more time but we only had about two hours. We arrived around 7 pm since we wanted to see the 350 jackolanterns carved with themes from the NFL to Disney and Hollywood. Tip: Bring a flashlight so you can better navigate the half-mile jackolantern tour and be ready for a long line. Bring plenty of cash since the admission price does not include everything within the farm.
All in all, we really loved the trip again. This year, Little K said her favorite was the swing. It's an old horse walker that has bags of sand (or something similar) hanging from them. Kids can grab hold of the sand bags and whirl around the circle. (See Little K at left.) Just hang on tight. I loved the hayride but I do love cuddling. Hope you and your families can make time for this special treat.

Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fall Fun Abounds

Every October, I find there's so much going on, that it's hard to choose. Here are some of our favorite autumn outings.

First, Art Mix Learning will be hosting its 3rd Annual Halloween Party on Friday, October 24th, from 4-6pm. This is a free event for the whole family, so dress in costume and enjoy the fun!

(Beginning October 18th, Art Mix Pop-In Studios will be open on Saturdays from 10 am -5 pm. YES!)

The St. John Vianney Parish Bazaar is an annual treat for us & will be held this Sunday, 12 from 11 am - 7 pm. You do not need to be a member of this west Houston church to have a blast. There are loads of kids' activities and rides. Delicious food and drinks are available from BBQ to Italian & Mexican food. It's a wonderful way to spend a Sunday.

Oct. 18 from 11 am - 5 pm, head to the St. Rose of Lima Fall Festival. Enjoy pizza, BBQ sandwiches & carnival fare. A silent auction with sports memorabilia, trips and more will peak adults’ interests. Festival games and lots of other fun fall activities for the young & young at heart promise a day full of fun.A Trick-or-Treat Pass for the games is available for $15 in advance or $20 at the event. Please call the school office at 713-691-0104to buy the Trick-or-Treat pass in advance. Halloween costumes are encouraged. All community members welcome. Come see me at the Preschool Treasure Dig. I'd love to visit with you.

The ArBOOretum 2008 will also be held on Saturday, October 18 from noon - 5 pm. Join the critters for an exceptional event with live owls, petting zoo, pony rides and trick or treating along a forest trail. New this year are live snakes with "Clint the Snake Man" and a hayride. Admission for Nonmembers, age 3 and up, is $15 per person. Activities including: Live snakes (11 a.m. - 1:30 pm), Live owls (2 - 5 pm), Trick or treat trail, Hay rides, Face painting, Pumpkin decorating, Petting zoo, Pony rides, Kid's Zip line, Cake Walk and Costume Parade at 2 pm and 4 pm. Refreshments available for purchase.Follow signs to satellite parking; shuttles available. No dogs allowed day of event.

It’s Fall Carnival time at Condit Elementary School! The annual carnival will be held on Saturday, October 25, 2008 from 1– 4 pm at 7000 S. Third Street in Bellaire. Take a spooky walk through the Fun House or race around in the Silly String Shoot-out. Other fun games will include a pie eating contest, karaoke, and wall climbing. Also, don’t forget to get your face painted, grab confetti eggs, take a cake walk, and go fishing. There’s a variety of activities for every age, plus delicious food sponsored by Escalante’s Mexican Restaurant. Come join the fun and support Condit! There is no entrance fee, you can buy tickets for the different activities at the carnival, everyone is welcome!

Until the next nap time...

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Resource: Paper Protocol Blog Gives Great Tips

While waiting for a client to call me back today, I started looking at blogs and searching on topics that I'm interested in. I found this cool blog called Paper Protocol that has good tips on paper, invitations, stationery, etc. (Check out the cute princess invites.) I have a BS in journalism and write for a living so it's a natural extension. Paper Protocol is cool because it talks about trends and the blogger's favorite paper goods. Plus, it has good Houston recommendations. It's off to a great start. I'll be back for sure. Now if only there was a blog on how to run a business, raise a family and stay sane!

Until the next nap time....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Where to Go When You Have No Power

With no power at our house, we continue the wait for power from my parents' home. At least they have a generator. We've spent more time than I care to admit in front of the TV, watching "The Jungle Book". However, we've ventured out for a few fun trips.

PaPa treated all of us to ice cream the other night after dinner. What a welcome treat that cold dessert was. My butter-pecan ice cream brought back memories of my Grandfather taking us out for ice cream after dinner at the cafeteria years ago. Butter-pecan was Grandfather's favorite flavor.
On Sunday, after checking out our own house and trying to nap there in the afternoon heat, we gave up. With no circulation, it was not worth the attempt. Our house was built in the 1930s and the windows have been nailed and painted shut. There's NO circulation. Trent, Little K and I ventured to Memorial City Mall for a ride on the carousel. For $1 per ride, it's one of the simplest ways to please a child and stay cool. I love all the colors and lights.

If you have any fun ways to stay cool while CenterPoint (& others) restore power in Houston, add your comments to this blog for others to see and try. Thanks!

Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Recovering After Hurricane Ike

Well, Hurricane Ike proved to be "the storm" that was predicted. We evacuated to my parents' home in Houston because they had boarded up and didn't have as many tall, old trees as we did in central Houston. It proved to be a wise decision.

When people ask me tomorrow why I still don't have electricity at my house, I think I'll just show them these photos. Apparently, our zip code (77018) was one of the hardest hit areas in Houston according to CenterPoint Energy.
The storm that hit Houston early Saturday, Sept. 13, brought 100+ mph winds, flooding and tornados. Our next-door neighbors' property was hit by a tornado (Tree Toppers - they're called). It "shared" my neighbors' trees by landing them in our yard and pool. How nice to share.
When we went to our house late on Saturday to check things out, I absolutely could not believe my eyes. We're blessed, really, because our house was not damaged, minus the laundry room taking on some water since it's the lowest point on our property. (That's what you get when you live in an old house, right?) At least a tree didn't fall on our house like it did my Grandmother's house down the street.

I couldn't even take photos of my Grandmother's house. Two trees that once held together a swing -- that my father swung on decades ago, followed by me years later -- lay on the ground. Another tree from the neighbor's yard landed on Grandmother's kitchen, bedroom and upstairs game room. The roof is now tarped. Another tree that carefully bordered the driveway toppled over, stretching across the street and reaching into another neighbor's yard. (How many times did my Grandfather warn my Grandmother not to back out of the driveway and hit that tree?)My dad had to get a Loader to push the tree across the street and into my Grandmother's yard so that traffic could get through. Thank God my Grandmother was not home when the trees came tumbling. That would have been so frightening. I'll try to get the photos that my husband took of all this to give some perspective. It certainly made me recognize the power and seriousness of these storms.
Still, I've been amazed and encouraged at how neighbors and friends have come together. People who have lived across the street since I was a child opened their doors to watch my property when I evacuated. Others brought dinner to my next-door neighbor. Even the constables in our neighborhood brought the older neighbors bags of ice. The community spirit through it all has been a good reminder to me about how our neighborhoods could be... should be. Kids play ball in the street and ride bikes as many adults clean up the branches and debris. Everyone stays close to home. Even after local restaurants gain generator power, many people just felt more comfortable being at home with family and friends that have taken refuge.
I think about the Hurricane Katrina evacuees and remind myself that I'm so lucky that I have a home and neighborhood to return to. I just hope that this camaraderie, this sincere care for people beyond my doorstep will continue.
As Judge Ed Emmett said in one of the press conferences, this storm can bring out the very best in people. Bring out the best.
Until the next nap time...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Preparing for Hurricane Ike

So after a nice -- albeit rainy -- vacation in Puerto Rico for our 10th wedding anniversary, we're back in Houston preparing for Hurricane Ike. I'll continue posting whenever I can. My husband is bound and determined that we'll be leaving our house. I want to stay as long as the electricity (let me clarify -- Air Conditioning) is running. Little K knows a big storm is coming but doesn't understand the gravity of a category 3 or 4 hurricane hitting the Gulf Coast. We've decided to only explain the basics and try to have some fun with our daughter since no one in Houston is working on Friday.

I'm off to the pharmacy for allergy meds and then to pick up Little K from nursery school. "Take a Hike, Ike" is our new mantra. Who knew I should have included a generator on my Christmas wish list last year? Ugh.

Until the next nap time...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mama Mia! Tasty Italian Food

Last night, we went to dinner at Raia's Italian Market on Washington. It's been open for only one month but runs like it was born there decades ago. The Italian kitchen setting threw Little K for a loop.
"Whose house is this?" she kept asking.
She enjoyed her spaghetti while Trent chowed on the New Orleans pasta filled with seafood. I tried the red bell peppers stuffed with crab, shrimp and cheese. Ahh. It was heavenly. So heavenly, in fact, that I had no room for dessert. Little K tried chocolate gelato, which she devoured as evidenced in the photo here. Trent licked his lips at the cheese cake. In five minutes flat, the desserts were gone.
I was hoping that this family was related to my old softball buddy Angela Raia from Memorial Ashford Little League many moons ago. But no such luck. Darn.
I highly recommend Raia's for its family-friendly atmosphere and delicious Italian cuisine.
4500 Washington Ave. Suite 200
(just west of Molina's and Joy Yoga on the north side of Washington)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Party, Party, Party!

Last Sunday, I took Little K to a long-time friend's birthday party. Well, let me restate that. The moms are long-time friends. We got to know each other in 1980 when I was in first grade. Any ways, Little K & I went to the party at the Pink Pokka Dot Room on 19th Street in the Heights. Girls can have dress up princess parties here or in this case a "Fancy Nancy" party with guest visitor Hannah Montana. The guests first picked out their attire from a rack of fancy dresses. In typical fashion, Little K chose the gold sparkles seen in the photo here. Next up, the staff gave Little K quite a hair do. (I may find my next hair stylist there.) Then, the make-up came to adorn my 3-year-old's face, followed by nail polish -- purple (her choice, not mine but whatever).

The guests then sang "Happy Birthday" to the honoree and enjoyed tea and cupcakes. (Little K passed on the cake as usual). After that, the shop owner read to "Fancy Nancy" books to the guests, which made me giggle.
Next, the room changed into a dance party and my sweet Little K turned into a disco momma! A pretend Hannah Montana began singing and dancing on a makeshift stage and my little one got her groove on. It was hillarious. Who knew Little K could move like that when moments before she didn't even know who Hannah Montana was?! This party was a blast... for us all!
Olive Ann, 237 W. 19th. 713-802-2021.
Until the next nap time...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Get Dolled Up!

Here's a pretty way to beat the rain weather with your little girl.

Family NightPrincess Night
This is a special night! You can take some great pictures of your kids with Cinderella! Also, Sweet & Sassy will have everything from a Pink Limo to Glitter Make-Up! Plus: Dress like a Princess and get a FREE 4-pack Kid's Meal. Jingles the Clown Jingles is always SPECIAL! Hope to see you there.

Until the next nap time...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Translation Please

Kids say the funniest things, especially mine. Once again, Little K undressed this morning only to get her night shirt stuck. She pulls her head through but not her arms. She thinks it's funny and dresses around singing "Pack pack. Pack pack." She's trying to say "Backpack. Backpack," like Dora the Explorer. When I explained the logic at 6 am, she thought I was crazy. Oh well.

Last night, while she ate a Bullet Poscicle, she told me that she had to hurry up and eat it or it would "get milk-ed." She meant to say "melted" but don't try to convince her otherwise.

This weekend is jam-packed with 2 kids' b-day parties and one for my husband. Have fun with your families.

Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Who's Been Peaking at My Book?

The Bunny Bungalow blog includes local happenings for all ages, but focuses mostly in the Heights. If you look at the blogger's entry from August 4, you'll see my book signing at Heights Antiques on Yale tied to the White Linen Nights event. Who's that stylish chic in the hat? My tennis friend Jennifer, who brought her hubby and two sons to the book signing. Too fun! Hope to see you all around town.

Until the next nap time...

Friday, August 08, 2008

Do the Right Thing

While at a business networking breakfast yesterday, a woman shared a notecard that a vendor gave her. Instead of just the company's contact information, this notecard also included the following:

1. Do the right thing

2. Do more than is expected

3. If it's wrong make it right

4. Make time for people

5. Improve someone's life

6. Make a difference

7. Do it now

While this certainly applies to business, the simplicity offers great concepts for parents trying to lead children toward morals and values. Hope this inspires you & your family to do good.

Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Do You See What I See?

Life is all about perspective. On Monday, Little K was getting ready for nursery school. She reminded me that we're not supposed to bring toys into the classroom. "Its the rule," she said. Then, an interesting conversation unfolded.

As she put on her sunglasses, Little K told me that a boy at school wears his "white glasses in the classroom" so she was going to wear hers. White glasses? I thought. Soon, I realized that indeed one little boy has reading glasses. By "white glasses", Little K meant that the glass was clear. When I explained that he needed those glasses to see like Mommy wears reading glasses when I work on the computer, Little K quickly told me that she just could not see a thing without her sunglasses. Right.

It never ceases to amaze me what she can come up with. Luckily, her perspective almost always brings a smile to my face. Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Cookies, cookies, cookies

Since nursery school was canceled today due to the storms and we couldn't drive anywhere, Little K & I made cookies, cookies, cookies. It started out simple enough with sugar cookies. We used Trent's Aunt Denny's recipe. While super tasty, the recipe doesn't make much. Of course, we taste tested so much of the dough, that we could have been the culprit.

Since my mom always makes oatmeal raisin cookies when it rains but Grand is not feeling well today, we decided to make our own. I tried this recipe from Quaker Oats. Unfortunately, I started off the mixing by adding twice as much butter as the recipe called for so we had to double everything. No problem. We'll share the cookies. Well, Little K went down for her nap and I kept baking the batch. I think I have over 100 cookies now. I'm plating them for family and neighbors, thankfully.

The cutest part was when I handed Little K the beater so she could eat some of the dough. As I used to explain to my own mom, she replied: "But it doesn't have enough on it to eat, Mommy." I smiled and handed her a spoonful of dough. All calories aside, it's been a fun day.

Until the next nap time...

Free Movies

If you think it's safe to get out of the house this morning, here's something fun for you & the kiddos despite the rain.

This movie theater is playing free movies for kids at 10 am.

Marq*E Stadium 23 & IMAX
7600 Katy FreewayHouston ,TX 77024713-263-7843

Doogal (G)
Are We There Yet? (PG)

Until the next nap time...

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Fun-Filled Day

We had a Mommy & Little K Day on Friday. I can't believe how much I enjoyed it.

First up: a trip to the dentist. It was Little K's first dentist appointment so she was a bit hesitant. The hygenist Miss Lynnda was super about explaining everything and even letting Little K sit upright in the chair. Of course, the treat bag full of toys was helpful, too. I had not prepared myself for my daughter's intrigue. After her cleaning, it was my turn, making it a challenge to supervise a 3 year old while getting my own teeth cleaned. Little K found the tools amazing. After Miss Lynnda skirted the window with the water tool, Little K was investigating everything. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of Miss Lynnda AND Little K cleaning my teeth, drowning me in water & flossing my teeth. That photo would have been priceless.
Tip for next time: bring a toy that will keep Little K engaged for awhile.

After that we went to breakfast at Le Peep with Grand, my mom. It was yummy and great for kids.
We went home and did our artwork. I bought finger paints with little sponges for designing, plus some butcher paper to lay on the driveway. Together, we created two banners that now hang on the fence by our driveway. Little K loved painting her hands & feet so she could do handprints & footprints on the paper . She sang with glee and I realized how much I had missed just hanging out with her.

After school & weekend activities just aren't enough for me. it filled my heart to spend that quality one on one time with her. I realized how BUSY I've become over the last year and how much I've missed with my daughter. Not to be too hard on myself, we do a lot of stuff together after school & on weekends. But I was carefully reminded on Friday that this time passes too quickly. I'm determined to make more of these moments.

Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Testing for Peanut Allergy... Again

Today, I picked up Little K from nursery school and headed to Quest Diagnostics. She had to have blood drawn so that we could run the annual tests to determine if her gradation of peanut allergy has remained the same, gotten worse or gotten better. We're hoping for the latter.

I've struggled on how to handle this because having blood drawn is not fun for anyone, much less a 3 year old. I simply told her this morning that we would get tested again for peanut allergy and then get a treat. We talked a little more about it off & on but I knew it wasn't really sinking in. I didn't mention needles or shots. Is this the best way to handle this?

I remember as a child realizing that we were heading to Dr. Gardner's office when I recognized the creepy trees. My mom later explained that I would freak out at the thought of a shot so she chose not to mention it in advance. If I point-blank asked her about it, then she'd disclose the matter. I want to choose another path in explaining medical trips to my daughter but I'm still figuring it all out.

When Little K saw the medical equipment, she panicked. She was sitting on my lap. I was instructed to hold both arms still so the tech could insert the needle. Lovely. In a minute, we were done but crocodile tears streamed from Little K's eyes. Afterward I bought her a popsicle (which she didn't like) and then a snowcone (which she loved -- more on that later).

Thank goodness this is only done once a year. Until the next nap time...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Jenni's Noodle House Rocks

I had forgotten how much I like Jenni's Noodle House. Although the "new" location on Shepherd has been open almost a year, we just visited it this Saturday. This location is much safer than the old downtown location. We highly recommended Jenni's for Asian flair with a twist. It's super casual and easy with kids. (You'll notice Little K wearing her Disney Princess costume.)

When we arrive, the manager welcomes us warmly and asks if my daughter wants noodles or rice, showing her photos of the kids plates. Why don't other restaurants show the kids what the food looks like? It's so much easier for kids to pick that way. Little K's lunch is prepared and delivered quickly. Ahhh. The adults peruse the menu while tunes of Johnny Cash float through the air. Funny, huh?

The food is fast and delicious. Our little one loves the “Slippery Noodles” and even tries the chop sticks. But the staff is her real favorite. The manager engaged our daughter warmly and rewarded her for eating all her lunch with a Jenni’s Noodle House temporary tattoo. He even helped her apply the tattoo in the restaurant. Upon our departure, he was rewarded with a big hug and a high five from my daughter. This is truly one of the most kid-friendly restaurants in town.

Physical location: 3111 South Shepherd Dr. at West Alabama; 713-523-7600
Hours: M-Sat 11 am-10pm
Kid Friendliness: A
Food Quality A
Price: $$

Until the next nap time...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Is TeleTubbies to Childish for a 3 Year Old?

My husband does NOT like the TeleTubbies on PBS. I can't really blame him. They don't really talk so it goes against me telling Little K to "use her words." Still, Little K makes up interesting excuses to watch the show sometimes.

This morning, I put on another show but Little K quickly squawked, saying she wanted to watch TeleTubbies because Curious George followed that show. When my husband returned to the room, he tried to convince her (as he always does) that TeleTubbies is too baby-ish for her. Little K quickly corrected him today.

"No, I want to watch TubbyTubbies," she replied. It's hard not to laugh.

Trent followed me out of the room only to point out the independent nature of our 3 year old.

"Didn't someone pray for that?" he questioned.

Yes, I did pray for an independent child. I just hope she sticks with it when she gets to middle & high school. For now, TeleTubbies can keep on playing.

Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Welcome Baby Claire

Well, she's just so cute.

At left, there's a photo of my mom "Grand", my daughter "Little K" and the newest addition to our extended family Claire.

I have to admit it seems like ages ago that my own daughter was this small. Technically, I never saw Little K this small. While Little K weighed 9 pounds 1.4 ounces, Claire weighed 8 pounds 2 ounces at birth... but that's besides the point.

It's truly amazing to think of everything that must go right in order for a person to be born. Seeing a newborn reminds me of what a miracle life really is.

I can't wait to begin spoiling Claire, although I'm watching my own daughter to make sure she gets plenty of positive attention, too. (Any tips from my blog readers out there?) While Claire is Little K's cousin, not sister, I'm wondering if Little K will become jealous of the youngest family member. So far, Little K just studied Claire contently and enjoyed helping the baby with her pacifier.

Mom Colyn and Dad Victor are doing great. They'll actually stay at the hospital until Thursday but since they're at Memorial Hermann Northwest, they're super close either way. Oh how much fun. Plus, my cousin Jon and wife Lisa are expecting twins this fall so our family is growing again.

Until the next nap time...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Baby Watch 2008 Continues

When you are pregnant and you go past your due date, it's a big deal... literally and figuratively. I went one day over my due date with Little K and was out of my mind. I just couldn't wait to meet my daughter.

My sister's baby was due last Friday... yes, that's 3 extra days as of today. Colyn went to the doc today and schedule an appointment to be induced this upcoming Friday, July 25. Apparently, her insurance requires her to wait an entire week after her due date before inducing. Do they have any idea how excited I am to meet this little girl? Colyn continues to wait, of course, as does her husband Victor. Come on, Friday!

Closer to home, Little K was adorable last night. She spent the entire weekend with my parents Grand & PaPa so she was extra snuggly last night. Trent & I let her stay up late since we hadn't seen her all weekend. We went swimming after dinner, then headed up for bedtime stories. Little K and I cuddled in her big girl bed, while Daddy read us stories. (Knuffle Bunny is hillarious.) When it was time for Trent & I to leave, Little K begged for me to sleep in her bed with her. I explained that I have my own bed.

Then, she turned to Trent and asked: "Please can Mommy sleep with me tonight?"

Funny, really. I promised to lay with her for 5 minutes but we both had to close our eyes. I awoke an HOUR later. Little K was still awake but resting nicely. I kissed her good night, promising to paint artwork with her after school on Monday.

When I went downstairs to tell my husband that I fell asleep in Little K's room, he simply responded with a smile: "I figured."

I have to admit: I loved the cuddling. There's just nothing like being snuggle bunnies with your little ones.

Until the next nap time...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Cool Off with the Cub Scouts

Cub Scout Pack 40 invites all boys ages 6-11 and their families for:
When: Saturday, July 19 from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Where: Northwest YMCA at 1234 West 34th St.
More info-Cubmaster Sam Stengler-281-773-3478

YMCA rules require that swimmers aged 6 and under be accompanied by an adult who in the pool with the child at all times
Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

First Hair Cut

At what age should your child's first hair cut be?

I think boys likely get their first trim earlier. Little K's hair is so long but people are always surprised that she hasn't had her first hair cut although she's 3.5 years old.

Today was Little K's big (hair) day.

I took her to Salon Vendome on San Felipe near the Galleria since I've had Jeff Brandon cutting and highlighting my hair for almost as long as I've been married. Jeff has a daughter of his own so he understands how we value long locks. He promptly propped K up on a booster and gave her a leopard "cape". Then, he went to work on the Princess. I couldn't believe how still my daughter sat. I assure you our morning hair styling is much more challenging.

Both Mommy & K emphasized that we only wanted to trim the dead ends off, not much at all. Jeff had her hair trimmed in about 5 minutes and then did this super cool French brain from one to the other, with an extra hair hanging beautifully along her back.
Big kuddos to Jeff Brandon for making Little K's first hair cut a sensational show. Little K feels like a gorgeous Princess and couldn't wait to show her daddy her new hair-do.
Until the next nap time...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What a Weekend

We've had a really nice weekend. Some friends came over Friday night for burgers & hot dogs. Little K played with her friend Little C until almost 10 pm when we all cratered. It was fun to just catch up with adult conversation, too.

Saturday found us running errands and then working on our Honey Do List for several hours. While I pruned our landscaping, Trent fixed the door bell and door weather stripping as well as washed the back windows from the outside. Our bodies are still sore. Then we met Miss Weefee (just a love name, not her real one) and Mr. Steve at Mardi Gras Grill on Durham. The food was good but the hush puppies were the best.

This morning, we went to church and then to Jax Grill for lunch with my sister, Uncle Victor and their to-be-born-any-day-now daughter. We capped off the weekend with swimming in the backyard. It'll be hard to get back to work on Monday.

Until the next nap time...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Swim Lessons Conclude

Thursday marked the last day of swim lessons at the local YMCA. Little K really enjoyed it. She can now confidently jump to an adult in the pool and is practicing, freestyle, backstroke and side stroke. I don't think she could get herself to the side of the pool, if she fell in though. We're working on it.

The Y was good about teaching pool safety, although I laughed when the lifeguard told the 3-5 year olds that they should call 911 if someone was unconscious. Right. My 3 year old has no idea what it means to be unconscious. Oh well.
For the rest of the summer we'll practice swimming in our backyard pool. I'm honestly hoping that a private instructor in our area will have an opening/cancellation some time this summer. If not, I'll try to set that up early next year.
Enjoy your weekend. Until the next nap time...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

July 4th Recap

I'm running behind with our July 4th recap. We had a wonderful time -- building sand castles, walking the beach & watching the fireworks. Little K even played doctor on Popi, who turns out is better than we even expected. (THANK GOD!)
I'm not sure which photo is the best so I'll post a few. A special thanks to Aunt Margaret Irvin who sent the croquet game to Cici. You have no idea how much fun we had.
Until the next nap time...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Birthday Candles

This is too funny. Trent's cousin Pete sent us this YouTube video of his daughter's recent 3rd birthday party in Illinois. All was well, Pete said, until it was time to blow out the candles. Check it out. Enjoy!

Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

July 4th Celebrations Around Houston

Fireworks displays abound around town. Here are some fabulous ones, plus I’ve noted some celebrations without the sparks. Before the fireworks shows, reassure your children and let kids know that the fireworks are loud but safe.

West University’s July 4th Bike Parade starts at West U Elementary at 10 am Friday and concludes at Colonial Park with food, fun, and festivities until 2 pm.

Bellaire’s July 4th Parade begins at 9:30 am at the Bellaire Triangle with the Festival lasting until 1 pm at the Bellaire-Zindler Park.

Don’t forget the Villages Independence Parade starting at 9 am at Memorial High School with a free Festival at Memorial Drive Baptist Church until 1 pm.

The Tanglewood 4th of July Parade and Carnival is 10 am until noon at 5200 San Felipe with clowns, face painting, bounce houses and more. Call 713-552-0505 for details.

Galveston celebrates July 4th, starting with a parade at 10 am at the Railroad Museum (25th and Santa Fe Place). From there, the parade will wind its way through historic downtown Galveston from Strand to 21st; south on 21st to Postoffice; west on Postoffice to 24th, and finally south on 24th to Sealy. Following the parade, there will be a 4th of July celebration at Sealy Pavilion (24th and Sealy) with patriotic entertainment, free hot dogs and lemonade, and free American flags for the children. There will also be musical entertainment. The 20-minute fireworks show begins at 9:15 pm and will last about 25 minutes. The setting is at 37th and Seawall but the fireworks can be seen as far west as 81st and Seawall, and as far east as 14th and Seawall. Physical location: 37th Street and Seawall Blvd. in Galveston 888-425-4752

Pearland's Celebration of Freedom is an all-out family festival with craft booths and carnival rides. Admission is FREE, but bring your wallet for all the food, music and rides. Bring school supplies to donate to the city’s drive for needy students. Time: Noon-11 pm Physical location: Pearland High School Football Stadium at 3775 South Main

Chevy’s Freedom over Texas celebration with Fireworks is presented at Eleanor Tinsley Park along Buffalo Bayou near downtown Houston. This features a concert with several Sara Evans, Miranda Lambert & Jo Dee Messina. The concerts are followed by a huge fireworks show. Plenty of children's activities will also be available. This is the largest land-based fireworks display in the nation! Admission: $8 per person, Kids 10 and under are FREE Time: 4-10 pm Physical location: Eleanor Tinsley Park at Buffalo Bayou near downtown

Rosenberg’s signature July 4th event includes a concert, an inflatable carnival, KidZone, horseshoes and washer tournaments, food and refreshment vendors, hayrides through Seabourne Creek Park, and a great fireworks show. Guests are asked to bring their lawn chairs, their family and all their friends, but to please leave the pets and alcoholic refreshments at home. General event parking will be available immediately south of the event site. Event Partner parking and handicapped parking will be available at the Rosenberg Civic and Convention Center at 3825 Highway 36 South. Time: 5-10 pm Physical location: Seabourne Creek Park located at 3831 Highway 36 South 832-595-3520

Sugarland's annual Red, White and Bluefest will be held in Sugarland at Oyster Creek and Lost Creek parks. If you stay for the fireworks, it's a long evening but a fun one. The holiday activities include jugglers, magicians, parade, music and fireworks. Time: 4:30-11 pm Physical location: Oyster Creek and Lost Creek parks but take the shuttle from Mercer Stadium at 16403 Lexington Blvd 281-275-2885

Houston Symphony's Star Spangled Salute: Enjoy beautiful American tunes synchronized to the annual celebration at Miller Outdoor Theatre in Hermann Park in the museum district. Thousands flock to this event site and it remains a great family outing. Bring a large blanket to lie on the hill so your family can lean back, relaxing to the sights and sounds. Music plays until dark when the music is then accompanied by wonderful fireworks. Admission: FREE Time: 8-10:30 pm Physical location: Hermann Park

11th Annual Red, Hot and Blue Festival and Fireworks Extravaganza is a 23-minute fireworks show at Waterway Square. This is the second largest in the greater Houston region, second only to downtown Houston’s show. The soundtrack for The Red, Hot & Blue Festival Fireworks is simulcast on Houston’s Sunny 99.1 radio station. Admission: FREE Time: 11 am-8 pm Physical location: Waterway Square in The Woodlands

Kemah Fireworks: If you have older kids, this is a fun outing. Stroll through the shops on the Kemah Boardwalk, enjoy a tasty dinner overlooking the water and then watch the fireworks show. This is the same show seen each Friday and Saturday throughout June and July but gives the family plenty to do, including amusement park rides and shopping. Enjoy the fireworks show shot over Galveston Bay at 9:30 pm. Admission: FREE Time: dinner - 9:30 pm Physical location: Bradford and 2nd Street in Kemah 877-AT-KEMAH (887-285-3624)

Be safe! Until the next nap time...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Ohio Trip Recap

I've had a hard time cutting down the rest of our photos to appropriately cover our trip. What can I say? From Little K pulling onions to drawing with Cousin Bentley, splashing in PaPa Don's hot tub or playing house with Grammy and chasing the dogs, we had a wonderful Ohio trip.

Thanks for the memories -- mine and Little K's. The photos can't capture the happiness I have in watching my own daughter relish time with her Barrett family the way I used to do as a child. There's even room for me to pick peas still. Amazing.
Until the next nap time...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pea Pickin' Memories

The remainder of Day 4, Saturday, found us at Aunt Kenny & Uncle Brad's for an all-American picnic. Cousin Lauren had returned from Europe and filled us in on her faves. Little K enjoyed chasing 3 dogs around the yard, picking peas and cuddling with Uncle Brad.

Day 5 begin with a trip to church with PaPa Don. Grammy went earlier, of course. On the way home, we stopped by Iron Horse Park for a whirl at the playground. Quite muddy, we bathed at the house just in time for the Barrett clan to return for a huge lunch. How I'll fit into the airplane seat tonight, I'm not sure.

We picked peas again today as a last effort to ingrain the memory in Little K's memory. That has been my favorite all these years. You could the pea-picking song for blocks.

Ha, Ha, Ha. You & me
Out to the garden to pick some peas.
Ha, Ha, Ha. You & me
I'll eat pods and & you eat the peas.

What fun this trip has been. Until the next nap time...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Which Hairdo Would You Like?

A long history of barbershop continued this morning in Ohio. While PaPa Don read the newspaper, Little K fixed his hair by spritzing it with Princess Spray, combing his hair and then adding a few bows. When PaPa Don explained that boys don't wear bows, Little K said that she'd add a blue bow.
I love watching this. When my sister Colyn & I were young, we'd add creative hairdos to PaPa Don's top, too. If PaPa Don fell asleep (as he often did), he'd be surprised when he awoke. One time, we added red mousse to his hair so he was VERY surprised upon awakening. We've painted his nails before. We even added make-up. PaPa Don says that his ability to fall asleep so easily is due to his clear conscience. I think he secretly may enjoy being donned over by a little princess.
We're off to scavenge at some estate sales. Hopefully, we'll find a treasure or two. More later.
Until the next nap time...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day 1 in Ohio was fun but traveling with a 3-year-old who didn't nap is exhausting in itself. Little K was well behaved on the plane, singing to everyone on board. We landed just before 5 pm and were picked up at the airport by PaPa Don & Aunt Margaret. Little K proved to be on her 2nd wind as she was "jabber jaws" for the 30-minute ride home. One mile before we arrived, she was dozing off.

Later, Aunt Margaret had a special drink so Little K decided she also needed one. Sans alcohol, Little K soon had her own tottie -- a caffeinated drink. She was all performance at dinner at a seafood restaurant with multiple saltwater fish tanks. After dinner, Uncle Brad insisted he & Little K needed ice cream, although the rest of us were stuffed beyond belief. A short visit followed dinner back at Grammy and PaPa Don's and then we all retired to bed. I looked forward to a good night's sleep, but Little K was overly tired and woke up about 10 times last night. Oh well.

Today, Day 2, Uncle Huck read Little K a book about his dogs in Vegas. (See above. This is my mother's youngest brother Shannon, whom we call Huck.) It was too cute of a photo opp not to take. Aunt Kenny rode her bike over to visit and then cousin John stopped by to update us on his college registration at University of Kentucky in the fall. Wow, how time flies! We picked peas today. K especially liked cousin John tossing peas into the air for her to catch with her mouth. What a show! Uncle Huck & Aunt Margaret headed back to Vegas today but we were lucky that our trips to Ohio coincided. Perhaps we'll be able to venture west this year.

After naps (including mine and PaPa Don's), we fed the birds and filled the hot tub. K discovered two ducks in the yard so we quickly pulled out some bird seed to fill them. As I sit hear typing, "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" plays in the background. Aunt Kenny, Uncle Brad & John will join our Barrett group for dinner tonight. How blessed we are to have such family and memories. What will tomorrow entail? No clue. Talk to you then.

With love... until the next nap time...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Last weekend, we spent a relaxing weekend at the family ranch. After reading the book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, I made a special effort to reconnect with the outdoors. We all loved it. From hiking and searching for the noisy woodpecker, to fishing and dancing in the back of the pick up truck, it was so fun.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much Little K seemed interested in the animals, plants and exploring. When Sunday afternoon came, I don't think a single one of us wanted to leave for Houston. That just means we'll look forward to a return trip.
Tomorrow marks the beginning of my trip with Little K to OHIO to see my grandparents, K's great grandparents. Trent is staying behind to work. ugh. I'll be sure to add blog updates to keep in touch. Little K is looking forward to eating PaPa Don's peas from the garden and cooking with Grammy.
Until the next nap time...

Friday, June 20, 2008

When Mom and Dad Share It All

Here's a great article from the New York Times on mothers' and fathers' role and how those roles can be redefined for more balance at home. Enjoy. It sure gives me some ideas. What do you think? Is the division of labor (or household chores & childcare) divided equally amongst you and your spouse?

Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fish Tales and More

We love fish tales!

Last Thursday, we met some friends at the Fish Gallery, located near Kirby & Hwy 59. Each Thursday in the summer, the Fish Gallery has storytime starting at 3:30 (till 4:30). We heard two cute stories about fish and an octopus as they were read aloud to us. It was amazing to listen to the stories while gorgeous fish swam in the huge aquarium behind the reader. What a backdrop! The Fish Gallery also made it nice by providing free juice and water for visitors. Kids were invited to sit on the floor while parents sat in chairs. There was quite a big group for an event that just began.

Next, George showed us how he feeds the fish and explained what the different fish like to eat... from red worms to live crawfish. It was really a sight to see. Then we toured the aquariums, where we saw Nemo (a huge hit!), eels, several types of starfish and much, much more. Kids could even touch some of the animals, although Little K & her friend Grace screamed at the suggestion and promptly hid behind me. Oh well. After attending 5 times, your child gets a "special gift".

The Fish Gallery at 4527 Lomitas, Houston, TX

Until the next nap time...