Friday, May 30, 2008

Library Offers Summer Fun for Kids

Library story times, movies and other free events offer a great way to keep kids’ brains engaged throughout the summer. For instance, many of our libraries invite toddlers and preschoolers to story time with bubbles, finger puppets and parachute play. Others host Family Nights with music and activities.

I remember as a child, a neighborhood mom loading all the kids on my street into her car and dropping us off at Kendall Branch Library. One time we watched a Pippi Longstockings movie. Afterward, the librarian showed us where to find books on that same character. A second mother picked us up from the library and took us to eat lunch. The next week, other moms took a turn. The neighborhood kids loved it.

Check out what's going on at your neighborhood library at

Until the next nap time...

"Jellyman Kelly" by James Taylor

So we finally downloaded the words to our silly, family song. It's "Jellyman Kelly" by James Taylor. According to, here's some background on this song.

"This song was written by James Taylor in the living room of his home in 1979. The music was inspired by a poem that was written by James' then five-year-old daughter, Sarah Maria Taylor, the artist Better known as Sally Taylor.

As James sat down in the living room of his house with his guitar, In walked little Sally Taylor, with a poem she'd written while in school one day. The teacher had asked students to write poems about their favorite cartoon characters. Sally decided to write a poem about a cheerful, bouncy little clownlike character, whose name was Jellyman Kelly. Jellyman Kelly is a sunny, funny, bouncy little man, whose most favorite thing in the world is the one and only, Jelly! His partner is Jenny Mulhenny, the daughter of a fireman, whose favorite thing to do is boil hot water.

When she was finished writing, Sally came home and sat down on the sofa with James, and read her poem to him. After she was finished reciting her poem, James exclaimed, "Sally Taylor! That's a very interesting poem! We ought to put those words to music!" Within a half an hour, James composed a cheerful, bouncy little guitar melody for the song that would become one of his biggest hits."

Again, it's a silly roadtrip song. Here it goes.

Here's a story about Jelly Man Kelly
He loves jelly the most
ah but most of all
Jelly Man Kelly loves jelly on toast

Here's the part about Jenny Mahenny
She's the fireman's daughter
ah but most of all
Jenny Mahenny loves to boil hot water

So Jenny put the kettle on
Jelly Man Kelly can he come home Jenny can he come
So Jenny put the kettle on
Jelly Man Kelly can he come home Jenny can he come

OOOH! Can he come home Jenny
Can he can come home Jenny
Can he come?

OOOH! Can he come home Jenny
Can he can come home Jenny
Can he come.

Lalalada doo doo doo doo
Papayodalehoodo fo faamyaka yaka yaka yakahuh uh nooooh

Can he come home Jenny
Can he can come home Jenny
Can he come?

OOOH! Can he come home Jenny
Can he can come home Jenny
Can he come.

Here's a story about Jelly Man Kelly
He sure loves jelly
And maybe someday
You and me friend we can have tea with him

One more time...
OOOH! Can he come home Jenny
Can he can come home Jenny
Can he come?

OOOH! Can he come home Jenny
Can he can come home Jenny
Can he come?"

Hope your family finds a tune that makes you laugh as much as this one does our family. Until the next nap time...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

KBR Kids Day along Buffalo Bayou: Sat., June 14, '08

Here's something fun to do with your family this weekend!

Buffalo Bayou Partnership will be hosting its second annual KBR Kids Day along Buffalo Bayou. Join us for a FREE day of adventure and bayou-rific activitiesKBR Kids Day on Buffalo Bayou.

Saturday, June 14, 2008
10am-2pm at Downtown’s Sabine Promenade (Sabine Street between Memorial Drive and Allen Parkway) Click here for a map and directions

Family fun festivities include:
  • hands-on activities with over 20 Houston non-profit organization partners
  • Up close with birds and bugs on the bayou
  • bayou boat rides and kayak demos
  • wildflower plantings
  • bat games and fishing lessons
  • bayou scavenger hunt
  • live music, park performers, balloon artists and much more!
Special appearances:
10-11am - Skateboarding demonstration with PUSH skaters at the Lee and Joe Jamail Skate Park and Houston Texans TORO mascot
11am-noon - break dancing performancesnoon-1pm - Houston Rockets Power Dancers
1-2 pm - Houston Rockets CLUTCH mascot
Parking available at City Lot H and C(Memorial Drive between Sabine Street and Houston Avenue)

Discovery Green Park: Refreshing

Yesterday afternoon, Little K & I went to Discovery Green Park in downtown Houston. While I do suggest you check out the Web site at, let me tell you that the description of the Gateway Fountain does not do it justice.

Little K & I first walked around the pond & watched the remote control boat floating along. We spoke with one of the police officers & headed to the playground. I was intrigued by the yellow music equipment. You can also climb on it. Little K preferred the bridge, slide and (kind of) trampoline. I also like that the floor of the playground is that rubberized material so if kids fall, their tumble is at least cushioned. Unfortunately, there were no swings at the playground, which made me sad.

So, we ventured to the Gateway Fountain. Here's the description from the official Web site: "This fountain offers a visual gateway to the park for visitors approaching from McKinney Street and is an extension of the playground area. Two systems of jets create a myriad of water activity atop a gently sloping granite surface, with 14-foot high arcing jets serving as landmarks and smaller jets cycling on and off to invite park visitors for a closer look or some fun in the spray. "

Now let me tell you how it really is. These AMAZING water jets start off at a low level -- almost teasing you to come closer. Of course, we did. Then, they slowly get larger & larger until suddenly you're soaked in water & surrounded by dancing jets of water so you might as well enjoy it. Then, suddenly, the water dissipates. Then, on one side of the patio, fountains leap up to 14 feet and splatter to the ground. Kids ADORE this. With Houston as hot as it is (already!), I think this is the best thing to do in town for FREE.

Parents & grandparents can also sit on the side to watch the kiddos play in the water. Patio tables & chairs are available but Little K needed me to join her. A cafe is also nearby so you can get refreshments.

The downer? I took AWESOME photos of our adventure but my husband accidentally hit "reformat" on my camera & deleted the pics. AHHH! "Oh well," I said. "Now we have to go back this weekend WITH DADDY." He smiled & agreed.

Check back for new photos from Discovery Green Park. Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Celebrate the Re-Opening of the Downtown Library

So the downtown library is re-opening this weekend and will celebrate with Houston families on Saturday & Sunday. The celebrations are free. Here are a few things that I think will be of particular interest to kids:

  • I think both music groups (at noon and 2 pm on Saturday) will be really fun for young kids.
  • There will also be a gadget petting zoo so the kids can play with digital cameras, printers, MP3 players, etc. Kylie loves that stuff. For a free event, it sounds fun.
  • On Sunday at 1:30 pm, author Rosemary Wells will be there to chat with kids. She's the author of the book and corresponding TV show "Max & Ruby" on Noggin. That's usually pretty cool.
THE HOUSTON PUBLIC CENTRAL LIBRARY IS FINALLY RE-OPENING THIS WEEKEND WITH A TWO-DAY EXTRAVAGANZA. The Houston community is invited to join Director of Libraries Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, Mayor Bill White, Council Member James Rodriguez, and other City officials for the opening ceremony Saturday, May 31 at 10am, followed by a free celebration throughout the weekend. There will be something for everyone to enjoy including music, crafts, food, multicultural dance performances, library tours, technology test-drives and author appearances. The first 1,000 people through the Library's doors receive a commemorative book bag. Scheduled events are 10am-6pm Saturday, May 31, and 1-5pm Sunday, June 1.

The Central Library is located in downtown Houston at 500 McKinney. The weekend of entertainment includes a festival on the Library's Plaza with music by Trout Fishing in America, Jose Luis Orozco, Grupo Kache, and more. There will also be 20 booths of family entertainment, Ringling Bros. clowns, appearances and book signings by visiting authors including Rosemary Wells, David Wiesner, Anita Bunkley, Bill Crider, Ellen Hopkins, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Bapsi Sidhwa, and Katherine Center. Multicultural dance performances take place throughout each day, and the gadget petting zoo will be a crowd favorite.

And this year, the Houston Public Library is turning their annual "Summer Reading Program" into a fun family affair. Everyone is invited to participate in the program running June 1 through August 1, including kids, teens, and adults. To register go online or visit one of Houston's 38 neighborhood and HPL Express library locations.

For more information, call 832.393.1313 or log onto

Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Countdown to Summer

It's almost here. I'm so excited about swimming, grilling out, running through the sprinkler and the long lazy days of summer. You'd think I was a student getting out of school for the summer. Still, I always look forward to Memorial Day weekend as the kickoff to a great summer season. What are your plans for the summer?

Many plan road trips and the Salch family is no different, although I'm a bit sour about the price of gas. One thing we started was a family song for car rides. Our song is by James Taylor and is called something like "Jelly Man." None of us knows all the words. I have to still look up the words online. However, we shout and throw our heads and hands about the car like a spastic octopus. You can't hold back the laughter. What's your family song?

Until the next nap time...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Kids Say the Darndest Things

We had a fun but busy weekend again but I want to share two funny things related to young kids. First, Friday night, we had a few friends over to grill out. Little K was thrilled that her Aunt Juji (it's just a love name, don't worry!) was coming over. Whenever my sister/Juji comes over, Little K moves her collar aside to look for a mole that Juji has on her collar bone. Little K has done this ever since she could talk. Then, my sister explains that it's a mole, kind of like a freckle and the two move on in the conversation. Any ways, Friday night, this same scenario played out except Little K asked my sister if that was chocolate. I don't know if Little K thought Juji had dropped chocolate ice cream on herself or what, but it was hillarious. Who would of thought?

Saturday, we visited some family friends in Richmond, TX. My friend Kris, the dad, explained that his almost-4-year-old daughter went to school last week and the teacher asked what her favorite restaurant was. To everyone's surprise, she replied candidly "Hooters." Wow! That's a wholesome conversation. Her mom assured us that she would clarify that they had not ever been to Hooter's before. Kids say the darndest things.

Until the next nap time...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Professional Photographer in the Making?

Little K's newest fascination is taking photos with my digital camera. (Thus, this photo of moi. Talk about a close-up shot.) At first, I was hesitant and didn't want her to waste the film.

Wait. What film? If the photo stinks, I'll just delete it.

Now, I struggle with the fact that I don't want Little K to drop the camera and break it. Mind you, I've already dropped it on a playground and scratch the screen.

Fine. Let's just be careful and she can use it.

So now Little K is practicing her photo craft and thinks it's such a treat. Aha! Here's a reward that cost me nothing and won't rot out her teeth. Maybe this is a good idea after all.

Until the next nap time...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Weekend

Yesterday, Trent & Little K treated me to the beginning of a great Mother's Day weekend. After breakfast, we visited the new Starbucks on 43rd Street near our house. It was welcoming, clean and family-friendly. We later went shopping for Mommy and ate a cowboy lunch at Hickory Hollow Restaurant.

Next up was the Art Car Parade. We especially liked the dog car, the City of Houston mobile -- disguised as a huge caution cone & the waving flag vehicle. It was a fantastic way to spend an hour.

Saturday, we went to Denis' Seafood at Memorial City and had a great time together. Wishing you all a very Happy Mother's Day.
Until the next nap time...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Let the Good Times Roll

Is my family jinxed?

On Wednesday, I slipped and fell down 14 of the 16 wood floor stairs... on my tailbone. I went to the doctor yesterday and was told that they don't think I broke my tailbone but have probably torn the ligaments around it. The doctor massaged my tailbone (no, I'm not even kidding. It was SO embarassing.) and told me to keep ice on it. It will hopefully feel better by next week. Ugh.

This morning, Little K was so excited to get into the school that she ran right into the open car door. After she finally calmed down, I saw she has a big scratch and a shiner under her left eye. Poor thing.

Then, this afternoon, my husband called to tell me that he was heading to the ER. He was connecting a trailer to the back of his truck and something moved and his middle finger got stuck in between the hitch and the ball. Several shots & 5 stiches later, Trent has this huge cast on his middle finger that looks like he's flicking everyone off! Somehow in the madness, Trent took time to photograph the gaping hole in his finger. He encouraged me to post the photo but since I gagged when I saw them, I figured the pics were too graphic for my family-oriented blog. Believe me, it was disgusting.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that my sister Colyn was robbed last Monday night. Then, Colyn, who's 7.5 months pregnant, got hit by an SUV while she was walking in a crosswalk in downtown Houston. She was thrown 15 feet from the SUV. Amazingly, both mom and child are okay. I haven't a clue how that worked except by the grace of God. For real.

Now that we have all this bad luck out of the way, we only have good things left. I'll toast to that. Have a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. I'm heading to pick up Little K now. Our celebrations may now begin.

Until the next nap time...

Stargaze for Mother's Day Weekend

Here's a fun way to kick off Mother's Day weekend.

Friday, May 9 6-9pm: Nights on Blue Bayou: Stargazing Downtown’s Sabine Promenade (click here for directions)Free Family FunJoin Buffalo Bayou Partnership for an evening under the stars at downtown’s waterfront park, the Sabine Promenade. Stargazing will be the theme for this event, second year in a row, as the night unfolds and the dramatic trail lights appear.

  • Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Discovery Dome planetarium
  • Boat rides
  • Night Hikes
  • Live Jazz and Reggae music with Free Radicals
  • 6:30pm Break Dancing with Youth Advocates
  • Storytelling
  • Astrology reading
  • Screen printing star art
  • Park performers and balloon artist
Bring a picnic or purchase food and drinks on site. Blankets and lawnchairs, canoes or kayaks are encouraged for optimal stargazing. For more information, log onto or call 713.752.0314.
Until the next nap time...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Trip to Denver

We had a wonderful weekend in Denver last weekend. We even toured the Denver Broncos training facility. See the photo of my husband Trent & Little K in front of John Lynch's locker. Little K mostly enjoyed running on the indoor track field with her friend Connor.

The weather in Denver was absolutely gorgeous. I was really impressed, too, by the Recreation Center in Highlands Ranch. It included an indoor pool with a lazy river, obstacle course, water playground and hot tub. Absolutely impressive and rewarding for families there. I wish the YMCA would do something like that here.
Of course, the real reason for our trip was for Collyn's baptism and it went off without a hitch. Well, Little K and Connor provided some entertainment while we tried to focus on the ceremony.
It was also great to catch up with our friends Amy & Baxter. Ten years ago, I would not have imagined that our conversations would have changed (do I dare say "evolved") as they have. From child development to books and baby products, I think we covered it all. Thanks for a fabulous trip.
Until the next nap time...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Preparing for Bed Time

The other night, my husband was over at my sister's house, while I helped Little K get ready for bed. We both took baths and then I helped Little K climb into her PJs. Next, we went into my bedroom so I could get PJs on too.

"Mommy, nobody wants to see your big-girl panties," Little K announced.

As I struggled to get my nightgown over my head, I replied with a terse tone: "I'm putting my night gown on."

"But nobody wants to see your big-girl panties," she repeated with a disappointing look in her eyes.

I've now been chastised and embarassed by my 3-year-old. It wasn't until later that night when I found the humor in the whole thing. Oh well.

Until the next nap time...