Tuesday, January 27, 2009

City of Galveston Prepares for Mardi Gras! Galveston

City of Galveston Prepares for Mardi Gras! Galveston

Galveston, Texas - The City of Galveston welcomes revelers to the island for Mardi Gras
2009. Mardi Gras! Galveston will run from February 13 through February 24, 2009. Please
note the street closures, parking guidelines, public safety information, and vendor news.

First Weekend – Street Closures
Downtown Entertainment District:
Prior to Friday, February 13th, No Parking signs will appear downtown alerting the public about
weekend street closures. Crews from Public Works will close intersections in the late afternoon
and by 5:00 p.m. Strand will be open to pedestrian traffic only from Harborside to Mechanic,
20th to 25th Streets.

Seawall Parade Routes:
Parades are scheduled to begin at noon on Saturday, February 14th. Access streets leading to
Seawall between 10th and 69th Streets will be barricaded from 10:30 a.m. to as late as 10:00
p.m. that night. Vehicles will be directed westbound away from the parades.

Second Weekend – Street Closures
Downtown Entertainment District:
Prior to Friday, February 20th, No Parking signs will appear downtown alerting the public about
weekend street closures. Starting at 2:00 p.m. crews from Public Works will close
intersections and by 5:00 p.m. Strand and Mechanic will be open to pedestrian traffic only
from Harborside to Market, 20th to 25th Streets.

Seawall Parade Routes:
Saturday, February 21st:
To accommodate several parades street closures along Seawall Blvd. will begin at 8:30 a.m.
on Saturday, February 21st. Please note the following traffic schedule:
  • West-bound traffic will be closed on Seawall Blvd. between 16th and 19th Streets from
    8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Access streets leading to Seawall will be barricaded in that
  • East and west-bound traffic will be closed on Seawall Blvd between 25th and 33rd Streets
    from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Access streets leading to Seawall will be barricaded in
    that area.
  • East and west-bound traffic will be closed on Seawall Blvd between 16th and 29th Streets
    from 3:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Access streets leading to Seawall will be barricaded in
    that area.
  • Additionally, 25th Street from Seawall Blvd. to Market will be closed from 4:30 p.m. to
    10:00 p.m. to safely allow for the night parade.
Sunday, February 22nd:
To accommodate two parades east and west-bound traffic will be closed on Seawall Blvd.
between 25th and 53rd Streets from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Access streets leading to Seawall
will be barricaded in that area.
Fat Tuesday – Street Closures
On Tuesday, February 24th, Public Works crews will close streets inside the Downtown
Entertainment District at 5:30 p.m. in anticipation of the Fat Tuesday Parade. The area
Harborside to Church, 18th to 26th Streets will be closed for the festivities. All streets will reopen no later than 11:00 p.m.
Seawall Parking
There will be a number of areas along the Seawall designated as no parking zones or restricted
access areas. The City reminds all revelers to take note of these areas when parking their
Available parking spots along Seawall are likely to fill up rapidly in anticipation of Seawall
parades. The Galveston Police Department reminds residents and visitors of parking protocol:
do not try to cover space with anything other than a properly registered vehicle or trailer.
Cones, chairs, ropes, chains and the like will be removed at the owners’ expense.

Public Safety
Maintaining public safety throughout the Mardi Gras celebration is a priority for the City of
Galveston. General safety suggestions include:
  • Stay aware of your surroundings
  • Exercise caution
  • Keep track of personal belongings
  • Use your common sense
  • Be mindful that event areas will be crowded and offer opportunities for those who might be
    inclined to indulge in criminal behavior. Exercise common sense to reduce your vulnerability to crime.
As stated in the Mardi Gras section of the City Code, glass and silly string are strictly prohibited.
The police will operate a Mobile Command Station on 22nd Street between Market and
Mechanic for the duration of the weekend. For emergencies, please dial 9-1-1. For nonemergencies, please call police dispatch at (409) 765-3702. The City of Galveston will not open its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for Mardi Gras this year.
Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Story Time at Barnes & Noble

Last Friday, I had a book presentation at the Barnes & Noble in Copperfield in conjunction with Pajama Party Time. It was really cute. Little K wore her new cheetah print robe (thank you, Camille!) so Little K was styling. The community relations manager read some stories from the Biscuit the Dog series and there was a surprise appearance from a gigantic Biscuit. Most kids loved taking photos with Biscuit, but not my daughter. She hid in her daddy's lap the whole time. All in all, I still think this was a fun, free activity for families. It's easy to take an hour out of the weekend to head to a local Barnes & Noble for story time. Check out the Barnes & Noble Web site for locations and events near you.

Until the next nap time...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Skatepark or Police Memorial in Less Than 30 Minutes

As I mentioned yesterday, Little K didn't want to go to school. As my friend Amy sometimes says, "Well, I don't want to go to work but I have to." It got me thinking about how hard it can be for working parents to do fun things out of the norm with their kids. I luckily have a flexible schedule but I still find myself grasping for more time with my daughter. This week, I started getting anxious about Little K starting PreK this fall so I find myself using short amounts of time to spend with her doing memorable things. Like yesterday...
After school, we went to the Lee & Joe Jamail Skatepark (page 93 of my latest book). I honestly expected it to be somewhat grungy because that's what I expect from skate boarders. (Just being honest.) I was pleasantly surprised & really surprised with Little K taking to the sport -- or the watching of it. I liked that several parents accompanied their kids to the outdoor park that opened in 2008 & that staff members walked the park to ensure safety and good behavior. Surprise.

One man turned on this radio, put on his safety equipment and began skating. He kind of looked at us with curiosity so we kept walking around the park, watching various people (like another man in the photo above). I love that you can see the Houston skyline in the background? The skaters skate in what looks like empty swimming pools with a few extra bumps. (I thought it would just be the above ground ramps that the kids used to make in my neighborhood.) When I was ready to go due being cold in a short-sleeved shirt, Little K insisted that we stay for a bit longer. We did. On the way out, we looked at the posted graffitti art and the purple cow (Little K's favorite).

On our way home, we stopped by the Police Memorial on Memorial Drive. Little K ran in the field toward the memorial as I tried to keep up with her & explain what a "memorial" is. She couldn't help but to be happy with the openness of this stop. I finally decided that, while the Police Memorial honors those officers who gave their lives in the line of duty, a solemn nature is not always required here. I hope others will appreciate a youngster's spirit & joy in attending this memorial.
Once we reached the base of the Police Memorial, we looked up & down realizing we could go either way. Onward & upward, I always say. So we climbed four stairs up & met a deadend - sort of. We next had to move to the right or left side of the square monument in order to find the next set of stairs up. Little K chose right. Right we went & up we went until we came to a similar situaton of needing to choose a path in order to get to our destination. After four levels & 16 stairs up, we found ourselves at the top of the Police Memorial. The view from the top, as they say, was breathtaking & calming all at the same time... & no, it was not strenuous. But I couldn't help but to think (as I'm sure you're supposed to) about the choices police officers make on a regular basis about which way to go and how to handle different situations. Little K is too young at 3.5 years to understand that but I loved it. Little K liked the soft-flowing fountain at the top (seen in the photo above, left). Fallen officers' names are etched in the marble around the water. It's really neat and something most kids can accomplish.
If you only have 30 minutes between school and dinner (or whatever), this is an easy, unique activity. If you have more time, pack a picnic blanket and snacks to enjoy in the fields surrounding the memorial and then take a walk along the paved path along Buffalo Bayou. I was glad that we again made the visit.
Until the next nap time...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Creating Bugs

Little K did NOT want to go to school today & I had a lighter load, so we played for a few hours this morning. We watched channel 8 TV and blew bubbles outside using the new bubble toys from PaPa Don & Grammy. Then, we got creative. We used old materials to create bugs. Little K stayed focused for almost an entire hour and unleashed her artistic side. (See our creations at left. Mine is the purple bug on the far left, while Little K's is the big eyed one.) It was too fun.
It made me remember how easy entertaining a little one can be. Now I just have to figure out what to do on Monday since it's the MLK Holiday.
Tomorrow, I'll be presenting tips from my book at the Barnes & Noble on Hwy. 6 North. Then, I'm heading to a meeting and back to the office. However, at some point, I'll post photos from our trip this afternoon to the Lee & Joe Jamail Skatepark and the Police Memorial. It was cool.
Until the next nap time...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What's a Chinch?

This afternoon, I picked Little K up from school and went to the library. At some point, she told me that a school mate (we'll call her Sally) told Little K that she "had a chinch on her face and it was bleeding". After Little K repeated this exact statement to me five times, I finally told her that I didn't know what a "chinch" was. She didn't either so I told her not to worry about it.

Tonight, Little K repeated the whole thing for Daddy. "What's a chinch?" he asked. Even when little kids don't know the meaning of words, they can get so concerned.

On another note, I have been so pleasantly surprised at the good nature of our neighbors. Maybe I shouldn't be but two different families have offered us their daughters' clothes when they outgrew them. Little K is so hard on clothes and doesn't have an older sister to inherit from , so I say bring it on. In the process, the older girls have befriended Little K and offered to show her the ropes when she begins PreK next fall. If only I had a big-kid friend to show me the ropes at each new adventure. :-)

Until the next nap time...

Friday, January 09, 2009

Who's That Skiing Down the Slopes?

Hopefully, this will work. My photo camera apparently also has the ability to shoot video so here are two clips of Little K skiing in Breckenridge, Colorado with her instructor Nico. At 3 years old, this was her first time. You can tell by the way I hover in the background!

Applause, applause.

Until the next nap time...

THIS is How We Do It

So I just finished reading the book THIS Is How We Do It by Carol Evans of Working Mother magazine. I wish I had read this when I was pregnant with Little K and trying to determine how to continue my career and be a good mom. It's packed with great statistics and tools to help working mothers propose better work/life arrangements with employers. I like how it even discusses going into business for yourself when your employer just doesn't get it. Evans calls it voting with your feet and it's exactly what I did. When Little K was 2 months old, I called my boss to discuss when exactly I'd return to my marketing job and discuss the arrangements. Unfortunately, I was told that I needed to work the 60+ hours that I previously did in order to continue working. No wonder they insisted that a lawyer be on the phone. Any ways, it all worked out for the best as it always does but for working women pregnant (with their first, middle or last child) faced with career and family decisions, this is a great resource. It's also an easy read.

On top of all that, I really liked how Evans sprinkles stories of her own children and husband throughout the book to truly personalize the book (like how her daughter ordered 8 geese for pets!)n . My daughter is 3.5 years old but somehow I feel like Evans is preparing for what's ahead. She includes tales from when her kids are very young to college age. It's refreshing to see that she, like the rest of us, have struggled at times with parenting and yet continue to make it. Check out This Is How We Do It.

Until the next nap time...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Militant Mom or Flexible Mommy?

So where should I start? It's been a couple interesting weeks and a great start to the New Year. First, as my daughter returned to nursery school this week, I fell into the routine that I experienced growing up. You see, whenever we returned to school from summer or holiday vacation, my mom thought it best to act extra strict to kick-start us back into the routine. She said that we had gotten use to sleeping in, being spoiled by extended family (who, me?) and unaccustomed to the regimen. So, my mom would act a bit like a sergeant and get us up early, not budge a single bit on rules or responsibilities and kept a stern face. I guess as an adult, I just fell into her way of thinking.

However, I'm reading a book called This is How We Do It about working mothers. One part of the book talks about easing new parents back into the workforce after having/adopting children. What's the relevance? No, I'm not expecting! As I read the book, I wondered if the same principles and rewards could be achieved if I simply eased Little K back into her school routine. Instead of rushing to school in search of jumpstarting my own work day and getting back on track, what if I took Little K in a bit later? What if I made sure that after school we played the same games that Little K loved during Christmas break? I'd try it.

The first day, Monday, seemed fruitful as Little K was excited to return to school. Tuesday and Wednesday were a bit more of a struggle as I had early morning meetings combined with temper tantums both days. It's hard to allow 30 minutes of TV time in the morning when you're watching the clock, hoping to make a 7:45 am meeting. Some days, it's harder to ease into the day than others. Wednesday night, we discussed not having temper tantums, but rather picking out her outfit and a toy to take in the car (before walking out the door!), eating a good breakfast and leaving the house when Mommy said.

Thursday morning arrived. Again, I had an early morning networking meeting but I'd agreed to go a bit late so that we could balance my work needs with our family needs. Little K appeared at about 6:30 am with her selected shirt in hand. When I offered to help her get dressed, she giggled and ran back to bed saying she wanted to sleep more. Upon entering her room and sitting on her bed, I quickly discovered she wanted to be tickled. Cool. It's a good way to start the day on a happy note. She got dressed, went downstairs for breakfast while I did her hair and responded to my 5-minute-before-departure warning (even though Curious George was on TV). At departure time, I turned off the TV and watched Little K put up her dishes (remember: she's 3.5 years old), get her babydoll and head for the front door. I was amazed at how she got in the car and minutes later walked into class. Something was working. I'm not sure if it was my change from militant mom or the fact that we discussed each step and it's Thursday so Little K is getting back into things. BUT, I have to say that I feel better about easing back and not being THE ENFORCER. I like my role as Mommy much better.

How has your first week back from the holidays been?

Until the next nap time...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Family Visit to Breckenridge Brings Skiing Surprises

Our trip to Breckenridge has been too fun. Little K took her first ski lesson with a family friend who is also a Breck ski instructor named Nico yesterday. Nico said if Little K did well, they would maybe try a ski lift on Wednesday. By the time the adults got to our ski lift, Little K and Nico were already headed up. She did great.
Last night, we went down to the mountain base at about 6 pm to watch the ski team ski down the mountain holding poles with red flares. It was so beautiful to see the red glowing lights gliding down the mountain. Everyone cheered when the skiiers arrived at the base. We returned to the condo at the base of Peak 9, had dinner and then at about 9 pm, we watched the beautiful fireworks glowing on the snow. Little K had already been in bed but woke up to the booming. Once she realized what the sound was, she came downstairs with Mommy to watch the fireworks.

Today, Little K and Nico went up the Quick Silver lift and then the A Lift today. She skiied what we consider a "baby bowl"today. I couldn't believe it. When I skiied it yesterday, I was a bit nervous. Like most kids, she has no fear and doesn't understand why I would be scared. My sister-in-law reminds me that our distance to the ground is much greater than a 3-year-old's but it continues to surprise me how little my daughter fears... even if she does much of the mountain in a snow plough. Ouch! My knees would cry in pain.
After the adults skiing about 5 hours today, we are staying in tonight to have Dorothy Orton Chicken casserole (a family fave). Aunt Susu and Drew have just wrapped up another game of Candy Land game with Little K as I try to recover from skiing. My legs are aching from the workout. Our ski instructor has the day off tomorrow, so Trent and I will ski the green slopes with Little K on Friday. It sounds like Uncle Bax will come up from Denver to join us, too, and I think Aunt Susu and friend Drew will join us in the morning. Then, while Little K naps, we'll head for the blue slopes. The snow is plentiful, the company cheerful. We continue to pray for Popi as he pushes through chemo to battle his cancer. Cici remains strong and faithful. In the mean time, we savor every moment of this family time.
Best wishes for a Happy New Year to you and your families. Until the next nap time...