Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pumpkin Time Again in Houston

Pumpkin picking and carving is a big deal in my family. I have the fondest memories of picking out pumpkins with my family. We always tried to pick the biggest pumpkin, knowing that my mother would complain that she simply could not bake that many pies. She'd try every time. If we had 5 pumpkin pies, no one minded. Mom always played along.
And those pies! Yummy! I won't embarrass myself by admitting how many pumpkin pies I ate one time. My mother wanted to crawl under a rock. That's what happens when you have a baby who's born the day after Thanksgiving!

My sister & I always picked the biggest pumpkins. If we couldn't actually pick it up, even better. The tradition continues in the Salch family. On Saturday we went to a local pumpkin spot and Little K picked out the biggest one. Trent & I laughed. It must be in our DNA.

My dear friend Kelley called us early in October to find out when we'd be roasting pumpkin seeds. How about this Tuesday night? She'll likely be here because she says ours taste better. Sounds like a mini mid-week pumpkin carving party to me.
Until the next nap time...

Party Like a Rock Star

On Friday night, Little K attended a "Party Like a Rock Star" birthday party at Double Dave's pizza. Our whole family had fun dressing up. I'm not sure our hosts expected the adults to dress like a rock star, but Trent & I couldn't resist. Trent pulled from the bottom of his shirt drawer a Van Halen concert T-shirt circa 1992 and a Metallica concert T-shirt from around the same period. I had tried to throw out these things years ago because they really are horrendous. My husband refused. I actually remember roller skating to Van Halen so I'll give a little there. Metallica is just too hard rock for me.

Thus, my husband smiled in delight when I sported his old Metallica shirt (above) to a five-year-olds birthday party. All in the name of fun, right?
Little K wore her "Daddy's Rockstar" shirt with a pink hair extension and, of course, her Hannah Montannah guitar. (I can't believe I just wrote Metallica and Hannah Montannah in the same blog.)

The party hosts went all out. I was surprised to learn that the Double Dave's on 34th Street and Ella Boulevard has a sizeable patio in the back. The party was complete with a DJ, strobe light, inflatable guitars, temporary tattoos, temporary hair dye/spray and bubbles. We laughed when the DJ tried to get the 4 & 5-year-olds to sing "Who Let the Dogs Out?" because they clearly had never heard that song. That didn't stop them from dancing and doing the hoola-hoop for all to see. After eating pizza, the hosts distributed sugar cookies shaped into colorful music notes, tying nicely into the "Rock Star" theme. But they didn't forget the cake and brownies, too.
Toward the end of the party, one little girl held the microphone and sang her little heart out. It was hillarious. She even thanked her adult audience after each song.
I have to say, it was really a clever and enjoyable party. When both parents & kids are smiling, you know you've done well and this family really did a super job.
Another favorite aspect is that the birthday girl's parents asked that in lieu of b-day gifts, we purchase a book to be donated to the girl's school library in her honor. They even provided a "Rock Star"-themed sticker to place inside your book saying the book was being donated in honor of the birthday girl. They really thought of every angle, including the giving back to others.

Houston Zoo in the Autumn

Over the last month, we've gone to the Houston Zoo twice and really enjoyed it. Finally this week, I decided to buy a Zoo membership. A friend said that even on rainy days, her family will go to the Zoo because there are so many indoor exhibits. It sounds like a plan.

I have to say that the Houston Zoo is a lot different from when I was a kid. New things include the water fountain for kids to play in (great for hot months when Mommy remembers exta clothes), the carousel, and the frozen Icees. Still, I love the fact that the Zoo does have the bat exhibit (which I used to be fascinated with. Note "used to be") and the traditional zoo animals. It's a good mix of tradition and new.
I found the Zoo Boo to be very crowded but cute. I liked seeing the animals play and eat pumpkins that the zoo keepers had added to their cages. Plus, seeing so many kids in their Halloween costumes was adorable. I just wish we had gone earlier in the day (not 4 pm) so that the trick-or-treat booths were still running.

These photos are from our Zoo trip last weekend for Zoo Boo as well as our trip on a no-school day with our St. Rose School friends. We're already looking forward to our next trip to the Zoo. Note to self: wear comfortable shoes & pack snacks.
Until the next nap time...