Monday, August 29, 2005

Another Foremilk Plug

The August issue of Foremilk: The Monthly E-Newsletter of Lone Star Ma has been e-mailed. To subscribe to Foremilk, which is free, send your e-mail address to Put "Foremilk subscribe" in the subject line!

Summer Fruits

The cherries are gone, the watermelons are waning and I think I have eaten the last of the figs. I do love the fruits of summer...I will miss them until next time.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Some YA Literature Recommendations

Reading For Big Kids and Teens (far, far from a comprehensive list, just the ones on my mind):

The Forestwife by Theresa Tomlinson
Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolf
Junebug by Alice Mead
Anything for kids by Madeleine L'Engle
Anything by Susan Cooper
Wise Child, Juniper and Colman by Monica Furlong
The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
Heinlein juveniles, especially Have Spacesuit Will Travel
The Once And Future King by T.H. White
Kevin Crossley-Holland's Arthur books
Shabanu by Suzanne Fisher Staples
Crash by Jerry Spinelli
What Child Is This? by Caroline B. Cooney
Saffy's Angel , Indigo's Star and Permanent Rose by Hilary McKay
David Almond's books, especially Skellig
Gingerbread by Rachel Cohn
The Ocean Within by V. M. Caldwell*
Lois Lowry's The Giver, Gathering Blue and The Messenger
Dragon's Milk, Flight of the Dragon Kyn, Sign of The Dove by Susan Fletcher
Trino's Choice by Diane Gonzales Bertrand
Taking Sides by Gary Soto
Daphne's Book by Mary Downing Hahn
The Landry News, The Report Card and Frindle by Andrew Clements
Monkey Island by Paula Fox
Say Yes by Audrey Couloumbis
What Jamie Saw by Carolyn Coman
Petey by Ben Mikaelsen
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Becoming Rosemary by Frances M. Wood

I think that's enough for tonight!

* I thoroughly disapprove, however, of the spanking in this book.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Bound Printed Matter

So the post office guy told me I couldn't send magazines media mail, like I have been sending them, with no complaint from the post office, for simply ages. Having read about this controversy from other zinesters, I explained that they were periodicals and that their advertising content was way, way under the threshold percentage (sigh). He said they couldn't have any advertising. I went online and did some research and...he is right. If they have any advertising at all, they have to go as "bound printed matter", not "media mail". Bound printed matter is cheaper than parcel post. For this mailing (not necessarily all mailings, though, because the weight system that determines what is cheapest is mysterious and complicated), however, first class is cheapest. Yay, newsprint.

Lone Star Ma #8 is out!

Lone Star Ma #8 has been mailed to subscribers and scattered across Texas, especially the southern part. Issue 8 includes an entirely new department, too! Read Lone Star Ma's Bookshelf to find good books about mothers, mothering and children's issues! Now we return you to our regularly scheduled blog...

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

No Nursing In the Toddler Room?

The Lone Star Baby has pretty much given up nursing upon arrival at daycare...she nurses before we get out of bed and before we leave home in the morning and she wants her yogurt and her cup when we get to daycare...that's her routine. In the two months or so between when she turned a year old and when she moved up to the toddler room, I had also gradually cut back on going to nurse her at mid-day in the nursery. The daycare is very far from my work so it has always been hard to get there, but I also knew that it would be less convenient to do so when she moved up to the toddler room since they have quite a few scheduled activities and the children eat and nap together at the same time. So, really, I have never expected to do too much nursing in the toddler room anyway. On some days, however, I have very late meetings and such, and a late afternoon nursing before the Lone Star Baby spends the whole evening with Daddy is in order. Monday was the first of those occasions since the big move. I casually mentioned to the teacher when I dropped the Lone Star Baby off in the morning that I had a late meeting that day, so I would probably come and nurse the Lone Star Baby after their naptime before I had to go. We chatted a little more about various things and I left as usual.

When I returned that afternoon, there had apparently been Discussion.

The teacher told me politely that since their room was "open" (it has a door, the top part of which is left open, that opens out onto the same hallway as most of the rooms, while the nursery is in a separate hallway and has a completely closed door), I could go nurse in the chapel across the hall, where there were chairs and stuff. The Lone Star Baby and I went to nurse in the chapel. I was not at all mad at the teacher, as I doubted it came from her, but I really was sort of mad, as nursing is nothing that needs to be hidden and is something that I have a right to do anywhere. It didn't really even make sense...who were they hiding us from? Almost all the children in the toddler room began in the nursery and saw us nursing there as did their parents. All of the staff at the daycare are in and out of the nursery on a regular basis and they saw us nursing...what was different? Nothing, really, except that they simply did not expect nursing at the Lone Star Baby's age, I guess. No one else besides her had nursed in the nursery either, though, so that hardly seemed relevant.

I did not make a fuss. The toddler room teacher is a fantastic teacher and has to engage in way too much emotional work with way too many little people during the course of the day as it is. I appreciate her and do not want to rock her boat unnecessarily. The Lone Star Baby was perfectly happy to nurse in the chapel, so I let it go. I felt marginalized, though. I didn't like it.

Gotta Love My Boss

At a staff retreat a few days ago, my boss clicked to a slide announcing our break entitled "Potty and Milk Break". I have to say...I felt honored. Pretty sure that milk break part was for me, and I thought it was pretty neat that she included it, the association with "potty" not withstanding.

I didn't tell my boss that I was pregnant with the Lone Star Baby until I was more than four months gone. I was worried. I remembered from the days before she was the boss that she had been critical of a colleague who took a long Family Leave and that she did not think work and kids should mix much back in the day. I think we've just grown on each other.

I've always been pretty clear that my kids come way first for me, and I try to do good work. She knows both of these things about me. She cares about her employees and wants to be a good boss...and so guess what? Our differences didn't really end up mattering that much. She is willing to respect what is important to me, so I naturally respect her a ton and try to do well for her. My boss...gotta love her.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

So Fast

The Lone Star Girl is reading Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. It's hard for me to believe that we are already at that point, but we really are. Wow.

Ovals & Octagons

The Lone Star Baby is very into shapes these days. True to her always unique little self, she shows no interest in or recognition of circles, squares or triangles most of the time. She knows stars, hearts, diamonds, ovals and octagons. Her favorites are ovals and octagons ... "Oohwal! Octagah!" She likes 'em. She also starts making "Twinkle, twinkle" hand motions when she sees stars or diamonds because she knows both shapes are in the song. She loves that song. The kid is like that robot in a silly eighties movie that used to go "more input! more input!", except she throws tantrums and is a mammal and stuff. She keeps me on my toes.


For a very long time now, the Lone Star Baby has allowed me to spoonfeed her nothing. She has only eaten what she can pick up with her hands in my presence, except for nursing, but I could still get yogurt, baby cereal and applesauce into her because she would allow them to spoonfeed her at daycare - why there? I don't know. Now, that's all over. She has decided that she can do it herself. She is currently very into eating things that require a spoon...but she must do the spooning. Baths. Lots and lots of baths coming into our lives.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Toddler Room

Yesterday was also the Lone Star Baby's first day in the toddler room at daycare. I had worried about her moving up when it was an abstraction, since she is very bonded to her nursery teacher and does not take to people quickly as a rule, but she is so ready. They took her to spend a little time in the toddler room everyday for a couple of weeks before she moved up and she loved it. She squeals the toddler teacher's name anytime she sees her or hears her mentioned and simply adores the toys and equipment in the room. She loved her first day, slept on her nap mat and everything. Yay!

Fourth Grade

The Lone Star Girl started fourth grade yesterday. While she is never glad to see summer end, she is optimistic about her year. Her teacher is strict, but nice, she thinks, and there is a new girl in her class. They are already reading How To Eat Fried Worms and Frindle and I think she will enjoy most of the fourth grade reading selections, unlike some past school reading assignments that have deeply bored her. School is often the staging ground for the Lone Star Girl's particular brand of activism. Last school year, she led a revolt when the principal had some stray dogs removed from campus by Animal Control for safety reasons...we'll see what she comes up with this year!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Lone Star Baby's Vocabulary at 14 Months

Pretty (used only to modify flowers; may think it means "flower")
Wheels! Wheels! Wheels!
Ni-Night (means milk, lying down)
Wheeeee! (refers to sliding, swinging or being in swimming pool)
Puffs (the cereal kind)
Wash cloth
other-one-milk (OHM muk)
Logan (Go!)
Adam (Ad!)
Nap mat
"Veggie Booty" (vee!)
Color (verb)
Room (means Sissy's room)
Lunch (munch - she doesn't really say L's)

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


The Lone Star Baby, who generally cannot go even a few minutes without needing me to pick her up/nurse her/walk with her, is showing signs that a real attention span may be on the horizon. Last week, at La Leche League - Corpus Christi's World Breastfeeding Week Breastfeeding Celebration and Baby Fair, she played with a water table full of little rubber duckies for at least an hour an a half. Last night when she was feeling kind of yucky and I was trying to find something to make her happy, I let her play with a box of tissues (Ramona and Willa Jean, anyone?) and she took them out of the box, shredded them and put them back in the box over and over in my lap for a good two hours, perfectly content. I am not kidding.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Coffee: Better Living Through Chemistry

I was traipsing up the steps to a meeting at City Hall this morning with a nice, warm mocha in my hands. Another worker was walking up the steps beside me. She seemed to be in low spirits, murmuring "just one more day...just one more's been a bad week." I told her that I found that a nice, chocolatey coffee just made all those feelings go away. She said she'd have to try it some time.

Monday, August 01, 2005


I had a productive yet low-key weekend which was nice. I got the new issue of Foremilk out, revised a couple of essays for one of the books that I am working on and wrote a draft of another of the essays on Saturday. Spent plenty of time playing with the the Lone Star Baby and watching the Lone Star Girl's parade of interesting costumes and hairstyles, too. On Sunday, I talked Lone Star Pa into a family trip to the big library so he could play with the girls in the new and fancy-schmancy children's area while I did some research for my other book. I tracked down and checked out a few references I needed and filled out and turned in eight inter-library loan requests for some others that I needed. I also found - well, Lone Star Pa actually found them - DVDs of the old "Little House on the Prairie" episodes to check out - score. It was great. After the library, we went to H-E-B and got what was left on our list of school supplies for the Lone Star Girl's fourth grade year. So we're done with that. I feel prepared!