Saturday, November 19, 2005

Dysfunctional Family Therapy (Adult) Mad Libs

I bought some of these to do with my siblings when I go to visit them in North Texas this coming week. It's going to be fun! I loved Mad Libs when I was a kid!

I will be offline until Monday the 28th. Have a great Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Congress Passes Over 50 Billion Dollars in Cuts to Social Services

These would be cuts to things like foster care, which have already been cut to the bone. Who thinks that fewer safety nets are what the children of this nation need...less food, less shelter, having to be left alone or in horrible childcare settings because there is no affordable, high quality childcare and little assistance for it, more abuse and neglect? Congressional Republicans think so. Expect higher crime rates and get ready to fund more prisons. That is what you will receive.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Who is having an escamocha for dinner?

I am! And it is soooo good! For those yankees among you (north of San Antonio and all) who don't know what that is, it is a fruit cup (watermelon, grapes, bananas, apples, kiwi, strawberries, cantelope, cherries, coconut, pineapple) with yogurt, granola and honey....mmmmm! There is a paletera on the route that I take between my office and City Hall (usually an at least once-a-day trip) that has la mejor fruit cups. When I was pregnant with the Lone Star Baby, I used to get a fruit cup with salt, lime y chile almost everyday for lunch. That was what I really wanted then, so I only ordered escamochas when I thought I needed a little protein boost. Now, I'm sort of still tired of the regular fruit cup and am in an escamocha mood. When you want to be a bad mama, they have fresas con crema as well. MMMmmmm.....

C-Section Rate in U.S. reaches all-time high

The last thing I want to be is condescending, but it is so difficult for women who are living in the mainstream U.S. culture to get good information about what "needing a c-section" really means, as opposed to getting one because doctors are rushing or doing the CYA thing. Really, the only resources that give out good information are so hippy-dippy that they would be culturally distasteful to most U.S. moms. There has got to be a way that moms who are not home-birthing, cloth-diapering, placenta-planting types (I did none of those three things but I am the type and I totally 100% understand why mainstream America wouldn't want to listen to me) can still get decent information about how childbirth works so they don't get railroaded into major surgery that they'd rather not have and that carries risks that usually outweigh the risks it is being advocated for to prevent. I haven't found it, though. All the mainstream resources I've read about childbirth advocate methods that almost guarantee a medicated and often surgical birth, although they don't admit to doing so. I am at a loss as to how to help.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Ferber Recants

Does anyone else imagine heartbroken, lonely little babies saying "Too little, too late! Ferber sucks baby formula!"?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Last Chance In Texas

I am reading Last Chance In Texas: The Redemption of Criminal Youth by John Hubner. It is truly an excellent book. About Giddings State School, the Texas Youth Commission facility that houses our state's most dangerous juvenile offenders, it reminds me of how very lucky we are to have the TYC, run by such smart folks. Warning: this book has left me in tears a lot and I make my living working with criminal youth. Either it is a fairly overwhelming book or I am cycling dangerously close to compassion fatigue. I highly recommend this book...I think it could help a lot of people reach some understanding about effectively protecting society from crime.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Miranda #14

I just finished reading Issue 14 of Miranda, one of my favorite zines. It was the best issue yet...reflections on motherhood, literature and reference editing. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Question Hands

The Lone Star Baby, upon hearing or saying a question word like "where" will sometimes lift her arms, elbows bent, hands facing up, in the classic question/I-don't-know pose. She even adds big exaggerated eyes when she does it...I don't know where she picked it up. She is SO cute.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


It looks like Prop. 2 passed. A victory for bigotry and poor legal construction everywhere. People can be so mean to each other.

Go Vote!

When I reminded Lone Star Pa last night that he needed to be sure to make time to vote today, he said he would but not if they had those electronic machines. He said he would boycott those if they had them because they were - his words - rigged. (Yeah, rigged! the Lone Star Girl started muttering, The election is rigged! What to do about her conspiracy theories? Therapy? Medication?) I told him not to be silly (and told the Lone Star Girl that the County Clerk was on our side so she didn't need to worry) and reminded him that we always get the fill in the arrow ballots. Then today, when I went to vote...electronic ballots! I hope Lone Star Pa was kidding.

Go vote!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Slumber Party

Not counting the Lone Star Baby, who is asleep in our family bed with Lone Star Pa, there are six little fourth grade girls stretched out watching Harry Potter movies on sleeping bags in my living room, about an hour past midnight, as I type this...the Lone Star Girl's birthday party. So far, they've made English muffin pizzas for dinner and eaten them, followed by cookie cake with ice cream. They've made sculpy designs, which we baked, and hot-glued them onto barrettes. They've decorated pink visor hats with pre-cut foam shapes and glue and they have watched one movie and are just starting to watch another. There are two more back-up movies and breakfast to get through in the morning. Only three incidents of tears so far (girls, not me), and I think two of them were fake. All of the girls, except for my little cousin, are members of the Girl Scout troop that I led for 3 years, so I know them all well, but we have spent less time with everyone since the baby came, so they keep surprising me. The Lone Star Baby spent the time before she went to sleep muttering "Girls? Girls?" and trying her best to say their names. Even she wants to be big. I am going to go give the little women some hopefully suppressing speech and leave them to their movies and go to bed now. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Currently Reading (with a nod to Lone Star Pa)

Ms. Moffett's First Year: Becoming a Teacher in America
by Abby Goodnough

From Coleen on the Mama Calendar:

"call for submissions - the mama calendar
submissions now sought for the 2006 edition of the mama calendar!
straight outta new orleans,
against all odds, and by the seat of my pants,
the 2006 calendar will hit the presses mid-december.
the mama calendar is a community building-consciousness raising
resource by, of, about and for progressive, feminist, activist mamas
and their families, friends & allies everywhere. it is a celebration
and a call to action, a thing of beauty to last the year.
edited by coleen murphy, the calendar features a blend of
photos of mamas, babies, children, dads, and friends, as well
as a guide to mama-made zines, alternative parenting
resources, recipes, recipes for revolution, great dates in radical mama
herstory, and the work of numerous artist/activist/mamas.
recent editions have featured ayun halliday, victoria law, laurel
dykstra, sonja smith, trula breckenridge and heather cushman-dowdee, among others.
to join the ranks, send your photographs, poems, rants,
reviews, recipes, remarks, scrawls, comics, hopes, dreams and etc.
by November 21 to
coleen murphy
PO box 741655
new orleans, LA
or via email to coleen at
prints of images are preferred; digital photos must be black
& white and high resolution.
how else can you support the project? beat the mad
holiday rush and ensure the future of the mama calendar
by ordering yours today!
calendars are $12 a piece plus $2 for mailing costs
via the above mailing address or via paypal to coleen at
the 2006 calendars will be mailed out around december 15;
in the event that insufficient orders come in, all payments
will be refunded at that time."

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

LLLI Responds to AAP Policy Statement on SIDS

Contact: 847-519-7730: Mary Lofton ,, ext. 271; Mary Hurt ,, ext. 286; or Katy Lebbing ,, ext. 245.

Schaumburg, IL (October 2005) La Leche League International (LLLI) is concerned about the October 10, 2005 policy statement on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Task Force on SIDS. The recommendations about pacifiers and cosleeping in the statement reflect a lack of basic understanding about breastfeeding management. Pacifiers, which are recommended in this policy statement, are artificial substitutes for what the breast does naturally. Breastfed babies often nurse to sleep for naps and bedtime. The recommended pacifier usage could cause a reduction in milk supply due to reduced stimulation of the breasts and may affect breastfeeding duration.

LLLI recognizes that safe cosleeping facilitates breastfeeding. One important way cosleeping can help a mother’s milk supply is by encouraging regular and frequent feeding. Well-known research on safe cosleeping practices by Dr. James McKenna, Director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame was disregarded by the task force. Also, the obvious omission of input by the AAP’s Section on Breastfeeding may account for the fact that breastfeeding management issues were not taken into consideration. Dr. Nancy Wight, President of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, comments that this statement “represents a truly astounding triumph of ethnocentric assumptions over common sense and medical research.” Dr. Wight also states, “There are many physician members of the AAP who do not agree with these recommendations.”

Although the authors do state that breastfeeding is beneficial and should be promoted, their recommendations about pacifier use and cosleeping could have a negative impact on a mother’s efforts to breastfeed. The statement causes confusion for parents and falls seriously short of being a useful and comprehensive policy.

LLLI, a non-profit organization that helps mothers learn about breastfeeding, has an international Professional Advisory Board. The LLLI Center for Breastfeeding Information is one of the world’s largest libraries of information on breastfeeding, human lactation, and related topics. Monthly meetings are offered to pregnant women and nursing mothers and babies to learn about breastfeeding management. To find local groups call 800 LA LECHE or visit"