Friday, July 27, 2007

Have I Mentioned That Someone Is Potty-Trained?

Really, I think the Lone Star Baby could be said to have been potty-trained since before the summer, as she almost never had accidents in the day and rarely had them at night even then, but it wasn't until she turned three in June that I started to give in and trust it. Potty-training is not our strength as parents and she sleeps in my bed, after all, so I am a fan of the night-time pull-up. Since well before summer, it's been all panties all the time in the daytime and I even gave it up and started letting her wear them at night sometime in June. She has about one tiny accident every week and a half or so, but there is almost always an element of parental fault involved, such as us convincing her to sleep in and then neglecting to remind her to go when we get up later. And she never has accidents in her sleep. The child amazes me.

Toddler Art: Window Markers

Lone Star Pa said this was a bad idea and I can see where he was coming from but no mayhem has yet ensued. Today I took out the window markers that we got for the Lone Star Baby and she and I colored a bit on a living room window. It was sort of fun, but the markers were, at first, reminiscent of low-quality bath crayons that make light lines (not like the good ones we have). We only spent a few minutes on this activity. Later, though, the appeal became very evident. The sun glinting through our colorful window designs made them gogreous. Pretty cool.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows

Well, the Lone Star Girl finished it and passed it to me at around midnight on Sunday and I finished it on Tuesday night. I liked it! I am ready to discuss!

Tidepool Tuesday

Tuesday was, blessedly, another beach day. When we arrived, we found that the tide was at a very low ebb, which was simply wonderful. There is nothing more fascinating than tidepools! I was thrilled to be able to show the magic of these tiny ecosystems to my girls! They were, predictably, unimpressed, as there is some Daughter Rule that they cannot get excited about things that I think are marvelous. Still. It was great. We took some long walks down the beach to look at all the little tidepools. The Lone Star Baby found several very large pieces of sanddollar and there were lots of fish to watch up close. Lone Star Pa found some other life-forms - a type of shrimp, maybe - to watch as well. It was great fun. The Lone Star Baby had fun in the sand again, and later had some fun in the shallows as well. The Lone Star Girl and I spent a lot of time outfloating peacefully on the very peaceful, billowy almost-waves a bit further out. There were very few breakers so it was serene...serenissima. It was a good day.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Carnival of Children's Literature

Check out the amazing Carnival of Children's Literature at Saints And Spinners!

Boil Water

There has been a boil-water advisory in effect in some parts of Corpus Christi for several days. We have been mercifully unaffected, but I still think it stinks.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Farmer's Market

I moved back to Corpus Christi in August of 1994 and have been vaguely aware of the Farmer's Market in a parking lot on Everhart that whole time, as the apartment we used to live in was just a few blocks down the street from it. When I lived near it, though, it was opened only a couple of weekday mornings each week and very early, and consisted of a couple of trucks that did not look that impressive to me, so I never visited it.

When I was a school-aged kid in Dallas, my mom and the neighbor-women belonged to a co-op for buying produce at the Farmer's Market in Dallas. Now that is a Farmer's Market. It is enormous, with rows and rows of trucks selling all kinds of produce..I love going there. My mom and the neighbor-women would take turns buying a bushel of produce for all the women each week. It was very cool.

The Farmer's Market here is now open on Saturday mornings, so I got up early yesterday morning and convinced the Lone Star Baby to go on An Adventure with me to visit it. The Lone Star Baby was very excited about the Adventure, but pretty grumpy when we actually were there. There were only four trucks - two with a pretty limited assortment of lovely vegetables, one with herbs, and one with a very slightly bigger assortment of vegetables as well as beans and some melons. Small though it was, I still really liked it. There were quite a few young moms and pregnant girls there buying produce with their WIC coupons - smart girls getting a good start on things, I'd say. We bought two lacy, white squash from one farmer, and we bought a ziplock bag of pinto beans, three tomatoes, some small red potatoes and a cucumber from another. The Lone Star Baby was well and truly done by then, and not even cheerful about my suggestion that we take a little walk around the area, so we left soon after that. Tonight, I am going to try to get her to help me cook and eat some papas y calabaza - wish me luck. It was a nice little adventure and I hope to go again soon.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows (No Spoilers - I Haven't Read It)

Getting our reserved book was a little more complicated than I had realized it would be. I have gone to a couple of midnight Harry Potter parties at Barnes & Noble over the years, but not to the last one, so I did not know how they were doing it now.

Fortunately, we happened to go to Barnes & Noble on Thursday night to look around. There were several people camped out in front already. With some apprehension, I asked them if that was going to be necessary. They explained that people were supposed to come to the store Friday morning at 9am and line up to get a ticket that would say what their place in line was to get their reserved book at midnight. They were camping out because they wanted the first tickets - ah. The Lone Star Girl, of course, immediately wanted to camp out, too, but I nixed that idea. I did take her over there at 8:30 the next morning with drive-through breakfasts. The line was already around the building. We did pretty well, though, as our ticket was a pink group C ticket. Apparently, pink tickets would be called alphabetically in groups A-Z, then some other color A-Z, then the folks without reserved copies with white tickets A-Z, if books were left for them. So a pink C ticket seemed pretty good.

We returned at 8pm for the festivities, although the Lone Star Girl acted too cool for most of the activities, opting mostly to just read. It was fun to see all the kids in their costumes, though. As midnight approached, they started announcing that pink groups A & B should line up, etc. The crowding was pretty intense and I had the Lone Star Girl hold on to me so we wouldn't get separated. There was a countdown until midnight like on New Year's Eve and lots of cheering. The actual selling was very organized and, although I had heard there were fifty people in each letter group, we were out of there by 12:15. I am letting the Lone Star Girl read it first, loving mother that I am.

It is still cool to see that kind of frenzy about a book.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


On Tuesday afternoon, the Lone Star Girl and I found a very tiny baby kitty wandering around beneath parked cars, scaring a couple who didn't want to hit it when they pulled out. No other kittens or mama-cat could be found and the couple said they had seen it climb out of a car's undercarriage and thought it had accidentally hitched a ride. I went into the shop where the car was parked and asked its owners if they had kittens at home or nearby, but they knew nothing of the little stowaway. I confess that I might have left it at that on my own, but the Lone Star Girl wasn't going to go for that and the poor little thing was cruising to be run obviously had no sense yet.


Lone Star Pa won't have an indoor cat anymore, even just for a bit - he is quite firm on this - as past attempts have wrecked havoc with his allergies and this itty guy is too small to have the run of the yard yet as something (likely a possum, if not a big rat) would definitely eat him. As a temporary solution, we put him in a great, big, two-level rat cage in the garage by a fan, which he wasn't very thrilled about but which is bigger than the cages that cats get boarded in at vets and kennels. On Wednesday, we took him to the vet and he checked out okay and at around six weeks old. We then were going to just block the door of the big playhouse out back and let him have the run of that when we weren't out there with him until he's a little bigger, but he climbed up the wall and out the window immediately, so he's back in the cage until we feel he's tough enough to be safe on his own. He does not like it, but it seems a better fate than the street, given his lack of car-sense, and the girls take him out into the yard to play.

He's a sweet kitty who never scratches or bites, although he is very active and agile. Lone Star Pa wanted to name him a comic book name (Cap), the Lone Star Girl wanted to name him a Star Trek name (Neelix) or Thor, the Lone Star Baby wanted to name him a Dora name (Swiper or Tiko) and I wanted to name him a Harry Potter name (Dumbledore, Muggle or Hufflepuff). We settled on Loki, in keeping with our tradition of naming pets after characters in mythology. He's a cutie.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Beach Monday!

We went back to the beach on Monday! The kids and I had a great day, and I think Lone Star Pa had some fun, too.

The Lone Star Girl is a Mermaid Girl with a seine of hair and a gleaming, fish-twisting body. The Lone Star Baby is a Shore Child, digging and burying and running and squealing.

The waves were big and breaking everywhere. There was little chance to float in silence on the billows between the breakers without going out far too deep...the Sea could not decide on a pattern and changed its waves and twisted, huge and moving and cheerful. The water was cold and the breeze was was a little overcast so the sun was not harsh. All in all, a gorgeous day.

My friends used to call me Celebrian Crab-Rescuer when I was young and would rescue beached crabs. Lone Star Pa tried his hand at man o'war saving yesterday. He found a small one washed up on the sand and put it in a bucket of water so we wouldn't step on it or float into it in the water. When it was time to go, he tried to get it out in the water, but the tide kept beaching it and some folks came over to laud his efforts. He dug a little water-filled hole near the tideline in the hope that it would wash out when the tide was right, but it washed back up by the time he got in the car. We decided to wish it well and hope the tide would be favorable to it soon enough, not knowing what else to do. But...then a young man grabbed it and crushed it when we were out of reach. Lone Star Pa almost ran out to try to stop him, but he could not get there in time. The Lone Star Girl wanted to go give the guy a piece of her mind, but we explained that a beach brawl would solve nothing.

It was still a great day, though.

Submissions Needed for Lone Star Ma #10!

Hey, mamas!

It's that time! The deadline for Issue 10 is August 15th! Please submit things! If you are not familar with Lone Star Ma, please go to to get the feel of it (but you are!).

Submissions should be e-mailed (body of the e-mail) to For features, I am looking for essays on the mothering life and advocacy pieces on family and children's issues. Things with a Texas emphasis are always best, but the universal is also fine. I also need:

2-3 feature articles
2-3 mama-poems
1 mama fiction story
Yellow Rose Reviews: a review of a great, out-of-the-mainstream baby/children's book, toy, etc.
Longhorn Lactation: a breastfeeding advocacy piece
Vegetarian Vittles: family-friendly vegetarian recipes, resources and stories for veg. families.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Summer Reading Club Finale

This last week was the end of this summer's Summer Reading Club and the Library had a party for the kids. There were songs and then each kid got a paper with boxes for different locations in the children's area in the library and the children's stacks. The Library Game, as it was called, was a scavenger hunt through the children's area. At each location listed on their paper, the children had to find the envelope filled with stickers. Then, each child took one sticker from the envelope and put it in the appropriate box on their paper. It was great fun. After the kids found all their stickers, they were led through the bowels of the library to stand in line for cake and lemonade, which they took back to the storytime room to enjoy. Summer Reading Club has been a sweet idyll this summer - I try to carry the joy and peace of it with me always...

Freshman Orientation!

My mom and my baby sister drove down on Wednesday to attend my sister's Freshman Orientation at TAMU-CC on Thursday and Friday. Now my sister is all registered for her classes and ready to live here in Corpus Christi in the fall! I am so excited! It was very nice getting to visit with them! On Saturday, they went shopping and to the beach while we went to the Lone Star Girl's Regional Swim Meet. Then we all went out to dinner. They had to leave this morning and the Lone Star Baby cried that she wanted to go with them!

Harry Potter And The Order of The Phoenix

New post at Daughter And A Movie! Please check it out!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bad Business: Airlines Are Anti-Family

So, there is another story in the news today about a toddler and his mother getting kicked off an airplane. In this story, the toddler wasn't even having a tantrum or (gasp) breastfeeding - he was only chattering. And apparently a flight attendant told the child's mother to drug him to shut him up when he kept saying "bye-bye plane". Wow. This airlines-persecuting-families-thing does seem to be getting a little out of hand.

Almost all major airlines have had significant financial problems in recent years. Flying isn't much fun anymore and people don't do it as much as they used to do it. One would think that airlines would be trying to improve their images, but no...working moms can't take much of their expressed milk on board when travelling away from their babies and pumping for them, nursing mothers and their children get kicked off planes, toddlers having normal toddler fits get kicked off planes and now toddlers making happy toddler noises can get kicked off if their parents don't drug them...nice.

I know I have no intention of paying good money to take my family on a plane anytime soon...I don't think I would dare.

Good-Bye, Ladybird

We will remember you every springtime. Thanks for all the flowers...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

First Swimming Lesson!

Yesterday was the Lone Star Baby's first swimming lesson at Collier Pool!

Ever since I signed her up for them last week, she has been periodically crying that she did not want to have swim lessons, so I wasn't sure how it would go. We took her to the pool to play on Sunday to make sure she was used to the water and she had great fun. It is going with a teacher she doesn't know that scares her, not so much the water. Even after Sunday, she kept having little fussing spells at home every time she remembered about the upcoming lessons, though,so I was concerned that it would not work out. I had seen the terrified little ones who screamed through a thirty minute lesson for years and knew we were not going to do that.

On the day of the lesson, she cried all morning as we got ready at home and ran away and hid from me at one point. It did not bode well. I kept telling her that we were just going to try it and see, and reminding her of other fun things she'd been scared to do at first, and I kept wondering how much fussing I should let her do before I called it quits. When we got to the pool, she calmly joined her swim teacher and the other kids, three of whom were older than she was and crying. She did not cling to me for a second and happily did everything the swim instructor asked her to do, beaming with pride. Go figure.

Now she is all about swim lessons and spent the rest of the day telling everyone she saw "I did have my first swim lesson today!"

Sunday, July 08, 2007

I've Taken A Lover

It isn't that I don't love Lone Star Pa, or want him, because I do - I really do. I am a whole lot of woman, though, and it's hard for any one man to satisfy all my needs. Lone Star Pa is great for the whole father-of-my-children thing. He's even a great conversationalist sometimes. Sometimes, though, what I really need...what I lust for and cannot do without for another burning what I can only get form my new love-machine: Mr. Coffee.

Yes, it's true. In an effort to kill my expensive habit of fancy drive-through coffees, I have now invested in Mr. Coffee, some filters, some gourmet, free-trade coffee and some fancy hazelnut creamer...and I just learned how to use it. This may be the start of a beautiful relationship. The Lone Star Girl is already calling my love-machine her new daddy. I think we're going to get along just fine...

Saturday, July 07, 2007


We (meaning Lone Star Pa) finally turned the Lone Star Baby's carseat around to face forward today. She was very excited and proud to be such a big girl now, although she really has no idea that she was probably the only three-year-old on Earth still using a rear-facing carseat. I know most folks turn that puppy around as soon as baby reaches 20 pounds and one year, but it really is much safer to be rear-facing right up to the upper weight limit that your seat is safety-tested on for rear-facing. Our seat's rear-facing limit is 30 pounds and the Lone Star Baby just hit 28 pounds, and is obviously in a growth spurt, so it seemed the right time. She has had her carseat-fussing times, demonic ones, even, but they weren't about turning around as she did not realize that option existed. She is very happy about it, now, though!

Near-Miss Robot Crisis

Our regular trash pick-up days are Wednesday and Saturday. Those are the mornings when the truck comes and its robot arm dumps our city-issued trash receptacle into its yawning maw. Since Wednesday was the Fourth, there was, of course, no trash pick-up. We put the dumpster out on Thursday, as that's how such things usually work, but the truck didn't come on Thursday or on Friday, either. When, by Saturday afternoon, the trash still had not been picked up, Lone Star Pa said he hoped the robots had not revolted and taken over Solid Waste. But they came and picked up the trash in the evening so everything's okay...we think.

Toddler Art: Play-dough and Jellyfish

We are big play-dough people around here. I always wanted my kids to play with the classy modelling beeswax you can order in the mail from those fancy, enlightened toy sellers (and which doesn't dry out), but they frankly have always liked the gaudily-colored store bought play-dough better. (And, yes, they always liked cheap crayolas better than the fancy block colors I got them, too.) We are not very attentive about the play-dough so it doesn't last very long here and we have to keep buying more. We go through a lot of it. I generally try to keep some in my purse, along with plastic dinosaurs or cars or whatnot. Today, the Lone Star Baby was using some with a little mold, a cookie cutter and, the pinnacle of excitement, a plastic knife(!). She was also using it to stick her crayons together. She had fun.

We also are big jellyfish fans around here. I cut a paper plate in half today and cut some lengths of the crepe-paper Dora streamers that we are recycling from the Lone Star Baby's birthday. The Lone Star Baby colored the paper plate and glued the streamers to the straight side...a jellyfish! She was quite pleased with herself. I have plans for even better jellyfish crafts later. I love jellyfish art. We sometimes make a temporary sort with flashlights on the wall and tell baby jellyfish stories.

Frances for the Lone Star Baby

The Lone Star Baby has discovered Russell Hoban's Frances books this summer and she likes them very much. I do, too. I remember them from my little brothers and sisters. I love it when I hear the Lone Star Baby singing little songs to herself like Frances does. I think we have read all of them, but let me know if I am missing any, please:

Bedtime For Frances
A Baby Sister for Frances
Bread and Jam for Frances
Best Friends for Frances
A Birthday for Frances
A Bargain for Frances

And We Don't Even Have A Basement

While we were in Dallas, the Lone Star Girl attended her First Comic Book/SciFi Convention, with Lone Star Pa. She fashioned herself a Starfleet uniform out of clothes and tin foil. Yep....

Friday, July 06, 2007

Toddler Art: Bathtub Crayons

After taking the Lone Star Girl to the bookstore for a playdate, I splurged on art supplies today when we were out. Tonight, the Lone Star Baby eagerly tried out the bathtub crayons I bought for her during her bath and drew up a storm on the bathtub. She really enjoyed the crayons, squealing when she saw that they actually worked underwater as well as above the waterline of her bath. The Lone Star Girl and Lone Star Pa had to get in on the fun and try some of the crayons out, too, but I had to banish the Lone Star Girl from coloring when she started writing spiteful messages about Tony Stark on the tub...she's still ticked about the Registration Act.The Lone Star Baby spent a long while on her artwork and had a wonderful time.

Tracing Her Name

The Lone Star Baby has been tracing her name on paper, using her light-up art desk (formerly her sister's) that is good for tracing. My big girl!

Three Threes

Since her birthday, the Lone Star Baby has been working on her "three" fingers. You know, the ones you show people when they ask how old you are if you are three. Her way of doing it is thumb, index finger, middle finger, just like she used to show "dos" with her thumb and index finger. Her cousin intimated to her, by showing her, that you are supposed to use your index, middle and ring finger. That pissed the Lone Star Baby off, so I intervened and explained that both ways were fine. This got the Lone Star Baby's imagination going and she figured out that you could also do middle finger, ring finger and pinkie. Now she likes to show us the three different ways she knows of showing three with her fingers. Cutie-pie.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth!

When in the course of human events and all that...well. If you pay attention to the founding fathers at all, it is obvious that I have a duty to overthrow the government. I wanted to be a true patriot and do it today but it is just so wet we had a big meal of tofu dogs, watermelon and red-white-and-blue berry shortcake instead. And we are going to watch 1776 if the baby ever goes to sleep. Happy Independence Day!


New post at Daughter And A Movie! Please check it out!