Sunday, March 29, 2009

Quaker Spring Potluck And Little Friends Ladybug Release

We had folks from our Quaker Meeting over for our second annual Spring Potluck and Little Friends Ladybug Release this evening. It was fun. We ate and talked in the backyard while the Little Friends played and got very into the sandbox. After awhile, I got the ladybugs out of the refrigerator where they were hibernating in their tubs from the garden store. It took them just a very few moments of warmth to wake up and then the kids and everyone got to spreading them around the backyard plants and generally playing with them. We do love ladybugs! It was so nice to have such dear people over - a lovely evening to usher in our springtime.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ode To Our Children's Librarian

Our librarian is the best. The best.

Our PJ storytime is simple - no felt boards and very few puppets and props. No costumes. Simple hand motions. Occasionally recorded music. Our librarian isn't trying to be the world's best storyteller or anything and she doesn't do a lot of voices or even really dig deep for new and high quality stories, but she understands kids. To me, that makes so much more of a difference than all the rest.

Right now, our storytime is populated by quite a number of four-year-olds, including my own, who feel comfortable with Ms. Linda and have a lot to say. They want to point out things that they see in the pictures of stories and explain how they saw a zebra at the zoo and expound on the possible motivations of the characters. They crowd around and point to illustrations and have lively literature-inspired discussions - right in the middle of reading the book. It is ... interactive. Very interactive.

I fear that the librarian who used to be our children's librarian before being promoted would not have been able to get into the spirit of this. She did great voices and picked great books and was quite the songster, but I don't think she had any kids and I think she would have told ours to sit down and be quiet. I would have understood, but I think Ms. Linda's way is better. She seems to enjoy our eager, curious bunch and interacts with them in a friendly manner that encourages this sort of thing rather than squashing it. The kids love her.

Ms. Linda is the best.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mama Ink

Preschooler/Primary Pick: You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer!

You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer! by Shana Corey is one of my favorite stories to read during Women's History Month and the rest of the year - it tells the story of Amelia Bloomer who is "not a proper lady" and is a fine book for raising strong, active girls who are not "proper ladies' either. The Lone Star Baby got me to read it three times last night and wanted more. I hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Column in We the People News

We the People News has been having the same sorts of financial issues that everyone else has had lately, as well as some rather serious computer problems. The last three print issues have been very small, without the columns and numerous other types of stories, including mainly the very key investigative pieces, election information and ads. This may continue for a little while, although the paper will eventually be back to its regular size and features. In the meantime, my column and the other columns will usually be online only. I am eager for my column to get back in the print version of the paper, but the good thing about the new system is that I can now write more than one column each month if I have more to write about. Even after the print issue is back to size, I think the new system will allow me to run columns online in addition to the one that makes it into the monthly paper. Here is a link to my latest column - I hope you will read it!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Praying For Peace

Yesterday was the sixth anniversary of the beginning of the war on Iraq - may it end soon.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Alamo City

On Tuesday, we walked from our motel to visit the Alamo, which the girls had never visited. Seventh grade is the year that kids take Texas History for social studies and I had planned many little Texas history day trips for the Lone Star Girl for this year, but old cars and the economy have sort of intervened. This was a nice trip, though. I myself had not been since I went with my family in high school or college, and I was thrilled to be going.

We had to wait outside in line for over an hour to get in, but the family was actually pretty patient with my insistence that we go. I was sort of teary-eyed about the whole thing, even if I tend to sympathize more with the Mexican side of the conflict than the Texian side - there was plenty of blame to go around, really. I felt really teary in the little stone room where the women and children hid during the fighting - I could feel Susannah Dickinson there, clutching baby Angelina and crying for her dying Almeron.

After the Alamo, we walked to the Riverwalk, not really finding the part where we had planned to enter and thereby spending a bit of hot and miserable time being lost and hungry. We found the restaurant where we wanted to have lunch, though, and they were surprisingly tolerant, given how busy they were, of my checking about allergens for the Lone Star Girl. We had a nice time eating lunch by the river while feeding chips and fries to the ducks, something the Lone Star Baby enjoys immensely. We rode the riverboat and got to hear all about the lovely area from our amusing boat captain and the Lone Star Baby was super excited about her first boat ride.

After our river adventures, we walked back to our car at the motel and drove home to Corpus Christi, where our lonely rodents awaited us. A nice trip!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rad Fam Field Trips

We stopped off in Austin on our way to San Antonio on Monday to visit some of the Lone Star Girl's favorite places - anarchist and other radical bookstores, and Whole Foods.

We went to Monkeywrench Books and Book Woman and got a new supply of bumper stickers and buttons. The Lone Star Girl was tickled that Monkeywrench still had a lot of copies of the last issue of Lone Star Ma on display, with her fifth grade graduate self on the cover. I found a nice birthday gift for Jazz at Book Woman. You could feel my girl just breathing that particular Austin subculture in - that's where she belongs.

We then went to Bookpeople, which is just a regular bookstore, but it's independent and as big as a big chain store, so it's really fun. I got the Lone Star Baby some astronaut ice cream at the camping store next door and we checked out the Whole Foods on Lamar - the big one, where we had never gone before, although I had been in it back in the day before it got so big and fancy. The Lone Star Girl was all excited about being in the Whole Foods (we have nothing like a Whole Foods in Corpus) and the Lone Star Baby played on its rooftop playground in the gloaming-to-dark before we headed out for San Antonio where we spent Monday night in a motel. More on our San Antonio adventures coming. It's good to do these things together - it may seem silly, but it sort of reminds us of who we are.

Baby Love And Grandma Love

We got back in late last night from a little vacation. We headed to Dallas on Saturday so we could meet my new nephew, attend my step dad's mom's 90th birthday party on Sunday, and attend the baby's christening on Sunday also. He is one cute little baby and it was quite a birthday party and christening with relatives in from all over the country - we met a lot of people and had some good times with family. It was so nice for so many truly far-away kinfolk to come and honor our grandma. Very nice. Also, my not-quite-two-year-old niecelet is handling her dethronement with much grace and maturity and my six-year-old niece, in kindergarten, is reading like a pro - so impressive! The baby is rather an angel - quiet and calm and tiny.

I spent my third night away from the Lone Star Baby - the first two being that sort of recent camping trip with the Lone Star Girl. Both girls and their dad spent Sunday night in Denton with my MIL while I stayed in Dallas with the familia. I still don't like doing that.

We left on Monday morning and headed down to Austin for the second part of our vacation - more on that later!

ER Wednesday

The Lone Star Baby stuck a bead in her ear late this morning. A couple of hours of waiting in the Emergency Room (in my day, doctors would attend to things like this in their offices, but, alas, no more), a few seconds with a plastic stick and a $200 ER copay, and she is just fine. Thank heavens.

Thinking we need to ban beads in this house. We got ice cream, though. I don't think it will encourage her to do it again. Pretty sure that orifice will be safe from now on...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sunday, March 08, 2009


We had a party today in honor of the Lone Star Baby's weaning. We decorated the kitchen with streamers and Auntie Jazz came over for cake and ice cream and board games. We got a princess cake at the Lone Star Baby's request.

It is hard not to feel sad as well as happy at these milestones, especially with the youngest child. I am so proud of my big weaned girl. I went and got a tattoo of two little seals last night in honor of my now two weaned girls. I think the one thing I am really, truly sure of in my life is that nursing these two beautiful girls until their need was fully met was the best thing I have done with my life, my biggest contribution to good in this world. I know that.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Sriracha Sauce

How had I not tried this before? Oh, the scoville units! Such pleasure!

A Note To The Mothers of Boys Everywhere

With the exception of illness or the occasional bratty spasm over a disliked food as a child, did you ever "have to spit" in your life? I thought not. Do you know any females who feel they have to spit as a necessary function of life? No, I thought not. So please disabuse the boys in your life of the idea that this is - as they truly believe it to be - necessary. It is not. It is disgusting.