Sunday, April 30, 2006

Spank-Out Day USA: Take The Pledge!

Today is Spank-Out Day USA. It is a day, on the last day of Child Abuse Prevention Month, set aside each year to remind us that violence only really teaches violence in the end and that we can all find ways to raise good kids without hitting.

Everyday in the U.S., children are subjected to treatment that, inflicted upon an adult, would be prosecutable as assault. And everyday in schools all over our nation, injurious corporal punishment that would be forbidden even to parents by child abuse statutes that do not allow "discipline" to include bruising or injury, happens and is perfectly legal.

To find out more about this issue, go to The Center For Effective Discipline , a site with many informative resources on the issue of corporal punishment.

I encourage everyone to work in what ways they can towards ending corporal punishment in your community. Will you take a pledge with me today to avoid corporal punishment in your own family in order to help us get that much closer to a world at peace? I pledge to do my best not to hit my children, so they will not learn violence. If you pledge to try also, please post in the comment section. Thank you!

Friday, April 28, 2006

April's YA Pick

Lone Star Ma's YA Pick for April is The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson. This one has apparently been very popular for quite awhile overseas but just made it to the U.S. recently. It is about an unconventional family - Star and Dolphin and their mother, Marigold - who are having a serious crisis due to Marigold's declining mental health and about the ways they deal with this, the friends and family they find, and the love they have for each other. It is told from the point of view of ten-year-old Dolphin, so it may be stretching it a bit to call it YA, but Dolphin has seen a lot, however sweet she remains. This book was extremely engaging and I liked the way it told a story of people who were as complex and messy as real people are.


I had to go back to the ortho for a follow-up at lunchtime yesterday. I told him I was a little worried because I still cannot totally extend my elbow and still can not bring it all the way up to touch my shoulder with my hand. At first, I thought the swelling was stopping it, but when the swelling went way down and I still could not - then I worried. He said not to - that it takes normal mortals about 2 months to get there. It's been less than 2 weeks, so I'm doing good. He said I didn't have to wear the sling anymore and could indulge in heat like soaking it in a warm bath and told me the dimensions of a big stick I need to get and the exercises to do with it. Yay! I have another follow-up in 3 weeks.

Lone Star Facts on Fridays: Mammal-Mania

State Small Mammal: Armadillo
State Large Mammal: Texas Longhorn
State Flying Mammal: Free-Tailed Bat

Sunday, April 23, 2006


I did a little driving yesterday and today. I figured that if I was going to start driving the girls to school again tomorrow, I had better be sure I could do so safely first. I can. It's a bit painful, but I can do it.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Lone Star Facts on Fridays: State Flag

The state flag of Texas is called the Lone Star Flag. It was adopted in 1845 when Texas became the 28th state of the United States. The flag is red (for bravery), white (for purity) and blue (for loyalty), and features a big white star.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I, Popsicle

I stayed home from work today because my arm was puffed up like a blowfish when I woke up this morning and I felt generally yucky. I iced and elevated and dozed between attempts to reach the doctor's office to make sure it (the arm) wasn't going to fall off. They told me just to keep icing it and taking it easy, so I am.

My Little Temporal Agent Again

Lone Star Pa has been giving his classes writing assignments on what they would do with a time machine. The Lone Star Girl told us that if she had an assignment like that, she would write that she would destroy the machine to protect the timeline. Chronoguard.

Cat In The Mirror

In that same production of Inherit The Wind, I made friends with another little ensemble actress my age. She was very exotic to me at 12 - homeschooled, a vegetarian, being raised in ways I generally only came in contact with later. I enjoyed getting to know her. At the time she was reading a book called Cat In The Mirror, which looked interesting to me, so I checked it out of the of the library and read it. It was a very enjoyable book about a modern girl with problems fitting in who finds a strange connection to an ancient Egyptian girl (and a cat). As a mom, I have looked and looked for the book, but it took me years to find it. It did not help that I did not remember the author (Mary Stolz) and misremembered the title. I found it a few months ago and ordered it, though! I recently re-read it and it was just as good as I remembered.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Heavenly Hillsboro

Today is the birthday of Clarence Darrow!

When I was 12, I was in a Dallas theatre's excellent production (I was basically a crowd member) of Inherit The Wind. Being immersed for weeks in the world of that amazing play was really something special. Here in Corpus, I feared that the Lone Star Girl would never have an opportunity to watch it but the local University is doing it this month. Yay!

I, Cascarone

I am typing one-handed these days.

On Saturday night, the Lone Star Baby and I took a walk just before the summer-late sunset and then settled, as we often do, into a plastic lawn chair on our porch to watch night fall. After a bit, we found ourselves in mid-air. The chair just broke and we tumbled off the porch into the grass in the scariest way, me screaming no, no, no! as I tried to catch and cushion the baby, me screaming more when I saw her head touch the grass. She cried quite normally and I scooped her up and rushed for the front door screaming some more.

Lone Star Pa took the baby in and inspected her in the light. Her eyes seemed fine and she seemed fine except for a tiny bruise on her cheek. She said my cheek hurt and calmed right down. My arm was hanging funny and just barely missing painful enough to scream some more, though. I called my mom in Dallas and debated the merits of the children's hospital ER or the grown-up one. After hearing that the baby seemed fine, she told me to get to the grown-up ER. So we went.

I wanted to keep the fam with me until I got to see the triage nurse so she could give the baby a once over, too, but the baby was trying to dismantle the germy waiting area and was scaling all climbable surfaces before long, so I told Lone Star Pa to take the girls home and go to the children's ER if she started acting injured.

I spent most of the night in the ER waiting for various things and holding my arm. They said I had a fracture in my elbow and the orthotech wrapped me up in a huge splint and gave me a sling. He said they don't cast in the ER due to swelling and that I would need to follow up with an orthopedic surgeon on Monday. Lone Star Pa and the girls came to get me in the wee hours.

On Easter, there were Easter baskets and an Easter egg hunt and cascarone smashing for the girls, and they had fun, but we stayed home instead of going to Meeting and hunting eggs at my Grandad's house because I did not feel so great.

I called a friend from work whose husband is an orthopedic surgeon and she got me in for the next day. On Monday, Lone Star Pa took me to the appointment and the doctor had some great news. It is a tiny break in the best part of the elbow to break and I just need a sling and to be careful with it and I should be driving by next week! Whew! I even went to work (for 11 hours) today.

I am glad my elbow is not badly hurt and mostly am just deeply, deeply grateful that the Lone Star Baby seems just fine (if mildly freaked by my diminished capacity). A wonderful Easter in my heart!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Lone Star Facts on Fridays

Texas was the 28th state to become a member of the United States of America. It entered the Union on December 29, 1845.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Spring Concert

Last night, the Lone Star Girl had her Spring Concert for choir chimes. The Third Grade Percussion Ensemble, the Fourth Grade Choir Chimes Ensemble and the Fifth Grade Owl Chorale all performed. The winter concert at a PTA meeting was so packed that they decided to hold this one in the auditorium of a nearby high school instead of at our elementary school. This one was packed, too. The concert was wonderful. All the kids did so well and the Lone Star Girl looked so elegant in the white gloves they wear when doing choir chimes. It was a lovely evening.

22 Months & A Morning Routine

The Lone Star Baby turned 22 months old yesterday. It is hard to believe that she is almost two!

She has a morning routine at school now. We drop her sister off at school first at 7:30am and then head on to her school where Buenos Dias care starts at 7:45am. We go in and hang up her backpack and she hides her face on me while the teacher tries to tell her Buenos Dias. We take the Lone Star Baby's breakfast over to a certain table and she sits in a certain chair while I lay out her napkin and spoon, her yogurt, her sippy cup of milk and her "fruit bar" (one of those cereal bars). She sits in the chair while I open the fruit bar and yogurt and stir her yogurt. She used to wail Sit! sit! at me over and over every morning to get me to stay with her and it was very heartbreaking...but she has gotten over that now. Sometimes, when she is having a particularly hard morning, she will whisper sit at me and that is just as heartbreaking as the wailing, maybe more so, but mostly she is okay. (Deep breath.) I give her a few kisses and tell her that I love her and will see her later and then I go. Recently, she has added opening her yogurt all by herself to her routine and is very proud of herself although she still wants me to stir the yogurt as, I think, a nod to still being the center of my universe.

Day before yesterday, the Lone Star Baby's routine hit a bit of a snag. When we got to school, one of her little friends was sitting in the chair she always sits in for breakfast. I thought we were in for an immediate meltdown, but she let me lead her to another chair and lay out her breakfast. It was only when it was the time in her routine for sitting down that she started pointing at her friend and fussing eso chair, eso chair!. She never really melted down - I was quite impressed. The Lone Star Baby will probably never be exactly easy-going but she is learning, bit by bit, to modulate the intensity of her reactions somewhat. I wish she had more time and space for this work, but she is doing alright.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

College Visit

My baby sister and my stepdad came into town in the wee hours of Saturday morning to take a quick nap and then attend a college visit on Saturday at TAMU-CC. We did not get to see much of them because they were at the visit all day Saturday and had to go back home Sunday morning, but we did get to have dinner with them on Saturday night, Scrabble with my sister when the kids and our dad went to bed, and we got to have breakfast with them and visit a little this morning. It was great to see them! My sister is trying very hard to keep my hopes down at a manageable level, but if she came to college would be one of the best things that ever happened to me!

Answers to the Lone Star Girl's Candy Quiz Posted at...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Lone Star Facts on Fridays: Texas Dinosaurs

The state dinosaur of Texas is (was?) the Pleurocoelus.

The following dinosaur (and near-dinosaur) fossils have been found in Texas:

Acrocanthosaurus, Alamosaurus, Brontopodus, Camptosaurus, Chasmosaurus, Coelophysis, Deinonychus, Dimetrodon, Edmontosaurus, Hypsilophodon, Iguanodon, Kritosaurus, Megatherium, Ornithomimus, Panoplosaurus, Pawpawsaurus, Pleurocoelus, Protohadros byrdi, Quetzalcoatlus, Shuvosaurus, Stegoceras, Technosaurus, Tenontosaurus, Texascetes, Torosaurus, and Tyrannosaurus rex .

Comment: There's a really cool fossil park near Glen Rose, which is unfortunately in close proximity to a nuclear power plant.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Monday, April 03, 2006

Beatle-Mania Hilarity

The Lone Star Baby had a hard time going to sleep last night. After we threw in the flag and stopped trying, she settled onto Lone Star Pa's lap in front of the computer and asked for Beatles. In response, Lone Star Pa put on a song that was actually one of Paul McCartney's unfortunate 70s attempts, at which point my 21-month-old baby looked at him and emphatically, much to Lone Star Pa's chagrin, stated No Wings. It may have been the funniest thing I ever saw.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Quaker Research Question

I have had a question for years now about how two famous Quaker abolitionists in history were related to each other, but none of my internet searches or readings have brought me the answer. I am going to post about it here so that maybe one of you who either knows the answer already or who has superior research skills and would find the project diverting, can tell me and I can stop wondering. Levi Coffin was a famous Quaker abolitionist who is often referred to as the Conductor of the Underground Railroad due to his extensive work in helping people to escape from slavery. Lucretia Coffin Mott was a famous Quaker abolitionist and feminist who was present at the Seneca Falls Convention. It seems highly unlikely to me that they shared the same last name and the fact of being Quaker abolitionists but were not related in any way. So what was their relationship? Thanks!

Hot Little Mama

We often have breakfast tacos for brunch on either Saturday or Sunday of any given week. When we do, the Lone Star Baby clamors for hot sauce! She often clamors for it on other food as well. And she means it. I like spicy food also, but Lone Star Pa and the Lone Star Girl have the blandest of tastebuds, so this hot little mama came as a bit of a surprise!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

April Fools

So this morning I found the toilet paper taped to itself in the bathroom and a bit of wax paper covering the inside of the conditioner cap so that none would come out of the bottle when I was washing my hair. And all throughout the day, the Lone Star Girl kept trying to get Lone Star Pa to wear a certain pair of shoes. She is really made for this holiday. I suppress her most tyranically but someday she will break loose from her fear of long television-less groundings and do something really dramatic.