Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We Have Middle School

When I woke up on Monday, Lone Star Pa had a picture on our computer of the Lone Star Girl on her first day on kindergarten - plaid dress, pink backpack straps on her shoulders, sticking her tongue out at the seems like yesterday.

The Lone Star Girl started middle school on Monday. I cannot tell you how hard it was to pack up the Lone Star Baby and head off to drop her off and get to work on time, trusting that the Lone Star Girl would get to her bus stop on time alone, that the bus would show up, that she would be able to get her schedule at school by herself...all of it alone. She was excited to be so independent; I was a basket case.

The bus went fine, coming and going, but she was much less excited when she got home (alone!). The hectic and crowded hallways and the difficulty finding classes were hard on her and she found the teachers scary. On the upside, her best friend, who never went to school with her before, is in four of her classes and she has lunch with her and a bunch of friends. Her elective is theatre arts, which I think she will like. It's a big adjustment, though. Huge. My baby....

Saturday, August 25, 2007

U.S. Rate of Death in Childbirth The Highest In Decades

And no wonder. The C-Section rate in the U.S. is over 30% when research consistently shows that if C-sections are done only when medically necessary, the rate is no more than 10%. C-sections are major, serious surgery that carry significant risks to both mothers and babies. They are killing U.S. women.

This is why people should go to nurse-midwives instead of obstetricians for normal pregnancies, or direct-entry midwives, even. Midwives do not tell you that you need a c-section because the baby is "too big", something which is really never a valid reason. Midwives do not encourage you to get epidurals and other interventions which stall labor and lead to increased incidence of fetal distress leading to more c-sections. Midwives do not decide that they are busy and it is time for your labor to be over, so how about some major abdominal surgery because this labor has just dragged on "too long".

Ironically, it is often the fear of malpractice suits that cause OBs to engage in this very gross malpractice...a vicious cycle. They feel that if something goes wrong, they must look as if they tried to "do something" so they do the things that actually cause things to go wrong. Midwives, however, are rarely sued by their actual clients. It would serve doctors well to learn from their example and treat women with the sort of respect and care that makes them not want to sue you. It would serve women well if doctors would stop killing them to cover their own asses.

Strange Grammar

From no source we can identify, the Lone Star Baby always has and always does form the past tense of verbs by adding "did" to the verb, as in:

I did run.
You did tell me to do that.
Do you remember when I did go to school and I did do that trabajo with the stickers?
Sissy did tell me no!

Auntie Love

We have been some busy people around here lately and are only getting busier, so I must apologize for the slow-down in my blogging.

The best thing that has happened in the midst of all of our bustling is my baby sister's presence here in town. I love having her here and the girls are having a blast with their Auntie Jazz. Last weekend, Jazz took the Lone Star Girl out shopping and to check out her dorm room. It was great for them to have some one-on-one time. The Lone Star Baby is Auntie Jazz' constant shadow whenever she is here. One time, on an earlier visit, the Lone Star Baby saw her auntie wrapped up in a towel after a shower. Ever since, she has insisted on wrapping herself up in a towel wrapped under the arms like she saw, rather than the hooded, baby-burrito wrap we used to use on her after the bath. She preens around in her towel saying I'm Auntie Jazz! She is besotted.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Call for Submissions - Mamaphiles #3: Coming Home

Mamaphiles is seeking submissions for issue #3, with the theme of "Coming Home," from mamas and papas who are currently producing their own zines.

We are interested in essays, photos, cartoons, or anything else you can come up with! (Feel free to interpret the theme wildly.)

Because of space limitations, written submissions should be 1500 words or less. Please include a short bio and ordering information for your zine (these will not be part of the word count).

Contributors are asked to edit their own work. Submissions may be spellchecked and reformatted for consistency. Contributors are given the chance to okay any proposed changes before production.

Mamaphiles is a friendly and inclusive project whose goal is self-expression and mutual support. All submissions are accepted. All contributors are invited to join in the collaborative effort, and are asked to assist with marketing and/or production of the zine when possible.

Deadline for submissions: 1 October 2007.

Written submissions: email as a Word attachment to

Visual submissions: email high-resolution images (300-600 dpi) in .jpg, .tiff, or .gif format to

For all submissions, please indicate that it's a Mamaphiles submission in the subject line of your email message.

Mamaphiles website: <>

Questions? Email jenna at

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Weather and Water

Wow - we were on NBC today! Tropical Storm/Depression Erin really doesn't look like anything to worry about. We are keeping the Lone Star Baby home with Lone Star Pa and the Lone Star Girl today in case of flooding, but I am heading off to work in a minute. Hurricane Dean may be a different story...please pray that it doesn't come our way next week.

Corpus Christi is without water, though, as the state has put us under another Boil Water Advisory - this time the whole city. It has been this way since Tuesday and the Water Superintendent has resigned - ick. I always get worried about formula fed babies at times like these. Wish us clean water, please and an end to these water problems in our otherwise sparkling city by the sea. Thank you!

Back To School, Back To Work And My College Girl

The Lone Star Baby's school started for real on Monday. I've been dropping her off in the mornings and Lone Star Pa is picking her up in the evenings, as is our arrangement when we are both back at work, so she can get used to her routine. She is a little worn out by these long days, but is doing great and having lots of fun. Her teachers say she clearly has Montessori experience, understands the Spanish and is easy to work with -- our Lone Star Baby? Easy to work with? Wow...

School starts both in my district and in Lone Star Pa's on August 27th, but mine is back to work this week and Lone Star Pa doesn't go back until next week. I am busy with staff development trainings and preparation this week. The Lone Star Girl is having one last fun week home with dad!

My baby sister moved to town! Jazz and my stepdad drove in on Monday and moved her into her dorm room on Tuesday. She is now at "Fish Camp" and will be back Friday evening. She starts classes next week. I already feel like I have three kids, now - in a good way. A great way!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Bronc Camp

Today was the Lone Star Girl's middle school orientation camp. We went to her school and listened to information from the principal, assistant principals and counselor and she had a session and tour with other students, while I got to chat with the counselor some. I bought her some school t-shirts and a couple of gym uniforms. I think we are as ready as we can be...sigh.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Casa de Ninos!

The Lone Star Baby's school starts up again on Monday, conveniently, as that is also my first official day back at work after the summer. Today, tomorrow and Friday , however are orientation days at her school. My baby is moving out of the Toddler Community and up into the Children's House! I cannot believe she is big enough to do that!

Today, she wore her new purple dress and her new purple bow and her new Dora backpack and I took pictures of her on our porch, in front of her school and on the playground at school. Her first day in the children's house! She went to school from 9am - 11 am for orientation and will do so tomorrow and Friday as well. I got teary-eyed, of course. I couldn't help it! I feared that she would, too, as she has at home when we talked about going back to school, but she went bravely into her classroom and didn't cry at all. When we went to pick her up, she proudly told me about the work she did and fell back into Spanish as if she had not been mostly away from it for a couple of months. She ran out to play on the playground with the other kids, a dramatic pretend game about sharks, holding hands with two other little girls at the same time. It was hard to get her to leave. It was wonderful to see her so happy at school and so in her element big, big girl...even if I do get teary-eyed about how very fast she is growing up!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A Favorite Dinner

I rustled up pinto beans, cornbread muffins and tomatoes this week and we've been eating on the beans and cornbread for a few days. Very yummy. Even the girls like it, except for the tomatoes.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Portland Meanderings

Portland, Texas is a small town next to Corpus Christi, and is also where Lone Star Pa works. On Thursday, we had some free time and decided to drive over the bridge and take a look around. I wanted to check out a bookstore I had heard about there and find some place unique to have lunch, a mini-adventure.

Books Ink is a small, used, half-priced bookstore of the crammed-up and crowded type, with meandering stacks in which one could find almost a word, heavenly. Obviously a place with excellent priorities, it squeezes in a small children's play area and coffee shop in the front and a tiny regional newspaper office in a back corner. Every available space is spilling over with books, including nooks that are stacked and covered with books that still need to be sorted. It was a great place. I chose three cool-looking finds after looking around while the Lone Star Baby played contentedly with toys and when I went to pay for them, the bookseller nodded in the Lone Star Baby's direction (the Lone Star Girl looks to be around 14, although she's just 11) and told me that kids get one free book every week. Wow! As the Lone Star Baby chose a picture book, the bookseller told me that they give kids 12 and under a free book every week and that kids who are older can bring in their report cards every grading period and get a free book if they showed imprvement since the last grading period. Wow! What cool folks! Books Ink was a wonderful find.

We didn't have much luck finding any cool cafes for lunch, but we found a unique place called Expresso.Com, which was pretty cool in other ways and had lunch there. It was an internet cafe with pretty bland fare but it was neat watching the gamers enjoy all its little gaming rooms and we got to eat on some comfortable couches in a relaxing atmosphere. It was a neat place.

Portland was a fun place for a mini-adventure. We'll have to go again.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Toddler Art: Finger-Painting!!!

The Lone Star Baby and I broke out the finger-paints this week! It was fun. I could not find the old plastic smock I used to have for her sister so I just took off her shirt and we painted on the front porch (I am not opposed to shirtless little girls; my brothers hardly ever wore shirts at her age and I don't get the double standard.).

At first, I had squirted dots of finger paint onto a paper plate like a palette so she could take paint from it to use on her big papers, but she preferred rubbing the paint around on the plate to make a picture, so then I just squirted the paints directly onto her papers. She, in squishy glory, painted two big poster papers and the paper plate. Then, we spread the papers out on tables in the backyard, weighted down by little wrenches, to dry. Yesterday, she took two of the paintings to her swim lesson and gave one to her teacher and one to the teacher she had last session. She was very excited to be giving them. My ittle sweetie-pie.

My Weird Baby

The Lone Star Baby started rather spontaneously sounding out simple words this past week. I had sort of thought she had forgotten about letters.