Friday, February 27, 2009

Hot Lunch

At the Lone Star Baby's school, they send home a baggie on Thursday with a little hot lunch order form and you can send it back with money for hot lunch for your child on Friday if you wish. There are four or five different hot lunches that the school orders in from area restaurants like the one that is almost next door to them. You find out on Thursday which one they are having on Friday so you know if you want to order it or not.

Some are meat lunches and we don't eat meat. One is macaroni and cheese and the Lone Star Baby really dislikes macaroni and cheese (I know - I have no idea why her kid card has not been revoked), so we don't order those lunches. One of the lunches is cheese quesadillas with beans and fruit and one is cheese pizza with veggies (not that she'll eat the veggies) and I always order those for her.

It is hard to express the depth of my disappointment when I open the Lone Star Baby's lunchera on a Thursday evening and find that I have to pack it again because the hot lunch for Friday is not one of the two that she sort of eats. Also, the corresponding depth of my very real joy when I find that it is going to be one of our hot lunch days might surprise people who do not share the intimate relationship with my bad boy Exhaustion that I have. Just not having to pack that lunch gives me such a lift...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sophistication, Four-Year-old Style

The Lone Star Baby has sort of learned to wink. She likes to say the opposite of that which she means to convey with a huge wink and convulse into giggles.

Political Baby

First Boycott:

We live in the community where Whataburger began and is headquartered, so Whataburger is a fairly big deal in our community. It's a big-time corporate neighbor, lots of philanthropy, etc. They have decided to move their HQ which means that lots of people here have to move or find new jobs, including our Girl Scout leader. Lone Star Pa has a crush on our Girl Scout leader and has groused about how mad he is at the company a number of times. Now the Lone Star Baby doesn't want me to get her breakfast from the drive-though there anymore.

Organizing The North Pole, A Quote:

Why do the elves just have to work and work and work all the time making toys?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Music And Nature

The Lone Star Baby has a new habit that looks very sweet. She pushes the little plastic chair from her "art desk" up to the living room window, sets the electronic keyboard to play a song she likes and sits looking out the window. Rather meditative.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Nature Play

The Lone Star Baby and I had some renewing time outside on Sunday afternoon. She tricycled for awhile and then settled in to squat in the grass by a dip in our sidewalk where we let dirt and organic debris gather and spent some time drawing in the dirt there with a stick. After she grew tired with that occupation, she decided that we should go on a roly-poly hunt. We took a box out of the recycling bin and walked up and down the sidewalk looking for some. We found one and a neighbor showed us a second. Then we let them out on the exposed roots of our ash tree. Just the sort of thing I always want us doing more of - and a very nice interlude in an otherwise not-very-rejuvenating weekend.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Rain Project: First Rain

In better news, yesterday was also the first day of 2009 that included enough rain for the Lone Star Baby's rain gauge to catch. She has now learned how to write "1/4" in her little calendar for the one-fourth of an inch of liquid it held after more than a month and a half of zeros. I'll grow some little naturalists here yet!

Stinging Day

While we were all still feeling fairly sick and disgruntled after a week with flu involved, the Lone Star Baby got stung on the back of her neck by a bee in the backyard yesterday afternoon.

Given her sister's serious allergies, we were rather more worried about it than it is generally necessary to be. We gave her benadryl and ibuprofen and put antibiotic and hydrocortisone cream on it and applied a cold pack for a very long time. Allergy-Girl actually has been stung by a bee before and it was a total non-incident that didn't even hurt much, but the Lone Star Baby's sting really did hurt. For about an hour, she wailed any time we tried taking the cold pack off, although she is generally not a fan of getting cold applied to her boo-boos. It got better, though.

I was supposed to be taking the Lone Star Girl to a booth sale (Girl Scout cookies), but had no intention of leaving the Lone Star Baby until several hours had passed and I felt sure she would not have an allergic reaction, so Lone Star Pa did cookie duty instead (which was for the best, as he wore the Thin Mint costume, which I would not have done). I shoved two Epi-Pen, Jr.'s in my purse and, as soon as she felt better, took the Lone Star Baby to get ice cream and then to the toy store for a fairy doll she had been saving for before she lost her Christmas money somewhere.

Pathetic, I know, but I was feeling that stressed about it.

She is totally fine, though, and there isn't hardly any swelling today. She is actually the only member of the family who seems to feel pretty much fine today, as the rest of us would really rather we were all still in bed (Lone Star Pa is).

Hope your weekend is going better than ours, while still grateful that ours has not been much worse...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Muddy Adventures of Soccer Pa And Soccer Girl And Their Disgruntled Wardobe Minder

This morning was the first game of the spring soccer season. It was a bit rainy, so Lone Star Pa got a lot of phone calls checking if the game was still on and only four of the six team members showed, but the game was still on and they were adorable. And muddy. They got very, very muddy.

I brought the Lone Star Baby home to change and she is currently wailing about my choice over what she should change into, but offering no viable alternatives (as in, outfits that would sort of, kind of fit her). I wish I had left her in the muddy clothes.

The Beggar's Opera

The Lone Star Girl has been cast as a whore in her school's production of The Beggar's Opera. We're so proud. Lots and lots of practices!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

BIG Milestone

Yesterday was a staff development day at my school. Since the Lone Star Girl's school is in the same district as mine, she was off from her school while her teachers were at staff development. Teachers aren't supposed to miss staff development days, though, and the Lone Star Baby's Montessori school also had staff development and was closed.

The Lone Star Girl took care of her sister while we were at work!

Both had been begging for this opportunity for a long time and were really excited about it. Lone Star Pa and I had held off on numerous other possible such days and gotten babysitters because we just weren't sure, but this time we decided to give it a go.

They did great!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Birthday To the Lone Star Nephew!

Born this afternoon - a strapping 8lb. 5oz. and 20 inches long! The first boy of his generation!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

And Happy Valentine's Day To All of The Loving Families Whose Marriages Are Being Stolen By Prop. 8

You have allies who are thinking of you today and praying that Prop. 8 gets invalidated...people who know that bigotry is not what God wants from us.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Much love and friendship to all!

Last night, Jazz and I went to see the Vagina Monologues at her university like last year - it is becoming a sisters' valentine tradition. The play was great and Jazz even indulged me by stopping on the way home so I could do the week's grocery shopping and guess what? She found my long-missing lipstick color - gold-dipped rose! It's a valentine miracle!

The kids are getting some chocolate this morning and we are going to make our traditional holiday breakfast of sweet orange rolls and breakfast strips.

Feliz Dia de Amor y Amistad!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Valentines And Car Adventures...And Mice

Last night, while Lone Star Pa was taking the Lone Star Girl to get her allergy shot and then onto their weekly Comic Book Day ritual of comic books, window shopping and (ugh) Arby's, the Lone Star Baby and I were preparing Valentines for her to take to school on Friday for the El Dia de Amor y Amistad exchange.

I had bought a box of Tinker Bell valentines that the Lone Star Baby is going to give out to the kids in her class. Her school wisely instructs that we only fill out the "from" part of the valentine, not the "to" part, to expedite passing them out. At first, after I separated the sheets of them at their perforations, the Lone Star Baby was filling out her name under where the cards say "from" but she got pretty tired of that after about eight or ten cards, as I expected. We then switched to a system where I filled out her name and folded them and she sealed them closed with a heart sticker. That lasted better. We then taped tiny valentine Kit-Kat bars into the space inside the fold of each card - quite respectable offerings, I thought.

For the teachers at her school, the Lone Star Baby happily assembled the lovely lacy-white-doily-heart-glued-onto-bigger-shiny-red-doily-heart-with-stickers kind that are THE BEST VALENTINES IN THE WORLD, but that are really no fun to have to assemble for 24 classmates (she had also previously made some of these to take to Story-time on Monday at the library, where they were quite distracting). We made one extra trip to the store for more glue and tape but I figured it wouldn't hurt to go to bed a little late and get it all done - little did I know the night that awaited us!

Before we were quite finished, Lone Star Pa called at a bit before 8:30pm to let me know that his car wouldn't start. My car had failed to start on Monday and he had jumped it. It had gotten me through the morning drop-off and home again and he hooked it up to my dad's battery charger that night until it was fully charged again, but...I knew the jump was going to kill his battery, which he had been periodically having to charge...I just knew it. And there we were. I loaded the Lone Star Baby back into the car and we drove to the Arby's parking lot and jumped his car while I called the AutoZone down the street to ask when they closed - 9pm.


We got the car started and hurried over to get us both new batteries before both cars died - got there at about 8:50 and really, really pissed off the AutoZone people who wanted to go home - but I really don't think we would have made it home on those batteries.

So that was an adventure.

We got home and bustled around finishing up the valentines and getting ready for bed. Suddenly, we heard hysterical pleas for quiet coming from the Lone Star Girl's room. She had discovered that one of her mice had escaped - through the ventilation holes in the habitat - and she was trying to not scare it away from where it was messing around on (and pooping all over) her already very messy desk. Well.

I was pretty sure we were just going to have to resign ourselves to a loose mouse in the house. I mean, really - how were we going to catch it? The Lone Star Girl was really upset. We got a paper towel tube, duct-taped one end, put some mouse food in it, and the Lone Star Girl kept vigil for about an hour and a half. Just as I was about to tell her to give up and get some rest, she called, "I've got her!" -wow. I opened the cage for her and we emptied the mousekin into it and taped up the larger vents.

It was very late so the Lone Star Baby slept in our bed and the Lone Star Girl slept in her sister's bed (and poop-free room). Now the Lone Star Girl is cleaning the mouse poop out of her room.

Quite a night, no?

Fourteen Years

Happy Anniversary to Lone Star Pa and me! We got each other car batteries as presents last night so we're staying home tonight. More on that later.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Twilight Talk

Lone Star Baby: It's dusk.

Lone Star Pa: (busy with some paperwork) Mmmm.

LSB: Animals that are crepusculous come out at dusk.

LSP: Mmmm.

LSB: Auntie Jazz says sharks are crepusculous.

LSP: Mmmm.

Lone Star Ma: (overhearing from next room) I think that's "crepuscular", Sweetie.

LSB: Oh. cre-pus-cu-lar.

(I'm pretty sure I learned that word within the last year and a half.)

Javelina Day

We journeyed to a university in a nearby town Saturday morning for the Girl Scout Council's annual meeting. The Lone Star Girl's troop was being recognized for receiving their Bronze Awards and they were then running a SWAP table at a SWAP meet for the younger girls attending. Lone Star Pa was at a soccer coach training, so I had the Lone Star Baby along, and she had fun coloring with a friend of hers who is the younger sister of one of the girls in our troop. She also really had fun outside as we walked to and from our car.

The mascot for TAMUK is the javelina and there were painted javelina cloven hoof prints on the sidewalk in various places. The Lone Star Baby loved looking for them and hopping between them. I explained what javelinas were and then I told her the story of how her grandpa and uncles had once been chased up trees by angry javelinas while camping. This distressed her because she doesn't feel very good at tree-climbing yet. I told her we would work on it. The Lone Star Girl told her about seeing javelinas hanging around Camp Greenhill, but that those javelinas did not bother the Girl Scouts.

When we got home, I printed up a picture of javelinas from the computer and the Lone Star Baby set about drawing them. She also drew some javelina hoof prints on the porch in sidewalk chalk.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Teacher Pa

Lone Star Pa has been awarded the status of Teacher of the Year at his school. We are so proud of him! Rock on, Lone Star Pa!

Art In The Afternoon

This is the month when all of our local museum-type attractions offer reciprocal memberships, so families like mine make a mad dash to see everything if they have a membership in one or more (our memberships are at the Science and History Museum and the Botanical Gardens) places. This afternoon, therefore, we made a trek out to the Art Museum of South Texas and saw some beautiful paintings and sculptures, as well as the annual Visionarios exhibit of the work of young artists. Visiting a nice art museum with a four-year-old is not always relaxing, but I do want the kids to be exposed to such things and it was lovely. We even saw a piece sculpted by a friend of ours who is an art professor at the local university. There were, in addition to the beautiful and thought-provoking galleries, two nice children's areas and a lovely deck facing the bay. After we left, we had some outdoor time in the water garden next to the museum. It was a very nice afternoon.

Cadette Girl Scout

Friday, February 06, 2009


The Lone Star Girl and Jazz and I went to see it tonight and it was excellent. Everyone needs to see it. Everyone.

Perfect Morning

I had to take a sick day yesterday because the Lone Star Girl had a doctor appointment and an orthodontist appointment that I had to take her to, but the timing of the appointments allowed me a pocket of morning to spend at the Lone Star Baby's school as well. The school has been inviting parents into the Casa De Ninos to observe this month, so I got to sit and watch the Lone Star Baby work. It was so lovely.

The Lone Star Baby worked really hard on some cool sensory materials, and also on some math and reading materials. I was surprised at how many different activities she did in a short amount of time, but also surprised at how well she managed to persevere in a difficult activity without giving up. I was very proud of my industrious little girl.

The room was just a Montessori utopia of busy little autonomous people - so wonderful. The Lone Star Baby was really happy and excited and proud to have me there, too, and to be leaving early with me to pick up her sister.

I got to see her present her 100 Days project to the class and got to go outside with them while they released some monarch butterflies they had been raising from caterpillars in a tent in their classroom. They ordered caterpillars to raise last year, but this year, they just found them in the garden - the offspring, possibly, of last year's.

It was so wonderful. I wish I could spend more days like that.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I Went To High School With A Lost Star

Over the years, I have occasionally caught a glimpse of a television actress - once in a commercial and once, I think, in a show about being an older college student - who looked, I thought, remarkably like a girl I went to high school with - although much better preserved than I have been by the years, I must say. I mentioned several times to my husband that the actress, whose name I didn't know, looked like a girl named Liz who attended Arts Magnet High School with me in Dallas. In recent years, I've noticed that the actress has starred on the TV show Lost which I really haven't much watched. The Lone Star Girl was watching it tonight and I mentioned that I thought I might have gone to high school with that blond actress and then I saw a name on the credits - Elizabeth Mitchell - and thought - I think that is Liz. I googled her and guess what? It is! Wow! She was really nice.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Camping Weekend

Well, I did really miss the Lone Star Baby, and I am really tired, but it was fun. Not always, as the girls are at an easy-to-want-to strangle-them age, especially when in possession of their cell phones, but it mostly was fun. And our Girl Scout leader said they were much better than the last time she took them.

The resort-like "camp" is on a beautiful resaca and Brownsville was lovely to drive through. The university there is very nice. The forensic activities at the university involved photographing and sketching and measuring a "crime scene" and both imprinting and dusting for/lifting fingerprints. Back at camp, there were more activities on the theme. I helped with the blood spatter activity and Jazz with a different method of fingerprinting.

My sister Jazz was, of course, the greatest. She is the world's best navigator, a great driver and a born camp counselor. Although there were maybe a few threats of death and abandonment, I think she was extremely patient with our girls.

I remembered how much I love the Girl Scouts as an organization, the way the girls and women are all so freaking capable. I was at that place as a Girl Scout leader, I think, before the Lone Star Baby was born, but I have completely lost all that flinty confidence in the intervening years. I feel inspired to get it back.

Also, the camp was amazing when it came to making sure that the Lone Star Girl could be safe eating there with her nut allergy. They were kind and respectful and thorough - much more so than anyone in my own family has ever been. It felt wonderful for her to be able to participate so fully with so few worries - hurray for the Girl Scouts!