Sunday, August 30, 2015

Move-In Weekend: Sophomore Girl

This weekend we drove the Girl down to college and moved her in to her new dorm, which is much more like an apartment, really (in my day, all the women on our wing shared a bathroom down the hall and the tiny room I shared with my room-mate had no air conditioning - Bruce!).  We also did the necessary provisioning at Target and H-E-B, of course.  Some of her friends helped her and her room-mate get unpacked - so nice.  

The Girl's classes don't start until tomorrow but she has homework already and is also busily recruiting new progressives to her causes.

We are so proud of that Girl.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Corpus Realtor Jokingly Threatens to Masturbate on Breastfeeding Mothers In Comedy Skit

A Corpus Christi businessman who does comedy on the side recently posted a comedy sketch of himself on his toilet criticizing mothers who breastfeed in public and comparing it to masturbation.  As horrible and not-funny as that is, the big problem was when the skit went on to say that he would masturbate on mothers he saw breastfeeding in public.  Doing this would, of course, be sexual assault and local mothers have been outraged by his skit, complaining to local news outlets and spreading the word on social media.

Yesterday, he apologized for his skit going too far on KZTV but I personally still found his apology rather fraught with excuses, especially when he claimed he was getting death threats.  I have no way of knowing if that was true, but seeing as how his comedy skit threatened to sexually assault women, I am not sure he has any room to complain.  I believe that he meant it as a joke and not an actual threat as he says, but there is nothing funny about either sexual assault or about persecuting nursing mothers.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Vaccines

August is World Vaccination Month, so this installment of the Subversive Children's Book Club features children's biographies of Jonas Salk, American Hero.  Do not get pulled in by the dangerous pseudoscience, mamas - vaccinate your children!  Enjoy!

  • Splendid Solution:  Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio by Jeffrey Kluger
  • Jonas Salk:  Conquering Polio by Stephanie Sammartino McPherson
  • Jonas Salk and The Polio Vaccine by John Bankston
  • Jonas Salk:  Creator of the Polio Vaccine by Salvatore Tocci
  • Jonas Salk and The Polio Vaccine by Katherine Krohn

Happy Women's Equality Day!

Today marks the anniversary of when the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was actually certified into law, giving women the franchise.  Again, Mamas - never forget the struggle!  Always vote!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

National Breastfeeding Month: Black Breastfeeding Week

The theme for the August 25- 31 part of National Breastfeeding Month is Black Breastfeeding Week:  Lift Every Baby.  Resources and activities for Black Breastfeeding Week can be found at

Sunday, August 23, 2015

First Phone

We are dealing with some scary medical stuff at our house this week - scarier than usual - so it has been a little hard to focus on the unfolding beauty that is our lives together in all of its tiny growing manifestations.  We do try, though.  I notice the little corn plant on the edge of the grass by the street as we walk into the Lone Star Baby's school; it has somehow escaped from the corn they have planted inside the fences to be free, liberated corn out on its own in the world.  My bean plants have sprouted so quickly.  The teaching assistant from the Lone Star Baby's preschool who cared for her in morning care and was the person I entrusted her to on all those difficult mornings when I had to leave my toddler unhappily behind turned up in morning care at the Lone Star Baby's school...dropping her own first grader off, a child who was an infant back in the latter days of the Lone Star Baby's morning care at the preschool. It was so nice to see her.

And, of course, whatever else is going on, the march of the Lone Star Baby's creeping adolescence and growing independence makes its little steps inexorably forward.  One step that she is quite taken up with these last few days is her first cell phone. Had she started sixth grade at the big middle school like she wanted to this year, I would have gotten her a cell phone and paid for its upkeep as I would have felt we needed it to stay in safe enough contact while trying to get her safely home from school in whatever kind of arrangement we had cobbled together.  Since I was not comfortable with the idea of such cobbling and have made her stay at the little Montessori charter (I know - charter schools are wrong), I did not think she needed a phone.  She really wanted one, though, and asked if she could pay for a pay-as-you-go flip-phone and minutes for herself out of birthday money and allowances. After we talked rules and the total absence of privacy required by me, I agreed, and now she has a trac-phone and is learning how to text old school with the numbers and having a wonderful eleven-year-old girl time with it. It's adorable.

I am trying to remember to treasure everything and I am praying a lot.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Back To School

This edition of Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club features school stories in honor of all of our children who are heading back to school over the next few weeks.  These stories are set in large part, though not entirely, in schools.  Do enjoy!!
Primary and Lower Elementary
  • Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Miss Nelson Is Missing by Harry Allard
  • Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
  •  Virgie Goes To School With Us Boys by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
  • Our Peaceful Classroom by Aline D. Wolf
  • First Day In Grapes by L. King Perez
  •  Nasreen's Secret School by Jeannette Winter
  • Sister Anne's Hands by Marybeth Lorbiecki
Upper Elementary & YA
  • The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrick Hill
  • Double Dutch by Sharon Draper 
  • The Landry News by Andrew Clements
  • Confetti Girl by Diana Lopez
  • Standing Up To Mr. O by Claudia Mills
  • The Alice Books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  • Hip Hop High School by Alan Lawrence Sitomer
  • The Highest Frontier by Joan Slonczewski

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Happy Women's Suffrage Day!

On this day in 1920, the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving women the right to vote, was ratified by Tennessee, giving it the two-thirds majority it needed to pass.  Remember the struggle, Mamas!  Always vote!

National Breastfeeding Month: Breastfeeding In The Community: Wherever Moms Are!

The theme for the United States Breastfeeding Committee's August 18-24 portion of National Breastfeeding Month is Breastfeeding In The Community:  Wherever Moms Are! This week is dedicated to action and education about the Friendly Airports for Mothers Act and on support for nursing in public spaces.

It is important that women and girls witness nursing in public so that they will learn about nursing their own children - it has to be part of the culture around us if we are to meet our public health goals.  Also, nursing mothers cannot reasonably be expected to give up participation in society if we expect people to nurse nearly long enough.    Has anyone ever bothered you or anyone you know about nursing in public?  What did you do?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Inch by Inch, Kiddie Pool by Kiddie Pool

I don't know why "fall" tomatoes and peppers need to be put in at the hottest point of the summer, but that is so the only time one finds them at the garden stores, so I got my little container gardens set up yesterday.  After my whole hives episode that I strongly suspect was due to the Vitamin D supplement I took, I am not going to be taking that supplement anymore, but I still do need to increase my Vitamin D levels so hopefully the need to water these vegetables (with my hand-held hose, people) will help. 

I put tomatoes in the tires:

In the nightshade garden, I put in tomatoes, chile peqins, serrano peppers and another ghost pepper:

I planted a cowpea bed:

 I planted a bed of okra seeds from my grandmother:

I planted two different basil plants:

I staked my grape plant to a little trellis:

And that is all for now!

Prima Camp 2015

I'm so glad that even though this was a crazy-busy summer, we got to squeeze in a little Prima Camp with these girls last week.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Netflix Offers Unlimited Paid Maternity and Paternity Leave In The First Year

I may have said a lot of unkind things about our corporate overlords, y'all, but announcements like this one have to make you think.....


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Praying for Jimmy Carter

I read news reports today that President Carter has cancer that has spread to other parts of his body.  I hope he is okay.  He is, for certain, a great national treasure as well as a spiritual leader. 

I was about five years old in 1976 when Carter ran for President.  I clearly remember my mom and my madrina running around chanting "Carter, Carter, he's our man!  We kicked old Satan in the can!"

I still feel that way about him. I will be holding him in the Light.

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Compassion

I am starting to repeat myself too much on our Wednesdays.  I think I am just going to have to start buying more books...tsk, tsk.... 

This edition of Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club includes a lot of oldies but goodies in terms of books to help waken compassion in our children.  Enjoy!

  • Faith The Cow by Susan Bame Hoover 
  • A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams
  • Sister Anne’s Hands by Marybeth Lorbiecki
  • Uncle Willie and The Soup Kitchen by Dyanne DiSalvo-Ryan
  • Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier
  • The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter
  • Daphne’s Book by Mary Downing Hahn
  • Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff
  • Petey by Ben Mikaelsen
  • The Landry News by Andrew Clements
  • Crash by Jerry Spinelli
  • Hoot by Carl Hiaasen.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

National Breastfeeding Month: Breastfeeding In Health Care Coverage: Mind The Gaps!

The National Breastfeeding Month theme established by the United States Breastfeeding Committee for August 11-17 is Breastfeeding in Health Care Coverage:  Mind The Gaps! Do you have private health care coverage?  Medicaid?  TRICARE?  What sort of coverage is there for breastfeeding in your plan?  What are the gaps?

Monday, August 10, 2015

National Breastfeeding Month: 25 Year Anniversary of The Innocenti Declaration

August is National Breastfeeding Month in the U.S.  There are different foci for different parts of the month.  August 1-7 was World Breastfeeding Week, of course.  August 7-10 is set aside to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Innocenti Declaration on the Promotion, Protection and Support of Breastfeeding.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Lone Star Ma Beach Courtesy Announcement: Do Not Feed The Seagulls

I am not nearly a ceremonious enough person to hardly ever feel that I have the right to talk about other people's manners, except as a somewhat necessary part of raising my own daughters.

However, each year at some point, I observe a startling lack of beach etiquette on a point that simply must be addressed.

Do not feed the seagulls if you are near other people.

Seagulls are cool and it can be fun to feed them but you need to be courteous about the people around you.  If a family is all set up with a tent and toys and having a great time near you, they do not want to be pooped on.  You need to save your seagull feeding for when you are well away from other people who don't want to be pooped on.

That is all.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Lone Star Ma Mama Action Alert: Thank Target For Moving Away From Gender Stereotypes In Its Toy Aisles!

Target announced yesterday that it will move away from gender-based signs in its toy aisles as well as other gender-based toy aisle markers like having pink or blue areas.  

Target said they have heard the concerns of their customers and do not want people to feel limited by the ways things are presented.  Even now, employees at Target's over 2,000 U.S. stores are hard at work identifying other areas, like bedding, where they can phase out gender-based signage.

This is wonderful news.  Play is a child's work and it should never be limited by gender stereotypes that make them think that only certain paths are appropriate for them based upon their genders.

Please thank Target, Mamas, by posting your appreciation on their FaceBook page and share this post to encourage other companies to do the same.  I also encourage mamas to write to places like McDonald's and others who still use gender-based toys to encourage them to follow Target's example!

GOP Debates

We attended an anniversary celebration for the Voting Rights Act on Thursday night and then watched most of the Republican debate.

The Lone Star Girl had been disappointed when she heard that Perry did not make the cut, as she said we all know he is varsity crazy and not JV-crazy.  I was still pretty livid at Christie's earlier threatening remarks to teachers going in.

I really don't know anything about Kasich yet.  I was surprised at Kasich's kindness and compassion for the poor during the debate - it seemed like he had wandered into the wrong primary.  I'm sure there is a catch.  It is also always disturbing when someone as otherwise evil as Rand Paul cares more about peace than the Democratic frontrunner.  It is also always painful to watch Jeb Bush trying to express the compassion that he clearly has in his heart for immigrants, but unable to stop himself from devolving into his Party's rascist buzzwords like "sanctuary city".

Otherwise, the candidates all just seemed like an awful circus of hate - racist, sexist, elitist.

Friday, August 07, 2015

World Breastfeeding Week: Help Your Partner Breastfeed

This is an essay of Lone Star Ma's that originally appeared in We The People News years and years ago:

When women are polled on reasons why they did not start or why they stopped breastfeeding their babies, one of the reasons that is often mentioned is lack of support from their partners.  Breastfeeding in today’s society takes a real commitment, and not just from moms.  Dads have a huge role to play in the success of the breastfeeding relationship. 

      Like moms, most dads truly want what’s best for their babies.  Not all dads are aware of the amazing health benefits that breastfeeding can provide for their children, but these benefits are considerable.  Breastfeeding promotes bonding, brain development and optimal health in babies.  Formula-fed babies are more likely than breastfed babies to fall victim to diarrhea, gastrointestinal, respiratory, ear and urinary tract infections, as well as vomiting and other symptoms.  Formula-fed babies also have more cases of allergies and asthma, are hospitalized more, get meningitis more often and are more likely to be victims of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  Later in life, children who were formula-fed have more incidences of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis than do breastfed babies.  There are also important health benefits for mothers who breastfeed. Women who nurse their children have decreased incidence of numerous forms of cancer.  They get fewer urinary tract infections while nursing, and have less incidence of osteoporosis later in life.  The evidence is clear that breastfeeding is worth the effort.

      Unlike most aspects of parenting, breastfeeding is something that only mothers can do.  So what can dads do to help their partners breastfeed?  The good news is that there are lots of ways that dads can be a big help with breastfeeding.  August is World Breastfeeding Month and a good time to think about supporting your partner’s efforts to breastfeed.  This article provides ten tips to get dads started.  The more involved dads become in helping their partners, the more ideas they will come up with all on their own.

Tip One:  Encourage a Network of Support and Education From The Start:  Most hospitals offer breastfeeding classes for pregnant women and while it can be good to attend these classes, they rarely provide mothers with all of the information and support that they need to breastfeed successfully.  Encourage your partner to regularly attend La Leche League meetings or other breastfeeding support group meetings while she is pregnant as well as after the baby comes.  Read books about breastfeeding with your partner so that she knows that you think breastfeeding is important, too.

Tip Two:  Create a Formula-Free Zone:  Infant formula is a very valuable product that society is lucky to have.  Because of its existence, babies who cannot be breastfed, such as many of those who are not living with their birth mothers, now enjoy very high rates of survival.  The presence of infant formula can, however, interfere with getting breastfeeding started.  The early weeks of breastfeeding can be very difficult if a mother has not grown up surrounded by breastfeeding women.  Most people think that breastfeeding should come naturally, but it is really a learned skill for both mothers and babies.  Having formula in the house makes it easy to give up and offer a bottle when things get hard, so do not buy any and get rid of all the free samples that are probably coming in the mail and as gifts.  Many men feel helpless when they see their partners struggling with breastfeeding and want to make things easier for them.  Encouraging your partner to offer a bottle or to let you offer one won’t help.  Mothers often mistakenly feel that their partners are not supporting their efforts to breastfeed and do not want them to breastfeed when their partners do this.  When things are hard, your partner needs the encouragement that you know she can do it.

Tip Three:  Know That The Baby Will Nurse All The Time:  Breastfed babies have to eat a lot more often than formula-fed babies do.  A lot more often.  In the early months of breastfeeding, expect the baby to be nursing pretty much all the time, day and night.  Many parents become alarmed that this means that the baby is not getting enough milk, but babies are just made that way.  As long as your baby is having 6-8 wet diapers a day, she should be getting plenty of milk.

Tip Four:  Your Drink, Madam:  Nursing mothers are extremely thirsty all the time.  While breastfeeding is very healthy for mothers, its physical demands put your partner at a real risk of dehydration if she does not get enough to drink.  Having a baby attached to her chest all the time can make it inconvenient for your partner to be running to the kitchen for frequent refills.  That’s where you come in.  When your partner is breastfeeding, make sure that she always has a beverage at hand.  It is really important and is an easy way for you to keep your partner healthy.

Tip Five:  You Don’t Need to Feed The Baby Yet:  Many dads encourage mothers to let them feed bottles to their babies so they can share in the experience of feeding the baby or help at night.  Although this is fun for dads, it can also interfere with breastfeeding.  Even if the bottle is full of expressed breastmilk, every feeding that a mother misses makes it harder to keep up her milk supply.  To keep up an optimal milk supply, bottle-feeding should be saved for necessities, like if mom needs to work away from her baby.  There are plenty of ways that dads can bond with their babies other than giving them bottles.  Dads can be in charge of bath-time, for example.  Also, most babies are ready to begin trying some solid foods during the second half of their first year.  Dads can be the number one baby food feeder when that time comes.  It will be there before you know it.

Tip Six:  Good Night, Sleep Tight:  Babies need to breastfeed at night and this can make it hard for your partner to get a good night’s sleep.  If your baby sleeps in a crib, you can help by going to get the baby as soon as she stirs and bringing her to your partner to nurse.  When the baby is finished, you can change her diaper and get her back in her bed.  If your partner needs to get up for work in the morning or to take care of other children, though, separate sleeping arrangements may not work out.  If your partner cannot nap during the day while the baby naps to make up for the time she has to nurse at night, your family might want to consider co-sleeping.  A family bed can allow your baby to nurse without fully waking up your partner so that they both get a better night’s sleep.  Note:  co-sleeping requires sobriety and is not a safe option for parents who drink alcohol at night or use drugs.  Be sure to educate yourself about safe co-sleeping first! 

Tip Seven:  Pick Up The Slack:  It may seem like all your partner does is sit around all day, but breastfeeding is not the passive activity that it can appear.  It takes up lots of energy as well as time and your partner is going to tire easily.  Your baby will only be little for a short while, so now is the time to pitch in.  Don’t expect your partner to be able to handle all the responsibilities she may have handled before baby.  Breastfeeding has to be her main job for now.  Support that by getting things done around the house and not asking too much from her.

Tip Eight:  Forget Your Audience:  You and your partner may both feel shy about nursing in public at first.  The truth is, though, that babies have to nurse a lot and your partner is not likely to continue doing it if it means she has to stay home all the time.  Breastfeeding is perfectly natural and is nothing to be ashamed of doing in public.  Encourage your partner to practice nursing in front of a mirror until she feels confident that she can nurse as discreetly as she wants to nurse when out and about.  Then encourage her to take the baby anywhere she wants to and to hold her head up high.  Let her know that she should be proud to be a nursing mother anywhere.

Tip Nine:  Three’s Company:  Many women feel pressure from their partners to leave the baby for couple-time.  Lay off.  Romantic overnight trips away from the baby are just not practical during the first year when your baby is primarily breastfed.  If your partner works a full-time job away from the baby, even regular evenings out may not be practical.  Nursing is a supply and demand thing and babies have to nurse often to keep up a mother’s supply.  Couple-time is important but it doesn’t have to separate mother and baby.  Nursing babies are very portable and it is usually easy to have a pleasant dinner in a nice restaurant or go to the movies with baby.  Candlelight dinners and videos at home are a good way to spend time together as well.  Your baby is only a baby for a short time and her baby days will be over far too soon.  Before you know it, she will be having sleepovers and camping trips and you and your partner will have plenty of time alone.

Tip Ten:  Run Interference:  We don’t really live in a very breastfeeding-friendly society.  Your partner may face criticism from friends and family and even strangers about breastfeeding.  More likely than outright criticism, she may face lots of questions that undermine her confidence (She just nursed.  Why is she nursing again?  Do you think she’s getting enough?)  and she may face many pressures that make breastfeeding hard.  Lack of confidence is the worst enemy of successful breastfeeding so shield her as best as you can from negative influences and let her know that you back her up.

      Supportive dads can make all the difference to a mother’s ability to breastfeed successfully.  By following the tips in this article, dads can make a good start in supporting a healthy beginning for their babies.    Asking moms what else would help them with breastfeeding is a good way for dads to support their partners even farther.  By letting them know that they are proud of breastfeeding efforts, dads can take a lot of pressure off their partners and help their babies to grow strong.  And strong, healthy babies are what all parents want!

Thursday, August 06, 2015

World Breastfeeding Week: Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are wrapping up by the end of 2015 and will be replaced by the 17 new Sustainable Development Goals.  These 17 goals and 169 targets should focus global efforts to end poverty for the next 15 years.

Nutrition is mentioned in the second of the goals: "End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

Breastfeeding would be crucial for two of the targets under Goal Two: 

"2.1 by 2030 end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round 

2.2 by 2030 end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving by 2025 the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under five years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women, and older person."

Infant and maternal mortality are mentioned in the third goal:  "Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages."

Breastfeeding would be crucial for the following targets under  Goal Three:  

"3.1 by 2030 reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births 

3.2 by 2030 end preventable deaths of newborns and under-five children 

3.3 by 2030 end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases, and other communicable diseases 

3.4 by 2030 reduce by one-third pre-mature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) 
through prevention and treatment, and promote mental health and well-being."  

While breastfeeding is crucial to the achievement of these goals, it is hardly mentioned.  The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action and other organizations have called upon the United Nations to develop and include actual breastfeeding targets in the SDGs.

Small Victories: Fifth Circuit Strikes Down Texas Voter ID Law

As soon as the Voting Rights Act's federal oversight provisions were weakened in 2013, then-Governor Rick Perry scurried to sign Texas' draconian 2011 Voter ID Law, which would not fly under the original Voting Rights Act provisions, into statute in an effort to suppress minority voting in our state.  In 2014, the law was struck down by a District Court but remained in effect due to the proximity of elections.

Yesterday, a three-judge panel from the Fifth Circuit Court ruled that the law does discriminate against minority voters.

Governor Abbott plans to keep fighting for the law.  

We will have to keep fighting for voting rights for all citizens.  This was a victory, but a small one.

Happy Birthday Voting Rights Act!

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965!

The Voting Rights Act protects the rights of minority voters to register to vote, vote and be represented in government.

Unfortunately, in 2013, the Supreme Court weakened provisions of the Voting Rights Act that were in place to prevent Southern states with histories of suppressing the minority vote to pass laws and redraw districts in ways that disenfranchise minorities.  Now,  instead of these states' voting procedures being carefully monitored by feds to ensure the rights of voters, voters must rely on filing a case and going through the court system to address each case of voter suppression.

We need to strengthen the Act again.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015


In April of 2014, the City of Houston passed a rocking anti-discrimination ordinance, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, known as HERO, that prevents discrimination against LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations. Unfortunately, it brought the bigots out and Houston has been embroiled in a legal battle over the ordinance for the past 15 months.  A recent Texas Supreme Court decision is probably forcing the measure back on the ballot - a ballot that will have no other issues on it and which is expected to draw very low voter turn-out but for the varsity-league bigots who oppose HERO.  The election is also expected to be the center of a huge, dishonest smear campaign against the City's LGBT community.  Houston activists have been very discouraged.

A recent social media campaign, the brainchild of young, progressive millennials,  encourages one of Houston's very most famous citizens to help!  Beyonce is from Houston and our youth are calling on her to bring attention to this important issue in her hometown and convince voters to get to the polls to vote for HERO in November.  Please share and help spread the word! #BeyBeAHERO

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: World Breastfeeding Week

Today's edition of Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club features children's books that include breastfeeding in honor of World Breastfeeding Week.  The ubiquity of artificial feeding in our culture robs children of the experience of seeing breastfeeding as they are growing up so that they can learn about it naturally, which sets people up to have a hard time feeding their own children.  We need to teach our children about breastfeeding early if we want them to be successful. Enjoy!

  • Maggie’s Weaning by Mary Joan Deutschbein
  • Michele, The Nursing Toddler by Jane M. Pinczuk
  • We Like To Nurse by Chia Martin
  • Mama’s Milk by Michael Elsohn Ross
  • I’m Made of Mama’s Milk by Mary Olsen.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

World Breastfeeding Week: City of Aransas Pass Apologizes To Local Mother

This past weekend, another unfortunate incident occurred in which a nursing mother was mildly harassed, this time at a local area pool. Local news reports and the pool's Face Book page report that a mother was observed nursing at the pool and some patrons complained about her feeding her child.  Pool staff "offered" the mother a private, air-conditioned area in which to feed her child, mentioning that people had complained,  and she declined.  She was not asked by staff to leave the pool area.  She did complain to management about her treatment and the City of Aransas Pass has apologized to her.

It was wholly inappropriate for representatives of the City of Aransas Pass to try to pressure this mother into hiding while she fed her child by telling her that people were complaining.  It was also wholly inappropriate for them to nosy in and make "suggestions" to a grown woman feeding her infant, who would have asked if she had needed any accommodation.  This mother should have been left alone to take care of her child in peace and should never have been harassed for breastfeeding in public.

That said, I think the fact that the pool staff did not ask her to leave and that they have apologized publicly shows great progress in comparison to so many other similar incidents that unfortunately still happen in our communities.  It is clear that the City of Aransas Pass understood that Texas law protects a mother's right to breastfeed in public.  I think that, despite the unfortunate nature of the incident, it also shows progress.

We have more work to do to create a truly breastfeeding friendly culture, but maybe things are getting a  little better.

Monday, August 03, 2015


Today is 45 years since Hurricane Celia made landfall here.  I remember my parents' stories about barely escaping their little apartment on Elizabeth before it blew away and making their way to my Grandma's house on Flynn Parkway.

Safe harbors, everyone. Stay well.

Combining Breastfeeding and Work: Our Stories

Time, space, support.  Getting good support is an essential component to successfully pumping breast milk for your baby while you are working outside the home.  La Leche League International (LLLI) runs the best support network for nursing mothers, but it is true that it attracts a lot of mothers who are not employed outside the home and employed mothers often find that some meetings have a culture that does not support their needs.  This is usually a "Morning Meeting" issue, though.  In communities of any size, there are usually "Evening Meetings" as well as "Morning Meetings" each month and those evening meetings are where employed mothers can usually find the mother-to-mother support they need from LLLI.  It is great to start going when you are pregnant, but it is never too late to start!

The following are some excellent books that offer great information and support for breastfeeding mothers who are employed outside the home:

  • Nursing Mother, Working Mother by Gale Pryor
  • Hirkani's Daughters: Women Who Scale Modern Mountains To Combine Breastfeeding And Working by Jennifer Hicks (Lone Star Ma has an essay in this one)
  • The Milk Memos by Cate Colburn-Smith and Andrea Serrette.
I highly recommend them! 
It is important to tell our stories.  The personal is political.  We support each other more than we ever know when we share our stories.  

I think I may have pumped breastmilk in almost every public building in this city that has been around for longer than 10 years - probably not really, but it sure seems that way!  I always had jobs where there were lots of meetings in those years and the challenges were many, but we pulled it off.  

Do you have any pumping stories to share?  Please share them in the comments section!

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Back To School Preparations

Ridiculous amount of school supplies:  Check.
School clothes:  Check (including plaid skirt compromise for first day).
School shoes:  Check.
Extra Dorm bedding and towels plus some very basic dorm dishes for new room w/kitchen:  Check.
Haircuts:  Check.

The Girl may still want her own new plaid dress, but otherwise we are so done with the new school, year's outfitting. Classes for the Lone Star Baby start on the 17th, for Lone Star Pa and I on the 24th and for the Lone Star Girl on the 31st.  Things just get busier from here....

World Breastfeeding Week 2015: Breastfeeding and Work: Let's Make It Work!

This year, the theme of World Breastfeeding Week is a global call to action, organized by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) to support women in combining breastfeeding and work.

"WABA calls for:

 WABA reminds us that there are three necessary factors for women to combine breastfeeding and working successfully:  time, space and support.