babies were born to be breastfed

I finally saw one of the controversial Ad Council-produced billboards that I wrote about last winter -- the ones that the infant formula industry continue to try to kill.

It was on a a small highway in rural South Carolina. It was completely black except for one line in white: "Babies were born to be breastfed."

I was pleased to see it and I think the message is simple and to-the-point but it amazed me to see this incredibly unassuming and un-slick billboard because I know how hard the formula industry has worked to prevent these billboards from appearing.


tropical storm alex & pawley's sland

My children, my sister, my bro-in-law, and my niece and nephew are vacationing together this week at Pawley's Island in South Carolina. We go to the beach every August but usually we go to the same house every year on Edisto Island. We waited too long to book our Edisto house this year so decided to try something different with Pawley's.

It's a very nice house and a very nice island but I still like our slightly less posh house on funky, southern goth old Edisto more than I do preppy Pawley's. At Edisto, people really seem to live there (and they do) and the amusement for us consists of things like walking to the one and only store on the island -- a smelly, cramped Piggly Wiggly -- to buy sunscreen and fish bait. On Edisto, there are spooky old graveyards and lots of hanging moss and people sitting on mattresses in their yards eating boiled peanuts. There's weird and random folk art in the marshes and I can go into Charleston -- one of my very favorite cities in the world -- for the day. Here at Pawley's, the day trip would have to be "Pigeon Forge on the coast" -- Myrtle Beach, my idea of hell on earth.

Still, the beach is always fun. This year my littlest child, Elliot, age 6, has suddenly decided he loves the water and today his Uncle Ray taught him to skimboard. Elliot is a very bold, athletic kid but for some reason, he has always been tentative around the water, unlike his siblings and cousins. But something changed since last summer and now I spend far more time trying to call him back closer to shore than urging him to get in.

Apparently there is a big tropical storm off the Carolinas but you would't know it from the view out the window of our beach house. People keep calling us to ask if our vacation has been rained out, but honestly, the weather couldn't be better. The only thing I've noticed is that the surf is pretty rough, but it's been sunny, hot and gorgeous.