Mitchell-Lama Mama’s Blog

an ordinary life in an extraordinary city

Bested By the Fish May 22, 2009

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Things are clipping right along in the tank, dontcha think?  Maybe not.  The coral beauty has developed a taste for, well, my corals.  In keeping a reef tank, fish really are secondary.  The bulk of the money and the fascination are in the corals and critters.  This all equaled a decision that the coral beauty has got to go. 😦  

 

So blue, so innocent--don't be fooled!

So blue, so innocent--don't be fooled!

Two of Mama’s fishy friends came over yesterday evening.  One willing to give the coral beauty a good home, the other willing to catch her.  “Don’t worry, twenty minutes.”  

Yeah.  Not exactly.  It appeared that it would be easy enough.  Unlike many other “reefers,” Mama doesn’t care for the wall o’rock look, so there’s only about 50 lbs of live rock in the display tank.  Plenty of room for swimming and interesting rock structures.  Mama designed her “rockscape” keeping the comfort and happiness of the critters in mind.  Plenty of dart holes, hiding places, pass-throughs.  Getting a feel for problem #1?

Now comes problem #2. Gloria.  Remember Gloria, the glorious yellow tang?

 

Observe carefully

Observe carefully

See that thin little white line towards the back of her?  There’s one on either side, and it’s because of those pretty little dashes that these fish are sometimes known as scalpel fish.  Those little lines are her defense, and are literally as sharp and dangerous as scalpels.  Shouldn’t be an issue, we’re not interested in Gloria.  Wrong again.  Gloria didn’t care for the nets invading her territory.  By the time we were twenty minutes into this, there were three nets trying to corral and catch the coral beauty.  Fishy friend conducting this capture is a professional violinist.  Keeping hands in perfect working order = an absolute must.  It quickly became more about evading the tang than capturing the coral beauty.  

 

Reef tanks are very sensitive.  Corals can begin chemical warfare, melt away, and crash the whole tank if you stick your hands into the tank without washing them first.  Mama kept imagining fresh blood marbling through the water, running through all products and remedies she’s heard of wondering if there’s a reef-safe “antidote” to human blood. 

 

Guess who’s still in Mama’s tank this morning? 😛

 

Not to mention the tank is now a “mess,” coral frags knocked over in the melee, and all critters looking quite annoyed this morning.  Reefing can be fun, beautiful, and peaceful, but I think I’ll wait until they all calm down before sticking my hands back into the tank to fix things up. 😀

 

How many grown ups does it take to catch a fish?  I don’t know.  We had three, and it wasn’t enough. 

 

Happy, happy Friday Night Madness everyone–enjoy the holiday weekend!

Thanks for reading,

Mama

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Shadows May 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — mitchelllamamama @ 1:43 pm
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Forget chasing windmills, I have to stop looking at shadows.  I do my most productive thinking through my fingers; keyboard or pencil, so please bear with me.  😀

 

I don’t just love my children, I adore them.  Each of them.  There are similarities in all three, but those similarities come out in different ways, and they are distinct individuals.  🙂

 

When I look at the girl, I smile always.  Usually because she’s smiling at me.  Baby’s first learned response, right? 😉  I know there is good that has come out of this neuro crud.  Her appreciation for kindness, her caring nature that includes concern for discomfort of any and all living creatures, her ability to laugh no matter how many tubes and wires might be attached to her at the moment, her strong work ethic.  These past days, though, I’m also seeing the shadows of those evils; woulda, shoulda, and coulda. 😦  I’m not focused on them, but I’m aware of their presence in a way I haven’t been since I last wrestled with thoughts on acceptance.  

 

We all want better for our children, better than we had, better than they have now.  I am not talking solely about material things– though I certainly wish for an easier reach for the checkbook on the 1st of the month for them.  If I could hand anything to my children it would be an understanding of how to balance.  Mama took herself way too seriously when she was younger, and then spent too long not taking herself seriously enough.  I know that sense of balance is something every person has to find and weigh for themselves.  As Mama, I try to help them to see what needs to be weighed, and how to portion it all out.  Right now, these shadows are getting in the way when I think about “what next?” for the girl, even though I know (thankfully) she doesn’t see them, and doesn’t ever need to.  

 

I will get past these maudlin thoughts.  They’re counterproductive, I can’t possibly help the girl move forward if I’m looking back.  But today, as I wait to see if the nurse from school calls again, I’m sad. 😦

 

Tired Mama May 16, 2009

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As I’m sure you all predicted, Mama made it through the meeting. Sorta.  Much of me feels like I’m still sitting in that chair, with endless echoes of those test results, and the sense that about a thousand doors just slammed shut. 😦  

 

Please don’t tell me about the other doors that are still open, both known and unknown.  I know that, and we’ll find them, but right now…ugh. 

Let’s just say that Mama hates neurocrud, and migraines, and epilepsy, and the ongoing unanswered whys.  

 

Last night was the big guy’s play.  It was a wonderful performance of She Stoops to Conquer.  He was great, as were all of the cast members.  🙂  A very exciting day/night of success for him.  He also received an award yesterday for quiet service to the community.  Unexpected, and an amazing honor.  

 

That’s it for today, I just wanted to post for those who might be checking.  Hope you’re all having a great weekend.

 

Serenity, Now! May 14, 2009

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Mama is doing what she can to center herself for today’s meeting.  A friend offered to meet me for coffee afterwards.  This is a friend who doesn’t know the full extent/live the nitty gritty details of having a child who isn’t neurotypical, but I’m glad for the support, and am taking her up on the offer. 

 

In trying to prepare myself, I actually dug through all my junk looking for makeup.  Now, Mama isn’t a a makeup wearing gal.  I think the last time I bought any was 6 years ago, and when we moved into this place in the fall I threw away the bulk of it–some of those tubes of lipstick were older than my oldest child. 😛  So this morning I found an old mascara, eyeliner, and lipgloss in a forgotten handbag;  broke out the coconut oil and did my best to tame my hair.  Does any of it matter?  Not really.  But there’s something about the ritual, a feeling of putting on armor.  Probably why I don’t generally bother with any of it.  😉  

 

Of course, it’s raining now, so Mama’s hair will be its usual 4 foot circumference of frizz by the time I get to the meeting.  Wonder how many years waterproof mascara retains its waterproofing? 

 

 

Torch Coral, Coral Beauty Angel (She Who Has No Name), and Giddy, the cleaner shrimp

Torch Coral, Coral Beauty Angel (She Who Has No Name), and Giddy, the cleaner shrimp

 

Mystery hitchhiker coral and edge of blue mushroom

Mystery hitchhiker coral and edge of blue mushroom

 

Busy Busy Busy May 13, 2009

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Tank Pics!

All my prettys

All my prettys

Clam--wild, huh?

Clam--wild, huh?

 

Plate coral and 6-line wrasse

Plate coral and 6-line wrasse

 

Sadie the Fire Shrimp

Sadie the Fire Shrimp

 

Clowns Protecting their Special Place from Yellow Tang

Clowns Protecting their Special Place from Yellow Tang

 

Pipe Organ

Pipe Organ

All right, One full tank shot

All right, One full tank shot

More crazy days here.  Chaperoning the girl’s all day field trip today, guitar lesson for the middle guy later, then middle guy has a band concert (trumpet) this evening.  Tomorrow (yikes) results from the girls testing, Friday night the big guy’s show–She Stoops to Conquer.  Whew!  Mama is ready for summer in every way!

 

News:  The middle guy was accepted!!!!!!!  He was thrilled for about an hour, and is now stressing about making the decision; should he go? Aargh!  Poor guy, really.  We all know plenty of adults who are afraid of upsetting the status quo, even when it almost certainly means positive changes.  Human nature, fear of the unknown. 😦 

 

Hope everyone has a good one, Mama is off and running!

 

Tricky Sense of Time May 7, 2009

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I’m wondering why the days fly by so quickly, and yet each week stretches on forever.  Am I the only one with this perception?  

 

I’m not sure I could get any less sleep than I do and function long term, but still I run out of time each day.  Twenty four hours should be enough, no?  But it never is.  Each day ends with Mama feeling guilty because I didn’t _________.  If I clean I didn’t write.  If I write I didn’t do laundry.  If I do laundry I didn’t shop.  If I shop I didn’t play with the girl.  If I play with the girl I didn’t blog.  And on and on, no end in sight.  I think the world would end if I made time to *gasp* read.  

 

Somehow I’m sure I should be grateful I have so much to do, right?  Somehow.  But then every morning I wake up thinking it must be Friday, and it still isn’t.  

 

I did accomplish something yesterday–I think.   😛  I tried to kill the aiptasia (pest anemone) again, and I haven’t seen it resurface since.  It must be morally wrong to be so happy to kill something, but I admit it.  Alone in the living room, by the light of the tank, Mama did a happy dance.   😀

 

Eyeballs, Check! May 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — mitchelllamamama @ 5:18 pm
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Whew, I finally did it.  After going to the girl’s classroom for another “author celebration,” I went into the one place in the neighborhood with a $99 special for exam and contacts.  Yippee!  Not only did I get the exam done and contacts ordered, they had a trial pair on hand in my prescription.  I don’t think that ever happened for me before.  So now instead of tipping my head to try and prevent the lens from falling out of my broken eyeglass frames, I’m tipping my head trying to get used to having peripheral vision again–it’s been several years.  🙂

 

I swear the colors in the tank are popping more now.   😉  Speaking of the tank, Mama has a couple of new additions.  I’ve remained in touch and friendly with the young man I bought the system from, and have been getting to know his girlfriend too.  Both very lovely.  And gf was interested in doggie gumbo, so we’ve been swapping gumbo for critters.  I got a clam!!!!!  She (she because the girl named her Boca) has a beautiful blue and brown pattern on her mantle.  Also some new zoas, and a new SPS frag that has a long scientific name that promptly trickled out of my ears. 🙂 Sorry, still no pics because I can’t get the camera to work. 

 

And here’s the most exciting tank news, Mama’s clownfish are breeding!  Have I already mentioned that? :0  No, I won’t be raising the fry, but they’re a tasty treat for the other critters.  Mama didn’t actually realize what they were doing until the aforementioned fishy friends were here and clued me in.  In my defense, clowns have some weird behavior patterns, so I thought it was just part of their regular weirdness.  

 

Both boys are miserable with their allergies now, and the girl is just wishing the school year would hurry up and end.  Me too, darling, me too.