Mitchell-Lama Mama’s Blog

an ordinary life in an extraordinary city

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!


And for our Bonus Feature March 6, 2009

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Dropped the little guy off at his Simulated School Day, came home and called the ped’s office.  Of course, the only available appt time for the girl to be seen was when I needed to pick up the little guy.  Luckily, the big one is home and was able to do this for me.  


She has pneumonia.  Isn’t that special?  I’m worried, she’s pretty delicate.  I’m also furious.  I’m sure this could have been avoided if she would have been treated any one of the other times I took her in over the past few months, instead of the wait and see response.  If she doesn’t seem to be responding to the antibiotics within twenty four hours, I’m supposed to call the ped.  I’m guessing this might result in a hospitalization.  


That would be, among other obvious things, lousy timing.  The big guy’s birthday is next week, and the little guy’s show is Monday.  


Maybe it just isn’t meant to be for me to pursue my writing anymore.  When I tried last year by taking an online class, I wound up posting my assignments from the girl’s hospital bedside.  So, yeah, I did it, but not exactly able to give it a full effort.  “Excuse me, Dr Neurocrud, could you wait until I finish up these edits?” 😛  Not exactly, hmmm?  


And I need to “reset the clock” on the seizure free count. 😦


Oops, almost forgot the good news.  Little guy had a great time this morning, and felt like it went really well. 🙂


Take Another Little Piece of My Heart Now, February 26, 2009

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Reset the clock on waiting to find out about the next step of the application process for the boy, it turns out someone was sick and they didn’t send out the letters until yesterday. 

*******We got the letter.  He has been invited to go in for the next step in the application process, a simulated school day.**** It’s a little more than a week from now, then we’ll wait to hear if he’s invited for a personal interview…


Feeling a bit sad and self pitying today. 


Mama had to go to the girl’s school this morning.  No, no phone call from the school nurse, a “publishing party” that all the parents are invited to.  The girl had clearly worked very hard on her piece.  Not a surprise, she always works really hard. But when you walk down the hall her classroom is on, there’s written work on the walls from all of her classmates, though not hers. Between meds, neurocrud, and whatever mystery is the root cause of her neuro crud, she struggles, and it can be seen clearly in the difference btw her work and that of her classmates.  


Parent teacher conferences will be coming up next month.  Her teacher caught me on the side of the room and asked if I would mind if she scheduled our conference on a different day.  Yanno, because we have so much to talk about.  I’m certain the conversation will include her recommendation for testing/evaluations.  I knew this was coming.  I know it would be irresponsible on the part of the teacher if she didn’t approach this.  I know it’s best for the girl to get this ball rolling, so she can have opportunities to be successful in school, and feel good about herself and her work, even open the door to her reaching her potential.  But whatever her potential is, it isn’t what it was when she was a toddler, and that hurts.  When she was two, we had every reason to think she was on  a similar path as her big brothers.  


I am blessed with two very gifted boys, and the girl has her own gifts, but hers are different, and not ones that are quickly valued in casual conversation with other parents on the “blacktop,” or even by our society in general.  I tell myself to be quiet and be grateful, things could be much worse, and her life could be much harder.  Sometimes that lecture doesn’t work, and I can’t help but think about the woulda/shoulda/couldas, and that she’s already got a life more difficult than most children on the playground.   


Hopefully this new seizure control we’re seeing at this dose of medication will hold, and the control will be enough to balance out the cognitive slowing caused by the med.  In the meantime I’ll remind myself that she’s a perfectly beautiful balance of strong and sweet, and Mr Putter and Tabby are perfectly lovely books to read, even for the 400th time, even if she doesn’t remember reading them before. 


So I’m channeling Janis Joplin today.  A little piece of my heart broke off in that classroom this morning, but when I got back for the meeting, I’m going to show them this Mama can be tough. 😛


What Day Is It, Anyway? February 25, 2009

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You know those days when you keep forgetting what day of the week it actually is?  Usually this happens to me on Mondays, and I’m convinced it’s Friday. 😛  Today I keep thinking it’s Tuesday, but luckily, it isn’t.  Yay!  Wednesday!!


We didn’t receive the letter about the middle guy’s school yet. 😦  Hoping for today.  If not, I’ll call the school tomorrow to make sure it wasn’t lost in transition.  I know I wrote our new address on the application, but my oldest went there, so maybe they sent it to the old address??  I’ve got to call Dr Neurocrud’s office about lab results for the girl tomorrow anyway, so I’ll just plan for an hour to make official phone calls.  


Mama’s been busy this morning.  Papa and I were trying to figure out the new protein skimmer for the tank.  Eventually we’ll get it.  I had to run to the grocery store, there was literally nothing in this house for dinner.  Now I’ve got raviolis in the freezer and doggie gumbo simmering on the stove.  Poor dog had a very skimpy portion left for breakfast today, so I supplemented with a whole can of sardines.  Ewww.  Anyone want to accept stinky slobbery kisses for the rest of the day? 😉  


Oh, yeah, today was the first day for the 500 in 40.  I did it!!!!!!!   A little over 500 words.  They aren’t the best words, and they’ll be reworked many times over, but I got started.  Yippee!!!  I also looked over what I already had, so I’ve got a project for tonight.  I like what’s there, but there’s much tightening to do. Writing is funny that way.  You think your work is as polished as much as possible, but then look at it a few weeks/months/years(!) later, and plenty will jump out at you.   This is the routine I used to use; write in the morning, and in the afternoon or evening do some edits of work from the day before.  The day before, the year before, close enough, right? 😛  


It’s kind of like working out, if you stop for long enough, you remember your old routine, but can’t just jump back into 50 sit ups a day.  There was a time when 750-1000 words was an average day for me.  I’ll get back there, but these 500 were rough going–and that includes having been thinking about this scene for months now.  I think I’m more afraid of tomorrow than I was of today.  


Happy Wednesday, everyone!



Holding My Breath Week February 23, 2009

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It’s that time of year where I start waiting anxiously for the warmer weather.  Every day I wake up thinking it must be warmer today, but no.  still cold.  


Kiddos are back to school this week, and I’m praying this increase holds for the girl, and she can have another good week where she stays in school all day–every day. 🙂  


I’m expecting to hear about whether or not the little (middle) guy is being invited for the second round of the admissions process today or tomorrow.  I hoped there would be a letter in the mail Saturday.  That would have been early, but ya never know.  Nope, nothing but a bill and a plea for money from the Museum of Natural History. 


Mama went shopping this weekend.  No clothing, sorry gals, only one size fits all coral frags and a new shrimp.  I haven’t been able to get a photo of the shrimp yet, she moves too quickly, and my camera is not that good.  😛  The tank is filling in nicely.  Much as I love watching it, nothing is better than when something catches one of the kid’s eyes, and they get excited.  




OK, the first one isn’t new, it’s the frogspawn I got a few weeks ago–but it is cool.  🙂  The next two are zoa frags.  Zoas come in many different color morphs, all have ridiculous names; I prefer to stick with the scientific names, yanno, “the purple ones, the green ones…” 😉  


I hope all are having a good start to the week, and that I stop holding my breath before I turn blue.


Room for Error February 13, 2009

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Yesterday I was chatting with a newer friend, who asked me about the hows/whys of my extreme interest in getting each of my children into the right schools for them.  


The first, easy answer is that we live in Manhattan.  There isn’t an automatic solid “catchment” school for the kids to go into.  Manhattanites are, generally speaking, a little nutty about getting each child into the “best” schools.  There aren’t enough good schools in the middle ground; there’s wonderful (though not perfect), and there’s oh-my-God-how-can-I-send-my-child-in-there. 😛  


Another answer would be the stereotypical part of the American dream.  Wanting your kids to do better than you.  I’m afraid, and part of the first generation in a long time where it isn’t a given that I’m living a more comfortable life than my parents.  It not only isn’t a given, it isn’t true at all.  My parents owned a home; I don’t, and don’t see it ever happening at this point.   Life is what it is, a lot went into where I am, including some poor decision making on my part.  I can accept where I am, but don’t want the kids to stay “here.”  


I don’t want their lives to be spent in pursuit of the almighty dollar, I want them to be productive, fulfilled, and happy adults.  If you don’t have the potential to earn enough money, though, your life is ruled by that dollar.  I honestly believe that education is the path to “better.”  A great education teaches kids how to make decisions and weigh options, see how each choice affects another.  A great, well rounded education exposes to kids to many subjects and fields, and lets them know there’s a whole lot more out there than “doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief.”  And those pieces of paper matter.  Are there people who find success and financial freedom without them?  Sure.  They’re also people who win the lottery.  I wouldn’t bank on either of those happening.  


I admit it, I’m greedy when it comes to my children.  I want it all for them.  Do I expect they’ll get it “all?”  Probably not.  But maybe those high goals will leave them with enough.  🙂  


Other news: the girl is doing great!  Yippee!!!!!!!  🙂

Tank news:  The new frogspawn fell over onto the ricordea during the night a couple of nights ago. Frogspawn is a much more aggressive coral, and spent the night stinging the ricordea.  My beautiful big green ric, which had been about three inches big and splitting into two, is now less than half an inch long. 😦  At least it hasn’t died, and it looks a little less flat and shriveled than it did 2 days ago.  


Happy Friday Night Madness everyone!


Don’t Know Much About History January 30, 2009

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Happy Friday All! 


Sorry I was MIA yesterday, I chaperoned a field trip with the girl’s class, and wasn’t feeling well after I returned home–can’t imagine why 😉


I went to NYC public schools, and boy have they changed.  A lot for the better (though I didn’t grow up in a remotely progressive area, and as far as I know there was 0 choice). 


Papa and I have had several discussions over the years about the change in history being taught, both in perspective and amount.  The other morning a conversation with my little guy brought this subject to the forefront again.  I had taken the little guy to get his hair trimmed last week, and he isn’t happy with the result.  He keeps his hair long; he likes it that way and it seems to me to be a wasted issue to take a stand on.  Not to mention he’s got beautiful hair and looks pretty darned handsome. 😛 


I you tubed a clip of the song Hair, from the movie of the same name, thinking little guy would enjoy it.  In the interests of full disclosure (of my own dorkiness), I LOVED this movie, and saw it a bazillion times when I was younger.  I’m excited now, knowing there is a revival opening on Broadway next month, even knowing the odds are mighty slim that we will be able to squeeze out money for tix before it closes–no matter how long the run.  I didn’t see it in its original run.  My grandmother did, and came home whispering to me, “It’s a dirty show.  They took their clothes off.”  Then she blushed and laughed, and said it was good otherwise. 


Back to topic.  Before showing little guy the clip, I gave him a brief synopsis of what the storyline was, so he’d have context as to why they’re singing and dancing in a jail.  Little guy isn’t all that little, he’s almost 11, and he has learned nothing in school about the Vietnam War, the Counterculture of that era, and why it is important in American history.  


Somehow or other this led to my mentioning WWII and the Holocaust, and he wasn’t familiar with the term Holocaust.  When I referenced Hitler, he knew who I was talking about  and gave him a point of reference.  But, when I started talking about numbers, he was floored and horrified.  I was too, how can children be in school for six years and not spend a couple of days on this?  Most people recognize the number six million as the number of Jewish people slaughtered, but too few don’t recognize that millions more were killed.  I’ve seen the number as “low” as 9 million and as high as 17 million; what I’ve seen most cited is around 13 million.  A staggering number, and the one good thing (if you can call it that) I can say is that little guy understood the enormity of it immediately. 


I know history is taught differently now, and I think much of that is positive.  Our children should be raised with sensitivity. I believe the Vietnam War is sometimes referred to as the “American War” in Vietnam.  Both of my sons studied the early explorers and the Revolutionary War extensively–little guy knows much more about the history of the Revolutionary War than I do.  But it seems to me that at this point,  when he’s old enough to watch the news and ask about what’s going on in the world and why, follow our Presidential elections and form opinions based on what he’s reading and seeing, he should have been given at least a rough working knowledge of our country’s time line.  


I know, from my older son, that more is learned in the upper grades. At least I hope so. (My oldest went into private school at 6th grade.) Why is the most complete overview of our country’s history coming from the American Girl catalogue, and not our public schools?