Saturday, December 19, 2009

Jupiter and Island Cycling

The last couple of days we've managed to give our Wiifit board a workout again. Jupiter has discovered the island cycling game. I bought the Wiifit plus disc for her birthday thinking she would enjoy the skateboarding game. Not so much. But now she's into Island cycling.

She's still on the beginner course. So there are big red barriers up every so often indicating that the flags you are supposed to find are not beyond that point. Jupiter, to my great suprise, spends most of her time trying to get around the barriers. LOL!!! When she's not trying to get into forbidden territory, she is driving her bicycle madly down hills (seems to give her a rush even if she's just standing on the wiifit board) and crashing off cliffs into the water. Yes, on purpose.

Today riding went an extra 15 minutes. The regular instructor is in Mexico (coming back tomorrow, just in time for the great blizzard, although we're only getting four inches up here in Maine. It's a miss for us.) and the fill in instructor forgot it was only a 45 minute lesson. So Jupiter and Abbi got an extra 15 minutes mounted time. Whoohoo!!! Today Jupiter was frequently reminded to "Use your words BEFORE you kick the horse." Hmmm. I've been saying variations of that for four years now. The girls have moved off their ponies to bigger, taller, more cooperative mounts. And Jupiter swiped a pair of only slightly too big riding pants which she wants to wear everywhere "because they make me feel proud." That's what she told me when she wanted to wear them to the Christmas concert. We compromized on a pair of kakhi's because she had literally been ON the horse in the riding pants before we went to the concert. I told her regular instructor last week about the proud thing.

Now I'm trying to get her OFF the wiifit (some beach segway game at the moment) so she can get ready for bed. But maybe she will sleep past six thirty in the morning which I will enjoy immensely.

Good night, all.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Still here

We are still still here....December is entirely too busy. I can't wait for the weekend after Christmas..we have two whole days of not having to be anywhere or doing anything specific.

Jupiter is in a destructive phase. Her clothes, mostly. She has shredded all of her nylon tights. She got a hole in one pair one day at school and discovered how much fun and how much muscle work she got out of destroying them. The next time she wore nylon tights...ripped them up. She only has her ballet tights left. I told her I wouldn't buy anymore tights. She ripped a pair of jeans at school too. She ripped the sole off a boot. Yesterday she ripped a pair of black leggings.

However, yesterday she was also very lovey. To me. She offered to share her snack with me. She wanted to snuggle at bedtime. She also snuggled with me tonight. She was talking away, then all of a sudden she put her head on the pillow and fell asleep. I'm not sure she meant too...she just couldn't stay awake anymore. She picked up her ceramic unicorn off the shelf yesterday and said that she was giving it to me for Christmas and I should pretend to be surprised.

I figured out that some of her behavior lately is reacting to me, or my inability lately to deescalate things the way I should. I figured out that since my job function changed, I am more drained at the end of the day than I used to be. Not in as good a place when I get home. And not Jupiter's fault at all. And that I need to be conscious of that and leave work feelings at work. Or at least put them away until later. Easier said than done, but easier when I'm consciously aware of it.

Still don't like work. The actual function is getting a little easier as I get more familiar with it. Getting along with the people in my new department isn't going very well. They didn't all get along before I showed up with one other new person....and we all don't get along now. Today I left annoyed with two co-workers and one supervisor. It takes a lot out of anyone when it goes on day after day after day. And at least in loss prevention, it felt like my job mattered. Not so much anymore. I wish I could win the lottery and become independently wealthy and not have to work. But that's not likely to happen, so I guess I'd better learn to deal. Or find a new job. Also easier said than done. I don't want to leave the bank. Not because I like working there, but because I have 11 years of service, four weeks vacation, and a $5000 adoption benefit available to me. These are not things which come easily in today's job market. So I continue to hope for improvement. And at least my liberal PTO allows me enough days and half days off to lessen the stress somewhat.

On Sunday at my mother's cookie party, I was sitting on her couch with my brother's St. Bernard pupply snuggled on one side of me, and Jupiter snuggled on the other side of me, patting the dog. I could have sat like that for hours. Even though it only lasted ten seconds, it was my favorite minute of the week. I think I'll use it at my zen place tomorrow at work.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Please Please Please go here!! My blog buddy and awesome mom Keri has been trying to bring home her adopted daughter's bio sister from Russia since 2005..just when they thought Anya would be home this weekend the embassy denied the visa and Anya is currently stuck. Keri is looking for any and all support, aid, and prayers. Even though Anya lives halfway around the world at the moment, Keri is truly this girl's mother and the sisters just want a chance to be together.

If there's anybody out there who can make this story go national...go to it :).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Shopping Update

I got my doll. And my outfit. I had to make them search the back stock room (just in case you're interested, the Tar*et website may indicate that an item is available, but in the case of certain items, that means that various types of the same item come in at the same time and available simply means that some KIND of that item is available. Not necessarily the specific one you are looking for. But they had it. Then I had to search the store for a coupon because I left mine at home. Go figure. Got both. All good.

Now I have a problem. Last year I hid all the Christmas stuff in the trunk of the car because I could lock it. Not a plan that works so well with my hatchback with the big giant window in the back. What was I thinking? Maybe I can hide them in the storage closet at work or something.

I got home from shopping and one of the fish was dead. I am horrifically squeamish about dead fish. With my eyes half closed I managed to get it out of the fish tank and flushed. I think Max or Eagle (whichever one is not dead) misses his buddy. Or possibly tried to eat his buddy because I forgot to feed them this morning during the mad dash out of the house so as not to be late for the IEP meeting. But the goldfish are almost two years old now. Quite geriatric by goldfish standards. Though he seemed to be swimming around just fine not sure what happened today. It's a mystery.

IEP went okay. We're going on a specific behavior goal plan where she checks in every morning and gets a specific behavior goal for the day. At the end of the day she checks out and gets to chat about how well the goal was reached or not reached. She gets stickers for good choices. I'm not sure how effective it's going to be, but at least it's something concrete she can see, so it's worth a try. She also gets a little sheet that the teachers get to fill out when they notice negative behaviors occurring. Part of this is for documentation purposes because there has been very little documentation thus far. Having motor breaks in the OT room once or twice a day has not been shot down. They think they can work that into the schedule. When we were discussing that piece the administrator thought there were other kids who would benefit from the same type of thing. I'm sure there are many of them. Why there isn't a program in place to provide that service to the kids who would benefit from this is beyond me. Well, it's money and staffing of course. But still annoying. We're already taking placement and transition for first grade. We all agree that handling that the right teacher and the transition are of the utmost importance.

Academically Jupiter is just fine. It's all the behavior and anxiety issues that challenge her. But she's working hard and Mrs. VerdantLand and I are very proud of her.

tech help

If anybody knows how I can get my blog to play a song (guess what song?) please comment and let me know..I am so not technically inclined


Storm (Midnight's Song) Lyrics

Jupiter is watching an episode of the Saddle Club and this song just came on. Jupiter asked me to find it online for her. I would have found it anyway even if she hadn't asked me because it just made me cry. Here are the words.

A new day has begun
The worst is over now but the damage has been done
And you bear the scars of everything that you've been through
Now you have someone who believes in you

Free like the earth
Strong as the mountain
Free like the ocean
Wild in the storm
Free like the fire burning
Brighter than a star
Free like the wind
Whispering in your heart

The brightest star I know
I just want to see your true colors show
There within your heart let your light shine for all to see
So you can be the best that you can be

Free like the earth
Strong as the mountain
Free like the ocean
Wild in the storm
Free like the fire burning
Brighter than a star
Free like the wind
Whispering in your heart
I'm free

Wherever you find your home
You can take us with you wherever you roam
There's a place within our hearts and you'll always be there
You're earth water fire and air

Free like the earth
Strong as the mountain
Free like the ocean
Wild in the storm
Free like the fire burning
Brighter than a star
Free like the wind
Whispering in your heart
I'm Free
Free like the ocean
Free like the fire burning
Free like the wind
Whispering in your heart

Vapir & balla slprs

Juipter has totally gotten the "kindergarten writing" skill down. She now sounds out words and sentences and writes them 100% phonetically. Sometimes I can read it. Mostly I come up short and Jupiter tells me I can't read. Just because Mrs. VerdantLand can look at a page of kindergarten writing and read it like she was reading regular English writing.

Last Thursday I was emptying her backpack and I pulled out a red and black painting clearly labled "Vapir." She loves vapir's all of a sudden. I'm not sure why. I do not have her watching Buffy or anything like that. Maybe it's a Halloween holdout. Anyway, she painted a lovely picture in class. Complete with lots of red blood. It rated right up there with the "Life as an Army Demolition Expert" homework assignment. Fortunately it was in her regular classroom, not the art room. For some reason Mrs. VerdantLand didn't feel the need to hang the picture on the classroom door.

Aside from Vapir's, she can now write and draw in her journals. In the plural. She has many journals. She has at least three kids in her class also journaling because they see Jupiter getting such joy from her journals. She wrote a picture for her riding instructor (who, btw, is much quicker at reading kindergarten writing than I am) and labled that. She wrote a sign last week that said "Mi Mom is mad bekuz I lost mi balla slprs." Which was accurate. On Friday night I went nuts when I was cleaning her room and found her ballet bag shoved in the corner of the closet, packed with various dress up costumes, tap shoes shoved in a corner, leotard and tights mixed up in her bedsheets, and no balla slprs to be found anywhere in the house. I was convinced that I accidentally threw them away in the bag of Sunday School project scraps I accumulated while waiting for dance class to end the week before last. Since we didn't find the shoes in the lost and found, the dance school manager let us go through the back room box of shoes that people can take. Jupiter found a suitable pair of balla slprs in the box and we took those. I was less mad because I didn't have to buy a whole new pair. Jupiter likes the new slippers better because they are made out of velvet and are more comfortable than the leather ones were on her wide feet.

Today I bought gas. Since Jupiter wasn't with me, I went through the backseat of the car looking for stuff to throw away. I checked the secret compartment in the console. Guess what I found there. That's right...the lost balla slprs. Go figure. Guess we didn't look in the secret compartment. And I thought it was MY fault they were lost. HA!!


And peace reigned. Aaaaaaahhhhh.

Yesterday was a GREAT day. We stayed home almost all day after our usual weekend run around. Sunday she was invited to a birthday party at the pool.

Yesterday we just chilled out. She hauled all of her old Little People stuff out of the sunporch and played with them very nicely while I stayed in the room and did other stuff. After lunch she snuggled with me on the couch and we watched Smokey Mountain Christmas. She threw a celebration for her cat Autumn Leaf. We dropped off a pie at the Monday night meal. We had dinner. She did some art on the floor after supper. At one point she used the tape (the very same tape that over the weekend went flying at my head when she got mad at it) and pointed out to me how she wasn't getting mad at the tape.

I agreed. She wasn't getting mad at me either. It was THE BEST day. Jupiter noticed too. I LOVE vacation. I wish we could do it all the time. I'm sure all the time vacation wouldn't be idyllic. But it's sure nice this week. I'll take it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hello from Maine

yes, we're still here. Not much time for posting. Or sleeping. Or breathing, it seems like. What scares me is we haven't even gotten to the "busy" holiday time yet. Every year I say we're not going to do as much during holiday time. Every year it just gets worse. Haven't figured that one out yet.

November has arrived in all its behaviorial glory. Every year school gets more interesting in November. It's like the anxiety has dropped enough so that she goes into "test the boundaries" mode. Today she got into some kind of interaction with a boy on the playground. Recess has become more challenging the last couple weeks. It seems to be too much unstructured time for her to handle right now. Jupiter ended up with sand in her eyes and had to go to the nurse. She said the boy threw sand in her eyes. Which was true. She didn't mention the parts of the story leading up to the sand throwing. Fortunately my mother had lunch duty and can tell when Jupiter is not telling the "entire" story. Or telling the story in a manner which suits her purposes. She came home with a sweater in her backpack which belongs to another girl at school. She "accidentially" picked it up when she was getting her coat. Since the coat is big, pink, and puffy, and the sweater is thin and blue, I can see where she might have been confused.

IEP meeting a week from Tuesday. Probably just the right time to have it. If we have it too early, the true colors aren't all showing. If we don't have it soon enough, she doesn't get the support she needs. So there's probably a 24 hour window which is the perfect time. It was actually supposed to be a couple of weeks ago, but the behavioral specialist had to cancel at the last minute after she hurt her back and had to go to the doctor. This time we're having it on a teacher workshop students. I don't suppose they are going to let her go to the OT room every day at lunch recess. I also don't suppose they're going to let her go to the OT room every day for ten minutes before afternoon classes. Which is when I think OT would benefit her the most. Can't wait to have this meeting and see how well our views of Jupiter's needs mesh. I know the classroom teacher will advocate for us. We got the "good" administrator. We will see.

I tried to cancel my gym membership the other day. I was waiting for November because I signed into a two year contract (idiot) and was waiting for my two years to be up so I could cancel without penalty. I called the gym to cancel and they said I had to call the membership company in Massachusetts. So I did. They said I have to send them something in writing and give them thirty days notice.

So basically, I had a two hour window on the anniversary date of the day two years ago when I signed the original contract to cancel without getting charged for an extra month. They're going to charge me for December and there's nothing I can do about it. I sent them a notice in writing and I sent it certified return receipt (which was another $5.54) so I would know EXACTLY what day they received my notification in writing.

Not pleased. I was hoping to take the money I was spending on the gym membership and put it towards a membership at the Y so Jupiter can do more swimming than she does now. The gym jerks put a crimp in that plan. Though I guess I'm the one who signed the contract in the first place. At the Y you can cancel your membership ANYTIME YOU WANT, btw.

Then tonight while Jupiter made a last minute jaunt to the paint shop to paint with the boys (she had to look her prettiest to see the boys, btw) I made a flying trip to Target so I could try to pick up Our Generation Lily Anna and use my toy book coupon to get a free outfit. The store is out of Lily Anna, but, they said, I could order her online. I am quite happy to order the doll online, but they don't sell the doll OUTFITS on line, so unless I get them both in the store at the same time, my coupon is worthless. The outfit is $11.99. I want to use my coupon. Or, if I don't want to order the doll online, I can try the stores in Biddeford or Topsham, or Augusta. Which I would be happy to do, if I ever went to Biddeford, or Thopsham, or Augusta. I could always go to those places, but not without my child. Also defeating the purpose of going to the store.

I WILL get my doll. AND my outfit. Or, at the very least, a $10 gift card so I can go to the store at a seperate time to get my outfit.

Well, probably not. But dreams are nice to have.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I hate hate hate daylight savings time

seriously. whoever invented this whole daylight savings time gig didn't have a kid. Especially one who relies on routine and structure and so forth.

About 45 minutes ago, we were in the living room and Jupiter was playing nicely. She dug her art box out from under her bed and we looked at every single thing in the art box. Then she played with the wooden house and the wooden boat that were in the art box. She was playing very nicely.

Then she proceded over to her puzzle/game shelf. She threw everything from the middle two shelves onto the floor. She told me she was looking for the thing she wanted to play with. Which was so not true. She started to throw the things she "wanted" to play with into a seperate pile. I told her she couldn't play with anything until she was responsible for the big mess she had just made and cleaned up. She balked at it. She started to haphazardly throw boxes onto the shelf. The pizza pieces and puzzle pieces she threw at the general vicinity of the shelf. I told her that was not how the games were on the shelf and she needed to do a better job so her pieces didn't get lost. Or, I could pick up the toys and they would become mine.

Needless to say, I am now the proud owner of several new toys and games which now reside in my bedroom and which she may earn back. Jupiter earned a one way ticket to bed, where she lost two of the three books we were going to read because she was kicking and screaming and hitting, so our book reading time was greatly reduced. She is not ready to apologize for spitting at me yet.

I forgot that when the clock says 7:15, it's really 8:15 in her routine and therefore she should already have been in bed. Sigh.

And yesterday, after the blood sugar crash induced fit, when she calmed down, I was telling her about how I tried to bake sourdough rolls on my new baking stone and they all stuck mightily to the baking stone and how disappointed I was because I was going to bring them to work and I wanted them to look nice. And she said, "I'm sorry that happened."


She's asleep now. Tomorrow is a new day.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's Jupiter's last day of being five

In the morning, she will be six. years. old.

I remember doing lifebook pages when she was a baby and thinking how long it would be before I got to do the fifth birthday one. And now we've even passed that.

This afternoon Jupiter had three friends over to B's paint shop to paint some pottery together. It wasn't supposed to be a party, but somehow morphed into one, so yesterday afternoon I had to beg and plead with my boss to get out of work early (after Monday's mental health day) today so I could attend the party. I figured it out when I started getting emails from the other parents about what Jupiter would like for gifts and what time should they arrive.

Then I ended up leaving work a half hour later than I planned. So I missed the actual painting. But I caught the very end of gift opening and got to eat a cupcake. Jupiter was busy with her friends and just checked in with me twice.

By the time we got home, she was exhausted. She completely denies that her birthday causes her any anxiety whatsoever. But I know better. Tonight she had a completely exhausted meltdown because she was trying to open her new box of beads and needed help and at that moment I was trying to make treats for school involving marshmallows and rice krispies and fruit rolls and I was in the time critical part where the rice krispies and marshmallow had to be spooned onto the fruit rolls before they weren't soft anymore.

Didn't happen. I got about five fake sushi rolls made. None of them looked like the picture in the book. Gave up on that plan. Will send cookies to school for special snack. Jupiter hung onto me and cried her exhaustion out. Then she ate and went to bed after one story. She called me in to lay down with her which I did until my alarm went off in the morning, but she slept well.

Fast forward to Thurs. night. We had ice cream cake and pizza. Totya came down from Conway where she lives. Jupiter gave me a big hug when she opened the Benderoos. She also got a drawing pad that shows you how to draw horses, a My Horse and Me Wii game, WiiFit plus (okay, that was for me too. But it does have a skateboarding game!) a couple Barbies, a plaid skirt and a few long sleeve tops, and a couple horse beanies.

Low key, and stuff she really likes. And Saturday afternoon it's going to rain, so we can stay home and play with the new stuff all afternoon. Perfect!

Now she is 6.

Tomorrow we're having pizza for dinner and ice cream cake at Mimi's house. I got her benderoos because she drools over them everytime she sees them.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Blue Ribbon Behavior

Jupiter got a blue ribbon on Saturday. It was the last therapeutic riding lesson of the session so they did a little horse show type deal. I didn't know we were not going to make up the last lesson of the session (no lesson next week because of the big fund raising event taking place in the ring. I'm all for the fund raising.) so I was surprised.

Both girls got a blue ribbon. Jupiter got one for her posting trot and for listening during walk on/whoa. Allie got one for a beautiful sitting trot and for steering accurately.

Jupiter is SO proud of that blue ribbon. It's starting to look a bit bedraggled as she has worn it constantly and everywhere. When we were in Home Depot she plopped it up on the counter to be duly admired and appreciated. Getting a blue ribbon was the happiest day of her life. Sunday she wore it to church and Sunday school. And a birthday party.

Fast forward three days. She wore it to school Monday and all the teachers duly admired her blue ribbon. I haven't seen it since Monday so she must have stashed it in one of her secret hidey holes. If she's hidden it away, it must be truly special.

mental health day

Jupiter and I are home today.

Since school started, Jupiter has had a hard time going to sleep on Sunday nights. Last night I was all excited because she fell asleep before 8pm, and I had wonderful thoughts about how rested and regulated she was going to be.

Big LOL.

She woke up before 1am. She finally went back to sleep somewhere around 4am. I tried laying in her bed with her, then not laying in her bed with her. I tried a Magic Tree House listening library CD. I tried getting her to rock herself. She read books for a half hour. She ate 1 and a half bananas. She wanted more food. I put on the radio. Finally she fell asleep. About an hour later, I fell asleep. Then an hour after that, I woke up and tried to figure out how to call out of my new department. Because NO WAY was I waking that child up. And I was only semi conscious. I left a message on someone's voicemail. Hi, Jupiter's not feeling well (kind of) and we were up most of the night (totally true) and I won't be in today.

Then I had the debate about sending her to school after she woke up at whatever time she woke up. Which would have been fine, I think. But I got to thinking that I honestly don't remember the last day we had to just stay home and veg out. Both of us. It sometimes feels like we've been going nonstop for a month. We may actually have been going non stop for a month. So we're both home today. Jupiter is alternating between playing, doing some work pages (writing and math), and sensory activities. Right now she's doing heaven knows what in the kitchen sink, invoving water, chopsticks, and a bag of animal crackers. We're going to have a quiet time this afternoon after her sheets come out of the dryer. We might bake some snickerdoodles. If the leaves dry out from all the rain (not snow) we may do some raking. It's a self prescribed low key day.

For both of us, in fact. While I was not sleeping I was thinking about how much I myself need a day at home. Still not liking the new job function at all. I have to go to work with people I don't know very well (after being in the same group for over six years) and who often don't get along with each other. I mess up a lot of stuff and people tell me all the time that I did something wrong and I have to fix it. Our computer system is still messed up and it creates even more stress. It's miserable and I have no desire whatsoever to be there.

Sounds very similar to trying to adjust to kindergarten, actually.

Someone wants to use the computer to use starfall, so I have to stop posting now. More later hopefully...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

stream of consciousness thoughts

Right now Jupiter is making a house behind the glider chair in the living room. She's wearing an old dress of mine which hasen't fit me in years, and I have no reason or opportunity to wear probably at any point in the future anyway. She has shredded a pink feather boa and the living room carpet is covered in an inch of feathers. Her entire dress up box is all over the floor on top of the feathers. She just informed me that her house is very stylish. My house is a mess. A big mess. We have had the discussion that it is HER JOB to pick up the feathers. She agrees that it is HER JOB to pick up the feathers. That's because it's not time to pick up the feathers yet.

Friday night I replaced the unsafe 99 prizm with a 2006 malibu Maxx. Jupiter enjoys the new car. We got home at 8pm Friday night, and Saturday afternoon when we got home from dance, errands, and riding, the car had already become ours. We'd eaten food in the car, filled it with stuff, and Jupiter had drawn in (make that on) the backseat. She tried to tell me it was an accident. I said, "You drew a PERSON." She enjoys the moonroofs. Yesterday she stared out the moonroof at the trees and powerlines and gave me a running monolouge. I like the car so far. I'm exceedingly depressed at how old Jupiter will be when I finish making payments on the car. It's been a long time since I've had car payments. But there wasn't much choice. Every time we get in the car it takes five minutes before we can leave because Jupiter is busy exploring and pushing buttons. She does love bottons and switches. Remind me to tell you the fire alarm story some day.

And that holiday I was so excited about in the last post? On Friday at 2:30 (just before I left to go get a huge gigantic car loan) we were called into a meeting and informed that we no longer have a holiday. I can see their point. I am not suprised. But I am not happy. At this moment, I don't believe anyone is happy. Most of Friday I spent reminding myself "I could have taken severance." And yet I chose not too. Remind me of why again? And guess which financial institution picked up my car loan? THE PLACE WHERE I WORK. Of course they did. Like they don't take back enough of my money every month already. I keep reminding myself that work HAS to get better. And from a logical standpoint, it would be difficult for it to get worse. And I could be unemployed, which would be bad too. So I muddle on. I miss miss miss my old job. I can't even SAY how much I miss my old job. There are not words for it. At least I can't think of them.

I put the storm windows down today. Fall weatherizing is here. The trees are beautiful. My furnace comes on at night. The trees are beautiful.

Jupiter's birthday is a week from Thursday. I have done NOTHING. Haven't been home long enough to have a chance. Good thing I put the bug in her ear about just having a small family party and maybe going to Boston for a day just after her birthday.

She is now running around in her underwear and is adding the screen from the storm door to her house. It's her "sliding door."

Now I have to finish the laundry, hopefully not have a feather battle, pay the mortgage because I forgot, make supper, fill out the hot lunch form, etc etc etc. I dream of getting caught up.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

We're still alive

Not much free time this week. Well, that's not entirely true. I have spent large amounts of time in the operations center at my place of employment. Some of it waiting for files and work and transactions to upload. Some of it frantically processing work after it finally manages to arrive. We've had people on our floor pretty much around the clock. My department has been around until midnight for the last few nights. I, fortunately, am exempt from staying until midnight. I've only been working until 6 or 6:15 pm. Which gives me enough time to pick up Jupiter, bring her home, get her ready for bed, and read a few chapters of The Magic Tree House before she falls asleep.

Hopefully after this weekend we will be back to normal. I tried to explain to her how the computers have been broken and so it's taking extra time to do all our work, but I didn't like it because I didn't get to see her very much. She misunderstood me and thought I DID like it because I didn't get to see her very much. Then no matter how I explained that she misunderstood me (probably couldn't hear me over the rumble crumble car) she was convinced that I had really said I was happy because I didn't get to see her very much. Because she won't ever admit she's wrong. Sigh.

Tuesday night (I only had to work until 5pm that night) we flew to the pool for a quick swim so she could try to work through some of her sensory issues. It wasn't nearly enough. She bounced on her bouncy ball for an hour tonight, I hear. I love the pool (even if they keep that water so darn cool) because she HAS to hold on to me, as the water is over her head, so it promotes an extra level of contact she tends to avoid. And it just makes her happy.

Tomorrow is Friday. Jupiter is pretty exhausted and displaying some anxious behavior at school the last few days...and of course our systems conversion (or lack thereof) has done nothing to help with that. In one more week we have a holiday and an extra day can't come soon enough!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jupiter's new song

Jupiter made up a new song today, as we drove up the street on the way to Mimi's.

Rumble Rumble

Crumble Crumble

The unfortunate thing is that it is 1000% accurate in regards to the car itself. It rumbles and crumbles daily.

I'm not sure she was singing about the car. She said her tummy was rumbly, but in that case I don't know what the crumble referred too. Though she does like rhyming.

Rumble rumble

crumble crumble

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Jupiter's new night light

Jupiter was after me to buy her a new night light. Well actually she wanted three nightlights. One for each outlet. So today at the grocery store she spotted a night light and asked if we could get it. I looked at it. It's 1.49. Okay. I didn't know you could buy a night light for 1.49.

She asks me what it is.

I tell her it's the Virgin Mary.

We walk a little bit.

"Hey Mom! what's a virgin?"

kindergarten homework

Tonight, at suppertime, I plowed through the mountain of paper that came home on Friday in Jupiter's Eagle News. Hot lunch form. check. book order. wrote a check. picture day order form. Holy Moses but those aren't cheap. The read a ton of books program kickoff form. Jupiter is supposed to draw a scene from her favorite book she read over the summer and tell about it. Then they'll make a bookmark out of it. Sounds simple enough, except we didn't get to it until suppertime on Sunday night. So after supper I give her the form and tell her what she is supposed to do. She can't think of one at first. Then she starts artisting away with a green crayon. I try to look, but she won't tell me about it until it's finished.

"It's the girl in the green uniform." I have to think a minute. "You know, Mom. From the army book."

Ah yes. Now I remember. The book Jupiter found on the library table last week when we went to the "children's" library.

Life as an Army Demolition Expert.

I dutifilly write Life as an Army Demolition Expert on the line that says title. I send Jupiter to her room to find the book so I can fill in the line that says author. I ask her what her favorite part of the book is so I can fill in that line. Foolishly thinking her favorite part will be the guy with the explosive sniffing dog.

"My favorite part is the girl with the big sharp sword."

But of course. Now I have to practice for a conversation with the school social worker. We read about 150 books over the summer. She likes THIS BOOK. Oh thank you, children's library on Munjoy Hill.

Although I can see her going into the army, carrying a big sharp sword. She's tough that way. Can't see her doing well with all those bossy people in boot camp telling her what to do. But then, they're not me, so she might be okay with that too.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hurray for Jupiter!!!

Jupiter stayed in her classroom by herself for almost the whole day today!!!!!!

On Monday, Mimi was outside the classroom with Jupiter in the room when one of the staff members approached her and begged her to substitute teach in one of the first grade teacher's rooms, because they had NOBODY to go into that room. One of the school secretaries, on her way through the parking lot, was blinded by the sun (the sunrise and the commute time are fairly entertwined for the next couple of weeks) and she hit one of the first grade teachers who was crossing the parking lot on her way into the building. She was not seriously hurt, but had to go to the hospital. That particular teacher's daughter also teaches in the building, so they were out two teachers and one school secretary. Jupiter was able to seperate to begin with and then she spent part of her day in 1st grade. She won the math game that the first graders played and had her own desk (the stop and think desk) so she thought it was the best thing. So I was concerned that we had to make kindergarten more appealing than 1st grade. But in the afternoon, when she chose not to return to her classroom, she missed playground time and got fairly bored.

When I went to pick Jupiter up, she had a meltdown. At least, by that point, I knew what had happened and what had triggered it..knowing that she would have to stay in her classroom by herself the next day. In case I had any doubt, she screamed it at me at the top of her lungs while we were sitting at a red light. She had to cope with a complete change in routine with no warning and no prep. And she got through it, even if the end of the day was tough. We got home, went for a walk, settled down, and then we made a book.

I had her tell me all the things her class would do the next day. Specifically. Dot to dot. Morning meeting. Reading. Phys Ed. Lunch. Recess. Centers. Snack. Recess. I had her tell me which parts made her scared. (phys ed. Lunch.) I told her that she could go to first grade for phys ed and for lunch. (the lunchroom is too loud.) We wrote down the times she could see Mimi. We wrote down on the pages after the schedule the things she could do if she got scared. Then we did a few pages with the safe adults at school she knows and trusts. Then we made a page with her friends.

All this took upwards of 90 minutes. I expected her to be awake at some point during the night, but though she woke up twice, they were very brief and she went right back to sleep. The cat jumped on her bed in the morning so she started off the day with a smile in her heart. She brought her book with her to school and she read it together with her teacher. Her teacher gave her stickers so after each page was done she could put a sticker on.

At 1:30 I had a voice mail message on my phone. I missed the call because I forgot to bring the phone with me while I was working in the storage closet. The message was that Jupiter was doing great, and was staying by herself. When I got home, I found out that she even went to phys ed. She had a few tears at the beginning, but she found her friend Amelia (one of the coaching strategies in her book) and settled down and decided that phys ed was actually quite fun. She did go to see Mimi for lunch instead of the lunchroom, but then actually ASKED if she could go back to kindergarten. She stayed for the rest of the day and waited for Mimi to pick her up.

I am amazed and so very proud at this moment. Hurray for Jupiter!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

trying the video again......

I think it worked. This is the short one, not the best one. If it truly works I'll try another one.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Jupiter was born to ride a horse

wow. this takes a whole boatload of time to upload. It's kind of a long video. Maybe too long for blogger.

There. I gave up. I'll post a picture instead.

She smiled the whole time. Except when they were trotting. Then she laughed and giggled the entire time. My sensory seeker preferred to bounce on the horse as opposed to either sitting or posting, which was a bit harder on Tinkerbelle.

It was like the best thing ever. Dance in the AM was good too...I don't have a picture of her smile when she was leaping over the "flower" in the middle of the floor, but it was a good smile. I brought my Princples of Banking homework with me, but didn't read more than a page or two.

I wish I could post the video. Maybe I'll try a shorter one and see if it posts. Of course if it does it'll probably be way at the top of the post and you'll have already seen it. Oh sometimes challenges me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Jupiter in kindergarten

Jupiter has completed five days of kindergarten. She has yet to stay at school by herself, but yesterday and today was able to stay in the classroom by herself while Mimi "volunteered" in the hallway by stuffing the kids' notice folders (swine flu information, anyone?) and creating a beautiful bulletin board outside Mrs. VerdantLand's room. Transitioning to the specials still throws her for a loop, especially since the classroom teacher doesn't stay with the kids during art, music, phys ed, or library. So the specials continue to be a source of anxiety. On Tuesday Jupiter went home with Mimi for a "lunch break." When they returned to school, the office secretary asked Jupiter what she's been doing. Jupiter answered her that she had swam in the pool and had lunch. The secretary said, "You're not going to do that every day, are you?" I had to think about that for awhile before I realized the extent to which that was the wrong thing to say. Jupiter's teacher, fortunately, is quicker than I am, and when she heard about that she promptly informed the office that Jupiter does NOT need editorial comments from the office staff about leaving school for lunch or for the day. And since after her break, Jupiter came back into that building ready to learn, as opposed to just being present and struggling to keep herself regulated, it was totally the right decision to have her go home to Mimi's for a break.

Wednesday is a half day anyway, and on Thursday she stayed a half day. But on Thursday, with the exception of art, she let Mimi leave the classroom while she stayed, so that was great work for one day. Today she stayed at school almost all day; leaving just before the final recess and dismissal.

Great great work. The secretary comment made me have a long thinking time about how much effort it takes for Jupiter to function in the school environment. When she was a baby living with a group of other babies and one or two adults, her basic needs were not met. She wasn't safe. So why WOULDN'T it be difficult for her? Especially at the beginning of the year when she hasen't had a chance to build up a level of trust with all those new adults. It dawned on me how every single interaction she has with every single adult at that school can and will affect her fear in a positive or negative way. Including when the secretaries make comments about Jupiter going home for lunch. It never occurred to me to inform them that if they sign her in or out of the office, the correct thing to say is something along the lines of "Hi Jupiter! Hope you had a great lunch!" "It's great to see you today!" I learn something new every day.

Mrs. Verdantland is extremely supportive. Despite the odd/judgemental looks my mother sees on occasion from the few staff members at the school who don't know who she is. Those are the same ones who think we should just leave her and make her understand that we're going to come back to get her. Mrs. Verdantland reminds us that WE know her better than anybody else and are the ones who knows what she needs. And agrees with us that if Jupiter's anxiety gets to the tantrum/rage level, it will severly impact her ability to be successful because the kids will treat her differently. Which is exactly what happened her first year of preschool. And is worth avoiding at all costs.

Tomorrow Jupiter starts a session of therapeutic riding. She's wanted to ride forever and I can't wait to see her smile when she gets up on that pony for the first time.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Jupiter in the Shower

"Mom, we have to get my belly button full of bubbles."

Internet Shopping

Our department added on an extra week or so because New Jersey decided they weren't ready to take on all the processes that they thought they would be. They have taken some of the work, but not all. So we have minimal work to do at the moment. We worked very hard packing and boxing everything up because we thought we would be all done, and now we have nothing.

I hate when I run out of stuff to look at on the internet. I love the internet, but doing it for seven hours a day at work gets old. I'd rather be home trying to get my house clean. (and boy does it need that.) The other day I discovered the King Arthur Flour Before I knew it I had printed out six recipes, ordered sourdough starter and a crock to keep it in. The sourdough starter was supposedly on backorder until September 2nd. I ordered it Thursday and expected it to come in a week. It came Friday. Then I had to get bottled water to feed the starter. It's like having a pet that lives in your fridge. I fed it for 24 hours and then started the first batch of bread. The dough is rising now.

It would have been a lot simpler to just go to the supermarket or whatever and BUY a loaf of sourdough bread, if I was having a craving. If I had lots of work to do, this wouldn't have happened. I wouldn't have been trolling the internet looking at recipes because they're something that the internet police have not blocked. Never mind that a nice King Arthur flour catalog came in the box and Saturday morning I drooled all over that. I can get my own yogurt machine and make my own yogurt too!!!! And I can get Jupiter her very own 7 inch wooden rolling pin. (That I might get. She loves to pretend cook. Especially with real ingredients. Elmo pointed out to me the other day that while Jupiter is forever telling me not to make her any of my "recipes" for her to eat, she's forever in the kitchen making up her own recipes.) The rolling pin has free shipping, so maybe for Christmas.

Oh, someone fell asleep. Told her she needed a quiet time. The sun is out, so after nap we can go to the playground and swing. And go to the store to buy cat litter. We're all out. Details.

Well, now I can go clean something or I can go sit in the sun and read a book for a half hour. Hmmm...there's a tough call.

church fun

Today we went to cross. Turned out it is Blessing of the Backpacks, which I didn't know until we got there so Jupiter's backpack is at Mimi's. Oh well. Lots of kids don't have their backpacks. Jupiter sits with me and her friend KK, and eats her snack in the first ten minutes. She was right. I should have packed more cheddar bunnies. At least when she's got something to nibble on, she can sit quietly. Jupiter and KK both get bored. They start poking each other. I sit between them for awhile. Then I look over at Jupiter, who has pulled out her shirt. She has a CD hidden in her shirt. I look at the ceiling. Doesn't tell me WHY she has a CD in her shirt. It's a Music Together CD..Maracas collection. She insists she's too grown up for music together CD's, so why she smuggled one to church is beyond me. I take custody of the CD so it doesn't get broken. I LIKE the music together CDs. As we leave communion, Jupiter looks at me and says, "Race you back to our seat." I say no. At the end of the service, during the announcements, Jupiter tells the other kids nearby that she is almost a teenager. The kids in the row in front of us look to me for confirmation. I tell them Jupiter is 5 and a half. Jupiter tells me that I'm too stupid to know she's almost a teenager.

And so we make our traditional trip out to the bench in the narthex for a CHAT. Fr. Tim doesn't realize that we're having a CHAT and comes over to chat. The whole bench break works a lot better when it's not the very end of the service and the narthex is full of people.

She's having quiet time now. Sunday is our only quiet time day in the new school schedule and I plan to take full advantage.

Yesterday we went to the Bounce Zone . It's essentially a big warehouse filled with myriad bouncy houses that you can go to for $7 an hour or $10 if you want to spend as long as you want. What a concept. Wish I'd thought of it myself, in fact. We spent two hours reaching our sensory threshold. She banged her head against the back seat of the car all the way to the Bounce Zone but not at all on the way home. I LOVE Bounce Zone.

Summer OT group is all done now. Kindy Step up Day is on Wednesday. First day of school is Thursday. Friday they're off for Labor Day Weekend. I can't believe it's September!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

If I can talk, I'm still alive

I think that's what she said. We were in the car on the way to Popsicles on the Playground with the Principals, and she was wiggling her loose tooth. She figured she could still talk missing teeth, so she would live.

She proceeded to lose tooth number four at the picnic table at Popsicles on the Playground with the Principals. The Principals were very happy for her, and gave her an extra popsicle. A great way to get on her good side.

Last week we had a "quick"meet and greet with Jupiter's teacher. We stayed an hour. Jupiter dragged me around the room, and Mrs. VerdantLand showed Jupiter, first thing, the place where she could go if she got anxious or needed some quiet time. We read a book there. Jupiter saw the bathroom twice. The teacher has a lot of posters hanging in the little bathroom. I better warn her Jupiter will get distracted and forget to come OUT of the bathroom. We met a couple of friends who will be in her class...nobody she already knows though.

The next day, Jupiter went back to the primary school with Mimi to drop off some empty paper towel rolls with Mrs. VerdantLand. Mimi started talking to one of the other teachers and Jupiter consented to go with Mrs. VerdantLand to their classroom WITHOUT MIMI. Mimi stayed in the hall to finish her conversation. Jupiter checked on her one time and Mimi was still in the same place, so she went back and helped her teacher and talked to her quite a bit, I hear. And then, in the car on the way to the gym, Jupiter said to me, "I'm not so scared about staying at school and Mimi being at home now."

Whoa. Did she actually just say those words??? Yes, she did. Of course its not actually the first day of school yet, but she's at least considering the possibility. And she's properly labeling her feelings to boot.

Tomorrow's the last day of summer OT group. Bummer. The OT said she would put some info on paper for Jupiter's classroom teacher about strategies. Mrs. VerdantLand said that whatever Jupiter needs us to do for her to be successful is what we will do. Quote.

We are so blessed to be where we are and in a place where people are supportive and helpful. I am grateful.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bedtime suprise

Yesterday when I was done posting to my blog, Jupiter was still awake. She had a long nap yesterday afternoon and I didn't think she would go to sleep early. And so she didn't. But when her music ended she asked me to turn the music off and lay down with her. So I did.

Sometimes that doesn't work well for sleeping. Often it deteriorates into her pushing and kicking at me. But last night she took my arm and placed it around her so we could snuggle. She made eye contact for a few minutes. Then she closed her eyes and went to sleep while we were snuggling.

It was so awesome.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

vacation pic's not taken by Jupiter

Mom, it's so hot my smile is falling down

This is what Jupiter said to me during our one and only truly hot day last summer. I thought it was such a beautiful way to express how the hot weather makes her feel. She can't stand the heat. The heat has finally shown up here and lasted a full five days. I enjoy the hot summer weather in a way most people don't. Especially my daughter. It's like it sucks the life force out of her. I understand how she feels; it's the way I feel in January when the high is 12 degrees and it's all I can do to get out of bed.

I'm back at work now. Basically finishing stuff up so the department can transfer to New Jersey. And we've started the new schedule, so I'm going to work at 7:30 and working until 3:30. At 9:30 this morning I looked at my computer and said "I've only been here two hours?"

This is not good. I know it's a necessary change, but I didn't realize the change would be so hard on ME. I was filing stuff this afternoon (because of course the wisdom dictates that we file everything in order before we take it out of the file cabinets to send either to storage or New Jersey.) and considered decorating all the file folders with glitter before sending them to New Jersey. One of my workmates then considered sending them an empty box with nothing in it, just so they can try to figure out what it was and where it went. (which reminds me of the year my sister's chorus teacher and a group of kids made up a fake kid named Hugh Simpson. They actually got a fake schedule for him with real teachers and it drove the teachers crazy until they figured out it was a joke. Anyway, back to the regurarly scheduled post.) I didn't think it was EVER going to be 3:30 today.

But tomorrow I get to leave early to take Jupiter to the dentist. Of course they didn't have any appointments the last two weeks when I didn't have to work anyway. So that's on the schedule for tomorrow. Thursday we go to school for a quick meet and greet with Jupiter's teacher. Can't believe it's almost time for school already. Where did the summer go?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

vacation update

I've been on vacation for almost two whole weeks. Of course, for me, vacation is primarily a time to be a SAHM for a change. Not always Jupiter's favorite thing. For every ounce of acceptance and quality time I manage to work in, there is at least a token disrespect/battle. And of course, last week when we went on the minitrip, even though it was fun and she enjoyed the zoo and the ferry ride past the Statue of Liberty, the change of routine was hard on her. But we deal and do what we need too, and handle the battle as it comes. We have four more days, tasked primarily to getting on our new fall school schedule. My last week at work, on a slow day, I typed up a daily schedule for both of us. The kindy teacher mailed out a packet of August homework to get the kids into a routine of doing homework every night. We got a little behind last week while we were traveling, but now we're catching up on that. Last night, homework was a battle. Tonight was okay. Along with the homework, I'm having her journal a couple sentences about the day. (still doing the writing, since she has a fear of kindergarten writing, no matter how much I tell her spelling doesn't matter for kindergarten writing.) Last night, journal was "Stupid." Tonight she liked it, since we read back through all her entries since vacation and reread them. And tonight, while she illustrated her journal entry, I assigned myself a journal entry in a different notebook to note the positive things Jupiter had done throughout the day and to share those with her. I didn't have enough room on the three lines in her journals, so have to get a different notebook for that. When I read her what I had written, she seemed pleased. Yipee!!!

Vacation recap:

Friday, July 31st. I leave work at 11am to have four hours of vacation to myself and to get my hair cut. At 11:15 am, I get a cell phone call from the hiring manager for a job (same company, different floor) I applied for a few days prior. She asks me to come in on Monday for an interview. I say yes. I get my hair cut.

Saturday, August 1st. We go to Famer's Market. Jupiter plays in the splash pool at Farmer's Market, since it's warm enough for a change. We go to the library and return the 32 library books we've managed to check out. We choose new books. We drive to Saco to go to Jupiter's friend Bella's birthday party at the place she does dance. Even though on Friday Jupiter said she was just going to watch because she "doesn't dance in front of people", she decides to participate and has a great time. We meet a girl at the party who will be in 1st grade at Jupiter's school in the fall. Jupiter now has more 1st grade friends than kindergarten friends. After the party we go to Bella's house for an impromptu play date. Jupiter thinks it's great. We get home late and exhausted.

Sunday, August 2nd. We go to Cross. We go home and have lunch and a quiet time. I start to pull the berber carpet out of the bathroom. I finish pulling the Berber carpet out of the bathroom. I pull out five million carpet tacks and the old linoleum. I discover that there is hardwood floor underneath the Berber carpet in the hallway. There is much rejoicing. I lay self stick tile in the bathroom. I should NOT be allowed to lay self stick tile. But it still looks better than what was there before.

Monday, August 3rd. We go to Aquaboggan Waterpark. (after the interview. Interview seemed to go well.) Jupiter LOVES Aquaboggan water park. A whole entire day she can play just in water. We get home at 7pm exhausted.

Tuesday, August 4th. We go to sensory camp. The OT's put up the giant stretchy swing for the kids to take turns climbing in and sliding down. Jupiter enjoys it.

Wednesday, August 5th. We drive to Connecticut and check into the hotel. Jupiter swims in the pool.

Thursday, August 6th. We take the Metro North train to the Bronx. Jupiter asks if it's the bullet train. Alas no. It is a local train. Long trip. We see the Bronx Zoo. Well, most of it.

Friday, August 7th. We take the Metro North train to Grand Central Station. We have learned about express trains. Still not the bullet train. We see the Statue of Liberty and Toys R Us. We take the train back to CT and drive home to Maine. We get home at midnight.

Saturday, August 8th. We try to sleep late. We're exhausted and we battle. When we run up to the food store, my mother happens to be standing out front talking to her neighbor. I take this as a sign from God and send Jupiter home with her while I go home to take a nap.

Sunday, August 9th. We may have done nothing. I don't remember. Wait, Jupiter slept for two hours in the afternoon and then didn't go to sleep until 10:30 pm.

Monday, August 10th. We go to Aquaboggan again, this time with Mimi, Tyotya, Auntie B, and Auntie B's three boys she's nannying for this summer. We get home late and tired.

Tuesday, August 11th. Sensory camp. The OT's hang up four net swings and the kids get in on their bellies and throw beanbags while they're swinging. The other kids give it up after 15 minutes. Jupiter stays in her swing the whole 45 minutes of that part of the session. She swings, twists herself up and lets it untwist repeatedly, then lets me swing her. The OT in charge thinks that Jupiter could truly benefit from regular OT.

Wednesday, August 12th. Jupiter plays in the morning. We get invited to go Minigolfing at the nearby funpark with Auntie B and the boys. The boys take a turn on the gocarts and Jupiter waits for a turn on the super trampoline with the harness that lets you jump really high. Jupiter is nervous, but lets the cute teenage boy strap her in the harness and when she starts to jump she gets a superhuge smile on her face. She could be a commercial. She wants one of these at our house. Me too. We go home, have a late lunch, and pick up the regular schedule by going to the playground. We meet another girl who will be in 1st grade at Jupiter's school. Jupiter goes to bed, on time, at 8pm.

This is why we need four days of just getting ourselves on schedule. Vacation is exhausting.

was going to post trampoline picture here but it's stuck on the cell phone.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Jupiter's Views of the Zoo

Jupiter does enjoy taking pictures. There are two baby gorillas in the really black picture if you can find them. The one above that is an extremely flattering picture of me. Jupiter says the next one is "Some guy's butt." I don't know. Bet he's glad his butt is now posted in the public domain. Top photo is self explanatory, but don't really know why she felt the need to photograph it.
Maybe she SHOULDN'T get her own camera for Christmas. Or if she does, I will be sure NOT to show her how to post them online.

new computer

The old laptop finally puked it up. It would only let me on a few websites and wouldn't let me least not post anything with pictures. This evening we ran up the street to Staples to get a flash drive to try to remove some stuff from the laptop, and came home with a new desktop. We got the flash drive too. The computer was in the clearance pile, but seemed to be exactly the same as the one I was looking over in the flyer except that the monitor was 19 inches instead of 21 and a half inches. Why do I need a 21 and a half inch monitor anyway?? My first tv wasn't 21 and a half inches. I thought at first this computer didn't come with a monitor at all, but Elmo had said he had one we could use, so I wasn't that fussed, and then it turned out there was this monitor right in the box. And it's so darn big, even at 19 inches, I feel like the screen is attacking me. Glad I didn't get the 21 and a half inch. And the whole system was $100 less than I had expected to pay. Since there were only two systems left in the pile, I sucumbed to the impulse. And now that I can get on the internet, I can go to the state bureau of taxation website and apply for my property tax refund to pay off some of the computer.

Finally got everything hooked up, and then had to go looking for my blog on the internet. Jupiter is taking a break having a freeze pop, and then plans to play in the computer box. And she's excited because now we have a computer which will allow her to use Starfall. Which was part of the reason we got the new computer.

It's the second week of vacation. Last week we took a 2 and a half day trip to Connecticut (stayed in Connecticut) and New York to visit the Bronx Zoo and a few Manhattan highlights. When I get the housekeeping stuff done from the new computer, I'll post some pics. Bet you can't guess which pics Jupiter took. She definitely needs her own camera for Christmas.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Autumn Leaf and the Vet

On Monday Autumn had to go to the vet. Over the weekend she was making constant trips to the litterbox, resulting in little bitty pee clumps. This cat can literally pee and poop like a dog, so I know this is not normal. From my own personal experience with UTI's, I diagnose the cat as having one and Monday afternoon we went to the vet.

Apparently everyone's pet was sick on Monday. I waited in line for 10 minutes just to tell them she was there. Then we waited. Then the vet tech brought us in the room. We waited some more. The vet came in, checked her out, and brought her out back to get a urine sample. It tested positive.

The vet offered me an option of an antibiotic injection which would be good for two weeks worth of antibiotic. It was about $10 more than the standard fight with the cat twice a day version. Totally worth it.

If only I could get the pediatrician to do that.

Bedtime battles

Jupiter has a new routine I am not taking kindly too.

It used to be that we would do our bedtime routine, read three picture books, say goodnight, turn on her music (very very loud to drown out all other stimuli), and she would rock until she fell asleep. It worked. She went to sleep.

Now, over the last few weeks, it's been: "The problem is, I just can't go to sleep." For hours. After 2 and a half hours a couple Saturdays ago, when she left her bed and climbed into mine just shy of 9pm, I grabbed a children's book off the shelf in my room. (as opposed to the library downstairs.) The book is called Happy Days on the Farm and was published in I think 1941. It came with the house, but I always used to read it when I came to visit and so it's still here. Quick synopsis, Ronnie and Ruthie are twins who live in the city with their parents, but wish they could go visit their grandparent's farm. So one day their father comes home and announces that he and their mother are going to take a trip to South America and will be gone for several months. The next day, their grandfather picks them up, they go to the farm, and the parents go to South America for several months. It never does mention why the parents went off to South America for several months. I've been very curious about that. Anyway, we read Happy Days on the Farm until 9:52 when she finally fell asleep. In my bed. Where she slept happily all night. Kicked me a lot too, but at least it was accidental for a change.

Last night it was the thunder. She also had a nap yesterday afternoon, from sheer exhaustion. We read four chapters of Little House in the Highlands until I lost my voice. Eventually I fell asleep, and she fell asleep at some point after that. The problem is not that she is not tired. She is EX. HAUST. ED. (as am I.) Right now, instead of going to sleep, she's sitting on her bed in a pile of toy horses. One night that worked. She played in her room by herself and finally bored herself to sleep.

Weather? It's actually turned warm and humid this week. She hates heat and humidity. Lack of routine in the summertime? She's just so overtired at this point she can't turn off? I don't know what to try at this point. But there MUST. BE. SOMETHING.

I would keep her up later, but her evening behavior has been atrocious. Totally incapable of making good choices. Tonight she was totally disrespectful while she was in the shower, so when she got out of the shower I handed her her nightclothes and her pull up and told her she could get herself ready, since she wasn't treating me nicely. She threw the pj's and pull up across the room and demanded that I help her. I told her that I could not help that voice, and that she could choose between getting herself ready and going to bed wet and naked if that was how she was going to speak to me. She demanded about 20 more times, finally managed a nice voice. We went back in the bathroom. She got angry because the pull up she threw was now in the still damp tub, and wanted me to get her another one. I'm sorry. It's wet because you made the choice to throw it and that's where it landed. So you can't have a different pull up tonight. You'll have to wear that one. She didn't like that either. And so on..and so on. She did actually settle down enough to have her three picture books. We said goodnight, I turned on the music, and 20 minutes later the rigamarole started. She can't rock because she's too tired. (so go to sleep!! ) She just can't go to sleep.

I can. I can go to sleep.

She's still playing with the horses.

Two weeks of vacation start tomorrow. In less than 24 hours. We'll have 16 days to beat this thing.

Here she comes...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

down dog at the beach

the real story behind the picture

I forgot I had this picture on my cell phone from the first trip to the ocean this year.

Looks beautiful, doesn't it? The picture doesn't really show the 22 mph wind and ensuing wind chill factor. It wasn't nearly as warm as the picture looks. Pretty darn chilly, in fact. I froze. Jupiter had no complaints about being cold. I had to bribe her off the beach by offering to go to the pier and get a slice of Bill's Pizza.

Probably why I managed to get a parking spot that day. As we walked through the dunes, Jupiter stopped to survey the ocean, and I saw the colors of the grass and the water and the sail and Jupiter's boogie board, and had to whip out my phone and take a picture.

Oh yeah, the boogie board. I was in such a hurry I didn't actually GET the boogie board in the picture. Imagine the multicolored boogie board at the end of the black string. That was the photo composition in my head. This is what I pulled off. She's not generally receptive to posing for a retake. I did manage to get her to redo a down dog pose on the beach last Sunday, but I had to deal a snack bag of chips for it.

okay, I can't get the down dog picture to post here. will post next.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tubaville's adoption contest

Hey readers,

For those of you whose lives are impacted in any way by adoption, Tubaville is looking for your thoughts. There are prizes!!

Go herehttp:// and comment your thoughts.

Go now.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

the amazing properties of the ocean

Big wave coming!!

You should hear her happy shriek

Gonna be a surfer!

We have FINALLY made it to the ocean. Saturday we were pushing it a little bit, since the wind was blowing about 22 miles per hour. It was a little cold, unless you happened to be Jupiter, in which case you found it exilarating and thrilling. Jupiter wanted to go to the lake instead, but when we got to the ocean she was thrilled by all the sand, and then the waves! She stood in the water and laid in the water and let the waves rhythmically crash into her over and over and over. Sensory input, anyone? And she came home like a different kid. All morning Saturday she was prickly and arguing about every little thing.

Sunday Jupiter was polite, kind and undemanding. All day. She gave me two compliments and I didn't even have to hint for them. We didn't have to do any behavior managing ALL DAY. We also went back to the ocean, since the state park pass which travels with Jupiter over the summer happened to not be in residence. So I had to cough up $10 to park in the municipal lot (better not hear anything about the city of Scarborough's budget not balancing) when there was no free street parking. And it wasn't even windy and cold. She crashed in the waves some more and layered herself in wet sand, then rinsed it off, then rolled around in the dry sand so she could go rinse that off. Oh yes. We saw a dead seagull washed up on the beach. We saw its bones. That was one of her favorite parts :)

I want to live at the ocean some days. This coming Sunday has potential to be another beach day.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I THINK it's a compliment

On Monday I dropped Jupiter off before going to work. While we were at the front door doing the Goodbye Ritual (knock on the door five times, then two times, wave through the little window in the door, then wave when I get in the car, and flash the lights while backing down the driveway and avoiding the trees at the end of the driveway.) she said, "Mom. Your earrings are pretty."

"Thanks! That's so nice of you to say!" (trying to emphasize this.)

"When I'm a teenager and you're dead, I'm going to wear them."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Last day of school

I sent Jupiter to school for three extra weeks. I wanted to send her all summer just to keep her in that mode, but it didn't happen. She does start sensory camp the week after next, so that will be something. But her heart is sad because she's going to miss her friends. And tomorrow she is going to make up a song to sing them on Friday when it's her last day.

The transition is a little tough. She's also extra tired, so seeing more of the spitting and hitting than I've seen in months, between the tiredness and school ending. I'm intrepreting it as a temporary regression and concentrating on getting us through it and to the other side.

CDS has scheduled Jupiter's IEP meeting for next week. On June 30th. Which is the very last day they could schedule it, because as of July 1st the new school year starts and Jupiter will be officially under the public school umbrella instead of early intervention. I understand this was partially because the neuropsych report was not complete until yesterday. (diagnoses..ADHD combined type and Anxiety disorder-not specified) Dr. P the neuropsych asked if there was going to be a school representative present at the meeting. The school representative who is legally supposed to be present, but the slight problem that school is now closed for the summer may cause logistical issues.

Tomorrow I have to leave Caseworker M a message (because heaven forbid your caseworker should actually TAKE a phone call) to see if she's invited anyone from the school to be present. Since the official notification I got from her did not include anybody from the school, I'm guessing she didn't. So I have four days to get SOMEBODY from the school to be there.


After the IEP meeting Jupiter and Mimi and I are going to the OT's to meet the OT and see the room before Sensory group starts. I told the OT if Jupiter didn't meet her ahead of time, Jupiter was not going to be willing to participate in the group. And for $225 out of pocket, I would really enjoy it if she were to participate in the group.

Hopefully going strawberry picking this weekend.....have to find an organic field because Jupiter eats every berry she picks.

weather blog

sorry I haven't posted lately. If I had, it would look something like this.

Friday June something. It's raining. Again.

Saturday the day after. It's not raining. But apparently I have having some odd reaction to this antibiotic that makes me sensitive to sunlight because I have to keep going indoors. On the day it's not raining. How is that fair?

Monday after's raining.

Tuesday. the extended forecast on the National Weather Service website says clouds, showers, and drizzle for the next four days. No joke. You've got to be kidding me.

Saturday. We're going to a parade. It's supposed to rain. It doesn't rain. Instead we get sunburned because it didn't rain and i was planning on rain.

Sunday. Rain's back.

Monday. Still raining.

Tuesday. make it stop!! make it stop!! make it stop!!!

Wednesday. They say the sun will come out tomorrow afternoon.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

what to do???

It's not a life question in this context, really.

Jupiter had to get up early this morning for the first time since Saturday. This afternoon after lunch she went to the lake with Mimi and B. I would have gone to meet them at the lake, but apparently I haven't figured out all the intracacies of the cell phone I've had since February. I didn't get the call until 3:30, when I got to the house to pick her up and the car was gone. They were already leaving the lake at that point, so I went home to wait for them and to mow as much lawn as possible in 20 minutes before the rain and drizzle come back tomorrow.

Jupiter ate some strawberries while she was waiting for her fish sticks. She ate half her fish sticks. Then we looked for her missing tooth. She found the missing tooth in about two minutes. She ran to put the no longer missing tooth under her pillow so the tooth fairy can come again. Then at 5:02, she said she was ready for bed.

She brushed her teeth. I offered to read her a story. She said tomorrow. She got into bed and turned her music on and said good night.

By 5:30 she was asleep.

Now it's 6:31. I'm not quite sure what to do with myself now.

Monday, June 15, 2009

After the Neuropsych

So last Friday, after the neuropsych appt, we went to do some errands since we were already in Portland. I needed to go to the library to return a book (somebody else has dibs on The Out of Sync Child has Fun , so I couldn't renew it.) and to get a new library card issued. We had the option of going to the small, very busy branch near the neuropsych's office, or the Children's Library branch on the other side of town. Since it's Portland, and normally it's possible to get to the other side of town in ten minutes, we decided to go to the Children's branch because we just like it better.

Just before the highway entrance, I decided not to take the highway and changed lanes. Just past the highway entrance, we went around a curve. From which I could see the freight train blocking the intersection. It's a one way street, so we sat and watch the train.

We had a conversation about how trains better for the environment than cars. (unless, possibly, the entire city is bisected by a train and there are 5000 idling cars by the railroad tracks.)

I read her a sign labeled "Diabetes Center." We had a conversation about diabetes, sugar, and insulin.

The train moved on. We drove past the park and for some reason went up the hill to Monument Square. Guess I forgot about the short way. At Monument Square we got stuck in construction traffic from the remodeling of the main library branch.

We had a conversation about the monument in the square. We talked about slavery and Abraham Lincoln.

We drove back down the hill by Whole Foods. We had a conversation about Jupiter's birthmother and why she couldn't keep Jupiter when she was a baby.

We went back up the hill on the East End. We got out of the car and walked into the library.

The power had just gone out. (which, if I had just taken the highway to begin with, woudln't have mattered, because we would already have been done at the library and on our way out.)
The librarians were checking people out by hand and writing down the info. But since I didn't have my card and needed a new one, that wasn't going to work for us.

We hung out for awhile and read a few books. Then I decided we should cut our losses and head back to the other branch library. So we got back in the car and got on the highway this time to head back accross town.

The other library is on a street with about 8 schools. At 3pm, the entire street is a school zone. So I took the highway an extra exit and backtracked towards the library.

We got stuck in some utility work construction the intersection before the library. We sat. And sat.

I love how, some days, God decides I need to practice patience.

Anyway, we made it to the busy branch library and they gave me a new library card. We picked out some new books. We were going to go to Target after, but I changed my mind because it was 4pm and we'd taken two hours to go to the library. But hey, we got ONE errand done. Who needs to go to Target and the bank, right?

Jupiter fell asleep in the car on the way home. I managed to stay awake.

Tooth Fairy Toofer

It's been an eventful day here in Rain. (I'm calling my state that until the sun manages to come out for more than 12 minutes. Totally unrelated to blog topic. Just venting.)

This afternoon I was Wiibowling and Jupiter was getting ready to play with her new Bratz dolls and Barbie horse. She asked me to put the bridle on the horse so while I was doing that, all of a sudden Jupiter was in tears. I hadn't heard her do anything and couldn't tell what had happened..then her mouth opened and there was a big old gap there. Her TWO bottom front teeth were gone. TWO!!! (The tooth fairy, btw, is SO not prepared for a lost tooth this week. To say nothing of TWO teeth. What's the going rate for that?) I couldn't figure out what she had done to lose the two teeth. I mean, I was RIGHT THERE. She didn't bang her head on was like she was just sitting there and the two teeth were gone.

She was pretty upset at first. There was a fair amount of blood and it was a little scary so she cried a little bit while we got the bleeding almost stopped and I gave her a freeze pop to finish it off. Now she's all over that and SO EXCITED that she lost TWO teeth. She can't wait to tell EVERYBODY.

(I'm excited too. I was actually HERE when she lost her first tooth. I DIDN'T MISS IT!!!!)

So far we've only managed to find one tooth. The other one is somewhere in the vicinity of the couch. The one she found was on the opposite end of the couch than what we had expected, so I don't know where the other one will turn up. The one we found is safely enclosed in a gladware container, since she was anxious to put it under her pillow and I couldn't deal with loosing it again. And I've been way too good at loosing things this month for comfort.

Her two top teeth were the ones that were actually wiggly. I hope we get a little time before those come out...I'm not ready yet. After we got the bleeding stopped, she wanted to go out and practice riding her two wheeler. But it started to rain again....which I was happy about at that moment. I could just see her losing her balance and knocking out the other two teeth and the tooth fairy would have to go get a payday loan (just kidding).

It turns out she was sitting on the couch and had one end of her stylish scarf in her mouth (let's say it together...IF IT'S NOT FOOD, IT DOESN'T GO IN YOUR MOUTH. I keep trying.) and moved too quickly so the other end of the scarf got caught on something and when she moved, out came the teeth.

Oh, now she's trying to get the cat interested in her lost teeth. the cat doesn't seem interested.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

spider bites

Early Saturday afternoon, I noticed an odd shaped series of small painful bumps along my abdomen, where the top of my pants are. There were five of them, in a square shape, one in each corner and one approximately in the middle. I assumed they were spider bites. Remember how my dryer broke and I strung up the clothesline in back of my house? Well, I felt so environmental and virtuous that even after the dryer got fixed, I kept on using the clothesline. (at least until the weather pattern brought in low clouds, fog, and drizzle for days at a time.) Apparently a spider found its way into my jeans and didn't like it when I also found my way into my jeans.

The area around the bites was a little red, but I kind of expected that with five bites and didn't pay much attention. On Monday I started feeling weird. Kind of off balance and just weird. On Tuesday, back at my class, I still felt that way, and on the way home I got a chill. After Jupiter went to sleep I borrowed the farm animal thermometer and checked my temperature. Yup. A fever. And the red rash was definitely bigger. So Wednesday, two hours after I got to work, I called the doctor. Three hours after I got to work, I left to take myself to the doctor. 20 minutes of while I was at work I spent trying to print out a temporary copy of my health insurance card since I don't have new ones yet (see previous post..or following depending on how they actually post). The health insurance CSR's, btw, don't have access to a copy of my health insurance card. How's that??? Keep in mind, I'd been out of work all day Tuesday at a class, today I'm leaving early to take my bug bites to the doctor, and on Thursday I'm leaving at noon to take Jupiter to her Neuropsych appt. (and on Monday I have the day off for kindergarten screening and on Tuesday I have my class again. good thing I have eleven years of service and lots and lots of paid time off.)

I had explained everything to the triage nurse when I called them. Then when I got in the exam room, I got to explain it again to the intake nurse. Who, when I showed her the rash, went "GOOD LORD!" Dear intake nurse, sucking in your breath and saying "GOOD LORD" is not reassuring to a patient who is convinced she may be dying from spider venom. (just so you know.) She left and the doctor came in. Yup, I got to explain it all again. He ruled out shingles and determined I have a "skin infection" from whatever it was that may have bit me. He also thought the bite pattern is pretty. He prescribed augmentin. He outlined the rash in black sharpie dots so I would know if it continues to spread. If by Friday there is no improvement, I need to come back to they can give me an antibiotic injection.

I left there and drove to the pharmacy to get my antibiotics, so I would be able to squeeze two doses of antibiotics in before bedtime. Since it's been a few years since I've needed to fill any prescriptions for myself, I had to go through the new customer dance with the paper copy of my insurance card. The pharmacy substitued something in place of the augmentin. Dear insurance company, If the doctor had wanted me to have whatever it was you chose to give me, that's what he would have typed in the electronic transmittal. Just so you know.

I've been on the antibiotics for 30 hours now. I'm not dizzy and I don't have a fever, so that's an improvement. The rash was bigger this morning, but I think it's starting to recede. I think it's gone back within the limits of the sharpie outline, and it's a little less scary red too. So I'm hopeful.

My new plan is to hang the clothes out to dry, then stick them in the dryer for just ten minutes on high heat, to kill bugs.


Life has been too entertaining for words lately. Plenty to blog about....nowhere near enough time!!

So I slept late, and I went to my class on Tuesday. Yeah, over a week ago...bear with me. During the lunch break the sun was actually shining, so I decided to go sit out in the parking lot near my car. I spent a minute or two debating if I should bring my purse with me or leave it in the meeting room. I took it with me. I sat outside for awhile, went to the afternoon class session, and when class ended at 4:15, I bolted from the room (it was hot and my mild eyestrain was acting up and I had a headache) and went to the car to make a quick trip to the next door walmart to buy some eyedrops before I attempted to drive home.

Two minutes later, in the walmart parking lot, I'm searching the car for my purse. No purse. 90 seconds later, I'm back at the classroom, looking frantically under the table. No purse. I check the parking lot where my car purse. So I decide the person sitting next to me at the class, who works on my floor, saw that I had left it and brought with her. I find my way home without buying eyedrops.

Next day, my coworker comes in and I ask her if she happens to have seen my purse the day before. She says no. Guess she doesn't have it then. I start calling places. The place we had the class doesn't have it. The restaurant next door. nope. the pet store next to the restaurant. nope. The police department. Nope.

After work, I drive out of my way back to the town where the class was. I park in the same parking spot and walk the route between there and walmart on foot, checking curbs and ditches. I check with the walmart service desk. Nope. I buy a new wallet at Walmart since I'm there.

I conclude that the purse is almost certainly completely lost and drive home. I stop at Verizon Wireless to ask them if there's a number I can call to get my $50 phone rebate card resissued because it's lost.

It's a funny thing about the phone rebate card. They sent it to me last winter, when I had to replace my cell phone when IT got lost. (It turned up in the spring, in the neighbors yard, in a few pieces, having gone through the snowblower blades.) I kept it on the HIGHSHELF, waiting to be part of a Nintendo Wii purchase. As a Easter/Mom's Day present, we got a nintendo Wii, so I decided I would use the rebate card towards the Wiifit, which I really want. I took the rebate card down from the HIGHSHELF so I could put it in my purse. Then, shortly after a cleaning binge in which lots of miscellaneous paper found its way to the recycle bin, I couldn't find the rebate card. A few days later, I found the rebate card. I put it in my purse so I wouldn't lose it again.

Two days later, the whole purse was lost. I think the rebate card had a vanishing charm on it that just got stronger and stronger.

It's been nine days now. Nobody has tried to use anything that was in the purse. Nobody has contacted me in regards to it. It has vanished into the great unknown. I'm now in the process of getting everything that was in the purse reissued. Probably won't happen with the chuck e cheese gift cards. I have a paper copy of a license with no picture on it, because they have to send it to me in the mail. Don't ask my what the logic is on that one. And I can only go to stores where they take checks, because I still have those. I haven't written this many checks in years. It's almost fun to write checks again.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I get to stay up late!!

On the first four Tuesdays of June, I'm taking a training class. It's about something to do with supervision. To be honest, I don't care all that much. It's something to take so I can reach a goal on my self appraisal next spring when reviews and bonuses come up. I've been supervising people since I was 18. But since my job title does not currently include the word supervisor, here I am. Or there I will be tomorrow.

But the class has a couple good points.'s closer to my house than actual work. (and it in fact is within sight of the CDS office. I'll be able to see them from the window. Maybe she'll need a copy of a missing fax and I can walk up to the door when I'm still on the phone with her.

And, it doesn't start til 8am tomorrow. The rest of the classes are even better...they don't start until 8:30. That means I don't have to have Jupiter out of the house until 7:15 tomorrow morning. That's a whole two hours later than normal. And it means I don't have to get up at 4am. I undoubtedly will be up at 4am anyway, either going to lie down with Jupiter when she wakes up, or going back to my own bed after I wake up.

I probably won't like it when I'm still in the class at 4pm. But I better get used to it anyway, because come August after vacation, my early morning hours are changing. In the interest of Jupiter making (eventually) a successful transition to All day K, I will be changing my work hours. Perhaps I should share with my boss the fact that I plan to change my hours a little earlier than originally planned. When we are home for two weeks, Jupiter will automatically transition into sleeping later, so I figure I might as well work with it, instead of transitioning back to early early mornings, and then back to later mornings when school starts. This way, she'll be on the new schedule a full month before school starts. And then we can focus on adding school to the new schedule.

I'm lucky I have an understanding boss. I'm trying to move from my current work location to one closer to my home, for the same company. I've been trying to do this for a couple years, without success. The trick is, now, to find a job that they're willing to hire me for, that doesn't involve taking a pay cut. It's a very very small window, as it turns out. Even if you have worked for the company for 11 years and have great yearly reviews and prevent over a million dollars in losses annually. None of the jobs I can apply for require preventing a million dollars in losses anually. I'm debating between applying for the job I really would like, that I know would pay more, and the job I think I might actually get a call back for, which may or may not pay the same as I make now. Which I won't know until I actually get a call back and know who is doing the hiring and what they're willing to pay. Gone are the days when I could just call the hiring manager and ask them my questions and save us both wasting a lot of time. And when the rule is you can only apply for one job at a time, the lack of information becomes more frustrating.

But now it's after 9pm, and this morning I WAS up at 4am, and I can't focus on the screen anymore. Time for bed....and maybe 8 whole hours of sleep. zzzzzzzz