Wednesday, January 28, 2009


That's the sound of peace reigning.

Seriously today, a whole different kid. She gave me a hug and a kiss when I went to work, didn't make a fuss when I picked her up..which was especially good considering I was three hours early in that regard, and we mellowed out all afternoon. We did a few stretchy exercises and watched an old Lassie episode on demand. She ate her whole bowl of fried rice at supper, jumped on her mini trampoline for awhile, got into bed, we read four books, and she went to sleep. Oh wait, I forgot to mention the hug and kiss goodnight...

She slept for ten hours..I slept for 8 whole entire uninterrupted hours. What an amazing difference sleep can make...hopefully now we can look on the bright side of life (I'm singing the song in my head) and keep the streak going.

Going to sleep early again in fact, just in case I have to get up at 3:30 and shovel my way out of the frozen tundra. This morning the forecast skipped the whole "inches" thing in snow accumulation and just went with feet. As in 1-2 feet. But it seems to be changing over to some sleet/freezing rain, so hopefully we'll be on the low side. It hasen't been warm enough to melt the snow I piled up in front of my living room window after the last snow..the window is covered with snowbank til about halfway up. Ahh, the joy of winter in Maine. At least it's supposed to get warmer soon. If it gets to 35 degrees, I'll probably feel hot.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jupiter on Defiance


The critical eye lady at Walmart

Jupiter is still dysregulated. Despite my best efforts, which at this moment appear to be perfectly lousy. She glared me right out the door this morning, because I wouldn't let her tear around the house and wake up the people who were still sleeping, so she could change out of the warm yet apparently non stylish clothes I dressed her in this morning. If it had been remotely warm enough, I probably would have put her in the car in a pull up this morning. However. She also informed me that I am never going to be in a fashion show. How very true. Can't argue with that one.

This afternoon we had to meet at the Hannaford parking lot because my sister was going from job one (the ceramic paint shop, which Jupiter normally loves and which normally puts her in a super mood when she gets to go there) too job two. Last night, I told Jupiter that when I picked her up, we would go to the store to look for earplugs or earmuffs for Friday night. We're invited to a basketball game Friday night with real live basketball players and Jupiter is very excited about going to see a real game. But I know the buzzer and squeeky shoes will drive her nuts.

So when I met my sister and Jupiter, the first words I got were "She's grumpy." She's exhausted..I can see it. Yet, I already said we could go to Walmart today. I have to follow through. I have to give her the chance, even though I can only guess how it's going to end.

23 minutes later we're in Walmart, and Jupiter is displaying all her defiance, with a dazzling array of side dishes. The older lady walking by gave me a look when Jupiter told me, "I'm going to bite you." The same lady was at the checkout counter when I was leading a crying Jupiter out of the store because I wouldn't give her one more chance to make a good choice. She'd had chances, she'd had warnings, and still. To her credit, she was trying to calm herself as we were leaving. Good thing, since we were walking by a policeman right about then.

I sat her down on a bench in the doorway to get her coat back on her. Or at least try. A Walmart checkout lady keeps giving me looks through the glass when Jupiter tries to scratch me one more time for good measure. I can almost hear her saying how I have no control over my child. I think how ironic it is that the county CDS office is just accross the parking lot. The very same CDS office whose staff have screened my child three times and have seen no need for my child to receive services. Since she can make a stack of blocks, hold a pencil correctly, and has good speech, she's all good. They just called me two days ago because Jupiter's latest school has referred her, yet again, to CDS. Am I interested in a screening? I tell them yes please, and tell them she has a file already. I'm waiting for them to call back. Again.

She's asleep now..and I am soon to follow. I am worn out. I am tired. Nothing I try right now seems to help. Tomorrow it's supposed to snow, and possibly even be above 20 degrees. My training class for work got cancelled because of the scheduled snow, so I will hopefully be home early, and maybe we can play outside for awhile before it gets dark.

Positive note of the day: In between bedtime battles, Jupiter let me give her nose kisses. We were very silly and giggly for all of two minutes. But they were two good peaceful happy minutes!

Now I'm going to read a chapter of BCLC before I go to sleep.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Future Nudists of America

My child is a future nudist.

Even though it's the depths of winter, and I don't remember the last time the thermometer went above freezing, Jupiter doesn't want to wear clothes. She does wear them to school and when we leave the house. But when we're home, she's generally running around in her underwear. At bedtime, she's wearing a pull up. As soon as she hits the blankets, she wants the pj's off.

She's pretty warm blooded, so the cold doesn't seem to bother her much. Every morning when I get her up, she whines about being cold though. She's just more comfortable in her own skin than anything else. I suppose it might be partly because her skin is dry, despite the lotion I slather on there semi regularly. It might be more regularly if I didn't have to chase her around the house to do it. I suppose it might also be because it's been so cold lately and we've been inside so much lately she's not even close to getting her sensory requirements, and just wearing the clothes is making her nuts. She has a couple of supersoft blankets that she likes to feel next to her skin. If it soothes her and relaxes her, it's all good.

I don't know how she does it. I had to wear long underwear under my clothes today before I could even contemplate going outside to start the car. (which I just remembered I haven't put in the garage yet. I have to go do that.) How she can be semi naked in January is beyond me. But it works for her, and therefore is better for both of us. She's asleep, and content. And at least, wearing a pull up.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Straw that broke the Mama Camel's Back

It's been a long week. Up late, painting, busy, inauguration watching, looking for my living room floor kind of week, short on sleep kind of week.

For the most part, I've learned to live with Jupiter's mean side. I can't think of the "nice" way to say it right now. Tact and empathy are not her strong suit. She calls it like she sees it. She is not submissive or obedient. She wants her way. And I do love her strength and determination. But then there are days...

On Friday, I got out of work early and stopped at the gym, then went to pick up Jupiter. She was laying in her bed at Mimi's house, and said hi to me, then when I tried to elaborate on the conversation, she yelled "GO AWAY!!" at me. I tried to stand up to that, but she yelled, "NO!!! GOOOOO" at me. So I left, already upset. But then she yelled, "MIMIIIIIIIIIIII".

So okay, she wanted Mimi. She had a two hour nap that day, she loves Mimi, and they're very close. And when I show up, she knows it's going to be a transition time, and that sets her off too. Normally I would just give it ten minutes and try again, and she'll be ready to include me.
But unfortunatly, aided by a heavy dose of of short on sleep and PMS, with a side of it's-really-freaking-cold-and-stupid-January-is-never-going-to-end, it threw me over the edge into tears. Once in a great great while, I get that nirvana when I come in the door and Jupiter says "MOMMMM" and comes to me. But not normally.

All week, I've gotten the opposite end of the spectrum. The whole litany of complaints and name calling. I'm icky, smelly, and weird. Stupid. And her current personal favorite: "It's your fault." Everything, no matter how far away from her I am at the time, is my fault. But she assures me that she doesn't talk like this to everybody, just me.

Sigh. She did lighten up a little bit last night, finally, when we were reading all 15 new library books, and asked to sleep in my bed. She took her pull up off Friday night because it was giving her wedgies and promptly wet the bed, so I had to wash her king size cloud comforter. (She uses king size because it provides heavy weight for her to lay under). The king size comforter takes about three dryer cycles to dry and wasn't ready when she was going to bed on Saturday. So since she wanted to be near me, and wasn't calling me anything mean, I let her sleep in my bed. She kicked me all night (not maliciously, just because I was there) and I feel like I slept a total of three hours.

Today has been peaceful for the most part. She's being demanding, and impatient when I don't immediately stop what I'm doing to get what she needs "RIGHT THIS SECOND." or preferably, before. I'm trying to look beyond this fact to the value of changing the dymanic. And later, we're going to bake a cake. She's been planning parties for the goldfish, which generally means she needs a cake. She'll plan parties til she gets someone to bake one. And she wants to help paint the bathroom, so maybe we'll work in some more painting. Fortunately I'm replacing the floor as well, so we don't have to be all that neat about it. In some spots. She'll get bored pretty quickly, but she'll feel like she helped and that will make her feel good.

She's just been telling me how much she loves the kitty. She and the kitty are sisters. She's having a big proud moment because she remembered her gentle hands and the kitty hasn't run away from her today. I'm so proud of her gentle hands!!! Maybe we can find a gentle word or two in there to go with them....

Monday, January 19, 2009

No more Hole in the Wall

The Hole in the Wall is a thing of the past. My brother and brother in law very very kindly gave up ALL of their long weekend to come to my house and spend many many hours fixing my bathroom wall. And the vanity, which I thought would be an easy project as long as the other stuff was getting done. As it turned out, the vanity wasn't so easy.

But now, I have a nice thick white surround. The original salmon tub is still in place. Turns out, the tub is ceramic over cast iron (I had no idea. I never saw any cast iron so I just assumed it was something not iron) and weighs 600 pounds and is next to impossible to remove. So we just put a white surround around the salmon tub. Went to Home Depot on Saturday and checked out with three carts/trolleys etc...a whole parade at check out. On Sunday in the midst of a raging snowstorm we had to tie the surround we bought on Saturday on top of the car and bring it back to Home Depot because it had two broken pieces...and it wasn't going to fit as well as I had thought. We were over an hour in Home Depot making a better choice. A choice made somewhat longer because someone had opened a box and mixed up pieces of two different surround sets, so we thought it really wasn't the one that I wanted and it took a lot of time to determine which set was which and which was the one I really wanted. Which was the thickest one they had, incidenteally. Having a five year old who likes to pretend she is a monkey/gorilla/etc....I wasn't going for any of the cheap flimsy sets they sell. And why do they sell those?? I looked at one and decided that the plastic bags I had taped over the hole were thicker.
But anyway, I'm rambling. My contribution to the project, other than purchasing, was about 15 minutes of primer painting this morning...and yet I am exhausted. So is in no way qualified as a quiet, relaxing weekend, but she's handled it well. She had my sister's dogs to play with which she liked...Big the Giant German Sheperd, and Mischa, the hypervigilant Belgian Malinois. And today we went out in the snow for two hours. We disagreed somewhat about where an appropriate place for her to dig would be, since she likes to dig and put the snow back IN the driveway. Which doesn't work for me so much. She climbed snowplow mountains and a tree, and we walked up to the vacant house up the street and she rolled all the way down their driveway. After which she was much more relaxed. She ate her pizza supper at 3:40pm today, but it worked because she actually ATE her supper. Sometimes by the time I get her home and supper made, she's too tired to have any interest in supper whatsoever.

The bathroom still has some cosmetics to be completed. Painting, and the floor, primarily. My bathroom carpet still needs to be removed and replaced. It will happen...but I'm guessing I won't be ready to tackle that for a couple of weeks. I found it disorienting to have my house completely rearranged and I'm ready for a break. Back to work even sounds a little good.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I got this on an email at work and thought it was worth sharing: (though probably everyone already got this on THEIR email at work...)

20 Tips for Making 2009 a Positive Year!By America's Energy Coach Jon Gordon

1. Take a 10-30 minute "Thank you" walk every day. While you walk practice gratitude. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.

3. Buy a TIVO, tape your late night shows and get more sleep - it's the ultimate energizer.

4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement: My purpose is to___________ today.

5. Live with the 3 E's. Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy.

6. Read more books than you did in 2008.

7. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, tai chi, qigong and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.

8. Do the "one thing" you have always wanted to do.

9. Dream more while you are awake.

10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less foods that are manufactured in plants.

11. Mentor someone and be mentored by someone.

12. Engage in daily random acts of kindness.

13. Clear your clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing positive energy into your life.

14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.

18. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements:
I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished____________.

19. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

20. Enjoy the ride. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy it.

A quote for the Moms with kids who challege us

Which is pretty much all Moms, right?

Last night Jupiter was up for two hours. When she first woke up I heard her rocking and singing, and I went into her room and she very succinctly told me to "Go Away!" So I did. An hour later I heard her in the living room, so I got up to send her back to bed. She wanted me to lay down with her, so I did. She wanted me to rub her back, so I did, but I didn't (or couldn't) do it strongly enough to satisfy her. She was hungry, since she refused to eat much of her supper before bed, so she wanted a banana. With the ends cut off because she doesn't like the ends. She was itchy from her eczema, so I put lotion on her legs and knees. She didn't want the lotion, but I didn't give her a choice. I BEGGED her to go to sleep. Pleaded. Unable to keep the impatience and exhaustion out of my voice, even though my brain knows that if anything, that will keep her from going to sleep. Finally she settles down enough to stop moving. She lays her leg over my body to keep me in position. She says she's thinking bad things so I tell her to think of something good instead. Finally, she does go back to sleep. When I get back to my own bed its 4am, and my alarm goes off in 20 minutes. So I set the alarm so it goes off ten minutes later, take a quick nap, and drag myself out of bed to get ready for work.

At 5:15, I have to wake up the child I just spent an hour trying to get to sleep. But since she's so tired, she tolerates more rocking chair time and actually sleeps while I rock her. And even though she's short on sleep, she's in a good mood when I leave for work. So the nighttime of no sleeping has served a purpose in her; the extra contact between us has settled her to some extent for a time. I feel bad about the exhaustion and impatience in my voice earlier. Of course she needs this time; even if it's the middle of the night

While I'm cruising up the turnpike, way late for work but oh well, I remember a line in an adoption book I read while I was waiting for trip 2 to Russia. (For five months, I could only read things that either had Russia or Adoption as subjects. ) So I pulled it out tonight to remind myeself exactly what it said.

From: The Waiting Child~How the faith and love of one orphan saved the life of another by Cindy Champnella:

Cindy receives a letter from another Mom that says in part: "I think about you and the challenges that parenting such a hurt child must bring. You are obviously the person that _____ (Cindy's daughter) needs to help her come to terms with her painful past. Special children like these are given to the parents who can cope..."

I was chosen to be a special Mom. Cindy refers to this as "an enormous hug" and so it is for me as well.

The book is very good by the way. You will laugh and cry in the reading of it, and it remains on my bedstand bookshelf, as opposed to being relegated to the library of books in the basement.

Jupiter is asleep now. Maybe later she'll call for me to come lay down with her when she wakes up. I kind of hope she does....even if I hope it doesn't take two hours for her to go back to sleep :).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Water in the pool

Yesterday, it snowed again. Big suprise there. After we got home from church and the Sunday School teacher/greeter meeting, I shoveled the driveway and Jupiter played outside in the snow. She created a "decoration" out of a piece of rope, a funnel, and a drainpipe connector and insisted that I hang it on the maple tree a little ways from the bird feeder.

Then we went to the pool at St Joseph's College. The late Harold Alfond gave lots of money to several Maine colleges and provided sports arenas and aquatic centers. So the pool is in a great facility just a few miles from my house. And Jupiter LOVES the water. Every time we go there, she gets in a giddy giggly mood for the first few minutes when she's in the water again. She can jump in the water to her heart's content, swim, splash, and just relax in the water. We can only go on Sundays because they don't have afternoon open swim during the week :( or I would take her more often. And yesterday she did fancy swimming!! I'm not sure when she learned to do that...she did frog kicks and backfloats and everything. But she is not interested in taking swimming lessons either...unless its the Polliwogs class where I can be in the water with her, but which she has already taken and completed four seperate times.

My favorite part of the pool, (well second favorite part, my absolute favorite part is hearing Jupiter's pure happy laugh when she first gets in the water) is the sauna. After we are done swimming and showering, we can go in the sauna for a few minutes and I can be totally and completely warm. Even my toes. If Jupiter wasn't with me, I'd probably pay the pool entrance fee just to go sit in the sauna for an hour. And of course, yesterday when I forgot and opened my eyes under water, she asked me if I would have to put my "eyetacks" back in. They do sometimes feel like eyetacks too...I think it's a much better name for them!!

Speaking of water, I've been checking out the Coco Key resort online. It's an indoor water park with slides and kiddy pools. Jupiter adored Aquaboggan this summer, so I have wondered if it would be a good place to take her for a day. The website hooked me, big suprise, with the promise of "every day is sunny and 84 degrees." Sold!!! I wonder if I could get a winter job there....a long commute but TOTALLY worth it!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Done with Salmon

Well, apparently Jupiter is also finished with the salmon bathroom tile.

She was getting out of the bath tonight, and decided to use the built in soap holder thing as a jungle gym type of thing. Except apparently the caulking job I did last fall was not as successful as I might have hoped, because she pulled out the built in soap holder thing, about 15 salmon tiles, and a bunch of wet wallboard.

She's okay..a little startled that the bathtub wall crumbled to pieces because she pulled on it. I assured her that this was not her fault. I knew the bathroom's day was coming. I just didn't really expect it to be today.

Good thing I never booked that trip to Florida. The most inconvenient part is the big hole in the shower wall. Which is currently sealed up with blue trash bag and 25 strips of packing tape. I now see the wisdom of having more than one bathroom in the house. I guess I'll be showering at the gym for awhile.

Today Jupiter went bouncing at the bouncy house place. It has a real name, but I don't remember it. They have a bunch of bouncy houses and slides, and Jupiter bounced and slid for two hours. In the afternoon I got a call on my cell phone. My sister B told me that Jupiter had a fever of 108. Which she quickly ammended to 100 POINT 8. A couple minutes later, I could breathe again. She's taken a couple tylenol meltaways (the only kind of pain reliever/fever reducer she is willing to take) and is okay at the moment.

So I have about six hours to sleep before the tylenol wears off. Hopefully that will be enough time to hatch a plan in my sleep to finance bathroom remodeling. Better start now!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Merry Christmas to Me

The day after Christmas, when we got home, I reached into the mailbox and pulled out a big stack of mail. I was surprised at first. I don't get much mail now that the credit card companies have stopped mailing something every three days and most of my utilities are not on paperless billing. Not automatic payment, just email billing instead of bill in the mailbox billing. And if Time Warner Cable didn't feel obligated to send me something I could sign up for every two days, I would probably never get mail. But anyway, December 26th, I pulled out the mail and there was a whole huge stack of it. I was curious. Then I saw what was in there, and I was giddy.

I got a big stack of seed catalogs. I do not have a huge yard. I do have some ground, and every year more and more of it gets turned over to plants. More garden, and less mowing. Heaven.

In the stack were three of my favorite seed catalogs. I always end up ordering way more seeds than I could ever plant. But I do it anyway. It's fun.

My most favorite seed catalog is Pine Tree Garden Seeds. One of the reasons they're my favorite is that they're two towns away from me. And if I call them and tell them I'm going to stop by at 2:30 on my way home from work, they will pull my order for me and let me pick it up to save the shipping charges. I'm sure they think I have some huge garden somewhere from all the seeds I order. It's so hard to choose between all my favorite varieties. And they have so many cool ones.

My other favorites are Seeds of Change. and The Cooks Garden . And I spent a few hours that weekend going through and circling everything I wanted to order. I will whittle it down to some extent. Probably on Wednesday, since garden seed selection is a favorite winter storm pastime of mine. And the next snowstorm is on track to arrive just for my birthday. Yet again, God shows a sense of humor.

I was going to write more, but Jupiter is having a difficult time settling down tonight. Her energy is up, despite playing baseball, bike riding, and snowshoeing outdoors today. I'm going to fall asleep at any moment, so hopefully she'll go to sleep before I finish brushing my teeth. She's insisting that she is NOT TIRED. Which is a big lie. She is OVERTIRED, which is not the same thing as NOT TIRED. If she lays still for two minutes, she'll fall asleep. And then, so will I.