Monday, March 30, 2009

Developmental Eval/part one

On Friday morning Jupiter had a developmental evaluation at CDS for her behavorial/emotional issues. Jupiter did a WONDERFUL job. It was a LONG time for her to sit in that little room and she did great. Our evaluator was very open to listening to my concerns and wrote a lot down. She asked me about sixty questions in regards to behavorial milestones. I wish she would have given me that ahead of time, because it's hard to answer those off the cuff while removing the ends from a banana and worrying about not being focused enough on table manners because one of the questions is "Will she use a napkin to wipe her face at meals?"

Then while Jupiter and the evaluator were playing with colored blocks and picture books, I was supposed to fill out a blue sheet of behavior ratings. It looked very similar to the one I filled out for the Karyn Purvis's study last fall. The space for "What concerns do you have about this child?" was three lines long. The evaluator gave me more paper. I've concluded if your child has any type of special needs, you've accepted this when you automatically ask for more paper when filling out any sort of informational form in regards to your child.

The evaluator was supposed to come to Jupiter's school today for the classroom observation, but she rescheduled to Wednesday. I haven't received a written report yet, but she said that it was likely that we would write a plan for her for fall. Phew.

She did ask me what happened the last 2 times we've been through the system. I told her that both times CDS declined to pursue any type of evaluation for Jupiter. She said we haden't had good luck with the system so far..but she doesn't seem to be shuffling Jupiter to the back burner.

I'm interested to see what the report will say. She did mention that Jupiter scored gifted in the verbal portion. She also said that she would look for any classroom behavior that seemed to indicate an OT evaluation would be promises but she'll try.

I'm working on my list for the PLAN. Jotting down everything I can think of that I want to be included. I did an informal one last fall for Jupiter's preschool (parent's night ended before I even came close to filling out the informational form. I needed more paper :) )

I'm being paged by Jupiter. Off I go.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cooking from Scratch

Today is Sunday. In our world, that means, pizza night. Homemade from scratch pizza night. Well, ok, I don't make the sauce or monzerella cheese from scratch. But the dough yes.

Since it was a rainy Sunday, I decided that today I would also make some bread from scratch. The oven was going to be on anyway, so might as well make the house smell good and all that. And I love kneading bread. I won't even try a yeast bread recipe that doesn't involve kneading. What's the point in that?

So Jupiter and I mixed the bread dough. We kneading the bread dough. We let the dough rise and it was beautiful bread dough. Then we watched part of Cool Runnings while the dough was rising. We put it in the bread pans and watched more of Cool Runnings while it rose again. Then we returned to the kitchen.

I put the oven on to preheat and we mixed the pizza crust dough. We're experts at pizza crust dough by now, so that went pretty quick. Then I opened the oven to put in the bread pans.

I forgot to remove the broiler pan and baking stones that live in the oven. AND...the two plastic containers of peanut butter cookies that were also living in there. The plastic was melting. So I quick turned off the oven, removed the oven residents and plopped the melting plastic dishes into the sink. Then I popped the bread pans into the oven, set the timer for 45 minutes, and left the kitchen. Anybody see the issue yet???

45 minutes later the timer dinged, I went to the oven to remove my bran bread. And, well, they looked a little bit funny, since I forgot to turn the oven back ON after removing the plastic peanut butter cookies. I turned on the oven again and let them bake a little more, but that didn't really work either. Jupiter's bit of cinnamon bread came out alright and she ate it. But as for the rest of it...well...better luck next time I guess. Or maybe I shouldn't store plastic bins of cookies in the oven. But I have good luck with Jupiter NOT sneaking cookies when I hide them in there. Maybe if I write a note to myself....but then she would teach herself to read the word cookie for that purpose....

Pizza Crust recipe.....Anabel Karmel's recipe

Mix 1 1/2 tsp dried yeast with 3 tbsp warm water. Set aside for ten minutes ( I let it sit while mixing the dry ingredients and it's long enough.)

Sift 2 3/4 cups flour (I use 2 1/4 cups unbleached white flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour.) into a bowl and add 1 tsp sugar, and a little salt. Make a well in the center.

Pour yeast, 2 Tbsp olive oil, and a little less than a cup of warm water into the well. (recipe calls for a cup but take out 3 TBSP for dissolving the yeast.) Mix everything together. Sprinkle flour over a clean work surface and knead the dough for 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Oil a large bowl, put in the dough, and cover. Leave in a warm place to rise until double in size. About an hour works well in our house. When you poke holes in the dough and the holes stay, it's ready. Spread on your pizza pan or stone. This recipe will give you enough for a little extra to make into a treat such as cinnamon sugar bread if your child loves cinnamon sugar.

We finish our pizza with a small can of Hunt's tomato sauce with basil, garlic, and oregano, and a package of monzerella.

Pancake batter from scratch.... Fannie Farmer Cookbook

discovered this recipe when Jupiter requested pancakes one day (as a vehicle for large quanties of maple syrup) and I had no pancake mix or bisquick. Jupiter loves them and they are very easy to make.

Beat lightly in a mixing bowl 1/2 - 3/4 cup of milk (amount depends on how thick you like your pancakes. If you like thin ones, use more milk) with two TBSP melted butter and one egg. In a seperate bowl mix 1 cup of flour (can mix whole wheat flour in here as well, I use half white and half whole wheat), 2 tsp baking powder, 2 TBSP sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix just lightly enough to dampen the flour. Cook over a moderate griddle.
Serve with large quantities of your favorite maple syrup.

Monday, March 23, 2009

billing code 96111

Why will nobody cover this billing code? Early Intervention doesn't want to cover an OT evaluation for Jupiter because they say her sensory issues don't affect her in the classroom. How do they know if they don't do the evaluation? They know, and actually wrote down in Jupiter's screening summary: JUPITER IS HAVING DIFFICULTY ACCESSING HER REGULAR EDUCATION CLASSROOM.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised. It took 3 forays into the world of Early Intervention to get JUPITER IS HAVING DIFFICULTY ACCESSING HER REGULAR CLASSROOM. Not all of her classroom issues are sensory. They are emotional, social, and developmental. And also sensory. And silly me, I just think that it doesn't make sense to work with the other three, and not the sensory. If her sensory is out of whack, so is the rest of her. Trust me. I live with her. I know.

But stick a developmental label on anything, and try to get the insurance to cough up. At least they put me on hold before they came back on the line and told me that they didn't cover developmental.

I had a nice conversation with the OT office today when I was signing Jupiter up for Sensorimotor fun summer camp that I read about in one of our local papers. I told them about Jupiter's need to rock and hit her head on the back of the couch or seat of the car, crash into things, jump on the trampoline for long periods of time, and about Brickle. Brickle is a brick she found in my parents yard last year and which she carried around all summer, drove around in her bike basket, pulled in her wagon, and pushed on the tire swing. The OT receptionist was impressed with her resourcefulness. Then we discussed getting the OT evaluation which Early Intervention/CDS doesn't want to pay for and which insurance also doesn't want to pay for, but which I think she needs and would benefit her. And oh, might even help her have fewer difficulties accessing her regular classroom.

AAARRRGH. I hate insurance. Once in November, 2004, I was in a children's clinic in Ekaterinburg with Jupiter, another baby named Eli, the orphanage director and another orphange worker named Nadia, my sister, and our translator. We were there for three hours so the babies could have blood drawn for a PCR test, an immunologist appointment, and another appointment I don't remember the purpose of. I swore then I would never complain about HMO's again.

I Lied. Oh how did I lie when I said that. How DARE the insurance people tell us what we need or don't need. How DARE they override DOCTORS in their medical decisions for their patients. And don't tell me the insurance companies aren't making a profit. Someone is taking the chunk of change I give them every pay period.

And then a couple weeks ago I heard how some politicians weren't going to support health care reform because it could put the insurance companies out of business.

oh, i have SO much sympathy for the insurance companies. Can't you just hear how I feel for them.

I might feel bad for people who lost their jobs if the insurance companies went out. But that's it. I just want a system where people can get the health care they need. And comprehensive health care. None of this not covering procedures because it's developmental.

I'm surprised some insurance company isn't getting lists of birth certificates and selling developmental health insurance to families with newborns, actually. Maybe they are and I missed it.

Anyway, rant over. I'm doing research and figuring out who I can get in our corner when I fight with CDS ( I mean advocate for my child, of course) about what Jupiter needs. I did lots of that today in between fighting with the MP3 from HELL.

Now I still have to go clean up the cat puke off the rug. Hairballs.

Me and the MP3

I am officially old. As in, not up on the latest technology.

For my ten year anniversary at the company where I work, I got to choose from a catalog of prizes. The MP3 player was, I thought, the most useful thing on that list. I thought it was a SONY MP3 player.

My new MP3 prize came in the mail. I opened up, and it said COBY. I wonder how much money COBY spent to do a study to determine which two letters they could change to make COBY look just like SONY if the same font was used.

Anyway, I got this MP3 player. In, I think, October. Today, March 23rd, I actually managed to put songs on the MP3. First I had to find the thing. (It got relocated to the sunporch during the Great Bathroom Renovation.) Then I stuck the cord into the computer, and the computer refused to recognize the new hardware. So then I had to find the driver disc thing. By taking out the entire desk drawer and removing everything methodically from it. Finally I found it.

I hooked up the MP3 again, and got ready to put the disk in the drive. When, of course, my computer decided to recognize the new hardware, and I no longer needed the stupid disc.

Then I had to transfer some music from the hard copy CD's to the computer. But this laptop only has about a teeny tiny bit of functional memory on it, so it gets jammed up about every other CD.

I gave up. I brought the MP3 to work today anyway, mostly to drown out the person whose loud and unenlighted comments drive me up the wall. I planned to listen to the radio, since it has that function.

I ended up with a choice of two stations. One I could live with. One was no way am I listening to that unenlightened crap. For that I could just listen to my coworker.

Then there are the earbud thingies. I can't get them in right. Probably because the earbuds are made for a giant. They don't stay in. Then when I try to fix them, they get caught in my hair.

At which point, I can't figure out how people use these things. It CAN'T be that hard. Millions of people use these things. I am apparently technically deficient. I can't figure out how to change the volume, make a playlist, or get from one function to the other. My cube neighbor (who can build his own websites) tried to help me when I couldn't hear anything. That's right folks, the connection was lose so the music wasn't traveling up the little wire to the earbuds. There's probably a video of me somewhere on youtube, struggling with this little teeny machine. And loosing.

BTW, tonight, I have successfully managed to transfer some music files TO THE MP3!!! Go me!!!

Maybe I can get Jupiter to run it for me.

And also btw, the volume on the MP3 player isn't loud enough to drown out the cat puking on my rug. She's done puking now.

Check back for tech updates.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Return of the Viral Crud


I don't get it about this cold. When my workmate Debbie told us that everyone in her house got the crud twice, I said, "That won't happen to us!"


THE NEXT DAY...the VERY NEXT DAY..Jupiter started a little cough. Then it progressed. She got the stuffy nose. Then she got the FEVER. She came home from school because of the fever.

She's been right cranky the second time around. We were having a super good spell for a couple of weeks. Then the crud came back and yeah, well, that's over. Maybe that's a little simplistic. She's not so much defiant as unable to control herself. Translating into more hitting and spitting. People at church today (I was going to stay home, but Jupiter REALLY wanted to go. She loves to play with her friends there.) were quite amused when we came IN from Sunday school, wandered down the aisle to find a seat, sat there 30 seconds, wandered back UP the aisle to go take a break in the narthex while discussing the total unappropriateness of hitting me in CHURCH, then wandered back DOWN the aisle to go to our seat again.

At Hannaford she spit at me. We went home. She threw her cup of goldfish into the front seat while we were at a red light. It's RAINING GOLDFISH! She spit some more, so she went right into quiet time. During quiet time, she took apart a beanie baby and spread little teeny plastic balls all over her bed spread. I removed the little teeny plastic balls and sent her back to quiet time. After quiet time, we had a good afternoon. Before supper we went for a walk up the street. She told me it was a treasure hunt.

I ended up with a gold Christmas wrapping bow in my pocket. I got to carry an empty strawberry milk bottle, an empty gallon milk jug, a piece of paper labeled olive something or other, and a flattened aresol can of Resolve. Remind me next time not to leave the driveway without a plastic bag. I have nothing against cleaning up the street, I just don't want to carry it barehanded.

On the way home Jupiter was behind me, and I turned around to look at her. She had something plastic in her hand. "What is that?" I asked her. She showed me.

"PUT IT DOWN NOW!!!!!" She had located a plastic tampon applicator. (I'm sure it blew out of someone's recycling bin, let you all think my street is terribly unclean. It isn't. But the receding snowbanks reveal many treasures. One of which, at some point, will probably be my lost cell phone.)



"What is it?"

yeah, that's a conversation you want to have walking down the street. So I tried to explain what tampons are and why we need them. Then I hustled her home to have her bath. A nice bath with lots of shampoo and soap.

Not the same thing

Note to self:

Expresso Chip ice cream is NOT the same as Mocha Chip. Mocha chip does not have little ground up pieces of chocolate covered expresso beans.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

premature lecture

Jupiter had an interesting day at Mimi's today. She got into the "only touch this if an adult is helping you" nail polish and nail polished six Barbies. Happy Birthday Barbie. Most of them were nail polished on the face. One of them was notably polished on her d cups. She left the front door open and Hyper Piper the dog escaped and went romping through the woods, thereby earning some crate time. Which she may have enjoyed as a respite from being dressed up in antlers and jingle bells and being conscripted as Jupiter's reindeer. When Mimi spoke to her about the Barbie polishing, she covered her ears with her hands and announced that she wasn't listening.

When I was getting her coat and some kind of footwear on her to go home, I saw a bunch of green marks on the top of her hand. When I asked her what was on her hand she pretended not to hear me. Mimi told me they had talked about THAT today too. So I got her to look at me and said "Where do we use markers?"

Jupiter: "It's pen."

"Where do we use markers OR PENS?"

"On paper."

"Do we use markers on our skin?"


"Markers and pen do not go on your hands or any part of your body. We do not use them on ourselves, on the walls, on the carpet, or on the furniture. They're only for paper.!!!"

After we got home, I was getting Jupiter into the bath and happened to see her hand from a different angle. It's actually writing on her hand.

It says: Lina



She WROTE MY NAME ON HER HAND!!!! So now of course I could care less that she wrote on her hand. She probably could have tatooed it on there and I wouldn't care. I also didn't know that she could write Mama. (When I asked her where she learned to write Mama, she told me "School, of course. My teachers helped me. That's what teachers do.")

Of course she shouldn't write on her hand with markers. or PEN. But I can't help it, I still think WHAT she wrote is cool. I told her I was glad that it was a nice thing to write, even if it was on her skin. It was a little faded when she got out of the bath. Maybe after she falls asleep (I think she already is) I can sneak in and take a picture of her hand so I can remember it forever.

Last fall, btw, she could write POT. She was very good at writing POT. She adorned the entire house with POT. I anticipated the arrival of the DEA any day because of all the sticky note POT's everywhere. We tried to show her that if she switched the letters around, she could write TOP. But she preferred POT.

Yup, she's definitely asleep now. Time to get out my trusty camera.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Reading Marathon

Yesterday Jupiter started to act up at supper. She squished her tomatoes into her water mug, stuck her hands in the water, and spit at me when I told her that's not what we do with tomatoes or cups of water. So she spit at me, and promptly was sent to her room.

I went back in five minutes. She said she didn't remember why she was there, or what we have to do after we hurt somebody.

I went back in five more minutes. When I opened the door she stuck out her tongue and made the raspberry at me.

I went back in five more minutes. I asked if she had something to say to me. She said "sorry." She even looked at me a little bit. I asked if she was ready to give me a hug. She asked me to give her a hug. So I did. Then I carried her back to supper. I fed her most of her salad. Minus the squished tomatoes. She had some candy cane for dessert.

While she ate her candy cane, we sat on the couch together and read the new library books. We read 17 library books. We read them for an hour and a half. She leaned on me. She fell asleep for a tiny minute during the 16th book, but woke herself back up. After the last book, I carried her to bed. She asked me to lay down with her. I did. She asked me to rub her back. I did. And she went to sleep.

Tonight we got it right.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Magic Words

Today when I dropped her off, Jupiter said the Magic Words to me.

"Mom..I don't want you to go."


Okay, the rational part of me knows that 90 percent of that comment was likely transition related. But she still said the words. I'm happy. It's so much better than the days she literally pushes my backside in an effort to get me out of the door faster. Which she hasen't done in a couple weeks. We've had a nice, regulated, fairly even keel couple of weeks. She's been sleeping through the night most of the time. Oh how that helps.

But today she had a physical day at school. She kicked and pushed at some other kids. I attribute part of that to the fact that she's barely BEEN in school for the last three weeks, what with blizzards and and viral crud and school vacation. The routine she relies on has been unpredictable, and that does not help.

The other part is, I suspect, the one girl in the class whose personality clashes mightily with my daughter's. I know something happened with this girl today, but I don't know what. Jupiter has refused to give details about anything that may have happened between them today, but I know from the angry words spewing from her mouth that something must have. I'm caught between getting her not to say she hates people, and using her words instead of her hands (feet, teeth, etc) to show her feelings. But I know if whatever M did or said made her upset enough, she was likely to be out of sorts for the rest of the day.

A week from Friday I get to go visit the class for the morning. Nope. Two weeks. I can't wait to see, even though it will be just one more thing to mess with the routine.

BTW, when I went out to start my car this morning, it was 4 below. zero. THIS IS MARCH!!! ENOUGH WITH THE COLD!!

Just had to throw in the traditional sick of winter note.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

more snow a-comin

It's about to snow. Again. One of Jupiter's classmates mother told me today in church (Family Sunday. No Sunday school. A church full of restless kids trying to be quiet for a whole hour. Or at the least, five minutes. Jupiter went to Communion with gum in her mouth (I grabbed the gum and held it behind my back with one hand while holding my Communion bread in the other hand) and managed to get her fingers in the Communion wine while attempting to dip her minniscule piece of bread in the wine. It was easier when she had no interest in the wine :) ))

Where was I? Oh yeah. Snowstorms. I seem to post a lot about snowstorms. Don't know if that's because I'm whiny, or if it just snows a lot. But Timber's Mom said that they've missed five days of school this year. And they only go three days a week, so that's a fine accomplishment. And tomorrow looks like another one. We're going to get a foot, give or take a few inches, this go round.

Welcome to March. I keep looking at the long range forecast, looking to hit 40 degreees two days in a row. I think about mid March last year, I was actually digging my herb garden OUT of the snowbank in which it was buried, because I was THAT desperate. Even Jupiter is ready. Yesterday she brought her scooter into the house. Today, she wore shoes without socks, and a sleeveless dress top over her jeans to church. I did entice her to change out of the shorts she was wearing, but I wasn't willing to wage a three hour battle over socks and sleeves. She wasn't going to get frostbite, so not worth it. One of the middle school girls was wearing sandals, so I guess the spring fever is becoming epidemic.

This morning I found Jupiter in her room. With the cat. The cat was in the doll umbrella stroller and covered with a blanket. "Mom!! The cat LOVES me now!!!!!" I liberated Autumn Leaf from the doll stroller. What a good cat. She went to hide downstairs for awhile. Good kitty. She's starting to appear more often and let Jupiter pat her..and she even got on the bed this week at bedtime while we were reading. Jupiter thought that was great. And good news...I managed NOT to kill the fish last week when I cleaned out the aquarium. They were kinda laying on the bottom for the while, and I kept thinking, oh please, don't let them BOTH die. But they're both fine now. And we can even see them in the water now...bonus.

Well we're off to go to Home Depot and give them bathroom money. Which I had planned to do tomorrow, but the Weather Channel's MEGASTORM should be in full force then. Maybe we'll make it to the pool for a little while too....I love the sauna part at the end!!

Happy March, everyone!