Tuesday, May 19, 2009

sorry for the lack of posts

I've been a little behind on my internet socializing lately. This week at work (at which I never do any form of internet socializing, of course :) ) I'm training somebody how to do my job and use our computer systems. Of course, this is so she can take my job back to NJ with her. She's perfectly nice; the whole group of them are. But I still like my job. I'm going to have another job. They even know what it's called. They have yet to determine what the job actually ENTAILS. But it still involves a paycheck, so far as I know. Might not want to quote them to closely on this one. But since my visitor doesn't need me to teach her how to read things on the internet, I'm a little behind.

Jupiter went to visit kindy again today; only for a half a day this time. When I picked her up she had no focus, didn't follow directions, and since I was working late (see above), we didn't get to go to the playground. She also got mad because I did not manage, today, to buy her a new dog bed with sides on it large enough for her to put in her bed while she is sleeping so she can sleep in a cozy safe feeling nest. She did not handle it well. She did manage to turn the mad into sad, cried all the way home, and begged, repeatedly, to go to the playground. We went home. She turned back into mad and spent five minutes in her room when we got home.

We had supper. Jupiter ate a toasted whole wheat bagel (no topping) and a yogurt smoothie. But she was still hungry. She ate a fruit roll up, but she was still hungry. She ate a banana, but she was still hungry. She ate a half a cup of cherrios, but she was still hungry. She ate another half a cup of cherrios, but she was still hungry. She started to eat a cinnamon graham cracker, but she decided she didn't like it.

I think maybe she was a little hungry there. Never does good things for her behavior when that happens. Which is why I wrote a whole paragraph on the importance of Jupiter eating for school next year. Now if CDS ever schedules the IEP meeting...maybe I should just schedule it with the school staff and tell them when they should show up.

Spring is on the way back. This morning we had FROST, but it's supposed to get warmer again. Not to mention on Saturday at Farmer's Market it was 53 degrees. I think the wind chill was about 37. May is tough in Maine...the ocean really makes it hard for the warmth to make any headway..it stays cold a long time and seems like it will never end. I know it will, but my waiting is of the impatient sort. Shocking, I know.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jupiter spends all day at Kindergarten

When we had the meeting a couple weeks ago with one of the lead kindergarten screener, she offered to let Jupiter come to kindergarten with Mimi someday if Mimi was a substitute in her room. That day turned out to be today, as the call came at 6:30 am to substitute for the ed tech and an hour later they were in school in the extended learning classroom. Our district is going to All day K for everyone in the fall, but currently offers an extended learning program for the kids most considered at risk and in need of catch up stuff. In terms of skills, Jupiter is not in need of the extended learning classroom, but I wonder if it might not be a better fit for her in terms of the structure provided and experience with behavorial issues. Something to keep thinking about before the IEP meeting...

anyway, Jupiter had a great day. One of her friends from her old school last year was in the class and was happy to see Jupiter. The teacher was able to see how well behaved Jupiter could be, and, when Mimi disappeared around the classroom divider, how quickly paralyzing panic could set in. And how a five minute break from the room can settle her down. The teacher said that she did really well and fit in well with the class. During the story Jupiter and her friend from last year's school kept talking and had to be told to be quiet (yay!!!! Jupiter was spoken to for talking to another child!!!! It's so great!!!!!!) During recess on the playground Jupiter even got more than five feet away from Mimi and played with the other kids. After lunch she got a little tired, so she had a little quiet time snug in a little blanket nest between the teacher's desk and the wall, and read books quietly by herself, and when she was ready came back and joined in centers. But she kept it together very well for the entire school day.

When I came to pick her up they'd just gotten back from school and Jupiter was busy eating everything in the house. It was apparent she needed to burn off some steam; and completely understandable. When she was done eating she went up to play with her toys, and I said I would call her in five minutes. About ten minutes later I called her and an unholy banshee came wailing down the stairs, spitting and hitting and biting. I turned her around in a bear hug and held her so she couldn't hurt me, as she cried that she wasn't ready to go. And in a voice barely more than a whisper, I asked her what she needed to do. And she calmed down enough to ask if she could have a couple more minutes because she wasn't done. She asked me to come up with her, so I did and we had a quick Army versus mutant toy battle, then she set her toys up for the next day before we went home.

So yes, she had a good day, but it obviously took some effort on her part to hold it together for the whole day. But she was very proud to go to "big school" all day and I told her a couple times (if I tell her more she'll get all huffy at me, so can't overdo it) that I was proud of her and she did a great job. In the morning she goes to her regular school..where I hope someone tells her teacher that Jupiter was talking to another child during story time :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Big thanks to those of you who posted about the negative aspects of Mother's Day for foster/adoptive kids. I'd never really considered that perspective before, so it was very helpful to hear that view. And not to take it personally when my angel was spitting at me and kicking me at 7:45 am on Mother's Day. Not that I think it really had anything to do with it being Mother's Day. She was just in a big snit because being disrespectful and rude was not getting me to help her. (And since she threw the cheerleader costume skirt at me, I put them away for the day instead of helping her put them on.) Which, considering that I've said those words to her 8 million times in the last six months, you would think might be starting to sink in. But sometimes being defiant is more important to her than getting what she needs. She loves it when I verbalize that for her. "Is it more important to you to be defiant right now, or to get ____________ (fill in the blank).

So anyway, yesterday for Mother's Day we just stayed home alone. All day. And since I'd been in her bed since 3:30 and there's no clock in her room, we were up shortly after sunrise, so it was a longer day than it might have been. Have to remember to get a clock for her room. I finally got her to sit with me on the couch for a half an hour and then the day took a much more positive note. We baked some snickerdoodles which she layered in copious amounts of cinnamon sugar, made pizza dough, and finally when the rain stopped we went outside to give her new Barbie roller skates (we paid a dollar at a yard sale for them. Whoohoo) a workout. She spent ten minutes drinking water out of a cup and spitting it out in the sink. I determined it was some kind of sensory need and let her do it. After supper we used her paint pens to do art together (everytime I did a picture she felt the need to improve them with her interpretation. My sun became her crsythanthamum.) and she turned the pages into a new book. And then she even climbed into my lap without me even ASKING so we could look at it together. That was the Mother's Day gift, right there. Not that I didn't like the beautiful plant pots and the card she did at school which she is trying to hide from me because she likes it. I'm trying to hide it from her because I like it.

The cat, on the other hand, ran to my bedroom to hide and sulked at me because Jupiter was home. All day. One too many trips to the doll bed..

Sunday, May 3, 2009

boy was i mad

Yesterday we were at the playground at the school up the street. We were leaving, about the same time as another family was leaving, and the daughter (maybe ten or eleven years old) was refusing to leave at the mother's request. They argued back and forth about it for awhile, and we left while they were still having the argument.

We happened to be parked next to them and while we were getting in the car mother and daughter appeared. I think they were reconciling at that point, but the mother looked at her daughter and said, "I should have left you at the hospital when you were born."

I think she was kidding. But my head whipped around, and I almost yelled over to her "DON'T SAY THAT AROUND MY KID!!!" Whose birthmother did literally leave her at the hospital when she was born. I managed not to say anything. But I wanted too. Oh how I wanted too. I don't have that feeling often......but once in awhile........


Some of you may remember when we got the new cat last fall. I got the cat so in the event that mice entered the basement during the winter, as they are prone to do, that maybe the cat presence would make them rethink that plan. (And also, of course, because Jupiter wanted a new cat). I didn't see any mice all winter.

Thursday night, I was kept awake by the cat THUNDERING up and down the hall, in and out of my room, all around the house. All night. Somewhere around three in the morning, the cat was in my room, and I heard a squeak.

A little foggily, it dawned on me that the cat does not have any squeaky toys. I got up and shut my bedroom door. 90 minutes later, I was getting ready for work and the cat was sniffing by her litterbox. Squeak. She picked up the live squeaky toy and carried it off down the hall.

I DO NOT DO LIVE SQUEAKY TOYS. It was bad enough having them in the basement. I AM NOT doing LIVE SQUEAKY TOYS upstairs where we live. The cat is defective. Apparently she does not KILL the mice. She likes playing with them too much.

Yeah, so much for that plan. My normal plan is to poison wild animals that invade my space, but I don't want the cat to get into the poison or to find any squeaky toys that may have poison in them. My current plan consists of a big FOR SALE sign in front of my house. Too bad the economy is crap right now and I can't do that plan either. And I suppose it might be overreacting slightly. And I feel completely pathetic when I get completely petrified by a little bitty speck of a rodent invading my house. I mean, come on. And outside, I don't have much of an issue with them. But inside..not so much. Friday night I had to go wandering up the street looking for any of my neighbors sons to come do rodent removal. Jupiter thought they were cute. Of course.

This morning, at five am, I woke up to TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP. I figured out that was the neighborhood woodpecker. I thought he was drilling the house, it was so loud.

I also have a woodchuck that lives under my sunporch. I have to go get some mothballs before she has the baby woodchuck. Last spring they ate all my spinach and pea plants. It was nice of me to plant them for the wild animals to eat. So kind. I'm thoughtful that way.