Pumpkin's graduation ceremony was cute and wonderful, and I cried. Particularly during the slide show of their pictures of the kids, which in several cases (including Pumpkin's) went back to the baby years. Pumpkin started at that day care when she was 5 months old.
One of her first teachers, Ms. M, is still at the school, and has actually been her teacher once again (in the 2 year old room), and is now the teacher in the room right before the pre-K room, which shares a double room with the pre-K room. Ms. M is a little misty at the last of her "baby bees" graduating, and asked if she could take Pumpkin and the other little girl who was also in the same baby room out to lunch on Thursday. We said yes. They had a blast.
Yesterday, Hubby and I braved Ikea on a Saturday. We bought the furniture we need to remake Pumpkin's room to have a "real" desk, which will hold the computer we're giving her. We also bought half of the new toy storage bench that will allow us to move Petunia's little toddler desk in to Pumpkin's room. The other half was out of stock. Something is always out of stock when we go to Ikea. Hubby will have to go back and get it some weeknight.
However, we got a corner unit Micke desk, two short Stuva dressers, and a desk chair into the back of our Mazda 5. We had taken the car seats out, expecting to need the space of the middle row, too. We did not. This is a testament both to the Mazda 5 (which I call our Tardis) and the furniture designers at Ikea.
Do you remember how I said Petunia was almost sick last week? Well, it turns out that she had an ear infection. Her ear drum burst Friday night, judging from what I know now and the fact that she sat up and screamed at me for ~5 minutes when she was almost asleep. Last night, I noticed some gunk in her ear, and called and got her an appointment for the after hours pediatrician this morning. At about 2 a.m., when Petunia was again awake and screaming, I was really glad I had that appointment. She woke up happy as can be this morning, but the doctor confirmed an ear infection and a burst ear drum, and gave us antibiotics.
I feel quite bad for missing the earlier signs, but in our defense, Petunia often does not drain congestion (which is probably why she gets these ear infections occasionally), so we had no outward sign of how much gunk was in her head, poor thing. We intend to try giving her Mucinex to help clear the congestion one of these times, to see if that will head off the ear infection, but we are apparently incapable of recognizing when she'd need it. This is only the second time her ear drum has burst, and may her 4th or 5th ear infection ever, so they aren't talking tubes yet. But still, I think we need to try to catch the next one earlier.
The doctor we saw this morning was the same doctor I saw on my first visit to after hours pediactrics, back when Pumpkin was a tiny baby- maybe 2 or 3 weeks old. Hubby had to go to New Zealand to be in one of his best friend's weddings, and my parents were over helping me. This was before I figured out that milk in my diet gave Pumpkin what I later started calling "screaming gas," and Pumpkin was having a really rough day. At some point, I cracked and called the nurse line, and they sent me in to the doctor. My Mom came with me. Pumpkin was screaming almost non stop and I was a wreck. My Mom was clearly the adult in charge at that point, but the doctor addressed both of us with her advice.
I remember the doctor checking Pumpkin out and diagnosing gas, giving us some tips on how to make her more comfortable, and then turning her attention to me and checking that I was a wreck only because I had a baby who would not stop screaming, and not because something was seriously wrong at home or because I had post-partum depression. She also swaddled Pumpkin in a way that made her stop screaming (and which I could never replicate). My Mom and I left very impressed with that doctor.
My parents took turns holding Pumpkin that night, and I actually slept 6 or 7 hours straight. I woke up desperately needing to nurse Pumpkin, but feeling roughly 175% better. I was finally able to think clearly enough to realize that I needed to try eliminating dairy from my diet. I did that, and within two days, the screaming gas stopped. I stayed off dairy until Pumpkin was 8 or 9 months old. This was hard for me- I love dairy!- but definitely worth it. I also loved nursing Pumpkin, and that would not have been possible if I'd kept the dairy in my diet.
I tell that previous story to acknowledge that there are some really good doctors out there, but also as an answer to the criticism I occasionally get of making my life as a working mother sound too easy. I have found my stride as a mother and as a working mother now, but that was not automatic. I originally revived this blog as a place to work through some of the problems I had adjusting to motherhood. It was not an easy road for me. I have picked up a lot of readers over the years, and most of you have probably never gone back in my archives and read what things were like in the early days. I once struggled with guilt- I wish I could say what, exactly, helped me get over that, but all I can say is that I did.
I've linked to a few posts from the earlier days that show some of the struggles I had then. You could also click through the archives yourself, if you're curious. I think it took me the better part of that first year to really figure out how to integrate "mom" with "me"- I consider it an ongoing process, but I don't struggle with it nearly so much these days. I look back on the first year of Pumpkin's life as one of the hardest years of my life. She slept extraordinarily poorly (you can probably follow a link trail back through this post and read all about that) and I constantly felt like I was "doing it wrong." But, as Erin pointed out in the comments on my recent post about the current craziness of my life, hard does not mean bad. I am a better, stronger person for it. And Pumpkin is one awesome little five year old. I've got no regrets, except maybe for not figuring out how to let the guilt go earlier- but then again, maybe that was just a necessary part of the process.
And now, I need to get back to the chores. Tell me about your road to where you're at in your life in the comments!