Posts Tagged ‘ physical therapy ’

Crazy Girl

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

I love my toddler dearly, but she is a handful and a half sometimes.

Caroline was born prematurely, and when she was younger, she had a gross motor delay.  She didn’t crawl until she was 13 months or walk until she was a little over 18 months, and she reached those milestones with the help of physical therapy.  Everyone told me, “be grateful she’s not mobile!  You’ll miss these days when she just sits and plays with toys and can’t move around and cause trouble!” and I always wanted to punch those people in the face because hello that is not P.C. to say to someone whose baby has a delay.  When she finally did walk, I was so thrilled that I didn’t even care how much trouble she got into.

Now, well… I guess I see what they were saying.

Take last night, for example.  I started the tub running for Caroline’s bath and brought her out of the bathroom with me to get her pajamas and diaper.  She raced back, pushed the button on the doorknob to lock the door, and slammed the door shut.  With the tub still running inside.  I stifled a four-letter word (with limited success) and grabbed my toolkit for a skinny screwdriver to stick in the little hole in the back of the doorknob.  As I struggled to pick the lock, Caroline snatched the hammer out of the toolkit and proceeded to try to break down the door with it, yelling “KNOCK KNOCK! KNOCK KNOCK!!” and none of this is made up.

My friend suggested that I tape the buttons on the doorknobs so that she couldn’t lock the doors, and I thought that was a great idea… except I was out of tape because Caro had recently stolen it and unrolled it to make a giant sticky blob, which she had then ever-so-thoughtfully attached to my bedroom mirror.

I am totally writing myself a prescription for Xanax.  (Or a nanny.  Can you write a prescription for a nanny?  Note to self: email the DEA about that.)

Other times her devilish streak has nothing to do with her actions.  She usually comes into my room when she wakes up in the morning and asks to “snuggle wif mommy”, which is adorable.  I pulled her into my bed the other morning and she lay there quietly for awhile before asking, “Mommy?”

Me: “Mmm?”

Caro: “I think I not be good girl today.  I not.”

Me: “Oh?  I think I’m glad you’re going to daycare today.”

At least it makes for good stories.  What devilish things do your kids do that make you want to want to simultaneously rip your hair out and laugh out loud?

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Start Here: My Story

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Mom and toddler

Hi!  I’m Julia, single mom to Caroline, age two, who I adore but did not plan for.  I got pregnant with her unexpectedly about halfway through dental school.  I was married at the time.  I continued with school until I went into preterm labor around 28 weeks, at which point I took a year off.  I went back to dental school in January 2010, when Caroline was 11 months old.  That summer, I filed for divorce from my husband, and our divorce was finalized this past February.  I finally graduated from dental school just last week.  My blog is about the challenges and joys of being a single mother and a dental student… and now that I’m done with school, a brand-new dentist.

I’ve been blogging for about three years and just moved all my old posts here to Parents (after much effort and HTML editing and breaking and fixing of tags, which probably would have been no big deal if I actually knew what a tag was, which I don’t). Since most of you reading this are probably new to my blog, I thought I’d put together a list of the posts that summarize my story the best. For the rest of you who already know me and followed me here… a little walk down memory lane. Or skip this post and wait for the new stuff!

Pick and choose and skip at will!

Shock: The day I found out I was pregnant.

The perils of unplanned pregnancy: The start of the troubles between me and Tyler.

Preterm WHAT??: Preterm labor begins at 28 weeks.

Suddenly a stay-at-home mom: Temporarily leaving school and going on bedrest.

It’s a girl!: Caroline is born at 36 weeks!

My birth story will have to wait: NICU trials and tribulations.

Birth story: This one’s self-explanatory.

A paper cut on the eye: Struggles with breastfeeding and pumping.

My “I-will-never’s”: It’s so much easier to parent before you actually become a parent.

See you in 10 minutes!”: I was so not a newborn kind of person.

Life is good: Just kidding, I was so totally a newborn kind of person. That day.

Whose leg do I have to hump to get a referral around here?: Issues with reflux.

Diagnosis: I am diagnosed with postpartum depression and PTSD.

Quitting time: I quit pumping in order to save my sanity.

Single mom’ing it: Tyler’s long and frequent absences take their toll.

I can do this: I return to dental school after my year at home.

Milestone anxiety: Caroline’s gross motor delay and resulting physical therapy.

May 16, 2010: Was once supposed to be my graduation day… but was still a good one.

Overly personal statement: Thoughts on having a baby during dental school.

I think I need to clarify: Explanation of my decision to file for divorce.

Empty: Tyler officially moves out.

Dear Caroline: A letter to my daughter about why I left her father.

“I don’t think she smiles like that”: Finding my happy place.

Off-limits: Struggles with dating after divorce.

Same team: My roller coaster plunges down again, and stories of divorce counseling.

Irretrievable breakdown: Our divorce is finalized.

“How do you do it all?”: Well, as it turns out, I really don’t.

That which angers you, controls you: I struggle with Tyler introducing his new girlfriend to Caroline.

Control freak: Continued struggles and introspection.

Alone: Thoughts on being single.

Prayer for my daughter: Reflections on what I want for my daughter, based on my own trainwreck of a personal life.

DMD… finally: My graduation from dental school… at last.

Whew. Long list. But it’s way shorter than reading all of my past posts. And if the past three years of my life have been anything, they’ve been eventful. Enjoy, and welcome to my blog!

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She’s Two!

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

I can’t believe it, but my baby girl is two years old today.

I have her for her birthday weekend, which makes me very happy. I’m having her party here at our place tomorrow (I’ll be sure to post pics!). Unfortunately this weekend is pretty stressful since I have two more days of board exams on Monday and Tuesday and Caroline has been very sick for the past week with hand foot & mouth disease. But my mom has helped me a lot with the party planning so I think it should go pretty well.

Okay. Honestly? I’m in a really weird place these days and would like to post about it but I don’t want to drag down her birthday post… so I’ll just save it for another day.

Here’s the birthday girl from a couple days ago, in my bed with all her stuffed animal friends gathered around her to make her feel better.

I had to miss a lot of school (and boards studying time) staying home because of her illness, but I have to admit that it’s always nice to spend some lazy days at home with my girl.

Happy second birthday, Caroline!!

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Overly Personal Statement

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

I’ve been struggling a little bit lately, hence the long absences between posts. Tyler’s been away. Pretty much constantly since June. He’s been home a few days here and there. Juggling school and Caroline all by myself has been… tiring. Tiring isn’t the word, really. I’m drained. I’m falling behind on my paperwork, losing too much weight, and running on fumes. I know I can do it, and I don’t have much longer to go until I get a little help. I’m just, you know. Struggling a little.

So, I’m trying to get things together for residency applications, because that’s coming up quickly. I have to write a personal statement. I despise writing about myself for personal gain. It feels so fake. I sat here staring at the cursor blinking for the better part of the evening before writing this all in one go, without stopping. I can’t put it in my applications. But I kind of wish I could. It sums up how I feel. If I can do this, if I can have enough of myself left over to still love what I’m doing, I deserve to get in wherever I want. And those bitches better take me.

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I had a baby during dental school.

People don’t do that. Well, women don’t do that. I didn’t mean to. She just happened. I found out right before part 1 of the national boards, and I cried every day for weeks. I thought I was losing my career. And my career meant everything to me.

I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I didn’t really think I could.

But I did. I am. I took a break for a year, after encountering some pregnancy complications and reevaluating some priorities. Leaving her and going back to school was the hardest thing I ever did. But I did it and I’m glad I did. I wanted to finish. I want to do this. I still want this more than anything.

More than almost anything.

In order to do this, in order to have a baby and raise her with very little help (due to my husband’s long absences due to his job) during a demanding program, I had to reprioritize. Rearrange. Find a balance. Make things work. I couldn’t be single-minded about my career anymore. And you know what? I think I’m better off for it. I love my daughter. I think she has made my conviction that I want to work in this field even stronger. If I could leave her at home to go back and finish what I started, and still love every single day of what I’m doing, well. It must be the right choice, right? It must be what I’m meant to do. If I can add this little person who requires so much love and attention to my life and still have enough left over to devote to my career and be happy with it every day, I must have chosen well for myself.

This is what I want to do. I still believe that, more than ever.

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Even on days like today, when I’m totally exhausted and overwhelmed, I’m glad things happened the way they did. Sure, I still think about how the timing could have been better. But my motivation doesn’t drag at times like my classmates’. I’m doing this for her. She needs me. And I’m so lucky to still be doing what I love.

She’s pretty cute, too. That doesn’t hurt.

And guess what? She took her first steps alone last weekend. I cried so many happy tears. I can’t believe she’s 18 months old. I know it’s cliche, but really. Where does the time go?

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Mishmash

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Oh hai there. I haven’t posted in forever, so I have a lot of random things to say!

Caroline and I have been visiting Tyler and the in-laws in North Dakota for the past week and a half because I am on break from school. It’s always a nice vacation to head out to the middle of nowhere and just relax. We even went to the rodeo this year. I didn’t even know that rodeos still existed before I married this man, by the way. Caroline was obsessed with all the horses. At one point during the day she was throwing a tantrum and I said “Caroline, use your words. Tell me what you want.” and she sniffled and said in a tiny voice “hoss”. I guess all those times I promised her a pony to get her to go to sleep are catching up to me. Crap.

We are struggling with sleep these days… both of us. Her crib was in the same room as us in North Dakota, so she kept waking up and seeing us and wanting to play. Now that she and I are home, she still thinks it should be party time around 2am. I was so tired last night that at 8pm I thought “well, it’s 10pm in North Dakota, so I should probably go to bed early” and then I laid there and laid there and couldn’t sleep, and finally realized that actually I can’t do simple math and it was only 6pm in North Dakota. But by then it was 10pm here so I just stayed in bed anyway. What a boring night. The scary thing is, I’ll be able to write prescriptions for people that involve numbers in just 10 short months. Shhh, it’s fine. Don’t be afraid.

Caroline still isn’t walking, although she loves to hold onto our hands and walk. (She holds her hands up and says “awk! Awk!”) So things are improving in that department. I am for real going to suckerpunch the next person who asks if she’s walking, though. Getting pretty sick of answering that question and hearing the inevitable “wait, how old is she again?” I think I will respond next time with “how old are YOU again?” and see how awkward I can make things.

What else? She is doing a long list of hilarious things. She has so many words now that I have stopped keeping track. She brings me a tissue and says “boogies” when her nose is running. She begs to go “ah-side” and “up, up, up!” She brings us her toothbrush and sternly tells us to “open”. She pokes us in the eye (hard) and explains “eye”. She can name most of her body parts and lots of animals and animal noises. She loves to snuggle and give kisses.

So, I go back to school on Monday. It was a perfect amount of time to be free. I am ready to get back in there and keep being productive, even if it does start my long summer of single-mom’ing it. I’ve got to get going on my summer checklist, though… so far, the only things I’ve done are the girls’ night (Chicaghoes FO LYFE) and the spa treatments, which were glorious, thank you for asking. Maybe Caroline and I will go to the farmer’s market tomorrow, if it isn’t so ungodly hot outside!

Hope you’re all having fantastic summers!

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