Three weeks into the time from when we first moved, I happily posted this Facebook status:
Pretty much, it sums up the reason why we moved in the first place, and is the best validation. Jamie’s allergies are finally, finally, FINALLY… under control. I hope I’m not jinxing it by saying that out loud to the universe, but it’s been a week since the status (and today is Mama Mary’s birthday — so it’s also great day to be thankful for this!)
At her well-check visit the pediatrician and I talked about her history. We still went home with a new arsenal of medications and topical creams. The oil is THE best I tell you. I don’t know why it was never prescribed in the first place!
I’m still in disbelief at how sparingly we use them. I haven’t even opened the prescribed oral medicines — to think I got two bottles out of habit.
Sometimes, Jamie’s skin will flare up in specific parts of her body, but it’s isolated and it’s not severe. My former three-to-four hour daily intervals of medication have now stretched over a period of 3-4 days. Her skin looks and feels so different.
Even Jamie is different. It’s like suddenly, without the discomfort or the pain from her condition, she’s bloomed.
After three years and four months, Jamie FINALLY — sleeps through the night. For two years she used to wake up to feed, but when that was done, she’d wake up because she was itchy. Even I’d lose sleep applying medicine constantly at night (if I wasn’t completely zonked out myself). Otherwise, she’d wake up with a new wound and blood stains on the bed. And she’d be very, very cranky.
These days she wakes up in good spirits. And she knows exactly what she wants to do or where she wants to go.
Her voice isn’t timid and uncertain anymore; there’s a confident undertone to it. Her personality is growing and she’s significantly more outspoken than she was before. Jamie has always been very good at knowing and saying what she wants, and it’s been quite the challenge compromising with her when things change. I do prefer that though over the non-stop tears and “clingy-ness” of the past.
Sam was in school almost immediately after we arrived, so Jamie and I had almost the whole day everyday to ourselves since. Thinking back now it’s actually the first time we had some quality time since Chapel Hill. Even back then Jamie was still an infant — napping constantly and learning to crawl and eat. We spent a lot of our time breastfeeding. Then in Manila, I had to make the quick adjustment to put her in school 5 days a week, and Sam’s days were still very short so we really didn’t get much time alone.
In the last two and a half weeks, I’ve just watched Jamie transform day after day, it’s made me so happy just to be with her 24/7. She is jumping, singing, dancing, and SMILING.
She doesn’t shy away from people she meets anymore, and she’ll openly talk to adults about something that’s on her mind. She’s gotten good at meeting new kids too.
There are still situations when she holds back, but she doesn’t cry about it (or rather, cries a LOT less). And just in case, she brings Bunny for extra support.
Suddenly she’s happy to explore. And open to trying new things. We’ve even made an impromptu trip down to Disneyland for a few hours because she wanted to get on the It’s a Small World ride — twice — meet some characters, and eat Mac-n-cheese.
She’s taken quite the interest in Merida and the movie Brave, and has asked for a bow and arrow of her own so she can learn archery.
Maybe it’s also the age? It could be. But it is a tremendous help that we don’t have to worry about her eczema as much anymore. And it’s so obvious — she’s just… HAPPY.
Today is Jamie’s first day of school. She’s been anticipating this day and was all smiles when I put her in the car, which was a pleasant surprise. Even if she loved school in Manila, she’d always put up some form of resistance or drama on our way there. Today, she couldn’t wait to go. When we said goodbye this morning, there was no lingering tight hug, and there were no tears. She walked into her classroom and waved to me like any little big girl would.
It’s my first day alone too. I finally have three full hours of peace. I was looking forward to today because of all the things on my to do list which haven’t gotten checked off in weeks. I wanted some time to hear myself think. As much as it was fun to be attached 24/7, it was also exhausting to be constantly needed.
But right now I find myself missing Jamie-boo, and in the car ride home, I was the one who shed the tears (Oh Momma!).
The roller coaster of motherhood, what can I say. I’m quite excited for Jamie though. It’s a good school, and she was so ready for it. It’s still a new adventure for us both, now in different ways. I wonder what’s in store for us next.