Bridget, try to not freak out. I know, easier said than done. From the varied replies you got in NM, several of which seemed totally plausible, I think it could be any number of things.
Jennifer, thanks for that link on the ticks. I did some more research, figured out exactly which kind he had, and figured out which diseases it could have been carrying. Luckily I took a picture of the ticks when they were removed. I called to find out if we should do anything, and they just said to keep an eye out for fever and rash and achiness and pain, etc. I could tell the nurse was kind of grossed out and was trying to hide it. She said, "How did you know it was on him for FIVE (gulp) days?!?" Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can progress rapidly and be fatal if untreated. I remember being tested for it when I was first hospitalized for meningitis.
Molly, I would have felt very uncomfortable with leaving her at preschool too. I know it's common to cry and cling and to settle down when parents leave, but I would not want to make the first day a traumatic transition. My school encouraged a few days of gradual getting-to-know period, with the parent staying and playing for a while, and getting the kids comfortable with being able to turn to the new, previously unfamiliar grown-ups as sources of information and comfort.
Christina, I hope things settle down for you. I like boring, too.
Jennifer, I hope Cosmo's eye is okay!
Mandy.... you know I'm thinking about you!