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9:00 PM (Randall posting): Today has been a long, long day. Nothing spectacular to report, really, but a long, long day. Sophie got up early this morning before Susan and I finished our early breakfast (Susan went to work today, so it was an early morning).

Generally speaking, Sophie seems to be in better spirits these last couple of days. The breakthrough with the Clifford soup yesterday was a big help because at least she was eating something with regularity. Today her appetite seemed to return to normal as well. She ate a variety of things and not just Clifford soup (spaghettios, roast beef from Arby's, you know, healthy stuff!). For the most part, the girls played very well together, but yelling and being bossy got the best of all of us eventually. Elisabeth had piano lessons today, so Sophie and I ran a couple of errands locally while she did that (a trip to the dump and returning something to friends of ours, that sort of thing).

The nice thing about them playing was that there was far, far less television than usual. I am really beginning to struggle with television, and it didn't help that the New York Times reported today that three new studies suggest television viewing leads to poorer academic performance among children.

Maybe because we've had such a decent break last week (at the beach) and this weekend (because of the Fourth of July), but it seems as if we're getting the determination to re-establish some boundaries for the girls (behavior, TV, picking up, etc.). It's never fun to nag or discipline them, but more often than not, the results speak for themselves. With all that we've been through these last few months, neither Susan nor I had much fortitude to really be the kind of parents we can and should be. I guess if I needed an Incomplete in my coursework this past semester, and Susan needed to adjust her work schedule, we need to realize that our parenting is incomplete and has needed an adjustment as well. Given how important parenting is for both of us, that has been a challenge and we have often (in case you haven't noticed) been at the end of our rope. Hopefully, in these past couple of weeks, we've been able to tie a knot and are working our way back into a parenting groove.


I think you guys do a great job at parenting. I can only wish that my former daughter-in-law would even do a fourth as good of a job as you do. I do understand that the past seven months have been incredibly difficult for all of you. It is a strain on many areas of your lives. This too, shall come to pass.
I am glad that Sophie is eating a little better today. I think that some of the frustration that you are facing is the fact that Sophie is three years old, doesn't know to say that some days she doesn't feel as well as others, that she is nauseated, that she has a metalic taste in her mouth that makes all food taste that way, etc, the way an adult would be able to articulate that sort of thing. This stress is increased by the significant hypoglycemia that Sophie then suffers. Most likely there is no easy answer to this issue. So we will just say, "Praise the Lord for the success today."
I am hoping for a nice day tomorrow so I can get out in the garden. It needs weeded badly. I need to check to see if any of the tomato plants have some ripe ones yet. I also need to check the beans. The weeds in the grass need cut too. I suspect that there are more black raspberries that need picked too. Sometimes I wish I had a clone to help with stuff I didn't want to do or felt like doing, but I don't.
Take care. Hugs and kisses all around. Love, Eileen

Isn't it interesting how vacations renew us -- and give us a chance to review and move ahead in a more positive path. I'm so glad you had a little break and the chance to spend time together, which always seems to strengthen you.

You know that I think you are such great parents, and one of the things I like is that you monitor and try to find new solutions to any problems you see. I remain so glad that our sweeties have you for parents!

We've had some wonderful rain -- which will make MORE zucchinis grow.

I hope the rest of your week will be wonderful.

Bear hugs for all of you!