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8:30 PM I'm going to take a brief moment and post an update for today before Susan brings the girls home from dance class and our nighttime rituals begin. As I type this, I can hear Sophie's voice down the hall, so I may have to interrupt this. . .

We've all had a good day today, although drop off at Countryside was a little difficult. Susan left early for work (although not as early as some days), and I had no trouble getting the girls dressed and ready to go. Elisabeth and I waited for the bus while Sophie hung out watching TV on the couch. When it was time to go to daycare, Sophie was pretty happy to get dressed and get in the car. When we got to Countryside, she was fine until we walked into the room. Sophie got real quiet and just sat down in a chair and watched me while I put away her coat and blanket. She never took her eyes off me, even though the teachers were trying very hard to engage Sophie--they even offered her french toast sticks! I talked to Sophie a little while, but tears kept welling up in her eyes and she would not talk back to me, she only nodded or shook her head. Finally, I just walked out and Sophie started crying before I got to the door. It was very, very hard, but I realize that she has been with us for the last several days and Countryside is still "new" to her. She had a wonderful day and even said that she had something yummy for lunch but couldn't remember what it was (how's that for trying new food?).

Well, after a few interruptions (and both girls are still awake), I guess there's not too much to add. Tomorrow Sophie and Susan leave early in the morning for a clinic visit (vincristine and spinal tap, with sedation). Sophie was very concerned about "getting a shot" tomorrow, and Susan tried very hard to assure Sophie that although she would be getting a "shot" in her back, it would not hurt because they would give her medicine in her tail first that would make it so she wouldn't feel anything. I don't know if Sophie understood, but we kept insisting that we would always be truthful with Sophie about her treatments and that we would never tell her something wouldn't hurt if we knew that it would hurt.

Speaking of treatment, Sophie starts another five days of steroids tomorrow. We're not looking forward to that, in case you were wondering. Another week of manic food cravings and irrational temper tantrums. Maybe after 18 months with a five-day regimen of steroids we'll figure out how to deal with it, or maybe we won't and after 18 months we'll just be thankful to be finished!