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January 11, 2008


5:40pm Well, I just hit the wrong key and lost a brilliant post. Things are going well. Sophie's clinic visit went very well. Lizzy went along for the first time since we moved out here. I think Sophie was trying to show off for Lizzy just a bit! They really, really do care so much for each other. Although they drive each other (and their parents) crazy from time to time, they are great sisters and get along pretty well.

We got the "official" report from the Cognitive Psychologist and Sophie has some mild- to moderate impairment/disorder that can be attributed to the chemotherapy. We're a little in denial about it, I guess, and a little confused (the report was filled with page after page of jargon that we're not quite sure what it all means). Overall, Sophie is very bright and at or above where she should be cognitively, but she seems to have some issues that we need to keep an eye on. I just had a parent-teacher conference with Sophie's Kindergarten teacher today and she seemed surprised that Sophie has an "issue." We really need to schedule a follow-up with the doctor that did the evaluation and see if he can explain in plain English what is going on.

Sophie's teacher told me a cute story today about her. It seems that while Sophie socializes with the other kids and plays well with them, during recess she's often by herself, wandering the perimeter of the playground talking and singing to herself. Yesterday, she walked up to Mrs. Bennett and said, "You know, when I go to college, I'm going to go on a plane." Mrs. Bennett said, "Oh really? Where are you going to college?" Sophie said, "I don't know, but I'm going to go on a plane when I go." She certainly is one of a kind (as is Elisabeth--her teacher told me stories today about her and ended up by saying, "Elisabeth is just not like other kids!")

January 18, 2008


8:45 AM (Central time): I'm just not ready to start my day yet, so I thought I would post a little update. There's nothing significant to report, but that's a good thing! Last week, I went on a quick trip to Washington DC for a work meeting. What an amazing place. I wish I could go for longer and see more of it. All I saw, other than the scenery during my cab ride, was the hotel I stayed in (The River Inn) and the building where the meeting was held (at The Urban Institute). Because I had to fly across the country, I stayed at the hotel the night before and the night of the meeting (most others flew in that morning and left that afternoon), so I had a lot of time to myself. It was good to get home though.

The girls are doing well. Most of the time, they really seem to get along, and Sophie's dramatic episodes seem to be getting a little better. We're really trying to get them to do more to contribute to the running of our home, and that responsibility seems to be having a positive effect. They continue to charm everyone around here (including us, most of the time). We spend a lot of time laughing in our house!

Did I mention that we got Randall a guitar for his birthday? (Seemed fitting, since he got me a tuba for mine). He signed up for e-mail lessons through a well-recommended web site and has been practicing nearly every day. He's starting to get callouses on his fingertips, and is really enjoying what he is learning. It's good for the girls to see us applying our musical skills--it's making them want to be musical too. Elisabeth is doing well with her piano lessons (and she inherited my ability to play by ear), and Sophie loves to sing and dance.

I'm driving to Albuquerque tonight (it's about four hours away and one time zone to the west) to spend the weekend with Randall's sister Sabine--just the two of us. I've never gone on a trip like that, and I'm looking forward to showing off the city we lived in for five years. She never got a chance to visit us when we lived there. We'll stay the weekend in a hotel downtown, go shopping, eat, visit, and just enjoy ourselves. We plan to go to our old church (First United Methodist Church, downtown) on Sunday morning, so that will be nice. Other than that, as much as I want to visit friends, this time is for Sabine! (Apologies to those of you in or near Albuquerque who are reading this--we'll try to catch you next time!).

Well, I'd better post this before I lose it like Randall did last week!!