Leeza celebrated her first Christmas and New Year’s at home and was, I’m afraid, pretty confused. However, with all the  cake, family and presents involved it didn’t seem to bother her one bit and she had a great time! She understood that we kept telling her it was Jesus’ birthday, but since ‘baby Jesus’ is a small toy in the nativity set to her I can see where that would be a bit hard to understand. She kept giving us a ‘my parents are so confused’ look and telling us it was HER birthday. Despite not really knowing what was going on she had a blast wearing her new tu-tu, pink satin gloves, playing with Cooties, eating fun treats and enjoying her Daddy being home so much. She got to spend her first real holiday with family and has spent the last several days wondering where they all went and telling us her Nanny and Sadie are ‘silly hooses’ (silly gooses).

She’s been home about 2.5 months now and while it has not been as smooth a transition as I’d hoped for, we’re starting to see some real progress. In the midst of all of her medical issues and her still trying to figure out our family it’s easy to lose sight of how far we’ve all come. She now goes to bed and nap as easily as any of the other kids, eats most of what I feed her, can be left in a room alone without panicking, will sit fairly still during reading time, will play games with the other kids and is learning to be obedient. She’s starting to try to write her name and is beginning to focus enough during school time that she’s learning her shapes and how to recognize a pattern. Her English is continuing to grow, which is great, but it’s the odd phrases she comes up with that we enjoy the most. My favorites right now are ‘I like-a snizzle’ (I like snow) and ‘Can I applesauce?’ She is fascinated with the word applesauce and obviously thinks it means something else because she adamantly tells me that jar of yellow stuff in the fridge is NOT applesauce.

We got a new date surgery date for January 24th and are in the process of making sure she will be infection-free so it’s not postponed again. I am now on a first name basis with the PA in Urology at the University and talk to her more than my own husband some days. With a lot of work, medication and prayer she should do her pre-op on the 21st, have surgery the 24th and spend the next 5 days in the hospital as her shunt is adjusted and the pressure in her brain is monitored. One of us has to stay with her around the clock during this time so we would really appreciate prayer as we try to figure out child care for the other 3 kids for the week.

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