Willow's winter

Winter is definitely here in Michigan, and that means a couple of things. Colder temps, snow, and grumpy kids!  Willow loves to go outside and play in the snow, but her older siblings are just a little over it all. We did not raise a bunch of winter loving kids here! But she has gone outside none the less and enjoyed a snowball fight or two with her brother, and tried to build on a hill to go sledding down.  It was fun!  But then there is the flip side, where everyone gets sick and they are grumpy!

Willow fell ill on Christmas day that led us to go into the ER, turns out it was flu. Well, they gave her tamiflu and really within a week she was doing well again.  Fast forward to January 17th and we are back in the ER with her as she once again spiked a high fever!  MRI was done and all is well with her shunt (thank goodness), and so it seems it was round two of the flu, with a different strand.  Yes, I have been told it is totally possible (yet rare) to have the flu twice in one season. Go Willow for keeping on the rare train!! Today though, she is doing and feeling well enough to go back to school. She was none the less quite excited as she does love the school she attends on Monday/Wednesday's.
Aside from the trip to ER, Christmas went well, she opened presents, laid low for a bit, but really did enjoy the day and all the kids being home.

Prior to Christmas though is her birthday.  Boy did she have a great day!  She planned her own 'surprise party' at Chuck E. Cheese and asked everyone she knows to come!  She had so much fun playing with friends, playing games, eating food, and opening presents (which was a great surprise to her).  She then got to see Santa that day, and come home to a real surprise party that her dad and brothers helped set up.  :)   She was so shocked, she covered her ears in all of the yelling of 'surprise!"  It was pretty cool.

As her mom, it is so cool to see her grow up, and get so much more independent every day. Just yesterday I noticed she was jumping around (something she does all the time), but this time looked different... She actually jumped with both feet off the ground and straight up!  She has been working on this for months! I don't really know at what age that is supposed to happen, we gave up on the age appropriateness of things right after her diagnosis. Her pediatrician allowed us to know and accept that all things will come in Willow time.  We have used those words so much in her young years, but it hasn't been said in a long time. But Willow time still exists.  She is on track with gross motor skills, fine motor skills are good. Comprehension is above age, its just expressive speech she still struggles with.  There are times (when she gets going) that even I struggle to know what she is saying!  But she has a lot of helpers to get her going, and she has the internal motivation to do it. :)  One day, Willow time will be a thing of the past completely and long forgotten.  But for now - it still hangs around for a little longer. I don't mind, growing with Willow on her time is kind of cool :)

opening gifts on her surprise party at home










A surprise gift showed up before her birthday at our door and boy was she excited :) 

Here was the cake she picked not knowing it was for the surprise party









We got to go see Annie

The girls at Annie :)  They both loved it








Christmas morning before the kids got to it 

This was her with her Elsa doll she got from her hospital trip on Christmas day

Opening gifts Christmas morning

She wanted to 'photo bomb' the picture with Orion and I... so this was her doing so - LOL  

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