Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What a GREAT Grandad

Gwen's Great Grandad Jim Studley passed away last week, July 15th at the age of 85. The day Gwen and I came home from the hospital last October, he had a 6lb tumor removed from his abdomen. He had been struggling with what they thought was anemia, but he diagnosed his Cancer himself. At the new year he seemed to be doing well and had put on some healthy weight. These pictures were taken in early February when he and Camie brought us a picnic lunch while I was still recovering from our car accident. Around Father's Day things started to not look so good. We made an effort to visit as much as we could. Gwen's presence seemed to be uplifting, not that Jim needed any cheering up, he was in good spirits up to the end. When we found out Spencer's Uncle Pat was coming out from New York for a visit, and then brought his family out for a week, we new it was serious. Then hospice showed up. Jim passed in style and dignity, in his home, surrounded by family, in his sleep, with a smile on his face.
When we found out Jim was gone, Spencer made arrangements to take the rest of the week off and we packed up our things and headed up to be with the family. The atmosphere was heavy, but jovial; more like a family reunion than anything. We visited, and ate, and visited, then ate some more. Gwen was a ray of sunshine during this time (even though she was cutting teeth) and her Great Grandmother seemed to really enjoy showing her "Little Rose" off to those who stopped by to pay their respects. It was only family at the Burial (I have never been to one before) and Gwen was a little antsy being held so long (in the Ergo Baby Carrier which I wore) but was so good looking at the flowers, and playing with a small piece of tree she pulled off. After the official program, when people were loitering about, a few people had walked up to touch the casket and say goodbye. I felt the need to do so as well, and after I did, as I was walking away from the casket, Gwen actually waved bye-bye. It was so touching.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Going Coastal

We just got back late last night from our trek visiting my East Coast family including my Mom who hadn’t seen Gwen yet. The trip went really well. We got Gwen her own seat on the plane and brought her car seat (now her travel seat!) and I couldn’t imagine having to hold her like a lap baby. Anyone who has spent much time around her, especially these days, knows she is no lap baby. We gave her Tylenol at take off to help any pain in her ears but she seemed fine. We had new toys for her to play with and special snacks and she took two naps, and only one diaper change. Both flights were like this. Not that it was easy, but it was relatively painless. I was just happy there was no screeching at the top of her lungs and Spencer didn’t have to walk her up and down the aisle.

My Mom was so happy to see Gwen and we enjoyed seeing the fireworks together (again Gwen was amazing), going for a picnic at a state park, BBQing at my Uncle Stephen's, and we got pictures done of the 3 generations. Gwen chose the photo shoot to have a complete meltdown (the only one during the trip)- but we still got a good photo out of it (will scan and post later).

We stayed with my Uncle Michael and Aunt Deb in Hampton, NH (we are so grateful for their hospitality!). We spent one evening at the beach nearby. Spencer and I shared a lobster roll and clam chowder while Gwen munched on her beloved cherrios. This was Gwen’s second trip to the beach (first was to see the sunset at Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz). Spencer took her down to the water so she could feel the sand between her toes and put her feet in the Atlantic. We then watched the full moon rise over the water.

It was a lovely trip, but we are glad to be home. I am going to try and leverage the time change to get her to sleep a little earlier at night…we’ll see. There are a lot more photos, but here are a few.

Gwen looking a little sleepy, but enjoying those beads and her Nana

Gwen and her Great Uncle Michael

Nursing on the hammock at the Family BBQ

Gwen going crazy on the leather chair.