The last week or so has been a whirlwind.
A few weeks ago, I received a call that my grandpa was going to be switching to hospice care. As a family, we decided that we would make a trip to Chicago (to let Caroline meet my husband's family) and then Caroline and I would go on to California to see Pop. Unfortunately, he passed away on Valentine's Day. We kept our plans to visit and attended his memorial service instead. Despite great sadness on the part of everyone he left behind, there was joy in being together and celebrating his life. I don't have the energy right now to write all about my grandpa, but I am very, very lucky to be his granddaughter.
Needless to say, the trip left us worn out and me emotionally exhausted. Caroline proved herself to be a pretty good traveler. We also lucked out - flying Southwest, no one wanted to sit by the baby*, so we had an empty seat next to us each leg of the trip.
*One lady wanted to sit by the baby. She was kind of over-reachy. But she was a seat away. The other people who sat a seat away were all dads or grandpas traveling alone who guessed that they would get an empty seat next to them if they shared a row with Caroline. Smart guys.
Ellie has been very aware that something happened but unable to articulate her concerns fully. She just keeps asking about her Pops (my dad) and needs a lot of reassurance that he is okay. Many children with learning disabilities and cognitive disabilities have trouble generalizing information - either over- or under-generalizing. In this case, Ellie is overgeneralizing her concerns to include her own grandfather, so we keep trying to provide chances to FaceTime and see that my dad is still around. Because of these concerns for Ellie, we decided that attending the memorial service wouldn't be a great idea for her, so she and Daddy stayed a couple extra days in Chicago and then returned home.
In the meantime, on our trip, Caroline turned five months old and started rocking on hands and knees. She also appears to be working on another tooth. Time with her is flying by. She's wearing 6-9 month clothing, she's sitting (if you put her in position) and she just discovered the ability to create a high-pitched shriek which she uses to express joy, anger, boredom, sadness, and any other emotion. She just likes to be loud.
In other news, Ellie finally got a haircut after an awful haircut from last year grew out. ("No layers." "Okay" - Cuts layers that look awful.) She now looks older and adorable. Matt and his mom took Ellie for the haircut armed with a few pictures of what I had in mind, and I love it. So does Ellie.
I'll try to post some photos of the girls meeting their cousin and Caroline meeting her second cousins soon. The family time was a gift. Today, Caroline and I are going to attempt to get over jet lag because I have a full photography schedule coming up, a meeting with Ellie's possible new school for Kindergarten, and a week's worth of laundry and mail to sort.