Birthday Queen!!!October 04, 2008 by Bill Strong
Firstly, we would like to thank everyone for all of the calls, emails, texts, Facebook messages, cards, gifts, flowers, and balloons. We are once again humbled by the love that you have all shown our precious Gwendolyn.
We had a wonderful day!!! We woke Gwendolyn up by singing, "Happy Birthday". The look on her face was priceless and after that, she was in full birthday mode. I think she knew it was her very special day because she seemed extra pleased with herself. We opened presents together and she loved pulling the cards out of the envelopes and helping with the wrapping and tissue paper. She played with her new balloons and thoroughly enjoyed bonking them up and down.
Gwendolyn is feeling much better, but still requires the bi-pap much more and her pediatrician wants us to continue to let her rest. We weren't sure what she would be up for today, but after our normal morning ritual of treatment, feed, nap, treatment, we set off for a day of adventure. We got to see a few friends briefly and wish them and their darling babies a happy first birthday. Then we headed to the Santa Barbara wharf. It was raining lightly, but once the sky cleared we thought we would try a walk and a visit to the Ty Warner Sea Center. None of us have ever been, and while it is small, it was perfect for us today. Gwendolyn was quite happy strolling around in her stroller, observing the exposed beams and light fixtures above her, but when she seemed strong enough to be off the bi-pap, a new world opened up for her. She loved the jellyfish aquarium and really liked touching the glass on the octopus aquarium and seeing the octopus slowly roll and slither away. The highlight was definitely when she got to touch different creatures, beginning with a starfish. She is usually hesitant if we push her to touch something that she isn't ready for, but she went for it. And by the time the sea cucumber came around she was lifting her arm ready for the experience. Her mouth was open, her eyes were enormous, and she had this look of, "WoW!" It was so wonderful.
After all of this excitement, Gwendolyn was pretty worn out, so with a few bumps on the boardwalk, she fell fast asleep and Mommy and Daddy got to enjoy a little lunch on the pier and views of the ocean. We headed home, played with balloons some more, and took pictures of our big girl. And finally, blew out one candle and let her eat cake! Well, it was a strawberry cupcake really and was only a little taste of the frosting, but for girl who has only ever licked fruit, this was the big leagues! She seemed unsure and hesitant, but she definitely didn't dislike it. She really liked feeling the frosting in her fingers.
What a wonderful day...
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