Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lucia Lately (11 months) and Washington Trip

Lucia is 11 months old. It is quite amazing to watch her conquer her little world one little step at a time...literally, she took her first steps this month!

This morning as I was reading my book, "Growing Spiritually", on the couch, Lucia was sitting next to me, her back leaning against a pillow, reading her book, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See". I would look over at her and she would smile back at me and I just kept thinking of how much has changed in these 11 months. When she was just a few weeks old, I just could not have imagined this moment being a reality...and so quickly! So this moment lasted for a good sixty seconds and then back to the craziness. Lucia is a little girl on the move. Basically, if she is awake then she is moving, playing and hopping from one toy to the next, babbling, laughing or maybe even yelling. Sorry, neighbors below us!

Lucia has added walking to her list of accomplishments! However, there is some debate over when this began. Her uncle Jeff and grandma Debbie would say she took her first step in Washington a few weeks ago. I had just turned away and Matt was out of the room, so after Jeff's half-way convincing declaration that she took a step towards grandma Debbie, Matt decided that it didn't count. Even if we did miss that first one, it was a thrill for me to see her take three little steps for the first time! She had been driving me a little crazy all day with whining, screaming and crying but she took a break, took some steps then went back to screaming. She took some more steps the next day and even again for her dad! It seems this new skill is here for good now and it will be fun to watch her master it.

Another new thing is her ability to replicate sounds, words and even say a few of her own. Her first real word was 'baby'. She had said 'mama', 'dada' and 'ball' but usually when prompted. So when she said 'baby' on her own when she saw a baby doll, we decided it was her real first word. Lucia loves baby dolls and looking at pictures of babies while saying 'baby' over and over. We can also see that she is starting to understand us more now when we say 'no'. When she approaches 'no' items like remotes, the cable box, power strips, etc., she starts saying to herself 'no, no, no'. Or when she starts touching them, she looks over at us just waiting for that 'no'. Cute now but probably not for long.

Lucia enjoys eating and sleeping and we love her for it! She usually sleeps a solid 12 hours a night (sometimes more) and two naps a day. She's good at falling asleep on her own now, clutching her sock and one of her blankies and maybe her favorite stuffed animal, kitty (thanks Molly, you were right about that one!). She can eat almost everything now and pretty much likes whatever we put in front of her. Her has some old favorites like bananas, oatmeal with yogurt, cottage cheese, peas and fruit but now has some new favorites like ham and cheese tortilla roll-ups, mac and cheese and other pasta dishes. She is pretty good at drinking water out of her sippy cup which is good timing since she can start milk out of it next month. Her food is easier chewed now that she has a top tooth coming in. The fussiness of teething is not so fun for her (or us) but such is life.

One of my favorite parts of the last few weeks has been to watch her become more interactive with people around her. Lots more smiles, laughs and cuddles with us, her cousins and others. Her more complicated babbling has become more like a conversation and she has even figured out some noises that make us laugh and then keeps doing them. It's so fun to watch her brain put things together snd getting goofy!

Here are some pics from the month...

 We had some unseasonably warm days here so we took advantage of being outside by going to the park. This is one of my favorite faces Lucia makes.

 She chose to swing like this even though we helped her move forward too.

 We went to Washington last month to spend some time with the Johnsons. Here we are on the plane. Lucia did alright although it was a lot harder this trip than the last when she basically slept the whole time. On the way back, she had her own seat which made a HUGE difference. Minimal shrieks from Lucia and less darting, evil looks from strangers on the way home.

 Apparently happy to be flying!

 We made it to grandma Debbie and grandpa Mark's!

 Hanging out with uncle Jeff

 And Jim and Sundra

 and great grandpa Bill

 We celebrated late Christmas together so Lucia got to open some gifts.

 She doesn't quite get it but she did love ripping up the tissue paper.

 And of all the toys she got, she was most mesmerized by the packaging of the ornament she received.

 She had lots of new toys to play with at grandma and grandpa's.

 Notice the little baby doll is in each picture because she dragged that thing around everywhere! Thanks to her cousin, Naomi, for letting us borrow it.

 This is basically what most of our time looked like, all of the adults gathered around and watching Lucia play...the life of a first-born.

 Lucia got to meet her second cousin, Beau! She was very curious to look at him. It will be fun to watch these two grow up together.

 Justina and Becca showed us around their picturesque little town, Edmonds, WA. So many cute shops and restaurants plus I loved how it was on the water.

 If there's one thing we Chicagoans know how to do, it's bundle! What's that phrase, "there's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes"? In in my family, that phrase also holds true for inside as well. If I had a nickel for all the times my mom has told me to just put on a sweater (or if that doesn't work, do some jumping jacks).

 We were lucky to be driving back during a beautiful sunset over Seattle.

 Then we left Lucia with grandma and grandpa for our first night away to head down to Portland to spend some time with our friends, Nate and Emily. As always, it was fun to spend time together and we had a great time.

 After a fun night, and an extremely generous stay at a hotel in downtown Portland, we headed outdoors to a nearby waterfall for a little hike.

 Isn't that cute?

Thanks to all out west for making it a great trip!

 Meanwhile, back in Chicago, Lucia is still obsessed with that little doll.

 Getting herself into some interesting places these days.

 She was sick last week and spent her whole day either sleeping or like this.

 This is one pic where I think she actually looks like my baby/toddler pictures. I am thinking specifically of the one where I am sitting in the little chair in that blue dress under an ironing board, right mom?

 Here she is doing one of her favorite activities, looking at pictures of babies.

 Her hair is getting long!

On the move!

And her cousins cheering for Lucia after seeing her take a few steps. 
(Actually, I recreated this pic by making them keep clapping cause I thought it was so cute!)

Love that toothy smile!

But she's not always smiling and here's some proof. In fact, she is crying right now. Still cute though.

We love you, Lucia!

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