Here's our little Lucia. She's 18 months old today but still my little baby. Except now when I call her my baby, she looks around the room for her baby doll feverishly chanting "Baby, baby, baby". Oh how times have changed...more on her later.
Our summer has been wonderfully full, steadily busy but fun and life giving. We've spent lots of time outside, hanging out with friends and family, playing in parks, going to the pool and beach, frozen yogurt runs, taking walks, picking veggies from the garden and running up and down the drive way. We've been busy at work but have been able to get in a few long weekend trips along the way. Amongst the crazy schedule and full days, there have been many moments of peace. I think I love the smell of summer the most. It may be because of that place in your brain that connects scent with memories but when I'm out for a walk I feel catapulted back to that sweetest feeling of childhood happiness. All I can do is take in and try to teach Lucia to do the same.
This kind of sums up summer...lounging, sunshine, happiness. I love spending time here in the porch, especially in the summer.
Here is Lucia at play group at church. I look at her happily playing at church and think how crazy it is that she is already a year and half old. In some ways it has flown by, in other ways, not so much. But we celebrate the great things that 18 months brings for Lucia: ability to be more independent, using words more frequently, showing affection towards us in the sweetest ways and enjoying the people around her more thoroughly.
One of her biggest developments is the great expansion of language lately. It's like all of a sudden all of the little gears in her head are turning together, working and she's saying things like "there-she-is", "oh no!" and "Cia bite" (she calls herself Cia). Some of my new favorite words of hers are 'stuck', 'back' and 'owie'. She says 'thank you', 'mine', 'me' or 'Cia' when she wants something. She calls me 'Mommy' or 'Momma' and Matt either 'Mommy', 'Daddy' or 'Matt'. It's so funny when he comes into the room and she loudly exclaims "Hi Matt!". She can communicate almost everything she wants now: when she wants to go outside, go downstairs, eat something, put her shoes on, drink water, drink milk, eat, play with something, get her pacifier/sock, be comforted, give a hug/kiss...I mean, what more could an 18 month old want? And she's oh-so-able to communicate things that she doesn't want/like. But on a positive note, the biting is down to a minimum now that she can understand about taking turns.
Lucia still loves to eat for the most part. She can be pickier about trying things but usually comes around with another try. She says "no hay" when her food is all gone (Spanish for 'all gone', sort of, unfortunately the only Spanish we have taught her so far). She is pretty proficient with utensils now and has fun using them. She sleeps about 13 hours a night plus takes a 3 hour nap in the afternoon. This is great although there was about a month when she slept for at least 14-15 hours a night and it was glorious. Lucia like to dance, play hide and seek, 'read' along with books, sing along with songs, make us laugh, play with her cousins, pretend play, carry around purses, put on necklaces and take care of her baby dolls and kitty. She can follow simple instructions and still does not like having her diaper changed most of the time. The difference now is that she is so big and strong that sometimes I am literally incapable of containing her for a diaper change (meaning my 1 year old is stronger than me, kind of pathetic). She likes being helpful by cleaning up, picking up toys and throwing things away. Usually, the first thing she says in the morning is "Mimi" for Naomi, her cousin closest in age; they love seeing each other and playing together. We have yet to go to her 18 month appointment but I suspect she is still on track as big and tall. We saw another 18 month old at the park today and Lucia looked like a monster compared to her.
Here are some more pics of Lucia and some of our summer:
We were able to hang out with Dave some this summer while he was in town. Always good for the three of us to be together.
Taking a walk in a nearby nature park with Naomi, Lucia and Sonja.
Having lunch at my favorite playground by the lake in Evanston.
Then it was off to Washington to visit the grandma and grandpa.
There was a band on the plane that impromptu sang 'You Are My Sunshine' over the intercom from the back of the plane. Only on Southwest.
Lucia and her second cousin Beau.
Lucia with her grandpa Mark.
And grandma Debbie
We had a chance to hang out at Anne and Pete's house!
Playing at Priest Point Park in Olympia.
Lots of puddles
Reading with uncle Jeff
Always fun to hang out outside on a nice summer day in Washington
We had a great time hanging out with friends. This is the moment when Lucia realizes that I am holding a camera and needs to be holding it.
How cute is pregnant Anne?!?
Lucia behind her namesake garden.
And she's packed up and ready to go home.
Hanging out with her friend, Zeke
And riding in a car cart for the first time time with her friend, Aliyah.
Lucia loves taking care of her baby
And swinging on her belly on the big swings
At great grandpa Bert's birthday party
Why so serious, Naomi?
Sonja's cute haircut
All the Wallgren cousins!
Close up of Renee
Hanging out on the porch!
Getting silly at the park
We hung out at my parents on Labor Day and cut down this tree. Little did we know that it would be a source of so many activities.
Climbing the stump
And although there are no pictures of it, there were hours spent in the log-toss-competition-thing which involved a particular form of lunging the stump the farthest. It was pretty intense.
And then it was as though heaven was shining down on our Labor Day bbq.
The beautiful Gwen and Sonja
Labor Day was also our 7th wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful night out the day before to celebrate and then continued our annual breaking a glass tradition by throwing a cracked mug in the fire.
I am so glad to be married to Mr. Matt. We're more in love with each other today than 11 years ago when we were first dating. Thanks for 7 wonderful years of marriage, Matt! Many more to come...