Saturday, March 14, 2015

Lucia Lately...3 Years Old

Miss Lucia Gloria turned 3 last week on March 6th! Here she is in the special outfit she picked out to wear on her birthday. If you know her, then you know she of course would want to wear a sparkly skirt and all pink. She has strong clothes opinions these days and it's a rare day to see her without a skirt on. She's definitely turning more each day into a girly girl loving all things pink, sparkly plus nail polish, lotion and choosing her hairstyle. She named this style the "Elsa ponytail" after Elsa from Frozen, not me...I'm not cool enough.

Lucia is (mostly) an absolute joy these days. She loves to play, laugh, make new friends at the park, read books, create art, dance when the credits come on at the end of a movie and snuggle. She's a goofy girl that "cracks myself up" as she says. Her language and memory skills continue to amaze us but these days she's into making up new words like "this cheese is too helpy" or "the covers are too flumpy". Mostly adjectives but funny when she makes them part of her normal vocabulary. Also funny when she says things like "I promise" or "trust me" when I know from how she uses them that she doesn't fully grasp their meanings yet. She is definitely a people person, learning others' names and using them often, engaging with her eyes and her contagious laugh.

She has been sleeping in a big girl bed for some time now. I took a while to dive into that world plus potty training world mainly because we had so many changes and transitions recently which usually does not work in favor of toddler transitions. But I have to say, I do not regret waiting til she was older because she has been more ready which make things easier for her to understand and easier on us overall. We still have some work on potty training but in general she is doing great. She sleeps a bit shorter now that she can get up from her bed but still gets a solid 10-12 hours of sleep and knows that if she comes to snuggle at night, it's only for a few minutes then she goes darting off back to bed herself.

Most of all when I think of Lucia, I think of how sweet she is. She loves to take care of her 'friends', the few stuffed animals that live in her bed. Before she goes to sleep she carefully tucks them in, kissing them and calling each one 'sweetheart' as they take their places. And she is even more generous with her love for Matt and I. I can't even count the amount of times in a day that she comes up to me, kisses me and says "I love you, Mama" in a such a tender voice. Sometimes over and over within the span of a few minutes. Then the icing on the cake is her newest repeated heart-melting phrase "You're the best Mama".

 Here are some more pictures from her big day and the weekend of celebration...

When she woke up on her birthday, we made some pancakes and had a Disney dance party. She said "this is a beautiful party, Mama", ha!

She 'helped' me dip some rice krispy treats in white chocolate and sprinkles but in reality, she basically just did this.

Then we were off to the library to play and pick out some new special books and movies.

 And we topped the morning off with a special lunch trip for a Happy Meal.

That night we had a fun family party for dinner, cake and presents.

 Lucia was excited about the new bike we gave her and hopped right on to practice. The funny thing during opening presents was that each time we said, "this is from ____ ", she thought we meant "to" so she would begrudgingly walk over and hand whatever gift she just received back to them. No Lucia, that's for you, you get to keep it! I guess we need to work on the difference between to and from.

Sommar and Lucia even had time to Skype with their Chicago cousins.

Best compliment from my cousin, Anne, "your mom is here because she may as well have made that cake". Yes, mission accomplished! This is the cake that I (and she) grew up eating every birthday so we are carrying on the tradition.

Though Lucia basically just ate the frosting, the ice cream and the chocolate part of the rice krispy treats, leaving this mess of desert when she was all done. A few days later, I blended up some left over cake (different left overs than the ones pictured above), chocolate ice cream, milk, chocolate chips and ice to make a cake milkshake. It was a great way to use leftover cake and they tasted super yummy, almost like a Frosty.

 The next day was a gorgeous one reaching almost 70 degrees so we headed to one of our favorite parks.

Throwing rocks

 Scooping sand, floating shells

Finding little crabs

We spotted a few otters swimming about so we walked over to get closer.

Then we spotted this eagle flying and went to get a closer view of it perching atop this tree.

Soon after getting close to the eagle, it flew off towards something about 50 feet away from us. As we look closer, we see an otter making it's way up the beach to bring a fish to it's den and the eagle swooping down to snatch that fish out of the otter's mouth. Well, the otter kept at it and got up to it's home with the fish. It was quite the site.

 So we walked over to get closer to see if the otter would come back out (it didn't). We could hear little pup squeals so I'm glad the eagle didn't get the fish. I mean seriously, how lazy could the bird be? Go get your own fish.

Lucia had fun getting creative with this knotty, root-y tree. She was decorating it and seasoning it with 'salt' and 'pepper'.

I noticed this spot where a rock had been engulfed and overcome in the growth of the tree, probably long, long ago.

Soaking up the sun

Then it was time to go...

 We enjoyed some food by the harbor in Olympia

 And went to a movie for a very special treat. Lucia loved it!

Happy Birthday Lucia!

It is our joy to be your parents and watch you grow. We can't wait to see what this year brings for you. And we will try our hardest to see you and love you just how we find you.

I read a Henri Nouwen excerpt about parents and their children recently that I liked:
 "Children are their parents' guests.  They come into the space that has been created for them, stay for a while -  fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five years - and leave again to create their own space.  Although parents speak about "our son" and "our daughter," their children are not their property. In many ways children are strangers.  Parents have to come to know them, discover their strengths and their weaknesses, and guide them to maturity, allowing them to make their own decisions.

The greatest gift parents can give their children is their love for each other.  Through that love they create an anxiety-free place for their children to grow, encouraging them to develop confidence in themselves and find the freedom to choose their own ways in life."

And so we will try our best to do that.

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