Saturday, October 25, 2008

eLLe - 18 months

Dear Luciya,

First off, let's start by wishing a very happy, special birthday to Aunty Clancy.


Did you know that you and she share half-birthdays? Interesting, no? Which would mean that -- holy schnikeys -- you're A YEAR AND A HALF OLD. How? When? Whoooooo?

That picture of you and Clance was taken on that grand and whirlwind day, the day your daddy and I got married. And while that whole spectacle is now behind us (it's been nearly a month, which just blows my mind... and a giant THANK YOU to all of you who came to help us rejoice!), we are still not slowing down a bit. No siree. 

For starters, you are 18 months old. And this is supposed to be some kind of baby golden age, a milestone, a smack-dab testament to toddlerhood... and you certainly are not disappointing us. 

Where to begin.

For starters, your language acquisition is astounding. You repeating - or trying to repeat - the things your daddy and Tutu and Grams and I say. And it seems like, out of nowhere, this talking thing is no big whoop. You're now saying things like "me" and "mo" (more) and "pees" (please) and the biggest to date is "no." "No" like you mean it. Gone is the na-na-na babble; the other day I asked if you were done with your lunch and you looked at me pointedly and said "NO." As in N-O. As in, don't even think about taking that tray away from my high chair woman; even though you know I'd grab another handful of diced carrots or a noodle as you were taking it away, I am certainly not done. No.

You've also grown like the proverbial weed in the last few weeks, and your dada and I were kicking ourselves the other day when, after it SNOWED in Boise two days after we returned from our honeymoon and we decided to treat you to a new winter wardrobe at the Carter's outlet, we got home with our bundle of size 18-month clothing and realized that the majority of it is too small. Weren't you just swimming in size 18 month a couple weeks ago? Darn it!

Speaking of the honeymoon, which was luscious and relaxing and warm and sleepy and delicious, and which gave you and your Grams a chance to bond and giggle and get to know one another (thanks again, Grams!), we have decided that we are never again going to leave you for 9 days. Too long. Too far. I felt hollow without you around. And that moment we first laid eyes on each other, when I stepped in to your room as you were waking up from your nap, was surreal for both of us. We just stared at each other for a moment, and your face fell in confusion, and I said "it's Mama!" and you lit up like the sun. I'll never forget that happy moment. You literally light up my life.

And you're so funny lately! You're quite the ham. You love to cover an object with a blanket and then turn to me, palms up: where is it? You'll throw a scarf over your head and run around the room, and emulate the way I tickle you. You love to laugh, and you love for your dada and me to make you laugh. You're tickly and giggly and scrumptious. 

The past few weeks have been absolutely glorious, your mama's favorite season. The weather is crisp and clear and scented with fallen yellow leaves and pumpkin spice. We've taken advantage of the clean air and the changing colors and headed out to the parks and to the pumpkin patch. There, we took a hay ride and fed the goats and you rode on a pony and - such a big girl! - rode on the "cow train" all by yourself as the tractor looped around a dusty spot among the corn stalks. Of course, you nearly gave us a heart attack when you went to stand up in your cow-painted barrel, and I nearly ran to stop the train, but you sat back down, secure in your seat belt, and waved to us as you passed.

We are really having to watch ourselves lately, as you've become quite the little ape and have learned to imitate us around the house and in what we say. Today the song "Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover" was on the radio in the car and your dada belted out the first word and sure enough from the back seat we heard "dam!!!!" But you're learning good things, too, like the fact that garbage goes into the rubbish can. you can even discern what would be considered garbage and you'll pick up a miniscule crumb from the floor, toddle over to the can, lift the lid, and drop it inside. This afternoon you dropped your sippy cup and some milk spilled out on to the floor. No big deal (don't cry over it, hee hee), but the next thing we knew you had gone and retrieved the kitchen towel hanging on the stove and bent over to wipe it up! We were both amazed. You've also already shown signs of inheriting the somewhat anal-retentive organizing habits of your dada and me, and when we get you up from a nap or in the morning, you're careful to put your soft bunny, baby, and gnome rattle in the proper order in the corner of your crib.

You're still an amazing sleeper, sleeping 6:30 pm - 8:00 am daily, with a 2 hour nap. And when you're awake, you've taken to running from point A to point B... running. Vroom! Later!

The biggest, hugest, change of all, I think, is that tonight is the fourth night in a row that you've gone down WITHOUT A BOTTLE. Seriously! The doctor said she wanted you off the bottle by 18 months, and I kind of balked at that because A) whatever, and B) it was one of my favorite parts of the day, rocking you with your bottle of warm milk, but true to your adaptable and resilient nature, this transition proved to be no big deal, and each night you've gone down fine and have slept through the night! And, as an added bonus, you haven't been peeing through your nighttime diapers. That was getting old.

All in all, girl, though you actually slapped my face today and said "no" because we actually had to wait in line for the carousel ride (more on that interesting - and a bit frightening - development late), you are a totally magical and special child, and I am so darned proud of you.

I love you, Luciya!



Grams said...

An absolute treasure! She actually looks bigger than when I was there...just a couple weeks ago.