Tonight, we'll try again. A Pepsi roast is in the oven and a six-pack of Bud Light Lime awaits me in the fridge. Will I eat my mashed potatoes with one hand while I nurse Cruz with the other? Will we eat our dinner in the middle of the Everglades, or enjoy it on the beach, as the sounds of crashing waves and humpback whales sing to us in the background? When it comes to a new baby in the house, the world really is our oyster.
Perhaps our failed attempts to eat dinner at the table together is the reason Cruz has experienced dinner at about every restaurant in the Cedar Valley. As Beau puts it, restaurants are Cruz's kryptonite. When he was just five days old, he slept through pizza at the OP. A week later, he slept through subs at the OP. He's slept through Jordan's birthday dinner at Mulligans, a packed Texas Roadhouse, and a Saturday night at Amigo's. Perhaps tonight's dinner should include a quick drive around town beforehand, a car seat, every light in the house turned on, and peanut shells on the kitchen floor.
Yesterday, Beau and Cruz had some guy's time at Old Chicago. Beau was bummed that the Bears weren't on TV, so the three of us headed to Old Chicago after church. Cruz got a good, two-hour nap in, Beau watched the first half of the game, and I tried on some clothes at Express. By the time we left, we were all three smiles.
We think we caught some of Cruz's first genuine smiles this weekend. On Friday, he smiled twice at me as I was telling him stories of RC Cola making me burp when I was a little girl. He focused on my face so intently, then smiled twice when I drug out the 'ohhhhh' sound in Cola. And yesterday, Beau was talking to his son about the Bears' pregame and caught the same sweet smile a few more times. I even managed to catch it on camera. He just loves being talked to and definitely recognizes our voices. If that doesn't make a parent feel pretty amazing, I don't know what would.
Despite our somewhat screwy dinner last night, yesterday was such a great day. It seems that every day that goes by, I think to myself, 'that was Cruz's best day yet.' He's such a sweet baby and every day it seems we discover more and more about his little self. Like the way he loves grabbing onto the collar of my shirt when I nurse him, or the way he loves grabbing onto our fingers as he drifts to sleep. Or the way he seeks to impress his dad with his strong neck muscles as Beau attempts to hold him on his chest, or the way his little feet kick to an undefined rhythm as he chills on a blanket in the middle of the living room floor. And as we discover more about him, we discover more about ourselves as parents along the way. I'm figuring out his cries, when he's hungry, when he's tired, or when he just wants to lay on a blanket and stretch. There is nothing more encouraging for a parent than figuring out what makes your baby happy. And it seems like our puzzle is getting easier to piece together every day.
Someday, I will be able to tell Cruz that he was born during one of the prettiest falls in recorded history. A fall that allowed for stroller rides in the middle of November and bare feet on blankets in the backyard. A fall that allowed two parents to trade in a romantic dinner for two for a satisfied soul and some catchy swamp music.