Monday, September 12, 2011

Cruz is Eleven Months

Last night, as Beau and I wrestled with Cruz on our bed, we were stopped in our tracks when we realized that today, our little man is eleven months old.  This would be our last month of counting in 'months,' as next month we will celebrate our baby boy's first birthday.  Talk about bittersweet.  While we just love this stage he's in right now, I often dream of those first weeks at home, wrapping up his tiny body in a blanket, spending hours holding him in the rocker.  Life was overwhelming, but so peaceful at the same time.  A part of me feels like those days happened just yesterday, yet another part of me can't remember life before Cruz.  Raising a baby is nothing short of surreal, and the emotions that go with being a parent are unexplainable.  A lot of contentment, a whole lot of happy.

Cruz continues to light up our lives and fill us with so much laughter and happiness every single day.  He's funny, he's sweet, he's a cuddle bug, he's a pistol.  Most of all, he's his own little person, growing and figuring out more and more every day.  He's smart, and it's amazing watching him put the pieces of life's puzzle together.  He does all of this with such life, with such a spark.   

Lots of fun milestones to document this month!  While the calluses on his little knees prove he's quite the crawler, he's beginning to explore the world from a taller point of view.  No, he's not officially walking quite yet, but he's getting pretty comfortable on his own two feet.  He stands up to furniture, balances himself with one hand, walks around couches and dishwashers and his favorite, the toilet seat, and pushes his sit-to-stand walker (and our basement ottoman) all over the house.  He's let go of his base a few times on accident, and proves he is still a ways away from being a walker.  We're practicing a lot, however, and I have a feeling he'll be walking by his birthday. 

This new-found movement has ignited Cruz's quest for unlocking the treasures in this house: every wooden spoon, can of hairspray, and picture frame, every roll of aluminum foil, bottle of salad dressing, and roll of toilet paper hidden behind cupboard doors, drawer fronts, and fridge doors.  He's officially into everything, requiring us to keep a watchful eye on him all the time.  He's smart, and definitely knows when he shouldn't be into something.  And sometimes, he even listens to me.  It's pretty cute when he's about to touch or grab something he shouldn't and he hears me say, ', no."  He stops in his tracks, turns my way with a smile on his face, and shakes his head no, no, no, in mid-stride.  Sometimes, he stops and crawls away, sometimes, he just grins and continues to disobey his mommy's request.  And a few times this month, he's shown the makings of a temper tantrum when we pull him away from something he really wants his hands on.

Putting his shoes away...

Earlier this month, Cruz became a 'Scooter.'  His move up the daycare chain brought many new experiences this month, from eating 'big kid' food like sandwiches, cinnamon rolls, chicken strips, and soft shell tacos, to participating in lots of activities like singing and dancing, finger painting and cleaning!  This month, I received a calendar outlining the different 'activities' Cruz takes part in every day.  According to the calendar this week, they're putting the Scooters to work!  One day says 'folding laundry,' another day says 'feather dusting!'  Last week, Cruz had his first 'homework assignment,' as I had to bring pictures of our family in for Cruz to 'play with.'  I love seeing what he gets to do every day at daycare about as much as I love picking him up every afternoon.  It's one of the best parts of my day!

Although Cruz is still eating some of my homemade baby food, he prefers big kid food now.  While he's a big fan of scrambled eggs, pizza, and mac n' cheese, his favorites still belong to the fruit family.  Blueberries and strawberries, peaches, mandarin oranges, and watermelon.  He's ordered off the kids' menu a few times: mac and cheese at Texas Roadhouse, mini corn dogs at Famous Dave's, and just yesterday, popcorn shrimp at Red Lobster.   He's still a good eater, and is paying less and less attention to his bottle all the time.  

He's only pretending here.  Giving him utensils only leads to lots of food on the floor.   

Cruz's personality has blossomed this month and he's doing so many cute things.  He's recently discovered clapping, and claps his hands 'on cue' all the time.  He claps his hands every time the wheel is spun during Wheel of Fortune, claps during church, and clapped the other night during President Obama's 'jobs speech.'  Ask Beau how he feels about that one ;) 

In addition to clapping his hands, Cruz also learned to give high-fives, blow kisses, and wave bye-bye.  And while the clapping and waving are two of my favorite tricks, my new favorite is Cruz's recent love of all things music.  He can spot a tune out of nowhere, and immediately starts dancing.  We dance when we play toys, we dance in the car on the way to daycare, and we even dance when I hum a tune.  And while I'm proud that my tune must be comprehensible enough to dance to, Cruz can carry quite the tune himself.  He hums little songs every now and then, and even dances to his own beat, a characteristic I hope stays with him as he grows :)

Another quirk, or 'tick' as I like to call it, that Cruz developed this month is his very own sound effect.  We hear it all the time, a clear 'kah' sound.  It's his own little sound, and it's become his own little habit.  There's no rhyme or reason for when he does it, but we hear it all the time.  Although it's pretty cute now, I do hope this goes away as he ages! 

Other newsworthy notes to add to his eleventh month?  Cruz finally got another tooth, his eighth total.  His favorites include playing in the fridge and throwing things down the stairs through the cat door.  He loves apple juice and crackers, his plastic basketball hoop, and his pop-up books.  

Happy Eleven Months, Cruz!  What a year it has been!  We are so very proud of the little person you are, and love being part of your adventure every day!  

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