Monday, October 31, 2011

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Tonight, we turned on our house light and abandoned our basket of candy-goods on our door stop.  In recent pasts, Beau and I would put on a spooky Halloween playlist, dim the lights in our house, and watch our neighborhood light up with trick-or-treaters from the comfort of our home.  We'd drink wine, fill little Jack-o-Lanterns with candy, and pretend we existed within the pages of a children's story.  I love Halloween, and love the spirit that fills the streets of our neighborhood.  

This year, however, we left our candy at home, and took our Very Hungry Caterpillar for his first trick-or-treating experience.  

And thanks to Grandma Kelly, Cruz discovered a love for chocolate Kit Kat bars.  Here he is attempting to disclose his attempt to tear into one through its wrapping. 

It's the first of many end-of-the-year celebrations, and I am ready to stretch out and soak up every one of them.  We had so much fun this weekend --- I may just have to keep this costume in a familiar place for the occasional rainy day.  

So much to catch up on---but for now, it's bedtime.  My 'hungry' caterpillar is a sleepy one!  

Hope you had fun tonight :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

It's the Great Pumpkin, CB!

'Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He's gotta pick this one. He's got to. I don't see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there's not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see.'

A few weeks ago, we searched and searched, and we found the Great Pumpkin. 

It was big and plump and tall and orange, and looked as though it belonged in Cinderella.  Like any minute, the Fairy Godmother was going to pop from its vessel, say a 'bippity-boppity-boo,' and turn its exterior into an exquisite pumpkin carriage.     

While Cruz didn't quite understand the beastly thing that towered over him, it served as an adequate standing post, and made a wonderful little pumpkin fort for him to crawl around and explore.    

Wishing everyone a ghostly creepy Halloween weekend.  We are looking forward to a weekend at home, sticking our hands in some pumpkin muck and taking a very hungry caterpillar on his first trick-or-treating experience.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Life lately...

Today, after we got our wild man down to take a much needed nap, I sat down and tried to catch up on Cruz's baby book.  And while I attempted to count back the weeks on my calendar to the many milestones I keep forgetting to write down, I found myself filling up the little boxes on almost every day of the month.  What a month it's been.  Cruz is developing quite the little sense of humor, and I'm starting to understand the way Beau's Grandma J always described her little Beau.  Super sweet when he wants to turn up the charm, but turn your back, and you never know what you'll find.  It sounds like little Beau kept his family on their toes, and I'm starting to see glimpses of the same in our Cruz Man.  And poor Jade...

A few things to remember about this stage...

1.  It's so interesting to watch Cruz interact with his cat.  At daycare and Kindermusik, I usually don't see Cruz interact much with other littles.  In fact, when I do pick him up from daycare, he's typically enthralled with a toy, in his own little world, contentedly playing by himself.  This reminds me of myself when I was little---willing to play and share with my friends, but secretly happier in my own imaginary world.  At home, though, Cruz is different.  He plays by himself, but gets bored fast if we aren't playing with him.  And Jade, well, Cruz looks to her as this friend who is playing a vicious game of hard-to-get.  Cruz will chase her all over the house, sweetly screeching, 'Hi Kitty' in this high pitched voice, usually clenching a kitty brush in his hand.  Poor Jade tries to befriend him, but he usually ends up scaring her away with his playful and rather rough pets.  He is determined, however, and keeps on chasing after her.  It's definitely a love-hate relationship, and I'm not sure which mammal I feel sorry for more.

For some reason, this picture reminds me of Toy Story's, "You've Got a Friend in Me."

This is right before Jade gently pawed Cruz in the head as a warning sign.  Did Cruz listen?

2.  Clothes.  I am having the best time dressing Cruz right now.  My favorite items are his gray jeans from the Gap, his cream hooded sweater with wooden buttons, and his navy blue leggings!  I definitely spend more time planning his outfits than my own.  While I do miss easy shorts and t-shirts in the summertime, I'm loving the layers of Fall on my little man.

3.  Cruz's 'cheese face' is priceless.  I'm not exactly sure where he picked up this new little trick, but every time a camera is pointed near his direction, he scrunches up his face, points his nose to their air, and sucks air through his front teeth.  Tonight at Kindermusik, the kiddos wore their Halloween costumes.  Several mamas were snapping pictures of costumed littles, and Cruz was looking every which way, holding his picture pose as if he was Kim Kardashian on the red carpet.

4.  Temper tantrums.  I'm not exactly sure where my little devil is picking up this habit, but I'm amazed at how early it's starting.  It usually happens when Cruz is tired, and is usually escalated when we remove him from a situation that is not in his best interest---  like taking a Sharpie Pen away from him, or a bottle of Soft Scrub, or closing the dishwasher door as he's trying to climb it.  Cruz immediately gets upset, and proceeds to throw himself to the ground and bang his head on the floor.  Sometimes, if he drops a pot lid on his hand, or tries to bite the shower ledge, he gets mad and smacks the object that did him wrong.  The 'mad' look on his face makes it really hard not to laugh or smile at him, and I do my best to try and talk with him about his actions.  After all, if he's old enough to blame, he's old enough to reason, right?

5.  Cruz 'talks' nonstop.  His jabber jabber voice is so cute, and I could literally listen to it all day long.  With every 'dah?,' and 'oh,' and, 'oh god,' my heart seriously smiles.

Life keeps chugging along, and I'm doing my best to keep a handle on it.  Whether it's the baby book, this blog, or a stick note stuck to the side of my refrigerator, it's important to remember the stages, the moments, the milestones that change so quickly.

Speaking of milestones, tonight we will be attending Cruz's debut performance!  His daycare center is putting on a production of Noah's Ark.  Keeping my fingers crossed that our little caterpillar stays on the ark tonight :) 

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I just noticed that I am writing my 400th post as we speak.  Whoa.  That's a lot of writing.  That's an average of about one post every three days.  One post for every three days of the last three years of my life.  One post for every three days of the ordinary and extraordinary, the simple and complicated, and neat and messy pieces of this life.  Next Thursday is the National Day of Writing.  Twitter challenged people to tweet their response to the prompt: Why I Write.  

Why do I write?
I write to remember.  To live life twice and reflect on the simple and complex, the ordinary and extraordinary treasures of this life through a new lens.  I write to document this life of ours, to carve into stone the moments I hope to never forget.  And I write for the challenge of attempting to put into words the indescribable feelings that go along with parenthood.

Something tells me this is more than 140 characters...

This past weekend was just the type of weekend worth writing about.  It was an adventure, indeed, as Beau took advantage of a well-deserved 'guys weekend' at his friend, Andy's cabin up North, and gave me the opportunity to practice my Superwoman powers, juggling a job and a conference in Des Moines with a busy busy baby.  And since we know true Superheroes always have an ally, I relied on my mom and grandma to help while I traveled to Des Moines at 6 AM to present my first ever SOLO breakout presentation.  Beau took off Thursday night, Cruz had a sleepover with Grandma, and I woke up at the crack of dawn and watched the sun rise from my rear view mirror.

My presentation was one of the best professional experiences I've had to date.  I had a chance to reconnect with some old colleagues, form some wonderful new connections, and see the true power in dissemination.  It will be exciting to see where some of this goes, and I've already felt challenged and grown more as a high school teacher.  

Mom and Dad delivered my baby boy, along with a Dominoes pizza Friday night.  We ate pizza, slept in on Saturday morning (Cruz slept 'til 7:30), and spent a good part of the morning organizing Cruz's closet and packing away lots and lots of adorable summer clothes.  

Oh, and I forgot about our quick trip to Hy-Vee in our pajamas at 8:30 in the morning.  See, while Cruz was eating breakfast, I had the wild hair idea to try and see just how many 'projects' I could start while keeping my sanity with a one-year-old tearing into our child-proof-LESS house.  I just so happened to have everything needed for pumpkin bread, and thought the sound of a pumpkin-scented house sounded just about right.  That is, until I realized that while I did have all the ingredients, I never really bothered to check how much of each ingredient was needed.  

So, Cruz and I bundled up and took a trip to Hy-Vee for a cup of sugar.  We returned with a cup of sugar, ingredients to make butternut squash soup, and three pumpkins to add to our collection.  And so, with one cup of sugar, a little help from my The Band Perry Pandora playlist, and a lot of 'help' from Cruz, I managed to make four perfect loaves of soft and spongy pumpkin goodness.  

Saturday afternoon, I packed up Cruz and headed for a day at Mom and Dad's.  Being just a half hour away, you'd think we had days like this all the time, yet you'd be surprised.  An entire day with no purpose other than to play.  We went for walks up and down the same dead-end street I biked up and down as a child, visited a neighbor's pumpkin patch that included a pumpkin straight out of Cinderella, and spent some time with Great Grandma Henrichs at the nursing home.  And once again, we ate---THE WORLDS BEST BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP (recipe soon) and a slow-cooked pork loin.  Cruz and I had lots of fun, and I think Mom and Dad were grateful for the company, too.  

And Sunday, I did it on my own.  Made Cruz his oatmeal and built the 'Leaning Tower of Tobbles.'  Mixed a batch of chocolate chip cookies and let Cruz experiment with licking the beater.  Got a few groceries from Hy-Vee for the third time in two days, and prepared a welcome home dinner for Beau.  Chilled a bottle of spiced apple wine, set the table, and munched on 'candied' root veggies from The Pioneer Woman.  I even checked the TV Guide to make sure the Bears played at night.  And most of all, I played and snuggled, relaxed and refocused on the best thing about weekends.  Not the opportunity to get as much accomplished as possible, but the opportunity to slow down, let go, and just be a mama.  I did it, this weekend, 

and loved every minute of it.   

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Last week, we had a birthday...

And we partied.  A lot.

This might have something to do with the fact that I'm spending this week grappling to catch up with all the other pieces of my life that took a back seat to The Twelve Days of Cruz.  

We celebrated with 'Birthday Boy' shirts and brightly wrapped presents.  Cruz didn't really understand the concept of opening the presents, but thoroughly enjoyed climbing and sitting on the wrapped boxes, using them as snare drums, and pulling off little pieces of paper and trying them out for taste. 

We celebrated with lots of new treasures---uniquely fun Tobbles and a Little People Farm Set.  A sock monkey umbrella and pirate rain gear.  A piano with all the right tunes and keys, a totally cool Bears outfit, and a work bench complete with a hammer and six different shapes.

Thankful to have a new toy room for all the new toys!  

We celebrated with an afternoon at Phelps Youth Pavilion, an amazing space for kids of all ages to explore and experience history, science, and creativity.  Beau and I wanted to play like little kids, and in a few short hours we drove tractors, planted a garden, milked cows, built a fort with life-size blocks, and played a game of miniature golf. 

We celebrated with Cruz's favorite: macaroni and cheese and diced pears.

And, for the grand finale, we celebrated with a Scratch cupcake.  An 'Oh, Happy Day' cupcake that Cruz totally dug.  

Love this picture.  Think he had enough frosting?

 Our boy is one!  It's been quite a year---here's hoping for lots more fun and extra cupcakes in year TWO! 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...