Sunday, October 16, 2011

At Twelve...

It's hard to imagine that on this day last year, we were enjoying our little vacation at the hospital, ordering room service, soaking in the giant whirlpool tub, and introducing visitors to the newest member of the Jorgensen family.  I remember Cruz slept for most of the day, just as the nurses had told us to expect, which made for a wonderful opportunity to try on his many stocking hats and decorate his little plastic nook bed with pretty blue blankets and cuddly stuffed animals.  Everything about that day was surreal; except, of course that 'Beware of the Purple Cry' video they make parents watch before leaving the hospital.  Advice for parents-to-be---don't watch it.  It will make you question your desire to leave the hospital in the first place.  

Today, Cruz is ONE Year and ONE Day old.  He still likes to sleep, typically from about 8:00-6:30, but would never sleep with a stocking hat on.  He hates hats and will rarely keep them on his head for more than a minute.  He prefers blankets, and will playfully press his face into the softness and look sleepy when given one, however, he isn't attached to any certain one.  He still loves to snuggle, and although he still gets a bottle before bed, he's beginning to show signs of not needing it.  He is smart, funny, and can be quite destructive, especially if around our pots and pans cupboard, a roll of toilet paper, or the magazine rack.  Although he isn't walking, he can stand unsupported for about 30 seconds at a time.  Beau and I think he has some balance issues to work on, but other people tell us it will happen any day.  His latest trick is standing solo, bending down to pick something up, and standing back upright without hanging on to anything.  Big boy!  He likes to climb the stairs and loves to use our ottoman or kitchen trash can as a walker.  

He may not be walking, but he's growing and learning new tricks every single day - somedays, I think the toddler stage may be closer than what I think.  It's amazing how receptive he is, and how much he can mimic or pick up on from others.  Cruz also 'talks,' all the time.  He jabbers and jabbers, and seems like he knows exactly what it is he wants to say.  He'll spout off phrases that sound a lot like, 'jeesh,' 'arrgh,' and 'oh gosh,' look at us while he's talking, and even nod his head as if he's reaffirming his initial thoughts.  He clearly understands certain words, including his name, 'kitty,' 'bye bye,' and 'kiss,' and has actions and gestures to associate with each.  For instance, the minute I scoop him up at daycare, he waves bye bye and blows big kisses.  Beau says he is the first baby to blow 'French kisses.'  He points to his stereo every post-bath, signaling to me that it's time to start Raffi, and dances as soon as 'The More We Get Together' begins.  And Cruz clearly understands the word, 'no,' however, this one is not as easy to obey. When he is nearing something he shouldn't have, like a cord plugged into the wall, he'll slowly inch his way to it, staring at me the entire time just waiting for me to try and lure him away.  Then, a dual-language conversation ensues.  Cruz trying to reason with me in gibberish, me attempting to reason with a one-year-old.  Sometimes I win, sometimes I don't; however, our outlets are slowly losing their freedom to baby-proof covers.  

While Cruz is definitely 'busier' than he's ever been before, he loves to play, explore, and observe the world around him.  His fine motor skills are definitely sharpening, making stacking blocks, picking up food, and placing the lids on containers much easier.  He's still a fist-grabber when it comes to eating; however, I think this has more to do with the amount of food he can get in his mouth by 'fisting' compared to the more daintily, reserved way.  Speaking of eating, Cruz is still an eater and will try just about anything; however, has become slightly pickier, especially when it comes to strong flavors and vegetables.  Favorite, regular additions to Cruz's diet include: deli meat and bread with butter, any breakfast food (especially eggs, his baby oatmeal, and Honey Nut Cheerios), mac 'n cheese, pizza, and FRUIT.  I swear this child would eat fresh fruit until he turned into one!  While we're trying to finish the final can of formula we have left, I'm hoping to start some whole milk soon.  I am no way ready to forgo our before-bed bottles, but know it's gotta go eventually.  I find myself going back to how I felt about Cruz's swaddle blanket---will he ever be able to sleep without it???

Cruz turned one this week and I found myself lost in the first weeks of having him home.  I reminisced all week about the day he was born, the first walk through our house as a family of three, and even the very first sleepless night.  It's so funny the things you remember.  And when I think about this month, I hope I remember so much about this age...

...I hope I remember the 'crawling head-butt.'  It usually occurs when Cruz is either tired and ready to snuggle, or really excited to see one of us.  We get down to his level, flash a smile, and he immediately starts crawling toward us, full-force, head down, ready to collide.  It begins rather rough, but usually ends with a slobbery smother snuggle from Cruz.  

...I hope I remember the rhythm in his sway and concentration in his eye when he dances.  It's the cutest thing ever.  He dances to his musical toys, to TV commercials, to cell phone rings, and even to our own voices.  He LOVES music, loves to use pots and pans as bongo drums, and loves Kindermusik.  The hour we spend together singing bird songs and playing with see-through scarves is the highlight of my week.  I only wish pictures would capture the true excitement he has every time a new 'instrument' is offered. 

...I hope I remember how he crinkles his nose, squints his eyes, and flashes his cheesiest smile when I say 'CHEESE' and point the cell phone camera in his direction.  He knows exactly what to do; however, usually chooses to be a defiant little ham when I try and take his picture with my Canon.  I guess he prefers the standard point-and-shoot.     

...I hope I remember his mimics and antics.  Yesterday, he attempted to snap his fingers to mimic Great Grandpa.  He plays peekaboo and blow kisses, waves bye bye, and brushes Jade's fur with her cat brush.  When he accomplishes something great, or repeats a sequence, he claps his hands and cheers.  He is a total boy, and loves being a little destructive, however, he can turn on the charm in a matter of seconds.

Take last night for example.  We brought Cruz to the nursing home to visit his Great Grandma Henrichs.  We ended up arriving during suppertime, so everyone was in the dining room.  Cruz was quite entranced by the cute girls working, the wheelchairs, and all the leftover food!  He finished Grandma's applesauce and shoved a few leftover crackers in his mouth.  He blew lots of kisses, smiled sweetly to the smitten, and acted good as gold.  

...I hope I remember Cruz's infatuation with Wheel of Fortune.

...And, yes, I hope I remember the beginnings of tiny tantrums.  When I take something away from Cruz, or try and divert his attention away from a 'no-no,' he throws his head back, waves his arms up and down, and screams.  Sometimes, he even whacks me, something we are definitely working on.    

It's been quite a year!  Every stage, every milestone, every new expression has been so fun to be a part of.  I know I say this every month, but 12 months has been a blast so far.  Can't wait to see what's in store for year two!

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