Monday, January 23, 2012

What's Going On

Life seems to be going in waves lately.  One week it seems we're hardly keeping our heads above water, swimming from place to place day by day with a whole lot of chronos time in the middle.  Cruz seems to follow in step, and it seems the busier we are, the faster he moves!  

But, as soon as a big, rough wave runs through our house and creates quite the stir, it slows down again, giving us just enough time to sink our toes in the sand and enjoy the sunset.  

This weekend was slow time around our house.  A perfect little snowstorm blessed us with another three day weekend, and gave us time to be home, hibernate in our surroundings, and enjoy each others' company.  

It started with breakfast.  Breakfast at Gravy's, a 1950s inspired diner, complete with a black and white checked tiled floor, Elvis Presley posters, and old movies playing on the TVs that overlook the open kitchen.  Bundled up in our pajamas, we nestled in a red vinyl booth and sipped hot cups of coffee, and devoured plate-sized waffles, crispy bacon, and fried eggs that smelled like Grandma Henrichs' house on Sunday morning.

Cruz Man loves the pig.  Ham, sausage, and bacon are his go-to proteins.  Only lately, he's become quite picky with the way his food is served.  Gone are the days when he lets me feed him; gone are the days where I cut everything into tiny bite-sized pieces.  No, our independent one likes to do things himself - whether it's attempting to stab a piece of waffle with a fork, or stick an entire slice of bacon in his mouth.  

We're settling into our wintertime routine, and although I'm already itching for warmer temps., tan baby legs, and sidewalk chalk, I welcome cold excuses to stay inside and take life easy.  And it's good time to establish new routines and continue with old ones...

...Like bedtime.  Cruz has his fifteen month appointment tomorrow and I am not about to tell the doctor that Cruz is still getting a bottle (because as of Saturday night, Cruz is not getting a bottle).  With the What to Expect the First Year doctrine ringing in my ears since October, I've struggled with weening the nighttime bottle from Cruz.  When you have a good sleeper, you'd rather shoot yourself in the foot than do anything to mess with it.  But, because we'd never tried putting CB to sleep without one, we had no idea how his nightly routine would change.  

The last couple of nights prior to this new bedtime routine, it seems Cruz has been trying to take matters into his own hands.  As if to say, 'Guys, really, I'm not a baby anymore,' he hasn't seemed as interested in his bottle and has even started playing after drinking it.  
"Thanks for the drink, guys, but if you think it still works to put me to sleep, you've got another thing coming."

It's time to work a little harder.  So, Saturday night, I started a new bedtime routine.  After playing downstairs in our family room after supper, I scoop Cruz up about 8:00 and take him upstairs.  After pajamas, a new diaper, a soft blankie, and exactly three books, we cuddle up in the recliner.  No TV, no cell phone, and no computer, the two of us read, and snuggle, and initiate bedtime.  It's worked both nights.  By the third book, Cruz is almost out.  After holding him in the quiet for about five or ten minutes (sorry, can't give this part up), into his crib he goes.  Although this sends him into panic mode (clinging, screaming, stomping), it only lasts about five minutes.  And the best part of our new bedtime routine?  Sunday morning, our sleepy head woke up at 8:00, and this morning, 7:30.  

So far, so good.  Goodbye for now, bottles!

With the new bedtime routine now established, it's really important that I continue to maintain my New Year's Resolution of family meals at the table at least three nights during the week.  Last night, while Beau and Cruz took a nap downstairs, I cooked dinner for my family in a clean kitchen.  Having the time and the quiet to chop, blend, and perfect was so refreshing for me.  That, paired with a delicious, home-style spaghetti sauce, garlic bread, and a toddler who ate an entire plateful of spaghetti noodles, was enough to make me feel like June Cleaver herself.  These nights are exactly the vision I had of motherhood before I was pregnant.  It's as simple as taking care of my family, providing yummy things to eat, and keeping the house in order.  And due to the superwoman status of today's working woman, simple nights like this don't always happen as often as I'd like.  I guess that allows me to really appreciate when they do.  

I remember this picture my mom took of me when I was about Cruz's age.  I was sitting in a highchair in our tiny little house with a handful of spaghetti noodles on my tray.  Mom was dishing some noodles out for Jordan and everything seemed so together.  I'm not sure why I remember that picture so much, but it's always represented this picture of raising babies and maintaining a household.  And last night, I had the opportunity to relive the picture.  That picture, coupled with a glass of wine and a sprinkle of fresh basil was the perfect combination to end the weekend.      

Have a good week!

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