A Boogie Wipe State of Mind

The cold bug has hit the Jorgensen home yet again, which means I'm finding myself floating in and out home and work this week, attempting to be in two places at once, yet doing everything in this sort of foggy state - the kind where you know the clear is in sight and it's just a matter of hitting the gas and riding it through.

Because after all, life is a highway, right?

When Cruz is sick, my mom-guard kicks into turbo gear.  I watch him closer, hug him tighter, and love him stronger, because really, that's about all you can do when your baby's fighting a cold.  Love and a whole lot of Vicks, I guess.

And in between the frequent cuddles and tender moments this week, the Cruz Man has been giving us a few reminders that the terrible twos aren't too far away.  I keep reminding myself that he doesn't feel good, that the constant snot, slobber, and cough are enough to make anyone a little reckless and a little defiant.  So, let's just say I've let a few things slide this week and done my best to keep my little guy tear-free.  Because tears=more snot, and Lord knows we've got our fair share of that around here.


...After two days of struggling to get Cruz to eat anything, I was finally able to get him to eat some yogurt tonight.  This involved a process of me sticking the end of the spoon in my mouth, and doing a sort-of airplane glide (with sound effects) until the front of the yogurt-filled spoon hit his mouth.  I know it sounds weird, but it worked, and I even scored some laughs from my nugget.  

While getting Cruz's bath ready tonight, I casually ignored the fact that he was using his finger and my conditioner to paint a picture on the toilet lid...

...and I didn't get upset when he 'accidentally' threw a half-filled cup of sudsy water onto the bathroom floor, followed by EVERY TOY IN HIS BATHTUB!

I crossed my legs the other way when I noticed a snot stain on my dress pants during my meeting this afternoon...

...and although mortified, turned my sleeve the other way after noticing how disgusting it was when handing my debit card to the cashier at Hobby Lobby last night.

I've decided it's perfectly fine to let your child help you unload the dishwasher in nothing but his birthday suit...  

...and okay that a Little Debbie Snack Cake followed Cruz's yogurt for supper tonight...

...and that crackers and cheese on the living room carpet before bed was perfectly acceptable....

...and that sometimes, you just gotta let your baby sit by the kitchen sink and repeatedly suck water from his toothbrush for a half hour simply because he was content.

There is nothing glamorous about parenting.  It's raw, it's real, and sometimes, it's rather disgusting.  But somewhere in between the Boogie Wipes, the upturned sippy cup leaking in the corner of the living room, and that sticky-something on the bedroom floor, there's a beauty in parenting that is nearly impossible to put into words.  

Because tonight, after the third vapor-bath in a row, a freshly lotioned baby, and a smudge of vaseline to his little nose, the two of us snuggled together in a still and quiet house with a soft white blanket and exactly three books.  After two rounds of whispering the words to 'The Wheels on the Bus,' and 'I Love You As Much,' I could hear his little breaths get deeper and could see his eyelids get heavier.  I set the books on the table next to me, turned his little body toward mine, and closed my eyes. 

There we rocked, together in that chair, and nothing else mattered in the world. 


These are a few of my favorite things...

Cruz is such a busy boy these days, that at times, it seems all we do is follow him around as he 'grazes.'  Yes, he grazes.  Fumbles from one corner to the next, rearranging nicknacks and tearing through anything he can get his hands on, never really committing to one toy for too long.  No end table is safe!  In fact, last night, I was in the kitchen checking my email and Beau was in the bedroom with Cruz.  Cruz was once again going through my night stand drawer, looking to get his hands on a battery powered back massage toy that looks like a robot with three legs.  All of a sudden, I hear a loud crash and run into the bedroom to find an overturned lamp, a broken (glass) candle vase, and a collapsed night stand.  Fortunately, Cruz escaped without a scratch, but was a little scarred by the crash.  Until this morning that is...
Although Cruz is all over the place right now, there are a few toys that have become his favorites.  Likewise, these toys have become our favorites, as they tend to preoccupy our busy bee for more than five minutes!

These flashcards are great.  We now have three sets, and try to keep them in different rooms so they stay organized.  This is the first go-to toy in Cruz's toy room, and he can't play with them unless he's sitting at his little table.  One by one, he takes them out of the case, recites a made-up sound he's attributed to each, and throws them on the floor until he's made his way through the entire set.  They're a great way to learn words and I give them the credit for Cruz's 'vrroom' sound, as well as his newest recognizable words: 'ball,' 'shoes,' and 'keys.'

Ever since Cruz's birthday, I've had a thing for sock monkeys.  And for $10 at Target, this pirate sock monkey has provided hours of entertainment and loads of laughs.  It plays a song by the Black Eyed Peas and is the background music during diaper changes or really any time we're in Cruz's room.  It's the only toy in the house we've had to replace the batteries on, and really the only stuffed animal Cruz shows much interest in.  If only the other 20 or so stuffed animals in his room knew how to sing the Black Eyed Peas ;)

I'll never forget when I picked Cruz up from daycare last spring and saw him in the corner of the playground, riding a plastic rocking horse similar to this one all by himself.  It was at that moment I knew he needed one here at home.  My parents surprised him with one for his birthday and it's now the toy he goes to when he really wants to show off.  It's downstairs in our family room and we share many laughs watching him rock (and now stand) on his rocking puppy. 

Finally---I thought the day would never come!  The last month or so, Cruz Man loves to read books!  Several times during any given day, Cruz comes waddling into the room with two or three books.  He does his adorable little back-up into our laps and listens quietly as we read.  Sometimes, he sits for 30 seconds before he's up looking for another book, and other times, especially around bedtime, he'll sit for two, or three, or one, over and over and over again...

...like this one.  Cruz has had a thing for Dr. Seuss since he was tiny, and this book is great on many levels.  It's small enough to stick in a diaper bag, includes touch-and-feel fun on every page, and has fun, catchy rhythm on every page.  It's definitely one of his faves.

And of course, Let's Rock Elmo!  Elmo is another part of our family.  After all, he's the only one who's seen the killer rock concerts and dance parties that go on around here (unless I forgot to shut the curtains again ;)

There's a few of Cruz's favorite things!  All you mamas out there, don't be afraid to pass on your favorites!  We have a few open spaces left on our toy shelves :)

Have a good week!  Can't believe tomorrow is the last day of January.  Looking forward to love month, Superbowl food, and a fun surprise on my blog---stay tuned!

9 Months Old

So the time has come for my little miss to turn 9 months old. It's kind of crazy looking at the pack of monthly stickers and only seeing a few left. Each month that goes by gives me a chance to reflect back on how much she's changed in such a short amount of time.  From tipping over in the chair at one month, chewing on her hands the second month, and trying to crawl out of the chair last month, to all the fun and silly things she did this month. Time flies when you have a baby.  Seriously....it does.  So without further ado, let's talk about this little "nine monther".

Let's see how she's grown over the past nine months! 

She used to be so tiny compared to that stripe pillow, but now she uses it as a climbing block.

Highlight of the photo shoot this month? Climbing, anywhere and everywhere.  Whereas last month she was just interested in crawling out of the chair, this month she wanted to go over the side, up the back, and down the front of course.  Check out all the action:

"Aren't you supposed to be sitting little girl?"

She's starting sticking her tongue out like this...too funny.

"I'll just climb up this wall okay?"

Good thing Grandma Karen was there to assist with
the photo shoot...I don't think I could have "wrangled"
the girl in all by myself!

Cracking herself up.

"Yeah for monthly photo shoots!"

Face plant...sure I'll try.

A standing view of the chair.

Fun with Mom at the end.

A funny thing she's been doing this month is using her pointer finger.  She points at people, at the dogs, at buttons, and especially at noses.  Sometimes I like to call her "Inspector Avery" when she whips out that pointer finger.   Naturally the pointer finger came out during the photo shoot...
Pointing at buttons.

Pointing with her silly mean face.

Pointing at the pretend kitchen.

Stats for this month: As you can see her stats for this month are: 30 inches long (up one inch from last month), and 21 lbs (down one pound from last month).  I think she's lost a pound because she's been so active this past month, from climbing stairs, walking in her walker, and just playing...the girl doesn't stop! She still in the upper 90th percentile on her height and weight so I'm not too worried about it.
9 month stats

Speaking of weight...the girl sure knows how to "make big thighs look good!" (Thanks for the funny shirt Grandma Cheryl!).

Wanna see those cute thighs in action? Here she is playing at my parent's house in a onesie with socks and shoes.  She got up too quick and I didn't have time to get her pants on yet.  I don't think she minded one bit.

"Yeah! Yeah! No pants!" ( :

Hair: It seems like over the past month or two her hair has really started to grow. It's gotten to that stage where some of it sticks out over her headbands, which amazingly she still doesn't mind wearing (knock on wood!).  My favorite thing about the hair is seeing her "bed head" in the morning...which you can see later in this post.  I'm kind of clueless when it comes to doing little girl hair, so luckily we have a little bit until I have to start worrying about braids, pigtails, and ponytails. A headband and a bow? I got that covered!
Here comes the hair!
Skateboard Time: Something fun we did this past month was to go visit Brandon's skateboard shop, Dairdevil Boards.  You may recall we went there back when Avery was 4 months old, and she seemed to really like it with all the different colors, graphics, and well of course...Dad.  So it was no surprise that it was even more of a hit the second time around.  Here's the fun we had....

Talking business with Dad.

Back on the board.

"Are you sure I should be standing on this?"

What a difference from when she was 4 months old!

She always has lots to say.

Time for some tricks.

I think she's a natural.

Family pic time.

Yeah! Clapping for the picture.

Food: We're still going strong with baby-led weaning, or baby-led solids as I like to call it. We started this approach to giving Avery solid foods back when she was 6 months old and it's still working out great.  Messy...but great. Don't believe me? Check out what she did with some vegan chili and celery sticks!

"Uhh what did you expect mom?!"

Some of her favorite foods are bananas, which she often has for breakfast.  I slice them up into quarters and leave the skin on (I make sure to wash it before giving it to her).  This gives her something to hold onto while she eats the banana.  
Banana slices that I give Avery for breakfast.

An aerial view of the breakfast fun...she even had some
pancakes with her bananas this morning.
Another favorite: toast...gluten-free that is.  While I don't know if Avery will be sensitive to gluten like I am, I'm not taking my chances. So until she's a few years older, she'll be a gluten-free girl like her mama.  Mainly because it's easier for me, since that's what I eat.  Here she is having some "toast squares". I just cut the toast into bite-size squares for her to nibble on while driving around in her Combi Walker (the steering wheel portion of the car comes off and this eating tray is underneath. Avery loves to "eat and drive"!).

"Mmmm toast."

Something else to mention about her food is that in the past month or so I've started sending a lunch with Avery, to go along with the milk I've pumped. Usually it's just a small portion of leftovers from the night before that she'll eat at lunch or at some point in the day to supplement her bottles.  We were finding that she was getting very frustrated when everyone else was eating and she wasn't...now we know, the girl wants her own food! 

A typical leftover lunch for Avery.

Usually a small portion like this is more than enough.
Aside from sending a lunch, I also now send her with a breakfast. Sometimes it's the banana slices I mentioned above, but recently it's been a "Chocolate Ice Cream Smoothie".  If you follow my "What I Ate Wednesday" posts, you know I have one of these yummy green smoothies each morning, and one day I gave Avery a sip and she went crazy for it... see below! These things have hemp seeds, chia seeds, rice milk, raw cacao powder, frozen strawberries, frozen bananas, and of course...spinach!

I've never seen her suck so hard on that straw!
Now she's hooked. I have one each morning and so does she.  Usually I'll make mine, and pour a little portion into her Lollacup (which I must say is an awesome cup for giving babies a smoothie in...I couldn't live without mine!).  I then pack up the Lollacup with her diaper bag and save it for her to have when she gets to the sitter.  Let's just say there are two of us hooked on these things now!

"I love my chocolate ice cream smoothie too!"
Now for just some fun pictures from the month.  To start off with here she is when I came in after she had just woken up from a nap...one of my favorite times of the day.  Babies are so cute when they've just woken up and have sleepy eyes.
Remember that "bed head" I was telling you about earlier?
Love it!

Happy to tell me all about it and show off her teeth.
We're now at 7! 

I usually walk in to find her standing,
banging on her crib.

"Oh sure I'll give you a smile Mom."

"But you can get me out of here now ya know?!"
Bath time: Long gone are the days of giving Avery a bath in the Tummy Tub like I posted about back in this post.  After she started to fill that thing up, we knew it was time for something bigger so we moved to the kitchen sink. This was fun for awhile until she learned out to splash the water and after a few times of water nearly flooding the kitchen floor we moved her to the "big bathtub".  I was worried that she would bump her head, or that she needed some type of baby support seat while in there...boy was I wrong.  The first time we put her in there she was crawling around, splashing the water, and sitting like she'd been doing it for years.

Just playing away. Her favorite thing is usually to crawl
from one end of the tub to the other.

Loving the "big girl bathtub".
Also this past month, she really came to love the door to our porch. It's right in our dining room and with the blinds rolled up, she can see out to the backyard.  She seems to often look for the dogs, and when she sees one, she gets very excited and starts saying, "Do do". Sometimes she'll even wave at them.  Other words she's saying right now: anything with a "D"...dad, dada, do do, and other "B" sounds too.  No "mama" yet...that's okay though, it'll come!  ( :

Speaking of the porch, we took her walker out there one day for a little spin since our winter here in Missouri has been unusually mild, and Avery had quite the fun time.  We quickly learned that someone must be blocking the steps off the porch at all times since Avery sure knows how to "drive" fast in her car.

Now just as more and more of her personality has been coming out in these past couple of months, her moods have become stronger. So when she's happy, she's really happy! She's smiling, laughing, and often snorting-he he! But on the flip side when she's upset, she's really upset. Crying, screaming, the quivering lip, and sometimes even throwing her head back.  See example below:

The good thing about these upsets is that it lets us know what she needs. Clearly when she looks like she does above, she's DONE with what she was currently doing and she wants to go do something else.  Heck, if the girl had words I'm sure she'd say, "Okay Mommy, I've been in this walker for 15 minutes now. I'm hungry and want to get out, can you please pick me up?" But she doesn't so instead that's what I get. 

It's all good though. Usually what she needs is just a quick cuddle, nursing session, change in activity, or change in diapers and then she's back to being her happy, silly self.
"Okay, this is much better now!"
New Year's Resolutions: Now I'm not one to make tons of New Year's Resolutions, but this year I had two I wanted to do: complete one craft from Pinterest each month and have a "date night" Brandon once a month as well. My motivation for both of these resolutions came from one of my favorite books, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. In this book the author goes on a quest to become, well... happier by completing a variety of resolutions each month related to various areas of her life. The resolutions from the book that applied to my resolutions: "Make time for projects" and "Give proofs of love." Both of these resolutions are things that tend to go by the wayside once you have a baby. You just get so focused on the day-to-day that it's hard to make time for your significant other, let alone creative projects. But hopefully my two resolutions will help me make more time for both of these.  So let's get going with my first resolution:

Pinterest Craft of the Month: "Framed Love Mirror" for above our bed.

My motivation:

How I got it done: Bought an open frame at Hobby Lobby, as well as the "Love" mirror word. I already had the canvas squares from Target from several years ago.  

Unfortunately I could only find a dark brown open-frame at Hobby Lobby, so I had to do a little extra step of painting the frame a cream/light tan color.  But once that was done, we were ready to get hanging!

Luckily my parents were over to help out. My dad was the babysitter and my mom was my crafting-partner-in-crime.  
Babysitting Grandpa Frank

Anyone else not a fan of hanging things? Thank goodness
I have my mom to help me out!

And we're done! Cross Pinterest Craft of the Month #1
off the list.

All done, time for one of Avery's favorite games:
Laundry Basket Rides!

Here we come!

All done!
Here's the finished product up on the wall in our bedroom.

Guardrail on the side of the bed...well that's a blog post
for another day. (  ;

Speaking of love...Date Night of the Month: This month Brandon and I made it out on our "date" as my parents watched Avery. We kept it pretty simple and went out to eat and then did some shopping...minus the baby.   We tried out a local pizza restaurant that has a gluten-free crust and vegan cheese called Next Door Pizza & Pub.

The pizza was called "Hippie Chick"...sorry for the girlie
name Brandon! But it was good! Artichoke hearts,
onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, and red peppers...yum!

The gf crust was pretty thin, but still very good.

Our date night spot.

After the date, getting ready to pick up
baby girl. Feels funny to take a pic
without her.
See you guys next month as we move into double digits...10 months old!