A Growing Boy

Since Cruz was born, I've kept a quick log of new discoveries, milestones, and memories on my computer screen, compiling his growth each month in a blog post.  These blog posts are some of my most favorite to look back on, as they give such insight into what we were thinking and going through as parents at that time, not to mention, help us remember those little things that are so easy to forget.  Babies change so fast, and with each new change brings excitement, a little apprehension, and so much happiness.  These posts are found under the 'Cruz Month to Month' tab below the blog header.   

I've often wondered, however, just how long I can keep up with these posts, and when it's a good time to stop documenting those month to month milestones.  It's like when do stop communicating your child's age in 'months' and just settle on 'one and a half,' or 'two'?  After all, will I still be recording Cruz's 'month' post when he's 92 months old???  

So, when we returned home from Mexico the day before Cruz's 20 month 'birthday,' I decided to skip the milestone post and instead focus on unpacking, laundry, and reconnecting with the little man I missed so much.  And now, as irony would have it, I think Cruz has changed and grown more this month than most in the past.  I swear we left a baby at Beau's parents on June 6th, and returned home to a toddler!  I'm blown away every day at his level of skill, mobility, and smarts, and can really see a clear glimpse of who he's going to be as a young boy.  It's so amazing to watch toddlers at work (and a little frustrating at times), and I feel honored to get to provide him with new territory to explore and new learning to discover every single day.  It's exhausting work, but the most rewarding I've ever encountered ;)

So, quite possibly for the last time (we'll see), my Cruz Man at 20 months... 

1.  You are talking so much more than a month ago.  I swear in two weeks' time, you understand every thing we say to you and try your hardest to tell us what it is you want to say.  You answer every question we ask with a causal 'yea,' or a 'no,' and nod your head when we are spot on at figuring you out.  Some of your favorite words are book, bug, elmo, it's broken, bus, birds (as in Angry Birds), banana, pizza, truck, shoes, a hat, night-night, and applegate (we still aren't sure what you mean, but you say this all the time).

2.  You are a pro at animal sounds, and make us laugh with your deep-pitched lion roar, and your very realistic chicken cluck.  You beat your hands against your chest and chant when we request a monkey, and you even slither like a snake.  

3.  You count, but seem to go from one, to two, to three, to nine!  It's pretty adorable, especially when you hold up the corresponding fingers when you're about ready to 'jump' from your anywhere chair.

4.  One of my absolute favorite new 'things' you do is play pretend.  Where kids pick this up is beyond me, but you have these cute little sound effects when you play that are just so 'boy.'  The other day, I caught you filling up the gas tank on one of your play cars, and you were making the 'ssss' sound for the gas.  I was always good at pretending when I was little and sure hope you exercise that imagination, too.

5.  You are a water rat!  We've been to the pool four times this summer, and soon you'll be diving off that board!  You watch the big kids and think you can imitate everything they do, from putting your face in the water, to wanting to go down that crazy slide!  You have a few years until that, but in the meantime, I'm sure you'll keep this mama on her toes chasing you around!

My beach bum...

6.  You've taken to eating again --- like a piggie!  You try lots of new foods, and eat adult-sized portions of the foods you love.  You've stolen your father's heart with your love of the meat group, but haven't impressed him with your love of ketchup and hot dogs!  You would dip anything in ketchup if we gave you that option!  

7.  You are a big 'helper' and like to be a part of EVERYTHING.  Brushing your teeth is a big hit, and you even like to help me put lotion on my legs!  You help me water the flowers every night (making sound effects for the hose sound), and love to copy your daddy, whether he's grilling on the Big Green Egg, or fixing or putting something together.

Helping in the garden... 

8.  You are a music man, and have been since you were a baby.  Your favorite toys are your drums and new kitty piano, and we're amazed at the rhythm you seem to have.  You cock your head to the side like Stevie Wonder when you're really feeling the music, and stick your tongue out when you concentrate (Beau says this is a Jorgensen trait).  Our weekly dance parties in the living room to a music station on TV are so much fun!

I love this picture below so much because it looks like you are reading music.  We went to feed Grandma and Grandpa Hoodjer's kitties on Friday, and you immediately went to work on the keys.  You did this all on your own --- opened up a church hymnal and started to play, keeping your eyes on the music at all times.

9.  You fake wimper and search for 'owies' on your arm just so you can have your boo-boo bunny and get a kiss from mom.  We play this game a few times each week.  

10.  You LOVE to read your books, and have especially developed a love for How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends.

11.  You have officially learned the word 'mine' and say it a little too frequently sometimes.  You definitely DEFINITELY know what you want, and when it's something you can't have (like a candy cane you found before dinner), you throw a pretty good fit!  You no longer want to sit in the front of the cart at Target, and absolutely hate to wear your cute brown flip flops.  You are, however, pretty easy to redirect and distract, and it's a constant game we play ;) 

12.  My favorite phrases you say are 'ohhhhhh, man!' and 'it's broken.'

13.  You continue to charm your way through life and get quite a lot of attention out in public.  We call you 'the mayor' because you're always reaching out to the crowd, waving, and offering a confident 'hi' to them.  

14.  You're a dare-devil, especially when you dive-bomb off the top of your anywhere chair or dive head-first into your baby pool in the backyard!

15.  You continue to be in love with all things Elmo.

Eggs and Elmo on a Saturday morning...

16.  You're working on your two-year molars, evidenced by your usual signs...

17.  You not only dance, but you're proving to be quite the singer, too.  When I ask what songs you want to sing, you always say, 'ummm???' and then put your index finger to your mouth signalling the 'shh' sound for the last verse in The Wheels on the Bus.  Thanks to daycare, you know all the actions to that one, This Little Light of Mine, The B-I-B-L-E, and Row Row Row Your Boat. 

18.  I can finally say you've become a bit of a mommy's boy.  Lately, when I'm in another room, I hear you chirp, 'mom,' throughout the house, and your eyes light up when you see me.  This, of course, makes me want to melt (and rub it in a little since you've been quite the daddy's boy before ;).  And sometimes, out of nowhere, you cup your little hands around my face or wrap your arms around my neck and shower me with kisses...it's precious.

19.  You snore --- well, kind of.  The other night as Dad was putting you to sleep, he told you to go 'night night.'  Seconds later, you were laying there with your eyes closed, pretending to be asleep by a loud, recognizable snore.  We laughed, of course, and you proceeded to 'snore' for the next half hour!  You definitely learned this trick from Daddy ;)

20.  Speaking of sleeping, it's been a little tricky to get you to sleep lately.  I think it's time for a new room, a new bed, and a new start :)

Happy 20 months, Cruz, better late than never, I guess!