Cruz is TWO

Well, we're one week into Cruz as a two year old and I tell you what --- he's definitely acting it!  Both Beau and I have commented on how different he acts lately, how much he's picked up the last week or so, and how fun he's been at home.  I've heard other parents say they can almost see their child grow from age one to two, and I'm now seeing the proof.
A few things to remember about Cruz's first week as TWO...

...lots of words are now turning into fun little phrases.  My favorite is when he laughs and says, 'No, mommy,' or 'No, daddy,' when we're doing something silly (or annoying) to him like tickling him during a diaper change or standing in front of the TV when he's watching Elmo.  He's also started the twenty questions, all in the form of 'What's this?' for everything, even if he clearly knows what something is.  We play this game with his new kitchen where he pulls each food out one at a time, hands it to me, and asks 'What's this?'  He clearly knows all the foods, but now thinks he's created some fun little game out of it (evidenced by the grin on his face).

...he loves his bed and LOVES his blankies.  After books in the recliner, he knows and appreciates when it's bedtime.  We carry him up to his bed, lay him on his pillow, and pile about three different blankets on top of him.  He burrows under his duvet cover, and usually takes his favorite blanket and hugs it in front of his face.  He looks so snuggly in there and seems to sleep very well under all his covers. of my absolute favorite things Cruz does happens almost every time we change his diaper.  Beau started this thing where after he takes his diaper off he asks Cruz, 'Who's gonna throw this diaper away?' to which Cruz usually lifts his hands in the air and proclaims, 'ME!' with genuine enthusiasm every time.  It's no fail, and happens even when he's in the middle of a cry session, an episode of Elmo, or a favorite toy.  It's hilarious, and he never disappoints.

...Cruz comes to life at story-time.  He loves his books, and has favorite go-to actions and sounds with every one of his favorites.  Like pointing out every instrument in Elmo's Count to Ten book, or making commentary on every page of his favorite, 'Little Dump Truck.'  I read him 'Where the Wild Things Are' for the first time last night, and he was in awe of Max and his monsters.  I could see the wheels turning through his big brown eyes as he watched Max's room transform to the mysterious jungle.  Reading to him is one of my absolute favorite past-times and something I hope we do for years to come.

...Cruz now 'swims' in the tub during bath time.  He rolls over on his tummy, sprawls out like a frog in a pond, and exclaims that he's 'swimming' in his 'pool.'

...We may have the makings of an architect in the family.  Cruz loves playing blocks, and his fine motor skills have finally allowed him to tower blocks as tall as he is.  He, of course, likes to knock them over, too...
...LOVES his new kitchen, even though I wish he was as organized as I used to be when I played in mine!  Although his kitchen comes equipped with multiple cupboards, he insists on piling every single piece of food in the oven, then proceeds to slam the oven door and inform us that it is very 'hot.'  I've tried to organize for him, but he usually gets upset with me and puts it back where he wants it.

Speaking of kitchen, we celebrated Cruz's birthday with a quiet day just the three of us, some birthday essentials, and a few surprises throughout the day.  Last year, his birthday was special simply because it was the first one, but this year was the first year he seemed to really get it.  He loved being sung to, got into the whole blowing-out-a-candle-thing, and became quite the pro at unwrapping presents.

We went for a hike and played in the leaves at Hartman, had tacos and cheese quesadillas at Rudy's, and of course, a birthday in Cedar Falls wouldn't be complete without a cupcake from Scratch for dessert.

I must say, the big kitchen reveal after nap time was worth the two and a half hours it took us to put that thing together.  Case in point, I will never buy an Ikea kitchen...I'm not sure my marriage would survive it.

Love at first sight...

The premier of two came big and loud and simple and sweet.  We rang in the year with big parties, but savored that special birthday with a quiet day of play and some of Cruz's favorites --- a gooey cheese quesadilla, restaurant play in the middle of the living room floor, and an epic candle moment at Scratch.  And although the premier may be over, the celebration continues...

Happy TWO, Cruz.