Thursday, February 16, 2012

My New New Favorite

Followers might recall this post, so everyone knows that my favorite part about being a parent was the moment I walk into Alli's classroom at daycare and see her face light up when she sees me. Well, for the past couple of months Mommy B has been the lucky one to pick Alli up from daycare thanks to her new work schedule. While I'm so happy that she finally gets to experience what I did for so many months, I have to say I have missed it immensely. I might get to pick her up every once in a while when Mommy B heads home to take a nap, but not having it to look forward to has been tough. But, since we've moved away from bottles and have been on sippy cups (with a straw!) for a while now, a new favorite of mine has emerged.

Alli has grown up so much in the last month or so. 8 teeth have popped through in that time, so she went from a almost-full jack-o-lantern into having a full mouth of pearly whites in a blink of an eye. Even though she's not quite 16 months old, we're keeping our eyes peeled for her two-year molars.

She's also talking more. A LOT more. She also knows what she wants and has been getting better about telling us what it is. When we read to her at bedtime, she already has her favorites that we have to flip through before she'll go to bed. She'll point to them and say "dat!" until we open it and let her flip through the pages. Her favorites include a book of baby faces and objects (probably because she recognizes them the most) and a book of animals. Mommy B and I try to make the noises each animal makes so she can begin learning those sounds... but does anyone know what sound a starfish makes?

But, my new favorite is my morning routine with Alli. I typically wake up around 5:30am, hit the shower and get dressed. I begin eating breakfast while watching the news and reading the paper - waiting for Alli to wake up. She used to wake up at 6 o'clock on the dot, but has been sleeping until almost 7 recently. When she wakes up, I bring her downstairs and plop her on my lap instead of propping her in the Boppy and handing her a bottle like I used to.

This is the best part - she helps me with my breakfast every morning. If I'm eating cereal, she'll grab spoonfuls of it and shove it in her mouth. If I'm eating oatmeal, she'll repeatedly lean forward towards the spoon until she has devoured my entire bowl. When we've polished that off, its on to her own stash of Apple Cinnamon Cherrios and whole milk. Sometimes we'll "split" a banana, but she usually gets most of it. I've found myself getting hungry at around 10:30 and it took me a while to realize why - Alli was stealing all my food in the morning!

She also has her favorite shows she likes to watch in the morning. We may start out with Jake and the Neverland Pirates, toss in some Special Agent Oso, then wrap up with Little Einsteins. If we're running late, she might even get to catch some Choo-Choo Soul. Those of you with kids understand how wonderful the Disney Junior channel truly is. Yesterday I caught her on video dancing around in the middle of the living room with her homeboy DC on Choo-Choo Soul. She was twisting around and throwing her arms in the air like she was ready for the club scene already. Then it's off to get changed and out the door for daycare.

This morning routine has become my new favorite thing in the parenting realm. Not only do I enjoy spending this quality time with Alli anyway, its so great getting to see the new things she's learned. Perfect example: this morning the Little Einsteins were on a farm and they had a picture of a sheep on the screen. Alli saw it and said "Baaaa!" without me even asking her! I guess all that time reading to her at night is actually paying off! Even though she had a mouth full of Cheerios, I was so delighted to see that she made the connection between the picture of an animal and the sounds she's heard us make over and over again. I really love this little girl...

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