She hears the dog across the street barking long before we are actually ready to get up. She barks back a few times before standing up in the crib and screaming "Ma!! Ma!!! aaaaaaaaare youuuuuu?? MA!!! MA?? MA!!!" I haven't even rolled out of bed yet and the cat walks by. She meows at him relentlessly, as if asking him questions in cat speak. "Mow?? Mow mow?? MOW kitty cat, mow?"
She sees me sneak by to get her bottle ready. She knows where I am going but insists on screaming "Out? Out??" and when I arrive with her bottle like clockwork she picks up her blanket and hands it to me. "See?" she says as if I should be surprised that the blanket was in her crib. As I lay her back down with the bottle, her hand shoots up to ask for her blanket back.
I usually take my shower while she is taking her bottle, and by the time I've gotten out, she's got the big kids up and has somehow convinced them to entertain her. She is standing in her crib clapping and laughing at their antics.
I get her out, and get her changed and dressed for the day. As soon as she's dressed, she asks for her shoes. She carries them and her socks to grandpa's room shouting "shoes! on!" the whole way there. She loves her routine and is a creature of habit.
This is my absolute favorite part of having kids. That magical time when your child turns from baby to toddler, expanding their comprehension and vocabulary seemingly by the minute. A year ago, she laid around like a lump. Now--she moves from morning until night. Sure, there are rough spots, like the fact that she doesn't sleep through the night or the fact that she routinely throws a temper tantrum during dinner, but she is such a bright spot in our lives right now.
When I am leaving her in the morning, she runs to me with her lips turned up for a kiss goodbye. She does the same to her daddy, brother and sister at bedtime. When it's time to read, she is climbing in to the bed, just as excited as the big kids. "See book?", she asks and then settles in to a lap to listen to the story.
Remember way back when I was pregnant and was worried about how she would change our family dynamic? It was a real concern then and to even think of it now, it seems like it was an irrational worry. Of course she fits right in with us. She is one of us. Hub said it best a few weeks ago when we were talking about how lucky we truly are. "She is the icing on the cake."