oh that laugh

There is a new baby in Caroline's class at school named Luke. He was there this morning when I dropped Caro off and she made a beeline for him as soon as her little tush hit the carpet. He was sitting in a baby seat holding his head up nice and strong and Caroline climbed right up to get a better look at him. She gently touched his little arms and looked at me with that silly gums touching each other smile she has been doing lately. (I love that smile) Sara said that Caroline and Sunny (AKA Hannah) were all about the new toy in the room yesterday, the new toy being Little Luke of course. I walked around to get a better look at his sweet face and he is just adorable! I looked up at the wall and there was Luke's little star with his name and birthdate in September 2007. September 2007. Wow.

Caroline is no longer the littlest one in the room. I don't know how I feel about that. I just paused after typing it and I am not sure if there is a sense of pride for all she has accomplished or a pang of sadness that her babydom is quickly slipping through our fingers. When Caroline started with Michelle and Sara she was a bit older than Luke, but probably spent her days in the same little seat, with the older babies gently touching her arm, looking up at their mommies with gleeful expressions. Having a new little one like Luke seems almost like a rite of passage for Caroline.

I glanced over the center's activity calendar last night, which I always do, but always with the knowledge that Caroline isn't exactly an active participant yet. January's calendar is filled with winter themed weeks with activities like building igloos, creating snowflakes, snowcones, and lots of winter themed clothing things that I am sure are designed to convince reluctant little ones to wear mittens and coats. Before long her cubby will be filled with winter scenes of cotton balls glued to paper and she'll be proudly showing off how she spent her day. I am really looking forward to those silly art projects. I glanced to the bottom of the calendar and saw the January birthdays listed and gulped a bit in the realization that next month her name will appear at the bottom of the calendar. I quickly tossed aside those overwhelming emotions to consider what I might be allowed to do for her birthday in the classroom, if I was supposed to organize something, or if I would be allowed to do anything at all since her birthday is a Monday and a non-school day. hmmm. More to come on that I am sure.

So as we close the chapter on Caroline's 11th month she is eating an enormous amount and variety of foods. She's been enjoying whole petite peas, sweet potato dices, roasted chicken, all kinds of bread, and most recently chicken nuggets. Yes, chicken nuggets.

I just made an appointment at Breastfeeding Resources to discuss how exactly I should go about transitioning Caroline from nursing to whole milk at the conclusion of her 12th month. The appointment is set for the 14th and we'll see how it goes. She is quite enamored with her new cups and she switches between her Dr. Brown Training Cup, to the Nuby No Spill, to another version of the Nuby with a straw. I forgot to ask the girls today about transitioning from the bottle to the cup. Since Caroline really seems to love her sippy cups in a throw her head back and suck it down kind of way I don't think the transition will be too challenging.

I want their help in setting up a good transition plan and I want to ensure that it meets the center's standards as well. They have a bottle rule that once a baby has drank from a bottle they cannot offer it again and I am wondering if the same is true of the sippy if it still contains breast milk or formula and not whole milk. My hope for next week is to move one bottle to a sippy, then another, and then all three, until all her daycare bottles are from a cup. With 4 weeks to go before her first birthday, we should incrementally be able to do this so that around when she hits 12 months we can start mixing in whole milk until we have eliminated the breast milk from her school diet. Gulp.

On a more playful note, Caroline has really taken to the monkey see monkey do game. Mommy flips a light switch, Caroline flips a light switch. Mommy presses the fridge Dj, Caroline presses the Fridge DJ. Mommy eats a pea, Caroline eats a pea. Mommy laughs, Caroline laughs. Oh that laugh. I feel like overnight she has really learned how to belly laugh and not just do that sucking in gaspy thing she does. We discovered that she is particularly ticklish under her chin and she totally anticipates us coming at her to tickle her, which has made things so fun. The house is full of our family's laughter.


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