In the last month, Lauren has changed and grown so much. She's acquired a mullet (not on purpose and I call it a "moo-lay" to try to make it sound fancy), started to try to eat some foods like pasta and egg (some times more successfully than others) and she wants to walk more and more. Today I was at a kids store with her and she walked around to all of the kids in strollers and stood at their strollers and visited. The change in her is remarkable. 

I thought this would be a good time to capture who she is now by listing some of her favourite things. 

1. Going outside. She's cranky? Go outside. She's tired? Go outside. She's whining? Go outside. She's awake? Go outside. We go outside a lot.

2. Finding rocks outside. The other day she left a trail of rocks where she had dumped her old rocks when she found one that was bigger. It reminded me of Hansel and Gretel, except smarter... though Lauren also tries to eat the rocks so maybe the whole smarter argument ends there.

3. Eating chocolate chips. Since I found gluten free, corn free, soy free chocolate chips (oh, allergies), I usually have a bag going to fulfill my sweet tooth. Well, Lauren got a taste of the little bits of deliciousness in the bag and now she is hooked too. She's lucky she's a skinny minny because I'm willing to give her anything to get some meat on her bones. I put a few down for her and she laughs to herself while popping them one by one into her mouth and mumbling, "Mmmmmm." 

4. Pulling up my shirt and playing with my extra belly skin. Obviously she wants to keep me humble. Very, very humble. She also might be trying to decrease her chocolate chip competition by showing me that extra around my middle. Yes, thank you, Lauren. Why do you think that is there in the first place?! She actually uses it as one would use a blanket or stuffie to cuddle with when she's tired. If only I could find a blanket that feels like human skin. Gross.

5. Any and all books, toys and puzzles that make noise. These are great because when she's playing with them, I know exactly where she is. They are bad because many of them are light activated or dark activated so I have a mini heart attack every time I turn out the lights at night and tinny animal sounds erupt from all over our living room.

6. Every one of her board books. Before I had a kid, I always thought that board books were a waste of money. They only use them for a year or so and then they want the real books, not the baby books. Well, I'm an idiot. Enough said. She spends at least half an hour over the course of the day, quietly looking through her books. And each of those minutes is wonderful. 

7. Having people clap for her. She looks around and is so incredibly proud of herself when people clap for her. She even joins in and claps for herself. Sometimes when she has done some really good walking and I say, "Wow, Lauren! What good walking you're doing!" she actually starts to clap for herself. 

8. Being in a stroller race with Matt. Let me clarify because right now I'm picturing both of them in strollers rolling along. While that is an amusing visual, the reality is different. When Matt and I run with her, he pushes her in the running stroller. There are a few areas where he pushes the stroller away from him and then he runs beside and yells, "Who's driving this thing?!" and Lauren throws her arms up and down with the biggest smile   plastered across her face. It never gets old. And where am I during this race? Plodding along behind, slowly working off Lauren's "human comfort blanket."

9. Juice. She recently has started to throw back all kinds of juice. But, of course, the regular juice isn't good enough, so I am that mom who drives across town to get the natural juice at Whole Foods... though that is also where I get the chocolate chips, so it is pretty convenient. 

10. Her "baby." I have an old Cabbage Patch preemie that she loves. I keep it in the car so that she can sit with it in the car seat. In my dream last night someone broke into my car and I remember apologizing to her because her baby had been stolen. We all have priorities, I guess. 

I'm sure that her favourites will continue to change (and for the sake of my self-confidence I hope that favourite number 4 changes quickly). It is amazing to watch her grow and develop. What a little, loveable, blue-eyed bundle of crazy. And she is the best thing that has ever happened to me. She is my favourite - and that is one favourite that won't ever change. 

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