Rachel is very obvious about her moods. We have very little guess work to do. If she wakes up happy, she'll be happy all day, but if she wakes up grumpy, watch out!
The best way to gauge her mood is by walking into her room in the morning. Depending on how many blankets/toys/stuffed animals she's holding when she sees you, you can tell how stable her emotions will be throughout the day. We've devised the following Rach-o-meter to help out any potential babysitters:
1) If you walk into the room and she's free-standing (ie. not holding onto the crib for support) she's probably in a pretty good mood. If she claps her hands after seeing you, you'd better make sure you eat a big breakfast. You've got a lot of playing to do today!
2) If you walk into the room and she's holding onto the crib bar looking groggy, she's most likely going to be in a good, snugly mood, especially if she bends down to pick up her favorite blanket after giving you the just-a-minute face.
3) If you walk into the room and she's still lying down, hugging a blanket or two, you can pick her up and cuddle her, but she probably needs a few minutes before she'll decide if it's going to be a happy day or not.
4) If you walk into the room because you heard her screaming and she's holding onto the crib bar with tears and snot dripping off her chin, you're in for a rough day. If, when she sees you, she gives you a mean looking just-a-minute face, and then stoops down to pick up everything she owns, including trying to rip the bumper off the side, you'd better hope for a long early morning nap.
5) If you walk into the room because you heard Rachel screaming and she's already thrown all of her favorite things out of the crib, your best bet is to just turn her music back on, give her back her favorite blankey and hope she falls back asleep.
Luckily for us, Rachel usually wakes up happy, or at least happy-ish. Today was a 3.5 on the Rach-o-meter so it was kind of a rough morning, but yesterday was a 1.5 and the day was awesome!
She's usually a good, solid 2, waiting patiently for us to come into her room and then giving some great morning snugles (with her favorite blanket, of course). Occassionally she's a 1--those days can be hard, too, but in a different way from when she wakes up a 4 or 5. She hardly ever wakes up a 5 because she just loves cuddling with her blanket too much. That, and we try put her straight back to sleep and she wakes up in a slightly better mood.