First of all, I want to thank you, my online community, for your words of support and advice. I had read the books and searched online, but it was in your words that I found the most comfort. It reminds me of how grateful I am to you all, my blogging community. This would be so much more difficult without you, and I am especially happy to be in touch with my extended family again - both by blood and friendship.
I have followed your advice and Sophie's tantrums have calmed significantly. We have always given her snacks after daycare, but we bumped it up and are pretty much feeding her supper when she gets home around 5:15. She's just so hungry. We've ditched the high chair and she now sits in a bar-height chair at the table and loves it. When she begins to show signs of a meltdown, distraction has been key. Most successful is a box that she can put different shaped blocks into. Claire, last night I started repeated "Bubbles, Bubbles" on your advice and she looked at me like I had just come up with the most remarkable poem. Katie, I think your comment on how much can she learn from these tantrums was most influential. I really took that to heart and am dealing with them with that at the forefront.
I once read, I think in Dr. Sears, about being a full time parent, about being present in Sophie's life through the entire 24 hour cycle. I don't mean a literal presence, or that I don't take breaks or time for myself, but about being attentive, consistent, and aware of Sophie's needs. I need to keep these skills honed for when she does melt down. That's when she needs me most.
Thanks again. I love you guys.