Thursday, 14 January 2016

Alexander at 18 months

On the 2nd January Alexander turned 18 months old and in my eyes he is 100% a toddler. Where has my baby boy gone? He was born with a flash of very dark hair, and dark eyebrows and now has the most gorgeous, fluffy fair hair he could give an Easter chick a run for their money!

I am very glad that I have captured so much of his childhood to date in photographs and on my YouTube channel Sophie and Lily. It takes me back to many different memorable occasions and I think I would trade my own leg to have a cuddle with newborn Lily and newborn Alexander again.

Alexander from 0 to 12 months
Alexander between the ages of "days away from joining our family", fresh and newborn and 12 months old.
Alexander has only recently cut his seventh tooth, which is quite a difference from Lily who had a taste for an array of different textures of food but then again she had an almost full set of milk teeth by this age. So whilst we jokingly refer to him as a salad-dodger, I understand that with more teeth he will be able to enjoy more foods. It must be hard just eating a mouthful of hard or chewy food using just a limited number of front teeth, but he manages just about. He has taken an interest in feeding himself with cutlery now, and it is a pleasure to watch him eat a pot of yoghurt with a spoon and watch him peer into the pot to excavate the last spoonfuls, all the while hearing him say "more, more!" to himself.

Peanut butter on toast is one of his favourite breakfasts
One of his favourite breakfasts is peanut butter on toast, and he runs to his highchair to wait to be lifted in
Lily feeding her little brother
Lily tries to help Alexander to reach the last few spoonfuls of yoghurt
His speech is also coming along and he is getting adept at trying to copy words and sounds and we are pretty sure he can say "one, two, threeeee!" and on one occasion I am sure counted down from three, with equal excitement. He can also communicate what he wants by pointing and patting. If he wants a feed, he will walk to the sofa and pat it to encourage me to sit down, which is very sweet.

Alexander has been walking since 13 months and has only recently had his feet measured for the first time; he wears a size 5F and he loves nothing more than sitting in his carseat trying to remove his shoes and socks! Because of the addition of shoes and the fact that he is growing a lot now, he has now moved out of the infant carseat into Lily's 0-4 years forward facing car seat. I'm pleased that she happily gave up her old car seat eventually as at one point she wasn't a fan of the idea one little bit!
Aside from the Phil and Ted's puschair, the infant car seat is our last bit of baby clobber to go now. That is a big sign that the kids are growing up and out of the real baby stage.

First Clarks shoes for Alexander age 18 months
He loves stepping into his new shoes but prefers trying to take them off!

He is a rather active boy at home and at playgroup, opting for locating the nearest trike or pushalong or a red and yellow car whilst at playgroup. Whilst at home he sits astride his racing red Toddlebike2 and leans forwards and pushes his feet down and out to propel himself forward, so he is getting the hang of self-propulsion. The Toddlebike2 is a prebalance bike suitable for children between 18 months and 3 years, but when we received it he was at least 16 months but happy to sit on it and gradually we noticed him walking it along but without being seated. So whilst he is now at the minimum recommended age (but it all depends on individual capabilities) it has been a worthwhile, lightweight trike which has certainly helped with his motor skills. Apart from the ride-ons, Alexander likes playing with kitchen role-play toys and even has a go with the microphone of Lily's Frozen karaoke which is so adorable - until he tries to stuff the mic into his mouth!
Alexander lifting the ultra-lightweight Toddlebike2 pre-balance bike
The Toddlebike2: Weight-lifter? No, it is really light-weight yet durable, even 16 month old Alexander could carry it around happily

I am pleased to have reached 18 months of breastfeeding. It hasn't always been a bed of roses. It started off not too great as I suffered with vasospasm, just like I did with Lily but it settled down very well and he has always been an "on-demand" baby. This has it's cons though. I started wearing less accesible tops when he started having less feeds whilst out and about but perhaps a big developmental growth spurt prompted him to start feeding like a famished baby again - cue thrusting his hands down my tops, trying to look down my top, or lifting up my top and not appreciating being told "no". Perhaps the same growth spurts and possibly teething has also had him wanting feeds during the night where normally he would sleep through. This was all happening in the last couple of months of last year, but so far, everything has kind of had the balance restored and I don't feel like I need matchsticks to keep my eyelids open!

Feeding is still going strong at 18 months
Both of us enjoy these moments and I shall treasure these memories

I don't have a clue how much he weighs, but he has been putting away so much food lately I can definitely feel a difference when I hold him. My arms are burning after trying to hold a wriggly Alexander for 5 minutes when he'd rather be racing round a shop, a good workout really!
Rob and I still occasionally carry him in the Connecta, but he is becoming less happy being worn at the front and at the back so it is being reached for less and less, although it is very handy for dog walks in the muddy New Forest.

Alexander in a back carry using a Connecta carrier
I think the main problem is that he wants to be involved as much as possible and see everything, not just side to side, or the back of my head
He is such a happy little boy and has a wonderful, mischievous personality which is developing all the time.

Thank you for reading!

Alexander enjoying the park on 1st January 2016
Enjoying the first park visit on the first day of 2016

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