18 month update

It certainly feels like Oscar has always been a part of our little family unit, but to look back and realise that he has been with us for 18 months now was a bit of a shock.  That just makes him sound so old and I’m not sure I’m ready for him to grow up just yet!

18 months old

I would like to keep a more regular diary of our adventures on here than I have done, especially now that Oscar is walking and talking and coming out with the funniest of things.  There have been so many little moments during the course of the past few months that have made me laugh really hard or made me melt inside and I don’t want to lose all those little moments in the madness that is everyday life.

So today I’m starting with a little update post about his current development.

Oscar and I are definitely big fans of routine, and he has come to expect nap and mealtimes at certain times of the day now.  I regularly post Day in the Life posts on AHM, so if you want to know what Oscar and I get up to during the week in more detail, then head over there for an insight.
Oscar usually wakes just before 7am and after changing his nappy and dressing him for the day (and sometimes also a quick book in our bed) we all head down for breakfast.  Oscar’s morning always includes reading, and general imagination play, such as with playdough or some of his animal toys.  Unless Oscar has a group to go to in the morning he goes down for a nap at 10:30 following a milk feed for about 1.5-2 hours which gives me a chance to get myself properly ready for the day as well as to prep lunch/tea and get on with general cleaning duties!
Lunch is about 12:30 and then in the afternoons we tend to have a more active activity.  He either attends a messy play session, or we go for a walk to the shops, along the river or to the park.  Oscar is a real fan of splashing in the puddles with his wellies on at the moment!
I try and have tea ready by 5:15pm.  Oscar and I eat together and then I reheat Dan’s dinner when he gets home a little over an hour later.  After tea I take Oscar upstairs for the night.  I bath him twice a week currently – Monday evenings (after his swimming lesson) and Thursday evenings (before nursery the following day) and he does enjoy bath time.  If it’s not a bath day then he spends a mad half hour rushing around the landing and in and out of the bedrooms before choosing a book for his Daddy to read to him on our bed when he arrives home from work.  Whilst Dan reads to him I quickly whizz round and tidy up O’s bedroom; drawing the curtains, pulling his duvet back, putting away his reading books, emptying his bin and tidying away his clothes.
Dan calls me through when he has finished reading and I give Oscar his second milk feed of the day before bed.  He is really good at going down to sleep on his own now.  Once he finishes feeding, I pick him up, kiss him, say ‘Night night’, which he repeats back to me and then walk through to his bedroom.  I place him down on his bed and he immediately rolls over onto his left side, clutching onto the muslin I gave him for his feed.  I tuck the duvet over him and kiss him one last time before pulling the door too behind me.  It’s usually about 7:30-7:45pm by the time I head back downstairs to clear up after the madness of the day!

In the mornings he has taken to calling ‘Mumma’ from his cot when he is ready for me to go and collect him, and it makes my heart melt every time!

Oscar spent most of February feeling rather poorly and this resulted in us bringing him into bed with us to sleep on four or five of the nights. In between us in our bed he was as good as gold, giving both Dan and I kisses and cuddles before shutting his eyes.  It wasn’t a great habit to get into; letting him share our bed – but I secretly loved those mornings where I woke up to him lying there with us.  He’s much better again now and I’m a little sad that those mornings have ended.

Oscar favours veggies over fruit, and prefers to have his fruit and veg as part of a meal rather than as a snack.  (Other than bananas, which he would eat all day long if I let him!)
For breakfast he tends to have either porridge cooked with fresh fruit stirred in (strawberries, blueberries, kiwi or plum), toast with peanut butter and a banana on the side, dippy egg and soldiers or fresh fruit pancakes.  Lunch is often a sandwich or quiche and I make a homecooked dinner at least 6 nights of the week such as a chicken casserole or caramelised onion sausages with mash and peas.
Some of his favourite foods at the moment are corn on the cob, sweet potato wedges, jacket potatoes with cheese and beans and veggie omelette.  I often make healthy snacks for him to have mid afternoon.  A favourite are peanut porridge balls – literally just peanut butter, porridge and banana all mushed together, rolled into a ball and cooked in the oven.  He also loves broccoli and mushroom muffins.  Originally he would eat anything and has never really been fussy at all.  He even eats fairly hot curries!  However, just lately he’s started to be a bit more selective over his choice of food.   He’s not a massive fan of carrots and goes through phases with raw kiwi.  He went through a phase of taking fruit out of the fruit bowl, taking a few bites and putting it back again – leaving a half-eaten apple or plum in the bowl!  Luckily he seems to have stopped this now though.
He’s confident in using his fork and spoon and we have transitioned him to using metal cutlery with plastic handles.

Oscar with corn

For the first time really since Oscar was born we have had to start buying clothes for him this month.  We were very lucky in that two of my friends donated huge bundles of clothes from their slightly older boys when Oscar was first born.  Both donations filled one wall of our attic with clothes up to 12 months, but Oscar is now firmly in a 12-18 month wardrobe, with a couple of pairs of trousers in a 18-24m size (albeit with the legs rolled up!)  This is mainly to fit around his nappy-bum as he has been in reusable nappies since he turned eight months old.  He wears a size 5.5H shoe (that’s super wide!) and is in a size 6 welly.  He has a lovely pair of crocodile wellies that he chose himself from the wellie sale in Waitrose last month.

Oscar smelling a flower

Despite desperately wanting to be propped up on his feet by the age of six months, Oscar was actually a really late walker.  In fact he was only a few days short of seventeen months before things finally clicked and he was off and away.  He had been taking bouts of 2-3 steps at a time by his first birthday, but this required huge amounts of encouragement every time and for both Dan and I to both be in the room with him.  We attended a play group session during the February half term which was really quiet.  There ended up just being one other Mum with her little boy along with Oscar and I.  The other little boy, Ralph, had just turned two and was running around everywhere.  Oscar was desperate to join in…so he did!  And since then he just never stopped running!

Oscar may have taken his time when it comes to walking, but he has definitely not held back when it comes to talking!  He is constantly chatting away at the moment, pointing out all the things around him as he recognises them.  Walking anywhere becomes a rather long task at times!  Last week, walking back from town had what felt like a million stops.
“Shoe!”
“Yes Oscar, that is your shoe.  Good boy!”
A few more steps…
“Shoe!” (Now pointing at his other shoe)
“Yep, that’s also your shoe.”
“Car!  Beep beep!”….

Our (rather large) clock was left on the sofa in our lounge this week, as we finally got a picture framed from our babymoon two years ago and that now hangs on the clock’s original hook.  I was rushing round to get Oscar out to group yesterday morning and told him that we were ‘going to be late – I still needed to get my shoes on.’  I headed out into our porchway to collect my shoes only to turn and find that he had brought me the clock and was now chanting “Tick Tock” rather loudly in my direction!

He can say (with meaning) well over 100 words now, and also associates certain words together as well.  For example, if you ask him what noises a cow/horse/monkey/frog/dog/chicken/cat/pig/sheep/lion/goat/snake/crocodile makes, he would be able to answer with a moo/clip clop/oo-oo-ah-ah/ribbit/woof woof/cluck cluck/miaow/oink/baa/roar/trip trap/sssssss/snap snap.

Other words and phrases that he knows and uses often include; sit down, up, down, snack, one more, please, tea, jump, clap clap, happy, cuddle, kiss, book, read, lap, milk, poo, Bell (the name of our cat), nenaw (for a fire-engine), Dadda, Mumma, ‘anddad (Granddad), Nanna, Blue (my Dad’s dog’s name), baby, dog, cheese, fish, Ralph, Alby, ball, heart, hot, bubble, boo, night night, see you soon, star, teeth, brush, egg, narna (banana), spoon, bowl, shoes, wellies, beep beep, hello and bye bye.

He can also point to the most common body parts when asked, repeating the words that you say to him; hair, head, eye, eyebrow, ear, nose, mouth, tongue, teeth, elbow, hand, finger, shoulder, belly, belly button, bum, knee and toes.

He copies everything we do and say at the moment, so we have to be so careful what we come out with now, and which actions we make in front of him as he is really quick to pick up on them.  I nipped to the toilet the other morning and came back into the office to find Oscar trying to put on my makeup!  I don’t even wear makeup that often!

Oscar putting on my makeup

One of his absolute favourite things to do is to sing.  He knows actions to all the nursery rhymes.  His favourites being Sleeping Bunnies, Incy Wincy Spider, If you’re happy and you know it, The Wheels on the Bus and Twinkle, Twinkle.  We have a Google Home Mini in our kitchen and Oscar will walk up to it and attempt to engage in conversation.  Unfortunately Google doesn’t understand requests of ‘Baa baa’, ‘star’ or ‘down down’!  We attend a Rhyme Time each week at our local library and Oscar is that child that leaves my side the second we arrive in order to ensure he has a seat right in front of the group leader and can join in with all the actions she does!  The way he launches himself down onto the ground to become a sleeping bunny every time a rabbit is pulled out of the rhyme bag always cracks me up!  He just loves it so much!

Oscar is not fussed with TV.  Neither Dan or I watch a huge amount and have always tried to interact with Oscar’s activities rather than just sit him in front of the TV  In turn, he always wants to be doing something rather than sitting zoned out in front of the box.  I’d like to keep it this way too!

Oscar’s favourite things include going down the slides, the seesaw and reading books.  He loves all animals and has to say “Bye bye dog” to every dog that passes us on the street.  We took him to the zoo recently and it was lovely to see him so interested in each of the animals that we saw.

Oscar and Dan on the slide

Oscar has been attending weekly swimming lessons since he was 12 weeks old and he is so confident in the water now.  He can happily climb out at the edge of the pool and jump in unaided.  One of his favourite activities during swimming lessons is when the swim instructor brings out a large 2m long thick float for the babies to sit on.  We let them all sit on it together and wobble the board on the water.  Afterwards, the babies take it in turns to walk along the top of the float to jump in to the pool.  Oscar always shrieks and is already saying “One more!” before even jumping!

He loves to draw and will regularly come over to Dan or I clutching a scrap of paper he’s found from somewhere, asking for a pen to draw.  This past fortnight he’s really got to grips with holding the pen properly.  He also likes to give you the pen and point out where on the paper you should draw something and what it is you should be drawing for him!  His favourites to ask for are; the letter ‘O’, Bella or a star.  He recognises all of the letters in his name – O, s, c, a and r and points them out whenever he sees them around, for example on signs or the covers of magazines.  Particularly the letter O.

Oscar learning to write

At a guess Oscar is now sporting about 10 teeth.  Way too many for me to want to put my finger in there and count anymore anyway!

I still breastfeed twice a day during the week – once just before his morning nap and once before bed.  At the weekends I tend to be sleeping following a night shift when he takes his nap so he just has his nighttime milk feed.

Oscar attends nursery one day a week during term time, which seems to suit us as a family right now.  I would love to have him home with me all the time but with no nearby family able to help out or support us and no chance for me to get web work/house admin done (working all weekend and Oscar’s love of the keyboard mean sitting at a computer is just impossible!) having those 37 days in the year as child free makes a big difference.  It’s good for his development too.  The nursery is a lovely one and they host activities that I wouldn’t ever have thought of doing at home on my own with him.

Oscar is developing such a lovely little personality at the moment.  He holds his mouth open and goes “Ahhh” when he wants to kiss someone, which he regularly does to Dan, Me, Bella, my Dad and a couple of his favourite toys.  He also comes over for a cuddle at times, with his arms open wide and makes the cutest little cuddling noises.  He starts out shy when he finds himself in a new environment or with people he doesn’t recognise, but once he sees us at ease in the new situation he begins to relax and wants to please everyone.  I am lucky as I don’t think we’ve really hit the toddler tantrum stage yet.  Although he’s had a few minor melt downs, so far we’ve always been able to reason with him to do as we’ve asked, without giving in to his unreasonable demands!  (What child could eat FIVE bananas anyway?!)

Dan, Me and Oscar on holiday in York

I know that we are very lucky – I genuinely feel so happy and content with my little family of four (Bella included!)  All that lack of sleep in the early days and the inability to be able to get on with absolutely anything during the day time is definitely worth it!

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