Elliott’s 18 Month Update – Part 6: Personality

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I freakin’ love Elliott’s personality and quite often tell him to never, ever change!

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Sure, there’s the tantrums. Mostly when I pick him up in the kitchen and deposit him back in the lounge when I’m cooking; or when he wants to climb the next flight of stairs in the apartment block; or sometimes just because he is over tired. Those times aren’t fun, but they’re short lived, soon forgotten and just Elliott learning how to handle things – they’re not indications of his personality.

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First up, Elliot is super-caring. He almost has this sixth sense. Ever since he was a tiny baby he’s looked concerned if he heard another baby crying. When one of his baby friends returned to Baby Sensory following an absence of a few weeks Elliott crawled over to him as if to say ‘how are you doing mate, you alright?’. There’s a young baby in his room at nursery and he will often try to entertain the baby with toys if she’s upset, or wave to her to try to cheer her up. Once at soft play he spent ages pointing out various funny pictures to a small baby. My ovaries are literally ready to explode as I type this!

I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but I’ve been rather ill recently and Elliott has been super kind to me. One morning when I had no energy and Hubby had to head out, Elliott crawled up and took an early nap on me as if to say ‘I know you’re not very well mummy and you don’t have very much energy. I’ll help you out and have my nap now so you don’t wear yourself out.‘. He will regularly dole out hugs and kisses and if he’s not kissing you directly he’s likely to be blowing you a kiss.

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Which bring us onto the next thing. He’s a little charmer. He really is. We’ve always said this and I’m sure most babies are, but he knows how to act so cute and charming to really win people over, even really grumpy people!

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I’m also convinced he’s Zoolander. Point a camera in his face and he will quite happily pose away. Tonight I wanted to capture a photo of him with a small jute tote bag on his head. By the time I had grabbed my phone he had taken the bag off, but seeing me about to take a photo he popped the bag back on, turned, pouted so I could get my shot and then took the bag off again! Poser, indeed!

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He’s confident, but reluctant at first. Elliott’s confidence has come on so much since starting nursery, but his initial instinct is to hold back at first. Once he’s comfortable with a person, environment or situation he’s well away but if he’s not sure he will hang around mummy and daddy until he’s sized the place up.

What else? He’s as cheeky as they come and he knows he is. He’s also very determined and independently minded. Very helpful, which is great as he will now help me put away his clothing or hang the washing. He’s also as bright as a button and doesn’t miss a thing.

I can’t wait to see what he grows up to be like. I just know he’s going to make us very, very proud.

Take a look at the rest of Elliott’s 18-month update here:

Part 1: Routine
Part 2:

 

Elliott’s 18 Month Update – Part 3: Eating

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Myself and Hubby are both known as the foodies of the family. Not in the sense that we will only eat the finest grass-fed foie gras, more because we just love our blooming food and lots of it – it’s a good job we have fast metabolisms! Obviously everyone expected Elliott to follow suit and he pretty much has, although being a toddler he swings from being a gannet, to being off his food faster than the Octonauts can dive to the bottom of the ocean.

A typical day at home will look like this…

7:15am – 70z bottle of cows milk

8am – Breakfast, usually cereal or porridge with fruit and toast. Elliott’s favourite cereals are Weetabix and Rice Krispies.

10:30am – Morning snack, this tends to be a banana, or a slice of fruit toast. If we’re out and about it might be an Organix-y style toddler snack (Elliott is particularly into these gingerbread men at the moment).

12pm – Lunch, normally an omelette, or a sandwich or wrap with a side salad and some toddler crisps. Followed by fruit, a jelly or a yoghurt.

3:30pm – Afternoon snack, this might be fruit, a packaged toddler snack, Dairylea on crackers, or Almond butter on rice cakes.

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6pm – Dinner (or ‘TEA’ as Elliott likes to screech as he runs excitedly towards his high chair (that’s what us Black Country types refer to dinner as)),  very occasionally Elliott will have a pre-packaged Hipp meal (generally if mummy and daddy want to eat something grown-up (like take out, or steak and chips) for dinner later.) Normally it’s just a smaller version of what we’re having for dinner, so maybe stir fry, stew, sausages and mash with vegetables, pasta… Elliott loves lasagne and seems quite partial to a chicken korma too. He also loves tofu! If it’s a work night it has to be something quick, so it’s often pasta, microwave jacket potatoes, or vegetable topped pizza. This is generally followed by fruit, jelly, a yoghurt, banana (or cake) and custard, or this healthy chocolate mousse.

7:30pm – 7 or 8 ounce bottle of whole cows milk.

Elliott eats well when he’s at nursery. The portions they give there are huge and Elliott frequently polishes them off, sometimes having seconds! I’ve also noticed he will eat certain foods (especially fruits) at nursery which he won’t eat at home! Sneaky thing!

At home Elliott eats with us at the table, we strap him in his Ikea high chair. We used to be able to just pop him in, but his middle name may as well be Houdini at the moment so he has to be restrained to prevent him from escaping! He eats really well with either a spoon or fork. He does have a tendency to throw food if he’s tired, or if he’s had enough and we haven’t noticed. Although, thankfully, this does seem to be a phase that is starting to pass. There’s only so many times you can cope with having a flying banana land in your lap part way through breakfast. At nursery he sits on a little chair at a little table surrounded by his other older toddler friends – so cute!

We use the plastic cutlery and plates and bowls from Ikea. You know, the ones that everyone has and an assortment of bibs from Tommee Tippee, Ikea and elsewhere. We find these ones from Tommee Tippee to be the best.

In terms of drinking Elliott goes through phases, both in terms of how much water he will drink and which cup he wants to drink out of. I’ll do a blog post about the various cups we’ve been through another time – that’s an epic blog post in itself!

I do find it hard to come up with inspiration for new meals for Elliott and it can be disheartening when I do try something new and he doesn’t like it, so if anyone has any fool proof toddler recipes to recommend, please leave your links in the comments below.

You can read part one of Elliott’s 18-month (routine) here and part two (sleep) here.

 

Elliott’s 18 Month Update – Part 2: Sleep

 

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Elliott’s current bedtime is 8pm and most nights he will sleep from 8pm until 7am the following morning.

Elliott will occasionally wake around 10 or 11pm, generally because he’s lost his dummy,  usually once it’s back in he’s straight back to sleep. Sometimes he isn’t really fully awake anyway – just kind of making disgruntled noises in his sleep!

Of course, there are exceptions. Sometimes, especially if Elliott is unwell (or sometimes for no reason whatsoever), Elliott will wake in the early hours and decide to stay awake for around an hour. Sometimes he just wants company and someone to stay with him whilst he falls asleep, other times he’s like a toddler possessed and just wants to play, play, play. Thankfully, those incidents are few and far between. Phew!

Elliott has a well-established bed time routine. Bath at around 7pm, then dimmed lights whilst he’s changed into his PJs, before having a 7 or 8 ounce bottle of whole cows milk and some cuddles from daddy. Then he gets cuddles and kisses from both mummy and daddy before being popped in his sleeping bag and drifting off to the land of nod.

I must admit, this last week he has been fighting bed time a little. I’m not sure if it’s the dreaded 18-month sleep regression (although technically Elliott is 19-months now!), teething, or something else, but once he’s finished his bottle he tends to trundle across to me and cling to me like a baby monkey. A bed time book seemed to calm things last night and tonight I’m staying out of the room until the last moment to see if that helps. I’m sure (read: hope) it’s just a phase.

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Elliott sleeps in his Ikea cot, in PJs with a summer tog sleeping bag (our apartment is very cosy indeed). I’m not one for fussy cot adornments (far too paranoid about the dangers for that) but he does have a Lamaze Captain Calamari on the side (so he can play with something if he wakes up earlier than we do), a Jellycat penguin which he’s had since day one and a Jellycat monkey which used to be mine but I donated in a moment of motherly adoration (I honestly thought I would be far more protective of my possessions but in reality I’m just like take it, take it all). We use fitted sheets and a mattress protector from Ikea and the mattress itself is from Ikea too. All of which I would highly recommend in terms of cost effectiveness, durability and quality. We still use the our BT baby monitor to listen in. We’re all on one level so we can generally hear if Elliott gets upset, but having the baby monitor means we can get in there sooner preventing total meltdowns (most of the time).

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As for day time sleep… Well… Whilst Elliot has always been a good night time sleeper, he’s never been renowned for his day time naps, bless him. That said, pre-Christmas we had a good routine where he would go down just before, during or after lunch for around an hour and a half to two hours. Since the festivities it’s all gone a bit pear shaped for various reasons (baby groups at awkward times, relatives visiting etc…).

Elliott still very much needs a nap, if he has a day without one it can go one of two ways: 1. He’s over tired on the day and impossible to do anything with, or 2. He’s fine on the day but can be a total grump the following day. Neither scenario is much fun for me, so I’m trying to re-establish a napping routine. At nursery he goes down for a nap just after his lunch, so that’s what I’m trying to do at home too. It worked perfectly yesterday as we only had plans for the morning. Today, we had a pub lunch whilst our car was being MOT’d and a delay on our desserts meant pushing Elliott through his normal nap time so he didn’t get down until about 3pm. Tomorrow? Who knows…

Elliott was  previously very good at napping on the fly – catching a quick 40 winks in his buggy whilst I was shopping, for example. But I do get the impression that his longer toddler naps might ground us a bit in terms of afternoon plans. We shall see… Elliott tends to have a dummy for naps and bedtime. We like these MAM ones.

You can read part one of Elliott’s 18-month update here.

Next up, I’ll be looking at a subject close to Elliott’s and my own heart (and stomach) – eating!

A Whole Lotta Lurg

It’s been sickness central here at Heathcock towers over the past week unfortunately.

Elliott started coming down with a cough last Wednesday which got progressively worse until he was blowing snot bubbles with the best of them.

We soldiered on, although decided to skip Rhythm and Rhyme at the library last Friday so he could rest up in the snuggly warm.

He was doing OK, until…

Puke fest = Disney day!

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Saturday morning. The usual routine – up at 7am, nappy change, bottle, projectile vomit… Oh hold on! That last one is a new one and resulted in me scrubbing away at the carpet and, literally, handling sleepy Elliott with kid gloves for the rest of the day. We watched Disney movies mostly. Well, I did, whilst Elliott lay on me and drifted in and out of sleep.

Sunday was much the same. Although this time I pre-empted the sickness so at least managed to run to the safety of a lino floor to aid with the clean up operation. Swimming was skipped in favour of napping.

To add insult to injury Elliott has kindly shared his germs with me, which means that although I’m thankfully not chucking up my food, I am full of snot. Woe!

Little One seems to be on the mend now and I’m living on Beechams powders and cold and flu tablets as us mums don’t have time to be ill, do we?

Elliott kept the majority of his milk in his tummy yesterday and was much more interested in his feeds and its been much the same story today, although he still needs to shake his cough, poor thing.

So, yes, the last few days have been spent in a vomit covered, Dr Google consulting, nose blowing fug. Let’s hope we’re all well for Christmas!

Have you been struck by the lurg?