Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Half Way Through Those Terrific Two's

Alexander, my beautiful wonderful boy, is two and a half.

There is no way I can do my wonderful boy justice in what will inevitably be an epic blog post, but here goes;

The transformation in him these last six months has been incredible; he has grown up, learnt so many new things, things I wouldn't have expected him to learn yet (such as letter sounds and names and recognising numbers), he seems to be such a bright intellectually clever little boy. He loves singing, dancing, books. He has coped spectacularly with enormous changes in his little world and has begun to show his own real individual interests and 'favourite things'.

Where has my baby gone?! It is frightening how fast his third birthday is now approaching, and that this time next year he'll likely have finished his first term in school nursery (if there is a rising three place for him in January), the months seems to keep whizzing on by faster and faster. Sometimes I wish it would slow down a little, so I could savour him all the more! 

In his last update I was getting jittery that he still had his dummy and bottle, but as always Alexander showed us exactly when he was ready to be rid and did it all by himself. End of January he started going to bed without milk, and the start of February he started going to sleep without his dummy. He stopped asking for it and we didn't offer it, after a week we threw them all out. It is amazing how quickly things can change, and how quickly he can grow up without us forcing the issue. Without the bottle, bedtime routine now involves stories which is just lovely although he isn't self-settling anymore at the moment. In the middle of March we converted his cot into a big boy bed and self-settling went out of the window! As soon as he could get out of bed he did, and in the month since he has needed us to sit with him again until asleep, plus a middle of the night visitor by our bed most nights and early waking up again too! Now we just need to wait for him to sort it all out again! I'll admit that we've been feeling fairly tired recently between Zachary's four month sleep regression and Xander's added wake up's recently! 

He certainly knows his own mind now; his two year old strops are still mostly easily distracted but certainly more ferocious when they really get going than they were six months ago. The worst of battles continue to be over nappy changes and getting dressed; he doesn't like his play being interrupted so I've learnt for an easier life it is best to try and catch him within a natural break or in routine. Of course it doesn't always work and we've had some pretty epic meltdowns; which seem very frightening for him, he swings between pushing me away and throwing himself into me to be held and comforted. I won't deny that some days feel really hard work now, navigating tantrums, with a toddler swinging between two extreme mood swings of super happy or distraught about something.  Like nothing can prepare you for the tiredness of sleepless nights with a newborn, the same is true for life with a toddler; and we're doing both at the same time at the moment! It can be quite exhausting, but it must be equally exhausting for him too.

We have started to gently introduce the potty to Xander and he has done a number of wees on it now, although mostly this is just our catching them rather than him asking and going (although he has done that once!).  He has been showing lots of 'nearly ready' signs for a month or so; he loves watching us go to the toilet - and helping us flush the toilet, he on the whole doesn't like nappy changing and sometimes refuses to have a nappy back on without persuasion, he can be dry for a long time between nappy changes and just seems to be generally more aware of toileting; he will tell us when he has gone to the toilet when he chooses to now and very occasionally will asked to be changed too.  He isn't quite ready though and with an imminent house move (that is for another blog) we've decided we won't push on will full toilet training until we're settled in our new home. 

Alexander's speech has flown along these last few months. I've lost count of the number of words he now has; although some of his speech still isn't legible, he copies everything we say and is mostly using 3 words together now as a sentence when he is talking to us. I especially can understand almost everything he is trying to say now. He pulls some pretty terrific facial expressions as he chatters along too which can be very funny and endearing! 

My lovely Alexander is loving and gentle, happy, cheeky; he has such a beautiful sense of humour.  Confident, determined, inquisitive; a little explorer. He is as fascinated by the world around him as I am watching him explore it.

Xander, what a lovely little boy you are. We're continually overwhelmed that we are getting to watch you grow, you amaze us every day. At two and a half you weigh 30lb 8oz and are about 91cm tall. You have been fluctuating between 30 and 31 pounds since last July now, growing upwards a lot but not outwards; that'll be all the energy you are burning off being a busy 'doesn't ever stop' type toddler! You are wearing 2-3 tops now, but trousers are becoming tricky; you need 2-3 for length (albeit a little rolled up) but 18-24 months for the waist, so you're wearing a mixture of sizes at the moment. 

You have such a funny little character now, you make us laugh every day. You have an infectious laugh, you love life and find so many things funny. At the moment you love the film 'Frozen' and you're asking to watch it every day, and every day you laugh when the princess pushes a carrot through the snowman's head to give him a nose!  

Your little personality is really starting to develop, your personal interests are growing all the time and you are very much your own little person now. You love being outdoors, you love the park, walks, your bike, your scooter. You love gardening with Bampi. 

You have many what I call 'Bampi'sms' - you are picked up many of Bampi's little quirks; learning against the radiator in their living room, walking or standing with your hands behind your back. You love your Bampi! 

Your favourite things at the moment are books, especially The Gruffalo or 'Rolo' as you call it! You love your toot toot train track and cars and can build some Xander own-designed tracks now. You are amazing on the iPad - a proper mini-gadget user; you can swipe through screens to find exactly the app you want to play - usually puzzle apps, clicking and dragging pieces of puzzle to the correct places. You also love floor puzzles, another of your favourite things to do - you have been doing  3 years plus 48 piece puzzles on your own since Christmas! 

But you favourite thing of all right now is dinosaurs. I'm fascinated by your love of dinosaurs! Cbeebies had a dinosaur special week a few weeks ago and it sparked your interest entirely! You keep asking for dinosaurs on the TV and love playing with your little dinosaur toys and reading your dinosaur books. You can even identify lots of dinosaurs now and hearing you try to say their very long and complicated names is the cutest! 

You know all of your base colours more or less now; only really grey and brown you sometimes seem a bit unsure of. Your favourite colours seem to be green blue and purple the most. You know more of your shapes; square, circle, triangle, heart and star. You know lots of your letter sounds (and some of their names because Bampi has been teaching you those too!) and love playing with the foam letters in the bath, finding the letters I sound, or telling me the sounds of the letters I show you. You've started to identify numerals - which took me completely by surprise, because until you showed me you somehow knew one of the numbers on your number train it wasn't something I had done a lot of with you. You know numbers 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 now and enjoy counting along too, getting more consistent with the number that comes next when we're counting together.

Now you can talk you are forming ideas and requests all of the time; you often ask to go to Nana and Bampi's house, or to the park. You hand me the phone and ask to speak to people and can be quite a monkey with it too! Just the other day you were nagging me about dinner time, and when I said it wasn't quite time for food yet, you went quiet, then five minutes later asked for the phone to speak to Daddy - so I phoned Daddy and then you started nagging him about dinner time too! You can be very bossy (but I guess we know where you get that from hey?!) - I love listening to you chatter, you have so many cute words and your speech is getting clearer and clearer every day. 

You are such a loving little boy Xander, you give the best cuddles - big squeezy cuddles, and just constantly show affection to everyone around you; especially your little baby brother. We're so proud of how you responded to the new little person in your family. You could not have been better, there has been so little jealously but lots and lots of love. You are so protective of him, guarding him when strangers try to look at him, or if you are unsure of anyone near him. You are constantly giving him kisses and cuddles, talking to him and showing him toys. You seem to love being a big brother, so gentle with him and I can safely say you are Zac's most favourite person; he is mesmerised by you! 

I'm amazed by you every day.  Hard work and joyous company in equal measure, I wish I had your energy! You are learning so so fast now. I can't wait to see all the things you are going to do by my next update.

We love you, precious boy.


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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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