November 2006

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Ethan vs Flu Bug

Last night my maternal instincts told me that Ethan was about to catch the flu. We gave him a quick bath anyways, and prepared him for bed. After dressing him up in his pjs, I breastfed him for his night cap. Normally he would take only 15 minutes tops and then he would be out like a light, but yesterday night, it took him 30 minutes to feed. He was drinking a LOT of milk! That was a sign that he was catching a virus.

He then awoke at sometime past midnight and I nursed him, as usual. His body felt slightly warm, so I prayed that it would return to normal after a while. However, after feeding, he refused to go back to bed in his cot, so I had to cuddle him as I sat slightly upright in bed, propped up by pillows. During the many times when he awoke during the night, I breastfed him and let him sleep, either in my arms or beside me on the bed. His body was still warmer than normal in the morning at 7:00a.m. when he woke up but when we took his temperature, it was only 36.1 degrees Celsius – probably cos he was wriggling all the while, and it was hard to keep the thermometer in his underarms. We then decided to take him to see the doc, just as a precaution.

Upon reaching the hospital, I felt that his body temperature had gone back to normal somewhat. To be completely honest, Ethan was looking very much like his normal self and not at all sick (the wonders of being a breastfed baby never cease to amaze me). The nurse at the registration desk asked if baby had fever, and I told her only this morning, not sure about now (for the record, all this while, Ethan was flashing the nurse a big wide grin). To be on the safe side, the nurse directed us to the Accident and Emergency department to have his temperature taken. Reading: 37.3 degrees.

Up we went to the doc’s clinic – after like an hour of waiting, we were finally ushered in. The doc said it was the beginning of a flu virus, but since he seemed happy, there was nothing to worry about. We were given Paracetamol but it was only to be administered if his temperature was 38 degrees and above.

We took him home, gave him a quick bath, fed him and he slept for most of the afternoon. I then prepared his dinner for him, which is what I like to call comfort food. When I was a little girl, I remember my Mom cooking comforting soupy stuff for me when I was not well. My version of comfort food for Ethan? Mee Suah with ground oats topped with lettuce and corn with that extra bit of yummy chicken. It was gobbled down with glee!

So who do you think won the battle between Ethan and the Flu Bug? You be the judge…

Photo taken at 7:19 p.m.

Photo taken at 7:21 p.m.

Yesterday, on the way back home, we made a detour to the Bel’Air Aromatherapy sales office to buy some Eucalyptus essential oil – I’m an aromatherapy lover and Ethan has been enjoying the benefits of aromatherapy since he was a newborn. Well, anyway, the lady manning the office is also a breastfeeding mom and her son is now 13 months’ old.

The moment Ethan saw the 13-month old boy, he got all excited and screamed with delight. Pete put Ethan down on the floor and immediately both Ethan and the other boy started crawling around, playfully socializing with each other. There was absolutely no sign of intimidation or shyness, just plain innocence and good clean fun! They both “spoke” to each other in their own baby language and were contented just to babble on and on.

It was such a joy to watch Ethan hang out with babies his age. He must be kinda deprived since most of the time he is around adults who don’t comprehend what he says…. Perhaps it is about time I start a playgroup?

Botak Head

Ethan had his first hair cut today. We took him to the Brothers Hair Saloon at Sungai Dua in the morning (when he’s less fidgety and in more of a good mood) to do the honors.

First we brought him into the saloon to familiarize him with the surroundings. Since Pete was also due for a haircut, I carried Ethan while he watched the skillful barber cut Daddy’s hair. Ethan was extremely excited with the new place and looked very inquisitive. He was smiling from ear to ear and flapping his arms in his usual cheerful self, so this was a good sign… hopefully he would be curious enough to try what Daddy is doing. Heh heh…

Once Daddy had finished his hair cut, we put Ethan in his Bumbo on the saloon chair and the barber proceeded to do the deed. Our Ethan boy has really fine and little hair (inherited from Mommy, nonetheless!), but it was growing too long and unruly, so we decided to shave his head.

He was (surprisingly) VERY cooperative during the entire experience. I held his arms down, just in case he started to cry and protest, but I was very proud of my little boy, who sat through the entire procedure calmly, with only a few instances of him turning his head left and right abruptly (biasala….)…. Nothing Mr Barber could not handle.

The shave only took about 5 minutes, but as it was finishing, Ethan got restless and started wailing… Thank goodness we had only a few more touch-up shaves to go!

We initially wanted a crew cut hairstyle for him (short stubbly hair on the scalp), but in the end, it was virtually BOTAK. Surprisingly enough, at night, Pete and I noticed that his hair had already begun growing! Talk about fast growing hair! Now his scalp feels like Astro Turf…

Here are some memorable shots to capture the moment:





Affection Indeed!

It’s funny how different people show their affection. Most people hug, kiss and say “I love you” to each other.

You know how Ethan shows his affection?

“I love you Mommy” = opens mouth wide and chomps on Mommy’s chin, sucking fervently. Sometimes he chomps on my bare shoulder too.

“I love you Daddy” = opens mouth wide, grabs Daddy’s finger or thumb, and chomps on it. (Daddy’s chin has stubble, not so nice to suck)

Adorable, you think? Hah..only till he was like 8.5 months’ old
Painful? You bet. Since he has 2 lower teeth, there are marks whenever he “shows his affection”.

Mommy, I love you…..!!!

In a blink of an eye, our Ethan boy has attained a grand young age of 9 MONTHS!
Things Ethan can do now, as noted by his baby-proud parents:

  • Sit unaided.
    Ethan used to topple over after a while but he is an expert at sitting now. He can sit pretty well in his bathtub too, but usually he will fidget around and try to roll over in the tub.
  • Clap hands.
    Sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night, sits in bed and claps his hands. In the middle of the night, I tell ya!
  • Giggle adorably.
    Ethan especially loves it when we drop things (intentionally or unintentionally). He loves it when we attempt to juggle too! Lately, we discovered that he giggles when he sees me skipping around. All in all, if we imitate his actions, he will start giggling.
  • “Communicate”.
    He can say “Bababababa….”, “Wawawawa…..”. A far cry from “Mommy” and “Daddy” but well…..getting there.
  • Bear-crawl.
    I read somewhere that there are different types of crawlers. Bear-crawlers are crawlers who use their arms and upper bodies, lift their butts and drag their legs along to get moving. Apparently, bear crawlers move around really quickly. Pete and I can attest to that!
  • Stand with support.
    It is such a joy to wake up and see Ethan standing in his cot, holding onto the cot railing, and flashing us a huge, wide GRIN. Very rewarding indeed.
  • Do “cha-chi-kok”.
    Term used to refer to opening and closing of palms of hands. He normally does “cha-chi-kok” followed by hand-clapping.
  • Pass objects from one hand to another
    ….and then into his mouth!
  • Reach out hands to be carried.
    Usually accompanied by the very manja “uh uh uh”…now who can resist that?!
  • Pose for camera.
    If we bring a camera and call out to him while he is playing or crawling around, he will stop whatever he is doing, face the camera and SMILE! True model potential.
  • Eats his rusks independently.
    Sometimes banging it on the table and usually dropping it, but some of it does get into his mouth.
  • Peel off his diaper strap.
    ‘nuff said.

Shopping malls in Penang are in dire need of proper nursing and breastfeeding facilities for the general public. Ever since I took on the role of a breastfeeding mommy, I have been visiting breastfeeding/nursing rooms whenever I have the chance to do so. Some are so icky that I have even spotted cockroaches lurking around the room. Simply disgusting!

That said, I would conclude that the award for best nursing room in Penang would probably go to the one in Parkson Grand, Gurney Plaza. It is brightly lit, with 2 stations for diaper change and 2 private curtain-enclosed breastfeeding cubicles. The color scheme is bright and cheerful with nature motives everywhere. There is also a sink with warm water for the convenience of everyone.

I find it extremely comfortable nursing Ethan in the nursing room here. The curtains provide the privacy a breastfeeding mommy needs, and Pete and I have been frequenting this nursing room ever since we started taking Ethan out shopping with us. It was really easy to breastfeed him undisturbed each time we were there, but NOW….aiyo, it’s a totally different story.

I think the change was apparent sometime when Ethan was 4 or 5 months’ old. Each of the nursing cubicles has 3 big wooden wall hooks, in the shape of a snail, a butterfly and a flower. Every time I nursed him there, he would be really fascinated with these hooks and be totally distracted, up to the extent that he would NOT drink his milk! We have tried covering the hooks with plastic bags, covering Ethan’s eyes with cloth and we have even tried using my nursing coverall….but all to no avail. He will only take his milk if he is extremely HUNGRY.

You know what? My breastfeeding friend at work tells me that apparently her daughter is also distracted by the same things. Hehe…. I suppose that’s the reason why nursing rooms in KL are mostly non-bright with no additional cartoons or motifs.

Since starting off on solids when he was 6.5 months, Ethan has been taking all sorts of yummy food. But food which is only approved my Mommy and Daddy.

So far he has been enjoying:

Carbohydrates
Red rice, white rice, millet, wheat, oats

Vegetables
Spinach, carrots, pumpkin, potatoes

Fruits
Pears, apples, prunes, papaya, bananas

Protein
Chicken, and just last weekend, I introduced him to fish.

White pomfret, to be exact. And I am a proud momma to announce that my boy ABSOLUTELY loves it! It was a real joy to feed him his fish porridge. He would open his mouth WIDE in anticipation of the food, take in his mouthful of porridge happily and then clap his hands with GLEE after each mouthful!!! — and then start banging the table for more!!

Recipe for Happy Fish Porridge
Ingredients:
Red rice
White rice
Millet
Red dates (for flavor)
Steamed white pomfret
Steamed carrots (can also substitute with pumpkin, potato, ad lib)
Unlimited amount of LOVE

Method:
Cook rice, millet and red dates into porridge consistency. Mash white pomfret meat and add into porridge together with carrots or other vegetables. Serve lukewarm with LOVE to happy baby.

Make a Joyful Noise!

Ethan has achieved another milestone by being able to clap (with sound). All this time, he has been attempting to clap his hands, moving his palms together in a clapping motion but although he is able to do it quite well, he wasn’t quite able to produce any sound just yet.

Today, he totally nailed it. While sitting in his bathtub taking his bath, he just started clapping and clapping. So adorable… simply music to our ears.

Our Strong Baby

When Ethan was but 2 months’ old, he was already kicking quite hard. The baby sitter even commented that based on her experience with other babies, he seemed to be stronger. She actually attributed it to my diet during pregnancy, and said it must be because I had really nutritious food then. Little did she know that I stuffed myself silly with McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Spicy Crispy Chicken McDeluxe AND Pizza Huts’ Super Supreme… Heh… That’s junk food for ya.Pete’s theory, on the other hand, is that Ethan strength is attributed to the fact that I give him massages every day. Since he was born, after his bath, I will massage his body, arms and legs with baby lotion. Baby massages are known to be comforting to both mother and baby and helps with bonding and relaxing too.

Although it is becoming harder and harder to administer the massages nowadays, for the simple reason that Ethan is mobile now, he still gets his massages. Well, I guess….until he learns how to run away, that is …

 

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