January 2007

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The moment you came into our lives
My pain all vanished when I heard your cries
After our nine-month getting-to-know-you session
You really lived up to our every expectation!
When I first held you in my arms
I loved your smell, your closeness and your warmth
The tears I shed were definitely tears of joy
I couldn’t believe we now have a beautiful baby boy!

And so began our breastfeeding journey
You were a pro, even though you were so tiny
Cradling you while singing a lulling song
Our bond as mother and child grew strong

Diaper sizes from NB to S, then M and now L,
You turned into someone we knew so well
That cheeky grin and mischievous smile
We really got used to your “bulat” style!

First you rolled over, and then you were sitting
Before we knew it, you were an expert at crawling!
Cruising and then standing and babbling to talk
We’re now eagerly awaiting the day you learn to walk!

A year of sleepless nights we endured
Why you can’t sleep through yet, we’re not entirely sure
You certainly are a picture of energy
A chatterbox too, yes you’re a talkative baby!

You’re a food lover, you’re not at all fussy
Your favorite is of course, when you dine at Mommy’s
Now that you have 4 teeth and of course still counting
We anticipate days ahead of more yummy eating!

Our darling Ethan boy, as you turn one,
Daddy and Mommy are as proud as the sun!
For what we once called our bundle of joy
Has now been transformed into a big boy!

Walker Danger

Last Friday, Mom and MIL *ambushed* me and asked what was the reason we didn’t put Ethan in a walker. A couple of months back, Pete clearly told his Mom (my MIL) to NOT buy a walker for Ethan. Anything can buy, except a walker.

Why do we insist on NOT placing Ethan in a walker?

There are several reasons, and they are best summarized in an excerpt from my Baby Weekly email:

When my son was a baby, walkers were thought to be a great way to help infants learn to walk. Since then, we have learned that walkers are actually detrimental to normal development. Because a baby in a walker can get around easily, their urge to move across the floor is satisfied, so many aren’t motivated to learn how to crawl or walk on their own. Walkers also strengthen the wrong muscles: the lower legs are used almost exclusively, while the upper legs and hips - used most when walking - remain relatively weak.

In addition, children in walkers have more accidents. Approximately 25,000 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms in the United States each year for skull fractures, concussions and other injuries related to baby walkers. Most baby walker accidents (about 96 percent) involve children falling down stairs. In 69 percent of the cases, an adult was with the child at the time of the accident.

In response to these accidents, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and baby walker manufacturers have developed new safety standards. In order to meet the new standards and be certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, a walker must be too wide to fit through a standard doorway and have a gripping mechanism to stop the walker if one wheel goes over a step. Instead of a traditional baby walker, try a modified version that has no wheels. These allow the baby to swivel, but are stationary.

Ethan is now *learning* to walk.. just cruising and standing unsupported…but not YET walking on his own. So at this point in time, it is inevitable that people would surely ask:

“How old ah, your baby? Can walk already ah?”

When SOME babies cannot yet walk when others the same age can, the question of why walkers are not used will arise. Well, now you know… but if you still have doubts, just do google up “baby walker danger”.

Ethan had his first birthday party today. We decided to celebrate it during the weekend, i.e. a few days earlier than his actual birthday, to make it easier for our parents and siblings to travel to Penang to celebrate it with us.We had a small-ish gathering during lunch. Small-ish because this would mean Ethan would not experience any confusion and separation anxiety. And lunch, so that it would not interfere with his bedtime.

I’ve read that for baby’s first birthday, the party should ideally be kept to at most 10 guests. This is to ensure baby would feel more at ease and vice versa, the guests would enjoy themselves more. No point throwing a big bash at his tender age when he hardly knows what is going on, right?

Anyways, as Pete and I are rather *fussy*…ermmmm…. detailed people, we of course had a theme for the party, complete with decorations. The theme we chose was Winnie the Pooh…

My Mom and Dad came to Penang the day before the party to prepare the food. We had ooh-la-la yummy-mummy lum-mee… ..and for the appetizer, I made salsa, served with nachos…

We also had yee-sang, an early and prosperous start to the Chinese New Year, compliments from SIL Pauline.
Of course, we had the all-important birthday cake, which was done according to the theme of the party. Doesn’t the cake remind you of the birthday boy?

It is believed that the approach the baby has on his first birthday cake determines the way he will approach life. In Ethan’s case, after we sang the Happy Birthday song, and immediately after we blew out the candle, he planted his hand print on the cake! All 5 fingers!

But then Ethan boy could not eat any of it (as it contained eggs which he had not been introduced to yet), so I made him a special cake instead… presenting my sugar-free eggless banana muffin cookie-cake, made specially for my darling baby boy:
Then came the presents!

We also had a photo session for our party guests (macam photo studio aje…):

Happy Birthday our dearest darling Ethan boy… we love you so very much!

New Sleep Pattern?

For the past 2 nights, Ethan has developed rather peculiar, or rather out of the ordinary sleep patterns. At about 8:00p.m. he would drift off to deep sleep, and not wake up even though we try to wake him up from his slumber.

He usually has his warm bath at about 8:30p.m. and then he would go to bed around 9:00p.m., but yesterday and today, he has had to miss his nightly baths because he would simply sleep through his bath times. In fact last night, I changed him into his pajamas while he was fast asleep!

Could this be the start of a new sleeping pattern?
Will he be able to start sleeping through the night now that he *appears* to be sleeping MORE?

Only time will tell…

Yesterday Ethan’s sitter presented him with a suit of t-shirt and pants. She said it will make him look like a big boy and that he can wear it for a LOOOOOOooooong time. She also commented that he should SOON stop wearing rompers because he outgrows them really fast.

Hehe… we actually like to dress Ethan in rompers, because being the active baby he is, rompers are truly convenient as his tummy doesn’t show no matter how much he crawls and moves around. We do let him wear regular t-shirt and shorts too (of course, sitter doesn’t know that), but we are trying to put in more mileage for his rompers before he gets too big for them.

Ah well… looks like our sitter is dropping HUGE hints that Ethan should *upgrade* to 2-piece-wear soon.

Shampoo & Facial

About a month ago, we started incorporating a new step into Ethan’s nightly warm bath routine. I would first shampoo his hair and wash his face with a special baby shower gel. This involves gentle massaging of the scalp, face and neck area (much like what is being done during a facial).

Our boy is really wriggly during his baths, but amazingly enough, this hair and face washing step calms him down. He would just lie back and totally RELAX while I work my magic on him. Pete has to occasionally remind him not to fall asleep, because the way he closes his eyes feels like he would soon be in dreamland.

I don’t know what the reason is - maybe it is the essential oils in the shower gel which possesses calming effects. Or most likely it is just Mommy’s gentle loving touch :)

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Yes, we will not be able to fully realize the immensity of God’s love for us until we become parents ourselves. Putting ourselves in our Father’s shoes, we come to realize the selfless sacrifice He made for us whilst we were yet sinners. Just imagine… sacrificing your precious son’s life.

And as I sang Ethan to sleep just the other night, God spoke to me with the verse above. Then and there, I gave thanks to Him for blessing us with our Ethan boy, our pride and our joy.

Firm, Enduring, Strong

There… that’s what the name Ethan means. We have been asked countless times what his name means; some even say “Ethan Hunt ah? Like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible?”

Eh… no la… our Ethan where got like Tom Cruise? Our Ethan boy is even better looking than him! Hehe… (*overly proud mother beaming*)

Biblical Context for Ethan:
Origin - Hebrew.
Ethan was a man distinguished for his wisdom in the Old Testament. He lived during the time of Solomon. He authored the 89th psalm.


I desperately need to exercise.Before I got pregnant, I was really high on exercise. The endorphines exercise provided me kept me going and going and going, much like the Energizer bunny. I frequented the gym about 3-4 times a week, doing cardio and weights, and attending group exercise classes like Body Pump, Body Jam and Body Step. When I got pregnant, I continued with my gym routine, albeit on a toned-down scale. I attended Body Balance classes more, as it focused on Yoga, Pilates and Taichi, which was advantageous for my pregnancy, but I also did Body Pump (weight training) till I was 7 months preggers. After 7 months, I only did swimming. In fact, I was swimming up till 2 days before my first signs of labor came.

Well, after I had Ethan, my only form of “exercise” was breastfeeding. On Desperate Housewives just the other day, someone mentioned that a session of breastfeeding is equivalent to a 30-minute cardio workout in the gym.


And that’s how breastfeeding mommies like me keep the weight off. Heh… eksyen oni…

Unfortunately, I still have 1-2 stubborn kilos to go. Arrghhhh!! And most of it is concentrated on the “love handles” zone. No surprise there.

Now that Ethan is mobile and crawling (and very soon walking and running!!), I assume I would be losing more weight in weeks to come.

The thing is, I still need to tone my muscles and right now, the only form of weight training I do is lifting Ethan up and down. Hehe… my very own adorable home weights.

My “weights” and I - don’t we make a great team?

In the still of the night, there was nary a sound around when suddenly… Ethan: Waaaahhhhhhhh….!!!!
Pete: (happily) I’ll get it! (proceeds to go to Ethan’s cot to cuddle and soothe him)
Ethan: Wawaahhhhhhh….!!! (starts sniffling and sobbing)
Pete: (picks Ethan up) Don’t cry boy, don’t cry….Good boy…
Ethan: (kicks and screams even harder) WaaaaaHhhh!!! Mamamaamamama…….!!!

Pete: Daddy is here, Daddy is here…
Ethan: Mamamamamaaaaa….!!!!! (kicking, screaming, stretching, the works…)
Pete: (frustrated liao) Nah, nah..Mommy is here ….
Me: (taking Ethan in my arms)
Ethan: (immediately making himself cosy in my arms and begins to fall asleep again)

Pete: (sighs) Magic.

Yes, Ethan still CANNOT sleep through the night. SIGH… We have tried countless methods, but still no results. The latest method we tried was the controlled crying method, which was really too heartwrenching for us as parents. This involved letting him cry for longer periods of time as opposed to going to him immediately when he calls. We succeeded for like 5 days or so and then gave up, more so cos we read that Ethan could very well be a baby of very strong and persistent personality and this method does not work well in these cases, according to
Dr Sears.

Back when Ethan was but a month old, a good girlfriend of mine told me that soon I would see that Ethan would be sticking to me like a stamp to a letter. Even more so in my case, she continued… because I exclusively breastfeed Ethan.
Well that is becoming an apparent reality now as Ethan is now VERY attached to me. He sometimes lets out an urgent cry when he sees me leave the room. And he sometimes also hugs my hand to sleep. Yes… our bond as mother and baby has been strengthened many folds by the beautiful act of breastfeeding. And of course, it is an unwritten fact that babies tend to equate their daddies to playtime and their mommies to nurturing.

But when does this dependence end? I for one, choose to cherish it while it lasts…

"Look Mommy, no hands!"

Lately, Ethan has been experimenting with standing unsupported. He would (as usual) hold on to something (sofa or cabinet) and then let go of both hands for a couple of seconds and then sit down again.

Yesterday, he did it again - this time with more precision and for a longer period. 5 seconds or so, I think. Pete thinks he is gearing up for his upcoming birthday by trying his best to accelerate walking. We’ll see.

We decided to change our Astro subscription to include the Fun mini package, comprising Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network and the ever popular Playhouse Disney Channel (PHDC).

With programs such as Barney, Little Einsteins and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, we think it would be great for Ethan in his growing up years. Right now, he would listen and watch intently as if he understands every word. But his attention span is still very short, and he will only watch for about 5 minutes tops.

For Mommy and Daddy, we added in the Movies package. Hehehe…. after all, we hardly can go to the cineplex nowadays, so it makes sense to have the Movies come to us at home.

Of course, to have these new packages, we sacrificed our Dynasty package and News, which we hardly ever watch anyway.

Here’s to Home Entertainment!

The 11-Month Report

Ethan is now 1 month shy of his first birthday. Here’s a summary of how he has grown:

We’ve not had a chance to weigh Ethan at the pediatrician’s yet, so I rely on the following method for now:
Weight of myself on the scales = X
Weight of Ethan and me on the scales = Y
=> Weight of Ethan = Y-X = ~9kgHeight/Length
Unable to measure as he is very wriggly and we can hardly get him to lie still for an accurate measurement. My guess would be circa 72-73cm.

4 in total: 2 central top and bottom incisors.

Motor Skills

  • “Look Mommy, no hands!” - Ethan will sometimes release both hands from holding onto anything while he is standing, just to experiment. He can “tahan” for 2-3 seconds before he sits down again.
  • Monkeying around - Ethan has begun to climb. He can hoist himself up onto his infant rocker/chair. He has also developed an ability to reach for things. He likes to reach outside his playpen for things on the cupboard nearby.
  • Throwing - He loves to throw things, possible because of the sound that is produced when the stuff he throws hits the ground. He will also anticipate the sound by closing his eyes immediately after the item leaves his hands.

Communication & Social Skills

  • New “words”: Baby and Mommy (yay!!!). Well, actually he doesn’t say Mommy all the time, it’s really a mixture of Momma and Mommy, but we’ve heard him say “Mommy” really clearly on a few occasions. Yay me.
  • Can understand the meaning of NO, but sometimes will pout and start to cry when we say it. You should see him… pouting but still looking as adorable as ever.


New foods introduced: Beef and other green vegetables. I can tell Ethan is a potential quarter-pounder-with-cheese lover by the way he wallops his entire bowl of nutritious beef porridge. Oh yeah… and our boy loves nectarines too!

Addicted to Ice Cream

Our last outing to Queensbay Mall was on December the 30th, and coincidentally, New Zealand Natural Ice Cream was having its 30% off promotion (it’s similar to Baskin Robbins’ 31% off every 31st of the month, except for New Zealand’s, it will occur every month, except February. Sure doesn’t take a genius to figure out why… duh)Anyway, since we had been deprived of ice cream for such a long time, we decided to get a pint (we couldn’t get too many pints cos our freezer space is mostly used up to store my frozen EBM). Guess what flavor we got? Irresistably RUM N RAISIN. Yummy…

The entire tub was finished by Pete and I in 2 seatings. We’re going back for more next month.

Since we’d already travelled for Christmas, we spent New Year’s in Penang, in the comfort of our apartment. One of my New Year resolutions is to cook more frequently, since I have “ready” customers at home who relish my cooking. Heh… does wonders for the ego too, I might add. So to start the New Year off with a bang (pun intended), I decided to cook today. Pete was such a dear and he looked after Ethan while I dished out the goodies.I’ll have to admit I actually went kind of bonkers and dished out 5 dishes today, instead of the customary 3. The 5 dishes were:

  • Stir-fry beef with celery and carrots (This was the first time I cooked this dish, let alone cook beef. I introduced beef to Ethan today, so since he only took a small portion of the beef, I used the greater part of the meat for this dish)
  • Ginger & spring onion chicken
  • Baked beans with eggs & bombay onions
  • Stir-fry Baby bok choy
  • Watercress soup

Of course, the dishes were served with a healthy concoction of red rice + Herbal Ponney rice + Energy Grain Mix (millet + quinoa + buckwheat).

Delicious or not, you’ll have to ask Pete la…

So as we bid buh-bye to the year 2006, I fondly recall the many blessings God has bestowed upon us and the priceless episodes that have indelibly changed my life:

  • I gave birth to our darling Ethan boy, sans epidural
  • I changed diapers for the first time in my life. Now Pete refers to me as the expert…
  • I experienced the beautiful bond of breastfeeding and am still cherishing the experience to this day
  • Ethan’s first giggle which was filled with such pure innocence and joy.
  • I felt the wonderment of being a mother, and more importantly, of being a parent. Motherhood and parenthood really makes us appreciate our own parents more.
  • …And I witnessed how awesome a daddy Peter is. The way his face lights up when he looks at our little angel - that’s definitely worth a million bucks.


January 2007
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