March 2007

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A couple of weeks back, I fed Ethan char siew pau when Pete and I were having brunch at our favorite dim sum restaurant, Maxim’s at Taman Pekaka.  Ever since then, Ethan seems to be enjoying our dim sum trips and it is not surprising that his favorite item on the menu is char siew pau.  When we place the char siew pau on the table, he will bang his hands on the table and yell “MUM MUM MUM MUM MUM!” and tug at my arm.  Even while I am peeling the outer layer of the char siew pau, he will insist that we feed him immediately (this fella does not know patience yet!).  And when I DO give him a piece, there will be peace and quiet.

Pete and I normally just order 2 char siew pau…but now we have to order 3. :)

Innira’s

One of the places we frequently go for dinner is at Passions of Kerala in Brown Garden, more famously known as Innira’s.  We have been bringing Ethan there almost every week since he was very small, so you could say that the folks at Innira’s have seen him grow up literally.  When we first went there, Ethan still had to be in his infant carrier; by and by he matured into the baby high chair and now he can toddle around Innira’s, bringing a smile to even the gloomiest face there.

With his adorable giggles, Ethan has captured the hearts of all the aunties and uncles at Innira’s, especially Aunty Saras, who speaks to Ethan in a way only they both can understand.  The folks at Innira’s look forward to our visits every weekend - in fact the weekend before last we didn’t manage to go and when we went there the weekend after, everyone was so HAPPY to see us; we could tell that they missed Ethan SO much.  There were also a couple of times when we arrived in the restaurant with our table readily set, complete with baby chair and all and our orders on the way! Sometimes, Aunty Saras would also come and open the car door for us, beaming happliy when she sees Ethan.  If that’s not excellent service, I don’t know what it is :)

Ethan is so comfortable there, and he loves all the lights they put up right outside the restaurant.  We get free baby-sitting at Innira’s and awesome mouth-watering banana leaf cuisine.  What more could we ask for?

Ethan is still having a slight runny nose today.  I fed him some Polaramine this morning by dipping some bread into it…yeah, when push comes to shove, a mommy will do anything.  This evening however, he would not take the bread dipped with polaramine “jam” anymore.  Kids learn fast, don’t they?

As usual he was playing all around the house this evening.  In fact just yesterday he discovered a new “toy” to play with.  I have several boxes filled with Ethan’s clothes when he was much younger, clothes which he can’t fit into anymore.  My mistake, it had not occurred to me that those boxes are now within his reach.  Look what happened…

SIGH….now excuse me while I need to go and refold the clothes…

I took a day off on emergency leave today because Ethan came down with the flu and had slight fever.  Must have either been contracted from the little girl he played with and hugged in church last Sunday or just a side effect from the chicken pox jab he had.

He still looked his usual self but slightly tired-looking.  He slept for 30 minutes in the morning and another 30 minutes in the afternoon.  I breastfed him the whole day long and I decided to breastfeed him for lunch too, as well as give him as much fluids as possible.  When he woke up at 3:45p.m., I prepared some organic carrot noodles which I had bought some weeks ago.  I cooked the noodles with some egg, lettuce and a little bit of ikan bilis powder.  At first he would not take it, and kept turning away, but when I put the bowl of noodles in front of him with a teaspoon and showed him how to use the spoon, he became VERY interested suddenly…. not sure if he was more interested in the spoon or the food la…but anyhow, I managed to get him to eat a few spoonfuls.  Feed the flu, the say…

Get well soon, my darling Ethan boy! :)  I know Ethan enjoyed me staying at home with him today as much as I did…. I could really get used to this! ;)

*SAHM: Stay At Home Mom

Who did it?

The pussy willow we put up for Chinese New Year, including the decorations has not been removed yet.  And this is what has happened to one of its branches:

Do you know who the culprit is?

Last weekend I allowed Ethan to experiment with self-feeding.  Not with a spoon but with his hands.  So for his breakfast on Saturday morning, knowing how much he likes cheese, I broke the slice of cheese into several small pieces and placed the pieces in his bowl on his high chair tray.

Our boy immediately grabbed the pieces of cheese and put them in his mouth, chewing away as he did so!  He did it with such gusto, I was amazed!  Hmmm…I probably should get the baby spoon and fork soon too!

1. The Simian Line
Ethan has a Simian Line on his left palm. What this simply means is that his heart line and head line are merged into one.  According to some research that I have did on the net,

This line is thought to endow a person with an intensity of purpose or single-mindedness, the nature of which is decided upon by exact position of this line on the hand and the direction of any branches shooting from it, which is normally the case.  In hands where such lines exist without any branches as a singular mark, it indicate an extremely intense nature and special care is needed for such persons.

Intense nature?  Hmmm….let’s see now…. banging of fists on the table, demanding attention, screaming loudly… do these count?

2. Heartbreaker Lashes
If you take a close look at Ethan’s eyelashes, I bet you that you would say they are the most beautiful ones you have ever seen.  Taking after Mommy (ahem!  I have some really long lashes meself), his lashes are long and frame his big eyes beautifully.  All the more to “electrocute” girls with… hahaha…

3. Map of some country?
Ethan has a birthmark on this right knee, in the shape of a country which I can’t figure out yet.  Looks a little like South America to me.

To a certain extent, I am always engulfed with guilt whenever we leave Ethan off at the baby sitter’s place in the morning before we go to work.  Lately it has become more difficult for me, more so because now when we leave him there in the mornings, he gives us a forlorn look as if he *knows* we are not going to be around him for a few hours.  It’s not that Mrs Tan the babysitter does not treat him well, but more like he is sad that we won’t be there for that period of time (when we’re at work).

And in the evening when we reach Mrs Tan’s place to pick him up, his face will immediately light up when he sees or hears us.  His eyes will gleam and his lips will unfurl into the cutest sweetest smile ever, all the way into Daddy’s arms.  When we reach home, he will walk/crawl to me and hug my legs for dear life (yes, like koala bear).  Sometimes he will say “mum mum mum mum mum” and if there is still no response he will scream “MUM MUM MUM MUM MUM” even louder, until I feed him.

That’s his way of saying “I miss you Mommy!”  and you know what?  I most certainly miss him too!

Hurray!  It’s the weekend again.  I love weekends because being a working mom, the weekends are the only times I get to spend quality AND quantity time with Peter and Ethan.  We make it a point to really enjoy ourselves thoroughly during weekends, no matter what we do.  I don’t share the sentiments of some parents who claim they are more tired during the weekends, because for me, it is the opposite… weekends really get me energized!  However, come Sunday night, we’re always wondering where the weekend has gone… you know what they say about time flying by when you’re having fun?  SIGH……

Last weekend, we decided to spend the Saturday at Queensbay Mall shopping.  As usual, our boy was very excited upon reaching the mall.  We shopped for a bit: bought a couple of board books for Ethan from Borders.  Ethan had a lot of fun in the children’s section at Borders, and was quite reluctant when it was time to go.

Dinnertime: we decided to go to T.G.I.Friday’s: good food, great fun…okay okay…we were actually itching to go there too…heh heh….

Pete ordered the JD Burger and I ordered the Salmon Steak (yummy!).  We ordered spaghetti for Ethan.  We figured it was time for him to try the spaghetti for real and gave him strand by strand of the pasta to feed himself with it.  Of course, he had to feed himself with his hands, since he had not mastered the use of the fork and spoon yet.  It was the first time Ethan ate restaurant food by himself, and he really looked so adorable doing so.  Hmmph… the pasta Mommy made, he rejected.  But TGIF one, he ate willingly and even asked for more as he finished each strand, banging loudly on the table!
All in all, we enjoyed ourselves very much… Ethan did too, judging by the mess he made around his high chair.

Sunday, I cooked my claypot chicken rice, so we ate at home before going to Gurney Plaza.  We bought more books for Ethan from MPH.  The books were at a steal at only RM9.90 each!  I couldn’t resist getting 3!

And our boy is already enjoying himself with his new books now…

We took Ethan to see Dr Jessica yesterday after work.  It was his routine 13th-month visit and he had his chicken pox vaccination too.  Apparently the chicken pox jab does not 100% prevent the child from getting chicken pox, so Dr Jessica said that beginning this year, a second booster chicken pox jab is being introduced and would be administered when the child is 4-6 years of age.

Ethan protested and screamed for a while when the shot was given, but was okay almost immediately after (shot was given on the arm).  Dr Jessica again asked us if we could already tell if he was a rightie or leftie, but we were still unsure… I jokingly said “ambidextrous” - heh heh…. anyway, the doctor gave him the jab in the left arm.

And on the way back from the hospital, he fell asleep in the car.

We’re trying to instill a sense of good personal and dental hygiene in Ethan by teaching him how to brush his teeth.  Since he cut his first tooth, I’ve cleaned his teeth with a plastic finger brush (and sometimes with just a washcloth), but this is becoming extremely dangerous because now our boy tends to BITE!  ….And when he does, it is really really REALLY OUCHHHH!!!!

So I bought him his first toothbrush a couple of weeks back and tried to brush his teeth with it.  We do it before his bedtime bath.  His first reaction to the toothbrush?  He kept his mouth tightly shut and turned away when he saw the toothbrush.  So I let him hold it himself in the hopes that his curiosity would get the better of him and he would start brushing himself.  No such luck.  He just fiddled with the bristles in a confused manner and threw the toothbrush into the bathtub instead.

So, what to do?

Last resort: Leadership by example.  I brushed my teeth in front of him and coaxed him to do the same.  First couple of days, he watched me, transfixed and in awe.  Then he began to experiment and brushed his teeth…well, somewhat…. Pete and I looked at each other and smiled.  “Progress!” we thought.

Well, that was a few days ago… now it’s back to the throwing-toothbrush-into-tub game again.  SIGH.  I hope we’ll be able to train him to do it real soon.

One thing good about our “Leadership by example” routine though.  He lets out such adorable giggles when I gurgle and rinse my mouth.  It’s a wonder how simple things amuse babies, eh?

One of the board books that Ethan has is a Scooby Doo boardbook incorporated with a toy phone.  This was a present from his Ah Kor.  Ethan at once took a fancy to the bright orange phone receiver but didn’t pay attention to the book per se.  Lately though, he has learnt how to flip the pages of the board book, just like he is reading and comprehending the contents of the book.  It never fails to fascinate me.  Check out our boy “reading” here… :D

Ethan ADORES music.  As mentioned in my earlier 13th month report, he would clap his hands whenever he hears any music being played.  When the TV is tuned to MTV, he would pause to look at the TV and clap his hands.  When he plays with his toys that emit music, he would clap his hands and smile.  Last night after watching American Idol, I was singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, and he clapped when he heard me singing… is that awesome or what?

So far he has 2 musical intrument-like toys.  The first one given by Ethan’s Ah Koo and Ah Kim is a mini keyboard with options to choose different sounds of different musical instruments.  We can produce tunes on the keyboard itself, but there is also a shortcut button.  When the shortcut button is pressed, the toy will play one of 4 melodies.  Our boy has learnt the shortcut “key” and will press this button to get the melody and then clap his hands in glee! Pssst….. I think it was Daddy who taught him the shortcut button!

The other musical instrument toy is a banjo, presented to Ethan by Uncle Kong Aik, one of Pete’s colleagues.  Ethan hasn’t quite mastered it yet, but he certainly tries!  He still claps his hands when we play the tunes on the banjo for him though.

The Walking Game

Since Ethan started to walk, he has been very inquisitive and goes around mostly on his own around the house.  I love to play this game with him:

I would put him on the floor and I will move a few feet away from him.  Then I will motion to him to come over by calling his name and extending my arms.  He would then look at me, smile adorably and then take a few steps towards me.  When he is about to reach me, he steps would quicken as if he was running, and he would then *run* into my arms.  Sweet.

Home Alone with Ethan

… well, for about 2 hours only…

Yesterday (Wednesday) was Pete’s futsal day, so after we pick Ethan up from Mrs Tan’s place, I spent the evening with Ethan. 

It’s more challenging now because Ethan is VERY mobile and VERY kepo, so he will move around really quickly from room to room.  I played with him for a while, then I fed him, and then we watched American Idol together  :) and waited for Daddy to come back.  Then Ethan had his warm bath before his bedtime at 9:30ish. 

Cool way to spend a Wednesday night huh?

Ethan spent a major part of his 13th month receiving angpows during the Chinese New Year festival and a minor part of it battling a cough.  During Chinese New Year, he had loads of new clothes to parade in, almost one new set each of the fifteen days of the new year.  We also bought him his first pair of sandals (this one’s easier to wear than his Adidas ones because this one’s got velcro).

Weight
9kg.  He lost 100g when he was sick, but gained back the weight as of last week.

Height/Length
Not sure, but more than 73cm, since he can reach the ground on both feet on tiptoe when he gets on his toy train vehicle.  I don’t have a photo of him reaching the ground on tiptoe *yet*, but here’s a photo of Ethan on the train :)

Teeth
Still 4 in total: 2 central top and bottom incisors.  4 more incisors on the top and bottom are fast appearing.  Either the whites are visible or the tooth can be felt through the gums.

Motor Skills

  • Ethan can now walk pretty fast, although in a wobbly manner.  He is learning and exploring the entire house, moving from room to room.  He is not afraid of the dark and if he finds himself in a dark room, he can move to the door and open it.
  • Ethan can squat very well (signs of really strong quadriceps and hamstrings).  I have even caught him squating and reaching for an object (while squating), then standing up and then returning to squatting position.
  • Throwing things is the highlight of the day.  When we take him home from the baby sitter’s, he will trash everything in sight… all his toys will be thrown around the floor, and Pete and I are resigned to picking them up over and over again.

Communication & Social Skills

  • Will clap his hands whenever he hears any music, whether from his music toys (he has a toy piano and a toy banjo), or if someone sings to him. 
  • Will wave bye-bye when prompted.  But even when the people he is bye-byeing to is out of sight, he will still be waving.
  • He is ticklish when I kiss him on the tummy.
  • He has started showing some signs of independence, and sometimes will crawl to avoid Pete or me when we attempt to pick him up.  When we do pick him up, and all he wants is to be free to roam on the floor, he will make a quick diving motion, and if we still resist letting him down on the floor, he will attempt to bite us.  Yikes!
  • He has begun to thrown tantrums when he does not get what he wants.

Food

I introduced some legumes and honeydew, besides introducing “Ikan Jenahak” - not sure if it is “Kalat-hoo” but he loves it all the same.  The one item that he absolutely loves though?  CHEESE!!  Our boy will wallop a whole slice if we allow him to.

I’m still providing food cubes to Mrs Tan, our baby sitter, to make it easier for her to cook Ethan’s porridge.  So in my freezer, I have ice trays filled with food cubes such as fish cubes, tomato cubes and vegetable cubes.

Not the shopping.  Not the discounts.  Not the crowd…but….

The ESCALATORS!!

Ethan has an afinity for escalators.  He loves it when we go on the escalators, up and down, up and down…he can do it all day long.  Sometimes, after we get off an escalator and walk away, he would complain and indicate that he wants to go on it again.

The other day, when he was posing for the Jusco Photogenic Baby contest photo shoot, the photographer could not get a really good shot, because our boy was busy staring in awe at the escalator that was just beside the photo shoot station.

I remember I myself was pretty awestruck by escalators when I was a little girl too… could this be an inherited trait?

Ethan is so much better now.  I knew he was already back to his old self when he woke me up giggling in his sleep last Saturday morning.  Can you imagine?  He slept till 9a.m.?!!

We still fed him his medication through the weekend, because we wanted to be certain there would be no recurrence of the illness.  Guess what?  We only found out yesterday that the syringe that we used to administer the medicine needed to be positioned at an angle so that the medicine will be shot right down his throat, giving him no chance to gargle or cough it up.  So last night, we promised Ethan that it would be the absolute last time he would be taking the medicine.

This horrible coughing illness has been a force to be reckoned with, and I am SO GLAD that we will soon be rid of it forever. 

Recovery time:

Pete - 8 weeks
Joyce - 4 weeks
Ethan - 1 week

Another amazing fact from Ethan boy, courtesy of being an exclusively breastfed baby!

Ethan woke up this morning coughing and sneezing even more than he did yesterday; I even detected some phlegm when he coughed.  We fed him his Rhinathiol and Polaramine, despite his fierce protests… it always tugs my heartstrings to see him cry and scream like that when we try to feed him medicine :(

After dropping him off at the sitter’s (with instructions to give him more milk and water, and to wipe his nose), I called Dr Jessica to inquire what could be wrong.  She reassured me that the symptoms for his illness would tend to take a turn for the worse on the 3rd or 4th day, before becoming better.  As long as he wasn’t wheezing (which was a sign of bronchitis), there should be nothing to worry about.  She also said I could bring him in for a quick checkup in the evening if I wanted to be further reassured and for her to check Ethan too.

I then called Mrs Tan, our babysitter, and she proudly proclaimed that Ethan had finished his entire morning feed of 5oz of EBM at one go and was feeling better already.  In fact, he was taking a nap when I called.  I was glad. :D

After work, Pete and I took Ethan to see Dr Jessica, who again confirmed and reassured us that his lungs were clear.  She cautioned us, however, that if his breathing was rapid (more than 40 breaths per minute), we should inform her.  She instructed us to continue with the medication and hopefully with the breastfeeding, he would be all well tomorrow.

Dearest darling Ethan boy, Mommy and Daddy are praying that you will get well soon!

 

March 2007
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