June 2007

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I want to remember this special and historical day for as long as I live. I want to have every single detail of today etched in my mind for ever. Read till the end and you’ll know why.

Our Saturday started before 8:00a.m. when Ethan woke both Pete and me up. Ethan had somehow *found* his way to our bed again the night before, and although for most part of the night we slept in the shape of an “I” or “H” or at times a “Z”, we all had a good night’s rest. Maybe it was because we all *knew* it was already the weekend :) In typical Ethan fashion, he crawled over to me, put both his hands on my cheeks and tried to wake me up. My mind was awake but my eyelids were still closed, so he rolled over to Daddy’s side and started playing with Daddy instead. We lazed around in bed and soon got up for breakfast. Ethan shared a bowl of Kellogg’s Frosties with full cream milk with me. I didn’t want to give him too much because of the high sugar content. After that I made 2oz of Isomil + Pediasure for Ethan in a bottle and Pete tried bottle-feeding him. As expected, he rejected the bottle. So I tried giving him the bottle myself instead. Pete gave him the bottle cover to play with and Ethan had a field time putting the cover on the bottle and then removing it. He then grabbed hold of the bottle and opened his mouth wide while putting the bottle nipple into his mouth. We thought he would be happily drinking the milk then but alas! It was only for a while; he had hardly drank 2 sips and he was repeating the entire process over again: close bottle cover, remove bottle cover, play with bottle, pretend to drink from bottle. In the end I decided to mix the milk with some organic arrowroot cookies which I had bought for him a few weeks ago. Guess what? Cookies, he liked. Cookies + Milk mixture, he pushed away. So much for the semblance of a plan. As a last resort, I just poured the remainder of the milk into his mug and gave it to him to drink….and you know, I was surprised he actually drank a few gulps that way. Finally to make it a wholesome breakfast, Ethan had a cup of his favorite grape-flavored yogurt, which he finished joyfully. I then gave Ethan his shower, and after that I breastfed him.

Today, I introduced the shape sorter toy his Ipoh Ah Ma bought for him some months back. Ethan was very excited when he saw the new toy and began playing with it immediately, although he can’t really play it the right way yet. He can turn the hands of the clock on the toy though :P

We then went out to have dim sum for brunch where Ethan demonstrated once again that he was really becoming a big boy, on the way to independence and self-feeding. He now eats his siew mai using a chopstick ala satay style. Yup, he eats with only one chopstick which is pushed into a piece of siew mai. He will eagerly hold the chopstick and feed himself the piece of siew mai, chomping away happily after that.

Oh, and following Uncle LB’s suggestion, Ethan tried lormaikai for the first time today. It is of course a form of rice and we are not at all surprised that Ethan loves it!

Next, off we went to Queensbay Mall. I did some clothes shopping and then we went to Toys R Us. The toy car which Ethan took a fancy to had been shifted to the back of the store. So now all the toy cars were grouped together. Of course, Ethan had to take his weekly rides in them. Hmmm….I’m still wondering if I should get one for him…. the problem is where to put the car? He discovered the police car this week…. just look at him having the time of his life!

After that we were at Borders, where we allowed Ethan to wander around in the children’s section, much to his delight. Ummm…actually he also wandered OUT of the children’s section, much to HIS delight too…. and so it wasn’t too long before our boy got knocked out while I was carrying him. He fell asleep in my arms and after a while we placed him in the stroller, while he was still sleeping. We did our grocery shopping in Jusco and then proceeded to the elevator, ready to leave Queensbay Mall. However, as soon as the lift music played, Ethan woke up alert and happy. When we reached home it was already 5:00p.m. and after we unpacked, it was half past five.

And only THEN did I breastfeed Ethan. He was such a good boy, and didn’t even demand loudly for his milk. All I did was sit on the sofa, and he came up to me with this adorable puppy-dog look that said it all, “Mommy, can I have some milk, please?” How could I say no to that?

This was also the first time we had gone out shopping for more than 5 hours that I did NOT have to breastfeed Ethan in the Baby Room in Jusco. Very very good weaning progress indeed.

Ethan played with his toys for a while, watching some TV too. Then we headed out to Old Town for dinner. Nasi lemak and roti bakar were the order of the day. Since Ethan did not take a lot (most of it was just the nasi lemak), I made him another 2oz of Isomil + Pediasure when we got home. I mixed some oats with the milk so it became oatmeal! And was I glad I did! Ethan loved it and ate a lot of it :) It was already about 9:00p.m. then.

Suddenly I had the idea of trying to put him to bed without breastfeeding him. After all, he had had a lot of the oatmeal and he was already very full by then. We gave him his warm shower and got him dressed in his peejays. I then immediately took him straight into the room, and tried to make him go to sleep. To distract him from breastfeeding, I hugged a pillow to my chest and just laid down with him on the bed. After some giggling and smiling, he tossed and turned and finally fell asleep amid my singing and humming the lullaby song his Ipoh Ah Ma sang to him when he was a little baby. It was about 10:15p.m. then. Yes, he fell asleep WITHOUT me breastfeeding him. This was the first time ever and I hope this will mark the first successful step towards a successful weaning ahead.

It was really an odd feeling when it dawned on me that my little boy did not need me to breastfeed him to make him go to sleep. On the one hand, I am happy that we are making progress in this arena, but on the other, there was a part of me that missed that special bond we shared. My labor of love would eventually come to and end soon. We knew this would happen sooner or later. Of course, Ethan has to grow up someday. But it still left me in a poignant state. Motherhood does strange things to people, and although I know I will feel a sense of emptiness inside of me when Ethan is fully weaned off, I am thankful that I had the privilege to enjoy the breastfeeding journey while it lasted.

For now, good night my darling Ethan Boy. Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite….! …..as clichéd as it may seem.

Open up and say “Aaaahhhhh”

Yesterday evening Pete and I had a cup of yogurt each, and as we were enjoying it, Ethan ran over to his Daddy, reached out his hand, held the spoon Pete was using, scooped a spoonful of yogurt and fed himself with it. He then walked away with a smug smile that reeked of, “So there! Told you I could do it!”

Hold the Handle

After yogurt, I gave him a mug of water. At home, Ethan will drink from his own adult-like yellow mug. I bought this plastic mug for him recently to prevent breakage in case he drops it. Normally he will just hold the mug on its sides with both hands and drink from it, but yesterday, he voluntarily reached out for the mug handle, held on to it, and with the other hand supporting the other side of the mug, drank from it! By the way, there is a growing probability that Ethan is a southpaw because he prefers to hold his spoon and mug handle with his left hand.

Leg Lifting

When I help Ethan put his pants on I will lift his leg one at a time, but just 2 days ago, when I was wearing his trousers for him, he leaned his body against me for support and lifted one leg and put it into the trouser leg hole, then did the same for the other. I thought it was just a fluke, but he did it again and again at different occasions. Even when he has his shower, he will put one hand on the shower stall wall, lift up one leg and put it under the running stream of water, and then the other leg. Very good balancing skills, I must say!

Ethan is learning to imitate what we do. But he does it his way….yes like Frankie did it his way…

I mentioned before that Pete likes to play with Ethan by crouching on all fours and staying really still. And then when Ethan runs over and *finds* his Daddy, he would giggle with glee! Just about a week ago, I noticed that Ethan likes to creep and squeeze himself behind his high chair (His high chair is right next to the wall, so when he does that, he will be holding on to the back of the chair, with his back facing the wall). We notice that when he has assumed this position, he would stay absolutely still. Very very still. Then just yesterday, Pete peeped at him from behind the wall and Ethan squealed in delight! I tried peeking at him from the top, same thing happened. Left, right, under… all with the same effect. Then it dawned on us that Ethan must have thought he was hiding from us. Much like what Daddy has been *playing* with him all this while.

Okay, I succumbed to online peer pressure and created this simple scrap for Ethan.� It’s like online collage but the difference is you don’t get your hands dirty in the process!� Thanks to Huisia who pointed me to a few sites, I finally found some time to do a quick amateurish one before (maybe) venturing into something more ambitious later on.

The photos were all taken a few weeks ago in the car.� We were parked at the side of the road beside Penang Plaza.� And while Pete went to buy a few necessities quickly from Giant, I got bored, turned around and snapped some pictures.� So what do you think?� Boleh pass or not for first-time scrapping?

Just a few days ago, Ethan started saying something that sounded like “kay-bak” (chicken meat in Hokkien).  Or was it “ke-bak”?  Or maybe “kebab”?  Hehehe..

Yesterday he woke up at around 6:30a.m., rolled around on the bed, sat up and said “kay-bak“.  We don’t know for sure what it means yet, but we can’t wait to find out.

Yesterday, we attended Ethan’s Ah Chek (Uncle Patrick) and Aunty Christine’s registration of marriage.  While waiting for the registrar to arrive, we kept Ethan occupied by walking him around and of course, snapping pictures.  I caught the official photographer taking a few shots of Ethan too!  The registration ceremony was a simple one and was over in a jiffy!  Ethan behaved himself extremely well throughout the entire ceremony, apart from a few rather subtle *sounds* coming from him.  I bet those would be audible in the video… hehehe…

After the marriage registration, I could sense that Ethan was already hungry (as were we), so made a beeline for the g Hotel, where the food-tasting cum celebratory lunch would be held.  Since we were still early when we arrived, I took Ethan to the Baby Room at Parkson to breastfeed him, and as expected he fell asleep after a few minutes at the breast.  However, when Pete came to carry him, he woke up and when he realized he was in a shopping mall, with escalators and more escalators, he was immediately rejuvenated!  With all that energy in him, we knew we would have our hands full soon.

We proceeded to the new g Hotel to have our lunch where Ethan enjoyed every bit of it!  He also enjoyed stomping his way on the wooden flooring along the window pane, walking back and forth and smiling all the while.  The g Hotel prepared a rather sturdy RubberMaid baby chair for Ethan, which I must admit looked really macho :P  Ethan sampled almost all the food that was served, his favorites being:

which he declared to be:

After lunch, we headed for home.  And what can we do after a hearty meal but to:


And sleep he did, for TWO whole hours undisturbed!  He actually fell asleep in the car on the way back from lunch and slept on his Fisher Price chair when we reached home.  Pete even managed to trim Ethan’s fingernails then!

While we were out shopping in Queensbay Mall yesterday, we decided to stop by the CIMB Bank branch there because we had to draw some money.  Well well, who should we bump into there but Angeleyes herself!  She recognized us immediately and it was so good to finally meet her in person.  Her Darrius was running around nearby and was extremely friendly when we introduced Ethan to him.  Darrius was all elder-brotherly-like and even tried to hug Ethan!  Ethan on the other hand was pretty shy but still, I managed to catch a few moments of *male-bonding* between the two little boys  :P    Don’t you think they both look similar?

By the way, I must apologize for the poor quality of the photos, because the area was pretty dark, and also it is rather difficult taking a good photo of two active toddlers!

Up till now, Ethan still does not want to drink his Isomil from the bottle.  He will only take it if it is mixed with cereal, oats or rusks.  Last Friday, Mrs Tan tried feeding him Isomil from the bottle again.  She told me she only made up a 2oz feed.  Ethan took one suck and pushed the bottle away, then proceeded to nibble on the bottle nipple, totally refusing to take the milk anymore.  In fact, Mrs Tan had also tried feeding him the milk with a straw but to no avail.  He still doesn’t want it.

I then told Mrs Tan she could try two other alternatives:

1. Rub a little breast milk on the bottle nipple before feeding him the Isomil in the bottle.
2. Mix some Milo with Isomil before feeding him.

So this week, Mrs Tan tried alternative no. 1 first.  Nope…didn’t work.  So she went with the second alternative.  Last weekend, I had already tried giving Ethan some Milo from the tetrapak and after the initial spillage, he took a few sucks of the Milo…so I knew he was all right with the taste.  When Mrs Tan mixed 2oz of Isomil with one teaspoon of Milo, she told us she covered the bottle with a cloth, to prevent Ethan from noticing it was brownish in color, lest he suspect something was amiss.  He kept wanting to unwrap the cloth around the bottle though…but eventually, he finished the 2oz!  And yesterday he took another 2oz the same way too!  Have we found a winner?  I would think so!  I’m going to buy Milo to try out at home this weekend.  Who would have thought Isomil *disguised* with Milo would do the trick? :D

Climbing is one of Ethan’s favorite past times now.  He loves climbing up the sofa, climbing up his toy train (it looks pretty dangerous, because the train has wheels and our boy will try to climb on top of the seat), and anything else that is worth climbing.  In fact, Mrs Tan our babysitter has also reported that Ethan has been quite the climber recently.  Traits of a boy emerging, eh?

Last weekend, when we were at the play area in Gurney Plaza, Ethan happily ran to the slide and started attempting to climb up it.  No, he did not use the slide ladder, instead he climbed *up* the slide…yeah, the part where we are supposed to slide down.  The first attempt saw him climb one or two steps up and then he slid down, then he held on to the sides, put one foot on the slide, followed by another and then slid down again.  I could see the persistence and determination in his face (which mirrors mine…*ahem*) when he tried again and again, and he finally succeeded.  Hey, this takes immense upper body strength okay?

Now, he can also climb up his Fisher Price chair on his own and watch TV … yeah, like a tua-tow-keh…  Look at how he is enjoying himself!

A couple of weeks ago, we noticed that Ethan seemed to be breathless at certain times.  It happened quite frequently, sometimes when he was playing and sometimes when he was just walking around.  More often than not, he would giggle and laugh and then he would follow up with a really deep inhalation, as if he was out of breath.  Because I had childhood asthma, I was afraid that Ethan might have inherited it too.  Although breastfeeding does substantially reduce the risk of contracting asthma, it is not 100% full-proof.  So I called Dr Jessica, his PD, and described his symptoms to her.  She said that since Ethan did not seem out of breath, and did not look pale when he was doing so, she reassured me that the symptoms that were presented were not those that indicate the onset of asthma, rather she suspects that it might be habitual as Ethan could have picked up this behaviour from someone he had observed.  She advised us to not make it a big issue though, and not even to tell him “No” when he does it, because that would sometimes encourage the child to do it more and more often.  So we were to monitor the situation and to let her know if it persisted.

Then I remembered that I had not diffused my aromatherapy lamp for a few weeks already.  Me, being careless and all, I dropped the lamp and the diffusing palette at the top cracked to pieces, so it was no longer usable.  Pete suggested that I get the diffuser replaced so that I could diffuse it again.  A few days after that, I managed to obtain the accessory concerned and started diffusing Eucalyptus.  Eucalyptus is well-known for its Asthma-curing properties, and I diffused it diligently every night when we sleep.  Both Pete and I simply love the aroma, and I’ve used it since Ethan was born.  After a couple of days, we were thrilled to noticethat Ethan was not exhibiting the breathless symptom anymore.  Up till today.  So, does aromatherapy do wonders?  Possibly.  We don’t know if what he had was the start of asthma or not (contrary to what the PD said), but we are certainly glad the breathlessness is no longer there.  Yay to Eucalyptus!

Last week, I read about Bryan’s possible transition into the terrible twos, but little did I know that perhaps it was also Ethan’s turn now.  We were out shopping last weekend and really, Ethan is beginning to show signs of a decision-maker.  A hot-tempered decision maker, make that.

Scenario 1
As usual he was fascinated by escalators and would insist (loudly) that we take him up and down the escalators.  If we release him to wander around on his own, he would very quickly find out where the nearest escalator is and RUN towards it.  He will have no qualms about stepping onto the escalator on his own too, so we need to run after him and accompany him on them.  As soon as he gets off the escalator, he will want to go again, either UP or DOWN.  The moment we walk away from the escalator, he will scream to no end.  He doesn’t seem to show any possible signs of getting bored with the escalators.

Scenario 2
We were in Toys R Us and Pete put Ethan in one of those little toy cars on display.  Ethan was having the time of his life!  Pretending to drive the car (it was a *Flinstones* kinda car….so he could move it by using his legs), opening and closing the door….it was hilarious!

Soon it was time to go, and I tell you, it was really torturous trying to pry Ethan away from the car.  Pete carried him out of the car, and tried to distract him with some other toy.  But Ethan would inadvertently run back to the car, open the door and get in again.  We tried taking him out again and again, each time accompanied by shrieks and screams and protests.  He only calmed down when we diverted his attention to the escalators…..

Scenario 3
Borders Children’s Section: Ethan’s favorite part of the bookstore.  He especially likes the corner where they have the story-telling section.  I suspect it is because there are steps there and he loves to climb up and down them.  3:00p.m. and it was story-telling time.  Of course the folks in Borders needed to use the story-telling corner and we told Ethan we have to make way for them.  Ethan screamed again at the top of his lungs, protesting when we were trying to take him away.  On the bright side, we can be proud that our boy is showing a keen interest in books…. :P

So, are we bound for more tantrums?  Only time will tell…

Two new records have been set.  Here’s the scoop… 

Yesterday I tar-powed Belacan Fried Rice for Pete and myself for dinner because Pete was on leave.  I then picked Ethan up from the baby sitter’s and arrived home around 6:45p.m.  When Pete and I were having dinner, we put Ethan in his high chair and gave him his grape-flavored yogurt, which he absolutely adores.  After a few spoonfuls, he showed interest in the Belacan Fried Rice instead, demanding loudly for it and gesturing that I gave some to him.  So okay la, I gave him a couple of spoonfuls, not before warning him that it was slightly spicy though.  Our boy enjoyed the rice and the yogurt tremendously, had some water to go with it and after dinner, he played around with his toys and watched TV.  I sliced a mango for dessert, so we all enjoyed it as well.  I went about my usual errands: washing the milk bottles, preparing my working clothes for the following day, doing a round of laundry….the works.  After I had taken my shower, it was already 8:30p.m. and I prepared Ethan for his shower instead.  By the time he was done and all dressed in his peejays, it was about 8:50p.m.

Do you notice something different?  Do you see where I am getting at? No?

Ethan did not ask for milk AT ALL since we arrived back home!  Usually as soon as we reached home and unpacked, he would come over to me, hug my legs and request for milk, and it usually happens around 7p.m.  But nuh-uh, that did not happen at all today.  And I only breastfed him after his shower.  That’s a significant achievement in terms of not asking for milk!

After the breastfeeding session he slept for about an hour….. and we discovered that it was really only a nap because he woke up in alarm when Pete tried to trim his nails!  SIGH…we really need to educate Ethan on the importance of trimming nails.  Because he squirms and evades us when we try to trim his nails when he is awake, Pete has to do the deed only when Ethan is in slumberland.

So after he woke up, he was his playful self again, running around the house (yes, at 10p.m. +).  And he only fell asleep when it was past 11p.m.  *This* time he slept till way past 5a.m. in his cot.  And that’s another record and MAJOR achievement worth noting down. *grins*

We’d like to see more of these records, please… :)

That’s the word our babysitter Mrs Tan uses to describe Ethan, meaning he loves to play around and basically well …. just enjoy himself.  Pete loves kids and now Ethan is at an age where he can respond adorably to our antics.  Pete would sometimes crawl on his hands and knees and pretend to chase after Ethan.  Ethan would then *run for cover*, normally this is behind Mommy’s legs.  Ethan loves to hug our legs nowadays.  He will run really quickly towards us and (without braking) grab hold tightly of our legs.  His favorite is also to crawl around our legs, round and round.  Sometimes when Pete *threatens* playfully that he is gonna tickle Ethan, Ethan would shriek loudly and bend his body forward while giggling, as if to protect himself from being attacked.

SIGH…I really wonder how Mrs Tan handles our active and mischievous boy… :)

Yesterday was the second time Pete celebrated Father’s Day.  After church in the morning, we had a fantastic but private celebration, just the three of us…I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:

When Ethan was hardly 2 months old, Pete went to the States for a short business trip and brought back, among others, a Fisher Price infant-to-toddler-rocker.  This little chair had a toy bar attached to it with 3 toys dangling from it: a pig, a lamb and a cow, which played Old McDonald’s when its tail was pulled.  That’s not all, it also came with a vibration mode which supposedly helps baby relax.  We loved the chair and so did Ethan… it helped him practise his batting and hitting skills (he would punch at the toys when he was lying down on the chair and excitedly play with the rattles) and I remember we were absolutely thrilled the very first time he pulled that cow’s tail and made music!  Well, this toy has certainly transcended time, and it is a really useful toy, because we still use it.  Yup….up till today….

At a few months’ old, Ethan used this chair just to relax and pass time looking and playing with the toys (this was before he learnt how to roll over):


Then when he could cruise, this was one of his favorite items to cruise around:


Sometimes (actually we still do) we put him in the chair to have a short nap:


Now, he has mastered the art of climbing on top of the chair all on his own and down again.  And finally he has also learnt how to enjoy the rocker function too!

Here’s to a toy that absolutely RAWKS!

We have strong reason to believe that somehow, somewhere our boy is beginning to speak German.  That is really strange because none of us can speak German.  Well Pete and I did take a couple of French classes in the university, but German is totally our of our league.  Anyway, Ethan has been saying “Ja ja ja..” very often nowadays.  “Ja” in German means “yes”. 

Me: Do you know where we are going now?
Ethan: Ja!
Me: Yes, we are heading for Queensbay Mall for dinner!
Ethan: Ja! Ja!

Hmmm……I must start teaching him how to say “Ich liebe Dich, Mommy!” soon :)

Soba Yoshi

Pete and I love Japanese food, so it’s not a surprise that Ethan loves Japanese food too.  He loves it so much that he is now so at home when we go to our favorite Japanese restaurant, Soba Yoshi.  He loves to walk around and explore the area when we are there, and since the restaurant consists of 2 adjoining shops, he always has a field day there.  The waitresses also enjoy his company.  Once, when we stepped into the restaurant, our table was already set for us, complete with Ethan’s baby chair and our appetizers.  Psst…now Ethan also gets a serving of appetizer :) 

Sometimes when Pete and I are eating and Ethan is making a fuss, the waitresses will willingly babysit Ethan.  Just a couple of weeks ago, they even took some photos of him and last week, they told me that they had already developed the photos.  When we were there last Friday, Ethan was as usual running around and he accidentally knocked his forehead on the table edge and fell flat down backwards.  But he got up and proceeded to walk around happily still.  The waitress was astonished as to why Ethan didn’t cry…. hmmm……

Good food and free babysitting - you can only get it here… oh and here too!



M is for your magical personality
That infectious giggle, that bubbly laugh, you express with sheer vivacity!

R is for “Round and round the garden like a teddy bear”
The rhyme we use to tickle you, yes…tickle you under there!

B is for the *sometimes* bashful side of you
You’re shy, but you also peek - it makes us wonder what you’re really up to!

U is for the unconditional love
From Daddy and Mommy, and from the Lord up in heaven above.

L is for each lovable hug we always share
Each meaningful embrace that simply says “I care”.

A is for how adventurous you are
Running around tirelessly, you’re certainly very active by far!

T stands for talkative, which is what we reckon you will be
Judging by your non-stop blabbering, we’ll patiently wait and see…

Last Saturday when we were at the Toys ‘R’ Us outlet in Queensbay Mall, we got this new toy for Ethan.  Doesn’t he look like he is totally enjoying himself?

An innocent encouragement in that direction in the hope that he will eventually be blessed with the midfielder skills of Zidane and the striker instincts of Thierry Henry (given that his head does look a little like Henry’s), couldn’t hurt, right? *grin*

I used to sing The Wheels of The Bus to Ethan since he was a tiny baby, complete with actions.  It was much easier last time when he was seated in the rear-facing infant carrier, because then I could do the actions while facing him.  Now I can’t do it anymore because he is sitting in a front-facing car seat and furthermore I am sitting in the co-driver seat in front now.  So I sing The Wheels of The Bus to him when I change his diaper.

Me (singing while holding both his feet and making rotationary movements): The Wheels of the Bus go round and round, round and round, round and round…..
Ethan: *smiling happily*
Me (holding his hands and moving them left and right): The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish……swish, swish, swish……swish, swish, swish….
Ethan: *smiling happily*
Me (holding his hands and lifting them up and down): The people in the bus goes up and down, up and down, up and down…..
Ethan: *grinning ear to ear*
Me: The horn on the bus goes (I touch his nose repeatedly) beep, beep beep…..beep beep beep…beep beep beep!
Ethan: *giggles and tries to avoid me touching his nose*

But lately this has been happening instead:

Me (singing): The wheels of the bus goes round and round, round and round, round and round…
Ethan will hold up both his feet and tries to rotate them himself!
Me (happily): Good boy! *quickly apply Drapolene and powder .  It’s hard getting him to lie still while I do the deed now!*

And also…

Me (singing): The horn on the bus goes …?
Ethan reaches for my nose and touches it!  How’s that for innovation?

Ethan’s Ah Kong and Ah Ma from Ipoh missed Ethan so much that they made a trip to Penang on Sunday to hang out with him.  I had a piping hot homecooked meal ready, so we all had lunch together at home.  It was the first time Ethan had the chance to taste Mommy’s homecooked Claypot Chicken Rice, which he so enjoyed up to the extent that he kept impatiently asking for more, much to the amusement of his grandparents.  Ethan had some of the lotus root soup too (which was unsalted) and finished his meal with a cup of nutritious yummy yogurt.  Ah Ma also brought some homemade lychee and carrot jelly from Ipoh too, but Ethan wasn’t yet accustomed to the taste of it.  Never mind, Pete and I will gladly finish up the jelly! :D

Ethan was at first rather shy when we picked up my Mom and Dad from the bus station, but still he kept peeking at my Mom from where he was sitting in his car seat.  When we reached home however, he warmed up to them and soon was giggling and laughing loudly.  Ah Ma and Ah Kong, I’m sure, had a good time “chatting” with Ethan, and Ethan will of course look forward to their next visit!

Last Monday we took our car for servicing at the Toyota Service Center near the E&O Hotel.  We walked to the Tai Tong dim sum place in Kimberley Street and after that walked to Prangin Mall and Komtar.  Since it was only 9:30a.m. then, almost all the shops were still not open.  We then decided to take a cab to Gurney Plaza instead, because trust me, how many rounds of going up and down the escalators with Ethan can we keep up with? ;)

Obviously we did not have the baby car seat with us, so Ethan had to sit on my lap all the way to Gurney Plaza (decided to close one eye la, because cannot be helped ma).  We hung out at Gurney Plaza for about an hour, where Ethan played to his heart’s content at the play area (interrupted by a pangsai incident), hopped over to Toys R Us and then took a cab back to Toyota to collect our vehicle.  Oh yeah, and of course we FINALLY collected Ethan’s studio photography album.

I took Ethan to his first playgroup today.  I had planned on organizing this playgroup for so many months, I am so happy it finally materialized!  After feeding Ethan his tea at about 4p.m. (strawberry yogurt), Ethan and I made our way to Charlotte’s house.  This was the second time I had gone out all alone with Ethan.  We were the first to arrive at 5:00p.m. sharp and I let Ethan and Charlotte warm up and get to know each other.  I brought along Ethan’s Sesame Street soft books to share with the rest of the kids.  Not long after, Bryan and then Hin Lerk arrived. 

Although the kids were rather shy at first, they didn’t take too long to throw their inhibitions away.  Ethan very quickly noticed the staircase and proceeded to walk towards it.  I had to take him up and down a few times, but he was still not tired.  There were plenty of toys to have the kids occupied too, in addition to the Baby Einstein DVD which only managed to capture the kids’ attention for only a short while.  All the kids were also treated to apple slices, which Ethan walloped happily.

Something else happened during the playgroup too though, and yes it involves Ethan boy…watch:

After the incident, when Charlotte was shown Ethan’s picture, she tapped her chest repeatedly, signalling fear.  I hope Charlotte is not hurt, although there were some teethmarks on her arm afterward…Ethan will only bite when he wants to show affection or when he is “geram“… maybe it is the former? :P  I’m sure he didn’t mean to hurt such a sweet little girl like Charlotte….that being said, I hope Ethan will still be invited for the next playgroup…..

We made a short trip back to my hometown in Ipoh yesterday to attend Pete’s cousin Tee Bin’s wedding.  We left Penang late Friday afternoon and arrived around dinnertime in Ipoh, just in time for the lao-thiar-meh (Chinese version of the stag night).    Unfortunately, no sooner had we stepped into the porch area where the buffet spread was, Ethan wailed as if in agony!  Amid sobs and sniffles, he clung on to either Pete or me tightly, and we had to take turns having our dinner.  This was extremely strange behaviour for Ethan, as he has always been exposed to huge crowds in the malls, and in church and had no problems being happy and totally at home in crowded areas.  In the end, we had to pacify him by taking him up and down the stairs, and taking him for walks around the swimming pool.  Thank goodness SIL Aunty Pauline was around, and since Ethan has an affinity towards her, Pete and I could finish our dinner (somewhat) in peace.

The next morning during the tea ceremony, Ethan received his first tea ceremony ang pow ever!  Because he was still petrified of the crowd and the loud voices, I had to carry him to collect the ang pow.  We then adjourned to the wedding lunch reception at Hillcity Hotel, where our boy was extremely active (we’re not surprised).  It certainly looked like he had already warmed up to the crowd and was enjoying every second of his exploratory adventure.  Many friends and relatives were thrilled to see him pacing around the hall, but had a hard time trying to carry him!  A relative mistakenly thought his name was “Ivan”, and even called out to him using that name!  Ethan’s primary interest however, was in the fish in the aquarium, which kept him occupied for quite some time.

Pete noticed that Ethan now has a variety of facial expressions and emotions, which he is using in full force.  Here are some rare shots which the camera managed to capture during our trip:

 Congratulations to Uncle Tee Bin and Aunt Wei F’rn!

Here are some highlights from the month of May as our Ethan Boy turns 16 months:

  • Since we started giving him showers instead of baths, Ethan is enjoying himself tremendously.  So much so that he has even mastered the art of turning on the faucet!  You see, right below our shower there is a faucet which is positioned just above Ethan’s height.  He now can reach up to it and turn it on.  In fact, he likes to have the faucet turned way up, resulting in Pete and I getting thoroughly wet!
  • Ethan likes to be involved in whatever we do now, especially when it comes to food.  Whenever we are in a restaurant eating, he will demand for the food that we are eating.  Just the other day, while we were out grocery shopping in Jusco, Pete and I stopped by one of those sample stations which was promoting a special type of instant noodles.  We each took a small cup to sample.  Ethan, who was in the stroller, started banging on the stroller tray and called out to us.  It didn’t take Pete long to figure out that our boy also wanted a taste of the noodles…which is exactly what he got.  And that kept him contented all right…

  • Ethan has learnt how to imitate us.  A funny game which has been going on between Daddy and Ethan is when Daddy goes to the washroom to wash his feet.  As soon as Ethan spots Pete switching on the bathroom lights, he would get all excited and run over to the bathroom doorway.  As Pete washes his feet, he exaggerates by stomping on the bathroom floor, and guess what…Ethan will do the same.  Add in the giggle factor and you have a scene you will never forget.
  • Ethan is participating in our singalong sessions now, albeit in true Mr Bulat manner:

Daddy/Mommy (singing): If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands….
Ethan grins widely, grabs either Daddy or Mommy’s hands, one in each of his hands, and *makes* US clap our hands together…and this continues till the end of the song.

  • Lately, we’ve noticed that Ethan sometimes turns himself round and round in circles.  One minute he would be walking normally, and then he would suddenly just turn round and round.  Then he would stop, pause for a moment as if to recover his balance, then start walking normally again.
  • (I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed here) Ethan is *quite* regularly able to go without a drink of milk from his bedtime (which is usually 9:30-10:00p.m., and unusually 11:00p.m.) right up till about 4:30a.m.  He would wake up around midnight, and we would just comfort him back to sleep and put him back in the cot.  He is also now quite okay with Pete carrying him at night when he wakes up, and doesn’t necessarily need to rely solely on me.  On several occasions, when he is up at 11pm or around midnight, Pete will go into the room first and carry Ethan to our bed.  Initially Ethan will cry for Mommy, whilst sitting up on the bed facing the room door.  But after a short while, he will crawl towards Daddy and snuggle to sleep in Daddy’s arms.
  • Sometime in May, when it was just Pete, Ethan and me in the car, I started sitting in the co-driver seat in front (before this, I was always sitting in the back seat with Ethan).  Now Ethan will be comfortably strapped into his car seat at the back while Daddy and Mommy can be in front.  I am proud to say that we have no problems at all putting Ethan into his car seat, because we have trained him well since birth.  He had been sitting in the infant seat carrier till he was about a year old and then graduated to the convertible front-facing car seat.  Now, every time we “kai kai“, he will eagerly sit in the car seat and allow us to buckle him up.  At times, he would even hold the buckle ready for us to strap him in!  Then he would blabber and talk to us the whole of the journey.  Sometimes, when we turn back to look at him, we’d find him deep in thought… sometimes he would be smiling, and sometimes he would clap his hands in glee when he hears a tune he likes on the radio.  When we reach our destination, Ethan will patiently sit and wait till we have unbuckled him, and then he will reach his hands out and try to get out of the seat himself.
  • Random words that Ethan has picked up, (these are not confirmed to be what he says, since he is still mostly blabbering):
    • Ai chiak bek (Want to eat Oats)
    • Ter (Water)
    • Deh-dah, Di-deh, deh-deh, Daddy
    • Yah… (for almost everything)
  • Foodwise, Ethan is on 1 full feed of breast milk while I am at work now (he’s recently upgraded his feed quantity to 6oz at one go).  His second EBM feed in the afternoon is now replaced with approximately 2 oz of Isomil mixed with cereal (Rice Crispies of Snap, Crackle & Pop fame, oats or rusks).
  • Lastly Ethan continues to be enthralled by the mall, especially the escalators.  He has now added climbing stairs to his list of favorite things to do.  He loves to run around in the mall, especially in wide open spaces.


June 2007
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