August 2007

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Scrap template from Lindsay Jane Designs,
papers from
Lindsay Jane Designs & Anita Designs

We adults can certainly learn a thing or two from kids.  Forgiveness, tolerance and most importantly, just be happy!

Yes,… Ethan taught me to smile… even after he had accidentally slipped and bruised the upper corner of his right eye while climbing in and out of his bath tub which he doesn’t use anymore.  Just SMILE and the pain will all go away…. see how easy it is?

When it rains, it really pours… SIGH

Just as Ethan was on the road to full recovery from his recent illness, we noticed that his eyes seemed puffy and red just a couple of days ago. When he woke up in the morning, he had some yellowish discharge, which I initially dismissed as tiredness. But then he began rubbing his eyes frequently, resulting in his eyes getting swollen. Even when I applied breastmilk on his eye area, it only helped reduce the swelling temporarily. At night, our fears were confirmed when the yellowish discharge returned in both eyes. As a gungho mommy, I promptly referred to my Dr Miriam Stoppard childcare book, which told me Ethan could have blepharitis, a common eye infection amongst babies and toddlers. To clean and soothe his eye area, I wet a cotton pad with warm boiled water and wiped once from inner corner of the eye to the outer corner.

On Tuesday, we were due to visit Dr Jessica for Ethan’s 19th-month checkup and JE vaccination. On that morning, I called Dr Jessica and told her Ethan probably had an eye infection and on top of that, he was also nursing a slight cough. She told us to bring him in anyway for the checkup and she would then determine if he was fit for the jab.

I had already made an appointment with Charlotte’s mommy to bring Charlotte in on the same day too, so that Ethan and Charlotte could share the dosage of the JE vaccine. Unfortunately when we brought Ethan to the clinic in the evening, he also had a slight fever of 37.6°C, so the doctor advised us to postpone the JE jab. :(

Doctor Jessica diagnosed Ethan’s eye infection as an early stage of conjunctivitis. Thankfully though, the whites of his eyes were not red yet. She prescribed Fucithalmic, a antibiotic fucidic acid eye ointment to be dropped into Ethan’s eyes twice a day. He also had a dry cough, so she prescribed cough mixture too, this time, a sweeter one compared to Rhinatiol, named MucoFlux.

SIGH… back to grind of medicine-feeding again. :(

This morning, after 2 applications of the eye ointment, the condition of his eyes has improved…. I’m praying Ethan will be completely healed as soon as possible. I can’t wait to see the sparkle and glow back in his eyes!

On the bright side though, I forgot to mention that as of yesterday’s visit to the doctor, Ethan’s weight has reached the 10-kilo mark!  WOoHOoOoOooooo!!!!


Scrap papers & elements from Lindsay Jane Designs

What an tiring, but eventful and enjoyable weekend it had been! Last Saturday morning we drove down to Damansara. We had planned on making this trip about a week or so back but was having some problems booking a room because it was the school holiday season. Thankfully, we managed to secure a room at the Royale Bintang last Wednesday! That’s the most convenient hotel to stay in because The Curve is just next to it, so that makes shopping so much easier. So we were all set! Although our plan was to leave Penang at around 9a.m., we all overslept and only was able to set out at about 10:15a.m. Therefore our plan to have lunch at The Curve went down the drain and we ended up (again) having lunch at the famous Pun Chun coffee shop in Bidor instead.

It wasn’t entirely a bad idea actually, and although the wan ton mee is severely overpriced, it was good. We thought Ethan is a wan ton mee fan, but he decided he didn’t want any of it that day, choosing instead to dig into the char siew pau. So much so that we had to tarpow an additional pau for him to continue eating in the car after leaving Bidor.

 

After finishing the pau, Ethan was still going “mum mum mum…”, so I gave him cornflakes. He munched happily on the cornflakes all the way till we reached the hotel.

After checking in to our room, our boy was very fascinated by his new surroundings, walking up and down the room, into the bathroom, opening the cabinets and drawers. It was clear that he had all the energy in the world to go shopping! Since Daddy the driver wanted to get forty winks, I changed Ethan and got him all ready. We then met up with Ethan’s Aunty Pauline in the hotel lobby and went on our shopping excursion! There’s nothing like shopping to beat fatigue :)

Of course, I chose to go to Mothercare first and the neighboring baby and toddler shops. With Pete not around, there was a tendency for me to overspend… hah… I ended up with 2 pairs of peejays for Ethan, some clothes and another Baby Einstein DVD: Baby Noah, which was on sale at 10% off at Early Learning Center :) The three of us hung out at The Curve and even walked all the way to Ikano Power Center and back.

Soon, Ethan requested for “mum mum” again, and I took him to the Baby Care room in The Curve for a feed right before dinner. There was a short queue there and we had to wait for about 10 minutes before we got ourselves a cubicle. Honestly, the management at The Curve should consider having another room or perhaps expanding the existing nursing room, because even when I was breastfeeding Ethan, there were so many other mothers and babies waiting in line after me! Ethan almost fell asleep but woke up at the right time, just before we were about to leave for dinner.

Dinner was at Marché, with Pauline, Paul and Guat Tho (Ethan’s Ah Pek and Ah Mmm). Pete and I were craving for Marché since we frequented the restaurant in Singapore and were eager to see if it was the same here in Malaysia. We were however sorely disappointed that there was no root beer :( The one thing we were hoping to get!! Ethan, however, enjoyed his dinner very much. He loved the veal sausage and mushroom soup, and even had some of the pineapple and starfruit juice! He almost snatched my crépè away too, but I moved my plate away just in time!


Scrap papers & elements from Lindsay Jane Designs

After our post-dinner shopping, we went back to our room to retire for the night. Unfortunately Ethan had other plans and only fell asleep (I think) after 11p.m.

The next morning we woke up around 9:00a.m. and rushed to go downstairs for the buffet breakfast. There was already a long line when we arrived at the lobby, so by the time we got seated it was already close to 10:30a.m.

 

Ethan again enjoyed his sausages, this time it was chicken. He finished 2 sausages I think, and even hijacked some of my pink guava juice.

 

Then he also walloped some fruit loops. Breakfast is, after all, the most important meal of the day.

We then went back to our rooms to pack and prepared to check out. Shopped for a while at Ikea, because what is a trip to Ikano Power Center without visiting Ikea, yes? The beauty about Ikea is that it had these children stations where they put toys for the kids to play with. These stations were strewn all over Ikea, just to keep the kids occupied while their parents went about their shopping.

Of course, Ethan is also quickly learning to be an avid Ikea shopper, preferring to test out certain items that caught his fancy.

We then had lunch at a Japanese restaurant in Damansara Uptown, called Umai-ya. I tell you, I have no idea how much Ethan ate for lunch, because he at first was sharing the chawan mushi with me (I gave him chawan mushi mixed with rice). Then when I ran out of chawan mushi, Pete and Aunty Pauline contributed theirs too. And our boy was eating it non-stop. After lunch, I could actually see his tummy bulging from under his clothes! Hehehe…

We then visited the show unit of Aunty Pauline’s new condo, Menjalara 18. Ethan went about the show unit as if it was his own home, climbing up and down the sofas and the beds.

After that it was homeward bound to Penang. A rushed trip but a really enjoyable one. We do it next month again, yeah? :)

It was time to bid farewell to Singapore and our vacation. After all the adventure and fun we had, we were looking forward to head on home, but yet a little bit sad the vacation had come to an end.

I woke up feeling way much better than I did the day before. The nausea and fever had gone and I was definitely much more energized…but not as energized as Ethan. Hah.

We went downstairs for our usual routine breakfast at the hotel and then hurried back up to our room to pack. We then checked out, left our luggage with the front desk and went for a little walking tour around Little India. It would have been embarrassing had we not at least walk a little around the vicinity when we had stayed in Little India for the past 5 nights! And it was a good thing we had that walking exercise too because we managed to catch a glimpse of the famous Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, Little India’s oldest and busiest temple.

All in all, we walked quite a fair bit and ended up in Mustafa Centre, the famous 24-hour shopping mall, which sells everything from watches, DVDs and handbags to clothes and foodstuff. It was not a very conducive place to bring Ethan to, unfortunately, because the mall was jam-packed with visitors and also, the aisles were so narrow! There was simply no place for Ethan to roam and run around as he wished.

We were already running a little late by then, so we decided to take a cab from Mustafa Centre back to Perak Hotel, instead of walking all the way again. We loaded the cab with our luggage and went straight to Changi airport. After checking in and obtaining our boarding passes, we had lunch at the Soup Restaurant again, starting and ending our vacation on the same note.

And what would a visit to Singapore be without stopping by Bengawan Solo and getting some goodies there? After all, I was craving for the pineapple tarts!  While I was busy choosing and (not) salivating over the cookies and layer cake in Bengawan Solo, Ethan kept Daddy busy by requesting to go up and down the escalators nearby.  He was also very much the shopper as he roamed the surrounding area, in search of a good bargain, maybe?

We finally entered the departure terminal with very little time to spare before we boarded our plane. I quickly looked for the nursing room and breastfed Ethan for a bit. Then Ethan had some time to explore the terminal before we went to the departure gate. There is this fantastic floor game with lights that allowed kids to kick an imaginary ball on the ground. The *ball* would react to the kids’ kicking action. And that kept Ethan fascinated.

Hehe….Mommy rushed to Nuance Watson to get this:

It was all done in super-duper quick time because I already knew what I wanted.

Then we practically ran all the way to our departure gate, which, following Murphy’s Law, HAD to be at the very end of the terminal! The status was already showing as “Gate Closing” and it was really an adrenaline rush for all of us, similar to that experienced by contestants on The Amazing Race, I would think.

Upon boarding the plane, Ethan played around for a while but fell asleep in my arms shortly before the plane took off. He slept right through the entire flight, not even waking up for his meal. The very kind flight attendant, who was introduced to Ethan, took the trouble to provide us with a bag to tar-pow his meal back home.

We took a cab from the Penang International Airport back to our home sweet home. And we could tell that not only Pete and I missed our home, Ethan did too…. he giggled with glee when we entered our apartment lift. Home at last! :D

 
Scrap Papers & Elements from Sworda Scrappin’ 

Ethan loves grapes.  However, when we wash a bunch of grapes and sit down to eat them, he doesn’t eat them himself.  Instead, his eyes will light up when he sees those juicy grapes in the bowl, and he will scoop a few up in those tiny hands of his, and with his mouth wide open, proceed to feed us those grapes.  We have to eat them really fast too, because he takes delight in feeding those grapes one after another, at a very fast pace. 

All I can say is thank goodness those grapes are seedless ones! *wink*

Remember the studio photos Ethan took some time back? Yeah, the one that came with the beautifully framed photo…. Well, Mommy the procrastinator has been dilly dallying about making a short movie/presentation using all those adorable photos. Unfortunately nothing materialized thus far… up until last week! I requested Ethan’s Ah Koo (my brother Allan) to make a short movie from those photos in his spare time, because I had seen some of his work and I was impressed with them.

And would you know it, a few days later, he produced the following masterpiece. Awesome or not?


Scrap Elements from Anita Designs

Ethan Boy had some visitors over the weekend. Ah Ma and Ah Kong from Ipoh came to visit on Friday and Ah Ma and Ah Kong from Taiping, with Koh-koh from KL was here in Penang on Sunday. We were amazed by how sociable our boy has become. Before, he would seem a little intimidated by visitors and would take quite some time to *warm up* to them, preferring instead to cling on to Pete and me. But now it looks as if he can socialize rather easily. It didn’t take him long to *make friends* with my Mom and Dad when they were here. And he also allowed his Koh-Koh Pauline to carry him a few minutes after she arrived!

On Sunday night, he was busy showing off all his toys to our visitors. He also led Aunty Christine by the hand and requested her to play his Baby Einstein DVD for him!

And when Pete brought out a platter of freshly cut pear slices, Ethan wasted no time in demonstrating how sharing is done. He eagerly grabbed one slice of pear and gave it to each and every one of our visitors, all met with a “Thank you!” After he had ensured that every one had had a slice (at least), Ethan then took one for himself and chomped on it! Isn’t that adorable? :)


Scrap Design from Anita Designs

Last Sunday we were at Jaya Jusco shopping for some clothes for Ethan. We picked out a few nice-looking t-shirts from the babies’ department but unfortunately, they all didn’t come in his size. Even those in 18-24 month sizes looked a tad too small for him. Ethan is wearing 2-year-old sizes now and most of the clothes in the babies’ department only had sizes up till 18 months. Suddenly, a light bulb lit up in my head and I figured we should be looking in the kids’ department instead. And would you know it, we found exactly what we wanted there. There were so many clothes in his size available, that we were spoilt for choice.

So looks like we have to move on to shopping in the kids’ and toddlers’ section now. No more baby clothes for our Ethan Boy!

With 4 days well spent in Singapore, there was only one thing left to do on the fifth day of our vacation.  Yup, you guessed right… S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G!!!

We didn’t have much time to shop to our hearts’ content in VivoCity the day before (or rather, Mommy didn’t have enough time), so we decided to spend our day there again.  We were very much the experts at boarding the MRT now, and VivoCity was an excellent choice because the subway from Little India would take us directly to Harbourfront, where VivoCity is.  By this time, Ethan was really getting the hang of riding in the MRT :)

We reached VivoCity before lunch but unfortunately after a little bit of shopping, I started feeling a little uneasy and unwell.  I thought it was because I was feeling hungry, so we decided to have lunch, ending up in Marché again.  Yes, yes, it was THAT good that we simply could not get enough of it  :P  Too bad, my nausea got worse during lunch and I couldn’t eat much, although I know Pete ordered so many many yummy items.  SIGH.  In the end, Daddy had to finish most of it, and Mommy has to be content with well….just these photos…..on the bright side, the blogger in me was satisfied because I managed to take a picture of the glorious Swiss cross buns!

Ethan was getting hungry and fidgety too, so after lunch we took him to the nursing room and I breastfed him till he slept.  Pete and I then decided to call it a day, seeing that I was feeling queasy already.  I carried the sleeping Ethan and we headed towards the MRT station.  However, before we could even walk out of the mall, my stomach decided to do a major churn and I threw up all over the nicely polished VivoCity floor.  Of course, before the throwing up incident, I managed to call out frantically to Pete and pass Ethan to him!  Thankfully there was a cleaner just nearby and he proceeded to quickly clean up the mess I made.  I hurried to the washroom as fast as I could.

After cleaning up, we made our way back to our hotel, where we all fell asleep the whole afternoon.  I could only pray that Pete and Ethan were not affected by whatever virus or bacteria that had chose to attack me.  I awoke with a fever of 38.1°C, and took two Panadol tablets, slept for a little while longer and then mustered up whatever strength I had to go for dinner.  Our plan was to go to Tony Roma’s in Suntec City for dinner again, but we had to kiss that plan goodbye because I was just too weak.  In the end, we walked to the nearby Foodmore foodcourt, a stone’s throw away from our hotel and had pan mee for dinner.  There was no baby chair available, so Ethan had to sit on two stacked chairs. 


Scrap Elements from Anita’s Designs

It must have been the excellent company I had for dinner, because I definitely felt better after that.  Isn’t it apparent from the picture above?  After dinner, all I could do was to breastfeed Ethan so that he would get all the antibodies to prevent him from succumbing to the illness I had.

… but only in the case of this breastfeeding mommy, I guess.

If you hadn’t already known, I am in the process of weaning Ethan from my breast.  However, although we have succeeded at a certain level (he is down to only one feed of EBM while I am at work), the fact that I have procrastinated and dilly-dallied on the weaning resulted in Ethan still being breastfed when I am with him.

And you know, as I watch him recovering from his recent illness, I am so grateful that I am still breastfeeding him.

After he regained his appetite after his spell of vomiting, he only wanted breastmilk and that is really the best kind of food he should take.  Now that he is recovering from his diarrhoea, breastmilk is the best because even if he doesn’t take too keenly to water, breastmilk contains about 90% water.  Even Dr Jessica says it is the perfect solution to help him get well sooner.  Besides providing him with all the antibodies to help him get better, it helps to soothes and calms him down too.

Yesterday evening, Pete was out for his weekly futsal match, and I was left to attend to Ethan by myself.  Boy was he a handful!  He definitely looks better now and he was back to his mischievous ways and was up till almost 11p.m.!  I’m still praying he’ll be 100% well as soon as possible.


Scrap Elements by Lindsay Jane Designs

Today we took him to GMC for his checkup with Dr Jessica, after the 3-day antibiotic (Rocephin) course jabs he took.  Unfortunately, I was not aware that Dr Jessica was on half day leave today, so we had to see Dr Rama instead.  Upon inspecting both Ethan’s ears, Dr Rama reassured us that the infection has definitely gone down in both ears.   :)  However, he prescribed another 5-day course of antibiotics (Cedax) just to be on the safe side, ensuring that the bacterial infection would be totally eliminated.  Dr Rama reassured us that Cedax tasted slightly sweet and we only needed to administer 2.2ml once a day for 5 days.  We were to see Dr Jessica again after the 5 days for a final checkup.

SIGH… guess we’ll have to see if Ethan will be okay with taking this final round of medicine then…

Poor Ethan. :( As a side effect of the course of antibiotics, he has diarrhoea. Last night I noticed that he also had nappy rash. It must have been because of the diarrhoea. Because of his nappy rash, Ethan would cry when I gave him a shower. I applied Egozite last night and this morning the rash had subsided somewhat, thank goodness.

But when we picked Ethan up just now for his third and final dose of the antibiotic jab, Mrs Tan reported that Ethan had had diarrhoea thrice all morning. She also mentioned his nappy rash. :(

You know, throughout these few days when he was sick, Ethan doesn’t feel like drinking much water. Truth be told, Ethan NEVER had a problem with water, and loves to drink water ever since I started giving it to him when he started on solids. This was because he was on a 100% breastmilk diet from birth till 6.5 months, i.e. no water at all during this time. But now that he is sick, and he needs the water, especially since he has diarrhoea, it is disheartening and rather worrying that he doesn’t want to drink much. Yesterday I figured that he preferred to drink from the cup rather than from a straw, and that was how I got him to drink a substantial amount of water last night. Yay me! And that’s how Mrs Tan got him to drink water too, today. :)

Dr Jessica prescribed a special nappy rash cream for Ethan and also oral rehydration salts to prevent dehydration after the diarrhoea. He had a slight incident of diarrhoea at the pediatric ward again just now, while we were waiting for his jab to be administered. And for the 2nd time in 3 days, we had to change him in the hospital (we’re getting to be pros at this, aren’t we now?). Although he still complained of some pain because of the nappy rash, I was relieved to note that it was not as inflamed as last night.

So, the final jab has been given and the worst is over… we will go and see Dr Jessica tomorrow for a final checkup. I’m praying with all my heart that all the infection has disappeared and he can stop all medication then ….

From the moment I saw Pete measure out 5ml of the Zinnat antibiotic into the syringe, ready for feeding Ethan with, I knew something was not right.  The mere smell of the medicine was revolting enough, and the consistency of it was that of a emulsified solution, whitish, thick and gooey, as if it was made from crushed tablets dissolved in some liquid.  This morning was supposed to be the first of 10 antibiotic doses we were to feed Ethan over a period of 5 days, after the first course of antibiotics didn’t do the trick.

So anyway, we tried feeding it to Ethan… here’s the procedure we employed.  I would sit Ethan down and gently tell him that Mommy was going to take him for his antibiotic feed now.  I would reassure him that it was for his own good and wellbeing, and that it would make him feel better.  But the moment he saw Daddy with the syringe in hand, he started struggling and screaming.  Nevertheless, we managed to pump the entire 5ml into his throat….. but…. no sooner had we done that, Ethan threw up the entire contents of it on the floor.   Well, so much for trying then.  We had to turn to the other alternative.
I called Dr Jessica when I was at work today, and told her that we had decided to take Ethan for the antibiotic jab instead, since he didn’t take at all kindly to the oral method.  The jab would be 3 doses in total, and Ethan had already had the first dose yesterday.  Pete and I had a quick lunch and fetched Ethan from Mrs Tan’s.  We reached GMC slightly past 12:30p.m. and I took Ethan straight up to Dr Jessica’s clinic.  It was a good thing she was still there and she managed to check on Ethan real quick.  She said the infection in the right ear had gone down (yippee!!) but the left ear was still slightly red.  She told me to bring Ethan in on Thursday, a day after the 3-day antibiotic course would have been completed.

We then went up to the pediatric ward with the prescription and after a short wait, Ethan had his second jab.  Even though he cried out loud, I am very proud of him for being such a brave boy. The jab was all over in a matter of seconds…. Two-thirds of the way through now … :)

Ethan fell asleep on the way back to the baby sitter’s.  I just called Mrs Tan and she told me that Ethan’s appetite was returning as he was eating more of the mee suah now.  And that is a good sign, yes?

All I can say is that we made the right decision to postpone our trip to KL last weekend.  SIGH.

Last Thursday night, Ethan developed a fever, so we gave him a dose of the Paracetamol suppository.  He was also coughing with traces of phlegm.  The next morning, he still had a fever, so I gave him another dose.  His body was slightly warm when we left him at the baby sitter’s though.  We told Mrs Tan that we would come by to see how he was doing during lunch.

When we got there, I took his temperature and it read 37.8°C!  So we told Mrs Tan to give him the suppository and that we would come and take him home at around 4:00-ish.  When we arrived at 4:30p.m., Ethan’s body felt really hot, and although I was already panicking on the inside, I tried not to let it show.

5:30p.m. I took his temperature and it was a horrifying 39.4°C!  Since we had already run out of the PCM suppository, we had to force a dose of the oral PCM down his throat.  I breastfed him and could only pray that the fever would subside soon.  Dr Jessica’s night clinic would only be open at 7:00p.m. so we had to wait till then.

At GMC, Ethan’s temperature had subsided somewhat, although when the nurse took his temperature, it still read a relatively high 38.9°C.  Despite nursing a fever however, Ethan was still very interested in the escalators at the hospital.

The diagnosis?  Ethan has an infection in his throat and left ear, Dr Jessica said.  When she inspected, his left ear and throat were red, but thank goodness there were no white spots in the throat yet (white spots meant trouble, I had read somewhere).  The initial throat infection probably had spread to the ear.  Besides the infection, he was also suffering from a runny nose and of course, was coughing too.  He was prescribed Paracetamol (for fever), Rhinathiol (for cough), Polaramine (for flu), Azithromycin (antibiotics) and Iliadin (nasal drops).  All familiar names to me by now, because Ethan had been on the same range before.

We went to Old Town for dinner where I was very thankful that Ethan took a bit of the koay-teow.  We took him back home, and practically had to force the medicine down.  His fever was also monitored closely.  That night proved to be a highly trying night for us.  I had to give him the PCM suppository every 4 hours because throughout the night, his body temperature hovered around the 39.2°C mark.  It was a sleepless night for all three of us.  Ethan decided he wanted to wake up in the middle of the night to watch Baby Einstein and walk around the house, I had to wake up with him, and Pete, being a light sleeper, could not get any sleep as well.  Ethan finally went to sleep but was still rather feverish in the morning.

Saturday morning, I reported to Dr Jessica that his fever was still on the high side, and she assured me that it would take about a day or two for the antibiotics to react.  Thankfully, Ethan’s fever subsided throughout the day.  Pete and I also decided that we should see our doctor to get some medicine ourselves since we were both also sick, with somewhat similar symptoms.  We then had Japanese food for lunch.  Japanese food is always our *comfort* food whenever any one of us is sick.  And since all three of us were feeling under the weather, the choice was obvious.

Sakae Sushi provided us with a booster chair instead of a high chair, and that was really good because then, the chair would not block the pathway.  Ethan enjoyed his chawan mushi and rice, as usual.  And we were glad that he was eating, at least.

After lunch, Ethan fell asleep and when he woke up, he seemed very listless and rather pale.  He rejected my breast and would not even drink any water, instead preferring to walk around aimlessly.  When we offered him his favorite Yakult yogurt drink and his Calci-yum yogurt, he angrily rejected them too!  I even tried mixing a feed of formula for him, but this was met with just plain disgust.  I offered my breast again and again, but again and again he made a face and pushed me away.  This was very unlike him and very odd indeed, as he has NEVER EVER rejected my breast before.  “Could this be the start of him being weaned from my breast?” I thought to myself.

Come dinner time, he didn’t even want a single strand of the spinach noodles I had prepared for him.  We managed to get him to drink a few sips of water and he did nibble on a few grains of Rice Crispies and raisins, but that was all. 

Then it was time for his medicine.  Pete would usually give him the antibiotics first, followed by Rhinathiol and then Polaramine.  This time, after his force-feeding of the Rhinathiol, as I was carrying him away, he suddenly threw up on the floor!  There was very little vomit only though, because our boy had hardly eaten anything since 3p.m.  And that was the first time he threw up ever :(   We finally managed to feed him the medicine and gave him a shower after that, although he was very upset.  Our boy was very sleepy by then, and he also looked very tired and weak, because he had not eaten or drunk anything much.  After his shower, he fell asleep immediately.  No comfort suckling at the breast, I just put him in his cot and he was out like a light.

Then at about 3:30a.m. Ethan woke me up.  I took him to the kitchen to get some water because I could tell he was thirsty, and he vomited again!  I cleaned up the kitchen floor, and gave him a few sips of water (he was still not interested in breast-milk at that time).  He fell asleep after that, but woke up about half an hour later and threw up again on our bed and on me…..   :(  It was extremely worrying as I knew he was probably dehydrated, but there was nothing we could do… we could only let him sleep.

The next morning (Sunday), when he woke up before 8:00a.m., I tried to breastfeed him again, and I was so overjoyed that he FINALLY drank the milk.  I could tell that he was VERY hungry then and was craving for it so badly.  My heart ached to see him suffering the night before when he rejected the breast.  It was as if he knew he had to refrain from drinking breast milk because  *knew* that if he did, he was going to throw up. 

He fell asleep again after his feed and only woke up after 10a.m.  His appetite seemed to have returned somewhat, although he would only take breast-milk for breakfast and lunch, and throughout the day.  But at dinnertime, he took some koay-teow too!

After dinner, and after his medicine was administered, he again rejected the breast.  And he again fell asleep without being breastfed.  Even more worrying, his temperature shot up again to 38.5ºC!  I gave him the PCM suppository and monitored his temperature through the night, as usual.

Pete and I took the day off today to take Ethan to see Dr Jessica again.  His temperature was going up and down like a yoyo and that was not something we were comfortable with.  Dr Jessica checked his throat and said the infection had cleared up.  However, both his ears were infected now.  So she prescribed another round of antibiotics (a different one, this time: Zinnat), which we were to administer 5ml twice a day for 5 days! I almost fainted… We decided to have Ethan take the antibiotics jab first in GMC, so we could start the *torture session* only tomorrow.  His fever had returned too, so we had to give him a PCM suppository in the hospital as well.  We were instructed to bring Ethan in for a follow-up check after the 5-day-antibiotics-dosage had been completed.

After the Zinnat jab and PCM suppository, we were told to wait for an hour to see if there were any adverse reactions before we were allowed to leave the hospital.  Good thing there was a playroom at the pediatric ward with a Little Tikes house to keep Ethan busy… of course, to add to the drama, our boy chose to poop then and there too, so we had to clean him up.

So….we’re back home now, and Ethan is finally asleep.  This whole experience has reinforced in us that it’s really tough being a parent.  It comes with its ups and downs, I guess.  I pray that God will bless Ethan and grant him the strength to fight against his illness and that he will recover soon.  Get well my darling boy.  I can’t wait to see you back to your cheerful, cheeky self again!

Just about a month ago, I reintroduced Baby Einstein to Ethan. I had played the DVDs for him before when he was a few months old, but all he was interested in then was the caterpillar that appeared on the screen before the show began. So last month when Charlotte’s mummy came back from the States, I saw the opportunity it presented and asked her to get me one of the Baby Einstein DVDs. I got Baby Van Gogh, which was all about colors.

When I put the DVD on for Ethan, once again he was attracted to the caterpillar, and giggled as if in recognition. And when the show began, I could tell he was completely mesmerized by the vivid colors and beautiful music. He would sit down (or sometimes stand) transfixed, watching the program. The show lasted a good 30 minutes and I was amazed that he managed to sit through most of it.

Last Friday, I brought the Baby Van Gogh DVD to share with the rest of my Mommy friends in exchange for another one, and ended up with Baby Einstein Numbers Nursery and a Baby Neptune VCD. It turns out Ethan simply LURVES both of these! He especially likes the part where there are kids being shown, and even laughs out loud when the kids are pictured in close-up! Nowadays, in the mornings before we leave for work and when we get home after work, Ethan would point and gesture to the Baby Einstein DVDs and ask us to play it for him. We used to put the DVDs on the TV cabinet, within his reach, but since he began *helping* himself to it, we moved the DVDs up to our wall shelf. Still, amazingly, he knows where it is, and motions for us to get it for him.

Yesterday, even though he was feeling slightly under the weather, even though he was coughing and had a slight fever, he still requested to watch Baby Einstein. Over and over and over again. And you know what? I think the music in that DVD will play in my head for a long, long time.

I’m getting more Baby Einstein DVDs soon :)

A vacation to Singapore would not be complete without a visit to Sentosa Island, now would it? I can barely remember my last visit to Sentosa Island, but my Mom tells me I was really young then. I vaguely recall taking the cable car all the way to the island and back though. In fact, my parents had their honeymoon in Sentosa Island. The island must have changed a whole lot since then. For one, we had heard a lot about the Underwater World, and were eager to show Ethan all the underwater life which we knew he would so love.

After our breakfast, we took the MRT from Little India to Harbourfront, which was about 6 stations away. This time, there was no need to change to a different MRT line and it only took us slightly more than 15 minutes to get to our destination. The Harbourfront MRT station is directly connected to VivoCity, the newest, biggest, trendiest shopping mall in Singapore. We’ll get to the shopping later, I thought to myself. :D

Initially we wanted to take the cable car because we wanted to have a good view from above. We then learnt that a cable car ride would cost SGD11, and comparing that to the monorail, which costs only SGD3, we opted for the latter. The monorail ticket was a return ticket, and it was inclusive of all the bus rides we would need to take on Sentosa Island itself. As it turned out, taking the monorail was a great decision on our part, because not only did we get to take in a spectacular view of our surroundings, the entire journey via the Sentosa Express took only a mere 10 minutes (which is a bonus for Ethan who is prone to getting restless)! From the monorail, we could see the cable cars moving towards Sentosa Island, and comparatively, they were taking forever! Upon reaching Sentosa Island (Beach Station), we took a bus all the way to the Underwater World.

Ethan of course enjoyed free admission, but we adults had no reason to complain either, because we got a 10% discount when we paid with the Citibank credit card :)

The first stop we made was to touch and feel the stingrays. They felt leathery and slithery! I did not allow Ethan to touch them though and he didn’t complain either because he was more fascinated with the many aquariums on display. He could see the fishes up close and it was apparent he was having a field time doing so.

To keep Ethan occupied and not-so-restless, I had brought along a small box of cornflakes. Learning from the zoo adventure, it was a no-no to allow him to get hungry, so I kept him busy eating and munching on cornflakes :) Good parenting tip, eh? *wink* So amid the exhibits of crabs, fish, jellyfish seadragons and seahorses, Ethan was happy with his snack and Daddy was happy with his snapping… photos, that is.

I personally felt the highlight of the Underwater World was The Tunnel. Here, we just had to stand on a moving walkalator that took us through a tunnel where we were surrounded by all kinds of underwater life swimming all around us. Fish, sharks, manatees, you name it…. there were many moments that prompted us to go “Ooooooh….” and “Waaaahhh……”, if you know what I mean.

All in all, we really enjoyed ourselves at the Underwater World. After taking lunch, we realized it was drizzling outside when we were about to leave. Since we still had time, we decided to go to the Dolphin Lagoon after that. The entrance to the Dolphin Lagoon had already been included in the admission fee for the Underwater World anyway. So we took a bus there.

Ethan was already hungry for milk by that time, and I was again deeply disappointed that there were NO breastfeeding facilities at the Underwater World OR at the Dolphin Lagoon. So upon reaching the Dolphin Lagoon, we walked a few hundred meters to the nearest restroom. Realizing it could be a challenge to breastfeed in the restroom, not to mention the issue of hygiene, I prayed so hard that there would be a conducive place for me to breastfeed him, and God again provided :) The restroom was one that had an open area where there were four benches shaped to form a square with a roofed shelter. All I had to do was sit there and breastfeed him. And he fell asleep promptly. Poor lil guy - must have been tired out after looking at all the fishies…..

I then carried Ethan out to meet Pete, who was waiting for us on Palawan Beach. Palawan Beach is situated just beside the Dolphin Lagoon. We still had about half an hour before the Meet the Dolphins show was to start, so Pete and I decided to take a stroll to the Southernmost Point of Continental Asia. This is where I am a little confused…. so Singapore is considered part of the CONTINENT of Asia, even though it is an island? Eh? Anyway, benefit of the doubt…..

Well anyway, with Ethan still asleep, we carried him across a slightly rickety bridge to this southernmost point. The view was just amazing, and the swaying trees and windy breeze kinda reminded me a little about what Maldives was like. Ethan, unfortunately, missed all of this because he slept through it all.

Then, from our vantage point, we suddenly noticed that people were beginning to take their seats for the Dolphin show, so we made our way back to the Dolphin Lagoon. Our boy suddenly woke up as we were making our way back across the bridge… so he was wide awake and chomping happily on his cornflakes as we waited for the show to start.

Unfortunately, not much can be said about the Dolphin Show. Apart from the unique looking pink dolphins, the show was rather disappointing. Well, maybe I had my hopes way up too high, but in spite of that, Ethan sure enjoyed the show, as he was clapping away right on cue :)

After the show, we took the bus back to Beach Station where we boarded the monorail back to VivoCity. The monorail actually stops at a couple of other stations on Sentosa Island too, but we chose not to get down….although we almost got down when it stopped at the Merlion. Pete however managed to capture an awesome shot of the famous Singapore icon, all from inside the monorail. Nice eh?

So we had about 2 hours to kill before dinner - what to do? Shop, of course! The mall was VERY spacious and Ethan was VERY happy, not only because he got to run all over but also because yup…there were escalators everywhere! Mommy was very happy too, because she spotted Forever 21, which was WAY bigger than the branch at Wisma Atria. And as for Daddy? Well, I’m sure he had a lot of fun chasing Ethan around… heh.

In accordance with our plan, we had our dinner at Marché.

The baby chairs at Marché were a little different than the ones Ethan is accustomed to, but he adjusted well to it, thankfully. So while I went to order the food, Pete entertained Ethan while waiting for the food. During our Singapore trip, we noticed that Ethan has learnt how to cross his fingers, …check it out in the pictures below….. see it?

Marché’s food is freshly made upon ordering, and because Jazzmint had recommended some stuff which she had tried before, I decided to order some of those. We tried the mushroom soup, rosti, seafood paélla, crépè with Movenpick ice cream and the root beer. And let me tell you, the root beer was simply fantastic! We’ve never tasted root beer that good before…. Oh, and Pete also *discovered* the Swiss cross buns, which looked like the regular potato buns, but taste really soft and fresh. They went oh-so-well with the mushroom soup. And what did Ethan have? Why, a little of everything of course! Except the root beer la. His favorite was the mushroom soup, the paélla and the Swiss cross buns. Yeah, he’s a carbs kinda guy.

A dinner that was a fitting end to a spectacular day.

All Boxed Up

We recently bought two boxes to put Ethan’s toys in. Although these are made of cloth, they were hard enough to stand upright and sturdy enough to hold all his toys in. This made for a neater living room and was the ideal solution for his ever-growing number of toys.

Or so we thought.

Just last week, Ethan discovered that it was fun to hop right into the box and sit with his toys. And if that ain’t enough, he would then transfer the toys in the box he was sitting in into the other box or onto the floor. The result of his experiment is that the boxes are slowly losing shape.

Sometimes Ethan would request for help into getting into these boxes. He would reach out his hand to me asking me to provide support, while he climbs into and out of the box. So how now? Should we get another box for his toys? SIGH.

Aren’t these adorable? Baby Gap is currently having its biggest sale ever, and during the past weekend, HSBC credit card members got an additional 10% off everything that was already on offer. I got this matching pair of collared t-shirts and socks for Ethan. They are a little big for him right now (I bought the 2-year-old sizes), but I’ll keep them till he is ready. Ethan looks really good and so grown up in collared t-shirts, that I couldn’t resist getting these for him. Of course, there’s something about stripes too! :D

Ethan turned 18 months (1.5 years old) last Tuesday (July 31st). And just how did we commemorate this occasion?

We took him for a visit to Dr Jessica’s.

Ethan was due for his JE jab and we had planned to share the dosage with Charlotte because the jab will only need half a vial of the vaccine. Unfortunately, even though both Ethan and Charlotte were there at the hospital, Charlotte was not feeling well, so Dr Jessica advised her against taking the jab. At first we wanted to go ahead with the JE for Ethan, but then Dr Jessica said we could take the Hib, Polio and DTaP jab instead, which was exactly what we did. This was the first booster dose. Ethan had his Polio vaccine via OPV, i.e. orally, which contains a live weakened strain of the virus and is supposedly more effective compared to the IPV method which contains the dead or inactive strain of the virus. As usual, as a precautionary measure, Ethan was given a dose of PCM, which he angrily protested to. When Dr Jessica finished giving him his jab, Ethan looked really angry, and didn’t even want to wave goodbye to the good doctor. When he came into her room, he was delighted with the array of wooden blocks and toys he could play with, but immediately after the jab, when we tried to pacify him with a wooden block, he angrily threw the block on the floor! What a temper our boy had!

Dr Jessica did comment that he was not gaining enough weight though. He now weighs in at 9.8kg, and gained only 300g from the previous visit when he was 14 months old. The doctor said he should have gained double that amount by this time. She attributes this to probably Ethan being a lot more active than normal, and she gave us the green light to feed him more.

Another concern was that he is still not able to communicate in actual words with us. According to Dr Jessica, Ethan ought to have known about 30-50 words by now, and although he is able to motion to us when he wants to go out (holds our hand, motions to us, runs to the door and puts his hand on the door), tell us what he wants (points to the raisin boxes when he wants to eat them), and say a few simple words like “Mommy” and “Deh-deh” and babble the rest of it, the reason he has a slight “language problem” could be because he is watching too much TV. TV is considered one-way communication, and the doc advised us to speak to him more (maybe each one speaks in one language only). Actually we are communicating with him, and I am trying to limit his TV intake to shows with two-way communication, like Baby Einstein DVDs, Little Einstein and The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Well, let’s pray his blabbering will result in actual words soon :)

We have another appointment in a month’s time. Let’s see what his progress is then.

Of course, the next day after the doc’s appointment, we went shopping at Queensbay Mall again :) Here’s a look at our precious Ethan Boy: all of 1.5 years!

The third day of our Singapore trip itinerary was initially planned as a half-day shopping experience in Orchard Road followed by a visit to the Singapore Night Safari at night.  However, because we were tired out after our zoo adventure, we decided to forgo the Night Safari for now, because of the distance we had to travel and also because of …. ahem…. slight fatigue. :P  Well actually the main reason was because we felt our Ethan Boy would be uncomfortable travelling that long distance at night, especially since we anticipated that we would leave the night safari at about 11pm, at the very earliest.

So Day 3 was to be a *rather* relaxing day for us.  Or so we thought….

After breakfast, we took the MRT to the Orchard Rd station.  Ethan was beginning to get used to the MRT now and was not as fidgety as before.  In Singapore, we were offered seats on the MRT almost immediately upon entering the subway because we had Ethan along.  And I was very impressed by this.  Ethan however preferred to be carried by Pete while standing.  Here he is, *in action*…

It only took us less than 20 minutes to arrive in Orchard Rd despite having to switch MRT lines at Dhoby Gaut.  We walked around Wisma Atria for a while before meeting Aunty Susan and Uncle Edward there.  It had been a while since they had seen Ethan and so they were amazed at how much he had grown.  They brought us to Newton Food Center where we tarpowed lunch consisting of Singapore Laksa, Duck Rice and a supposedly popular Singaporean dessert called tau-swan

 

I later learnt that tau-swan is made from the green beans used to make ang-koo, and is cooked in sweet syrup and served with ewe-char-koay.  Oh yes, it is as yummy as it sounds.  We had our packed lunch at Uncle Edward’s son’s house, where we got to say hi to Christina and her 6-month-old son Lucas.  I didn’t manage to take any photos because I was so hungry!

Well, Ethan made himself comfy in Christina’s house almost immediately.  He had fallen asleep when we arrived so I put him in a toddler chair, which was something like the one he had.  And when he woke up and had had lunch, he discovered that there were many similar toys in the house that he was accustomed to.  Of course he had to climb the stairs as well - how could he miss that!

Uncle Edward then dropped us off at Paragon Shopping Mall in Orchard Rd after lunch, where we hung out and walked around, navigating the surrounding malls, like Tangs and Takashimaya.  It was hard work with Ethan insisting every now and then that he wanted a ride on the escalators or just to roam around, but thankfully we managed!

I had a chance to check out the breastfeeding facilities too.  The nursing room in Paragon was okay, but was nothing compared to the one in Takashimaya.  In Takashimaya, the nursing room consisted of 7-8 changing stations, 2 high chairs for feeding, hot water, a sink and a separate breastfeeding room where men were strictly NOT allowed.  Of course, there was a comfortable waiting couch prepared for the daddies too :)

Finally it was time for dinner and we settled on a cosy restaurant in the Food Cellar in Paragon called My Mum’s Cuisine, which served tasty food that tasted like homecooked food.  We ordered Assam Fish (Siakap fish deep fried and delectably prepared with tamarind sauce), Oyster Omelette and Spinach with Mushrooms. 

 

And Ethan enjoyed every bit of it.  Yup, amazingly, even the sourish tasting fish.  In fact, I think he finished about half a bowl of rice that night!

On the way back to the MRT we stumbled on a beautiful aquarium in Wisma Atria.  Ethan got all excited again and looked eagerly at the fishies swimming around.  Boy was he gonna love the Underwaterworld!  Maybe this could serve as a preview for the adventure the following day? *wink*

So our shopping day in Orchard ended on a definite high.  We didn’t shop till we dropped, but we certainly had tons of fun!  And oh by the way, Mommy also managed to squeeze in a quick purchase at Forever 21, just in the nick of time! :)

 

August 2007
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