April 2008

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Scrap Credits
Rainy Day Sunday add-on kit from Amy Bleser
Sundance cardboard from designs by krista
Pondlife Alphas from Joanna Cinnamon

Stamp cluster 4 from Lindsay Jane Designs
Ilétait une foi star elements from Petit Moineaux
Star doodle: Doodle Me Big from Mikkel Paige Original

You are my shining star,
the light of my life…
The world can be so dark and gloomy but when you smile, everything is pure sunshine again.
When you giggle, I just want to shout out from the rooftops how much I love you, just for being you.

You are my shining star,
glowing brightly every day in my heart.
You fill my life with so much joy, just by doing little itty bitty things like hugging my leg and never letting go, and then planting a kiss to say you love me so. You hold on ever so tightly to Daddy’s leg, never letting go until he hobbles with you into the elevator.

I love the way you react to the “Otak burung unta lagi kechik daripada matanya” statement. It’s so adorable the way you place your hands on top of your eyes, emulating the little girl in the advert on TV.

I love the way you kick and throw the ball, with such passion, that can only be inherent in the soul of a footballer. Oh, you do slam dunks too, by the way..so perhaps you aspire to be a future NBA MVP too?

All the beautiful colors of the rainbow cannot ever surpass the colorful way you have brightened our lives with everything you do. From the simple little things like cuddling up to sleep with Mommy on the sofa to the not-so-little ones like clasping your hands in prayer position and wishing everyone in church “peace” when the appropriate time came for you to do that…, you really inject such happiness and sincerity into the things you do. You can almost see Mommy beaming with pride and adoration just noticing all the parishioners in church gesturing at how adorable you look doing so. :)

You have an absolutely delightful sense of humor and you can laugh at yourself in videos I have captured of you. Sometimes you clap in joy too, and you know, you definitely have a great sense of musical rhythm because you can dance and clap to your favorite Barney songs. Someday I know you will sing along too, yeah? Maybe you watch too much TV and DVDs, but you just make us so happy when you prance around, enjoying the music.

You are growing up so fast now. Sometimes you get too naughty and daring for your own good, and Mommy and Daddy will need to step in and reprimand you. But bear in mind that this is all done with LOVE. Regardless, you will always be our darling little boy and our bright, glowing, shining star.

And we will love you forever and always.

Our Ethan boy is becoming more and more adamant in establishing his independence, and is more often than not very persistent and determined in doing so.

Take last night, for example.  After I showered him, I took him into our room to give him his feed of milk while I diapered him.  This is a routine that Ethan absolutely loves, because he gets to drink his full 6-7oz of milk while being serenaded by Mommy’s rendition of nursery rhymes or whatever songs that creep into my head at that moment.  After he finished his milk, I wanted to put his pj top on, but he refused.  He scrambled down from the bed and asked me to take him outside instead.

So okay la, I took him out and figured I could put his shirt on for him while he was busy playing with his toys or watching TV.  How wrong I was!  A chase around our home ensued.  I tried enticing him with various pj tops, but he just wanted to run around in the buff, … well, save for the fitted diaper he had on, of course.

So I decided to (but of course) snap a few pictures while waiting for the opportune moment to put the shirt on him la.

Finally after a while, and after some kicking, screaming and protesting, a tired and exhausted Mommy finally managed to dress him up.  And Ethan happily patted his tummy after that.  He does look happy, doesn’t he?


Scrap Credits
Sundance kit from designs by krista
Photo split from Maria Lafrance
Heart doodles from fei-fei’s stuff
HoldEmUps from Tara Dunstan
Alpha Black from Digiscrap.ch

The weekly sessions at The Learning Garden are indeed doing Ethan a lot of good. Before we enrolled him in the class, he was rather afraid of strangers. When well-meaning friends, relatives and strangers approached him with a smile to say hi, he would flinch, scream loudly and sometimes whack either Pete or me on the head, arm or wherever his hands hit. It was worse in the confined spaces of the lift. He would be happily blabbering away but when someone enters the lift, he would cower in fear or ask for either one of us (Daddy or Mommy) to carry him. When he was a few months’ old, he was all right with strangers, but as he grew older, it was apparent that he wasn’t getting as sociable as we would like him to be.

But now after just two or three Learning Garden sessions, we can see that his confidence has skyrocketed.

He now willingly smiles at people who say hi to him. Those that he may not like at first glance, he will just ignore, but he won’t shout loudly. He even waves hi and buhbye sometimes.

On occasion, he gets over-friendly though. Like the other day when we were having dinner at Chili’s with some friends. Ethan wandered away on his own after finishing his hot dog. He saw a girl about 5 years old and went close to her and he started giggling. The girl ran away to sit on the opposite site of the square stone bench, hoping Ethan would not be able to find her. But Ethan followed her and sat next to her. So she ran away to her Mom a few meters away. Our boy ran after her, which prompted her to scream, “Mommy!!!”

Then just the other Sunday, Ethan got restless in church, so I took him out to the garden for a stroll. There were 2 other toddlers there (brother and sister). The boy was about 3 years old, I think. Ethan went close to him and put his nose to his shirt, as if smelling him! Then when the 2 toddlers went to sit on the swing, Ethan walked over, climbed atop the swing and sat in between them, smiling happily.

When we eat out at restaurants, he is also becoming increasingly independently inquisitive. Take Noodle Station, for example. He used to sit quietly in his high chair and eat his noodles, but now he likes to roam around the restaurant, sometimes barefooted. He would even *visit* the tables of other patrons, going close to their tables and smiling at the people there. He also will climb onto the sofa monkey-style and if the tables of other patrons have kids or toddlers, he would giggle at them and attempt to make friends. He does prefer kids that are older than him though.

As you can see, his newfound social skills make it a daunting task for us to run after him nowadays. So do you think his shyness has made way for a different “problem” now?

 


Scrap Credits
Odds ‘n’ Ends Seven preview kit from Pam Lefors Designs
Crumpled border from Jess Gordon
Elegant word art (Wonderful Memories) from Bethany
HoldEmUps from Tara Dunstan
Boxed words from Chantal

Last night, on our way back from our family dinner at Queensbay Mall, Ethan got restless in his seat. Maybe he was a little bit tired and sleepy, but he kept on throwing my hand towards my handbag, and I knew it was cos he wanted to view videos I had captured of him with my phone. Oh yeah, the reason I was sitting with him in the backseat was because I had to make sure he didn’t accidentally call overseas with my phone. You see, we had to distract him with my phone while strapping him in the car seat. Nowadays, he prefers to climb into the backseat on his own and would then prop himself jubilantly in the back seat. He would then smile and grin for all to see and refuse in his usual strong manner, to get into his own seat. So that’s why we have to resort to these tactics. He’s still way too young for the seat belt adjuster, otherwise I would have gotten one for him…

Anyway, there we were in the back seat and Ethan was fidgety. I didn’t want to give in to his demands and kept telling him we were already nearing our home. He just wouldn’t listen. Then I suddenly started singing. I think I sang a repertoire of songs; the ABC song, One Two Buckle My Shoe, London Bridge and Head & Shoulders (the latter two are the same tune). He usually claps his hands when I am done, but this time, he clapped his hands and after that reached his hand over to my neck, pulled me close and gave me a sweet, loving kiss right there on my cheek :) He will kiss me whenever I ask him to give Mommy a hug or kiss, but this time it was the spontaneity of it that caught me off guard.  Nobody had asked him to do it, and he did it out of his own accord…

I didn’t wash that part of my cheek that night…just kidding.

I won I won I won!!!!

Well, not quite the lottery, but something special and luxurious for Ethan. Those of you who have been secretly praying for me to stop getting cloth diapers for him, please stop reading here…but actually I didn’t buy this ma…I got it FREE!!!!
I won a lucky draw contest at the DiapersAsia forum and the prize is one gorgeous Starbunz AIO diaper. There were so many adorable designs to choose from, I had a hard time selecting just one. Finally, I chose the puppy design simply because Ethan was born in the year of the doggie.

I was ecstatic the moment I found out I had won, and even more happy when the diaper came in the mail today, all fluffy and cuddly.
Lookit how gorgeous it is! And don’t you just LURVE the fluffy puppy ears??!!!

It’s supposedly a great diaper for the heavy wetter because it contains two hemp soaker pads, topped with a fleece top to keep moisture away. I can’t wait to try it on Ethan once I’ve washed and dried it.

Thank you Tiny Tapir!


Scrap Credits
Template 18 from Fanette Design
Always Welcome  kit from Kelly Puddy
Life is Good mini kit  from
Amanda Heimann
100% Tampons circles & brackets from [ v.vv ]
HoldEmUps from Tara Dunstan
Handcut paper alphas from Grazieli Niclass

When Ethan attended his first parent-toddler session at The Learning Garden, they provided the kids with biscuits and water.  I noticed that Ethan took a liking to the biscuits immediately.  These biscuits were in the shape of animals and alphabets, and they were just the right size for Ethan to pop into his mouth.  They were the kind I like too, because they were not sweet and don’t crumble easily.  Images of Ethan making a crunbly mess with the pineapple tarts and cornflake cookies send shivers down my spine.

Well, anyway…I have been looking for these little cookies ever since, and finally just the other night when we were in Tesco, I saw them being sold.  Ethan was at his usual wriggly self, so I was thankful that Tesco had some prepacked ones.  I grabbed a packet, which didn’t cost more than RM2 and Ethan was obviously happy when he saw it.

Now I give these to him as his snack.  I like to call it his “happy snack” because it makes him happy every time I give him some.  And well, in a way, we are unashamedly literally putting words into his mouth, in the hope that he will spew forth some more soon :)

Last Saturday I took a picture of Ethan’s work of art in Learning Garden, just because I felt like it. However, when I downloaded the photo last night, I couldn’t help but think how the random splashes of paint he made resembled perhaps something MORE than just that.

To me, it looks like a picture of a lady in a colorful cloak running to the right. I imagine she is running swiftly with the blend of beautiful colors of her garment floating behind her.

I showed Pete the picture last night and he begged to differ. Instead he said it looked like a picture of an animal, like a bird or more specifically a pelican.

Do you see what we see, or something else?

The things a mother would do for her kid. No no……correction…the things that a cloth diaper-addicted mommy would do for her kid.

I was working from home last Friday when my co-worker told me that a diaper package from US had arrived for me in the office. I straightaway knew it was the two fitted diapers I had ordered from Nanipoo sometime back as I had been waiting for its arrival for a little more than a week now. So I decided to brave the rush hour jam on the coastal highway and drove to my office, just to collect the diapers. Can’t imagine leaving them on my desk over the weekend. Besides, I was just too excited to get to those diapers, give them a wash and put them on Ethan. On hindsight, I should have used an alternate less-jammed route.

But anyway, I got those diapers and picked up both boys and headed off to Queensbay Mall where we had a nice family dinner at Friday’s. Ethan was at his absolute best behaviour and was in a jolly good mood. All the servers at Friday’s noticed that too. But somehow the diaper he was wearing suddenly leaked big time. I don’t know if it was the positioning of the diaper, or because Ethan was just too wriggly or perhaps it was because it was left on a little too long. So what to do? Right then and there, I had to remove his shorts and wiped him dry. Then he continued with his chicken spaghetti dinner (I adore the way he feeds himself with his fork), perhaps the sexiest diner there, clad only in his t-shirt and Drybees diaper.

The diaper was wet when we were about to leave the mall and silly me, I didn’t have a spare one available at that time. Suddenly I remembered I had two brand new Nanipoo fitteds in the boot. Since it was just a short trip back home, I decided to just implement a stop-gap measure by just putting the fitted diaper on him and headed back home. I remember I tried on the green camo design, and Ethan looked very happy in it. The diaper was slightly damp when we reached home, thanks to our heavy wetter right there, but it was still a savior.

 

When Daddy came back from India, you bet I was happy!  It had been days that I had not had a bout of wrestling with him, so I was definitely looking forward to that.  No fun wrestling with Mommy ma…always must let her win. :P

Anyway, a couple of days after Daddy came back, he presented me with a surprise: a new toy!  Boy, was I excited!  Upon first glance, it looked similar to the Fridge Phonics toy I got for Christmas last year. Same color scheme and there were also plenty of alphabets.  There was also the very familiar red musical note button that played the alphabet song, only that it was a different singer.

I soon discovered that this toy is called the Word Whammer, and it is a rather advanced version of the first Fridge Phonics set I have.  Che-wah…Daddy thinks I advanced liao…don play play lo…. With this Word Whammer, I can make many many three letter words.  They have also included two alphabets of certain letters, like “d” and “m”, for example, just so I can make “dad” and “mom”.  I haven’t quite figured out how yet though.

Just the other day, while I was playing with my new toy, I made the word “hoi”, which I think is a very Malaysian word.  How many times have you heard or seen people using it?  Ha…..


Scrap Credits
Spring Forward mini kit from Eva Kipler
Netter’s Alphas from Scarlet Heels
100% Tampons apostrophe & brackets from [ v.vv ]
Doodles: Doodle Me Big from Mikkel Paige Originals
Boxed words from Chantal

My dearest darling Ethan boy,

Daddy came back from India last Saturday night. After four nights away from us, you were able to hug him once again. Daddy took the cab home from the airport because he didn’t want Mommy to go to the trouble of fetching you to the airport at night and all. I had been telling you that Daddy will be home soon, and while you were enjoying the videos of yourself on Mommy’s cellphone, our doorbell suddenly rang. You climbed down from the couch, curious more than eager, and followed Mommy to the door. The moment you saw Daddy, I could feel your emotions in your eyes…how much you missed him and you even had to do a double take to make sure it was indeed Daddy. I had to reassure you over and over again that it was Daddy, because at first you didn’t look like you believed me. It had, after all, been days that you had not seen him.

Last Tuesday, while you were still at Ah Poh’s, Mommy fetched Daddy to the airport. He had travelled to India on a short business trip. I asked you not to worry, because he won’t be away for long, and he will be back on Saturday.

Daddy told you the night before he left that he would be away from home for a while and you pretended to ignore him then. But on the morning of the day he was to leave, when he carried you to Ah Poh’s door, said buh-bye and told you to be a good boy while he was away, you grunted and let out a whine of despair. Although I know you still do not know how to express yourself in words, I can feel that you missed him. In fact, we both did miss him a lot, didn’t we, Ethan boy?

Please don’t be angry with Daddy for being away. It was only for a few days anyway and did you see how happy he was to hold you in his arms again? He hasn’t been travelling for a long while now, the last time being when you were about 3 or 4 months’ old. You probably didn’t realize it then. But you have been a good boy, and I can tell in your eyes that you were looking for him for the past few days. You looked ever so confused when you could not find him anywhere at all. Well, he is home now, so you go knock yourself out having fun with him, yeah?

The night that he left, it was just you and me home alone. Daddy had suggested that I have my dinner and my shower first before picking you up, and I thought that was an excellent idea. It allowed me more time to spend with you, without running the risk of being lethargic.

It’s a good thing too that your Ah Ma and Kong Kong from Ipoh were here from the second night onwards. They miss you so much too, you know. I’m so glad you had a lot of fun with them both.

Since Daddy returned, you have made his day with all your giggles and funny antics. The Sunday morning after he came back home, when Daddy woke up, I asked you to give Daddy a good morning hug, and you ran over to him, put your arms around his neck and gave him a kiss on the cheeks. I thought that was simply adorable.

All my love,
Mommy

 
Scrap Credits
April template challenge from Kelly Puddy

Life is Good mini kit from Amanda Heimann
rayoflight solids (black paper) from fei-fei’s stuff
Boxed words from Chantal
Elegant word art (grandparents) (edited) from Bethany
HoldEmUps from Tara Dunstan

Today Mrs Tan had a day off; a day off from caring for Ethan while I was working, cos Ethan’s Ah Ma and Kong Kong from Ipoh are here for a visit in Penang, and they volunteered to look after Ethan for the first time the whole of today.  I was working from home today too but most of the time, I was in the *study room* with the door closed, unless I needed to come out (most of the time, I came out to change the DVD for Ethan if he was watching :P ).

We headed to the nearby mini market in the morning for some quick marketing for tomorrow’s meal and then had a speedy breakfast in the coffee shop.  Ethan was so well-behaved!  He really adores his Ah Ma and Kong Kong and since they arrived, he has been in a really cheerful, happy mood.  Before we headed out for dim sum brunch, Kong Kong even took him for a walk by the poolside.  I hope Ethan’s not too much to handle, knowing how active he can get!

When we came back after brunch at around 1:00p.m., Ethan had already yawned a few times so I knew it won’t be long before he fell asleep.  Hoping he would be able to sleep in Ah Ma’s arms without crying for Mommy despite knowing that I was around, I resumed my work in the study.  I could hear him giggling and laughing intermittently outside as he watched his DVDs, but a few minutes later, there was complete silence.  Well well, whaddya know, that fella had drifted off to dreamland!  I moved him to the bed and he slept for a complete two hours straight!

He woke up smiling and downed about 3 oz of milk, then he hung out with his grandparents till dinner time.  As usual, we headed for Queensbay Mall to have our dinner (and also for Ethan to expend his energy of course!).  Dinner was a delicious and scrumptious meal at Friday’s, and then while my Mom and I shopped for a few grocery items, Ethan pulled his Kong Kong by the hand here and there and everywhere.

Ethan had a very enjoyable day today.  The weekend started early for him this week, that’s for sure.  I’m sure he made both Ah Ma and Kong Kong very very happy too, as much as they have made him.  Sweet dreams, my darling Ethan boy.


Scrap Credits
XOXO template V2,  rayoflight prints and solids & aking hardin alphas, all from fei-fei’s stuff

It all started one day when I decided to get my hair done.  I checked with the salon and my hairdresser told me that a haircut and treatment would take approximately an hour and a half.  It was impossible to ask Ethan to wait around for me for that long a time, so I very sweetly requested Pete to take Ethan for some male bonding time at the mall, while I had some me-time.

And Pete told me that ever since that outing, Ethan has taken a fancy to the flowing water decorations on display at a particular shop in the mall.  Ethan has never noticed these before.  You know what I am referring to?  Yup, those electrically operated pieces of decoration, some with rotating lighted balls, some with mini waterfalls and pretty rocks.  Now, each time we pass this shop that sells them, Ethan would stop and stare, without fail.

I wonder what’s going through his mind when he looks and giggles at these pieces of decorations.  Wait ah Ethan….when we move to a house, we can ask Daddy to get you one, okay?


 Scrap Credits
Serie bleu kit from happy-scrap
Happy Easter freebie Alphas from Kate Hadfield

Some children like sweets.

Some children like cakes and cookies.

And yet, some children would do anything for chocolates.

But my boy…?  Give him a bowl of thab tim krob anytime!  Could it be hereditary?


Scrap Credits
Spring Romantic bonus from Doreen Stolz
Feb 29th blog freebie paper and alphas from miss SCRAP
Handcut paper alphas from Grazieli Niclass
Joy word art from fei-fei’s stuff

Weight

I put him on the weighing machine at home and the scale showed 11 kilos.  Can it be trusted?

Height

Getting taller and taller - can reach the bottom-most buttons in our condominium’s elevator now…if he stands on tip-toe

Teeth

Sixteen: 8 incisors, 2 canines (upper), 4 pramolars (2 upper and 2 lower) and 2 molars (bottom).  Salivating a lot recently, perhaps a sign of more pearly whites to come?

Motor Skills

  • In addition to walking on his tippytoes, he has taken a liking to walking on his heels too.  And no, it’s not cos I have not mopped the floor often enough.
  • Running up and down slopalators and escalators on his own.  Don’t try to stop him, because keeping him back might cause him to fall.
  • Can operate a DVD player on his own.  He can take the DVD from the case, hold it (sometimes he puts his finger through that little hole in the DVD), puts it into the DVD player.  He has also observed that some DVDs I usually put into our Sony player and some rather scratchy ones I put into the Pioneer player, and he will insist on putting the right DVDs into the respective players.
  • Stomping around loudly.

Communication and Social Skills

  • New words:

    • Ball (says this very well, and knows the meaning of it too. He amazed me when he repeated the word while watching the VCD I borrowed from Samuel’s mommy.  I had played it before a couple of times but he wasn’t interested.  Then about 2 days ago, I took the VCD and packed it into my bag.  As usual, our inquisitive boy demanded to watch it, and soon he was repeating some of the words from the video!  Of course, I promptly made a copy of the video before returning it) - now he says “ball” every time he sees a ball.  It is music to our ears!

    • Train (from the same video, but inconsistent)

    • Baby (also from the same video, also inconsistent)

    • Cut Cut (we don’t know what this means yet)

    • Eh-ta-ta! (escalator) - He would say it every time I show him the video of him walking up and down the slopalator and escalator.

  • Likes to watch himself in action on video.  He normally requests me to play videos I have captured of him with my Nokia N73 and then he would laugh and giggle in glee.

Food and Feeding

Getting more and more demanding in exhibiting his independence.  Prefers to feed himself, never mind the mess he makes.  Can handle and feed himself buns and biscuits.  His manipulation of the spoon has improved too, and he will be very pleased when we praise him for a job well done.  Still don’t know if he is a leftie or rightie though, because he appears to be able to handle both hands rather well.  Loves to hold the knife AND fork though.

 

Toilet Training

Not completely toilet-trained for big business yet, but getting there.  His favorite *spot* for big business is at Pete’s side of the bed, near the curtains.  Whenever Ethan goes and stands there quietly (sometimes with straining sounds), I will quickly take him to sit on his throne.  He does his business almost every morning without fail :)

 

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