Celebrations

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Credits
Elegant word art (new beginnings) from Bethany

With the birth of baby Hannah, I am moving this blog to a brand new site: Little Miracles.  It will contain all the previous posts and of course, upcoming ones in the near future too.

Please update and redirect your feeds appropriately. :)


Credits
Elegant word art (smile sister) from Bethany

Monday March 2 2009 was a historical day for Ethan because it was then that he was elevated to Big Brother status. :)

Mommy gave birth to baby Hannah at 2:17p.m. and at the same time, presented Ethan with an added responsibility.

I had to stay in the hospital for that night, and Pete had to single-handedly care for Ethan.  It also marked the first time ever that I had ever been away from Ethan at all.  My fears were unfounded, of course, because when I called home that night, Ethan sounded very cheerful.  Pete assured me that everything would be well taken care of, and it certainly was!

Ethan only came to visit me and his sister the following evening, right before Hannah and I were discharged.  I was very happy to see Ethan and likewise, I think he was happy too! :)

I had brought along a photo of him to place by my bedside, just to let him know that I was thinking of him.  And of course, he noticed it and grinned happily when he saw it.

 

I am very glad to be home now, and I hope Ethan is as excited to be a big brother as I am about embarking on a new chapter in our lives.

Last Saturday (Valentine’s Day), after lunch, we decided to take a drive to Monterey Bay. It was an hour and a half away, and although the weather was yoyoing between rainy drizzly, and sunshiny, we decided to go anyway. Pete had been to Monterey before, but Ethan and I had not.

Ethan, as usual, fell asleep almost immediately while we were driving on the freeway, and only awoke when we arrived at Monterey Bay.  The place was jampacked, and it took us quite some time before we found a parking spot by the side of the road.

 

Ethan, in his just-woken-up state, of course wanted to be carried, and refused to walk on his own.

 

Monterey Bay is a very picturesque place, and the streets were filled with shops bearing familiar names like Ghirardelli, Thomas Kinkade and Nestle Tollhouse, among others.  There were also little stalls serving clam chowder samples in small cups to passers-by. Of course we couldn’t resist trying them! :)

 

The view by the sea was simply breathtaking!  Ethan was also fascinated by the telescope but it was way too heavy for him to handle anyway!

We didn’t go into the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but we did walk along the exterior part of it.  It had wooden benches on wooden platforms overlooking the sea.  Our boy had the time of his life, making rhythmic sounds on the wooden platforms with his tapping feet and oohing and aaahing at the waves below.

 

We could tell that Ethan was intrigued by the beach and the waves and the seagulls, and it wasn’t long before he pointed and said, “I wanna go down there!”

Believe it or not, it was Ethan’s first time ever at the beach, looking at the waves coming into shore.  Look at him displaying his excitement!  He laughed out loud every time the waves came in and didn’t seem at all afraid! :)

(Note to self:  need to take Ethan to the beach when we get back to Penang!)

 

While we were walking back to our car, we passed by the Ghirardelli chocolate shop, and I noticed every one was eating a piece of chocolate as they walked out of the store.  Curious, we walked in, and the sales person was indeed handing out samples!  We each got a piece of milk chocolate with peanut butter filling chocolate square - Ethan got a piece too!  

Ethan was never much of a sweet tooth, and I thought Ethan would take one bite and pass the rest of the chocolate to me, but I was dead wrong :P

He bit off piece by piece till he was all done!  Psst….that’s the first time he has had peanut butter… (peanuts are still off limits!)

 

It was definitely an enjoyable time for all of us, for Valentine’s is all about spending it with the people you love…

Credits
Elegant word art (every time you smile) from
Bethany
Mag-papier5 from Freebie Janvier  - Partie 5 kit from Scrapmalin

 
Scrap Credits
Chocolate Dipped QP from Amy W. Designs 2009
Magnetic Poetry pieces from Digi-Designs by Nicole
Hearts! freebie from Andrea
Elegant word art (love is in the air 5) from Bethany

I received an early Valentine from a special guy today…and it’s not Pete! :P

Well, to be fair, the Valentine was *for* Pete too! LOL

Today, when I picked Ethan up from daycare, he was very excited about the “heart” he had made, and wanted to hold on to it all the way to the car.  It was the first time he presented us with a Valentine card and he was really happy when I told him how beautiful it was! :)

Most importantly, it was a Valentine that was given from the heart…

Last Saturday, January 31st 2009, was the 3rd anniversary of us celebrating the wondrous miracle that God had blessed us with three years ago.  I look back and wonder at how fast time had flown past us, and how amazingly Ethan has brought immense joy and happiness to us for the past three years.  And once again, as I have always done so, I say a silent prayer to the Lord, just thanking Him for everything…

Ethan woke up that morning in a most cheerful mood indeed.  Obviously memories of his birthday party the evening  before were still fresh in his mind and he spent his morning playing with his balloons and other toys.  We had a superb lunch at one of our favorite Korean-Chinese restaurants, Tong Soon Garden, and we were pleased to see that Ethan had a HUGE appetite!

After lunch, we took a drive up north to Pier 39 in San Francisco.  The weather was beautiful!  Sunny and warm and just nice for a nice stroll along the pier.

 

In fact, the weather was so amazing that we decided to go along with our plan to take the Bay Cruise on one of the ferry boats.

 

Ethan was overwhelmed with the excitement of getting onto a boat, and he certainly didn’t hide it.

 

The ferry boat ride from Pier 39 was also a first for Pete and me.  It was supposed to last 60 minutes, and included a ride around Alcatraz and also under the Golden Gate Bridge.  Of course, additional bonuses included breathtaking views of San Francisco…and seagulls trying their best to catch up with the moving boat!

 

Although the weather was nice and warm, it was VERY windy out in the open seas, but there was a certain sense of freedom that the wind brought.

 

Here’s one of my favorite photos which Pete candidly took…

 

Most of the time it was tough getting Ethan to pose and smile for a nice picture.  He was just too active and wanted to roam around the boat!

 

Then it was time for one of the highlights of the cruise…cruising under the Golden Gate Bridge.  The view was magnificent for we had never seen the bridge from that angle before.

 

Of course, apart from oohing and aahing at the spectacular sight, Ethan found other ways to entertain himself too…

 

…and he insisted that Pete and I imitate what he did! :)

Well, we didn’t go on the cruise that included the Alcatraz tour, but our boat went close enough around the famous island.

 

Ethan definitely enjoyed the entire cruise, and since the sun was out too, he had a chance to try on his new pair of sunnies, our birthday present to him! :)

 

Don’t you think he looks way cool? :)

After the cruise, we took a leisurely stroll to look at the sealions (Ethan imitated the noise they made to the tee!), and then we walked by the many shops and stalls.  But then suddenly Ethan caught sight of the merry-go-round!

 

He had to be accompanied by an adult because he was below the minimum height requirement, but I am sure he enjoyed himself nonetheless!  No more crying and whining, all we saw were smiles and looks of amazement, as he shouted, “Look!  Panda!”, and “Look! Horse!”

Our day out ended with the much craved-for clam chowder at Boudin.  Ethan ate a LOT of my share, and he was even dancing to the romantic jazzy tunes that were being played in Fisherman’s Wharf.  The birthday boy really had the time of his life, and was even reluctant to leave!

 

It was a special day for Ethan and of course, an equally special day for Daddy and Mommy too!  We love you loads, Ethan boy!

For Ethan’s 3rd birthday, we decided to have a small do at his daycare on Friday, the day before his birthday.  After all, all his friends are there and we figured he would have so much more fun that way.

I prepared party favor packs for each of the kids at the daycare, and we chose the (what else?) Mickey Mouse theme.

Inside the party bag, there was a toy spring (Ethan goes “BoinggggkKKK!” when he plays with it), a mini spinning top, a kaleidoscope, an activity sheet and a big sticker for the kids.

I also baked Ethan’s favorite “featherberry muffins” for the party, and we ordered two pizzas too!

Of course we also had some balloons!  Ethan had been asking for “banoons” since early January, and I told him he would get some for his birthday.  And these did not disappoint…. :)

Driving with a dozen helium-filled balloons and a gigantic Mickey Mouse balloon in the back seat of the car was a scary experience, but it was worth the while.

And oh, we certainly didn’t forget the cake!  Here in the US, (surprisingly) it is so hard to find a bakery which does character cakes on the cake itself that was edible.  But we managed to get an adorable Mickey and Minnie cake for Ethan from Safeway.  Although the figurines aren’t edible, we were sure that Ethan would love it, simply because of Mickey and Minnie!

All the kids were excited when they saw the cake, and in order to prevent the cake from being *destroyed*, we decided to do the cake-cutting first.  When we lit the No. 3 candle on the cake, Ethan looked stunned, perhaps a little awestruck?

He looked all of seriousness, and it was as if he was deep in thought.  He still looked so serious when we sang the Happy Birthday song to him, and didn’t even smile when we asked him to….

Still serious when we blowed the candle out….

Still serious when we cut the cake…

…and still deep in thought when we posed for a picture…

Maybe he was just letting it all sink in…..still figuring out how to react to all this “birthday boy” attention he was getting…

And then…he decided to do something!

We all had a fun time at Ethan’s party (pizza was good!), and I am sure Ethan was thoroughly enjoying himself too!

I know for a fact that he was absolutely delighted with the balloons!

And that infectious laugh and happy face never fails to brighten up our day…. at the end of it all, it just makes it all the more worthwhile when he voluntarily exclaimed, “Thank you Daddy!” and “Thank you Mommy!”

Awwwww……..


Scrap Credits
Chinese New Year QP  from Armina Designs
Hearts as One alphas from Snowsmoon’s Designs
Beautiful Rage Floral paper from Scarlet Heels
HoldEmUps from
Tara Dunstan
Polka dotted arrow from
Dúnia
Kit Moka tag from MissVivi

We have been training Ethan to wish “Keong Hee Huat Chye!” since December last year, I think.  We are, after all, Hokkien, so might as well teach him how to say it in Hokkien.  Well, at one point, I *thought* he was attempting to say “Happy New Year”, when I heard him saying, “Happy… you…”, but then when he started adding the clapping, stamping, and shouting “Hooray!” actions, I discovered it was his version of “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands!” :)

Anyway, Ethan started by repeating just the “huat chye” portion enthusiastically.  He would usually complete what I say…when I say, “Keong Hee”, he would chime in and say “huat chye!”

Then he started saying the whole phrase, and the way he said it was just too cute!

But just a few weeks ago, when we prompted him to say it, he would smile and say, “No..!”  And no matter what we said or did, he won’t say even the “huat chye” part.

Then this morning, I asked him again, and he said, “huat chye!”  Hehe….

Happy New Year and Keong Hee Huat Chye to everyone!

**Updated at 11:11p.m.: When Daddy and Mommy gave Ethan his angpows this evening, he said “Keong Hee Huat Chye!” :)

Pete and I had a special surprise in the form of a Christmas present for Ethan, but we did not bring it along on our trip.  So the morning after we reached home, after he had showered and got dressed, we told him we had a surprise for him, that we were giving him a present.

Boy, if you could only see his face light up, as he smiled and said, “Present!”

 

And then as he tore the wrapper bit by bit, his anticipation and curiosity became joy and happiness as he discovered that he was gonna have a new toy: a 71-piece Lego-Duplo set!  He immediately started playing with it (and so did his Daddy!), and before long Ethan was already building stuff!

 

Check out that giraffe structure, which he did all on his own!

 

Now he would tell us, “I built a house!” and show us his very colorful house which is usually the tallest tower he can construct… or he would build a truck, or an airplane…oh ooops…sorry…the airplane was built by Daddy for Ethan!

It’s definitely THE perfect gift for Ethan to hone his creativity and imagination, and next up, we are eyeing the expansion pack…heh…cuz frankly 71 pieces ain’t enough to go around! :D

On Friday evening before we started our Christmas vacation, Ethan came back from daycare with a beautiful work of art.  Well, beautiful in my eyes, I would say.

 

According to Van, he had made the red Christmas stocking all on his own, with her instructions, and he had stuck all the stars, deco and cotton by himself.  Now what’s a mother to do other than to proudly display it on the fridge? :)

The artwork on the right was also made by Ethan a few days earlier, using popcorn as snow.

 
Scrap Credits
“QuickPage Glam Xmas” from Fanette
White Christmas mini kit  from Southern Creek Designs
Snowflakes from Misfits Scrapz
Christmas Bling from Lindsay Jane Designs

We’re back home now from our one-week vacation, and I am so proud of Ethan for he behaved himself rather well throughout the trip.  He has learnt so much and gained so much from our trip, and I am sure the memories will stay with him forever.

This year would be the first time ever we were kinda celebrating Halloween.  Back in Malaysia, Halloween is never celebrated on a large scale, but over here in the US, everyone goes all out getting themselves garbed in costumes, carving pumpkins, and getting candies and treats ready for the kids.

I didn’t want Ethan to miss out on this opportunity too, but unfortunately, on the eve of Halloween, we still had not found a suitable costume for Ethan.  He adores Mickey Mouse and bear masks, so we thought of getting him a costume along those lines, but nothing we saw caught our fancy.  Well, in the end, it was thanks to Vien who offered to loan me Belle’s kangaroo costume from last Halloween.  And I promptly made arrangements to collect the costume from Jon on Halloween afternoon itself.  Thanks Vien, you’re a lifesaver!

At his daycare that day, there was also a birthday celebration for Van’s daughter Venice, who turns 3 the following day.  The plan was to go trick-or-treatin’ after the party, so I brought along the kangaroo costume for Ethan when I left for the daycare.  I arrived for the party a little before 4:00p.m. and there were already lots of balloons floating all over the ceiling.  Guess who was the happiest?

 

Ethan calls balloons “booboo”, so he was “booboo”ing all over when I arrived.

We had pizza, apple pie, grape juice, crackers and snacks for the party.  Ethan, however, only took a small miserable bite of the pizza slice, preferring instead to munch on cheese slices.

 

When the time came for cake-cutting, Venice put on her princess gown, complete with a crown.  Incidentally, that’s what she would be dressed up as for Halloween.  I also put Ethan in the kangaroo suit, which fit him perfectly!  However, he wasn’t too keen on putting the hood over his head though.

 

Ethan was so excited when the time came to sing the birthday song and especially when it was time to blow the candle.  He kept pointing at the number THREE candle, and exclaimed, “Three!”

 

When cake was served, I wisely decided to remove his costume top, just in case he made a mess with all the cake frosting.  And I am really glad I did what I did.  Not only did Ethan enjoy the chocolate cake tremendously, his shirt front had patches of icing on it too!  I was actually surprised that Ethan ate the cake because normally, he doesn’t like cake.  It must have been cos he saw all the other kids eating too!

 

After that we all went to some nearby neighbors’ houses for trick-or-treatin’.  Most of the folks could not guess correctly what Ethan was dressed up as.  Some of the guesses were a rabbit, a bear and a dinosaur.  But one thing’s certain.  Ethan had a LOT of fun trick-or-treatin’.  I think he’s really happy with his LOOT, which he put in the little Mickey Mouse paper bag I picked out for him :)

 

What an utterly grand experience it must have been for him!  We both went back home to our apartment after that to wait for Daddy to have dinner.  While waiting I managed to take a nice picture of him in his costume:

 

And when Pete came home, we tried our best to take a shot of him with the hood on:

 

Don’t you think Ethan looks adorable ?

Weekend with Gramps

Grandparents’ Day this year falls on September 7, so we decided to make a trip back to Ipoh and Taiping, so that Ethan’s grandparents can dote on him.  And boy, did he enjoy himself!

We noticed that Ethan is becoming more and more at ease with his grandparents now, and it didn’t take him too long to get comfy; snuggling up with Kong Kong in Ipoh, sitting on the swing with Ah Mah in Taiping.  Of course, the grandpas and grandmas were thrilled to no end when Ethan started reciting his alphabets and numbers confidently too!

Ah Ma from Ipoh even presented Ethan with a little new toy: a fish lantern that moves about on the floor singing the song “Row row row your boat, gently down the stream…merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream” incessantly.  We took it back home to Penang with us, and it puts a smile on Ethan’s face whenever he plays with it.

I think the battery will run out soon.

Since we found out we were expecting a second baby, I’ve been trying to break the news to Ethan, however gently as possible.  But so far, his responses have ranged from ignorance to him trying to change the topic (either purposely or coincidentally) and sometimes just pushing me away.  We are still exploring ways to tell him and get him prepared, but I can foresee it will be a long, arduous task.

For me, though, the experience of being with child has brought about many familiar emotions, and especially, I have been recollecting the joys (and pains) of that memorable day when I gave birth to Ethan.  And since I have not journalled this tale, I figured this would be a good time to do it.  So here’s a blast from the past….

***

It was the day before Chinese New Year 2006.  Pete and I were getting ready to leave for Taiping to kickstart the Chinese New Year festivities by having our reunion dinner.  At that time, I had about two and a half weeks to go in my pregnancy before reaching my due date (i.e. I was 37.5 weeks along).  Although I was very pregnant then, I still had the time to prepare a little something to take for dinner.  I remember the dish I had prepared was stuffed chicken wings.  Amid all our preparations and packing that Saturday morning, I suddenly discovered that I had the “show”.  The day before we had gone to see my ob-gyn and he said that if I had any of the three symptoms of labor (the “show”, water bag burst or contractions), that I should come back to Penang no matter where I was.

Well. I checked my books and it told me that the baby could come any time from 4-10 days after the show, so I told Pete that it was okay, we could still go.  I wanted to enjoy the reunion dinner anyway, and there were no contractions then anyhow.  So off we went to Taiping.

I was still bleeding but very slightly only and I felt no contractions.  Well actually, at that time, I didn’t even know what a contraction felt like because I had no prior experience.  My girlfriends told me it feels like period pain but way more painful.  Thing is, I don’t have period pains, so there was no way for me to tell.

Then in the evening, I felt as if my water bag had burst (again, I didn’t know what that felt like, but it was what I suspected).  We then made plans to return to Penang the next day, i.e. on the first day of Chinese New Year itself.  Still, I could not feel any contractions, and was still going about my usual business like normal.  People even thought it was a false alarm.

The first few contractions, mild ones, that is, came in the night.  They gripped my abdomen, at first gently, then persistently getting more painful.  Still, they were bearable, but we thought it in our best interest to go back to Penang straight after breakfast.  So there went our plans of spending Chinese New Year in my hometown in Ipoh :(

My parents, my brother and SIL, who were in Alor Star at that time, came straight to Penang to see how I was.  Naturally, everyone was anxious that baby could come at any time.  But although the pain came and went, the contractions were not regular.  Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, I called up Gleneagles Medical Center, and the midwife advised that I come in for a checkup, just in case the water bag had burst, which would mean I had to be admitted immediately.

So I took a shower and packed everything up and headed for hospital.  My Mom was with me at that time, with Pete being the designated driver.  I was even wheeled into the maternity ward, but all that hooha ended when the nurse told me that I wasn’t dilated yet.  My water bag was still intact, and when she called my ob-gyn, he said to ask me to go home and rest first.  And she even said that if I could still smile and talk the way I was talking, it was still a long way to go before the baby came.

So we went home.

The next day, my parents, my brother and SIL left Penang, and my PILs came to visit instead.  They only stayed for a while, and even then they thought it was a false alarm, until my MIL saw the look of suffering on my face when the contractions came.  After my PILs left, I told Pete that we have to go to the hospital, because the contractions were getting closer and closer then.

So we packed up again and left.  That was the afternoon of the 2nd day of Chinese New Year.

But I was still not dilated.  I told the nurse that the contractions were really painful now, more than ever before.  She called my ob-gyn again (who must have been enjoying his CNY at that time), and he said it was up to me whether I want to be admitted or not.

I made the decision to go back home to rest, since I was not dilated yet anyway.

That night, the contractions were fiercely attacking me non-stop.  I couldn’t sleep at all, and finally at about 5:30a.m., I told Pete that we definitely HAVE to go to the hospital.  I had a hot mug of milo, took a shower amid the contractions and slowly got dressed in between contractions.  I didn’t time them then.  All I know was that they were painful and very close to each other.

On the way to the hospital, Pete joked that this had better be it, because it was getting rather embarrassing how many trips we were making to the hospital and back.

When we reached the hospital, they wheeled me into the maternity ward and when the nurse checked me, my water bag broke spontaneously!  She told me I was ready to be admitted into the labor room, as I was 2cm dilated then.  And I will never forget her telling me that she could even feel baby’s hair then :)

Pete went downstairs to complete the admission procedures while the nurse took the necessary information from me.  I gave her a copy of my birth plan, just in case my ob-gyn didn’t pass it to her, but she said she already had a copy.  She asked if I was gonna breastfeed, and I said, “Yes, exclusively.”

They provided breakfast, which I gobbled up happily, but slowly.  Painful contractions did not stop me from enjoying the food.

I was then wheeled into the labor room at about 9:30a.m.  Off and on, either the nurse or my ob-gyn would come in to check my dilation.  It was progressing, but not as fast as expected.

At close to noon, I told Pete to go grab some lunch, and he told me later on that he went to have nasi kandar at Gurney Tower, just diagonally across the road from GMC.  I also had lunch provided, but I only ate very little.

After lunch, my ob-gyn checked me and told me I was only dilated 4cm.  Since my water bag had burst, the dilation was going a little too slowly, and in order to prevent risk of infection to the baby, he advised me to go on drip.  Because he knew I was opposed to induction, he explained that the drip is not considered a form of induction in my case, because I already had all three of the labor signs, i.e. the show, the water bag bursting and the contractions.  So the drip would only be a medical move in the interest of the baby’s wellbeing.

Pete and I agreed then.  And when the drip was administered, the contractions suddenly became stronger and stronger by the minute.  I had a really good midwife, and she understood perfectly what I was going through.  She even provided pointers to aid the baby to enter the birth canal.

I remember it was about 2:30p.m. when the nurse checked me and announced that I was already close to 10cm dilated, maybe about 8cm, way faster than they had expected.  Then I heard her saying she would call the doctor.  I was already in a lot of pain then.  The only pain relief I had was the laughing gas.

It was 3:00p.m., I was checked and I was 10cm dilated but no doctor in sight yet.  Pete told me that the nurse said the doctor was stuck in a traffic jam!

Well according to Pete, this was when I started scolding everyone in the room.  In my defence, I was ready to push and you tell me to “hold it in because doctor was on his way’????
How can?

Anyway, the doctor finally arrived, and in true professional manner, he skillfully made the episiotomy cut and told me to push when the next contraction came.  And it came alright…together with the urge to bear down (like when we are doing our big business), and I just completely let go.

That’s when I felt a gush of water leave my body, and I heard my doctor go, “Very good, one more push…”  Pete told me later that the first push produced the head and one arm.

We waited for the next contraction, I used the same method, pushed and then it was all over.  And then I heard Ethan cry for the very first time in my life.  Those strong wails, bursting with energy that filled the entire labor room after the ordeal I went through.

I heard my doctor telling me to relax now, and that he was just gonna deliver the placenta and clean me up after that.  I was really shivering and a concerned Pete asked the nurse if it was normal, to which she assured him it was because of the amount of energy I was expending.

 

As soon as Ethan was cleaned up, they brought him to me like I had requested, so that I could breastfeed him.  Unfortunately though, that fella was too busy getting comfy, he didn’t wanna suckle then.

The nurse said Ethan was a rather TALL baby, at 49cm, although he was only a mere 2.5 kilos at birth.

 

And if he didn’t want to suckle immediately after birth, he was definitely the pro at it because as soon as I reached my room, I was summoned to the nursery for a breastfeeding session. And that began my two-year breastfeeding journey with Ethan.

Ethan was born on Tuesday, January 31 2006, on the 3rd day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, making him eligible for angpows too.  That smart kid :P

 


Credits: Elegant word art (Special Dad) from
Bethany

Ain’t this a sweet shot? I took it candidly last Friday when we were having dinner at Nando’s. Pete always washes Ethan’s hands for him, complete with dragging a chair for Ethan to stand on, and indulging in some minor water play. I could hear Ethan giggling away as I snapped this photo, and I thought it was a nice photo to start off the Father’s Day weekend.

Happy Daddy’s Day to Pete!!!

Last weekend, I only had time to do a very speedy marketing at Jusco, so I decided to cook only for Ethan (Mommy and Daddy can starve…hehehe). Besides, I wanted to experiment on a few dishes, just so I could vary his diet. I was also eager to *train* Ethan to eat his meat and vegetables. He has no problems eating his carbs (rice is his favorite), but he won’t take pieces of chicken, etc, unless I cut it up finely. His protein source is mainly the siew mais he eats and oh…the sausages I steam for him.

So Saturday morning saw me preparing a mini meal for Ethan, consisting of pumpkin rice, steamed cod fish and chicken soup with bottle gourd. He didn’t take much for his breakfast, so I thought of giving him this meal for brunch, right before his Learning Garden session.

But he rejected it. :(

I tried the food, and it was seriously quite tasty what…

Anyway, I packed some of the pumpkin rice with a piece of cod fish in his bag. We headed for Nyonya Breeze for lunch after his class, and when I mixed the tau ewe bak sauce with his rice, Ethan walloped the entire helping! He even had some of my rice when he was done.

Well, at least he took the pumpkin rice…

Sunday morning, I baked some meatloaf balls using the easy-peasy recipe I obtained from allthingspurple, which contained minced pork, pumpkin, baby oats, evaporated milk and some mushroom soup mix.  The recipe was for a meatloaf, but I modified it into meatloaf balls, or cutlets, figuring it would be easier for Ethan to eat them that way.  Unfortunately, I left them in the oven a tad longer than I should, so although the insides were ok, the outer layer was slightly burnt.

And Ethan would have none of it. Not even after I demonstrated how it should be eaten. And not even after I gave him some with his siew mai. He would only eat his siew mai and rejected the meatloaf balls I made. SIGH…maybe I’ll make some non-burnt ones some other day.

For dinner, I whipped up a quick and easy rice broth for Ethan. I made the same soup as Saturday’s (which Pete tasted and approved that it was good), and boiled it with the rice, then I added some cod fish too. It smelled good and tasted great too, but when we presented it to Ethan at Friday’s (yeah, that’s where we went for dinner), he pushed it away without even trying it. On the other hand, he finished 2 grilled sausages, had some of my Chicken & Shrimp Diablo linguine (which was really good, but slightly spicy), and drank our ice lemon tea and strawberry shake.

So…something wrong my cooking, is it?

*** updated with photos of prizes *** 

While waiting for the laundry cycle to complete late last night, I logged in to check my email. That was when I saw a mail from Brenda of Baby Sasha N Mom. I almost fell off my chair when I opened the email because it was an email to inform me that one of Ethan’s photos had been selected as the winner of the recent Cushie Tushies Lil Ambassador Contest!

The judges were the two owners of Cushie Tushies themselves and here’s what they had to say:

These photos are fantastic :D There is nothing better than seeing real lifeshots of Bubs wearing our gorgeous nappies… It makes all of the blood, sweat and tears so worth it… Thanks so much for sending them to us! I am a sucker for the Zoo Mania print and I think Ethan has the pose of a Tiger down perfectly in Ethan so that would have to be my pick for the winner.

Thanks again, Shell

Wow so many cute photos! What gorgeous kids! I have to agree with Shell,though - the photo of Ethan is my winning pick too! It is such a good actionshot and shows off the nappy really well. And what a cheeky grin - I am sure other parents would look at this child and want their kid to look like that:-D Thanks for sending them through Brenda! It is great to see our products in use!

Cheers, Cath

I was beaming all over with pride when I read those words. I mean I know it’s not like I won the lottery or what, but still I was so so happy.

And even better, here’s what my lil ambassador prince won:

1 Cushie Tushies Couture Diaper & 1 pair of BabyLegs

AND….

Ethan will also be featured in the STAR BUY ADVERTS in 4 Parent/Baby Magazines in July & August 2008. So watch this space when I announce which magazines they are gonna be!

Thank you so much, Cushie Tushies and Baby Sasha N Mom! You guys really put a smile on my face today :)

***

Updated June 3 2008

And look what the postman brought yesterday:

Thanks again to Cushie Tushies and Baby Sasha N Mom!  Love love love the minky blue camo couture diaper and the baby blue baby legs that go with it!

Last weekend was a busy busy one for all of us. Pete’s brother, Patrick, got married and so of course, we were rushing here, there and everywhere. I figured instead of boring everyone with a step by step chronicle of events, I’d do a story snippet ala Rinnah, and let the pictures do some of the talking too.

On Friday evening, we headed for Sungai Petani for the dinner reception hosted by the bride’s side. I was working from home that day, and Pete was on leave, so he picked Ethan up from Mrs Tan’s at about 4:00p.m., came back and after freshening up and donning dinner attire, we were on our way. We arrived at the bridge at about 5:00p.m., it was already slightly jammed and drizzling too, but thank goodness, the traffic was moving. On hindsight, we actually made the right decision to leave about 5:00pm and not earlier; my SIL who left Penang for SP at 3:00p.m. only arrived at 5:15p.m. because there was a bad jam on the bridge when she left.

Now, we soon discovered that SP is a town with many many MANY traffic lights and only ONE main road, so although we arrived at the SP (Selatan) exit at about 6:00p.m., we only reached our intended destination at 6:30p.m.ish. All the cars congregated at that one main road and there were non-intelligent traffic lights ALL the way.

This is the very very simple bento set I prepared for Ethan, just in case he got hungry before dinner started, which he did. It’s yummy slices of steamed Italian-flavored sausages, and star-shaped cheese slices. Ethan has just started to say “STAR”, so I figured this was a good shape to make the cheese into.

Here he is enjoying his sausages. That kept him still for a bit. Unfortunately the star-shaped cheese slices had sorta melted into the container, so it wasn’t that appetizing any more.

Ethan sportingly paused for a moment whilst eating to pose with Mommy and Daddy for a family shot too!

And when he was all nicely fed and full of energy, Ethan wandered to the nearby stage to make sure everything was all right. Here he is, being mighty intrigued with the screen that was projecting my BIL’s wedding studio photos. I can’t tell if Ethan was fascinated by the photos being displayed on the screen or the fact that he was creating all the shadows. And when the entertainer danced and sang on stage, Ethan would perform his own personal brand of dancing too. You can imagine how tired Pete and I was, having had to take turns accompanying him.

And here’s another shot of my little energizer bunny! Just look at how happy he is!

The next day (Saturday), we took Ethan for the church wedding after lunch. Pete had to walk around with him most of the time because I was cantoring for the event. And our boy just would not sit still! After the church ceremony, we drove to Patrick’s house to prepare for Ethan’s *duties*.

While waiting for the bridal car to arrive, Ethan suddenly heard the barking of a dog, and he then realized it came from the golden retriever next door. Here he is standing at the adjoining wall, catching a glimpse of the “daw-dawg”, and of course, being all cheeky about it.

Ethan’s first task was to *open* the door of the bridal car, and as soon as I was told the car was arriving in a few minutes, we put on his shoes and socks and waited. Daddy also had to readjust his tie :grin: Since Ethan cannot yet open the heavy door on his own, Pete carried Ethan and guided him to open the door when the car arrived. And for completing the task successfully, Ethan received an angpow.

As soon as he received the red packet, his good friend the golden barked again, so here’s Ethan posing with his angpow and articulating, “daw-dawg”. :)

After the tea ceremony, Ethan shook hands with his Ah Chek and Ah Chim, and got a second angpow. Then it was time for his second task of the day: the potty punch!

Although Pete and I didn’t have this potty punch tradition during our wedding, I vaguely knew what was supposed to be done. I told Pete to guide Ethan to punch the potty and collect the angpow inside, which was precisely what he did. Pete held Ethan’s had and punched right through. Inside there was an angpow and two oranges. And true to how I raised my boy not to be materialistic, he reached for the oranges! Lawl. So all in all, Ethan got THREE angpows for all his efforts :grin:

No wonder our boy was all tired out after that, and slept for most part of the afternoon. This is a picture of him snoozing away, and also making the sign of “cat” at the same time.

Ethan woke up at about 6:15p.m. and we had to get ready for the cocktail and dinner reception at gHotel at 7:00p.m. Gave him a quick shower and got him dressed. Touched up my own makeup and we were all set to go. I didn’t have any sausages left, so I brought along his ABC biscuits to while his time away while waiting for dinner to start. And for the record, our boy polished clean the entire Tupperware of biscuits.

Ethan enjoyed the prawn crackers served during the cocktail before dinner, in fact he enjoyed them so much, he couldn’t even be bothered to smile while posing with Ah Ma and Kong Kong.

The gHotel captain approached me and asked if I would like some buns for Ethan. Happily, I said yes. And 10 minutes later, these were served. They smelled really good and were warm and nice too. I waited for the buns to cool down a tad and buttered one for Ethan, but unfortunately he had other things on his mind.

This! Look…..he was all excited about the stage again, and had to constantly “check” that all the wiring was set up perfectly well. Climb up, climb down…. and even after he pooped and I changed him, he resumed his exploring antics.

What a night, and what a weekend to remember! Congratulations Pat and Christine!

 

 

 

Last Monday morning, Ethan and I woke up nice and early, and got ourselves ready to go to the airport to fetch Daddy. Daddy had been away in the States for two weeks now, was supposed to be back on Sunday, but because of some flight delay, he only arrived on Monday morning. I had been telling Ethan about Daddy’s return and I could tell he understands. When he woke up on Monday, he looked over to Daddy’s side of the bed and said “Daddy!”

Anyway, off we went to the airport. The last time I took Ethan along to fetch Pete from the airport, Ethan was hardly 2 months’ old. But the last time Ethan stepped foot in the airport was during our Singapore trip last year. Upon arrival, Ethan pulled my hand and headed straight for the escalator, but I told him I wanted to check first if Daddy’s plane had landed…and it had! So I told him we’d only go one round up the escalator and down the stairs, but because Pete had to wait a long time for his luggage, I had to take the restless Ethan up and down a second time.

When at last Ethan saw his Daddy coming through the arrival gates, his lips curled up in the sweetest smile imaginable, he gave his Daddy a hug and a kiss and reached his hands out to him. Pete had to carry Ethan around after that. Hahaha…. Ethan kept looking at his Daddy over and over again just to check that he was really back.

It’s definitely great to have Pete back again. This time round, Daddy really went overboard getting clothes for Ethan. Pete said that had I been in US, I would have bought even more!

I especially like the adorable pajamas he bought. It’s made snug-fitting on purpose because the material is flammable, and instead of the traditional long sleeve and long pants pjs, these were short-sleeved tees and shorts which are simply adorable and cute. Don’t you think Ethan would look cool in them? Gonna try them on him tonight…

For lunch, we went to the Fatty Loh chicken rice shop in Nagore Road (because the one in Fettes Park was closed and *someone* just HAD to have chicken rice). When we were almost done, Ethan asked to get out of his baby chair and made a straining face. Immediately, I hurried him off to the toilet at the back of the shop. Took off his jeans and Itti Bitti D’lish diapers (which were still unsoiled) and there and then, it marked the first time ever I helped Ethan poop in a public restroom. Cleaned him and dressed him up again, and we were on our way. So proud of him.

And since Pete’s return, Ethan has been simply overjoyed. Walking up and down escalators with Daddy, wrestling with Daddy in bed and pulling Daddy to the swimming pool were just some of the activities he indulged in.

Then when Ethan was ready to call it a night, he laid down on the bed quietly, looking at Daddy with so much love, still taking it all in that his Daddy was indeed back home.

We’ve missed you Daddy…and we are SO GLAD you are back home :D

 

Today is Mother’s Day and I am technically allowed to have some extra shuteye in the morning, yes?  Obviously *someone* was not informed.

Ethan boy, even though you got up at 6:30a.m. and forced me to go out to the living room with you to watch Barney, I love you.

Even though you weren’t too keen on drinking the warm milk I prepared for you, it’s okay.  At least you took the oats I cooked, mixed with a little bit of Frosties. 

And when we went to church today, you were fidgety after half an hour and wanted to go out wandering.  Even though you roamed the entire compound of the Wesley Methodist Church with Mommy following you around the slightly muddied field in my heels, I still adore you.  Perhaps because it was a new environment for you to explore.

And when we arrived at Mama’s for lunch, even though you kicked up a fuss and cried at the top of your voice, wanting only Mommy to carry and console you, I love you…for I knew that those were cries of hunger, and sure enough when your favorite tau ewe bak came served with warm rice, you walloped an entire big plate of rice all by yourself.  Thankfully they did not charge for your share of the rice.

Even though you are sometimes a little bit hard to handle, I feel so much love surge into my heart whenever I see you sleeping peacefully.  And when I lie down next to you for our afternoon nap, I thank God for the adorable darling little boy He blessed me with. 

You enjoyed your dinner at Friday’s where Mommy jazzed up your order, by getting you grilled chicken sausages instead of your normal spaghetti.  And although you later went round the restaurant with your red balloon hitting everything that came in your way, we love you.

Ethan, you make motherhood a wonderful and life-changing experience for Mommy…and although I know you sometimes test my patience, I will always cherish and love you. What a splendid Mother’s Day we had together today.

I better get to bed now, in case you decide to wake up *early* again tomorrow morning.  Yes folks, motherhood is definitely a life-changing experience but something I will never ever change in my life.

Happy Mommy’s Day to all the beautiful mommies out there!… and of course to me! :D


Scrap Credits
The Promise Collection from
Shabby Princess Designs
Little curly alphas from Amy Sumrall
Boxed words from Chantal

Weight

The weighing scale at home shows 11-point something kilos.  His diapers are definitely getting tighter, that’s for sure.

Height

Growing taller, but have not measured officially.

Teeth

I daren’t put my finger inside to see.  Sixteen (or maybe eighteen): 8 incisors, 2 canines (upper), 4 pramolars (2 upper and 2 lower) and 2 molars (bottom); maybe 2 molars on the top too.  

Motor Skills

  • Can do the tumble-turn.  He started by doing the downward-facing dog pose first, and soon he extended that to the tumble turn.  I only let him do it under supervision, of course.
  • Improvement seen in Learning Garden too, where he will participate by walking around and dancing to the music.  FYI, we are currently in the process of training him how to hop, skip and jump!

Communication and Social Skills

  • Some of the new words/sounds he has picked up recently:

    • Ball

    • Baby

    • Wait wait & where where (when we are looking for a parking spot in the mall)

    • Tee-dee (TV)

    • No no no…. & oh no…

    • Wah! & Wow! (imitating his Stand up ball blast toy)

    • Oh ta (we don’t know for sure if he is referring to “Otak” or “Old Town”)

    • Apa! (dunno if he is scolding anyone, or it might be a fluke)

    • Oh two (from Channel 302 Astro On Demand Previews)

    • Nen nen & Mik

    • Daddy & Mommy (getting more consistent; Daddy more so than Mommy *pout*)

  • More thick-skinned now.  Scolding him with a firm “NO” doesn’t usually do it, unless we repeat it and show that we mean it.  He doesn’t cry at “NO” like he used to before too.

  • Getting more and more sociable.  More willing to wave hi and bye to people he meets.

  • Picking up on imitating/copycat skills and can follow and do the actions for certain nursery rhymes when I sing them.  His favorites are: London Bridge, 1 2 Buckle My Shoe, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and lately he is perfecting his actions on Itsy Bitsy Spider!  Of course, it thrills me to no end that all the actions are done with the widest smile ever!

Food and Feeding

  • Milk intake has increased, and he can down 6oz (sometimes 7oz) in less than 5 minutes.  Love the way he burps afterward too.

  • Able to feed himself with less mess now.  He is quite adept at using the spoon to eat his rice, more so with his right hand, which leads us to think that he most likely is a rightie.  Sometimes though, when he finds that it takes much longer for him to eat on his own, he will manja and ask me to feed him.

Toilet Training

There were a few occasions where he led me to the toilet to indicate the need for doing his big business, and he did so successfully.  Failure rate is getting lower, and we are still working on it.  Not too concerned though, cos he has got so many adorable diapers to wear :)

***

Oh, by the way, there was a mini, but welcome surprise as Ethan hit 27 months.  He appeared in the Malaysian Women’s Weekly May 2008 edition!  His second appearance in the magazine thus far.  Hehe…can’t help being so proud of him.

 

Thanks to Anggie and Paik Ling for letting me know!

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!

All this while, Ethan has only been wearing open-toed sandals. He used to have a pair of covered sneakers, but (I think) because that pair was not made of breathable material, his feet stunk when he sweats and we never put them on him again.

I had bought a pair of brown sneakers for him sometime back. They looked so boyishly cool, I just had to get them. Plus, they were on discount then - how could I resist? I got the smallest size available, but Ethan still could not fit into them at that time.

But just recently, I decided to try if they fit. Lo and behold, they did! Well, there was a small space when he wore them, but I figured they would fit perfectly with a pair of socks.

So on Easter Sunday, I dressed Ethan in his new white striped GAP polo shirt (*new* because I bought it so many months ago, but my string-bean kid can’t fit into it yet. Even now, it is a little loose), matching new socks and his new shoes. Handsome, boh?

At times he felt rather weird with socks, so he asked us to remove them so that he could *air* his feet. Lawl!

In church, Ethan was fascinated with the brick wall surrounding the altar, and because we sat at the side of the pews, it was a good thing he could be kept occupied there. When he saw us kneeling in prayer, he too joined us. He even followed my cue when I showed him how to position his hands in prayer position.

What an absolutely awesome blessing from The Lord this Easter!

…and now to teach him how to recite The Lord’s Prayer…. :)

 

This year, we spent our Chinese New Year reunion dinner in my hometown in Ipoh. Ethan felt very at home there, and although he didn’t really eat much during the dinner (actually he only felt hungry much later and I fed him some rice and tau-ewe-bak then), he had a good time walking around the house and checking everything out. He especially liked to step on the cute little pedal bin and throw pieces of paper into it, much like what we always do when we throw rubbish away.

He was also very intrigued with the chilled cans of Shandy, and loved to hold each can in his hands. I’ve also seen him trying to pry open the tabs on the can, but perhaps his favorite activity with the can is banging it against someone else’s when we say “Yum Senggggg!!!”  Just look how his face totally captures the spirit of the occasion!

My Mom and Dad, who had read all about Ethan’s drumming antics, surprised Ethan with a really really cute traditional Chinese drum, complete with drumsticks too. And when they brought it out for him on New Year’s Day, he was absolutely delighted. The size of the drum suited him really well, and before long he was excitedly banging on it over and over again.

On the angpow receiving front, Ethan would eagerly grab an angpow that was given to him, but only if he was in a good mood. Unfortunately, angpows were not the only things he received this New Year. On New Year’s eve, he accidentally fell from the chair after *playing the piano* in Ipoh, hit the side of his head and cried a little, but was okay after a few minutes, the pain apparently forgotten.   

And on New Year’s day in Taiping, he accidentally hit his forehead on a chair in the living room and received a *big bungalow* on his forehead. And when Pete tried to apply a cold compress to the bruise, he screamed and kicked as if he was being abused.  He would only allow Mommy’s kiss to make him feel better.

But one thing always gets his spirits up: DOGGIES! And barking ones add to the fun. He was so excited to see the barking neighbour’s dog in Ipoh, although it was so ferocious looking and when we were visiting a home in Taiping, he demanded that we take him out back where there were 4-5 doggies barking away. After all the dog-watching, I thought I heard him say “dog-dog”. And now even the slightest sound of a dog barking makes him smile, even while he is sleeping.

Ethan was a very good boy throughout the entire Chinese New Year visitation we experienced, from Ipoh to Taiping and the marathon one we had in Penang on Chinese New Year Day 2.  We returned home, tired and well, just glad to be back.  Had a good night’s rest and spent the rest of the weekend together, our little family.

Oh, and Ethan celebrated his Chinese birthday on the 3rd day of New Year too.  Such an easy date to remember, eh? :)

I took the second half of the day off from work to spend some time with Ethan on his birthday.  Unfortunately, due to work commitments, Pete could not make it, so it was just my boy and me.   I picked Ethan up from Mrs Tan’s place after lunch and my first stop was at the D’View hair salon.  Ethan was due for a haircut and I figured if there weren’t too many customers around, we could try and see if he could get his New Year haircut then.  Pretty ambitious of me to attempt this on my own, but you know me, stubborn as a mule and determined as ever.  It was Ethan’s first time there, and at first he was a little shy to enter the shop.  But then Cindy the hairdresser offered him a cracker and turned the TV on to the Playhouse Disney Channel and he was hooked immediately.  Smiling away, Ethan allowed me to help him put on the cute little cloak around his neck, to ensure most of the hair wouldn’t fall on his shirt.  Then he obediently sat on my lap while Cindy did the magic.  After a very neat shave, all the while with Ethan munching away happily on the cracker while kicking his legs to the Mouskadance tune, Ethan looked very macho-like with his new haircut.  Well, now we know where to go for a fuss-free, scream-free, struggle-free haircut for Ethan, all for RM10.  See, I could even manage to snap a few shots for proof.

Next on the agenda, Ethan and I went to Gurney Plaza.  He was delighted to play at the children’s playground and today, he finally learnt how to slide down a slide the correct way.  Previously he would climb up the slide and then climb down without sliding.  Today, I showed him how to do it, by putting him at the top of the slide and then pushing him gently down.  That was it.  Over and over again, he would go up and down the slide.

We also made a stop at MPH, where Ethan had a good time playing *catch* with me.  :P  Then we went down to the basement where I bought a drink for us both to share.  Before leaving the mall, we made a final stopover at the children’s playground again.  You know why…

After resting for a while at home, and after he had had some milk, I decided to take Ethan downstairs for a swim.  He got all excited when I dressed him up in his swimsuit, and promptly brought his float to me.  We had a great time swimming, Ethan and me.  Ethan enjoyed the water so much, he even wanted to drink it on purpose, much to my horror!  And me, I managed to get SOME form of exercise done, at least for my lower body.  Heh.

We then washed up and got ready for dinner.  We picked Daddy up from work and headed on to Friday’s.  Ethan had his favorite spaghetti, of course, and everyone could tell he was enjoying himself tremendously.  We didn’t get the servers to sing the birthday song for him though, because Pete was concerned that Ethan might not be ready for their loud singing just yet.

What a fantastic day for all of us!  I’m sure Ethan enjoyed himself very much too, so much that he didn’t even have his daytime nap.  Happy birthday darling Ethan boy!

 
Scrap Credits
Choco-Noisette from Kawouette
Boxed words from Chantal
Delight Series Red Inked Alphas & Let’s Scrabble Alphas from Foxy Designs

Ethan woke up today at about 7:15a.m., yawned and stretched and when he saw me, he sat up in bed, reached his arms out towards me, and gave me a big hug. I put on his Baby Einstein’s Meet the Orchestra for him to watch for a while, and he said “wee wee” (that’s how he says “TV”). :P

You’re two today, baby…. and your smile will always melt my heart. 

I’m so excited because I have a date with him this afternoon, just the two of us.  I am taking the second half of today off to spend some quality birthday time with my boy.

Happy, happy birthday, Ethan boy, with all the hugs, love and kisses in the world!

Yesterday, right before 2p.m., I received a call from Angeleyes, informing me that she wanted to pass me something. It’s a surprise, she said, and told me that she would meet me at the main entrance of my office at about 2:30p.m. And boy, was she punctual! With a wide smile, she presented me with a cake box, which she said was a birthday gift for Ethan. That was so sweet of her!  The box was tied up so I could not open it up immediately. In a mysterious manner, Angeleyes told me to see for myself what it was later. Before I said goodbye, I even managed to sneak a peak at little Darrius, who was sitting comfortably in his car seat.

Back in the office, I could not resist a peek into the box. And I was rendered speechless. And touched. I can’t believe she went to all that trouble! In the box were six beautiful cup cakes, decorated with stars, and they smelled heavenly! One of the cupcakes had the number 2 on it, denoting Ethan’s age, and the cupcake in the middle had the cutest, most adorable replica of Rocket from Little Einsteins!

Ohhhh… no wonder Michelle was asking me all sorts of questions about Ethan three days ago. They were both in on this!  Thanks you guys!

Angeleyes, those cakes are gorgeous! You really are the expert cake maker…and you know what? If Ethan doesn’t like them, I definitely don’t mind helping him finish them all up! Thank you so very much for the kind gesture and thoughtfulness!

 

It’s Ethan’s birthday today, but we had a small early birthday celebration for Ethan last Saturday. Both his grandpas and grandmas came to shower him with love, together with his godpa, Aunty Pauline, Uncle Patrick and Aunty Christine too. I had made reservations at Sarkies Corner at The E&O for lunch, so we all met up there. Ethan was all ready for his food, but after eating the nasi minyak with carrot soup for a while, he became restless and wanted to go for a stroll by the sea instead. We had to take turns taking him out. So although there was food aplenty, Pete and I could not really sit down throughout the entire meal because our little prince wanted to be an explorer! Well, I did manage to lure him for a moment with the vanila ice-cream and a strawberry (which he threw on the floor), but it was only a matter of time before he wanted to go out again. So my Dad had to take him this time.

After lunch, we adjourned to our condo to have the cake-cutting ceremony. I ordered a birthday cake in the shape of Rocket from Little Einsteins, one of his favorite programs, and I could see Ethan’s face light up in joy when he saw the cake and the two candles being lit.

 

However, when we started singing the Birthday song, he started wailing, either because it was too loudly sung or he only wanted me to sing it. I honestly don’t know why. I had already prepped him for the singsong session, and had expected him to clap happily after the song was sung. Anyway, after we had finished singing and helped him blow out the candles, Ethan instinctively took the knife to cut the cake. He held it the opposite way though, and well, since it is HIS cake after all, we let him cut it. Don’t worry, it was a very blunt knife, specially made for cake cutting, and baby safety, of course!

After that, Pete and I held his hand to the knife and cut the cake the proper way. The 1.6 kilo cake was a vanila sponge cake with pieces of fruit in it, so that made it less “jelak” to eat. As expected, Ethan was not at all interested in the cake and preferred to play with his toys. I think the only sweet thing he really likes is ice lemon tea…oh, and vanila ice-cream, too!

He also had some presents to open. We helped him make the first tear on the presents and he enjoyed doing the rest.

Our Christmas celebrations started immediately after Pete and I got off from work on Friday.  We made our way to Queensbay Mall to have dinner and to complete our Christmas shopping.  One thing I can say is that it takes a lot of endurance to shop with Ethan whilst lugging a heavy laptop on your back.  What a way to get a workout before the Christmas feasting begins!

On Saturday we had lunch at the E&O with Allan and Pei Gee (Ah Koo and Ah Kim to Ethan).  Our boy was more fascinated with the sea than the food, and kept asking us to take him out for fresh air.  He would gape in amazement as he caught sight of the wide open sea and gestured wildly with excited eyes.  Perhaps I should plan for a trip to the beach some time soon… hehe…we’ll see.  We also took the opportunity to check out the gorgeous Christmas deco at the hotel… obviously Ethan was not in a very “take picture” mood…

Our Christmas eve was spent in Taiping and Christmas day in Ipoh.  It took Ethan a little while to warm up to the environment in Taiping, but before long he was climbing up and down the stairs on his own.  It was pretty scary because at times he would refuse our aid and preferred to do it all on his own.  He was not too pleased with all the attention though, maybe a little self-conscious on his part…

For the second year in a row, I had to miss out on attending the Christmas eve service in church because it was way too late for Ethan, so Ethan and I stayed home together with Ethan’s cousin, Jonathan and his mom.  Also, I was not feeling too well then because of my stomach flu…

Although Ethan did not eat much of the steamboat dinner during Christmas eve, the one thing Ethan really enjoyed in Taiping was the chicken rice at Prima Coffee Shop!  Can you believe we had that two days in a row?!!  Pete says this stall has been voted one of the top 10 Hainanese Chicken Rice stalls in Malaysia wor…

We then spent Christmas day in Ipoh where we enjoyed some home cooking courtesy of my Mom :)  Ethan also gave the cooking two thumbs and two toes up and kept asking for more!  He of course wasted no time in playing on the piano, and running all over the house, into my room and out, and kept going to the main door and asking my Dad to take him outside.  The next day, he also had the opportunity to try some of Ipoh’s famous kai-see-hor-fun, something I had promised I would take him to eat in Ipoh.  Unfortunately although the food was delicious, it was not a very comfortable experience for us all, because there was no baby chair available for Ethan.  That, plus the fact that the entire coffee shop was scorching hot!  Well, now we know why the Old Town franchise can survive in Ipoh. Heh.

As for Christmas presents, although he hasn’t quite grasped the novelty of receiving them yet, Ethan received quite a number (more than us, in fact), ranging from clothes (read: Chinese New Year no need to buy :P) to DVDs to soft toys and errmmm… hard toys…  Thank you everyone, near and far who took the trouble to give Ethan thoughtful gifts for Christmas :)  Pete and I chose to present our boy with some educational toys this year.  We gave him a set of Fridge Phonics and also two wooden animal puzzles (which I personally love because they are so beautifully hand painted).  Looks like Ethan boy loves them too! 

Yesterday evening saw him excitedly exploring and enjoying his new toys, even giggling whilst playing.  He especially loves to press the musical note button on the Fridge Phonics toy to make it sing the A-B-C song.  Yes yes…we need a bigger house or storage space to put all his toys now…


Photo credits: A Treasury of Christmas Carols

Last night Ethan interrupted my Amazing Race Asia program by leading me to our room. This meant he was ready to sleep. We had a very tiring day yesterday, did some Christmas shopping and Ethan fell asleep in the car on the way home too. That was why I was actually surprised that he already felt sleepy at about 9:30p.m.

Anyway, I took him into the room and let him roll around on the bed for a while. Then I started serenading him with some Christmas carols. He in turn began *talking* to me. I paused several times to talk back to him and I even asked him what his favorite carol was. He would smile and clap appreciatively after I had finished singing each song, but he was still wide awake. I sang every song from “White Christmas” to “Jingle Bells”, from “Silent Night” to “Away in a Manger” but nothing could make him yawn. As I was running out of carols to sing, I suddenly remembered I had yet to sing one of LB’s favorites: It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. So I sang it… As soon as I finished the first verse, Ethan’s eyes began to look drowsy. I continued singing and he rolled on one side, close his eyes and eventually fell asleep! I wonder if this same song will work yet again tonight… only one way to find out… :)

We were at Harvey Norman’s last weekend because Daddy wanted to get a wireless mouse.  And Ethan was all excited when we were there.  I wonder if it’s a guy thing… well anyways, he checked out the comfy rocking chair, the carpets, but most of all I was rather intrigued that he checked a few of these out:


Scrap Credits
Secret Stuff papers, alphas & bow from
Flergs
Tinsels, doodles and tree from Lindsay Jane Designs

Is that what he wants to get Daddy and Mommy for Christmas, you think?  A plasma TV? :)

Sparkle and dazzle


Scrap Credits
Sketch Star template from
Val
Papers and Alphas from Mitia Assef

After shopping high and low for a Christmas tree for our home, we finally bought a green six-foot one from Living Cabin, a novelty store in Queensbay Mall.  Our decorations were all from Jusco though.  And last Wednesday night, Pete and I decided to set up the tree, after Ethan had gone to dreamland.  All the ornaments and lights were put up and tested to make sure they looked good :)

The next morning when Ethan woke up, I led him to the living room and surprised him with the tree!  His face immediately lit up with excitement at the sight of it!  He had seen Christmas trees in the mall but it had not occurred to him that he would also see one at home.  He wasted no time in getting acquainted with his “new friend”, which was nothing like the little tree he played with last year.  He especially loves the baubles, which are within his reach :P  And of course he adores the flickering, twinkling lights.

Now, whenever I turn on the lights on the tree, he would open his mouth wide with amazement, and smile the most charming smile ever.  It’s such a joy really to see him happy like that…  I wonder if he would be able to help us put up the tree next year…


Scrap Credits
Template 33 from
Jill & Jack ScrapDesigns
Netter’s Alphas from Scarlet Heels
Papers:
Ilétait une foi from
Petit Moineaux
Wintersand from ScrappyBlueStones,
Midnight Blue from
Lindsay Jane Designs
 

Last Sunday, we made a day trip to Alor Star to celebrate Ethan’s Chor-Chor’s (my maternal grandma’s) birthday (she’s 87 this year!!!).  It was a lunch celebration and we arrived at the restaurant close to 1:00p.m., just in time for the first dish to be served.  To Ethan’s delight, it was mee-koo (steamed buns with a sweet lotus paste filling), and he devoured almost two of these with the appetite of a king!  Well, actually he ate almost everything that was served, save for the spicy stuff.  And when he was full, he of course demanded to walk around the restaurant, much to the tiredness of Mommy and Daddy, and much to the amusement of all the guests present.

Oh yeah, the birthday cake-cutting session always comes with a photo-taking session, but it just so happened that it coincided with Ethan’s eating.  He was still busy enjoying his food when we carried him out of his high chair to take a photo with Chor-Chor.  Of course he was unhappy.  That resulted in a very difficult and trying photo-taking session indeed.

Nevertheless, the food was good and we all left with very full tummies. :)

Our little family spent Christmas eve in Taiping and Christmas day in Ipoh. It was a rather rushed-filled holiday, but all in all, we all had a ball of a time this Christmas. Ethan boy, of course, had loads of fun… after all, why wouldn’t he? His t-shirt clearly states: WARNING! Little Monster on the Loose! Heh heh…Ethan was showered with so much love and attention, and of course presents!




And what did Daddy and Mommy get him? Check this out: We got him his first pair of red Adidas football boots, similar to what Daddy owns. The boots came with a toy Santa Claus. We also got him a denim cap with the letter P in front. Pete says P stands for “Pete’s boy” but secretly, I think it stands for “Phai-see” (Hokkien for Naughty) . Hehehe… By the way, the cell phone in the picture is not Ethan’s - it is just for size comparison.

We managed to get a couple of precious shots of Ethan wearing his new cap, and it is a wonder how we did it, because almost every time we put the cap on him, he would immediately pull it right off his head!




Ethan: All I want for Christmas is my TWO front teeth….

…and the closeup…

We took Ethan to Queensbay Mall today to complete our Christmas shopping. Every year we tell ourselves that we won’t do last minute shopping, but year in and year out, we end up going to the malls at the last minute.

Well, this year we have Ethan tagging along. Pete was just commenting that he loves taking Ethan to the mall because our boy gets really excited with all the sights and sounds there. And let’s face it, when Ethan is happy, Pete and I are happy too…

Ethan looking on with amazement…

Lunch at Kenny Rogers (Ethan had carrot sticks and rusks)

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,

I wanna be with Mommeee…!!!! “

Christmas Tree

I have always wanted a huge (at least 5 ft) Christmas tree for our home. Unfortunately this year, with baby around and all, we just did not have time to hunt for a nice one. We are rather perfectionist in nature, so nothing but the best would do. Next year then…

In the end, we put up our mini Christmas tree which we have had since we were dating. It’s even shorter than Ethan!

Anyway, in a short and brief introduction to our Christmas tree, Ethan wasted no time in “making friends”.


The Gift

This morning, I received a poignant reminder of what Christmas really means in the form of a song from my brother’s entry in his Multiply site.

Who needs Christmas presents?… We already have the gift.

A truly wonderful song which I am going to share with Ethan when he grows up.
Check it out here.

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la…!!!

With Christmas about a week away, we are all in a Christmassy mood now. Festive decorations adorn the malls, Christmas trees are sprouting out everywhere and Christmas carols are played 24/7, transforming the hot and humid Penang into a “winter wonderland” of sorts.
This year’s Christmas will mark Ethan’s very first Christmas and we intend to make it as memorable as possible, for him and of course, for us too. The layman would easily associate Christmas with presents, and although we too visited the newly opened Queensbay Mall to complete our Christmas shopping, we would like to eventually inculcate the understanding of the true meaning of Christmas to Ethan.

Christmas isn’t Christmas till it happens in your heart, so the song goes. So really, the presents we exchange during Christmas merely represents the wonderful act of giving and sharing from the heart, which form the essence of Christmas: LOVE. I expect that Ethan would be thrilled with the presents he’d receive each Christmas from now on, but in the years to come, I hope and endeavor to draw his attention to that lonely manger in Bethlehem, many, many years ago where the very first Christmas was celebrated with the birth of Jesus Christ. That was where Christmas started and will forever stay in our hearts.

Well, as a start, I have been singing him Christmas carols almost every day now: Joy to the World, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, O Come All Ye Faithful….you name it, I’ve sung it. I do it all the time, while changing him, while nursing him or even when riding in the car with him… I’m glad he is enjoying my renditions…maybe cos I have a sweet voice.. ahem!

We will be spending Christmas Eve in Taiping (Pete’s hometown) and Christmas Day in Ipoh (my hometown). I know everyone is looking forward to Christmas this year. So are we.

…is my 2 front teeth, my 2 front teeth, see my two front teeth?!!!

We are all familiar with how that song goes, but how many of us actually know someone who could actually relate to that song? This year, if only our Ethan boy can sing, that would be THE most appropriate song for him.

Last Saturday, we noticed a faint glimpse of white protruding through his top gums. That’s why methinks he is teething again (top two front teeth, nonetheless)… This would also explain the numerous times he wakes up at night. SIGH. It’s so heart wrenching to see him go through so much discomfort just to grow teeth…

 

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