Food & Feeding

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Scrap Credits
Plum Pudding kit from Stacey Towers
Elegant word art (love chocolate) from Bethany

We have never known Ethan to have a sweet tooth.  Yes, he likes to play with candy canes and sweets, but they hardly ever enter his mouth. 

Lately however, our little boy has been showing a keen interest in all things CHOCOLATE.

It all started when Mommy began craving for come chocolate milk.  So off I scooted to get a gallon.  It sure did taste good, but was rather sweet too.  I didn’t give any to Ethan at first, but you know our boy…of course he was curious when he opened the fridge and saw that big container sitting there.

So I told him it was chocolate milk and asked if he would like to try some…and what happened after that, as they say, is history.  He simply LOVES chocolate milk now, and can down about three half cups at one go.  Sometimes he would even wake up in the middle of the night requesting for chocolate milk.  I sometimes mix a little bit of fresh milk to his chocolate milk, just so it is not too sweet for him. 

In fact, since he loves chocolate milk so much, we have stopped his night bottle feeds on Pediasure now.  He only has Pediasure with his bottle once a day, in the morning. :)

And guess what?  He is also incredibly addicted to chocolate cake…Ethan’s Mickey Mouse birthday cake was a chocolate cake, and he has been eating most of it.  He asks for chocolate cake and specifically wants ONLY the brown part!  He’s not a fan of the cake frosting, you see.  Well, he finished the last of the cake yesterday, but he is still asking me for more…perhaps I ought to bake a chocolate cake in the next few days.

Scrap Credits
Template 10 freebie from 
Pure Scrap
Freebie Janvier  - Partie 1 kit from 
Scrapmalin
Yin Paper Pack - Brown Paper Packages from Yin Designs at GDS
Stamp cluster 4 (modified) from 
Lindsay Jane Designs
Endless Love Red Alphas from
Meredith Cardall

We bought some strawberries at Safeway over the weekend, because they looked so juicy and also because they were on sale at 50% off.  As soon as Ethan saw the two boxes in the fridge, he requested for the “straw-de-berries”. :P

So we had them for dessert last Sunday after dinner.  It was the first time I had strawberries and cream, and boy, did they taste yummy!  Ethan was definitely intrigued but he only licked the cream off , although he happily posed for pictures with the strawberries.  Don’t those pictures bring an immediate smile to your face? :)

Ethan has developed a love for several different food items here in the US.  And I continue to harbor the hope that he will like more types of food soon.  I’m elated that he adores my blueberry muffins and asks for them even when they are all gone, and lately he started liking pancakes too.  I bet it must be the maple syrup :P

Oh, he likes fries too, and he really likes those at In n Out!  After all, they are made of potatoes, and potatoes are a kind of vegetable, aren’t they? :P

We were rather worried about his Pediasure though, so we shipped several tins of Pediasure from Malaysia.  Turns out they DO have Pediasure here in the States, but in a different form.  Here, they have it in easy-to-carry 8oz bottles and they come in different flavors. 

 

Ethan now finishes an 8oz bottle of Vanilla-flavored Pediasure at daycare every day, but at home, I still give him warm milk from the powdered Pediasure.  I made a mistake and bought the first 6-pack of Pediasure in Strawberry flavor, when I should have bought Vanilla, which is closer in taste to the regular Pediasure he drinks.

He also drinks regular chilled milk, sometimes whole (full cream) milk, and sometimes reduced fat milk.  We get the lactose-free kinds, because both Daddy and Ethan are slightly lactose-intolerant. 

 

Ethan would ask for milk and after he finishes a cup, he’ll ask for “more”.  I wished they would also sell this in Malaysia!

Besides milk, his other dairy intake include yogurt and cheese.  A popular kids’ yogurt here is Yoplait, which has Dora and Diego on the packaging.  I was not surprised when Ethan starting asking for Dora and Diego when he opens the fridge!  Ethan only likes the Strawberry, Strawberry Vanilla, Strawberry Banana and Vanilla flavors, however.  And the yogurt is really really THICK, much like custard, if you ask me.  Of course, it goes without saying that Ethan likes ice cream too, but we prefer to give him yogurt instead of ice cream.

 

I thought Ethan had lost all interest in cheese, but when we bought a pack, he got all excited again.  The cheese here looks more yellow in color and they seem a tad thicker, so I am guessing it is more filling for his little tummy.  According to his daycare report, he can finish 2 slices at one time!

 

Last but not least, we have his very favorite Yakult drink.  We brought several packs from Malaysia but he finished them all within one and a half weeks!  They do sell Yakult here in US but the packaging is not the same, although the taste is.  The price, though, is a pricey USD2.99 for 5 bottles, almost triple the price in Malaysia!  That’s why we recently asked one of our friends to bring several packs from Malaysia when our friend relocated here.  And last night, Ethan was really so happy to discover his “pot of gold”!  I think he slept more soundly last night!  Hehe…

Ethan’s current favorite restaurant food is the Princess Tofu, which is served at Layang-Layang, a Malaysian restaurant we discovered recently.

 

He loves the gravy over his rice and can eat quite a lot of it, something which we are always happy about.

Look at how energized he is after the meal.  This was taken last weekend when we went for an apartment community gathering nearby.  Ethan also enjoyed his ice cream, as you can see…

 

Is it any wonder how a happy meal makes a happy boy? :)

 

Top on our priority list when we arrived in CA was to find a daycare center for Ethan as soon as possible.  We had a few shortlisted and as soon as we found time, we started our daycare hunt.  We wanted to get a daycare that was near to where we were staying and let’s be honest, there weren’t many to begin with.

I made an appointment for a short tour at a nearby daycare center, but for the price they were charging (close to USD1600 per month), it wasn’t that all impressive.  Ethan did seem to enjoy himself while we were there though.

Our relocation consultant also managed to locate a few nearby daycare centers, and we visited some 3-4 of them.  Some looked okay, but others were either too far away or we just didn’t have a good feeling about it.  But it certainly became clear that Ethan was VERY ready for daycare. :)

Then Pete googled for a daycare center near where we were staying, and miraculously found one.  We visited the place one fine morning and well, both Pete and I loved it at once.  It’s a home-based daycare, with only a maximum of 6 kids.  Currently the daycare owner is looking after 2 toddlers (around Ethan’s age), and a one-year old baby.  One of the toddlers is her own daughter.  Although this daycare is in a very homely apartment with rather limited space, the daycare owner, Van, has a cute little buggy (it looks like a little train with mini carriages for each kid) that she uses to pull the kids in to the park just across the road.  Best of all, the daycare is only about 10 minutes’ drive away from our apartment and all meals (breakfast, lunch & 2 snacks) will be provided.

The daycare was a rather new one, and it was only gonna be licensed in a few days’ time.  We decided to wait till the daycare was properly licensed before we signed up.  In the US, it is illegal to run a daycare without a license.

So last Monday, as soon as we found out that this daycare was licensed, our relocation consultant drove Ethan and me to the center to settle the billing details.  I decided to leave Ethan there for about an hour while I left to apply for my social security card.  And guess what?  He was all right!  Didn’t make a fuss at all and was all smiles when I came back to pick him up. :)

The next day, Pete dropped Ethan and I at his new daycare in the morning.  The plan was for me to stick around till Ethan was all right with the new surroundings.  And he certainly seemed okay.  He loves all alphabets on the alphabet floor mat, he loves reading the books and playing with all the toys, and he really looks at home there.

 

Pete and I left for lunch that first day, and when we came back from lunch, Ethan was still busy running around.  I stayed at the daycare the rest of the day, busying myself with my laptop (thank goodness there was wi-fi there!)  Ethan hardly bothered me, and he played around with the kids and the toys.

The second day, I was with Ethan in the morning at daycare and left the daycare at lunch time, so Ethan was alone at daycare till we fetched him back in the evening.  So far so good. 

 

On the third day, when Pete picked me up for lunch, and when we told Ethan Mommy and Daddy would pick him up after work, he suddenly bawled!  He cried so loudly, and screamed, “Daddy!  Daddy!”, while hugging Pete ever so tightly.  And then he started to cry for me too.  I simply couldn’t control my tears from falling, but I hardened my heart, gave Ethan a nice big hug and reassured him that we would take him back afterwards.  In between sobs, we left the daycare center.

During lunch that day, Pete and I decided that I would take the car after lunch, so that I would be able to fetch Ethan back earlier.  And that’s exactly what I did.  Boy, was he ever overjoyed to see me!

Actually, I was afraid that he would continue crying the next day when he was dropped off at the daycare, but Pete said Ethan was all excited as soon as Van opened the door and Ethan ran to play with his toys immediately.  Whew!

At daycare now, Ethan is off the bottle.  I’m trying to wean him from the bottle, and this is the perfect opportunity to do so.  I only provide a bottle of Pediasure and he drinks it from the cup.  Here in the US, the Pediasure comes in 8oz bottles, and the milk is refrigerated.  So far so good, he has been finishing one bottle at daycare every day.  At home he still takes milk from the bottle though….I’m weaning him a step at a time :)

 

We will also be starting his toilet training soon.  Currently Ethan is able to tell me when he wants to poo, so we need to work on his peepee.

I’m also hoping that Ethan will be adventurous enough to try a variety of foods now that he is in daycare.  I’ve heard that many kids start eating different foods once they see other kids doing the same.

We get reports on what happened at daycare, i.e. what Ethan did, what he ate, what were his activities, etc.  I think it’s a nice touch and at least it helps me know what my Mr Bulat has been up to in my absence.  And last Friday, we even got an Ouch Report, cos there was a teeny accident where Ethan was chasing another toddler around and bumped his little toe on the wall corner.  There was some bleeding and Van applied some antiseptic cream and a BandAid, but unfortunately, Ethan tore the plaster off. :P

As for his afternoon naps, that seems to have been forgotten by Ethan.  Since he started daycare, he has not napped at all in the afternoon.  But actually, he has not napped much in the afternoon since we came to the US.

Yesterday evening, after I fetched him back from daycare, we came back to the apartment and when Ethan saw these on the table, he could hardly resist eating one.  Freshly baked blueberry muffins, just for him!

 

After that he had some strawberry yogurt, and I put his Barney DVD for him to watch while I prepared dinner.  A while later though, I was met by such an adorable sight:

 

Looks like he fell asleep on the couch! :D

Well, he needs all the rest he can get after running around and playing the whole day!  Ethan certainly looks forward to daycare now, he’s say, “Friend!” when we tell him we are taking him to daycare, and sometimes he says, “Bay-bee!”, referring to the one-year old baby.  He even knows how to call “Antee Van!”

We made a short trip to KL recently to attend our US Visa interview at the US Embassy, and also to meet up with our siblings.  We’ve explained to Ethan now and again that soon we will all be flying off on a plane to the States (I put in some sound effects for “plane”, which he likes), but we are not sure if he understands where exactly we are going, or even how long “a few months” really is.

Anyway, the Visa interview went well.  Ethan was allowed into the embassy with us, and he entertained himself by counting aloud the numbers as they were called, amusing all the Visa applicants there.

After getting our Visas approved, we headed for lunch:

Saisaki is located right behind Crowne Plaza Mutiara KL, the hotel where we were staying, so it was very convenient for us to get there.  Ethan was very hungry, as were we, and he walloped more than one bowl of rice and chawan mushi all on his own.

While Daddy and Mommy enjoyed the sashimi, steamed cod fish head and even MORE sashimi, Ethan continued with ice cream and (later) blackcurrant juice.

Look how red his lips became after the dose of blackcurrant juice…

…and how hyper he became after all that sugar intake:

Our hotel was very strategically located, as it was only a stone’s throw away from Pavilion KL, so we hung our there too.  Here’s Ethan enjoying himself playing with toys at ELC:

It was a very fruitful trip indeed and I am very proud of Ethan boy for being so well-behaved throughout the trip.

 

Our next long-haul flight journey awaits… :)

As you might well already know, I am forever on the lookout for recipes to try out that are simple yet able to please my fussy little eater.  I know that Ethan goes bananas over bananas :P , so I figured he would love banana pancakes.  And since I knew that KittyCat’s Lucas (who is exactly the same age as Ethan in terms of birthdate) adores banana pancakes, I got hold of her very simple recipe and I decided to try making them last weekend.

 

The recipe did not require much slaving around the kitchen and soon the aroma of fresh banana pancakes filled our entire household.  Ethan was all interested to see me cook, as well as to see what I had placed on the table.  One look at the stack of pancakes and he exclaimed, “Peh-tah!”.  Gosh, he thought I had made pizza!

 

Unfortunately though, his enthusiasm did not last long, and he was only interested in playing with the pancakes.  He simply didn’t like them, even after Pete and I purposely announced how yummy they were!  He didn’t even want that cute little mini one I made for him….see the one at the top of the pile?  It looks like a turtle, doesn’t it? 

In the end, Pete and I finished all the pancakes and Ethan was ecstatic to eat a banana all by himself.

SIGH.  I tried making another batch of banana pancakes on Sunday too, this time with TWO bananas instead of one.  It tasted better, but still, I did not get the expected response from Ethan.

He preferred to prance around in his BEAR mask instead.  How?

 

It was experiment time again last weekend, when I decided to dish out something else to satisfy the needs my strongest food critic ever, who else but Ethan :lol:

On Saturday, I cooked up a dish of stir-fry Japanese tofu with shrimp, carrots, mushrooms and egg:

I know what you’re thinkin’ …. looks kinda yucky and scary, doesn’t it? Well, although Pete claimed that it tasted a bit bitter (because of the mushrooms), Ethan certainly didn’t seem to mind. I served the dish over his steamed rice and he was busy feeding himself; although he didn’t wanna take the carrots, I was glad he ate the tofu :)

Dinnertime, we decided to head out to a nearby Pizza Hut since we only had food left for Ethan. It had been ages since Pete and I had pizza, so it was definitely a welcome change.  When we were served the cream of chicken soup, I was surprised by how much Ethan loved it. Good thing I brought along his own spoon…the soup spoon Pizza Hut provided was way too big for his mouth. Look…eating all by himself samo.

I actually packed his rice + tofu dish out as well, but our boy would have none of it, until he had finished all his soup. Oh, and although he was curious when the “puh-ta” (pizza) arrived, he didn’t want to try any of it. Well, as long as he had his rice and was happy :)

Sunday came and since I had some more of the Japanese tofu left, I cooked a slightly different dish, and that’s when I hit jackpot. Not only was it pleasing to the eye, both Daddy and Ethan loved it! It was a “throw everything together” concoction, and I even included chicken ham chips for additional flavor. In fact I even managed to sneak in a piece or two of the carrot and broccoli for Ethan, praying hard that he will eat them. And he did!

Looks like I’m heading somewhere huh? :lol:
I’m gonna get the Annabel Karmel cookbook for toddler meals soon, and hopefully with that *weapon*, I’ll be able to produce more interesting and nourishing food :razz:


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?


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 :)


 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?

Ethan is a healthy toddler who eats non-stop, so to say.  After we come back from a meal outside, he will ask for yogurt, fruit juice, Yakult and sometimes fruits and biscuits too.  Then after his shower, he will take about 5oz of milk.

Lately, he has also acquired a taste for the Old Town roti bakar.  He will happily chomp down one piece on his own (see pic above).  And that’s not inclusive of the hor fun he steals from my bowl.  Tonight at Friday’s, in addition to the spaghetti he spooned and forked into his mouth on his own, he also used his hands to pick several pieces of tomato and chicken to eat.

So how come he’s still as skinny as ever?  Not that I am worried or anything…. I am okay with it as long as he is growing up strong and healthy :)  Well, it must be all the running around he is engaging in.  I mean, have you seen this boy running up and down the sloping walkalators?

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!


Scrap Credits
African Sunsets add-on from
Kim B’s Designs
Folded frame from Gunhild Storide
Boxed words from Chantal
Basic chipboard alphas from
Dani Mogstad
 

About a month or so ago, I asked my Mom to get me a bottle of Amway’s Chewable Natural C, which is a vitamin C supplement for kids (because it is chewable, duh).  Anyway, it is supposed to be sweet and all because it is made from acerola cherries and whatnot, and I thought it would be good to train Ethan to take these chewables once a day.  I also took them when I was a little girl, and look how I turned out :P

Although Ethan’s pd had given him some multivitamin syrup to take previously, he had rejected them all downright.  So to tell you the truth, I wasn’t at all optimistic about the success of feeding him the chewable tablets.  Anyway, the first time I tried, I took out the bottle of chewables, gave it a nice shake so it produced a rattling sound.  Ethan got all interested at once.  I opened the bottle and gave him a tablet to hold.  He was intrigued by it and he was looking and looking and he finally put it in his mouth, after some coaxing from us.  Now, since the chewable tablet is slightly sourish, Ethan made a face and then immediately took it out again.  And then he fed it to me!  He then requested for another tablet, and fed it to his Daddy!

Since that day, he has been “feeding” us chewables whenever he feels like it, that is, if we allow him to take the tablets.  He even knows where I keep the bottle of chewables in the fridge, and would request me to open the fridge, just so he can get to it.  Sometimes he likes to roll the chewable tablet on his cheek too.  Just the other day though, he finally nibbled off part of the tablet, little by little.  In the end, when the tablet got too small for his fingers, he popped it all into his mouth.  But before I could applaud him, he spat the bits and pieces out all over his shirt.  I’m not sure how much of it went into him though, but it’s a start, I would say. :)

Last Saturday, just as I was about to start cooking, an electricity outage happened. I thought the electricity would come back on after 30 minutes, but when it was already noon and there was still no sign of it, we decided to go out for lunch instead. A few days ago, while chatting with Hooi Ling, she recommended a Japanese restaurant in town on Chow Thye Rd named Isaribi. And since we have not had Japanese food as a family for a long time now, we headed that way.

The place was not hard to find and the entrance looked very calm and serene, what with the lush greenery in the porch area. We ordered the king sashimi set (which was not as king-sized as we imagined :P), the semi-grilled beef slices (awesome flavor, taken with chopped ginger and some unidentifiable sauce), and of course, chawan mushi for Ethan. They only had prawn and unagi chawan mushi though, and it costs RM10 per bowl! Took them mighty long to serve the chawan mushi as well… we thought it would be spectacularly good, but it was rather bland. Nevertheless, Ethan gulped down the chawan mushi and even pinched a bit of the shredded carrot and radish from the sashimi set. Oh and because it took them so long to serve our food, Ethan boy got impatient and decided to roam and explore the restaurant instead.

When we were done with our sets, either the servings were not big enough or we were immensely hungry that day, for we decided to order a salmon skin temaki, ebikko (fish roe) and as an after-thought, the cold soba too. The salmon skin roll was one the best we had ever tasted: crunchy and ohsogood with wasabi. And when Ethan saw the soba, he demanded to have some too, which was a surprise to me because I hadn’t expected him to like it. He really enjoyed eating each and every strand, slurping away like a pro! Didn’t manage to take a picture of him doing that because just as I was ready to snap a photo, we were served some fruits and Ethan decided he would like to have those instead. In the end, he gobbled down a piece of honeydew all on his own.

All in all, a good healthy Japanese lunch, but only if you have all the time in the world to spare… know what I mean?

… just like me!

I am an ardent fan of pineapple tarts and it is one of the few things I really look forward to each time Chinese New Year comes around. Anyway, here’s the first batch of pineapple tarts I ordered to try.

It was just 24 pieces and I foresee it will be long gone before Chinese New Year gets here anyway. It has been a long while since I have seen pineapple tarts made this way (most of them are pineapple rolls now), so I was eager to see if they tasted good. Well, they were all right, but not blow-me-over-the-top good. Let’s just say I have tasted better. Anyway, Ethan loves them! He has a peculiar way of eating the tarts though. He will guide me to the table where I put the box of tarts, and throw my hand towards the box (duh). I have to hold the tart and feed him because it crumbles easily and I don’t want to risk having ants all over the floor. However, Ethan will only eat the crust, biting off a little at a time. I gave him a bit of the sweet pineapple jam filling and he spat it all out. Peculiar or not?

We are going to order two tins of yummy pineapple rolls soon, and these are guaranteed yummilicious good - we order them every year. Let’s see how Ethan reacts to them. I am curious to find out how he will pick the crust out from those.


Scrap Credits
Wild Flower Holiday Quickpage from
Gina Huff
Rough & Tumble Add On elements & alphas from Flergs

A few months ago when I called my girlfriend Audrey, she told me that every Saturday her almost-4-year-old daughter and her indulged in a mother-and-daughter bonding session.  They would go to a nearby mall in the morning, do some grocery shopping, and then have lunch together.  When I told Pete about this, I expressed how I longed for a similar experience with Ethan… well, that experience might not be too far off…

Yesterday evening, Pete had dinner plans with his colleagues.  So I had two options: one was to have dinner myself first and then pick Ethan up from the sitter’s, or two: to pick him up and hop on over to Queensbay Mall for dinner, per our usual Friday routine. 

I opted for the latter.

I was working from home yesterday, so I left our house around 6:15p.m. for Mrs Tan’s place.  Ethan was very excited to see me, even to the extent of refusing to allow Mrs Tan to carry him to the car, preferring to stick to me like a koala bear.  Surprisingly though, although he looked happy and recognized the route to the mall, no excited panting accompanied his joy.  Nevertheless we arrived and I was happy that there were plenty of parking lots available.

After reading about Susan and little Samuel’s pleasant dining experience at Wong Kok Kitchen last week, and since we have never tried the food there, I thought we might as well give it a shot.  The restaurant was not packed and we were promptly seated, with Ethan of course occupying a very familiar Ikea white and silver high chair.  I ordered the wanton mee and the char-siew pastry puff: stuff I figured Ethan would like to eat too. 

He seemed very happy in the restaurant, even kicking his legs in rhythm to the music being played.  With his cheeky smile and strategically positioned high chair (he was facing the counter area), it didn’t take long for him to command the attention of the servers at the restaurant.  I was rather astonished that he didn’t scream loudly in protest when they all started looking and smiling at him, instead he smiled back, well sometimes he showed his cheeky toothy grin… and when he was too overwhelmed, he lowered his head and peered shyly at them.  He did take a few spoonfuls of the mee too, but not the pastry.

Overall, it was a fun experience for both Mommy and Ethan. He was at his bestest behaviour and I was very proud of him …actually, the first time I’d taken him out for a meal myself :)  Pete was a tad concerned if I would be able to handle Ethan on my own in the mall, but his fears were unfounded because Ethan is always in a good mood in the mall… and that just makes everything so much easier…

After dinner, we went for a walk to Borders to get a copy of January’s Malaysian Women’s Weekly… here’s why…

What a fabulous way to start our weekend, eh?


Marinated chicken cooked with rice
With all other ingredients, they sure smell nice
Oh yes, it was Mommy’s claypot chicken rice day
What an awesome way to spend a lazy Saturday!

I set the table, laid out the rice and soup
Checked to make sure there was something in every food group
When I heard a pattering of footsteps and an urgent call
It was Ethan by the table, standing so very tall

He must have sensed that his meal was ready
He must have realized that he was actually hungry
In all obedience he sat in his high chair
And waited in patience for the yummy affair

He devoured every morsel with pure satisfaction
I truly enjoyed his every reaction
So the love for chicken rice is an trait inherited
Like father, like son, it ain’t overrated!



Scrap Credits
Orion Kit from
GABHappyScrap Designs
Template 13 from Simply Yin 

Last Monday, after we dropped off our car at the Toyota Service Center for servicing, we took a cab to Queensbay Mall. We arrived at Queensbay Mall before 10:00a.m. and since the mall only opened at 10:30a.m., we decided to walk over to a nearby kopitiam for breakfast. Turned out that the kopitiam in mention is a 24-hour mamak stall. We ordered nasi lemak bungkus, tosai and roti canai. And of course, Ethan boy had a taste of everything we had.

He especially loved the tosai though, and we decided to give him more of that, since it was the healthier option of the three. He is turning out to be a *sampah-thang*, huh? :P Pete says he takes after me in that aspect…


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. :)

Ethan is now on the road to recovery. Breaks our hearts to see him suffer the way he did, but I was so glad to wake up on Sunday morning, being greeted by his adorable and cheeky grin.

On Saturday and Sunday, his stools were still primarily watery, I suppose due to the fact that his diet consisted mainly of breast milk only. But I am hoping that with the additional solids he is slowly taking, his diarrhoea will be gone really soon. His appetite has not returned to normal yet, but he took some siew mais and chicken koay teow on Saturday. Funnily enough though, he didn’t want any siew mai on Sunday.

As it turned out, Pete and I were invited to be witnesses at a friend’s wedding in church on Sunday, so we had to drop Ethan off at Mrs Tan’s place for a couple of hours that afternoon. I expressed my concern that he was not eating much yet, and asked Mrs Tan to cook some mee suah for him. When we picked him up, she told us that he happily devoured the mee suah and bread also! So we tarpowed some of the mee suah back home for his dinner.

Guess what? Our boy didn’t want any of the mee suah, but instead chose to share some of my wan ton mee dinner. Maybe he associates mee suah only with Mrs Tan’s house?

He looks ok now, doesn’t he? These are some photos I took yesterday…. pretty blur because he kept moving up and down on the couch. It’s just that he needs to regain his appetite really soon.

We had to do a major clean-up of Ethan’s car seat today.  You know why?  Well, Pete and I left work rather late today, so we decided to fetch Ethan and take him out to dinner with us.  We headed for Queensbay Mall and into Nando’s for dinner.  As usual, Ethan shared my rice with me and then after our meal, we walked around for a bit.  I wanted to check out if Borders carried a book I wanted to buy.  And that was the only place we went to after dinner.  Ethan was very happy and excited and because it was a weekday, he practically had the entire children’s section in Borders to himself.

After that we left Queensbay Mall for home.  As soon as Pete stopped the car in our apartment porch area, Ethan started throwing up!  Pete and I got such a shock because it was really the first time Ethan had ever vomitted so much!  In fact, he only vomitted once before, and that was when he was sick and wouldn’t eat anything, so the quantity of the vomit at that time was very little.  Well, tonight he vomitted so much that his clothes were all soaked.  Of course, he was still strapped into his car seat when it happened, so his entire car seat was dirty too.

I immediately carried him out of his car seat and up to our apartment. And it goes without saying that in the process of doing so, some of his vomit went to my clothes too.  Anyway, I quickly gave him a shower and dressed him up in his pjs.  Ethan looked okay, he was not feverish or anything but he appeared to be in shock, and would not say anything after the incident.  We put on his Baby Einstein DVD for him and I breastfed him for a bit.  And then it wasn’t long before he drifted off to dreamland.  Poor boy…. we told him not to overeat the next time.  No wonder my rice seemed to be less today.

We had lunch at Tandoori House last Sunday. It has been years since Pete and I had gone there, and it was comforting to note that not much has changed. It was also Ethan’s first time at the restaurant and he sat in the baby chair provided, albeit without a tray.

When the waiter brought the appetizer in the form of pappadums, Ethan eagerly asked for some. He had tried pappadums before in Passions of Kerala and Old Town, so he knew what they taste like. The pappadums turned out to be the one thing he really enjoyed. I was glad that the pappadums were not oily and hence was okay for Ethan and his “eight teeth with 4 more growing” to munch on.

He was a little bit apprehensive when it came to the rice though. We had ordered the Kashmiri Pulao, which was colorful because it contained raisins, basmathi rice and other herbs and spices like cumin and cinnamon. Ethan would only eat the rice and none of the onions or spices. If he tasted any, he spat the mouthful out.

I gave him some mango lassi too. At first he didn’t want to sip the drink because it didn’t look at all like iced lemon tea, but when I gave him a taste of it from the tip of the straw, he realized that it tasted like his favorite mango yogurt and happily walloped most of it!

We made a 3-day-2-night trip to Mutiara Damansara last weekend to visit Ethan’s newborn cousin, Jonathan.  On Saturday, we had lunch at Tony Roma’s.  We had great company during lunch too, Ethan got to meet up with his Ah Mah (my Mom), his Ah Kor, Ah Koo and Ah Kim.  Tony Roma’s is located in Cineleisure, which is somewhat connected to The Curve; I was amazed to discover that it was a mere walk from Italiannies and Laundry Bar (actually we were undecided as to what to eat that day, but since Tony Roma’s looked rather empty, we decided that would be it).

Tony Roma’s in Malaysia is so different from the ones in US or Singapore.  For one, it did not have (my favorite) baby back ribs.  We ordered 2 plates of full-rack ribs and a strip-loin steak, oh and of course a plate of the appetizer sampler too.  Though different, Pete and I were happy to note that the food at the outlet was very good.  The ribs were soft and (can I say) finger-lickin’ good.  Actually we were afraid that the food would be a sore disappointment like Marché was last month, but we were glad that our fears were unfounded.

Ethan had a good time during lunch too.  I was thrilled to note that Tony Roma’s Cineleisure had on their menu the same Baked Potato Soup I had ordered for Ethan when we were in Tony Roma’s Suntec City, Singapore… so I ordered that for him.  It all started ok, but then our boy decided that he wanted to have a go at feeding himself.  Since I had brought along his set of toddler utensils, I gave them to him and he began scooping the soup bit by bit.  And scoop he did… bit by bit fell on the front of his shirt.  It was a very messy sight indeed.  Then I suddenly remembered I had also brought along his Ikea shirt-bib, so we helped him put that on.  But no sooner had we done that, Ethan decided that he wanted ME to feed him instead!

 

In the end, off came the bib, and it was Ethan by himself again with his soup and some rice too.  I tried tying the napkin around his neck, but that fell down too.  So we allowed him to have fun with his food, messy though that may be, and took him back to the hotel room after that to clean up.  See?  That’s the good thing about staying right next to the restaurant :)

The Food Monster

Ethan’s appetite has increased in leaps and bounds since his recent bout of illness. That’s a really good sign, although it is all really in the scales and we shall know for sure if he has gained a significant amount of weight tomorrow when we take him for a visit to Dr Jessica for his (long-delayed) JE jab.

While I am at work, Ethan takes a total of 3 solid meals now, not including his milk feeds. I’m guessing he takes lunch, tea and early dinner. If you take into account the oatmeal he has for breakfast, then it will be 4 solid meals. Mrs Tan cooks porridge for him still, but at home and during weekends, he takes whatever we eat. Sometimes Ethan joins us for dinner after we pick him up from the sitter…we normally do this on Fridays…and guess what, our boy will be eagerly requesting for food too! Boy, has he got an expandable tummy!

For the past three days, I have also included supper in his diet. After his nightly shower, I make him a bowl of cereal, sometimes Kellogg’s Frosties and sometimes Rice Krispies (I’m thinking of trying Cocoa Pops tonight). I mix the cereal with Pediasure, which I heard is more *fragrant*, as it tastes just like vanilla milkshake. Of course,the introduction of supper is really a means of paving the way towards complete weaning from breastmilk too. And I am pleased to note that for the past three nights, Ethan has cheerfully and happily finished each serving (2-3 oz of Pediasure with cereal).

Well, he still wants to be nursed before he sleeps now, but with supper, he *seems* to be waking up at 3:00ish a.m. instead of the regular 12:00ish. So that’s a good sign. :)

Ingredients

  • 1 high chair
  • 1 plateful of delicious homecooked rice, topped with yummy gravy
  • Colorful kiddie utensils from Ikea (Ethan loves these and was introduced to them in Nando’s.  We spotted them at Ikea and got him a pack)
  • 1 shirt-bib from Ikea (Ethan does not take kindly to the conventional bibs, so we found this gem when we were in Ikea last weekend.  It looks just like a t-shirt, but the back is open.  Fixed to the baby via velcro at the neck, it contains a pouch in front to catch all the stuff that would potentially drop while baby is eating)
  • 1 very hungry toddler

Method

Put all of the above together and wait to see what happens.

Caveat: Expect some cleaning up afterwards.

 
Scrap Papers & Elements from Sworda Scrappin’ 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ethan has salmon for his meals almost every week.  If I can help it, that is.  Apart from the DHA goodness, fish is certainly good stuff for growing kids, what more salmon!  Of course, he will still get some pork and/or chicken with his meals at the baby sitter’s, so the salmon is just the icing on top of the cake, figuratively speaking.  He gets his salmon steamed…. psst… I have yet to train him to take it raw a la sashimi style, but that will come later. Kekeke….

So during weekends, we would usually go to Jaya Jusco in Queensbay Mall to do our grocery shopping, getting the salmon and the vegetables for Ethan at the same time.  I hadn’t realized how obvious it was that we were getting salmon week in and week out, until last Sunday when I arrived at the fish section in Jusco and the fish guy said, “Hah…Salmon.  Ini tiap-tiap hari beli salmon.”  I corrected him and said it was “tiap-tiap minggu:P

Before we had a kid in the house, being well-stocked meant having at least 2 packets of instant noodles stashed away in the kitchen cupboard.  And when hunger struck, a “nutritious” meal of instant noodles can be prepared in the flash of an eye.  But now with Ethan around, I have to make sure the meals I prepare are nutritious, without the inverted commas :P

Just like last Sunday, when we were coming home from Gurney Plaza, Ethan indicated that he was hungry by saying “mum mum”.  So when we reached home, I decided to whip up a quickie meal of noodles (sans preservatives) for a light tea snack.  I had some organic spinach noodles which I had bought some time back.  Now, giving Ethan spinach noodles is really killing 2 birds with one stone because he loves noodles and at the same time, he was getting his greens as well.  The meal was prepared in about 5 minutes and I was glad that our boy enjoyed it so much!  It was gratifying to see him slurp each strand of the noodle and then proclaim “Chiak Pa!!” (Hokkien for “I’m full!”)

That night after the “No Breastfeeding Before Bedtime” incident, Ethan woke up (I think) once in the middle of the night. Not too bad I would say, but it was relatively harder to put him back to sleep after that. He seemed more well-rested though and only woke up way past 9:00a.m. the next morning. I was so worried something was wrong that I quickly took his temperature for sanity’s sake! This was because normally Ethan would be up and about at around 8:00a.m. :P

It was going to be an exciting day ahead because we were going to the Family Carnival at The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. We all had breakfast together; Ethan had a wholesome and nutritious meal of oats with milk and slices of banana.

At the carnival, Ethan was VERY well-behaved. There weren’t any baby chairs in sight, so we stacked two chairs and Ethan sat on them. Another milestone? You bet! And what did our boy eat? Some wan ton mee, a strand of laksa and he had his first taste of orange juice! I gave Ethan a choice of Apple Juice, Orange Juice or water, and he reached for the orange cup, perhaps attracted to its color?

Ethan also got himself a balloon teddy at the carnival. You know, those balloons that could be bent and twisted till it resembled some cute thingy? Well, of course, he had to show his affection by biting the poor balloon teddy on its nose and thereby bursting it! Surprisingly he was not in the least bit perturbed by the loud blast… Mommy jumped up in shock but our boy was the picture of perfect coolness. The nice uncle replaced his *headless* balloon teddy with a new one, anyway. :)

After spending all our RM50 worth of coupons, we went home, took a shower and had a brief nap. It was playgroup day and Ethan needed all the energy in the world!

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Open up and say “Aaaahhhhh”

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

Hold the Handle

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

Leg Lifting

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

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

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

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

which he declared to be:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yesterday evening when we picked Ethan up from Mrs Tan’s place, she proudly announced that Ethan willingly gobbled up every last bit of the rusk cereal mixed with Isomil!  However, when she tried feeding him the Isomil from the bottle, he only took a mouthful and then rejected it.  But she noticed that there was slight improvement, and he appeared to begin accepting the Isomil little by little.

I am now providing 1.5 feeds of EBM to Ethan while I am away at work (previously it was 2 feeds), in the hope that the remainder of the 0.5 feed can be covered by the Isomil in due course.  I am also slowly training myself to express milk at work just once.  It is an arduous process, but one which I knew I would have to undertake sooner or later.

This morning, Mrs Tan asked if she could give him 2 pieces of rusks for his breakfast instead of one.  Of course, I said!  Our boy is a healthy eater :)  Why not?

 

Yesterday, for the first time ever, I forked out my hard-earned money for a tin of formula.  Just for a small tin of Isomil, it cost me RM24.90.  And according to the instructions on the tin, once the tin is opened, the contents will expire 3 weeks from then.  SIGH.  The only thing I could think of when I bought it was how much money I had saved by breastfeeding Ethan for so long. :)

Last Friday when we picked Ethan up from Mrs Tan’s place, as expected, she told us that he totally rejected the Nestle NAN H.A. formula, not even wanting to take it as a mixture with his oats.  I had already expected this reaction and had braced myself for it because I know that the NAN formula tasted horribly bitter and since Ethan had already tasted other delicious food like siew mai, chicken rice and of course Mommy’s milk, why on earth would he want to take NAN?  Mrs Tan had also already packed up the tin of NAN ready for me to take home.  Haha…

So it was time now to try the third brand of formula: lactose-free Isomil.  My Mom told me that when I was a baby, I too was allergic to regular formula and was on Isomil, so it only made sense that perhaps Ethan is just like Mommy.  On Saturday morning, I mixed some Isomil with oats for Ethan but unfortunately he didn’t want to take it.  Strange…. I tasted a little bit of the Isomil and it tasted fine to me.  Not as sweet as Enfapro but definitely miles better than NAN H.A.!  So I dipped a few pieces of wholemeal nine-grain bun into the milk and gave it to him.  He took just a little bit, but at least that was improvement.  The next morning, I made a thick creamy cereal for Ethan with Isomil and his Farley’s rusks (which contain DHA too).  I showed him how to hold the spoon and exaggerated feeding himself with it.  Heh Heh…Guess what, our boy fell for it and had a considerable amount of the cereal with Isomil in the end!  Since the Isomil samples I had at home were all in sachet form, we thought it would be easier to buy a small tin and leave it at Mrs Tan’s place.  And that’s how we ended up buying that tin of Isomil.  I can’t wait to find out what transpired at Mrs Tan’s place today.

Huh, what? That’s a scary term to deal with.  And it is the scientific name for what is commonly known as hives.  That’s what Ethan has been diagnosed with…here’s the story:

When we picked Ethan up from Mrs Tan’s place yesterday evening, there were some small red rashes on his left cheek.  I applied some Sebamed Baby Cream as soon as we got back and breastfed him.  He fell asleep soon after and was still asleep even when Pete came back from his futsal game.  Ethan woke up at about 8:30p.m. and played for a while before we bathed him.  During his bath, we noticed that there were also small tiny rashes of a similar kind on his legs and a couple on his back.  I applied some baby cream and Egozite on those rashes and some calamine cream on his legs too.  Then early this morning, we felt his body was slightly warmer than usual and I promptly took his temperature.  We had bought a digital ear thermometer a couple of months back, so it was significantly easier to register a temperature compared to our conventional armpit thermometer.  The reading was 36.3 degrees, i.e. no fever.  Phew!

But still, I was paranoid and decided to take him to see Dr Jessica, for fear of it being HFMD.  After about an hour’s wait at GMC, we were ushered in and Dr Jessica examined Ethan.  She remarked that it could be due to the Enfapro formula which Ethan had been taking for the previous 2 days, albeit mixed with his oats.  Thankfully he had no ulcers and his fever had subsided.  Dr Jessica just asked us to apply the Egocort cream on Ethan’s rashes and monitor his condition, in case there is a fever.  We were to stop giving him Enfapro and instead, if we wanted, we could introduce the hypo-allergenic Nestle NAN H.A. formula. (I told Dr Jessica that I had a taste of NAN H.A. last night and it was HORRIBLE!  So much more bitter than Enfapro and made me almost throw up!)  In addition, Dr Jessica also gave us some sachets of Isomil, which was lactose-free, and she added that adults could also take it since it tastes like soya bean milk :)

We had lunch at Fatty Loh’s Chicken Rice at Tanjung Tokong where Ethan really enjoyed his chicken rice (and even demanded for more when we were done), and then we went home to pack up for half-day work.  I packed one feed of EBM for Ethan to bring to Mrs Tan’s place and brought along that tin of NAN H.A..  I gave her specific instructions to STOP Enfapro for the time being and try NAN H.A. instead.  Let’s pray that Ethan will be cured of his Papular Urticaria soon.  I’m ever so thankful that I have been breastfeeding him for so long :)

Yesterday morning, I prepared oatmeal for Ethan for his breakfast.  I had purchased a set of baby fork and spoon for him a few weeks back and being a little adventurous, I thought it was high time I took them out for him to try.  This first time round, I only used the spoon.  I blanched his baby oatmeal in some hot water to make it a smoother consistency and then added some organic soya bean milk which I had bought yesterday.  Being curious, I tried a little of my concoction and it tasted fantastic!

I then placed the oatmeal into Ethan’s bowl in front of him together with the baby spoon.  He immediately took to it like a duck to water.  I demonstrated to him how it should be done, and he was fascinated.  He attempted to feed himself and gosh, it was certainly a mess all right.. but can you tell that he is having so much fun?

We bought 4 cups of yogurt yesterday night and decided to try if Ethan likes it.  I gave him baby yogurt before a few months ago, but he didn’t like it, and I had to finish it all up in the end.  :P

Anyway, I gave him a spoonful and he gave a sourish-looking face.  Some of the yogurt dribbled out from his mouth but he swallowed most of it.  Then I took a spoonful myself, and exaggerated how GOOD it was…..:) I followed that with another spoonful for him.  Sour face again.  Then I ate another spoonful, and when I fed him his third spoonful of delicious mango yogurt, he took it happily and smiled, showing whatever teeth he had :)  He even asked for more after that!  And when the whole cup was finished, he still insisted he wanted some more, even though I told him “No more…”  Hehe… will try with strawberry yogurt tonight.

The yogurt I fed him is the low-fat variety, but I might try making my own high-fat yogurt with the low-fat starter later on, when I have introduced milk powder, or other forms of milk to Ethan.  After the yogurt extravaganza last night, and after his bath, Ethan became superhyperactive and Pete claims it could be because of the yogurt.  You think?

 

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

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

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

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

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

*SAHM: Stay At Home Mom

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

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

Yay Daddy!

Pete has not bottle-fed Ethan for quite some time now. He used to do it when Ethan was much younger, but at home I nurse Ethan direct, so we hardly ever give him the bottle.

Yesterday evening, there was some EBM left over from the sitter’s place when we took Ethan back, so Daddy was eager to feed Ethan the rest… and the clever little fella finished every single drop!

I remember when Ethan was a few months’ old, I had to hide myself sometimes when he was bottle-fed. In fact, I didn’t feed him the bottle myself until he was like 5 or 6 months’ old! By and by as he grew older, he willingly took the bottle from me and from Pete too. But you know, we never have to worry that he is overfed, cos he will know how to push the bottle away when he is full.

Since starting off on solids when he was 6.5 months, Ethan has been taking all sorts of yummy food. But food which is only approved my Mommy and Daddy.

So far he has been enjoying:

Carbohydrates
Red rice, white rice, millet, wheat, oats

Vegetables
Spinach, carrots, pumpkin, potatoes

Fruits
Pears, apples, prunes, papaya, bananas

Protein
Chicken, and just last weekend, I introduced him to fish.

White pomfret, to be exact. And I am a proud momma to announce that my boy ABSOLUTELY loves it! It was a real joy to feed him his fish porridge. He would open his mouth WIDE in anticipation of the food, take in his mouthful of porridge happily and then clap his hands with GLEE after each mouthful!!! — and then start banging the table for more!!

Recipe for Happy Fish Porridge
Ingredients:
Red rice
White rice
Millet
Red dates (for flavor)
Steamed white pomfret
Steamed carrots (can also substitute with pumpkin, potato, ad lib)
Unlimited amount of LOVE

Method:
Cook rice, millet and red dates into porridge consistency. Mash white pomfret meat and add into porridge together with carrots or other vegetables. Serve lukewarm with LOVE to happy baby.

Thank God for rusks!

Today I introduced teething rusks to Ethan. Since rusks contain wheat, we only waited till he was 8 months + (which is now) to introduce this complementary food. Upon the recommendation of a friend, I bought Heinz teething rusks, which are supposedly less brittle.Our boy took a liking to the longish rusks immediately! He sucked and nibbled on it, like his life depended on it! And when I took it away from him, he bawled like a …. well…. a baby! I tried a chip of it after that: it is really quite hard, and had no taste whatsoever.

So today while we had our dim sum brunch, we gave him another rusk to occupy himself while we ate. Normally, Ethan, being an active babe (and a demanding one at that too!), would not be able to sit still throughout our entire meal at a restaurant. But today, he had a teething RUSK… so while he busied himself with it, we had a nice non-carrying-baby brunch. Hallelujah to the rusk – definitely a great invention!

New toy for boy

The very canggih Fisher Price high chair we ordered from the States finally arrived. It is supposedly highly recommended for feeding, as it will keep baby entertained while mommy is fixing his meal. On top of that, it emits 6 songs and cheerful sounds! It also comes with teether toys attached; toys that would not dropped even if baby hurls them. What more could a baby ask for?Well, Pete wasted no time in setting up the chair, despite the numerous components it comprises. Pete always has a knack in fixing things up, and he loves doing so.

Anyway, after the chair was ready for its opening ceremony, we put Ethan in it. He seemed a little confused though, as he was used to the sleek and simple Ikea high chair we also have (and plan to pass to the baby sitter). This Fisher Price one was a different story altogether! It was BEEEEEEEG, albeit a little on the ugly side, but it is functional. It has cushioned seats, so when our boy jerks his head backward *sometimes*, he would not hurt his head. Heh.

We showed him the toys the chair came with, and soon enough, he was playing happily with them. Ermmmm……Playing here means chomping and sucking on them toys…just in case you were wondering.

Me and my Ikea high chair

Huh?…what’s this Daddy? A new toy you fixed for me?

Hey…I’m getting the hang of this! This chair is pretty darn cool!

Okay Mommy…now I’m ready for my meal. Feed me NOW!!

Six full months of drinking breast milk only has earned Ethan the right to move on to solid food. On the menu today, I prepared rice cereal mixed with expressed breast milk, stirred to a runny consistency. We put him in his yellow Bumbo seat, got him garbed in a bib, had a hanky ready and proceeded to feed him.The first mouthful was met with a sour look and a “What’s that you are feeding me, Mommy?” expression.

Most of the cereal dribbled out the corner of his mouth though. He then grabbed the feeding spoon and began to play with it. Of course, we were hoping he would feed himself la…. hehehe… no such luck as he only used the spoon to hit the Bumbo seat and tried to chew on it.



All in all, a successful first attempt and I am not complaining. Six months of exclusive breastfeeding also earned Mommy a “present”: a slice of yummy apple crumble cheese cake :)

 

June 2017
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