Growing Up

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Scrap Credits
Sweet Surrender QP  from Irene V. Alexeeva
Word Art (Remember Moments) from
Dirty Feet Designs aka Heather Benson


Yesterday, I had my (now) weekly prenatal checkup with the OB/GYN.  I am 38 weeks along now.

Coincidentally, Ethan’s daycare provider had an appointment in the morning, so Ethan had to tag along with us to the medical center for the checkup too.  It was the first time we brought him along, not because we didn’t want to before, but because it would be a daunting task keeping his curious little hands away from all the equipment in the examination room.

Anyway, while in the waiting area, Ethan was very much his active little self, even offering his *services* to put away all the magazines that people had left strewn on the chairs.  Of course, it goes without saying that his curiosity got the better of him and he began asking what this was and what that was.  He even rehearsed saying, “Hi doctor!”

Then when my name was called, he looked on in amazement as the nurse took my weight.  And in the examination room, he insisted on sitting on the chair by himself, and pointed at the pictures on the wall, asking what they all were.

But when my doctor came in, Ethan became very quiet all of a sudden, and it was only a few minutes later that he mustered up the courage to say hi to the good doctor.  For the first time too, Ethan heard his sibling’s strong heartbeat when the doctor did his routine checkup.  I was also due for a cervix exam, and while Pete *entertained* Ethan, the doc informed me that although the cervix was softening, it was still closed.

The checkup was all done in a jiffy, and Ethan said “Buh-bye!” to the doctor as we left.

He’s gonna be an awesome big brother, don’t you think?

 

…and he does it HIS way…
… asking for his toothbrush and toothpaste
… complete with gargle and spit action using his own cup

… and yes, *sometimes* (actually more often than not nowadays) he would insist that Daddy and Mommy brush our teeth too, after he has completed his task!

How can we turn down a “Mommy, brush teeth!” or “Daddy, brush teeth!” request that comes with a gentle shove towards the bathroom?

Ethan is a big boy now…

Chatter matters


Scrap Credits
QP from Bronwen van Esch, made with Kim B’s new Roche kit
Elements from Freebie Janvier  - Partie 5 kit from Scrapmalin
Stained Alphas from Designs by Sarah

Oooh yes. Another phase we are going through right now.

Ethan has moved on from asking “Apa tu?” to asking “What’s that?” almost everywhere he goes.

So our conversations will go a little something like this:

Ethan: Mommy, Mommy…what’s that? (pointing at item)
Mommy: That’s a computer mouse.
Ethan: What’s that? (pointing at the screen)
Mommy: That’s a volcano, darling.
Ethan: VOLCANO… what’s that?
Mommy: That’s the color purple.

Or sometimes when we are in the parking garage:

Ethan: What’s that? (pointing at one of the vehicles)
Daddy: That’s a truck.
Ethan: What’s that?
Daddy: That’s an SUV.
Ethan: SUV.  What’s that?
Daddy: That’s a car.
Ethan: A Car!  What’s that?
Daddy: That’s our car!
Ethan: *hop-hop-hops towards our car*

It ain’t always easy though.  Sometimes he asks some trying questions too:

Ethan: Mommy, what’s that? (pointing to somewhere on the couch)
Mommy: That’s the middle of the couch, darling. :P

or…

Ethan: (pointing to a decorative item on the wall of the restaurant we were dining in) What’s that Mommy?
Mommy: That’s called a buluh sumpitan in Malay. :)
Daddy: Blowpipe laaa!!!

(ooops)

***

On a separate note, Ethan likes to practise the many words he learns every day.  Pete related this incident to me one evening when he was fetching Ethan back in the car:

Ethan: Sunny?  Sunny outside?
Daddy: No Ethan, it’s dark outside now.
Ethan: Sunny?  Glasses…. sunnyglasses?
Daddy: You wanna wear your sunglasses.  No Ethan, it’s not sunny, you don’t need your sunglasses now.
Ethan: (pauses) Moon???  Moonglasses?

He is truly the JOY of our lives :) 

Ethan has taken a strong liking to the computer.  He frequently asks to use the “peter, peter, peter!” (Nope, he is NOT calling his Daddy by name; that’s how he calls the “computer” for short!)

Most of the time, we’ll tell him we’ll let him play on the computer AFTER he has had his dinner, or AFTER he has taken his shower.  Seems to work some of the time. :)

Previously when we allowed him to play, he would need our assistance to click on the mouse, but he has since mastered how to do that all by himself.  We normally allow him to surf the Playhouse Disney on Disney Online site, because most of the characters he loves are there.

Check out how he performs the left-click on the mouse in the snippet below.  In this video I took, he is doing some digital coloring on the My Friends Tigger & Pooh section of the site.  See how Ethan drags the numbered honey pots to the corresponding number on the picture and clicks the mouse to fill the picture with color.  And look at how jubilant he is when he finished the activity!

Last night, he asked for the computer again.  I told him he would get just 30 minutes before it was time for his bed. 

And he said, “Okay Mom!” :)

I extended the 30 minutes to 45 minutes because he was so well-behaved, and when it was time to shut down the PC, I told him that was all for the night, and he obediently helped me shut down.  He got his bedtime books ready (one for Ethan, one for Mommy and one for Daddy), scooted into the room, and before long he was in dreamland.

That’s my boy! :D

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
Le petit prince a dit cluster frame from Elodie
Toy Store - Partie3 paper and ribbon from Digital-Crea
Elegant word art (sleep) from Bethany

It all started about 2 weeks or so ago. Ethan contracted high fever, up to 39.5°C. I had to stay home with him to monitor his condition and at times it was pretty scary, because the fever fluctuated up and down throughout the day. We then decided to take him in to Urgent Care, where we could just walk in and not have to make an appointment. But that meant waiting for quite a long while, and after the doctor’s checkup, and we had gotten the prescription filled at the pharmacy, there was the arduous task of force-feeding Ethan the antibiotics. Not a pleasant scene at all, I can assure you.

In addition to his fever, Ethan was also coughing and thus, he was finding it difficult to sleep and rest at night. He would kick and scream and refuse to sleep soundly, resulting in both Daddy and Mommy not sleeping well either.

But thankfully, he is better now. It is always a joy to see him back to his usual cheeky and perky self.

Being at home with Mommy for that extended period resulted in an uphill task in getting him ready for daycare after that. He would grumble and throw a big tantrum and became extremely whiny when we had to leave the house in the morning. And that’s not all…one day after we picked him up from daycare, he decided to make a big fuss about not wanting to leave the car, crying and screaming his lungs out in the car garage. And when we finally got him back home to our apartment, he started crying again. Although we put our foot down and warned him sternly that he was not to repeat it, it hurt our hearts to see him behave that way.

We were quite certain it was Ethan’s natural reaction to finally realising he was going to be a big brother soon, and we figured it was his way of trying to get our attention as much as possible.  And we were at our wits’ end as to how to overcome it.

Then the weekend came…and amazingly, Ethan slept through till way past 9:00a.m. both on Saturday and Sunday! When he awoke, he was cheerful, smiling and had happiness written all over his face. He also had his afternoon nap. And added plus was that he began to have a better appetite for food!

So it looks like Ethan has finally inherited Daddy’s and Mommy’s traits of loving to sleep. Well, a growing mind and body definitely needs more sleep, and it is obvious that sufficient sleep makes for a happy toddler. And certainly, no one is complaining! :)

Scrap Credits
Anxiously Awaiting QP from Scraps ‘n Pieces
Dandelion dream alphas from
A work in progress
Winter Spell3 -Partie 2 elements from Scrapmalin
Staple beads from Tracy King

 

Sometimes we do catch Ethan deep in thought, as if he were engaging in a session of soliloquy.  How I wish I could find out what he was thinking.

“I wonder how many of these Lay’s baked potato chips Mommy will allow me to eat.  I’m not giving anyone any…”

“Why do I have to wear this hood over my head?”

“Should I take a nap this afternoon?…Nah…maybe I’ll run around the house.”

“Should I dismantle my train track, and make Daddy fix it back again? I do so love the different tracks he can create.”

“I wonder if Mommy will allow me to eat crackers for dinner, and nothing else.”

“Will Daddy and Mommy take me to the mall afterwards?”

“Should I tell Mommy I want to go potty, just because I want to flush the toilet?  Maybe I should just go potty cos I just want to change my pull-ups.  Hehe.”

“Hmmm….what will it be today?  Would I look better in my car pull-up pants, or the cowboy pull-up pants?  And why does Mommy always ask me to wear that blue minky training pants?”

“..and why are these weird-looking aunties and uncles offering me food?”

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.


Scrap Credits
Quick Pages Sampler 6 from Amanda Heimann Designs
The Little Drummer Boy frame and polka-dotted paper from Piggyscraps
Winter Spell -Partie 2 tag element from Lilipruneau
Splats Freebie from Sev Designs
Ice Cold Alpha from Christie Lemmon Designs
Heart doodles from fei-fei’s stuff

Ethan’s favoritese character right now is none other than Mickey Mouse.  His face will light up with joy whenever he sees Mickey strolling up the path at the beginning of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show, and even before the show starts, he will ask for “Mickey!  Mickey!”  And if we allow him to start watching the show in the morning before work, we have to wait till the show finishes with the Hot Dog Dance before we can leave the house.  SIGH.

We recently bought him a Mickey Mouse soft toy from the Disney Store at the mall at a steal! It was only $8 and he absolutely loves it.  Sometimes, he would *share* his water, his milk, his muffin, etc with Mickey.  And sometimes he would also take Mickey on horsey rides on his shoulders, much like what we do with him.  He really loves his Mickey dearly, and as his mood allows, he would also ask for Mickey before he goes to sleep.

Well, no prizes for guessing where we will be heading off to for our Christmas vacation next week! :D

 
Scrap Credits
Cozy collection & Bellissimo freebie from retrodiva {designs}™
Kit “Memory” Costura cross-stitch from Sueli Colbert
HoldEmUps from Tara Dunstan
Elegant Fall Alphas (punctuation commas) fromTracy King
Paper word strips from Sugarplum Paperie

Among the many words that have crept into Ethan’s vocabulary of late, one very important and precious word has been added too.  And that word is “sorry”.

However, he doesn’t really use it much in the apologetic manner, but more so when he accidentally bumps, or hurts himself.  For example, when he is playing or running around, and he accidentally falls down or knocks his knee, he will put on a really adorable and sad face and say, “Oh sorry, sorry…”.  And only when we kiss the spot that hurts does he go about his own business again.

Speaking of getting hurt accidentally, we have noticed that since Ethan started attending daycare, he has become more gungho and is more adventurous.  Sometimes he throws caution to the wind, and well, ends up getting hurt.

But regardless, with that face, and that tone of voice going, “Sorry”, it’s really hard to resist not giving him a hug and kiss!

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? :)

 

 
Scrap Credits
Eloquent kit & Treasure Hunt Mini leaf element from SweetDigi Scraps
HoldEmUps from Tara Dunstan
Doodle Me Big doodles from Mikkel Paige Original
Alpha matching RAIC from Amy Sumrall
Elegant word art (love heart could hold) from Bethany

…well, except it’s not exactly “Mommy” that he calls me. :P

Ethan only started calling “Daddy” really clearly a few weeks before we left Penang for the United States.  I remember it happened one evening when we were all resting and playing in the living room and I prompted him to go call Daddy.  And he said ever so clearly, “Daddy!”  And then that same night, when I was about to give him a shower, Ethan wanted “Daddy!” too. 

Ah yes.  It was and still is a magical word that will open many doors for Ethan.

But while his “Daddy” was loud and clear, he remained tight-lipped when we asked him to call “Mommy”.  He did call me a few times but it was inconsistent.  By and by, he started calling me *something* that sounded like Mommy but was not.  And this was very consistent.

He calls me… “Martee“.

Yeah.  I think it’s because he links it from “Daddy” (”Da-dee”) and then maybe he thinks it’s “Mar-tee” or “Ma-dee”…you know, just by changing the first syllable and maintaining the last one?

Anyway, it’s kinda embarrassing sometimes because Ethan calls a banana “Martee” too, and sometimes even Barney “Martee”.  Well, in a most unqiuely endearing kind of way, Ethan addresses me as “Martee”, his way of calling me “Mommy”… albeit differently, but I am certain, filled with love and sweetness in every way.

I look forward to going to daycare every weekday morning now.  When I wake up in the morning, I stretch and roll around on my bed till Mommy comes and coaxes me to get up.  Then I have my drink of milk.  Most of the time, Mommy will also give me a quick shower before dressing me up.  It’s rather chilly outside now, so I get to wear my long pants and sweats, which I personally think make me look cool. 

Sometimes while Daddy is having his breakfast, I will hijack some of his Frosties with milk too.  It’s yummilicious!  Then I’ll put on my jacket and shoes and head out the door. 

When we reach Aunty Van’s place, I like to stroll up the pathway to her apartment.  Sometimes I do a hop, skip and jump too!  Lately, I have been getting delicious pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast.  I love it loads, especially cos I get to eat together with my friends at daycare.

Sometimes Aunty Van would take a few pictures and that’s when I like to show how good I am at posing for the camera, see?

 

We do lots of stuff at daycare, like singing, dancing and even fun activities like bubble play and playing with the parachute!  We also do creative artwork every day, one of my favorites being the coloring sessions.  I bring home my art to show Mommy and Daddy every evening when I go home.

 

But it’s not just the fun we have indoors, we get to go outdoors too!  Aunty Van will take us all in a train buggy; we all get to ride in one buggy each, and we all need to remember to buckle ourselves up first.  Aunty Van takes us to the park, where there are play areas complete with a play structure and slides.  I love it outside, especially when the weather is just nice, not too hot and not too cold.

 

Daddy will be glad that the football training he has been giving me is not put to waste at daycare.  Why, just the other day, I got to show off my Zidane-like skills when we went to the park with the football.  Oh, over here in the US, I think they call it SOCCER.  But whatever it is, I still had tons of fun!

 

I’ve learnt a lot of new things at daycare, and I am definitely having a BLAST!  Sometimes when Daddy or Mommy comes to pick me up in the evenings, I am even reluctant to go home!

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!”

Crazy about cars

Ethan received many presents from many people before we left for the States.  Some we were able to ship together with our shipment, but some, unfortunately, we had really no space left in our bags since our shipment had already gone when we received them.

One of the bigger presents that made it in time for the shipment was this rather huge box containing a Matchbox toy ensemble.  It was a present from Ethan’s Kor-Kor, Aunty Pauline, who thought it was time our little boy was exposed to *macho* toys.  Well!

Anyway, when our shipment arrived in the States about a week and half after we did, Ethan was very excited when he saw the Matchbox box, and asked me to open it up for him.  In it was a castle, a dragon, a boulder and a brown truck, among others.

 

Ethan was EXHILARATED!  He was especially enthralled by the car/truck, and he kept saying, “Car! Car!” excitedly.  In fact, he was even willing to forgo his milk just to play with the car.

So when we saw a set of five other Matchbox vehicles on sale for less than USD5, we knew we just had to get it for him.  And got it we did.  The original truck/car that came with the toy set is the one at the far left.  And here’s Ethan’s very cool car collection now, including a helicopter which he loves to make it land on the castle tower.

 

Daddy even taught Ethan how to *play* with cars, complete with sound effects, and not surprisingly, Ethan followed suit.  In fact, Ethan is also asking us to “open” the doors of the cars, but unfortunately the ones he has do not have doors that can be opened.  We’ll put that on the list of things to buy though. 

But you know, I bet once we fix batteries on that castle ensemble, his grin will be even cheekier than this one!

 

Even now when we are more or less settled in the States, I still sometimes think about how Pete and I managed to travel that long-haul journey with Ethan, all the way from Malaysia.  Some planning came into play way before we boarded the aircraft, and although some of our plans worked out, some did not, and we had to be flexible enough to change and adapt accordingly.

Here are some of the things we took into consideration:

  • Travel as light as possible.  Each of us checked in one piece of luggage, and we brought only ONE carry-on luggage.  Pete and I also had our laptops with us, but thankfully, those could be slung over our backs.  The idea here was to have as many hands free as possible, so we could take care of Ethan.

 

  • We packed a few entertainment stuff for Ethan too, among others a brand new doodle pad.   It’s just a tiny one, something he could do to amuse himself.  I also had a sticker book in the bag, and that was a lifesaver.  He played with the stickers right before we boarded the flight to Hong Kong, and the book followed us all the way to the States!

The greatest challenge we faced in the aircraft was when it was time to buckle up.  Sometimes Ethan would cooperate, but most of the time, he preferred to be unbuckled.  So especially during takeoffs and landings, when we absolutely needed to put on the seat belt, Pete pulled out the most “imaginative weapon” ever.  Knowing how much Ethan loves to play with cards, Pete brought out his wallet, and Ethan had fun taking out and putting the cards back in.  That kept him safe and secure all through takeoffs and landings.

We wanted to rely on the toys given by SIA to toddlers for entertaining Ethan, but unfortunately, they weren’t much to shout about.  Well, he did get himself a toy watch, placemat and stickers, deck of cards and a lanyard, but that was about it.

Let’s hope the return journey in a few months’ time would be an improvement, what with us travelling with a baby too!

One of our primary concerns when we relocated to the States was how Ethan would adapt to the change.  For one thing, Ethan is a very fussy eater, and we were worried if he would be able to accept the food here.  So we tried our best to make the transition as smooth sailing as possible.

With the safe arrival of our FedEx food shipment, we were definitely relieved, because I could now cook dishes Ethan would enjoy, like tau-ewe-bak, chicken serai and claypot chicken rice.  However, my objective is still to have Ethan try out and love a variety of many other different foods.

To make him more comfy in his new environment also, we brought along a little present for him from Malaysia.  And the morning after we arrived, I took it out and asked him to unwrap it.  Knowing how much he adores alphabets and numbers, we got him a set of colorful wooden blocks.  I tell you, just seeing his face light up with excitement was enough to make my day.

 

Well unfortunately, a few days later, he started throwing these blocks around the apartment.  I gave him a warning that I would take them away from him, but when he kept on throwing them, I stored the blocks away one day while he was asleep.  Looks like he doesn’t even miss them though. SIGH.

In the span of the past few weeks that we have been here, we have seen Ethan grow in leaps and bounds.  Not only has he become more sociable and vocal (and stubborn), he seems to have become more independent too.  For one thing, he loves to take his bath, and I attribute this to the bath tubs.  Oh, we got him some colorful foam alphabets and numbers to while his time away in the tub. Hehe.

 

And the first weekend we were here, we had a barbecue gathering by a nearby apartment poolside.  Ethan would only eat raisins and chips though, but he sure made a lot of new friends.

 

It definitely looks like our fears of Ethan having trouble adapting to life in the States are unfounded, because not only has he proven he’s a tough guy, he’s very resilient too.  In fact, when the weather’s chilly, Pete and I are feeling really cold, I feel Ethan’s hands and feet and he’s warm and cosy.

That’s my little man right there…  these pictures were taken a few days ago when we were out having a snack at In-N-Out.  The first picture was taken before the food came:

 

See our grouchy he looks?

And this second one is taken after the meal.  Ethan only had (a lot of) fries, but here’s his look of satisfaction as he enjoys his pink lemonade drink:

 

Ethan simply loves being in a hotel.  Whenever we bring him on hotel stays, we can tell he really has the time of his life!

In the recent weeks, we have had the chance of staying in a few different hotels.  When we checked into the E&O recently, Ethan immediately made himself at home in the room.

He loved playing with the oranges they provided, and asking us to turn on the TV for him, switching channels here and there, but most of all, he adored the bath tub.

He would keep saying “Tub! tub!”, and it wasn’t long before he figured out how to climb into the tub on his own.  There was no trouble at all getting him to take his bath.  At home, we sometimes need to chase him around the house to get him to take a shower, but here in the hotel (with a bathtub), he will willingly undress and climb in.

After his bath, and his nightcap, he still would not sleep, but instead chose to climb onto a chair and “see” outside the window.  It was raining cats and dogs that night, and Ethan was truly intrigued.  He especially like the “fan”-shaped tree, which could be clearly visible from our window.

 

So when we were in KL a few days ago, and we stayed in Crowne Plaza Mutiara KL, where the room had a tub, we knew our boy would be really excited! 

And he was :)

Bubbles everywhere!!!  He even tricked Pete by calling “Daddy! Daddy!” and when Daddy came to see him in the tub, he splashed bubbles and foam all over his Daddy.  Cheeky lil fella.  I wonder if he remembers his very first trip in this same hotel about a year back…

He is becoming quite the pro at using the bathtub now and he really makes full use of the tub by lying down and enjoying the bubbles, and then flipping over and kicking the water with his feet, as if he was swimming.  Then he would make waves with his arms and stomp around the tub while screaming in delight.

We think Ethan will really love it in the States, where our apartment comes with TWO bathtubs.  Well…we’ll see then, won’t we? :)

Bungalow

Ethan got himself a bungalow last Saturday.  Make that “bungalow”…in inverted commas.

It was “presented” to him during his playschool session as he was having his snacks.  He was happily munching away on his biscuits and then he apparently turn around to look at me, lost his balance somehow and fell down from the bench.  Normally he would be able to break his fall with his hands, but since his hands were full (holding the biscuits), he hit his forehead on the ground, earning him a gigantic bump on the left side of his forehead. :(

We were SHOCKED.  As was Ethan, because he didn’t immediately cry, but only after a while did he wail out loud.  We tried to put an ice pack on the bump, but Ethan would not allow it to be there for long.  After a few minutes of on-and-off ice packs, the bump subsided a little.

He looked his normal self, and was smiling away a while later.  In fact, if I may say so myself, it certainly does appear that he has become more active (and mischievous) after the fall, believe it or not.

Here’s a sneak on what the bump looked like in the evening:

I took this picture right after THE MATCH.  The TV in the background shows the logo of Liverpool: we beat Man U 2-1!!!  Woohooo!!!  Sorry, couldn’t resist that :P

Here’s what Ethan looks forward to when we go to church on Sundays:

  • Pointing at the numbered pews and loudly exclaiming “One!”, “Two!”, “Three!” and so on.
  • Pointing at the words projected on the projector and shouting the letters out loud, much to the amusement of everyone around him.
  • Sitting on the seats like an adult would.
  • Giggling at toddlers nearby.
  • Making his usual rounds around the church sanctuary.
  • Kneeling when we kneel and praying (hands in prayer position) when we pray.
  • Raising his hands in worship during The Lord’s Prayer.
  • Wishing everyone “peace be with you” with his hands clasped together and flashing the most adorable smile ever.
  • …and of course, THIS:

During Ethan’s recent checkup at the PD’s, I mentioned to Dr Jessica that I was rather worried about Ethan’s eating habits; that he did not want to eat pieces of meat and vege, but instead only liked the carbs.  I told her I was concerned if he had worms in his tummy.  And that was when Dr Jessica said she was glad I brought it up, because she normally dewormed her patients when they turned 2.

She prescribed Vermox for Ethan, and it was probably a good thing too, because lately he has a bad habit of playing with his mouth and tongue.  And goodness knows what he has touched before that.  The booklet of instructions contained in the Vermox box specifically warned that it should be administered on kids 2 years and over only.  The dosage was 10ml (the entire bottle) and according to Dr Jessica, it had a sticky constituency.

Pete and I were scratching our heads, trying to think of an effective way to feed 10ml of foreign liquid to Ethan, when even 2.5ml of medicine would be met with protests, kicking and screaming.  I know the Vermox is a chocolate flavored one, which is usually okay with kids, but Ethan doesn’t really like chocolate too.

I kept the box of Vermox in the fridge for a few days, and of and on, Ethan would pick up the box out of curiosity and ask me to open it.  We did consider pouring the Vermox mixture into the small plastic cup provided and coaxing Ethan to drink from it, but the whatif was if Ethan pushed away the cup, the whole mixture would be wasted.

Then Pete suggested mixing it into Ethan’s “nenno”.  I was a bit apprehensive at first because the risk was that if he rejected it, then he might reject future feeds of “nenno” too.  But then last night, I took a look at how much 10ml was compared to Ethan’s nightly 6oz feed, and it was rather negligible.

So I bit the bullet, made Ethan’s milk last night with 6oz of warm water, 3.5 scoops of Pediasure and poured the 10ml of Vermox into the mixture.  The 0.5 scoop of Pediasure was a little assurance to offset the smell and taste of Vermox, if any.  I took a whiff of the mixture I had concocted and it smelled vaguely like chocolate milk, though visually it still looked like “nenno”.

After Ethan’s shower, I took him to the room to dress him up in his peejays.  Gave him his milk when he asked for it, and sang him a few songs.  While singing “The wheels on the bus”, I mentally kept track of the decreasing amount of milk in the bottle.  Halfway through “Thumbkin”, and he was almost done.  I sang a few more nursery rhymes, complete with actions, and voila!  He polished the entire bottle of milk :razz:

….together with the Vermox :lol:

Then and now


Scrap Credits
Playdate Mini kit from Amy Bleser
Paper word strips from Sugarplum Paperie
Elegant word art (boys are kisses) from Bethany
Polka dotted arrow from Dúnia
Confetti from Aja Abney

When once he clung to Mommy, now he will happily play with his toys. Although most of the time he still plays in silo, he is slowly overcoming his shyness.

When once he will only play with the ball in the playground, he now loves to slide down the slides in addition to all other activities.

When once he didn’t want to join in the singing and clapping, he now willingly obliges, sometimes even offering to be the first one to hold the *window* for the Window Song.

When once all he wanted to do was to run away from the singing session, now he waves and smiles happily at the kids. His attention span is still very short though, and it won’t be long before he prefers to walk around the hall, or to *disturb* Daddy.

When once he would not want to even be a part of any song, now he loves the action songs. He doesn’t do them all though, but it is apparent his favorites are the ones requiring everyone to move around the room…and of course, the one that ends with everyone “falling down” on the floor!

When once he could not wait to go home after the session, now he will wait patiently for Teacher Puva to give him a sticker or two. He’s a real gentleman and will not bulldoze his way for his stickers, but will sit and wait.

When once he pushed teacher away when the class was over, only content to wave and give a flying kiss, he now gives a nice hug before we say goodbye.

The 3 months or so with Learning Garden has indeed been a blessing, and we look forward to more.


Scrap Credits
Always Welcome kit from Kelly Puddy
The Promise Collection Alphas from Shabby Princess Designs
Doodle Me Big doodles from Mikkel Paige Original
Monogram ampersand & cluster from Sugarplum Paperie
Word Art - 3 from fei-fei’s stuff 
 

Getting Ethan to bed is a routine for us now.  He takes his shower at about 8-ish and then has his “nenno” while I dress him up in his peejays.

Then, he will get his fair share of word videos, where he repeats the words he sees.  Sometimes he prefers a good Barney DVD to while his time away.  He kinda knows that he is only allowed to watch the TV after his bath, and so when we undress him and tell him it’s time to bathe, he will very obediently run to the bathroom.

Anyway, after watching his videos, I will tell him it’s time for bed, and he will either walk to the room on his own and wait for us to open the door for him, or if he is in a “manja” mood, he will ask us to carry him into the room.

He will then roll around on the bed, and sometimes, he will only want Mommy to be there with him.  In this scenario, he will push Daddy away gently, wave goodbye and even give a flying kiss to Daddy :lol:

Then he will want to hug me to sleep.  There were a few times where I told him to hug his pillow to sleep instead, explaining to him that Mommy will hug my pillow and Ethan will hug his pillow.  Well, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  But in the middle of the night, if he wakes up because of a nightmare, he will need to be hugged and comforted to sleep.  Even in the mornings, if Ethan wakes up and I am not in bed, he will go over to his Daddy and hug him instead.

I know he will soon outgrow his hugging needs, but I am not sure if I am ready to let go yet…because I’m sure you know how therapeutic a hug can get, huh?  I guess I’ll cherish it as long as it lasts…


Scrap Credits
You are so beautiful add-on kit from Doreen Stolz
Acrylic alphas from A work in progress
Beach Blanket freebie bent frame from Maria LaFrance
Edgy Valentine grungy heart element from Nicole Norcutt
Paper word strips from Sugarplum Paperie

Our three-day holiday weekend came and went in the blink of an eye. But Pete and I are always thankful for those precious moments we get to spend with our darling Ethan, and we know that Ethan loves weekends and holidays as much as we do too.

I have no doubt in my mind that the precious quality time we spend with him is by and by making him more confident and sure of himself, and last weekend I was an even more prouder momma of my little boy when he began uttering more words :) :razz: :)

Our days and months of showing, telling and teaching him what an apple is finally bore fruit when our boy, who was watching an educational video, suddenly said “Air-puh!” I was pleased, of course, but I wanted to make sure the word is consistently said.

After our Saturday evening walk, I saw Ethan wandering in the kitchen and asked him,

“What are you looking for, darling?”

And our boy promptly replied,

“Air-puh!”

And so, even though we were still full from the dinner we just had, I happily relented and cut him some slices of “air-puh” :)

There are many more other words which he picked up recently, much to the amusement of Mommy and Daddy, among them “elephant”, which he consistently refers to as “eh-pah-pah-pah….”, a variation of the “air-puh”, methinks.

And also, it thrills me to no end that he has also started asking for “book” when he wants to sit on his throne. Chip of the old block, eh? :lol:


Scrap Credits
 Freebie Maio from Mitia Assef
Elegant word art (Little Things Big Things) from Bethany
Rustic Walk alphas from A work in progress
Stamp cluster 12 (modified) from Lindsay Jane Designs
Confetti from Aja Abney
Polka dotted arrow from Dúnia

Ethan is starting to live up to the Mr Independent tag on his peejays, yeah, the one his Daddy got him from US. The things he can do, he must do by himself, some bordering on being a perfectionist at heart to obsessive compulsive disorder-ism. Ah well. Maybe it is his own style of doing a Frank Sinatra “I’ll do it My Waaayyyyy…..”

When we are getting ready to go out, he wants to take his own shoes and place them on the floor for us to wear. If we help him take his shoes, he will protest loudly and demand that we put them back on the shoe rack where he can take them himself. Sometimes, when he is all done and ready to go and I am still not out of the door, he will choose a pair of shoes for me from the rack and place it at the doorstep, all ready for me to put them on!

When he asks for his “nenno”, and I give him his bottle, he will refuse it. He wants me to put it somewhere where he can retrieve it himself. Then he will finish the entire bottle.

He wants a spoon of his own when we go out and eat. If it is rice, he will attempt to scoop the rice and feed himself. If it is noodles, I will put some of the noodles on his spoon and he will feed himself with the spoon.

He has a peculiar way of drinking water (I hope this only happens at home, though). He wants me to carry him up to reach for every one of the cups from left to right IN ORDER of arrangement, rinse it and fill it with a little bit of water, then he drinks from it, repeating the process with all the cups. We have a stainless steel mug rack with 2 layers which can hold 3 mugs per layer. So imagine me doing this with a *slightly-heavier-than-a-rice-sack* on one arm SIX times! Ah well…as long as it gets him to drink water happily.

Speaking of drinking water, nowadays when we are out and about, he prefers not to drink from the straw in his tumbler, rather he would ask me to unscrew the cover of his tumbler and he will hold the entire tumbler with both hands and drink from the rim. I guess he figured it’s faster that way…

All his Yakult bottles need to be arranged in a single row across the shelf in the refrigerator. If the shelf cannot fit all, then he has to rearrange them all over again. Same thing goes for his books. He must arrange them all neatly in a row, otherwise he gets frustrated.

Well, that’s what makes Ethan … Ethan! :razz:

*** 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 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

 
Scrap Credits
You are so beautiful add-on kit from Doreen Stolz
Template Challenge 11 from ChrissyW
Dandelion dream alphas from A work in progress 

My Mom and Dad left Penang for Ipoh today.  One week really passes so quickly, that in the blink of an eye, it’s already time for them to leave.  In the span of the one week that they spent with Ethan, his fondness for both his Ah Ma and Kong Kong has grown in leaps and bounds.  And I am sure the feeling is mutual too.

Both my parents have been an immense help during the past week, even volunteering to help me clean my living room windows and wipe the TV cabinet (*so ashamed*).  Most of all though, I am impressed at how obedient Ethan is with his Kong Kong.  Remember the difficulty we faced in getting Ethan to sit in his car seat?  A few days hanging out with Kong Kong, and Ethan would willingly climb into the car seat on his own and allow my father to strap him up.  Of course, Ethan, being very much into his terrible twos and all, received a fair amount of reprimanding from his Kong Kong too.  And now he will obediently NOT go to the playground in the evening when his Kong Kong says, “No no.  Dark already.  Don’t go to the playground.” :)

It also helps that Ethan has established a morning walk routine with his buddy pal grandfather.  Oh, did I mention that Ethan has been waking up at 6:30a.m. for the past one week or so?  Anyway, he will play with his toys, watch TV, drink his milk and patiently wait for my Dad to get ready.  As soon as he sees that my father is all dressed up, Ethan will rush to the door and wait for my father to open the door.  Then Ethan will climb atop our little wooden stool in our porch and wait for Kong Kong to put on his sandals for him.  And off they will go.  On working days, this routine allows me to take my shower and get dressed for work with no interruption.

So basically, Ethan goes up, down and all around with Kong Kong.  Pull here and pull there.  At e-Gate, it’s always up the stairs to the first floor to experience the wonderful view of the sea with Kong Kong.  It’s no wonder that Kong Kong is all tired out every evening :)

However, I think the tiredness is definitely all worth it just to see that adorable face of Ethan light up every time he sees his Ah Ma and Kong Kong.

This morning, when we dropped him off at Ah Poh’s place, my Mom told Ethan that Ah Mah and Kong Kong were going back to Ipoh today and immediately there was a sorrowful look on Ethan’s face.  I know he understands what is being said, because as soon as Ah Mah clarified that they will be back in a week’s time on Saturday, he smiled a little.  He hugged Kong Kong extra tight right before we left him off at Ah Poh’s, and cried a little.  And as we left him at the door, we could sense that Ethan was holding back his tears, so we quickly said a quick goodbye and left.

Ethan definitely misses Kong Kong and Ah Ma and I am sure they miss him more.  He will surely be looking forward to next Saturday.

 

We made an appointment for Ethan to see Ms KE Chia, a speech and language therapist/pathologist at the i-Sports Center in Island Hospital last Friday.  Ethan, now 2 years and 3 months’ old, cannot yet express himself in words, and although some friends have advised that “It takes much longer for boys” and “Soon he will be talking non-stop” and “Just you wait.  One fine day he will start speaking, and you’ll want him to shut up“, we decided to err on the side of caution and bring him in for an assessment all the same.

We chose this speech therapist because when we enrolled Ethan for the parent-toddler class in The Learning Garden, I  noticed that the center was started by Ms Chia’s husband.  Her name sounded familiar, and upon checking the MASH (Malaysian Association of Speech-Language and Hearing) website, I was glad that she is a MASH certified therapist.

We waited for about 20 minutes before the therapist arrived, after which we were ushered into her room.  The major part of the room was filled with toys and books and puzzles, and Ethan immediately went for the ball.  While Ms Chia jotted down some historical details and information from us about Ethan, Ethan busied himself with all the *goodies* that were there.

Ms Chia told us that the first session that day was basically to perform an assessment to ascertain if Ethan was a habitually late talker (which is rather common in boys), or if the speech delay could be due to other factors, of which further therapy would perhaps be neccesary.  She assured us that we had made the right decision in coming over to see her, if anything, to allay our fears and confusion about Ethan’s delay in speech.

Speech delay in kids could be caused by:

  • Natural speech delay (more inherent in boys) - no therapy needed, just patience.
  • Behavioural issues, of which ADHD was one of the causes - some therapy needed
  • Autism - therapy and treatment needed.

She performed a few *tests* on Ethan while playing.  Simple evaluations like calling out to him, and asking him to bring certain toys and also some imitation play.  After the roughly 1.5 hour session, Ms Chia almost certainly ruled out autism, which she said is not likely because:

  • Ethan’s other development milestones, such as his motor skills were very good and above average.  She did ask us when he started walking and if he is eating well, all of which was in the “very good” category :P
  • Ethan had fantastic eye contact.  When his name was called, he turned around and looked at her.

However, we will need to test if Ethan is doing things based on situational scenarios or if he really understands it.  For example, if we open the door and say “Ethan, let’s go kai-kai!”, he will run and get his shoes, but whether or not he understands the concept of shoes is a different matter altogether.  What we need to find out is for instance, if Ethan can pick out his shoe amongst a group of other things, if he was asked to do so.

After the assessment, Ms Chia is still inconclusive about her findings on Ethan.  When she asked him to get her the ball while placing the ball and the car together, he doesn’t go and get it.  But he did look at the ball.  Which means he does understand what a ball is.  Why he did not get the ball for her is a mystery.  It could be because he was shy or because of behavioural reasons, i.e. “Why would I want to get the ball for you?  Go get it yourself la!” he might be thinking.

So before we left, Ms Chia gave us a Home Program to try out with Ethan.  It was essential now not to drill the words into him and force him to say it, but to make him understand what the objects really are.  We learnt that speech is something that cannot be forced, but will come naturally when the child is ready.  However, for kids with speech delay, we can do something to intervene and prod them in the right direction by helping them to understand.  For example, if I have a set of pictures of farm animals, and if I ask Ethan to pick out the duck or the chicken, he should be able to give it to me.  He didn’t do it at the session of course, but as I said, we are still not sure if this is a behavioural problem that needs to be addressed.

Anyway, some of the suggestions given for the Home Program are:

To improve listening and attending skills
This includes:

  • Bubble play (I bought 6 bottles of bubble solution from Toys R Us last Sunday) - Bubble play will get the kid’s attention and it offers us parents the opportunity to prod him to say words, like “More?” or “Give the bottle to Mommy/Daddy”
  • Rolling a ball - “Roll/throw the ball to Daddy/Mommy”.  By the way, Ethan is now beginning to enunciate the word “ball” even more clearly.  He started with “Ba”, then it was “Bor”, and now lately it’s “Ball” (with added emphasis on the L) :P
  • Awareness of environmental sounds - We will need to help him by being his “eyes and ears”. Now whenever I go out and I see/hear birds, I’ll say “Ethan, look at the birds! Tweet tweet!  Can you hear the birds?”  I also sign “bird” when I say it, and I am very happy with the progress, because now whenever Ethan hears the birds singing, he will sign “bird” without my prompting.  And this only after 2 days of teaching him!  Sometimes I don’t even realize there are birdie sounds until I notice Ethan signing “bird”.  This is a positive thing, and it shows that he understands what a bird is, because he is signing it.  Ms Chia was also very happy when I told her that Ethan can sign many words, although he doesn’t say it.  According to her, this shows that he understands and is willing to communicate.
  • Finger play - Nursery rhymes with actions, etc.  His current favorite is Itsy Bitsy Spider and One-Two-Buckle-My-Shoe.

To improve imitative skills
Trying to get Ethan to copy what we do.  This is one of the most important steps towards learning.

To improve turn-taking skills
While playing with Ethan, we can take turns doing the same thing.  For instance, taking turns to play the xylophone, and saying, “Okay, Ethan’s/Mommy’s/Daddy’s turn!”  He will have to learn to wait his turn before doing it.  I foresee some difficulty in this one because our boy is quite an impatient chap.  Well, it’s time for him to learn patience then.

To improve understanding of common objects, animals, family members, etc

  • Ms Chia suggested making my own flash cards by taking pictures of the objects Ethan often sees. So I will be doing that soon.  Then the options of playing and learning with these cards are endless.  Placing them around the house for a hide-n-go-seek game, matching the cards to the actual objects and so on.
  • Wooden puzzles with pictures - The wooden puzzles that Ethan owns now has pictures of animals of which I don’t even know the sounds of (like zebra, hippo, alligator) :P.  So Ms Chia suggested using farm animals instead.  Last Sunday, I bought a wooden Melissa & Doug puzzle with farm animals, and I am currently in the process of training/teaching Ethan to get to know the animals and the sounds they make.  I will say, “Ethan, where is the duck? Quack Quack!” or “Ethan, show Mommy the pig? Oink Oink!” And if he doesn’t respond, I will pick up the correct piece and show/tell him.  So far, after 2 days of education, he is getting the “duck” quite well.  Last night, when I said, “Ethan, give Mommy the duck.  Quack Quack!”  He replied with “da-duck!”

Oh by the way, the understanding and comprehension of objects around the child is more important than say, understanding colors or shapes, which Ms Chia says will come when the child is about 3 years old or maybe 4 (US standards).  Nothing to worry about.

So yeah, I think he is getting there.  Hopefully there will be a vast improvement within the next three months or so.  Pete and I are both very excited about the information we had gained from the therapy session.  Ethan was also tired out after the session, I believe, because he fell asleep in the car on the way back.

Let’s just pray for the best :)

 
Scrap Credits
A Gift for You papers from Érica Mathia
Rainy Days collection from retrodiva {designs}™
HoldEmUps from Tara Dunstan
Heart doodles from fei-fei’s stuff
Funky stamped alphas from Scraps by Fashiondeeva

Lately, ever since Ethan decided to become more independent, he loves to climb into the back seat of our car on his own. His car seat is fixed behind the co-driver’s seat, so he prefers to walk all the way round to the rear door behind the driver, and he will put his hand on the handle and attempt to open the door. Of course he cannot, just yet. But when we do open the door for him, he will climb into the car on his own, using his upper body strength to push his butt up onto the seat and sit in the back seat, smiling happily as if he has accomplished something.

And here’s where the problem starts. When we try to load him into the car seat, he wouldn’t budge. We have never had a problem with Ethan sitting in the car seat before, simply because he has been trained to do so from birth, but now, he is very reluctant to sit in his leather-trimmed car seat. Little does he know that if he sits on the regular back seat, his view of the outside world from the car would be severely hampered.

So how? Every time it will be a battle. We will try our very best to put him into the seat and strap him in, sometimes using decoys like cellphones to distract him. It has never crossed our minds to give in to his cries though. So however hard it is, we will still put him in the car seat. Safety comes first ma. Once he is in the seat and the car starts moving, he will be okay.

I really hope this is a phase he will outgrow soon. Please. It has even come to the point that we are thinking twice every time we need to go somewhere where we need to reload him in the seat. And I’m not even gonna start thinking about doing it alone. SIGH.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And we will love you forever and always.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

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

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

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

I won I won I won!!!!

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

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

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

Thank you Tiny Tapir!

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

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

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

Do you see what we see, or something else?

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

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

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

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


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

My dearest darling Ethan boy,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All my love,
Mommy

 
Scrap Credits
April template challenge from Kelly Puddy

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

So after some due consideration, we’ve finally decided to enrol Ethan in the parent-toddler class in The Learning Garden.  This would mean an hour and a half each week of fun learning activities for him, and it would be the perfect ground to establish his socializing skills.  Although we take Ethan out many times a week, be it to the mall or to restaurants, he hardly has any direct contact with kids his age, hence when he meets strangers or come face to face with large groups of people, he tends to shy away, sometimes screaming in anger.  This is apparent in almost all family gatherings we have been to. 

Last Saturday was Ethan’s second session at The Learning Garden (including the trial class), and we can see some improvement in his socializing skills already.  At the first lesson, it took him some time to warm up and start playing, but last Saturday, he eagerly *attacked* the toys he wanted to play with.  Although he is very much different from the rest of the kids, preferring instead to play on the playground frame cube instead of sitting down quietly like the rest of the kids and listen to the teacher, we can tell that he thoroughly enjoyed himself there.  Why, after we had lunch, Ethan fell asleep on the way home and continued sleeping even after we reached home…with a smile plastered on his face!  By the way, I need to remind myself that I have to get some sunblock for Ethan, given the fact that he would be spending more time in the sun than usual now.  Last Saturday’s class ended with an outdoor picnic for all the kids, complete with biscuits, fruits, ice-cream and water.  Ethan totally dug the biscuits :P 

We also find the teachers at The Learning Garden very patient and very professional - they look as though they have been dealing with kids all their life!  People running these programs need to have a way with kids, as is apparent with both teachers we have met so far. 

We had to pay for three months’ fees in advance at The Learning Garden (RM112 X 3), so let’s just wait and see what these three months would reap for Ethan.  Meanwhile, I have a hunch he’s gonna look forward to every Saturday in eager anticipation!

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…. :)

Since I switched Ethan to cloth diapers exclusively, I have seen tremendous improvement especially in prevention of nappy rash. Ethan has really sensitive skin and all this while he has been prone to diaper rashes. He gets it off and on, and sometimes when there is no rash, his nappy area would be slightly reddish too. In fact, there were a few times that the over-drying chemicals in a famous disposable diaper brand caused him so much discomfort that he was walking around like a crab! Hence I am very happy to note the vast improvement in his skin condition now. Not only has his nappy rash occurrences been reduced substantially, the redness has totally GONE!

This is why I have been investing in cloth diapers recently, not only for now, but for the future too.

And this brings me to the reason why I am so elated today. About a month ago, I ordered some cloth diapers for Ethan from Nicki’s Diapers, and I asked my manager if he would be so kind as to bring the stuff back for me in Penang. He very willingly obliged, and today my manager arrived from US and I finally got my parcel! Look! More gorgeous diapers to adorn that cute lil bum of Ethan’s.

By the way, I also added a wetbag (the disco dotted one) and two cloth wipes to add to my collection.

In addition, just last week, I managed to squeeze in an order for a crocheted pair of wool longies from Sweet Seats. I read that this could be used as a soaker for fitted diapers and is extremely great for heavy wetters (like Ethan). I was so eager to try them on him today, but unfortunately when I put it on him, he made a face as if to say, “What on earth is this Mommy?” You see, he has never felt wool on his skin before, hence the strange reaction. I’ll try again another day then. But they do look gorgeous, eh?

And finally, as if my loot for the day was not enough, my order from Lil Danzell came today. I have wanted to get Ethan a camo print diaper for the longest time, and I have actually ordered a fitted camo one, which has yet to arrived. Then recently I fell in love with the Blueberry Minky diapers and as luck would have it, they had the camo green print available! I also got another Blueberry in jaguar print and an itti bitti d’lish in (Liverpool) red. These three diapers are really luxurious and feel very comfortable. They look good too, don’t they?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to run off and find some earplugs because Pete will be berating me on my diaper expenditure. :P

 

Mommy is really busy these days, so I asked her permission to log in and keep my fans entertained.  I think it’s high time people out there see it from my point of view.  I hear Mommy and Daddy calling me a “little big boy” very often nowadays, so I know I have grown up in more ways than one.  Let me tell you what I mean…

I now willingly allow Mommy or Daddy to trim my nails (including toenails) while I sit comfortably on the sofa.  According to them, I used to kick and scream whenever they tried to cut my nails, but now I don’t see why I need to.  I treat the weekly sessions as relaxing manicure and pedicure sessions.  Aaahh….bliss!

Also in the grooming category, I go for monthly hair cuts at the salon now.  I love it when I put on the very colorful cape and my whole head gets a nice neat shave.  Thankfully, Mommy asked the hairdresser not to shave my head bald, instead I come out of the salon in an awesome macho crew cut Top Gun kinda hairstyle.  Daddy always says I look naughtier after a hair cut.

I also like to be independent and prefer to eat on my own if I can.  Sometimes if I am in a bad mood, I will refuse to eat until they allow me to hold my own fork and spoon.  Of course, 50% of the food I scoop up ends up on the floor, but it’s the thrill of holding the utensils that ignites my excitement.  The other day I managed to grab Mommy’s steak knife in Chili’s and she almost fainted.

Oh, I have also learnt how to step on and off the escalator on my own now.  Donno why Mommy and Daddy always insists on holding my hand.  I try to break free whenever I can, much to their shock.

In terms of fashion, I like to think of myself as having inherited Mommy’s delectable taste in fashion.  I absolutely love it that I am in wearing these groovy-looking cloth diapers all of the time now.  Mommy must think I look good too because she keeps snapping pictures of me in them!  Well sometimes Ah Poh, my babysitter, puts me in the traditional cloth nappy, which is fine if I am indoors, but I like to choose the design of diapers I am to wear if I go out.  I mean the other day, they wanted to put me in yellow diapers with a blue outfit?!!! Come ON!!!!  Of course, I struggled la…until they took out the blue matching diaper :)  For outer wear, I prefer comfortable shorts as opposed to pants and jeans.  Everyone should know why.

I’m picking up some personal hygiene habits too.  I love to brush my teeth after my shower every day now.  Mommy will sing this lovely “This is the way I brush my teeth” song, and I will brush and chew and gnaw away at the bristles.  Two days ago, I bit off some of the bristles, and Mommy suddenly stopped singing and became hysterical instead.  Donno why.  Oh…I also know now that cotton buds are used to clean ears, and I am proud to say that I can do so myself now…sometimes one in each ear at the same time.  He he…

For my big toilet business, I use a special padded toilet seat.  I have one at home and one at Ah Poh’s place.  I love sitting on my little padded throne.  Mommy always cheers and claps when I am done with my business and my favorite part is when I get to flush.  Wheeeeee!!!!! 

So do you agree with Mommy and Daddy that I am a “little big boy” now?

Last Saturday, after months of procrastination, we finally took Ethan for the free trial parent-toddler class at The Learning Garden in York House in Penang.  We attended the 11:00a.m. session and it lasted for about 1 hour and 40 minutes.  As an afterthought, it probably would have been better had we gone for the earlier class…you’ll see why later…

At first Ethan was quite shy when we first entered the playroom.  The teacher was very friendly and encouraged Ethan to make himself comfortable, and very soon, he was busying himself with the giant lego blocks.  He also found a wooden hammer which resembled the one he had back home, so I suppose he was happy.

The parent-toddler class is broken up into several sessions of activity, the first of which is a freestyle play with toys indoors.  After that, all the kids adjourned to a shaded play area with various activity stations, such as the artist area (complete with easels, paints and paintbrushes), sand pit (scoops, sand toys and lots of sand), a creative corner (with play-doh, glue and paper cutouts), mini-slides, mini houses and a water station.  Much to my surprise, Ethan enjoyed being an artist, complete with the artist apron.  He didn’t seem too keen on paints and brushes when we had the Little Artists playgroup before… When he moved to the sand pit, he was a little apprehensive at first, perhaps because he had not touched sand before.  But soon he was so engrossed with scooping up the sand that he had to forgo the water station, because the time had come for everyone to move on to the next activity.

After we washed his hands (by the way, I absolutely love the taps that were installed for the kids: just the right height!), all the kids moved to the outdoor playground.  I love the special soft padded rubberized surface the playground was built on.  Kids can play around barefooted without hurting their feet.  Ethan immediately grabbed the basketball and held on to it for dear life.  That’s why most of the photos have him holding on to the basketball.  He refused to let go of it even while he was sliding down the slide.  Oh by the way, he also enjoyed doing some slam dunks on the mini basketball net!  How cute is that!?  Future MVP, perhaps?

Next up, the kids were all given some biscuits and water, given that they would definitely be hungry and thirsty by then.  Ethan boy had TWO helpings of biscuits (that’s two bowls), and finished every bit of it.  He really eats a lot but I just don’t know where the food goes.

I could tell Ethan was pretty tired then.  Pete and I were also very hungry too (that’s why we ought to have gone for the earlier class), but there was still one last activity remaining.  Everyone gathered in the music room, sang some songs and watched a video about the very hungry caterpillar (which made us even hungrier).  While most of the kids remained in the story-telling area however, busybody Ethan chose to explore the area and ventured up the stairs.

After everything was over, we all sang the goodbye song and the kids were all given stickers.  Ethan, who had to wait for his turn, was rather impatient, so he ran away at first without his sticker.  We had to take him to the teacher in the end, and she very nicely gave him a special teddy bear sticker :)

We have yet to decide if we want to enrol for the class though.  The parent-toddler class was a very good experience for Ethan and we could tell he really enjoyed himself. He’s probably ready for some good fun and mingling around with kids too now.  So we’ll wait and see.

Anyway, we had expected Ethan to fall asleep in the afternoon after all the playing around, but instead, it was Daddy who fell asleep!  Ethan only drifted off to dreamland at 6:30p.m.!!!  We had to wake him up to go out for dinner at about 8:00p.m.

Cloth diapers, to be precise! :) 

I’ve been putting off my cloth diapering plan for Ethan for such a long time.  My original plan was to have him fully on cloth diapers as soon as possible.  And I am ashamed to say that I have been so bad at keeping to that.  Last year, I bought him four pieces of megacute cloth diapers, but that was about it.  Sometimes they would leak because of the way I put them on him and I would be frustrated.  So I kept putting my plan off.  And then lately, the diapers began to stink big time.  Even after just an hour of putting them on, the smell was rather revolting.  Which led me to suddenly remember that I probably need to strip wash them.

And strip wash the diapers I did.  After that, the diapers worked perfectly again and my love for cloth diapers was reignited!  And thanks to so many many emails back and forth with my diaper guru, Christene, I have learnt so many additional terms and jargons about cloth diapers to educate me for life!  I recently ordered more diapers, different brands this time, just to have a variety and feel of all of them, and of course to satisfy my insatiable appetite.

I got two diapers from Sandra for starters.  The first one is a My Precious Baby fitted diaper, with side snaps.  Christene recommended this for the heavy wetter, i.e. Ethan, and I absolutely LOVE this diaper!  My Precious Baby diapers are handmade diapers made by a WAHM in the USofA.  These gorgeous diapers are made from velour, which is 80% cotton and 20% polyester, and they look so LUSH!  My Precious Baby diapers have 2 layers of velour and 3 layers of thirsty hemp fleece sewn into the diaper.  There’s even an additional piece of soaker included for the sake of the heavy wetter.  What I really love about this diaper is how the colors and prints coordinate beautifully.  I ordered the purple and orange combo diaper with a zoo animal print soaker that matches the diaper perfectly.  I was fortunate that Ethan, being of small built, can still fit into an M size, because it was the only size available in this color combination.

Can you tell how adorable they look?  I fell in love with it instantaneously!  And I was pleased to note how trim the fit is!  Even with the diaper cover (fitted diapers need a cover by the way, but it is really up to individual preference), it still doesn’t look bulky.  This is really a diaper which looks absolutely gorgeous and is fully functional at the same time!

Then I also got one Drybees pocket diaper for Ethan.  These are fastened with velcro, so I wanted to evaluate them before I got some more to let Mrs Tan use during the time Ethan is with her.  I’ll have to say I am reasonably satisfied with this diaper.  It’s not as smooth and soft as Bumwear though, but putting it on is a breeze.  Unfortunately this has leaked a couple of times already, and I am now determining if it is because I got it in too large a size for Ethan.  One thing I have to say though…Drybees diapers come in fantastic prints!

Lastly, because I wanted to make up the minimum order of RM200 to qualify for free shipping, I also ordered some Wahmies cloth wipes, also thanks to Christene’s recommendation.  There were so many pretty prints to choose from that I had a hard time zeroeing in on my final selection.  I plan to use these as much as possible to replace the wet wipes, and in fact, while waiting for my order to arrive, I had already begun using wet cloth hankies when we go out, instead of using wet wipes.  These Wahmies cloth wipes though, are really softer compared to the conventional hankies, because these have flannel on the print side and soft cotton sherpa terry on the other.  What luxury! 

And now, I am excitedly awaiting another batch of diapers to arrive, all the way from USA, this time!  Yes, I know some people might say it will be time for Ethan to start toilet training soon, but why delay putting him on cloth diapers?  Besides, I am only now starting him on the big business toilet training, so he will definitely still need to be on diapers.  In any case, it sure feels good going green!


Scrap Credits
Kit “True Love” from
Sueli Colbert
Boxed words from Chantal
Delight Series Red Inked Alphas from Foxy Designs

I knew weaning Ethan would not be an easy thing to do. In fact, I started trying out various weaning tactics when he was about 15 months’ old, but I was not firm with it and he certainly did not seem ready to be weaned yet at that time. No amount of distractions, meal substitutions and coaxing could wean him from the breast, not even when I started him on formula when he was about 15.5 months’ old, and I was afraid the weaning battle would become a stressful, terrible one. One of my fervent prayers to God was to have a smooth weaning process for Ethan, where neither he nor I would suffer, for I really cannot bear to see him wail and cry as if someone were abusing him or something.

Anyway, on our way to Singapore last year, one of the senior flight attendants (who obviously used to be a breastfeeding mother herself too) told me her secret method of weaning her boy when he was 17 months’ old. At that time, Ethan was roughly the same age. She told me she used Bonjela. Applied it to her nipples and after a few rejections from her son, he was off the breast. It was as simple as that.

I didn’t use this method immediately after we returned from our trip though. And I can’t remember when I actually purchased a tube of Bonjela. But when I tried it the first time on Ethan, he made a face when he tasted the minty Bonjela, quietly and (dare I say) obediently walked away. That was during one of the evenings after work. I didn’t try it again after that, because I was pretty confident Bonjela works.

When Ethan was a little older, it became apparent that he was ready to be weaned. He could go without breast milk the whole day long while I was at work but somehow he still “needed” breast milk during the day on weekends. I realized then that I was the one who was not ready to wean him off. I realized that all I needed to do was to be firm with him and hopefully he would comply. Although I used the Bonjela method off and on, I was wishy washy about it and so it didn’t really work as I hoped it would. Sometimes when I used Bonjela during the weekends, and Ethan (the smart fella) would patiently wait till the effects wore off before cuddling up for a feed.

But when Ethan was one month shy of his 2nd birthday, I told myself that if I wanted him to be weaned, nobody could help me but myself. Only I alone can do it. And so I crafted a plan. I religiously used Bonjela, slowly eliminating one feed at a time in the weekends. Weaning him off the morning feeds was easy, but it was an uphill task when I began weaning him from the afternoon feeds. A bottle of Pediasure would usually be ready at hand whenever I used the Bonjela method, so I hoped he would get the idea soon enough.

Well, he was soon able to take his afternoon naps without breastfeeding…which was good, except it took him longer to fall asleep, resulting in a more tired Daddy and Mommy. I so took the ease of breastfeeding baby to sleep for granted, I tell ya. And it was a struggle to get him to sleep without the comfort of breastfeeding.

After he turned two, about a week before Chinese New Year, the Bonjela method had already successfully gotten Ethan off the breast from morning till after his nightly shower. He still needed to be breastfed to sleep at that time, though. He would wait till I had had my shower before he asked for a feed. So I told myself that I would continue with the plan after Chinese New Year, since it was not a good idea to make changes to the routine while travelling. I knew it was gonna be a hurdle to wean him from the breast for his nightly feeds.

But God is good, and He answers prayers. A few days before Chinese New Year, Ethan started to go to sleep without the need to be breastfed. I don’t know how and I don’t know why, but it just happened. Sometimes he would just cuddle up to me, just to be close to me and he would fall asleep on his own. He would still wake up once or twice in the night for comfort suckling though, but that did not bother me, because I knew it would be another obstacle I had to overcome soon. I figured I would cross the bridge when the time came.

However, one of the nights during the Chinese New Year break, he started to sleep through without needing his comfort suckling. He still wakes up sometimes, but he will just snuggle close to me and will fall back to sleep. It happened so suddenly that I didn’t even see it coming.

His last breastfed meal was on the night we returned from our hometowns in Ipoh and Taiping. After his shower, he came up to me with this loving look in his eyes, propped himself on my lap for a feed and after a few minutes, he was done. He gave me a “Thank you Mommy, I love you” look and went about his usual business. It was done in such an endearing manner, that I could not help the tears trickling down my cheeks. It was as if he knew our “contract” had ended and he was saying his final goodbye.

Oh sorry…well actually that was supposed to be his last feed, but I breastfed him again a few days later when he was down with fever… out of pity :P

Anyway, it has now been a little over a week that Ethan has been completely off the breast. What started out as my labor of love became a loving wondrous journey that lasted approximately two years and a week. I thought I would feel a sense of relief because the weaning was now over and done with. But what I felt was a tinge of emptiness…as if something I had grown to love dearly is now missing from my life. It is a sign that my Ethan boy, my darling Mr Bulat, has grown up somewhat, and I am just grateful that I was able to give him the best nourishment a mother can offer.


Scrap Credits
Kit “Memory” from
Sueli Colbert
Netter’s Alphas from Scarlet Heels

Last Monday, the first day of work after the long Chinese New Year break, when Ethan woke up in the morning, my maternal instincts told me something was wrong.  His body felt slightly warmer than usual and when I took his temperature, it registered a slight fever.  However, it went down about half an hour later after I gave him the PCM suppository.  But when we arrived at Mrs Tan’s in the evening to pick him up, we were told that he was still nursing a fever.  That day, Pete and I had not had our dinner prior to picking him up, so we decided to go to Old Town for Ethan’s favorite chicken koay-teow.  Unfortunately they had ran out of koay teow that day, so poor Ethan boy had to watch us eat.  He didn’t want anything else except the koay teow, the poor dear.  After dinner, we decided to just swing by a chicken koay teow stall and buy him a packet, but he wouldn’t eat it at all when we got home too.

His temperature had gone up to 38.2°C then, so I sponged him down with some warm Eucalyptus water, gave him another dose of PCM and changed him into his pajamas.  After a few moments of watching Baby Einstein, Ethan, who was way much quieter than usual, fell asleep in my arms.

The next afternoon, we decided to take him to see Dr Jessica, just to be on the safe side.  No doubt his fever had diminished, his appetite was back to normal, and he was grinning away that day, we still felt better if we got some reassurance from the doc.  Ethan was very cooperative throughout the entire checkup, staying very still when the doc took his temperature and checked his ears.  He only complained a little when the doc wanted to check the back of his throat.  In fact, he even obediently sat still on the weighing scale while he was being weighed.  When his name was called in to see the doc, he didn’t want to go in, but when we were ready to leave, he didn’t want to go.  In the end, we carried him out with him giving Dr Jessica a loud flying kiss.

Dr Jessica said he was all right, and the temperature could very well be a viral infection, which our boy had fought off on his own.  When we heard that, we were so proud of our little fighter there… :) It really means a lot to me that he can fend off illnesses on his own now that he is no longer breastfed.  The two years of breastfeeding prove very worth the while.

Up, up and away!


Scrap Credits
Kit Bayadère from
MissVivi
Boxed words from Chantal
Kiss Me You Fool film strip from Dale Ann Cubbage/DC Designs 

One of Ethan’s favorite activities is climbing stairs. We don’t have stairs in our condo unit, so he is only exposed to stairs at our swimming pool and other places where there are steps. So it was akin to a child in a candy store when we visited his Ah Chek’s home that Saturday night after his early birthday party celebration. The newly-renovated house had a flight of stairs, just beckoning to Ethan. So as expected, he walked right up to it and started climbing. I was behind him all the way, and watched while he used the banister as a support and pulled himself up step by step, like an expert, all the way to the top. Everyone was oohing and aahing and saying how clever he was.  And of course, it was a great form of exercise for whoever it was that was supervising him all the way up.

But when it came time for him to come down, he wanted to step down two steps at a time! We had to guide him step by step, but he still didn’t get it. My Dad managed to guide him down properly once, making Ethan hold the wall for support, but that was it. The rest of the time, he wanted to go down the express way. High achiever, would you say?

 

Ethan now prefers Mommy to give him his shower. Only when I am nowhere to be seen does he allow Daddy to shower for him. Sometimes when Pete attempts to give him a shower, he will vehemently push Pete OUT of the shower stall and ask for Mommy instead. I use the following shower ritual when I bathe Ethan.

“Ethan, come take your shower!”
Saying “Hands up!” will prompt Ethan to raise his arms high in the air so that I can remove his shirt. Then I say “Pants down!” followed by “Diaper off!”

1. With the use of the shower nozzle, wet his head and body.  Sometimes he would run and hide behind me in an attempt to escape the shower, but this does not happen often.
2. Apply Baby Sebamed on the face and shampoo on the head.
3. Shower to rinse off (thrice) soap suds.  Ethan will brush the water off his face vigorously while blowing loudly with his mouth.
4. Apply Baby Sebamed on entire body, lift one foot to wash the soles and then the other. 
5. Rinse off suds.  At times, Ethan will raise one leg at a time and rinse off the soap on his own with the running tap water.
6. Allow Ethan to play with tap water for a few minutes.  This is his favorite part of the session.  I normally end up wet all over, because our boy loves to splash the water everywhere.  And he loves turning the tap on and off; when it is on, it is normally at full blast.
7. Dry up and wrap up with towel.
8. Lift Ethan high enough for him to *turn off* the shower and *turn down the temperature* on the shower.
9. Give Ethan his tootbrush with a glass of tap water. Ethan loves to dip his toothbrush into the water repeatedly. Lately I am pleased to note that he loves to *brush* his teeth with the toothbrush. Well, not brush…but more like bite and suck on the bristles. Well, it’s good progress I would say.  Better than nothing la.
10. Change into pajamas or going out clothes.

Last night after he finished his shower, he didn’t even bother waiting for me to wrap him up and carry him out of the bathroom, as is our usual routine. Our boy independently walked out of the shower stall, climbed a step up and out of the bathroom and pranced around in his birthday suit in the living room!

On his knees

 

Ethan’s latest *stunt* is to move around on his knees.  Sometimes when he is rolling around on the bed, playing, he will get up on his knees and make his way around the bed.  He tried doing it on our wooden floor too, but because of its hard surface, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why he prefers the bed.

Looks like there is no stopping him being an active little inquisitive boy, huh?

 
Scrap Credits
Template 30 from Jill & Jack ScrapDesigns
Purple Rain papers from SJ Wright Creations
Flergs purple ribbon from Scraphead
Silver glitter Alpha green from Heddes Mama

Do you know what I do when Ethan starts getting restless in his car seat and starts throwing a big fuss?  Why, I simply reach my hand to the back, I grab hold of his little feet and I give him a foot rub!

Do you know what I do when he doesn’t want to sit still when I change him?  I hold both his feet in my hands and rub them!

Yes, our little boy has started to enjoy the little things in life.  Taking the cue from his Daddy, Ethan too enjoys a foot rub every now and then.  Miraculously, a soothing foot rub quietens him down almost immediately and he looks at perfect ease!

Please tell me I won’t have to book a spa appointment for him next! :P

After a delay of many months, we finally took Ethan for his haircut last Saturday morning. This time we asked the barber to use shaver #3 for a neat but not too short crewcut look. It certainly was the hardest of all his haircut experiences because Ethan is really strong now. He kicked and struggled and in the process of getting his hair cut, he hit his head on the barber’s chair a few times accidentally too! Nevertheless it was all over in about 5-10 minutes, and he was all happy again when we took him to eat dim sum.

Here he is, sporting his new haircut for Christmas. Handsome, or handsome?

Two Saturdays ago, I received an SMS from Paik Ling who informed me that Ethan’s photo had appeared in the December issue of the Mother & Baby magazine.  Naturally I was filled with pride like any mother would and I was also anxious to get myself a copy, because I wanted to know which photo of his had been selected.  That weekend, I scoured every bookstore I came across in Penang, but unfortunately the December issue was not available yet.  The Klang Valley stores usually get their stock way faster than Penang’s, so I was resigned to wait a few more days because the magazine was still not available even on Monday.

Then on Friday, Jojo’s mommy IMed me to congratulate me because she spotted Ethan’s picture in the mag.  Apparently she had just bought her copy that very same day from a bookstore in Queensbay Mall.  I was excited because I would finally be able to get a copy that evening too, since that’s where we normally will have dinner Friday nights.

So immediately after dinner, we stopped at Borders to get ourselves a copy.  This is the first time Ethan’s photo has appeared in a magazine although I have been dilligently submitting his photos off and on.  I am so very proud of him :)  Hopefully this will be the first of many many more to come!

Turns out that Jojo’s mommy had a good reason to buy this month’s magazine too, because one of Jojo’s picture had been chosen as well!  Congratulations Jojo! :)


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. :)

Better and better…

Ethan’s swollen right eye is getting better now. Yesterday evening, I was relieved to note that when he smiles, we can now see his eye, i.e. his eye does not close. We still gave him a final dose of Piriton though, just to safeguard against allergy. He was also super-active last night. See, this was what he was doing before I gave him his shower:

Good morning!

 

This evening when I went to pick Ethan up from Mrs Tan’s after work, I was aghast to discover that the swell under his eye as a result of *something* that bit him had become so much worse.  Ethan didn’t look like he was bothered with his swollen right eye though (as you can see from the pictures), and every time he smiled, his right eye would close up.  It was quite pitiful to see him with the swollen eye, although it was apparent that he wasn’t in any form of pain.  Nevertheless I decided to err on the side of caution and take him to see Dr Jessica, who coincidentally was on night duty tonight.

I had to take Ethan to the hospital on my own tonight because Pete had a dinner function with his company.  I grabbed a quick dinner at home and rushed to the hospital (okay, I drove carefully… :P) .  We were fourth in line … not too bad.  Guess where our boy insisted on going up and down on?  Yep… the escalators!  Since I was the only one there with him, I had no choice but to bring him up and down and at the same time, keep a lookout for when it was our turn.

Finally we were called in but the doc had so much trouble checking him.  He simply wouldn’t open his eyes for her to check them.  Dr Jessica prescribed Piriton syrup, which was an immediate relief for the allergic reaction, and told me to continue applying the fucicort thrice daily. We were also to keep monitoring his temperature in case it shot up.  I requested the nurse to help me feed the Piriton to Ethan since I was sure I would not be able to do it on my own at home.  Surprisingly all of the syrup went in, although Ethan put up a struggle.

I then took him back home, gave him a warm shower and got him ready for bed.  I waited till he fell asleep before I applied the fucicort.  I pray that he will be all better tomorrow morning after a good night’s sleep tonight.

Hobble Hobble Hobble

On Monday night, while playing and running around in the living room, Ethan tripped and fell down on the floor.  As usual, he stretched out his hands to support himself as he fell, but I realized something was amiss when he cried a little after the fall.  Normally our boy will just pick himself up and continue running around, with no tears being shed.  This time however, he was holding his left leg and whined for a bit.  I consoled him by giving him a hug and a kiss till he stopped crying.

But after the fall, I noticed he was walking with a limp.  He would try to run (like he always does) but then he would stop short as if in pain and start walking gingerly instead.  He wasn’t crying out in pain or anything, and I checked that there were no bruises or swelling.  He was still his usual cheerful self, except for the fact that he was a little “pai-kha“.  I prayed that he would be all better the next day but he was still walking terjengket-jengket, especially when he wanted to move fast.  I called Dr Jessica and she said that it could very well be a muscle pull, and that if there wasn’t any improvement by the next day, we should bring him to the orthopedist.  That got me worrying big time.  I hated to have to bring Ethan to see any kind of doctor or specialist.

Thankfully though, this morning, I noticed that his walk has improved!  My prayers have been answered! :D

However, he got bitten by some insect below his right eye yesterday evening.   :(  So that area is slightly red and swollen now…we are applying a topical steroid cream (Fucicort) to bring down the swelling.

Ethan is quite adept at playing with his shape sorter now. He has a few different kinds really. The one that he has mastered is the toy that was given by his Ah Koo and Ah Kim some time back. It consists of 4 shapes (square, circle, triangle and hexagon) in a rectangular-shaped box. He can now put each shape in the correct slot correctly without anyone’s help. The problem is sometimes he doesn’t fit it in properly and the shape cannot enter the slot because of the positioning, although he got the shape and the slot correctly. Our boy is a very impatient fella, and once he finds that he cannot get the shape in, he would throw a temper and scream! Sometimes in a fit of frustration, he would just throw the shape down on the floor in anger. He hasn’t quite got the patience to try again now… any suggestions how to cultivate this?

But when he successfully puts in all the shapes, he delights in the fact that we adults will clap and say “Clever boy!” He is turning into a little perfectionist, isn’t he?


Scrap Credits
All About Me kit from
Bunny Cates
Kit Special embellishments from
Sueli Colbert
Pretty Blue papers & Milly doodle from
Lindsay Jane Designs
Splendid embellishments from Shabby Princess

I am getting my appetite back slowly but surely.  Yesterday, at Ah-Poh’s house, I walloped a lot of porridge, and just before Mommy and Daddy came to pick me up in the evening, I asked Ah-Poh to make me a feed of milk too.  Hehe…even Mommy and Daddy says that I have begun to bulk up a little already.

Last night, I ran all around our house and played with all my toys.  I missed running around so much last weekend when I was not feeling well. At about 10:30P.M. last night, I decided to call it a night.  I led both Mommy and Daddy to the room, hugged them both and then I drifted off to sleep listening to Mommy singing Silent Night and Away in a Manger.

Today, Mommy said that I could use the computer for a while.  Heh heh… so here I am completing my *homework*…

I was asked by Darrius ko-ko to divulge information about myself in another meme. Hehe…I’ve only met him a few times before in Queensbay Mall and he’s already asking me so many questions. I’m getting popular in the blogosphere, eh?

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Aiyo, I was not even born then la! And neither was Darrius and most of my other friends, I believe…..silly question!

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Crawling and cruising around almost everywhere! Oh, and I remember I had my first haircut too, which resulted in a very botak me!

Five snacks you enjoy

Only five? But I love to eat wor…anyway, here are five off the top of my head…

  1. Anything yogurt-like, such as Yakult & Fernleaf Calci-YUM Yogurt
  2. Cereal, like Rice Krispies (Snap Crackle and Pop!) and Corn Flakes.
  3. Pappadums
  4. Raisins
  5. Bread and buns

Five songs that you know all the lyrics to

Donno how to sing yet, but here are the songs I appreciate very much:

  1. ABC (sung to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star). When I hear this song being sung on Baby Einstein, I will say BBBBB…. :) (learning to sing what)
  2. Doh-Re-Mi - I clap my hands whenever Mommy finishes singing this song
  3. The Wheels of the Bus go round and round…
  4. Theme song from Little Einsteins(I can do the “Aaarrrrrrr….” portion)
  5. Song for the Mouskadance. I love tapping my feet to the rhythm.

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire

  1. Buy a house so that I can buy more toys for myself.
  2. Buy Little Tikes playhouse to put in the garden of the house I bought in No.1.
  3. Buy my own TV and DVD player so I can watch Baby Einstein the whole day long, without Daddy interrupting me to watch SportsCenter.
  4. Build an escalator in my house.
  5. Give money to Mommy and Daddy (if there is any leftover).

Five bad habits

  1. Touching my tongue
  2. Watching too much Baby Einstein
  3. Throwing a tantrum by screaming
  4. Sleeping too late at night and waking up too early in the morning
  5. Waking up in the middle of the night

Five favourite toys

  1. My shape sorter
  2. My doggies
  3. My train ride-on
  4. The boxes I use to store my toys
  5. My Ikea Mula toy

Five things you like doing

  1. Watch Baby Einstein
  2. Ride up and down on the escalators
  3. Eat rice
  4. Pull Mommy and Daddy by the hand together into the room
  5. Sleep on Mommy and Daddy’s bed

Five things you would never eat

Darrius and I think alike on this one …

  1. Medicine
  2. Medicine
  3. Medicine
  4. Medicine
  5. Medicine

Lastly I get to tag my friends:

Charlotte
Bryan
Ching Ern

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 should have known. Ethan hardly ever overeats. And that first incident of vomiting turned out to be the beginning of a nightmare for all of us.

Chronology of Events

Thursday
8:30p.m. vomited, with slight diarrhoea. Vomitus contained the rice he had taken for dinner.
Breastfed him and gave him a little bit of water. He fell asleep soon after.

Friday
2:30a.m. Woke up and vomited on our bed and on me. There were a few grains of rice, more milk and water in the vomitus.
Cleaned ourselves and our bed up, fed him breastmilk and he slept.

7:00a.m. Woke up, coughed a little and then vomited again. On the bed and on the floor.
Cleaned him up and discovered he had diarrhoea too.
Fed him water, breastmilk and a few grains of Rice Krispies.

8:30a.m. Diarrhoea again.
He drank some Yakult.

9:00a.m. Vomitted all the Yakult out. We all rushed to the hospital after that.

Thankfully we didn’t have to wait too long for the doctor that day, and Ethan was quite happy playing with the toys in Dr Jessica’s office. Doctor diagnosed Ethan as suffering from acute gastroenteritis, caused by a virus, possibly the Rotavirus. She said it was not food poisoning, because he did not have a fever. His persistent vomiting and diarrhoea had also resulted in a weight loss of about 1kg!!! He was only 9.9 kilos when he was weighed in. I was very worried about Ethan’s inability to keep food in though, and he was given a dramamine shot to help prevent that. After the shot was administered, we waited in the pediatric ward area for 30 minutes before giving him the oral rehydration salts (ORS) mixture (Dramamine takes 30 minutes to take effect). Well, of course he didn’t want the ORS mixture, and would only take breast milk. Doctor told me to give him only the fore milk for now, so I took him to the nursing room and breastfed him there. After that, we waited for a while for the rice water to be ready. We had ordered some from the hospital and it was one of the fluids that was recommended for Ethan. He didn’t really like it though, took a few sips of it and pushed it away.

Pete and I decided to tarpow Mc-D’s for lunch on the way back, and our boy fell asleep in the car too. But he suddenly woke up when we reached the Mc-D’s in Greenlane, fussed and cried and then threw up again! Luckily I had asked the nurse at the hospital for a plastic bag just in case he vomited. I called Dr Jessica when we reached home, and she said that we would need to bring Ethan in for an intravenous drip if his vomiting still persisted. We certainly didn’t want that! I told the doc we think he vomited because he was lying down instead of standing vertically up, so she said to give it a few hours first.

Poor boy… we took him back and let him rest for a bit. He didn’t really want to drink anything (we were to try offering him fluids like rice water, ORS, 100-Plus or fore breastmilk, but he would only take water and breastmilk), and we could tell that it was the phobia of throwing up whatever he took in. Then he suddenly decided that he wanted Yakult, so I gave him some, and then later on, he suckled himself to sleep again.

Unfortunately as he was sleeping in my arms, he woke up crying and threw up again. This time, I already had a container ready just in case. I tried to rinse Ethan’s mouth with water to get rid of the vomit smell, but he would not let me. I was very worried about Ethan’s condition then, I didn’t want to see him suffer like that, but still I really could not stand the thought of him on the IV drip. It was already 3:30p.m. at that time, and Pete said we ought to give Ethan another chance. And I am thankful we did.

He began to get better and better after that. He fell asleep in my arms at about 5p.m. and I was careful to prop his body up at an angle so that he felt better. I was literally counting the minutes to the 4-hour time frame that he did not vomit. At about 7:30p.m. it marked the 4-hour vomit-free duration, so I tried giving him some Rice Krispies which he gingerly ate. We were still wary about the fact that he could throw up any time but we were glad that he was improving.

He was still having diarrhoea though but we pray that he will recover from that 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.

 
Scrap Credits
You Are Beautiful Kit from Verena Karolyi
Designer framed tag from
Bannerwoman
Netter’s Alphas from Scarlet Heels Media
Kit Moment staples & stitches from Sueli Colbert

It must have started with last weekend when my Mom and Dad started singing the Doh-Re-Mi song to Ethan.  Mom told me that Ethan would clap whenever they sang that song.  Don’t ask me but I have no idea why I never sang this song to him before.  I just started a couple of days ago.  The moment I start singing the song, Ethan’s face would light up and he would be flashing the sweetest smile ever!  And then as soon as I finish singing, he would clap his hands in appreciation and approval!  Of course, Mommy says “Thank you!” la after he claps.  Heh heh.  So now every day, I sing this song over and over again, because who could ever resist that adorable smile hoh?

Wait, there’s more… when I do the “Doh-Mi-Mi, Mi-So-So, Re-Fah-Fah, La-Ti-Ti” bit, he breaks out in laughter, as if it was funnily sung or something.  And if I do it real quick, he laughs even louder.  :)

So Ethan, when are you gonna start singing in unison with Mommy?

 
Scrap Credits
Preminition Scrapkit from Laura Burger
Kit Memory cross-stitching & button from
Sueli Colbert
Kit Precious heart from Sueli Colbert
Zoo Alphas from Everyday Little Moments Design

Ethan is a very observant little boy and as such, he has been observing what Pete and I do when we get home from work each day.  One of the things we do when we reach home is keep some our things in the drawer.  For example, I would remove my watch and place it in my drawer.  Lately, Ethan has been trying to be as helpful as he can by helping us perform these tasks through role playing.  As soon as I open the door to my room, he would walk to the drawer and wait there.  Then when I remove my watch, he would open the drawer, take my watch from me, place it in the drawer and close the drawer.  Of course, he slams the drawer really loudly though.  But he does get a kick out of hearing us praise him when he does that.  “Good boy!” does it all the time! :D

I took Ethan to his playgroup yesterday at Charlotte’s house. All the mommies had planned for a Little Artist session this time around: Bryan’s Mommy made edible paint of red and blue, and the rest of us brought along paint palettes and paint brushes.

Charlotte’s Mommy had laid her front porch with mahjong paper, and they were just screaming for color to be splashed all over them. When the time came for the kids to start painting, I decided to remove Ethan’s shirt because the weather was pretty hot. Then I garbed him in his Ikea shirt-bib (it was bare-backed, by the way).

Well, Charlotte, Wei Xuan and Bryan eagerly began dipping their paint brushes into their respective paint palettes and started painting on the mahjong paper. Each child had their own sheet to experiment with. But Ethan was not at all interested. Instead, he was VERY amused by Simba, the golden retriever. He stood at Simba’s cage, and giggled happily as Simba allowed Ethan to pet and stroke his fur. Then he would run around to the other side of the cage and laugh again as Simba played along with him.

In the end, Charlotte’s daddy had to take Simba out for a walk in a bid to allow Ethan a chance to explore with the paint. Alas, his attention span was short-lived and after about 5 minutes, Ethan walked to the gate and stood there, presumably waiting for Simba to return from his walk.

It looks like Ethan really loves dogs, and coincidentally enough, the golden retriever is one of my favorite dogs too. Could his love for dogs be fuelled by the fact that he was born in the year of the dog?

 
Scrap Credits
No Room for Grey Kit from retrodiva {designs}™
Urban Kiwi Kit round stitching from Shabby Princess
Elegant Fall Alphas by Tracy King

Our weekend began with a blast.  After work this evening we adjourned to Queensbay Mall for dinner at Nando’s.  Ethan was already excitedly anticipating the arrival at the mall when he realized the route we were taking after we picked him up from Mrs Tan’s house.

After dinner, we headed towards Toys R Us, but on the way there, we were drawn to some really loud music indicating something was going on up ahead.  It turned out to be a fashion show organized by the newly opened Forever 21 store.  We watched the show for a while from a floor above.  And you know, it really is amazing how Ethan watched the parade of all the leggy models in wonderment as well.  He didn’t struggle to get down, instead he comfortably remained in Pete’s arms for the entire 10 minutes or so that we were there.  Starting young?  Maybe…. Hehehe…. 

I asked Mommy for permission to put up another post as a guest blogger since it is a post for her birthday.  And I am so glad she said okay :)

Last Saturday, Daddy, Mommy and I went to the E&O hotel for Mommy’s birthday eve lunch.  They had seafood fried rice that day and I was very eager to show off my self-feeding skills.  I get a kick out of eating using the spoon all by myself, and feel a sense of accomplishment when Daddy and Mommy tell me “Good Boy!”  As you can see, I enjoyed myself very much and was very reluctant to leave the place.  I love to play with the window sills and run around the restaurant.  After lunch, Daddy, Mommy and I took a short leisurely stroll by the sea.  But it was only for about 5 minutes or so, then I ran back inside, with Mommy and Daddy hot on my heels.  Some good exercise I gave them after the buffet eh? :)

On Sunday (Mommy’s birthday), I woke up and gave Mommy the sweetest smile ever and hugged her.  Then I asked her to go out of the room with me because I just poo-pooed in my pants. 

 

That very same day, Ah Ma and Ah Kong from Taiping came to Penang to visit together with Kor-kor.  We went to Maple Gold for lunch with Ah Chek and Aunty Christine also.  Here, I had the opportunity to show off my drumming skills with a pair of chopsticks.  Then I had yummy steamed rice with tofu and vege for lunch.  I bet Daddy and Mommy must have been very proud of me because I finished about one bowl of rice! :)  Of course, when I found that feeding myself with the spoon took a very long time, I decided to use my hands instead.

Mommy had a birthday cake too.  Daddy was singing a Happy Birthday song really loudly but I haven’t learnt it yet.  I hope to be able to sing that song next year for Mommy.


Scrap Credits: Sun Porch kit by Amy Teets

A four-day weekend awaited us in conjunction with the Hari Raya holidays, so we decided to make a trip to Ipoh on Saturday.  Ethan’s  Ah Ma and Ah Kong would certainly be pleased to see him. :) For some reason, Ethan was very restless the entire journey, choosing to scream his lungs out, so much so that I had to move to the back seat to entertain him.

Anyway, we arrived in Ipoh sometime after lunch on Saturday and Ethan wasted no time in getting acquainted with his surrroundings.  He loved to climb atop the chairs in the living room, sat there for a moment, and then ran into my room and closed and open the door.

But what fascinated him a lot was probably the piano.  I put him on my lap and allowed him to touch and *play* on the keyboard. Soon enough, to our horror, he even figured out how to lift the cover of the piano!  Yep, he was tall enough to reach now… We really had to keep our eyes peeled on him at all times!  He would then lead me to the piano chair and ask to be placed on my lap so that he could proceed with his *masterpiece*.

Yes, I am very proud of my little big boy, the maestro at work.

The rain did not dampen our spirits.
The traffic jam all the way downtown was a minor hurdle we overcame.
The gloominess was dealt a 180 degrees turn because it was Daddy’s birthday last Saturday (Yay! Cue Ethan boy to clap his hands with glee), and to celebrate, we all went to the E&O to savour the lunch buffet spread there.

I had heard that the buffet there is very good and that the spread had a lot of variety, so I was curious to see for myself. It was once again good to visit the E&O because it brought back good memories of our wedding 3 years ago.

The buffet lunch was at Sarkies Corner and as usual, I was charmed by the old world setting in the restaurant. The atmosphere was relaxed and very casual, with fantastic service from the restaurant staff. The food was marvelous, to say the least. I hardly ever take fried rice at buffets, but there was something about the one they served that was very tempting. And I had no regrets because I’ll have to say it was one of the best fried rice I have ever tasted. Even Ethan agreed wholeheartedly, and he ate quite a bit of it too. The generous garnishings of shrimp in the fried rice was a definite welcome indeed. Ethan also loved the pumpkin soup, and so did we. I loved it that they had 2 choices of soup: pumpkin and broccoli, both being healthy choices for the discerning diner.

And for the not-so-health-conscious, there was also char koay teow available, the halal variety, mind you. Again, very generous with the shrimp, which were all so fresh and succulent, just the way we like it. I think I had about 10 shrimps in my one plate of char koay teow!

I tell you, everything was so good; Hainanese chicken rice, lamb masala, grilled stingray and salmon, kerabu, oh and of course, any buffet would not be complete without dessert. We enjoyed the guilingao, cheese cake, custards, mousse and ice cream. By the time we were done, we could hardly move! But Ethan, on the other hand, was very much playing the part of an energizer bunny, running all around the restaurant and the hotel lobby, checking out window sills, squeezing his way through every nook and cranny, waving at everyone around him, running to the lifts and waiting for it to open…well, he even got a lollipop from the restaurant manager!

What a splendid birthday lunch we had! The next time I come for the lunch, I am definitely wearing looser clothing! *wink*

Okay, don’t shoot me because this is going to be yet another post on Friday’s.  But I don’t care what you say because we LOVE the food there.  The service is excellent and the ambience is just awesome.  Last night will go down as one of the best Friday’s outing we ever experienced.

When we arrived at the restaurant, they had this set meal promotion going on where a set of an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert costs RM39.90++.  I immediately decided on ordering this set when a quick check assured me that the mocha mud pie was one of the two dessert options available.  Well, we ended up ordering TWO sets and of course, the kid’s spaghetti for Ethan.

All I can say is the food was so good, I would literally make space in my stomach if I had to!  Hehe…I finally got a chance to taste that elusive and much-talked-about mocha mud pie!  By the time we were done, we could barely move!

Ethan, on the other hand, was very excited about the entire experience.  No sooner had he finished his meal, he began walking around and gestured for us to bring him to the washroom to wash his hands.  Over and over again.  Then he would giggle loudly when one of the servers in Friday’s played with him.  When a birthday song was sung in Friday’s, Ethan enthusiastically clapped his hands and smiled widely.  Sometimes he would shout “Aaaahhhhh….” as if he was singing too!  Sporting his new “2nd in Command After Dad” t-shirt, you could tell Ethan was very much at home there.  And when we were about to leave, he cheerfully waved buh-bye to all and sundry.  Oh, and of course we took home another balloon :D

So, you tell me, did Ethan enjoy himself?

During our last trip to Ikea in August, we ended up buying a tent…no, actually it is a tent with an igloo motif… for Ethan. There was a model set up in the children’s department in Ikea and Ethan was intrigued by it almost immediately! Although he fell down and hit his forehead whilst playing, we still bought the tent. So Pete was of course given the official task of setting up the tent, and when it was up we expected Ethan to be excited by it. Unfortunately our boy didn’t take a fancy to it at all. He would not even enter the tent. We figured it could be because of the fall earlier on in Ikea. Or maybe because the tent did not have a door; it just had an opening. So we did what any parent would do: we put his toys in the tent to lure him into it. You know what he did? He crawled in and dragged the toys out! He totally didn’t want to BE in the tent! Another method we employed in the hope of luring him into the tent was to take turns between Pete and I to enter the tent, then of course, Ethan would follow suit.

Lately however, we are pleased to note that Ethan has taken a liking to the tent. When we come home every day, the first thing he would do is to crawl eagerly into the tent. By the way, every time we go to Friday’s Ethan would request for a balloon. Now that balloon of his resides in the tent. So when he crawls into the tent, he would just hold the balloon and sit there with it. There’s a net opening at the top of the tent too, so we get to play peekaboo with him when he is in it… and you KNOW how kids love peekaboo, right?

Ethan has also found innovative methods to *play* with the tent:

  • Stand inside and push/lift the walls of the tent, resulting in the entire tent looking as though it will topple over
  • Push against the walls of the tent from outside, sometimes lifting the whole tent up.
  • Walk around the tent
  • Hold my hand and guide *me* to walk around the tent

Speaking of balloons, we need to get a new balloon from Friday’s every time the old one gets deflated. There’s something about balloons that interests kids, and Ethan is no different. On several occasions, he has attempted to use his *charm* to get some other kids’ balloon too.

A tent and a balloon - those are the latest items in Ethan’s toy collection. I can’t wait to see what’s coming up next…

We must have gone through almost all types of infant cough medication, all in the fervent hopes of making Ethan recover completely from his cough. It breaks my heart so to hear him coughing, because his cough is of the forceful kind, and he sounds like he is suffering whenever he coughs.

First, we gave him Rhinatiol from Dr Jessica. After a few days when there was no improvement, we switched to MucoFlux, which was also prescribed by Dr Jessica. Two days into the medication and there was still no sign of recovery. Pete and I then decided to try the Vicks method. No, no, it is not the application of Baby Vicks to his chest and back (we already do that every day anyway). The Vicks method is one that has been circulating the internet, suggesting that to cure a cough, all we need to do is to rub some Vicks liberally on the soles of his feet and put on a pair of socks. All this we did when he was in dreamland. Although it reduced the cough slightly, Ethan was still coughing. We did it for 2-3 days. Well, perhaps it was because we used Vicks Baby Rub instead of (adult) Vicks. (The regular adult Vicks was to be administered on kids aged 2 and above only).

The next thing we tried was aromatherapy. I quickly bought a bottle of Magnolia essential oil, rubbed 2 drops vigorously in my palm and applied it to Ethan’s front and back, and also his throat area. There was some level of improvement in his recovery rate, and his cough appeared to faze off, but we were not satisfied, because he was not completely healed yet.

So when push came to shove, we decided to turn to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). Charlotte’s mom had told me that she gave Charlotte Pak Poh when she was coughing, and it cured her cough within 2 days. On top of that, Charlotte did not need to be forced to take the medicine. It was worth a shot. Such is the desperation of a parent. So we got a box consisting of 6 powder vials of Pak Poh from Eu Yan Sang. I used just one teaspoon of warm water to make the Pak Poh mixture for Ethan, tried giving it to him, but he rejected it immediately. I then tried mixing it with his favorite yogurt, but although he took a little bit, he was not very happy when his taste-buds told him that the bitter-tasting Pak Poh marred the taste of his yogurt. We had no choice but to shoot the mixture straight down his throat using the syringe.

And now after SIX torturous sessions, Ethan is finally medicine-free, and has been so for about a week now. He still coughs slightly, but is getting better every day. I’m praying and praying and praying…. We’ll leave it to his antibodies to do the work then.

Check out what I got for Ethan last Merdeka weekend:

Yep, those cute adorably colorful thingies you see there are Ethan’s new Bumwear Cloth Diapers, which I got from Sin Dee. Don’t they look gorgeous?

I had known all about Bumwear Cloth Diapers for a long time now, yes, even before I gave birth to Ethan, but I only started revisiting the idea about two weeks ago.  The prospect of going *cloth* has been really enticing and I had been tinkering about getting them for Ethan. Our boy has all along been on disposable diapers. I did use the traditional cloth nappies for him when he was a newborn, but since he was a fully breastfed baby then, his poo was really runny, and well…let’s just say there were quite a number of unwanted *accidents*. That, plus the toll of having to wash the nappies day in and day out made me switch to disposables. It was very convenient and hassle-free.  Although not very friendly on the wallet, disposable diapers were very easy to use and throw.

However, I recently took a step back and decided to make a change. For the better.

I learnt about disposable diapers causing an increase on scrotal temperature in boy babies, which could potentially lead to infertility.  There has not been enough proven evidence that this is entirely true, but the facts were enough to raise a concern (at least with me).  And this is one of the main reasons why I decided to make that switch.  Don’t get me wrong, I am also switching because of the increasing landfill problem caused by disposables and also because of the toxic chemicals used in disposables, but while the change I make now would only make a small difference in the landfill problem, it would make a significant change to Ethan’s comfort :)  And that’s mighty important to me!

Switching to cloth diapers would not make a whole lot of a difference cost-wise too, because Ethan is already 19 months old.  Those who have been using cloth diapers since baby was born would see a huge savings in the long run.  Besides, we will still need to launder the cloth diapers which would also take up some time and effort on our part.  I have not decided to make a full switch or not yet, because I want to try these new Bumwear diapers first before I consider introducing them to Mrs Tan.  However, the extra effort I put in will be well worth the effort.

For one, these BumWear diapers are nothing like the conventional nappies.  These are so cool and adorable looking, plus they come with diaper inserts which allow fluid to be absorbed with tremendous ease.  Also, using these BumWear diapers would mean I do not need to apply barrier cream like Drapolene anymore!  One of my concerns was that with these cloth diapers, they would not be able to last through the night.  However, I discovered that by using 2 inserts, the absorption is doubled and I can then use these throughout the night, just like any ordinary disposable diaper.

Tonight is the very first time Ethan went to bed garbed in his Bumwear diapers.  Doesn’t he look adorable?  Check out that look he is giving…looking very much like a model eh? *wink*


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

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

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

When it rains, it really pours… SIGH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Scrap papers & elements from Lindsay Jane Designs

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

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


Scrap Elements from Anita Designs

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

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

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


Scrap Design from Anita Designs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Scrap Elements from Anita’s Designs

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

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

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

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

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

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


Scrap Elements by Lindsay Jane Designs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m getting more Baby Einstein DVDs soon :)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…or rather it is heart wrenching to be a working mommy.

When we made the decision to go for a week long vacation with Ethan, we knew deep in our hearts that it would be difficult to leave him with Mrs Tan the babysitter after the long hiatus (by the way, Mrs Tan herself left for a vacation of her own too during that week). We touched down in Penang on Friday evening and I had planned on really REALLY starting bottle-feeding with formula milk last weekend itself. But on Saturday morning, Ethan woke up with a slight fever, so I decided to breastfeed him to make for speedier recovery. He would not take paracetamol orally voluntarily but we managed to *trick* him into taking *maybe* 1.5ml. His fever subsided in the afternoon, he had a good afternoon nap but his body was still slightly warm throughout the night. The next morning, he still had a slight fever and was sneezing a little too. I decided to try the same paracetamol *trick* but this time, he outsmarted me and would not even take a single sip!

So push came to shove and we took him for escalator therapy in Queensbay Mall in the afternoon. By evening after dinner, he was all right and raring to go! He slept soundly too, like an angel :)

This morning when Ethan woke up, he seemed especially more clingy than usual. When I asked him to go and greet his Daddy who was having breakfast, he refused and instead preferred to hug my legs. It was as if he *knew* Daddy and Mommy were going back to work and we were getting ready to send him to Mrs Tan’s place. It was as if he knew his vacation had ended, at least for now. Normally when we tell him “kai kai“, he would run happily to grab onto Pete’s legs, waiting to be carried. But today, none of that happened. He was crying and struggling, protesting that we were trying to take him out of the house. He sobbed all the way to Mrs Tan’s place, seemingly *knowing* what lay ahead. I myself could not stop my tears from trickling just watching him behave that way. If I had the power and means to eliminate his pain and anguish, I would do so in a heartbeat. Really I would.

When we reached Mrs Tan’s place, he wailed again, not as loudly as when we left our house, but still it broke my heart. Pete says it is normal ….

I called the sitter just now during lunch, and she said Ethan cried for a while but he was okay now. He took half a feed of his EBM and was now sleeping.

I’m missing him immensely now and I can’t wait to see my Mr Bulat again this evening.

A couple of days ago, as we were fetching Ethan over to Mrs Tan the babysitter’s place in the morning, the car window on Ethan’s side suddenly moved down.  We turned to check how that happened, and realized that Ethan had accidentally pressed the “open window” button!  We already had the child lock in place all along but now since Ethan’s fingers (and sometimes toes) can reach the window button, we have to disable that too, knowing how inquisitive he can be!

Thanks goodness our car has that feature! :D

Last Saturday morning Ethan woke up in a kind of pensive mood. It was raining and we had breakfast at home and later went out for a quick lunch.

Ethan was soon to find out that he would be attending his very first birthday party that evening. Well, besides his own birthday party in January, that is. It was little Ching Ern’s birthday and that evening we arrived just as the guest of honor arrived. :)

Ethan wasted no time in getting acquainted with his surroundings. Almost immediately, he spotted the staircase and insisted on going up. Pete and I had to take turns attending to him while we ate.

Ching Ern’s Mommy and Daddy really went all out in making sure the party was enjoyable! There were party bags for all the kids and birthday favors in the form of chocolates too. We tried to make Ethan wear the cone-shaped party hat, but he yanked it off his head (as expected). Actually he tore the hat at first and then we managed to fix it and put it on his head, and THEN he yanked it off!

Ethan met a lot of old and new friends also, but it was definitely a challenge getting them to pose nicely for the camera.

Ethan was really enjoying himself during the party. When he wasn’t climbing up the stairs, he was walloping the whole mini box of raisins that came along with the goodie bag, or giggling loudly when we blew on the party toy…you know the kind of whistle that has a tube of paper attached to it and the tube will extend when one blows on it? That totally cracked him up big time!

And at one time, he even took a breather, just to rest his head :)

One of Ching Ern’s presents was a little ride-on car which had all the toddlers excited. It was so hard to get the kids to leave the toy alone that in the end all we could do was take photos of them playing with it! We are bloggers, after all!

And the highlight of the evening, besides the cake-cutting ceremony, was when we tried to put all the kids in a row on the couch to take a picture. I was skeptical the plan would work, but anyhow we managed to get some good shots. Well, almost… :P In the process of trying to get the kids to smile, we adults started clapping our hands joyfully. Soon, one by one, the kids all joined in the clapping extravaganza. Doesn’t Ethan look like he is totally relaxing on the sofa?

What a good time we had at the party! Happy Birthday Ching Ern!

 

Last weekend, Ethan (ye of exceptional motor skills) mastered the art of climbing on top of our bed.  Ours is a bed with a side platform all round it, so all he needs to do is to climb onto the platform while holding onto the mattress, then hoist himself up onto the bed.  Ethan did that perfectly well and has been doing it most of the time when he is in our room.

Two nights ago, he was doing it again, but somehow he lost his grip and fell backwards flat on the back of his head.  He looked stunned for a moment, and then started to wail loudly!   I hugged and comforted him immediately of course, and naturally he would not let go of me after that.  But about 30 minutes later he was at it again, climbing up onto the bed in the usual manner.  After his shower that night, as he was about to sleep but still playfully sauntering around the room, he seemed to have forgotten his fall earlier, and tried to climb up and down our bed again.  But on one occasion, his hand missed the grip on the bed, and his body lurched to the left side of the bed, head first!  Thank goodness Pete was there to break his fall!  Our boy was of course shocked by this second incident and found comfort in Mommy’s arms again.

You would think these two incidents would deter him from climbing up our bed, right?  However, Ethan is a boy that chooses to deal with his fears head on: “Face my fears and I will fear no more!” - that’s his motto.  So he’s still at it now: climbing up, climbing down… well, sometimes when he remembers, he will reach out his arm for reassurance while climbing.  Hehehe….

Ethan is becoming quite a little helper now. Especially when I dress him up or when I am changing him. You see, I have a routine established right from the onstart and he understands it perfectly well now.

After his bath/shower, I will take him to his changing table and dry him up with his towel. Sometimes he will get a toy to play with, sometimes a tube of cream. Don’t ask… :P

I would then apply Drapolene, followed by powder, and then put his diaper on. Then I would give him a body massage with baby lotion, apply Baby Vicks on his chest and back and then dress him up. The last step would be to apply baby cream on his face.

Just recently though, Ethan has taken the extra effort to *help* me cap the Drapolene, Vicks and baby cream back. After I uncap the bottle/tubes, he would grab hold of the cover and very carefully place the cover back on top of the tube or bottle. He is very happy when he has accomplished his *mission* because I proudly proclaim “Good boy!” Sometimes he wants to cap it back on immediately after I have uncapped it, so much so that I have had to explain to him that Mommy is still not done yet! And sometimes he even *reminds* me of the baby cream that I’ve forgotten to apply!

Amazing what kids can do, eh?

Recently we noticed that Ethan gets easily agitated when faced with strangers, especially those in close proximity with him. It was as if he felt his personal space being invaded when these strangers come into close contact with him. Strangers to him also meant people whom he had not seen in a long while, friends and relatives included. This behavior is especially apparent when the *stranger* looks at him and starts *talking* to him. It could be just a harmless “Hello!” or “Hi!” and Ethan would retort with a sharp whine and squeal as if to say “Don’t disturb me!” Surprisingly, he is okay in the malls where there are lots of people around but when these people start interacting with him, he becomes uncomfortable. I’ve read and heard that this is a phase some toddlers go through.

So Pete and I decided that we needed to put a change to that and make him less afraid of strangers. We reckoned we could turn things around if we brought him to places where there were a lot of people who would interact with him, and vice versa. This does not just mean the malls, but gatherings and parties as well.

Last weekend gave us two opportunities to do so. The first was a barbecue party with Pete’s co-workers at Gold Coast. Ethan was obviously very uncomfortable among all the people there and stuck to Pete and me like glue. It was really hot too, so that did not help the situation at all. Nevertheless, Ethan was very fascinated by the swimming pool and we had to take him there several times just to make him happy. There was also a mini playground area, with a rotational tic-tac-toe board which kept him occupied for a while too. Oh, and he went topless for the second part of the evening because of the immense heat :P And because he would not let Pete or me go, we could not take any pictures to commemorate the occasion. But just imagine this: Barbecued ribs, grilled shrimp, smoky air, very HOT. ’nuff said.

Two days later on Sunday, I took Ethan to his playgroup. This time saw the most attendees ever since we started the playgroup. Ethan and I were the first to arrive at Charlotte’s house. I brought along Ethan’s toy train to be shared with the rest of the kiddies when they arrived (was I glad I did, because it was met with enthusiasm from all the kids!). Wei Xuan, Hin Lerk, Ching Ern and Sze Yi also came armed with their toys, full of energy and of course, with their Mommies.

Throughout the playgroup, Ethan was very vocal, although we could not comprehend what he was trying to say. Of course, we entertained him by responding in a manner we thought he understood. We were actually hoping that Ethan would be able to pick up a few words from Wei Xuan, but instead Xuan chose to communicate with Ethan in a language only Ethan and she could understand: baby blabbering! That was hilarious!

I really feel the playgroup is an excellent avenue for the kids to enjoy themselves and interact with other kids. It is so important to have that available for them especially at this formative age, because they can learn so many things: Sharing, imitating (good things, I hope), leadership and expressing themselves, among others. Plus, it is a good time for us mothers to chit chat too!

So we had two group interaction sessions for Ethan over the weekend, and guess what, we are already reaping the benefits. Yesterday when we were in the lift and 2 other people came in, Ethan was not that shy anymore! He did not let out a cry of disdain when they spoke to him, instead he smiled at them, lifted his arm and then leaned his head on Pete’s shoulder. This morning he did the same thing when one uncle came into the lift with us too! I definitely see progress! :)

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Here’s to a toy that absolutely RAWKS!

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

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

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

Soba Yoshi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But lately this has been happening instead:

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

And also…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We took Ethan for his 3rd haircut on Saturday morning, after breakfast.  We went to the Brothers Hair Salon in Sg Dua where Pete also had his hair cut.  And while waiting for Daddy to finish, Ethan had a field time at the barber’s.  I had to entertain him for the 20 minutes or so, taking him around the shop to see all the different things, and finally I allowed him to sit down in one of the chairs.  Look at how happy he is, looking forward to getting his hair cut…

After the boys had their haircuts, we went to Gurney Plaza.  Took it easy window shopping and checking out the sites and sounds in the mall.  Ethan adores going to malls, and I think he can sense that we are approaching one.  He had his first kiddy ride, although he stood up most of the time.  The ride is for toddlers aged 2 and above, so we had to be very vigilant when he was on it.

Whenever we go shopping, we would make it a point to stop by Toys R Us, because Ethan just loves it there!  It’s like his second home!  When we were in the Gurney Plaza branch last Saturday, our little explorer had fun roaming and giggling in one of those Little Tykes toyhouses on display.  It was as if he now owned his own little house, complete with phone, gas stove, door and windows.  It was so difficult to pry him away from it when we were ready to go.  Hmmm….I wonder how much one of these costs…

By the way, just in case you were wondering what happened at the last part of that video, Ethan opened the door of the little house and hit me, that’s why the recording had to stop. :P

And on Sunday, when we were in the Toys R Us branch in Queensbay Mall, Ethan insisted on taking this car for a spin.

Then he would walk round and round the store, smiling and touching everything that catches his fancy.  It’s really a good exercise workout for him as well as for Pete and me because we have to chase after him the whole day long.

And of course, after all that exercise, Mommy needs her retail therapy.  What with Baby Gap open and all…  :)  And thus ends another weekend, perfect in every way…

Ethan used to show affection by biting on my chin.  But now, I am proud to proclaim that I have managed to train him to give me a kiss on the cheek  :)  When I say, “Ethan, come give Mommy a kiss!”, he will walk over to me, hold my head in his hands and give me a kiss.  He doesn’t do it to anyone else except Pete and me.  Everyone else gets the “head-bang” treatment as a sign of affection.  Hahaha…

There’s something about chopsticks that fascinates Ethan so.  When I started giving him siew mai from our dim summeals, I gave it to him with chopsticks.  He would gobble each morsel of the food eagerly and ask for more.  But when I peel off a piece of char siew pau like what I normally do and offered it to him by hand, he pushed it away!  When I gave him porridge using a spoon, he rejected it.  But the funny thing is, if I use a pair of chopsticks and scoop up that same bit of the porridge, and feed it to him, he takes it without any complaints!  Isn’t that odd?

Same thing happened when we went to the New World Park hawker center late last Saturday afternoon.  I am very pleased to note that the hawker center now has baby chairs available!  And they are the kind that Ethan is VERY used to: the IKEA baby high chair, and furthermore it comes with a tray :)  So no more sitting in the stroller during our meals at New World now!  Anyway, we ordered wan ton mee, and when our orders arrived, Ethan of course excitedly demanded for food.  You know, with the wan ton mee looking as delicious asthis, I’m not in the least bit surprised.

I fed him the wan ton mee with chopsticks, sometimes twirling it around the chopsticks so it would be easier for him to eat it.  Then I put some of the mee on a spoon, but strangely enough, he pushed it away!  I tried this several times, but it was always the same…don’t know what it is with chopsticks that is so interesting to him.  Oh yeah, we noticed that Ethan has also mastered the skill of slurping a strand of noodle too, and he does it with such finesse, it’s such a delight to watch!  And after meal time, it was time to wash it all down with some water!  Look at how Ethan is quenching his thirst!

 After many moons of procrastination and laziness, we finally dragged our weary selves out of bed this morning and headed over to the Botanical Gardens for a morning family exercise session.  It was already a little past 9 in the morning when we arrived, and although it was considerably hot, walking amongst the greenery kind of made it a little bit cooler.  We brought Ethan’s stroller along, so we could push him some parts of the way and only took him out where it was safe to toddle around, i.e. not many joggers and runners blocking the path. 

At first, Ethan was slightly confused with the new experience, as the last time he was there was so long ago.  But I’m not surprised that it only took him a while to warm up and soon he was making himself at home with nature.  He was intrigued by the trees, the leaves, the flowers, the road…just about everything in sight, blabbering and screaming loudly in delight!

We had such a good time that we are already planning and looking forward to this coming Saturday morning when (hopefully) we would be able to go again.

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 :)

So… it has been 15.5 months…*gives myself several pats on my back for a job well done*

Yes, all of 15.5 months that Ethan has been fed exclusively on Mommy’s breast milk.  Well, other than the introduction of solids when he was 6.5 months old, whatever milk he has taken is solely breast milk. 

And now it’s finally time to introduce formula milk.  My frozen EBM stock in the freezer has dramatically dwindled from an impressive 30-40 feeds to a mere 5-6 feeds now.  I am producing just enough for Ethan these days, sometimes less, and that’s when I rely on my freezer stock.   My friends were teasing me that I would not be able to go through with the introduction last weekend, because I had postponed it indefinitely for a couple of weeks now.  But I braced myself for it, and kept to my word.  So late last Saturday afternoon, I decided to take that gigantic leap and opened that tin of Enfapro A+, one of the samples I had obtained from the pediatrician. 

The pediatrician recommended that we try introducing formula to Ethan in a cup.  And since Ethan is now very used to drinking from a cup, be it a cup with a spout or a regular adult cup, I made just 2oz of the formula and put it into his Nuby sippy cup.  Before pouring it into the cup, I tasted a little of the formula milk out of curiosity to see what it tastes like… I had heard horror stories from some moms that it tasted horrible!  Surprisingly though, it tasted like any normal powdered milk would taste like, so I was reassured.   Ethan would be fine with it, or so I thought…

So back to the cup…the spout on Ethan’s Nuby cup is really soft and so I thought the transition from nipple to spout would not be so drastic.  Ethan was all excited when he saw the cup, but just as the spout touched his lips he pushed the cup away immediately.  He had not even drank the milk, let alone sip it!  So wokay….I poured the milk into my ceramic mug.  He loves to drink water from my mug and I reckoned he would not be bothered by it.  Oh, I was SO WRONG!  He held the mug eagerly at first and attempted to drink the milk that was in it.  But just one sniff from that cute little nose of his and he pushed the mug away in disgust.  So much for my first attempt. :P

The next day, I tried using the Nuby cup again but AGAIN, Ethan pushed the cup away angrily!  This happened several times, and I ended up pouring the formula away… no love lost there! :P On my 3rd attempt of the weekend, I put the milk into a regular Avent milk bottle and tried feeding him with it.  Amid angry wails and protests, he totally rejected the bottle.  TOTALLY.  Hmmm…ok time for Plan B….I had also bought some boxes of UHT Full Cream milk, so I decided to give that to Ethan instead.  As usual, he was excited when he saw the box and grabbed it eagerly.  But he grabbed it way too hard and the milk splurted all over the couch and floor.  I guess I’ll try next time then.  SIGH….

So the next day, Monday, I brought the whole tin of Enfapro to the baby sitter’s place and gave her instructions on how to feed him.  I told her to try giving him some formula when the EBM had all been fed.  So after work on Monday when we went to pick Ethan up, I was anxious to find out how Mrs Tan had fared in her attempt.  She told me that she did not have a chance to give him the formula yet, because he had just had his meal of porridge when we arrived.  So she would try the next day instead.  Tuesday evening: Mrs Tan said that Ethan really REALLY didn’t want the formula AT ALL.  He pushed the bottle away as if it were a plague, and allow the formula milk to dribble from his mouth!  But she said that he was okay with oats mixed with formula milk, so that’s a consolation.

So what to do now?  My plan is to persist with trying to feed him one feed of formula every day, and if he is still rejecting it then we would probably try another brand.  Yesterday night, I gave him some Milo from the box and he drank a little using the straw.  But after that he again exhibited his enormous strength and spilled Milo all over himself and me…ah well…the sharing of chocolatey goodness huh?

Is it going to be cheese and yogurt for Ethan boy soon?  Is it going to be full cream milk?  Formula?  Which brand?  Milo?  The saga continues….stay tuned.

 

Weight
At least 9.5 kilos, though Pete and I have reason to feel like he has definitely gained a whole lot more weight after the visit to Dr Jessica.

Height
At least 75cm

Teeth
Last month I noticed 2 pramolars appearing at the bottom gum surface, but now believe it or not, they are gone!  So total teeth count is now back to 8.

Food
Ethan is taking almost everything we take now, i.e. adult food.  He actually prefers rice to porridge, and I no longer cook porridge for him during weekends.  If we eat out, he takes whatever we take, and if I cook at home, he’ll take the same food as we do.  I am pleased to say that he LURVES Mommy’s cooking! :) Last week, I cooked Too-Thor-Th’ng(Pork Belly Soup) and he gobbled it down with glee!  He’s also recently been introduced to a host of other new foods, among them siew-mai and yogurt, which he absolutely adores!  I found the full-cream yogurt that is suitable for kids (Fernleaf CalciYUM), and bought them for him.  Believe it or not, he even knows how to request for it!  He will come over to either Pete or me when we are eating our yogurt and go, “Mum mum mum MUM MUM!!!” while reaching for ours!

When we go to Innira’s, I’ve also given him his rice with just an teensy bit of curry and he is okay with it too.

One thing Ethan dislikes though is baby food from jars.  He will have absolutely none of it.  No pureed pear or prunes, no juice and certainly no yogurt from jars.  Our little boy is selective and only wants freshly prepared food.

Highlights

  • Ethan is finally able to drink from a straw, and does so with gusto, although lately he has sometimes been rejecting the straw, preferring instead to drink from a normal adult cup.  Yes, I’ve been training him to do so since a few weeks back, and since we haven’t gotten him a cup of his own, I let him use my ceramic one.  It’s kinda heavy so I have had to hold it for him while he drinks.  He spills just a little of the water on his front while drinking and would you believe it, yesterday, he even grabbed the whole cup from me, and held it to drink all by himself!

  • Ethan can walk pretty confidently now, teetering on the brink of running.  No more careful stances with extended arms trying to balance himself whilst walking.  Nowadays, he loves to walk while swinging his arms.  And he even knows how to steady himself if he is about to fall!
  • Calls me “Ma-meh” and calls Pete “Di-deh”.  Ethan is blabbering a lot these days and is showing signs that he will talk very soon.  He loves forming syllables with his tongue and can carry on a “conversation” with us, albeit very funnily :P  He has learnt to say “mai” (”don’t want” in Hokkien) - when I try to brush his teeth, he will say “mai mai mai“.  Last night in an attempt to give him water instead of milk when he woke up at 11:00p.m., he pushed his sippy cup away and angrily said “mai mai mai!” SIGH.
  • Knows his way around our house very well now…errr…too well, sometimes.  He loves opening cabinets (note to self: need to fix the cabinet stoppers this weekend) and finding interesting stuff inside.
  • Every morning, when Pete has his breakfast, Ethan will walk over to him and place his head lovingly on his lap, as if to wish his Daddy “Good Morning!”
  • When Pete plays the tickling game with him, Ethan will walk really quickly in an attempt to escape.  He will hide behind me or behind my legs.  Sometimes, if he is cornered by Daddy, he will bend low in order to avoid being tickled…or…he will move behind Daddy so that Daddy can’t see him to tickle him.
  • Ethan is learning to share :) When I feed him pieces of bread for example, he will peel off portions of the bread and tries to feed me.  He will pass an item to Pete or me (for instance, a greeting card or toy block) and smile while doing so.  Pete and I will reply, “Thank you!” and Ethan will repeat the entire process all over again.  When I give him a drink from a cup he will gulp down several sips and then push the cup towards me, motioning me to take a few sips too!

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?

Pete was still down with the flu yesterday, and I had to go out to get a few items to cook.  So I decided to take Ethan along with me to the minimart near where we stay.  While opening and locking the door of our house, Ethan was really intrigued with the padlocks which I guess he hasn’t seen up close before.  I loaded him into his car seat and we were off.  Carrying him on my right and fumbling to pay the shopkeeper with my left hand was quite tricky, but since I did not buy a lot of stuff, I managed. :) Although he could already walk, I did not put him on the ground for fear he wander without my noticing.  We were out for about half an hour and then came back home.

That was the first time I had gone out all alone with Ethan…perhaps a first of many?

Lately I have started becoming slightly conscious of attempts to wean Ethan from my breast (I say *slightly* because I think subconsciously I am not even sure myself if I want to wean…but eventually my boy will have to grow up, right?). 

Every evening when we come home from work, Ethan will play with his toys for a moment, before he realizes he misses me, and then he will come over to me and ask for comfort suckling.  Sometimes he will drift off for a short nap before he wakes up and takes his bath.  But sometimes he will just sleep through and miss his bath entirely.  That’s all right too, cos his baby sitter has started giving him a late afternoon bath as well nowadays, because he is so active that he sweats a lot.  Anyway, when he is ready for bed, I will breastfeed him and tuck him in when he is done.  I tell you, he looks so preciously adorable when he is fast asleep… angelic, even…

Previously when he wakes up during the night, or about midnight, I will breastfeed him again, a surefire way to get him back to dreamland.  But a few days ago, when he woke up around 11p.m., I took him into the kitchen and gave him a drink of water.  Ethan can drink from a normal adult cup now and loves doing so, but since I have yet to get him a lighter one he can hold himself, I still need to hold the ceramic cup for him now.  After a few gulps of water, I took him into the room and laid down with him on the bed.  Miraculously he fell asleep immediately!  So he was just thirsty!  And he slept till 4:30a.m. - which is good judging by Ethan’s standards okay? 

Apart from water, I’ve also tried singing and rocking him to sleep sometimes.  In fact most of the time, when he wakes up during the night, it’s not because he is hungry but more so because he feels lonely or perhaps just thirsty.  So there you have it.  My *feeble* attempt at weaning.  May not be much thus far, but it’s a start.

Ethan has a new baby sitter, however the baby sitter is only available in our house.  Check it out: 

Look at how much he enjoys playing with it!  Hehehe… that’s the wooden educational toy we bought for Ethan from Ikea…psssst! Great for adults too!  Pete set up the toy on Saturday night and we introduced it to Ethan on Sunday.  He was intrigued immediately and was playing with it quietly for a good half an hour while I took my shower and did some household chores.  And after we came back from church, Ethan immediately headed for that toy and began playing with it intently again.  We’re not sure how long this craze will last, but for now, it’s as good as a baby sitter at home.

Yesterday evening we took Ethan to Dr Jessica’s clinic for his 14th month checkup and pneumococcal booster jab.  Ethan was so excited when we arrived at the hospital, especially when he saw the escalator.  While waiting for our turn, he just could not keep still and kept walking around, much to the delight of everyone around him.  Watch this: I took this out of boredom…

We were ushered into the doc’s clinic very soon after.  His height and head circumference was still the same as last month, but his weight had increased to 9.5 kilos.  And then it was jab time… as soon as Ethan saw the syringe, he kept saying “mai mai mai“.  But after the quick jab, he was his usual cheerful self again.  Our next visit would be when he turns 18 months.

I don’t know what got into Ethan last night, but it was SO difficult to put him to bed.  After his warm bath at about 9p.m., I breastfed him.  Under normal circumstances, he would be in dreamland in about 15 minutes or less.  Last night, he decided that he still wanted to play.  He hopped down from my lap after he had his milk, then he walked over to his toys and began playing with his colored blocks.  I cajoled him to go to bed, but he refused.  Instead, he chose to walk around the house babbling incoherently, eyes wide awake, mind you!  After some time, I decided to take him into our room and make him sleep there instead (this plan worked before).  But instead of falling asleep on our comfy bed, he preferred to roll around, crawl around and even walk around the room… so much for my plan!  I had to wait for him to tire himself out, I thought.  I even asked Pete to pretend to sleep on the bed with Ethan and I to see if our boy would want to sleep too.  But Ethan was adamant he wanted to play still…. so Pete decided to take him out into the living room, while I did the laundry and some cleaning up.

Finally, we noticed that Ethan had a hint of eyebags which denoted he was ready for bed, but still he was *conversing* with us loudly and excitedly.  I took him into the room anyway, and he fell asleep after 10 minutes! :)  It was already past 11:00p.m. then.

Ethan woke up in the middle of the night, but I was not stirred from my sleep at all, until Ethan called “Mommeeee!” clearly.  That got me right out of bed - well, Pete brought Ethan to me la.  Hehe… well, actually I had no recollection of the incident in the middle of the night, except for the “Mommeeee!” part.  Pete, who can wake up at the drop of a pin, was the one who told me what happened.

Last Thursday, after work, we took Ethan for a dip in our apartment’s swimming pool.  The weather was warm with just a hint of sunlight.  Perfect swimming weather…I checked from our balcony that there was no one in the pool, so off we went.

We dressed Ethan up in his new swimsuit, which made him look like a mini scuba diver.  We bought this suit a couple of weeks back because Ethan looked so cute in it, we could not resist it.  For the first time also, we fixed the arm floats on him to allow him to float in the water.  These floats are the kind that had just a band at the bottom and was not “floaty” all the way round.  This was to enable more movement whilst in the water.

I took him to the edge of the pool and began playing with the water.  I splashed - he giggled… so I took him into the water.  Gingerly I let go…and to my amazement he began paddling doggie-style!  Unfortunately he paddled away and I was behind him, so he suddenly realized I wasn’t in sight and began struggling and crying.  When I hugged him again, he clung on to me for dear life, and he even wrapped his legs around my waist.  SIGH….next time, I’ll make sure I am within his view.  We hope to go again sometime this week :)

We took Ethan to get his passport done today.  We are planning a trip to Singapore (maybe) soon, so we’re just getting everything ready first.  My own passport had also expired last year, so I did mine at the same time.  This is Ethan’s passport photo, taken a few days earlier.  I placed him on my lap and he was facing at a right angle to where I was facing.  Leng-chai or not? ;)

After that we hopped over to Standard Chartered and opened an in-trust savings account (Young Savers Account) for Ethan with the moolah he received from Chinese New Year angpows.

We had lunch at New World Park and then it was haircut time for our whole family! :) We drove to Prangin Mall to the hair salon we frequented mainly because of the head massage thrown in :P.  Pete had his hair cut while I breastfed Ethan in the baby room in Parkson.  Ethan fell asleep soon after and I placed him in his stroller and pushed him to the hair salon.  While he slept, I had my hair cut and washed.  He woke up just in time as Pete had just finished his hair cut about 5 minutes before that.  So after I finished my hair cut, we asked the hairdresser to use the shaver blade #2 to shave Ethan’s head.  As expected, our boy struggled and screamed, because as you know, he hates anything on his head.  Thankfully, it was all over within a space of 5 minutes or so.  Results?  Handsome leh…..! :)

 

On Monday when we were walking towards Mrs Tan’s house and Pete was carrying Ethan, Ethan cried in a manja manner and wanted me to carry him.  When we reached Mrs Tan’s doorstep, Ethan cried slightly louder and protested to being left with Mrs Tan and wanted to stick to me like glue.

Luckily Mrs Tan quickly interjected by saying, “Where’s the bird?  Where’s the bird?” (She’d hang a birdie toy in the doorway of one of the rooms and it sang a song when touched).  Well well… Ethan immediately looked toward the direction of the birdie toy, seemingly distracted.  Pete and I said our goodbyes and made a quick escape.

I was kinda sad leaving Ethan at the sitter’s because he apparently knows now that he is being left with someone else while Pete and I are at work.  :( Mrs Tan says it happens to all babies.  I can only pray that Ethan will understand…

Easter Weekend

This Easter, both my parents and Pete’s parents together with SIL were here in Penang.  Ethan again, of course, was the prime of all attention.  On Friday, my Mom and Dad made their way to Mrs Tan’s place to have a headstart playing with Ethan, while waiting for us to pick him up after work.  Ah Ma from Ipoh brought Ethan some new toys, among others a Rock-N-Stack toy, which Ethan took to immediately…. errr…. well, sorta…

We went for Japanese food for dinner on Friday with Pete’s parents at Soba Yoshi, where Ethan again had the time of his life, relishing each morsel of his chawan mushi and after dinner, he went roaming around checking out the restaurant.

On Saturday, we all went to Gurney Plaza.  While Pete and I selected Ethan’s studio picture shots for his album, Ethan busied himself (and also his Ah Mas, Ah Kongs, Ah Koh, and Ah Chek) by walking around the mall.  Certainly looks like he had a great time! 

Pete and I were spoilt for choice with the photos he’d taken just last week.  In the end, we had to choose an additional 2 more shots for the album (otherwise we would be stuck in the photo studio shop for hours!)

My Mom and Dad had to go back to Ipoh on Saturday itself, so after we dropped them off at the ferry terminal, we made our way to New World Hawker Center at Swatow Lane, where history was made: Ethan had his first taste of hawker food in the form of Wan Ton Mee.  There were no baby chairs around at all, so he had to stay put in his stroller.  He appeared to like Wan Ton Mee a lot, because he kept requesting for more. :)  Hehe… Wan Ton Mee lover, just like Mommy.

The following day was Easter Sunday, and we went to church at The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit.  It was jam packed but thankfully we managed to find a seat.  Ethan just could not sit still and insisted (rather loudly) that he wanted to walk by himself all around the church.  At the end of the church service, Pete and I were thoroughly exhausted, after chasing Ethan practically all around the church!  But Ethan was still a feisty as ever… spreading the Easter spirit to everyone!

 

In a blink of an eye, my little boy is now 14 months old.  And yes, I am still breastfeeding.

Weight
9.1 kg as of his last visit with Dr Jessica.

Height
76cm as of his last visit with Dr Jessica.

Teeth
8 in total: 4 incisors top and bottom (bottom side incisors growing quicker than top ones).  Makes for a really cheeky grin.

Motor Skills

Ethan can walk as fast as he can crawl now, and lately I have been noticing that he is trying to step up stairs too, for instance when we were in church, he would try to step up the steps leading to a wooden door.  Sometimes I have even caught him trying to stand on one foot…. yeah, like a stork. :P

Oh yeah…and did I mention our boy can make music?

Ethan likes to play with his toothbrush.  No no…not brush his teeth, but hold the toothbrush up in the air and babble incoherently.

Pete: Ethan, toothbrush… toothbrush (pointing to the toothbrush)
Ethan: OOohhhh  bebababa..tatata……

Communication & Social Skills

  • Will try to join in the conversations we have, but what Ethan says is mostly babbling.  Ethan voice is really loud and when he wants something, he will shriek and scream.  We are trying to teach him to NOT scream but to converse properly when he wants to communicate something - no luck so far.
  • Whenever he sees Pete and I hugging, he will want in on the hug too, and will toddle towards us and hug our legs.
  • Every weekday morning before Pete and I leave for work, Pete would carry Ethan out and head towards the car.  Lately when we are about ready to leave, Ethan would walk really fast towards Pete and hug his legs, requesting to be carried.
  • When I am taking my shower, sometimes Ethan would ask Pete to take him to our room (where I am in the bathroom), so that he can bang on my door :).  Sometimes Pete would relent, but at other times, when Pete is busy watching ESPN or something… Ethan would walk over to my room door and bang on it himself :D

Food & Eating Habits

We’ve been pretty lenient with Ethan’s food the past month and he has had the luxury of enjoying an array of outside food, among others, char siew pau.  Last weekend, we were at Soba Yoshi’s and since I didn’t bring his porridge out, I tried (again) to feed him chawan mushi with some calrose rice.  I tried giving him chawan mushi a couple of weeks back, but he was not very keen on it then.  This time, the little fella walloped it like nobody’s business.  He’s just a chip off the old block eh?

Since we gave him spaghetti at Friday’s a couple of weeks back, he has also taken to eating with his hands.  We would feed him porridge, for example, and sometimes, he would put his fingers in, taking out chunks of porridge and whatever is in it, look at it, and then put it back into his mouth.

Innira’s

One of the places we frequently go for dinner is at Passions of Kerala in Brown Garden, more famously known as Innira’s.  We have been bringing Ethan there almost every week since he was very small, so you could say that the folks at Innira’s have seen him grow up literally.  When we first went there, Ethan still had to be in his infant carrier; by and by he matured into the baby high chair and now he can toddle around Innira’s, bringing a smile to even the gloomiest face there.

With his adorable giggles, Ethan has captured the hearts of all the aunties and uncles at Innira’s, especially Aunty Saras, who speaks to Ethan in a way only they both can understand.  The folks at Innira’s look forward to our visits every weekend - in fact the weekend before last we didn’t manage to go and when we went there the weekend after, everyone was so HAPPY to see us; we could tell that they missed Ethan SO much.  There were also a couple of times when we arrived in the restaurant with our table readily set, complete with baby chair and all and our orders on the way! Sometimes, Aunty Saras would also come and open the car door for us, beaming happliy when she sees Ethan.  If that’s not excellent service, I don’t know what it is :)

Ethan is so comfortable there, and he loves all the lights they put up right outside the restaurant.  We get free baby-sitting at Innira’s and awesome mouth-watering banana leaf cuisine.  What more could we ask for?

Ethan is still having a slight runny nose today.  I fed him some Polaramine this morning by dipping some bread into it…yeah, when push comes to shove, a mommy will do anything.  This evening however, he would not take the bread dipped with polaramine “jam” anymore.  Kids learn fast, don’t they?

As usual he was playing all around the house this evening.  In fact just yesterday he discovered a new “toy” to play with.  I have several boxes filled with Ethan’s clothes when he was much younger, clothes which he can’t fit into anymore.  My mistake, it had not occurred to me that those boxes are now within his reach.  Look what happened…

SIGH….now excuse me while I need to go and refold the clothes…

To a certain extent, I am always engulfed with guilt whenever we leave Ethan off at the baby sitter’s place in the morning before we go to work.  Lately it has become more difficult for me, more so because now when we leave him there in the mornings, he gives us a forlorn look as if he *knows* we are not going to be around him for a few hours.  It’s not that Mrs Tan the babysitter does not treat him well, but more like he is sad that we won’t be there for that period of time (when we’re at work).

And in the evening when we reach Mrs Tan’s place to pick him up, his face will immediately light up when he sees or hears us.  His eyes will gleam and his lips will unfurl into the cutest sweetest smile ever, all the way into Daddy’s arms.  When we reach home, he will walk/crawl to me and hug my legs for dear life (yes, like koala bear).  Sometimes he will say “mum mum mum mum mum” and if there is still no response he will scream “MUM MUM MUM MUM MUM” even louder, until I feed him.

That’s his way of saying “I miss you Mommy!”  and you know what?  I most certainly miss him too!

Hurray!  It’s the weekend again.  I love weekends because being a working mom, the weekends are the only times I get to spend quality AND quantity time with Peter and Ethan.  We make it a point to really enjoy ourselves thoroughly during weekends, no matter what we do.  I don’t share the sentiments of some parents who claim they are more tired during the weekends, because for me, it is the opposite… weekends really get me energized!  However, come Sunday night, we’re always wondering where the weekend has gone… you know what they say about time flying by when you’re having fun?  SIGH……

Last weekend, we decided to spend the Saturday at Queensbay Mall shopping.  As usual, our boy was very excited upon reaching the mall.  We shopped for a bit: bought a couple of board books for Ethan from Borders.  Ethan had a lot of fun in the children’s section at Borders, and was quite reluctant when it was time to go.

Dinnertime: we decided to go to T.G.I.Friday’s: good food, great fun…okay okay…we were actually itching to go there too…heh heh….

Pete ordered the JD Burger and I ordered the Salmon Steak (yummy!).  We ordered spaghetti for Ethan.  We figured it was time for him to try the spaghetti for real and gave him strand by strand of the pasta to feed himself with it.  Of course, he had to feed himself with his hands, since he had not mastered the use of the fork and spoon yet.  It was the first time Ethan ate restaurant food by himself, and he really looked so adorable doing so.  Hmmph… the pasta Mommy made, he rejected.  But TGIF one, he ate willingly and even asked for more as he finished each strand, banging loudly on the table!
All in all, we enjoyed ourselves very much… Ethan did too, judging by the mess he made around his high chair.

Sunday, I cooked my claypot chicken rice, so we ate at home before going to Gurney Plaza.  We bought more books for Ethan from MPH.  The books were at a steal at only RM9.90 each!  I couldn’t resist getting 3!

And our boy is already enjoying himself with his new books now…

We took Ethan to see Dr Jessica yesterday after work.  It was his routine 13th-month visit and he had his chicken pox vaccination too.  Apparently the chicken pox jab does not 100% prevent the child from getting chicken pox, so Dr Jessica said that beginning this year, a second booster chicken pox jab is being introduced and would be administered when the child is 4-6 years of age.

Ethan protested and screamed for a while when the shot was given, but was okay almost immediately after (shot was given on the arm).  Dr Jessica again asked us if we could already tell if he was a rightie or leftie, but we were still unsure… I jokingly said “ambidextrous” - heh heh…. anyway, the doctor gave him the jab in the left arm.

And on the way back from the hospital, he fell asleep in the car.

We’re trying to instill a sense of good personal and dental hygiene in Ethan by teaching him how to brush his teeth.  Since he cut his first tooth, I’ve cleaned his teeth with a plastic finger brush (and sometimes with just a washcloth), but this is becoming extremely dangerous because now our boy tends to BITE!  ….And when he does, it is really really REALLY OUCHHHH!!!!

So I bought him his first toothbrush a couple of weeks back and tried to brush his teeth with it.  We do it before his bedtime bath.  His first reaction to the toothbrush?  He kept his mouth tightly shut and turned away when he saw the toothbrush.  So I let him hold it himself in the hopes that his curiosity would get the better of him and he would start brushing himself.  No such luck.  He just fiddled with the bristles in a confused manner and threw the toothbrush into the bathtub instead.

So, what to do?

Last resort: Leadership by example.  I brushed my teeth in front of him and coaxed him to do the same.  First couple of days, he watched me, transfixed and in awe.  Then he began to experiment and brushed his teeth…well, somewhat…. Pete and I looked at each other and smiled.  “Progress!” we thought.

Well, that was a few days ago… now it’s back to the throwing-toothbrush-into-tub game again.  SIGH.  I hope we’ll be able to train him to do it real soon.

One thing good about our “Leadership by example” routine though.  He lets out such adorable giggles when I gurgle and rinse my mouth.  It’s a wonder how simple things amuse babies, eh?

One of the board books that Ethan has is a Scooby Doo boardbook incorporated with a toy phone.  This was a present from his Ah Kor.  Ethan at once took a fancy to the bright orange phone receiver but didn’t pay attention to the book per se.  Lately though, he has learnt how to flip the pages of the board book, just like he is reading and comprehending the contents of the book.  It never fails to fascinate me.  Check out our boy “reading” here… :D

Ethan spent a major part of his 13th month receiving angpows during the Chinese New Year festival and a minor part of it battling a cough.  During Chinese New Year, he had loads of new clothes to parade in, almost one new set each of the fifteen days of the new year.  We also bought him his first pair of sandals (this one’s easier to wear than his Adidas ones because this one’s got velcro).

Weight
9kg.  He lost 100g when he was sick, but gained back the weight as of last week.

Height/Length
Not sure, but more than 73cm, since he can reach the ground on both feet on tiptoe when he gets on his toy train vehicle.  I don’t have a photo of him reaching the ground on tiptoe *yet*, but here’s a photo of Ethan on the train :)

Teeth
Still 4 in total: 2 central top and bottom incisors.  4 more incisors on the top and bottom are fast appearing.  Either the whites are visible or the tooth can be felt through the gums.

Motor Skills

  • Ethan can now walk pretty fast, although in a wobbly manner.  He is learning and exploring the entire house, moving from room to room.  He is not afraid of the dark and if he finds himself in a dark room, he can move to the door and open it.
  • Ethan can squat very well (signs of really strong quadriceps and hamstrings).  I have even caught him squating and reaching for an object (while squating), then standing up and then returning to squatting position.
  • Throwing things is the highlight of the day.  When we take him home from the baby sitter’s, he will trash everything in sight… all his toys will be thrown around the floor, and Pete and I are resigned to picking them up over and over again.

Communication & Social Skills

  • Will clap his hands whenever he hears any music, whether from his music toys (he has a toy piano and a toy banjo), or if someone sings to him. 
  • Will wave bye-bye when prompted.  But even when the people he is bye-byeing to is out of sight, he will still be waving.
  • He is ticklish when I kiss him on the tummy.
  • He has started showing some signs of independence, and sometimes will crawl to avoid Pete or me when we attempt to pick him up.  When we do pick him up, and all he wants is to be free to roam on the floor, he will make a quick diving motion, and if we still resist letting him down on the floor, he will attempt to bite us.  Yikes!
  • He has begun to thrown tantrums when he does not get what he wants.

Food

I introduced some legumes and honeydew, besides introducing “Ikan Jenahak” - not sure if it is “Kalat-hoo” but he loves it all the same.  The one item that he absolutely loves though?  CHEESE!!  Our boy will wallop a whole slice if we allow him to.

I’m still providing food cubes to Mrs Tan, our baby sitter, to make it easier for her to cook Ethan’s porridge.  So in my freezer, I have ice trays filled with food cubes such as fish cubes, tomato cubes and vegetable cubes.

Not the shopping.  Not the discounts.  Not the crowd…but….

The ESCALATORS!!

Ethan has an afinity for escalators.  He loves it when we go on the escalators, up and down, up and down…he can do it all day long.  Sometimes, after we get off an escalator and walk away, he would complain and indicate that he wants to go on it again.

The other day, when he was posing for the Jusco Photogenic Baby contest photo shoot, the photographer could not get a really good shot, because our boy was busy staring in awe at the escalator that was just beside the photo shoot station.

I remember I myself was pretty awestruck by escalators when I was a little girl too… could this be an inherited trait?

Ethan is so much better now.  I knew he was already back to his old self when he woke me up giggling in his sleep last Saturday morning.  Can you imagine?  He slept till 9a.m.?!!

We still fed him his medication through the weekend, because we wanted to be certain there would be no recurrence of the illness.  Guess what?  We only found out yesterday that the syringe that we used to administer the medicine needed to be positioned at an angle so that the medicine will be shot right down his throat, giving him no chance to gargle or cough it up.  So last night, we promised Ethan that it would be the absolute last time he would be taking the medicine.

This horrible coughing illness has been a force to be reckoned with, and I am SO GLAD that we will soon be rid of it forever. 

Recovery time:

Pete - 8 weeks
Joyce - 4 weeks
Ethan - 1 week

Another amazing fact from Ethan boy, courtesy of being an exclusively breastfed baby!

Ethan woke up this morning coughing and sneezing even more than he did yesterday; I even detected some phlegm when he coughed.  We fed him his Rhinathiol and Polaramine, despite his fierce protests… it always tugs my heartstrings to see him cry and scream like that when we try to feed him medicine :(

After dropping him off at the sitter’s (with instructions to give him more milk and water, and to wipe his nose), I called Dr Jessica to inquire what could be wrong.  She reassured me that the symptoms for his illness would tend to take a turn for the worse on the 3rd or 4th day, before becoming better.  As long as he wasn’t wheezing (which was a sign of bronchitis), there should be nothing to worry about.  She also said I could bring him in for a quick checkup in the evening if I wanted to be further reassured and for her to check Ethan too.

I then called Mrs Tan, our babysitter, and she proudly proclaimed that Ethan had finished his entire morning feed of 5oz of EBM at one go and was feeling better already.  In fact, he was taking a nap when I called.  I was glad. :D

After work, Pete and I took Ethan to see Dr Jessica, who again confirmed and reassured us that his lungs were clear.  She cautioned us, however, that if his breathing was rapid (more than 40 breaths per minute), we should inform her.  She instructed us to continue with the medication and hopefully with the breastfeeding, he would be all well tomorrow.

Dearest darling Ethan boy, Mommy and Daddy are praying that you will get well soon!

Ethan came down with a fever this morning.  38.2 degrees.  Not sure if it’s accurate, cos I didn’t have the time to get an ear thermometer yet, so I had to use the underarm mercury thermometer method.  We took him to see Dr Jessica, and she confirmed that the bacteria from my cough had spread to him before his flu got better.  His fever had shot up to 38.4 degreen then.  So unfortunately, she had to put him on antibiotics.  She prescribed Axithromycine, which is from the same family as Erithromycine (the antibiotics that I took), and Ethan was to take it for 3 days.  She also prescribed Rhinathiol (for cough) and Polaramine (for flu).  Paracetamol also, but we were also provided with the suppository option, since Ethan rejects medicine taking orally. Sigh…

Tried giving him the medicine… he blew the medicine out.  Then when we shot it straight down his throat, he gargled the medicine and refused to swallow it.  We also tried alternating the medicine while feeding him soup, but our boy was not willing to be outsmarted.  He would check the spoon to see if it’s clear (i.e. soup) or red (i.e. medicine) before taking it.  So… it was certainly a chore to give him the medicine, and heart-wrenching too, I might add.

I hope he gets better soon.

One-year Checkup

We took Ethan to see Dr Jessica today for his scheduled one-year checkup. We decided to go during the night clinic at GMC; from experience, we need not wait too long at the night clinic.

We were ushered in after about 10 minutes’ wait :) Ethan started playing with the blocks in Dr Jessica’s office and smiled happily. She asked us about his progress: what he could do and say…and then took his height, weight and head circumference.

Ethan had his MMR (mumps, measles and rubella) vaccination today too. I nursed him while Dr Jessica administered the jab (studies have proven that the trauma from the jab will be significantly lessened if given during a breastfeeding session). Well, Ethan boy bawled immediately as the needle went in…poor baby… and yet, less than 30 seconds later, was his cheerful self again.

Doctor told us to monitor for 5-7 days as he could develop fever from the jab.

Yesterday evening when we picked Ethan up from the sitter’s, she proudly announced that Ethan had begun to take his first baby steps. Although still wobbly, she said that he was holding on to a chair and then very gingerly let go and took a few steps towards her!

Pete and I were ecstatic! Imagine, from a non-mobile infant to a crawl-everywhere-and-opens-and-closes-all-doors baby and NOW to a soon-to-be-free-roaming toddler! Wow… next milestone! Check!

However, I can’t help but feel that I would sometimes miss out on important milestones like these, being a working mom and all. So even though I am jubilating over his first few steps, I am a little sad that I wasn’t there to see it. C’est la vie…

Ah well. Maybe, hopefully… I will be there to witness the first few REAL steps, not the unstable ones. Hehehe…. me being my kiasu self now.

Oh, by the way, yesterday evening after we brought Ethan back home, I saw him take 1.5 steps from one side of the cot to the other! So I’m happy. Hee.

Walker Danger

Last Friday, Mom and MIL *ambushed* me and asked what was the reason we didn’t put Ethan in a walker. A couple of months back, Pete clearly told his Mom (my MIL) to NOT buy a walker for Ethan. Anything can buy, except a walker.

Why do we insist on NOT placing Ethan in a walker?

There are several reasons, and they are best summarized in an excerpt from my Baby Weekly email:

When my son was a baby, walkers were thought to be a great way to help infants learn to walk. Since then, we have learned that walkers are actually detrimental to normal development. Because a baby in a walker can get around easily, their urge to move across the floor is satisfied, so many aren’t motivated to learn how to crawl or walk on their own. Walkers also strengthen the wrong muscles: the lower legs are used almost exclusively, while the upper legs and hips - used most when walking - remain relatively weak.

In addition, children in walkers have more accidents. Approximately 25,000 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms in the United States each year for skull fractures, concussions and other injuries related to baby walkers. Most baby walker accidents (about 96 percent) involve children falling down stairs. In 69 percent of the cases, an adult was with the child at the time of the accident.

In response to these accidents, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and baby walker manufacturers have developed new safety standards. In order to meet the new standards and be certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, a walker must be too wide to fit through a standard doorway and have a gripping mechanism to stop the walker if one wheel goes over a step. Instead of a traditional baby walker, try a modified version that has no wheels. These allow the baby to swivel, but are stationary.

Ethan is now *learning* to walk.. just cruising and standing unsupported…but not YET walking on his own. So at this point in time, it is inevitable that people would surely ask:

“How old ah, your baby? Can walk already ah?”

When SOME babies cannot yet walk when others the same age can, the question of why walkers are not used will arise. Well, now you know… but if you still have doubts, just do google up “baby walker danger”.

Yesterday Ethan’s sitter presented him with a suit of t-shirt and pants. She said it will make him look like a big boy and that he can wear it for a LOOOOOOooooong time. She also commented that he should SOON stop wearing rompers because he outgrows them really fast.

Hehe… we actually like to dress Ethan in rompers, because being the active baby he is, rompers are truly convenient as his tummy doesn’t show no matter how much he crawls and moves around. We do let him wear regular t-shirt and shorts too (of course, sitter doesn’t know that), but we are trying to put in more mileage for his rompers before he gets too big for them.

Ah well… looks like our sitter is dropping HUGE hints that Ethan should *upgrade* to 2-piece-wear soon.

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.

Musical Inclination

We always think of Ethan as a musical person. Even while I was still carrying him in utero, I played music whenever I could. Classical music was his favorite and I could feel him kicking inside whenever we listened to the music. In fact, after he was born and I played the exact same tune, he would smile contentedly, as if he could remember the feeling of security the music brought.When my Mom was helping me out after delivering Ethan, she too sang to him often. It helped soothe and comfort him. And let’s not start about him being attracted to the TV every time I switched the channel to MTV.

Lately, apart from the Christmas carols, Ethan has also taken a liking to dancing to music. I would carry him and hold him while moving around to the music. He can’t walk yet, but I can hardly wait till he can, so that I can teach him to dance with me… I can really tell that he loves it when we “dance” together. His favorites are waltzing to Johann Strauss’s The Beautiful Blue Danube and doing the sexy rumba to Andrea Bocelli’s Besame Mucho. Oh by the way, Pete claims he has two left feet, so it’s just Ethan and me dancing most of the time.

Lately Ethan has taken a liking to blubbering, i.e. puckering his lips, making the “brrrrrruuuuu…” sound (aka blowing raspberries), and using his index finger to flick his lips up and down. Then of course he will indulge in the baby blabbering. Occasionally we do catch a few words like deh-deh (Daddy maybe?) ….., mum-mum…, beh-beh (waving buh-bye) and just a couple of days ago, something which sounded remotely like “Mummeee….”. (yay!)However, it is unfortunately an unwritten rule that girls mature faster than boys, and also that the fairer sex is more adept at picking up languages. Just a few days ago, I met up with a fellow breastfeeding mommy friend of mine for lunch, and she told me that her daughter (now 15 months’ old) can already count from 1 to 10! Amazing!

Well, we don’t know when our boy will start having conversations with us, but we certainly can’t wait… for now, we are constantly speaking to him like we would to another adult, and he would listen attentively, even laughing on cue sometimes. It’s true that babies can understand and mimic what adults say fairly easily, especially at this age, when their brain is like a sponge. Therefore, we need to remind ourselves (and also those around us) to be careful NOT to use words which we do not want him to pick up at this tender age. You’d be surprise what babies these days can absorb…

Now until that precious first word is spoken, we’ll have to content ourselves with:

Me: What did you do today, Ethan?
Ethan: Wa wa wa…bababa…..brrruu, bruuuu……!!!
Me: Wah….really? What else?
Ethan: Mamamummmm…..vavava…..bruuu, bruuuu…..!!!
Me: Have you learned to say “Mommy” today?
Ethan: Brruuuuu…bruuuuuu….!!!! (showing a toothy grin)

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…

Rollercoaster of a Week

The past week has been one of the most trying weeks ever.

Pete came down with a high fever and chronic cough on Sunday, visited the doctor, and we all stayed home while he recuperated. After 2 days, his fever finally subsided, but he was still coughing.

On Tuesday morning, Ethan had a slight fever and cough, so we gave him some paracetamol. I also took the second half of the day off to nurse him at home.

Wednesday afternoon: the baby sitter called me after lunch and told me that Ethan was having fever and wouldn’t take his milk. I rushed back home to get the paracetamol and then rushed straight to the sitter’s. We gave him a dose of paracetamol, although when I arrived, his body temperature felt normal to me. With this pattern of body temperature fluctuation, we decided to take Ethan to the night clinic at the hospital after work. Coincidentally, his pediatrician was on duty that night. She assured me that he just had a minor sore throat, so antibiotics were not necessary. She didn’t even prescribe cough medication and just told me to give the flu medication to soothe his throat, and paracetamol only if the body temperature is more than 38 degrees.

Thursday: both father and son were recovering well. Unfortunately, dear Mommy fell caught the flu bug. It was really inevitable given the fact that Ethan coughed and sneezed directly into my face all the while. I rested at home… well, whatever rest I managed to get, I did…let’s put it that way.

Friday: Daddy, Mommy and Ethan are on the high road to recovery. Yayyyy!!!

So yeah, it’s really been a rollercoaster of a week. On Wednesday, I was jokingly telling some of my friends that I had to look after two babies for the past couple of days. Ah well… I’m just grateful that God gave our family the strength to see us through our time of need.

Recently I came across this short story, which I feel is so poignant and it really touched me to the core, now that I am a parent myself:

When I was a new mom, I called my own mother one day to commiserate over how difficult parenting had been that week. My mother abruptly changed the subject and began talking about her golf game. She went on and on about her frustration with her game and how many times she has sworn she would never play another round. Just when I was about to ask her why she was ignoring my problem and talking about hers she said, “And then on the 18th hole you chip in one beautiful shot, and that makes you go out and play another entire round.” She continued, “Parenting is like that. You have a horrible day and think that you cannot take it one more day. And then as you tuck your ‘little monster’ into bed, she says, ‘I love you, Mommy,’ and you go out and parent another round.” She explained that I would forget most of the horror stories, but would remember the “I love you, Mommy” stories when all is said and done.

Yesterday, on the way back home, we made a detour to the Bel’Air Aromatherapy sales office to buy some Eucalyptus essential oil – I’m an aromatherapy lover and Ethan has been enjoying the benefits of aromatherapy since he was a newborn. Well, anyway, the lady manning the office is also a breastfeeding mom and her son is now 13 months’ old.

The moment Ethan saw the 13-month old boy, he got all excited and screamed with delight. Pete put Ethan down on the floor and immediately both Ethan and the other boy started crawling around, playfully socializing with each other. There was absolutely no sign of intimidation or shyness, just plain innocence and good clean fun! They both “spoke” to each other in their own baby language and were contented just to babble on and on.

It was such a joy to watch Ethan hang out with babies his age. He must be kinda deprived since most of the time he is around adults who don’t comprehend what he says…. Perhaps it is about time I start a playgroup?

In a blink of an eye, our Ethan boy has attained a grand young age of 9 MONTHS!
Things Ethan can do now, as noted by his baby-proud parents:

  • Sit unaided.
    Ethan used to topple over after a while but he is an expert at sitting now. He can sit pretty well in his bathtub too, but usually he will fidget around and try to roll over in the tub.
  • Clap hands.
    Sometimes he wakes up in the middle of the night, sits in bed and claps his hands. In the middle of the night, I tell ya!
  • Giggle adorably.
    Ethan especially loves it when we drop things (intentionally or unintentionally). He loves it when we attempt to juggle too! Lately, we discovered that he giggles when he sees me skipping around. All in all, if we imitate his actions, he will start giggling.
  • “Communicate”.
    He can say “Bababababa….”, “Wawawawa…..”. A far cry from “Mommy” and “Daddy” but well…..getting there.
  • Bear-crawl.
    I read somewhere that there are different types of crawlers. Bear-crawlers are crawlers who use their arms and upper bodies, lift their butts and drag their legs along to get moving. Apparently, bear crawlers move around really quickly. Pete and I can attest to that!
  • Stand with support.
    It is such a joy to wake up and see Ethan standing in his cot, holding onto the cot railing, and flashing us a huge, wide GRIN. Very rewarding indeed.
  • Do “cha-chi-kok”.
    Term used to refer to opening and closing of palms of hands. He normally does “cha-chi-kok” followed by hand-clapping.
  • Pass objects from one hand to another
    ….and then into his mouth!
  • Reach out hands to be carried.
    Usually accompanied by the very manja “uh uh uh”…now who can resist that?!
  • Pose for camera.
    If we bring a camera and call out to him while he is playing or crawling around, he will stop whatever he is doing, face the camera and SMILE! True model potential.
  • Eats his rusks independently.
    Sometimes banging it on the table and usually dropping it, but some of it does get into his mouth.
  • Peel off his diaper strap.
    ‘nuff said.

Our Strong Baby

When Ethan was but 2 months’ old, he was already kicking quite hard. The baby sitter even commented that based on her experience with other babies, he seemed to be stronger. She actually attributed it to my diet during pregnancy, and said it must be because I had really nutritious food then. Little did she know that I stuffed myself silly with McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Spicy Crispy Chicken McDeluxe AND Pizza Huts’ Super Supreme… Heh… That’s junk food for ya.Pete’s theory, on the other hand, is that Ethan strength is attributed to the fact that I give him massages every day. Since he was born, after his bath, I will massage his body, arms and legs with baby lotion. Baby massages are known to be comforting to both mother and baby and helps with bonding and relaxing too.

Although it is becoming harder and harder to administer the massages nowadays, for the simple reason that Ethan is mobile now, he still gets his massages. Well, I guess….until he learns how to run away, that is …

Yesterday night when Ethan woke up at 10:30p.m. Pete picked him up and very surprisingly, Ethan was able to fall asleep in his arms! Wait a go, Daddy-o!!!Looks like it won’t be long before Daddy can sign up for night duty eh? Heh heh…

Since we noticed the shape of little milk teeth forming beneath Ethan’s gums, I became paranoid Mommy and I check his gums for the first signs of teeth EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Well, today on the way out to lunch in the car, I was playing with Ethan in the back seat and when he laughed, I noticed the faintest signs of white emerging from his lower gums! Our boy has cut his first tooth! (First teeth, really)

I was so excited and so was Pete. It’s so rewarding to note that all the nurturing we provided has resulted in his first set of teeth! Cute nye……

My breastfeeding mother friends at work are curious as to how Ethan allows me to open his mouth to check his gums every day. Simple, I replied. I make him clap and then he will open his mouth to laugh and voila! Gums all for me to see!

Ethan with his first two teeth!

What “Sair Hoon”?

Both sides of Ethan’s grandparents have been concerned (since he was born) that Ethan would be “sair hoon” (Hokkien meaning: intimidation of strangers) when he attained a particular age. According to them, most babies would be “sair hoon” at about 3-4 months, and would refuse to be carried by anyone else, except those they were familiar with.I can understand Ethan’s grandparents’ concern, given the fact that they do not reside in Penang and only get to see him like every once in a while.

However, they need not worry as our boy is far from being “sair hoon”… whenever we go shopping or out for a meal, salespersons, waitresses, friends we meet, you name it… all have offered their “baby-carrying” services and Ethan has consented without so much as a whimper! On the contrary, our boy would be smiling happily. He is happy as long as there is someone…ANYONE….carrying him.

SIGH… good in a way, cos we know for a fact that Ethan is indeed a sociable guy, but it is also quite dangerous, come to think of it. So we make it a point to keep our eyes peeled on him at all times.

Ali Baba

A baby babbling incoherently makes adults come up with interesting games to occupy their time. Since last Saturday (Sept 9), we have had loads of fun as Ethan embarked on his journey of verbal exploration.

Ethan: Baba… bababa….
Daddy: Ali…?
Ethan: Baba….
(Daddy and Mommy laughs)
Daddy: Ali….?
Ethan: Baba…..
See, what did I tell you? Loads of fun. Hours of endless entertainment. All packed in a cute lil baby called Ethan.

Not so Bulat anymore…

Ethan has moved on from the Caterpillar Shuffle to moving commando-style. Now, he very rapidly pushes his entire body weight forward, while his whole front is still on the floor, especially if an enticing toy is placed out of his reach.In fact, this milestone makes him officially MOBILE and because of that it is becoming apparent that our Ethan boy is losing some of his chubbiness, that contributes to his bulatness. The folds on his thighs are also not as prominent as before, although they are still visible.
How did he get from being this tiny baby:


To this angel at one-month old:


To his bulat-est at 6 months:


To what he is now: Cheeky, adorable and very very much lovable!

Time really flies.
I guess he has to grow up someday. He can’t be bulat forever.

Ethan is able to sit for a much longer time now, with no support. However, when he gets tired, he will topple over to one side and move over to face his front. We like to put him on his playmat, as we feel it encourages him to use his limbs and allows him more freedom of movement. Anyway, once he is free to go on his playmat, he will begin to do the Caterpillar Shuffle.Instructions for the Caterpillar Shuffle (Ethan-style):

  1. Lie down on the floor, face front.
  2. Push up and support torso with arms.
  3. Push butt up and try to move forward.
  4. Move backwards a little.
  5. Roll over
  6. Squeal
  7. Rotate body (Clockwise or counter-clockwise depending on mood)
  8. Repeat the above steps in any order
  9. Repeat till tired

Ethan has been performing the Caterpillar Shuffle for some time now. But yesterday, to our delight, Ethan made some progress! He lifted his butt, and being attracted to his toy we placed in front of him, just out of his reach, he began pushing himself forward! His first crawl!Quickly, Pete grabbed the camera to record this historical moment. Unfortunately as soon as Ethan saw the camera, he stopped moving, turned to face the lens and SMILED a wide toothless grin. SIGH… this happened a few times – we tried cajoling him with the toy again and again, but our boy just wanted to pose for the camera.

In the end, we were not able to capture any shots of our crawling baby (YET). SORRY…. We’ll try again some other time (and be sure to post the shots).

I’ve heard that breastfeeding supposedly becomes easier when baby attains the age of 6 months. Well, when I first started breastfeeding Ethan, it was certainly no walk in the park and at that time, I could not wait till he was 6 months old. I was under the impression that once he reaches 6 months, he would not be so dependent on milk as he would already start on solids.6 months has come and gone, and I must say that I am quite wrong about him being NOT so dependent on my milk. Yes, Ethan has been taking rice cereal for about 3 weeks now and yes, he appears to be enjoying it, but I am happy to note that he STILL prefers what he knows is BEST: Mommy’s Milk.

To date, he is taking a few spoonfuls of cereal mixed with fruit or vegetable (he loves pears, carrots and apples) at lunch time every day and completes his meal with milk. Sometimes I will give him some fruit for dinner when I get back from work. I’ve read that up till the age of 1, a baby’s diet is to comprise mostly of milk in order to provide adequate nourishment. I’m glad our Ethan is doing a great job in fulfilling this fact.

I’ve watched our boy grow from a small fragile infant into an active and bulat baby. I’ve watched him mature from crying for every single thing to babbling incoherently to giggling uncontrollably when he plays. It is so very rewarding to witness this miracle of growth, to have my spirits uplifted each time I am greeted with that toothless grin, that gentle touch and those big loving eyes…and to know I have provided him the best by breastfeeding.

What a blessing Ethan is to us! I know I will miss being his sole food provider in future as he grows up, but for now, I will enjoy this magical bond we share. And I know I will never forget this experience for the rest of my life.

Relatives, friends and even strangers have offered their opinions on who Ethan resembles. Most of them say he resembles Pete whilst just a handful say that he looks like me. However, a picture speaks a thousand words…so judge for yourself…

Second Swim Attempt

Determined to get Ethan accustomed to the water, we took Ethan for another dip in the pool. The baby pool was rather hot and unshady and conquered by some other kids, so we took him to the shallow end of the adult pool instead. There was no one there at that time, so it was the perfect opportunity for him to discover the water. I first went into the pool and showed him how fun it was, splashing on the water.
Then when I carried him in, he started kicking his feet!…. and smiling! Slowly I began floating him in the water, all the time talking to him reassuringly. Our boy was enjoying himself!
He proves to be a water baby after all…

Whee!!! I’m having so much fun!!

Let’s see if I can do this…

I’m bored now Daddy… can we call it a day?

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 :)

Took Ethan “swimming” today at the baby pool in our apartment. Actually it was an unplanned occasion, as we had planned on taking him only at 6 months. But while shopping yesterday, we got a really huge bargain on the swim diapers and I promptly bought a pair.Eager to try the swim diapers out, we decided to take Ethan for a quick dip dressed in his new “swimming trunks”. He really looked like a big boy in the trunks, if I might say so myself. Anyway, already 5.5 months, so he should be ready for the pool, given the fact that he kicks and squeals happily during his bath time.

Upon reaching the water’s edge, I went into the pool first and then carried Ethan and sat him on the edge of the wall of the pool. He looked slightly confused - he must be thinking “How did my bathtub get so large?”. I then sat him on my knees, and slowly got him accustomed to the water. But when I tried to make him float on his front, he started making “manja” sounds…never mind, will try again another day.

 

June 2017
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