Milestones

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Credits
Elegant word art (smile sister) from Bethany

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 
Scrap Credits
Vintage Valentine freebie  from Fanette
Cover Stories #4 Alphas from Kellie Mize
Sweet Love Sampler ring from Kristin Aagard Designs
Love Bug elements from Redju Designs

Ethan turned three on January 31st 2009.  Having survived the “terrible twos”, are we allowed to heave a sigh of relief now?

On the contrary…I think not! :P

Weight

He was weighed in at about 29.3lbs when he visited the doctor last month, and that converts to about 13.3kilos.

Height

36 inches.

Developmental Milestones

  • He is becoming more assertive in his actions, and knows how to take his stand when he wants something.  Surely a sign of independence, but sometimes can lead to tempers too.  He even says, “NO! Don’t do that!” when it suits the situation.
  • Can count from 1-40 now, but strangely he leaves out number 16.  He is learning really fast, and he knows the concept, i.e. I have heard him attempting, “Forty-ONE, Forty-TWO,…”
  • Calls out endearingly to his Daddy, for example, he would say in a singsong way, “Oh Daddy…!”, and sometimes when I pick Ethan up before fetching Pete after work, upon seeing his Daddy, Ethan would smile and go, “Hallo Daddy!” and “Miss you Daddy!”
  • Does not really like to reply in the affirmative YES, but he uses the term “okay” sparingly.  Lately, he has even started to reply “Okay, Mom!” (yes, that’s right, Mom and not Mommy!).  Oh by the way, his favorite word is “NO” :P
  • Loves to show us what he has built or done, especially with his Lego set.  He’ll go, “Look! Look!” while proudly displaying his masterpiece.
  • Learning to take turns by saying, “My turn!”
  • Has a great sense of humor, and sometimes does things that makes himself laugh out loud.  He especially finds it funny when we accidentally drop things, and say “Oops!”, and he’ll laugh and say, “Funny!”

Food and Feeding

Depending on his mood, he will eat a lot or very little.  There have been times when he will finish 2 whole bowls of rice, and sometimes he would even take the chicken meat.  But sometimes, he would reject rice completely, choosing only to have bread or cheese or muffins or chocolate milk.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Still serious when we blowed the candle out….

Still serious when we cut the cake…

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

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

And then…he decided to do something!

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

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

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

Awwwww……..

 
Scrap Credits
Fall Memories kit from A work in progress
Laugh Alphas from Cathy K Designs
HoldEmUps from Tara Dunstan
Love Word Art  from Jamie Lee Designs

Weight

Should be about 12.5kilos.

Height

36 inches.

Teeth

Loves to brush his teeth on his own, even carrying his step stool to the sink, asking for his toothbrush and toothpaste and imitating his Daddy brushing his teeth.  I have a feeling he swallows a little bit of the toothpaste though, but I am still using the fluoride-free toothpaste on him, so that’s perfectly fine.  Ethan allows me to brush his teeth for him too, when he is in the mood.  Of course, I am always happy to do so.

And oh yes, his teeth-brushing sessions always end with a good gurgling and spitting session. :)

Developmental Milestones

  • Becoming more confident in the way he speaks, and can make short sentences like, “Look at that!”, “I wanna go outside!”, or “I don’t want it!” and my favorite: “Daddy, wake up!”
  • Knows how to work his charm using magic words like “pees” (please) and “thank you”.  When I give him a Ritz Bits cracker, he will say ever so sweetly, “Thank you Mommy!” - melts my heart every time he does that.
  • Loves to hop and jump around.  I guess it is just him practising and perfecting his skills.  In addition to jumping and hopping on level surfaces, he sometimes also jumps from a slightly higher level (like the bottom step of a flight of steps).
  • He uses the term “Go Potty” when he wants to have a bowel movement.  Sometimes if he peepees in the potty, and we applaud him for doingso, he will say, “I pee pee in the potty!”
  • Knows how to put away his toys.  I especially am pleased to see him detach his Lego pieces and put them away nicely in the box.  He’ll go “put it away”, and does the deed.
  • Loves to share his toys, his food, his milk etc with one and sundry, … well especially his soft toys.  It’s so cute the way he goes, “Here, Mickey..”, and “Here, bear…” and then “Here, Daddy…”, and “Here, Mommy”, while he gives out the item he is sharing.
  • Ethan is a very sensitive and affectionate boy, and is always asking for a HUG.  And he is very PASSIONATE about things.  Even when he is watching TV… he gets very engrossed when something bad is about to happen to Dora, for example, and says, “No, no, noooo!!!!” almost in a pleading tone.
  • Has started to say numbers like “Twenty-ONE!”, “Twenty-TWO!”, etc…
  • Wants to go swimming in the “swimming pool”, but we told him we would only take him when the weather is warmer.  It’s enticing to him because he sees the pool every time he steps out of our apartment.
  • Becoming more sociable and he actually looks forward to meeting all his friends at daycare every day.  He knows all their names and sometimes during holidays or weekends, he would mention their names too.  And now, who wouldn’t smile when they see Ethan saying “Hi!” while waving, or “Hello Daddy!” first thing in the morning? :)
  • Can tell us where we *should* go or where he *wants to go*, by saying, “This way!” and pointing to a particular direction.
  • Demanding to be more independent and his favorite phrase now is, “I’ll do it!”  He wants to buckle up on his own, climb into the car seat on his own, take off his shoes on his own, etc.

Food and Feeding

Lately Ethan has started eating more, we noticed.  He has been asking for “more milk”, “more rice” and (yippee) “more chicken”.  His favorite food of course is still rice and he absolutely loves rice with “saw-soyce” (soy sauce).

I absolutely love the way he pronounces “milk”.  He used to say “nenno” but not any more.  Now it’s “merlk”…you know, the VERY precise pronunciation.

Ethan at 34 months


Scrap Credits
Kit Féérie from Cécile Design
Asphault Alphas from starwarsgirl06
Netter’s Alphas from Scarlet Heels

Weight

Did not weigh him recently, but he certainly looks more *bulat* now.

Height

36 inches

Teeth

We recently discovered that Ethan LOVES to brush his teeth together with his Daddy.  So whenever we get the opportunity, both of them will brush their teeth together.  After all, we have 2 bathroom sinks side by side to accomodate that :)

Developmental Milestones

  • Can and chooses to unzip his jacket and remove it all by himself.  In fact, he wants to do most things by himself now, including buckling himself up in the car seat.
  • Can recognize and verbalize most colors, for instance “yellow”, “red”, “blue”, “brown”, “purple”, “white” and “green”.  For some reason, though, “orange” is still “afoo” to him.
  • Picking up words and expressions we use like a sponge.  His favorite one currently is, “Oh man!” (which I think he heard from watching Dora the Explorer).
  • More 2-syllable words and 2-word phrases too are used by Ethan now, like “C’mon!”, “Color”, “pancake”, “masee” (for “muffin”), “forbee” (for “strawberry”), “jacket”, “water” (he *rolls* this word like the angmohs) and oh yes, of course “Mickey”, “Minnie”, “Goofy”, “Donald”, “Daisy” and “Barney”.  “Pluto” is still “dog” to him LOL.
  • Has begun *singing*.  He loves it when I sing the ABC song, and sometimes he would join in too.  But he is rather self-conscious and if we look at him while he is *singing*, he’ll just stop.
  • Pronunciation of numbers is getting more precise.  He says “seven” clearly now, instead of “fem”, and we also heard him distinctly say “thirteen”.
  • Loves playing with a computer software game at daycare, and according to Van, Ethan can handle the mouse pretty well.  At home, we let him play around on the Playhouse Disney site.

 

He still needs us to click on the button that says “Oh, Toodles!” but he just simply loves holding the mouse and moving it around!

  • Learning to love watching movies too.  We recently bought the Happy Feet DVD, and he totally adores the dancing penguin!  He sat through most of the movie though, although he fell asleep half way.

Food and Feeding

Rice is still his staple food, and he absolutely LOVES English muffins with butter.  From his daily daycare reports, we learnt that sometimes Ethan will request for rice if noodles are served.

Oh yeah, and he still loves to eat whatever Daddy eats, especially at breakfast.

“Mommy!”


Scrap Credits
Ambiance Feutrée kit from DigiScrapBooking.ch Boutique

Ethan at 33 months

Scrap Credits
IkeaGoddess Template 12 (Circles) from Ikea Goddess
PPixie-AfterDusk kit from PinkuPixie Digital Designs
zgl alpha splat from
Ziggle Designs & Kami Leonard
Acrylic alphas from A work in progress
Polka dotted arrow from Dúnia  

 Weight

About 12.7 kilos. He was weighed in at 28lbs at a recent visit to the pediatrician here in California, but he was fully clothed then and not feeling too well either.

Height

Did not measure recently, but he can reached the door handles and open all the doors to our apartment now.  Surely that means he has grown lengthwise?

Teeth

18.  Refuses to allow me to wash his teeth with a washcloth now, and also refuses to let me brush his teeth with a toothbrush.  On occasion, he will brush his teeth himself with some fluoride-free toothpaste, and I heard from his daycare sitter, Van, that sometimes he will allow her to brush his teeth too, perhaps due to good examples shown by Venice, Van’s daughter.

And, oh yeah, lately he will bite us when he is “geram” or when he doesn’t get his way.  Both the daycare center and us back at home are trying to educate him that it is wrong to bite.

Developmental Milestones

  • Ethan’s vocabulary has definitely increased in leaps and bounds since he came to the States.  He can express himself better and sometimes surprises us with words we didn’t know he knew.
    • His favorite word when he first arrived here was “open”.  He would use it whenever he wanted us to open the door, open the fridge, open the container for him.  So in the first 2 or 3 nights that he suffered from jet lag, I would constantly be awakened by Ethan climbing down from our bed, running to the door and saying, “Open! Open!”  Lately, he has started using the phrase, “Open door! Open door!”
    • Believe it or not, he says the phrase “Apa tu?” when he wants to know what something is.  For example, when we are eating at the table, he will point to one of the dishes laid out on the table and go, “Apa tu?” and we’ll go, “That’s soup.”  And he’ll say, “Soup?”  And then he’ll point to something else and say, “Apa tu?” and we’ll say, “Vege, Ethan.”  And he’ll follow by saying, “Vege”, “Carrot”, “Curry”, whatever… as you can see, he is beginning to sound more and more like a parrot nowadays.
    • He also learnt the word “cooking” when he came to the States.  Before we arrived, he only used the word “cook”, but after spending a few days at home with me here, he would go, “Cooking!  Cooking!” when he sees me in the kitchen.  Maybe it’s cuz I tell him, “Ethan, please don’t come into the kitchen, Mommy is cooking!”  And then sometimes he would want to see what I am cooking and when I show him, he’ll go, “Soup!”
    • Another one of his favorite words nowadays is “Dowan!” or “Don’t want!”.  He started by saying “Want!” or “Wanee!” when he didn’t want something, but a few days later, he picked up “Dowan!”.  So our normal conversation typically is like this:
      Me: Ethan, do you want to eat rice?
      Ethan: Dowan!
      Me: Come, let’s take a bath in the tub!
      Ethan: I dowan!
      Me: Do you wanna take a nap?
      Ethan: Dowan! Dowan!
    • There are many other words he has learnt, and I believe it is also because of his exposure to more kids at daycare.  In a way, his increasing vocabulary has made him more confident as he is growing up to be a big boy now :)
  • Ethan can now address a few people quite accurately.  It started when we took him to that barbecue gathering in early October when we arrived in California.  I prepped him to address “Aunty”, “Uncle”, etc.  And now he can say, “Artee”, “Ah-kurl”, “Ko-ko”, “Cheh-cheh”, and of course before he learnt all this, he said, “Kong Kong” and “Ah Ma” :)  Of course, it is hilarious how he sometimes calls a particular person “Ah-kurl” and another “Ko-ko”.  I am also teaching him to address his actual uncles and aunties, e.g. “Ah Koo”, “Ah Kim”, “Ah Chek”, “Ah Cheem”, “Kor Kor”, “Ah Pek” and “Ah Mmm”.  Pronunciation still needs some work though, but he is getting there.
  • He wants to do a lot of things by himself too.  He tries to pull down his “car” pullup pants on his own (which is good), he wants to play the DVD on his own, he wants to climb into the car seat by himself, he wants to walk on the street on his own (not so good)…
  • Of course, as it is with two-year-olds, he has a rather bad temper at times too.  When he doesn’t get his way, he will kick and scream.  We would normally just let him be for a while till he cools down and he will then be okay.

Food and Feeding

  • Ever since he started daycare, he has reverted to self-feeding, which is a good thing.  Sometimes he still wants me to feed him, but sometimes, he will want to do it himself, and he will say, “Hold!”, which indicates he wants to hold the spoon on his own.  He can drink milk on his own from the cup now, and just yesterday, he drank quite a lot of the chilled lactose-free milk I bought :)
  • Ethan has still a long way to go to eating lots of different foods, but he is eating a more varied variety now.  I sometimes give him some minced turkey with his rice and also some brocolli florets.  I am so into minced turkey meat nowadays.  It’s leaner and taste so much better than pork.  However, we have to hide the food in his gravy rice though.  If he doesn’t see it, he’ll eat it.  Besides turkey and brocolli, Van has also succeeded in giving him a little bit of beef (hehe), and surprise, surprise, he can eat spaghetti with a fork now (woohoo!).  The good thing, though, is that I can tell Ethan is more curious about what food is being served on the table now.  Hopefully he will soon be curious enough to eat more.

Potty/toilet training

He has started on potty training at daycare, and Van will take him to the potty every hour or so.  Most of the time, Ethan can tell us when he wants to poo, either by signing or by saying “Baba”, or by using his facial expressions.  However, he still has not peed in the toilet yet, all he wants to do now is to flush!  We’ll keep trying though.

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!”

Ethan at 32 months


Scrap Credits
Beautifall add-on kit from
Scrapmuss Designs
Sweet Dreams alphas from A work in progress
Alpha matching RAIC from Amy Sumrall
Doodle Me Big doodles from Mikkel Paige Original
HoldEmUps from Tara Dunstan
Elegant word art (illegal cute) from Bethany

Weight

About 12 kilos.

Height

88cm.  According to Dr Jessica, he is rather tall for his age.

Teeth

18.

Developmental Milestones

  • Can finally JUMP.  It happened one day during one of his Learning Garden sessions.  He climbed on the trampoline and, while holding Pete’s hands, jumped up and down.  And now he is slowly but surely jumping around more confidently.  In fact, he can hop, skip and jump all over our apartment now!
  • Becoming more and more sociable and less shy when meeting strangers.  Less time is needed for him to “warm up” now. 
  • He has also developed many different new facial expressions, one of my favorites being his cheeky giggle, where he giggles when he is tickled by something funny and he purposely moves his jaw up and down.  Another priceless expression is when he scrunches up his face in a cheeky grin when we ask him to SMILE!
  • He can finally address Daddy and Mommy CONSISTENTLY.  His “Daddy” is very very clear, but his “Mommy” is well…..slightly off-key.  Will reveal what he says later.
  • Our boy is one tough little man.  At his recent 3rd and final jab for his JE vaccination, he didn’t cry one bit when Dr Jessica gave the injection.  He sat quietly and protested at first, but when we told him it would only be a little while, and asked him to be a good boy, he cooperated.

Food and Feeding

Ethan is eating more now, but he still prefers his favorite rice and gravy.  He has kinda lost interest in eating spaghetti and noodles though.  I hope that he will start to eat more meat and vegetables soon.

N.B. Due to my tardiness, I might have left out a few milestones, but I will add them into the upcoming 33 months’ update soon.

When Pete and I found out that we were gonna relocate to the States for several months, we were excited about the opportunity presented to us as a family, and most of all, we were ecstatic about the grand experience Ethan was gonna get.

One thing that *kinda* worried us was how Ethan was gonna handle the long 16-17 hours’ flight.  If he decides not to sleep, we are really done for.  So we prayed for the best :)

The flight to Changi was okay, and as expected Ethan was all smiles (and energy) as soon as we landed in Changi airport.  We had a transit time of about 5 hours there, so we took our time exploring the airport, making a few pit stops for Ethan to play in the various play areas strewn across the airport.

 

I must say that I am extremely proud of my little boy for he was able to let me know when he wanted to poo, and I would then bring him to the toilet :)

…although it WAS a challenge to pull him away from the play areas…

 

There were plenty of other attractions at Changi airport too, and Ethan really enjoyed himself looking at the koi ponds…

 

…and a Butterfly Garden too! 

 

Our flight was from Singapore to San Francisco, but we had a short stopover for refueling in Hong Kong.  And right before we boarded our flight from Singapore, our little boy fell asleep, all the way till we boarded and took off, and he only woke up in time for his meal.

In Hong Kong, while having our one-hour stopover, we had to coax Ethan to drink his milk, but all our energizer bunny wanted to do was to run on travellators.  Of course, in the course of coaxing, he threw his tantrums, but thankfully, right before we reboarded the aircraft, he decided to finish his milk.

 

Well, the HK-SFO connection was the really long one which we were worried about.  But our prayers were answered, as Ethan fell asleep a little after we boarded and slept through for about 9 hours straight.  For Ethan, the economy class seat was like business class, but for us, it was CRAMPED.  We tried to request for the front-most seats with more leg room, but we only managed to get the one in the second row.  It didn’t help that the person in front of Pete and me lowered their seats slightly, and throughout the night, it was either Ethan’s head on my lap and his feet on Pete’s lap, or the other way round.  We learnt new forms of contortionism, I tell ya.

Ethan woke up just in time for his meal right before we landed, but unfortunately he would not take much of it…only the fruit yogurt appealed to him.

But we landed, made it through immigration, collected our luggage and headed for our apartment.  We had takeout *dinner* at midnight-ish, and then Ethan went totally excited with the new apartment, complete with TWO bathtubs!  He played around, and only fell asleep at about 3:30a.m.  In fact, we were rather worried we would get complaints from our neighbors downstairs, what with the jumping and hopping around.

And so our adventure has begun….. :)

Ethan at 31 months


Scrap Credits
Spontaneous Delight kit from Carrie Stephens Designs
Basic chipboard alphas from Dani Mogstad

I’m gonna use the dependable adage here and say “Better late than never”. GASP! I am close to three weeks late in posting a monthly report on Ethan’s developmental milestones.  Been a really busy month for all of us, and you’ll soon know why, but I tell myself that I still need to do this update. :)

Weight

12 kilos, according to the weighing scale at home.

Height

Did not measure recently, but he does seem to have S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D.

Teeth

18 in total, and very sharp too, I might add.  According to his mood, Ethan will sometimes brush his teeth, but sometimes he will refuse.  He won’t want to put toothpaste in his mouth though.  My dentist told me that cleaning a toddler’s teeth is important, especially the molars, and she advised me that using a wash cloth wrapped around a finger would be effective enough.  So I have been using the sherpa backing of the cloth wipes I have to clean Ethan’s teeth.  Quite a struggle, sometimes, but it does result in more than satisfactory results :) (and not to mention, often a bruised finger or two).

Developmental Milestones

  • Attempting to “read”, I think.  So far, Ethan knows almost all his alphabets (both lowercase and uppercase), but we have noticed that sometimes when he sees a combination of some letters, he will try to pronounce them like what he thinks they would sound like.  For example, when he sees the word “HBO”, he will say “bo”, referring to the last two letters, or he will say “wa” when he sees the letters “WA”.  “Star Movies” is “Star-vees” to him :)
  • Faster as picking up words he hears.  He will say “phone, phone!” when he wants to play with my cellphone, or he will say “book!” when he wants his book.  When he wants to put toothpaste on his toothbrush, he will say “paste! paste!” and just this morning, after he saw Pete brushing his teeth, Ethan asked me for “brush, brush!”
  • Beginning to show preference.  Besides voicing his opinions sometimes by firmly stating “Mai!” (”no” in Hokkien), while kicking and throwing a tantrum, he sometimes requests for who he wants to give him his shower.  There have been several times when I was ready to give him his nightly shower and he adamantly called out, “Daddy!  Daddy!  Daddy!”, and when Pete answered, Ethan pulled his Daddy into the shower stall :P
  • Loves playing “horse” with Daddy.  Ethan will run towards Daddy, pull him to the ground, and saying “horse!”.  Ethan can now expertly climb onto Daddy’s back and well…ride the “horse”.  (Horsy has got impressive sound effects too, I might add).

Other Highlights

We’ve been preparing him to welcome his new sibling in a few months’ time, but in the recent weeks, we’ve noticed that he’s been acting rather “big brotherly” like.  There was a time when he pointed at my tummy and said “baby!”, and nowadays when I ask him to “sayang baby”, he will gently stroke my belly.  Sometimes la.

Food and Feeding

Ironically, he has been requesting for me to feed him instead of him eating on his own.  Could this dependence be caused by the “knowledge” that he will soon be a big brother?

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So we went home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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:

I love counting 1-20 now. Although I still miss out a few of the numbers, either Mommy or Daddy can fill in the blanks for me. Hehe. I bet I’ll learn those soon enough :D

See? I can count AND exercise at the same time too!

Scrap Credits
Film Star kit from
retrodiva {designs}™
Curl Page kit freebie filmstrip from Cen’s Stuff
Alpha Black from Digiscrap.ch
Little curly alphas from Amy Sumrall
HoldEmUps from
Tara Dunstan
Doodle Me Big doodles from Mikkel Paige Original
Elegant word art (stay little always) from Bethany

Ethan boy is now two-and-a-half years old!

Weight

12 kilos, according to the weighing scale at home.

Height

About 88cm I think, measurement taken with measuring tape while Ethan was sleeping.

Teeth

I think 18 teeth. Bottom 2 canines are still not present though.

Motor Skills

  • Can remove his own shoes and loves doing so.
  • Still eagerly practising his jumping skills.
  • Can do hand stand, by supporting his body with his arms, and using his legs to climb up the wall vertically. Ethan has rather strong arm muscles, I’d say. We’ve seen him supporting his weight with his arms while in his high chair too.
  • Can climb up the playground slide unaided using railings, where he needs to hold on to the sides with his arms, and use his legs to grip the railings firmly. I have to admit he almost gave me a heart attack when he first attempted to do it, but now I am proud to say he’s a pro at it! :)
  • Able to gurgle and spit. He will brush his teeth, but will not do it with toothpaste, although strangely enough, he requests for the toothpaste to be placed on his toothbrush. Then he takes some water from the cup, gurgle and then spit when I cue him, “Ptooi!”

Communication and Social Skills

More words … those I can remember. Mostly single words still, and I am in the process of helping him string two words together ( 1 verb + 1 noun).

Body Parts

  • Ham (hand)

Animals

  • Cat
  • Eh-fer (elephant)

Nouns

  • Beh (bell) - when he wants to ring the bell to our apartment.
  • Tway (train)

Verbs

  • Close
  • Wa (flush) … the toilet la, what else? :P

Alphabets and Numbers
Can recognize most of his alphabets, and can even recite them in order. But we’ll need to “fill in the blanks” for those he is unsure of. When he notices letters on our attire, he will excitedly point them out and name them. Even when he is riding in the car, he never fails to surprise us with his observance. He will point out letters as he sees them and clearly say them out loud :)

He knows the order of numbers from 1-10, and when I first drafted this post about 4 days ago, he will only say “two” (2), “twee” (3), “eh” (8) and “nah” (9). Actually I heard him say “ten” a couple of times already, but it is still inconsistent. I know he knows the order of the numbers because he can correctly place the correct numbers in the right places when he is counting in ascending AND descending order. But my my, look what a difference few days made. Ethan can now say “wa” (1), “four” (4), “fai” (5) also and believe it or not “eighteeeen!!” (18).

Shapes and Colors
Has started to vocalize more shapes, like “har” (heart), “kurkurl” (circle) and “over” (oval).

Food and Feeding

After the deworming exercise, either by sheer coincidence or it really was due to the exercise, Ethan has started taking some chicken meat (willingly). He especially loves Nando’s lemon and herb flavored chicken … and especially so when I serve it to him using those cute flag toothpicks!

Lately Ethan has taken a keen interest in learning the alphabet, quite possibly thanks to the video Michelle loaned me :)

He now knows most of the letters of the alphabet in the correct order, but those that he does not know, he will say “eh-ya” (which I personally think sounds like “beh-hiao”, i.e. “donno” in Hokkien), and THAT’s the cue for us to fill in the blanks for him. He also loves to have us repeat after each letter he has said, otherwise he will not continue.

The pronunciation of some letters are just spot on but some are still being worked on. Oddly enough, he says “Neh” for the letter J. Don’t ask me why.

In addition to reciting the alphabet, he can recognize the letters we draw/write for him. Another activity we indulge in when we are trying to get him to sit still in the high chair when we dine out.

Yesterday, we took Ethan for his long-overdue haircut.  Daddy also needed a haircut so we thought we’d kill two birds with one stone.

Ethan had to wait for a while before his turn came, and he busied himself checking out what Daddy was getting done to his hair.  He was very intrigued watching Daddy get a haircut and when his turn came, Ethan yet again surprised me by how he has grown.  

Our boy asked to be helped into the salon’s chair and there, he sat down patiently waiting for the hairdresser to give his head a shave.  The hairdresser put on the little kiddy cape for Ethan and he sat still, allowing her to work her magic.  Of course, throughout the entire process, we heaped loads of praises and commented what a handsome boy he is.

When she was 80% done, however, Ethan got restless, so I took him down from the chair and allowed him to roam around.  Then we finished off the front part of his hair with Ethan on my lap.

Such a vast improvement from a year ago, I would say.  My boy is growing into a young man now. Awww…

Here he is requesting us to “ah-purn” the door when he was ready and all set to go home.


Scrap Credits
Kit Freebie June 2008 & “Funny Bubble Alpha” from Loloden designs
Doodle Me Big doodles from Mikkel Paige Original

Weight

During his recent Hepatitis A jab and checkup, his weight was around 11 kilos. SIGH…and I thought he would be heavier.

Height

Didn’t get to measure.

Teeth

I’m very sure he has 8 teeth at the bottom (4 incisors, 2 pramolars and 2 molars); that’s cuz I managed to look this morning. He’s missing the 2 canines at the bottom though, like Daddy. At the top, probably 8 or 10 teeth (still cannot see clearly, especially the back). I’m guessing 4 incisors, 2 canines, 2 pramolars and 2 molars. So 18 in total.

Motor Skills

  • Attempted to hop on the trampoline. I was so tickled at the sight, I forgot to videotape it.
  • Can pull open the fridge on his own. Note to self: need to get one more child-proof lock for the fridge.
  • Can buckle himself up while in the high chair. Discovered this when we were dining in Friday’s. He can’t unbuckle though, which is a good thing.

Communication and Social Skills

  • Still quite shy at times, but I’d say it’s selective. He wasn’t shy at all when the parish priest came a-visiting just 2 nights ago. In general, Ethan does not like it when adults give him TOO much attention, like if people stare at him and talk to him in a childish singsong manner. If he is left alone, he will approach you. After all, we too do not like people staring at us, right?
  • More new words now, though not stringing into sentences yet. I am very pleased to be able to categorize Ethan’s new words into sections now. The way he says these new words is just so adorable, all of them with an intonation that goes higher in the end.
    Body Parts
    Ethan is able to name some of his body parts now, the rest he recognizes by pointing. He will respond when we ask him, “Where is your <insert body part here>?”

    • Noe (Nose) - He goes “Noe” while pointing to his nose. The other day he did something, and I reprimanded him by saying “No, Ethan!”. He paused for a moment, looked at me, then pointed to his nose and went, “No?” You just gotta laugh.
    • Ah! (Eyes) - He doesn’t point at his eyes (scared of poking them I guess), but he sometimes blinks.
    • Tee (teeth) - points and shows his pearly whites
    • Tub (tummy)
    • Feet - he’ll wriggle his feet
    • Toe/Toes - When we say “touch your toes”, he’ll do so :)

    And he can point to the following upon request:

    • Cheeks
    • Ear
    • Mouth
    • Tongue
    • Fingers
    • Hand

    Animals

    • Peeg (pig)
    • Cow
    • Go (goat)
    • Hor (horse)
    • Dog/daw-dawg (dog)
    • Bird
    • Baa (sheep)
    • kwuck-kwuck (chicken) - this one cos I tell him the chicken goes cluck-cluck
    • quack-quack (duck) - no prizes for guessing how he learnt this
    • Eh-papa (elephant)
    • Bear
    • But-tah (butterfly)

    Nouns

    • Bah (bus)
    • Car - very good pronunciation, this
    • Doll
    • Cup
    • Bottoo (button)
    • Air-purl/ah-purl (apple)
    • Wee (tree)
    • Book
    • Tahb-ta (truck)
    • Poon (spoon)
    • Key
    • Bowl
    • Wa (clock)
    • Tahb-tahb (drum)
    • Boat
    • Puh-ta (pizza)
    • Hau (house)
    • Botter (bottle)
    • Bank - said while signing “bank”

    Verbs

    • Ah-purn (Open) - he’ll run to the door and go “Ah-purn?”
    • Cook - When he sees me at the stove preparing some food, he’ll go “Cook?” and point that he wants to be carried up so he can see what’s for lunch/dinner.
    • Blow - this one complete with blowing action. He will imitate the blowing action when Barney tells the story of the Three Little Pigs too.
    • Eat
    • Thump (jump)
    • Smile - done with the sweetest smile ever!
    • Kah (cut)
    • Bay (bathe)
    • Ra (run)
    • Tack (stack)
    • Ride
    • Walk
    • Read
    • Play

Pssst….is it obvious that I have been jotting down each and every word as he says it? :lol:

    Alphabets and Numbers
    Still doing a lot of “two” and “two-ah?” but sometimes he will say “twee?”
    Alphabet-wise, he is picking up here and there. I think he can pretty much recognize “O”, “T”, “M”, “B”, “P” ; sometimes “V”.
    Shapes and Colors
    He can recognize and vocalize the “star” and the “square” (single syllable) shapes.  The rest like “circle”, “triangle”, “heart” etc, he can point out upon request.  He says “gwee” (green) when we are stopping at the traffic lights and waiting for it to turn green.

Food and Feeding

  • I’m still in the process of finding out ways and means to get him to eat more. Being the active toddler he is, Ethan needs to substantiate this with more nutritious food.

Here’s a darling video of Ethan naming some of his farm animals. They’re from a wooden puzzle I bought for him a while back. He does in fact understand the names of each of the animals, but now, he will only verbally say the names of a few, namely “hor” (horse), “peeeg” (pig) and “go” (goat). He calls the cow “moo” and the sheep “baa”, and although he doesn’t want to say the names of the rest of the animals, he will retrieve them when asked.

Notice how our boy takes the trouble to enunciate the words ever so clearly :)

And yes, if it ain’t obvious yet, I absolutely ADORE him in his Mr Independent peejays. Don’t you? :lol:


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
Mai chez digiscrapbook freebie from Monique Gascon
Dandelion dream alphas from A work in progress
Blue funny bubble alpha from Loloden Designs

Weight

Not much weight increase from last month (I think)…although lately he does appear to be “bigger-sized”.  Must get him officially weighed in at our next visit to the PD (maybe next week).

Height

Haven’t measured yet, but he seems to be able to reach more things now.

Teeth

Sixteen (or maybe eighteen): 8 incisors, 2 canines (upper), 4 pramolars (2 upper and 2 lower) and 2 molars (bottom); maybe 2 molars on the top too. Still salivating a lot.

Motor Skills

  • Attempting to jump and hop, especially when watching the kids in the Barney DVDs hop and jump.  Ethan will climb onto the sofa and move his entire body up and down, but both his legs don’t come up at the same time (yet).

Communication and Social Skills

  • Yay!  New words, and some old ones too:

    • Buh-bye! (done while waving goodbye) 
    • Daw-dawg
    • Two!!! (It’s happiness for all when he points to the number 2 and says that, but then we realize he refers to ALL numbers and alphabets as TWO. LOL.  Even now when we go to Queensbay Mall, he will run to the big 4 on the fourth floor where we park and say “TWO!!”.  Of course, we’ll say, “No Ethan, that’s FOUR!”  I believe he will catch on soon.)
    • Star (he does this with and without prompting.  Sometimes he would notice STARS we would not even see, and so these days, when we go out, Ethan would sometimes say “Star!” and we’ll start looking for it)
    • Snow (learnt from Baby Shakespeare)
    • Nenno (for milk)
    • Baby (all babies and children and kids are “baby” to him, even those older than him.  He constantly say “baby” now when he sees one of the above)
    • Wee!  (sometimes he will refer to the number 3 as “Wee” but it’s not very consistent)
    • Teevee teevee teevee! (while propping himself on the sofa waiting for the TV to be turned on)
    • Tatai (Baby Einstein)
  • Can recognize more body parts and is able to point to them on request: nose, ear, mouth, teeth, toes, tummy, fingers.
  • Can point out pictures in his book (flowers, banana, teddy bear and chair)
  • Can give a particular animal block when requested. So far, he has mastered the cow, the pig, the horse and the goat.
  • Can play “roll the ball” back and forth, but again, it depends on his mood.
  • Skills at kicking a ball has improved tremendously. Very accurately done.
  • Ethan is slowly engaging into the imitation mode where he copies what is being seen on TV, e.g. runs to the door and tries to knock and open it when he sees someone doing it on TV.

Food and Feeding

  • More food going in and less food landing on the floor.

 

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

Weight

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

Height

Growing taller, but have not measured officially.

Teeth

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

Motor Skills

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

Communication and Social Skills

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

    • Ball

    • Baby

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

    • Tee-dee (TV)

    • No no no…. & oh no…

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

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

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

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

    • Nen nen & Mik

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

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

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

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

Food and Feeding

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

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

Toilet Training

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

***

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

 

Thanks to Anggie and Paik Ling for letting me know!


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

Weight

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

Height

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

Teeth

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

Motor Skills

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

Communication and Social Skills

  • New words:

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

    • Train (from the same video, but inconsistent)

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

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

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

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

Food and Feeding

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

 

Toilet Training

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


Scrap Credits
Rustic freebit kit from Marianne Wåhlberg Designs
Numbers: Alpha Black from Digiscrap.ch
 

Weight

Feels like 11 kilos, though I believe he is only 10.5 or 10.6kilos.  Eats non-stop but cannot put on weight much.  Must have inherited Pete’s genes there.

Height

Haven’t measured him recently, but perhaps about 85cm, at least?

Teeth

Sixteen (I think): 8 incisors, 2 canines (upper) and 4 pramolars (2 upper and 2 lower) AND I recently noticed the whites of his bottom two molars.  No sign of his lower canines yet (another thing he must have inherited from Daddy).

Motor Skills

  • Able to walk on tiptoe pretty well.  According to the baby guide book, a toddler is only expected to do this at 2.5 years. :)
  • Running strides are much bigger now, and it is becoming harder to keep up with him.
  • Loves to stand up on the high chair after he is *done* with his meal, making it very difficult for us to have a nice quiet meal outside.
  • Sometimes he is able to stand on one foot without support.  Still unsteady but getting there. 
  • Slowly but surely learning how to handle the fork and spoon without spilling.  Most of the time he makes a mess, but I have noticed a few times when he successfully fed himself.
  • Loves to hold the apple and bite on it, just like an adult.

Communication and Social Skills

  • Temper tantrums becoming more rampant.  When we are out and if he doesn’t get his way, he will kneel on the ground and start bawling.  At home, when we say “NO” to his demands, he will crouch on his belly and wail pitifully, sometimes to the extent of screaming.
  • Knows the signs for the following new words:
    • Dog
    • Bird
    • Fish
    • Cat
    • Fence
    • Mailbox
    • Florist
  • Words he has inconsistently said:
    • “Chi-toh” (”play” in Hokkien)
    • Okay
    • “bee” (change channel on TV)
    • Queensbay Mall …. (hehe…okay la, sometimes he says something that sounds like that when we are approaching the mall)
  • Can point to at least three body parts when prompted, his favorites being his nose, his mouth and his eyes.  Still loves pointing a lot, as opposed to expressing himself verbally.
  • Loves to look at toddlers and children who are older than he is, but is uncomfortable with younger babies.

Food and Feeding

  • Ethan is completely weaned from the breast.  Even after I changed his diapers in the baby room in Jaya Jusco, he did not rush into the breastfeeding room like he used to.  Takes about 3 feeds of Pediasure daily, each feed about 5-6oz, eating other solid food too.  I’m so happy his favorite is my homecooked claypot chicken rice!
  • Eating a lot lately, hopefully he’ll bulk up a little soon.

Toilet Training

Not toilet-trained yet, but I am starting to try and put him on the toilet seat when I see him straining.  I bought the Bruin padded toilet seat for him and he absolutely loves it!  I’ll be getting one for Mrs Tan to use too.  Yesterday, Ethan successfully did his business while sitting on the throne.  No mess!  And I praised him sky high.  Boy was he delighted!

Talking with fingers


Scrap Credits
Template 41 from Jill & Jack ScrapDesigns
Emma kit from retrodiva {designs}™
Basic chipboard alphas from Dani Mogstad
Flower glitter from Pineapple Plantation Designs
Raffia stitched heart from Kim B’s Designs

Although Ethan cannot really speak in proper words yet, his communication skills in terms of signing has improved tremendously due to frequent exposure to the Baby Einstein DVD that incorporates signing, My Favorite Places.  He will now eagerly await the part in the program where the instructor or kid makes the sign for the appropriate word and often, he will sign the word even before the word appears on the screen.

As a kiasu concerned mommy who only wants the best for her child, I must admit that I am a tad worried that Ethan is experiencing speech delay.  They are some friends of mine who offer some form of consolidation and reassurance in that their own sons also went through the exact same phase.  It truly appears though that Ethan has lots to say, but it’s just that we cannot yet make head or tail out of what he is saying.  He understands what we say and can respond correctly, but when he needs to say something, he prefers to point or to lead us to what he wants to do.  For example, he will *throw* our hand at the fridge when he wants us to open it, or he will *throw* my hand at the milk bottle when he wants a feed.

I’ve also contacted a speech therapist in KL who recommended that we visit a local speech therapist in Penang.  I am hesitant because I do not wish to subject Ethan to (maybe) weekly therapy sessions.  If I can help it, that is.  Another suggestion brought forward, also by our pediatrician, is to expose him to as many of his peers as much as possible.  So we are currently looking into options for this as well.

Nevertheless, his ability to imitate and sign has spurred me to purchase a baby signing book and DVD.  Coincidentally, a few weeks ago, Pete’s good friend’s sister contacted me (blogging has many advantages you know!) and told me about her unique site, Baby Signs Malaysia.  She assured me that allowing and teaching Ethan to sign will not impair his ability to acquire speech, but on the contrary it would probably pave the way for him.  Just like crawling comes before walking, signing will come naturally before talking.  So I purchased the I Can Sign! Animals book + DVD from her last week (it was on offer at RM40; regular retail price RM60).  It contains a board book and a 20-minute DVD which teaches the baby the signs used for 6 animals, namely dog, bird, fish, cat, monkey and turtle.  I was excited to share this with Ethan, and when I did that evening, he was glued to the TV for the entire duration.  I know he loves animals so this was the perfect DVD for him.  He didn’t take to the signs at first but when I showed him the DVD again the next evening, I was delighted that he could sign dog, cat, bird and monkey.  Sometimes he still needs to be prompted, but to me this was definitely an achievement in itself.

I also bought My First Spoken Words: Babies, which introduces six words too, by playing the word as the baby turns the page.  Ethan took one look at this book, flipped it open and did some fiddling with it, and after a minute, we discovered to our horror that there was no more sound coming out from it!  We had to purposely drop the book on the floor to trigger the sound mechanism again.  SIGH.

Anyway, I really hope that Ethan will complement his signing with his talking soon.  I can’t wait to engage in conversation with this chatterbox of mine!


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.

Masterpiece of Love

 

At first I had planned to present it to Ethan’s grandparents for Grandparents’ Day last September, but I couldn’t get it ready then.  So I decided to try for Christmas instead.  Well, Christmas came and I was not even close to finishing it.  Then I adamantly targeted Ethan’s second birthday, but because of some hiccups with the file upload and ordering process, I rescheduled the targeted date to Chinese New Year.

Finally the photobooks are ready.  I received them three days before Chinese New Year, and got them wrapped up as presents for Ethan’s grandparents.  I had printed three copies of the photobook - no prizes for guessing who gets the third copy :)  The photobook contained pictures of Ethan which I had digitally scrapbooked with the used of Adobe Photoshop, no glue required.  All forty pages held memories which were dear to us, and I am sure Ethan’s grandparents would be thrilled with the book too.

We presented the photobook to both his Ah Mas and Ah Kongs for Chinese New Year, and I could see their faces light up with pride when they saw what the present contained.  May they enjoy hours and hours of flipping through the book and sharing Ethan’s photos with their friends and visitors :)  Someday Ethan boy will enjoy the book too… I just know it! :D

Ethan is now two!


Scrap Credits
The Star kit from Digiscrap.ch

Basic chipboard alphas from Dani Mogstad

The inevitable Terrible Twos are upon us, and it certainly looks like Ethan has already taken the cue because he is fast exhibiting more prominence on being his own person and forming a cheeky, naughty personality of his own.

Weight

Feels like 11 kilos.

Height

82-85 cm

Teeth

Fourteen: 8 incisors, 2 canines (upper) and 4 pramolars (2 upper and 2 lower). There are signs that he may be teething soon, because he salivates a lot these days.

Motor Skills

  • Can slide down a slide properly.
  • Becoming quite the expert at climbing up the stairs and he had a lot of practice during Chinese New Year. He is rather cautious when he comes downstairs though, especially if the steps are steep ones.
  • Loves to swing arms around, as if he is exercising or something.
  • Can really throw a ball properly, sometimes way better than those footballers doing the throw-in during football matches.
  • Can kick the ball really well. Pete will soon be taking him to the field for a one-on-one football match.
  • Eagerly takes angpows when he is offered one.
  • Can take a balloon and swing it to hit people’s heads. Yes, he is quite violent…

Communication and Social Skills

  • We are seeing some progress in the communication aspect. New words he has learnt are
    • “Foo-bor” or “oo-bor” (football)
    • “two”
    • “ee”, “errr” (one and two in Mandarin)
    • “eat-eat” (eat - when we are driving out to dinner or lunch)
  • Watching Baby Einstein’s Baby’s Favorite Places has also paid off. Yesterday he amazed me when he signed the following when I prompted him:
    • School - place one palm on top of the other, in the sign of a book.
    • Library - form the letter L with the thumb and index finger and wave it around. (Actually he did the “library” sign before but now it is more consistent).
    • Driveway/sidewalk - points both arms to the front
    • Playing field/playground - waves both arms in the air
    • Garden - clasps both hands together. Actually the actual sign is to make like a blooming flower, but he is still practising.
  • Throws a mean tantrum whenever he doesn’t get what he want. For example, when we ask him to go somewhere and he still wants to play outside, he will bang both his hands on the wall or pillar or something in frustration. When we try to carry him, he will kneel down on the floor and protest. Or shake his head vigorously.
  • Has developed a preference for certain channels on TV. When the TV is tuned to a channel he finds boring, he will grunt or scream in protest, so we have to change the channel. If the Astro remote is not within our reach, he will bring the remote to us to ask us to change the channel for him. Oh, he prefers Channel V to MTV… don’t ask why.

Food and Feeding

  • In the words his Daddy uses, Ethan eats non-stop.
  • Ethan is now ALMOST fully weaned from the breast. I no longer breastfeed him in the daytime and in the evenings before he hits the bed, even when I am with him the entire day. He hardly asks to be breastfed too, and sometimes when he does, it is at night, and when I tell him “No”, he will obey. He can also fall asleep without comfort suckling now, which to me, is a great achievement. Immediately after his 2nd birthday, he automatically decided that he could go to bed at night on his own, of course, with me by his side still. Now, the final obstacle is to fully wean him from the breast for the middle of the night comfort sucklings. There were a couple of nights where he slept through soundly too.
  • Likes to feed himself. Sometimes he won’t even eat until I put the food on the plate in front of him so he can help himself to it.
  • Favorite foods: chicken rice, chicken koay teow, spaghetti, plain white bread, char siew pau, siew mai, Yakult, yogurt, apples and bananas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 
Scrap Credits
Kit “Happy New Year” from Sueli Colbert
Template 32 from Jill & Jack ScrapDesigns
Numbers - Terre de feu alphas from Digiscrap.ch
Winter Wonderland Brown alphas from Perfectly Imperfect

With the New Year 2008 upon us, I can hardly believe that Ethan is now one month shy of his 2nd birthday. How time has flown! Everyone is commenting how “not that bulat” he is now, but you know what? Deep down, he will always always be my adorable darling Mr Bulat.

Weight

10.5 kilos when we visited the pd on Dec 17th.

Height

82 cm.

Teeth

Fourteen: 8 incisors, 2 canines (upper) and 4 pramolars (2 upper and 2 lower).

Motor Skills

  • Can climb up the stairs now one leg at a time. He likes to do it without the support of anyone, which scares me.
  • Can step on and off the escalators on his own. We will hold his hand and lead him on and off, but sometimes he will insist on doing it solo. Scares me too.
  • Can push himself over his cot side, just by using his arm strength and pushing his tummy on the side. Really really scary.
  • Is able to complete his wooden jigsaw block puzzle on his own. He prefers the one with the safari animals to the sea creatures one though. Although he does seem to take a liking to the whale…

Communication and Social Skills

  • Not speaking a whole lot yet, but not keeping mum either. Has tons of *stories* to tell. People have suggested that we enrol him in playschool to allow him to mingle with kids his age, because that will encourage him to communicate with us. Me? I’m reading Making Chatter Matter and trying the guidelines and methods suggested to prod him towards verbal diarrhoea.
  • Can point to his nose when asked “Where is your nose?. But there is a flaw in this still. “Where is your ear/eyes/mouth?” produces the same results :P
  • Can point out and identify where things are. For example, on the way to the sitter’s we will pass by an apartment with 3 aquariums and 1 bird cage. When asked “Where is the fish?”, Ethan will point to the fishes in the aquarium and “Where is the bird?” will prompt him to point to where the bird is.
  • I noticed last night that he has learnt to whisper.

Food and Feeding

  • More often than not, Ethan will insist on self-feeding. He loves to hold the fork and spoon and try to scoop the rice on his own. I have to admit he is getting pretty good at it too!
  • On the weaning front, he will now happily finish 4-5oz of Pediasure immediately when he wakes up in the morning. And I couldn’t be happier. I guess it is just a matter of time before he is completely weaned off the breast.

Ethan at 22 Months


Scrap Credits
Holiday Inn freebie from ScissorlessMedia
Moody Kit from
SweetMade
Harvest Spice Numbers from Shabby Princess

Weight

Should be still around 11-11.5 kilos because he lost some weight during his Rotavirus infection last month. He does feel heavier now anyways.

Height

Not much change from the previous month, I would think, so around 83cm.

Teeth

Twelve in total. I know I mentioned earlier that he had 4 pramolars appearing, but it looks like I was wrong! He now has eight incisors, two HUGE pramolars on the bottom jaw and two canines on the upper!

Motor Skills

  • When the music from the Barclay’s Premiership Show starts playing on the TV, Ethan will kick one foot in the air repeatedly.  We do not know if he is merely enjoying the music or if, in fact, he is simulating the act of kicking a football.
  • Ethan has mastered the *art* of throwing blocks over his shoulder.
  • He can place almost all his shapes correctly in his shape sorter.  He definitely can master the simple shapes like the circle, square, star, flower, triangle and cross.  The tricky shapes in his round shape-sorter like the heart, the “T” or the house-shaped block will sometimes make him frustrated.  Typically he will identify the color of the shape first and then try to fit them into the correct slot.
  • He loves to play and pretend to draw and write with a pen or pencil.  Up till today, we still cannot tell for sure if he is a rightie or leftie.  Maybe he is ambidextrous?

Communication and Social Skills

  • “Speaking” more with the use of gestures as well.  Ethan especially loves to use both his index fingers to accentuate his “speech”.  Luckily it is the index finger he is using :P
  • Once, when he was watching the “Meet the Orchestra” Baby Einstein DVD, I heard him repeat the word “Bass” after the instructor.
  • Consistently says “sssss…” when we drive along a particular stretch on Yeap Chor Ee road, when we drive up the ramp towards the coastal highway and sometimes when we approach Queensbay Mall.  We do not know yet if he is referring to “ssssslope”, “treesssssss” or “Queenssssssbay”. 
  • Can understand simple instructions like “clap hands”, “come here”, “come” and also “kai kai”.  Will get upset when we raise our voice and say “NO” in a stern tone.

Food and Feeding

Also known as our very own bottomless pit, he can finish quite a lot of food now.  When we go out, we sometimes have to order enough to feed three.  Ethan can finish about one small bowlful of rice on his own.  He also loves to eat with his hands.

Ethan at 21 Months

 
Scrap Credits
Slightly Rugged kit from
Pam Lefors Designs
Stitched felt frame from Lindsay Jane Designs
Harvest Spice alphas & elements from Shabby Princess Designs

Weight

11-11.5 kilos. Weighed in during last visit to Dr Jessica, Oct 26 2007.

Height

Circa 83cm. Yesterday he was asleep on the bed in a rather straight position, so I took the opportunity to measure him with my measuring tape.

Teeth

Eight incisors, with 4 pramolars fast appearing, all at the same time!

Motor Skills

  • He loves to stand on one foot, especially when taking his shower.
  • He can sometimes climb up short steps on his own. Scary but true. And I have witnessed it before. In fact, he climbed up 3-4 steps last week all by himself!
  • When he wants to climb down a step, and no one is around to help him, he will turn his body round, and go down backwards, i.e. holding the floor and stepping down backwards one step at a time.
  • Ethan’s favorite spot in Queensbay Mall is the slope area right outside Fila, just a short walking distance away from Nando’s. He would run up the slope very quickly and then go down the stairs, reaching out for assistance from us. Or he would go up the stairs and then rush down the slope. He now knows the area like the back of his hand and would giggle loudly and run excitedly towards it whenever we are there. Just watching him play really makes our day.
  • Ethan can make the symbol “6″ with his hands (i.e. one hand with all fingers open out and the other hand with just the index finger held up). Lately he has also started experimenting with “7″ (i.e. extending the index finger hand to show the thumb AND the index finger).
  • Tries to take off his shoes on his own. When he is in his car seat, we always take off his shoes for him, to avoid him from touching his shoes and then his face or his mouth. Now, he wants to help by undoing the velcro on his shoes too.

Communication and Social Skills

  • Says “Bah!” when he refuses something, or when he has had enough of something.
  • Says “sssh” or “sssss” - for “fish”. Also says it when he sees the view of the sea, or when he realizes we are on our way to Queensbay Mall.
  • To Ethan, “Whale” is “loliloliloliloli….”. It must be the “l” pronunciation.
  • Keeps repeating some *words*, one of them is “chee-yap” or “chiap”.  We don’t know what that means yet.
  • He is learning to say “Baby Einstein”, because every time he requests to watch the DVD, he would point and say something, but I have yet been able to catch what he says, although it is a 4-syllable word.
  • Ethan pants excitedly when he is anticipating something he likes, like just before we drive down the ramp after exiting the Queensbay Mall car park.
  • Able to give lip-smacking flying kisses to perfection.
  • He has also recently learnt how to give me a hug.  When I ask him for a hug, he would reach out both his arms and then wrap them around me, while patting my back affectionately.
  • It goes without saying that Ethan is now a very intuitive little boy. When he senses that we are ready to go out, he will run to the door and stand by it, waiting for us to open the door. When we reach the lift lobby, he will stand in front of the doors of the lift and run into the lift when it opens. He will also run out when the lift reaches our floor. We actually need to be very careful just in case he runs out at the wrong floor. Ah, but there was one time, the lift opened at the wrong floor and I asked him to go out (silly me!) and he stayed put. I guess he is observant too, eh?

Food and Feeding

  • Ethan is now becoming very adamant about feeding himself. At times, I would start off feeding him and then he would try to grab the spoon and fork and insist on feeding himself. He will make a mess, yes. But I suppose that is the only way he will eventually learn. Some of the food does get in, though.
  • We are in the process of weaning him from the breast, but there is not much significant success yet.  Although he can go without breast milk while I am at work (he will lead Mrs Tan into the kitchen to request her to make him a feed of formula), he rejects the bottle whilst he is at home.  When we offer him the bottle, he will take the bottle cap and attempt to close it.
  • He loves drinking (especially ice lemon tea) from a straw. He would hold the straw and then imitate the stirring gesture we adults sometimes make, and the drink from it. But just the other day when I ordered carrot juice, I thought the fancy color and cup would entice him to drink it, but nope, I was wrong.  Feeding himself was more attractive then :P


Scrap credits: Another Boho Love Affair Kit from retrodiva {designs}™

Maybe it took Ethan a little bit longer to master the art of blowing kisses, better known as the “flying kiss”.  Well, maybe he thought it was considered not *macho* to do it then.  Heh.  Well, it takes a real MAN to be able to do it anyway.  And you know what, Ethan can do it amazingly well now.  The wait has certainly been well worth it.

Now he will constantly pepper his goodbyes with a lip-smacking kiss, putting his hand to his mouth, and giving a really loud kiss for added effect.  And when we say the magic word, i.e. “flying kiss”, he will give one in an equally adorable manner.

Even yesterday night, after Dr Jessica had given him his 2nd JE booster jab, and although he cried a little after that, when we were about to leave the clinic, he smiled at the doctor, waved buh-bye and blew her a kiss.  Ain’t that sweet?

Ethan at 20 Months


Scrap Credits: Urban Kiwi Kit from Shabby Princess

Weight

At least 10 kilos. Cannot carry him for long periods because:

  • it hurts
  • he will struggle and attempt to break free because he wants to walk around on his own.

Height

Haven’t taken his height for some time now, but he is definitely growing taller. He can reach for stuff on our dining table already.  Sometimes I look at him fast asleep in his cot and am amazed at how much he has grown!

Teeth

Still eight. But he is VERY excited about brushing his eight teeth every day now :)  I taught him to hold the toothbrush under running tap water and thereafter, moving the bristles back and forth in his mouth.  However, I sometimes catch him biting the bristles instead of brushing with them.

Motor Skills

  • Can lead us to wherever he wants to go.  For example, if he wants to eat yogurt, he will take us by the hand, and lead us to the refrigerator.  Sometimes, he will even take my hand and place it on the fridge handle. 
  • He is able to correctly put in more shapes into his shape sorter.  I have noticed him putting in the red circle, green flower and yellow oval, to name a few.
  • Loves running around in wide open spaces.  Ah Kongs and Ah Mas are advised to be cautious because he will outrun them. 

Communication and Social Skills

  • Ethan has learnt how to associate certain actions with certain things, to the point of sometimes imitating what we do:
    • If he grabs hold of a key (house keys, car keys), he will walk towards a door and try to put the key into the keyhole.
    • If he grabs hold of a pen or pencil, he will imitate writing on a piece of paper.  Sometimes he will take my little red journal and pretend to write on it.
    • He will take the telephone receiver and put it to his ear, while blabbering away.  When we say “Hello..?” he will take whatever he is holding and place it to his ear. If his hands are empty, he will just put one hand to the ear.
    • He has learnt how to associate the couch and the bed with drinking milk.  When I sit on the couch, he will request for milk. Or he will take me by the hand and lead me to the room when he is ready to sleep.
  • He has attained the stage of the Terrible Twos, albeit a few months early.  Some traits we have noticed are:
    • When he is riding in our car, he will start screaming in complaint when the car slows down or comes to a halt.  At times his screams are so high-pitched I have to cover my ears.
    • When we want to carry him when he does not want to be carried, he will try to run away. Other methods of escape he has employed are:
      • Screaming in protest
      • Crouching on his front commando style, so it is very difficult for us to carry
      • Struggling and kicking
  • One of the things he is learning is animal sounds.  When I say “The cow goes?”, he will say “Mmmmm” (sounds like Moo).  But when I say “The dog goes?”, he will also say “Mmmmm”.  I need to work on this still :P
  •  He can say a few *words* now.  He is not very consistent in saying them yet, but we are seeing some progress in this arena:
    • Mommy (yesterday morning, I woke up startled when I heard Ethan saying loudly and clearly “Mommy!”  He was still fast asleep and dreaming though)
    • Daddy (last week, he greeted Daddy at the door after Daddy’s futsal game with a cheerful, “Hi Daddy!”)
    • Lolilolilo… (we don’t know what this is yet, but we suspect it is Ethan’s attempt at imitating some singing on TV.  He says this when he hears the StarWorld theme song and also some Indian songs)
    • Pecah pecah pecah… (at first we thought he was saying Pete’s name, but we are still not sure now)
    • Ngam ngam ngam or yum yum yum (when eating something tasty.  Sometimes he smacks his lips too)
    • Buh buh (bye-bye) - said while waving buhye
    • Mai (”Don’t want” in Hokkien)
    • Zebra (of course any other four-legged animal is a Zebra to him too)

Food

Anything and everything except peanuts, shellfish and alcohol.  He loves ice lemon tea and vanilla ice cream, by the way.


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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

Our second day in Singapore promised tons of excitement because today was Zoo Day!! The Singapore Zoo is hailed to be one of the most beautiful zoos in the world, rivaling even the San Diego Zoo, which I didn’t get to visit the last time I was there. So we were all pretty hyped up about the adventure that awaited us.

After breakfast we walked to the Little India MRT station armed with a trusted map and some zoo brochures, and took the subway to the next stop: Dhoby Gaut. From there we got off and switched MRT lines and boarded the one headed towards Ang Mo Kio. The entire MRT journey took us a mere 20 minutes, but Ethan was restless and uncomfortable throughout. He was especially distressed when the subway went into the dark tunnels, and although only the exterior was dark and the interior of the MRT had lights on, he still continued crying. But as soon as the train hit sunshine, he perked up, open his big brown eyes, looked at us and said “ooooh…ohhh….oooo…eggya???” (whatever that means :p ). Well, we just nodded along to whatever he said … kekeke. Upon reaching the Ang Mo Kio MRT station, we took a bus direct to the zoo. The bus ride was approximately 30 minutes, and you guessed it, Ethan could not sit still either.

The Singapore Zoo is based on an open concept where the animals are not enclosed in cages but rather kept in spacious and beautifully landscaped enclosures. Of course the animal areas are separated from the visitors by either a fence, a moat or in some cases, glass. We only had to get two tickets because Ethan got to enjoy free admission into the zoo :) In fact, throughout our Singapore trip, we didn’t need to pay any admission fee for Ethan at all. We only paid 10% for his flight ticket. And because we utilized our SIA Boarding Pass Priviliges, we also got the unlimited Zoo Tram Rides thrown in for free!

We were all immediately enthralled by the animals that we saw in the zoo.

There were flamingos, polar bears, kangaroos, giraffes, and of course, the orang utans.  And Ethan was fascinated with ALL of them.

We also managed to attend several shows that were held in the zoo. The first one we attended was the Wonders of The Wild Show in The Shaw Foundation Amphitheatre, where we got to see the very strong orang utan, a huge python and an *orang asli* wannabe showing off his hunting skills.

During the show Ethan demonstrated another one of his latest milestones: clapping along with people. Nowadays, whenever he sees someone, anyone, clapping, he will clap along, accompanying it with the widest grin ever, showing off his 8 teeth! Before we left for Singapore, he did it in church too and I have noticed that he also does it when he sees people clapping on the telly. So you betcha we had a good time!

I was a little bit worried that Ethan was not getting enough to eat, because he was still recovering from his sore throat at that time and when we had lunch at the Jungle Tandoor cafe (rice with butter chicken), he wasn’t very interested in the food too. Soon I could sense that Ethan was getting hungry and was craving for milk. I was all ready to breastfeed him and it was really the most sensible thing to do, instead of making up a feed of formula, since we were in the zoo and all! I went all over to look for a nursing room, but was sorely disappointed that there were NONE! For a zoo of this magnitude, not having a nursing room or area is definitely something to be frowned upon, especially since most visitors would spend the entire day there! So we tried to distract Ethan by going to see the polar bears, and a few meters after that, by the grace of God, we discovered a beautiful shed overlooking the sea. It wasn’t really secluded, but it was shady and cool and it would have to do for nursing.  God heard our call and pointed us to this spot.  So I breastfed Ethan then and there :)

Ethan fell asleep very soon after, and while carrying him, we rushed to Splash Safari Show.

 

Would you believe it, Ethan slept soundly throughout the entire performance?!

 

I had half expected him to suddenly rouse from his sleep and start clapping, but he was the perfect picture of an angel asleep. We took the tram for a short ride around the zoo and then visited the Australian animals with Ethan fast asleep still.

We then walked towards our next stop: The Elephants at Work and Play show.

By the way Ethan was still asleep when we got there but suddenly woke up, looking very rejuvenated indeed. He enjoyed the elephant show and although it started raining halfway through the show, our spirits were certainly not dampened one single bit. Nope, especially not Ethan’s because after the show, he began climbing up and down the stairs, oblivious to the pouring rain.

We left the area soon after and visited a few other spots (including taking the tram ride to the Animal Friends show),…..

 and wowed at the beautiful white tigers.

Soon it was time to bid a fond farewell to the zoo animals. 

 

We took our final shots with the camera, bought some souvenirs and then waited for the bus to arrive. Ethan was already very restless and looked very hungry. It was after all, already dinnertime then.  So when the bus finally arrived, Pete and I decided to have dinner at the bus station itself when we reached Ang Mo Kio. We had a quick dinner at the food court there and after dinner, we spotted the Yogurt Place.

There was a “Buy 1 Free 1″ promotion going on, and we bought ourselves some yogurt, which all three of us enjoyed immensely.  I tell you, it was possibly the best yogurt I had ever tasted in my entire life!  And I am pretty sure Ethan agrees with me too! 

We took the MRT back to Little India and then it was back to the hotel. Ethan must have been very tired too, because that lil fella knocked out at 9:45p.m., after his shower, considerably early for his standards.

 

On the Sunday morning that we were to leave for Singapore, Ethan decided he wanted to sleep in.  This was very unlike him because he was normally an early riser.  I had arranged for the cab to pick us up at 8:45a.m. to go to the airport but Ethan was still asleep at 8:15a.m.!  So I had to *wake* him up by being rather *noisy* (which isn’t difficult for me.. heh).  It worked and he finally woke up.

Unfortunately, our poor boy had a sore throat and sounded like he was about to lose his voice :(.  He had quite a *sexy* voice though, hoarse and all, and no matter how I told him to just not *talk* so much and rest his voice, he kept blabbering onadnon in his own language.  I quickly got him showered and dressed but amid the rush, I accidentally hit his head on the door panel.  O-U-C-H!!!!! A MAJOR bump appeared almost immediately and he started bawling!  I had to put a cold compress to cool it down…thank goodness that worked.  Somewhat.  By that time the cab had already arrived, so we quickly rushed downstairs and headed for the airport. 

Checking in was a breeze and Ethan even had time to explore his surroundings while waiting to board the plane.  I wonder if he knew what an adventure he would be in for, because we were soon on our way to Singapore! 

 

We were allocated the front 2 seats and although there was a space for a bassinet to be put in front of the seats, there was no bassinet in sight….ah well….not that our boy would want to be confined in it anyways.  As expected, Ethan was VERY restless on the plane.  Before takeoff he was wandering along the aisle and checking out everything in sight: seat pockets, magazines, flight attendants….. :P 

The plane was relatively empty, so we had the adjacent seat available too.  Ethan wasted no time in testing that out. 

 

SIA presented Ethan with a goodie bag with a Dora the Explorer toy, a bib and a couple of diapers… nothing he was impressed with, unfortunately.  I was given the child safety belt, which needed to be attached to the adult lap safety belt and then fastened onto Ethan with him on my lap.  Do you think it was easy to make him sit still?  Absolutely not!  So in the end, I had to breastfeed him during the takeoff and landing (which would help lessen the change in pressure in the child’s ears actually). Ethan must have been reading the guide to travelling by plane with a baby, because he immediately asked to be breastfed upon takeoff and landing!  Haha.

During the flight, Ethan was given the post-weaning meal, which surprisingly consisted of MORE food than an adult’s!  We adults only had a pizza roll and juice, but Ethan had 4 slices of sandwiches, a piece of cake, a fruit tart and a whole box of fresh milk!  He didn’t want any of it though, preferring instead to sip our apple juice.  The fresh milk went to my tummy because Ethan only took a couple of sips.

We arrived in Singapore and Ethan was immediately enthralled by the walkalators and escalators (no surprise).  After filling up the immigration forms we queued up in line, but since Ethan was restless and screaming, the very nice immigration officer ushered us over first.  Talk about priority for those with kids! Hehehe…..

We then collected our luggage and decided to have lunch in the airport.  Our original plan to go to Burger King did not materialize because Ethan was still having a sore throat and furthermore, a quick check in the Burger King outlet showed that there were no baby chairs in sight.  We decided to try a new restaurant instead:  The Soup Restaurant. 

 

Serving a Chinese meal of steamed rice, Samsui ginger chicken, fish and of course boiled old cucumber soup, the meal was absolute perfection!  Ethan too enjoyed it very much, judging by the way he kept asking for more.  He was even given his own plate and spoon!

After the scrumptious lunch, we took a cab to Perak Hotel in Little India, which was going to be our *home* for 5 nights.  I was very impressed that although our cab driver was not familiar with the location, he had a GPS system installed in the cab! Upon checking in, Ethan began checking out the room.  He immediately went over to the full length mirror and kissed his reflection in it!  How cute was that!  He was also very fascinated by the door of the washroom and kept wanting to close it for us.  Believe me, his fascination went on for the entire duration of our stay.  Hehehe…

Unfortunately, another mishap happened in the hotel room.  As Ethan was playing near the side table, his hand slipped and he fell, cutting his chin slightly on the edge of the table.  I was both horrified and mortified to see blood oozing out from his wound!  Quickly I took him to the sink to wash the blood off and yes, I admit it, I was in a state of panic and near-hysteria.  Thank goodness for Pete, who was the absolute picture of calmness, we managed to get the situation in control.  And thank goodness Ethan was all right.  After washing up, surprisingly he remained fearless and kept going back to the site of the *disaster* despite us telling him “NO!”… SIGH.

Anyhow, we rested for a bit and then walked to a nearby bus stop to take the bus to Suntec City Mall.  Pete and I were craving for Tony Roma’s Ribs and we knew there was a branch there. 

 

The last time we had Tony Roma’s was in the States and that was years ago.  We were eager to indulge ourselves yet again and it was on our agenda anyway.  And indulge ourselves we did.  Pete and I ordered the Appetizer Sampler (Fire Wings, Potato Skins and Mozzarella Sticks) and because we were undecided on the ribs, we also had the sampler, i.e. Tony Roma’s Star-Studded Sampler.  Yummylicious indeed!  The Star-Studded Sampler had the Original Baby Back Ribs, Carolina Honeys, Red Hots and Blue Ridge Smokies.  Of the four, the Baby Backs were the best and were absolutely to die for - they were every bit finger-licking and lip-smacking good! 

We were given a table that overlooked a beautiful koi pond, and that helped keep Ethan entertained. 

 

I ordered the Baked Potato Soup for Ethan and he ate it together with his favorite rice :)  The soup was a meal in itself, consisting of baked potatoes, Cheddar cheese, bacon and spring onions.  After he has had a mouthful of anything he likes, I taught him to say “Mmmmmmmm….”….and he does it with finesse!  I could tell he really enjoyed his dinner at Tony Roma’s. 

 

He was also given a piece of paper with crayons to practise and learn coloring….. never too young to start, eh?

In fact, the fun did not end at the dining table.  He even had a field time playing with the sensor-enabled paper dispenser in the washroom.

After dinner, Ethan demonstrated his latest milestone achieved: Waving buh-bye on cue.  All this while, he only waved buh-bye to the baby sitter, but now when we say “Buh-bye” he would wave voluntarily, throwing in a cute smile for good measure.  Sometimes we have to prod him to wave by waving along but ultimately he will still wave.  So he waved goodbye to the waitresses and we were on our way.

We window-shopped a bit and then headed back to the hotel.  Fortunately Pete managed to convey the message to the cab driver in his whatever broken Mandarin he could muster and soon we were snoozing away, dreaming about baby back ribs and the excitement the next day would bring.

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

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

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

Please Open It!

Lately Ethan has added another milestone in his communication.  When he wants us to flip open his shape sorter toy, he will carry the entire ball-like toy to us, grab our hand and placed the ball in our hand.  Then he would whimper impatiently until we flipped open the cover for him.

Sometimes he would be able to open it himself though, I guess he learnt it when he observed how it is being done.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Open up and say “Aaaahhhhh”

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

Hold the Handle

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

Leg Lifting

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

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.

Here are some highlights from the month of May as our Ethan Boy turns 16 months:

  • Since we started giving him showers instead of baths, Ethan is enjoying himself tremendously.  So much so that he has even mastered the art of turning on the faucet!  You see, right below our shower there is a faucet which is positioned just above Ethan’s height.  He now can reach up to it and turn it on.  In fact, he likes to have the faucet turned way up, resulting in Pete and I getting thoroughly wet!
  • Ethan likes to be involved in whatever we do now, especially when it comes to food.  Whenever we are in a restaurant eating, he will demand for the food that we are eating.  Just the other day, while we were out grocery shopping in Jusco, Pete and I stopped by one of those sample stations which was promoting a special type of instant noodles.  We each took a small cup to sample.  Ethan, who was in the stroller, started banging on the stroller tray and called out to us.  It didn’t take Pete long to figure out that our boy also wanted a taste of the noodles…which is exactly what he got.  And that kept him contented all right…

  • Ethan has learnt how to imitate us.  A funny game which has been going on between Daddy and Ethan is when Daddy goes to the washroom to wash his feet.  As soon as Ethan spots Pete switching on the bathroom lights, he would get all excited and run over to the bathroom doorway.  As Pete washes his feet, he exaggerates by stomping on the bathroom floor, and guess what…Ethan will do the same.  Add in the giggle factor and you have a scene you will never forget.
  • Ethan is participating in our singalong sessions now, albeit in true Mr Bulat manner:

Daddy/Mommy (singing): If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands….
Ethan grins widely, grabs either Daddy or Mommy’s hands, one in each of his hands, and *makes* US clap our hands together…and this continues till the end of the song.

  • Lately, we’ve noticed that Ethan sometimes turns himself round and round in circles.  One minute he would be walking normally, and then he would suddenly just turn round and round.  Then he would stop, pause for a moment as if to recover his balance, then start walking normally again.
  • (I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed here) Ethan is *quite* regularly able to go without a drink of milk from his bedtime (which is usually 9:30-10:00p.m., and unusually 11:00p.m.) right up till about 4:30a.m.  He would wake up around midnight, and we would just comfort him back to sleep and put him back in the cot.  He is also now quite okay with Pete carrying him at night when he wakes up, and doesn’t necessarily need to rely solely on me.  On several occasions, when he is up at 11pm or around midnight, Pete will go into the room first and carry Ethan to our bed.  Initially Ethan will cry for Mommy, whilst sitting up on the bed facing the room door.  But after a short while, he will crawl towards Daddy and snuggle to sleep in Daddy’s arms.
  • Sometime in May, when it was just Pete, Ethan and me in the car, I started sitting in the co-driver seat in front (before this, I was always sitting in the back seat with Ethan).  Now Ethan will be comfortably strapped into his car seat at the back while Daddy and Mommy can be in front.  I am proud to say that we have no problems at all putting Ethan into his car seat, because we have trained him well since birth.  He had been sitting in the infant seat carrier till he was about a year old and then graduated to the convertible front-facing car seat.  Now, every time we “kai kai“, he will eagerly sit in the car seat and allow us to buckle him up.  At times, he would even hold the buckle ready for us to strap him in!  Then he would blabber and talk to us the whole of the journey.  Sometimes, when we turn back to look at him, we’d find him deep in thought… sometimes he would be smiling, and sometimes he would clap his hands in glee when he hears a tune he likes on the radio.  When we reach our destination, Ethan will patiently sit and wait till we have unbuckled him, and then he will reach his hands out and try to get out of the seat himself.
  • Random words that Ethan has picked up, (these are not confirmed to be what he says, since he is still mostly blabbering):
    • Ai chiak bek (Want to eat Oats)
    • Ter (Water)
    • Deh-dah, Di-deh, deh-deh, Daddy
    • Yah… (for almost everything)
  • Foodwise, Ethan is on 1 full feed of breast milk while I am at work now (he’s recently upgraded his feed quantity to 6oz at one go).  His second EBM feed in the afternoon is now replaced with approximately 2 oz of Isomil mixed with cereal (Rice Crispies of Snap, Crackle & Pop fame, oats or rusks).
  • Lastly Ethan continues to be enthralled by the mall, especially the escalators.  He has now added climbing stairs to his list of favorite things to do.  He loves to run around in the mall, especially in wide open spaces.

A few months back, I wrote a brief post about what the name Ethan meant.  I didn’t go into details then, but now since both Aunty Angie and Aunty Siew Hooi so graciously asked, I am going to elaborate more.  And hey, I’ll even throw in the meaning of his Chinese name for good measure.

When I was pregnant with Ethan, of course like all first-time mommies, I was excited as to what I would name him.  My reliable source of information was of course the internet, and I checked out many baby name sites before zeroing in on a few.  Pete and I shortlisted several names, but all of them were either too common, too many syllables, too weird or reminded us of someone we didn’t want associated with our son.  So names like Gabriel, Joshua, Kenneth… were all not chosen.  When I suggested the name Ethan, Pete immediately said yes!  You know, when you arrive at THE name, you would just know it… just like the time I selected my wedding dress.  I just knew it was the perfect one for me when I put it on.  At the time we selected the name Ethan, it was (I think) one of the top 5 names of the year 2005.  Although Pete and I kept our choice of name a secret during my pregnancy, we were already talking to him all the time and calling him by name then.

And so unto us a child was born, … and we named him Ethan.  Firm.  Enduring.  Strong.  That’s our boy :) .  We also wanted a biblical name for him, and Ethan fit right into the bill.  In the context of the Bible, Ethan is a name of Hebrew origin, and was a wise man who wrote the 89th Psalm.

With his christened name chosen, we now had to select his Chinese name.  This was a much harder task than we’d imagined.  With his surname is fixed, i.e. Chua (蔡 Cài), we had to get two other characters for his name.  Since both Pete and I don’t know Mandarin that well (actually I can’t speak Mandarin to save my life!), and neither do both our parents, we decided to find out what the ancestral clan character was for Ethan’s generation.  You know, Chinese families typically go by a unique identifying Chinese character in their names for a particular generation?  We figured if we have that down pat, then we’d only need to look for one additional character… haha.  We checked with Pete’s Mom, who checked with Pete’s aunt, who then informed us that for Ethan’s generation, the pattern to follow was: Chua <something> Choong.  The “Choong” corresponds to the character , from cōng míng (聪明), which means Intelligence.  That sounded good, we thought, so we decided to go along with that.

So that left us with only the middle character of Ethan’s Chinese name.  We thought it would be easy then but we were so wrong!  There were so few characters that sounded good with “Choong” at the end, and in desperation we bought a couple of Chinese Name books to help us select a name.  Pete’s Mom actually said it wasn’t necessary to follow the “Choong” ancestral clan name, given that it may very well not be the correct one for his generation and also because we had a hard time finding a suitable middle name to go with it.  She even suggested we named him “Ee Choong”, for “first son” and if we are blessed with baby number 2, then it would be “Yee Choong” for “second son”, and so on! 

In the end, we decided to enlist the help of our friends who were knowledgable in this field of name selection.  One of my good friends had her hubby calculate the number of strokes that was suitably auspicious for Ethan’s middle Chinese name and came up with the result that we should select a character with either 8 strokes or 16 strokes.  In fact, we were still undecided on the middle name even after Ethan was born.  Then Pete had a good friend of his use the information from my friend to select a middle name that would fit that.  In the process of investigation, Pete’s friend discovered that in order to obtain an auspicious middle name for Ethan, the character had to be either a water element or had to contain a water radical.  So after much deliberation, investigation and sleepless nights, Pete’s friend found a perfect match.  And it was really a perfect one, in every way.

Ethan’s middle name is Zé (泽).  If it is written in Simplified Chinese, it takes 8 strokes; if it is written in Traditional Chinese, it takes 16 strokes, thus fulfilling both conditions of “either 8 or 16 strokes”.  It also contains the water radical.  And it means Brilliance.  Ethan shares the same middle name as Jiang Ze Min and Mao Ze Dong.

We finalized his name just in the nick of time.  After Ethan was born, we were only given 14 days to register Ethan’s birth at the National Registration Department, and Pete and I had the registration done on the 13th day after his birthday.

So in conclusion, his full name is Ethan Chua Ze Choong (蔡 泽 聪 ~ Cài Zé Cōng ), which carries the meaning of Firm, Enduring, Strong with a Brilliant Intelligence.  Lately, Pete and I were commenting to ourselves that the name Ethan really suits our boy and his personality.  We can’t imagine him having any other name.  May he grow up to embody every aspect of his name. 

And now, I would like to know what’s in the name for the following babies:

Charlotte
Felicia
Sze Yi
Samuel

Instructions

**Start Copy*
Proposition: What is the meaning of your kid’s name?
Requirements: Write about what or how or why you giving the name to your kids.
Quantity: FIVE PEOPLE.

Tag Mode:

1st - You leave their blog and post link and add to the list below

2nd - Let the blogger you want to tag know they been tagged by comment in their blog or etc.

The list
Msaufong-SQ & Kiki
Shoppingmum and Kids-Justin and Isabelle
Chooi Peng-Kai Wen
Judy-Terry
Dragonmummy-Nicole and Marcus
Jasmine-Faythe & Vyktore
AnggieJeremy Chang Ee Jay
ChanelJeriel Lim Jing Yong
A Mom’s Diary
Shooi - Bryan 
Miche - My ACB
Sweetpea - My Little Fire
Yvonne - The Meaning of Ryan’s Name
ShoppingMum - Justin & Isabelle
Judy - Meaning of the name Terry
LiL’ deviL - Mini Hawke
Mrs. Wallace Notes - My Daughter Name
Raising Belle - Monkey Girl
Hin Lerk’s Diary - The meaning of his name
Our Baby Evan - What’s in your name?
Joyce- The Name Game of Fame

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!

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!

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?

Yesterday I noticed that Ethan has 2 more teeth.  2 lower molars, to be exact.  The upper molars were supposed to appear first and I’m not sure if they have, but I noticed the lower molars yesterday.  So 10 in total.

Last night at about 3:30 a.m., Pete woke me up from my slumber and asked me to look at what Ethan was doing: standing upright in his cot just looking at me and grinning.  Pete told me this morning that Ethan was already up for quite some time gesturing toward the fan/ceiling.  I immediately brought Ethan to our bed and cuddled him to sleep.  Ethan loves to snuggle with Mommy. :) He let out soft whimpers as he dozed off.  We weren’t sure if he was feeling teething pains.  We pray not :(

 

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.

 

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

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

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

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

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.

The Walking Game

Since Ethan started to walk, he has been very inquisitive and goes around mostly on his own around the house.  I love to play this game with him:

I would put him on the floor and I will move a few feet away from him.  Then I will motion to him to come over by calling his name and extending my arms.  He would then look at me, smile adorably and then take a few steps towards me.  When he is about to reach me, he steps would quicken as if he was running, and he would then *run* into my arms.  Sweet.

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.

A whole new view

Finally we fixed Ethan’s new car seat today (new car seat for the New Year mah…). 

All this while since birth he had been using an infant car seat from the Graco Travel System, and had been sitting rear-facing.  Since this new convertible car seat is to be used for babies 9 kilos and over only, it had been sitting in our house for the past several months (yes, I am very proactive and bought the car seat soooo many moons before).  Pete commented that Ethan’s new car seat is even more luxurious than our own seats, as it had leather trimmings too! 

So anyway, we fixed the car seat for him today - Front-facing.  Babies can face front only if they are a minimum of 9kg and one-year of age.

We were about to load him into the car and set off for Taiping, but our boy decided it was time to fall asleep just before we left.  I was a bit worried that he would wake up in shock because of the different front facing view if we loaded him while he was asleep.  Thankfully, he woke up right before we were ready to go.

As soon as we loaded him, he looked really confused.  Then he began to ease into the surroundings and very soon was pretty much enjoying himself.

“I can walk now!”

Ethan took his first steps today!

You know it was funny… as we were approaching the baby sitter’s place to pick up Ethan after work, Pete said that he couldn’t wait to play with Ethan today, cos he had a feeling he would learn how to walk today.  And whaddya know… he really did!  He began by standing up unsupported (smiling all the while) and then began inching his way forward.  Pete and I were ecstatic!

We don’t have a camcorder yet, so I used my trusted Nokia phone to capture about 20 seconds worth of the priceless moment.

Wobbly though he may still be, it was a precious moment for our little family.  What an awesome way to bring on the Chinese New Year cheers!

1-year Progress Report

I am so so bad at writing reports, and I know this is really really late (our boy is already past one year), but anyways, I’ll just write a brief one.

Weight
9kg as of last visit at the PD’s

Height/Length
73cm

Teeth
Still 4 in total: 2 central top and bottom incisors.

Motor Skills

  • Has started taking a few baby steps, but is still not brave enough to go further.
  • Crawling skills have improved, and I think Pete and I have lost some weight ourselves just chasing after him when he crawls.
  • Able to consciously turn on the light button on his Graco music/light box which is fixed on his cot.


Communication & Social Skills

  • The words “Daddy” and “Mommy” are beginning to sound clearer now.
  • Can wave bye-bye, but only to the baby-sitter.
  • Is quite possessive of his toys and stuff he holds. When we take it away from him, he will scream loudly in protest.
  • Shows affection to Pete and me by biting us. I have had so many bite marks on me… it starts off looking red and the next day it will be blue-black.

Food
Started introducing egg yolk to Ethan. Also, pasta…but it appears like he doesn’t really dig pasta, preferring porridge instead. Pete reckons Ethan will soon grow to love chicken rice. Just like daddy.

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.

The moment you came into our lives
My pain all vanished when I heard your cries
After our nine-month getting-to-know-you session
You really lived up to our every expectation!
When I first held you in my arms
I loved your smell, your closeness and your warmth
The tears I shed were definitely tears of joy
I couldn’t believe we now have a beautiful baby boy!

And so began our breastfeeding journey
You were a pro, even though you were so tiny
Cradling you while singing a lulling song
Our bond as mother and child grew strong

Diaper sizes from NB to S, then M and now L,
You turned into someone we knew so well
That cheeky grin and mischievous smile
We really got used to your “bulat” style!

First you rolled over, and then you were sitting
Before we knew it, you were an expert at crawling!
Cruising and then standing and babbling to talk
We’re now eagerly awaiting the day you learn to walk!

A year of sleepless nights we endured
Why you can’t sleep through yet, we’re not entirely sure
You certainly are a picture of energy
A chatterbox too, yes you’re a talkative baby!

You’re a food lover, you’re not at all fussy
Your favorite is of course, when you dine at Mommy’s
Now that you have 4 teeth and of course still counting
We anticipate days ahead of more yummy eating!

Our darling Ethan boy, as you turn one,
Daddy and Mommy are as proud as the sun!
For what we once called our bundle of joy
Has now been transformed into a big boy!

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”.

Ethan had his first birthday party today. We decided to celebrate it during the weekend, i.e. a few days earlier than his actual birthday, to make it easier for our parents and siblings to travel to Penang to celebrate it with us.We had a small-ish gathering during lunch. Small-ish because this would mean Ethan would not experience any confusion and separation anxiety. And lunch, so that it would not interfere with his bedtime.

I’ve read that for baby’s first birthday, the party should ideally be kept to at most 10 guests. This is to ensure baby would feel more at ease and vice versa, the guests would enjoy themselves more. No point throwing a big bash at his tender age when he hardly knows what is going on, right?

Anyways, as Pete and I are rather *fussy*…ermmmm…. detailed people, we of course had a theme for the party, complete with decorations. The theme we chose was Winnie the Pooh…


My Mom and Dad came to Penang the day before the party to prepare the food. We had ooh-la-la yummy-mummy lum-mee… ..and for the appetizer, I made salsa, served with nachos…

We also had yee-sang, an early and prosperous start to the Chinese New Year, compliments from SIL Pauline.
Of course, we had the all-important birthday cake, which was done according to the theme of the party. Doesn’t the cake remind you of the birthday boy?

It is believed that the approach the baby has on his first birthday cake determines the way he will approach life. In Ethan’s case, after we sang the Happy Birthday song, and immediately after we blew out the candle, he planted his hand print on the cake! All 5 fingers!




But then Ethan boy could not eat any of it (as it contained eggs which he had not been introduced to yet), so I made him a special cake instead… presenting my sugar-free eggless banana muffin cookie-cake, made specially for my darling baby boy:
Then came the presents!

We also had a photo session for our party guests (macam photo studio aje…):




Happy Birthday our dearest darling Ethan boy… we love you so very much!


"Look Mommy, no hands!"

Lately, Ethan has been experimenting with standing unsupported. He would (as usual) hold on to something (sofa or cabinet) and then let go of both hands for a couple of seconds and then sit down again.

Yesterday, he did it again - this time with more precision and for a longer period. 5 seconds or so, I think. Pete thinks he is gearing up for his upcoming birthday by trying his best to accelerate walking. We’ll see.

The 11-Month Report

Ethan is now 1 month shy of his first birthday. Here’s a summary of how he has grown:

Weight
We’ve not had a chance to weigh Ethan at the pediatrician’s yet, so I rely on the following method for now:
Weight of myself on the scales = X
Weight of Ethan and me on the scales = Y
=> Weight of Ethan = Y-X = ~9kgHeight/Length
Unable to measure as he is very wriggly and we can hardly get him to lie still for an accurate measurement. My guess would be circa 72-73cm.

Teeth
4 in total: 2 central top and bottom incisors.

Motor Skills

  • “Look Mommy, no hands!” - Ethan will sometimes release both hands from holding onto anything while he is standing, just to experiment. He can “tahan” for 2-3 seconds before he sits down again.
  • Monkeying around - Ethan has begun to climb. He can hoist himself up onto his infant rocker/chair. He has also developed an ability to reach for things. He likes to reach outside his playpen for things on the cupboard nearby.
  • Throwing - He loves to throw things, possible because of the sound that is produced when the stuff he throws hits the ground. He will also anticipate the sound by closing his eyes immediately after the item leaves his hands.

Communication & Social Skills

  • New “words”: Baby and Mommy (yay!!!). Well, actually he doesn’t say Mommy all the time, it’s really a mixture of Momma and Mommy, but we’ve heard him say “Mommy” really clearly on a few occasions. Yay me.
  • Can understand the meaning of NO, but sometimes will pout and start to cry when we say it. You should see him… pouting but still looking as adorable as ever.

Food

New foods introduced: Beef and other green vegetables. I can tell Ethan is a potential quarter-pounder-with-cheese lover by the way he wallops his entire bowl of nutritious beef porridge. Oh yeah… and our boy loves nectarines too!

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

…and the closeup…

…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…

Ethan is 10 months old!

Our Ethan boy is now 10 months’ old! Pete was just commenting that his age is now a 2-digit figure… heh. It seemed like just yesterday he was just a tiny bundle in my arms and now….he is Mr Bulat.Here’s a short report of how our boy has grown thus far:

Weight
8.6kg as of a week ago, should be about 8.7kg or so now

Height/Length
69.5cm as of 3 weeks ago, he should be at least 70cm by now.

Teeth
2 bottom central incisors

Motor Skills
• Crawling: Ethan is now able to crawl on his hands and knees, and it is his preferred mode of mobility as opposed to commando or bear crawling.
• Assisted Standing: Ethan can pull himself up to a supported standing position with tremendous ease and speed. His favorite areas for supported standing are:
o The TV cabinet
o Inside his cot
o Our leather sofa
o His Stand-up Ball Blast toy




• Waving: Ethan can wave bye-bye now, and sometimes does it “his” way, flapping both his arms and legs
• Pincer’s Grip: He can exhibit Pincer’s grip now with finesse. I first noticed him doing that when he began pulling his own ear lobe.
• “Pointing”: He can make his fingers in the shape of a pointer, but instead of pointing, he uses it to dig his nose (gasp!) and make blubbering sounds on his puckered lips!
• Cruising: Ethan can move from one end of the cot to the other whilst holding on to the cot railings.
• Sitting after Standing: Ethan is now able to lower himself to sitting position after he has stood for a while. Previously the poor guy will stand there and just didn’t know what to do next…

Communication & Social Skills
• Say Mum-mum-mum…., nen-nen-nen….. but sometimes just says it for the heck of it, not cos he is hungry. I think he calls me Mum-mum for now.
• Say Daddy (or something that vaguely sounds like it), and most of the time, actually refers to his Daddy when he says it! Yay Ethan! Well, sometimes it sounds like Dadada…..
• Other repetitive syllables: yayayaya……, wawawa…., etc.
• “Inform” us when he is about to pangsai or pangsai-ing by showing us his pangsai face:


Food
Ethan takes two solid meals a day of porridge (lunch and dinner). His porridge is cooked with some meat (chicken, fish or pork) and vegetables (spinach, lettuce, pumpkin, carrots, corn, etc).
Sometimes I will give him some fruit in the evenings or some oats. During weekends, I occasionally give him a meal of breakfast too; usually it’s oats with EBM and some fruit (bananas, apples or pears).

Botak Head

Ethan had his first hair cut today. We took him to the Brothers Hair Saloon at Sungai Dua in the morning (when he’s less fidgety and in more of a good mood) to do the honors.

First we brought him into the saloon to familiarize him with the surroundings. Since Pete was also due for a haircut, I carried Ethan while he watched the skillful barber cut Daddy’s hair. Ethan was extremely excited with the new place and looked very inquisitive. He was smiling from ear to ear and flapping his arms in his usual cheerful self, so this was a good sign… hopefully he would be curious enough to try what Daddy is doing. Heh heh…

Once Daddy had finished his hair cut, we put Ethan in his Bumbo on the saloon chair and the barber proceeded to do the deed. Our Ethan boy has really fine and little hair (inherited from Mommy, nonetheless!), but it was growing too long and unruly, so we decided to shave his head.

He was (surprisingly) VERY cooperative during the entire experience. I held his arms down, just in case he started to cry and protest, but I was very proud of my little boy, who sat through the entire procedure calmly, with only a few instances of him turning his head left and right abruptly (biasala….)…. Nothing Mr Barber could not handle.

The shave only took about 5 minutes, but as it was finishing, Ethan got restless and started wailing… Thank goodness we had only a few more touch-up shaves to go!

We initially wanted a crew cut hairstyle for him (short stubbly hair on the scalp), but in the end, it was virtually BOTAK. Surprisingly enough, at night, Pete and I noticed that his hair had already begun growing! Talk about fast growing hair! Now his scalp feels like Astro Turf…

Here are some memorable shots to capture the moment:





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.

Make a Joyful Noise!

Ethan has achieved another milestone by being able to clap (with sound). All this time, he has been attempting to clap his hands, moving his palms together in a clapping motion but although he is able to do it quite well, he wasn’t quite able to produce any sound just yet.

Today, he totally nailed it. While sitting in his bathtub taking his bath, he just started clapping and clapping. So adorable… simply music to our ears.

Ta-daa!!

Our Ethan boy can stand aided now!We just got back home from our short trip to Ipoh and Taiping over the past 3 days, and when we reached our apartment, Ethan’s face immediately lit up!

I put him in his playard while I brought in our other stuff from the corridor. Next thing I knew, when I checked on him, he was grabbing the edges of the playard, standing away happily! He played with his toys and he looked SO CHEERFUL. It was as though he really missed them all, and he especially missed his home sweet home…

One funny thing I noticed is that Ethan is a very “ai-bin” (eksyen in Hokkien) little fella. He would grab the edge of his cot, stand up and then release one hand and look at us, as if to say “Ta-daa!! I can stand now! Applause please!” A confident young man in the making, perhaps?


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!

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.

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).

Where?

Ethan has said his first word.
It ain’t “Daddy” as was expected. And it ain’t “Mommy” too. There ain’t no “dada-baba” sounds either.
Our boy has uttered his first monosyllable word and it is becoming apparent that it is most definitely…..“Where?”

During playtime, we would inadvertently hear him go “Where?” over and over and over again.
Ah well… shows that he is a curious child anyway….. actually more like kepo. Heh. Wonder whose trait he took after.

Roll Over!

Ethan boy finally rolled over today! He was relaxing faced up on his mattress and I was just lying next to him. He turned his head to face me and as I spoke to him, he lifted his right leg over his left, used his arms to steady himself and *flipped* himself on his front!

I was ecstatic! Heh… it didn’t matter that Ethan did not know what to do now that he has rolled over. He seemed amused and surprised with the new view he had made himself see, and didn’t mind being on his front at all!

Well, I guess the next step is crawling (gasp!) but for now I will enjoy watching his manouevres while he rolls over every so often.

Here I go….uhhh…uhhh…….ummmph!!

Ta-daaa..!!!!!

In a simple, yet meaningful ceremony, Ethan was baptized today in the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in the afternoon. Both his grandparents came to witness this special occasion, beaming with pride. We invited Ethan’s grand-uncle (our AKU a.k.a Uncle Calum) to be his godfather, so technically Ethan will need to address his godfather as “Kay-pah-koo-kong” (Godfather + Grand-uncle all-in-one)… what a mouthful huh?We were kinda worried that he would start crying during the baptism, but thankfully he sat through the entire hour patiently. God answers prayers :)

In a coincidental manner, there was another baby named Ethan being baptized at the same time too, so Father Francis Anthony had to say “Ethan Chua” every time he referred to our boy.

Before the baptism: Ethan (surprisingly) behaving himself

Ethan posing for a shot while being baptized with holy water…

…and one for the album…

After the baptism, we all adjourned to Cherry Sweet Thai Restaurant in town for dinner.

Ethan & Eaton

We had a nice lunch at Maple Gold Restaurant in town to commemorate Ethan’s Full Moon. There were 3 tables in total, comprising relatives from both Pete’s and my side.

When we arrived at the restaurant, all the invitees were already there and as expected, Ethan became the main attraction. We put Ethan in his infant car seat and placed the seat on a table in the room, in perfect full view of everyone.

We also ordered traditional full moon packages from Eaton, with angkoo, glutinous rice and curry chicken. Eaton? Coincidence? You bet.

Ethan sleeping at home before leaving for Maple Gold

Little Ethan boy decided to join the CNY festivities and collect a few angpows, coming into this world 2 weeks-plus earlier than the due date! He was born via normal delivery at 3:43pm Tuesday, Jan 31st, 2006. Weighing a tiny 2.5kg at birth, he packs a mega-decibel cry for someone so small, putting the bigger babies in the nursery to shame.

1 hour after birth. Contented with himself…for being such a brave boy and not giving Mommy and Dr. Ooi any complications.
“YAWN! Mommy, I’m tired now and I need my nap.” - Ethan feeling the after-effects of a good cry!
“Huh?! Do I still need to pose? Here you go Daddy…my “bulat” face!” - Ethan frowning in between meals.

 

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