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Bible Verse of the Day

July 2007

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Finally, after an uncountable number of weekends of planned swimming sessions gone awry, last Saturday saw my plan to bring Ethan swimming in our apartment pool blossom into fruition. My parents came over to stay with us for the weekend so I had extra hands to help me with the over-eager Ethan.

The slight drizzle had just stopped and it was not scorching hot, the water was just cool and not freezing, so it was just the right temperature, perfect for swimming. I had huffed and puffed my way to produce a floatable float, worthy of use. This one, unlike the arm floats we used some time back, would ensure our boy was kept heads up in the water and at the same time, enable him to freely kick his way around the pool. It was the first time he was using this round float but it took him no time at all to grow accustomed to it. Thank goodness he could still fit into his *mega-cool* scuba-diving-like suit! ūüėÄ

You be the judge as to whether he had a good time or not…

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

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

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….. ūüėõ¬†

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’re home from our Singapore vacation :)¬† And the first thing Ethan did when he stepped into the lift on the way up to our apartment was to giggle joyfully.¬† Methinks he knows he’s finally back home :)

He immediately checked on his toys and when the TV was turned on, he laughed in glee as he watch Little Einsteins, and even clapped along and smiled.  Did he miss home? I would think so!

Watch this space for the lowdown on the exciting and amazing adventure we had in Singapore! 

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! ūüėÄ

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 ūüėõ

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!”)

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.

Sunday night was another record-breaking night.¬† Ethan simply didn’t want to go to bed.¬† When we took him into the living room to play, he looked like he was sleepy, so we took him into the room.¬† But when he was in the room, he held either Daddy or Mommy’s finger, and motioned for us to take him out by running over to the closed door.¬† In the end, the three of us went to bed together, at the same time, and we *made* Ethan sleep by relying on the age-trusted method of breastfeeding.¬† It was close to midnight then.

It was as though Ethan did not want to sleep because he knew the weekend would be over as soon as he fell asleep.¬† Yeah, don’t we all wish the weekend would go on forever?

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