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Bible Verse of the Day

March 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What an absolutely awesome blessing from The Lord this Easter!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Scrap Credits
Emma kit quickpage and elements from retrodiva {designs}™
Sunshine and Daisies kit from Maria LaFrance
100% Tampons square frame from [ v.vv ]
Blue painted newspaper alphas from Manda J Designs

Peacefully.  Soundly.  That’s how Ethan sleeps in the morning.  Sometimes when we are ready to go out, he will still be sleeping, and when I try to wake him up saying “Wakey wakey”, he will grumble and whine, turn over and go back to sleep.

If only he could sleep this way through the night.  The strange night behaviour of his began last week.  One of the nights, Ethan suddenly woke up at 3a.m. and asked me to take him outside.  He wanted to drink milk and then watch some television.  I switched between Playhouse Disney and his two other favorite channels, Astro on Demand previews (channel 302) and Channel V (channel 714).  Then we watched some DVDs.  I tried to coax him to go back to the room to sleep but he didn’t want to.  Finally he fell asleep in my arms at about 5:30a.m.  It happened again two nights later, but this time round it was not so bad because he fell asleep after an hour or so.

Then a few nights ago, he would wake up screaming, and adamantly ask me to take him out again.  He would throw a huge tantrum if we refuse, kicking and screaming on the floor.  Once out of our room, he would lead me to the living room and then “throw” my hand towards the light switch in the living room.  Then he would “throw” my hand at the TV remote.  After that he would come and snuggle up to me and fall asleep.  With the TV on.

I kid you not.  Happened again last night.

Why does he do this?

Scrap Credits
Layout inspired by Fryske’s Digiscrap Desisgn
Sweet Serenity Papers & Alphas from Shabby Princess Designs
Kit “Memory” cross-stitch from
Sueli Colbert
100% Tampons brackets from [ v.vv ]
Boxed words from Chantal

Look…What could Ethan be doing? Lately, he has developed a rather strange habit in that he has started to show a lot of interest in the Christmas doggie soft toy that his Ipoh Ah Ma and Ah Kong gave him over a year ago. Actually this love in itself is not weird, because Ethan was born in the year of the dog, but what is odd is that he likes the rounded tip of the doggie’s santa hat. Ethan would hold the dog, put the rounded furry tip into his mouth and chew and chomp on it till it is all wet. Then he would take the rounded tip and rub it all over his face, sometimes taking a whiff of it.

We think this could be a side reaction to him being weaned off the breast. What do you think? Well, it looks like I will certainly have to wash the doggie very very often now!

Cloth diapers, to be precise! :) 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Scrap Credits
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!