Thursday 28 December 2006

First Christmas

We've just celebrated our First Christmas with Ethan and it's been a time of appreciating and enjoying the warmth of Family and friends over an amazing spread of festive food! Unfortunately the excitement of new faces proved a little overwhelming for Ethan and he needed some space to process it all.

The highlight of the Season for us was the opportunity to meet with God at the Christmas Eve service at church. It was a simple time of reflecting and giving thanks for the many blessings God has showered on us in this past year and renewing the wonder of the greatest gift of all -- His own Son, Jesus. Somehow having our own baby has made this Christmas particularly meaningful for us. As I look at Ethan while singing the Christmas carols, it's almost as though I'm being transported back to that First Christmas and am filled with a fresh sense of perspective and wonder at God's amazing Gift to us. May we learn to live each day as a people who have been touched by the awesome Mystery of the God who stepped into the skin of a tiny Baby to be Immanuel -- God with us!

Tuesday 26 December 2006

Away From My Son

I am now at the airport waiting to check in for an 8 day trip away without Renata and Ethan. This is the first time I am travelling leaving wife and son at home. A myriad of indescribable emotions are inside me. It's one thing to miss your spouse, which i have done on several working trips before. It's another thing entirely to leave your son. Of course God knows what I'm feeling. After all it's Christmas. Jesus left Heaven and entrusted himself to first-time parents in a humble family.
May you have a blessed Christmas, not forgetting that while we enjoy friends and family, God made this possible because He gave up His son.

Monday 25 December 2006

Poop Accident

Twas the week before Christmas and we were feeding Ethan in the car while out doing Christmas shopping, when we heard the familiar sound of a big poop...but we never imagined just HOW big- until Renata started feeling something wet and warm in her lap! Thank God Ivan was around because it started spilling onto the seat as well! We had to do a quick rescue operation before heading home to shower, change, clean the car and head out again. Life certainly hasnt been boring since Ethan's joined us!
Back on the shopping trail after the Rescue Operation

Sunday 24 December 2006

Hand-y Skills

Ethan is beginning to discover his hands and what he can do with them- like playing with his toys, sucking on his thumb and (maybe) even making the Baby sign Mummy has been teaching him for Milk! (Closed fist raised high toward mum or dad)

Monday 18 December 2006

Chatty n Chubby

Ethan's getting very chatty nowadays, and has so many things on his mind. When he's in a good mood he just gurgles and coos and it's soooo cute! It's especially heartwarming when Daddy comes home at the end of the day and Ethan is so happy to see him... he will stare and coo and gurgle for a long time!

Sunday 17 December 2006

Family Worship at Woodlands EFC

It was a special Sunday today as Grandpa and Grandma came to visit Woodlands EFC cos Ivan was preaching. Here they are with Pastor Kenny, our senior pastor who once had the pleasure of Grandma's roast pork earlier in the year. It was also the first time Ethan heard Daddy preach, and we had hoped Ethan would sit through the entire sermon but he started to cry when he heard Pastor Edward's booming voice during the announcements.

Daddy preached from the story of the visit of the Magi in Matthew 2:1-12, Finding Hope in Surprising Places. Our church website now includes full length videos of our sermons - cool stuff!

Friday 15 December 2006

Ethan's New Friend

This week Ethan visited Samantha and Aunty Janice. They are Mummy's and Uncle Roy's church friends and Sam was born just 2 weeks before Ethan -- so they are almost the same age! It was nice to chat and realise how much they both have in common. They even have similar strollers & car seats! Too bad they were too sleepy to play but we are sure they will have many opportunities to make up for that.

Ikea Fun Park

A few weeks ago we went to IKEA in Tampines and it was one of the most fun days out we had yet! This was not only because parking was free, but also because admission to this fun park is also gratis. Throw in some creativity and with all the props around IKEA it really is a wonderful FREE theme park.

Picture above is Ethan in the spinning egg chair. It isn't spinning here... yet. But after Ethan got comfortable, I twirled him around at startling speed and he loved it. Funny how kids like feeling dizzy! Didn't want to overdo it so we moved over to the driving circuit. Daddy provided all necessary sound effects happily seated on the floor with Ethan

Things were going wonderfully well but the day was far from over yet. We enjoyed many of the children's rooms and Ethan exercised and swung around with these hanging curtains. This was perfect timing cos a few weeks ago, Ethan's shoes were quite new and he was just getting used to it all. It was so fun we were even thinking about where we could hang these swinging curtains in our home!

Things just got and better when we found the slide! I ran over and lifted Ethan to the top. The very first time he looked down at the slide and looked at me apprehensively. A gentle push and as Ethan slid down, his expression changed to pure ecstatic joy. He screamed with laughter, got to the bottom and strained towards the slide to go again. The video really captures this well. It shows him going down twice, but we must have done the slides close to 20 times. The icing on the cake was that it was air-conditioned so Daddy didn't have to sweat at all!

Thursday 14 December 2006

Vivo City

On Thursday we had a big family outing to the new Vivo City. Mei took us for lunch to Carnivores, a Brazilian eatery with fantastic sandwiches. After that we went for a walkabout to explore Singapore's newest mall. Ethan dressed up very smartly - doesn't Grandma and Dad look proud!

Heather was happy to see Ethan too and wanted to sit next to him at lunch time. Here she is posing with her cousin while holding onto her precious balloon.

Wednesday 13 December 2006

Ethan's Bath Time

Another video of Ethan's bath, but this time he's much bigger and talking more. Weighing in at over 5.5 kg and 2.5 months old, here's our little tiger!

Monday 11 December 2006

Early in the Morning

Ethan's morning bath is a routine he looks forward to now. Normally, Daddy gives him his bath but today Mummy is holding him up. It feels a bit different, but Ethan is still loving it! After the bath, we have our Quiet Time. Dad's been reading Romans to Ethan and teaching him to pray. Mum has already started reading the Psalms, so we're generating the quite the OT and NT scholar. Hebrew and Greek alphabets will be starting soon!

Wednesday 6 December 2006

Grandma's Come Over to Play

Grandma came over to see how Mummy and Ethan were doing. In the afternoons, Ethan now likes to spend some time on the floor with his Baby Gym. It's also a good place for us to stretch his limbs and play with him! He looks so cute with his little smile! Wouldn't you want to baby sit him?

Visiting Grand-Aunties

Last week Ethan's Grand Aunties Diana & Monica came visiting from as far away as South Africa and Perth and we had a nice family reunion over sushi at Goo Ma's place.

Mummy made Chawan-mushi (steamed egg) to accompany the healthy sushi and here is the recipe if you would like to try it too! It serves about 4-6 depending on the size of your Chawan cups.

Chawan Mushi
3 eggs
2 3/4 cups of Dashi (bonito fish stock)
6 prawns
3 Shiitake mushrooms
1/4 Unagi (broiled eel)

Preboil the prawns after marinating them in a little sake wine and salt. Grill/toast the mushrooms before slicing them. This brings out their fragrance more fully. Slice the unagi lengthwise.

Beat the eggs and mix with the Dashi, sake (1 tsp), mirin (sweet sake) (1 tsp), salt (1 tsp), soya sauce (a dash). Divide the egg mixture into the Chawan cups and add in the prawns, mushroom & Unagi. Place the cups into a steamer and steam at low heat for about 20 minutes or so. The trick in making Chawan-mushi is to make sure you control the heat well so that the egg is cooked evenly and comes out with a smooth and custard-like texture. (Using too much heat will result in bubbles and uneven texture.) -- It's pretty simple once you get the hang of it!

Enjoy your Chawan Mushi!

Sunday 3 December 2006

Sunday Schedule

We're going to church today! Daddy got up early to bathe Ethan and get him ready. Daddy left first, and Mummy and Ethan will come for the later service at 11am. He's dressed in his Sunday best, but needed a few more minutes of shut-eye before making the trip to Woodlands. Here he is waking up and getting ready to worship God in His sanctuary.

Step 1: Stretch and Ready to Rise

Step 2: Relax and Roll Over

Step 3: Smiles and ready to worship the Lord!

Friday 1 December 2006

First Rainbow

Today Ethan saw his first rainbow, and what an amazing rainbow it was! God made this beautiful one after a sudden downpour. We took these photos outside our dining room window. The rainbow was so bright, it looked like you could slide down it! God sure has wonderful promises in store for you Ethan...

Thursday 30 November 2006

New Office Staff

Ethan is a hit at the WEFC church office. This is the first time Aggie got to hold him and she sure is pleased! Geok Hua looks ready to show him the ropes around the office too. Mummy and Ethan accompanied Daddy in the morning today and now we are off for lunch and dinner at Grandmas.

Wednesday 29 November 2006

1st Passport

Ethan is 2 months old today and is now the proud holder of a new Singapore biometric passport! He is still too small for them to take his thumbprint,but is looking forward to our first family holiday sometime soon...any suggestions?!

Monday 27 November 2006

Baby Toys

Ethan has been learning how to play with his toys! Here he is at 5.5 weeks old looking at his toy rabbit and ball, and at 8 weeks with his baby gym. Dad has since learned that when Ethan looks away, it's not because he has a short attention span but because he's over stimulated. All those sights and sounds are overloading him cos he's taking in so many new sensations!

Sunday 26 November 2006

Kani Ramen

Both of us love ramen, but only the good stuff after having eaten the real delicious stuff in Japan. Unfortunately most ramen places in Singapore (like coffee in most of our cafes) don't do it properly so you end up thinking ramen is nothing special. Some of the best ramen can be had in Singapore by buying the fresh packed ramen from places like Meidya and adding your own toppings. We usually get a good brand of miso ramen and add pork slices, but tonight we had king crab ramen topped with chives, soft-boiled egg (the yolk must be runny inside the egg), and garlic prawns. Yummy...

As usual, Ivan used lots of garlic, but Ethan still drank his milk and doesn't seem too worse for wear!

Sick Week

We're coming to the end of a "sick week" for Mum and Dad. First Ivan got the flu bug, then passed it to Renata who had a mild fever. Fortunately, Ethan never caught it. A few people told us that babies have natural antibodies, not just from the breastmilk but also antibodies of their own so they rarely get sick. To be on the safe side, Renata has taken to wearing a mask while feeding Ethan so as not to cough on him as they are sharing close-quarters for a long time during the feed. The first time she wore it, he gave her a funny, "Are you mummy?" look!

Ivan's also been trying to take it easy this week so he can recover from the flu, and it's almost all gone now. One of the favourite huddle positions for father and son is now this one which both have perfected on any available sofa, including this one and grandma and grandpa's place.

Ethan is sleeping quite well. He achieved a personal best last night, dozing 7 hours between feeds and waking up just before 7am for the sunrise.

Saturday 25 November 2006

A Busy Day

Ethan loves checking out new places and the newly developed IMM is one of them. Ethan's accompanying his parents to a Hong Kong street food cafe. He had a busy day today having had lunch with the WEFC Missions committee then showed up at the BRMC Mums and Babes talk in the afternoon.

Bath Time for the Big Boy

Ethan now at 8 weeks, 5.2 kg

Ethan's grown so much that some people say they wouldn't have been able to recognize him having seen his photos when he was just 2 weeks old. Below is a picture of one of first few baths at home. Yes it's the same bathtub but when he first bathed in it, he could fit in using just the breadth of it!

Ethan at 1 week. Birth weight was 2.62kg

Our hi-tech Oregon Scientific weighing scale at home is courtesy of DBS Credit Card points! This is how Daddy weighs Ethan now and then.

Giving Ethan A-Weigh

Friday 24 November 2006

Chubby Lubby Baby

Ethan is just shy of 2 months old and he has become quite "solid" already at 5.1 kg - double his birth weight. All of Mum's milk is definitely going somewhere. He looks quite different from his first 1-2 weeks birth photos, and is starting to outgrow some of his small mittens and booties already. See those strong arms and legs?

Some people have summer vacation homes - Ethan has 2... one at each Grandparents house. This one is the new "Lubby Baby" cot we got at Carrefour as the l'il bub needed a safe place to sleep. It looks exactly like the close to $300 Graco cot, but cost us only $108 with that comfy mattress. Ethan knows a good buy when he sleeps on one, and is already putting it to good use.

It feels like Ethan has grown up and changed so much already! This is his photo from only 7 weeks ago when he was tiny newborn. Sniff sniff...

Monday 20 November 2006

Weekend Warriors

Renata's team mates at the Singapore Kendo Club are busy preparing for the upcoming World Championships next month so she went to support them at training and give Ethan an early taste of the arenaline rush from a good fight!

Thursday 16 November 2006

Woodlands Scenic Tour

Daddy has been raving about the cheap n good food at Republic Poly, so Ethan and Mummy decided to check it out for themselves. We were pleasantly suprised at how nice and baby friendly it was with lots of access ramps and open spaces. We recommend the ayam bakar -generous servings with fresh fragrant sambal for just $2.80!

Food for Milk

Today for lunch we ate this! Ivan made this creation of baked penne with beef bolognese sauce topped with melted cheddar and parmesan cheese. The twist was using bunashimeji mushrooms for the sauce instead of the normall button ones and it turned out yummy!

Renata enjoyed it, and she sure needs to with all the output this milk bar has to make every day. Ethan regularly gulps down 120ml now, and last night slept for 6.5 hours. This means Renata is burning lots of calories producing all that milk, so she can now polish off 3 bowls of rice in one meal - more than Ivan!

Ethan's also just finished his lunch so we're going out today! Doesn't he look happy to see the world? Carrefours at Plaza Singapura and both Grandma's houses for now... Bye bye Ethan, have a great day!

Wednesday 15 November 2006

Swedish Camouflage

We are in Ikea now outside the restaurant. Ethan's blending in with the other shopping carts! Perhaps we're supposed to leave him here and go in to eat...

Sunday 12 November 2006

First Day at WEFC

Today was Ethan's first day at Ivan's church - Woodlands EFC, but we were quite rushed and didn't get to take any pictures. So many nice Aunties and Uncles gave gifts to Ethan... he feels so loved already! But it was a rushed day cos Mummy and Daddy got free tickets to see Notre Dame de Paris at 3pm (it was very good). Ethan will be back next week!

Thursday 9 November 2006

Longest Sleep

Ethan just had his longest night time sleep ever! He was well behaved yesterday, and Mum took him for a walk to the nearby park all by themselves while Dad was at work. He was even well behaved at night and as you can see, he had a drink at Mum's Milk Bar at 1:10am then slept all the way until 6:30am when Dad's Drink Stop opened. He just now took 125ml from a bottle with Dad. Little Ethan is now 4.3kg at 6 weeks. Keep growing little fella - you'll be running around soon!

Wednesday 8 November 2006

Pizza Lunch

Mummy just got a new phone so she can now make video calls with Ethan and we are celebrating with a pizza lunch. This way, Ivan wont have to miss out when Ethan says his 1st words!

Tuesday 7 November 2006

Big Move

Now that Ethan is a big boy after passing his Full Month, it's time for him to have his own room and begin learning to sleep on his own. Although his bed has wheels on it, our corridor is a little too narrow for us to push it from our room to his. Once again Super Dad swung into action and swiftly dismantled the cot and reassembled it while Mummy fed and kept Ethan busy in the living room!

Ethan's room is now very comfortable and Daddy even fixed a built in night light that sits neatly at the bottom of the bed. Enjoy your new room Ethan!

Sunday 5 November 2006

Good Mood - Bad Mood

Ethan is so expressive. Here he is putting on two different faces with grandma... but he still looks cute even with the bad mood face!