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...