Saturday 29 December 2007

A Day at the Beach

It was a beach outing day and we were all ready with our hats! You may have heard about our hat escapades during the Christmas Service at WEFC and here is Ethan with his hat! He's still struggling with seeing the point of it, though he always chuckles when he first sees Daddy with his own hat.

Ethan changed into his swimsuit and we walked out onto the sand. He was very puzzled when he first felt the squishy stuff on his toes but he took to it very quickly! We sat on the sand together and played with our dump trucks, rakes, and spades.

Ethan's favourite toy was the spade. We think it's because it looked like a giant spoon and reminded him of the food he loves. In fact, he tried eating the sand... twice... after which the not-so-good taste put him off repeat ventures. It was such a joy to see him having new experiences, learning new things, and enjoying himself. Now I really understand why parents are so happy when they see their children happy.

Mummy sat and played with Ethan too. Here is a video of him playing with the sand and his shovel. He'll have tonnes more fun when he's able to build sandcastles...

After a fantastic day we walked along the beach, drifting off into the sunset and refreshing ourselves with scrumptious food and the cool sea breeze...

Can you see Ethan still holding onto his spade?

Friday 28 December 2007

File Manager

Ethan followed Mummy to the Office for a bit 2 weeks ago and enjoyed exploring a whole new place now that he is much surer on his feet! He particularly liked my filing cabinet and made a thorough inspection to make sure my filing was up to scratch!
The other highlight of his visit was a grand tour of Wesley Hall courtesy of Michael (also known as our Key Master). Here he is examining Michael's handphone with fierce intensity -- giving Mummy a few more moments of peace!

Sunday 23 December 2007

Elfin' Ethan

Hee hee... check out Ethan's dancing elf moves! You have to click on the picture above to see him dance!

Saturday 22 December 2007

Play Time

We recently discovered (on a lazy afternoon when we had no more energy to play with our bundle of energy) that our wriggly toes sometimes sets Ethan off into peals of laughter!

Ethan's been really lucky -- getting new toys when it isn't even Christmas! Our neighbour upstairs was doing spring cleaning when we bumped into her in the lift...... and her Rocking Horse found a new home! Ethan enjoys rocking himself in it -- after which he gets down to inspect the wheels with an Ivan-esque intensity of concentration.......

But his all time favourite toy is still the Pooh Aeroplane that he got for his Birthday! Lots of lights, fan-like movements and what all little boys like -- speed!


This week, Ivan took some leave and we had a holi-day. We called it a holi-day because we still had some night ministry to attend to so it was only in the day! Since we weren't going overseas we planned fun things to do which included spending more money on yummy food. On the first day of holi-day we went to explore Parkway Parade and found yummy sashimi in a shop that felt like a mom-and-pop store out of Japan. There were also toys nearby where Father and Son took a ride together...

Being a Tuesday, this was followed by half-priced waffles at Gelare on the East Coast. Ethan sure loved his first bite of waffles! On the second day of holi-day we trooped over to Vivo City to try out the wading pools on the third floor. Ethan even brought his own swimsuit and towel. The weather was perfect and Ethan had a great time.

After splashing with Mummy and Daddy he sat for ages in the deeper part of the pool looking through the glass and splashing the water around him.

Splish splash... goes Ethan's feet. Water sure is fun!

Thursday 20 December 2007

Shokudo Pasta & Pizza

We got invited to Shokudo, Chi's new restaurant at CityLink, for a yummy pre-opening tasting. Always happy to oblige we joined other friends and Japanese afficiandos for a delicious evening. My favourites were the wasabi prawns and the grilled cod-fish with miso paste on pasta.

Brandon was the other super-cute and well-behaved baby there that evening - though he is still too young to know much of what was going on...

Monday 17 December 2007

Ikea Fun Park

Looking for places to go, we decided one day to make Ikea Tampines the destination for the day, and what a great choice is was. We discovered that Ikea is really a fun park - with free admission, free rides, and even free parking at Tampines. You only have to pay for food which is quite reasonable!

The day started off with a ride on the Spinning Egg Chair. We twirled Ethan around and around and he squealed with laughter so much that Daddy thought he better stop before Ethan may barf! Why is it that kids love getting dizzy? We also played on the Bouncing Air Bags and the Revolving Chairs in the nearby Happy Home Office section.

Ethan really enjoyed the Swinging Curtains - so much so that we were even thinking where we could hang this excellent exercise equipment in the house.

We then went to the driving circuit where Daddy's vroom vroom sounds completed the effects. It was a very happy time with Daddy as the car seat, engine, and sound-effects rolled into one as Ethan spun his steering wheel.

But by far the best time we had at the slides. This blog post is quite some time after the actual Ikea day - so we want to note this as Ethan's first time on a slide. I picked him up and put him at the top. He looked down the slide and then up at me very apprehensively. A little guiding push and as Ethan slid down his face changed to unabashed joy and excitement! He screamed with laughter and as he got off the bottom he immediately stretched towards the slide for another around. We must have done the slides close to 20 times that day! Ethan is hooked and it is extra fun at Ikea cos it is air-conditioned! Here is a video of Mummy bringing him on the slides for the umpteenth time!

Saturday 15 December 2007


Daddy's at it with the pasta again. A huge pot of "sea-shell" pasta with an arrabiata sauce sans chilli but with a touch of bacon and garlic made it all quite yummy. Ethan loves it but half-way through a meal he seems to get tired of chewing and slows down, so he's still learning to use his 6 teeth. We think tiny macaroni is easier for him to eat compared to these shells. We want to try "alphabet" pasta but we've only seen in at Carrefour and haven't had a chance to go back since. The yield this time was an amazing 20 servings! One entire shelf in our freezer is dedicated to Ethan's food!

Wednesday 12 December 2007

Laundry Boy

Ethan is fascinated by the curious whirring and watery noises coming from the washing machine so I thought I would put that curiousity to good use and introduce him to a new 'game' called "The Laundry Game"! It's still early days but we are trying to cultivate a healthy intrest in sorting coloured clothes from whites -- hopefully we can train our little laundry boy to help mummy real soon!

Wednesday 5 December 2007

Fish Chowder

It's a new recipe and it's a hit with Ethan! It's fish chowder... okay, it doesn't sound that great but think of clam chowder then morph it to baby-safe fish chowder... tada! Babies shouldn't take shell-fish cos it's likely to make them allergic but fin-fish is good so here it is. I used Dumex 1-Plus instead of cream and it actually tasted quite good. I'll definitely make it again but this time with more potatoes to thicken it further and with alphabet pasta cos I forgot it for this batch and the soup is a bit drippy for baby lips.

Tuesday 4 December 2007

Stair Master

One of Ethan's favourite forms of a morning workout when he visits his grandparents is climbing stairs. It seems to be quite a treat since we have no stairs for him at home! He loves scrambling up the stairs to all the toys upstairs -- now we just have to wait a couple of months before he can do the reverse!

Monday 3 December 2007

Love Those Walks

Ethan just loves walking around nowadays. At home he has a screaming good time pushing his Pooh aeroplane around the house, squealing with delight that he can do it all by himself. Daddy still his to help him turn it around to head back in the other direction, but Ethan can almost do that too...

Walking is even more fun when we're outside. He loves all sorts of things - shiny railings, travelators, and lots of lights. Here we are at the bridge next to the Indoor Stadium. Ethan walked the whole length of the bridge while we held his hands.

Wednesday 28 November 2007

Baby Onigiri

Was in the mood for experimenting with new foods for Ethan, so I tried making Baby Onigiri (rice balls)! Quite an interesting first try -- managed to get them to the size of a teaspoon and Ethan was able to eat them in 2 bites! Made some with fish fillings and some plain ones. They made good travel food and Ethan polished all of them off by mid morning!

Friday 23 November 2007

Captivating Esplanade

Yesterday we went to the Esplanade for a late afternoon outing and Ethan sure loved the new sights! There were these cool colourful hanging thingies... kind of like his mobile at home, but a more grown-up verson. Daddy to sat on the grass with him and while they hung out together, the colourful danglies hung just low enough for Ethan to stand up and play with them.

And stand he did! In fact, it was his most stable performance to date - more than 10 seconds per session as he balanced, wiggled, and showed us that the shoes we bought for him were a more than worthy investment.

We spent a long time sitting by the water's edge. Ethan really liked the view and we even ate cotton candy! Someone got his first taste, albeit very tiny, of sweet candy...

It was really nice to have our own little family outing!

What a fabulous day by all! Everyone enjoyed themselves and it was good value for money too: $2 parking + $1 cotton candy + $12 dinner at Marina Square's new Loft food court (great chicken curry mee)! The best thing were the memories of Ethan enjoying his time with the view and these photos capturing his fascination. The beach will be an upcoming destination in the near future...

Tuesday 13 November 2007

Rubber Time

Ethan never fails to be enthralled by his rubber sea urchin toy. Here he is entertaining himself with various permutations of elasticity after polishing off his lunch macaroni! We like the rubber toy too -- it gives us a few precious minutes to enjoy our lunch before someone gets restless again!

The Boys

Ethan loves hanging out with his Daddy and they often have a screaming good time together. (In fact he is screaming "Deh deh deh" excitedly as he peeks through the cot while I'm blogging now!) He is certainly losing his 'baby' looks and becoming more and more like a little boy now! This week we found him standing all on his own in the middle of our bedroom for quite a while--looks like he'll be toddling around very soon!

Sunday 4 November 2007

Eating on the Run

Ethan's milestone of turning one means that we can now adjust our modus operandi and do more things with him. One activity he enjoys since Gong Gong first started him on it a couple of months back is going shopping from the bird's eye view of a trolley!

Last week after buying a load of groceries we decided to grab a bite of lunch in the newly renovated food area outside the supermarket at Plaza Singapura. Unfortunately most of them were more like Take Away outlets -- and so the ever-useful shopping trolley became a high chair as well!

Wednesday 31 October 2007

Boys' Toys

We didn't think Ethan would take to hi-tech toys at such a young age, but he's been developing a deep attachment to techie toys like our computers and handphones...and we are quite amazed at the attention span he is able to give to these toys! So we have decided to give Ethan his very own handphone to play with. (Shh...don't tell him but it's actually Mummy's old handphone which still works well, has fun lights and even camera function but with SIM card removed.) I was amazed when a day later he had changed the wallpaper on the phone all by himself!

A strange feeling of deja vu hit me as I was looking at this photo of Ethan -- somehow his handphone fascination reminded me of someone else when he got his new handphone! (see Blog Post of 22 Sept 06) No mystery where Ethan gets his love of techie toys from!

Sunday 28 October 2007

Baby Food - Adult Food

It was time for Ethan to try his first pasta, so I attempted a modified bolognese with macaroni. Here is the first stage with my regular minced beef, onions, and herbs. But this time it was less garlic, less pepper, hardly any olive oil, and added carrots.

Canned tomatoes are easy to use for adult pasta, but I wanted to avoid the extra salt and had run out anyway. So in went some chopped cherry tomatoes and a tiny bit of sugar. The rich colour and consistency still required tomato paste though, which had some salt in it. It looked and smelled yummy.

The macaroni cooked in the meantime, and combining the two resulted in this army of macaroni bolognese. Unfortunately it has to be off to the freezer for this platoon, so Ethan will have to try his first pasta microwaved. Not exactly the choicest of options, but since al dente is too hard for him anyway I don't think it mattered too much.

After all that it was time for the taste-test. Not ours, but Ethans. Turns out that while he seems to like the pasta and the tomato sauce the beef (though as small as I could make it) took a bit of effort to chew as does the pasta. So he ate quite a bit slower than usual and seemed to get tired after all that chewing. Verdict: Partial success. Next time, more sauce and less meat!

As for mummy and daddy, we treated ourselves to grilled portobello mushrooms and a fresh hamburger patty melt on rustic bread with a lovely mixed salad. While Ethan's smelled and looked quite appetizing, ours was still better...

Thursday 25 October 2007


Switches and buttons, especially those with lights with absolutely fascinating nowadays. On, off, on, off goes the electricity. This also applies to elevator buttons, stereo amplifiers, DVD players, security access readers, microwaves, and whatever new things Ethan can get his curious hands on.

Wednesday 24 October 2007

Walking is Hard Work

Ethan's been hard at work practicing his standing, balancing, walking and (at grandparents') stair-climbing skills -- all important skills to be a fully mobile toddler! Going from all 4's to just 2 feet takes quite a bit of coordination. Here he is deep in contorted concentration while cruising around the chair in our living room! It sure makes me realise and appreciate how much coordination our bodies perform everyday in doing simple things like walking that we don't even think about!

Tuesday 23 October 2007

Chawan Mushi

Gosh! Look what gourmet delight mummy made for Ethan... it's chawan mushi for babies! This low-salt alternative still has bonito stock so it still has some saltiness as we're gradually relaxing the no-salt no-sugar guide since we're past 12 months. Mummy's chawan mushi is the smoothest and best there is (she says the secret is very slow steaming that takes 15-20 minutes to cook) and result is always delicious. Youre looking at the baby cup version without the shitake mushrooms but Ethan still lapped it all up. His expression changed and he grinned at mummy with a big smile on his first bite. He then proceeded to wolf it all down!

Monday 22 October 2007

I Think I'm In Control

Oh the joys of remote controls! Ethan quickly grabs one whenever it's in sight. The more buttons the better, so this stereo remote control isn't the best but it sure does make him happy. He's blasted us by turning up the volume to deafening decibel levels on a few occasions.

Thursday 11 October 2007

Rain Drops on My Head

Standing and exploring is much more fun than sitting down. So since Ethan now spends more time trying to get out of his baby bath rather than sitting in it, he has graduated to the shower. Here his favourite things to do are grab the silver coloured shower hose (he likes all wires and cables... doesn't know about wireless yet) and to feel the droplets spraying on him. He looks a little cross-eyed in this photo staring at the rain drops. You would too if you were trying to examine each one! Thankfully his eyes are normally straight at other times...

Wednesday 10 October 2007

Ethan Loves Music

Ethan loves to explore the TV and stereo when music is playing. Now that he can cruise along he likes to stand there, explore a little, and dance to the music. Though he enjoys sweetie baby music, he seems to prefer things with stronger rhythms and beats. In the middle of this range is this children's rendition of What A Friend We Have in Jesus!

New Haircut

Someone's hair was getting a bit long so we had a haircut this morning. It's quite tough to cut a wriggly baby's hair, especially when he keeps trying to turn around see what you're doing. As a result, things are always a bit uneven and today Ethan had a "hole" in his hair. Some doctoring of the cut resulted in an acceptable "tough guy" cut with short hair all around and longer one on top. Perhaps Ethan knew we were trying to ensure he is groomed well and looking handsome because he immediately grabbed the brush on his change table and began brushing his own hair!

You can't see the "hole" on this side nor his crooked fringe! He was getting restless so we had to stop and we'll continue the haircut tomorrow...

Tuesday 9 October 2007

De De

Ethan's first word! He repeats it very often... just that we're not 100% sure exactly what it means. The word is De De or de de depending on what you think it means!

What does this oft-repeated phrase conjure in Ethan's mind? It could be:
  1. Daddy (this is Ivan's vote, backed up by the fact that Ethan sometimes says De De when he sees a picture of his Daddy)
  2. Computer - as in compu-de-de (this is Ethan's favourite thing and he also says de de when looking at the PC even when it's off and no picture of Daddy is on it)
  3. Anything Electronic (Ethan sometimes says it when he sees a handphone)
  4. All of the above (Daddy is highly associated with the computer and handphone so de de could all these things which make him happy)
This has got me thinking. Poor mummies. They do most of the work of baby raising and the first word out of a babie's mouth is not usually "mama" because the Mmmm sound is more dificult than the hard De or Da sound. Is it the same with other languages I wonder?

New Eyes Checkup

Renata went for her one week checkup. All is healthy and she has 6/6 vision now. Near work makes her tired as her eyes are still adjusting but that should resolve by itself as she gets used to things. The normal dry eyes after effect is diminishing so all looks very well!

Ivan now has perfect vision in his right eye with 75 degree astimatism remaining in his left eye. We'll see if it resolves at the 3 month checkup. Looking at things with 2 eyes he has 6/6 vision so all is good.

Thursday 4 October 2007

Egg Sandwich

Babies can eat bread and egg yolks (not the whites) so this morning after his milk, Ethan had the yolks on toast. Unfortunately no salt or butter for him yet though. These little egg-sandwiches were baby-sized so they could fit into his mouth. So cute!

Monday 1 October 2007

New Eyes

Look who just got LASIK! After an unqualified success for Ivan, it was Renata's turn under the excimer laser. Poor Renata had the vision of a bat with 1300 degrees of myopia and mild 75 astigmatism. The 1 day checkup was good so the most critical part of healing is over. We'll report back with her vision a week later!

For a very short period, none of the family needs glasses. We say very short, because with genes from us the next person likely to need them is Ethan!

Sunday 30 September 2007

Brunch Date - No Ethan!

We left Ethan with Grandma and Grandpa to enjoy an anniversary brunch ALONE together! We tried not to talk about Ethan but had to keep reminding ourselves. Here we are at lovely P.S. Cafe in Dempsey Rd. It's our second time here, the first being with family, and the review is the same - Great food, great lush forest ambience, sub-standard ambivalent service. But we enjoyed our couple time and the super movie afterwards... Ratatouille!