Sunday, May 31, 2009


Ikea is probably the greatest place on earth and it seems like little Ethan agrees. We had to get some furniture for our new place and after going to a million furniture stores and visiting Ikea twice in the process we finally just decided to go ahead with Ikea. In other words, yes, we are pretty cheap people. =P I figure it's affordable and looks nice and while it's not terrific quality we will be moving in two years so if we want we can just toss the furniture without too much heartache.

Once of our items was on back order and finally came in stock the other day so we had to visit the store to pay for the item and get it shipped to our house (apparently they do not allow you to pay for furniture in advance and you have to go in person to buy an item which is probably my only complaint about the furniturappolis). We decided to make the trip late in the afternoon and since Ethan usually goes to bed by 6:30 PM we had basically 3 hours to get there and back. While Ethan has gone to bed past his usual bedtime without problems he is like a rooster and wakes up with the sun no matter what time he makes it to bed. Asleep by 5 PM? Asleep by 8:30 PM? It's still at 5:30 AM wake up. So while it's not the end of the world for him to sleep late, he does wake up a bit cranky because he is not as well rested. So a 3 hour trip to the outside world is no problem you say? Uh, it was like mission impossible. Here is why:

  • First a walk from our house to the ferry pier (15 minutes). We could have taken a bus but see above for the aforementioned disclaimer that we are cheap and actually the bus just whizzed by us just as we were leaving the house.
  • Next a ferry ride to Central on the HK island. (25 minutes). Ethan loves the ferry and looking out at water and boats.
  • A stroll from the dock to the MTR station (10 minutes).
  • Metro ride to Causeway bay - shopping mecca and home of the greatest furniture store on earth (10 minutes). Ethan's first metro ride!

  • Walk from MTR station to Ikea (5 minutes).
  • What was supposed to by a quick chat with costumer service regarding payment of our item turned into a brief perusal of the entire store since they force you to walk through it to get to customer service. Sneaky! Ethan was enamored by some puppets they had on display and lunged after the toy. After laughing uncontrollably at it, we of course had to buy it for him. (15 minutes to speed walk through Ikea + 5 minutes for Ethan to ogle and play with puppet + 10 minutes to go through checkout to buy said puppet + another 15 minutes at customer service).
  • Return trip back home (65 minutes).
  • Factored in wait time for public transport between legs of the trip (10 minutes)
Whew. Did we make it? Yes, barely, but then we had to have dinner, a bath, some milk, a story and then Ethan was off the bed at record time.

Here was Ethan playing with all the goodies glommed from Ikea the next day:

You mean, I can use this to create a breeze that will keep me cool? Mommy, you are a silly one.

Whoa, weird sea creatures magically appeared on Daddy's hand!

How come when the dragon talks the sound comes from your mouth?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Duanwu Festivus

Yesterday we celebrated the Duanwu Festival (aka the Dragon Boat Festival) by heading down to partake of the festivities in the DB plaza. We ate tons of yummy food (including the requisite zongzi - sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaf), watched some dragon boat racing, and checked out the different food and clothing booths that lined the plaza and beach. which food booth should we hit on next?

Cute dog balloon (which after Ethan got a hold of it, unravelled in 20 seconds flat).

Avert your eyes, it's a double butt shot.

Dragon boats (way way in the background. My camera does not zoom in well).

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yes Yes No No

Ethan has learned how to shake his head no. We've never shook our head at him so I don't know where he got this from, but he started to do it on his own and then later equated it to the words 'no no'.

If we say 'no no' to him, he will shake his head in response and then smile and proceed to do whatever we told him not to do (usually crawling to an area that is not childproofed and unsafe or trying to ingest something that is not food). He is cute though so he gets away with it. At this stage he is still easily distracted so we can just show him another toy or read him a story and it usually does the trick.

What does Ethan say 'yes yes' and 'no no' to? Let's find out!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Getting Scrunchy!

An ode to Ethan's scrunchy face. He has been doing this face for the last few months but it has slowly evolved - before it was just a furrow of the brows (I mean, that was the face I was greeted with on the day he was born) but now he has added a pursing of the mouth as well. This is not an unhappy face - actually far from it. I think he actually does the face to make us laugh. He will periodically pause from eating or playing with his toys and make a scrunchy and when we make the face back at him he starts laughing.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Singing in the Rain

Over here the umbrella is used year round - to hide from the hot mid-day sun and of course to shield from the rain as well. It was icky and rained the entire weekend (boo...but I suppose it is typhoon season after all). We decided to risk getting soaked and walked to the plaza to have brunch anyways. Whenever we use the umbrella, Ethan absolutely insists on helping us hold it the entire time. He holds it with an iron clad grip and if fact only very reluctantly relinquishes it when we make it safely indoors and have to put it away. I suppose he thinks he is being chivalrous - what a considerate 9 month old. ;)

We had brunch at Zaks and it was shockingly good. A salmon and brie omelet for Bob and a spinach, ham and egg ciabatta for me. Yum! Ethan of course ate his own lunch (red lentils and rice followed by some yogurt melts) and then tasted the better part of ours as well. I think we might make have to make this into a weekly tradition.

Friday, May 22, 2009

First Swing Ride

We finally found parks with swings! And not just one, but all the playgrounds near our house have swings. Yippee. Nai Nai and I took Ethan for his first swing ride:

Not really sure about this strange new contraption you put me in.

Whoa, this thing moves.

Um. Are you sure about this?

Okay, this does seem like fun.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

9 Month Stats

We had our 9 month appt. yesterday. Everything looked great! The doctor kept calling Ethan 'juicy' which I suppose is a euphemism for fat...or what I like to think of as cubbalicious. Here is to my juicy baby!

9 Month Stats:
Weight: 19 lbs 13 ou (40%)
Height: 28.7 in (69%)
Head Circumference: 44.5 cm (40%)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Drumroll please...

Today for Mother's Day I got the best gifts imaginable. First Bob came back home in time to spend the day with us and secondly (get ready for it) Ethan said his first real word! After weeks and weeks of hearing Dadadada and Babababa with the occasional Mama thrown in there (okay it was only said twice and probably in my own imagination), he finally said his first real word....MaMum! Usually I will wait a few days to make sure he really did something intentionally but because it's a special day I'm going to call it early. Twice today he said MaMum, the first was when I left the room and he got upset that I was leaving and called it out. The second time Bob was holding him and he turned to look at me, leaned towards me and said it again. Yea! I love hearing his little voice and I can't wait until he can really talk and communicate to us.

In other news, Ethan also can now wave good-bye. He does a cute little wave where he just curls all his fingers open and closed. He is the cutest ever.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Separation Anxiety Part Duex

This has been one exhausting week. Poor Ethan is exposed to yet another brand new environment and I think his unfamiliar surroundings and especially his new room has caused another bout of separation anxiety. Bob, the lucky duck, is back in SF (so jealous!) for a business trip so who gets to deal with the hardcore wailing at 3 AM? It's all me baby.

While before Ethan would always fall asleep immediately at bedtime (because we have established a pretty good bedtime routine ever since he was 2 months old) he now tries to keep himself awake and us in the room. It has been taking over a hour now for him to fall asleep for the night and he has started to wake up during the night as well and of course it takes a long time to get him back to sleep after he wakes up. If I am in the room with him he is okay because he can see me, but he will crawl to whatever side of the crib is nearest me and pull up/sit/repeat for what seems like forever. Then he will finally get so tired that he will lie down and just as he is falling asleep he will wake himself up to check to see if I am still there. So I now pat his back to reassure him of my presence until he falls asleep. I know I shouldn't encourage him and just reassure him and then leave the room, but I feel so bad that he is going through this and I think this separation anxiety really was triggered by our move. I think Ethan is finally getting better now though as today he let me walk of out his room and fell immediately to sleep for his naps. We will see how nighttime goes. The one bright spot is now Ethan is sleeping from 7 PM to 7 AM (even though he started to wake up once or twice a night) whereas before he slept from 6 PM to 5 AM. The 5 AM shift was killer and I'm really hoping his new sleep schedule sticks.

So if you are like me and can use a smile here is a video clip of Ethan playing with our laptop mouse (for some reason he found it hilarious if we tried to tug the mouse away from him).

Monday, May 4, 2009

9 Months Old!

-Pulling up on anything and everything. He even tries to pull up on flat walls (that doesn't work too well though. He gets up to his knees but after trying valiantly to grip the walls and stand he gives up and goes to sit back down. He can sit/stand on his knees/grab the walls repeatedly for half an hour. I guess I need to get more things in his playroom that he can pull up on). Sometimes I find him in the middle of the night standing in his crib. He knows how to get back down safely though so that is a relief.

Yes those are baby legs that he is wearing. Bob objects to leggings for boys but if it protects his knees I'm all for it. I secretly think that they are cute on him though!

-Crawling everywhere. I can't leave him alone for a second. He been army crawling for quite awhile but only started to crawl for real two weeks ago. I think he goes faster while army crawling for some reason, and he sometimes reverts to it if he really wants something quickly, but for the most part he is crawling on hands and knees.

-He recognizes himself in the mirror (it's not just another baby).
-Ethan now plays with his toys instead of just grabbing and mouthing them. He bangs his toys together, he knows how to push buttons or turn knobs to get the toy to respond. He likes to flip the light switches off and on. He knows how to find objects if I hide them in front of him and when he drops his spoon or object from his highchair he will look at it and then me to indicate that I should pick it up for him.
-I think he understands what things are off limits. If I pull him away from something and tell him 'no no', he still goes after it again but right when he gets to the object or area that is off-limits he will pause and look at me as if to check if it is okay for him to do what he wants to do. Or else maybe he just wants to see if I will catch him in the act.
-No new new sounds but he is stringing his consonants now and going ABaBaBaBa for long periods of time. He is definitely more vocal these days and babbles a lot - especially when we take him out for walks. I don't know if he is 'commenting' on the new sights that he sees or else he is bored and feels the need to entertain himself by talking.
-This is not a milestone but Ethan is really interested in texture these days. He can slap, scratch, or run his fingers over anything that has a different texture for an inordinate amount of time. He likes rough or course textures like weathered stone columns or burlap bags or the wooden woven fabric on our closet doors.

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Favorite Food: Anything and everything. I don't think there is a veggie/protein/fruit out there that he does not like.
Favorite Book: Still sparkle board books and books by Leslie Patricelli. I guess either Ethan has very consistent taste or else this is a sign that we need new material to read. Hopefully now that Bob is in the states (business trip) he can buy us some.
Favorite Toy: Ethan puffy hearts the springy bird on his booster seat tray. I think if he could finally just achieve his goal of tasting the bird the love affair might be over but alas he can't quite reach it (which is in my best interest because I need something to entertain him while I get his food ready).

Favorite Color: Ethan still is captured by red objects but I think his new favorite color is green. At the indoor playground there are different colored sections and he will crawl around until he gets to the green mats and then stop to play there. If he sees a choice of object in different colors he will always go for the green ones first. At least we know that he isn't color-blind!
Favorite Activity: Toss up between bath time and story time. He giggles like a madman and splashes and chases toys while the bath. As for story time, whenever I show him a book he gets really excited and waves his arms and kicks his legs around until I start reading. Then he listens intently and goes to flip the page for me whenever I pause during my reading. Sometimes I think he might like the flipping part the best but he seems pretty interested in the story too.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mr. Cool

My mom is back in town visiting (ok, helping us move - yes you heard right, we moved again - to our permanent residence in HK) and she decided to teach Ethan the importance of looking cool.

Cute look but it might work better if my eyes were open.

Yes, yes, I am all that.

I'm a little perturbed though that my sunglasses fit Ethan so well (I guess my head is really that small).


Ethan won the picture of the week (POTW) contest on by being the cutest Easter baby (all the babies were very cute regardless - I mean how can you resist any baby in Easter best or bunny ears?). Go Ethan! I know I'm silly for caring, but my world is now very small (but very fulfilling).


Last week we went to Macau for a day trip. Apparently when you apply for a residential visa you have to be out of the district (we had to be out of HK but I guess other areas of China still count) on the day that you file for the visa and also the day that the visa is given. It is quite silly. But free trip to Macau! It was a sucky day to go however since there was torrential downpours so we basically stayed inside the casinos. Well, not the casino itself but the connecting hotels. We did get to enjoy a nice boat ride to Macau, gallery hopping, and finally a nice leisurely lunch. Ethan loves being outside since everything is so new to him. We were a bit worried about his napping schedule being off kilter but he napped on us and had a great time looking at all the sights. And no sea sickness (unlike his daddy). Hopefully we can go again and really explore the area and all the cool architecture it boasts.

Father and son bonding on the ferry.

Family shot inside the MGM Grand.

While Mommy and Daddy got to eat yummy french food, Ethan got to gnaw on some delicious bread (don't call CPS, he had his lunch beforehand).

The globe in the Wynn opens up every 15 minutes to display a huge tree that slowly changes colors. It looks much more impressive in real life than it sounds.