Archive for November, 2009

Sandy Fun

Ever since Asher started walking I’ve been keen to bring him to the beach again, but it’s the rainy season and sunshine is hard to find. So when it appeared to be a fine day, we decided to bring Asher to East Coast Park after church & lunch. Joe came with us, and he dubbed the day “spontaneous day” because lunch at Waffletown (our latest nonstalgic haunt!) was unplanned, and the beach stop was impromptu too :)

The last time we went to East Coast, we found a nice stretch of beach near the old Big Splash. The sand was clean, the beach came up quite high such that the ground was level, and there was some shade. So that’s where we headed to this time again. Asher immediately started playing with the sand when we put him down. After demonstrating how he could use his cups and funnel to make little sand castles, he tried to make them too, but failed to do the most important step – actually putting sand in the cup :O) So he ended up just swishing the cups around in the sand. Tried playing another game of uncovering his toys which were buried in the sand, and he could do that one quite easily :)

I have to teach him picnic manners though. He happily tracked sand all over the mat each time he wanted to get to the other side! Going around the mat must totally not have crossed his mind, afterall, there’s technically nothing in his way! Besides getting sand all over the mat, he got sand in mind hair, on his face, in his shirt, and as I later found out, in his diaper too! :) I didn’t even realise just how much sand he had got into his hair until I was showering him later at night. I had to wash his hair at least thrice, and give it a good rinse each time!

Anyway, it looks like he had fun, and it’ll be great when JC can join in the sandy good time too :)

Asher with his new backpack that the doctor gave. Couldn’t resist letting him carry his play cups and funnel in it :) Behind in the top right corner is the Carl’s Junior star which Asher always points to and excitedly goes “dar”!

Getting down to business

He liked dredging his hands through sand that had been in the shade to feel the coolness in his fingers. He literally dredged his hands to-and-fro, to-and-fro.

Jon hijacking Asher from the sand for some play himself :)

Taking a lie down as a family

Sand all over his face! Decided to just take off his shirt since it was getting all sandy :)

Having a drink, but not quite a break, cos he was walking all over the place as he drank.

Back to play!

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More Infantcare Updates

More pictures from infantcare :)

Cooking up a storm, and Asher’s taste-testing

Playing catch-the-ball with Charlotte

Toys galore!

Munching on a plastic egg. Don’t know why, he really likes that egg!

Reading time!

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Cake or muffin, whatever you choose to call it, and depending on whether you bake it in little cups or in a square tin. As mentioned in the previous post, I had experimented to create a no egg, no sugar recipe for baby cakes. I was surprised at the dearth of recipes such as these because I thought many would have been keen to find sugarless recipes, and might have been concerned about whole eggs for their babies. But I suppose usually babies just miss out on cake, which sounds quite sad to me – hence the desire to experiment :)

Anyway, here’s my humble contribution to the world of baby food. If you have any suggestions on how to better improve it, please share!

1. 4 small bananas / 1 big banana – squashed
2. 2 small red apples – grated
3. 1 tbsp unsalted butter
4. 25ml or 1/8 cup milk (can be expressed breastmilk, formula, or whole milk)
5. 2 cups flour
6. 1 tsp baking soda

1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
2. Mix the wet ingredients (1-4) together.
3. Separately, mix the dry ingredients (5-6).
4. Combine.
5. Pour into muffin cups (or whatever other container of your choosing), and put in oven for about 15mins.

Done! Yields about 14 small muffins/cakes.

Easy peasy :) And it’s been taste-tested by the following tots – Aidan & Anya (who both tried version 1, which was more like kueh), Josiah, Emma, and of course, Asher!

For variation, and if your baby has already been introduced to it, you can add cinnamon for an extra twist. Cinnamon is really good for babies – supposedly an excellent source of manganese, iron, fibre and calcium. It supports the digestive system and can kill ‘unfriendly’ bacteria like E. coli. Plus, it tastes great! Asher likes cinnamon with his fruits like apples, pears and bananas :)

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Asher’s one! How quickly time passes. Yet, how slowly as well.

It doesn’t seem like very long ago when we heard Asher’s first cry, but yet, so much has happened this year that it seems like such a long year!

Time is strange, and I’ll never fully understand it.

What I do know is that I’ve treasured all the wonderful moments spent getting to know Asher, even if that involved changing his poopy diapers. And with each passing day, with each aspect of his personality that I’m discovering, I’m loving him more and more :)

Asher, you are an affectionate boy who loves to give Mummy hugs and kisses, and enjoy being smoothered with hugs and kisses from everyone as well. You have a good sense of humour, and easily get the joke. And when you do, you can break into the most infectious chuckle I’ve ever known :) You are very active, and a phrase I commonly hear since you were just a few months old is, “It’s so difficult to take photos of Asher – he’s always a blur because he can’t stop moving!”

You like flowers (“ba-ber”), birds (“bir”), buses (“bah”), bikes (“bie”), balloons (“ba-boon”), balls (“boh”), and stars (“dar”, with hands opening and closing) – somehow most of the words you’re learning to say start with ‘b’ :) Some might think I’m a silly over-eager mummy believing that you really do know the difference between all these things, but I do know you know – you’ve shown me :) Other things that you like that you can’t really say yet are trees, dogs, cats (did you say “meow” yesterday when you saw the cat?), and lights. I love seeing you squeeze your eyes shut to discover how the world magically disappears when you close them, and your amused laugh and the sparkle in your eyes when you open them again are some of the little things I will remember fondly.

You love playing “peekaboo”, and you are so fun to play catching with. You also can’t resist combing your hair when you see the comb! Maybe because your hair can get quite messy cos it grows so quickly! You’ve had 4 haircuts in one year! You’re starting to eat from a spoon yourself, but often make a (huge) mess still :) Three days before your birthday you also decided you needed a new party trick and started walking! And it was amazing to me that in a few days, your walking skills just improved more and more. From 3 steps, to 5 steps, to a few tiles, to across the entire hallway!

For Asher’s birthday we organised a baby party in the morning, and had a gathering for family in the afternoon. I thought it would be nice for Asher’s friends to be over for his birthday, instead of just ‘big people’. Since babies are most alert and lively in the morning, we arranged for the baby party between 930-12, strategically placed after his breakfast and before his nap :) The afternoon sessionon started at 2pm so that Asher could have a proper rest, and take his lunch too. No nap = cranky baby, so nap time is important to plan around!!

For the baby party Josiah (plus Joanne L. and Jian Ming), Aidan (plus Terrence and Sharon), Emma (plus Clarence), and Jo Claire (plus Joanne S.) came. The little tots looked like they had a good time playing together – even if sometimes it was more like playing side by side :) Children know no strangers, and everyone was a friend. They got along so well that Josiah even generously shared his drum…and his credit card! Yep, the little boy has 1C already ;) Guess which baby was eager to take his credit card? Emma! Okok, I’m playing to stereotypes when I shouldn’t. It wasn’t just the girl, Aidan seemed quite happy to borrow Josiah’s credit card too.

We made pancakes and cupcakes for the parents, while the babies had home-baked baby cakes. I had experimented to create a baby-friendly cake which all of Asher’s friends could eat regardless of how old they were. Most baby cake recipes I had seen usually included sugar and eggs, but I’m not keen on adding sugar to his food yet, and not all babies have started on whole eggs. I used apples in lieu of sugar, and omited eggs altogether. My first attempt yielded something more like kueh, and Asher found the texture to be totally disagreeable. He didn’t even give it a chance! He took it in his hand, and deciding that it was too gooey/sticky for his liking, he proceeded to throw it across the room – making very clear his opinion on that first experiment. To be fair to myself, the taste wasn’t half bad, and in fact Anya and Aidan quite happily ate the cake. But what’s the point of having a birthday cake Asher won’t eat? So I tweaked the proportions and experiment number 2 was a success! It was definitely more muffin like, and Asher seemed to like it quite a lot, much to my joy! So that was the cake we served up on Asher’s birthday, and the babies all took to it – yay! I’ll include the recipe in a separate post :)

Besides baby cakes we had a range of snacks for the little ones, which came in handy mid-morning when almost all of them decided they were peckish and needed a snack.

I enjoyed the morning session and found it entertaining just to watch the children crawl/toddle around and interact. Hopefully all Asher’s guests (and parents) had a good time too!

Baby party favors

Aidan & Josiah checking out the scooter

Breaking for snacks

Round-chair discussion

I love Emma’s ‘yoga’ tights!

Chilling on the playmat

Jon surrounded by babies :)

JC & mummy

Are you dancing Asher? :)

Group shot! See Emma crawling away? :)

The afternoon was definitely a more adult affair, and Sharon (who had stayed on from the morning) and I made a similar observation – adults are noisier! Besides Asher and Aidan, the third ‘A’ cousin, Anya, came for the party too. She was supposed to have come in the morning, but was down with a slight fever so stayed home to rest. It was good to see our relatives and to have them share in this little, happy occasion :)

Grandpa Quah & Grandpa Nair with the grandchildren

The fighting for toys has begun!

They decide to focus on different toys :)

Enjoying Malay food for lunch

Baby cakes on the left, adult cake on the right

Birthday paparazzi

I like this photo. He is just tall/short enough to walk through my legs while standing straight :) I’m sure there will come a time when I’ll need him to sit for me to talk with him eye-to-eye!

The next morning was cold and rainy – perfect for staying in to open presents. But Asher was more interested in the bags the gifts came in! The one thing he refused to let go of was his ‘happy birthday’ balloon, which he carried with him everywhere he went :)

Finally got him to open some presents – this one is from his teachers!

I’m not sure, but maybe Asher had an inkling that that day was a special day, even if he did not quite know its significance. In any case, I just hope he had fun playing and being with friends and people who love him.

Asher, happy birthday! Mummy and Daddy love you no end! And we pray that the next year will only get better and better :)

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