International Love | Bpa Olay & Tao

Since the news that we would be turning into a family of three, my family had been kicking around the idea of flying out to be here for the birth of Louis. After several plans were drafted, edited and finally confirmed…it came down to just my older sister and mom witnessing his grand debut, which was perfectly fine with us. They arrived on the 13th of April with the sole intention of getting baby boy out of me so they could cuddle and love on him before flying back home.

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Oh, these ladies…they unnecessarily waited TWO HOURS in the baggage/customs area. First thing I heard when they walked through the door was, “we almost divorced at the airport.” Ah, yes, family.

We walked around A LOT. And it being the hot season, walking happened a good bit in air conditioned malls or shopping centers. (Sidenote: I am the black sheep of the family for my lack of interest in shopping. Please imagine being 39 weeks pregnant having swollen cankles, lower back pain and already dilated at 3 cm…waddling amongst clothes, wares and people. This is true love.) We kept them awake as long as we could their first day by giving them a good dose of sensory overload at Big C (a local version of H-Mart or Walmart) and then getting splashed with buckets of water while riding around in a tuktuk — it was Songkran, after all.

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The girl legitimately loves mumus and was thrilled to see racks of them. Ridiculously awesome.


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Mango was the flavor of the month, so we treated them to ice cream at Swenson’s.

While my mom was gone visiting family in Laos for a couple of days, the children — aka us –continued traipsing around the Nonthaburi area in between our visiting and vegging out at home. (It is in this time of waiting for labor to begin that we coined the phrase “Let’s PSYCH out” which meant marathon viewings of the buddy comedy show on our laptop.) We wandered around The Mall Ngamwongwan and ate at Sumi Yakiniku because we really wanted grilled meat the second day they were here, explored the many shops of Chatuchak Mall (the market is only opened on the weekend) for gifts another day and even made friends with a little boy at Fuji while eating sushi at Central Rattanathibet the next day.

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Finally, after several nights of contractions keeping me and Dan up until 4am, the big ones hit on Thursday night and we were off to the hospital in the wee hours of the 18th. Dear sister o’ mine was kind enough to photograph me in the throes of contractions  — I’m pretty sure I grumble yelled at her to quit taking pictures. Louis arrived 5 hours after leaving for the hospital and was soon wrapped up in many pairs of arms and smooched on his squishy cheeks as much as possible.

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Look at the joy just emanating from my very being…


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worth it

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Ba (which means older maternal aunt in Lao) Olay and Tao (shortened version of maternal grandmother) got to spend the next 8 days loving on the little man; we would try to send them out to get food and explore them with the help of our friends here, but aside from an outing to Ari for dinner at Salt and another shopping spree at the Platinum Mall, they were quite content to eat som tum and gai yang from local restaurants or sois and just hang out at our home to dote on the newest member of our family.

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Would you just look at that swaddled up snuggle bug?!?

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Happy grandma!

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Oh, I miss her so very much.

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Surprise! (edition no.3)

The Asian water monitor. Varanus salvator. Tua hia. Tua ngoen-tua tong. The stuff of nightmares.

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No thank you.

(Image via this Bangkok Post article)

Whatever you choose to call it, the school grounds aka our apartment complex was briefly home to one of these creatures. Unfortunately — or is it fortunately — neither Dan nor I have an eye witness account to report of this visit. (Thanks to being in a sleep deprived daze of new parenthood.) The story goes that one of the school workers was cleaning around the bridge we have and left something open that allowed the water monitor to creep out of the khlong and onto our campus. It was subsequently spotted and an APB was put out to teachers and staff since summer school was in session.

Chalk this up to another thing I wouldn’t have imagined existed in the ‘burbs of Bangkok. And, really, that picture is terrifying. Doesn’t it look anthropomorphic with its head raised aloft over its kill? Again, no thank you.

 

 

Letter to Louis | One Month

Sweet Louis!

You are one month plus two days old now and currently passed out after guzzling your 2nd breakfast for the day. (It’s 10am as I type this, by the way, my brave strong boy.) You are a hobbit in the making with that kind of appetite, and we couldn’t be more thrilled or proud…just make sure you’re not the hiding, harumphing kind of hobbit.

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You had your check up on Sunday and the nurse taking your vitals was quite impressed by your weight gain of nearly 3 lbs since birth and thought your little boop of a nose — that’s the best way to describe it — was pretty darn cute. We agree. You got your 2nd Hepatitis B shot on your thigh by Dr. K.Krit and that was rather hard to witness. (Why do you hold your breath when you cry??? It’s much too dangerous for my heart to watch.) Your dad rubbed my back while I rubbed your belly. It was a close call but only your tears were shed in that moment.

And that’s a good picture of how things have been this first month as a family. Your dad is ever watching and caring for the two of us, and I frankly have no idea how he’s not crumbling under it all. (Well, I do know — Abba is so very kind and fueling us every day with His love and peace and grace.) And me? I’m learning all the more how to deal with having my very heart wiggling/walking around outside of my body. When it’s just you in the world, you can stash your heart away, if you like, and keep it all safely tucked away. But to know love, and to know love like this…good lawdy lawd, you have to put it all out there! And then everything you hold dear on this earth is running around in one man and squirming about in one very little boy. Who eat too much food and too fast (don’t drown, you drunken sailor!) and get sad, and can make the most face palm inducing decisions!

Oh, it’s a wonder my dear sweet Louis. A beautiful, baffling and blessed wonder.

Love,
Mama