Week 3 Highlights

A look back at our third week living in Vientiane.

Noe and I are in Chiang Mai (Thailand) this weekend accompanying Lori on a work trip. It’s an interesting weekend to be in Chiang Mai, with celebratory Ok Phansa, marking the end of three months of Buddhist Lent, falling in the midst of the mourning period for the (much beloved) Thai King who reigned for 70 years and passed only three days ago. But more on our trip later. Here’s a recap of the previous week, our third week living in Laos. A busy week, but not a lot of photos. I promise we’ll make up for it in Chiang Mai!

Noe enjoyed hanging out on the chair in the front room (above), that I set up his monkey blanket and scooted it up right against the window to make a little play for him, so he could be close to daddy’s desk, catch the breeze and get some natural light in the morning. We’re looking forward to moving into our house next week and having an array of outdoor play options at home! For now, Noe’s done a great job adapting to the limitations of the apartment and the tropical climate — having AC in his bedroom has undoubtedly aided his adjustment. I try and limit the AC to sleep time. Wouldn’t want to spoil the kid…

Noe’s new thing lately has been squawking and screeching at the top of his lungs when he gets tired. Over the past few weeks, he’s been going down for naps on his own with minimal intervention from us, save for about five minutes of quiet protest. He still does this, but adds high-pitched screeching to the mix, which isn’t as fun to listen to as tired baby babble. He also has found it very amusing to do this at the most inopportune times, say at a nice restaurant or Buddhist temple.

In other news, we are still fighting the Battle of the Leaky Diapers. All the diapers here just don’t fit the guy as well as the ones back in the U.S. Everything seems to find its way out the top of the rear of his diaper somehow. Until our cloth diapers arrive in our freight, we’re combating this by using one of our cloth diaper covers, which seems to have nipped the problem in the bud for now, but has created a new problem: Bulky cover over bulky diaper means he fits into fewer of his onesies. Again, not a problem when our freight gets here, but for now, we’re having to do a lot more washing than anticipated. The upside to the bulky diaper cover? It’s quite the object of fascination among locals who all want to know what exactly the Falangbebe is sporting down under. Not always an upside, but the source of many an interesting encounter…

A little slice of the nighttime activity in our neighborhood. Just one of dozens of local eateries that fire up just after sunset. My favorite time of day in Vientiane is just around sunset when the temperature is pleasant, people are out and the smell of grilling meat and herbs is everywhere.

Speaking of food, back at our favorite local place, slowly working our way through the complete menu. Today, Lao Sausage (center) and fresh spring rolls (right). The bowl full of fresh greens at the far left is pretty much part of what Laotians consider condiments. Lettuce, green beans, mint, lime and chilis pretty much come with every meal. Today, something extra: rice paper for rolling our own.

We always pass this Chinese-style restaurant on our way to the local place we go to and say we’ll check it out, but haven’t yet. Who can deny “All-in-One Restaurant & Karaoke”? Apparently, we can, a half dozen times so far.

Must be that time of the week? The day we start itching for something different besides Lao food for lunch and dinner. It’s short-lived, but when the option is there, it’s hard to resist. Lori passed this place — Sea Sunset Bistro — on her way home from a work meeting. We returned that evening and found it to be delicious, but quite expensive. Good to know we have the option of a good burger if we start to get a hankering, but will be sticking mostly to our usual for a while. Admittedly, as awesome as all the food we’ve been eating has been, I’m looking forward to cooking again when we get settled into the house.

When we’re out and about, Noe rides in his Ergo with mommy (or daddy — yes, I carry him around too, but I’m also the primary one who takes photos, so unless I start carrying a selfie stick, it’s Lori’s going to be getting all the credit — and to her credit, she does carry him most of the time). Lori frequently asks me, “Are his eyes or opened or closed?” when he should be sleeping. Noe told me that he’ll keep saving the poopy diapers until mommy gets home if I keep my mouth shut. “Yes, honey…he’s totally out”…

So, in these here parts, we sometimes have to get creative. The other night, we bought a beer at the corner mini-mart to enjoy at home. Only problem is, we don’t yet have a single bottle opener in our apartment. We have one in our freight, but don’t have our freight yet, and can’t stomach buying one if we already have one on its way. Thankfully we had a hair brush!

Thanks to my brother-in-law for showing me how to open a beer bottle with almost anything — and I do stress the word almost.

On a completely unrelated (and totally conventional note), we had Noe weighed the other day…

A whopping 15 pounds! (the bag weighed 0.9). Our little chunk-a-munk is growing like a weed!

And, yep, that’s our luggage scale and portable crib bag. The most disturbing thing about this was how much he liked being in there. I’m sure he was happy to a few moments free of mommy and daddy’s antics. Sorry buddy. You’re kind of stuck with us.

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