Saturday, April 28, 2007

Where did the time go?

Our "summer" vacation is almost over! John has to go back to work the second week of May; he doesn't actually start teaching until May 21, but he has to show up for orientation and planning meetings. I go back to work. . .oh, wait, I have to find a job first! I have a few leads though, and I don't think it will be too hard to find something. I just need to work 10-15 hours a week, hopefully in chunks so I can be home to feed the baby most of the time.

This month has been very hot - high of 102 degrees - but overall, not as hot as I expected after hearing everyone talk about April. Maybe it was just unusually mild, I'm not sure. We've had some rain, which cooled things down, and we've actually been able to get out of the house a few times without melting within minutes. We bought Trea a kiddie pool the end of March - the day I had Adia, actually - and she has really enjoyed that.

We decided on Adia Nicole. It's official. Getting the birth certificate was a bit of an adventure (isn't everything here?) One of the bus drivers from the school took John to get it, because this guy - his name is Pi Noi - knows all the ropes and the people who work in the government offices. It was a good thing he took John too, because it was a pretty obscure little place. John went in, and they told him he needed to get our passports translated. They also told him to have Pi Noi take them to the translation service, because they would be more likely to overcharge a farang. So off Pi Noi goes. In the meantime, John sits down and starts studying his Thai-English dictionary. Suddenly the employees are all curious. "Oh, you can read Thai? How long have you lived here? Can you write it?" He says yes, he can write it as well, and they give him the forms to fill out. (Thais love it when you can speak even a little of their language, because so few people bother, but if you can read and write it they think you're even cooler.) Pi Noi came back at this point and said the translation people wanted 400 baht per page for the passports. That's over ten dollars a page! So then the employee at the government office offers to do the translation for 200 baht total. John pays her 200 baht, gets the birth certificate, and gives Pi Noi a hundred baht for his trouble. It pays to speak the local language, people start doing you favors!

We also had to get the birth certificate translated into English for when we go to the U.S. Embassy to get the Consular Report of a U.S. citizen born abroad, and Adia's passport (yes, my one-month-old baby is going to have a passport. Weird.) The translation is kind of cool; the birth certificate notes that she was born on Thursday during the waxing moon, and in the year of the pig. My birth certificate makes no mention of the moon at all, how boring is that?

Interesting side note: Trea was born on a Thursday at 3:43 p.m. Adia was born on a Thursday at 3:45 p.m. Is that strange?

Our girls are doing great. Trea is very protective of Adia. Adia is getting to be a chunk. She was up to 4,350 grams as of Monday (that's 9.5 lbs.)

I bought the first twelve episodes of "Grey's Anatomy" on DVD. Of course they have a case where a woman wants a natural birth, and refuses a C-section, and nearly causes the death of her baby as well as endangering her own life. I get that they have to make the lady who wants a natural birth an unreasonable fanatic, it's TV and that's drama. But I totally object to the fact that she was 8 cm dilated and calmly sitting in bed refusing the c-section, a conversation that lasted 5-6 minutes (probably longer in TV time) and she didn't even have to breath through a contraction. Whatever. Totally unrealistic, even for TV. One, in my experience, 8 cm HURTS and you are not calmly talking to anyone, and two, what woman who wants a natural birth willingly just sits in bed? I'm not buying it.

We are going on vacation on Tuesday; we're taking the train down to Bangkok, staying overnight, then going to a beach about 4 hours south of Bangkok for five days. Then we have to go back to Bangkok for our appointment with the embassy to make Adia an official American citizen and apply for her passport. John's been researching restaurants and he's got places picked out for just about every meal. Italian, Indian, Thai seafood, American. . . all kinds of variety you just don't get in the Isaan.

Speaking of food, I need recipes. I'm trying to expand my options. I recently started making tortillas from scratch, and that's added tacos and wraps to our menu. We also do pasta with alfredo sauce and pasta with marinara sauce. I make several chicken casserole-type dishes, and a lot of breakfast foods. I cook almost entirely with chicken breasts, when I cook meat, mostly because I have no idea what to do with pork intestine or liver and no real desire to learn. I need things I can make on my glorified camp stove (no oven, remember) with basic ingredients. I can get a lot of seasonings but can't get most cheeses. Suggestions, anyone?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

One week update

I can't believe it's been a week already. We've decided on a name - Adia. For now, it's Adia Nicole, but we haven't registered the birth yet and I reserve the right to change my mind about the middle name. I still kind of like Adia Grace. . .Trea actually was the deciding vote. We asked her which name she liked - Adia or Amelia - and she said "Adia." After that, it was Adia this, Adia that, Adia's blanket. . .we really didn't have a choice! She says it very clearly too. As an added bonus, the Thais can say it as well.

We've had a busy week. Sunday, we had a follow up visit at the hospital, and they decided to admit Adia to be treated for jaundice. We spent two nights. Lucky for us, this time they had a private room available. John was able to come and spend a lot of time with me while Trea was at nursery school. She had kind of a hard time with me being gone, but she did pretty well for her age. Adia responded well to the phototherapy treatment. I think they are a little on the cautious side here, but that's ok.

As a side note, John discovered that very few people here know jaundice by its official Thai name. They just call it "yellow eyes" - like we call conjuctivitis pink eye (and they call conjunctivitis "red eye.") They also refer to the phototherapy treatment as "cooking" the baby. John also got to translate lots of breastfeeding advice from various nurses, and learned lots of new terms, which I'm sure will come in handy should he ever be a translator :).

It's really unbelievable how good I feel, considering. I walked over to the school to pick Trea up the other day, and later one of the Thai teachers told John I shouldn't be doing that, that I need to rest. I've also been cautioned against drinking cold water - not sure why, but apparently there will be dire consequences. And there's a long list of vegetables I'm supposed to eat, none of which we recognize. And our next door neighbor told John I should be bringing the baby outside for a few minutes every morning, but I think that may be just an excuse for her to see the baby.

Trea is doing really well with the baby. She seems to be testing her limits a little with us, but she loves Adia. The other day John was changing the baby's diaper, and she was fussing, and Trea kept telling her "Don't cry, baby, cooperate!" She's been told that herself - frequently - and I wasn't sure she understood the word until now. She always wants to make sure the baby is covered up and taken care of. It's very cute. Hopefully it will last!