Month Four with the Mister

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Happy Four Months, Noe! The Mister seems to be growing by the day, learning all sorts of new things and finding new ways to make mommy and daddy smile (and also new and creative ways to push our buttons). It’s crazy to think we only met this little dude just over 120 days ago, when he looked just a bit different…

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How did the Mister go from looking like an alien prize-fighter to the strapping, little chunk-a-munk he is now? Lots of tummy-time, of course! (as Lori would have you believe, though I think feeding him might have a little to do with it too…)

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Play Time

Noe’s getting a lot more fun to play with these days. He’s a lot more interactive but has also begun to play independently as well. Unlike previous months, he’s not just tolerating, but enjoying being on his tummy, and has even rolled to his back a few times (but not enough to get a video of it for Lori). Despite the leaps forward, his favorite thing to do during tummy time is still drooling (and lots of it).

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Since we’ve been in transit this month (and many of his toys are on their way in freight), Noe’s been finding a lot of creative ways to stay busy. One of the more exciting things (from his pediatric PT mom’s standpoint) has been grabbing his feet and rocking back and forth (happy baby!).

Back in the U.S., Noe had an interactive activity mat with lots of dangly toys that made sounds and played music. He loved that thing and would quietly play for 20 minutes at a time sometimes. We tried to pack it in our freight, but ultimately, couldn’t justify the space and weight it took up, particularly given that he’d only use it for such a short time.

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So, when we first moved into our apartment here in Vientiane, we had to improvise a bit for play time.

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It looks a bit precarious, but actually it’s pretty sturdy (and we generally don’t leave him for long periods of time, unsupervised — just an hour or two, tops — which is cool, because he’s become quite proficient in the kitchen making a variety of Asian fusion dishes that would give P.F. Chang a run for their money, which is insane since he still hasn’t figured out how to change his own diaper. Kids.).

Noe’s also become a connoisseur of fine literature.

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However, Noe’s greatest passion might just be putting anything and everything in his mouth, and completely saturating it with drool. Nom. Nom.

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Occasionally, Noe finds himself in the odd coffeeshop with daddy. He used to tolerate coffeeshops really well, but not so much anymore. I can’t tell if it’s that he’s getting less tolerant of playing independently in a strange place, is beginning to resent daddy for wanting a few moments of quiet down-time outside of the house, or simply pines for Portland’s Third Wave coffee scene. It’s really anyone’s guess.

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New Experiences

To say Noe experienced a lot of new things between his third and fourth month of life is probably an understatement. The day after his three-month birthday, he arrived in Laos. On the day of his four-month birthday, we had just returned from a week in Thailand and moved out of our apartment and into our long-term house. In between, he spent his time acclimating to heat and humidity, getting used to a whole lot of people speaking crazy-like to him and wanting to hold him, riding all sorts of weird modes of transport (without his carseat), and getting used to countless new sights, sounds and smells.

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With all of these new experiences, however, the biggest (and hardest) change for all of us has been not having mommy around during the weekdays. Noe’s four-month birthday also marks one month for me being a full-time caretaker. It’s been a lot more daddy than I’m sure either of us would have bargained for, but fortunately the Mister has shown a great deal of patience beyond his years…or months, rather.

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The aftermath of a huge blowout saturating clothing and ErgoBaby. Not a first, itself, but changing him in a local restaurant bathroom on a plastic bag on a toilet seat was. Needless to say, he got an unscheduled bath when we got home.

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Devising this baby-in-a-bag scale system was definitely a first. When you don’t have regular access to things like fruit scales, you improvise.

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The Mister started holding his own bottle. Apparently, he was not pleased with the way daddy was doing it.

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House-hunting was a new experience for Noe (and for us, for that matter). We viewed over a dozen houses in a couple of weeks. Needless to say, this one did not make the cut due to the prospect of having to carrying our little guy up and down this impossibly steep and slippery staircase multiple times a day.

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Noe seemed to like this house, though.

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Putting baby in a high chair. I’m not sure what precipitated this. I guess there was a high chair at a coffee shop in town and Lori’s curiosity got the better of her.

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Riding in the back of a songthaew up and down a sacred mountain. Yep, definitely a first. And probably not a last.

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Talking with his grandparents on Skype. Definitely a first of many.

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Sleepy Time

Noe surprised us with new and creative ways of catching his Zzzs, and has begun to branch out from his sleep sack. Sweet, yes. But not a common occurrence. He’ll do this after a bath on a Sunday morning, if we’re lucky.

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Noe spent his first night in a bunkbed in Thailand, though he probably didn’t know any different.

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Lori: “He’s asleep, right?”

Me: “Um…yeah. Totally.”

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New Friends

Laotians and Thai people have certainly taken a liking to Mr. Noe. Some places are so good with him that we return regularly to eat.

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Lori’s co-workers also get very excited whenever Noe and I visit the office, and Noe is of course expected to make his rounds and say “Sabaidee!” to everyone.

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Temples

Holy cow, we dragged Noe to lots of holy places: Buddha Park (Xiang Khan), Doi Suthep/ Wat Phra That, Wat Phra Singh, Wat Pan Tao, and others. Strangely, with the exception of walking through That Luang, we have not yet taken him to any Laotian temples yet. There’s still time, I suppose.

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On the final day of his third month (or first day of his fourth month, depending on how you’re counting), we moved out of our temporary apartment and into our home for the next two years. Another big adjustment for Noe, but one that he’s taken in stride. We’re excited to see what Noe’s fourth month has in store for him in Laos and the new house!

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Noe has officially outgrown all his newborn clothes and a couple of his 0-3 month onesies, but overall is fitting quite well into 3-month clothes. He wears socks (pulled up) and pants to protect his skin from sun and/or mosquitoes, but otherwise is quite comfy in just a onesie! He is outgrowing his newborn-sized swaddles, but we keep using them until bigger ones arrive in our freight!

Daily Life, 21-31 October
Week 3 Highlights
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