Well, last year was an amazing year. I wouldn’t have believed Ben could change so much in a year. He is chattering away at a million miles an hour, asking questions and putting whole sentences together.
Its become very clear he is facinated with two subject, Anything Electromechanical, including phones, computers and almost anything with buttons and secondly Water, be it fountains, Jacuzzies, Swimming pools or the sea. He still can’t swim yet but he is not far off. I will feel easier with him around water once he can swim.
As for electronics, its going to be interesting to see how quickly he can really use some of this stuff. He can already call me on the phone and use his radio controlled car.
This year low season in Thailand is worse than low, in fact its worse then ever. Since the Red Shirt protests in May everyone has run away and the place is empty.
Ben just seems to be growing so quickly that its hard to keep up with him. He is using a spoon now, and he is Talking! Only afew words like Plaa = Fish and Nam = Water. Still waiting on the first English word but it will come I’m sure. Everyone who see’s him says what a lovely little two year old (he is only 15 months) so I guess he is doing OK.
My goodness me a lot has happened since the last update. We are now back in Thailand, everyone is OK and we have caught up with our sleep. All the time we have been away it’s been too busy to update this site so this is going to be a mega update.
First Trip from the UK was to see Bens Third Cousin Twice removed in Brussels. He is 78 years old and we felt it was import as this might be the only time they get to meet. We went through the channel tunnel. As usual Ben slept all the way and woke up with perfect timing at Andrews Door. Even in the restaurants he was perfect as usual.
After a brief stop at home to see Aunty Lisa, her mum, Cousin Nigel and Catch our breath, it was off to Gothenburg in Sweden to See Jan and Katarina. In spite of a 3am start Ben was wide awake all the way to Stanstead airport and kept the stewardesses on their toes all the way to Gothenburg. Once there we had a lovely time again. We went out on the Lake in a rowing boat and Ben had his first ride on a Quad Bike which he enjoyed very much. Sunday we returned home tired but happy.
Next was the big one. Boston and Cape Cod. We left the folowing Wednesday and flew via Washington to Boston then drove to the Cape. Ben slept most of the way and as always woke up as we arrived. Two days shopping and a days cookie making was all the time we had time for on Cape Cod. Everywhere we went with Ben the shop assistants would take him out and look after him while we went shopping it’s was very nice and different to the UK.
The trouble started on the way home. As we left on the Sunday Moring a thought Ben had a slight temperature (it was 37.5 deg C) didn’t think too much about it and got on the flight to Washington. About 20 Minutes before we landed his temperature was 38.9. As everyone knows this is very high. The end result – another new experience for Ben, his first ambulance ride from the plane to hospital! It was my first Ambulance ride as well. It turned out he had a viral infection and a cold on top of that, which pushed his temperature up so high. After 6 Hours they let him out but we had missed our flights and had to stay in Washington the night before flying on to London. Unfortunately for me, I figure that as it was only 3 days and Ben has never been sick, so I wouldn’t bother with Medical Insurance, well that won’t happen again as I am several thousand dollars lighter but he is worth it.
3 days at home two quick visit to my last relatives and then it was back to Heathrow for the flight home. Ben was a little angel again hardly made a sound the whole flight and was very happy to see his brother at the other end.
So in the last couple of weeks Ben has been to 5 countries take 8 flights totaling about 25,000 air miles and been in the air for 40 odd hours, been to 4 different time zones as much as 11 hours different. He has been to about 15 relatives, slept in 6 different beds and had milk and food from Thailand, England and America. AND HE WAS STILL SMILING!
Most people would think all this was crazy with a 5 month old baby; but I genuinely believe he was OK and I hope it made an impression on him even at his tender age. I know he left a trail of melted hearts everywhere we went.
Yesterday we had to go and buy a new bottle steriliser. In England they all seem to be Microwave based ones – Which is fine as they are cheaper. I showed Sa how to use it, no problem and then left for work. One hour later I have a panic phone call. Help – the sterlilizer is broken. Well, no its actually been nicely grilled!
The Misses has turned the microwave onto grill setting and promptly melted the sterliser, milk storage container and bottles, and apparently its all my fault. Grrrrrrrrrrrr…………..
Lesson no 1. Dont let the Misses anywhere near expensive equipment!
Yesterday while in Big C, I spotted some special food for young babies it is made from some sort of gluten free wheat or maze, dried banana and milk. It actually smelt and tasted quite good. (They were demoing it in the shop). So we took the plunge, Sa and I decide it was time to see what would happen with solid food. Check out the picture.
He wasn’t sure at first and more came out than stayed in. But after a few mouthfuls – big smile. About 5 minutes later Sa said I think he’s had enough now and went to take the bowl and spoon away. He howled his little head off till it came back and he promptly finished the entire bowl! I think we have to stock up on this stuff ready for England now. Only 48 Hours to go until the big journey. Let’s hope he is as good as usual.
As Sa and I needed to go to Bangkok to make her English Visa and as Cha’s wife would be in hospital for a couple of days Sa asked if we could take Nong Ben to Lat Buri for the night so she could take him to see her favourite monk and get him blessed. Much to my better judgment I agreed!
We set off OK and reached the UK visa Office in Regent House, Bangkok . It took 3 hours to submit the application during which time I had to stay outside with Ben, as they won’t let us inside. As you can imagine Ben really wasn’t too happy but he just about kept is cool.
So it’s off to Lat Buri. A two Hour drive from Bangkok. We eventually got there to find our favourite hotel closed for the night and had to go searching for another which was a real pain at 8pm. However we found what I think was really a short time hotel which looked like it had come straight out of a cartoon. I think Ben enjoyed the bright colours, but as for me, it just gave me a headache!
I was getting grump because I hadn’t eaten all day and Ben was tired so we ended up trying to eat quickly in a restaurant with an unhappy little boy with his nappy overflowing – not the nicest of situations.
After a bad night’s sleep it’s off to the temple. I really tried hard to look after Ben while Sa did her bit. The trouble was, it was very hot and Ben was obviously uncomfortable but that seems to take second place to the temple.
Eventually everything was over and poor little thing got his blessing and his bit if hair cut, but oh boy did he let everyone know he was hot and unhappy. Checkout Ben screaming on the Monks lap!
Apparently this is a Buddhists ritual which is why Sa wouldn’t cut his hair. The Monks have to make the first cut! I never will understand!
Once it was over, I was looking forward to a nice run home! Sa said to me please can we stop quickly to see a friend and go to the department store – foolishly I said yes. It wasn’t the friend or the department store that was the problem, but leaving things late meant that we got caught in the traffic for the Queen’s birthday celebration! Big Mistake! You have never seen anything like it. What should have taken 20 Minutes took 3 hours. Unfortunately for us the Boys in Brown can’t organise a piss up in a brewery so we watch as policemen and motorist argued face to face while we waited and waited and waited. At least it provided some entertainment.
All in all what should have been a 4 hour journey took 7 ½ hours so poor Master Ben really had had enough when we arrived home.
The only really bright point today was that in the department store I fell in love with a baby walker. Ben’s eyes lit up when we put him in. So it was an easy sale. When we got home I couldn’t believe within 5 minutes he was pushing himself backwards. I really didn’t expect to see that for a few months. Amazing Babies!
Anyway Ben has his new toy and he can have a hair cut tomorrow! Thank God for that.
This morning Ben wasnt happy again. I think he still had a slight upset tummy and he was out till past midnight at my friend Jimmys birthday party. So this morning everyone in the salon was taking turns with Ben as he grizzled his way around the staff.
When it was Akes turn it so happened that Ake was on the Internet. Well – lo and behold Ben transfixes him self on the screen then notices the keyboard………. Within a couple of minutes he was unstoppable. Bashing keys and and wizzing the mouse around. He squeeled with delight every thime the screen changed and bounced up and down until all thoughts of a bad tummy disappeared.
This is the first time I have seen him take an interactive interest in anything and wow what a start. I recon he will be seriously dangerouse when he gets the hang of the mouse. I was going to buy him one of those wheely chairs he can half walk around in but maybe I have to buy him a computer in stead!
Yesterday we took Ben back to Hospital for the third round of his vaccinations they told us he would probably get a cold and be a bit hot for the next couple of days. Wow was he grump last night. Neither Sa or I got any sleep and he isn’t much better this morning. Normally he is such a lovely quiet little boy but not today!
While we were there we also collected the last two gifts from the hospital. These were the DVD of Master Ben being born and a large photo frame with all the hospital pictures. It really does amaze me. This is all part of the service in the hospital and you don’t pay extra.
I am also surprised nobody in England offers anything like this even if it were a paid for service.
I thought it was about time I explained a few things about my life in Thailand. As with some other countries the idea of the extended family is fully embraced in Thailand. You may have heard me mention “Big C”. Well, Big C is my term for the property we own opposite the “Big C” Superstore in South Pattaya. Basically it is a four story building of which the bottom two floors are the Hair Salon and Massage Business. With the top two floors forming “family accommodation” broken in to about 5 rooms. The first thing to say is that Sa and I DON’T live there because there is no way I want to share my personal space with the rest of the human race. That said everyone else seems quite happy.
This photo is just to illustrate how many “family “do live upstairs.
Back row left to right Kwan – Sa niece from her dead brother who is staying for a while. Na – Sa’s Sister who donated her eggs for Master Ben Master Ben – My lovely little boy! Sa – My wife Nui – Sa’s daughter in law who is 8 Months Pregnant so a new family addition next month!
Front row left to right Purn – Na’s Eldest Daughter Pat – Na’s Younger Daughter Cha – Sa’s Son with his Ewok (Sorry Dog) called Lucky Camta – Sa’s Nephew from her older Sister
And missing from the picture………
My Cat Neo who did a disappearing act when he thought he might have to wake up and Grandma who is away up country.
So, as you can see its one great big family with another new addition on the way. It’s pretty good really but without somewhere else to go home to, I think I could very easily go totally bonkers!
Yesterday I went to the British Emassy in Bangkok to make Bens English Birth Certificate and Passport. Quite easy really just expensive! I guess that because I was away and Sa had to look after Ben alone she was obviously tired. So when I left for work this morning a lovely Mother and Son picture was just waiting to be taken!