Taking Passport Photos

He looks like a convict!
He looks like a convict!

I was a little apprehensive when we knew we had to take some pictures of Ben suitable for his passport. Having read the literature about what was acceptable, and what was not, the one concession that was made for babies was that they didn’t have to look directly into the camera. Gee Thanks!
To start with his head would need supporting, which was impossible on his tiny head without my fingers showing at the side. So we decided to lay him down, the trouble is that as soon as he lay down he went to sleep!
We spent 1 Hr in the shop and gave up thinking we could do a better job at home, and then spent 2 hours at home trying to produce something better. Well, after about 150 photos we eventual got something we recon will be acceptable. I will let you know if that’s the case!

Moving into Overdrive

I Need More Sleep!
I Need More Sleep!

When we brought Ben home the Doctor said to us. You will know when he feels confident and starts to put on weight because suddenly he will start demanding more milk. Well, between yesterday lunch time and lunch time today he has gotten through 4 bottles of milk PLUS everything Sa can give him. Which is really nice to see, but the down side is he has become a little Poo machine, 5 Nappies since midnight and all FULL.

Unbelievable but I am sure he feels heavier all ready.
As you can imagine he didn’t sleep to much last night and didn’t want to wake up this morning. It was really cute to see him cove his eyes and go back to sleep.

You learn something new every day!

Green Poo!

Definately no pictures with this post! 

Last night I got to do my Second Nappy change. The first one was still dry, so no problem. However, the second one was a more messy affair. I couldnt belive my eyes when I saw it was all green inside. After a mild panic thinking that something was very wrong and then a 20 Minute brush up on facts via the Internet I could breath a sigh of relief again. I am sure anyone with a baby knows this stuff but I shure don’t!

It’s all in the Genes

Mr Blue Eyes
Mr Blue Eyes

On the second day Ben opened his eyes and took a good long look at the world for the first time. He actually took a good long look at his Dad while I was trying to stick a bottle in his mouth. I can just imagine what he was thinking. “What is this great big oaf trying to stick in my mouth?”
Now I thought that as Brown eyes were dominant, I automatically assumed that Ben would have Brown eyes, so just imagine my surprise and delight to discover they are Blue! The trouble is that on further investigation it isn’t that simple. Having now become an expert in the last 30 minutes, apparently his eyes will not be their final colour for a year or two and it all depends on whether Sa has what they call Brown/Brown or Brown/Blue genes. Apparently I am Blue/Blue which counts for didally squat (typical).
So I am going to have to wait and see (and keep my fingers crossed). It would be just lovely if they stayed a lovely shade of blue.

The Penultimate Scan

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You can see his Nose!

This we dully did. Sa was lying there with the scanner on her tummy and the Doctor was measuring the size of Ben. Suddenly the Doctor gave a very sharp intake of breath. Sa and I said in unison. What’s the matter! S he only uttered one word in reply. Cesarean!

Sa looked at me with a look of horror on her face. hats the matter I asked again. He is going to be a very big baby was the reply. There is no way he can come out normally!

Sa really didn’t look too happy about this, but Ben seems to be on a role now and just bursting to get out.

If you look at the scan on this post and put your head on your right shoulder you can see Bens nose and mouth which look nice and normal to the doctor and us.

Everyone is already saying he has my nose. We will have to wait a little bit longer to see.

So the 11th May it is, unless Ben decides he wants out before then!

Bens Woken Up!

A Big Baby
A Big Baby with Big Legs

Now Ben has a name he seems to have woken up and started kicking with all his might! He was kicking before but now its totally amazing. Yesterday morning he kicked away for nearly one Hour. He is keeping Sa away all the time now. When we asked the doctor she just laughed, said it was absolutely fine and told us we were going to have a very large very boisterous, little boy will keep our hands full. Well thanks Doctor!

 

Sa is definitely getting worried now, just by the size of her and feeling this little bundle in her tummy which kicks all day and night, I can just imagine how big a handful he is going to be.

Names Names Names

Neo the Cat
Neo the Cat

Inevitably the conversation has turned to names now we know its a boy! We have spent many hours already compiling lists and having lots of discussion.

We are both agreed that his Surname (Namsacun in Thai) will be Vass, however the discussions ref his other names has been going on and on. We both agree we want a short name and an English name. This has helped somewhat and we now have a short list of names and gradually we are crossing them off.

Now we are down to two names Ben and Neo. I like Neo because of the film Matrix but is this a good enough reason to give our poor little boy a name like Neo!

Me thinks not!

So a great compromise has been reached. I am going to call our new Cat Neo which means our Son is going to be Ben Edward Vass. Oh boy this house is going to be so full soon with Neo the Cat, Lucky the Dog, Ben, Pat, Purn Cha’s Daughter (as yet un-named) and all the rest of the family. I am so glad we actually live a few minutes away and can at least escape the madness sometimes.

Are Pregnant Women Suppose To Be This Big!

Only 6 Months!
Only 6 Months!

Sa is getting worried now!

The Doctor tells her, our little boy is going to be a very big baby. He has strong legs and may well come early as he is nearly cooked!

Before this Sa thought she would have a natural birth but she is wavering now. I don’t blame her asI cannot guess how painful giving birth is.  So we seem to be down to an Epidural or Cesarean. I think the final choice is down to Sa.

Just look at this picture of her at 6 months and you will see what I mean. Everyone is asking “is it twins?”. We are assured its only one!

Cha’s Big Day

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The Happy Couple and Sa

The Wedding came round very quickly. Sa wanted it to be on the 14th of February – Valentines day, unfortunately nobody else though this was agood idea so the the 15th it was!

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Cha's Wedding Ceremony

 

 

 

Sa and I didn’t help with the preperations at all. Cha seemed very happy to organise everything and jusrt asked us to turn up at around 10am. Easier said than done when you have 9 people including 3 children and we all have to leave Pattaya together for the two hour drive to Bangkok.
We made it eventually and a good time was had by all. The ceremony was pretty low key but very traditional with the usual monks blessing a lot of water pooring, string tying and later on, good Thai food and Whisky.
We headed home at around 6pm after an excellent day. Everyone seemed very happy especially Mother and Son.

The Temple Trip

At the temple
At the temple

Before Sa gets any bigger she told me she wanted to make a trip to her favourite temple for a few days.  Any bigger and she won’t be able to sit in the car for a long time.

So off we go to Lat Buri which is about 4 Hours drive from home. Driving up today staying overnight then me returning the next day.

During that evening while in the hotel I had an eye opening conversation with Sa and Cha about Temples and Money. This was one of those times when I needed to put pen to paper and as an avide reading of Stickmans WEB site (An excellent source of Information about Thailand and Living here) I drafted a submission which I have also attached below entitled “Temples Money and Charity”.

** Submission **

This weekend my wife and I went to a temple in Lat Buri. It’s a temple she has been visiting for many years. I have been with her many times and enjoy the trips especially as there are some falang monks whom I can talk with.

However this latest trip turned into a complete disaster because I asked too many questions.

It all started on Saturday evening. We drove from our home in Jomtien all the way to Lat Buri via several of my wife’s friends in Bangkok collecting large bundles of envelopes from various locations. I am sure many of you know the routine. Your other halves get given wads of envelopes to distribute in aid of various temples expecting them all to come back with 20 and 100 baht notes in side with the giver’s name carefully written on the outside.

Anyway as we arrived late we decided to stop at a resort close to the temple. I promptly went to shower and upon my return found my wife ripping open all the envelopes and counting up the money. This was the start of my down fall.

Very foolishly I asked her what she was doing. The reply obviously, counting the money. I then very stupidly went on and asked what was to happen with all the envelopes with the names on. Oh, we can throw those away. Remembering that my wife ALWAYS insists on writing on every envelope with every single 100 baht we have ever sent to a temple I very stupidly asked why everyone bothers writing on them if the temple never saw them – BOOM. Not important was the reply. If we give all those envelopes to the temple they will give them back and ask me to open them. It’s only the amount from “the group” that matters!

By this point I already had steam coming out of my ears, but I wasn’t going to let this go so easily.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against giving to temples in moderation and for a good cause. So in I plunged with my next question. What will all this money be used for? I should explain at this point that we also had my son-in-law with us who had been a monk at this very temple for 3 months last year. So while my wife at this point completely clammed up (knowing better) my son-in-law proceeded to pick up the conversation, much to my delight.

Oh! he says. Well they have lots of bills to pay and they are building a lovely new temple (which I agree is spectacular). I proceeded to push the point about how they helped others; we went through lots of answers. Yes they help other temples that are not so well off, yes they help sick monks. And so it went on. Eventually we got the point I was eluding to. What charity work do they do! This drew a very blank expression from the poor boy. What do you mean he asked? Well for instance, do they support any orphanages or poor people or hospitals. The answer, why would they do that, the government does that!

Now In all fairness I am aware that some temples do wonderful work with orphanages and hospitals but I still found it quite amazing that I was given this answer from someone that had just finished 3 months in orange!

By now I could see my wife had steam coming out of her ears and was turning purple as I had dared to ask too many questions. Not being put off, I though I would change tack slightly while carrying on the general topic.

This February in Pattaya the local media was promoting the first ever charity bed race on Beach Road. All proceeds to local orphanages etc. You know the score, the sort of thing that happens everywhere in the Western world. Now having a business in Pattaya, I thought great free publicity and for a good cause, so why don’t we join in I dared to ask. Well my wife didn’t make the connection at first. There was just this puzzled look on her face and eventually the questions I was waiting for.

Why would anyone do that, and then the second question, are there some envelopes and from which temple!

Yes, got her!

No, I explained the money goes directly to support a charity.

The answer, well nobody will give money as there are no envelopes from a temple and it sounds like really hard work pushing a bed!

At his point I smiled gently to myself and retired to bed having put another piece of this wonderful country in to place.