Noe’s content for the moment to get around on all fours, though we both are trying to get him to step out of his comfort zone. He’ll cruise around the living room set, but is happiest right now when he’s racing around on hands at feet.
He’s gotten so quick we really have to keep an eye on him. The second we turn away, he’ll often seize on the opportunity to make a mad dash for the closest place he knows he’s not supposed to go.
Lori’s been pausing more along our walks so that Noe can stop and touch things. We tried this when he was younger, but he just wasn’t that interested. Now, it’s his favorite activity. It can quickly backfire, however, as he loves to try and take his new found “toy” with him, regardless of what it might be (or whose it might be).
Noe got his first little goose egg by trying to stand, hold an empty Pringles can and get daddy’s attention all at the same time. He doesn’t usually cry when he falls or bonks his head…but this time he did a bit, and I don’t blame him.
His first two weeks during this period were the hottest we’ve experienced so far here in Laos, followed closely by the start of the rainy season. As such, Noe spent the first half of his eleventh month trying to stay cool, and his last half trying to stay dry — all the while, trying to stay healthy, which as usual didn’t pan out as hoped.
Noe’s started to point at things. Most of the time, we can’t tell what he’s pointing to, he just likes to point, which is unfortunate in Laos, since it’s about the rudest thing you can possibly do. Fortunately, he’s still a cute falang baby, so people seem willing to look past this transgression…for now.
The Mister has continued to enjoy “reading” his books, and has even branched out to menus.
Noe had two out-of-town trips in his eleventh month — a quick two-day, one-night trip an hour north to Rivertime Ecolodge, and a longer, unplanned trip, which I’ll get to in a moment.
He also had his first experience riding in a shopping cart, and probably his last for at least a couple of months.
In the first week of May, Noe came down with a mild fever that came on suddenly and then disappeared. He appeared to be back to his normal self over the weekend, but seemed to be out of sorts again by the following Monday.
By Tuesday morning, it was obvious he was not feeling well at all. He was having some of the same symptoms he had in mid-March with his bout of pneumonia, but different symptoms too. We took him to the Thai clinic here in town where we hoped they could treat him and send him home, but his oxygen saturation levels were not great. They determined that Noe had, yet again, managed to get himself another lung infection. We hoped then that he could be admitted at the clinic here in town but they strongly recommended a transfer over the border, particularly since this was his second lung infection in two months. They’d be able to rule out other potential underlying issues in Thailand and more effectively treat any complications he might have due to his oxygen saturation fluctuation.
So…we ended up back in Thailand for four days.
We’ve been talking for a while about how nice it would be to take a trip to Thailand — but this isn’t exactly what we had in mind. I’m certain it’s not what Noe had in mind either.
So…we were back in the ICU at Wattana hospital in Udon Thani, incidentally one room over from where Noe was admitted during his previous stay (incidentally, a catatonic monk appeared to be occupying that room).
Again, the ICU here is not quite like the U.S. They essentially send anyone who needs any sort of observation at night to the ICU, whereas the ward is much more of an in-house hotel where staff checks in on you now and then.
The hospital staff is getting to know him quite well here. Not exactly what any parent wants, but it’s got to be a bit more comforting for him than being treated by complete strangers.
Noe didn’t have the wheezing that he had last time, but was generally all-around gunkier, which meant that he was having more trouble this time getting his oxygen saturation up to normal on his own. As a result, he had an oxygen tube in his nose for a couple of days, which he was not a fan of.
Last time they had started the IV and medication in Vientiane before the cross-border transfer, which shaved off some time from our stay. They didn’t start an IV or give him any antibiotics this time around for several hours, which in the end extended our stay by another day or so. We were pretty bummed about that, but happy that initial tests seem to indicate Noe that these infections are unlikely to be connected to an underlying condition. A few weeks after he’s discharged, we’re scheduled to have a few more tests done just to make sure, but for now, it appears that his age, the area of the world, and the season we’re in, coupled with his daycare exposure, are the main culprits, and this sort of thing, unfortunately, is quite common in this region of the world.
The silver lining to these hospital stays is that Noe and I get a lot of cuddle time. Noe’s not a cuddly type of guy, but when he’s not feeling well, it’s all he wants to do (and likewise a good way of figuring out if he’s not feeling well). Needless to say, I spent a lot of time on my back with a baby on me — I think the final tally over the four days was about twelve hours, and I wasn’t even with him at night (it was back to the creepy abandoned bachelor pad for me).
By the end of the week, Noe was up to his old antics, and we knew he was getting close to going home. It had been about a week since we had seen him laughing and playing on his own.
After four days away from his play space, he was very excited to be back and playing with his toys.
The following Sunday was Mother’s Day, and Noe got to catch up with both sets of grandparents, plus aunt, uncle and cousins via the miracle of Skype.
Noe’s been sleeping with his monkey Wubbanub for most of his life, and while he’s utilized it from time to time, his relationship with the stuffed animal has changed dramatically. He’s become quite possessive of Mr. Wubb and shows more separation anxiety having to leave the thing behind than he ever shows with mom or dad. It’ll be interesting to see how this relationship develops in the coming months.
Given his burgeoning interest in books with holes, we thought we might introduce one of my old books — a favorite of mine when I wasn’t much older than Noe. He flipped through it a couple of times and slid it aside as if to say, “thanks…but not interested.” We’ll try again in a few weeks.
Noe’s still got just those four front teeth (two up and two down) but they are becoming much more pronounced, particularly in his very toothy grin that he gives all the time except when I point the camera at his face. Seriously, it’s become a minor obsession of mine to get a photo of him laughing — which, again, he does all the time, but the second the camera comes out he purses his lips and tries not to laugh. Stinkerbutt.
The little monkey reading about his family.
Checking out yet another new [to us] coffee shop with the parents. It was a particularly hot day bumming around Vientiane, so we ducked into this cool and comfy place (Sailomyen Hostel & Cafe). They had a couch, which was a big deal given that we don’t really have a proper couch in our house and I can count the number of times on one hand that Noe has played on something loosely resembling a couch or a comfy armchair. It was quite a treat, to say the least.
After two lung infections in eight weeks (in addition to his double ear infection in February and regular bouts of colds every three weeks or so) we’ve decided to give Noe a break from school for a bit, at least for the next couple of months. Even though he only attends a few days a week, it’s enough for him to keep picking up all sorts of fun stuff. While everyone around us continues to confirm that this is indeed not out of the ordinary for kids Noe’s age here in Vientiane (and all the health care professionals we’ve consulted agree his immune system will be stronger in the long run), we would rather him not be on another round of antibiotics for a while if we can help it. We’d also like to see if he develops these infections on his own away from regular exposure to other kids, to help rule out any underlying medical or environmental issues at home.
So, it looks like Noe will be back in the exclusive care of daddy for a while. Lucky guy…
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