Almost crawling

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He can lift his head quite high, and he can propel himself forward with great force, but he can’t yet do both at the same time. He has a lot of fun acting like a human bulldozer, though.
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We are greatly enjoying these days of limited mobility – he can move to one side on of his crib while sleeping and even roll over occasionally, but he basically stays put. Also, he can cry and sigh and burp and laugh and coo, but he can’t tell us, “no.” All in all, newborn to five months is a pretty great age.

Pimp Ghost Riding (Sky on Fire)

The other day we went to nanny’s village to see the flooded rice fields. The Chi River has overflowed into the fields, and huge invading catfish are happy to feast on drowned field mice and other flood detritus. Unwilling to take Mr. Max out on a flimsy boat, we watched the villagers go spearfishing for dinner.
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It sure is a good thing we took the trusty old Crown out on the muddy roads instead of our pretty car.

Thai immigration in Mukdahan

Our university sent us foreign teachers to Mukdahan yesterday for our annual visa renewals. Until now, we had been using th immigration office in Nong Khai, but the last time we visited for 90-day notice, they told us that the Mukdahan office was becoming the top office for the Isan region and that we should go there from now on. So the seven or eight of us rode out on a bus accompanied by 26 Chinese exchange students who are studying Thai in China at various universities and are on a program here for a year. 30+ visa applicants are enough to crowd any immigration office, and it was shocking to see how understaffed the Muk office was. Everything took a long, long time. It’s unreasonable to blame the people (the underlings at least) working there because they’re as trapped by the system as we are… It was hard watching other applicants* come and wonder where to queue up because the waiting room side of the counter looked like the escape scene from The Killing Fields.
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What saved the day was my colleague finding a well-run expat cafe (expat customer, not proprietor) a couple doors down from immigration -the name of the place was Good Mook. Good coffee, pate on crispy French bread, and bottles of Beer Lao… It was a great place to relax and wait for all the students to get processed, until the tiny little immigration office closed at 4:30.
We got back to our university at around 9:00 PM. By the time I had a bowl of noodles with another colleague and went home, both wife and baby were sound asleep.
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* Some of the other applicants included one of Nam’s Japanese teachers, and my next door neighbor (who also works at Nam’s school, MSU – Mahasarakham University.)

Sprung

Just a quick note in between giving finals: Maxie’s out of the hospital and back home. He recovered quicker than all the doctors expected and has coughed only once the whole hour we’ve been together. Thanks for your prayers and well wishes.