Welcome to Chiang Mai

You’re going to learn a lot about Chiang Mai over the next month.

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Sloane immediately signed up for her long-awaited cooking class. 

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House of Flames.

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The results did not disappoint. 

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Fay’s first visit to the zoo. She loved all the different kinds of monkeys.

IMG_0709Still at the zoo. We loved the scenery as much as the animals.

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How to make your zoo awesome: just build it in the jungle. No landscaping required.

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Stopped by Wat Phra Singh after church on Sunday. 

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Behold, Ty’s ‘beard’.  Fay looks cute too. Oh, and this is Wat Doi Suthep. 

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This is Sloane taking a picture of a monk taking a picture of Fay. Or maybe it was Ty…

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Heading down from Wat Doi Suthep.  Favorite temple so far. Located up in the mountains, its surroundings are beautiful and the weather is nice and cool.
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See you next week.

Arrival:  Chiang Mai is a great city to settle down in. It has a great vibe and culture, and tons of delicious food. There is plenty to do, plenty to learn, and plenty of interesting expats to talk to. After pounding the pavement for a few days, we found a great little apartment for $300/month. They even clean and bring us new towels and sheets every week.  We would go on and on about how much money we are going to save, but we’re probably going to end up spending it all on activities and tours. Chiang Mai will be home base until the end of November. 

Thai Farm Cooking Class: Sloane LOVED the cooking class.  We started off by learning about the ingredients at a local market, then headed to the farm to pick out all our greens. Sloane learned to make Spring Rolls, Chicken w/ Basil, Mango Sticky Rice, Chicken Coconut Soup, and Green Curry, paste and all. Meanwhile, Ty was babysitter and photographer all day long.  Let’s not pretend Ty’s a saint or anything though, we all know he stands to benefit greatly from this experience.  We also lucked out, because our instructor, Pern, is now one of our best friends.  She’s shared all sorts of interesting information with us and she invited us over for dinner next week.  We are excited! A REAL Thai friend! She even invited us to stay at her apartment, but we respectfully declined.  She has no idea what Fay is capable of once the sun goes down.

Fay: Speaking of Fay, she’s still working on those teeth. She’s got 4 solid ones now, and 2 more trying to pop out. Lately, she’s been behaving really well during the day, and really not so well during the night. She is very good at getting the general public to fall in love with her.  As her physical development continues, so does the pain and stress associated with it.  She’s had some pretty big falls, but somehow confidence continues to grow. She also knows how to get exactly what we wants, whether it’s the undying attention of the locals, or leftover crumbs hiding under our table at the restaurant. 

A Point of Friction: The current discussion in our household is how often to leave a diaper on Fay.  Due to the current climate and lesser quality diapers, Fay is more susceptible to diaper rash. She’s also refusing to do her little bathroom trick many of you know about. Lucky for Fay, Sloane is a very kind and caring parent. Fay is allowed to roam free throughout the apartment, resulting in multiple clean ups a day. Ty is less forgiving. He would rather deal with diaper rash than Fay’s excrement on the floor. 

How to Travel with an Infant: Part 1

We have loved spending time with Fay in Thailand.  She loves it here, and the people love her too. Bringing a baby is a great way to strike up conversation and get to know all the wonderful people here, tourists and locals alike.  Experiencing the world as a family is an incredibly enriching experience. We highly recommend it.

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Life is a lot more fun when you stop worrying about dirt, sand, water, poop, pee, and the list goes on….

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Breastfeeding. Get used to nursing in public.  With so much out and about time, it has been pretty much mandatory for Fay. Although Thai women don’t breastfeed in public, we haven’t experienced any negativity when Sloane nurses Fay.  This is probably the most interesting place Fay nursed.  If you want to learn more, you can wikipedia Phra Nang Cave. WARNING: Image not suitable for youngsters…or the immature.

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We love it when other people hold Fay. Particularly during meal times.

Travel Tips for Infants:

We won’t pretend it’s a walk in the park every day.  At the time of writing, we are on a ferry and Fay is fighting her naptime.  It also looks like she is trying to grow some buck teeth. This is bad news for the other 50 people on our boat.

Here are some tips to making life a little easier:

1)   Beco Carrier. If we could only bring one thing for Fay, this is it. We use this daily to tote Fay around. It works like a charm. Light, relatively compact, and pretty comfortable to wear.  Using a carrier is the only way to go in our opinion.   Don’t even think about a stroller.

2)   Buy a Peapod. Imagine a miniature tent just big enough for your baby to sit up in. It is small, lightweight, and very compact.  Once we zip Fay inside, we don’t have to worry about bugs, mosquitoes, or choking hazards. This is where she sleeps every night. Tip: don’t set it near any ledges; Fay has been trying to barrel roll the whole tent when grumpy.

3)   Request the bulkhead seats on the airplane.  Did you know you can attach a bassinet to the bulkhead?  Probably more ideal for babies under 10 months, but either way you have more legroom, and you’re ideally located near the bathrooms and emergency exits. This means plenty of room to walk around and let the little one go wild.

4)   Speaking of planes, arrive a little bit early to the airport.  Not sure what other airlines do, but for whatever reason Delta has to check you in manually when traveling with an infant. They also have to charge you additional hidden fees/taxes for the child (amounted to $95 for us). Don’t ask why, but it took the Delta agent 15 minutes to get this all sorted out.

5)   Don’t overly stress about cleanliness.  We learned early on that Fay cannot be contained. Let’s just hope we’re helping her gain strong immunities to Asian germs.

6)   Snacks are a good way to help keep the peace. We really like the fruit melts by Gerber.  Tasty treat for both child and parents.

7)   Develop patience.  We’re serious about this one. It’s probably the most important tip of all time.  Wish we knew how to help you (and us) on this one.

We are still learning as we go. If you have any other tips, ideas, or suggestions, please let us know! Anticipate another one of these posts near the end of our journey.