Not twins, but close.

One of these kids is not having a great day.

One of these kids is not having such a great day.

We've been away from home--in Chiang Mai for a few days to extend our visas and all sorts of other businessy type things.

Yesterday I:

1. Had an ultrasound which revealed:

     a) The cutest baby in the world

     b) A not-so-cute fibroid taking up half the room.  I don't think it should be a problem, but we'll have to keep an eye on it. The doctor was funny. He said it was the size of a large orange, but it was only 6 cm, so it is the size of a large orange in Thailand, where they have these tiny green tangerines, about the size of a golf ball. It is NOT the size of a large Florida orange.

2. Visited the Canadian consulate. I found it because of the large Canadian flag in the courtyard. I breezed in through the front door, looked around a few times to see if there was someone who was in charge. Two ladies sat, very relaxed, at large wooden desks. One told me to have a seat. I sat on a cushy sofa and looked at the library on shelves around the room. The Rocky Mountains! one book said. Birds of Canada! said another. Against one wall a sign advised me to "please sign the guest book." The lady came and gave me my new passport. I'm not sure how it is possible, but the whole room smelled like Canada. It must have been the books.

3. Visited the US consulate. We found it because of the large wall. We went through the metal detectors and security, put our bags in the x-ray machine and handed over our electronics, our phones, cameras, and kindle. There was no library. But the people were kind and polite and we got what we needed and retrieved our electronics and left. (I feel that I should note here that the Canadian Embassy in Bangkok is much like this, with high security. It was still very interesting to go from one very different consulate to another.)

4. Visited Thai immigration, where they told me to come back the next day.

5. Went to three hospitals in Chiang Mai. Only one hospital was at all familiar or comfortable with the term "natural birth." But they insist on a catheter in your arm in case of a need of an IV. And I have this needle thing, see.

At another hospital, the nurse and customer relations lady shook their heads and said, "Oh no, we cannot do natural birth here." I felt that we were having some kind of communication problem. They must not be understanding me. But they were. "Many women come and want natural birth," they said. "But the doctors will not allow it."

I asked to see the labor and delivery room anyways. "Not a natural birth delivery room," the nurse warned me. When I saw it, I understood. It was like an operating room, with one table directly in the center, stirrups in place, and a large floodlight placed overhead, as well as about a thousand flourescent lights turned on.

Hmmm. I'm sensing some reasons that natural birth is not happening for them.

Anyhow, I'm not sure that any of those hospitals and I wil be getting along. I'm going to keep looking at my options.

6. Bought some lentils. We don't get them in Pai.

And that's about it, but I was wiped out by the end of the day. Today we got our visa stuff all worked out, and tomorrow we head back home.

The kids were good, though Solo really was having a bad day. He had a Gollum moment, when he was holding the visa photos that we ordered. Chinua tried to retrieve them, and he said, "They're mine! They're my birthday present. YaYa bought them for me."

He says the greatest stuff. Last night we saw a dozen flying lanterns floating into the sky, and Chinua said, "That's the way they're supposed to work, kids!" (We've had a few failures when we attempted to make our own in India.) Solo very seriously said, "You have to tie flying birds to them."

His head is full of information. Very rarely, it is correct.