Friday, April 3, 2009
April 2, 2009 - We have a name, finally!!!!!
It is so nice getting to be the ones to get Arman out of his crib first thing after his morning nap. It was wonderful not to hear him wheezing or breathing hard this morning. His congestion is much better! He is always happy and excited to see us. He also knows that we are going to feed him. Laura fed him his morning breakfast today and he was kicking his legs and anxious to get at his food. He had a really chunky breakfast with lots of potatoes this morning. He kept smiling at Daddy and Irina while he was eating. He is always interested in what his big sister is doing. Kevin had to give him a little mini-bath after we got a whiff of his diaper. It was great to be the first ones to use the little washtub they fill up with warm water because they use it for all the babies and don’t empty out the dirty water first or change the wash rag. As soon as we washed and dried him off, his doctor came in to check on him. The doctors are constantly coming into the room to check on the babies, which is very reassuring to us now that one of the babies is our son. We pointed out to her, via one of the translators, that the little red raised spots seem to be more prevalent. She told one of the caregivers to put some kind of medicine on the spots. It is green and we were told that it is equivalent to our Calamine lotion. It was really funny to watch her dabbing his little spots and he looked like someone took a Bingo ink stamper and stamped all over him. She didn’t get all the spots but got a majority of them. The green spots dried very quickly, which was good because we had a cream colored outfit for him to wear and didn’t want to stain and ruin it.
We were expecting to have to take him to get his breathing treatment but got to go outside for 20 minutes instead. Irina was thrilled to see how much snow had melted because she has been begging to go play on the playground equipment, particularly the swings. She had a great time swinging, climbing, and running around. Laura and Arman went on the swings also. When we were in Kazakhstan for Irina’s adoption, it was unbearable to be outside because it was so cold. We are so thankful that we are here this time of year with Irina because she has so much energy ALL the time and needs to be able to run around. For those of you who have not been privileged to spend hours on end with Irina, you cannot understand how one little girl can talk for HOURS on end if she does not burn off some of that energy! Megan, we may need you to FedEx some extra ear plugs over here for us and our neighbors in our apartment building… Just kidding, Irina. Speaking of our apartment, we have counted the stairs leading up to our apartment: 76! We ended our morning session with our translators asking if we had chosen a name for him yet. We had not and knew the clock was ticking. Arman was taken to get his daily shot and then the caregiver put him down for his nap.
We went to lunch at a nice hotel called The Cosmonaut, that is just down the street from the baby house. We feel badly going back to the same places each day to use the wi-fi. We were able to access wi-fi in the restaurant of this hotel while waiting for our lunch.
After lunch we got Arman from the crib and began to feel the time crunch, as today was our deadline to decide on his full name. We have to give our facilitator his name by tomorrow so that our adoption paperwork can be started-we were not ready when she asked earlier this week and have been discussing this nonstop for weeks now. Seeing as we have no Internet at our apartment, no television in English, and a very small supply of reading material to last us 3 weeks, discussing names has pretty much been our evening entertainment. What fun!?! We had decided on a name prior to coming here but we didn’t know what our baby’s name would be and whether the name we decided on would be his first or middle name. It does not work well with Arman and Bookman so we were back to the drawing board. Arman’s name is pronounced “Ar-mahn;” we are anticipating that his name is going to be mispronounced often in life. During the time we took him outside this afternoon, we finally decided on his full name: Nathaniel Arman Bookman. His nickname will be Nate. Looking at him, both Nathaniel and Nate seem to fit him. Now we have to get him used to responding to those names. We all seemed content outside this afternoon: Laura and Kev were much relieved to finally resolve the name issue, Irina was playing and getting very muddy, and Nathaniel nodded off in Daddy’s arms.
The masseuse came for the afternoon massage and then we gave Nate some walker time. He loved zooming around in the walker and defended his toy when one little baby tried to take it. There is an improvement in how he sits and uses his leg muscles since we first got here. His top missing tooth seems to be ready to break through the gums in the next day or two.
Irina picked up a toy from the shelf in the playroom that has little balls that go cascading down several tiers, making noise as the little balls go down. All activity ceased in the room and you could hear a pin drop as all of the babies froze and stared in complete silence at Irina. She continued turning the toy upside down to make the noise a couple of toys and all babies continued watching her. The other couple in the room commented on how she enjoyed being the center of attention, though that seems to be life as Irina has known it. She was very sweet and took the toy around the room, making it make the noise for each baby and letting each and every baby have a turn touching the toy. After that, they were very interested in everything else that she did. It was funny to watch her holding court in the playroom. She has been wonderful during our visits to the baby house, entertaining herself with coloring, playing with a Barbie set we bought her, and interacting with the two translators who have been very sweet to her. She comes over from time to time to interact with her brother and hang out with us.
We stopped at a new (to us) grocery store on the way home and were delighted to find a new selection of chocolate snacks to sample. We have been conducting a taste test of peanut M&M’s all over the world over the last few years and were happy to find some Kazakh ones. Kevin has just informed me that we should throw out all of Irina’s clothing just prior to traveling home to Belgium and fill up her suitcase with Kazakh peanut M&M’s. They are some of the best we have ever had! (Hopefully our social worker is not reading this! Just kidding, Randy, if you are!?!) There are so many varieties of candy bars here that aren’t found in the US or Belgium. The Kazakh Kit Kats are quite tasty as is the Kit Kat ice-cream. Laura’s grandparents would be proud of us as we eat our way through each country we visit.
For the second night in a row, we let Irina run around in the park area near our apartment building and then walked down the street to where a lady has rotisserie chickens in a small box that cooks about 4 at a time. It was a whole delicious chicken for about $7.00 and reminded us of the Sunday market at home. We are thinking that we might be able to leave here on or about April 14, since that would be 21 days in country, and maybe return the first week of May to pick up Nathaniel (it’s kind of weird switching names today).
We want to say “thank you” to everyone who has emailed us via our personal and work emails, Facebook, and our blog site to say congrats and for all of the comments. It really means a lot to us!!! We have such a limited time to use the Internet since we can’t get it working in our apartment so we haven’t been able to respond to most of the emails.