Saturday, April 4, 2009

April 4, 2009

Immodium Advanced works really well. Enough said. It even makes you sleepy.

The short version of the story is that Laura and Irina went to visit Nathaniel today while Kevin stayed in the apartment. It was clean up day at the baby house and all of the caregivers were at the baby house cleaning up the outside-shoveling, raking, picking up trash, sweeping, etc. Most of the snow is gone. As we drove to the baby house (and in the afternoon when we drove around), we saw people all over the city cleaning up. Not sure if it was an official “clean up” day but it sure seemed like it.

As usual, Nathaniel was very happy to see us this morning. It is so funny to see him in the morning because he is usually dressed in one of the little “overalls” that all of the babies wear. It is a piece of cloth that has four strings attached to the top and they tie the strings in the back of the babies to keep the “overalls” on. The babies who are being adopted wear disposable diapers but the babies who do not yet have families only have a cloth covering their diaper area underneath the “overalls.” We’ll have to get a good picture of him in his little morning outfit before we change him. He is all smiles on the changing table and likes to hold onto his package of wipes. Like any baby, he likes it when you blow on his belly. He had more green spots today, especially on his neck.

It was quite steamy again this morning in the playroom. It was funny to watch one of the babies in his walker-two other walkers were hooked onto his and he was pulling them around. Another baby was in one of those walkers. The playroom was bustling as all 8 of the women were in and out of the room. There are six caregivers and two nurses assigned to the room. Nate was very interested in what was happening and did a lot of people watching. As soon as one of the ladies would look his way, his face would break out into a big smile. We spent a lot of the morning playing with stacking rings-for whatever reason he found the green one quite tasty. Irina spent a long time playing with him this morning and he enjoyed her company. He spent a little bit of time zooming around in one of the walkers.
After eating at our usual lunch spot, the Karaganda CafĂ©, we stopped by to check on Kevin. Irina broke a glass at lunch and our translator told us that breaking a glass is a sign of good luck. She also told us that they think seeing spiders mean that you are going to get money. If only that were true at home in Belgium! We’d be loaded!!! Kevin was not in any shape to leave the apartment so Irina and I continued on back for our afternoon session. I was very happy to hear that the doctor said we needed to play in the other area because the playroom was too hot. We spent our afternoon in the other room with the other couple. Nathaniel liked sitting in the big comfy chair with his big sister as you will see from the picture. We played some more with the rings and Irina brought him a dump truck that he enjoyed chewing on. He spent quite awhile standing up while holding onto the big chair. It’s great to see him begin to develop his leg muscles.

After a quick stop at the grocery store to buy some groceries and smaller diapers (Nathaniel is a little guy), we came home to find Kevin feeling much better. Irina has been learning about the cycle of life via the National Geographic channel in Russian. Late this afternoon was our first big downpour since we’ve been here. It didn’t last long but the raindrops were huge. We are hoping that the weather will be beautiful again tomorrow so that we can go to the park after our morning session. There is no afternoon session on Sunday. We are hoping to find out when we can go visit Irina’s baby house so that we can see the caregivers who are still there and so that Irina can see it for herself.

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