Saturday, April 4, 2009
Out of order we know - April 3, 2009
We awoke to cloudy skies and fearing the worst. When we walked downstairs, it was raining. Too bad Kevin didn’t buy the waterproof Columbia jacket from the Columbia store down the street. Everything there is 50-70% off. Anyway, he didn’t need it because around 1030am, the sun came out. Each time we arrive at the baby house, we change from our shoes into slippers that we leave in the shoe room at the baby house. Laura was quite perturbed this morning upon discovering that someone took her slippers. They were the same slippers she purchased at the beginning of our trip to Kazakhstan 4 years ago for Irina’s adoption. (Luckily whoever took them returned them sometime during our morning visit.) We weren’t able to take Nate out this morning because the doctor said it was too windy. As you can see from some of the pictures, he had a great time at breakfast. Unfortunately, it was a bit runny and Kev didn’t give him the rest because it was just too watery. Nathaniel’s top missing tooth finally broke through the gum! It was weird because you were able to see the tooth for the last few days just under his gum. We have been waiting for it to come through. The music teacher came late into our morning session and she stayed for a little longer than normal. Nathaniel started flapping his arms like a little bird when he got excited during the music and singing. It is impossible not to smile when you are around him! Also, one of the care-givers, who is pictured with Nate gives weekly lessons in Kazakh. It’s pretty cool to see because all the kids are mesmerized by her. All of the caregivers get weekly lessons and they are expected to teach the children in their rooms. Today she put a doll in a dump truck and was telling the children about the truck (it has two wheels, a door, etc.). Before we knew it, the morning session was over.
We ate lunch at the Karaganda Café. It’s not a bad place. Kev had a chicken salad, Laura had a beef and pepper plate, and Irina ate pancakes and jam, her most requested meal here. We also re-met another American couple who are from Texas. They are adopting a 20 month boy. They are in their mid-20’s and really nice. They have to be here for 2 months. We had a great conversation with them. On the way out, Laura met another American woman who teaches English in Karaganda and has been here for three years. Hopefully we’ll see her again and find out how her time has been here. When we arrived, there was an older man in the corner whom the Texas couple knew. He teaches college level English but we didn’t speak with him. We were also served incredibly soft and tasty bread today with lunch.
Back at the baby house, the afternoon dragged on. After feeding Nate, we did a cursory inspection of the diaper area to find a conglomeration of poop, not seen on such a little body or in a diaper. Needless to say, two things happened; almost 3 people were needed for the cleanup job and Nate got a bath. We were really shocked at the amount of recycling happening in that little dude’s body. Then again, he got enough food for lunch that even Kev could not have eaten it; it was a whole bowl full of meat and potatoes We gave Nate some walker time this morning and afternoon to help him develop his leg muscles. He is getting around great in his walker and we can’t wait to bring him home to put him in the jumper. He was really into playing with a big ball this afternoon. The babies enjoyed attention from Irina as she bopped/danced around the room listening to Justin Timberlake on the I-Pod while bringing toys to the babies. We heard a few peeps out of Nathaniel, though he isn’t very vocal yet. He likes to make a “woo” noise as he puffs up his cheeks and blows air while doing it.
We promised Irina we’d take her to the new mall where they have an arcade with games and a jungle gym play area. When we arrived, it was a two for one deal on the debit card used to pay for games and stuff. Irina played the Whack-a-mole game, a game where she had to stomp on lighted nubs, and then a few rides. Irina then when into the jungle gym but was bored quickly as she was the only kid in the whole arcade. We found this odd, as at lunchtime, it was crazy all over the city. After our session in the afternoon, the city was strangely quiet. The mall was empty. So we went to eat at a restaurant which only has English menus at lunch and with supposed wi-fi access. The food is great but the wi-fi is terrible. Actually, you’re supposed to be able to use wi-fi in the whole mall but that’s a bunch of BS. It doesn’t work anywhere, at least on our computer. Kev wants to blame Vista but he knows that’s not the answer. We were lucky that one of the waitresses at the restaurant spoke English though it was slightly uncomfortable as the entire wait-staff seemed to stare at us.
After the mall, we walked home. Nice afternoon/evening for the walk. For those of you trying to call us, we’re sorry you haven’t been able to reach us. For whatever reason, the phone cord was slightly pulled out of the jack. So now we’re good. Or so we think. We’re 4 hours ahead of CET and 10 hours ahead of East coast time. Irina put herself to bed quite early today, something she has never done before. It must have been a tiring day for her. Flipping through the night programs, we stumbled across the new season of Dexter (which we haven’t seen yet), a series we are hooked on. It is frustrating trying to understand what is happening since it is dubbed over in Russian.
We are almost halfway through our first trip here and are starting to miss some of the comforts of home, such as eating fresh fruits and vegetables (we have had a couple of apples and pears but that’s really about it-they just don’t have them here except in the summer), water without a lot of sulfur (not than water in Belgium is any better), using tap water, and a drier to name a few. We can’t wait to bring Nate home and settle into a routine of our own. It will be interesting to see the interaction between Gabby (our standard poodle) and Nathaniel!