Two more days with our little imp - Scott has started to call her the Gnome of the Steppes.
Yesterday, Alia was pretty fussy and upset. She drank a little less than half her bottle. I must apologize for what I am about to write but it seems to be a simple equation of intake and out-take. The out-take wasn't happening. The delicate balance is upset, therefore, Alia was NOT happy. This is completely fine - we can handle it, but it is frustrating to not be able to do anything about it.
It is amazing how quickly poop becomes interesting and vital to us again.
Today, we arrived and our interpreter said that a nurse tried to give her the bottle before and she drank very little of it. Maybe there was something new in the bottle because it was the weekend - they could have run out of the usual "formula" our interpreter explained. It still stresses me out. The intake/out-take stresses me out - it did with Luca and now it is with Alia. Our interpreter says not to worry. On an intellectual level I know that I shouldn't worry - but on some sort of primal, emotional level I panic. Women's brains must be hardwired to respond this way . . . or I could be neurotic :).
Despite the small lunch today, she was very content. The last 2 days she has continued to work towards crawling by laying on her belly and flailing her arms and legs about - swimming without water. She also does this side push-up thing. Luca crawled later - 10 months - I don't remember any of the preliminary stuff. It seemed like he went from sitting to crawling with nothing in between. It is amazing to watch her experiment with these new movements.
Alia looks at us so intently. She holds our gaze for such a long time - studying . . . trying to figure us out, I guess.
Otherwise, lots more walking & holding, holding & swaying. I am surprised there isn't a path worn through the linoleum from all the walking back & forth that goes on in that little room. Alia usually naps for 1/2 hour or more while one of us holds her. She was pretty talkative today . . . giggly mostly. She opens her mouth wide and wrinkles her nose and makes this adorable "guh" noise in the back of her throat. Scott read her all 4 books we have today. She turned some of the pages on her own, which was great to see.
She was pretty upset when we laid her in her crib today.
Life in Kokshetau
The other family has arrived! It is nice to have some company and help get them acclimated. It has only been a few days, but I feel like I have known them for a lot longer. I guess that's what happens when you share a house in a country where you don't know the language - there are no preliminary niceties or reluctance.
We even made dinner together last night - I made more roasted vegetables and they made some tasty cabbage & mushroom dumplings.
It has been cold here the last 5 (or so?) days. I am just so surprised by how much the weather fluctuates this time of year. It was 80 when we arrived, in the 50s last week and now it is headed into the high 60s. I appreciate getting a taste of autumn early. It is my favorite season.
We didn't have water yesterday morning - this was our second "outage". Our poor roommates - days of travel and no shower available their first day here. It was only out until around 9 a.m., so I think we got lucky. The hospital still didn't have it when we left at 12:30. I assumed that they had some sort of back-up system, but that isn't the case. I do have a theory about why we haven't had water a couple times this week. I know it is a common occurrence, however this may be related to turning on the central water heating system. Like the heat, hot water is centralized. It is turned off for the summer. Some houses and apartments have boilers which heat the water. Lots of others don't, so many people go without hot water all summer long.
I have spent an absurd amount of time trying to set-up my Outlook to send and receive mail from my school account. It is just not working - I am not able to send. ARGHHH!
Here are some photos of Kokshetau:
exterior of a typical apartment building - almost all of them have the shallow porches for drying laundry
Scott was taking a picture of the massive apartment building but, I like the buses. The buses have CURTAINS - I love that!
Back in Carbondale
My stepfather visited my mom and Luca this weekend. They had an outing to the park and he sent me some photos on his Blackberry.
How is it that he looks so big?! I think he has grown 4 inches. He looks like a BOY not a toddler anymore. Sniff . . .
Grandma & Luca - the dynamic duo.
Grandma & Luca - the dynamic duo.
All is well at home. I really, really missed Luca when I saw these photos this morning. He really seems to be doing so well. I signed him up for a Saturday morning art class with his friend Isabelle, which was a big hit. We continue to have our morning (us)/evening (him) chats. I really know now that it was best for him to stay home. We can focus on Alia and he may gain a little more independence. Susan Serra keeps telling me that that is what we as parents want - independent children. And, she is right, but it is difficult letting go.
We are "over the hump" so to speak . . . we have been here 10 days and will be here 10 more.