December 26 2003

The kids are supposed to be napping, but I can hear Anthony grunting in the next room.  Good to my word, I am eating chocolate. Cadbury Fruit and Nut bar purchased here in good old Karaganda.  Don't let anybody tell you you can't get what you need here.

We had a fine morning.  Anthony woke at about 8:15.  I got up with him and gave him a bottle which he was thrilled to suck down.  Daddy was the next one up, but not until after 9:00. We started getting some breakfast together for Anthony.  Some raspberry baby rice cereal like stuff. It was OK, but I wouldn't want to eat it everyday.  And Yes, Taralee, I had to taste it. Got to know what that baby's food tastes like.

Katherine stumbled out of bed sometime after 9:30.  What a sleepy girl.  I was so glad that she got a good nights sleep. She is so cute when she gets up.  She doesn't like to be hot, so she took her pajamas off last night (with our permission).  She slept in a t-shirt and undies.  But when she gets up, she gets herself dressed.  She always puts her shirt on backwards.  The buttons usually go in the back, but she puts them in the front.  Makes sense.  Why put the buttons where you can't reach them if you are smart enough to dress yourself?

Can I tell you we have the noisiest apartment?  Remember, we're not usually here during the day hoping children will sleep and nap, so all these noises are really noticeable. The front door that leads to our apartment building (we're on the first floor now) must open and close once every fifteen minutes.  It's not so much the banging shut of the 4000 lb steel door on a 8000 lb spring, it's more the squeal it gives off.  It sounds like an eagle or hawk screeching and every time it does it all I can think is "The Eagle has landed".  I'm annoying myself.  There's some old Russian lady that apparently picks up someone from the upper floors.  She won't walk up the stairs.  She's like the teenage boy come to pick up the girlfriend, but instead of coming to the door he beeps the horn.  Well, this old lady stands on our landing and yells at the top of her old Russian lungs.  Jeepers!!  The first time she did it, (yesterday) Katherine got this look of terror on her face.  So I made the yap yap yapping motions with my hands and went 'Blah, Blah Blah!'. She thought that was pretty funny.  So when we heard her today it had already turned into a game. 

What was that sound you ask???  I'm not sure. I think that was crane with a wrecking ball knocking down the apartment wall.  Not that you needed to know this part, but Bill happened to be in the luxury toilet we have when that banging began.  He said the whole toilet was vibrating.  At least he clarified it wasn't him making the banging.  I was a little nervous for him.

Oh well!  I haven't laughed that hard in about a week.  The master bedroom, where Anthony is supposed to be napping right now, has only sheers for curtains. It's about as bright as a day at the beach. Bill says it's lit up like a fire truck at a natural disaster.  So he's been standing up in his metal crib admiring himself in the full length mirrors across from his crib.  Katherine has already been up and was knocking on the bedroom door to be permitted into the living room.  I brought her back to bed, but who knows how long this will last.

I think - wait the banging has resumed! Hooray! (that's sarcasm in case you missed it)- I was saying, I think after nap time we will bundle up the kids and walk to the market.  We need to buy a sled to pull Katherine on (not today, maybe tomorrow).  She's cute and I love her and she doesn't weigh all that much, but she is a big bundle to carry and rock salt doesn't exist here.  I'd rather pull her on a sled then drop her on her head.  At the market we'll get some more kephir and milk, but mostly fresh air.

Did I mention how adorable my children are?  Katherine loves to brush her teeth.  I am very glad. We got some banana flavored toothpaste, but honestly, she'd brush them without any toothpaste at all.  I'm trying to teach her to spit into the sink.  She'll spit, but only after she swallows the water.  It's strictly bottled water for the teeth brushing.  I brushed Anthony's teeth and gums sans the toothpaste.  It must have felt pretty weird for him because he kept sticking out his tongue and licking his lips. It was cute.  And he LOVES his bottle.  He was really too young to be drinking out of a cup.  That boy weighs about 6 tons when you hold him and give him a bottle. He is so relaxed and content. It's a beautiful thing.

I think we've finally been able to show Katherine how to drink out of a sippy cup.  We kept trying to make sucking noises so she would suck on the cup.  Instead she started blowing out.  That would never work.  Finally, I stuck my finger in my mouth and sucked it in.  Nice imagery, huh?  After doing it a few times though, she got it.  She'd still rather drink out of a regular cup, but the sippy cup helps reduce the spills. 

Katherine is trying to mimic everything we do. She is trying to please us. It is really interesting to watch. She can say please, although it does not really sound like please, we get the point. The kisses are coming a mile a minute, when she wants to. I think she kissed Ann and I a thousand times this evening. Ann is melting to a puddle of mush. What's a mother to do?

We buy water in 5 or 6 liter plastic containers. Anthony loves to play with them on the floor. This kind of like Christmas gifts for kids. They pull the toy out of the packaging and play with the empty box. We could have saved some luggage weight had we only known. Katherine likes standing on and falling off. We had told her several times to stop, because she may get hurt. Oh well, she fell, did not get hurt and still tried to get on them again. She is 2 1/2 years old. I do not think I really listened at that age either. We just try to keep letting her know "take it easy". I see stitches in her future. We did tell her that we may not be able to take her to the emergency room here Kazakhstan. Two reasons, we do not know where it is and we do not speak the language. We do have an emergency sewing kit though.  She is very cute.

Katherine had an empty shoe box. She was playing a magic trick with us today. It made me think of Ryan, he loves magic tricks. I think that Ryan will be able to show her a good magic trick or 2. Ryan, if your reading this, practice up on some of your tricks and you will have her following you around all day long. She would put a pen in the box and throw her hands up "Where did it go" then open the box and produce the pen. She thought this was the best. We laughed, which encouraged more of the same trick. Ryan has had some of the best magic tricks going though, he is the best 9 year old magician I know. Do not tell her all of your secrets Ry, a good magician never reveals all his secrets.

Bath time- it was great. Ann bathed Katherine, I could hear them laughing and carrying on in there they had been doing it all their lives. I heard a lot of giggling and singing (from Ann). Anthony and I watched Katherine brush her teeth, she loved it. She is going to be ok with us.

I gave Anthony his bath. A huge difference from last night. Not a peep out of that boy. He discovered splashing. I was almost as wet as him by the time we were done. I laid him back and washed his hair, singing to him. After he sat back up, he wanted to stand, this was not going to work for me.  I splashed a little water, his eyes lit up. He was off after that. Laughing and giggling, splashing himself in the face with water. I was amazed. 

Oh, I almost forgot. We took our first family trip to the store today. We walked to the market to get some Milk, Kipher and cookies. I picked Katherine up a chocolate Santa she was eyeing up. We did not break the seal on the Santa yet. I figure it would be best to this early in the day, just in case it does not sit well. The walk was good. Katherine definitely does not like walking and I am a sucker. She holds her hands up and I obey. She really has me trained. I did put her down a few times. She does not make carrying her very easy. She will throw herself backwards. On ice, this is a real problem for me. I did not get the business card of a good Slip and Fall lawyer here in Kaz. On second thought, I do not think there are any. If you are coming in the winter, be prepared for slippery walking. Ann has already warned of "No rock Salt".

Natasha and Olga are coming tomorrow to take us out and about. Not sure where will go or what we will do. I think a little sight seeing will be good for all of us. I am going to get some good outside pictures. I want the kids to be able to see where they came from, when they are older.

It is 10:30 pm here and Anthony is stirring. I am going to close this up with, we have been blessed with these 2 wonderful children. I love Ryan and Tyler and now we get to spread our family a little bit more. These 2 are blessed with 2 Great big brothers.

© Bill Delmedico 2013