Friday, November 28, 2008
We are spending today relaxing and packing. Mom and Cassi are napping to "Smokey And The Bandit" on tv. Later, we will take a stroller tour of the hotel to get a few more last minute pictures. They have started putting up the Christmas decorations, so we want to take Cassi to see all of the different trees.
Goodbye Moscow, we will miss you! We'll be back again one day for a heritage trip. :)
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Cassi learned to drink from a straw this morning, so we are pumping her full of liquids since she hasn't wanted to drink anything via the cup (the way they give them liquids in the orphanage). Here is a video of her eating and then drinking from the straw this morning.
Going to market
Going back to hotel, loaded down w/ stuff
Having lunch! She loves table food. Even after her baby food, she wanted some of my sandwich (my hair was wiped out after having the hood on).
We took a taxi to Old Arabat this afternoon. It was a lot of fun shopping and looking around. An artist did a quick charcoal of Cassi and me that turned out pretty well! A great keepsake. Here are some photos from today. Oh, I had lasagna again and Mom had spaghetti for dinner! Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
Starbucks (an online adoption chat joke!)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I joined the other family that is here on their pickup trip to pick up our passports and visas. Going there took maybe 15 minutes. Coming back took at least 45, maybe an hour for some reason. The traffic was worse than usual. When I arrived at the hotel, the tranlator met me in the lobby and we went up to the room to fill out the Embassy paperwork. Cassi was walking around in her crib, not taking a nap, happy as a lark. The paperwork took about 15 minutes.
While here, I played the Russian singing bear that the hotel gave Cassi (see earlier post from this week where we are playing it for the baby) to see what it is singing. She said it is basically non-sense! Here we've been thinking it was some traditional Russian baby song (i.e. Rock-a-by Baby or something)! Turns out it's jibberish. Oh, well, the baby still likes it.
We have our U.S. Embassy appointment tomorrow at 1:40!!!! This is the FINAL stage of the Mtn. Adoption!!!! It is here at last!!!! The rest is all down hill as we coast on home in our super jet. I was planning to post a picture of the outside cover of Cassi's passport, but the translator is holding on to it until we have our Embassy appt.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Cassi and I (my cheeks are so red because it was a little cold!)
These shoes were made for walkin' (well, when I get a little more practice!)
Mom feeding Cassi, who is totally not impressed by the blueberry cereal combo meal. At least her food co-ordinates with her outfit.
That's all for now. Looks like our Embassy visit will be Wednesday or Friday (closed for Thanksgiving), then we leave for home on Saturday!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I was so excited to finally have our stuff that I couldn't go back to sleep! :) It was like Christmas opening the suitcases because I packed them almost a week ago. There were all kinds of marvelous treasures in there like multiple pairs of underwear AND socks, conditioner, Proactiv, the medical kit that Tamara packs off to all parents on their pick up trip, snacks, clothes for Cassi and me, baby lotion and much, much more! I took a shower when Cassi took her morning nap and it's the first time I've felt really clean since we got here. A camper, I am not!
One of the many treasures in our suitcases were the shoes that I packed for Cassi. Luckily, one pair made it in the snowsuit bag, so she's been wearing those when we are out and about. They are fur trimmed boots. I think she has high arches like me, because we couldn't get them all the way on her feet, but they were definitely long enough. Today as I was about to change her diaper, I remembered the shoes and that I hadn't gotten to see her in them yet, having waited all these months. I put one of each on her feet and she LOVED them! So much better than the navy blue boot things that she had her feet stuffed into in the orphanage. The shoes we got her, according to the foot tracings (which were w/ her wearing footie pjs while still in the orphanage on trip 1), showed she should wear a size 3. Well, the size 3's are a good two finger widths too long for her! Guess that means one thing: Shoe shopping when we get back! YAY!
The shoes look really giant from this view.
That's all from hibernation central. It is blowing like all get out and snowing from time to time. People are still out there walking around, going where they go. Tomorrow, the driver is picking just me up (Mom will watch Cassi) so that I can get Cassi's Russian passport and American visa. YAY!!!!!! One more step towards bringing her home this Saturday!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Our room (notice laundry on window)
Here is our room at the Marriott Renaissance, which is 5 star over here. It was the only hotel available for this week with Marriott points. I would prefer our little Courtyard because I kind of knew my way around over there, but we can "tough it out" over here. We have these in the US and I would say they are more 4 star or so.
Anyway, we are STILL waiting on our 3 suitcases to show up since our arrival on Wednesday (it's Saturday afternoon here), so we are having to wash out clothes every night. The outfit I wore here still isn't dry, so I'm still wearing the same outfit mom loaned me. It's brown pants and a brown shirt, aka, the UPS outfit. I've worn it since Thursday!!! One good thing is that people over here just do that for some reason, so it goes unnoticed. Our bathroom and the area by the window with the radiator, look more like a laundry most of the time. My hair is brittle from not having any conditioner. Lotion just isn't the same on the ole hair! No flat iron is bad, too. And, I must have Proactiv and normally pack travel sizes in my carry on, but for some reason didn't do it this time. So, my skin is starting to break out. If you are wondering why there haven't been many pictures including me, trust me, I'm doing you a favor!!! LOL!
If these were normal circumstances, I would be having an awful time. We have everything we need to get by and surely to goodness our suitcases will get here today. The main thing is that we are with the baby and she is doing great and has no idea my hair is brittle or that I've had on the same thing for days and days. The flight the suitcases were on came in at 8:20 this morning according to the online flight status. It is now 2PM, so we are hoping and praying! We have the baby's formula and sippy cup and many, many things that we could really use in there (she isn't on formula now, so it's nothing she's missing). We would have gotten conditioner and baby lotion, had we known it would be this long of a wait, at the grocery store. Roughing it in a 5 Star hotel! LOL! I'm sure they would be happy to charge us $10 or more per item to wash our clothes and who knows what to get us some conditioner. I may try out for "Survivor" after this! LOL!
I don't know what happened to my post, but it wasn't saving when it said it was...so anyway, I finally got Cassi to laugh for the first time since we made her laugh at the orphanage and it scared her so much she burst into tears. It was all laughs tonight! I'm giving her a "zurbert" on her cheek when you see the camera move away.
Still no suitcases and it's 7:45 pm. I just looked out and this is what I saw. Let's hope this guy has snow tires!
I wrote a ton more and spent an hour on this "Later***" part, but I don't have it in me to red0 the whole thing.
Cassi loves to do "rasberries!" Mom taught her this yesterday. She was doing them on cue tonight--it was hilarious! See below:
When the guy brings the suitcase, I may just video that! :)
Friday, November 21, 2008
First stroller ride
First time in highchair in restaurant
Mom's awesome burger!
First Bath (by me)!
Ready for bed!
Nighty-night! More tomorrow...
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Announcing the arrival of Cassiana!!! And tales of broken beds, diapers exploding and a happy, happy baby!
We picked up Cassiana at about noon today from Baby Home #14 in Moscow!!! It was really snowing a lot and very pretty. Moscow got it's first real snow last night. Just enough to cover the grass, but today it snowed a lot for several hours.
After having 2 layers of clothes much of her life, she enjoyed seeing and touching her feet once we got to the hotel! She is just a couple of weeks away from walking and her hair is definitely wavy! Go curls!
It's interesting because we have to take our off shoes when in an area where the children crawl on the floor and they must wear 10 layers before going outdoors at the orphanage. But, at no time during our visits were we asked to wash our hands before picking her up.
When we got our hotel room, I tried to lay her down in the crib since it was her nap time. However, she wasn't going to have that, with all of the excitment, so I was holding her and rocking her when we heard a very loud noise coming from the room next door! Construction! So, they helped us move all of our stuff to the other side of the hotel. Good thing we didn't have those pesky 3 extra suitcases that traveled to Singapore. I should preface this by saying that before we picked up Cassi, we realized that the crib was awful. About 5 of the slats didn't reach the top wrung, making it pretty much useless. The stats just went every which way. So, they immediately switched it out for one much less rickety (but still on the rickety side).Then, Mom sat on the corner of the bed in the new room and it fell over! The leg came off! It didn't have the screw to hold it in. So, the maintenance person was kind enough to fix it immediately. I'm so glad Cassi wasn't playing on that side.
The hotel did give Cassi a very cute bear that sings a child's song in Russian. She loves this song and dances to it, though it sounds scary to us. I will get a video of it tomorrow. And, they sent up some fruit and champagne for all of our troubles. Breakfast was another story. The waiter must have thought we were invisible as they didn't once grace our presence. Oh, when I went over and told them we'd like some coffee, they did, but that was all. The eggs tasted like they had some weird cheese or almond flavoring. It's hard to mess up an egg mix, I would think. I complained about the service because this isn't the Motel 6!
Next we played a lot on the floor w/ Cassi and gave her a snack. She is eating Stage 1 and Stage 2 food for those wondering. Her eating is similar to about a 6 month old because she pushes it out of her mouth. This could have been because she's not used to baby food and it's taste and texture or she is just at that stage developmentally for eating. She drinks out a cup! Didn't spill a drop! The sippy cup is in of the suitcases and they didn't sell them at the grocery store. I want to start her on a bedtime bottle for the bonding time and to help her mouth muscles develop.
During her dinner, we had an explosive, unappetizing diaper episode. I've heard tell of these, but never experienced these with Kai. They are a mandatory initiation to all diapered babies of adoptive parents! I'm pretty sure it was from the sudden change of food (babyfood instead of real food pureed). She was sitting in her stroller as a make shift high chair (another reason I'm so glad we brought Kai's old one and not a new one!) and it was so bad, it leaked all over the stroller and the floor! Mom had to hose off the stroller in the shower and the baby as well. She was back to her happy self all thru the clean up. I packed some Febreeze, but it's in one of the suitcases.
It was so nice to put her in some soft pj's as her clothes in the orphanage were all scratchy and too tight. I have some cute video of her talking to herself and making rasberries in the mirror!!! Warning: This video is adorable!!!
Cassi started to get sleepy with all of the exploding diapers and smiling and laughing and all, so I rocked her for a few minutes while she sucked her thumb and then laid her down and that was that! Out like a light! The phone even rang shortly after putting her down and she didn't budge. Maybe it's the soothing softness of her purple "Tea Party" pajamas w/ the Mary Janes imprinted on them or... just having a family! :) By the way, she is saying ma,ma,ma! It's not in reference to me yet, but that was a new sound for her! Don't worry, Dan, we are practicing da,da,da, too!
This is a picture I took on the trip here. We got the weirdest looks carting our stuff around in the baby stroller! People looked us up and down and were looking to see where the baby was and did we have it smothering under the coats. I wanted to go, "Come on people! Get a clue!" But, I just watched them squirm uncomfortably. It was obvious that a baby wouldn't fit on there w/ our 2 purses and 2 coats. DUH! Won't have that problem on the way home! :)