Friday, November 28, 2008

Leaving tomorrow for HOME!!!!!!!! :)

Tomorrow is the big day (yet another one of those!)!!! We are heading home! Our 12 hour flight leaves at about 10:00 a.m. Saturday (the driver is picking us up at 7 a.m.) and we get home (gaining a day) at about 7 p.m. Saturday. We fly through Houston with a nice long layover to take care of all of the immigration stuff, etc. Chili's (at Houston airport) here we come after that! :) Then, a short 1 hour flight to OKC. Dan and Kai are picking us weary folk up in OKC. I can't wait for Kai to meet his new little sister!

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. :)

HELLO, USA!!!!!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving From Mockba!!!!!!!!1



(View from our hotel window)





Happy Thanksgiving!!!!


We have soooo much to be thankful and grateful that I could not even begin to list everything! One of the blessings is sitting in my lap, trying to help me type! Here she is dancing to the song from a Happy Thanksgiving e-card that her Grandma and Grandma Holtmann sent:


video


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.


video

We went to the grocery store after that, a 5 min. walk from the hotel:

Outside hotel



Going to market

First trip to grocery store--they don't bag the food here for you, so the checker and some other guy stood there while we were holding baby, paying and trying to bag our own stuff.

Going back to hotel, loaded down w/ stuff


video


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).

Later*****


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

It's official!!!!!!!!!!!


We had our Embassy visit today and it's official! Cassiana is on her way to the good ole USA!!! We leave on Saturday. We will spend tomorrow being thankful and grateful for all that we have!!!!


Here is a picture of Buddha Baby:

Also, she is taking to table food just fine. We wondered if she isn't really Italian as she was woofing down the lasagna tonight! This was after she had eaten 1 big jar of meat/veggie combo and a big jar of applesauce. After the lasagna, she ate a biter biscuit and did much better this time with the chewing. She is on Stage 3 baby food food now. Still not drinking very much, but all is well.

video

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reaching the top of Mt. Adoption...


All of a sudden there arose such a clatter so me in my kerchief and ma in her cap, we threw up the window and opened the sash to see what was the matter. Oh, no, that's not it. Here's what really happened. After an awesome night's sleep, we awoke to the alarm at 7 a.m. for the doctor visit. I turned on a light so that Cassiana could wake up on her own some. She woke up smiling, as per usual (I'm not making this part stuff up!). A little later the phone rang and it was Dr. Boris saying he was on his way up to see Cassi.


He is about 55 and has a mustache and dark/greyish hair. Cassi didn't cotton to him at the orphanage during that dr. visit and she sure didn't this time either! He checked her over and she got straight A's. This is the "official" you are set to leave the country exam, so that was great news! He says she's had several of her shots, which he translated on her shot record, so more great news in that we don't have to start over from scratch or have titers run. She has a small scare on her upper arm and that is from the TB inoculation. Not sure why it would leave such a scar. It's sort of a longish indentation, not the same as the small pox scars I've seen. After he left, we fed Cassi her breakfast (oatmeal and bananas), saw a therapist for her traumatic event (that part is made up) and then we all set out for breakfast downstairs.

Cassi loved the highchair from the start this time. There was a harpist playing and when she was finished, Cassi clapped her hands. She can say, "bapp" for clap and "Ma,ma,ma" for more and "up" and "down" because after I change her she likes to flop back and then up again, so we say that over and over (big fun when you are 11 months old!). Some times she says "da,da,da" and "ma,ma,ma" when I point to use in her photo album, her favorite toy. This is probably a learned response but maybe she's made the connection. We've also taught her to wave bye-bye. This was at the hotel restaurant for breakfast:



video


Practicing self feeding is over rated when you can just push everything onto the floor:


video


Now, Mom and Cassi are napping and then it will be lunch time for Cassi. I'm leaving at 2:00 to pick up her passport and visa w/ the driver. Then, at 5:00 the interpreter is coming over to the hotel to help me fill out the Embassy paperwork. Our appt. w/ the Embassy will be either tomorrow or Friday. So, that leaves Thanksgiving day as a free day. We are planning to go to Old Arabat, a walking pedestrian tourist area and do some SHOPPING! Mom hurt her back with all of the stroller lifting yesterday getting in and out of the underground tunnels with tons of stairs, so we are going to take a taxi and then the hotel will arrange one to pick us up. We could take the metro, but there are stairs there, so we will take the posh way out since it's a holiday and all! LOL!












LATER****

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

St. Basil's, At Last!!!!!!!!!!!!

St. Basil's Cathedral, Red Square



This is one of the many important milestones in the lives of adoptive families who adopt in or near Moscow. We went to Red Square late in the afternoon and finally got a picture of Cassi in front of St. Basil's!!!! It was about 32 degrees and snowing big flakes only occassionally, so that snowsuit came in very handy. The hat that came w/ it is way too big (as is the suit), so we substituted a smaller one and she was much happier with the whole "suit"uation.
We took the hotel shuttle to Pushkin Square and then walked down Tverskaya Street (about a 15 minute walk) to Red Square. It's pretty rugged terrain with a stroller because you have to carry them up and down many, many steps to go down to the tunnels that go under the streets (don't worry, they are very populated and well lite) and go over a lot of cobblestone type brick. There are rungs on some of the stairs for strollers and I'm assuming wheel chairs, but they don't fit American strollers. It was a workout, but so worth it!
Cassiana and I, at last!

Cassi and I (my cheeks are so red because it was a little cold!)
Mom, me and Cassiana the snowsuit baby
Bundled up, ready to go to Red Square


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.

Can anyone guess what these 2 food items are? Those who've been here before are not ineligible, sorry. :P
Well, today on the adoption front, Mom watched Cassi while I went to sign the passport paperwork. The family that had the same court date was there as well. That was pretty quick. Then, back to the hotel where we ate lunch and then napped until it was time to take the shuttle to Pushkin Square.
Tomorrow at 7, gulp, a.m. the doctor is coming over to the hotel for Cassiana's official medical exam. This is the same dr. who saw her in the orphanage before we accepted her as a referral who thought we were kind of nuts calling him over since she's so healthy. She screamed the whole exam, so I'm assuming we are in for more of the same unless she will be so sleepy (fingers crossed!) that she tolerates it and then gets on with her life.
She went right to sleep tonight, thanks to the Ibuprofen for her teething. She will love her nice quiet crib in her room at home. We turn the lights out in the hotel room, but after she goes to sleep, we turn the tv back on, which wakes her up some times. She is apparently used to a pretty quiet sleeping environment in pretty much total darkness. She takes her morning nap without a problem, but walks around the crib and tries to get us to laugh (making rasberry sounds, giggling, moving her head around in a silly way, putting both arms and legs thru the slats while sitting down and moving them up and down), so I lay her back down and we don't look at her and eventually she lays down and goes to sleep. At home, she will have her own space without all of these distractions.

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

Suitcases!!!!!!!

YAY!!!! I woke up at 4 a.m. to tend to Cassi (that's not the yay part) and went by the door to our room and this is what I saw. A note saying our suitcases were downstairs!!!!!!! Notice the envelope is addressed to Mr. Patterson (Dan, your luggage is here--LOL!):


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!
So, it was very windy, cloudy and somewhat rainy today. Cassi was taking a nice long morning nap and we needed to get some things at the grocery store up the block. Instead of packing her into her snowsuit, which she hates, I went by myself and Mom stayed to watch over Cassi. Some one on the frua.org chat room posted that there is a grocery store about a 5 minute walk from here and gave directions. So, I set out into the unknown! LOL! I just proceeded down the sidewalk and didn't smile or make eye contact so that everyone would know I'm a "local."
Once there, it was about 15 steps downstairs and was a pretty decent sized market for here. I found everything I was looking for, being careful not to get so much I couldn't carry it back (see, that's why they are skinny here). I couldn't figure out which coffee was decaf., so Mom will have to make due. I'm pretty sure that the baby food I got Cassi is beef w/ veggies, though our driver did tell us that horse and rabbit meat are common. What we don't know, won't hurt us! It has a picture of various veggies and brown meat. She loved it! It was like being illiterate trying to figure out what to buy since it's impossible to decipher Russian unless you have a fair grasp of the Cyrillic alphabet, which I do not.
We made sandwhiches in the room for lunch. The mini-bar has been cleared out and replaced w/ food and stuff for us. The housekeeper, so far, hasn't said anything about us moving stuff around. I started teaching Cassi some signs yesterday and already today she mimiced "finished" at lunch! She also claps and chants "Ma, ma, ma" when she wants more! Too cute!
Cassi is teething. She's getting a second top tooth in addition to her two bottom teeth. She didn't sleep well at all in her crib last night that I'm pretty sure has been recalled at some point, but they just keep using it. It's safer than the one w/ the moveable slants that they tried to give us the first time, though! Anyway, Cassi was up on and off all last night and we couldn't figure out what the problem was. Then, this morning, she smiled and I saw the new top tooth starting to come though. We had nothing to give her since the suitcase w/ the medical kit wasn't here yet, so I guess it was better we didn't know. She is sleeping soundly now, thanks to some baby ibuprofen (Kim, cover your ears!).
After lunch, we played some more. Cassi will sit on the bed and play for hours at a time! Kai would have thrown every toy off of the bed in a different direction and have slid down to scurry off in 5 seconds flat. Perhaps there is a difference between boys and girls? Cassi loves to snuggle, too. So, we lazed around and played and snuggled in the bed all day in our p.j.'s. We did get her up to walk around and cruise. Can't go having a lazy baby! Here's a video of me walking her around. She looks so proud! Don't worry, Dan. She won't be walking before we leave for home!

video

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

Exploring The World And Roughing It In A 5 Star Hotel and Laughing Our You Know What's Off!!!





First Trip to McDonald's




Well, we ventured out to McDonald's today. It is about 6 blocks away, so not too far to walk. Glad it's not snowing any more! We had to bundle Cassi up in the giant snowsuit, which she hated, but it's a must around here. After we got going in the stroller, she was very happy, kicking her legs. Mom got a Happy Meal so that Kai could have a toy. She saved the box for him, too. We then walked over to the Olympic Center from the 1980 Winter Olympics. There are a bunch of stores at the bottom. I really didn't see what the big deal was, but maybe there's not much shopping around here. It was pretty busy. Tomorrow we will journey to the market by ourselves...




On the way back from McDonald's we saw the port-o-lets that I had heard about. There is a lady sitting in the one on the end (see square hole in door) and from what I understand, you pay her to use the toilet. It's her job to maintain them. People in the US complain about THEIR jobs...
Bathroom attendant




Cassi is very laid back. She snuggled with me on the bed for about an hour last night, content to suck her thumb and look through her family photo album. She loves that book! As soon as Kai learned to crawl, he was outie! I tried to snuggle with him, but most of the time he wanted down so that he could crawl around and play. Cassi also wanted to snuggle this morning as she was waking up.




Last night, Cassi discovered the TV and wanted to touch the screen, which I let her do. She sat with me and we watched the Russian Something Or Other (possibly called Russian Cup) ice skating championship. The skaters were pretty horrible and it was pretty funny. The comentators were trying to be so nice like, "He isn't as big of a lump on skates as he was last year (they were British)". The skaters were from all over the world and very young. Every single one of the pairs skaters fell multiple times during their session. One of the pairs was especially memorable. I had to shield Cassi's eyes! The male kept missing his turns, etc. and then they both stopped all of a sudden, as blood gushed from the guy's hand! It was awful! They put on a bandage and continued on. However, the bandage was not very thick and it was soaked w/ blood. Of course his partner was wearing a white skating dress, so by the end of it, it looked more like a masaser than a skating event! YUCK! Sorry, no picture of this one!






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!



LATER****


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.


video



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:

video

When the guy brings the suitcase, I may just video that! :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

A bunch of firsts!!!

One sweet baby to go, please!



Just as with babies you give birth to, there are firsts with adopted kiddos as well. Many of these truly are her first as she likely didn't have these experiences in the orphanage. We spent most of the day "napping when the baby did," as recommended! So, we had to, right? LOL! We needed 2 naps today as much as Cassiana! She continues to amaze us with her happiness, cuteness, sense of humor and her smartypants-ness. She is very smart and catches on to things quickly.


We finally ventured out of the room around 12:30, after our naps and Cassi's lunch. The housekeeper was waiting outside the room and ready to go, so we vamoosed and went to eat at the hotel restaurant. This was Cassi's first ride in the stroller. Mom's burger was presented on a wooded tray and was a mere $27!!! Yikes! This was Cassi's first time in a high chair (at least w/ us). She didn't like it at first, but the second try was the charm.


First stroller ride





First time in highchair in restaurant

Mom's awesome burger!


First Bath (by me)!



All Clean!



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!

(Warning, the editing on this entry is a little crazy! Good luck figuring it out!!! :)

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.

Anyway, to more important stuff! Our driver was kind enough to take us to the grocery store near the baby home to load up on supplies (baby food, diapers, food for us, etc.). This was especially helpful since our suitcases won't be joining us until Saturday. We bought some tea, coffee and chocolates, too, for the caregivers and orphanage director and doctor, which is customary on the pick up day. A security guard (more like a young boy) trailed us as soon as we entered the store. The driver said it was because we were interesting Americans, but we think it was to see how much food the Americans buy and what kind of candy bars and Mayo, etc. that we loaded up on! Americans are HUGE compared to those folks and it's no wonder why! LOL! If I had to walk to the grocery store and pay the prices they do (a large jar of baby food is $2) and ate no fast food, I'd be stick thin also.
Next, Mom, the driver and I went to BabyHome #14 in Moscow to retrieve our Russian sweet baby! The caregiver dressed her in many, many layers as is the custom for leaving the orphanage. You would have thought it was 40 below! Luckily our suitcase w/ the required clothing was one that made it on the plane. First, she put the tights on Cassi. Next, pants and shirt similar to long underwear (only cuter w/ pink bunnies and very soft). Next, socks. Then, the shirt for her outfit, then the pants and hoodie. Lastly, the huge snowsuit w/ a hat that must cover the ears and hood. (This snowsuit is a size 18 months, but it wasn't as huge as I was expecting. She is wearing a size 9 months for clothes!).Oh, and she had her fur lined shoes on under this. As you can imagine, this whole procedure evoked tears many times from Cassi and by the time we said our goodbyes and made it to the car, Cassi was very sweaty and teary! I took off her hat and she fell asleep on the ride home. They don't use car seats in Russia, so it was weird holding her as the car turned corners, slowed, sped up, etc.










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!!!
video
Cassi is a complete doll!!! She is very happy and smiles and babbles all the time. She is very close to walking, probably in the next couple of week. Here are some videos of her playing. The pink book is the photo album we left w/ our pictures in it on Trip 1, labeled in Russian. I don't think the caregivers took it out of the bag, but oh, well! Also, we left a disposable camera and they didn't take any pictures while we were gone.
video

video
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! :)