Saturday, June 28, 2008

How Many More Sleeps?

That’s right Max! Only five more big sleeps until the big day! We’re down to only a handful of days until our “gotcha day” and we can hardly wait. So, what does one do when they can’t sleep, partly because of anticipation and partly because our tolerance of the pillows and bed has completely expired?

Well, after our visit today we went on a big hunt for gifts for the baby house. We originally had wanted to find something special for each of the caregivers because they each in their own way have really touched our lives and we can’t thank them enough for how wonderful they have been to Max. However, this was looking to be no easy task because even though we have seen these people often, we realize that we really don’t know too much about them other than their lives at the baby house and we haven’t ever had the chance to meet the night staff. Not that we aren’t interested, but time and language make this difficult, to say the least. So, we decided that a better way to thank them was to find something that would make their days maybe just a little bit easier. So we asked them what they would most like for the room that would accomplish this. And that is what we set out to find. The first thing on the list was easy: a cordless electric kettle (√). The second and third things proved to be much more elusive - a colourful artificial tree and some new fabric for the pads in the playpens, something a little more colourful than what they currently have. First, where to find artificial plants in this city? Even our amazing driver and translator had no clue. We stopped at a few places and each time they pointed us in the direction of another store. No luck. We finally did find some, but they were rather plain and too big to fit into the car, so we decided to call it quits and keep looking another day. We then headed to the Chinese Bazaar to look for the fabric. We definitely found some wonderful fabric, but what they need is something that wears and washes well that was very colourful. We found lots of beautiful and attractive fabrics, but nothing suitable for a playpen. With our time running out, we decided to ask the caregivers if they had some suggestions on where we could buy the fabric.

Since we were already at the bazaar, we thought we’d scout around for a few more outfits for Max and we kept looking for hats, since a few people have made it clear they don’t like the yellow elephant number. Besides hats, it has been difficult to find pants at this time of year. Lots of shorts, but we wanted some pants for on the airplane. We did find some, so we should have enough clothes to get by on until we get home.

While we’re on the topic of hats…

Yes, we did pick the yellow elephant number ourselves, but it’s not quite that simple. When we first arrived here we were able to get Max wearing the clothes we brought right away, but we didn’t have a hat. His room at the baby house had lots of toques and knitted hats, but with the temperatures in the 30’s he definitely needed something cooler, but we couldn’t take him out without a hat (not that we wanted to, anyway) and the only cap they had was much too small. So, after our first visit on the second day, our driver asked us if we needed anything. We needed a hat and shoes, so he took us to a baby store, but he didn’t have much time, so neither did we. Plus, being well into the sunny season, this was the only hat that would fit Max that didn’t have frills and lace. We bought it with the idea that it would only have to last a couple of days until we could find a different one. (good luck) We have constantly been on the lookout for a different hat, but every store in the city seems to have the same stock! We don’t feel so bad because since we arrived there are three other kids at the baby house who are now in the same predicament. In addition, Max is now rather taken with his hat. He wears it every day and we think he has sort of become attached to it. He knows that when his hat comes out that it is play time with Mom and Dad. So we’re not too sure if he will let us replace it, even though we did finally find a couple of possible replacements today. We’ll try them on if we can and then we’ll let the judges weigh in on the decision.

This evening we ventured out with Dale, another adoptive parent from Canada in search of a good Chinese restaurant. Our driver recommended one that is about half way between Dale’s apartment and ours, and he said we didn’t need to know a lot of Russian to order. Sounds right up our alley! We did find the restaurant, but they didn’t have an English menu, which is what we thought Boolat meant when he said we didn’t need to know Russian. However, they did have something even better – a menu with pictures! We were on the hunt for something with chicken and vegetables and we thought we’d found it. The waitress even confirmed it. This dish was big enough for the three of us to share. It was chicken pieces with potatoes and onions in a tasty sauce. Thanks Boolat!

On our way home we decided to walk through Kirov Park. It has changed quite a lot in the last couple of weeks since we were last there. The roses are in full bloom along with a wide variety of flowers and they have soft music playing throughout the park. It was very relaxing to stroll along the paths and under the flowered arches, listening to the water run in the fountains and streams.

Remember those artificial trees we were looking for? It’s amazing what you find when you stop looking! On our walk home we passed by a small flower shop that we walk by at least 3 or 4 times a week. Right at the front entrance they had these two lovely flowering trees! Somewhat forgetting ourselves and our location, we walked up to the florist, who was standing in the entrance and asked if those trees were for sale, completely in English. Oops! We’re not in Canada anymore, and it was too late to turn around, so about half an hour later we finally determined that:
1. Yes, they were for sale,
2. Yes, they are in our price range,
3. Yes, we really did want something artificial and
4. If we hurried we could get back to our apartment in time to grab some cash and get back before the store closed. Sold!
Oh, but how to get back to the apartment with them? Well, I guess we’ll just have to walk the four blocks back to the apartment with these two flowering trees. Did we tell you that it was windy today? So, we have officially proven that we’ve lost our minds, and there is now a lovely lady in a florist shop in Ust that will testify to this fact! Thank goodness there weren’t too many people out at the time.

We can’t wait to see our driver’s and translator’s faces when they arrive tomorrow to pick us up and we’re sitting on the bench between these two trees!

Oh, and here’s a few more snapshots to fill you up for a couple of days.

Max, Rod and Boolat (AKA SuperDriver) Note that Max is usually rather fond of Boolat, but the little gaffer just got up from his nap, so he was a little on the crusty side.

Dad was aiming for a kiss on the lips, but Max had other plans. At least he wasn’t playing “bonk” today which nearly gave his mother a bloody nose a couple of days ago when she wasn’t paying close enough attention to him.
Max telling Mom exactly what he thinks about the things in the knapsack that he really wants, but can’t have.

1 comment:

Deamel said...

Hi Rod & Tammy;
We are counting the sleeps with you! We can't wait to officially call Max our own ( more yours than ours, but you know what I mean).Glad to hear you were able to find your gifts for the caregivers.
Max is just so cute in those pictures.
Take care
The Olsons