Monday, July 7, 2008

Building Endurance

Now we know what you must be thinking – that it takes a lot of energy to keep up with a 15 month old and that the parents in question haven’t quite built up their endurance yet. Yes, that is probably true, but that’s not even the half of it.

Max also has to build his endurance to playing. We were beginning to worry about how much he was sleeping (as crazy as that sounds when a week ago we were worried that he wouldn’t sleep enough!). For the first few days it seemed that he was asleep more than awake. Our first thoughts were that something must be wrong. Could he be getting sick? Too much heat? Not enough food? Too much food? As you can imagine, a little bit of new parent paranoia set in. But then we stepped back and took a closer look at the bigger picture. Max has pretty much the same schedule here as at the baby house, but what he is doing during his play time is much different. Here, he has more space, more interaction, more activities, etc. As it turns out, he’s playing and crawling around just so darn hard here that he’s exhausted! After a couple of hours of being on the go, he’s rubbing his eyes, yawning and absolutely ready for a nap! When we put him down, he’s fast asleep in about 15 minutes (well, when Rod puts him down, Tammy isn’t quite so lucky, or maybe too easy of a push over) and sleeps hard for a couple of hours.

As for eating, well that’s a hit or miss experience. Sometimes he hits the plate when he throws something he doesn’t like, sometimes he misses! We really feel for this little guy because no matter what we try, it just isn’t the same as the baby house food and sometimes new foods are a little trying. We know that he loves his bread, so we’re wondering if a loaf of bread is permitted in one’s carry on luggage! He’ll eat most of what we’ve tried, but the tricky part is getting him to try the first spoonful. Some meals, he’ll eat something if he sees that we’re eating it and sometimes not. We have learned that he isn’t very fond of slippery food yet (mashed bananas, tomatoes, canned peaches) or anything that hasn’t been warmed up.

Which brings us to today’s challenge. Yet again, we have no power in the kitchen (but still power in the living room, go figure). It seems that we have tripped the breaker for that half of the apartment, but despite everything we know about breakers and electricity, there is some trick to resetting these breakers that we haven’t been informed of. Our best guess is that there is another breaker box in the main hallway that we need a key for. We’ve called our coordinator for help, but lo and behold, today is a holiday and the owner of the apartment is unavailable! We’re being extra careful with the other circuit so we don’t end up completely in the dark again.

Which brings us to the current hostage situation happening here. It is actually a two-fold hostage taking. First of all, the washing machine is holding our clothes hostage again because no power means that it can’t drain, which means that the door won’t open. Secondly, we’re hoping to learn how to reset the breaker so we don’t have to rely on someone to come (or not come, as it turns out) from who knows where to flip the switch, but we have no idea if or when the guy will arrive, so we are feeling a little like we are under house arrest here.

Last night we got together with 4 other adoptive families for supper. It was really good to see them all again because although we are very happy to have Max here, we feel even more cut-off from the rest of the world. Even though the daily visits were getting somewhat monotonous, we always enjoyed seeing all of the wonderful people we have met as a result of this experience. The neat thing about last night’s gathering is that it involved parents and children from all over North America and also from every part of the adoptive process. One couple is still completing their bonding process and should be applying for a court date any day now, another couple just got their court date (finally), one family has completed their appeal but haven’t had their gotcha day yet, and then there was the two us with our little “the diamond in the rough”, as one parent commented, meaning the light at the end of the tunnel and the goal at the end of the challenge.

Max was excellent during his first outing to a restaurant. It was really hot in there, but he sat on Mom’s knee and ate pieces of ham and cheese off the pizza but no crust - it was a little squishy from the tomatoes and we didn’t want to be the instigators of an all out food fight! Here’s a picture of our supper group outside of Pizza Blues:

We’ve been using the stroller to block the door to the balcony, but our son woke up with greater determination today and insisted on getting out to the balcony, even if it meant for a few stressful moments when he got himself hung up on the stroller. Needless to say, we set about trying to baby proof that part too. If the people who usually live here ever plan to return, it will probably take them weeks to find all of their stuff!


dhebron said...

Glad to hear you have a normal, healthy, active little boy. Rod please read your email.

Jasmine & Trudy said...

Congratulations Mr.& Mrs. German
I am so glad that you guys finally got your baby. He is absolutly adorable and I can't wait to see him.
Hope to see you soon
Jasmine and Trudy Smith

Cindy and Mike said...

Rod and Tammy,
Every time I look at the pictures of your new little family I fall more in love with that little boy! I'm trying to teach Eric to say Max, but its coming out Duck -we'll work on it... I can't wait for our boys to meet! Keep the pictures coming - he's one handsome little dude!

Take care,
Cindy, Mike and Eric

Nathanaël said...

Baby proofing, ah the joy. We started proofing our home back in Canada, months ago. Minor proofs mind you, but at least we covered a few bases, and thought out others.
The apartment here we have not done too much yet, well actually nothing, but that day is fast approaching...10 days and counting!
We agree with you, that some days may feel, as JP says, like 'groundhog day', but it was very nice to have met you two, and the others from across the globe.
Nice to see you kept in touch and had a nice dinner at ПИЦЦА БЛЮЗ (Russian version). 1 of our favorites as well.

Nathanaël, Isabelle and Andrei.