Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Someone Just Turned 3!!!!

I can hardly believe it, but my little girl is growing up so fast already and has turned 3 this past week. We have been very busy and have unfortunately neglected the blog for awhile, although we do check in on everyone elses from time to time.



Tatiana is still a very busy girl, who rarely slows down until she is just totally exhausted at days end. Although believe it or not, from time to time now she will ask me to rock her to sleep after lunch for a little rest. Whoo Hooo!



Here are a few highlights from birthday girl's party:































































And a few others from weeks past to catch up with the photos again:









































We have our first post-placement coming up next week. oh my goodness has it really been that long already? Though most days it feels like Tatiana and I have been together forever.

She is doing very well adjusting. Most people would never know that she just learned English four months ago as she probably speaks more than many 3 year olds who were born in this country. Tia continues to amaze me and the rest of her new family on a daily basis. She is very smart and also very stubborn. She is still throwing temper tantrums, but much smaller versions from when we first became a family. At least now we both completely understand each other, so they are not for lack of communication skills. Just plain old 2-3 year old "I want something and can't have it" type temper tantrums.

For activities Tia loved Gymnastics. She is on summer break from them now, but we had fun in a Mom and Tot group in the spring. This summer she is having fun on the boat, playing in the pool, being outside. loves going to the park to swing and slide, and playing with the neighborhood kids. We are going to try some camping in a couple of weeks. I'm already sure that she will love it as she thoroughly enjoys being outside all the time.



I'll be taking Tia to the doctor again for her three year old check up very soon, so don't have exact stats as to how much she's grown. Am looking forward to seeing if she has caught up at all. Her aunt Robin likes to weigh her and says she weighs 26.5 lbs now, instead of 25.5lbs, but we will soon find out for sure. She has definitely grown taller as she is now into 2T's instead of just into the 18 month outfits, although her Grandma has to keep taking in the waists for her as she still has no butt. I'm sure she will appreciate that trait as she gets older, but for now, we could use a little extra cush on the tush to keep the pants up. hahaha



Hope all of you are doing well? I see some great news about traveling for second trips coming up for a couple people! Congrats!

Hope you all have a very wonderful and safe fourth of July as well! Will post again as soon as humanly possible after the fourth.

Love,
Shannon and Tatiana

Thursday, April 23, 2009

New Pics















Tia's first piggy tails and Tia with her and Aunt Robin

















Tia and her cousin Alivia sharing in the Easter festivities.










More Easter Fun!






Coloring Eggs with Mama and Aunt Robin



























Coffee or Tea anyone!















Showing off my new earings.







Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Yes we are still alive!




















Here are some recent pictures of Tatiana, hanging out at the house.
There is also one taken with one of her favorite cousins, Katie who lives just down the street.


We have been very busy over the past few weeks getting adjusted to a new routine and trying very hard to get a little someone to take naps and go to sleep at night. I have to say, the nap thing is still not going well. This is the main reason for the delay in posts. Sleep at night also comes with a fight which doesn't leave much alone time for Mama. Tatiana just hates going to bed. She fights and fights until she is just exhausted. I usually get her down by about 8 or 830pm, but that is usually with no nap. She gets up at about 730 or 8am. She was sleeping through the night until about 10 days ago, now she frequently awakens in the night and has a really hard time going back to sleep if she even thinks I might sneak out of the room. I have had to camp out in her room a few nights just so I can get some sleep too! I have been trying everything I can think of to get her to relax and not be afraid of the dark and her room. She now has a Hello Kitty CD player that we rock to sleep by playing lullabies , a night light and a new toy that's like a glow worm only its a sea horse that also plays lullabies and its belly lites up when you push it. (This does help sometimes when she wakes up in the middle of the night to calm herself down and fall asleep).


Aside from the sleep issues, most every thing else that is going on is pretty typical 2-3 year old behavior. Screaming temper tantrums when we don't get our way. Saying No! Not listening to Mommy when she says No don't touch. Having to touch 5 more times and get into trouble. Everything is Mine, mine, mine.. (you know what I'm talking about don't you! Especially those of you with 2 year olds.)



For the most part Tatiana is a really good kid. She is very funny (as you can see in some of the pictures)! She loves to laugh and clown around. She is very talkative! She is picking up English right and left. She Mimics everything we say to her and everything we do. The teenage girls at church just taught her thumbs up. She also loves to do High 5! And when she's coughing from drinking too fast, my sister tells her "hands up harry". So now every time she coughs, her arms go up in the air and we laugh.



We went and got all her lab draws done last week and are now awaiting the results. Poor baby! I really dreaded doing this and getting all the recommended tests done, but knew it was a good idea. Tatiana was a real trooper. Had to get poked three times to get all the blood that they needed. She cried the first poke and so did I, though I was trying to hide my face from her. The last two pokes she didn't make a peep and held real still. She was so good. I even got her to pee in the cup.



Speaking of potty...yes she is potty trained. We did have a few accidents this last week, Three at night and one during the day, but for the most part she has done extremely well. I couldn't ask for better with that. I am still amazed.



Food....we did have major eating issues to begin with. I thought she was going to only eat yogurt and bananas and cheerios for a long time. I was getting really worried, cause she is still petite for her age and needs to eat better. I am happy to report that miss picky has finally given in and is trying new things. Hurray!!! She now eats chicken, hamburger out of the bun, hot dogs, french fries of course, soups (loves beef barley), cheese sticks, grapes, apples. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were a hit today for the first time. Oh, also some pastas and spaghetti. Thank goodness, because pasta is my favorite meal! So, I think we are definitely getting there with the food. When she likes something, she also eats quite a bit for a little girl.


Here she is eating her favorite breakfast. Bananas in her cheerios and milk.


This week I had to go back to work. Yesterday was my first day back. I had such horrible mixed feelings. It was nice to be back around adults, but I really hated leaving Tia at home as well. Half way through the day I was ready to go home, but my job does not afford the luxury of just leaving as I am a nurse in the hospital. Can't abandon my patients! I made it through my 12 hour shift, and my daughter did fine at home too. My very good friend Lisa , has graciously agreed to stay with Tia at the house when I work, and now she works opposite days of me, so Tia can get good care at home without having to do daycare. She (Tia) is not ready to be away from Mama or someone that she really knows yet.


That just about catches us up to date. Just need to figure out how to get my pictures into a slide show so I can put more on blogger without downloading one at at time.


Thank you again to everyone for all of your support while I was in Russia, and continued support while we are home. I will continue to blog. Hopefully will find more time to keep up regularly and not have so long in between posts.


Bye for tonight!

Shannon






Monday, March 9, 2009

Home at Last

We made it safely home late night on March 3rd, and as you can imagine, have been busy ever since trying to adjust to life at home and a new routine. Thank you to all of you for your support and prayers as we traveled back to Michigan from Russia.



The plane ride home was very, very long..... I do not want to have to do that again for quite some time. The flight from Moscow to Atlanta was 10 hours instead of 11 hours. Thank you Mr. Pilot for getting us there faster! The beginning of the flight was okay for the first few hours. Once we were about 3 hours in, the fussing crying and little temper tantrums started. Tia was just so exhausted and would not rest. Finally at about the 7 1/2 hour mark she was so exhausted that she fell asleep on the floor. My poor little girl! I then wrapped her in her blankets and she slept the rest of the flight. The people on the plane were all very nice and didn't complain at all. Luckily for me and the rest of the people on the plane,Tia has quit having complete screaming at the top of her lungs type temper tantrums.



Once in Atlanta we had to go through passport control, then immigration, and finally customs where we had to get our luggage and recheck it in for our final flight to Detroit. All went smoothly. Thank Heavens! Just long waits. But again, thank you Mr Pilot for getting us there earlier so we didn't miss our connecting flight home. We were also thankful to be around English speaking people once again. Not that the Russians were mean at the Moscow airport, but it was frustrating at passport control when the control agent was asking for Tia's Visa paperwork, and I had no idea what she wanted as the Visa was in the passport. Thankfully another agent finally came over and translated. (They wanted to see the court documents, not Visa to prove that Tia was legally mine). We also had to go through about 4 security checks. Mom and I were pretty exhausted by the time we were finally able to head for the gate.



The flight from Atlanta to Detroit was uneventful. Tia slept the whole way! Yippee! Poor little girl. What a very long day for her. (And Mama and Grandma too)!We finally arrived at Detroit Metro and were greeted by family and friends. We were so happy to see familiar faces and to be on our way home.

Once in the door at home I had one more obstacle to overcome before I could get the Little Princess to bed. The dog! She was so afraid of Jake the first couple of days, but I am happy to report that she now is petting Jake and wanting to know where he is at all times. She still does not want to walk around unassisted by Mom with the dog in the room, but we are definitely making progress. She even giggled last night when Jake licked her face instead of turning to me and telling me that she had an ouchie.



We have been home now almost a week and are making big steps in our adjustment to home. I'm not sure that she knows yet that this is home and not just another pit stop but I think it is starting to sink in. Today she is actually taking her first nap since I took custody of her on February 21st. I am so excited, I finally get to update the blog and work on paperwork to get her added to my insurance, and get everything ready to get her a social security card and register her with the Russian consulate. It's amazing what you can accomplish in an hour or so by yourself.



Aside from getting accustomed to the house and dog, Tia and I have gone to the park to swing and slide. We've been to the mall and played on the children's play scape, shopped at the grocery store, been to church, and met all of her aunts, uncles, and most of her cousins. It has been a very busy and fun week. Lots of new things to do and see.

Will post pictures soon. Tia is waking up! Just wanted to let everyone know we are doing well!

Bye for now!
Love Shannon and Tia

Monday, March 2, 2009

Last Day in Moscow

It's my last post from Moscow. Tomorrow we head home! Hurray! We just got back to the hotel from our Embassy Appointment. We now have passport and Visa for Tia in tow and and are ready to be on our way. We met three other American families at the embassy this afternoon all very nice, two others with little girls and one little boy. Our appointment went very smoothly, and not a long wait. The four little ones entertained each other for a few minutes too. Very sweet.

Yesterday we did get a chance to go to the festival in the park for a couple of hours. It was wonderful. Lots of music, food, ice skating, sleigh rides. dancing, etc. The Russians sure know how to have fun and celebrate the end of winter. I loved it. Only wish I had remembered my camera. Tatiana loved it too. Her feet were tapping on the stroller and she was clapping to the music. After all the fresh air yesterday she even slept almost 13 hours last night. I almost thought I'd have to wake her this morning so we didn't miss breakfast, as it's her favorite meal of the day, and only meal that she really eats.

Well, suit cases are almost packed and it is now 930pm. Need to finish up last little bit of organizing now that Tia is asleep. Wish us luck tomorrow on,our long flight. 10 hours to Atlanta Georgia and then another 2 to Detroit. Our driver will be here at 9am to pick us up for our 110pm flight home. Pray for us for a safe flight and little girl who stays happy and also sleeps at least a few hours on the way home.

Next post....home.

Paka Paka Russia

Shannon, Tia and Mom

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Back In Moscow

We made it safely back to Moscow thursday night. It's been a tough couple of days, so haven't been able to post until now, Tia is finally taking a little nap. I'll back up in time to Wednesday night to explain the last few days Wednesday night Tia started to break out in a rash all over her little body and was up scratching all night. Thursday morning I called Sveta to see if Oleg could please get us some baby Benadryl as Tia was having an allergic reaction to something. Who knows what to exacatly, but probably food related. He stopped by the apartment a couple hours later with some Claritin and checked her out. He also agreed allergy. Tia got her first dose of Claritin before lunch and started to feel a little better, but by the time we were ready to board the plane she was cranky and scratching again. Unfortunately the claritin wasn't working well for very long.



The plane ride from Krasnoyarsk to Moscow was a long 5 hour flight. Tatiana was very tired, itchy and having trouble falling asleep. She had a couple small temper tantrums on the plane, but nothing that lasted real long thank heavens. We also met 2 women (sisters)from Isreal who were bringing home a little boy under one year. They spoke English thank heavens and were very kind. They gave Tia some puffs like cheetos, but peanut butter flavor and that stopped her crying right away. I was a little worried about the peanut butter with the allergy thing going on, but it didn't seem to make it any worse than already happening, and it quieted her down.



Once in the Moscow airport we met our Moscow translator Alisha. She was very helpful when I told her that Tia was not feeling well and the medicine for the allergic reaction she was having wasn't working. We first went to the pharmacy in the airport to look for something like Benadryl. There was a lady doctor in the shop who didn't want us to buy anything without a doctor checking out Tia just incase it was a virus or something. ( I was pretty positive it was an allergic reaction, but heeded her words anyway). There is a doctor in the airport for emergency situations and they are free (yes), so Alisha, I and Tia went off in search of the doctor while Mom was stuck guarding our pile of luggage. She said it was worth it though if they could help Tatiana feel better. Yeah Mom! Anyway, we found the doctor about 15 minutes later after one policeman told us to go to the opposite end of the airport from where they actually were. He sent us to the Veterinarian. (Geez, did he think we had a puppy dog in the stroller. ) When we finally readches the medical office we met 2 lady doctors who were both very nice. After checking the baby out, they finally agreed that she had an allergy and asked if they could give her a shot of something kind of like Benadryl. I immediately said yes, please do. Poor baby with the shot, but we needed some medical attention soon before baby and Mama went crazy with the scratching and almost now raw skin.



After our stop at the medical station we finally were on our way to our Hotel. We made it back at about midnight Moscow time, 4am Krasnoyarsk time. Alisha and I worked on the Embassy paperwork and papers for Tia's official medical appointment in the morning, while Mom had the task of trying to quiet Tatiana and get her back to sleep. Of course she had finally fallen asleep in the car on the ride to the Hotel, and had to be awoken to check in. So cranky baby girl again. Alisha and I finished the paperwork at about 1230. (430am Kras time). I had no idea what I had just signed, but it was done. My eyeballs were so tired I could barely see straight. When I got back to the room, thankfully Tia was fast asleep. She finally slept for a few hours until 6am.



At 830am on Friday our driver picked us up for Tatiana's medical appointment which we had to have to submit with the rest of her papers to the US embassy to aquire her visa and immigration papers into the United States. Mom and I both loved the doctor that saw Tia. He was very good with her, and got her to quiet down pretty quickly when she started to cry after I had to take her clothes off and leave her on the table with him while Mama sat down. She probably thought she was getting another shot, plus not used to Men doctors. He was very kind and very thorough. He gave us some very good news. Said she was very healthy, and beautiful. Said to look out when she gets older. He also said that she was probably one of the favorites at the orphanage and was used to getting her way from what he observed as he was speaking to her and her to him in her little voice along with her actions. He said she is a drama queen and wants her way and most likely got it alot. We told him that we had already experienced that and had a good laugh. He said to be firm and stand my ground, otherwise she will rule like a queen and not Mama. I had already figured that out, but it was good to hear confirmation that what I thought was going on and how I was handling the situation was correct. The other great thing about the appointment was that he told our CHI rep Natasha, who was also with us, what to get for her allergic reaction. Some drops like Benadryl and an ointment for the rash. Thank you doctor Boris.!



Friday afternoon and today saturday, have been spent at the hotel. It is not great weather to take Tia out as it is snowy and wet. We did venture over to the McDonalds next door for lunch yesterday.that was an experience! Oh man! I ordered 2 combo meals for Mom and I and a Happy Meal for Tia. Well, she didn't get it. All we got the first time on the tray was three hamburgers (2 big ones and one little one). I had to get the menu again and show her the drinks and fries. We got drinks and fries, but I had pop. I gave up at that point and we just stuck with what we had. Tia ate a couple bites of just hamburger meat with the cheese. She really liked the bun until she got to the catchup side. I scrapped it off, but she still wouldn't have anything to do with it cause it felt wet and funny. She finally tried french fries. She would take a bite of one and then put it down and push it away. She did that a few times, still curious as to what Mom and Grandma were eating. She finally decided she kind of liked them when they were stone cold. Silly kid. The pop was a no way. She took one sip and you should have seen the face. Oh my goodness...she hates the fizzies. The stewardess on the plane also gave us a glass of water with gas and we didn't realize it. Tia, hated that too! No fizzys for this girl. We dumped the pop and put water in the cup, but she still must have thought there was pop in it, cause she would have nothing to do with that cup what so ever.



Today we will probably just go explore a couple of stores nearby. I was really hoping for a sunny day as there is a great park about 4 blocks away that would have been great to go walking in with Tia and her stroller. Maybe we will get a break in the weather tomorrow? Olga the lady that gave us the city tour on our stay here before going to the region, called last night as well to see if we wanted to go anywhere. I asked about Arabat street but she said it is not full of flea markets and small shops anymore, but more regular department type stores and has changed from what it used to be. I was really bummed as that is what I was looking forward to. Her only other suggestion for things to see where art museums and the history museum. Mom said forget it with the baby. I agreed. She likes the stroller but only if we are moving. The celebration of spring is also happening in red Square this wekend. They are expecting record crowds, so we decided not to try to go back there with Tia in tow. As always. we will make the most of our situation and find things to do close by. We spent an hour or so touring the hotel this morning. Even got a nice little tour of the fitness center and pool which are in the basement.

Well that's about all the excitement for now. We will keep you updated on the weekend happenings tomorrow.

Paka Paka from Moscow,
Shannon, Mom and Tia

p.S. Tia's rash is getting better finally, less itching and redness going away. She also slept last night and 30 minute nap just now. Still cranky but a little better.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Last Post from Krasnoyarsk

It's our last night in Krasnoyarsk. Tomorrow we fly to Moscow to finish up the last of Tatiana's paperwork before we can head home on March 3rd. Our flight tomorrow is in the evening at 730pm. Hopefully my little kiddo will sleep most of the way as it is just about her bedtime then.

This morning we spent doing laundry in preparation for packing tomorrow as we will have no washing machine in Moscow. Boohoo! (that was one big advantage of apartment verses hotel).We each only packed a weeks worth of clothing so its important to start out with clean clothes. We'll be in Moscow for 5 days.

My little princess has the sniffles too. Darn it! Oleg and Sveta were kind enough to bring us some medicine today, so hopefully she will start to feel better in the morning. She has been kind of cranky yesterday and today again. Combination of the sniffly nose and not wanting to take a nap. Tia is still for the most part very happy and plays well, with Mama and now Grandma some too. But boy oh boy...when she doesn't get her way she can sure scream. Today's temper tantrum lasted for almost 20 minutes. Poor Grandma! No place to go really in a one bedroom apartment to take a screaming child, or for Grandma to go. Most things I just give in for now so she doesn't go to crazy with the temper tantrums, but it has been a battle with her wanting to put on her boots and snow suit and go outside. She loves her snowsuit and boots which is good. I am also glad that she likes to go outside, but sometimes we just can't. She doesn't understand that Mama cannot go out in her pajamas, or when it is too cold and windy for a little person who already has a runny nose.

By late afternoon today, my Little Princess, Tia, finally got her wish. Oleg and Sveta came and picked us up at 315pm to go for one last tour around the city and to see the ice sculptures. Yeah! They were very cool! I couldn't believe how many of them there were. After visiting the ice sculptures we went out to dinner with Oleg and Sveta for one last time. We went to a bar, restaurant about 2 blocks from the apartment, on the same street as Peppers. I never did catch the name of the place, but it was nice. Very comfortable seats and eating area. Delicious food too! I got some traditional meat dumplings in broth. Mom got some fried kind with fish and meat and onions. She liked hers too! I think she also had a cucumber and tomato salad, but I was busy entertaining Tia, so wasn't really paying that much attention. Tia loved the chicken broth that was on my dumplings, but wouldn't eat the dumplings nor the cheese and potato ones that I got her. Funny cause she just ate some this afternoon for lunch, very similar, except no broth. At least she ate some bread too! By the way, thank you for all the helpful comments on the last post about picky eaters. Made me feel alot better! Thanks!

Once back at the apartment it was bath time and then nite nite for little Princess. She was fast asleep by about 8pm. I'm so glad that she is at least sleeping all night, since nap time has been history. Hopefully once we are home, we can get back to napping, cause this 2 1/2 year old still needs one, even though she thinks otherwise.

One last tidbit and then pictures of the ice sculptures before I sign off for tonight. Tatiana said her new name when referring to herself for the first time today. I haven't really heard anyone else talk about this much, but this is also a big adjustment for her. I wasn't really sure how to transition her into her new identity, so just kind of played it by ear and took cues from her. While we were at the orphanage during our 10 day wait, I mostly called her by her old name as not to confuse her to much and take away from our bonding. Near the end of the 10 days, I started slipping in her new nickname at times. Once back at the apartment, I called her a hyphenated name for the first day, and switched to Tia after that. She still says her old name quite frequently, and sometimes both old and new names together. I think she is starting to figure it out, but I'm sure we will still use the old name and new for a while. Especially to get her attention right away. Grandma calls her "Grandma's Tatiana", and she really likes the sound of that, which helps. I call her Tatiana mostly when I need her attention and Tia when we are having fun playing.

Now to the pictures.









Have a great day! Next post from Moscow!
Shannon, Mom and Tatiana

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Days 3 and 4 with Tia

Just a couple more days to go in Krasnoyarsk now before we head back to Moscow and then home on March 3rd. Tia's passport is supposed to be ready tomorrow or Thursday morning at the latest. Our flight out to Moscow is for Thursday evening, I think at 730pm. We are very anxious to start on our way home, but a little disappointed that we couldn't see much more of Tatiana's birth city. It has just been too cold. It would have been different if we had come in spring, but glad I didn't have to wait that long to come and pick her up. Four months since trip one was way long enough. I did phone our translator today to see if someone would take us down by hotel Krasnoyarsk to see the ice sculptures before we leave. She said she would arrange for us to do that tomorrow. We are both really looking forward to that, as we have seen them from a distance in the car when we have driven downtown for business.
Tia has been keeping us both occupied and the time seems to pass pretty quickly since gotcha day. I am completely warn out by the end of the day, but for the most part it has been fun. Just work, entertaining her all day because she hasn't figured out how to entertain herself yet for more than maybe a minute. She always needs her Mama to go with her or play with her. She is just now letting her Grandma play with her a little bit too. Grandma actually got to hold her today for a few minutes at a time without her starting to cry.

For the most part, this little girl is adapting and handling the big change in environment really well. I don't think I could have asked for a better first week. We have had our moments, don't get me wrong, but for all the change, she is doing really remarkable. She has only had two accidents in 4 days with the potty situation. One was Mamas fault, cause I didn't believe her when she said she had to go. ( Remember I said in my last post how she asks me to go to the toilet almost every 15-30 minutes!) Well I didn't heed my own warning about you never know when its for real, so you have to go every time. Shame on me! The other time was this afternoon. She didn't tell me until too late, already running down her leg. I still am totally amazed that we are doing so well, knock on wood. She is even dry in the morning.

As for sleeping, she has slept in her crib all night long for the past two nights. No crying! Last night we even got up to potty and she went back into the crib for me to sleep no problem. Hooray! Wish me luck again for tonight cause I need my beauty sleep too! The little princess did not take a nap today, except for maybe 30 minutes. She has been so tired all day too! We have gone from running around laughing and playing at full speed ahead to having crying tantrums cause we didn't get our way. It is tough being two sometimes!

I also spoke way too soon about the eating thing. She ate so well the first twenty four hours no problem. Now she has gone to the other extreme of being so picky. Thank heavens for yogurt and bananas, juice, milk, cheese and cheerios. With maybe a little rice and apple thrown in. I tried all the things the orphanage said they fed her, but no way. She wasn't having any chicken, pasta, carrots, or potato for one meal. She did finally decide she liked the potato things today. They are little potato pierogies. She ate four for lunch today, but spit them out last night. Go figure! This is the one area that I have to admit is very frustrating to me. I feel at a loss sometimes, because I don't have the same foods here to try, that I would normally turn to in the USA. I can't just go to the supermarket and get some Mac and cheese, or something like that, cause I have no idea if they even carry such a thing. Haven't seen anything resembling it in our little store anyway. I tried spaghetti too, but she spit it out. She did eat a few plain noodles, but the texture thing gets to her and she spits it out before even tasting it. Hopefully once we are home, I will have a little more luck with variety, otherwise she'll just turn into a banana. :0) Mom says it will be better when we get home, so I will go with that for now.

Tia is still a very loving little girl. She still likes to be held and cuddled by her Mama. She gives big hugs back now and is even trying to give Mama kisses. So cute! And as per your request Sis, here's a few more pictures of my little princess in action.




Hope you enjoy!!
Shannon

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fun with Tatiana!

It's been a fun and tiring day and a half with Tatiana, also known as Tia for short. She has been a very busy little girl since the time we brought her back to the apartment yesterday and still going now. She is sitting quietly next to me for a few minutes, so I thought I would try to write a little something on the blog.

We have been playing with all of the old toys and a few of the new ones. We've also improvised and added games to other things like pretending Mamas travel alarm clock is a phone. Walking Mama around and around the apartment. Getting in the stroller and going round and round the apartment. Tia, that is, not Mama....

Our other activities have been eating, and going potty. She has been doing exceptionally well with both, She has eaten almost everything put in front of her and lots of it. I don't know where this little girl is putting it all. She isn't eating so much that she is getting sick though so I'm not worried and expect her eating to slow down a little once we get home. Although, who knows! She may have a lot of growing to do right now.
As for the potty! Wow! I just hope our good fortune continues. She has not had an accident since I picked her up. Knock on wood. I had pull ups on her all day yesterday, but after she made it through the night and all morning with out them getting wet, I decided to put on the big girl panties. She has been so good about telling me when she has to go to the bathroom. We actually go about every 30 minutes. Sometimes she just says it to get me to walk with her, but a lot of the time it is for real, so we always go.

Tia has also been stuck to me like glue. She doesn't really want to sit with Grandma yet or play with her. She will accept food from her, and does go looking for her if she has left the room. She is also calling her Grandma and kind of plays peek-a-boo around the corner with her, saying "Hello Grandma". Very cute.

As for sleep last night, well, Tia probably got more than Mama! She fell asleep finally at about 830pm after a nice bath and a relaxing DVD movie. She was so tired by then as she refused to take a nap for me yesterday. She slept until about 1am in the crib. At 1 we got up to the bathroom, and then she refused to lay back down in the crib. Well after that she went back to sleep, but only after falling asleep on the couch. I tried to sleep at the other end of the couch but was so worried she'd fall off that it was fitful sleep. Tonight I will pull out the couch sleeper bed, just in case the same situation happens. At least then we will both be sort of comfortable if she has to sleep with me.

And to end this post...a few more pictures. Hope you enjoy!



Bye Bye for now!
Shannon, Tia and Mom

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Gotcha Day!!!!!

Gotcha!
Well, here she is........
Introducing Tatiana Noel Frederick











a much happier girl back at the apartment!



My little cuddle bug!

Having fun on the balance beam in our Princess Dress!

We are having fun adjusting to life in the apartment. Will have to post more pictures tomorrow as I still have a little girl demanding my attention making it a little hard to post. Hahaha!!
Paka paka!
Love to all!
Shannon, Mom and Tatiana

Friday, February 20, 2009

Wait Day 10 and last...

My final day of waiting is almost over......tomorrow is Gotcha Day! Hooray! We get to go and pick up the Little Princess at about 9am, then off to get her paperwork and passport photo. It will be a busy first day out of the orphanage.

Our last visit was a little shorter today as we didn't arrive until almost 4pm and then spent some time talking with one of the staff members to get some final questions answered before tomorrow. I also got information about the Little Princesses daily schedule and what she normally eats. The Little Princess was in the room with us most of this time and did pretty well trying to play quietly while we were talking. She found Mamas purse and had fun counting out my change, and putting it back in the change purse. In the purse, out of the purse, in the purse, out of the purse. You get the picture. She doesn't actually count. She just has fun playing with the money.

She was wearing her very pretty princess dress again today. The pink one! So cute! I have a couple pictures, will have to put one up over the next couple of days. Our other activities included, playing on the balance beam. Being tickled, hugged and kissed on by Mama! Swinging around like an airplane! Mostly, interactive fun stuff with Mama. It was another pick me up Mama day! I love it! Was of course a little tired by the end of our visit. My beautiful blue slippers were also torn to shreds by the end today! I don't know if I mentioned these before. The blue slippers are paper which the lady at the door gives us every time we visit to cover our shoes so we don't track water and dirt around. Will have to post a picture of them too!

After our visit today we had Dasha take us to Peppers instead of home to the apartment. ( No Deli Surprises tonight)! Dasha and Sveta both joined us for dinner today. I had spaghetti with meatballs Russian style and a Greek type salad. Mom had.......Lasagna of course! Her favorite! After dinner, Mom and I ventured next door to the little Mall and went up to the 3rd floor to see the children's stores. We found a few toys that the Little Princess might like and then I bought a pair of the Russian children's sandal type shoes for her to have. I have still been unable to find a children's clothing store. The two clothing type stores that were in this mall only carried snow suits, hats and gloves. Amazing! I have no idea where someone in this city buys toddler clothes! Will search a little more next week. And to think, All I wanted to buy was a sweater!

Can't wait until tomorrow.......gotta try to sleep tonight! So excited!

Paka for now!
Shannon

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wait Day 9

Second to last day before Gotcha Day! We are almost there!

This morning was spent doing the usual stuff around the apartment. Got a load of laundry done. Chatted with friends and family on the Internet. Read all of your wonderful comments! Played a few computer games. Which. by the way, we thank you for the tips on Pogo. We will definitely go to that game site once we are off of our Fishdom kick. I also tried to study a little bit to complete my CEU's for this year, as I know I wont have much time after the Little Princess arrives.

At 3pm, Dasha arrived right on time to take us to the orphanage to see the Little Princess. This is my favorite time of day. Our visits get better and better each time. Today the Princess came singing down the hallway, her Mama song. Something like I'm going to see my Mama, my Mama. It's very cute what ever she is saying. Then into the music room she came today with a great big smile, and crawled right up into my lap. This girl most definitely has stolen my heart, if I haven't mentioned that before! It was great to see her smile when she entered the room. Normally she will come over to me and crawl into my lap or grab hold of me once I walk over to her a little, but she has never smiled when she first comes in. She has always been a little shy and kind of quiet at first. So this is a big step!

Princess had on the prettiest little pink (Princess) dress today too! Ver, very cute! Pink Satin type material, with some lace and ribbons. Just what a Princess should be wearing right? I have only seen a couple of different outfits on her, so it was a surprise to see this Princess dress. Normally it is a red cordaroy jumper with hearts on it and a white shirt with little hearts or polka dots underneath. The other outfit has been a pair of blue jeans and an orange Halloween shirt. The only other surprise outfit was that one day when they dressed her in one of the outfits I had brought on the first trip and left, which was a little small then, but very small now. That was funny!

Our activities today included, playing with the Snow Princess dolly, of course, and pulling her around the room in her little sled. Playing with another dolly that we found in a drawer that sings the alphabet and the head sort of lights up like a glow worm doll. We then read Dasha's English book, several times. This book was way more fasinating than the Princesses books because it was Dasha's of course. Princess was good with it though. We pointed at pictures, she'd tell me something in Russian and I'd say the English word for it. Easy stuff like man, lady, boy, girl, etc.. The Princess did really well repeating back to me in English. I just love the sound of her little voice too! We also played on the kids balance beam. The Princess loves this! I see gymnastics class in the very near future!

Once again 5pm arrived and it was time to go. Only difference this time was that I think they forgot to come and get the Princess. Dasha had to go and tell someone that she was still with us so they would come and get her. Would have loved to play longer, but we had to get going ourselves. I'll get to keep her longer in another day or so! YEah!

After our orphanage visit today, Dasha took us to the travel agent to get our plane tickets back to Moscow for next Thursday! We are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. It was funny when we were at the travel agent, Mom asked to know the price of the tickets before they put it on my credit card so we would know. (That part not funny!) The travel agent lady showed Mom the price in Rubles on the calculator. Then we converted to dollars. Mom says, "thats not right, is this the price for all three?" Dasha and the travel agent lady just look at her. Mom says, "show me again, total price for all three tickets". Both Dasha and the lady are looking at my Mom like what the heck is wrong with you kind of look. So they type in the Ruble price again, and we do the math conversion. Mom and I just look at each other, and then tell Dasha why we are double checking. It is because the price is very inexpensive compared to the price we paid to get to Krasnoyarsk for the two of us. Dasha, being so cute says , don't worry be happy! We both chimed in.. "We are, we just can't believe such a good price, but we will take it". Now how often in the adoption process do you get to say that something is cheap? Hahaha.. Never! So that was a very nice blessing!

Once our tickets were purchased it was time to go back to the apartment and decide what to do for dinner. We decided to wait for Friday to go to peppers and the toy store, so off to the supermarket I went. I got a few things in preparation for the Princesses arrival, like yoghurt, and chicken, and juice to start. For our dinner, Mom wanted me to pick more stuff from the Deli. For tonight we ended up with chiken breast topped with a cheesy sauce and a little onion. A salad of cucumber, hard boiled egg, bologna, onion, salad dressing of some kind and an herb mixed in that we really like, but aren't sure yet what to call it. Sort of like parsley but much finer. Tastes yummy anyway. I also picked out a scalloped potato with cheese and chicken side to go with the chicken breast. All of the salads and sides come with some sort of meat mixed in it too. Very interesting! Delicious choices tonight! We liked everything!

Last but not least, our evenning concluded with National Treasure (the first movie) on DVD.

One more day to go before the Princess arrives! Yeah!
So long from Russia...until tomorrow!
Shannon

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Only Two More To Go! Wait Day 8

Yes, Thank goodness, the clock is starting to tick down and talks about "Gotcha Day" have begun. Two more visits to the orphanage after today and then she is mine forever more. Hooray! We have just gone over the hurdle of half way through our journey here in Russia too. We have been on this journey of love for 14 days now with 13 more to go until we leave for home. Can you tell I am getting a little home sick? It wouldn't be quite as bad if we didn't feel so confined to the indoors because of the weather. Mom and I both would have loved to see lots more of the city but it has been just too darn cold to walk around at all, except for the little trips to the supermarket and to Peppers. There are no tour bus type trips in this city, nor subway to city center or anything fancy like that. Our only transportation is taxi service , bus or the trips with our driver from our agency. Since bus service is pretty much out of the question as our agency told us they would prefer we didn't try it in the winter when it is so cold, and taxi service can get fairly expensive, we have just been stuck in our little neighborhood for the most part. The weather is supposed to get a little bit warmer for the weekend. We are hoping also for next week so we can go to the park and fountain area over by Hotel Krasnoyarsk to see the ice sculptures and a little more of the city. Keep your fingers crossed for us that old man winter gives us a little break from the Arctic air before we leave next Thursday for Moscow.

My visit with the Little Princess went very well today. No drama like yesterday! Dasha was back as our driver. Her English is also getting much better this trip than my first trip, so she is also able to interpret some of Little Princesses baby language for me while we are at the orphanage.

We had fun today with more instruments. Mama was nice and let Little Princess play with the xylophone. (Grandma said she'd put it all back together for us if need be.) We also played with Mama's camera. This little girl sure is smart when it comes to gadgets. Wow! She figured out how to use my camera, with a little help only. We have some very interesting pictures of the snow princess, as she wanted to take her picture. Also pictures of the floor, the xylophone, fingers, Mamas hair, etc.. I've already decided we have to go and get a few more toys to keep this young lady entertained during our ten days together before we get home. She already seems very bored with the little toys I was able to pack and bring with me. I only have a couple of things left here at the apartment that she hasn't seen. Dasha just told us today that there are some childrens stores over by Peppers in that little mall on the 3rd floor. We will go and see what they have tomorrow or Friday. Would like to see if they have any of the little sandals that the kids wear at the orphange as well. They are very cute and come in all different colors.

For dinner tonite we had more Deli Surprises. Went to the supermarket again after our visit with the Little Princess and found a few things to try for dinner. We have both decided that we really want to sample as much Russian cuisine as possible. This is a very inexpensive way, compared to going out to eat every night. All we have to do is maybe heat it up a little and put the food on our plates. Okay, so tonight we ended up with pork chops with tomato, cream cheese, and hollandase type sauce on top. Very delicious, but the pork was a little bit tough. We also sampled two different salads. The first salad was with carrot slivers, cream cheese, peas, hard boiled egg, and tuna. Very nice tasting. The second salad was not so nice. It had peas (I think), green beans, and liver, with some sort of cheese type sauce holding it all together. We couldn't tell that it had liver in it when we bought it, or we wouldn't have, cause neither one of us are fans of this meat. So, not too bad! For the most part we have liked everything but this one salad that we have tried.

We haven't picked a movie yet tonight so not sure if we will watch anything or just listen to Russian TV and guess what they are saying. Right now we are just relaxing playing computer games. AOL's Fishdom and Mahjong are our top favorites today.

Thanks again for everyones comments and suggestions. We love hearing from you all!

Paka!
Shannon

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's Day 7 of Our Wait

Happy Tuesday! It's been one week now since court. Was just thinking how glad I am that court is complete and definitely behind me. Also thinking about all those with court dates today and hoping that they all had success. Especially thinking of the family that I met Monday who are adopting the Little Princess's groupa friend and her little brother. Hopefully all went well for them.

Today's visit was just Me, Grandma, and the Little Princess. No other families or even a driver to stay with us. Max drove today and he had to go somewhere else while we visited with the Princess. At least I think he did. He may just have not wanted to hang out, which is okay. We have the routine down pretty well now. Got to visit in the Music room again, which is always a plus. For the most part our time together went rather well. One of Little Princesses caretakers came in after about 15 minutes and bless her heart, she was really trying to communicate with me, but she didn't know any English at all, and my little bit of Russian...well I didn't really get what she was trying to say at all. Darn it! It wasn't anything that we had to do or go anywhere, or that anything was wrong, I could tell that much at least. She was just trying to be nice and friendly.

Today we played with the dolly that they have which is dressed up like the Snow Princess. It is now our favorite doll. We also got out some instruments. Had fun with the xylophone until Mama took it away cause Princess was taking all the metal bars off. (Mama was worried we'd get in trouble with the staff, if I didn't get it back together again.) So this was the bad part of the visit! Lil Princess being 2 1/2 years old, was not happy that I took the toy from her at all. She started having a 2 year old tantrum. This part I was fairly prepared to handle, trying distraction techniques and making her laugh with tickles and stuff. It was sort of starting to work, but then my poor baby got really freaked out about something, still not sure what, and was having a really hard time being consoled. She was talking to me quite a bit with her two year old Russian speak but I felt horrible only being able to understand Mama, Mama and No. She didn't want me to sit down, she didn't want me to put her down. She wanted to be held, but yet still scared of something. I finally got her to calm down by walking way over to the other end of the room holding her, and going into the baby bag of goodies and getting out her sippy cup and rocking her. She was okay after a few minutes, but I felt so awful not knowing what she was afraid of. It wasn't still the xylophone thing, cause I tried to give it back and she didn't want it, until way later after we calmed down. Once she calmed down she also took me by the hand and led me to the door. She definitely wanted me to take her out of the room for some reason. The only thing Mom and I can possibly think of that she might have gotten scared of is this rocking horse that is in the room. It's a big stuffed horse on rockers. The Little Princess always goes way out of her way to avoid it, and will absolutely not even think about riding it or petting it. She may have seen it when she got upset about the xylophone as we were sitting kind of near the thing.

Anyone else experience this situation, or feel so inadequate, and horrible cause they didn't know what was wrong or what their child was saying? I still feel so badly that my Little Princess was so upset and I couldn't figure it out. My only consolation is that I was eventually able to calm her down and rock her. At least she does feel comfortable enough with me to trust me to hold her close and rock. She actually likes me to hold her a lot. I am so blessed that she is such a cuddle bug.

On a lighter note, during the rest of our visit we did start to play again and had fun with the big piano. It was so funny. I taught her how to play quietly and not bang on the keys. I just whispered in her ear, sshhh and showed her how to play with just her little fingers rather than her whole hand banging on the keys, and she did it like that. Unbelievable sometimes how she just understands. Then again 5pm was here and it was time for my little one to go to her groupa. Thank goodness only three more visits where I have to let her go!

As for the mystery Deli foods.....for dinner tonight, Mom got out all her Deli surprises for us to eat. She didn't get Deli meats like lunch meat stuff, she got a salad and two different pastry/ entree items. I really enjoyed the salad which was fresh cucumber strips, tomato, red bell pepper and some kind of meat strips (we think either bologna or ham, or ham flavor bologna-not sure). The dressing to me tasted like green olive juice, but more like olive oil that is a little salty. Who knows, it just tasted good to me. Mom wasn't that excited about it, but I could have eaten just that and been happy. For our little pastry things, the first one was round flaky pastry with chicken, tomato, creamy cheese, pineapple, flaky pastry top and then maybe some sort of hollindase sauce over it. We heated it up so it was warm. Mom really liked this one! I'm not always excited about pineapple on stuff, so it was not my favorite, but still it was good. Our last Deli treat was another pastry, square in shape, where the four corners fold up to make the top. Inside was crab, corn, and rice and some spices. It was nice but a little on the dry side. Our dinner adventure was fun. Will have to try more Deli surprises another day!

Tonight's Movie is RV with Robin Williams (one of our DVD's). Nothing exciting on Russian television.

Nothing else exciting to report from Krasnoyarsk so will end the post for another day.
Love from Russia!
Shannon

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's Finally Monday! Wait Day 6

Yes, It is finally Monday here in Krasnoyarsk. Laundry day and a visit to the Little Princess all in one day. Much more to do on our agenda today. I love being busy!

Our visit was in the afternoon again, with Dasha as our driver. We saw the little Princess in the music room again today. Yippee! We also had company. There was another couple visiting their soon to be daughter in the same room. Their little one is in the Little Princesses play group. The other couple and their child had arrived and were in the room before us. It was so cute when the Princess came to join us and she saw the other little girl. Her face lit up and she yelled out the other little girls name. The Princess wasn't too sure about the mama and papa of the other little girl, but she enjoyed watching them interact.

We had another good visit today. As before, the Princess starts our visit just wanting to cuddle and sit on Mama's lap. I think she has usually just gotten up from her afternoon nap before they bring her to me as she always is a little sleepy still. We usually play quietly for about a half an hour with the Princess in my lap the whole time. We read books or cuddle with the stuffed animals. After about half and hour the Princess takes me by the hand and we walk around the room picking out a dolly and a few other toys to play with. I just love how she likes me to be very close to her always during our visits. This afternoon was a little bit different because we were sharing the room. At first the other couple didn't really want the girls to interact and play together. They wanted their own time with their little girl. It was their first visit back with her of their second trip, so I guess I can see why, though it was hard to keep the Little Princess away. About one hour or so into the visit they finally let the kids sort of play together, especially when they (the little girls) discovered the musical instrument drawer. Oh my, what fun! We had out the drum, flutes, tambourines, jump ropes (funny-not sure why they are in this drawer), and the triangle. The girls would get one instrument out, play with it a little and then go for another. It was hilarious!

Once again, all too soon, one of the caregivers came to take the kids away for the evening! Just when we were having so much fun! I wished the other couple luck, for tomorrow is their court date, and then we were on our way back to the apartment. Maybe we will see them again on Wednesday!

For dinner tonight, Mom and I braved the cold and walked down to Peppers. It was very cold...bbrrrrh. -26F, but it was worth getting out and having a nice meal with other people around. The brisk walk did us wonders too! Mom loved their Lasagna the last time there, so she ordered a different flavor this time. She says it was delicious too, and may keep ordering Lasagna every time we go, just different flavors until she makes it through the list. She still has a way to go as I think there was about eight different kinds of Lasagna. I ordered a small Carna Pizza and their Greek Salad. Both were very good although from the picture I kind of thought my pizza was going to be sausage, but it was kind of like shredded beef. I should have guessed, beef by the name Carna. Don't know why my Spanish lessons didn't kick in. Oh well! Still good anyway!

On our way home, we stopped at the supermarket and replenished our breakfast and lunch supplies. Mom also got a little adventurous this time and ordered a few things from the deli for a surprise tomorrow. ( Surprise cause she isn't sure what the items are)! Will let you know tomorrow, so stay tuned. Always an adventure in Krasnoyarsk!

We are now home again (at the apartment) and watching Indiana Jones for our movie tonight. Last night we did see Russian Survivor. It was pretty good but we both decided that the Russians have it way more easy than or Survivors. It looked like they had several different outfits to change into, way more food, and plenty of blankets, pillows and mats to sleep on. None of their survivors looked malnourished like ours do at the end either, and they were all way to clean. None of them had dirty clothes at all. Still, it was fun to see a somewhat familiar show. We will continue to watch again next Sunday night. By the way, did Survivor start again in the states? If so, someone please keep me posted on what is happening.

Well, that's about it for today. Da svidahnia!
Shannon and Mom too!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Day 5


Another day just about gone in our wait time to pick up the Princess. Yeah!
Last night we had a little excitement in the neighborhood. At about 1215 or 1230am I awoke to this loud beeping sound coming from above the couch on the wall. In my semi wakefulness I had no idea what it was, so I attempted to turn on the lights, only to find that they would only come on dimly. Now when you just wake up you sort of think, well maybe it's just my eyes. Nope..I went around the room trying to turn on all the lights, but all were only coming on dim. Same in the bathroom, and also found the bathroom fan wouldn't go. Mind you all along the beeping continues. I can see now that the sound is coming from what I believe to be the air conditioning unit, but not sure why its beeping. I'm starting to wonder if it is also possibly a smoke alarm, yet I smell no smoke. I look out the windows to the street below to see if people are leaving the building, or fire anywhere, or what??? I notice the street looks kind of dark compared to normal. Some street lights are on, but there are a lot out. I also see people coming out of the Restaurant pictured above and are gathering around their cars. By now I am feeling a bit freaked. Not sure what is going on. I was just wondering if I should call Sveta, when the computer monitor starts to crackle a little and flicker. I quickly unplug the computer and wait to see what happens. A few minutes after that I hear the refrigerator motor start up and then see all of the lights come on in the street and the restaurant across the street. I try the lights and they now shine brightly. Thank heavens! Whew! What a weird experience. It must have been some kind of brown out my Mom thinks. It has never happened to me before in the states where you have a little power. I've always experienced complete power outage if the power goes. ( Mom slept through the whole thing- so she wasn't bothered by it at all!) Did this ever happen to anyone else while they were in Krasnoyarsk? The rest of the night was less eventful, finally got to sleep around 2am.
It was another cold day in the city. -24F (am I starting to sound like a broken record?) It kind of feels like ground hog day. Each day more of the same. Stayed inside again. Watched a couple of movies, took a little nap. Played some games. Had left over chicken for dinner. We are planning to watch the Russian version of Survivor tonight, as both Mom and I are big Survivor fans. Tomorrow we go to see the Little Princess again in the afternoon. I've been missing our visits over the weekend.
Goodbye for now!
Shannon

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day from Krasnoyarsk


Happy Valentine's Day!
Just hanging out at the apartment today, day 4 of our wait. Next Saturday, one week from today, we should be able to pick up the Little Princess. What a difference the weekends will make!
Hope you are all well, and are receiving lots of love from your families and friends today! Maybe a little chocolate, flowers and candy too?


Friday, February 13, 2009

Day 3 and Friday the 13th

Happy Friday the 13th ! Hope everyone had a GOOD day today!

I had another wonderful day with the Princess, and Yes! we got to use the Music room. Hooray! We have so much more fun with the extra space to play in. The Little Princess was glued to me today from the start. All she wanted in the beginning of our visit was to sit in my lap and have me rock her and the lala's. We had two stuffed animals in our lap, with one playing music. She was so sleepy and cuddly. After about 15-20 minutes we woke her up a little more and boy did we have a riot. She still wanted me to carry her, swing her around and hold her hand everywhere we went around the room. We had great fun, but boy was I getting hot and a little tired after our two hour visit. She gave me a good workout today. She was all smiles and laughing. She has the cutest little giggle. Wish I had a tape recorder to pick up the sound of her voice to share.

Our visit to the orphanage was in the afternoon today. We arrived back at the apartment at 515pm or so. Had a little rest and some coffee, then at 7pm Dasha came to get us and take us to Planyeta. Mom and I got to wonder the mall for 3 1/2 hours while Dasha went to her exercise and Yoga classes. Mom and I had a great dinner at one of the little Restaurants on the top floor of the Mall. It is an authentic old country style Russian restaurant. We had to try to pick our meal by looking at the pictures as the menu was all in Russian. We got some great dishes. Mom had the Salmon and potatoes. She said it is the best Salmon that she has had in a very long time. I had mashed potatoes and what I believe was ground lamb with spices type patties. Very tasty too! The funniest part was trying to order drinks. No pictures! Mom wanted white wine. It took quite a bit of sing language and then pointing at someone across the rooms drink to get it, but the waitress was fantastic and very understanding. Mom got her wine, and I got tea with milk, just what I ordered. We will definitely go back to this restaurant.

At the supermarket at the mall. (the big supermarket) we picked up a few more items for the apartment like sharp knives and some bowels and better silverware. Our apartment is very nice, just missing a few conveniences. We will pass on the goods to the next family that stays, just as we were grateful for the items left behind for us. ( Oh! Thank you very much for the tip about the clothes drying rack. We found it in the closet.) We have not gotten brave enough to try to navigate the bus system, but did ask Dasha about it tonight. She said not to take the bus this time of the year because it is way too cold. She has been so sweet and taking us around, even working around her big exams this week, as she is still attending the University.

Unfortunately, No visits with the Princess over the weekend. We will have to get creative and think of something else to do.

Bye for today!
Shannon

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Kras Wait Day 2


It's another balmy day here in Krasnoyarsk at about -20F. Hahaha Meanwhile, I here back home is experiencing above normal temps around 50F. Oh well, we are making the most of it anyway.

***The photo is taken looking down from our apartment window to the open market across the street.

This morning started with another visit to see the Little Princess. We got stuck visiting in the little front office which only holds three people comfortably, let alone trying to play with a toddler and having people come in and out of the office to get files or use the computer. The ladies are all very polite, but the Princess always is less focused on Momma and more focused on the faces she knows better when we have to visit here. I'm hoping tomorrow we will get the music room again. Much more room to run around in and play.

As expected, the little Princess was more wound up and energetic today than yesterday. She was so calm and cuddly yesterday, I just knew today she would be full of energy and want to play with everything, including getting into cabinets and files that she shouldn't be in. Isn't it fun to be 2? I do love this age, you just never know what to expect. Always have to be on your toes.

The funniest story from our visit today had to be the box story. You know how people always say, forget the expensive gifts for little kids, just give them the box it came in and they will have a blast. That is exactly what Little Princess was playing with today. One of her caregivers gave us a box of the mega size legos to play with. You've all seen them I think. They come in a plastic container about twice the size of a shoe box. Well anyway, Little Princess dumps out all of the Lego's and basically says the heck with them, and we proceeded to play with the box. It was a ma china to ride on, a bassinet for the dolly, a bassinet for the big dolly baby (little princess got in it too). Got pictures of this, so cute... It was also a ma china for mama to ride on, but I didn't fit very well. Guess who played with the Lego's? Grandma, of course!

Our visit was from 10-12 this morning. After the orphanage, Dasha was kind enough to drop Mom and I at the Mall, Planyeta. We had lunch and looked around the shops for a bit. Grandma bought Princess a new baby doll to play with when she gets to the apartment.

After the mall, Dasha drove us back to the apartment. We have since trekked down stairs and around the corner to replenish the food supplies. I just love going to the store and trying to figure out what the items are. It's always a surprise when you get home and open them up and try to make something out of all that you have gotten. If you are lucky, it even tastes good, you just don't know what to call it. :) My only bad experience so far was my first attempt to buy milk. Luckily I tasted it before pouring it on my cereal cause it was buttermilk. Yuck! Second attempt was good. Now I just stick to that same carton every time.

So, for the rest of the night, I am doing exciting things like laundry! We have a cute little washing machine in the apartment, but no dryer. Mom found some type of clothes line in the cupboard, which I now have strung up from one end of the bathroom and back. This will work!
Here's a couple of Pic's of Mom in our apartment.






Hope all is well with everyone! Thank you all for your comments! I love hearing from everyone!

Paka,
Shannon