As things dwindle down to our court date this Friday, our activities have dwindled as well. We have a lot of "down" time in the apartment with Melanie. She is really good at puttering by herself, picking up spoons & forks and putting them in a bag, then dumping them out again. She also loves lugging around empty water jugs. We buy the 5 liter size, and have a pretty good collection of empty ones. She likes to stack them on top of each other and bang them together. She also loves tummy raspberries and being tickled. This morning when I was on the phone, she picked up an empty tin box of mints and put it up to her ear, imitating me. Too cute! Last night she slept pretty much all night, except for one cry. I just laid her back down again, and she slept on until about 7:30. I, on the other hand, did not sleep a wink, waiting through the night for any peeps or sounds. I ended up sleeping on the couch next to her crib. We're having a small problem with her hitting us in the face with hard objects, which we are addressing. Nip it in the bud, Barney Fife always said. Well, we're doing some "bud nipping" over here in Kazakhstan, although it's hard to be stern with her when she's so darn cute.
Aida was late picking us up this morning. We had plans to go to the baby house to present our gifts to the staff. We are trying to get as much out of the way early in the week, as court day is going to be busy, and our facilitator, Gulnara, wants us on the road to get to Almaty before dark. (It's a 3 hour drive). So we had a ceremony of sorts in the Director's office, where Madame Director made some speeches, and all the doctors, nurses, caregivers and "medical nurses" gathered around to pay their respects, I suppose. We also presented our donations to the baby house. The director said she was so happy that Karina (Melanie) was being adopted, and that she can get the medical attention in the US which is not available here in Kazakhstan.
Then it was time for David's private meeting with the director. There are plans underway for a team from World Partners Adoption to travel back to TaldyKorgan next June to put up a playground at the baby house here. David went to Uralsk in August of 2003 to build a similar playground at Lisa's baby house, so he has been unofficially tapped to present the Director with our plans for next summer. He put together a Power Point presentation and had some brochures of examples of what they could build in the courtyard of the BH. While David met with her, I took Melanie upstairs to eat lunch with her group. After lunch they went to the potty (en masse, of course!) and then got ready for their naps. I think Melanie was a little worried when the kids started going to their cribs, but at that point David was finished with his meeting, and we left to come back to the apartment. I put her down for her nap at the scheduled time. She played "stand up in the crib" a couple of times after I laid her down, but in no time at all she was sawing logs. She slept for a good 2 hours, 15 minutes. So did I!
In the afternoon we took Melanie to get her passport picture taken. She did very well. Then we went to the store to buy some supplies, and to our favorite shishkebab vendor for a take-home dinner. Melanie had some soup left over from lunch, with meat & potatoes. Now we're sitting around staring at each other, waiting for 9:00 to roll around (bed time for Bonzo). David beat me 2 games to 1 at Gin Rummy (he always does). I gave Melanie a good bath tonight, even washed her hair to get that "baby house " smell out of it. She was NOT a happy camper. I can't imagine what they did in the baby house to make her so fearful, unless they bathed them with cold water? We saw a picture in the baby house of someone dumping a pail of cold water over a toddler ... and were told that it makes the babies strong. Hmmm.
I think we will have to stop using the internet in the apartment as of tomorrow, in order for the internet provider to settle our account. We will make a point to go to the Internet Cafe to try and update the blog. It's going to be hard not to be able to surf in the apartment ... that's our main source of entertainment!! At any rate ... until tomorrow ...