Russian Word of the Day

  • present = padarak

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Party Bus and a Plumbing Monster

Day 14
Wow. Two weeks. I didn't realize we've been here that long! Time flies when you are playing with a cute baby.
Speaking of which... our littlest boy was a bundle of fun today. He shrieked and squealed and gurgled and smiled and did everything he could to tell Mama and Daddy that he was in the mood to play. Tim even found a little pink ball in the music room, left behind by the older kids, and we rolled and bounced it much to Garrett's delight.
The babyhouse was a buzz today. Usually we are the only ones visiting and the halls are empty except for the occasional caregiver bustling from room to room. Today, however, there were two other cars in the muddy parking strip when we arrived. One of them, we found out, belonged to a couple from France who have just arrived to adopt two little sisters, ages 2 and 11 months. Throughout our visit, in the music room, we could hear voices in the hall. Caregivers kept peeking into our room, occasionally entering to 'tut' disapprovingly at Garrett's exposed ankle and tug on his pant leg before swishing back out of the room.
At the end of our remarkably short hour and a half we returned our sleepy son to be swaddled and trudged back out into the slush to find Nursultan, our driver, having a party in the van! Our interpreter, Makhabbat, stayed home today with a headcold, and you know what they say about 'when the cat's away..." Apparently, while we were visiting Garrett, Nursultan had picked up two of his friends for the ride back to Kokshetau. These two rather plump, round faced women, dressed in the mandatory fur coats and high heeled boots, seemed comfortably settled in the back row of the van. They raised an eyebrow at us when we got in the van, as if we were somehow out of place. The larger of the two, who wore a gold head scarf decorated around the rim with little gold beads, talked loudly throughout our drive back to Kokshetau. She seemed to be under the impression that the front of the van was quite a distance away, because whenever she directed a comment to Nursultan, she shouted it at the top of her voice. Her efforts were greatly appreciated by the others in our party van, who laughed uproriously. She was the life of the party. If only we spoke Russian, we might have enjoyed her humor too. As it was, I just shrank into my seat and hoped she wasn't joking about the quiet Americans in the second row.

My eldest pumpkin, meanwhile, had a relatively lazy day. Having detected a hint of a morning sniffle, the grown-ups gave strict orders that Calvin was to lay on the couch and watch Dora the Explorer while Nana whipped up tasty snacks. What a hard life! But as cruel as our remedy was, it worked (!) and by midday my little man was feeling like his old self again. Consequently he spent the rest of the evening happily batting balloons in the air with Mama and Nana and spinning in the living room with Daddy to endless repetitions of Bobby Darin's "Beyond the Sea."
Earlier in the afternoon, when Cal was just starting to perk back up, he joined me for a quick walk to the local photo-lab. When we got home, Tim was having an adventure in Kazakh plumbing! Hooray! The kitchen sink, with almost no provocation, had backed up with horrid milky water. Armed only with a multi-purpose pocket knife (which a very crafty wife remembered to pack), it was up to Tim to do combat with the beast. He took apart the sink and I'm happy to say, that after a half hour of swearing, Tim is still with us but the plumbing-sludge-monster is not. Man are we good tenants. Tim was less good natured about the whole incident than those of us not covered in sludge. Then we reminded him of the alternative. Outdoor plumbing.
Oh, some of you might be wondering what's going on with Tim's hair. You were, right? Well, let's suffice to say that late last night, after several agreeable libations, I agreed to give Tim a mohawk. I think it looks pretty good, don't you? Tim says (in his best Borat impression) this is a "U.S.A. Number One American Hair Cut!" Naughty.




Nicole Faraclas said...

Teeheehee. Nice hair indeed, Tim. You rock the mohawk for sure. ;-). Also, nice work on the plumbing. A bottle of Drano is how I solve all my plumbing problems. Looks a little sunnier/warmer out there today? And how cute are your two little bugs? Just adorable. Thanks for the updates! Much love!

Channing said...

It's so great to see Calvin doing so well and living life so normally. It's a very unnormal place but he looks happy as can be. Lots of credit goes to his parents and his Nana!

And I'm really ready to meet Garrett! You guys have about hit the half way point and so have I. Hurry home, already!

Sam, Ryan, and Gabby said...

I love the hair Tim, mohawks are definitely in style :). Calvin is such a cutie, we miss him, it looks like he's doing really well and enjoying his Kaz adventure. I can't wait to hear his version of the trip when you guys get home. Garrett continues to be too cute for words and looks like a different baby already now that your in his life. I thought he might be the plumbing monster from your post, maybe there was an explosion, haha. The party bus sounded interesting, oh, to know what they were saying, right? Looking forward to you coming home soon & more Garrett photos tomorrow.
Sam, Ryan & Gabby

Holly said...

I wish they had not cut Garrett's hair - then they would match! Sorry about the sink...that's no fun. Good news about Calvin feeling better. We love the stories - keep them coming. So excited for you and selfishly for us too.