Russian Word of the Day

  • present = padarak

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Our Cultural Education Continues

Day 11

Garrett was absolutely darling today: wide awake and chattering like we've never heard him do. We were in the music room today. It was still decorated from yesterday' Nauryz performance and it's lined with mirrors. The combination was very exciting for our little bug. He loved the balloons and once he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror, he couldn't get enough. He kept smiling at himself in the mirror and then shrieking with joy. Those happy guggles just melted me. He's been so quiet until now. We have hardly hear a peep, but I think he is starting to open up a little. He even did a little "ba-ba-ba-ba" talking. Pretty advanced stuff. He's so smart.
Since the babyhouse is closed tomorrow for Nauryz, we had to hug and kiss him enough for two days. Tomorrow will be the first day since arriving in Kokshetau that we haven't seen our little bug. I'm going to go into withdraw.

(I don't know about this hat, ma)
I've mentioned before that after our visit Garrett goes down for his nap. We got in trouble yesterday for letting him fall asleep at the end of our visit. I guess that his catnap with us refreshed him so much that he didn't take his afternoon nap, opting instead to soliloquize and keeping all of his roommates from their slumber. After promising never to let him sleep on our watch again and then making good on this promise by returning him awake, the caregiver rewarded us by letting me take a picture of him getting swaddled for his nap.
Boy-oh-boy are they good swaddlers. I don't think that Houdini could get out of that wrap. Garrett looks like a catapiller in a coccoon! After wrapping him tight, the caregiver held him up like some sort of prize cabbage. She was obviously very proud that her efforts had so effectively foiled any attempt by Garrett to use his limbs. Garrett is so used to it, however, that I'm pretty sure that I'm going to have to swaddle him like this to get him to sleep at home. I'm going to have to learn baby-blanket-oragami.
I took advantage of the permission to take picture and snapped a couple more pictures of the nursery and playroom where Garrett lives when we aren't with him. It is warm and bright, and like the rest of the babyhouse, spotlessly clean. It smells like warm wood, probably a pleasant side effect of the pine floors being heated by the sun through those big windows. It's really pretty nice. Just an interesting side note, the TV is always tuned to music videos, like the Kazakh equivilent of MTV2.

After our visit, Makhabbat informed us that she would be back later to take us to a ballet performance at the local concert hall... ALL of us. For those of you who thought that my little Calvin couldn't sit still and keep quiet for an hour long demonstration of traditional Kazakh dance... earlier today, I would have agreed. Once again, however, Calvin proved us wrong! Sitting right next to Makhabbat, with the mayor of Kokshetau only three rows behind us, Calvin endured the performance with stoaic fortitude. Tim, however, only barely survived. The feathered hats were almost too much for him!



Holly said...

My heart breaks for you and Garrett that there is no visiting tomorrow. We are so excited to get our little nephew into our arms and to meet his cousin! I adored Calvin's cake too - too much to bear!

Keep the news coming. We love it!
Team Hartman

Channing said...

I too will be in withdrawls tomorrow without having any pictures of Garrett. That's just not fair! Don't know what I'll do when you're home for a couple of weeks and there will be no Garrett update to wake up to. The upside is that we'll have all of you back home and a morning phone call to you can help fill the Garrett void. Miss you all! Love,Channing

Jeremy said...

From the woman in the marketplace with three gold teeth to the dance recital, you Snyders have come a long way in only a week.

Guys -- little G is amazing, it seems like he's changing everyday showing off his new sounds and facial expressions. When I get home from work every night Channing updates me on your journey. And while it takes a lot to make me tear up, over the last week I've been more moved by your pictures and colorful narratives than I can remember. Can't wait till the WHOLE family is back home..

patrice said...

Garrett is such a little love! Today's huggy pictures were just so precious. It was also fascinating seeing the baby room and baby swaddling 101. I'm sorry to hear that there is no visiting tomorrow. I have a feeling that K & C the explorers will have one interesting plan or another up their sleeves until you can scoop Garrett back up into your loving arms.
Love, Aunt Patrice

Sam,Ryan and Gabby said...

Garrett is such a sweet pie! I can't even tell you how much he is changing just from each set of pictures (his hair is already growing back too). I am so sad that you won't get to see him tomorrow, he is just the sweetest boy (besides Calvin of course). I love that Tim went to the ballet, what a good sport he is, although I bet he didn't have a choice! You guys take care & hope your day tomorrow isn't too hard, we will be thinking of you.
Sam, Ryan & Gabby

ault family said...

It is soooooo great to hear that Garrett is really opening up and babbling. Wonderful!

That swaddling is amazing. You better start practicing and getting tips now. :)

I'm sure you (and eventually Garrett) will treasure the photos of the baby room with all the cribs lined up. It melts my heart to see that. Can you bring a couple extra babes with you?!


Angie & Jon said...

I finally had a chance to check out your blog. Garrett is just beautiful and you all look so happy! He is so expressive. What a precious little boy!

All of the people and sites look familiar. We almost feel like we are there. It brings back such good memories.

I hope that you are enjoying the time and that it is going quickly.

Thanks for sharing!

Love, Angie Retzlaff
Mom to Evan Maxim Retzlaff

The Del Carlo's said...

I apologize for not sending our thoughts earlier but things have been crazy with work. I enjoy reading your little stories as they come and find this whole adventure quite amazing. The experience's you are having and the love you are sharing is breathtaking. Too bad you can't bring a few children home with you. Garrett is the luckiest of all. Calvin is going to be the best BIG brother and with two parents so adoring what more could a wee little one ask for. Looking forward to meeting Garrett soon and we hope you have many many more happy moments as the days get closer to returning home. Thinking of you all and send our love.