Russian Word of the Day

  • present = padarak

Friday, March 13, 2009

A teething baby and the Eagles of Victory!

Day 2
O.K. - Let's put the biggest mystery to rest right away. What are the Eagles of Victory, you ask? Well, they are only the most ridiculous slippers ever! When we showed up to visit Garrett today, we were chastised for not having slippers to wear inside, so after our visit, Makhabat (our interpretor) took us to the Green Market across town to remedy this serious deficiency in our wardrobe. The only slippers available to me (for cheap) were bright red monstrocites with "Eagle of Victory" proclaimed in bold gold script across the front. Lovely! Take a look.

I wish that I had taken my camera into the Green Market. It's a bazar, basically - a two story warehouse divided into about a hundred cubicle-like units. Each unit is individually owned and they sell everything from the 3 inch stilletto heel boots that all of the women wear to sheep's heads. We were even able to find.... vegetables!!! I think fresh produce will become our prized posessions here in Kaz because, at least in Kokshetau, they don't seem to have the luxury of grapes from Chile and pineapples from Hawaii. If it isn't growing on the frozen Steppe, it's not easy to find. Half of the upper floor fo the bazar was dedicated to groceries, but it wasn't all one store. You still paid each of the vendors separately. Tim was like a kid in a candy store and happily stocked our shelves. The concept of buying in bulk is definately unheard of in Kazakstan and the cheese vendor was much amused when Tim requested half of her block of cheese. The carrots are probably one of the coolest things we found today. Here is a picture of Calvin with a classic giant Kazakhstani carrot.

O.K. now the babyhouse update. We officially have the cutest baby in Kazakhstan, even when he is grumpy.Our little bug was teething and pretty miserable today. When we came in, he was sitting in the highchair having just finished his breakfast of formula and meatballs. Yup, really. He looked a little bit dazed, not quite as bright-eyed as yesterday. When they saw us, the caregivers swooped him up and asked us for our diaper. We are supposed to bring a diaper everyday for our visits with Garrett. This is the only time that the babies wear diapers. It's too expensive for the babyhouse to diaper all of the kids all of the time, so generally, they just wear layers of long underwear. After they diapered him, I was told that I could dress him in the clothes I had brought. I thought, since he now had a diaper on, that Garrett would not need any long underwear underneath his clothes. Boy was I wrong, after I had finished putting a long sleeved onesie, jeans, socks, and a sweater on our fussy bub, they told me to take it all off and put on a longjohn jumper underneath. Then they pulled a thick cotton hat on his head and wrapped him in a huge fleece blanket so that he wouldn't get chilled on his walk down the hallway. Now, I'm only going to say this here, because the caretakers make the rules at the babyhouse, but it wasn't cold. In fact, it was downright hot in there. I was perfectly comfortable in a thin cotton tee-shirt and my baby is dressed for a blizzard! Oh well.

We played for a little while today, letting Garrett stand on our laps and show off those strong legs of his. He really is so big and strong. The clothes I brought along are almost too small for him and the diapers are definately too little. The caretakers told me that he is a good eater and a good sleeper. That is definately evident from how big he is! At least three of the caretakers have commented on how well he will fit in with his tall daddy.
They also told me that he is a very happy baby with a big smile. I bet we'll get to see that smile another day. Today he just wanted to be held and to chew on something, anything to ease those throbbing little gums of his. He finally settled on plastic bear bowling pin that was on a shelf. It was delicious.

Then Tim and I took turns rocking with our sweet boy while he fussed. Every once in a while, he would just drop his toy and let out the most heartrending little cry of pain and desperation. It absolutely broke my heart.

I just wanted to strip off half of those hot layers of clothes and give him something a little bit more soothing to chew on. But, as our visit was under the constant supervision of a very well meaning caretaker who was scrubbing the room, that was not in the cards. I'm hoping that tomorrow we will be left alone for a while. We bought him some real teething toys at the Green Market and I'd love to be able to set him down a little so that he can stretch out.

Isn't he the cutest!!!
I'm in love.


Baby Kaz Moore said...

So very cute!! What a fun time.

How old is Garrett?


Jennifer M said...

He is so very cute! You guys all look so good together.

The slippers are too funny!

Nicole Faraclas said...

Oh, he is so beautiful. I'm tearing up at my desk right now out of happiness for you all. Sending you all my love and more!