A Good Day and A Tough Day

November 4, 2008 at 3:39 am 9 comments

Sunday, November 2nd and Monday, November 3, 2008: Days 61 and 62 in Kostanai

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008
Sunday, my official second day as a full time mom, was a tough one. Little Kairat was FUSSY! Between teething and a slight cold, he did not want to sleep. Being woken around mid-night by the obnoxious horn tooting, loud music playing frequenter of this apartment complex once again also didn’t help matters. (If I could only speak Russian better I would be yelling at this kid.) Luckily, Kairat fell right back to sleep after quickly inhaling a bottle of formula round 12:15 a.m. but I, once again, wasn’t so lucky.

I won’t go into all of the details but basically Kairat didn’t want to nap and was a grouch all day. Along with the ailments I first mentioned, he was also a bit gassy because Mommy introduced too many new foods in his first couple of days. Starting with bananas when he first came to the apartment, I moved on to cooked mashed apples and peas on day two. He is also getting more formula than at the baby house as they wean the kids off from it very early because it is so expensive. However, I really think that it was the peas that stressed his constitution. It was just too much too soon. I finally put him to bed around 8 p.m. at let him cry himself to sleep. The poor little guy was completely exhausted and slept until 6 a.m. this morning. This was a welcome respite for me because I really needed a good night sleep as well.

Monday, November 3, 2008
pottyToday was much better in that we were both rested and are beginning to find our daily routine together. Mornings begin with a slow wake-up and a trip to the potty. (Kairat is definitely not potty trained. I’d rather refer to him as “potty tolerant”.) After a few minutes of sitting and talking while Kairat attempts to do something, we head to the kitchen area so that he can play and I can prepare his breakfast. [Will he ever forgive me for posting this on the blog?]

He’s so hungry when he gets up that I’ve had to hide his bottle until just before I give it to him or he’ll begin to wail. This was until this morning when I discovered that little pieces of banana (and khlep, or bread) hold his patience while I ready food. We play for a little while after he eats but by 8:00 a.m. he’s ready for his first nap. At the baby house, nap #1 was at 7:30 a.m. so he is definitely staying close to old habits.

This seems to be his longest nap of the day, sleeping until 10 a.m. or longer. I love it because it gives me time to pick up the apartment, get food ready for the day, have some coffee and hang out on-line for a little while.

Basically, he’s adjusting to a less regimented schedule and I’m trying to figure out when and what to feed him as he adjusts. (My spreadsheet that tracks all of the particulars is becoming very helpful in knowing what I should do and when.) I think yesterday was especially difficult because, along with the cold, aching gums, and gas, it was the first day that sleeping and eating times were different than the pattern that he’s been used to for the past eight months. (Hey, that’s his whole life!)

He’s a smart little baby and I think today he started to realize that he can get a drink when he wants one and he can have something to eat if he is hungry. I’m also recognizing his cues a little more so that food and sleep wise, today was much more copasetic. In fact, for the first time since I met Kairat just over two months ago, he refused food.

This might not seem like a big deal, but until now I didn’t think that he would ever cease to consume if something edible was in front of him. After I fed him his dinner formula I was ready to follow with a small meal of vegetable puree and beef. He ate a little of it and then decided that he was done and refused to open his mouth. For the first time there was more food than he actually wanted. This is a HUGE step, as kids coming from orphanages typically don’t refuse food because they know they can only get it at certain times and in certain amounts!

bottle2There have been a few other successes in just a couple days that I find very encouraging. Kairat has figured out how to drink from the baby bottle that I bought his first day at home. [These are pictures of the baby house bottles, not the one I bought.] The bottles at thebottle orphanage have huge holes in the nipples and have to be regulated by whoever is doing the feeding. Kairat is learning that he can regulate himself with his new bottle. His first try with this particular one resulted in liquid spilt all over his neck and little chest. In just two days he’s doing quite well and is learning to hold the bottle by the handle so that he can feed himself.

We actually weren’t sure if he would need a bottle because all we had ever given him drinks from were shot glasses and metal coffee cups. He needs and wants a bottle AND he has also learned to drink from his sippy cup in this short time. He still needs help with the tilting of the cup but I’m sure he will have the concept down in no time. Such a smart boy!!!

I was able to sit, have a cup of tea, and knit for about 20 minutes this afternoon while he was having nap #2 from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. It was nice to relax for the first time in a couple of days. Things have been hectic and I just needed to sit. This, to me, is a huge success.

k_toyKairat seems to be accepting my being out of his view for short periods of time. (Although today when we were playing I thought I was hiding on him only to realize that he had quickly found me by seeing my reflection in the full length mirror.) He also seems to entertain himself for short periods more often. At the baby house the kids have to be self-amused for long periods of time but since we’ve been home he’s demanded my constant attention. This seems to be waning just a bit.

k_pjOur soon-to-be nine-month-old son has almost grown out of his size 9-month pajamas. Noticing last night that his feet seemed to be very cramped in the foot section of this one-piece outfit, I tried on the 12-month size of the same garment this evening as seen in the picture. Despite the arms being just a bit too long, the length was more comfortable leaving his feet much less constricted. It is amazing how fast he is growing! It looks like I’ll be leaving a number of out-grown outfits behind as they are always needed at the baby house.

Kairat went down for his naps and bedtime very easily. In fact, my coordinator, her husband, and a plumber stopped by around 3:15 p.m. to fix my washing machine. Kairat should have started his nap around three and was beginning to get fussy. Being the “social butterfly” that he is, I let him visit for a few minutes and then put him to bed at 3:30 p.m. He went right to sleep and didn’t wake through our talking and the repairs going on in the bathroom where the washer is located. I love that, a child who can sleep through adults visiting and commotion in the background.

All in all, today was great and things seem like they will only improve each day. Of course we will have our ups and downs, fussy days, and happy days, but each day we have with our son (good or bad) will be a day we’ve dreamed of for a long time.

Oh…I almost forgot to mention our little mishap today. Something I need to add this to our list of Things Not to Do in Kostanai (or whatever I called that post):

Kairat and I went for our evening walk after his dinner. It was a lovely time and he was very entertained and talkative. However, it started to so I though we should head for home. Upon arriving at our building, I took out the key to unlock the door only to realize that I had taken my apartment key but the key to the building had fallen off the key chain and was probably still in the apartment. So here we are, Kairat and I, standing by the door as it is starting to get dark and I’m trying to figure out how to get in.

I could have pounded on the door but not one light was on in any of the apartments on my side of the building; I could have walked to Natascha’s and called our coordinator and try to get another key; or I could wait and hope someone would come by. Five minutes passed, ten minutes, Kairat was getting impatient. Finally, someone left the building; the only tenant who has not been friendly and seems even less so now that I have a child with me. I didn’t care. We got to go in!

Tuesday a.m. update:
Kairat slept through the night and woke around 6:45 a.m. He was entertained this morning by helping me wash the kitchen floor and watching the wash cycle of the front loading washer while I cleaned the bathroom. It is 8:40 a.m. and he just went down for his nap.

And Finally…
My mother says that my baby pictures look just like Kairat. Maybe I can get her to scan one in and send it to me so we can make a comparison. Mom?


Entry filed under: Kazakhstan Adoption.

Our First Full Day Together Off to Almaty

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mum  |  November 4, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Will attempt to scan in picture either tonight or tomorrow. Dad’s surgery this a.m. so will probably be busy all day. Wait until you see the picture I’m scanning. Everyone who has seen his pictures says he looks like you and Tommy when you were babies.


  • 2. PJ  |  November 4, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    So happy you are with your cherub and bonding in your own environment. The best advice I received when Bridget was born, sleep when the baby sleeps, nap when the baby naps…it is hard to do but it sure reduces sleep deprivation for a new mom!! Big Hugs to you two, xo

  • 3. Nell  |  November 4, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    Those Baby House bottles look suspiciously like those one might use to feed small farm animals, no? ; )

    Sounds like you two are settling in just perfectly!

  • 4. kazreader  |  November 4, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    HEY-SUSAN AND LEEZA HERE! It sounds like ya’l aer doign awesome!!! Kairat is a smart lil adorable boy-and i’m not suprised he looked like you as a baby. I’m constantly told (here and in Kostanai) that Leeza looks like me and her brother-which is so funny to me. God works in such wonderful ways-does he not?

    Leeza is always hungry upon waking too-she is a late sleeper-until 8:30 or 9, and I always give her a banana while she is on the potty and i fix her oatmeal.
    She has a voracious appetite-but always turns her head when she is done eating. I am loving the v8 soups here-she loves them too-and will eat anything-she is such a wonderful eater! My friend was over today and was cracking up as I sat her on my lap and fed her oatmeal with big bites with minimal mess. 🙂

    Potty tolerant-potty trained-doesn’t matter-it’s forming a habit. Leeza of course wears a diaper-but she spend way less time on the potty now cuz she knows what to do and is very quick about it her business so she can get back to playing!

    she recently discovered she could scream-and boy can she scream-she is quite loud-but it’s so cute. 🙂

    I’m glad you weren’t locked out too long in front of your apt.
    Our apt had a “code” to get in-or i would have probably done what you did-I did lose my key that one day after all. 🙂

    I’m glad to hear you’re out and about in your ergo. Leeza and the ergo survived a 2 hour shopping trip with Sean yesterday-he is slower than a girl!

    I cant wait to see your baby pics and great to see your cute lil son on your blog-growing fast!! Leeza can wear 9 months ( i had bought some and they fit) but most of her clothes are 12 months and although tiny bit big-they’re fine.

    sorry to write a novel-just happy for you and Kairat.
    We all have good days and bad days.
    Leeza had that one fussy day in Kostanai-but thankfully has not had any since-when she is crabby-it means she has to sleep. 🙂

    Much Love-
    susan and Leeza
    Joe and Sean

  • 5. Carol  |  November 5, 2008 at 4:37 am

    News at 11:30 at night from the USA: Obama wins!!!!!!!

    Glad everything is going so well! Can’t wait to see him when you get home! I can’t believe he is practically potty trained. Unreal! Gotta go–am taking in all the news on tv.

  • 6. Ali  |  November 5, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    I am surprised PJ did not mention how good it is that he is still bottle feeding. She, being the OT, maintains that it will be helpful with his mouth muscles and, therefore, word pronounciation when he starts talking.

    When are you coming home????? You haven’t said!

  • 7. Ali  |  November 5, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    One more thing – do you remember how I always said you will get the one who was meant for you? Now you know.

  • 8. ellen  |  November 5, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Ali, yeah, she did. Check out the previous post.

    “And when will we be home? Our expected departure date is Friday, November 21st. We have about two more weeks here in Kostanai for Kairat’s passport processing and then a few days in Almaty. Kazakhstan’s Independence Day is November 16th and many people take Monday, the 17th as a holiday. With that, it looks like the 21st will definitely be the day we fly home.”

    Showed Y-7 some of your pics. They oooohed and ahhhed!!

  • 9. Kerri  |  November 8, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    i don’t like the phrase “down for a nap” — I picture evil things


    can’t wait to see you two!!!


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