Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Of Whining Toilets and Happy Boys

Okay, so Andrew is a little jealous I’ve been writing all the entries. :) So I’m relinquishing my writing just for one night so you can get his perspective. :) The only thing I will say is that our toilet is whistling and I don’t know if I will be able to sleep. The hotel says they can’t fix it, that it has to do with the water pressure. Wow, it’s annoying!

Andrew now: Everyone’s either moving out or about to. The Pushkin is closing to everyone except members of the visiting presidents’ entourage. I’m not sure, but President Puten of Russia may be staying here – in our room, even? They better fix the toilet before then!!

Anyway, one family is flying to Almaty tomorrow, their process nearly complete. Another family and their two little boys (6 and 4) are moving to their apartment tomorrow, one day early, because they’ll have more room there. All parties involved will likely be happier; they’ve done okay and had lots of fun in the last 24 hours, but I know they’ll be delighted to have more room than in their hotel suite! The rest of us are moving out on Friday.

We’re thinking a lot about our apartment and what it will be like for ourselves plus two little boys. Our suite probably wouldn’t be the greatest with our ceramic tile floors (the first time Calvin banged his head on it would probably be the last time he tried, but I can only imagine blood everywhere) but we’re a little concerned about the apartment, too. Alaina described it some, as well as its owner, but think of it this way – we’re moving out of a relatively bright, streamlined suite into an apartment of three rooms, a little dark. There’s stuff everywhere. She said she’d put the china up off a low shelf to the top of the cabinets and clean up the tiny toys, but I am still concerned it may not be very baby-proof. (But grandparents, don’t worry – we’ll watch them like a hawk!)

(By the way, the toilet continues to whistle / whine; it’s almost like a distant rotary hammer drill boring through concrete. Nice. The landlady did promise repeatedly that the apartment is quiet, so that aspect at least will be nice.)

Both boys were great today. Patrick laughed a lot today, in part because Alaina was tickling him so much. He loves being tickled. He likes his food, which I give to him (helping to build trust and attachment with me) but he doesn’t get mad when there’s no more of it, like Calvin often does. Our main driver / attorney came today to take pictures of him. Patrick was great for the family photo and front view, but didn’t want to cooperate for the profile photo. Every time he heard the camera warm up, he’d turn his head to look at the camera and “ruin” the shot as the flash went off :) We finally managed a decent shot when I took our camera and took pictures from the front of him at the same time! Like yesterday, Patrick didn’t want to go back to his caregivers, which made us feel happy!

We normally share the play room with another family when we visit Calvin, but they were delayed in making it to today, so we had about ten great minutes with Calvin all by ourselves. He was in pretty good spirits today; he didn’t laugh as much as some days, but he didn’t get upset much, either. It’s so much fun to watch him discover things – for example, how to pull our three-dimensional puzzle apart, or the delight of riding a rocking horse. He squealed with delight as I pushed him around the room on a big truck, pausing once each lap for Alaina to give him a drink (and to give Daddy a break!)

As I mentioned above, Calvin loves his food. Today we gave him a teething biscuit and he tore into it. Half of it was gone in less than five minutes. After that, he slowed his pace a little. The next quarter took probably ten minutes, and the next eighth another ten. The very last little bit, probably one-sixteenth of the whole, lasted in his hand for a long time; he just didn’t want to eat that last little bit . . . it finally disappeared in the last minute of the day :)

One of the cool things about our time here in the Pushkin is that the five families who have been here our whole time have become like family. We all have suites on the third floor, and often through the day we leave our doors open and people go up and down the hall visiting. We share all kinds of things with each other – DVDs, chargers, food, baby clothes, advice, encouragement, etc. It’s really cool.

Tomorrow morning our paperwork will be filed with the court and we should get our first court date!

(The toilet is still whining. It’s terrible!)


Catherine said...

I hope the toilet situation gets better, that sounds awful! We're glad to hear the boys are doing so well!

Anonymous said...

I copy each days blog for Great-grandpa to read each afternoon. We keep praying for you every day.
Grpa had an outing to the doctor on Mon. First time he had shoes on we think since June 1st! They were a bit dusty to say the least, but he did get into them. Maybe he should get some of those Crocs!
He's finished another box of books from David H., looking forward to a visit from them to bring more. We've had some beautiful September days here. I hope to finish digging potatoes soon.
Love, Aunt Gwen

Margaret said...

Sorry about the toilet. :( I can't WAIT for you guys to come home! School is going okay. The classes are pretty boring, but you know. In other news, Stephanie and Elizabeth are coming to Canada with me as well as my friend Jyn! How exciting! I wish you could come, but I'll take lots of pictures. Love you and miss you.

liz said...

miss you guys! can't wait to see you and meet the boys. you're in my prayers.

Jen said...

What the annoyance of a toilet. At least you can still use it. :)
Thanks Alaina for relinquishing your duties to Andrew, it is fun to hear from both of you!
It sounds like a beautiful thing to have the other families so close and do so much together.
It is so fun to get a picture through words of you two parenting your precious boys. :) I love it! Thank you!

Micah said...

I'm so anxious for you guys to get to have them to yourself in the apartment. It sounds like they are really taken with you. You will make a great family!!! We have a new little girl!!! Come to our blog and see her if you get a chance!!

Jeremiah said...

Andrew, your posts are so much more interesting. =P

Hope the whistling stops. I'd hate to have to hear that whistling through the night. Kinda like a drip in the sink. >_O

liz said...

hmmm... i'm bored at work. so i'm checking in on you guys again.:) miss you.

Jen said...

So good to hear from you too Andrew!

Reading all this just makes me want to meet and old your little one's!!

Do you have any pictures of your trip to post? I am partial to pictures myself but..... :)

steph said...

I'm stopping by to say "hi".
I love hearing about my nephews and whistling toilets...that always makes for interesting reading. :)

Heather L. said...

Too bad none of us "commentaters" can tell you how to stop the toilet whining! I'm just imagining someone like my Dad reading your blog and knowing just what to do -- wish I could tell you!
Thanks to Jennie's help, we got all the apples from Andersons put into the freezer today! (We went picking yesterday) I'm going to make myself not attempt anymore big food projects.
Michael and I are off to a conference in Minn. this weekend. I'm sure he will figure a way for us to check your blog while gone. Can't wait until you have the boys!

Anonymous said...

Andrew and Alaina, for silence to sleep on your last night there, your fix it dad suggests if there is a shut off valve on the pipe into the toilet, turn it off. If there isn't one [probably not], then try blocking the float up so no water comes into the tank.
If all else fails, throw a blanket over it to muffle the sound!! [Don't drink in the meantime:)) ]

Another day passed and we continue to get all circuits busy when trying to phone you. Customer service for the company is trying to problem solve; we have irritating problems in the States too. I think we invested in the wrong phone card.

We're eagerly awaiting your family returning. Tonight we enjoyed your kids' second cousins plus your cousin and wife accompanied them. A very good evening. with love, Mom

Grandma Judd said...

Andrew and Alaina, I am always delighted to see your journal entry. Your stories are so descriptive and so much fun to read. It is exciting to keep up with what is "going on" with all of you. It will be delightful to see how those little boys interact with each other when they meet. They surely are realizing you are a blessing in their lives as they love you more and more. Can't wait to meet them and see you back home. My thoughts and prayers are always with you. Bless each of you as you go through the process to become a happy family.
Love you so much,
Grandma Judd