Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Vic!!

Today was a red letter day! Our (soon-to-be) little one turned one year old
today, my how time flies. :) It seems like only 3 weeks ago we met, wait, it has only 3 weeks.

Vic was in a great mood as always, and very active. I did one or two So-Big's with him and he started doing it on his own, much to our amusement. His favorite method was to have a teething ring in each hand when he raised them over his head. He's also started giving me the cute look; head tucked into his shoulder and with a sweet smile. *So sweet*

In honor of Vic's first birthday, we bought a small cake for the caregivers to enjoy during the kids nap time. We weren't allowed to do any sort of party for him, but I'm sure there will be one big shindig when he gets home. His big brother has already agreed to help him with the birthday cake and "teach" him how to blow the candles out.

We're on our 7th day after bonding, and hope to go to court this week. No word yet on when, we're just hoping it comes soon. I've read countless times how difficult this process is, but it's hard to understand until one goes through the mind-numbing monotony. Even more difficult, for us at least, is being away from our son Jack. A very dear friend emailed a photo of him this past Saturday, and we both were having a hard time of it. He looks so grown up, we're missing out on his day-to-day shenanigans, we had nothing to do with the great smile that was on his face.. etc. I tell Bob that we're stuck between two boys, one that we can't bear to leave, and the other that we can't live without.

Bob and I are definitely feeling the groundhog day effect and are ready to get home. To combat the doldrums, we invited a friend over for dinner last night. On the menu was soft-tacos with pico-de-gallo, and Bob's world famous artichoke bruschetta. Mexican-Italian Fusion if you will. We had a great time with our friend, then Bob walked him back to the bus stop to catch the last shuttle of the night.

Around the time Bob was due back from the bus stop, I got a knock on the door - the 'Shave & a haircut, two bits' knock (Bob's description:). I thought it was Bob and opened the door... whoops. Our immediate neighbor was there pantomiming that she needed to borrow matches. No biggie, I thought. I was oh so wrong.. She was overly friendly, and quite obviously drunk. After she sang all verses of a German Friendship song, she went back to her apartment. Hoo-boy.

When Bob got back, I asked him to answer the door when she returned our lighter. I was *hoping* that my tall, manly husband would keep her from coming in the apartment again. No such luck; she brought back-up. Pushing past Bob came three very inebriated women bearing fruit, candies, pistachios, a half-empty bottle of Vodka and some Kazakh Cognac.

It was funny for a little while, and Bob _really_ enjoyed the Cognac, but by
10:30, I pulled the plug. These Kazakh Golden Girls, or perhaps Whirling Dervishes, weren't going anywhere soon. So, I took our cell phone to the back room and called our interpreter/landlord. She in turn called her mother, who lives upstairs, and had her come down to shoo the ladies out.

By now one lady was at my sink doing the dinner dishes, another was spilling Vodka and pistaschios all over the place, and the third was busy with her cell phone calling all their kids to come over. The personification of 'Out of Hand'. Our interpreter's mother came in and in a calm manner explained that the time difference between the US and Kazakhstan is very great; that these Americanskis like to go to bed early and it was time to go home now. Brilliant! They bought it!! The Kaz Golden Girls picked up their stuff and left. I gave Oxana's mom a big hug and we both thanked her very much for her help. Whew! Not quite a Rick Steves moment, but not the same old night either.

Tomorrow we think our coordinator will let us purchase needed baby house items with the remaining half of our monetary donations. More to follow.


Bob Sims said...

In all fairness to our friendly and enthusiastic neighbors, the Kazakh cognac I opened with them was indeed very, very good. There -- I said it.

Angela said...

I am still checking on you guys! Happy birthday to Vic and Happy Happy Hour to your neighbors!

One more month to go?

Also, feverishly taking notes on your experience although we will not be heading to Karaganda. Is what you wrote about the cell phone applicable all over Kaz or just in your neck of the woods?

Tricia said...

That story is too funny with the Kazakh Golden Girls. Of course I am only reading about it. They look like they were having a grand old time. Happy 1st birthday to Vic! The pictures are precious.

Julie said...

By my count I know get to make the Simms family 3 birthday cakes when you get home. Hope you are hungry! I'll will also try to plan some kind of cognac laced intrusion when you least expect it so you won't miss your girl friends.

Bob Sims said...

Angela, thanks for the note, see response on the "Revealed: Karaganda's Eight Best Kept Secrets" article. Thanks again, Bob