So we are still hoping and praying that we hear something, anything today. We are waiting on the Adoption Dept to approve a paper that we need to move forward with court. I want to be out of here by the end of the week if possible. Don't get me wrong, I will miss our little dude like MAD, but I need to be there for my girls, too...and Chris needs to get back to work. So far, I've been away from Little G for 1 month, and Big G for 3 weeks.
Praise God for the rain! I can tell a huge difference in the pollen around here and I'm feeling much better and so is Griffin! He was a happy little dude today. When we arrived, we discovered that he was already outside in the play shed. The nanny picked him up and handed him over and he had such a handsome smile on his face. He recognizes us, no doubt...and I believe he likes us pretty well! We went to put him in the swing and realized that it had a huge puddle of water in the seat. So Chris dumped it out and we were about to walk away when the nanny came over with a cloth and wiped the seat dry for us. That was pretty sweet! So we let him swing a good 20 mins until he started turning sideways wanting to get out. We then put him in the empty play shed. He was pretty content just to cruise along the walls today. I discovered that he can actually put his bottom in a chair all on his own buy getting in a bear crawl stance and backing up to the chair or bench until he feels his bottom on it, then he will walk himself upward with his hands until he is seated. Pretty smart! He's actually pretty good at problem solving! Little dude is much smarter than everyone things, I believe!
We noticed that the music teacher was making her way to our groupa in the play shed. We didn't want him to miss out on his music but we didn't want to hand him over to the nanny either, because the visit would be over for us, so we stood outside the play shed and participated as much as we could. We realized that we were being a distraction, but I really didn't care today. :-) I wanted to see how he reacted to the music and he did so well! I could tell that he was listening to the words of the song and would actually waive his little hands in the air at the proper time! The teacher also incorporated instruments into the songs and each child had a turn playing the tambourine and drum, including Griffin! He did a great job keeping the rhythm and I think the nanny and teacher were surprised. They even clapped for him! He's too precious.
Once the music teacher was done, we walked laps around the orphanage and tried to get him to practice his walking but he wasn't having it today. So we just let him snuggle with us. He rubs Chris' beard now and I think he likes the way it looks and feels. Too bad the military doesn't agree!
After our visit, we went to the mall for our usual lunch. We choose from 4 places, McD's, a place that we call Captain Sandwich because one of the words looks like 'captain', an Asian place, and Mafia's- an Italian place. Today, we chose Mafia's and had 2 for 1 calzones and 2 Pepsi's for $9, so we split one calzone for lunch and will have the 2nd one for dinner tonight. I'm so glad that food is pretty inexpensive here! Everything else, however, is pretty high.
For those of you who are about to make the trip here, bring food! Bring seasoning mixes, grits, oatmeal's, cereal bars, your favorite kind of coffee and lots of it, and buy the salt and pepper shakers from your grocery store and bring those along! You can buy meats, eggs, rice, flour, sugar, HBA products, and most common things. Something that I wish I would have brought is that bacon that comes in the non-refrigerated section that you can put in the microwave for 20 secs... yeah, probably not the best thing for you health wise but I would LOVE some of that right now. You have to cut your bacon slices here and then fry it. Our stove doesn't have the fan to suck all of the smoke out of the house, so it gets way too smokey and hot. So that bacon would be awesome. Keep that in mind! :-) If you have any question, feel free to ask!
Our evening visit went well. Little dude has a habit now of wanting to try to force the main door closed every time he goes by it, so we let him try. :-) We went over to an empty play shed and discovered a box of toys! So he enjoyed having them all to himself. However, I think they overstimulate him because he gets kind of grumpy when he plays. We can start tickling him and he gets back on track. I'm positive that he has never had a box of toys all to himself and so he's probably just overwhelmed with what to actually do with all of them!
We took him to the swing for our normal routine and Griffin stood patiently to let Chris wipe the water out of the seat. It was pretty cute! While he was in the swing, we let him try his sippy cup again and he drank a lot this time! Then, we just handed his sippy cup to him, and he tilted it up, lifted his chin, and began drinking it all on his on! Then of course, he threw it as far as he could. I'm use to that, thanks to little G! ha ha
I really think I'm going to start bringing a cracker with us each day and see how he reacts to that.
Well, no news today, unfortunately. Having no answers is really getting to us. Maybe tomorrow!
Just got some info from one of the facilitators and she said that everything may be signed on Friday. Maybe. Yeah, I'm holding back some major tears right now. Was hoping to be out of here by the weekend and home for Mother's Day.
We have run into some odd situations since we have been here, mostly over food & the grocery store. Restaurants pose a whole new set of problems when you cannot speak the language.
For the most part, we eat at 4 different places... McDonald's (it's safe), Mafia (very good picture menu, so we can point), Captain Sandwich (we always get the same thing, Combo #1), and the Orientalian place upstairs (yes, it's Oriental & Italian... you didn't think they went together? They have a good picture menu to point at). We rotate these 4 places, and we only eat lunch here. Dinners are solely at the apartment, and thus the source of hours of entertainment... buying the groceries for the dinners! LOL! Anyway, this is about lunch though, so I digress.
Mafia is probably the easiest place so far. They have 1 guy who speaks VERY broken English, let's call it Engussian (mix of English & Russian). He sits us at the same table, we usually get the same drinks, and we point to the items we want on the menu. We have had calzones, lasagna (meat & spinach), margarita pizza (cheese pizza for ya'll Americans), and another pizza that we didn't really order that had almost like a Slim Jim sausage on it. Most everything has been good, except the spinach lasagna (I normally like spinach lasagna, but barf-o!), and the meat pizza (you could literally see the globs of fat in the meat). They weren't very good, but when you are eating on a fixed budget, you tend to eat what is in front of you since you know you can't afford to go buy more food. The Mafia has really good lemonade (free sample at each meal!) but the amount you get when you order a glass is not nearly enough! It's lemons, sugar & water... that should be free! We have pretty much settled on the calzones here though... really good & consistent. We eat here for about $9. The awesome part is if we get a 1+1 deal (buy 1, get 1 free), we get 2 meals for $9!!! Beat that American restaurants! LOL!
Captain Sandwich is a tough one to order from. it usually takes about 20 minutes to get our order in & get food from this place. We get Combo #1, which consists of a 6" panini style sandwich of ham, cheese (stinky cheese though, not Kraft singles), a leaf of cabbage, pickles & 1000 Island dressing, a baked potato, a bottle of Coke & 3 cold salads (like coleslaw, veggies in mayo, crab meat in some sort of salad, etc). We have not found a cold salad we like, and usually they try to lump this on top of our potato. NASTY! The potato has butter & cheese mixed in... that's good enough for us. Anyway, the girls who work this place have ZERO English skills. It's is a series of charades to get our lunch ordered, but luckily, every time we have ordered from here, it some how comes out right! Unfortunately, the food never completely satisfies, and you leave feeling hungry... not really sure why as a sandwich & potato should fill you up. This place is about $11... wish they'd knock some money off to go without the nasty salads.
The next place is the Orientalian place... they have 2 totally separate menus here, one for Italian & one for either Chinese or Japanese... Oriental food. You can order off both menus if you like (we think), but we have stuck with the Oriental food. We usually get chicken fried rice & tempura shrimp. The first time we went, I got some chicken & veggie mixture... it was edible, but nothing I'd try again. The second time we went, I wanted some tempura onions. It was good... the next time, Maria got them & didn't think they were onions... we looked it up... calamari. Blah! It's not that it was bad when I ate it... it was actually flavorless. Anyway, we stick with the fried rice & tempura shrimp here. We point & they bring. The hardest thing here is ordering drinks... if we say Coca-Cola enough though, they seem to get it. This place is about $13 and is the most expensive place we eat.
The last is the good old stand-by, McDonald's. It is a chore ordering here, and it is always hit or miss. They seem to understand cheeseburger, but sometimes they will ring up double cheeseburgers... I think they are doing this on purpose cause they know we can't really complain! Or if we do complain... they can't understand it so they don't really care! LOL! The problem with McDonald's is that it is nearly always crowded, and the people here do not understand the concept of a line. I will be next for 4 people it seems like. I finally have to muscle my way to the front to get our order in here. I do not want to be rude, but we got to eat too. It is the cheapest, around $7 for 2 value meals ($8 if they force the double cheeseburgers on us). It is WAY better than the McDonald's in Germany, I promise!
We have seen a stand that sells what is called MakDogs (hot dogs wrapped in dough with some sort of filling around the dog) and a "Corn in a Cup" stand (exactly like it sounds) that we have yet to try... we just haven't gotten that brave, or that bored....... yet! LOL!
See ya'll tomorrow!