Thursday, May 26, 2011

First Days Home

Evidence that the cats were not too happy the first day we were home – cat treats left uneaten!
Barney Cat making the best of the situation.
Can you say “jetlag”?
Could you repeat that last question please?

"Yeah, I’ve got it all figured and it’s only the first day home.”
“Daddy, you know so much.”
“I LOVE the stairs!” (Hey, how come Mommy keeps dressing me in these mismatched striped pj pants!?)
Isn’t he cute?!?!?!
“I like my hat.” Who dressed this kid?!

“Daddy, I like your computer.” Uh oh!
“I like to share.”

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Home Sweet Home!

Yes, it has been a while, but we are all doing very well here at home! Thank you everyone who has called and emailed to check on us. I got sick a couple days after getting back to the U.S. and had to take every chance I could to sleep, but starting to feel a lot better now. Gerry/Nazar - haven't been working on the name switch yet, and I am getting kind of attached to "Nazar" :) - is the best little guy ever. Yes, he is two, and yes he does the full, drag em out tantrum thing quite a bit lately, but wouldn't you if you were ripped from every familiar place, sight, smell, taste, and sound that you had ever known? And then taken on a 15 hour train ride. And then moved to yet a new apartment/bed. And then had to take two long plane rides (and hey, why am I strapped down in this seat!?). And yet another car ride with yet another stranger (taxi from O'Hare), AND another car ride (Mama's car to home) while again being strapped down tightly (first carseat experience did not go so well). Yet another strange house/bed. Oh, and by the way, you couldn't say a darn thing about it!
So yeah, when I keep thinking back to even just a few of the things he has gone through in the last 2 weeks, I am utterly amazed at how well he is adjusting. And how lovey-dovey he can be! Especially at nap and bedtime (after he gets the crying out about having to get in bed of course). He is signing "more" "drink" "eat" "all finished" and "where." And meowing like the cats - pretty cute. Plus I am pretty sure he is saying "Mama" now in the last two days - that is my favorite!
I'm pureeing most of his main foods - so that is something we will work on over the next few weeks/months - new food textures. But he loves bananas, peanut butter and jelly, oatmeal, craisins (isn't that funny that he will eat these!), and "the concoction" - pureed and mixed mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, and Dinty Moore stew! Oh yeah, pancakes and ice cream were a pretty big hit, too.
Now our day is finally getting some sense of right-side-up to it. Up around 7 or 8 am (give or take an hour), breakfast, play, snack, play, lunch, nap from 12:30 to 3:00 (give or take an hour), snack, play, dinner, bath at 7 pm, story time and asleep by 8:00 or 8:30. Oh yes, mix in lots of nose-wiping, diaper-changing, mini-meltdowns, and plenty of giggles (don't forget cat-chasing) and that is what it is all about. Hmm, this seems so simple, so why am I so tired! Ha ha!
Today our Early Intervention Coordinator came to the house, and hopefully we will be able to set up the EI evaluation by the end of June, and that way Gerry/Nazar will be able to benefit from the EI therapies for several months before he turns three. Our coordinator is hopeful that a Russian-speaking translator will be available for the evaluation. That will be an interesting day at our house: interpreter, developmental specialist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, and family service coordinator - hopefully we'll be able to stagger the time slots - talk about overwhelming!
Next week, we get to go an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist for a checkup. Gerry/Nazar went to our family doc the day after we got home due to a sinus infection (or so we think) and he said that his ears are pretty plugged up - couldn't even see his ear drums. We need to get this checked out right away - if he has fluid in his ears (common with dwarfism), this could affect his hearing, and therefore his speech.
I am pretty bummed that we are not able to get into the achondroplasia specialist up in Madison, WI until October - double :( Keep your fingers crossed that there is a cancellation appt. that opens up before then for us.
Well, I don't want to overdo my computer time - no more staying up until 12 or 1 am for me! So here are some photos until I get another spare minute to post. Take care everyone, and hope to post again soon! (Ok, I just went through our photos and there are too many from the past few days! So I am going to break them up into three different posts - some tonight, and then First Days Home tomorrow.)
Our last day of “sightseeing” in Nazar’s country – kind of sad.
Fish anyone?
This is how to travel on an airplane! Too bad he only slept a little bit!
Gotta love headphones on the plane – thank you Lufthansa!
“Water fountains that I can drink from – America is so great!”
Yes, we kissed the ground in Chicago!
We love the U.S. and will forever be grateful for this Great Nation!
Never been so happy to see the American Flag. I know this photo may seem bland, but it this sight was enough to bring tears to our eyes, and just had to post it.
“I am an American!”

Sunday, May 15, 2011

We're Home!

Hi everyone!
Yes, we made it home! We are trying to adjust to the 8 hour time difference (among other things), so our sleep schedules are rather strange right now. Today Gerry went to bed at 5:30 pm - yippee - this is much better than 3:00 pm on Friday, and 5:00 pm yesterday. Hoping to slowly move it to 7 or 8 pm. I don't like getting up at 2:30 am with a wide-awake, energetic 2-year-old! I am not posting any photos tonight - sorry! The camera is somewhere around here, plus I have two cats on my lap. They need some extra loving care - not only did their "mama" leave them for 6 weeks, it is hard work keeping out of the path of a mobile toddler!
Plus, I want to include some pics of Gerry and Grant. I'm looking forward to Grant being home later tonight (he was on a trip for work over the weekend). I'm not sure if I'll be able to stay awake until he gets home at 10 - but I'll try!
Gerry is doing very well considering his entire world has been turned upside down. He got to go to the doctor yesterday - had to get him some antibiotics. He either has a sinus infection or ear infection, or both. What a way to spend 11 hours on an airplane - poor kid (he only slept about 1 1/2 hours on the flights). We lucked out because our family doctor was the doc manning the acute care clinic at our doctor's shared practice office. He is a great doc to work with, plus he was the one that was so wonderful about filling out all of our physical forms for the adoption. It was fun to show off Gerry :)
Gerry is definitely two! And he is now very comfortable showing his displeasure at limits and being told "no." I'm having to really concentrate on setting the "ground rules" while balancing these with the fact that he is experiencing so much change, is sick, and is sleep deprived. And my brain is a little foggy from jet lag and lack of sleep, too. Phew! But we'll get our routine down soon - I hope!
Gerry just loves the cats, and is doing a good job at being gentle. The feeling is not mutual yet, but at least there wasn't any hissing today. He just gets sooo excited every time one of them passes by, and he wants to hold them so badly - that won't be happening any time soon! But they have allowed him to pet them quickly - with a little help (and holding down) from me.
He also loves that we have two flights of stairs. He'll soon be a pro at going up and down all by himself - uh oh, we better get that gate up!
Food textures are throwing us some curveballs. Anything that requires much chewing at all is not his favorite - unless it's a cookie. I think that most of the food that he was given at the orphanage must have been pretty mushy and/or soupy. But every day I get more creative with what I can mix into oatmeal and yogurt.
Well, I better get going. Starting to doze off. I promise I'll post m0re updates and some new photos soon!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

18 Hours to Go!

We're almost packed up and ready to go! U.S.A - here we come!! 18 hours before our flight leaves. We have a layover in Munich, Germany. Hopefully the storms in the U.S. won't cause any delays for us.
Gerry just woke up from an early nap and we're going to check out the local market. No more room in or bags so we won't be buying anything :)
See you soon!
Mom knows how to pack light - these are all of the clothes she is bringing home!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

First Word

Gerry signed his first word today - "drink"!!! He has been holding his hands out and up for "where" for a while now, but "drink" is the first real word that he has signed. He has also been babbling a ton more in the last few days. Mom is right, when he does start talking, it is going to be non-stop! Oh yeah, it doesn't matter if he is from halfway around the world, he is a male, and he loves the remote! And no, he doesn't want the one without batteries in it. :)
I will be so relieved when we can get him to the achondroplasia specialist in Milwaukee. It is awesome that one of the best doctors in the world for children with dwarfism is so close to us. I sure hope that the doc will have good ideas on how to help Gerry breathe easier - it is so hard to hear him struggle to breathe at night.
Some of our last photos from The Land of Far Away:
We are glad to be back in the capital city, especially since we are in a pretty nice apartment this time, and everything is in bloom.
Taking time to smell the flowers.
“Look Mama, ants!”
Steps – he has to go up and down each one every time we come and go.
“I love this ramp and I have to do it by myself!”
Chicken legs on the counter? Hmm, does this meet health department code?

Sorry Papa, he is a messy eater - but he sure has fun feeding himself. I've decided that mealtime attire includes only a diaper! Can't wait for spaghetti! For those of you traveling soon, packets of oatmeal are great! I've been able to disguise jars of babyfood chicken, carrots, and cauliflower in apple oatmeal. Once we get home, I will be able to cook real food, but I figured the safest and easiest bet for meat here for a child comes in a baby food jar. And keep trying - Gerry's first run-in with the noodles in chicken soup didn't go so well. But by the second time, he loved them. Hmm, for mac and cheese, he just keeps shaking his head "nyet, nyet, nyet."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fun Times! Day 37

Today we had our first U.S. Embassy appt. (I think it took longer for Security to go through our bags than it did to complete the paperwork!) and Gerry's medical (not at the Embassy). Nothing too shocking. Did we know that he could end up a dwarf with his "condition"? Um, yeah, that would be a yes. Gerry sure is a trooper and did very well considering we were on the go until 1:30 (way past his nap time!). It still makes me cringe every time I get in a car with him and . . . no carseat! Hmm, I wonder what he will think of being strapped in a carseat once we get back to Chicago?
Tomorrow is our last day of paperwork - woo hoo!!! And we don't have to be at the Embassy until 2:00. So I get to sleep in! Oh wait a minute, that would be a "no." Have I mentioned yet that I am ready to come home? :) I will be relieved when I can finally take Gerry to the doctor and see what we can do for his sinuses and chest congestion. The poor kid can hardly breathe when he sleeps. His snoring and tossing and turning even keeps me up at night - and I can usually sleep through anything!
Here are some photos of the fun times we've been having. This really is the fun part now.
For cheap entertainment, buy a 40 cent loaf of bread and feed the pigeons!
Plus, there is lots of free entertainment to be had – just open up those cupboard doors! (some of the stuff you might find is pretty sticky here, but exposure to germs builds immunity, right!?)
And who needs amusement parks? Just hop on the magic sweeper ride!
Just beware, when its tentacle gets stuck under the table, it could be a little frustrating.
So just ditch that darn hose and go go speed racer!
Who needs the zoo, when you have a monkey blankie with which to play peek-a-boo!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Just a Regular Kid . . . .

No more orphanage for me. Now I'm just a regular kid - who loves sunglasses, playing with trucks, and taking a bath (my first tub bath was so much fun). See you soon!
Love, Gerry
P.S. My mommy says to tell you that we survived the 15.5 hour train ride to the capital city! Embassy appointments on Tuesday and Wednesday and home on Friday! Yahooo!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Guess What I Get To Do Tomorrow?! (On Day 34)

Yep, you guessed it! After a whirlwind of paper chasing, I get to pick up Gerry from the orphanage tomorrow morning - woo hooooooo!! And just in time for . . . Mother's Day! How cool is that?!
We will be headed to the capital city on Sunday afternoon (15.5 hour train ride with a two-year-old - now that will be a fun Mother's Day - but at least I have my mama with me!). Two days of Embassy paperwork and more hoops, and then back to the good ol' USA on Friday - Eldon at Golden Rule is working on getting our tickets as I type. This year, Friday the 13th is our lucky day :)
Ok, I'm wiped out and I need to get ready for life with a two-year-old starting tomorrow, so I better get going.
I can't wait to see everyone - Ahhhh, I'm getting excited, excited, excited!!!
Here are a few pics - I hope! The internet has been very busy today (since it is a holiday here - I think it would be easier to count the days that aren't holidays!).
"My favorite car to ride!" This one breaks my back to push, but once he sees it, no other car or stroller will do! The other day, one of the days when I was paper chasing, Mom went to visit him. She arrived during his "outside time" and he was in one of the quadruple baby strollers - sitting just as nicely as can be for the caregiver. Hmmm, I think I've been duped - he NEVER sits in a stroller when I take him outside. He must have known I'd be a pushover and went straight for the cars! And, today when the doctor was going over his schedule with me, I learned that when I've been taking him outside to play, it was supposed to be his "sleep outside time." Yep, double duped! :)
Yep, we'll be bustin' you outa here soon!
It's time to go - Mama needs a new pair of shoes! (well, slippers) But hey, they match the furniture here!
And just when we found our favorite restaurant, it is time to leave. This place is downtown and has WONDERFUL food and desserts. And coffee. And tea. And milkshakes! And where in the U.S. can you get an omelete for $2.50?!
And I leave you with:

"mmm, candy!"

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