December 29 2003

We got to talk to Ryan and Gran last night (our last night) before Ryan had to leave for Tennessee. This was the first we've been able to say Hi since Christmas Eve.  It was really good to hear how Christmas went and how good Santa was to Ryan.  Ryan got the gas motor scooter he hoped for.  I didn't think Santa would bring that, but he sure pulled through. We got an email from Ryan this morning letting us know he arrived safely in TN.  Glad to hear it. 

We didn't finish with the website and a couple of emails until after 11pm last night.  Just as I was writing my last email, I could hear Anthony stirring.  Uh Oh!  We finished up, started to go to bed and sure enough he was awake. We changed his diaper, got him a bottle and tried to put him back to sleep.  This had to be after midnight.  It was also Sunday night.  I thought it should have been quieter in the apartment building.  Shows you how much I know.  There were people singing upstairs and that front door bangs shut all the time.  Maybe people have holiday time with the New Year coming.  It's a big celebration here.  Anyway, we tried to lay Anthony back down and we got Wahhhh! Wahhh!.   Comfort him, comfort him, lay him back down and Wahhhh!, Wahhhh!.  Comfort him get him back down.  All seems to be going well and all of a sudden from the other bedroom (remember it's connected to ours) you hear a Thump!, Wahhh!  Katherine fell out of bed.  Anthony said Wahhhh!   Bill and I were laughing so hard the tears were streaming down our faces.  All the while the singing and banging is going on and every time it happens we're laughing harder, trying not to laugh all the while.  Everyone was successfully put back to sleep.  But Anthony got up again later and then around 4am or 5am Katherine (eventually I didn't know what time it was or how much time passed) got up. I brought her to the bathroom and sent her back to bed, but it took her about an hour to fall asleep.  She wound up in our bed.  I just gave up.  We all got up around 9am.  The four of us snuggled in bed for about 3minutes before Anthony decided his version of snuggling involved sitting on my head and pulling my hair.  Better off getting up and getting breakfast.  Everyone was pretty tired.  We breakfasted, brushed teeth, got dressed.  Katherine put on make up with me.  She looked quite the beauty.  By 11:30 Katherine was hungry again, which was good because it's keeps us on schedule for lunch and naps.  Olga called and said they were ready to purchase our airline tickets to Almaty.  We got the $$ and passports ready for Natasha to pick up at 12:15.  When Natasha got here Katherine was so excited!  We had a visitor and it was someone she knew! Natasha stayed only a minute.  They are coming back to pick us up for an outing at 3pm.  It was supposed to be 2pm, but the kids would never be ready by then.

It was lunch and more laughs for me and the Dad. The door is banging and we kept laughing about last night.  I think I'm going to rest my weary head for about a 1/2 hour before the children wake up.


Olga and Natasha picked us up at 3pm.  Yes, we changed the time again to coincide with the children's naps. It worked out quite fine.  We told Olga the story of the not so good sleep last night and how noisy the apartment is. She just said Yes, Yes, that's how it is here.  It is city living and that's something we suburbanites are not accustomed to.

We went to the museum. The admission price is 100 tenge.  Olga had something of an argument with the people there because they wanted to charge us foreigners 200 tenge.  100 tenge is less than $1.00.  Surely we would have been happy to pay the 200 tenge.  They don't get a lot of business. However, we had no idea what they were talking about until it was all over and Olga won.  We paid the 100 tenge admission, children are free.  There was quite a variety of items to peruse in the museum. However, Olga thought we went through pretty fast. She said she would not call us patient observers.  There were some scary stuffed animals. Wild boars, deers, a huge hare, a bunch of others.  Katherine was a little freaked. There was a lot of political stuff. I asked Olga if they have elections here and she said sure, 'But you know how that works here is Asia'.  The president of Kaz wrote a book about where the future of Kaz is and how they will get there.  We asked her if she read the book. She made a gagging gesture and said she never reads such things.  I like that Olga!  We had some discussion about God and religion. It all started with some museum pieces dedicated to primates and how they evolved into humans.  She asked if we believed in evolution and if we did, how could we call ourselves Catholics? Olga is atheist and she found it very interesting that I could say I believed in God, but not necessarily all the religious dogma. That my idea of God did not fit nicely into any religion.  I said a lot more, my point is I don't think that the idea of spirituality without religion exists commonly in Kazakhstan.  Olga finds my opinions/beliefs interesting and I find the tunnel vision here interesting.

A lady from the museum followed us through every room.  At the end she asked to hold Anthony for a while. It was cute. Katherine LOVED the room that had astronaut stuff in it.  The ceiling was domed with a space ship at the top and the domed ceiling was painted as if in space.  That was the hit of the museum.  You are not allowed to take pictures in the museum.  Too bad.  The stuffed animals would have been worth it.

We stopped at the store to buy a new phone.  Our ringer is WAY too loud and there was no volume adjustment.  Bill actually took the old phone apartment to see if he could adjust the ringer himself.  Nothing doing. Bought a new one.  The stores are very crowded with the New Year approaching. Katherine got a little freaked while we were waiting for the phone purchase, so Natasha, the kids and I went back to the car while Bill and Olga bought water.

The kids are so bundled. And now they are getting hot.  The heats on in the car and you almost don't dare take anything off them.  When we got to this new apartment there were no knives. We bought some right away, but they were cheap. You weren't making a ginsu commercial with these babies.  Finally, (finally - we've only been here 2 weeks) one of the knifes broke. The blade came detached from the handle. So we drove over to the Tsum to get new knives.  We could not get parking and didn't want to drag the kids in anyway.  Katherine looked like she was melting.  I pulled off her hat and gloves.  Then her scarf.  She could breathe again. I unwrapped Anthony a bit and while Bill and Olga went shopping for new knives, we turned some potentially cranky kids into happy ones with some honey nut cheerios.

Home and dinner. Baths for the babies. Anthony will now grunt grunt in the right tempo when you say "How does the dog go?"  The answer is 'Grunt Grunt' if you're Anthony.

It's 10:30.  I am cut off.  I'm tired and so is Bill.

Hope you all have a Great Day!

Sorry, no Kid pictures today. Not sure how that happened.

© Bill Delmedico 2013