Friday, December 30, 2011

So many firsts!


It has been so long since I last posted anything.  I don't know where the time has gone.  At any rate, we have been busy busy busy it seems.  Halloween has come and gone, Sy's 3rd Birthday, then came Thanksgiving, and Christmas zoomed in.  We have had such a wonderful time, of course not all of it rosy, but most of it is!  Jake was Pecos Bill and Sy was a Tiger for Halloween and Sy thought this was a great holiday because it meant getting CANDY!  By far this is his all time favorite, followed closely by GUM and then VITAMINS (gummy bears).  Bringing up the end would be peanut butter, nutella, marshmallow creme!  See a pattern here?  Sy has from the beginning struggled to "explore" food much beyond a few things.  But I am happy to report he at least has moved toward crackers, goldfish, and an occasional bite into a grape or apple!  Very occasional.  If we had one real issue...this is it.  So I guess you could say we are lucky.  Sy loved his birthday.  He opened lots of presents and I think the opening was his favorite part, more than what was in them.  He loves to sing happy birthday and we have celebrated lots of family birthdays since he has come home.  Sy started Preschool in late October and just loves it.  It has been good for him and he interacts well with the other kids his age.  He is a very routine oriented and so this structure is good.  Jake is also enjoying school and brings home  homework many nights and it is fun to watch Sy pretend to have "homework" as well!  They are really doing pretty well together and they do tend to fight a bit, but don't all brothers!  Thanksgiving was so nice as the whole Horton family was together and it is so much fun to see all of them.  Christmas was great.  Sy doesn't really understand all of it but liked to go around saying  HO HO HO...MERRRRRY CHRISTMAS!!!!  We put out cookies for Santa and both he and Jake decorated the "tree".  Actually it was a sage brush but it was beautiful.  Again the boys were showered with presents and Jake loved his new replica pistol that santa brought.  Sy, when asked, will tell you that Santa brought him GUM!!!  While this is true, it was really a stocking stuffer, his real gift was a toy computer....he likes Jakes stuff more!  Imagine that!  We are so blessed for what we have.  Our family is amazing and Sy loves all of them so much.  He is a true gift and we could not ask for anything more than the two boys we have!  They are amazing and we cherish our time with them.  2012 is sure to be a great year for our family.  More firsts, more laughs, more frustrations, more family, more friends.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

As if he was always here....

I am so lucky in so many ways and that is no more evident when I travelled to see my sister and her family.  Everyone embraces Sy and as I was reflecting I just thought to myself, it is like he has always been a part of our family.  He interacts just as Jake did at that age and it is so great to see that.  I wish I could capture his facial expressions because they are just something.  Kate, my sister, would agree.  He tilts his head and raises his eyebrow just right and it is all you can keep to do from laughing despite the fact that he is likely not doing what he is told at the very moment.  ....On a separate, unrelated, and likely unwanted info note, I just have to say this, because perhaps it takes having a couple children to know this, but it amazes me that bowel movements can be the overriding factor between a happy kid and a miserable kid.  My children, Sy particularly, is a candidate for research if there is anyone out there that would like to study the correlation between these two things! 

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Return of Grammie

Well, we are so thankful that Grammie returned safely from Scotland. Sounds like she had a blast and boy was she MISSED on this end. She is a local favorite for both Jake and Sy so it was a real blessing to have her home. They missed her terribly. I have been struggling with darn allergies more than ever this season and so I opted for alle
rgy relief only to find out that the relief was worse than the allergies. I have been a zombie for days until I realized that Zyrtec is not the answer! Each year they get worse, and as much as I like Fall, this is not fun. ...................................................................................................................Jake is in swimming in school and doing great. He went from being last dressed last year to front of the pack this year! Huge success....made possible by a little cowboy conceding to wearing No Belt, No buttom up shirts and no Hat to school. The hat is the funny part, he actually wears it to school, but does not take it on the bus to the pool, he was quoted as saying "it is just one more thing to slow me down!". I may have provided a bit of an incentive when I mentioned that if he could not pick up the pace he may be watching swimming instead of participating. I know...again...Mother of the Year! But if you knew what every morning was like, you might go for this as well. .......................Sy has really made some major progress lately. We measured him compared to his entry to our life and he has seen about a three inch growth and three pound gain. I definitley noticed the 3 lbs! Especially because he still wants to be carried alot, which is defined as kakaseemee (aka Mom pick me up). That is not Russian by the way...just a variation of Come See Me, I think. He is so much happier these days...I attribute it to success in potty training. Not that we have really been so good at it, but a little boy that is a happy little boy, if you know what I mean!....................We had our first post placement report....they seemed surprised at his clarity of speech and his relatively calm demeanor. I was surprised by that too by the way! hee hee

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Well again my apologies for the less than stellar job posting to this blog...Our theme this year in volleyball is no excuses, no explanations, just do it! So...I guess I should not be giving any excuses...I am in the JUST DO IT stage! So we have not been home for 5, that is hard to believe. Life in Sy's world is pretty ok I think. He and Jake seem to be getting along good (and getting along bad). So I think that is good. We are down to very little Russian language, in fact, the only word that is uses frequently is Die (that means give, at least right now!) Anyway, we are blessed at how well things have gone and the best news to date is that we were able to make contact with Sy's biological siblings here in the US. We hope to eventually be able to meet them and get to know them a bit better. But very exciting to see a glimpse of what Sy may look like 10 years from now. Now if we can just find a home for his two siblings still in an orphanage in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. Today I celebrated my birthday by running a marathon and then best of all having my boys there to meet me at the finish line. Sy got stung by a bee...bad news, it swelled up...good news, he isn't allergic to them! Jake is busy as a first grader but each morning starts with a game of "Jake con get me" followed by 10 to 15 laps around our home, each time stopping in the bathroom to drive their mother crazy. I do get the biggest smiles when I see this interaction and know that they have developed a pretty good brotherhood. Next week we begin our first Post Placement report. Wow time flies.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Dog Days Are Over...

Well not really, because it is hotter than the blazes of HELL here this week, but School has started! Today was day one of first grade for our oldest boy, Jake. Wow how time flies. It was like we never stopped....the routine was the same...the chaos for me was the same...the fact that I waited til the last minute for all of his clothes, supplies and even his meal guessed it..the same..WOW am I the epitomy of the unorganized mom. But as with so many things...we got there, we bought it (all $100 of it by the way!) and day one was a success, at least according to him. And it was equally successful for Sy who now has Grammie ALL TO HIMSELF!!! It doesn't get any better. So here is what Day 1 looks like at the Schlattmann house! And it wouldn't be the same if Gus (aka Rat Dog) wasn't in the picture. I would like to report that every day is a great day for our family, but reality is that some days are better than others. Somedays Jake and Sy and great friends, some days more like great enemies. Somedays Jake is excited to see Sy, today..not so much. Somedays we roll through the day all is well with our transition to two kiddos and somedays...well somedays... Sy has learned so much English though... he is amazing. To think that we have been home with him for only 4 months and that he has a near normal vocabulary, has good gross and fine motor skills and has mastered the art of whining...who would have THUNK it! (I think THUNK should be a word).

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Growing and Changing

Today, after being gone for three days, I was welcomed home with some great news....mama, I pooped in the potty....mama, I ride bike....mama, I miss you, and the best greeting of all was simply running into my arms and holding me tight with his head on my shoulder. And in line with much of his new vocabulary was this bossy statement, "mama, you stay dere (there), you eat, I be back". ..............Jake was quite the repeater of words but Sy, he takes it to a whole new level. I am so fearful of what I say, knowing that it will be held against me...from the mouth of Sy! And it isn't just what he says, be he actually knows how to say it and when to say it! Yikes.....And when he says it, Jake turns with open mouth towards me to see my reaction, which of course is pale faced and silent............ Grammie (Cindy) is the #1 request from the boys. Everytime we get in the car Sy says..."let's go grammies". We are so lucky to have her and grandad around! There is a certain comfort in knowing that even though you have to have someone watch your children while you work, that the someone is Grammie.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Milestones - 8.9.10

Normally my posts are all about my kiddos, and our journey to bring Sy home. As I sit here tonight I reflect on the fact that it has been nearly a year since my mother passed away and I wallow in my sorrow knowing that she has missed out on so many wonderful things this past year. My oldest son Jake only mentions her here and there but his memories of her are good ones. My fear is that they will fade and he will have little recollection of her at all. That makes me so incredibly sad. And the fact that she never was able to meet Sy is the saddest thing of all. I still remember the day we picked him up from the orphanage and the impulse I had to pick up the phone and call my mom. Such happiness and such sadness all in one moment! The other day we found her cell phone that had been misplaced since her untimely death. On it was text messages between her and myself just days before her unexpected death. I smile knowing that I had told her that I loved her but her unresponsiveness troubles my heart. I took so many things for granted and my mother was by far my biggest fan and friend and the one that I was the hardest on. Unconditional love is how you would have to describe what she felt for me because I was not a wonderful daughter. I suppose you only notice these things once those whom you love have passed, but there are times when I still think she is just up the road or a phone call away and nearly have to stop myself from picking up the phone to call her. Sometimes I do pick up the phone and call her cell phone just to hear her beautiful voice. I tend to learn things by experience and the death of my mother is not how I wanted to learn that I would have a terrible void in my heart once she was gone. I am thankful that through this all I have had the best family and my two best friends, my brother Duane and sister Katy are still nearby to share these moments with them. I am most thankful for my father, whom I know each day is a struggle. He has been my mentor and owe much of my success to his support over the years. I fear the loss of any one close to me but know that these moments are out of my hands.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Here comes the Silverton up from Durango!

Our family vacation this summer was a trip to Durango CO to ride the Silverton train and visit long time friends Gene, Becky and Keely Legerski. The excitement was building and building to the point that we had heard CW McCall's Silverton song more than any one family should have to and could and do sing it in my sleep, in the shower, and yes, in the car....heck even Sy was starting to pick up on some of the words and at the very least was doing some sort of jig in the back seat to the very familiar tune. For those of you who have not heard the song or seen the train, here is the link that will TAKE YOU THERE!!!! Beware...your kids may begin to request this song, so be careful! or if you don't get there, don't worry, Jake would say, "come on Mom....just google YOUTUBE SILVERTON CW(see dub) and you are there!" So don't panic if the link is not effective! Becky was kind enough to send me her pictures as I was otherwise preoccupied trying to keep my two year old from an accidentally exiting from the windows! It wasn't easy to keep him from draping himself out to "see what was going on".................And quite frankly no family vacation is complete without a 12 hour drive with a CD called "the We Sing Collection". Much to Dean's disliking, this "collection" had no AC/DC, Metallica or whatever other 80's band exists. But it did have..."the Bear Went over the Mountain", The Farmer and the Dell, The Ants Go Marching One by One, and the hands down favorite "Big Rock Candy Mountain". These are just a few of the 44 (yes 44) songs sung on the "collection". What really made the CD special was that we listened to it at least 4 times and between each song, Sy would say...."mama, where the moosik?" Never failed....he was a faithful follower. And of course no 24 hours in the car is complete with out someone throwing up....Almonds (and a variety of other snack foods). Thank you Sy for making our vacation "complete". ....But despite my sarcasm, Durango is beautiful, the train ride is amazing, and if you ever get the chance to hear (and memorize) the lyrics to SeeDub's (CW) and hear the part where he talks about "400 feet straight down" well, he isn't lying. There were times when we peered out and there was nothing beside us but a giant cliff and water below! Amazing really. I had great intentions of posting pics, but the upload is not cooperating, so may have to do that separately. I will leave you with a a phrase that Sy uses: ExCoomChee Mama (translated Excuse Me Mama) which is used faithfully after each hiccup, when wanting passed you and any other time deemed necessary by Sy. Because we all get such a kick out of it, we are reinforcing his poor pronunciation and have officially made ExCoomChee the new Excuse me in the Schlattmann family.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

ARE U OK....and more

Ya know how sometimes you say things...and you don't really realize how often you say things? Well, leave it to a two year old who is a parrot to point that out to you. Apparently I say, "Are you ok?" alot to Sy because it is a very used phrase at this point. Bang my knee, "mommy, you ok?", Kill a biting mosquito, "mommy, you ok?", burp,..."mommy, you ok?", ect ect....and he goes as far as to mimic what I do to "make it better". Just a couple days ago, after somehow scraping my leg on something, Sy walked over with a towel (dirty, mind you) and applies pressure to my scrape, says, "mommie, you ok?" and then......."give it kisses" as he says.......................... And to add to it, in my endless pursuit of potty training I am a watchdog for any sign that Sy might need to "go poop" (sorry for the descriptives!). So a rootie toot here, or a grunt there and I am by his side saying, "Sy need to poop?" (again, sorry) Well, my smart little parrot now repeats this behavior......Jake rooties and Sy says, "Jake poop" and comes over and touches his butt (which is my way of telling whether or not I am too late with Sy, if you know what I mean!). And just tonight when we were sitting at the table, a toy fire engine made a noise that sounded a bit like a rootie toot and Sy came running over to me and said, while placing his hand on my bum...."mommy poop?" Ya gotta love it!..............................And finally, there is my less than successful approach to getting Sy to do something I ask of him. Sy is a bit of a clown, he loves to think that ignoring our requests is funny, or running away from us is funny, so my attempt at taking a calm approach to this has been to count down from 5 to 1. Well, do you want to know when he spurs into action....somewhere after one and before I get to him! So anyway, obviously Sy has become quite familiar with the numbers. And wouldn't you know it but the other day while sitting in the kitchen, Sy barked an order at me and when I didn't respond as he had hoped he began to count down.........5.............3...............1 He forgets a few numbers, but whose counting right? So there ya go.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


It used to be that I heard this once in a while...but now, even as I write this, my youngest is screaming from the room..."MAMA, STICKEM UP".. All of this while packing a toy pistol around. Jake and him are now chasing each other around the house playiing cops and robbers .........This morning was a wonderful testament to two brothers in the making.....I don't know if I have ever mentioned this here before but Jake's all time favorite show is the Andy Griffith show and we have purchased the entire series on DVD. So as they were watching an episode, Barney begins to hop on one foot and consequently so do my two boys. It was priceless. I have tried to capture it on video, but I don't think I did it justice. I will post that later. Just had to share. They have become friends and enemies but both wonder where the other is when they are not around. I can't believe I have two little boys and they have become brothers! Each morning Sy says to Jake in a very loud voice....JAKE GET UP!!! WAKIE WAKIE JAKIE JAKIE So fun to see them interact.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Potty Training and all its glory

I think my family would attest to the fact that my potty training skills leave little to be desired. I simply am not a patient person. I could never train animals of any kind, much less be able to "teach" my son the ABC's of using the potty. In the end, it is understood that I am the one who is being trained, not Sy. Today is a great example of that....I have been working diligently to listen for any tell tale signs that Sy would need to use the bathroom. He has me so figured out that during Jake's swimming lessons, we went to the potty at least 6 times. Sy uses some broken Russia and says "Mama, piska" (and I could tell he was enjoying this) A fun little game for him all because I don't want him to "fail" and wet his pants. Any child psychologists out there would tell you (and me) that I have the issues...and they are right. That couldn't be any more clear than the fact that both of my boys have developed the talent of holding their bowel movements for up to three days! This my guess is due to my constant question of "do you need to poop?" followed by "oh let's try", or some other verbiage I use to try and force them to go. At last, the pediatrician gave me the insight I was so desparately searching for....Sara..there are some things you can't make them do, and pooping is one of them. So there ya go, now I KNOW. 6 years into this and FINALLY I am on the right page! We celebrate, we do the potty dance, we say Good Job, we say Molladeetz (good boy in Russian, or so we think). But in the end, I am exhausted and Sy is oblivious. One a brighter note...we use less diapers! We just wash more clothes :( And even more fun than just every day potty training is getting to also teach them how to pee standing up. Jake likes to demonstrate of course, but the success rate is small and generally leaves us changing clothes more frequently. Yikes. Did I mention that I am not a patient person?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Busy Life, But a Good One!

Long overdue on posting any pictures. Last week was our town celebration and so Jake was able to ride in the parade and then the National Guard brought some pretty cool equipment and we were able to check it all out.

Sy has fallen in love with animals and now most recently has taken a liking to horses. He went for his first ride with Jake and then was able to "ride" on his own. Very exciting for all of us because we were wondering if he would ever want to be a "cowboy"! If you can look close you will see he also has on his new cowboy boots. Watching him slip slide around in those was quite entertaining. He quickly realized they were not as comfy as his tennies!

Life is good. Although BUSY is the best way to describe our new life, perhaps it was always BUSY but never as noticable as when you have a two year old who is equally as BUSY!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Days then weeks then months....Oh My!

I thought I would be so diligent posting to this blog, but have not. It is not that there is nothing to report, just more about me not getting it done (like so many other things in my life!). But I am happy to report that Sy and the rest of us are doing very well. He is thriving and healthy. In the short few months since we have been home he has gained a couple pounds, and went from being scared of nearly everything to fearing nothing! And he likes to put everything in his mouth EXCEPT the food we put on his plate! I have never seen such a thing. He is a tough little guy when it comes to most things....he has already had two shiners due to playing with with the cousins. And he is at the perfect height to run in to so many things. His latest "Ouch" came as he went down the slide at Grammies house. They had strategically placed a dog bed at the bottom to soften the landing. Well apparently if you are going too fast when you go down the slide, the dog bed will act more as a trampoline and you will then propel yourself off of it and onto a much harder face landing, particularly if you forget to use your hands to shield yourself! When I first saw him, he looked at me and say "Mama Ouch". I would agree with that! ..................We are also seeing the beginning stages of "cowboy Sy." He has taken a real liking to Jake's horse and to his new cowboy boots (compliments of a loan from Ronna). So...once we get him a cowboy hat there will be no turning back. .....................Jake is growing like a weed and is the best big brother. He has perfected the art of snatching things out of Sy's hand (picture that meltdown!). He also loves to "set the trap" as he calls it. This game, also not one of Sy's favorites results in Jake getting to play with the toy that Sy is currently playing with (because of course that is Jake's favorite!) and Sy having a meltdown once he realizes what has happened. Parents all love this game, and might know it better as "bait and switch". They have also created their own word..."maneenee" which means "switch toys". This is not always sucessful and may result in one mad Jake Schlattmann when Sy opts to not "maneenee" when asked........... Jake is in baseball right now and loves it. Although game 1 was cancelled due to the monsoon rains that we are experiencing! Greybull, typically an area of less than 7 inches of percipitation all year, has become a tropical forest with rain and snow wreaking havoc on all sorts of things, particularly my SEPTIC SYSTEM!!!! Enough said about that! .........................Jake is having to take on a lot of extra duty assignments with a new brother and this has resulted in both positive and negative outcomes. Apparently his attention span is not as long as I had hoped, resulting in many times where "looking out for little brother" goes by the wayside and morfs itself into "fun things Jake will do instead". This is Jake reminding me that in fact he is 6 not 16 and babysitting is not in his future! Point taken.

Monday, May 23, 2011

4 weeks home, but who's counting!

I have found it harder and harder to keep up the blog, even though I love that it is going to be a living document for Sy and Jake when they are older (and presumably care what I have to say). As I have mentioned, Sy has settled right in and he and Jake are much like typical siblings, laughing together, Sy crying, Jake telling me that Sy gets all the attention, Jake taking toys from Sy (jake laughing, Sy crying). So all and all, it seems to be going quite well. ........I will note that eating has been a real struggle. Not that Sy is not eating, but his pickiness leads to limited choices. Our attempts to have him branch out have been largely unsuccessful and met with some criticism at our approach. Dean and I are in unchartered water and so we have tried many options, much of them failing. We of course want what is best for Sy and think that the broadened food selection would help him begin to thrive. Unfortunately, Sy does not agree! On the brighter side, he has branched out to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ham sandwiches (although not thrilled) and is a firm believer that Smore Pop Tarts are their own food group! ........ We went to visit Aunt Katy and family and had a wonderful time. Jake and Sy both wished they could stay. I on the other hand was eager to head out but only because the flood waters were reaching all time highs and as much as I love to see my sister, the vision of spending an undetermined amount of time in Winnett was making me anxious at best. .....Sy continues to repeat much of what we say and his vocabulary is growing tremendously. His latest is...."Cat come see me" a direct quote from me, who each morning begins with "Sy come see me". So there ya go, he is something! More and more he is puting names to faces. Dean has gone from mama to DaDa (unless he wants something). Deeuuuanne (as Sy would say it) is very popular, in fact I think if he had a choice Deeuuuanne might be at the top of the list. Pipeee, Shake (Jake), Ogan (Logan), Sibneee, and Sef are all well identified. And of course Grandpa and Grammie are all time favorites. If you want to get him to "come see me", then do as Grandpa has done and say "ready". That is a signal that you plan to through him up in the air for the next 10 minutes with each landing Sy saying.....Rebby . Caution...once you start you had better be prepared for quite an arm workout. He doesn't give up this game easily................Jake is in the home stretch of school and also for his cast. He is excited for both to come to an end. I can't believe he is already through with Kindergarten. Yikes!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I can't even believe that we have been home for three weeks with Sy. Time is flying by and he is doing amazing. He continues to repeat everything we say and mixes some Russian in just to throw us off I think. We just say...uh huh...what else do you say? He and Jake have been getting along real well. They don't share well, but I think that is LIFE. They handle it better than I do. Sy's feet have nearly healed. We starting applyng both the medicine and some Cortizone for the itching. He has gone to removing his socks during naps and at night and generally he puts at least one sock on his hand. Not sure what that is about, but whatever. Sy loves the outdoors and the students in Mrs. Kunkles class brought us a great gift basket with Sy size rake, shovel and hoe. It is perfect for the giant dirt pile as well and Jake doesn't seem too interested in them. Win-Win! I spend a lot of time in the car trying to figure out what it is that Sy is wanting from the back seat. Look out people on the road, I am definitely a distracted driver! Yikes. It appears that Sy has found a new volume level that we had not heard much before. When he gets excited...well look out because the pitch is an octave higher and the volume is somewhere near 30 on your TV monitor! And boy does he get wound up sometimes..........He pouts a lot, but we continue to "ignore" it and he comes back around pretty darn quick! He is an emotional roller coaster that can go from Silly happy to whiney in less than a second. I am not complaining because he is primarily happy and a joy to be around. ..............Dean and Sy have had the opportunity to spend an abundance of time together as I have returned to work. His favorite game is "Papa Tickle". They seem to really have fun together although Dean is chomping at the bit to get some work done that is often difficult to do with a two year old. He loves books and is getting pretty good at the English words for many animals as well as trucks, tractors, and now we are working on body parts. We are blessed with two wonderful boys and although both Dean and I agree we are EXHAUSTED....I wouldn't change it for the world.

Monday, May 9, 2011


It has been awhile I think since I posted. I had such good intentions, but life seems to have taken over. All is well in the Schlattmann household. We have two beautiful little guys who play together, fight, take things from each other, laugh, argue (Da...Nyet...Da...Nyet). Tonight Jake asked me when Sy and I would be going somewhere....I wasn't sure how to take that...he said, ya know wouldn't that be a great mothers day gift for you to be able to go somewhere? I myself?...He said, no take Sy with you! So long story short, Jake wonders when I will take Sy so things can be like they used to be....gotta love it! My school friends had a baby shower for me last week. It was SOOOOO great and I was happy to be able to introduce them to Sy. He was quite a trooper and had plenty of things to say. I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends, coworkers and community to live in. Sy is a little Parrot (is that the bird that repeats?). Hello..good bye, I cuv (love) you . please...thank you, say your welcome (as opposed to "your welcome") corse (horse) sow (cow) Yeddy (our dog eddie). But still a big fan of "Oooooh MaMa...Saaaabaaaakaaa (dog), followed quickly by...good dog! Grammie is the all time favorite of course....and Uncle Duane seemed to be a close second. Jake wants to lift him up and carry him places. The more I don't want that, the more he wants that! Yikes....but Jake doesn't seem to have any trouble carrying all 23.5 lbs of Sy! Sunday we met up with the Leonhardt family and met their two little boys who were also adopted from Russia. It was so great to see how they are thriving and how happy they are. We know we have been blessed with a good transition thus far, and hope that Sy will grow, grow grow over the next year, like these two little guys have! Dawn was kind enough to bring down lots of clothes for me to pick through before puting them in a yard sale. We are set! Thank you thank you to all who have given us clothes and toys and money and you name it! We also were treated with a small pedal tractor and wagon from the school friends. Now I just have to talk my husband into assembling. You should have seen the look on his face! Yikes...I am praying for another rain day and perhaps it will inspire him! Sy still has lots of coping mechanisms that he is using and has tested us a lot by crying, flopping on the floor, and out right Nyetting us! We are holding strong most of the time and he seems to come right out of it. Sometimes it is hard though. On Mother's Day I mourned the loss of my mother this past fall and was most saddened by the fact that she didn't get to meet this amazing little boy. She would have gobbled him up and he would have stole her heart! It is the little things in life that make me miss her the most!

Monday, May 2, 2011


I had intended to update this much more often but really things are just plodding along at a slow steady pace. Sy has adjusted well. His biggest issue that I see is his somewhat constipated lifestyle. But the more we can get him to eat, I hope this will get better. He loves bathes. He wants one all the time. Today I gave him his first haircut since we adopted him. It went really well and then we had a bath, so that might have been his incentive. My next post will be a photo post. I just need to find some time! Geez. I am working half days and Dean is sharing the duties with me. There just is not enough time in the day it seems. His vocabulary is expanding (or at least his understanding). he repeats most everything and so it won't be long. Sabaka and Kisha (dog and cat) are still major parts of his vocabulary. I wish everyone got to see his personality. In groups it is not there but at home he is a ham! He has some crazy facial expressions and he and Dake (Jake) go back and forth with them. Sy was once pretty fearful of the dogs but now has decided he likes them. Good dog is his favorite thing to say, but it his way of saying "get a way". he takes on a low voice and says "DOWN". It is real funny. He has taken a liking to tractors (that will warm my dad's heart) and trains. Both of which can be a sore spot since Jake will claim that they are REALLY his toys. This is the side of the sibling thing that is not so pleasant!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Firsts (I think)

So, Sy is doing so well as we transition here to home. He is a little Parrot repeating what we say. Here are some of the new words he will repeat:
Please, thank you, say your welcome (as opposed to your welcome), good dog, corse (Horse), Dake (jake), dad, good bye, hello, hi (alternating with Preevyet as he runs circles in the house). He had developed a deep voice to use for the dogs to say "down".
He is also responding to Sy more, but have found in the past few days that he makes a point of pointing at himself and saying Vova, so we will continue to use both until he is comfortable. But at least he turns around when we say Sy. He seems to understand milk, food, come here, NO (but when I am really trying I still say NYET to get his attention). Jake and him are playing more together which is nice. Still not best buddies but it is better. Jake took him on another tour of the farm machinery last night and it was great to watch Jake explain all the equipment and what he can be near and what he can't.
We also have found that his food choices will expand if we don't give him so many options. We have to wait him out, but when I finally stuck the bread in front of him and didn't give him another choice, after a little while he decided to eat it. Dean's method is working as well. He puts the new food in front of him and also grabs the smoothie that Sy likes. Then he points at the new food and says "da" and points at the smoothie and says "da". Apparently this translates into, if you eat that, I will give you this. It is successful so who am I to criticize. Today we are off to the pediatrician to have him look at Sy (particularly his feet and skin). His feet are so much better though. He does have lots of little bumps all over him so it will be nice to know how we need to treat that.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Friends? Hmm

Well today was a much better day for all of us. Sy was much more comfortable in the house and he and I spent the morning playing, bathing, cuddling and going outside for some fresh air. After lunch, he and Dad hung out til I got back from town. Sounds like things went well there. The highlight of the day was when Jake got home. He and Sy finally seemed to get along, well sort of. Jake continues to try so hard and Sy was much more playful than he has been. I think that helped Jake's attitude. He wants to take him to school for Show n Tell! Oh boy. They chased each other around and around. We played "52 egg pickup" a dozen times at least as Jake and I picked them up and Sy dumped them out again. I tried to be interactive with both of them at the same time and felt my head spinning with calls of Mom and Mama coming at me from all directions. It was wonderful though. Dean is still on the outs with Sy if I am around and to top it off, today when a friend of Dean's showed up, Sy went right to him, but continues to whimper and say Nee-buy-you (i am afraid) when Dean comes around. Who knows..........I thought I had discovered a new food for Sy, white bread, because he was all over it the other day. Bought a whole loaf of it today and he NYETed me when I put it in front of him! Argh! Going to work half days this week ( or part of it) while Sy is sleeping in the PM. Today seemed to go well and I think it is good for Sy and Dean to have some alone time. Jury is still out on whether we will do it the rest of the week or not. I have some great pictures from Easter that I will try to post soon. Hope that this next week continues to go as well as the past.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

All is well

These are pictures from the first two days home. Below are pictures of our last few days in Krasnoyarsk.

I don't want to jinx it, but things have been going surprisingly well here with Sy. I think it has been equally as tough of an adjustment for Jake as it has been for Sy. Jake had so hoped that Sy would become his instant buddy and that has not happened. I have been trying very hard to give Jake much praise and attention during this transition. I know soon enough all of this worry he has will be history and they will be friends and enemies all in the same day! The joys of siblings! A bunch of firsts came and past for Sy. First time seeing a horse and cow and although he did not seem too comfortable around them, he didn't panic too much. He seems to be settling in quite well and although I am his comfort zone right now, dad is a close second and will no doubt be #1 before long. I can't compete with him! We have a fairly limited food palate right now. Besides milk, it is yogurt, pudding, crackers and cereal (sometimes) and just today discovered he will eat white bread (all we had was wheat). So glad for that. He has been eating quite well despite a limited selection. Went to church this morning and he hardly made a peep. I was prepared for much more excitement than that. He got to hunt Easter eggs with the bigger kids and seemed to have a real good time. It was nice to watch him interact with a group of kids.
A wonderful day today to celebrate the beginnings of so many things. Happy Easter to everyone.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

HOME!!! What a great place to be!

Despite my clear lack of sleep since leaving Moscow, I am so happy to be home. We finally got home at about 3 am this morning. We were greeted at the airport by Dean, Jake and Speed Schlattmann as well as by my sister Kate and her two kids, Logan and Piper. Although Sy was not all that friendly, he was also not unfriendly. By the time it was over, he literally had everyone eating out of his hands. He had a bag of goldfish and was kindly giving everyone a few. Jake was trying so hard and was clearly frustrated that this new little brother was not just jumping with joy to see him and play with him. It is going to be a bit of an adjustment for both of them for two very different reasons. Just a quick recap...I left you with heading to the US Embassy...that went well once we figured out which line to be in. We were told to bypass all the people and go to the front of the line...I found this difficult, some of these people have been waiting for hours and this just is one more thing to add to their frustration. There are a lot of people trying to get to the US it seems. This was the US Embassy so I assume that is what this group of Russians were attempting to do, was get a chance to come to the US. Apparently Russian citizens are required to travel with a visa in nearly every country they wish to enter. Not an easy task. ....Sy was granted his Visa, as were six or seven other little children who had been adopted the past week in various regions. Two sets of twins girls, two more little boys and two other girls. You can imagine it was a bit chaotic at best at times. The plane rides went really well, Sy was a trooper for the most part. He had a melt down ( and so did I) at the NY airport and went kicking and screaming like a wet noodle from Gate 1 to Gate 1000 (exaggeration, more like gate 24). We cleared customs and passport control and immigration fairly quickly. Immigaration gave him the "official" stamp on his passport that made him a US citizen! YIPPEE!!!! A stop at WalMart on the way home and then we all slept (even Dean said he did and he was driving!). Sy did not sleep once we got here and is not sleeping as I type. We are on a very different schedule and hopefully we can transition in the week to come. Today we will begin the scary transition and continuation of more firsts...our dogs, cats, horses, cows, tractor, more cousins, you name it, it will likely be his first for it. I will keep you posted probably a little less frequently but we will see. I have so enjoyed having this to tell his story.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

To the Embassy

Today we go to the Embassy to get Sy's visa. Last big step. Sy has been sleeping so much better. Still rocking but not so intensely. He has a real phobia of getting dressed or at least does a great job of acting (as the doctor would say). Each day is a little better and I suspect we will have a bit of a set back from the plane trip but we will survive. The Marriott is a wonderful hotel (and perhaps I am paying for it!). The staff are mostly bilingual (thank you to that). I can't remember if I put this in my post yesterday but we ate at McDonalds yesterday (french fries). Pretty much like home. Couldn't resist, it was the first real taste of home, oh besides the Cinnabon! We didn't stray far from the hotel yesterday and we will likely make the short trip to Red Square today. My son is living on yogurt, crackers, apple juice and milk right now. Can't seem to get him to eat much else. But, he is eating plenty of that. I attempted to put something in his mouth but that was not a pretty site. I assume he will not eat just these 4 things his whole life so we will figure it out once we get home. He seems to already be responding pretty well to his name, although I am now calling him Sy Vova. Vova is his nickname from the orphanage. We will slowly transiition to just Sy but for now this seems to be working. He loves a good bath except the water over his eyes. Jake was the same way. This will likely be my last post from Russia, but I will continue this blog for a while until I am boring myself writing it and people quit reading it. It really is a journal for Sy when he gets older. There will be plenty of stories when we get back home that I will want to document while he is transitioning. Thanks for following my story. It has been an amazing experience. I will leave you with the few Russia words I know. Paka (good bye), Priviet (Hello), Dobre Ootra or what Sy says ootra ootra (good morning), Spasiba (thank you) Pazhalsta (Please, your welcome), Da (yes), and the one I hear the most.....NYET!!!!!!!


Well we made it and survived UTAIR airlines. A less than desirable landing followed by a bus ride from the plane that I am sure would be considered more like a tour of the airport as we weaved and wound our way to baggage claim. Sy was a trooper although upset at multiple times along the way. Today was our medical for Sy and he passed with flying colors. The doctor told me that because he comes from an orphanage he is very used to direct orders and that he is going to test me because I seem "weak". The doctor said that he knows that if he cries that I will pick him up and that if I continue to fall for his tears I will be carrying him until he is 24! He urged me not to do that. He also said I should take him to Hollywood not just for his good looks but for his acting! All of that in less than 5 minutes I believe! I asked about his feet which he barely glanced at and he said it is a food allergy, don't give him orange or red things to eat, or citrus or chocolate cause those things might cause allergies. I think he has a fungus! Whatever! Done with that. Off to the American Embassy tomorrow for his Visa. The city is beautiful but I am short on energy to travel far. We might get out and about this afternoon. I have to pay for internet access in the room, on top of the $300/night to stay here. Hmmm, seems like it should be included. Oh well. It is free in the lobby so I will try and utilize it some. We will likely go to Red Square today or tomorrow. We were in the car today to get to the medical and I am sure we didn't go far but the traffic is THICK here with one way streets everywhere so it seemed like forever. We have a wonderful coordinator and driver here. He seems to be a bit more "smooth with the pedal" so we have had little surging and stopping despite the much greater traffic. Hurray for that. For days now Sy has been saying "NeeBooToo", and I thought his feet were hurting when we were dressing him.. Nope...that means..I won't do it or I don't want to! Makes sense now! He likes to say that and Nyet. If Nyet continues much longer I am thinking about renaming him Nyet Schlattmann. Just Kidding. I am counting down the days yet dreading the very long flight that comes with it. Hopefully Sy will settle in. Paka Paka for now.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Final Day in Krasnoyarsk!

Well, this is our last day here. We have spent much of it packing and eating what we had left in the apartment. Sy slept pretty good and and I gave him another bath. He enjoyed it. His feet are looking much better so that is good news. We were not able to meet up with the Loomans as I had hoped but I am so glad for the time I had with them. They are here for a wonderful cause and if you ever google Global Recordings Network you can read more about the wonderful mission they serve. We leave today at 5 pm for a 8 pm flight. Krasnoyarsk is a city of 1 million people with an airport the size of Cody's airport serving 50,000 people! I am a little nervous about the 3 hours we will be waiting with our new 2 year old. Hope we can keep him entertained! There will be lots of new experiences for him today, a bus that takes us to the plane, a plane, and then Moscow! Oh boy, it could be quite an adventure. I do not know how much internet service I will have once in Moscow, but hope to be able to post a little something each day. We are on the final leg of this journey. Wish us luck!

Ups and Downs

It was another beautiful day here. Sy woke up early, well 3 am early and then again at about 6am. He is obviously still trying to adjust as am I. The heavy rocking to put himself to sleep and the sucking on the fingers is still very real and will be something we deal with as we go. I hope we can help him find other ways to cope and to soothe himself. As I mentioned, Sy also has some type of foot issue, similar to Athlete's foot, but we are not yet sure. Bought some ointment today, which he was NOT fond of at all! I think it is going to help though. I will be interested to see how they look in the morning. He seems to rub them at night and has several spots he itches. I gave him a bath today, which he ultimately loved, although there was some initial hesitation. It was definitely needed because when I poored it out, it was a dingy shade of brown. I should have given him one right away but thought I should give him a day to adjust. There were ups and downs today as he is not wanting to go outside and would rather not wear much for clothing. So I am the bad guy whenever these moments occur. His mood swings are closely related to his food consumption it seems. Sy has been very picky with what he will eat, In fact he will not eat any of the things that he supposedly ate at the orphanage. Hmmmm. He loves milk, yogurt, pudding, animal crackers, the waffles I described as my favorites, and biting the tales off the gold fish crackers! Not kidding there. Most everything else has been a NYET! He gets pretty rambunctious some times. Sy the Explorer has touched every thing in this apartment that he is not supposed to and some of them more than once. NYET is his new best friend it seems. He finds comfort in two places, his crib and the chair at the kitchen table. It is weird to watch that but perhaps I am rubbing off on him. I think the kitchen table is a great comfort spot too, especially with a bowl of icecream!..............We braved it today folks...The Park family invited us to go to lunch and we went to KFC. I had been avoiding this place because I just kept thinking that it could be a potential gut ache, but hours later and I am feeling quite good and the food was really good. Sy got to ride in his first trike stroller. He cried getting in, but once he was in, he was only upset when we stopped and took him out. He has been more emotional today and a bit bull-headed, but I am glad to see him expressing himself. I received all of his paperwork today and now have his passport, which is one of the last hurdles to jump through. Tomorrow we leave at 5 pm for the airport and on to Moscow. Two more hurdles there (visa and medical for Sy) and we are homeward bound! I CAN"T WAIT! But I will say, I am going to miss a few things about Krasnoyarsk. The Looman family and Park family, easy access to icecream and Cinnabon, and well....that is about it! Oh and pizza nearly every day for 19 days! You will be happy to know that I am down to one Diet Pepsi per day, but I have taken a liking to Fanta. My gum chewing is also way down, but Cindy brought me two packs of my favorite gum, Extra Mint Chocolate Chip. If you have not tried it, you should! I should buy stock in it!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tough as Nails!

Boy I tell you, Sy is really something. I have been reflecting on what the journey has been like for him in just two days time. He was whisked away from the only place he knew, in a "machiney" that he was scared to death of, brought to a home he had never been to before, ate food that was foreign to him, and sat and listened to people he could not understand. He then went for a walk in a very busy city, went to the grocery store, got back in a car and went to another home (the Looman's) where he had never been and back in the machiney home. Through all of that he only cried when having to get all his clothes on or get in the car and each time it was only for a minute or two. Can you imagine? I have been feeling sorry for myself here and I have been through NOTHING compared to this little guy. He is AMAZING. He giggles, played with the boys, sat in our laps, played peekaboo, and more. ...........I have found out few things about orphanage life...first, if you can imagine sleeping in a bedroom with 16 little people, try picturing falling asleep with some kids crying, snoring, coughing, wheezing, screaming or who knows what. Well Sy has developed a few coping mechanisms we have found out. He sucks very hard on this first two fingers, so much so that they are somewhat mis-shapen. And he rocks himself to sleep each night in a very agressive rolling motion. It is a bit disturbing to watch but apparently is somewhat common in orphanage life. (from what I hear and have read). The other thing I have found is that Sy has a bit of a hygiene issue that was not well taken care of. It appears he has athletes foot or some type of fungus, pretty bad! His toes are oozing and he is very unhappy to have his socks taken off, because it HURTS!!!! I originally thought it was sores from his sandals being too small, but this is way different. Tomorrow I will go in search of a soothing product of some sort. I feel real bad for him because I think his feet hurt quite a bit and the shoes are not helping much. After a pretty uneventful morning, we spent the afternoon with the Loomans. The plan was to meet up with several others for a birthday party/cookout. Well, the weather did not cooperate and so we packed up and went to the Looman's house. The Park family also was with us. It was wonderful to visit, eat good food, and relax. I think I mention this often, but the Looman's are so wonderful. I will never be able to repay them for their kindness. Sy has taken a real liking to Grammie (Cindy) which is not surprising at all. All children do and she has been so helpful to me. She was able to go to church this morning and I am glad she was able to go for Palm Sunday and experience this part of the Russian culture (although very much the minority it seems). Tomorrow is a day of rest until 4:30 when i go to pick up Sy's passport. So off to sleep I go. Sy has finally settled down and is no longer rocking. He is very peaceful once he gets to sleep. Hopefully over time, some of this coping will give way to comfort and peace in his new home. Oh and one last home we have 3 dogs, two cats, several horses and cows.....Sy is scared to death of most of these animals, particularly dogs. the Loomans dog had him running for it will be an interesting few days when we arrive.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


That is how I would describe the feeling I have right now! After all the planning, carefully being sure to have all the right clothes, hats, mittens, tights (yes tights) a heavy jacket, snowboots, as 70 degrees outside and Cy left the orphanage wearing only a sweatshirt, light jeans and tennis shoes!................ So I am sure you are wondering how the car ride went right? Well here is how it went....Drove two hours as fast as we could to the orphanage to be there before his nap, walked in, went upstairs, began to get everything ready and the caretaker came in carrying Sy who was already crying. She accepted my treats for the orphanage, swept up Sy and hurried us down the steps. As we were going she handed me a candy that I was supposed to give to him the moment he got in the car. Rush, rush, rush....people talkings, them pointing at me to get in, get in , get in. They handed me Sy who was now REALLY crying. I put him in the car seat, still crying. Lena took the candy from me, unwrapped it and pretty much shoved half of it in his mouth, he bit down, and wa la, his mouth was basically stuck shut! The candy was a chocolate covered sticky fruity thing that he could do nothing more with that suck on until it unleashed itself from his teeth. By that point, he was ok in the car despite the crazy driving. We made it home in RECORD time I am sure! Well maybe not, but seemed like it. Sy did not get car sick, did not cry anymore and napped for about 15 minutes. He didn't crack a smile the whole time and would hardly look at me. Poor guy. The orphanage caretaker did send him with a little bear which he clutched tightly the entire time. So after all the buildup, it was quick and we hardly had time to blink! Now here comes the best part....once we got out of the car, Sy held on to me tightly and once we were in the apartment, all was right with the world. He is amazingly resilient little guy. We no more got in the door and we peeled off his sweatshirt. He then preceded to take off his shoes, followed by his pants. He spent the rest of the afternoon running around in socks, underwear and his tank top. We did dress back up for a bit and go outside. It was a bit of a wrestling match at first but once we were out, he was very content. The last event of the evening was supper. Well, Grammie fixed spaghetti, cut up cheese and ham and we were excited for his first big meal. Well, NYET. Nyet to spaghetti, Nyet to cheese, Nyet to Ham and NYET to we went to cereal. DA, DA, DA to that! Not exactly what I was envisioning but hey at this point, whatever works! With the lack of a nap, he went to bed pretty early. He is sound asleep right now and I hope it will be an uneventful evening. So day one is in the books and I could not be happier. All the stress just melted away as soon as I was here with him and could love on him without caring what anyone else was thinking. So thanks for all the prayers, they helped! I am so grateful to have Cindy here to experience this with me. She has patiently watched me go from happy, to grumpy, to growly, to happy again. What a saint she is! We will be here until Tuesday awaiting his passport and then off to Moscow for a medical exam for him and his visa to come to the US. We are on the home stretch! I will leave you with a few additional photos. One is a a roadside vendor, and this is his Marketing Plan I think! It seems to work to get people to stop, even if just for a picture. The second one is Cindy and I near a chapel high above Krasnoyarsk. It was a bit smoggy, but still a beautiful day.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Last Visit!

Today we went to the orphanage. Cindy got to meet her new grandson and they seemed to connect very well. He was a bit standoffish at first but that is how it always is. He made good eye contact with her and eventually was sharing his toy airplane with her. She always knows how to win them over! It was another typical day but he came in a bit disgruntled as all his buddies were headed out side, he was "stuck" inside wih us. He came around and we did all the same games, bubbles, tickling and music playing we always do. And at 11:30 when the word lunch was murmured, he was "outta there". He has no idea what is about to unfold. I am very nervous, excited, hesitant and sad for this day. Sad because I am taking Sy from the only life he has ever known and in a years time he will probably have only vague memories of it. Sad because I am taking him from his "brothers and sisters" and his caretakers that he knows as his "moms". I know we are going to give him a great life, but that doesn't help the short term heartache that he is going to feel. So Saturday morning when you wake up, say a little prayer for him because he and I are going to need all the support there is. .........Today's frustration is that I thought I brought everything I could possibly need for him, but the underwear were too big, the socks too small and the coat is for -40 degrees weather and it is going to be 70 degrees tomorrow. to the store to buy new underwear, new socks and a jacket. As my patience is starting to wear thin after two weeks, these "shopping" experiences are getting less and less joyful. And in this particular store, which is one large all you can buy kid store, you must pay for each type of item separately in separate locations with separate people helping you. So each separate lady gets to go through the pain of not being able to communicate with me and most likely wishing I would go away! Well have no fear, I wish I could go away and I am about to! .....The warm weather has brought out the entire city for a stroll. It seems like wall to wall people, likely accentuated by the fact that I am growing weary of this whole event. I have gone from trying to smile and be pleasant, to a stiff emotionless person that pretends that you don't exist even if you walk right into me! That is a sure sign that I am fading quickly. ....We have done our best to prepare for the arrival of Sy by purchasing food so we can eat in. I am hoping the weather will stay favorable for the next three days so we can get out side and let him run around. The day is finally here and by Saturday at 2 am your time, we will have picked up Sy and will be heading home in a "machiney" that he is scared to death of! Hope that doesn't last long. The big update will be tomorrow and I will let you know how it unfolds. Thanks for listening and tune in again for the first day of .....Sy Schlattmann's journey to America!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Comforts of Home!

Nope not home yet....I wish...but second to that is having Cindy arrive here today. So great to see her and have someone I can practice my English on! With her arrival came some nice amenities...#1 is Extra Mint Chocolate Chip flavored gum! Oh yeahhhh! I am chewing some as I type this and it is AMAZING!!! She also brought M&M's and if you know me you know that I love M&M's....the bad news is that I gave up chocolate while observing Lent. So I will resist the urge and let her eat them and maybe they will be the next new treat for Sy (I hear they might work well for bribery, err I mean rewards). It could be a long plane ride and this could be my ticket. So glad to have her here......On a separate note you will be happy to know that I braved the meat section in the local grocery store and purchased what I hoped was salami. I also attempted to purchase mustard and thank goodness for the distinguishing color and a small label on the packaging that said "real mustard". Score for both. I haven't been sick yet so it looks like I may have found a winner in the meat section. Cindy and I branched out today and bought ham, but we have not actually tried it, so wish us luck! I can only describe the experience of shopping in a Russian grocery store as the experience I have had when our family would get a box of Seas chocolates. There were only a few that I would like and each time I picked one out of the box, I was taking a chance. Sometimes it was coconut...yuck. That has been my luck at the store. Cheese is a good example...tried to buy the same kind that Dean had and ended up with something a little different...not so good. But when all else fails I know exactly which type of ice cream to buy and you never have to worry that I might starve over here! (You were worried weren't you?) ....Last night I met up with the Park family as they are on their ten day waiting period as well. I went over to their apartment for a game of Catan. Any one ever play that? Well I hadn't, but it was real fun and I WON!!! I think they were being awfully kind to me and don't think that they will be so generous if we meet up again! A great family that I am happy to have met here in a strange land. Between them and the Looman's I have managed to pass the time so quickly. Thank you thank you thank you!............Cindy and I went down to a local market and walked around. It was crazy, there were clothes, hats, shoes, doors, name it they have it there. Picked up a few souvenirs there. So all and all it has been a good few days. The weather is beautiful and we are heading out later.....On a separate note, my son Jake broke his arm yesterday apparently. Boy did that make me want to go home! Apparently he and Cindy (the horse) went one way and the rope that was hooked to Pidgeon (the horse) went the other. Kerplop....tried to catch himself on the way down. Supposed to be getting it casted tomorrow. Mom's are supposed to be there for that stuff! He doesn't apppear to be too worked up over it. Perhaps I am more so than him. This is just the beginning of the doctors visits in he and Sy's life I am sure!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Car ride, what car ride?

Well it looks the coordinator was as scared about taking the trip to the passport office as Sy was! So we didn't go! And they brought a camera to take his picture and are going to see if they can submit their own passport photo. I will know for sure when I get back in the vehicle on Friday. So, crisis overted for now but we may be doing it on Friday. We'll see. I was sort of in the "let's get 'er done" mode and be through with it, but I don't really have the final say..or any say it seems. Oh well, it made for a MUCH more pleasant morning with him. He entered as he always does...frowning and not real excited to be brought down to the room. He exited like he always does...running to the door because someone said "lunch". But in between it was great. He has now mastered blowing bubbles and really enjoys that. He giggles and laughs through the whole thing. I bought a small toy that I thought would be good for the plane and we played with it. He seemed to like it. But we mainly rolled around on the floor. It was pretty hot in the room and that seemed to make him and me lethargic. But it was great because we rolled all over and then sometimes we just laid there and I gave him kisses and held him. I liked that...I don't know if he did, but he wasn't saying NYET so that might be a good sign! Today just the word "machiney" (car) had him saying NYET. So we will let the drama unfold in the car on another day.......Last night I Skyped with a Winnnett High School class and my sister also brought her class in. I enjoyed it and was able to talk about my experience here in Russia. I probably bored them to tears but it was nice for me to get to see that bright and cheery face of Katy and her son Logan also made a brief appearance. That made it all worth it...... It is rainy here today, but clearing up now. Dean's mom Cindy is flying in tomorrow morning. It will be nice to see her. Tonight I am headed to play cards and visit with the Park family. They too are on the ten day wait, after going to court yesterday. ..... I guess I better get to cleaning this place up! I have sort of made myself at home and perhaps Cindy would like some room for her stuff as well! We will be headed back to see Sy on Friday, the LAST day before we pick him up! Yippee!

Enisey, Enisey, Enisey

Tonight I went to the basketball game with the Park family and the Loomans. It was so fun. Despite what we all agreed was some pretty shady looking cheerleading uniforms, the game itself was quite entertaining. Although down about 14 at one point, the Enisey Krasnoyarsk team came back and won by 1 point. Even I was standing up and cheering. Good stuff. Of course again I had no idea what was being said but as with so many things here, the announcer was so LOUD and the music was so LOUD. The announcer would jabber something and then begin the Enisey..Enisey chant over and over again. The Americans on both teams seem to be the stars, but it was fun to watch......I went running this morning and finally remembered to take my camera along. Just so you know, grafiti must be universal because there is plenty of it here. And more importantly it appears there is someone out there who is trying to tell us that it is "its ok not to drink". The problem with the sign is that it is in ENGLISH and from what I can tell, no one here speaks ENGLISH, so I think perhaps they are targeting the wrong population. Just a thought. If you look close, under the first sign is one about Cannibus...hmmm not sure on the message there! But the other two pictures along the river are where I run each morning. It is very nice. ......I spent most of the afternoon with Iris and the boys. They were going to the dentist and I was curious about what a dental office would be like in Russia. I had a crazy visual in my head of something sort of wasn't. Seemed fairly normal. Bummer I was hoping to have good story there, but not so much. We had Subway and Baskin Robin when we were finished. I thought I had hit the jackpot there as two very American establishments graced my presence. It was maybe not as good as home, but not too bad. I even risked it and had salami. Thanks to the Loomans who have continued to welcome me in, this has been a very pleasant stay by myself. .....I went to Cinnabon again today...just couldn't resist and although my plan was to just buy one, I bought two and here is why....because it is so darn hard to even order anything due to my lack of Russian and their lack of English that I decided I was not going to torture them any more than I had too...see it isn't about is about helping them. They would thank me for it if they knew that was my strategy. So far I have only managed to eat one! So see I have control. .......Tomorrow I am off again to see Sy. We will be taking a car trip to get his passport photo. Somehow I think that it will not be a happy one! .......I am missing everyone terribly and this week is the all important District Accredidation in our schools and although you might think I am glad I am not there, I am not. I would be there in an instant if I could bring Sy with! So I will head to bed forever chanting Enisey..Enisey...Enisey. Hope you are all well. Oh and one final was Astronaut day here in Russia or is it Cosmonaut day, hmm not sure But either way, I didn't know it existed but it does and there was a ceremony in front of the statue of Lenin to celebrate it. Just a little piece of information for you to put in your bag of useful (maybe useless) pieces of information!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Don't Try This At Home - Actually Do

OK, so I know that I have mentioned the driving here in several posts but really folks I have had lots of time to think about it and this is what I want you to do......get in the back seat of the car.....find the first teenager available (drivers license optional)............Let them drive out of town a little ways......then give them explicit instructions to GUN it going from 0 to 60 as quick as possible.....then once you are going at least 60, give them instructions to slam on the brakes going from 60 to 0. Do this at least ten times and add in there while they are going 60 to start swirving like they are missing potholes. Pretend there is at least a half mile of pot holes! .....And for your finale, find a place where there is a dip in the road, now drive about a half mile down the road from there and turn around.. ....Again have the teenager accelerate to AT LEAST 70 miles per hour while hitting the dip in the road......Did you catch air? I did...Not just the car, but me in the back seat as well, when my head hit the ceiling! I am not exaggerating here!!!!!..Yep today I was back to Achinsk (two hours of hell in the back seat of a car). ................... It was great to Sy though. He was outside when we got there so we were able to go to the "playground" and then he walked around the orphanage with me. I do think we are going to be in for a bit of a long ride home though. While we were outside, we took Sy over by the car thinking he would like to see it and such. Not so much....Sy was scared to death of the car...and all he could say was NYET, NYET, NYET!! And scream! Did I mention that we have to take him to get his passport photo in Achinsk. That is what we are doing on Wednesday. I don't think it is going to be a pleasant experience. So in an effort to try to ease him into the idea we walked around (very far from) the car and the other children all came over. None of them were scared, so I am not sure why Sy is so particularly scared. Any way, we also walked by another car and stopped. NYET We stopped in front of it and I touched it and he touched it but that was as close as it got. Did I mention that he loves cars? That's what they told me. Apparently the toy sized ones are about it!..........So I followed them in after the walk and they have quite a handful of kids. They are bundled up like eskimos with large winter coats, hats, scarfs, snow shoes. Under all of that are long sleeve shirts, shorts and tights. He was sweating when he finally got everything off. Me too! We played in the music room for about 45 minutes. I was very nervous because this was the first time that I was by myself. It went pretty good. We did a little of everything. Rolled around on the floor, lifted him up in the air, catch, stomped the bubbles and the highlight.............Sy blew his own bubbles. He has watched us do it enough, that when I put it up near his mouth, he blew and out came bubbles. He liked that! But all the fun came to a screaching halt when I pulled out his new coat to see if it would fit. Can you guess what he said...........................NYET. I didn't even try. I already know it will fit..actually a bit too big I would guess, but it will do. So we went back to playing and forgot about all of that. But as soon as the caretaker came in, Sy turned into, Hungry Man and off he went without looking back. Lunch is the big meal, so I don't blame him. The ride home was much like the ride there so I closed my eyes and clicked my heals together and said "I wanna go home" and poof there we were back in Krasnoyarsk! I wish!..........Since it is so nice here and my apartment faces somewhat west, I get an incredible amount of sun flooding in. It is hotter than the bajabbers in here! Oh well, off I go for a nice sunny run. Heard it snowed at home, geez that is too bad. You can blame it on Dean!.............One final note...I am a Cinnabon junkie! I tried but couldn't resist. This time though, I only bought one. That way I can only eat one and will have to walk back there if I think I must continue feeding my bad habit. I have no control! Most of you already know that though. I will leave you with two pictures of my travels to Achinsk. The first one, if you look real close is of fighter jet and to the right is a tank in downtown Achinsk, the other, taken from the prime location of the back seat is of the single lane tunnel you pass through on your way in and out of Achinsk. A friendly reminder of the good ole days I would say!