Monday, March 31, 2008

Funny Kids

Julia and Rauan just make me laugh. Last night was a horrible night at work--I had to be charge (YUCK!) and of course, that's the night they switch all the computer stuff for the medication delivery. Lucky me. So, I was just plain cranky when I got home last night. I pulled into the driveway and looked at theh ouse. 2 huge signs in the windows saying I LOVE YOU and WELCOME HOME ALIHAN AND DADDY. Then Rauan also put a sign in their room that is for Alihan too. They have a countdown going right now. Stacey also took them for ice cream last night--yes they are spoiled. She said Rauan told her he wants to pull Brigid's hair. When Stacey asked he why he said because she is so cute! Lordy lordy! If that wasn't bad enough, when Stacey told him that wasn't a way to tell her he likes her--Miss Julia decided to start giving Rauan advice on how to treat girls!! Oh my! When I heard about this I just burst out laughing. Too funny. It was what I needed last night. It certainly puts things in perspective. Man am I lucky.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday am update

Talked with Ted again last night. Thank goodness I have some AT and T phone cards. First off he didn't get to post anything because Asia Mountain updated their computer to Windows XP-thus losing all the pictures he had downloaded. He still have the pictures on the card, just not on the computer. They have the passports and visas by the grace of God. Apparently they went to the embassy again and they still weren't ready! The facilitator was speaking to someone outside and an offical came walking by their little group. This offical found out that the young children were being adopted and needed their visas so they could go home. Whoever he was welds some power becasue I guess he marched inside and MADE the embassy personnel stay late and finish those visas--and I understand that took 2 hours! So please everyone say a prayer of gratitude to this unknown person.
Ted also has some concerns with Alihan. I swear I wish he would give himself some credit. Anyone who has meet Ted knows he has the patience of a saint--after all he deals with me on a daily basis! He is also exceptionally good with children--their are quite a few parents who can attest to that--he coaches soccer and hockey and the kids LOVE him. Anyways, Alihan is affectionate with everyone, has taken to screaming when they go into buildings, and doesn't really want hugs. However, he does make eye contact (I checked this went we met him and then again when I talked with Ted last night), the screaming resolves fairly quickly, he willingly takes Ted's hand when they walk and he does appear to be more affectionate with one person (a grandmotherly type person who cooks at Asia Mountain). Once I got talking with Ted about this, I actually felt relief. If Alihan WASN'T doing some of these things I would be very concerned! He isn't doing any acting for Ted's benefit and this is all normal post orphanage behavior, plus I'm sure the language barrier doesn't help. Rauan had some of those things and look at him now. I remember him screaming part of the way home--in particular from Detroit to Madison. Although the children are usually happy to have a family, they have never learned to act like they are part of a family and I'm sure that affection was inconsistent. I remember reading that it really takes a child the same amount of time they were in an orphanage to readjust to a family type world and catch up to their apprpriate age level. Thinking back with Rauan that is about right. He was 26 months when we brought him home. It was a good 6 months until there was that comfort level among all of us, a year for everything to appear "normal" and really 2 years for everything to be normal! While Rauan is exceptionally smart, emotionally it took him a while to reach his age--emotionally. I expect that to be the very minimum for Alihan.
Anyways, they are leaving for Almaty on Monday am as planned. SOON--soon my husband will be home. YEAH!!!! The hour countdown is almost here--instead of the nasty and way too many days countdown.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


So, why is when you have a house full of hardwood and laminate flooring that the dog--when not getting his way and needing to poop--decides to poop on the only carpeted area in the house? And not just a small amount either!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Phone update from Ted via Janiece

I just got off the phone with Ted. First of all Charter phone service sucks. I've been trying and trying with charter and finally got pissed and got the phone cards out--which amazingly enough worked! I guess I put some more minutes on those.
Alihan got on the phone twice with me. Once he just listened and Ted said he had a big smile on his face and then the second time it sounded like "hiya!". Then I heard singing in the background from him. He kept playing with the phone while Ted was talking to me--so yep he's a totally normal 4 year old! Ted said that the people there are having trouble understanding him talk--Russian speaking natives I mean. So, it looks like we might have some speech issues. Oh well--we were lucky with Julia and Rauan. What's life without a little challenge right? I'm so lucky though to work with wonderful speech therapists (Shannon, Rita and Sarah). I have total faith. I question his hearing though too. Ted says he seems to hear fine--but howmuch is a compensation?? Well, May 30 we'll know alot more. I have a sneaking suspicion that although his lip might not need work right away--a few other things will. And underneath the tooth gunk--it ain't so pretty. If my manager happens to read this--Marie I might need a few more night shifts for more then just minivan payments!
They have gone to the Kaz embassy twice now and no luck with getting the passports. At 11 am today (midnight here) they go again. The plan is to leave Monday am and their appt. in Almaty is at 4pm Monday. I think that would be the medical appt. and then the embassy appt. is Wed. Then they fly home! YEAH!!!!
Oh yes--my mom sizing still works. I was right on with the 8 1/2 shoe and the size 4clothes. I just have to brag a little on that. So, the bed is all ready, clothes ready, and I now have a booster seat for him. I just have to have beer ready for Ted and all is set here. Come on April 3!

Home update--Friday

Well, I tell you I'm about sick of this not having my husabnd around. This is for the birds. Granted everything is fine here, but Ted and I have been married for almost 10 years and we really haven't been separated for very much time. I think the longest was when I went to get Rauan and I think that was for 6 days total and that included travel time!!!! Of course Rauan and Julia are having a blast right now. Between Aunt Mimi and Stacey they are getting spoiled rotten! For those of you who don't know who Stacey is she was Julia's original babysitter. I worked with her mom, Laurie and since I totally trust Laurie (she trained me in dialysis), I knew one of her girls would be the perfect babysitter. So,Stacey has been a big part of our lives for 5 years now. According to Julia, the sun rises and sets on Aunt Mimi and Stacey. Rauan just loves the food that he is gettting. And of course, being male he thinks Stacey is totally awesome.
Anyways, homefront wise. The house is a mess. So goes my plans of having a perfectly clean house when Ted and Alihan get home. The only reason it is reasonably decent is because after the kids go to bed Stacey cleans. And for all you people that are wondering--NO--she's our babysitter!!! You can't steal her away! I have got two coats of stain on the kitchen window--but for me to climb up there and try to put it on--what a joke. Ok I'm not the thinnest or most flexible person in the world. I have to climb up and over the sink and stand/crouch on this teeny amount of counter space to get to the trim. Not a pretty sight!
Today after school we're going to go to Janesville, get my mom and leave Loki there. He is lonely at home without Callie--so this way he gets to play with Maggie and Toby. We're going to get a birthday present for Julia's friend Syndey who has a party this weekend and then a carseat/booster for Alihan. You know--for the now famous Pritchmobile aka minivan!
And I would sure LOVE to hear from my husband!

Bishkek embassy down, more down time

Well it took longer to get through security at the embassy, then it did to get our paperwork. Now we wait until Monday to go to Kazakhstan. Well I guess that I get to enjoy the 70 degree weather a few more days. We made our trip to the store and guess who likes ice cream, although if he drops a piece in the dirt he tries to still eat it. Also we have been getting VIP treatment from the facilitators, so I am not sure what earthquake hit Frank F. Although, I believe, we were told today that we had to take a cab($20) to the airport in Almaty. I'm getting that confirmed, as I don't think that is right. Again "Be nice, until....". I told Marsha to contact Golden rule as now they are telling her it will be $6000 to switch and fly out of Almaty. I'm a bit surprised that A. options/Frank isn't helping her more. Well Alihan has day 2 syndrome, as he is into everything. I have been taking him on long walks for my own sanity. OK I THINK WE ARE UP TO 6 NOW. I still may be holding some pics back????

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Potty trained my......

Yeah girardia city here we come. Mother #%$#@ what else can go wrong! Well we now have 2 pairs of his underpants hanging to dry and he is wearing a pullup. The 2nd time I don't think he had any clue he was going. Well I get to pickup some more pullups and baby wipes tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Day 4

Ok, I'm not going to keep posting for 4 people. :) Some of the lurkers need to respond or I am holding the pics hostage(plus I need to buy more internet time). Yes I was at a Lufthansa office here, unless they operate on their own. I can relax now that I have tickets, but you may want to confirm again next week. Alihan is great, but he had a few meltdowns yesterday. He screamed bloody murder during his bath, but I was pretty much expecting that. This mornings bath was a bit better. He is a great kids and actually follows directions. It won't take the kids long to corrupt this. I believe we are going to the embassy tomorrow, so we may go few a few walks today. Please forward Marsha the Golden Rule stuff, as she is having a panic attack about her flights. They pretty much told her she can't come back to Bishkek to fly out, so she needs some help. Alihan slept great and he is a big eater, although he looks a bit malnourished. If there are more replies later, I will try to download some pictures.

Day3 (or 5)

Life is fairly normal here. Julia finally got wailed on by Rauan. Rauan put her seat in a place she didn't like--she she started her normal yelling, screaming and then she hit Rauan. Usually he takes it--and she has been warned that sheis going to get back at her one of these days. It happened. He hauled off and cracked her! The world nearly ended. She's been better since then.
Ted picked up Alihan and it went fairly well. I guess everyone is being exceptional nice to him. Imagine that! Yes, there is sarcasm there. Of course,he had a near meltdown because he went to the Lufthansa office and there are no return tickets for him. So, I called Golden Rule and there is no Lufthansa office in Bishkek. Near as we can figure,it was a travel agent, who of course isn't going to have a record. Ted and Alihan, per Lufthansa, have return tickets on April 3.
Still icky weather here--snow tonight and tomorrow. Will it ever end????

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Gotcha Day

Well I head out in a few hours to pick up Alihan. Then what??? I guess we will take a lot of walks, so that he doesn't destroy the hotel. Also I may let him watch Spongebob in Russian, so his brain doesn't get overloaded and short circuit from it when he realizes Princess Julia controls the remote. Life here has been boring, so I have been forced to entertain myself with beer and Russian hockey. It sort of reminds me of my college days, scratching included, except I shave and shower daily. The room would drive Janiece nuts!!! Nothing is unpacked and I just grab what I need out of the suitcase. Ah we men are so good at process improvements, as this will save a great deal of packing time. Yesterday was a good day. I filled out paperwork and paid the bill and I didn't get hassled once. Now everyone needs to pray for 9 more days like this. Also I do believe I intimidate the heck out of them. I don't understand this, but Janiece keeps telling me that I do this to people. They didn't make any eye contact with me and seemed very nervous. Hey if they stay this way, the rest of the trip will be great. The things I have to do to get good service and respect. I am using that wise saying from Roadhouse. "Be nice, until it is time not to be nice!" Well I will see if I can get some pics today, but who knows if Alihan will let me be on the computer again. Did I mention the Russian it is amazing to watch their style of play. It gives me a few ideas for coaching in the future.

Home update

Well, since the internet is proving unreliable AGAIN--here's the home update. Janiece finally did a "float" to the PICU in the new hospital--and got a craniofacial patient. Yeah--sad day for her (NOT!). Janiece is also obsessively on the internet checking for updates. Frank Foundation WAS notified of the plane changes and they did notify those in Kryg--not sure what the issue was there. I'm sure there will be some discussions on that.
Julia and Rauan spent the night at their grandma's, along with their cousin Jemma. Their cousin Henry also came and played. It seems their new cousin (Henry'ssoon to be born sibling) might come a bit sooner then expected--so Alihan and babay Sheridan might arrive about the same time. Aunt Mimi, who is also sick with the creeping crud, came to take care of Julia and Rauan while momma worked. She spoiled them rotten--of course. That's what aunts do! Julia's skating coach is discussing some upcoming competitions that Julia might be interested in--but we'll wait for daddy to come home to discuss them. Today Rauan is keeping momma company while Julia has her long day at school. Momma is also working on staining our new kitchen window (the old rotted out--had to be replaced). Yes--the house stinks of stain--but it's in the 50s outside--so we're also airing the house out.
Otherwise, same old same old here. By the way momma misses daddy alot. But--Momma is getting good sleep--only Loki is snoring next to her at night! The hairiness level is about the same.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Day 1 and boredom

Well by the grace of god and possibly a few angels on my shoulders, I am here. Someone please tell Golden rule that if you don't have a paper ticket when you arrive in Moscow, you are screwed. The flight from Chicago was delayed for 2 hours, so that gave me little time in Frankfort. The Frankfort airport is a nightmare if you don't know what you are doing!!! So I was able to get to my gate and the lady there was really nice and called to the aeroflot desk and got a paper ticket created for the trip from Moscow to Bishkek. I couldn't board the plane until the lady from aeroflot ran the ticket upstairs, so I was officially the LAST person to board. Now for Moscow! When you get there, you have to check into the transfer desk and they take your passport and boarding pass and load you into a van to take you off to their version of camp getmo. Once they determine you are the correct person(2 hours), they load you back into a van and take you on dark bumpy road to the other terminal. Then they give you your passport back and let you loose in the smoke filled airport. Once I cleared customs in Bishkek, I was expecting to see someone holding a Frank foundation sign. Nope!! I didn't see anyone and then a cab driver started to follow me around. I told him to get the hell away from me and he wouldn't go away. I was starting to wonder if I needed to take a cab and then at the last minute I heard Lisa's voice say "What about Ted!" So they had sent Vladimir by himself to pick us up and I am not sure they knew I was on a different flight. So then we head to the car and 2 of the same airport trolls that grabbed our luggage away from us on the 1st trip, followed us. I put the suitcase in the trunk and they rearranged it. So I get in the car and they have the audacity to open my door and demand money for helping. I told them to go to hell and that they didn't do an f'ing thing. This whole thing really PO'd me. I long for the days of Alexander pushing the taxi drivers out of our way in Moscow for Julia's adoption. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr...... So now I get to sit here until Wednesday before I see Alihan. Oh well, I can go with the flow on that one. There are a few other thing going on that may get me in A LOT of trouble. I have to hear most of it from Lisa, because we think that they are scared of me and don't tell me directly. I don't think that I am going to be able to keep my mouth shut, which may cause some problems for any families that travel later this year but I'm not sure I care any more. Internet is better, so I will try to post more later.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I was going to post that I heard from Ted--but I see he already beat me to it. Sounds a little grumpy. And I don't want to hear about any stinking 65 degrees when it's flipping snowing here--AGAIN!


I made it! I am alive an well at the Asia mountain, although it is a bit chilly at 65 degrees today. Internet is touch and go, so I will try to post late after we do the paperwork today.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Off to a rough start

Well,nothing like getting ready to go get your child, arriving at the airport and finding that your reservation(prepaid) has disappeared! Yep, Folks that is exactly what happened. Ted just about had a cornary in the Dane County airport while I was desperately trying to get a hold of our travel agent. Thank God for cell phones. To make matters worse, yesterday we received a dumping of snow so flights were delayed and/or cancelled all over the place. Do you think there was an available seat anyplace??? Now--why would it be that simple???? So, as our travel agent starts searching, we take off on a mad dash to Chicago. Yes, the minivan has made it's first road trip. Julia and Rauan were dropped off at mom's and I drove--Ted with a red stone face the whole way! By the time we got to Belvidere, the travel agent called and found a flight that involves Chicago to Frankfort, Frankfort to Moscow, Moscow to Bishkek. Oh and by the way, the ticket for Moscow to Bishkek needs to be purchased in either Frankfort or Moscow. By the fricking grace of God--literally because I got completely twisted around in Chicago and I don't know where I was--we got to the airport in time. It was truely a comedy of errors. Now wouldn't you think that Chicago to Frankfort is an international flight?? Wouldn't you go to the international terminal??? Yeah--no. It's Terminal 1--and Ted got the chance to say I told you so. Whatever. So, he made it with literally minutes to spare--and then the flight was delayed. Yep, that's how it goes.
So, Ted was off and running. I drove back to Janesville where I started making phone calls. First, Kids to Adopt, just to make sure that someone will be there to pick up Ted when he arrives in Bishkek. Then to Visa, just so Ted can buy the darn ticket!!! I'm finally home, the kids are in bed. I have a pile of laundry to fold and a house to clean. Yeah the house can wait. I really have developed the attitude of don't like it don't visit. Is that bad???
So, folks, if you have arrived at this point without giving up--please say a prayer for Ted that all goes well from this point on--and that the luggage actually arrives with him. Now off to help the Easter bunny!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Officially soccer parents!

Well, we've done it! We purchased a lovely dark blue minivan. Ted still has his manhood--he wouldn't test drive it, saying he trusted my judgement. Silly boy! We'll pick it up on Wednesday evening. Just in time for Ted to fly out and bring Alihan home! Ted thinks he is going to be able to drive the Envoy and haul 3 kids around--we'll see. I lay odds on that he will want to take the minivan when he finds out how hard it is to buckle 3 kids/booster seats in the back of the Envoy!
Here is irony for you. It's St. Paddy's day. 10 years ago on St. Paddy's day we bought our wedding bands.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The time has come....

It looks as if the Buick is on its way to car heaven. It's been through alot. If we hadn't had the engine issue back in late 2002, I would probably look into fixing it. But, alas, it hasn't been the same since then. Ted has agreed to a minivan---I'm not sure if Hell froze over or my arguements finally sunk in. Maybe he just got sick of listening to me. I was all prepared to fight with him about since I figured out how to pay for it--Janiece is going to plan on working one night shift per month--on her weekend off--and that should make the payment. Off shift off weekend pay. Dana, I'm pretty sure you are the one who told me to do that. So, I was prepared by saying I am the one working to pay for this, I am the one who will most likely drive it. If you want a new vehicle you will agree to what I want. Geez--didn't even get a chance to use them. He has even found--drum roll please--a blue minivan--that would meet our needs. Not black--which is the color Ted has always wanted and sought out. So, we're off to look at this vehicle today and possibly purchase tomorrow. Wisconsin--no car sales on Sunday. Geez--Alihan is going to come home to just not a new family--but a new vehicle too!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Doctor's appointments

Well, my anal personality is showing itself again. Alihan's first medical appointment is April 8 with our regular doctor. I called and the receptionist knows me really well---she just started laughing saying she wondered when I would call. Hummm in a big city like Madison and my personality is that well known??? Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Then Alihan is set up with my craniofacial clinic on May 30. That's going to be weird--instead of being the nurse I'm the parent of the patient. I could have done individual appointments, but this way everyone can evaluate him at once. The speech I don't know how well we can evaluate at that point--but I really want his hearing checked--just to make sure that he can hear in order to learn properly. Then--the teeth. Well, I'm not sure what we can do there. I'll have to see what Dr. Allison says. I think that is going to require sedation. Well, the chest is filled with clothes, the new shoes have been bought, the appointments are made. I've even been lucky enough to be in contact with someone who has a teenage daughter from Russia who will translate for us if we need help. Time to get Alihan home and see what he thinks of his new room and his siblings--and his wild crazy extended family!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Let the nesting begin!

Well, it's finally real. Yesterday before work, I went crazy cleaning out Rauan's very quickly becoming too small clothes. That short little boy is now almost as tall as Julia. yep--I'm looking at a future 6 footer there. Anyways, today--the broken ladder for the bunkbed was replaced and Alihan's new dresser was put into the room. I'm resisting the thought of starting to put clothes in there--but this weekend--watch out!!! I'll have a whole 2 days off work--Lord only knows what will happen with that! Now--if spring would just come..........

announcement ideas

Hummm these are some good ones. Maria--I love yours and I think I'm going to save that for his baptism.
My thoughts are running towards having a picture of all 3 kids on the announcement--and basically something to the statement our family is now complete or Julia and Rauan stating they now have a new brother. Hilary I'm going to look those two passages up today. I'm the first to admit I'm not as familiar with bible passages as I should be--now my dad he could quote it!
So, any ideas with those facts? FYI--I'm going to have them made. I am just simply not that artistic or have that much time to cut and paste things together. I can wish.......someday--but then I'll wish to have these crazy soccer mom days back!
Johnda--I'm praying for you. I know how frustrating it can be. Hang in there!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Just one more possibility

I like this one because when the infertility "experience" happened we could have gone a dozen . different ways and we chose adoption. It sure has made all the difference. Plus, Ted and I spend alot of time outside--when the weather cooperates!

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I...I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.~ Robert Frost

adoption announcements

I'm trying to find something to put on the adoption announcements, especially since Alihan will be our last child/adoption. Here's a few, but if someone knows of a good, particularly if it is religion based, please let me know.

One last road to travel One last way to go One more day to forever Just to let you know The wait is finally over The journey now is through And now this comes to let you know Dreams really do come true

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." ~ Helen Keller

As we cultivate peace and happiness in ourselves, we also nourish peace and happiness in those we love.

One hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove or what kind of clothes I wore. All that will matter is that I made a difference in the life of a child. ~ Forrest Witcraff

Sunday, March 2, 2008

As the winter season winds down.....

A couple pics of the rink rats! Notice someones 'official' Barys Astana jersey.