I almost titled this post, “a day of diarrhea”, but I think that will apply for many days, so I came up with something else.
Our days are pretty chill here. There’s not a whole lot to do except, well, take care of the babies. That includes dressing, changing, playing, naps, and feeding. That alone keeps us busy from 6:30 AM to 9:00 PM.
I’ve been following Marie-France’s advice on sleeping. He sleeps in his crib, but when Octave wakes in the morning, I take him into my bed and we cuddle, chat, drink water. It’s a fun, chill way to start the day, and means I don’t have to be fully operational for a little while. We can drag it out to 15 minutes or so.
This morning he woke at 6:45, and we got up about 7. Octave watched his first age-appropriate TV, about 15 minutes worth of a Baby Einstein program on Wildlife Animals (tigers, parrots, elephants, giraffes, etc. His favorite by far were the fish, sea turtles and dolphins, but it could be because he liked the cool song). Here we are watching the show:
In notable events, we went food shopping, which went over well, though he didn’t stop babbling through the whole store. It’s funny, but I’m discovering that I didn’t adopt the baby I bonded with. : – ) Throughout the whole first trip to Kazakhstan, Octave was very serious, thoughtful, lots of frowns and serious looks, very quiet, few select smiles. These last days since we left the orphanage, Octave is the class clown. His personality is, well, big. He babbles loudly in public places, screams in restaurant bathrooms when I change him, laughs and smiles tons (case in point go check out the pictures I just added to yesterday’s post), and keeps on going like the Energizer Bunny (an old American TV advertisement where this mechanical rabbit that runs on Energizer batteries keeps going, and going, and going). He burps, farts and poops like he’ll get a prize for the most spectacular one.
What’s most amazing about him now is his growing attachment to me. I’d say he hates being alone, but that’s not true—he hates it when I leave him, even if there are other people around. I have to wear him around the house when I’m puttering; thank goodness for my baby carrier (Ergo). He’s started mimicking. We’ve had some fun games where he and I will make farting noises back and forth (with our mouths, thank you–raspberries). He holds my hands when we walk around outside (he’s in his carrier). He looks for me when he hurts himself or is stressed. He is the most amazing little boy in the world.
His personality change has made it difficult to go out for a meal with him. He’s loud and needy in restaurants, and when he inevitably has diarrhea (this morning at the coffee shop, this evening at the Chinese restaurant), he screams bloody murder when I change him (he already didn’t like this at the orphanage). He’s ok on the go, walking around etc., but sit him down, and things get complicated.
I got a glimpse of “orphanage Octave” today at the SOS Clinic, one of our two remaining mandatory stops for the adoption. The US Embassy in Kazakhstan requires a medical evaluation of the (former) orphan before granted him/her permission to enter the United States. The main doctor there, a friendly South African man, checked out Octave, and Octave checked him out right back. He had nothing to say for the 15 minutes we spent with the doctor, but stared intently with his “usual” serious look. The doctor did observe one medically significant thing: it would seem Octave has a hernia, and we’ll have to get it checked out when we get back to France. Otherwise, he now weighs 10.3 kilos, or 23 pounds, making him the heaviest baby in our group.
After the clinic, Octave and I wandered around the grounds and he had a nap in the carrier. For this last 24 hour period, his total sleep with naps was 12.5 hours. It’s funny, because it’s so polar opposite of the experience the other parents traveling with me are having/had. Their kids sleep/slept up to 12 hours at night and up to 6 during the day…I guess everyone (starting with babies) has a different way of dealing with stress.
I mentioned the Chinese restaurant, I think it was called Princessa, or something like that—it was very cool, they gave us a private room (there were 5 adults and 3 babies). Oh, and I’m so grateful to Sandi for lending me her portable chair (I should have packed mine, especially since I don’t have a stroller), and to her friend Kelly for helping me out with the major diarrhea incident. It is so bad it creeps up his diaper, up his back, and all over his shirts, shorts, sweaters (sorry if anyone is reading this over coffee). Which means that in order to avoid the “naked baby in restaurant” scenario, you really need 2 people, one to hold the baby, and one to assist with moving things out of the way. Grateful, grateful, grateful!!!
Octave and Finley had a bath together (woooo). Here are some cute pictures:
Oh, he cried for 30 seconds before going to sleep. I’m not sure why, but I’m taking this as a good sign (yesterday, he didn’t say a thing).
p.s.—why the diarrhea? I necessarily had to change his diet, since much of it at the orphanage is prescription, plus they didn’t really tell us anyway what they were eating. I tried to keep it the same, but clearly I came up short…