14 Feb 2005: Almaty

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My mother called this morning. We had no trouble with her connection and talked for about ten minutes. She is doing well and asked lots about Sergio. I broke to her the bad news about my experiment getting canceled which means fewer trips to Chicago and thus less visits to see her. She is doing well with her knee, but cut our conversation short as she said she was standing and it was hurting. Carla will visit her tomorrow and we hope to get a call from them when she is there which would be Wednesday morning our time.

Blurry picture on the route today is the Ramstore. Third overcast and cloudy day in a row. Also there has been little wind the past few days and the air is clearly getting smoggy. It is still cold with temperatures in the twenties during the day.

Visit was good. Sergio was pouty but liked playing with the busy board that we brought. He devoured two small oranges and found a bag of cough drops. Rita let him have one and he crunched it up, and then spit it out. Trying to clean him up with moist towelettes led to crying we think because of the strong smell. We did get him to talk some and tell us what he wanted among the toys and the piano, but are constantly surprised at how much we have to work to engage him. We think he is simply not used to so much interaction with adults. He amuses himself just fine with toys, but cannot deal with constant give and take of conversation. He did like drawing in our note book again. Tomorrow we will bring him a Magnadoodle.

On the way home we stopped at the music theater and bought tickets for the ballet Giselle on Friday. There is a full orchestra providing the music. Sixth row for $12/seat. We really look forward to it.

We wrote down a stack of questions for the folks at the Baby House. Besides the obvious (how much does he weigh; sleeping schedule; and favorite foods) we want to get more info about his health history. How long was he hospitalized after birth, was he premature, etc.

We also sifted the pictures we have this far and chose some to try to get printed out tomorrow. We need to test how expensive it is, how long it will take, and what the quality will be in advance of having pictures to show the judge at the hearing on 2 March.

Gulbanu and company still have our passports. They are still working on the documents and hope to be able to return them tomorrow. We asked Dima as it seemed awhile since we handed them over. Thinking back that was very early Wednesday morning so it has only been three working days.

I took an inventory of useless stuff that we brought. Computer cable, useless as there is a stack of them in the apartment. Cell phones, useless even though T-Mobile told us our phones would work, but there is no hint of a signal anywhere. Not too much wasted effort.

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