Visiting Day #3
OK, we are trying something new today. I am posting 2 blogs today! That will catch you up with yesterday AND today. This way, when you get up in the morning, you will already know what happened today over here. We should be able to do this fairly simply. Brian and I just needed to find out what our normal schedule would be like. It seems that we can be home by around noon. This means I can blog about the current day in word and then we can walk over to McDonald’s to post it. The only bad thing about this is you have to read 2 different blog posts today! J
I SUGGEST YOU READ THURSDAY’S BLOG POST FIRST SO YOU CAN FOLLOW…THERE ARE SOME DIRECT REFERENCES TO IT IN THIS ONE! SO SCROLL DOWN AND READ THAT ONE – THEN COME BACK!
We left the apartment at 8:55 and Alexei picked us up around 9:05. It’s a roughly 40 minute drive to the institution. We had one quick stop today to sign some papers for court, at what we think is the courthouse. It took 5 minutes and then we were off. We made it to the “internat” by 9:45.
Sterling’s groupa was outside playing and when we walked outside one of the nannies was pulling his pants up. He must have just peed (mind you they were outside…so who knows where they let him go.) (He was in underwear today! YAY!) They walked him over to us and off we went. We found a little clearing (or rather that’s where Sterling plopped himself down) by the flower beds in the grass and took out snack. A nanny then brought us a blanket to spread out so we didn’t have to sit on the grass. Sterling had his banana puffs (he definitely likes those) and we tried a few (3) fruit snacks today. He liked those too. At the store yesterday we bought two juice boxes (they sell them individually) so we brought those too. I figured since they have a shorter straw and I could squeeze it to help him along maybe he would get the hang of sucking. It worked….sort of. When he sucks the juice up, he gets so excited and then he giggles, laughs, and raspberries all of juice right back out of his mouth. And onto us…LOL. But, he likes the flavor. We should have brought one of those things you put juice boxes in so kids can’t squeeze them because I think we wore more juice than he ingested. That is going to be a learning process but I’m hopeing I can transition him to his very cool shark cup (thanks Katina!) that has a built in straw (and he can’t squeeze that one!) The good news is he ate less grass today! Lots of things still went in his mouth (books, wipes, containers, dinosaur plush, etc) but much less grass. Although when they first handed him over to us he was eating a flower…while they watched. UGH!
We played with toys mostly. We introduced the slinky (which was tangled in no time) and he loved it. Again, Mr. Inquisitive was very interested in it and really had fun watching it “slink.” We also played with the Bumble Ball some more. He loves that thing. He likes the Sully stuffed animal but doesn’t play with it. He will hold and love on the Sully plush, but the dinosaur one (which is much smaller) he just stuffs in his mouth. Brian is learning to keep up with a busy toddler! It’s fun to watch. J Brian also commented today on how small Sterling is. Until you see him, it’s hard to think of him being so tiny, especially given that he is 5. We tried the size 9 shoes on today…WAY TOO BIG! He will probably need a 7. If you don’t have little kids, next time you are in Target look at a pair of 7s and imagine them on a 5 year old. I’m pretty sure it will surprise you. If you want to “see” how little he is, you can grab your tape measure and follow the sizing instructions from Thursday’s blog.
He has also slowed down on throwing things. It happens, but not as much. Thank goodness. I tried to read with him today. No luck. He doesn’t have any idea what a book is. He looked at it, closed it and then…yep…stuck it in his mouth. He is getting much better about playing and we might be able to use the cars before we come home. We can only hope.
We did decide that some of the toys are not appropriate for Sterling so we gave them to the director. A paddle ball game, 2 cans of Play-Doh (he will eat that for sure…we can work on that at home) and some other things that, developmentally, he just isn’t ready for. We need more toys for much younger kids (ones that make sounds, light up., vibrate, etc). I’ll need to take a lot of stuff out of his room before he sleeps in it. We tried to get him to color today but he put that in his mouth too. It was black Color Wonder paper that, when you draw on it, colors shine through; but he definitely isn’t ready for that since it went straight in his mouth. The paper must have some sort of coating on it because his mouth turned black (hahaha) immediately. We took that away too. (And luckily, his mouth went back to pink before we turned him back over to the nannies!)
After I took the Color Wonder away I called over to an older boy that follows us around. He is super cute and very nice. He is probably between 12-14 years old. I showed him how to use the Color Wonder paper and he sat with us and did that for a few minutes before his nanny called him over and scolded him. We felt horrible because we couldn’t tell her it was ok. (Before we left I called him over again – with her watching – and gave the whole set to him! That seemed fine because she knew I had called him over.)
After we played we practiced walking. You can tell he hasn’t been walking that long. He isn’t very sure on his feet and after about 4 or 5 steps he will plop himself down, grab whatever is on the ground in front of him and put it in his mouth. It is hard work. But, we persevered and within 15 minutes he was up walking on his own (without our hands for support!) I hope these videos load! They are super short! He gets so proud of himself when he is done and giggles and laughs. It really is too cute. But you can see how much of a “toddler” he is, especially physically. He can climb stairs with alternating feet (this is huge) while holding the handrail so this is a good sign. I REALLY hope these videos work, I kept them super short so they would! At the end of the longer one you can here me say, “and right to the flowers.” Because he will walk straight to flowers, grab a handful of leaves, buds and dirt and try to eat it. (This video wouldn't load in a reasonable amount of time so I hope it's here.) Such a stinker. (BTW I should note he knows that this is wrong, it is currently a game because when we say “nyet” he will stop and laugh at us and throw whatever it is on the ground.) So, by the time we get home, I assume this eating everything (for the most part) will be over.
If these videos didn't load and you want to see them, send me a FB message and I will add you as a friend. They uploaded to FB just fine....Blogger video uploads are a pain...But I really want people to see him! Also message me so I know who you are before I friend you...If you don't know me personally - tell me how and where you found the blog.
After our walking, we packed our stuff up and headed home. We will go back tomorrow but we are taking Sunday off. So, there won’t be any pictures of him on Sunday; I will try to do a blog with pictures on the city we are staying in…without naming it (that’s against “the rules” – at least until we leave the city!)