May 5, 2007

Almira’s 4th Birthday!

It’s party time! They planned a small party at the baby house for her which included a small cake roll for each child, juice and later on, yogurt. We brought those small party favors that “roll out” when you blow in them. The kids didn’t quite know what to do with them. I started showing them but they didn’t get the idea that you had to blow hard to get them to work. It only took a couple of minutes and then they were flying! They loved them!
We were trusted to take her from the baby house to Habiba’s house for a party and barbeque. The best part, she could come home to the flat with us and spend the night! It is 10:50 pm our time Saturday and as I am typing this, Marie is cuddling a scared little girl who appears to be “homesick” but, let’s back up just a bit…

We went to get her from the baby house about 4pm, they told her where she was going and she just kept saying “da” (yes). We went out to the “machina” (car) and she just had on a smile from ear to ear. All the way to the house, she stared out the window in amazement. This was her first ride in a “macina”, and SHE LIKED IT! We had previously been telling her that “Tuma” had gone paka (bye) on a “som-el-yhat” (airplane) so when we got in the car she said macina and then “som-el-yhat”. She knows she will be doing that one day soon too.

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Zhana, Habiba’s sister, husband and two children were there in addition to Lynn and Tuma (now known as Milan) and Habibas’s kids so there was plenty of running around to do. She of course was shy at first but quickly opened up.

Did I mention it was a barbeque!! Yes, the pork and chicken was just as I remembered it! (That beats a cup of coffee any day, Pat) Of course you can’t have a Kazakh party without VODKA! No matter how many times you say no, the glass is filled again and again. I am no drinker but I tried not to be inconsiderate and sipped my toasts here and there. Occasionally, I had to “down one”. I’m just not a very good drinker I guess. If you know me I am an eater not a drinker!

It was time to leave and she couldn’t wait to get in the machina. We were very cautious in how we talked about where she would be staying. We went to the flat and kept saying it was Habiba’s house as we didn’t want her to feel we were taking her to our home just to return her the next day. We didn’t want her to feel like she was being “returned” or something.

We got to the flat and yes, she became her wild self! She was everywhere, room to room, looking and laughing. We filled the bath and when Marie tried to put her in it, her whole face changed, she did not want that and started to whimper a bit. Marie quickly picked her up and put her in. It took about 3 seconds for her to love it.!

After her bath, she couldn’t wait to put her new “jammies” on. They were “footy” ones and she just flipped. The owners of the flat have a small swing hanging from one of the doors. Wow, did she go for that, she was in her glory.

Then came bed time, we started to lay with her and she wasn’t ready for that. She laid for a while and then Marie started to rock her and noticed she was getting nervous. Well, it must have been homesickness and today being so overwhelming as she started whimpering, then crying a little, then to a full cry and then to an almost “hyper-ventilating” type cry for a total of about 10 minutes straight. Marie rocked her some more and I am glad to say as I finish up this post, she is fast asleep and the best part, she is not snoring and there are no teeth grinding! All in all, she had a great time today, we will see how the morning works out but, she should be just fine…

Good night for now…