Friday, August 31, 2012

Trip 3: Day 6 Friday

Today we again had our usual morning then headed to the US Embassy at 11am.  We met the other family there, paid for James' visa, and sat in a waiting room with 4 or 5 other US families that are adopting as well. It was completely uneventful (except we got James' passport and visa!!) along with other important documents. There was no one there, which was a vast difference to Caleb's experience yesterday. He said it was wall to wall which they got to cut in line. ;) We then headed back to the hotel to pack and take it easy for the rest of the day! We leave early morning and can not wait to see our family and friends at the airport! So excited!!!!
Next post will be from the States!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Trip 3: Day 5 Thursday

Today was fun! After our typical morning, Caleb had to go to the Embassy at 9, so James and I hung out in the hotel room. At about 1030 Caleb came back and our driver took us to Red Square. It was chaos there, because the city is setting up for a week long celebration, International Military Music Festival "Spasskaya Tower", but we were able to walk around it to St. Basils and got some pictures of James in front of it. Our driver then took us to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Amazingly beautiful church!!! Inside there are so many murals you just can not take it all on at once. Then we walked over to a pedestrian bridge over the Moscow river that looked on to the Kremlin. The architecture here just blows me away. We ran into the other family here as we, so we took some pics of our boys. So cute :)
The rest of the day we took it easy and did our usual routine. Back to the Embassy tomorrow to get James' passport and visa!!!
Caleb with our driver, Slav

Outside of Red Square

Part of the festivities

Church in Red Square


The Gum (Mall)

More Red Square festivities

In front of the Tomb of the unknown soldier

Street view of St. Basil's

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

View of The Kremlin

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Trip 3: Day 4 Wednesday

This morning we had to wake up James at 730 to get ready in time for his medical appointment. He's such a happy baby in the morning!! We got dressed, FaceTime'd(of course) and headed to the lounge for some grub. We rolled out of there and met our driver at 850. And he had a car seat!!! Whoohoo!! I was one happy mom. With the rain and the usual suspects of crazy drivers, these people are nuts for not using car seats! Anyways, he didn't mind it at all! He's seriously such a laid back child! We got to the clinic and basically went right on in.
The doctor was very nice, but his beliefs are, well, just odd! I had heard about him before from other adoptive Mommy's, but wow. Basically he believes that a baby's cry is just for pure attention. Well dang right it is!!! How else can they communicate?? He said its their way of manipulating adults and we should just ignore the cry's. :O yep that was me...speechless. Thank goodness because I'd like to teach him a few things j/k ;) Anyways he did say something that I actually agreed with and that was that James was definitely favored in the baby home. I still have no current weight on him, but he's most definitely way above the norm for a child from an institutional setting (as the Dr remarked about his Sumo wrestler belly :)). Not to mention he's right on target developmentally. They definitely fed him well as far as the calories are concerned, but his skin is dry, hair is a little brittle (which tells me his nutrition was poor) and we went through tons of wet diapers the first two days while his kidneys adjusted to water intake, as I'm sure he didn't have a sippy cup of water available to him whenever he wanted. But overall, you can tell he was very well taken care of!!! More than you could ask for in a baby home. He's so happy and I just know in my heart he wasn't left to lay in bed all day, like some of the things you hear about in other orphanages.
We left the clinic and headed over to Arbat street. It was rainy, but well it's always rainy, so we borrowed our drivers umbrella and James was covered in my Ergo baby carrier (in which he had a nice catnap while we shopped).
Then back to the hotel. We ate lunch, played, napped, FaceTime'd/Skyped, had dinner, then James crashed laying next to daddy. (and I will never hear the end of that from Caleb! He thinks he's James' way, he's gonna be a mamas boy for sure ;)) But, oh my goodness, it was the sweetest thing!
Tomorrow, Caleb goes to the Embassy and little man and I will hang out here. We hope to go do some more sightseeing and shopping tomorrow as well. This has been such a great week, but we are SO ready to get home!! Just praying that dang hurricane moves on out so out flight doesn't get delayed!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Trip 3: Day 3 Tuesday

Well today we never left the hotel as we were advised to (or rather told to) by our coordinator, to allow a little time for James to adjust. Honestly he's done so well, I think it would have been just fine, but we stayed. So we woke up and stood over James' crib until he stirred :) We then FaceTime'd our peeps and ate breakfast....James had an 8oz bottle of formula, a ton of scrambled eggs, a whole thing of prunes, and pancake! Seriously this boy can put it away! We than played and played and played. I went to run on the I have no idea how far I ran since its all in Russian and in kilometers! Will be better prepared tomorrow! Then came back and at about 1030 James was done. He doesn't get cranky or winey, he just slows down and starts sucking his right thumb :) He was exhausted! I put him in his crib and, no kidding, the boy did not move an inch and was out within minutes! So we all napped...for 3 hours! Oops. James had lunch at 2 then we played some more! We took a walk around the hotel while the maid cleaned our room. He had so much fun and it was neat to see him react to anyone speaking Russian. He was like 'ya I know what their saying' ;) He even talked back to them. I would love to know what words he says. He definitely has 3-4 words that he distinctively says when doing certain things. I think one is 'book' (referring to the picture book we left on trip 1. Along with the 2 disposable cameras, it was the only personal item we got back that we left with him. Oh well. But you can tell he either had it in his crib at all times or was shown it often, b/c he loves that book!!!) Another word is 'here or that' or something like that when he hands me something. We came back to the room and FaceTime'd some more. We played some more, ate some more, FaceTime'd some more :) then he crashed in my arms at 730 while talking to my mom and Hannah. Big boy had a fun day with his mommy and daddy!!
Tomorrow we go get his medical exam done for the US Embassy. We'll most likely do some sightseeing as well!
Only 3 more full days here!! Yeah!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Trip 3: Day 2 Monday-Gotcha Day!!

Wow today was amazing... James' Gotcha day!! We woke pretty early and FaceTime'd Hannah and our parents. We got dressed then headed over to the Executive lounge for an awesome breakfast! See pics below ;) Then we came back to the room to get ready for the day.
At 10 we headed down to exchange some money and waited for our driver, Slav. He took us to the grocery store to buy a cake for the orphanage. This is a tradition to bring a cake for the caregivers on Gotcha day. Well, the options weren't just vanilla and chocolate! I wish I had taken a pic of these amazingly yummy cakes! We picked one out, paid, then headed to meet Anna, our coordinator this time, and the other family.
We met at some building to apply for James' passport. 20 minutes later we were on our way to the baby home!! We went on in and met with the Director. She went over a few things, we got his baptism record and cross, and then we handed over the clothes we brought to change him into. We tried to see his room, but nyet was our answer (No!) well then they were about to wake them and it was time for their lunch. We asked if they wanted to feed them first, as it would be better for them than wait until we got them to the hotel...well we thought 15 minutes maybe? Nope she told us to come back an hour and a half later! What?!
So we left. We walked around
the area with the other driver, Boris, then returned 45 minutes later ;) They agreed to bring them out! James came out second and very scared and crying :( He stopped by the time we got in the car, then fell asleep in Caleb's arms. So sweet!
We got back to the room and he was quite stoic and clingy to me. We FaceTime'd my mom and Caleb's parents, then took a nap. He fell asleep in my arms, then slept between me and Caleb for 2 hours! When he woke up, he was so happy! We played and played and played! And ate! Oh my he eats so much! I had to give him a little at a time, so that he wouldn't get sick, but needless to say, we'll be needing to go to the store by Thursday ;)
We FaceTime'd and skyped our family again, gave him a good, quick wipe down (bath time is not his thing yet!) then it was bedtime! I tried rocking/holding him first, but I could tell he just wanted in bed. So in the crib he went and 5 minutes later he was out!
We had a great day and pray tomorrow is the same. I expect to see some grieving from him at some point, but we'll tackle that when it comes. Ok must go to sleep now!
Oh and no pics of him on the blog until Saturday, since its so public....if you're friends with me another way....enjoy the pic!

The Executive Lounge

Our Hotel Room

Someone selling produce just a few yards down from the orphanage

Same church I think I posted before on Trip 1. Walking distance from the orphange.

A pretty cool strip mall

The Metro Train Station

They feed the birds everywhere!

About to see James!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Trip 3: Day 1 Sunday

We finally made it after traveling 14 hours. This flight wasn't bad at all this time, as I'm sure we've become world travelers at this point! We stepped outside the airport, after locating our driver, to the usual smell of smoke, sounds of techno music, and sights of crazy drivers and high heels ;)
We sat in traffic forever, but finally made it to the hotel. I asked for an upgrade to a bigger room and got it!! We have a living area and a much bigger bathroom than last time. Whoohoo! Hey if you're going to be held up in a hotel room for a week with a 14 month old, who's week will most likely be a hard adjustment, then why not do it in style ;)
It's now 5 am Monday morning here, and we will get picked up at 1030 to go run errands before we head to the baby home. We have to go do some passport paperwork, get a cake gift for the baby home (a long tradition in this orphanage), the grocery store to get some stuff for James, then to the baby home!!! So hopefully by 1 or 2 we'll have him in our arms forever! Stay tuned for the next post....Today is James' Gotcha Day!!!!!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hannah's day in iPhone pics...

Yesterday was Hannah's last full day with mommy and daddy as an only child. So we made it fun!! We ate breakfast at Joe's, our favorite breakfast place, then headed to the zoo! We saw most of the zoo, fed the birds, then headed over to Mimi and Pawpaws house for a bit. After lunch and nap, we took her to the yogurt shop down the street and chowed down on some yummy frozen yogurt! The rest of the day we took it easy and gave lots of hugs and kisses :) We leave very very soon! I'm so sad to leave her again, but it'll all be worth it in a week when she has a little brother to play with!! Until Moscow... are out of order, not sure how to fix from iPhone....

Friday, August 24, 2012

Love this airport moment post!

I've followed along this blog for quite sometime now....

This precious little boy was brought home recently from Ethiopia. She just posted their airport moment and I just got so teary eyed!! I just can't believe that in one week that'll be us!!! In 24 hours we'll be loading the plane! AND We'll have James in our arms forever in just 3 days!!!! Pray for our journey!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Our Beach Vacation!

Ok took way too long to get this up! But every year we go to Galveston for a Crocker family vacation. We SOOOOOO wished James had been here in time for it, but as you all know, he wasn't. We did have a great time, although he was missed greatly! Hannah had a love-hate relationship with the sand this year. Such a girlie-girl! She hated the sand, but loved to play in it. LOL Here are my favorite pics from the week!
Yep this sums up about the first 10 minutes of each beach visit of the week :)

But she finally got over it, each time!

My love

Sassy Gracie girl!

Loved catching water from the 'Big Pool', aka Ocean

Roy made it down this year as well! Love!

Daddy and Hannah

Abbie diggin in the sand

My favorite pic!!! Finally having fun in the big pool ;)

Love love

A trip to Galveston is never complete without a trip to The Strand...or La Kings Candy/Ice Cream Shop for that matter!

More watering...

Being Miss Priss again!

After Hurricane Ike, the Pier with the old Flagship Hotel was destroyed. This year they finally reopened the pier as a new Pleasure Pier! Not only does it make the Seawall look awesome, it's got some pretty awsome rides on it that I know the kids will enjoy for years to come!!

On the Pier

Hmmmhmmm...Miss Thang, but so sweet :)

Yes that is another watering can...

Showing off her crab walk!

Oooh water balloons!!

Baby Lauren's infectious smile!

The crew on the golfcart....

The icecream man came around the neighborhood, so Pawpaw got the girls bombpops...
Hannah was stained for awhile :)

My lil Minnie Mouse
Pretty Lauren

Proof that Hillary was at the beach with us this year :)

Gracie and Hannah claiming their supplies

And again, no visit to Galveston is complete without dinner at the Fisherman's Warf. My beautiful girl outside while waiting on our table

Me and my girl. Love!