Yesterday was a very exciting day at the baby house, well, not when I was there, but later in the day. It was the grand re-opening of the baby house. The mayor of Uralsk was going to be there at 2:30 to see the building. The older children put on a little show for him. This was important for me as it meant I couldn't go to the music room as they were practicing with the older children for their performance. I couldn't go into the group classroom as the nurse was giving the younger children in MLM's group an art lesson. So instead MLM and I got to spend time in the isolation room.
The baby house is divided into little units, each unit has it's own sleeping room, eating room, bathroom, playroom, classroom, isolation room, storage room and kitchenette. There might even be more that I don't know about. The nurses don't prepare the food in the kitchenette, but they can make themselves a cup of tea, and they can make snacks for the children in that room. The main meals are prepared in the kitchen and brought to the unit. The isolation room is a little room with 2 cribs, a change table, kiddie tables and chairs and a sink. It is a really small room for so much furniture. The idea is to separate a child who is sick, but not needing to be in the infirmary.
So far I've been into the classroom, playroom, kitchenette, and bathroom. I still want to see the sleeping room and eating room. The baby house was built in a square around a central courtyard, with each of these units accessible by it's own outside door way, allowing for safety in case of fire, but also easy of entrance/exit with the children to the out door space. In addition, each unit is accessible from the main corridor in the lower level. It still feels like a bit of maze as each hallway at the bottom level looks the same.
Each unit is also separate from the other unit, so much so that you don't hear any noise. Supposedly there are 120 children in the baby house, I only see the 8 in MLM group these days, and I rarely hear any others. I have to say though, that many of the rooms have an unused look about them, I've noticed as I walk around the building.
Kendra and I were laughing on the weekend about the moving furniture. Every day when we arrive the furniture has been moved, change, or rearranged in some way. Yesterday the bench in the cubby room was moved and there was a beautiful soft yellow sheer curtain hanging where the bench had been situated. Today there is a bench, a new bench against the wall but behind the sheer curtain. I think the bench is to keep the children away from the radiators, there is only one word for those radiators and it is OUCH! They are very very hot, which is why the baby house is so hot.
MLM has very little expressive language. At his 2 year evaluation his nannies said he used 2 or 3 words. Many of the other children in the room talk away like crazy, but not MLM. But he is beginning to copy all the sounds I make. We were playing a game of copying sounds and I guess I said 'OH MY' well oh my oh my oh my was his next set of sounds. Then I said "OH NO", and then he started saying oh no oh no oh no. The other day Yulia (my interpreter, who is my new friend on Facebook I'll have you know J ) and I heard MLM say 'CA", now in Russian they say the raven, which we were watching says 'CAW" and we were telling MLM that, and moments earlier we'd watched a car drive by and I'd said both MACHINA (the Russian word for car - it isn't spelt that way, but is sounds like that) and CAR. So who knows what MLM was saying, but it is nice to hear him attempting words.
I still don't have a court date. Today my coordinator said the judge would let me know after Independence day holiday. It is a 4 day holiday starting on Thursday (oh but the stores don't shut, Yulia was so surprised that I would even think such a thing LOL). The judges clerk told my coordinator that it would be either the 28 or the 29th. I told my translator I need to know this week as I need to let work know if I am returning to work on January 3rd. My coordinator said if I have tickets to Canada on the 29th than I can go to court when I return. No I'm not doing that. That would mean another 7 to 8 weeks here to finish all the paperwork, I've also heard that the judge doesn't like it when people leave before court, I'm not doing anything the judge might not like. I only want to go home to pass the time while the paperwork is being done. So my coordinator said she would learn for me tomorrow what is happening. The big difficulty is I can't get a flight home between the 30th of December and the 7 of January. Oh, and can you imagine coming home and having to return to go to court. I'd be a complete basket case, no way am I leaving before court.
The last two days also marked a change, as MLM didn't cry when I returned him to his group. He isn't happy, but he doesn't cry and roll on the floor. Yesterday I think the idea of using scissors was the attraction, today he just seemed to be okay. Yulia says it is because he knows I will come back. I had almost an entire hour with him this morning, which was wonderful. One of the nurses said that I was getting the best little boy of the entire group. She wanted to know if I had other children. I must say the staff are always so nice. And the children are always so clean and well looked after.
After the baby house we went to the Ramstore at the Oral Center. It is a shopping center. I needed to buy shorts and t-shirts for MLM. The lady at the store said it was very strange to need shorts and t-shirts in December, luckily she had them. 2 sets of underwear, a T-shirt and a pair of shorts cost me just over 15 dollars. I'm suppose to take MLM's clothes home each day to wash, that way they don't get mixed up with the other children's clothes, but the lady who collects the clothes is there before me and there is never any dirty clothes, and MLM is missing a few of the things I've brought or bought for him. With my sister living in the group home, I am ever so familiar with the disappearance of clothing and take it to be situation normal.
It is overcast and drizzling right now. I try to go for a walk everyday, but it is too slippery today. I go to the baby house tomorrow, but I don't go on Thursday or Friday because it is Independence day, then I will go again on Saturday and on Sunday. I should be in prime location to see the fireworks on Thursday for Independence day, I thanked my coordinator for finding me such a great apartment.
Okay Paka paka for now, I'm off to make lunch and see what is on the television. I also have a great novel I'm reading on my Kobo. Anna and Nadia I can never tell you too how much I adore and am saved by this wonderful thing. It is so much fun going onto the Kobo sight to find books I might want to read. It is like going to the bookstore whenever I want.