Today is Maia’s 17 month birthday! Happy Birthday Maia! :) I met you one month ago today, when you were 16 months old! I look forward to your 18th month birthday... at home!
Today we were busy!! This morning, we met up with Catalina and Calin and went for coffee at the Black Jack café. We don’t usually have to leave the house as early as that, it was almost 10:00 a.m., and it was quite chilly. We're not sure if that's because it was earlier than normal or colder than it has been, but either way, it was nippy! The temperature display said it was -8 degrees Celsius. Yup, chilly! We went to the Black Jack and had some yummy lattes and chatted. It was great to get to talk to them some more and learn more about them! We had a great time.
We got back to the apartment about 1 minute before Masha arrived to take us shopping. Our days are numbered and we still have things to get! First, Masha and Sasha took us to a meat store to choose some sausages. They recommended some with ketchup in them, so we tried those. Also, we bought some salami and Colby and Swiss cheese. Also, we bought what they call bacon, but it is beef and looks more like a piece of ham, so we’ll have to make that and see what it is! It’s not like bacon as we know it or even Canadian bacon – so we’ll get back to you on what it is!
Then we headed to the large flea market to look at many items. First, we were on a mission to find a stroller to give to the baby room where Maia has been staying. Since I asked what they needed/wanted most for that room, they requested a stroller. They only have one (or maybe it’s two) really nice ones in that room and they have about 10 children, so they needed more! Mom and I also thought they needed a new swing, but we really didn’t see many and they are different than in the U.S. so I just wasn’t sure about that. So, we ended up with a stroller and then we went and bought some toys for the room as well. We bought three cute toys for that age range to leave for the room.
This is the stroller for the baby room:
The above are the toys we bought to leave for the babies in the baby room.
THEN, I bought an umbrella stroller that we will have for Maia. This way, we can stroll her around Almaty when we are there, as well as around the airports on our way home. I brought a pouch carrier for her from home, but I can’t imagine carrying her for 24+ hours when we travel home, let alone all over Almaty for a few days. (I thought I might be getting a 7 month old… she’s 17 months old!!)
Here is the picture of Maia's stroller with her snowsuit and coat waiting for her. It looks huge - but it isn't as big as it looks.
We had to get a snow suit for Maia since we’ll be breaking her out of the baby house on Thursday. We ended up with a three piece set… Snowpants with the shoulder straps/bib to keep them up. A winter coat with a zip out vest. It’ll be nice and warm while we are still here in Petropavlovsk and then we can use the appropriate number of layers for the coat when in Almaty, and finally home. We still need to get her boots and a scarf, but we’re getting there! (I brought a hat and mittens from home for her.) We also bought her two more sweaters just to be sure we have enough layers for her once we have her next week. I know we have found it hot here, but she is used to being wrapped up, so we need to make sure we don’t make her cold! Mom liked one of the sweaters, and I liked the other, so I did what any red-blooded American would do. I bought both. For those of you that know us well – you’ll be able to pick in a second which was my fave and which was mom’s. Guesses anyone?
This is entry #1.....This is entry #2...
I also bought myself a hat and scarf set. They are very nice, very warm and very pretty. I know it won’t be as cold at home as it is here (ever!), but they will last me a long time, and I’ll always be able to remember my trip to Petropavlovsk when I wear them, specifically!
We also found a few stickers that I wanted for my scrapbook. They sell those ‘car stickers’ that say like VB for Virginia Beach, or whatever. Here, they are KZ stickers. I don’t have one on my car, but I had to get one to take home! Also, we bought flag stickers and the symbol of Kazakhstan so I can put them in her scrapbook. Fun!
Then we did our veggie shopping and then our candy shopping in the 'market' section! We also found some Nan which we ate with cheese and salami for lunch when we got home. It was delicious. Anyway – I think today we can truly say we shopped till we dropped! We were all hungry when we headed home and ready for some of that yummy food we had just bought! Then of course, we had to try some of the new candies we had gotten as well. Delish!
Anyway – it was really neat to buy all this stuff for Maia today. I know I had shopped some before since I’ve been here, but today really brought it home! I got pretty emotional (teary) and excited when we were buying her snow suit. For some reason, that made it really REAL! I just can’t wait to buy her some shoes – that’s my all time favorite thing to buy for little girls (and myself!!) We will need to buy some food and that will be exciting too!! It’s getting close, and it’s getting real!!
On a different topic - The big news of the day.... Mom did give up on that puzzle! She has started one I did last week. She DID pack up the other one as if to save it. I told her if she didn’t throw it away, I would when she went to bed. I haven’t yet… but I will. It is NOT going home with us. Dumb puzzle.
Today – Mom and I tried to list the 5 things we each miss most. I haven’t really thought about it (because it makes you miss home all the more!) but it was funny to hear what made up our top 5’s. (Besides people we love, of course!!) I think we’re getting a little sillier the longer we are here. A little slap-happy maybe. We came up with some funny things. What 5 things do YOU ALL think you’d miss MOST if you were away from home and America for 2 months?