The Boccini Family
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November 16, 2008

Before I sprung Emilia from the baby house, I was given her daily schedule, which was quite specific and strict.  Every baby in the group basically did the exact same thing at the exact same time every day.

I have been trying very hard to keep Emilia to that same schedule, but she has a mind of her own and sometimes wakes up earlier than I’d want and nods off later than expected.  Still, I feel it’s important to give her some parameters, even if they will be tweaked when we finally get home.
Kati had heard of a mall across town, so we decided to check it out.   Much to my surprise, I had actually been there with Aliya during the earlier part of my trip and didn’t think it offered very impressive shops.  Basically, it was an indoor flea market, but we didn’t see anything of quality that we liked.  It was a quick trip. 

We then headed back to our usual stomping grounds, the Atrium Mall and the huge bazaar.  Kati tried to take a picture in the lobby of the mall, but a security guard swooped in and stopped her.  We had no idea why he had a problem with photography, but we felt it was not wise to argue, particularly in a different language.  Sometimes it’s best to move on.

Emilia fell asleep in my carrier, as we walked along looking at the various stalls at the bazaar. Personally, I think watching the people at the bazaar is much more interesting than actually shopping there. I will probably head back there one more time before I leave Uralsk.

It is surprising to learn that very few things sold in Kazakhstan are actually made here.  I have been searching for genuine items from Kaz, but they are nearly impossible to find.  Everything seems to come from China, which is  Kaz’s neighbor to the east. Many other items here, such as the traditional wooden stacking dolls (the ones that you keep opening and finding a smaller doll inside), are from Russia, whose border is only a few hour’s drive from Uralsk.

I’ve also noticed that there are not many items sold here that mention the actual name of the town. For example, you can’t find mugs, t-shirts or magnets that say Uralsk or even Kazakhstan.  Perhaps things are different in Almaty or Astana, the capital, because these are bigger cities and probably attract more tourists.

When we returned from shopping I put Emilia in her stroller (there is no other place to have her sit, except the bed or my lap), and we had fun making funny sounds.  I give her a million kisses a day and believe I have taught her to smack her lips, as if she’s giving a kiss.  Of course, she probably doesn’t realize this is giving a kiss, but she seems to like the sound, so she repeats it often.  I took Emilia’s picture today when she was making her various sound effects, but it was impossible to catch her mid pucker. Still, I love this picture, as it clearly shows Em having a great time.

Emilia is fast asleep right now, and I’m relieved. She is having a terrible time teething and can go from happy baby to crabby cakes in the blink of an eye.  I know teething is something every child experiences, but it’s sad to see her fretting and drooling incessantly.  I can see buds of teeth, but they haven’t pushed through yet.  I’m hoping they appear soon, as they will only add to her pretty smile.

Em Having a Giggle