November 18, 2008
Emilia and I awakened to wet-slicked roads and overcast skies and decided that this was a day to stay indoors. The weather is actually rather warm, but the grey sky is quite depressing. I hope I can see brilliant sunshine before we leave Uralsk for Almaty on Thursday morning.
I have been in Uralsk over a month and can’t believe Emilia and I have one more full day here. I plan to make it a great one for both of us.
Today Emilia and I headed to the gym. Although Em wanted to do some bench presses and run on the treadmill, I felt it was better for me to simply put a blanket on the floor, pull out her toys and play for awhile on the exercise mat. We needed a change of pace from our room, and the gym was vacant. The manager’s wife, Elizabeth, and her adorable daughter, Sophia, joined us, and we had a nice time chatting. I really have met the nicest people here.
Emilia and I continue to get closer and closer each day, and I delight in her expressions and behaviors. Every now and then she plays the air guitar, strumming her right hand down by her waist and extending her left arm and wiggling her fingers. It’s hysterical, and I’m not really sure why she does this and only on one side. It makes me think she’ll be right-handed. I wish I could capture a picture of this, but you need to see the wiggling fingers to get the full effect.
Em also has a funny way of playing with her pacifier in her mouth. She flips the bottom part in, so it makes her bottom lip project out as if she’s hiding a plate in there. I’ve seen kids do this with their retainers and my paternal grandmother flip her dentures in and out (scaring me to death as a child!), but I’ve never seen a baby twist and turn her pacifier with such flair. Today it made me laugh so hard, I had tears in my eyes. Em simply stared at me, as if I was an incredibly silly mommy for laughing at nothing.
One part of my day that is always entertaining is giving Emilia a bath. I wish I could take pictures at the same time I’m bathing her, but I need to keep a tight grip. The bathroom doesn’t have a tub, so I have to bathe Em in the sink, which is not a perfect shape or size for bathing an infant. Lucky for me, Emilia seems to like the water and is very cooperative when I’m bathing her. Yet, she still slips and slides all over the place, as if she’s on ice skates. She takes it all in stride and seems to be calmed by the warm water. I can’t wait to bathe her in a real bathtub, where we can splash around a bit with her yellow rubber ducky (yes, I already have one for her!).
I am going to attempt to pack some of my things tonight, as I expect I’ll be quite busy tomorrow. Aliya, Kati, Emilia and I have plans to see a museum in the morning, and we’re getting together in the evening for a final dinner before our departure. We want to soak up as much of Uralsk as we can before our morning flight.