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September 22, 2006

Azel to the Rescue!

Yesterday was a nightmare, but things are beginning to settle back into a comfortable -- and MUCH safer -- routine.  Last night we had to move to the only place we could find -- which ended up being a small room in an older hotel in Kokshetau.  The room was kind of dirty and rough, but at least we were in a safer part of the city.  Neither Dave nor I had slept much the night before last and we were both exhausted, so I think we could've slept pretty much anywhere!

Dave woke me up this morning with a cup of instant coffee and singing Happy Birthday.  I, however, was not prepared to be happy.  I was still mad and frankly a little disgusted with our current state of affairs.  Dave on the other hand was more prepared to put his version of a positive spin on things which went like this:  "thirteen more days.... thirteen more days... just thirteen more days...."

So we both started the day with our own lousy frames of mind.  Azel quickly turned things around for us though.  She met me at the door with a birthday present of chocolates and a beautiful scarf.  Okay, so maybe I'm getting a little happier...

I don't think I've mentioned it before, but there's a gas station that we stop at every day on the way to the baby house.  It's becoming a favorite place because that's where we keep our steady supply of junk food!  Today we got packages of apple-filled croissants for my birthday breakfast.  Let me tell you -- you haven't lived until you've had croissants and Red Bull while driving down an incredibly bumpy road at 85 mph on the way to see your kids.  Oh yeah.  The day's definitely looking up.

When we got to the baby house neither girl was particularly happy to see us.  We began visiting with them in the music room today, which is a much bigger room, but now we're sharing the room with another family who's visiting with their future daughter.  I think the change in the situation completely freaked them out.  I had two wild children on my hands today.  I ended up putting Maggie-Vera in time-out twice today!  I can't believe it, but I'm getting very good at the stern face and the serious tone of voice.  I'm also learning not to get terribly excited when Ryn-Alina does her classic knee-drop, spin, back flop followed by the resounding head crash into the floor.  That's her version of a temper tantrum, and today we had a couple of them.  Hmmm... a little bumpy spot in my otherwise improving day.

When we got back to the hotel Azel talked to the director of the hotel and got us moved into a beautiful suite.  I'm not sure how she did it, but the new place is absolutely charming!  It's hard to believe this room is even in the same hotel.  And it gets better...

As another gift for my birthday, Azel took us to her mother's cafe which -- as luck has it -- is in the building right next door to the hotel. Her mother made us a feast of some of my very favorite foods, starting with a simple cabbage salad that I love, followed by a homemade chicken noodle soup.  I thought that was a wonderful lunch, but then they brought out the main course which was maybe the best meat loaf and mashed potatoes I've ever had.  Before we were through Dave and I were both so full we thought we would explode!  And her mother is adorable and so, so sweet!  Her cafe is definitely going to be our new favorite place to eat.

So -- rough start to the day but definitely a Happy, Happy Birthday to Mommy!!