Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Hello Hyatt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


We made it to Almaty.  We thought things were going to be rough with Jonathan because of the plane ride but also the fact that it coincided nicely with bedtime.  It started out fine and then right before we took off he started to scream.  The plane of course was packed with a bunch of business travelers and I was starting to sweat thinking he was going to cry the entire trip.  My main goal was to get him to suck on the bottle in case it bothered his ears and at first he wanted nothing to do with that.  We put him by the window and he stopped crying and just watched the clouds go by.   I got him to take the bottle again and in about 5 minutes he was out like a light and slept throughout the flight, at the airport in Almaty, all the way to the hotel where we plopped him in a CRIB!!  It was great.  Let’s hope future travels go similarly.


The Hyatt by the way is GREAT!!!  Our hotel room is expensive-about $280 a night but the splurge seems worth it at this point.  Rachael will be happy because there is American food for breakfast so her world suddenly got brighter. 


We all had a good night’s sleep and Jonathan slept until 5:15 and but entertained himself in his crib until almost 6:00 a.m.  Because we are in one room, when he gets up---everyone gets up. 


We got ready, fed Jonathan and set out to enjoy our American breakfast buffet before heading off to the SOS International Clinic for Jonathan’s medical exam. 


Eggs, bacon, toast, fruit and juice—boy was it delicious…….until the bill came.  Bryan told Rachael to savor it because those golden eggs cost us a whopping $78.  You read that right.  Unbelievable.  Now all of you who know Bryan know that is a recipe for grumpiness right there, but at this point he was in the “that was good but….” Stage.  We needed a bottle of water to take with us to the clinic and Bryan came back really irritated that it cost $5 mostly but then top it off with they didn’t have enough change in the till so they just shorted him instead.  That started the ball rolling. 


The SOS clinic was pretty easy.  They took Jonathan’s height and weight and then we saw the doctor for the once over.  He was 19.7 lbs and is 28 inches long.  The Dr. said he looked healthy but that he recommends having him checked out by our pediatrician at home.  We already knew that and have an appointment with Dr. Halbur on August 1st for the real once over. 


We got back to the hotel around noon and by this time Jonathan had fallen asleep in the van so I put him and myself down for a nap while Bryan and Rachael went to the GROS store(local grocery store)for some food for Jonathan and snacks for us.  They came back with pop, water, baby food and Domino Donuts (in a box much like or exactly like Dunkin Donuts.)  So much for the snacks.   Luckily while selecting the baby food, they decided NOT to purchase the kind with Rabbit meat in it.  Good news for little Jonathan.  I was ready for a nice cold Coca Cola so Bryan went on the hunt for the ice machine.  He came back to the room to tell me that there were no ice machines but you could in fact get ice-you just had to PAY for it.  Uh oh.   So now between breakfast, the bottle of water, tipping the guy for bringing an iron to the room and now the small bowl of ice-you can about imagine how this is going. 


We made a meal of Domino donuts and yogurt and headed to the pool.  Rachael and Bryan enjoyed swimming and I had fun easing Jonathan into the water.  He didn’t like it at first but gradually by the end of our time, he was loving it and splashing everyone in his path. 


We all got cleaned up and headed out to find some “International” food.   We walked and we walked-even went into a restaurant and sat down, looked at the menus and got up and left before we ended back at-you guessed it-the hotel.  We decided we would endure the prices one more day, eat light and develop a game plan for the following days in Almaty.  We found an outside place to eat on hotel property where they had a kids menu.  Rachael had chicken nuggets and smiley fries with apple juice, Bryan and I shared a pizza and each got a coke, Jonathan had mashed potatoes.  Grand total-8,500 tenge which was only slightly less than breakfast. 


I gave Bryan two aspirin and put him to bed after we decided that our plan of attack was going to be the grocery store and food we can eat in our room. 


We all went to bed at 8:30 tonight and now I’m up in the middle of the night typing away on the floor in the bathroom.  Great writing happens in the bathroom you know. 


Tomorrow, we head to our final adoption destination.  The United States Embassy.  We aren’t sure what to expect there but aren’t anticipating anything difficult.  We tried to get an earlier flight home but it seems we can make one leg of our journey but not both so we are just going to stay put until Sunday. 


Hope all is well in your world.  Jonathan is doing GREAT and Bryan thinks he is becoming a mama’s boy.  Rachael is a fabulous big sister and incredibly helpful.  I’m not sure we could do it without her.  It is fun to say things like “the kids”.  We look forward to seeing everyone soon. 


Here are a few pictures from today. 



Outside the SOS Clinic.  First of two requirements before we head home.  Clean bill of health!



Jonathan's first experience at the pool-what do you think?



After he saw how much fun Bryan and Rachael were having he decided it wasn't so bad afterall.