The Daily Grind

It’s a chilly, rainy and overcast day in Kokshetau.  But it was sunny, warm and bright in Room #4 of the Kokshetau Children’s Hospital. 



I walked in today and annabelly rolled over on her belly to look at me as I unloaded the gear.  Every day I bring a diaper bag (world’s coolest diaper bag I may add, gift of the merchants) filled with toys, a blanket, a new outfit, my many electronic recording devices (so that I may embarrass Annabelly later in life by bringing out her naked butt pictures and presenting them in surround sound), and an Ipod plus speakers, for crooning a little john Denver or in today’s case, queen (nothing lulls a baby to sleep like “We will, we will Rock you”)




She was a rolling over fool today.  being able to play on the ground has helped so much.  Plus today was the first day she was really interested in the toys I’ve brought.  I think up until now, she was fascinated by this new person and by the new person’s frantic antics.  Now, we’re settling down into more of a routine and she has a moment to catch her breath, look around and discover the “friends of all sizes” soft book that squeaks and the baby Einstein rattles.


She’d already been given her bottle when I arrived so that inevitably means I only have an hour to play with her before she falls asleep. So for an hour, she practiced rolling over, doing tummy time and a few high flying experiences.


Then, as expected, she began nodding her head as the Goo Goo Dolls “better Days” (Margaret’s last favorite song) came on the ipod.  I laid her on the mattress on the floor and for an hour and a half she was zonked out.  I took cute pics and a little video.  For my friend Trish P. – I took your advice about not taking too much video of the kiddo sleeping, so I only took a few seconds worth!! She’s cute as Button, but I couldn’t catch her snoring (which she actually does from time to time).  Meanwhile, after I had exhausted all means of electronic surveillance of her sleeping, I just lay down beside her and rested too.





Day 8_files\Sleeping Best.MOV (click for quick time movie)



On other topics, a few people have asked what I do with my day.  So here is the blow by blow.  Better fasten your seatbelts, it’s a pretty wild ride.


7am: wake up and check email

8am: shower. Unless no water as has been increasingly common of late.

8:15: wander 400 sq foot apartment hoping for a diversion

8:20: make tea, wish desperately for a starbucks grande soy chai latte.

8:30: stare idly out the window and look for a clue to weather.  Do I wear Capri pants or Capri pants today?

8:40: make bed

8:41: wander 400 sq foot apartment hoping for a diversion

8:42: Read the label on my Luna Protein bar.  Twice.

8:45: Write and upload journal entry from previous day’s visit

9:15: wash dishes and straighten up 400 sq foot apartment

10:00: leave for hospital

12:00 – 12:30 depart hospital

12:45: if I’m lucky I have shopping to do, go to viola market and try to linger over the cucumbers

1:15: Return “home” and wander through apartment to see if anything has changed

1:16: download photos from visit to computer deleting all photos that include a double chin on me….

1:30: make some sort of lunch (today for example I had a salad of tomatoes, cucumber and cheese, 2 hard boiled eggs and a few shortbread cookies)

1:40: Eat Lunch in front of computer DVD of highly intellectual fare – currently going through Buffy the Vampire Slayer seasons 1 – 7

3:30: Attempt to build a model of the Eiffel tower using tongue depressors and super glue, both of which were left in bathroom by previous tenant

4:00: play solitaire on the computer

4:05: play free cell on the computer

4:15 onwards: Feel guilty about not filling time doing Yoga or work

4:45: try to read one of the incredibly bad books left behind by previous tenants, although they barely qualify as plane/beach/bored senseless reading as are really, really bad

4:46: Start to wonder about previous tenant – tongue depressors, super glue and bad novels….hmmm…... What do you think?

6pm:  check email again before expensive internet rates kick in (7-11 pm rates double or triple)

7pm:  wonder aloud if that is indeed a dot matrix printer I hear chugging along in the upstairs apartment

7:05: make dinner (toasted bread with melted cheese and tomatoes)

7:15: Eat dinner

7:30: plump pillows on couch

7:31: pack diaper bag with new outfit for next day visit

7:35: watch another episode of buffy’s great adventures

8:30: try to figure out baby bjorn – get tangled up and put it on sideways which thankfully takes a full 20 minutes to correct. I definitely needed my engineer sister for this task.

8:50: Wonder if I can got to sleep this early

9:00: Try and can’t go to sleep this early

9:05: Listen to the usual banging on my front door. This happens every couple of nights. The first couple of days it freaked me out but now I am used to it. (Nothing like a steel front door to make a girl feel snug in her apartment.)  When I first arrived, Oleg warned me not to answer the door unless I got a call from him first saying he was coming up (no one else would be coming to visit.) and I have obeyed that. Since they haven’t invented peepholes in the doors here yet, who knows who might be on the other side?

9:15: listen to Memoirs of a geisha audio book on my Ipod

9:30: Get irritated with audio book and reach for another really bad novel

9:36: gasp in disbelief as the sounds of a badly played accordion come through from the apartment above.  Does anyone actually still play the accordion?  Could it be a movie (say, fiddler on the roof)?  But no movie accordion would be that badly played, surely. (don’t call me Shirley) 

9:38:  Realize I heard the dot matrix printer coming from upstairs and now the accordion. Briefly fantasize that if I were in the Buffy show, the person upstairs would be stuck in a time warp, only able to communicate through outdated technology and musical instruments…..

9:40: pick up a left behind copy of Motorcross Madness Magazine hoping it will lull me into a somnolent mood. 

9:41: Wonder aloud at the sub culture of motorcross and toss magazine aside after discovering an ad for motorcross imprinted linoleum in the back pages

9:50: Reorganize toiletries in bathroom to be time sequenced (ie first brush teeth so toothpaste on top shelf, then shower so shampoo on second shelf…)

10:00 – 11:00 pm: lie in bed and try to avoid all thoughts so I can fall asleep

About 11:00 finally fall asleep

Rinse and repeat as needed.