Wednesday, July 06, 2005

July 6th

We went to bed last night with no water and awoke to the same condition this morning. I'm very discouraged: On the heels of the power problem on Sunday and no cold water on Monday, I've had my fill of utility issues for one week. Bob and I are heading for the gym, so I pack a bag to shower there....

When we arrive, the woman at the front desk spots my bag and communicates to me they have no water either. Somehow, I feel better knowing it's not just the hotel. Bob and I work out and play ping-pong. He gets the better of me again today 6-3 and now leads 45-41 overall.

Back at the hotel, still no water: can't shower, can't flush but can brush our teeth since we don't use tap water for that. I dump bottled water over my head for a "shower" - amazing how cold water at room temperature feels when dumped over one's head. Alli and I journal, read and eat breakfast - yogurt and bananas - before Beth and Bob knock at 12:15.

It's alternately sunny and cloudy/threatening on the walk to the baby home. At one point, a few big drops have us considering breaking out the umbrellas if not looking for a bus, but we walk on and make it there high and dry. The kids are outside: Considering the clouds, cool temperature and threat of rain, this is surprising. As I've mentioned earlier, however, we don't have the kids inside or outside vis-a-vis the weather thing quite figured out yet....

Molly is eating when I arrive. I busy myself playing with three other children in the playpen while the care-giver finishes giving Molly her lunch and dressing her. The little ones enjoy holding onto my fingers while they stand, and one takes a shining to my watch. Bottom line: They enjoy a little extra attention whenever they can get it, which despite the best efforts of the care-givers is not often enough. Molly's dressed in long pants, long-sleeved top, coat and hat with ear flaps! She looks very cute, if somewhat less mobile than usual. It begins to rain as we prepare to move from the outside room to the marbel room, so her care-giver throws a blanket over the two of us.

Bob and Beth are under their umbrella with Nicholas, then Bob goes back for Alli and Aidan. The boys are bundled in long-sleeved/long-pants sleepers, flannel pants and coats with caps. It's NOT cold, just cooler than it has been, but the children are always dressed on the warm side of cautious.

With everybody playing nicely in the marble room and the rest of the children outside, Bob and I sneak away to videotape the kids' indoor accommodations. Aidan's room is locked at first, but Mama Galena, his head care-giver, unlocks the door for us and agrees to let us film (she would likely not agree - and we would not ask - if the children were around, as taking photos or filming other children is strongly discouraged). I film the general play/eating area and the sleeping room as well as the wash room, etc. I do the same in Molly's room and find our new friend Cate there with the little boy she hopes to adopt (Daniel). We visit briefly and I take a picture of them with her camera.

Aidan's having another good day. He's happy sitting with either one of us or crawling around and playing. While I'm gone, Alli reports, he talks animatedly to Beth's shirt; after I return, he cracks himself up running his fingers through the carpet. Surprisingly, Molly fusses a bit, so it's off to the Snuggli for her. Alli does the honors, and they return just as we are packing up for the day. Everyone is bundled for the return trip to the outdoors. At the care-giver's direction, I leave Molly in the playpen, and Alli puts Aidan in his crib.

We bus home with Olesya, then Alli and I head to the internet cafe. Dana is there, as are Cate and her facilitator Zhanat, and Bob & Beth join us momentarily. Alli and I Blog - July 4 & 5 - and read/answer e-mail. It's good to hear from Kristen....

Dinner with Dana @ 6. We are determined to try Baron Munchausen's again. Dana called during the day and received assurances they would open at six. It's raining hard enough for umbrellas as we set out for the block-and-a-half walk and continues to rain while we stand on the porch outside the locked door of the restaurant at 6:10. We knock twice: no answer, though we can see employees setting tables. Dana calls on her cell and tells them we are waiting in the rain. The reply: We are setting tables and will open when we are finished. See you later Baron Munchausen: We're off to the Russian Pub. Beth starts the meal by spilling her entire glass of Coke in my lap, but other wise we enjoy another nice meal (this time with live music: a pianist and a viola player) @ one of our favorite places.

We walk Dana half-way and return to the hotel to find water - cold, certainly, and the first trickle of warm. Alli reads, I sleep through a Bundesliga match - Bremen v Rostock - then wake for Barcelona v Racing and a little bit of journaling. Outside there is thunder, lightning - and fireworks(!) following a political rally on the mall across the street. I wake Alli for the fireworks, then she gets a few cookies and goes back to sleep. Bob and I are going to the gym tomorrow morning, as Friday's schedule has been changed to include a morning visit with the kids ( 8 AM for the boys and 8:15 for the princess) in light of our afternoon court times (2 & 3 PM). It's lights out at midnight.

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