We've been through this before... the grind. We're past the unbelievable excitement of meeting our new child and we've established a daily routine. It will go on for another 2 weeks, at a minimum. Our court date is next Wednesday; then we have a mandatory 10-day waiting period before Katrina becomes ours.
So, here's what usually happens.
We wake up in the hotel (see the photo) around 6am to shower before all the hot water is gone. (Pam learned this the hard way one day.) Breakfast is in the hotel and quite good. It consists of fried eggs, potato pancakes, salami, cheese, bread, yogurt, juice, coffee, and tea. It costs us about $33 per day (for both of us combined) to stay at the hotel and that includes breakfast. The hotel is rather like a bed-and-breakfast. It's an old converted home that has 15 rooms.
After breakfast, Stephen goes down to the open-air flea market for an hour or so of exploring, buying things for Katrina, haggling over Russian antiquities, and shopping for things we need in the hotel room. Then, it's off to the orphanage from 10am to about noon. At noon, we usually go eat at a local restaurant (there aren't very many) and then head to the supermarket. The main supermarket in town is only 2 blocks from the hotel (see the photo). It is on the first floor of the main shopping mall for town. The third floor contains men and women's clothing shops. The second floor has a rather large electronics store and several small miscellaneous stores. At the supermarket we buy food, sundries, and snacks for Katrina we need for the day and perhaps the next day.
After a brisk walk back to the hotel and a little time for rest, we go back to the orphanage from 4pm to 6pm. Then, it's back to the hotel for a light dinner usually consisting of crackers, bread, and cheese.
Bedtime varies but never seems to be too late. Then...
We wake up in the hotel (see the photo) around 6am...
You get the idea. we do the same thing everyday. Pam describes it as being in the movie Groundhog Day.
Our truly bright spot is the time we spend with Katrina. Yesterday we worked on not stealing toys from other children. Today, we worked on not swallowing an entire snack in one gulp. On our first visit after initially meeting Katrina, we brought a banana for her to eat. She went crazy when she saw it and Stephen was barely able to get it peeled before she shoved half of it in her mouth (while gagging), bit down on it, and then proceeded to attempt to swallow it. Of course, she choked terribly and bit Stephen a couple of times while he dug banana out of the back of her throat.
Then, the real battle started. We started putting bite-size portions of snacks on a plate and she could only get one when she had completely finished chewing and swallowing the previous. Well, you can imagine how that went over - not well at all! Just seeing all that food and not being able to hoard it all and stuff it in her mouth was sometimes almost too much for Katrina. She would do her usual temper-tantrum routine, falling on the floor and screaming and crying. But, she eventually figured out that act wasn't getting her any attention or more food. She's not completley comfortable with seeing food on a plate and leaving it while she chews other food, but we'll work on it again tomorrow. (In Groundhog Day, tomorrow can supposedly happen forever. Yikes!!)
In the meantime, enjoy some photos of Katrina.