First of all, I should mention that our regular phones work!! So I am able to get texts again. So send as many as you want because they are free! I love them all, I just won't reply much because it is 50 cents to send.
Also before I talk about today, I forgot to mention something else from yesterday. At the end of our time at HOH, we were able to feed Allie. Considering I still had puke all over me, Adam sat down with her. She was eating some type of potato mush. He starts feeding her and the nanny mentions something to Tsegay (the director) in Amharic. Tsegay says, "Adam, the nanny would like to show you how she feeds Allie." We all laughed and Adam handed Allie back over to the nanny. It reminded us of the times the boys were in the NICU and we were definitely not in control. The nanny takes Allie and just shovels that food into her mouth with perfection, and then she hands her back. It must have been driving her crazy to sit there and watch Adam slowly feed Allie bits at a time. Oh yeah, and they gave us a glass of water for Allie to drink. Yep, our 7 MONTH OLD BABY can drink from a glass. Amazing.
Anyway, back to today. I have to admit that yesterday was slightly overwhelming. The language barrier was difficult. Our tiny, tiny room was hard. When I got puked on and I had no way of cleaning myself up nor did I know how to get my clothes washed was hard. Trying to figure out how to call a driver to take/get us was difficult. Not knowing how to eat dinner or go to the market, etc., was also overwhelming. Adam feels like he isn't out of his comfort zone enough. Yesterday, I felt really, really out of my comfort zone. Today, I woke up feeling great. Everything felt natural. The language barrier wasn't hard because the guide at the guest house speaks great English. We were also with other families and not trying to figure everything out by ourselves. I felt at peace when I woke up. When we had Allie today, it felt so natural. Nothing was overwhelming. Today was a great day.
Our day started at 4:30 a.m. when we were woken up by the Islamic church. In Addis, Sunday is the day of prayer and rest. From 4:30 until after we left at 9 a.m., the Islamic church had singing and praying over the PA. In addition, there were dogs barking, cats meowing, rooster crowing, and what we thought were monkeys making noise. Evidently it wasn't monkeys but I have no idea what it was instead. The FAA doesn't regulate plane noise/speed in Addis, so it sounded like planes were flying right outside our window. Thank you Tylenol PM. Although I kept waking up for the next few hours, I was able to go right back to sleep. The family staying here with us was not so lucky, and they just flew in late last night so they are dealing with jet lag too.
We had scrambled eggs and fresh squeezed pineapple juice for breakfast. We then went to HOH to see Allie. It was just so natural. We held her and played with her for hours. There were 6 other families who got to see their children for the first time. The room was crowded but it was so neat to see all the babies and get to know all of the families. We stayed there until about noon. Allie was great the whole time. We learned that her favorite things are her two middle fingers. She sucks on them so hard. Tsegay said she has always done that. Allie smiled so much. I even got her to laugh a few times when I whispered in her ear. She is a really, really happy baby. At noon we were going back to the guest house for lunch, and it was hard to give her back to the nanny -- even for just 3 hours. I don't know how we are going to leave on Thursday.
We get back to the guest house for some yummy pasta, really good salad, and a fruit smoothie. The staff at the guest house wait on us hand and foot. They just want to please us. The food is really good, too. The other family had to take their son to the doctor, and they came back at lunchtime. It was interesting to hear about their visit to the doctor. The equipment is straight from the 1940s. Kind of scary.
The guide at the guest house walks us over to the market. We get some snacks and drinks. The weather is in the 70s but he said that it is hotter than normal and everyone is inside because they are so hot. The weather feels great, and the breeze is nice. We definitely notice the high altitude. No matter if we walk slow or run, going up 3 flights of stairs to our room is difficult. I need a few minutes for my heart to stop racing and for me to catch my breath. When we walked to the store, it was uphill and you could really feel how difficult it is to breathe.
At 3, we headed back to the guest house. When the nanny brought in Allie, she just smiled huge as soon as she saw us. Every time we look at her, she just smiles big. We played with her for another 3 hours. She started to get tired and we heard her whine a little for the first time. It is the cutest little high pitched whine. She will let out one little whine, wrinkle her brow, and flash you the saddest brown eyes you have ever seen. Then, that one little whine turns back into a smile. She talked and talked and talked. I think she was putting on a show for everyone in the room. She also demonstrated how she can take off her sock and put her toes in her mouth. Yummy. At the end of the day, we laid her on the couch. She showed us how she can roll over on her belly really easy. She rolled over and just laid still. I started rubbing her back and she fell asleep in no time. A 6, we woke her up and gave her back to her nanny.
After we came back to the guest house, we had an Ethiopian dinner. It was tibs (sp?). Basically it was beef with sweet onions and peppers. Then we had rice, potatoes, and bottled Sprite/Coke. We talked with the other family here for about an hour and then we headed back to our room to call it a night.
I can't wait until we get to see Allie tomorrow. She doesn't feel new, she feels natural. It is neat to see how much more she is smiling and talking when we thought she already did a lot in the beginning. She is definitely a happy little girl.
Thank you for all of the well wishes. I read them all and they make me smile!