Today was our second day visiting Alyona. I asked Alla to spell Alyona for us and she said it is spelled Алёна. That is like Alena, with the umlaut over the e. Do you call it an umlaut in Russian? I do not know. I like the spelling Alyona better, since it makes it clear that it is a different prononciation than Elena or Alina. For those of you who asked, you pronounce it like Ah-loh-na.
Our visit today was not bad. First thing, I got to feed her. We were bonding over it, which was nice. I was mirroring her and opening my mouth wide to get her to. She was having a good time doing that. She had a bowl of porridge/oatmeal with meat added, an egg from some kind of small bird– not chicken and some tea. She said that she did not like the porridge or the egg, but quickly ate both of them.
We played with her for awhile inside. We showed her the photo album. She was curious, and seemed like the idea that she has a “sistra” (sister) and “brat” (brother– pronounced like the food, not a naughty child).
After awhile, we went to play outside. She was SO excited. She kept asking, “will Papa come outside? will Mama come outside? will Alla come outside? Maybe Masha is already out on the playground. Do you think Masha is already out on the playground?” Over and over again, while jumping up and down.
Masha was not out at the playground when we first got there, so we played for awhile. Check out the playground equipment…
After a short while, “Peter”(Petrushka?) came out with his nanny and then Masha followed. They are both orphans who live in the hospital as well.
The children and their nannies. I think Masha is the same little one we see on Alyona’s floor at the hospital. If so, she is ADORABLE.
We tried to play outside for awhile. Alyona’s nanny is a bit of a helicopter nanny… she hovers or is holding her hand the whole time. She is very sweet, but it makes it hard for us to interact with her.
We went back and played inside for a little while more. It was nothing exciting. Alyona just yells at us in Russian and it is so frustrating if Alla is not right there to translate. It reminds me a lot of a certain little boy who used to yell at us in Russian. We try to distract her and come up with different games, but it is difficult in the teeny tiny little room that we are in.
I picked her up to look at her reflect on the mirror on the door. She knocked on the door and began to act our a Russian fairy tale where a wolf knocks on the door of a mouse’s house, the mouse opens the door and then the wolf eats the mouse? She was the wolf, her nanny was the mouse.
At the end of our visit, Alla gave us some medical paperwork translated into English. It is from last October. We will be getting the rest of the medical updates on Friday. I guess these papers were put together and translated because they thought she might get surgery in Belgium, which never happened. I read through what I could understand. Interestingly enough, the height and weight we got for her is from LAST OCTOBER. It is over a year old. We thought she weighed quite a bit more than that. She seems right in between Reed and Lena size-wise to us, which means she must be pretty average. Sorry, Little Lena, you are still going to be the family peanut.
After our visit, we were going to go to Pushkin Fine Art Museum, at Alla’s recommendation. We pulled up to the museum and there was a huge line. I guess they have some special Italian exhibition right now. Instead, we went to the Kremlin. We had walked by it by it, but not gone inside.
I can’t say that I would recommend it. We had tickets for the Cathedrals, which I did not understand. I expected more history, not walking around more cathedrals. I would recommend either St. Basil’s OR the Kremlin, and the Kremlin is a better choice if Alla buys tickets for you. It is twice the price for foreigns as for Russians, so Alla got us Russian tickets. St. Basil’s was just a bit less expensive.
I am sure I am totally dumbing-down the experience of the Kremlin. I think maybe we would have enjoyed it more with an audio tour? Or a real tour guide? We used a little pocket guide, but it is hard to read and walk. And, we were both cold, tired and hungry.
We drove by this monument today… we both were amused by it. It seems a bit out of place and looks like a huge pirate ship from far away! It is actually a monument to Peter the Great and the Russian navies. Pretty awesome monument, but all I can think of is Captain Hook.