Helen & Dave's Most Excellent
The Ukrainian Addition !!!!!!


And Now The Time Is Near...........

Posted by Helen on March 21, 2010 at 4:53 PM

Sunday March 21, 2010: What is sleep anyways?


    Hello all! Yes, we’ve made it being parents for 3 whole days. Dave exclaimed,” I don’t know why I waited soo long to have children, I could just have a mitt full of them”. It has been an exhilarating, sometimes trying, always heartwarming experience so far! It has been particularly trying around sleep time. He’s still pushing the limits and we’re learning from trial and error. And, we now understand the word structure, structure, structure.


     So, how have we’ve been spending our days. Well, we’ve been getting up around 6:30-7am, Dave making breakfast, Oscar eating two healthy adult sized breakfasts, playing and getting out the door to the park by 9am. There is an amazing kids park just a block away and Oscar has enjoyed spending time on the swings, the teeter totter, sliding and climbing on the large structures set up for kids. We can hardly wait to get him home to the beaches where we have benefit of several play parks within easy walking distance. We then try to get back at the house for lunch at noon and an afternoon nap around 1:00 pm, although that has stretched to 2:00 pm.

    Yesterday however, we decided to visit the Ukrainian Children’s Theatre. So we left the apartment around 10 am, having had a morning full of frolic and dance. Of course having already used up lots of energy Oscar was less interested in the walk, even though the weather turned beautiful this weekend and spring was clearly making a decent attempt at fighting the ice and dreary of the long winter the Ukraine felt this year! “Papa, with his arms reached high in the sky cried our little man as he craved both the perspective as well as the warmth of his father’s arms. The walk was beautiful with a warm breeze and few people yet risen to venture the downtown streets, even though the day was likely the best we had seen yet. The walk was just over kilometer and Dave was feeling the new Papa shoulder and back pain, especially navigating the underground street passages with Oscar twitching back and forth in his arms anxious to capture all of these new found wonders. We were not exactly sure where the Puppet Theatre was and were checking our map when a couple of families with kids came walking from where we were and headed with confidence to where we thought we should go! As we reentered the street level near the Friendship Arch (A large concrete arch resembling a rainbow that signifies the friendship between Russia and Ukraine, likely more believable for some more than others?) we started to catch a glimpse of what turned out to be just an amazing journey. The Puppet Theatre was created 83 years ago and relocated in the late nineties to where it is today. Oscar had the amazing experience of enjoying a “Casa Loma" like structure in both size and architecture. The interior was even more impressive with hobbit statues and glass displays with a variety of puppets. I can just imagine what it would have been like to our recently turned 3 year old that was obviously experiencing something very spectacular that kids in the orphanage would get to see. The show started with a elderly man and women who clearly had a way of capturing young children’s attention and was also very engaging starting off by ensuring the audience, made up of a 100 or so kids, greeted the act that was about to come with a loud enough “ Do Bro Ho Ran Ku” ( good morning). It was an amazing Ukrainian puppet show and Oscar was completely mesmerized by the puppetry and other children in the audience. He was occasionally yell out a few Ukrainian words and Dave and I were hoping that they were appropriate, not completely yet grasping the Ukrainian Vocabulary!

     We then made our way back to our first visit to the Golden Arches since we have been to Kiev (even though they are prominently situated at every major intersection!) and Oscar again had a great time. As our friend Peter outlined, McDonalds genetically ensures McNuggets hit every sensory and food element kids crave. Kiev is no exception, he loved it!


     Wendy and Peter invited us to do dinner and at first weren't sure Oscar would be up to it but given he was in a energized mood after a long nap we decidec to make the trek (Ouch again to Dave's back as Oscar wanted to be carried!!) We had a lovely night and Wendy made some delicious Borche and even had gifts of a pair of sun glasses and guitar shirt  for our rockin little guy!


       All in all it really has been an amazing time. Yes we have had a few meltdowns, but we are getting better at understanding either how to handle them or as we learned getting ready for bed the other night, Oscar likes to have clear structure yet some autonomy as to whether he will sleep in bedroom with Papa or fold out coach with mama. This is relative moot given as soon as he is asleep he will be moved to the bedroom at any rate. Only problem is he often starts to do aerobics in his sleep so whoever is in the bed rarely gets much sleep!


      He is a happy, loving little boy who continues to make us laugh and enjoy things we just simply hadn’t bothered focusing on when he was not in our lives! The pigeons eating crumbs tossed out in the early morning, likely on a regular basis by a host of Kievenians, to the buskers belting out their best in varying genres for a few Grievnas!


   So tomorrow we are supposed to recieve his "Red" passport and plan on also calling our contacts at the Canadian Embassy as Tuesday they are going to turn around the rest of the immigration papers, and want to emphasize we really do not need any further surprises!


 We realize we are truly blessed and now very, very, very ready to head home!

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Reply Laura
8:33 AM on March 22, 2010 
We too had trouble getting Daniel to bed at the apartment. I think it is just too overwhelming for them. Stay strong! We found this period (when we had Daniel but were still in Kiev) to be the hardest part, but you will make it! You will be home soon and it will all seem like a dream. :o) Congratulations!!!!! Can't wait to meet your little man. :o)
Reply Astrid Otto
1:49 PM on March 22, 2010 
I love Dave's line, "I could just have a mitt full of them." I think Oscar found the world's most perfect parents to match his effervescent personality. I will cross all fingers and toes for an uneventful flight home for all of you. Mission accomplished!
Reply Marlis McLarnon
9:24 PM on March 22, 2010 
Wow! How exciting that you are almost on your way back to Canada with your new beautiful little boy. He will bring such joy and dimension to your lives! Best of luck on your journey home!