We made it to Moscow although I am not sure that I am exactly alive. Pickle certainly is. He is running around our hotel room saying, “Mama, all done.” CS is in the shower at the moment. He still calls him Mama.
So where to begin…
At about 3:45 CS started taking the suitcases downstairs while Pickle whined at me. He is having Daddy separation anxiety at the moment. We finally went down the elevator saying goodbye to the Markuel. While we were waiting for Lena and Andrei we started to smell this beautiful aroma. Actually it was more like putrid poo. Ahh that could only be our son’s brand. Seeing as we had already turned in our key I grabbed the kid and ran back inside hoping to catch Kathou and Paypay. They were just getting off the elevator and here is this crazy woman asking them for their apartment key. The front desk lady gave me my key and I ran upstairs to change Pickle. False alarm!!! Only gas. You see Pickle is very regular at pooping, but he only does it every other day. Yesterday was his day. Lovely. We were praying that he would have his moment before we got to the airport. No such luck.
The car ride to the airport was uneventful. We were lucky enough to not have to pay any overweight charges for our luggage either. Woo Hoo!!! Pickle was tired and starting to get hungry so the whining started. We checked into our flight, went through passport control and the final screening check point. We can say with certainty that if we were not already sterile 3 trips to Russia will make you so from all the x-ray machines and security screening.
We arrived into the waiting area with about an hour to spare before our flight was supposed to leave. Pickle and I walked up and down and up and down the waiting area. At 5:15 they called a flight and people started heading toward the door. Of course they never make the announcement in English so we just did what we do every time we leave Khabarovsk; follow the heard. We got to the little lady who says Da or Nyet on letting you on the bus to the plane. We were a nyet. At that very moment my angelic son decides to throw a tantrum. An all out screaming bone chilling tantrum. This is after he had bonked his head on the floor in the waiting area and wailed then too.
I calmed him down and he was looking out the window at the lack of activity when that precious aroma wafted up again. I was smart and did a diaper check this time. Sho Nuf!!! My boy pooed at the Khabarovsk airport where the concept of a changing table is totally foreign. CS and I looked around for an appropriate place to change him and the only thing we could find was some sort of electrical box in the vestibule outside of the washrooms. How fast can you change a poopy diaper? I think I set the record on that one yesterday.
After the load was lightened our boy was a happy one. We got on the plane and departed an hour late. He played with his toys. The flight attendants cooed over the babies. It was setting out to be a pleasant flight. Then I had to pee. Ok… first it is amazing that I only peed 5 times on an eight hour flight. That is amazing in itself. But, if you saw the toilets on this flight you would know why. They were the grossest things I have ever seen. And I have used the porta-crappers at the Hoover Dam in July. One was so bad I walked in and walked right back out. So bad I couldn’t even muster the strength to photograph it. So bad I was wishing for the squatty potty back at the Khab airport.
I will give kudos to the people at Aeroflot. They gave us a little bag that had 2 diapers, wipes and a plastic bib. They also gave Pickle a little book with cartoons in it and they brought pillows from first class so we could attempt to make a bed for him. When he was fighting the sleep (and I mean fighting with the screaming and the yelling) they brought me warm milk for him.
With the exception of trying to get my exhausted child to sleep in a strange place the flight went by quickly. I only bit CS’s head off once! I think I cried once too.
Arriving in Moscow was absolutely fantastic!!! I was just too excited to see the MOCKBA sign. We had to wait about 30 minutes to get off the plane. Then we boarded the bus to take us to the terminal. Once in the terminal the bags came fairly quickly. This was not quick enough for one exhausted 23 month old. He started pitching a fit and crying. The good news is they didn’t make us put our bags through the x-ray thing again.
We found Andrei (a different Andrei) and loaded our bags into the car and took the world’s scariest car ride to our hotel.
The hotel is magnificent. It is one of Stalin’s Seven Sisters and is simply gigantic. The Russian White House is right across the river from us. We did make some new friends in the lobby while waiting for the guys to bring the bags in. Kathou and I were in the lobby and these 3 women came by and were oggling over the babies. One said, “What cute babies.” And I responded with, “Oh!! You speak English!” This prompted a conversation with two women from NY and one from WI. They were just thrilled that we were adopting these children. They wanted to know all about it. It was very funny. Had I had a camera with me I would have taken their photo.
At 9:00 pm we finally checked into our room. Of course we were both starving, had a tired baby and still had to fill out our Embassy paperwork. Near 11:00 we were able to finally go to bed. This was fun with a child who was punch drunk nutty by this point. 11:00 pm in Moscow is 6:00 am in Khabarovsk.
After more screaming and crying Pickle finally fell asleep. Elle… not so much. I think between 11:00 pm and 3:00 am I peed 5 times. Then the boy was awake. We tried everything. We cuddled him, we even tried putting him in the crib they gave us. He just rocked in the crib. We both tried to comfort him, but this was just not going to fly. Finally we picked him up and put him back in the bed. It wasn’t until about 5:00 am that he fell back to sleep. That hour and a half between him falling asleep and the alarm going off was the best sleep the both of us have ever received in our lives.
The doctor was supposed to make his showing at 7:30 this morning, but it is 8:20 and still no doc. So we are trying to keep Pickle occupied so he doesn’t realize he is hungry. Good news is our Embassy appointment is at 1:30 then we make a quick run to register the kids and then Andrei is free to take us around the city. We made our request for Arbat, Red Square and the Hard Rock.
Well this has rambled on long enough. I will try for one more post before we leave.