Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Adventure: Ethiopia- Day Five

Anna tossed and turned most of the night. She was restless and just couldn’t seem to get comfortable. I finally gave in and got up with her at 7am. She got dressed, woke up her Gagie and Sissy, and we went down for breakfast. She wasn’t much up to eating, she wouldn’t go to my mom, and any small discontent was met by one of those “I am throwing myself backwards!” fits and a loud cry. Those were my clues.

I should not have been surprised when she threw up all over me at 8:15, but I was. We are not talking spit up, I mean real emesis. It was all over me. Ah, the unspeakable joys of parenthood! (Simon seemed to have a much better night than Anna- Hooray!)

Anna seemed better after she threw up, but I was still not sure, so I gave her some Pedialyte from a cup. I think she liked it, and I think she really liked drinking from a cup (we have been using bottles and sippy cups up til now.) We had a slow morning and by lunchtime we were ready to go. I tried out my Ultimate Baby Wrap for the first time. I had somewhat forgotten how to put the thing on, but once I got it right, Anna really liked being in it.

Note- if you have never used an UBW before, the key definitely is to make it snug on you. Like, really snug. Don’t worry- it will loosen up. I took Anna in and out of it a few times during the day, and I did not have to re-wrap it, but I do wish I would have wrapped it more tightly first thing in the morning. I really like the UBW, especially for a more shy/quiet child like Anna. She clearly felt pretty secure in it- both physically and emotionally, and I was comfortable, too. It was especially nice when I could use one of the shoulder parts to cradle her head when she fell asleep.

We grabbed some “take away” at Rafel on our way to the orphanages. I highly recommend this place for their sandwiches. My mom had the steak and cheese and declared it to be the best (meaning most “American” ) food she has had on the whole trip! Abigail and I had the chicken and ham. It was not what I expected, but it was tasty (Abigail was not really a fan. But then, it did not have ketchup or ranch dressing on it, so it’s not surprising that she didn’t like it too much.) Anna ate a few fries. She was looking out the window as we drove, and every time we would pass oxen, she would make this grunting/growling noise. It was hilarious! We were all cracking up and pointing out all the oxen, goats, and sheep.

I will write more about the orphanage visits at some later time. It was a lot to think about- a lot to process. Especially when you consider that the US has not had orphanages since the 1960s! My mom fell in love with several boys at Kolfe. I met at sweet little girl who stole my heart at the last orphanage we visited. Overall, it was highly emotional, and I can’t really articulate the feelings I have right now. I am going to let it brew…

We picked up more take away for dinner (my mom had a second steak sandwich from Rafel!) While we were waiting at Rafel, Anna played in my lap and was eventually sticking her whole head out the window and pointing and “talking” to the animals that were being herded on the street! She sang and did a little booty shake! At the orphanages, she was very quiet and withdrawn. I have no doubt that she understood the idea that this was an orphanage and there were no mommies, and I think she was scared we would leave her there (hence another reason for keeping her close and cuddled next to me- almost swaddled at times- in the UBW.) So it was great to see her change back into the more cute and playful girl that she is becoming each day.

We also stopped at the Hill Bottom where Abigail ordered pizza and I ordered sambusa and lamb tibs. (While on the subject, let me just say that I really liked the beef tibs I ate at the Beer Garden Inn, but the lamb tibs from Hill Bottom were, sadly, really horrible!) My mom tried the sambusa and finally found a second Ethiopian food that she likes! Now, if we go for Ethiopian, she can order sambusa and collard greens, and I can order all the other stuff, and we will be all set!

I have noticed that when Anna is just waking up or just going to sleep, she really prefers to be held by me. Any other time of day, she will go between my mom and I pretty freely, but at sleeping and waking times, she wants to be cuddled by me. In the morning it means a longer wait for that first cup of coffee, and in the evenings, it means fewer cuddles with Abigail, but I love it! I love that she really seems to understand that I am her mom. It is a great feeling!

I put Anna down in the crib and was just getting ready for bed when Abigail came in to show me all of her “bites.” Now, I have not seen a lot of insects at all: a few flies, a few spiders, a few crawly bugs. But overall, I probably see more bugs in a day at my house than I have in 5 days here. And never once have I seen or heard a mosquito. Ever. So these bites seemed very unlikely to be mosquito bites. She has them in distinct places- her lower legs and feet, and the sides of her torso, about half way up from the waist of her pants. I snapped some pictures. I have no idea what these bites could be, but I am wondering if they are some sort of bed bug? I washed them with soap and water and put some anti-itch crème on them, so we will see how they look in the morning!

Tomorrow we are going to the Alert Hospital in the morning, and to Dreamland in the evening. I am hoping to hop online at the Hilton (see how I make it sound like the Internet isn’t as slow as molasses in winter?) and change some money. Don’t let me forget to tell you about Anbes (pronounced Um-bus), our spectacular driver! When Jennifer and Jody said they got the best, they probably weren’t joking… but they hadn’t met Anbes! Can’t wait to make you crazy-jealous with all I have to say about him:)


Chris and Jess said...

AH! Please don't leave me hanging! This reads like a book you don't want to end! I now have to go back and reread. I'm praising God for all of his goodness- Anna sounds like she's doing well, attaching, and sharing her personality with her family. I am so so SO happy for you Grace!
BTW- we had Anbes for one day, and seriously he is the bomb- anyone who has him for a driver is majorly, majorly lucky. He is so smart, so loving to kids, and he knows the area so well. You are one lucky girl to have him!

chrisandshasta said...

Grace! Did my first comment go through? My computer wacked out and I'm not sure if it worked or not. Anyway. Welcome home! I'm so happy to be able to read these posts tonight. Thank you for sharing! Reading about your experience with the familiar cast of characters (Ryan, Wegayu, Zimmet, Anbes) makes me ache for Ethiopia! I'm so sorry that I didn't keep a journal but your posts really bring back memories for me. I'm so happy to see that Anna is thriving with you. I just knew she would. Can't wait to read about the rest of your journey! -S.

Natalie Fournet said...

Grace--Welcome home!!! Thanks for these beautifully detailed accounts of your journey...I feel like I was there with you....I wish I was:)

Glad you are all home and up and enjoy!

Mamá to the best 2 said...

love reading all the updates! and glad to hear all is going so well!! Hooray!!!!

Renee said...

Glad you made it home! We also had Anbes as our driver for the whole month we were in Ethiopia and we just absolutely loved him!

Rebecca said...

I just read all your posts and I absolutely love them! I love hearing all about Ethiopia. I'm glad Anna loves you already - of course, we knew she would!

I have to say, I love where you're going with the au pair thing. I'm liking it!

haze said...

Hi there, Grace. I just enjoyed reading days 2-5 back-to-back. I'm loving hearing all about each day and hearing how much Anna is coming out of her shell and certainly attaching to her Momma. Yay for Abigail for being the perfect big sister. I knew she would be great. And your Mom sounds like a real trooper and a great sense of strength for you. I hope we don't have to wait too much longer for a full family picture, but will certainly understand if we do.

Andrea said...

I am completely with you! Anbes IS THE BEST driver ever!!! He was just utterly fantastic!!

Congrats on the new baby girl! We were just discussing how wierd it is to think Addison has been home for 5 months already!! The time just flies by!!