Saturday, February 9th, Day 3

Cara woke up this morning with a big smile on her face. She was animated and full of giggles as we got her dressed for breakfast. I was a little nervous, especially after our experience yesterday. She willingly got dressed, and when I said “Let’s go eat,” she put her jacket on and seemed excited to go. Dad was still the preferred parent, and she would only hold his hand. I could see how pleased he was, and I was pleased for him.

Yesterday, I showed Cara how to push the buttons to get the elevator, and she went right to the button and pushed the right one! I’m sure that was pure luck, but she was quite proud of herself. Once inside we showed her which button we needed to push to get to the lobby, and she grinned as the light came on around the button and the elevator started to move. When we got to the lobby, she knew which way to go from the elevator to the restaurant, and marched in there with daddy, like she was a pro!

We got settled around a table and she and I went to the buffet. She is too short to see anything, so I had to lift her up to see the choices and fill her plate. I cannot believe the amount of food this child can eat. She can put a truck driver to shame!  I filled her plate with eggs, sausages, hash browns, and a croissant. She also had a bowl with pears and pineapple, an Activia yogurt, and had 2 bananas sitting next to her.  She ate everything but the two bananas, which we took with us back to the room.  I had a small spoon full of scrambled eggs, a couple of pieces of bacon, half a croissant, and 2 cups of coffee… and I didn’t eat everything on my plate! I did however, drink ALL the coffee!

We had decided to treat her to a trip to the giant toy store here after breakfast. We had heard that Jumbo is bigger than Toys R Us, and is on two levels. We were hoping we could find a replacement doll for the one we gave her last October. She is very, very attached to this doll, but is unhappy that both the dolls eyes are broken, and the inside her mouth is really gross. I can’t tell if it is crayon, or the liquid from the magic milk bottle that came with the doll, but there is also something black mixed in with the yellow, and I can’t tell if it’s mold. She took that doll everywhere with her from the minute she got it, and has carried it with her for the past 4 months. If we leave the room for any reason, baby comes with us. In its current state, the doll looks like something out of a horror movie!

Getting into the cab outside the hotel, Cara got a little upset and started saying something. The hotel staff member that had gotten the cab for us said she wanted to be sure daddy sat next to her in the cab! Now we know why she was so upset yesterday in the cab ride home from her medical appointments. Ron set her in the cab next to me, and climbed into the front seat!! She was very angry over that, and felt somehow I was to blame. It’s always good when you finally understand what is going on with a child you can’t understand!

As promised, Jumbo was a huge toy store. Bigger than Toys R Us, but there were not as many toys. Toys R Us is ALL toys, and Jumbo also carried household items, a full baby store, and clothing. After walking into the store and making a quick left turn we were in the doll department. Cara was beyond excited. There were many interactive baby dolls, and she went from doll to doll, squeezing  hands, feet, and tummies. We probably spent a good 45 minutes as she went over each doll in awe! She chattered excitedly, which unfortunately I could not understand, and just went from doll to doll to doll and then back again. There were 3 dolls she liked the most and we put their boxes together on the floor and indicated to her to choose one. She stood by Ron looking at me but not moving. The smile was gone from her face and she didn’t move.  Slowly I picked up each doll and went to put it in the cart. I asked, “Da?” and she said “NE” to each one. When I asked her yes or no to the last doll, she said “Ne!” very firmly and grabbed her baby. It was obvious that as excited as she was to see all the new babies, she didn’t want to bring any of them home. She has a baby, and she has no desire to replace her.Hopefully, I can find someone to repair the baby’s eyes when we get home.

We bought her some bathtub toys while we were there, hoping to make bath time less frightening. She had never had a bath where she sat in water before; she’d only been hosed down. Sitting in the bath the first night was a very frightening experience for her. I tried to show her how to splash and relax a bit, but her little body was rigid, and her eyes wide. I hurried to get her hair washed and a once over with a wash cloth so I could get her in her pj’s. Once she was dressed, had her hair combed, and teeth brushed, she flashed me the big smile. I was hoping with some toys in there with her, she might lose that “deer caught in the headlights” look and enjoy the warm water a bit. I must say, there were not a lot of options even at “Jumbo!” I ended up buying her sorting cups and a couple of floating fish. She spotted the puzzles and was very excited! We had purchased a jigsaw puzzle to do with her last October, and she’d never seen or done one before. It looked hard, and she backed away. Ron pulled her up on his lap and started to show her how to put the pieces together and by the end of our visit she was beginning to get the hang of it, and seemed to enjoy it. She put ever princess puzzle she saw into the cart. Some with up to 500 pieces! She put them in, I took them out and put them back. I directed her to a few I thought were easier and more on her level, and she finally chose 3 we were able to bring home. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find bubbles, or a step stool for her to use in the bathroom. She is so tiny her eyes just come up above the counter. We had hoped to give her a little more independence with a step stool, but we never found one. She also picked out another “My Little Pony” with long hair and clips to put in the pony’s hair, and we were done shopping.

We found a cab right outside the door, and told him we wanted to go to the Hilton, the only Hilton in this area! He nodded, and took off. We drove right past the Hilton, and down towards the airport. Ron and I were looking at each other thinking he might now a different route to hotel, but Ron finally said to him, Hilton? Our driver nodded saying “Yes, very expensive!” and kept going. Somehow, Ron was able to communicate to him that we wanted to GO to the Hilton, not discuss expensiveness, and the poor man was so apologetic! He kept apologizing, and we kept telling him it was ok! He then told Ron he was 70 years old, and Ron said, “Me… 73!” The driver laughed and said, “big brother!”  When we finally got to the hotel, it took him quite a few minutes to give us the fare as he was trying to take off the amount for our unnecessary ride to the other side of town. Cab fare here is so inexpensive; I gave him a decent tip, thanked him and got out.

Cara marched right to the elevator, pushed the button and flashed me a huge grin of absolute pride! Once inside, we again showed her which button to push to get to the right floor. This time however, she pushed the button we showed her, as well as four more! She was very pleased with herself. We stopped at 3 additional floors before reaching ours, which confused her as that had never happened before. Getting off the elevator, I immediately challenged her to a race to the room. It took her a minute to figure out what I was doing but then she finally ran with me to the room. She’d given me too much of a head start though, so I threw my hands up in the air when I reached the door, yelling “I win!!!” I know she didn’t understand, but she laughed and laughed and said to Ron while pointing to me “mama!”

As soon as we got inside, she wanted to look at all her new things. She and Ron got the puzzles out and put a couple together. It is fun to watch her find pieces that match. When she gets two together she calls out “Mama!” and holds them up for me to see. She played with her new pony for a while too, and then discovered the Barrel of Monkeys I brought for her. Ron got them out and showed her how to link them together, and then counted them as she linked them up. Before long she started counting in English with him.  I got the biggest kick out of hearing her cute little voice counting, One, two, flea, fo, five… She loved this and it was something they did for hours! By the end of the day she had one, two, flea, fo, seven!

While daddy took a nap, something I had hoped we’d all do (didn’t happen), she and I played with her new stacking cups. She was fascinated with them. We stacked them into a tower, then in colors, and then put them all inside one another. We started repeating colors with me, but I wasn’t pushing it. It was just a relaxing time.

I got to experience her sense of humor for the first time today! We showed her how to turn the lights off and on in the hotel with the two main switches, and also how to turn the bathroom light off and on. Like all children, she loves doing things by herself.  We have learned we have to be careful that we don’t treat her like a much younger child because of her size. She is so tiny it is easy to forget she is 6 years old.  While I was in the bathroom, she came and turned the light off on me, leaving me in the dark. I could hear her running over to the bed, giggling!  Now every time I am in the bathroom, doing my hair, brushing my teeth, or washing my hands, she comes and turns the light off and runs into the main room. I pretend to chase her and then when I catch her, I have to tickle her! It is a great game, just for the two of us. She never does this to Ron.

We had to eat in the hotel restaurant tonight because she really does not like to leave the hotel when it is dark. I’m not sure what that is all about, but she will willingly go for a walk or get into a cab during the day, but she is uncomfortable doing so at night. I suspect she didn’t go anywhere in the dark when she was at the orphanage, and this is uncomfortable for her. I ordered her a grilled ham and cheese sandwich that she loved, but she was incredibly impressed with the French fries. To say she loved the French fries is a huge understatement. She ate 3/4ths of her sandwich, polished off her fries, and had 2 scoops of ice cream for dessert. I ordered the same sandwich for me, and ate half, and maybe 10 fries. I asked the waitress to box the remainder of mine up, and when she brought the clear box to the table, Cara pushed her ice cream away and wanted the box. I pushed the box out of reach, and pushed her ice cream back. She ate almost all of it and then pointed to the box. I opened it up for her, and she handed me the rest of my sandwich and dove into the fries! She didn’t leave one behind!

We returned to the room, gave her a bath and got ready for bed. She enjoyed her bath much more because she had some toys to play with. I filled the tub up with more water for her too, so she didn’t get as cold. This is only her second bath, and I was pleased that she wasn’t as frightened as the first time.

Cara has been sleeping in the big bed with me, and Ron has graciously taken the twin bed they brought in for us. When I told her it was bedtime, she rolled over on her right side, sliding back so her fanny was touching me, and fell asleep. I was trying to catch up with the blog posts, but had to stop for a while and just listen to her breathe as she slept.



Yes, this is a pretty good sandwich!



But the fries are definitely better!


Making sure no one else eats her fries!

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Ice cream isn’t bad…


I ate almost all of it.

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But if there are fries available, they win over ice cream any day of the week!


I ate every single on in the box!



Yes, I did just push the elevator button and make it move!




Mama won the race to the room!!!