I did some work with Andreea off and on throughout the morning. I stretched her arms and legs and helped her do some bicycle movements with her legs, and she lay on her stomach/chest on the Boppy pillow for a while, which she loved again. She seems to be a lot more comfortable in that position than lying on her back in a bouncy/rocking chair, and it helps her to practice muscle control in her neck by forcing her to lift her head up if she wants to see things. Something else I’ve done while she’s in this position is placed her hands under her shoulders, so she can push herself up a little.
Of course, I played with the other kids, too! Lea-Celine was pretty cranky this morning. In fact, a lot of the kids were cranky today. Some are teething, and others just aren’t feeling well in general. I snuggled a bit with Petre, and I played with Alina, who is so easy to pick up and swing around, due to her size. She kept trying to steal my glasses and would be very sneaky about it. I bring my face close to hers, so our noses are touching, and she’ll just stare at me for a few seconds…then, all of a sudden, I see a hand out of the corner of my eye, grabbing my glasses!
Ema-Elena is teething, as well, but when Terri handed her over to me for a little while this morning while she (Terri) went somewhere else, she (Ema) started to cry, and I knew it was because she’s so comfortable with Terri, stiff muscles and all. Terri knows how to hold her in the most comfortable position, I think. I feel different to her, and I sound different, so even if she can’t see properly, she can tell the difference. Even after Terri came back and sat down, I kept trying to soothe Ema, standing up and rocking her, talking to her, stroking her hair, but finally I had to hand her back over because her crying was about to make me cry. It was heartbreaking.
Nicole brought Maria out this morning in a stroller. I went over to visit at one point, and she was asleep, like she always seems to be whenever I see her. So I just patted her tummy a little and touched her hand, very lightly so I wouldn’t wake her.
This afternoon was better. Some of the kids (Lea-Celine included) were in much better moods. When I took Big Andreea out of her crib and put her in her rocking chair for feeding, she was all-smiles, after I fed her and was massaging her arms and legs. I brought out a toy—one of those toys with the little arm/flap things that have different textures on them—and I pressed the “arms” that rustle and make noise against her fingers, her cheek, etc. Then I put the toy in her hand and brought it up to her face, and she just turned her head and let it rest by her cheek, feeling the rustling and giving me the biggest grin.
Oh! Semi-big news, I think. Big Andreea tends to drink her bottles down quickly and make a bit of a mess, but this afternoon, she drank it slowly and didn’t spill a drop! At snack time this morning, however, I fed her a jar of applesauce, and because of her tongue-thrusting problem, it was a chore. It took forever to feed her (and she didn’t even finish the entire thing), plus there was a mess all over her face, neck, and shirt, so I had to change her shirt when we went in.
This afternoon was spent outside again. We’ve been blessed with amazing weather—not too hot, but sunny, and not cold, either. I worked with Big Andreea’s muscles some more—stretching, bicycling, and massaging her back—and she played a good bit with Eve, who is great with her. I spent some time with the other kids, including Alina, Lea-Celine, Cristi, Marius, Mihaela, etc.
Maiastra, of course, began to cry when she saw Mihaela’s car and thought she wasn’t allowed in it, but Mihaela had left her key so we put her (Maiastra) in the car with the doors open. Ana-Maria visited us outside today, as well, and was pretty calm. I also saw quite a bit of Ionela, who loves to put toys to her ear like a phone and say “ello?” It’s the cutest thing. Terri also laid Ema-Elena down so that her head was in Ionela’s lap, and Ionela was very gentle as she petted Ema’s hair.
When Nicole went to bring Maria (and her stroller) up into the clinic at the end of the afternoon, I helped her lift it and gave Maria (who was awake!) a little tickle on her belly and said, "Pa pa!" ("Bye bye!")
Good news! Gabriela started to crawl a bit today! And Alexandra, who has been having a rough time eating (I guess she refused to eat a lot), ate her yogurt/applesauce/whatever it was today! I think Susan mentioned that she thinks Alex just needed something a little sweet on her food.
Bad news. Paula was taken to the hospital today because she has chronic ear infections and was screaming up a storm today. I hope all is well with her.
This evening, we went to the Alona restaurant in Barlad, where we had chicken salad, stuffed grape leaves, stuffed cabbage, chicken cordon bleu, chicken “schnitzel,” and polenta with a sauce made of sour cream, chicken, and mushrooms. Dessert was some kind of cake with mousse in the middle layers. The best part of the meal, though, was the homemade, fresh-out-of-the-oven bread with sunflower seeds on top. Yum!
After dinner, we went to the grocery store, where I bought some Cheerios, croissants, Nutella, and digestive cookies to keep in my room for “emergencies.”
Now on to what I know you're all REALLY looking forward to: pictures! I didn't take many this morning, but I left my camera out for others to take some...which is why (thanks mainly to Amy J.) I ended up with 54 pictures just from the morning shift!
Poor little Petre in a pink, flowery outfit. I think the aides just dress the kids in whatever is available/convenient. We change them when we can get away with it.
Andrei in the hat that matched Ionela's dress
Trevor, being...Trevor? I promised Amy J. I'd post this pic.
Alex, studying a book. She's very intent when she does this.
Delta and Daniela
Alina, handing me a toy
Andreea and the biggest grin I could catch with my camera
Alina, nearly successful in her quest of grabbing my glasses. But I caught her!
Lea-Celine. She's such a precious little girl, and soooooo adorable. Terri finds it hard to get a good picture of her, though, and I think it's because a lot of her charm comes from her smile and her teeth, which she (from what I've seen) keeps hidden when photos are being taken. But this is a good one!
Ema-Elena, what a gorgeous girl.
Ionela, being gentle with Ema-Elena
Mihaela in an adorable dress
Lea-Celine with (adult) Mihaela's plum
Erin and Ana-Maria
Eve playing "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" with Ana-Maria