Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hello and Goodbye!

This should have actually been posted on Tuesday, but I'm a little behind!

When we arrived home from our big outing with the older kids, I was surprised to find a new baby in the playroom! We hadn't been told of any more impending arrivals, so he was a surprise! Baby D. (boy) came to us very malnourished. He is supposedly 4 months old, but he's TINY. He's about the size of a newborn, and weighs practically nothing. His little legs are just skin and bones. At first I didn't think he could even hold his head up, but now it seems like he can as long as it's for a very brief period of time. He also sleeps quite a bit. It's hard to say whether that's due to the malnutrition or the fact that he may be a lot younger than the 4 months of age we were told (information provided by his grandmother). He's also had a hard time eating. He drinks barely an ounce at a time, and I felt like I was almost force-feeding him this morning. He doesn't cry for milk and didn't want to eat. After that happened, Tía Maria took him to the doctor for a check-up. By this afternoon, he was eating much better, so he should start growing in no time! I don't know how accurate our information on him is, but I've been told that he was living with a grandmother, and she had no way to feed him. I don't know if she chose to give him up or if he was taken. I'm hoping to read over his file in the next couple of days. 

Tía Silvia has already said she'll "adopt" him as her new baby (all of the tías and volunteers have favorites who we refer to as our own kids), and she quickly pointed out that "He'll grow bigger with milk, but he'll grow even more with all of the love we have here!" I can't think of a more accurate statement! 

Just for comparison… Baby C. and Baby D. are both 4 months old. The differences in both size and abilities are huge! 

Then, this morning (Thursday) we said goodbye to K., one of our newest baby home arrivals. She arrived on December 29th after she was picked up by police when her mother was arrested. She has a younger sister living at another baby home, and that baby home requested that K. be moved there to be with her sister. (Normally we would have the sister come to us, but they insisted that K. go to them instead.) It was a bit sudden as we found out just this morning that she would be leaving us already! About an hour later, some authorities from her new home came to pick her up. A few papers were signed and off she went. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hanging out with the big kids!

For the past week, all of the big kids at Casa 2 and Casa 3 have stayed at the houses of the tías (and a few stayed back at the homes with volunteers). School starts February 3rd, so this was a fun last week of vacation for everyone! It gets the kids out of the houses for a bit and also shows them what it's like to be a part of a typical Bolivian family. Whenever the tías do take the kids home for an extended period of time, there's a bit of an adjustment when it's time to come back to the homes, but we feel like the pros outweigh the cons. From what I've seen, everyone really loved their time away!

As most of the tías live near each other (but not near our homes), they decided it would be fun to get everyone together for an afternoon of fun and games at a park near where they live! Two of my baby home kids and I joined them for the afternoon. Baby C. wasn't the tranquila baby she normally is as she refused to nap and was pretty fussy, but S. was great!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday, L.!

Get ready for lots of pictures in this post!

The Baby Home received several new kids while I was home. It's been fun getting to know the kids, but I feel a little out of the loop when it comes to really knowing about them. Personally, I like knowing why they came to us and other information about them. That includes birthdays. Birthdays are a bit bigger of an occasion at Casa 2 and Casa 3 than they are at the Baby Home. We do, however, like to recognize the day and have cake!

Last night, I was upstairs in the office, reading the files of our new siblings, S. and L. I happened to glance at L.'s birthday and realized it was today, January 26th! I do not really keep up with dates here, and I had this horrible feeling that it was that day. After a quick check on the calendar I realized it was actually the next day. I had been told he was 10 months old, so I was expecting us to be celebrating in February/March… Not so! After a quick run the grocery store, a cake was made and we celebrated this afternoon!

We didn't have a "Birthday Boy" bib… He didn't seem to mind though!

Happy to see a cake as big as he is! 

He wasn't quite getting the hang of blowing out the candle! 

He didn't follow Bolivian tradition and bite the cake… Instead, we just gave him a piece to eat on his own!

K. and S. (big sister)… S. eats very slowly but she wolfed down her cake (and wanted seconds) in record time!

N. was a big fan of our blue cake!

He wouldn't even look up for a picture! 

Cake might just be E.'s favorite thing in the entire world! 

I don't know how many times she requested "Más!" ("More!") 

I think V. wasn't so sure what to think when she saw that the actual cake was blue, too!

After trying some cake, V. is super excited to celebrate her 1st birthday next month! 

The girl who normally HATES anything sweet couldn't get enough of the cake either. Go figure!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sleepover at Casa 2

This week, the tías from the boys' and girls' homes have taken the big kids to their homes for the week. Volunteers are also keeping kids and staying in the homes so they won't be empty. Last night, Linnea kept six-year-old B. at Casa 2 (boys' house), so I brought 3 more from the baby home and stayed there with her. My girls really enjoyed their night away from home, and I think B. enjoyed the company!

Although we all ate dinner at the baby home before leaving, we were still a little bit hungry. Luckily, there was some pizza waiting for us at Casa 2… Just a little before bedtime snack!

B. was watching Winnie-the-Pooh and was so kind to let us join him! 

I've never seen her smile like she did when the kittens were around! We weren't too happy about them sneaking in through a window in our bedroom, but she was thrilled!

All of the boys LOVE the kittens!

 She didn't think going to bed sounded like such a good idea!

Some of the tías have started calling her "Draculita" ("Little Dracula") because of her fangs! I think she's too cute! 

And she's out!

She refused to put on pajamas and insisted on sleeping in her dress. It was a battle I wasn't going to fight! 

Breakfast was strawberry yogurt with bananas and a little chocolate cereal added in… All three seem to have a big sweet tooth! 

Rocking the faux-hawk while I cleaned the kitchen! 

It wasn't all fun and games!  

S. saying goodbye to the kittens!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Day in the Life

No two days are ever the same here which always keeps things interesting! I realized that I took quite a few pictures today, so I thought I'd give you a little glimpse into what I did today!

My day started out at 6am when she decided to wake up. She never did go back to sleep and entertained herself by talking and playing with our mosquito net… which meant that I never went back to sleep either! Also, can I just point out how she's basically a big girl now?! She holds her own bottle!

Tía Serafina and I took Baby A. and Baby C. to the doctor for hip x-rays. Not surprisingly, both peed on the table in the middle of the x-rays. Other than that little mishap, everything (as expected) was great!

When we made it back home, we enjoyed a little playtime outside! 

The swings are everyone's favorite! 

 So happy to see a smile on her sweet face! She was having so much fun riding this tricycle around the house!

Her little brother has been happier, too!

Unfortunately, M. didn't have one of the preferred motos but he made the best of it with his little car!

I've said it before, but the tías love the motos as much as the kids love them… but possibly a bit more!

Although she's a bit more of a defensive driver than the others, she got into a few wrecks on her moto!  

Los pequeños enjoying the beautiful weather… There's a reason they call Cochabamba the "City of Eternal Spring"!

It's exhausting being hugged and kissed and loved on all day long by all of your adoring fans… She should know!

Right before lunch, we said goodbye to F.! She moved into Casa 4 with the Booher family. I know she's going to make AMAZING progress with them! Her two "mommies" (Tía Ely and Tía Nilda) were very sad to see her go though! 

We switched things up a bit and had a picnic lunch outside! Well, if you can call sitting in your high-chair outside a picnic!

After dinner, it was play-time upstairs until bed-time! Please ignore their crazy hair… :)