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February 1

The morning visit with Temirlan and Gulnaz went better today. When Gulnaz's caregiver brought her to us at the door of her group room we saw a hint of a smile. She seemed happy to see us and wanted to be held the whole time. We then walked to Temirlan's room to get him. When his caregiver told him something like "Mama's here! Come and visit Mama.", he came and stared at us a few seconds and then started to cry when he realized he would be going with us. Several of his playmates came running to see Temirlan's mama. We took him to the music room with Gulnaz and to our delight he quickly calmed down and stopped crying. His snack choices today were cheerios, banana slices, and the ever present goldfish. The banana slices were a big hit and it seemed that he liked them even better than the fish. Temirlan played with the race car, a talking book, and built block towers with Mama and Papa. Well, usually it was us building and Temirlan acting as the demolition crew! It was a good visit and we felt like we made improvement from yesterday, but he didn't really smile today. He just played with a very serious and sometimes sad expression. He's still not completely comfortable with us, especially Papa. When I (Mike) asked if he would like to sit on my lap he shook his head "No" and preferred that I set toys beside him to pick up rather than hand them to him. He will however take snacks from my hand or let me pop them into his mouth. He is more comfortable with Lyn and will sit on her lap and interact easier. However the day did end on a good note because as Assia carried Temirlan from the room, I (Mike) waved my hand and said "Paka" (Bye). Temirlan looked at me, waved back and also said "Paka".

Gulnaz was her usual serious self. She again wanted to study Daddy's face and grab his teeth. She loves to be held and would rather be on one of our laps than on the carpet. She loved it when Mama showed her a book. It fits with her studious personality! She is also quite fascinated with Temirlan. Children of different ages don't often mix so seeing someone a little older impresses her quite a bit. She watches his every move and likes to watch him play with toys. She also envys his snacks and would love to try one, but is never upset by not getting one (snacks are not yet on her menu). Temirlan is not too interested in Gulnaz. He just occasionally looks at her with a puzzled expression wondering why she is always around.

No smiles today - Not even for the yummy banana.

That tower's too big. Time for the demolition specialist!!

Keep him distracted...I'll get the banana!!

Standing Tall.

I love it when Mommy shows me the book!

The afternoon visit with Gulnaz was lots of fun. (Temirlan naps in the afternoon so we see Gulnaz only at these times.) She seemed happy to see us and wanted lots of eye contact right from the beginning. And to our suprise, the sight of her favorite orange block made our very serious girl vanish and be replaced by a smiley laughing one. We all had a great time as she laughed and babbled most of the visit. Except for a few coos, she has been very quiet up until now. But this afternoon she even tried to imitate sounds and words we were saying! Her favorite (and ours) was when we would make popping sounds and she would move her lips to try and imitate what we were doing. She would get very excited and wave her arms while she babbled and laughed. We also played a fun game of walk to Mama or Papa. One of us would hold her up to help her balance on her legs while the other would reach for her and ask her to come here. She reacted with big smiles and would push with her feet trying to take steps to go! And she would always get a big hug for her efforts. We played this game for quite a while until she decided she wanted some cuddle time (we were happy to let her have her way here too). The only problem was that it was difficult to get any good pictures of her laughs and smiles. As soon as we would get the camera, she wanted to study it rather than play our games. Oh well, at least we caught a couple smiles!

Today was Fun!!

We read a book...

and played a fun game...

and still had time to cuddle.

That's it for today. We just went to the little market and successfully bought pasta sauce and a few other things so we're making our dumplings now. Paka-Paka!!

Special Note
In case you want to e-mail us and missed the updated info on the home page, we can only get e-mail at lynsnedden@yahoo.com and have not been able to receive any that were sent to lyn@thesneddens.com or mike@thesneddens.com.
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