From the US to Kazakhstan and Back
Sunday, November 23, 2003
We're back!!! We got home last night about 10:30 or so (don't quote me, after leaving for the airport in Almaty at 1:00 am their time (that would be 1:00 pm Friday here), traveling for hours and hours and hours and hours, I really wasn't sure of the time when we finally touched down.

Phil, Leatha and Kyra were waiting for us when we came down the hallway. They took care of all the luggage, Phil used his fatherly expertise and finally figured out the carseat and we introduced Jaime (I'm now calling her Jaime-Sasha to help her get used to her new name) to Texas.

The trip was probably the worst I've ever taken. Do not fly Lufthansa. I was treated like so much terroristic dirt by my own government (do I pay these guy's salaries?) and while I've heard people say their children screamed all the way home, I thought they were exaggerating. I'm here to tell you, they're not. Jaime screamed through the trip from Almaty to Frankfurt and from Frankfurt to Chicago (where we promptly missed our flights because of the bureaucracy - well actually both the flight to Fargo and Austin were cancelled but the bureaucrats would have made us miss them if they had flown). Unfortunately, Baby Benedryl didn't do a thing for my baby so there was really nothing I could do. I kind of felt bad for the other passengers.

I think I cried almost as much as she did. It's very frustrating to not be able to do anything at all, to be treated rudely by the airline personnel and when we got off in Chicago and found the stroller with only three wheels, that was the last straw. The whole idea of the stroller was to not have to lug 22 pounds of child around on my hip, in addition to the carryons. Thank goodness for Grandpa who put up with both us crying children like a trouper! :)

Jaime and Mommy both slept through the trip to Austin. We were both out before we left the ground and didn't wake up until they announced the landing. What a relief (so I cried again, just for good measure ) to be home and then to see my friends waiting, even though we were 5 hours late was even better.

The trip was wonderful, really. The ultimate adventure and we came home with the biggest prize of all. But to be home is almost more than I can stand.

Jaime played with Leatha, Kyra and Phil when we got home (Leatha's daughter cleaned and rearranged my apartment - It's terrific!) and wasn't at all afraid of them. She's such an amazing child. Mommy and baby went to bed about 2 am and slept until about 7am. There are still some things I'm going to have to get but we're pretty much set.

Right now, my beautiful daughter is taking her first nap in her new room. She loves the cats (who incidentally want nothing to do with her.) Bert somehow hung on until we got home but tomorrow we're going to have to take him to the vet, I think. He's moving very slowly and I really don't want him to be in any more pain. He's been a good pet and I don't want to keep him going just for me. Zoe finally came out of the upstairs closet and is currently licking my nose. I think she missed me :) Ernie has already had his fur pulled and is behaving well. Jaime squeals with delight whenever she sees one of the cats. It's hilarious! She takes off after them and they go running away.

I'm sorry I couldn't post from Almaty. Too many things to do and the Internet Cafe was too far to walk to. I don't think Jaime would have let me spend much time on the computer, anyway.

Now, it's off to clear out 188 emails (of which I'm sure at least 180 are spam!) and try to find a high chair somewhere. Also, the bag with the diapers is still somewhere between here and Chicago...*sigh*

Thanks to everyone for their well-wishes, prayers, support and just plain goodness while we were on this journey. This will be the end of the Kaz blog (since we made it through the "and Back" part) but I'm planning on another to keep people posted on the new adventures of motherhood.

Hey, I figured out the car seat so I'm not totally incompetent! :)

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