Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cultural experiene- Europeade and more

This weekend was also special in Klaipeda for the convergence of 4000 participants of European tradition- cultural dance and dress and concerts. Along with it was the opportunity for Lithuanian artisans to sell their wares.

When we returned from our days away the parade of the groups was going down the main street.

Beyond that we also were driving through the country side to Plateliai and saw the variety of culture in Lithuania too. From old time ways of small farmers, to new architecture in housing and recreation facilities.
But the timeless stork is certainly as alive and plentiful as ever!!

Snail heaven

Our trip out to Plateliai was enjoyable despite less than ideal weather. One of David's new hobbies is snails, much encouraged by how plentiful they were where we were staying. Randy and Karen Purves have a new guest house on a nice property they have tamed so to speak. And it is a reasonable walk to the lake to swim, weather permitting. Karen says when they moved here the place was swarming with snails and frogs. Not so many frogs anymore, but certainly enough snails to be a nuisance to a garden.

We also had nice conversation with Randy and Karen who have been here in Lithuania longer than we have. They also have history as adoptive parents and they have a heart for the many many children living without functional families in this country.

Our walk through the village town also led us by some turkeys and David was easily convinced to see them up close. He tends to want to pet or talk to all animals possible!
On the way back we stopped at another lake as the rain seemed to be finally staying way... but with the cool wind, being in the water did not last long.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

good news and marshmallow treat

Perhaps only my immediate family will catch the significance of this picture, a favorite marshmallow treat which the boys are now catching on to--- when we can find marshmallows here!

We went to the doctor today to get a review of whether to have surgery or not for the boys. We had this opinion from the allergy doctor back in May that we should wait to see the effects of treating allergies.
The family doctor agrees. It is one thing to see the size of the adenoids and say they should be removed they are getting in the way! And another to look at what causes them to be enlarged and deal with it. If the adenoids are constantly on alert from allergies, they will grow back after surgery anyway. So, I guess that settles it for this summer. And if we end up with difficulty this next winter needing antibiotics more than once or twice, then we can decide to do it next year.
So I feel like a free woman, can plan whatever for the rest of the summer. And I do actually agree with the logic of this at present. For Erik too, probably he has some allergy issues though they have not been tested with blood test to prove it but that would be a traumatic thing for him and we will just treat the symptoms as they arise.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Weekend away

For pictures click here.

Apparently this is how I can refer others to the album I created on my Facebook page. Wonder how it will work...

Extreme hot for 2 days and then thunderstorm and rain and quite cold! So that was enough camping for us. Nice enough though. We did alright without a toilet in the house. Were able to take advantage of the "meal plan" of the camp, and went swimming in the lake 2 times- but did not have the camera along.

Thursday we will be off to a different town to stay in a guest house, and probably swim in a lake again weather permitting. We will head out of town just as the huge celebration of European culture comes to Klaipeda. Just read about it today- 4000 performers. And they will be fed at LCC- Michealson centras!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A July week in Pictures

Erik learned to ride without training wheels quite easily this week after lots of practice with the wheels set pretty high off the ground, he took about 10 minutes to be on his own!

We were at a lawn party- going away for a local friend and the boys got to pick cherries right from the tree.

And we went to the Baltic circus. It was quite crowded with people. And Erik enjoyed the first half and wore out his excitement after that. David stayed tuned in the whole time!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


I guess Summer is here. My own work schedule will not include hours at LCC for about 6 weeks so that means it is summer time. The boys are home from preschool. And we see the sun somewhat regularly. But we have not really lacked rain either. The past week was quite cool though and today feels like it is above 70 degrees F. But actually it is in the 60s.

We had a quick trip to Siauliai area to visit Grazhina and to check out a place we will be staying for a few days next weekend. The boys were anxious for play areas and we really have to look for them! The one pictured was near Grazhina's block of high rise apartments. We took a bag of toys for her since she will be hosting a 6 year old girl from an orphanage for the next 6 weeks or so. And as a single young woman is not stocked with kids toys!

The boys were surprisingly eager to help me shell peas this week. But eating fresh ones is apparently an aquired taste- they have not gotten it yet. We did make a game of couting the number of peas in the pod. And I remembered the tool my mother used what I was younger shelling buckets of peas- if you get a pod with 9 in it then you get 1 cent and if you get 10 then 5 cents. The proportion seemed to work out about the same here too. Those higher numbers just are a little rare!

We had LCCers- Erik and Becky Hinderliter over the other evening. They came equipment with things the boys enjoyed playing with and after all the balloons were blown up they started appearing on the ceiling and walls. New lessons in static electricity!

The real attraction for the boys on a daily basis though is to see if the big boys are playing outside, and to join in with them. David also likes his new friend Ben and is eager for invitations to go to play at his apartment. Ben seems to be away on weekends though.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


we had a chance to ride bicycles on the long trail through the woods from Klaipeda to Giruliai where the baby house is located last week. We did not imagine that we would make it that far when we started out. But, we stopped along the way for a snack and then continued further. When we got to the far side of Giruliai where the train tracks were, the boys recognized the train station as it was a nice walk from where they used to live. One thing led to another and we went on then to the baby house. We explored the outside territory and discovered new play furniture in place of some of the old things we had in pictures. But a few tried and true items were there.

David seemed to wander around with freedom but did not seem to clue in to memories at least in any way we detected. Erik has more memories and missed some of the things that were there before. He did not really want to go inside at all but David did. Eventually we all went in. Only 1 boys is left in the group where the boys were. In another group we found a couple of the caregivers that remembered the boys and had not seen them since we took them away 1 1/2 years ago.

When we were nearing the baby house, Erik said he did not want to go there because he did not want the woman in the blue car to take him away. We are not sure what that referred to. Certainly a memory of some kind stilll haunts him.

Today he light-heartedly also told us that he dreamed last night that mama and a preschool teacher were somewhere with him and mama said she was going to leave and not come back for him. I have often suspected he thought that about preschool. But this is the first that he said something this clearly.

How deeply these things run in a little child's mind.

We are sensing the boys continue to attach better and better to us and last Thursday when we got ready to leave them with a babysitter that has been with them over the last 2 months about once a week, they cried. First time. Partly they were getting away from naps not too long before. But it turned out to be a bad sign. When we returned they had given the babysitter a very hard time and she was at her wits end. Not crying of course, but simply not respecting or listening to her. It is one thing to attach to parents. Quite another it seems to consistently attach to a babysitter!!

holiday weekend

In Lithuania this is a long holiday weekend- and not for July 4th! But July 6 is Mindaugas Day, the crowning of the only king in Lithuania's history. It also is the extended weekend of the Lithuanian song festival in Vilnius which happens every 4th year. And since this year Vilnius is a European culture capital and Lithuania is celebrating 1000 years of the name Lithuania being recorded in history, the song festival is getting especially large attention.

For our part though, it is too large of a crowd and undertaking to involved our boys at this age. So, we taught them just a little about the American flag (they made theirs) and we had other Americans over for a cookout which turned inside as the weather was not so nice for being outside.

We enjoyed our first tomato from the balcony today as well. The plants are thriving, but we can understand now why tomatoes are generally only grown in greenhouses here. The weather is so windy and cool often that they would have a tough time growing to maturity. And of course ours are taking over what space we give them!

Our lives seem different now in a few ways. Summer warmer weather is here, even creeping up toward 90 degrees (though today is 67). The boys are home from preschool every day now- all day. And the boys who live in the apartments here are out to play often including our boys. They have learned to play outside without us for the most part, though we are most comfortable if the older girls are also out there playing for they keep watch over them too.