The Ruby Girls

Friday, February 10, 2006

TEAM RUBY IS HOME!!!!!!

Hi everyone!!! We are home safe and sound in Illinois! We apparently brought the cold weather back with us from Kazakhstan...it's in the 30's this week but has been 50-60's! The trip home was long and the girls were restless and grouchy and John and I were too by the end of it all! I was peed on and thrown up on (papa only got thrown up on...lucky him) so we probably smelled great by the time we hit the U.S.!!!Jenna was pulling on her ears and didnt feel good, poor babay...I think it was more teething (getting a tooth bottom front...her 1st!) and her ears probasbly were popping. At one point she yawned followed by a blood curdling scream (ears popped or something!) Flying with babies in diapers is NOT fun, but a eccessary evil if we wanted to be home. And it could have been worse. For traveling for 28 hours, my babygirls did pretty darn good overall! They loved their nursery and all the toys and books waiting for them! I think they are starting to reralize this is HOME and that we will not leave them! Still alot of jealousy between them over us...I'm sure that is normal and will pass eventually and they will become best buddies! :)
Well, gott ago tend to my babies...thanks to all who followed our journey...we love you all!!!
John, Tawnya, Jenna and Hanna Ruby!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

TEAM RUBY is Coming Home!!!!!!

Hi Friends, Family and Fanclub (of Jenna & Hanna of course!!!)
We are coming home!!! In 8 hours we leave for the airport (it's 5pm now...we leave at 1am for 4am flight...customs and all that fun takes a couple hours!)
We went and had a farewell lunch with Deb, Daniel and Jean and a lovely family we met from Tampa. They adopted 3 siblings! We went to Mad Murphy's of course (very "kid" friendly!)Then went to the US Embassy for Visa's and paperwork for girls. It really felt like "Wow...we are actually leaving tonight" there with Visa's in hand!We then went to meet with Gulbanu, the lady who runs WPA here...she is a doll! We cannot thank her enough for all her kindness and all she has done to keep us safe here and get us our babies!
We also want to again thank all of our family and friends who sent messages, prayers and good thoughts our way thru this wonderful (and sometimes trying)journey...we couldnt have done it without all of you back home rooting for us!!!
Well, we are off to pack and hopefully get some sleep before alarm goes off at midnight!!! DASVIDANYA to Kazakhstan from TEAM RUBY....Were coming HOME!!!!!!
Love to you all.....The Ruby Family XOXOXOXOXOX

Monday, February 06, 2006




Almost Home!!!!



The people in these photos you do not recognise are Olga, 1 of our interpretors (w/me in front of babyhouse) and Igor and John by Igors 'machina'! They are both wonderful and we will miss our wonderful Kazakh friends!
Well we are excited...we will leave tomorrow night (actually Wed. early morning) at 2:00am for our 4:00am (JOY!) flight ...our 1st of 3! It takes longer to get home that to get there as we are flying into the airstream (Johnny told me that!) Today we took the girls to their Dr. appt. at the International Clinic in Almaty. Both are healthy..the Dr. that saw Jenna kept saying (beautifil girl, what a beautiful girl!!!) She gets that alot! She weighs a whopping 15.4 lbs.! Hanna weighs 22.8 lbs. and is fine development for her age, considering she was very premature. She still has some congestion from the babyhouse respitory infection they fought, so we do Benydryl and get the bad nose-suction thingy for her...Dr. says that is great. Hanna screamed thru hercheck up...she still is afraid of strangers, and actually Jenna cried quite a bit too! Went to lunch with Deb, Daniel and Jean at Mad Murphys Pub again (hey, go with what works!)Jean (Deb's sister in law) said about Jenna"she is so beautiful..she look like a little porcelin china doll!" We agree!!!! Hanna has been much better and her sweet, adorable playful self again, but now mean old Mama & Papa are gonna drag her little tush half way around the world! Nothing makes a baby crankier than that, I'll bet (and soon know!!!) We pray for at least a little calmness on the LONG flight home...we are dreading it but so excited to hit U.S. soil!!!! Jenna has just become a wild squiggly worm and never is still! She is cuttin' loose, ya'll!!! And we have had a role reversal...Jenna wants Papa this week and Hasnna wants me! It's kind of nice as I was feeling Mommy guilt always having Jenna in my arms when Hanna reached for me, so now I have had lots of 1-on-1 with my precious big girl!
My cousin-in-law Shannon Allmon gave the girls little USA flags to carry when we get off the plane, as they will be US citizens when we touch down in Detroit, actually!I hope to remember so Trena can get a picture of this moment in St. Louis when she picks us up (If anyone can get Trena a message to bring a disposable camera when she comes to get us, I will pay her back...I am afraid I will forget to tell her when she calls tomorrow in all the comotion trying to leave!). I will be so happy to see my own car in St. Loius ...we are that homesick!
Tomorrow we go to the US Embassy and do paperwork and then meet with WPA office here to get Visa's /passports, etc for babies. Then home to sleep some and catch our flights!!!YIPEEEE!
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers on our way home. Of course I turned on the TV today and on Discovery (we have cable in Almaty!)they had "Air Crash Tradgedy's" on...I turned that off right away! Just the pick-me-up I need before a flight, ehh??? Everyone conked out for naps here...Jenna woke up 3 or 4 times last night (we think maybe tummy ache) so we are all tired...guess I will join naptime! We will try and post once more before we fly home!
See you all soon...we love ya! Enjoy the photos!!!!
Tawn, John, Jenna & Hanna xoxoxoxo

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Chillin' in Almaty...

We had a great night with the babes last night. Hanna is back to her happy adorable self ....no melt downs other than bath time...still HATES them! I have heard alot of other Kaz mama's mention that their kids scream and cry during baths...must be something from the babyhouse that they didnt learn to like!Jenna is crawling all over and babbles all day! Hanna says "Mama" alot and blows me kisses(of course this swells my heart everytime!)and Jenna cannot get enough of Papa and his silliness today! They are so cute! We will probably just stay in today and give our driver a break. Tomorrow we have some appointments...Dr. visit for girls, etc.
We did some souvenior shopping yesterday...bought some tee shirts, bought some Kaz dolls for the girls and a nice picture book of Kazakhstan. We are having some problems dowloading our pix so may have to wait until tomorow for Kevin to help us!Sorry Jenna & Hanna Fanclub!
Well gotta go for now...PAKA PAKA
PS: Pryvet to the Hines family in TN. Hey, I will try Grammy song...thats a great one and one of my favorite Grammy Lil memories! I have sung "Bye-O-Baby Bunting" to them...I remember snuggling on Grampas lap while he sung that to me...ask Heather & the boys...I bet they remember that one to! xoxox from Jenna & Hanna to you...I will hug & kiss them for you and all the other family members until you can do it yourselves...Kaz cheeks are GREAT for kissing! Very chubby!!!

Clairol Medium Reddish Brown Hair Dye....STAT!!!!

Hi everyone! We are home in our comfy apt. in Almaty tonight. We got the girls pictures for their Visa's today and went and bought regular coats...both pink and very cute. The dreaded snowsuits are goners! I am donating to WPA for some other family who may need them in the winter months. We went to Mad Murphy's Pub and met Deb, Daniel and Jean, her sis-in-law for late lunch. Met another family who has been here 7 weeks (e-gads!) and are adopting 3 siblings, a 5 yr old boy, 6 yr old girl and 17 month baby girl. Very cute! They are really ready to go home! They are with another agency and again I heard "we wish we would have went with WPA...they are the best in Kaz and have helped us more than our agency..and we havent paid them a dime"... More praises for our agency!
Hanna is still out of sorts and having melt-downs or scream-fests, whichever you prefer...we cannot figure it out...she is not hungry or dirty diapers and is well fed and bathed and warm so we dont understand except that she is just totally stressed with all the changes. Her normally smiley sissy gets a little cranky when big sister is having a fit so then that is a real treat!The big fits also seem to occur the worst when John is gone (he was in KLM for an hour today while I waited in a cramped vehicle with Hanna having a fit because I could not hold her and baby at the same time. )They both have to have one of us at their beck and call at all times (did we spoil them allready???) She seems fine and her sweet self tonight though, so I feel she will be fine when we are home and settled into a routine. Obviously their routine has been altered drastically so we have to pray for more patience and just get home soon! Tomorrow we are to get their Visa's and we are still set to leave on Wednesday the 8th (and arrive in USA on the 8th due to time difference!)
John and I are having back aches and bad hair days! His is bushy and needs cut and mine is stringy, split ends galour and grays popping out all over!!!YIKES!!!I am gonna need some haor color real fast when I get home...past my usual 3 weeks !We are not a pretty pair right now! I also have to de-carb myself (which means weight watchers in girl talk) when I get home as that is the only thing I could eat in Kaz! We did have great pizza today for lunch and brought some home for tomorrow.We also eat alot of yogurt, but I have a feeling its not fat free but who know as the labels are in Cirilac. However, we dont want too many groceries as we will not be here long! We will be at the airport bright and early Wednesday if no problems arise!
Das Vidanya! See ya soon! TEAM RUBY

Friday, February 03, 2006

Almaty Meltdowns...






Hi ...we made it to Almaty....FINALLY! We all got up at 6am , dressed, fed the girls yogurt and formula and bundled them in their huge gi-normous snow suits, which they HATE, and got in the car in a snow bizzard and headed to the airport (about 30 minute drive). When we arrived for our10am flight at 8am, we were told the airport "was closed" and we would fly out "later" but no indication when.So back to the hotel we went! Hanna intermittenly screamed bloody murder for reasons unknown on the car rides to and from, which was special!We proceded to wait with our travel partner Deb and her son Daniel (9 months ,a cutie-pie!)and their interprtor Aliyah. At 1:00 we were told we would fly out at 1:30! So off we went again and in an all-fire hurry! Finally got on a plane and the girls did pretty good until the last 1/2 hour...Hanna wined alot and both were very restless (which is gonna happen with babies in a small confined area!)We then drug all our bags and kids thru the airport (NOT FUN!) and got loaded up, to our apt. and got a call the minute we stepped foot insoide the apt., to come to the office for paperwork (at 9pm) with 2 hungry screaming, poopy diapered kids...so we unloaded, then went to do paperwork. Nerves were frayed by this time on all of us! By the time we got back, we had no food and store was closing so John went there. While he was gone Jenna decided to scream and cry uncontrollaby and both pooped down their legs....TWICE!!!! Welcome to parenthood! They both eventually settled down and Mama's blood pressure regulated (LOL)so all is harmonious again...they are sleeping like angels. John and I both have killer back aches from hauling kids and bags all day (the joys of parents over 40....yikes!)so probably wont sleep too well, but we will see. The apt. is great! It's pretty new, in a gated complex, very nice...lots of toys and linens and 2 cribs and Fox News (Americana!!!yippee!!!)Tomorrow we will shop some (I am buying actual coats and ditching the hated snowsuits...they look like fat marshmellow babies in them!!!!)and we have to get pictures of babes for Visa's and buy airline tix for them. Monday we take them to Dr. visit (more $$$$) and Tuesday we get Visas at Embassy and Wednesday, God willing, we get on plane (ok...3 planes!) for the good ole USA! We are however dreading the flights home as the trial run was not good! Oh well, whadya gonna do????Well better sign off and try and get some much needed zzzz's. Paka Paka The Ruby Family (happy again!!!!)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Plastic bottles and Papa's phone......




Hi everyone...this is our last day in Uralsk, our babies homeland! We are heading to Almaty tomorrow to wait on Visa's and should still leave for home the 8th (but we may try and book earlier flights Monday, as we were told Visa's will be to us on Sunday sometime...crossing our fingers they have some we can book!)
We brought lots of small toys for the babes, but their absolute favorite thing to play with is......empty water bottles!!! They carry them all over the apt. with them! Also Hanna's new thing is playing with Papa's cell phone and she puts it to her ear and says"HI!"We pretended to call all the granparents today and say "Hi" from Hanna (and Sissy!)She is really blossoming...lots of babbling and has said "mama" and "papa" a few times! This is a child who didnt speak a peep when we met her....it's just wondeful to see them so happy and loving! Babygirl Jenna is so attached to Mama....she doesnt like me to be out of her sight for long. John thinks I spoil her by holding her when she cries, but I told him"this is a baby who never had a mommy and now she has one and she needs me"...so she may be a bit spoiled for , we know, but she deserves it! Olga, the WPA Director here said "these children are so different and so happy now that you came for them...they have been waiting for you!!! Of course I have tears in my eyes just writing those words. We love these girls so much, it's like we have always been together!They are everything I could have ever dreamed of and more!They still dont interact with each other much yet, although I'm sure they will when we are home and comfortable...they just both want us all to their selves...a little jealousy here and there too!Well I am going to start packing for our 1st plane ride (and trial run, as we like to call it!) sp Paka Paka for now! We love you all! See ya soon..we miss everyone and are homesick...we miss my kitty cats too!!!!The girls will love their kittys and we hope the kittys will love them too!!! We know all of you will love them!!!
Tawn, John, Jenna & Hanna
PS: Jenna is also babbling alot and we are sure she is destined to be a flight attendant...or a regular on Saturday Night Live, as her favorite saying is "buh bye...buh bye!!!" Aunt Gretchie & Uncle Todd will appreciate that one!!!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Hotel Daze...


Here are some pictures of our goodbye party at babyhouse with Dr./caregivers. Also a photo with our cool "TEAM RUBY" shirts and of the girls! They are doing greta...slept all night until 7am and woke up happy and smiling. Hanna hates baths!!! She screamed and cried but we got-er-done and babygirl liked hers (in the sink)...she liked looking at herself in the mirror all wet and soapy! We did not get to do dinner last night as a few people couldnt make it so w are all going out tonight with the Bambinos in tow! Should be fun! Well it is naptime for them now and they dont want to sleep so I have to go help Papa settle them in! We leave Friday morning for Almaty to wait for Visa's and should leave for home on Feb.8th if all goes well!
Paka Paka!! xxooxxoo