Saturday, April 30, 2011

Quick Post - Answers and Non Alex Updates!

Poor Alex, already getting slighted and not making it into a blog posting? Well, scratch that -- he just did! While he's napping this afternoon, I am going to squeeze in a shower (my 7th floor neighbors in the Courtyard will thank me) and thought I'd post some quick responses to questions and non Alex pictures...

Cindy & Nikolay: Congrats on the impending #2!! Can you drop me your email? Mine is

Michelle: I was PRAYING that his hair wouldn't be buzzed when I arrived! The coordinator in town here says she always asks the baby homes "please no hair cuts after trip #1". LOVE that! He does need a trim... but thankfully he wasn't buzzed!

Heather (& Chad!): Yes! I am back at the Vasilievsky Island Courtyard. I liked both of the Courtyards, but this one is so handy. I LOVE the breakfast -- just getting tired of the price!

Sarah: Alex is from Baby Home #6 -- which is here on Vasilievsky Island. Super close to the hotel. You could walk it! Can you send me your email as well?

Sally: Yes, we're taking the speed train to Moscow on Wednesday. I think we leave around 2pm or so. I am excited -- but have no idea what to expect in the train. Any other tips?

Jeanette: I totally agree with your assessment! I think he looks a LOT like Grace and also Cassie (Holly's little girl). They suspect his mom was from Kaz...

Ok -- I think I got to all the pressing questions. I seriously love hearing from all of you. It helps pass the time and have a heart beat to home!

From my hotel room I can see a three different churches. One is across the nearest bridge, off the island. It's the largest of the near by ones. So this morning, Alex and I set off to check it out. He still didn't love the stroller... oh look! He snuck into this post after all! But more on that later...
*** Update: EDITED*** This is Prince Vladimir's Cathedral - consecrated in 1789, making it one of the oldest churches in St. Petersburg. It's been a working, open Cathedral this entire time, closing only once for a year in 1926 for renovations. It's gorgeous by any standards, but pales in comparison to a lot of the super ornate, grand Cathedrals around town. Seriously, they are a dime a dozen around here - it's awe inspiring to see them all!

Around the outside of the gates to the Cathedral, there were what we'd probably call "Homeless" people sitting. They weren't begging, at least they didn't ask me for anything. However, in my brown and pink Crocs, I surely screamed "AMERICAN".

Conversely, I think I have had too much exposure to Russia. On our way back to the hotel, a guy paused in front of us only to literally blow his nose/snot rocket (think finger to one nostril and blow like heck) against the side of the building. I literally yelled at him. I believe it was a combination of English and Russian... along the lines of "DUDE!? That's disgusting! Nil Za!" Which translates roughly to "Dude!? That's disgusting - don't do that!". Holy crap - I am turning into a crazy babooshka who yells at people on the street! Thankfully my friend Sara will be here to rescue me tomorrow. None to soon, it sounds like!

Lastly, tomorrow is "May Day" here in Russia. In the former USSR, it was a holiday in close relation to our Labor Day. After the creation of the Russian Federation, it was technically dropped, but it's still widely celebrated. May 9th is "Victory Day" - a post WWII holiday. Some people feel the reason "May Day" continues is for some Russians to take a holiday encompassing both. While I am not volunteering to stay longer, I would have loved to seen some of the Victory Day celebrations.

These "signs"/banners are hanging above many of the major streets,
celebrating May Day/Victory Day

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hotel Day 2 - Not Bad!

Alex slept well last night. He woke up twice and cried out - in a scared, where am I type of cry, but quickly went back to sleep. Mama, on the other hand, had a SUPER hard time going back to sleep after cry #1 (circa 3am), and had just about fallen asleep when cry #2 happened (circa 4:30ish). Alas, the little man made up for it by sleeping until 8:45am! Thank you!!
We woke up on the Wedding side of the pond, to total domination on TV of the Royal Wedding. Basically, 2 of the 4 english speaking channels were on non-stop coverage. Thankfully, I was totally caught up in it - so I was in bliss!

Happy Boy!
After a quick jaunt down to breakfast, in which Alex ate MUCH better (buckwheat type oatmeal; cheese, yogurt and bread) we ran to the small local grocery store to get some chunky baby food. It worked in Vlad with Tati - so I thought it might help the man. According to his baby home, he was a great eater -- and he has the tummy to prove it. So I think it's a matter or things being all new -- including some food tastes.

What's this stroller thing all about?

He had a little of the stew type baby food for lunch - including carrots - OH NO! Something orange! Egads! (According to his doctor he is allergic to "all things orange" - uh huh. riiiight.) And while he didn't love the chunks of chicken, he ate some of it. He gobbled down the apple baby food, which was essentially super smooth applesauce - of course he liked that one, I only bought 1 bottle!!

He was happy 90% of the day. He cried a little in the stroller on the way to the store and then again in the store. He typically pipes down quite quickly. Thankfully. Crying babies make me sad! We did another bath tonight -- in the vain of trying to get him used to it. NO LUCK. It was worse. And now, to make matters worse, he cries anytime he gets near the bathroom! Hopefully, his sister can help him get accustomed to baths when we get home. Again, they told me at the baby home that he LOVES his baths. Riiiight. After that he was just tired, grumpy and mad at mama for making him take his bath.

Grumpy at mama...
We went for a walk around the floor of our hotel - it's like a triangle, so you can do a complete loop. We came back and I tried to lay him down in his crib, but he would have nothing to do with that. He WANTED to be snuggled. He's a total snuggle monster!! So after laying on mama's chest for 30 minutes, he's still awake, but laying peacefully in his crib. Strike that -- after a quick peek -- he's zonked. Night all!!

Sleepy Baby....

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Alex is a Free Man!!

As of 6pm this evening (whatever time zone I am in), Alexander Thomas is a free man! I have to give his baby home some serious props, though - he's such a happy, healthy little guy!

We left the hotel this afternoon at 1:30pm. After a stop at a wanna-be Wal*Mart type Russian store, we made a quick visit to the baby home. We delivered two cakes, some baby treats, some coffee, tea, two kinds of cheeses, what looked like salami and some assorted chocolates. We were supposed to have two appointments today, but the social worker volunteered to do one for us. WHAT? I know, right? How nice is that? So we were off through the horrific traffic to the immigration/get a passport office.

Ok. Not what I expected. The office in Vlad was under construction when I got Tatiana's passport, so I'll admit I am not 100% sure what it looks like for "real" - however, this place was off the hook. BIG. Modern and the lines would rival any Secretary of the State/DMV. Fortunately, Svetlana (my coordinator) is in the know. She's got a contact -- so while we were there for about 30 minutes, it was nothing compared to the 3+ hours most people would wait.

Finally it was back to the baby home. Thankfully, Svetlana is also a smart cookie when it comes to traffic. She's got some super sweet app on her phone that updates traffic in St. Pete's. We weren't THAT far from my hotel (which is close to his baby home), but with all the canals and other waterways, the streets aren't exactly straight. And traffic is, to say the least, a nightmare. However, due to Svetlana's super cool app, we made great time and were able to get back to the baby home in time to spring Alex today. Good thing, I would have been one sad mama!!

There were some tears at the Baby Home. Mind you, this is the FIRST time I have heard the boy cry! He's got a good set of lungs when he wants to use them! We took some token pictures and then I took him from his caretaker. He stopped crying! Mama was so happy! His caretaker even said "oh, she is his mama for sure!" - which I'll admit, made mama very proud.

The car ride was quick - maybe a total of 5 minutes. He was SUPER curious, looking at everything, but not crying. We got to hotel and in our room. He wasn't sure what to think at first, but in usual Alex style, warmed up and calmed down quickly. He snacked on some Gerber Puffs and I realized it was time for dinner.

While the Gerber Puffs and Souscka (I'll have to take a picture of these to fully explain - but imagine a small, round O that is like a pretzel consistency bagel type thing) went down well, Alex would have NO part in most of his dinner. Bread - yes. Milk - yes. Tiny bites of chicken or mashed potatoes? NYET. Ok, so mama ordered a creamy vegetable soup for his "second meal". NYET. We'll figure it out! He does well with a sippy cup, which is great news.

We came back up to the room with a little guy rubbing his eyes. I knew it was close to bed time, but I wanted to get his orphanage smell off him, so I thought tonight was a good bath night. They told me 2 weeks ago on trip #2 that he LOVED his bath. Yeah, well, not so much here tonight. There were some more tears, but we got the deed done. After bath time, there was 1 happy toddler running around this room. He seems to have settled in, and is content for the time being. I am not naive enough to think we won't have more tears or fears!

When bed time came, Alex did NOT want to stop having fun. He cried when I put him in the crib, so we layed in my bed for a bit. His eyes were saying "I am tired", but I am sure his mind was saying -- NOT YET! I tried the crib again, and big tears came back. I rubbed his back and said shhhh quietly and seriously, bam - in went the thumb and he settled down. 10 minutes later while I am typing - he's zonked. Leaving everything you've ever known sure can take a lot out of you! And if you haven't figured it out yet, or I wasn't clear before -- mama is in love!
Look at my chubby little healthy guy! BEST tummy ever!!
Not thrilled with the bath tub... not thrilled at all!
Maybe this isn't so bad...
Getting ready to leave the baby home. Poor Alex!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No (More) "Soup" For You...

The BIG day has finally arrived!! My 10 day wait was officially over yesterday - a court decree was picked up on my behalf and a new birth certificate and an adoption certificate were requested from the Vital Statistics office. I can now finally introduce you to the main man in my life...

Introducing & Presenting...

Alexander Thomas Repp
Born September 23, 2009 - Vasilievsky Island, Russia

Tomorrow we will do something with for his passport - I am a little sketchy on the details, as it was a little garbelled when it was explained to me but either way, I'll show up, sign what I have to sign and do what they say. Then after a quick stop at the store for diapers, flowers and 2 cakes (great combination, eh?) we'll be off to spring Alex from the Baby Home. I cannot wait!

I am sure some of you are asking yourselves "why doesn't she have him yet if the 10 days are up"? Trust me -- this was an issue for me earlier as well. However, we have a couple more "public buildings"/offices to visit tomorrow, and I am sure he'll be out of his element and scared... so I am 100% in agreement that it was best to wait until after most of it is done before springing him. Some of the visits he will need to be on -- but, if I can spare him some stress up front - and it was really only 1 more night, than it is for the best.

While I am typing, the hotel has delivered and set up his crib (think large pack and play) and I have the rest of the day free for exploring and getting ready to bring an 18 month old little man home. I haven't even really unpacked yet, so there is much to do!

My arrival last night was uneventful, which is by far, the best way to arrive! The flights from Detroit to Amsterdam and Amsterdam to St. Petersburg were smooth and on time. Early in fact. We were so early into Amsterdam that my 5 hour layover suddenly became a 6 hour layover. Compared to Paris (CDG), I MUCH prefer Amsterdam. The layout is much better and it's easy to see where you are going. They are a little lacking in seating near gates however, the only major downfall I have seen so far. I killed time during my 6 hours by taking advantage of the free hour internet session, getting a bit to eat and snoozing in the lounge chair section - it was VERY hard for me to let go and do this, but I succeeded! There is something a little unsettling about having all your valuable travel items on you and falling asleep in public. Maybe it's the old college girl in me, but doesn't that just scream "come on! mess with me!"?? I was also super paranoid that I would fall asleep and miss my plane, so I set an alarm on my iPod and probably got a good 2 hour snooze fest in.

After arriving at the hotel last night, I met up with another single woman, Lynda, who is on her first trip for her second adoption. We had emailed back and forth before, while she was waiting to travel - so it was nice to meet in person. I will admit, it's SO much nicer to have someone to talk with - certainly helps pass the time, and especially with adoptive families -- you connect with this instant bond of shared experiences. Our dinner lasted 4 hours! I also bumped into Lynda and another couple, Laurie & Todd (also here on their first trip), at the notary today. Such a small (adoption) world! Laurie and Todd are also staying that same hotel as Lynda and I. I'll be bummed when they all leave tomorrow -- but thankfully my friend Sara arrives on Sunday. Sara and I actually met in Vladivostok during my last adoption - her son, Max, is also from Vlad. Sara is the southern version of me - we swear we were separated at birth! So yes, in other words - she rocks! Haha!

More tomorrow after Alex's big departure. Go check out his pictures again - you know you want to!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Still On the Clock

Today is officially day 7 of my 12 day wait. 12 days because St. Petersburg apparently doesn't count Sundays. The schedule actually works well, because I'll get to spend Easter with Gramma Darlin and Miss Tatiana. While I'd love to get to spend Easter with Soup too, he probably doesn't KNOW it's Easter -- and Tatiana does.

We've kept busy this week - which is great to help the passing time! There was a pool association meeting last Sunday, Kindergarten/Young 5's Round Up for next year on Monday AND my annual female appointment. Such fun in 1 week! It shouldn't be allowed...

Last night T and I decorated eggs with Gramma Darlin. We had regular dye, swirl dye and dab dye. I don't know if it was because she was 1 year older, or if she remembered dying eggs from last year but this year was a BLAST with the resident artist, madam T.

I wrapped up things at work today before my break -- and this weekend I can wrap things up around the house. (Can you say LAUNDRY?) I am back to my jet setting life style on Monday. Looking forward to my LAST trip in this journey!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Parting Is Just Sorrow -- It's Not So Sweet

Since I have updated everyone after court, I got to go back to Baby Home #6 and visit with Soup one last time before I take off for home again tomorrow morning. It's bittersweet. I can't wait to get home and hug my fabulous girl, who is now a big sister; but yet I hate leaving him behind!

Unfortunately, we did NOT get to play in the medium sized play room off in the maze of rooms his groupa has. I wish we did - but alas, it was back to the nasty old closet sized room with nothing to do. We played silliness and entertained ourselves but, I am not sorry to say goodbye to visits in that room!

I did get a chance to get some pictures of each of the rooms in his groupa -- or at least many of them. Including the room where they sleep. And, I got to pick his caretakers brain on what he likes, doesn't like, etc. They tell me he's got a sweet tooth! Maybe that's where his chubby tummy comes from. Perfect baby tummy!

Before we left for the closet room, it was snack time, so he got to have a snack while hanging with the mama. Like yesterday, he started closing his eyes in a very purposeful manner. I asked my translator to ask the caretaker what this was supposed to mean. The caretaker laughed and said, "oh, he is showing off for his mama". According to her, ever since my first visit back in February, he has been little Mr. Bossy Pants. Mr. Special because I have a mama. This CRACKS ME UP. They told me the SAME thing in Vladivostok during Tatiana's adoption. There it was phrased as "maybe you don't come everyday, when child figures out they are important to someone, they become bossy at baby home". I find it hysterical that even at 18 months, this is the case as well! Doesn't matter, Soup has his mama wrapped around his little finger!

Off to bed, long day of flying ahead of me tomorrow. Paka!

It's a Boy!

At approximately 4:50am this morning, Eastern Standard Time, April 14th, 2011, I was pronounced the new mama to the sweetest little Russian boy. Soupy's got a mama! Just think, 10 more days and I won't have to tease you with "Baby Soup" anymore. Speaking of that... I have been threatened by my relatives that I will NOT call him Soup. I can't promise that it won't sneak out now and then - in nickname fashion ONLY, but typically, he is referred to by his new name... which shall be released on our about April 26th-ish.

I woke up this morning ready for court. I wish I could say I was bright eyed and bushytailed, alas, that was not to be. I could have slept for a couple more hours. But exciting times lay ahead. I had my traditional Courtyard breakfast (the place was HOPPING this morning!) and came back up to get ready for the day.

Thankfully, Rhonda (aka travel queen extraordinaire) was home working the late shift and was able to entertain me via skype so that my mind didn't wander. And then suddenly, it was time to go. My driver arrived and I was surprised to see the Doctor from the Soup's baby home in the car along with the Social Worker. I don't know why this surprised me -- it was essentially the same in Vlad - we drove the Social Worker to Court (but no doctor), but it did.

We arrived at the very non descript building and in we went. I expected more people, but the place was quiet. There was another family in the court room ahead of us, and a younger girl waiting outside, not so patiently. I was soon informed that she was waiting to be adopted - by the family inside. She danced around in the hallway and often pressed her ear to the door. She looked concerned at one time and the person accompanying her brushed it off. Finally, close to 12pm, the family came out and announced "Das Aftra" - which means, the Judge told them to come back tomorrow. HEART ATTACK. Being the only non-Russian speaker, I didn't get the details. I think they were a Russian family - and the girl was 14 but looked 9. I was piecing together what they said and was quietly asking my coordinator "were they just told to come back tomorrow?" - my heart sank when she confirmed this. I said, "Oh my... I am suddenly MUCH more nervous", to which Anya snorted and said "Why? You have different agency, different coordinator - YOU will be fine". Oddly enough, that semi-reassured me.

The court proceeding was very straight forward. Because it was a "closed" procedure, I am not really at liberty to spell out all the juicy details. I had NO surprises thrown my way and everyone was VERY kind and VERY supportive. The Judge was near my age - possibly a little older (translation - YOUNG! haha) and blond. My speech went well and the questions were all expected - except one... the Judge totally called out the two cats pictured in my homestudy pictures (wandering around the living room in my house photos) and asked what I would do if Soup was allergic. Good eyes, Judge! Color me impressed!

So now, we wait. Again. Hurry up and wait is the theme in adoption. Officially, my 10 day clock has started. Tick tock, Soupy! I get to visit him again this afternoon (camera batteries CHARGED this time) and then tomorrow morning while you are all fast asleep I'll start making my way back home. Das Zaftra! And this time, for me, at least - that's a GOOD statement. (All jokes aside -- prayers to the family before me)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

So Happy Together...

I started to title this blog "Reunited... and it feels so good", and it started to sound familiar to me. More familiar than me being apparently a rampant Peaches and Herb fan, because I used it the day that T and I were back together again!! So... I had to get creative. So now if you're singing "The Turtles" 1967 song all day, it's all my fault. And I'll totally admit, it's now stuck in my head!

After sleeping like a complete log last night, I awoke to the coolest wake up call I've experienced to date. The hotel has their TV system tied into the phone, so my TV turned on with a non-jarring alarm and a screen that very politely told me to wake up. Very cool. Yes, I am easily amused and entertained. After inhaling a great breakfast ( I was STARVING), it was time to get ready to see the Soup! Masha arrived to pick me up and there was a surprise waiting for me in the driver's vehicle... another couple going to the same baby home.

PEOPLE! Real People! Who speak english! And are having the same emotions are me!

I warned you -- I am easily entertained. So Shelly and Wayne are from Western NY and here on their first trip, but 2nd adoption. We instantly hit it off as our eldest children should be married off soon via arranged marriage. We swear they are the same child! My deepest apoligies to Rachel, Kristine and Angela - who's sons I have also promised Tatiana's hand to.

We arrived at the baby home in no time. I could literally walk, if I knew the way. Minor details. The 2nd big surprise of the morning was that I got to go inside his groupa room! Last time I stuck my toe inside - and took a picture. The room was nice - a kitchen area and table/chairs for eating. Man - that was just the TIP of the iceberg. Soupy is living in a mansion! All I saw was room #1. There are at least 4 others. JUST FOR HIS GROUP. Half way into his kitchen room, there is a glass door to a large playroom. And there he was. I instantly spied him. He locked eyes with me and as much as I'd love to say that instantly he remembered me as his MAMA, I am sure it's more like "hey, she looks pretty familiar, I think I know that chick!". Either way, he is a doll.

We wandered through the kitchen room, in through a bathroom, with a raised child sized bath tub (I so need one of those!) into a room of closet type cubbies - one for each of the kidlets, with their name on it. Off that room there was 3 rooms -- two which I did not see, but I suspect one was maybe an office (I could hear someone talking) and one must have been the groupa bedroom. The third was a medium sized playroom with a desk in one corner. Nice, quality toys were placed throughout the room. There was a door here into the larger playroom that I could see him in via the kitchen room (imagine a big U shaped series of rooms). The door opened and in came little Soup. He played shy again for about the first 5 minutes. No tears. Just shyness. We played a little bit and then he turned it on. We were sitting down and he kept closing his eyes like he was tired. So I scooped him up to hold him and he put his little head on my shoulder and snuggled. We sat and I rocked him a little and he was perfectly content like that for probably 15 + minutes. At one point he got down and went over to see Masha, and then came right back to mama and essentially asked to be picked up again. I see a mama's boy in my future! What a great little snuggler he is.

Masha took off for a couple minutes - and not too long after that, he turned into wild, crazy fun boy. He was banging toys and loudly shouting his baby words (da da ba ba) and throwing a ball back and forth with me. So apparently he does everything in BIG fashion - he loves big and plays big!

The only down side of today was that stupid mama forgot to check her camera batteries this morning before I left. Something seems to have killed the batteries in my camera AND my optical mouse. Thankfully, the camera batteries are re-chargable and I have the recharger... but had no camera today. I did take some video, but... I can't post that here. Sorry! No teaser pictures AND no picture of the groupa mansion!

Tomorrow is court. I have been told noon and I have been told 11am. So that's either 3am or 4am eastern time tonight when you sleep. Say a couple prayers for us before bed! When you wake up -- I hope I have fabulous news for you!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Smooth Sailing to St. Pete's

Deja Vu! I am back in St. Pete's! Much less snow and no visible ice sheets to walk on (thank goodness!) but the rest is about the same.

I left Monday pm from Detroit into Paris on Air France. I somehow pulled the "Coach Plus" seating -- which sounds good in theory (and looks good too). This is the new thing for airlines -- the rows at the start of coach are now premium, and on larger planes are their own section. You get a little pod - and they say 40% more room. I am doubting the 40% - sure, a little more room, yes, but 40% is questionable. You also get a footrest. A useless foot rest - because YOUR SEAT DOES NOT RECLINE. What the? (that's for you, Sara) And the foot rest doesn't even go up all that high or feel all that strong and secure.

I did score a FABULOUS seat mate. His name is Andrew and is a personal trainer from the Ann Arbor area. Possibly the best seat mate you could want on an airplane - personable, friendly, funny but also knows when to be quiet. Seriously, what more could a talker like me want? We dined on some interesting looking chicken, and had our share of Champagne. But the sleeping was in fits and spurts due to the lack of comfort level. Oh. And this Air France flight made Korean Air flights feel COOL. You heard me right, Vlad mommies and daddies. It was a roasting oven on there most of the time. My feet threatened to turn into ham hocks on me at one point, until I rescued them from the socks they were trapped in. Yes. I took my socks off on a flight. Sue me!

The first small hiccup was in Paris. Air France couldn't give me a boarding pass in Detroit for Rossiyana Airlines -- my connection in Paris. So I had to go on a slight scavenger hunt to track down my boarding pass. CDG Airport in Paris is huge -- I can totally see how someone lived there for a while. After some slight language barriers, I finally had my boarding pass in hand and went upstairs to find my plane. And we were off again.

Rossiyana is a different story. Very clean planes - and very nice staff. However, the best way to describe it is sardines. If you ever want to know what a sardine feels like in one of those cans -- fly Rossiyana. I have short legs and my legs are STILL touching the seat ahead of me. Yipes. For our meal, I was offered "lamb" (I think) or "PIG". Yes pig. Poor flight attendant couldn't think of the word pork. And who am I to blame her -- I can't say that I know the Russian word for either to be honest.

Arrival in St. Pete's was on time and smooth. I love how the Russian's clap when they land safe. It makes me smile EVERY time. I know it's cheesey. But I love it. I, of course, choose the slowest passport control line in the airport. (Perhaps the world) Second small hiccup was there was no staff waiting for me with my friendly name sign. Slight panic did set in, I'll admit. However, I have read many times that you need to be patient and some times traffic snarls can cause issues, etc. So I took a couple deep breaths and went outside. I debated a taxi. However, thoughts of being murdered for my lovely stash of cash that I was carrying (adoptive parents totally understand what I am talking about) kept creeping in my head. I literally had just gotten a rate from a taxi driver and was in the process of saying about 5 Hail Mary's in my head -- when I saw the sign. WHEW! Relief!!

Now, I am tucked safely into the Taj Mahal. I mean the Courtyard on Vasilievsky Island. This is the OTHER Courtyard in St. Pete's. Having now stayed at both, I will tell you -- you can't go wrong at EITHER. Both have fabulous staff who speak english. Both have 24/7 currency exchange. Both are gorgeous. However, this one seems to be cheaper -- and it may be because it's not quite tourist season yet. I was upgraded to a King Studio Suite (thank you platinum status!!) and my room is HUGE and wonderful. I even have a towel warmer! I think I could get used to that...

Tomorrow I am off to see Baby Soup again. I can't wait. Thursday is court. Say some prayers for little Soupy and I. We'd appreciate it. And, while you're at it... please throw a couple toward my Great Aunt Greta back at home who apparently suffered a stroke on Saturday night. She is the wife of my Grandfather's brother, who just passed away last spring. Love to you Aunt G!