Sunday, December 08, 2002

The Countdown Begins

December 8, 2002

Her faced wreathed in smiles, every ounce of her body exudes joy. I was so privileged to spend the last 4 days with a dear friend, Sasha. Aaron had left for a 4 day conference to Tallinn Estonia, and as it was only 10 days before due date, he wanted someone to spend the time with me. She only stands 5’2” but has more energy than a person twice her size. Together we fixed up the baby’s room, she did most the heavy lifting. We experimented with new recipes and cleaned the apartment till it shone. I can truly say that I have never met a more generous, or considerate person. The reason I say this is because she gives out of her poverty, with joy. I look at myself, and realize that most of the time I give out of my excess, holding that which is best back for my family. Sasha makes $70 a month as a neonatal intensive care nurse, watching out for 12 to 16 very ill newborns 24 hours at a time. I am amazed at her wisdom, and the love she shows for these little ones, some of whom are abandoned by their parents due to severe birth deformities. She tells me of one tiny 3 lb baby who no one thought would live but for a couple of days. The doctors basically told her not to bother trying to feed him as he would be unable to swallow. With persistent love and tender care she patiently taught this little one how to suck and swallow until he was able to take in enough food to survive. She tells me this story, a light in her eyes as she proudly speaks of how well he is doing now and the hope there is for him in the future. A Christian Finnish pediatrician has decided to adopt him. She plans to take him back to Finland for intensive therapy and surgery, giving him a second chance at life. Sasha has hundreds of children she has loved and cared for, sending home healthy well fed babies, receiving a new set of tiny preemies or failing newborns every month or two. She laughs when she tells me about seeing a full sized newborn. “They’re so fat and big!” she exclaims. “I always think they are at least 3 to 4 months old.” Jesus surely loved these little ones by sending them this precious woman.

Wednesday doctor said baby is not ready to be born yet, but is getting very big, close to 9.5 lbs by his estimate! Next Thursday, December 13th, if contractions have not started, he has asked me to come in to the Hospital for preparation to induce. He is afraid that the baby will get too big if we allow him to grow much more. I don’t completely agree with him on this issue, and am unsure on if I need to challenge him on this issue or not. Being a nurse, I know of many women who have delivered 10 lb and larger babies without great difficulty. At the same time, for a first baby, it could be a very difficult labor. Pray that God gives us wisdom in this matter, as well as the Doctor who has been following me and will deliver the baby. I continue to be pretty active for a woman who is supposed to give birth in the next few days, going to Church, attending Aaron’s company Christmas party, traveling to Christmas bazaars near the center of the city. Try as I might, I just can’t sit at home and wait, so I go waddling all over the city, traveling public transport from one end to the other. The embarrassing thing is how slow I move these days, I have been passed by several grandmothers canes in hand!!! They are the ones who watch out for me on the busses, prodding young boys or men to stand up so I can sit down. Believe me, you don’t want to get into an argument with one of these venerable ancients. And my coat? I can’t even close it in the front any more. Not always convenient when the temperature is in the single digit numbers. Aaron keeps telling me that I don’t look THAT pregnant. He is such a sweet man!
This week Aaron came home from work with a notice from the post office saying we had a package waiting for us there. As he worked the following day, he asked if I could pick it up. I quickly agreed until I looked at the weight written on the notice. “Babe, this is close to 25 lbs, I don’t think I will be able to carry it all.” Aaron grabbed the slip and looked at it closer and instantly agreed. The next day, I waited eagerly for him to come home after work and a client Christmas party. Aaron had called me earlier to taunt me with the fact that there was so much stuff, he could hardly fit it in our big back pack. Aaron and I had immense fun that night opening all the gifts and cards from the Bet Tikva Congregation in Seattle. We had worked with the youth of this Messianic Congregation for close to two years, as well as participated in worship. Many of our close friends there held a shower for us and recorded hellos from everyone attending. What a blessing!! To all of you who participated thank you so much for the package you sent with all the gifts for baby Bogott (Aaron loves the chocolate and candy – I am on a sugar restriction, which he does not mind at all). We are so blessed!

Soon dear friends, we will be writing you an announcement to let you know of the birth of our son. Aaron says if it turns out to be a girl, we will be really in trouble – no name, no girl colored clothing etc. Dr. assures us that the ultrasound shows a 95% chance of it being a boy. Aaron’s excitement is growing exponentially as the day approaches – he will make such an awesome father!
We love you and miss you all!

Aaron, Ramona, and Squirmy Bogott

Sunday, October 06, 2002

The War of the Rat

October 6, 2002

1st night: CRASH!! I am jolted out of my sleep by a loud noise coming from the kitchen area. Aaron continues to sleep soundly. My heart pounding, I wait to hear footsteps, thinking someone is in the apartment. I debate on waking my exhausted husband and decide to let him sleep. Silently, I pray for our computer and printer, that whoever is there will not take it. Then I pray for our own safety. After 30 minutes of hard listening, I decide that maybe one of the dishes fell and no one is there. Our floor is so poorly made no one could walk across it without loud creaking sounds. In the morning, Aaron wakes up early to get ready for work. I hear a loud “Ramona!” coming from the hall. Aaron stands near the kitchen door holding up our bread bag with a huge hole through both bags and a large chunk of bread missing. I poke my head in the kitchen and see dishes scattered on the floor, and a trail of white dust coming from behind the fridge. “I think we have a rat”, Aaron comments. I look at the size of the teeth marks in the bag and agree.

2nd night: “I’m going to try the water bucket method”. Aaron is gathering the needed supplies and filling our mop bucket with water. I look at him skeptically as he places a thin board on the edge of the table with a piece of bread and peanut butter on the end. “You see, the rat should walk out on the board to get the food, then fall into the bucket of water below it and drown,” he explains to me. I imagine a very wet and angry rat greeting us in the morning from our mop bucket, and tell Aaron he has the job of getting rid of it if his method works. 2 am and a splash is heard from the kitchen. Aaron and I race out to find the board in the bucket, but no rat.

3rd night: We are getting worried as our guest from Seattle is arriving tomorrow and her room is located next to the kitchen. After 3 hours of searching, we have finally found a heavy duty metal rat trap, strong enough to do some serious damage. It has large teeth on the edge and looks like it could take the head off any rodent. Aaron carefully bates the trap, attesting to its effectiveness when he catches his finger in it leaving several bloody wounds on his poor first knuckle. The next morning, bread and peanut butter are gone, but the trap is not sprung. Not only that, but our pet has now taken a bite out of every apple and tomato in our produce basket ruining the whole lot. From the size of the teeth marks this is one huge animal. I suggest rat poison, but Aaron is afraid of not finding the body until the smell leads us to it.

4th night: We apologize profusely to Andrea, a lovely girl who studied with Aaron at the University of Washington. “We have a critter living with us”, Aaron explains nervously. I had told him earlier that it would be a good cultural experience for our guest, and not to worry because Andrea is a world traveler. 4 am and we hear the trap spring. After several nights of little sleep Aaron doesn’t want to crawl out of our warm bed to investigate. Ten minutes later a horrendous noise begins as the rat goes through its death throes. We wait till no noise comes from the kitchen then Aaron bravely marches out to find out what we cought. He quickly returns to the bedroom, a look of disgust on his face. “It’s the biggest rat I have ever seen” He exclaims. Shivers run up my back as I think of what we have been living with the last few nights. With gloved hands, Aaron double bags the creature and we throw it into the nearby trash bin across the street. Our guest states she needed to use the restroom, but heard the rat and was too afraid to venture from her room till we had taken care of it.

What amused me most about our adventure was the reaction of my Russian coworkers. Their horror and disgust was greater than mine. The ambulance crew from my clinic was ready to drive over to our place and take care of our little problem the first day I talked about it. I had every advice from what kind of poison to use, to what kind of trap to buy. Someone even offered to loan me their cat, although I think the cat would have been terrified of what we caught. Whatever the case, it is dead and gone, and hopefully none of its relatives will follow.

Blessings to all of you! Sleep tight.

Tuesday, January 01, 2002