Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Anybody else remember the Sears Wish Book? You would come home from school one day...and there it was. Smaller than the regular Fall catalog, which had just arrived a few weeks earlier and was full of boring stuff like Tuffskins and sensible Carter's underwear, the Wish Book was just for kids. All of the latest toys, games, and your every Christmas desire. My brother and sister and I would page through it, time and time again, pouring over every entry, skipping the "baby" toys, turning down the pages on the things we wanted most of all, marking it up with a pen, making, revising, and revising again the precious list for Santa.

Well, we don't have a Sears here, or a Wish Book, and no matter how you look at it, scrolling through the Toys 'R Us website just doesn't hold the same thrill. So when my mom sent the Legos and E-Toys catalogs I requested, my childhood came rushing back. Lucas has SLEPT with the Legos catalog for the past 2 nights. He has memorized each and every item, well aware of which he can request because they are for Ages 6-12. He's reserved the 16+ items for Christmas in 10 years when he assures me he will be waiting anxiously for the Star Wars Death Star model he currently doesn't qualify for.

It's so sweet to see the smallest things make the kids so excited. The odd package of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, a Nick Jr. magazine from 5 months ago that Lucas "rediscovered" in his room, the bottle of Heinz BBQ sauce a friend sent home via her son and delivered to Darcy to bring to me. "Mom! It's from America!" she exclaimed as she brought it out of her bookbag.

Absence does make the heart grown fonder.

Friday, November 09, 2007

These retinas of mine - so demanding! Such divas! Pay attention to meeeee! Like 2 squabbling siblings, each must have their own fair share of the attention. Surgery on one...the other demands equal treatment.

Let me now compare and contrast vitrectomy surgery in the U.S. and Turkey. No, just kidding. I will leave the debate over technological advances in modern retina-ectomies (my own made up medical term, can you tell?) to the scholarly journals. I will say, though, that after the US procedure, I was hustled out of the hospital's outpatient surgi-center faster than an obnoxious dinner guest - here's your hat, what's your hurry. OK, so nobody in the small Turkish eye speciality hospital spoke much English except the doctor and one nurse I clung to like a life preserver, but hey, when you are high on Valium and the post-operative anesthetic hasn't quite worn off, language is kind of secondary anyway. Plus, they let me stay overnight and considering the surgery wasn't until 6:30 in the evening and I didn't get back to the room until close to 10, I was OK with that.

I've now memorized every fiber of the one-foot square patch of carpet I can see as I've been lying on the floor for nearly 2 weeks. I do wander from spot to spot in an effort to relieve my back and neck pain. Later today a recommended massage therapist is coming over, hopefully to nudge away some of the knots that have built up in my shoulders.

On the days when it's sunny, I lay like a cat in the sun, soaking up the vitamin D, at least on the back of my head. Same benefits, right? We've also had some cold, miserably windy days that are typical in November, when the rain pours down in sheets and I am glad to be inside, though fighting with myself not to let my mood turn as grey.

We have been showered with help in the form of rides for the kids, wonderful meals, visits and phone calls. If I need to fill every dish that's come into my house before returning it, I'll be making chocolate chip cookies for the next year. Send more Nestle toll house morsels! Quick!

But wait, this is supposed to be a blog about my wacky adventures raising the kids overseas, right? Sorry, that is based on the assumption that I could actually leave the house with them. There will be more, soon I hope. Promise.

P.S. Go on, comment. Really, you can do it. I've got nothing but time to read at the moment. Just click on the colored text where it probably says 0 Comments. You can remain anonymous if you want.