Saturday, December 13, 2008


Finally. I finally have an internet connection at my house. I have had a random floating wireless connection since I've been here, but I could never count on getting online. I also never knew how long the connection would last. Now we are set up with our own wireless so the possibilities for blogging are endless. Now my problem is time. Well time and tiredness. We have been pretty busy going and doing since our wireless connection was established on Wednesday night. I have had very little time to actually sit down and blog. Then when I did have time I was so unbelievably exhausted that the thought of looking at words on a screen made my eyes cross. Now. Now I have just awakened from a 2 hour nap. I feel rested. I am blogging.

Wow. Can I just say that living in America is more exhausting than I thought it would be? I know that isn't completely true. It just happens to be a true statement of these past three weeks. I have been to Walmart more times than I care to count. I have spent more money than I care to know about on things like a mop and bucket, a printer, measuring cups and spoons, and telephones. And that is just a sampling of the lists and lists and lists I've brought to Walmart with me. All of those things were so much cheaper than they would have been in Turkey, but they still add up.

Another thing that has worn me out is school. I'm not in school, but I almost feel like I am. Erica and Will have to get on the bus at 6:50am. They get on 2 different buses since they are going to 2 different schools. I am used to getting up about 7 so getting up an hour earlier to make sure they've had breakfast and have lunch has been an adjustment. I am not a morning person or a night person per say. I just need some sleep to function. I prefer to stay up late, but I have barely been able to keep my eyes open past 9pm the past few weeks. I hate that!

Anna Grace and Jacob don't leave for school until 8:25. I must admit it is nice to get the two older kids out the door before having to wake up the younger two, but by the time they leave on the bus I've been up for 2 1/2 hours already. I want a nap by that point! I did manage to take a nap one day last week, and boy did it feel good!

Blogging about naps...twice in one post already. Um...let's move on.

The kids are doing a pretty good job of adjusting. They have had some culture shock going to school here which was expected some. I was surprised at how different things were from what I remember. Anna Grace seems to be having the hardest time. She doesn't do well with change so I expected that. There have been many tears and exclamations of "I hate this school" over the course of the last two weeks. On Tuesday of her first week of school I got a call from the counselor who was trying to calm Anna Grace down. Evidently the math is different than what she was used to in Turkey. Something about a 4 step process. I had no idea what she was talking about, but I talked Anna Grace into going back to class. The next morning she cried about going to school. I managed to get her ready and out to the bus stop. As soon as she saw the bus coming down the street she came and hugged me and said she wasn't going. She was adamant. She started to try to run for the house, but I managed to grab her and hold her there. I told her she had to go to school. I told her that everyone understood that she didn't know how to do the math. The counselor said that the teacher was going to sit down with her and show her how to do it. The bus pulled up and all the kids except Anna Grace got on it. She wouldn't let go of me. I knew that if I gave in and took her to school it would be a fight every morning. The bus driver was telling her that she could sit in the front. Finally at my wits end I started to cry. Through my tears I told her she had to go to school. She looked up at me, saw the tears, and turned and got on the bus. Poor girl. Made me weepy all day. At lunch her math teacher called to welcome us to the school. She said that Anna Grace mentioned that she made me cry that morning at the bus stop. Yes. Yes she did. Reverse psychology. It works...even when you don't mean to do it.

We still have almost all of our Christmas shopping to do. The adults were taken care of before we left Turkey, but the 8 nieces and nephews as well as our own children might like it if we gave them a present. I have seen wish lists from some of them which should make the job of shopping easier. The problem is that after all the necessary shopping to set up house I haven't really wanted to Christmas shop. I am not a big fan of shopping in general. Unless it is for shoes...for myself...which hasn't happened at all since I've been here. It's been 19 days and I haven't purchased a pair of shoes yet. I haven't even looked at shoes! I did buy 2 pairs of slippers, but that doesn't count! What is the world coming to?

Oh. Our Vonage phone is now working as well. Same number as before. If you don't have it and want it email me. It will be our main phone line here.


Sra said...

I try to do most of my Christmas shopping on Amazon or other internet retailers. I just prefer Amazon because I can frequently get free shipping. It's getting down to the wire on getting shipped items on time, though.

Poor AG. She'll adjust, though.

Anonymous said...

Glad you all are back. Talked to John last week and he said you were all well. Just a trick for what I do to help with the mornings: I try to have the lunches made the night before and also I set out the bowls, pop tarts, vitamins, cups, etc. all before bed. That is a lot less to think about the next day. I, too, am not a morning person. My poor kids and husband pretty much steer clear for at least 20 minutes to let me wake up. Hope you all have a great Christmas.

LA Cousin

Irrational Dad said...

Ugh... Christmas shopping... double ugh. I'm glad I don't have to shop for as many people as you do ;)

I hope the adjustments to US living get a little easier. I'm sure they will once some type of normalcy is established.

Anonymous said...

Yikes! This is a tough time for most people without the 'just moved from another country' bit thrown in. I'm with LA Cousin. Get those lunches packed the night before. It is a tremendous help. And poor AG! I feel her pain! I hope she is feeling better about things soon. She probably feels like she's stupid and everything's out of control. Once she catches up on the math she'll be ok. I always told my son who sounds much like AG that he can't possibly be expected to know something before he's taught it. I also have done little to no Christmas shopping except for what I can do on the internet. I hate shopping, too, so there ya go. I don't even like to shop for shoes. Kitchen utensils...now there's another story. Hope things settle down for you soon!


Lisa said...

Glad you're reconnected to the internet and back to blogging. Sorry to hear about the 4-step process for Anna Grace's math. Hopefully she can hang on until Christmas break. We're praying for all of you!

Anonymous said...

Poor Anna Grace :(.

You need new shoes woman.

Go buy a few pairs.....


Anonymous said...

Boy. The holidays are busy and stressful enough w/out having to transition from another country!

I'm sorry to hear about poor Anna Grace. It had me in tears, too. I'll be thinking of her...and you!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, Texas is truly another country -- even for a Californian. I'll match my Walmart bills with yours!

Has someone in your family got you a decorated Christmas tree for Christmas?? Scott did for us. And it was so nice to walk in to find a beautiful tree and one more duty completed.

Natalie said...

sra - i have done that in the past, but this year i just didn't even think about christmas presents until i only had a little over a week to get them. thankfully it was fairly painless.

la cousin - john told me he talked to you! usually the lunches aren't my problem. i don't mind making them the morning of. for me is it making sure ag is in a pleasant mood. that means having her decide what to wear the night before, and then i have to act like i am little merry sunshine in the morning so my mood can rub off on her a little. there are days i don't have it in me!

joe - thanks! i am hoping after the kids start back to school after the holidays we can establish some sort of routine!

mamadallama - yeah...ag is just harder than most. she is strong-willed and moody. i have learned how to deal with it without boiling over, but there have been days when i am at my wits end with her! thankfully as things get more normal she will settle in some.

kitchen utensils...i can do that as well!

mike and lisa - thanks! she is doing better i think. no more episodes since this one!

#2 - i know! i still haven't gotten shoes! there must be something wrong with me!

~m - i agree. it was so sad all the way around. it didn't help that brian was still in turkey. i was exhausted doing it all on this end, but i am thankful that he had the much harder job on that end!

marcia - i agree! walmart here i come again! nope...we did our tree ourselves. poor thing...next year we'll do a better job of decorating!