Week one in Greece with the Kids

January 29, 2016 at 7:40 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Liam is doing remarkably well in his new school. He hasn’t really made any friends yet, but I expected that. He’s been to the nurse’s office twice, once for a bumped knee and once because he fell out of his chair and hit his chin. He tried to describe the chair they put him in  — it only had one leg that twirled around, he said. Sounds like something out of Dr. Suess! His class is putting on a play about paleontology and he will be playing a Fossil. They perform it next week, and Violet and I are invited. Very cute!

Today I had to run to the school to sign him up for a meal plan and get him a gym uniform. We’re going to give this Greek lunch a go, despite his complaints that his lunch room is “the smelly one.” I only bought him 10 meals, and even that may be optimistic. But we found something on the menu that looked agreeable at least once or twice a week, so we’ll see how it goes.

I was a little surprised he needed a gym uniform. Really, for first grade? They sold me a sweatshirt that I can already tell is going to be way too big (it was an XS), and a shirt and shorts that will probably fit. They were out of sweat pants, but he’s so short I doubt anything they have will fit him, so I’m just going to provide the pants myself. Most of the clothes he wears are perfect for PE, so it won’t be a stretch. I was pleased to find out the kids don’t have to dress in them at school — he’ll just need to wear them twice a week on gym class days. Two less outfits to have to plan, yay!

Every morning we’ve been walking down to the bus stop, carefully crossing the busy road and waiting for a long time. I like to get there early in case they actually come on time. So far this week they’ve been 15 minutes late everyday. Liam and I have been inventing games to play while we wait — jumping in sidewalk squares without hitting cracks, counting colored cars, I Spy, taking turns counting until the bus comes. I let him invent the games, and it’s been pretty fun.

Yesterday he came home raving about his Greek class. Though he still says recess is his favorite. They have three per day everyday, which he loves. Oh, and the dog in the class, apparently I got his name wrong. It’s not Mr. Chips, like the movie, but Captain Chip. He even has his own blog.

Liam still has nightly reading and occasional math homework. It’s structured a little differently — he gets one book a night like at his old school, but he also gets a longer book with several stories in it that he takes home over the weekend. They pick one story from the longer book each week and read it in class, then read it over again a bunch on the weekends. And then he has to fill out a “book report” on it for the next week. I’m hoping this will help him with reading comprehension, which he was struggling with last term.

Violet, my little smiler, is finally beginning to adjust as well. She took longer to get over the jet lag, but now she’s finally going to bed and waking up at her regular times. Feeding her has been a challenge as we have yet to procure a high chair. It’s on the to do list this weekend. I improvised by sitting her on the dining room table and pushing the chairs in, though she managed to fall forward right into last night’s take out, and she was Not Happy about that. She’s also finally getting in some good naps today. We have had a lot of interruptions over the past week, either having to go out or having people coming to the house and waking her up. But she is happily snoozing away right now, and I’m hoping she’ll wake up refreshed.

She’s been more clingy than usual, partly because she’s unfamiliar with her surroundings, and partly because we’re missing a lot of her toys. I’ve been told her exersaucer is coming in another 10-14 days. Not soon enough! These hardwood floors are tough for her, so we used a cushion from the window seat in the foyer to help her feel more at ease on the floor. It helps a little, though she still manages to slide off and bang her head sometimes. The boppy isn’t getting here for another two weeks, too!

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All snug in the kangaroo coat

She’s been super good when we go out. I have to wear her everywhere, and I usually have her all wrapped up in the kangaroo coat, so she’s nice and snug. She’s content to look around, smile at people, or fall asleep. I’ve got an umbrella stroller coming in our air shipment, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to use it. The sidewalks here are a challenge even on foot. But I’m sure we’ll find a use for it. And just as well — Violet clearly likes being worn better.

 

Poor girl is having some constipation issues, which is not like her. I suspect it has to do with the stress of a new environment. I found some strawberry applesauce that she seems to like, and that seemed to get things moving…in last night’s bath! Ick! I guess it’s better than staining her clothes — I don’t think I can get Oxyclean here, and laundry is kind of a pain to do anyway.

All in all the kids are doing well, better than I expected. James is settling into his new job nicely, too. We’ve been invited to some fancy dinner, and I have to find a babysitter already, sheesh. And I have to buy something to wear — there wasn’t much room in my suitcase for dresses or shoes. And next week I’m going to start looking for a part-time housekeeper. I feel like I spend all my time just shopping, doing laundry, and taking care of Violet. I really don’t want to have to add cleaning this big townhouse to the list. The Embassy gave me a list of babysitters and housekeepers, and apparently they have to be vetted before we can hire them. But at least I don’t have to scour the Greek craigslist!

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