Monday, March 10, 2008

The Swing

ok so i finally got these images off my camera --- these were from november --- little joji going to town on the swing! --- and i know i haven't finished the hospital saga yet... will try to complete soon.

Friday, February 1, 2008

a (long) bedtime story : part digression

i was actually able to get some sleep saturday night for a few hours.  there was the continual entourage of nurses coming in and out, some who spoke english, some who didn't.  fortuantely i pretty much knew the drill by then, they check the saline, they would sometimes ask how the pain was (or i would just hope that's what they were asking), i lift up the arm to put the (mercury - you know, the one you shake and that contains a nasty little thing called mercury) thermometer under, sometimes they came back, sometimes they didn't and i would just take it out after awhile.  normally this would totally piss me off in the us, however this was greece and i was in the maternity ward and people were popping out babies left and right and i was the random sickie who couldn't speak greek... needless to say, i don't think that the 4 hour thermometer check was a life or death situation.  

so.... speaking of mercury thermometers... since it's been so long i can't remember, either saturday sometime or sunday my sister was helping me take my temperature 'cause the nurses hadn't been in in awhile.  the unfortunate thing about my sister and mercury thermometers is that i think because she hates them so much, they sense that about her, and all they want to do is flee. (it's really quite amazing to see these thermometers, i haven't even considered that they were still around) so the fear wells up in the sweet innocent mercury thermometer, it cowers and huddles and try to roll as far away from ado's hand as possible (that can somehow be taken as a random breeze just came through the room and pushed it).... but alas, it is to no avail, she will not be quelled, she WILL take your temperature.  or so she thinks. dundunDUNNN.  but, the thermometer will not give up without a fight, she picks it up - oh no, contact - it squirms, it wiggles, it struggles, it figgles? ----- closer and harder the hand grips it, the fingers curl one by one on top of it..... it takes a deep breath.... it defies ALL forms of logic, gravity, sense, it jumps (oh yes it jumps) out of her hand ----- FREEEEDOMMMM!!!!!!!!! it's flying, it's free, it's floating in the air, no bonds to hold it, no chains to bind it.  there are clouds above and below it, oh look it's floating down towards the clouds, closer now, wait, those aren't clouds, wait, that's not soft fluffy white stuff.... oh no, it's hard linoleum floor, oh no, the reality, in a blink, ohhhhhhhhh.  the thermometer falls swiftly toward annihilation, self-inflicted suicide, such a tragic end; to shatter to the ends of the earth, to have it's little mercury pellets collecting in cracks and crevices to remain saturating the bare feet of unknowing patients forever (well except that we got someone to come clean it up so hopefully that's not true), all to avoid my sister.  so they bring another thermometer and the nurse insists on taking my temperature herself.

by the time the sun was coming up, i was watching it, and feeling a bit better.  the remarkable thing about being in a hospital is that since i was on the saline drip i was able to have enough energy to keep going.  two weeks earlier when i had the virus and didn't eat for four days, i wasn't doing as well as i was this morning.  i had another visit from the lady doctor, of which it might have consisted of 10 words, not very productive - and i still hadn't heard about any results from any of the tests.  the unfortunate part of this was also that the pain killers they had given me sat night were so strong that a. they couldn't give me any more without waiting for awhile and b. that they wouldn't give me any more till they got some test(s) results back.  

.... while this one was short, hopefully it was sweet, will complete after i've had something to eat....

a (long) bedtime story : part une

ok so as my sister pointed out to me - i have failed to recount the last few days i was in greece. i had a plane ticket to return to the states leaving on tuesday and arriving on tuesday (i think).  it was also slightly imperative that i make this flight (or rather 3 flights) to get back to the states so that i could go to a wedding that weekend, which of course i also had plane tickets for as well as a car rental reservation, plans to go with a friend, hotel reservations, etc ... you get the picture.  

so the week was going well, i was getting pretty sad that i was going to be leaving and starting to miss the little ones as well as the big ones.  i packed a bit of stuff and we were doing our thing.  then we went to the market and were thinking of making a salad and i wanted to do a tomato mozzarella basil salad.  this is a salad that i was eating probably 3 or 4 times a week before i left for greece, and once i was there, i was craving it all the time.  so we get everything we need, they didn't have any fresh mozza, but they had semi-fresh, in a plastic bag with juice.  so we make the salad and other assorted items (don't remember now) and i chow on the salad, ado had some, chris had some, lia had just a little, and joji had none.  so we eat, we do whatever, ado goes to bed, chris goes back upstairs to work, lia's been asleep for awhile, and i'm up writing brad an email.  

i hear a noise from the bedrooms that sounds a lot like throwing up, i get up and walk to lia's room and i hear it again, then i ran.  and she was indeed throwing up, i get ado, we get to li, and we get her down off her loft bed and into the bathroom... she's not feeling good for a good couple of hours, keeps throwing up off and on.... finally she goes to sleep, by this time ado's not feeling too good, but she can't tell if it's actually something, or as a reaction to li.  so .... then it really begins, ado's up, i'm up, and chris is up... we are all puking - actually i think chris held out till the next morning, but he was severely nauseous to the point of needing to be standing over the kitchen sink. he had to stand over the sink, 'cause ado and i were lying together in the bathroom - alternating, no joke, it was crazy! 

so finally ado starts to feel a little better, she and chris can lay down, i however kept going, and going and going --- to the effect of by early morning ado and chris are making phone calls to find a doctor that i can go see at the clinic.  so this is saturday morning, i'm nauseous and cramping to a degree of severity i've only experienced once before.... with food poisoning in hong kong.  so they finally get me to the clinic (the greek term for private hospital), i make it up the elevator barely, and i see the head dr for the gi unit... he's the greatest thing on the face of the planet - super sweet, kind, a great cross between your dad and grandfather.  so he gives me anti nausea and pain drugs, they don't do anything.  i get into a room [i was freakishly lucky - there was one bed left in the clinic - in the maternity ward (where ado actually had joji), it was a single (oh thank god!) it was freshly remodeled, it had a view of the bay, it rocked], get on an iv, and they start pumping saline.  i'm not sure when i was in, but am time saturday... i get a little relief from some of the iv drugs, but only for a couple of hours.  so basically i'm still dying - the moaning and groaning, kill me now kind of pain -- and it's been going for too long now.  and, somewhere in the middle of all of that - chris finally gets his chance to throw up.  the luckiest thing in the entire world was that little joji didn't eat any of the salad -- or rather the mozza, which is what they had narrowed it down to as being the culprit for the crazy ass food poisoning that took us out.

so ado and chris are the greatest - they're juggling a baby and an 8 yr old, who was working on a low grade fever for the better part of the day.  but she made to both of the parties she was supposed to go to that night - so that was good -- and me in a hospital. the even more interesting part of all of this is that it's taking place in a language i don't understand... and as i came to find out, only about half of the nurses over the course of the time i was there understood mine.  about this time i'm starting to freak out about money and timing... two things that i just had to let go, 'cause there was nothing i could do about either.

so then the night shift comes on ---- i can't even begin to get the description down of the doctor that i had then.  all the greatness of the other doctor was basically flipped.  this was a woman who looked like she'd been called in from her night of clubbing.... huge blond frizzy hair and i'm talking HUGE, long (to the shoulder) gold earrings, tight tight shirt with lots of cleavage, short black skirt, knee-high black high-heeled boots.  and she was also not greek, but though she spoke greek, she didn't speak english. so after ado left for the night... we were left basically miming our way through the evening..... through all of this time i've also been peeing and ya know in cups for tests, giving blood, sucking down saline.  since i'm still wasn't feeling better the lady dr decides to take and x-ray and run an ekg? maybe i don't remember, some heart test... i'm freaking out - do you know how expensive those kind of tests are in the us?? oh man... plus i'm starting to get worried... and ado's just trying to calm me down... she later tells me after i get out of the clinic all the stuff the lady dr was saying that she didn't translate for me to not freak me out even more.... it was totally funny in retrospect too 'cause the dr would talk and talk and talk and then ado would say something and they would have this like 5 min long convo and i'd be like what did she say? and ado would tell me oh they're going to take your temperature.  and i'm like is that it? then the nurse comes in to take it and she says ok so turn over.....uhhh ado???  :)  ahhhh it was funny.

seeing as how this is getting very long... i will continue the crazy saga tomorrow -- the uber extreme windstorm which i had a front row ticket to because of my great room in the morning and cute new on call doctor man :).

Monday, January 21, 2008


so i am back in the seattle area... :) spending the holidays here was nice, it's even snowed a couple of times in the past 2 months since i've been back.  i have found a job doing massage at a salon that has just expanded to include 'spa' services - which means new, and no clientele - which means building my own... which could take a lonnng time.  so for the moment i'm staying in the area... but we'll see what happens.  it's been really good to be doing massage again and it'll be interesting to see if i enjoy doing it for income.  so the exploring abroad plans have been put on hold for the moment, but i will try and keep updating on the blog to keep in touch.... 

Thursday, November 1, 2007

thur nov 1

ok so it's been a really long time since i've written - but first our parents were here and that was really fun.  i'll put some photos up at the bottom that my mom sent me from when they were here.  after they left we were just trying to get things pulled together and then there was a long weekend starting on the 26th - fri - with joji's first birthday and then a trip up to a lake on sunday... however i didn't get to partake in any of those fun experiences (save for making his birthday cake in the morning) because i got knocked out by a wretched virus that lasted for four days - ughh.  i'm recovered from that now, just trying to stay clear of the colds the kids have. cold and flu season in a house with kids and in a different country is deadly - or at least taxing on your immune system - to be a little less dramatic :).  but i'm planning to make it through unscathed from here on out.

on a different note, i didn't take the job that i was contemplating, so i'll be coming back to seattle in less than 2 weeks - crazy - and see from there if i come back, or where else i'll go.  i will definitely be sad to say goodbye to the cool and sunny weather that we are having here... there has been some rain, but today was actually warm, so nice.

i have to say that i am definitely disappointed with bite.  shocking.  anyways, it was an experience, an experience that required more alcohol than i consumed.  oh well.  it was definitely thoroughly amusing, some good music - which was the saving grace, ado and i were rocking out the whole time - but they clipped a lot, so right when you were getting into it, they moved on to another song.  i think we might have also been the only people in the room to know the words to any of the songs.  however, i can say that i have maxed out on my ass quota for the year - maybe for the next five years, along with glow-in-the-dark fangs and really cheesy vampires.  but it was definitely what it said it was - sans being topless, that it wasn't, just lots of bras - rock n' roll music blaring while girls dance around in heels, fishnets, and other various coverings, one male vampire, some live fire, plot - was there a plot?, etc.  unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos so i don't have any to post.  did i mention it was in a casino? :)

so now i get to relax and have fun with lia and joji and everyone, no more job searching, no more learning greek - at least for this trip :) -- i hope everyone had a wonderful halloween, we are finishing up decorating sugar cookies we made tonight, cats and pumpkins, something halloweeny for lia :).  i'll try and get out and take some more photos since i haven't done that in quite awhile.

dinner at ado's after mom and dad had arrived

liolia, george (chris's parents), chris, joji, ado, me, lia, dad (mom taking the photo) - we went on a trip out to Vergina (the mound behind us is covering the tombs of alexander the great's father and a couple of other royals). very cool site, they've maintained the experience of being in an underground burial site.

ado and joji - shopping downtown

lia climbing the doorway

joji chilling with dad

before ado and i went to bite

Friday, October 19, 2007

less than 24 hours to go

oh i can't believe i almost forgot! it's less than 24 hours till bite !!! wow... time flies when you're not thinking a 'gosh-darn' about something :)

very exciting news - since the inception of time there have been little plastic objects that you screw into doors of cabinets etc to keep small inquisitive children from opening the doors and pulling everything and the drawers out from within.  however, these tend to take lots of time to install.  since i've been here each day has had some amount of time spent in keeping little boy out of them.  we have most recently been shoving dishtowels into the doors, which actually works pretty well - till they figure out all they have to do is pull on the towel.  today our dad was amazing and installed 8 out of the 10 latches in the kitchen for the cabinets (hurray for grandpas!!!!) so exciting, i mean i can't even tell you, needless to say it's taking a while to remember that they're there (this is what is has come down to - and it's only been a month - but it's ok - it's the little things in life :) ).

on a completely other note ( if i keep going it'll make a full circle) if you're in the mood for children's books - or in a bookstore and browsing - i seriously suggest -- & i mean highly recommend:

the big orange splot
by daniel manus pinkwater

by peter h. reynolds

please don't let the 'children's' part deter you these are amazing books - regardless of their projected age range.   being around kids and reading their books to them is reminding me how amazing some children's books can be - at any age, all ages, anytime in our life --- esp the older we get and the farther away we get from our childhood and our children's childhood etc. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


every saturday morning there's a really amazing farmer's market outside of thessaloniki - it's completely organic!  so needless to say we spend a lot of time there and try to get as much produce for the week as we can - it's also wayyy less expensive than in the stores, and the money goes directly to the farmer - another plus :).  there are some health food stores that carry organic products and produce here, but they are really expensive - which is kind of a bummer, this market is totally the lifesaver for that problem - as long as you have a car.