When you live in a different country, everything is more difficult.
Take Christmas shopping, for example. We want to keep things simple for Lane. I believe that most (American, and probably other nationalities as well) children have way more toys than they need or can fully appreciate. (But I don't really believe this about books...we want her to have an abundance of books. Plus, I'm really tired of reading the same 10 that she has over and over and over again!). However, I'm only aware of 1 store in Istanbul which sells children's books in English...and even then they don't have a large selection.
Then there's the toy aspect. You can find toys here. There are a select few stores that either carry toys or are specifically toy stores. But the selection is so limited. And because of my belief in wanting Lane to have fewer but nicer toys, I want to make every purchase count! It's not like you can do research on which toys you want to buy and then go out and buy them.
So what's a mom to do?
Head to Amazon.com, of course!
We've made Lane a wish list for the relatives' perusal, composed of toys and books that we think will be played with like crazy, stand the test of time, and will make it into our bags no matter how many times we move. I want to buy her everything on the list. But we're keeping it simple. For Christmas, Lane will be getting these from us:
Her first doll, made by Haba.
A couple of these books by Sandra Boynton.
And that's it. Well, we may buy her some Christmas pajamas, but really, that's it.
But I already know that she's getting these from other family members:
Letter Link Bath Crabs. The girls I used to nanny for had these and loved them. They have capital letters on one side, lowercase letters on the other side, they link together so you can spell words, and they're squirties! Now if only we can get a bathtub to use them in...
Haba first blocks. I am so excited about these!
She's getting other toys too from other family members, but I don't know what yet, since they haven't been bought! And some other books have already been purchased:
Quiet LOUD by Leslie Patricelli
Little Giraffe Finger Puppet book. Lane has Little Polar Bear and loves it, so I'm super excited for her to get more of these!
Then, Lane has a birthday exactly 4 weeks after Christmas! It'll be her 1st birthday, so it's a big deal! But once again, we're trying to keep it simple. We're getting her some more blocks:
Haba blocks. Can you tell I'm obsessed with Haba?
LeapFrog Letter Factory dvd. She doesn't watch her 2 Baby Einstein dvd's very often (her attention span lasts about 7 minutes), but I know I'll tire of them quickly once she does like to watch tv!
And we're getting her another book for her birthday. We haven't chosen which one yet. And that's it. What do you think? Have we done well at not going overboard? It's so, so hard as I'm sure all you parents know. I want to buy her the world. I think she needs every toy made. But I know she doesn't. After polling friends the general consensus was that around-1-year olds enjoy books, blocks, puzzles, and shape-sorters. So I'm hoping she gets some of those things! And I just figured she needed a doll...I mean, she is a girl!
Any other suggestions out there before we finalize our purchases?
On another totally unrelated note, my baby girl took her first steps today. Sigh. She's not even 9 months old yet. She's growing up too fast.