Thursday, September 30, 2010

Turtles and Swords and Planes, Oh My!

Last night, Shannon had a dream about me. It went like this:

We were on a flying tour somewhere. The people in charge of the tour kept flying us around in circles so that we wouldn't know where we were. Then the tour guides took us out in the middle of nowhere to see a prehistoric turtle that was the size of our living room. What we didn't know was that they take people to the prehistoric turtle to be eaten. Shannon turned his back and BAM! the turtle ate me.

Well, being the heroic stud that he is, Shannon turned around, picked up the giant sword that just happened to by lying there, and cut off the turtle's neck, freeing me.

Whew! That was close.

Want to know what provoked the dream?

This guy. Fisher Price's Roll-Along Turtle Pal

I really want to buy this turtle for Lane. They have it here. The only problem?

He speaks Turkish.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cruel, Just Cruel

About 6 months ago I was sitting in an OBGYN's lobby, waiting on my postpartum checkup. I'd been waiting for what seemed like forever when a girl, obviously in her last trimester, sat down across from me. Being the friendly person that I am, I struck up a conversation with her (and besides, let's face it, pregnant women love to talk about their pregnancies).

"How far along are you?"

"32 weeks."

"Ahh, not long now! Do you know what you're having?"

"A girl."

"Oh, girls are so much fun. Do you have a name picked out?"

She hesitated. And then said,

"Yes, we do. It's 'Rivka Bithia'."

Cue awkward silence. I mean, what am I supposed to say?

RIVKA BITHIA. Are those even names? I'm sorry, but who does that to their child? Shannon and I fall along the lines of liking names that are unique but not too weird. He liked Benia for a boy. I vetoed it. I liked Hadassah for a girl. He vetoed it. And so on, until we settled on Hannah (Lane we had picked out before we were even pregnant).

I'm sorry but both Rivka and Bithia are both unique and weird. Rivka? Bithia? Together? That poor girl doesn't even get a normal middle name!

That poor child.

Someone please back me up here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Confession

It's no secret that pregnant and nursing women get to eat more calories than your average, run-of-the-mill, not-pregnant-or-nursing woman. 300 calories more per day if you're pregnant, and 500 more if you're nursing, to be exact.

I love those extra calories.

I've always had a high metabolism and have never struggled with my weight. I've always eaten pretty healthily, have never "counted" calories, and never know exactly how much I weigh.

I've never owned a scale.

But now that Lane is (finally) sleeping through the night, I find myself moving from 6 nursings a day down to 5, and we'll probably work down to 4 within a month or so after her schedule has regulated itself.

And I won't get to eat as much.

I'm quite saddened by the fact that I will have to once again be conscious of how much junk food I shovel into my mouth. Today alone I've had 2 pieces of chocolate cake, 2 slices of pumpkin bread, and 3 chocolates. That's in addition to my morning oatmeal with nuts and cranberries and raisins, my lunch of potatoes and chicken and zucchini, and my dinner of chicken noodle soup and bread, and my fruit choices for the day of 1 1/2 plums and a cup of grapes. It's more difficult here to find healthy snacks in the stores and healthy cereal is ridiculously expensive, so I end up making stuff like cookies and sweet breads and then eating them when I get hungry. Which is often.

This has nothing to do with this post. But let's face it: baby butts are cute. Especially my baby's butt.

My metabolism has not slowed down. I'm still "allowed" probably 400-500 extra calories per day. I don't eat "just because." I eat because I'm hungry. But it's all going to be over soon. I'm trying to come to terms with that fact.

Do any of you have good, not-too-bad-for-you snacks that you like to eat (that aren't I could find them here)? Because I'm looking for suggestions. Maybe it'll fill the gap between a healthy amount of sweets and the 1000 calories worth of them I've eaten today. Help, help, help! I need some healthy snacks!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

How to Bake a Chocolate Cake

Tomorrow we're having company for lunch. So today I needed to make dessert for tomorrow. I thought that a loaf of pumpkin bread from the freezer would be nice (because let's face it, it's more like cake than bread), and that to ensure we got dessert dessert, I'd make this:

Chocolate cake. From scratch.

As I began to pull out the ingredients it occurred to me how different baking is here than in the U.S. For starters, some of my ingredients for the cake look like this:

Ayran, baking soda, powdered sugar, cocoa, and margarine.

You can't find buttermilk here, so I use ayran, a salty yogurt drink that Turks like to just drink. It's totally nasty, but seems to work just fine for baking. Baking soda comes in little packets or a huge bag, so I store it in an old pasta sauce jar. No familiar yellow box for me! Powdered sugar comes in a 250-gram (about 8 ounces, or 1/2 pound) package. Cocoa comes in a 100-gram package (about 3.5 ounces, or 1/4 pound). And butter or margarine also comes in a 250-gram package, with markings on the package dividing it into 50-gram segments. You can't just cut the stick at the 1/2-cup mark, because there isn't such a thing!

Flour, sugar, salt, and eggs are basically the same here, although eggs do come in packages of ten, not 12, and might still have chicken poo on them. Sugar is finer than in the States, and it must be a different kind of sugar, maybe beet sugar? It makes our semi-sweet tea syrupy if we don't drink it within three days.

Anyways, there are a few things that we just can't find here. I came prepared for at least one of them:

Can you see how much I've used in just 2 1/2 months? Good thing I had someone bring me another bottle...maybe I'll make it through the holidays!

My years in Poland prepared me for the fact that you cannot find vanilla extract in Europe, and I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to find it here either, so I brought a bottle. I was right: only vanilla sugar is available, and I never did figure out how to get my recipes to taste right using that stuff. So, vanilla extract it is.

Then there's this:

Yes, I brought it from the U.S. I brought my food processor too.

I felt kind of silly for bringing my Kitchen Aid mixer all the way across the world. It weighs 25 pounds and cost about $100 to check in an extra bag (if you figure the whole 50-pound bag cost $200 and it was 1/2 of the weight). BUT. I felt justified when one day we were out and saw a Kitchen Aid for sale, checked the price, and it was a little over $800. Eight hundred dollars!!!! I actually use my Kitchen Aid mixer and food processor regularly, so I'm glad I brought them, especially after seeing how much they cost here.

Finally, when it comes to actually baking the cake, I deal with this:


While 150° Celsius is not quite 350°Fahrenheit, I've found that in this particular oven, things tend to burn if I set the oven at 175°. The dial on the left determines where the heat comes from. With some things I have to turn the bottom on first, then turn it off and turn the top on, and then finally turn them both on to finish it off. It's complicated! Fortunately this is extremely nice compared to the oven I had in Poland, which I had to light with a match or lighter every time. Plus, it had no temperature gauge, so I learned to cook based on the size of the flame!

So, there you go: how to make a chocolate cake if you live in a different country! You never knew it involved so many differences, did you?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Date Night!

Without the baby.

A mocha, a cream-filled chocolate iced doughnut, and a cocoa-cappuccino doughnut.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

8 Months Old

Dear Lane,

Happy Birthday! Today you're eight months old...2/3 of a year! This last month has been full of new discoveries and new things for you! First of all, you got two teeth! You got the first one just two days after you turned seven months old. We had no idea it was coming and then one day mommy said, "Hey, it looks like she's getting a tooth," and then the next day it popped through! The second tooth finally broke through last night! We've been expecting this one for a couple of weeks have been a grump, but other than being grouchy you didn't show any other of the "normal" teething symptoms: you didn't drool or have bad diapers or a fever. You're funny with that new tooth, feel it with your tongue a lot, you like to stick your tongue out more now, and you can also scrape off bits of apple if we give you a slice of one (under close supervision, of course!).

You started cruising right after you turned seven months old, and now you're really good at it! You're super quick when we hold your hands and let you "walk," and you are a super fast crawler. You can also get yourself back down onto your bottom after you've pulled yourself up. We usually let you feed yourself some foods at mealtimes, and you're getting better at it. If it's a food like chopped up chicken or peas, you can get them into your mouth and not drop too much. However, foods like cut-up grapes and peaches you have a harder time getting with your thumb and forefinger. So, you've developed a way to get that food into your mouth anyways: you grab a fistful and then close your fist and knead your fingers, working the food up so it comes out of the hole you've made in your hand between your thumb and forefinger. You sure are smart! You also prefer to use your left hand when eating, but you do use your right hand as well: you just prefer the left.

This month you started doing some funny things! You blow raspberries at us more've blown them at us before, but now it seems like you're doing it on purpose. You also started shaking your head from side to side when you get really excited, or when someone whistles. You started clicking your tongue when you're finished nursing. And you still like to have your legs massaged, apparently!: if you're playing and mommy starts to massage your back and legs, you'll go limp and lie on your tummy. You're so funny!

Your personality keeps coming out more and more. In the mornings we love to listen to you play in your pack 'n play after you've woken up: you just sit in there for 15-30 minutes, talking, screeching, and playing. You usually do the same thing after you wake up from naps, too. You are fascinated and yet terrified by loud noises like the blow dryer, the washing machine, or the blender. You like for us to hold you while you stare at the culprit. You still love to play peekaboo, but your favorite way to do it now is for mommy or daddy to hide behind the couch and pop out from behind it. You like for us to turn you upside-down, to spin around with you, and to blow zerberts on your belly. You screech in laughter at zerberts!

Sometimes when mommy's in the kitchen you'll go crawling after me, and you like to pull up on my legs while I'm cooking, or for me to hold you and let you watch what I'm doing. If someone's in the shower you'll go crawling down the hallway to go listen to the water. You love to go outside, still, and you know that when we put you in the ERGO that it means we're going outside. You'll get all smiley and excited, and you'll coo and make happy noises. You're too, too cute.

You love for us to sing to you, and get really excited about some of the silly songs we've made up for you. When mommy sings Amazing Grace to you at nighttime you like to put your fingers in my mouth, like you're trying to feel the sound. Your favorite book is 5 Little Ladybugs, and you also like Little Polar Bear a lot. Sometimes you'll just sit in mom's lap and listen while I read lots and lots of stories to you. You're not so much a "snuggler," but you do like to be held and to sit in our laps.

Lane, we love you so, so much. Sometimes it almost makes mommy cry when I think about just how much I love you. You are such a joy to us, and while you are a lot of work sometimes, you have made our lives more full. When you lean your head on our shoulders, peek your head around a corner because you're looking for us, or babble and screech in joy, it makes us beam with pride that you are our daughter.


Mommy and Daddy

A green bean makes the perfect thing to chew on!

You finally got to wear the sandals that grandma bought you last winter!

There's that tooth!

Chewing on your favorite book.

"Please can we go outside, mom?"

The laundry basket is the place to be!

Snuggling with mom on a rainy day.

"Up, daddy, up!"

Checking out the ceiling fans.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Our First Package!

Today we got a package! Actually ,we got two packages! Shannon's dad wanted to mail him a couple of magazines, so we asked for a couple of things for Lane too.

Our first packages!

I haven't had much luck finding baby clothes here yet. Most of Lane's next-size-up clothes are summer clothes, since that's what was out when people were shopping for her. So, we needed some new pants to go under the cute dresses and over her onesies. I also had heard good things about mesh teether food bag things, so I asked for a couple of those so Lane could try them out. I haven't see socks here with the rubber grippers on the bottom (ok, actually I did see them at the Gap, but they're 10 lira ($6.75) a pair!), and since Lane is pulling up and cruising all over our hardwoods, those socks are much needed!

The loot!

While you can get children's Tylenol (or similar) here, you have to have a prescription for it, which I don't have. I wanted to avoid a $100 trip to the doctor just to get a prescription, and since Lane is teething, I didn't think our small supply would last until her 9-month checkup. And of course, there's the magazines for Shannon!

Sportin' the new duds! New socks, pants, and eating an apple!

Immediately after Lane woke up from her nap I put those jeans and socks on her (it was a chilly day!) and cut up some apple to put in the mesh feeder bag for her. She loved it and carried it around the apartment with her for the rest of the day (I had to replenish the apple!).

So, a big shout out and THANKS! to Lyn and Cindy for our first care packages...we appreciate them so much!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Goal Time

Alright. I've been doing some soul-searching, and I have determined that I need to set some goals for myself. I have not been too good about prioritizing my time since we got here, and I feel like I'm just floundering in some ways. So...a few that I already have are:

1) memorize 1 scripture verse each month (I know it's low, but better low and attainable than high and I never do it!).
2) stop all work by 9 p.m. so that Shannon and I can detox for an hour before bed.
3) speaking of bed, be in bed by 10:30.
4) go on at least 1 date with Shannon bez (sans, without) Lane each month.
5) spend at least 1 day per month exploring the city, doing something touristy, etc.
6) work on not having a critical spirit (and therefore a critical mouth, which sometimes hurts my husband...).
7) get up after I feed Lane in the early morning instead of going back to bed.

So...those are a few of my goals. I'd like to exercise (I would say more, but that would implying I'm actually doing exercise now), but there's just no time. Plus, we walk a ton, so I think I'm ok there. But I'm looking for ideas. Family goals. Personal goals. Goals to help me grow in my relationship with God. What kinds of things do you do? What's attainable? Looking for suggestions...

Oh, and a winner of the earrings has been found! Miss Kim Skinner, step on up! It was your horrible comment that won, but alas, it was the first one after 10,000 visitors had been reached. I already have your address, I believe, so you can expect to receive those earrings in the mail sometime before Halloween, as the transatlantic post is sometimes super slow. :-)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

What's For Dinner?

Thursdays are pazar days.

The pazar is the bazaar. And every Thursday it happens right up the street, about a 10-15 minute walk straight up this ginormous hill. But I figure that the hill is good exercise. The produce is better than at the store. And I get to practice my Turkish. So I usually go.

Yesterday was an exceptional day. I got all sorts of goodies! I always buy zucchini, grapes, and bananas. Yesterday I bought pumpkin to roast for Lane (and to freeze for pies and bread!). But among the best finds: broccoli (it's been difficult to find lately) and green beans (they've been a bit on the spendy side but were a good deal yesterday).

So, today when I was trying to decide what to make for dinner, this popped into my mind:

Pasta Primavera

This is one of the few things that I make so often that I no longer need the recipe. I know exactly what I like in it. I know what I need for it and what I can do without. I know how to up the portions of one vegetable if I don't have another.

It's one of our favorites.

Today I just happened to have all four vegetables that I like to put in it. I had just the right amount of fresh Parmesan left. I never add the wine anymore, so it didn't matter that I didn't have any. I had small bits of two different pastas that I wanted to use up. Lane, once again, entertained herself with a piece of toast and a carrot, and I tossed in a fresh green bean for kicks. I cooked. Shannon studied. Lane played. And dinner. was. delicious.

If you like pasta, I'd recommend giving this dish a try. Don't skimp on the Parmesan: use the fresh won't regret it. You can sub out any veggies for any other ones: if you don't like broccoli, leave it out and add more squash. Actually, add some yellow squash for me anyways...we can't get that over here. If you like cauliflower, add some. Actually, now that I think about it, I'm not sure exactly which veggies my recipe says to use. You can also add chicken if you want (although it's fantastic without it). Just cut or slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces and cook it in the olive oil first.

So, there you go. One of my favorite dishes. It's easy (and only time-consuming because of chopping veggies and shredding cheese). It's healthy. And it's yummy. The next time you're trying to figure out what to do for dinner...make this. And let me know what you think.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Dilemma

When I started this blog a little over 2 years ago, I did it with the intention of keeping our families up-to-date on what was going on with us. We had no children, were in graduate school, and actually had very little going on in our lives (and yet we were so busy with school!). However, now that we a) have a kiddo, and b) live in another country, it seems that there is always something to write about, whether it be that Lane is teething, that we walked all the way around Fenerbaçhe Stadium when we could have cut right through the parking lot and been on the other side, or that a bird pooped on our clean laundry the other day. There is always something to say.

Lane's newest teething "toy." Yes, she pulled the chair over all by herself.

However, I often find myself hesitating to write too much about Lane, because I know that not all of my readers (and friends) have children, and might not care and therefore lose interest in our little blog. But I also find myself hesitating to do things like take pictures of the cantaloupes with green flesh that are found here, because I think that you might all find that...boring. So many things here are strange and different that I could write a whole book about them, but there are a lot of familiar things as well (can you say "Krispy Kreme"?).

Looking at the European side of Istanbul from the Asian side.

So, I guess that this is poll time. Do you, my readers and friends, find that our blog is overcrowded with baby stuff? Under-represented in areas of normal life? Well-balanced? What would you like to see me post about more often? What's been t.m.i. for a public blog? Anything you're dying to know about, or could care less about? I just want to make sure that our friends and family love to come visit our blog, to hear from us and know about our lives. I want people to want to keep up with us and not think, "Ugh, another update from those boring Scarbroughs who think their lives are so interesting that they have to share about how expensive toothpaste and Parmesan are over there," or the like. So, this is your chance to let me know what you think of our blog, how it could be improved, and what to not change.


By the way, Lane is teething (I'm expecting tooth #2 to pop through any day now) and is therefore Little Miss CrankyPants. A bird really did poop right on my clean underwear that were hanging out to dry. Fenerbaçhe Stadium is huge and it took us like an hour to walk around it and when we got to the other side, I said, "Hey! That right there is where we came out under the bridge!" If we had cut through the parking lot it would have been a 3-minute walk instead of an hour. Cantaloupes are green on the inside, not orange. There are 13 Krispy Kremes in Istanbul. And toothpaste is $4 a tube here (sensitive toothpaste is $10!), and Parmesan cheese is about $13 for a 250-gram wedge. Just in case you were wondering.

Monday, September 13, 2010

While I Was Cooking:

Lane entertained herself with a raw carrot and a piece of toast. I could no longer handle her clasping onto my pants legs for dear life, so I plopped her in the Inglesina. She sat there, having a ball, for at least 40 minutes.

The process to get a good photo:

May I have a cup of tea to go with my extended pinky?

Eeeh, macarena!

Get me out of this chair, now, mom!

Now, I tell you, now! Yes, I have that look on my face!

Ok, ok, I am having fun and I do like this carrot!

***For anyone who is concerned about the carrot posing a choking hazard, rest assured that there is no way her 1/8" tooth could scrape off a piece big enough to choke on. :-) ***

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Another Giveaway!

But this one's not mine. :-(

However, you do have a chance to win something really cool: a Fuzzibunz one-size diaper! Tara over at The Small Town Mom is giving one lucky reader one of these diapers for free. All you have to do is head over, read the post, and become a follower. Pretty simple! So, since I know I have at least 20 pregnant friends, some of whom use or want to use cloth diapers, a few other friends who already use cloth diapers, and a few more who might love to have that free diaper for a baby shower gift, head over here and enter!

Plus, if you leave another comment on this post, you increase your chances of being lucky number 10,000 and winning my own giveaway!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

It's Giveaway Time!

Alright, I know that some of you have been anxiously awaiting the rules of Scarbrough Fair's first giveaway! So, here's the deal:

We are quickly approaching our 10,000th visitor! Now, I know that to some of you that number doesn't seem very large. But let me bring up a few points about that number: 1) it doesn't include people who view my posts on facebook, 2) it doesn't include people who view my posts in Google Reader, and 3) I do not have my blog settings set to where if you are subscribed to my blog you have to visit the blog to read more than the first 3 lines of each post (you're welcome: I hate it when peoples' blog settings are set to that...what a pain).

So, in honor of our blog hitting 10,000 visitors in the very near future, I am going to give these beauties to our 10,000th visitor (as best I can determine):

Turkish beaten copper earrings. They're 1.5" (3.5 cm.) in diameter. Even if you don't like them for yourself (or if you're a guy), Christmas is quickly approaching...

So, how to enter? It's simple: leave a comment. It can be anything: "Oooh, I love those earrings and hope I win!" to "I stumbled across this blog today and wanted to enter" to "Oh, my, Lane is SOOO cute!" (that would be my favorite. :-))

Contest guidelines:

1) You must leave a comment, only 1 per post from this point forward. Each comment on this post and new postings gets you an entry! Tell where you're visiting from (it will help insure I do indeed get the 10,000th person correct!)
2) You must visit the actual blog and leave a comment there. Comments on facebook don't count, because hmm, you can't be the 10,000th visitor to the blog if you only view it on facebook!
3) If I don't know you personally (and therefore how to contact you), please leave either an email address or a link to your blog so I can contact you if you are the winner.

The winner of this contest will not be random. The winner will be the 10,000th visitor to our blog who leaves a comment. If the 10,000th visitor does not leave a comment, it will go to the closest visitor after 10,000.

So...ready, set, comment! Remember, you can enter (i.e. comment) once per post from this point until I announce the winner.

I know there are a lot of people who read our blog who have never left a comment before. Hopefully this will help motivate you all to say "hi!". It will also motivate me to learn how to mail something from the post office here...

***If you don't know how to leave a comment (shout out to Aunt Deanie, Meme, and lots of other family members!), below the post there is a link that says "2 comments" (or 1 or 9 or however many there currently are). Click on it. A comment window will pop up. Write your comment and then click "Name/URL" under "Choose an Identity" and enter your name. Click "Publish your comment" and then enter the word verification word. That's all there is to it. I do have comment moderation in effect, so your comment will not show up on the blog until I've read it and approved it, so don't worry if you don't see your comment right away. I'll still know it's there.***

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mommy Raves

When we lived in the States, Lane didn't have a high chair. She was just over 5 months old when we moved to Istanbul, and the only "solid" food she ever had in the States was a little bit of rice cereal, and we just strapped her into her rocker chair or held her on our laps while we fed her. We had planned on just buying a high chair here, but once we started looking around we realized that the cheapest high chair you can find here is approximately $180! Since we're not planning on staying in Istanbul more than a year or so, we really didn't want to spend that kind of money on something we couldn't even take with us when we move, so I started looking online. This is what we decided on, and it definitely makes the Mommy Raves list.

The Inglesina Fast Chair

We purchased it online, and someone who was coming over to spend a semester studying brought it over. We picked it up from them one night, carried it home, and immediately hooked that baby up to our table. It's fantastic for people like us who don't want or need a large high chair cluttering up floor space. This chair:

1) Collapses flat.
2) Has a built in storage bag.
3) Only weighs 4 pounds.
4) Is machine washable.
5) Only requires about 3-4 inches of under-the-table room for the support bar to attach to.
6) Has a pocket on the back (we store bibs there).
7) Lets you take off the fabric part for washing without un-attaching the whole frame from the table.
8) Lets baby sit right up at the table with you.
9) Has a belt with a buckle so you can secure baby.
10) Will hold a baby or toddler up to 33 pounds.

Well, there's of course more, but to keep the list at an even 10, I'll stop there. This chair runs about $49 on Amazon or other sites. It is not meant for pedestal-type tables (you need a table with 4 legs, or a countertop) or tables with tablecloths on them. And yes, baby will make a mess all over the table and you will have to do a thorough scrubbing after each meal. Baby will also get food all over the floor (we unfold a towel under Lane while feeding her...then we can brush the food off after mealtimes and fold up the towel until it needs washing: no unsightly plastic floor mats needed!). But both of these things you would have to do with a regular high chair (clean the tray and clean the floor), so I don't feel like we have extra work because of this chair.

Lane likes to put her feet on the support bars sometimes.

The Inglesina Fast Chair is very easy to operate. You screw the handle-looking part under the table. These also rotate inwards for flat storage. To wash it, the part holding the fabric comes off of the part attached to the table. You simply remove the remaining frame and the hard bottom and toss in the washing machine. It is not complicated and there are not a million snaps or buttons to figure out or remember where they attach to. And the built-in storage bag is way cool: it's under the seat part and you can let it out (it remains attached: you can't lose it!) and put the whole seat in if you want to bring the chair with you somewhere or store it away.

Can you see the peaches smooshed into the fabric by her left arm?

There are only 2 drawbacks to this chair that I've found. 1) Since baby is attached to the table, you can't face the baby in order to feed him/her. We find that since we're both right-handed it works best for Lane to be near the corner of the table and for whoever is feeding her to be at the head of the table: we're the closest to "facing each other" this way. But this really isn't a big deal at all, at least not to us. 2) Because it is made of fabric and not plastic-covered foam, you can't just "wipe" it clean. Lane's grubby hands like to grasp the sides of it, and they are therefore often covered in pumpkin, chicken, and peaches. We wipe it off as best we can after meals, but we don't wash the chair every time she gets food on it. So I guess that if you're the kind of person who can't stand things to ever look dirty (if you are, what are you doing with a kid?!) then you might not like this. It doesn't bother us that much: we just wash it about once a week and deal with the dirtiness the rest of the time. Plus, the trade off is that unlike plastic-covered foam chairs, the fabric will never crack or break like I have seen happen on other chairs before.

Chicken stew: yummy!

So, all that to say that if you a) don't have a lot of space and don't want a "regular" high chair, b) eat out a lot and want to take something with you for baby to sit in, or c) travel a lot and want something easy to take to grandma's, on vacation, or to a friend's house, this is the chair for you! We are very happy with our purchase!

***I feel that it is necessary to make it known that I am not receiving any monetary compensation for these reviews: I'm simply doing them for my fellow moms and moms-to-be out there.***

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Day in the Life

Today Lane actually slept in. So Shannon and I took the rare opportunity to sleep past 6:30 and didn't get out of bed (other than her 5:15 a.m. feeding) until she woke up the second time at 8. It was glorious. After a lazy morning of oatmeal (with dried cranberries and walnuts) for breakfast and checking emails, playing with Lane and making a grocery list, Lane went down for her morning nap and I headed out.

I walked the 2 kilometers to the Carrefour mall this morning in a light drizzle, and by the time I arrived my jeans were soaked to about 4 inches up my pants legs. I bought a new t-shirt and a new long-sleeved shirt on clearance at Zara for 8 lira each (about $4.75). Then I did our grocery shopping (chicken, diced tomatoes, bananas, cheese, tortillas, pastas, powdered sugar and cocoa, cereal, and a few other things). I saw celery for the first time since arriving in Turkey and decided that today would be a good day for chicken noodle soup. After all, it was so dreary. So I splurged on the celery (about $2.33 for a small bunch (is that what you call a "thing" of celery?)) and after returning home via minibus, I showered and caught a nap while Lane slept (what is it about gloomy weather that makes you tired?). Shannon headed out for the day so it was just me and Lane, as it often is on Sundays.

Later I stood in the kitchen chopping celery and onions while Lane played with a wire whisk at my feet, often standing up, clinging to my pants legs, demanding to be held. I'd never made chicken noodle soup from scratch before. I don't know was quite easy, but I guess that in the States I always had the convenience of either a) Lipton Soup Secrets (I think that's what they're called), or b) my mom (who makes fantastic chicken noodle soup). So, I'd never done it before but had a craving for soup that comes with chilly, rainy days. After browsing to get a general idea of what people put in their soup, I invented my own. It turned out quite can check out my recipe here if you'd like.

Lane and I headed out to the local outdoor market (pazar) for some grapes (since I needed something to put out for a snack when my Turkish tutor comes tomorrow). I strapped her in the ERGO and we headed out, buying grapes and onions, giving a lira to a handicapped man, and picking up a Ramazan pidesı at a local bakery on our way home. It's a special bread that they only bake during Ramazan, and it. is. fantastic. I thought it'd go well with the soup. I was right.

Ramazan pidesı

We came home and I finished the soup, cut up some chicken for Lane and warmed up her puréed pumpkin. We sat eating together, and I even shared some of the bread with her (don't judge me for giving white bread to my 7-month old). That girl is her momma's child: she loves bread. After she demolished her chicken and her pumpkin, I gave her 1/4 of a peach, which she ate some of and then sat smacking and pushing the rest around the table, chattering and cooing, happy as a clam at high tide. I love it when she's so happy.

We got cleaned up and played peekaboo, practiced walking, and I growled at her while she squealed in delight and grabbed my hair. We did our "bazoomba" dance together, with her grinning from ear to ear as I took one of her hands in mine while supporting her on my hip and bopping along to this insanely crazy song I made up, just for her. As bedtime neared we showered together, Lane grinning at me as the warm water flowed over her head. As I got her diaper on she kicked her legs furiously in what I'm sure is a game to her: how long can I distract mommy so she can't get that thing on me? And then I nursed her. Read a Bible story to her. Sung to her. And put her in bed where for once, she didn't cry because quite possibly she took good naps today and was not exhausted.

What awaits me this evening: Bible time. Prayer time. Studying Turkish. Possibly making a chocolate cake and a decaf vanilla latte while I reflect on how blessed I am. Today was a normal day. Nothing special about it. An average day. But a good day. One worth remembering.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mommy Raves

Mommy Rave #3...

ERGO Sport Carrier

We love this baby carrier. When we were trying to decide on which baby carrier to get, I told Shannon that this was the one I wanted, because I'd received so many recommendations for it. My friends Amber, Charity, and Megan all raved about theirs. ERGOs are a little more expensive than some of the other baby carriers out there, but...we love ours! It was given to us as a gift by some people that Shannon worked with. They had asked us what we wanted and I immediately replied, "The ERGO!" because it was a good thing for lots of people to contribute to.

We use the ERGO every single time that we leave the house with Lane (here in Istanbul...we didn't use it quite as often in the States since we drove places most of the time). The sidewalks here are horrible, so her stroller gets very little use (although we were so grateful to have it in the airports!), but the ERGO...we get lots of use out of it and are already talking about how we'll need to buy another one when we have another baby. Maybe we'll get a blue one, or a cranberry
one. Oh, the options available!

So, why is the ERGO so great? It:

1) is ergonomically designed to support a correct sitting position for baby's spine, hip, and pelvis growth.
2) evenly distributes the baby's weight between the adult's hips and thighs, eliminating back pain.
3) is machine washable.

Using the sleeping hood at the beach.

4) has a "sleeping hood," which you can put over baby's head while he/she sleeps to prevent their head from cocking to the side or the back.
5) allows you to wear the baby on your front, on your back, or on your side (sitting on your hip).
6) has various accessories that you can attach to it to suit your needs (an insert for babies under 4 months old, a zippered pouch, or even a backpack).

This day we were out and about for 6 hours. My back never hurt (but boy, my legs got tired!).

7) can be used until your child reaches 40 pounds!
8) isn't bulky and can easily be squished into a backpack, purse, or other "storage" facility when not in use.

In short, we love this thing. Our backs never hurt when carrying Lane in it. Granted, it's not like she's a huge baby, but's comfortable and carrying her in it is not a burden. At $105, they're not cheap, but if you're going to be doing a lot of walking around, we think ERGObaby carriers are the way to go!

***I feel that it is necessary to make it known that I am not receiving any monetary compensation for these reviews: I'm simply doing them for my fellow moms and moms-to-be out there.***

Friday, September 3, 2010

I'm Losing It

My hair, that is.

I had heard that after you have a baby your hair falls out. But I didn't believe it. I mean, while I was pregnant my gums didn't bleed, I never peed my pants, and I could always still put my own shoes and socks on. So I figured that this was just one of those things that people say but that doesn't actually to happen to anyone except a select few.

An average pull for my hairbrush.

I guess I'm one of those "select few."

Seriously, I should be bald by now. If I lose this much hair every day, how is it possible that I'm not bald? I brush my hair more often now, because I'm tired of finding my hair strewn about the house. I brush it in the morning when I first wake up. I brush it before I take a shower. I brush it after I take a shower and while/after blow drying it. I brush it before I go to bed. And my hair. is. everywhere.

The bigger picture: hair, hair, everywhere!

I've taken to brushing it over the bathroom sink, because at least that way I can gather it all up and throw it away. I pull it out of the shower drain basket-thingy (anyone know that that thing is actually called?). I find it on my clothes. I find it in my daughter's fists. And, heaven forbid, sometimes I find it in my food.

Oh my.

Has anyone else out there experienced this? How long will it last? Can I do anything to encourage my hair's roots to stay put? I'm usually not one to use a million beauty products, but this...this, I cannot handle much longer.

Maybe I should just get pregnant again. That might work.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Upcoming Giveaway!

I just wanted to give all my readers a heads-up that Scarbrough Fair will be having its very first giveaway in the very near future! Up for grabs:

These beauts. Turkish beaten copper earrings.

I bought them yesterday, so don't anybody go thinking that they were mine (although I do love them!) and that I'm giving away something used!

Details for this contest will be forthcoming in a week or so...until then, keep reading!