Monday, January 31, 2011

January Recap

This month I didn't get quite as much done as I had hoped. But due to the following facts, I'm fairly satisfied with how I did do: 1) We moved. Cue insanity. 2) I caught a knock-you-over-the-head-and-make-you-feel-like-you've-been-left-for-dead kind of a cold that lasted for a few days. Then Lane got it too. 3) Shannon was out of the country on a business trip for 5 days. 4) While he was gone I caught a stomach bug. Then Lane got it. Now Shannon has it. So...since we were out of commission for about half the month due to these things, I think I did alright.

In relation to God:
1) Memorize Psalm 1:1-2. I only memorized Psalm 1:1...I never made it to verse 2.
2) Read my Bible daily in order to finish it by the end of this year. I'm actually ahead of schedule, since I've been able to read almost every day and the plan I'm using is only a 25-days-per-month plan.
3) Spend at least 5-10 minutes each day studying and reflecting on a passage of Scripture. Nope. Didn't do this. I did it some days but not every day.
4) Listen to 1 online sermon. I did do this...I listened to a sermon from The Village Church. It actually wasn't the best and I'm not sure I learned anything, but it was a guest speaker, so maybe that's why. I think I'll stick to J.D. Greear next month.
5) Make a monthly prayer calendar. Or at least get the calendar printed, even if it's still blank. Sigh. I still haven't done this. I have a good excuse though. Our first apartment's printer needed more ink, which we didn't get until after we moved into our new apartment. Now we have ink but no paper. I need to buy some paper!
6) Finish "Shepherding a Child's Heart." I haven't finished yet, but I only have 60 pages left. That means I read about 110 pages, and I'm planning on reading a couple of chapters today.

In relation to my family:
1) Have a date night without Lane. Yup! We went to see The Tourist. It was actually pretty good. No nudity, very little bad language, good plot. I'd recommend it.
2) Take Lane outside every day for at least 15-20 minutes unless it's raining or too cold. We went outside 21 of the 31 days this month. 7 of the days we didn't go outside it was either raining or really cold. One day was the day we moved, one day I was sick, and one day I was lazy (my birthday).
3) Take a 2-day vacation to see some friends. This didn't end up happening because the hotel we were going to stay in was booked solid. We still got to see our friends, we just met them here in Istanbul when they came to do the tourist thing, but we didn't get a "vacation."
4) Do something touristy. We went to the Hagia Sophia and to see the Blue Mosque. Go us!
5) Get fully settled and unpacked in our new apartment. Yup! Fully unpacked and settled!
6) Be in bed, lights out, by 10:30. This is a never-ending battle, it seems. We were in bed by 10:30 15 nights this month. That's half...I guess that's better than last month, so it's progress.
7) Throw Lane a bang-up 1st birthday party. I think she had a great party. She had a great cake, some fun decorations (ok, it was just balloons and streamers, but she liked them), and some friends came over. All things considered, I think it went well.

Personal goals:
1) Make our bed every day. I only got our bed made a little over half of this month. Once again, I have good excuses. I didn't make it the few days right after we had moved, because what's the point when the rest of the bedroom is a mess? And I didn't make it when I was sick. Either time. Once again, what's the point in making the bed when all you're doing is crawling back in it every time you get a chance?
2) Get my pajama pants fixed. I had good intentions of getting this done, but I need someone to go with me to translate, and both times I was planning on meeting my friend to do this I ended up sick. Next month.
3) Offer Shannon a back massage every night. Eh. Didn't do so great at this, mainly due to all the other aforementioned excuses.
4) Try 1 new recipe. I made a baked chicken spaghetti. It was pretty good! I'll get a recipe up on the recipe blog after I make it again and get a picture. And I made banana pudding for the first time ever. No recipe needed, though: vanilla wafers, sliced bananas, and vanilla pudding. Layer, chill, eat. Yum.
5) Order photos for Lane's scrapbook and find someone to bring them over. Done and done! Yay!
6) Get out of bed by 6:00. Once again, the never-ending battle. To be continued. Anyone have any hints for how to get out of bed earlier? I need help!
7) Start reading the owner's manual for our new camera. Not really. I kind of did after I took video on Lane's birthday and couldn't view it on my computer. But as far as actually learning anything about how the camera actually works...yeah, not so much.

So there you go. How'd you do on your monthly goals? Check back in the next couple of days and I'll have my goals for February posted. Feel free to join me in setting goals for the's a great way to actually get a few things done!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Operation Unpack (part 3)

And the unpacking is finished! Everything (that's not still in trunks/boxes, that is) is unpacked and has a place. Of the 16 pieces of luggage we brought with us, I think 9-10 are still packed. Most of them have been unpacked and repacked some, but we still have about 60% of our belongings in trunks or boxes. I can't wait to have my own place and be able to unpack completely!

I don't have any "before" pictures of our bedrooms. Let's just say that while the living room, dining room, and kitchen were clean, the mess got relegated to our bedroom. Plus, all this was in our bedroom instead of on the enclosed balcony:

Ugh. I hate that you can see all our junk right there. But alas, it's the only space available to put our boxes and trunks and suitcases. So we'll take it.

Needless to say, our bedroom looks much better without all that stuff in it!

Our bed with the quilt from Joyce on it.

The wardrobe.

Full length mirror and strange chest-of-drawers/wardrobe thingy.

I love Lane's room. It's so bright and kid-ish.

Lots of room to play, a bed for us to snuggle/nurse/read on, and...

A chest of drawers! Honestly, I'm so excited about this. You've got to understand that on this side of the world most people just have wardrobes and place their clothes in stacks inside, so to have a real chest of drawers for all of Lane's little clothes is fantastic!

All of her little trinkets and "fragile" books.

These bins are great! We can keep Lane's toys separate from this family's, and we can also get them all up off the floor. Love it.

And last but not least, the inside of the wardrobe. We keep all of Lane's cloth diapers and medicines in here.

So there you have it! The grand apartment tour! I'll spare you the bathrooms, as they're not that exciting. You've already seen that we have a (mini)tub, so that's the most exciting thing in there. I should have gotten before, during, and after pictures when our water heater got replaced, but I didn't, so let's just say that we used to have a gas water heater that was apparently older than dirt and now we have a nice, shiny, and new electric water heater. We don't get that much hot water from the electric heater (we need to wait about 30-45 minutes between showers), but we'd rather have that than what we had before, which was no hot water out of any of our sinks, and semi-hot water out of the bathtub if you found the correct "spot." So we'll deal with a limited supply of hot water gladly!

All in all, we're very happy with this new apartment. It's a bit further away from, oh, everything and everyone we know in the city, but it's temporary and it's very kind of this family to let us crash in their place for 4-5 months. We can handle it. We've dealt with much worse in our lives, that's for sure!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

12 Months Old

Dear Lane,

Yesterday you turned one year old. 12 months. 365 days.


Honestly, I cried a lot yesterday. I love you and am so proud of every milestone you reach. I love watching you master new things, like when you learned how to stack the rings on the pole of your Rock-n-Stack this month. But a small part of me is so, so sad. I asked your daddy what was wrong with me, why was I so sad that you were now one? He answered me this: "It's because if the next 17 years go as fast as this past year did, it'll seem like it's tomorrow when she's gone." Or something along those lines. But sweetie, it's true. This past year has gone so quickly. I can remember when you couldn't fall asleep outside of my arms like it was yesterday. Now I secretly hope that you're not feeling well so I have an excuse to hold you in my arms until you drift off to dreamland. I don't remember the moments immediately following your birth with extreme clarity, but I do remember the following days and weeks.

Someone once told me to cherish those early months with you. Even when I was sleep-deprived and hadn't taken a shower and had changed my clothes four times that day because you'd spit up all over me, my constant reminder to myself was that soon enough you'd be grown. You wouldn't want to eat every 2-3 hours for the rest of your life. You'd fall asleep on your own one day. So as I nursed you throughout the night, as I sung to you while you were fussy, or as I held you after a round of shots, I'd tell myself, "I'll never get this moment back."

And now I have no regrets. Yes, it makes me a little bit sad that you don't need me for as many things anymore. It hurts just a tad that you don't love to snuggle in my arms for hours on end anymore. But overall, I'm just grateful to God for giving you to us for one whole year. I pray that he will give us many more years together.

In the past month you've learned how to do some amazing things. You can drink out of a regular cup now. Of course you still spill a lot, but you can grab the cup, get it to your mouth, and take a drink. And you do better with it than you do with a sippy cup. You can get a fork of food to your mouth as well, and you know that food goes on a fork or spoon and will put food onto the fork or spoon and then try to get it to your mouth. You still love to eat and haven't yet met a food you didn't like (well, except for maybe your birthday cake. You didn't seem to like it too much!). You're only nursing twice a day now, and you're down to one nap a day. You can stack blocks on top of each other, getting up to a tower of three. You're pretty good at walking on hills, you can full-on run, and you can climb stairs if you're holding onto someone's hand or a rail. You've even pulled yourself up into the refrigerator.

You still love peek-a-boo, and you like to hide behind a wall, curtain, blanket, or piece of furniture and then pop out when we ask, "Where's Lane?" You still love to be outside and love to finger rocks and pebbles and sticks. You don't even put them in your mouth very much anymore. You freely give us kisses and love to sit in our laps for a story, and you'll turn around and squat down to sit in our laps. You still love to be are hilarious when you're naked. Speaking of naked, you can take your diaper off already. It's a good thing you don't know how to take your clothes off yet! When mommy says, "Arms up!" for taking off your shirt you oblige, holding up your arms. You'll also throw your arms up in the air when you're really excited. It's super cute. When we ask you where your teeth are (all five of got yet another one this month!) you'll chomp them together, and when we ask you where your tongue is you'll stick it out at us. We're still working on other body parts. You've got some objects in books down pat, though, like the pig or kitty or milk in one of your know exactly what to point to.

You are so smart, Lane. You're so sweet. You shower us with affection and smiles and make us think that there is nobody in the world as blessed as we are. We pray for you every day, that you will continue to grow and be healthy and strong, that God would please have chosen you for his kingdom and you would come to know Jesus, and that we would get many, many more years with you. We are grateful for your first year. We want many more. We love you so, so much.


Mommy and Daddy

You're so happy when you're outside!

Unless we borrow a stroller and put you in it. Then you give us this look.

You got to take your first baths in a tub since you've been able to sit up on your own. You love to splash!

You still love to eat and try to lick things off your plate. That's how you end up with food stuck to your forehead all. the. time.

You're a pretty good sleeper now! You sleep from 7 pm to 7:15 am most nights, with one nap of 1.5-2 hours during the day.

Drinking out of a cup like a big girl!

You love to "play" now! You like to take things and hide them or bring them to us to play with you.

You're learning how to stack!

You love these crabs!

You're gorgeous, darling. Simply gorgeous.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

And Then She Was One

The top of her cake.

First thing this morning: a present from Papa Buck and Nona Lou.

It's a fridge farm!

Opening a present from Grandma while on skype.

Change into the birthday dress and go for a walk (with a banana in hand).

The birthday cake I made.

Watching a little Baby Beethoven while mom and dad finish party prep.

New presents.


Time for cake! (And, incidently, the only picture I have of her with her cake. For the rest I took video and now I can't get my computer to read it. Sigh.)

Playing with some streamers and balloons.

Lane. We love you, baby girl. Happy 1st Birthday.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Today I am Grateful For

*Children's Tylenol
*Children's Motrin

*Baby Beethoven
*Baby Mozart

*A bathtub
*Grocery stores close enough to walk to, even when you're not feeling well
*A digital thermometer

*Cake stuff my mom sent
*Black beans and homemade Mexican food
*Pink wrapping paper
*365 days of Lane

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mommy's Little 'Fro Girl

I've always been told by hairstylists that I have very fine hair. Thankfully, I have a lot of it, so it doesn't appear that I'm lacking in the hair department, but it's still very thin and fine. It doesn't hold a curl. If I let it air-dry I get all sorts of wispy pieces and funky waves.

Shannon also has very fine, soft hair.

Lane apparently has inherited it from us. She was born with a full head of dark hair but of course it started falling out a month or so later. Then she had the bald spot that so often characterizes babies who lay on their backs a lot. When she started spending more time on her tummy at around four months old, the hair started to fill in. Now, eight months later, she has a head full of hair again. But it's fine. And soft. And when we wash it and don't brush it before it dries (and it dries in like four minutes because it's so fine), it looks like this:

It sticks up all over the place until she's sweated enough to build up some oil to hold the hair down.

It just totally cracks me up.

"Whatever, mom. I don't care. I'm still beautiful!"

Check out those teeth. Top tooth #3 should be joining us sometime this week!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Operation Unpack (part 2)

The kitchen is clean, the kitchen is clean!

For "before" pictures, click here.

To start, I cleaned out all the cabinets. I put the family's foodstuffs that weren't opened all in one place. (We'll use the opened stuff since it would go bad before their return.) I wiped. I organized.

All the "cooking" spices.

All the "baking" spices and random baking stuff (measuring cups, food coloring, frosting tips, etc). And Shannon's "Istanbul" Starbucks mug that I got him for his birthday.

AU cookie cutter, cloth napkins(!), biscuit cutters.

I found a home for my Kitchen Aid.

Kitchen Aid and parts, fruit basket, onion/potato/garlic basket.

I found a home for coffee cups and medicine.

Coffee and medicine station.

I refolded and organized towels and rags.

Towels, potholders, and tablecloths (and the random yellow bucket).

Beans, rice, pasta, and oats. A big shout out to my friends Melissa and Erica to say THANKS for the black beans!

I scrubbed the floor on my hands and knees, and we got rid of the larger trash can in favor of a small one under the kitchen sick (Lane hasn't yet figured how to open cabinets, and I'm not a fan of finding toys in the trash or wondering if she's eaten something she pulled out of the trash).

Ahh. It's clean and organized!

Up next: the bedrooms.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What If?

Dear Lane,

You are so cute. And I love you so much. I can't even express it. How is it possible to love someone so much? Is it because you grew inside me for 9 1/2 months? I love you in a way that I never imagined I could, in a way so unlike the way I love your daddy. And it scares me just a bit.

Every time I start to think about the "what if's" in life, I just have to stop myself. What if something happened to you, if you got some horrible disease or sickness? What if God only lets me keep you for a couple of years? What if someone takes you away from me someday? What if..., what if..., what if... And then my heart gets to beating too fast and I start to not trust God, and I just have to make myself think of other things. Because those things...I cannot dwell on them. I can't borrow tomorrow's trouble. The "what if's" are just those, if's, and they're best not thought about.

But what if I forget?

What if I forget how when I ask you, "Where's your tongue?" that you sometimes oblige and stick your tongue out as far as it will go? Or that when I ask you "Where are your teeth?" that you look at me and then chomp your whopping 4 teeth together while grinning at me? That you want to stop and pick up everything when we're walking outside, and that you'd be perfectly content picking up rocks and dirt and pulling up plants all day long?

What if I forget how you squirm, wanting to hold anything in view while nursing, fingering it and working it up into your mouth until you realize that that's not actually what you wanted? That you want to nurse for like 30 seconds and then you stand up on the couch next to me, lean over to me with your milky mouth wide open, and give me a kiss before returning to your meal? What if I forget that sometimes you get so excited about kissing me that you chomp down on my lips? How your face contorts and you look like the world has ended when I tell you "no" about biting and you wail and burst into tears?

What if I forget how you'll sit in my lap to watch a Baby Einstein, and will occasionally lean your head back on my chest until you're looking up at me, and then flash me a big smile before returning to watching the show? What if I forget that sometimes, when you're frustrated, you bang your head on the table or on the wall or cabinets, which only makes you more upset but is oh so funny that you've just done it to yourself? What if I forget how you come to us with your arm outstretched, opening and closing your hand until we put our index finger in it and let you drag us wherever it is that you wanted to go?

What if I forget how you like to "feed" me your letter-link crabs? Or how you stuff your blanket in your mouth when you're trying to soothe yourself? What if I forget that when you're really tired and we're not at home that you squirm and squirm and cry and cry, but that if I hold you tight and really close despite your protests that you'll fall asleep in my arms? What if I forget the motion you make with your left arm after you've popped a bite of banana into your mouth, a quick "snap back" to the table for another piece?

What if I forget that you love to be naked? That you run around slapping your belly and squatting and standing and being crazy? That everything in the world is ok if you're naked? What if I forget how you follow the vacuum cleaner around, slapping it while I vacuum? What if I forget how you bounce up and down anytime music is played? How you throw your arms up in the air when you're excited? That when you're getting tired that you are so clumsy and fall all over the place? What if I forget that you like the book Counting Kisses, but that you usually only let me kiss your toes before you're going for another book? How you point the moons in Goodnight Moon, Dr. Suess' ABC Book, and My Little Word Book over and over and over again?

What if I forget how you like to lean against me in the mornings and snuggle, even if it only lasts for 10 seconds? What if I forget how you love cars that go by themselves, and that after we've sent one down the hallway that you'll run to get it and bring it back, grinning and holding it out for us to do again. What if I forget how when you want to be picked up you stand at my feet, look up at me with your arms outstretched, and try to jump up at me, all while whining? What if I forget how if we're laying down on the floor that you run over to us and whack our bellies with your hands before you plop yourself flat on our chests?

What if, Lane, I forget?

I already find myself not remembering things about you as a newborn, and it wasn't that long ago. Am I a bad mother if I forget? I don't want to forget...I don't want to. But I know I will. And once again, it makes me want to stop time so that you can't become more than 10-days-shy-of-1-year-old. Because then, Lane, I'd never forget.

But what if you keep getting cuter? What if you keep giving me new things I never want to forget? What if your next year of life is even more fun than your first year has been? What if in 8 or so months you learn how to say "I love you, mommy." These are better "what if's" to focus on. Don't you think?

I love you so much,


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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Adventures in Peanut Butter

I know that many experts don't recommend introducing your baby/toddler to peanut butter until they're two or even three years old. But since there are no peanut allergies in our families and Lane is very nearly a year old (11 more days, eek!), I decided to let her go ahead and try some. I think she likes it...both the taste and the texture...

"Mmm, how much can I cram in at once?..."

"Mom, this one needs more peanut butter. I licked it all off."

"What's that? We have enough of this stuff to last a year? Suh-weet!"

Peanut butter and milk...yum.

The best foods are the ones that you can smear in your hair, right?