Friday, September 23, 2011

28 Weeks (second time around)

It's finally happening:

I'm starting to look pregnant.

Taken this morning on the way out the door to my doctor's appointment. In hindsight I wish I hadn't worn long sleeves, but it was chilly when we left at 8:15. Plus, I've been wanting to wear this shirt that I got on clearance at the Gap for $7, so I jumped at the chance!

Over the past couple of weeks I've started to feel pregnant. My legs and feet are usually aching by midday. I've found myself wondering how I waited tables until 35ish weeks with Lane, but this time my legs are hurting by lunchtime. I think I've found the culprit: concrete and wooden floors everywhere. In America, even if you work for eight hours on your feet, most of the time you come home and walk around on carpet with padding underneath it. Not so here. So I've taken to wearing my running shoes (because let's face it, I'm not running in them!) in the house (it's a big cultural no-no to wear shoes in the house here, so my tutor and babysitter look at me like I'm crazy for doing it). It's helping somewhat, but I'm still very, very achy a lot of days. My doctor told me today to be sure to elevate my legs every chance I get to prevent varicose veins. Ugh. At least I have a great bathtub...I think God knew when it took us forever to find an apartment that I was going to need a real (and nice!) bathtub.

This bathtub has been a real treat, especially after not having one at all for over a year!

My appointment today went well. I'm up to 15 pounds (7 kilos) gained, which is about right on track, I think. I'm not sure how well I'd handle having to carry much more around on all the concrete floors, so I'm glad to not be gaining too much yet. I'll take the weight as it comes...just trying to be good to my feet, legs, and back, as well as to the baby! I am now taking four vitamins per day, per doctor's instructions: iron, omega 3's, my regular prenatal, and calcium/magnesium. Sheesh I'm glad I don't have to take so many pills on a normal basis! I also took my glucose test, which was miserable. My appointment was at 9:30, and I wasn't allowed to eat anything this morning. I got blood taken at about 10:00, again at 11:00, and again at 12:00. And then I was finally able to eat. So not fair making pregnant women fast for 12 hours!

All looks well with our girlie. She's measuring right on track, although her abdominal cavity is measuring a bit on the small side. My doctor said that she suspects that she'll just be a skinny baby (like Lane was), but is still going to keep an eye on it. All major organs are developing normally and measuring on track.

Baby Girl is very active, more so than Lane, was, I think, at this point in the pregnancy. I feel like I'm further along than I did with Lane at 28 weeks. That might have something to do with Lane being so late and maybe my due date being off, or it could just be because all my muscles have done this before. At any rate, we're going to try to have everything ready for Baby Girl's arrival eight weeks from now, when I'm at 36 weeks. I wouldn't be surprised if this one comes early (although after Lane, I also wouldn't be surprised if this one is a January baby instead of a December baby!).

For those who are curious, you can click here to see my 28-week belly photo from when I was pregnant with Lane. I think I look more like I did here, at 30 weeks.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

20 Months Old

As each day passes I find it harder to believe that my baby girl is going to be two years old in the very, very near future. You cannot call a two-year old a baby, as much as you'd like to: they're full-blown toddlers. Four short months until she's two. Three(ish) short months until she's a big sister. Wow, how the time flies.

At 20 months old Lane:

*has 15 teeth. Her bottom left incisor (eye tooth? what do you call the ones on the bottom?) popped through on September 11th. We have noticed her mood steadily improving as it doesn't look like any more teeth are on their way yet.
*has now been to 4 countries (the U.S., Turkey, Turkmenistan, Spain).
*is turning into a little jokester: she pretends to want to give us kisses or hugs but then laughs and pulls away at the last minute.

Her first ponytail! Not the best picture, but I didn't get a very good one before she ripped it out.

*is starting to be a picky eater. This is very sad for us, since she's always been a great eater, but recently she's started snubbing things she's always liked, or things she ate yesterday but won't eat today. Just an example of this is that most of the time she wants grapes, but refuses to eat them if we cut them in half. This puts us in a pickle since I don't want her choking on grapes. We usually end up fishing out the teeny-tiny ones and letting her have those whole, but I still want to cut them up...
*is turning into a girlie-girl. She likes socks and shoes. She likes bracelets (my tutor brought her some bangles just her size). She likes hair clips/bows/ponytail holders.

Watching a show about animals with daddy.

*is fascinated with animals. She still loves cats, but now she also loves birds, dogs, and other animals. She's especially fond of ones she knows signs or noises for (cat, dog, giraffe, elephant, tiger, bird, alligator, cow, bear) so she can tell us what it is. She likes to sleep with her lego animals now, too.
*loves to stuff things in cracks. It's absolutely hilarious, but if we can't find her hair clip, or her magnetic animals, or anything small, you can bet we'll find it stuffed between her mattress and bed frame, in the cracks of the dishwasher, between pages of books, the cracks between the couch cushions, or under the rug.
*is finally babbling. It's great to hear her babbling, rambling on and "talking" to us. Most babies/toddlers do this much earlier, but I think her being exposed to three different languages on a regular basis has something to do with the delay.

She's still a big fan of blocks, but now she always wants someone to play with her.

*is a signing queen, considering she's learned most of the signs from videos that she doesn't watch that often. Signs she knows and uses regularly and correctly (she doesn't necessarily sign them correctly, but she uses the right sign [in her own way] for the right thing):
*more, all done, eat, milk, water, shoes, help, please, thank you (these are all old hat, since she's been doing them for at least 6-7 months).
*socks, airplane, bird, dirty, sleep, wash hands, cracker, bread, cheese, apple, banana, candy, stop, go, car, baby, train, ice cream, fish, ball, flower, cookie, read, yes, no, bear, girl, boy, hungry.
*cat, dog, play, book, bike, doll (signs she sometimes gets correct, sometimes doesn't).
*she may know a few more that I just can't think of right now.

Coloring! Thank you, Crayola, for washable markers! (And thanks to Papa Buck and Nona Lou for bringing them to this side of the ocean!)

*loves to swim, play in the bathtub, play in the sink, dump out her cup of water and play in it, etc. She had a blast in the pool while we were on vacation, and she wants to wash her hands an average of twenty million times a day. She also likes to brush her teeth, but she does not like it when I try to brush them for her. She pitches a fit and screams bloody murder. Can you say "Little Miss Independent?"
*loves skype. She gets very excited to skype with all of her grandparents and runs around like a dancing queen, turning in circles and lifting her legs like an Irish clogger. It's hilarious.

Being silly. She loves to climb in bags, baskets, and totes. And of course she still loves

*still loves to be outside. She has a new fascination with smelling flowers, pulling weeds (or flowers/plants if we don't stop her in time), and a renewed fascination with rocks. She loves to go to the parks and to climb stairs, go down slides, climb ladders, and sometimes she likes to swing.
*has started to try to communicate with other children in sign language, telling them what she wants. Unfortunately, they of course do not understand her, and she gets frustrated that she doesn't get what she wants.

And there you have it. 20 months later, this is what my girl has turned into. It's amazing to watch her grow and learn. I need to start thinking about her 2nd (eek!) birthday cake. I'm thinking a kitty cat. Any other ideas out there?

***Sorry for the lack of good photos this month...most of my photo-taking energy was spent on vacation, and since then...well, I've tried not to forget that the camera exists, but a lot of days I have. Oops.***

Sunday, September 18, 2011

When it Rains...

It pours.

But this time it's pouring good things!

A couple weeks ago I mentioned to my Turkish tutor that we've had packages mailed that have never shown up. She said, "you need to talk to the post office!" Huh? In the States if a regularly-mailed package doesn't show up, well...too bad. I figured the same was true here.

Guess again.

We went to the post office and inquired about all the packages that have been mailed to us over the last six or so months that haven't shown up. They told us to give them a day to search for our missing packages and to call back. We called back the next morning and yes!, they did have a package for us. They'd deliver it that day around 3:00.

It showed up at 12:30. And then another one came at 2:00. And then another one at 3:30. Whoop whoop!

The curious thing is that one of the packages was mailed almost two months ago. The second one was mailed last month. The third one was mailed a week ago. And we're still missing four other packages, two of which were mailed in, oh, March or so (so we'll probably never see those) and the other two were mailed about a month ago. One of those was mailed at the same time as one of the other packages that we received on Friday. Both from my mom, both mailed at the same time, from the same post office. And the fourth package was mailed about a month ago, too, but from a different friend. It's just so weird that some things come quickly and some take forever. It makes me wonder if we have more packages sitting out there in no-man's land just waiting on a phone call!

Anyhow...onto the goods!

Package #1: from some folks from our church back in N.C.

Look at all that awesomeness! Water flavoring packets (aspartame-free for the pregnant lady!), Ovaltine, pickle relish, chewable vitamins for Lane, a Mrs. Potato Head and two books for Lane, hair clips for Lane, paprika, taco seasoning, ice cube trays, and Reece's pieces! Yummy! What a fantastic package of things that we can't get here!

Package #2, from my mom.

The package from my mom was full of mostly stuff for Lane, although you can see the TWO POUND bag of Reece's pieces, which are obviously not for her. They are Shannon's birthday present. He's very excited. =)

Mom sent some dresses and pajamas, a bathing suit, a pants suit, a couple of Sesame Street books, bath toys and a bath net, some beanie babies (saved from 10ish years ago when the McDonald's beanie baby craze hit), and:

Lane's first legos!

These legos were my brothers' when they were little. So far Lane has thoroughly enjoyed playing with the animals, most of which were spread throughout the house when I took this photo. But trust me, she's enjoying them!

Package #3, from my friend Sarah.

Sarah read a post of mine awhile back from when I was having a rough day, so she put together this package for us. Everything to make enchiladas! Now, I've gotten pretty decent at making Mexican food from scratch over the last year or so, but enchilada sauce and chopped green just can't fake! She also sent some pregnancy magazines, which I am SO looking forward to reading (one of these days when I have a spare moment...maybe in the bathtub while I soak my aching, pregnant feet!)!

And now, what follows was not a package, per se. But our friend Becky took some vacation in Istanbul and came over for dinner one night. She brought us these goodies from Senegal:

Peanut butter! Who knew you could get Skippy in Senegal but not in Istanbul? Crazy, huh? And the little basket is for Lane...she loves putting small items in it, closing the lid, and then taking them out. Crazy kid.

And this carved wooden boat. Gorgeous, huh?

So those are the newest additions to our stash of goods! What an awesome Friday it was! Thanks so, so much to our friends from the Summit, my mom, Sarah, and are all super awesome!

***For anyone who still actually reads this blog, even though I've been horrible about updating, I'm very sorry. We are still getting things caught up from moving in (for example, we just bought lampshades today and I just cleaned a couple of our windows for the FIRST time last week). Between playing catch-up on moving in and from going on vacation, studying another language, keeping up with a toddler, and being pregnant, blogging has definitely taken a back seat. We're hoping that by October 1st we'll be back to normal and have a schedule worked out. Until then...I'm sorry for the lack of posts/photos/information/etc. Hopefully we'll return to our regularly scheduled blog posts soon!***

Friday, September 9, 2011

26 Weeks (second time around)

It's really sad when I only find time to update the blog when it's time for a belly picture! In all honesty, this past week since getting back from vacation has just been insanely busy. Last weekend we spent cleaning, grocery shopping, doing laundry, unpacking, and so on. Then during the past four days I had class each day, Shannon had class two days, we each had two meetings to go to, we hosted people for dinner, and all the regular stuff as well (cooking, shopping, cleaning, studying/homework).'s been a busy week. We're hoping that this next week is not quite so crazy, because we've only been back a week and we're already exhausted!

All that being said, I'm 26 weeks pregnant today. Next Friday will be only three months until my due date. We're having a baby in THREE months! Eeek! We continue to be amazed at how quickly this pregnancy is flying by. It really is true that you just don't have time with second (and probably subsequent) pregnancies to relish each moment, read everything in What to Expect When You're Expecting, and so on. Life is just too, too busy with a toddler for me to focus much on how much our lives are going to change in December.

26-weeks. Taken on our balcony.

So...onto pregnancy stuff. I'm feeling fine. I haven't been sleeping very well at night, but I think it's got more to do with drifting off for 10-15 minutes in the afternoon when I put Lane down for her nap than being uncomfortable. I'm trying really, really hard to not succomb to the desire for a nap after lunch so that I'll sleep better at night. I'll have a doctor's appointment in a couple of weeks and will have my blood drawn and all that lovely stuff. Speaking of which, did you know that I haven't had to have a single UA this pregnancy? I remember very distinctly having to pee in a cup every. single. time. I went to the doctor in America. Haven't had to do it once here. Kinda nice. =)

Comparing photos with when I was 26 weeks pregnant with Lane, I feel like I look better this time...not as fat. I remember feeling really chubby and not "pregnant" at 26 weeks with her. This time around I feel like I actually look pregnant, and I also feel like I'm not gaining extra weight in my hips, butt, and thighs, which is where nearly all of my "fat stores" weight from Lane went. I can still wear my regular jeans and I don't feel like they're as tight around my thighs as when I was pregnant before. I have pulled out my maternity clothes (tank tops, especially) and it's nice to wear them when I'm lounging around, but if I'm out walking around I prefer regular pants since my maternity ones sag and I have to constantly pull them up.

Well, that's that! I can't believe we're almost to the third trimester already...we need to get a move on getting ready for this baby!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hello, Vacation!

Last night we arrived back from one glorious week of vacation in the Canary Islands. Shannon and I had discussed going there for our honeymoon, but decided to save our money and try to go at a later date. Well, the later date finally happened. Shannon's dad and stepmom wanted to go to Europe for their 30th anniversary and to meet us somewhere, so we chose the Canaries. And what a fantastic choice, if I do say so myself.

Lane's expression says it all: vacation was a blast!

In case you're wondering where the Canaries are.

We had a great time. I'm not sure if I'd recommend flying across the Atlantic just to go to the Canary Islands, but if you're already in Europe, I'd definitely recommend them!

The Fairways Club on the island of Tenerife.

We booked a week at the Fairways Club on Tenerife island. It's a pretty isolated resort run by Brits. It's also right next to a golf course, which Shannon and his dad took advantage of a couple of times.

The master bedroom in our apartment.

The view out the back door of our apartment.

We left Istanbul on Thursday morning and flew to Madrid, where we spent the night. On Friday morning we flew to Tenerife, where we met Shannon's dad and stepmom.

Then we spent six fantastic days doing relatively nothing.

Lane's first dip in a swimming pool. (And me being thankful for the second pregnancy in a row that I invested in a maternity swimsuit the first go-around.)

It was great.

It was our first "real" vacation (you know, the relaxing kind, not the "see everything there is to see in as short a time period as possible" kind) in two years, since we went to Hawaii in 2009.

Shannon's dad and stepmom treated him to a round of golf as a belated birthday present.

Shannon and his dad played golf twice: once they played the par 3 course (as a warm up for the real deal), and once they played the whole thing. They both said it's the prettiest golf course they've ever played.

Who could argue with them when you get views like this while playing?!

While Shannon and his dad played golf, Cindy and Lane and I did some of this:

Playing in the apartment.

And a little of this:

Lane is like a little fish. She loved the water and by day two she was kicking her legs around, paddling herself around the deep end by herself.

We went out to eat at restaurants on the Fairways Club property a few times (paella and/or beef bourguignon anyone?)

Celebrating all of our anniversaries, albeit a bit late. 30 years for Lyn and Cindy, 4 years for me and Shannon.

And we ate in a few times as well.

Lyn in the kitchen preparing his "specialty" breakfast, egg-in-a-hole (a piece of toast with a hole cut out and a fried egg in the middle). Cindy and I had scrambled eggs. Shannon and Lyn had egg-in-a-hole. And Lane, as much as Shannon and Lyn wanted her to like egg-in-a-hole, ate scrambled eggs as well.

One of my, Shannon's, and Lane's last meals after Lyn and Cindy left: frozen pizza, watermelon, and (this is the important part) Cherry Coke and Dr. Pepper (neither of which are available in Turkey). Not the most impressive dinner ever, but we wanted to use up food we had already bought that was in the apartment.

Shannon and I got to go on a date one night as well. Shannon wanted to go to a movie, but the only movie playing in English was Bridesmaids, which Shannon wasn't too keen on seeing. So instead we drove into Playa de las Américas and got dessert and coffee and walked around a bit.

Four pieces of dessert for only €6.40. And don't worry, we didn't eat it all, but took back our leftovers and had them for dessert the next day.

While we were gone, Lyn and Cindy took Lane swimming and playing on the on-site playground.

One day we all drove to the Playa de San Juan. We walked around, watched waves crashing on the shore, saw lots of banana plantations, and watched boats and airplanes go by. Lane loved the wind in her hair and watching airplanes. She'd get so excited every time one would go by.

Screaming in excitement at airplanes going overhead.

After Lyn and Cindy left on Wednesday we spent the rest of our time relaxing, going for walks, playing at the pool, and just enjoying our last bit of down time.

We found a gravel path that Lane loved. She loved the rocks. We loved the view.

More swimming. Daddies are the best to swim with.

We had to leave on Friday morning at 1:00 a.m., arriving back home at about 7:00 p.m. yesterday evening. It was a long day of travel, but Lane did great, all things considered (two flights and a 7-hour layover, 16ish hours traveling, only 6-7ish hours sleep total for Thursday night/Friday day). We are refreshed, relaxed, and ready for "real" life again.

The only family photo we have in Tenerife is horrible, so take this one instead as a general indication of what a great time we all had. Gotta love those smiles on my man and my girl!