Wednesday, February 22, 2012

25 Months Old

This is much more up my ally now that I've got another girlie to do posts for. I stole the idea from Barbara over at Footprints in the Sand. Thanks for sharing, Barbara!

And So It Begins...

At 6:00 a.m. tomorrow Shannon is leaving me for 13 days. I'm going to be a single mom of TWO little girlies while hubby is speaking at a conference.

Things I'm not looking forward to:
1. Grocery shopping on foot with one strapped to my chest and one in a stroller (or, if I'm brave, I'll just hold her hand...).
2. Being the one to get up with Lane in the sleeping in for me, not even until 7:00, which is when she usually gets up. If I want a shower, it'll have to be before then.
3. Doing all the dishes, all the cleaning, all the playing, all the diaper-changing, laundry-hanging, and so on, by myself, all the time.
4. No real adult conversation. I mean, I am a girl. I have like 5000 words to use each day, right? How am I going to use that many with my husband gone?!?

Things I am looking forward to:
1. Less laundry.
2. Less cooking.
3. Lots of time with my girlies since I'll be homebound for a lot of the time.

And that about sums it up. Pray for me!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

2 Months Old

Dear Noel,

Every day I grow to love you more and more. I never really understood how one's love could be equally divided between their children, but after having you I've begun to understand it better. And I'm sure I will continue to learn about it, but every day I look at you and marvel that God saw fit to give me not just one beautiful daughter, but two. You are so sweet and are a very good baby. You started to coo at us this month, and often when I'm nursing you you'll just look up at me, pull off, and give a great big smile and a few coos before going back to your meal. You look almost exactly like Lane did when she was your age, but I have to say that so far you are less high-maintenance than she was! You are a pretty good sleeper, and while we're still working out the kinks in your sleeping schedule, overall you're doing very well.

Hanging out on the play mat, looking at "the guys."

I took you to the doctor on Monday for a check-up, and I have to say that you, my darling girl, must be a good eater. You grew another 5 centimeters, putting you at 22 inches long, and you gained another kilogram to put you up to 10.6 pounds. You've almost doubled your birthweight in just two months! You have got the cutest rolls on your thighs, and I absolutely love them. Your sister was always so skinny and didn't have any rolls to her, so I love yours! I'm sure you'll grow out of them, so don't worry...babies are supposed to be roly-poly! You are funny about tummy time, don't really love it, but neither do you hate it. You just lay there on your tummy and don't fuss, don't try to lift up your head, don't really try to do anything most of the time. You're just content to lay there and occasionally look up, which you're pretty good at when you actually do it!

I love you, my baby girl, and I can't wait to see what future months have in store for us!


You're content to just hang out in the boppy, looking around.

I love your cheeks!

This is how you spend a lot of your awake-time...hanging out in Lane's room with us while we play! We're getting you in on the action as much as we can!

My smiley girl.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Life Lately

Here's the rundown:

Valentine's Day: Lane and I spent part of yesterday and today making sugar cookie dough, rolling it out and cutting heart-shaped cookies, making icing, and icing and sprinkling them. There's just something about having holiday-shaped cookies around that makes my heart happy.

Lane's first beater after making cookie dough.

Pretty cookies!

Potty Training: A few weeks ago Lane started expressing interest in her potty, so we gave it a go with letting her run around pants-less. She hasn't had any accidents in about two weeks if she's bare-bottomed. If she's wearing pants (we don't have any "big girl panties" yet)...well, accidents have been known to happen. But still, we're down to only two diapers a day (one at nap time, one at night) unless we're out and about. And that makes my mama heart happy, too.

Snow, snow, and more snow: Enough said.

Gotta love all the snow, even if it's not really sticking. It's looked like a snow globe in Istanbul for over a week now!

Babywise: We followed Babywise loosely with Lane after she was about six weeks old (I'd never heard of it before then). I was a big fan of the eat, play, sleep routine mentioned in the book, and found lots of good principles (like to let a baby try to fall back asleep if they wake up 45 minutes into a nap because that's how sleep cycles work). But I think that starting so late didn't really help Lane sleep through the night, as I distinctly remember her being five, six, and even eight months old and still not sleeping longer than 7-8 hours (10-5...yuck) without eating. So we started early with Noel, working on getting her to stay awake for a few minutes after eating, encouraging her to take a full feeding, and eating every 2.5-3 hours in those early weeks. I'd let her cry herself to sleep if I knew she was tired (after those first 2-3 weeks). Now, at almost two months old, she is sleeping 7-9 hours straight at nighttime. (Unfortunately she likes to sleep 6 p.m. to 1, 2, or 3 a.m. Any ideas on how to move her schedule a bit later?) She rarely cries herself to sleep, but falls asleep on her own in her bed for most naps (sometimes a mama's just got to hold or rock her baby to sleep no matter what the book says...she's just so cuddly!) and always for bedtime. She's eating well, gaining well, and overall happy. At two months in, I can say I'm a big fan of Babywise, thus far. I'm not exhausted, and my body is happy.

She's so snuggly and cuddly!

Cloth Diapering: has been put on hold. Little Noel is still too small for our cloth diapers and leaks out of them, even though she's over eight pounds (the minimum suggested weight for using them). And since Lane is only using two diapers a day, and we've always put her in a disposable overnight anyways, it doesn't seem cost-efficient (or time-efficient, for that matter) to wash a load of 3-4 cloth diapers twice a week. So, less laundry for me to remember to wash, hang, and fold. And guess what? It makes my already-too-busy-self happy.

Fenugreek: Ever heard of this herb? I'd heard of it before but had never needed it. Well, back when I was pregnant I heard a friend mention that you could buy it here (who knew?), and when we came back from Antalya a month ago, exhausted, sick, and stressed, I noticed my milk supply rapidly decreasing. I wanted to be able to pump some to start getting Noel used to taking a bottle but just didn't have enough. So I started taking one teaspoon in juice twice a day and noticed a considerable difference. I ran out early last week (right in time for Noel's growth spurt) and once again noticed my supply dropping. So a friend picked some up for me and within a day my supply was back up. All that to say...seriously, try the stuff if you're a nursing mom (especially a busy, tired, or stressed nursing mom!). I don't know how much it costs in the States, but here I can buy 100 grams for 2 lira (that's a rate of about 4 oz for $1.30 or so). That's a price that makes me...guess what? Happy.

Stir one teaspoon of this into about one ounce of juice and down it ('s pretty nasty. It doesn't dissolve, so it's a bit like drinking dirt in juice). An easy way to increase your milk supply.

Tattoos: My mom sent Lane some temporary Christmas tattoos. So I gave her one of a star and one of a reindeer, and now my 2-year old knows the word "datdoo." I'm such a cool mom. Or a bad mom. I can't decide which.

Flowers: Sunday was a gorgeous day (we got two extremely nice days in between all the snow from last week and all the snow this week) so we went to the Sunday Bazaar as a family. Shannon bought me flowers on the way home.

And these...these flowers make my home happy.

In's been a happy (although busy) kind of a week!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Home, Sweet Home (part II)

Well, what do you know...we got our apartment cleaned up faster than expected! Or I just moved a few things to other rooms for photos... Either's the rest of our place!

When you walk in the front door, almost immediately to your right is the kitchen.

The view from the kitchen door, looking to the left.

A close-up of our counter. I hate counter clutter. It drives me insane. Unfortunately we always have some (like the homemade bread just sitting in ziplocs...there's nowhere else to put it!). Notice the sign on the top shelf? It originally hung here. And we have a shelf for all our medications, coffee, hot chocolate mix, vitamins, etc.

The view from the kitchen door looking right. Dishwasher (which is currently broken...sigh), my KitchenAid mixer, our sketchy table with ultra-sketchy chairs (one day maybe we'll buy stools to sit on but it just hasn't been a the step stool alternates between the bathroom and the kitchen, and the folding chair alternates between next to the front door and the kitchen). The cross-stitch my sister did for me and Shannon for our wedding is hanging above the table. See that door? Here's what's behind it:

An enclosed balcony with our bags, recycling, cleaning supplies, granny-cart, and miscellaneous stuff.

Standing near the sink and looking forward-left. The vacuum has a new home right there, because it seems I need to vacuum the kitchen/entry/hallway/bathroom every day, and I just don't do it if I have to actually get the vacuum out of the enclosed balcony. So there it sits... The cabinet thing holds bags, aprons, keys, extra dishes (down below) and...

Spices! I love having all (ok, most ) of my spices in these jars! Here spices come in bags and it drives me crazy to have them all floating around in my cabinets, spilling I really like this system. I don't even need labels for them...I know which is which. And I'm out of baking powder...

Standing near the balcony door and looking toward the hallway. Refrigerator, oven, microwave (yes, we finally bought a microwave after five months without one!), cabinets.

And the view out our kitchen window for the last week: it looks like a snow globe over here!

The second door on your left when you walk into our apartment is Shannon's office:

The view from the door to his office.

It's a man cave and he refused to let me help him decorate. Hence stuff like this:

I mean, really...could those wall hangings get any more...unaesthetic?

Or check out the photo on top of the scarf on the bookshelf...

Shannon's desk. He makes fun of his dad sometimes for all the piles his dad has of stuff in his office, but...I think Shannon could be well on his way to the same fate. =)

The view looking back towards the door: the lovely chair that matches our living room set. Originally the recliner was in here and this chair was in the living room, but we moved the recliner into the living room while I was pregnant and decided we liked it better out there. And this photo is a great example of how apartments over here have very few outlet plugs. This room has one, which you can see in this photo. So we had to run an extension cord all the way around the room to plug Shannon's computer, printer, scanner, cell phone charger, etc. into. I don't think that any of the rooms in our apartment (including the living room) have more than two outlet plugs. I will never understand why they do it that way...

And then, the third door on the left of our hallway (before the bathroom and finally our bedroom) is our Turkish toilet (otherwise known as a "squatty potty"). Now, we don't use the squatty, and since we have two other toilets, we turned this room into a much needed storage room:

All our trunks and suitcases are piled in the back, right on top of the squatty potty. We have a toddler bed that we bought sight-unseen that we've never used and are trying to sell, but for's sitting in here. And usually what ends up happening is that as Lane (and now Noel) outgrows things, I bring them in here and put them on that sink/shelf. When the shelf gets full, we go in, pull everything out, and put things in their appropriate trunks.

And lastly, the view on the way out:

Our front door, umbrella stroller, and closet for coats and shoes and hats and backpacks. We'd much rather have something with hooks, but this wardrobe was free, so for now we'll just use it.

And there you have it. Our much appreciated apartment, after living in others' homes for almost two years. It definitely has its problems and quirks (hello, water problems!), but we are so, so thankful for it!