Friday, April 13, 2012

4 Months Old


Dear Noel,

Yesterday you turned four months old! You're getting so big's amazing how much you've changed in the last four months!

Three weeks ago you started sleeping through the night, which has been marvelous. You'll go 11 hours between feedings at night, usually eating at around 7 p.m., going to bed around 8 p.m., and waking up at 6 a.m. I cannot tell you how excited I am that you're sleeping all night! While I'm still tired almost every single day, it is certainly so nice to get to sleep all night! We're still working out your nap schedule, but you usually still take four naps and nurse five times during the day. You seem to be gaining weight appropriately, don't seem to be "needing" extra calories, and since we don't have a bouncy seat or anything like that anyways (you know, so you could sit fairly upright on your own), we'll probably wait at least another month to give you solid food.

Putting toys in your mouth is a new favorite activity.

This month you found your thumb. I think that finding it and deciding you like to suck on it contributed to you sleeping all night, and try as I did to prevent you from sucking it, you're still managing to start bad habits early. Sigh. You do like the paci, too, but you can't hold it in yet, so your thumb usually ends up in your mouth at bed and nap time after you've spit the paci out. I'm hoping to be able to break you of the thumb-sucking before you're too old, but I'll wait until you're able to put the paci back in on your own.

I took you to the doctor yesterday and you'd gained about a pound, putting you at 12 pounds, 12 ounces. You also grew three centimeters, so now you're right at 24 inches long, and your head circumference is 15.75 inches. You can hold your head really steady and enjoy tummy time if it's right after you've woken up and eaten. Otherwise you usually prefer to lie on your back.

Tummy time with toys! (and a burp cloth to catch all the drool...)

This month you've started smiling a lot, and you've started pulling things to put them in your mouth. You especially like putting toys and your hands in your mouth. You're trying really hard to roll from your back to your belly, but you haven't managed it yet. You've laughed a couple of times, but we haven't figured out yet what will just make you crack up. You are such a content baby; you love to be held and smiled and cooed at, but you're perfectly content to play on your play mat as well. If you're crying something really must be wrong, or you must be hungry, because otherwise you're a happy camper. You absolutely love Lane. She can get more coos and smiles out of you than anyone else, and most of the time she's not even trying! I'm so excited for the two of you to have each other to play with as you get older.

Noel, I love the rolls on your thighs and how your cheeks just bunch up into themselves when you smile. I love knowing that I'm your favorite person in the whole world, with Daddy and Lane following close behind. I love snuggling you and holding you and rocking you to sleep when your schedule's been off and you're extra tired. I just love you, and I thank God every day for the blessing that you are to us!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Someone Loves Me

A couple of weeks ago Shannon came home and brought me a pin. He said that another friend gave it to him to give to me because it would mean something to me.

The apostrophe should be over the "S"..."Ktoś Mnie Kocha."

So, he handed the pin over and I looked at it and thought, "'Someone loves me.' Ok...well, it's Turkish and since Shannon doesn't speak Turkish, I guess that's why she gave it to him to give to me."

Shannon then asked me if it meant anything to me and I repeated my above thought. He replied, "Oh. She said it was Polish."

Then I looked at the pin again and realized that indeed, it was written in Polish. Is it sad when you have so many languages in your brain that you can look at or hear something that's not in your native language and know that you understand it, but you're not sure which language it is? My poor brain...

Sure enough. Polish indeed.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Yesterday we took Lane to her first Easter egg hunt. She had a blast.

Daddy's leading her on the hunt.

Found one!

Chomping on some candy while hunting eggs.

Then this morning I hid eggs in our living room while Lane searched for them for about two hours. I still can't believe she was entertained for that long!

On tippy toes to get some eggs!

She made this face for every. single. egg that she found.

This afternoon I took Lane to the bazaar and to the park while Noel napped and Shannon worked on some things from home (I know, sad to work on Easter, huh? But we had most of our Easter festivities yesterday). I let her walk a lot, climb on things, jump, and so on, and she had an absolute blast. It was a gorgeous day and we spent almost two hours out and about.

My favorite photo from Easter Sunday...she loved that gate.

And Noel...well, she pretty much slept all day.

Snoozin' away!

I'm really looking forward to next Easter when Lane will be old enough to understand more about why we celebrate Easter. For now, she claps and says "yay!" when we tell her that Jesus is alive, but anything beyond that is still lost on her. So next Easter should be fun.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

From the Archives: Hello, Vacation!

Last April Shannon's mom and stepdad came to visit. We hung out with them in Istanbul for about a week, and then we took five or six days and traveled around Turkey a bit with them. It was, to be quite honest, exhausting (I was newly pregnant and Lane got five teeth, three of them molars, in five weeks). But it was fun, and it was good to see his parents. Sometimes I feel bad for Lane because she just has to deal with all the craziness that our lives entail, but she seems to do pretty well with it all.

We greeted Sharon and Milton with BBQ sandwiches for lunch, and cake for dessert.

Boy were they surprised! I made a cake for them to announce the pregnancy, and we made cards and had them mailed to the rest of our family members that arrived right around the same time as Shannon's parents got here.

Anyhow, we "did" Istanbul first, taking them to see the main sites here after they had recovered from jet lag. We didn't really get many photos here, since we'd already been to the Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cisterns and didn't want to pay to enter again. The only new site for us was the Blue Mosque, and I'll give it its own post soon.

Me and Sharon (and Lane) in front of the tulips near the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.

We spent a few days just hanging out at home, going out to eat Turkish food, playing with Lane, and just enjoying each other's company.

Mimi reading Lane's new Easter book to her.

Papa and Lane, just chillin'. Gotta love Milton's jet-lagged bed head!

Lane in one of her new dresses and daddy, playing hide and seek behind the curtains.

Then we flew to Cappadocia, Turkey, where we spent three days and two nights.

One of the rooms in Derinkuyu, an underground city.

At the Göreme Open Air Museum.

Even Lane had fun!

Cappadocia is full of views like this.

Shannon hiked to the top of a...rock formation?...and got this shot.

People used to live in there. So strange!

Awesomely weird, huh?

Next we flew to Izmir, Turkey, where we spent two days and two nights. Our main reason for going to Izmir was so that we could go to Ephesus, which is about an hour away, but not convenient for flying into. We actually know people who live in Izmir, so we got a bit of help from the airport, finding the buses to Ephesus, and so on. Here are just a few photos of Ephesus. I could easily go into photo overload here but I'll just give you the highlights...

From Selçuk (the nearest city), it's a couple miles to Ephesus proper. So we took a horse-drawn carriage, which was quite fun, and was my and Lane's first time in a horse-drawn carriage (to the best of my recollection).

Arcadian Street. Which leads up to...

The Theatre Gymnasium.

A bit further down (to the right) you'll find:

The Celsus Library

Shannon, Lane, and myself standing at the Celsus Library and looking out into the auditorium with Curetes Street to the back right.

Curetes Street: one of the main streets in Ephesus.

The view from up Curetes Street, looking down toward the library.

Lane did a lot of playing with rocks in Ephesus.

And then it was back to Istanbul for a few more days before they had to leave. We had a lot of fun with them, and of course they loved getting to actually play with Lane (since she was only five months old the last time they had seen her, she wasn't really into playing yet). All in all, it was a great vacation. The time went so's always sad when vacation is over, especially when it's with family you don't get to see very often!