Monday, July 27, 2015

Antalya 2015

Well. I'm a bit behind But my "baby" is almost 15 months old, all the summer interns and tourists are gone, life is getting easier, and we have no plans to add more babies or more interns to the mix anytime soon, so...a catch-up post is in order!

When we had to leave the country in April to renew our visas, we decided to take a vacation first. And it was a real. vacation. I mean, the grandparents even came to visit!

And this is what you look like when the only flights out of the country leave at 3 a.m.

We went to Antalya, Turkey, and spent eight days on the beach. It was still April, so it wasn't hot at all (at least not hot enough to swim in the non-heated outdoor pools), but it was warm enough and a welcome break. The resort was all-inclusive, so all we had to worry about was making sure we made it to the restaurants during meal times and to the pool during its opening hours. We went swimming every day, most often twice a day, and let the girls eat dessert after every meal. They had a "slumber party" in Mimi and Papa's room a couple of times, and overall we just had a good, relaxing vacation.

Special kid drinks from the lobby bar.

Chocolate spread on their pancakes was definitely the highlight of breakfast every day!

Ice cream almost daily from the patisseries near the pools.

We only went down to the beach a couple of times. The water wasn't really warm enough to swim in, but there was a good playground nearby, so we went once to play in the sand and water and once or twice to play on the playground.

This girl would have totally gone swimming in the sea if Shannon or I had been willing to brave the cold water for her! She was all in!

But this one preferred the sand to the surf.

The pool(s) was definitely the girls' favorite part of the whole vacation. Lane got to brush up on her swimming skills from last summer and by the end of the week she was doing really well, even able to swim the length of the pool. Mimi and Papa also brought her some good goggles so she wasn't afraid of getting her face wet.

Noel, on the other hand, is still pretty much terrified of getting water in her face. It's kind of funny, because sometimes she'll jump right off the side and get her entire head under the water and wet, and other times she's scared to death of getting a splash of water on her cheek. But she's still just three so I guess she has some time. She enjoyed swimming with floaties or sitting on the steps. Papa Buck and Nona Lou sent them mermaids for the tub/pool, so they had a lot of fun playing with those in the water.

And little Miss Raye just got to enjoy being loved on by her grandparents, an endless supply of simit and pastries from the restaurants, and by the end of the week she was actually enjoying the pool, too!

Oh my gosh a baby in a bikini is just too cute!

We enjoyed just hanging out with Shannon's parents, leisurely eating and not having to worry about cleaning up or washing dishes afterwards, taking the girls around to the various pools, restaurants, nearby shops, playgrounds and beach, and so on. We just took it easy and actually relaxed (well, as much as is possible with young kids!) for a week, and it was a great break! It was our my third time to Antalya and Shannon and the bigger girls' second time, but it was our first time to go without having meetings to attend. And I have to say...I think we'll be back.

Mimi and Papa out for a walk with the bigger girls.

I think this is the only picture I have of the five of us from this vacation.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

14 Months Old

I'm a little late, as usual. This month has been a fun one for Lil' Miss Raye. Her personality is just coming out more and more each day and it's just really fun.

At 14 months, Raye:

*can climb on anything. Ok, maybe not anything, but she can get onto our chairs, the table, the vacuum cleaner (today she got her foot stuck inside the spot where the canister sits while I was emptying it), the step stool, the girls' small table and chairs, and so on. She's fallen a lot this month and has gotten many small pops on the thigh for crawling on the table, trying to climb the bookshelf, and so on. It's exhausting. She's also walking well and although she's still a little wobbly, she doesn't usually fall down.

*absolutely loves her sisters. She will immediately walk to them in the mornings (she's usually up before they are) and give them open-mouthed kisses and a big hug. It's really, really sweet.
*can drink from a regular cup w/o help, is trying to use a spoon or fork but usually ends up eating with her hands, and loves coffee. Yup, coffee. And my CamelBak. Weirdo.

*has got a temper. She doesn't seem to go back immediately to doing stuff she's been told "NO!" about, but she sure does let you know she's unhappy. She'll cry for a minute about getting told "no!" or for getting a pop on her thigh, but then she switches to just whining/crying/screaming very loudly. Sometimes she'll stop if we give her her blankie, but other times she just wants to pitch a fit for awhile. I put her in her crib a lot of the time if it goes on too long.
*says "ooh ooh ah" or something similar for a monkey sound and "aaoooww" or something along those lines for a cat sound.

*loves animals. She gets so excited when she sees birds or a dog or a cat...she'll bounce up and down in excitement or just start jabbering up a storm...she loves to walk after them, chase them, touch them, and so on. The girl likes animals.
*has some new words: "BAH!" for boo!, something that sounds like "Ah do" (I do) for yes.

*can usually follow simple instructions like give the phone to mama, put your diaper in the trash, etc.
*can identify her belly, tongue, and teeth when asked where they are.
*is mostly in 12-month clothes but since her sisters were wearing 18-month clothes in the summer I pulled some of those out the other day and she's wearing them, too. All of her 9-month things have been put up.