But first he builds them, on his bed. Having our double size spare mattress on the floor in his room has been the best thing ever! It makes such a great place for him to jump and tumble and we take naps with him there too. So, one of his latest things is to pile up all the pillows and cushions in our flat and then throw himself on them very dramatically and flop around the place. Endless fun, and luckily, not too many bumps and bruises so far.
Little Fred has been having a great time with his feet lately. It’s nice he has a form of entertainment that is always with him. He nearly got his toes to his mouth the other day, but didn’t quite make it. I’m sure that’ll come soon.
On another note, I think Fred is a long baby, and bigger at this age than Liam was. He’s not a chubby guy at all, but length-wise, I’d say he’s just about to upgrade to 6-9 month clothes already! Liam was always right in the target size for his age, so it really feels like Fred is flying through the sizes at the moment!
Oh, and I finally got him into cloth nappies! It took me long enough! He’s been in them on and off for a few weeks now. I do really like using cloth diapers and all the cute diaper covers we have, and since he’s doing just about all his poops in the potty, it makes diaper washing easier too. I haven’t had to clean up a single poopy cloth diaper yet (touch wood!). I still have days and parts of days where it’s back to disposables though. Sometimes I’m just too freakin’ tired to care, and it’s nice that I have that back up. I’ve also been using disposables at night because it’s just easier.
Fred is spending a bit more time in his Moby wrap these days too, which is nice for me. Now that he’s holding his head up, it’s easier to have him in it when he’s awake and he just enjoys looking around a bit. Sometimes he still arches his back and tries to twist around to look ahead, but not always. I know I’ve said it before, but I LOVE THE BABY WRAP! It’s what is making this blog post possible! I’ll have to look up some ways to tie this thing on with him facing forward, as I’m sure he’d enjoy that. Okay, here are some more photos while I have the chance…
Well, were to begin? I’ve decided to write a few ‘mini posts’ and try to do my long overdue update in lots of small pieces, so at least some info gets out there, because otherwise it takes me like two weeks to write a post!
First of all, things are good here. Fred will be four months old next week! He’s absolutely adorable and such a smiley guy. Love it. What I’m not loving at the moment is his crazy night-time sleep. He’s actually rolling over already, from his back to his front, and I think because of this developmental milestone, he’s sleeping pretty poorly at night. He just wiggles and wiggles. Plus, with the whole rolling thing, that means that the days (or nights) of him being all swaddled up are pretty much over. I still wrap him when he sleeps next to me, but since I’m there to mind him and make sure he doesn’t end up with the blanket over his face or anything, it’s okay then. But since he’s so wiggly, he just doesn’t stay swaddled very long and it’s all just a mess. Blah. Last night Richie and I spent a while in the evening discussing things we could try to improve the sleep issue, but I have a feeling we just have to wait a week or two and let it sort itself out. Last night I decided to try helping Fred do his pooping a bit earlier in the night, since he wiggles so much I thought maybe that was his problem. So, I nursed him in bed, and when the tossing and turning started, let him come unwrapped and wake up fully. He did, in fact, do his poop in the trusty ol’ potty bowl, and I thought I would be back to sleep with him in no time! However, he had other plans. It turned out to be our ‘worst night ever’ with him and I awake for 2 1/2 or 3 hours. I did a lot of cursing under my breath and muttering, but eventually he fell asleep again and we’ve been catching up on sleep all day!
Boy, aren’t I complaining a lot! Sorry about that. Apart from the sleep drama though, life is good. The weather is finally getting cold here, but we’ve had some really sunny days, so those are nice. Considering it’s December 1, the weather’s really good. We had a pretty good week last week, with some outings and lots of visitors. Monday is now ‘Meet up with Marijke Day’, on Wednesday we had a visit from a new friend Anne and her baby Sara in the morning, and Katherine and her little guy Daniel in the afternoon, and then Friday myself and the boys headed over to Katherine’s with the help of our friend Zahra. So, the week was busy and fun, which was good.
Okay, Fred’s just waking up now! Post over, but more to come soon!!!!
I can hardly believe it, but this and the previous video are about a month old already! Need to get something more up-to-date!
Well, I’m super tired at the moment, so I don’t really know how coherent this post will be. I just know I’ve had it in my head all day that I really want to post something, so here goes!
First of all, I just want to say what a fun autumn we’ve been having. Obviously, it’s been fun (of the hard-work variety) having Fred with us. Then Richie’s mom came to stay for a week and a half, followed by our friends Phil and Anouk over from Hamburg, and just this past week my best buddy Jen and her friend/co-worker Nicole visiting from Kenya! It’s been so delightful to have the company, the chats, to have a houseful of people, and then it’s also been great to get out and about, visit some restaurants with guests, share the sights and tastes of Istanbul. Having a small baby is lovely, but being home so much with two little people can feel a bit isolating at times, so it’s really saved my sanity to have some fun and enjoy our visitors… makes things seem a bit more normal and all that.
Well, my last post was a Liam update, so I guess now it’s time to catch up on the news with Fred. He’s just about 3 months old, which I feel is a big milestone, the end of him being a newborn. He’s so smiley and adorable, I love it. I love the way he gives a big open-mouth smile when I tickle him and sort of scrunches up his whole body, legs and arms in the air… it’s kind of like a whole-body-smile. I love his baby ‘kisses’, which is what I call it when I’m giving him a kiss or nuzzle and he reflexively opens his mouth and licks my face. I love his sweet baby breath too. Yum.
I think he’s getting cuter and cuter all the time, filling out a bit, working on those chubby baby cheeks. He’s getting better at holding his head up and I think he’ll be pretty stable soon. I’m looking forward to being able to have him in the wrap while he’s awake, but not having to be watching and supporting his bobbing head all the time. He’s close now, but his neck just isn’t quite sturdy enough. Once it is, I’ll be ready to make it over to my friend Katherine’s place on my own with the two boys, Liam in the buggy and Fred in the wrap. I’m looking forward to having that little bit of independence. I still won’t be able to do much or go to far on my own, but getting over to her place will be a big accomplishment. He’s also doing a decent job holding up his head when he’s having tummy time, especially considering I still haven’t had him on his belly all that much.
I’m still swaddling him at night, because I think he’s prone to startling a bit too much still. He’s upgraded from his newborn size Woombie and is now in the ‘big baby’ size. He’s also wearing 3-6 month size clothes. It seems like it was just about 2 weeks ago I started putting the 3-6mo stuff on him and in the sleep suits his feet were getting all bunched up when he kicked because they were still too long on him. Already now it seems like he fills them out lengthwise! Crazy how fast babies grow!
I also started doing EC (elimination communication), aka ‘baby pottying’ with Fred about two weeks ago. Lucky for me, Fred on average just poops once a day, and almost always at the same time, and is really obvious about it because it’s in the wee hours of the morning after a feed and he wiggles and kicks like crazy. So, no surprise when he goes. Since he’s still so small, I’ve started out with a plastic bowl in my lap while I sit cross-legged on the floor and hold him over it to poop. We’ve had pretty good success so far, and I’ve only had to change one poopy diaper since we started! Anyway, we’re just keeping it simple and trying to get those obvious poops for now, and I feel really happy just doing that small bit for now. Next I really want to get the cloth diaper stuff sorted out and get him in those. I’m not sure if it really saves money compared to disposables, when you factor in water and electricity for washing, etc., but I enjoyed using cloth with Liam so I just need to get organized and get to it.
Fred is now happier doing a wider variety of things, which makes life easier and means I also have a bit more time and attention to give to Liam. Sometimes Fred will sit in his bouncy chair for ages, and I can get something done, or play with Liam for a while or whatnot. He also likes laying on Liam’s bit mattress and the three of us can look at books, or Fred will now look at toys and he likes being played with, sung to and tickled. I love holding him a lot, but it’s also great to have more to do with him while he’s laying down, if for no other reason than to give my body a rest! Liam is still doting on him and gives him kisses and hugs. It’s so sweet!
Actually, on a side note with Liam, I just have to say how cute and loving he is, because it’s just the best thing ever and I have to share it. Just yesterday he was giving EVERYTHING kisses. He kissed my two cheeks, my two ears, my nose and my hair. Then he kissed Fred. Then he kissed a pair of Richie’s trousers and a towel. Then his car. And on and on it went. He’s got love for everyone and everything! Today we were playing football with this really soft ball he has, kicking and throwing it around, and then we’d both race to get it first. Well, at one point I kicked it and it hit the wall. Liam picked it up hugged it very gently and then held it out for me to kiss because I’d injured it by kicking it so hard. He’s just so adorable and loving, I just want to eat him up. (I’m adding this the morning after writing this post- This morning when I gave Liam a piece of bread, he cradled it lovingly in his hands, kissed it and then took a big bite! So funny!)
Well, now I’m so tired I have a bit of a headache, so I better head off to bed. Fingers crossed Fred will have a very sleepy night and very short wake-ups, because I don’t think I’ll have much energy tonight!
And this photo doesn’t have much to do with this post, but I thought it was cute, so here it is…
Well, again, it’s been weeks and weeks since my last update. Crazy how the time flies!
So, first of all, Liam turned two over a month ago! My little baby is now a two-year-old! Boy oh boy do I love that kid. He’s just the sweetest thing, and we’ve had such a great two years with him. He’s still a very snuggly guy and likes pinching our elbows (and my flabby belly!) as a sort of comfort thing while he’s snuggling with us or laying down to take his nap. So, he’s still pretty snuggly overall, but he’s also turning into a bigger boy who doesn’t want his mom kissing and hugging him all the time. Boo for me! Now sometimes he pushes me away, or if I kiss him and he didn’t want me to, he’ll wipe it off rather emphatically. Sigh. I knew it would happen eventually, but it’s kind of bittersweet, him starting to outgrow all my mushy mommy loving! I guess I just have to tell myself it’s better than him growing up to be a big mama’s’ boy, haha! On the flip side, I was just thinking that a few times recently, he’s given me a hug and sort of stroked my cheek very gently, like I do to him a lot. I saw him do the same to Richie today too. It was such a loving gesture!
He’s talking more and more, still just words, but slowly but surely, he’s figuring out the whole language thing. Just the other day, he finally referred to me as ‘mama’! It was a major breakthrough and made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. For ages he’s just called both Richie and I ‘dada’, but two or three days ago he was pointing to a photo of Richie and called him ‘dada’ and a photo of me and said ‘mama’! Yippee! I have finally had a name/title bestowed upon me!
Liam is still being a great big brother. Any time he sees Fred’s pacifier/soother laying around, he picks it up and tries to give it to him or wants us to give it to Fred. He gives him hugs and kisses, touches his face or head very gently and will sort of snuggle up next to him for a minute and say hi to him. It’s adorable. I hope they’ll be great buddies with each other when Fred ‘grows up’. It is such a heart warming thing to see Liam being so kind to little Fred. It’s the best.
Liam is currently glued to Richie pretty much any time that Richie is home. Boy does he love his ‘dada’! Since Richie’s been home all this week for Kurban Bayram, I have actually started missing Liam and feeling like I’ve hardly had any real time with him, apart from giving him some of his meals. Today was great though because I put Liam down for his nap and got to snuggle with him and after lunch I took him up to the playground for a bit, and we got to hang out for a while in his room even while I was holding Fred. It was lovely for me, feeling like I got to ‘reconnect’ with him a bit. Now that Fred’s a bit older, I’ve decided we have to make more of an effort to get Liam out to play just about any day the weather is good. The last couple months have been tough for him, I’m sure, with all the changes, and he’s been cooped up in the apartment too much. I was so happy today watching him have fun at the playground. He loves climbing up the stairs and going down the big twisty slide, exploring everything and going up and down on the see-saw. There were some very nice bigger boys (maybe 9/10 years old?) at the playground today and they were talking to him and going down the slide with him. It is such a nice feeling to see other children being so kind to your own kid and feeling like he’s being validated by those other kids, if you know what I mean. It’s just really heart warming to see him so excited to play with the big boys and he was just cracking up laughing with one of the kids in particular. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but Turkish kids are so amazingly kind to younger kids. I’ve especially noticed it with boys here. I really hope we can teach our boys to be as kind and thoughtful with other younger kids when they themselves are big boys. It’s just so lovely to see and it’s one of the cultural things I absolutely love here in Turkey.
Hm, what else. Well, we’ve started having story time in the evening before bed, which has been great. I’d been relying on films a bit too much in the evening, especially when adjusting to taking care of Liam and Fred on my own in the evenings when Richie’s at work and dealing with dinner and bedtime, etc. But Liam recently got some lovely books from both of his grandmothers, so it’s been a good excuse to start reading before bed instead of watching movies. So far, sometimes Liam lays down to listen, but sometimes he’s in the room, but bouncing around or playing with toys during the story. But that’s okay; at least we’re all together interacting and not staring at a TV screen. And quite unexpectedly, Fred LOVES story time. My mom sent over some Dr Seuss books for Liam’s birthday and they have quite boldly coloured pictures, some even with the black, white and red that small babies are said to like best, and Fred will just lay there and look at the pictures for ages, his eyes wide, kicking his legs and looking all intense and excited about it. It’s so cute! I really never thought a 2-month-old baby would be so into story time!
Well, anyway, I’m sure there’s more to tell, but that’s all I can think of at the moment. I’m too tired to post photos tonight, but hopefully I’ll get some up tomorrow.
Well, as is usually the case these days, I don’t have much time for a real post. But Richie’s mom was here with us for a week and a half (she went back home on Monday), and I want to at least post the photos in a timely manner! We had such a great with her here and it’s been tough the last few days getting used to ‘normal’ life again without her! We had some nice outings, went to a couple restaurants, playgrounds, etc. I was very happy for the boys to have their granny around, and Fred especially got lots of snuggles, which was great (not least because my arms got a rest!). We ate delicious food, including Irish goodies we’ve been missing since our last trip to Ireland in January, such as sausages, rashers, cheddar cheese and black pudding. Since we were all in the holiday spirit, we also indulged in lots of sweets, which was amazing. I really need to cut down on all the sugar now though; I am seriously addicted at the moment! I really do think that chocolate and caffeine are necessary drugs when you have babies/small children. I don’t think I would have made it this far without them!!!
Anyway, back to the point… It was so fun having such delightful company, lots of chatting and all that good stuff. It was just so nice having her around, even though with two little people, we didn’t ‘do’ a whole lot. It just felt very homey and lovely and I wish she could have stayed longer! I feel quite lucky to have such a great mother-in-law!
Anyway, here are the photos…