Not much to say. Just had a lovely day chilling out with Liam, and especially enjoyed some peaceful and relaxing time in our garden downstairs. Such a perfect Friday afternoon!
Over the last week I’ve decided to get a bit more creative and do some artsy/ craftsy type things with Liam. I’ve been browsing around a bit on the internet and have found a few blogs with some things to try with a toddler under 2. It is a bit hard to think of ideas for such a little guy, but we’ve experimented with a couple and I’m glad we did. I don’t think he really cared too much, but still, I want to keep at it, maybe doing a couple a week for now, just to give him something different to do. So far we did painting in a ziplock bag, which I think I mentioned in my last post, and yesterday we did painting in a box. The best part are that both projects are mess-free! Yay!
Now that Liam has his own nice room that he can actually play in and spend time in, we decided it’d be fun to decorate it a bit. I’d actually thought of creating some animal pictures to decorate his old room too, but I never got around to it. Also, he only slept in his room as it wasn’t really very child-friendly, so I never really had the motivation to do the pictures. But, with a new burst of inspiration, I made the first animal ‘wall hanging’ over the last couple of nights and I really enjoyed it. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but it’s about 1 ft high and 1.5 ft long. I used watercolours to paint a big yellowish sheet of paper and reddish/brownish one, then cut and pasted the pieces of the lion together, and finally, added details with little bits of the painted paper too. It was quite a fun puzzle to piece together and I’m pretty happy with the results, if I do say so myself! Today I was excited to hang it up on the wall and to also hang up the few painted things Liam’s done too, however, Liam didn’t quite have the reaction I was expecting. I think he was quite intrigued by the lion I made and as soon as I put it up on the wall he threw a fit! He wanted to play with it, not have the stupid thing put up on the wall! What was I thinking? So, I decided to wait until tomorrow at naptime to sneak up the paintings he did, so maybe then he won’t get upset about it. So funny. Ah, kids…
Another slightly creative thing has been playing with stickers. One day last week stickers saved my sanity! Liam was very cranky with the ol’ teething, so I got out these tiny little stickers and he was instantly engrossed in taking them one by one and sticking them on his leg. He loves tiny things like that and was absolutely silent and in deep concentration for ages, just putting them on, repositioning them, taking them off again, etc. It was amazing to have a quiet break after a morning of him repeatedly falling apart!
So, that’s what we’ve been up to. I’ve got a few more interesting projects I’d like to try with Liam in the next week or so, and I also have an elephant, owl and gazelle planned for Liam’s room. But tonight, I’m skipping the art and opting for a film instead!
Well, since my last post, nothing extraordinary has happened. But I did get the results of my glucose test thing and I’m normal! As my doctor reminded me when she passed on the news, that doesn’t mean I can eat sugar freely still. I have been incredibly well behaved these past few weeks though, if I do say so myself, but it’s nice to know that if I have the occasional potato or treat I’m not going to die of carb/sugar overload!
Which is a good thing, because yesterday was Richie’s birthday, and I’ll admit to indulging in a small piece of delicious chocolate cake. Since he was working yesterday, we sort of celebrated Sunday as his birthday, and it was mother’s day too, AND our friend Marijke shares the same birthday as Richie so we saw her in the evening for wine and cake too! Actually, it probably wasn’t the most relaxing day because we decided to do some apartment rearranging we’ve been wanting to do for a while. It was a bit of physical labour, especially for Richie, but we got a lot done and are feeling really good about it. Basically, we switched rooms with Liam, so now he’s got the nice sunny big room as his bedroom/playroom and we’re in the smaller room. We still have lots of throwing away of things to do, and organizing before everything will really feel settled, but we’ll get there. Yesterday Liam and I just stayed home all day because it was a bit drizzly and overcast outside and I had a headache, so while he played, I just pottered around throwing things away and sorting stuff out in his new room, so even though I felt a bit blah yesterday, I felt like things were certainly accomplished. I think Liam’s having fun in his new room too!
I’m also making plans to decorate his room more, make it more colourful and kid-friendly, because it’s a bit plain and boring now. I started on a bit of a project last night to make some colourful animal pictures for his room, and he did his first ever painting project yesterday too, so we’ll be hanging up his artwork in there as well! I put a piece of paper in a ziplock baggy with a couple globs of watercolour paint, a small bit of water and a small travel-sized shampoo bottle, just to put some object in there to help squish around the paint. I found the idea on this website, and I’m excited to try a few more things too. It is hard to think of many crafty/arty ideas for an under-two-year-old, so this was helpful. Honestly, the ‘project’ kept him interested for about 2 minutes, but still. I think I still want to try and do more arty things with him, just to give him something different to do really, and I’m sure he’ll get more interested in such things when he’s a bit bigger. But no harm in letting him play around with stuff now.
This morning I’m feeling much better so we headed out to the playground for about an hour, which was refreshing even if the weather is still a bit dodgy and a few drops of rain fell on our heads. Liam definitely needed the outside time though. I just wish a) birds and cats and dogs didn’t poop and b) people would never ever drop rubbish or cigarette butts on the ground! I hate having to tell him no ever 2 minutes to keep him from picking up gross stuff! It’s not like the park is really dirty or anything. It’s actually pretty clean. It’s just that Liam manages to find every minuscule bit of junk around, no matter how out of the way or tiny! If only he were that tidy at home! But despite that, it’s still great to see him have fun outside and it sure makes him take a good long nap!
Well, I don’t have any photos for now, but I’ll work on that! Now, however, it’s naptime! Yippee!
Today was picnic-adventure day, and it was lovely. We went with our friends Katherine and Alper and their baby Daniel, and had breakfast in Yıldız Park, which is a great big park not to far from us, with lots of grass and trees and all that good nature sort of stuff. It was an absolutely gorgeous sunny morning and we laid out blankets and enjoyed a delicious Turkish breakfast, with all the usual stuff; tomatoes, cucumbers, cheeses of various kinds, boiled eggs, olives, honey and cream, pastries, and tea. We provided the easy part, which was the stuff from the bakery. Katherine and Alper brought everything else!
It was great to be out, and there were lots of other people having their Sunday morning breakfast in the park too. It was rather interesting trying to keep Liam from stepping in all the food, as he basically wanted to climb right into EVERYTHING. Or if he wasn’t about to climb into it, he was doing things like trying to take each little cherry tomato half and lick it, or stealing ALL the cheese, or play with all the cups of tea, etc. It was a bit mental, but hey, whatever. The only down side was that he only slept for a little while in his buggy around noon, and then that was all the sleep he had for the day. 30 minutes instead of 3 hours is quite a difference, so it was a bit of a cranky afternoon. But it was still nice to do something different with our Sunday free day and the park was absolutely wonderful. Despite the cranky toddler, I felt quite refreshed by the morning outing. It really made it feel like summer has arrived!
The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous and I feel so energized by it. It’s amazing what sun and warmer weather can do for one’s whole outlook on everything! I’ve especially been enjoying the mornings. Although it’s still (barely) April, the days have been hot enough, especially when one is pushing a toddler in a buggy up a hill! But the mornings have been perfect, just a nice touch of coolness, and plenty of sun, but still not the sort of glaring hot sun of the afternoon. So I’ve been making a point of getting out the door at around 9:00 or 9:30 to take Liam out to play at that lovely time of day. He gets to have some fun, I get to enjoy the relative quiet of the morning, the playgrounds aren’t too busy, and then Liam takes a great long nap after all that running around. It’s wonderful. I also find that if I do something productive like that in the morning, the whole rest of the day is more productive. Or even if it isn’t, I feel better knowing that I got something done earlier in the day, so I don’t feel like a completely lazy slacker. So my May resolution is to get out just about every morning with Liam. This month will be the nicest weather and I won’t yet be quite so huge and uncomfortable, so I really want to make the most of it! Come June and July I’ll have a huge belly and it’ll be scorching hot, so I might not have quite as much motivation to get out tons, so I better just go for it now while I do!
In other news, our doula came over again today, which was lovely. We went over some breathing techniques for dealing with labour and contractions and talked about this and that. It was a nice visit and it’s good to start thinking about all these things. I just know the next three months will fly by at a ridiculous speed and it’ll suddenly be time to pop out a baby! Don’t want to leave all this preparation until the last minute!
Tomorrow is May Day and Richie’s off work, so that’s a nice treat. Richie said he heard that tons of things will be shut down tomorrow in the centre of Istanbul, in an effort to avoid or cut down on the rioting and craziness. None of this effects us much, since we’re out of the middle of the city, but it’s nice to get a day off together on account of it! We’ve got some modest spring cleaning and organizing plans for tomorrow, so it’ll be much easier to get that stuff done with two of us here. And then I think we’re meeting a friend for lunch, so it should be a well-spent Wednesday!
Well, the weather today is just absolutely gorgeous so Liam and I got an early start and headed to our nearest playground at about 9:00. I felt super sleepy this morning, but being out on such a lovely fresh morning in the (relative) peace and quiet was quite rejuvenating!
Liam enjoyed wandering around, chasing pigeons, inspecting berries and stones and all his usual stuff. But the big deal today was that he climbed up into the playground equipment and then came down the big twisty slide all by himself (with a little spotting from me on the slide bit)! I was so proud of him and he was all excited and proud of himself too! So cute. He’s been going up in that stuff for ages but with Richie or I to help him on stairs and go down the bigger slide with him, but with my belly getting ever bigger, it’s getting more difficult to squeeze myself up into that playground stuff! So, it was one of those moments to give him some encouragement and then trust that he could handle the new challenge. I know this is such a small example of it, but it was definitely a mini ‘letting go’ parenting moment for me. I try not to hover too much with these things and crowd him, but of course I want him to be safe and careful, but I let him try it on his own and he did great! Yay! Funny how exciting these little milestones are when you’re a parent, and the best part is seeing how happy he was with his big-boy accomplishment.
Well, having been out for a bit on this gorgeous day, I’m feeling greedy for more and after nap and lunch-time, we’re going to head out again to another park, the lovely grassy one down the hill from us. It’s got ducks and a pond and everything! But first, a bit of rest to recharge for the afternoon.
Oh, and here are the latest photos. The ones of him on that panda-bike type thing crack me up. We went to another playground in our neighbourhood on Wednesday and a kid there had that bike, and was really good about letting Liam ride it. I ended up just pushing him around on it FOREVER, and he just didn’t want to get off. He loved it! So much for him getting exercise! I was the one doing all the work, but oh well. Sadly, the family eventually had to go home and take the bike with them, which meant Liam had a complete meltdown for a few minutes and was inconsolable. After about three minute though, during which no comfort from me helped at all, he discovered a stick and then was perfectly content to poke around in the dirt and forgot all about the terrible trauma of the bike. Ah, the emotional upheavals of being a toddler!
Well, we had an extra especially nice weekend this week. Saturday was the last day of the term for me, which was nice. I’ll still teach the same classes next term, but it’s still a sort of relief to finish up that nine-week period. Usually I stay after my Saturday classes to do all my planning for the upcoming week, but our friend Amanda was having a barbecue at her place so I left right after my class so we could head over there.
It was such a nice evening. We couldn’t stay too long, so we could get Liam to bed at a reasonable time, but it felt so good to be out. We don’t get to do that sort of thing too often these days, so it was a special treat. They had an old mattress brought out into the courtyard for Liam to play around on and he got lots of attention and got to do lots of exploring, so he certainly had fun. Richie and I had a great time too, and there was lovely food, great weather and it was very pleasant to get to chat with friends we don’t see often and some new people as well.
Sunday was our normal day off and we did our usual stuff… chilled out morning, naptime, then out for lunch and some playtime in the park. Today Liam had a very cranky day, which was a bit exhausting, but Richie came home early from work which was a treat and my friend Katherine and her baby came for a visit, so that redeemed the afternoon anyway! The weather’s been a bit all over the place, but hopefully we’ll have dry weather so I can get Liam out to play a few times. And Thursday I have a doctor’s appointment, so I’m looking forward to that.
Liam’s still sprouting teeth all over the place! He’s gotten 5 new ones in the last month and I think it won’t be too long till he gets more! Poor kid. He’s taking it all very well though. The latest cute things he’s been doing are giving us kisses and giving Richie hugs goodbye before he goes to work. With the kisses it’s cute because he pooches out his lips so much and gives me a kiss on the lips. First he would just lean in his face towards Richie so that Richie could give him a kiss on the cheek, I think because of Richie’s beard, but now he’ll give Richie kisses too. It’s adorable. Last week Liam started giving my belly kisses too! So cute! He’s also started taking notice of my friend Katherine’s baby. We’ve been visiting Katherine every week for ages, but usually Liam didn’t pay any attention to her baby Daniel. But just recently he’s started patting him, giving him hugs, talking to him and trying to play with him a bit. It’s so sweet to see him interacting so nicely with Daniel and it also helps me imagine how he’ll be as a big brother in a few more months.
Aside from Liam being cute, there isn’t much to highlight here. I just love hanging out with my little boy, and I have a hard time not kissing his face off all the time! I’m glad he’s a little toddler and I can kiss and hug him lots and lots. I think I’ll have a tough time controlling myself when he’s older and it’s lame to have your mom giving you big smooches on the cheek all the time! Hopefully I won’t embarrass him too badly.
It’s been a normal and pleasant week. Nothing special, but quite enjoyable. The only unpleasant part is that I’ve had some crazy sinuses (spring weather/pollen, I suppose) and I have a cough and cold at the moment. Keeping my fingers crossed Liam doesn’t get it, but I don’t know how likely I am to get my wish!
Well, it has been a ridiculously long time since I’ve posted anything here. I honestly don’t know where the time is going! Anyway, the point is, it’s high time for an update, so here it is!
First of all, it’s more or less spring here in Istanbul. We’ve had some really nice sunny days, and then some really yucky rainy cold ones, but in general it’s been okay. There are buds and blossoms on the trees and flowers blooming. I am so looking forward to it being spring properly and having consistently nice warm weather! Istanbul is just sort of ‘blah’ in the winter, but in the spring, summer and autumn it is really fun and lovely and lively. Can’t wait for that!
Liam’s doing great. He just had his 18 month check-up on Monday. He’s nearly done with all his vaccinations and handled the three he got this week like a champ! He barely even cried for his two shots, although he did get a small fever later in the day. He’s recovered now though. The doctor said that is weight is average for his age, but by Turkish standards he’s the height of a two year old. I don’t really know how your average Turkish two-year-old measures up to American and Irish kids, but anyway, I guess he’s not short at least! In the past two weeks he suddenly got three more teeth, which was quite sudden since he had no tooth action going on since the beginning of August. There are more soon to follow; I can see all these lumps surfacing where he’ll be getting a few more molars soon. He handled all the teething pretty well too, considering he got so many all at once. A bit fussy here and there and definitely gnawing on things, but in a good mood over all.
We’ve been taking quite a few trips to local playgrounds on our non-rainy days. Liam is getting a bit more independent with playground equipment and can now go up small stairs on his own and down the short slides on his own too! He also loves the see-saw, which is really cute. But more than any of the actual playground equipment, he loves to just wander around the playgrounds and check everything out. He also got a kick out of chasing pigeons during our last trip. He was absolutely cracking up running up to them and watching them fly away. It was so cute!
He’s not talking yet, not really. However he does now say ‘uh oh’ and ‘wow/woah’. I don’t know what that says about him, but it is pretty funny. Maybe eventually he’ll get around to the whole ‘mama/dada’ thing. Who knows?
On non-Liam related news, I am now 22 weeks pregnant and I can’t believe how quickly things are going this second time around. I guess having a toddler to chase around just means I’m too busy to think about things too much and every day just feels so full, so it really makes the time fly by. I’ve certainly got a noticeable baby bump now and I’m feeling the baby wiggle and move a lot now. That part is really fun. It makes me actually feel pregnant finally! We’ve been talking more about baby preparation too, maybe changing rooms around, heading to IKEA to get a second crib, trying to figure out what the heck we’re going to name this kid! I really have no idea what it’s going to be like having two little people to take care of, but I am looking forward to it, no matter how crazy it will be!
Well, I guess that’s about it for now. Maybe I’ll finally get more organized soon and start writing a weekly update here instead of waiting months between posts! But don’t hold your breath. Meanwhile, here are just a few pics of Liam!
Well, today has been a real, proper snow day. It actually began yesterday, and the day was lovely (for me at least! Richie still had to go to work in it all!) because my friend Amanda came over in the afternoon, also bringing some nice Starbucks coffees with her. We hung out for hours chatting and it was nice to watch the fluffy snowflakes fall from the warmth of our apartment. As an aside to that, it’s always nice to meet up with friends anywhere, but it was especially nice having someone over here for a visit. At the age Liam is now, it’s just so much easier to be at home with a visitor because I can actually sit and talk instead of chasing him around somewhere else, and he’s perfectly content doing his normal stuff and playing with his toys etc. So Amanda, if you’re reading this, thanks… that was awesome!
Anyway, the snow continued overnight, but this morning it wasn’t too bad. Richie had to go to work early, so before he left I wanted to make sure I had all the food stuff we’d need for the day, so I walked up our hill to the local corner shop for the essentials: yogurt, milk, eggs, etc. The problem with Istanbul, is even if it’s just a dusting of snow, there are just so many hills that that little lovely sprinkle of white makes it nearly impossible to get anywhere! So, it was a rather slow and treacherous walk up our slippy hill and the same again on the way back down, but I managed it all without falling. Poor Richie had to do a considerable amount of walking in it all today, but he seemed to do alright. It’s a good thing he’s more sure-footed than I am!
I was hoping that after a few hours that little bit of snow would melt away because I had big plans today. I’ve been waiting for weeks for a package from my parents with all Liam’s winter outdoor gear and found out yesterday it’s being held at some far away post office for some reason, so I have to go get it. I was all set to make this epic journey today, with help from the aforementioned Amanda. But to make a long story short, it snowed all day long and it would have been impossible to actually make it out of our door and down our street. Also, because of the snow, I was advised by some people at work that the post office might be closed anyway. Blah. So, tomorrow I hope I can go, but it seems unlikely now since there’s meant to be more snow!
Apart from the snow drama, Liam and I had a nice day at home. The funniest part was his bath experience today. There have been a few occasions in the past where I’ve just plopped him in to a tub of nice warm water and about thirty seconds later he’s pooped in it. So, I’ve taken to waiting until he’s just pooped in his diaper before getting the bath underway; that way it’s safe. Or so I thought. Today, he had safely done his thing in the nappy and yet, two minutes later when placed in the fresh clean bath, he pooped some more! This lead to me immediately ejecting him from the bath, which meant he was standing there naked and cold crying his head off while I emptied and cleaned the tub and ran the water a second time. But once he was in again, he was fine and thankfully, there was no more pooping. Bath mishap number two happened after I got him out. I brought him to the warm sitting room to dry him off and while he was sitting on my lap wrapped up in his towel, he suddenly peed on me. I don’t have any idea when he last did that! Not since he was a really little guy! He seemed to be a bit shocked by it himself. So, it wasn’t really that big a deal except my only other pair of comfy trousers where outside ‘drying’ on the clothesline (aka. getting snowed on and slowly frozen). I was stuck wearing some shorts while I waited for the wet/semi-frozen ones to dry by the heater. Delightful.
Richie is currently putting Liam to bed. Lately Liam has been quite happy to go to bed and sometimes he makes it clear that he wants to go to bed even before we’ve been ready to tuck him in. Tonight it was hilarious because Richie brought out his pajamas and Liam got all giddy and just putting them on his head. Then while Richie was putting the pajamas on him, he was just giggling and smiling the whole time, like getting his pajamas on was the best and most exciting thing that had happened to him all day. If he’s so eager to go to bed at night, I wonder what that says about our company? Anyway, it’s so nice to have a little toddler who goes to bed so easily! What a treat!
Well, that’s about it for now. Hope I have some photos to upload soon. I don’t take as many these days because as soon as Liam sees the camera, he makes a dash for it and I can hardly get a shot in before I have to run away and hide it from him! Anyway, I’ll keep trying and hopefully get at least a few.