Friday, January 31, 2014

She's Converted Islam??

That's what it looked like to me too.

In reality, she's wearing every article of clothing she could fit on...apparently that's the best way to wear a turtleneck.  Who knew?!

In case you're wondering....that basket of fruit is going with her in her cardboard box 'car' to a picnic.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

6 Months

It's hard for me to believe this little guy is really 6 months old.  At 6 months he:

* just got over another bout of ear infections
* is generally a happy guy - so long as he's fed and rested
* puts up with sooo much from his sisters
* just started sitting up and is pretty good at it (thank goodness - we have a very limited number of places to put him, so now a whole new world has opened up)
* is no where near close to sleeping through the night - I consider only 2 feedings a night a good night.  Since we have no crib to contain him and neighbors on such close quarters I doubt we'll be doing much sleep training any time soon.
* likes food.  Well, kind of.  He likes to try lots of different foods, but doesn't eat a whole lot yet.
* is somewhere around the 50% percentile for height and weight.  We made a trip to a legite dr while we were in the Ankara a while ago.  I don't even remember his exact measurements, I would need to convert them, and it was a month ago...but he was about average.
* has a huge head (according to his measurements), but we're just hoping that means he has room for a large brain.....that's his only hope!!!
*gets his cheeks pinched multiple times a day by the Turks and doesn't ever complain

We love this little guy!!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Our Sunday

Sundays are a little unique here.  Since the closest church is a 1 1/2 hour flight away, we don't make it very often.  Every Sunday we do church on our own at our apartment.  The girls seem to do okay with it.  They get a little restless, but look forward to Primary (about the same as at home!).  Here they are in their Sunday clothes ready for church.

After church we usually bundle up and try to get outside for a little walk.  We make the trek down the stairs and out into the cold, but sunny weather.

After a big lunch we've started the tradition of making some sort of treat.  We typically try to Skype with Grandparents in the evening. We end the day with a dinner of air popped popcorn, fruit, cheese and crackers....and lastly we eat our treat!  

Sundays are nice, but a little long.  The girls are still excited about Primary and seem to enjoy it, but I do look forward to going to an actual church and seeing other people.  But, it's been a neat experience so far. And, most importantly, all of our treats have turned out pretty well!!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How Many Mothers

How many does it take to feed a baby brother?

The answer is 3.  Sofia holds the bowl.  Hannah feeds him.  I clean up what doesn't make it into his mouth.

Don't you love the stroller?  We are still on the hunt for a high chair.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Our Home

It has taken me long enough to get around to this, but I have finally taken some pictures of our home!! Here's the beautiful building from the front yard.  Our apartment is the very top left one.  We are on the 4th floor and we get to do lots of stairs every day....but so far the girls haven't complained.

Here's our beautiful plant and basket for potatoes. They go bad really fast inside our apartment so we keep them here.  It's a good welcome to all visitors, right?!

Our lovely front door.  But we have to be locks automatically if the door is shut......we might have learned that the hard way when I shut the door one day with the only set of keys inside.  Whoops!!

In true Turkish fashion we have our shoe rack right behind the front door.

Here's the view when you walk in the front door.  It's our lovely red kitchen table.  In the background you can see our living room.

We have converted the living room to a bedroom for TJ.  They gave us 3 beds for the 3 kids and this is the only spot where there was room for it.  The suitcase sitting randomly on the floor holds all of our winter clothes - those fun coats, scarves, mittens, etc...we put on a few times every day. 

Between the kitchen table and living room we have our office/entertainment center.  I couldn't help but post a picture of Sofia holding TJ.  

Sitting on the chairs we're looking at our entertainment center.  Along with our drying rack...amazingly it's empty.  I must have cleared it off to take pictures....because it's never empty!!

This our kitchen.  It's small, but as all the essentials.

Our fridge is rather small, but holds the eggs and enough water for a day or two.  All foreigners tell us not to drink the water.  The locals say it's safe to drink, but there is sometimes dirt/debris coming out of the we prefer not to drink it.  So, James gets to lug home these 5 litre jugs most every day.

We purchased a toaster oven.  It's been a lifesaver.....I still haven't figured out the temperature, but it's worked pretty well so far.  You can see our stove and propane tank, too.  I've figured out how to light it without burning my hands off and not wasting too many matches!

Down the hall to the girls bedroom.  Sofia is fixing the Lightning McQueen sign to their room.

I'm sure you'll never guess who sleeps where.

Right next door is our bedroom.  Pretty boring, but functional.

Lastly is our bathroom.  We call it the stinky room, because of a stinky drain.  It's pretty big.  The beautiful toilet seat matches our awesome table.   

The shower has a mini tub that kind of works for the girls.  Unfortunately we have no shower rod, so water gets everywhere.  Oh well. 

 This is our awesome washing machine.  It's tiny...tiniest I've seen I think.  And it takes forever - with 2 hour cycles, but it gets stuff clean!!

Here's the culprit of the stink.  Any ideas for getting rid of the smell?  We've tried boiling water and salt with baking soda followed by apple vinegar.  White vinegar doesn't seem to exist.

Overall, our apartment is pretty nice.  It's bigger than we've had.  It's warm.  It stinks.  But it works pretty well.  Our living conditions are better than I had prepared myself for....and I'm grateful for that because living here with kids is harder than I planned!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Lights Out

Last week our power went out.  That's happened a few times since we've gotten here, so I didn't think much of it.  Generally it's not out for long.  So, when it had been out a couple of hours I called James at work to let him know......

Long story short, it had been shut off because the bill hadn't been paid.  Imagine that!!!  The problem was we'd only been here a couple weeks and hadn't received a bill.  Apparently they didn't know there were tenants in the apartment and James spent several hours running around the city from the University to the Electric Department to the Post Office (where you pay the utility bills!) and back again a time or two.  He finally got us a housing contract (apparently that hadn't been done) and got things squared away by the evening.  
We were told someone would be to the building in 1 hour to turn our power back on.  When we heard that we knew we wouldn't be getting power until at least the next day.

Meanwhile, life went on as normal at home, just a little darker.  We used the flashlight we brought with us and managed to buy some candles at the nearby store.  Here we are getting ready for dinner.

The girls were a little scared about the dark, but ended up liking it and having fun!  We got our power back on the next day!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Little Slow

It's been a while since I've posted anything.  Not because I've been busy, but because:

We got here a little later than planned.
We all got the flu.
We visited the local hospital.
We got over our sickness just in time to fly to Ankara for James' meetings (and go to church!!).
We finished up in Ankara just in time to get sick....a cold, achy body, feverish, cough sick.

Unfortunately that takes a lot longer to get over than the flu.  Especially when it goes through the family one by one.

But, we're getting better.  We're not all the way there yet, maybe at about 90% ....

..except for TJ.  We're playing the do we try to brave the hospital where no one speaks English or do we let him go a few more days and maybe he'll get better? game.

We really are doing well....we're just tired.  By the end of the day we put the kiddos to bed, then we put ourselves to bed.

That's why I haven't been around.  Or posted anything.  But, hopefully soon.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year

We're pretty boring when it comes to New Years.  Well...pretty boring when it comes to staying up actually.  So we decided to have a party for New Years and the girls were pretty happy with that.  We made pinatas (because doesn't that just seem like the obvious New Year activity?).  I was just trying to think of something fun that would occupy the girls for a while.  So, we made pinatas, bought stuff to go in them, then had fun opening.  The girls also made party hats to go along with the party.

We got to go to bed early on New Years Eve, the girls were kept busy, and had win.

A Very Merry Christmas

We haven't posted anything in a while...we've been a little under the weather and are just beginning to get back on our feet.  But, we did have a good Christmas.  Here are a few random pictures.

Someday we will upgrade to a nicer Christmas tree, but for now a paper tree will do!!

Christmas Eve we read the story of Christ's birth.  The girls wanted to act it out.  They chose me for Mary, James for Joseph, TJ for baby Jesus, and they wanted to be shepherds.

 They opened their pajamas on Christmas Eve and seemed to approve.

Christmas morning Sofia was up by 5 am.  Hannah actually slept in, so she had plenty of time to explore what Santa had left.  She was really excited at first...then kind of forgot about gifts/Christmas until Hannah woke up.

They seemed to have lots of fun opening gifts.  James went to work afterwards, but only for a few hours.  All-in-all it was a good Christmas.  Our kids were excited, yet it was very simple and low-key.  It was kind of nice in a lot of ways.