31 days of Oliver & Nina – Nina Nicole, 6 months old

October 3, 2014 § 2 Comments


Let’s backtrack a little. I’ve been good at taking Nina’s monthly pictures, but not so great at writing her monthly developments.

At 6 months old, Nina got to finally meet her grandparents from her daddy’s side. Gram and Gramps came to rescue mommy while daddy was away on a long trip. It took her no time to take to them. She loved getting her bottles and baths from Gram, she loved hanging out and laughing in the early mornings with Gramps. I think she truly bonded with them and I still think she remembers them because her face lights up when she seems them on Skype.




At six months, Nina is just starting to sit up well. She loves to eat. She even got to have a tiny taste of her Gramps’ ice cream (it’s a tradition). She still loves her brother, but she can be a mama’s girl too. She has been working on her teeth for a while but they have yet to make an appearance.

At her latest appointment, Nina was showing all her weight gain. The doctor said she didn’t even have to weigh her, she was certain Nina had put on enough weight! ūüôā


31 days of Oliver & Nina – The day I stopped nursing

October 2, 2014 § 1 Comment

I had to stop nursing Nina way earlier than I anticipated. She had never been a great eater¬†anyway. Constantly latching on and off. It was exhausting. I talked to her pediatrician often about it, we considered every possibility. From tongue tie to milk supply. Nina was still gaining enough weight, so the doctor didn’t seem to be concerned about it for the first couple of months.


Nina at 4 months

But then after ¬†her fourth month appointment, the doctor started to notice that even though Nina was gaining weight, she wasn’t gaining enough weight. And although this isn’t my first go at nursing or caring for an infant, this was the first time I had ever heard tha my baby wasn’t gaining enough weight. My firstborn, Oliver, was a big baby, was a fast eater¬†and has never been below the 50th percentile on any charts. So to hear my baby girl had dropped to the lower end of the scale, made me worry and worry and the stress a little more.

Well, as you know, worrying and stress can be the worst thing for your milk supply… Stressing over my baby’s weight gain+ ¬†girl’s fussy nursing habits + baby¬†sleeping through the night by 8 weeks = very low milk supply. My baby was so hungry I had to start supplementing. I tried to get my milk supply up but with another child to care for I just didn’t have the time/energy to pump.

I cried many tears. For many days. I talked to a lot of other ¬†moms, I did research online and talked to my doctor. In the end, all I could do was accept the fact that my milk supply was gone. But my baby wasn’t.

I had to make a choice to focus on the truly wonderful thing that was happening. Yes, my milk was gone and my baby would no longer enjoy the benefits of being exclusively breastfed. However she was still healthy. Very healthy, actually. She started to put on weight and caught on rather quickly. ūüôā The nurses at the doctor’s office could hardly believe it was the same baby when we came in a month or so later. To top it all, it never seemed to bother my Nina girl. In fact she seemed happier, more content with her new lot in life.

Her mama had a harder time being content with this though. Mommy guilt took over. Insensitive people and their unnecessary comments didn’t help either. I made the choice to focus on my baby’s health, to be glad we got to bond over four and half months of nursing. Even though bonding over nursing was over, I still feel deeply connected to my baby girl.

Maybe I’m writing all of this to tell myself that I did the very best I could. I offered the best nutrition to her while I could. Maybe I’m writing all of this because I still struggle with people’s ( mostly other moms) reactions when they hear I’m no longer breastfeeding. Maybe it is time to come to terms with this. I love my baby, she loves me. She is healthy and happy. End of story.

(sigh) Those last words are easy to type. May I remember them next time someone gives me a hard time over giving my girl a bottle.

31 days of Oliver & Nina

October 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

I decided to join The Nester for her “31 days” writing challenge. I have a lot of writing to do. I need to catch up on the past few months of mothering two babies. Nina’s developments, O’s shenanigans. There are lot of ideas and emotions floating around that just need to get out.

I’m going to try my best and do series on motherhood, parenting two and expat parenting. My series will be appropriately titled¬†31¬†days of Oliver & Nina.¬†

I sincerely hope I can keep up!


New Instagram account @mom_mode

August 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

If you used to read this blog for my fashion posts, I have good news! I really missed fashion blogging but I haven’t been able to keep up with it. I noticed I was getting deeper and deeper into a fashion rut, so I decided to start documenting my daily outfits on Instagram. It’s quick, easy and keeps me accountable.

To follow my daily outfits and inspiration click here¬†. And if you want to join me in my journey use the hashtag: mommodefashion. I’d love to see your outfits too!

Much love,


Nina Nicole, 5 months old

August 24, 2014 § Leave a comment




A little late, but here is Nina’s 5-month update! ¬†At her 5-month check up the doctor told us we could start with some solids to help her with her weight gain. Nina girl, you don’t look it but apparently you were putting on weight as quickly as the doctor wanted. So we started Nina on some fruit. Our first fruit was avocado and She really liked it. We later moved on to apples (her favorite), bananas and peaches. We also found sweet potatoes for 20 TL per kilo! I couldn’t resist it and bought 1 little potato for 5 lira. Boy am I glad I bought it! Nina is a HUGE fan of sweet potatoes. I can make a whole ice tray full out of that one potato, so in the end I figured it is not that pricey.



This has also been the first full month we have been on formula. It was harder on me than it was on Nina. But I just tell myself that she’s a happy, healthy thriving baby and that’s all that matters.

Nina finally decided to roll over! I had told her doctor I was worried she hasn’t rolled over yet. Her doctor scolded me for comparing her to her big brother and said that she looked just fine and that soon enough she’d be rolling over. The next day Nina decided to roll over from her tummy to her back and about a week later she was rolling from her back to her tummy. She’s been a tummy sleeper ever since.

Overall, Nina is a happy, compliant baby and a great sleeper! Her favorite person is still her big brother. He’s about the only person who can get her to laugh out loud. She doesn’t love tummy time, but she will lay content on her back on her play-mat. She’s started to string syllables together and be very verbal. We just love hearing her voice and we wonder what her little personality will be like. She is a joy and a sweetheart, that’s for sure.

photo 1-2



Nina Nicole, 4 months old

June 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

Nina girl is about to be 5 months old, so I figured I better hurry up and write her 4 month post. Hey, at least I took the pictures on time!


Nina has settled well into a daily routine. She’s a great napper and falls asleep on her own fairly easily. She takes three naps a day. The first one is in her car seat on our way to school. She sleeps for about an hour and then she’s ready to be loved on by the other teachers. She enjoys the attention and all the kids love having her around. She’s finally started to take a cat nap of about 45 minutes at the end of the day. It sure helps to be able to get dinner ready as well as with her overall fussiness.

She loves baths, especially when daddy gives her one. She gets fussy when mommy bathes her, but she loves it when daddy does it. I think she enjoys spending some time with him after the long day away.

She doesn’t really get the concept of sleeping in. She’s usually awake by 5. I manage to get her back to sleep until about 6, 6:15. But I think I found the culprit though: her room isn’t dark enough. I thought the thick Ikea curtains would work, but last night I put a blanket up and she slept until 7! ¬†We’ll see how tomorrow goes. This reminds me I’ve never posted pictures of her room. I need to do this soon.

This may be the last day I’ve nursed her. I hope I can do it at least a ¬†little longer. This topic needs a post about itself. Maybe I’ll get around to it. Let’s just say I’ve cried more tears about this than I thought it was possible. I’ve come to terms with it now. What matters is that Nina is healthy, happy and gaining weight.


Nina has started to laugh out loud. But ONLY when her brother makes her laugh. It’s the CUTEST thing ever. I’m hoping she will start giggling for me and the husband too though!


Overall Nina is a happy girl, she seems very aware of her environment. She knows when we leave the room, she doesn’t always love when strangers get into her face ( a common occurrence here), but she will gladly smile big if they give her enough space.



Here are Nina’s stats for the month:

Weight: 13.4 lb / 6.125 kg

Height: 25 in/ 63 cm

Happy 4 months old sweet girl. We are so glad you are in our lives.

I’ll be back soon with a bedroom update and hopefully an update on O as he finishes his first year of Turkish school!


Nina, 3 months old

May 22, 2014 § 1 Comment


Nina girl, as O and I like to call her, is 3 months old. Wowza. Let’s not talk about time flying. Just accept the fact that it does.

Nina reached many milestones this past month! First one and a big one for our little quasi-nomad family: she took her first flight. It was a short one, only four hours. But she did great. She followed on the footsteps of big brother who, at four years old, a pro in all things travel. He just walks in the airport as if he owns the place. Goes through security like it is no big deal. And then sits and plays games or cars until it is time to land. Nina did just fine, nursing at take-offs and landings and sleeping for most of both flights.



The other major and most fantastic milestone. Nina slept through the night. And has been doing it consistently. She typically wakes up around 5:30, we give her paci back and she will sleep until 6:30 or 7. It is truly a wonderful thing. This girl, I tell ya, is a precious gift to our family.

Her brother is more in love with her each day. Demanding to see her and hold her hands first thing when he wakes up.

This month Nina girl also got to meet her auntie and namesake, Rhonda Nicole. I think it’s safe to say, she loved being spoiled and loved on by her auntie.



Meeting baby sister

April 30, 2014 § Leave a comment


It was a much-anticipated day. He talked about his baby sister often and was so very eager to meet her.



The week before we went out shopping for a special gift he could bring to his baby sister. He picked out a set of nesting cups. It could not have been a better gift. I know Nina girl will be getting her hands in those in no time.

Mom and dad kept O that morning. And around 2 o’clock, when I was feeling more like myself, daddy went to pick them up. Mom made sure he wore his nice hat and scarf because she wanted him to look cute for pictures. It was a cold and dreary Tuesday, the day Nina was born.


I was so happy to see that sweet face of his.  And even happier to see how well he reacted to meeting his baby sister.

He was shy at first, like he is with anybody. He didn’t really want to hold her. He was happy to just look at her.

One of his first questions was about me and my stitches. This sweet boy of mine, he is always looking out for me. And now, he is always looking out for his little sister.

Nina “had gotten” a little gift for big brother too. So he quickly got busy with his new games and seemingly forgot about sister for a while. We didn’t push him or anything. When he was ready, he looked away from iPad for a while and asked to hold her. It was a sweet moment indeed. And I think right then he fell in love with her.

He has exceeded my expectations of how well he’s adjusted to life as a big brother. Sure he had his moments. His growing pains, if you will. But so did I. Change, even when it happens because of a blessing like Nina, can be a little bumpy sometimes. In fact, I think he adjusted quicker than I did. ūüėČ

I’m so glad my O now has somebody to share life with now. My sisters are my best friends and I am thrilled ¬†that now O¬†has a sister too.

Nina, 2 months old

April 30, 2014 § Leave a comment


At 2 months, Nina was starting to show the beginnings of her precious smile and friendly personality.


She was also just getting over a hospital stay for RSV. It was a scary time, but she was a trooper and a fighter.


She kept nursing well throughout her sickness, so she kept her weight up and her plump little cheeks.


This girl has so.many.folds. Her brother was way heavier at the point. But she’s definitely plumper. ūüėČ



Nina adapted well into a schedule. Feeding every three hours or so and being a good sleeper. At 2 months, she was only waking up once a night. She’s great at napping on the go when mommy needs to teach or pick up brother, but she also naps well at home. Around this age mommy found out how to swaddle her well and this helped baby girl fall asleep on her own without much trouble. If you knew the battles I fought with my firstborn so he could learn to self-soothe, you know how grateful I am this girl can fall asleep on her own!

Nina’s stats at 2 months:

Weight: 5.120 kg/ 11.2  lbs

Height: 54 cm/ 21.2 in

Nina’s birth story

March 2, 2014 § 1 Comment


This is the story of how Nina Nicole came into the world.

I was up before the sun came up that Tuesday. Partly anxious, partly hungry, I just couldn’t sleep but six. That Tuesday, January 28, was going to forever change my life and the life of our family! I was schedule for a c-section at 10:30 am.

I had spent the evening before repacking our hospital bags with my mom and making hair bows for our sweet girl. That morning, all was left to do was get myself ready and go to the hospital. No breakfast needed, which was incredibly hard for this hypoglycemic mama. No make up, no nail polish, no jewelry either. So at least I got my hair fixed.

We left O at home with my parents and arrived at the hospital at 9 am. We quickly signed all the paperwork and they checked us into our room. ¬†My nurse for the day came in and asked all the questions in the world and prepped me for surgery. The OR was having an incredibly busy day. It was break week, so everyone had schedule their surgical procedures for the day of my c-section. It was 11 o’clock before I got in.

This part was the easy part. I knew what to expect, how things were going to feel. How to epidural procedure was going to be. It doesn’t make the anxiety and anticipation any easier though. Knowing you are going into major surgery just makes it all a little more nerve wrecking. My blood pressure dropped quite quickly and I began to feel whoozy. As I’m quite experienced with the feeling of fainting, I was well aware I was about to blackout. I immediately told my wonderful doctor and she just coached me through some deep breathing exercises until the adrenaline shot the nurses gave me kicked in. After this, it was all very quickly until we heard that beautiful cry. The husband was sitting right next to me, smiling from ear to ear. We exchange a knowing look: She looks just like her brother, only smaller! They took her to the pediatric nurse to get all cleaned up and then brought her over to us. We took pictures, I kissed her. She even nursed for a few minutes before they whisked her away and proceeded to stitch me up.
My nurse took me back to my room and the husband was already there, waiting for me.

It felt like forever before they brought Nina back to us. They were getting her cleaned up, giving her shots, etc. Husband and I just sat there, anxiously waiting to see and hold our baby girl again. Meanwhile, the nurses helped me get ready. The hospitals here don’t provide gowns, so I came prepared with some cute and comfy nursing PJs this time. Last time, I only took regular clothes and I just wasn’t comfortable at all. I wore like this one and like one. In fact, they are so comfy I still wear them every night.

Finally, our sweet girl arrived, all decked out in pink and we got to really see her for the first time. Needless to say, we thought she was beautiful. Our sweet, beautiful girl.

As I began to nurse her, I couldn’t help but think about how her big brother would react once he met her. But that’s a story for another post.