mom-mode post #206 – on what i wore wednesday

July 31, 2012 § 4 Comments

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Hello there folks! Wednesday kinda snuck up on me this week. [insert cliche about time flying here]. Maybe it’s because my mind is too busy thinking of next week, when my sister finally comes see me here in Turkey!

It is been way too hot here, to the point I do not want to leave my air-conditioned room. That’s right, no central air here in Turkey land! So we spent the weekend cooped up inside our little living room, playing, knitting, watching movies… (i.e.: I didn’t really get “dressed” dressed)

Yesterday, however, we went to spend the day at a friend’s beach house. I wore a culturally appropriate yet cool (as in ‘not hot’) outfit. I just ended up loving the effortless vibe the asymmetrical shirt gave to the whole outfit.

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Outfit deets: Shirt – so old I can’t remember/ Skirt – Target/ Necklace – Gift/ Shoes*

*no I did not go to my friend’s house barefoot. It’s just that in this culture we usually take our shoes off at the door, so I usually wait until I’m leaving to put my shoes on… Don’t worry, I wore a cute pair of flip flops to go with the relaxed vibe. 😉

Happy Wednesday everyone!

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mom-mode post #205 – on Instagrammin’ it

July 27, 2012 § 3 Comments

It was a bit of a crazy week here. My babysitter got sick, the heat got the best of us, so not much blogging got done.
I figured a quick update via Instagram would do the trick.

Most of my mornings started out like this. Some quiet time before my guys woke up.

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We got to spend some time with our sweet friends for breakfast, before their big month of fasting started.
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My son is a genius, thank you very much. He looked at this and said: it's a circle mommy! He knows most of his shapes. I'm telling you, he is Ivy League material, I just know it! 20120727-114358.jpg

We may or may not have had popsicles several days in a row. It was hot. We were bored. 20120727-114407.jpg

I just recently bought this dress and I'm so glad. It is nice and cool and perfect for this hot weather.20120727-114419.jpg

I made this for a friend's girl's birthday. I had so much fun. I just LOVE sketching. I need to take the time to do it more. 20120727-114428.jpg

A little night stroll by the sea with my sweet friend. 20120727-114436.jpg

That’s it friends. It’s been crazy, it’s been hot but it’s been mostly fun. Forget the part I complain everyday about sweating so much, having no central a/c, not being able to wear shorts when I’m out. I’m thankful for today, for this little hot corner of the world I live in, for His amazing grace and blessings He has showered upon me.

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mom-mode post #204 – on new babies and such

July 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

A friend of mine just had a baby (you know who you are!). He is just the sweetest, yummiest little thing and I hope I can hold him soon, God willing.
Just like any first time mommy, my friend is struggling to find her own groove and rhythim with this new addition to her little family.
Learning about this and seeing pictures of that sweet bundle of joy, made the memories of my O as newborn come flushing back. I just wanted to take the time and tell my friend the things people told me that made a world of difference to me. As well as the things no one really told me about.
First of all friend, no one can really prepare you for the mix of emotions you go through after you just delivered a baby. You never knew someone could love someone so tiny, so much. You also never knew someone could possibly be this tired. And no, everything doesn’t turn out the way the books tell you they will.
You see, babies are their own little people. Your munchkin is his own unique person. Books may give you a general guideline of how to go about things. Your supermom friend may have had eight kids and know a ton about childrearing. Ultimately though, God chose you and his daddy as the experts. Lean on Him and He will certainly give you the wisdom on how to care for him. Maternal instinct is a real thing, trust this God-given discernment tool! O hated his baths until I decided to bathe him in a bucket. It was unconventional and many questioned my choice. But at the end of the day I knew my baby loved his bucket baths and I loved to see him happy. He chose no one else in the world but you, to be his mommy!
When the baby blues hit, remember to give yourself grace. It’s normal.The hardest thing I’ve ever done was having a baby away from everyone and everything familiar. This things you have embarked on is no easy task. It’s scary not to be able to call your mom or you MIL to come on over and save the day. It’s a scary thing to know you are fully responsible to keep this little tiny human well fed and and well cared for. Heck, you just delivered a baby, for crying outloud (pun intended)! Do cry outloud, it’s ok. Just tell your husband not to freak out, you just need to let out some hormones.
Sweet friend, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Eat well, drink well, rest well. Shower. Get out of the house if you need to. Even if it’s just for thirty minutes to get some fresh air, and remember you weren’t always the woman with constant circles under your eyes and a baby attached to your boobs ( can I say boobs on the internet? Or should I have said breats?). Take a little time to do that thing that makes you feel like a normal person again. To me, was making sure I had a manicure and pedicure. To another friend of mine, was making sure she had a little time to shave her legs. To you it may be to get some exercise ( once the doc gives you the ok). Whatever it is, friend. A happy mama can do wonders for a baby.
Forget about the laundry and dishes for a while. Enjoy the cuddles. Especially the nightime ones. I fully despised getting my night sleep interrupted and I couldn’t wait for O to sleep through the night. But some of my sweetest memories of the newborn phase was that quiet bonding we had in the middle of the night. The whole world would be quiet except his loud hunger cry, I would scoop him up from his crib, sit in the dark and just watch in wonder. Happy to be able to provide my baby the nourishment he needed, kiss him on the cheeks and take in that newborn smell. Before you know, that newborn fragrance will be replaced by nasty, sweaty, plaground toddler boy smell!
Some feedings I did just go through the motions, and couldn’t wait to get back to my beauty sleep. But I just always made a conscious effort to remember what a gift these midnight cuddles can be.
Finally, do know that I am praying for you. These first few weeks are just crazy and amazing all at the same time. You know, there is wisdom in some cultures that believe a new mom and baby shouldn’t leave the house for forty days. Although I’m not one for advocating that (I was traveling all over Istanbul with my 4 week old and I loved it!), I think our western culture sometimes puts too much emphasis on being supermom. Doing too much, too soon: “I did it all with not drugs”, “I ran a marathon six weeks post partum”, “my baby was sleeping through the night the day after we got back from the hospital”, etc. Well, if that’s what you feel inclined to do, go for it. But if your biggest accomplishment of the day was getting out of your pijamas and making sure your baby stayed alive, well, that’s a pretty big deal too.

Last week was not only the day your baby was born, but it was also the day you were born as a mommy. Congrats! You are in for one of the biggest adventures of your life.

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mom-mode post #203 – what i wore to the beach!

July 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

We got to spend some lovely down time with friends by the beach last week. We stayed at a nice all-inclusive, no cooking, no cleaning involved. And most importantly: diet coke with ice any time of day. If you live in Turkey, you know what a rare treat ice in your drinks can be!

I wish I had the husband take pictures of my other outfits, I have so much fun putting together vacation outfits. Alas, we were too busy lounging by the pool (i.e.: watching Oliver like a hawk in the kiddie pool). What I like about vacation outfits is that I feel like I can try new things without the commitment a new trend entails. Like when I was in Paris, or Rome, there are people from so many different places and different walks, who is going to notice the way you wrapped a pink scarf around your head? That’s exactly what I did. The husband loved the results and got a little snap-happy with the camera. If you know me, you know I have always loved a good head accessory. 20120716-110053.jpg

However I don’t think I’ll be bringing the scarf trend back home from vacation. I believe Bursa isn’t ready for it. And I’m not ready for the stares. 😉

outfit deets:
Denim shorts – are you tired of them yet? Good, cause I love ’em.
Top – Mango
Flip flops – Havaianas
Scarf – handmade here in Bursa.
Sunglasses – Koton
Bracelets – gift, local bazar, Koton

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(please note the sweetest little blond head on the corner. Love him!)

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mom-mode post #202 – on taking family pictures

July 17, 2012 § 3 Comments

I had wanted for some time to get our family pictures professionally made. I just couldn’t find the right person to do it. Photographers here in Turkey tend to go for the zero spontaneity, Photoshop overload type of pictures. Needless to say, not what the style I was going for.

Last week while on vacation the husband was taking the pictures of some friends of ours and she, a photographer herself, offered to take some photos of us. I quickly ran into our room, changed O out of his mismatched outfit and hoped our outfits would somehow coordinate. I didn’t even redo my makeup, and this was at the end of the day, you guys!

Sweetest little shy face ever

So I was thrilled to open our email this morning and see these in our inbox!

I think she did such a great job capturing what our little family is all about, our essence. We’re simple people, mostly laid back, so happy to be together. The husband is just handsome, our O is a little shy at first but hams it up when he warms up to you and mama has a little flair for glamour. 😉

Sorry for the photo overload, but I couldn’t pick just one. 😉

mom-mode post #201 – on pinterest

July 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

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I had taken a month off Pinterest. I didn’t plan on it or anything. It just happened. I guess the novelty finally wore off and I finally had had enough inspiration, placing my needs to obssess on Instagram. But sometime last week I got on Pinterest again. Before I lost precious minutes of my life again, I decided to take inventory of what I had pinned since I joined Pinterest last year. Was it worth spending all that time pinning stuff you will never ever try? Hoarding ideas as if they wouldn’t be there when I needed them ‘someday’? Truth is there are times in my life when Pinterest can be really useful. Party planning time, Christmas gift making, etc. Other times, it really is just a waste of my precious time. Without further ado, here’s part of my Pinterest Inventory, along with my most honest opinion on how each project panned out:

Pin #1 – I couldn’t find a rack quite like this, I settled for something that didn’t really work for all of my lids. Also this idea doesn’t really address how to store the bottoms. My tupperware cupboard is still a mess. But I give this one a 2 out of 5 stars.

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Pin #2 – I have used this tip time and again. I am a chronically messy cook and this keeps my ipad intact. I just need to find me one of those neat recipe holders like the one in the photo. 5 out of 5

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Pin #3 -I tried to replicate this for my v-day mantel. It didn’t turn out quite like it, but it did what I believe Pinterest is all about: it inspired me. It inspired me to play with watercolors again, one of my favorite mediums. Even O got to play with it. I wish I could find a picture of my version somewhere. 5 out of 5.

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Pin #4– We don’t have an ice maker and it I believe it is almost impossible to find ice for sale here in Turkey. This balloon was not only festive but very practical for O’s party back in February. 5 out 5!

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Pin #5– I tried this and it was a major fail. Truth is, if you want gorgeous beachy waves you either have to go to the beach, or you have to put your curling/flat/ iron to good work. I don’t believe there’s any other way to do it. But I’ll keep pinning any shortcut ideas for easy simple hair styling! 0 out of 5 stars.

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Pin #6– I recreated this for O’s party and it turned out just like it (except we forgot to take a picture). 5 out of 5!

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Pin #7– This simple tutorial is just great. I had the best time making these bows. SO easy. 5 out of 5 again!

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Here’s my version on my friend’s sweet girl:
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This post is getting so long, I’ll have to make another one with some more projects/ inspiring ideas Pinterest spurred on me.

Truth is though, that these are only a fraction of the projects I have pinned. There’s so much more I have hoarded. 😉 Maybe these posts will inspire me to take on my inspirations and bring them to life. Because I believe one can never ever be too creative.

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mom-mode post #200 – on a few Oliverisms

July 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

As I am filling up our plastic pool, he talks on his toy phone:
– The bus? (pause) Why? (pause) I got the seeing poo ready [I got the swimming pool ready]!

After dinner, he brings his bowl from the living room to the kitchen sink. He didn’t eat all of his dinner. As he hands me the bowl he says: “I not like it, mommy.”

I wasn’t sure if I needed to scold him for being rude or just thank him for being helpful in bringing his bowl to the kitchen.

We have two friends who have baby girls, Noelle and Hannah. Which to Oliver they are: ‘Noelf’ and ‘Hayna’.

On our way back from the beach, daddy says he can have one more chip. To which Oliver replies: A big one!

At any point during the day. Whether he has just eaten or woken up from a nap he asks for breakfast. And if he had it his way it would be pancakes.

His language skills are getting better and he only gets funnier each day. He used to call yogurt “judy” and now he actually pronounces it correctly. He speaks in two-word sentences all the time and more and more he is speaking in full three, four-word sentences.
His Turkish is also taking off, speaking in sentences more often than not.
His Portuguese is lacking still, but we have started a new thing. We now alternate days between Portuguese and English as a whole family. This has helped me be way more consistent. Even though he may not be speaking in full sentences in Portuguese, we know he is being exposed to it every other day!

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