Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More Signing

Today Antalya signed her first two word phrase "more fruit". What an exciting moment! I was so thrilled. This is only proof that language really is beginning to sink in and make sense to her little mind. It is truly amazing to me that children can learn so quickly how to communicate. It took me over six months of living in South America just to feel like I could begin to communicate on my own with someone in spanish. But I was only learning to attach new words to what I already knew about communication. A baby is born with no comprehension of language. Yet, after a few short months begins to understand that objects have names, and that they can communicate their wants and desires through language. It is nothing short of a miracle!

Here are the signs that I have seen Antalya do (there are several others that I know she knows, but I haven't seen her actually do it):
1. Dad
2. Eat
3. More
4. Cheese
5. Fruit
6. Go bye-bye
7. Sleep
8. Bath
9. All done
10. Fish
11. Ball
12. Sing

She likes to practice them in the mirror. It's the cutest thing I have ever seen.

Today I took her to get pictures to switch out her 12 month one with a new 18 month shot. She looked so cute, but just wouldn't cooperate at the studio. So here's a few we took when we got home.

Signing "More"
Look at those Eyes!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Magic of the New Bed Has Vanished!

The little Miss woke up at 4:00 am today. Not much fun for this old mom who needs her sleep. I fought it until 6:30 when I just gave up trying to get her to sleep and we came downstairs to start our day, but not without me making sure everything in the house knew how tired I was, and what a grouch I was going to be about it. I got her some milk and we sat down on the couch to drink it. It was then that Antalya reminded me of the child-like innocence and thirst for life that we are all taught to emulate. Siting next to me, with her cup, she was so happy. It didn't matter that she was just as tired as I was, she was living in the moment, grateful for the blessing of another day to be with someone she loved. As I let a smile sneak across my face, I realized that I too was happy. If waking up at 4 am means I get to be mom to such a sweet little girl, then it's worth every sleepless moment!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sleep! It Does a Body Good

After several restless days, our little tantrum-throwing, fussy, impossible-to-please daughter has emerged from the trenches of fatigue and transformed once again into her cute, kissable, laughable, playful self; and we owe it all to our new crib from IKEA. 
We were planning on traveling overseas for several months after Antalya was born, so we thought a pac-n-play would suit us perfectly. Well, needless to say, a month in the NICU and several months of doctors appointments later, we changed our minds about traveling for an extended period.  The pac-n-play served us well for over 18 months now; I was almost sad to pack it up. But, alas, who can say no to a nice thick mattress and bigger bed?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Welcome to Holland

How you ever imagined what it would be like to hear that your unborn child - the perfect baby you have been dreaming about- has a disability? This essay by Emily Perl Kingsley describes the emotions better than anything else I have come across.

"I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland."

By the way, I LOVE TULIPS!

Tulip Festival

Antalya loved being outside in the sunshine with her cousins.

Three generation shot (with Antalya being a little camera shy).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Thanks Laura for tagging me! Here are 10 neat things about Antalya.

1. She likes ice cream, but hates pudding and yogurt.

2. She loves to camp.

3. She is very determined. It doesn't matter how many obstacles I create, she always gets into whatever it is she wants. 

4. She loves music, and loves to dance. She loves when I turn on American Idol and performances from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She pulls herself up next to the TV and dances away!

5. She spent a week backpacking through Patagonia (brrrr) with very little complaining.

6. She loves practicing her signs. She tells me she wants to "eat" all day long. She always gets a "I'm so proud of myself" look. She is trying so hard to communicate and is doing so well.

7. She is a little social butterfly - no stranger anxiety with this little girl. I was recently at a funeral and after sitting on my lap for 5 minutes, she was ready to make new friends. So she continued to make her way down the pew, stopping at each person for a few minutes, then reaching out for the next person.

8. She loves to watch Baby Signing Time.

9. She loves to give kisses and big bear hugs.

10. She is an absolute angel. Anyone that knows her will agree! I am so blessed to be her mom.

I'm tagging Christine, Brittany, and Lisa to tell us 10 things about their kids. 

Friday, April 11, 2008


Today I attended the funeral of a sweet lady that lived near us when I was growing up. As I listened to the remarks made about her life, I started thinking about my own funeral. What kind of things will people say about me? What will be their memories of me? What will be the impact I have had on the lives of those individuals who come to celebrate my life once I have moved on? What will be my legacy? What is it that turns an ordinary life into a great one? I've heard it said before - many times, actually - that life is what is happening NOW. Each moment, each hour, each day, we are living our lives - we are becoming who we will be remembered as - we are either moving forward towards our goals, or falling behind. It's such a simple truth, yet how often do we let the moments, or the days pass us by while we wait for some future event - while we wait and dream about the things we will do ONE DAY? I do it all too often. I'll set aside a supply of emergency food when we have more room than our one-bedroom apartment we are living in. I'll spend more time teaching and reading to Antalya when she can understand me better. I'll call so-and-so tomorrow when I have more time. The list goes on and on. Why don't we stop waiting and start becoming the person we want to be now?
"I don't live in either my past or my future. I'm interested only in the present...because life is the moment we're living now." (From The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Bath Please!

I was in the middle of fixing dinner tonight when Antalya crawled up to me and started signing "bath". She just learned the sign about a week ago, and is the first sign she knows that doesn't have to do with eating. I was so proud of her! How could I not stop what I was doing and go put her in the bath tub for a few minutes? I am so excited that she is started to communicate more.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Antalya's Favorite Toy

Fisher Price Learning Piggy Bank
One of Antalya's therapists loaned us this toy a few weeks ago. It quickly became the favorite! I love that it can do so much. Right now Antalya has fun practicing things such as push (the nose plays music when you push it), in, out, open, close. The coin slot is just big enough for the coin, so she is forced to work on her coordination and fine motor skills getting the coin at just the right angle to fit inside. Once she gets a little bigger we can use the coins to learn colors, animals (the coins have a the heads and the tails of different animals), big vs small (the coins are two different sizes), and counting