Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving in London

Unfortunately Jason's school isn't canceled for American holidays. Thursday's are Jason's busiest day so I was planning on opening a can of spaghetti sauce and boiling some noodles for Antalya and I and calling it dinner, then heading to bed early and probably missing Jason all together. But he surprised me by coming home at 5:00. We quickly called in an order for take-away, and I threw together a pumpkin pie while Jason went to pick up the food. Thirty minutes later we were sitting down to a Thanksgiving feast of fish and chips with mushy peas on the side. And yummy pumpkin pie and ice cream for dessert. I'd have to say this was the most memorable Thanksgiving! I have so much to be thankful for!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What Are You Thankful For?

Thursday Thirteen - Until I Became a Mother of Two...

When I held Antalya in my arms for the first time, I felt as if I had been born to be her mother; everything up until that point had had the single purpose of preparing me for that moment when I finally became a mother! The adjustment between being a 9-5 office worker to a full-time mom came so naturally. I felt like I could indeed raise a house-full of children and my dream of having children of my own and then adopting several more would become reality.

But then I became a mother of two!

I have to smile thinking back at my naivety. Don't get me wrong - I still absolutely love being a mother and I wouldn't trade anything in the world for my two little darlings. But having the two of them sure has taught me some things.

Until I became a mother of two...
1. I never cheered to get 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night.
2. I never understood how a single piece of chocolate could make it all better.
3. I never dreamed I could feel so much love.
4. I never looked in complete awe at others who have more than two children and wondered how they did it.
5. I never served dinner from a can.
6. I never considered a five-minute morning shower a complete luxury.
7. I never considered McDonald's drive thru an "eating out experience".
8. I never was too busy to forget to brush my teeth in the morning.
9. I never had such piles of laundry.
10. I never imagined I could have two babies so completely different from each other.
11. I never so often laid awake at night full of so much gratitude that sleep was impossible.
12. I never prayed to become like Super Woman.
13. I never felt so much joy!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Do you ever feel like life is moving so fast that you have become nothing but a bystander watching it all go by? Victoria is already four months old. She sat unassisted for several seconds today. I wanted to cry.

Yesterday I met with the head of the preschool where Antalya will be attending starting January. I will be sending her off to school five days a week. How did she grow up so quickly? Have i done all I could to give her a good start?

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I just saw this clip and loved it! What will you create today?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Assessment Time

Today was Antalya's assessment with speech, OT, PT, and a pediatrician to see where she is at and what serves she will qualify for here in London. I knew it would be a challenge to take Victoria along with us so Jason was able to study from home today and watch Victoria. I decided to give Jason some extra quiet time and Antalya and I headed out a couple hours before her appointment. It has been too long since I had some good quality one-on-one time with my little girl. We went to the indoor play gym. It is like the best McDonald's playground you've seen multiplied several times. There are lots of ball pits, slides, mazes, and tunnels to explore (they don't allow any cameras inside - dang it!). Normally i have to sit at the bottom with Victoria while Antalya plays, but today, since it was just the two of us I got to go around with her. We had lots of fun. We stayed a little longer than we should have and Antalya needed lunch before her appointment so it was off to McDonald's drive-thru (Dad, I admit McDonald's is pretty nice on occasion). She was thrilled to get to eat a Happy Meal. She gobbled it up while I drove us to the clinic.

The assessment went great. They were all surprised at how well she is doing and determined that she just needs speech therapy for right now. The few PT and OT things she needs to work on can be worked on without a therapist at school when she starts in January. I don't know how other parents feel at these meetings, but I have always really enjoyed them. It's fun for me to see all the things she has learned since her previous evaluation.

I feel like we are finally starting to get all settled in here. I'm looking forward to school starting in January for Antalya so that we can get back on track with setting developmental goals, working on them, and follow more a schedule during the day. She will go to school 5 days a week for 2 1/2 hours each day.

Wordless Wednesday - While One Does Art the Other Jumps!

Monday, November 9, 2009


I have four wonderful brothers, but not a single sister. Growing up I always told myself I wouldn't want a sister anyways - it would just mean I would have to share my room, my toys, my clothes, and all the attention of being "the only girl". When we found out we were expecting baby #2 I was convinced it was going to be a boy - after all, Antalya needed a brother, right? Someone strong to take care of her, to protect her, to fight her battles for her. I was completely shocked when we found out we were expecting another girl. I worried that maybe they wouldn't get along, that there would be jealousies, that they wouldn't be friends. I know this are all silly things to think - but then again - I never knew what having a sister meant.

A few days ago Antalya tugged on my arm (her way of getting my attention), said "baby", then signed "friends". I asked her if the baby was her friend and she replied with a big grin on her face, "ya!" And then this morning the three of us were sitting on our bed; Victoria would squeal, then Antalya would try to mimic her squeal. They did this back and forth and then suddenly they both giggled at the same moment. This momma's heart melted. I think God knew exactly what he was doing when he sent Antalya a little sister!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thursday Thirteen - The Way of the Brits

We have been in England for over two months now. Boy, how time flies. To commemorate the two month mark I thought I would post 13 of my favorite things about living in London.

1. Groceries delivered to your door (this means I don't have to carry them up the two flights of stairs).
2. Curry, curry, curry!
3. All the packages of cigarettes say in big letters "SMOKING KILLS"
4. The way Antalya says "choo-choo" whenever a double decker bus passes us.
5. You never have to wait more than about 30 seconds for a walking signal at a cross walk.
6. Round-abouts - they really speed traffic up, instead of waiting at traffic light after traffic light, you just yield to the cars on your right.
7. The Open Door program for children with special needs. Twice a week I can go for two hours and the staff entertain Antalya so I have a chance to visit with the other parents.
8. Tea and biscuits
9. Foot paths that cut through the winding roads to make your journey on foot shorter than it would normally be. And they have fun names like "Lover's Walk".
10. Zebra crossings! Every time we use one to cross the street I watch for zebras. I haven't seen one yet :)
11. Ready made curry sold in jars like spaghetti sauce at the store. All I do is add some chicken and we have dinner made.
12. Rhyme Time at the library.
15. See-saws at the playgrounds (why have these disappeared in the states?)

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I wasn't expecting to celebrate Halloween this year. But when we arrived in London the first of September I was surprised to find a small Halloween section in the grocery stores selling costumes, chocolate eyeballs, and spider webs to hang in your home. Retail marketing experts saw a great money making opportunity and started selling Halloween to the Brits about 20 years ago or so. Not everyone gets into it. But I saw about 60 trick-or-treaters out last night.

Thanks to a nasty cold bug that we have been waging war with all week, it wasn't quite the evening I had planned. Antalya had a fever Friday night and woke up miserable Saturday morning. We didn't want to change all our plans, so Jason stayed home with our sick little fairy, and the little kitty and I headed to a Halloween get together at a friends house. We had a great time but missed Jason and Antalya.

Here's my Halloween cuties:halloween

And for any who think Antalya is always all smiles, here's this one (I love the matching expressions on their faces):enuf