Sunday, December 30, 2007

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Chilly Morning Thoughts

WHOO HOO Calvin has fallen asleep much earlier the last two nights, which means we get to bed earlier too!! This morning he woke up around 6:00 and he did two of my very favorite things.

1. When he had had enough to eat he smiled and fell asleep for about 5 minutes. This is my favorite snuggle time with him.

2. Once he woke up he immediately started smiling and talking. It always is much more pleasant to start my day off with a happy baby.

Once he woke up we headed out to the living room but found it was pretty chilly so I grabbed his jacket rather than get him dressed. I just think it is hilarious that the makers of children clothing figured out how us crazy adults just can't resist dressing our children like animals. Just put a couple of ears on a hat and we think it is the cutest thing.
Yesterday brought some disappointing & discouraging news. Apparently the guy who is working on Calvin's document is now on vacation until January 10th and his document is not finished. Marvin and I were both pretty bummed and frustrated with the way the system works back in Nin. I have found myself getting so mad when I think about how long it has taken. Father is definately pointing out some areas where I need to expand my faith. We also found out that our colleagues can't join us for a meeting here at the start of the year. What a bummer, we were really looking forward to seeing them.
On top of that I had to go back to the dentist to get a cavity filled. I seriously hate the dentist, mainly the sound or taste of metal not the actualy person. He gave me a pretty strong shot because half of my face was not functioning for a few hours. It was some strong stuff because I couldn't blink and I had to work really hard at closing my left eye. As I was paying the bill I realized that it was going to be tricky telling the taxi where I needed to go. The taxi cab driver must of thought I was crazy or something because I couldn't pronounce the letter "r" to save my life and unfortunately there are a few in our address. Once I got back home I met our neighbor, with half of my face drooping I informed her that I was sorry but I only speak English. Marvin and I had a good laugh about the whole situation and thankfully feeling was restored to my face a couple hours after I got home.
On a more positive note we leave on Wednesday for the sea We have a meeting we have to go to and we are really looking forward to a change of scenery and also the chance to do something. We are even more excited to see some really good friends there. Wednesday can't come soon enough.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Calvin's 1st Christmas

Calvin had a wonderful 1st Christmas. It was quite a relaxing day. Calvin woke up smiling and talking, it was a wonderful start to the day. I started breakfast then we helped Calvin open his presents. He did everything but look at his presents, I am sure this will change in years to come.

We enjoyed brunch while Calvin napped and then we started getting ready to go to a friend's house for Christmas dinner. We had a good time and are so thankful for friends who are willing to open up their home to us. We are so thankful for our "family" on this side of the ocean. We will also able to wish our family a Merry Christmas back on the other side. It was a great day filled with lots of memories.

He already looks like a natural!

Our little receiver!

His new snowsuit is a bit big but he will grow into it soon enough.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Where we call home...for now

We thought we would post some pictures of where we are spending Christmas, so you can visualize where we are living.

He loves his baths

Calvin loves baths. It is so funny because he just lounges and occasionally will prop his foot up on the outside of the sink. Even if he is super fussy the second he hits the water he is relaxed and calm. Usually after we take him out of the water he talks up a storm.
He is still fighting gas issues and you can tell his tummy is still distended, so life sometimes is a bit uncomfortable for him. We are thankful for moments when he is relaxed and enjoying the world. Yeah for bath time.
This is the life
It's over already

Do I really have to take another picture?

Merry Christmas

Marvin was changing Calvin's diaper today so I quickly grabbed the camera because he becomes Mr. Talkative when he gets a new diaper. Sure enough he wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Calvin's 1st Christmas will be a laid back one. We will spend the morning at home and then head to a friend's house for a Christmas dinner. We had a wonderful Christmas Eve filled with amazing Chinese food, a good time of family worship and entertained by our favorite Christmas movie, Elf.

We are thinking of all of you back home, how we would love to give you all a big hug right now. We also would like Calvin to experience all of your kisses and hugs. For now we will sure give him plenty from all of you. We love you and miss you.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Slow Sleeper

Ready for Bed

Well Calvin is now sleeping in a real crib! He hasn't outgrown his bassinet, but we moved and the place we moved to already had a crib, so why move a big bassinet when it was unnecessary. The first time we put him in it he looked so tiny, now I am used to the sight and it is normal.

Lately it has been pretty chilly in the apartment, so I have bundled him up at night. Last night he wore a onesie, a thin sleeper, a sleep sack with the ends closed so that they covered his fingers(Marvin likes to call this his dress), his fleece sleeping bag, I wrapped him up in a warm blanket and topped him with a hat. I did the same thing tonight as it was pretty cold again today. At least I don't have to worry that he isn't warm enough.

Lately he has been having trouble going to sleep at night. We have tried a lot of different things but most of the time it seriously is a 2 hour ordeal getting him into deep sleep. I don't know why but he can be asleep for any length of time and if we stand up or walk into his room, his peepers pop back open and out come the cries. At least he sleeps well once he finally falls asleep, we are defiantly thankful for that. Hooray for sleep!!!

Cinnamon Nativity

Since all of our Christmas decorations aren't with us, I had the idea of making some cinnamon ornaments. (They are so easy to make all it takes is apple sauce and cinnamon.) We are so thankful that we were able to borrow a small tree from a friend here and it came with these cute tiny ornaments and so there wasn't room for any more ornaments. But I still wanted to make these ornaments and then I thought it would be fun to make a nativity scene out of this cinnamon dough. Marvin and I both enjoyed making this year's Nativity scene and we decided it would be a fun thing to do with Calvin next Christmas.
**You can tell which ones I made and which ones Marvin made, I am not as good of sculpter. Thank goodness my shephard has a staff, it helps hold him and the sheep up.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

2 Months Already

It's crazy how time flies, we can't believe Calvin is already 2 months old. The bottom picture Calvin is wearing the outfit he wore when we took him home from the hospital. It was very baggy then and now it fits perfectly.
We had a doctor's appointment today and he seems to be growing and developing fine. We are still concerned about his stomach problems as his stomach continues to be distended. The last appointment the doctor told me it was okay to eat dairy products but I could tell it made a difference so I stopped. The doctor agreed with me this time but encouraged me that this should go away once he gets more mobile. (I can't wait for a nice cold glass of milk, it's going to be heavenly!) We came away with a few suggestions that we hope will help him get rid of this gas.
Drum roll are his 2 month stats:
11 lbs & 23 inches.
Our little guy is growing like crazy!
We moved yesterday and we almost have everything unpacked. Even though we won't be here too much longer (we hope) it is nice to not live out of a suitcase. Our new place is beautiful and has much better lighting which always perks you up. We look forward to getting out and exploring the area a bit. It has been beautiful the past couple of days, light jacket weather. It seems weird that Christmas is just around the corner when it is this warm out, but we will enjoy this weather while we can.


Calvin loves movement of any sort. We can roll him in the stroller, strap him in his baby bjorn, or walk the halls with him and he is content as possible. To our surprise the apartment we are staying at now has a baby swing. As soon as we saw this we made it a priority to get batteries, and sure enough he loves it. I put him in it this afternoon and 5 minutes later he was out. It also let both of us eat dinner at the same time tonight! We are so thankful for this little invention.

Friday, December 07, 2007


We finally got a picture of him grinning! The live version is so much better, so hopefully we will try to catch that one on video soon.
It's hard to believe that Calvin will be 2 months on Monday. As I was holding him this morning I was overcome with thankfulness that he has come into our lives. It's amazing how much sweeter our life is now. Children certainly are a blessing.
Other news is that we are moving to a new apartment on Monday. The family whose apartment we are staying at is coming back shortly after Christmas, and since that is a busy time of year we will switch before the holidays. It is a much nicer place but we are so close to everything we need here, we have a grocery store right next door and another one a 1/2 block away. I am sure there are plenty of stores around the new apartment, but we will just have to do a little exploring to find them. This move will also help us see how much stuff we have to lug back to Nin, yikes! Thankfully we will have one flight under our belts with Calvin before we have to return home with lots of luggage. Traveling with children certainly adds a lot more to think about.
We are excited to get a few Christmas decorations. We only brought our stockings, so we will have to buy a few things to get our surroundings in the Christmas spirit. We are hoping to go to IKEA sometime next week to find a few things. I can't wait, plus I love IKEA so it's a great reason to have to go browse. There is a new mall next to the IKEA and we have been told it is pretty nice. Marvin actually suggested going there, I was shocked since he isn't a shopper. I think he was just thinking of places where we could go.
That's about all that is new in our world. It's I was hoping to make it out of a walk a couple of days this week, but it's been raining alot. Apparently this area needs the rain, so we will bear with the weather.

1st Bottle

Calvin had his first bottle last Friday . It was pretty funny watching him figure out what was in his mouth, but after he figured it out he downed it in a hurry. There was a women's Christmas party that I went to last Saturday, so Marvin handled our tired boy, while I got to spend a few hours getting to know some ladies. I had a great time and was thankful that I was able to sneak away a few hours.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Dinner Time with Mom and Dad

We have discovered a way to eat dinner with Calvin awake that gives us both hands. Apparently our stroller is multi-functional, we usually put him in his stroller and use our foot to move him around, while we eat. It works like a charm and even gives us a little leg work out. Last night he was so comfy he fell asleep. We can't wait to get home as we have a swing there that would come in so handy for these little moments where he isn't content just sitting or laying down and both our hands need to be available.

Sleepy Boy....sometimes

The other day I put Calvin on the floor to "play"and went to get some lunch, he was fussing so I quickly finished and by the time I got back to the living room he was asleep (seriously this was only 3 minutes). It's amazing how quickly he can fall asleep sometimes and how other times it takes him several hours. It was pretty chilly in our house that day so I covered him up and snapped a picture.
Speaking of sleep, Calvin has been sleeping great at night, but the problem is it takes him a while to fall asleep, apparently we have a little night owl. Lately he has been wide awake from 9-12/1ish then after I feed him again he will sleep until 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning, (of course he wakes up to eat in the middle of the night). It's great that he sleeps in that late, but it we would like him to go to bed a little earlier so we could have a little time together in the evenings while he is asleep. Any ideas????

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Little Blessings

Calvin wanted to wish our Family back in the States a Happy Thanksgiving. We have certainly enjoyed his new little coos. We enjoy our little conversations we now get to have with him.

As I think over some things that have been blessings lately I have to laugh at a few of them, so I thought I would share a few you:

Dryer! Soft socks and towels, we certainly feel pampered being able to use one while we are in Istanbul. I can also do more than one load of laundry a day, it's amazing.

Tortillas! It makes Mexican food so much easier. I don't have to go through the long process of making tortillas in order to have Mexican here because you can buy them. When we first got here Marvin suggested having quesadillas and I had to laugh because we could finally have them. It seemed like such a waste when you made tortillas because you have to use two for one quesadilla.

Arby's! It just hits the spot sometimes, we will certainly miss those tasty Roast Beef Sandwiches when we go back.

Nutella and Peanut Butter! Okay I discovered an amazing dessert, if you haven't had nutella I highly suggest trying it, what's not to like about a spreadable chocolate! I created a new concoction using a tortilla, if you spread some peanut butter on one side and nutella on the other and roll it up it is scrumptious.

New friends! We have been so thankful for everyone we have met here, they have made us feel right at home and just accepted us into their families like we have known them forever.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sitting all by himself....with the help of his chair!

We had my parents bring us this Bumbo Chair and the other day I put Calvin in it and to my surprise he fit perfectly. You are supposed to use it once they can hold their necks up, but since he is still so short the back of the chair worked as the perfect neck rest. He was so quiet and just looked around the whole time he was in it. He really liked it.

Now just because it worked once doesn't mean it will work again. He was talking up a storm this morning and I thought, lets try the bumbo and get a good picture. He was having none of that and let me know it was time to end this little photo shoot.

Please Feed Me!

We had a request to post a video of his cry. So here is Calvin telling us he is hungry. It certainly has gotten a lot stronger since the last video we posted, no more little squeaks, he now lets us know what he needs.

Tummy Time

Calvin is starting to figure out this tummy time stuff, but once he finds his hand it is all over. He suddenly becomes very comfortable and we can forget about working on those stomach muscles.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thankful for Family

We took this picture the last night my parents and sister were here and it took quite a lot of effort to get it done as we used the self timer. We probablly took around 15 pictures before everyone was in the picture or I wasn't blinking. What great memories, it is hard to believe that has been almost 2 weeks ago.

My Sleepy Boys

Sometimes Calvin likes to do be awake for long stretches of time, 3 hours, but then he is so tired and sometimes just can't quite fall asleep very easily, poor guy. Last night Marvin got him quieted down while I was in the kitchen and when I peeked in the living room I found both of my guys resting comfortably on the couch. I was certainly picture worthy.

One Month Old!

Calvin is growing like a weed! We knew he was growing but we weren't sure how much he had grown. We had his one month check up today and he weighed in at 9 lb. 4 oz and now is 21.7 inches long. He is certainly getting bigger. The doctor was pleased with his weight gain.
We also asked her about his excessive gas issue and she thought it was normal, but told us to give him some drops regularly to help his little digestive system handle the gas better. I had stopped drinking cow's milk and eating dairy products and that seemed to help the painful uncomfortable gas. But after talking to her she encouraged me to start drinking milk again, since he didn't show any signs of colic, so we shall see how he responds. He has been doing great lately, I hate to try milk again, but my body has been craving it.
He also took his shot in stride today. He certainly turned extremely red and let out a good wail, but quickly calmed down. I think this shot wore him out as he was been asleep since we left the doctor's office.
We also got his metabolic test results back today and everything is normal. We are thankful for a healthy baby, but we still don't have an answer to why I had excess amniotic fluid, I guess it will remain a mystery. PTL for a healthy growing boy!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Fuss Buster!

Marvin certainly gets an arm workout when Calvin starts fussin' as most of the time he quiets down if he holds him like pictured above and then moves him up and down. Apparently this technique only works for Marvin, as I don't have the touch.

Love it!

Okay, seriously this nursing cover is awesome. I have used it so much it is crazy, it lets me feed Calvin when others are around so I don't have to miss out on the conversation. I highly recommend one to any nursing mom. (THANKS SO MUCH JESSI)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Trip to Greece

Since we have been here a while we had to leave the country to get new visas. After some thought and research we decided to take a train to Greece. It was a long short trip, we left early Monday morning and returned around 9:30 Tuesday night. The train arrived at the city we spent the night around 5:30 at night and we headed back to Istanbul at 12:30 the next day.

Calvin was did great traveling, the motion of the train lulled him right to sleep. We aren't so sure that was a good thing as he did decided it was time to wake up around 4:00 in the morning. We decided he wanted his Dad to get to see a Greek sunrise! Thankfully Marvin did catch up on sleep on the train ride home. We were very thankful to have a cabin all to ourselves both ways, it was nice to be able to spread out and at least change his diaper without people staring at us. We did have a little wait at the border but there was a sweet man who made the smokers leave the non smoking waiting room and he turned up the heat for us. It made the wait much more pleasant.
We caught him in one of his few awake times on the train. It was crazy how much this kid loves motion because almost every time we would make a stop he would start stirring or wake up, only to go back to sleep as we started moving again.

Yes that's Calvin sleeping for the first time in his travel bed. We love how compact it folds up, and we were even able to pack his clothes in with the bed, talk about multi-functional.

Before we left we were unable to book a hotel online. The only ones with that option were out of our price range. We did find a list of hotels on a website so we knew there were plenty of other options but as we looked at the list one place intrigued us, Hotel Erika. We were surprised to find that it was just a block away from the train station and fit our budget, so we couldn't resist staying at Hotel Erika.

The small building in the middle of this photo is the train station seen from out balcony. It was so convenient.

We could also see the sea from our balcony, unfortunately it was cloudy and rainy so we didn't see the area in it's finest state.

A little square near the water. Overall we enjoyed our little trip and an added bonus was that we were able to enjoy a couple of great meals along the way.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Calvin has become our source of entertainment now. For such a little guy he can sure produce some big sounds. I guess we will have to work on being a gentleman!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Our Sweet Baby Boy

I came into the living room today and this is what I found, a sweet sleeping baby boy. It certainly made my heart melt!

We also want to wish Calvin's Grandma S a Happy Birthday today! You are loved and in our thoughts today!

Bye Grandpa, Grandma & Aunt Natalie

We had such a good visit with my parents. It is hard to believe that their time here has come to a close. It seems like just yesterday they were thinking about coming to visit and now they are making their way home. Living so far from our family made this visit extra special and are so grateful that they were able to make the trip, even though we are a sad to see them leave. This is the hardest part about living overseas. Sure we miss a few tastes from America, but we would give it all up to have a few minutes with our family. We know the rest of our family would love a chance to squeeze him so we will do out best to keep the pictures coming. We will continue to tell Calvin all about his family and friends in the states and we will give him lots of kisses from all of you.
Calvin wanted us to tell his Aunt and Grandparents thanks for visiting him!
All tuckered out in Aunt Natalie's arms

Staring at Grandpa!

So cozy in Grandma's arms!

Who can resist dressing up a baby?

My mom picked up a cute little Halloween outfit for Calvin. Thankfully we snapped a few pictures of him in his outfit before he spit up all over himself and Grandpa. But don't worry we had a second Halloween outfit on hand thanks to my cousin. Here are a few pictures we took of him decked out for the holiday.
I love this picture. Calvin looks like he is showing everyone his hat.

He had these little pumpkin booties that were a bit on the big side, as you can tell in this picture. But since they went with his outfit we had to wear them, it was pretty cute.

Outfit #2

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Christmas in October

Last night we celebrated Christmas together, we turned on some Christmas music made a little paper tree and boom it's Christmas in October. Marvin's mom made Calvin a stocking and it has a little history behind it. The fabric came from Marvin's kindergarten naptime mat. We love the fact that Marvin used it when he was little!
One of the highlights of the evening was when Marvin opened a gift from his mom, Pfernilssees. They are a staple snack during Christmas at Marvin's family. He was so excited, and they made a great breakfast this morning, yum!

Seeing the sights

Since my parents & sister made it all the way around the world, we thought they needed to see a few things while they are here. So far we have hit a few markets and seen a few historical sights with them. Calvin has been a trooper through all this sight seeing, he loves is baby bjorn and stroller so it makes taking him out with the family a lot easier. Surprisingly I have only gotten scolded a few times for having him out, well I think I was getting scolded a few older ladies scowled at me and shook their finger at me. Oh well it seems like they are having a good time. We will make the most of the last few days with them.