Sunday, August 31, 2008

Yashar update

Yashar loved the water, having swims every day in Edremit. A little water baby! And we've now discovered that he loves to push his stroller along - very funny!

I have also included a few more shots from Edremit. There were lots of different fruit trees, vines and lots of crickets! It would be so fantastic to have a garden that produces all sorts of delicious things (instead of the bare balcony we have at the moment). At the place we rented there were grape vines covering the terraces, pomegranate trees (that's a pomegranate tree behind the pink gate), nectarines... so good to stand barefoot on the grass on a warm summer morning, pick a nectarine and eat it on the spot.

We discovered this little friend one morning on Yashar's little floaty thing. I think it looks like a little alien, don't you?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

One idea I stumbled on while we were away that I loved were the rosemary hedges lining so many of the holiday houses. In the evening, while I was pushing Yashar around in the stroller trying to get him to sleep (yes still having trouble with that!) I would skim my hand along the top of the hedge . It smelt delicious and reminded me of roast lamb. Mmmmm....

Rosemary is pretty tough and usually doesn't need too much water so perfect for Australian summers and my gardening style! I don't know how they kept them looking so green and bushy though. And I wonder how long they take to grow.

Ok, so obviously I'm just an armchair gardener at the moment. I've already managed to kill my only pot plant here. But I have high expectations and aspirations. Rosemary hedges are definitely going on the list for my dream home/garden, along with chickens, a day bed and fruit trees. I want a garden that would be the perfect setting for these little cuties. Is it wrong to love babyGap?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Olive Groves and the Aegean Sea

Enough relaxing already! Back to the sticky Istanbul heat. We just got back from a beautiful place on the Aegean Sea in the midwest of Turkey. The area is close to Edremit and is about 7 hours drive, 5 near misses, 2 crying episodes and 1 Iskender Kebab from Istanbul. It's well off the beaten track for foreign tourists but is popular with Turkish holiday makers, many of whom have a holiday house there.

What I loved most about the area was the olive trees. They were everywhere! On the beach and and back into the hills as far as the eye could see. Their trunks were so wide and twisted and their branches heavy with hundreds of olives. I can't even guess how old they were.

Yup, they are all olive trees on all of those hills.

So of course I was hoping to find beautiful olive oil soaps and creams, but wasn't quite as successful as I hoped. We did pick up a huge block of olive soap from a stall on the side of the road which was definitely handmade but I have to admit that it looks and smells pretty feral! I did have one great find though on the long road trip back which I will share with you as soon as they are washed and cleaned!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Don't be jealous but...

I am on a small holiday at the moment in a gorgeous little holiday place near the sea. I probably won't post for another five days and will catch up on emails etc early next week. It is so nice to escape the Istanbul heat! Hope you are all keeping cool (or warm!) and thanks for all the comments!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thank you!

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all of you commented and emailed following my post 'It's a sleep thing...'. I was so happy that you all took the time to write. I have to say that I started to feel so much better about the whole thing straight away! Not that the sleeping is getting any better! But my outlook has changed and I have started looking at the websites and books you recommended too. The support makes such a difference. So thank you!

Here is an appropriate photo for this week's Yashar update:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vintage heaven

I have found the best place for everything retro, vintage and antique in Istanbul! Finally! You might remember that when we first moved into our new apartment I was on the look out for some second hand/vintage furniture. Well, at the time I didn't have much luck, but I have now found the spot! It's not just one shop - there are streets and streets of shops!

If you ever come to Istanbul this is a great area to visit (if you're into this sort of stuff that is). It is a little off the tourist radar, but only a short taxi ride from all the standard tourist sites. Just ask one of the locals to direct you to Çukurcuma. Recently gentrified, it is full of steep and narrow winding streets and gorgeous old buildings, some renovated and well maintained, some just asking me to move in and care for them!

I am planning to visit again as soon as the weather cools off a little (too hot for dragging myself and Yashar around too much at the moment). On that visit I will get the details of the stand out stores (I didn't think to this time - I was too excited at finding all these places to get any details). I did manage to pick up these two cute posters though - I particularly love the Orient Express one.

I think this area is my new favourite area in Istanbul.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Paper crane mobile

Here is something I have been meaning to show you for a while, but these little creatures are a little hard to catch on camera! This is a paper crane mobile my Mum made for Yashar. It is gorgeous - so delicate and beautiful. And it catches the breeze so well. Yashar loves the shadows it makes too.

This is a quick description of how she made it. Hopefully the photos will help if you want to make it - otherwise feel free to email me for more details. She folded the paper cranes (you can find instructions with lots of photos here) and suspended them from the top using fishing line. The trick with hanging each crane is to put a hole through the middle of the crane with a needle, then poke the fishing line through the hole, thread a small bead on the bottom and tie under the bead.

The top is made from two wooden coat hangers with the wire hook removed and held together using a large screw. She made grooves on the top of the hangers using a knife which are used to tie the fishing line on and make sure it stays in place.

It was such a gorgeous present, handmade gifts are the type I love the most!

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's a sleep thing...

Help! Yashar is now 9 months old. You can see a little glint of mischief in his eyes. He gets it from his Baba! (his Dad). He is a wonderful little baby but… I am tired! I need your advice and experience.

When he was first born he was such a good little sleeper, only waking once or twice a night until he was about 4 or 5 months old. He had even slept right through the night a few times and I was like ‘I have got this so sussed!’

Then for 2 or 3 months he was waking 4 or 5 times a night. This was not long after we moved to Turkey and then he got sick so I hoped the sleeping would just get better when we were settled and he wasn’t sick anymore. And it has got a little better. He now wakes up 1 – 3 times a night (and totally wakes up at around 6am). If you don’t have children –have I put you off yet?!!

It is often pretty hard to get him to sleep during the day too.

Ok, ok, I confess, I have probably been doing a few things that are not totally what I ‘should’ be doing – like feeding him to sleep, during the day and at night. Or walking him in the pram to sleep (on the way to my favourite café so I can have a quiet coffee). Or using a dummy (he has now stopped taking a dummy)…and there are probably more things...

So what should I do??? Should I just stick it out, or stop feeding him at night, ‘controlled crying’? Please! Tell me about your experiences or any advice you have. Even if they are not good experiences – at least they will make me feel better!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Small achievements

I feel like life is lived on a smaller scale at the moment (hoping this is only temporary!). Some days it feels like an achievement just to get out of the house or to do some washing! Anyway I have managed to cross one of the things off the list of my 28 things to do before I turn 29, so that is definitely an achievement and deserves a blog entry!

I have put together a small illustration for Yashar’s room. I sketched away on the weekend and then digitally coloured it. I loved doing it. It took me a while, because I am a bit of a perfectionist and like to change my mind a lot! But I am pretty happy with the result (I will probably work on it a little more though) and think the rabbit is actually pretty cute! This is a little detail from the illustration:

The illustration is about Yashar’s much loved little toy rabbit that went missing - like so many other favourite toys that seem to disappear when we are out and about :( Where did it disappear to? To Paris of course! Wish we were there with it.

Hope you all like it as much as I do!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Monday, August 4, 2008

Good looking AND useful!

As I was dashing out the door and down all our steps this morning, baby in one arm, stroller in the other in a caffeine deprived haze (and you already know there are a lot of steps - enough for me to think about stuff as I stumble down them anyway) I was thinking I love how I can just dash out now, no need to carry a ginormous overflowing bag of nappies, spare clothes, blankets, toys, dummy etc. That made me think about one thing I bought in preparation for the arrival of our 'bundle of joy' that I have used a lot and still love. And then I thought...ooh I should blog about that. Such are the complex thoughts of a sleep deprived mother who spends her days talking to her baby "Ba-ba, Ma-ma, sleeeepy-time!" and to the walls "hello? Is anybody there?"

...Anyway it is this ChangeMate made by LimaBean. I use it everyday. It folds out to become a little change mat with pockets for a couple of nappies and some wipes and a zipped pocket on the front too. I just put it in my own bag and am ready to go get my coffee. How cool is that? Plus it looks so pretty and grown up (ie not with Mickey Mouse on it or something because I am so not in to that.)

I emailed Emma at Limabean and she said they are just about to release their next range – 6 great new designs and they have now made the front panel a little bigger so it is even easier to fold it up. I am looking forward to checking out the new designs soon!