Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lovin' Technology!

I am soo excited! I just downloaded the Bible to my iPod! This is exciting for other than obvious reasons. Why you ask? Because on Sunday, yep, this Sunday, Blair and I will be making our first international trip since being in Turkey! We're going to Greece, folks! On a Biblical tour! Hence, the need for a Bible. You may be wondering why I wanted it on my iPod...well, the answer to that, my friends is because we are only allowed 20 kgs (approximately 45 lbs) and this girl wants to be smart with the packing! (That and I stupidly let my Bible be packed in our household goods, thus I don't have one technically!) Anywho, I just thought I would share about how stupendously excited I am to have technology that allows me to carry God's word around at all times while weighing less than a pound! You rock, technology!

Aaaannnddd, here is a totally random picture of some guy that asked me to take his picture when I was in Old Adana with some friends. After I snapped it, he nodded his head and walked away! So funny!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Isabelle at 32 weeks (which is 8 months!)

 I don't know if you can tell a difference, but I feel like I can! Miss Priss is getting so big! She's active a lot of the time, which I like, because it makes me know she's okay in there! Even though I can't wait to hold her in my arms, I am enjoying being pregnant. Except when the heartburn hits. But at my 32 week appointment today, the doctor prescribed me some Zantac so even that should go away!!
Isabelle at 32 weeks gestation

Isabelle at 27 weeks gestation

Turkey's Different, Go Figure!

I have been meaning to write this post for a long time; however, life as gotten in the way. But I'm here now and that's what counts right?! 

I just wanted to share a few of the things that I have noticed since living here in Turkey that are different, besides the obvious, whole foreign country thing...

For one, the toilets are different. Now, when your out and about, you kinda have to search sometimes for a "European" toilet (sometimes called a "modern" toilet), which is the ones that we red-blooded Americans are used to. Thankfully, most places have at least one...sometimes...if it's working. Sadly, I don't have a picture of it, but the traditional Turkish toilet is what we over here fondly (and sometimes not so fondly) call the "squatty potty." Imagine if you will walking into the bathroom to find, not what you want to see as an American needing to use the facilities, but rather a porcelain hole, if you will. Now, in order to use this particular facility, one must do exactly as our nickname suggests, squat. If you know me, and most of you do, you know that I've never been one to be able (or want to) pee in the woods. It has to do with the fear of turning my socks yellow and having to walk around explaining that one all day. Especially being pregnant and in my last trimester I was worried that should I ever need to utilize one of the "traditional Turkish toilets" that it would not go well. However, sometimes, I surprise even myself! On a trip to a sorta nearby town, Gaziantep, we ate at a restaurant that had two stalls, one with the "squatty potty" and one with the door locked, so I really can't say what was behind Door Number 2. For those of you who have been pregnant, you know that when you gotta go, you gotta go. None of this, "Oh, well, I can hold it" mess. It's now or never baby. So I stepped out of my comfort zone, or should I say, squatted into it, and tried the infamous "squatty potty." And what do you know? I came out sans yellow socks! I was so proud. I made sure to tell everyone I was with so they could congratulate me too. Yes, I really did. I was proud, what can I say? Now, you may ask, "Are you going to use the 'squatty potty' from now on, since you know you can?" My answer would be a resounding, NO. If they have a European toilet, this prego will be utilizing it, thank you very much!

Moving along in my story, even the European toilets are slightly different that what most of us are used to. Now, the most important thing is that, yes there is a place to rest your weary bum. The difference comes to play in how to flush when your done. To date, I've seen three different kinds of 'flushing apparatus.' The one I have most easy access to show you is the one in my house, because lets face it, when I'm using the bathroom in public, I don't generally take my camera with me. Shown here is the most common type I've seen. Do you see the little silver knob on top of the tank? Yes? Well, when done doing your duty (or doody, haha) lift and hold that little gem and away we go! The second most popular is basically the same, except for lifting the knob, you press and hold a button. Same result. The third type I've seen, and seen really only off base is two buttons on the wall behind the toilet, one being quite a bit larger than the other. Now, when I saw this the first time it caused me a tish bit of trepidation. I was wondering, "If I push the wrong one is it going to send what I just did right back at me?" Ugh, imagine trying to explain why you had wet hair to a tour group after a routine pit stop. Thankfully, though, you can push either one with relative safety. The big button is for a 'full' flush and the small one is for a 'half' flush. I guess Turkey is trying to "go green."

The second thing I wanted to show you is the differences in outlets. For those of you that have traveled outside the good 'ol US of A may have seen these before. For me, despite having been to Mexico, these are a novelty...and an occasional nuisance. Obviously I can't just plug my flat iron straight into one of these babies. First, I'd have to get a transformer/converter that has a regular 110 (what we use in the states) on the front and a 220 plug coming out the back...However, thank the good Lord, there is an American plug in our bathroom. Granted, there's only one, so Blair and I have to go back and forth as to who's stuff is plugged in, but there is one. So, yay!

Pretty much the first thing I learned about Turkish culture when we got here is that they love them some tea (they call it cay, pronounced ch-I). Now, being a good Southern girl, I figured I'd give it a go, even though it's hot tea, not iced like I prefer. Much to my surprise, it's not bad. When your out in town, almost every shop you stop at asks you if you want some tea. (Really, we need to introduce that kind of service at home!) You'll be walking down the street and you'll see a man run by with platter of maybe 6-8 tea cups filled to the brim; don't worry, he's on a delivery run. I'm not kidding you when I say, they LOVE tea!


Ok, so something happened with my blogger and I can't write where I want to about the above picture. So we'll do it here. This is what you think it is. A plastic cup of water. No biggie right? WRONG! Here in Turkey, they don't routinely filter their water (yuck!) like the base does. So when you go off base and need a little something to wet you whistle, sometimes this is what you get. I've gotten this size at a dessert place and on a tour I took. I'm assuming it's because they're cheap. When you go to a full fledged restaurant and ask for water, they give you a tepid bottle and glass, whoopie. But at least it's parasite free!

Now we'll talk about the picture below. It's not really anything too exciting; I just thought they were cute. The top one is honey (see you didn't know that did you because it's in TURKISH!!) and the bottom one is butter. I got both of these when we went with some friends to a town about an hour away called Kizkalsei and had brunch by the Mediterranean Sea. And yes, it was as wonderful as it sounds.

The picture below may be slightly misleading. From what I can glean from the picture and the itsy, bitsy amount of Turkish that I know and recognize, this is advertising corn and sunflower oil. But neither one of those are in that deceiving little package. What is it you ask? It's a wet nap to clean your hands! A lot of restaurants will provide these for your cleaning pleasure. I have noticed though that they don't all do it at the same time. Some hand them out before your meal, some after. I guess when I've gotten them before the meal I had grubby hands and didn't know it!

 The last thing I wanted to share with you is the differences in the sinks over here. Below is my kitchen sink. Notice anything "off?" Yeah, you got it, there's only one side. I haven't been into a native Turkish persons home so I don't know if this is something the base did to save money, or if they all have sinks like this. I will tell you that when I went to the mall's version of Home Depot, the sink display had about 10 sinks that look like mine and about 3 that were similar to American sinks. As in they had two sides, but one side was half the width and depth of the other side. All I have to say about this sink is, thank you Jesus, I have a dishwasher! Can you imagine washing a full load of dishes in this?!

I hope you enjoyed my ramblings of the things I have found to be different here in Turkey. I'm sure the longer I live here the more I'll notice. I will attempt to capture everything and share with you. However, I may be to busy picking my chin up off the floor to be able to react appropriately! But if something stays still long enough for me to snap a candid, be sure I will!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

27 down, only 13 to go!

As of today, 8 November 2011, I am 27 weeks and 4 days along!! I can't believe how fast it's flown by! I am so blessed to have this little wonder growing inside me! I tell Blair all the time that I can't wait to meet her, but that I want her to gestate as long as she needs! Here are some pics of the "baby bump." I finally feel as though I look pregnant instead of just fat!! Haha!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Stylin' and Profilin'

 So, Belle isn't even here yet and she already has some stylish clothes, picked out mainly by her Daddy, who has pretty good taste himself!!

The only thing I picked out in this picture is the sunglasses! I think the leopard print vest is for a 4 year old, but Daddy just had to have it for his Belle!!
Here are the three outfits Blair ordered for Belle not long after he found out we were expecting a girl.  The one on the left back is hardcore cold weather gear. I think Blair forgot that we were moving to Turkey for a minute! The dark brown outfit Blair bought because it has ears, so that Belle can be his "mini-Bear!!"

I love these little outfits! Especially the one with the huge monkey on the bottom!!
As of yesterday, I entered my third trimester!! Looking back, I can't believe how quickly time has flown by! It feels like just yesterday I was living with near constant stomach aches and nausea. Now, I mainly deal with heartburn! (This little one had best be born with a head full of hair, I tell you what!) Only three more months and we'll get to meet our little bundle of joy! And I can't wait!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

So, so much news

So it's been officially a year since I last wrote on this blog...so much has happened since then!! Let me see if I can give you a quick update on our lives...

|In January, I took a couple of Master's courses in hopes of pursuing a degree in Family Nurse Practitioner. Unfortunately, I did not get accepted to the program. However, God works in mysterious ways. After switching to the Adult ICU from the Neonatal ICU, Blair came home and told me we had orders to move...to Turkey!! While coming to terms with the idea of uprooting our lives and moving around the world, we found out that we are going to have a baby in February! So, a lot of things have gone on in a short time.

At the moment, Blair and I are in route to our new adventure. We left our lives in North Dakota on Sunday night at about 11:30 p.m. to drive to Minneapolis, MN to drop off Blair's vehicle to be shipped to my parents in Louisiana. After about a 5 hour nap, we left Minneapolis to drive down to St. Louis, MO to leave my car to be shipped to Turkey. When we finally got all that settled, we went back to the hotel and crashed!! We arrived into Baltimore, MD today around 3 p.m. and without anything pressing on our agenda, finally, we have been relaxing in the very nice hotel that the military set us up in.

Now, I'm sure your all curious about the baby news! Don't worry I didn't forget! Currently I am 26 weeks and 5 days along. So far, everything looks great. No complications or concerns at the moment; which I am so thankful for seeing as how I will have to deliver in Turkey!! At 21 weeks, we had our gender ultrasound and found out that we will have a little baby GIRL!! We are so excited and can't wait to meet her! We have the stuff ready for her room, now we just need the room! I am so excited to set up her room in preparation for her arrival!

So that is our lives in a nutshell. What's going on in your life? Any news I should know about?