Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Baby Gender Part III

The news is in. I decided to take Esther (age 6 and my most non-emotional child) with me to the doctor to see the gender of the baby. As we rode the bus, we had this conversation:

Me: Esther, do you realize you will be the FIRST one to find out if it is a boy or girl?!

Esther: hmm. Yea, like how I was the first one to see Midnight the Cat on our trip to Cappedocia.

Me:....(trying to promote a little of the hysteria I felt at the prospect of knowing the gender of this baby early for the first time in my life) Right. Aren't you excited?! Do you want a brother or sister?!

Esther: ummm. I guess a bruder.

So we arrived, we peered at the screen, and baby certainly wasn't doing yoga this time. It seems it wanted all the world to know this time. My doctor said, "Do you see what I am seeing?" I said, "Yes. Is that a ....?" She laughed and said, "Yes, it is. It is quite obvious." I said, "Esther, do you understand?" Esther replied, "I am getting a bruder!"

Responses have been fun. Ross: questioning how they can REALLY know for sure, then a mild state of shock not unlike our dating days when he first realized he really did sort of like me. Mary Erin and Annika: ecstatic screaming and joy and a desire to tell everyone. Turkish friends: relief that we would not go to the grave without a son for Ross Grandparents: shock and happiness (and a few tears) Me: a very new feeling that I will be the mother of a son.

So, thanks for staying tuned. He will make his appearance in late September.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Baby Gender Part II

We had our doctor appointment yesterday, but have no gender to report! Little person was completely upside down with arms and legs crossed. The doctor said, "It seems to be doing yoga." After 10 minutes of trying to find the gender, she asked me to wait for 10 minutes and we'd try again. This time the little squirt had moved, but only into another contortion with legs tucked in. So, we'll have to wait until next time!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Baby Gender

This photo is from 3 years ago when Eva was just born. My Granny had sent matching pj's for the girls. You can tell those smiles are the real thing. They were so happy to get their little sister.
Ross and I have always been a little old school when it comes to baby delivery stuff. We have had 4 babies now and all of the following have applied to each one: we chose names but never revealed the name ahead of time; we never sought out induction (letting the baby choose its own birthday unless induction was needed medically) and had them all naturally (ok, I did that, not Ross); and we never found out the gender. This is NOT at all to say doing all these things ahead of time is wrong, we just did it that way, loving some good surprises. It has been fun for us, especially overseas, to be able to call home and say, "It's a...." (and that answer was always GIRL!) and leave everyone wondering until the last minute, including ourselves. We also have never 'tried' for a gender (meaning to keep having babies until we get a sampling of both genders!).

God has always given us little girls. I have a couple of theories as to why we have all girls. My current theory is that Ross makes quite a statement here with 4 little blonde girls bouncing around him. The Turks have their children 8-10 years apart typically AND they usually have 1-2 children only. To have 4, all so close together, makes us stand out alot. I have been asked why we kept all of them (meaning why we didn't abort in hopes for a boy later). We are able to explain that this is what God has given us, they are blessings to us, and their Baba (father) wants them all. That statement packs a punch in a male-dominated culture.

So, here we are with #5 on the way. We are past the head scratching and quizzical looks to one another and on to that wonderful feeling of "We didn't plan this, but God did, and we wouldn't change a thing now." It is amazing how quickly one bonds with a baby on the way. We begin to see how he/she will fit in, how things will change, how we can't imagine that due date month passing without him/her appearing, etc.

But this time, we are breaking with tradition. Gender discovery we are going to do. Why? Well...when you have 4 of the same gender already, ALOT of people become VERY anxious to know about this last one. And there's this whole realization that I'll need to borrow BACK all those pink onesies I gave away (thinking Eva was the last) if it's a girl. And we are going home to the US for the summer where I can pick up whatever is needed for the baby. But mostly, if this sweet babe is a girl, I want everyone to know up front, have a good 5 months to think of us as an "all-pink basketball team of 5", and love her and welcome her just as fondly as the first 4. Of course, they will love her deeply, but a little notice ahead of time will get us all thinking of that early on.

And oh my, if it is a boy. That will give me plenty of time to find out from all of you experts out there, what exactly do you do with a boy? I live in a land of polly pockets and tea sets and cats dressed in doll clothes and pushed in strollers. I need time to do a little thinking. And I need time to relish the thought that ROSS finally gets to take him to the bathroom all those times while I sit in the restaurant and finish my meal. Now that would be nice.

So Friday is the day to find out. I'm a little scared. This is a first for us. I'll let ya know what I find out.

Monday, April 14, 2008


The pazaar is a big area where vendors meet on "pazaar days" to sell their wares. The pazaar near us opens on Thursdays and Sundays. After church and lunch, several of us went to buy some fruits and vegetables that have come in from the villages, and just to take a look at what was for sale. One thing I had NOT seen before were live baby chicks and ducks. No, these are not for Easter surprises for your children. They are to grow, kill, and eat. But I was SO glad my toddler was with me to see them. She conviced herself the baby ducks must be the mamas to the baby chicks, as they were slightly bigger. Eva has learned she can snatch some strawberries from just about anybody.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Too pretty?

Q:Is it possible for cat litter to be too pretty?
A: Yes.

We were given a bag of the 'good stuff' cat litter from a neighbor who was moving away. Ross changed the litter today and we all stood back and admired the beautiful crystals with blue beads. Yes, I thought, I am going to pay the extra for the good stuff from now on. It is pretty and it doesn't stink so soon.

Fast forward 2 hours: Ross is on the phone with a long distance recruiting call. I am driving Mary Erin to Girl Scouts (and letting the "middlers" tag along). Eva is ALL alone up on the terrace with that pretty litter. She must have imagined it was an enchanted crystal land, made especially for her... for when I found her, both hands were straight down in it, fluffing, throwing, letting it run through her fingers. What joy.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Fun with Caves

Living in Ankara has its highs and lows. The travel books advise passing it by and heading on to Istanbul, Ephesus, etc. Ross and I remember reading one travel guide just before moving here that said, "If you must stop in Ankara, at least there is a Hard Rock Cafe." It then proceeded to give the directions to this restaurant. Anticipating a really good hamburger during an hour when it might not be crowded on one of our date nights, we followed the map and found the street. No Hard Rock Cafe. It had closed down just before we moved here. So, now that it had closed, did that mean there was no other good reason to come to Ankara? Well, thankfully restaurants and fun tourist spots were not the reason we moved here and our hope for adventure was of a different nature.

But since living here, we have discovered MANY good reasons to be in this city. We vastly prefer Ankara over Istanbul (such as the driving conditions, fairness when dealing with foreigners who are shopping, etc.) One other really nice thing is that we are so close to a place called Cappedocia.

Cappedocia has land formations formed by the sudden compacting of volcanic ash. The rock is soft enough to carve easily. Carving these rock hills into homes began 4000 years ago with the Hittites and has continued since then. Most are abandoned, but some families still live in them. The two things I find most interesting about them are that they were used by persecuted Christians in the days of the early church as hideouts and also that people actually still live in them today. It is hard to envision them, so here are 2 pictures. We enjoyed 2 days in Cappedocia this week during Spring Break.

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