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Feb
24th
Fri
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Jan
13th
Fri
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Iona is 4m now! We were hanging out at this bookstore in Ankara yesterday and Chris was excited about the Turkish edition of Ulysses that he found. Iona was excited about touching all the surfaces in the bookstore including the giant Ulysses on the wall behind us. She couldn’t quite grasp it…There’s another pic of us on NYE, one of her taking a quick kip and another of her playing peek-a-boo. I’m biased and stuff but she really is the best thing ever…

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Dec
4th
Sun
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Why Our Baby Did Not Freeze...

  • Action: 10pm Board overnight train from Istanbul to Ankara with my husband and baby 2 moth old girl.
  • Thoughts: Woohoo! We made it!
  • Speech: "Chris, Iona, this is awesome!"
  • Blankets etc: There are sheets and 2 enormous blankets on the bunks. The train compartment is toasty warm. Train conductor comes in, sees baby Iona and gives us another enormous blanket, I toss them all in the corner.
  • Action: 2.30am Train is stopped, Iona wakes up, chortles with delight as we're doing a diaper change.
  • Thoughts: We've been stopped for rather a long time, Iona's fed, when we start up again it'll be easy for her to go back to sleep. There's no way Chris can sleep through Iona's happy squeals...
  • Speech (Chris, sleepily): "Hey little Iona, are you wide awake?"
  • Speech (me): "There's quite a kerfuffle outside, Chris, there's all these train personnel in the hallway messing with the electric board."
  • Blankets etc: Train compartment is pretty warm but getting cooler. Electricity is out. Conductor comes in with a torch while I'm breastfeeding and gives us 2 more enormous blankets. Maybe I will need one after all...
  • Action: 4.30am I have moved all our blankets except the 2 for Chris onto the bunk I'm sharing with Iona. Iona's also swaddled with all her burping cloths, her snowsuit, her hat and is pressed against me.
  • Thoughts: Fuck I'm cold and poor little Iona's face (the only part of her exposed) is getting cold.
  • Speech: Groan, shiver.
  • Blankets etc: If I make Chris come down to our bunk then maybe we can share body heat...and those 2 extra blankets? Could we even all fit?
  • Thoughts: 6am Argh! It's so cold! Iona's asleep but if she wakes up or needs a diaper change how in the world can we keep her warm?
  • Speech: Chris! We have a problem!!! Iona's going to get really cold and our train won't get in for 2hrs...I don't know what else to do?
  • ...Action: Chris (dressed in running shorts, T-shirt and short white socks) awakes and gets a primitive look in his eyes. He leaps from the top bunk, races outside into the freezing train compartment and down the train screaming for a train conductor. A few compartments full of frozen Chinese tourists crack open and women swaddled in parkas and blankets watch Chris race about. Chris locates a train carriage which does have electricity and a few conductors. He explains we have to move into the other compartment right now.
  • Blankets etc: A wagon full of people, who look more like plaid blankets than people, follow semi-clad Chris to the warm wagon.
  • Action: 8 am We leave our toasty compartment in the new warm wagon and head out to find a cab.
  • Thoughts: Mmmmm, my husband, my hero...
  • Speech: "Hey look Chris, all those Chinese tourists are smiling at you!"
  • Blankets etc: It's good to be home...
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I’m back! With new pics of baby Iona from this week…she is nearly 3 mths now. This weekend we went to Istanbul, by train, just as we did when she was pickle-sized in my womb…
1 Chilling with my toy at home 2. Resting with Mommy before our big trip 3. Playing with Daddy on the train 4. Daddy found amazing Italian treats, Iona stretches out on the hotel bed 5. The mini bar area becomes a diaper/nappy changing area! 6. Crossing between Europe and Asia by ferry 7. Covered in one of the many plaid blankets from the train…
Iona also said her first words this weekend: “Oh boy!” ;)

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Aug
14th
Sun
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>9m…final stretch…Gulp.

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Jul
20th
Wed
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GPOYW 8m pregnant. Way back in January Tragos and I were in a thrift store in Hillcrest, San Diego, the kind that baffles a Brit with its 1000+ prom dresses and made me feel like I was playing dress-up in Courtney Love’s closet. We had recently realised I was pregnant and I was intent on finding something I could wear in late pregnancy that wasn’t a voluminous tent. I found this sparkly blue top, pulled the dressing room curtains to and had a 2min “fuck-i’m-pregnant-how-is-my-husband-ever-going-to-find-me-attractive-ever-again” meltdown. I took a deep breath, drew back the curtains and, now swamped in blue sparkles, faced Tragos. He smiled, put his hand on my tummy, said it did drown me a little but I would look great in it when I was much bigger. Gentlemen, ladies, this is the correct line to offer your newly pregnant wife. Tragos’ uncanny ability to dispel my body image fantods had triumphed again. Anyway, we went to dinner the other night and I realised I can now fill the sparkly top, in fact if I stay still and baby Iona kicks it creates a rather unusual shimmery effect. This week is apparently Iona’s peak week of activity in the womb (she still has some space to really bust a move) and I’m so excited by how strong and active she feels. Apparently she’s a few weeks ahead of schedule in terms of her growth…GO IONA!!! Observing all the changes in my body; the way my ligaments have loosened, the way my tummy button has stretched to expose skin that surely hasn’t had contact with anything since my own umbilical cord fell off…gross? Sorry. But navel gazing these days is pretty novel, nothing like a tiny creature beneath your own skin to add oomph to ogling one’s omphalos…I can’t wait to meet this little wriggler.

GPOYW 8m pregnant. Way back in January Tragos and I were in a thrift store in Hillcrest, San Diego, the kind that baffles a Brit with its 1000+ prom dresses and made me feel like I was playing dress-up in Courtney Love’s closet. We had recently realised I was pregnant and I was intent on finding something I could wear in late pregnancy that wasn’t a voluminous tent. I found this sparkly blue top, pulled the dressing room curtains to and had a 2min “fuck-i’m-pregnant-how-is-my-husband-ever-going-to-find-me-attractive-ever-again” meltdown. I took a deep breath, drew back the curtains and, now swamped in blue sparkles, faced Tragos. He smiled, put his hand on my tummy, said it did drown me a little but I would look great in it when I was much bigger. Gentlemen, ladies, this is the correct line to offer your newly pregnant wife. Tragos’ uncanny ability to dispel my body image fantods had triumphed again. Anyway, we went to dinner the other night and I realised I can now fill the sparkly top, in fact if I stay still and baby Iona kicks it creates a rather unusual shimmery effect. This week is apparently Iona’s peak week of activity in the womb (she still has some space to really bust a move) and I’m so excited by how strong and active she feels. Apparently she’s a few weeks ahead of schedule in terms of her growth…GO IONA!!! Observing all the changes in my body; the way my ligaments have loosened, the way my tummy button has stretched to expose skin that surely hasn’t had contact with anything since my own umbilical cord fell off…gross? Sorry. But navel gazing these days is pretty novel, nothing like a tiny creature beneath your own skin to add oomph to ogling one’s omphalos…I can’t wait to meet this little wriggler.

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Jun
26th
Sun
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Truth is, things are getting pretty sappy at the Loves’. We are very into our little balcony these days. We have an anniversary coming up and I’m not beyond making my husband’s dinner look like a heart. This recipe was fun though. It comes from ivillage’s list of 50 Recipes from Famous Restaurants and some are pretty exciting. Also >7m pregnant now, almost there!!!

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me: Chris, breakfast’s ready! I felt like such a slick bachelor making this!
me: [adopting my best slick bachelor pose and voice] Since you stayed over last night, I thought I’d fix you some breakfast…Chris: [laughing, reluctantly getting into character] I feel lucky…me: And you’re the first I’ve ever made it for…Chris: And last night was the first time you met a girl in a bar…me: I’ll just get the prenatal vitamins…

me: Chris, breakfast’s ready! I felt like such a slick bachelor making this!

me: [adopting my best slick bachelor pose and voice] Since you stayed over last night, I thought I’d fix you some breakfast…
Chris: [laughing, reluctantly getting into character] I feel lucky…
me: And you’re the first I’ve ever made it for…
Chris: And last night was the first time you met a girl in a bar…
me: I’ll just get the prenatal vitamins…

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Jun
12th
Sun
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My local supermarket has the alcohol section roped off for the election in Turkey today…
Hurriyet explains the other restrictions, all, to me, pretty fascinating:

No media outlets will be able to cover the elections or results, or give estimates or comments related to the elections, until 6 p.m. Sunday. Between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., the media can only publish news received directly from the YSK. After 9 p.m., the YSK said, news stories can be published without restrictions.
The YSK has also banned the consumption and sale of alcoholic beverages on election day from 6 a.m. Sunday morning until 12 a.m. Monday morning. Additionally, weapons, explosives, knives and nuclear, radioactive, chemical and biological substances can only be carried by police officers and security personnel.
For the first time in Turkish history, parliamentary candidates can be as young as 25 years old, following the ratification of a 2006 amendment to Article 76 of the Constitution.

My local supermarket has the alcohol section roped off for the election in Turkey today…

Hurriyet explains the other restrictions, all, to me, pretty fascinating:

No media outlets will be able to cover the elections or results, or give estimates or comments related to the elections, until 6 p.m. Sunday. Between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., the media can only publish news received directly from the YSK. After 9 p.m., the YSK said, news stories can be published without restrictions.

The YSK has also banned the consumption and sale of alcoholic beverages on election day from 6 a.m. Sunday morning until 12 a.m. Monday morning. Additionally, weapons, explosives, knives and nuclear, radioactive, chemical and biological substances can only be carried by police officers and security personnel.

For the first time in Turkish history, parliamentary candidates can be as young as 25 years old, following the ratification of a 2006 amendment to Article 76 of the Constitution.

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May
6th
Fri
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Last night was kinda cool because Chris and I were able to have some good dinner music…The power of 1000s singing along to Sertab Erener & Demir Demirkan richoted around our room and the vast concert stadium next to our apt.

This is all very exciting for us because usually the whole area is deserted; can you spy Chris playing basketball in the concert hall parking lot back when the snow was still melting (I woke up after a nap, grasped around for Chris and then heard the basketball bouncing, took a pic and had to go play with him!)?

Tonight it’ll be Sıla performing; her edgy mechanical bull riding and aesthetics made the video for her single, Dan Sonra, the 12th most watched video from 2007-2008 worldwide…This is all thrilling…

My friend Molly just left but we have been exploring Ankara, here we are at Anıtkabir (Atatürk’s mausoleum). Extraordinary place emanating a serene gestalt, on the anniversary of his death apparently about half a million people visit the tomb. Around the courtyard are museum spaces housing everything from one of Atatürk’s walking sticks (also a gun) to the thumbnail sized Koran he gave his daughter. There is a “Road of Lions” that leads to the mausoleum (currently bordered by tulips). For those of you who get nostalgic when you think about TLTW&TW, I’d like to tell you that the Turkish word for lion is aslan…

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