Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Snow Tale...Bir Kar Masali

I wasn't able to write any "real" posts lately since I've already started to work inofficially (officially nxt Mo) plus my auntie is keeping Ela and me very busy :)

But I couldn't miss the chance to share a wonderful book project I found out about today.
Three very talented Turkish mommy bloggers (who actually didn't know each other at the beginning) came together and created a heart-warming, inspiring, enjoyable e-book called "Bir Kar Masali/A Snow Tale". Pls click here to read or look at the lovely illustrations.
Currently, there is no printed version but that might change soon ;)
Very soon there will be a free application for iPhones/iPads tho!
And will somebody pls correct me if I'm wrong but I think I've read somewhere about an English version!?!?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

How To Deal With Eclipses

A total lunar eclipse will take place on December 20/21 and according to astrologers with a major effect on everybody.
For those who are interested in eclipses here's an article by famous AstroGuru Susan Miller...

What are a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon stands between the Sun and the Earth, cutting off the light of the Sun. A solar eclipse is always a new moon and in astrology tends to mark new beginnings.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth stands between the moon and the Sun, cutting off the light of the Sun from the moon. A lunar eclipse is always a full moon and usually marks endings or culmination points. They bring up memories, dreams, and emotions, so they often pack a big punch.
An eclipse of the Sun will more likely focus you on a prominent male in your life (father, husband, boss, or other key man).
An eclipse of the moon will center more on the prominent women in your life (mother, wife, or female boss, for instance). This is not always the case, but you will find this will be a good rule of thumb.
Solar eclipses work somewhat differently than lunar eclipses, and emphasize beginnings - that is why they are so exciting. Most of the time they make us happy! (Occasionally something may end too, but the accent will be more on the start than the finish.) The changes could come gradually or suddenly. Still, the news or timing of those changes often comes as a surprise. If a solar eclipse falls on or within a few days of your birthday, you will certainly feel the effects of it over the course of the year. Changes will be complete by the time you reach your next birthday.
Although most solar eclipses are almost always positive, if they form hard angles to other planets, the effect on you can be jarring and difficult. This is not usually the case, but it can be at times. As you see, eclipses are not like other aspects, for they can work in a variety of ways. I will let you know if I see something you should watch in your monthly report on Astrology Zone. Keep in mind that all eclipses are there to help you mature and grow, and that the eclipses are ultimately on your side.
Eclipses come in pairs, always as a new moon and full moon two weeks apart and come up every five-and-a-half months in one family of signs, for example Cancer-Capricorn, or Leo-Aquarius.
Each family of signs lasts approximately 18 or 24 months before moving to the next family of signs, moving, say, from Cancer- Capricorn to Gemini-Sagittarius.
Events that follow an eclipse have more weight than events brought on by a normal new or full moon. In fact, an eclipse is like a new or full moon on steroids! The events brought on by an eclipse often pack much more punch and may even bring on an event that seems "fated."
Now let's review the points to keep in mind about eclipses so that you can better deal with them should any touch you in an unexpected way.

Susan's 29 Points to Consider when Dealing with Eclipses

1. Eclipses are dramatic "wild cards" in our horoscopes that we don't see coming. They shake us up so that we can move from one level of maturity to another, very rapidly. They will provide whatever we need to get moving - a competitor, a rival or critic, a benefactor, funding, or some other force - that get us to think, decide, or change.
If we have become complacent or took someone or something for granted, chances are that we won't after an eclipse is over and has delivered its message. An eclipse will always give you precisely what you need to advance and evolve. They look for weak links in all circumstances and instantly and urgently bring information so that you can decide what you want to do.

2. Eclipses work from the outside in. In that I mean that an outside event that has nothing to do with you, and over which you have no control, will often act in a way that affects your life in a powerful, direct, and lasting way. The outside force can be a small, casual event or comment - it need not be a big - but yet it can have monumental influence on our life anyway.

3. Eclipses bring news of big life events that you long remember. You may sell a house or buy one, or start a new business or close one. You may get a major promotion or a new client, or be given enviable publicity, or be downsized. You may meet someone new to date, or get engaged. Or, on the other hand, an eclipse may "eclipse out" someone from your life, as is the case in a breakup or divorce. Often at eclipse time, we are very aware of the passage of time, and that can make us a bit wistful even when the news is very happy.
You may suddenly be expecting a baby or get news that the adoption you had hoped for is suddenly coming through.
You may come in to a lot of money, or lose an important source of income. You may sign a big business deal or walk away from one. You might have surgery or win a marathon and be on TV. You may acquire a new pet, or sadly suffer the loss of one. Alas, as you see, not all news on eclipses is happy, but eclipses do mark major life events that make us value the good parts of life even more.
Eclipses often change the status of a situation. While an eclipse will always seek out the weak link in a situation to expose it to you, they are just as capable of helping you in a positive way, such as to help you find new love or be asked to interview for a big position. The luck you uncover can be the change in status you will receive. Check your monthly report on Astrology Zone for how I see the eclipse affecting you.

4. Keep your eye on your health at eclipse time, and doubly so if the eclipse is near your birthday, is in your birth sign, or is six months away from your sign (i.e., opposite). If you need to address a health or dental issue, get advice and help so that you can get back to feeling tip top again soon!

5. You may feel like you are walking across a bridge to a new land at eclipse time. You are - with no ability to go back to the place you started. In that sense, after you start moving toward the new situation (by enforced changes or by your own volition), the bridge will collapse - there will be no way back. While you can't go back to the good old days, you wouldn't want to. You are ready for more. The universe wants us to embrace all that is new, not go back to what is tried and true.

6. The ancients always wrote that if you act under an eclipse, especially a full moon eclipse (lunar), the plan would not work out quite the way you expected. It's better to consider the ideas of others at eclipse time but not to make proposals or announce decisions of your own at that time. Instead, bide your time and act a few weeks later when there will be less cosmic dust in the air and things are more settled. You'll have more information after an eclipse has spoken too, another reason to wait.
Here is the rule: it is better to listen and react rather than set forth dictums under an eclipse. Try to allow some space of a week or more between the eclipse and the date you act.
Sometimes it is not possible to put things off, so do your best. Never make an empty threat, like "Leave her or I will leave!" If you don't mean it, don't say it. The situation could blow up in your face when your partner calls your bluff and says, "OK, then, leave!" Issuing ultimatums under an eclipse rarely work well.
Let's say you need to decide whether to change your job. It is OK to accept a new job, but might not be wise to quit one at eclipse time. You didn't initiate that offer to go to a new job - someone else did - which is why you are safer to accept an offer, rather than initiate an action on your own, most likely impulsively.
If you want to have a major talk with your sweetheart over grievances you have been harboring, do so weeks before the date of the eclipse or else table your talk for a few weeks later, when the atmosphere won't be highly charged. When you act at eclipse time, you may be surprised at the outcome - things could backfire or create an effect that you had not anticipated. Still, admittedly, it may be really hard to put off saying something at a full moon eclipse. Truth tends to surface like a geyser at these times! See how you feel!

7. Eclipses will always play with our sense of time and change it by compressing it and speeding things up. They bring events to bear today, ones that you assumed would happen months or years into the future.
Let's say a couple decided to marry in two years, and in the meantime save up for a down payment on a house. An eclipse comes by and one of the partners in the couple gets a big promotion and a chance to work in the London office. Suddenly the couple decides to tear up their old blueprints and instead get married immediately so that they can start their life together in London right away. Indeed, timetables often change dramatically under eclipses.
Also, at eclipse time, if one of your planets will be touched by the eclipse, you may feel your life moving on fast forward, at greatly accelerated speed. What you'd normally do in three years gets compressed into six months! Time moves so fast, you can almost see the hands on the clock spin around!

8. Eclipses can help you do things you never thought you could do, overcome fears, and show yes, you CAN do it! Consider this little metaphysical story I devised for you to illustrate this point.
Let's say you are in a new area on vacation and feel like riding a horse for a couple of hours, and because your friends would rather swim, you decide to do this on your own. You are not an experienced rider, so you ask the horse trainer for a gentle horse. He suggests the perfect one for you, a horse that is even-tempered and experienced. He also suggests an appropriate path for you.
Before you set off on your trail, you were told by the trainer that you will need to jump a stone fence five miles down the road but that the horse is capable of doing the jump. You start out on the path the trainer suggested. Distracted by the gorgeous scenery, you forget about the fence until it looms suddenly in front of you.
You don't feel ready to jump that fence and besides, it is so much higher than you imagined it to be! You probably would have never taken this path if you knew how big it was. You cannot imagine going over that and surviving it! Yet, it symbolizes something you want to do but are terrified to do, so you feel conflicted (fear vs. wanting). Perhaps as you ride toward it, you try to stop the horse, but in your hesitation, you don't send strong signals to the horse in the way he understands, so before you know it, he jumps!
The horse has been trained to jump, so he is fine - it's you who is scared, not him! Before you can pull on the reins, you find yourself flying through the air on his back and much to your horror and yet giddy amazement, you are flying over the fence. Much to your astonishment, you land perfectly. The horse is fine and so are you - but you feel shaky and count all your fingers to be sure you are all in one piece!
It all happened so quickly! You knew the fence was coming up, but being distracted by the scenery, you didn't expect to see it so soon on the road ahead. (Timetables are moved up at eclipse time.) You had no time to think! Now, however, you feel quite accomplished - proud of what you did, and rightly so! It is a great moment! Had you had time to think, you may not have had the courage to try. But you did react, and you succeeded. Welcome to the effects of an eclipse. This won't be the effect all the time, but many times eclipses DO show us capabilities and strengths that surprise us.

Here's the rest of the article.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Paris vs New York

One of my favorite fashion & design blogs Schongeist wrote about Vahram Muradyan's latest work ONE today - illustrations of a comparison between Paris and New York.
As a lover of New York it was interesting (and funny) to follow the art work of a lover of Paris.
To see the illustrations click on Schongeist  and/or  PARISvsNYCblogspot.

Family Time

On Wed Ela and I came to Istanbul to visit my family and give them the chance to spend time with their granddaughter whom they've been missing very much...the last time they saw her (apart from video chats) was in August,which is a long time considering the fact that we're actually quite close; just an hour away by plane. I do feel sorry for these long separations but traveling with a small baby was just not my thing. I promised them that now that Ela's older our trips will be more frequent (also because it'll be easier for me to concentrate on work from here :p). Yesterday we spent a nice afternoon at Forum Istanbul, my initial plan was to also visit the aquarium Turkuazoo, which is part of the mall, but a friend, whom we were going to meet there, said it's not worth it - at least not now with a small kid that won't really enjoy it. That's why we had a nice Starbucks break instead and then a little shopping tour at H&M, the shop that everybody here had been waiting for for there are two of them in Istanbul (second branch at Istinye Park).

Today I'm planning to take Ela to one of the Play Barns (the one in Atakoy) when she wakes up from her nap. She gets bored when we stay at home the whole day so I want to give her the chance to have some fun and socialize, because that's what she's used to back home. Before going to bed, Ela played with her 'Oma' and they made her first origami flapping bird together :) The older she gets, the more she will experience the benefits of her Oma being a former Kindergarten teacher...

Let it snow...let it snow...let it snow!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Akashic Records On Past Lives (by Jen Eramith MA)

How do past lifetimes affect us? Is it useful to remember or relive past life memories?

The ways that your past lifetimes affect you depend on who you are. Some of you are very tied to your past lifetimes -- your present life is deeply connected with what you have been doing before and deeply embedded in an overarching story that includes the lives you lived before. Others of you do not have very many past lifetimes. Some of you have not lived very often in this world, so that what you are doing now is not very deeply tied with past lifetimes, but instead is more deeply tied to who you are as a soul at a higher level. There are so many different variations in regard to how people interact with their past lifetimes and how each of you has set up your contracts for what your life is about now. So it really depends on who you are.
We can say that many people do live now, or have lived, through what you might call a karmic cycle. As some religions or religious paradigms have outlined, it is possible to enter a karmic cycle in which you set up an agenda for certain things you want to experience or learn as a soul, and then you cycle through lifetime after lifetime in order to explore and achieve that agenda. You can create a karmic cycle based on any different theme, such as Love, Deception. Emotional Intelligence, or the Natural World – there are countless possible themes for karmic cycles. Once you enter the karmic cycle, you do not let yourself out of it until you have completed the plan that you originally set in motion when you began the karmic cycle.
The thing that is not true about karmic cycles is that it is not true that every human being goes through those kinds of karmic cycles, and it is not true that there is a preset or predetermined group of things that every human must learn. When a soul enters a karmic cycle, it is always by choice at a higher level and it is always based on a contract that the soul creates. Every karmic cycle contract unique according to the soul who wants to experience it – it all depends on what you want to accomplish in the cycle based on your soul’s higher purpose.
Depending on who you are and what your contract is with your past lives and what you are trying to achieve in this current life, it may be very useful for you to remember and relive some of your past life memories. Or, for others, it may not be useful to worry about past lives. How much past lifetimes matter to you will usually become apparent – often simply by whether you feel interested in past lifetimes or not. If you are very interested in your past lives or if you find yourself having a sense that you are connected to things that you have never done in this lifetime so you think it must be from a past life, you can assume that your past lives are applicable to what you are doing now. There is something for you to gain by paying attention to those.
If, on the other hand, the ideas of past lives does not really make sense to your or it is not very interesting, it very well could be that you do not need to gain anything from remembering your past lives. It is even possible that you have not lived a past lifetime before. It depends on who you are and the best way to navigate this is to follow your interests and to follow your intuition. If you feel drawn to past lifetimes, allow yourself to notice when you are sensing something and just gently ask the question, “Does this feel like something in my life or does this feel like something from before? What do I need to remember?”
Sometimes you might find yourself connected to a country where you have never visited, or feeling a sense of homesickness for a place that you have never been. Sit down and explore what you feel. What are the emotions that are arising? What are the ideas? What are the thoughts? See what comes to you through your intuition and explore your past lives as ideas of what you carry with you. There are many different tools and techniques that people have developed to perform past life regression. If you feel interested in those, go right ahead. It is important to stay grounded in the fact that you will naturally be drawn to the things that you need -- that your brilliant mind will bring to you the information that you need whether you are seeking it or not.
Do not let yourself get desperate about trying to calculate past lifetimes. The fact about your past lifetimes is that they are only relevant as far as they are affecting you now. They are only relevant as far as they can help facilitate what you are doing now.
The thing about time is that it is not linear and therefore, every moment that you pass becomes nonlinear. It dissolves into the full collection of who you are. That full collection of who you are is with you all the time. You do not need to calculate, you do not need to track, and you do not need to put in some sort of order the past lifetimes that you have lived before.
Trust that anything you need from those lifetimes is with you now. It is in your cellular memory. It is part of your subconsciousness and it will come to you as you need it. One of the reasons it can be difficult to track the order of your past lifetimes is that time is nonlinear. In the same way that each moment passes by and just becomes part of the universal whole, or the Akashic records, so too does every lifetime.
As soon as a lifetime has been lived, it is no longer packaged in chronological order. It becomes packaged according to its usefulness. Depending on the theme that you are exploring now, different past lifetimes will come to you -- they will occur to you. Your past lives, just like all information in your Akashic Records, is stored based on its usefulness to you in the present moment. It is not stored in chronological order. (Dec 2010)

Jen Eramith MA

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter has finally arrived! And so much more...

I've been desperately waiting for the winter season this year. Not only because I like cold weather but because I had this strange feeling that as soon as winter arrives big and unexpected is going to happen. About myself. About my life.
And that's why I really got impatient and was bored of still having 25 degrees in December.
But suddenly -at last- the temperatures dropped and everything fell into place! I got a call from my former boss who made a perfect offer and now I'm preparing to become a working mom :)
I'd love to share more details but I'm so tired at the moment that I want to do that later, maybe after I've started and can give a clearer picture.
It was freezing today, even snowing earlier in the day. But we still went out with Ela and I even took her to the park for a short swing-swing.

That was yesterday...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

In prep for the famous terrible twos'

One of the hottest topics lately on Nurturia is about moms discussing differences between Turkish and foreign moms/parents. Whether there're cultural advantages/disadvantages, countries/people that have just found the right approach and raise perfectly disciplined kids, or if we just tend to see the good examples in others and that there are undisciplined, spoiled, naughty kids basically everywhere.
There were comments I found quite judgmental and opinionated, and others which couldn't describe better what I felt and thought. I'd have loved to translate and share them here but my laziness hasn't gotten any better ;)
Instead, I want to direct you to a link which was shared there by one of the moms. It's and article called  "Who's in Control" by Jean Liedloff, famous author of The Continuum Concept.

Here's my favorite part;

Put simply, when a child is impelled to try to control the behavior of an adult, it is not because the child wants to succeed, but because the child needs to be certain that the adult knows what he or she is doing. Furthermore, the child cannot resist such testing until the adult stands firm and the child can have that certainty. No child would dream of trying to take over the initiative from an adult unless that child receives a clear message that such action is expected — not wanted, but expected! Moreover, once the child feels he has attained control, he becomes confused and frightened and must go to any extreme to compel the adult to take the leadership back where it belongs.

When this is understood, the parents' fear of imposing upon their child is allayed, and they see that there is no call for adversariality. By maintaining control, they are fulfilling their beloved child's needs, rather than acting in opposition to them.

Click here to read the whole article.

And here're some quick shots from our first Christmas celebration with Ela this year:


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mum's Christmas Dinner 2010

A belated post about our first Mum's Dinner which took place at Rouge Restaurant/Bar Alsancak last Wed.
I went out for the first time in 12 months (OMG!)...the previous one was also an IWAI Christmas Dinner.
Going out after 8pm felt strange but very liberating and exciting! We should defo go out more often...not necessarily every week but a quarterly mum's dinner would truly give our sometimes challenging and exhausting lives a nice touch.

Last year's IWAI Xmas Dinner...with lovely Burcin, Isla & Nath.

2010 Mum's Xmas Dinner...with lovely Jenny, Lisa, Sheena, Defne, Elif, Mickie, Louise, Claudia, Jenny. Evrim, Silke & Nihan.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Unsuspecting Role of our Parents

I just read Lee Carroll's (Kryon) latest message and esp. the following paragraphs touched me deeply. Apparently, I still had such feelings re. my parents.
Many of you have parents who are not awake to the possibility of a personal, loving God, as you are. Some of these parents are still alive and with you, and some have passed. Oh, they may love God in their own way, all in appropriateness, but they have no awakening to the quantum Creator inside. They would not be in a meeting like this, would they? But you have awakened to a "quantum system" and you're starting to help the planet with it. You're building a bridge to a future quantum culture. Linear worship has no calling to you.

You have a profound spirituality without a prophet, a book or buildings to worship in. You've created a beautiful energy of love and creator-companionship within yourself, and before you're finished on Earth, millions will awaken around you to the same idea. The idea is not the one you were taught. Instead, it's a new spiritual paradigm of truth - that you were created magnificent, that you have power over your own physical bodies, and even nature itself bows to your collective mastery. You are a beautiful creation in a beautiful garden that was made for you, and you're going to have the wisdom to take care of it for the first time in Human history.
Perhaps some times you look at your parents and you say, "I wish they had what I have." Some of you will say, "It appears they're stuck in an old way." And when they pass over, you'll say, "I wish they could have known what I know." So let me rewrite this linear thought into a quantum concept for you, and in the process expose the incredible system and the love of God.
Come with me within the mind of God for a moment and I will take you to the Wind of Birth of your parents. In a timeless state, they meet you, their potential children, and you listen to what they have to say: "Dear ones, we're going to come to Earth in an old energy. But the potentials are there for things to happen on the planet in your generation, not ours. We're going to give you birth and life. We're going to bring your soul into the planet at the right time so you can make the difference. In Humanism, we may not help you awaken the way you think we might. Instead, we may actually give you puzzles that will force you to find God within, but this is the way the old energy interfaces with the new. We will, indeed, bring you to a place where you will have light that we just can't have within an older energy."
So I ask you, dear listener and reader, who is the Lightworker here?

Click click for full article.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Akashic Records for Dec. 2010 (by Jen Eramith MA)

...In December 2010, it is as if the angelic army is coming for 2012. They come in stages and the next installment of angels is entering the planet in December of 2010. Those of you who are sensitive to energy, to light, or to angels or other beings -- you are going to feel it this month. You are going to really have a sense that there is more going on just under the surface than ever before. You are going to have a sense that you are not alone, you are deeply supported by the higher dimensions. Some of you will see angels out of the corner of your eye, some of you will get messages from the most unexpected places. Be aware that there are more angels on the planet this month than there ever have been before. Many of those angels are reflections of you, of those of you who are human angels. This means that this month is an important time to do a few things. One is to choose to act as a human angel. Regardless of what your spiritual lineage may be, choose to act as an angel on this planet. Every one of you can assume that if you are here, then you are here to help, you are here to bring more Love. Help and Love are the things that angels bring. Go ahead and act as if you were an angel. Look for ways to bless the people around you, look for ways to make things easier for them. This is a perfect time for random acts of kindness to be executed by you every minute of every day. Look for something kind to do for someone around you all day long. If you are occupied doing this, you will be right on track in December 2010.

Click here for full article.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

More of Ela...

Kind of too late for teething rings but seems to like it...

Waiting for mommy who's having a look at new Mango collection

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum...

"I like it up here!"

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Newest Shots

I'm kind of lazy lately, no desire to write, read, make research...maybe because the 'shadow phase' of the forthcoming Mercury Retro which starts on 10th Dec. (more on that here)  has started last week. So far I've experienced the famous delayed communication and breakdown of phone part. Hope that'll be it!
As I said before, no desire to here're a few new shots of Ela instead:

lovely lovely friends...

very thoughtful....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Waking up to a croupy child

After a very normal day I put Ela to bed last night and was suddenly woken up at 5am in the morning by a very loud barking cough and a crying Ela. She could hardly breathe and found it impossibe to go back to sleep. Opening the window and letting her inhale some cool, fresh air seemed to help a bit but the whole situation was too stressful and we definitely had no control over it. Although I don't like to run to the doc as soon as Ela doesn't feel or look well (Alper usually wants to go immediately), this time I was the one who decided to visit the ER of a nearby children's hospital.
Diagnosis: Croup
The young female doc at the hospital told us to use the humidifier in the other room twice with a half-hour break in between and then she had a last look and sent us home with a prescription for an antibiotic called Macrol...which I didn't give straight away, of course.
A few hours passed and I called Ela's pediatrician who asked for a throat culture the result of which we will get on Monday and if there should really be anything bacterial we will start to use antibiotics then. Croup is caused by a viral infection most of the time. Or it can be caused by an allergy.
Right now, Ela's napping, I opened all the windows at home and lifted up the head of her cot. We will also use a humidifier three times a day.
They say the first croup attack is always the worst (esp. because you're not prepared at all and think your baby is suffocating).
I hope this was also our last attack.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another 'Mim', that is 'Sobe'...

Here's another 'mim'sobe' sent to me by Asli, the Blogger.
(I wrote about "mims" here)

It's a questionnaire about nurseries...

At what age did you or are you planning to send your child to nursery? Is there any other factor apart from age you're waiting for to send him/her to nursery?
In fact, I'd be fine with her going to nursery tomorrow but that would obviously be a very selfish decision :p
I don't know to be honest...I started kindergarten when I was three. That's how it used to work in Germany. But if Ela seems ready I'd like to start our nursery adventure next year in Sept. when she's 27 months old, half-days, 2-3 times a week. Till then the playgroups we're attending (and maybe some new ones according to what I heard from Isla) will probably suffice.
What's your most important criteria when choosing a nursery for your child? Something that's crucial and if not provided would cause you to prefer in-home care.
I touched this topic before (again in my first 'mim' post here) but very briefly I want to express my dislike for private schools. So many reasons for that like price, students' that is parents' profiles, academic objectives even at very young age, etc.
I want a place that won't be a burden to me, where Ela has fun and enjoys herself & makes some nice friends, teachers are warm & friendly, children are not pushed to 'learn' and their creativity is not going to be killed.
I just found out that vocational schools for girls usually also have a nursery/kindergarten where students who want to become pre-school teachers do their internships and their teachers also work there. I liked this idea and checked out  if there's one where I live. Luckily, there's one with quite a good reputation but where you might need to find a contact to get your child in but that shouldn't be a problem since in small places there's always somebody around who knows the right people ;)
The price for half-day is 265 TL and for full-day 350 TL. Perfect.
Is there any kind of application you haven't seen in Turkish nurseries but would like to see?
I can't really comment on that since the only experience I have is my own time at the kindergarten which was just an ordinary place. I mean, we played games, sang songs, had a huge playground (hmm, maybe this is lacking in many nurseries here, our playground was really big) but nothing extra-ordinary.

Any applications you've frequently come across in Turkish nurseries and find ridiculous?
Too much focus on language teaching. I went to some kindergartens in Istanbul where they even offered two(!) foreign languages. Of course, they're not really teaching anything. Just simple games, songs, role plays and stuff. But I'm still disturbed by the way they promote their institutions; as if before entering primary school the kids would be able to write an academic essay.

If your child goes to nursery, what was the most challenging aspect? If not, what do you think will challenge you most?
I don't like to think about challenges before actually facing them :p

If your child goes to nursery, what's the most positive development you observed in your child? If not, what do you think will nurture his/her development most?
We're spending the biggest amount of our time together with Ela so she will probably become more independent then. Spending time with other kids in a more structured environment will make her become better in sharing, showing respect for others, finding her way, etc. I guess (playgroups already nurture this but nursery will be more effective I suppose).

Today at Saysen...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

German Christmas Bazaar in Izmir

The traditional German Christmas Bazaar takes place on 27th  November from 12.00 onwards at the Guzelbahce Theater in aid of IZMIR SOKAK COCUKLARI (street children in Izmir).

Der traditionelle deutsche Weihnachtsmarkt findet statt am 27. November ab 12.00 Uhr im Theater von Güzelbahçe zugunsten IZMIR SOKAK COCUKLARI (Strassenkinder in Izmir).

Geleneksel Alman Noel Bayramı Kermesi 27 Kasım saat 12.00'dan itibaren İZMİR SOKAK ÇOCUKLARI yararına Güzelbahçe Tiyatrosu'nda yapılacaktır.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Jewel Of Awakening

Teachings and Meditations on Natural Freedom

Click on the image below or go to this link for free download of The Jewel of Awakening

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Awesome Books to read online!

Check out the following two online books:

An Awesome Book!
An Awesome Book of Thanks!

Both were designed for ipad but you can still read them on any screen. Here's more info on The Awesome World Foundation.
Books like this make me want to introduce English to Ela right now although I decided to wait till she's at least 2.5-3 and focus on German till then.
Thanks to Gokhan btw who wrote about them on Nurturia. 

PS: Adults should read these books, too!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What was happening in your life in 2002? (Jennifer Hoffman asking)

The Cycle of Worth and Value

Earlier this month I wrote about the current Venus retrograde cycle, which ends this week. This cycle is important because it is recycling energies and lessons of 2002, as the retrograde sign and degrees are very similar to those that occurred then. What were you doing then, what was happening in your life, what were some of the challenges you were facing and are they repeating themselves at this time? Chances are that you can find similarities in what you are experiencing now and what was happening then and make some profound changes with that information.

We are generous with ourselves when it comes to our life lessons and have many opportunities to experience them, sometimes from multiple angles. Our choice of people and situations is never random and always reflects the lessons that are part of our life path. Although they can be a surprise when they come up, they are simply lessons that we are recycling so we can arrive at another level of understanding. These are the cycles of our lessons and they never vary, even though it is often hard for us to identify them when we are in the cycles.
All of our lessons arise from the core healing that is our life purpose. Whether it's betrayal, abandonment, power, self love, acceptance, or forgiveness (and there are many others), everything in our life is designed to introduce us to some aspect of this lesson. And now that we are at the forefront of energies whose purpose is global transformation on a scale we have never before realized, we have cycles that support our healing and growth (isn't the Universe nice).
What was happening in your life in 2002? What issues were you working on and who was part of them? This Venus retrograde period has been difficult for those who are not aware that a cycle is repeating, less so for those who have noticed the similarities and are using them to complete this cycle. What is different about 2010 versus 2002 is that we can complete these cycles now because the energies support that. So what do you have to do to complete your cycle? How can you release everything that does not support your belief in your power, that you deserve to have everything you wish for and are worthy of joy? This is the time to resolve and let them go. And you can complete a cycle to step into a new and different life path.

Jennifer Hoffman


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ela's First Zoo Trip

Today was the first day of Eid al-Adha, a four-day religious holiday...and since everybody usually spends the first day visiting relatives and older family members, I saw this as a great opportunity to introduce Ela to the animals at Izmir Dogal Yasam Parki , the relatively new big zoo in Sasali and celebrate our Bayram there . (Alper's parents will have to wait till tomorrow I'm afraid)
We were lucky with the weather, perfectly mild and dry, 21 degrees and partly cloudy. The park is located on a huge area outside of the city.
Some facts:
- there's a lot of space for the animals which is nice for them but not so nice for the visitors since it's hard to spot them.
- there're not too many animals, usually just two of each species...(compared to other zoos I've been before, eg. Frankfurt Zoo)
- the gardens in the zoo are beautiful
- Ela will like it more when she's a bit older, she's not a big fan of park walks (city girl!) plus the distance between animals and the fact that some of them were too far for her to see slightly bored her.
- the entrance fee is so low! Just 2 can't help but think how they manage to survive. The costs of feeding and caring for the animals must be enormous, they probably have very big sponsors.
- cafes could be better
- there're too many playgrounds, which, of course, attract the kids but kind of ruin the zoo trip since kids find it more interesting to swing or slide rather than seeing the animals.

It was a nice day...
beauty queen...

leave me alone!

other beauties...

this one wants to play...

and here's the king...

children's area...


let's go...

this is fun!

brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?

Monday, November 15, 2010

About Ela

I think it's time for an Ela-Update :))
Ela is an almost 17-month-old toddler now and although everything's still pretty much about sleeping-eating-playing habits I can see that my little angel is growing and slowly turning into a  little person.
Sleep patterns are still not ideal but she's usually sleeping from 19:45 till 06:30 with one wake-up sometimes (just to make sure I'm there).  Eating is ok, she likes simple things; oatmeal, cereals, all kinds of cheese, toast, pasta, chicken (esp. boiled), meatballs, french fries (oven-baked), grapes, plums, bananas, sultanas and sundae ice-cream...but no veggies :(
She's able to play more independently now and is also learning to play nicely with other kids thanks to our Iwai playgroup and the new Saysen playgroup.

About Alper & Jan:
I asked Alper for more support since I'm a bit overwhelmed with having Ela all the time and also dealing with all the housework, shopping and cooking stuff. He's ready to do this and just wants me to be specific with the things I want or need.  We also decided to spend every Friday evening really together which means no Internet, no dozing off on the couch, no watching silly stuff on TV but having proper conversations, watching nice (new) movies, enjoying ourselves, basically having fun together again. (I'm especially disturbed by the amount of time I'm spending in front of the computer. And that's why I'm ending this post now :p)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In the mood for love...

No, I'm not looking for a new man.

I just fell in love with a fragrance I discovered a few days ago...
In the mood for Ferre.
Smells are important to me. Always have been. My favorite aunt in Germany bought me my first perfume when I was around 12 I guess; White Linen by Estee Lauder.
This interest for nice smells probably relies on the fact that my olfactory senses (just like my visual ones) are more dominant.
I very much dislike the smell of air fresheners, eau de cologne, room perfumes and alike.
But I love my perfumes...and interestingly, I can't use the same fragrance twice. When I finish a bottle, I have enough and look for a new love. And I don't just use them before going out, but also before going to bed (which Alper finds quite wasteful btw).
I also love the smell of coffee, freshly mown grass, rain, mandarin oranges, fresh flowers and Ela :)
Here are my most favorite fragrances;
Cerruti 1881
Idole d'Armani
Pleasures by Estee Lauder
Flowers by Kenzo
Mademoiselle by Chanel
Addict by Dior

Monday, November 8, 2010

We like playgroups!

I know that there are different views about playgroups for babies and toddlers. Some say it's vital to teach them how to socialize from the very beginning, others claim it's just a trend and not that much beneficial. I'm actually quite positive and started to take Ela to our IWAI playgroup on a frequent basis when she was 7-8 months old. Last month we also joined a more professional place called Saysen&Partyhouse once a week and Ela really enjoys herself more and more every week and I can also see that this experience is gradually making her more independent (finally!). When I say professional btw I don't mean it's a highly educational care center with top quality teachers who're doing sophisticated activities with the kids. There're many many things that could be better; like being more attentive to how kids react to activities, whether they're bored or show interest and act accordingly rather than changing them every 5 min. even if the kids are having fun. But what's important to me is that Ela is enjoying herself and playing nicely for the whole 90 min. and then showing me the leaflet the whole week to tell me she wants to go back :))
I like our playgroups and I'm grateful that we have them. Both for Ela and myself!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Beautiful pictures for your kids' bedroom walls

A very talented Turkish mom and artist has just opened a space where she's going to sell her lovely pictures for children's bedrooms (or anywhere you want!)  For now it's just within Turkey...but who knows what happens ;))
All pictures are beautiful but my favorite is actually her blog header (weren't able to copy it here).
You can ask for all kinds of animals, characters, colors, favorite toys, etc....
You will also be sent a preview for approval.
Orders to be sent to:
Prices vary between 20 TL - 40 TL for pictures on sale  now, but it really depends on the size and how much time and effort is spent.
Frames are not included since she's currently living in a city where this is unfortunately not available :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Do spiritual teachers really practice what they preach?

During the last ten years I've met many so-called spiritual teachers and/or gurus and a few of them were really wise, knowledgable, enlightening and purifying. But even those "real" gurus, or maybe especially the real ones still tend to keep or even develop a very high ego and start to do or say things that are so out of line.
When you are such a guru and decide to share your wisdom and knowledege with others and start offering courses and classes (at very expensive prices) and call these courses "Blablabla-Practitioner" courses you should be prepared that some of your students decide to follow your path and become a "guru", too.
A real teacher, in my opinion, should be happy to see such a development and encourage it rather than trying to prevent any attempts of this kind.
I'm not talking about myself (yet), since I've just started to work on what exactly I want to do in the future (spiritual guidance), but I'm hearing many things about my quantum thinking technique teacher, for instance...about how he treats people who attend his certified courses and then decide to make use of the given information and he goes to them and says "You can't use this, you don't have the right.." Why is he so afraid? What causes the big fear that others might become as 'big' as him?
I guess, the answer to that is not that difficult. It's the vicious cycle of earning more and more money the 'bigger' you become. In the course of time, money becomes the main goal and the fear of losing even one customer(!) is enough to become an ego-driven person.
I'm still very thankful. I believe he's a special man and can't be grateful enough for the things I learned. I wish he had stayed the same person though but this is his path I suppose and he probably should have a closer look at the people he's surrounded with and their effects on him.
Here's another article on this subject.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My first "Mim"

There's this nice tradition among Turkish mommy bloggers to "mim" each other (mim literally means putting the finger on sb but here it's about getting to know other bloggers more and it actually stands for asking a question or opening a topic and then choosing other bloggers to answer the question or write about the same topic. It's like chatting among blogs :p)
My first mim's question is "If you had an extra 10.000 TL , how would you spend it for your little one?"
(10.000 TL roughly makes $ 7000)
First of all I'd keep the money for another few months, maybe years, since currently there's no need to spend any money for Ela. I'm not planning to travel anytime soon nor can I send her to any class or course since she's too little. BUT when she's 2.5-3 years old, I would spend the first few hundred Liras for our first trip to Germany and buy her the fanciest and newest things for kids that I wouldn't be able to get in Izmir. And then I would plan for another trip...and another...and another...
Traveling is one thing I really want to do a lot with Ela when she's a bit older since I believe that it teaches and develops children (just like adults) in so many ways and gives them the sense of being global, seeing and learning about new cultures and simply different places and people (and languages).
Secondly, if any money is still left (which I doubt) I would spend it for sports and art classes/courses since I decided a long time ago that I would like to send my child to a state school at primary level. And state schools here, more or less like everywhere actually, unfortunately, don't offer too many of these. So I'd start with a gymnastics course when she's three, then maybe ballet, an instrument she likes, horse-riding, etc. etc....anything she shows interest in and is also talented in, of course.
The decision not to send her to a private school might change, of course. But when I was working for Pearson Longman, I had the chance to visit almost every single private school in Turkey and also all state schools teaching English and/or German and according to this experience private schools focus so much on language teaching (but unfortunately mainly on grammar rather than speaking and writing) that in the end, most of the students, even after several years, can't speak or write  it properly. They also tend to neglect the other subjects and there's also the fact that private school teachers have one-year-contracts which means they change very quickly which is not very good esp. for younger students. In fact, in one school which is supposed to be one of the elite schools in Turkey I had to translate for a teacher when we visited them with a book author(!) Interestingly, this doesn't apply to German or French schools but the ones in Izmir are either too far or too expensive.
State schools, on the other hand, lack all the rich activities, of course...and can also be very crowded. That's why I will look for "Pilot  Schools" where there's a maximum number of 24 per classroom, better facilities, better teachers and education, in general.

The last few sentences have been totally irrelevant to the subject of this post, I know ;)) But I guess I had the urge to write about it right now!

Here are a few shots from today's Saysen Playgroup...