This page is dedicated to my little daughter, Dide Bal.
Updated on 5 June 2017
You are born on November 3, at 9:37 in the morning in Regina Maria hospital in Bucharest, Romania to a Turkish mother and father. 3,060 grams and 49 cm.
You spent your first days of life in room nr. 3.13 in Regina Maria. We are grateful first to Dr. Lungu Adina, but also to Dr. Bandrabur Daniela, Dr. Apostoae Mihaela and Dr. Iordan Catalina for your first days in hospital.
That was ABO incompatibility – jaundice that brought you back to the hospital, 2 days of photo therapy. Those were tough days for us, my girl. I guess that`s what being a parent means.
BCG vaccine and K vitamin are injected before our hospital leave in your first days.
Your effort to hold your head up is amazing. You seem to like to grab my fingers and let yourself be pulled up. Your mimics are still strange to us, but we started to give meanings to some of them. When you stretch and yawn, you are in a good mood. Your poops smell milk. You do not give a fuck to all songs you should be remembering from mother belly times. I am trying to explore what type of songs you really like. You like bath, traveling in the car, strolling in the park, so far.
You recently love grabbing my fingers and pulling yourself up. It`s amazing to explore your face and your looks while you are in my arms, swinging to sleep. I know that your unconscious smiles are just reflex, but they still are heartwarming.
Shortly, first month was about getting used to each other. We tried to get used to you and you did the same. Nights and days are mixed. Emotions are mixed as well. It is invaluable when I see your looks.
Your attempts to be cuddled are surprising us. You simply do not like neither your cradle nor your cot bed. That`s why you have captured our bed. That`s fine, i can still find a room on the edge of the bed. You are much more curious about exploring the world. World means other rooms of the home. Our biggest effort is to burp your stomach. You are taking D vitamin, 400 UI per day, saline (physiological saline solution) and rarely Sab Simplex. I am getting advanced in massage techniques and changing your diapers. You continue to have daily baths which you mostly enjoy and we mostly stress ourselves. Holding a baby for bath is not the easiest thing in life, but we are advancing definitely.
As there are not vaccines available in Romania, you could be vaccined Hepatita B – Engerix on 15 December after transporting from Istanbul.
As of 8 December, you are 4 kilos and 53 cm.
You choose the mood of the day. Sometimes, you have so regular sleeps, but other times you insist on staying awake, day & night. I would not imagine myself consequently going to work with 3 hours sleep. But this chaos is enjoyable somehow.
Having you, I personally had the best year in my life, but my girl, the world did not. Many cruel things happened in 2016 that I wish 2017 to be a better year.
I should confess that I try to be involved in family of 3, as much as I can, but in this period 99% you need mom. I salute and admire all moms and mom-to-be women.
You started to move your arms and legs actively, reacting to your new crib mobile. Pampers wet wipe box seems to be successful to calm you down. You can gladly stay up to 2 hours in your baby bouncer, especially while vibration is on.
December is a holiday period, so I have more chance to be with you. Everyone is preparing for Christmas and New Year celebrations.
You made your first `agu` on 26 December evening. We assume this was the first real word after hundreds of trials.
Lights, lights, lights..You love them – mobile screen lights, xmas neons, ceiling lamp, chandeliers, etc..
It is incredible how you fall asleep while we swing you, sshhh, sshhh, sshhh…On the other hand, you don`t like `white noise` that much. Meanwhile you switched to `Pampers nr. 2` diapers.
We are in 2017, Bal. You already left 2016 in the dust. On the first day of January, you had your first restaurant experience, Europe`s biggest beer garden 🙂 Once you grow up, we will drink a cold beer all together, my girl.
I wish lots of health, smile and luck to you in the new year.
We are desperate about finding a `real` smile on your face. Your random smiles still seem to be reflex acts.
As of 5 January, you are 5 kilos and 59 cm.
You seem to observe outside world more and more. Therefore we frequently started to hold you face out in. Mother became someone whom you are desperately looking for and father became someone familiar. Our efforts to burp you continue. There are nights mama wants to hear you saying `Ya yo gakk`.
Your sleep cycle is not regular. Nowadays, you prefer to be awake all day, having your sleeps at night. That`s sometimes worrying us, I should admit. We are struggling in between being protective, preventive, rule-oriented parents vs. being natural, playful, let-it-be parents. So to say, we are learning, we are growing up with you.
Since 10 January, your morning smiles are enlightening our day. You are now able to move your arms and legs, with 90 degree angle. You started to react our short questions, in your own language.
You had three different vaccines on 16 January, once again all vaccines are transported from Turkey. Unfortunately we were not able to find necessary vaccines. You had Pentaxim (5 in 1), Engerix Hepatit B and Rotarix. It seems we will be following national Turkish vaccine program. There are cons and pros of living in a developing eastern European country 🙂
You had your `permis de sedere – residence permit` and now you are free to travel anywhere – anywhere with visa except Turkey 🙂
Your frequent attempts to move your hands and legs, strange new mimics, loads of drool in your mouth and eagerness to stay on my shoulders are coloring our life. We are experiencing cradle cap on your head nowadays that is said to be not permanent and serious.
You started to have long monologues, empowered by our frequent questions. Now your voice is even louder and our conversations are much longer. Cradle cap problem seems to disappear as Deren used bicarbonate and a special shampoo for that.
Your first Hard Rock cafe experience was, apparently, in Bucharest, Romania, on 24 January. You were trying to understand what all screens, drums, rock stars` souvenirs, lights are all about. Rock n roll is good, my girl. Hard rock is good. Try to explore music all around the world in your life. Try to play an instrument in your life. It will add a lot to you. Today you listened to Queen, Def Leppard, White Stripes, Eric Clapton and many others. By the way, there are many people who are traveling and collecting `Hard Rock` memories all around the world.
By the way, you might have listened go-to-sleep theme song for more than 500 hours so far. This song is mama`s best friend as you have been sleeping in your own bed for 1 month already.
At weekend, I am doing my best to let Deren have a break. We now have a weekend schedule already. On saturday or sunday, you and I have a quality father & daughter time while Deren is out. I have same agenda for you that I might think of updating in the future. In first hour, it`s your play time either in your baby mobile or on your play mat. Afterwards, it`s tummy time for 5-10 minutes. It depends on your mood. Then we explore all the rooms, walking together from one to another. Then I warm the milk that Deren stored in the fridge. You get your 100-120 cc. Then you are on my shoulders, for 20 minutes – burp time. I change your diaper and we let ourselves outside for fresh air. It`s important for me as it`s the only time I can have dedicated time for you. Its important to have a separate dad & daughter activity.
Then Deren arrives home and you two, make the famous Eskimo kiss – Kunik 🙂
In last 5 days, you started to recognise the move of your arms. You intentionally try to reach my fingers while I am holding them upon you. You know how to make left, up and then right with your hands.
You are trying hard to say something to us. You have your own words already. You give a big smile to our kisses and smiles. You recognized your fingers and how to move them. You started to grab your toys softly even though it seems a bit of challenge for you now.
You had your monthly pediatrics control on 16 February and had your Pneumococcal 13-valent Conjugate Vaccine (Prevenar 13). You switched to a new vitamin D, one drop per day. As of February 16, you are 6 kilos and 64 cm.
You started to diversify your sounds, they are louder, longer and stronger.
You had your first flight on February 26, from Bucharest to Istanbul. It was a question mark for us how the first flight would be. It was a perfect experience for all of us, indeed. You slept and sucked during the journey. From Ataturk airport in Istanbul, you had a 5 hours journey on the car, in plus. Finally after we reached Erdek, you deserved a comfortable all night sleep 🙂
You were with your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins for the weekend. It was helpful for your interpersonal skills. You heard new voices, you saw new faces. You had fresh air on the seaside. On February 26, on your father`s 32th birthday, we had to be separate for the first time. I was back to work in Romania, you and Deren stayed in Turkey. We will give a try like this for some time.
From the bottom of my heart, I already missed you my princess.
You have finished 4 beautiful months already, my love. It has been 1 week that we are away from each other. I do miss you, but I know that it`s better for you and Deren to be on the seaside in Erdek. Meanwhile, you started to hold things and get them into your mouth. You are moving your hands and legs much faster now. You have your first English book – Ugly Duckling. Deren reads 1-2 pages of her books loudly to you.
Your daily video is my best friend nowadays.
We were apart for 3 weeks, Dide. I could not imagine that I would miss you that much. You are in Turkey, I am in Romania. On the other hand it is good that you and Deren can have long walks by the seaside breathing fresh air under 20 degrees centigrade. You have chance to interact with several local people. On 15 March, you had the doctor control and now you are 6,6 kilos and 67 cm. You had Pentaxim (5 in 1) and Rotarix vaccines. We will need to take you to an eye test nowadays, just for a control. Also prior to switching to solids, we will make an allergy test. Time is flying. I just came to hug you on 16 March and I noticed several changes in these 3 days of my stay.
You take anything you can grab to your mouth. This is a sign of new teeth coming, according to doctor. You communicate with longer and louder sounds. You are exposed to many other strangers which improve your senses. You enjoy longer baths in the evenings. Mickey Mouse is your best friend now. You know how to control your fingers. You can hold your head straight and try to stand from your neck. You fully recognise mother and father. You recognise your names when we call you dide or bal. You sing lullaby to yourself while sleeping at nights. Your hair and skin turns from dark to brunette. We are not still sure what will be your eye colour.
I am back in Romania on 19 March and I already started to miss you. I hope our facetime sessions help you recognise me.
Because I can already recognise the changes on you. You start to move an object from one hand to another. You are keeping both your head and shoulders straight in tummy position. You take anything you hold into your mouth. This is a first big sign for your upcoming teeth, doctor says. You reject bottle and only accept breastmilk. You get used to be called by your names. As you have two names, we try to use them separately.
I cheer myself with your daily photos and videos. They are so valuable and you can`t imagine how I feel damn emotional each time I receive one of your photos & videos on Whatsapp.
Missing you, still missing you. I would watch your video taking your tongue out and smiling at me on Ipad. In a short time, we will be back in Romania all together, my princess.
You have been enjoying sunshine and the sea in last month. Also, you have met tens of people. This period definitely helped your motor and interpersonal skills. Another exciting month is waiting for us. We are expecting your first teeth to pop up and Deren is reading a lot for your first complementary food experience. She decided on BLW (Baby led weaning) method, let`s see what will happen. I prepared your play mat and I am impatiently waiting for you to play together on it. I hope you will enjoy crawling with me.
It took almost a week for you to get used to back home. You have special attention to the curtains at home. Your saliva production is increasing rapidly. You have a new habit now. A big smile appears on your face right after you sneeze, each time. You love to be massaged with oil when you are on tummy. You start to have your daily baths inside the bath tube on my knees. It is much more water, much more fun now. You observe new people around you for several minutes. You have longer sentences, longer sounds in your own language.
You had your first Easter time. It was nothing special for us, but a full day park time.
You had your monthly doctor control on 19 April. You are now 7 kilos and 70 cm. You had 2nd dose Prevenar 13 – Pneumococcal vaccine. Vaccines usually change your sleeping cycle and daily routine.
On April 24, it was the first time you could turn round completely by yourself. You can push yourself front if we poke you on the feet. You are waking up much often than before.
You can put up yourself with your arms for 5 seconds. This is the first step for crawling. Whenever we leave you on your back, you turn round immediately after. But you can not go back to your back:)
On May 2, it is the first time you tried something except mother milk, which is still water, boiled and cooled. Your first reaction was a bit awkward but I guess you will like it especially in hot summer times. It was also first time you experienced baby high chair.
There are exciting developments within this month. Deren made official start for BLW – supplementary solid food. She started with carrot in first 3 days, zucchini in next 3 days and sweet potatoes in next 3 days. In between you already started morning home-made yoghurt and daily still water sessions. You are ok with yoghurt and water. With vegetables, we can say you do not have any allergy to carrot, zucchini or potatoes, yet. Zucchini was your favourite among three.
Now it`s time for smashed green peas.
We make family dinner time, three of us. You have your own place. Your have your own sliced vegetables in front of you. We try not to influence you while eating. You are on your own, you choose what to eat and how much to eat. We need a lot of patience but I hope it will worth at the end.
Meanwhile, you are trying more to sit on your own. You still need time for sitting without any support. You started to sleep on your facedown. We are trying to catch a meaningful word out of your hour-lasting conversation sessions.
You still do not have any teeth as of 14 May which is mother`s day. It`s first mother`s day for Deren and she was quite emotional about it. She loved your flowers, Dide.
Your new tastes are apple, pear, broccoli, soup (tarhana and vegetable soups) and yoghurt mixed with vegetables/fruits. Yoghurt is so far your favourite.
So portfolio is enlarging.
You still do not love to sleep alone at nights. Even, you do not like to stay for a minute alone during the day. You want playmates, partners, parents with you. You are much more aware of what`s going on around you. You have lots of peers in where we live so spring and summer days are fun for you and Deren with the gang hanging outside together.
I changed your diapers, fed you, sang lullabies, cleaned the house, washed clothes/dishes. It is fine and I am proud to be a supportive dad. But I would not have same feelings for the ironing. It`s a killing machine. Take it as a confess, please.
You had your doctor control on 31 May and had Hexacima (6 in 1) vaccine. It is the first vaccine that we could find in the country and did not need to export from Turkey 🙂 You are 7.9 kilos and 72 cm.
You can now turn on both sides, from back to front and from front to back. You are showing first signs of crawling as you can hold all your upper body and jump back with your knees.
You have new things in your daily menu; ayran (our national drink), yellow part of egg and ihlamur (tilia).
You are very keen on holding and pushing things, especially leaves of trees.
You are preparing for a 3 months seaside holiday in Turkey and we will be apart again for another two months. It will be tough for me, once again.
You vomited loads of mouth 3 times in a row on 3 June and we ended up in emergency. It was a beginning of diarrhoea, but nothing infectious I hope. We used Hipp Ors 200 Apple for rehydration of the body.