22 Aralık 2014 Pazartesi

Mango Puree with Yogurt

This recipe is my little one's best. 

1/2 mango, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup of plain yogurt 

  1. Puree the mango using a blender 
  2. Combine the pureed mango with the yogurt in a bowl 
Age: 6m & up
Please Note: I have always tried to mix the fruits with yogurt or vegetables, because they contain sugar and I didn't want my baby to get used to sweet taste. Today she is 15 months old and she eats everything and she is really open to new tastes.

Apple and Carrot Puree


1 apple, peeled and sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup of water


  1. Place the carrots in a small pan with 1 cup of water and cook over a low heat, stir occasionally, until the carrots are soft. 
  2. Add apples after the carrots get soft and cook until the apple is tender. 
  3. Puree the carrots and apple using a blender 
Age: 6m & up
You can see how much our little one love that recipe below :)

Apple Puree with Yogurt

I have started solid foods with that recipe.

1 apple, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of plain yogurt 

  1. Place the apple in a small pan with 1/2 cup of water and cook over a low heat, stir occasionally, until the fruit is tender. 
  2. Puree the apple using a blender 
  3. Combine the pureed apples with the yogurt in a bowl 
Age: 6m & up

Baby's First Food

By about 4 months of age, our little one started showing an interest in our food. While we were eating, her eyes were always at our meals. By about 6 months of age, she was able to hold her head up by herself, so we decided to start solid foods after her 6 months old pediatrician appointment. I was excited because she is going to learn different tastes.

Until 5 months of age I was giving apple, grape and mango juices just only a few teaspoons everyday, so I knew that she is not allergic to these fruits. But these juices has just only sweet tastes, thats why I prefer to introduce her yogurt as a new taste. After introducing her yogurt and saw that she has not a yogurt allergy, I started giving her some mixtures.

There were some important points that I was following. One of them to start one new food at a time. This makes it easier to keep track of any food allergy or intolerance. So I choose to use one ingredient over the other and I use that ingredient at least 4 days before adding a new taste. And I have tried to introduce a new food in the late morning. By this way I had more time to watch out for any allergic reactions.

18 Aralık 2014 Perşembe

Homemade Yogurt

When our little one reached 6 months and we went to see her pediatrician, we talked about the foods that we can start with. She told us we can start with vegetables, fruits and yogurt. So when I came home I called my mom who is an expert on homemade yogurt. Because I think yogurt is a great food for babies also for adults.
The method is very basic, you don't need special yogurt cultures or any  incubating equipment. 
All you need to make homemade yogurt is milk and any kind of plain yogurt. You can use skim milk if you like, but whole or 2% fat milk will make the thickest yogurt. 
When I make yogurt I am using a gallon of 2% fat milk, for the culture we bought a probiotic plain yogurt, after starting with that yogurt we continue to make yogurt with our own yogurt. 

What You Need

1 gallon milk — whole or 2% are best, but skim can also be used
8 table spoons of plain yogurt 
Large saucepan or pot with a lid
Spatula or spoon
Small bowl
Table spoon
2 pyrex 11 cup glass dishes with plastic lids
Towel or a thick cloth

  1. Heat the milk. Pour the milk into the pot and set over medium to medium-high heat. Stir the milk gently as it heats to make sure the bottom doesn't scorch and the milk doesn't boil over. After half hour turn off the oven.
  2. Cool the milk. Stir occasionally to prevent a skin from forming while cooling. Let the milk cool until it is just warm to 113°F. If the milk more cooler than 113°F, you can warm it up a little bit. It is said that optimum heat of the milk is between 107.6°F and 113°F for fermantation. But I am using 113°F (a little bit higher or lower will be ok) because while we are adding yogurt for fermantation the milk is cooling a little bit. And one more useful detail when you pour your milk into your glass dish just after cooling process your milk's heat can decrease so you can cool your milk directly into your glass dishes. 
  3. Thin the yogurt with milk. Put your 4 table spoons of yogurt (for half gallon milk) into a small bowl and add some milk from the one that you warm. Add milk until the mixture is looking liquid and whisk it until smooth and the yogurt is dissolved in the milk. Repeat this process for the second glass dish. 
  4. Whisk the thinned yogurt into the milk. Pour the thinned yogurt into the warm milk while whisking gently. This inoculates the milk with the yogurt culture.
  5. Wrap glass dishes into a bath towel or a thick cloth. Put your lids onto your glass dishes but don't close them. There must be a little bit openning for fermantation. Wrap these glass dishes into a bath towel seperately. 
  6. Wait for the yogurt to set. Let the yogurt set for at least 4 hours or may be 12 hours. The exact time will depend on the cultures used, the temperature of the yogurt, your home tempereature and your yogurt preferences. The longer yogurt sits, the thicker it becomes. But after one point will get sour so you need to check occasionally. You can check your yogurt by lifting one edge of the dish a little bit. Avoid jostling or stirring the yogurt until it has fully set. If this is your first time making yogurt, start checking it after 4 hours and stop when it reaches a  consistency you like. 
  7. Cool the yogurt. Once the yogurt has set close the lids and let them cool in the refrigerator for 24 hours. And after that you can enjoy to eat your homemade yogurt. 

5 Aralık 2014 Cuma

Our Story with Amniotic Band Syndrome

I just wanted to tell how we have learned that our baby will born with amniotic band syndrome and how we handle the situation because reading stories helps and after reading these stories you feel that you are not alone.
On my 20th week visit they couldn't see our little one's left hand three middle fingers at the ultrasound check. So they wanted us to come back a month later. But we didn't realize that there is something wrong because the doctor told us that this is a common situation, possibly she was fisting her hand. We went our second ultrasound examination to the same center a month later and they told us the same thing but this time they wanted us to go to a specialized center for ultrasound. So we were still couldn't understand that there was something wrong. Because they told us the same thing that this is common, possibly she was fisting her hand. And we were young. There was no problems in our family health histories. We were healthy. I had no problems other than morning sickness in first four months of my pregnancy. I had a flu but it was not severe. I was eating healthy. I was exercising. I was a perfect pregnant so do our baby, we were thinking. And the doctors didn't gave us a little clue about there might be a problem. 
At the specialized ultrasound exam we learned that our little one might have some missing body parts because of amniotic bands. On that exam they couldn't see the fingers again but when the doctor saw the amniotic band he relate it with the missing fingers so he told us "I saw an amniotic band so may be thats why we couldn't see the fingers because they are missing. So she might born with amniotic band syndorme." After his sentence my head gets bigger and bigger and I started couldn't hear anything. And the questions were flying over my head. What was amniotic band and amniotic band syndrome? Does it hurt our baby? What we will gonna do with a baby who is missing fingers? Why me or us? What did I or us did so that happened to us? And many of kind of questions. I was feeling desperate and sad. And I was feeling guilty for my husband and my baby. Because I did something wrong, so my husband will have a disabled child and my baby supposed to be in the most safest place that she can be on earth but it is not, contrarily it is harm for her. Especially the idea that I damage some parts of my baby was hurting me a lot. After I started hearing the doctor he was giving some information about amniotic bands. I listened him really carefully. But they were not deep enough. Sometimes I was looking at my husband and he looked at me. And I understand that he was thinking and feeling the same way. May be the doctor talk about that syndrome just only a few minutes and he told us to come back two weeks later on my 30th week.When we went to the car. We cried together. His support was priceless. 
After we came home we started searching about amniotic band and amniotic band syndrome. There was no treatment after the band demage any body part but if it stick to a limb but hasn't damage that limb, some specialized centers can release that band until 30th week of the pregnancy with utero surgery. It is risky but I think it might be worth it in seriorus cases. 
After we learned that there will be a chance that the doctors can release the band and our little one can have 5 fingers. We tried to reach our doctor from the center specialized in ultrasound. Because utera surgery can be done if there was no damage on the limbs yet and before 30th week. And he arrange an appointment on 30th week. So if we went that appointment and if there was no damage yet we will be late for the utera surgery. Finally he arranged an appointment for us in an advanced fetal care center on my 28th week. So they can saw if our little one's fingers are missing or not and if not they may perform an utero surgery to release the band. But in that center they couldn't saw the fingers, that means there was nothing to do. But they wanted to see us almost every week until our little one was born. Because still there were many risks so that the doctors wanted to watch her development weekly. 
After that appointment I have cried almost 2 weeks. I was really demoralized. But one day while I was talking one of my OB friend from Turkey, I understand if I continued like that way some complications can be occured in my pregnancy. And that will be more harmful for my little one. And while I am so negative I can not do anything to help my little one. So I promise myself  to be more positive. I started to read the stories who born with amniotic band syndrome. It was really helpful. We arrange appointments with an Orthepedic Surgeon and NICU. Because may be as soon as she born she needed to have a surgery. We arrange every health care needs before she was born. And we read many things about amniotic band syndrome, possibilities like prosthetics and baby needs. Simply we focused on how we can improve her life.
She borned on 37th week, one week before scheduled induced labor. When she came it was a magical moment like for everyone. I couldn't belive how beautiful she was. After a while I started to check her body. First I started with her left hand. Three middle fingers were not totally missing, they were bounded. I was feeling lucky because the doctors told us that they might be missing. So I tought "Ok they are not like healthy finger but we can find some way to improve their functions as long as we are together." She made me feel really strong. After that hand I continued to check her body and we saw that her both foot are affected by amniotic bands. Some of her fingers on both foot are missing or smaller. But we were still thinking positively. We took a note to ask condition of her foot to the orthopedic surgeon that we arranged weeks before. Our little one born with amniotic band syndrome but we think that we were lucky because all of her effected limbs functions are really good.
Now she is 14 months old and she is using her left hand really good, she can not hold a big ball but she can use fork. And she started to walk. After we learned that she will born with amniotic band syndrome everyone was telling me that I did nothing to cause that situation but I was not accepting that until I saw her growing and improvement. Now I know she will find her own way. Sure we will have some problems but we will handle them together.

13 Nisan 2014 Pazar


I think everyone is unique. If you are not gaining weight as recommended don’t be scared or sad. I would like to share my experience. May be it will be helpful for you. 

First of all I just want to inform you about my weight before pregnancy. I have never been skinny. My BMI was around 20-22, I have been watching my weight and exercising regularly 3-4 times a week since I was 20 except during my pregnancy.

During our first visit to our OB-GYN in week 10, they informed us about pregnancy.  One of the topics was weight gain. They told me that I should gain between 25 and 35 pounds totally; 1 to 5 pounds in the first trimester and about 1 pound per week for the rest of my pregnancy for the optimal growth of my baby. 

Between weeks 8 and 22, I had nausea and no appetite, the reason I was eating was just to feel better. During these 14 weeks, I ate mostly pasta, rice, potato, cheese, yogurt and fruit.   My weight was 120 pounds before pregnancy, at the week 24 my weight was 137.7 pounds, in other words I gained 17.6 during 24 week. I was scared gaining weight more than needed. Because everyone told me that I will gain weight especially on my third trimester. During my visit to OB-GYN in week 20, the doctor told me that I need to be careful because I was gaining weight more than expected. But after week 24 I was feeling really better. I was heavier but more vibrant and the baby was bigger that’s why I was feeling more full so I couldn’t eat a lot. I ate small portions and almost every hour.
My daily eating routine was like below:

  • 7:00 am: half toast and an egg

  • 9:00 am: half toast

  • 10:00 am: fruit and some nuts or half toast or some cracker (Example for my portion for fruit and some nuts: 2-3 strawberries with 2-3 almonds or 1/ 8 cup raisin with 2-3 hazelnuts.)

  • 11:30 am: fruit and some nuts or half toast or some cracker

  • 01:00 pm: 400-500 calorie lunch

  • 04:00 pm: fruit and some nuts or half toast or some cracker

  • 06:00 pm: fruit and some nuts or half toast or some cracker

  • 07:00-08:00 pm: light dinner like salad with some bread

  • At least 8 glasses of WATERS
This wasn’t like a diet plan; this was my daily eating routine. By eating small frequent meals I wasn’t feeling full or sick, I was feeling better and lighter. 

After week 24, I was feeling more vibrant so I started walking and swimming at least 4 days. I was lucky because in my third trimester it was summer so the weather was perfect. If it wasn’t raining we were going to swimming and I was swimming non-stop 600-800 meters for 20-30 minutes, or  we were walking about 2-3 miles for 30-40 minutes. 

At the end of my third trimester I was 147.7 pounds. So I gained 10 pounds after the week 24 until my delivery. I suppose to gain more than the other trimesters but it was not like that for me. This was normal for my doctor, the baby was growing perfect. And she told me that some of pregnant women’s bodies prepare themselves for the baby in early pregnancy maybe that’s why I gain most of the weight in my first and second trimester. 
You can see my pictures at 6, 18,30,34 weeks below.

Eventually I started with 120 pounds and ended with 147,7 pounds. I gained 27,7 pounds. I gained weight as recomended but in the first and second trimesters it was a little bit more than recomended as you can see from the chart below.

the comparison chart between recomended pregnancy weight gain and my pregnancy weight gain in pound

After our little one arrived I wasn’t thinking about my weight anymore J . I was enjoying with my little girl. And at the end of the first month of our baby arrived I realize that I lost most of my pregnancy weight. I was 127.8 pounds in other words I lost 19.8 pounds in a month.  And the day we celebrate our little baby girl’s 6th Month, I was at my pre-pregnancy weight. And I hope to lose more J

I just want to let you know I am breastfeeding and still I couldn’t start exercising regularly. But summer is close right now, so I planned to walk regularly and my baby will enjoy it too.

I just want to say if you are not gaining weight as expected but if your health and baby’s health is ok don’t be stressed. Trust your body, it arranges everything for you. (But sure I am not saying eat everything and don’t do any exercise still your body will destroy your extra pounds J ) If there is something wrong your healthcare provider will help you.

I always love hearing from you and always welcome submissions of your experience.

Update: Now our little one is 1 year old and I am 111 pounds. This is the lowest weight that I reached until now :)
You can see my pictures at 6, 18,30,34 weeks and 1 year after our little one was born.

12 Nisan 2014 Cumartesi


After getting pregnant, your body changes every day. Your hormones change so that you get more emotional, you get sick, you have some discomforts due to the pregnancy like sciatica and you gain weight. Gaining the right amount of weight during pregnancy is important for your health and your baby’s health as well as your mental health. Sometimes gaining the right amount of weight can be challenging and stressful. 

Maintaining our healthy weight is important for most of us and while our bodies are changing if we are gaining more than recommended, this can affect us mentally also. When you search online, you will see recommended weight gain charts and where does pregnancy weight gain go information as below.

Pre-pregnancy weight
Recommended weight gain
Underweight (BMI < 18.5)
28 to 40 lbs. (about 13 to 18 kg)
Normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9)
25 to 35 lbs. (about 11 to 16 kg)
Overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9)
15 to 25 lbs. (about 7 to 11 kg)
Obese (BMI 30 or more)
11 to 20 lbs. (about 5 to 9 kg)

Let's say your baby weighs in at 7 or 8 pounds (about 3 to 3.6 kilograms). That accounts for some of your pregnancy weight gain. What about the rest? Here's a sample breakdown:
  • Baby: 7 to 8 pounds (about 3 to 3.6 kilograms)
  • Larger breasts: 2 pounds (about 1 kilogram)
  • Larger uterus: 2 pounds (about 1 kilogram)
  • Placenta: 1 1/2 pounds (about 0.7 kilogram)
  • Amniotic fluid: 2 pounds (about 1 kilogram)
  • Increased blood volume: 3 to 4 pounds (about 1.4 to 1.8 kilograms)
  • Increased fluid volume: 3 to 4 pounds (about 1.4 to 1.8 kilograms)
  • Fat stores: 6 to 8 pounds (about 2.7 to 3.6 kilograms)
I got the weight gain chart and an approximate breakdown of weight gain during pregnancy information from Mayo Clinic’s website. For further information, you can look up here.

11 Nisan 2014 Cuma


I'm Deniz, a mom, an architect. I grown up near Mediterranean sea in a little town. Then I lived in Istanbul for 9 years while having my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. Now I am married to my best friend and live in US.
I have always a great desire to create something and this quest drives me especially to learn about designing. While tracing back to my childhood experiences I realized that my playing times were all concentrated on designing such as sewing clothes for my dolls, painting and designing various gifts for my family members and friends. Those general samples are all transformed to functional objects in the following years. So this hobby, drove me to learn how to design throughout all my educational period, because I should express myself by this way.

This blog is my online journal of my life with our little one. I blog about baby development, mom and baby needs as well as documenting my own adventures with our little one.
When you decide to have a baby, the life doesn’t stay stable anymore. After you get pregnant, mom and baby needs change so quickly. We are living far away from our families. So we are putting more effort to find out what we need for every milestone. So I would like to share all of my experience with you. 

Designing, blogging, reading magazines, music, Istanbul, architectural and design books, learning new things, family, dresses, cafes, jewelries, necklaces, New York City, magazines, cats, coffee, decorating my home, singing, visiting new places, shopping, vintage clothing and home decors, dancing, sea and ocean, traveling…

E mail: deniztavli.arch@gmail.com

Thanks for stopping by my blog :) I really do appreciate everyone that takes the time to visit here. I always love hearing from you and always welcome submissions of your experience or just a bit of friendly conversation!

Have an awesome wonderful day!...