Righto, so now I'm a mom, I'm *obviously* qualified to tell all soon-to-be (and other new) moms the dos and don'ts. Hahahahaha.
Not really. I hope no one believes that. But, what I did want to do is write a post on what we found most useful and what we wish we hadn't spent any money on ... and as a new mom (she's 9 months old already, do I still qualify as a "new" mom?) I'll definitely be refining my list of gifts for baby showers. Before I was definitely the books-or-clothes buyer. That was because that was the most fun for me. Now I reckon I'll be a lot more practical about it.
Things we recommend:
1. Huggies New Baby Nappies
I loved that these had the umbilical cut-out and the wetness indicator (till Stage 3 ... I couldn't believe one might ever not need it, but you get the hang of it! Haha). We made sure we had a pack of Huggies & Pampers to try to see which we preferred. We've stuck with Huggies and have been very happy with them.
Pack of 42 (Stage 1): R84.99 from BabyCity or R89.99 from Clicks and Dischem
2. Muslin Cloths
We received a pack of 4 of these amazing Aden + Anais ones as a gift before the Babe Girl was born. OMG we use them for EVERYTHING (still). 4 is probably unnecessary, but I couldn't live with less than 2. (Also, these are what we ended up using along with simple cotton blankets to swaddle her in because they were bigger and stretchier than the swaddling blankets we'd bought).
R160 for one from BabySense
R549 for two or R899 for four from BabyGroup
3. Snuggletime Newborn Sleep Therapy
This was a spur of the moment purchase before the Babe Girl was born and after our First Aid Course. But we used it till she was unswaddled and would definitely use it again if we had another. I can't say if it helps with colic or reflux because the Babe Girl never suffered from either.
R429.99 from BabyCity
4. Love to Dream Swaddle Up 50/50 & BabySense Weighted Sleep Sack
We didn't start out swaddling the Babe Girl, but when we first ran into a sleep issue (around 10wks), we started to (as well as adding a dummy). She is a very active little girl and would wave her arms and legs and seemed to work herself up instead of calming down to sleep. She was quite the little houdini and master of the escaping arms, so before long we were using a 2 blanket variation on the Burrito style. When she hit her 4 month sleep regression, we tried freeing one arm, hoping she'd be ready but no luck. Around 6 months, we knew we had to find a way out of the swaddle. And these were the 2 sleep sacks I used. It was winter, so we were lucky and for a while I actually used the Swaddle Up 50/50 inside the Weighted Sleep Sack (because it allowed "free" arms so we weren't quite ready for it yet, but she seemed to need the weight). If I did it again, I'd just start my baby in the Love to Dream Swaddle Up 50/50 from birth. Honestly, at some point she just "got it" cause she wasn't sleeping swaddled at daycare and we didn't really have to do any phasing of one arm at a time.
Love to Dream Swaddle Up 50/50: R519 from BabyGroup or R530 from Kids Emporium
Weighted Sleep Sack: R220 from BabySense (currently on an end-of-range special)
5. Nose Frida
I got 2 of these in my baby showers and it seems ridiculous at the time. But literally we used this every single day in Joburg. We use it a lot less now, obviously. But along with the FloBaby Saline spray, this was a lifesaver. It may sound gross and, honestly having 2 of them I never tried an alternative, but it freaks me out less than a vacuum attachment!
NoseFrida: R119.95 from Dischem
Flo Baby Saline Spray: R149.99 from BabyCity or R134.99 from Dischem
6. Snuggletime Baby Bather (Quick Dry)
We were all set to get one of those plastic, shaped baby holders for the bath till we saw this used in our Antenatal class and immediately switched our thinking. This was a far better choice for us because it was much cheaper and we didn't end up using it for too long. Bath-wise we started with a cheap rectangular plastic basin from Pick n Pay that was easy to move and bathed her on the chest of drawers in her nursery (honestly, the only thing we used her nursery for in the first 3 months!) and then as she got older and preferred to sit up (although supported) we got one of the small plastic baths with the moulded seat and just put a non-slip mat in there. We're still using that for her now. It wastes too much water to run a full bath for her. Our dream bath buy would've been the Baby Dam!
R99.99 from BabyCity
7. Ingenuity Baby Base 2-in-1 Seat
We chose this over the usual Bumbo seat because, although it was more expensive, it had 2 built in sizes (because the colourful inner seat can be removed as your baby gets bigger) and has the tray built in (afaik this is an additional purchase for the Bumbo seats). It has straps to keep the baby seated and also includes straps so that it can be "mounted" securely on a dining room chair or barstool. We use this whenever we feed the Babe Girl (and she is still in the smaller seat). She is starting to be able to rock herself forward in it, so we tried it strapped to one of our barstools the other day. Which was great, aside from her swiping all her food onto the wooden floor (usually that'd be the granite counter, where she is seated). Haha. Fun times.
R669.99 from BabyCity
8. Feeding Apron
When we started feeding solids, I found it crazy that we basically had to change her outfit and bib after every feeding. Eventually I found her an "art" apron that had full sleeves with elastic wrists at Clicks (I say "art" apron because when another Mom friend of mine saw me feeding with the Babe Girl wearing it she was so surprised because she had a few of them but had never thought to use it for that ... I asked her what on earth she used it for then. Art, apparently. Haha).
Baby PVA Coverall: R55.95 from Clicks
9. Annabel Karmel
If you are planning on making any of your own food to feed your baby when starting solids, this is the author that was recommended to us and the one I'd recommend to you. We (mostly The Trucker) have made loads of things from this book. She has an app as well, if that is your thing.
R363 from Loot
10. Zoku Pops
I already had these, and one day I gave the Babe Girl a fruit juice one. She loved it! So I used some of my extra sticks to make fruit pops (basically just frozen watermelon, banana, pear on the zoku sticks). She enjoys some more than others (I've now made layered ones with yogurt and fruit puree). I would love to add the Mini Freezer Mould to our collection for her :)
Range from R119 to R329 on YuppieChef
11. Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup
The Babe Girl never took to sippy cups ... I tried 2 different ones with different shaped spouts and she was having none of it! She was only interested in her Pigeon Bottles or a glass like Mom & Dad! We started out with giving her water from tumblers and bought plastic cups for her while we figured out what to do. A friend suggested we try a straw-cup. I bought one and although it didn't work then, she has started using it now at 9 months (which her daycare told me they'd never seen a 9 month old do successfully before! #proudmama). And then we found these no-spill cups that felt like a glass to her ... there was no spout to drink from and she could pick it up and drink from anywhere around the edges. Personally, I think this is the way to go because, lets face it, aside from drinking thru a straw, all future drinking will pretty much be from an open container, not a spout.
Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup: R134.99 from BabyCity
Tommee Tippee Training Straw Cup: R104.99 from BabyCity
I have a lot of Sticky9 magnets on our fridge of The Trucker & I and now of the Babe Girl too. I also have our monthly family photos printed and stuck on her bedroom wall at her level. She adores them and I am quite sure she recognises us (although probably not herself)
Photo Magnets: $15.99 from Sticky9, so really depends on the current exchange rate, or R250 from Macaroon
13. Book with Textures
The Babe Girl is (understandably) not very interested in the books I read to her yet. But she adores her texture ABC book. It is a thick board book and she can turn the pages (with a little help) and knows where to feel everything. And her favourite is definitely the mirror on the Y for You! Haha. That is about the only book she is personally interested in ... aside from magazines / paper for ripping at the moment.
R65 from Book Dealers
14. Her own set of keys
They all seem to reach a certain age and then all they want to do is grab your keys and slobber all over them :) We decided to make the Babe Girl her own set of uncut keys. This goes along with similar ideas of the "Busy Board" or toys around the house. Colourful measuring spoons, funnels, cardboard boxes (her current absolute favourite toy in the world is a blue Bicarbonate of Soda box! #sigh) and, of course, plastic containers in all sorts of sizes and shapes.
15. Cat Toys
As mentioned above, never under estimate the simple toys ... and cat toys seem to be a favourite. Ball toys of all sorts are brilliant for babies. The variety is awesome: big and small and ones with bells in and ones with holes. And then there are the cool wand-style cat toys too.
16. Fridge magnets
My sister bought the Babe Girl a set of dinosaur fridge magnets for my baby shower. I thought she was mad. But as she has gotten older, she has loved playing with them. It started when we held her up to show her the shapes & colours on the fridge when she was younger till she could sit up by herself and we moved them all to the bottom section so she could sit on the floor and "swipe" them around herself. Don't underestimate the few minutes this can give you to clean up or prepare something in the kitchen :)
Things we should not have spent a cent on:
1. Swaddling blankets
We bought ourselves 2 BabySense swaddling blankets (even before she was born) - the Cuddlewrap and Cuddlegrow. And because (as mentioned above) she was such a little houdini, they never ever worked and we barely used them because they couldn't even be used as regular blankets because of their custom shape.
2. Gripe Water
I am still not exactly sure what this is for, but we've never used it ...
3. Baby Medicine Dropper
We had one of these. We used it a few times. But since we got our hands on the Neurofen for Children (which apparently now they are saying you should only use if your child is over a year, but previously was from 3 months. My Paediatric GP says it's fine so we've used it, only occasionally, since she was about 7 months), we have used the "syringe" that came in that for everything. It is fantastic!
4. Baby Thermometer
We bought a "proper" one of these. The AngelCare one. The one that can measure across the forehead or in the ear. We've never had a reading we trust on it. Apparently the forehead is a terrible way to measure temperature. And you need to pretty much be a nurse to figure out how to "pull" the ear to get a proper reading too! I've had it demonstrated almost every time we go to a vaccination ... you know, just in case. Luckily tho, the Babe Girl has never had a fever. I wouldn't recommend not buying one at all. You're an expectant mom, there is no way you won't want to feel like you're prepared for every eventuality. But you may want to ask around amongst your parent-friends to find someone who has successfully used one and what brand that was and go round and test it out and make sure you have the hang of it to make sure you're spending your money on something you can actually use.
5. Baby Car Mirror
I was so certain I needed this. I hated not being able to see her in her backward facing car seat, behind my chair. When she was wailing the entire drive it was torture ... but when she went quiet, I would freak out too. There was no happy middle ground, so the mirror seemed the ideal solution. It was useless. We couldn't get it to stick properly to the rear windscreen. It was TINY so you couldn't see nearly as well as the packaging implied. And honestly it was too dark in the back of my car to actually be able to make out any detail in the mirror either. This one has sat in the cupboard after spending about a week in my boot after the second time it fell off the rear windscreen.
6. Tommee Tippee Stage 1 Easy Reach Teether
I was terrified of teething (needlessly so, so far, as we discovered the Babe Girl's first tooth on 20th December because I felt it while feeding her) and so, to be prepared, bought her a pack of these. Dummies seemed like such a smart and easy solution to help sooth sore gums while teething, right? Well we could never get these dummies to actually fit into her mouth! And if we did she spat them right out. Now they're in her toy box and sometimes she finds them and chews on the one end of the inner part ... but most on the outward facing bit. Haha. Typical. We found the Pigeon teethers a much better solution (we have step 1 & step 2).
Pigeon Step 1 Teether: R69.99 from Dischem or R76.99 from BabyCity
Pigeon Step 2 Teether: R74.99 from BabyCity
7. Pop-Up Playmat
The Babe Girl hated tummy time ... she wanted to be sitting, always. So I thought a Pop-Up Paymat might be the answer when I saw The Hungry Caterpillar one at Exclusive Books. It was a total waste. It didn't encourage her to spend time on her tummy at all and just sat on the floor in her room gathering dust.
The minute my baby started to crawl for reals (26 December, in case you were wondering), I began to worry about her sensitive little knees on the carpet. And make no mistake, those first few days will likely lead to reddish skin. I rushed off an bought some Plod Ons for her. If I was smarter (and had known then that I could), I would've returned them immediately. They were far to tight for her pudgy thighs and she never got the hang of them and I never made her wear them much. It really wasn't something she needed at all!
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Righto, so now I'm a mom, I'm *obviously* qualified to tell all soon-to-be (and other new) moms the dos and don'ts. Hahahahaha.
Friday, December 18, 2015
1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
Give birth. Be a Mom. Stopped blogging.
2. Did anyone close to you give birth?
ME! Actually a lot of people I know, obviously you meet people with kiddies the same age as yours and going thru the same things as you. So this list was too big to remember this year.
3. Did anyone close to you die?
Not that I can think of.
4. Did anyone close to you get married?
Sheesh, I can't even remember.
5. What countries did you visit?
None ... babies are a bit of a hinderance to travel ;)
6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
Nothing. 2015 has been pretty damn perfect :D
7. What date, from 2015, will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
2nd April, the day my daughter was born ♡ And 7th July, the day we moved to Cape Town.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Well, I think becoming parents and moving provinces (with a 3-month old) were pretty impressive ;)
9. What was your biggest failure?
Well, being a Mom didn't quite go as I imagined and it took about the first 5 months to really setlle into it. Since then tho, there hasn't been a single complaint. Before then, really, it was just learning how to manage and getting very little sleep and figuring out what our gorgeous little girl needed from us. Not complaints, really ... just life adjusting ;) But at times I definitely felt like a failure.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
You mean aside from being cut open for a caesar?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Another new house? This time in Cape Town ;)
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Without question, The Trucker. I couldn't do this parenting thing without him. Seriously, he picks up all the pieces and gets everything I can't find time for done. And my folks. I definitely couldn't have made it thru this year without their support and assistance and time and baby-sitting. And the Babe Girl. Wow, she is one amazing little thing, watching her learn and grow is The. Best. I'm a lucky lucky girl.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Some of my friends, honestly. Although not appalled or depressed, just sad and sorry. Lives change, people move on, out of sight and out of mind, I guess.
14. Where did most of your money go?
On Baby things and a new house and the move and now "tweaks" (nothing as dramatic as renovations) on the new house.
Oh, and just recently on Gypsy who had quite an awful experience in early December ... she went for an abdominal scan and we found out she had Bladder Stones. So we scheduled the operation to remove them for 2 days later. Unfortunately they couldn't even start the operation because her heart rate slowed so much she needed CPR under the anaesthetic. So they wouldn't operate again until she'd had a cardiac scan to rule out any underlying issues ... which thankfully showed up clear. So then she had the actual surgery. She is healing well and is back to being our fabulous forest cat :)
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My Babe Girl
16. What song will always remind you of 2015?
Erm ... not sure really. "Kung-Fu Fighting" HAHAHAHA The Trucker sang it repeatedly to The Babe Girl when she started to kick her legs and since then whenever you sing it to her she gets this massive grin on her face. It even works when she is crying. I think it's hysterical.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier or sadder? Happier, so so much happier. How many people can honestly say that they have achieved everything they wanted to by 35 (not everything for my whole life, am just exactly where I wanted to be at this age).
Thinner or fatter? Probably thinner, but only because I was 5 months pregnant.
Richer or poorer? Poorer, 6 months of maternity leave will do that to a gal.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of? and 19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
More appreciating every minute of my tiny baby (which I did try to be mindful of, but already at 8 months I can't remember he being properly tiny anymore). And I wish I'd stressed less about everything I did as a Mom, but I think that comes with time and learning and finding your feet.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
With my family. I am so excited for The Babe Girl's first Christmas, I've had a tree up since the 1st December (I've never put up my own tree before because we've always gone to family for Xmas) and the pressies are almost all wrapped and under there already! I have no idea how I became so organised this year HAHA.
21. How will you be spending New Year?
With friends at a relaxed braai ... they also have babies around The Babe Girl's age and other older kiddies.
22. Did you fall in love in 2015?
Yes, with my daughter ♡
23. How many one-night stands?
24. What was your favourite TV programme?
I don't get to watch too much any more. I loved UnReal tho.
25. What did you want and get?
My precious daughter. To move home to Cape Town. 6 months of maternity leave. A fantastic work-life balance (I reduced my hours and get to leave the office at 13h30 each day to spend the afternoon with my Babe. It is the best decision ever!)
26. What did you want and not get?
I don't think there is a single thing on this list.
27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 35 and did not have a very good day ... The Babe Girl was a bit of a nightmare, I got very little sleep :( But it all came together in the afternoon when we had a family nap and The Trucker got us sushi for dinner (you can eat it cold HAHA). And then he surprised me with an amazing gift a while later, a bag from Desigual!
28. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
29. Who did you miss?
My Joburg friends :(
Friday, October 09, 2015
So, hello there little blog of mine ...
Haha, yep it sure has been a while. But I'm back at work (Day 3) and things here are still pretty slow so I thought I'd take the opportunity to write a little update on my last 6 months. Hey, if you're really lucky I may even get around to writing up the last 2 Turkey 2014 posts!
Yoh, so I'm a mamma. Life sure is different since March! I had my gorgeous little baby girl on the 2nd April. She arrived at a tiny 2.64kg, 44.5cm. In fact I think "Oh my word she is tiny!" was my first sentence when I saw her. What you don't realise till you give birth is how rarely you actually see or hold a newborn ... usually by the time friends are up for visitors, it is weeks after the birth and their babies have grown.
And she did have some hair :) That was the thing I most wanted to know on her arrival - since these days her 10 fingers and 10 toes had all already been counted in many scans.
Fast forward to last week and my baby had her half-birthday! Yep, she is now 6 months old and still pretty tiny (well, to everyone except us because we can see how she has grown!). She is finally starting to wear 3-6mnth outfits and weighed in at 6.3kg and 60.5cm long.
It hasn't been an easy 6 months of mothering.
I struggled with breast feeding, which is not nearly as natural as you might've been led to believe. But we found a lactation consultant when the Babe Girl was 6 days old. We weaned her off her formula top-ups (encourage during our 3 days in hospital) and got her exclusively onto breast milk. But then we moved to Cape Town and my milk dried up (apparently the stress can do that) and by the time I got it back with the help of Eglonyl (and Castle Milk Stout), she was only interested in drinking from a bottle! Cue more time spent expressing. Which, let's face it was bound to get tedious eventually. So around 4 months, we switched over to 100% formula. It wasn't the plan in the beginning, but that is how life happens and everyone is fine for it. So, no mommy guilt here :)
We struggled with sleeping. Everyone said it'd get easier after 6-8 weeks ... I thought week 8 - 10 were 2 of the hardest! But we got a bedtime routine down and life got much easier :) Till we hit her 4 month sleep regression and ended up getting a sleep consultant in. Around that time, I also ended up starting cipralex because the lack of sleep and motherhood suddenly combined to give me severe anxiety. And it is no fun feeling permanently on the verge of a panic attack.
There are many perks of being an "older" mother, I had the financial flexibility to take a full 6 months of maternity leave (no idea how people manage with less!) and to adjust my working hours (leaving the office at 13h30 to collect the Babe Girl from daycare makes such a difference!). But, a serious downside, I discovered, was that at this stage of my life, I was used to being good at what I did every day. Being a mom definitely didn't come as naturally to me as I expected. I thought I'd be better at it. I took my confidence down a notch because most of the time I don't know what I'm doing. And I've been banned from Google because that didn't help make me feel any better about things either! Nothing like 50+ conflicting views on what is wrong or right to muddle you more!
Seriously, one of my most terrifying realisations was that 3 days after your baby is born, they send you home from hospital and say "Bye, see you in 6 weeks" (well, you'll see your paed & gynae). Like, really? How on earth can I be trusted to know what to do with this tiny little thing? (Clearly we figured it out tho ;) )
All that said, life is wonderful. The Babe Girl is quite amazing and far more easy going than I am about all this - haha. She is a complete delight and I adore spending time just hanging out with her, watching her get better and better at everything she does!
She's been sleeping in her own room since about 4.5 months and been sitting well on her own for ages already! She is a chatty little thing (wonder where she got that, haha!). And even tho she is a distracted bottle-drinker, she is a very enthusiastic eater (we start solids just before 5months because of this). Seriously, we call her The Hoover! It's like feeding a shark, haha. Her latest thing is to take the spoon from me and feed herself. She is pretty amazing, I'm more than just a little bit in love with everything about her!
Oh yes, and we moved to Cape Town. Because, you know, having a baby wasn't enough for us, we decided to move provinces when she was 3 months old too! That was smoother than one might expect and we're very happy here. We got extremely lucky and have bought a house that is 5-10 minutes from both my folks houses, has easy access onto the M3 and in walking distance to the shops (I barely used my car during my leave, would just pop the Babe Girl into her pram and go shopping!). It is also in a very family orientated neighbourhood, with lots of parks nearby so our afternoon Baby & Dog walks are great fun and varied!
Madam has been going to a nearby daycare for a few weeks now. We decided that since we had the time, we would phase her in slowly, starting with just 2hrs a day for the first week, building up to her full time there this week.
Righto, that's enough of an update for now. You're mostly all caught up ;)
Tuesday, April 07, 2015
We woke up late-ish and had a slow morning ... we had a free day in Istanbul!
Showers were lukewarm, but I spose that's cause we were late. We had a quick breakfast and then The Trucker had to quickly login and sort some work stuff out. This is what he's been lugging our cute new slim little laptop around Turkey for!
After that we headed out. We borrowed a Metro card from the hotel and walked up a long hill to get to the station to load it with credits. 2.25Tl a trip. First we headed to Eminonu, the harbour stop to find out about Bosphorus Cruises. The ones the hotel was offering were 40EU, including a meal etc. I'd found one online for 12Tl. Unfortunately when we arrived they were closed. Ticket sales for their 14h30 trip would only open at 1pm!
So we decided to kill some time with one of my Istanbul picks, the Archaeology Museum. Unfortunately a large part of it (and many other things around town) was under renovation / construction. Not sure how much of a difference that made but, it certainly wasn't as impressive as I was expecting. And The Trucker was terribly bored.
I'd hoped for more (anything) about the Giant Heads at Mount Nemrut that were too far off our tour path for me to include ... and something on Gobekli Tepe! Didn't see a thing!
Just after 1pm we headed back to the harbour and bought our tickets for the 2hr cruise. Then we had to wait till 2pm before the gates opened for boarding. Luckily The Trucker and I split up so I got us great seats upstairs on the balcony and he got us the 10Tl Audio Guide.
I'm not exactly sure why everyone recommend a cruise up the Bosphorus. I didn't find it any more interesting than the museum. And my ears got tired of the Audio Guide around all the "Summer Residences"!
After that we wandered the Spice Bazaar and then walked back to our area. We ended up stopping at the Best Western for a drink on their terrace to watch the sunset (and play with our new selfie stick). And ended up having a little dinner there too. Biggest starter plate of chips I've ever seen!
Thursday, April 02, 2015
We got collected by our next tour guide at 9am. I think this lady was my least favourite. Wish we'd had the guy from yesterday again!
She first took us to Mary's Church (or House). I didn't really follow it all. It sounds like somewhere along the way Mary swapped Joseph for John the Baptist (or did Joseph die?) and ran off to Turkey to hide (and apparently died here).
I will say it is surreal and a little hard to follow the history which overlaps with names we're very familiar with (Cleopatra, people from the Bible etc.).
We whirled thru the 2 room house that was clearly a religious experience for others (Catholics I presume ... apparently all the Popes have been to visit too). I quite liked the jam-packed wishing wall. Did consider wishing for a girl - haha.
From there it was off to Ephesus for a long day. Shewee. It was pretty cool but, I could've done with more unguided wandering on my own. The problem is, as fascinating as all the history is (and parts of it really are!), t is all very overwhelming to absorb or contextualise there and then. Impossible, even. It's amazing to see that so long ago, the Romans were so advanced ... central heating, saunas, plumbing in the communal latrines.
We walked thru a special section of terraced housing which had incredible mosaics. It was truly amazing. As much as we know tho, it's still hard to picture or imagine living then!
We saw the ancient library, which was very cool. And the much larger theatre, which although it seats far more than the one at Heirapolis, wasn't nearly as impressive (I didn't think).
From Ephesus, we went for lunch. Seriously, THE BEST lunch we've had on this whole trip! Finally, no touristy buffet but a selection of local dishes. Manti and Gozleme were my faves.
From lunch we stopped briefly at the Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - probably the only thing impressive about it).
And then The Trucker and I decided to skip the leather & carpet sales-y portion of the day and got to spend an hour wandering the Kusadasi coast with a Starbucks caramel frappachino in hand instead. Yip, we totally scored on that one!
And then, at 5pm we left for the Izmir Airport to catch our flight back to Istanbul. We arrived back at the same hotel, checked in, got a different room and pretty much went to bed.