Monday, July 29, 2013

Busy Social Calendar!

Good Afternoon from Memphis! 

First of all, I am excited to share that the kids slept in their own beds again last night AND that they slept through the night. St. Brittain was on hand to help again, and boy did I need it, with Shekina struggling physically against us putting her in bed. That being said, both kids were asleep in bed by 8:15. Tonight I am going to try it solo. This is the big test! Wish me luck!

Yesterday, as a reward for sleeping through the night for the first time (and in an effort to expend some energy), we all went swimming at my aunt Cindy's house and even had pizza (Shekina was really excited about that part). Today, in yet another effort to get rid of some of the kids' crazy energy, we went to the Shelby Farms Discovery Playground and then out to eat Mexican with our friends Godanse and Joselyne. I can tell Joselyne and Shekina will be good friends, and let me tell you, I think I have found my number-one babysitter in Godanse. She was excellent with Shekina, Joselyne, and Godson. What a blessing it was to have her along today! Here are a few pictures from our day. 

I turned around for one second, and next thing I saw was the two five-year-olds pushing the eleven-year-old in the big basket swing. Something's wrong with this picture! 

Joselyne and Kina chose to eat pizza at the Mexican place. We're going to have to work on their tastebuds!

Benjamin Godson's first visit to Rio Azul and his first bite of cheese dip. He loved it! 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

First Night at Mama's House

We have completed our first night at my house, and thanks to my cousin, who is a behavior analyst and who I like to refer to as St. Brittain, both kids slept through the night IN THEIR OWN BEDS. Even better, now Godson is napping IN HIS OWN BED. I think we will reward them with a couple hours of swimming at their aunt Cindy's house today. Hooray! 


P.S. If anyone is having their own major behavioral issues at home and needs help, my cousin truly has her masters in this area and is about to go back for her doctorate this fall. She is an ABA specialist, and is available for hire. Just message me for her contact info. She has helped many a family live easier, happier lives. 

Brittain and Godson

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Here We Go!

We've been struggling so much with sleep issues at my parents' house this week that I've decided it's time for us to start our real bedtime routine. This means moving to our house instead of staying at my parents'. My cousin Brittain, who is a behavior specialist, is coming to help us establish a routine so we can at least get on the road of sleeping in our own beds, in our own rooms at night. Wish us luck! 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Another Busy Day (in Photos)

Shekina unexpectedly received three vaccinations today. We decided suddenly that it was best to start since she is probably between five and six years old (!!!) according to her teeth and will need to start kindergarten in August. (Shekina's paperwork says she just turned four in June, but we've never believed those papers to be correct.) Instead of hating the nurse who pinned her down, Shekina jumped into her arms afterwards. Poor baby. All pain was soon forgotten as soon as she received three (!!!) Loony Tunes band-aids. 

Our doctor declared the kids to be "free to mingle!" (as in the scabies are no longer contagious and are on their way to being totally gone). We decided this was a reason to go celebrate, and headed to my aunt Sara's restaurant, Mortimer's, to celebrate. We were lucky to run into not just Sara, but also my cousins Christopher and Gabrielle and my cousin's husband Frank. Shekina and Godson got to meet all four family members, and that was nice. SaSa (Sara) gave the kids two adorable folding chairs (see pictures below), and loaded them up on fried chicken drumsticks (Shekina visited the kitchen to pick hers out and had a total of four today). Yum! 
(Above: Gabrielle, Sara, Shekina, and Christopher) 

(Below: Visiting the kitchen with SaSa)

Godson slept through most of our time at Mortimer's, but he sank his teeth into his drumstick the second we got home. 

Now that we have finished eating, we have settled down (WHAT?! Kina has the ability to settle down?!) in front of the TV to watch Sponge Bob. There's a trick to this getting them to settle down and be lazy, it turns out--it's called "Aunt Sara's Awesome Chairs". Thank you, Sara, for the hour+ of relaxation you gave ME today by giving the kids these chairs! 

(Too enthralled by Sponge Bob to smile) 

The end. To all you active people out there, don't worry--we'll play outside later once it cools down. It's just too ____ hot outside right now! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Doctors, Giraffes, and Naps, Oh My!

Good Evening from Eads, TN, 

Finally, all is dark and quiet in the Bolton house (whew!), with the exception of my son babbling. I pushed him up and down my parents' longish driveway in his stroller about two hours ago (8:30), hoping this would put him to sleep. Instead, he slurped down ice water and kicked his legs in excitement as he watched Kina race down the driveway on the two ride-on toys we have been given during the last week. (Benjamin Godson has ridden them inside, but was a little timid about riding them outdoors.) 

Godson only had about a ten-minute nap today, and I'm nervous about that. Why? Last night, he screamed and cried from 12:30--2 am with night terrors. I read today that a possible cause of night terrors is over-exhaustion... the day before his night terrors, he had very little rest and a lot of stimulation. I had hoped he would be able to get plenty of rest today to prevent possible screaming tonight, but things happen, and our schedule didn't really allow for a nap today. I am going to have to pick a nap time and stick to it, force myself to schedule around it. 

These huge lifestyle changes are so much harder than I ever expected them to be! I am such a lazy person, and I never realized how much I enjoyed my alone time. What I would give to be able to take a long hot bath, to have an uninterrupted night of sleep, and to watch a non-cartoon movie! It's all worth it, of course. We are all in love with these sweet, sweet babies, and we are so happy they are finally home with us. 

Tomorrow we have our second pediatrician visit. During our first, it took three nurses and me to pin Shekina down so that blood could be drawn. She is a strong, strong girl! (It was awful...she was rewarded for her bravery later with shoes of her choice at Target--the tackiest, sparkliest, glitter-covered Hello Kitty shoes I have ever seen.) That same day, the nurses couldn't find a vein in Godson's arm, so they're going to try again tomorrow. Shekina's blood tests came back all clear, with the exception of one small sign of parasites. Let's hope Godson's come back just as clean...and that Shekina will even set foot inside the doctor's office after her last episode! She was NOT happy with those nurses. 

Well, Benjamin Godson has finally stopped babbling, so I guess I should try to go to sleep. You're supposed to sleep when they sleep, right? 



Shekina hogged the giraffe, so we used a Target gift card to buy a small Batmobile for her to ride. Now she hogs both the giraffe and Batmobile. Poor Benjamin Godson. 

Benjamin Godson's favorite place in the house: the refrigerator. He tries to sit inside. He's probably never been able to have as much food as he wanted until now...and boy does he eat. He's making up for lost time for SURE. 

Five of my co-teachers stopped by to meet the kids the other day. Here are Chay and Erika with them. BG was being shy. 

Kina with my very best friend, Michelle, who helped me so much during the horrible adoption wait. It was so neat to see these two together! 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Kinshasa Pics

I took horrible pictures in Kinshasa. Why? It's actually illegal to take photographs of the scenes around you. If you are caught, the police and snatch up your camera and take you in to the police station! For that reason, you'll see that I had to take photos from behind our driver's tinted windows and that there is a bad reflection at times. My dad and I both love taking pictures, so being in a city with so much character and exoticism truly was torture for us. What pictures we could have gotten had we been allowed to shoot freely! Anyway, here are some bad pictures just to give you an idea of what Kinshasa is like. Please keep in mind that The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the poorest countries in the world, and that Kinshasa is a city of over 10 million people. The government is corrupt and police loaded down with machine guns can pretty much be seen on the road every other minute as driving. As a fellow guest at Sunny Days said, "The more AK-47s you see around a country, the more unstable the country is." You'll notice we didn't take any pictures of the police or military. They're quite scary! 

Traffic in Kinshasa is HORRENDOUS. If there is a traffic jam at an intersection, instead of waiting for it to clear, people just drive around it. People regularly run lights, and there are pedestrians and vendors walking down and across the street constantly. 

Everywhere you look, there are people carrying things on their heads. Our favorites were the people who carried 2-foot-tall stacks of egg cartons on their heads. AMAZING BALANCE. 

How did this American school bus get to Kinshasa?! It was being used as a taxi, and it was stuffed to the gills with passengers both sitting and standing in the aisles. 

You can't see them all because our car was moving and I wasn't fast enough, but this was a pack of about 30 motorcycles taxi. Sometimes they carry several people at once, and it's not uncommon to see children or babies riding. 

A crew was in the process of picking up this trash, but STILL. I have never seen so much litter lying around as there is in Kinshasa. It's very sad to see the streets and canals/creeks leading to the Congo River filled with trash. 

A random street scene 

Coconut for sale! 

Baguettes for sale! 

A beautiful and typical Congolese scene: mother with baby attached with fabric to her back. Godson was used to being carried like this, and for that reason, he loves being carried in the Ergo carrier I bought. 

It's difficult to tell, but this dump truck's entire load was covered with people hitching a ride! 

Unfinished construction--a common sight 


That's all for today. Maybe I'll post more Kinshasa pictures later. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Overflowing with Gratitude!

I still can't believe the generosity and caring others have shown. Yesterday, I took the kids to my own house for the first time. Upon arrival, I found beautiful flowers and a welcome home balloon from my dear friends Juan, Sandra, and Juanito. 

Then on the dining table I found three packages. Two Congo Adoption Facebook group friends had sent me gifts--friends who have been so caring and such good listeners during my entire adoption process, but friends I've never met in real life. Carly and Joel, whose son (also named Benjamin!) was in the same orphanage as my kids until February or March, sent two adorable outfits, one for each of the kids. Erin, a friend whose three-year-old son came to the states from Eastern Confo two years ago, sent Kina a Princess Tiana and Godson a giraffe ride-on/push toy. Amazing people!
Today, my aunt Cindy and two of my cousins, Brittain and Christiana, came for what we thought was just a visit with a small gift. Little did we know they would show up with a basket overflowing with puzzles, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, sippy cups, beautiful African-themed outfits, and these beautiful prints for each child's room. Despite our scabies, they stayed a long time visiting with the kids, and Brittain even installed my new car seat! (I was clueless about how to do this.) 

Again, I am overwhelmed by the kindness of others. I am so lucky, and so are my kids, to be surrounded by such love and support. Thank you so much to everyone! 

Cousin Brittain and Kina 

Kina's beautiful new dress. The picture doesn't do it justice. There is a beautifully embroidered African scene around the hem! 

Learning About Dogs

Dogs aren't pets in Congo, so naturally Godson and Shekina are afraid of all the Bolton dogs. My mother has been teaching Shekina to be gentle with dogs and not to fear them by having her feed treats to my parents' dogs, Harry, Hazel, and Derby. Today, we transferred the lessons over to my house. Shekina practiced giving treats to Teddy and Bing while Godson stood back and practiced his barking (woo, woo, woo!). Violet, who is a black lab and is fearful of kids (but who is our sweetest, most intelligent dog) will be last. I have faith that we can clear that hurdle if we work on it dilligently and carefully. Here's a video of my mom working with Shekina, Bing (left), and Teddy (right). 


Good Early Morning from Eads, TN, 

I've been asked a lot about the kids' names, so I thought I would post about that briefly since I can't sleep. (Stupid jet lag.) Godson and Shekina are names given to the kids by their biological parents, and we don't think it's fair to change their names. They have suffered so much trauma, losing every single thing they had in their past life, from their parents, friends, and nannies to their country and language. They should at least get to keep their names, the one thing their bio parents gave them, right? I have really struggled with this, because I am not a fan of either name, but I don't want to traumatize either child any further. So, here are the names, and here is the plan. 

Shekina Rebecca Bengibabuya Bolton

We have added Rebecca in there because my mom and I both share that middle name. We thought Shekina would find it special to share it with us. We will be calling her Shekina, with the nickname Kina. Bengibabuya is another name her parents gave her. We don't know anything about it, but again, it was a gift from her birth parents to her, so why not keep it? It seems the respectful thing to do. 

Benjamin Godson Mwisha Bolton

Godson came to us with the name Godson Mwisha Hombo. (Shekina also has the name Hombo.) We are dropping the Hombo, and will keep the rest of the name, adding Benjamin. I'd like to call him Benjamin since I'm not the biggest fan of the name Godson, but we've been calling him Godson so long that I'm not sure we can start calling him something else. We may start making a concerted effort to first call him Benjamin Godson (yes, the full name!), and, after he gets used to that, switch to just Benjamin. We'll see if we ever follow through on that... Right now, he is just Goddy. His nickname in the orphanage was God, and Shekina still calls him that sometimes! Mwisha is a name his birth parents gave him, and from what I can faster online, it means "place of plenty". My mom wanted me to call him this, but I think it sounds like Moesha, the 90s sitcom starring American recording artist Brandy. No thanks.

Firsts Today

Yesterday, Godson and Shekina did these things for the first time: 

1) Fed goats. 
2) Walked barefoot in thick grass. 
3) Ate a hamburger (Godson did; Shekina wouldn't try it.)
4) Went to Target. 
5) Rode around the city of Memphis, experiencing it in daylight. (Shekina kept yelling out, "Bye-o, Istanbul!" Bye-o means both hello and goodbye in the Congo.) 
6) Ate watermelon. 
7) Learned to blow kisses. 
8) Saw my (their) house for the first time.
9) Met their dogs Bing and Teddy and fed them Vienna sausages. 

Every day is full of awesome firsts, and I am going to start recording more of them. I especially liked watching Shekina walking around the thick grass in my front yard with flip flops. She wasn't sure what to make of it! 

At Target: At first, Shekina was mad because she couldn't sit in the cart like Godson. (She was shoe shopping, and I wasn't about to pick her up and down, up and down.) But then she discovered she could ride on the cart like this. It immediately reminded us of something we had seen very frequently on buses in Kinshasa. 

They rode like this while driving, not just while parked, and so did Shekina! She's Congolese through and through, brave and sassy! 

Friday, July 19, 2013


After doctor appointments and a visit to my house (Shekina and Godson's first time to see it and two of my dogs--more on that later!), we stopped by my parents' office so the kids could meet everyone who works there and see Papa Skip. Little did I know we would be given an incredible gift, one that completely overwhelmed me with kindness and left me speechless, if only for just a moment! Everyone at the small company pooled their money, and this is what I found inside a card.

I still can't believe it. Amazing. Thank you to all the employees of Hospitality Contract Services for such a sweet, incredibly nice gift. I know the kids will have a ball using it, and we will all have a ball putting it together. I will supply cerveza and snacks! 

Thanks also to everyone at HCS for their extreme kindness towards my children today. The kids had a blast meeting everyone, learning some new manners (thank you for that--I need all the help I can get!), and feeding the goats behind the office. Well, Shekina enjoyed the goats. Godson was so enthralled with the grass in front of the goats' fence that he seemed to have forgotten about the goats. Suddenly he realized a goat had come up to the fence right in front of him, and he let out a blood-curdling scream! I guess he thought he was about to get eaten an animal that is regularly the main course in his native country. Funny stuff!!! 

Hope everyone is well. Time for me to try to get some PJs on this little girl who has been racing around in her undies for close to an hour, including practicing her high jump skills on Koko and Papa's big bed. 

Goodnight from Eads, TN!


PS--We bragged to the DR about how we hadn't seen any signs of scabies in ourselves despite the fact that they are said to be extremely contagious. She replied that symptoms generally don't appear for several weeks. GREAT. Enter at your own risk... 

P.P.S. Here is what Shekina had to say after receiving her beautiful new playset

Another 5 AM Update

Kina is kicking me in bed, but at least she has rolled over ad now I have more than a foot's width of space in the bed. I am staying out at my parents' house for extra support right now, and Kina and I are both in bed with my mom. Godson is sleeping on a palette on the floor, and my dad has escaped to the guest room upstairs for a true good night of sleep! Lucky duck!

Godson has steadily improved, and he is now a happy toddler who still throws screaming toddler fits occasionally, but not so many of those desperate, fever-spiking, brow-sweating fits. He plays, plays, plays for most of the day, pretty much whenever he isn't napping and whenever strangers aren't around. Shekina is having a hard time with all the change and lack of sleep. She did play some yesterday, but she also acted horribly bratty and threw wailing fits. I have to remember that the root of these fits is a very sad one; that she's lost her biological family, her orphanage family, and her country all within a year. Anybody would be heartbroken, and since she has no way to communicate what's wrong, she acts out. 

On a more positive note, we had a lovely visit with our good friends Sandra, Juan, and Juanito yesterday. They brought Godson a musical, flashing flashlight thag he adores, and for Shekina, a baby that drinks from a bottle, sleeps, and snores. Kina now has three baby dolls; you know about Baby Blandine, purchased at the Thieves Market in Kinshasa and named after a guesthouse worker that Kina truly loves. She also received a doll with multiple outfits back at Christmas from her great aunt Deborah and great uncle Gary. She received "Baby Debbie" the night we got home, and brushed her hair and changed her clothes until 3 am! She also played with the blocks that Gary and Deborah had given Godson for Christmas, and she absolutely loves them too. 

Speaking of our arrival night, we didn't get home from our flights until 1 am, and by the time we got settled and to sleep, it was 3. Then the kids woke us up at 7!!! After two long sleepless flights (and nights!) during the last four days, and after such a short night of sleep last night, we are all majorly sleep-deprived. Both kids have scabies, and Shekina's have gotten so bad that even Benedryl doesn't seem to help. She itches so bad that she cries, and itching seems to worsen whenever she is having one of her fits. Poor baby. We visit a lady who is probably the best pediatrician in the city of Memphis, Dr. Janet Geiger, today at 9:15, and we are hoping to get at least the scabies straightened out. This lady is so amazing that, although I had planned to take the kids to the international adoption clinic at Vanderbilt for examinations, I have decided to just stick with Dr. Geiger for right now. I am so thankful my cousin Christiana introduced me to her! 

Well, I have another hour to sleep before we start our day, so I should go now. (The only reason I am up right now is because I'm still on Congo time.) Here are a few pictures from our first day at my parents': 

First time in a tub. Kina is a fish, and is so ready for swim lessons it's not even funny. After we removed Godson from the tub, she "swam" for another fifteen minutes. 

Sweet Sandra painted Kina's nails for her and took her for a short walk. I can tell these two are going to be good friends. 

The kids loved Juan as well, and Godson even let him pick him up! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Everything I Thought was Wrong

Just four weeks ago, I sat in Francine Bistro, one of the best restaurants and my favorite restaurant in Camden, Maine, if not the whole of Maine. We have been going here for years, and it has always been a special experience, a treat. It's a somewhat pricey place, but tiny and homey, with mismatched wooden furniture, almost always locally sourced food, inventive ideas, and excellent execution. The chef, who has opened two other restaurants in the area since (Seabright and Shepherd's Pie), is the best in the area, and we have always had memorable, delicious experiences at his establishments. Flash back to four weeks ago, when my mom and I were able to snag a table at Francine for two with no reservation. We sat down next to a woman in short shorts, her husband, and her approximately 10-year-old daughter, who played throughout the meal on something akin to a Nintendo DS. Actually, I have no idea what it was, bc I don't keep up with that crap, but still. This is a place we always cherished and dressed up for (and if you know me, I don't dress up for anything). I was dismayed by the casual family and it made me mad. I even had the gall to tell the little girl, feeling my typical bossy teacher oats, that she should enjoy her dinner. 

Flash forward to four weeks later, and here I am on an airplane, doing my best to keep Shekina from screaming while my mom does her best with Godson. Last night, Shekina stood up on the restaurant banquette multiple times and hollered out. When she wasn't standing and yelling, she was slumped down and pouting. Meanwhile, Godson screamed such bloody murder when we tried to put him in a high chair that you could hear him throughout the entire first floor of the somewhat large hotel for nearly fifteen minutes. If I was the old me, I would have glared up a storm! But I'm not. I've changed quickly as I've realized how much harder parenting two newly internationally adopted kids is than teaching a class of 20+ mostly immigrant and refugee kids. "Wow" is pretty much all I have to say right now, as Shekina repeatedly pulls on my arm and shrieks with delight at the iPad while everyone rests in the dimmed dark on our daytime Turkish Air flight. I don't even care anymore! New perspectives are amazing...

The Long Flight Home is Just Beginning

My children's beautiful brown skin was dusted with powdered sugar until just a few minutes ago, when the Turkish Airlines flight attendants brought around hot towels for us to clean up. Why powdered sugar? Because before the hot towels, they brought around a piece of Turkish Delight for each and every passengers, served with toothpicks on a tray like hors d'oeuvres. We are sitting in economy class, in the back of the plane, and when we first sat down, we each found a metal container with the Istanbul skyline printed on the front. Inside, there were socks, slippers, earplugs, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and an eye mask. This 11+ hour flight has only been in progress for thirty minutes, but already I can tell it is a far cry from the overseas (and domestic) cattle cars we're used to. Oh yeah, did I mention there are unlimited beverages, including unlimited wine and beer? And they passed out a menu of choices for each meal? Only problem is my personal in-flight entertainment TV is malfunctioning, as is my dad's, but not to worry--the flight attendants are attending to that as well. Meanwhile, Shekina, who cried through the entire Istanbul airport because I wouldn't/couldn't carry her (including through four--FOUR!--security checks, has calmed her uncertain heart with a Katy Perry movie on her tv. Godson is in the teensy restroom with Saint Koko Vickie, who often offers to change him. I've got the latest David Sedaris book and am good to go as soon as the kids fall asleep (and Godson already has). For right now, at least until we hit turbulence, which strikes fear in my heart so strong that I feel like a deer frozen in headlights just before it is slammed by an oncoming SUV. Yep, my fear is that strong. Thank goodness for my best friend, airplane Xanax, who has accompanied me on many journeys since college! 

Update: It seems that everyone on the plane is asleep except for my children. The second the lights went out and everyone started going to sleep, bedtime triggered Shekina's bad behaviors. Luckily, we were able to redirect her with a special surprise toy we had saved for the plane. There are many kids and babies on this flight, and while Godson was the quietest and sweetest one before, he is now the most vocal. We have only finished 4 hours and 20 minutes of our flight. Seven hours remain. Please, GOD, let these children sleep... 

Update: Shekina threw a screaming, crying fit over an undetermined cause with about three hours left. She finally settled down to eat our second meal after a kind, kind stranger offered her her own water (S didn't want ours) and showed her her baby asleep in the bassinet. Another neighbor offered Benedryl because Shekina was itchy, and another, cookies. The kindness of these strangers astounds me. Neither Godson nor Shekina went to sleep until the 11th hour of the flight. Now they are fast asleep, and it's time to get off the plane and face a long layover in Chicago. Maybe we can find somewhere to nap. We are SO happy to be back in the US!  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Good afternoon from Istanbul!

We survived the Kinshasa airport check-in and immigration (took about 3 hours!), had a quick last Fanta (Congolese beer for the adults) and plate of frites with mayo, and then traipsed down to a bus for our plane. Traveling with this much luggage is not something we usually do; add two kids to that mix, and, well, let's just say we were excited when we were finally able to sink into our airplane seats and relax! The flight was uneventful. Both kids slept for almost the whole flight, with Godson only waking up with ear pain at the tail end of the seven hours. Wow! 

We arrived in Istanbul at about 6:30 am, and we were nervous at visa and passport control that they would not take Godson and Shekina's e-visas...but they took them! Not only that, one of the immigration officers picked Godson up, paraded him around, and had his picture made with him!!! 

We headed to the Novotel, recommended by the Turkish Embassy in Kinshasa because it's located between Old Town and the airport. After dropping off our luggage and washing up a tiny bit, we took a free shuttle into Old Town Istanbul. We saw the Blue Mosque, and had lunch on a rooftop terrace with the best views ever. The Sea of Marmara was on my left, the Blue Mosque was in front of me, and the Hagia Sophia behind me. I believe there were sea views on my right as well! Unbelievable. The kids really enjoyed the view, chicken kabobs, and yet another Fanta, and we all enjoyed basking in the day's beautiful weather (82 degrees and sunny!). After that, we toured the Hagia Sophia, and then headed home around 3:30. We were simply too exhausted to do anything else. We're going to rest for a while, and then eat dinner downstairs at the hotel's restaurant. We've got a long day tomorrow. I'm not sure how long the flight from Istanbul to Chicago is, but considering we'll be flying westward, I bet it will be 10 or 11 hours. Sheesh! We hope the kids will do just as well on that flight, but since it's not a night flight, I have a feeling it will be totally different. 

All right, I'd better get off the iPhone. Shekina is perched up on the window ledge as if she is going to jump from it to the bed. Yep, that's what she did. This girl never runs out of energy and never naps! Hope everyone is well. 


At the Kinshasa airport

One last picture with our guide, Papa Fils

Godson isn't quite accustomed to the way Fanta tickles his nose yet! 

Shekina behaved very respectfully in the Blue Mosque. 

Papa Skip and Koko Vickie in the Blue Mosque 

Rooftop views from the Seven Hills restaurant 

Hagia Sophia 

Blue Mosque 

Shekina's first fountain. Spray blew in the wind and got us all wet on the hot, sunny day. We loved it!