onvural.net – melih – family man

Don’t teach fear; teach respect instead


The bees are drinking as much sugar water as the kids are drinking milk. It’s amazing how quickly two sets of little ones can consume these liquids.

And so yesterday, I went to refill the sugar water for the bees so I wouldn’t have to do it this morning. Mornings are just too crazy to add another chore, but that’s a blog post for a different day. And one little worker bee decided she didn’t want to hop out of the feeder. So we brought her along, refilled the jar, and I was going to turn it over, but I didn’t want to drown her. Instead, we shook her out of the feeder onto the mulch, and put the feeder back in place.

At this point, the kids decided they wanted an up close view of a honey bee.

I can’t tell you how many people seem to be freaked out at the concept of being close to bees. Everyone’s first shared thought has been that I’m crazy because bees sting.ร‚ย We think this way because we’ve had bad experiences, and so we’ve either been taught, or taught ourselves, to fear stinging insects (as if they’re all created equally).

And so here we are, mere inches from the bee. Luka pointed out that she has stripes on her abdomen. Amelia counted her legs. We looked at how big her eyes were on her face. We talked about how it’s a girl bee, and that boy bees don’t fly. We talked about why you don’t touch the bee, and even though I mentioned that they sting when they’re scared, the conversation was more about not wanting to be touched, and respecting the life of another creature.

I don’t have to teach them to be afraid of bees. I just need to teach them to understand and respect the bees. And isn’t that a better state of mind for how to approach new things? I sure think so.


First fake sick day


Amelia got us good today. She coughed herself sick, and then had a slight fever. She acted very whiny and tired. And then as soon as we said she didn’t have to go to school she was back to 95% (she is a tiny bit under the weather), and we knew we’d been played. 

Damn those 3.5 year olds are good. 

Check out the play dough sculpture we made: 

Lesson learned. You may have gamed us this time my darling, but just you wait ๐Ÿ™‚ 

It’s ok to be afraid… Why not?


Amelia had the preschool bungalow assembly today. It consisted of each class singing a song, and then the whole preschool singing one song together.

Check out the video here: Amelia’s PS3 assembly song

At Pizza Friday that evening (where we went to Delfina – #mickyfail), I asked Amelia about the performance, and she said,

Well. I was scared, but I kept singing, and everything was ok

and I thought to myself how grown up that analysis sounded.
It was spot on to what happened where in the first song she looked at her older friend Naomi to help her, and then did really wonderfully by herself on the second song.

That was just a lovely moment.

Amelia's PS3 assembly group song
Amelia’s PS3 assembly group song

That look in her eyes…


I really need to dig into this whole no yelling thing. But they don’t sleep. And then work is just a bear right now. And we have no nanny. And it just feels as if there have been, and will be coming up, a ton of solo parent days/nights.

But holy smokes that look in her eyes.

And all she asked that I do was not yell at her. To just speak kindly to her. About a cup of milk for God’s sake.

I’ve lost all patience for the world. All restraint to jump from zero to a thousand. But I won’t forget that look in her eyes. And hopefully it will slow me down. Hopefully it will stop me.

Because I don’t want to see it again.

23 days til 30


This morning I did family share at Amelia’s school. We learned that we’re in San Francisco, Amelia’s mommy is from England, and her daddy is from Turkey.

We did flags, their colors, and shapes. One historical site.

And then I passed out evil eyes. The kids loved the idea that the eyes keep ghosts away on Halloween.

After I did our reading time. It was a ton of fun, but sitting cross legged for an hour almost killed me ๐Ÿ™‚

It made me realize how much I love sharing those moments, and how quickly they seem to be flying by.

I took this photo the other day at drop off knowing it would eventually show up in a blog post. Today is that day. And sometimes the signs on the mirror are just wrong.


Objects aren’t closer. They just keep scooting further and further away.

Community pool


Amelia was desperate to go swimming today. Micky wanted to see the curtains. So we looked up some public pool times and headed down to Bayshore.

The lady at the front desk of the MLK Jr Rec Center was incredibly nice. Great smile.

We got in, and the babies were definitely intimated. Lots of loud kids. The water was too cold for them. But we hopped in, and toughed it out for 35 minutes.

We took a steaming hot shower afterwards because the water was really cold.

And then hit up the playground.

I think it’s so great that the city of SF has public pools we can go to for $8. It’s definitely going to be part of our weekend play book.

But the best part was how Amelia wanted it, and how much she enjoys the pool, swimming, and just being physically active in general.

Long may it last ๐Ÿ™‚

Hide (or don’t) and seek


The babies have fallen in love with playing hide and seek. Except… there’s no mystery to how they play ๐Ÿ™‚

The game usually goes something like this

Amelia and Luka go into bed time delay mode by suggesting a rousing game of hide-and-seek. Amelia usually says something along the lines of, “Mummy, Luka, Mummy, Luka you be a dinosaur. Me and daddy hide in daddy’s bed.”

So let’s break it down… a successful game of hide-and-seek seems to involve

  1. Dinosaurs chasing you down, and attempting to eat you. There’s a lot of cannibalism in our family as the babies are so sweet that cheeks, chins, tummies, and feet are regularly eaten. This has clearly translated into their play
  2. Knowing where someone is is a requirement to the game
  3. The “dinosaurs” need to make loud noises pretending to not know where the hiders are.
  4. When the “dinosaurs” finally pounce on the hiders everyone squeals in delight

That is, unless you’re Luka. You see if you’re Luka then you can’t wait, and you pull the covers down, pop out of the bed, and yell, “Mummy. I here!” over and over again until you’re discovered. And then you squeal in delight anyway.

What will those goofballs think of next to not have to go to bed. I can only imagine ๐Ÿ™‚

Learning to let go


I always tell people that I have 3 babies:

  • Amelia

  • Luka

  • OpenTok

And all three have had an amazing year. They’ve gone from needing epic hand holding to having a village around them that makes them better than I could alone.

At work, the hardest part has been learning to trust that others can love the product as much as I do. The team I’ve built makes me feel so confident in the wider set of problems that we’re solving. And now, as they develop their own ideas, I’m really seeing what OpenTok will be. It’s really amazing.

This past week at swimming class my other two babies surprised me so much. Luka is getting so damn confident. Amelia did the older class by herself, and she was just amazing!! And the whole time all I want is to hold them back, and feel like I’m on control and can help them.

But as I said to my team at TokBox, my challenge this quarter is learning to let go. I guess it’s destiny that it all has to happen at once ๐Ÿ™

Happy birthday Amelia!


Darling Amelia.

You turned three years old today.

What a year we shared together. You started school last August, and you’re getting ready to “graduate”. We’ve moved house, travelled across the US, met elephant seals, learned to communicate, did potty training, and so much more.

You hate to sleep. Especially alone. In fact, you weren’t sleeping through the night until just recently. And breaking that pattern was so incredibly difficult.

Your favorite songs were:

  • Anything by Miley Cyrus but especially “Wrecking Ball”
  • Anything from Frozen but especially “Let it Go”
  • ABCD
  • Old McDonald had a farm

Your best friend could be any of:

  • Lilah (from school and soccer)
  • Lucy Green
  • Luka (you guys can’t stand to be apart… or together)

Your favorite activities were:

  • Gym class every Saturday morning
  • Swimming
  • Going to the zoo
  • The Pet Store on 31st and Judah
  • Scooting in the park
  • Hanging out with Doruk

We travelled to

  • North Carolina (twice)
  • Myrtle Beach (and we’ll never do that again)
  • Pescadero over Christmas

Yourร‚ย major life events were

  • Starting school in August 2013
  • Moving to a new house in February 2014
  • Learning to scooter around the neighborhood
  • Surgery in May to close up another hernia

Developmentally you continue to amaze us. Your speech is fantastic (even though you can’t hit a pronoun to save your life). You’re athletically so talented. Fast. Coordinated. But you’re still a bit shy around other kids. You’re much better with adults.

You love Luka so much.

And you give the best kisses that any dad could ask for.

Happy birthday darling Amelia. When you’re finally old enough to read this, I just hope you’ll still curl up in my arms, and fall asleep on my shoulder, and not be too big to be my baby girl.

I love you.

He’s too big!!


Luka is now bigger than Amelia in weight (34 vs 32 lbs.), but she’s holding on to those 1.5 inches with all her effort.

I genuinely wonder what happens when he passed her, and how their power relationship tilts.

Right now, more than weight, it’s really about motor skills. But man he’s catching up fast, and then she’s going to have to be smarter.

They grow up so fast.