12 hours in the life of Alisa…Part 1 & 2

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I’ve been wanting to document Alisa’s daily routine for a while now. Somehow the routine always gets in the way of me doing so. I am thrilled I finally found the time to do this…I am obsessed with remembering every single detail and each moment that takes my breath away. This is what her schedule is like now at 4 months old.

Enjoy her story…

It’s time to wake up! I heard the birds are up! What’s that mommy? It’s a weekend? You would like to sleep a little longer? But mommy the birds are up!!!

I’ve been tricked into getting more sleep! How could I resist when I got to snooze next to daddy??? My sock however wondered off…

Fancy a snack? I like to have something in between all the milk mommy makes me drink, I call this my “vegetable patch”! Butternut squash…yum….my favourite!

Now that I’ve eaten its time to play with my favourite toy “The Monkey”. I’ve grown very attached to her mostly because we have the same ginger hair color and also because of her huge smile…which I love to copy! And look mommy found my sock!!!

Nap time is rolling around so mommy makes me a bottle of yummy milk. I’ve developed a habbit of eating in my sleep…Sleep tight now!

Changed, fed and down for my afternoon nap. Whenever I have my hand in a fist mommy knows I am sleepy…

Well that was a quick nap! My cat nap! Before they even knew it I was up and ready to play! Dress me in a pretty dress and take me out for lunch somewhere fancy!

Here I am sitting in my car seat, looking around, mommy is having a Ceasar salad and daddy is eating a hamburger but all I got was my milk again! One of these days I will definetly sneak a taste! I bet it will taste good!

Looking at everyone around me enjoying their lunch completely tired me out, mommy rocked my pushchair back and forth and some fifteen minutes later I started to snooze. Might as well take a little nap, it doesn’t seem like we are going home anytime soon!

My evening snacks, I like to have a little something light right before I have my evening formula! Today I enjoyed a mango and banana blend and washed it down with some camomile tea! I am a big fan of eating healthy! In just an hour I will be taking my bath and then its bedtime!

Eat, Sleep, Play repeat…

We don’t have a baby. It’s pretty obvious that the baby has us!

Finding the time

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A mother lives from one milestone to the next. The first smile. The very first giggle. The first time her child held an object or focused at her image on the mirror. This little person you have created from scratch is absorbing information like a sponge. Their small victories (such as being able to catch their foot with their hand) are of epic proportions in the eyes of a mother. They are such a big deal. The weight of the responsibility that lies heavy  on the shoulders of new parents. We have to teach our little ones everything and become their sole companions during this learning process.

I catch myself thinking “we really take for granted how much we can do”. We were born a blank page that eventually became filled with skills, information, education, talents and knowledge. If I had a penny for every time time my husband exclaimed “Look at what Alisa learned to do today…”. You catch my drift. These daily accomplishments are so important and yet they are so easily lost in the blur of the day.  I am not keeping up. I am not stopping to smell the roses because I have a hundred worries at the back of my mind about how the roses are growing, if they are getting enough food or how well developed they are in comparison to other roses. And I am missing out.

I have a baby book that is lying almost empty with a few hurried notes here and there. But not the important stuff. I vow to find the time…to note more down, to stop and smell my little happy rose while she is eagerly blossoming…I have managed to do a few things (better late than never) that she will someday appreciate to have. These little tokens are my personal reminder that no matter how hectic everyday is there won’t be another one like it and she will not be like this ever again…

More of where that came from. I just need to find the time.

 

On being parents…

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No amount of googling and not a single textbook could have prepared me for becoming a mother.

I was so nervous. I had no idea what I was doing. During the pregnancy I faintly understood the processes that were occurring, her little kicks and nudges were an indication of everything going very well. Then she was born and it all became trial and error from then on.

Thankfully I have my mother by my side and her enormous experience and sound advice is what is taking me from one day to the next as smoothly as possible.I can tell she is quite the character as at 3 weeks old she was already spitting out the milk that was offered if she wanted water instead or cried unbearably if she was put down into her crib whilst she wanted to be held instead.

In those hours when me and Alisa are absolutely one on one it does get a little scary and overwhelming. But she is patient with me…someone must have told her to take it easy on her mommy because I am going to need some time to figure this challenge out.

Over a month I have been figuring out her various moves, moods, grins and sounds. It is true that when a baby cries it could only want one of these few things; to be fed, to be changed or to be rocked. It isn’t rocket science…or is it?

I am quite certain that babies can smell fear so to my best ability I put on my bravest face and endure her through her “difficult times” and pick her up with a smile at 4am for what seems to be the 20th time that night. She is growing so quickly and I feel these precious moments slipping away amid the daily routine, the insanity and the hectic schedule that we are now on.

A month flew by.

Don’t get my started on that…no one warned me how quickly babies grow up.

These days…

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Happiness is…

The “accidental” perfect finishing touch to the shelf arrangement

10 days ago…

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We became parents to a perfect little baby girl.

The experience was everything they told me it would be; long, painful, exhausting, excruciating, magical, unbelievable and absolutely unforgettable.

On the day of the “planned induction” the baby that took her sweet time picking a good day to be born decided that letting the doctors intervene with her “HELLO WORLD I AM HERE” arrival was not an option and so she got the show on the road all on her own. I am so proud.

We arrived at the hospital, calm, prepped and collected at 8am on the 22nd of January and matter-of-factly claimed that even though I am scheduled to be induced today- the process already started. I was admitted to the delivery ward and 15 hours later (ouch,I know) we were already holding a pink, precious, perfect baby girl in our arms.

She is so much more than we could have possibly imagined. The last ten days have been a blur of 15 minute naps, eating cold food, changing diapers in the middle of the night, singing silly songs and marvelling and how quickly she is growing and changing already.

This will be a quick note with more to come later as after 10 days of sleeping “like a baby” I have little control or intelligence left to write anything of substance. But it’s ok, we will sleep once she turns 18.

We are not there yet…

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The baby is fashionably late.

I hope this is not an indicator of how long she will take to get ready in the future…but it’s kind of cute. She has everyone wrapped over her little finger already, so many people are calling to ask if she is here yet…(no, not yet). Furhermore a few people who were due after me already had their babies so I am literally thinking that I am the only one left…Since I am hormonal and fed-up with waiting a have a few times burst into tears when I heard that someone had their baby (so far…4 people did! FOUR!!!)

The conclusion I came to is that the baby just doesn’t want to share her birthdate with anyone yet. She is just sitting tight and waiting for the right moment.

Meanwhile I have been following a lot of advice on how to get things going (but as you see none of it has helped yet…). I’ve eaten a chilli pineapple salad that consists of cubed pineapple, lemon, chilli flakes, sweet chilli sauce and a little coriander. A really strange combination. The baby kicked up a storm after I ate it (she must have tasted the chilli) but it did not give her any “evacuation” ideas. Other than that I’ve been trying to go for walks once or twice a day, although this doesnt directly help you go into labor it does take some of the anxiety off and keep you fit- so why not? I’ve also been going to my yoga classes (yes I am the most pregnant lady there) and I even treated myself to a facial and a massage one of the days when I thought I just couldn’t take it anymore and needed to let off some steam!

So the baby may take her sweet time making an entrance but the doctors are not letting me go past Sunday evening. Although the idea of a medical induction terrifies me somewhat I am also kind of glad there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel.

So this may be my last post in my “forever pregnant” status as come Monday morning (if all goes according to plan) I should finally be done with being pregnant.

40 weeks people. 4o. Weeks. You do the maths…

Eggplant Parmesan – to induce labor

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A quick update for those of you waiting for news – our daddy got back yesterday so for the last 24 hours we have again been in full “labor inducing” mode. I am probably making this sound a lot worse than it actually is, there is no real reason to have this baby out RIGHT NOW but I am getting a little edgy as my due date is only 5 days away and I feel as though we might miss. (Also the fact that I am 40 (!!!!!!!!!!!!) weeks pregnant and that’s 10 months for those of you who didn’t figure this out- might be adding to my misery and anxiety). If you missed my whiney post read it here.

A few days ago I messaged my yoga teacher, Karen (www.pregnantinoman.com) , who has a lot of expertise in the field of child birth and general health care (also she gives great advice!) and asked her what I can do to help move things along. She insisted that I make it to one more yoga class, give acupuncture a shot, have some “private” time with my husband and try a delicious Italian recipe that swears to bring about labor. I took her advice (on almost all of the above 🙂 ), yoga turned out to be extremely beneficial and actually helped relieve my muscles and calm me down emotionally.

Karen had also sent me a recipe of Eggplan Parmesan that is known to help women go into labor. For more than twenty years, women have gone to Scalini’s Italian restaurant in Cobb County, Georgia, with one thing on their minds: To go into labor. They always order the Eggplant Parmesan, which, so far, has helped encourage more than 300 babies to come into the world within 48 hours of their mom eating the meal.

I decided to give it a shot because it wouldn’t hurt to kill two birds with one stone; make a decent lunch and perhaps even help this baby get moving. So the recipe is below, most of the ingredients are easy to come by and the preparation of the dish could not be more elementary. I have even attached a few images for your entertainment 🙂

Eggplant Parmesan alla Scalini’s Ingredients:
3 medium size eggplants
1 cup of flour
6 eggs, beaten
4 cups fine Italian bread crumbs, seasoned
Olive oil for sautéing
8 cups of marinara sauce*
1/2 cup of grated Romano cheese
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 lbs of mozzarella cheese shredded
2 cups of ricotta cheese
Instructions:
After you wash the eggplant, slice them into 1/4 inch thick slices. You may choose to peel the eggplant before you slice it, however you may want to leave the skin on since the skin contains a lot of vitamins. Place the eggplant slices on a layer of paper towels and sprinkle with a little salt, then cover with another layer of paper towels and hold it down with something heavy. This will drain the excess moisture. Let them set for about an hour.

Working with one slice of eggplant at a time, dust with flour, then dip in beaten eggs, then coat well with bread crumbs. Saute’ in preheated olive oil on both sides until golden brown.
In baking dish, alternate layers of marinara sauce, eggplant slices, ricotta, parmesan, and romano cheeses, until you fill the baking dish about an 1/8 inch from the top. Cover with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake for 25 minutes in 375 degree oven. Let set for 10 minutes before serving.
Scalini’s Marinara Sauce
2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
3 tablespoons of olive oil
8 cups chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1 cup onions chopped
1/2 cup of fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
1/8 cup of fresh chopped sweet basil
Pinch of thyme
Pinch of rosemary

I actually couldn’t find ricotta cheese and the supermarket and forgot to buy breadcrumbs- so that may be the reason of this not exactly “working” in my favor.

The eggplants being fried in olive oil

The Marinara Sauce. Chopped up onion, garlic, greens, tomatoes and herbs.

The post-oven dish looks something like this. Umm cheese

It's absolutely delicious! With so much cheese how can it not be?

So if you find youself in a situation similar to mine…or heck…if you just want to cook up some yummy Italian grub- give this a shot! It’s finger-licking-good! It promises results within 24 hrs and I am half way through that pie right now…let’s see if it can live up to it’s reputation!

Fingers crossed people.

A sudden change of plan

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Dear Baby,

Remember how for the past two weeks mommy pleaded and begged for you to begin making your way into this world? Well, forget that ever happened. I sort of need you to hang in there for a little while longer. I know this seems confusing right now after the stern tone mommy used and words like “eviction” and “ultimatum” but trust me there is a good reason behind all of this.

You will grow up to learn that life is sometimes unfair and some events are completely out of your control so all that’s left to do at time is – to deal with it. Three days ago, just hours before I wrote the post below (emphasizing that it’s time…) your daddy’s work compelled him to travel a few hours away from home  to a land of little network coverage and scarce transportation. As much as daddy didn’t want to go (because words like “eviction” and “ultimatum” were also used by his boss) he had no other choice but to comply. I made a promise to daddy that you and I will not do anything crazy (like be born at home or in the hospital without him) so please stand firmly by our promise. It would absolutely break his heart if you arrived into this world and he wasn’t the first person to hold you or check what color your eyes are…

I probably shouldn’t have promised him that we will absolutely not go into labor without him (because how could I know, right?) but something tells me you will hold on until he gets back. I know you guys have a very special bond (already) and waiting until he is there to welcome you into this world is just a crazy little stunt you are completely capable of pulling. So, lets wait, ok?

Hang in there until he gets back, which should be in the next 24 hrs and then we will just go ahead and pretend that mommy didn’t confuse and misguide you before you were even born by first bribing you to make a quick exit and then convincing you not even think about escaping for three whole days. Crazy, I know.

Thanks and hoping for your understanding in this situation!

Mommy

Are we there yet?

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Pregnancy- day two hundred seventy freakin’ three. No seriously. I am still pregnant.

although I am not overdue (yet…) statistics do show that most first time mothers give birth a week or two before their due date, the same darn statistics that promised me that only 5% of women deliver on the actual due date that has been forecast.

Yet, here I am. Excited, nervous and oh-so-sick of waiting. (Not to mention bloated, uncomfortable, tired, swollen…just peachy basically…)

I read somewhere that the most common craving that pregnant women have is not to be pregnant. That might seem a little over the top but trust me 9 months into it even the most “sunshine-up-their-butts” mothers start to feel like this just can’t end soon enough. The exhaustion you feel is both mental and physical, your mind is constantly replaying possibilities of “what could go wrong in labor” and your body aches from your toes to the ends of your hair.

I also miss the little things. Like seeing my feet when I look down, fitting into my clothes and shoes or simply getting out of bed without having to roll to the side and readjust the 4 pillows that are prompting my back. Ugh.

The general opinion here (amongst husband and family) is that I still have time and the baby will come out when she needs to and when she decides. But wait, I though I was the boss of this baby- why can’t she come out when I want her to? I pick now. Or at least today. Please?

I have friends calling me every single day asking me if she is here yet or every time I call one of them they thing it’s only because I am in labor…nope…still pregnant…just wanted to say hello. The conversation I have with My Cynthia everyday is a straight replay out of Shrek ” Are we there yet? ” ….” No not yet”….”What about now”….”Still not”….It’s rediculous.

I apologize if you were expecting a touchy-feely post about how prepared and excited we are to welcome our daughter any day now and instead you got stuck reading the rantings of a sick-and-oh-so-tired pregnant woman. Believe you me, we are ready. The bed is made, the hospital bags packed, the baby bottles sterilized and even the video camera is charged. I’ve had a lot of time on my hands…just waiting for the grand entrance now.

I shall keep you posted.

Maternity Leave

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With just a few weeks away from my due date I am finally going on maternity leave as of Christmas. Although I do still have some time and could theoretically work for a little while longer it as just proved too darn exhausting. Thinking the last 35 weeks over, I would say I had a generally easy pregnancy and I am in really good physical shape…I could easily go on working for another 2-3 weeks if it wasn’t for the simple fact that my ribs hurt. Yes ribs. ” What do ribs have to do with babies or going to work” you are probably wondering. Well, they have absolutely everything to do with not allowing you to be comfortable in a simple position like sitting on an office chair or the sofa. Because there is a little foot in your rib. It makes me feel as though this baby has bones of steel. The ribs on the right side of my body feel like they are on FIRE. The only way I can tolerate it is if I am standing up or lying down, basically anything that keeps my back straight.

So maternity leave. Here I come. As per the Omani Labour Law, women are entitled to 50 days pre and post maternity leave on full salary. That is incredibly little in comparison to other countries (up to 14 months in Germany, 16 weeks in France, 18 weeks in Russia, 22 weeks in Italy) but beggars can’t be chooser now can they? Combined with other pending leaves I have pending in total I am eligible to be away for about three months.

When I think it over in my head the first though that occurs is “Wow, three months! What am I going to do with all that time???” and then…I remember that every single moment of my day will be entirely wrapped around this bundle of joy that is about to arrive. I doubt I will be bored.

Also because life has the tendency to work out all by itself  these days, I was given a fantastic opportunity to come back to work part-time after I have the baby. Just 4 hours a day. You see, I work in the hospitality industry which sometimes calls for 10-14 hour working days, elaborate stress and continuous dedication. I am utterly immersed in this job and would be heart-broken if I had to leave the industry or even the position. I just found what I love to do. (The husband?…No he is not a big fan of my job)

When the offer to move departments and consequently move to a 4 hour working day came in, I accepted it immediately. I never wanted to be a stay at home mom, I believe it would be better for my child if I was a well-rounded person in all aspects and if I had a life outside of changing diapers and wiping spit-up the whole day. (An opinion my husband also feels strongly about). So come March back to work I will be, into a brand new department with new challenges and responsibilities.

Up till then I will have to grow accustomed to my most challenging and exciting job yet…beeing a mommy.

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