The last while has been filled with everyday things. My baby is doing well and gaining weight normally-thank goodness! I have been cooking more often-everything from sandwiches to pastas to salads to burgers-but I have not been very good at taking care of myself in other ways. So, today, I am going to get back on the health and fitness wagon. To stay on it, I need some clear guidelines for myself. So, here they are:
- Take a multivitamin and iron pill regularly plus increase protein intake- I had a bit of a scare when I started losing hair like crazy recently. Of course, post pregnancy this is normal but I have lost a lot. So, I went and did a blood test. Generally my iron levels are okay and my thyroid is fine, thankfully. But, I went out and bought some multivitamins to keep everything in order. I also picked up some protein powder as I struggle with getting enough protein as a vegetarian. I am also going to take some iron supplements a few times a week as my iron levels could use some improvement.
- Start tracking food intake and weight- I stopped tracking for a few weeks but am starting again today. Keeping an eye on weight as well as calories/carb/protein/fat levels helps me make better choices. I noticed I already gained a few pounds since my giving birth weight and I want to go the other way! The goal is go get to my wedding weight which is about 18lbs away.
- Get more active- It has been hard with winter and baby to get out much so I want to make sure I do more getting out and about. I hope to see an increase in my daily steps on my phone plus want to make an effort to do some more physical things. These include home projects, gardening, etc.
So, focusing on the above should get my health and wellness goal back on track. My other goal was work and play. The play part will be taken care of when we move to Eastern Europe for some family and travel time. Now, the work part I have been thinking about quite a bit. I had an opportunity to do a consultancy for a reputable NGO but had to withdraw as my poor baby seemed so unwell then. It turns out that was for the best.
But, I have realized I want to focus on my dreams rather than just the normal stuff so decided I should use this time to do that instead of something more traditional in the work department. After all, I have enough experience to get a job in my industry but little time to follow my dreams while working. One of my dreams has been to start my own business. So, I am looking into that right now. Already I have approached my sister who I would like to be my partner. Next steps are in order and will be happening soon. I will share more at a later time but am very excited!
March 1st is here and the sun is shining. This is very different from last week. So are many other things. Last week I was thinking about how to enjoy my time off with my baby. A summer garden came to mind. Now, however, after a good hard look at our lives and thinking about what we want the most, we have decided we may move to Eastern Europe for a time.
My husband immigrated here 6 years ago and has only been back home once. We are at a point in our lives where we are debt free, have money saved, and I am off work with some regular income (more than enough to sustain us there without dipping into savings), so we decided why not take the opportunity to spend some time with his side of the family. It will be a beautiful time for us to spend together, take a break from working and the hustle and bustle of western life, do some travelling, get inspired, and raise our baby.
My husband was a bit reluctant at first but I reminded him we have our whole lives to work the 9-5 and, looking back at our lives, we won’t focus on how much we worked but on how much quality time we enjoyed. He agreed. I also reminded him we bought a flat in his country-not only as an investment-but to use so there is no better time to use it than now. He agreed. I told him everyone needs periods in life to refresh, relax, get inspired, and live a life of joy. This year is the best time for us as we can afford it without having to work. He agreed.
So, it is likely we will spend the next months preparing and then make our move late summer. We will stay until my maternity leave comes to an end and I have to return to work. Late summer is a perfect time for us to go as the weather will be better, our flat will be 100% ready, our son will be all caught up on his vaccinations, and he will be eating some solid food. So, it seems like a no-brainer for us to go for it. There are so few times in life one can do such things!
At this point we are in agreement and preparing for the move. Hopefully things will not change and we get to go. I am definitely excited!
Winter feels like it is going on FOREVER! I cannot wait until spring. I am really excited about experiencing good weather again. Due to the baby as well, I feel as if I have been stuck inside for a long time. It will be great to get outside more often.
I also looking very forward to starting my garden again. Last year I was away and did not have access to land so it did not happen but this year I am on maternity leave and plan to really enjoy it as I may not get to do so again for some time.
Once, a few years ago, I planted seedlings in February but learned quickly it was too early for them. This year it seems much colder than that year. So, for now, I just have to dream of spring and the garden instead of doing anything. I can come up with some general ideas and plans. Here are a few things to note:
- Herbs to plant: oregano, basil, dill, fenugreek, cilantro
- Veggies to plant: peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, corn, potatoes
- Other things to plant: strawberries, pumpkins, flowers
- Things to buy: new lawnmower!!, fairy/garden lights, outdoor furniture
Okay, so my third goal for this year is to improve my health and fitness. I want to feel better this year! I will give more details on exactly how I will do so as I go but am going to kick things off Monday, February 19th, by doing a mini-challenge for the rest of February. The main parts of my goal are to:
- Build muscle
- Improve cardio vascular health
- Eat healthier
- Drop some pounds!
Today is Lunar New Year and the Year of the Dog…which is MY YEAR! 12 years ago I made a significant difference in my health and wellness during the last Year of the Dog and plan to do so again! This time, though, I want to maintain that progress. Wish me luck 🙂
So one of my mat leave goals this year is to learn to cook a few new things as I mentioned a few posts ago. My plan was to cook at least two new things a month…which I have been doing. However, to keep motivated and interested, I also said I would have 3 dinner parties this year. I planned for the first one to be for my husband’s birthday but our little one ended up in the hospital so the timing was just not right. However, I got things together a short while later and earlier this week we hosted a Greek inspired dinner. Here is what was on the menu for the night:
Appetizers: Grilled pita with hummus, saganaki, and dolmathes
Mains and sides: Greek grilled chicken, spanakopita, lemon potatoes, and Greek salad
Drinks: Greek wine (it was horrible though!) and Ouzo
Dessert: Ice cream cake (because it was the husband’s birthday, after all, though I do hope to learn to make baklava one day)
I learned two main things due to this experience. 1). Cooking with a baby on hand is HARD! Luckily, my sister was around to keep the little one entertained so I could do what I need to do. Next time preparing ahead of time or in small doses while baby sleeps is key….or while the husband or someone else is home. 2). It is possible to make things if you really want! My sister commented it would be faster to just buy them or go to a restaurant but I enjoyed learning the process and building skills. I know I will put some of this knowledge to future use with other dishes. Plus, I can use less sugar, oil, butter etc and have the foods be less processed which is great. Since I often work overseas, it will also be great to have some recipes under my belt for the days I am sick of local food…which definitely happens. The main thing is that I want to be able to feed my baby healthy home cooked meals in the future.
This whole experience has given me a lot more confidence in the kitchen…plus it was fun. I invited my family over to join us and we all enjoyed ourselves. In fact, it has inspired us all to have a once a month family dinner in which we rotate the hosts. Looking forward to seeing what everyone else will serve! In the meantime, I will keep on cooking new things and look forward to the next dinner party…probably in the summertime.
SPANOKOPITA!! By far the most difficult of the Greek dishes to make but I did it! Plus, it was actually yummy!
Happy Valentine’s Day! This year I am feeling pretty blessed with my baby, husband, and other family. We are all very lucky to have each other.
Since it is a Wednesday today and my husband will be out of town tonight, we already celebrated by exchanging some gifts. I wanted some fancy mugs to go with the Keurig I got for Christmas and my husband also threw in chocolate, flowers, and a cheesy Valentine’s Day balloon (mostly for our baby who likes them so far). I bought him a bottle of Acqua di Gio cologne. It has always been one of my favourites. Hope everyone else is enjoying their day!
It is February! I have been missing since mid-January due to the mystery of my skinny baby. So it all started with my baby having severe reflux which I posted about in the past. We tried all kinds of things and eventually had to go on medication. The first one, Zantac, did not work but the second, Nexium, along with thickened milk formula brought down the spit up to about once a day from 8 times a day. However, the baby seemed a bit skinny still!
The doctor assured me he would catch up as he was 3 weeks early but made a referral to a pediatrician just in case. A few weeks later we were able to see the pediatrician. He let us know our baby was VERY skinny-in the 3rd percentile! He send us off to the hospital for some testing. A few tests turned into us ending up there for a week while the doctors did all they could to understand what the issue was. All the tests came back as normal which was baffling.
So, they put us on a strict every 3 hour feeding schedule with less milk per feeding but with formula that was fortified with more calories. We did this for a few days while other tests were done and the baby was gradually, though slowly, gaining weight. They guessed he may have a high metabolism. Then we were released but the next day, at a follow up appointment, he went down! I could swear the doctor looked at me as if I had been lazy and skipping feedings at home. I was a bit offended but realize he must see all kinds of people and I may suspect the same in his shoes. So, he and the dietitian have fortified the formula with more calories and we were told to come back in a week. Since then I obtained an at home scale and have been monitoring my little guy closely. It looked like he was gaining all week but I wanted to see the number on the hospital scale just to be sure!
The week later check in came up…and he had gained 300 grams. I was relieved! Since no other issues can be found they think the little guy has a fast metabolism and needs to be woken up regularly to drink milk. Strange. I sure did have a scare, though, with that 3 percentile thing! Being a new mom can be full of stress and worry that you never would have guessed. However, all seems well now…though I plan to watch my guy on the scale closely for the next while. Hopefully the case of the skinny baby will soon be closed!