2018 Goal Two: Work and Play!

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Okay, so after some more careful consideration, I have come up with my second mat leave year goal. It is to work AND play. Part one of this goal involves finding some light work to keep myself mentally stimulated. This could be volunteer work or paid work but something in line with my career ambitions that I will enjoy…and that may open doors in the future. I have learned that everything I have been involved in has led to some other opportunity or experience so I may as well focus in on things more in line with my interests and ambitions.

The second part of this goal is play. By this I mean that I do not want to take on work that is too heavy so I can enjoy some time to play. I will play with my baby but also want to take a vacation so my husband and I can enjoy some time playing. It cannot be too soon as our baby is still small but I think I will deserve it after the hard work of pregnancy and newborn care!

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2018 Goal One: Cook off!

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As I mentioned in my last post, I want to use my maternity leave time wisely. So, I have decided to come up with some goals for the year. After some careful thinking, I am starting with my first goal: learn to cook more things! I have never been the best cook. My husband is great at it and complains about almost everything I make. I am not too worried about him but now that I have a baby, I want to learn to make a few decent homemade meals that will come in handy as he grows up. Thus, my first goal was clear.

I have started by creating a list of a few key items to learn to make. After all, I will end up delaying and delaying otherwise and do not want to cram all the learning in at the end of the year. Another way I am discouraging procrastination is to set up some fun parameters around the goal. In this case I am going to ensure that 1). I learn at least two new dishes per month and 2). that I host a dinner party (small or large) at least three times this year to show off my new skills. The first one will be in early February for my husband’s birthday.

So far I have learned to cook a creamy spinach pasta and, just today, I made some mini-cheesecakes. Two were coffee flavoured, one was plain, one was chocolate swirl, and the last was peanut butter with chocolate swirl. I ate the peanut butter one and it was really great. It was also very easy so no more spending 10$ on a single slice of cheesecake from the dessert shop any more. Maybe, in addition to more natural healthy food, I will also save some money?!

Anyway, for the first dinner party I am planning a Greek theme! I have already reached out to a friend for her spanokopita recipe and will track down some kefalograviera cheese for the saganaki. The Greek salad should be easy enough but will need to figure out which mains to prepare for the vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Finding the Greek wine will be easy enough! May have to skip the Greek dessert though as it is not may favourite. More cheesecake, perhaps? We will see!! Am looking forward to my cooking adventures!

Mat leave goals…

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I cannot believe two months have passed since our little guy was born! Time seems to have just flown by. Baby has gained a few pounds, gone through many diapers, had his first shots, and chugged heaps of milk. He is getting stronger and more alert each day. My life seems a bit strange and unrecognizable…and I do not know who I will be when the months go by but I am not disturbed by it.

The good news is that: 1). I have recovered from the nerve pain and can walk normally again. 2). Christmas was low key but great. I got the single serve coffee maker I wanted and a fancy panini press for great grilled cheese sandwiches (yummy!). 3). Our baby’s reflux issues have also calmed down a bit now that we have switched formula and are trying a new medicine. Unfortunately, he still spits it all up at least once a day and can only handle a max of 3 ounces per feeding. Hopefully this will improve, though, and he will begin to gain weight normally.

Now that the holidays are done with and things feel more stable with the baby, I am ready to rejoin the real world and look forward again. I will have 10 more months off before my paid maternity leave is complete. I, of course, will spend heaps of time taking care of my little one but also want to do some good things this year. So, I need to come up with some great mat leave goals. In the next while I will be thinking about this more carefully so I can focus my attention in the right place. Any ideas?

Bye 2017…hello 2018!!

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2017 is gone. I will miss it. It was a great year. We had so many blessings in our lives. My husband obtained his citizenship and got his passport, I got my dream foreign assignment job, we became pregnant, we flew over Niagara Falls in a helicopter, we moved to India for 3 months, we paid off our debts and saved a big chunk of money, we traveled all over India, we enjoyed a family wedding, my husband visited his home country after 6 years, we had our baby, and we bought an apartment in my husband’s home city. Amazing! What a year!

There were some bad things as well, of course. Both of us had family members who had issues recently and I had horrible pain towards the end of the pregnancy. The good obviously outweighed the bad.

Now it is the first day of 2018. I am hoping this year will also be a great one…probably not quite as exciting as I am on maternity leave during most of it but still!

Wishing everyone a very happy new year and the best for 2018 🙂

Mom hell: reflux!

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Not my baby but wish he would only spit up this much instead of the crazy amount that seems to come out.

I am in mommy hell due to reflux. My baby has milk 8 times a day and was spitting up (what seemed like ALL the milk he consumed) 8 times a day!! It was gross, it produced a lot of laundry, and it freaked me out. What was wrong with my baby?! I did some research online and suspected reflux. I tried to give smaller portions and feed more often and hold him up for up to an hour after each feeding and nothing was working. I worried about his weight and health.

This is what he looks like when screaming during burping….makes for some hellish 3 and 6 am feedings.

I then went to the doctor as the next step as the internet said reflux is not serious as long as the baby does not seem to be in pain.

They prescribed Zantac. It worked the first day. The second day the baby threw up twice so I decreased the amount of milk a bit and it helped. The next two days all seemed well again until the baby seemed hungry so I increased the milk amount. Now the last two days the baby seems to throw up the first feeding after taking the medicine but not at other feedings. I guess this is still good BUT the baby seems to now hate burping and seems fussy at various points in the day. I tried to reduce the amount of milk per feeding again and feed more often but he then seems like he is starving all the time although the milk per day is the same. So, now I am a bit at a loss!

My next step is to increase the dosage a little bit as we are currently at the lowest amount of the range for his weight…but not sure if this will work as he only throws up during the feedings immediately after the medication. Hmmm. Will give it a try for a day or two and then back to the doctor. Man, reflux is hellish!!

Hard to get into the Christmas spirit…

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The weather has been great. I have not been to many malls or stores. I have not been socializing much. I am spending most of my time with my new baby. Could these be the reasons it just does not seem like Christmas is less than 10 days away? This is the first year in quite some time that I feel like I have not gotten into the Christmas spirit. In fact, I just finished putting up the tree a few days ago (and it felt like an obligation more than a pleasure). However, yesterday my husband and I got all dressed up and took the baby down to the local mall for his first photo with Santa. He looked a little grumpy in it but it was nice.

We have had a great year so decided to buy gifts that are a bit more special this year. For each family member we splurged a little and think everyone will be delighted come Christmas. I managed to get everything in the last few days as I have not been in the shopping mood. I have also realized there is very little I want myself and I am very content. I am not very interested in material things but my heart always longs to travel and explore. I am guessing we will have some adventures in 2018. However, my family insisted I produce somewhat of a wish list to help them so the top item I asked for was a single cup coffee machine like a Kuerig or Tassimo. This will make my new maternity leave life a lot easier!

Anyway, hopefully the Christmas mood will hit me in the next few days!

Mouse in my house…

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There is a mouse in my house and I am freaking out! A week or two ago I heard some strange sounds that seemed to be coming from in the walls. The heating system makes similar noise sometimes so I brushed it off. Then, earlier this week I got up to get some milk for my baby late at night and saw a mouse scurry under the couch. I let out a shriek and ran back into the bedroom. After some time I got up my courage and returned to the room to see it rush into the bathroom. It was there that it seemed to disappear.

The next day I inspected the washroom and removed a heating vent cover. Some pipes go into the wall and there is a hole there. This seems to be where the mouse came from. I turned to Google for some advice and have some very specific tasks for my husband this weekend!! As far as I can tell there is only one visitor (at this point) and I would like to keep it that way. I have lived on a farm so know exactly how out of control mice can get unless you take care of them promptly. Hopefully we will be able to solve this problem this weekend. Wish me luck!