Tag Archives: home

How do Dad’s feel during pregnancy?

English: Father with baby in the shower.
English: Father with baby in the shower. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The days are getting colder and I am spending more time at home. I regularly reflect back on my journey to becoming a mom. I am already 35 weeks pregnant and the pressure of becoming a mom and going through labour is just beyond the door. I am extremely excited and looking forward to having someone so little in my arms that I can hold and cuddle with. However, I have noticed my relationship with my husband has changed over the course of the pregnancy and is continuing to change.

In the beginning my husband was almost speechless, he looked like he was a little in shock when he found out I was pregnant. He didn’t show any overexcitement, but didn’t look disappointed either. Internally I think he was just trying to process the thought of being a dad, only having just less than a year ago become a husband I bet it was one more thing to think about.

It took him quite a while to adjust to being a husband, I think initially he felt pretty trapped and uncomfortable, it must have taken about 6 months for him to settle in with this thought. Being married puts pressure on a man, he is expected to fend for his family no matter what. In order for them to feel comfortable they need to gain their confidence as a stable income provider and a man in control. Women tend to nest easier and we quickly adapt to our wifely role, cooking, cleaning, supporting our men and doing just about anything to keep the balance at home.

Becoming a father is an even bigger challenge, with the daily changing of nappies, going to work, sleepless nights and one more mouth to feed. Some men get scared and they run away from their obligations, pretend it’s a woman’s job, hide at work or just don’t want to accept it. Unfortunately this leads to a lot of tension at home, because the wife is tired, neglected, finding no time for herself and just isolated with the baby with limited social interaction to a more adult group.

It is really important that both parents understand that they need time together as a family, also time to themselves and time alone without the baby. This is where grandparents come in handy I hope!

My husband is so fond of our little baby, even though he isn’t born. I think the reasoning behind this, is that I share with him all the little things baby does. Like when he kicks, or has hiccups and oddly enough babies even in the womb have their own characters. When mine gets startled or excited, he gets the hiccups. He also likes to stick out his bumm and have it rubbed and the more you rub it, the more he sticks it out.

He is a funny little character, just like his daddy!

While his daddy seems to be growing more and more overprotective over me, especially when the bump is slowly getting bigger. I still sometimes feel alone when I am at home. I now feel like I need more attention and care and the days are beginning to slow me down. Sleeping is becoming a problem and doing all the chores is not as easy anymore. This is when daddy’s can really help the mom to be, be home earlier, sometimes cook her a meal, help clean the house and just be reassuring. It can be a really stressful time mentally and the support means more than anything. If you ignore to do those things, she will be even more scared for the future and what a new baby might bring. She will think that not only is she now going to have to take care of you, but the chores and the baby. This becomes a cloud of doom, because of the massive uncertainty attached to how she is going to cope given her feelings of exhaustion.

Now is not the time to play computer / tv games, or do just about all the things you want to or have been doing, it is a time for change and stepping into the real role of manhood. Your contribution is invaluable and so are you in a relationship. Mind, Body and Soul.

Plus, you need to remember you are not just a husband now but also a father. That bond you get with your children that is something no one can later take away from you.

One colleague once said to me, you will inevitably end up fighting about stupid things. What you need to do is ask yourself, “Do I have a strong opinion about it, if not and your partner has then just go with it.”


Spinach and Feta Pie craving

Today I had my first real pregnancy craving, it was so strong that I could probably have chewed my hand off if I didn’t get it.

Apart from needing more sugar in my diet, I have been craving only fruits and veggies and unable to eat much meat. Anyway, this is probably the worst thing I could have eaten for my diet. But.. as they say you only live once and not everyone is perfect 100% of the time. Also, it is kind of my dad’s fault for bringing the idea up this afternoon. By the way, small triangles of this stuff is called spanakopita in greek.

Plus I am feeling rather exposed having posted my first chapter of my book on my blog.

So I will tell you how to make this delicious pie, that my husband also enjoys.

1. you need 6 eggs

2. feta cheese 150 grams

3. filo pastry, one carton

4. oil

5. spinach (one bag)

you will need a brush, a little bowl for the oil, one over tray and a fork. Also, I normally boil the spinach so it’s softer and easier to apply on the pie, but don’t over-boil it because then it will lose all it’s nutrients.

Put your oil in your little bowl and brush it on the inside of your tray. To prepare for the filling, grab a fork and crush the feta cheese into small little pieces, then break the eggs on top of this and beat it up. Don’t add the spinach in here, or it will just make the mixture too wet.

Take one filo pastry leaf and on the one side brush on some oil everywhere. Add along the narrower side the egg and feta, as if you making one thick line near almost the edge of the leaf. Lay a few spinach pieces on-top of your egg and feta line, then begin rolling gently until you get to the end. apply oil on the outer sides of this and begin making a circle on your tray. Repeat until you have done all your leaves the same way.

Put in the over @ 200 C. If you see your pastry is cracking a bit, you can sprinkle some water droplets on-top. When it is nice and golden usually your pie is ready.

Take out and serve semi warm. You can serve it with yoghurt.


You missed a spot!

Cleaning your house can be an absolutely gratifying experience for most of us. Even for some of us who think we can find our things in our piles of mess, we still really do feel at peace when we are in a neat environment. As a kid I use to like to hoard piles of papers from school in my cupboards and then regularly throughout the summer I would get black bin bags and empty my trash in them. I was really astounded to see the amount of rubbish i had collected, it used to amount to about 3 bin bags full. Now its the same, not school work obviously, but clothes and I must say I have increased the amount.

I mean all of us must have creams, shampoo, papers and all sorts of rubbish that we really can do without as we have more than one stored.

De-cluttering our lives takes a lot of discipline and determination in many ways, but it is an absolutely cathartic exercise.

Throwing something away to cleaning what we actually own is not very difference, the satisfaction of sitting in a dust free room that has been ventilated and ready for guests is on an increase. I am totally able to study and relax in this atmosphere. On the other hand, if I go by a piece of dust, hair or a spot of something on the floor more than once then my mind will fixate on the fact that the floor probably needs a clean or a vacuum.

Do you use detergents? *Please read the section at the end of the article, I think it give invaluable advice*

I have to be honest, I do use detergents to help me remove grime. Although I have watched the Aggie and Kim clean many british homes with lemon juice and what not, however I have not really tried it myself. It is supposed to be really effective.

After a while I realised as much as I change my diet I will never really be truly in a pure state of body, unless I eliminate the detergents OR stop using aerosol type detergents and always wear gloves. I have to say my skin feels better and I don’t cough every time I spray to clean the shower doors.

How often do you clean your home?

It seem like work is a full time job, when you at work you working on the business and when you at home you working on your home. This just burns a person out! So instead of doing house work on both Sunday and Saturday, I keep my Saturday’s absolutely free. I do whatever I want on this day, preferably relaxing, visiting friends etc. On Sunday I feel much more energised to throw my effort into the house, this weekend I even managed to do some gardening.

I clean my home weekly, a thorough clean every two weeks, so moving furniture  and dusting everywhere etc. and a smaller clean on the weeks in-between. If I do a thorough clean then I don’t have much time for my washing.I must say it is definitely more fun and quicker when you share the chores with a partner, house mate etc. You can make a competition out of it. “You buy the movie tickets if I finish first :)!”

If you can’t be bothered, then pay someone else to do it, but you can manage if you always clean as you go. Wipe that stove after you have used it, because it’s definitely easier now than later, similarly wipe the table, the breadboard and always think that things you do will require maintenance.

My house rule number 1: Take off your shoes at the door, beyond this point you are not allowed to walk around the house with shoes on.

According to a Home Hygiene article, the majority of us don’t know which items harbour the most germs, nor do we know how often we should clean them. So here are some tips from that article on how to clean your kitchen:

To keep the kitchen as hygienically clean as possible you should:

  • Regularly change dishcloths and boil wash them when possible
  • Keep separate chopping boards for raw and ready to eat foods to avoid cross contamination. Wash thoroughly and disinfect before use.
  • Replace chopping boards that are split or have seen better days
  • Use clean, dry dishcloths or kitchen towel to wipe surfaces – damp dishcloths harbour and spread bacteria
  • Add Dettol to a bucket with your normal household cleaner to ensure you are killing bacteria as well as making things look nice
  • Keep kitchen surfaces clean
  • The warmest part of your fridge should never exceed 5 degrees C – use a fridge thermometer to measure the temperature.
  • Open the fridge door as little as possible to maintain a constant temperature.
  • Store washed salad items, cooked and ready to eat items at the top, or in the salad compartment, and raw or defrosting meats at the bottom.
  • Cool hot foods to room temperature before refrigerating. Avoid leaving food out of the fridge for longer than 90 minutes.
  • Clean your fridge regularly

I want you to read the following and make up your own mind on how you will cut down on using the things we most dependant on these day for cleaning. Unfortunately we cannot fully abstract ourselves from some of the items mentioned, but we can definitely get closer to a purer way of life.

Before World War II, no-one used detergents. No one used detergents before WWII because they were yet to be invented. Detergents were not needed before then, this was because everyone was happy with the real soap that was used to wash people, dishes & floors, etc. During WWII the fats and oils that were used to make soap became scarce because they were being used instead to manufacture nitro-glycerine for explosives, and so another chemical source for cleaning agents had to be found. We were finding petroleum all over the place by this time, and scientists discovered that they could make thousands of new chemicals from this petroleum, including what they called detergents. Detergents soon became a regular household item because there was no alternative during WWII. OK, so if soap was so good at its job (before the war), why did we not return to using real soap after the war was over? Well, if you ran a company that made detergents and soap, and you could make a much larger profit on one product (detergent) versus another (soap), which would you promote? Today, detergents are still much cheaper to manufacture than true soaps, and marketing has ensured that a majority of the population is absolutely convinced that detergents are safe to use, and gentle to our skin and hair. The same goes for make-up, hairspray, creams and lotions, and any other cosmetics. These also changed from being made with ‘real’ ingredients to being synthetically prepared from petroleum products and becoming very similar to detergents. Would you be surprised to learn that the vast majority (>80%)of chemicals used in cosmetics and detergents have never been tested? And that the majority of the others have been tested only by the manufacturer and not an independent testing laboratory? What is also really scary is that testing methods and regulations covering the use of chemicals in cosmetics (including shampoos, conditioners, creams & lotions) are based on knowledge from the 1960s. Back then people thought that the skin was an effective barrier to chemicals; that anything placed on the skin was not absorbed in the body in any appreciable way, so we did not have to worry very much at all about what we put on our skin.These days, it is extremely obvious that the skin is actually very efficient at transferring chemicals from the skin surface to the blood stream and to the rest of your body. In fact, this knowledge is being exploited by the pharmaceutical industry to deliver drugs via skin patches. Delivering these drugs through a skin patch is much more effective than if you were to swallow a pill. If you were to take a pill, you would have to swallow at least 10X more of a drug to get the same effect as putting a skin patch on your arm, lets say.So, now that we know that what we put on our skin ends up in our bodies, should we not test all these chemicals in our detergents/cosmetics by the same measures that we test the effects of drugs on our system? Yes, of course we should! Does this mean it is happening, or going to happen? No. And why is that? The cosmetics industry is simply too large and powerful, and the regulating bodies are small, understaffed and powerless. Besides, they say, we’ve been using these chemicals for so long now that we would have seen any problem with them already, and that’s why most of them are classified as GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe). The fact of the matter is that there are so many people with chemical sensitivities, allergies, eczema, asthma, autism, Alzheimer’s, breast cancer etc that are not traceable to a single source because of all the synthetic chemicals we put on and in our bodies. We have to consider that rising ‘disease’ rates are due to the sum total of the chemical soup that we expose ourselves to everyday. We have to take responsibility for ourselves and our children by using products that are as human friendly as possible, and removing detergents from your life is an excellent way to start.

A 2004 study found that a very popular preservative used in cosmetics, called a PARABEN (comes as butyl-, ethyl-, methyl- and propylparaben), was found in breast cancer tissue. Parabens are classified as estrogenics, which mean they mimic estrogens. This class of chemicals is strongly suspected of causing feminizing effects of male sexual organs and falling sperm counts, as well as breast cancer. The really scary part is the role they play in affecting the unborn baby’s future fertility.Triclosan is another chemical that has been widely used in detergents (like liquid hand ‘soap’ from dispensers). Triclosan kills any living micro-organism (such as bacteria), and is considered a pesticide by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). So, why is it present in detergents, deodorants, creams, lotions, toothpaste and mouthwash? Good question! The reason is that we have been conditioned to fear every little bacteria that exists, and that we have been conditioned to think we need special antibacterial soap to prevent us from catching a cold or the flu or salmonella poisoning. What we are really doing is killing massive numbers of good bacteria that live in harmony on our skin and keep the nasty bacteria under control. What we are actually doing is opening ourselves up to infections by bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics: the so-called Super Bugs. And that is just what we do to our own bodies. What happens to the millions of liters of this chemical that wash down our drains every year, straight through the wastewater plants and into our rivers and oceans?

Washing with plain soap and water is just as effective at cleaning our skin, without the harmful and irreversible side effect of antibiotic resistance, or throwing natural ecosystems out of balance.Ok, so those are 2 chemicals that I don’t want to see in the products that I use, is that all? Unfortunately, the list of nasty chemicals to avoid is very long. The worst offenders in shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, cream, lotion and other cosmetics are the preservatives, the colours and the fragrances. These additives cause the largest number of allergic reactions among people, and not surprisingly contain the most toxic chemicals. So why do detergents and cosmetics contain these colours, fragrances and preservatives anyway? Synthetic chemicals are frequently unattractive to the human nose and must contain copious amounts of fragrance to mask their stink. Washing synthetic clothes in natural soap reveals that synthetic clothes also stink without synthetic fragrances clinging to them. Colour is added for the same reason. Synthetic products need to be made more attractive to encourage you to buy them. Preservatives must be added because consumers demand a long shelf life, and because of the high percentage of water in most synthetic products, the possibility of spoilage is a certainty without preservatives. So, your skin creams, shampoos, and conditioners will last indefinitely on the store shelf, but unfortunately, once in your body, they will not give you a longer life!

*with reference from http://www.clearwatersoapworks.com/site/1501105/page/664195*

What Nationality are you?

It seems to me that this question comes up as often as “What is your name?”.
Society defines people into categories and strangely enough one of them is about your nationality. Why is this?

Well, as much as we dislike stereotyping we do anyway…we think that British people drink beer on average more than any other nation, but actually the Czech Republic beats them on alcohol consumption per capita – UK is number 6 in the world. When we think of Mediterranean people we think they are loud and speak with their hands. I agree, but then I think some African nations and also Americans speak very loudly too. Anyway if you don’t know how to speak loudly here is a guide http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/how-to-talk-loud-4091.html
I prefer to hear the people I am talking to :). When we see good looking blond women we generally think they are from Russia. If people have a darker skin then they are automatically from somewhere exotic etc. and the list goes on.

We live in very cosmopolitan countries, yet we have an obsession to understand people through identifying the simplest of facts.

  • Where are you from?
  • What is your name?
  • What is your age?
  • Where do you live?
  •  What do you do?

From these 5 simple questions we begin assembling a picture of the individual. I bet you most times than not we are often surprised at ourselves, because we find out in a good way, that the person is different from what we originally thought; maybe even better! When this happens you begin to enjoy the individual’s company, yet your mind seems to retain a few thoughts about that person that you find commonality with. They went to the same school as you, or you have had a good vacation in the country they are from. Negative or positive experiences begin to form feelings that guide your actions towards these individuals.

So two things can occur at this point in time:

1. Your thoughts about this individual were negative to begin with and there presentation of themselves is beginning to reaffirm your thinking, so you get bored and don’t want to even really give them a chance unless the event that you are in pressures you to get to know them. The percentage chance that you will begin to like them now is low and every time they make a mistake or react in a way you expect them to this confirms your thinking, which is more likely given your mind bending the rules a bit, then this is the more you will want to end that social interaction.

2. You find the individual similar to someone you know, therefore common to your knowledge and therefore you are either thinking of them in a positive light or negative light. At this point they will either make you feel comfortable and safe OR someone to be avoided. You may begin to react more openly and warmly towards them or sternly and coldly, which is sometimes dangerous as you begin to expose yourself and are unaware of their future actions of the individual either way.

Everything we have mentioned above in my opinion is not advisable.

Best thing is to be surprised by life see it from a third person and enjoy everyone around you, try not to judge and try not to form a picture in your mind. Let the individual do this for you and you will be truly amazed how much more you will begin to appreciate people. Be more careful as to what you say, but sometimes observation and listening takes you a long way and you learn more.

So what nationality am I then?

Well I lived in 6 countries and I believe to really get to know the culture you need to learn the language and so I did. I liked all the traditions that each one had to offer and I have friends all over the world. When I go back to the country that I was born in, they see me sometimes as a foreigner… so I find it hard to say it was my home. The country I lived the longest in I haven’t been back to and I have no family ties there, so how hard is it for me to answer this question.

I am from the country I live and work in and where my family is. I try to preserve my identity of the person I have become over the years and adapt to my new surroundings. I believe taking on a bit of everything makes you international and that’s what I like to be.