Sweet or Savory Croissants

Hello, everyone!

I am back to the blog world, perhaps temporarily to share this incredible croissant recipe that is super light and delicious. Most croissant recipes take a good few days to make, however, this only took me a couple of hours!

 

Recipe:

1 cup of warm milk
1/4 cup of oil
Salt to taste
1 & a half soup spoons of yeast
1/2 a soup spoons of sugar
1 egg

I throw everything into my bread machine and slowly add flour until I hate a soft dough.

Note this is for savory croissants. If I make sweet ones, I put in a pinch of salt & around 4 soup spoons of sugar.

One we have a nice, soft dough, i shape it so it looks like a thinner shorter version of a loaf of bread and use a knife to cut into 6 equal pieces. It gets slightly complicated to explain here so stay with me. I open up the first piece into a nice circle and make it as thin as possible, I then pick it up and put it on a really well floured surface. Trust me, flour it well. I then melt 500g of margarine (for those in Algeria, Florial is the best margarine to use for this recipe) and I sort of paint some of the melted margarine on the opened dough. I then open the second piece and place it on top of the one with margarine again and repeat. However, don’t put margarine onto the last one. Then I pick up my pile after patting it and the open it up with a rolling-pin. You will end up with a huge round circle around 1/2cm thick. I then take a knife and cut it in half exactly in the middle, then in half again and again like you’d cut a pizza until you end up with 16 equally sized triangles.

Pick up a triangle and open up the bottom half more with a ²²rolling-pin, then hold on to the sharp edge bit of the triangle and pull slowly to make it longer but don’t let it rip.

Fill it with whatever you want at the bottom half you thinned out. I used soft cheese, tuna and some grated cheddar. Then roll from the bottom half where you put your filling tightly. Place on your baking tins and put a little egg yolk and coffee on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until they are nice and brown.

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And there you have it! I will apologise for my terrible descriptive skills. My English vocabulary is very weak at this point in my life. I will blame motherhood and terrible nights. If something is unclear, please let me know and I will try and fix it.

Until next time.

Always & Forever

For the past 19 years of my life, looking back, a lot of the highlights included my grandma. Her dog, Jessie, going out for walks to the park, to the market, getting ice cream and her telling us not to tell mummy. Buying us everything we ever wanted and more. Spoiling us with way too many chocolate. Even her telling me off and a little slap across the bum are memories I cherish now. How she was so dreamy yet so sensible. How we used to write each other letters and she would help me with my drawings. How she didnt get offended when I told her that her arm was so fat it was as comfortable as a pillow. How she would call me her little princess when I had a little princess of my own. How excited she got when I fell pregnant and told me I had to have a girl, “it’s tradition!”.

And now, she’s gone. And oh, how angry I am. I am so angry that I live in a world that doesn’t have her in it. I am so angry that I can’t give her a ring or write her a letter. I am so angry that she wont be able to see Reem. Oh, how she loves baby girls! I am so angry that I will never see her again, that she never met my husband. So freaking angry. I wish we had more time.

A couple weeks before she passed, she asked for my address. She was feeling better. She wanted to write to me. I was so excited. And now, despite my mum telling me she never managed to write to me. I wait. Every day, I wait for her letter. I still have hope that she did write something. It’s on its way. Even though I know she probably couldn’t write anything. I still have hope she did.

No matter how much I write about her, I will never be able to capture just how loving and funny she was. How much she made my life better.

Always & forever. <3

Parenthood!

You read Buzzfeed posts, watch other mums, keep up with mummy blogs. Yet nothing really prepares you for what motherhood is really like.

I prepared for the worst. No sleeping. Screaming baby. Colic. Figuring out your child’s needs. Nappies. Bottles. Baby blues. Not managing to do anything else. Being lonely…. But little did I know I was in for a surprise. I wouldn’t say I was scared or nervous. I always had the “oh how bad it be” attitude. And thank God, baby Reem turned out to be just perfect. She woke up every two hours for a bottle since birth. That gradually went up to three hours and it’s still the same now. She went to sleep pretty easily. She barely ever cried. She never got colic. She hasn’t gotten sick (yet). She smiles all the time. Even giggles a few times. She is growing quickly. Burps quickly. Poops daily. I even got a few full night’s sleep a few times until 9 weeks when she has slept through since. Yup, lazy like her mama! Alhamdulileh, mashallah, it has all been a breeze and if all my future babies would be like this I would have fifty babies haha.

I am not really sure if there is a secret to making a baby sleep through the night or not. I always believed that babies aren’t meant to sleep through the night. So if it may be a problem to us, it isn’t to them. And unfortunately, there is no telling a baby what to do. It will sleep when and for how long it wants and will eat whatever and how much it wants! But for me, I wanted to give her a routine as early as possible. So from the age of 4 days old when she got her first bath, I started bathing her every other night followed by a massage, a warm bottle and then bed. During the day I would keep her where there is noise to help her learn the difference between day and night. No playing or bright nights at light. Feeding on demand. Swaddling. Dummy/pacifier. Comforter. And yeah, that’s what worked for us.

I think all mums and mums to be need to realise that all babies are different. While this method worked for me, (or it didnt and my baby just likes to sleep!) it might not work for you. It might work for your first baby but not your second. No matter how many articles and blog posts you read, you will find yourself learning your own stuff and doing things to suit you and your baby.

Reem is 3 & a half months old. Due her three month vaccines on Thursday. This vaccine is known to give fevers and as she has never been sick and with a history of siezures and stopping breathing in her family, I am understandably petrified.

I have been trying to figure out what I want to blog about and what do I want the main focus of this blog to be. I am not sure if I want to turn it into a mummy blog, a life blog or something else. While I am very busy being a mummy, a wife and a BAC student plus trying to keep my social life alive, it is nothing of that much interest or very deserving to blog about.  Maybe I shall just go with the flow and see how it all works out.

Sorry for the boring post, i am just trying to get my blogging groove back!

19 & a mummy!

image image31st July 2015

I was probably around 38 + 4, going with a due date of August 10th, which seemed to be the most accurate.

At 35 weeks, I got a scan that told us my baby was measuring around 7lbs 2oz, which was huge. She was over the 95th centile, and I was freaking out.. big time. I was told to come back in another two weeks for another scan and that is when they would decide what to do. In the meantime, I had to take a GTT test to see if that was why my baby was measuring so big. It came back negative. Two weeks later at 37 weeks, this new scan result told us she was weighing around 8lbs 13oz. Again, above the 95th centile and absolutely huge. They sent me into maternity assessment, where I had already spent the night there a few days ago due to reduced fetal movements, her heart rate was quite irregular but everything else seemed perfectly fine. The dr I saw spoke to me about waiting another two weeks and scanning again and if the baby was over 4.5kgs they would offer me a c section. She was already estimated to be 4.023kgs so she could easily be bigger in two weeks.

A few days later, at 38 weeks, I went back in with more reduced fetal movements and I was admitted for three days. I got my first stretch & sweep the night I was admitted when I was barely a finger tip dilated. I had a “bloody show” after that. The next afternoon, I got another stretch & sweep and I was then 2cm dilated. I was then put on the list to get my waters broken. The list was quite long so I was sent to wait from home and they would call me when they were ready for me. I was constantly monitored in the hospital and her heart rate was always irregular but nothing too abnormal for them to worry about much.

I came home on Thursday and was super stressed. I had been drinking raspberry leaf tea and doing lots of squats and dancing and walking over the past week or so. I was loosing lots of my mucus plug. That’s when I decided to take two soup spoons of castor oil in a glass of pineapple juice at around 17:00pm. I felt a bit sick and my tummy was a little upset but nothing too serious. I took a hot shower and went to bed after a mini dance out in the bathroom. I started feeling crampy but didn’t want to get excited or jinx anything, so I ignored them and went to sleep. I had the best nights sleep but then was awoken at 9:23 by a loud and painful pop. I jumped awake, startled, and thought what in the world was that? And quite randomly, this line a midwife told someone on one born every minute a week ago just popped into my head, “Did your waters go with a loud pop like I predicted?”

I tried to move to sit up and that’s when it started gushing out. I sat at the edge of my bed trying to keep it in while I rang mum to get me a towel or something so I wouldn’t soak the carpet. They slowly but furiously leaked out and I waddled to the toilet and sat there ringing my husband. My cramps started again and by 10:15 I was in a lot of pain. The contractions were around 4 minutes apart. We all got dressed and got ready to go to the hospital. At 10:30 we got to the hospital and I was in a lot of pain, the contractions two minutes apart. By 11:00 I was taken to the delivery suit being 4cm dilated and shouting out in pain. They were less than a minute apart barely giving me a break. I probably terrified a lot of women and I got a little to physical with my poor mother.

I was offered gas & air which made me feel weak and nauseous and it quite scared me. I couldn’t keep still and was begging for an epidural. The midwife kept telling me I had to calm down and practice on sitting still during the contractions otherwise I wouldn’t be able to get the epidural. I just couldn’t. It all started so suddenly. I read that your contractions start at like 20 minutes apart and slowly get closer. But I was getting no break in between them and I was panicking. They convinced me to give gas & air another chance, and I soon got enough in me to calm me down and sort of take me into another world. All the pain was still there but my mind wasn’t focused on it. I finally got my epidural in which I didn’t even feel. It was amazing and by 13:30 I was pain free apart from the left side of my belly where I could still feel some pain from the contractions and I still needed the gas & air. But it definitely took the edge of it and I was calm and relaxed. When I got a top up, I was completely pain free and sobered up a little from the gas and air and spoke to my husband more on the phone. The midwives never left the room as the baby didn’t like the labor too much and her heart rate was all over the place.

By 15:30 I was 9cms dilated. But baby was back to back so I had to move to hopefully get her move. They also placed a clip on her head to monitor her heartbeat a little better.

At 18:30 I was fully dilated and could feel her head just sitting there. She had turned slightly so she was facing my thigh. By 19:00 I started to push, a bunch of doctors came in to whitness all the glory as her heart rate was really bad and they needed her out. I was talked through going to theatre and getting her sucked out. But alhamdulileh, at 19:29, baby Reem was born, a little shocked with quite an odd shaped head due to the position she came out in, weighing 7lbs 13oz & had a head full of hair, but healthy and perfect.

18 & Pregnant – Week who-the-hell-knows?!

I am ridiculously sorry on the waaay overdue update. The past few weeks, I have gone into preterm labor and the recovery from that, had a funeral, guests visiting to give their condolences, getting ready for my trip, travelling, settling down, visiting my ill grandmother, dealing with Ramadan, sorting out midwife appointments, going to the hospital fifty billion times, recovering from a nasty flu & being in charge of 7 kids and teenagers while my parents went away for two weeks. So, for once, I actually have legit excuses this time!

Around six weeks ago, I started having uncomfortable contractions that were around 3 – 4 minutes apart and lasting around 1 minute, After four hours of hydrating and resting, I finally decided to go into hospital were they gave me injections to stop labor and close my cervix as I was 1cm dilated, and I was put on strict bed rest. After a few days, the contractions stopped and so far everything has been good, alhamdulileh.

9 days later, I had a flight to catch to the uk. Alhamdulileh that all went smoothly and after a five-hour drive, I finally arrived at my parents’ house. The first few days were quite tough for me. I was happy to see all my siblings and parents after a whole year, but it was weird seeing how much they had grown and changed. It was also difficult being without my husband who I have grown so attached to as my only family for a year. But I quickly readjusted and started to enjoy my visit back home while missing my husband.

I booked myself in and started seeing a midwife. She is absolutely lovely and I really hope she has a shift at the hospital when I go into labor. She noticed that I was measuring a few weeks big each time and sent me to the hospital to see an OB and to get a scan booked.

The scan confirmed that the baby seemed much bigger than what she was supposed to be weighing 7lbs 2oz and measuring as a full term baby when I was supposedly only 34 weeks. That is when I was told there was no way I was 34 weeks and if I was I was going to have a 15lb baby which is totally ridiculous! So I was referred to two different OBs to try and figure out when my new due date would be. According to my 8 – 9 week scan, I was due on August 10th, according to my last period, I was due on August 1st. I wasn’t that shocked as I was always confused by my due date and was pretty sure I was further along than I was told. I had to have a glucose test to rule out gestational diabetes but the doctors told me it is highly unlikely I have it.

I dont think they will be able to really give me a proper due date. It is too late in the pregnancy to get a specific date. They have told me she is most likely full term and to expect her arrival any day. I currently have another scan on the 28th of July to see how she is growing, and I assume if she on the big side, we will start to discuss getting induced. I don’t think they quite know what to do with me and they are just praying I go into labor on my own within the next week or two. I am hoping for the same.

She is fully engaged now and boy does it hurt. I have heard that you do feel a lot of pressure down there and it feels like a watermelon is sitting right between your legs. I do feel that, but I also feel a lot of pain esp the first few steps after sitting down. It’s like she weighs 50lbs not 7!

The terrible cramps have seemed to calm down now I am taking calcium supplements thank god. I am also on iron pills for mild anaemia, which wasnt really surprising due to how exhausted I am always feeling.

I am grateful that I can still sleep plenty and sleep through the night without needing to pee or baby waking me. So many mothers at this point can barely get any sleep. Who knows how many good nights of sleep I have left? So I am definitely making the most of it!

I see my midwife next week and I really hope she starts checking me for dilation. The more days go by, the slower they seem. So I am almost 38 weeks possibly and inshallah ready to pop soon. Will try and update whenever I can. Have a good day, peeps!

P.S I passed those darned exams! Only one year left to graduation. Won’t be easy juggling that and being a new mummy, but it wasnt easy juggling school and being a newly wed either, so I can certainly do it!

18 & Pregnant – Week 27

May 18th – May 24th

The past five weeks have been a total blurr. They haven’t necessarily gone by quickly, but they certainly have been hectic. I am so glad to have my exams over and done with, and to hopefully have done well. I am also proud to say that my entire room has been cleaned and organised (the cleaning, I have my sisters in law to thank for) I have also redecorated our room to make space for the cot, which we wont be buying any time soon as we can’t afford it. Looks like the husband will be out and buying it on his own. Gulps.

The bad news is my husband got refused his visa for the second time. I am absolutely heartbroken and so upset and frustrated. I have booked an appointment at the embassy and as a last, desperate attempt, I am to go and throw a tantrum and demand my rights. The embassy however tell the public they don’t deal with visas anymore, so I am not sure what is going to happen. I am quite nervous tbh and hope it doesn’t show when I do eventually get my appointment as the idiots are on holiday. So, he is going to miss the birth and we are planning on skyping during if possible. But I am still gutted and want to cry everytime I think about it.

I have decided to go ahead and travel to the uk to spend time with my family, have her there and then return home. I am trying to get all excited, but leaving my husband behind and him missing the birth just makes it all quite hard to look forward to. But, I have already booked my tickets, just over two weeks to go, insha’allah. I am trying to focus on the fact that when she is finally here, I will have at least a couple of weeks to adjust and bond with my baby and learn as I go along in some peace and quiet, away from mother in law who is, quite frankly, bossy, interfering and a pain in the arse, and I am so grateful she wont be up my nose from the day I give birth. I will also have time to recover and heal inshallah and prepare all the parenting battles that come with living with the in laws… Sighs.

Pregnancy has started getting harder again. I definitely feel heavier and only have a few items of clothing that fit. I am getting so many nosebleeds that it’s ridiculous. I am suffering from sciatica nerve pain, restless leg syndrome, and the worst of all: leg cramps that leave me limping and in pain for three days. I am all swollen too, but nothing too drastic, thank God! Bed time and moving around in bed is definitely getting more uncomfortable too.

I went in for my appointment last week, to my new OB that I am so much happier with. It all went smoothly and she gave me some calcium supplements for my cramps. She also sneaked in a quick scan and we got a really clear view on my little bubba’s face. It got me all excited to meet her & was such a magical moment. My next appointment, I will be in the uk inshallah.

How far along? 27 weeks
Symptoms? Sciatica nerve pain, leg cramps, rls, nose bleeds, tiredness, not much of an appetite..
Total weight gain/loss? I have gained 22 pounds in total. And nothing the past six weeks, which I am happy about.
Maternity clothes? Non. But I should get some..
Stretch marks? Outer thighs, behind the knees and boobs.
Sleep? I fall asleep quickly when my rls isn’t playing up but I definitely have a hard time getting comfortable.
Best moment last week? Catching her move on camera.
Movement? Plenty. I don’t count.
Food cravings? Bbq…
Gender? Girl.
Belly button in/out? In, but serverly stretched out and unrecognisable.
What I miss: my flat belly.
What I am looking forward to: my next ultrasound/hopefully 3D scan
Milestones: Less than 90 days to go!

18 & Pregnant – Week 23

April 20th – April 26th

Okay, ignore the dates. I have been tracking my pregnancy wrong all along. After getting a second opinion from another OB, I am now officially due August 17th, making me around two weeks behind what I originally thought I was. No big deal. At least I am no longer so confused. I hate not knowing what is going on and finally getting answers has given me some much needed relief.

There has been so much going on in my life the past few weeks. My husband’s appeal for his visa refusal got rejected. And then we reapplied again for a visa. Hopefully, this time, it wont be a waste of energy, time and money. Please pray really hard for us.

We have also decided that I will be going to the uk to have our baby with or without my husband. As much as I would love for him to be there, I really don’t want to give birth in Algeria, or spend the first few weeks as a new mummy with my in laws. Don’t get me wrong, they are lovely and are my family too, I love them (well, most of them) so much and will miss them terribly when I am gone, I would much rather be with my mum and dad and siblings and have some peace and quiet and good recovery time before making my way back to Algeria, the land of the insane and the hectic. I need a lot of time to mentally prepare myself for all the guests bombarding me and my baby, and all the not so helpful suggestions and tips and advice that will be given to me over and over and over. The Algerians and the English do things ever so differently. But I will try not to stress about all this until that time arrives.

My phone is currently broken and waiting to be fixed. It has been over a month already and I will probably wait longer until it is fixed. No shocker, really. You are an idiot if you expect more in Algeria. So no pictures to track the growth of my bump unfortunately. But it certainly is growing as I get more and more uncomfortable by the day. I don’t even want to think about how i feel like, 10 weeks from now.

I have also been slowly sorting out my very messy room, preparing myself for my trip to the UK. I will be away for at least three month,s and when I am back with a new baby, the last thing I want to be doing is organising things. So I want my room to be nice and ready before I leave. We will be having our daughter in our room, and we only have space for her cot, so I am currently making space for her in our wardrobe that is huge thankfully, and sorting out endless wedding gifts that I just shoved out of sight and getting rid of things I dont need. Then all I need to do is give the room a good spring clean and wash my carpet and bedding and cover everything up when I am about to leave if the husband isn’t staying behind so everything doesnt get awfully dusty. Algeria is also the land of the dust!

But I do look forward to this trip away from the Algerians and to introduce my husband to my grandparents and aunt and cousin! It will also be really good for him to get to understand me. He thinks I am a total weirdo and no one on this planet is like me. He certainly isn’t ready to be stuck in a house with 10 people just like me for three months and non of his family to talk to! He will finally understand why I struggle so much with his faimy and why it took me ages to feel a little relaxed with his parents. But… having said that, he is a man, and he probably won’t ever understand.

Other than that, I have been feeling crappy. I am emotional and in a bad mood most of the time. Super impatient and annoyed at everyone for no reason. I am so tired and I just want to lay in bed all day. I think I am overwhelmed and hormonal. With my exams coming up in exactly two weeks and so much to do and leaving so soon after them, I have the right to feel stressed and overwhelmed.

I have quite a lot of rib pain and some backaches. Nose bleeds but my skin is finally clearing up a little! Night time has become uncomfortable and it takes such an effort to turn in bed and get comfortable. I feel like I am too big and it isn’t really fun. I am off of food mostly again too. I dont get hungry much and I don’t fancy anything unless it’s chocolate ice cream which has been my favourite thing for the past week or so.

“I am getting my baby fat, finally. I guess Mummy decided to share the wealth.” Bloody cheak! This tracker gets worse each week.