Pregnancy is complicated

After our first child, my husband and I decided to be patient with having our second and almost 6 years later I found out I’m pregnant again.

It was the perfect timing with my daughter being at school and us being stable in our jobs.

My first pregnancy was very smooth thanks to God, no complications, I was very energetic, very little nausea at the beginning, positive vibes and all that pregnancy glow was there.

My second pregnancy however was not as expected. Nothing major to be honest but surprisingly a little difficult. To begin with I spent the first trimester feeling nauseous and tired. I needed my full strength since I was working full shifts and interacting with people was also energy consuming. I prayed for the nausea to fade and it did thank God. Then at week 17 I had an ultrasound and the technician was trying to be nice and informative explaining some specific details I didn’t need to know. She said between week 17 and 20 the baby’s brain fills up with fluids and then empties after that and which was showing on the scans and we needed to follow up so imagine what I had to go through from that time until my next scan.

Isolated mild fetal ventriculomegaly at second trimester

Needless to say Google search was not happy because I had searched every possible pathology and anomaly that could explain what that meant. And at my next visit everything was peaceful again, the technician said it’s all good and that no fluids were showing anymore but still we needed to follow up just to make sure which was enough for me.

Normal Ultrasound of brain at second trimester

Moms are super heroes not only they have to endure physically but also emotionally. Now, at 26 weeks I’ve been suffering from a very disturbing cough since mid March and wouldn’t go away but it keeps on changing forms. Started dry, then a little mucus was coming out but then transformed into very intense cough which troubled me with the COVID-19 outbreak so I went to see the doctor who said my chest is clear, no need even for antibiotics, and it might be just allergies or possibly gastric reflux especially when I mentioned that it gets worse when I lay down on my back. She gave me allergy medications and told me to check how it goes, But as it evolved into severe cough with shortness of breath followed by vomiting I thought it might be actually a gastric reflux so I bought pregnancy safe antacids.

Pregnancy safe antacids

It’s been one week now and the symptoms have improved even though they haven’t faded entirely. I’m a patient person so I’ll try to be in this and see how it goes.

Fingers crossed for a smooth ending.

Stef…

Easter Bread Recipe

On April 19th, Greek Orthodox celebrate Easter and this year it’s different.

Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak and things are not the same. While Easter celebrations are not about clothes or Easter eggs, people gathering to share the joy and true meaning of the holiday is. And this year it’s different! People are asked to remain isolated and social distancing is advised to prevent infection.

Nevertheless, one thing remains, the faith of better days to come and hope that the coming holidays will bring more joy and peace to everyone.

This post is not about being cliché it’s actually about sharing a far memory I had growing up. As my mother’s family side would bake what is called Easter bread and it’s this fluffy bread brioche that is decorated with colored eggs.

The recipe is actually an italian tradition called Pane De Pasqua and this is the one I used today:

LINK to recipe: https://thatrecipe.com/blog/italian-easter-bread/

Pane di Pasqua (Italian Easter Bread)

Pane di Pasqua, Italian Easter Bread, is a fluffy sweet bread traditionally in a wreath shape with brightly colored eggs baked inside. 

Ingredients

BREAD

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 packets yeast a little less than 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5-6 cups all-purpose flour
  • zest of 1 lemon optional

EGGS

  • 5 eggs uncooked
  • 3 teaspoons vinegar
  • red yellow and blue food coloring

FINAL EGG WASH

  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. (Hot water from the tap, but no hotter).
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the milk and heat until it is warm. You can test it by putting a drop on your wrist. It should feel warm but not hot. If it is hot let it cool. The hot liquid will kill the yeast and your bread won’t rise.
  3. Add the milk and butter to the yeast and mix.
  4. Add the sugar, 2 lightly beaten eggs, salt and lemon zest (if using). Mix to combine.
  5. Add 5 cups of flour one cup at a time, mixing in between each addition. The dough will be a bit sticky.
  6. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of flour on the counter. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Add extra flour, about 1/4 cup at a time, if the dough is too sticky too knead.
  7. If you add too much flour the dough will not be light and fluffy. If you have a mixer with a bread hook use it to do the kneading.
  8. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Put in a warm place to rise until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours
  9. I put mine in the oven with the oven light on.
  10. While the dough is rising, boil 1 1/2 cups water.
  11. Get three small cups. Add 15-20 drops of color to each cup (one red, one yellow, one blue). Add 1 teaspoon vinegar to each cup, then add 1/2 cup of boiling water to each cup and stir.
  12. Dip the eggs in the color and let sit until as dark as you want. You can mix and match the colors to have orange, green and purple too.
  13. Punch down the dough and divide into 3 equal parts. Roll each part into a long rope, about 20 inches long.
  14. Braid the three strands together and shape into a circle, pinching and tucking the ends together. Put it on a greased baking sheet.
  15. Gently push the five colored eggs in the dough. Stick a small cup in the middle to keep the wreath from closing in the middle when it rises.
  16. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  17. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  18. Remove the cup from the center of the bread. Combine the last egg with 1 teaspoon water and brush on the bread (not the colored eggs). Cover all the dough, including in the crevices between the braid if possible.
  19. Bake for 25 minutes until bread is golden brown.

Recipe Notes

You will need a total of 8 eggs for the recipe:

  • 2 are mixed in the dough
  • 5 are colored and baked on top of the dough
  • 1 is brushed on top to make the bread brown and shiny

Pane di Pasqua (Italian Easter Bread) https://thatrecipe.com/blog/italian-easter-bread/

My version will be posted on my instagram account as soon as it’s ready.

Please follow and share the love.

Yours truly Stef…

Online shopping in Qatar

I consider myself to be a shopping fanatic especially when it comes to online shopping.

In Qatar, there’s no escape of having a little shopping throughout the year because of the continuous promotions to say the least. And Qatar is considered top in customer protection which allows you to report any violations in shopping rules and so on. But the down side of having too many shopping malls and same brands opening in all of them makes you kind of bored of seeing the same merchandise all over the place.

Behold online shopping opportunities allowing shoppers in Qatar to be exposed to new markets.

I’m shy to say that I’ve tried a few shopping websites from cheap to expensive ones.

My favorite websites include Asos, NextDirect, shein, Aliexpress, children salon and some others like Riva, Boohoo…

I’ll go through each one starting with my favorite.

1- NextDirect

Collection include Woman, man and kids but they also have Home collection.

Prairie & Broderie collection new on Next

Store have original Next trademark and other brands as well like Adidas, Riverisland, Mamalicious, Only, Monsoon and many more not like the outlet here in Qatar.

Top Brands delivered by Next
River Island Cream Pocket Midi Dress

One great option is sopping by body fit, Next has petite, tall, curve and maternity.

Floral Maternity Nursing Slip

Their prices are relatively lower than in store.

Shipping is currently free for all orders over 160 QAR. Orders under 160 QAR will be charged at 20 QAR for shipping per order. The order will be delivered by DPD/Aramex to your door within 3 working days.

You can find all the information you need Here.

From personal experience I can say that Next is the fastest shopping experience. Quality is great, true to size.

2- Asos

Collection include Woman and man s but you can also find lots of home accessories and gifts items under Living & Gifts section.

Sass & Belle moon shaped trinket tray

Asos has its original trademark and more than 400 other brands like Adidas, Riverisland, Mamalicious, lipsy and many more.

Also it has body fit collections such as petite, tall, plus sizes and maternity.

New Look Curve long sleeved shirred waist dress in black pattern

Asos provides Standard delivery service for free above £40 and for £6 below taking up to 2 weeks to reach.

Also express delivery for £20 taking up to 1 week to reach.

Orders are handled with local post office. which can cause them to be delivered even later.

From my experience Asos quality is very good, sizes are true but issue is with delivering as it takes one time 1 week to deliver even with standard delivery and a month to deliver the second that’s why you can’t be really sure. Standard shipments are non trackable but they do have live chat for assistance.

What I mostly love about Asos is the great finds especially in the special reductions section.

3- Shein

They have a wide range of clothes and accessories for women, men and kids. And also home and living department.

The only brand they have is their own but they do have body fit range from regular to plus size.

Plus Drop Shoulder Teddy Ear Hoodie

Shipping cost is QR 29.20 and free above QR361.35. And delivery takes up to two weeks. The carrier is Aramex.

Some Shein items have better quality than others but you do get what you pay for after all.

4- Aliexpress

Aliexpress is the most famous cheap shopping website ever.

You can find everything from clothing, shoes, gadgets, accessories, phones, laptops… literally everything.

Some quality items are better than others but you have to be careful what to buy especially if you’re buying brands goods, they’re probably fake.

shipping is sometimes free and sometimes very cheap but it does take a long long lonnng time to deliver in general.

Small Hand Flamingo Cactus Pineapple Ceramic Dish Plate Decorative Jewelry Trinket Dish Necklace Storage Vanity trinket Tray

I had a good experience in general with Aliexpress mostly when I was toy shopping.

5- Children Salon and Children Salon Outlet:

I had a very good experience with Children Salon Outlet. I had bought some clothes for my little girl and these included brands like Mayoral, Tommy Hilfiger, Mini Melissa and Birkenstock. Excellent original quality at amazing prices.

MAYORAL
Girls Blue Cotton Jersey Dress QAR 73.5

The order arrives nicely packed in a box and the company offers two delivery options:

  • Aramex takes 2-6 days for delivery for a charge of QAR 38.96
  • DHL takes 2-5 days for delivery for a charge of QAR 88.80

6- Other websites I’ve tried are MANGO which I continue to, Riva which I didn’t like because they charge a lot relatively for shipping, Boohoo which was okay overall, newly discovered website is OurShopee. I still didn’t figure out this website but they delivered the next day I ordered (maybe a local outlet) and they charged only QAR 15 for shipping.

Balloon pump for QAR99

This is what I bought, an electrical balloon pump for QAR99 which is sold out now.

Overall there’s a wide range for online shopping in Qatar and some of them offer Cash on Delivery service for a small fee. Online shopping has become very popular nowadays especially for working parents and as easy as it is, one can turn into a shopaholic very easily.

Have a good day

The Mother Doc 🙂

Working Moms (warning: less pictures post!)

Life in 2020 has become so demanding and trying to keep up with that stressful routine is so difficult when your a single person. So how can being a working mother be successful? As I always believed, life is all about priorities and if you set your priorities straight you will succeed in life.

For a working mom who has a career to maintain, it is more challenging because you have a duty to the years you spent on studies and internships but also you are responsible for the tiny creatures that you brought into this world.

Children are very fragile in their first years growing up and moms are key individuals in shaping their personalities and turning them into the persons they ought to be. If your children are your priorities then forget about excelling at work and you definitely should postponed that career breakthrough for the moment. But that’s just me. I had so much hard time thinking I can tackle both jobs and be great at them but somehow found out the ugly truth; I will always give less in something if I wanted to perfect the other. And to be honest, I’ve always been a family person and I cherish the relationship I have with my parents, siblings and now with my husband and precious daughter (also soon my little baby boy), so I took the decision to give more into motherhood and at some point everything else will fall into place. God has a perfect timing for everything in your life!

God has a perfect timing for everything in your life!

As long as I am performing well at work, not neglecting my patients and work mates then I’m perfectly fine. I’m so proud to call myself a good housewife, excellent mom and most of all a kind, giving person.

Photo by Kristin De Soto on Pexels.com

Recipe: Maamoul

Maamoul is an Arabic cookie filled with date, walnuts or pistachios and sometimes with almonds and they are usually made on Holidays/Eid season.

It’s mostly a cookie dough that crumbles, shaped into balls or flattened with special wooden molds. I’m sharing a recipe that’s been in my family for ages, Tried and tested so here we go.

For the dough you will need:

  • 3 cups of ghee (butter flavor if possible)
  • 1 Kg of Fine semolina
  • 1/2 Kg of rough semolina
  • 1 and a 1/2 tsp of active yeast
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

That is all you mix and you let rest for 1 hour at least.

I remember my mom would make big batches of maamoul but for some reason my siblings and I we would only eat the walnuts filled cookies and leave behind the rest.

Date filling:

  • Date paste (you can make that by processsing dates)
  • DAsh of cinammon

Walnuts of Pistachio filling:

  • Half a Kg of ground nuts
  • 1 and 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup rose and lemon flower water

I really hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoyed the taste.

Yours Truly…

The Mother Doc…

Flu Season in Doha

It’s Flu season in Doha, again! and it seems to be the case all year long.

It’s been a very frustrating week for me and my husband with my little baby girl sick still until this day. Kids get sick all the time especially with all sorts of viruses but this time is different for us, high temperature lasting for more than 5 days, night and day, sleepless nights, coughing and nose running. And the worse part? you can’t do much.

We took her couple of times to the emergency room where they confirmed it’s a viral infection and that all we needed to do is dropping the temperature with ibuprofen and paracetamol, saline solution to clear her nose and that’s it.

Today she’s doing better since last week, still has runny nose and coughing but no fever, so far!

Bottom line is that most infections encountered in Doha are viral and what I have learned for the last 7 years here, is that healthcare professionals in general and in Doha specifically, prefer to wait before prescribing antibiotics to rule out a bacterial infection. Which is totally understandable with the high rise of resistance to Antibiotics. Viral infections are treated for their symptoms and bacterial infections with antibiotics, that is why patience is key with the viral infections as they take time to clear.

https://images.app.goo.gl/aGe2j5t4jfyubbqU8

The way that children interact means that infectious diseases can quickly spread, they will have close physical contact with other children through play, put objects in their mouths and may not always cover their mouths through sneezes and coughs. And because in early childhood their immune systems are still developing, they are more prone to those diseases than others.
Simple steps can reduce the chance that childhood infections spread to other people in the family and in childhood education and care services, and to vulnerable people in the community.

Steps include:

  • Staying home when they’re sick
  • Getting vaccinated when available
  • washing their hands well and using hand sanitisers
  • avoiding interaction with other kids especially through saliva contamination and breath.

Below is a very explicit chart of those steps and more.

Introduction

Welcome to my home.

My name is Stephanie.

To get started I would like to introduce myself a bit. I’m a working mom who, like many women out there is trying to manage between two amazing jobs. Being a mom and being a working Dentist.

I’m an expat in Qatar. This is my seventh year here and it has been great and challenging at the same time. Having to tackle a house, a kid, a job and an amazing, supporting husband as you expect cannot be easy and believe me there were lots of ups and downs but at the end, believing that with the strength that God gives us, we can do all.

So let’s keep this short, hope you find my blog as interesting as I’ll try to make it be.

Yours truly, Mother Doc…