Showing posts from September, 2017

Anticipating Motherhood

Who knew that sleeping in one’s childhood bed again would inspire a wave of deep thinking into the wee hours of the night? I’ve been “home” for three weeks now, and though my twin bed has lent me a comfort similar to that in decades past, sometimes it robs me starkly of slumber, letting my mind cascade from one apprehensive thought to the next. Like now. Less than 40 days to go, and visions of motherhood leave me at once jubilant and nerve-wracked. Will I be able to soothe him? Will he embrace my steadfast commitment to nursing him? Will he be calm or colic? Will he resemble me? And the precursor to all this – how will I survive childbirth? Since bygone days of university, I have been told about my strong maternal instincts. Looking out for friends altruistically; tuning in to their worries and woes; helping to assuage them with patience and a composed demeanor; doting on guests and visitors with fervent hospitality and whatever snacks flesh out my pantry. For years, I’ve

Dining Out in Southern CA: What's Hot & What's Not

Juggling prenatal doctor appointments, maternity classes, and shopping for baby, I’ve only had limited leave to pursue gourmet adventures in Southern California. Most days, I’ll toss a fresh salad of kale, spinach, crumbled feta, blueberries and pomegranate seeds – nothing like a nutrient-packed bouquet of produce to keep me energetic and hydrated in this parching weather. Other days, the realization that I’ll soon be on indefinite house arrest hits me like an icy slap in the face. So after poring over the nutrition facts of an eatery’s menu, readily retrievable online, I prepare myself physically and mentally for a culinary pampering session. And out we go! Red Robin has been on my radar since last year’s visit. Where else can you enjoy a delicious burger with bottomless fries, steamed broccoli or a house salad for under 10 buckaroos? Speechless? This place is worth holding your breath for! The latest promotion features a lineup of four burgers at $6.99 each. And did I

Prenatal Diaries: Of Resistant & Ruthless Receptionists

It’d been less than 48 hours since I left humid Beirut for the sweltering heat of Southern California. I couldn’t particularly recall how hot a high of  43 ° C (110 ° F)  could be, but a three-minute walk from the hospital to the onsite physician clinics inspired eerie reassurance that the admitting facilities were near. Forget maternity; I’d need treatment for a heatstroke. To reinforce the rejection I’d encountered over the phone weeks ago , securing an obstetrician/gynecologist (OBGYN) proved to be a veritable nightmare. I visited a handful of clinical offices, attempting to set up an appointment as a new patient. But the first question with which I was invariably bombarded was, “what month are you?” Elsewhere, the number 7 is a harbinger of blessings, a marker of good luck. Not in these circumstances, however. Almost as soon as I uttered the calamitous adjective “seventh,” the receptionist’s head would shake convulsively, as though I’d committed a grave sin. Some offices