Monday, May 30, 2011

Week in Review 5/29/2011, 13 weeks

As Felicia mentioned in her last post, this has been a bit quieter week than before now that Bunu and Buna have gone home.  I kind of wondered what Alex would do now that his constant companion in Buna was no longer around.  I kind of expected him to be a bit depressed or at least a bit more fussy that before.  I guess I can report that he’s still the same happy little guy as before.  Mommy, maybe not quite as much as the weight of being Mommy comes crashing down on her.  But we’re trying and will eventually reach a new state of equilibrium, just like when the grandparents were here.


In the meantime, I’ve personally started to notice just how good of a baby Alex really is.  He seems to be much more laid back and mellow than he was when he was first born.  It’s fun to watch him as he wakes up in the morning with a smile on his face and as he lays on the floor or in the crib and burbles at his toys or the ceiling fan.  I don’t think we could ask for a better little guy.

Firsts: He seems to be getting a bit more motor control.  This week he grabbed my finger and managed to bring it to his mouth to suck on it.  And in fact, he did that a number of times.  Each time was a deliberate grab, pull and suck motion.

Ups: Biggest up by my calculation is just how happy the little guys is most of the time.  He’s not whiny or grouchy, except when hungry, tired or wet.

Downs: Simple, Grandma and Grandpa Ciupe going home.  Fortunately, this week Grandma and Grandpa Oland will be coming to visit

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Missing Bunu and Buna

The house feels pretty empty now despite the fact we have a baby in it. Bunu and buna left on Tuesday afternoon for Romania and I can't get used to not having them around. Usually my dad would be somewhere outside, working on the garage or building frames, while mom would always be there to hold Alex if I needed a break or had something to do. I was a bit worried I wouldn't even know how to put him to sleep as in the past few weeks she took over entirely. I was there just to feed him and hold him whenever I couldn't stand it anymore.

These eight weeks they were with us flew by. We got into a nice rhythm and for most of the time, we were all very in sync. A few times we had to put our foot down and almost force my parents to sit still and relax. Their 'mission' was to 'work, work and work' where we wanted them to enjoy this time as a vacation as well. We couldn't be happier with all the help they provided us, so we wanted to reward them a little too. Weekends would be our chance to get everyone in the car or bus and go places. We managed a trip to Richmond, Leesburg, to different shops, a picnic at Great Falls, a few trips downtown DC and to museums, a few restaurants and the unforgettable fish market. Some weeknights we would sit around the dining room table and play rummykub or yahtzee, or a few nights we watched some TV together. We showed my folks 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' and as we expected, it was a huge success even if their laughter was delayed due to my translation. A few days after we saw the movie, we were walking in the neighborhood and passing by a house with some little statues in front of it, my dad jokingly says 'they must be Greek.' It was awesome!

It's worth mentioning how goofy Michael and my dad would get. Those two are so much alike, it's scary to think of their potential if they actually spoke the same language. Despite the lack of common language, although Michael made HUGE progress in his Romanian, they would always read each other's mind and joke around nonstop. Michael remembered an episode  a few months after we just got married. He's been teasing me in such a way that at one point I turned towards him and said: "I've married my dad!"

One thing though that both Michael and I were surprised of their time here is that mom never cooked! I asked her why she never took over my kitchen but I never got a straight answer. She only said that a break of two months from being behind the stove was quite refreshing. I had fun planning meals and introducing them to all sorts of American specifics and not only: peanut butter, hot dogs and burgers, chili, corn bread, Indian food, etc. They loved everything we put in front of them, the only experience that we slightly failed at was taking them to the fish market! The sight and smell of so many sea creatures turned off their appetite and the crabs we brought home and thought would be special, turned out to be not so appealing to them. The day before they left, my dad was joking that they would get home and when it would be time for a meal, they would both sit at the table and wait for the food to miraculously appear, like it seemed to appear in our house.

Their last Sunday here we threw a little cook out and invited mainly the Romanian friends from the area. My parents enjoyed themselves and got to see that we have friends and good support even if our families are far away. We miss them terribly and already thinking of the time, next year hopefully, when we will see bunu and buna again!


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Week in Review 5/22/2011, 12 weeks

You know, I think this is the first week that I can honestly say that our little guy didn't do anything new. Each week so far he's done something different, like first national park ... Oh wait. He did have his first brunch. As a thank you to Feli's parents for all the help they've been over the last two months (has it really been 8 weeks since they arrived .... Sigh) we took them for brunch at the Argonaut. Of course, he slept through it all.

And that brings us to one of the good things right now. Unlike that first 6 weeks or so, now Alex sleeps through the night(ish) and is so much happier. A short while ago our little buddy was just unhappy for no good reason that we could discern. Today, he's generally a smiley and happy baby. Of course, if he's tired, hungry or sitting in poo, then he will get a bit cranky. But then who doesn't

Firsts There were really two firsts this week. Brunch as mentioned before, and now he's starting to try and sit up. Well more specifically, if you hold his hands he'll pull himself up. The guy just loves looking around. In fact, he and Buna will spend hours walking the sidewalk in front of the house just watching as life goes by.

Ups He's coming close to sleeping through the night. He will wake up, but eat a bit and then continue sleeping.

Downs No majors downers this week. I won't say things are perfect, but overall, things are good.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Week in Review 5/15/2011, 11 Weeks Old

A few random clips from an Alex’s week (give or take)

They say “another day, another dollar”.  That may be the case, but with Alex, I think it’s another week and he’s just a bit taller.  Man has our little guy grown.  He’s right at 3 months old and he’s wearing clothes for a 6 month old.  I think he went from newborn to that almost overnight.

What’s even funnier is my sister loaned us her Bumbo (seen in the video above) and he almost doesn’t fit.  Now a Bumbo is apparently for kids 2 months to 14 months.  That should tell you how big he’s getting.  And he’s quite active too.  In fact as I’m writing this, Feli and Buna just spent the evening trying to get him to go sleep (the little goober!).

Firsts The big one for this week was that he managed to turn himself over.  Saturday night we were sitting around the kitchen table while Alex was in the living room laying on his back and cooing at himself in the mirror.  We turned our backs for a second or two and when we came back, he was on his front, cooing at the baby blanket.  Needless to say, we were all shocked.  Earlier he’d managed to roll from his back to his side with the help of a slightly uneven floor (or more specifically the blanket was across both a rug and the hardwood floors yielding a slightly higher side where the rug was).  We sort of assumed that was really because he was on the mismatched surfaces.  Maybe not.

Ups As each week goes by, our little guy seems to be a bit happier. Unlike some of the early days where he was just not happy, apparently now we’re feeding him enough that he’s happy and healthy.

Downs He really doesn’t like to go to sleep.  It’s not really a fight per-se, but he’s just super curious and can’t really shut down long enough to head off to lala land (or as they say in Romania: facem nani).  We sort of wonder what’s going to happen after Buna leaves and he doesn’t really have anyone to constantly rock him to sleep.

Stay tuned …

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

First Metro Ride

This morning baby and I took a metro trip to Dupont Circle to meet up with a friend and meet another baby. It was Alex's first time in the subway and I can already tell he will have the same interest in metros, trains and such like daddy has. He was all alert, looking intensely and enjoying the movement/shaking of the car. Can't wait until he's older enough that he can show excitment in all this.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

38 Years!!

This Mother's Day weekend was triple special for me- firstly, I got to celebrate my first Mother's Day; secondly, my mom was here and thirdly, this weekend was my parents' wedding anniversary. On Friday, May 6th they celebrated 38 years of marriage!! We took them for a surprise celebratory picnic at Great Falls, then on Saturday we showed them Hidden Brook Winery, the place where Michael and I got married 5 1/2 years ago. Sunday was a beautiful day too- great church service, a bus trip to downtown DC and the Waterfront seafood market experience in the evening.

In the six weeks my parents have been here with us, I got to see how much they've become one over the years. They are the cutest pair- they always wait for each other when I set up lunch for them, if I give a piece of chocolate to mom while my dad works outside, she breaks it in half and takes the other half to my dad. Or if I give dad something, he always makes sure mom gets a taste of it too. As a kid I didn't understand the tight bond between them, but now that I am married and experience marriage myself, I can see how inseparable they are. I am so proud to have such a strong example of how married people should beautifully grow old with each other. It was an honor to have them with us while they celebrated almost forty years of marriage together and I am praying that God will give me wisdom on how to follow in their footsteps in my own marriage adventure.

Love you Mom and Dad! Thank you for being the awesome parents you are!


Mom dad

Monday, May 9, 2011

Week in Review 5/8/2011, 10 Weeks Old

downloadWhoo man is our little guy getting big.  We figure he has to be over 16 pounds by now.  He’s also started to reach for things and has taken a keen interest in his hands, the right one in particular.  Not  sure if that means he’s a right hander or what …  He’s also grown into his hats, so now he and daddy can both wear their caps around town looking quite stylish if I do say so myself.

We’re having to start learning a bit more in the way of time management and trying to schedule our time so we don’t hit the dreaded meltdown  (see below).  With him sleeping a bit more, it means we need to start paying attention to what’s going on and now he’s doing so we can have him fed and or in bed before we pass the point of no return.

Oh, and of course, it was Mother’s Day here in the US, so that means it was Felicia’s first as an actual mother.  We celebrated not with flowers or a really nice dinner, instead we bought crab and shrimp and tossed them onto newspaper on the table.  Not a bad way to spend an evening.

Firsts This week had a number of unique firsts: first trip to a national park (Great Falls) where he got his first junior park ranger badge.  It was also his first trip to the Maine Avenue fish market.

Good Our little guy seems to be sleeping a bit better.  Over time he’s sleeping a bit longer and night.  I know that mommy likes that a lot.

Bad We did have a bit of a meltdown on Saturday night.  We were in Leesburg visiting friends and on the trip back Alex got a bit over tired and became inconsolable.  We had to pull off in Tysons Corner to let him blow off a bit of steam and to relax before we could head the rest of the way home.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Week in review 4/31/2011, 9 weeks old

Alex at the doctor’s office

I guess this week marks the end of the “next 9 weeks” as it were.  Alex is now almost 10 weeks old and has continued to grow like a weed.  We took him to the doctor for his two month checkup and the little guy weighs almost 16 pounds (15 lb 13 oz to be exact) and is now 24 inches long (or 24 cm long if you’re my wife trying to tweet).  Anyway, the two month checkup also means the first of many mondo shots he gets to take.  This one was two shots for five different diseases.  And our guy took it … well … like a big baby.  To be fair, I do think his little leg hurt for at least half a day, so I do feel sorry for him.

Other week highlights included a trip to the museum (where he slept the entire time, apparently we have an art lover) and a trip to a big thrift store.

Firsts We took him with us to the National Gallery of Art here in DC.  Not sure if his sleeping through the entire trip signifies that he’s not an art lover or was just tired. He also had his first real night on the town too. We decided to take everyone to the H Street Country Club near our house.  I think it would have been a fun night of food and mini-golf, but it was interrupted by not one, but two drunken bachelorette parties.  Nothing says fun like 30 drunk screaming women.  Or at least Alex thought so.

Ups His size for sure.  Adding almost three pounds in 4 weeks is rather impressive.  No wonder the little guy eats so much.  He’s also becoming more and more expressive and talkative as time goes one.  He’s even started blurbbling at us (think a very wet raspberry)

Downs I think his tummy was hurting a bit, either that or he’s going through some sort of minor digestive change.  The last couple of days have had him spitting up more than he ever has before.  In fact, he got Feli good on Friday night, dumping almost a whole bottle of eaten formula on her.

Funny Today while walking around the mall our little guy had an attack of the boogers.  Itself not terribly exciting, but he then proceeded to wipe it all over Feli’s shoulder, the Moby and of course back onto himself.  That made for a cute picture for sure.