Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Double citizenship

Our little geek has double citizenship. I picked up today Alex's Romanian passport and he's obviously very much into it lol. It was a very painless process, less red tape than I expected. It cost us about $150 total, definitely money well spent!

Sent from my Windows Phone

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A little update on Alex

It's been a while since we wrote an update on what Alex's new 'tricks' are. He's 15 month old now and he's a toddler in the true sense of the meaning: very curious about everything and not stopping for one second, always on the go. 

He was sick for the past few days actually and that made him a little more needy and whiny than usual. Unfortunately his bronchilitis came back (he had this thing back to US a few months before we came to Romania) but it also triggered some pneumonia symptoms. I was shocked to hear that but the worries went away soon, seeing how well Alex reacted to the treatment and how much better he would get by the hour almost. 

Here are a few things he does:

- He understand Romanian very well, responds to most of our commends like 'bring the ball', 'give me the key' etc and proves how many words he knows. One of his new favorite things to show off is his belly…. just like in this photo:) If you ask him where the 'burtica' is (little belly) he pulls his shirt up, points it and then points at yours and wants to see yours too!! 

- He walks very well and today his secure walking took a turn for the worse… I think. He realized that besides walking, he can run. Bunu and buna told me this actually as they were the ones who took him outside for a bit. They said he suddenly got this new confidence and starts running. 

- He started giving hugs more. He's never been the cuddly time but now, sometimes for no reason, he just walks towards me and wants to hug me. It melts my heart for sure. 

- He makes a lot of sounds but is not forming words very well. We expected this as he's learning two languages at once so I'm not worried. He will start speaking soon enough and would actually enter the 'why?' stage which I'm not quite looking forward too.

- He sure loves his bunu. There is a special bond between the two and there's no doubt about it. I think there is something between all three generations: my dad, Michael and Alex… they all have the same sense of humor although Alex's hasn't quite come out yet this early. Looking forward to see them all together in a few years.

- He started to eat better. He started to like more cooked food, some veggies (eats tomatoes and cucumbers a lot). He's also crazy about 'pufuleti' these corn puffs I grew up with. 

- He loves playing with other kids… he starts getting excited just seeing other babies in videos I might show him. When his cousin Timi comes over, Alex is willing to skip naps just to have a little more play time with him. 

- He got his first haircut… by me!! The day before Michael was here, we gave Alex a bath and grabbed the scissors. Have never cut a child's hair before and I really had no idea what the outcome would be. I did know though that Alex's hair started to be so long, he would sweat so bad during the hot days. It turned out that his haircut was decent enough that he could take his face in public still. And so would I. 

All in all, we are all having a good time in Romania. He's growing up beautifully and his mental development amazes me each day. What a blessing this little guy is!! 

DSC 6570  Version 2


Friday, May 25, 2012

Going black and white

My friend who's a photographer and took our pictures suggested I should take a look at Lightroom. That's what he used for his photos. I did and I played with some of the shots either Michael or I. I am very happy with some of the results… which coincidently are mainly black and white. Somehow I like that special effect on these particular captured moments. DSC 5771

DSC 5778

DSC 5783

DSC 5821


DSC 5799


Family photo shoots

One desire that I had even before I came home to Romania was to have a professional photo shoot with my family here. It was for the first time that all cousins were together and I just couldn't miss the chance on documenting this special moment. I also wanted 'bunu' and 'buna' to have some good pictures with their wonderful grandchildren. Here are some of the best shots. 

I should mention that the first session Michael and my sister in law, Lili were missing as they either didn't make it to Romania yet or couldn't make it at all. The last photos are of the three of us, Michael, Alex and I. The same friend who took the first pictures was gracious enough to meet up for another session when Michael was here. 

Great, great memories for years to come...

IMG 7901

IMG 7908

IMG 7938

IMG 7947

IMG 8042

IMG 8049

IMG 8153

IMG 8259

IMG 8325

IMG 8362

IMG 8373

IMG 8508 1




Sunday, May 20, 2012

Our time in Cluj-Napoca

Michael arrived in Romania and both Alex and I are thrilled to have daddy here. After a few rainy days spent in Zalau, we've decided to come to Cluj-Napoca for the weekend.

We all came by car on Friday and spent a few hours together here. Cluj has some amazing parks for kids, Alex had a blast playing around. Later in the afternoon the same friend who took our family pictures a week ago, agreed to meet us and take a few shots of us three, Michael, little squirt and I. These will be our very first professional photos as a family, I'm very thrilled about it.

My parents left to go back to my hometown, taking Alex with them while Michael and I stayed behind, ready to enjoy some time alone in this beautiful Transylvanian city. 

Sent from my Windows Phone

Monday, May 14, 2012

New haircut

This entry is not about Alex. Or it can be if I say that he was sleeping peacefully his mid morning nap while mommy was getting beautified at a beauty salon a few steps away from my parents' apartment building. I can't believe how many beauty salons are in my hometown, they are as popular here as Starbucks cafes in the States, I'm not kidding. Anyways, I got a new hairdo which I thought was amazingly good. It was even better when at the end the hairdresser told me the price '25 RON, please'. That's about less than $9!!! I gave her a good tip and left the salon with a happy smile. I think I will go back for some hair color too.

Sent from my Windows Phone

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"The ducks and the hunters"

Probably every culture has this game, although it might be called differently. In Romania we call it 'the ducks and the hunters' and two kids sit opposite of each other and try to hunt by hitting with a ball the kids that stay in the middle. I remember playing this game every summer, almost every day, without ever being tired of it.

It was so surreal to sit on a bench and see my niece, Lorena and nephew Timi playing this game while Alex would watch and try to get involve somehow. I had this mixed feelings: nostalgia for the old times, regret that they are gone and never return, gratefulness for me being there and be able to see this, excitement thinking of Alex playing like this in a few years…

DSC 5061

Monday, May 7, 2012

Out and about with bunu and buna

I just downloaded some photos of Alex my dad took with his camera. Like I said in my previous post, Alex is so comfortable being with bunu and buna, the three of them would be gone for hours.. Their stories and these photos are proof of the good times they have when I am not around. Not that I mind a little solo time...

One day they took Alex to the park downtown and my mom was the artist here. While my dad was sitting in the shade fighting a headache, buna took some nice pictures of Alex exploring the fauna of the park. He learned to blow the dandelions from bunu so he was all mesmerized by the field of them.


Taking him shopping is another activity they started doing together. Buna was probably in the store while my dad took this shot of a smiley Alex.


A couple of blocks away we have a little playground area where Alex enjoys exploring. The swing, slide and the other stuff at the playground are for older kids but from what my mom said, he loves playing in the sand, watching the older kids, just poking around. I love this artistic shot buna took, her shadow in there is quite impressive.


My favorite story so far is how Alex was flirting with the ladies outside. After they came back from a walk, bunu and buna spent a little time in front of our apartment building where usually some lady(ies) hang out on the bench. This time there were three of them and all had to love on Alex a little. The funny thing is that he enjoyed being hugged and kissed (Romanian style) by them.




All this to say that Alex is enjoying Romania a little. And it goes without saying, that bunu and buna are in seventh heaven having Alex here and taking care of him. I am not going to say which heaven I am in… I am pretty high up there too:)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Two weeks in

When friends back in DC would ask me how long will I be gone for, I would say ten weeks but then specify, 'eight out of those are vacation.' I gave myself and especially Alex, two weeks to really get used to the new everything: time change, new crib, new food, new smells even and of course new people.

The first week in Romania I felt a little worried: Alex seemed to be needier and clingier than ever. He didn't want to leave me out of sight and my expectations that he would slowly 'let me go' were kind of crushed. Is it going to be like this for NINE more weeks? When will I have time to recharge a little? Will I actually have a little vacation time, like I've dreamed of?

But then the second week came along and Alex seemed like a different boy. He was totally comfortable with 'bunu' and 'buna' and didn't' seem to need me anymore as much. He would take off with them for walks, parks, visits and shopping. I then remembered my prediction that it would take two weeks and felt foolish that I freaked out a little those first few days.

Here are some of Alex's activities this week where my presence was needed just to take pictures and capture the special moments. My mom was cracking some walnuts shells to take the nutmeat out. (That's how you do it in this part of the world, it's outrageously expensive to buy them already shelled). At the same time he discovered how much fun was to hang out in the balcony so since then, he's been going in there a few times a day.


To get to the balcony however, Alex has to walk through the room which is turned into my dad's little painting studio. It's full of brushes, paint, all sorts of solutions, canvases etc. I remember how enamored I always was with his room growing up, absolutely loved hanging out in there and just poking around, looking at all the interesting things my dad accumulated there over the years.


Alex seems to be as distracted by the room as I was. He stopped a few times to check on what bunu was doing there and inspect his brushes and canvas preparing. My dad got such a kick out of Alex's curiosity, he was patient to grab him and show him how things are done in his artistic world. Now that the canvas is all stretched out, a new painting is ready to be born. Coincidentally, this is a painting that I will be taking to the States with me, it's for a friend of mine.



Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Alex is such a NIT as Michael put it… that is Nerd In Training. He loves checking out any gadget he can get his hands on. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree for sure.