Saturday, March 27, 2010

Let's stand up

This is my son, 7 months old, being anxious to learn the first steps then just starting to run: CATCH ME IF YOU CAN.

The carrier I LOVE

I was writing in the beginning of this blog how unhappy I was with the different carriers I had. There were either too complicated to put on or to put the baby in or to fold etc. I was kind of giving up on them until I've joined this meet-up group where most of the moms were carrying their babies in this thing called Ergo baby, I've asked them how they are feeling using it and everybody just seems thrilled: no back pains, easy to put on, easy to put the baby on, several ways to carry the baby and until they will get a little bit older.
Well, I was still not 100 % sure so I decided to try it myself. The result is unbelievable. It is all the stuff mentioned above and more. It gives you so much freedom to do so many things ( like buying groceries in a supermarket or just walking from store to store) and I really feel comfortable with no pain whatsoever.
We will get ready to travel soon and I was looking for something more easy to carry the baby than the stroller and I'm so thrilled I found it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bryce will have a passport

Now that his papa landed a job in far away Bulgaria, meaning on the old continent, Europe, Bryce needed to get a passport so we can all travel and visit him.
The process is very simple and painless.:)

Steps to follow:

1. Go on the Travel.State.Gov website where you will find out what papers you need to file;

2. Take the baby and bring him to an authorized place that takes passport photos;

3. Put all the paper and the pictures in an envelope, just to be organized;:)

4. Take your baby and /or your partner and go to any local postal office where you will file all the demanded documents and pay the fees for the issue of the book itself; ( in our case, this action took us like 15 minutes and we paid $86)

5. (optional) you can check-up on line the status of your application;

That's about it. We will wait for the passport to show up in our mailbox in about 3-4 weeks. And after that: travel,travel, travel.:)


I guess it's coming with the territory. The more you expose your baby to the world, the more his chances to catch a virus are increasing. And that's what happened with my little Bryce, he caught a little cold virus; as a result: runny nose, lots of sneezing and a little bit grumpy. Otherwise he's fine, still active, eating well, no fever or coughing.
At this stage, I just watch him carefully and make sure to keep his nose clear. Hopefully, it will just go away with no other issues.

EDIT: The second day I've written this post, Bryce developed a suspicious cough. I called the pediatrician and told her about it. She told me to keep Bryce for 5-10 minutes in a steamed bathroom (the steam from the running shower) and to use a humidifier in the room he sleeps. Tylenol ONLY if he's very uncomfortable or he develops a fever ( over 101-102 F). Looking in the dr. Sears' "The Baby book", we linked the symptoms to the croup:
What is croup? What causes it?

Croup is an infectious illness of the respiratory system involving the voice box and vocal cords (larynx), windpipe (trachea), and the airways leading to the lungs (bronchial tubes). It is usually caused by many different viruses, including those responsible for the common cold and influenza. Occasionally, it is caused by a bacterial infection. Croup can result in serious breathing difficulties in children. It is more common in babies over 6 months of age and young children, and it occurs more often in boys than girls. It tends to occur more often in the winter months when the weather is colder.

Is croup contagious?

Croup is contagious, and it is usually spread by airborne infectious droplets sneezed or coughed into the air by infected children. When infectious droplets are inhaled by a healthy child, symptoms can develop in two to three days. The infection can also be spread by infected mucus deposited on doors, furniture, toys, and other objects. A healthy child can become infected by accidentally touching the infectious mucus and transferring the infection into his/her mouth.

What are the symptoms of croup?

Approximately two or three days after being infected, the child notices increasing hoarseness and sore throat. A hacking "croupy" cough develops which sounds like a barking seal and becomes worse at night. Gagging and vomiting can occur with coughing. The cough is usually accompanied by a fever (100.4 to 104 degrees F; 38 to 40 degrees C). The infection causes swelling of the larynx and impairs air passage. A harsh crowing sound ("stridor") during inhaling can be heard when the child's air passage becomes abnormally narrowed. If this should occur, immediate evaluation by a physician is recommended. Even though most children with croup are cared for at home, those with breathing difficulties, high fever, or dehydration may need to be hospitalized. Infants with croup are grumpy, tired, and have poor appetites. The major part of the illness lasts for three days. A wet cough can continue for another two weeks. It is also possible to acquire the infection more than once

Fortunately enough with the help of granda ma' Myrna (thank you grand ma') after spending most of the night in the shower, he was already better the next day. Today, Saturday, 3 days later, we already forgot about it.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Useful stuff to raise a baby

Well, moms out there, as much as I love the concept of being all natural, I must admit that I have to acknowledge all the inventors who put a thought into making our lives easier. When you have your first baby, you're always tempted to buy too many unnecessary things or you're kind of confused by the many lists you receive from friends, family or baby stores.
I thought of putting together a list with the things I found useful throughout these 6 months of raising Bryce

- Fisher Price take along swing - very good for the first months - my baby just loved swinging, he even slept in it, like naps and stuff;
- The Diaper Dekor disposal system - OMG, the best invention out there- just keeps the stinky diapers smell away, brilliant and easy to use and very affordable, too, in terms of refills;
- The Snap'n Go frame stroller - we chose to go with this kind of model as it made sense for for the first months ( at least the first 5 months) ; you can use any kind of infant car seat ( ours was a Chicco- which I didn't like too much) but the frame itself was wonderful: light, easy to fold, small enough and with a lot of storage;
- the Britax car seat ( we chose the Marathon style) is the safest, well made car seat out there and it's among the few ones certified to be taken into a plane; it's very, very comfortable, my baby just loves it, he has so much more room now, it can not even compare with the Chicco one;
- The MacLaren stroller - no matter what style - we chose to go with the Quest Sport - but it's a bless, it's even lighter than the Snap'n Go and it's really perfect as a city stroller ( for the mall, to fit in your car etc);
- The Baby Trend jogging stroller- we love it- we know that there are better brands on the market when it comes to jogging strollers, but this one just met our needs and budget; Bryce is very comfortable in it and so far we had a bless with it in our walks and hikes;
- "The first years breast flow" bottles and nipples - just the best - still using them, the nipples have a very interesting design, basically it is like a double nipple and the milk just flows at a very slow peace; it's meant to imitate as much as they can the breast flow;
- the travel changing pad - it just helps tones when you're out with the baby; throw some diapers and wipes and you feel safe no matter where you are with your little one;
- the diaper bag - no matter what brand ( we have a Paul Frank one) - but again is a very useful tool for when you go out with your baby; it has tones of pockets and storage space for extra clothes, changing pad, milk bottles, wallet, you name it;
- Fisher Price high chair - again love it, love it, love it; very well made, very cute and colorful design, easy to clean, the toys that come with it are fun for my baby, not to mention the one handed tray removal, 7 chair height adjustments etc;


1. Naartje - they make very comfortable clothes, 100% cotton , cute desing, affordable prices.

2. Gymboree - nice design, great colors combination, when on sale, some good deals can be found;

3. Pumpkin Patch - cute design, nice colors, affordable prices when on sale;

4.Osh'kosh - I love especially their overalls, they're fun, comfortable, colorful;

5.The children place - not the best designs out there but for sure some very, very good deals when they have sales, and you can find some cute stuff;

6.Baby Gap - they have some cute stuff, but, boy oh boy, they're quite expensive; even, when they have sales, their sale is kinda of lame meaning still expensive; but if you're persevering and patient, you can eventually find a good deal;

7. Old Navy - especially for the hats, sometimes they're quite cute and fashionable;

The list remains open as I will add as I discover more interesting kids clothing stores.


1. ROBEEZ - at this stage, they are the perfect fit for my baby feet; soft, easy to put on, very nice design, colorful, maybe just a little bit expensive;

The toys he loves

When you have a baby, you're just blown away by all the toys, colors, shapes that you can find in the baby stores. It seems that the manufacturers are in a contest of how big, colorful, useful toys they can create.
Although my son's room is not yet full of toys, I can say now after 6 months that he can definitely had some favorites:

- Tiny Love activity playmate;
- Baby Einstein jumper - even this toy had a short life due to my son super early mobility aka crawling- he still enjoyed it for the small time;
- Graco bouncer - OMG, he just loves to bounce and jump;
- The Fisher Price activity table - just recently purchased and it's a hit; it helps him stand up and also has a lot of musical and colorful features;

Thursday, March 18, 2010

BLW - week 4

So, that's how we finished one month of BLW.
Overall, I can say that I'm very happy with the decision that I've made to let Bryce into the BLW. And I congratulate my baby for being so receptive and so into it.
Although this 4t week, we kinda travel around lunch time, mainly having meals in restaurants with Bryce included, I did give him some new things:

VEGETABLES : big beans, garlic, long cucumber

FRUIT: blueberries

DIPS: organic blueberry gem

CHEESE : cheese Burrata

Note: the cucumber is a very good tool against the teething pain. I cut a stick of a cold cucumber (kept in the fridge) and Bryce enjoyed chewing on it and this way calming his painful gums.
We do have a small video that we hope you'll enjoy.

The way I've approached immunization

Immunization is a very sensitive subject now days. Especially when it comes about the immunization of your baby. Of course, I didn't know that until I had the baby.
I have to admit that I'm not the kind of person that reads about stuff months before the thing is happening. I just take everything step by step: when I was pregnant, I've read my pregnant books, I didn't even read what it would happen to me when I would be 8 or 9 months old, I would just wait to get there.
The same kind of approach I had regarding the immunization subject. I've heard stories, all kind of stories, but I would just say to myself: "when the time will come I know I will make the right decision".
And so the time came, Bryce was born, he was already one month old, one month way from the first shots.
So, where to start: obviously, if you google "baby immunization" or "baby vaccine" an avalanche of information just pours onto your screen and, as a first time mom, you're just overwhelmed by all these different opinions. I knew I didn't want to google, so, as usual I've found an amazing help in the blog of our dear neighbor friends MQQM and Pepitzel. She was writing about the Vaccine book by dr. Robert W Sears. I knew about the Sears family and we have already purchased "The Baby Book" written by his parents. So, thanks to Amazon I got my book in a couple of days and started reading it. What I love about this book is that the author presents in a very objective way what vaccines are, how they work, what are they made from, how many brands are out there, what his professional opinion about one and each of them is as well as an alternative vaccine schedule.
So, after reading it carefully and actually making a resume on a separate piece of paper with the pros and cons, we've decided to follow his alternative vaccine schedule.
Here are the differences:
(for the 1st year of life):

1 month - HEB B
2 months - DtaP, Rotavirus2 months - HIB, Pc, Dtap, Rotavirus, Polio
3 months - Pc, HIB
4 months- DTaP, Rotavirus4 months - HIB, Pc, Dtap, Rotavirus, Polio
5 months - Pc, HIB
6 months - DtaP, Rotavirus6 months - HIB, Pc, Dtap, Rotavirus, Hep B, Flu
7 months - Pc, HIB
9 months - Polio, Flu

We've followed Dr. Sears' schedule as it made so much more sense to us and spare Bryce of having too much aluminum into his body all in one time. We also decided to postpone if not skip at all some shots like : Hep B and the Flu, so

looks like this

2 months - DTaP, HIB
3 months - Rotarix, Pc, Polio
4 months - DTaP, HIB
5 months - Rotarix, Pc, Polio
6 months - DTaP, HIB
7 months - Pc

And we're done until he will be one year old.

I don't know if choosing any different would have had a different impact on my baby, but in choosing this schedule, I can tell you that:

- Bryce didn't have any weird side reactions;
- he didn't have fever;
- he didn't loose his appetite;
- he didn't vomit;
- he was not grumpy or fussy;

Hope this post will help any other moms in doubt out there.

EDIT : I need to edit my post as I realize I didn't not explain what every vaccine stands for:

HIB - Haemophilus Influenza Type B
Pc - Pneumococcal Disease
DTaP - Diphteria, Tetanus and Pertussis Disease
Hep B - Hepatitis B
Rotarix, Rotavirus - Rotavirus Disease
Polio - Polio Disease

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

7 months check-up

Almost 7 months, like 7 months minus one day. And the results are:

Weight: - 18 pounds 9 oz approx 8 kg 400 gr

Height: - 28 1/2 " - approx 72.4 cm;

The pediatrician was again very happy to see him and to see that he's thriving and doing so well. This month was also the last shot: the Pc. Yyeyyeyey!!! Until he will be one year old!!! I still need to get into that chapter!!!
Anyway, good news and until next month we wish HAPPY, HEALTHY BABIES everywhere!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

A proud father

I don't think I ever wrote what an amazing husband I have equalling amazing father. Not only that my husband stood by my side and watched as our son was born, cutting his umbilical cord and holding his finger, but since that morning when Bryce saw this world for the first time, my E. was and continues to be the most nurturing, supportive,amazingly patient father on Planet Earth.
I know that Bryce will adore him and look up to him in every single way; even now, they already have a bond that goes beyond belief BUT the most adorable quality that my husband possesses is that HE IS THE BIGGEST FAN of our son. He is proud of him for every little thing he does, sometimes in the most hilarious way;
I captured on camera one of those moments when he's raving about his son's success. We started rehearsing on the pincer grasp with a blueberry and Bryce, as usual, took us by surprise and showed us one more time that he can be simply THE BEST in everything.:)
Please excuse my appearance as I was in the middle of eating Buffalo wings (a lot of sauce). :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Literature and stuff

I thought of writing down some books and other things that I found very, very useful while raising Bryce. I believe I will edit this post over and over again throughout the years so here we start:


Pregnancy: MAYO - Guide to a healthy pregnancy;



The Vaccine book by Bob Sears

Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron

Baby-led weaning by Gill Rapley & tracey Murkett

Top 100 Baby Purees by Annabel Karmel


The American Baby





- Weleda Calendula cream - perfect to moisturize his little cheeks;


BIOGAIA probiotic

(the best stuff out there; Bryce was never colicky, but one month ago I suspected a little bit of reflux, he was arching his back while I was feeding him, especially at night, making him uncomfortable and some occasionally spit ups; thanks to MQQM's research on the benefice of probiotics, we gave him also the BIOGAIA probiotic and boy oh boy what an improvement; he never arches his back anymore and the spit-ups are gone
I highly recommend it for the little bellies out there.

Friday, March 12, 2010


I believe that Bryce is a really happy baby now that he can move and reach for the forbidden places. He thinks about himself as a little explorer, discovering the pots and the nutty bars in the pantry or Clifford's toys or some candles by the fireplace. All these shapes and textures!!! So much fun!!!

BLW - week 3

I know, another week of BLW. But I have to write a new post about it.

NEW VEGETABLES: normal potato, tomato, cucumber;

NEW FRUITS: mango, strawberries, dried apricots, watermelon;

NEW DIP: yogurt;

MEAT : chicken drumsticks;

COOKED MEALS: mashed potatoes, rice pasta with basil and mozzarella cheese, rice with onion and basil;

I can definitely see progress in the way he's eating. Even if there were some meals that I spoon fed him, he was still eating it or trying to grab the spoon.
All in all, it's a joy to have meals with the three of us as well as a nice routine for the baby.:)

Enjoy the video and more news next week!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Our first play date

Today was our first group play date. I've signed up on this website in my neighborhood that basically organizes meet-ups with moms and their babies.
Today we had our first "Stroller group play date" and it was awesome. There were like 6 moms and their babies ranging from 5-9 months. At first, we just strolled around the park then we stopped and sit on the grass letting the babies to know each other.
Bryce had such an interesting reaction: he was very cautious kind of shy at first, just looking around trying to understand how come there were so many creatures his size, and after he got a little bit comfortable with the environment, he started crawling and interacting more with his peers. :)
It was a neat experience for mommy, too, as she got the chance to have some adult conversation and to share some experience.
So, a big YES to the next one. Can't hardly wait.

Friday, March 5, 2010

BLW - week 2

So, we managed to end our 2nd week of BLW and it was another success. As the days go by, he seems more and more interested in the stuff I give him and he really puts something in his belly, too, 'cause I check his poop every day. :) So, the progress is there. Good for you, my little one.
I will write the new stuff we tried this week :

VEGETABLES : baked zucchini, steamed parsnip, raw, ripe avocado

FRUITS : cantaloupe, kiwi, pear,

BREADS: rice bread, toast and pita

DIPS : hummus, organic peach jelly, eggplant salad

Although, he didn't seem to hate anything from the above, I can say that he LOVED : the toast with jelly and eggplant, the pita with hummus, the kiwi, the steamed parsnip.

For the 3rd week of BLW, I will start on giving him some meat, pasta and rice.
Until next week, enjoy our little movie!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Raising a child in the City of Angels

I never wrote what living here, in Los Angeles, meant for me as a mom and for Bryce as my baby.
I remember the day I went to the American consulate in Bucharest to ask for a tourist visa. Without knowing it that day would change my life forever.
And then November 28th came, another day that would change my life: the day I would board on a plane that would take me to NY :my first stop in the States. I just loved NY ' cause it was so American but in the same time so European: big tall buildings, traffic, lots of traffic, thousands of people in the streets, Central Park, Manhattan, Ellis Island,the Empire State building, such an adventure..oh...and the weather....windy and chilly not so much different than the one I left behind thousand miles away.
There were four days of love and wonder in the streets.
At the beginning of December, we flew towards Los Angeles: my future home, but who would have known back then?
Oh...Los Angeles....I could see the blue sky, the sun, the palm trees....60 and something degrees ( that's like around 20 degrees in C), and remember it is winter. We went to the beach and to all these exotic places to the Caitlin island where he proposed...for a moment there life was just a fairy tale and then the chock...I'm gonna leave here...this would be my home...but wait...: I don't have my family ( my mom, my dad, my sister), my friends, my job....I don't know this town, these highways are too large, I need a new driving license, you can not do much if you don't have a car ( the city is literarily HUGE) and I don't like the food, I miss the "ciorba" and "sarmale" and all the Romanian flavors.
So, my soul was torn. I had an amazing fiance, the man of my dreams but I was supposed to compromise so much to be with him. Was it worth it?
Looking back I can answer: YES, EVERYTHING WAS WORTH IT!!!!!!! And I'm so happy that I just followed my heart.
Below, I will just list in no particular order some of the reasons I love leaving in this city and that why it doesn't compare with living in Romania:
- people are polite in traffic: no unnecessary honking, no dirty words, no obscene signs;
- drivers do not cut in front of you, each of the driver will stay in his lane;
- you will never see cars parked all over the place, in fact even the smallest shop has parking spots for its clients;
- every store has a ramp for handicapped persons/strollers;
- every store has a family room where you can nurse or change your baby or at least a changing table in the ladies room;
- smoking is not allowed in any public places, not restaurants, not clubs, no where; you can take your baby with you in the restaurant without hesitation; I was a big time smoker in Romania, I quit smoking 2 years ago as the laws of the city helped me a lot;
- pet owners are not allowed to walk with their animals on the street without having them on the leash; there are special places, called dog parks where dogs can wonder and play freely under the owner supervision;
- you can jog on the street, by yourself or with whomever you want without being afraid that somebody would honk at you, yelled at you etc;
- you go in the doctor office and you're actually treated as a human being, you can have an opinion, you are heard, you are respected as a person;
- people respect your own personal space, they don't touch your baby if they don't ask for permission, they don't make comments about how you should raise your kids;
- people are kind, polite and respectful; they open the door for an expectant mother, a mother with a baby, an old person or for whomever in need;
- people are generous, they just donate the stuff they don't use to other people that could use it; you can see cars staying in lines at the donation centers;
I don't want to mislead my readers in believing that I leave in the perfect place as there is not such thing on planet Earth. Living in a big city as Los Angeles is both pleasant and unpleasant, there is also a lot of bad stuff happening, high criminality and gang fighting in certain areas.
So far, every time I walked out the door with my son, my hubby and my dog I've encountered only pleasant situations.
That's what living in the City of Angels means for me.

BRYCE and the process of sleeping

I thought of writing this post especially because I'm really interested in how his sleep patterns will develop as well as as a testimony for our future kids.
From the first day we brought Bryce home from the hospital we realized more and more each day what an interested person he is and also a very determined, kinda of independent one, if you will; I know it's a strange concept for babies but this is the feeling that we get as the days go by and it just becomes stronger and stronger.
He just had a way of teaching me how to trust him and as crazy as it sounds, being a first time mom, I just followed it.
These are some examples:
- when I've started giving him formula, I was afraid I would overfed him; Bryce never drunk more than he needed, he would push away the bottle or just turned his head;
- when I swaddled him at night, I remembered he was already 4 months and half and still doing it and thinking if it was ok, reading about it, until one night when he just wiggled until I've let him free and he fell asleep and never swaddled him again;
What about his sleep?
You read and hear all kind of stuff about it; people are giving you advices: "Oh, he's 6 months old and he doesn't sleep all night long? Do you give him a bottle of cereals before he goes to sleep? bla, bla, bla". I generally don't listen to these kind of talks; I strongly believe every baby is different and that is very hard to set up a general rule especially when it comes to sleep;
So, how does my baby sleep at six months of age?
During daytime, he's a 3 hours napper: meaning that every 3 hours he needs to go back to sleep, no matter what.
-if he wakes up @ 7:00 am he will go back to the nap morning @ around 10:00 am;
-if he wakes up @ 8:00 am he will go back to the nap morning @ around 11:00 am;
This morning nap usually lasts for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
The lunch nap is happening 3 hours after the above hours, so:
- at around 1:00 -2:00 pm and it is the longest one and lasts for about 1- 2 hours
The afternoon nap is the shortest one, around 30-45 minutes, usually around 5:00 pm.
Now, at night, I'm still a little bit confused, as I don't seem to see any kind of pattern or maybe there is one and because I'm too sleepy I don't see it.:) So, usually he goes to bed @ around 7:30-8:00 pm. He sleeps for about 3 hours, wakes up, eats, goes back to sleep and after that, as he sleeps in between us, he pretty much wakes up, I would say every 2 hours, eats, goes back to sleep. There are some random nights where he just wakes up like wide awake and has an appetite for playing and talking.
So, having said that, I'm left wondering: should I trust my baby in the matter of sleep as well? I guess, I should. Because, as unpleasant as it is for us at night, putting all the hours together, he does sleep around 12-14 hours a day. He does not look sleep deprived, he's totally full of energy and well rested.
And just to end in an optimistic note, I've read this article in "The American baby" magazine, saying that in the first year of life baby schedule changes so much in so many different ways that it's hard to get in a routine so parents should not feel frustrated about it.

I work on movies-I love movies

  • 21 grams
  • 4,3,2 - Mungiu
  • Age of innocence
  • American Beauty
  • An Education
  • Apocalypse now
  • Atonement
  • Blind Side
  • Burn after reading
  • Casino
  • Gone with the wind
  • Good fellas
  • Good Will Hunting
  • Hereafter
  • Inception
  • Julie & Julia
  • Kill Bill - vol 1
  • Kill Bill - vol 2
  • La Vita e bella
  • Mar al dentro
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Million Dollar baby
  • Mystic River
  • Nine
  • Orient, Occident
  • Panth's Labyrinth
  • Slumdog millionaire
  • Some like it hot
  • Sophie's choice
  • The bridge of Madison County
  • The departed
  • The English Patient
  • The Godfather
  • The Hours
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley
  • Train de Vie
  • Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona