Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Andrei had really dry skin on his cheeks and no baby cream seemed to helped - in fact, whenever we used any lotion it made it worse. I tried a dozen lotions...In the summer of 2008 when he was 7 months we visited Romania and our Pediatrician neighbor recommended Avene - Great Success! It worked like a charm after only using the lotion few times.

Well Sofia had the same thing...except, you can't get Avene in Thailand ... So, I decide to give ONE try before bothering someone. I grabbed the most expensive cream in the house - my Garnier Firming Age Lift day cream and tried it on the poor thing. I wouldn't have been this brave with Andrei, but with the second one you kinda feel more relaxed...SUPERB results! As my in laws put it, Sofia has now the skin of a true Chinese beauty.:)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hi Guys,

It's been a decent "winter" in Bangkok so far - that is, temps roughly around 30 or less.

Went to the zoo this morning and left with Andrei kicking and screaming - it's pretty much a routine now - we take him to the park or wherever it's fun and refuses to leave even if he's so tired that he literally can't stand on his feet.

We're all pretty much immune to tantrums now! :)

Mom's baking a cake now, dad's brushing up on his Xmas outfit = Santa's hat, a red shirt from mom, red pants and a home made beard/moustache (cotton balls glued on a piece of fabric)..can't wait to see in Andrei's gonna recognize him.

A wonderful Christmas to all!

Sofia, Andrei, Carmen and Ake :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Not that I have much time these days, but once in while I get to watch someone like this...I know some of this linguistic work, but this was such a great addition.

Check out the modified links...thanks for letting me know Ralu!
Noam Chomsky on HardTalk - Part 1
Noam Chomsky on HardTalk - Part 2
Noam Chomsky on HardTalk - Part 3

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sofia’s Birth Story

I gave birth to Andrei at a lovely private hospital where I was allowed to do pretty much whatever I wanted. I was drinking tea and eating chocolate in the early stages. Andrei’s birth was about 6 hours long, and I’m counting here from the first contraction.

Since no one intervene until after Andrei popped out I was feeling pretty good about having Sofia the same way. Coaching through birth, like when to push and how to breathe doesn’t make sense to me since you are the one feeling everything…Sure, it was brilliant having Ake there, cause he really helped when the pain was stronger. Rule no 1 when giving birth: NEVER make any decisions when you’re in pain…deal with the pain and decide later.

We have decided to drastically cut the costs for Sofia’s birth and went to the biggest Thai Public Hospital in Bangkok, Chulalongkorn. I had a lovely doctor here as well and whenever I discussed the birth with him he basically said, “ Well, I agree with you, but you’ll have to negotiate this with the nurses on the spot. They do things a certain way here and it will be tricky to change their minds. However, as a foreigner you have better chances than a Thai.” So there I was again with the same birth plan saying;
- No IV, no drugs, no episiotomy, no induction
- I’d like to move around
- I’d like to push whenever I felt like
- I’d like to eat in the early stages and drink

My water broke painlessly at 1 am on Weds morning. I quickly woke up Ake, cause Andrei had popped out 2 hours after that happened. We grabbed a few things, but forgot our wallets and surely we were checking in by 2 am…We knew Ake wasn’t allowed in the delivery quarter, so me and Sofia had to this on our own. They checked me in after signing tones on paperwork and I must admit I did get a bit anxious after entering the birthing center. I wasn't allowed to take anything from my bag - no cell, no clothes, nothing to drink,,, There were several women lying sideways, all hooked up on machines, IV drips and fetal monitors….brrrrr…saying no to all of it was going to be hard. I was sort of hoping for someone to distract the nurses away from me. SURPRISE though - I was already 5 cm dilated.

I mean, I was having contractions, but nothing too strong now. With Andrei, getting to 5 cm was hard work! It was GREAT hearing this…5 cm and NO pain…!!!

A lovely young nurse (LYN) asked me to follow her in the delivery room. Yet another cold shower here too…it was set up like a surgery quarter…brrr again… and here came the hardest part. I was sort of assigned to an evil old nurse (EON) to basically began saying NO to everything…like ….”ahhh…I’d like to go to the toilet!”…”Oh no, you can’t! Baby coming!” …I negotiated my through everything in Thai…I’ll use the bedpan once, you let me go to the toilet once……you can put the needle in my hand just in case – but no IV drip….. I’ll be in bed, but upright, sitting but definitely no stir –ups…LYN came back with 2 hot packs which I promptly put on my back and my tummy and this was a big help, it was starting to hurt a bit which again was good news – it meant no intervention…I was entering the active stage. Thankfully, so was the woman in the next room and cause she was making all sorts of noises and all the nurses rushed there…YEI! I was left alone…thank GOD! I felt sooo peaceful – I said to myself that as long as I keep quiet it will be ok, no one will interfere…

The next 2 hours flew by….it was relaxing just listening to all the sounds the other women were making, their fetal monitors, the nurses coaching them on what to do, me breathing ‘quietly’ through contractions … LYN popped in and out couple of times to change the hot packs …
I had lost track of time cause the clock in my quarter was twitching at 11:30, but after the woman next door had given birth I kindly asked to change the clocks (I wanted to time my contractions to see if I was making any progress contractions wise)…LYN changed the clock and checked me out…YEI – 8 cm already…and she phoned the doctor…and I was again ... alone…

All of a sudden I felt this HUUUGE urge to push…it was 4:50…It was so intense I thought surely there’s no time for me to get out of bed, squat and catch Sofia (I had to take the bedrails first which would have been literally impossible at that stage)…I hesitated a few seconds, but decided to call the nurses just in case…”Ahhh, sorry….I think the baby is coming…”…Both LYN and EON came in and began to frantically get towels, lift my legs up in stir ups and lower the bed…WOOOOOOW….STOOOP! I fought my way out of the stirrups, clinching to my comfy upright position and pushed Sofia right out with the nurses going bonkers in Thai MAI BENG! MAI BENG!!! (Don’t pushhh!) I really didn’t care what they were saying – I couldn’t have helped it any how…when the baby comes, there’s nothing you can do. The fight lasted less a minute, but felt more like a 10 min struggle … Luckily, LYN caught a screaming healthy Sofia at 4:55 and gave her to right to me then ran quickly to get a resident doctor…Sofia was amazing like all babies are and looked very much like her dad to me… I leaned over, grabbed a towel and wrapped her up and she cuddled up gently…This young woman doctor came and cut the cord and took Sofia to get her cleaned up….5 min later my doctor arrived …we both laughed… he asked if I can get the placenta out….whoosh! no probs…We had the funniest conversation as he was sewing me up…stitches are such an insignificant little thing and they heal soooo fast. Again, I didn’t really care about the tear!

Andrei came in the afternoon and looking at the 4 of us in that hospital room felt like one of those key moments in life that you want to hold on to and always remember…I love my kids!

PS. If I would have to pick a song for Sofia's birth...this would be it!

Se e vero che ci sei

Monday, November 23, 2009

Home Sweet Home
The first night back home...dinner, bath , books, then all of us sleeping peacefully...precious. Pure happiness!:)

Sunday, November 22, 2009


We're over the moon happy after the birth of our little Sofia...who kept us waiting for couple of days and came rushing in a matter of hours.

She's an absolute doll...or we just know better...?? I'm guessing it's both, cause we are just crusing the nights and loving the days...I mean...It does get busy....:)

Andrei did extremely well so far, maybe becuase we really tried to maintain all the regulars in his life (playground, friends, school), but he does want to try everything that the poor girl touches...her bed, her chair, her toys...Since she doesn't mind YET, that's totally find by me.:)

As I was saying couple posts back...I truly feel that women can give birth (provided all is well) without doctors / nurses etc...and once again, that's exactly what happened to us...and it was brilliant! Having said that...I love my doctor for arriving 5 min late and being totally cool and so natural about everything.

Birth story to follow soon...

Meanwhile enjoy day 1 photos...

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Some days it's just too darn hot to go the park and we take Andrei to an indoor playground where he burns off tones on calories. Like this morning...there were 35 C at 9 am and Funarium looked so much more attractive especially to me (Carmen). I'm a waddling mama goose now and can take Bangkok in a swimming pool at this temp.

I've got the nesting insticts all over again...going for fancy recipes, sorting out clothes a million times...

We're making homemade hummus now and salmon and pesto pasta for dinner.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Andrei for Plan Toys - Greece

The great thing is he earned some great great wooden toys after doing this commercial. An entire city plan with roads and train tracks that took 2 adults about 30 min to set up and still is the highlight of our living room + a rocking horse.

Friday, October 09, 2009

New Zealand and other places by camper van

Friends of mine are camper van fans...they've traveled Europe by camper van (initially rented at 1500 E / week) than bought their own. According to them this is the best way to do it if you've got kids...It's trickier nowdays to park in big cities, but few years back you could park/ wake up in front of the Eiffel tower...yeah.

I have friends that have done it in the was super easy to get around and back when the gas so 99 cents it came to almost nothing.

Anyhow...they've booked their trip to NZ by camper van again... 800 euros/ week in a 6 person camper flights from Bangkok (600 euros/ pers)...what a life...!!!

It's a great time to travel to/via Asia now!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

5 weeks to birth..yei

After having Andrei, I totally agree with this lady, Laura. I gave birth in the hospital but basically no one but Ake whom I screamed at several times interferred. Sure, When it was all done I realized I had been start naked in front of the hospital staff the entire time...who cares?:)

Having said that, I will still go to the hospital with Sofia to put everyone's heart at ease...

Check the video on Unassisted Child birth here:

Unassisted Childbirth

Monday, September 21, 2009


There's goes my bday present this year. I was going to buy tickets and see Nadal possibly playing someone like Tsonga or Simon at Thailand Open. Both dad and I were super excited...The guy is injured and won't be coming while Bangkok remains jam-packed with posters of him covering the event.

Ohh, well...that's life.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Murray's out.

The guy has had a good year - he just hasn't had a year that lives up to all the hype he's gotten. Someone please check on Simon Reed. Still alive?

Yeap, tennis gods are re-aligning the world order. Murray getting to No.2 was a universal hiccup.

Would love to see Fed and Rafa in the final.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More on tennis...

Very very happy to see both Nadal and Fed in action...Men's tennis has some very strong competitors.
Women are less steady but Sorana's been doing very well so hopefully she'll keep it up.

Tomorrow the Cincinatti Open will be in full swing. Yey!!!
At the end of the week Í'll hit the 7 months mark - from now on it's all down hill. Yey!!!

Aaaand... More photos from Singapore...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Canada Masters

So Federer gets Niemeyer (ranked #487), Djokovic gets­ Polansky (ranked #225) and Nadal gets Ferrer (ranked ­ #19).


Monday, August 10, 2009

Singapore - Part 1

Asia is soooo populated that keeping clean it's done either the Japanese way through self discipline or it's strictly enforced as it's the case with Singapore. Coming from Thailand were you find both ends, the slums and the posh boutique malls, resorts and so on it can seem over regulated...
Still if you manage to catch Singapore on a good day (less than 30 C) walking about the island can be very much enjoyable...

Great food according to so..according to mum and dad who stay faithful to the Thai cuisine...They all agree that money goes a long way as far as food goes in Thailand...a good meal is gonna cost you in Singapore...

Sunday, August 09, 2009

On holiday..yeah...

We're on holiday guys. Well, all except me cause I'm typing my master's paper.
Mom, dad, Andrei and Ake are back from Singapore which according to them is great but slightly too commercial and way too organized...Just too many rules for their taste...No gum! No smoking!

Meanwhile I've got some photos from our latest trip at the beach. Dolphin Bay - Hua Hin - Thailand. Great place for kids, fantastic pool, huge breakfast and a decent beach but just a bit too far from Bangkok...nowadays I'm all about comfort...

Singapore photos coming up shortly...:)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hi, I've been watching some very cool commercials on You Tube..Nike ones are usually very very good and I just loove this one. If you're going to the gym or just love sports this will feel particulary good. Enjoy!
We're on school holiday but SUMMER CAMP is technically still at work, just loads more fun...:)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Couvade Syndrome

Dads sometimes get pregnancy syndromes and Ake, bless him, he's had it with both of them...Throwing up when Andrei was on his way and now with daddy's girl kicking about he's again ... "extremely" sensitive...

Now, don't get too compassionate as I've been feeling like crap for about 4 months and a half...

Couvade apparently refers to hatching in French...

Kisses, Carmen

Monday, June 29, 2009

5 months update

Yei! We're having a baby girl....Having seen Andrei's ultrasound we KNEW it right away this was a GIRL...It was really funny seeing Ake checking out the screen as he was expecting the second son...he he he...we both knew it before the doctor gave us the final: "Guys, this is a girl for sure!"

The monsoon is upon us in Thailand. We're still at work but will be heading over to Laos for a weekend in 3 weeks.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We're all hooked on tennis...we've watched all the clay court masters so far and just loove Rolland Garros.
Even Andrei seems to get into it...and will sometimes ask to watch tennis (VEDEM TENNIS - in Romanian).

I haven't posted any photos from last Xmas in Ro, so here we go. Notice that when a baby is involved you only get him plus everyone else's legs.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dear All,

We are waiting for baby no 2.:)

It was really strange seeing the other side of things, the ugly morning sickness (that lasts the whole day), the constant exhaustion. I haven't experienced it before, but now I can see what other fellow moms were complaining about.

It feels like Andrei has a 'gut feeling' that he'll have to share soon(although at this stage he thinks having a baby means having a big tummy, so according to him even grandpa has a baby)...he's become glued to us...trying to score points while he can. I'm beginning my third month I feel great!!! Mom and dad are due in Bangkok on Tues, no more protests in Bangkok, the noisy Thai New Year is over - all is good in Thai!!!

Below, photos of Andrei at school.:)