Category Archives: Romania

I’m still here…


We arrived from Romania on Sunday and since then I have had my up and downs being on my own at home. I take Laura every morning to the nursery and pick her up at the end of the day. I feel like a loser to have her every day at the nursery while I am at home with Beatrice, but truth is: I am a loser. I am far to be a great mother that can entertain her 3 years old while looking after of her four month old. We don’t have a routine. Beatrice doesn’t have a routine. She sleeps when she wants, she feeds when she wants. Laura has her needs, she needs to eat, to get dressed, brush her teeth, and she doesn’t do these things on her own (she eats, but doesn’t cook, of course). She also needs to play, to talk, to run… and it has been raining every day since we got back, except on Sunday. And I feel completely exhausted and lost and cannot get myself organised with the things I need to do and the things I want to do. This week has been tough and most of my time is spent putting Beatrice to sleep and feeding her. I’ve been so so tired that some days I barely smile. This evening, with Laura at home, I was feeling numb, a bit like a zombie or a robot. She noticed, of course, because she notice everything these days. I haven’t been sleeping well and the girls wake up far too early for my liking.

But this is not a self-pity post. I’m sure it will get better and I will get used to the new routine. Beatrice is still quite small and is still adapting to the world. She is sorting her own routine out, while I give her a helping hand whenever I can. I am already understanding her sleeping patterns, still a bit confused, but I can see when she is tired and it is roughly around the same times. Roughly, not precisely, it is important to say.

As for me, I am trying to establish my own routine (around Beatrice), but it is hard. The weather is so so crap that I think I’m getting depressed again. I can’t leave the house. I don’t want to. I only leave the house when I need to – to take and pick up Laura, a doctors appointment. Beatrice and Laura have runny nose and might be developing a cold – nothing new, everybody in this country, except me, has a cold 9 months a year. The painful part is that I don’t sleep listening to their poor breathing. So I can go out in this weather risking Beatrice to get worse and not sleeping at all. And I don’t feel like going out. At all. I did, a couple of times, to walk and exercise and I felt miserable during the walk, just wanting to go back home.

Next week I’m going to look for a baby massage course. At least it’s indoors.

Tomorrow we are taking Laura for a ballet class trial. Let’s see if Laura will like it and want more. She is now dancing and singing in front of the mirror, but she is a shy kid.

And tomorrow my Godmother is coming to have lunch with us. It’s been ages since I last saw her – maybe 6 years? The reason why I’m still up is because I completely forgot about the lunch tomorrow and the desert I wanted to prepare needs some many hours cooling time. Up to two hours to cook and 6 hours in the fridge. I’m planning to prepare a fish stew – my first. Fingers crossed that it will be edible.

Now… Romania. Geez, I have so much to write about and I need to do it quickly before I forget things. I also have to sort the over 2,000 photos I took. Ops. It will come, I promise.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some photos of our trip, but mainly of my babies, all taken near the Bear Lake, in Sovata.

Bear Lake

Bear Lake, where the photos below were taken

Training to be a ballerina

Training to be a ballerina



Daddy and baby

Daddy and baby



Portrait of happiness

Portrait of happiness


Travelling with kids: the experience so far


The experience of travelling with two kids is a bit like a roller coaster, full of up and downs, a lotof adrenaline, fun but also very tiring.

I won’t lie to you and say that it is a fantastic experience, that we are loving it and can’t wait to do it all again. Several times we looked at each other and asked if it was really worth it.

Let me start with a first conclusion: having my in laws with us helped to avoid the experience being a total disaster. I think it would have been too much to handle in this particular trip. It was also good to have some helping hands to give us a chance to learn how it will be in the future, when it will be just us.

Laura, fortunately, has been a great kid after a tough start and is having fun with everything! No, really, everything. We went for a walk near the lake and she found a wooden “stage” and started singing, dancing, pretended she was baking cookies and so on. Even when the adults were tired, she was all smiles. Yes, there is an extra dose of unhealthy food in the mix, but I think it’s part of the holidays. She has been sleeping quite well too, from 20h to 7.

Little Bea is having a tough time. I think she hasn’t been able to sleep that well during the day, so she cries quite a lot. I also think I have been eatinh quite a lot of fat and it is giving her colics. Last night the poor thing had milk five times, when she normally has between 1 and 3. So, although a new baby is easier to handle in trips, Bea feels quite uncomfortable some days.

Mr. C and I are having fun but also very tired. I think our idea of holidays these days is to take some time off and rest, but we don’t really rest. It’s not like we could have a late night and sleep until 10am, walk around, eat when we want, do whatever we want, etc. But we are visiting different places, getting away from the routine back home, etc.

We have a week to go, so let’s see what will be our view after we go on the second part of our trip.

Stopping for some pictures.20130831-203027.jpg

A view to a kill – we drove for several hours and this was the view throughout the whole trip. 20130831-203043.jpg

I don’t know the name in English (or Portuguese) of these rocky formations, but in Romanian is called Chei. This is the Cheile Bicazului – Hasmas National
Park. It must be amazing to go on tracks through the woods and rocks, but we didn’t do any of this. Still beatiful.20130831-203101.jpg


Play area at the restaurant.20130831-203201.jpg

A bit of fun in te car, to help kill time.20130831-203231.jpg

Walking back to our pensiune after a day walking around.20130831-203251.jpg

Romania: days 6 and 7


Yesterday I didn’t post because I slept while putting Bea and Laura to sleep.

We had a great day at a salt mine in Praid, but all the photos are in the camera. The place is huge and designed for people to spend the whole day as part of the treatment. They have loads of toys for children, a 3D cinema, restaurant, pub, toilets, cafe and even a church. Bea couldn’t go because she was only allowed to be there for one hour. I don’t understand how it works, there were other babies there, but all older than her; I would say 9-10months old, I guess they are all affected by the pressure of the cave but maybe there is an extra concern with very young babies. Well, we wouldn’t take the risk.

We also went to a place not too far from Praid to have a look at the traditional arts and crafts. But it was raining a lot and quite muddy. Not sure if I mentioned but I brought no clothes for muddy days.

Today we went to place with (live) butterflies and visit a fishery, where we had lunch.


Romania: day 5


Today we finally managed to put the girls down at a decent time. We had a great day walking around Sovata (it’s tiny, but very hilly, so it’s tiring). In a nutshell, the place gets it’s fame and fortune from its lakes, in special the Bear Lake (which you have to pay to get in). There are salty lakes, muddy lakes (people use the mud for all sort of health treatments), tiny lakes… Apparently the water is warm; we haven’t tried yet but I believe it’s true as people were happily in the water but wearing cardigans outside it.

Our day was great, the weather is quite good – hot but not too hot, around 18-20C, which is perfect for me (when the sun is out, it feels hotter than this). We went on a “train” ride (20 min) around Sovata, had lunch, walked… When we started making our way back to the room, Laura decided to make a huge scandal in the street, one of the worst we’ve ever experienced, which put us all in a very bad mood. The tantrum last about 30 minutes but It felt like hours. We will probably be known in the town as the mad parents of mental kid. Oh well…

It seems that the weather forecast for the next days (weeks?) is going to be rain, lots of rain. So, is this holiday a strong candidate of the “Flop of the Year”? Na, despite all the little problems (did I mention that hubby’s stomach is not well tonight?), I am enjoying wearing short sleeves and not being cold at all.

As usual, some photos taken with my mobile. I was hoping to upload some of the camera’s photos but the wifi of the “pensiune” only works in the kitchen. Of course, why would it work everywhere? Night night!

Someone is happy today (this was before the tantrum).20130827-161126.jpg
Someone is finally sleeping20130827-161212.jpg
I’ll post more photos of the buildings here on a separate post. One of my favourite things about Romania. 🙂

Detail of the ceiling of the restaurant we ate this afternoon. The food was pretty average.

Romania: day 4 and still (barely) alive!


I hope today was the last of the tough days of this trip.

A summary: took us ages to pack and leave, went to our “hotel” in Sovata just to find out that they have given one of our rooms out to somebody who got there earlier! We’ve booked it the week before our trip, they gave it to the first one who showed up wanting a room “now”.

Lesson for the future: hotels that don’t require pre-payment or some sort of guarantee will do that, so either keep calling them every day saying you are really going and on the actual day of the trip call them saying roughly when they should expect you, or tell them you want to pay a deposit to hold the rooms. We haven’t had this problem before because we always pre-pay for everything.

We managed to find a place to stay, cheaper and simpler, but clean and decent. It’s less than 10 minutes walk to the Bear Lake (I’ll talk about it on a different post) and the little town centre. And if you didn’t get the picture of our day with the short description above, I’ll just say that we sat down to have LUNCH at seven in the evening.

Unfortunately I have no photos on the mobile today but I’ll have loads of photos from tomorrow onwards. I have a feeling that we are finally starting our well deserved holidays!

By the way, Sovata is the cutest little town “eva”. I barely know it and already love it! Oh, and we had a massive storm while eating, with lightings, thunders and, of course, lots and lots of water. Summer storms!!

Romania: day 3


Laura is getting better, and even had a full spoon of the antibiotics without spitting it all back on us or throwing up.

We went to a salt cave in Turda, not too far from Cluj-Napoca. In the beginning Laura didn’t want to go but in the end she enjoyed the place. Salt caves are used in Romania as treatment for bronquitis, asthma and other stuff and the one in Turda is a big one – it has been recently modernised (as recent as 2005 can be, but we are talking about a salt mine that has been in use since 1075) and has a big entertaining area, including slides for small children, bowling for kids, mini golf, table tennis, a couple of tables of pool, a small Ferris wheel (wasn’t working when we were there), a small area for concerts and a tiny lake where people can row their own little boats. And, of course, the treatment rooms.

After the cave we had lunch in a restaurant on the road, which reminded me of my childhood times, when I lived 200 km north of Rio de Janeiro city and we used to spend weekends and holidays in Rio. We always ate at the same restaurant and had the same dish. Until millions of new and better resaurants opened.

After lunch we went back to Cluj and took Laura to a park, which she has been asking since she woke up in the morning. Unfortunately I forgot to that the camera (and the mobile) and have no registration of this square and park we went – a shame, because the place is quite beautiful and the light was great for some photos.

Anyhoo, I’ll leave you with some photos taken on my phone and will post more informative/complete posts at some point. Tomorrow we are heading to Sovata, our base for a week.

The photos below are pretty bad because it was dark, I didn’t use flash and I was scared to drop the phone. They were taken while we were waiting for the (panoramic) lift to the bottom of the cave. You can vaguely see the theatre, the ferris wheel (but only if you know what to look for) and the bridge where we queue for the lift and to look around. Opposite to where we stood, were the stairs for the brave and fit.
20130825-213724.jpgPhoto above: See the road there? I saw a woman pushing a baby on the puhchair all the way up. It has NO sidewalks!! It had no house/hotel/village around the corner. I promise you: it was a long and winding road.




Romania: day 1 and 2, done (not quite)


I have lots to learn when it comes to travelling with (small) children. At home we follow a strict routine when it comes to meal times and sleep and I think it is routine that keeps us sane. When we travel, routine doesn’t exist (jetleg, new environment) and life can be hell sometimes.

Our trip didn’t have a great start and I don’t know what would have been of us if it wasn’t for my in laws and their endless patience and love for our two girls.

We left London with Laura burning with fever and having medication every 3-4 hours. She got worse when we got here, and if I was trying to pretend it was a “normal” illness of a toddler, I freaked out when I was lying down with her and several times she jumped and shivered so violently that she woke up but without noticing what she had just done.

So our first day in Romania was marked by a trip to A&E here, three different medications, including an antibiotics, and change of plans for the weekend. We simply couldn’t go far to the mountains until Laura was feeling better.

On top of that, I’ve noticed red marks on my left breast, with a strong pain and the area being hot. I actually had fever in the night. I’m hoping that I’m not going to develop mastitis now and on holidays!!

Today, instead of going to wherever we were going to, we went to a place nearby, in the middle of nature to have a picnic. Laura was such a pain, asking to go home, crying about everything. She spits the antibiotics, doesn’t want to eat, is rude to people… Beatrice should be easier, but even the littlest one has been crying more than normal, not feeding well and not sleeping enough during the day. *sigh* It makes us wonder whether this family holiday thing is worth it.

Luckily (for me), summer and warm temperatures make me feel more positive about things. So, what could have been a tiring and stressful day out, was and fun tiring and stressful day out. I ate lots and was wearing sleeveless shirt and wasn’t sweating like a pig (it was warm, with fresh breeze, not boiling hot).

Let’s hope the night won’t be eventful and we can all rest and be in a good mood for tomorrow’s day trip.