Sunday, April 20, 2014

16/52 {pregnancy/baby/life updates}

Yesterday morning we went on a little hike at Government Island, a little nature/historical spot in our neighborhood. It was so nice to spend some time outdoors, even if it's not the beach or trails we're used to. Eva ran around everywhere looking for the "East-a Bunny," which sadly she never found (on the hike, at least).

This was the first year I made Eva an Easter Basket. I felt like she was finally old enough to appreciate one. She might have been last year, too, but we were in Tanzania and things like that aren't as easy to come by.
We also hid eggs around our yard and let her find them, which she loved.
The rest of the week was spent lounging around, praying for "baby bruddah" to hurry up and get here.

Videos of the Week:
1. Eva busted singing "Landing Feet First" by Bayside in the car.
2. Looking for Easter eggs.
3. Raiding her Easter basket. (Daniel got a much better video of this. Oh well.)
4. Eva had been asking to SEE the Easter Bunny all day long. I peeped out our window after the sun went down and happened to spot a bunny eating. Eva saw him just in time, and asked if there were more eggies.
4/18/14- 39 weeks! The week I gave birth to Eva. With Eva I already had signs of impending labor at this point (loss of mucous plug, dilation, bloody show), but as far as I can tell there haven't been many signs this time around. I did feel a few contractions the other night but I knew they were just practice contractions and not the real thing. My sister-in-law arrives on Sunday for a week so I really hope the baby is born then and not after she leaves! I think the latest I can go without them inducing me is May 1st. That seems like a lifetime away. But as frustrating it is to be in this "any day now stage," it's also really exciting. I'm looking forward to the birthing experience again. The only thing I'm really worried about is leaving Eva for a night or two. We've only ever spent two nights apart, and not in a row. It's always so hard for me to sleep when she's not next to me. Anyway, hopefully the next weekly update will include a picture of baby Damian instead of my giant belly, but I'm still not getting my hopes up. Mostly. I have been nesting, though:

I washed all the new Charlie Banana cloth diapers I got for Damian, and adjusted the leg holes to the newborn size. I still have all the ones I used for Eva, too, but they're mostly pink. Oh well.

Daniel surprised me with a push present on Saturday. I wasn't expecting one at all this time, much less one of this caliber. He bought me a Tiffany's bracelet to match the necklace he gave me as a push present with Eva. I didn't even ask for it. What's even better is how he gave it to me. He gave Eva the little blue bag and told her to bring it to me. It was so surprised.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Where are you?

I'm a very light sleeper, and always wake up when Evita moves around at night. (Yes, we're still co-sleeping.) Every now and then, Evita talks in her sleep. Usually she mumbles words like, "puppies," "bicycle," or "fruit snacks," but last night was different. She tossed and turned a bit, and then giggled, twice. Then she said very clearly, "Yet! Where are you?"

"Yet" is what Eva called her best friend back in Tanzania. Her real name is "Juliet," but Eva couldn't say it right at first and so "yet" became Eva's nickname for her.

Juliet was her Nanny's daughter.
She was much older than Eva, but always came to our house to play, even when her mom wasn't working.
The girls would play hide-and-seek all over our house, run around outside, or I'd take them to the beach.
They loved each other's company. Juliet was like a big sister to Eva.
It was so hard to watch them say goodbye, wondering if and when they'd ever see each other again. 

Now, Eva asks for Juliet (and her mother, Emmy) all the time.
She pretends to call her on her toy phones.
She gets excited when she sees a kid who resembles her.
She randomly says, "Yet... I miss you," just out of nowhere.

It makes me so sad to know that most of Eva's baby memories of Juliet will fade.
I don't know when, but I'm assuming there will come a day when Eva stops asking for Juliet.
This absolutely breaks my heart.
These girls had so many great experiences together.
I feel so bad for separating them.
But such is life when your parents are nomads, I guess.

It won't be the last time she'll have to say goodbye to a friend.
But it was the first.
And maybe that's why I'm so bummed about it.

I really hope their paths will cross again somewhere down the road.
I hope to take Eva back to Tanzania when she's older.
For now, I'll just keep showing her pictures and trying to keep her memory as fresh as possible.
Here are some of my favorites...
Hiya! I'm Tina and I'm the 26 year old single mom of a 2 year old princess named Lyla. We live in New Jersey but have started our plan on moving to Florida within the new few years. I blog at Tina Bumblebee about raising my daughter, food, natural beauty products, and really just anything going in my life. When I'm not cooking or playing with Lyla, I'm watching almost every TV show ever or reading multiple books a week. I stay at home with Lyla during the week and work at a bar on the weekends but I have my Bachelor's in English and plan on going back to work full time within the next year. I just began blogging so I'm new to all of this and would love to get to know new people and find more blogs to follow :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Introducing the Platinum Symphony™ DLX All-In-One Car Seat by Evenflo {Review}

As part of my participation in a sponsored campaign on behalf of One2One Network, I received a free Evenflo Platinum Symphony™ DLX All-In-One Car Seat to review. As always, all opinions stated below are my own.
Before I get into the review, I wanted to share some of the carseat's advertized features:
1. All-in-One Carseat- Accommodates children ranging from 5-110lbs, making it the only carseat you'll ever need.
2. OUTLAST® Performance Fabrics- Balances your child’s body temperature for a safer, more peaceful ride. OUTLAST® Performance Fabric absorbs hot and cold temperature, releasing as needed.
3. Buckle Pockets- Buckle Pockets neatly and smartly tuck the buckle tongues away — making it easier and safer to get a child in and out of the seat. No more digging around for lost buckles or hot buckle tongues during warm weather that can burn your child.
4. e3 Side Impact™- e3 Side Impact™ Protection significantly reduces the forces in side impact crashes through advanced energy absorption and an expanded zone of protection.
5. SureLATCH® Technology- Advanced LATCH Technology for a secure installation in seconds. Simply click the LATCH into your vehicle and push down to hear and feel the seat auto tighten. 
6. Infinite Slide™ Harness- Provides an easy, safe, accurate fit and eliminates any need for harness re-threading as your child grows.
7. Upfront Harness Adjustment- Easily adjust the 5-point harness from the front of the car seat, making it easier to get your child in and out.
8. Upfront Multi-Position Recline- Upfront multiple position recline for child’s comfort while asleep or awake.
9. Machine-Washable Pad- Easy-off, machine-washable car seat pad requires no harness re-threading
10. Cup Holder- Integrated, dual, cup holders for easy access to drinks.
11. Head and Body Pillow- Removable head and body pillow for additional comfort and support.

Now I will discuss some of these features from my point-of-view:

OUTLAST® Performance Fabrics

One of the first things I noticed when taking the carseat out of the box was how soft and comfortable the fabric feels. It turns out, this is no ordinary fabric. With the introduction of the Platinum Protection Series of carseats, Evenflo has incorporated NASA-developed Outlast technology, which regulates the temperature of the fabric to keep babies and toddlers comfortable during hot and cold weather. 
I obviously can't tell you how well this works since I don't sit in the carseat myself, but I can tell you that since installing this car seat in our truck, Eva hasn't complained about the seat being too hot or too cold when she gets in it. Since my husband and I only have one vehicle at the moment, I usually drive him to work at around 5:30am, and it has been very cold most mornings. I can usually keep Eva asleep between the bed and the truck, but sometimes when she was placed in her old carseat she would wake up and cry and complain about the seat being too cold for about half of the car ride before finally falling back asleep. Since installing this carseat, she hasn't complained once. I've even managed to keep her completely asleep throughout the transition. So, I think that's a good sign?

All I know is, the less Eva complains the less stressed out I am and the better able I am to focus on driving. Did you know that new moms are 300% more likely to get into an accident because of the distraction an upset baby can cause? If this fabric really does work, it can definitely help to ensure a safer, more peaceful ride for both mom and child and help prevent an accident from ever happening.

Buckle Pockets

This is one of my personal favorite features of the carseat. How annoying is it when you put your child in the carseat and then have to fish the buckles out for under her bum and behind her back? And how uncomfortable it must be for her when the buckles are too cold or hot... The buckle pockets are an easy solution to this problem and I really don't know why nobody thought of that sooner.

SureLATCH® Technology

This is the feature we had a little trouble with and is probably my only complaint about the car seat. We drive an F-150, which has a really nice, big backseat. The SureLATCH just barely worked for us. We really had to tug on the belt to get it to buckle in. And I guess this makes the carseat feel nice and snug and secure, but I'm a little worried about what it will do to the seats of my truck over time.

Infinite Slide™ Harness & Upfront Harness Adjustment
I have to say, this is one of the easiest carseats I've ever had to deal with as far as adjusting the straps go. Tightening and loosening the straps and adjusting them as your baby grows can be such a pain in the butt with some carseats. Evenflo has really figured out how to simplify things with this carseat.

Machine-Washable Pad
Just last  week Eva had an accident in her old carseat, and we had to take it out, spray it down and all that. (That's actually when we decided to finally install the new carseat we received from Evenflo.) A machine-washable pad is super convenient when you have a toddler who still has the occasional accident.

Cup Holder
What I really, really love about the cup holders in this carseat (besides the fact that there's TWO!) is that they aren't enclosed all the way around. Instead, there is a piece of elastic on either side. Do you know what this means? It means that when my toddler decides to mash bits and pieces of food and crumbs in the cup holder, I can easily wipe them off the side instead of having to dig and maneuver the wipe around, etc. I love this. My husband, on the other hand, doesn't like it at all. He'd rather clean the gunk out of the cup holder than let it fall around the rest of the car. I guess it's a matter of personal preference. I figure that if my daughter doesn't think her food will stay in the cup holder, she'll be less likely to stick in in there and more likely to just ask me to hold it for later.

Head and Body Pillow

This is another great feature of the carseat relating to comfort. The plushness of the seat is another thing I really liked about this carseat. There is so much more head support for Eva when she falls asleep in the seat.

So that's what I thought of the carseat. To read more about it or purchase one for your baby, click here to find it over at Babies "R" Us.

I'd like to thank Evenflo and the One2One Network for providing me with the car seat to review.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mommy Blogger Collective: RAIN

I've always loved the rain.
Whenever I hear those first drops of rain hit the window, or feel them on my skin, I get butterflies in my stomach.
When it rains in Hawaii, waterfalls appear out of nowhere and rush down the mountains towards the sea.
I always felt so lucky to witness such a sight.
Rain slows down the wind and calms the waves, making them clean and glassy.
It also discourages some people from surfing, which is always a double plus.
Read More: Winter 2011 in Hawaii
Rain is both invigorating and destructive.
It sustains life and it destroys it.
Read More: Driving around in Hurricane Dolly.
Rain is beautiful in every sense of the word.
Read More: Karibu, April
I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to April showers.
"Rain" is the April writing prompt of The Mommy Blogger Collective. In addition to a monthly writing prompt, the collective hosts a monthly blogger featurette. This month we are featuring Katie of Hello, Little Bean.
A few words from Katie --- Hi! I'm Katie and I write a blog called 'Hello, Little Bean.' It's about life as a new mom to my cute daughter, Lark Story. I'm California born and raised, but currently live in Michigan with my soon-to-be husband, James and my soon-to-be stepson, Brennan, as well as our little Lark and two kitties. I'm a full-time graphic designer who loves all things artistic and creative. I'm overly sensitive and sentimental, sarcastic and foul-mouthed at times, a foodie and a reality tv junkie who's completely and utterly in love with motherhood. You can also find me on instagram, facebook, pinterest and our little online boutique, Bold Threads. 
  /// The Mommy Blogger Collective /// Christina, Courteney, Dena, Erica, Erin, Gillian, Katie, Misty, Nicole, and RenĂ©e. ///

15/52 {pregnancy/baby/life updates}

Well the upside of experiencing [at least the tail end] of my first real winter is experiencing my first real spring. Cherry blossoms are blooming all over Northern Virginia. I really wanted to head into DC for the festival last week but I never got around to it. As you'll be able to tell from my weekly update, this week was pretty uneventful. It was busy spent running errands and trying to get last minute things ready for baby #2. According to the docs I'll be 39 weeks tomorrow, which is the week I had Eva! I still haven't seen any real signs of labor yet, though, so I'm not getting my hopes up. Plus, it'd be better if Damian waited until my sister-in-law gets here on Sunday. :)

Eva's latest obsessions are still her Hello Kitty Easter temporary tattoos and her KidKraft kitchen. Her Daddy gave her knuckle tattoos the other day, which we thought was pretty adorable. Eva has also been loving the Kid's Club at the gym lately. She actually requests to go there, and when it's time for me to get her she runs and hides. I'm so happy about this, because for some reason she started crying at the Kid's Club back in Texas and hated when I left her there. I hope this doesn't happen here.

Video of the Week:
1. Dad-o painting Eva's fingernails for the first time.
2. Eva on her favorite toy in the park. I really regret never getting her a rocking horse. I guess it's not too late.

On Tuesday (according to US) or Friday (according to dates) I turned 38 weeks pregnant! Chyeah! Still no signs of labor, though. I had another checkup on Wednesday and the baby hadn't appeared to move any lower. There was no internal exam performed, though, so I'm not sure if I've progressed at all in that area. I have been getting strong nesting urges (stronger than usual, at least). I'm really hoping he makes it on time!
I'm still lifting and running my three miles everyday. My time is very slow, but it's still a bit faster than what I could run at this point with Eva. And at least I meet the minimum requirements for a USMC female 3-mile run qualification. :) (Whatever I need to tell myself to make myself feel better). 
An even bigger accomplishment, I would say, is still wearing Eva everyday. Soon I'll be rockin two babies, I hope.
Babywearing at 38.5 weeks pregnant.
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