Saturday, August 31, 2013

My Second Pregnancy: Six Weeks

This post is a week late, but I did have the chance to take the picture on time. I had eaten so much pasta and pizza at that point that I felt like I looked pregnant already, haha.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

that time I spent the night in the Dubai airport

I've traveled quite a bit in my 26-years. From road trips through the winding mountains of Mexico to 3-hour panga rides through the high seas of the Pacific. I've taken ferries, bajajis, bancas, buses, trains, sketchy planes, and everything else you can think of. But nothing has been more horrific than my recent journey from Dar es Salaam to Venice on Emirates Airlines.

I don't even know where to start.

When I arrived at the check-in counter, they couldn't find my daughter's ticket. She was a lap infant, and we added her to my ticket after purchasing mine (not at the same time). I had my itinerary printed out, but my ticket number didn't match hers. They sent me back out through security (you have to go through security to get to the check-in area of Dar es Salaam) to purchase another lap infant seat from the travel agents outside. The travel agents couldn't figure out how to simply add a lap infant to my ticket without upgrading my seat to First Class (mm-hmm). I couldn't afford to do that, and I thought for sure I was going to miss my flight. I went back to the Emirates check-in counter to see if they could check one last time. "Oh, I'm sorry madam, it's right here." (Duh.) With 7 minutes to spare before check-in closed.

Then they informed me, "Oh, you can't take your pram on the plane."
"Why not?" I asked.
"Because there are prams available in the Dubai airport when you arrive," they replied.
"So because there are strollers in the Dubai airport, I can't use my own stroller to get through the next security checkpoint and to the gate with my toddler and two large carry-ons in the Dar es Salaam airport?"
"Yes. I mean no," they replied. "You cannot take the pram. You have to check it now."

I was so sick of arguing at that point that I just said whatever. I didn't have the baby carrier I normally take through the airports because I figured I'm too tired and pregnant to carry around a 27lb toddler for that long. I thought I'd have the stroller this time. Apparently not. So I tied Eva on my back with a kanga and waddled my way to passport control, then up the stairs to the next security check-in.

I was the last person to check-in on the flight so when I got to my gate all the seats in the waiting area were taken. Nobody offered to give me theirs, so I walked over to the boarding area since I knew they would be boarding any minute. According to Emirates written policy, those traveling with small children are allowed priority boarding. But the guy at the gate wouldn't let me board first.

"We board from the back of the plane first, you wait until your zone is called."

I explained to him that I was pregnant, that I had been on my feet for a good two hours, that I was traveling alone with a toddler, that it was written in Emirates policy, and that I needed to get on that plane and sit down immediately. My stomach was cramping at that point and I was getting worried. My eyes welled with tears.

"No, please step aside," he said.

The people around me were shocked. Voices in all sorts of accents rang out, 
"Are you kidding?"
 "It's the policy, mate." 
"Just let her on the plane."

"No," he said. "If I let her go I'll be in trouble with my station manager."

That's the reason he won't let me go? I took matters in my own hands and just went. Was anyone going to tackle me with an infant on my back? I hoped not. And nobody did. I took my seat and was simply relieved to be on the plane at that point. "Everything will be easier from here," I thought. I was dead wrong.

I won't even talk about traveling with a 1.5-year-old who might as well be 2 on my lap for 5 hours. That was my own damn fault, and I'll never do it again.

But I will talk about what happened when I arrived in Dubai.
First off, when I finally got off the plane all the strollers that would supposedly be there were taken.
I had to walk a long ways with my cranky toddler and two heavy bags before I found an abandoned one.

Then, when I got to the hotel/visa area, I was informed that a hotel hadn't been booked for me. Normally, if you have a layover in Dubai longer than 12 hours, Emirates sets you up with a visa and hotel room. I've done it twice before and it was easy. But this time my hotel wasn't there. I was told I could purchase overnight visas for $300 (not including a hotel room) and I was like, "Um... no."

So I turned around and went back up the escalators feeling like I was in The Terminal.

I went to the Emirates business lounge and explained my situation. I threw out the pregnancy card. I even offered to pay for entry. But no. I wasn't allowed in there.

I walked around for half an hour, searching for a comfortable looking chair. The only chairs I could find had those divider things between them so you can't lay down. I gave up and sat in one. I spoke to a friendly lady from Melborne that told me about these "sleep cubbies" you could pay for in the airport. So I went off for a search. Eva did not want to go back in the stroller, which didn't recline, so I wore her on my back and put my bags in the stroller instead.
I trudged through the airport, feeling like a zombie, until I found it. All the cubbies had been booked until 4:45am. It was about 1am at that point, but I still reserved a cubby and decided to look for somewhere to go for the next 3.5 hours. I finally found a spot behind a row of chairs. I took all the extra clothes I had out of my backpack and made makeshift pillow for Eva and I. I tried to get her to sleep, but she fussed. She fussed and fussed and fussed until she finally gave into her exhaustion at 2:30am. I set my alarm for 4:40 and tried to get some sleep. It was terrible.
Smiling on the outside, screaming on the inside.
When my alarm went off I was ecstatic. I headed over to the sleep cubbies eager for my 3 hours of sleep. And of course once I got in there I couldn't fall asleep. Despite my exhaustion, it took me longer than ever. But once I woke up, I felt like a new person. I was optimistic and ready to start the rest of my journey. The cubby was so worth the $50 I had to pay.
Inside the sleep cubby.
And the worst of it really was over at that point. I didn't mind the next 6-hour plane ride with a toddler on my lap because I was just so happy to be out of the Dubai airport.

I don't know. It might not seem that bad on paper, but it was just so incredibly horrible. The stress and exhaustion were so bad that I became very worried about my pregnancy. I cried a lot (mostly hormones, I think). People probably thought I was crazy or just had a death in the family or something. But I was just an emotional mess.

And I'm so glad it's over. And I'm so glad Daniel will be on the same flight as us on the way back, or else I probably wouldn't leave.
The drive to Aviano... gorgeous.
Have you ever had a terrible travel experience?
A Compass Rose

Monday, August 26, 2013

An Interview with an Expat V.2 - Living in Another Language

As you read this, I'm probably frantically sorting out the bus/rail/gondola system of Italy with a toddler by my side and a baby in my belly (Daniel went ahead of us... Ugh!)... Meanwhile, meet one of my favorite expat bloggers, Amanda!
Hello To the Sea readers! I'm Amanda and I blog over at Living in Another Language. After falling in love in college, getting hitched after graduation, and moving to Portland, Oregon, my husband and I realized the 'American Dream' wasn't for us. After one year of domestic life, we sold everything and moved abroad. We are currently teaching English in South Korea and traveling as much as we can on our downtime.
I started my blog to help my friends and family keep up with us, but over time it's become my favorite hobby. My blog showcases our travels, my love for photography, and any domestic tips I find along the way.

1. What were your initial thoughts when your overseas move was finally set in stone?
"Holy crap, is this really happening?" It seemed like much more of a dream than anything. I also had my freak out moments thinking that we were embarking on something similar to jumping off a cliff and not knowing what was at the bottom. South Korea? What the heck is in South Korea? What would I wear, eat, and do in my free time?
2. What were the first few months like? Did you get homesick? How did your new country (South Korea) compare to your expectations?
The first few months were fantastic. I felt like Korea was more of an extended vacation than a new home. It was hard getting acclimated to the new smells (mostly rotting cabbage and fish), tastes, and walking everywhere. My husband drastically lost 20 lbs, and I dropped a few myself. I had to learn a whole new way of cooking (in our first weeks we were only eating fruits and vegetables, meat hadn't been discovered yet. I had to learn how to communicate with the locals which can prove tricky sometimes.
I really wasn't expecting much from Korea; honestly I hadn't heard much about it except the Korean War, and that info was pretty vague as well. I pictured lots of country with tons of people living in little shacks. I'm not sure why, and I'm almost embarrassed to write that now. Korea is very developed and booming economically to the point where it's almost scary. I'm surrounded by rich Koreans who have too much money or credit card debt. Everyone drives cars built within the last couple of years, and have smart phones as big as your face.
3. What is your favorite thing about living overseas? What is your favorite part about South Korea in particular?
For some reason, living overseas gives you more of an opportunity to travel. I don't know if it's the mindset or just the location, but we've had the opportunity to go to four countries other than Korea since we've moved abroad. It could also be the fact that Korea is a little more lenient on letting their workers off for holiday breaks, Im not sure.
One of my favorite parts about living in South Korea is the healthy lifestyle they live. First of all, Korean's don't live to eat, they eat to live. I'm talking kimchi and rice for every single meal. They'll be lucky if they switch it up by adding some anchovies or bulgogi (meat with sweet sauce) to their rice. They also tend to be more aware of what goes in to their bodies. I have YET to be offered soda or fattening dessert when I go to a family or friend's house for dinner. Usually juice is the first choice, and then milk or water. For dessert? A variety of fruit. Koreans love their fruit, and wouldn't you know it, so do I!

4. What is the worst part about living overseas? How do you deal with it?
The lack of close friends. It's very difficult living in a short-term expat heavy country. Most foreigners who move to Korea are either on teaching contracts (usually one year) or on engineering contracts (3 months - 2 years). Because of their short duration of stay, most of them have a like mindset when it comes to making friends. They aren't interested in really diving into a deep relationship or sharing much of anything. It can be frustrating for someone like me or my husband who plan to live here for a few more years. I miss my close friends back home,and am still holding out that some crazy girl like me will come along. 
Thankfully I have a very supportive husband who's there for me whenever I need him. He'll even go out and drink 'girl drinks' with me when I really need one (don't tell him I said that). He's my rock, and without him I don't think I would have lasted this long in Korea! 

5. If you could have three food items shipped to you overnight from back home, what would they be?
A truckload of peanut butter m&m's, jolly ranchers, and a good case of kombucha tea. I realize two out of the three are candy -I'm not ashamed of the fact that I like some American sweets. My husband and I pretty much go sugar free in Korea because the sweets here just aren't that good.

Well, now that you know I'm pretty much like a child, drop by my blog! You can also follow me on Bloglovin', Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Yes, I like to stay socially connected. ;) If you stop by, be sure to leave a comment so I know that you did!! 

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Well, the day has finally come... I'm off to Italy (/Slovenia/Croatia)! I'm not sure whether I'll have much time for blogging (hopefully not, honestly), but I know I'll be posting lots of photos on Instagram. You can follow my adventures at @totheseablog.

Because of my potential extended absence (about 2 weeks), I'm offering 50% off all ad spaces on a first come first serve basis. Use the promo code "VivaItaliaBIGONE" for the top ad space, "VivaItaliaLARGE" for the large ad spaces, "VivaItaliaMEDIUM" for the mediums, and "VivaItaliaSMALL" for the smalls. My readership is at an all-time high, and I've been receiving 2,000-3,000 page views a day for the past few weeks. Most spots come with a Sponsor Spotlight and all spots come with in-post and social media mentions.

And to kick off my sale, the first person to name the surf spot in the background of this very old and almost embarassing photo of Daniel and me will get a large ad space for FREE! Good luck!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

la semana pasada

Our week looked a whole lot like this...
I don't have a whole lot to say about this week. It was spent packing, being extremely lazy, having a celebratory pregnancy lunch and mocktails with a friend, and being extremely lazy some more.

Here are a few of my favorite things from around the web last week:

I was stoked to see Dani return to blogging after a summer hiatus. 

I read this inspirational post about "leaning into your fears."

I adored these incredible pictures from a place I've always wanted to go.

I'm excited about Antionette's upcoming move to Spain and interested to see how she likes living the expat life.

I was introduced to this new blog from a fellow fitness mama also due in April 2014!

I found this cute little repurposed elephant on sale for only $5.

I loved this co-sleeping story. It made me think about how our co-sleeping situation will change as my family expands.

I hope everyone has a great upcoming week!

My Second Pregnancy: Week 5

This week I had my first doctor's visit. I had my blood drawn and filled out a tremendous amount of paperwork. So far it looks like my insurance company wants to send me to Germany for my first trimester screening, but we're in the process of seeing if they'll let me go to South Africa instead. Not only is South Africa way closer (and cheaper for them), I've never been there and would love to check it out, even if just for a day or two. :)

As far as how I'm feeling goes... I definitely feel pregnant. I seriously feel like I could sleep all day. My boobies are starting to get sore and I'm really feeling the pulling and stretching in my lower abdomen. I don't mind it, though. I feel like it means my body is doing what it's supposed to be doing. I'm hoping the full brunt of the First Trimester doesn't kick in until after I return from Italy, though. I have a lot of touring to do in the next couple of weeks!

34/52 {a portrait a week project}

...and for the first time during this project, my favorite pic of Evita happened to come from my iPhone instead of my big fancy camera.
My favorite new word Eva has been saying is, "mamos." She means to be saying, "manos" (Spanish for "hands"), but her pronunciation is just so cute it's hard for me to correct her.

This portrait is part of Jodi's potrait-a-week project.
My favorite portrait from last week was of sweet little Eddy being dunked in the pool.

Friday, August 23, 2013

First Trimester Fitness: Goals & Workout Plan

Exercise during my first trimester probably won't change much as far as the types of activities go. It is definitely not the easiest time in pregnancy to workout, but it's the last time I'll be able to do certain exercises, especially ones that require lying flat on my back. I know from my first pregnancy that many days I'll be exhausted. Some days I will feel nauseous (working out first thing in the morning always helped with that). But I will remember that unless I'm feeling pain (or like I'm going to pass out), I can make it through my workout. I will remind myself of the potential benefits of exercise, including an easier delivery, easier bounce back, fewer stretch marks, less stress, and an overall healthier pregnancy and baby.

I want to spend some time talking about pregnancy exercise myths, but I'll save that for another day (maybe schedule it for next week?). Instead, today I want to just put my workout out there so that I can get started with it. Pinterest Philosophy states, "People who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them than the ones who didn't. Telling a friend increases this rate by 78%." I'm killing two birds with one stone but writing my plans down and sharing them with you.

If you want to follow along (whether you're pregnant or not), make sure you're cleared by your doctor to start an exercise program. YES, you can START exercising during pregnancy, even if you didn't exercise before. That's one of the myths I'll explain in more detail in my mythbusters post.

One thing I don't want to put off is sharing my fitness goals for the next 9 months:
I'm not going to write a ton about my eating plan, because I'm basically going to be following the same clean eating plan as I have before (choosing foods from this list). Because I started this pregnancy at a healthy weight (not underweight or overweight), I need NO EXTRA CALORIES during the first trimester. The whole "extra calories" thing doesn't start until 12 weeks. I will make sure I'm eating enough calories to maintain my current weight, and I'll remember to take my prenatal vitamin everyday. 

Below is my weekly workout plan for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy (the next 7 weeks for me). I only have a nanny three days a week, and since there is no childcare at my gym those are the only days I plan on going. I also included a home workout alternative to the gym days incase the nanny can't make it or I don't feel like braving Tanzanian traffic to get there. I recently acquired a set of dumbbells, which makes working out at home so much easier. I plan on doing both cardio and strength training five days a week. I will be weightlifting three days a week and doing a pilates/barre DVD the other two days. Check it out:

Plan of Attack:

AM: 3-mile run
PM: Back, Biceps, and Abs (either gym workout OR home workout)
Lat Pull Down (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Dumbell Rows (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Cable Rows (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Straight Arm Pulldowns (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Back Extensions (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Barbell Curls (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Preacher Curls (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Concentration Curls (3 sets, 10-12 reps) 
Single-Arm Dumbell Rows (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Bent Over Dumbbell Rows, Underhand Grip (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Bent Over Dumbbell Rows, Overhand Grip (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Pullovers (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Dumbbell Curls (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Hammer Curls (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Concentration curls (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
AM: 3-mile run
PM: Pilates During Pregnancy DVD

AM: 3-mile run
PM: Legs (either gym workout OR home workout)
Squat (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Deadlift (3 sets, 10-12reps)
Leg Press (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Plie Squats (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Stiff-Leg Deadlift (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Seated Hamstring Curls (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Leg Extensions (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Standing Calf Raises (3 sets, 10-12 reps) 
The following video using 10lb ankle weights and a 40lb kettlebell.

AM: 3-mile run
PM: Prenatal Barre Workout DVD

AM: 3-mile run
PM: Chest, Triceps, and Shoulders (either gym workout OR home workout)
Barbell Incline Bench Press (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Dumbell Flyes (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Barbell Press (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Lateral Raises (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Rear Delt Flyes (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Dips (3 sets to failure... Use a Dip Machine if you are unable to complete these on your own)
Overhead Cable Extension (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Triceps Pushdown (3 sets, 10-12 reps) 
Dumbell Bench Press (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Dumbell Flyes (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Triceps Kickback (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Overhead Triceps Extension (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
Dips on Chair (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
PLUS this video:

Something fun! Swimming, kayaking, surfing (while I still can), etc.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Statue of Shinran Shonin, Okinawa

This week's Throwback Thursday is from Summer 2010, when I was visiting Daniel in Okinawa. One thing we did while I was there was check out the Statue of Shinran Shonin (Side Note: You know you're a lawyer if every time you type "statue" you accidentally type "statute," hah.) Shinran Shonin was a 12th century Buddhist priest. His statute stands on the site of the Battle of Okinawa during WWII. A plaque beside it reads, "As we look at this statue of Shinran Shonin, let all of us together share the same vision and dream as Shinran Shonin did, seeking worldwide peace based on the truth of coexistence, and send out this noble wish from this site to the world." 

Sorry for the quality of these pics... they're from my really old point-and-shoot days. 
A good luck bell next to the statue.
Aaaannnddd Daniel had to take a silly picture with the statue because it reminded him of street fighter or whatever.
Apparently Buddha or whoever wasn't too upset because we got a beautiful rainbow on the way out.
Hi, I'm Rachel and I blog over at Postcards from Rachel. I started my blog as a way to document my adventures while living abroad in Scotland. Now that I'm back in the States and moving around every 6 months for my husband's career, I write about my family's travels, moving woes and my struggle with anxiety. I'd love for you to stop by and say hello!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Here we go again...

That's right, we'll be welcoming baby #2 on or around April 26, 2014 (the day before my birthday), which makes me just over 4 weeks pregnant. I went back and forth about announcing this early. It seems like every baby book and website insists that you wait until 12 weeks to announce your pregnancy. It's still a sensitive time, and anything can happen. In a way, this makes it seem as though miscarriage is something women should be ashamed about and feel the need to hide. I disagree with this outlook. If I were to suffer through a loss, I would want the support from friends and family. I would want to be able to use this blog as an outlet to cope, and possibly help other women going through the same thing. That's one reason I decided to announce today.

The other is I simply couldn't wait eight more weeks. I'm terrible at keeping surprises. What's funny is that my husband has been dying to announce, and he's usually better about secrets than I am. So we decided to do it today.

I know there are a lot of questions that friends and family members will have. No, we weren't supposed to get pregnant in Africa. Yes, I do have access to a clinic here for basic things like blood work, etc. No, I'm not sure whether I'll be flown to Europe for my first trimester screening or be sent back to the United States. Hopefully I'll have these questions answered over the next couple of weeks. I'm going to try not to stress about it because I know either way I'll be taken care of.

I'm looking forward to my second pregnancy journey and all that comes with it.
I'm so stoked that my little family is growing and that Eva will be a big sister.
 I'm a bit bummed I won't be tasting wine in Italy next week, though. Hah.
Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Survival Tips for the Expectant Mom

Sometimes the last thing you want during your pregnancy is advice. People are screaming from every direction, "Do this!" and, "Don't do that!" It's enough to make you want to become a hermit until delivery. But today I thought I'd participate in From Mrs. to Mama's 52 Weeks of Blogging with a Purpose and share a few tips from what I learned during my first pregnancy. They might not work for every family, but they definitely worked for mine. Maybe they'll work for yours too? :)

1. Exercise. I wouldn't be a good quasi-fitness blogger if I didn't start out with exercise. Some (if not most) days will be hard. Your body will feel like it has already run a marathon. You may not be a gym rat, but (certain rare medical conditions aside) you can at least walk. Walking is easy. Go to the mall for an hour and you probably won't even realize you're walking. If you're interested in what I did for exercise during pregnancy, read here. I have to attribute at least part of my 5 1/2 hour labor and 20 minutes of pushing to all the exercise I did. I definitely attribute my postnatal bounce-back to it. Exercise can also prevent back pain, bad moods, stretch marks, gestational diabetes, postpartum depression, excessive weight gain, and insomnia. Wear a Maternity Support Belt when your belly gets uncomfortable.

2. Don't eat whatever you want. Lots of women use pregnancy as an excuse to indulge each and every craving. Then they blame their postnatal bodies on pregnancy, when it really had more to do with their lack of discipline. You only need around 300-450 extra calories/day while pregnant. Nourish your body and your baby with healthy, nutritious foods. Keep a food diary if you're prone to going out of control. 

3. Buy a Pregnancy Pillow. I slept exponentially better, though it was a bit tricky getting in and out of bed when I needed to get up in the middle of the night to pee. And my husband didn't appreciate the pillow barrier.

4. Don't announce your baby's name until it's on the birth certificate. If you have very opinionated family members like I do, you can avoid unnecessary stress by keeping the name a secret. This is YOUR baby, and his or her name is one of the most meaningful things you'll give them. Don't let outside pressures ruin this experience... Plus, it's kind of fun to have a little secret to save until birth.

5. Read The Happiest Baby on the Block. Eva was the easiest baby in the world. Some people call it luck, but I know this book had something to do with it. "The Five S's" worked wonders. I wrote more about my experiences with them here.

6. Go on outings with your newborn. It is much easier to take sleepy newborns places than squirmy crawlers. I took my baby to the beach when she was three days old, on a boat when she was four days old, and to the Kid's Club at the gym starting at eight weeks old. I took her to restaurants, barbeques, and malls. I took her everywhere. People always comment on how well Eva does in public places, and I think it may have to do with her simply being used to it. Enjoy the newborn period while you can, because it will only get harder (at least it did for me). I have a feeling that outings can help with postpartum depression as well.

7. Say YES! to help. If you have awesome friends like I do, they'll offer to come over and cook you dinner, or simply bring you takeout. Some of them may even help you clean. If you're like me, your first instinct will be to say no thank you. You don't want to bother anyone. This is not the time to say no. Accept the help and remember to send a thank you note. You might even get to return the favor one day. :)

8. Do this: Dig a hole in the sand (or the dirt if you have to), throw a blanket over it, and just lay on your belly for a while. Thank me later.

9. Buy a Belly Band. Wear your jeans for as long as possible. It's hard to find a cute pair of maternity jeans. It's hard to find a cute maternity anything. Maternity clothes in general are pretty gross. Waste your money on as little as possible.

10. Savor your pregnancy. Unless your last name is Duggar, it'll probably be one of the few times you'll get to experience the miracle of growing a human inside you. The backaches, rib pain, and exhaustion are only temporary. But so are the kicks and wiggles. Treasure them. One day they'll be a distant memory. You might not even remember what they felt like. Read what I wrote here if you need some more reminding.
Check out other mamas' tips here:

Saturday, August 17, 2013

la semana pasada

Sunday we went to the pool for a bit. Eva went down the slide a few times with her Daddy. When we got back, they built a fort in the playroom. Don't mind the curtains, they came with the house. The State Department is notorious for interesting curtains.

Monday was spent relaxing and lounging around the house. Not much interesting to talk about.

On Tuesday we took a trip to visit Daniel at work.

I'm representing Texas in my Guy Harvey shirt from Quik Stop (the best bait stand in Texas). On Wednesday D and I called the Nanny and went to "Trivia Night" at a local bar with some friends. Our table won second place, which is pretty awesome considering how competitive that thing gets. Expats come from far and wide.

Thursday was busy. We went to the beach and then to a happy hour for Daniel's work.

Friday was another chill day around the house. :)

And Saturday was another day at the beach. :) Eva swam around in her puddle jumper and ran around the beach hoarding shells in her chubby little fingers.

Here are some neat things I found around the web this week:

Love this Buzzfeed article on 34 Gifts for the Coolest Baby You Know. I would die for one of these:
Okay, maybe not die since it's only $8, but you know.

Bettina wrote about Surviving Flights with a Toddler and had some new ideas I might utilize on my upcoming Italy trip.

Luana wrote a heartfelt post about the birth of her son two years ago.

Allison returned to blogging with a bang.

Bonnie told the tragic story of how she lost her father. It's a real eye-opener as to why you should "share the road" with bikes.

Do you have any links you'd like to share with me from last week?
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