Friday, July 29, 2005

Popped Out Another One

Well, Jackson Kanialama Kalahanohano Smith arrived on July 5th. He's a little guy... 2820 grams or 6 pounds 2 ounces. Ryan is a very proud big sister and I have to say that Jackson is perfect. He is very mellow and super sweet and I just can´t stop staring at him! He started rolling over at 2 1/2 weeks so I guess we have another mover and shaker on our hands. Ran is a proud papa and I am overjoyed to have two healthy, beautiful children. Like Ryan, Jackson came quickly-- and early. I will write up my entire experience and post it in my next blog. Basically it will take you longer to read the story than it took for Jackson to come into the world. Life is good here and we can´t wait for you all to meet the newest member of our family!

pura vida

Monday, May 30, 2005

We Thought Life Would Be Simpler Without a TV

It's cool having a bright and inquisitive kid... except when she asks questions like, "What does nympho mean?" Luckily Ran was home at the time so after finding out where she heard that word (the movie 50 First Dates), I told her to go ask her dad. His response was, "We know what movie you aren't going to watch anymore." Then he said that he would tell her when she's older. Fortunately she considered that to be an acceptable answer. She figures when she turns five we'll reveal all.

I forgot to mention that we have four pets again. You probably recall when Ran brought home Brownie Kacrownie-Dragon-Copper-Squirt and after a couple of torturous months our lovely Andrea found a new home for him. Then Ran tried to entice aptly-named Orejas (Ears) to become a part of the Smith Clan. Fortuntely Orejas is happy as a street dog and he used Ran for a free meal and went on his merry way. Then a few weeks ago Ran knocked at the door and tucked under his arm was Linda (another appropriately named dog--she is quite pretty). Looks like we're keeping her! We have renamed her Lady and she is a prissy little brown dog. She is smaller than Moki (of course Moki is a particularly large cat) and she is very sweet. She dances around a lot and she seems to be very happy to be a part of our family.

Ryan just has a week of school left. Then I am coordinating a summer program with some other moms so that our girls can get together for activities and we can have some mornings to ourselves. On Friday we head to San Jose for my monthly checkup and besides shopping for baby stuff and checking out apartment-hotels for our pre- and post-delivery stay, we will look for an aquarium so that we can get even more pets. Ryan and I really want to get the three little turtles at the vet's office.

I will include a baby update in my next post. Ryan still wants to name him or her Kangaroo. (Kangaroo might be an appropriate name because this kid is very bouncy!) And of course I will keep you all posted on our ever-growing collection of pets.

Pura Vida

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Funky Math

On Monday I'll be 32 weeks pregnant which you would think means 8 months. But I'm due on July 25th so I'm really only seven months along. It's funny how when you go by weeks pregnancy is really 10 months long. Either way I look like I'm due any day now. The good news is that I still feel great and baby is very active and I only waddle on occasion.

Big things are happening at the hotel and at home. We are moving to a new house in mid-June and we are very excited. Of course moving stinks but we will be happy when we are settled into our new space. (I'm ready to start nesting!) We will have a nice, comfy home with a view of the Nicoya Peninsula and a huge piece of land to romp around on. (Mom, ignore the fact that I ended that sentence with a preposition.) The downside is that we are moving farther away from Ryan's new school so I am looking into carpooling options. Ryan is transferring to the Escuala de Amigos next year and I think she is going to have a great time there.

We have been full at the hotel every day. It's supposed to be low season but nobody told our guests that, I guess. We have taken on a number of projects but the biggest one has been installing our internet cafe, going wireless and getting a program written so that we can do reservations and book tours on ipaqs (like palm pilots). It's exciting to be the cutting edge hotel up here but it has certainly been stressful and costly. We have gotten great press, though. We had a live radio show from the Pension and we were interviewed for a few periodicals ... a technology magazine, a hospitality magazine and the newspaper. Cool stuff!

Our ongoing project has been sprucing up the place and it is amazing the difference paint can make! Our beloved Jen painted the rooms and when she left we started painting the ugly brown cement walls in the living room. I said how cool it would be if we could paint a mural on the walls and what do you know--- two days later a traveling artist walks in with his portfolio! So now we have incredible murals in the living room and the shared bathroom. We also have our wonderful flower lamps strung and we will soon put up our new room numbers on the doors. The lamps and numbers were made by Ro and they are fabulous!

Our next project (happening as you read this) is our website, business cards and paper goods. After hiring more than our fair share of flaky web designers we have found two great local guys who are getting our website up and running. After that project is complete and once our new internet and intranet systems are running glitch-free we will take it easy for a while. Our focus will be on getting ready for the newest Smith.

So that's about it... we're all doing well. Ryan gets out of school on June 9th and doesn't go back until mid-August. I will have to tap into my creative supermom to keep her entertained during the holiday. I have started baking banana bread to sell at the hotel and will expand my menu this week. Ran is still very handsome and skinny and despite the stress of being a hotel owner he is loving his lot in life!

Pura Vida

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mom's Day

I’m seven months pregnant and I’m starting to waddle. Baby is very active and seems to be getting stronger every day. I go in for a sonogram at the end of this month so we will soon find out if this kid is still in the 95th percentile. My doctor says that the growth tapers off in the second trimester. So far I have gained 13 pounds—and all of it is in my belly. It looks like someone pasted a torpedo to my abdomen! I will soon have to purchase some medium maternity shirts because the smalls aren’t reaching the waistbands of my pants. We’re still trying to decide what to name Baby if he is a boy. I guess it’ll magically dawn on us one of these days.

Lynnette and John are here in Costa Rica for their honeymoon… what a treat for us! They got to Monteverde on Tuesday and we decorated their “honeymoon suite” at the hotel. They stayed here on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and they were busy busy busy! On Tuesday we hung out and cooked dinner at the Pension. On Wednesday they picked Ran up at 645AM and the three of them went for a hike into the reserve. After the three-hour guided tour, they went on their own and hiked to the Continental Divide. I am SO glad that Ryan and I stayed at home or Ran would have had to carry both of us! They got back to the hotel after 1PM (that’s a lot of walking), and then did Sky Trek at 2:00. We all went to dinner at Sofia’s that night (YUM). The next morning we met at the hotel at 7:30 so we could head to Los Lagos to play and see the volcano. Ran, Shannon and the newlyweds did horse-boat-jeep and Ryan and took jeep-boat-jeep. They all enjoyed the 3-4 hour horseback ride. Ryan and I got to Los Lagos a couple of hours before the others so we played in the pool (Ryan’s favorite thing to do) and had some lunch (my favorite thing to do). Our original plan was to spend one night there and head back to Monteverde the next afternoon but the four non-pregnant adults decided to go canyoning the next day. So while the group was out doing that, Ryan and I watched cartoons (in Spanish), swam and ate a snack at the bar. It was a relaxing day for us and an adventurous day for the rest of the gang. We headed back home yesterday morning. Lynnette and John took Ryan and me to the Cheese Factory for some ice cream and we said our goodbyes. Then they went back to the Pension to say goodbye to Ran and Shannon. They got driving directions and hotel info and headed for Manuel Antonio. Lynnette called us when they got there (which was before 6 last night—great driving time) and they will be there until Monday. I think they’ll have a blast… the nature reserve is so cool (monkeys galore), the beach is so pretty and there are lots of restaurants to enjoy. We miss them already!

Ryan got into the Friends School for next year. There are definitely great things about both Creativa and Friends but we think that Escuela de Amigos is where we want her for the long-term. It’s a bummer that they don’t have a bus; Ryan really likes riding to and from school. Luckily Ryan already knows a lot of the kids who will be in her class. They’re the same friends she plays with at art class on Saturdays. There will be three girls and five boys in her kinder class… how great is that?

Ran reminded me yesterday that today is Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day to all of you fabulous moms out there! I think Mother’s Day in Costa Rica is in August so I guess I will get to celebrate it twice. Ran is working until 2PM or so and I plan to make some real macaroni and cheese for dinner (aah… the joys of Velveeta). Thanks to all of our great friends who sent Lynnette and John with Velveeta, Rotel, books, DVDs and all of the cool stuff! The honeymooners even brought us some of their fabulous wedding cake. It has been great weeks for us… hope it has been for y’all too.

Pura Vida

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Cool Kid

Sometimes I am so amused by the things that come out of Ryan's mouth. It's great having a real conversation with a four-year-old. This is just one of the things we talked about yesterday:

Ryan: Mom, what do lions eat?
Me: Umm... smaller animals. Maybe deer.
Ryan: Do they eat grass?
Me: No, they eat meat.
Ryan: They eat cantelope.
Me: No, they eat meat.
Ryan: They eat cantelope! I mean antelope. And then when they die they turn into grass and the antelope eat the grass. I learned that from Simba and Nala. You know why? Because I just love lions.

We don't have a TV but we do have a laptop that we use to watch movies. Since she has watched The Lion King about a hundred times, it's no wonder that she knows about the "circle of life".

Bodi brought 13 Going on 30 with her from her last Austin trip. Ryan really likes that movie also. Two days ago I am getting out of the shower and she askes me, "Mom, what does bitch mean? Hmm... how do I answer that? Well, I said it's when someone isn't very nice. And it is also the word for a girl dog. Her response to that... "What does tough bitch mean?" I think we'll go back to watching Lion King!

But the best thing I heard was this one:
Ryan: Do you know what pals means, Momma? It means best friends and you're my best friend, Momma! I love you a lot... all the way to the stars and the moon and to California.

Yep, conversations with four-year-olds are the best!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

All Things Gringo

We had a party on Saturday night and it was quite a success. It’s events like those that leave us wondering why we don’t do them more often. What made the night a success? There was a good turnout of great people and every bit of food and drink was consumed. I went shopping on Saturday morning, came home and whipped up some snacks and everything just fell into place. We had a fire pit in the yard, Jen played her drum, there was a bit of air guitar and it was a fun night.

Much like was the case on my Saturday shopping trip; I often find that the bulk of my supermercado bill is spent on Gringo purchases. Sure I buy the normal box of long-duration milk, unrefrigerated brown eggs, pan integral (wheat bread) made at the local bakery, whole pineapple (for less than a dollar!), meat by the kilo, natilla (sour cream) and queso crema (cream cheese) from the Monteverde Cheese Factory. But then I find that I can’t live without Heinz Ketchup, Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, Cheerio’s, Jello-O Pudding Cups, Green Giant Niblets, Sour Cream and Onion Lays. Maybe that’s one of the reasons the party (or at least the culinary part of it) was a success. I started with Ran’s favorite cleaver (from his old days at Pao’s Mandarin House--- how I miss that place), a dash of love and mixed in my favorite Gringo ingredients to put out a spread that made our guests smile. (And chew and swallow.) I used one of our precious cans of Rotel and half a block of Velveeta (thanks Three Mikes and a Wendy) to make chili con queso. The queso was accompanied by Tostitos--- it’s not El Lago like we have in Austin but it was still pretty great. And I used one of our two Hidden Valley Ranch packets (thanks to Mom who brought them back from her last Austin trip) to make dip for the veggie tray. And of course no party of ours is complete without Korean chicken. The soy sauce came all the way from San Jose (we bought four bottles during that shopping expedition). Oh and I made my first ever crab dip thanks to Roland foods out of New York who makes and imports every product under the sun. For dessert Hershey and I got together to bake some chocolate chip blondies. And we must not forget the devilled eggs! Now those aren’t gringo, they’re just plain white trash.

Shannon and I were talking the other day and we agreed that if money was tight and it came down to toilet paper or frivolous food items, bathroom needs would certainly come second. I guess we’ve always had that attitude but now that we’re here it makes us crave those “tastes of home” even more. I talked with Tonya yesterday and she was telling me about her Mr. Gatti’s pizza order--- boy was I jealous! But I bet you guys are envious of our super sweet, crazy-cheap mangoes and melons, the ridiculously large green onions and the bunches of basil so big you would think they were spinach-- if you couldn’t smell them. And if you had ever been to Picante and had Ayal’s fat boy hamburger you would be pretty darn jealous of that too.

This move has been a gift. We’re learning about balance. One of the things we’re balancing is the tranquilo Tico lifestyle with the Gringo amenities. We’re actually finding how few of those amenities we really need. Funny, coming from Hawaii where we call white foreigners “haoles”, I find myself in Costa Rica where I am called Chinita or Morena but am also a Gringa. But this baby in my belly will be a Tico (don’t panic, Ran is the dad—by Tico I mean local). I think that’s a pretty good lesson in balance.

pura vida

Friday, March 25, 2005

Semana Santa

It's Holy Week here and Ryan is off from school. We have been keeping busy by reading, going for walks and making her a superhero costume from felt. Ran has been working so we have gone to the hotel for dinner the past two nights. Ryan visits with guests and runs around like she owns the place. Go figure.

Seems like our trip to Hawaii was so long ago. A lot has happened since I left. My dad was admitted into and released from the hospital, followed by my mom. My grandma had to go in for a biopsy because her mammogram revealed a lump in her breast. It's hard being so far away from my family--- especially now that I have a family of my own. I am so grateful that Ryan and I were able to go home when we did, though.

I've always considered myself to be pretty lucky. Look at me, I have a wonderful husband, a cool kid and another active little one on the way. I have an incredible network of family and friends and I have three places to call home. After five months here, Costa Rica definitely feels like home. Then there's Austin, the rockin' city we have enjoyed for the previous 12 years. And of course there's Hawaii. I really want Ryan and her baby brother or sister to know all about the Aloha Spirit! Here in Costa Rica it's Pura Vida. In Austin it's Don't Mess With Texas, listen to some live music, eat lots of Tex-Mex and go to MGGTs!

Girls night (Colecta de Coquetas) is tonight. It's not MGGT but it'll be fun. I'm bringing chips and queso to represent the Austin me. And I think I'll wear a hibiscus behind my ear for the Hawaiian me. Tomorrow is Easter... have a hoppy one!

love you
a hui hou
pura vida

Princess Ryan playing "Go Fish" with a guest. Posted by Hello

Ran making white wings at the Pension Posted by Hello

Nic and Deven Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Sweet Jetlag

I like jetlag. At the start of a trip jetlag indicates that it’s just the beginning of a whirlwind vacation. And at the end of a trip it means that you’re home at last. Ryan and I got back from our three-week trip last weekend and while we have physically recovered from the time change, our suitcases still seem to be suffering from jetlag. Today is the day, though--- today I will unpack!

Our vacation was great. It actually started on February 11 when Mike and Wendy arrived from Austin. Two days later Mike (from Austin) and Mike (from South Dakota) got up to Monteverde. We had so much fun hanging out with Three Mikes and a Wendy. We showed them around our cool little town, then headed down to the beach for fun in the sun. On Sunday February 20th, Ran headed back up to Monteverde while Ryan and I left for Alajuela with the two Mikes. The next day we got on a plane. We first went to LA, then Maui and finally to Hilo to see my family. Ryan had a ball. In LA she got to play with Collin who was born two weeks before her. She also got to admire Collin’s sweet baby brother, Evan. Collin and Evan are the sons of Jenny and Steve and I hadn’t seen them since before we all had kids. Jenny and I went to high school together and she and Steve met while Jenny was in college. On Maui, Ryan got to hang out with Jacob and Joy. Jacob turned 5 this month and Joy will be 3 on Easter. Ryan had fun playing with her friends and I enjoyed catching up with Kirstin and James. Kirstin and Ran went to middle school together in Austin. She ended up going to college in Hawaii and met her husband in law school there. (What a small world.) Kirstin took some time off of work and we ate (a lot) and hung out and enjoyed each others company. Then Ryan and I were off to Hilo. My parents were so excited to see us! We spent our time in Hilo eating (oh how I missed local food) and visiting and relaxing. Kirstin managed to come down for the weekend so we also squeezed in some shopping and manicures and pedicures. Ryan fed the goat and the pig which she thought was really cool. Naturally she was showered with gifts and I ended up buying more luggage so we could take it all home. We had a lot of fun but we were anxious to get home to Ran. When we got back (after a very long day of traveling), Ran asked Ryan what her favorite thing about her trip was. Her response was, “Coming home to see my daddy!”

So life is pretty much back to normal (except for the partially unpacked suitcases in the living room). Ryan enjoyed her first full week of school and I enjoyed spending my mornings at the Pension. This is the start of Semana Santa so she has this week off. Ryan wants to go horseback riding and to visit the snake farm. We don’t celebrate Easter with colored eggs and bunnies here but I managed to buy a couple of packs of Peeps in Hawaii. They’re sitting in one of the three suitcases that I swear I will unpack today.

My next doctor’s appointment is on the 29th. My tummy is growing rapidly and Baby is having a blast tap-dancing on my bladder. Yesterday Ryan and I were walking to her art class and came upon some tourists who were headed to the Cheese Factory. They deduced that I must live here since despite my big pregnant belly I was briskly walking and talking and wasn’t out of breath. And also because I said that the Cheese Factory was just a little way ahead and it seemed much farther than “a little way” to them. Living here has been good for us. I always thought we lived a pretty healthy lifestyle but this is stuff you don’t get by going to a gym. Come experience it for yourself!

pura vida

Monday, February 07, 2005


Happy Monday! I’m 16 weeks pregnant today and the baby is doing great. We spent the weekend in San Jose and although Friday was a very long day because of the 5-hour bus ride and two doctors’ appointments, we had a good time. We had our first sonogram and we were glad to see ONE big, healthy, active baby. We didn’t find out the sex (just like with Ryan) so we’ll have a nice surprise when July rolls around. Baby is measuring a week bigger in size. He or she is in the 95 percentile for growth and besides being a big kid; everything looks good--- amniotic fluid level, movement, proportions, heartbeat, placement of the placenta. My pregnancy this time around has been a little different than with Ryan. I had a bit of nausea in the first trimester but it has subsided. I never threw up, fortunately, and the nausea was never too terrible. My stomach is definitely bigger than it was at this stage with Ryan but I feel good and I haven’t had any swelling, excessive weight gain or blood pressure issues. My babies are very good to me! From the looks of the ultrasound, we may have another thumb sucker on our hands. And we definitely have a mover, shaker and hiccuper! I wonder how alike or different Ryan and her brother or sister will be. Can we handle another chatty, fearless, bright and sassy wanna-be rock star? We may not have a choice!

Ryan is starting school soon. We’re going in tomorrow to sign the contract and put down the deposit. We have to pay for all of this month and next to hold Ryan’s spot but her first day will probably be March 14. (Ryan and I are going to Hawaii and we will be back on March 11.) We’re really excited about the school. She will have a bilingual education with an emphasis on the environment. The campus is 106 acres, 72% of which is virgin cloud forest. 23% of the land was at one time a pasture for dairy cows and it is in the process of being reforested by the school. So besides getting a formal education, Ryan (and someday her sibling) will learn about being ecologically aware. How cool is that?

We just got a car! I’m glad we won’t have to take the bus to San Jose for our doctor’s appointments anymore. And I’m sure I’ll be really glad to not have to take the bus when I head to San Jose to deliver the baby! Little by little we’re getting settled. We just hired a friend to build us some furniture, so at some point our house will feel like a home. We hope that at least some of the pieces are complete by the time Wendy and the three Mikes arrive this weekend. We’re so excited… they’re going to be our first visitors since we moved here on October 19. I guess we’ll spend a few days up here in Monteverde and then head to the beach (I’m going to prance around in a bikini and my big pregnant belly) for the rest of their stay. Then on Monday the 21st, Ryan and I leave for LA. We’ll be there for two nights, visiting my best friend from high school and her family. From there we head to Hawaii for a long-overdue visit. I’m really looking forward to seeing my family and our friends but poor Ran will spend nearly three weeks without us. Be sure to visit, email or call him while he’s playing lonely bachelor, okay?

Shannon’s friend, Deven, is visiting from New York for two months so he went to San Jose with us. We went to the mall but we didn’t do much shopping. We didn’t feel a sense of urgency to buy things since we’ll be back in San Jose this Friday to pick Mike and Wendy up from the airport. Mostly we ate. On Friday night we went to the Inca Grill for Peruvian food and on Saturday night we went to Samurai for Japanese food. Both restaurants are terrific. And of course I had to go to McDonald’s for a Big Mac and fries. It’s great being where we are because it’s so tranquilo (peaceful) but it’s also nice being just three hours (now that we have a car) from a major city. Besides tons of restaurants, there are also tons of shoe stores in San Jose and Escazu. You know I like that.

It’s another beautiful day here. I hope the weather holds up for Wendy and the Mikes. An agouti was walking through our yard this morning and Ryan came into the house with a butterfly on her finger. We’re all healthy and we have Hershey’s Kisses and leftover pizza in our refrigerator. Life is good.

pura vida

p.s. embarazada means pregnant, not embarrassed

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Across the Border

It's a beautiful Sunday in Nicaragua. Last week went by so quickly. We had dinner at the Pension a few nights. We finally got our internet connection at home on Thursday... yahoo! We were planning to leave for Nicaragua on Friday morning but we weren't able to get on the bus. Ran had gone in three times to buy tickets and kept being told not to worry about it, that there would be space. Well, we got up early on Friday and rushed to Santa Elena with our suitcase to make it to the ticket counter when they openend at 0545. And what do you know, there was just one seat left on the Tica bus! Needeless to say, Ran was livid. I managed to purchase three tickets for the following morning. Since we already had a housesitter, we opted to spend the night at the Pension so we wouldn't have to rush around again the following day.

The trip to Nicaragua took all day. We took the regular bus down from Monteverde (leaving at 0600) to Lagartos. That took about two hours-- to go 35K! Then we waited for the Tica Bus to pick us up. It's a big, fat bus with air conditioning, movies, a bathroom and a vendor selling food and drinks. It was very comfortable and the ride was pretty smooth. I was pleasantly surprised when we got to the border. But then it took a LONG time to get through immigrations at the border. The line was huge and it took about three hours or so to get our busload through. I got put in a special line so I was able to get all three of our passports stamped and then we sat around waiting. There certainly are benefits to being pregnant! Once we got to Nicaragua, we all had to get off with our bags and go through customs. Then we were back on the bus to Granada. By the time we got a taxi to our hotel (the Oasis--- a great place) it was 5:30 in the afternoon. We were tired and gritty and I, for one, was grouchy. Ran took Ryan swimming while I rested, then we ordered a pizza and went to bed.

This morning we got up early. Ryan and I took a quick swim (her favorite thing about Nicaragua so far), then we all sat down for a nice breakfast here at the hotel. We each had pancakes and a plate of fruit (watermelon, orange, pineapple, papaya, banana, cantelope). After breakfast we relaxed. Ryan and I took a nap (gotta love vacation) and then we headed out for a walk around town. Granada is a pretty city. Our camera is on the blink so we'll have to come back to take pictures. We had lunch at an Italian place and on our way back to the hotel (for more swimming with Ryan, of course) we stopped and bought a super-sweet pineapple for 12 cords-- less than a dollar. And here we are. Ryan and I are at side-by-side computer terminals and Ran is talking with some guys. Tonight we're going to check out a Mediterranean restaurant and tomorrow (after pancakes and fruit) we are heading to the open market which I hear is HUGE. We will leave on Tuesday and hopefully it won't take us all day to get back to Costa Rica.

Life is good!

pura vida

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Happy New Year

Happy 2005! Ran and I are celebrating our 14th anniversary next week. Ran, Ryan and I are heading to Nicaragua this weekend (which I hear is beautiful--- I’m excited that I get to find out for myself). Last week we (including Bodi) went to San Jose. We took the bus there (5 hour ride) and Ryan was great. We’re lucky she’s such a terrific traveler. We went to San Jose for two reasons: 1) to go to the doctor and 2) to shop ‘til we drop. We all really like my doctor. She is a Costa Rican woman who did her medical training at Baylor. In case you don’t know why I had to go to the doctor, it’s because I’m 12 weeks pregnant! The baby is due on July 25th. We heard the heartbeat at this visit and next month we will have a sonogram. So far we don’t plan to find out the sex of the baby (just like with Ryan). We’re all looking forward to the newest Smith and Ryan is going to be a terrific big sister.

The shopping in San Jose is great! We went to Hipermas which is kind of like a Super Target, then to the Multiplaza in Escazu (one of the largest malls I have seen--- way bigger than any in Austin) and to PriceSmart which is a membership store like Costco or Sam’s. I certainly got my shopping fix for the month but I will be ready for round two by the time we have to go back. We were able to buy things for the hotel as well as lots of stuff for ourselves… cotton towels, 400 thread count sheets, soy sauce, microwave, toaster oven, Pyrex pan, cream of mushroom soup, shoes for Ryan, dog toys, maternity clothes. Bodi even bought us a Mixmaster as a belated Christmas gift! I didn’t realize how large San Jose is. The population is about 1.5 million and you’ll find fast food restaurants (I ate at McDonald’s twice; maybe next time I’ll hit Subway or Burger King) as well as other corporate chains there (Outback Steakhouse, Office Depot, Osh Kosh B’gosh). We even bought Ryan a Cali Girl Barbie complete with Hang Ten shop as a reward for being so great on our whirlwind shopping trips.

So let’s talk about the pregnancy. Ryan loves looking at “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” to see what the baby looks like at each stage. I am showing more than I was with Ryan (I know that’s hard to believe) but I am still at my pre-pregnancy weight. I guess it’s the healthy lifestyle here. Good thing I don’t live in San Jose because I’d have way more access to junk food. I had nausea and heartburn with this baby which isn’t very fun. But that seems to have passed for the most part and now I can just enjoy having my belly button pop out. I went to the bank the other day (there’s only one in this town). The line was all the way to the door and the security guard asked me if I’m pregnant and moved me to the front of the line! So maybe it’s a good thing to start showing early.

All in all, life is good. We’ve been here for 13 weeks. Being a hotel owner is the ideal job for Ran. Ryan loves being a part of it too. We’re slowly getting work and life in order and it’s another beautiful day in Monteverde. Next week we have our first girls night and I think I will call the Monteverde version of MGGT “Colecta de Coquetas” (gathering of flirts). More to come…

Pura Vida