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