THE pepper EXPRESS: February 2014

Friday, February 28, 2014

Family Vacation in YOSEMITE

Before the baby is born we decided to go on a family vacation to YOSEMITE! We actually go to Curry Village every year around this time. But it feels like our last hurrah before we area family of five. My maternity leave has officially started and I am already stir crazy. 
The Drive to Yosemite Valley is beautiful and just what I needed.
 (The weather was absolutely horrible. We couldn't turn it around for the best. Although I loved seeing their happy little smiles playing around in the puddles)

(And that little Carlie...)

(It was cold, raining and we were technically camping... So I didn't care how fashionable I looked... OK maybe I did but my hands were up in the air)

(I love this photo of Dean, he was excited to climb on the enormous boulders) 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Adventures in Costa Rica: While 30 Weeks Pregnant

Finally found some time to share with you our amazing trip to Costa Rica. I have thought long and hard about my time spent abroad and to sum my entire trip into one word would be ADVENTURE. This trip was not for luxury.  We surely didn't plan on high in hotels. However I do have a few favorite places.  
 Our layover was in Mexico City and we decided to do some site seeing at The Teotihaucan Pyramids and eat some delicious Mexican FOOD! Oh the pregnancy cravings were in full swing!
My husband was wonderful. I wanted to climb the pyramid but we all knew it was a little too dangerous so he held my hand and we took each step at a time and I made it to the TOP!
 From San Jose airport we stayed in Alajuela over night at a very nice hotel that accommodated us with a yummy breakfast called Gallo Pinto. Which while being prego was my favorite.  I needed the protein of the scrambled eggs and loved the extra fruit platter that came along.

 We then took a bus from Alajuela to La Fortuna. Where the weather changed on us for the better. It was over casted and misty. I didn't learn to appreciate this cloudy rainforest until later. Because it was over casted we never actually saw the Arenal Volcano.
We did enjoy the hanging bridges and the Eco Termales Hot Springs. I wasn't able to fully submerge my body into the hot springs as my doctor told me that was a  NO NO when you are 30 weeks pregnant. So I enjoyed the cool pool and waterfalls. I did rest my feet on a step. Which was much needed because my ankles were pretty swollen from hiking earlier that day. The Eco Termales Hot Spring was a highlight of the trip because we didn't have to rush any where. We were able to relax and enjoy a fancy beverage while dinner was delicious as well.

The next day was when the true adventure started. My brother in law signed us up for a river raft tour. I had heard that we were going to see wild life. But I didn't get my hopes up. First sighting of a two toed sloth was found even before we emerged in the water. Our tour guide was fantastic and really made the trip memorable. Crocodiles were everywhere, I panicked a little because the size of the raft and the space between me and the croc was enclosing and I couldn't handle the fear. But my hubby kept me in safe distance and we were able to take some pretty good photos. Howling monkeys, snakes and blue herons were every where. this river raft tour was already better than the Disneyland Jungle Cruise. 

We had lunch at the Peter's Farm. Where Mr. Peters whom is 101 years old lives. His daughter made us homemade coffee, cheese, and grilled plantains. My favorite was the yuca cake with coconut. I felt very privileged because Mr. Peters and his daughter blessed my baby within and just being on their farm felt warm and welcoming.
We did not rent a car which was a good decision  However driving from La Forunta to Quepos was costly. We climbed aboard an Interbus and traveled the bumpy 3 hour drive to the hottest destination of all. 
When the doors opened in Queopos, I gasped from the humidity. I was wearing yoga pants and and sweatshirt that clung to me. Our resort was walking distance to the beach. We were not impressed with the accommodations however the location was perfect. 
Our first day in Manuel Antonio we did not know where we were going or even how to use the bus systems; and found ourselves hiking up hill for about a mile. BAD IDEA. The weather was ghastly hot and throughout most of my time in Manual Antonio I lived out of my bathing suit and a sarong dress. Night time was warm weathered with a beautiful breeze from the ocean. In the morning the howler monkeys would go crazy with the roosters which made for an interesting wake up call. 
We found a favorite internet cafe called Cafe Milagro. Where breakfast was closed already and the chef still made hungry preggers macadamia pancakes. The culture in Costa Rica was absolutely amazing about me being pregnant.
 Manuel Antonio National park was a good choice. I would just recommend going very early before there are crowds of people. We entered the park around 10am and there was a massive amount of people. Although having other tour guides around to spot the slothes up in the tree did help. If you plan on going to Manual Antonio National Park come equipped with really good binoculars, hiking gear, and beach supplies. I was wearing work out clothes and had my camera around my neck so I wasn't able to go swimming on their gorgeous beaches. The exit of the park was very interesting as you must walk across a small creek; which during the morning is low tide and there is a sign that says beware of crocodiles!!!

There was a point were I was a little homesick. I was watching a show with subtitles and all of a sudden I would have preferred my own bed over the hot humid room I was in. So before we left for the airport, we stayed the night once again in Alajuela and RJ surprised me by getting Pizza Hut. Oh I was thrilled and sad at the same time because I was going home alone and my husband had decided to stay for another two weeks. I had a nasty lay over in Mexico City in which I checked into a hotel and slept for 6 hours and still made it back to the airport in enough to catch my flight later that night. It is comforting to be home, along with knowing my doctor is only a few miles away. SO many people gave me a hard time before I left to Costa Rica. And truly I had an amazing time being pregnant and traveling. This little baby of ours is already a world traveler and I am so happy that my husband has a heart full of wanderlust to enjoy this with.

Our next adventure is the baby, whom is due any day now!!!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

For All The Mommas To Be!

I have searched high and low and needed a Maternity wardrobe.
Old Navy and J Crew have a maternity section... WHAT? I don't believe it! I am almost full term and we receive weekly packages from ASOS. My internet shopping has sky rocketed once I went on maternity leave! Because when you are this bloated nothing makes me feel better than a pair of jeans that fit... no joke!
Maternity with Style

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pregnancy Update

Before I go into a post to dump a whole lot of Costa Rican Touristy Photos. I Found this cute questionnaire to follow. I admire Diary of a Fit Mommy and thought I would give a little update here.

How far along? 32 weeks!

Gender: We are not going to find out!

Total Weight Gain: 28 lbs

Stretch Marks: I went from an A cup to a C cup. Bio oil has helped tremendously.

Belly Button: Almost out... I think its going to pop out once the baby is done cooking!

Wedding Rings On/Off:  Off... sad to say that I actually took my ring off before we went to Costa Rica and I have been wearing a wooden ring my husband gave me as a present.

Movement: All day long!!! The most movement is at night time when I'm laying down in bed. However it feels like the baby is going crazy in the morning after my cup of orange juice. Every now and then I feel a pressure push out near my belly button and I always wonder if that could be the head or the cute little butt!

Feeling: Fantastic! This pregnancy has been wonderful. So many people had given me horror stories. I haven't had any morning sickness and the baby has been growing just right. This pregnancy makes me want to have more babies!

Cravings: Chocolate German Cake.... mmmm with coconut frosting!

Symptoms: Ligament pain in my front hips. I'm just not used to all of this pressure and weight.

Missing: My husband. He's still in Costa Rica for another week.

Looking Forward to: Valentines day next week. My husband will be home and we will have another ultra sound.

Sleep: I am going to be early these days. 9 pm is bedtime for me. I still feel a little jet lagged because I am waking up before my alarm clock and also going to the bathroom 2-3 times in the middle of the night.

Exercise:  I bought Tracy Anderson's: The Pregnancy Project off of Amazon and I really do like it. I just feel like its not working because with each day I feel more swollen.

Eating: Everything. Super bowl weekend was hard because there was chips and banana splits and I didnt even watch the super bowl!

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