THE pepper EXPRESS: January 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015

My Life #Instagrammed

My family lives far away in the Big Sky Country of Montana. I have my parents, two sisters, and one brother living up there in that chilly state. It is hard for them to be away from their first grand baby and first niece. They only get to view this blog and my Instagram profile to see our daily bit of Solin. So if you ever wonder why I am addicted to Instagram it is for them. Sending photos and videos via text message just ruins our data and memory on our phones. I prefer to use Instagram which allows us to keep the memories forever. If you would like to follow along, you can find me @pepperexpress
I don't know what to say about this photo. My baby girl was actually terrorizing this poor doll. She was pulling her hair and banging her head on the floor. I think I need to teach her how to play with dolls...
We started the year off right by watching the last sunset of 2 0 1 4
And we took another road trip down to Southern California. You can view the blog post HERE
Palm Springs Part One Post HERE
One of the best hotels in Palm springs: The Ace Hotel
Some fun in Joshua Tree HERE
My baby girl took her first step in Palm Springs and I celebrated like a mad woman. 
The Parker of Palm Springs posted HERE
Driving down to Southern California wouldn't be complete with out a visit to the beach. We enjoyed the comforts of beautiful weather during the month of January. You can visit that post HERE
After we got back home from our vacation, Solin had a pretty bad cold. It made us all sad and sleep deprived. It took us a couple days to recoup...
I have started a new series of blog posts this year. I am trying to take a portrait of my children each and every week in 2015 and HERE are some of the fun ones:
Solin and I traveled to Navato to visit these lovely ladies:
And of course we had Sofritas at Chipotle on January 26th. The promotion was just to good to pass up!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

4 out of 52

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2015."

Another Tuesday dinner with the grandparents... and Solin was not happy about that banana!
^Another photo of Dean eating all of the ice cream^
From a far it would look like Carlie was doing her homework... but actually she is texing :?
And my little lady is practically a toddler at this point. 10 months old and she is walking like a champ. I don't believe it... I don't want to believe it. Sometimes when I lay her in er crib at night I gasp and her long legs and chubby thighs. She is not my baby anymore. She is her own little independent being that only wants mommy when she wants mommy. 
This project 52 puts everything into perspective. Our little ones are growing up right in front of our eyes. I am thankful to stop time and treasure these little moments!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Hilltop - 1892 - Navato

In seventh grade I took Drama as an elective and I met my friend Olivia. We were both pretty shy and we were required to perform a skit in front of our middle school’s Talent Show. We chose a silly one that made us food taste testers and by the end of the skit we realized we were actually taste testing dog food. Again we were required to do this skit, thinking about it now makes me cringe with embarrassment… DOG FOOD!!! No wonder I was a shy little mouse in high school. Olivia was really the only friend I had at that time and I clung to her at every break and recess. (Sorry about that Liv) Olivia had a great friend named Sandi. And Sandi was one of those honest-to-goodness friends that I just had to have. So even though I only had one class with Sandi my whole high school career. She is one of my greatest friends now that I love and admire.
So when she asks me to commute 2 hours to visit her and our friend Olivia… I jump on it. 
We met in the middle in Navato. Olivia recommended an incredible restaurant called the Hilltop 1892. And it was delicious…. but our main reason behind the girls luncheon was for Olivia to meet my little Solin:
Solin was our main point of entertainment at the restaurant. At lunch time the restaurant seemed a little empty so we allowed Solin to crawl around and explore. After about ten minutes on the floor her knees were black :(
Not only does the Hilltop have a wonderful view but their House Burger was pretty darn good
After lunch we walked to downtown Navato and had fun walking around the quaint little shops.
I wish I had a green thump so I can grow some beautiful succulents like these:
And when you find a Powells Sweet Shoppe... you must buy as much candy as you can!
Solin tried to be independent these days... but here she just looks like a kid in a candy shop!
And if your not a fan of candy (who isn't) then you can always enjoy some of their gelato:
I really tried to keep her away from sweets. But in this photo you can see that she was able to grab that wafer stick and I look oblivious:
Auntie Sandi is such a wonderful friend. I am so happy to have her in my life!
If you get a chance to travel to Northern California. Navato is a cute place to visit!

10 Months Postpartum

If you would have told me nine months ago that I would get my body back. I wouldn’t believe you. There was a point in my pregnancy when the doctor told me I had gained a little too much weight and she was worried about preeclampsia. Since high school, I have stayed in the 130 lb range and for being 5’7 that was average for me and I was fine with that. But being pregnant and weighing in at 180 lbs a week before I had the baby… I was at risk. The doctors had to check my feet and my hands but there was no swelling. Only in my face and shoulders.
The day after I had Solin I was amazed at how fast my belly shrunk. I was able to feel my hip bones and was feeling a lot better! I was warned about the postpartum feelings and many told me I would get depressed… but it never came. I cried happy tears because I had this beautiful baby and I was always surrounded by family. The only postpartum symptoms that affected me was my body image. I didn't want any photos taken of me. In the hospital my father was the paparazzi and I was thankful that he took those photos, but when he posted them I went into shock! I demanded that all the photos be taken down immediately... and only the photos of me looking like a hospital zombie post birth. Other than that, I easily lost 25 lbs over night by having my baby, but how was I going to lose the extra 25? By breast feeding of course! And it worked! If anything breast feeding is one of the most challenging things I have done... but the most rewarding. Not only do I create this liquid gold every day, but each and every time I feed or pump I am losing 300 calories or more!
My baby girl turned ten months old today. Not only is she walking and babbling, but I am almost to my pre baby weight and I am thrilled about it! I love wearing my pre baby clothes… it feels like Christmas when I can go into my closet and put on my old clothes that actually fit!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

One Year Ago Today...

My husband retired. Well he likes to say retired but we will officially call it a resignation. He quit his job of thirteen years and decided to go live in Costa Rica for a month! And that is what he did... the only problem was that I was seven months pregnant and wanted to go with him. And so I did... for two weeks. Then I had to come back to work and prepare for my maternity leave. But back to Costa Rica... My husband, his brother and I traveled to Costa Rica and enjoyed the Pure Life:
 It was hard to leave him in Costa Rica you can view some of my blog posts about it here & here. But he was safely returned to me and once he was back we started to prepare for our new baby. To be honest with you I was very anxious when my husband told me he wanted to retire. Because we had initially met at our work and the last eight years of my life I had spent every working day in the same office as my husband. Although he was in a different division and we were completely professional about it... I was still going to miss him. Once I was on maternity leave we spent the days together cooking breakfast in the morning, go to prenatal appointments, and taking my prego walks. And then we had our little Solin Grey and we were able to use the baby bonding time to go on a road trip around the USA. The hardest part of all was me returning back to work. I knew my baby was going to be able to stay home with her Daddy, but I was truly jealous. 
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