Sunday, December 28, 2008

My first Mexican Christmas

Even more significant than this year being my first Christmas in Mexico it was Alanas first Christmas with Issac. Issac and I shared one Christmas as a dating couple and one after we were married before he was deported. So this was also our first Christmas together as parents (or Santa). Issac works at a store so his hours were nutzzo. He was doing shifts like 7am-11pm then home until 5 or 6 and back to work until 130am. Or if he didnt have to open he would go in from 11-6pm then back in from 9pm to 130am. December was rough for us because of that. This is his first week back to a normal schedule and we are so happy. Well he also worked everyday the week of Christmas (his day off was the 26th.
So our Christmas celebrating began on the 23rd, this was our Christmas Eve.The Advent Calender had us baking cookies that day so thats what we did while Papi was at work That after noon when Issac came home from his first shift of the day we let Alana open her present from her Abuela Tina. She had sent her a teddy bear and cooking set. Which was awesome because Alana has been loving helping me cook. Shes so into everything. I also cooked ham, sweet potatoes, and corn bread for dinner and we had Issacs friend Diago over and our friends from the states online with us for dinner. That was nice. Then we let Alana decorate some cookies for Santa, I know she has no idea but we got cute pictures. I made home made icing and she kept eating it strait up instead of putting it on her cookies. We then got to open our Christmas PJ's. Issac and I were so excited about hers, She loves lazy town so we got her slippers and an outfit. She was totally not excited and wouldn't even put the slippers on. She didnt even what the PJ's on because she knew that meant she would be going to bed soon. I got comfy flannel PJ's and Issac got a nice pair of running pants. Issac did his normal bedtime routine with Alana (he puts her to bed when hes home, hey I did it alone of 2 years, I also dont change diapers when hes home). We were both so excited about playing Santa and filling the stockings. He put her to bed at usual time 9pm. We then got all the presents down and under the tree then put all the candy and stocking stuffers in the stocking. He had to be at work at 10 and we were finishing up just in time. He headed off to work about 10 till and I was put together a breakfast casserole for the next day. At this point I realize its like 1020 and Alana is still talking to her baby. She does sing herself to sleep a lot but never that late. How wierd I thought does she understand what tomorrow is and cant sleep? I go to turn down the lights in the house and realize that there is light coming from her room. Gaaassspp. Her light is still on. I go in and she looks so sleeping and is trying to put her face in her pillow. lol Issac was so excited about playing Santa his first time he forgot to turn her light off. He felt so bad after I told him.
So Issac got home around 2am and I was having trouble sleeping all night due to being pregnant, need I say more.
I was out of bed around 6 putting the casserole in the oven and about 730 Issac crawls out. Alana is usually up and calling for me around 7 or 730. By 8 Issac and I are getting restless and decide to open her door so she will get up. She was awake and just laying there with her baby. We went and sang a few songs with her and told her it was time to get up. She looked at me and said, "Presents." Oh she remembered. She actually wanted her normal yogart and cereal instead of my casserole, whatever more for me. :) But hey she ate breakfast knowing presents were waiting for her.
We opened stockings first, and because of all the candy she wanted nothing to do with the presents. She said "Its like Robbie Rotten." Hes the bad guy on Lazy Town who eats nothing but junk food. :)
After a lot of coercion and us opening the boring presents like cloths we got through all the toys. Her favorites where the princess jukebox with microphone so she could sing her songs, her computer, and the playdough. We played with her new toys until Papi went to work at 1pm.
On Christmas day Issac had to work from 9-6 so I got to get online and watch my nieces and nephew open all their presents at my sisters house. That was so great to be a part of that. Also my mom showed up there later in the day and Alana got to show off her new toys from Christmas. After Issac got off work we went out to his Abuelas house and hung out with family. It was nice and we got some yummmy food. His aunts know how to cook. We brought them the cookies we had made and they liked them.

Well thats it for us. Look forward to hearing of others Christmas not just those in Mexico.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Advent calander

Im just supper excited about this calender that I made so Im gonna put a post up about it and a picture. For each day the box contains a candy, and a card. The card has a bible verse about the Jesus and a couple Christmas type activities. For example reading a Christmas story, watching a Christmas movie, making a Christmas craft, or making a Christmas recipe. I went all the way through December to the new year. And the cards after Christmas are verses about renewal of the spirit and being thankful, and the activities are geared towards starting a new year. Like writing down something you have had trouble giving up like a grievance with someone and burning the paper. And I found some new year crafts to. The picture doesn't have the candy in it yet but I did end up putting it in there. After you empty the box of the day your on you flip it up and at the end of each week is a bible verse to tell the nativity story and a cute picture related to that verse. I did those verses in Spanish. The last picture is one of the crafts we did as one of the activities. Alana loved helping with them. They are Christmas poppers we filled cut pieces of wrapping paper roll (you could use TP rolls) with home made confetti (ripped up paper, that was fun) and some candy. You pull at both ends until the paper rips and out poors the stuff.
I totally love being able to stay at home and think of cool stuff to do with Alana. And Im a crafter so I love having time for my crafts during her nap. Well and I do crafts with her but the intense stuff I have to do with her not around or I end up snapping. :)




Getting Labs done

So being the health care person I am I find that having a baby here is completely fascinating. So at our 4 month visit the Dr. told us he wanted to check some blood work. I immediately think hes talking about the test for downs and I tell him I don't want that or the amniocentesis. We would keep the baby no matter what. He looks at me kinda strange and explains he just wants to check my sugar and iron levels. Then out of curiosity he asks if they make you do that test in the States. I say they cant make you but they all seem to push it pretty hard. Oh well not here. Mexico is all about necessity, and I for one think that's great. Seriously the only labs you need done are your iron, sugar and a urine test to check for infection. And that's what he wrote on the script. So like in the states where some doctors have you go to an out based lab that's what you do here. Believe it or not doctors don't have nurses in their offices. I know its nuts but the doctor actually takes your vitals and weighs you. OMG you mean its not bellow them. Sorry Im getting on a nursing kick. So he gives us a script and again suggests the Lab/clinic up the street from his office. This is the same one we went to the night my gallbladder went haywire.
This is a 24hour Lab/Clinic but prices go up after regular business hours. When I say up its still not a lot compared to the States. All together we spent about the equivalent of $30usd. So the morning of our 12noon appointment we go into the clinic which is actually really nice inside, I should take a picture sometime because I have a feeling your picturing something that its not. And we get called back into a room, where I think the equivalent of a Resident physician takes my blood, and sends me to the bathroom with a paper cup. Yes I mean a Dixie cup. I find this unsanitary at first but then I think you know why does it have to be a pre-wraped cup if they don't get a sterile specimen anyway. This makes me curious to what they use when the cath someone and do need a sterile speci. But the blood drawing procedure was exactly like the states same needle products and blood vials. After peeing in the Dixie cup I come out to them mixing something tea colored in a clear plastic cup. Its a simple cup of water in the cheapest plastic cup you can get and they have put 5 packets of pure cane sugar in it. Yes this is my glucose tolerance test. Let me tell you this was a lot easier to drink than that nasty cola or orange drink that you pay out the wazoo for in the States. No wonder its so cheep they are actually practical about this kind of stuff. So I down it and they tell us to come back in an hour. You know the drill we go back in an hour (which was around 9am) and they draw blood again. But there was no wait it was wonderful. We told them or appointment with the dr. was at noon and they said they would have the results at the front window ready for us. We went back 10min before noon and there was our results we paid and were on our way to our dr. appointment.
So what do you think of that.

Friday, December 19, 2008

cookie exchange party

Well actually it was a Entercambio por la Galletas. I have joined in on a cookie exchange in my church for the last three Christmas years. I love it because I like to bake and I love cookies. Hey who doesn't? Also you get cute little boxes or tins and lots of cookies you can give out as gifts. No I don't keep and eat them all as tempting as it is. Anyway this year I thought well crap might as well through our own party. I made up inventations in spanish (which Issac had to correct a lot on). And have translated all of me and Issacs reciepes (again with lots of corrections from Issac, so I can make a cookie recipe book for those who participated.
There were tons of ideas online for the party and I had some fun with it. Now mind you I am in Mexico so of course everyone showed up late and out of the 5 people other than Issac and I only one actually brought home made cookies. This was a whole new idea for them. No one had heard of this sort of thing. How strange to me. One person didn't bring any and the other brought store bought. But whatever we had fun that's what matters.
So at the beginning of the party we had pizza because everyone who was invited were friends from Issacs work and all had just gotten off. Alana had been sick for a few days throwing up and with diarrhea. But that day she had been keeping everything down so we decided to keep the party on track. Alana joined in on the pizza and seemed to be doing ok with it. Right as I was about to announce that we should start the taste testing Alana threw up all over my left side then turned her head and covered my right side. And yes I was sitting in the kitchen where the cookies where. So Issac cleaned the floor while I cleaned me and Alana and got changed. Issac is so funny hes such a mess when stuff like this happens. Im curious to see how much hes gonna fall apart when Im in labor. lol. Seriously he was of no use I had to tell him every little thing to do and he looked like a deer in headlights. Man good thing Im a nurse and use to blood and guts or Im not sure what would happen when our kids get older and start falling of bikes and stuff.
Anyway sorry I got off track. So we did eventually do the taste testing and we voted for best looking and tasting. Issac got best tasting for his ginger almond cookies and our friend Cintia got best looking. The winners got home made Christmas decorations. Yeah Im cheep but whatever at least they got something. Issac and I had made two different types. His are the plate with the biscotti and almond cookies, mine are the pepermint snow balls and chocolate cookies. Ill put some pics on here. And I was gonna try to show off my invitaion it was cute, but I cant figure out how to attach it. The back had a recipie card for the guests to put their recipies on so I can complie them for the book. Oh also I made my own boxes for our cookies. Man Im loving this stay at home mom stuff.
Hope you all have fun this Christmas and remember that Christ loves you. Im thankful for you all.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Children/Immigration/Abogadas (lawyers)

I just wanted to put a blog up to clarify some things that had been told wrongly to us. Issac and I had found a lawyer when we first got here. First off this guy was horrible. Issac called to check into what we should do and they told him he needed to come into the office. When he went into the office the receptionist said he had to make an appointment. Then we made an appointment and the jerk went to dinner 10min before our appointment and didn't give a time that he would come back. What an ass. Sorry I don't cuss much but seriously. I being the American that I am start pitching a fit to Issac in his reception area. Little did I know the receptionist could understand English. Oupps so she knows how I feel. But I said at one point, "We will just have to find someone else." And she responds, "There is no one else." Here Im more shocked that someone other than my husband just spoke to me in English and then I quickly realize she understood everything I just said. This actually made me happy. And I said, "Well we will have to find someone." and I start to walk out the door. Then I suppose to try to regain some ground shes the one who told Issac and I we needed to get apostilles for our wedding cirt and Alanas birth cirt and mine as well. And that Alana and I would both need to get FM2s. What ever Im thinking I don't trust you one bit.
This was when we decided to just go to the Immigration office to ask for help on what we needed. This is what I suggest for anyone who is looking to Immigrate to Mexico. (Not the states please find a lawyer and one who cares about you not your money.) When we went there we asked them how to get an FM2 for me and Alana. We didn't think to ask if that was for sure what we needed for Alana. They are very nice and helpful but you have to be sure and ask all the right questions also.
We found we needed Apostilles for our marriage lic and Alanas birth cirt. (not my birth cirt). Once we got these in the mail we went the next day to a lawyer who Issac had heard of that did translation work and immigration stuff. See I knew their was someone else.
This lady was so nice and litteraly 1/2 the price as the jerk I previously spoke of. She was finishing our documents when we showed up to get them. She carried some conversation with us in regards to what our plans were. When we mentioned getting OUR FM2s she said, (in English, oh yes shes American)"Oh no Alana doesn't need on." I cocked my head, "What?"
"No Alana has legal rights to duel citizenship, all you have to do is bring in this Apostille with the translation IM doing along with Issacs proof of being a Mexican citizen and they will give her her citizenship. She will also at that time get a CORP number(which is like our SS number) and get a passport. It should only cost about $500peso."
"But the other lawyer and the immigration office said..." I said confused.
"Oh of course they will say that," she interrupts, "They both wanted your money."
She then asks our plans for the baby that Im obviously caring in the womb. And we tell her we are to have it here and that I have heard that I just go to the US Embassy to get its US citizenship. She goes on to tell us that this is true and that she had both of her children here and that she had no problems. I just needed to prove that I lived their for more than 7years so a high school diploma will do. And she said that you don't have to do it right away as long as its done before they are 18 or before you want to travel to the US. She suggests that we wait until the baby is old enough to sit up for the passport picture.
At this point Im still ecstatic about the fact that Alana doesn't need an FM2 that is going to save us about $200usd.

So in case this was confusing. Because Issac is Mexican all we have to do is prove that he is Alanas dad and that he is of course Mexican, and pay a small fee. She will then have duel citizenship

As for a baby born here in Mexico, I just have to prove to the US Embassy with my high school diploma and my passport that I am American and bring them the babies Mexican birth certificate and it will have duel citizenship.

How nice for them (the kids) don't you think. They will have the freedom between Mexico and the States that so many dream of.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

FM2 vs FM3 our trip to turn in our application

Once again we wanted to get out of our house before 7am in order to beat the crowd at the immigration office in Guadalajara. But we didn't actually get on the road out of town until almost 8 so we got there around 10am. Which is an hour earlier than last time and it was a little less packed.
First off when we found our little parking garage that we are now familiar with as soon as I got out of the truck I realized that when switched purses that morning I didn't move my original passport from one purse to the next. Im thinking, "Oh my gosh what kind of idiot am I." A million thoughts rush through me; can we go get it (no to far), will they just take the copy, Damn I wish Issac would have helped me prepare a little so my pregnant unfocused mind didn't have to remember all this very important stuff. As Im berating myself I think of how to tell Issac who is still in the bathroom at in the parking lot. Im almost in tears and when he comes out I tell him. Ever so calm Issac says, "Well lets just go see if they will be ok with just the copy, this is as much my fault as yours because I wasn't much help getting ready." Then Im ok. Wow didn't expect that answer, not that Issacs not great but a lot of times he just thinks things happen and doesn't realize I could use some help. This is something he is getting so much better at. Anyway sorry that had nothing to do with immigration. :)
So we have everything they have put on the list, which asks mostly for originals.
We get in the information line because no one will give you any idea of what to do except the person behind that desk. We were pretty sure we needed to get a number and wait for desk number 2 but we wanted to be sure. This line wasn't as long as last time so it wasn't to bad. We at this time are deciding when to mention the passport failure of mine (that's what Im calling it), and the name issue that I have talked of in previous posts. Long story short my legal name is Hernandez-Franco which is Issacs last name the lady at the office made me take his whole name. But here in Mexico a wife doesn't take her husbands names at all and keep their mother and fathers name. Also I wasn't sure what to sign because my passport was issued under Seyer my maiden name but I signed it after I got married and signed it Hernandez. This has proven to be a problem her at some of the banks and stuff.
Soon it is our turn and the dude behind the counter who is very nice asked us to show him our filled out application then instructs us to get a number and wait for desk 2 or 3. So we do that and Issac asked nothing about our questions. This is what we had decided. We wouldn't ask if they didn't.
I seemed it was taking forever. When your waiting this is a pain but when your the one at the desk your thankful for their one on one devoted attention. At this point Alanas sick of being their and throwing her 2yr old fit. Its great everyone is looking at us like do something and Im just letting her sit on the floor and cry it out. When she was ready she stopped and got up and sat on my lap and played and sang songs with us. Our wait wasn't as long as it seemed and when we got to the counter we were greeted by a smile.
Yes you read it right the government worker was smiling at me. Then Im telling myself your in Mexico honey not the U.S. these people don't hate you and their job apparently. So Issac gives her the application and tells her we are there to file for an FM3. She says the application we have is for an FM2 and asks my intentions. When we tell her Im looking towards perm res she says we have the correct thing and if we would have had the FM3 it wouldn't have kept track of my time like the FM2. Sigh and Whohhhh.. Then comes the question, "Original passport please." I cringe and I swear at that moment Alana is fussing for me to pick her up so I do. Issac starts to explain that I switched purses and that its at home. She asks where home is and we say 2 hours. I prob looked like I was gonna cry and the lady gave me a sympathetic look and said, (in Spanish of course)"Its ok as long as its here in Mexico, you have a copy with you, and you bring the original when you come to see if we have your answer." AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH and double SIGH. Then she started the official stamping of the copy to make it legal. Wow she even said it with a smile and didn't look at me mean for being so stupid. Then she started asking us for documents one by one, all of which were on the list that we had so we were good to go. The only change was that the list asked for all originals and when she saw that she sent me out to make copies so we could keep our originals. They have a copier right outside the room and its $1peso a copy. So not to bad. When shes done with this she puts it all together and types a few things in the computer. Out prints a form and she shows it to Issac and I. It says that we are to come back on the 19th to find out if they have an answer yet. This is also the last day they are open for the holidays and will not open again until the Jan 7th.
At that time if they do have our answer and it is a yes they will give us a list of things we need for my ID. Which should include pictures and fees. So even if they have the answer on the 19th we leave without my ID and go back for that on the 7th.
The 19th is this Friday already so we look forward to finding out if they will give us an answer and what it will be. I can imagine that they would say no unless its on the basis of Issacs income being to low. That would really suck but we have to not thing that way at this time.
After all we've been through we have found that speculation doesn't help but just causes worry. One of my favorite verses is in Mathew and talks of not worrying. I say favorite only because God has so often had to remind me of it, not because it give me warm fuzzy feelings. But really it is so true. There is no reason to worry for tomorrow for tomorrow has enough worries of its own.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

children in Mexico

So I realize that I haven't said to much about what its like to raise Alana here. Sure I haven't been here long but I see the differences already. First off I want to go back to when we visited when she was a baby. I know Iv mentioned this partly in other blogs but I wanted it to have a Title that someone could find if they were looking into having to bring their children here.
I wasn't to nervous about things like formula with our first couple visits because I nursed Alana then. But I was also pumping so Issac could feed her. So this brings into mind needing to boil the bottles. And although some here may tell you differently if they don't drink the water I don't use it even if I am to boil it first. So know that you may have to spend some extra bucks on bottle water if you will need to boil bottles and pumps. As far as formula when I was feeding Alana formula I use to bring our formula in the suit case. I have since found that this was a useless. They have many of the same types of formula here and even if not the same Brand name they will have one with the same properties. Once Alana was eating baby food I was making it on our own. As much for the price difference as for the health benefits. Jared baby food has a lot of dye and salt. And I'm sure other things I don't want to know about. But if you do choose that rout, which in a bind we did sometimes, The baby food here is the same as in the States. Funny because before I came once I looked online for something like the blog I'm writing. On Yahoo answers I think it was someone said not to trust the jarred baby food here. Everything that is boxed, canned, packaged ext. is the same here as there. Granted some of the stores leave it out past the expiration date, so you need to be sure and check that before buying. And as usual never buy anything that is dented or cracked.
If you want to make your own its so easy just take what ever type of fruit you want to make, wash it well in drinking water, peal, and puree. To make extra put in ice trays and freeze. To give the baby some protein when they are ready for it instead of mashed up meat in a jar (YUCK) you can put some tofu in the fruit mix. Now Tofu isn't something Iv found here yet but I'm thinking they may have it due to the amount of soy items I find.
Car seats and seat belts are rare in Mexico. When I have seen babies in car seats they are just sat in the car seat and not buckled in. With this in mind know that if you are to take a cab you need to ask if they have seat belts available. They may look at you strange and have to pull the seat up to get to them but most have one hidden. Other than that I have found all the other baby necessities here.
One thing is if you will have the money to buy them. A plastic high chair that you may buy in the States for $40usd in the states runs about $500+peso here. Most of them come close to the equivalent of $60. I have found that this goes for most baby furniture here.
The one thing you will miss here is all the wonderful safety items. I think the states comes up with new things every year to keep our babies and tiddler safe. Safety is the first step towards protecting your child. You will have to be creative here in Mexico. So far I did find in one of the towns Iv been to the outlet covers, but not here in Tepa. Forget about finding cabinet door locks, handles for room doors, ext. But as far as that goes a little creativity and a closer eye can go a long way.

Alana is now 2 so we are not worried about such things for a bit until the next baby is a bit bigger.
She was sick recently with the stomach flu. A few things were a bit harder her than when I have dealt with this in the States. For example the wonderful BRAT diet. Sure bananas, rice and toast no big deal. But I have never actually found jarred Apple sauce. No big deal right just puree some apples and add sugar. First off that's not that easy when your child wants nothing but to sit on your lap. Also for some reason seeing me make it made her not want it. She kept looking at it like gross mom what did you do to my apples. She wouldn't even taste it when in the States she would eat a whole jar if I let her. Also the whole thing of not being able to just water out of the Tap. The worst thing in this situation is for the child to get dehydrated right. Well we ran out of water one day and Issac was already at work and not to be home that eve. Usually no prob I would just walk up the street and get a couple 2L from the store. But not with a child that's pooing out of her diaper and puking every time she takes a bite of anything. Luckily we had a little pedialite (not really that brand but same thing) left.

So that's all for now.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Boy or Girl

We went to our OB today, the appointment went well, I and the baby are healthy. And so far I have only gained what I should be weight wise. My labs did show that Im slightly anemic but I am that way all the time it has nothing to do with being pregnant. And considering I can only eat read meat once a week its gonna be low. So during the ultrasound the baby was sure to show off its pretty face but not the other end. Baby Hernandez is a modest one apparently and kept its legs lightly together and wouldn't flip to show us the rump. The Dr. did a good job trying though.So we still don't know what we are having elephant or lion, I mean boy or girl. :) But we do have many speculations. You think you get it a lot in the states try having a watermelon stomach in Mexico. You cant go into a store without some stranger trying to guess what your having and talking to you about your hips. Its cool though Im an open person so talk all you want about my birthing hips I know that's what they were made for. lol. Well that same night two of Issacs aunts and his grandma stopped by. Im so excited because the one aunt use to stay in Monclova (Which is a long way from here) but now will be rotating months with Issac mom to stay around here to open a store. Her name is Tia Irma, she is so kind and open and a lot like Issacs mom, so we get a long great. Anyway the other aunt wanted to speculate what the baby would be and shes a little more rash and not open to how often I misunderstand. So she says something to me in Spanish and I look to Issac to translate. And Issac is looking at me dumbly, as his aunt starts to pull a piece of my hair out. For those of you who know me, my hair is thick so it took a couple tries. As Im rubbing my head and still looking to Issac for translation she begins to take off my wedding rings. (Issac still has not intervened and later said it didn't quiet go this way.) Ok now I understand what shes doing, we had a pharmacist who would do this at my old Job in St. Louis. Just would have been nice to know what she was up to before she pulled out my hair.
So she hangs the ring over my belly and calls out "Nina." Thats girl. This is what the stranger at the store also predicted but because of the fact that my hips were as wide as my belly. :) Then later as we are all talking at the table. I say talking lightly because its more like me trying to keep track of the conversation and an occasional comment towards me in which I do my best to mumble out some incoherency that Issac quickly tires to fix. The same aunt asks for a needle and thread. Again I have no idea this has to do with me I think she must have a hole in her shirt or something so I ask her what color thread she wants. With a look of annoyance she says it doesn't matter. Anyway she takes the needle hanging on a piece of thread (which was red by the way) and has me lay my hand on the table with my palm up and she says for me to be still. After resting the point of the needle on the center of my palm she slowly raises the needle. Behind her both her girls are calling out nina or nino. She finely says nina, and looks satisfied as if this confirmed her first prediction. She then tells me to continue to stay still and she does it again. And says nina. Im thinking ok lady we know you said that already. She must have read my expression because she looks at me and says "trec ninas", then begins again. Oh I get it now shes trying to tell us what all our children will be. This time she calls out "quatro es nino." And goes to start again. I think at this point Alana figured out what was going on because she ran over to shove the pin from my hand. I told his Aunt this must mean Alana doesn't want more than 2 sisters and one brother.
They then went on to tell me how they did this for Issacs Aunt who has 6 kids and got them all right.
Interesting as it is seems, its odd to me that they would believe it so surely. I don't even completely believe and ultrasound until I change the diaper myself the first time. Well that's it for that.
For now the baby is strong and healthy and enjoys kicking the crap out of me. :) Have a lovely day.