Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Day and weekend

When I was young Christmas morning was always full of presents, candy filled stockings, laughing, screaming, camera flashes from mom and dad putting together all our new stuff. Being the second to youngest of six kids one of my favorite things Christmas morning was my stocking. My mom had us all take turns opening our gifts but stockings were free reign. I enjoyed my little bit of control I got with it. Last year we tried this approach with Alana and after getting her stocking she didn't even want to open her gifts. Seriously Issac and I opened her presents for her. This year we decided we would just make her and Joslin take turns but no stocking till after presents. She was so busy playing with the first 2 items that were opened that she didn't want the rest. I actually had to bribe her with the stocking to get her to open some more of her gifts and even then I had to help her. Abuela Tina (mi suegra) stayed the night with us Christmas Eve so she helped the baby open all her gifts. And somewhere between all that we managed to open our own gifts also. This was all finished before nine am. Oh I didn't mention that early in the morning as I was giving the baby her bottle I spotted a roach on my mother in laws pillow. I was mortified and told her it was there. She calmly flicked it off and killed it. I apologized and she laughed at me and said, "you should see the ones in Monclova they are this big." and she held her fingers an inch apart. Geess nothing like her not freaking out to make me feel better. But seriously Yuck Yuck Yuck.
Then we packed up the car and headed to Tuxpan which is only a three hour drive from where we live. I was again reminded that having Issac in my daily life is so important. I will never be thankful for our two years of life apart but I do know it has made me so much more grateful for him. He and his mom and I worked as a team and I don't think we forgot anything. Issacs sister lives in Tuxpan and in the year and a half I have been here we have never visited her. I was very excited to get to see some more of Mexico and I was most definitely not disappointed. I'm sad to say that I have now lost all my pictures from the trip but I am holding them in my heart. I love the mountains and to actually be driving in them was so great. We of course saw the typical random cow on the side of a busy street, and the people haling items you would swear were much to heavy for there carts. But aside from all that we saw the splendor and imagination of our God. He really is so amazing and nothing can remind you of this as much as nature. We actually took the Cuotas which are the toll roads and I was afraid we wouldn't see as much nature but boy was I wrong. To all sides of us where tall rippled mountains. At times they looked like a blanket you could curl up in. Everything was so green and fresh and I just felt like I could reach out and touch each mountain. Thats the funny thing about mountains they are deceiving like that, you always feel so close to them but it takes hours to actually drive up close to them. Issacs mother had warned us that there would be part of the drive that we wouldn't like. She was talking about the stretch of desert which we actually loved. For the first time in my life I saw a true glimmer on the horizon that looked like an oasis. Mind you I wasn't hot and dehydrated so I knew what it was but how cool to see it. I read a lot and flashes of all the stories I had read that were in deserts and mountains came flashing back to me. How you can look for miles and miles and see nothing absolutely nothing except far in the distance the mountain that is you destination. I did get to see one of the famous huge aunt hills. I so didn't believe my husband at first when he said that's what it was. It would have come up to your knees!!!! The whole way there we had the volcanoes in view. There are two but one is so tall that it has snow on it and no smoke. The slightly smaller one was smoking the whole time we were there. The view was truly beautiful and has inspired me to try to paint it. I'm getting all excited again just thinking about it, and could go on and on about it but your my readers sake I will leave that as is.
We stopped at the rest area before getting off the toll road because knew it would be our last chance for a fairly clean tinkle with the hopes of toilet paper (we did have our own in case). Getting into Tuxpan we were privileged enough to have to wait for a heard of cows to cross the street without any one to push them a long. I don't understand how the owners of these free roaming animals are not afraid for their safety.
Tuxpan has a great statue of an Indian as you drive into town and I so wanted to show you but maybe next time.Finally we arrived at his sisters house. We were greeted with hugs and kisses and Alana was so excited to see her cousin. He is two years older than her and she drives him batty but they are so cute playing together. That afternoon Issac and I left the girls with the family and took a walk alone. It was so nice we never get to do that kind of thing. We happened upon these people who were dressed in strange costumes and doing an Indian style dance in front of a little house type thing that had a baby in a manger. We decided to take a closer look because we assumed it a Catholic thing due to the baby Jesus. They had sticks in there hand and at one point this kid jumped in on their dance and one of the older dancers bonked him on the head. After watching close up for a min or so we got an eerie feeling and headed back home. On our way home we saw them round a corner and they were dancing up the street we were taking to get back. We rushed so we could get Alana outside to see them. His sister then explained to us that the town of Tuxpan was originally a canable town. When the Spaniards come they not only killed them but ate them. She said these people state that they practice the religion but don't eat humans and instead of idols they worship baby Jesus. Sounds like they have Jesus a little confused. As most of you know every town in Meixco has a certain meal that they are "famous" for. Well in this town it is a soup that was originally made out of human flesh, but now they use chicken. That is just weird and gross and no we didn't try any.
The next day we headed to the beach and for the life of me I cant remember the name of the town. Ill ask my husband later and post it in a comment. This was another beautiful drive but I also get motion sickness very easy so I wasn't feeling to hot upon arrival. I wasn't really sure what to expect because they kept saying we were going to the beach but when they showed me pictures it was a pool. Then when we got there and said we were hungry they said it was a restaurant that we were going to. By now I was pretty confused. This place was so cool and there were others exactly like it all up and down the strip. Basically you walk in the front of this open air restaurant and it had a pool for the kids with slides included and if you just walk strait through and out the back there is the beach. So you have the comfort of the table and chairs and the safety of the pool and the view of the ocean. What a great idea. The sand on the beach was very dark but Im not huge on sand no matter the color so to me it was as pretty as any other beach. I love the sound of the waves and grabbing stones and shells as the waves recede is fun. Issac of course had to go as far out as he could into the ocean and had to be called back in by the life guard. It really wasn't that warm but Mexicans are crazy so the beach and water was pretty full. The food was marvelous and was seafood of course. Issac got a grilled fish, it was the whole fish simply cut in half and slapped onto the grill. It was a little over a foot long. My meal was the same old same old cocktail because Issac was gone when it was time to order and his mom and sister were not to patient about helping me pick something. But I got to sample Issacs and my brother in laws. He had marlin with a bar-b-q sauce and shrimp and octopus under it. Yummmmm his was the best.
The last day of our stay there we got to out to where my brother in law works. He does fishery and they actually lived out on the fish farm for seven years. They only recently moved into Tuxpan. It was actually interesting to see the huge fish tanks and to hear how they keep them cleaned out. Alana of course loved seeing the fish and had fun running all over with her big cousin. He obviously loved being there. There is a lot of land and lots of stuff to get into. We got to knock pecans off a tree and eat them and go next door to see some cows. This day was a blast and a great ending to the trip. We headed home after eating and once back in our apartment decided it was the perfect time period for a trip.
I look forward to going back and will have pictures the next time. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Leading up to Christmas

Well as my frequent readers know I do advent activities with my three year old. Some of the ones we did were really easy and others a little more complicated. Either way I hope that she learned about the bible and had fun doing so. I know I had a blast with it. We also do activities after Christmas until the new year. Yesterday we made new years goodies bags for the new years party we will be attending. I didn't have the time or the money to get the items that were suppose to be in it so instead we used the candy from our Santa stockings. (we had plenty of that) The little story that is attached to the bags goes like this:We are giving you chocolates with colorful wrappers to represent the colorful people in our lives, Candy canes to remind us to keep Jesus with us all year long, circle shaped caramels to represent the ending and beginning of a year, silver pieces for fortune and prosperity for the new year, and most importantly red suckers to remind us we can pray for forgiveness thanks to the blood Jesus shed for us.
Today we will be making the armor of God and learning the My God Is So Big song, and tomorrow we will open our time capsule from last year and make a new one.

For Christmas Eve my husband had to work all day so we decided I would take the girls out to El Valle to hang with his family all day. The day before I baked two pies (pumpkin and chocolate pecan) and a sugar plum coffee bread. (not sure what sugar plum is suppose to be but the recipe was just cherries) That morning I was trying to pack for the day to El Valle and for the weekend in Tuxpan at Issacs sisters house. Also I was planing to bring Alanas activity out there and enough stuff for all the kids to get to join in. The activity was to paint old bottles and make glitter pictures. They bottles where to represent the gifts from the three kings. (the kids all loved it and made such pretty stuff) Issacs mom and Aunt showed up a lot sooner than I thought, and not sure if this happens with anyone else but they seem to be fine with making you wait but when its their turn its obvious they are not to happy with it. So in all the rushing about I forgot Alanas sweater because its actually pretty warm in my apartment and its warmer in my town than in the valley. To say the least I didn't hear the end of it all day. And one of his aunts reminded me like 3 times to be sure I packed it for the trip to Tuxpan. Sometimes I swear they think Im an idiot and a bad mother. I expect this sort of thing from my mother in law, after all they are her grand-kids. Also I have seen her do it to Issacs sister so that makes me feel a lot better. I´m starting to realize that in Mexico Aunts have the same nagging rights as mother in laws. I always get so frustrated with all the constant corrections with my how I´m doing with my girls but my husband assures me that this is just how family is here and its not that they think I´m a bad mother. So needless to say by the end of the night I was a little on edge but for the most part the day went well. This year was so much more comfortable than last year. I knew where to pick up and pitch in and when I didn't I was able to ask. And as a matter of fact they were cooking a turkey and no one had any idea what they were doing so I was able to give advise and help with that. Although there were a few miscommunication even with that. It came with a bag of gravy and I told his aunt I would fix it when it was time and that it needed to wait until right be fore time to eat. She asked me how you eat it and I told her you poor it on top of your turkey. Well after I made it I had to run out and help one of my girls. When I came back in she had pored the whole pot of gravy over the whole turkey. lol. I didn't say anything I figure some day Ill make them something with gravy and explain it then.
At one point in the day I was in the kitchen with an Aunt (wife of Issacs uncle) and Grandma and we were cleaning the romaritos (not sure I wrote that right). Anyway the Aunt asked for banana and Grandma made a crude comment to her. Tia was all like, "That is your son you talking about." And grandma just kept shrugging her shoulders and laughing. The reason I tell this story is because I got it... I got the joke and was able to laugh with them. This also is how things go in my family and so at that moment I felt so at home. Honestly even though the aunts drove me nuts sometimes with their nagging and Issac and I got into a tiny tiff about it all in all things were better this year. I told Issac that couples fight over stupid family stuff like this even when they are all from the same country.
It was a pretty exhausting day though and when I got home there was a card from my mom under the door. It was her Christmas card and in it was an invite to come to her house for games and food. At that moment I could picture us all there playing checkers and my girls tearing up her house and I balled. I think the worst part is that Issacs mom was staying with us that night, but she cries about everything so I'm sure she understood. I haven't cried that hard in a while and for that reason it was most likely a good thing. A good cry is good for the soul. I did and do miss my family at this holiday time but I know that my life is in the right place and on Gods track.
And so to all have a safe and Happy New Year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

possiblilities

A job, a new town, dead bugs, relearning typing and raised rent is a run down of this blog.

First off apparently me telling the landlord that I didn't think we would be able to pay the raised rent and that her husband needed to talk to my husband did the trick. He still isn't back from the States so my hubby hasn't had a chance to talk to him. But when she came to pick up this months rent she told him they decided they were not raising it. So way to go me. :)

The job and the new town are all in the same. I may have mentioned in a previous post how I had a phone interview for a job. This job would be in San Luis, Potosi and I would be teaching Mexican nurses how to pass the NCLEX (or state board test). This is perfect for me. I love nursing and I love to teach. Most likely I will also work some hours at the IMSS because apparently this program works closely with them. Also these nurses will have just come from a fairly strenuous Medical English course so my class is to be in English. I'm sure from time to time I will need to speak in Spanish to help them to understand more clearly. This program has been started in 4 other locations in Mexico all of which were on the coast or near the boarder for the States. The one I will be working for is a trial because they are unsure if it will work well in central Mexico. I received an e-mail the other day that said that I was for sure the candidate for the job. I'm sure all contracts and such will end up waiting till after the beginning of the year. But my husband is already asking about if he can transfer and stay with the store. He doesn't really like his job but it has good benefits and he has almost 2 years in there and doesn't want to loose that. Hopefully when I'm also working he can eventually go part time and get some schooling so he can do what he wants to.

This brings me to the typing thing. We decided to get a PC finally, so far we have been using a laptop. We bought that laptop in 96 when my husband got deported so we could chat via web cam and he could use it anywhere including cafes. That poor thing has been used like a PC for almost 4 years now. Plus we figure I will be needing a separate computer with the new job. Of course we bought it here and therefore it is a Spanish keyboard. Apparently you can put it into English mode but I figure its a good lesson for me. Its a little frustrating and I cant seem to find some of the punctuation keys, thankfully spell check catches most of those words. Although I just noticed that cant is not underlined. Well I will have to ask Issac about that when he gets home.

And lastly the bugs, oh yes the never ending war against la cucarachas. We may have found our solution and it had been suggested a long time ago. Its borax powder, now that's not what it was called where I got it but its the same thing. We sprayed about a week ago and only saw dead bugs for a few days. yesterday and today we have seen some live ones so I sprayed again today. This stuff is suppose to be safe for my girls but to be safe I am only spraying places out of reach. Its the first thing that we have tried that later we have actually found dead bugs. And actually any live ones we have found are walking funny or out in broad daylight which is odd so I'm thinking they are a little doped up. So if any of you want to try it just go to your closest pet store (they are everywhere here) and ask for the powder to kill cucarachas. That is what I did and they knew just what I was looking for. Its a powder which in my case we added to water in a spray bottle and sprayed everywhere. When it dries you will see the dust and be able to avoid it pretty well.

So that was pretty long but a good update on life here in Tepa for the Hernandez clan. I'm nervous about our up coming move and the new job but I know God is with us and will carry us safely to where we need to be.

Monday, December 14, 2009

IMSS

So after vomiting throughout the night we decided to try the IMSS once again. Now that we knew when to drop off our book we expected it to go a little better. My husband headed there at 830 (let me remind you at one point we were told we should show up at 6am)and he was told that they don't start accepting books until 9am. Issac told me that when he showed up there was a guy there that was saying, "Iv been here since 630 where am I suppose to put my book!" He must have talked to the same person I had at first. My husband then went to the store to get me some crackers and pedialite and went back at 9. We were like the third book they received and he was told to come back at one or 130. We showed up at one and the place was as empty as Iv ever seen it. Slowly it started to fill up. I saw the doctor saunter into the office and back out a few times but no names were called until about two. And then neither person was there. And instead of going to the next person they waited. Anyway we were seen at almost 3. At one point Issac went to ask if they could estimate when we would be seen and the lady said anywhere between one and three. That is a good estimate when your sitting there with a 8month old and a 3 yr old. But all in all the lady was nice and receptive but that is the way things go. So when seeing the doctor he said I had Colitis (which made perfect since to me), we asked about my gall bladder and he said that if it doesn't hurt when I eat no grease or fat then that's what I should do, and that he would not say I should get it taken out until it hurts even then (which it wont). And we also asked about birth control. Basically the only type of birth control the Seguro supplies is the pill, and both types of implants the 2 yr and 5 yr. I cant take the pill because of my gall bladder so we were asking him about the implant. I was actually quite impressed with his answer. First he gave us all the medical mumbo jumbo which I already knew. Then he gave us his personal opinion. He told us how most of his patients were so unhappy with the side effects and that even he and his wife have chosen the rout of condoms because of it. After discussing it with him I was actually swayed in my opinion which doesn't happen often. Something that is interesting to me is you wont see that happen often in the states. Maybe if you have been going to the same doctor all your life but then its still a maybe. In the medical field in the states you are trained and almost brain washed never to give your personal opinion even when its asked of you. You are simply to lay out the facts and let the patient decide. He was in no way trying to persuade us and many times he said "como tu qieres." But he was giving us his opinion as a husband and a doctor of other patients. How great to be able to be so personal and open with your patients. He then proceed to do the physical examination. He did an excellent job of explaining that because it hurt when he pushed in certain places and the way it sounded when he thumped others he knew was colitis. He didn't wait often for Issac to explain things to me but thankfully for the most part I understood. After dealing with a pesky printer, he typed and printed out a list of meds for me. I still get a kick out of seeing doctors take my B/P and deal with printers (you wont see that in the states). Then we walked over to the pharmacy area of the IMSS and got ALL MY MEDS FOR FREE!!!!!!!!! Oh yes you read that right it was all free the visit and the meds. As Iv said before there is a small amount taken out of Issac check but not a lot. So it took us 3 or 4 hours but didn't cost us a dime. So Im thinking the good out weighs the bad when your broke and sick. And at least the doctor was nice and totally competent. The funny thing is two days later we were at a friends house who has cable and we saw a commercial for the Seguro and it looked so fast and easy. lol Well, life never was like it is on TV. ;)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Advent week one

We started our advent calendar on the 1st of December. Basically each day we have a bible story from a list I found online. Most of the time I read it from my daughters kid bible which helps her stay interested. We then make an ornament that correlates to that days story. I also have added fun Christmas activities. So far the ornaments we have made are clay earth for creation, and apple with a snake for Adam and Eve. These were our first and have yet to harden. The clay melts when it gets hot and so I assume it shouldn't be cooked. If anyone has any ideas on this let me know. Then we made a rainbow out of foam for Noah, a star for Gods promise to Abraham, a ram (foam and cotton) for Issac, A burning bush (foam and glitter) for Moses, a n for Joseph helping Pharaoh understand his dream.
As far as activities we have talked about the animals in the nativity and why they are there. On that day we got to go visit a friend who raises cows so she got to see them live. We made sugar cookie ginger bread men (because I didn't know what to use for molasses which I do not thanks to Leslie). We kept some and gave some to the store owners across the street who in return gave Alana a bag of peanuts she was asking me for. We also made a bird feeder which when it rained is not just a pine cone hanging outside. ;) This week was also about the letter C so we made Candles and wrote Candle on them with a big glittery letter C. We also made a Christmas colage where she got to pick clip art off of the computer and we talked about why each item is used around Christmas time. Yesterday we discussed Saint Nicholas the real one and where Santa came from. We plan to pretend about Santa until she asks about him and then I will tell her hes pretend. Anyway 'Im actually going to post pictures of some of our adventures. We are still using the box calendar and hopefully I get the felt one done soon because I have to continue on the scrap book I started for Issacs mom by next week or I wont get it done before Christmas. Im trying to fit everything in this year because I will hopefully be working by next Christmas and we will have to tone down the calendar a bit.

Oh and yesterday we got to go to a traditional celebration for a small town around here. We are not Catholic but honestly I was curious to what goes on at these things and we were invited so we went. It ended up being almost and hour from our house but we were glad we went. Three of the english speaking couples we know were there so it was a nice change. Basically for nine nights the statue of Mother Mary is brought to a new house each night and they say prayers and sing to her. Like I said Im not Catholic but I don't see anything wrong in giving Mary respect. I cant even imagine what her life was like. I do plan to teach my daughter that while they say there prayers to Mary we can pray to Jesus. I know growing up here she will end up attending many masses and Catholic type celebrations. And like we did last night we will stand quietly and respectfully during the prayers. Actually last night Alana said, "Can we pray mommy." And I said of course. And we prayed to Jesus and thanked him for coming as a baby, we also thanked him for giving women such an honor of raising his son.







Monday, December 7, 2009

The brain is a wonderful thing

I worked on a neurology unit for almost 6 years. I find the brain extremely fascinating and have read a lot about it. One of my favorite authors is Oliver Sacks. Lately due to the odd things my brain has been doing with the Spanish and English I was reminded of an article I read once of his. I actually tried to look it up but cant find the exact one. So here is my best rendition of it.
There was a guy who had a stroke and after getting a little better everyone thought he was having aphasia which is difficulty with speech. But when his wife showed up she said that he was speaking perfect, but not in English. I honestly cant remember the exact language but I want to say it was Japanese. Basically his wife was from there and he learned her language later in life. You see the area of your brain that is called your speech or language center is where you originally learn your first language as a child. But if you learn a new language later it is in a different area of your brain. So this guy couldn't speak english anymore after his stroke and would have to relearn it but was able to communicate with his wife there to translate. How cool is that.
If this seems at all interesting to you, you should look up Oliver Sacks and read some of his books. The ones I read where "The man who mistook his wife for a hat." and "An Anthropologist on Mars." Both of which were amazing books, he writes in a way that you don't feel you are reading a medical journal but more about the life of the patient and how they learn to live with their disorders. Because I was trying to find the article I spoke of before I noticed he wrote about visiting Mexico titled Oaxaca Journal (2002). I plan to find this book. Here is a link to his website and a list of his books. http://www.oliversacks.com/writing.htm
So hang in there all you students of Spanish and remember if you ever have a stroke in your language center you will be able to communicate still if you learn well. ;)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I think its sinking in....

That is I think the Spanish is getting ingrained into my subconscious as well as conscious. Weird things keep happening. For example I was rewriting my grocery list the other day after I went to one store and couldn't get everything I needed (this happens a lot). So I'm going to write pan (bread) but I realize the rest of my list is in English, I don't know why but I hate to have both languages on one list, so I'm sitting there thinking, "Pan... Pan..... Pan.... Oh I know its bread." Ok then I get to the next entry on my old list and I realize it says jam (just curious how many of you just read that as ham). Ok I look at this word and can picture slices of jamon or ham in my head but can tell this word is wrong. And it seriously took me a min to realize what it was. I wonder if my issues with spelling and not being able to picture spellings of words has anything to do with this or if this is typical of learning a new language. Any one ever had situations like these. This isn't the only time for me but is the most recent and easiest to explain. Sometimes I don't think I could really explain what the weirdness is. I showed my husband my list and told him what happened with the bread and he smiled at me and said, "Your really learning Spanish honey." I'm thinking this is a bad thing and he acts all proud of me.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Advent Calendar

We started last year doing an advent calendar. I made it and its keeps falling over so I plan to make a new one out of felt to hang on the wall. Yesterday was the firs day. We made ornaments out of clay to represent creation and Adam and Eve. We made a world and an apple with a snake. We read both stories. Also we were suppose to make ginger bread cookies which we made today. We actually made sugar cookie men because I cant find molasses around here. Today will be Noah and we get to make a rainbow. I also have been doing activities with the letters each week. This week is C which is easy with Christmas stuff. Yesterday we found all the C's that were on our Christmas decorations. I still need to find one for today. Anyway this is a picture of my calendar as each day gets flipped up it makes a picture. and when I get the new one made I will show it. I love this time of year and doing our advent activities.



Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ill get by with a little help from my friends...

I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends...

So I'm doing pretty good when I'm on my own but I get a lot more accomplished with friends. First off I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Some good friends of ours who live here in town decided to throw a Thanksgiving dinner. Really it was for me but everyone who came loved it. The wife of this couple is Mexican/American and was raised in the US and the husband is from Nicaragua but lived in the US for 20 plus years. She has a lot of family here in town who are Mexican/American and who were raised most of their lives in the US. So she set up the rule that everyone had to speak english. This didn't really last all night but it was fun to see them catch each other and make each other try to speak English in my presence. Her family really have welcomed us in as their own since meeting us about 8 months ago. I am so thankful for them and there place in my life. They also had a huge garage sale this weekend where I managed to buy about 250p worth of Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter decorations and a few other things we liked. But I was also able to sell some stuff we bought that cant fit in our apartment anymore. I came out about 50p ahead.

Also I have posted a few times that its almost time for Alana my 3 yr old to be in school. Apparently here you have to get to the school you want early on Feb 1st or you wont get in. A friend of mine has a daughter the same age as Alana and we have play dates with them a lot. We decided it would be good if we could get them in the same class. So Sat we walked up to a school which is about 15-18 blocks away or so. This means we can walk them there if we need to. Its also a government school so its free except books and stuff. So we walk all the way there with the girls and DUHHHHH its closed on Saturdays. By then were so close to the Red Cross that I ask her if she can wait outside with the girls while I run in to see whats up with me volunteering. Well they also said I needed to come back lunes. I must have looked confused when she told me this because she proceeded to tell me that was in 2 days. lol I did know this and understand her I was just trying to remember what we had going on on Monday. But this is the part of the trip aside from the walking that made me feel like a true Mexican. We went on an almost 2 hour walking trip and didn't get accomplished what we meant to but got other things done. We stopped at the Carnaceria (think I spelled it right) and with her help I got to buy meat from there instead of the gross stuff at the grocery store. Yummm it really is better. And after seeing my excitement she said she would be more than happy to go with me on a weekly basis when I need to buy meet. Then we stopped at a fruit store where things are so much better and cheaper than at the grocery store. And I ran into a dulceria to get candy for my advent calendar. (more to come on the calendar in another post)
Tomorrow we are off to renew my FM2 in Guadalajara so that will most likely be another post. I think I'm getting the hang of things around here more and more
each day.
The only bad thing that happened this week is that we found out our rent is going up in January. This is a bunch of crap really. We moved in here in July and haven't even had a lease until this week because I need it for my FM2. When she wrote it up she put 1800p on it instead of the 1700p we have been paying. And she said "oh and your rent will be going up to 1800 in Jan." I told her I thought she should talk to my husband about this because I didn't think we could pay that. And to be honest if and when I get a job we could pay it but this is a little bitty 2 bedroom cockroach ridden apartment. We have seen whole houses for only 2000p a month. Which means we are on the look out again and will most likely be moving again. UGGGGG I hate moving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Search and Rescue drill

So I get these e-mails from the consulate here in Guadalajara. I found this one to be quite interesting and a bit of a relief. Its good to see they are doing drills.

Here is the message I got.

United States Consulate General Guadalajara
PLEASE CIRCULATE THIS IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT TO
AS MANY AMERICAN CITIZENS AS POSSIBLE
SUBJECT: Search & Rescue Drill – Coastal Area of Jalisco
Date: November 25, 2009
BEGIN TEXT.
Jalisco state Civil Protection authorities will conduct a large scale national search and rescue exercise/drill on November 27 – 30, 2009. The exercise will take place in Boca de Iguana, Jalisco - just north of Barra de Navidad - in an abandoned hotel named Hotel Tenacatita.
The emergency response teams will include:
- Civil Protection authorities from Jalisco and Mexico City
- Firefighters from Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, Tijuana, and Mexico City
- Red Cross from Jalisco and Mexico City
- ERUM (Urgent Medical Rescue Squadron) group from Mexico City.
The exercise will start on Friday November 27th at night and will conclude on Monday November 30th morning. The main focus of the exercise will be to rescue victims from collapsed structures. The emergency response teams will be observed by United Nations members in an effort to obtain U.N. certification.
The U.S. Consulate General in Guadalajara does not anticipate any major disruptions due to the exercise. For further information please visit Jalisco Civil Protection’s exercise website - http://proteccioncivil.jalisco.gob.mx/banners/usar09/usar.html

The U.S. Consulate General in Guadalajara is located at 175 Progreso Street; Col. Americana, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. The U.S. Consulate General in Guadalajara telephone number is 011 52 33 3268 2100; the U.S. Consulate General in Guadalajara fax number is 011 52 33 3825 1951. For after-hours emergencies, please call 011 52 33 3268 2145.

END OF TEXT.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So much to do.... And all the time to do it. ;)

That is what I love about the Mexico Amanda. I'm telling you before I moved here I felt that anything that needed to be done should be done now. Or maybe what needed to be done should have been done yesterday. Well anyway here is my to do list and I'm actually giving myself months of time to do it.

First things first I have to renew my FM2. Its due by Dec 17th. so that will have to happen in the next couple weeks.

Go see doctor at the seguro to get test results and ask about my gall bladder and birth control. This will prob be some time in the next month or so.

Get my eyes checked and order new glasses.

Check out schools for my 3 yr old we will need to know where we want to go by Feb.

And last but certainly not least (and something I'm so excited to do) is to go by the Cruz rojo and find out if I can volunteer. Thanks to a suggestion from a fellow blogger I will be soon at the Cruz rojo hopefully knee deep in sick people at least once a week. Oh how I miss caring for people. I'm excited to get myself acclimated with the medical field in Mexico.

I wanted to make this post to see how soon I actually get any of this stuff done. I have slowly but surely moved to the very lax attitude of the Mexicans. Ok well that might be taking it way to far I'm just not as uptight as I use to be.

Back in the swing of things

Well after getting back from my visit to see my family I got sick. My first two days back consisted of doing laundry and trying to debug the house. I asked my husband how often he moped while I was gone and he said twice. I was gone for 3 weeks. Yikes. Well then I started to feel pretty sick. Honestly I don't remember ever being that sick since I had pneumonia when I as 18. So after the third day of not being able to get off the couch Issac took a day off work to take me to the doctor. Also the baby had a cough but didn't seem as sick as me. Like most government run operations the seguro had kinda screwed up the information they had given us. You see during one of my visits alone with the baby I asked what we should do if one of us gets sick and I was told I should come in very early even at 6am if I could. When I told my husband this he said there was no way that was right. So on our last visit where we all got check ups he asked the same question. This time they told us we needed to come in at 1pm that this was when the appointments start. So the day my husband took off work we sat around until 1pm and went to the seguro. It was packed and when we told the lady why we were there she looked at us like we were nutz. She held up a stack of books in one hand and said that was all the people who got appointments and then another stack in her other hand of people who wanted to see the doctor if he got through the appointments early. She then explained to Issac that we are suppose to come in early and drop off our book to "make and appointment" And then they start seeing people at one. So third times a charm and at least we know what to do now. As far as this time around we went to the private clinic I went to when pregnant. They are efficient and not to much money. We paid 400pesos for me and the baby to get checked by a doctor, diagnosed, and given a list of medications to get. That is less than 40 usd for two people to see a doctor. Of course her list of medications were all brand names and way more expensive than the ones we ended up actually getting. Also I didn't like the cough medication she prescribed it made me feel all shaky and sick. That is the great thing about here you just go get the one you know works for you. Oh it ended up that I had Strep which was trying hard to become bronchitis and the baby had a slight ear infection which was causing drainage and a cough. I'm pleased to report that we are both done with our antibiotics and aside from a slight cough and sometimes sore throat on my part we are doing much better. I spent the girls 2 hour nap today reading up on blogs that I hadn't read much of since before my trip. Its so nice to be back to a place where I'm understood. Thank you all for posting about your lives with all the ups downs and funny happenings.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

IS NOTHING SAFE.......

From my 7 1/2 month old. ;) I love love love this age we are having so much fun running and grabbing things from her before she can put it into her mouth. She has this sixth sense for where the small pieces of stuff might be on any floor no matter how clean. Also even though I mop everyday I refuse to let her on the kitchen floor. The way our apartment is our living room and kitchen just kinda connect almost like one room. I tried laying down all our kitchen chairs as a blockade but shes a strong little bugger and would slid over to them, sit up, and push them out of her way. So now my boarder consists of an suitcase on its side that is full of my craft stuff, my coffee table on its side and a car seat that is to small for the 3 yr old and two big for the baby. Shes so funny I'm not even sure she knows why but she wants through that wall so badly. The other day she managed to maneuver between the chair and table and just sat there looking so proud of herself. Then spotted my shoes on the kitchen side of the table and went for them. Shes like a little puppy she loves to chew shoes. Oh and as far as an update on how the floor stuff is going with out carpet or rugs. Well I think shes decided to skip crawling, maybe because it hurts her knees a little. We gave up on the blanket quite some time ago and just made sure she always has one of the button bottom t-shirts and a pair of pants and socks on. The week we got home from our trip she figured out how to get herself to a sitting position and then back to her belly. That was a great help to mommy. She gets around quite well with the wounded army crawl and now shes pulling up on things. So soon the cruzing the furniture will begin. Now that she is pulling up on things we have to move anything unsafe for a baby to a higher level. This should be a load of fun with Christmas stuff. I cant wait to see her terrorize everything at Christmas. My first was only 5 mo old and not moving to much her first Christmas and by the second one she was old enough to tell no. When I say I cant wait I'm being serious, even though I'm constantly on my toes after her I think its hilarious to see what she picks to get into. For example she will be in a room full of toys and one small tiny piece of paper in some corner and guess what she picks. We did finally find a store that has some of the basic safety items like socket covers and door locks. The only thing is we don't have cabinets ;) But be sure that my three year old is on top of it. Boy she watches baby sister like a hawk and yells, "No baby sister," if she almost puts something in her mouth that she shouldn't. They are so funny to watch play together. The three year old is going to have to start school soon. Its not mandatory until 4 and apparently they don't learn to much until then. But I cant believe how much of her Spanish she has lost since we've been back from our trip. And its not so much that she lost it but that she just refuses to use it. I think she needs to be in the immersion environment and she will do fine. Also I want her to learn communication skills before its time for her to actually be learning material. So Bahumbug we have to go over that hurdle soon. We started talking to her about it and she said, "Ok and mommy can come and Papi and baby Joslin." And we were like no school is only for you. After that she says she doesn't want to go. I think my husbands going to cry on her first day. lol


Yeah Holidays are upon us. I cant wait to start my advent calendar we start ours on Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Home again, Home again, jigidy jig

Well I am back from my 3 weeks of visiting friends and family. I must say it was nice but I missed home badly while there. I also realized that most of what I was freaked out about here really wasn't to much different from there. And that a lot of the things I thought I missed so much were not all I had made them to be in my crazy little mind. Over time your mind will play tricks and make things larger than they really are. For example I thought I missed fountain soda which after tasting seemed to be missing something. Ice cream also is something that I ate a lot of while there but I realize that I have found supplements for my Ice Cream addiction it just took me some time and tasting of different ones. I come home with a renewed spirit and mind knowing that this is my life and I am prepared to live it. I also know that another visit to the States is far far in the future if ever. As much as I missed everyone I realized that everyone has a life going for themselves and not only am I adjusting to not living there so is everyone else. I was happy to know and see this. My family understands and is happy with my decisions. They are still very emotional about the whole immigration issue and with so much press its a hard place to be. Being here I finally don't have to deal with questions or rude remarks as much but they still do on an almost daily basis.
On a lighter note something I had seen on face book is that people are posting something everyday that they are thankful for. I wanted to make a list of things that I was thankful to get back to for each day of November that I have missed.
Day1) waiting on the hot water- this may sound weird but I'm thankful for the patience in everyday activities it has given me.
2)saying good night and good morning to my husband
3)seeing him play with my girls, or read to them.
4)The wonderful weather
5)being conscious of what electricity I'm using. (this was driving me batty during my visit to the states)
6)NO CARPET.... can you believe it. It was only a few posts ago that I posted how much I missed it and that I was giving in and getting rid of my rugs. But every time I turned around even if someone had just vacuumed my baby was putting a fuzzy in her mouth.
7)Our nighttime routine. My girls didn't sleep through the night the whole time we were gone. I have now gotten 3 full nights of sleep. Yeah for our own beds.
8) Little use of diaper bag and help when I do need it. Our town is very small and most of the time I can do with a diaper and a bottle in my purse, and when we do go to visit somewhere for a long time I have my husband to tick a list of before we head out the door. Twice I left with out enough bottles or diapers during my visit.
9)TORTILLAS- I literally groaned when we had fresh tortillas last night. Holy cow I missed them.
10)Hanging my cloths to dry- I realize this is now a stress reliever and a time of peace and reflection for me. That sounds odd but seriously I missed it and I felt myself unraveling as I hung and took down my loads of laundry after I got home.
11) Laid back driving. Man I was so nervous the whole time driving in the states. I was afraid Id forget to really stop at a stop sign.
12) Talking to my husband about our days. This I missed so much, we do a run down of our days almost every day even when hes off. We just talk about what we did all day.

What I love is how easy this list came out. I seriously didn't have to stop to think. Mind you I still have roaches and they were kinda having a hay day when I got home because my husband only mopped twice while I was gone and every bit of cloths he had were dirty and there was a pile of dishes. But I have already got most of them dead and will keep fighting the new ones that I know will come in daily. But I'm oddly enough ok with this. I know people in the states get them and its not because they are gross.

Our newest goal is for me to find work. Most of you know I am a nurse. So I'm looking for a clinic in an area that may cater to Americans. Our first plan is to check out the Chapala area. My husband lived there for a few years as a child. Its a nice area and I hope that my English will be so needed in a clinic that they will work with me on my broken Spanish. If any one has any ideas they will be welcome.

Oh and if you didn't figure it out from that last paragraph Canada is not going to work because the government has put a hold on hiring nurses for a year or so. And because of that the private facilities are flooded with Canadian nurses application. Luckily we were not putting to much stock in the option in the first place so no harm no foul there. Moving on to look for work here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Will I ever learn....

to procrastinate even a little. I'm always so prepared and ready. I finished repacking yesterday. Yes I said repacking. I first packed about mid week to be sure of how many and which suit cases would be necessary. Then yesterday I pulled everything out and made it organized and put the last few things in that were forgotten the first time. Anything that is last min like the bathroom stuff is in a premade bag in the bathroom waiting to be thrown in the extra space left for it. Obviously I'm not totally Mexican yet because if I were I would have started last night or more like today. We have to leave the house tomorrow at 10. I have my last load of laundry in the washer, painted my nails (orange for Halloween), and showed my 3 yr old as many videos on you tube and the airport site as I could find to try and get her ready. Now what do I do with the rest of my day. I wish my hubby would have called off work to hang out with me. I'm really gonna miss him and I know he will miss me and the girls so much. I'm so stinking excited I just don't know what to do with myself today. I suppose I'll go study. Iv been reading medical articles in Spanish thanks to a great idea from a friend. The though is that if Canada doesn't work (which I don't think it will) or if we just decide to stay in Mexico, that reading medical things in Spanish would be the best way to get my language boosted enough to work. When she suggested this I thought wow that sounds like a pain and not to much fun. I've been doing it anyway, and am finding it is a lot easier and I know a lot more than I thought I would. I get a real kick out of reading medical material and I'm finding I get that kick even if its in Spanish, and actually a little more because I'm learning more. My next plan is to get some audio medical books in Spanish. Sometimes when I read a word I know what it is but when I say it out loud I'm sure if I heard someone say it I wouldn't know what it was unless they wrote it down. So I will attempt to distract my mind to day with Spanish.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tijerilla

This has to be the most interesting bug I have found in Mexico. During certain seasons they can be more abundant even than the hated cockroach. Although much easier to keep out of the house they still get in sometimes. For sure everything out side is covered in them. Including the cloths on the line, you have to shake all your cloths really good this time of year and you might still miss a few like I did yesterday. At the grocery stores there are always some hiding in the clothing and on the shelves this time of year. Yesterday I saw the biggest one Iv ever seen ( which inspired me to write about them). His little pincer actually looked like it might cut my skin, just maybe. For the most part these little guys cant even try to pinch your skin and though they supposedly have some venom its so little that they are harmless. They are nocturnal and actually move quite slowly during the day. But man they sure are creepy looking when they raise their little scissor butts at you. Last year I frantically searched for information on them because I was afraid they would bite us or make us sick. Neither happened and apparently wont happen. They come around twice a year it seems right before winter and right after. I suppose the weather needs to be just right for them. If anyone has any other information on them Id like that. But really they are just cool looking innocent bugs from all I can tell. This is the best picture I could find but the ones here in Tepa have little yellow strips on their backs they are kinda pretty. But man they freak me out when I see them unexpectedly.
Because I can't figure out how else to get this picture on here I placed a link that went to a picture of on. Really I should just take a picture of one as many as we see everyday.
http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:sK3WZN_JKzqTOM:http://maximinadefe.eresmas.net/tijereta.jpg

Dont clam up

We will be on a plane headed to the states in four days. Every day it is on my mind of course. Im actually packed except the things we use every day. Its a lot colder there so I just packed all our warm cloths and we are wearing our summer stuff (actually my 3 yr old prefers just her undies unless were out, lol.) One of things I keep thinking of is my her and how she will do on the trip. She is a veteran at flying, we visited my husband in Mexico 4 time with in the 2 years we were living apart. And I'm pretty sure she remembers more about it than I originally thought. I have been talking to her about it and she brings stuff up that shows me she remembers. She also is pretty good at listening to me and staying close in public places. When I start to freak out about loosing her I remember Leslie and how she traveled with three kids, while pregnant. And once I asked her how she keeps track of them all when out and she said, "you just do, you get use to it." So Thanks Leslie, believe it or not that is helping me keep my cool about that part of the matter. I have a little strap that will strap her car seat to my carry on and that is where she will be most of the time. Thankful to Dora the Explorer my daughter loves to be strapped in her car seat. But me clamming up is not the reason for the title of the blog. I of course think my 3 yr old is the most beautiful, imaginative, creative 3yr old out there. (I'm sure a lot of you can relate to this feeling) Aside from her typical 3yr old fits and talking back which we are working on shes so funny and great to be around. But I find that when we visit people she clams up, and if its a first visit she just sits down beside me and doesn't do or say much during the entire visit. The good thing is the people who really matter we will be staying at their houses for more than one night in a row and I'm hoping she will open up quickly. Also both families that, are most important, she sees on the webcam on an almost weekly basis. With her father this made a huge difference but will it with friends and other family. Also she saw papi almost every night. She does stuff like make up songs off the cuff, or pretend to be someone and its so fun. Will she be herself for these people that I love. I so want to share her with them, they love her so much and haven't gotten to see her in over a year. No, I'm not stressing over this its just something I wonder. Im also excited to show of the baby but you know babies are babies are babies, right. I mean sure shes the cutest one you'll ever see but well.... yeah...
On another note I have been making a list of things I want to do, people to see, places to go, things to eat, and things to buy and bring back. I don't want to be running like a mad women while there but I think an outing a day or so will be good. I don't want to come back and be like, "dang it why didn't I...". My husband has been helping me with this list. All the things he misses he has me write down and I am to experience them for him and if possible make videos and pictures of me doing so. So I decided it would be fun to post my list and when I get back post if I was able to do, see, eat, and buy all that was on it. You may not find this part interesting and its kinda more for me than anything else, but if you also make lists when visiting you might enjoy to see what mine is.

While in St. Louis: We will be there a total of 5 or 6 days, which doesn't seem like enough but none of my actual family lives there. We will be staying with our closest friends, (Who love us more than any one... Wink Wink, They braved and almost 48hour bus trip to visit us down here)
Places to go, people to see: The Arch, The Zoo (if you didn't know St. Louis has one of the largest Zoos in the US and it is still free to get in to the main part.), The Magic house, Sculpture park, A friend of mines little girls birthday party at Pizza Planet (there is my pizza), A friend from my old job, My pastor and his wife and a church service there. I want to eat at Bandannas, Were going to have a mini Thanksgiving dinner at my friends house, I want to see my friend Brian and he is to help me buy guitar strings for my hubby. (I'm also going to hit the Social Security office and order my babies card)
While in Jackson: There we will be staying all over the place, we are staying at my moms the first weekend then at my sisters for a bit and maybe if I get my drivers lic renewed early in the week I will drive to Springfield and stay with one of my other siblings. I have three that live in Springfield and a total of 6 nieces and one great nephew that live there. I hope I can get my license.
Places to go People to see: Obviously my sister Shawndra and her family, my mom, my dad (a little nervous about this), My friend Erin who is going to have a new baby while I'm in town. My friend Tammy.
I want to eat at Logans Steak house, eat caramel Apples, eat tons of dark chocolate, lots of Ice Cream, and eat at Lamberts
I want to go to a creak (even if its to cold to play in it), the mall, 2 pumpkin patches, the Grocery store, Dollar Tree, The park.
I plan to buy: Good coffee, a new Journal, Cheddar Cheese (if I can get some good recommendations on getting it back without it ruining), Gravy-taco-chili mixes, Sausage (again if I can find a good way to package it without it ruining)Chocolate, Shafley Beer (its from St. Louis and October fest will be on the shelves, and pumpkin ale... Yumm)Plastic Easter eggs and anything else Eastery that I can find at a party store, To go Coffee cups, A scrapbook (if I can find one on sale), and scrapbook junk, My healing gardens perfume, caramel Apples, a ducky inflatable tub for the baby, Cheezits. Oh and some trinket give away stuff for friends and family here (but what I have no idea) I also plan to find some Christmas presents for Issacs mom and sisters again I don't know what but I'm sure Ill find something.
Oh and I plan to hit some used book stores and buy up some reading material.
Wow what a list I hope I don't run out of money.

Monday, October 12, 2009

My neighborhood

I love, love, love when others put up pictures of where they are from in Mexico. I actually never put pictures in my blog. Honestly I hate having to resize them and I always seem to get them wrong, but here goes another try. This is the area that I take my daughters out for walks. This is what we see with in walking distance from our casa.










Yum In The Tum

By no means am I or will I ever be a cook blogger. I leave that up to a few others who I frequent and get recipes from. But with the holidays coming up and now that pumpkins are everywhere I started craving pumpkin pie. Since my husband had already requested I make him a cheese cake this week before I leave I decided to put the two together. Of course I made it yesterday because if I'm gonna make it I'm gonna enjoy it. So as most of my readers who live in Mexico have figured out Mexican cheese cake is nothing like American cheese cake. Mexican cheese cake is very dull and not creamy. I was seriously sad the first time I took a bit of Mexican cheese cake.
I have always enjoyed gram cracker crusts and they are so easy to make its normally what I do for pies. A friend of mine recently sent me a different recipie for cheese cake and she made the crust with Canalitas. This is the most fabulous pie crust Iv ever had. So here goes.

This recipe filled my 8x5 casserole dish to the brim.
CRUST
5-8 packages of Canalitas (the packages that have 6 cookies in them,the number depends on how thick you want the crust. We like it thick so we used almost 8 pck)
1-2 sticks of butter (again a preference depends on how many cookies you use)
Smash cookies (my daughter loves to help with this) and squish the butter in using your hands until it makes a stiff dough. then push into pan.

PIE FILLING

3pck cream cheese
5 lg eggs
3/4c sugar
3/4c brown sugar packed
1/4 tsp nutmeg (we couldn't find any so I ground up cloves and it was yummy)
1/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups pumpkin mush (All you have to do is cut up a pumkin clean out the yukies and bake, steam or microwave for about 30-50min, until soft, scoop out the meat and puree in a blender)
1/4 cup crema


Using an electric hand blender blend the cheese until soft, slowly add the remaining ingredients one at a time in the order above and blending well between each. pour into pie crust. Cook in preheated oven at 325 for 1 1/2h - 1h 45min until top looks to get a little browner. When you remove it the pie will look very liquid. If you have made cheese cake you know this but I didn't and the first one I made I thought it was ruined at this point. Let cool in pan on rack then chill over night. And then you get to have Yum in Your Tum in the morning. ;)

Friday, October 9, 2009

El Seguro otra ves

Once again it was shot time for my bebe, (this is not to bring up a debate, I think they are good others don't no biggie). This was our last set for her until she turns one. Because we had a few questions this time around my husband went with me. We were actually a week later than they had told us to return for the shots. I figured the date was an estimate for when she could have her next ones and that the time was what was important. They are not really great about explaining the goings on but when you ask they do tell you. So my husband turned in the babies booklet and immunization record and told them we were suppose to be there last week. The nurse smiled her, your new at this smile and told us it was fine. While we waited my husband spotted his cousin and went over to talk. I didn't bother him when our name got called because from past experience I knew they would only let one adult in at a time with the baby. We wanted to know if the girls and I could get a flu shot because we would be traveling soon. An airplane is one of the best places to catch a flu. The nurse explained to me that they didn't have the vaccine for another 10 days and that we could come back then. That is one day before I fly but I think for sure my 3yr old needs it so I think we will all go get it. After weighing and measuring Joslin (my baby) they quickly and efficiently gave her the two vaccines she needed and it was time to sit down at the desk with them while they asked me questions about her health. For example if she is still nursing, if I feel she can see, and hear things by her reactions ext. There is no doctor in site by the way this is all done by nurses. I think this is great of course. I then ask about the booklets and explain that we haven't gotten my 3yr old, my husband, or me one yet. She explained that I needed the paper from the office and a photo of each of us. When I told her I had them she had me give them to her. Right then and there they began making booklets for my daughter, my husband and me. When they got to a question about my husband that I did not know (his blood type) I said he was outside and they could ask him. The looked relieved because they were trying to explain a lot to me about the booklets and the flu vaccine and I could tell they wanted to be able to tell him to be sure I got it all. Don't get me wrong they have always been patient with my "dile otra vec." They called him in and boom we were all 3 (Alana, Issac, and Me) Getting a full check up. They checked me and Issacs , blood pressure, height, and weight. Issac explained that I hadn't had a pap since I had the baby and they did it right then and there, the table was behind a little wall. They said I had to wait another 3 months for the breast exam because I had just quit nursing. My husband said he felt like he was getting a full tune up on a car. They checked Alanas height and weight. Our B/P was great and we are both a little Sobrepeso which I'm pretty sure translates into overweight. But not a lot and I think I have always been a little Sobrepeso since I got past puberty. Iv always believed the charts run a little low for a healthy non workoutaholic. It dawned on me that your booklet is essentially your chart and you keep track of it yourself. They do have a computer system that I also see them putting information into but I have a feeling your booklet is the best resource for the doctor when you do see one. I'm going to go into detail here because I find it very interesting. If you don't care about the social health care in Mexico you may not want to read any further. So the booklet has all kinds of preventative stuff in it and gives you recommendations on how often you should get it done. The Orientacion Alimentaria is suggested to be done twice a year for men and women. The only difference in the Nutrition section for the women and men is that the women have a place for iron and folic acid before and after being pregnant of for anemic women. For the ninas they get a check mark for how many months you nursed them, and they of course get a height and weight check to check their nutritional status. They also gave them both vit A by mouth and sent us home with antiparisitic medication for the 3yr old, my husband and me. Babies don't get it until after one year. They said they recommend people in Mexico to take this every 6 months. This makes since when you think of the water situation, my daughter does frequently try to drink her bath water. Also I always wonder after being at the park with all the stray dog poop, if she hasn't gotten any parasites under her nails. We wash are hands good and often but with a child you just cant always prevent it. Next is the vaccines they asked us to bring proof of all our vaccines (not the baby of course) and they would fill it all in. When we had seen the private doctor while in the hospital and asked about this she said they wouldn't do this. Next is Prevencion y control de enfermedades. Here for the girls they have a place for the vit K shot all babies get when born and for PPD checks if they come in contact with someone who has TB. Then there is a place where they check there teeth and teach you or them how to brush. They marked this but didn't say anything to us about it. I wonder if this is because it was obvious we brush her teeth or if this is how they always do. Then they have a place for visual checks and it looks like all 4 yr olds actually get a visual examination. We are not there yet so I'm not sure if its something they will actually do or if again they will just ask if I think they can see ok. For this section the womens has an extra page from the mens which is mainly for pregnancy, pap smears and breast exams. The first entry in both books is for discussion of prevention of HIV and AIDS. Or in Spanish Prevencion de VIH-SIDA E ITS. They marked this for us but didn't talk about it, again I assume its because we appear to be in a monogamous relationship (which we are but as a health care professional I know you never assume)They also have here prevention of addiction and for TB. Then the stuff about brushing your teeth. Again all of this has recommendations on how often you should get checked. Every time you go the thumb through the book and fill out more and more. Ok heres the fun part there are a couple extra pink pages (oh yeah all the pages are color coated) in my husband and my booklet titles Salud Sexual y reprodutiva. For the male one the first entry is Orientacion/consejeria (derechos sexuales y reproductivos) sadly this is not in my book, Im pretty sure this is a sex talk and I feel it should be in the girls book also. Our booklets are for ages 20-59 and my girls is for ages 0-9, I would love to see if this section is larger in the 10-19 booklet. Next is a whole page for your personalized reproductive and pregnancy prevention. They did ask Issac what we were using to prevent pregnancy and we said condoms. (sorry that may be TMI but I have a point with this)When he said this one of the nurses left the room and came back with a box of condoms and gave us like 12 of them and wrote it in our books. They said we could come in every month and get more. Seriously those things are not cheap and I hope all people in Mexico who have segudo benefits take advantage. We asked what other options there where through the segudo for birth control. Due to me having gall bladder issues while pregnant I can not take the pill and they don't have the nuva ring in Mexico. They told me that I needed to come back on any day at 2pm and sit for a Dr. appointment. This doctor would then refer me to an OB who would discuss the options of implants. We would also at that time tell him about my gall bladder and he would also refer me to a specialist to get that checked to be sure all is well. That will be another post on another day.
All in all Im happy with the segudo, its a lot like having an HMO where you have to see one Dr. before you can see another but its free. We did all of that for free. not one penny paid out. I'm not sure if I will have to pay for the specialist or not or for the implant if we decide to get it but I will be sure to let you know.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Time to hop on the plane.

That is right people I'm going to visit the States. The day I fly out will be almost one year and four months from the day I flew in to Mexico. I haven't visited before for multiple reasons. One was that after 2 years of not living with my husband I wasn't ready to be parted from him for more than his work hours. Also I was scared to spend money out of our savings because we are still using quite a bit out of it weekly to keep us above water. Im glad I waited, I finally feel that this is my home and I know by the end of the trip I will be ready to come back to it. Also we would have ran out of our savings long before we did and long before we were able to get any more. Because we are looking into the Canada situation I closed out my last ties to the US which was my 401K. It hurt but I did it because we were flat broke and there was no way we would have enough to immigrate again. After adding up all fees and what we thought it would cost my husband decided with the left over I should go to visit my family. We don't know when the opportunity will come again and he is right it has been a long time. The good thing about Canada immigration is that if you pay your fees and are not granted the visa then you get your money back. If the US did this we would still have plenty of cash left over. ARRGGGG. So if it doesnt fly then I will continue to find a way to work as a nurse here in Mexico. Anyway that was a side note. Moving on.
So we found some fairly cheap flights and we will be in Missouri for 3 full weeks. I was so nervous when I was buying the tickets. I just knew I would type in something wrong or screw something up. I didn't but still had my husband double check the names when he got home from work. Then I started thinking about how it was to travel with Alana alone and now I have two. This didn't keep me down to long I just know we will be ok. Also Im not depressed and anxiety ridden like I was back then so that will make things way smother. So many emotions flooded through me that day. First I was litteraly jumping up and down laughing with my 3yr old that she gets to see her grandma, aunts, cousins, and our good friends. She didn't understand why we were jumping and screaming but hey it was fun for her anyway. Then I got mad at the fact that I couldn't add my husband to the list for the tickets, and soon realized I would miss him. But quickly I also realized that this missing him would be different than before. This time we were not in a long dark tunnel with no end in site. This time we will know that in exactly 21 days we will be once again sleeping in the same bed every night. This will help to make the trip more enjoyable. When I use to visit him in Mexico I would be counting the days down in my head until I would have to leave him again. No counting down this time, I'm going to have fun. And when he came home from work and I told him of my roller coaster of feelings he huged me and said, "Of course I would love to go with you, but I cant, and so you have to do all the things I would want to do. You have to have fun for me, eat for me, hug for me. And of course take lots and lots of videos and pictures." This and because he was the one who started the search for the plane tickets in the first place made me feel better about it. Sure the angry feeling slips in here and there and sometimes when Im talking to him about what I want to do I feel a little guilty. But he can usually tell and catches me and reminds me not to. Its not my fault that he cant go, and as he keeps telling me, "You deserve a vacation mama."
And so I do, and so I will, and any time those bad thoughts or feelings try to creep in I will hear him saying that and I will take a video or picture of what ever Im doing so he can share it with me when I get home.
Ok so now that that's all out of the way I start getting a little nervous. Iv been in a small town in Mexico for over a year. Will it be weird for me there? Will I try to speak to people in Spanish? Who knows, now I'm just feeling excited. Iv notified all the appropriate people and am making plans so as not to miss out on anything or anyone while there. I'm seriously making a list of all the things I want to do, places I want to go, and stuff I want to eat.
I leave on Oct 20th so a little less than 2 weeks, almost time to start packing.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My firs Mexican nontruth

I remember shortly after I moved here reading in the online book, The Trick to Living In Mexico, about the nontruths of the Mexican people. (this is a great book by the way and I have a link to it on my home page) Anyway this section of the book spoke of how Mexicans tend to tell what we would consider "little white lies" fairly frequently. I was raised that even the smallest lies lead to larger ones and for most cases I still believe this to be true. When I first read this it helped me to understand my husband a bit and realize these occurrences were just a cultural thing he had grown up with. I like that she called them nontruths, because my husband is a great guy and I hatted to think that he would intentionally lie to people or me for that matter. And I always knew his mother was a great Christian women and to me this seemed like loose morals. Ok so here is an example from when we first got together. Him and I had plans one night but someone asked us if we would come hang out with them. He would say, "Ok we will see you there." Then when the time came we would do whatever we had originally planned. I would be like, "didn't we tell so and so, such and such." And he would be like,"Yeah." and end of story. Seriously I could go into a thousand specific examples. Like when we first moved here and frequently his family would say they would come over for dinner. I would cook tons of food and no one would show up. I know now, why, when you visit people no one cooks until your already at there house. Click, it all fits into place. They all know they do it and its so natural they have just adjusted to it. So one of my husbands Aunts (specifically the one who was very inconsiderate to me when I first moved here, regarding my lack of Spanish), has asked... no demanded that I teach her and her family English. So because I already have lesson plans made up from my other student I told them no problem and we set up a time for them to come over. They live about 20min away so after a few weeks of no shows I figured they didn't really want to learn. On our next visit out there she asked... no again demanded that I go out there, because gas for me was cheaper than them to all get buss tickets. I agreed with that and agreed that I would try. Well later I got to thinking about how rude it was of her to demand such a thing, not only free classes but for me to drive to them. And by the way they have a van that would fit the whole family and it actually would be as cheap for them to drive here as me to drive to them. So I changed my mind and decided not to go. A few weeks later during a visit out there (My husbands grandma who we all love lives out there to, so we go to visit her)I was asked by this same Aunt why I hadn't come. First I told the truth, that we didn't have enough money for gas because we had decided on Wednesdays and my husband gets payed on Thursdays. Then out it came the Mexican untruth, "Ill try next week" I said. And she shook her head and the conversation was over. It was weird to me because conversations are never over with her she usually finds something to argue with me about. Its like she knew what I was doing and was almost happy with it. And the craziest part is that I didn't even realize what I had done until later. This is very strange for me because I am a very upfront and sometimes brutally honest type of person. When I told my husband about it he just laughed and said, "Your turning into a Mexican honey."

Flying south for the winter

So it just dawned on me that I have reached and surpassed 42 followers (that's something right?), Oh and that I live where some of the birds fly to in the winter. Iv realized the different perspective on things that my kids will grow up with here. Most of it not bad just so different. I'm not sure why its so hard for me to rearrange some of these things in my head but oddly enough it is. Like the fact that when I see a flock of birds flying on an October evening it doesn't mean they are leaving town but that they are nesting in a tree across the street. I guess this didn't hit me last year because there chosen nesting place wasn't across the street from my only opening window. They are not a bother really just kinda loud in the mornings. They wake up and get to chirping about 7 but by 10am or so they head out. And every evening we can sit on our patio (roof) and watch them fly back to there tree. When I say a flock I mean the sky looks almost black as they fly in, and this takes almost 2 hours. And because there nesting place is so close they look so close that you could touch them. Luckily so far no poopy has fallen on our heads. There are tons of them and only two trees that they all perch on. I wonder to they pick the same branch every night. Because in the evenings they are actually very quiet. The fly in and I suppose go to sleep. The first night we saw them fly through I explained to my daughter that birds need to fly to warmer weather during the winter and that we needed to say good bye to them. Then a couple days later my husband was like, I think they are landing across the street. A week after hearing them every morning I thought, "Aaahaaa, we are the warmer weather. Actually I think this came to me as I was on the web cam with my sister (who is in Missouri) and saw my nieces coming in with coats on and her telling them to get warmed up before there bath. Don't get me wrong its not horribly hot here but its been quite warm this last week or so. It seems to get warmer right before it cools off. But in this area you don't need and AC unit. And for that matter don't really need a heater. We bought space heater units last year but in this new smaller apartment I don't think we will need them. So I'm wondering will we have these new neighbors all winter or when it does get a little colder here will they move even further south.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Good bye tienda

So the owner of my building is apparently off to the states to try and make some money for his family. Apparently he went broke building this place. He had to close his store and we will be paying rent directly to his wife. So they cleaned out the store yesterday. I watched from my window as they haled everything to their van. Yesterday evening when my husband came home he went in to chat with them a bit. He wishes he hadn't. Ok we all know these little tiendas have to be crawling with roaches. But we buy what we need and move on, its not like we are living there. This particular tienda was one of the cleanest and neatest Iv ever seen. There was no product on the floor everything was up on shelves and the floor was mopped with bleach more than once a day. My husband said when he went in to chat he was so grossed out. The owner was even taking the curtains down and had to shake them out and bugs were falling off of them. My husband shuddered as he was telling me which made me glad I didn't see it. Like I said we all know but who wants to actually see it. So we sprayed our door and window frames so hopefully they don't try to relocate in our house. Anyway sad to see the store go but there is a great one with great owners right across the street. And I hope this guy can get what money he needs and get back to his family. They have 4 boys between the ages of 7 and 9mo. I hope she will let us know if she needs any help with anything I don't know if they have family in the area. This type of thing happens a lot and is why Issacs family thought I was nutz for moving here. They thought I should just stay in the states and work and send money. But for me that is now way to live. Id rather be broke and have my family together.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Thankfull-My day

I am thankfull for the slow down in my life. Although sometimes I think it is going to drive me crazy I know it is good for me and my family. So here is a day in the life of me. I wake up at 6 or 7 when ever my alarm clock goes off. My alarm clock is my 6month old wanting to eat. I feed here and during this time judge whether or not she wants to go back to bed. Usually she doesn't so I put her in her bouncy seat and make the coffee. I then do some sort of excessive while going and smiling at the baby to keep her happy. By now my coffee is done and I'm ready to sit down and do my bible study. Around now my husband is either gone for work or getting up and getting ready. (his start time changes from day to day) Either way when he gets up I poor his coffee and if we have something set out something for him to eat on the way to work. We exchange our good mornings, I love yous, kisses and hes off. Right about now (or in the middle of my bible study depending on little bit got hungry) My 3 year old yells from her room, "Mommy I go potty." Thankfully now this means she needs to go potty and not that she has gone. I go give her lots of morning love and kisses and most likely ask her to help me pull her sheets off the bed because she has gone potty at some point in the night. We eat breakfast together and I read her some bible verses, and we sort of talk about them. She is after all 3. Then its time to clean house and get laundry started. By the time Im done with that the baby is ready for a short morning nap and its alone time with the 3 yr old. Then we play ( I love this part) and or read books together all three of us. Now its time for lunch and nap time for my 3yr old and sometimes the baby at the same time. Sometime in here papi comes home for lunch. I love that we get to spend lunch together we usually discuss our days and I tell him all the cute things the girls have done. Sometimes now I take a nap, or start or finish a project or get online, something for me. Then when the girls get up from their nap we have a snack. Then more play time and most likely a movie unless she watched one in the morning time. I only let her watch 2hours or less of TV/Movies a day. So this usually consists of Peep and the Big Wide World and a Movie. Most days we experiment with what ever she learned on Peep. Throughout the day the baby moves from the floor on or half off her blanket with toys, her bouncy seat, the highchair when we are eating, or surrounded by pillows in the floor so she can practice sitting up. Sometimes the 3 yr old will be caught giggling and playing with "baby sister." Also the three yr old right now loves to pretend she and the rest of us are characters from her movies. We love to play along. Then I cook dinner and hopefully papi is home in time to eat with us. Most days he is but when not the 3 yr old wont eat well. I think shes sick of me by dinner and unless papi is at the table she just doesn't eat. Then most days its bath time, PJ's time, Book time, sing a song and off to bed. Now is when me and papi get our time to read our study and talk, then watch our favorite shows. We go to bed at a decent time most nights. Randomly we get to go out and we always wait till we have the girls in bed. Also randomly during the day I will take the girls on a walk or when papis off and can help me we go to the park or do something fun.

Iv learned how to say... "That can wait till tomorrow." And let me tell you what that is a big deal for me. And I realize now that most things can wait until tomorrow. Now I wont take it as far as my Mexican husband and keep saying this forever. lol But at least now I can say it for most things and mean it and not be anxious about what ever it is.

I love all this time with my girls and the fact that I get to teach them and play with them.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A better perspective

So aside from my previous rant I have been trying hard to put my life in a more positive perspective. And honestly I have but I have not written about it. Thanks to this lovely post by Bob I am going to. http://mexicobob.blogspot.com/2009/09/ademas-de-mal.html
I try my hardest not to complain out loud about a lot of stuff about being here because I can see the pain in my husbands eyes when I do. I do of course talk to him about things when its necessary but I think this is why my blog sometimes takes a negative turn. But this is going to change and I plan to show the whole picture.
Don't get me wrong I'm not going to try to paint over things that are real and true and/or only show people the good, but I do need to show people the good.
I'm going to start with my husband, warning this may be absolutely mushy so don't read on if you cant handle it. lol Well first of all my husband still mentions to me often how happy and blessed he feels that I chose to move here with him. I often wake up to him moving the hair out of my face as he prays over me in the mornings before he goes to work. He knows my struggles of being a stay at home mom and prays for me for it. When we first got married my husband was closed up tight and was so hard to truly get down deep with. After our 2 years of living in different countries and us going through some turmoil he is now ready and willing to talk to me about how he feels. And he often recognizes without me telling him if he regresses to not being open. When I was pregnant with Joslin our second daughter he read a book called, The Expectant Father. It told him what I was going through in my body, the best way to respond, and it helped him to know that others had felt how he was feeling. It was so good and it kept us so close during my pregnancy, labor, and after the baby. My husband does his best to find us a babysitter so we can go out just us and sometimes with friends. He agrees with me that our relationship comes before our children and through this our kids will grow up in strong home. He helps me to think of romantic ways to spend an evening at home if that is all we can do and most of the time these nights are better than going out. We do a bible study together and do our best to do it on a nightly basis. No matter what hes doing if Im the one that remembers he drops what he has going on and sits down with me. This shows me how he cares about our relationship and keeping God as our number one. Its so nice to have him around. During the time we were living apart often I cried a lone and this is no longer necessary. He actually gets upset if I try to go into a different room and hide my tears. He wants me to have him near to hold me and help me through what ever I'm going through. Anything I go through here is worth just this alone. To have someone who loves you hold you through your tears is so perfect. I still feel like a newlyweed even after almost 5years. I know that is not a long time but we have been through a lot in that first 5 years. He still tells me how gorgeous I am to him, sometimes more than once a day. And is always close by for a kiss or a hug for no reason. (ok I told you it would get mushy)
As a father my husband exceeds all my expectations. He reads all the books I read about our daughters and the ages they are in. He helps with any projects we have for our 3 yr old. Even after working all day he helps to feed, change, bath, and put my girls to bed. And when I say put my girls to bed they get a book (sometimes 2) and a song every night. Some nights he does the whole routine and not only that sometimes he tells me to sit out (and I do the same at times). On top of all this he loves it and it shows. This fills my heart with so much joy it feels it could burst. Right now he is playing X-Box with his cousin but the baby is between his legs playing with toys while he bounces her from leg to leg because she cant sit up on her own totally. And the 3 yr old is climbing on his shoulders and laughing out loud when ever he and his cousin do.
When I read the verse about God providing more than we could ever dream I think of my husband. Seriously before we met a bible study leader encouraged me to write down what I wanted in my husband and to be honest about it. He told me to pray over this and that I would be surprised one day. I did this and prayed over it for a year or so and was dating someone that I tried to make it fit to. That relationship didn't work. After my husband asked me to marry him I pulled this list out of my bible and realized he fit it to a tee. He was not only what I wrote down but what I meant when I wrote it. I have him the list because I didn't need it anymore. I'm so thankful for my husband. So if anyone ever wonders why I live in Mexico I will just send them to this post.

not allowed in school

Ok so I really am trying to be positive but I have found something about the Mexican public school system that is just making me fume inside. One of my husbands cousin is 16years old. We hadn't seen her in like a few months and she hadn't stopped in like she use to. We wanted to go out the other night so called her mom to see if she could babysit. She said she could if she wanted to but that we needed to be aware that she was pregnant. Well crap there goes another one (my 16yr old niece in the states just had her first son). I don't condemn these girls because I know its not my place. But also because I would have been in their same position had I not had an older sister who forced me to go to the clinic as soon as she found out I lost my virginity. But what I do is to be sure they know and understand everything that is happening to them and what they can do to try and keep their lives on track. My niece is getting her GED and has hopes to someday go to college when that rout is available to her. For now she is doing her best with the also young father to make her new young little family work. So today I brought all my prego cloths over to our cousin (when she came to baby sit last night she was in some way tight pants and a sweater that was way to tight also. She kept saying how hot she was. So I explained to her that its not good to have constricting clothing on and helped her to see that she could look pretty in the cloths I brought without hurting herself of the baby. At the park today I talked with her a lot about how things were going like if the dad was in the picture. He is and they plan to get married, but he will move in with her family for a bit until the baby is bigger and they feel more equipped to care for him. When I asked if she was in school, she said no and looked so sad about it. I told her that now it was more important than ever to get her education. Yes she knows this but she is not allowed. Girls who get pregnant are kicked out of school. My jaw dropped to the floor and I was so mad that I actually couldn't speak in Spanish for a min I was kind of going off in English. After I calmed down I told her I was very sorry to hear this and knew there was nothing more I could say. How in a country that says the care about their children can you have such a rule. At least have a separate place for them to go or something. I'm not talking about a private school here people I'm talking about a public one. And even if there were a private school that would accept her they couldn't afford it. So there it is if teenagers who make mistakes are given no chance to better their future then Mexico cant expect to excel much as a country. OUR CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE... and the teenagers are our more immediate future. I'm seriously so mad about this that I feel like screaming but I wont because I know it wont change anything. But dang it if I'm still here when my daughter is a teenager I plan to push my through some people and tell them what a huge mistake this is. I hope that this is never one of my girls and I know she screwed up and I know what she did was wrong and she should have waited, believe me I wished often that I had. But Shit happens.... Ok that is all I can say on the issue with out loosing my cool any more than I have.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Starting to like Obama

So although nothing to much is happening with immigration you can see Obamas people have taken over the government. (Ok I know its not like that but kind of is) Anyway he apparently gave regulation of Tobacco over to the FDA. Do you have any idea how long the FDA have been trying to get their hands on Tobacco. Well now they have it and are getting running start. I know this because my sister was going to send me some clove cigarettes that I wanted from the States. My husband and I are not smokers but like to have an occasional clove cig on the weekends here and there. A pack would have lasted us a few months. Anyway my sister wrote today to say that all flavored cigarettes have been band from being sold in the US. This was due to studies showing that most people that smoked them were under the age of 25 and many of them thought they were better for them than normal cigarettes. Anyway here are some links. And although I'm a little bummed that I didn't get my cloves I'm glad that things are moving in a good direction up north.

http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/FlavoredTobacco/default.htm
http://www.momlogic.com/2009/09/fda_bans_sale_of_flavored_cigarettes.php