Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fun in the Sun

Yesterday for the first time I got to meet a fellow blogger. I have to say I was a bit nervous although I had chatted with her via e-mail and her family seemed like the type we would get a long with. But no reason for worry all went great. We meet up at some of the pools that are halfway between our towns. Which was actually only 30min from home. The road was a little crazy to get there I got dizzy, and my daughter threw up as soon as we got there, but was ready to swim quickly after. She kept calling the pools the ocean. lol
Leslie's family were a Joy to hang out with and they introduced us to a place we plan to visit often this summer. It cost us about 80p to swim, and the food and icecream was normally priced. We got there around 11 and thankfully Leslie came right up to shake hands with us. Im glad because I was afraid I wouldn't spot her and her family. My husband and I felt very comfortable with her family right away and Alana couldn't get enough of all the attention she was getting. The kids meshed well and played all day. Between the two of us there was nothing lacking as far as provisions. We split what we had and everyone was happy. Man, I can't explain how much yesterday meant to our family. It has taken us a year but I think we can finally say we have friends here. We imagine the Lemon family considers us the same also. Also it showed us that we can do this, we can make it here. We can raise our family and enjoy our lives here. Its nice to see someone who has done it and done it well.
So now we are looking forward to meeting up with them again, but in their town. I'm curious to see other towns in Mexico and my husbands vacation is coming up quick. And it will give us another chance to hang out with the Lemons.

Thanks Leslie.....


Getting the babies US citizenship part 1

So we went to the US consulate in Guadalajara's website and gathered information. We made a print out of all the things we would need and began to gather them up. Also there are some forms to fill out on the computer and print out which I did also. I made sure we have everything we need for her CRBA which is the document saying that she is a citizen although been born not in the US, and for her passport. One item we needed was a photo ID of the baby and we got that through the IMSS. Next you have to make an appointment online and I did this also. The bad thing is that there were no dates available until June 24th. This kinda sucks because we are hoping to get a flight to the states this summer while prices are so cheep. So we are now praying that they stay cheep until after that date. I will post what documents I put together more specifically when I find out for sure they are all the right ones.

IMSS, getting the babies booklet

Ok Im going to write about the IMSS, although I have only a little experience so far. I got good treatment in the private hospital and at the private doctor during my pregnancy and delivery. But as Iv said before I was appalled at the lack of teaching done. As a nurse you are taught this is top priority, an educated patient is more likely to be a healthy patient. Each time we have gone to the IMSS office here in Tepa aside from being obviously busy they tell my husband in detail what he needs to do for the next step.
So here is what happened..
We brought in our Mexican marriage lic, and both girls Mexican birth cirt's, We got there around 10am which was good for us. As soon as we got the the window where no one was in line a huge line appeared behind us in line 2 min. Note to self always go in early. My husband told the lady we were there to sign up for the Seguro Social, she said "ok do you have your paperwork." He handed her the papers and she laid them on her desk and walked away for like 5 min. During this five min every time someone that worked there walked past the window people from the line behind me attempted to reach around me with what ever documents they had to I guess throw them at someone. After I finally looked at my baby then back at the line of impatient people with a look saying "I have an infant, and you might have the flu, BACK OFF." They did, and I actually heard someone else who was in line say something similar to the folks that were hovering over us. During this time of waiting my husband explains a sign that is on the window. It says that we will have to also have a proof of residence, or address, opps we didn't bring this. Well she didn't ask and we didnt tell. That's how it goes here. This sign also says something about getting an appointment to get your actual booklet. Now shes back and asks my husband something, he then asks me when should we do our appointment morning or eve. Well eve of course I say so your off work. After she leaves he says I think I would have rather morning so I can get out of work. ;) Well I say we need to save that day for going to Guad to get the babies papers done. Then he explains to me that this meant that every appointment we ever have will be in the eve. This is where the whole speaking two different languages when speaking English thing comes into play. How the heck was I suppose to know that. Anyway, then the lady comes back and stamps a bunch of papers and gives us our original copies back and one half sheet of paper that she had stamped.
My husband asks her how we now get our booklet and she points us to another desk at the other side of the building. During our walk over there my husband explains that this is where we will go for every appointment.
While my husband is talking to the lady there an elderly lady comes up to her and hands the employee her booklet. I see something strung across the booklet, and register pretty quickly that its blood. Oh yes the employee stuck her hand right in it. Obviously unhappy she gets a cotton ball of alcohol and wipes her hand, the book, and give it to the lady to stop her finger from bleeding. (And I want to work here?) She informed us that you don't get your booklet until your first dr. appointment which is only when your sick. My husband quickly explains that we need the booklet for the baby so we can get her US papers done. Oh then the lady smiles and gets to work. Wow this is the first time I have gotten special treatment for being an American. She gets a booklet writes that we had an appointment that day and staples the babies picture to it. I'm now wondering if this will really work as the babies photo ID for her passport. We shall see I suppose.
Now a along with the ID booklet and instructions on how to get in to see a Dr. when needed came an educational book about keep you child healthy. I'm loving this. Finally some teaching. Sure I knew all the things it talked about but a first time mom or someone with no medical background may not. I agreed with everything in the booklet and was impressed on how current the information was. So at least the Mexicans who use the public system are getting some type of education. Now the only problem with this is that no one did or would actually teach us using any other form of communication. All people have their own learning styles and some can not read (even in the states), so although this does lack the variety that it should have I'm just glad to see an attempt.
This seems a little long winded after reading it, but when I first came here I was looking for true examples of what its like to be here and know nothing. So I tried to put my full experience here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

buggen out!!!!!!

Fiddledee dee, Fiddledee dee
The fly has married the bumblebee,
Will you marry me sweet bumblebee.....
I made a book of short nursery rimes for Alana. This is one of my attempts for her to be familiar with all things American. (I found it on a website full of hundreds of free printable books for kids,, they have books in English and Spanish)Anyway the point in bringing it up is that we keep getting bees in the house. This is totally freaking me out because neither of my girls have been stung and I don't know if they are allergic. I seriously need to get an epi pin in the house then I will feel much better about this. The other day I saw one and a huge fly was right behind it. The fly was trying to mate it I think. I'm not sure but it was right on top of the bee and the bee didn't seem to happy about it. They flew around the house for a bit then out the window they went. Then I wonder is this where this nursery rime came from.
So we found lavender coils for the mosquitoes that cost the same as the green ones. They still stink but not as bad. We had been using them outside of each bedroom door and kitchen window for about a week. They work great. One night we forgot and didnt get eaten a live. So we got lazy and didnt put the coil outside the bedroom doors the next night. Bad idea.....
I got four bites that night, one of which I'm wondering if its not a mosquito. And it hurt when I got bit, although so did one of the others that I do think is a mosquito. But the first one is on the inside of my leg and got the size of a 10p coin, and stayed big for like a week. The others didn't get so large or stick around as long. Its still pretty red and I'm keeping a close eye on it. So now coils are being used every night regardless. We also have managed to get a mosquito net type of thing over both girls beds. Although Alana keeps knocking hers down, I'M still working on making it permanent with out it being to permanent. Also we bought some plastic screen from the hardware store. This was no easy task. The the windows on the doors in both bedrooms don't open. So we have to screen the whole door. We bought Velcro and silicone glue to put the screen on the doors. This way we can take it down if we need to. For the laundry area we are just going to use the silicone. I hope it works, I haven't gotten that far yet. The baby got a couple bites on her face and the next day my husband also bought me some bug spray that doesn't stink, it smells like lemons. I have been putting it on me and my 2 year old every day and on the baby's cloths before putting them on her.
We have to get rid of our scorpion eater (cat) because she is starting to spray and my husband refuses to pay to get her fixed. I do agree with him partially but I wanted a scorpion eater. Ill be dropping the cat off Monday at his aunts house in the country. Maybe while were out there we can find a male and exchange it.
Well I suppose that's all for the bug situation at them moment.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bring on the Rain

I came here last year the last week of June, which in our town is in the middle of the rainy season. Let me tell you before I never understood why people called it the rainy season. I have a sponsor child in Africa and she would always talk about the rainy season and I always thought, "is it really a big deal that it rains."
Now I know oh yes it is. Because when I came in June it was sweltering hot and humid in St. Louis where I'm from I kept bragging about how good it felt here in Tepa. The weather here has never hit an extreme like it does in MO for both seasons. And I have managed to brag about that most of the year to friends and family. ;)But in April our apartment started to get a tad bit uncomfortable in the evenings even with a fan on.
It rained, AHHHHHHHHHHHH lovely rain. And since the first rain I must say I have not broke a sweat in my house. And have rarely had the fans on.
This all kinda goes back to the electric issue we discussed in a previous blog. Living here you don't need fans and space heaters to often so it seem logical. But I forget that those who live on the coast are gonna be toasting pretty soon.
Not only is the rainy season a big deal because it feels better but because when it rains it pours. If you see a rain cloud you better duck and cover or your gonna get drenched, then its gone. Just like that it rains cats and dogs, rarely with lightning and thunder, then just goes away as quick as it comes. I really like this because this means I can let my daughter play in the rain and know the sun will be out soon to dry her off.
Of course this also means plants get to grow healthier. More fruits and veggies in the market than I thought could ever exist at one time of year. Oh and the flowers, we love the flowers, natural and gardened. This also means my allergies get to flare up like crazy. But Ill take flowers over non itchy eyes any day. We took a walk and took pictures of the flowers the other day. Its funny Iv been here a year and still want to take pictures of the flowers, as if I'm not gonna see them every year for the rest of my life. lol
So now its time to see how horrible the streets and parks flood and have the rain pour in under the doors. I'm on the third floor but with no insulation around the doors and as hard as the rain comes down our rooms still get a lot of water. I meet a lady who made a sand bag type thing for her door and I plan to do the same for ours. Although it will only go there when its raining because the breeze from under the door is nice.
My daughter is loving the rain even when were inside she wants her shoes, socks, and coat with hood on when it starts coming down. Then she goes to our laundry room (which is mostly open at the top) and does her best to "not get wet."

Rain Rain don't go away,
stay to play another day...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Time flies when your with the ones you love.

Iv been in Mexico one year June 29th, with no visits to the states. There are many reasons for this. First off I just have not been ready yet to spend the night without my husband. We had lived apart for so long and I'm just not ready for that yet. Another reason is because as soon as I got her I got pregnant. I didn't want to travel pregnant and now we are waiting to get the babies US papers. And speaking of having the baby I'm just not sure I want to travel alone with two kids. I did it a lot with my first so that we could visit my husband. She came to Mexico for the first time when she was 8 weeks old and for the next 2 years of her life we came every 3-6mo. But let me tell you traveling with a child under 2 is not fun when your by yourself. So the thought of traveling with a 3 year old and a 6 month old makes me cringe. Oh and there is always the money issue. The flight alone will cost us at least 12-14,000usd (although right now they are cheep but still more than I want to spend) because my daughter is 2 and needs her own ticket now. Do you have any idea how many pesos that is? Or how many months of rent, or groceries that is? So far I just can't bring myself to think of spending everything we have saved for one trip.
My husband is also getting his vacation from work soon. He has for a whole year had only one day off a week and worked at least 50-60hours a week (sometimes more). He finally gets his week vacation and I don't want him to skimp on it because I want to go to the States. He is willing to spend the money for me to go if I want to but I don't feel its necessary. My family is getting a few boxes (yes a few) together to send me and I think that will take me from any (and its slight) homesickness I'm feeling. I mainly just miss my little sister and her family, and want my mom to be able to hug the baby. But all things in its time. The bible says we shall leave our families and be joined with our Adam. And so here I am and happy with it.

Things that have changed for me:
1)I'm thankful for speed bumps. when I got here I thought, "What the crap they are everywhere, this is horrible." But now I get it people drive like maniacs and this is the only way to restrain them a little.
2)I like cajeta, I hated it when I first moved here but I love it with pan now.
3)I had the helado which is common for here the other day and realized I didn't hate it like I use to.
4)I can find or know how to ask for just about anything I decide I want (with out my husbands help).
5)When I get in our car that is crappy and the transmission is about to fall out of, I don't get angry and think about my Altima.
6)I don't think twice about drying my cloths on the line, or rushing to get them in when its gonna rain.
7)I have a friend around my age who loves crafts as much as I do. And although the conversations are still strained by my lack of Spanish Im not exhausted by it at the end our our times together.
8)I have actually meet in person 3 people who were from the states and live here happily now, one of which is not living here on retirement money. This is great.
9)Aside from Ben and Jerry's Ice cream, I cant sit and list all the stuff I cant find here that I had in the States. (I realized this when my family asked me what I wanted in my care package, I totally drew a blank)
10)Im not afraid to try to talk to people and I don't get embarrassed when they give me an extremely confused face. I just try again or tell them never mind and go home and look up what I was trying to say.
11)I realize how not alone I am in this situation, and that others have done well with it.... And so will I.
12)I understand why people sweep water the streets now....This baffled me when I first moved here.
13)Even with the lack of concern for safety, I'm starting to see the love for children that everyone had told me about. I plan to fix the lack of safety (if only for the few I come in contact with) when I can speak better with First Aid classes.
14)I don't care if people hear me speaking in English and stare at me as I walk by.
15)I don't get angry and go on a "its not fair" tantrum when I feel my husband is being mistreated at work. I realize everyone here is treated that way at work, and yes it still sucks but not much can be done about it.
16)I can sleep through the various street noises. (gas trucks, water trucks, trash bell, ext.)

Things that have not changed:
I still get angry when I think about what our family had to give up (present and future).
I still miss my sister and her family as bad as the day I left.
I still wish I could work as a nurse at least a few days a week.
I still know living here with my husband is Gods will for my life and if I never get to visit the States again I will always remember this.
When given the chance I will still talk someones head off, (I'm even getting their in Spanish, look out Mexicans here I come)

Wow there is a lot that has changed and very little that hasn't.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Say what?

So Im at the grocery store today by myself. Oh yes its the first time Iv gotten out of the house alone since I had the baby. My husband stayed home with the kids, believe it or not I was so excited about this trip to the store. Hee Hee. So I'm checking out the cheese that is not at the deli because I feel bad for the deli ladies that have to deal with me every week. They are so patient and nice to me but I try to give them a break from time to time. Next thing I know one of them is at my side smiling and telling me the cheese at the deli is cheaper and better. I smile and say ok and follow her over. (OH just a reminder my husband works at the store so they know me kinda). So we go through the routine and I do fairly well and she corrects me when I don't. Next thing I know I hear from behind me, "Your Spanish is good." yes that's what I heard and it was in English. I laugh and say thank you and wait for her to now start talking to me in Spanish. (A lot of people around here know a few phrases or words but can not carry a conversation in English and this sinario has played out for me before). So I don't hold my breath and I wait for the broken Spanish conversation Im about to have. "No really you are doing well," she says (I assume my doubt showed on my face). Again I laugh and say."Im trying, Iv only lived here for about 10 months and didnt know much when I came."
The next question as always is," Oh you LIVE here." Although she didn't have the same "What are you thinking" face that most Mexicans have when I say "yes, with my husband." to this question. She then asked how we meet and I told her, the usual that he was living in the states, we meet at church, then for some reason I was compelled to say, "He cant go back so I moved here." I think that her lack of surprise about me living in Mexico spurred on the last part. When people act like its nuts that Im here I get a little defensive and don't explain that I have to be or be with out my husband. We continued a nice get to know you conversation about where we were from and such, and I told her how wonderful it was to stand in the grocery store and talk to someone. Im a talker you see, yes I'm the one who strikes up the odd conversation with you in the elevator even though I know Ill prob never see you again. But you must have interested me or I wouldn't have said anything. (all people are interesting to me)
Anyway sorry thats moveing off subject. We exchanged numbers and she said to call and we would set up a time to have dinner. And we could meet her family who all speak english and have at some point lived in the States. Whoooo whooo...
And so I will call.
But this brings something funny up. Would this ever happen back in the states that you meet someone in the store and exchange phone numbers?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What the......

So my reading list of blogs somehow went to ZERO. How did this happen? Did this happen to anyone else or in my sleepy delirium did I somehow delete them all? Well crap if you are reading this and know I was following your blog please comment so I can be sure to find you again, and by finding you will most likely find my other American/Mexican friends. This is so sad and crappy.
On a good note a good friend from the states is sending me scrap books stuff. WHoooo Hooo.

Please comment......

Sunday, May 10, 2009


When I first came to Mexico I thought the way they did the electric billing was "unfair." Yes, that is the whole hearted American in me. Funny how I look back now and I have lost so much of that and although I thought I wasn't spoiled I now know I was. Anyway that's another blog. This one is about how they bill for electric, and is obviously targeted to my none Mexican living readers because they already know about it.
When I lived in the states I thought the whole unplug everything was a load of baloney, even when I did experiment with it a few times I never noticed a difference in my bill. Same thing with the light bulbs and such. So when I came here and my hubby kept getting on to me for leaving things plugged in I would get so frustrated about it. Then he showed me one of the bills and how they work. The company have set limits for minimum usage, normal usage, and excessive usage. I love that they call it an equivalent to excessive. Anyway when you are in the wattage of minimum you pay less than if you use the wattage of normal and obviously more for excessive.
Thanks to our smaller apartment and my acceptance that unplugging things can knock us down a notch or to our bill was only 114p. Yahooooooooo!!!!
The lesson learned here is if you live like a Mexican and not an American you really can survive on pesos. lol
I wanted to put the actual amounts and the breakdown on this blog but I cant seem to find it on my bill now. I know Iv seen it a few times and I thought it was on all the bills. If any of you Mexican living readers have it could you post it on a comment or if I find it I will put it on here as a comment.
Im convinced that instead of jacking the prices up all the time Ameren should get a system like this. It would basically force people to use less electricity and actually it is more fair now that I think about it. Because if you use excessively you pay excessively and same for using less. Yes even after 10mo of being here Im thinking about if things are fair or not. lol

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Immunization (not about the flu)

No this is not about the flu, its about getting my girls immunization records, and health care. The main point in this blog is to explain what its like to be here in Mexico and raising kids here. Being a nurse this part of it is especially important to me.
One thing I noticed while in the hospital to have the baby is the lack of educating the patient. As a nurse in the States you are taught that this is one of the most important parts of your job. I am a strong believer that an educated public is a healthy public. Although some have taken this to far in the states but that's another rant for another blog. When you have a baby in the States they remind you of what to do when you go home and when the babies shots are due and when you should see a doctor so many times you want to puke. Also the first doctor appointment is a lot earlier there. Here our doctor said we didn't need to see her until the baby was one month old. So we saw no one for one month.
At that point my husband went to get the babies shot records and they asked for the proof that she had her first shots when she was born. Well she didn't get those shots because no one told us we needed to go get them. Apparently it was the first of the three Hep B shots and we were reassured that its OK for her not to get it until her 2 months shots. My husband brought the girls birth certs (Mexican ones) and our Mexican Marriage lic in order to get us on the Social health care. They gave him a stamped piece of paper for us to bring to the clinic, which we at this time had been advised to avoid due to the flu (even though its not even in our state yet). But we obeyed and made a one month appointment with the private doctor that saw her in the hospital. She cost 300p which is more than we can afford every month. So here you go to one place for the immunization shots and another for your doctor appointment. The problem is we cant get any one person to explain the whole process for us we are having to pick it up piece by piece as we go. Although this if frustrating this is what we have found around here. I'm not sure if this is just something in this town but that's how things have gone for us here. My husband left here when he was 19 so he didn't know anything about any of this, he is learning a long with me.
We did find out that for our 2 year old she keeps her Immunization record from the states and that is what they will document anything from here on. Also she is caught up with what they get here except she needs to get her Hep A updated. This one you can not get from the clinic and have to go to a private doctor for it. It costs 600p, yes that's right 600. I almost choked when she said that. I know this is cheep due to the states but for here its high and when you make pesos its a lot. So we plan to get it next month some time.
So we have yet to see the face of public health care and have heard different stories from very good to very bad. So I will wait and judge for myself, again being a nurse I'm comfortable using it because if I disagree with a recommendation we just wont fallow it (aside from the fact that we don't have a choice, lol).
I think that's all for now, Ill comment if I remember anything else I wanted to add.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Chapala Lake

Because we got our Mexican Marriage lic my husbands work is giving him the benefits that he would get if we were newlyweds. So he gets 2 extra days off, and some cash. We have decided with these extra days we are going to drive down to the lake and check into a few things. My husband was raised there and he knows a few people from there also his sister lives about and hour from there. We are mainly looking to see if we can find a church that would work for us. That is the one thing that is not working for us here. My husband says there are a lot of English speakers in that area, this is why his English is so good, because he was raised around a lot of English speakers. So we are hoping there might be a church or even a bible study that is in English or has a translator. What we are doing now when we go to church is that my husband trasnlates for me, he does a great job. But we have a 2 year old and a baby and he gets distracted and I feel like I miss a lot of the sermon. It will be a couple years most likely before I can keep up with a Spanish sermon. I can communicate but thats when the other person is slowing down and I can ask them to repeat or to use a different word. You cant really do that in a church service. So for the last few weeks we have been doing our own church service at home. My husband use to lead worship at our church in the States so this part goes nicely and then we read a kids bible story to my daughter and my husband and I do a more grown up one after she goes to sleep. This is great for now and I know God is everywhere, but fellowship is sooooooooo important, and having Christian friends around to catch you when you slip is also necessary. We had such a close church back home, and we miss this so much.
I know some of you are from that area or close to it, so Im checking to see if you know of anything. If we can find something that looks promising we will then start looking for him a job, but because the church is the only reason we would be moving we feel we need to look for this first.
We moved here initially because he has family close by but we are finding that this hasn't been to much help and we dong even see them for visits very often.

Anyway thats what we are thinking for now. Im not even sure the days we will be going but it will deff not be until this flu stuff is over.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bugs you cant live with em, cant live without em

Not that you don't want to live without them but in Mexico I swear there is no way to keep them out of your house. Its the time of the year for mosquitoes, and lots of bugs that I don't even know the name of. So what to do about this predicament, we sprayed, then you really find out how many bugs there are. When I clean Im constantly sweeping up dead bugs, and spiders. Well at least they are dead right, but the spay wears off in about a week, so you just spray again, and again and again. Most of these bugs are harmless and wouldnt bother me much, except.....
Scorpions, their season is getting closer and closer, creeping up on me like a nightmare. Ok so its not really that bad but I am still freaked out by them. And from what I understand the only way to keep them from your house is to keep the bugs out. I know from last year they are not bothered by bug spray or even the Ajax that has bug repellent in it. So we use both of these constantly through out the buggie months and hope and pray there is no yummy lunch for the scorpions in my house.
The question is have I adjusted more to Mexico since last year. Will I freak out less when I see the scorpion, inside or outside of my house. Will I be able to keep them out better than last year. Oh I hope so. The war is on and I will beat them (the bugs and scorpions). I will not let them get to my babies or me. ;) Yes I know Im being dramatic but sometimes its how it feels.