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


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.

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.
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.


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.