Saturday, January 30, 2010

Seguro Popular

I hope I spelled that right. After going to the private doctor and getting the rundown Issac asked the doctor at his work about the surgery. She said that the hospital that is with the Popular has lapriscopic equipment and that the service there is good. We decided we need to check out this option because it will prob be half the cost. Issac was very clear that if at any point I am uncomfortable with the hospital, doctor, or anything we will spend the money to do the private one. Iv been in this hospital visiting and going with friends a couple times and it doesn't look much different than the private hospital I was in for the baby. Wednesday we went into the clinic to see what the procedure was. We were told to come back at 7 in the morning in order to see the doctor. As we were pulling the kids out of bed I was thinking that there wouldn't be a lot of people there since it was so early. I was wrong. We go there at 7 sharp and found ourselves somewhere around 15th in line. So I waited in the car with the girls until Issac saw we were getting a little closer and then we joined him in the line. When it was our turn we explained our situation and she gave us a number (basically put us in line for the doctor) but asked us to set aside until the other nurse showed up and could make out our file. The normal seguro doesn't even have files you have a booklet that you carry in and out with you which is your file. Then after waiting for more than an hour I sent my husband home with the girls, he had worked all night and the girls were getting restless. It was close to 930 when I was called to see the nurse. She took my history and my blood pressure, weight, and height. This all went pretty well I thought and she understood me quite well. Then it was time to wait again. It was after 11 when the doctor finally called my name. Here is something interesting everyone one else had also been in there since 6 or7 am but you didn't see one annoyed or frustrated face. Its just what everyone expects so you just sit and wait. the doctor was great and spoke excellent English. He did have to think about his words a little but when spoken has little accent. I continued speaking in Spanish unless I didn't know the words and it all went well. Thankfully after the examination and history he decided I for sure have either stones or chronic inflammation in my gall bladder. He of course questioned me on why we were living here if I was a nurse and could be doing quite well in the states and I was open and honest with my answer's. I did tell him that after the surgery I would be looking into working here and he said that the way I had been communicating and the fact that I have my degree I should have no problems finding a job. That I just need to be sure I can write in Spanish well (for the doctors of course. lol) He then wrote up my referal for the surgen and thankfully by now my husband had come back to get me because I didnt want to confuse the process. He gave us one paper and put two copies of the same in the office. Apparently there is one guy who brings all the referals to the hospital and scheduals them all then we go back to the same clinic on Thursday and pick up our appointment date which will be in some time the next week. I only hope the next appointment goes and smoth and that he says what we want him to say.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Take the good with the bad

I think that I posted about our trip to the Seguro about my gall bladder issues. Basically this is the public health insurance her in Mexico. And more or less unless I'm writhing in pain or untill my gall bladder bursts, the doctor isn't going to do surgery. We tried to live with this verdict but everyday a new food is causing me pain. So we decided to go see what the private doctor had to say. We trust this doctor to tell us the best case scenario because we went to him when I was pregnant and when all this began. At that point he had also decided that surgery wasn't necessary. This time around he decided differently. He did an ultrasound and found that my gallbladder isn't emptying AT ALL. He couldn't see any of the bile sludge or stones but he said that a lot of times in cases like this they cant see that until they take it out. So the good news is that there is an end to my sick stomach and painful gallbladder. The bad news is that because we are going through the private sector although it will be cheap it will also drain us of all of our savings. We knew this day was coming and what is a savings for if not necessary surgeries. All in all its actually quite cheap compared to American standards and in the private hospitals here you get pretty good service. He estimated it would cost us between 23,000 and 25,000 (this is pesos mind you) to get the lapriscopic one done. The other would be a little cheaper but not enough to account for the longer healing time and the scar. It would also be cheaper if we went to his office in Guadaljara but the travel and stay there would rise the cost up anyway. Things are so laid back here its so funny to me. Basically he told us to find someone who could stay at the house for a week to help me with the girls and once we have all the money to just call him up and he will schedule it within 2 days from that date. All this stuff is so easy here there is no middle man who holds tons and tons of papers. So that is that and as soon as we can get it done we will and then its off to find a job. Apparently the San Luis Job wont be happening till like June and were thinking I should get one here if possible so there is some type of competition pay wise and so I know what the heck I'm talking about when asking for benefits.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

FM2 Renewal

We went to Guadalajara yesterday to pick up my FM2 booklet. Or so we thought. When we went to drop off our papers the last time we did as the website advised and brought our new lease and the dates that we moved. The lady had me fill out a little application about both apartments and that was that. When we go to pick up our booklet the lady at the counter says that we have to pay a 1,000p fine because we did our renewal late. I argued with her as did my husband and finally she took our paper back and looked at it. She kind of giggled and apologized and said it was because we did inform them of our move with in 30day. Also there was a listing that I didn't provide all that I needed to about me leaving the country when I visited MO in Oct. The combined fee is the 1,000p. So we still have to pay it but at least we know why. I have to bring back a copy of my first lease and my flight itinerary, and of course multiple copies of the receipt from the fee that we pay. Our only main complaint to her at that point was that they should have told us about this before when we were there because we live an hour and a half away. There of course was no good reason why this didn't happen it just didn't. She said we could pay the fee at any bank and because we were both about to blow a gasket we decided to walk downtown to walk off some steam. This helped a lot and and although at the beginning of the walk we were discussing weather I really needed to be legal, by the end we were back to our senses and we knew we should have expected this delay. Luckily once we get the immigration part out of the way we genuinely enjoy our visits to Guad. We walked around downtown, bought our coffee and fig newtons, and ate at burger king. Then we got to go visit friends (Melissa of had a good time getting to hang out at their shop and she brought us to Costco so us country folk could buy things like Cheddar cheese. ;) We were so excited about the cheese she prob thinks were nutz. Seriously when we got home that night my daughter was sitting on the living room floor half a sleep then a glow came to her eyes and she was wide awake and she said, "can I have some Cheddar Cheese!?!?!?!?!?"

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


For my thirtieth birthday we celebrated on Saturday night by getting a babysitter and going bowling with some friends.

Then the day of my birthday my husband came home with this great set of flowers. My favorite flower is the orange Lilly and next would be the birds of paridise (I think that's what they are called). Then that night we had a stay at home wine and cheese date complete with a crackling fire ( a space heater and a U-tube video of a fire on repeat lol) No pics from that evening ;)

Monday, January 18, 2010 my skin...

I of course have been reflecting on this whole thirty thing. I know it is by no means old but it is older than I was before. One thing I was doing was remembering my self at 20 let me tell you I am much more comfortable in my skin and am excited to see where that brings me in the years to come. As a teenager believe it or not I was very comfortable in my skin, I liked who I was and the fact that I was going nowhere was comforting to me. Then thankfully others saw a potential in me that I never saw in myself and I was encouraged to go to nursing school. The first few years of my 20´s was quite confusing, I was giving up a lot of habits that had became (I thought) who I was. I wasn't sure who to be or who I was without them. Slowly but surely as I grew in Christ he helped me to see that those habits had nothing to do with who I truly was. Right when I was becoming comfortable with who I was again I met my husband and the fearful years set in. I was just looking at pictures from then and let me tell you I was happy and comfortable with who I was but fearful about the future. As most of you know our struggles with immigration started shortly after we met which was when I was 24. When I was younger I enjoyed my differences from other people, I actually tried to make them more than they were. The two years that Issac and I lived in separate countries and the last year and a half my differences from the others around me were a bit to strong for me. I now feel I am at a place where I am still very different than those around me but I am comfortable with the amount of difference. I want to always hang on to my American style, beliefs, language, and attitudes (except the worry part). I think part of what has made me more comfortable with the differences around me is that I understand them more now. Although I am regularly baffled by Mexicans I quickly come to understand why they are the way they are. I´m excited about raising and growing my family in the up coming years. I look forward to feeling safe and knowing that my family will not be torn apart by borders and that I can be comfortable with who I am. Here I let out a sigh of relief for the happiness, comfort and security I am feeling. Thank you God for giving me this.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Here I am sipping my gross cup of instant coffee and it dawned on me how I should have long ago dedicated a post to it. I normally brew coffee in the mornings but my husband had to work nights last night and when he does he brings the pot with him to work. For this reason and for guest who come over we keep a jar of Nescafe´ around. I use to be a major coffee snob, I only drank Starbucks coffee and only certain types. I knew what I liked and its what I would drink. This is at home of course if I was a visitor I would drink what ever they had. I was lucky in the fact that at the time my pastors wife worked for Starbucks so we got to drink it at church to. Considering home and church were the only places I was it suited me quite well. Never in a million years did I think that Coffee would be so different here. Not only is there no starbucks in my town but honestly there is only one brand of coffee that is even slightly good. The funny thing is that Nescafe´is such a big deal down here that the brewed coffees attempt to emulate its taste. We have a couple coffee shops around here that sale whole bean and actually this whole bean would be worth a lot in the states because its pure and strait from the farm. Sure they have to do the roasting process and stuff but after that its literally put on a truck and shipped into town in huge brown bags. Funny that the one that they all suggest is the one that tastes just like instant coffee. When I first got here I knew it was custom to offer coffee and a snack when visitors come over. I quickly found that people often refused my offers after the first or second time they came around. Finally I asked some of them about it and it was because either A) my coffee was to strong or B)it was brewed. They wanted water heated on the stove pored into a cup, Nescafe´and a little jar of sugar so they could make their own. This is when I realized this is how everyone does it when I visit them. From then on out we keep a bottle handy even though my husband and I neither one like it much. There are times now when it does seem "right" to have a cup of Nescafe´. For example at Abuelas house if its late and she is the one handing it to you, it has become become sort of a comfort food. We have recently found a coffee shop in Guadalajara not a far walking distance from where we park while at the immigration office. So we stock up when there and get the other stuff in between visits. Nescafe´isn't as hard to get use to as I had originally though.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mi Abuela

Growing up I would go to my grandmas house to stay the night. My memories from then are sparse but they consist of cartoons, candy, picking up pecans, and playing in a huge freezer filled with worms and dirt. Oh and of course waking up to the smell of eggs and bacon. As my grandma aged and I with her she experienced the pain and fear of COPD and CHF. Both of which are no piece of cake and can be extremely scary. A lot of times the effect on her body were all she wanted to talk about. The last couple years of her life she spent a lot of time on the hospital unit I worked on. In a way this was a blessing because I worked a lot and was able to have some extra time with her. It was also a bit of a strain as she wanted me in her room at all times. Anyway I often wonder what it would be like for my girls to have meet her and to grow up with her in their lives. I know that even if she were alive they wouldn't get to see her because we live in Mexico. And for this reason she is not the reason for this post but I dedicate this post to mi Abuela Betty.
Mi Abuela Betty is the mother of 11 children and survived a miscarriages. That alone can tell you of her courage and strength. I know I have mentioned her before but I felt she deserved an entire post although she will never be able to read it or even know it exists. After all those children and almost 50 years of marriage her husband left her to be with the Lord. A lot of times in these situations the spouse who is left becomes depressed and dies shortly there after. But not Abuela Betty, she took his passing as a new era in her life. Im sure she misses him more than I will ever know unless I am some day in her shoes. But instead of letting it kill her she lives her life with umph. Her 11 children are spread all over Mexico and some are in Texas. She has gotten a visitors visa and she travels between all their houses and stays with them each from time to time. She did this for quite a few years and now still does from time to time. For the most part she stays at her house in El Valle. Going out to see Bis Abuela is a treat for my girls, Joslin loves to cuddle with her and Alana can always expect some kind of treat. Abuela Betty is far from what I expected from her. My husband always told me great stories about her and how much fun she was but I expected that this was how she was before, when he was young, and when her love still lived. But she has been a shining light for me when times here get dark. Every since the first day I meet her the day before our wedding I knew we would get a long.
She walked into the church where we had just finished rehearsal and she cried at the site of her grandson. And I don't mean shameful tears I mean she balled and hugged him so tight. I get choked up every time I remember this day. She then hugged me as tight and talked to me. Although at the time I knew not a lick of Spanish I knew she was thanking me for loving him. The rest of the night she stayed close and watched us with tearful eyes. Every since I moved here she has made every effort to be able to communicate with me. She slows her speech and uses hand gestures and sometimes will even get up and point things out. To be honest few people go to the lengths she does to help me understand. And if they do there is a show of obvious frustration on their faces. But she always stays calm and has a peaceful smile on her face. She also always seems to know when I'm hungry or frustrated. For example when the Tias are driving me mad with instructions on how to raise my children she always just sits and grins at me with a twinkle in her eye. And a lot of times later explains to me that what I'm doing is ok. She loves to feed us and if we dont stay to eat that is when she looks sad. I hate to see this so now we always plan to be there however long it takes for us to make us something to eat. Issac and his sister were their grandparents favorites and this is still obvious to this day. She dotes on us more than she does the others and I can plainly see this. Abuela never lets us leave empty handed, this last time she looked through her cupboard and gave us mac and cheese and a can of corn. Unlike the rest of the family she always remembers to come through when she says she will do something. For example one of Issacs cousins sends hand me down clothing out to El Valle for the baby. We leave it out there till shes actually big enough for it. I have been asking his aunts and cousins who live there for some time now for the one bag that was left. Finally I told Abuela what I was needing and she said she would find it. The last time we were there I asked one of his cousins if anyone had found and and she went with me to look for it. Finally after not finding it I asked Abuela and she had already had it out for me sitting beside her bed. She of course at that time pored it out on her bed and we had fun just us two going through it and gooing and gawing over the cute baby stuff. I think I could go on with more stories of how she has come through for us but I will leave it at this. I am so thankful for her in our lives and she has made my life in Mexico so much brighter.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The new Year

This New Years was celebrated with Mexicans as compared to last year when we celebrated at home with friends from the states that were at our house. In Mexico New Years is quite different as most people stay at home with family to celebrate. We were originally suppose to go out to a party that was at a couples house who are from the States. Although it would have had Mexican food it would have been much more like a party from the U.S. This couple lives about 20min from town and since Issacs schedule got changed to evenings at the last min we couldn't do that. Instead we got invited to a friends house who lives with in walking distance. This way I could walk there with the girls when ready and Issac could keep the truck and come after work. The girls and I headed over there right at dusk because I didn't want to be there to long without the help of Issac but I also didn't want to walk in the dark. I could, mind you its supper safe here, but Issac doesn't like it when we do. For the first couple hours we just talked and watched the kids play. Once I was able to lay Joslin down around 830 or so I decided to break out the dice and try to teach them all Yatzee. So far in the evening they had all been communicating with me quite well and helping me when I needed it with my Spanish. This, and the thought that Issac would be there within 30 min to rescue me if I needed it, made me think I could conquer this quest. And so I explained and we made a practice round where everyone took a turns. Things had to be explained throughout the game and by the time my husband/translator showed up almost 2 hours later they all understood quite well. The only thing I couldn't get across to them is how sometimes you might choose a lower point at the moment in hopes of having a chance for a higher point later. But this is hard to explain to anyone when they are first learning the game. Then at 11pm we ate dinner, we had spaghetti (Mexican style, which is quite different than what you might be thinking), rolls, and everyone but me had the most delicious looking baked ham. Because Mexicans always take at least an hour to eat it was then time for the count down and grapes. We did do the grapes last year but not wholeheartedly. Being around others who truly loved and enjoyed this tradition made you really want to do it. The goal is to eat one grape and make a wish each time the church bell rings. Right before the bell started to ring everyone was scrambling to do things like putting money in their pockets and bags over their shoulders. Issac was constantly laughing and explaining these things, apparently the bag means you will have a lot of travel time in the year and the money is so you will have plenty all year. After shoving grapes in our mouths and almost choking due to laughing at everyone else with stuffed mouths everyone again was in action. They were grabbing brooms to sweep the porch, putting bags on before running up and down the side walk, and passing a handful of coins around shaking it and rubbing it on their bodies. It was so nice to feel so comfortable because I was laughing at them hysterically. I mean my only tradition with the bell ringing is to be sure and get a kiss from the ones I love. After the chaos and them making me do all the things likewise I asked why they wanted to be cleaning all year because even Issac couldn't explain the sweeping to me. But they said it was to keep out the unclean or bad things more in a spiritual sense. Shortly after, everyone calmed down and we got to eat flan which is my favorite desert. We then headed home around 1am. I couldn't believe it but my 3yr old stayed awake and loved the whole thing. I was so proud of her she only got grumpy a few times. Anyway once again I´m glad for the last min unintended change in plans.

I got this great idea from and I thank her for it. I love to reflect on the past and find out what I can learn from it and to look forward to the future and what I can hope for.

3-4 words that describe this past year... Growth, Learning, Upset stomach (I dealt with learning about my gall bladder issue a lot this year)

If 2009 was a book, I'd title it... Learning to be a Mexican without becoming a Mexican. lol no further comment needed I don't think.

I am really glad I tried... Living more in the moment

Something that really surprised me.... My Spanish is getting so much better.

The most courageous thing I did this year was. . . Going places without Issacs help, Like taking the baby for her injections, going shopping in the Marcado, and going to visit people like family and friends.

I tried to hold on to.... The American side of me. ;)

I felt more hopeful about... Being able to live here and be comfortable with it.

I felt less anxious about ... LIFE

A relationship I feel extra grateful for this year.... My husband, he surprises me constantly with what a great partner in this life he is.

This year, I noticed God at work in .... My spirit by teaching me constantly how to stay calm, not freak out and worry less. These are things I thought were just inherent in me and could never change but slowly God is helping me with it.

In 2010,

Words I hope describe this upcoming year..... Again Growth, Learning, and Healing.

Something new I really want to try... well my resolutions this year are to eat my necessary diet and not complain about it, and to continue to work on not stressing out and worrying (I still have plenty of work to do here)

A relationship I want to pour more of my heart and time into . . . My relationship with Christ deserves more effort this year.

A way I want to reach out to others is . . . I pray that God will show our family when and where we should be giving. I feel we don't give enough.

I'm going to need God''s courage to ...Continue working on my Spanish skills and to break out of the comfort zone I have put myself in.

This year I hope I let go of ..
.fear and anxiety

This year I hope I can hold on to ...The time I spend online with my friends and family from the States. I hope to never loose it.

One dream I have for 2010 is . . .
To be working and to be in a town we want to buy a house for our family to grow in.

As always thank you so much to all my readers, you keep me going with your comments and with all your blogs. This last year has been made so much easier knowing that others are living this crazy life a long with me. I look forward to the next year of blogging. I know this last year my posts have been a lot about the struggles of living here and I plan for the next year to be more about the wonders of living in Mexico. I cant promise there wont be any venting posts but hopefully most of them will be about how much I love it here.