Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Big News

No, we haven't gotten our clarification ultrasound yet so this is not to tell you the sex of our baby. But because of what I'm getting ready to tell you we can now go get the ultrasound. God is so amazing and works in ways that we would never dream up or imagine (and I have a huge imagination).
Ok so do I have your attention yet.... are you curious? lol

Well here is how the story goes...

A little over a week ago I received an e-mail from a friend (who I meet through blogging http://wagamamawonderings.blogspot.com/). It was nice and simple and had a link to a job req on creigs list. She simply stated she thought of me when she saw it (we are convinced now that God put my name in her mind at that moment). Out of curiosity I clicked on the site. It was a job posting for a nurse to work in Guadalajara teaching nurses how to pass the nursing exam that is required in the US. That night I told my husband about it and we decided although we were not exactly looking for a job that since it was sent to us maybe we should check into it, in case it was from God.
Last week I sent in my resume and they quickly responded with an application for me to fill out. I did this, still not thinking much of this because as you all know I have been down this road before and it didn't turn out well. But I got another quick response, they wanted to meet me. It just so happened that the president of the co would be in Guadalajara the following weekend and wanted to meet me. He also would like to do a casual phone interview and see a picture of me before we meet in person. So I sent them my new majic jack phone number (thanks again Rebecca) and a cropped head shot of me. I talked to Issac about all of it and we decided we could head up to Guad on Sat after Issac got off work to meet them if I felt the phone conversation went well. We were a little unsure because just to make this trip we were literally going to use every last penny in our savings to get there. Needless to say the phone conversation went great and this guy was very friendly and open to options. He mentioned at the time that he was also looking to have an English teacher and if I or my husband wanted it that would be more money for us. This sounded great except that being in a new city we would want one of us at home and we planned on mentioning this at our meeting. Thankfully we were able to get Issacs aunt and grandma to come over and sit with the girls that after noon and evening so we were comfortable with where they were and we didn't have to tug them a long with us.

The meeting went better than either of us could have ever dreamed. And thankfully we were better than what they thought they could have found also. My husbands English is close to perfect and to be honest he knows the ends and outs of grammar better than I do. OK I'm sure you believe that you all read my blog. lol Not only am I nurse but I have a lot of experience educating other nurses and my Spanish is good enough to help me convey what I need to to these nurses in both English and Spanish. So there you have it we were both hired and told so that night before we even left. I will be completing all the paper work by mid next week and my start date is the 1st of October. The classes do not start until Jan 1st but the next few months will part time work recruiting nurses who want to enroll in the school. We will be traveling to conventions, hospitals, and schools to get our name out there and get our student enrollment up. Im so excited about all these opportunities. I get to go to Zacatecas with them for my first assignment the 1st of October. This will be a whole new experience for me and Issac because he will be staying with the girls. Speaking of which they were totally ok with being sure that our classes are spaced in a way that we will have plenty of time to switch of with the kids. Seriously we would have never dreamed up a more perfect situation for ourselves. This weekend we will be in Guadalajara looking for a house, bank, school for Alana, etc. etc. So all who pray shoot one up for us. I'm convinced that this is from God so I know he will help us to get all things in order by the right time but extra prayers are always good. ;)

Dios Sabe, verdad!!!!!!

I was telling a friend the other day, I wonder if God will always turn me on my head when I least expect it. Most likely the answer is yes, its called refinement, hes making me into his diamond and I'm loving it. Just seeing what he has done inside of me over the last two years even is amazing. The old Amanda right now would not be sleeping, Id be biting my lips, Id be fretting. But not now.. the what ifs are not coming.. the how will we such and such is not coming. I'm secure in the fact that God will carry us through this. Sure we have to do the leg work and investigation on things, but he will provide all things in the end.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

getting caught up

I finally responded to my comments from over 4 posts ago. My life went from looking for more projects to do at home to feeling a little busy. And of course the blog got put on the back burner. For this post I want to post some pics of our Independence week. We had a great time at Alanas school party and had visitors from Guadalajara for the grito and festivities. We have actually had a very exciting weekend since then and I will for sure be writing a whole other post on that. But for now enjoy some photos. ;)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

seguro: Seven month appointment

So this was to be the big happy easy appointment because my husband would be there with me. First I need to say that this one appointment with the nurse turned into another appointment with the doctor the next day due to me having some small issues (Ill discuss those issues later).This "easy" appointment turned out to be a bust. I found that after a few months of freedom of speech and understanding it was more frustrating to me to have him around. You see unlike Alanas teacher these people normally dont have a choice and must communicate with me. So speech is slowed and they let me take my time explaining things. When the nurse started talking I felt my head spin around in a circle she was talking so quickly. And because Issac knows how "well" Iv been doing there he was a little frustrated or confused about me constantly asking for translation. (He never said this but I could tell). And more than once I was stopped in what I was trying to say in spanish and told to let Issac tell them. GRRRR.... yes I'm showing my teeth...and squinting my eyes just remembering.
So now I'm actually looking forward to my next appointment without him. Funny how and why your feelings about something can change.

Aside from the annoyances of language barrier the appointment went as usual sort of. Because she established early on that she wanted me to visit the doctor she did no vitals checks, or sized the baby. Basically my gall bladder has been presenting itself as more of an annoyance and because of that causing other minor irritations around the bum region. I wont go into more detail anyone who has been pregnant knows what I'm talking about. But apparently this is enough for me to actually talk to the doctor about. At first I wasn't really sure why but the next day.. yes you read that right they got me an appointment the very next day and in the evening no less SO THAT MY HUSBAND COULD ACCOMPANY ME!!! Ok really I'm glad they are so accommodating about having him come with me I'm just being and independent snob. We then discussed our birth control plan with the nurse. As Iv said before they are very preoccupied with this and we discuss it almost every appointment. Our plan is for hubby to have surgery. The nurse simply wrote up a requesto or a request for us to bring to the hospital for them to make Issacs appointment. She told us it would be best to plan it for the same time as I have the baby that way he gets some extra days home with me. This was such a great idea. She explained that he would only have pain for about a day but that the seguro can grant him 3 days off work. (so we are quickly adding it up and with his 2 days he gets for having a baby and his normal one day off in the week he gets almost a whole week to stay home with us. She scheduled the date for a few days after my due date (which is back to Dec2). And if it happens that I have the baby sooner or later he just has to go in to see her and she will change the date. She did tell us to come see her the next day after we talked to the doctor and fill her in how things went.
So the next day we visited the doctor she did all the vials and some measurements of the belly and poking around in other areas. She then wrote me some prescriptions. I see that this is the reason I was sent to her. She also further restricted my diet and now Im banned from red meats, and oddly enough things like tostadas. When they write you prescriptions at the seguro its not like when another dr writes you one and you think ok which ones can I afford to get. Everything they write you is give to you of no charge. My gosh we always feel like we just hit the jack pot when we leave the seguro pharmacy with loaded arms. For free I got a box of Metamucil, a cream, some suppositories, three things of vitamins, tylenol, buscapina (its an antiinflamitory that is geared towards you digestive tract and is a blessing to me). I stuffed my purse full of the medication and we were on our way. Oh I forgot to mention that we did go back to the nurses office after the doctor and didn't get much done back there. Because the appointment was so late the nurses secretary was already gone so they couldn't actually schedule my next appointment nor the appointment for Issac. She also wants me to get some blood work done but for her to fill out the requesto she had to know the date of my next appointment so they get me in before then. So I get to go back on Monday to set up my appointment and get mine and Issacs paper work to bring to the hospital for our blood work. Sometimes going through the seguro is a pain in the butt but I just have to remind oneself I'm not really paying them for their service.
When leaving we were excited to be on our way or so we thought, the truck was out of gas and after all that Issac had to walk to get gas. The good thing is I think this gave us both time to blow off our steam about the whole translations/language barrier thing. So there it is folks there should only be two or three more of these posts before I get to tell you about the hospital.

Oh some really good news is that I booked my moms flight and her passport is on the way. She will be arriving November 10th which will give her a few weeks to get adjusted before I will need a lot of help and she will be here till Jan 19th (the day after my birthday). We are all so excited about this. She will be our first family visiting since I moved here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Junta General

Yesterday was the meeting with the whole school to pick the board members and go over general stuff. Things started off well and the girls were sitting quietly and eating their snacks so I was able to keep up. My husband was of course there with me and if I didn't get something he told me. Basically the superintendent over a few of the schools was there and giving a bit of a lecture on how parents should be involved with their kids. Its a huge problem here that parents just dont talk to their kids about school and seem to not care if they are even going. She also explained what the board was and that it had to be all parents and not teachers. Part of that is to make the parents be more involved. Then the picking got started. Finding people to volunteer for the positions like secretary, and treasury were easy but when they got to the president things stopped. Absolutely no one wanted to do it. This was so upsetting to me because I would love to do it but cant. Many times the moms would suggest someone and that person would decline. Including my husband... yes one of the ladies from our class looked at him and said, "cant you do it." He said he wished he could but he works a lot and wouldn't be able to commit the way he should. Again a huge "sigh" from me (on the inside of course), and I was trying to remember his words to me after the last junta while I was in tears, "its only her first year of kinder, you'll be doing all the things you want to be in a year or so, just hang in till then." As they kept asking and the director and superintendent kept repeating what the presidents roll would be, Issac could see me squirming and whining inside myself. He finally said, "Well if I agree to do it will you do most of it but Ill just join at the meetings for the translations." I wanted to kiss him right then and there. I would have never suggested it because he really does work a lot and I know the last thing he needs is a school meeting every time he is off work. As we discussed it a lady finally agreed to do it. He just smiled at me with a "next year." look.
Oh but wait now they need a vise president and no wanted that one either. So my (handsome lovely night in shining armor) hubby stood up (and you could see some of the ladies relax a bit) and said, my wife and I could do it together, and my only day off is wed so meetings would have to held then or you would have to work with my wife's language ability. Everyone was shaking their heads yes and in agreement and then he went up front with the others that had been "elected". For now I of course stayed in the back with the girls but I'm so happy that we are going to be involved and know whats going on and have some say so in it all. For the rest of the meeting I was kind of in and out with the girls but I got the gist of what was going on. First they talked about payment for the school. So here we were thinking even though it was gov school we would still have to pay a hefty inscription and monthly payment (the private inscriptions are like 1-15thousand pesos and a monthly payment of 500p) Here the total payment is to be 550p. The issue is that sometimes people just dont pay when going to gov schools and others have to pick up the slack. A gov school can not prevent a child from coming to class if their parents haven't paid (whoo hoo for that, its not the kids fault). So there was like an hour discussion over all this and thanks to Issacs wonderful idea I think the left it where everyone was happy. He suggested that they could have a few payment plans, one is that you can pay the whole amount before mid December and if you do you pay only 500p. Then if you want they can split it up so that you pay little by little each month (50p), and if you dont pay by a certain date each month you will have to pay more (60p) and the amount you pay will keep going up until you pay. This was a great idea and I'm glad I'm not the treasury who has to keep up with it all. But she was even in agreement so I think its gonna work out. This money will go to hygiene, utilities and safety and we will get a read out of what all it is spent on.
I'm not sure if I mentioned that at the junta with the teacher she gave us yet another form to fill out about our children. This form had the normal personal info about name, parents, contacts ext but also asked in depth questions about the child's behavior and how the parents normally respond. Apparently the reason classes were only 2 hours the last couple weeks was because the teachers were suppose to have an interview with each parent after class and go over these questions. Instead we just got the paper last Friday and were told to bring it back filled out. The superintendent said she noticed this and that she was going to suspend the 3 hour classes for the next 2 weeks again and make them 2 hours so the teachers would do the interviews. Are the teachers going to do it? We dont know yet. Alanas teacher was still collecting the papers from the parents and stating that this is how she had done it every year. I wish she would do an interview because I think its a great interaction between parents and teachers but we shall see.
We were also informed that there would be a total of five holiday parties that would be held at the school and the total year cost of these classes is 150p.
We were also given their menu's which is the food we are to send with them each day. We will be getting these every Friday and the kids are expected to have exactly what is written or it will be taken away. They waited till after the first two weeks to do this just to see what the parents were sending. Sure enough parents were sending their kids to school with sugary snacks and chips. So now we get to be regimented, I'm fine with this though because now I dont have to try to get creative with her lunches. ;)

Total cost: 1628p
Parties 150p
School maintenance 500p
School materials 300p
pencil bag 20p
New book bag (Im not sure on the price yet, we have been using a small one she had but her book wont fit in it once she gets it so we will have to add this on later)
Sweets (can only be bought at the school) 250p
shoes and undergarments (soriana) 185p
Falda or skirt (made by neighboor) 65p material 70p for 2 dresses made
2 pair socks (downtown) 12p
sweater (downtown) 95p

A few more things that were not at the junta. Today it looked like rain so I drove Alana to school. We picked up our new friends on the way (we have friends, lol). Then when I was talking to the teacher I was trying to explain that I wrote up some recipes for the moms and that I would bring copies sometime this week. She looked utterly confused so I laughed and said I was like talking to a kid. Well that's what I think I said, although from her response I think it came out more like, I'm like talking to my daughter. Because the teachers reply was that it was not at all like talking to Alana because Alanas spanish was really good. Although I'm laughing about this I kind of like dang my baby has already surpassed me I need to get on this.
Well I also picked up the same friend on the way home because I got carried away writing this post and left the house a little late and had to drive to pick her up also. On the way home my new friend explained how her sister lives in the states and her kids (my friends sobrinos) speak only English. My friends son wants to learn English so he can talk with his primos. I told her to come over any weekend for some coffee and we could let the kids play and let Alana tell him some words, and that also I had some videos that might help him learn words. I explained that after he learns some words then I would start communicating with him only in English and I would also ask Alana to do the same. But I feel he needs to have a grasp on some words before the communication starts.

Friday, September 3, 2010

First school meeting

Today was the last day of the second week of school and we and the school are finally getting some info. Wednesday when I dropped Alana off I saw a poster up that said Attencion. Thankfully as I was reading it I heard another mom asking about it because it kind of didn't make sense to me. Apparently it was written weird and even those who know spanish well were a little confused. So I listened in on her questions to the director (I guess that's what I should call her)and I got what I could out of it. I then approached the ladies who have sort of "taken me in." They live right on my block and helped me find someone else who lives on our block to make Alanas uniform. Also they are always sure to slow their pace if they know I'm behind them or ask me if we want a ride if they see us walking to school. One of these ladies actually has a daughter in Alanas class so she explained things to me and offered to come by and explain to my husband just to be sure I was not misunderstanding anything. This was a major relief to me. Well she wasn't able to come by and explain things to my husband because she came down with a bug and here is how things played out.
From what I could understand we were to have a junta (meeting) with the teacher on Thursday morning at nine and the kids would be having class that day, and then next Monday the whole kinder would have a junta with the director. Thursdays are a very busy day for my husband and we decided I would go and do my best and hopefully our neighbor could fill him in on everything. I hated the idea and so did Issac but we didn't have much of a choice. Walking to school that morning I was a little nervous but had my pen and paper and was ready to do what I could. But when I showed up the teacher handed me a paper and "reminded" me of the junta tomorrow. Opps I got jueves and viernes confused again, I do this a lot for some reason. But the good thing is that it was no big deal for Issac to switch to evenings for Friday so he could go to the meeting with me. The paper she sent home with me was one to fill out information on Alana. It was all information that we had already filled out for her inscription, and on her first week of school that I gave again to the director. I'm assuming this is the teachers personal copy of the info on each kid. It was simple things like the CURP, ht, wt, domicillo ( address)with this they want to know not only the street you live on and your house number but the streets that you live between also, I find this odd. Anyway also they ask for the parents names and jobs and phone numbers. I also find this interesting considering so far I had not been asked for my phone number. We did give it to them on a piece of paper the first day of school but that was our own idea and was not requested. In a lot of cases I like the laid back style here but in this one I feel it was dangerous for all those kids to be at school for two weeks without any emergency numbers on file. Anyway I came home and filled it out, mainly just to prove to myself I could do it, and because I was annoyed at the fact the teacher specifically told me to have my husband fill it out. I know I should be able to let this stuff go knowing how my spanish isn't great but being the independent person I am it gets to me. So once I had fluffed my ego by filling it out I had Issac check everything on it the next day ( I did good!! lol)
This morning we got there a little before nine and the teacher told us to go on in with Alana. When the bell rang they had only the parents go into the class room and brought the kids out and the teacher had some class time with them during the first part of the morning. I was expecting this to all be a brief overview of what they do in class and a quick vote on if we should buy the materials individually or give the teacher money. Oh boy was I wrong and completely unprepared (we didn't bring diapers for Joslin nor food). I should have known better from reading blogs such as Leslies.

First we sat through about and hour and a half of lecture and questions on proper nutrition. I'm so glad they did this because its one of my pet peeves down here. I'm also glad they did it because it gave me a new perspective on things. I thought people just ate and feed their kids the way they did because well they just dont care or its just the way things are or eating right is just to much of a hassle. But seriously these ladies seemed like it was the first time they were hearing any of this information. I realize I take my education and my quest for learning for granted. What I didn't learn in school I have self taught through many hours of reading. I actually told a few of the ladies I would bring in some healthy recipes because they were talking about how they wanted to try to eat right but didn't know how. They actually asked the nutritionist if they could make it a school project to get recipes together to send home with the kids. So there appeared to be a real interest and this was exciting to me. During my years of nursing, teaching this type of thing was drilled into my head and the importance of jumping when you see the willingness to learn. So I'm ready to jump and I hope I can help in the way I want to be able to. I'm thinking about putting the food guide pyramid on the back of the paper I use to type up the recipes. Most of the women were doing their best to jot it down during the lecture but I could tell they were not quite getting it. I couldn't believe some of the questions that were being asked and how many of the mothers were agreeing that they didn't know these different things. But again I'm just excited to see that they were eager to learn and were listening with interest. During this whole thing the few things I didn't catch Issac was sure to whisper to me and no one seemed to mind.
Next the teacher came back (apparently the class was now watching a movie with another class) and was ready to do her part. I missed a lot of this because due to a wet diaper and a hungry belly and it being nap time poor Joslin was getting a little restless so I was standing outside the door rocking her in the stroller and Issac was standing near enough to explain things to me randomly. Basically the teacher went over that at times she had to be fuerte (strong) with some of the kids if they didn't listen that she intends to not grita or yell at them but that she does sometimes talk strongly to them. I'm thinking well no kidding but some of the moms seemed like they were not sure this should happen and asked to be sure she didn't hit the kids. The teacher explained that she nor any other teacher in the school hits the kids and mothers who had other kids that had been at the kinder a couple years agreed with her. She then talked about the uniforms and dates that we had to have them by, thankfully we have till the 13th because the lady who is making Alanas has not let us know they are ready yet. And of course the debate about materials. Issac and I were all for her taking money up and the teacher buying it all herself. This would insure all the kids had the same stuff and that one person didn't end up supplying for other kids. After her explanation of the same thing and lots of questions everyone agreed on collecting money. The teacher didn't want to be the collector and one mom agreed to do it. So we have to give her 300p before next Friday and the teacher will go to Guad over the weekend and buy all the stuff. Other than that all we have to buy is a clear pencil holder or bag and put Alanas name on it. And finally we got the fun part and talked about the fiesta for Independence. I have to say that getting to be involved in this kind of stuff is one reason I'm so glad Alana is in school. We have missed out on a lot of the culture over the last couple years because we cant ever figure out whats going on. Here is the best part, since hubby was the only dad actually inside the class room (their were two others but they were hanging around the door and in and out the whole time) and he was also a good participant the whole time he got asked to dress up for the party. I'm so excited and for sure you all will see pictures. Seriously my husband is the best man I know, he accepted with a smile and will love doing it. And here comes the worst part. None of the women wanted to dress up and I told Issac I could do it. He proudly said, "Mi esposa puede." And all the women looked at me and were excited. But then the teacher is like, that might not be a good idea. She explained to Issac that there will be a short camio for whoever dresses up. While Issacs explaining this to me the teacher is explaining to the rest of the moms that my Spanish sucks. Ok I know that's not how she put it (shes very nice and works well with me when I do talk with her) and I know the horrific scene of 15-20 moms shaking their heads and doing an "oh ok we see now" face prob wasn't as bad as it seemed... but... well... I have no words. I know this is only the beginning and I'm trying to brace myself but the more I think about it the more I'm getting irritated by it. I'm a doer, I'm involved, I'm active... and damn it I cant be now. As we were picking up Alana from the movie room Issac suggested that Monday I should stay at home with the girls and he could go to the meeting alone. I know what he was thinking was for the girls sake but this hurt. And of course instead of saying anything, I got snippy with him on the way home and just briefly mentioned that the language barrier sucks. Iv since talked to my sister and and I think I need to be at that meeting. I need to feel that I'm doing all I can to understand and be involved even if I have to tote along the girls and ask Issac to explain constantly.
I really cant explain to you how bad it sucks to not be able to jump in and say what I want and be as involved as I want. It may be prego hormones and it may not be but I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes. I'm hoping after writing this post and talking some more about it with my husband (poor guy) that I will be able to walk back into the school with a renewed since of confidence on Monday.
I'm starting to feel that my Spanish needs to move to the next level but I'm not sure how to get it there. I do really well with a one on one or two conversation now but if there is more than two people I just cant keep up unless its people who know me well and make sure that I do (like Issacs family). I cant expect people to cater to me forever and I need to step it up... but how?

All in all the meeting went well and we got all the information we needed. I hope I added enough of that in with my sob story for those of you who may be looking to enroll your kids someday. If I left anything out about the school you want to know please ask!!!