Saturday, September 1, 2012

Whats up Canada

So I had a patient come into the hospital the other day who is Canadian. This is the second time Iv seen him and the last time was about the time I posted my last blog saying we were going to try and start the process. The first thing they said to me was, "Your not in Canada yet." I actually laughed and then said no, we are only the in the first stages of paperwork. Then I came to realize I had been asked a lot lately and only answer. "No there is a lot of paperwork." This week I remembered that I write a blog to help inform people so I decided I might as well explain a little better the step I'm on. So the Collage and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta received my application and responded with a perfectly clear list of the items I lack. Here is the basics of it. The red is what I'm doing about it. 

Please note that the following requirements are outstanding:

·       Verification of nurse registration for RN/LPN license in Missouri and verification from Mexico. Crapola was my initial answer. My work didnt require this and said my US lic was sufficient up until about a month ago. At that point I started the process. Right now Im waiting on my appostilled Diploma from the Secretary of State in MO. I recently recived and informative and helpful email from them also. I hope to be getting it back in the next few weeks. Then I will bring: (Should I translate this???) Let me know if anyone reads it and wants it translated. I can do it no problem just feeling like it may not be necessary.
En caso de ser Extranjeros con Estudios en el Extranjero, los requisitos son:
1.     Copia legible de la cédula personal con efectos de patente de nivel licenciatura por ambos lados.
2.     Copia legible de la CURP.
3.     Tres fotografías recientes tamaño infantil en blanco y negro con fondo blanco, en papel mate con retoque.
4.     Original y copia legible del comprobante de pago de Derechos Federales, con la cuota vigente al momento de presentar la solicitud. El pago puede realizarse en cualquier institución bancaria a través de la Hoja de Ayuda
5.     Copia certificada ante Notario Público del documento migratorio, que compruebe su legal estancia en el país para el caso de extranjeros.
6.     Original y copia legible de la resolución de revalidación de estudios de la especialidad otorgada por la SEP.
7.     Original y copia legible del Diploma de Especialidad, debidamente legalizado por el Servicio Consular Mexicano o apostillado en el país que lo expidió. En caso de que el diploma no esté en español, deberá presentarse con su traducción por el perito autorizado por el Tribunal Superior de Justicia.
8.     Para poder realizar este trámite es necesario realizar        cita, de lo contrario no se le podrá atender en ventanilla.

·       Nursing education transcripts from your school of nursing for your practical nursing program and general nursing program. Well I mailed the request off when I mailed the original application. Im wondering if I mailed it also for my practical program now but I know I sent it to the RN one. I guess if I the LPN one doesnt show up when the other does Ill mail it off. Or maybe I should just request another one just in case. Not sure on that one yet. 

We require the total nursing practice hours you worked as an RN, to be documented on the documentation of nursing experience form.  On the application form you included the hours worked as an LPN in the total number of nursing practice hours.  Please complete the attached form showing the hours as an RN and return to CARNA.
The hospital I worked at outsourced this type of information and was a major pain to get. But that form was filled out and mailed to Canada yesterday. 
On receipt of all documentation, your file will be brought forward for assessment. Please note that during the assessment of your application, you may be required to provide additional information or documentation.Whoo hooo how could I ever forget it. ;)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Incapacidad en Mexico

Well I had an accident with a city bus the other day. It was probably the scariest thing I have ever been through. Sometimes I can still see the bus coming at me and I have to fight off the memory. Im just so glad I was alone and none of my girls or husband were with me at the time. Below are pics and a description of what happened with the wreck. Also here is a description of what went on medically and with time off work. I first went to the clinic that my car insurance paid for and got a letter to bring into the seguro in order to get time off work. That clinic doctor took x rays and gave me pain meds and a neck brace. The next day I went and sat at my IMS clinic from 12 to 3pm where I saw my family doctor. He gave me 7 days off and a paper I had to have my work fill out in order to get full time pay. (that should have been done the night of the ER visit the day of the wreck but since I went to a private one with my insurace I did it then, the letter from the first clinic covered me otherwise I wouldnt have been able to claim it) Basically here if an accident happens within so many meters from your work place its considered a work accident and you get full pay from the seguro.  Thankfully Issac did all the paperwork running around for me but I will explain what went on. He brought the form to my work who sent it to the third party company that actually handles my pay. After they returned it to my HR lady Issac went back to get it and went to the IMS the next morning at 8am. He received a ficha and was sent to a couple different windows for a couple different papers. In the end they made and appointment for me to see the workers comp doctor their at my clinic. I wen and actually didn't have to wait more than  a few min. She agreed that it was a work place injury but because the third party put their address in place of where I work it looked like it happened across town so the IMS would only pay 60percent of my pay. I then called my HR lady very upset and she said the hospital would pay the other 40. I was in quite a bit of pain that first week. The whole left side of my body hurt and I couldn't raise my arms past waist high without pain. The second week after the 7 days I went back to see the doctor. At this point I was still having quite a bit of stiffness and pain. My shoulders and neck were like iron. Because of the pain my doctor gave me anther 7 days off and said within the next few days I should start weaning off the neck brace. Today I am neck brace free and actually cut back on one of the pin pills. Im still hurting but its manageable. Thankfully my husband is one of the best misuses Iv ever know and is doing quite well with helping me heal. I am off until next tuesday in which time I'm pretty sure Ill be ready to get back to work. In the mean time Im catching up with my book (finished book three and am now on book five of Game of Thrones), blog reading (even though I never comment sorry guys I'm a horrible blog friend sometimes... most of the time), my scrap book (finished a mini book for my sis in law, and a md size one for my mother in law, and started on mine), and time with my girls and husband. All these things take no effort on the part of my neck so its good to keep busy. I dont go out much because we are driving our truck which bounces around and hurts my back. Also I went with Issac to my workplace the other day to turn in some pics and driving down there freaked me out so bad I was more stiff when I got home.

Basically after a full stop and seeing one bus stopped to let off passengers on a one lane one way street I proceed to cross.  After the wreck I refused to speak to anyone until my insurance guy came. By then thankfully my English student I was meeting met up with me. Shes actually a good friend and stayed with me the whole time until Issac came and actually even then she stayed. Her presence was so welcomed and calming for me. I understood all of what was going on but it was nice to be able to check with her that I understood. 
As you can see I didn't quite make it across. I looked around the first bus and saw nothing. The bus that hit me came around the first bus going very fast. These are the skid marks of my car. That is how far he pushed me to the side after hitting me. The transitos suggestion to me was to not drive on the small streets close to downtown because, " this happens all the time."
he hit me going full speed as you can see his skid marks start about when mine do. I still don't see how he didn't see me. Also the bus driver never once checked to see if I was ok or asked about me. He just stood around obviously waiting for things to get done with so he could carry on with his day. 

My car was almost across the street when he hit me. As you can see here the front half of my car was almost past by the time he hit me.  Still after the transito showed up, he decided the fault was arguable.  When they say that here they mean they will impound both vehicles and take up to a month deciding. By then they will be paid off and you will end up taking the blame and having to pay for every day your car was in impound. We cut our losses and left.

Yes its been a crazy couple weeks. Hope yours has been better. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Asking for and accepting help

Well as I said before we have embarked on this mission to immigrate to Canada. We are leaving everything up to God and if things don't work as planned... well it wouldn't be the first time. God has his own plan and right now we feel that we are suppose to try. So try we will. Aside from the mountains of paperwork immigrating is expensive and more so when you going to a place where the money conversion is not in your favor. For example I make the about 700usd a month at my full time job. We are making it on that here but that helps you understand why no vacations to the states are in the future. We realize that one of the ways God may provide for us is through friends and family who wish to help us. My plan is to describe each step as we go and explain the expenses we will be facing. Also if we receive any financial help I will be posting what we are doing with the money we receive.  Right now I'm going to try and give you the whole picture in a nut shell.

I wrote about the first step here:

Below I am pasting a read out I got from the Canadian Immigration site. 

Summary of fees for selected services

Upon submission, fee totals due will be confirmed by the office processing your application(s).
*All fees and calculations are provided in Canadian Dollars only.
Your nearest Visa office web site will have the currency(ies) accepted.
Immigration Applications for Persons Outside Canada
Permanent Residence
Right of Permanent Residence Fee2$490.00$980.00
Other classes of applicants - Skilled Workers, Provincial Nominees
Principal applicant1$550.00$550.00
A family member of the principal applicant who is 22 years of age or older, or is less than 22 years of age and is a spouse or common-law partner1$550.00$550.00
A family member of the principal applicant who is less than 22 years of age and is not a spouse or common-law partner3$150.00$450.00
Obviously none of this includes traveling ext. I have a great offer for a place to stay in Calgary so that has been provided!!! Yeah for my blog buddies!!! 
So to answer the questions I have been getting and the actual reason for this post is to tell you I have placed a PayPal donate button on my blog. If you feel that you want your specific donation to go to a specific payment or anything like that feel free to let me know. I know sometimes people feel very specific callings and sometimes not. And as I have said before we consider prayer the most important assistance so for those of you who can not help us in this way your support and prayers are very important to us.  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Taking it a few steps at a time

So one thing I have learned living in Mexico is that it is always better to take things a few steps at a time instead of trying to look at the whole picture. This minimizes freaking out. lol So here are the next few steps we have in front of us. After these steps are completed I will be told by the nursing collage (board) weather I can work as a graduate nurse of if I need to take more classes which I will be required to take in Canada. Considering each of these outcomes have different steps we will wait till we get that decision to make any more of our own.

The Processes and Estimated Costs.

1)      The first step was to send my application to the Collage and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta. The application was 13 pages long and in included all my prior nursing registrations and jobs. This application cost me 525usd. My sister is currently loaning us the money to send off this application.
2)      When they receive my application they will notice that I have an Associate degree and therefore will want me to do a SEC Assessment which involves me going to Canada for what looks like a couple days. I’m a little nervous about how all this is going to fall into play at work and of course with paying for it. I’m remaining in the arms of God and trusting that if he wants me to go for this assessment that all will be taken care of including the days off that I need from work. It looks a little brutal but I’m actually looking forward to the challenge of it. I love nursing and always loved school, clinicals and applying the skills I have learned over the years. I already went to their practice websites and did pretty well. I am in the meantime looking up other case studies just to practice. If anyone has websites or helpful hints on how I can prepare please comment. As far as prices go I’m assuming at least 800usd for the round trip ticket, a place to stay (any Canadians out there willing to lend me a room? Im not sure yet which one I will be going to, they have a site in Calgary and Edmonton.), and food. I have no idea how much it is to eat there but I’m sure it’s more than the 10usd I can eat on daily here. Let’s say 20usd a day. So, I think I’m looking at 840-900usd. If anyone has a better estimate of this I would appreciate it also.
Here is the description I found of the SEC Assessment.
SEC Assessment
CARNA may determine that you need to complete a Substantially Equivalent Competence (SEC) assessment. The SEC assessment involves paper and pencil examinations and clinical lab and case management situations designed to allow you to demonstrate your ability to meet the competencies expected of Registered Nurses in Alberta. It will also identify competency gaps and if there is a need for additional preparation before becoming eligible for registration, and, if so, what competency requirements need to be addressed. All assessments are arranged through Mount Royal College in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta.
General SEC Assessment
The general SEC assessment involves a two day assessment. During these two days you will write multiple choice and short answer examinations that assess generalist professional nursing knowledge and practice. You will also perform clinical lab demonstrations as well as one-on-one activities that assess your critical thinking, nursing knowledge, skills and competencies as you work through case studies or patient care situations. The SEC assessment assesses the following areas of nursing knowledge and skills:
  • general and specialty nursing knowledge
  • pharmacology and medication administration
  • pathophysiology
  • knowledge of the Canadian health-care system and current
    nursing practices
  • basic and advanced clinical skills as well as use of current
    technology in nursing practice
  • health history and health assessment knowledge and skills
  • clinical judgement and critical thinking skills with evidence based practice
  • therapeutic communication practices
  • cultural competencies
  • CARNA Nursing Practice Standards

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The cold hard truth and a dream

There are a lot of "cold hard truths" in life.  We learn these things at a young age and learn to accept that life isn't always fair. But there are also dreams and "desires of the heart" that are given to each person. Each are unique and special. Each has breath and life and come to being through the creator. As always I know not all my readers have the same beliefs as me but for me and my dreams they are from my Father and Friend.

One cold hard truth we have come to realize is no matter how hard we work we will never be able to have enough money to visit my family in the states or provide a future which includes collage for our kids. I haven't seen my family in Missouri in almost three years and we do not see any sign of us ever being able to go back to visit. As far as daily life in Mexico, although insanely frustrating at times, it is livable. I have a decent job and we are raising our children the way we see fit. The main thing we are thankful for is that we are all healthy and together. But the fact that I will never be able to pay off my school debts in the states (which may hinder my daughters collage future) nor see my family is weighing heavily on me.

Many times in my life God has helped me to know my next step through odd encounters or what many would call coincidences.  During  an otherwise uneventful two week span I had three people ask me why I hadn't looked into working in Canada. One of which was so persistent he gave me his number in case I needed help getting in contact with doctors there. With that Issac and I began talking with each other and with God about this idea. We have made the decision to pursue living in Canada.

So this now goes into the dream. Many times the "cold hard truths" of life leads us to better opportunities. Maybe this is one of them. Our one focused prayer in all of this is that we can make the transition without being separated. The two years Issac and I were in different countries were the worst years of both of our lives. Even the frustrations of moving to Mexico, learning Spanish, and working in a stifling environment doesn't compare. So far the only problem we see with the Immigration process is paying for it. I easily qualify as a skilled worker and am beginning my process of applying to the nursing board in Alberta.

From what I understand here is the process: I apply to the board and they review my transcripts (fee)- they make a decision on if I'm eligible to take an assessment which includes me being in Canada for a little more than a week (money).  Then if I pass their assessment I do my Skilled worker application (big fee) and hopefully can manage a job offer before moving so the paperwork will go faster. With that qualification I could get hired on as a nurse assistant or student nurse in Canada (moving expenses)  and have one year to take the exam (fee).

We are still unsure as to how we will get enough to pay all the application fees and to actually move. At this point I'm just trusting that God will help us to get the money. Humility and asking for help are things that have always been a bit hard for me and I feel that this is exactly what I'm going to have to do. So now I am going to do just that.

My next post will be a clear break down of all the fees and charges that we will be expected to pay. If I have any readers who would be willing to help us out at all we appreciate it.Also we ask that all of you who can please join us in prayer. I truly believe in the power of prayer and I ask for those of you who can please pray for us in this process, and above all that we are able to stay together as a family.

What Gods will is for our life is what we want, We are going to put forth the actions we know we can and lean on faith that if this is what God has for us that he will open doors opportunities for us.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A better view on Mexican health care and the current state of my life.

Ok so my last post about the Hospitals here was a bit bitter. I'm finding that most of my issues at the hospital are all due to one individual. You see you have to deal with stupid people no matter where you work. So the truth about the system here is that its actually getting better. I don't remember if I explained before but all the public hospitals and clinics work by the same standards as in the states. The guys who wrote the standards for Mexico learned from The Joint Commission which is the group that does most of the certifying of hospitals in the US. But they do still do things differently. They find ways to reach the standards without all the cost. Now the Government is requiring even the private hospitals to follow the same standards in able to become certified by them. Its not quite a requirement yet to get this certification but its obvious that soon enough it will be. The small private hospital I work for is trying hard to comply with these standards. My original Job description was as an assistance to this process. But I quickly learned that without earned trust and respect my word counted for nothing regardless of my experience. I requested and have received a new Job description which will basically put me as a supervisor or in the states what was seen as a Head Charge Nurse. They are also finally giving me the orientation and time of learning on the floor that I requested. I have already spent a couple weeks on one of the normal units, and in the ER. My next steps are to learn the ins and outs of ICU, OR, and the Nursery. The person that I struggle to work with, due to her ethics, will be my work partner once I'm done with my training. This will pose as a major hurdle for me but its not something I cant handle. Some of our first steps to help us reach the standards will be better documentation, and education for the nursing staff. These are things I have been pushing for since the first day and will still take some time to finish but I can see a bright future for our hospital and many others. The director of our hospital is also the director of an association of about 20 private hospitals all over our state. His plan is for all of us to work together and standardize our efforts. Meaning that the paperwork and process of all the hospitals will be the same. This will be a huge effort but I think its an excellent goal. As I have said before as far as treatment and education of the doctors here its fairly equal to the states. One of the biggest differences that was hard for me at first is that nurses do less here and doctors do more. I see the benefits to this but being a nurse who loved the technical procedures it was a little bitter for me at first. But  the patients love it.

As a quick update on our family and home life, obviously Im still working my 40 hours a week at the hospital and I teach English about 6 hours a week. We figured out we would actually be saving money if my husband stayed at home with our girls and teaches a few hours of Spanish every week on the side. Day care for three kids at the cheapest place we could find was costing us more than our rent, and as is usually the case with parents they just were not up to our standards. My husband is starting a bit of a freelance project with these Spanish classes. Basically we have some friends down here who have to learn and soon. There is an international medical program down here. The first two years of their classes are mainly in English  but the last two years are all Spanish. So he has put together and program and will be starting with his first three students on Monday. We looked around at prices and we are basically charging half of what all the schools or other programs are charging. The down falls to our program is that we don't offer any type of certificate. The upside is that its real communication Spanish with a cultural twist. He plans on adding in common phrases and such that people wouldn't learn from a more structured class. Its basically the same idea that is behind my English lessons. So far my students love it so we are hoping his catches on. So things are going pretty good for us at the moment and my girls are all growing strong, healthy and smart. Really life is good. God has been very good to us and is constantly providing for each new step in our lives.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Adapting, accepting, but not completely giving up

So after looking for a different job I find that I'm doing as well as I prob can do at the moment. Also, during my time of looking, my work changed my job description into something I like a lot more. I will now be a co-supervisor and will be working on the floor a lot more. If you remember from my last post one of my complaints was that I hadn't even seen a patient or used a stethoscope in many weeks.  I have only done the new work two day but they were the best two days I have had since Iv been their. So I am trying to adapt to the frustrations I feel about my job and the system at the hospital. Some of the changes I wanted to make and that I suggested are now being implemented. They are ideas I had that people argued tooth and nail against about a month ago. Now someone else has suggested the exact thing (a doctor) and it is going through.  I am going to just have to humble myself and accept that when I give ideas for change that I will most likely never get credit for them. With that in mind I do plan to still offer advise on changes that should be made and keep a low profile. I hope to prove to them with this new job profile that I am a good nurse and someone that they can accept ideas from.

I realize in the last post that I didn't mention much about the level of skill in the hospital and just grumped about the system for change. I want to be clear that the education level for nurses and doctors is excellent here. The are well informed and are good at their jobs.

There are a few things about the lax system that are helpful even. I was sick last week and one of the doctors noticed. He brought me to his office and gave me antibiotics for free. We often get free stuff like pads of paper, pens, even medication from drug reps that come through the hospital.

I am recieveing full benefits so that is also a plus. Any job I found that would pay me more for teaching wouldn't give me benefits. I really do want to adapt to life here. I know that we don't have any time limit for living here and that its for life. So I'm doing my best to accept things and at the same time keep my morals and beliefs. We shall see how that goes. Some days its so easy to live here I wonder why I'm such a grump about it. But other days it is truly a challenge and one I'm not sure I'm up to. Im pretty sure that no matter where I was to raise my family life would show up with its struggles. What I have to remember on a daily basis is that I'm blessed with three beautiful healthy daughters and a husband who helps me 100%. There really isn't much more you can ask for in life. God is good and always will be no matter how much of a grump I decide to be. But I'm sure I will hear from him more clearly once I accept my situation for what it is.

Well my girls just woke up so I need to go take them to the park. Have a great week everyone.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The inside scoop on Hospitals in Mexico

First of all I have to remind you I'm by no means and expert on this considering this is the first hospital I have worked in. But I do ask our new nurses where they worked before and what it was like. It seems to me that we are the norm as far as private hospitals go. The only place that is more standardized like I am use to is the IMSS.  The other thing about the nursing jobs here is that the pay is so very low. Most nurses get no more than 4-5,000p a month. I am getting more than that because I entered at a supervisor level. The nurses at the IMSS get 7,000 a pay check and only work three twelve hour  shifts per week. Which is way more money and way less hours than me. My plan is to go sign up for a job at an IMSS but apparently it takes years to get accepted into one of the positions.
Basically when you walk into my hospital it is beautiful. It reminds you of a hotel but with nurses stations. The nurses are well educated in school but once they are out the hospitals do not maintain a proper continuing education program. This is something I have been pushing for since I got into the hospital. No one seems to understand the importance of it. Or like many people have told me the higher ups are just afraid to give to much education to the lower positions. This is not only in the hospitals but pretty much is the rule in the work force here. To be honest the only personal experience I have in the states is in Hospitals and the last one was a teaching hospital so this totally rubs me the wrong way. Im going to do my best to keep this post objective and not go into my rants. So here I wont explain how utterly important it is for continuing education in health care.

Since October I have tried to encourage changes such as continued education, starting an orientation program for new nurses, placing resources for the nurses at the nursing stating (drug books, references on processes, an easier and safer documentation practice, etc.) And everything I try to implement gets denied. I am basically not being allowed to do what they told me they hired me for. Finally I asked for a job description because my position was completely made up. I was getting sick of wasting my time trying to plan and implement things when I was always held up and denied at the last min. I had no idea what the heck they wanted me to do from day to day. Now I am a Supervisor B, with basically administrative duties. To explain it best Im doing all the crappy paperwork that the head nurse doesn't have time to do.

The worse part about all of this is that the things they do focus on are so silly. They are insane about the dress code. For example I have gotten "talked to" like three times for my presentation. The first time was because apparently I wasn't using enough bleach on my uniforms. Then it was that I don't paint my shoes enough and the looked dirty. They were clean but scuffed, here you have to wear the old school leather white nursing shoes. Can I hear a Blech from any nurses out there. This last time I was told that my little fly always were to messy and I need to start putting gel in my hair. And don't get me started on my tregas earrings. Basically the supervisor in charge of checking this sort of thing was ticked off because I explained to her that she was doing something illegal and when she argued with me about it I brought it to the head nurse. What was she doing  you might ask. Well in health care we write with pen only in the charts. This is so that nothing can ever be erased. If you make a mistake here you are suppose to put (parenthesis) around it and rewrite what you wanted. One day I found some nurses taking pieces of tape and ripping off what they had written and writing over it. I very nicely explained to them that this is the same as using white out and is illegal. A short time later one of them told me that the Supervisor does it all the time. YIKES!!! So the same nurse who walks around sending people home for scuffed shoes and fly aways thinks its ok to falsefi documents as long as you cant tell. Yes that is what she told me when I confronted her about it. That the nurses shouldn't do it because when they do it its ugly but when she does it it looks nice and you cant even tell she did it. Sigh!!!!!!!!!!!

To be honest a lot of the problems within the private hospitals here (and yes I have asked around) is the chain of command or lack of use of it. For example the above mentioned Supervisor is no more than a supervisor. But many of the changes I have wanted to make the head nurse thought were valid and could work. This of course was when I as alone in her office with her. But when we would bring it to the Supervisor meetings I would be immediately shut down by this supervisor. And worst of all the head nurse would immediately agree her. Basically if it comes out of my mouth they quickly scruntch up their lips and shake their heads no.

Also the horrible communication. They are giving us a course on Lean Healthcare which is a system of organization and communication from Japan. We used this system at the last hospital I worked at in the states and it was great. But to be honest with the way things are here its next to impossible to implement any of it. We have no intranet, all the supervisors of nursing and the head nurse use the same email address, there is no calender of events or meetings. You usually don't know about a meeting until like 10min before hand. Mind you most of this kind of thing doesn't really reach the patient but turns out to be a horrible working environment. And happy nurses make happy patients.

The few suggestions of mine that have been put into place they are sure to wait a few weeks after I suggest it and then suggest it as if it were their idea. This also is very common in all the workforce down here. There is no since of encouragement to employees who do have good ideas. They are to afraid you will raise up above them. Again this is so hard for me to swallow because the hospital I came from encouraged growth. I never push this kind of thing or try to make sure everyone knows the idea came from me. This is because I know they all know and there really isnt any point anyway. I have finally given up on giving any ideas for the betterment of anything. I realize that if I do they will just get turned down. I have resigned to just doing what they ask of me and no more. My husband made it very clear that this is what is expected here. And Im finding its true. The supervisor I mentioned above has back off quite a bit. This all makes me so sad because I have so much to offer and instead Im organizing the charts of discharged patients and doing secretary work.

Actually I may even look into another teaching job next week that will be the same pay but half the hours. I'm pretty sure I wont get seguro or Infonavit and because of this I have to discuss it more with my husband. But as excited as I was to put my nursing uniform on I think its not where I should be. I haven't even touched a stethoscope in over a month. Athough I hate the job hopping, I guess its ok because Im still learning so much about the work force here in Mexico which is nothing like where I grew up. I had one job from the time I was 16-18 at a nursing home (thats a long time for a teenager). Then another job from the time I was 18-21 at a hospital until I moved to St. Louis to go to school.Thats when I worked at Barns and had that job from the time I was 21-28 when I moved to Mexico. I have almost had more jobs in two years than I did in over ten years of working in the states. I know there isn't a perfect job and the grass isn't always greener, but I think its time to start being a realist and accept that maybe nursing isn't what I should be doing down here right now anyway. I do want to apply at the IMS and maybe even in Tepa. But for now if I can make the same amount of money but have more time with my kids maybe I should be teaching.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Love letter to my girls

So an old friend of the family created this really cute site for moms. I haven't had as much time as Id like to read on it but what I have had time for I have loved. I felt so  privileged when she asked me to write a love letter to my girls for her to post during her Feb postings. So here is the link. I think that lots of  my mommy readers will really enjoy this encouraging page.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Experiencing IMS in the city

Yesterday was my first real experience with the free public health system here in the city. Let me tell you its much worse here than in the small town of Tepatitlan. For my job I have to have a carta justificante when I miss work for an illness. And the letter must come from the IMS not from a private doctor. So although it was obvious that my girls had the pox and I couldn't bring them to the daycare I still had to go to the IMS clinic. I was there from 9-12 waiting. Basically they didn't explain everything to me well and even with my probing questions they were reluctant to fill me in on the whole process. By the grace of God the director of our day care showed up (hoping to get vaccinated against the pox) and she got the full information for me. Here is how it works. We are part of the evening shift appointments. People can start showing up at any time for these slots. The appointments don't actually start until 2pm. But if you wait till then to go there may be so many people already that you wont get an appointment that day. But we were there at 15 min till 9am and the lady seriously thought I would wait from then until 2pm. That is virtually impossible with three kids. Not only that by the time I got fed up and left at 1200 there were only two people there for the evening shift appointments. So I'm thinking if we ever do have to get something from that doctor again (for work, or day care) then we will show up at like one and have to wait until 3 or 330 for our appointment.  During the time we waited we managed to see the dentist who spoke English to my girls and confirmed we have no cavities. YEAH for that one. We will be visiting the dentist in another 6months for the fluoride application. The only thing I felt was missing there was education. Maybe they didn't do it because I still had my work uniform on. Usually the IMS clinic is better about educating the patient. The dentist is not as full and basically you just show up and they check you out. They actually came over to me and asked me if I wanted the check up from them while I waited for the other office.  We almost got the babies flu vaccine but I gave up waiting before that happened. I'm kinda pinching myself for that one. But after three hours there with three girls I was done and so were the girls. We ended up going through the ER and getting Tylenol and my letter from there. I have since lost that letter which I'm also kicking myself for. We also ended up getting an Antibiotic because the oldest on has infections in lesions. The whole experience was pretty horrible and I'm pretty sure we will never use the doctor there unless its absolutely necessary. I'm still glad we have Seguro in case we ever need hospitalization because there is no way we can afford a private hospital. And also the ER was pretty quick and we got free care and medication. Right now the girls are playing well and so far the baby hasn't shown any signs of contracting it from them. I hope if she is going to get it that she gets it soon. I feel like Im leaving something out of the informative part of this post so as always if there are any questions Id be happy to answer them.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Whats in the Headlines

I have been wanting to start this as a series of blogs. I hope I can get one out each week. The idea here is to show those of you who do not live here that we are not living in a dangerous, third world, ignorant country. The people here live happy lives and think about a lot of the same issues as the people in the states and other countries. Mexican culture is that slow change is better than quick change and although in most cases this drives me up the wall I have also seen that it works a lot of the time. So here is the first of my Whats in the Headlines posts. Basically almost daily I grab a free edition called Publimetro. Publimetro from what I understand started here in Mexico but is now one of the larges world wide free publications. There are about four free news publications here in town but I have found this one to be the most unbiased and one that covers all issues from public to private, from government to famous people, and they even give a reasonable area to what is going on with all the drug stuff. The thing I like is that with each of these issues they lay out the facts. They don't over or under so any of it. For each article I'm not going to go into to much detail as far as this blog goes, but if I post about an article and you want to hear more on that specific topic I could write a second post about it, as always just let me know.

Wednesday 11 of January 2012
The Cathedral is suffering with time. With continual traffic and mistreatment from people the cathedral which is an important symbolic for the city is falling apart. So far they have only managed to raise 10% of the cost to renovate. This is truly a beautiful building but the paper is saying that their is much work to be done. They believe the work will not be completed until after the middle of February . Its going to cost10,000 pesos most of which will be paid by the secretary of culture.

Explaining the paranoia: Specialist talk about why people believe in rumors that are found in the internet. Basically the week before someone spread rumors about kidnappings from a government school. Almost  a third of people kept their kids home from school Monday threw Friday the following week. From the first day the state of Jalisco and the City was stating that their was no proof and no missing children reports. In the end it all proved to be rumors but now people are concerned as to why this rumor started and why so many people believed it even when officials where saying otherwise. 

Thursday the 12 of January 2012
Asking the internet about sex: Publimetro did a poll asking teenagers who the talked to about sex. The options were parents, teachers and the internet. A whoping 67% said they got their answers online, which isn't surprising but at the same time sad and scary. 25% said they asked their parents. I'm curious to how this would pan out in the states. And 18% said they asked their teachers. They noted that pregnancies cause 6% of drop outs during grade school and junior high in Jalisco. Within Jalisco their were 69,800 pregnancies in 2011, out of those 18,882 were under the age of 19. But here is the good thing about all this. This  information hit the front page of the news paper and talked about how the government is determined to have more education for teenagers about the subject. Although this may seem a little late I'm just glad they are taking note and planning on changing. Along with that they are trying to educate the public which is number one for change.

Thousands run to the federal office to register their voting card on the last day available. Ok there is not much to say here but laugh. And really I think the same thing happens in the states.

100 kilos of marijuana was confiscated inside a packing company.

Obviously there is a lot more in each paper but this is what is being placed on the front page.

Also one of the days I received an extra free booklet made by the Secretary of communications and transportation. It was a drivers manual. I'm not sure how many of you remember the manual you use to study for your drivers test but more or less it was the same. It also had stickers you could put on your car that said: Don't message while driving, Don't drive when your tired, Don't obstruct handicapped entrances, I have kids and pets in my back seat (the picture of the kid has a seat-belt), And I'm a responsible driver (again the picture has a man with a seat belt). Yeah for trying to make driving and streets safer here in Mexico. Im sure not a lot of people actually took the time to read the booklet but like I said educating the public is the first step to change and I think Mexico is well on its way to becoming a better place to be.

Hope you enjoyed and see you next week. ;)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Our first Three Kings day

Every year we eat rosca and comment on how cute the little dolls are. Many times the holiday has been explained to me, but I just never took the time to start the traditions. This year I took the girls to Soriana on Jan 5th to buy our rosca. I told them we would leave it out on the table and see if the three kings like rosca. They also each put one shoe under the tree in hopes that the kings might leave them something. Because it was kind of short notice and because we also do Christmas and Santa, the kings only brought them a piece of candy. But it was a big one. They also left pistachios for Issac and I and a sucker for the baby. When they woke up they got to eat rosca and thankfully both the big girls ended up with the doll. (no fighting) Joslins teacher had asked if we had some to send a piece for her to school because they were going to discuss it in class. I packed a piece away for her and sent it with her. I also made them some abualita hot coco that morning. It was kind of a lot to do on a school/work day but if its only once a year I think we can handle it. Plus once again I feel like it helps them to remember why we even celebrate this time of year. Today I finally got all my Christmas stuff put away and my house back in its original order. Usually I put Christmas stuff away the 1st or 2nd of Jan to start out the year fresh but I do believe I can let this slide and hey as long as its done in January its still the beginning of the new year right. Its been so great to have time today to catch up on my blogging and to clean my house and spend time with my girls. The only bad thing about having Sunday be my only day off is that we have been missing church. Hopefully soon Issac can get Sundays off also to help me drag all the girls in there.

Proxima nivel de Español

I woke up to Lily fussing and my first thoughts went like this, "Quien es...Oh es Lily." By now she stopped fussing and I thought. "Ahhh que bueno esta bien." Then I thought, "what the heck why did I just think that in Spanish." And I began trying to decide if Im upset about this or not. Not sure I like the idea that my first thoughts in the morning are Spanish. I know that is kind of a good thing but well I need English to be my first thoughts so Im sure to teach the girls well. ........ ¿Right?

Curious to some thoughts here. What do you guys think. I am extreamly paranoid that Im going to some day let the English thing slip. It is very important to me that the girls have two first languages. I want English to be a first language. I want it to be special to them. And not something they have to learn but something they know. Sometimes I catch myself speaking in Spanish at home and I get very upset with myself. Is it possible for me to maintain this strictness about English at home and still grow in my Spanish. 

Again thoughts and comments are expected on this post. 

Thanks in advance. 

Feliz Navidad y Año Nuevo

This year we were pretty busy through the Christmas season. I think I will always remember this year as the year of Posadas. Iv been in Mexico for four Christmas´s now and this year was the first time I ever saw people sing the Posada at a party. And the funny thing is I saw it twice in one day. We had two work parties one was on a Thursday and is when we had Pozole and they handed out the gifts from the hospital. The director of the hospital thought it was funny that they had a gringa their eating pozole with the rest of them. Seriously how can anyone not like pozole. I sometimes wonder what the heck is wrong with the gringas these people have meet. I received an awesome purse from work. One of the first weeks of Christmas I had told my husband  I wanted a purse for Christmas. The purse I had was a year old and I was ready for something new. Then a few days later at work they handed me a catalog and told me I could pick out a purse that was 790p Thats like 75usd, I have never owned a purse worth that much. I was super excited. The first one I picked was exactly that much but they were out of it. The other one I picked was 890p. So I paid 100p for a purse that was like 85usd. Its red and supper cute. When I first saw it I thought it was a little big but it has pull strings on the side that you can use to make it smaller. Anyway that was my perfect gift. Then on Friday they had the posada which included tacos. Some of us stood upstairs (inside) and others stood downstairs in the garden. This is hard to explain if you havent seen the hospital but more or less the hospital is set up like one of those hotels that is open in the middle, and where the pool usually is we have a beautiful garden and fountain. Anyway we (or they) sang all the way through the posada. They had one of the doctors dressed up as Joseph and one of the nurses who is about 7 or 8 months pregnant be Mary. One of the workers also brought a guitar. It was a lot of fun. Later everyone was wanting pictures with Mary so Joseph made a sign that said 10p for a foto with Mary. Everyone got quite a kick out of that. lol I left their right as the Mariachi showed up. I had to head over to the girls school for the posada there. I helped the teachers get everything set up and got me and the girls dressed up just in time. Once everyone arived we sang the Posada their. The kids loved it. I feel like its such a great way to remember what happened and why we celebrate Christmas as Christians. Then the kids broke like four piñatas. Thanks to all the christmas piñatas and birthday piñatas from this week we seriously had a bucket of candy. Issac and I had to bring bags of it to share at work in order to get rid of some of it. After all the fun of the piñatas we ate tamales. They had regular mole tamales for the kids but for the adults they had these amazing ones that were warped in banana leaves. This was also a first for me and if you have not had them you should find some. Seriously amazing. We were invited to another posada where they actually go house to house but we got so busy with just normal stuff here at home that we missed it. I really hope we get invited again next year because it sounds like so much fun. As far as Christmas we had to switch things up a bit this year because Issac and I didnt have a day off together. He had Sat off and since I get off earlier than him we decided Santa would visit that day during the girls nap. We ended up laying them down a bit later than expected because Issac had to help a friend with a flodded shop. But all went well. Instead of sleeping the girls ended up laying in bed playing but it gave Santa plenty of time to fill stockings and put out presents. We were so blessed this last year that we were able to find barbies and princess toys for 1/2 off. We pulled out all the stuff and got right to work. We had found an xbox on sale in October so that was Issacs present. We all were very happy with what we received and honestly although we spent less than 1000p (actually this was given to us by my mom thankfully) we had a wonderful Christmas. Issac and I have decided that from now on no matter how much money we have we will only buy the girls one "big" toy (the barbies) and a couple smaller things that dont cost much. We really want to be carefull not to make Christmas be only a day that they wait for just to get gifts. We buy them the things they want and need through out the year when they are good girls so this works out great for us.

We also got to go to a Christmas/Birthday party at church. Issac had to work that day so it was a bit difficult with the girls. But they had so much fun it was worth it. We had tacos, and cake. The follwoing sunday the girls received their gifts from their classes. Joslins teacher went above and beyond and made little houseshoes for each kid. They are so cute.  Christmas morning instead of a service they did skits. One of my favorite stories is of the candy maker and the candy cane. Every year (including this year) I print copies of the story and had it out with candy canes. That was actually our gift for the girls teachers, and we had no idea they would be doing the skit. I was able to leave the baby in the nursery and sit with the big girls and watch and explain the skits. It was a great day for us. And then after we came home Papi got off work early because there were no calls.

New Years was spent here at the apartment with Issacs mom. We all barely made it to midnight and when we did we randomly ate our grapes. But if its true that what you are doing on New Years represents your coming year Im happy with that. I love nothing more than hanging out here at home with my husband. Sure we like going out from time to time but we as well as our girls are quite home bodies. Oh I almost forgot that day we opened our time capsule from last year and redid it for the coming year. We also wrote out our resolutions. Alanas was so cute she wants to do her Dance stretches more at home. For Joslin we want her using English more easily. For lily it was for her to start walking, which she has done this week. lol Mine is to speak better in past and future in Spanish and to try and start my Yoga again. Issac wants to get some schooling which was his goal last year but with all the changes of jobs and such we just never got to it. His new job offers school aid so Im hoping he can get started this year some time, even if it is at the end of the year. Issacs moms was to finish her computer class well. We also talked about our favorite things from the past year. The funniest of these is that Alana said Lilys favorite thing over the past year was her milk. lol

Well that was my Christmas and New Years in a nut shell. Now I want to take some time to read about yours.