Monday, December 29, 2008

worrywart woes

I am my family's worrywart. I can and do worry about most everything. Something that I think about off and on is the economy, and how it will effect my family and way of life. I am lucky, because I have learned to live very frugally. My kids wear a lot of hand me downs, or clothes from Value Village. I like that when I buy something that has already been used, I am not contributing to some poor young girl in China having to work 14 hours a day for a dollar. I mean, it is almost as impossible to get something that is not from China, as it is to buy food from the grocery store that isn't made with high fructose corn syrup or sugar. That is another tangent.....

Anyway. The snow storm that we had last week made me think of a recent conversation with my brother Josh. My step father Dick asked him what he thought about all the new 'energy efficient' cars that are coming out. Josh said that it doesn't really matter, as soon as we use up all the gas, we are all going to die of starvation. Well, most people will die of starvation, and it probably won't be him or Dick, but he pointed to Edith, and said it will be them. Dick said he is crazy and why would that be, Josh point out that pesticides are made with oil, etc, etc.

Of course, Dick just thinks Josh is crazy. I don't. I agree with him. I went to the grocery store during the storm and half the store was empty. With no truck able to get food to the super markets, they were running out of stuff. That was just after a couple of days. What happens when big companies like Albertsons or Safeway go out of business, or what about it we run out of gas to ship the food. Only the rich will be able to afford it. The rest of the people will need to learn how to live off a garden.

How many people do you know that know how to garden? What about how to can the stuff afterwards to use throughout the year? Who even has a yard big enough to grow a garden? How about living without electricity? Heat?

I feel blessed in the fact that I can do most of that stuff. Living in Mexico off and on has given me an appreciation of the luxuries that I have in the US, but I don't really mind living without the luxuries. It can be annoying - like the house in Puyallup that we never us the heat, just firewood, but do able.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tobbagon ride

videoThis tobbagon has been in our family since the mid 80's. When we lived in New Hampshire our Uncle Walt sent us money for Christmas and this is what we got. We got a lot of use out of it back then, but has been in storage since we moved to Washington. Josh got it out the other day, and we took it for a spin today. We took a few kids from the neighborhood with us, and they all fought over who got to ride in front - kind of like who wants sit in the front of a roller coaster. I really enjoyed it. I went many times by myself and with the kids.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter wonderland

Kathy is bracing herself against the snow and wind. We probably needed to find a bigger tree.
Edith on her last trip down the hill.

We got to the hill to sled and two of Balthezar's friends were there. Jessie in front, Balthezar in the middle and Conner in the back.


Even I got in on the action. Sledding is much scarrier as an adult! I had a really good time, despite the tumbles.



The long walk home...









video

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Big enough family?

When you add Davids family with our family (well actually only half of it) we are a big group! This photo is taken from Maira's babtism in November. I won't bore you all with the names of everyone, as most of you all who read this already know who everyone is. I especially like this photo because you can't see my body, and me and Edith look so cute next to each other. I also like how Amira's dress is up to her neck.

eating and sleeping and eating, oh my

So, being on break isn't very fun. Well, I feel like this all the time, but I guess being in school gives me something else to obsess about in between. Currently, all I have to do is eat, sleep and watch tv while the kids are in school. I know that there are probably lots of other things that I could be doing, but I haven't gotten myself to do them yet. I did look over the next 5 chapter that I have to read for class, so I guess that is a start. I just feel lately that things are getting worse, although it may just be in my head. I doubt that. If I could eat all day long, I probably would, but then nothing is satisfying. And if I do eat too much, then I will just purge, and then I have more room to eat again. I don't really do that all too often, because my gag reflex isn't so great after doing that to myself on and off for 15 years. I should probably consider myself lucky, because if I didn't have an eating disorder, I would probably just be a huge alcoholic/drug addict. I can totally see myself that way.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Gold and Happiness

Day before yesterday I was sitting in the hot tub with the kids and I asked them what they would like to get for Christmas. Balthezar says, 'Well, I don't know if Santa can bring this, but I would like for this to be the best Christmas ever for everyone' Edith on the other hand, says that she would like a treasure chest full of jewelry and some gold.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Speaking of friends

This is my host family from when I was in Greenland. It was at the airport the day that I was leaving to go back home.
Ivalu was my best friend that year (her name was Eva back then, she changed it to have a more traditional Greenlandic name) Ivalu and I have been in contact here and there. I really loved her so much - I still do. Does it make sense that my heart sometimes aches for the life that I had that year with her? I had a couple other good friends that year, Cesar of course, and a girl named Carla.
Of course I miss it. I went dancing 3 times a week, and hung out with friends almost every day of the week. I hung out at friends houses drinking tea and smoking cigarettes for hours. It was the life! I am totally like Peter Pan. I don't want to grow up. Having kids and having to work, that is so lame sometimes!

Although, I don't think it is necessarily that I don't want to grow up. I love going to Mexico too, and it is for a similar reason - the people. I know that I can go walk to someones house - a friend across the street, or any of my sister in laws, and I will be welcomed in, given some food or drink, and can sit and chat about whatever. I think that it is that I feel important because people have time to visit. Our american lives are so disconnected from each other, it seems like we don't know how to just be anymore. I mean, who needs to sit and chat with friends for a couple of hourse, when there are things to be bought, errends to run, work to be done, house stuff, etc etc. (although, in mexico they do everything s l o w, like cooking from scratch and washing clothes by hand, but still have time for people) Does that make sense?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

"I am Sara"

Edith is really getting into making 'books' with paper that she tapes together. She then draws pictures and has me write the story down for her. This is a page of one. The story is "The sun was out. Then the clouds covered the sun and it started to rain. Sara got out her umbrella."

Edith really likes the name Sara. I have never met any of her playmates with that name from school or day care, but it is what she calls stuffed animals, pictures for stories, and even sometimes like me to pretend her name is Sara. (maybe she was a girl named sara in another life....)

Modern technology is such a weird thing. You know, I have never felt really self confident when it comes to friends. I will have a friend for a period of time, and then they move or I move, or school is out. I always wondered how people kept in contact with friends, and I mostly attributed it to the fact that people just don't like me, I am not really that important, and I am not a good enough friend to put the effort in to making it work. Humans are fickle, and I have a hard time handling that. I mention this with technology because I recently have gotten on Facebook, and have come in contract with several friends from my past. There is the initial, 'hey how are you!! How's it going?" (if at all) and then me, being the type of person I am, write a letter writing about how I am, and whatnot. And I get........................nothing. I realize that I am obviously not a top priority. I mean, these are people that I haven't seen in over 10 years, I am not that important, but still. The sensitive, needy little kid in me who always felt left out, wants to be important.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

kids art school brain fart

My kids made some cute art. I have a scanner now, so I can scan it and not have paper all over my house. I love it.


I don't think I spelled that right. I did pretty lame on a test today, and so I am a bit bummed out by it. I got a 73%, so I passed, but barely. Since when do I barely pass a test! I even studied for it.




I only have one more test until the quarter is over - well besides a take home lab final and a short quiz tomorrow. I am excited to officially be 1/6 of the way finished with nursing school.




I have a TON of reading to do over break, and I really am going to have to get to work and study more, because this next quarter is a lot harder than this first quarter. I have about 200 pages of reading to do during winter break. Luckily I have an awesome study group, and we will be meeting a couple times a week to study. It is really cool to have a group of people who are all working on the same thing. I am such a social person, so it is nice to have an excuse to hang out with people all the time.




Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Clinicals are finished

I am breathing a deep sigh of relief. I got through clinicals for this quarter without any problems. I have a couple weeks left of class, and then I am on holiday until January. I will be at Valley Medical Center for winter quarter.

It was definately a very interesting experience working at the VA hospital in the spinal cord injury unit. I always assumed that if you had a spinal cord injury and were paralyzed, that you also couldn't feel anything. That is true for some people, others have exactly the opposite. I won't get into neurons and sensory receptors, but essentially, a simple touch can overstimulate them, causing extreme pain, so some were on so many pain medications you wouldn't believe.

The following may have some references to poop and rectums, so it is not for the faint of heart......beware!!

I learned how to change a simple dressing, flush a catheter (next quarter is when I get to learn how to insert one....anyone interested in letting me practice on them?) I also learned how to do a bowel program. That is really interesting. People who can't feel their bowels and don't have control of their rectal sphincter can train their body to go to the bathroom once everyday or so. The inner sphincter still works, so essentially, you glove up, put on some lubricant on your finger and use it to stimulate the inner sphincter. It stimulated the colon to push stuff down a bit, so you use your finger to pull it out - the feces. Weird! Today I did it for the first time and I can't stop thinking about it. I keep trying to go back to a happy place in my head instead of thoughts of putting my fingers up someones ass............

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Civil rights anyone?

I am feeling really angry right now. I am not sure why I am having such a strong reaction. So there is now a ban on gay marriage in California. Apparently, a lot of people are mad at mormons because they were the biggest financial supporters who used propaganda to get people to vote for it. (fyi, propaganda just means using persuasive words, images, etc to get people to think the way that you do) Apparently many other churches had people donate money, but mormons donated upwards of 20 million.

Fast forward to today, and you have a bunch of upset people. Mormons, because they will tell you that it is NOT authorized by the church to tell you who or what to vote for, but will say that you need to think about what we (being the church) believe in, pray about it, and vote that way. Well, obviously it went much further than that for Proposition 8.

I am saddened about a video that I saw that shows some mormon youth at the temple in LA where people are protesting get into it with the protesters. The protesters had put up posters and written things on the temple gates. The youth tore them down, and were yelling at people for doing that to their church. They won't show what pursues because it is fighting and using bad language, but essentially, 3 protesters went to the hospital and the boys are going to be investigated for a hate crime.

So, how would a gay person like to have a bunch of signs saying that they are wrong on their house? How would they feel if people came over and yelled about them being bigots or whatever. Uh....they probably would get pretty damn angry. So I can totally see how these young boys got VERY upset. It is the TEMPLE for heavens sake!!! Should the people who vandalized the temple get investigated for a hate crime because they are basing it on religion and were fighting, or are hate crimes just reserved for the gays? I know that for most people it is just a building (the temple) but to mormon people it is a sacred building, and doing that means much more to them that an average building. Of course, on the other hand, I don't think that a lot of mormons are open to understanding how a person who isn't allowed to get married to the person they love is feeling.

I hate the whole situation. I think that anybody should be able to get married to whomever they want. Why the hell should I care? I mean, yeah, I got pretty pissed when my sister Gen decided to marry Scott. Should it be legally mandated that since I didn't agree with the marriage choice that they aren't allowed to get married? That would be RIDICULOUS. (I like you now scott....)

And I think what makes me the most angry is probably my family. I hate the whole thing about how if you are gay that it up to you, but marriage is between a man and a woman. UH.....whatever. Civil rights means that everybody has the same rights as the other. All other groups are allowed to get married, whether you are fat, religious, disabled, stupid, white, black, asian, etc. Gay people aren't in that mix. It bothers me that people can't see how it isn't fair.

It reminds me of my stepdads mom. She 'likes' black people (so she says) and says that she really like those cute girls that work in the restaurant where she lives. They are great. In the same breath though, she will say that a black man shouldn't be president because he isn't smart enough. It just sucks that people think like that. It is her opinion, but it is really annoying. And when it come to gay rights, people can't even see how they are doing the same thing. Saying, well that is fine for them, it is their choice, BUT they can't get married like me.

What I don't understand is why so many mormons gave money for the proposition. I thought that we were taught that being on earth is your chance to make decisions. FREE WILL. Taking away our free will was what SATAN wanted. So doesn't that mean that if you are mormon and forcing your beliefs onto other people that you are being like satan? I think that it is a right to be involved in politics no matter what your belief, but this is a civil rights matter. This involved not letting other people choose for themselves. It is a little different, in my mind, than supporting health care for everyone or not.

I wrote a paper about gay marriage in college 10 years ago. Interesting that the people who were the strongest opponents of gay marriage either turned up to be gay, or were trying to 'save the sanctitiy of marriage' but had been married several times.

So now all you mormon people that are out there, reading my blog (I know you are out there because my whole family is) why the hell do you care? And, in fact, why the hell does the church care? I mean, mormons have a pretty damn high divorce rate, just as high as the rest of the country. I think that 20 million would be much better spent in more easily obtained couples counseling, required counseling before marriage, and many other things to deal with your own mess. Hell, every mormon person I know who is married has been divorced at least once. So, please tell me, I would love to hear you tell me about the sanctity of marriage. Please.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Cunty follow up

So, I did consider the whole cunt thing. I personally am feeling pretty comfortable with the word, but I couldn't get myself to have Edith say it. Just not that liberal I guess

Teary eyed

How I felt when I found out that McCain had conceded and Barack Obama is our new president elect. Yes, I am a cynic and I doubt anything will change, but WOW!!!!!! I am moved! Despite all the hatrid that this country still carries around, we have a black president. I am just amazed. I never thought that in my lifetime that could ever happen. I am speechless........

Election Day

so the powers that be, and even just the way we have been raised, have led us to believe that by voting today we are taking part in democracy (right) and with the new president, 'change' will occur. Isn't that what every president promises. Yeah, the cabinet changed and the linens might change, but that is about it. The only way to change the world is through the people, not by a politician. I got swept up into the wave of Obama, and I will defend him when people start talking about stupid blacks, how he is muslim (who cares if he is?) etc. But in the end, but he sold out to big money for the campaign. McCain was okay. He has had some good ideas for immigration that I liked, but he picked a total dip from Alaska as a running mate. It just shows how irrational he can be, and we don't need that.

I guess when push comes to shove, when everybody is expecting something from this election, all it will be is relief from the crazy ads, and someone new to blame the problems of our country on. I mean, if I believed that Jesus was god and would come down to earth and became 'president', I am sure that the people would think that even he did it wrong - especially the extreme 'you name your group' people.

anyhoo. I am such a light sparkle in the dark of the world aren't I?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

crazy people

So I am expanding on my last post. As I left my house this morning, trying to calm down, I realized that I see myself as a crazy person who is trying to act normal. Every once in a while there is a crack and that crazy person gets out and acts crazy. I wonder how I will have a high stress job and not freak out. I know that this is something that Josh has been talking to me about lately.

I know that I am not really a 'crazy' person, and that word doesn't really mean much anyways. I am embarrassed about the fact that I have stayed in a mental ward 3 times, because I couldn't handle my life and emotions and wanted out. I take medications daily to help 'stabilize' my moods. We went around the group for clinical and everyone talked about why they wanted to become a nurse. I didn't really tell the truth, because the first time that I felt like nursing was something that I would like to do was the first time I was in the psychiatric ward at Valley. There was a nurse working there who seemed like a nice normal guy who was willing to share about his past. He told us that he has bipolar disorder, but has learned to live well with it. I thought that I would like to help other people realize that what they 'have' isn't so horrible and that help is there.

Random change in topic - or not. But I sent an e-mail about 1 word that would describe me. So far I have gotten: fun, mega-intelligent, committed, and 'loving one'

Friday, October 24, 2008

learn to love it while you have it

This quarter I am doing my clinical work at the VA hospital in Seattle in the spinal cord injury unit. Talk about learning to love your body. I hate my body most of the time. I constantly think about how ugly it is, how embarrassing it is, how I wish I could get up the gumption to change it, etc, etc. Well, imagine it just not working anymore, accompanied with extreme chronic pain and nausea from reflexive muscle spasms. It occurs to me that maybe I should be a lot nicer to myself once in a while and be grateful for what I do have - a functioning body. It may not be what looks really good, or normal, or .......but it works.

I woke up late this morning with an hour to get dressed and get to my clinical. For some reason when I first woke up, I thought that I was already late and didn't have any time. I flipped out. I had an anxiety attack, and was hyperventillating and sobbing. I called my clinical instructor, while trying to control my sobbing to let her know I was on the way. She told me to calm down and take some deep breaths and get there as soon as I could. I ended up being one of the first ones there, and felt like an idiot. My instructor just seems like a really awesome person and like she takes everything in stride. I am glad for that with this being my first experience.

I have a test again on monday, so I will spend the weekend studying. I don't feel as panicked this time around though - but if you ask me on sunday night, it will probably be a different story. I found out that I had the highest grade in the class on the first test. That was pleasantly surprising. I mean, I know I am smart, but I lot of the time I don't feel really smart. I have a feeling most of the time that I am going to fail - in life, as a mother, as a spouse, at weight loss, in a job. I don't really like feeling like that, but it is hard to change.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Getting Paid to Study

My instructor sent an email to me and a couple other students in my class. She needs people to be 'peer tutors'. We get paid 8.50 from the school after getting trained. I guess a lot of people did bad on the test, so they qualify for free tutoring.

SCORE. I mean, 8.50 sucks as a wage, but I will have the know the stuff anyways. And teaching a subject makes you remember it much better.

Yay.

I don't get it

So, seriously people. I am really confused, and I am not being sarcastic here. Several 'well educated' people that I know seem to think that having Obama as our president is 'scary'. Okay, well, either way, McCain or Obama, things will probably be the same as they always were. Every election is about changing this or changing that, but the rick always get richer and the poor always get poorer, etc, etc. But SCARY, really? Apparently he hates 'the white man' and it is obvious from the book he wrote, 'Dreams of my Father'. Now, I haven't read the book. Maybe I should, to get clarification. I guess I think that if he hated white people so much, we would know. I mean, there are MILLIONS of white people voting for him. Is it possible that none of them have read the book and found out that he hates us? Oh, and that all his publicists are in cahoots with all the book stores to put his 'nice' books at the front of the store, and this book hidden in the back, so that we won't know the truth. Really? I am usually totally down for conspiracy theories, but wouldn't a publicist/editor want to sell as many books as possible? I dunno, maybe I am being naive.

After dinner tonight at my house, SNL was brought up (funny!) Instead of it being a funny conversation though, a certain person I know started talking about 'that Obama' who is going to become president and start a war with Kenya. WOW. That is news to me. Something about how all his relative are from there, blah, blah, blah. I walked away because I didn't want to here it.

I happened to be sitting next to that same person weeks ago at a restaurant for dinner, when it was brought up. The person said, all 'those blacks are going to vote for Obama' I said that wasn't necessarily true, but the person started going on about it, and I excused myself from the table. I mean, since Palin has a cunt, I will vote for her right. Women are just as stupid as 'those blacks' because they are all just going to vote for him because he is black, and we women will all vote for Palin.

Who is a black woman suppossed to vote for then?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Josh's word is the truth

My brother Josh is an interesting guy. He is intense, caring, emotional, a feminist, anarchist, nurse. It would be impossible to put him in a box. And exceptionally witty and funny.

Once I got into nursing school, he said, your worries are over! You are in, no need to worry about getting perfect grades, etc. I agreed with him, but with a grain of salt. I mean, everyone talks about how hard nursing school is.

Well, I took my first test and got a 96%. NICE!! Of course I studied, but not a crazy amount. I found that test to actually be pretty easy. I wonder what is wrong with me, because the teachers have been talking about how tests in nursing school are so much different that other classes test, and how it is very hard, blah, blah, blah, blah....Uh, really? Maybe it is just because it was the first test and so it was simpler, but it wasn't THAT hard, and actually it was easier to rule out obvious wrong answers that almost any other test that I have ever taken.

Word to the wise - Josh is always right!!

Cunts

I am reading a book that is called 'CUNT' So far I really like it. It has me thinking about things that I never thought about before. For example - did you all know that 'vagina' means a sheath for a sword? I think I'd rather have a cunt. In fact, when my daughter starts talking about her 'cliternuts' as she like to call her womanly erectile tissue, I will make sure that cunt is what she will use to refer to her second meatus in her genital area.

Furthermore, she discusses an interview that she had with a woman who must be famous in feminist cicles (as I am clueless as to who she is) about how her aquaintances have 'menarche' parties for their preteens. For the layman, menarche is the term for a womans first mentral cycles. So, the party is focused on the girl. She wears a red dress, has a red cake, presents are presented in red wrapping paper. How wonderful!!

I remember starting my period as extremely embarrassing and something that I didn't want anyone to know about. How wonderful it would be for girls to love their bodies and what having their first period means.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

first week of school

I started school this week. I have had a couple near crying misses. I started to have a panic attack when class first started on Monday. I was able to calm down with an exercise that my therapist taught me. You use all of your sense and focus on them. What you are smelling, what you taste, what colors are in the room, what you are touching, and all of the different sounds that you are hearing. It worked and I calmed down.

I almost started crying today doing a skills test for nurse assisting. I had to transfer someone from a bed to a wheelchair. I was having a hard time and the instructor had to help out. I was all red and sweating and felt like an idiot. Then poor David, my partner had to transfer me. I guess it is good practice because we will probably have overweight patients, but the tranfer belt wouldn't even fit around me, so we had to 'pretend'

Which brings me to another thought. I am obviously stressed and have been eating too much. I am getting financial aid this year, and it happens to equal about exactly what it would cost to get a lap-band. I know that my therapist would kill me if she knew I was even thinking about it - she wants me to love myself as I am before I make any changes, and really believes in the fat acceptance movement. I totally get that, but I am just too fat and not getting it under control by myself.

Edith had an 'intervention' today. It was for SPITTING when she was angry for being told to settle down during book reading time. She also keeps throwing temper tantrums at school. NICE! I got a call and a pink slip to sign, and she was kept inside and in her classroom during lunch and recess.

I have about 15 chapters of reading to do over the weekend. I am not feeling very confident in my ability to keep up. I only have to get a 78% to pass my class, so hopefully I will keep my grades in the 80's, but I am feeling really overwhelmed. It doesn't help that I don't think my instructor likes me, and I am feeling really vulnerable going into the health care field weighing over 300 pounds.

I painted my nails today with a really cute set that I got at the Puyallup fair. I have a base coat with red, green, and white stars on them. I feel guilty about spending time doing that, but whatever. It was nice to treat myself, and I feel pretty.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saying Goodbye to Cosleeping

I have slept with my children since they were born. It was never a thought in my mind when Balthezar was born that he would sleep in a crip. Especially being married to Moises. It is kind of like circumcision in Mexico - nobody does it. I remember asking Moises what he thought about circumcision and he was shocked that they do that to babies when they are born. He also couldn't understand why someone would make a baby sleep by itself.

By the time that Edith came around, I was finished with cosleeping. We had a queen sized bed, Balthezar was 3 and still sleeping with us, and I couldn't imagine where an extra baby would go. But, Moises was completely against forcing Balthezar to sleep on his own ("he's only 3, he is too little to sleep by himself") and again, a new baby sleeps with his mother.

I ended up sleeping with Edith proped on my lap in a recliner. I think about that now, and wonder how I didn't kill her or something (I did drop her once....) When she got a little older, she slept on the bed, and I ended up sleeping in the recliner. It was more comfortable for me that way - I couldn't share a queen sized bed with 3 other people. Since moving in to my mom's house, it has worked out better with just me and the kids, but still a little cramped for me.

After years of trying to get Balthezar to sleep on his own, it has finally happened. While we were in Mexico my mom bought a bunk bed for the kids, and they knew that it was going to happen. They knew that it was going to be where they sleep. I didn't think that it was going to go over well - being that we had tried before, but amazingly, BOTH of my children and now sleeping without me!!!!!

It is wonderful, but I have to admit that when I lay down at night, I definately miss snuggling up to them, and having their warm little bodies next to mine in the morning.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Partying Mexican style

My photos here are a bit out of order, but here goes. In Moises town, they love to celebrate. They have parties for Babtisms, weddings, first comunion, mothers day, birthdays, day of the children, graduation, and so on and so on. Now, whereas we are used to going to a kids party for games and cake and such, the parties there are usually focused on a meal.

This year I was asked to be the madrina for Medardo's graduation from elementary school, and for Abimael's graduation from kindergarten. As madrina - godmother?- I accompany them at the school when they graduate, and give them a gift. After the graduation the family invites friends and family to eat, drink, and be merry.

The first foto is at my sister in law Delia's house for the food. She is standing with a plate - cleaning up or serving food, and Moises parents are sitting.

Delia, Medardo and my suegra (mother in law) at the party. Notice the plate full of limes and tortillas on the table. No meal is served without tortillas.


The kids at the party playing in the yard on the swings at Medardo's graduation party.

Abimael with his new bicycle. We gave him one of Balthezar's gently used bikes. Having a bike in mexico is a big deal. Most kids don't have one. Many adults do, but use it for getting around town.

Moises, Abi and I at the school graduation.

When the kids graduate it is a big event at the school. All the kids have to get a nice suit or dress. They decorate, have a mariachi band, several different groups of younger kids dance a nicely choreographed routine, and the kids who are graduating also dance. They practice for weeks beforehand to get prepared. Here is Medardo with his partner.


At Medardos graduation. A group of second graders did a dance, and sprayed silly string. All the little kids ran in afterwards to pick it up and play with it. Edith loved that part.


Feliciano, Medardo, and Delia with his certificate of graduation.


You notice that Medardo has flakes of confetti in his hair. It is a tradition at celebrations for the people to hug you while throwing confetti in your hair and say congratulations.


This is Feliciano at Medardo's party cooking the carnitas. They bought a small pig for the party. The big tub is set on top of a gas fire and all the pork fat is melted down to use to cook all the meat. In the background is their alfalfa for their cow.

Friday, September 5, 2008

work and play in the milpa (corn plants)

One morning we woke up and decided to go and weed in the fields, but decided to take all the fixings to cook and eat with us. We asked Leticia to come along with her kids. We put up a swing with a rope in a tree, left the kids to play while we weeded. After a while I started up the barbecue and we got our eat on. Here are the kids enjoyin their tacos.


Leticia cooking up the pork strips.


All ready to go out to work. We hook up the horse to the cart and everybody jumps on. The only problem is that the cart has no shocks, so it is a very bumpy ride.


Working with a little sickle posing for the camera.


I enjoyed working in the fields. It is good exercise, beautiful scenery, and Delia and I would gossip.


This is one of the days that we went with Delia. She packed the food to eat and brought it with us. We cleared a spot to sit on with a machete and had a great meal. After all that exercise, food and drink tastes so good. Double click on the picture and check out the huge cactus tree in the backgroud.
Next to some big maguey plants. I wanted a picture to show how huge they are. People plant them around the border of their fields. (check out the great hair on me!!)

Family Fotos

Going from left to right, here is Feliciano (Delia's husband), Giovanni (Maricella's husband), Aaron (my father in law), and Javier (Leticia's husband). Marta's husband went to Monterrey to work, so he in't in these photos.


Feliciano took this picture, and I looked at it and just busted out laughing. Just seeing how much taller and larger than they all are. It is no wonder people are always staring at me!

Here are the grandparents with every single grandchild. Starting at the top left is Medardo (Delia's son who is 12) he is holding Carla (Leticia's 13 month old), next is my mother in law with Sarai (Maricella's only child, 6 months), father in law with Angel (Martha's 3 month old), then Delia (named after her mother, 10). The middle row is Ismael (Leticia's 3 year old), then Antonio (Delia's 3 year old) and Osbaldo (Martha's 2 year old). Bottom row is Edith, then Belen Guadalupe - we call her Lupe (Leticia's oldest who i 7) with her 6 year old brother Abimael, and finally Balthezar.

Moises mom and dad with all his sisters. From left is Maricela, Leticia, Aaron, Margarita, Delia, and Martha.



Sunday, August 31, 2008

moms and politics follow up

so, apparently, Sarah's husband is a stay at home dad. I am down with that.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

moms and politics

I can't stop thinking about the presidential election, although that is quite normal this time of the year. I am just really surprised and actually kind of turned off and angry at McCains choice for vice president. I think it is irresponsible for a woman with a 5 month old special needs child to accept that kind of position. I know some feminists will hate me, but come on. That is a really important job - taking care of a baby, and how can that be done well with a job like the VP of the US. I just need to get over it. People have babies and work full time all the time. Famous people have nannies, which is what she will do. I am just not a believer in the whole supermom superstition. There is no such thing.

anyhooo......

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

the origins of Picnics

I wrote earlier that I had gone to the campo to help weed the corn fields. I mentioned that they dont buy herbicides, which I figured was because of how much it costs. Well, I know realize that it isn´t that at all. They weed the field and use the weeds to feed their cows and goats and horse. Which continues the cycle, because they use the manure from the cows on the fields so that what they are planting will grow well.

I went to the campo again, but this time to a different part. My mother in law thought it would be a good idea to invite Leticia and her kids, and we could bring stuff to make a picnic outside, and cook bistek of pork. We got to the field, and my mother in law set up a swing with some rope on a tree for the kids to play on. I went with my inlaws into the fields to help weed. After about 1/2 an hour, I look up and Balthezar was calling to me. I told him to come here. He wouldn´t and then fell on the ground (he is a bit melodramatic) My mother in law said that she would go an see what what wrong. Apparently, he wanted to come and see what we were doing, but he had to pass some barbed wire, and he stepped on it. My mother in law cleaned up the blood and got some branches from a nearby tree and used the ´milk´from the inside to put on the cuts. It is a type of medicine that they use. I then took off one of my socks and wrapped up his foot with it. Then he was fine.

I went back to the kids to start up the barbecue so that we could cook the meat and eat. It was a nice little picnic. I can see how this is probably how picnics got started. People going to work in the fields with the kids and taking a break to play and eat. As farmers started to die, people keep up the tradition. That is my theory at any rate.

the last week sucks

I have noticed that the last week that I stay here is always the worst. I don´t know if it is because I am excited to get home and fed up with certain things. Or it could because everyone kind of gets into a bad mood because it is easier to say goodbye when you are sick of someone.

I have had a couple of rough days the past week. First, I went to Tecamachalco to pick up the photos that I had developed. I got home and I was huffing a little and sweating. (I was trying to go fast because Delia and Leticia were over at the house and I wanted them to see the photos before they went home.) I got into the kitchen where everyone was eating corn on the cob, and my father in law said, ¨You are that tired just from walking 2 blocks to the store?¨ Now, I hadn´t just walked 2 blocks, more like half a mile or so. Someone said that I hadn´t just gone to the store down the street but to Tecamachalco. I got pissed because he always has something to say about my weight.

I went into my room and sulked a little, but then decided to go back into the kitchen and eat with everyone. I got into the kitchen and someone asked me if everything was okay. I said, no, that I am sick and tired of mi suegro making fun of me. Then I got emotional and started to tell him that I have asked him nicely over and over again to stop. He said that I make jokes of him too, which is completely falso. I said, when? what? Of course he couldn´t come up with anything. I said that I don´t walk around telling him that he is fat and ugly and lazy (which is all true!) so that I really want him to stop doing it to me. At this point of course I was yelling at him, he was yelling at me, and everyone was a bit uncomfortable. He left and I cried and cried.

I went to a birthday party later that day, and brought him back a piece of cake as a ....I can´t think of the word. The next day he bought me some bistek - like thin sliced pork, because he knows that I like it.

Well, then this past sunday I went to the store - the one that is only 2 blocks away. Well, at this particular store they sell beer, so men from the neighborhood sit outside and drink on sunday (because on saturday they get paid) I walked by and one guy in particular was pretty drunk and he offered me a beer. I told him no thank you, and went into the store. Well, he followed me into the store, and said that now that we were alone without all the guys outside, could he buy me a drink. I said no, that I didn´t think that was okay. I told him that my husband would get really angry with me, and that I was busy making lunch for my kids. He was pretty adament. The woman who runs the store told him that of course I couldn´t take a beer from him. He started to say that it was because I wouldn´t accept what he was offering, kind of like I was being rude. She told him that it wasn´t rude, that my husband would get mad. At that point her son started talking to him and got him to go outside again.

I went around the corner, to another store to buy limes. On my way back, with the guys that were drinking, was a street vender selling cups of fruit (the street venders around her ride bicycles that are set up with what they are selling.) The kids had asked me earlier if I would buy some watermelon for them. Well, I asked him how much they were. Right then another street vender came by selling raspados, which are like snow cones in a bag. The fruit guy asked me if I would take a raspado, which at that point, I thought, well, I can accept a snow cone instead of a beer. So I said yes, and got one. The fruit guy also gave me 2 watermelon cups for the kids, and paid the snow cone guy with a beer. I thanked him and went on my way.

I got home and told Leticia what happened, because I thought it was funny and nice that I ended up getting fruit and a snow cone. She told me that what I did was wrong and that she was mad at me. I was confused, and I was like, really? Are you really mad? And she was like, uh, yeah. That isn´t something that you do. Wait till Moises finds out and you will know if I am joking or not.I said, why, they are just guys from the neighborhood, and if it was so bad that Moises would get really mad, then I wouldn´t tell him. She said that you never accept something from men who are drinking, especially if you are alone on the street. I went to the kitchen and asked my mother in law if what I did was wrong - she had overheard the story. She said yes, that around here, that is something really bad.

Now let me stop here and say a couple of things. I can see where they are coming from, a little. But at the same time, these are men from this tiny little neighborhood. I also know from going to peoples houses and going to parties, that when people offer you something, it is considered rude not to accept it. Knowing this, I didn´t think that it was inappropriate for me to accept what they were giving me. I thought that it was a nice thing, and that if I didn´t accept it, they would think I was rude.

So after talking to my mother in law, I started to get mad, and called home and freaked out on the phone with my sister Stacie. I was pretty hysterical. I mean, the last thing I need is for the people in town to say that I am a whore or something. (which apparently is a big problem here right now because so many men leave to the US or other parts of the country to work, and the women cheat on their husbands.) Stacie reassured me that I hadn´t done anything wrong, and that if I had in their eyes, who gives a damn. They can all go to hell. So, I calmed down, but was still really upset. I went outside because I was heating up water to give the kids a bath. My sister in law said that she was going home because she had upset me, and it was better if she left. I said that it was her that was mad at me. I was still crying and she came and hugged me and told me that she was sorry. She didn´t mean to upset me so much, that it was because mexican people are jealous, and to please please calm down and forgive her. I calmed down after a while, and now it is past history.

We´ll see what else happens this week!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Olympics

I know this is kind of a randon topic for me. I have just been watching the olympics and been shocked and surprised about how the Chinese seem to be whipping everyone elses butts. I wondered to myself, if it is anything like the cold war, when if you were an athlete in the USSR, your entire family got huge benefits.

An article on yahoo is talking about how some of the girls on the gymnastic team are underage. Hmmmm......you think? I mean, gymnasts usually look on the young side, but these girls look like they are about 8. Of course, the team is denying it. How on earth could we get their ages to be changed? You are kidding me right? I am sure that it is very easy. Especially in a year when your country wants to look good in front of the rest of the world.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

town is changing

It is so interesting to see the changes in this town over the past 7 years since I first came. Near our house, there used to be a steep enbankment, that was a shortcut to get to the other part of town. Well, 2 years ago, the neighbors got together and started raising money to build a bridge. That is house work gets done around here. It isn´t done by taxes or some city organization. Well, the bridge is almost finished. It will be done in a couple more months. The city did end up pitching in and helping with some funds to build it. Only after the neighbors had raised enough money to show that they really wanted it to happen. So, it a few months, what used to be a 15 minute exhausting trip down and back up, will be a 5 minute saunter.

A lot of the roads are getting paved too. Well, not actually paved. They are done with 6 sided bricks. It is all done one by one laying down the bricks. It is really pretty. Apparently the county president is from this town, and the new town mayor are both on the same political side, and are helping this town out a lot more. Unfortunately, like with the bridge, everyone who lives on a street that is going to get paved, has to put in a lot of money to make it happen, even if you don´t really want the road paved. I mean, everyone wants a paved road, but getting the money to pay for it is hard. Right now, my sister in law Delia is having to save up 1500 dollars to get her street paved. Not too much really, but when you make 120 a week, that is a lot of money.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

La Campesina

On thusday and friday (day before yesterday and yesterday) I went to work in the fields for the first time ever. The only reason that they finally took me is because Moises told his mom that they needed to take me. My sister Delia said that she didn´t think that I could handle it, and that I would really hate it.

I actually had fun. We only spent a few hours both of the days. Essentially, we are weeding a cornfield by hand!! Can you imagine! They don´t have money for herbicides to kill the weeds, but they do have the time to do it. It is exhausting work. I was going to go today as well, but my leg muscles hurt so bad, I couldn´t. I ended up washing laudry all day instead - which is still a long of work.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

be careful what you wish for

In my last blog I mentioned going to a party and hoping that it wouldn´t be barbecued sheep. Well, we got to the party, and I saw that they had a big metal meat cooker out, that is usually used to make carnitas - my favorite. It is pig meat cooked in its own fat. We sat down to eat, and as usual were served a plate of rice. After that, the hostess came in carrying a big plate of fried pig skins. I am talking about 3/8 inch think skin, with the hairs still on it, that is greasy and rubbery and chewy. GROSS. My mother in law said, just a minute, they will bring out the carnitas, but she was wrong. That was it.

It is funny how time is. The other day my mother wrote to me and said that it has been exactly 15 years since I left New York City to go spend a year as an exchange student in Greenland. Her bringing that up obviously stirred up memories for me. A few days later I had a dream with one of my best friends that year. He was an exchange student too, from Columbia. I really loved him, not like a boyfriend, but as a friend. My other best friend Eva too. I really loved her too. I wrote to him and he updated me on his life. It is just so weird to think that it was 15 years ago. That seems like such a long time. It feels like it was a different liketime for me. I wish that I had kept in better contact with people from my past. Although, I am embarrassed at times, and don´t want to see people from my past, because I have gotten so fat.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

grrrr

I am a little grumpy today. Moises didn´t deposit money into my account yesterday, which is frustrating. I have some money, but it is annoying. I paid to get the pictures that I have taken put onto a disk so that I can upload them onto the computer. I got the disk and came to the computers and the disk is blank. I will go back and hopefully they will try again.

On a good note, my mom finally heard from the insurance company and it was determined that they have to pay for all my damages. That is nice.

I am feeling a bit blue today. The kids are bugging me. Balthezar is the biggest cry baby. He cries about everything. I am making him do 4 pages of school work everyday. He cries every day about it.

I am invited to a birthday party today. Hopefully it will be food that I like. I always hate it when they serve barbecued sheep because I don´t really like sheep meat. And they always serve blood soup first, then tripe soup. Both are disgusting, and at the same time it is rude to turn it down. I always do anyways. I get a pass because I am american. I am sure that they still think that I am rude. I just can´t get myself to eat it.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

restless legs

Balthezar seems to have developed our families sleep issues. He has sleep apnea. He had his tonsils and adnoids removed about a year ago to try to remedy the problem, but it is still an issue. As soon as we get back home I am going to take him to a sleep specialist. Lately, he has complained about his legs. At night they really bother him. He says that he has to move them. He will twitch and move them around, and he can´t go to sleep. Last night it was really bad. He was so tired and wanted to sleep, but his legs kept him up.

Which brings me to our family history of mental illness. That is one thing that I worry about my kids sometimes. As far as I know, 4 generations of Greens have been in a mental ward or hospital for issues. I recently found out that Moises grandmother on his fathers side also spent many months in a mental ward before she died. She talked to herself and saw things that weren´t there. Nice.

Balthezar is feeling much better today. He still says that he wants to come home. I just want him to eat more. He doesn´t find anything apetizing. Hopefully it will improve with the medicine and time. I was the same way for a while.

Friday, August 1, 2008

poverty and peace

A while back ago I touched on poverty. I will write a little more about some thoughts. People here are poor, but I would say have a lot more peace than people at home have. Sure, a glass of milk in the morning, and then beans all day sucks, but they get enough to eat. They aren´t worried that their car payment, or mortgage payment isn´t going to get paid. You build a house block by cement block, and before that, you live with your parents. Most people don´t have a telephone, but it is more common now for people to have cellular phones for emergencies, that you use a calling card for. Who really needs a phone when your entire extended family lives within a 30 minute walk of you? My in laws have a car that Moises gave them several years ago. Most people don´t have cars, and thus, don´t worry about the price of gas. Or if they worry about gas, it is only because the bus fare went up recently from 30 cents to 40 cents.

For the first time ever I have noticed that my sister in laws are worried about their weight!! Popular culture is seeping in, and now most people have a television. Just as at home, commercials and shows are all about looking good and loosing weight and staying in shape. My sister in laws are about 5 feet tall and probably weight a little over 100 pounds. VERY VERY small women. Yes, they have a belly, but come on. That is what women are supposed to look like!!! When you have children it happens!!!

Total change in subject. Moises will be coming back down while I am here to bring Juans stuff home for him. I was wondering if people had any nice used toys that they could send over to my mom or Moises house, so he could bring it down with them. Dolls, rattles, blocks, whatever. My kids are always the only ones who have toys, and I would like to leave some here for the kids to use when they come to visit their grandparents.

skeleton boy

So, Balthezar has lost weight since we got here. As you all know, he is already a very thin boy. Well, lately, all his bones stick out even more. I am having a hard time getting him to eat, and every other day his stomach is bothering him. Well, I got him on some antibiotics today, to kill off anything that is in there causing problems. I should have given him medicine sooner, but he would be fine for a few days, and then have a tummy ache, so I didn´t really think that there was anything wrong - I thought that maybe he just didn´t want to eat the food that I was offerering.

Last night he was up quite a bit in pain, and threw up in the morning. (I am so sick of cleaning up vomit!!!) I look at his tiny body, and I just want to come home. This visit has been good, but we just can´t seem to stay healthy. (I wonder if the fact that my father in law milks the cows, then comes into the kitchen and eats after washing his hands with water, no soap, and wiping them dry on his dirty shirt, makes any difference?) Let´s just say that it is impossible for us to keep things clean.

I actually bought trip insurance this time around. I asked my mom to look into what it will take to change our flight to come home, with him being sick. I don´t know it it is an option. Part of me wants to stick it out, part of me just wants to just have it be over with.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Walking with donkies

So I get off the combi (a large volkswagen van that is the main trasportation system) today and start to cross the street. I looke over to my left and a donkey is walking along with me. I look around wondering where its owner is. Finally she appeared, with about 20 sheep to go into the fields to eat. Sometimes I wished I carried a camara with me everywhere. It is interesting to see something like that, while crossing a busy street with cars.

Which reminds me - have you ever heard a donkey? I think that they must be the loudest animal alive. I have been pleasantly surprised this visit. The neighbors donkey must have died or something, because it isn´t waking me up at all hours of the night with its noise.

There are some baby sheep that live next door. They sound like a baby crying. The first time that Edith heard it, she asked me where the baby was.

Some say that there are more dogs that people in this town. At night I can believe it, because they are all howling. It isn´t too bad though. It is amazing how you start to filter things. Like when we first arrived, I thought the stench of cow manure was going to kill me. But now I don´t even notice it. We don´t have pigs though, so everytime we pass by someones house that has pigs, it makes me want to gag. I am not sure that I could get used to that smell. It is really horrible.

I haven´t really heard from anybody in a few days, so I am feeling a bit disconnected. The computer is my link to home. I am glad that I get along so well with my sister in laws. They are a lot of fun to hang around with.

Monday, July 28, 2008

childrens comments

Okay, so I just interviewed my children. It was funny, sad, and surprising at the same time. I love kids answers to stuff.

Edith´s all about mom tag

1. What is something mom always says to you? be quiet while you´re doing school
2. What makes mom happy? if you go in the room and stay in the room forever
3. What makes mom sad? when I do nothing
4. How does mom make you laugh? tickle my armpit and neck
5. What was mom like as a child? she had fun
6. How old is your mom? i don´t know
7. How tall is your mom? um, like this tall (she finds a chair to stand on)
8. What is her favorite thing to do? eat and laugh at jokes and go to the computers and play, and go to our cousins house
9. What does your mom do when you're not around? maybe just go somewhere
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? for not doing the right things
11. What is your mom really good at? playing cards - the memory game
12. What is your mom not very good at? playing soccer
13. What does your mom do for her job? the hospital
14. What is your mom's favorite food? pizza and spagetti and noodle soup
15. What makes you proud of your mom? because she does stuff for me
16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? a queen
17. What do you and your mom do together? we play cards
18. How are you and your mom the same? we are brown
19. How are you and your mom different? she´s peach and I´m brown
20. How do you know your mom loves you? because I eat my food and then I get to watch tv

Balthezars about mom tag

1. What is something mom always says to you? turn off the computer and Let´s go to so and so´s house

2. What makes mom happy? when I give her lots of hugs and kisses

3. What makes mom sad? when dad leaves

4. How does mom make you laugh? giving me tickes

5. What was mom like as a child? I don´t know, you had glasses

6. How old is your mom? 31

7. How tall is your mom? I don´t know

8. What is her favorite thing to do? wash clothes

9. What does your mom do when you're not around? go to my cousins

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? making pies

11. What is your mom really good at? making mistakes

12. What is your mom not very good at? fake crying

13. What does your mom do for her job? nothing, she doesn´t have a job, she goes to school.

14. What is your mom's favorite food? Taco Time

15. What makes you proud of your mom? I can´t think of anything

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? I don´t know

17. What do you and your mom do together? go out with my cousins

18. How are you and your mom the same? we like to eat meat

19. How are you and your mom different? she´s fluffy and I´m skinny

20. How do you know your mom loves you? she says so

Friday, July 25, 2008

Trip To Tepeaca

today my sister-in-law Delia and I went to a nearby town called Tepeaca. They have a huge outdoor ´plaza´which is where people sell stuff. She needed to buy new uniforms for her kids (all the schools have the whole catholic school girl look going on) It is an experience. The people are packed in like sardines. People are yelling everywhere - 5 pesos, 10 pesos, get your ------ here!!! I bought a couple of pair of footless leggings for Edith ($3 each) a hat for me and the kids - sunscreen isn´t enought, I still get burnt ($4 each) a little back of homemade baby donuts ($1), new socks for Balthezar ($6) 3 tacos ($1.80), orange juice fresh squeezed while I was standing there (70 cents) and some cute miny pots for Gens classroom ($2) --- all paid with cash - no one here takes visa!! (as I was describing that, all I could think of is those commercials) And yes, the experience is priceless.

Which brings me to the fact that yes, I am doing well. The week I was sick all I could think of was coming home. Now I am in the swing of things. I have two hours of english class from 2-4 in the afternoon. I usually make about 8 dollars. It isn´t much, but it is enough for basic stuff during the day - ie, my coke addiction, and the donuts that the kids love, oh, and I am embarrassed to say this, so I will write it down, my twinkies.

Okay people. When is the last time you tried a twinkie? They are so freaking good!!

I had plans to study a bunch over the summer, and have the kids do more work in their summer workbooks, but that hasn´t really happened. The kids aren´t speaking as much spanish as I would like, but I have to remind myself that they have a great start, and I can´t force them. If I could learn it as an adult, they can pick it up in bits and peices as kids.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Our border is safe from ´Terrorists

So I got a call late last night from Moises. He had spent the weekend on Orcas Island with his boss and cousin/coworker Juan, working on a house. All went well, until Moises and Juan came back to Anacortes on the ferry. Everyone getting off the ferry was stopped, and you guessed it, it was Border Control. Juan was taken into custody. We don´t know how long he will be there, or where he is at, or where they will take him. Moises is beside himself. He wishes he had thought about it, and had Juan hide in the back of the truck. His boss will probably get fined too -although he didnt know that Juan is illegal. Moises is also worried about his residence being in trouble since he has helped Juan. Hopefully, Juan will not say where he has been living, and he will be okay.

Juan or Juanillo as they call him, is a really nice kid. He is 22 and they oldest of 8 or 10 children. He has been working with Moises for almost 2 years now. Making 10 dollars an hour, he has been able to support his entire family, plus save for himself and his future. He paid taxes, medicare, and social security on each check. When he gets back home, he will probably find a job working about 60 hours a week and making around 120 dollars. It is enought to scrape by on here. The food prices have gone up dramatically here too, and other necesities cost about the same as at home.

This isn´t a political rant of mine. It is just basic facts.I know that Juan broke the ´law´by crossing the imaginary border that we put on our countries. That is how it works. I wrote a really good research paper winter quarter, which I thought was as unbiased as I could possibly be, looking at all the options and the positives and negatives of the immigration issue.

I have been a little preoccupied lately with poverty here. I know they are lucky here, it could be like Africa where people are starving and living with an AIDS pandemic, but I haven´t been there and actually seen it. It would probably be too hard for me. Everyone here is doing well and happy. It is just hard sometimes to see how hard people work, and what they have to show for it. I have 4 sister in laws here. Delia, Leticia, Martha, and Maricela. None of their husbands have ever left to go to the US. A lot of the time though, in order to make better pay (200 or so a week) they will leave for work in other parts of Mexico. They go for months at a time, but it is nice for the families to have some extra money. Right now, all are working near home, so things are tight. Leticia´s family eats black bean soup almost every day for lunch and dinner. They come over often to eat with us, since right now my mother in law is getting 400 dollars a month to live on from her other two sons, Aaron and Antonio. I buy bread or fruits and vegetables and always have it available to the kids when they come over. If I go to visit, I make sure that I bring something extra along with me. It is interesting for me to be ´rich´here, because at home, I scrape by on 400 dollars a month plus 300 in food stamps.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

mexico phone number

011-52-249-103-1012

memories

I am always interested in people and what they think and remember, so when I found this on a friend's blog, I had to try it.

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses.If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

dry heaves are worse

So my kids were sick but both got over it pretty fast. Me on the other had, I got sick and spent 3 days in bed and 2 days out of bed but feeling like hell. I never really vomited because I hadn´t been able to eat, so instead I would just dry heave. I think that is the worst feeling in the world.
I called my mom last night to cry and get love over the phone. I was feeling so horrible. My brother Josh was there and told me about the medicine I am taking and what to ask for the nausea. Today I am doing quite a bit better, but still have a little fever and sweating and all that fun stuff.

Balthezar is on a soccer team down here. It is with a group of kids that live in the neighborhood. He is becoming such a ´man´because I asked him how it went, and he was like -good- and thats it.

Edith is getting better and better at spanish. At first, when I would talk to her in spanish she would look at me with a sour face and say, ¨don´t talk to me like that¨ as if I would being rude or something. She says that since I am from, english, I must talk in english.

I haven´t heard anything about my accident yet. I went to physical therapy everyday for a week before I came here. It was nice to get a massage everyday, and the difference was remarkable. I am keeping up on my stretching, but still feel pain in my back sometimes. I also pinch a nerve somehow, because for a while I would wake up and my leg would be numb and then tingly and painful. I was given some stretches for that too.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vomit Stinks

I have spent the last 2 nights with sick children. The first night it was with Edith. Unfortunately, it was in the middle of the night, and she vomited 2 times. First all over the bed, then all over me. Next she had diarhhea 2 times in her sleep and so that made more of a mess on the bed. I spend the entire next day washing sheets and blankets. Everything is done by hand. Fortunately, with Balthezar, he was awake and able to get to the toilet in time. We got a bowl and he vomited a few extra times. I rinsed out the bowl, and he fell asleep with his head in the bowl. Everytime I tried to take it away from him, he woke up and insisted that he needed to have it. He was very afraid of vomiting all over like Edith.

Besides that things are going well, I suppose. I start teaching some english classes today. I hope that it goes well.

I usually have more to say, but I am just not feeling it right now.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Christmas in July

What a week! My bags got here on tuesday, and so did Moises. It was nice to finally put on some clean clothes - although, I dont think they got too dirty, and I was able to buy a couple of pairs of underwear in the meantime, and a pair of sandles. People here are really formal when it comes to going to a party. So, me showing up to the graduation wearing pants and tennis shoes would not have been good. Nobody would have said anything, but of coure to each other they would say - oh my gosh, look at the gabacha (they don´t say gringa) Look at what she is wearing! I read somewhere once that you can tell who is american in Mexico because they will be walking around the city in flip flops, and Mexicans would not do that.

Yesterday we killed a sheep and had barbecue. They do it like the Hawaiians do it. They dig a big whole in the ground and wrap cactus leaves around the animal. When they kill the animal, they save all the blood to make soup, and cut off the head, and take out the intestines and stomach to make a different soup. They boil the head and stomach, then cut it up and add chili and tomatoes. My suegra (mother in law) had Feliciano (my sister in law Delia´s husband) cut open the scull so that she could eat the brain. It is her favorite part. My suegro (father in law) ate the eyeballs. I did my best not to gag. I have tried lots of weird foods, but I don´t think I could get myself to eat eyeballs and brain.

As soon as I get some pictures on a disk, I will post them.

Oh - they christmas part! They always call me Santa Clause because I come with bags of clothes to give them. They probably haven´t bought new clothes in years. It always feels really nice that I can help other people like that. I am beginning to understand why mom likes to buy gifts at Christmas. It does feel really good.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Always pack clean underwear in your carry-on!

Wow, what an interesting couple of weeks. First my accident. Then my mom got MRSA. She was suppossed to come down to mexico with Moises but she got out of the hospital 2 days before he was leaving, and her doctors told her she shouldn´t go. I was excited to show her around. I know she would have enjoyed it. She is doing much better, but it still on medicine.

Then there was my trip down here. The flights went pretty well. The kids slept all the way from San Franscico to Mexico City. We were up at 3:30am to get to the airport, and Balthezar didn´t even go to sleep until 1 am. He was too wound up.

The flight was late arriving by about half an hour, which I wasn´t really concerned about. We went through customs really fast. There was a guy who was taking care of all the families with children, so we got to the front of the line. (for those who have traveled abroad, you know how long that can take) Next we went to pick up our bags - but only 4 of the 6 were there. I had someone looks and look, and then another guy on the phone calling around. Aparently they were still in San Fransciso. Nice!! I hope that they had fun there.

I filled out paperwork so that United could send them to me and then we were off to buy bus tickets to Puebla. We got tickets for the next bus that was leaving in only half an hour, so that was nice. But because we had been so late at the airport, by the time we got to Puebla, all of the connecting bus companies were closed for the night.

I started to freak out a little at this point. A bus station in Mexico is like a bus station in the states. Some travelors, people selling stuff and homeless people. I wouldn´t normally be afraid that some homeless person is going to steal from me, but in Mexico I am. I called Moises and told him what was going on (and found out he had been delayed in El Paso and would have to spend the weekend in Juarez with some cousins to wait for some paperwork to be done - so he is way behind schedule) He called around because he has cousins in Puebla, but they happened to be here with family.

I called my mom and freaked out a little. She helped me calm down, because she called the travel insurance people (wow - first time I ever buy travel insurance and it actually paid off!) and got things rolling on that end. I will be reimbursed a couple hundred dollars for my bags being delayed. We ended up taking a taxi for the 1 hour or so drive here. It was about 60 dollars. Not bad for the states, but really expensive here.

I am currently wearing the same clothes that I have been wearing since early Saturday morning. Nice, huh? My bags should get here today, and I look forward to changing!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Overlake Clinicals


I just completed my clinicals to become a certified nursing assistant. This is the group I was working with. I am next to Kevin, then John (he will be in the nursing program with me) then Heather and Patricia is our instructor. Below me is Viet, Alicia, Christine, Lisa and Tomo.

The class had ups and down, but it really gave me the confidence to know that I will really enjoy the nursing field. I haven't been sure, but now I feel pretty good about it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nursing School Orientation

Today I had my first nursing school orientation. I found out what days I will be going to school, what days I will have clinicals, etc. I start doing clinical working starting on the 5th week, and I will be at the VA hospital in Seattle in the Spinal Cord Unit. Sounds interesting.

I had to shell out a bunch of money for a lab coat, stethescope, and some odds and ends. I am really lucky that I have a little bit of financial aid left over from the quarter. Those things are expensive!!! And I haven't even bought the scrubs yet.

I actually know quite a few people in the program from taking classes here on campus. It is interesting to see how I know some who are straight A students who got it, and then others who barely made the grades for the cut-off. The lottery program that they do here is being discontinued though. They found that the number of people who failed has gone up quite a bit since they made minimum requirements and a random drawing. There was a woman in several of my classes fall quarter who I really disliked who wasn't there, so I am happy and hope that she just wasn't absent. I just really didn't want to spend the next 2 years in school with her.

I am doing alright with things on the accident front, I guess. I called Farmers insurance on Friday and was assigned a guy named Travis, and was told that he would call by the end of the day on Monday. Well, monday evening when I still hadn't heard from him, I called and left a message. He called me back today and left a message saying that I needed to call back with a claim number because without it he couldn't help me. I called him back and got a hold of him, and told him that I wasn't given a claim number when I called the other day. He put me on hold and then asked me my name and found my file. He told me what my claim number is and told me that he isn't my adjuster, or whatever they are called. He gave me the name of a guy named Koby, and transfered me. Koby wasn't at his desk so I left a message. Hopefully I will hear back today.

I trying really hard not to get stressed out over the whole situation, but it is almost impossible. This is finals week and the added stress of my body aching, an almost constant headache since the accident, no car, and worry about what is going to happen it hard to deal with. My neck isn't hurting as much as it was over the weekend, but now my back is really bothering me. I am going to call my doctor and try to get a referal for physical therapy or something. Not only is it hurting, but it is pretty still. I am not able to lean over well without being in pain, which has never been an issue for me. I am one of the most flexible people that I know.

I am trying to concentrate on my Chemistry final for tomorrow, but my mind keeps wandering back to the accident and my car, and how I will get to my clinical tomorrow - I work from 2:30 to 10:30, so I might be able to take the bus without too much of a problem. I will go research that right now.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Car Accidents Suck!

In my entire career as a driving person, I have never gotten into a car accident - until this past thursday. I was driving home from Overlake Hospital where I am doing my nursing assistant clinicals. I was going south bound on 405 at about 11 pm. There are 4 lanes there - an HOV lane, fast lane, slow lane, and an exit lane for I-90. Well I was in the slow lane, and all of a sudden out of nowhere, a care swirved from the fast lane right into me. The car hit my front left bumper and sent me spinning. I spun into the exit lane and hit the guard rail. The impact from that made me spin more and I spun back through all the lanes of traffic on 405, and ended up facing south bound in the HOV lane.

When I hit the barrier and was sent back spinning through traffic, all I could think was that I was going to be hit and die. The whole accident has been going through my head over and over again since then.

I called 911, and told them that I had just been hit. They said that reports had already come in about 5 or ten minutes earlier about the accident. I told them that my accident just happened. I was confused, because I knew that I hit my head, but I didn't think I had passed out. Right then on the phone a state trooper came and asked me if I was okay. I said yes - while shaking and crying! I was told to stay in my vehicle.

From what I understand, there was an earlier accident involving a drunk driver. The car that hit me was trying to avoid driving over the debris from the earlier accident, but either didn't look, or didn't see me in his blind spot. They swirved into my lane and clipped me.

My car is totalled, I think. I saw the front bumper next to the barrier. I had to move it off to the side of the road, and it wouldn't start. I did get it to start and a state trooper had to help pull the steering wheel to get it to move, because the power stearing is gone. I got a ride home from the tow truck guy, Dick took a bunch of pictures, and now it is up at eastside towing. The towing guy told me that since I was hit, that I needed to call the insurance company of the guy that hit me, and that they would send an adjuster to come and look at my car. He said that by the looks of it, and because it is a 1996 car, it will be a total loss. The roof is buckled a little, the front is all smooshed, and the who frame is off - the doors on the opposite side kind of stick out a little even though they are shut.

I am feeling really lucky to be alive - although I have felt really out of it since then. I decided to go to the doctor on friday because of the headache that I had since the accident, and my neck and back aching. He said that I looked alright, but that I needed to take care of my neck and back by icing it for a day, and then using ice and heat the next day. He told me to call him back if I was still feeling bad after to weekend. He said that he would help me to arrange some physical therapy to get me back to normal.

It is Saturday night, and I still have the headache, and my neck seems to only feel worse. Now it is actually hurting all the way down my neck, through my arm. I am really ticked about it, because I have never really had any back or neck issues! Not even when I was pregnant. I just had my yearly physical a couple of weeks ago, and everything was great. Now I am in pain, and can't sleep because every time I close my eyes, I see a car swerving into me and see myself spinning through traffic. I have cried a lot too.

Mom was going to lend me her car so that I could go to school on friday, but I was (am?) too afraid to drive. The whole thing just makes me sick to my stomach.

I am most worried about getting back to normal, but not being able to pay for a chiropractor or physical therapy, or massage or whatever will help me feel better. I know that the person who hit me, his insurance should have to pay for it, but I feel like with my luck, something will happen, and they will not take care of me the way they should.

I would appreciate good healing thoughts and prayers sent my way.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I am a soccer mom too! (minus the minivan)

Balthezar and Edith are both on a soccer team this year for the first time. They really love it. One of the coaches took a bunch of pictures from a game. Enjoy!



















Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Future Band Geeks

Emily got out her trombone to show the kids. They loved it! Edith just sat back watching at first. I told Emily to give her and try. Wow, that kid has some lungs. She could do it better than Balthezar.

Yes, she is dressed as a princess. That is her thing lately. Well, she actually were the princess dresses to school with leggings underneath. On Monday, it was leggings with a tutu. Plus, she must always layer. Sometimes she has up to 3 shirts on.
Leo the cat took advantage of the soft trombone case.
Emily is really good with the kids. I am glad that I have gotten to know her in the past year. She is pretty cool. She still has a bad temper (don't we all) but not like in the past. It is nice that she actually will spend time with us.