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.


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


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. 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


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.