Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dishes, Diapers and Doo Doo OH MY!

I was just doing dishes and thinking about my Mom and her gratitude rock. It's a rock you keep in your pocket and everytime you put your hand in your pocket for change or what-not and touch it - you think of something you're grateful for. My Mom keeps one all the time and she's a thank-filled lady :)

Anyhoo, I was thinking about that and the dishes I was washing. I might not love to wash dishes but if I think about it.... I'm grateful to HAVE dishes TO wash. Some people here in Mexico don't have much more than a pan or pot, let alone a stove.


I'm thankful to have soap to wash them and a scrubbie to scrub them because I've seen people using river water and rocks and weeds here. I'm thankful I have food to put IN those dishes to cook!


Most important I'm so thankful I have a family to feed off those dishes. I've got a great family to wash those dishes for and a husband who will even help me sometimes.


It's neat what we can be truly grateful for if we stop and think about it.


Diapers! My husbands Aunt raised 9 kids in rural Mexico 40 years ago and told me one day that she never had a diaper ONE! She said they were poor and used ripped up shirts. Can you imagine? So I'm darn thankful for these diapers and the little butts I've been blessed enough to clean.


The floor I have to sweep and mop means I HAVE a floor and not dirt like some others do here. People with dirt floors DO sweep though. They take care of what they have.


I can't wait to think of other chores I thought I disliked, just so I can think of how thankful I should be for them! What can YOU be thankful for?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Just A Few Things...and a Poosee

Babies are some gassy damn people. Just FYI.

Between the 1 month old and the 16 month old our house is a continuous symphony of baby butt musicians. I'm pretty sure I've not gone for more than 30 minutes at a stretch in the past month without being farted upon. Not that I care, baby farts are LOUD and drawn out but not smelly and I happen to love toilet humor so ... well what's not to love? When I was about 12 years old my best pal the neighbor boy and I spent an entire summer taping ourselves forcing out the biggest nastiest burps would could muster. (Remember how COOL it was when you figured out how to record yourself with your boombox??) We sat down, swalloed air, hit "record" and burped our way to an hour long tape of mouth-flatulance and giggles and then spent the next two years wearing the tape out listening to ourselves and peeing our pants. My Moms still got the tape, she's cool like that.

It was Day of the Teacher here in Mexico last week and I saw on a FB friends site that she had posted up a big apple and a big thank you note to all her teacher friends. It got me to thinking about the sweeter than sugar 1st grader I had in one of my classes this past year who was always bringing me apples. I wonder where that tradition started? I imagine it started in a time before Valium. That's what I'll be sending MY kids to school with to give their teachers. That and maybe the occaisional bottle of Vokda.

Anyhoo, thinking of him brings me to another kid, the "Poosee" kid. OMG. I was with a class of fourth graders and had just given them the assignment of writing and acting out their own play. One boy walked up to me about 20 minutes into it and asked, "Teacher, can we use the word Poosee?" I genuinely didn't understand him at first and asked him to repeat.

"Poosie teacher, can we use that word?"

"WHAT word?"
"Poosee."
"Say it agian??"
"Poosee."

I honest to goodness thought I understood what he was asking but wanted to make SURE so I asked him -

"Oh....um...what does that word mean sweetie? Can you tell me?"

"Oh, well you know teacher, like... it's what you call your friends when they're being chicken and you're playing." "You call them a poosee."

"Ohhhhhh. Ok...um no sweetie. Um....that's a bad word ok? It's one of those words that we never EVER say in school ok?"

"Oh.... so we can't use it in the play?"

Vodka and a case of Depends, cuz kids really are funny.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Thong Song

I came down stairs this morning wearing the tight pants my husband has been requesting and was met with his cat-calls and "Hey Wera!" "Yahh!" A little confidence boost in the morning is never bad but about a half hour later he THEN informed me that he was going to make a trip to my underpants drawer and find me a better pair of underwear to wear. He told me, and I quote - "Dose look like granny butt." "Jew need something to not show dee lines."

*head smack*

God really?

He actually took his butt up stairs, went THROUGH MY DRAWS and proceeded to throw a dang pair of tanga panties down at me from above. (*snort* I just typed "panties")

Anyhoo, he didn't say anything else, just went about his merry way off to take a shower, confident that when he came back my granny-panty-looking bottom would be fixed. (They SO were NOT granny panties btw, they were just.... comfortable)

You know the crazy thing though? I honest to God DID march my ass to the bathroom and swap them out. I still can't decide if it's major LOVE or if I'm a secret door-mat or if I just plain didn't want to go out for my walk later and have people think I wear granny-panties.

Nah... I'm pretty sure I'm not a door-mat. If anything I was humoring him....and I don't want to go for a walk with a goofy looking butt.

Of course, now I have wedgie-feeling-butt. PEOPLE WHAT IS SO WRONG WITH COMFORTABLE UNDERPANTS !?!?? They had cartoon bunnies on them! Cartoon bunnies do not granny panties make. You know, some people happen to LIKE full coverage in the butt area.

Ugh... What-ev-er.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dieting AGAIN!?? Lonjas!

When I first moved to Mexico I was immediately taken back by the way women dress. It seemed that either nobody owned a mirror or that clothing at least two sizes too small was the IN style. Women run around here with not just muffin top but with their muffin tops bared for the world to SEE! I liked to go to the park, sit on a bench and just stare at the people walking by and soak up their obliviousness to fashion or size. I loved it.

Coming from the U.S. where size is so SO huge a deal and where every little lump, bump or yes, muffin is a huge discrace, it was shocking and all of a sudden liberating to be in a new world where people just don't seem to give a flying monkey about it all. I wasn't able to join the forces of spare-tire-bare-er-alls but I felt comfortable in my skin for just about the first time in my adult life.

Fast forward 2.5 years and two babies later and I'm wishing I could re-capture some of that initial new-found zest for my bodys extra curves. It's three weeks post birth and my husband is all of a sudden begging me to wear tight clothes again. Tight? Eeeek! The only clothes I own that fit me right now are a couple of shorts a pair of jeans and some t-shirts that are all blessedly NOT tight. I'm desperately dieting and trying to exercise so that I can fit back into my pants that seem SOOO far away from me and he's bugging me to wear tight clothes. God bless him but I just can't seem to get on the ban-wagon.

I tried to explain that my stomach is all out of whack and not fit for being showcased by a tight shirt and do you KNOW what the man does???!! This is Mexican culture at it's best yall. He walks over to me, grabs an oversized handful of someones *ahem* spare tire and says "What? Jew don like my lonjas? (spare tire) I don't care, dey're mine." He squeezes the spare over-inflated-tire holds onto it for a while and even leans down to give me a kiss. And then laughs at me!

In the U.S. I'd have divorced his ass right then and there but this is Mexico and he doesn't mean even the slightest thing bad by it. In the U.S. a husband shows his love for his plump wife by ignoring or pretending that her spare tires don't exist "NO those pants don't make your butt look big!" but in Mexico they show their love by bringing your extra parts to attention, calling you "Mi Gorda" (my fatty) and making light of the whole thing. They're not raised to care about it in a negative way like we are in the U.S. In fact, they just don't care AT ALL.

I'll never forget the first time my husbands family were all together and the women decided to show off their bellies to the family so everyone could laugh. It went sort of like.... "Look at Diana, she looks like she's 4 months pregnant! Haahahahaha" At which point Diana proudly lifted her shrit, grasped her generous midsection in both hands and began dancing the whole thing about and having a good ole time laughing about it. '

All the other cousins and aunts joined in doing the same thing and I sat there having a heart attack thinking "OH MY GAWD THEY'RE SHOWING THEIR BARE STOMACHS! PEOPLE CAN SEEEE!!" There were stretch marks and tires and belly-buttons gone bad, everybody was laughing and having a great time and the women showcased couldn't have cared less. Their husbands sat next to them and proudly laughed along throwing in little comments of their own and I gave a silent prayer of thanks that nobody asked me to lift MY shirt.

Over the almost three years spent here my husband has tried calling me HIS "Gorda" or "Gordita" (Fatty, little fatty) but I've informed him time and time again that I'll never be THAT Mexican-an-ized. He backs off before trying again a few months later and in the mean time is placated by the fact that I allow him to call me his "Vieja" (his old lady.) In the U.S. it's ok for a hillbilly to say "Yeah, me and my ole-lady...." but not so much to say "Yeah, me and my ole-fatty..." Just no. Not so much gonna happen bucko.

I can't quite embrace my extra-ness and to the wonder and head-shakes of my husbands family I'll be dieting and exercising like a psycho until it's brought back under control again - BUT - I'll at least feel a wee bit OK about myself in the time that it takes to get there. In the U.S. I wouldn't have had that luxury and I'd like to take a moment to be thankful for it.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Birthing On The Border

I have TWO children! I know it's no big deal, so average and whatever as far as the world is concerned, but for me - a previous I-will-never-EVER-have-children-because-they're-yucky-and-lame believer - it's a pretty big deal. Here I am though, Daisy's 15 months and her little brother 15 days and I'm quite smitten with the both of them. Who knew?

No more kids though, good crapping goose in hand basket NO MORE. ;D


If you were with me back when when Daisy was born you might remember that my Mom was here to go with me across the U.S./Mexican border and to the hospital. I drove in labor because she was scared to death of Mexican roads and traffic and got lost in Texas on the way to the hospital because I had never been there before because I was planning on delivering at a Mid-wife center that all of a sudden had no Mid-wife the day I went into labor. It turned out great and nothing less than what I would expect from my goofy life. Nikoli's entrance into the world of course proved to be no less exciting.


I went into labor Thursday night two weeks ago, the day before Good Friday, a week and a half before the due date and two days before my Mom was to arrive in Mexico. At the time I was more freaked out by the fact that I'd not had time to finish the laundry and wash the walls... than the fact that my Mom wouldn't make it to be with me. Horomones or shame I'm not sure which but I REALLY wanted her to come to our house being spic and span.

It was 9:30 at night and I wasn't sure if it was for real labor but I figured that I'd better go because the closest border crossing would close in a half an hour and I didn't want to drive to the one farther away. The border gaurd was a douche bag and didn't believe me that I was in labor. Our convo went like this:


"Mamn, where are you going this late at night?"

"I'm going to the hospital!"

*Sly Smile* *Silence*

"Time to have the baby."

"Why are you all by yourself?"

"Because my husband can't come with me."
(this border guard has seen me before, he knows my deal)

*Sly Smile* "Friends, Family? Noooobody is going with you?"

"No, my Mom isn't here yet and there IS nobody else and it's TIME so I'm going by myself. I'll be fine, that's what doctors are for."

*Shake of the head* *looks around* *Shitty smile*

"What's the baby's name?"

"Nikoli" "OMG! We don't have a middle name!" "We didn't get around to it!" "What's your name?"
(lol, crazy horomones talking again)

*bewildered look*

"What's the babies name?"

"No, what's YOUR name? I need a middle name!"

"Er" *stares at me*

*I stare back* "Name??"

"Manuel"

(I think, ew, don't like it)

"So... you're going all by yourself...."

*stare*
*stare*
*blink*

"Where have I seen you before?"

*duh-asshole look*

"Here?"

"Ah yeah, with that other woman."

"Amanda"

"Oh yeeaahhh, Amaannndaa."

"Yes her, and yes I know, she had to go to secondary, but she always goes to secondary to be searched but that's HER not me."

"Yeaahhhh. I remember you were really pissed off."

*bewildered look*

"What??"

"Well....I hope I wasn't rude."

(I was thinking to myself that he was SUCH an idiot. It wasn't me who was pissed off, it was my friend for having to have her car searched for the 100th time but whatever, who was I to correct him.)

"Yeeeaahhhh. Last time you were pissed off and now this time you're in labor but you're happy." *Smile* "Hmmmmmmmm......"

*thinking to myself DEAR CRAPPING SHiiiIT!!*

"Well it's a BABY, it's a HAPPY THING!"

At this point I had a contraction and closed my eyes for a minute. He continued to stare at me and smile that STOOPID smile like he thought I was full of ten miles of horse shit and just stared at me.

"So it's time huh?"

*Shitty disbelieving smile*

"Yes! God.... do you want to look in the trunk??" (trunk of the car) I'd like to go to the hospital!

*Stares at me*
*blink*

"Yeah, go ahead and open it up."

He checked out the trunk of my car and came back shaking his head and half laughing and told me it was ok that I could go. He told me to drive really careful and good luck.

Thank You. Moron.

Anyhoo, I got to the hospital 15 mintues later, checked in, hooked up to all the machines and found that my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart! Whew! Buuuuuuttt I wasn't dialated enough so they decided I needed Pitocin to speed things up. I bargained for an Epidural before they hooked me up to the P-Hell-Drip and everybody was happy.

I can't count how many times I explained to how many nurses and staff that yes I would be alone for the birth, no, no family or friends just me but it didn't bother me as much as you'd think. There were some really great shows on the Discovery Channel and I had an epidural, there wasn't much to complain about.

I had a couple of bad moments when the nurse wouldn't come and I couldn't move from the stomach down and my nose was running and I couldn't get to a tissue to blow my nose and I was puking all over the place because the epidural drug had run out and nobody had come to replace it and DAMN if you get cut off from that stuff too quick things get ugly fast. So I bawled and wanted my Mommy to be there so I wouldn't have to blow my nose on the sheet and puke on the floor. But whatever, the nurse finaly came and gave me tissue and a puke-bucket, plus more epi-drug and even an anti-nausea drug so... all was well.


Back to the Discovery Channel till almost 9a.m. the baby was ready to come. (Thank you Discovery Channel for not playing infomercials, cuz that would have sucked) One doctor 3 nurses and two pushes later and I was no longer alone! Nikoli Christian came into the world.

I wanted to name the baby Christian but my husband said it was "Gay" (*sigh* (caveman)) buuuuut I figured since we didn't have a middle name and I DID have to have the baby all by myself that he couldn't be mad at me for using it for his middle name. So there. (Nah nah nah boo boo!)

I spent the next two days in the hospital waiting for my Moms bus to get to Texas so she could come and break us out of the hospital. They flat out refused to let me leave by myself. I had planned on staying till my Moms bus came, picking her up and just driving home but they wouldn't have it. Boo, but whatever.

I had a really nice time having Nikoli all to myself those first couple of days. He stayed with me 24/7 and even slept in the bed with me. I was worried that the nurses would chastize me for sleeping with him but they didn't seem to care and one even encouraged it. Cool ladies!

One of my friends here in Mexico noticed that I wasn't responding on F.B. thus telling her that I was either dead or in the hospital. She called the hospital to inquire if I was there and they put her strait through. I was so happy to talk to someone! Soon after my husband was able to call and I wasn't feeling lonely at all.


Another Mexpat teacher came to visit me on my last day and ended up being the one to break me out of the hospital. The jail-break was going quite well until she was pretending to drive "her" (my) car around to pick me up and ended up setting off the alarm. She couldn't figure out how to shut off the alarm and the nurse-aide-man didn't want me to leave the hospital by foot but I told him it would be ok, we'd keep it a secret, just to wait a sec. I ran outside, helped her with the alarm and scooted back inside and sat back in the chair so he could THEN wheel me back outside. He was a cool dude. A drive around the parking lot and I was free to take the wheel and my friend could get back to her own vehicle.

We went to her house and it was time to pick my Mom up from the bus station. A quick trip to the bus station and I had my baby, my Mama and we all went back home to the other side of the border where my husband was awaiting his little boy's arrival.

And here we are. My Mom is back in Michigan and all of a sudden I belong to a family of four. I'm lucky to have great friends here in Mexico and lucky to have a healthy family with happy babies. I don't have to return to teaching till the next school year starts and I'm thrilled to have the next couple of months to stay at home and soak up our new baby boy. :)




(P.S. No hate mail for bashing the border guard who was just doing his job. He WAS just doing his job, but he could have done it a little less douche-y. And yes I KNOW that hospitals have rules in place to protect people, but sometimes people have OTHER ways off needing to go about their business. Leave it be)