Saturday, August 27, 2011

A week that I am glad to be done with…

Ashley’s birthday was a good day, although rather disappointing.  No one who said they were coming actually showed up to Ashley’s birthday party, so it was almost a complete disaster.  The day was saved when my sister-in-law came with Kay, so at least the girls had some fun playing together.  Ashley was clingy by the end of the night, so I let her sleep with me.  I didn’t think too much of it when she woke up at 3 am, whimpering and overly warm.  She asked me to take her up to her bed, which I did and she was back asleep instantly.  She woke up crying at 5 am, and then again at 7 am when it finally computed that she was feverish.  I gave her some Motrin and water in a sippy cup before she fell asleep again.

I was wide awake by the time I had rocked my poor baby to sleep at 7 am, but I still decided to lie down awhile as I figured this was not going to be a great day.  We had a wedding shower for my cousin at 1 pm, and I felt comfortable enough leaving Ashley with my dad since she ate breakfast and had been playing all morning.  Around 3:30 I got the call from my dad.  Ashley was whimpering on the couch and she didn’t want to play, watch her movie, or even get up.  It was about this point when we wished I had driven up separately, but we said our goodbyes and rushed home to my baby girl.  I convinced my mom to drop me off at the house first before taking Carol home because I had a feeling that I was needed as soon as possible.  Upon entering the house, I kicked off my flip flops and ran downstairs to get Ashley and she cried plaintively when she saw me.  I changed her diaper and I brought her upstairs so I could give her some Tylenol.  Just as I was reaching into the cabinet for the bottle, she threw up on me. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Making plans for Saturday!

So my adorable Ashley turns 3 on Saturday and I’m having more fun planning the menu then I will have cooking it!  I’ve decided to do tacos de carnitas de res for tacos, pico de gallo, salsa verde, chocolate cake, and maybe attempt making some arroz.  I’m making a cake without egg because my niece Josie is allergic and I’m glad I found a recipe without butter since that makes her tongue itch.  I’m going to take a moment right now to give thanks that Ashley was born without any food allergies or sensitivities.  I’m hoping I find an easy recipe for arroz mexicano, since I really want to try and make it myself.  I have a cookbook somewhere but I don’t know how much I was trust the recipe.  Veronica says that the recipes are close to what she would do, just cut out the weird ingredients such as the cinnamon they added to almost everything.

I’m excited because I’ll get to see friends that I don’t get together with often enough.  I am not inviting my in-laws because if you invite some then you need to invite all or there will be trouble.  The last count of immediate family still in the United States includes 8 adults and 14 children, which is too many people for me to feed for any reasonable amount of money.  I bought a small piñata that you pull ribbons to break rather than hitting it for safety reasons.  I’m going to do treat bags because they’re fun and cheap to make if you know where to buy the trinkets. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Today I am praying for the strength to get me through what is yet to come.  My very soul is battered and weary of this never ending battle which makes me wonder if I will ever feel whole again.  As of late I have been brusque and short-tempered when it is not normal for me to be this way.  Actually that’s not entirely true since this is an accurate description of my temperament before I met Alberto.  I only have myself to blame for my pessimistic bender this past week, and I have only myself to count on to pull it together again.

Early in the week I was already beginning to get irritable, but I only noticed it on Friday.  Brian was supposed to go to the jail will me to visit Alberto to learn more about the night in question.  This was going to be the first time I had ever physically been in the same room as Alberto within touching distance in over a year.  I was looking forward to being able to actually hold my husband’s hand!  Then about an hour before I was to leave work, I received an email from Brian complaining about his throbbing headache and how we would be better off going on Sunday.  I don’t know how to describe the pain that this simple email inflicted on me, but I wrapped my disillusionment into a tight ball and somehow resisted the urge to be sarcastic or biting in my response.  I suggested that Brian go lie down in a dark quiet room and nap for an hour.  My own migraines, which feel like a rusty hacksaw rendering my brain into minuscule pieces, can only be cured by a complete and total mental shutdown.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Little Bit About Me (Us)

Today after posting on my blog, I went back and read of the posts of the blogs I’m following.  There is another joint blogging effort making the rounds which I found out about from The Real Housewife of Cuidad Juarez.  My other blogging friends are: Medina's Moments, Us, After America, and Corin in ExileSo here goes my post that is a little bit about me:

1.    How long have you been with your husband?

This month we have known each other for 10 years; in December we will have been a couple for 10 years and married for 4 years. 

2.   Can you remember on funny miscommunication because of language barriers?

Well the incident that comes to mind is the time I told Alberto’s sister that I was pregnant.  I had only been starting to learn Spanish for about 6 months prior to this incident, and I think I’d been dating Alberto for a month or two at that point and I was still 16.

Maria had come up to ask me why I was eating so much, mostly because she was concerned for my health as we worked at McDonalds.  I meant to say how embarrassed I was that she would notice that I eat a ton, and that I didn’t usually eat lunch at school.  Instead I said, “Estoy embarazada…” at which point her jaw dropped.  She poked me in the gut and said “bebe”.  I turned several interesting shades of red as it dawned on me what I had actually said. 

I wonder if she remembers that…  Maybe I’ll ask her next time I call her!

3.   What state and/or city have you relocated to?

I haven’t gone anywhere yet.  We are still battling immigration and the legal system here in Minnesota.  I’m positive I’ll post something if we need to make the decision to move.

4.   Do you and your hubby have any children and if so, how old?

Alberto and I have a 3 year old daughter, Ashley Mendez.

5.   What is one thing that your blogger friends don’t know about you?

I think I’m pretty much an open book here on my blog (except for the name thing of course), so I need to think for a minute here.

I have it!  I love a good practical joke, and my senior prank was a dozy.  We had a teacher who was a real life version of ‘Runaway Bride’, but she was fun and made her subject interesting.  So, I had Ms. Carpenter for Sociology and we did an experiment on taboos in regards to illicit drug use.  The drug in our study was Ice Cubez and the users (us) would have to hide the fact that we had to have ice cubes in everything we consumed that was liquid.  We also had on these ugly bracelets as a physical manifestation of the addiction and we could not for any reason explain why we were wearing them.  Ms. Carpenter would tell the hall monitors and campus cop when the experiment was being conducted so that they could confiscate our ‘illegal contraband’.  Seeing how Ms. Carpenter also participated but no one would give her grief about the ice cubes, I hatched a plan.

During the last semester of the year I had a friend in her class who was supposed to tell me when the experiment was to take place.  We were about 3 weeks away from graduation when the sting operation was finally about to swing into motion.  My friend distracted Ms. Carpenter while I placed a cooler full of illicit drugs (ice cubes) under her desk.  Upon leaving her classroom, I tipped off the campus cop that Ms. Carpenter had illegal contraband in her classroom.  It was agreed that the campus cop would be accompanied by the principal and arrest Ms. Carpenter during the class my friend was in so that I would know what went down.  It was a thing of beauty, perfectly executed and shocking to see a teacher led away in handcuffs.  After our graduation ceremony, I thanked Ms. Carpenter for being such a good sport and admitted it was me.

6.   What are some of your favorite hobbies or past times?

I love movies except for horror flicks.  I am one of those people that hates it when someone misquotes a movie, so if I look annoyed you know who you are.

I devour books, especially romance novels by Nora Roberts, Lisa Klepas, or Johanna Lindsey.  I also enjoy cooking when no one is around to bug me, drawing, making miscellaneous crafts, and walking.

Give me a rainy Sunday with a good book and a few movies and that’s as close to heaven as I get.  It would only get better if you threw my husband into the mix.

7.   How did you stumble upon the blogging community?

I had been toying with the idea of blogging for several months because a few of my friends told me I should write a book.  Since writing a book is such a big undertaking, I decided to try blogging first and see if this is a possibility for me.  Then once I got past my second post, blogging turned into a wailing wall, although sometimes I wish people would comment so I would have some feedback.

8.   Have you learned something new about yourself during this whole process that has changed all of our lives?

I am stronger than I thought, and more stubborn than should be humanly possible.  I have a linear and mostly logical mind that indulges in the irrational for time to time.  I have found a renewed faith in God and discovered that there is still hope buried deep in my heart that everything will be ok.

I have learned to think positive because I cannot afford to be negative.  I cannot afford to have doubts, because I am an ‘all or nothing’ type of person.

9.   Something that you love about Mexico and something that you can’t stand or miss living without.

Keep in mind I have never been in Mexico for longer than two weeks.

I loved being able to walk to anything I needed in Mexico City or Cuautla.  I loved that if you missed the bus, a pecera would be by in 5 minutes to take you where you need to go.  I loved the street food with their full flavors and vendors yelling ‘ELOTES’ as they rode past your house on a bicycle.

I didn’t love the heat, and I don’t know if I would survive south of the border long enough to acclimate.  I can handle -20° weather easy, what I can’t handle is being parboiled by the sun in 60 seconds or less.  In less than an hour I got a sunburn bad enough on my arm that random people were offering sun block and aloe gel, and I earned my nickname ‘La Mas Tostada’.

10.Did you know your in-laws before moving and has it been a big adjustment being closer to them?

My feelings towards my in-laws, Gisela in particular, is perfectly clear elsewhere in this blog.  They mostly live here in Minnesota and I get on well with my sister/brother-in-laws.  However the matriarch of the family, Gisela, drives me insane.

11.If you were going back to the states next week, where is the first place you would go after seeing your family?

I’m still here.  Let’s say that Alberto is acquitted and immigration paroles him into the United States for the rest of the process, the rest place I would go with him is to Taquería Los Ocampo with the family.

It is at times like these that it hits me just how much I miss him.

Te amo con todo mi corazon y mi alma Alberto...

Bittersweet Memories

Each letter I receive from Alberto is better than the last.  He is writing down on paper the words that he would so rarely say.  My favorite part of each letter is when he describes a memory that he has of us that made him smile that day.  The times we would go walking in the park, to the movies, or even just having a lazy day in the house with a few rented movies.  He talks about how much the walks together meant to him, but it seems he doesn’t remember how I would have to pester him to get him to go anywhere.  Mi media naraja is more of a homebody than I ever was, and I was pretty adept at sitting on my butt for hours at a time.  I remember the times we would go the movie theater and spend time in the arcade playing air hockey, and now that theater is gone as well as the arcade.  I remember going to the fair with Alberto and buying him something silly just because I wanted to see him smile.  Memories are looking at the past with rose-tinted glasses, forgetting the mundane and emphasizing the pretty.

I am more sentimental then I thought I was.  Today as I was cleaning out my purse, which I have to do on a weekly basis, I discovered all of the letters that Alberto has written me from jail.  I didn’t realize that I was carrying them with me everywhere I go, but I have done just that for over a month.  I like the idea that I am carrying a piece of my husband with me whether I go.  I also have a $200 and $100 peso bill in my wallet from our last trip to Mexico, Alberto’s new check card, and a 1987 Mexican silver coin.  I also have a variety of key chains that include the virgencita keychain I bought at the Basilica, one that is engraved from Things Remembered, and a third that I only put back on yesterday that is a bit more meaningful.  I lost it at one point a few years ago when I lost my one and only car key for a few days and I was distraught.  It is an old silver Mexican coin from the 1950’s that has cut-outs that were melted back onto the coin to make the virgen at her chapel and I love it.  I think I harassed Alberto for several months before he let me have it, but I have carried it for several years.  I used to have the card for the last bouquet of flowers in my wallet, but after it started fading last year I put it in a picture frame.  The last time he gave me flowers was in July of 2002; three red roses that unfortunately did not survive the move.  I want to find a pretty box to put all of my memories in, and I know I should go through what I have in the shoebox I had been using and throw some things out.