Monday, December 31, 2012

Año Nuevo

Dear readers and friends, yet another year has come and gone without my best friend here by my side.  I'm a little older, perhaps a bit more cynical than before and seemingly no closer to the end of our personal immigration nightmare.  While everyone around me prepares to celebrate the coming of a new year with friends and lovers, I just want to sit in my room and watch Ice Age 4 with my darling daughter.  Instead I find myself forced to socialize with my brother, sister-in-law, and their 3 children.  The holidays just don't bring out the best in me these days...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Business as usual

My husband has never been content with the status quo. It has been four months since Alberto left the United States with his brand new outlook on life. In that time he has gotten a job, fixed his car, and he is now buying an established business. He is determined to buy the creamery where he works from his boss despite the fact we don’t have the money to pay upfront. I asked him what he planned to do with the business if the waiver was approved and he said that this business would provide a way of life for his family. I don't know what other people might think but to me it seems like a win-win situation.  If worst comes to worst it would mean that we should have at least one income to help us survive in Mexico until we know what we're going to do next.  It’s almost a relief to know that we have at least one thing we can fall back on.

This living situation is driving me insane!  Carol is the single most disorganized person I have ever met, which is pretty bad coming from someone that more often than not cannot find a pair of socks that match. I haven’t been able to get to bed on time since they moved in and I’m not sure how much longer I can take it.  I‘ve told Carol that I have about 4 1/2 hours in which I can sleep Tuesday through Saturday; it is extremely important that I am able to get to bed by 9 o’clock because the less sleep I get, the less civilized I am.  I haven’t been able to get to bed before 10 pm because of the shenanigans.  I have been in a bad mood for over a week already and unfortunately I don’t anticipate this ending anytime soon.  Ashley will not go to bed if Kay is not in bed, and I can’t go to bed if Ashley is still up being the responsible adult that I am.

Monday, December 17, 2012

He who shall not be named

I don’t want to talk about what happened in Connecticut last Friday.  I feel like the media has covered the matter in way too much detail as it is.  Truth be told, I want to complain about the media coverage.  They were interviewing children as they came out of the school building for crying out loud and posting pictures of them sobbing while walking away from the school with their hands on the shoulders of the child in front of them!  We knew the name of that individual before we heard the names of any of the victims.  Those that were on Facebook saw the creation of what seemed like 600 new pages/profiles devoted to the name the media gave out first, who turned out to be the shooter’s brother.  This sick individual became a celebrity the moment the first shot was fired, even if it was only because of the hate and rage at their actions.

When you look at the reaction of the public, everything has degenerated into a flame war.  Some want to increase gun control laws.  Others say that arming teachers is the answer and best way to keep our children safe.  The arguments are broken down into factions: gun enthusiasts, gun control seekers, atheists, über-religious, and the parents like me that are at a complete loss of words.  I don’t know that more gun control laws would make much of a difference; someone that is bound and determined to wreak havoc will find a way.  When it comes to religion, stay out of this type of situation completely.  Lack of religion in our schools did NOT cause this.  The remarks about the children receiving the best gift possible for Christmas, meeting Jesus, were completely insensitive and inappropriate in my eyes.  The comments stating this *proves* that religion is nothing more than the opiate of the masses is equally insensitive. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cloud 9 3/4

Today is the first day this month that I feel optimistic.  Even reflecting on the awfulness of ‘shitstorm Tuesday’ doesn’t bring me down from my perch on cloud nine.  It all started with an email… from Diana.

From: Diana
To: Deza

Hi Deza,

I received notice from our liaison today that the file was sent to the National Visa Center this week.  It usually takes 2-3 weeks for the NVC to receive the file and load it into their system.  I will follow up next week with the NVC and keep you posted.


That three sentence email made up for everything that’s happened in the last 2 months.  I feel hopeful again for the first time in a long time, and I’ll be praying every night that I can finally bring my husband home.  Please please please…

“In all things it is better to hope than to despair.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

#$^%ing Tuesdays

You know how I hate Mondays right?  Well, I loathe Tuesdays with every ounce of my being because anything bad that could happen will happen on a Tuesday.  Murphy’s Law is the guiding principle on a (tues)day in the life of Deza.  That’s why I try to move through the day pretending it’s either Monday or Wednesday; if I don’t think Tuesday thoughts, I might make it out unscathed.  This Tuesday I was not so successful.

At FedEx this morning I managed to take a 30 pound box to the head, with the corner of said box missing my right eye by a matter of inches.  I may develop a shiner yet, but if I do it’ll be so pitiful that people will think it’s a makeup malfunction.  Even if I managed to get a black eye everyone who knows me would assume there was a mildly amusing story behind it since Deza isn't the sort of person that gets into fist fights or bar brawls.  The most impressive bruise I’ve had to date was a rather detailed rendition of a tire tread on my thigh, which was refreshing since I actually knew what would have caused that particular contusion when typically I have no clue how the injury occurred.  Normally I put it down to the fact that I’m hilariously uncoordinated and have the unique ability to trip on a line drawn with chalk on the ground.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Radio Silence

I hate Mondays, but I’m sure by now I’ve made that perfectly clear. Today I’ve made an important decision; in order to preserve my sanity, I’m going to work my frustration off. I’m going to stick to my program (Couch to 5k) and make it work. I’m going to be sensible about my diet and simply avoid sugary snacks/drinks while adhering to a single serving on a modestly sized plate. Most importantly I’m going to practice a form of radio-silence and not discuss it on the Facebook page that my husband sees. I’m going to be quite sneaky about it and hide my shape whenever I see my in-laws, although my face and neck are a giveaway because they get more defined as I lose pounds. Why you ask? Well it’s because I’m going to be selfish for once. I want to see his jaw drop when I go to Mexico in February. I’ve never had the body of a model, but I’m going to have the best body I can manage.

The first week of the program started on December 4th and I discovered that I can handle it. Sure I was wiped out for an hour afterwards and that first day I was so tired, but the next day I felt better. I didn’t have any breathing problems (suck it exercise-induced asthma!) and I wasn’t wobbly from working harder than usual. I think I would have been setting myself up for failure had I not been working out 3 times a week on the machines at work. This program is set up to be 3 times a week for 7 weeks, so we’ll see just how well I progress. I’m not afraid to repeat a week if I think I need more time to get used to the jogging before advancing.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Progress stands still

It's been a while dear readers; I haven't had time to write lately.  I plan on trying to get some of my partial posts finished so I can fill everyone in the changes that have taken place.  The largest change so far is the news that my brother John is moving back home in less than 3 weeks due to foreclosure.  At this point we’re all grateful there is enough, albeit barely, room for everyone in my parent’s house.  John and Carol have three children; Kay is 7, Michael is almost 2, and Trevor is 6 months old.  Ashley will be sharing a room with Kay, I am fervently praying that someone will have mercy on me and keep the fights to a minimum (no blood please).  Michael and Trevor were already sharing a room so at least we know there shouldn’t be any real trouble there.  I am being displaced to a much smaller room upstairs and have to downsize my possessions or arrange for off-site storage accordingly.  I had to talk to Alberto about it already because there are a few things I still have of his here in Minnesota that I would have nowhere to store.  The weight bench in particular is a thorny issue since it was a Christmas present, but if it needs to go I guess it needs to go.

Another change is the addition on a second income.  I now work at FedEx Ground between 3 and 7 am Tuesday-Friday.  It's easy enough work, but I wish I could carry mace on my shift.  In a word; creepers.  My co-workers are either good people in need of extra income for whatever reason, or straight creepers.  I think I can handle it through the holidays, which is the point or there simply won't be any presents for Christmas.  I am short about $500 for the waiver filing fees (never again will I buy a @^$#ing Jetta) and if I don't work at FedEx I'll never be able to bring Alberto home.  My carrot on a stick is a pair of roundtrip tickets to Mexico so I can see my husband before my 28th birthday.  I really want to see him again without being on the other side of a glass partition.

Currently our case is stalled while the government retrieves our file from storage. Lance sent me a stern email after I told him I was in contact with Diana in the Senator’s office and she had given me a different status than what the USCIS told him at the infopass.  He said that too many people making inquiries can stall or even stop all progress.  The next day I was told to let Diana keep plugging away with the government because she was getting her information ahead of Lance.  It appears that Lance was suffering from selective hearing when he had the appointment with USCIS; the guy could have said NRC instead of NVC.  Our file is going to be traveling again soon enough, and with all due haste.  We need the visa interview and denial so we can submit the waivers. 

“I got nothing.”


Friday, September 7, 2012

Allergic Allegory

I have known for many years that I suffer from seasonal allergies, so it must have been some desire for suffering that compelled me to get retested this year.  I was last tested in the summer of 2007.  I remember the two weeks prior to that appointment as pure torture since in order test allergic reactions, a person must go 14 days without allergy medication.  Do you know what it’s like to have random people ask you if you are ‘really sick’ or need ‘help’ constantly?  I swear that everyone within a 5 mile radius either thought I had some disease or was on drugs due to my continuously bloodshot eyes.  I’m glad I warned HR and my supervisor ahead of time otherwise they might have staged an intervention.  It’s called seasonal allergies people; I’m not deathly ill so please simmer down.

This morning was the test, and honestly the days before the test were not as bad as I remembered from last time.  Truthfully, I haven’t had a bad allergy season since my darling daughter was born and the results of my test reflected greatly reduced or non-existent reactions.  My allergens include dust mites, mold, some grasses, various farm animals, and evil incarnate.

The one true evil in this world has a name:  Felis Catus, aka Mittens, Milo, Jinx, Garfield, or the domesticated CAT.  They always know me for what I am, an allergy sufferer, and they delight in provoking a reaction.  I avoid the shedding devils at every opportunity, however I cannot escape them.  They have turned many of my poor family members into mere servants, catering to their every want and need.  They have exiled me from many homes as I cannot breathe in the presence of pure evil.  Today I was issued a challenge to face my tormentor with the help of a common steroid inhaler to combat inflammation of the lungs.  My other option is to visit those houses in an anti-histamine fueled haze in which I behave like a doped up stoner.

I believe I am ready for the next confrontation with the enemy.  The battlefield is yet undecided but the day is an often celebrated holiday known as Christmas.  Someone in the family is hosting Christmas, and all but one household harbors at least one slinking dander farm.

Bring it on kitty… I got this.


Friday, August 31, 2012

A Fashion Brief

There is a page on Facebook for just about every collection of people imaginable.  I love how social media has given people the chance to gather and offer support with hundreds or even thousands of miles between them.  The group that has helped me the most in the last year is for people enduring the I-601 (Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility) process.  We talk about our hopes and fears knowing that the other people in the group have the ability to understand what we are going through.

I need to be able to talk to someone about how I can’t buy the new shoes that Liliana so desperately needs, without some idiotic response about how they simply can’t buy a new iPad until next week because they’re totally tapped out.  I mean how does the fact that my daughter needs shoes because the old pair finally fell to pieces have to do with your sudden longing for a new iPad?  Maybe I want an iPad too, but I know the difference between wanting something and needing something.

It’s important that I don’t have to explain why I live with my parents and can’t get any state or federal assistance.  We all need someone to lean on that will not make a snap judgment based on what their father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate had to say last Tuesday after such-and-such Politian voiced their opinion on something which they interpreted as gospel.

I was having a horrible day when I tuned into my Facebook support group.  The conversations were interesting, but there was one in particular that caught my attention.  One of the ladies had been looking at the NAMUS website and posed a question to the group about Hispanic men and their apparent love of fashion bikini briefs.  That observation was the start of one of the most entertaining conversations I ever participated in and it pulled me out of my dark mood like nothing else had been able to.  We spoke of plain, colorful, and animal print bikini briefs (particularly the zebra prints bikinis worn by an ‘acquaintance’ of one of the group member from back before she was married).  We debated the reason for the bikini briefs and discovered another thing we all had in common; the introduction of boxer shorts into our men’s wardrobe.  There were several points during that discussion where I laughed until I had tears streaming from my eyes!

I truly appreciate each and every one of you, the I-601 ladies.  I hope that zebra print will live on and make us all smile on our darkest days.

“I asked the Zebra,
are you black with white stripes?
Or white with black stripes?
And the zebra asked me,
Are you good with bad habits?
Or are you bad with good habits?
Are you noisy with quiet times?
Or are you quiet with noisy times?
Are you happy with some sad days?
Or are you sad with some happy days?
Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?
And on and on and on and on and on and on he went.
I’ll never ask a zebra about stripes...again.”

― Shel Silverstein “The Zebra Question”


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Quiz Time!

I’ve gone and stolen Lisa’s June quiz from her blog From one Country to Another, I hope she doesn’t mind!

1. How did your hubby pop the big question?

There was no question popping for us.  Alberto had just been bailed out from ICE Detention by yours truly, when I peed on the stick that changed everything.  It was about 2 days after he was home with me when I finally took a pregnancy test.  The symptoms were there before Thanksgiving; however they got forgotten and ignored during my epic freak-out over his arrest.  Together we made the decision to find an attorney and go through the process, and the first step was getting married.

I bought the marriage license, made the appointment with a judge, and bought myself a ring.  Alberto showed up at the appointed time and place; and we were married on a Thursday afternoon during my lunch break.

2. What Jewelry do you wear daily?

I always have three pairs of earrings on; 2 pairs of hoops, and a pair of Mexican fire opal studs.  I have my
cadena with my medallion of the virgin, confirmation cross, and locket. Currently I have my wedding ring and a right hand ring on, although I often will wear the ring bought me for our 6 month anniversary. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pins and Needles

Today is the day I talk about my newest obsession: PINTEREST!  I was introduced to this addictive website by a coworker almost a year ago, but I never actually took the time to look at the site until recently.  I was in need of a distraction, which Pinterest most definitely is.  I have pinned more projects than I will probably ever be able to complete!  I really think pinning is the best part, although some of the things I’ve pinned I really want to try.

My favorite topic is all about the bucks; how can I save a few making things myself?  Homemade laundry solutions (detergent, stain remover, oxy-clean, & fabric softener), household cleaners, and diy market bags (old t-shirts!) top my list of fascinating things to do.  Mom says I am forbidden from making my own detergent in her house since she believes I would just make a horrible mess.  After looking at my room again just now I’m inclined to agree with her assessment.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Safe & Sound

Alberto was deported by our beloved government on Wednesday, August 1st.  He left the US on a government plane and flew 2,000 miles away from the family we created together.  I was frantic when I didn’t hear from him at all on Wednesday.  I finally got ahold of him on Thursday afternoon when I called la Madrina’s / Madra’s house.  He had arrived from the bus station less than 15 minutes before I called, and I have never been so relieved in my adult life.  He didn’t call me from the bus station after landing as he’d promised, because someone told him that some of the payphones in the bus stations are rigged to save the last number dialed.  Unscrupulous people can call that last number dialed and extort money saying the person was ‘kidnapped’.  Sneaky little bastards…

I know that Alberto is an adult and he knows how to take care of himself, but I felt the ice block in my chest begin to crack and melt from the moment I was able to talk to him.  Maybe it’s simply the novelty of being able to call and talk to my best friend whenever I want.  I had to smile when he told me his priority after a shower and clean clothes was to searching out a taco cart and a haircut.

Monday, July 30, 2012


The human mind can only handle so much before a breakdown occurs.  Whenever something devastating happens, my mind shuts off the outside world to wrap itself in a cocoon of misery.  I experience some of the classic symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; feeling emotionally numb, trouble concentrating, avoiding activities I once enjoyed, and difficulty maintaining relationships.  I suppose that what I was experiencing wasn’t severe enough to be called PTSD, so I was diagnosed with Major Depression, Dysthymia, and GeneralizedAnxiety Disorder.  My first experience was after Alberto’s voluntary departure in October of 2008, and my second round started on Wednesday, July 18th.

I was destroyed, reduced to a pile of fragmented shards by the email informing me of the denial from USICS.  Joelle sent me home, though she wanted to call someone to come get me instead.  She only saw the tattered facade left behind by emotions run amok; she couldn’t see the core of steel, the resolve that was keeping me upright when all I wanted to do was crumble into pieces on the floor.  I left because it was easier to do so, and because I needed Ashley.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Decision 2012

So much for getting some sleep...  Here's a better rundown of the events of the day:

At 3pm today I received an email from the constituent services representative of Senator Franken’s office, Diana that the USCIS had notified them that a notice was mailed today.  USCIS did not let Diana know what the notice said.  I managed to get myself excited at the potential meaning of the notice.   I forwarded the email to Graciela and she responded that she was on pins and needles waiting to see what it would say.  I was floating on cloud nine thinking about all the good things that notice could say.

At 4:30pm I received the email regarding the new case status and saw that a decision had been made on the I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status).  I’ll let you read for yourselves…


Today was the day my hope for a quick end to our suffering was smashed to pieces.  The I-485 and I-601 we filed back in February were denied in a particularly heinous fashion.  I understand it is their ‘policy’ to approve or deny people on a whim, but using 1 sentence to address a 739 page waiver packet was only slightly more subtle  than giving us the middle finger.  Our packet was a handcrafted masterpiece, their denial was a 14 page cut and paste hack job.  I mean there were several places where the quotation marks didn’t agree and there was a different in font size throughout the document.  They did not even reference one single piece of the I-601 waiver in their denial; I highly doubt they actually read any of it.  Looking at the table of contents isn’t the same thing as having read the damned thing.

Lance thinks the interviewer has never seen an I-601 waiver before, but even that doesn’t excuse such a poorly made and rationalized decision.  Graciela was horrified by denial in itself, how could they possible justify such an appalling decision?  Gather round friends and neighbors and let me explain something to you: immigration is an arm of the government that is not well trained, has no concrete set of rules, and no one appears to be looking over their shoulder.  They have the power to detain and deport people at will, and have been known to ‘accidently’ deport American Citizens when it suits them.  You know that ‘line’ that our spouses were supposed to get in?  It only exists in the narrow minds of the anti-immigration political candidates.  Have they ever looked at the processing times for the different applications?

If the petitioner isn’t a US Citizen, you will be waiting between 1 to 2 years for the initial visa appointment.

I pretty upset so I think I should just go to bed.


Friday, July 13, 2012


I woke up late, which just sucked because I needed to wash my hair.  I forgot to put my work clothes in the dryer last night, and just about everything I had was in the washer.  So I dried one outfit while I shower, and when I got dressed, the zipper on my pants broke.  The little tab thingy just came off!  No big deal right?  Wrong – this is the one pair of pants that had to sew a lingerie hook to attach the zipper since it will not stay up!  I threw another pair of pants in the dryer, and when to see if I had something else I could wear.  I decided to wear my dress with leggings, but wait a second, where is the camisole that I need to wear under it?  Luckily the pants were dry enough to wear by this time but I couldn’t find a clean work shirt.  I grabbed one from the hamper and went to get Ashley out of bed.

Ashley is not a morning person, just like her Mamí.  I forced her out of bed and made her get dressed.  She sat at the kitchen table with a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast while I made her lunch.  Typically she eats breakfast at preschool, but I was running horribly late.  I couldn’t seem find her shoes anywhere and as soon as they were pulled out from under the couch she needed to go potty.  I had about 1 foot out the door when I remembered she needed a towel and swimsuit for sprinkler day.  I finally got her to school only to discover I forgot her water bottle and so I went all the way home to get it.  I got home and checked every single cabinet plus the dishwasher, but it was nowhere to be found.  I filled up one of mine and brought it back to school for her.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Empty Words and Broken Dreams

I hate waiting.  I don’t want to hear about how patient, strong, and wonderful I am.  I don’t want to hear how brave I am to do this all on my own.  I don’t want to hear any of these empty words that praise me for staying alive in this God awful situation.

So you think I’m patient?  I’m sure if you went through my posts you could find multiple examples of the times I’ve flipped the fuck out because I surpassed my maximum tolerance for stress, or the death-grip I have on my emotions snapped like an overstretched elastic band.  Honestly it doesn’t take much anymore.  I’m sure Lance has many stories he could relate, but even he hasn’t seen or heard everything.  I’m too internal of a person to tell one person every single thing I think or feel.  Alberto is the only person that I never hid myself from.

I’m strong because I have no choice.  What good would it do to fold myself into a ball and weep copiously for what has been lost?  Who, in my situation, has the time to be weak and what kind of mother would I be to Ashley if she couldn’t count on her Mamí to always be there?  Alberto needs me to be strong when in the past he was always my rock.  I am desperately trying to hold myself together.  I’m trying to cover the hole in my bleeding heart that may never heal.  Should I let those bitter tears run down my cheeks whenever someone I know gets engaged, married, pregnant, their dream job, a degree, or even just goes to the movies with their loved ones?  Being weak wouldn’t change a single damn thing about this nightmare I live in.  No amount of tears or begging on my knees would ever bring my husband home to us, and the cost would be my self-respect.  I will not allow the government to take my family away from me just because my husband wasn’t born on this side of an arbitrary line in the dirt.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Interview with the Devil’s Advocate

Yesterday I emailed Lance and Molly to see where the interview would be.  Molly told me to wait for them on the third floor when I arrive, but to try not to be there too early.  Easy for you to say since I cannot arrive anywhere less than 15 minutes early.  I was hoping that my morning errands would help to keep me grounded until the interview.

I had a fitness consultation in the morning at the local gym; she promised she wouldn’t go easy.  I was not looking forward to being tortured by a personal trainer chick that is ridiculously peppy, half my size, and frigging cute as a button.  I’m sure you’re all seen the type of fitness fanatic I’m talking about here.  I got about halfway through the consultation when an employee from the kids’ corner comes downstairs with my daughter who was visibly upset.  Ashley had an accident because no one took her to the potty.  The chick tells me she was in the kids’ corner all by herself and couldn’t take Ashley to the bathroom.  Ok, so how did you manage to bring her to me?  Well she’s the only kid I had up there to watch.  I was livid.  My almost 4 year old daughter is upset because she pissed her pants, and the accident occurred because you wouldn’t take her to the bathroom?!  I had to shut down the anger and quickly because last time I became upset at the gym, my supervisor heard about it the very next morning.  We took the rest of the consult upstairs to a private training room so that I could finish up since Ashley couldn’t go back to kids’ corner.  The personal trainer (who even has a cute name: Julia) could tell I was upset but chose to say nothing about it.  We finished up and I stalked out of the building with Ashley in tow.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Slowly losing my mind

I hate this.  I hate how it feels to wait for something so long and then when it’s finally about to happen I manage to freak myself out.  I hate that I can’t sit still and can barely focus.  Tonight I will hate it even more when I can’t sleep.  Luckily I’ve only emailed the attorney once today, about 10 minutes ago, and I’m trying very hard not to email him again.  He’ll understand, won’t he?  I mean Lance was there when I flipped the f*** out the day the Consulate in Cuidad Juarez called 3 times and I was unable to call them back… (see below) 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Castle in the Air

Our Thursday night visit was all of three minutes long because two idiots decided to get into a fight on Alberto’s block.  He was talking to Ashley when she handed me the phone.  He said that they were going into lockdown because of a fight, but that I should stick around to see if we could finish our visit.  I told the guard and he told me I should leave.  According to the guard we’d already concluded our visit and there were too many people still waiting.  Understandably this put me in a nasty mood since this was one of those days I really wanted to talk to my husband.  He did call me later that night but I didn’t have any credit on my phone to answer the call.

This morning was simply a continuance of my fool mood.  Work did nothing to dispel the funk I was mired in; in fact for a while it actually made things worse.  I have little patience for people that constantly ignore the rules and just do whatever they want instead.  This is not the way the world works. 

I digress, there I was just bopping along living the dream* when all of a sudden the floor disappeared from beneath my feet.  I feel like I’m going to just jump out of my skin.  After another inquiry by Senator Franken’s office, the interview has been scheduled.  I jumped out of my chair and danced around I was so happy to have a date set! 
Now here I am, sitting at the computer awake as dawn approaches.  I thought I was stressed out before, but I fear the worst is yet to come.

“In times of stress, be bold and valiant.”
-      Horace (roman poet, 65bc – 8bc)


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I bite my thumb at you, sir

Brian pisses me off.  I hardly have words to describe the anger the man is capable of generating in me.  It would have been an ugly thing if I had run into him today after the newest outrage.  I swear that if I had the means, I would fire this clown in a heartbeat.
It all started last week when the hearing regarding our motion to contest restitution was rescheduled AGAIN, because the Writ was not served in enough time.  I gather the counties only require a few days’ notice to transfer a detainee, whereas immigration needs a minimum of 2 weeks to process such a request.  Brian forwarded me a series of email between himself, the prosecutor, and the clerk of court as they went back and forth setting a new date.  Brian requested June 7th at 2:45 pm, which was fine with the prosecutor, however the Judge was in trial at that time so the clerk offered several different times on the same day.  Maybe I’ll just let you read parts of the email change so you can see why they irritate me so.  It starts from the most recent and ends with the forwarded email chain.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

At The Crossroads

Oh joy!  Monday has never been my favorite day of the week, but I appreciate it even less when I have to get out of bed earlier than usual.  Ashley is not a pleasant person in the morning much like her magnificent mother, but at least I don’t take a swing at people for waking me up.  We had our 9th immigration hearing this morning which explains the extraordinary mood that descended on me this am.  I suppose there are worse things I could have had to do that would force me out of bed at the butt crack of dawn, but that way of thinking is too rational for me right now.  Anyway, after the obligatory tears and punches were thrown by my sweet daughter I was able to get her ready for school in record time.  There still was a slight argument over whether or not children are able to wear sandals with socks, the answer is a resounding no by the way, and in the end I had to practically sit on Ashley to get her shoes on.  I think the reason she hates shoes so much is they are almost too small for her.  I hope to be able to buy her new shoes on Friday when I get paid again, but whether that is possible or not remains to be seen.  Ashley has been eating everything on her plate and then some lately which is a sure sign of an approaching growth spurt.  I’m not looking forward to that because that means I need to go out and buy her more clothes that I can’t afford.  Thank God it’s garage sale season!

I pulled into the parking lot of the non-descript government building that houses the 8th circle of hell almost feeling optimistic.  It’s strange that after so many hearings I can feel something besides resentment and anger during my journey.  Maybe it is the anticipation at being able to see my best friend face to face after so many days without the privilege that improves my mood, although I truly believe it shouldn’t be a privilege to look my husband in the eye when I’m talking with him.  Once again the miniscule waiting room is packed with the family of the detained so I move into the visiting room to sit on the little stools available in there.  There is only one attorney in the room when I arrive so the chances are good we’ll get in sooner rather than later.  Shortly after Graciela arrives we got kicked out of the visiting room so we went to stand in the hallway, by this time it’s 9 am.  In the hallway we see another attorney from Lance’s office and we learn that Lance himself will also be here shortly for a hearing.  Graciela told me that Lance had a new client he was here to represent today and that he didn’t want to make her give them the bad news.  Apparently the young man had been very busy during his adult life which resulted in 50 or so incidents on his criminal record.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother’s Day

Today is that one day every year where we are reminded to thank the woman that didn’t kill us during those snotty teenage years.  Hopefully our mothers know how much we love and appreciate them every single day of the year.

My Mother’s Day weekend started on Friday when I attended the tea party given by Ashley’s Preschool.  I got to meet Ashley’s best friend, a cute little girl named Emma who will be going to Kindergarten next year.  Sophie and I exchanged contact information so maybe we can do a play date or something with the girls this summer.  I would like to invite some kids from Ashley’s Preschool class to her birthday party if we actually have one this year.  I feel like I’m being pulled in so many directions that I’m not sure how I would even manage it.  Life was so much easier when I was just an adult, although I have no regrets that I have become a ‘Mamí’.

On Sunday we participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure at Mall of America.  My mom, Ashley, and I have been going to this event since Mother’s Day 2009 when Ashley slept the whole time in the stroller.  It is simply awe-inspiring to see a river of people marching along the course.  There are always people in the crowd that stop to hug their moms at the 1st mile marker while the volunteers with megaphones cheer us on from the sidelines.

I hope all of the Mom’s out there have an absolutely wonderful day! 

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity take the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to us.”
- Washington Irving


Friday, April 27, 2012

‘Get Out of Relationship Free’ Card

I know my mother-in-law doesn’t necessarily talk to me about the family issues, but I really don’t like being taken by surprise by problems.  My husband asked me if I knew why Dacia left her boyfriend and said that he was told there had been abuse within the relationship.  Now I know Dacia’s father Ignacio has been abusive to my sister-in-law and Dacia has pleaded with her mother to leave him before, so I was surprised to hear this.  I promised I would find out what I could and tell him what I’d learned at our next visit.  I talked to my mother-in-law and she told me that Roberto had hit Dacia several times and even cut her once with a razor when they had been fighting.  I was shocked, but the only other thing Gisela could tell me is that Dacia’s father told her to come to Mexico with Junior.

As luck would have it, Dacia decided to visit her uncle today so I had the opportunity to speak with her alone.  I didn’t ask her about the situation on our way to the jail, but instead used what she said to Alberto during the visit as the foundation for my own questions.  She asked me about traveling to Mexico and what Junior would need to fly, or to cross the border in a car.  She wouldn’t be able to fly to Mexico with Junior if he didn’t have a passport, but they could cross the border in a vehicle as long as she had a certified copy of his birth certificate.  I told her it was in her best interest to apply for Junior’s passport and postpone traveling until she had it, but that apparently is not an option.  It’s something she needs to take care of as soon as possible or Junior will have trouble getting one in the future if the USCIS decides to claim he stole someone else’s identity.  I asked her why she was leaving all of a sudden and she told me she did something stupid; she went out with another guy.  I asked if the relationship could be fixed or was Roberto abusive.  She told me Roberto wants her to come back to him, but she doesn’t want to be with him anymore because he’s too jealous.  She stated that he wasn’t abusive to her or their son; she just didn’t want to deal with his jealousies anymore.  She sheepishly told me that she wove a story for her Abuelita about abuse because she was afraid that Gisela wouldn’t let her come home if she knew the truth.  I said something about the fact that Roberto is a Mexican/Chicano male, implying that she should’ve known he would be somewhat jealous.  Alberto was the same way when he was Roberto’s age, that’s why I quit working at McDonalds – we were fighting all the time over stupid things.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lisa’s Monthly Survey (via Emily)

A lighthearted survey is just what today needed!  I got this one from Emily over at The Real Housewife of Cuidad Juarez, who in turn got in from Lisa at From One Country To Another.  I remember spending many study hall days taking online surveys, so this is a nice little trip into the past.  Thanks Ladies!

1. Name three things you have a fear of:

Spiders, Tuesdays, and missing my chance to have another child

2. Cheese or Fruit Pie?


Long or short hair?

When it’s long I want it short, when it’s short I want it to grow faster...

Small town or big city?

Small town – Suburb of a big city would be best

Blue cheese or Ranch?

Neither!  I can’t stand salad dressing.

White or Wheat Bread?


3. Have you ever won a contest?

The only time I’ve ever won anything was when I was pregnant with Ashley.  Alberto was playing baraja with his family when he decided he needed to leave the table for a while and gave me his hand.  I won $200 that night, which is why we all say “Ashley
nació con una torta bajo el brazo.”

4. Would you rather camp out or stay in a Hilton?

I’m more of a hotel kind of girl.  I think it all started the time I burned two deer ticks off my leg…  That was enough of that for me!

5. Have you ever had surgery?

I’ve had my appendix out, which I think hurt more than childbirth.  Ashley was born after two hours of hard labor while I was loopy on nubain, threatening my husband, if my mother-in-law is correct. 

6. Are you a planner or go with the flow kind of person?

I try to be a planner but my conversion to mexicanism has thwarted all but the most basic of planning abilities.  Sometimes that is a good thing since it made me learn to go with the flow, but then I get that phone call about whatever appointment I missed.  They say next time they’ll have to add a charge to me bill for excessive missed appointments.

7. If you could have anything to eat right now what would it be?

Thanks for reminding me how much I’ve been craving a gordita de tinga de pollo con frijoles y arroz.  I wish
Taquería Los Ocampo delivered…

8. What is your favorite type of flower?

I like the simple flowers like daisies and daffodils.  When we finally have a place to call our own I want to plant a cutting from my mother’s lilacs, which came from her mother’s lilacs, under our bedroom window.

9. Do you remember your dreams? Do you have any?

I have weird dreams when I can remember them.  There was the one where I dreamt Alberto left me for a little Asian girl who was really the princess of France and they laughed at me when I went searching for them with our baby.  I woke up from that dream and felt someone in the bed next to me.  It was the attorney I was working with at the time; he was a short and unattractive jackass.  I screamed and woke myself up for real.

The ones I don’t remember are when I wake up smelling Alberto’s cologne.  Those are the nights I cry.

10. What do you miss most about your childhood?

I miss the heyday of summer.  I miss the romantic moonlit walks in the soft and fragrant nights, and the lazy days before there were jobs and responsibilities.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Weasel War Dance

Good Lord did I really just attend the eighth Immigration Hearing?  I know we’re coming to the end of this nightmare, but sometimes it’s hard for me to comprehend what we’re going through and what has been lost.  Alberto has been detained by USICE for 149 days as of today, but he’s been in jail for a grand total of 331 days.  That means in just over a month he will have been in jail for a year.  Ashley has had her father nearby for almost an entire year.  Maybe in a way this is yet another blessing in disguise since it has given Ashley a chance to get to know her father.  God willing Alberto will be able to come home before too much longer.

I arrived before Graciela as usual and waited for her in the ‘room of many torments’ found within the bowels of USICE hell.  This was yet another visit where I passed through security without much commentary on behalf of the guards, although I noticed the return of their self-important smirks.  I swear they only asked me for my appointment letter because there was someone who came in the door right behind me.  I stated that I was here, yet again, for my husband’s immigration hearing and passed through the metal detector without issue.  I mumbled on the way out that I would be seeing them next month.  I attribute my defeatist attitude to sleep deprivation; luckily these moods rarely last for very long.  Graciela was the last attorney to arrive, so I anticipated that we would not get in until sometime after 10.  This is why I always bring a book.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Today, I feel…

Very upset.  It has been a while since I have gotten this upset about something while still at work, but this was bound to happen.  On Tuesday this week Graciela emailed me saying that she had found a Doctor that was willing to travel to the jail to conduct Alberto’s immigration medical exam.  Graciela made sure to warn me that health insurance does not typically cover this exam, and the doctor was estimating charges in the amount of $350.  I guess the arrangement with that particular doctor fell through.

So today, Graciela told me about a different doctor who was able to conduct the physical on Friday afternoon so that we could have this taken care of before the hearing on Monday.  I guess they wanted to have some progress to report in order to secure the continuance.  Anyway, Graciela asked me if Alberto had ever had the chicken pox and if immigration have his passport.  According to mi suegra, Alberto had varicella when he was only 1 but it was a mild case.  According to the records from when he was enrolled in school in Minnesota, he had also received the varicella vaccine.  Actually he received the full battery of vaccinations because his sister didn’t have his records from Mexico and he couldn’t be enrolled in school until they were done.  Graciela told me the exam was estimated to cost $400 and I needed to call the clinic right away to arrange for payment.  I called and I talked to Sally who told me that prepayment was mandatory for all immigration physicals since health insurance hardly ever covers them.  Sally told me they would not go see Alberto for the exam until the prepayment was complete.  This is how I got upset.  How in the hell am I supposed to prepay a $400 medical exam when I don’t even have $40 between all of my bank accounts combined?!  I called my mom and asked the hardest question of them all; can I borrow $400 in order to prepay Alberto’s immigration exam?  The exam will take place Friday afternoon and I was able to tell Alberto all this during our Thursday visit.  Lance tells me I just purchased a continuance, as if that will make me feel better.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

April Showers…

A weight loss update is a good beginning for this particular post.  I may not be losing a lot of weight so far, but the inches are coming off so I must be doing something right!  My latest data is from this morning; so far I’ve lost .9 lbs and 9.75 inches in the three weeks I’ve been on the New Leaf program.  I feel better since I’ve been exercising and using the calorie counter on MFP helps me think before I eat something.  I still have to ask myself if I’m really hungry or if I’m just bored, but I think I’m getting better at avoiding the mindless munching.  I’ve missed two weight lifting sessions so far, one because I fell asleep and the other because I was too sore to lift any weights.  I will not allow myself to skip any other weight lifting sessions.

Ashley had her first dental appointment on Thursday and it went much better than I was afraid of.  I got to fill out the small mountain of paperwork, while she got to watch ‘Dudley dinosaur goes to the dentist’ on the TV.  I should mention that this is a pediatric dental office with every amenity possible to help keep children from freaking out.  We had been to this office before when Ashley had a tooth that was changing color as the result of a fall.  Since she was very unhappy after that past appointment because the dentist pushed and pulled on the tooth in question to make sure it wasn’t loose, I was worried how this appointment was going to go.  They painted her teeth pink to show us how she needs to be brushing, and she was very good while the hygienist was polishing her teeth.  She got up multiple times while we were waiting for the dentist because she was bored and she allowed him to pick her teeth without a fuss.  She got 2 stickers, a tiny plastic kitty, and super ball for being a good girl.   She was so happy with her new treasures.