This is our story of immigration struggles and moving to Mexico so our family can be together. Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoy!

To all who read my blog

I feel like I owe it to you all to check in . I got back on Saturday morning from 14weeks in the states. I am here in Mexico trying to readjust to the food, the culture and the heat 8) I have a lot on my mind and heart that i am not ready to share yet, but wanted you to know i am alive and kicking and fighting the good fight.

Our luggage all got lost on the way home, but the airline found it and drove it the 3.5 hours to our house the next day. Everything was intact and it was a huge relief.

Our son will be starting kinder tomorrow. We went in today and paid the remaining fees and he is not really excited to start but mama is excited for some free time. He will be in school 5 days a week 4 hours a day. I plan to go to the gym later today and see about joining. While my first thought was "sweet 4 hours to nap and do nothing but lie in bed" i know that is not healthy for my mind and body and will ultimitly lead to depression.

Thinking of all you out there in the blogging world. God Bless

Alive and well

I see it has been almost a month since my last post. I have not been super busy i really have just not been around a computer much and not much is going on. Just work really. Not much else to add. Maybe i will be more interesting when i am back in Mexico (which will  be Oct. 1st BTW)


So i admit, i don't really like the food in Mexico. I don;t like pork products, corn products, anything spicy, rice or beans. Basically all the food people eat there i don't like. Some stuff i can't stomach (tamales) other stuff i just choke down instead of starving. I eat a lot of ham sandwiches, cold cereal and PBJs. I love seafood and luckily there is a lot of that available where we live.

Now while i am here in the states i feel like i need to eat everything i have been deprived off. I swear i think about food 24hrs a day. Heck i even want to eat things i never really liked before, but since they are not available in MX i want to eat them anyways.

Candy is a big one. Thankfully i suppose for my teeth and my waistline there is not a lot of candy i like in MX. Now that i am home i am making up for it with skittles, starburst, jelly bellys, paydays, twizzlers, mike and ikes....the list goes on and on. Oh and hot fudge sundaes.....mmmmm. I must be careful or i will be a lot larger when i return 8) I am hoping the novelty wears off soon and i can resume my normal american diet.

Settling in

Just wanted to say i made it back to Washington safe and sound. I have started working and it feels like i never left. I am so ready for a vacation ... :)

Other than missing Cesar we are doing well. Daniel is having fun and is signed up for some VBS's this summer to keep him busy while i work.

I don't have a good internet connection (dial-up) at my parents, so i may be on and off the next few months. I have my ticket home to Mexcio on October 1st. Gives us something to look forward too.

Back to work

This Saturday (yes in 2 days) i am going back to Seattle to work for 90days. It all happened so fast. See i need to get a job here in Mexico but i need my visa first. That costs money. Plus you make so little here, i thought , well Daniel is starting school, i may never have the opportunity to work in the states again for a short period of time without leaving Daniel here or pulling him out of school (school is pretty much year round, summer break is about 6weeks)  Why don't i work one last time to pay off some of the bills i am paying back home and get the money for my visa.....

So on Tuesday i had this idea and that same day i conatacted my old employer. Next day i got confirmation of a job and today (thurs) i bought my tickets home for Satureday. School here does start the end of Aug, and we will be coming back the end of Sept, so Daniel will miss the first month of school. I think he will be okay though. It i just preschool, not like an AP course.

I am excited to be back for awhile and make some extra money, but there is that sadnes. Mexico is my home. I don't want to leave my husband behind. I don't know how my son will adapt to not only leavign his dad again, but me working full time. I hope he does not feel abandonded. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers sthat the next three months go quickly.

There is a pill for that.....

It seems to me that Mexicans love medications. Things that i would never go to the DR for everyone here thinks i should be taking something. For example, the neighbor lady is getting a cold. She has already been to the dr and gotten about 5 different medicines. My husband has all these herbal things he takes for who knows what. Every ache, cough and sniffle must be treated. It is why i hesitate to take my son to the dr here. I feel like they over prescribe and unfortunately my husband is on the dr side. I just don't think a sniffle warrants a antibiotic regimen I was also prescribed something once for his fever that i later found out from my pediatrician was outlawed as a drug in most of the civilized world.. Nor do i think that some magic drink is going to cure my son of his "tripping" problem.  

A weird one for me is whenever Daniel gets a scratch they ask if i have put vicks Vapor-rub on to it (they pronounce it va-pa-rooooo which makes me laugh) I don't know about you but menthol in an open wound does not sound like a good time. Sometimes they suggest vasaline instead.

Anyways i research any prescribed or nonprescription meds before taking them. I also try not to bring any sort of sickness to my husbands attention unless necessary because he will insist on a visit to the dr.

This whole bed just for me??

I have a confesion to make. We co-sleep. Not because we go for that "natural parenting" stuff, just because things got to a point where we did not know how to fix the problem.

See our son never slept well. Despite that at about 3months of age he was put into his crib. It was hard because he just did not want to sleep. And i mean waking up every hr or so. By the time he was twelve months he was no joke waking up about every 30 min. And he would not fall asleep by himself (without getting into details we tried letting him cry it out two times and it was something i would never do again)  I went back to work when our son was 6weeks old. I had to get up to get ready for work at 3am. Daniel would fall asleep around 11pm. So imagine me going to bed around 11pm, waking up every 30min or so, spending about 15min to get a hysterical child back to sleep, going back to bed and than getting up at 3am and going to work. I got off work at 1230 and  Daniel would take his nap on the drive home from getting him from my moms. I was stressed, tired and anxiety ridden.

At 13months we started cosleeping again. I was at the end of my emotional rope. Needless to say he still woke up screaming and crying, but i did not have to get out of bed and it was faster to calm him down. At three he was still waking up 2 to 3 times a night. (By the way we were not feeding him or giving him milk that stopped at 15months) He recently started sleeping through the night (at 4yrs old) and we have decided to tackle what seem like the impossible, getting him to sleep in his own bed.

For two weeks now me or my husband have slept with him in his room. We are at the point where we are going to stay with him till he falls asleep and when (if) he gets up again we will go back with him till he falls asleep. I have a confession to make though, after sharing a bed for over 3yrs (and well many years more with my husband) I sercretly enjoy the nights where my husband is with Daniel and i get the whole king size bed to myself. HEHEHE

Anyways wish us luck on the next step to independent sleeping!

But i just dusted yesterday!

There is something about Mexico that is very dusty. My husband asked me this morning to dust the dresser, my response "I just did that yesterday, dusted and pledged" He said it needed to be done again. To my dismay there was not just a thin layer of dust, but dust thick enough to write in. The dust is a constant. If you have dust allergies, this is not the place for you. We live on a paved road and i can't even imagine the dust people who live on dirt roads wonder there are no carpets

Welcome to my humble home...

A blog reader asked about where i live so i thought i would share some photos of our house. I will start out by saying my husband has put a lot of work into this house. When i arrived here for the first visit two years ago i cried because there was no way i could stay in the house for 3 weeks, let alone forever. See nothing had been done in 40yrs to the house. Nothing. Dirt floors, no ceiling, no real doors or windows. Insects and lizards everywhere. Well over the last 2yrs it has turned into something livable. We are not totally done, but well you need money to renovate 8)  The house has 4 bedrooms and 2 baths

Here are some before and after photos....Please excuse the messes, i did not clean up before i took pics.

The bar area

The living room, had no roof before (shots from different directions)

 Wall looking into the kitchen/dining room area

We switched the rooms for the kitchen and the dining room, since where the kitchen previously was, was a smaller room. We ran out of money before getting the cabinets in unfortunately. That is the next project though.

Dining area

Bedrooms,not the same one, but you get the idea.

 The outside back yard had a lot of garbage. We  now have a covered wash area with a washing machine and my husband has set up his upholstery shop out back as well. The big tree is an avocado tree and we have what looks like hundreds on it right now. I can't wait till they are ready!

Registering for school

Well we got our sons Mexican BC, it was actually really easy and took only 2 days for us to get it. We were able to get it though our Government office in town, so no long drives either. With that in hand we were ready to register our son for preschool. Most kids here start at age three. They go to three years of Kinder. It is five days a week, from 9am to 1pm. Even though this will be our son's first year of school, he will enter the 2nd year, as it is based on age. Hoping with the language barrier and him being a year behind that it will not be to hard on him.

To register him the school wanted copy of his birth certificate, copies of me and my husbands IDs and a copy of his immunization records from the states.

We talked to a few people and after doing a little research we decided on a private kinder that will allow one on one time. They also have an English program. which obviously won't be needed, but there is teachers who speak English there at all times in case there is an emergency or something and our son just is not understanding what to do.

The school is really cute and is in the shape of a castle. The cost for the school is 600pesos (about $50) a month plus 700pesos (about $60) for registration. I can;t comment on if the price is cheap or not or MX, but it is practically free compared to preschool in the states. They also have pick up and drop off service for an additional fee. Something we don;t plan on using, but will be nice if for some reason i can't get out of the house to get him. They serve breakfast for an additional 10pesos (little less than one dollar) or i can send his meal.

I am so ready for the little monkey to be out of the house for a few hours and he is really excited to be with kids (we will see if he is still as thrilled the first day i drop him off and sees i wont be staying) School starts Aug 22 (i think) and I can't wait!

Getting my sons dual citizenship

Well now that i am back we are working on getting my son's dual-citizenship and my visa. We are starting with my son, as it seems a bit more straight forward. Because my husband is a Mexican citizen, getting our sons worked out is fairly simple (or so the office that does it says) We spoke to the office in town that does this service yesterday. They said we needed our sons apostilled birth certificate translated (costs 250pesos) which we did today. Than we brought the office that document plus  a photocopy of both me and my husbands birth certificates and IDs and they told us to come back in two days and we can get his Mexican birth certificate. Seemed a bit easy to me, but we shall see. Now if we want him to get a Mexican passport we will need to do that in Guadalajara, as well as do my paperwork down there. Hoping getting Daniel registered goes as smooth as it is seeming too, so than we can enroll him in school.

Blogger Problems

A few other people have mentioned blogger problems and i am noticing them as well. The annoying one for me is i can't seem to make comments on my blog. So if you commented and asked something i am not ignoring you, i just can't respond!

A day in the city

Last Tuesday we made the 3hr drive into Guadalajara. My mom flew out of GDL on Wednesday morning and we decided to stay the night in historical Guadalajara since we really enjoy that area (ok when i say we i mean we, my husband just isn't a city goer) We stayed at the Hotel Morales, mainly because we had stayed there before and know we like the location and that the hotel is nice and clean.

Last time we stayed downtown we did the carriage ride. This time we decided to do the bus tour. It was fun. A bit hot to sit on the top though and i got a horrible burn. We took the tour into Tlaquepaque since it was an area we had not seen of the city. It was lovely. Lots of artsy places which i enjoy. 

I really enjoy the city, while i would not want to live downtown in a metropolitan area, i would love to be close enough that i could visit anytime i wanted. I love the atmosphere and most of all the people watching. The poverty in the streets is a bit disconcerting. It makes me sad to see children begging and so many adults who are very handicapped. For whatever reason, you just don't see that kind of poverty in small towns. I know people here are poor, but i don't see much if any homelessness or begging. You want to help everyone, but well eventually you run 
out of change, and  realize it just is not possible to give to every child who sticks a sticker on your shirt.

Busy week

My mom has been here with us since we got home. So we have been doing fun "touristy" things. Besides the week in Vallarta, we have been to Melaque (another beach town) and lots of exploring around town. My mom leaves Wednesday out of Guadalajara, so we are going to Guad tomorrow to spend the night downtown in the historical district. I love historic Guadalajara. The cathedrals, the architecture, the art. I am very excited. Last time we took a fun carriage ride around. This time we are going on a bus tour. Looking forward to it. Sad to see my mom leave on Wed, but glad we had a chance for some fun, as things can be a bit dull around here at times.

Puerto Vallarta.

Well after five weeks in the good ol' US of A, me, my son and my mom flew into Puerto Vallarta (PV) to meet my husband for a week of relaxation at the Marival resort (this is actually in Nuevo Vallarta (NV) about 20 min north of PV, i just say PV since no one seems to know what NV is, but since i have some readers from the area i am just letting you know that i know the diff)

This was are second visit to the resort (first for my mom) and it was as lovely as the first time. It is an all inclusive resort so you can just eat and drink all day for free. The beach is my favorite thing about Mexico so i was in heaven.  During our visit we also went to downtown PV to the Malecon (boardwalk), to Mismaloya, the PV botanical gardens, and to Buceias.

We had an incredible time. I wish i could post all the pics but it takes to long. I posted them on my FB page so you can check them out there if you wish. I will show a few of my faves for ya'all

View from our hotel room

Eating at one of the many hotel restaurants

Sunset on the beach

Me and my mom

 Sculpture on the Malecon

Back home

Just a drop in to say we made it back to El Grullo. Vallarta was amazing (i will type up a post this week) The weather is stifling hot. But it is good to be home.

Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge was awesome! We had so much fun. Besides the water park we had a blast doing other activities at the hotel. They had an arcade, an art room, animal stuffing station, story times, and the MagicQuest game. This is a thing where you buy a magic wand and go on quests. For Daniel's age, who do not understand the quests, the magic wands also make things happen (Animals come to life, things light up or make noises) Other than Disneyland, it was one of the funnest kid activities i have done. 

Just checking in!

Just wanted to say our WA trip is going well. Lots of rain, but lots of fun. I can't lie though i am ready to be back with my husband. A little over two more weeks here and then i meet Cesar in Vallarta for vacation there. Can't wait!  I am trying to keep up with everyones blogs, but when i can only get online once or twice a week it becomes overwhelming.  Daniel also got his cast off, which was actually a happier moment for me than him. He was pretty scared that his arm would hurt, but after a few days he was back to using it again. Here are some pics from around here!

Update on my pay phone charges.

Well good news for me, i have managed to get rid of most of the charges without even dealing with filing a dispute. It took several phone calls, but i got all three of the almost $20 a piece charges dropped, and i got two of the 11.68 charges dropped. So i have ended up only paying $11.68, now that is still alot for phone calls that never connected, but you know what, in comparison to about $100 i am willing to pay $12 and i learned a lesson, and hopefully prevented others from making the same mistake.

The battle is not 100% over, i do have to wait 2-3 weeks for the credits to show up, and hopefully they do. The companies did not have reference numbers they said the reference was their "name" Hopefully though all works out. Fingers crossed.

Beware....airport payphones

Just a warning for anyone thinking about using a phone at LAX (or possibly any airport) don't use a credit card.....

When i arrived to LAX on April 6th i wanted to call Cesar to let him know we made it there. Now we have a US number in Mexico (WA state area code) I typed in the number and the phone said it would cost $1.00, i only had 3 quarters so i swiped my credit card. An automated operater immediatly picked up and said my call could not go through please try again. I tried 2 more times before buying a $10 phone card (that only worked for 2min)

Fast forward to today. I have six charges on my credit card. Three from one company all in the amount of $19.98, three from another company all in the amount of $11.67. I have spoken to both companies, who both claim to have payphones at LAX, they are not affliated in anyway with each other, adn they are both charging me for the exact same three calls (they both gave me the same time and numbers) So for three calls that did not go through, i am being charged over $100

Now both companies told me they are going to look into the charges, and i am filing a dispute with my bank, and God willing i won't have to pay any of the charges, or i would be even fine paying the $1.00 charge three times (which even then my call never even connected) Not a great way to start my vacation. Spending hours on the phone arguing with customer service companies and worrying about what if i can't fix the problem.

Live and learn i suppose. Keep your fingers crossed it gets worked out. I will keep you updated.

We made it!

Just dropping in to say hi and that i made it safely to the states. We had uneventful flights. Snow on the ground when we got here. My parents only have dial up internet, so i may not blog much over the next month. 8)

Feeling a bit sad....

Tomorrow i leave for 5 weeks in the states. I woke up today feeling sad. Despite the fact that we have spent longer times apart, i don't want to leave my husband. I feel like we suffered for so long apart and we are finally back together and now i am leaving again. Don't get me wrong, i am excited on many levels about my trip. It is not that i don't want to go, i just wish Cesar could come with me. I know it will go fast. I know that some days while i am there i will be having so much fun i may not want to go back to Mexico. I also know there will be days i am sad, that i will miss Cesar, Mexico, and what is now my home. It is still hard to willing take 5 weeks away from my husband when we were apart unwillingly for so long.

Camping at la Presa

La presa is a large resavour, essentially a lake.  We  decided on my last weekend her before i head to the states to take the kids camping. I am not a huge camping fan, but it is tolerable. We loaded up the three kids and arranged to meet another family and headed out.

We didn't hit a campground or anything, we got in a boat, and found a flat spot and set up camp. Unfortunately we were somewhat ill prepared. We forgot water (we did have juice and soda) Me and Cesar both thought the other person was bringing blankets and pillows, so for the 5 of us we had 2 blankets and 2 pillows. The other people had never even been camping and did not bring a tent, so we had to change the sleeping arrangements. We had a large tent for Me, Cesar and Daniel and a small tent for Cesar Jr and Brisa, but we ended up sleeping Me, Daniel, Brisa, the other lady and her 3 girls in the big tent. Cesar and Cesar in the little tent and the other man slept in a hammock. It got super cold at night and i had given the blankets to the kids. So i was sleeping on the tent floor with my sweatshirt covering me. Needless to say i drifted in and out of sleep praying for morning.

All in all the kids had fun, and i wasn't totally miserable except for in the night time. We will probably do it again and plan better next time....

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