Friday, June 26, 2009

such a beauty

While Bella was (and still is) taking a nap Emily was being really cute playing around on my bed. I just couldn't resist to get out the camera. What's new?

I know all moms think they have the prettiest (or in my case one of the prettiest) baby in the world, but I truly think Emily is so beautiful. Her personality only adds to her beauty. She is such a sweetheart. You can't help but love her.

See for yourself!

I may complain about my current status in life or that nothing seems to go how we want it, but one thing that will never change, I will always be thankful that I have Emily and Bella in my life. I wouldn't change it for anything!

We will highlight Bella's beauty another day. :)

rhino or beetle?

This morning Jorge went to take out the trash and I hear "babe, come and look at this". I never know what it is going to be that he wants to show me. Is it something the girls did? Maybe some dog pooped on the sidewalk in front of our house again... You just can't tell with him. I wasn't expecting him to be pointing out something that makes me go running for my camera. Well, I didn't really have to run. And, he should have known me well enough to say "bring your camera with you".

I opened the door to find what a first looked like a dinosaur! Ok, maybe I am exaggerating (a little). But seriously, look at the size of this!

This beetle could probably get a job in construction and help with our rent and utility bills. And, you know my feelings about beetles, but for some reason, probably the humorously gigantic size of it, I found it not so scary. You see, I even hand my hand pretty close to it.

You know without any central air or heating in the houses around here, the need for them to be air tight is just not a necessity. Bugs can easily get into our house (although this guy would only fit through the open door and I am not about to give him a key!). Bella has been on bug patrol lately. We (well, I) hate spiders so we have told her if she sees one to let us know. Having seen us step on them, she has started to do the same to all bugs, except the giant crickets (we told her to leave those alone--they are innocent) in the house. And, if Bella does something you can be sure that Emily, aka Repeat, is going to do the same.

While I was trying to take a million pictures of this beetle, and was using Bella's size 7 shoe as a comparison for size, I see the shoe disappear. The fact that both Emily and Bella are shoe crazy, I thought it was just one of them wanting to wear the shoe. Emily did grab the shoe, but she wasn't wanting to wear it, she wanted to use it to smash the beetle. She picked up the shoe and slammed it on the beetle. Luckily for the beetle she hasn't been lifting much weights lately so she didn't get enough power behind it to do any damage.
Jorge picked it up and let it go free...far away from our front door.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

life as a yo yo

It seemed for a short time I was feeling pretty good about things. It looked as if things were going to be ok and work out. But, unfortunately, that was short lived.

Lately I haven't been feeling like that. I don't have anything lined up (job or child care) for my return to the States. And, if you know me I am the ultimate planner. If something is coming up, I have everything set. Not having things in place is just making me feel uneasy. Plus, it gets me thinking about things long term.

I can't stop thinking about how long are we going to be living in a state where we are unsure of everything. When will we just be settled and feel like our lives can be somewhat normal? I know, who's life is really normal, but I feel like ours is off the charts. We will never be able to just enjoy life. Constantly worrying about money and family separation is exhausting.

At first I was really excited about coming back to the US. The thought of coming close to being *normal* was such a dreamlike thought. But, when I go back it will not be normal. As much as I want the *normal* things of the US, my home and husband are here in Mexico. Last night Jorge was really upset just thinking about being separated from the girls for so long. I know there are plenty of families (military, travelling salespeople, etc) that are away from each other for periods of time but they choose that life. We didn't plan for or want that kind of life.

I don't know if I can make enough money to pay for daycare and save money to come back. Once I come back I will have no job. So, the money saved will run out and we will have to do this all over again. Or, will I be able to come back? What if I can't make enough? The economy is not the best for job searching every so many months. My resume will start to look like a jumbled mess. Will I have to leave the girls in Mexico? I can't even image being apart from them. But can I afford to pay for 2 little ones in daycare? And one of the most frustrating thing is that the money we need is really to pay for the car. I do pay for a few other things too but that is not much. So, can we go without a car? I just don't think we can.

I don't even like to think about not being around these two faces everyday. I cry just thinking about it. For Jorge it is his reality. I feel so sad for him.

Those are all questions that I don't think the average person will even have to think about. I am just stressed and need to put this down somewhere. I do really want to think things will work out or be thankful that we have our health, but it is hard. How can I put these thoughts and feelings to rest? I read Penny's blog yesterday and I wish I felt that way. Not that I am bored, just can't see the richness of life.

Monday, June 22, 2009

homemade gifts

I read on the other day (a few days before Father's Day) an article about what NOT to get dad. One of the things they said was that fathers don't like homemade gifts. That us moms need to realize that dads are not as sentimental. I think that is a load of crap. Yeah, not every homemade gift is going to make dad get up and do a jig. This was right around the time I was thinking about what to do for Jorge, which my idea was of course something homemade.

I don't really have access to any stores here that would have something that he would like. And, the times that we are around the stores that would have something he likes, he is with me. I like giving him a surprise. When he doesn't know or expect it, it seems to be an even better gift.

After thinking of what I can do with things in the house I remembered that I bought some thick bordered frames at Home Depot a while back. I also had bought a few magazines so I could decoupage the frames. Problem being that the magazines are girly ones. I was up to the challenge to make a frame for him. I thought it would be nice to see a cute framed picture of the girls while we are in the US for so long. Plus, what else am I going to make him?

I think the results turned out pretty well for what I had to work with. He seemed pleased with it and that is what counts.

I had a couple more frames and thought I would go ahead and decoupage those as well. I get into a rhythm and keep going. I ended up doing the second one as a gift as well. It is wrapped up and ready to mail. I didn't think about taking a picture, so that one you can just image in your head. I hope the person receiving it will be happy with it.

Homemade gifts are a good way to thank someone and do something a little bit personalized without having to spend much money. Plus, what is better than someone taking their time to do something for you. Seems like a good thing to me.

I ended up doing the last frame for me. I am going to MAKE Jorge let me take a picture of him and I will put it in the frame and take it to the US with me. That way the girls and I can see him all the time.

I think homemade gifts are the best kind. What do you think?

Friday, June 19, 2009

passing the time

Life has been pretty calm lately. I am not sure how much of that has to do with the fact that I will be going back to the States for a while. But, whatever it is I am liking it. I feel sort of calm and excited all at the same time.

We (the whole family) just got over some bug or something. There was a lot of nastiness going on in the house. And, since I am the one with the strong stomach, I get to clean up all the girls' messes! Yeah, it was great fun! My husband is off to the side dry heaving and I am clean a really gross diaper or clean up puke. I think it is all behind us now. Hopefully.

In bad parenting news... The other day when I was sick I fell asleep while the girls were playing. I woke up and all was quiet. A sure sign that they are up to no good. I looked around the house and didn't see them anywhere. I came into the office and saw that the front door was open. We have a big gate that is locked at all times so I knew they couldn't have gone anywhere, but still. I went outside and there was potting soil EVERYWHERE! I guess they were having fun in the plants. I didn't get a picture because 1. I was so mad at myself for doing that and 2. I was mad at them (well, really Bella). She has been able to open the door for about a month now. I told her she is NEVER to open the door without mommy or daddy saying it is ok. These pictures show you the door handle. It is a bit different than in the States. The first picture is it closed. The second picture shows that you just pull the lever to the left and it unlatches the door.

We have turned ghetto a little bit. The color has went out on our big TV. Being in the middle of nowhere causes a problem as far as getting it fixed. Our fix... putting the smaller TV right next to it. Watching TV in black and white is just too weird. I think there is a good size electronics store in San Juan (about 20 minutes from here) and maybe we can see if they can help us.

I have been SLOWLY working on that quilt I wanted to make. I got all the strips laid out and have only sewed 4 panels. It is just a lot of repetitive work and right now I am not feeling it. I want to get the back and front finished so I can take it back to the States and have someone help me quilt it. That is the part I am not sure about. I want it to look good and not like someone had a seizure while quilting it.

Our *garden* has been doing well. Jorge's watermelons are taking off the best. I think they need a bigger container, but they are going to have to settle with what we gave them. I am not sure what the time span is from when they flower to when they have the actual melons. We will just wait and see. Also, we are getting some tomatoes.

I went through all the girls' clothes. Since we are doing another round of winter in the States I needed to see if I have to buy anything. They are pretty close in size so that helps with not needing so many clothes. They just share. It is hard going through the clothes. Just proves how much they have grown. Sometimes I want them to stop growing.

As you see nothing too exciting going on here. Just passing the time with everyday life. I think since I have something to look forward to I am satisfied with the current. I still haven't finalized a job or found childcare for the girls but for some reason I am not worried. Usually unsettled things make me crazy. Maybe I have finally realized that things will work themselves out. Or maybe I just don't want to worry. I do that too much.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

moving on...somewhere different

(This is my mom's house, my future temporary home)

The path of my future has changed. A decision has been made and it isn't what was originally planned.

We, well, I wanted to move away from Jalostotitlan. The beach sounded like a logical idea. Some place beautiful, plenty of outside space to play in and somewhere far away from here. And, how hard can moving from one place to the other be. Not such a challenge...if you live in the US.

The cost of living is a bit more in Puerto Vallarta. A close relative of mine was willing to loan us the money to make up the difference. So, the only thing stopping us from living in PV was a place to live. There are a surprising number of websites that list properties for rent, and they are even in English. I had our search narrowed down to a few different places, one in particular. But over the past few days I started feeling stressed and the idea of moving didn't feel right.

I am not saying I wouldn't LOVE to live by/at the beach. That would be a dream come true! But there were challenges that came up that I wasn't expecting and I couldn't get past.

We couldn't find a moving truck so all my belongings would have to stay in Jalos. Our search changed to find a furnished house. Sounds simple, but leaving my things behind was not easy for me to accept. I did that same thing just over a year ago when I left my life in Indiana. I had to sell the house and almost everything we owned. I just can't come to terms with doing it again. Especially since it has taken almost the full year (and lots of money) to get this house to feel like a home and decorated in our style. Leaving it all behind and moving into someones house that is horribly decorated and furnished sounds like torture!

I also rely on my job in the States to provide money that we desperately need to survive down here. I don't know how much longer I will have that position at the company. I wouldn't think I could hold on to it for another year. At that time I would have to go back to the States to find a job. We can't live off of Jorge's income. Then he would be in PV alone and we wouldn't have enough money to support that lifestyle. He will already be upset to be away from me and the girls, I wouldn't make him do it alone. He will need to be around his family and friends. In PV we would have a "real" year lease. So, he wouldn't be able to get out of it.

I would lose my babysitter. When I need time alone, or get a headache/don't feel well, or the girls are driving me nuts, I turn to Jorge's mom to watch the girls. She has been a real lifesaver! Being in a foreign city with no one that we know around, I could never have that option. That is scary!

So the decision was made last night that we would NOT be moving to PV. Even after that decision was made I still didn't feel right. I am stressed by money, ALWAYS! I can't stop thinking that my current position with Lovett Pallet has an ending and not knowing when that is just keeps me worried. I decided instead of waiting for that time to come to me I would take charge and deal with the issue.

In October (the 14th to be exact) the permit on my car expires. Instead of our usual trip to the border and back we are going to do something different. Once we get to the border Jorge will go to the bus station and go back to Jalos and I will take the girls and continue driving to Indiana. I plan to get a full-time job and stay in the US for at least 6 months. I want to save money so we can have a decent life down here in Mexico and not have to stress about money or me having a job all the time. I am not sure how long it will take me since I will have the extra expense of putting the girls in daycare, but I will get it done!

I am looking forward to having my independence back and living in the US again. I know it will be hard to say good-bye to Jorge in October, but this is best for our family and is only temporary. I am trying to see this as a good compromise. Jorge is always mentioning me going back to the States because he feels like he can't give me a good life down here. He wants me and the girls to feel comfortable. I know he will have a hard time with it, but hopefully with his long work hours he won't be thinking about it a lot. He will manage to keep himself busy.

Friday, June 05, 2009

moving on?

It has been over a year now that we have been living in this small town of Jalostotitlan in Mexico. It has been a rough transition because EVERYTHING is different. My entire life (minus my college years) I have lived in Indianapolis. There you could find anything you wanted from groceries to activities.

Mexico does not lack those *luxuries*. You just can't find them in small towns. Here are only locals so the need for a variety of groceries is not even a thought. The lack of rain creates a lack of green space, nice parks and outside activities. Being the only American causes constant stares, which is extremely annoying now.

Jorge's work hours cause another problem because he is gone most of the day. Between that and the fact there is no where to go I am stuck in the house all the time. I try to keep myself busy so I don't think about it, but it is almost impossible. I start to feel guilty because it effects the girls' lives. They are just as stuck as I am. They can't even play outside because there is nothing but a sidewalk and a street. Even during the rainy season it is not pleasant because no one takes care of the landscaping so all the plants and grass grow so fast it looks like a jungle.

I have been thinking for a long time about moving to a different place. We are stuck in Mexico not Jalostotitlan. I didn't really mention it to Jorge because I didn't know how he would feel about moving away from his family. The other day I decided to bring up the subject because he is always talking about going back to the States. I asked what he thought about moving to the beach. Living there would allow me and the girls to get out during the day, play outside and feel a little more relaxed being out of the house. Plus, it is FREE, the beach that is!

I started to narrow down where we might look to move because it is not as easy as the US to move. We don't have tons of websites with apartment rentals. There isn't a Penske or U-Haul down the road for us to rent a moving truck and it obviously takes money to get it done.

I finally narrowed it down to Puerto Vallarta. There are quite a few reasons.
  • the beach!
  • an international airport (the tickets are half the price of the airport I currently use which is an hour and a half away)
  • close enough to here so we can visit Jorge's family
  • it is a resort town so hopefully I might finally get some visitors (other than my parents...we like your company but want more!)
  • very likely to find products that I love and miss since many Americans live/visit there
  • entertainment/activities in the city we would live (we won't have to drive 1 1/2 hours one way to do something)
  • tropical environment means we will get to see green!
  • playing outside & at the beach with the girls and my husband (what a perfect way to end the day!)
  • I am pretty sure I would be a lot happier because I could go somewhere by myself
  • job opportunities for Jorge (speaking Spanish & English should really help his chances of finding a better job that hopefully pays more!)
  • did I mention the beach? :)
  • overall a much better life

There are a few kinks to work out to allow us to do this. I just hope we are able to because my hopes have been growing. I am just ready to feel like I am not trapped in my life. I know it might seem silly that I think moving to the beach would change my life, but it just feels like it will.

And, this is a little drawing I found last night that Jorge did. I am not sure he meant for me to see it, but it is really sweet.

I am crossing my fingers that we are able to do this!