Wednesday, September 28, 2011


For Deevie's b'day present, our neighbor took the girls to get their hair braided. They were prrrrretty excited about their 'dos:

They got them Saturday morning and kept them until Monday night. I think they could have stretched it another day or two. The things are practically bullet proof.

HHE! (aka. Our Stuff!)

The HHE--aka, the big shipment--arrived yesterday. I wasn't looking forward to it, to be honest. It actually arrived last week, but we decided to hold off until after Deevie's birthday. There were just a few key things I was looking forward to--piano, TV, the printer--but it turns out, getting all your stuff is fun! Being surrounded by familiar things marks a return to normalcy. It puts you at ease... makes your situation feel permanent...  makes toy clean-up take three times as long. Normalcy.

I stayed by the door checking off box numbers and telling the guys where to take things. Narra was upstairs unpacking and making sure they took stuff to the right places. We have a spare room since the girls share a room, and that's where I had them take anything I couldn't identify, thought we wouldn't need soon, or wished we hadn't brought. At this point, the whole house is feeling fairly put together-- except for that room.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Black Widow

We saw our first black widow spider tonight - crawling in the runner of the glass sliding door to the backyard. Yes, black widow spiders are apparently quite prevalent in these parts. (My sentiment exactly.)

As N's co-worker at the Consulate said, "If you're going to worry about safety in Mexico, worry about black widow spiders." How's that for reassurance?

Anyway, it was very freaky to see an actual, unmistakeable black widow spider, IN OUR HOUSE. My first reaction: "But I thought they weren't supposed to be where people are! I thought they were scared of us!" Even as I whimpered this, I know our neighbors found four in their front yard a few weeks ago.

N got the ant spray, gave the spider a few squirts from a distance, and then smacked it hard with his slipper. We did some internet research afterwards, and found that we completely followed the recommended way to deal with this situation. You're never supposed to just whack at a black widow because you could misjudge it's speed or position, and it could bite you. You're first supposed to weigh it down with any liquid spray you have near by. N was pretty proud, saying things like, "My instincts kicked in. That's right. Go tell your spider friends!"

But please, if you talk to your spider friends, just tell them to stay away. Ack.

I'm SO glad the girls weren't awake to see any of this!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Deevie!

Lots to write about today, but right now N and I have to plan for the small neighborhood party we'll be having for Deevie tomorrow. I took cupcakes and goody bags to the school today (an entire adventure all on its own), and tried my best to live up to the crazy expectations I pretty much set for myself after hearing so many stories about Mexican birthdays. The room moms could not be nicer though, and the kids all loved the cupcakes the lovely, wonderful, God-send K came over and made with me and Deevie on Tuesday. Thank you so much K!

Deevie's class bought her a really cool "Ezy Roller" scooter thing, in PINK. I know, right?! But each mom will be assigned one kid to buy a gift for, with around a $100 limit. When in Mexico... It really is so nice though, and Deevie loves it.

N just said I choose the strangest times to blog. He is right of course. Off to plan for the fiesta.

We love you Deevie! Happy Birthday!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

¡Viva México!

Tomorrow is Mexico's Independence Day. I should write what I think are the facts, and then check and see how much I got right. I think that would be a good laugh for everyone. I do know that a man shouted at night for everyone to rebel against the occupying Spainiards. I think it was Benito Juarez Miguel Hidalgo, and maybe the "grito" was more about finally being victorious? I swear I'm going to learn something about this very important and festive holiday!

The kids get tomorrow off of school, and N, because the Consulate celebrates both American and Mexican holidays, gets tomorrow off too. Yippee!

Word on the street was that kids were encouraged to either wear the colors of the Mexican flag (red, green, white) or traditional Mexican clothing today. Because we seem to be lacking anything pure red or pure green, I went to an outdoor market last night with our wonderful neighbor R, and bought the girls each a Mexican dress to wear to school today. They looked just adorable. Eva ("Eh-vuh") our housekeeper got here in time to do trensas in their hair again, so they really couldn't have been cuter.

Tonight we are going to our coto's (gated community) celebration, just across the street. There will be tacos, and drinks, and music, and lots of festivities apparently. Cubby and I walked over there earlier to buy tickets for some friends, and the decorations got us all excited. "Bbbuu!" shouted Cubby. (That's Cubby for "balloon", we've come to realize. Not very far from the beginning sounds of "Biibiibiibii" for "binkie" and "Bbbiibiibii" for "baby." He's certainly got the "b" sound down.) There is a rumor that they might televise President Calderon giving the "grito" of "Viva México!" live at 11pm, from near the city of Guanajato, where the original grito took place. I think 11pm is when the festivities officially begin, but I think that is when MY personal festivities will be back home and in bed. We'll see!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


We need to post more on here like crrraaaazzy. But for now, quick quotes from the girls.

Birdie one afternoon last week, describing what she's like at school:

"Mommy, I'm like a 'no sé' robot."

Deevie, making an observation about the mothers of some of her classmates:

"People here really dress up. But not you, Mommy, cause you're an American. Right?"

Guadalajara is gearing up for hosting the Pan-American games next month, and there are a lot of billboards, advertisements on taxis, etc. Everyone is very excited. One entire street is newly lined with all-weather exercise equipment and sport sculptures for the occasion. Anyway, the street is very recognizable, and I know I always feel very secure when I'm on it because I've known that street since my first day here. Apparently the kids are very familiar with that street too, because one longish day in the car last weekend, a very frustrated Deevie had this to say:

"We've been on this road like eleventy times already!"

Friday, September 2, 2011

Back to school!

The car got here on Wednesday afternoon and there was much rejoicing. "Hooray! Freedom!" Then it just sat in our driveway for two days... until this evening's elementary school open house. I took a taxi from work and Narra met me at the school in the minivan having just conquered GDL rush-hour traffic.

[Side note: Narra's last "I did something!!" post is ridiculous. She has been "doing something" every minute since our arrival. She's been amazing. Her job here is far harder than mine, she's been making things happen every day, and I have three happy kids to prove it.]

Deevie's open house will be next week, but we still had two teachers to meet tonight. Por que? Well, the Bird started off the year in pre-first, which is an extra grade they throw in, partly to help the Mexican children (the vast majority of students) catch up in English. Although most of them start there in pre-pre-K, they still speak Spanish in their homes, so the extra year makes sense... for them. For our book-devouring bird, not as much. After a couple of weeks, and some homework assignments that Birdie found sort of funny, the school and we concluded that a move to 1st was in order. Making the decision easier was that she's old for her grade in the US, so a bump up will mean she's still with kids her age.

Through this pre-first/first decision the school administration proved to be accommodating, caring, and great to work with, and we met several people we might never have spoken to otherwise. As icing on the cake, Birdie will be in the same Spanish section as before (same teacher and classmates for 1.5 hrs) AND have the same recess as her old class, so I hope the transition will go smoothly. Her old teacher and new teacher are working together to ease her in.

Meanwhile, the Deevster is all smiles in Kindergarten. She likes her teacher and classmates. Narra says there is one little friend, a French girl, who runs up and gives Deevie a kiss on the cheek when they see each other at recess. They bring a toy from home every Friday; today she was thrilled to bring in her daughter, Carol (a.k.a. the rather frightening looking doll in the post below).

There have been a few topes along the way. Each girl shed a few tears the first week--and we may still have a few to go with next week's transition--but I think things are smoothing out.

Tonight, when it comes to school in the GDL, we exhale.

Fancy school hairdos, courtesy of the other Eva.
(More about her later.)