31 March 2014

One Little Word: March Edition

I think in March, I have been brave. I think I was more brave in this last month than I have ever been in my entire life. I drove over 1,000 miles on my own. I started moving to Mexico. I left my son with his father. A year ago, these things would have no happened. I would have found an excuse to put them off, so I could live in my comfort zone.

But I'm not living in my comfort zone anymore. Life is meant to be uncomfortable.We're meant to adventure and migrate and discover. It's the way it's been since the beginning of time. We have Fight or Flight chemically wired into us. We are meant to go up against scary things. That is life. In today's modern world, things are more emotionally scary than physically scary, but the response in our bodies is the same: fight or flight. By choosing to be BRAVE, I'm choosing FIGHT when I would have normally picked FLIGHT. I'm choosing to face my fears, rather than hide away and live a comfortable life.

In Ali Edwards' One Little Word class for this month, we made vision boards to remind us of our word as a way to "Make Our Word Visible" in my world. I did this last year, and I still have my "Adventure" board hanging up. I used an old 24"x24" frame from Walmart- it was one of those collage frames, but I took out that glass and the matting, and I just pasted all of my magazine cut-outs on to the cardboard backing.


This year, I made my entire collage from magazine cut-outs Mod Poged onto the cardboard. Not all of these things have to do with being BRAVE so much, as they do with things that I'd like to incorporate into my life:

The coin jar: came from an article in I think Sunset Magazine about change adding up. It's a reminder to me that I should save up all of my extras for Mexico.

The text on the bottom: An article about taking risks from Real Simple magazine. 

Everything else came from random old National Geographic magazines and random Sunset or AAA Via magazines. I have a collection that could rival any doctor's office. 

I included a picture of an old Spanish Mission St. Xavier Bac as a reminder of how I want to get closer to God this year. I included a coffee ad that reads "Great Morning" because I want my mornings to be great. I want my whole LIFE to be great this year. I included something that said "ridiculously reliable" because I need to be more reliable for Hector to count on me. I need to do what I say. 

I'm overall happy with this vision board. I didn't include anything from Pinterest like I have done in the past because my printer doesn't like me anymore (probably should be a different post whenever I get a new printer). But I kinda liked doing this project "the old-fashioned way" (i.e. before Pinterest). Either way, I know that this will inspire me every day when I look at it, like my Adventure board did last year. 

One Little Word is an online class led by Ali Edwards. She encourages participants to choose one word to incorporate into their lives throughout the year, in lieu of New Year's Resolutions. This is my sixth year choosing a word and my second year participating in the class. I will share my One Little Word updates monthly throughout 2014.

30 March 2014

Currently


ReadingZorro, Isabel Allende
Watching: Nothing, as Netflix has been banned for Lent.
Listening to: Walt Disney, Eminem, and Pink Radio on Pandora
Drinking: Double Spice Chai Tea
Eating: Can't get enough tortellini lately.
Writing: This post in real time.
Wishing: It were June already.
Feeling: Sad without my son.
Appreciating: The money I'm saving for our move now that I'm not paying daycare.
Thinking: About today's sermon and wondering what Isaias is up to today.
Loving: Oregon's bipolar weather- stormy one second and sun the next.
Wearing: These maxi skirts from Target. I cannot get enough of them.

29 March 2014

Border Stories Saturday: Life In the Deportee Slums of Mexico

Río Tijuana from one of the pedestrian bridges. People live all along there. Many deportees from the US live there.
When I first came into Tijuana, we used to walk from the border to the Centro to catch a bus to the house. From the San Ysidro Point of Entry, you have to walk across the Río Tijuana on the pedestrian bridge. The smell is horrendous and it is the smell that Cecilia describes as "Mexico". The sewer dumps into the river as it flows to the Pacific Ocean. This itself is a huge environmental problem faced on both sides of the border. But today, the most horrific problem is the amount of people living in this wasteland. The majority of these homeless campers are deportees from the US. They are people who arrived and after their few days at Casa del Migrante, have had to take to the streets. 


When someone arrives after a US removal, they have no identification- no US ID and no Mexican ID. These are the shadow people. It's like they are illegal in their own country. And Hector almost ended up there if it wasn't for my parents. My mom's cash advance on her credit card allowed us to get an apartment for Hector, where he ended up staying for almost his entire first year in TJ. That apartment allowed him access to a kind old man who helped him get an ID and become established in Mexico. Thousands are not so lucky.


If you have half an hour or so, I recommend you watch the above documentary. It shows what it is like for these people. As a sign of how close we were to ending up like the thousands of other, there is a man in this documentary being harassed by the police. His back is broken and he is homeless. Hector knew him. These are not just "bums" "drug addicts" or "homeless." They are people with families and lives that have been destroyed.

28 March 2014

Faith Friday: Praying the Rosary

This year, one of my intentions has been to get closer to God and to go back to the Church. I am actively participating in this Lenten season, and I have included the Rosary as part of my daily prayer.

The Holy Rosary in its present form was shown to St. Dominic by Our Lady in the year 1214. It consists of 1 recitation of the Sign of the Cross, 1 Apostle's Creed, 5 Glory Be's, 5 Our Father's, 5 Fatima Prayers, and 53 recitations of the Hail Mary. It concludes with the recitation of the Hail, Holy Queen. If you are not Catholic, it should be understood that Catholics do NOT worship Mary or any of the Saints. We believe that the Saints and our most Beloved Mother are alive, in Heaven, and can hear our miseries. We ask them to pray with us and for us. It never hurts to have a big prayer chain and to have help with our prayers.


I spent a LONG time away from the Church. Not on purpose, but I just kind of didn't make it Sunday after Sunday, and then when I worked on Sundays, it made it even harder. But now I am doing my best to make it. I missed God. This separated life is too hard for a lonely person. I need God to be my Companion. I was away from the Church so long, that I had forgotten almost all of the prayers drilled into me by the nuns at school as a child. It's a good thing that there's an app for that. I downloaded Rosario and it has made saying the Rosary every night a breeze. I can truly say that I am more blessed now that I am praying regularly. 

Since beginning my Rosary devotion, I've noticed:
  • Hector and I fight less.
  • I have more energy in my life for family and my kids.
  • My depression is not as severe.
  • I am closer to God and I want to share that with my friends and family.
  • I am friendlier, more honest, and compassionate.
  • I feel less temptations towards things I struggle with: unhealthy eating, anger, bitterness, overspending. 
I am so glad that God put it on my heart to pray this way. I've noticed so many things in my life getting better, even when things still seem so dark. 

Blessed Week to all!

27 March 2014

The Other Victims of Deportation

When someone is deported, they are usually not the only victims. In the first six months of June 2012, around 45,000 parents of US-Citizen children were deported. Every day, families all across the Greatest Country in the World are being ripped apart. Parents are being whisked away from their children. It's a horrible, sad, and terrifying life event that permanently changes the child for life.

But besides spouses and children, there are other victims as well. When a family member is deported, that wind rustles all of the leaves on the family tree. For instance, in our family, there are other victims besides my children and I. There's this guy:


And this lady:

That's right. My mom and dad. I love these two people and without them, I don't think I could have ever survived on my own. The kids and I have had to live with them since the deportation, and their generosity and tolerance for me and my ways have been my only lifeline when I was drowning in the sea of despair. I will never be able to pay them back for all of the help they've given me, financially as well as emotionally. 

When Hector was first deported, my mom took out a cash advance on her credit card to help him. She took us in, helped me get a job, watches my kids when I've worked doubles or weekends, feeds my daughter's never-ending shoe obsession, and bought my son more cars for his collection than there are in a Ford factory.

But my Daddy...


My Daddy Fell and broke his arm :( February 2011



My dad rigged a platform onto his wheelchair so that Isaias and Cecilia could both ride on it. 
My Daddy and Isaias have been best buddies since the day Isaias was born. As a surprise to my dad, I named my son Isaias Derald, after him of course, because I'm the biggest Daddy's Girl on Planet Earth. It melted my Daddy's heart. When we moved back in with my parents, we began to notice that my son is actually a miniature version of my Dad, and he began to follow his Papa around. For 3 years, he's been Grandpa's boy. 

So, now Isaias is in Mexico. My dad is lost without his grandson. My mom is lost, but she is resilient and still has distractions in her life to keep her mind on other things. But my Daddy is sad and misses his grandson. And the thought of us moving to Mexico has caused a depression in him that is excruciating to see. 

Hector, Isaias, and my Dad have all had to fight to be the man in my life, and I really wish my dad would come with us. I've stayed for so long out of fear, but also because my dad is aging quickly and is getting frail. But for 80 years now, the USA has been his home. He served in the Navy for this country. He is a Proud American. But even the Proudest American has been touched by deportation and realizes that it hurts everyone.

26 March 2014

Mom and Daughter

Spring Break is in full swing around here.

I've been trying to spend time with Cecilia. It's been 4 years almost since I've really been able to spend time with just Cecilia. But for now, it's just me and her. I have lots of time for her. 


Cecilia and I went to the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry. This is something I usually did on my days off with Isaias, because he is a little science boy. But this week, I took Cecilia because she's out of school and I had a day off. It turns out, Cecilia is a little science nut, too.

Cecilia is a DIFFERENT scientist than her brother. Isaias loves the Science Playground, and the physics lab. He loves gears and making things work. He also adores the water tables- building paddle boats and sailboats. Cecilia and I had a different kind of day at OMSI, and I was not used to it. First, we saw a movie in the theater. I was a little sad that OMSI no longer has an IMAX theater. It was WAY better when it did. We saw a movie called "Flight of the Butterflies". It was actually really good, and it made Cecilia want to go to Michoacan, so she can see the butterflies. She loved seeing the Mexican government logos at the beginning of the moive- she was excited because she knew what they were and recognized them. 

After the movie, we headed out to start the museum.  We headed to the Life Science Hall. Isaias prefers the Earth Science. Cecilia hardly noticed the Earth Science hall. We played around in there for a bit then headed downstairs. We went into the Maker Lab. The Lab is a place where you can make things. They have 3D printers, art supplies, and Legos. There you can use the supplies to make something new. Cecilia used old upholstery samples and wire to make a butterfly. From there we headed to the Chemistry lab. I've never taken Isaias in there, so it was a lot of fun to goggle up and experiment with Cecilia. 

After Chemistry, she wanted to go to the physics lab, and the water tables, and I got really sad because I missed Isaias a lot right then. 


But it was nice to spend a day with just Cecilia. I had to try to really spend time focusing on her, rather than missing Isaias. It has been a long time since it has been just me and her for any length of time. 

My relationship with Cecilia has always been a bit of a strained one. She is my first born, so she got to deal with all of my parenting mistakes. Plus, when she was born, I was seventeen, and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing or what I was going to do with a little person for the rest of my life. But she is no longer such a little person anymore. She is a smart, funny, curious little girl. It's so strange to me to see her develop her own likes and dislikes. In a lot of ways, she is just like me. In a lot of ways, she is a lot like Hector. I'm blessed to have this young girl in my life. 

25 March 2014

Project Life Tuesday: Week Eleven [Vacation Edition]

Welcome to this week's Project Life Tuesday Post.

For the entire of Week Eleven, we were road-tripping and enjoying life as a complete family unit in Mexico. During the week, I took over 1000 photos. One-thousand. Yeah, I love my camera. Most of those pictures will go into a vacation album I will make; there's no way to even make a weekly Project Life spread with even my favorite photos, because they are all my favorites. I have so few pictures of all of us together, that I really love taking pictures when I get the chance.

For this weeks spread, I drew inspiration from Ali Edward's post about cutting up large photos to use in Project Life. I ordered my two 12"x12" prints from Persnickety Prints. I have used this photo-printing service in the past and I absolutely love them for all my enlargements and large-batch printing (for me, the shipping for my weekly photos would be too high to justify using it every week; for my weekly printing, I use Walgreens). The 12x12 matte prints are on sale right now for $1.99 (regular $2.99). I've also heard that people get large prints from Costco, but I'm not a Costco member.

Anyways, here's this week's full spread:

And a close up of the left side:

I removed the upper corner from the print. I decided that I wanted to use a title card, and I hate pulling out stickers or anything else to make a title. I want my Project Life to be simple. Again, I used a card from the Rain edition of Project Life. The picture itself is just a lucky shot I got of the flora at Parque Morelos.

Here's a close-up of the picture on the right side:

This is a family picture that my sister-in-law snapped of us four, wading in the sea at Ensenada. We took a little day trip down the coast. I absolutely LOVE this photo. I did feel a bit weird cutting it up to fit the Project Life pockets on the page protectors, but overall I am happy that this photo is on display, not being overshadowed by anything else that happened that week. The space between the pockets did bother me a bit, so if you are going to use this method, I suggest only using a landscape photo. This photo encompasses everything I dream of- my family united doing normal family stuff. I removed the bottom corner of the photo and used one of the 4x6 journaling cards from the Rain kit to add a snippet about the week.

I am thrilled with how this week turned out. I love big photos and I am always looking for an opportunity to use them whenever I can.

Project Life is a memory keeping system designed by Becky Higgins. All products are available on Becky's website or on Amazon.com. Feel free to share links to your own Project Life pages in the comments below.

24 March 2014

My Son

 
First time together
Growing up, we (my brother, sister, and I) did not have a dad in our lives. I never paid attention to other families with their dad; it never struck me that my life should have a dad in it. So I thought to myself, ''If ever I become a dad, Ii will be the best dad that I can be.''  I always wanted to be there for my kids to show ‘my dad’ how it is to be a real father.
I stupidly got myself deported due to that I had no papers. I always knew that there was a risk being illegal. You can't get lucky driving without a license for ever, and soon you start not giving a fuck. Sooner or later you know you are going to get busted. I never knew that my family would go through all this and that I would not be a part of my son's life just like my dad was to me.  My son was 5 months old when I got deported. Now he is 3 years old. We had a plan so I would not be far away from my kids no more than a year. That plan turned into 3 years and it would have been longer if I had not stopped the madness. When my son was 1 to 4 months old we had a routine already planned out for the day. We would get up and bathe every morning making sure we were clean. I mean he had no teeth and the only milk he drank was the milk that his momma pumped early in the morning. After our bath, we would watch movies and of course, I had to feed him. He ate the fruit mash up that they sell for him. I would feed him a lot, because I wanted him happy and chunky. So our days flew. Cecilia was running off with Grandpa and Grandma a lot, so when my son came into the pic, I barely saw Cecilia. My son would take up all my time. I had to be with him nonstop from when he was about a month to 5 months. It really was not difficult. 
 
Feeding the fatty boy something
Now he is 3. He used to come and visit (when he was one he came for the summer, he and Cecilia did.) But Cecilia wanted all my attention; it was hard giving Yayas any attention, except for when it came to feeding time and sleeping time.
Parque Morelos, Tijuana, BC, Summer 2012. Yayas in the ERGO.

Now that I have him all to myself it is weird. I always wanted my kids with me; I want all my family with me. But if it came down to where I would only see my kids, then I would always love to be with them. Yayas is really different than Cecilia. I know that I should not compare my kids, but I have to so that I know their differences. Yayas is really fragile- not emotionally, but physically. Cecilia was so independent and Yayas needs help with almost everything. I don't know if I should shape him up or let him be his own person that way I don't ruin him? When he was in Portland, he would not do some of the things that he does here- for example, showering. He loves to shower and loves to brush his hair and wash his hair. Brushing his teeth, He still does not like it but his teeth are way better now that what it used to be and we are not even 7 days into being together. One thing he does not like for sure is letting anyone touch his toys; he is really emotionally connected to them. I need to teach him how to share. He is such a sweet boy- gives kisses and hugs. I used to be all by myself, and now I am chasing him right and left, making sure he is okay since his Momma is far away and he no longer has Cecilia to teach him. I love waking up to him and love sleeping next to him. He makes me want to change in so many ways. I appreciate life more with him around. I feel complete with him.
Doing the dad-thing at Parque Teniente Guerrero, November 2013

But too much time has gone by- I feel like I have to cram 3 years into 3 months. I missed all his teeth coming out, his first words. His first steps. But if I never see my kids again for any circumstance, I know that Cecilia will be a very powerful woman and Yayas, now that I know him, will be awesome. I would miss them but I know they would be well-off. If they, for godly reasons, come to be in my life then I would do what everyone else does and slave myself for a smile on their face. I know that it is not really about me anymore but about my kids. All my life I have been remote, emotionless; but now I have reasons to be someone who I never was.
Father and Son, Ensenada, BC, Mex., March 2014


A lot of people think that men don't think about their kids and that it is easy for them, especially the deported. There are so many stories of dads that got deported and the women who only know how to find another and move on. I mean if that would have happened to me then I would be ready for it. I have fought tooth and nail for my kids, always being the bad guy. I know I am not bad and that I am actually a good father. I am very lucky to be a part of my kids’ life and still be in the picture. My heart goes out to the ones that lost their love ones due to the border. I am very happy that my son is here with me.

23 March 2014

Churches of Tijuana

I have always had a thing for Spanish architecture, especially baroque. I first visited the California missions of San Miguel when I was 14 and Mission San Diego when I was 15 or 16. As a Roman Catholic, the churches and missions are more than historical to me. Yes, I will admit that the evangelization of Mexico and the New World was probably one of the most atrocious things done in history. But now, as I step into a church, I recognize that we as humans, have built a beautiful place to worship God, and a beautiful home for Him so that we may communion with Him.

The churches of Tijuana are beautiful and I absolutely LOVE seeing new ones. I make Hector take me to a new one every time I visit. I made him get up for 7am Mass at the Cathedral on a Sunday. He goes along, and even when he traveled to Oaxaca earlier this year, he went to the churches and took LOTS of pictures for me, because he is a good husband. So I thought I'd share some of my Tijuana pictures on this Sunday:

I think this church is: Nuestra Señora de la Soledad. 


When I visited this church, they were doing some construction, so the doors were not open, but the prayer chapel was. I love this church and it can be seen towering over Tijuana. It's right on the edge of the sobreruedas near the Tecnologico.

The address is:
1a. Sur y Soledad Orozco 55,
Col. del Río p/a
22350, Tijuana, B.C.
Tel. (664)682 5363


This church is: Divina Providencia. It took me almost 3 years to visit this church and it was worth the wait! I love this church. It is a lovely green color inside, and the windows are beautiful. The interior itself is a simple beauty, but the real treat is the stained glass window on the south side of the building. It casts the image of a dove down onto the altar. It's beautiful.


The address for this church is:
Av. Aquiles Serdán 11490,
Col. Libertad p/b
22300, Tijuana, B.C.
Tel. (664)683 1348

This church is the main Cathedral in downtown Tijuana: Catedral de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.
This church was the main reason I came back to the Church after being away. I love this place. I love being around so many people who are all worshiping God and basking in His goodness. The Cathedral is open almost always and it is really just a beautiful building. The dome over the altar is beautiful and filled with beautiful stained glass windows and paintings. 
The address for this church is: 
C. 2da. y Niños Héroes 7982,
Col. Centro
22000, Tijuana, B.C.
Tel. (664)685 3026, 685 3620
But I doubt you will need the address. You can't miss this place.

Last but not least is one of my favorite churches EVER: Catedral San Francisco de Asís.



This church is beautiful, calm, and is a very good secret in Tijuana. It's a Franciscan church, just inside of the Centro. I have a small obsession with this church. I love coming to this church because it is a beautiful spot to contemplate the Lord, but it's quiet unlike the main Cathedral. The main cathedral is beautiful, but a lot of people go in and out throughout the day. This one is more out of the way, so it is less distracting. The address for this place is:
C. 3ra. 7400
Centro
22000, Tijuana, B.C.
Tel. (664)685-2274

I hope everyone enjoys this post. I love these churches- they are my happy place in the world. I love going to thank God for the life I have and all of our blessings. 

22 March 2014

Border Stories Saturday: After Deportation


I found this on Youtube and I thought I'd share. This is good information, I believe.

We are not fighting Hector's immigration case. He has a lifetime ban from the United States. His only option is to cross illegally again into the United States; if caught he WILL face federal prison time. His deportation story is different on some levels from the individuals in this film- Hector never once had to sleep on the streets because of my very giving mother who gave us money to get Hector out of the Casa del Migrante and into his own place to live. I think without that help, our story could have ended very differently. I am grateful every day that it didn't. Our story is a deeply painful one, but it could have been A LOT worse.

***EDITED***

I've decided to make this a regular post on this blog. At least one Saturday a  month, I will be sharing stories of deportees and DREAMers. We are not the only exiled family; we are not alone in this mess. There are others who have fared much worse than us, and their voices are just as important.

21 March 2014

Getting On

I'm not as physically dead as I feel inside. Life is continuing. I'm already back at work, even though my mind is somewhere else and I'm feeling rather absent minded. In fact, I was called in on my last day of vacation for a NOC shift. I'm dragging worse than I think I would be because of it. I can barely sleep without Isaias. I'm having nightmares and panic attacks. My anti-anxiety meds aren't working it feels like. I just miss my son.

After that NOC shift, it is unfair because I sleep in the afternoons, rather than right when I get home. I missed out on an entire afternoon with Cecilia. She needs me to be present more now than ever, but I need to work and save money for our move. I like NOC because I get paid more, but it is so hard on her. It's hard on me. I am feeling like a terrible worker and a terrible mother. I can't be present in anything that I do.

Cecilia I think is better adjusted. Sometimes. We pulled into Portland at 7 AM and Cecilia was at school at 8:30 AM. She wasted NO time getting back to her life. I think in a way the routine at school is comforting for her. She can think about other things when she's at school. Her teachers all rave about her; I sometimes wonder if it's the same kid. She doesn't excel at school, but she is doing a lot better this year than any previous year. It's almost like she's two people; a split personality. She's miserable, but she hides it really well anymore. She tells me she misses Daddy and Gordo. She says she even misses Gordo bothering her. 


Last night we went to a school function, but I was barely functioning. Cecilia was in her element. Afterwards, we went out for frozen yogurt with my mom. Mine tasted like nothing I could ever want because all I could think about was my son. I know it is not fair to Cecilia for me to let my mind be somewhere else, but I can't help it. I am being torn into pieces. All I want is for it to be June already so I can get out of here and get on with my life as a family person. 

20 March 2014

Separation From Cecilia's Perspective

Cecilia returned to school yesterday; I walked her to her class like I do everyday. I cleaned out her cubby of all the papers that got put in there while she was gone. I found an interesting drawing.
It was attached to the following poem:

Please Say

Please say today is Friday.
Please say I can go see my Dad.
Please say it is Saturday.
Please say it is a snow day.
Please say Dobby is coming.
Please say we are going to Mexico.
Please say it is Valentines. 
Please say my mom feels better.
Please say it is time for math.


By Cecilia

The accompanying drawing. All of us together.
The person who has taken the separation the hardest has been Cecilia from day 1. She has suffered more than any of us. She and her dad were a matched pair- always together, silly little spitting images of each other. Until the day that it all changed. Cecilia was 4 years old and had MAJOR regressions. She basically had a meltdown. My outgoing girl became quiet and reserved. My strong-willed child became timid and sensitive. Her personality did a complete 180. No, I didn't get her therapy or anything like that. I just simply wrote it off as one of the major problems with having your father ripped away from you and having your entire life turned upside down.

But this- 3 years later. Her wish is her family. My wish is our family. These things still stop me in my tracks and knock me on my ass. It usually comes when I think she's very well adjusted and doing marvelous, I find these kinds of things. This is my main motivation for moving. Because my children are in pain in a way that they don't have to be.

19 March 2014

Goodbyes

Every trip I've taken to TJ ends in the exact same way: kisses and tears and promises. It's heart-wrenching in ways that are indescribable in any language I know. It's kinda like feeling your soul being ripped out of your body and it leaves you lifeless, but still alive. I usually spend about a week in "recovery mode" as I get back to "normal". But this time it was infinitely worse than ever before: Isaias- my little partner-in-crime, the love of my life, my perfect Prince Charming, stayed behind in Mexico with his dad. This is not the first time that he has stayed there. This is not the first time I've left my son for a period of a couple of months- but this time he is without Cecilia. And he chose to stay with his dad.

There were more than tears as I loaded my suitcase of clothes into the back of my sister-in-law's car. It was more than feeling like my soul was being sucked out by dementors. I could actually feel my chest being ripped open and the universe removing what little bit of heart I may have had. It's a wound that won't heal until I am reunited with my baby. 
My perfect son who loves me completely.
I will NEVER admit to loving one of my children more than the other, because it's not true. I love Cecilia too and watching her cry for her dad is ripping open my sore, autopsied heart and letting it bleed and bleed. There is no other way to come close to describing the feelings that I feel right now, and those words are exceedingly inaccurate. My entire existence has been dealt a giant rift and I don't know if I can deal with it.
My sad Cecilia with her Daddy. She is such a Daddy's Girl, and all of this wasted time has been hardest on her.
Now I have a half-life to get on with it. I can only count the days until I can touch my son or smell him or kiss him. I want to freaking just speed up time right now.

My motto is Life Goes On, but this time I don't know if it does. Without your babies, there is no "going on". There is sleepwalking through life. There is no life at all. I just can't comprehend how Hector has survived at all during these 3 years.

17 March 2014

Sobreruedas Days

Weekends are sobreruedas day. These are open air markets that spread out for block after block. The people of the city just know which day is which, because the sobreruedas market moves to a new neighborhood everyday. 
Buying Thomas the Train figurines for 20 pesos- about $1.80 and about $10 less than in the US.

You can find any and everything at the market. There are food stands with fresh produce, restaurants, meat stores, furniture stores, appliances, clothing new and used (for a fraction of the US prices).

On Mars/Tijuana, these small markets take US dollars and pesos. I prefer to pay in pesos, because then you don't have to worry about the current exchange rate and whether or not you are being cheated. You have to count your change carefully. 

16 March 2014

Border Crossing

When I crossed into Mexico, I was scared that I would get stopped for revision and inspection and that I'd have to pay import fees.
I had never driven into Mexico, and I didn't know where to go. My sister-in-law who has been exiled in Tijuana with my husband's brother for 6 months, met me in Chula Vista, CA to drive over the border with me. Our original plan was that I'd cross behind her and that I'd follow her to the place I'd meet up with Hector.
However, when I approached El Chaparral, the lanes get very ambiguous very quickly. I ended up in front of my sister in the nothing-to-declare line. I went to the nothing-to-declare line because I didn't really bring anything of any real monetary value. I ended up in my lane and I went through their new x-ray machines. Because of the 4 suitcases tired on top of the car,I was expecting a red light, but instead I got a green light!
Mexico uses and red light/green light system of revision; when coming by bus or walking across the border, you press a button and if you get a green light, you pass on through. If you get a red light, then you get puked over to the side and they go through all of your stuff. I've never noticed them to look very well.
This time I got a green light and the multiple inspection lanes narrow down to 2. I didn't know where to slow down to let my sister in front of me. I ended up on the freeway driving all over TJ. Cars were coming from a million different directions. My sister in law finally was able to get me back on the road, back close to the line, where I met up with Hector.

15 March 2014

Life in Mexico

Life goes on here in Mexico. We've been doing a collection of family things, like road tripping and going to the grocery store.
I eat A LOT of street food. These are fish tacos we got in Ensenada
Cecilia was pouting when we had a picnic at the park. Kids will be kids, I suppose.
Command strips are a necessity if I want to cover the concrete/institutional-looking walls. I brought these paintings and pictures from Oregon 
We go to Costco. 
We are so blessed to have a washing machine here, but we don't have a dryer. So all of our clothes hang out on the patio.
This is a regular sight here. I am so in love with palm trees.
Us, in the ocean, just enjoying being together. I've hardly ever been so happy.