An early morning in Mexico

Any one with school aged kids is used to the early morning routine in Mexico.   Now I cannot speak for other areas in Mexico but here in Tulum, the mornings are pretty much always the same. Upon leaving the house at 6:45 and heading to town for school- the first glance you have at the day - after the bottom of your coffee cup... is .. you guessed it....

garbage cans spilled all over the street with their treasures spread out for all to see.  Here there are many street dogs and street cats and they just love to go treasure hunting in the evenings. And as my fellow Latin American Blogger Viva Veracruz wrote about yesterday... many of these dogs are not your typical strays but once loved puppies that have been slowly cast to the streets to fend for themselves. 

Anyway.  So spilled our garbage can was.  But this was not entirely unexpected because we had a real treat in there for them last night.

Ruben has taken up spear fishing and has caught a number of things, has lost a number of fish and hooks  and has caught some stuff that I will not clean and cook- like the eel.  Well, yesterday the water in the sea was UNREAL- it was so calm and crystal clear.  He caught 2 beautiful parrot fish.  Large and really yummy.  It was not until later that we found out that these particular fish have just recently started being protected.  Opps- but know we know.  Fishing is a learning curve here.

So we had that for dinner and the remains I am sure acted as a beacon in the sky to the all of the cats in the neighborhood. 

But even after this more frequent the desirable scene in the one that continues in town.  The streets are filled with students all in the various colors of uniforms heading off to class.  The fishermen can all be seen at the various taco stands around town and are getting ready to catch the bounty of the Caribbean. 

In this small touristy town this time is particularly cool to me because it is before all of the tourists have even thought to go to town and even a little before the regular morning scene of Tulum Avenue begins.  When I take Akilean to school at 8:30 the scene has already changed a great deal. 


There is something so constant about living in a community like this one. 

Soaking up the good advice... and jasmine flowers.

Well first I must say that it has been a rough morning.  Last night I went to bed and was attacked by tabanos.  These tropical devils are the bain of my existence.  Mosquitoes are attracted to my husband. (like most other breathing species) but Tabanos- oh no- they feed on me. About 2 weeks ago I had a bad nights sleep and had several bites on my legs and was scratching all night. Then it happened again last night.

For me, a tabano bite is very clear- it welts up and is very large and in many cases will swell.  I was in misery last night.  I maybe slept for about 2 solid hours.  The rest was tossing and turning and scratching.  This morning while sweeping I found a dead tabano on the floor of my house.  Sweeping his lifeless little body into the dust pan, I could not help but wonder if he had dropped dead from exhaustion from biting me so many times.

On the flip side, as I write now I am smelling the wonderful aroma of fresh jasmine flowers.  My friend has been coming by in the morning before she heads to work.  She lives an hour and a half bus ride north of me and has been busing in every day for work.  She always brings me a little something.  A snippet of wild flowers, a j some coffee- random little things to bringten my morning.  At brighten in does.  The smell of these little beauties is amazing.  It reminds me that I really must plant some jasmine in my garden. 

Yesterdays post about my neighbor taking my bike was met by kind ears with lots of advice.  Even by the time I had sat back down to my computer I had already decided, Mindy, she is  your neighbor and friend- she needed to use it- so do not be mad anymore.  But lets set up some ground rules and boundaries.  Okay- no problem.  except that she has not brought back the bike yet?????

Yesterday when I took the kids to their ballet class I passed by where she works and she was not there- which did not surprise me- but then when I got home- the bike was not at my house and no one was at her house.  This sent me back into being annoyed. 

I think the way to deal with it is to get a lock like all have said and just kindly tell her- I understand that she needs to borrow my bike sometime but that it was a brand new bike and now has problems. I like to ride my bike- long bike rides for health and exercise.  So when the front wheel wobbles like it now does- that is a problem for me.  the seat is no longer attached in the back- that is a problem for me.  

I mean- I know that I am a go to girl for things on my street because I will very rarely say no- and why would I - people want to use my blender- fine- they do and bring it back- or my big pot to cook beans in- no problem- but these things have come back fast and in good condition- that is not the case with my bike.

Ahhh- the jasmine flower high is wearing off and I am geting upset again.  Breath- not a big deal- I just need to start laying some ground work.

OKay... I get that I am kinda being a bitch but really?

Okay.  Now if I actually have to sit back and ask myself... "Mindy, do you have anything to really be upset about, or are you just being a bitch?" Then I have probably already answered the question but...

Now I am so grateful to have my car and it has totally changed my life.  But... I do not want to drive it all the time.  My son's school is very near and easy to get to by bike and he is small enough to fit on the back.  So you can imagine my annoyance when I was driving home from dropping Lena off at school and there goes my neighbor off to work on ... wait for it... MY BIKE!

Now to be fair... I was probably not going to take Akilean on the bike today because it is very wet and looks like it will rain a lot more.  But still.  Why are you going into my yard and grabbing my bike.  She had it for almost 2 months when I was in SF and had my family visiting here. Which I did not mind.  I told her- I have all the kids so it is no problem.  Just please take care of it.  It is a brand new bike.

Well, after the 2 months I finally got it back and it had a few little problems- okay fine- whatever. I am not going to say anything.  It is just part of having a bike in general but. AAAAAaHAHAHAHAHAA!  I am really annoyed.  It is already hard to deal with the way that a lot of locals view Americans in that we can simply buy more of whatever it is that we have.  Now.  I know that we might look like we have more then most- and we do.  We were fortunate enough back in the states to 1) have jobs that were able to buy the things that we like, 2) a plethora of stores (word use for you momma! jaja) where you can buy very nice things for crazy cheap prices.  - And yes I know- that this is  due tot he gluttony of the USA.  3) we had family that were fortunate in their money and many of the things that we have were once theirs or gifts and 4) and this is the real kicker- an incredibly frugal and crafty wife that can find or make cheap things look amazing!  This is a stage craft skill that I am glad I have. 

But that does not mean that if you break one of my nice looking wine glasses or coffee mugs that I can run out and grab a  new one.  I live here too remember?  Just like you.  My husband makes the same money as everyone else and my rent is the same and so is my food.  Only difference is that at every turn I am paying just a little bit more then most others might because once again there is this idea that we Americans have stashes of money in our pockets. 

Anyway. I am just a little pissed about it.   Again.  I know that I was not going to use it today but I am just annoyed that she keeps going into my yard and taking it. Now if it had just been a few times- hey can I use your bike really fast?  We do that with our neighbor- we have gone into his yard and used the little bbq before.  Things like that.  But not every time I cook.   I mean... sorry but buy a bike.  And the reason she does not have one is the last 2 have been stolen and gotten broken.  So why would want to hand over my bike.  just because I have a car does not mean I do not want or use my bike. 

Okay.  End of rant.  Now I just have to wait till she gets home to tell her to stop taking it.  Even better- get a new bike lock and take away the option.  But even the constant asking me if she can borrow it is driving me crazy. 

A great meet up Internet folk

Well, before I talk about my very awesome meet up with some great people from I must say first that I one of the things that I hate the most about being sick is the crazy dreams that you have.  I had some really nutty ones last night. Anyway. 

I am a member of a great forum site online about Tulum. There is a lot of great information about Tulum on their from other travelers and their experiences.  But there is a real community that forms.  Well, every so often we have a meet up when there are a few people here.  This most recent meet up was one for the books. 

We had the moderators here and that is always great as well as some others.  We had the meet up at Om Tulum once again.  Om is a big favorite of many people both on the forum and locals alike so I was more then happy to eat there again. 

And this time Angelo pulled out all the stops for an amazing meal.  In our honor a magnificent meal and tequila tasting was planned. The chef was cooking all sorts of new items that are not on the menu and even Angelo had a good time tasting new dishes.

Angelo and Om were wonderful hosts as always and we all had a really good time. The food was simply unreal- as was the tequila and mescal.  We all had such a good time.  But this one better put forth in pictures.

The food was so amazing.  I have some notes on more details. But it is easy to say one of the very best meals that I have had in a long time. 

We had 6 tequilas and 1 mescal ranging from blanco- repasado- anejo- almond- pomegranate- it was amazing!!!!

Chilis en Nogales, Mexican Pizza, Nut Chili mole sauce and Tuna pastor!   Easy to say- I got spoiled.

Tulum Living School Project gets a new website

We are so excited to have launched the Tulum Living School Project website.  Here is where we will have all the details of our all our charity ,projects in detail. 

There is a new addition - The donation counter widget.  If you want to help and would be willing you can easily add this gadget to your own website.  Our school project donation widget will appear on your site and we could reach a much wider audience.   All funds collected are collected through pay pal. 

Simply click on the Add to site button and it will tell you what to do. It would be so appreciated.
I hope that you all like the website and that you will follow and help spread the word about this project.   I think that we will be able to do some amazing things in Tulum. 

Thank you to everyone for your support.  I look forward to sharing all of our progress.  is the site.  Thanks all.

A hurricane! 200 Years of Independance and 100 years since the Revolution!

Well, there is no getting around it.  It has been a party mood around Tulum for a the past week.  Yesterday (the 16th of Sept.) marked the 100 year anniversary of Mexico's revolution and the 200 year anniversary of Mexico's Independence from Spain! 

There were parties, fairs, parades and festivities everywhere.  The kids and I spent the first part of the day on the 15th on the Yaaj-Ximbal tour. It was wonderful as always.  A 4x4 trip through the jungle were we all got bounced around the back of the cars while we flew over rocks and trees in the middle of the jungle. 

I do really miss working for this company but alas- I have my family to take car of.  Not that I am complaining- other then the increase of funds- I much prefer staying at home with my kids.  the kids loved the zip line- like always.  They are so crazy.  We had a good group of people we were with and all had a great time.

The new cenote/ cave that they go in is amazing.  I really enjoyed it.  And I was really impressed with the fact that the kids were not scared.  I mean- being deep in a cave can be sort of scary for some kids but not my little adventure seekers.  Poor little Akilean did get pretty cold thought.  I cannot imagine why?  He has so much meat  on his bones.(dripping with sarcasm)  jajaja.  He eats a ton and yet still has this body that is just soooooo skinny.  He has the same build as my brother Ryan and my Uncle Brad. There is nothing that will change it- he is a slender kid.

Lena on the other had got my and Ruben's build. Ruben is one of those really broad shoulder guys with a lot of muscles. He is the sort of guy that would never be able to stretch his arms straight above his head because his shoulder muscles are too big. I love this build in my husband.  I have always had a short build and even when I danced between a little chunky or really skinny- I still had what was then referred to as "soccer legs."  This usually meant short- very strong muscular legs- especially thighs.  It was something that i hated then but love now.  Since I have no upper body strength and now less since my severe hand injuries- I used to do everything with my legs.  I used to move massive pieces of furniture with legs when I wanted to rearrange my house.  Ruben was amazed on what a short 100 lbs chick could get accomplished while he was at work- especially since I had NO arm ability. 

Anyway.  Lena was blessed with this solid frame.  People are often amazed when they pick her up.  She is still slender but packs some serious weight in her muscles.   When I told her into the cenote- she confirmed for me my belief that she will take a strong interest in Scuba diving.  At only 6 years old she begged me to take off her life jacket and let her explore under the water more. 

She is a born water baby.  She has loved the bath, pools and the sea and will spend HOURS in anyone of them.  I often tell people that Akilean will be my  fire dancing, acro-yoga instructor and Lena will be a scuba instructor or kite boarder.  They are both showing more and more of their personalities and I love watching them.

After the fun day on the tour we headed home for a quick nap and then off to the party at Lena's school.  Well, you would think that the party would be there- since there was a note and a big deal about everyone had to come to the event at the school.  So you can imagine our annoyance when we got to the school and there was nothing.  No note of cancellation- and certainly no party. Oh well-

We spent the evening at the "fair" and let the kids go on the bumper cars and bought them a toy.  There are very few rides here and they are either for babies or they are for adults.  So we bought them a toy instead. 

We stood in the centro and ate all of our favorite snacks and watched all of the talented performers on the new permanent stage that has just been built.  It was a wonderful time.  We then headed out to a friends house for a little party and went swimming at midnight!  It was a wonderful day. 

Bicentenial Celebrations have commenced!!!!

The bicentenial celebrations are in full swing here in Tulum.  Yesterday while picking up Akilean we were told that the costume that we had painted was going to  be in the parade that the kids were marching the next day.  Great I thought.  Ruben and I could both be here for the parade!  Of course there is a catch. Sfter the parade the kids are off for the rest of the day and the rest of the week. 

Now I new that Thursday was happeneing and almost 100% likely Friday, but Wednesday????? Well, Okay.  But wit?  What?  They are done at 9:00 on Tuesday!  WOW that is a celebration of Independance indeed.

The parade was really cute.  The costumes were really amazing.  All of the kids in the school looked adorable and I could tell that parents had worked really hard on these costumes.  Some had clearly worked very hard as some of the costumes did really look nice. 
I think Akilean was the cutest but I am sure that every mother says that.  There was a lot of work but not a lot of parade time.  Nor was the route something that was going to take them by many people. Oh well.  It was so cute none the less. 

Akilean looked so handsome and wore his mustache well.

This one is better in pictures!


Well, the German movie stuff went really well.  I got to work for 2 days and Lena 1 day- which is great.  I thought to myself- hey perfect. We made her tuition for next month.  And wouldn't that be great if that were actually the case.  One of the things that I hate about the schools here are the constant stream of crap that you have to buy ALL THE TIME.  There is always some project or homework or school activity that requires you to buy hundreds of pesos worth of crap. 

This has gotten so much worse as the bicentennial Independence day is coming around. There is always some flag that we have to buy or crepe flowers that we have to make or even better- a massive costume to construct and paint. 

I am so much more annoyed when I spend time and effort with my kids doing homework- cutting up special family photographs and destroying books and magazines to find certain images or words... only for them not to turn the damn thing in.  This is so infuriating.  (sadly I think I tortured my parents with this very same issue) I would work really hard, do a great job and then at the end of the month you would find all of the homework still in my notebook and my parents really confused about my bad grades.  Well- now Lena is doing it to me. 

And the thing that I hate the most is that I am the one who ends up looking like a total ass.  Here no one seems to tell you anything that is going on. They just have the kids relay information to the parents.  What to buy, when they are needed for extra hours or when there is no school at all. 

Do you know what happens when you give a 6 year old messages to pass along to their parents?  They forget or do not give the details always correctly.  I imagine that is because they told it to a 6 year old. And you know what really sucks... I look like an ass.  I am sick of being 5 steps behind and yet I am always doing something.

These are not always small projects either.  Akilean had to have a costume for his Independence day.  We had to buy 2 meters of bollio.  A soft paint-able fabric.  Once bought you need to paint it to look like what ever character he is playing.  Last year he was a monk of some kind and had to wear a garbage bag and rope and a white haired wig made from cotton balls.  Well- his hair already glows in the Mexican sun so we just did the garbage bag.  You can read that post HERE.   This year he needs to look like a zacateca or something.  Here is what he was needing to look like.  Simple right.  Facil.  And when I went to pick him up from school I was told.  Well, a bunch of us are doing it right now.  come and join us.  This is how it seems to work here.  Everyone just expects that you have nothing else to do and no where else to go.  Shockingly I never seem to be able to get much of my work done.  And now that I finally have a car I am missing my Netbook- the one thing that actually helped me to get my articles written.  And now it is gone and I am confined to my house to write and this is not a conducive place for writing about the peace of the Caribbean - but anyway.

So as we set all over Tulum to find the needed fabric of course it is all gone.  Because Tulum does not have a stock of anything.  So we head up to Playa to buy it.  Thank goodness we have a car and this was a option - otherwise he would have been SOL.  We told our friend Desire that we would visit her this weekend and she was going to help me paint the costume.  She is a wonderful artist and really made it wonderful.  Akilean even got to help as well.

He loves to paint.   I have also dicovered another love of Akilean's He has a strong love and a spark of natural talent for the guitar.  He has perfect finger movement and understands the idea of the strings already.  He was sitting at the chair strumming his guitar (well- Desires guitar) and a friend of Desires was very impressed with his strumming.  When I told him that was the first time he had ever picked up a guitar he was shocked.  He said that Akilean had a natural talent and Akilean loves the guitar so I have decided to take Akilean out of ballet and put him into guitar class.   He also did a great job painting his costume. 

He looks really cute in it. All we need now is a hat and to paint a mustache on him.  He will be so adorable in this.  Anyway.  I am off to take him to school and take the things that Lena forgot to take to her school and then meet with people and then ... an then and then. 

I know that it is just totally normal to feel like this.  I mean really... when are we ever caught up.  haha.  I just need to focus and stop getting stressed out- but that is really hard.

Acting Debut

Yesterday was a day full of wonderful surprises. 1st - Ruben and I drove around doing all of the little things that we needed to get done.  We paid our rent, our bills and Lena's tuition and then drove over to our land that still sits as a little piece of jungle.  While picking up Akilean we were told that tomorrow (today) there was going to be a field trip to the planetarium that has has been set up in the main square.  It is a tiny little thing on the top of a half semi truck but amazing just the same- especially in the eyes of a child. 

Ruben and I had already decided that we were going to take both of the kids on Friday when it opens to the public.  But Akilean's school had been given 40 passes for the kids to attend.  We had already signed up and paid the 5 pesos for Akilean when I had the obvious idea that we should let one of the other students go whose parents might not be taking them because we knew that Akilean was going to be going anyway.  We gave up his spot and were told that he should not come to school tomorrow because the kids that were going would be gone and the rest of the kids would not have school.  - okay no worries.

So we went home to complete the rest of what we do- laundry- homework- playing with friends- you know.. the norm.  Ruben was running a little late to catch the bus for work down to the beach so I said.. "hey love, do you want us to give you a ride?"  I love saying that.  Since we were going to be there anyway the kids and I grabbed our suits and spent about 1 hour on the beach.  It was wonderful.  No need to spend the whole day or hours- just a little play time in the waves before heading back home.  It was perfect.

After doing homework we were greeted by a wonderful surprise.  My good friend Desire and her daughter were in town from Puerto Morelos and came by to see us.  We were having a wonderful evening when we heard a man;s voice at the door. 

It was my good friend Carlos.  He had been trying to get a hold of me all day but alas- my phone was in the bag that was stolen and here- you do not get your number back.  So he tracked me down to tell me the news that Dream's, a large all inclusive hotel chain, really wanted Lena for a promotional video that they were shooting. 

It pays 500 pesos, which is awesome considering her tuition is 1500 pesos and is already difficult to meet.  They also wanted Ruben but unfortunately he has to work and cannot get out of it.  But Lena gets to have her acting debut. 

She is so unbelievably excited.  I am not a fan of her missing school and this new school is not like her old one of- whatever- bring her or no- no importa.  This school is  very serious about her education and I love that.  BUT... she would have to miss a day.  I went this morning while dropping off the other little girl that we take to school and talked with her teacher.  I told her that I am so sorry that Lena would not be at school today and explained why.  I can do all of the work and lessons with her in the house and would gladly do more but I really want Lena to have this opportunity. 

Not only is it a chance for her to earn 1/3 of her tuition in a day but what an experience.  She is so in love with performing and does so all the time but now she gets to do it  .. shall we say.. for real. 

As a theater major in college and someone who has been acting since about the same age as Lena, I am so happy for her.  For 1 there is the money that she will earn today towards her school which is wonderful, but there is also the opportunity for so much more.  But even if it never goes anywhere and she never does it again... what an amazing experience for her.  I know that she is going to have a great time today and I get to go with her and Akilean will be with me.  As luck would have it he does not have school today. 

I am eager to see how the whole thing plays out and to see the final video.  I am so proud of my little girl and I am so happy she gets to have this experience. Now that I am armed with a camera I will take a ton of photos of my sweet heart in her debut and know that we all have a good time watching her. 

I look forward to sharing the pics and the experience with my friends and family and all of my readers.  Have a great day.


I as not sure why I take such pride in my home but sitting in a clean house- especially one that is staged is one of my greatest joys.  Perhaps that because as a mom - with kids this look is very rare.  jaja.    But yesterday Ruben got home and we got right to work getting the house put together.  Piece by piece we got the kids larger items set up. 

The first area to get set was la area de los ninos. - the kids area.   We set up their little table and a little tent and now they have their very own space in the house. The have their videos, their Wii (which I am very impressed they do not play as often as I thought they would try) and their table to work and eat. It is a great little area.  Lena wants me to put up a curtain so they can close it and have their space.

The bedroom looks great.  Lena has her vanity so she can sit and do her hair and what not. She is so cute.  And  her doll house.  This doll house was her 4th birthday present and it is so cool.  The colors and drawings are amazing and the furniture is sturdy and very cute.  I was so surprised at how inexpensive the house was.  I would have expected a higher price then the $70 we paid.  Akilean and Lena have already had a great time playing with it.  And I have a sneaky suspicion that there will be many little girls here today to play with it. 

And although we got a lot done yesterday and the house looks great- we still have our "to do" pile.  It looks a lot worse then it is.  Most of it is clean cloths that need to be put away and there is a very large black bag that is actually my friends from another small town that I will take to her. 

Last night after we staged the house a bit and got it picked up, we sat down and enjoyed a bottle of wine that my dad had sent down with me.  It was a wonderful bottle.  Evans and Tate, Shiraz.  It was made so much better by the face that it was drank out of our old wine glasses from the states that I was able to bring down.  I think we will have much better luck keeping these from breaking because of the wonderful shelf with wine rack that Ruben built me. He is such a wonderful and handy husband. 

We sat in our living room and enjoyed the wine while simply looking around our house.  I cannot wait to get my art work up and enjoy it even more.  The garden is also looking amazing.  There are several papayas that are growing very well and there has even appeared a flower on my bougainvillea.  This plant has not flowered in over a year after its initial flowering.  But I have heard that is normal.  I do hope that it begins to bloom.  It will create the most beautiful little "flower house" under the arbor that Ruben built me last year.  All of the other plants have grown to the point of being as high as the fence and are filling in and blocking the view from the street. 

In other news - I am so happy about the books that we got for the kids.  I say we- meaning all of the wonderful people who were kind enough to help us pay for these amazing books.  They were pretty expensive but have proven their worth already.  Last week Lena was learning about Nouns, or sustantivos in Spanish, and we grabbed the grammar volume and looked up the page about sustantivos.  It gave a wonderful lesson that balanced nicely with the one that Lena got in school. Thank you again to everyone who helped with these book.  It was beyond kind of you. 

I love her school so much.  I have decided that I am going to have a sale of all of my old cloths.  I have some beautiful cloths that are from the United States that simply do not work for my life here. Here they are just going to get destroyed.  So I decided that I would take photos and have a sort of internet garage sale to raise money for her tuition. My mom will be here next month for my birthday and she will take the items home and mail them.  Stay tuned- this should be sometime in the next week.  Once it is up - please let anyone that you think might like them about my sale.  I was going to sell the kids old cloths as well but have decided that there are too many mothers here that are in need of kids cloths and unable to buy them.  So it makes more sense to share those with them. 

I think it will be a great success.  The cloths that I owned in the states are very nice and perfect for the office.  But here- they are just bin fillers.  jaja. 

Is the glass half full or half empty?

Well - either way- today it is just half.  This morning while emptying some things from the car-- (yes it is here- more on that in a moment...) I felt something go into my eye.  It felt very large and very painful.  I went into my house to see if I could flush it out.  After several minutes of it still feeling very painful I decided to walk over to my good friend Gina's house.  She is the grandmother to some friends of my kids and she always has wonderful homeopathic solutions to common problems - especially ones that seem specific to this area. 

She had some drops that she wanted to out in my eye but warned me that it would sting.  She was not lying.  Sting it did - a lot. Not to the point of absolutely unbearable but not fun.  The drops are made of salvula (also knows as fresh aloe gel)  along with some other herbs.  She gave me the bottle to put a few more drops in my eyes 3 times a day for 3 days.  I am also to keep  it closed.  Well that is much easier said then done.

I have 2 band aids on my eye holding it shut so it can rest.  And I have crashed my hip into more then one counter today.  So although I look like a ghetto pirate - my eye will feel better soon I am sure.

In other news.  Ruben got here yesterday around 6 in the evening.  He was originally going to call me from a few hours away to give me an idea when he would be home.  He was not able to and did not want to go through the towns to find a phone- he just wanted to get home.  It was a wonderful surprise to see him.  He looked as handsome as ever.

After a quick shower it was time to empty at least the inside of the car.  It looks like my storage unit threw up in my house.  But I am so excited to have my art work and many just random items. We had a nice dinner and laid in the front yard to look at the stars.  The kids are so glad that Ruben is home. 

Most of our stuff is packed into boxes so I could not bring too many of them.  My art was #1 for us and beach toys.  We have these 2 skim boards from when I was a kid and so I got those and a boogie board and some kites.  After those things it was time to fill it up with whatever randomness was around and would fit. 

I did grab some of Lena's furniture from her room as it breaks down easily and she is so excited about that.  Akilean's toys from the states were for a much younger person so I did not bring many.  I did  however bring him a HUGE storage bin FULL of Legos.  This is a love hate thing. 

As a mom-  they are messy and hurt when you step on them but on the flip side- the hours of imaginative play and building is priceless.  There are so many little people, doors and windows a even some castles- star wars stuff and what not.  He is already having a blast and the neighbor girls are here and they are all playing and having a great time with them so that is worth it. 

The car is great and looks great in front of my house.  But every time I look outside I think..."who is here?" It is going to take a while to get used to the fact that it is my car.  especially since this has never been my car before so I do not associate myself with it at all.  But it is perfect.  4 doors, great gas mileage, perfect color- not flashy or too noticeable, nothing fancy or expensive inside the car to attract theft and my grandma took great car of it.  I have some fun memories of shopping trips my grandma and I had in that car so that is just 1 more bonus.
Well, I am off- this half view of the computer is not the easiest thing in the world and my other eye is getting tired. 

it is not that I cannot... it is that I do not want to.

I have lived in a time of women and I have been blessed with the education of women that not only are we the equals of men but that in may ways we are their superiors.  We do things that men cannot.  We literally take things from our own bodies and create a new  creature.  A blessing and miracle indeed.  So it is with this very forward think inking mind that I say the following sentance. ..........................................  I  NEED RUBEN! 

Let me rephrase.  It is not that I need him.  I do not need him to make me something more then I can be myself but I need him to be my full potential.   The potential that I already have but he draws out of me. I desire him.  He makes me better.  He actually makes me want to be better then I want to make myself and be better for the world aroundme- my kids being the first effect.

I love myself so much.  I am the very best friend that I will ever have in the entire world.  I already know this.  There are those ladies that are blessed with wonderful friends.  And while I do feel so very blessed to have the wonderful friends that i do... there is only 1.  Only 1 whose opinion could actually sway me.  My own! And I NEED HIM!  Not to live and function but to be the best me. 

All of my dearest friends know 3 facts about me.  1)  I love and accept anyone and their opinions, but I will not be subject to them.  2)  you, I and all those around us are due and deserving of love, compasion and respect  and all of the very best emotions that we, as humans, can share. and 3) that I am all devoted to my love, Ruben.

While not an ideal start in the fairy tale sense... from the moment (and I literally mean the moment I saw him) I knew. ..

I knew that he was meant to make me happy and that I was meant to make him happy and reach his full potential as well.

I say this as I have been in my home for a week with my kids stressed- working- making school lunches and juntas and all of the rest that makes life obnoxious and wonderful in the same second.  And this I can do.  I can do it by myself.

This is not something that I doubt or question.  It is that I simply do not want to do anything with out him.

He is - as they say.... "my essence" (Thank you once again Shakespeare for saying what I could not and in fewer words and ones far more gracious then my own.)  He is my everything. 

I look forward to my next tattoo that is a love letter to him. " I love you because I know you, beginning to end, first to last, together forever."

How did I get so lucky that after 10 years I am still madly - and I mean that sort of drive you bonkers- jump in your through - everything is simply better when he is around sort of love.

Not everyone has that.  And I do.  And I am so thankful and happy about it.  and he will be home in my arms so soon. 

I was reading today- while missing him the post that  spurred our sudden move to Mexico.  The call that said... "hey, by the way, the love of your life is not coming home tonight."  And you know what....??? I do not even care.  All I need-- Scratch that-- all I want is our family.

I am the very best version of me when I am with him.  and he will be home so soon.  Only 11.7 more hours- dependiong on traffic. jaja.

The start of a new year.

Just as I love Monday's as the start to a fresh new week, I love the start of a new school year. Especially this year. It is sort of like a family new year's opportunity. We get to set up a new schedule and life after a fun filled Summer. And in this case a crazy few weeks to the end of August.

I am one of those people that really cannot function in a dirty home. I certainly cannot work in one. When I came home from my trip to the states the house was in serious need of a deep clean. Just time for that anyway this time of year. And with Ruben gone and driving such a long distance - I need to keep my mind focused on something else. Now that even my light switches have been cleaned and disinfected I can think again.

The kids are getting back into the school program with ease. Lena really loves her new school and that is so worth the money that we will have to come up with for the tuition. She has a music class which is so wonderful, a class in English - which for her is going to be very easy and she is learning more about religion and God which I like and Ruben as a Mexican Catholic just loves.

The other night she comes to me and says that she learned a prayer in school and wanted to show me. When she was finished she asked if I pray.I told her that I did in more ways then one. This really got her attention. I have already taught my kids that there are many ways to think of religion and god and many ways to celebrate it. She already meditates with me which I really love. Meditation is my personal reflection time. When I get to focus on myself and my mind and not because of any religious doctrine of how I should behave. I love to garden and have taught Lena and Akilean that that is one of the many ways that we can thank Mother Earth for her many blessings- and the kids really love helping her fairies help the planet grow. And now we have added a more traditional evening prayer before bed.

The kids make the sign of the cross and then tell God what they are thankful for and things they wish to ask for. Things like keeping daddy safe and not drive to fast and thanking God for our family and house and for Akilean - that I am home and can kiss him. :) I loved that one.

I was so proud to hear the things that they said. They really seem to understand that this is not a wish list from Santa and that the things we ask for are not material. Kids have such a special energy and light. It is easy to forget sometimes when you are yelling at them to brush their teeth or stop jumping on the bed.

The kids have been sleeping with me while Ruben is away which makes for a very tight squeeze with 3 people in a double bed - and little warm for my ideal night but hey- I have 2 living teddy bears to snuggle with. I woke up around 4 to a kiss on the forehead from Lena. - Not a bad midnight treat.

So far the school year is off to a great start. The kids love a schedule and thrive on one. When we are on schedule- the lunches and dinners are better, the uniforms are clean and ready and there is no- oh- I forgot to do 1 piece of homework. I am really loving it and I know when we get the car here in a few days it will get even better.

Ruben should be home hopefully late Friday evening. When he stopped off in Guanajuato to see his grandmother and great grandfather- he ended spending the whole day there as it is clear that his great grandfather will pass away sometime in the next week. He has stopped eating and is in a great deal of pain. I do not hear Ruben upset very often but he is taking the hit pretty hard.

Also is grandmother Elena (the woman that we named Kennedy Elena after) is also not doing well. She is much older and is by herself. The family that is in town does not visit or help as often as Ruben would like to see. She recently fell down the stairs and cannot move well. He stayed and did a number of things for her. I told him that he could stay longer if wanted but he unfortunately has to be back at work for a wedding on Saturday morning. I am glad that he at least got to spend one day there.

Soon he will be home and everything will be perfect. I miss him so much a there is a huge hole in our family with him not here. Soon- he will be home soon. (this has been my mantra the past few days!)

Back from no where

Okay. so I literally dropped off the planet for a while. I took my niece and nephews back to San Francisco. When I went last time to get the kids it was much more a vacation for me.I hung with my friends, I ate food- I drank wine- and did other ton-o-fun things. But this time... Not so much.

By the time that I headed up to Portland I was already tired and really missing the fam. And I guess Akilean had a really hard time with me being gone. Lena was just fine- she loved being the lady of the house. But Akilean would cry a lot and at totally random times. It got to the point where even the teacher called in Ruben and asked him if everything was okay for us at home- or if we had split up because Akilean would start crying all of a sudden and he did not want to do anything in class or play with his friends. Ruben said he did not even want to eat. (Then again- Akilean LOVES my food!) Ruben told the teacher that I was in the states and would be home soon.

So here is the short version of the trip:
Friday- got to Portland had lunch with my dad and got to spend the afternoon and evening with a good friend of mine-

Sat & Sunday were spent at my dad's beach house with my brother and his kids and some friends. That was really great. This house is amazing and really peaceful and there is a possibility that we might lose it in this economy. Sort of sad really because I never really appreciated it as a kid but now---

Monday was the packing day. When I left I kept a bunch of stuff and got to go back and get it. It was like free shopping with stuff you already knew you liked. The car is packed with great fun stuff for the kids- beach toys and my art work! Finally I will have my art work. It is nothing to fancy but I love it. Ironic though because we bought a lot of art from Mexico- basic cheap street paintings but beautiful. We bought them at a little cantina and now we are bringing them to Mexico. jaja

Tuesday was all about my dump truck. Yes I have a dump truck. I know strange. But I do. Well this guy was helping me sell it and then just never returned my phone calls. Well in Mexico I could not really do anything but in the states I sent him a text message that I was on my way to report the truck stolen- 10 minutes later I got a call. This is still a sore point for me so I will talk about it another time.

Then it was off to Mexico. A very long drive. The car was still in my deceased grandma's name so I had to drive to SF- fill of the last few spots left with stuff- seriously- you should see this car- there is no room left for anything.

Then drive to Fresno and hope all goes well with the transfer. It is a probate thing and all sorts of difficult but it did get done so I am very happy about that. This was the first hurdle to crossing the boarder- It had to be in my name. Then it was off for another long drive to San Diego. I got to be with my mom which is like breathing for me. So that was great.

The the next hurdle was crossing the boarder and getting the permit. My mom and I emptied out a seat for her and drove to Tijuana where we first got the tourist card... CHECK. Then off to get the car permit. They did not even search my car or anything so that was cool. I had nothing to declare and they just asked what all the stuff was. I told them- my kids live in Mexico with their father and I am bringing some stuff for their rooms. On I went for my permit.

That process was pretty easy but mostly because we had done our research. Permit.... CHECK. Then my mom got me Mexican car insurance because USA insurance is not valid in MX. After a nice lunch and a farmacia stop we were off to wait in the long line to get back into the USA. It was not too bad of a wait.

But I cannot believe that how smooth it all went. I was very glad about that. So we booked Ruben and myself tickets so we could switch places. At this point Ruben and I decided that I would just do the drive myself. We do not have the money for tickets- but my mom vetoed that choice. But hey- she literally created my eye ball out of shit from her own body so she has that right.

So at this point I was off to meet Ruben- got to see him for a like 2 hours and then off again. Here is where the first and really only wrinkle with the car came in.

Ruben has the car and the sticker on the car and copies of all the paperwork- insurance both USA and MX, my IDs, our marriage cert, the copy of the paper that the sticker was attached to. Yeah- that last one... that was our problem. Even though I was told not to leave it in the car because in case my car gets stolen I would need that for my records-

He got all the way to Sonora and after about 5 hours the bitch at the boarder said that he needed the original?!?! What- you have the sticker on the front of the car and copies of everything. What a nightmare- so I was going to have to next day air this paper to him and he would have to sit and wait for me to get this done.

He drove back to TJ to see if he had better luck there. NOPE! The last option before me mailing this doc was for him to drive back to Sonora again and hope that lady was not there and that the other people were better to him. I sat in my house- just distraught waiting for his call. I just want my husband home!!!! I got the call that said he is past and on his way. YEAH!!!!

So now he is driving the very long drive through Mexico to come home to me and bring me- Officially now.... MY CAR! and all the shit I managed to jam into it.

Akilean is so happy I am home. He is at my side almost all of the time and keeps telling me how much he missed me while I was in the USA. And now the house is clean- which is really needed. I mean DAMN! But now it is done and life is getting back to normal.

Okay- that is the update. now I can write about fun stuff. I literally dropped the Internet planet for a while. There was no one I was with that had Internet. Which I was not expecting. Back to life.

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