Bits & Pieces

The past couple of weeks have been a  little hectic in the Limón household.  In between multiple group homework assignments and toothaches, we've had a birthday or anniversary to celebrate every week since the beginning of September.  

The most recent being Nick's 12th birthday, which was yesterday (Friday).  My little boy is twelve years old!  That means that at this time next year, he'll be a teenager.  Where did the time go?  

Speaking of time just flying right by us, the day before Nick's birthday we celebrated another special anniversary.   Our 11th anniversary of living in Mexico.  Eleven years sounds like an incredibly long time.  Somehow it just doesn't feel like it's been that long.

I wanted to write a blog post to commemorate such a special occasion, but my darn tooth hurt like the dickens that day and I wasn't able to do much of anything except writhe in pain.  It's kind of my own fault, I guess.  I mean, I probably should have gone in for the root canal instead of having my wisdom tooth pulled, but I really didn't want to go through all that pain again.  I still don't.  But that tooth isn't giving me much of a choice.  Darn it!

On a happier note, sometime tonight Daylight Savings finally comes to an end (for those of us in Mexico).  Good riddance!  I am looking forward to an extra hour of sleep and seeing that the sun is already out when I wake up.
The only bad thing about the end of Daylight Savings is that cycling season is also coming to a close.  Today, Hubby and his cycling buddies rode all the way from Mascuala (outskirts of Guadalajara) for the last ride of the season.

Hubby's the one in plaid shorts smiling directly at the camera. 

While Hubby was away, the kiddies and I enjoyed a  lazy  relaxed Saturday playing games, eating leftover pizza and watching movies.  But not just any movies, our favorite Halloween movies, which helped lift our Halloween spirits that have been of dragging since the loss of my decorations.

The kiddies have all decided on their costumes.  I'm sworn to secrecy until Halloween, but I will give you a hint.  Hope had me do a practice run on her make-up.  Can you guess what she's going to be?

All in all, today was a good day. 

How was your day?


A Killer Homework Assignment

It's never a dull day in the Limón household.

And it's not everyday that my 13-year old daughter  shouts, "Mamá!  I have to film a murder for chemistry class today!", when she gets home from school.

I was busy putting the final touches on what we were about to eat for lunch, while also trying to get my boys to change out of their school clothes, so I was a little distracted and pretty sure I hadn't heard Hope correctly.

"What did you just say???"

"A bunch of us are going to Kim's house later to film a murder."

This time there were no distractions and I heard every word she said.

"Did you just say murder?"


"Mija, I know Mexico has seen it's share of violence, but it's not like it's happening out in the street for you and your friends to film it.  And.... Oh.  My.  God!  What is your teacher thinking?"

Most of our conversation had been in Spanish, but this is when I had a Ricky Ricardo-like outburst, "Mira que tiene cosa...", but in English.

Hope just stood in our dining room, rolling her eyes and shaking her head, "Ay mamá!  Not a real murder!"

"Oh! Well, why didn't you say so in the first place?"

Hope went on to explain that their mini-movie was going to be a tale of love and betrayal, which leads to murder, drinking and smoking with a special appearance by the devil and the angel spirit of the murder victim.

The kind of stuff telenovelas are made of.

What I didn't (and still don't) understand is what all of this has to do with chemistry class.  A creative writing class, I can understand.  But not 9th grade chemistry.   The way the "kids" explained it to me is that it's supposed be something like CSI where the rest of the students have to figure out what evidence to gather and how to process it all.  Or something like that.  But they're not entirely sure either.
Hope (center) and the rest of the cast of the 9th grade murder mystery. 

All I know is that Kate del Castillo better watch out, because there's a new Reina del Sur and she's taking over chemistry class.


*Linking up with Parenting by Dummies and Seven Clown Circus for Wordful Wednesday

Mi Mexico Monday: Pan American Games Parade

This year's Juegos Panamericanos (Pan Am Games) are being held in Guadalajara, Jalisco.  Just a short 90-minute drive from where I live.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Pan American Games, they're a lot like the Olympics, but only for those that live on the American Continent (North and South America).

In honor of the Juegos Panamericanos, some of the schools here in town, got together to put on a small, very last-minute parade, with each class dressed up to represent the participating countries.  Nick's 6th grade class was chosen to represent the United States.

Some of the other countries represented besides the U.S. and the host country, Mexico, were Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil and Canada.

 I thought this was a fun festivity for all of the students involved and I hope it was a great learning experience for them as well.  I would have liked to have seen Nick waving the American flag, but he had Escolta duties which were more important.

Have you been watching the PanAm Games?


Spanish lesson: Dads, Parents, Potatoes, Popes & The Best Dad in the World

As a former ESL teacher, I know that one of the most difficult things about learning a new language is that words can have more than one meaning.

As a bilingual wife and mom, it's my job to try to take full advantage of those multiple meanings, every chance I get.

Case in point, Jack's homework.  His teacher sends home these ticker-tape style notes with the day's homework assignment.

Homework Example 1

At the end of the first bullet point, the teacher uses the words los papás.  Los papás can mean either "the dads" or "the parents".  Since this particular homework assignment included cutting several pieces of a tangram, I tried to convince Hubby that the teacher was clearly stating that she  wanted the dads to do the work.

But Hubby wasn't falling for it.

Yesterday, Jack brought home this paper with another message addressed to Papás.
Homework example 2

Since the teacher is thanking and congratulating the papás for their hard work and help with the homework assignments, it's obvious that she is referring to "the parents".  Moms AND dads.  But Hubby is convinced that she is just thanking "the dads".

What do you think?

Speaking of papás,  I want to wish Hubby, the best papá and husband in the whole wide world, a very Happy 39th Birthday!
Hubby birthday

I love you, Alfie!  Que Dios te de muchos años mas! 

*Bonus Spanish Lesson:  The word Papas, without the accent over the second "a", can mean either potatoes or Popes, as in head of the Catholic church.

**Linking up with my good friend, Latinaish, for a Semi-Spanish Friday

Adventures in House Renting & Quite Possibly The End of the World

For 8 of the soon-to-be 11 years we have lived in Mexico, we have been renting a house that is just 3 doors down from my in-laws.  (We lived with them our first 3 years in Mexico.)

Up until August of last year, we had lived in this house without a rental contract and paid the ridiculously low amount of 600 pesos per month for the rent of both the house and Hubby's upholstery shop.  (Can you imagine paying $50 dollars a month in rent for both a house and a shop in the U.S.?)

Then last year, when one of the owners came to visit, she doubled our rent and insisted we sign a rental agreement.  I think she works as an apartment manager or something like that in the U.S.  As a former office manager for a property management company, I can understand why she was so insistent 

When filling out the agreement, the owner told us we could make it out for however long we wanted.   Not happy about having our rent doubled overnight, Hubby wasn't really sure if he wanted us to continue living in this house much longer, so we suggested it be for only a year.

That contract expired in August.  With the owners in the U.S. and the landlady not really wanting to be involved, no mention of needing or wanting a new one was ever made.  Until last week.  The landlady dropped off a new rental agreement/contract for us to fill out and sign.  Again, we were told  we could make it out for as long as we wanted.

Not wanting to have to go through this hassle year after year, Hubby and I agreed that a three year contract would be fine.

Well...this morning we got a call from the other owner of the house (they're sisters) telling us that we should fill out the contract for just another year, because she hopes to move down some time at the end of next year.  Si Dios quiere.  (If God willing.)

All of this is fine with both Hubby and I.  We knew that we wouldn't live in this house forever.  Me and this house have never really gotten along anyway.  (You can read more about that here and here.)  The good thing is that we have a few options for our next rental home when our time is finally up.

What's really disturbing to me though, is that one of those houses is out in the middle of nowhere (really it's just the outskirts of town) with absolutely no internet access WHATSOEVER!

Looks like 2012 might be the end of the world after all!

Ay. Dios. Mio!

Skipping Halloween???

I don't think I have to remind you how much I love holidays, especially Halloween.

It was still September when I began crafting new styrofoam spiders and other creepy crawlers to add to my cute and spooky collection.

Then a few days later I saw what was surely  a sign that it was time for me to put up my Halloween decorations.

But when I went to look for them, they were nowhere to be found.

At first, I thought that maybe I had just misplaced them.  But after two weeks of searching through every place imaginable and unimaginable, I still hadn't found them.

No poster-board fence and witch silhouette.

No shredded Hefty bag curtains.

No cute felt witches that were hand-sewn and embroidered by yours truly.

Not even the plastic Jack-O-Lanterns I lucked upon at the diez peso store a couple of years ago.

It's taken me years to scare up my collection of handmade Halloween decorations, adding a handful of things each year.  And now they've vanished into thin air.

Maybe they're just another thing to disappear into that abyss I like to call the Bermuda Triangle.

Or maybe they were accidentally tossed into the trash by a well-meaning suegro who was helping to Spring-clean our storage room.  (This wouldn't be the first time something of mine was "accidentally" tossed into the trash.)  

Whatever the reason, I feel absolutely heartbroken and devastated.  And just a little ticked off.  But I'm more sad than I am mad.

Celebrating Halloween, or any other American holiday for that matter, is hard enough to do in Mexico.  And well, without decorations to set the mood, I'm afraid it won't be as easy to keep my Halloween spirit alive.

It's almost enough to make me consider skipping Halloween this year.


To be continued....


Things I've Never Done...

Because I've been 37 years old for almost a whole month, I've come up with a list of Things I've Never Done.  Some of the things I hope to be able to do someday.  And other things, well, I'll probably never even attempt to do.

37 Things I've Never Done

1.  Traveled any where outside the U.S. or Mexico. 
2.  Visited the pyramids or any of the amazing archaeological sites Mexico has to offer. 
3.  Learned to drive a stick shift.
4.  Jumped out of an airplane.
5.  Had a pedicure.  (Probably never will.  I'm not comfortable with strangers touching my feet.)

6.  Gotten a tattoo. 
7.  Made love in an elevator.

8.  Ventured farther south in Mexico than Guadalajara. 
9.  Gone skinny dipping.
10.  Worn an evening gown. 
11.  Met my first childhood crush: Donny Osmond! (♥)

 12.  Met my teenage crush: Tommy Lee (♥♥♥)

13.  Done Yoga or Pilates.
14.  Had a Pumpkin Pie Latte. But I have come up with my own version. I call it Pumpkin Spice Mexican Hot Chocolate
15.  Stepped foot inside a Starbuck's. (Remeber, I've lived in Small Town, Mexico for the past 11 years.)   
16.  Had a Quinceañera or Sweet Sixteen party. 
17.  Gotten drunk.  (Unless you count that one New Year's Eve where I drank too much sparkling apple cider, but it shouldn't count because it was sparkling apple cider.)  
18.  Been on a cruise.
19.  Smoked a cigar. 
20.  Won anything. (Prize, Raffle, Car, Lottery, Grammy, Oscar, Nobel Peace Prize....)

21.  Cared much for exercise
22.  Had to save the world. 
23.  Ridden off into the sunset. (Although, I have flown down to Mexico at sunrise with Hubby!)   
24.  Had a limpia (Mexican spiritual cleansing). (But I think I might know someone who can hook me up.)
Ashley giving my suegro (father-in-law) a limpia

25.  Traveled alone.  
26.  Gone on a blind date. 
27.  Thrown a big party while my mom/grandparents were out of town. 
28.  Fired a weapon. (A BB gun at summer camp doesn't count.) 
29.  Heard Hubby say, "Leslie, you've got some 'splainin to do!" 

30.  Gone to Vegas as an adult, so I could do something that should stay in Vegas. 
31.  Had a surprise party.
32.  Kicked Hubby out of bed for eating crackers. 
33.  Seen any of The Godfather movies. 
34.  Been a bridesmaid.
35.  Fainted.
36.  Been to New York City.
37.  Joined the Mile-High Club. ;)

What are some of things you haven't done???

Linking up with Mama Kat for her Pretty Much World-Famous Writer's Workshop

Laugh of the Day: Spanish Friday Edition

Linking up with my friend Latinaish for Spanish Friday.  Don't speak or read Spanish?  Not a problem!  Just scroll down a little for the English Translation.

Ayer, mi esposo estaba ayudando a uno de nuestros sobrinos con su tarea de geografia.  (El mismo sobrino de la otra vez.)  Una de las preguntas era "¿Cómo está organizado México?"  A la que mi sobrino contesto, "MUY MAL!"


English Translation:

Yesterday, Hubby was helping one of our nephews with his geography homework.  (The same nephew from this blog post.)  One of the questions was, "How is Mexico organized?"  To which our nephew answered, "VERY BAD!"


Witches Only!

It's beginning to look a lot like Halloween.

This isn't the first time I've found a lone broom parked in El Jardin.  I'm beginning to think it's a sign to put up my Halloween decorations. 

What do you think?