Housewife Confessions: Grocery Store Romance

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Even after 17 years of marriage, Hubby never fails to deliver chocolate, flowers, and romance on Valentine's Day.   He's a romantic with keen attention to the finest of details.  It's one of the many things I love about him.   But this year, he's going to have to kick it up a notch or two if he wants to impress me, because I have a new Valentine vying for my attention this year.

Now, I know you're all thinking, "But Leslie, you're a married woman!"

I'm not proud of my actions.  And it's not like I planned for any of this to happen.  It just did.

It all started at the new Bodega Aurrera that opened recently in nearby Nochistlan, Zacatecas.  (For those of you not in Mexico, it's like a mini-Walmart.) That's where we first met.  I was in the bakery aisle, waiting for Hubby, my suegra (mother-in-law) and the kiddies to decide which freshly baked pastries and doughnuts to buy.   I looked away for just a second and that's when I spotted him at the other end of the aisle, looking slightly out of place next to a large display of  clearance Christmas items.

I'm not going to lie.  My eyes lit up the moment I saw him and couldn't help but smile, even though I knew that his sole purpose for being there was to see how many housewives he could seduce.

I tried to pretend that I hadn't noticed him, even though we were walking straight towards him.  As  I sauntered past him I caught a whiff of his perfume.  Oh, he smelled so good!  I closed my eyes as I inhaled his intoxicating aroma, thinking, "So this is what love smells like!"

But still, I resisted his charm.

As we continued to make our way around the store, I kept trying to convince myself that it was useless getting involved.  Why risk getting attached, if he's just going to disappear in a few weeks?  Where would that leave me?   What if he's so good that he ruins me for anyone else, because no one would ever be able to compare to him?

Then, as if the universe knew my hearts desires, "You make me feel like a natural woman" started to play on the overhead speakers.  I knew it was a sign.  I had been kidding myself thinking that I wasn't looking for something to shake up my ordinary, routine life.  So, not caring what anyone thought, I raced across the store to where he was.  I couldn't keep my hands off of him as I pulled him into my arms.  I wanted more!  More!  MORE!!!

It was then that Hubby pulled the shopping cart right next to us.  He tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, "Honey, the sign says you can only take 4!"

And that my friends, is how I met my Valentine.  Limited Edition Valentine's Day fabric softener!

Suavitel San Valentin

Maybe this is just what I need to put me in the mood to...you know...do laundry.

Or so my hubby hopes.


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Making the Grade

I thought worrying about school and grades was all behind me.  It's been almost 20 years since I graduated from Secretary School.  And  it's been a little over 3 years since I taught in a classroom.

The only grades I have to worry about these days are my kiddies'.

But all that changed the day the kiddies returned to school just two weeks ago.

Hope's math / homeroom teacher, in an effort to get parents more involved in their child's schoolwork, informed us all, long before the kiddies got out for Christmas Vacation, that we (the parents) would also be getting graded.

At first, my reaction was "What the heck?  They can't do that!  Just how in the heck are they going to grade us?  They can't tell me how to raise my child!  Mira que tiene cosa...."

But then I got the report cards we have to fill out every two weeks.  After reading through them, it became clear to me exactly what the teacher hopes to accomplish.  She just wants all of the parents to take an active role in their child's schoolwork and education, which when you think about it, is a fabulous idea.  And it's not the teacher or the school that will be doing the grading.  We, the parents, will be the ones grading ourselves on the following points:
  1. Check my child's homework and math notebook.
  2. Dedicate 5 to 10 minutes per day going over multiplication tables with my child.  Or provide some other way for him/her to study them.
  3. Manage my child's time outside of school.
  4. Assign chores that will help my child learn and appreciate the value of responsibility.
  5. Make sure that my child spent part of his free-time in activities that will help improve his/her reasoning skills (reading, putting together puzzles, playing video games for no more than one hour, watching educational programs on TV, etc) 

Pretty easy stuff, right?  If we follow through on every one of these points for the 2-week period (that's 10 school days), we score 2 points for each activity.   If we only did them for 7 to 9 days, we score 1.5 points per activity.  4 to 6 days scores 1 point per activity.  And 0 to 3 days scores 0.5 points.

I turned in my report card this morning and scored a 9.0.  Not bad, if I do say so myself.  I could have cheated and given myself a 10, but there were days that I forgot to check Hope's notebook or run through her multiplication tables.  I know she knows them!

A here lies my biggest problem with this new system.  What's to say that some of the parents aren't going to cheat and give themselves a 10?  I know I shouldn't worry about this, not that I really am, it's just something my gringa brain thinks about.  Will the teacher know who's cheating and who's not?  Will she care?  And what message does it send to the kiddies if their parents cheat?

Last week, we (all of the parents) had a meeting with Hope's math/homeroom teacher to pick up our child's 2nd bimestre report cards.  At the end of the hour-long meeting the teacher reminded us about the homework she assigned to us parents.  Half of the moms and the only dad in the room had no idea what the teacher was talking about!  The teacher of course, was shocked and a little mad.  Which led her to question those parents, "Don't you talk to your kids?  Do you ask your child about school?  Did you come to our last meeting?  Do you even pay attention to what I say in these meetings?"

Once again the teacher clearly explained our daily assignments, and how we are to fill out our report cards at the end of the 2-week period.  She then pointed to the parents who had forgotten about the assignments saying, "None of you should have higher than a 5, since you've already skipped the first week!"

Well, this morning when Hubby and I went to turn in our report card, we saw a couple of parents, standing in front of the school, frantically filling out their report cards at the very last minute.  Almost everyone gave themselves a straight 10, except for one mom who checked all of the boxes giving herself a much higher score.

Allá ellos.  To each his own.

Despite the flaws in the grading system, I think this is a great idea.  Parents taking an active role in their child's education is a very good thing, as is having a teacher who cares about their education and the parents involvement.  I already know what it feels like when the person that should care about education doesn't.  I hope more teachers adopt this unique way of getting parents involved.  It really does take a village to raise a child. 

I just wish something could be done about the grading system. ;)

Stepping off my soapbox now.  


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Forgetting my English?


When people used to ask me if I thought it possible to forget my English, I would shake my head and laugh and just think, "That will NEVER happen to me!"

I mean, why should it?

English was my first language. (I didn't learn to speak Spanish until I was five.)  And it was the language I spoke, read and wrote everyday for the 26 years I lived in the U.S.

But then I moved to Mexico.

We lived with my in-law's for the first three years, so the only time I spoke English was when Hubby and/or the kiddies and I were alone.  (I was taught to NEVER speak English in front of non-English speakers and vice-versa.)   The only time I really got to speak English was during my only trip to the U.S., two years after we moved here.

Then we moved into our current rental home.  English was spoken more and more, but still Spanish was our main language.  And eight years later, it continues to be.  I can carry on complete conversations in English with Hubby and the kiddies, but we always revert to Spanish.  I rarely get to speak English with other English speakers.  The only time that happens is when my neighbors come to hangout in Hubby's shop or when I run into El Gringo and his daughter downtown.  But those instances are few and far between.

I don't really think I'll ever completely forget my English, because I write, read and think in English every day.   And I watch TV and movies in English, too.  But when it comes to actually speaking to another person?  I really need to practice!

Last week, I received a phone call from someone in the States.  It was the moment I had been waiting for.  A chance to speak English to someone other than Hubby or the kiddies or someone I'm related to.  And I froze!  I got all tongue-tied.  I mumbled and stuttered and I'm pretty sure I spoke with a heavy accent like Sofia Vergara on Modern Family.

Hubby thinks it was a combination of nerves and excitement or maybe even stage-fright.  But I'm not so sure.  Maybe I really am forgetting my English.





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Sundays in my bedroom...

Warning:  This post contains a photo of real people, living a real life.  No make-up has been applied and no hair has been brushed.  No beds have been made.  And no gorgeous table settings a la Martha Stewart have been staged.  But...it is one of my favorite moments so far of 2012! 

Yesterday morning, Hubby and I awoke to a very pleasant surprise....breakfast in bed!  Hope and Nick made breakfast (ham & cheese quesadillas with all the works) for everyone.  Hope was the mastermind and chef, and Nick was her pinche (soux chef).  Jack and Ashley also lent a helping hand, bringing us our plates and serving us extra coffee and orange juice when needed.

It was hands down the best breakfast I've ever had.  And this whole letting the kiddies take over, is something I could get very used to.

I hope it's the beginning of a new family tradition that will hang around all year long!




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Best of Motherhood in Mexico 2011

 Before 2012 gets any older, I thought it would be fun to look back at the 10 most visited posts of 2011 here on Motherhood in Mexico.

I'm happy to see that there's a little bit of everything in this list: posts about motherhood, Mi Mexico, personal stories and my silly/genius ideas.  But the most popular seem to be the posts about the different foods I've featured in posts like Name That Food.  (I'll be sure to include more in 2012!)

So without further ado, here are the....

Top 10 Motherhood in Mexico Posts of 2011: 

10. El Dia E  
 9.  My Pink Elephant
 8.  How Not to Write a Blog Post
 7.  Good Girls Don't Play Pool 
 6.  Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Pitayas
 5.  The Family Reunion That Wasn't Meant to Be
 4.  What My Town is Missing
 3.  Mezquitamal
 2.  Guamuchiles
 1.  New Exercise Craze {Cardio-Mop} 


Did your favorite make the list?

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FIRE!!!

Our little casita was a real hot spot today as 2012 started in a blaze of glory.

Hubby, the kiddies and I were on our way home from our usual Sunday morning outing to El Jardin, when we noticed a large cloud of white smoke coming from the direction where we were headed.  Hubby pointed to it and joked, "Habemus Papam".   All kidding aside, we figured it was just someone burning their trash from last night's party.  The last thing I remember saying was "well, I just hope it's not our place."  We walked as fast as we could to reach the corner of our street to get a better look and that's when we saw that the smoke was coming from the big empty lot behind our house.  

new years fire 1



From there, we all ran home to make sure the house wasn't in danger of burning down.  When we looked out the back window of the house, we saw that more than half of the lot had already burned down.  There was smoke and ash everywhere!

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This could have turned out to be a tragedy of epic proportions with all the houses on our street that share the same "backyard", especially since my small town doesn't have a fire department.  But thanks to the quick response of Proteccion Civil, no homes or lives were lost today.  Gracias a Dios.

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We waited until the fire was completely out before heading to my suegra's for el recalentado (reheated leftovers).

About an hour or so after we finished lunch, Hubby went outside to see if the smoke and ash had cleared.  When he turned to look towards our house, he saw that smoke and flames were coming out from under the big, black door to the empty lot, which just so happens to be right next to our bedroom.  Hubby ran home and climbed on top of the roof to douse the flames that were threatening to burn the tree outside my bedroom window.  Once again, tragedy was avoided.

My kiddies are now convinced that the world really is coming to an end in 2012.  This morning we woke up to a beautiful day with the bluest sky.  Then came the fire.  And as I am writing this, we are experiencing thunder, lightning and an unseasonable rain storm.  And it's only the first day of the New Year.

Since I was raised to believe that how you spend the New Year determines how you will spend the entire year, I predict that 2012 is going to be full of surprises!

This is one New Year's we won't soon forget.

Happy New Year!


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