Let's Talk About Sex (Education)...


Can you believe it's the last week of January, already?  Not only is this the last week of the first month of the new year, it's also the last week of Hope's extended Christmas vacation.  One of the perks of being a high school student in Mexico is a two month Christmas vacation.

Last year, I didn't know if Hope was even going to be able to attend high school this school year.  And now she is days away from starting her second semester of 10th grade, where all new books, subjects, and teachers await her.  I never thought we'd get to this point in time.

As thankful that I am that Hope was finally able to attend high school, there was a short period of time when I wasn't sure I wanted Hope to attend high school after all. 

You see, for the first seven weeks of the school year, the 10th graders were only given three subjects to study: Learning Abilities, Science Comprehension, and Human Sexuality.  These subjects would only be covered during those first seven weeks, after which they'd start their regular curriculum with subjects like math and Spanish.  The most memorable of the three subjects was of course Human Sexuality, especially the homework assignments.

I don't consider myself a prude at all.  Sex is a natural, beautiful thing that I'm not afraid to talk about.  I know that someday my sweet, innocent kiddies are going to grow up and have sex.  I've had "the talk" with my older kiddies and answered their questions, honestly and to the best of my ability.  And I'm all for kids these days learning about sexual responsibility, safe sex, birth control and all that good stuff.  I just wasn't prepared for how it was presented to my young, impressionable daughter who was only 14 at the time, unlike most of her classmates who were already 15 and 16 years old.

The first assignment was to watch a documentary called, "Why is sex fun?"  I'm not gonna lie, my first reaction upon leaning about that first assignment was, "Oh hell no!"  I thought a Human Sexuality class was to  educate and inform the kids and teach them to act responsibly, not encourage them to go out and have sex because it's FUN.

I watched the documentary first, to make sure Hope wasn't going to watch porn or something.  Turns out the documentary was more of a scientific explanation of what happens in the brain, our blood stream and the rest of the body at the moment of orgasm.  Not too bad.  But the documentary could use a different title.

Another assignment was to list 10 forms of birth control.  Again, I'm no prude, and a firm believer in safe sex, but come on, we are talking about my 14 year old little girl.  Within seconds I rattled off a list of what I consider to be acceptable forms of birth control:
  1. Birth control pills
  2. Abstinence
  3. Condoms & spermicides
  4. Abstinence
  5. Intrauterine device
  6. Abstinence
  7. Abstinence
  8. Abstinence
  9. Abstinence
  10. Abstinence
Can you blame a mom for trying?  Eventually, I gave Hope a real list of 10 different forms of birth control, that only mentioned abstinence once.

Later that week,  Hope had to write reports on each of the 10 forms of birth control we listed.  I thought that should be a safe enough task since she'd be using Wikipedia as her main source of information.  I was wrong!  Turns out, Wikipedia in español includes some pretty racy (and graphic) photos, illustrations and paintings.  Not exactly what I wanted my child to be looking at.  But I handled it with as much grace as I could muster.

Another assignment was to compile a list of sex toys.  Yes, you read that correctly...SEX TOYS!!!  There was no freakin' way I was going to let Hope Google "sex toys"!  So I gave her a list of the tamest sex toys I could think of, all the while hoping and praying that she didn't ask me how I knew about these things.  Hope must have felt the same way, because all she kept saying while writing the list down was, "Ew! I don't even want to know how or why you know about these things!"

Those seven weeks were filled with assignments regarding every aspect of human sexuality imaginable, that a lot of times pushed me way outside of my comfort zone, especially when it came to explaining it all to my little girl.  But knowledge is power and I just had to keep reminding myself that it's better for her to learn about this stuff now and with the right information.

But there was one assignment that pushed me over the edge.

"Mom, guess what our assignment is for this week?"

"Do I even want to know?"

"Don't worry, it's not bad!  We just have to look through the Kama Sutra and write about 25 sexual positions."

Considering all of the other assignments Hope had brought home in the past 6 weeks, I shouldn't have been as shocked or surprised by this particular assignment.  But I was and it led to one of my Ricky Ricardo-like outbursts...

"Nothing bad?! Oh my freakin' God!!!!  Are you serious??!  What is your teacher thinking?  Is he insane?  Who in there right mind would have a bunch of horny and hormonal teenagers flipping through the Kama Sutra?  No wonder there are so many pregnant teenagers around here!  Is this why I fought so hard to get you into school?  Mira que tiene cosa...."

I marched into the shop and demanded that Hubby drive up to the high school, so we could give the campus coordinator/principal who was teaching the class a piece of our minds.  Hubby was just as ticked off when I filled him in on the details of Hope's homework assignment.  Just as Hubby was about to start the truck, Hope, who was watching us from our front door, burst into uncontrollable laughter.  Evil, doubled over, tears streaming down her face, on the verge of rolling on the floor kind of laughter.  Bwahahahaha!

Hubby and I weren't as amused, but thank goodness she was only joking about that final Human Sexuality assignment.  I'm just glad it's over and I really hope the second semester starts with good old-fashioned subjects like reading, writing, and arithmetic.


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Technical Difficulties...

No need to adjust your computer screens, friends.  In the next few days you might see some of my older posts, originally posted on Motherhood in Mexico, showing up in your blog readers. When I transferred those older blog posts to this new blog, some posts got lost in the process, and I'm doing my best to retrieve them.

Thank you all so much for your patience. And I apologize for any inconvenience.

Update: I found the culprit!  Two and a half months of posts were missing from 2010.  The original files have been found and restored on this new blog.


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Christmas in January {Friday Fragments}

Mommy's IdeaThe Christmas tree, stockings, and felt chimney have all been packed away and put in storage, for a couple of weeks now.  But still, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.  In January.  Exactly one month after the real holiday.

This week, I got a new toy.  The Samsung Chromebook that I've been dreaming about for ages.  My compadre, Nick's godfather/Hubby's brother-in-law, brought it down with him from the States, and Hubby paid for it.  I've had it for two days and I'm really loving it.  (Most of the time.)

I got a new writing gig. (And a paying one at that!)  Signed the contract and sent in all the necessary paperwork yesterday.  (Details to come later, once my first articles are published.  Sometime in early March.)

I have running water and a functioning water pump for the well.   For most of December we didn't have running water, due to problems with the pipes.  Our friendly neighborhood maintenance guy fixed the problem on Christmas Eve.  Giving me running water for about a week.  And then the water pump broke.  We called the water pump guy, but he never showed up.  We called another water pump guy, and he never showed up either.  And then we called yet another water pump guy.  He actually did show up.  But upon further inspection of the water pump, said he'd be right back with the proper tools, and then never returned.  Yesterday at lunch with my visiting sister-in-law, I mentioned my broken water pump and how I had a couple tons of laundry to do, but couldn't wash them because I don't have any running water.  This morning my sister-in-law told Hubby that her hubby, my aforementioned compadre, would be by to fix the water pump later today.  And fixed it is.  I have two tinacos (water storage thingamajigs) full of water and my washing machine is on it's second load of the day, as I write.

Today is Jack's 8th birthday.  My little boy is growing up.  He'll always be my baby because he's the youngest, but the fact of the matter is that he's not a baby anymore.  It breaks my heart that he's growing up so quickly.

And as if all that weren't enough to make me feel like it's Christmas in January, today I received a bunch of Christmas cards in the mail from friends and family.

What have you been up to?


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In pursuit of happiness...

Every year I come up with a long list of New Year's resolutions to make sweeping changes from one day to the next, to rid myself of all my vices and bad habits, only to forget all about them a few short weeks later.  Some years I pretend I'm too cool for New Year's resolutions, but then secretly make a list of resolutions anyway, and then proceed to forget about them about a week or two into the new year.

This year, I've decided to stop torturing myself.  No more New Year's resolutions that I'm never going to keep.  And no more feeling guilty about not keeping them.

For 2013 I'm only going to focus on one word: Happiness.

It's not that I'm unhappy, but the stress and heartbreak of 2012 took its toll on me and my usual happy-go-lucky attitude.  I felt weighed down and overwhelmed.  I lost my joy and forgot what it was to have fun.  I didn't even feel like I was actually living, but just going through the motions.

Well, not anymore!  If there was one thing that 2012 really drove home for me, is that life is too short not to live it happily.

I know I have no control over what may (or may not) happen to us this year, but I can control how I let it affect me.  Whatever it is that 2013 has in store for us, I know eventually we'll get through it.  The key is not to let it steal my joy and happiness, or prevent me from having fun.

What's your word for 2013?


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A look back at 2012...

Because of me closing my old blog and starting a new one and restarting the new blog, there isn't much to share this year in regards to the top posts of 2012, because I didn't do much writing.

So...I'm just going to go ahead and give you a quick, month-by-month view of what 2012 was like for us.

The year 2012 in review...

January:


  • 2012 took off like wildfire. A real wildfire.  In my backyard! On New Year's Day.  Thankfully no one was hurt and our house suffered no damage. 
  • I thought the fire was symbolic of the new year, burning away the old to make way for the new.  But looking back on it now, that fire was clearly an omen of doom.  
  • I was still mourning the loss of my grandmother who passed away in December 2011.  
  • We celebrated Dia de Reyes with the family. 
  • Jack turned 7.  

February:



  • Our puppy Pingüina was killed in a hit-and-run accident.  
  • The kids got lice.  
  • We learned there was a problem with Hope having two last names on all her Mexican paperwork and only one last name on her American birth certificate.  If we didn't have all of her elementary school transcripts corrected, Hope wouldn't get to graduate Junior High.

March:


  • Jack lost his first tooth. 

April:


  • We went on our 3rd Annual Semana Santa camping trip. 

May:


  • We celebrated Mother's Day en familia! 
  • Ashley participated in the Mother's Day festival at school. (Watch video here!
  • We learned that Hope needed a Mexican birth certificate with just one last name to be able to attend high school. 
  • My first request for an Apostille was denied, because the birth certificate I had for Hope wasn't certified. This caused more stress, a panic attack, and hives. 
  • I pulled the plug on my very popular Motherhood in Mexico blog.
  • I started a new blog a week later, in case I got the urge to blog again. (And then I renamed the new blog a couple of months later!) 

June:


  • We celebrated Father's Day. 
  • Hubby participated in his first marathon! 
  • We were told that Hope could attend high school as an American citizen, but would still need an Apostille and would have to pay about 8,000 pesos per semester.  
  • More stress and worry ensued!

July:

Nick & his madrina (godmother),  our cousin Rocio
  • Nick graduated from 6th grade. 
Hope & her padrino (godfather), our law student nephew, Ivan! 
  • Hope graduated from junior high (9th grade).
  • My sis-in-law came to visit from the US with her family and a nephew. 
  • My mother-in-law's house got an extreme make-over due to a pipe leaking into the well.
  • We hired a lawyer to see if he could help us get all the necessary paperwork for the kiddies' new Mexican birth certificates with just one last name.   

August:

  • Nick started junior high.
  • Ashley started 5th grade and Jack started 2nd grade. 
  • I started teaching again.

September:


Doña Esperanza, Descanse en Paz 
  • Felt extremely happy and optimistic after months of stressing and worrying about Apostilles, Mexican birth certificates, and last names.
  • I turned 38.
  • Ashley turned 10. 
  • My suegra (mother-in-law) passed away suddenly, leaving us all devastated and heartbroken.
  • Hope had a panic attack at my suegra's funeral and had to be hospitalized. 

October:


  • Hubby and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary.

Hubby is THIS MANY years old! 
  • Hubby turned 40!
  • Nick became a teenager. (And apparently I lost his birthday photos.)
  • We celebrated Halloween, even though Jack and Ashley were the only two that dressed up.

November: 



  • Our small town celebrated Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) like never before! 
  • Ashley participated in the Revolution/Physical Fitness Day Parade

December: 


  • Hope turned 15. (We celebrated her Quinceañera with a party at el rancho.) 
  • Nick (my 13-year old) maxed out our credit card by spending more that 3,500 pesos (which is equal to 3 months rent) on his iPod and is now grounded for a very long time.  (Thank goodness we set a monthly limit on that card!) 
  • We took our Christmas card photos and had a very Merry Christmas! 

As you can see, 2012 was one heck of a year.  (And not always in a good way!)  As happy as I am to say goodbye to 2012, I am thankful for the lessons it taught me.  I walk away from 2012 stronger and with more confidence in myself as a wife, mom and woman.  I know exactly what I want out of life and I'm no longer afraid to say so.  I'm thankful for the friends and family that stood by us through each and every trial we faced this year.  But most of all, I'm thankful for my husband.  This year we grew even closer together.  He is my rock, my best friend, and the love of my life.     

Happy New Year to all!  May this New Year be filled with love, laughter and happiness.

XOXO

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