Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On the Way Home

No kidding - after packing up our car all morning we had finally taken off.  We were driving through Monterrey towards the border and we were pulled over for the 5th!! time.  Like I've mentioned, the cops are just looking for some money and when they realize we won't hand it over they have let us go.  This cop was a little more haughty and when Ben said he couldn't leave any money with him he gave Ben a ticket.  "Who cares," you may say.  "You're leaving the country!"  Problem is that it is legal for the cop to take your licence to gaurantee you pay the fine. 

So like we've been counseled we offered to follow the cop to the station in order to pay the fine immediately so that Ben could get his licence back and we could be on our way.  Turns out it was a Mexican holiday and the office was closed until Monday - this was Thursday.  Yea, I was almost in tears.  The jerky cop took his licence.  What else could we do?  When the cop was saying good-bye he put his hand in the window in order to shake hands with Ben.  I was outraged and as he's doing it I say to Ben in English, "Ew, don't shake his hand.  It deserves to be spit in."  Yea, I was mad.

To make it an even better story (this is not a joke), not 5 minutes later we were pulled over for a 6th time!  Seriously, on the same road, a few lights up.  Ben told him his amigo just gave him a ticket.  We showed him the ticket and he laughed and let us go.  I told Ben it's a bummer because all warm and fuzzies I was feeling about our time in Mexico were trampled in the last hour we were there.  So mad!

Also, on a lighter and funnier note, last week after being here a few days Luke says, "Mom, did you know that there are lots of kids here with their eyes almost shut who speak Spanish?"  Do you know what he's talking about??

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


One Nintendo DS!!!

Yes, it's true and I hesitate and embarrassingly post about it because I feel incredibly angry and partially at fault. It happened last weekend when we took a little trip down south to visit El Cielo, a national park in the state of Tamaulipas.

It was outrageously hot and we had just pulled into the little town of Gomez Faris. Windows had been down, not all the way, not even half way, but enough for a hand to fit through (this is where our major fault lies). We would have rolled them up without a second thought if they had been automatic, but we had a rental with manual roller-uppers and it was hot, we had been in the car for 5 hours, and we were all hungry and crabby. Those are the lame excuses.

Ben asked Luke to pass him the DVD player to lock in the trunk. And so, I'm angry at Ben for not seeing the DS and locking that up to, I'm mad at Luke for not putting his DS safely back in his backpack which would have been to big to get through the window, and I'm mad at me for not double checking the back seat to make sure everything was out of site and not insisting we roll up the dang windows. The only one blameless is Caleb. And I'm sure if I seethe long enough I can come up with a way to blame him too!

Luke cried and cried. I become nauseated every time I come across DS paraphernalia. Sorry Mom, for being stupid and losing your fun and expensive gift after 3 months. Ahhhh!! At least it was just a game and not a kid, eh? I've been so sick about this I even had a dream the other night that when we cleaned out the car before returning it to the rental place we miraculously found it in some obscure cubby in the trunk. Wouldn't that be nice.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Jardin de Ninos Valle

Yesterday was the boys last day of school in Mexico. When I told Luke he only had a few more days of school left he said, "but I don't know Spanish yet." He does know a lot. He can count to 30 in Spanish, he knows most of the colors. He always tells me, "salud" when I sneeze. Sometimes when he's with his friends I hear him say, "que?" The kid will say it again and he'll say, "okay." He also tells Caleb, "Mira Caleb!" Or, "Caleb, mira" while pointing to something. The picture is of Luke and his teacher, Miss Adriana. The other is Luke in his classroom.

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This is Caleb with his teacher, Miss Ivon. Caleb's name is kinda hard for the Mexicans. They don't really get it until we say Cahleb, with a long ahhh sound. His teachers first started calling him Claben. They figured it out after a week or 2.


The boys loved their school which included a playing yard with a real live race track for bikes. It is sort of cement curbing, the 'road' is indented and is about 3 feet wide. It twists and turns in a big oval...does that make sense?? I should have taken a picture because I'm sure you'd never see anything like it in an American school. After one kid crashed and sliced something open the track would be replaced with foam. I heard almost everyday whether or not Luke was able to get a bike. We've had a fun time and I wonder if Luke will remember any of it?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"You took our boats!"

There's this faucet right outside our front door. When we first got here and before the boys started school we filled up a bucket with water and made little boats out of tin foil in order to occupy them. It worked, it kept them busy.

Every few days a hired man (who's like 70) walks the apartment grounds, sweeps, and picks up trash. Do you see where I'm going with this?? The boys happened to leave their foil boats outside that night (which was back in Jan) and the next day the trash man happened to pick them up and trash them. Caleb is still very upset.

Since then, every time (and I mean every time) the trash man comes walking with his broom and trash collector Caleb says with angry eyes and a lot of authority, "you took our boats!" Or, "there's the guy who took our boats," if the guy is to far away for Caleb to accuse personally. The trash man doesn't speak a lick of English so fortunately he doesn't know what Caleb's screaming about, but I'm sure he can read Caleb's angry face and knows he isn't liked.

Today as I over heard Caleb accuse him again of taking his boat I heard the trash man chuckle and say, "No hablo Ingles. No entiendo nada." To which Luke said, "Hola!"