And liking it!
We have had our share of ups and downs, cultural confusions and life celebrations the past 6 months here in Mexico.
-Introducing my children to their only living grandparents.
-Returning the partner home to his family after a 13 year absence.
-Realizing I could count on my inlaws to be here for us, after a back injury put me on bedrest and they cared for my children (and pretty well too!) for nearly 10 days.
-Realizing I could still count on my family back home:
+an unexpected trip home, financed by a very loving auntie.
+a phone call to a cousin in a desperate panic the day of my injury in which I cried about being told I had to stop breastfeeding for treatment. You know what she said? "T, you aren't the only woman in Mexico breastfeeding. You can find a doctor who can work with you still breastfeeding. And you will." and I did. And thanks to that support, the 14 month old is still nursing.
+unexpected gifts and big favors by a certain baby brother
-Learning a new language!
-Finally convincing the inlaws that american food isn't "puro hamburguesas"
-The toddler potty training herself!
-Celebrating the little one's first birthday and first steps!
-Losing 50 pounds on the "yummy food, cheap fresh fruits and veggies" diet.
-Learning to drive (alone!!) in this big city
-Visiting many beautiful places:
-Missing family back home
-Missing being able to communicate well with in a language I speak well.
-A back injury that may never truly heal.
-Realizing moving to a different country wouldn't help me miss Dad any less. It actually made things worse, as there are so many times I think "oh! Dad would love this. I should send him a pic, text, email"
-An incident at a major grocery store which involved me crying because the customer service desk didn't understand me (or didn't care!) and which cost me 100 pesos for a lost parking ticket (which I didn't lose!!!).
-Having to defend our breastfeeding to several people, and guard the baby like an hawk to be sure she wasn't fed soda, random drinks besides breastmilk, candy, cake and other crap. Same goes for the toddler ( minus the breastmilk)
-Having to learn (and learn how to reject politely) a whole new set of cultural parenting rules
-Having to put my foot down for three months before people FINALLY stoped touching (ie removing or moving) the girls carseats in our vehicle. No, we can't remove their carseats to make more room. No, we can't put both carseats in the back row so you can sit more comfortably in the second row seat. No, as the owner of this vehicle and mother of these children I will NOT continue to shove their seats in the third row seat (where they don't fit properly) and sit back there as well (as the tallest person in the family).
-Struggling with the overprotectiveness of the inlaws. No, I will not live my life in fear and never go anywhere alone. My children and I will not live our lives locked up in a house because you know a friend of a friend of a friend's ex neighbor's girlfriend's previous cat owner was robbed/stabbed/kidnapped by aliens. We don't need an escort and can not wait three hours for you guys to get ready to come with us somewhere.
All in all, we have had it pretty lucky. Our inlaws are generally great people, the neighborhood is generally safe, and the food is always awesome. What more could anyone ask for?