Wednesday, November 16, 2011

North of the border

I've been putting off doing this blog, but needing to. It's cleansing, I think. So many things are running through my head. Everything I left behind that I miss, and the things I don't miss. I miss my memorabilia. The tokens of our lives that I've managed to keep through the many many moves. I miss my cats, even the pain in the rear end one. I miss having my own space... but then, it was never really mine, was it? It was his, it was hers, it was theirs... my stuff just occupied the space.

I don't miss feeling like that one who never fit in. You know, the one who laughs too late at the jokes without understanding them (usually the one who is the butt of the jokes), never has the right clothes, never has any friends. Yeah, that was me. I know some of you are thinking "What's new?" But it was new... I always had at least a few people I could meet with, laugh, and find support. I have that online, but there is something cathartic about walking around the malls with someone or meeting for drinks and dinner.

So, now I'm north of the border. It's what I've wanted, what I was ordered to do by the most unlikely of people. I'm minus my home, my pets, my things, and my dreams. I'm ready to put up a "Have you seen this?" sign on milk cartons, except I'm pretty sure I left those in Mexico too. Very few people buy milk cartons there, maybe I should hire a car with the blaring speakers to locate them.

I'm rebuilding; my kids are rebuilding. Honestly, they are rebuilding faster. They don't understand... they are just along for the ride and figure they might as well enjoy it. Y loves her school. She's understanding so much, and enjoying fitting in. She loves when I do her hair up in styles I learned there, which are a big freaking deal here. She loves not having a school uniform, she loves music class. I'm dreading the day of the recorders though, but I know when the time comes she'll love that too. L doesn't notice anything different. Pretty telling that... She is having a blast with everything, and finds something new everyday to get into. She misses her cousins though.

I however, I don't know where to go. How do I rebuild? How in the heck am I going to support 3 kids on my own? Who do I share all the day's activities with? Who is my port in the storm? I'll find the answers, or learn to live without that contact that I've missed so much. You would think I would be used to it, it's the same ol' stuff, just with a new place and new faces. I don't know that I will ever get used to it though... So for now, I'm North of the Border, but still far South of Sanity.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Un mejor Colonia

A long time ago (well, not so long ago) lived a man who petitioned the city to pave the roads and privadas of our colonia. The city, in it's infinite wisdom, decided that rather than hiring someone to fix it, they would just give the man the money in cash and have him hire someone. What do you think happened?

Flash forward about 30 years. Still dirt roads. Only now, it's dirt holes. Giant ones. The rainy season really didn't help with that. Only now it's dirt roads with giant holes that semi's and buses zoom down each day further helping to create even bigger holes that have been known to swallow cars whole and one family who was able to buy out an entire privada, build a large bodega, a cow farm, and grow plenty of alfalfa and corn each year.

About a week ago we noticed said family posting signs all over the colonia announcing a "mandatory meeting" (because apparently they now feel they are the kings of the colonia) to discuss repairing and paving just the one main street that their store, farm, and homes are on. They want everyone in the colonia to pay for it. Ummmm....

*@!#^(   *^&@$%  *^&@#^!!!!

Yeah. That about sums it up. Thanks, but no thanks. They've been living large off of their stolen funds (which the city has never had any intention of trying to reclaim or replace) and now want us all to pay to pave one road instead of that road and all the privadas (which the majority of us live on since they bought half the road they want paved) that the city's money would have payed for. I get that they didn't steal it, their uncle did, but they've made a good life for themselves off of that stolen money. And of course, after the main road is done, they have no intention on helping anyone on the privadas out to pave their roads because "We don't use those roads! Why should we help pay for a road we don't use?! But everyone uses the main road, so everyone has to help!"

And if flat out bullying doesn't work, they'll post signs saying who is against making this "Un mejor Colonia". I've got my own signs people, and I know right where I plan on shoving them.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back to school

I know I'm a procrastinator, but usually when it has to do with the girls, I'm all over it and even early. This year, school just seemed to sneak up on me. Here it is, Thursday. School starts Monday! We haven't gotten Ys uniforms, or even know what they are. No school supplies, haven't replaced her water bottle, nothing to make lunches with, not a single item. Oops.

This weekend will be spent running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to cram ourselves into the mass of other parents saying "Oh crap!". I'm sure that will just be a thrill a minute. Sensory overload. Yep, I'm looking forward to that. I'm probably going to see if someone would be willing to take the girls for a few hours so that can be one less worry to concentrate on and I can pick up the supplies.

School starting brought up yet another worry. Where should Y go to school? She was placed in the same school as her cousins, but it's not a very good school, nor the closest. It has lots of security concerns, and it's teaching record is sub-par. On the other hand, the school that is closest is the best, and they do have some open spots, but not until after the first week of school. Even then, it's not guaranteed. By this point they can pick and choose who they want to fill those spots. My facebook friends will remember the hassle of last year (the kinder on our street enrolled her, then 2 weeks before school started stated they didn't have room anymore and they messed up, so we ran around trying to find another kinder that wasn't an impossible distance away that still had room and had to purchase all new uniforms, etc. Just for the original kinder to tell us 2 weeks after school started that, oh yeah, they do have room and if we want to pay to switch her and buy new uniforms and school supplies we could have her attend the one she was supposed to be going to anyways and is only 3 doors away from us. Thanks but no thanks). Now we are wondering, do we risk that again, or keep her at the school she's enrolled in, where her cousins can go with her in the mornings and my sister in law can take her and pick her up? We just decided to keep her there for now. If at a future point in time we can, we'll switch her to a private school. She's with family, the school isn't great, but then again, she still doesn't speak much Spanish so she would struggle at the other one too. It's only 1st grade. For now, while it's just the beginning of the school year, we've started researching our options for next year.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mi Torta de Jamon

This blog is a continuation on a theme that was actually picked out by a troll on a pro-immigration article, an article about some people that I have come to consider my inspiration and am proud to call "friend". This troll was obviously out to ruffle some feathers and made a comment about how "Women would marry a ham sandwich". Yes, yes, don't feed the trolls and all that jazz, but, I have to say "I LOVE MY TORTA DE JAMON!" In Homer Simpson style, I'm going to list 25 reasons why I love my ham sandwich, and why as our 7th wedding anniversary approaches, I'm still proud to call him mine.

1. He is an amazing father. No matter how little sleep he's had in the last 24-48 hours, he still will stay awake for a tea party/dinosaur rampage/coloring session.

2. He accepts and even loves my particular brand of crazy. He doesn't always understand it, but he knows it's who I am and loves me even more for it.

3. He shares my love of music. We'll spend hours scouring youtube for songs that we have only heard snippets of. He'll talk with my father endlessly about music, and like my father and I, when a song was made has no bearing on whether he likes that song or not. Our house is always full of music playing, songs from the 40s up through current times, in all genres, from nearly every country in the world.

4. His family values are amazing. The devotion he shows not only to his family but to mine as well constantly blow my mind.

5. He'll work any job, no matter how demeaning (provided it isn't immoral or illegal) to provide for us.

6. He worries more about my fair skin burning than I do. He's always reminding me that it's time to put on more sunblock, and even carries a tube of it in the car for me at all times.

7. When he makes a mistake when it comes to me, it upsets him more than me. For example, yesterday we were out and he went to run into the store really quick to pick up some tacos and I decided to stay in the car. He forgot that I was staying and started to roll up the car window on my fingers that were sticking out. The window had barely started to move, no where near trapping my fingers, and he was so upset worrying that he had hurt me (no chance of that) and mad at himself for forgetting.

8. He's not a cat person at all, in fact if you ask him, he hates them. But he's accepted my cats and will even pet them and play with them if he thinks no one is watching.

9. He's embraced a love of all things Winnie the Pooh to have one more thing to bond with our baby and I over.

10. He taught himself English. Not just enough to get by, but enough to be fluent.

11. When I'm sad, he'll tease me out of it or hold me, whichever is needed. If I'm ranting he talks it out with me and helps me to calm down.

12. To the rest of the world, he's confident in himself and who he is, but to me he shows me just how much he is afraid that he isn't good enough.

13. Despite his brother telling him for the last 8 years that I'm going to leave him for a rich American, he's never believed it. Even when I was spitting mad and told him I would, he still didn't believe it. He trusts in us completely, and believes with his whole heart that we will make it through whatever bumps are in our path. You know what? We do.

14. He worries about how the girls and I will handle whatever obstacle is in front of us to no end. It frustrates me to distraction, but at the same time, I love knowing that he's thinking of us, and what he can do to make it easier.

15. After 8 years together, he still stays up late just to talk. I know every thought on his mind, and he knows what's on mine.

16. He loves me and wants me the same as he did all those years ago. Even though I've gained about 50 lbs and never was a stick of a girl. When I point out a dress that I want to be able to wear, or a girl I want to look like he just says "Why would you want to look like that?! She looks like she's sick." and he really means it.

17. He still gives me butterflies. Even when I'm mad and pretending that he doesn't. The only problem is, he knows it too, jaja.

18. Despite being a macho male who always wanted a son, he's never been upset about only having girls. He'll take our girls fishing and let them help him build something and then come inside and paint their nails or let them put bows in his hair.

19. He's dances with the girls and always tries to tease me into dancing with him, settling for a song instead and telling me that's what he wanted all along.

20. He tells me I'm always right, even when we both know he was right all along.

21. He loves to draw, and is very good at it.

22. When I said I missed McDonald's breakfast burritos, he figured out how to make them for me so they taste just like I remember.

23. If I let him, he would eat just beans and tortillas every day in order to give the girls and I everything we wanted. Even if he was sick and tired of beans and tortillas, he wouldn't say a word.

24. He's so very patient with the girls, and when they've reached the end of their rope and have dissolved into a puddle of over dramatisism that would do a Spanish soap opera star proud, he still finds the way to make them calm and smile.

25. He loves me, and puts up with everything that has been thrown in our path, gladly walking with me through the twists and turns, just to be with me.

I do not feel as if any of these really touch upon what makes him great. They are just 25 small things, and there are a million more, that add up into someone who is perfect for me. They are just a few examples of what made me love him in the first place, and what keeps me in love with him all these years. Borders or not, he's mine, and I won't be letting him go.

To read more "25 things I love about my" posts from others waiting on miracles as well:
Your Words Hurt My Soul
25 Reasons I love my "Lonches La Guera" Man! 
25 Things I Love About my Ham Sandwich
il mio panino al prosciutto e formaggio
Teamo Mucho Mi Torta De HAmon 
25 Things I Love About My Ham Sandwich 
Why I love my Bocadillo de jamón en Honduras (Honduran Ham Sandwich)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

That time of year again

For me, my birthday has always been irrevocably tied to the 4th of July. The last 3 years though have been different, and I've struggled to find a way to make it match what is my life now. Yes, I was in the states the last 2 years for it, but there was a piece of me here in Mexico. This year has to be the hardest, and even I'm not sure why.

A friend of mine posted a video of fireworks set to the star spangled banner. I had to watch it, my only glimpse of home, of a birthday I remember. I ended up breaking down into tears while I played and my husband held me, trying to keep me together when I felt like I was in pieces. Apologizing, as though it was his fault. That only made me cry harder. It was never his fault. I went into this with my eyes fully open, knowing all the sacrifices. I love my country, I will always love my country. I am thankful daily for those who serve to keep it safe. For those who stay at home and rush into the fires and bullets to protect it's citizens. It's government? That's another story. But, I love the USA. However, I love my husband more than words can say. He and my children are my world.

As the video ended, my husband (still trying to help me find my way out of my tears) asked me to tell him a story. A story of birthdays and Independence Day's past. Stories, really. Of driving red firetrucks with wagons tied to it through the crowds for Red, White, and BOOM!. Stories of birthday cakes in red, white, and blue. So I talked. And I talked some more. And then I kept on talking, and started smiling at the memories. Then I got to the story of the firework chasing my cousin down the street. As I told the story, we laughed together, and cried from happiness and good memories.

We made a plan for the future. To go to Columbus, to see Red, White, and BOOM! once more. One day, even if it's 10 years more down the road (please, not that long). But I realized something, I have what I need. And maybe our new tradition will be to tell stories of the past, and laugh instead of crying. To look towards the day when we can have that again.

For now, I'll wish the USA a happy birthday from here, fly her flag proudly where my husband hung it for all to see, and blow out the candles for both of us.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Guessing Game

Raising bilingual children has turned the usual toddler talk from "Huh?" to "Yeah, I got nothing". Some things come out crystal clear ("Nigh nigh!", "Want Poppa!", "NO!", "Ewww!") and others... well, let me give you some examples:

"Moo-Mah" - Kiss, I'm done, Want Down/Up
"Ti" - Yes/Si, Tea, This
"Mwa Ma" - Want more/mas, Want Dino, Want that, Cat, You're dumb (thanks to my 6 year old for teaching her 2 year old sister to call people dumb)
"Aya!" - There, No, Leave me alone
"Papi" - Papi/Daddy, Puppy, Potty, Pretty
"bee-bee" - T.V., Baby, Cbebees (TV channel), Pee-pee
"Ah poo" - Bless you, Want this off/on, I need a diaper, Winnie the pooh, Blanket,  Over there
"Poon" - Spoon, Soon, Put
"Doodah" - Toy, Food, Chair, Up, Hug
"Dee dee" - Piggy/Piglet, Dirty, Pretty, Kitty, Give me
"Manana" - Mañana/Morning/Tomorrow, Banana, Manzana/Apple, She hit me

I think I spend at least 80% of the day either feeding her or translating her words, sometimes both at the same time.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


One thing, probably one of the first 5 things, that immediately caught my attention when we first moved to Mexico had to be the bridges. In Mexico, not every street has a name (or at least a sign indicating what name it might possess). However, every bridge has a name and a sign that is clearly visable. My favorite has to be "Puente Sin Agua en la Derecha" (Bridge without water on the right).

In a world full of uncertainty, what we need are more silly bridge names. Who cares what road you are on, but it's important to know what bridge crosses what dried out ditch that may or may not have at one point had water. It makes me want to go out and dig a deep trench in the middle of our dirt road just so I can have the honor of naming a bridge.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Baby Steps

      May was a very difficult month for me. I was feeling trapped. Every time it seemed I was taking a step forward, I ended up falling on my face. Towards the end of the month I came to a realization. I'm trying to take adult sized steps. I need baby steps. If I don't work on me first, nothing will work.

       Up until about 2 months ago, my house was a disaster. It still isn't perfect by anyone's standards, but it no longer looks like I need my very own episode of hoarders, and possibly a maid or 4. It started small. 6 little things a day, written down with a few friends to help motivate each other. Eventually, the 6 things that were on my list became habit. I no longer needed them on my list. So I started adding in larger things. One room at a time, one tiny step at a time. I spent probably 2 weeks just getting my front room in shape. A long time, but I wasn't rushing. Little things here and there. Then I moved onto the hallway. Spent a good 3 days there. Then the girls room, etc. I still have the bathroom to finish, but I know I can do it, and I'm happy with how easy it is most days to simply maintain my house. So, using that as a model, I'm going to work on a few other things that I've attempted before, but never succeeded with.

Step 1: Soda.
          This is a personal demon, and it ties in with another of my larger problems: My weight. I am hopelessly addicted to caffeinated drinks. Dr. Pepper is my favorite, but I cannot always get a hold of that, and will drink whatever else is caffeinated. I'm tackling this slowly. I'm not even limiting myself. I'm the kind of person that wasted 3 hours on that stupid online big red button that says do not push. I've blown up the world 26 times now according to that. If someone says I can't have it (even if I'm the one telling me I can't have it) I'm just going to try harder to get it. And I will get it. Trust me. So, instead of trying to limit myself, I'm adding something. 3 liters of water a day. I know they say two is good, but I live in a sauna these days, so 3 is better. Ice cold, preferably flavored water. It works. I'm too full from the water to look at the 2 liter of Pepsi in the fridge most of the time.

Step 2: ??
          Think up a step two. Baby steps, remember?

Monday, May 16, 2011

The tinklefairy

This morning as I was getting Dragonsita ready for school I bent down to get some socks out of her dresser and my knee popped as I got up. As usual, Dragonsita had to throw in her 2 cents worth.

Me: "Ow..."

Dragonsita: "It's cause the old fairy came and made you old"

Me: "Are you saying that Tinkerbell sprinkled my knee with fairy dust and made it old?!"

Dragonsita: "No! Fairy dust makes you fly and Tinkerbell just makes things. She's a Tinkle fairy!"

Me: "A Tinkle fairy??"

Dragonsita: "Yes, because she's a good tinklerer. Anyways, you are old all over"

Me: "Gee, thanks"

Dragonsita: *giggles* "You need old people stuff now. Maybe Poppa could let you use his cane" 

If she had her way, I would be in a retirement community already.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A new take on potty training

I have two wonderful daughters who always keep me on my toes. Today Dragonsita ("almost 6" as she constantly reminds me) came up with a very interesting way to potty train Fussy (2).

I went out to the garage to answer the doorbell (no, I am not interested in buy more papaya right now, please stop ringing). It took a long time to convince the vender to remove his foot from my door so that I could shut it because I'm not buying. When I got back inside Dragonsita met me at the door:

Dragonsita: "Mami! Fussy is a big girl now! She's wearing Dora panties!"

Me: "Now she's going to pee on everything"

Dragonsita: "She already peed. But, don't worry Mama! It didn't on everything, it didn't. She's got some adult diapers!"

At this point I'm starting to worry because I wasn't aware we had any in the house. So I decide to go check it out. Sure enough, there is my toddler waddling around in her bedroom wearing a pair of Dora panties. They were a little difficult for her to walk in because my little problem solver had decided to put a pad inside in case her little sister went potty in her underwear.

Dragonsita: "See Mami! Now she can be a big girl like me and you don't have to worry about if she won't ever use the potty! My bestest friend told me that sometimes her Mama pees her pants when she sneezes, is that why you have adult diapers? This way Fussy can be a big girl and pee in her adult diaper and be happy 'cause she has Dora on her butt!"

I don't think that my attempt to be a responsible parent and point out that she got into my stuff without asking was very effective while laughing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Then and now

6 1/2 years ago I visited Mexico for the first time as a newlywed. I had been married for less than 2 months when my mother-in-law suffered a massive stroke. We dropped everything and flew down. Then, Mexico was an amazing place. Truly awesome. Despite the somber reason for visiting, I found everything beautiful and wonderful. I met my inlaws, most of whom I liked. We arrived very late September 15th, so my first real day in Mexico consisted of us being delayed on the way to the hospital by a parade for Mexico's independence day. Watching the little girls in their tradition adalita dresses and green, white, and red bows in their hair made me smile. Walking to the taco stands was an adventure. Strolling around Central was a daily pastime I enjoyed. My visit lasted 1 month, and I enjoyed almost every minute of it (the highlight being when I discovered I was pregnant when every doctor I had ever seen had told me that was impossible!).

One thing sticks out though. I had walked with my husband daily to Romeral to go to the super. One day he was out with friends that he hadn't seen in years, and I was bored at home. No big deal, I knew the way to the super. I could walk there and pick up a snack. I was excited about my time alone in this fascinating new place. As I walked I waved and said "Buenos Tardes", as I had been taught, to all those I passed. I was happy. However, when I returned to the house, it was a very different feeling I experienced. My husband was not happy. He had returned to his sister telling him that his young, white American wife with limited Spanish, had taken a walk on her own. He was scared out of his mind. He kept telling me all the horrible things that could have happened to me, even in our own little colonia. This was 6 1/2 years ago, before the "cartel issues" started. I know that he had my well-being in mind. What he forgot (we'd only been married 2 months though, so completely understandable) is that I am bipolar, have OCD, and panic disorder. I'm already prone to what seems to others as completely irrational fear.

Fast forward almost 4 years. We had just moved to Mexico and my husband was doing his best to fill the protective role. This time, I'm more scared of Mexico. I've seen the news, and combined with the feelings that I left Mexico with (thanks to one small isolated event that most would have put out of their mind in 3 years), I've come back paranoid and seeing danger in everyone. My husband, with the best of intentions, only increases that feeling with his need to keep me and his then 2 year old child safe and sheltered. He doesn't know what has changed or is going on in his city, and he fears the worst. For the next 2 years, if I even walk to the little tienda on the corner of our street, I'm not allowed to go unaccompanied. I learn to fall asleep with a cell phone with my brother in law's (lives next door) phone number already loaded and all I have to do is press talk. Really though, that's silly. What's he gonna do? Break down my door armed with a loaded squirt gun? Or, maybe he'll get his goat to break down the wall dividing our houses because a fly flew past my head and I twitched and hit call. I developed a habit of waking up and doing the "2 am stalk" through the house with a butcher knife because the dog sneezed.

Now we've been here 3 years. My husband has become frustrated at my lack of independence. I am frustrated at my inability to handle the smallest thing outside the house without dissolving into a puddle of fear. My eldest daughter started Kinder this year. For the first month, I was a nervous wreck walking her to school with my toddler each morning on my own. I still fight a burst of unreasoned panic when I open my front door to push the stroller out each morning. I still have only managed to leave the house for something non-school related on my own once. The 4 calls from my husband to make sure I was OK did not help. Yes, things are scary. Yes, it's not easy. But I know, in my head, that I am capable of taking care of myself and the children on my own. It's my emotions I can't control. I don't need to fight some non-existent stranger who is out to murder the stupid American. I'm too busy fighting myself.

Friday I go for an interview for a big private school teaching English. My therapist's sister happens to be in charge of hiring, and my therapist got me the interview. This has me paralyzed. Yes, Friday my husband will take me to the interview. The interviewer speaks English, so I am confident in my abilities to wow her. That's not what scares me. What scares me is "What if I actually get the job?". Goodness knows we could use the money. That's not the issue. I could easily arrange child-care for my toddler and get someone to walk my eldest to school; that's not a problem. The thought of getting there, multiple buses, on my own, possibly in the morning when it's still dark, THAT scares me. Getting home, making it on my own, THAT scares me. All this on top of the usual "Will I do well in this job?". On top of worries that, "what if I don't speak enough Spanish? What if it's older children or adults that I'm not used to dealing with? What about the politics in a job that are difficult enough to manage in my native language but now will also involve a language that I'm not proficient enough in? What if I walk into the interview and fall on my face and my pants rip and the entire school body sees my underwear?"

All these questions have been rumbling in my brain the last few days. It's keeping me up at nights, leaving me a jumpy, snappy mess in the mornings. I'm afraid that this is going to leave me in such a mess that I blow my chance at independence. My chance to prove to myself I can do it. And our chance to finally make headway in this uphill battle for financial survival that we've been fighting ever since we moved here 3 years and 4 days and 20 hours ago. It is time for me to take that step out of my comfort zone. And I know I don't do it alone. I have a great support system. My husband is there, I have inlaws who will watch over my children, I have a great therapist, but most of all, I CAN DO THIS! Now if I could get my hands on some duct tape and Xanax to shut up the irrational voice in my head, I would be set.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cinco De Mayo and Adaption

Cinco De Mayo has duel meaning for us. Yes, it's a holiday for the Battle of Puebla. But this Cinco de Mayo also marked our 3 year anniversary of our move to Mexico. That always confuses me: 3 years. It confuses me because last December when we celebrated our 3rd Christmas in Mexico I started forgetting and saying we had been here 3 years. Well, that's kinda truthful. We were working on our 3rd year. Now we have completed our 3rd year in Mexico. We've started in on our 4th year. Funny, I still remember my first thought when we finally arrived at my sister in law's house at 3:34 AM on the 5th of May: "Damn, I'm tired" and "Why is the rooster crowing now?! It's still dark out!". Yes, I had no prior experience with farm animals. I have since learned that NOTHING will shut a rooster up and it will crow all. day. long.

At my therapy appointment on the 4th of May, my therapist asked me "How well do you feel you've adapted?". I knew this was an important question because she asked it in English (normally she speaks Spanish to me, and I answer in English). This got me started wondering, what exactly is adaption? Yes, I've been here 3 years now and I wonder, "Have I adapted?" I still cannot speak Spanish enough to make sense to those who are not used to me. I can only conjugate in the present tense, so you kind of have to guess if I really mean now, or if I mean past or future. The mop still frustrates me sometimes. Yes, I've used one like it before, but years of my Swiffer wet jet have spoiled me.  The only meals that I can do well enough to do on a somewhat daily basis are beans, rice, quesadillas, and various fried tacos. I get lonely. I have no friends. I cannot relate to my inlaws because since I married the baby of his family and also happen to be 10+ years younger than him, my sister and brother in laws are the same age as my parents. Sure, my nieces and nephews are my age (or slightly older), but since I'm their aunt there is a barrier there. The heat still overwhelms me at the beginning of every summer, and the rainy season still pisses me off while also making me clap for joy.

On the other side though, I can eat spicy salsa with soda to drink and no longer end up with sweat, snot, and tears running down my face. I've managed to deal with the constant stream of dirt flowing in our windows. I can handle a bus and 2 kids now without fearing that we are either going to run over a car or wanting to puke from the abrupt stops when I slam my head into the seat in front of me. I've learned how to carry 25 million bags on an umbrella stroller while still keeping it from tipping over backwards because my baby weighs less than the veggies from Mercado. I can ride my bike with my toddler in the baby seat and my 5 year old sitting on the bar in front of my seat while holding bags on both sides of the handle bars. I've learned to love garrafons and how to tell if a gas tank is empty by tapping on it.

I do not know if I have adapted. Depends on how you would define "adaption". For now though, I'm still a work in progress.