Friday, November 4, 2011

¿Juay?


If you are a tourist in Mexico City and you see this billboard, you'll probably be thinking..."hmm - I didn't learn the word juay in spanish 101 back in highschool." It's ok, you are right, you didn't. That's because it doesn't exist. It's the Mexican pronunciation of WHY. At least according to local news anchor Joaquin Lopez Doriga.

So why is the city sky dotted with these ads? The bookstore chain Gandhi is famous for its quirky, smart, and thought provoking marketing - and this is just another example of them using current social buzz in one of their campaigns. 

(For a whole list of the their campaigns over the years, check out their publicity page here).

Anyway, so juay did this become an infamous line? It's a result of sound and translation complications during an interview with Anthony Hopkins, where Lopez Doriga tried his hand at English by asking Mr. Hannibal Lecter why he chose to do the film The Rite. Needless to say, tweeters went crazy with his obvious lack of English speaking skills. 

It's just 4 minutes of absolute awkwardness. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

{baby proofing} a Dia de los Muertos Ofrenda

I really didn't have the ganas to set up an ofrenda this year. After the continuous baby proofing that is on going in my house, the last thing I needed was another mega attraction for S and his curious hands.

Dia de los Muertos is one of the Mexican traditions I absolutely love, so I decided that I had to figure out a way to baby proof an ofrenda; and so with one mom's advice..."think small and high..." I set out to set up my altar.

After some slight modifications of three shelves I have in my living room: taaa-daaa! This year's ofrenda...definitely out of S' reach.





Tuesday, October 25, 2011

eleven month milestone

When you talk to people who live in Mexico City, many either absolutely love it or absolutely hate it. The latter due mostly in part to the crazy traffic this city is victim of.

Over the holidays or puentes (long weekends), DF is actually a wonderful place to be in. No cars, No people, No pollution.

But anyway, before I lose track of what this post is about.

Gordo and I haven't really figured out which end of the spectrum we are at when it comes to our relationship with DF, although I have to say, I think we lean more towards the loving part (many reasons why, but I'll save that for another time). Although the main reason I think has to do with the fact that my in-laws live in Cuernavaca; this means we always have a weekend escape as an option.

I remember thinking like this when I used to live in China...it was great to be in Shanghai, as long as you left every 4 months or so - to take a breather and re-collect yourself. Then it was OK to go back. Same thing seems to be happening here in Mexico City...we love it up to a certain point - then we leave when we've had enough - and that allows us to come back feeling re-charged and ready to face the city once again.

I can go on and on about how fabulous Cuernavaca is, but by far the best attraction for me right now is lolo and abi's (S' grandparents) garden.

Because fabulous things like this happen {for the first time!} there:


What about you? What do you do to re-charge, re-collect, re-energize yourself?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

a little {self-promo}

Do you want to get married in Mexico? Specifically in Cuernavaca because of its amazing year round weather? Then there is only one place for you!!!



Check out the website www.el-cid.com for information and photos of the place...I promise you will fall in love with it! 

A little shameless self promotion never hurts, does it? lol. 

If you get married at EL CID, I'll even be your personal civil registry and immigration liason...since I consider myself somewhat of an expert in Mexican red tape, paperwork, and bureaucracy... :)

Seriously though, check out the place and let me know...what do you think of it??? 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Banking in Mexico, Part One

Random thoughts on banking in Mexico...and this is just the first part. 

Debit cards here don't have your name on them. At least the ones from Bancomer don't. Do other bank's debit cards have names on them?

Pro: when you lose yours {or if it's stolen...ahem!} you can get a replacement card immediately by going to any branch with your I.D. and checking account information. Right then and there they assign a new card to your account. 

Con: you need to really be careful with your card. If you lose it and don't realize straight away, anyone can forge your signature...there is no way to match the card to the owner. 

An old debit card...I still erased the number to be safe ;)

Anyway, that was my random thought today while I was at the bank this morning when I realized that in all the other countries I've lived in, your name was always on your debit card.

I'm still debating whether this is a good or bad thing.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fall is here...according to the Pumpkins!

Mexico City went through a weather identity crisis lately...we went from super hot days to freezing temperatures overnight; I even bought S' first winter coat (that's how cold it got). Finally, though, the weather gods seem to be slightly more stable now. It's been a nice, fall, crisp-y weather for the last 2 weeks or so...which makes me happy.

What makes me even happier are pumpkins. They are everywhere now! I've been waiting for winter squash to be available so that I can make S his first pumpkin puree. Squash is supposed to be one of the first foods you give a baby, but since he started eating solids in the summer, he'll only get to try it now.

After my wallet-being-stolen experience at City Market, I headed over to Wal-Mart and found myself face to face with the biggest pumpkin display I've even seen. All kinds of pumpkins. All different sizes and colors. 

You must be thinking, this woman is obssessed with pumpkins! lol.

The other day while I was over at my friend and fellow mama B's house - I got inspired by her super cute pumpkin coffee table arrangement {I have to give credit where credit is due} so I decided to bring a little fall ambience into our home as well.


My coffee table has been naked as of late, considering S bangs, rips, and throws everything in sight {i.e., no coffee table books on the coffee table}. But the pumpkins are baby friendly! Somewhat.

A few have already suffered some minor bumps and bruises, including being victim to S' 4 teeth

Monday, October 3, 2011

Back with Bad News...

Go figure.

Yesterday we (gordo and myself) were in the car talking about blogs of all things, and the first thing out of my mouth was "It seems my blog is dying a slow death..." as I turned to see gordo vehemently nodding in agreement. {sigh} "What am I supposed to blog about? - I feel like all I do is change diapers and make baby food". Of course I knew the words I was speaking were a lame attempt at justification. Gordo on the other hand began to list a few topics that could be blog worthy...

And he is right, I do have things to blog about, just not enough time nor discipline to do so. Trust me, it's frustrating! I do want to share, but when I have those precious 10 minutes to spare, I need to take advantage and do actual work...not that blogging isn't work - it just doesn't generate an income - for me at least. 

So anyway, of all days to get back to blogging, I had to choose today with this story. Sorry dear reader, but I need to vent!!! 

MY WALLET WAS STOLEN! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! 

At City Market, of all places!!!

As I was browsing the baby food section, some lady came out of the blue and asked me to help her read the labels because she didn't bring her glasses with her and she needed to buy food for her 7 month old grandson. While I was  stupidly reading away "platano, guayaba, pera..." some accomplice of hers snatched my wallet out of S' stroller while he was sleeping.

I feel SO dumb! :( Just goes to show you that you need to be vigilant everywhere, even the "nice" places where you think stuff like this wouldn't happen. My wallet didn't even have one peso in it, so I didn't lose anything of worth, except my time cancelling credit cards. It's just such a violating feeling to be robbed. I know whoever did it will not in a million years read this, but I hope karma comes and gets you!

Anyway, hopefully I'll be back soon with a more cheerful story. In the meantime, keep your stuff safe!


Friday, July 29, 2011


Only in Mexico! {although this could be the Philippines too}

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I see these "mecanicos" all the time during our trips between DF and Cuernavaca...


And this is one of the ones in better shape compared to others I've seen. LOL!

Would you trust who ever is driving that to fix your car? I guess I shouldn't laugh...they could end up being a godsend one day. {knock on wood}

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Grand Day

May 30, 2011. Not particularly an important date to me. Actually woke up this morning and thought, "blah. monday."

Oh, but how perspectives change.

One. I stepped on the scale before my shower and I´m back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

Two. I stuck my finger in S' mouth and felt a sharp little tooth protruding.

So now May 30th means something {sigh} It's all about the little things in life.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Measuring Time

We all know the sayings..."time just flies by", "where did the time go?", "time goes by so fast"...but why do we really say these things?

I used to say it because it usually meant that what I was supposed to do or awaiting an approaching event was now something I was actually doing or living, and maybe in some way I wasn't expecting to be doing it or living it as soon as I was. Does that make sense?

But really, how do you measure time? Number of experiences? Number of wrinkles? Number of places visited or things done? Number of achievements?

Today I measured time differently than I ever had before. Not just by reliving moments or counting experiences. By looking at it. Looking at my son.

S is 6 months old. Half a year. Wow. Of course my first thought was, "where have these 6 months gone?!?"


And then I looked at him. And those 6 months were there looking back at me.



In his smile and giggle.


In the hair on top of his head.


In his fingers that are always in his mouth.


In his toes that are always in his mouth too.


In him being able to sit up unassisted.


In him trying to crawl already.


In his inflamed lower gum about to sprout a tooth.


In him examining all his toys with utmost attention.


In his curious eyes.


And in every little thing he does every day to remind me of how blessed I am.







So there you go, the concept of time for me has changed completely and from now on will be measured in an entirely different way. Through S.


Can you imagine when I'll be saying, "where have the last 21 years gone?!?"

Thursday, April 14, 2011

I'm still here! [somewhat...]

I guess my resolution of blogging at least once a week was aspiring a bit too much.

With S now demanding so much more time and attention, the few spare moments I have left are used for basic life sustaining activities, such as eating, for example. Gordo said to me the other day, "be grateful breathing is involuntary...otherwise who knows when you'd find time for doing that!" Ufff.

How do all the other mommy bloggers out there find the time for posting!? Send me some much needed some tips! Gracias!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thinking of you {across the miles}

Cheesy hallmark card title, I know. Seriously though, SO appropriate for this post. Let me explain.

The reaction I get when people ask me where I'm from and where I've been are that of awe. Born in the Philippines, studied in Spain, lived in the U.S., worked in China, and now settled in Mexico. Granted, while it does sound like I live the life of an international jet setter, their is a dark side to all this. Over the last 10 years of my life, I have left a trail of best friends over various continents, most of whom I miss dearly everyday. I know most of you reading this post will completely understand.

While I think of my friends often, these last couple of weeks have been especially trying. One of my bestest friends in the whole world, H, is marrying N on the island of Boracay in the Philippines. As her wedding festivities are getting started, I'm sitting at my desk in Mexico City. The feeling is bittersweet. I'm here and not there due to a number of factors, the largest being my 3 month old baby boy S. While I am so thrilled at being a new mom, there is no doubt in my mind had the timing been different, I would be on Boracay island white wine in hand right next to H. 

Moments like these are heart wrenching...but I know that H knows how much I miss her, especially now.

There is so much in my head, but somehow I can't get my fingers to type it out. So I decided to talk it out instead. Here's to you H+N! You are both perfect for each other and all the best to you on your special day and forever! I love you!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Reality Check {Day One}

We survived. I survived. First day on our own...gordo, S, and I.

My Mom left Tuesday night :( Initially this was going to be a really sad post - mostly on me complaining about how I'm supposed to get through all this being a new mom stuff alone. Well, not alone, alone. Gordo is the best anyone could ask for...but it's just not the same as having your MOM with you, especially when you are becoming a mom for the first time yourself...[no hard feelings ok, amor?]

So I decided instead to write about how amazing my mother is and turn this into somewhat of an Ode to Mom post [without the poetry - sorry].


Most people couldn't (nor wouldn't want to) imagine having their mother (and mother-in-law!) with them for almost 4 months. Come to think of it, it's the longest stretch I've "lived" with my Mom since before I left for college. But in all the time she was here, I never once wished that she would leave already. And gordo said the same thing to me when we left her at the airport...I wonder how many son-in-laws can say that about their suegras?!

If it seems like I am boasting about my mother - I am. And she deserves the praise - all of it.

I've never seen anyone so attentive, caring, accommodating, generous, and so UNselfish. Granted, she did have her first grandson as incentive, but still, I'm in awe at all the cooking, cleaning, scrubbing, buying, listening, helping, washing, etc. she did while here. From my last month of pregnancy to almost 3 months after, she ran my house and kept me sane (and probably alive by making sure I ate when all I wanted to do was to sleep) throughout the beginning of this roller coaster we call motherhood - and didn't complain ONCE. Not once.

She could have been off playing golf, visiting my brother in New York, on a cruise, travelling - whatever - but she chose to be here with us throughout this adventure, and undoubtedly made it a lot easier on gordo and I.

There really aren't many ways to express our gratitude except repeating 'thank you' countless times. Although we did send her to the spa to save what was left of her fingernails after all the hand washing of baby clothes.

Even though we'll miss her terribly, I'm excited to see how gordo and I do as parents on our own. More to come on that.

But just in case, she is back in 2 months to save us :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Having A Baby {lack of sleep jokes aside}

I've been thinking a lot about this post...actually even started writing it a couple of times, but always kinda lost my train of thought on the subject. Maybe I was exhausted. Maybe I wasn't feeling inspired. Maybe I didn't feel like sharing just yet.

So why the sudden change of heart? Yesterday a friend asked for advice on pregnancy and postpartum. Me, she asked ME for advice! Now, I realize that I am no expert on the subject, but the last 2 months have been an intense crash course in mommyhood...so I feel OK about putting my two cents in. But still, I feel like such a novice that it's amazing that anyone would want my advice. Although if you don't have a baby yet, aren't pregnant, or are just dreaming of kids...I am one up on 'ya! So here are some thoughts on the subject.

You always hear people talk about the beauty of pregnancy and the wonder of birth, but you don't hear much on the topic of postpartum. Even if you are told of all the difficulties that come with being pregnant and the pain of giving birth, there still isn't much talk about postpartum. WHY???

I've concluded that this is some unconscious way women ensure the continuation of our species. If the thought of being pregnant and giving birth makes you nervous and even a little hesitant, the truth about postpartum will scare the daylights out of you. As a friend, new momma, and fellow blogger M put it, "Pregnancy is a breeze...Labor is a dream...Postpartum is no joke. It will knock you on your...never mind." I don't want to scare anyone, but she is right.

The sleep deprivation people talk about is definitely hard; but harder yet is how the sleep deprivation amplifies all the other issues people don't mention. So here goes. This is where I begin talking about breastfeeding, and for some of you, it may be a little TMI. You've been warned.

Before I start. here are some pretty pictures so you don't accidentally read anything that will scar you for life.





OK, so you are still reading. But at your own risk, don't blame me if you are grossed out.

Breastfeeding hurts. A LOT. "Exquisite pain" as my suegra puts it.

http://thebsreport.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/breastfeeding_is_best_250x333.jpg







You will NOT look like this when you start:









Instead you will be screaming, crying, and wanting to pull your hair out. And if you are one of the rare women who is a personification of the above photo from the get go, then you have been truly blessed.

Things you should know [because it could happen to you]:

1. You need to make sure baby is latching on properly. The best would be for a lactation expert at the hospital to show you how it should be done before you go home. This will ensure you and baby are doing it "right" from the beginning, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it will be painless. It will will just be painful for less time probably. There is also the La Leche League website with tips or you can visit your local LLL, but honestly Thank the Lord for YouTube. You don't have to worry about taking a shower, brushing your teeth, and looking presentable in front of someone. Search for breastfeeding videos and TA-DAAA! Free lesson on your laptop in the privacy of your bedroom.

2. When you start breastfeeding, your body doesn't really know how much milk to produce because baby hasn't made it clear how much s/he's going to be eating. So instead of falling short, it overproduces and your boobs get so full, I swear they feel like they are going to explode. Your little one may not be able to empty them at the beginning and you'll end up with lumps [or milk balls, as I call them] in your boobs. Just go stand in the shower under hot water. It will start flowing. Sweet relief.

3. Some breastfeeding advice goes only so far as mentioning the possibility of sore nipples. SORE nipples are very different from CRACKED nipples. with actual wounds. that bleed. and re-open. every feeding. [OK, they don't bleed every feeding; just the first time. Thank God, 'cause you don't want to see a trickle of blood running down your baby's cheek at each feeding, once is enough to freak you out!]. None of the books I read or websites I looked at mentioned even the mere possibility of this happening, but yet almost every mother I've spoken to, including my own, knew this would happen. HA! There's the catch, no one tells you. And then when it does happen, everyone is sympathetic because they know what it feels like. Again, I think this convenient memory lapse is somehow connected to the continuation of procreation. If we had such vivid memories, I wonder how many women would have their second, third, fourth, fifth...eleventh child...and breastfeed. {sigh}

What to do if this happens to you? The best advice I got from another mommy R was AIR-DRY. All day. All night. If you can sit out in the sun for about 5-10 minutes a day, even better. This is your chance to make like a German tourist on a Mallorcan beach. Sans Mallorca unfortunately. Seriously though, this works wonders and I’m sure you’ll get a lot of support from your husband by prancing around topless 24/7. [If you do have to cover up, make sure your nipples are completely dry – use your hairdryer on a low setting] They say your boobs will never be the same after breastfeeding. Neither will your nipples. Not in a bad way though, so don't get scared! They'll just be...different.

There are lots of other issues new moms face in the early weeks; mastitis, wacky hormones and even depression, and pain from vaginal or Cesarean deliveries to mention a few. I just chose to shed a bit of light on breastfeeding because I found it to be the most difficult...it doesn't come naturally: you have to learn how to do it right; it will hurt, but the pain will ease. Give it 6 weeks and I promise you will start to enjoy it! You will forget (like our mothers did!) how much you suffered and it will be all worth it. Your baby will thank you for your yummy nutritious milk.

You can do it, good luck!

*Some useful information if you are a new mom or are expecting in Mexico City*
- Local La Leche League Groups
Cepapar: read my post about courses offered by Cepapar.
Hospital Santa Teresa (Medica Sur Lomas): more to come on this hospital, but if you need lactation support, contact one of their experts, Graciela Hess (0445554171297). They also have free group support on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 10am.

**this is my experience and my advice is based on what worked for me, and hopefully it does for you too; but you should still listen to what your doctor tells you to do. None of what I mention here is meant to replace your doctor's orders.**

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cantinflas the African Grey Update {yes, I know, I am blogging about a parrot...}

I've been able to keep up with my weekly resolutions so far...it's just that this week's task was all about auditing and the accounting of our company, and I highly doubt any of you are interested in reading about that! I wouldn't be...

But I do have other, more exciting news [to me anyway] to share :) Remember Cantinflas? He is our African Grey parrot who was supposed to settle in Mexico with us, but after endless attempts to get him across the Pacific, we failed. Not really because of the quarantine laws of Mexico, they are actually pretty maneuverable. It was because the airlines don't want the responsibility of taking on a parrot as pet cargo. I tried every airline possible and little by little became clear that it would be impossible

So then the dilemma was, what in the heck were we going to do with this parrot? Bueno, pues the stars aligned and before I knew it, my older brother J showed up at my Mom's house in Manila and offered to take the bird. Granted, I will say I was little apprehensive at first; I had already designed Cantinflas' cage in Chiconcuac and imagined waking up to him whistling on the weekends. But at this point I really had no choice in the matter, and at the end no one would do a better job of taking care of Cantinflas than J.

Thus we packed the car, bird and all, and trekked our way to Taal Lake, about 2 hours south of Manila to discover Cantinflas' new home - the yacht club J manages. And we were pleasantly surprised as you can see:

Cantinflas admiring his new view from his travelling cage
Different views of Taal Lake Yacht Club
His new friend Gaucho

The good news is that he has adapted super well! Who wouldn't want to live surrounded by lush scenery, fresh air, and an ocean breeze? He is talking, singing, and whistling more than he has in years. And he's looking pretty good too, don't you think?

Thanks to H. for these great photos!
So all ended well with the Cantinflas saga. Gordo and I just miss him dearly!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Week's Resolution

On New Years Day while lying in bed, gordo asks: "So what are your resolutions for this year?"

[silence]

"Well...?"

"Hmm. I haven't really thought about any resolutions."

This isn't really surprising though. I've never really been a "January 1st Resolutions" kind of person. Although when people would ask, I would provide the appropriate: work out more, get healthy, quit smoking, blah, blah, blah intention - you know, the ones that will warrant some sort of encouragement from the listener...(I haven't had a cigarette in 10 months by the way - and don't plan to either!)

But this year, nada, nil, nothing in mind.

But then I got thinking. I'm sure this really isn't the most novel of ideas, but for me at least it's something new to try...weekly resolutions. They always say, "set goals that are achievable..." I don't know who they are, but there is some truth to their words. I'm going to try and take it one step at a time so it doesn't get too overwhelming.

Why all of a sudden this new found enlightenment? I'm a new MOM and I'm starting to realize that I really can't plan anything anymore (long term at least)...my life revolves around my son S and his whims. And frankly, I can spend all day every day doing nothing but staring at him while the rest of the world carries on with their routines...

the new love of my life
But I know we can't live in this bubble. Asi que poco a poco...hence my {hopefully} achievable weekly task(s).

Recurring weekly task: blog - at least once a week. I have to find time between feedings & diapers to write about something. It's not for lack of ideas - I just need to sit down and DO it. Being pregnant, giving birth, and being a Mom in Mexico is a world of its own with lots of tales.

This week's task: the wonderful world of Mexican Immigration - I NEED to establish my residency and stop being the eternal tourist. Being allowed to stay here 6 months at a time is not conducive to getting paperwork done - the mañana attitude kicks in full force, and before you know it, it's mañana and you are in danger of being deported... OK, I'm exaggerating a bit. I've been nowhere near to being deported, but I don't want to ever be!

So there dear reader! If all goes according to plan, you'll hear from me at least once a week...maybe even more, I'll try my best.

What about you? Any daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly resolutions you want to share? I'll be encouraging :)