Where is J?

So I get a whole bunch of text messages, calls, and e-mails asking where our beloved J is actually at. I am Point (A) Pasadena, TX and he is Point (B) In a small town an hour outside of Guadalajara, Jalisco.  We are 9 miles shy of 1,000 miles between us.  Let’s just say 1,000 I am bound to get lost once or twice on our way there.  Google maps says it’s a 16 hour drive, but we won’t be driving nights so it will be at least two days if we get an early start.  Yeah that’s going to happen because I am an upsie daisy, early bird gets the worm, morning person!

This Map shows our future home.  Question is Where on this map is it?

This Map shows our future home. Question is Where on this map is it?

Point (C) San Blass, Playa Borrego – Where we could possibly live near Puerto Vallarta but not so touristic and still on the WEST Coast, That H20 we love to see, crystal clear blue. I picked this place because if we come across any trouble we can run back to family only 4 hours away.

If you know us at all, you would know this is so us.

Point (D) San Miguel del Allende – A friend of a friend. We heard this friend wants to move back to the US and their home has a guest house. They need someone to look out for their vacation home I suppose. Alas, that would be ideal, but it may be too good to be true.

If I go here I want to take this exact photo.

Point (E) Tampico – Grandma wants us to go there. It’s where she is from and claims the water is beautiful there. Dad disagrees, says it’s still the Gulf. We don’t care but being near the ocean would be a dream come true regardless.

It looks blue, but I did see a few others that looked like we could have taken in Galveston.

Point (F) Cancun – J has a friend there. Who says there is plenty of work for him. J is a procrastinator and hasn’t even called him. Highly unlikely we will go here to live but we will go.

Well we all know….

Then there is the purple markings.  The one on the border is where I would like to live so I could cross my kids over to school every morning and I could work and earn USA money.  Except the danger is to high, so we will skip that.  Then there  is Durango, where my mother was from.  I haven’t visited since I was eleven, from what I remember it may have been fun but I would be heading home in two weeks for sure.  Cabo, because the only way some “Friends” will visit, if they come on a cruise ship.  All three places highly unlikely.  More like no it isn’t going to happen.

We have considered many places, and we won’t decide until we are together. I sure would like somewhere my family and best buds are not afraid to visit. They have all said, “no way Jose” when I tell them to vacation with me. I will remind them once the first daring person joins us for some fun and they are begging to come. 

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Jupiter Jumping June

As in busy as a bee, lots on my plate, overloaded, swamped! It’s crunch time.

1. I just have to finish moving out.

2. Find renters for both houses, sign contracts, and get deposits.

3. Doctor’s appointments for the kids on two different days (they only see two at a time, I have 3). I am going to beg for diarrhea medicine in anticipation that they will get sick when we get there.  I don’t know what else to beg for, so if you have any suggestions that would be awesome.

4. One last visit I need to make to the DMV Department of Motor Vehicles.

5. Court date from an accident and hopefully my last court date I have done everything they have asked for.

6. Plus one full day at the Mexican Consulate. (more info in a bit)

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Must tell you I received my USA PASSPORT! Finally ONE thing accomplished. It only took a month and a day.

The kids passport documents I sent first but remember they put a hold on them for the DS-3053 needed from J with a time limit.

I received J’s notarized forms, copy of his Mexican ID, and Original Birth Certificate May 30th 2013 (PERFECT ANNIVERSARY GIFT), and I forwarded DS-3053’s to the US Passport agency the following day. Let’s hope they speed it up and I get all the birth certificates back before our first appointment at the Mexican Consulate to start Dual citizenship for all of us on June 19th. Why do I say the first appointment? Well, because they do the process in steps and it’s a different appointment for each step.

Did you read that right? Yes all of us have appointments. Remember, I explained the visa process in a previous blog, but since we are all lucky enough to have one parent from Mexico we can skip all those shenanigans, except, I didn’t have my mother’s Mexico Birth Certificate as she died when I was 12. All her brothers and sisters are here but thanks to one of my aunts she contacted aunts and cousins who were kind enough to lend me their time, drive to the big city, pay the fees, and search for her certificate themselves. No, they don’t have the luxury of ordering them online. Not only did they retrieve it but hand delivered it to Houston. It’s not actually in my hands but it is here and will definitely have it by my appointment time!

This brings me to the many thanks that I owe and I owe more than I can count….. No that deserves a post all of its own.

Is that all?

I’m the better Parent, He’s the better Parent (repeat)

I have been on a standstill waiting on these passports. J finally got his Mexican ID and is making a trip to the city to get it done at the American Consulate Today. Still I have to wait for all the documentation to reach me so I can send to the Passport Agency.

Only a few more days of school, seven days to be exact, sadly the beginning of summer does not mean goodbye to Houston. Not yet. The good news is that Johnny’s excited about starting Summer ACE (after school program that runs for a month after school is out). They usually get two field trips a week and as he expressed his excitement to me, Manuel whines “I don’t want to go to Summer ACE”.

“Why my love? You will have fun! I wish I could go to Summer ACE so I can go to the zoo, aquarium, and lots of other places.”

“I want to go to Mexico with my daddy. I want to play King Kong.” 

I promised him that as soon as Summer ACE is done, we would go. I pray daily, hourly that I can keep that promise, but there is still so much that has to get done.

I told J, then I thought the phone had disconnected, I yelled, “Babe!? Amores!? HELLO!?” He whispered, “Give me a minute”.

I guess I should stop telling him such stories.

Yesterday, we (My best friend Chrissy and I) decided to take them to Sylvan Beach for some Memorial Day fun.

We haven’t been since March and by this time if J was here they would have already had several trips, with several catches of fish under their belts, and we would have had some very delicious fish fries.

 

Texas Parks and Wildlife - Cleburne State Park

Texas Parks and Wildlife – Cleburne State Park

Johnny asked for his fishing reel and tackle box. When I told Manuel to grab his he said “I don’t want to fish today, I want to fish with my daddy”.

I didn’t tell J that I was taking them until we returned home. He didn’t like me to have them take baths while he was at work, for fear they will drown & I didn’t want to worry him. I think we did pretty good just us girls with the kids. Except for one thing we forgot. Sun block. It wouldn’t have happened on J’s watch.

The boys stayed home Today from school from the pain. Well at least I’m not the one who withdraws them early from school to take them fishing.

 

Finding our way back

Johnny 1st Halloween 2003china

I thought it was the cutest thing when his teachers told me Manuel is going around telling everyone at school he is moving to China. One of his teachers began to wonder if J was Asian. It’s not Manuel’s fault, daddy tells them they are Chinese. It’s not Manuel’s fault, daddy asks him to translate what Asian people say, when we hear them near us. It’s not his Manuel’s fault, daddy shouts, “Look, there’s your uncle/aunt!”, when we drive past one on the street.

This story, tickled me.

kids in their Karate Movie nite attire

I heard he was acting up at school, and a teacher told him to behave or else she would call his daddy. His eyes began to fill, and he snapped “I DON’T HAVE A DADDY”. Thankfully she inquired about it with another teacher, and they were able to talk to him. They Explain that he did have a daddy, and that he would be with him real soon.

This story, I cried.

J told me he has had nothing but unpleasant dreams. Except for one, he dreamed he was at home here in Pasadena. I was doing laundry and the kids were all in the living room. He said in his dream he knew it wouldn’t last long. He told the kids “Hurry up! Come give me a hug, before a wake up”.
Again I whimpered.

I received a letter in the mail from U.S Department of the State of Houston’s Passport Agency. They denied the kids Passport Applications. Now I am on a time crunch to get the proper paperwork before I have to start all over again.

If-two-people-are-meant-to-be-together-eventually-theyll-find-their-way-back

Why on Earth?

Wish I could say we are retiring early. That we won the lotto and are escaping from the zombie relatives coming back from the dead for their cut. That we have planned for years, and it’s been our lifelong dream.

The truth is, it was a fear that someday it would happen. If you have known J and I the 16 years (this May 30th) we been married, then perhaps you know he had lived here illegally for majority of those years.

ICE knocked on our door one morning, April 17th, 2013, and deported him to his birth land. Although he has lived here since a toddler, he considers himself an American, USA is all he knows but he feels he does not belong anywhere. U.S. does not want him and Mexico is not his home.

deportation

He does belong with his family. That would be ME, Johnny (10), Manuel (6), and Elaina (3).

I didn’t always feel this way. After they deported him in the first few years of marriage, I was ready to move on. He has always said he wanted to grow old with me. He returned because I would not go and has not relinquished his commitment to me or his kids for one second.

I may have been afraid to move before; okay I am still afraid. I do want to move. It now sounds exciting. I look forward to our new adventures. I get to live in another country! I get to go visit clear blue beaches. Like the ones we visited when we were in Florida. Even better they will now be our beaches.

home

J has all of our hearts, and maybe some of yours.

You don’t scare me! I have a daughter.

Barton Springs in Austin TX, L: Aiden our little friend, Manuel, Johnny, J, & Elaina

Barton Springs in Austin TX, L: Aiden our little friend, Manuel, Johnny, J, & Elaina

J knows I have a lot on my plate and asked me to send him the kids.  If I did, I could slow down and get everything taken care of.  I said, “no”, because the boys are still in school . I don’t know if it will matter in Mexico if they finish this year or not but it matters to me.

It is exhausting, he used to take the boys to school every morning (I got to sleep in). He also used to cook most of our meals, especially our weekend meals. They miss him so much. Manuel says “we can’t play King Kong anymore”. Johnny is very quiet and has this gloomy look upon his face. He was his daddies shadow, from the moment they got home they talked animals, fishing, camping, and watching river monsters. How can I possibly fill that void?

I know they would all rather be with their daddy, including Elaina, as she too would leave my side to climb all over him. If I had to go out, none protested that they wanted to come with me. I had to bribe Elaina if I wanted company by cooing: “I am going shooooopppinnng! I will buy you a toy!” or “Want to go to Tina’s house?”

It’s hard with Elaina. We are not used to leaving her. Well I could leave her with anybody if they showed any interest. J wouldn’t deem this acceptable and I am trying to do things as he would want them done. She is a handful. I can’t take her everywhere, especially when I am dealing with important documents where I have to pay attention.

He suggested I send her. I know he wants them. I know he misses all of them. I know it would be easier with just the boys. I know she misses him and she would be extremely happy. I know she could not be safer with anyone else. I know I will see her in just two months. I know I would have so much more patience with the boys, because I get so impatient due to her “I am a princess attitude”. (Where did she learn that?) I also know as I glance over at her and she is scattering Cheerios all over the floor and wiping her milky fingers all over her shirt, that I don’t know, if I have it in me, to part with her.

What I’m scared of? Not seeing her for two months, not seeing her every night. I am weak and can’t accept this temporary change.

American Passports

I knew one of the first things I had to get the ball rolling on, was passports. The faster I got them, the faster I could leave. Except you need money, which I didn’t have enough of thanks to our spending habits. I got an extra check from hubby’s last job, quickly withdrew the boys out of school, my thoughts were I better do it now that I have the money. You know because a fart would last longer in my hands.

We arrive at the post office only to find out they stop processing passports at 3 pm. We were 5 minutes late. They were testing at school the next day, so I had to grip that money tight for yet another day.

May 1st we finally got it done. Three passports, ball rolling! Yeah I know three; they accepted paperwork only for the kids. They took one look at my birth certificate and didn’t accept it. Apparently, if you have the short form, a specific letter has to be on it. I was told I had to order the long form. *eye roll*

I tried to get it done at the local Pasadena office, but they only print short forms and there was no guarantee that the letter would be on it. *eye roll*

Why did I ask the boys if they wanted to go back to school? Discovery green with my kids the rest of the day.

I ordered my Long Form Birth Certificate on-line the next day. It finally came in on Monday, May, 13. It takes about six weeks for the passports to come in so I am like three weeks behind the kids. I am going Today, to get mine.

Passports:
You must have: (1) Birth Certificate (get anything you might need your birth certificate for, taken care of before, as they keep it and will mail it back to you by mail), (2) ID, (3) DS-11 form filled out, & (4) DS-3053 Parental Consent Notarized or both parents must be present.

(5) Passport picture (you can’t duck face, be wearing anything in your hair or have glasses on). We took our pictures at the post office $15.00 USD each. You can take them at Walgreens and CVS too but a friend told me she went to Walgreens and the post office did not accept them so she had to retake them. She paid twice.

US Passport Book: Adults $110.00 + $25.00 USD execution fee (each). Good for 10 years, used to travel by air, water or land. Minors (16 & under): $80.00 + $25.00 USD execution fee (each). Good for 5 years, used to travel by air, water or land.

US Passport Card: Adults $30.00 + $25.00 USD execution fee (each). Good for 10 years, used to travel by water or land. Minors (16 & under): $15.00 + $25.00 USD execution fee (each). Good for 5 years, used to travel by water or land.

I’m getting the book incase I have to come back for rental properties or other emergencies, but the kids is only good for five years I doubt we will have the income to fly home anytime soon, so got them cards.