Where you go, I will go; where you live, I will live. Your people will be my people for your God is my God.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Adorable Job.

39 Weeks Today

{Picture taken this past Sunday.}

this morning.

I put his toiletries in a clear plastic bag, checking to make sure all the little bottles are less than 100 ml or 3 ounces in size.  
I fold the last few articles of clothing, place four folders full of paperwork on top, and close up the bag.  I'm thankful for the small bag and the few pieces of clothing.  He'll be back soon.  A man always seems to find his way home when he runs out of clean unmentionables.  
I hand him his wallet, passport, and cold medicine.  The poor man has been feeling awful the last couple of days.   
I give him a slip of paper with flight information and his hotel confirmation number.  

I'm not used to this.  I am the one who goes, not the one who stays behind.   Sure I have spent what feels like half of our marriage waiting for him to get home from work, but such is life for the blue collar Mexican... Long, long, hours.  So I have learned to wait and be thankful for the time we are given.  But trips?  Never.  I have always been the one to hop on a plane, jetting somewhere north, leaving him behind.  But now its his turn.  

And I *should* be going with him.  But today marks 39 weeks of pregnancy and I have a sweet little boy to rock too.  Plane travel just isn't an option for me right now.  

Job and I walk him out to the front gate.  He kisses us both and tells us again how much he loves us. The gate closes.  Only then my tears begin to fall as my son shrieks with delight over the dog's antics.  

His bus is probably just now on the outskirts of town, but that man is missed terribly already.  

{After a long wait, we were given an interview for Rafa's U.S. visa.  The final step before being handed a green card, Lord willing.  The interview location?  Ciudad Juarez, a town that lies on the border of El Paso Texas.  He will be there until Tuesday.  Pray for us?   For all the little details and our hearts?   The paperwork, the pregnancy, Job and I at home, and the lonely days Rafa will spend there?  Many, many thanks.}   

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Morning Glories

{I wish I could take credit for these garden beauties, but I cannot.  Rafa planted them from seed back in July.  In three months they are already a third of the way up the wall, and almost above my head.  I go out every couple days to find a new branch that needs to be guided through the chicken wire we nailed to the concert wall.  Once there, it grows, climbs, and intertwines all on its own!}   

Job these Days

I have been wanting to write this post for the past several months.  Each time I start thinking about what I want to share, exactly, Job does a 180 on me.  The cute things he did yesterday are not the same cute things he's doing today.   Such is life, I know, but still!  Why *so* fast?

~ He gives kisses.  Or rather pecks. From open-mouth plants, to passing slobber, he's been kissing for awhile now, but always when he wanted to do so.  Ask him for a kiss?  And he would just laugh. Ask him now?  He eagerly gives several and will even go around the room giving a kiss to each person.   Melts.my.heart.

~ He loves anything with a wheel.  One day out of nowhere while playing with his car he started making "vrooomm"  sounds.  We never taught him that one, and have no idea where it came from.

~ He still loves music. He claps and "sings" in tune.   It obvious he has "the ear" and we are praying about how to best lead him in this area.  Its a gift we don't want to ruin, but aren't sure how to help him use it to it's fullest.

~ Having Job around now affects the amount of food I make and the food bill.  What used to be enough food for our small family, no longer is.  A little more than half a bag of pasta for one meal?  Used to be plenty.  Now I make a whole bag.

~ He doesn't eat too much meat, though.  If its mixed in with something, like rice or pasta or beans, he will.  I think its a texture thing.  Eggs though?  He used to be funny about those too {texture again}  but will now eat two or three every morning.

~ He is on his way to being bilingual.  Somethings he says in just Spanish, some in just English, and others he goes back and forth depending on who he's talking to.  At this point he chooses to speak more Spanish than English.  I will ask him, "Do you want some water?"  He'll smile big, nod yes, and say "Agua!!"  He knows how to say "water", but chooses not to do so.  He'll say "thank ooou"  to me and "-acias"  to the rest of the world.   Same thing with "more" and "mas."  There are some things like "all done"  that he only says in English and still more words that are understood in both worlds.  He "talks" all the time, but his parents aren't always smart enough to understand exactly what he's saying.   His American grandparents will be visiting in November and December, and I'm interested to see how his vocabulary grows during that time and what language he tries to speak with them.

~He loves books and the time we spend reading aloud.  "Mr. Brown can Moo, can you?"  is the current favorite.  Of all the noises he likes it when we get to the "Boom Boom Boom"  and the "Whisper Whisper"  He'll look up at me while playing and say "Rea-?"  So we'll go to the rocking chair and read our hearts out.

~We take some time to rock every night before bed.  If he's super sleepy, he'll want to lie down long ways in my arms like a little baby.   I'll look at him in the almost dark and say, "Job, you know I love you, right?"  The corners of his mouth turn into a sweet smile, he sighs, and closes his eyes, but reaches up a pudgy hand to pat my check softly.  After a couple minutes of silence, well do it again.  Sweet, sweet, unforgettable moments.

~He loves animals.

~Black beans are still one of his favorite foods.  Its right on up there with bananas.

~ He is learning to feed himself with a spoon or a tortilla.  Same difference here.

~He sleeps in a normal double bed and has since he was 13 months.  There has only been two cases where he has tumbled below to the pillows on the floor around the bed.  Both times he was awake, not asleep.  He seems to have learned what happens if you get too close to the edge and keeps a safe distance.  

~Everyone talks about how beautiful he is and then comments about how much he looks like his dad.  What can I say, I've been given two handsome men!

~ His hair is a medium brown with blond and red highlights.  It seems to be getting lighter with time.   I see his skin as olive colored, but everyone here points out how fair he is.  Truth is, he's a shade somewhere between Rafa and me.   He makes Rafa look darker and me look whiter.

~He has become clingy recently.  We used to be able to leave him with whoever without any problems and come back to a little boy delighted to see us.  Now leaving is harder, cause he knows what is happening.  Funny thing is, when his Papa's there, its his Papa that he doesn't let go of.

~Speaking of his Papa, no matter how much I try, or what I do, I will never be as cool as his Papa.  And I'm perfectly okay with that.

~He loves pancakes. {Actually we both do, so it works out nicely.}  Can you tell by now that food is a big part of his day?

~He loves, loves, loves, Tita, Rafa's great-aunt who lives next door to my in-laws.

~He has a fake laugh.  A "I-should-be-laughing" laugh that he can turn off and on at will.  His real laugh is a deep contagious belly laugh that he can't seem to stop once it gets going.

~Time with extended family has taught him to clap and say "yay"  at everything he does from poop to placing a block on the top of the tower.

~If I give him something to eat that's too hot, he will blow on it.  Once I give him another spoonful at the right temp, he claps as if to say, "Good job Mom!  It's just right!"

~He's a classic only child.   He will take a ball, roll it to the other side of the room, and then chase after it.  Repeat.  And repeat. Giggling the whole time.   I've told him we are working on getting him someone to play with soon, he's still clueless about the whole little sister thing.

~He's still transitioning nap time.  Some days he'll take one long nap, other days two shorter ones.  

~He wishes he could dress himself.  And each time he is changed, there has to be several rounds of "This Little Piggy..."

There is and always will be, more to share about our delightful little boy, but I'm going to sign off now.  What a blessing and what a joy our boy is!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Salsa Seca

We have a little girl coming to stay for a while in a few weeks.  Yay!   The thought still makes me nervous, {many days I still feel like a girl myself, and doesn't it take a woman to raise one?} but at this point I'm much more excited than nervous. 

I also have a few empty canning jars.  When I say a few, it really is a few.  I haven't been able to find them here, so all the jars I have, we have brought from the States.  They total about 40.  But 18 of them where empty and that's almost half.  I have determined that they will be filled in the next couple of weeks, even if the only thing it does is make me feel a little bit on top of things. 

First up?  Salsa seca.  Or chipotle salsa. 

I make a batch of salsa about once a week.  I will use it to cook some type of meat in, and then the leftover salsa goes in the fridge.  Rafa will use it on top of just about any other dish throughout the week...with eggs, on his breakfast sandwiches, mixed in with black beans, on top of potatoes, basically in just about anything.  When it runs out, I make another batch of a different type of salsa. 

I, {patting myself on my back} have had a pretty good success rate with my salsa seca the past year or so.   Meaning it doesn't come out flaming, or with too much salt, or with too little flavor.  I'm confident enough in my abilities to even offer it to people outside our own household.  

But making it in a big batch to can?  That thought scared me.   All recipes here are so "a little of this"  and "a pinch of that."   I had gotten used to eyeballing it for a little bit of salsa, but how do you multiply "a little of this?"

So I got everything ready like I was doing it in small batches.  I set my tomatoes in small groups with the garlic and chilies like I would any normal week.  I ended up with 10 small groups.  I added everything together and came up with the recipe below to use in the future.  

Salsa Seca 

- 3 kilos whole tomatoes, washed.  
- 1 bulb of garlic divided into cloves 
- 20 dried chili chipotles, half with the seeds/hearts removed.  {A word about spiciness- half the chilies with the seeds removed gives it what I would call a medium heat with a kick.  Its not enough to make me cry, but enough flavor/heat that my husband still enjoys it.   If you are American and using this recipe, I would start by removing the insides from 3/4 of your chilies and move up from there.} 
- 2 tablespoons salt.  

* Roast/Toast tomatoes garlic and chilies.  I used my electric grill to do this.  You want the garlic cloves to be brown on all sides, the chiles {if whole} while swell up and brown too.  You also want the tomatoes to have blackened skins on all sides.  The skins should burst and the juices should start to flow out.  Yes, your house will smell wonderful.  Obviously, the tomatoes take the longest to roast.  I put everything on together then take off the garlic/chilies as they finish.  
* Blend in batches and put in a big pot over slow heat.  
* Add in salt.  I ended up adding 2 tablespoons, but its all really to taste. 
{If, at this point, your salsa is too spicy, roast a few more tomatoes, blend them up, and add them in. Keep in mind that each time you reheat your salsa, it will get spicier too.   Stay on the mild side of your tastes.}

Can according to Ball's directions.  

Yield: 5.5 pints canned, plus a little extra in the fridge to use over the next few days.  

Monday, October 7, 2013

A wet cozy Monday.

I can’t help but love days like today.  

We are in the midst of another tropical storm and for us it means rain, rain, rain.  It began to pound the roof sometime in the wee hours of the morning and hasn’t stopped completely since.  And it probably won’t till Wednesday or so. 

My husband peddled away to work before seven this morning.  He came back a couple hours later soaked from head to toe, but home!   If the weather clears up, which it shouldn’t he may get a call to go back in, but if not, he’s all ours for the third day in a row.  A VERY rare treat. 

Right now he’s down for the count, taking advantage of some much earned rest. I put a sleepy toddler down for a nap too, but it seems like his head hitting the pillow gave him a second wind.  I still hear him chatting away to himself in his bed.  He claps and cheerfully says, “All done!” He refers to his nap, but how can you finish something you have yet to start?  Once I hear his breathing turn deep, I’ll curl up for a nap myself.  There is nothing so refreshing as a good rainy day nap. 

Once the household wakes from it’s nap, we’ll eat a late dinner.  Soup is on the menu of course.  We may accomplish some other tasks this afternoon, but I’m thinking a good movie or two are in order.  We shall see. 

A little while ago when we were having a late breakfast, I caught myself with a goofy smile on my face.  Nothing particularly funny was happening, but I was just happy.  ‘Cause days like today are good, and I’m so blessed they are mine! 

The little one is off in dreamland now, and I need to get there too.  

Thanks for sticking through my rambling!