Koshari Dish
This is a vegetarian dish from Egypt. I have made it before, but used this recipe to help remind me how to make it. It turned out well! I didn't have tomato paste, so I used a bit of ketchup. I didn't have regular vinegar, so I used rice vinegar. I also used Kafta spice mix bc I was too lazy to follow the specific spice mix directions. Also, I added a squeeze of lime at the end. Yes, this is tangy!


Notes to myself...
So I am in one school counseling program... Ill call it MO but I am becoming more and more dissatisfied with it and I am thinking about transfering to another.. Ill call it KS.
To start in the middle.... I talked to the KS advisor... she set up a meeting with me right away and we got together and we talked.. I got a lot of information... but the MO advisor I requested info from her and she said... oh sorry... cant meet, we will cover that in class. How can one school that I am not even a student in be totally open to meeting with me and the school where I am a student won't meet with me? Huge red flag! And the wonky thing is the person that should be my advisor isnt... I should have a school counseling advisor but instead I have a counseling psych advisor and when I met with her she knew little more than me about the plan of study for a school counselor than I did! So another red flag. There are some others.
Why go to KS----- tuition is cheaper, the program is shorter, i perceive the teachers are more experienced, it is CACREP certified
Why stay at MO----- I am already there, I have a cool grad assistantship I'd have to leave (but they already love me, I could probably get hired on for some position there), they don't do online classes and I might have a licensing problem in Missouri if I go to KS whose program is half online.
Why leave MO---- more expensive (the grad asst. only pays 3 credits), more time, more classes, and despite all of that... their reputation is not as good or better than KS.. they are not CACREP certified!

So I wrote her back, maybe she will take me more seriously since I let the cat out of the bag... I didn't want to express my doubt about the program through email, but if she refuses to meet with me face to face, I guess I must.

over and out.

shrimp coctel!

best ever!


2 lb de camarones limpios y desvenados
1 taza de jitomate picado
1/2 taza de cebolla picada
1 taza de pepino picado
1/2 taza de cilantro
El jugo de 5 limones
3 cucharadas soperas de aceite de olivo
1 cucharadita de aceite de ajonjoli (0pcional)
1 1/2 de salsa catsup
1 taza de salsa de Tomate
1 taza de jugo clamato
2 tazas de agua donde se cosieron Los camarones o 3 si lo quiere mas jugoso.
2 cucharadas de sal
1 cucharadita de consome de Pescado si no tiene puede usar de pollo.
1 aguacate grande picado (1taza de aguacate)
2 chiles jalapeños o serranos picados

I Can Always Turn to You, LJ

When I just have to let it all out, I can always do it here. Those who still read probably aren't getting a very balanced diet of me, but oh well!

Today I feel like I have to put on tough skin....
it is really stupid petty stuff really. I am lucky to have what I have. I appreciate more my husband. We have our health. We have our kids. We own our house (paid in full this year!)

Hani's first birthday party is coming up and when I sent out a group message to my in laws about their availability about the weekend in question, I get responses back asking if it can be a "group" bday party. Um, no! Have your own party don't mooch off mine. I think it would be a fine idea if it wasn't her FIRST birthday party. But I felt like I couldn't say no, so I said yes. :-/ They can't afford their own party, that is exactly why they are latching on to mine. I felt if I said no then there would be bad vibes or they just wouldn't come.
The whole family has fallen on really hard financial times.. and we have loaned out a lot of money already.

My neighbors. My neighbors are great for the most part. Yesterday though I felt like my next door neighbor took advantage a little bit.. sometimes her son stays and plays with mine while she goes to a karate class with her older daughter. Yesterday he was in my house and she asked if she could leave him, but I told her no, because it was my husband's bday and I was going to decorate with my son. I also was feeling sick, and told her so early in the day, I guess she forgot. But her son was upstairs and wasn't responding to her calls and she was running late, and so I said fine, he can stay. She probably just wasn't expecting me to say no. She is nice, so I doubt that she will do it again.

There is a sign up for a neighborhood meeting on Sunday. That makes my heart beat fast. I've never been to one but I've heard they can be pretty ugly.

Testing Testing, 1 2 3?
Hello.... heeeeeeelllloooooooooooooo! Is this thing on? Can you hear me?

I haven't posted in forever. I am sorry. Looks like a lot of my flist has done likewise as well. It's too bad. My excuse is that I have found some online freelance work writing and translating so any freetime I get I have had to dedicate to that.

But I feel really moved to write an update now. This is about the one year anniversary of when we moved back to Mexico. The year has gone by incredibly fast!

I have to say that I am really feeling at home here. Even to the point of never wanting to move back to the U.S. ever. Even if Iajia and I ever seperate, I've decided that I rather move further south in Mexico, to the state of Chiapas, or perhaps along the Oaxacan coastline.

It's a really nice feeling, to feel so sure. What are the reasons? It's really hard to put my finger on why. It's especially hard without first casting the U.S. in a really unfavorable light, but I do appreciate my American roots for the most part. Maybe I can talk about what I do like.

In no particular order.

I love Christmas time in Mexico. The last 12 days of Christmas there is a party almost everyday! We went one last night, there is one tonight, and there will be one tomorrow. And then it will be Christmas Eve after that, the biggest party of them all. There also isn;t the same kind of materialism associated with it. I think for two reasons... there aren't the sales here that there are in the U.S. and people just don't have the expendable income as they do in the US. Moreover, Christmas, besides the "true reason for the season" is about spending time with family, eating and drinking. Gift exchanges are something new, and optional. Gift giving for children happens on Jan. 6th, 3 Kings day.

It's so family friendly. Mexico still has family values. And when I say family values, I am not talking about gay rights or abortion rights. I mean... family stick together. No matter how damn inconvenient it might be to you, you don't, under any circumstance, turn your back on family. That woman who wrote "I am Adam Lanza's Mother" booked her kid into a mental hospital over an outburst. I don't know, that seems really harsh to me, and wouldn't doubt it causes her a snowball effect. My own father tried to leave me in the hands of the criminal justice system. 1

In laws and gossip
To those that responded to my last entry, I responded back. Ive noticed that LJ is delaying in comments reaching inboxes, I had to go to my post to find yours as I still haven't gotten them in my email. 

So we had the party yesterday. I didn't enjoy myself, but Noori did and that's what is most important. 

I am having some serious issues with not just Iajia but his family. 

After my SIL in Boston kicked us out she called my MIL to tell her all the shit she hates about me. Wow, we were only there a week and she hates my guts. Maybe I am sensitive, but what the fuck did I do so horrid that I get hated and judged in less than a week's time? Something that embarrassed me to no end that my own family doesn't know the whole story. I lied to them about why we came back early. 
There is a major gossip infestation going on in Iajia's family and I feel like I am the victim. I can cut the judgemental air with a knife. At my own fucking party yesterday I felt like I got the cold shoulder. I walk into a room where my SILs were talking and the moment I get in there they both suddenly have other things to attend to and leave me there in the room, alone. WTF? I overhear my MIL say that she would have rather had a BBQ than tacos. 
I feel like my character has been defamed. It is so unfair. I know my SIL in Boston bitched to her mom about me. I dont give a fuck about that.. but then my MIL ran her mouth to everyone else in the family.. everybody fucking knows my business..... and all the shit she has said about me. And I haven't said a goddamn thing. Bc they don't bring it up to me. Instead I get to be the scape goat and black sheep for all their insecurities and shortcomings. The thing that lets them feel better about themselves. And I am on a gag order from my husband to not start shit or else they would have heard from me by now about how I feel about things. 
I am about to explode, seriously. I just cannot hold it in. I cannot tolerate their false pretenses towards me.
I think I am to sincere for my own good. People really don't appreciate sincerity. They really do want a lie. Myself included. I don't want you to tell me that my butt looks big in that dress. I want you to think it looks good, and while I want to know the truth, what I prefer is that you like how my butt looks in the dress. So really it is better that you just lie to me. I have realized this after a good friend of my who always seems on my side. She is perfect in all ways... I only question her sincerity. I want to know, does she always mean what she says? Or does she know that it is more important to help people feel good about themselves and thus believes a little insincerity is better> If she always means what she says then she has an uncanny gift of being a pure optimist. Sometimes I want to make up a story where it's obvious I was in the wrong and see if she comes to my defense still. But I think it is wrong to test people like that so I won't do it. 
But back to hating on Iajia's family. This really puts even more pressure on our marriage- I vented my grievances to him last night and I know that he understands, and now he wants to defend me, but I don't want him to. I want to confront them on my own and I want him to stay out of it completely. I need to tell them myself, them to come at me, and I take them on myself. I just want him to sit and watch it and only keep it from escalating out of control. How can he defend me anyway when we haven't had sex since Ive been back? Haven't kissed or said I love you to each other in over a week?

They are all about to get it. Fuck the gag order. and fuck them. I just can't tolerate phonies. I just can't live like this. I DONT live like this? Iajia was telling me.. but look how they talk to each other .. gabby and my MIL have serious issues with each other and they know it. But yet they'll sit and talk to each other like nothing is wrong at family functions.  My SIL and gabby will also, apparently, happily shit talk me even though they have serious issues themselves. Iajia, how do you say "I just don't roll like that?" in Spanish? "No es mi onda. No es mi manera de ser".


Dinner for the Week

Here is my grocery haul from shopping yesterday. Followed by some ideas for dinner this week. 

1 Kilo     Lentils for                          $2

.25 kilo   Oatmeal for                       $.50

3            Green & red bell peppers   $1.20 (.40 cents each)

1 Kilo     Roma tomatoes                 $.80

1 Kilo     Carrots                             $.50

1 bunch   Spinach                            $.50

1 Kilo     Brocolli                             $1

1 Kilo    Banana                               $1

2 Kilo    Watermelon                        $1.20

.5 Kilo    Plantain                              $.50

1 Kilo    Strawberries                       $1

1 med    Cantalope                           $1.50

                                                        total: $11.70*

                                                         plus $10 for meat & cheese

For dinner this week: 

Lentil Soup with sweet plantains, bell pepper & spinach

Tortas de Brocolli (croquettes of brocolli with panela cheese in the middle)

Meatballs with zucchini hidden inside

Alhambre de pollo (pretty close to chicken fajitas for the most part)

*I like to buy the meat & cheese fresh, so I didn't pick up any shopping yesterday but

1 Kilo of ground sirloin beef is $7.

1 Kilo of chicken breast is $4.5

1 Kilo of panela cheese is $7

1 Kilo of eggs is $2 (needed in the croquettes)

I only need a half kilo though to make the meals.

This isn't to say we live on $20 a week for food, though that would be nice. There is still breakfast and lunch: cereal, milk, bread, pasta etc. 

Writer's Block: Star Trek
The moons of Saturn, especially Titan that is known to be full of hydrocarbon lakes and oceans. I would like to sit on the beach with a nice view of Saturn :D
If you could visit anywhere in the solar system, where would it be?

Writer's Block: Super Bowl Sunday
It depends. Who's playing? 

Oh, silly me, I do have news....
I have a crazy bad migraine! (This isn't the news, but I wrote this paragraph before I made the title... jump to second paragraph for the actual news) I ran out of all my tylenol and don't want to buy more. So I am sitting here in the dark, but I shouldn't even be staring at this comp screen.. it is killing me behind the eyes... but you know, that is how I manage to give birth natural... .I just don't care. I think, I am gonna make a post dammit and nothing is gonna stop me! kind of thing. After birthing Noori, that was actually what I thought about- that by denying myself pain medication in the past- from migraines to wisdom teeth removals- it was an exercise for getting through the pain of labor. 

So I do have some news, and I am a total loser for not sharing it sooner. We had the anatomy scan last week and we are having a GIRL! :D I am happy about this. But I really would have been happy either way. I wanted a brother for Noori, but a daughter for me. But everyone on both sides of the family wanted a girl, so the peoples are getting what they want. We don't have a name picked out, but we've got a few on the list. And I have her Sufi/Muslim/Arabic name picked out: Shamsiah. It means "solar; sun" maybe even "my sun", in the feminine form. I learned about the name from an article about an Afghan teenager that risked going to school every day- and she and other female students were attacked with acid on their way to school one day- after she recovered, she didn't give up on school. I'd really love to make it her legal name, but I am afraid it is too "exotic" and then it doesn't really match Noori's civil name which is an American first name with a Mexican middle name. 

Dear Noori, 

Tonight you did something really weird. But it was silly. After our usual getting ready for bed routine, I took you to the bed we all sleep in. But when we got there, you started telling me that the bed was too big and that you might fall out. You made a huge conversation out of this. It was so cute to listen to. Then you told me you wanted to sleep in the other bedroom where the bed was small (meaning the mattress on the floor) because you wouldn't be able to fall out. I called out to daddy to ask if you had by chance fallen out of bed during naptime- but he said no. So I found this really peculiar. But I think it is a good thing because it means that you can put together possible outcomes of certain situations. 

love, mom

Ok... head is really killing me- must go!


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