Saturday, October 29, 2011

Making Minnie

Minnie Mouse.

Ana is obsessed. A day does not go by without many conversations about Mickey, Minnie and their friends. I use this to my advantage most days by getting AV to eat, do, pick up, etc just about anything because, well, Mickey Mouse would want her to.

Halloween. A holiday where parents take complete and total advantage of the fact that we have utter wardrobe control for a very short period of time. Child, you will wear what I say you'll wear. No questions asked.

Enter "The plan." Now, when it comes to Ramon and me, I am just about 99% of the time the ideas person. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I come up with pretty stellar ideas. But, when it comes to fabrication and general follow-through, I lose some awesome points. Step in, Ramon. And you will see why.

It could be why I love him. It could also be why I hate him.

The mission that we chose to accept as any doting and unknowing first-time parent would, was to turn one tutu (my idea), one meter of red polka dot fabric (that I bought), and one piece of black foamy (I have no idea what we call this product in English. I only assume it's called foamy. I learned this word in Mexico.) into one Minnie Mouse costume (Enter Ramon).

This was the beginning. I gave myself bonus points for knowing that I should measure something, probably use a pencil and have all of my materials in the same place. That is about where my self-crediting ends.

I feebly attempted to bring my ideas to fruition. My husband very generously let me fail miserably. I think mostly because he was interested to see what disastrous confection I would create. The result was not, in fact, a Minnie Mouse skirt, but is a very nicely hand-stitched red polka dot square that could morph easily into a quite dashing sleeve. I don't understand how it happened really.

So, Ramon offered a suggestion. Why don't you cut two equal pieces and then all you have to do is sew the two pieces together. Sounded intriguing. I tried that idea. It was worse than my first attempt. At least my first attempt was able to be un-sewn and used again. My second attempt was nearing complete and total disaster land. The good thing about this was that I found it hysterical. If you don't have a sense of humor, you don't have anything, right? The other funny part is that I really thought that I would be able to do it. Kind of like how I think I should be able to paint like Bob Ross, or paint the nails on my right hand.

So, I let the architect take over. Ramon quickly fashioned a compass (like the tool that makes circles not the tool that tells where North is) out of a pencil, a needle and a piece of string. He went on to make a pattern out of old newspaper consisting to two perfect concentric circles. Then he spent approximately 12 minutes cutting out those perfect circles. He used every single needle and pin possible to perfectly attach his pattern to the fabric and then spent approximately 20 minutes cutting the fabric without one single string or messed up cut. (Not something I could claim as a success) Then he let me sew it together. What a guy.

He went further, though. He glued and wrapped, centimeters at a time, a purple headband, so that it could become a polka dot headband. He made perfect ears and glued them on. He sewed little white buttons on her leotard.

I made the bow. I think I'm going to write that again. I made the bow. Feel free to tell me how awesome it is.

And her little face made it all worth it. My little Minnie. I love every little inch of her.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I don't know how or why over a month has passed since I shared with you my disasters in the kitchen. Actually, I do know how. The deal is this, when it comes to either spending time blogging or spending time vegging with my husband or child, the latter always wins. It may also have something to do with the fact that my computer is not so much a computer anymore as it is a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse machine. Ah, the joys of an 18-month Mickey-obsessed munchkin.

So, to sum it up, I'll say "Sorry." I put sorry in quotes not so much to quote my own speech but to seamlessly lead myself into what I will bless your eyes with today. The use of quotes in Mexico. Or should I say the "use" of quotes in Mexico. Or better, the use of "quotes" in Mexico. Or, best yet, the use of quotes in "Mexico."

I love it. Love it!

I usually find it both amusing and accurate.

Case in point. At school this year, the staff has been gifted with a special parking lot. And by parking lot, I mean that we may use a small portion of the soccer field from 7 am until 2:30 pm. The sign outside the grass with some crookedy spray painted lines and illegible numbers reads: "Estacionamiento" para personal. Translation: "Parking Lot" for staff. See what I mean? Both amusing and accurate. It's not so much a parking lot as it is a "parking lot."

We now live in the grand pueblo of Cuautlancingo, Puebla. Home of the Volkswagen plant, a haven where no pot hole or speed bump will be turned away, and where the tricked out lights of the three-wheeled cart taxis can confuse even the most experienced Mexican driver into believing that a UFO is heading straight their way on a dark road. But, I digress. Around the corner from our house is a little shack (and by shack, I mean shack) that sells Birria "de res." Birria is a spicy soupy broth with shredded beef. So delicious. However, I don't know exactly how I feel about it being made from "beef." "Beef" like cow? Or "beef" like there might be some roadkill in there?

How about this one? Tiendita "Harry's." Now is it Harry's store? Was it once his store and is no longer? Do we just call him "Harry" but it's really not his name? I don't know, but I'm intrigued.

I also love when you go into "Harry's" store (if that is your real name) and there's a sign on the counter that reads. Please pay with "change." "Gracias." From "Harry." Now, what is "change?" Shall I pay "Harry" by paying it forward and making a difference? Or is "Harry" now mocking me with some sarcastic "Gracias?" Does the real Harry even care if I pay with change or is it some Big Brother speaking as "Harry."

Weird. Funny. Another reason to love it here.

"Thanks" for reading.