Monday, September 24, 2007

We return from Guadalajara on La Linea más Cómoda. The little girl in front of us keeps coughing extravagantly without covering her mouth (I never really cared about this before!) while her little brother screams. The man behind us coughs in a lower register. We don't know it yet but we're getting what they have. Somehow I feed the baby while we’re swinging down the curving highway above Manzanillo. Back in Barra, mosquitos fall on us joyfully. A hurricane passed through while we were away. We open the door and find mold growing on the bed. It’s on kitchen utensils and the big pot we cook pasta in. There are probably four different kinds of ants living in our room. I think they were all here before, but now they seem to have asserted the inevitable rights of the natural world over the veneer of human habitation. A giant black and yellow beetle and a huge spider crawl along the tiles.

Somehow a bug has drilled through this can of pineapple, acquired in Bahía Tortugas, halfway down the Baja peninsula. At the time I wondered why Adam would buy canned pineapple in Mexico. Some vestigial memory of life in western New York, where his mom bought canned pineapple at the Shurfine, and he would eat the acid sweet rings right out of the can?

And this stuff is still here. All the way from Berkeley. It sounds innocuous—Sunflower seed butter, kind of weird, but no red flags. It tastes like sweet dirt--forget that, it puts the butt back in butter, this stuff is NASTY.

We have new neighbors for a week. They're Canadian. They hang out in the palapa drinking beer and chainsmoking. I hear the woman shout at her husband, "That guy saw you and he fell on his ass laughing!" maybe ten times at the end of a long day of tequila and cerveza. Tourist Mexico at its best.

The baby keeps them up at night.

Burping is hard.

When they leave, everyone goes outside.

Except me. I've spent over a week being cooped up in this apartment because I can't figure out how to use the damn baby carriers and plus it's like a million degrees out there. I remember shortly after she had her baby my friend Kathleen said, "I just want to go to Starbucks." I really want to go to Starbucks--though downtown Barra will do.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Guadalajara, week three

Friday, August 31-Tuesday, September 4
Are you ready for this?

Labor sux.

I keep reminding myself that at least I'm not having a leg amputated without anesthetic on a Civil War battlefield.

After three days, baby is born. She doesn't look like either one of us...this leads to some recriminations on both sides, but our relationship will survive.

Nuestro equipo a las tres de la mañana--pediatrician Dr. Franky, OB José Luis, and midwife Joni. These people are completely amazing, and I do not say that lightly. We consider it an honor to know them. And you can too:

Gender stereotypes, Mexican style!

Tallulah's birth certificate doesn't have her name on it, but I get a new name--Jessica Adams Byrd--since in Mexico, as we were told, "the women count." I dig it.

Celebrating with some warm Widow, our first alcohol in months.

Wednesday, September 5
Everyone sleeps off their hangovers.

Thursday, September 6
My mom arrives.
She immediately stakes out the name "Abuelita" and starts her own line of chocolates.

She spends an entire afternoon on Skype trying to extend her stay for a couple of days.

She soaks up some local culture. Sitting upstairs on our bed, we hear a conversation in two languages--my mom talking to the woman who cleans the rooms. I know that this lady doesn't speak any English, and that my mom doesn't speak any Spanish. When Adam goes out to try to help, mom says cheerfully, "We're communicatin'!"
The church around the corner has a sign that says "Confesiones" with an arrow and green flashing lights. Time to confess!

Monday, September 10
Look. Organic food! After baby's first visit to the pediatrician Adam and I enjoy a well-deserved lunch. We have successfully: hailed a cab with seatbelts, strapped baby into the cab in her carseat, and managed not to suffocate her on the ride over. I have breast-fed in public and walked a couple of blocks without collapsing.

Tuesday, September 11
At the Registro Civil, Tallulah becomes a Mexican national.
Our witnesses--the security guard and a random man.

"nine hiccups and a sneeze"/gratuitous baby blogging