Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Cultured Baby on Facebook

I decided to start a My Cultured Baby Facebook Page in the hopes that it would encourage me to start blogging more.  Also I always find so many great quotes and articles on Facebook and I wanted to be able to share ALL of them with you so click the link above and "Like" us!  Then you can keep up-to-date with everything in our lives :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fabulous Fermentation

I changed the name of my business from Kelsey's Cultured Foods to Fabulous Fermentation.  I'm very excited about this change as I've wanted this to happen for quite some time.

I'm getting more organized in my business this year as well.  The farmer's market started 3 weeks ago and work is back in full swing!  I've been very busy making my Cultured Veggies and playing around with different recipes.  I really enjoy the creativity aspect of it.  I've been experimenting with fermenting other things like fruit and frijoles since last summer too and I think it's going well.  

I now have a steady stream of customers at the farmer's market.  I'm getting a lot of my repeat customers from last summer and customers from my mom's business down the road as well.  I know I've talked about it before, but I really do enjoy working the farmer's markets.  I don't know what it is, but I feel so alive when I am there. I truly feel like I'm in my element and where I feel most like myself.  It's very interesting.  Fridays I'm always stressing about making sure everything is ready for Saturdays, but once I'm there I can relax and enjoy.  

Liliana has joined me a couple of times already.  Eduardo has been working Saturdays for a while now so I get to take the little one with me.  It's not as bad as I thought it would be, but by the end she and I are both ready for her to be back home!  But it really shows me how a year makes such a big difference when they are so little.  Last year I couldn't even have her with me for 1/2 hour and now she can last for several hours working the markets with me.  My mom will be taking her as much as she can though to help out so that's a big stress reliever.  

Eduardo is skeptical that my business makes money, but I can't imagine not doing it!  The first few months are always hard because you have to invest a lot to get going.  There's the cost of the farmer's market for the season, I'm buying a new banner, you have to carry liability insurance and the list goes on.  I may not make money for a couple more months, but atleast I'm having fun and doing something I am passionate about.  Plus I can't imagine not doing something to try and earn some income.  I like having my "own" money :)  

So wish me luck this year and I'm sure I'll update on the progress!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

For the Love of Spanish

Liliana has been so intrigued with the Spanish vocabulary since Eduardo's return.  I started to get worried last summer that she had started to lose all of her Spanish.  She seemed to be anti-Spanish and wasn't interested very much in the language of the country she learned to speak in.  

But then Eduardo came back and her desire to learn is more than ever.  She asks him how to say just about everything in Spanish and it's adorable.  I think it gives them something to bond over and something special to have together.  Even when she asks me the answer and I know what to say, if Eduardo is home I tell her to ask him.  She gets so excited and goes running and feels so satisfied to have the answer.  

I'm just thrilled that she is learning so quickly and she actually helps me as well.  It's amazing how much we both learn from watching Dora the Explorer!  There are so many great learning tools out there and I'm always looking for more.  This all gets me even more excited that we are homeschooling and I see just how easy it can be :)  

I love my little bilingual girl!  

Friday, March 30, 2012

Green Card Holder

Well Eduardo is now a proud green card holder, now called "permanent resident card" which I actually like better!  We had been waiting and waiting for the card.  We finally called to inquire and they told us it had indeed been delivered to our old address well over a month ago.  So I went to my mom's old house and they were nice and gave me the mail.  I was so excited to get the card!!  Now we don't have to worry about someone asking Eduardo "for his papers".  Lol.

Now he is busy studying for his driver's test.  It seriously feels like this process never ends!  But atleast it's all the exciting stuff now :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Our New Life

Yet another WAY overdue blog post!  So much has happened since Eduardo's return.  It's been 1 month, 4 weeks since we were reunited in the United States as a family again :)

My biggest news is that we have been living in our very own apartment for the past 3 weeks now!!  It's been the greatest feeling ever.  This is the first time in almost 3 years since we have lived on our own, without either his family or mine and it's heavenly :)  I can hardly begin to even tell you how much freedom I feel we have now.

Eduardo works long hours, but that provides us a good paycheck and we are getting people and things paid off quickly.  We have our day-to-day stresses and issues that I will soon start writing about again, but overall things are wonderful.

Hubby received his Social Security Card 8 days after arriving and that has really helped.  We are yet to receive his Resident Card, but I'm working on finding out why it has not arrived.

We even got Eduardo's old car back.  His brother had taken over the payments thankfully when we left and he recently asked if we wanted it back so he could get a larger car for his family.  It makes me so happy just to think about hubby in his car.  He loves that car!!

Well those are my little updates for now and I hope to be around more :)  I'm having fun catching up on everyone else's blogs too!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Starting Over

I know what you must be thinking...Eduardo came back and I fell off the face of the earth ;)  I technically didn't, but life is definitely not as it was!  

He got back 11 days ago and it's all been a big dream.  The first week was heavenly.  Liliana was so happy and she and I both smiled and laughed more than we had in ages.  My face hurt from all the smiles :)  Hubby was so sweet and complimenting me so much.  It really was just amazing.  

He started back to work on the Tuesday right after getting back on Saturday, but we felt blessed he had this opportunity.  Since then we have been getting up at 4am and taking him to work, but we've never complained.  I actually quite enjoy those minutes we have together to and from his work getting to chat about our days.  It's a nice feeling.  

This week has felt more like reality is settling in for Eduardo especially.  I can't even imagine the culture shock he must be experiencing after being gone for almost 2 years.  It was also very hard for him to leave his other two kids down there and it's been a rollercoaster of emotions on all parts.  And now he's worried about money and needing a house and a car and everything else that comes with completely starting over.  

I guess I'm not quite as worried about it.  I've known how things would be when he got here.  I knew the three of us sharing one small room would quickly get cramped and that the exhaustion of the long hard days he works would start to wear on him.  But I still feel positive and I know everything is going to work out.  As long as we are together, we can make things happen together!

Again PATIENCE seems to be the everlasting key word in our life.  We are recognizing all the blessings that we have and how incredible it is for us to all be together again.  Everything else will come with time.  

For example, we already received Eduardo's Social Security Card this week!  It only took 8 days to receive it which is amazing.  Now we are just waiting on his Resident Card and he can then get his driver's license.  So I believe this is all happening at an amazing pace and it will continue to.  

I'm just so happy to say this chapter of our life is coming to an end and I'm anxious to see what the next chapter brings :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

He's Coming Home!

I finally booked the flight today!  Eduardo will be here this Saturday!!  I am so excited.  We've had a delay in making the reservations because he had some business to finish up in El Salvador, but everything is working out and he will be here soon.

I'm still in shock.  It all seems so surreal still.  But I'm grateful beyond belief!  For some reason it still makes me sad to think of all the others out there that are still separated by immigration and suffering because of it.  (I'm a pretty sensitive person).  But even after my husband comes back, I will continue to speak out for justice for all those following behind us :)

Eduardo will leave San Salvador at 7:30am.  He will probably have to leave his house by 4:30am!  Then he gets into Houston and has a five hour layover.  I was told to leave plenty of time in between flights because he will get pulled aside and questioned/interviewed at the first Point of Entry.  He then heads out and gets into Indy around 7:30pm.  It will be a long day for him.  Now he will know what I have gone through on every one of my trips down there AND I do it will a child!  HA!!

I am a little nervous for him though because he hasn't every flown internationally and I think has only ever flown once with me.  The Houston Airport is very daunting as well, but since he will have 5 hours, he should be fine.  I just wish there was a way he could call me without paying at a phone booth!  I will just have to have faith everything will go well.  

I will let you guys know how the reunion goes :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Visa in Hands

The post we have all been waiting for...Eduardo has his visa in hands!!!

Yesterday the embassy called him around noon telling him to go there immediately.  He was with his family out and about and dropped them off and rushed to the city.  He got there and they wouldn't let him in because he didn't have the proper identification.  Finally after some calls, they let him in.

He immediately saw the Consular Officer that interviewed him the other day.  She was on her way out to a meeting and he stopped her.  She said she had been calling him over and over.  (I knew he should've stayed at the house).  She said "well here you go" and handed him his passport with the visa stamped in it and said "you can leave the country in 5 minutes if you want!"  Yay!!!!

He called me in the afternoon and tricked me into thinking he had bad news for me.  Little bugger!  He told me the story and I started bawling my eyes out :)  Such a relief!!  And I'm so excited that officer called him and gave him the passport in person.  That's seriously a miracle because they ALWAYS send it in the mail.  We've even paid for it to be sent by courier twice!

Now we are waiting to wrap up a couple things down there and I will book a flight for him in the next couple days.  Hopefully he will be back by the beginning of next week!!!  

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Eduardo had his appointment yesterday at the embassy in San Salvador.  He came out of this appointment feeling quite victorious!  

It turns out that the reason for the appointment was because the Head Consular Officer is heading an investigation involving the doctors that have really screwed us around on our case.  There have been a lot of irregularities in the system and things we have known have not been quite right.

Eduardo got the chance to tell his whole story from the beginning of everything that has happened to him and the Consular Officer genuinely cared and took deep consideration in everything he shared.  

It turns out that the psychiatrist should never have sent Eduardo to that gastroentologist a few months back.  Not only is he not an embassy-approved physician, but she was appalled that we had to pay for extra testing!  It seems like it's been about money this whole time as we suspected it was.  To make it worse, the findings of the gastroentologist were never even included in the medical packet that was sent to the embassy!  Thank God Eduardo saved copies of EVERYTHING for the past few months.  He had every receipt and letter of each person he has seen and he had them with him at the interview :)  

We are so relieved that this is what the appointment was about and not the "ban" we were so scared he might receive!  I can't even tell you how relieving that is.  That was the scariest feeling to think we could be waiting another year.

The appointment ended with the very nice Consular Officer telling Eduardo that if he doesn't get a call from the embassy within the next two weeks, then he will be receiving his passport with visa stamped in it in mail in that time.  If he does hear from them, then he would probably need to go in for another interview because of whatever they find when they review all the papers again.  

But, the woman said she was 98% sure that he would just be receiving his passport in the next couple weeks. She told him to go home and relax :)  

I'm so glad the embassy is taking some responsibility here and stepping up to admit there are flaws in their systems and with these so-called embassy-appointed physicians.  She was deeply disturbed by the things that have happened to us and by the actions and attitudes of these doctors.  I still plan on filing official complaints against each of the doctors myself once Eduardo is back safe and sound, but for now we can rest assured knowing that justice is indeed being served!  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tomorrow is the Day

Tomorrow is the big day!  We will find out if Eduardo is getting his visa.  I don't even want to think about what the other option is at all.  I am only thinking positively at this point.  I don't want to accidently send any negative energy ;)  I'm am sending only positive energy towards the Embassy in San Salvador and praying they have good news for our family.  

His appointment is at 8am, which is 9am my time.  He is taking the bus, which means he can't take his cell phone because he's not allowed in the Embassy with it.  He said he will find a way to call me because I mistakingly made a big deal about having to wait 2 hours for him to get home by bus.  

I am praying with every fiber of my being and hoping that our prayers will be answered this time!  And I am thankful for all the love and support I have been receiving today.  It calms my nerves to know that there are so many people out there on our side and praying right along side us.  

I will update you tomorrow (Wednesday) with the results...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Spanglish Word of The Day


Let me break it down for you:

English translation:  Socks
Spanish translation:  Calcetines (Kal-say-teen-ays)

Spanglish version:  Socketines

I nearly laughed out loud when I heard this come out of Liliana's mouth today, but I didn't want to actually laugh at her so I just chuckled inside.  She was showing my sister a book and saying what all the pictures were.  She came to a pair of socks and out came the word "socketines".  My sister (whom also speaks Spanish) and I looked at each other in amazement and asked her to repeat what she had just said.  

Liliana has been known to come out with some classic Spanglish words in the past, but this one tops the cake :)  

**Also as a side note:  My sister has been living with us temporarily for the past few weeks.  She has moved back to Indianapolis after living in Ecuador for the past 4 years.  She is fluent in Spanish and I think Liliana hearing her speak Spanish regularly on the phone is encouraging her to use her Spanish knowledge more.  I'm surprised at how much she remembers and knows even after she hasn't been using it for so long now.  Those little baby brains are incredible!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Pumpkin Patch

So I was going through the pictures on my mom's camera yesterday and came across these adorable pics from a trip my mom and Liliana had taken to a pumpkin patch last October.  I can't remember why I didn't go, but my guess is that I needed some time alone.  Looking over these pictures makes me sad I missed that day, especially the one of Liliana's first pony ride.  But she looks like she had a blast so that's all that counts.  And I'm sure it was a special day for my mom with her as well.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Embassy Appt Set

I am way too exhausted from the last couple of days to go into great detail here about all the things that have transpired with our immigration case, but I will give a brief synopsis :)  

Hubby received a call from the doctor's office on Tuesday saying they were ready for him to go and sign the medical papers.  Yay!!  That's what we have been waiting to happen for the last 2 months.  I have a feeling it has to do with the embassy calling the doctor's office and inquiring on our case so I'm glad we took action a couple of weeks ago and did everything possible to spark interest in our case with the embassy.

Yesterday hubby went in the morning to his appt.  He was there early and was made to wait the ENTIRE day and was the last person to be seen.  Then it wasn't just a paper signing, but he was subjected to a full medical examination once again.  This actually outraged me quite a bit because it was completely unecessary and inappropriate.  He wasn't even charged for the medical, which is good, but sketchy.  In the end, the doctor said he was forward the papers on to the embassy in the morning (today).  

Today hubby received a phone call from the embassy.  They told him they had received his medical records and are "reviewing his case."  The scheduled an appointment for him to go next Wednesday the 11th at 8am for "another interview."  

I have spent a long time this evening freaking out beyond belief because I didn't understand what this meant.  He was supposed to just receive his passport in the mail after the embassy received the medical.  That's what they originally told him.  

So I frantically got online and was simultaneously on my FB immigration forums, Immigrate2us forum and emailing my attorney desperate for answers.  I got a wide variety, but most felt this might not be good news.  I panicked.  My attorney must have felt my desperation and pleaded with me to stop searching the internet for answers because it would drive me insane!  Haha.  

Finally after hours of searching, I have given up.  I can speculate all I want.  I can beg for answers over and over, but I won't get them.  We won't know until next Wednesday what the future holds for us.  Again I am back to patience and trust and the endless waiting game.  

On another note, I picked up my car this morning from the mechanic.  It was just a belt...or so they thought!  I ended up overheating again.  This time luckily I was by myself (which is rare in and of itself) and this time, I broke down right in front of the auto shop.  They immediately pulled it in and had a look.  It's the radiator and it's going to cost $500 to fix!  Lovely.  Just lovely.  Nobody could pick me up so I waited for a couple hours until a dear friend came and got me.  She drove me home until I realized I forgot the groceries in the car and had to go back.  Seriously, what is with these last couple days?!  I wish I could go to bed now and not wake up until next Wednesday...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Car Fiasco

This was seriously one of the strangest days ever!  First Liliana did not sleep well and we were up super early, which made her really grumpy all morning and put me on edge.  I finally got our act together and we headed out to the Children's Museum as I had promised her.  Of course within 5 minutes of driving, she fell asleep.  But it was okay because I had to make a stop at my mom's office.  Since she was sleeping, I ran in (I could see the car from the window) to do what I needed to.  

I came back out a few minutes later and got back in the car to leave.  My mom came out to tell me something and as soon as she left, I noticed the van was smoking hardcore!  Not good.  I immediately woke Liliana up and got her out.  That's when I saw green fluid just pouring out all over the parking lot.  Oh boy.  Long story short, we called AAA and had the car towed to our family mechanic we always go to.  

There wasn't much I could do so my mom said to take her car and we could still go to the museum.  We headed out and I decided I really needed a coffee.  I got a Starbucks giftcard for Christmas so we pulled in.  I ordered a coffee and cake pop and then went to pay.  I got my cake pop and drove off.  A little way down the road, I realized I forgot my coffee!!  I went back of course and got it.  

So then we were ready.  To the museum...or not.  I look down and my mom's car is on complete empty.  I wasn't very happy I had to pull over and get gas at this point.  But I did so we could move on.

We again are headed down the road and I get a phone call and it really upset me.  Unfortunately it's the one area of my life I can't really blog about, but it was very upsetting to me.  I think all the emotions that have been building in me for weeks just exploded.  I found myself sobbing and angry as I was driving down the road.  I had to break the news to Liliana that we couldn't go to the museum (cause I was an emotional wreck) and of course she started crying too.

We got home and I got Liliana and myself calmed down by finding some fun activities for us to do together.  My sister was home (have I told you my sister is now living with us?), but luckily she left right away and we got the house to ourselves.  I had a few more good cries and am feeling better now.  

The good news is that there is nothing wrong with the car!  It's so strange.  Our mechanic said that a belt came off that should never have even come off in the first place.  It wasn't even broken.  It just needed to be put back on.  But that's what caused the car to overheat.  He even found it strange.  We can pick the car up in the morning!

I guess I do have angels watching out for me because #1 The car broke down right outside my mom's office and NOT the side of the road and #2 The problem was a simple fix so the cost will be minimal!  I'm still bewildered by the whole incident and the whole day.  I'm glad it's almost over.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Liliana's Love of Churches

Panchimalco, El Salvador

During the time we lived in El Salvador, Liliana grew a fondness for churches.  She started going to church regularly for regular services or just prayer groups with her abuela.  Whatever it was, she was absolutely fascinated and it was a way for her and Eduardo's mom to bond.  

Liliana was baptised in a Catholic church in El Salvador in 2010.  I like to think of myself as more of a spiritual person than a religious person and am definitely not Catholic,  But I respect my husband's family and their religious practices.  Especially in El Salvador when having faith is sometimes all a person has.  

But I don't see her love of church about religion at all.  I do however think that there is something about standing in a church that must bring her some sense of peace because she can't seem to get enough of it! 

We don't attend church here in the States, but Liliana always talks about her times at church with her abuela and sister and brother.  She definitely has fond memories of going with them.  

When we visited Guatemala this past October with Eduardo, we were both laughing at how much Liliana just wanted to go to church.  Every single day, all day long, she was ask if we were going to church now.  We went a few times and would sit for a while and walk around and leave.  She never wanted to leave!  She always just wanted to stay observing everyone and looking at everything.  It was so funny.  Have you ever heard of a toddler crying because they didn't want to leave church?!  LOL

I do have to say I can't really blame her though.  The churches of Central America that I have seen are very beautiful inside and out.  The thing is about El Salvador is that you can walk into almost any church any time and find people praying.  And I guess it does even bring me a sense of peace :)

I've had to opportunity to take a lot of pictures on our travels and have posted them here to share in the beauty of the churches of El Salvador and Guatemala :)

A church in Antigua, Guatemala

Another church in Antigua

El Salvador

Concepcion de Ataco, El Salvador

Sonsonate, El Salvador

San Salvador

Santa Ana, El Salvador  (I think)

Izalco, El Salvador

Izalco, El Salvador

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Baby Girl's 2011 Photo Recap

My first post of 2012 is pretty special.  This has to be my favorite post thusfar :)  All pics of my beautiful baby girl over the course of 2011 in chronological order.  We go from El Salvador to Indiana, then back to El Salvador and again back to Indiana.  Then we head to Guatemala and finally back to Indiana to stay.  It's a long post, but all pictures and really fun!  (this includes everything except Christmas because I haven't transferred those pics yet).  I had so much fun putting this together because I got to see her transformation over the past 12 months and how much we have done.  Liliana really is My Cultured Baby!