Our decision to relocate in December was based on a lot of factors. The school year was finished in Pedasi, our lease on our house was up, we had already spent one Christmas in Panama so we wanted to do the next one somewhere else, and the weather in Mexico was beginning to be the best of the year. So we up and moved in December. No problemo, right? Well, you just don’t know what you don’t know but now we know: don’t relocate at Christmastime.
It took 10 days to move into our new casa, and of course we never expected to rent one unfurnished. So as we are trying to buy furniture to sit on and plates to eat off of, we notice that everyone else in the store is buying holiday gifts. So. Many. Shoppers. On one hand it means stores are open late and perhaps we’ve found some good deals (although it’s impossible to know when you pay for everything with Monopoly money) but it means that things get picked over, fast. Even though Cancun has no shortage of stores, that doesn’t mean we know how to find them all. We are having to do a lot of trial and error to find where to get the best selection, or obscure products, or just basic stuff that we think should be easy to find but is not. Who knew measuring cups would be so challenging to locate??? Sidenote: trying to make a recipe in USA measurements when there are no measuring cups and food items are sold in metric is not easy. And then try figuring out the cost of gas when it’s in pesos per liter and you try to translate that into dollars per gallon. Pretty sure we spent a thousand dollars on one tank of gas and didn’t know it. (Kidding.. Daniel would have had a heart attack.)
And for those of you who are Costco fans, you know how it works at Costco: you see something you like, you think about it for awhile, you go back later to get it and POOF! it’s gone. Yeah, that happens here but much faster. Like, the next day it’s gone. And not just one thing but a LOT of things. And that’s if you even remember where you saw the item. When you go to 18 stores in one day it can get confusing to remember where you were. I’m not complaining, though. There weren’t even 18 stores in all of Panama, so we’ve got it good here.
Anyway, not only is it CHRISTMAS but we have KIDS. The girls want a tree, they want to buy and receive gifts, they want to make cookies, they want to do crafts, they want to watch Christmas movies and that darn elf on the shelf is still with us and he still needs to relocate every night despite Zoe being fully aware of “The Truth”. I consider it a successful day when we actually eat on real plates and eat something from the green food group… much less moving magical elves.
But I gave in to peer pressure and promised Zoe we would make sugar cookies – you know the kind that require an electric mixer, measuring cups, mixing bowls, then a rolling pin, cookie cutters, a cookie tray, hot pads and then a cookie cooling rack. Yeah, that kind. Oh, and they have a ton of flour so Mommy won’t be eating them. Bitter… party of 1… your table is now ready.
So add to that we had no electric outlets in the kitchen, we had no hot water due to a water heater problem, the previous night’s dinner dishes had not been done due to said water heater problem AND we are lacking most of the things from that list in the paragraph prior. Good times.
But we persevered (read: Zoe talked me off the ledge) and we got the dough made and chilled it for the day. We sent Daniel to the store for powdered sugar for the frosting but he came back with a TV instead. Evidently they don’t have powdered sugar here but maybe they sell TVs on the sugar aisle? Not sure. That’s OK, canned frosting it is! Good thing Daniel has purchased more canned frosting than days we’ve been in this house. He likes to fill up the baking cabinet with frosting and cake mixes so that at any moment if someone has the urge to bake him a cake, we have all the supplies. He’s a giver, that husband of mine.
But we were lacking one other thing in our plan to make Christmas cookies: TIME. Between the worker guys here for 4 hours putting in new outlets (yes!) and setting up our filtered water and ice making system (so much yes!) and then unsuccessfully fixing the hot water heater (argh!), we did not have time for cookie making. Daniel helped us forget our Christmas cookie woes by firing up Star Wars on the new TV so we settled into our plastic made-for-the-back-patio Adirondack chairs and watched some good ole ‘Merican TV. We enjoyed it immensely until the internet went down (probably having something to do with the huge rain storm… some things never change). So we all went to bed with no Star Wars and no Christmas cookies. The end.