Re-entry is Hard


I know. I know.

You thought I had abandoned this blog for the ease and instant gratification of Facebook Live Videos.

As tempting as that is, I just can’t be that unedited and unscripted on a regular basis. If I produced live videos on the same schedule as I write, no one would be seeing anything live because I write deep into the dark night or on Saturday mornings. The rest of you would be busy sleeping or living your life.

Also? I think I’m funnier on screen vs in person. Apologies to all my real life friends.

Anyhow, we have been back in the Americas for twelve days. TWELVE DAYS. And other than one Costco trip (I still need to go for this week) and some unpacking (but not ALL) and finally getting over jet lag, I have done a fat load of NOTHING.

OKOKOKOK. Not entirely true. I took the kids to parks and playdates. (My kids climbed a 30-40′ tree to the very top and I tried not to die of fear and trembling on the spot.) I actually cooked. (I MISS YOU, TAIWAN!!) And did a bjillion loads of laundry and all the random crap of life.

Still have yet to make it back to kungfu though.

And I have tried to ease the kids back into homeschooling with daily reading. We officially start Monday 8/14. It is hard, people. HARD.

The summer brain drain is real. My impatience is real.

YOU GUYS, I NO LONGER HAVE OTHER PEOPLE COOKING FOR ME 24/7!!

That is the REAL kicker. That is the part of Taiwan that I always miss the most. It makes me so sad. So so so so sad.

But I am so glad we are back at our house – despite it’s cluttered mess (exacerbated by my lack of finished unpacking). I am so glad for the space we have (triple that of our apartment in Taiwan). I’m so grateful my older kids can run around and be loud and jerks but the baby will be fine upstairs asleep.

SO HAPPY TO BE IN THE LAND OF REASONABLE WEATHER AND PARKS.

But I have been slumming it.

Hapa Papa started a new job but I haven’t yet enrolled us for benefits. Because of stupidity. I WILL SOON THOUGH. (Please don’t judge me!!)

I have been binge re-reading a favorite Regency romance spy series. (I bought her new book so OF COURSE I had to re-read all the previous books in the series. OF COURSE.)

I have been catching up with all the dance shows we missed. And now, Project Runway has started up again – which is AWESOME!!

Now that I’m in the land of expensive bubble tea, I want it all the time. (It’s a mystery to me why I never want bubble tea when I’m in Taiwan – but whatever.)

I know I should write for the blog but after over a month off, (because let’s face it, I wasn’t really writing much in June), I barely can string together coherent sentences – let alone INTERESTING sentences.

OMG SO MUCH BLATHERING TODAY.

I will consider this post (and most likely, the next few weeks’ worth of posts) to be the blah you have to get out of your system before you can actually write anything worth reading.

LUCKY YOU FOR READING FIRST PRINT BLAHS.

Ohohohoh. And because I spent all this money lasering my face, (that’s a post for another day, folks – but I LASERED MY FACE), I finally started up my skincare routine again. Like after at least a year and a half of NOT DOING A DAMN THING.

And now, even after just 4-5 days of semi-consistent face care (like washing it and moisturizing and SPFing it), my face is SOFT.

My poor, moisture and care starving face.

Also also, I know that this post is just a random amalgam of thoughts loosely correlating to how mediocre of a human I am with returning to the land of the English language and all, but I AM SO GLAD TO BE SURROUNDED BY ENGLISH.

ESPECIALLY ENGLISH WORDS.

I am no longer an idiot. (Well, I suppose YMMV on that opinion.)

Anyhow. Thank you for reading the random firings of my gasping brain. It is always hard to go back to reality after any trip – but especially hard when you go from a place that took care of a lot of the worst parts of parenting (providing FOOD) to a place that you are now back to adulting.

I am terrible at adulting. But I love to write and the only way to be a writer is to write. And the only way to make it through life semi-successfully is to adult because there is no one else to do it for you.

Did I mention that I had the flu the last few days in Taiwan so it was miserable and our whole family has been rotating who is sick and that it was a really rough week or two (that included the LOOOOOONG flight home)?

Ok. I am getting sick of myself and my nonsense.

But this is my official shingle saying that I’m back! I’M BACK AND I’M NOT SORRY!!

Catch Me Live

So, we’ve been in Taiwan ten days and I have not written a word about our trip. However, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing stuff for my public!

Thanks both to a challenge in a blogging group I’m part of, as well as great ideas and encouragement from my friend, Brittany Minor of Clumps of MascaraI have been trying out Facebook Live Videos.

(Seriously, Brittany is really amazing with her own videos – and she suggested all sorts of great topics to discuss, checkout, and asked so many great questions that I feel kinda guilty that she so generously helped me without asking for anything in return. All she got were some FB Live videos of questionable value.)

Now that I have done a few of them, I don’t know why I was so hesitant about doing them before. I think part of it was that it never occurred to me that people would want to see videos of me wandering about Taiwan. I mean, a city is a city, right? Just how interesting is a tour of 7-11?

Well, just because I personally am not interested in this stuff, I suppose doesn’t mean that other people wouldn’t be! And I also realized that I have been taking my trips to Taiwan for granted.

Most people do not get the chance to travel to Taiwan, let alone often enough for it to become familiar and not entirely intimidating. And even if they came, perhaps their language skills are nonexistent, not good enough or if they are, they still don’t necessarily know how things work.

Plus, all this knowledge that I now take for granted (eg: going on an MRT, shopping for stuff in a store, what to bring, how to shuttle kids around) – that is interesting and helpful to people! And folks, I am what we call a helpful person.

Also, I am somewhat of a narcissist.

So, because I’m a giver, I am collecting a bunch of my FB Live videos into this post, but if you are not following my personal FB page (sorry, I only friend folks I know In Real Life), you can still follow along at my Mandarin Mama Facebook Page.

Also also, because I’m never one to let a good suggestion go, please let me know if there is stuff you want to see or ask or watch a FB Live about. If I can swing it, I’ll do it. 😀

Anyhow, without further ado, here are most of my FB Lives up until today. (Holy cow, I did a lot!)

1) Traveling in Taiwan with Kids Q&A

2) Tours of Playspaces

Leo’s Playground

Fantasy Island Playspace Tour

3) Tours Around Town

Taking the MRT

Costco

Taiwanese Bus

7-11

Taking out the garbage

Wellcome Mart Tour

My Kids’ Favorite Escalator

Watsons Tour

PierMei Hair Accessory Store

Guang Hua2 Technology Mart

4) Restaurants

Modern Toilet

Costco Food Court Part 1

Costco Food Court Part 2

Yong3 He2 Dou4 Jiang Da4 Wang2 Taiwanese Breakfast

Taiwanese Department Store Food Court

Local Taiwanese Breakfast Place

Commence Panic Mode


I am not excited. 

We are T-9 days from our Taiwan Trip 2017 and I am not excited. 

I mean, I am excited for all the yummy foods and hanging out with my mommy friends in Taiwan, but… I am not excited about packing or traveling at very fast speeds in a metal tube with my four children for 12-13 hours. 

At this point last year, I think I already started packing. I have not even bothered. Or tried. Or felt bad about it. 

I don’t know if this means I have evolved or I am super procrastinating. Maybe both. 

Does it count if I made my packing list about two months ago? And have been Amazon Priming like a BOSS?

But truthfully, I bought most of the stuff last year and I don’t really need anything else other than more bug spray/sunscreen combos. 

And diapers. Lots of diapers. 

But otherwise, my kids are going to the same camps (actually, one less camp so it’s even easier), we are staying at the same Airbnb, and my mother is coming with me for a few days and my cousin is flying back with me so really, what is there to worry about?

Then why is there a nervous ball of dread in the pit of my stomach? Why am I purposely avoiding thinking about this trip for fear of totally freaking out?

I have taken my kids to Taiwan before. By myself (and with friends and family). I have sent my kids to school there before. I have used buses and taxis and MRTs before. I have even ergoed a baby there before. 

I can do this. 

It will be fun. (Mostly.)

I will eat lots of delicious food. (Especially almond tofu shaved ice.)

I will see my friends. 

I will see my family. 

I will have a constant sweaty front because of Big Fat Baby Sasquatch permanently being worn. 

I will not be pregnant. (Thank goodness for small mercies.)

I will be fine. 

My kids will be even bigger and they remember stuff from last year so they are prepared. 

We will be fine. 

I have to keep repeating this to myself like a spell. 

I will be fine. I will be fine. 

And if I am really delusional, maybe I will be so fine I will consider bringing a toddler to Taiwan next summer. 

I guess I should see how things shake out this summer before I do anything that stupid.