Happy New Year, friends!!

I know. I’ve been a little scarce around these parts lately. The irony of me trying to get more writing work is that now I have more writing work, but less time to write for myself.


It’s silly because the reason I think people want to work with me or read my blog is because I write for myself. I’m going to figure out how to balance all this different type of writing so I thank you all in advance while I likely go through some growing pains.


Anyhow, it’s been awhile since I had one of my mental flotsam posts, so you’re in luck! I have a lot of inchoate thoughts flitting about in my withered brain so here we go! The official throat clearing of 2018 post!

1) I’m freaking out a little bit. I’m not going to lie.

I went after the things I wanted and I got some of them. And now, I have to make good on the promise to write a lot of content for people because that’s what I’m getting paid to do.

It’s like the instant I declared I was going to write and pursue opportunities, the Universe heard me and threw a bunch in my way and now HOLY FUCKING SHIT I am being paid to write but now I have to write and all these insecurities and fears and self-sabotage are trying to sneak into my noggin when I’m looking the other direction —


I don’t really normally go for the woo woo stuff, but in this sense, I do think I am more open to possibilities and because I have been preparing for it, I can now capitalize on them. So, DEEP BREATHS.

I can do this.

2) One person or another has been sick in my house since Thanksgiving. (Most of the time, it has been me.) Several of the kids have gotten sick multiple times, I have been permanently producing snot of the lime green variety since time out of mind, and I am NOT having it.

In fact, turns out Gamera (6) and Sasquatch (1) had pneumonia. How did I figure it out? I spent New Year’s Eve Day and New Year Day in the hospital because Sasquatch was having severe shortness of breath and lower oxygen levels. We first went into the ER (which was crowded with folks with the flu) and they ended up admitting us into the ICU. (It wasn’t that serious. That’s just the only secure wing for kids.)

This was particularly fun because exactly a week before, on Christmas Eve Night, I spent it in the ER with Glow Worm (4) because he had a bad allergic reaction to something and I had to Epipen him.

But now that we’re finally on the upswing thanks to the miracle of antibiotics, health insurance, and amazing health care professionals, I am determined to keep us all healthy.

I am now religiously shoveling doTerra supplements down my craw, my children’s mouths, and diffusing oils in all our rooms. I have half a mind to burn sage in my home to cleanse us from the pneumococcal demons and whatever lingering negativity leftover from 2017.

OMG. I swear I’m not down with the woo. But I’m OPEN to the woo if it keeps me NOT SICK. Incidentally, can we do a sage smudging in the White House? Is that considered advocating for impeachment?

I digress.

Wait. This whole post is a digression.

3) I’m kind of bummed I read half as many books as I used to last year. But then again, I emphasized more writing and I added a child to our household, so I guess that’s an acceptable reason.

I also racked up $17.50 in library fines last week.

But I have to accept that I cannot have everything I want all at the same time. I have the same 24 hours as everyone else. So, knowing that I need minimum of six hours sleep to be functional – but really, I require 8-10 hours because I love my children, that requires me to be ruthless with my free time.

I still have to figure this one out. But I’m sure I will find some sort of new normal.

4) I will just continue fantasizing about a week of doing nothing but reading, eating, watching TV, sleeping, and writing.

5) Sasquatch lost three pounds and is no longer a fatty baby. Stupid pneumonia. Stupid, stupid pneumonia.

6) I have all these germs of post ideas inside me. I just need the space to let them sprout.

7) I am much happier now that I’ve gotten a rid of more toys. Also, now that the Christmas Tree (aka: the fire hazard) is out of my house, I now have that space back. Instead of putting whatever was there back in that corner, I am now parking their ride on toys and slide and that makes me feel better.

I am deluding myself that these things will stay there and no longer clutter my hallways. Let me keep up this delusion.

8) I am constantly astonished at how I equate verbal children with comprehension and intelligence.

I constantly underestimated Glow Worm when he was a baby and toddler and preschooler because he didn’t really start talking until he was 2.5 – and even then, we didn’t really understand what he was saying until he was 3.5.

And now, Sasquatch is the same. He makes noises and points, but I always forget that he is actually very clever and understands how things work. Some examples of his geniosity:

a) At the hospital, he kept pointing in the direction of a chair and I finally figured out that he wanted the purse. I picked up the purse for him and then he pointed to the door. Turns out, he knew that I needed to take my purse before I could leave and he was telling Mommy that we needed to GTFO of the hospital.

I tested him by putting the purse down and he went ballistic. He was so mad.

When Hapa Papa came to visit, Sasquatch pointed at Hapa Papa’s backpack and the door. You know, because his mom was too stupid to exercise his desires.

b) When I put something intentionally out of his reach, Sasquatch will now go and get a stool, pick up the stool, and move it to where I have put something and then climb on the stool to try and reach the item.

c) When I put him down for a nap and he is not. having. it. He will point to the white noise machine for me to turn it off. Then he will point to my glasses for me to put them on. Then he will point to the door. If I put my glasses back on or turn the noise machine on again, he goes straight for all my soft fleshy bits of my face and tries to gouge out my eyes for my disobedience.

Baby boy clearly knows how things work in the house and has broken them down in steps that must be followed. CLEARLY HE UNDERSTANDS SYSTEMS. A child after my own heart.

9) It occurred to me that perhaps Glow Worm and Sasquatch would have spoken earlier had I done half the things I did with Cookie Monster (8) and Gamera. You know, read to them. Talked to them. Played games and pointed things out to them. Actively taught them vocabulary.

Whatever. Who needs their kids to be early talkers? That just means I have to tell them to STFU at a younger age.


10) It’s so sad now when Glow Worm gets in trouble. He will look down, frown, and then his chin will QUIVER.

It’s SO SAD.

I feel like such an asshole. But I’m onto him. I refuse to feel bad.

11) Ok. I do feel bad. Hapa Papa told me a few weeks ago that it has gotten to the point that it’s no longer, “Mommy is mad so she is mad and yelling” but now “That’s just who Mommy is.”

The truth hurts, folks.

I blame the pneumonia and the non-stop being sick since Thanksgiving.

But also, I need to make sure I get back on track of not yelling at the kids. It’s better than I used to be, but by no means great. The Angry Toy Purges have helped IMMENSELY.

12) I didn’t understand Instagram but now that I have signed up and started posting, I really like it. It doesn’t mean I understand it – but I do like it.

Are you following me on there?

I have two feeds:

a) @TheMandarinMama is basically my catch all feed. I post pics about my life, homeschooling, and the daily circus that is my household. Plus, lots of cute baby pics of Sasquatch. In fact, he’s the reason I got included on a list of accounts making Instagram Great Again by my friend, Brandi Riley.

b) @TeachKidsChinese posts tips and pics of what I’m doing to teach my kids Chinese. I promise I’m not too preachy or sanctimonious! But follow me there if you like to know what Chinese books my kids are reading or if they’re procrastinating doing their Chinese homework.

Ok. I think I’m done for now. I have a LOT of things I want to say this year. Thanks for listening.