If someone wrote a book about the last two and a half months of my life, it would be titled The Adventures of an American Taitai.   (For those of you who don’t know, Taitai is the Chinese word for housewife.)  While I worked full time as a teacher, I used to wonder what housewives did all day.  I envied the ladies who spent their days catching up on their soaps and lunching with friends. “A life of spa appointments and shopping must be great!” I would think in the middle of difficult lessons.   I can say after a couple of months in the taitai trenches, life is much different than I initially imagined!  Here’s how I’ve been spending my time.

After lots of searching, we FINALLY found a home with a fenced in backyard!
After being cooped up in apartments for three and a half years, the puppies are LOVING their freedom.
After two months in a temporary corporate apartment, Chris and I are finally getting settled in a new home.  Getting settled is a little tough this time around.  I have been spending my days unpacking and organizing the nine 200 lb boxes of airfreight and 225 boxes of stored home goods in our new place. 
I was a little apprehensive when our household goods arrived.  I had forgotten how much stuff we stored!
Our air freight was a little banged up, but we were able to salvage 98% of our items.
Unfortunately we lost a few glasses and other breakable items.
Since we know that Kentucky is a very temporary home, unpacking the boxes is kind of like playing a very messy game of chess.   I’m trying to unpack thinking two steps ahead so the next time we move, it won’t be as much of a hassle.  Strategically unpacking has meant donating many unused items and tossing dozens of 50 gallon garbage bags filled with packing paper. 

While I was unpacking and washing my china and daily ware, I felt like my home was being invaded by packing paper. 
While we are making progress, there is so much more to unpack.  There are days where I think we'll never finish unloading boxes.
Fortunately, we have become masters of Ikea furniture assembly so our stuff is starting to get organized.
At one point in time we had 30+ bags of packing paper and cardboard boxes in the garage.  This was the sight after the garbage man removed about half of them.
I have even started a list of items that may not be purchased due to the surplus that we already own.  I had no idea we owned so much glassware, china, Tupperware, kitchen gadgets, office supplies, towels, and bedding. 

No more glassware, please!
Having an Ayi in China spoiled me.  I am now accustomed to living in a very clean house so my cleaning gene has kicked in.  So in addition to unpacking boxes, I spend my days washing tons of laundry and dishes.  I have also developed quite a close relationship with my slow cooker. 

I am learning many new ways to prepare boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker.  This was my attempt at Coq Au Vin. 
Long story short, housewifery has been nice, but I think I’m ready to get back in the classroom soon.   Fortunately, I have started volunteering at a local elementary school so I am working with kids a couple days a week.  (To protect the kids I work with, I can’t go too much into my volunteering details.)

In spite of my household duties, I have taken some time to reconnect with family and friends.

In late October I took a trip to St. Louis to celebrate Mom's birthday!
We had a lovely time lunching and catching a matinee of Matilda at the Fox Theater in St. Louis.
After my trip to St. Louis, I headed up to Philly to celebrate Amelia's (my niece) birthday.
The kids had a great time playing at her Little Mermaid themed birthday party!
Hank (my nephew) had a great time pretending to be a merman!
Over Halloween weekend we road tripped to Chris' hometown, Griffith Indiana, to carve pumpkins and trick or treat with family.

We had a great time dressed up as Thing One and Thing Two!
In Mid November, my Uncle Tony paid a visit to Florence.  We had a lovely time dining at The Waffle House after seeing the restaurant being featured on Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown.
After breakfast and reading some of my Grandfather's old letters, we headed off to the Cincinnati Museum Center to catch the Art of the Brick display.  The exhibit was quite impressive.
Unfortunately our creations weren't as impressive as the artist's.

In Mid November, I also had the pleasure of babysitting my niece Annabelle in Lafayette, IN while her parents set up their new home.
We had a silly time pretending to sleep while in the carpool line.
The following week, we celebrated Thanksgiving with Chris' family.

Now that we’re almost settled, I will have a more time to explore, snap, and write.  Stay tuned for some holiday adventures!

I am very ready for a good old American family Christmas!!!

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¡Viva México!