What’s in a name?

It’s all at stake when choosing a name for your soon-to-be child. The stakes are doubled when bringing two cultures into the mix. In our case, quadrupled because we’re tasked with finding names for both genders. No one to blame but my stubborn self for not wanting to know…there’s not enough surprises left in life, at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Continue reading

Fear and Loathing in N.D.

No, this won’t be a review of Hunter S. Thompson’s title I’ve alluded to.

Something I feared most happened: I slipped leaving work last night. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if I weren’t pregnant. Thankfully, I fell to the left, on my left palm, scraping under my left knee. It was scary and in my heightened emotional state, I bawled my eyes out.

Rising temperatures during the day is causing the snow to melt and then refreeze as the sun sets. I don’t even know if they salt the walk or use ice melt of any kind. Roads, walkways aren’t in the greatest shape as cleanup isn’t happening, or at least good cleanup. I know this and so I’m extra cautious. I won’t be using the side door to leave work. Now I both fear going out and loathe it.

Fear I’ll slip again. Loathe going out to run errands, spend eight hours or more at work in silence and interact with people, forcing small talk and pleasantries. Yes, it’s part of growing up and “adulting” to put on a happy face and power through it.

I’m trying. Trying to find ways to cope with where we’re at: joining WeChat forums, blogging, Bulletjournaling, cooking, reading, and reconnecting with friends and family.

These are all things I’m doing that are so far from Bismarck so I know I need to find at least something within my immediate vicinity to keep me occupied. Pregnancy or another mom-type support group? Can I attend such a group if baby Z isn’t here yet? Maybe use the calendar of events in the paper to find something I may be even minutely interested in attending?

So many of the “events” around town revolve around coffee, alcohol, food, or hobbies that may put baby Z in harm’s way. I can only do so much reading, especially when it comes to pregnancy, childbirth and life post-baby. I’m easily overwhelmed by just how much information, contradictory no less, is out there.

I know it’s going to get better. Baby Z will be here soon. ZJ and I will get the immense pleasure of parenthood. It will still be scary and maybe overwhelming but the good will quash the bad.

Fear and loathing will soon give way to much better emotions: joy, happiness, awe (peppered with pain, aches because let’s face it childbirth isn’t merely rainbows and butterflies!)

米国和西安的工作 Working: US, Xi’an

When I first thought up this idea, I imagined panning it out into a very detailed comparison of working in the US and Xi’an, scrutinizing them in the same fashion I was asked to whenever sitting in the back seat of a taxi, usually on my way to tutoring in the high tech district, 高新区。


“Měiguó de shēnghuó gēn zhōngguó de shēnghuó bù yīyàng de, nǎge bǐjiào hǎo ma?”

“Life in America is not the same as in China, which is better?”

Continue reading