Category Archives: Shanghai

Baby and Vacation


Gah! I did the “worried pregnant lady” thing today and called the doctor to ask questions about some minor weird little things from the past few days (do you really want to know? Are you all women out there? I’ll tell those of you that would want to know on the phone, how’s that?). She surprised and scared me by telling me I should have come in immediately! It’s my third trimester! I have to be careful! Come to the office! Gah!

First off, of course, nothing is wrong.

So after a short cry (she scared me) while I was changing out of my houseclothes (boxers and a ripped up old t-shirt of Jesse’s) I got in a cab to the doctor’s office to see a giggling, 50-something, French ObGyn. They went through all the motions; weight check, blood pressure, pee in a cup, etc., and then took a look at my cervix, which was, as always, pronounced very healthy. It’s actually quite reassuring to have always been told how healthy my lady-parts are. They always get praise.

And then I got another ultrasound. Score! I have another set of pictures of a chubby baby face. I asked the technician how the size of the baby was and it’s measuring just right – 60th percentile or somewhere around there and somehow from measuring around it’s head and body and legs or something like that, she came up with a weight of 1.23kg which is somewhere over 2 lbs.

All together, it was a good time! All is well in my uterus. I jumped the gun on my scheduled monthly appointment, which was next week, so they canceled that and have decided to check my cervix (great) just once more a day before I fly.

Geez, I’m sorry. I think I’m rather single-mindedly tuned in to all-baby-all-the-time talk these days. There must be more I can share with you. Ah, yes! I taught my last class at Jesse’s school yesterday, finishing up a course I created for beginning students where we read, discussed, and played around with some short (simple) stories. It was fun and I’m going to miss those students. Jesse’s really darn excited about coming home, too, but feels he’s going to miss teaching quite a bit. You know what? He’s a very good teacher.

Oh, also, we went on a little mini-vacation this last week. We took a 4 hour bus ride to the base of the nearest mountains to Shanghai (hills, really, but craggy ones) and then a taxi up the mountain to a small town. The “taxi” was actually a mini-mini-van (smaller than my honda) and the road barely fit two of them to pass. We careened up the mountain around hairpin turns so tight they had mirrors to see who might be coming and a 20 km/h speed limit. Our driver went around 40km/h despite his engine starting to steam (or smoke?) alarmingly about halfway up.

Once there we settled into our very nice and clean hotel and found a sandwich to eat at a “lodge” ran by a foreigner. It was not so hot as Shanghai, but really steamy and thunderstormy. We went for a walk around some trails and through bamboo forest, but after my 7th mosquito bite, found a place to have a real lunch. After our lunch of bamboo and tofu, we returned to the hotel and reclined in the steaminess and read our books. For hours. It was awesome.

We had a late dinner of some more bamboo (don’t get me wrong, all this bamboo was delicious) and egg and something else. Back in our hotel we rinsed off in the shower and drifted off early, like barely after 9pm.

Jesse (purposely) woke up at sunrise (this means 4:30am in China) and took a walk through the forest, getting some really fantastic pictures. He came back around 7:30, just as I was waking up. I went in the bathroom to pee, at which point the power went out and I accused Jesse of turning the light out on me. The power never came back on, but it made no difference, except we missed having the fan. Also? The proprietors never mentioned it even when we were checking out, despite the lights flickering on and off while we were chatting with them.

We had an awesome traditional English breakfast at the “lodge” and read our books again for a few hours before a taxi came to careen us back down the hill. We had been up in the mountains for exactly 24 hours. After another bumpy, swervy, horn-honking, 4 hour bus ride, we were back in Shanghai and grabbing some McDonald’s to go for dinner.

And that was our vacation! Actually quite relaxing and beautiful.


Almost July!


Jeez, it’s been ages. I don’t blame anybody if they don’t come to see me around here anymore. If you feel like it, leave me a comment telling me how long it took you to break down and come by to see if I got off my lazy tuckus to come and say hello.

Life is pretty swell, I must say. Nick and Abby came and went and we had a really good time. I mean it, you guys, we so, so enjoyed your company. They endured 3 or so hot and wet days and the rest were just wet and wet. Which they will concur is much nicer. Nick willingly (and Abby, too!) partook of all the weirdest foods Jesse could think of offering them to eat. Good job, guys.

I’m still pregnant. I’m not quite used to the bump sticking out my front yet and tend to accidentally bump into doorjams, tables and whatnot when maneuvering around rooms. I also am quite startled when I catch my reflection in mirrors and windows, but I suppose my appearance will only get more startling. Really, I have quite a modest bump so far when compared to pictures of other ladies around the same time. It was impressively massive yesterday (Jesse’s eyes bugged out last night when I took off my shirt to put on pajamas), but that was because I made bean dip for dinner the night before, ate more at lunch and was hugely bloated with saltiness and gas. Oof.

I’ve scheduled my flight home. Yay! Hooray! I mean, I don’t want to make China feel bad, but, hooray! Home! Burritos, family, dogs, friends! I’m so excited. I’ll be flying into Seattle July 29th and then going down to Portland the next weekend and then going to Redding, maybe Berkeley, back to Portland, probably to Bend, etc…. Yay! Don’t you worry, I’ll be trying to schedule time to see you. All of you!

And that’s all for today. Got any great baby name ideas?



There’s a spectacular thunderstorm going on outside. I’ve unplugged my computer, so am writing in Word. About half an hour ago, I saw the lightening (it’s daytime) and then before I could process how bright it had been, the loudest ever crack of thunder sounded over my head. This was no “1 second pause”, it was very nearly simultaneous…

…and now the power is out. There was just again another crash of thunder that made me jump, sent adrenaline through me (waking up the baby – hi, baby!) and turning out the light and off the fan. Oh, yes, did I mention it’s still pretty darn hot?

You know what? I’m actually a bit scared. I’m calling Jesse. That’s better – we talked for a bit. I feel better even though it’s still crazy-stormy.

What else have I got going on? Not a lot. Still gestating. Still looking forward to going home. I’m also looking forward to having a baby, but feel like I have to make the disclaimer that I’m also really enjoying being pregnant. It’s just that we still have so long to wait until October and I know in another month, I’ll just start getting more and more uncomfortable. I read today that this baby is somewhere around a foot long. A FOOT LONG!



Today I am teaching a CLASS! Ack! I have picked up a class at Jesse’s school and will be teaching about Culture (but mostly about speaking English) 3 afternoons a week and, though I am prepared, I am nervous. And having a hard time finding anything professional to wear. My one collared shirt and one pair of non-denim, non-cargo pants will only last me one day of class and then what do I wear? Also, these items don’t fit so very, very well, so I will be uncomfortable. Gah! Also, it’s exciting!



I’ve spent my workday in the posh euro cafe next to Jesse’s work and what a nice day it’s been. There’s a vase full of bright orange/red gerber daisies smiling at me, and I’ve been told by 2 people (though one of them was my husband) that I am beautiful (and the other was a random dude riding on the tail of a friend’s moped, I was both indignant and flattered). I am also wearing the lovely jade necklace Jesse got me for my birthday and I’m in a skirt, yay, spring!

I’ve finished working and next I will go next door to the school and say hi here and there. Jesse’s coworker (and boss, actually) invited me to attend Easter Sunday Church with her (she’s a regular) and I’ve said yes, but think a bit of Easter brunch or dinner might be nice, too. She has a bigger place, so I’m working up the nerve (haven’t I always been kind of nervy? Where did my nerve go?) to do the unthinkable and invite ourselves over to another’s house, though I will give her many escape hatches.

What else? I’m getting sooooo very excited about the upcoming months of visitors. Welcome to China! Here’s your bout of diarrhea! Speaking of, Jesse I have felt under the weather (or over the toilet) the past couple of days again. Ugh.

On that disgusting note, I’ll leave you to your day. Much love to all!



Hi! I know I haven’t written in a while, but I’m fine. I’m good! I’ve actually been really busy doing a lot of…well…not much! And it’s nice to do not much. We had a lazy weekend. We went to the Urban Planning Museum, which Momm and Dad saw when they were here and Dad felt it was rather more like an “Urban Propaganda Museum”. We agree, with the added comment that it gave us much cause for yawning. Not that it was all that boring (it was definitely not that exciting, mind you), but it had that “museum air” that I remember from working at OMSI. Something to do with recycled air, maybe less oxygen, the same thing happens in a big mall, I think. I definitely do not find shopping boring, but it is yawny.

I have spent a good amount of time on the phone the past few weeks, catching up with some friends, finally. I’m terrible at keeping in contact with people and I’m lucky that my friends aren’t so great at it either, because they don’t fault me for it. I can get on the phone with Emily or Mary or Heidi after not speaking to them for a year plus and it’s no problem. We all hope one day to live close enough that we don’t have to rely on email/phone type communication and can just get together now and again. If anybody wondered, they are all well.

I also have very exciting news in the form of BIG PLANS being made and plane tickets bought for assorted visitors planning to come to Shanghai. So far, the plan is Heidi in April, Erin and Adam in May, and Nick and Abby in June. There may also be a cousin or two in there somewhere. I feel so lucky!

OK, I’ve got to go out a get a little something to make for dinner. I am still reading and plan on updating my 52 books list soon. I’m a bit afraid to find out how behind I am.

Daddy, This One’s For You


We had an absolutely gorgeous day today! It must have been over 50, clear blue skies (very unusual in Shanghai) with a gentle, springy breeze. Ahhhhh! And I got to spend it all with my sweetie! Jesse is still spoiling me, though it’s post-birthday now, so we spent the day completely relaxing. We walked a bit, sat around a lot, read our books, and sipped hot beverages most of the day. Now he’s studying Chinese next to me while I tippity-tap a bit on my computer. I wish every day were the weekend.

I’m 31 now, which seems just a bit old for someone who still claps her hands in excitement and likes exotically flavored chap sticks. But you know what? It’s OK! I don’t mind at all being a bit older. I’m pretty happy with all I’ve done thus far in life, and I’m sure glad I wasn’t in too much of a hurry to enjoy it. I’m pleased with the five years I invested in a career at OMSI, and I’m also glad I left and have had the opportunity to see so much more. Our year in Japan was amazing and eye-opening and sometimes, I miss it so very much. My students were sweet and so crazy, Hachinohe was beautiful and we made fantastic friends.

Our short but sweet months in Spain we so very awesome. Living and studying in Europe! With your love! It was, far and away, the most romantic months of my life. Once we’d moved home to Portland, Jesse and I both felt a bit at odds with ourselves, what to do now? We got random jobs, took an embarrassingly long time to move out of Erin and Adam’s apartment and, ultimately, both ended up back in school. Jesse got a second Bachelor’s and I had a fantastic time learning Chemistry (Biology, Microbiology, A & P) and working my butt off to learn it well. We had so much fun hanging out with my expanding family and reconnecting with old friends.

And now here we are taking it to the next level, folks, living in crazy Shanghai, loving and learning even more about each other every day. CHEERS! To living my life to it’s fullest! I can’t wait to take it to the next level and see where we go from here.

I was talking to Momm and Daddy today and he told me how very much he enjoys reading my updates. He said I write in my voice and he can hear me laughing when he reads them. That makes me feel so good! This one’s for you, Daddy.