9 Tips for 9 Months

  I was asked to participate in this project called “9 Tips for 9 Months” by The American Recall Center. They’re compiling tips for a healthy pregnancy from bloggers around the world. I figured it would be fun to participate. Enjoy!   These tips are primarily for mothers pregnant for the first time. I’ve found that most mothers on their…   …read more.

Parenting Season 1: Spring

As I watch the spring buds form on the trees in Beijing, I can’t help but think it’s a lot like what has happened to our family in the past three years—a sudden growth of two little ones followed by their constant flourishing, expansion, and blooming. Our daughter has now turned three and we plan to place her in a…   …read more.

Travelling (Visa) Circus: Part 2

When we got back to Beijing, I went to our local police station to register our return as per instructions. The woman there processed both mine and Paz’s (my son’s). This is a little household registration paper that has to be re-printed every time I return to Beijing. Basically, it’s so they can keep track of us! Now that my…   …read more.

Beijing’s School Choice Fair

I started this blog because I got pregnant for the first time and I had no end of questions about the foreign experiences my body was undergoing. Then, dealing with that in a foreign country meant I was multiplying this foreign experience twofold. I thought I could retire this blog after I had my first child, but then I got…   …read more.

Travelling (Visa) Circus

Birthing a baby in Canada and then bringing the baby back to China comes with some paperwork headaches, especially if you’re planning to take the full 30-day postpartum month and you can’t go outside or give the tasks to your non-English speaking husband. In other words, I was caught between agreeing to adhere to his cultural traditions and being the…   …read more.

Moon Month: Release

My moon month is over. I was released from “house arrest” on Thursday and after I’d bundled up in my winter wear once more, I stood for a moment in the driveway, arms outstretched on either side of my body, back arched and face pointed to the sky and breathed in. The winter freshness filled me like a balloon. I’m…   …read more.

Moon Month: Midway

It’s a rare moment. Both children are sleeping at the same time. When Paz was only one week old, I had my first day solo. Guo Jian went into town to do some errands and hitched a ride with some gracious neighbours who needed to finish their Christmas shopping. He left at 9am and I survived five hours of two…   …read more.

Birth Story #2: Paz’s Journey

“Maybe we should make a plan.” At my suggestion, my cousin Lorie’s eyes widened in surprise. She’s had three children, so she knew exactly what I was talking about. I had arrived the day before. We were gearing up for an early Christmas celebration. Guo Jian was going to get a tree-decorating, stocking-stuffing, big-family-dinner experience that he’s never had at…   …read more.

The Name Story

Guo Shilong (国世龙) Topaz Swift Born December 16th, 2013, 9:57pm, 9 days early, 7lbs2oz (Announcing his birth now because we had to wait a whole day before he could meet his father and then we could confirm our name choices!) Here is explanation of his name: Guo (国) is Guo Jian’s family name or surname. It is a rare and…   …read more.

Will I Have Enough Love?

She’s so beautiful, so engaged and smart, so distracting, so able to convince her mommy that she definitely needs to go to the potty only to be placed down on it and then laugh openly, proving that she’s taken me in yet again. I’m being tricked by a nearly-two-year old. Regularly. After giving her this second benefit of the doubt…   …read more.

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