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Author: Nina

It Takes a Village

It Takes a Village

“It takes a village to raise a kid,” so often we hear this echoed, and yet our society no longer reflects this. Back home most people live as a nuclear family and their extended family may or may not live closeby. Even if they do, one shouldn’t expect them to help with raising a child. This is why so many children are in daycare when they are only a few months old or couples choose to have one parent stay home as it is more cost effective.

Hello Neighborhood Hospital

Hello Neighborhood Hospital

{Note: I wanted to add photos to this post, but I was super slow. So while reading keep that in mind.}

Last week, my husband went to our old hospital and got my pregnancy records so that we can move to the smaller women’s and children’s hospital in our neighborhood. Before switching to the smaller hospital, I had two important questions to ask to make sure the move would be okay.

Naming Our Child

Naming Our Child

{Since I first drafted this post our daughter was born and has a given name. Given the fact that she was a preemie I find it extremely fitting for her.}

Our daughter’s given name transcribed in Tibetan Cursive.

Many moms and dads -to-be have names for their future children picked out long before they start families. I’m not one of those people. I hate picking names or naming people or things. For the last six and a half years I have had students and strangers ask me, what should my English name be? Whatever the hell you want it to be, I don’t know. Find a baby name list, pick a character you like, or just use your real name.

Navigating Pregnancy Abroad

Navigating Pregnancy Abroad

{Note: this was written while I was still pregnant and never had a chance to post it.}

When I found out I was pregnant, I decided that I would give birth here in China for different reasons even though I knew that friends and family back home would want me to comeback and give birth there. They don’t trust the system, even if I had no money I could give birth for free at home.

Part of the lobvy of Sichuan Provincial hospital
Part of the lobby of Sichuan Provincial Hospital

A lot went into my decision, as I want to be self-sufficient and have a savings built before my child is born, which means I needed to work for as long as possible. Realistically, I could return home, but I would most likely lose my job and have to renavigate the job process to comeback to China, or I would have to work my ass off, save money and find a way to bring my husband to the USA. Both of which did not seem enjoyable to me at the ripe age of 33 . I’m an adult, I can provide for myself.

A Thank You to My Husband

A Thank You to My Husband

I don’t publicly boast about my husband much or if at all, but he has been really good to me while I have been pregnant and through the birth of our daughter. My husband is a fabulous cook and normally we split the cooking or I do more of it, but during my first trimester I felt nauseous all the time and had a busy school schedule which left me exhausted by the time I was getting home. So my husband cooked most dinners for us during that time and on the weekends he would occasionally cook lunch too. Lucky to say I always ate well!

Taken this summer during our vacation with my parents.

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34 Things to Accomplish

34 Things to Accomplish

Every year I make a list for my birthday whether it be a to do list or inspirational list. It is something I started on my 30th birthday and I want to continue it for as long as I can, even if the themes end up being repetitive. So here is my list of 34 things I hope to accomplish this year:

  1. Visit my family and spend quality time with them
  2. Visit a new place in Tibet
  3. Make a beautiful momo and take a photo of it
  4. Take our first family photo together
  5. Take a family photo together (all siblings and kids if possible)
  6. Swim in the ocean
  7. Go for a boat ride
  8. Spend time with my grandparents
  9. Take a family photo – Extended family
  10. Eat good pizza – pepperoni? pineapple and buffalo chicken?
  11. Have cha at Tenzin’s family’s house
  12. Visit Boston to see friends
  13. Visit NYC to see friends
  14. Visit hometown friends
  15. Plan a welcome back/thank you party
  16. Take our first international trip as a family
  17. Plan a wedding in Tibet
  18. Complete 50% of my 2020 Resolutions
  19. Document cultural practices around child rearing
  20. Learn lullabies in English and Tibetan
  21. Payback my parents slowly
  22. Make a Roth IRA & Contribute to it monthly
  23. Build a sizeable savings in China
  24. Create our own holiday traditions for Christmas & Losar
  25. Eat Indian Buffet in Queens
  26. Drink a spiced chai latte at Ashlawn Farm Coffee in OS
  27. Spend quality time with my niece, Gabrielle! Something artsy? crafty? fun? I need an idea!
  28. Have a holiday dinner during summer 2020
  29. Take mom & pops out for a meal
  30. Roast marshmallows & eat s’mores
  31. Learn to ride a horse
  32. Improve my Tibetan – from high -beginner to intermediate
  33. Choose the baby’s citizenship! (Still undecided for now)
  34. Learn more about bilingual parenting
Being Environmentally – Friendly

Being Environmentally – Friendly

Loose leaf tea

One of my resolutions this year was to become more environmentally friendly than I already am. It happens to be resolution #9 if anyone is curious. Some of the habits I wanted to work on were:

  • shorter showers
  • less snacks/ take out beverages
  • turn off lights
  • recycle more
  • donate old clothes
  • reduce, reuse

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The Beauty of Nature Dwells Within You ཁྱོད་ལ་ལྷན་སྐྱེས་སུ་མངའ་བའི་རང་བྱུང་གི་མཛེས་པ།

The Beauty of Nature Dwells Within You ཁྱོད་ལ་ལྷན་སྐྱེས་སུ་མངའ་བའི་རང་བྱུང་གི་མཛེས་པ།

Photo courtesty of Dondrup’s friend who was passing through this summer.

Back in August, I was sitting in a white tent on the Dzorge Grasslands where Dondrup’s parents camp for the summer and I began writing a poem in English for our future child. At the time, I only had the first two verses written and couldn’t figure out what I wanted to write after that. Should I make it longer? All I knew was that once it was completed I wanted to try and write it in Tibetan as well.

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