New year, new baby

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For readers of this blog who do not know us in person, this may come as a shock to many of you, but we recently welcomed our second baby into the world. I had every intention of posting a pregnancy announcement on here around the same time as we announced on FB and other social media, but…I majorly slacked off on the blog for quite a few months so that just didn’t happen. Regardless, we have another kiddo!

Also born at Intermed Hospital in UB (which I’ve mentioned a number of times in the past), T joined us on December 22 at 3:40pm local time. She is healthy, keeping up her weight, and a joy to us and those who have visited us in the hospital and at home. (If you’re curious about Mongolian traditions surrounding childhood, you should check out this post from when Z was born in May 2016.) I’m recovering well from labor and delivery, and Z is handling a younger sibling pretty darn well. My folks came to help out with the transition from one kid to two–and of course to meet their second grandchild–which has been very helpful indeed.

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How you bundle a newborn in winter in the frozen north:

For the most part, we’ve kept T indoors as much as possible because it’s the middle of winter and besides the cold, the air pollution is too much for a newborn’s lungs to handle. In fact, this winter the pollution has been bad enough for the government to decide to shut down schools for the month of January. Hospitals are full of sick kids, and since pollution is worst during morning and afternoon/evening commute times, it makes sense to shut down schools to keep kids indoors at peak pollution times. If we do go outdoors, it’s primarily in the early afternoon once Z’s up from his nap, when it’s warmest outside and there’s the least amount of pollution.

I have some more ideas for posts percolating on the back burner so hopefully I’ll be posting more regularly in 2018, but with two kids under two years old, there’s no guarantee of anything! We’ll see. 🙂

Shine onii mend! Happy new year!

Beth sig

Approaching the Finish Line

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Eric and I are just a week and some change away from our finish line, but we are approaching that line in two different ways. That finish line at the end of May represents two different goals: 1) reaching the end of our second school year in Mongolia and 2) our baby’s due date. It’s uncanny how close those lines are.

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Taken on Sports Day, September 2014. Imagine this is us racing to the finish line, only all I can manage at this point is a rapid waddle. So on second thought, don’t imagine that at all. Carry on.

I began my maternity leave at the end of April giving myself approximately four weeks to get ready for the final push before Baby Judd arrives. Compared to my American mom friends, I realize how blessed I am to be able to take a whole month off prior to our due date, rather than needing to work right up until labor starts as so many have to do. (Mongolian maternity leave is more generous and flexible than what is typical in the US.)

Since this is my first time to go through a full-term labor and delivery, I was concerned about being prepared–not to mention being a newbie means I have no idea what I’m doing. Add to that being in a country where I still can’t fully communicate in the national language and where getting things done just seems to take twice as long as I’m used to, and I was worrying that I wouldn’t have time to get things done that I wanted/needed to accomplish before the baby showed up. So for me, May has been a combination of resting, running errands, and continuing to attend our Mongolian language lessons.

Eric, in the meantime, is still teaching at our school. He picked up some more hours–along with our Aussie coworker–to help cover my classes when I bowed out at the mid-term. Every day, he comes home with anecdotes about the entertaining and frustrating elements of the day, which I appreciate because it helps me feel connected to school still. I’ll be honest: I miss my students! Yesterday, I went to school to eat lunch with him, and it was a lot of fun to see the teachers and students again. 🙂 (I’m planning on making this a regular occurrence next year, only with Baby Judd in tow.)

In a week, my mom will be flying in from the DRC to stay with us for a month, and then in early July, Eric’s folks will come from the US to stay with us for about the same amount of time. We are looking forward to seeing family–since we aren’t heading back to the States this summer–and to get a chance to show them around the city and country that we now consider home. Of course, we’re also looking forward to having some help with a newborn because, again, we have no idea what we’re doing, and they’ve at least done this a time or two before! 😉

Until next time!

Beth sig

 

PS. For those interested in helping us get some last minute items for the new baby, here is a link to our Amazon registry. Purchased items will be shipped to Eric’s folks and will arrive here with them in July. Thank you in advance! ❤

Readjustment

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We are currently in western Washington, readjusting as fireworks explode all around us. (Happy 4th of July, America!) We will only be back in the US temporarily (until mid-August), but living in Mongolia for the last 11 months was enough of a difference that reverse culture shock has still been a thing. So far, neither of us has been found whimpering in the fetal position, but I just about snapped getting temporary SIM cards from Walmart today. Oi.

washington-fireworks-space-needle-hbtv-hemp-beach-tvOther than that minor hiccup, we’ve spent a lot of time relaxing and recovering from the trip over. We’ve enjoyed lengthy naps and decent sleep at night, but we’re still pretty tired these days.

Tomorrow, we will be roadtripping to southern California with my folks, my sister, and her husband. Six adults in a minivan for ~24 hours of driving. We’ll be stopping through San Fran on the way down, and I’m looking forward to picking my mom and my sissy’s brain on teaching techniques and methods while we play tourists. Hey, you gotta do something while waiting in lines. 😉

In general, it’s been good to be back and catching up with friends and family alike. If you are on the West Coast, we’d love to see you! Drop us a line. 🙂

Love,

Beth sig