Monthly Archives: June 2015

Baby “Trangie” is a…

The time finally came for us to go back to the doctor… our last doctor’s appointment in China before heading back to the States. We went Saturday to have our last ultrasound, possibly find out the gender of our baby, get travel clearance from the hospital (This is required to leave China) and have some blood work done.

We went right away in the morning, not so much because we were excited, but because I couldn’t eat or drink anything until my blood work was done. Since I’ve been waking up so early in the mornings, I was already starving and SUPER thirsty when we walked in the hospital doors at 8am (since I’d already been up for hours). Even though we arrived only a few minutes after 8, it was already pretty busy. Thankfully I only had to wait a short while before my nurse helped me to the counter where you give blood- we took care of that and finally I could take a long swig out of the water bottle that had been taunting me since we left the house.

Then came the exciting part… the ultrasound. This was our chance to find out if baby “Trangie” would be a boy or a girl! Thankfully at this hospital Trent is allowed to be in the room with me and he and I both watched the scan on a flat screen TV in front of us. It was so amazing to watch our baby moving all around, since I can’t really feel the movements yet. It’s crazy to see what is happening inside me!  We watched intently, perhaps nervously, as the doctor performed the scan. The nurse came with me (since she speaks English) and sat beside me as we watched. The scan moved to show baby’s heart and I remarked about it just as the nurse said, “It’s so obvious.” I wasn’t sure if she was talking about the heart or the sex of the baby, due to the timing of what she said. So Trent and I continued to watch as the doctor made all sorts of measurements, and then came the big announcement… “It’s a BOY!!!”

I think I was in shock as she said it, Trent too. Soon after she told us, she switched to the 3-D ultrasound where we got to see baby’s face and his little arms moving around and his little mouth opening and closing. It was so cool, I think we were both still taking it all in! Finally, the doctor wrapped up and Trent and I got to celebrate the news… a boy! Trent’s going to have a little “Mini-Me” running around in a few more months and I couldn’t be more excited about it.


3-D ultrasound

baby open mouth

Trent was pretty emotional- I think the reality of it hit him before it had sunk in for me. We hugged for a while and he cried. Then we headed to get breakfast and Trent let me watch the video he had taken of the ultrasound… THEN it hit me and I was in tears too. We’re going to have a baby boy! I think we were on cloud nine for the rest of the day.


Boy announcement


As we were finishing up eating, I realized that in all the excitement, we had forgotten to get our “clearance to fly” from the hospital. Thankfully we were still very close and so we headed back.

As we walked in the doors, we were surprised to see some friends sitting there. In my “preggo brain” thoughts, I was thinking, “Do they already know that we’re having a boy? Are they here to celebrate with us?” Perhaps not the most logical train of thought, but “preggo brain” is a REAL thing, people! Anyways, it turns out that our friends had just found out that they were pregnant too, so not only did we get to share our good news, but we got to rejoice with them in their news! All in all, it was a very blessed day!

Me looking down

me looking up

Side bow

T and A looking down

Trent bow in front of face

Trent with the bow


What did we think?

Angie- I thought it was a boy, but wasn’t really sure. I had one dream where it was a boy and it seemed very real and vivid (unlike some of the other crazy baby dreams I’ve had in the past where the baby doesn’t have a name, or we forgot to tell our families, or I hadn’t fed the baby in days…).

Trent- He thought it was a boy too… just a hunch. Thankfully we weren’t basing our guesses only on dreams… if we were, I might be having a bunny, not a baby! (Yes, he really dreamed that)

Our Pre-K/Kindergarten class- The kids voted 10-3 that baby “Trangie” would be a girl. The majority of them also said that we should name said girl “Angie.” Four year old Carson asked me, “Do you know why I think you’re having a girl?” I asked, “Why?” He said with such certainty, “Well you’re a girl, so you should have a girl.” Silly kids.

We had some older students who had a bet going for whether baby “Trangie” was a boy or a girl, so I’m sure Julia will be happy to read that she was the winner… sorry, Michael! 😉

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Posted by on June 29, 2015 in Uncategorized


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“Bumpdates” weeks 9-13

Bumpdates, round 2! The second half of my first trimester- weeks 9-13. Here goes!

Week 9:

This week baby is the size of a grape or a cherry. “Trangie” can move all of his/her limbs at this point; little earlobes are beginning to form and it won’t be long before our baby can hear our voices! Eyelids now cover baby’s eyes but they won’t open up until 27 weeks (18 more to go). I am starting to show already, which makes this pregnancy feel much more real! We are so excited for this baby! Right now we are waiting for our “Made in China” onesie to arrive so that we can announce to the rest of the world that we’re having a baby!!! It is so hard to keep this big secret when all we want to do is shout it from the rooftops!
The weather here in Qingdao is finally getting nicer, which means that mommy is going to try to be more active- staying fit and healthy for the two of us.


week 9 cherry

This week we had the joy of telling one of our favorite high school students, Julia, that she was going to be a “big sister.” We had been meaning to tell our “daughter” (long back story) for quite some time (at school, at prom, etc.) but for one reason or another, we weren’t able to. When we finally did get to tell her, she was shocked (in a good way) and so excited for us! We hugged a lot and it was very special.

Our sweet Julia.

Our sweet Julia.

Our school’s talent show, which Trent and I were in charge of, is finally over. It was very stressful to plan it all, so it felt very good to have had a successful show and to be finished with all that extra stress!

At church I told the Klug kids (ages 6, 3, and 2) that I was having a baby and they were all really cute. Laney (2) immediately looked down my shirt when I told her I had a baby in my belly. Silas (3) wanted to jump on me to see if the baby could “talk.” Silly kids!

The two kiddos on my lap are Laney and Silas.  Love these kids!

The two kiddos on my lap are Laney and Silas. Love these kids!

Symptoms this week: My face is still breaking out, and I’ve had tiny bouts of nausea/indigestion. I was also super sick this week with a stupid cold. Every time I coughed or sneezed, I worried that I was going to uproot my baby!

week 9

Week 10:

Our little one is the size of a kumquat this week and has now passed the most critical parts of its development. All the vital organs are present and baby has 10 little fingers and toes… now we just have to wait 7 and a half more months for this little one to continue growing and make its much-anticipated appearance.


kumkuat looking down

kumquat forward

We went to the doctor again and got to see a picture of baby “Trangie” from the ultrasound. We heard baby’s heartbeat again and everything seems to be going well. God is good!

week 10 ultrasound

Our “Made in China” onesie arrived in the mail on Friday, just in time for our school break!


onesie trent

As soon as I gave the word, my mom began telling her co-workers and my sister spread the word at church- they wanted a chance to spread the news to a few people before I made it public. One of my mom’s jobs is working at TGI Fridays in the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, which is also where I worked for 5 years in high school and college, so she was excited to tell many of our mutual friends in person. And my church is also quite the family affair- we have attended St. Marks since before we were born (in fact, since my dad was born). My grandma had been all but dying trying to keep in the news until we gave the “go-ahead.” She wrote me the sweetest e-mail afterwards. I’ll include a little piece of it here. I couldn’t get through it without crying. She is too sweet!

“Our emotions are running high these days, as you must imagine. Keeping your little miracle a secret for a few weeks was emotional enough, but last Sunday was a peak of some kind. When we drove up to church, there was Christie sitting on one of the benches in front. She was “glowing”. She had her camera in hand. She had seen your Facebook announcement and had pictures to show us there and then. Laughing and crying can be quite a mixture and when worship is about to start, it’s hard to describe the emotions. I was relieved when I asked Christie if she was then going to share the blessed news during our “Joys & Concerns” time and she said she would. No way would I have been able to do it without bursting into tears……….of joy, of course. It was heavenly, and it was “draining”. That whole day and evening was like that. I wanted to write to you and it was my goal each day of this week, but somehow, I was too full of happiness to even start. I’m not doing much better now, but now I’ve had a chance to calm down somewhat. It was like Sunday’s internet announcement made it real for the first time. Like maybe before that, we were just hoping it was happening. See, I told you I’m getting goofy.”


Then all we had left to do was to announce it to the rest of the (Facebook) world! We were so excited to share the news with our friends and family back home. Trent and I had been perusing Pinterest (when it would actually WORK in China) for cute announcement ideas. Our friend Catherine was going to take photos for us after church on Sunday; however, she forgot her camera at home. Now if we were back in the States, she could just hop back in her car and grab the camera- no problem… but here, it’s a totally different story! First of all, she and her husband had their 10 month old son and a bunch of potatoes for lunch (they were in charge of cooking for our entire fellowship that week), and they would have had to go all the way back to their apartment and then would have had to find a new taxi to return… things are just so much harder here! Anyways, Trent and I didn’t want to wait any longer, so we set up all of our photos with my camera using the self-timer. It was a LOT of work, but I am pleased with the results and we got some pretty good shots out of the bunch.




It was so much fun to watch all the Facebook comments roll in and it made us so happy that we have so many friends anticipating baby “Trangie’s” arrival!

Symptoms this week- weird cramps/sharp pains low in my pelvic area. It freaked me out, but it’s not like we’re in the states, where we can just call a doctor. So we just waited it out and prayed a lot. They continued for a few days and then passed. I’m still sick- not sure if it’s a sinus infection or just a cold, but I’m ready for it to be gone!!!

week 10

Week 11:

This week “Trangie” is the size of a fig! It never ceases to amaze me what’s going on inside my body! “Trangie” is growing teeth buds and his/her bones are beginning to harden. I read about what’s been causing last week’s cramps/pains- it’s called round ligament pain. It means that the muscles in my pelvis are stretching and thickening to support my growing uterus (baby’s temporary home).
Baby is already moving around, but here in China, the doctors don’t let us watch the ultrasound, so I won’t get to see it for a while. I can’t wait until I can actually feel baby moving inside me! It will still be another 8 weeks or more, but it will happen soon enough. Right now I’m trying to be content right where I am and take each stage of pregnancy in stride. Trent and I are just thankful that “Trangie” is growing and healthy!

We forgot to take fig pictures this week (we couldn’t find a fig) and so we ended up taking the photos a few weeks later with a different Chinese fruit about the same size as a fig (But I don’t have a clue what it is called). The outside looks like a dragon or a lizard, with hard scales, I wasn’t brave enough to try the inside… it looked too much like the smelly fruit. Sadly, the photos we took a few weeks later ended up being on a corrupted memory card, so I was never able to recover them. 

scaly fruit

We ran into our Kiwi friends Paula and Josh this week when we were out listening to our friends’ band, “The Followers” play at The Canvas. They had told their 3 year old son, Raden, that I was expecting a baby. He and I are buddies. Anyways, he had something he wanted to ask me, but we were around a lot of people, so he was really shy. Eventually he came over and I reached over and whispered in his ear, “Raden, I have something to tell you… I have a baby in my tummy.” To which, he quickly replied, “Where? I wanna see!” I told him that I have to keep the baby in my belly for a while so it can grow bigger. Then he whispered something to his mom, Paula turned to me and said, “Raden wants you to open your mouth.” Although I thought it was a strange request, I quickly acquiesced. Then he looked in my mouth and asked, “Did you eat your baby???” LOL!!! I had no idea how to respond, so I think I just shook my head yes. It was so funny, yet so logical that that’s how he thought the baby got in my belly. For all practical purposes, things only get there when you eat them. It was really precious. Later Paula told me that Raden has now been asking all the women at school to “open their mouths” to see if a baby is in there. So far, there have been no confirmed pregnancies. 😉

My little buddy Raden at our house wearing one of our motorcycle helmets.

My little buddy Raden at our house wearing one of our motorcycle helmets.

Since we were off of work this week, we had a lot of time to relax. The weather wasn’t that great, so when we had a nice day, we decided to climb Fushan Mountain. This is the first mountain I climbed while I was pregnant. We weren’t sure how far we’d be able to go, but we had no problem going all the way to the top! We probably hiked for about 4-5 hours and then made our way back down to get some dinner. I’ll post a separate blog about the hike (and the history of Fushan mountain) eventually.

Fushan 1

Fushan Mountain

Symptoms this week: Some more sharp pains, but then they stopped. My face has finally cleared up and my bump is growing! Now I think my cold has morphed into allergies. We also found a lot of mold in our apartment (this is not uncommon in China), so that may be part of why this cough won’t go away.

week 11

Week 12:

Wow, one more week and we’ll be finished with the first trimester! It’s crazy how fast time has gone! This week baby “Trangie” is the size of a lime! It’s very hard to come by limes in China… we ended up asking friends at one of our most-frequented restaurants, Déjà vu, if we could borrow one of their limes for a photo. They just gave us a few, but these aren’t normal limes, I think maybe they’re key limes. They are much smaller, so the photos probably aren’t quite accurate to baby L’s size.

This week baby is really working on its reflexes- opening and closing its tiny little fingers and curling its tiny toes, even sucking with its little mouth. And “Trangie’s” brain is continuing to develop rapidly!


lime and belly

lime looking forward

This week was a particularly stressful week at school- we had our last round of formal observations on Friday, which is always scary. But by the grace of God, everything went excellent! On Saturday, I celebrated my first mother’s day with a special hike with friends. You can read about that in my blog (My First) Mother’s Day. We got to go out to dinner and a movie with some friends and we had a very special “Thank you” dinner with a student and his mother.

mother's day cover photo

Symptoms: I feel almost nothing at all(except being super tired this week adjusting to being back at school and no longer on holiday). It is strange feeling nothing- it’s almost as if I forget that I’m pregnant (except that I am CONSTANTLY thinking about it). I just feel normal, like I would if I wasn’t at all pregnant. Trent also took care of the mold with some bleach, so I am finally starting to feel better!

week 12

Week 13:

Yay! This is the last week of my first trimester! This week “Trangie” is the size of a lemon. He/she has his/her own unique set of fingerprints that have formed- it just reminds me how amazing and unique God’s handiwork is! Baby’s body is starting to grow longer and is beginning to catch up with its big head. Another thing baby is able to do now is pee (weird, huh?). It’s so crazy to read about how my little one is developing each week- it’s really amazing!


lemon foward

lemon looking down

This week was particularly hard because we were down 1 adult every day at school! This made my job much harder and I felt much more exhausted than normal!
Some of our highlights of the week were our Friday evening Shabbat (Sabbath) dinner with our Jewish friends Jon and Joyce, the QAIS Fun Run (or more like “walk” for me) that we also did with them, lunch with Justin and Catherine at the Diner and sightseeing downtown with Charmaine. We also had a chance to go cherry picking up in the mountains. It was a beautiful day and the cherries were SO delicious!!!


QAIS fun run

cherry picking2

cherry picking

Symptoms: This week marked the first time in my pregnancy that I’ve thrown up (Praise God!), but it wasn’t because of nausea, it was because I accidentally ate a moldy sandwich (oops!). I’ve been specifically praying before meals that God would protect baby and I from anything harmful to us, and God has been faithful to do so! My body ate that sandwich and then, all of a sudden, mid-bite, I thought, “I’m going to throw up,” so I spit out that bite and then did. Then I felt fine. Strange…
I can also feel “Trangie’s” heartbeat through my skin- it’s pretty cool. Before we go to bed each night, Trent kisses baby “Trangie” good night and then lays on my belly to listen to baby’s heartbeat. It is really sweet and I will treasure those moments.

Week 13

First Trimester in a nutshell:
No morning sickness (Praise the Lord!)
Short bouts of feeling either really tired, or really hungry!
Mountains climbed- 2 (one was maybe not quite a mountain)
Doctor’s Visits: 3
People told- I think everyone knows by now!

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Posted by on June 17, 2015 in Uncategorized


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What will baby “Trangie” be?

blog baby names

The time has finally come: the chance to find out if we’re having a boy or a girl! And as much as we have been anticipating this moment, I somehow feel unprepared to know. For so long, being 16 weeks pregnant seemed so far off, so to finally be here seems surreal. We go in for a scan today and we are really hoping that the doctors will be able to tell us if baby “Trangie” will be “Jedidiah James” or “Abigail Grace” (I think baby might be scarred to know that it was called “Trangie” for nearly half my pregnancy).
Of course, many things have to come together for us to actually find out today. Most hospitals in China will NOT tell you the sex of the baby- mostly because of the mindset coming from the “One Child Policy.” Most Chinese men only wanted a son, so if they found out that their wife was pregnant with a daughter, they would make the wife abort the baby. I don’t think that the nurses and doctors here realize that in the West, we don’t so much care about those things; we would be happy with a boy or a girl. Trent and I will be going to a new hospital today- one that caters to a more international population. Several friends have been able to find out the sex of their baby here, although maybe later on in their pregnancies. At this clinic, Trent should also be able to see the ultrasound with me. At the other hospital, he has to wait outside the room (more about that in an upcoming “Chinese hospitals” blog). Anyways, we’re going in hoping for the best!
Trent and I have had a boy’s name picked out for what seems like forever. Long before we ever talked about actually having a baby, we had already chosen this name. Finding a girl’s name wasn’t as easy. We pored over hundreds (literally) of baby girl names and we had trouble finding one that we really liked. Here and there one would be a “maybe” but we really had a hard time deciding. So, here are the stories on both names:

Jedidiah James:
Nicknames: J.J., Jedi, or Jamie (short for James).

Jedidiah is a name that I came across years ago while reading my Bible. I liked the name, but what really stuck out to me was the meaning. This was actually the name given to King Solomon, the wisest king ever to live. 2 Samuel 12:25 says that “Because the Lord loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.” His name literally means “Beloved of the Lord” or “Blessing.” I definitely expect that this little one will be a blessing! (Plus, Trent will get to have a little “Jedi” warrior to play with- he definitely likes the STAR WARS connection).

The middle name James has a lot of significance to both Trent and I. First of all, James is my favorite book in the Bible… who knew so much wisdom and sound teaching could be crammed into 5 short chapters! More importantly though, James is a family name; it is my grandfather’s name. He is a man who has been very influential in my life- teaching and encouraging me in the ways of the Lord. I also have/had two uncles named James, but one passed away many years ago. Trent also has an Uncle James who passed away only a few years back. I never had a chance to meet him, but from what Trent tells me, he was a loner, yet a very eclectic man whose home was like a museum of antiquities and randomness; he was also very gifted artistically and very intelligent. Jimmy was a poet and was very interested in Native American culture. Sadly, long before he died, he already felt like his life had ended because of the Vietnam War; he came back changed, different. In fact, he had a headstone made, even before his death, with the date he left for the war as his date of death. This uncle encouraged Trent to be himself, to be different, to break the mold and not care about fitting in. He was an outcast of sorts, but Trent admired him for many of his qualities.

Abigail Grace
Nickname: Abby

Abigail is another Biblical name- actually the name of David’s third wife who was said to be “good in discretion and beautiful in form.” She had formerly been the wife of Nabal, a harsh man, who died for his own wickedness and sin. She showed wisdom and kindness to King David and his army as they were passing through her land and she not only prepared lots of food and wine for them, but also asked forgiveness for her husband’s poor behavior (he had turned the men away). The name itself actually means “Father of exultation.”

Grace has been a pervasive theme in both of our lives. Grace is what captured our hearts in the first place, and both of us have encountered amazing grace along our lives journeys. Early on in this pregnancy when things were so uncertain, I remember thinking, it’s only by grace that this pregnancy will continue. And from that time on, Grace has stuck out in my head for a name. It allows me to remember that everything we have is a gift of grace from God.

So there you have it. Whether it’s this week or in a few more weeks, soon we will all know whether baby “Trangie” will be an Abigail Grace or a Jedidiah James. We can’t wait to find out!

*Since writing this blog a week ago, we visited the doctor (who spoke English!), and she wasn’t able to determine the baby’s sex just yet. We will most likely find out in two more weeks at our 18 week checkup (and last doctor’s visit in China).*

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Posted by on June 7, 2015 in Uncategorized