Sunday, May 10, 2009

Maternity Leave

I feel lucky to live in Japan because I can start maternity leave 6 weeks before the due date, but I find that my energy has depleted quite a bit and now that I am on leave, I can't really do as much as I would have liked. I even dread going shopping or traveling further than 20 minutes away to visit with friends.

Right now, I am turning down most invitations to lunch or coffee simply because I'd like to achieve a few things on my to-do list every day. Last friday, by 3pm, I finally summoned up the energy to clean and re-organize the dog's room - something that hadn't been done in quite a long time. I have 3 to-do lists going - "Things I MUST do", "Things I NEED to do" and "Things I WOULD LIKE to do" all before the due date. I have a supplemental cleaning task list for each room of the house, but I haven't looked at that one in a quite a while. It's a bit overwhelming at this point, and I wish I had someone here to help me with some of the tasks.

On my very first day of maternity leave, 2 weeks ago, a dresser from Ikea was delivered to our house. I could have waited for my husband to put it together, but seeing that he didn't even know about the purchase, I just thought it would be easier to do it myself than to wait around for him to do it. Actually, "him" doing it would have involved his mom, and I just couldn't be bothered to wait for the both of them to decide a time when they could put the dresser together as a team. So, I did it myself! It took about 4 hours.

The next day, I drove all around town doing errands (mostly involving governmental paperwork and bill paying) and I was proud to be able to cross several items of my to-do list.

Well, I had completely worn myself out over these 2 days, and to be honest, could not achieve anything more for the rest of the week. I regretted that I had overdone it. On the other hand, it's better now than later in the pregnancy. My goal is to not go into labor early...I want to milk the maternity leave for all it's worth...I want the rest time. So, I am trying to not be too active in this pregnancy. For those who know me well, you'll realize that "not being active" is a real challenge for me.

Golden Week was not too eventful for us. I took Ailin on an adventure to downtown Chiba (by train!) and we hung out at the Qiball facility for the day. This is a large and free playroom just for toddlers. My husband made no plans, of course. We did a few things with his family, of course. We went out and bought a new car seat for Ailin so that the baby can use her old one. Ailin had Bilingual Kids Club on Sunday. Lately, we have been doing our activities in the park, so the kids can play and learn outside. Yusuke's mom offered to take Ailin for one night so we could have some time to ourselves. We went shopping at Lalaport - no, I went shopping at Lalaport and Yusuke dutifully carried all my bags without complaining. We saw a great movie - Gran Torino - and then had dinner at our former favorite Chinese restaurant. We think the management has changed since we last ate there because this time it wasn't good at all. That is about it. I was glad when Golden Week was over so I could have the house to myself again.

Adventures at Qiball

BKC in the park - I am the very pregnant one.

Going to a sleepover at Baba Yuki's house

I was studying about Hypnobirthing and am supposed to be using the CDs to practice the self-hypnosis. I have now finished reading the book, and am looking forward to having an easier, more relaxing birth this time. With Ailin, it wasn't so bad, and now I know what to expect, but I just hope for something a little easier. I am assuming I will be alone or with just a nurse-midwife.

Now, I am reading the Dr Sears book called "The Discipline Book." You can imagine why. Ailin is in her terrible-twos stage, and I needed some more knowledge about how to deal with that. I think Yusuke's style is much different from mine, but he doesn't bother to read up on it.

I think we finally have our boy names narrowed down. There are 1 or 2 that we both agree on, at least. Not revealing them though because I hate hearing or seeing people's reactions. Almost always negative and then they go ahead and suggest names they themselves like.

Oh, and this last weekend was Mother's Day, so I made plans to spend Saturday in Tokyo. It would be my last time to go to Tokyo before the due date. Anyway, I attended an Afternoon Tea event with my friend Louise at a big fancy hotel. Over 90 tea-connoisseurs were there. After that, I attended the wedding reception of a colleague whom I was instrumental in introducing to his future wife. It was about 3 years ago that they met at a party. Anyway, it was fun to see them so happy and to attend a reception with many of my colleagues whom I no longer get to see every day! On Sunday, I had Craft 'n' Chat, but had nothing to do, so I just chatted and read my Discipline book.

Afternoon Tea Event at the Shangri La Hotel in Tokyo

Dai & Yukiko's Wedding - Me with the MCs - one current and one former teacher from my high school - Mike & James

Well, sorry for the boring update on the last 2 weeks of my life. I would have liked to write a much more exciting entry about my opinions regarding Ascot ties, American Idol, or Rascal Flatts new album. Maybe at a later date. I'll add some photos to this one just to liven it up a bit.


missbehaving said...

I went to see Gran Torino last week for the 2nd time, isn't it fantastic!!
I hope you enjoy your maternity leave and get all your stuff done.

Gina said...

Your Golden Week sounded nice and very relaxing. A new car seat for Ailin sounds good.

The Mother's Day tea sounded nice, as well. That was a good picture of you sitting down there. : )