Showing posts from January, 2011

My maternity must-haves

Here are some things I couldn`t have made it this far (31 weeks today!!) without...
- sunshine (Winter in Japan can be a bit depressing when it`s so cold, and all the pregnancy hormones tend to make me a bit emotional. Sunshine helps a lot!)
- prunes ;)
- bio oil (massaging bio oil onto my bump every night helps me to connect to my baby, and it also makes my skin really soft. I don`t know if it stops stretch marks, but I don`t have any yet, so maybe it works)

- maternity tights/leggings (love the ones I have bought from Muji and Akachan Honpo)
- prenatal vitamins (I have been taking the Pigeon Calcium Plus prenatal vitamins since I found out I was pregnant. No special reason for this but I can buy them from Toys R Us and I haven`t really seen many other brands available here in Japan)

- body pillow (Yoshi is definitely not a sound or still sleeper, so I can`t rely on him to keep me comfy all night. I got mine from Costco and it was really cheap)
- `baby bump` (this ipod application tells me …

Celebrity envy

White seemed to be the color of choice for these expectant mums at the SAG (Screen Actor`s Guild) awards yesterday...
Natalie Portman

Jane Krakowski

Dr Scholl Qtto Sleeping Socks

I had only ever seen socks like this sold in the airport (to help prevent blood circulation problems during flight), so I was really surprised to see them advertised as a beauty product on Japanese tv.

According to Doctor Scholl, fat looking thighs and legs are caused by water retention due to poor blood circulation, contributed to by a poor posture. Additionally, high salt content in our bodies, as well as prolonged periods of sitting or standing, cause bloating when soft tissues in the leg swell up. So the company invented Medi Qtto Sleeping Stockings, which are meant to improve the blood circulation and reduce the water retention in our legs while we sleep. It is also said that these stockings are designed to facilitate compression therapy, a technique that helps improve circulation to relieve a number of medical conditions such as varicose veins.
Satisfied users claim that their legs feel lighter in the morning and look slimmer too.

Because fluid retention (especially around the ankl…

The name game

I would love to share an example of one of the debates Yoshi and I (and his mum) have been having about baby names recently...
Me : So here is the latest top-5 list of names that I think would be good for the baby!
Yoshi : number one... Noah?

Me : Yeah, it`s cute, it can be written (and pronounced) in both Japanese and English, it has kanji characters and it is a nice short name! Perfect!
Yoshi : huh? Noah is a car`s name.

...for those of you who don`t work with cars or are not obsessed with cars like my husband, The Toyota Noah is an eight-seater MPV with two rear sliding doors built by Toyota Motor Company and is perhaps sold only in Asia. When we `google` the word NOAH, there are so many other things (even the `National Organisation for Albinism and Hypopigmentation`) that come up before the stupid car.
Me : ok, what`s next?
Yoshi : Tyler. You mean like Liv Tyler? That`s a girl`s name! No way.
Me : ok...
Yoshi : number three; Elliot. What would his nickname be?
Me : hmmm, Eli I suppose.

30 weeks

Wow, I cannot believe that I am already in my 30th week of pregnancy and possibly have less than 10 weeks to go!
Friday - week 30

I am 3/4 of the way!!! And finally, even when I am wearing clothes (which of course is always!!) people notice that I am pregnant. I don`t just look `FAT` anymore!
Throughout my pregnancy I have continued daily life as normal which of course in Japan means taking the train. In the last 10 days, 2 women have offered me their seats on the train - first time ever! I am surprised not only at their kindness to `pregnant Fran`, but also to `foreign Fran`! Very very happy!
I have been enjoying my slow paced life, catching up with friends, going to Maternity Yoga and shopping for all the things that my little boy will need. I am constantly surprised at the cost of necessary baby goods and just how much is required to bed, bathe and feed a tiny human!
Yesterday Yoshi had his one-day-a-week off and we went to Babies R Us to buy a few things on my list. We got a mattress f…

Fun in Japan with Kids

I received an email from JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organisation) with links to lots of things with kids in Japan. I don`t have kids yet, but maybe there are some fun ideas for those of you who do!
I can`t wait to do some of these things with my son after he is born and gets a bit bigger! Unfortunately most of them are miles away from Osaka, but maybe some day.
National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan) Headed by former Japanese astronaut Mamoru Mohri, this museum opened in July 2001.The standing exhibits are devoted to four subjects that make cutting-edge science easy to understand and fun: the earth’s environment, how life works, informsation science, and robots and robot technology. A big hit with kids is the robot exhibit at the “Robot World” on the third floor where they can see a 10-minute demonstration by ASIMO, the humanoid robot developed to live with humans, who explains the features of his body, kicks a ball and so on. Other robots on display include Paro,…

あいのり Love Ride

あいのり (Ainori - ride together / love ride) is back!

Ainori is like Japan`s version of an American love/reality TV show (think along the lines of Temptation Island, Big Brother...) but much much MUCH more pure and sweet.
7 people travel around the world together in a pink van and attempt to find love with another passenger, and return to Japan as a couple.
Unlike American reality shows, the members rarely kiss, hug or even really touch each other. There are lots of people who think it is fake and scripted (what reality show isn`t?) but I have a very soft spot for this show!
It debuted on October 11, 1999. The show originally ended on March 23, 2009, but returned under the name "Ainori 2" on December 25, 2010.
You can get more information about the show (in Japanese) on Fuji Televi`s home page and can watch episodes from the current season (also in Japanese) here.

29 weeks and counting

I had my 29 week check-up yesterday (time seems to be going much faster now that I have appointments every 2 weeks) and all looks good with the baby. Unfortunately the doctor told me I cannot take any kind of medicine to control my cold symptoms (they are all too harmful or have unknown side effects for unborn babies) so I have to continue to get better naturally (albeit very slowly!)
The baby is now 1497g and is starting to get a bit cramped in my belly. He will grow much rounder and chubbier from now, and more than double in weight, but thankfully he is almost as long as he will be at birth!!!
Here is what else I have to look forward to in the final 10 weeks of pregnancy...
Growth-And-Development Timeline

Weeks 29–31 Fetus is 35cm long and weighs over 1000g. Protective lanugo (body hair) disappears; head hair thickens. Skin smoothes out. Eyelids separate. Legs curl up in fetal position. Fetus begins hiccuping.Weeks 32–34 Fetus is 43cm and weighs over 1400g. Fetus assumes head-down pos…

Ugg Boots

Hi again,
Just wanted to share some shopping knowledge with you all. I have been a big fan of Ugg boots since I came to Japan and learned how cold a real winter (not a mild Auckland NZ winter) can be.
Ugg boots sold in Japan are either hideously expensive, or really truly fake, so please check out this website if you want to find some real Uggs for cheaper prices. I have ordered boots from them twice and each time was pleasantly surprised with the prices, and the speedy delivery (only 2,700yen) to Japan.

I sometimes receive special coupon codes from them too, so if you want to buy some boots, let me know, and I can tell you what I know.
Happy shopping... ♡


A baby`s name is arguably the most important thing that a parent will ever choose for her son or daughter. As an over-thinker, this is the one thing that has been causing me the most anxiety during my pregnancy.

Today I am stuck at home with a cold... ewww... a horrible cough which is made so much worse by the dry dry dry Japanese winter. I currently have a steamer / humidifer going and Yoshi convinced me to wear a mask (as it should trap moist air around my mouth).
Being stuck at home with lots of time to kill, and easy access to the internet, today is a big name-searching day.
Let me tell you what I am thinking about so far.
Of course Yoshi is Japanese, and I am from New Zealand with a mostly English (from the UK) background. We both think that a name that is easy for people (in any country) to pronounce is one of the most important things. Obviously the baby`s surname is Japanese, so Yoshi doesn`t want a really Japanese name as the first name.
- can you read the names on the list below?…