Bagels and Bamboo Restaurant

Posted November 27th, 2010 in Ume's Pregnancy | No Comments »

After week 20, my belly started to grow bigger and bigger very quickly.  I’m at week 24 now and I can’t see my bikini line!  People can notices that I am pregnant and I have to wear very big clothes or maternity clothes, otherwise it’s too tight and very uncomfortable.  

I won’t be able to wear my normal clothes this summer, so I have packed all the summer clothes in the closet.  Maternity clothes are quite pricy, so I’m wearing some of my wide clothes or D’s T shirts everyday… (π´®†¥¨ˆ∂ƒ©˙

As the belly grows, I can feel bub’s movement very strongly now and sometimes I have to support my belly with a maternity belt when I have to move around or keep standing up for a long period of time. 

Especially while making bagels…

This week I had a special order for a baby girl’s 1 month birthday (?).  It was my first time to make bagels with icing!

I wouldn’t think about putting icing on bagels, but it was the special order for a special girl…

White and pink icing 🙂

Ahhhh… my stomach is still full…   In-laws and I went to Bamboo restaurant last night, and ordered quite a lot of dishes.  

I really like the style of the restaurant, but the food is pretty average to me.  I’ve been there only for dinner, but some food are nicer at South Ocean in Kardinya.  

We ordered fried fish with crabmeat sauce, seafood and tofu claypot, and Thai style chicken.  

The flaming Thai style chicken was quite entertaining, but we had to wait until the flame goes off… for about 3 minutes.  The chicken was beautifully roasted, and the sauce was spicy – lemongrass, coconut and other spices and chili.  

I felt all the dishes were quite salty.  It helped me drinking lots of water though…   

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Paid Parental Leave

Posted November 24th, 2010 in Ume's Pregnancy | No Comments »

Having a baby in 2011?  The Paid Parental Leave scheme starts 1 Jan 2011, which will provide eligible working parents with 18 weeks of Parental Leave Pay at the National Minimum Wage, currently $570 a week before tax.

All the information is available from Family Assist website, but I want to list down the key factors for myself and also others who are interested in knowing this scheme.

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Baby Bonus

  • Pays eligible parents $5,294 (effective 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2011) per eligible child in 13 equal fortnightly instalments.  
  • Baby Bonus is payable for each child in a multiple birth.  Which means, if you have a twin, you get 2 xBaby Bonus.
  • Before, Baby Bonus was not an income tested payment, but it is now.  (income test)
  • Baby Bonus is not taxable income.

Check your eligibility for Baby Bonus → Eligibility

To claim a Baby Bonus: claim must be lodged within 52 weeks of the child’s birth (or in the case of adoption, within 52 weeks of the adopted child coming into the adopting parent’s care)  Hospital will usually pass you the claim form at the time of birth, but you can also obtain the form through Family Assistance Office or lodge online at  http://www.familyassist.gov.au.

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Paid Parental Leave

  • From Jan 2011, you can chose to receive either Baby Bonus or Paid Parental Leave for your child if you are entitled.  
  • Parental Leave Pay will be fully funded by the Government.
  • Eligible working parents will receive Parental Leave Pay at $570 a week for a maximum period of 18 weeks. 
  • You should lodge your claim at the Family Assistance Office, Centrelink Customer Service Centres, or online before the birth or adoption of your child. (you can lodge up to three months before)
  • Paid Parental Leave is taxable income.
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Things You Should Know
  • You can not get both Baby Bonus and Paid Parental Leave for the same child. 
  • If you have worked for 12 months or more for the same employer you are entitled to up to 12 months unpaid parental leave. (www.fairwork.gov.au)
  • Parental Leave Pay will be provided to you by either your employer in your usual pay cycle (employer will be funded by the Australian Government) or by the Family Assistance Office in fortnightly payments. (from 1 July 2011, your employer must provide your Parental Leave Pay if you have worked with them for at least 12 months prior to the expected date of birth or adoption of your child and you will be receiving at least eight weeks of Parental Leave Pay.)

If your employer provides your Parental Leave Pay:

  • You will be able to access other paid leave such as maternity leave, however this may mean you will be taxed at a higher rate.
  • They can deduct child support from your Parental Leave Pay if they are required to do so.
  • You may arrange for other deductions to be made from your Parental Leave Pay.
  • You may salary sacrifice some or all of your Parental Leave Pay. For example, you may make voluntary contributions to superannuation. You must agree these arrangements with your employer as you do with wages. 
  • Your employer will not be required to make superannuation contributions on your Parental Leave Pay.

If Family Assistance Office provides your Parental Leave Pay:

  • We will withhold PAYG at the rate of 15 per cent unless you request another rate.
  • You will not be able to salary sacrifice Parental Leave Pay that is provided directly by us.
  • You can voluntarily request a Family Assistance and/or Centrelink debt to be deducted.

Centrelink FAQ

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Baby Bonus or Paid Parental Leave?

First, you need to check if you are eligible for both payments.  

Baby Bonus → Eligibility  

Paid Parental Leave →Eligibility 

If you are eligible for both payment, you can chose to receive either one of the payment.

Baby Bonus is $5,294, but it is considered to be not a taxable income.  On the other hand, Paid Parental Leave gives you the total benefit before tax of $10,260.   However, this money is considered to be taxable income and may affect your Family Tax Benefit as well as the followings:

  • Child Care Benefit
  • Child Support
  • HECS liabilities
  • Medicare Levy Surcharge
  • Public Housing Rent
  • Low Income or other Health Care Cards, or other associated concessions
  • Pensioner, Beneficiary, Dependent Spouse, Housekeeper and Child-housekeeper tax offsets.

To see which payment is best for your family, you should use the  Paid Parental Leave Comparison Estimator.

The result may vary depending on the date you wish to start receiving Parental Leave Pay, therefore it is recommended that you try different dates to determine the best financial decision for your family.

After 34 weeks following the birth or adoption, the number of weeks you will be eligible to receive Parental Leave Pay for will reduce. (refer the table below)



Cot and Moon

Posted November 16th, 2010 in Ume's Pregnancy | 2 Comments »

I haven’t been cooking lately: just eating in-law’s food at home (^^)  Eating Indonesian/Chinese food everyday does make my stomach upset sometimes.  In that case I just make salad or eat fruits.  I don’t have a big appetite at night anyway..

Last night was shumai – … well, it doesn’t look like the normal shumai we eat at dim sum restaurants, but it’s how they (my in-laws) call this dish.  In Indonesia, shumai can be like this steamed meatballs with spicy peanut sauce and sweet soy sauce.  In-law attaches the meatballs with boiled eggs, tofu and potatoes and steam together.  The photo looks very messy, but that how you are supposed to eat (^^;).  Pour sauce, and mix all together!

After a cot arrived, our “spare room” started to look more like a nursery room.  I got this cot from an online shop on a 1-day-free-shipping-sale.  This walnut coloured cot can adjust the height, and has hidden drop sides and is convertible to a toddler day-bed.  The thing I appreciate the most is the removable casters.  This cot is pretty heavy, but I can easily move it around thanks to the lockable wheels.

The mattress and IKEA changing table is from in-law.  We’ve got some nappies, baby wipes, wraps, pacifiers, cot cover, sheet, clothes, etc etc, but need to buy more things – a cushion for the changing table, mattress protector (as this mattress is not mine), bottles, etc etc.

We bought some junks too.

This remote controlled Moon In My Room shows 12 lunar phases of the moon automatically/manually, lights up when it’s dark, and shuts off automatically.  It certainly is not a toy for a baby, it’s just for us to enjoy..

(The actual colour is more whitish)

When I browse nursery rooms online, they look so cute and most of them have the theme –  yellow, blue, princess, ocean, etc.  Our room looks like just a room!

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Week 20 – Photos and Paid Parenting Leave

Posted November 1st, 2010 in Ume's Pregnancy | 2 Comments »

This may sound like a joke, but it did happen.

I went to see my obstetrician the other day for a monthly check-up.  I couldn’t see bub’s face last week at Fetal Anatomy Screening, so I was hoping to have a peek at his face this time.

But!!!  As soon as the screening equipment touched my belly and the image showed up on the screen, he moved his hands toward his face again!

The image was taken above bub: the right side is the face covered with two hands, and the left side there’re two legs.  (can you see?)

I was glad to see he was fine, (well, I feel his movement very often now and I knew he was ok though) but is he that shy?  My friend actually told me that it happened to her as well.  Is this action (a fetus covering the face with two hands) common?

Yeah, and I’ve been thinking that it may be about time to finally announce my pregnancy to other people at work.  Yes, they don’t know yet.  My belly is not showing up too much at the moment.

I need to ask some questions about Paid Parenting Leave to the manager in the Sydney office (my company’s head office is in Sydney).  I need to confirm how many weeks of Paid Parenting Leave I can get (the maximum is 18 weeks), what the payment rate is (whether it’s same as the standard minimum wage that Centerlink pays), and ask her when I should (can) work until.  I’d like to work as much as possible if there is no problem.

I need to know which one is the better option for me: Baby Bonus or Paid Parenting Leave.  Although Paid Parenting Leave may seem to be higher amount than Baby Bonus, it is a taxable income so it will affect my tax and Family Tax Benefit later.  Baby Bonus, on the other hand, is non taxable income.

I don’t really like getting attention from other people while I work there, but I guess it’s a good thing.

So far I’ve put on 4.4 kg total, and been eating boiled broccoli a lot for snack.  The bub can now swallow the amniotic fluid to practice swallowing and digesting action (according to the baby book), and that’s why the baby tends to like the food that the mother was eating while pregnant.  (the taste  through the fluid) Which means, my bub may like broccoli and other vegetables when he is grown up!

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Petit Parfait and Baby Book

Posted October 29th, 2010 in Ume's Pregnancy | 2 Comments »

I had lots of leftover fruits and cream from the big birthday cake I made (post), so when my friends came to the house I made this petit parfait using those leftover.

The components are all the same: sponge cake, cream and fruits (minus the glaze).  The cream had been whipped to the decoration stage (quite hard) already, so I just squeezed out through my piping bag. 

In the afternoon, I started to work on my project: making a baby book!

Actually I was going to buy one from a shop and looked through Myer, Kiki-k, Newsagency etc including online shops, but they all sell similar looking ones with similar contents.  And, they contain some pages which I won’t use (such as “what was the news headline when the baby was born”).  I prefer putting lots of ultrasound photos, and write down little notes of what I felt, did and what the baby did each day.

So, I bought a scrap book album so that I could put photos and memo anywhere I want in the page.   It’s easy to arrange, and I can make it a whole page with just photos, or one page with a photo and the memo describing the photo.

Little notes in both English and Japanese….

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Ultrasound Screening

Posted October 22nd, 2010 in Ume's Pregnancy | 6 Comments »

Although I can feel the baby’s movement, I still get nervous before the ultrasound screening.  Is he really ok?  Maybe the movement I felt was just a movement of my own belly…

I hear some horrible news about still birth.  I know I worry too much (my mum say that too), but I can’t help it (><)

At the ultrasound screening, however, Jr shows his healthy appearance.  Then I feel relieved.

At my recent ultrasound, I could hear the heart beating and observe the long legs and arms.  The Sonographer tried to take a clear picture of the baby’s face, but he kept hiding it with two hands!  As if he was too shy to show the face to the camera.

Other than the face I could see his hands and legs very clearly.  He was showing his hand to the camera as if he was saying “Stop! Stop trying to take photo of my face!”.

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My Appetite and a Parcel from Japan

Posted October 15th, 2010 in Ume's Pregnancy | No Comments »

Around Week 16, the morning sickness started to disappear and my big appetite came back.  Well, I didn’t have heavy morning sickness anyway.  It was more like “night sickness” as most of the bad stuff (tiredness, nausea, excessive sleepiness, etc) hit me after evening.

From Week 16, I could start enjoying the food again.  I often thought about what to eat for dinner during the day (yes, I really love eating), and I could eat out for almost anything.  But, around Week 18 I started to feel sick again and didn’t feel like eating anything.  All I could do in the evening was lying down on the sofa and stay still.  Is this normal?  Does morning sickness sometimes come back during the second and third trimester?

Anyway, I felt really sick until yesterday, but today I feel pretty good.  When I feel good, what I do is eat….  You will be surprised if you hear how much I eat now!  … 2 serves of Indian curry, and I still felt hungry so I had another bowl of rice with Japanese tinned fish and simmered vegetables. Afterwards I was munching on crackers until lunch.  … yes, it was my breakfast.

Another day, my husband and I bought fried chicken and chips (I know it’s not a healthy food but I had a craving for the fried stuff), and I finished mine very quickly and wasn’t satisfied at all.  I think I can eat a whole bird myself now.  

I really think it’s too much food to eat.  Should I try to control myself?  My weight, however, seems to be steady and I just put on 2 kg compared to when I was not pregnant.  

Oh, the tinned fish I mentioned above, it was from my mum!  I just received a parcel from my brother few days ago 🙂

I bought some maternity stuff from Japanese online shops, and I asked mum to put some food into the parcel and send here together.

These tinned fish are pretty expensive if you buy from Asian grocery shop here.  I personally like saba no misoni (simmered mackerel in miso) 😀

Some maternity pants, belts and bra.  Things are much cheaper to buy in Japan..

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My Thought about Japan and Australia – Pregnancy

Posted October 8th, 2010 in Ume's Pregnancy | 4 Comments »

I think my belly is getting bigger and bigger.  All my college don’t know that I am pregnant, so they must be thinking “oh… she put on lots of weight!”.  As it’s getting warmer here, I’m wearing just 3/4 sleeve T-shirt and it shows my body shape too well.  I’m wrapping my thin hoodie around my belly, but is it time to tell them that I am pregnant?  Or maybe I just wait until they figure out…

I read many articles and magazines about pregnancy, both Australian (Western) and Japanese.   Some of the things they say are the same, but some are totally different.  I also found that the treatment you get at hospital (or by doctor ) here in Australia is different from what you get in Japan.

Japanese pregnant women seems to be super careful about their pregnancy – if they notice something different they run to the doctor immediately to seek the advice and treatment.  But here in Perth, pregnant women seems to be more self-controlled and prepared.  The doctor here seems to be doing less compared to the doctors in Japan – this doesn’t mean that the doctors here is not as good as those in Japan.  I agree that we shouldn’t be totally depend on the doctors.  

But, I have something that keeps staying in my head for almost 1 year.  When I started bleeding during my first pregnancy, I run to an emergency hospital near my house.  I waited for a doctor for 12 hours there (true story), and when doctor came to me she just said “I’m sorry, but you seem to be having a miscarriage”.  The doctor didn’t even touch my body – she just asked me a couple of questions, “are you still bleeding?” “How badly are you bleeding?”.  That’s it, and I left the hospital.  

No advice, no medicine were given.  Maybe there was nothing they could do to stop the bleeding.  But, I had no idea what I should be doing: the doctor said that I’m having miscarriage, so is it over?  Or do I still have a chance?  I didn’t know, and  I went back to work on next day – still bleeding.

If it was in Japan, the doctor would have said “stay in the bed, and don’t move around.”.  Some pregnant women bleed, and it is not a good sign.  In Japan you’ll be forced to stay laying down on the bed (only get up when you go to toilet or take shower) and wait for doctor’s next advice.  Some pregnant women get out from the danger of having miscarriage after the doctor’s treatment.

I didn’t know about it that time.  I had to go get blood test, ultrasound, and go back to the hospital few times. At the hospital nurses just kept asking me “are you still bleeding?”.  Few days later (bleeding everyday and working everyday), my miscarriage was confirmed. 

So, to think about it, my first pregnancy could be saved..?  I don’t know if I should be thinking about it now as I’m carrying another baby here, but it just keeps staying in my head.  If I was in Japan, would she/he be saved?

Now, here is the ultrasound photo taken at my 11th week (the first ultrasound screening).  I like this photo because the baby is kicking the leg to the air and I can see the tiny leg.  🙂

I saw the baby in 3D at the second ultrasound screening, and at the third screening my baby was looking much bigger.   According to the baby watcher app, the baby is about the size of a sweet potato at the moment !


News from Ume

Posted October 1st, 2010 in Ume's Pregnancy | 12 Comments »
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I know some of the Umeboss viewers know about this already, but I would like to announce it here officially….
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… I am pregnant …!!  (•˙∆˚)¬¬¬¬
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It may be a natural thing to happen to a couple who have been together for more than 7 years, but I still can’t believe it.  I mean, we are absolutely happy about it, but we didn’t really plan it and I still feel that I’m just a girl. (^o^;)>
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I wasn’t really sure if it was true – until I got my first ultrasound screen at my 11th week.  There it was!  A tiny fetus, around 6 cm.  S/he was  kicking up the leg, and was jumping around inside my tummy.  Very active…  And, on the second screening, the baby started to wave at us (˙∆˚)!!  … No, I think s/he was just stretching the arm.
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It’s amazing.  Did we create a life?
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I actually had miscarriage last year, and it was really a devastating experience to me, so I hope this one will be ok. (” v “)
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Some Japanese people who live in Perth go back to Japan to give birth, as they can get all the supports from their family and friends.  It is also more comfortable to do such “big event of the life” in their own country.
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Me?  I’m going to be giving birth here in Perth.  I really really want my family to be here too, but I don’t know if it’s going to happen!  But, it’s ok, I can’t think about it now.
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If everything goes well, I will fly back to Japan afterwards and stay there for few months.  (^^)  It is my plan!!  I also can’t wait to eat sushi and sashimi over there too…
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