As we move into week 35 of pregnancy we're starting to make final preparations for labor. We've hired midwives and plan to have the birth at home, so we've been working to make sure the space is comfortable and well equipped for the big day. After noticing some of the doorway finish and decorative wood had suspicious looking paint, we've removed the framing from two doorways and opened up a doorway that was blocked by a lead-paint covered (though, to the previous owner's credit, laquered-over) old door.

We spent today, Chu Chu's first mother's day as a mother, driving to San Jose to pick up some sample meals from a service that delivers daily meals during 月子 ("yue zi"), the moon cycle following birth during which rest and recuperation are a top priority and careful attention to nutrition will be a must. We shared the meals, a chicken soup and a beef soup, and they're pretty good, if a bit under-flavored.

Planning for paternity leave feels a bit like planning for an intense vacation - months of forethought and guessing about what our needs will be once the baby dictates nearly all of them, and a high likelihood that despite our best laid plans we'll need to change everything once it actually arrives. While I don't think there's any chance it will end up being as relaxing as a vacation, I suspect the opportunity to clear my head and reset my perspective on the rest of my life remains decidedly at hand.