So we’ve been baby-mooning – depending on how you define the terminology.
We spent a week on a cruise out of Fort Lauderdale, to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Nassau.
Lost: one credit card, one sock, two quarters, one pair of sunglasses, some dignity.
Gained: an entire week without responsibilities. We ate breakfast on our (free!) balcony every morning, attended very well done theater shows, read quietly in the shade, were served three-course meals for lunch and dinner, ate freshly-made Gelato, watched football games on a monster LED screen, went to one of the top ten beaches in the world, bought some rum for $8 at a K-Mart and generally kicked back and relaxed.
Highlights include a two+ mile walk, resulting in climbing 99 steps to visit Blackbeard’s castle….which was closed for the day; walking through an old cloister and gardens in the Bahamas; walking on the treadmill in the ship’s gym at the very front of the vessel (which made us feel like we were powering the boat); Reading two entire books each and working through others; making up identities for some of the dinner guests that sat around us nightly (particularly one older couple with some very expensive clothing and jewelry). I forget how very relaxing it is to just hear the sound of the ocean all the time – we’d sit in our room with the balcony door open and it was marvelous.
In pregnancy updates, I have a couple.
Two baby showers have been scheduled (that I know about – one of my jobs has been threatening a surprise party of some sort). The first is a Super Bowl Party on Sunday, Feb. 6 in Pa. if you’ll be around that day, you should come and hang out, have some wings and watch some football.
The second will be held in Mass on Feb. 19 – I’m assuming more traditional of a shower, though I have no idea what that really means. Pretty much this is an open invitation to anyone reading this who would like to come to either. And a shameless shout-out for gifts from our Registry at Babys R Us . Just let me know if you plan to make it to one and I’ll get you location and directions, etc.
I’ve started wearing some “baggy” clothes. Most of my clothes that I’ve gotten are very nice, but some of the long-sleeved tees that I wear when I’m not at work are pretty large. Yesterday at the gym I wore one such long-sleeved shirt, and I felt very big in it. I don’t want to stretch out my non-maternity shirts too much.
I must not be that big though – yesterday Tim and I were touring a daycare and standing in the infant room while the director spoke briefly with a parent. A little girl, about 4 years old, came and peered into the infant room, looked around, looked up at me, and said, “where’s your baby??!” I told her he is still in my belly, and she nodded sagely. And then started discussing how we had very similar coats. Which we did
Other news maternity-wise is that my leave will not be nearly as long as I had been led to believe. My full time position has a “bank” where you can save up unused vacation days and “bank” them for future use on leaves of absences. However, the banked days (of which I now have 34) can only be used during government/insurance/healthcare provider approved “medical leave” and for the birth of a child, that is a maximum of 6 weeks – which can only be paid at a percentage of my current salary and which I cannot even utilize my banked days for anyway b/c I’m required to instead utilize short term disability. Hmmm. Was hoping for 12-15 weeks… I have enough vacation time for 8 weeks total, and I might be able to get maybe a week or two of 20 hours/week to transition back a little more slowly. And don’t worry, I understand FMLA and that I cannot be denied those 12 weeks of leave if I so choose, however, FMLA is unpaid leave, something Tim and I are not in a position to tackle in our lives right now. Hence all of the preparatory banking of vacation days. Ah well. I shall refrain from my usual pessimistic statement “story of my life,” referring to the continual rugs that are pulled out from under me for no reason every few months or so. I’ll just enjoy the time I have and pray to God I live through it.