Starter Supply Shopping

I’ve mentioned that we don’t have a nursery to furnish and decorate yet and the delivery of our stroller was delayed from yesterday to Monday so I’ve been chomping at the bit to feel like I’ve done something… anything! So Mike and I went to Target this afternoon and got some “emergency” supplies that can at least get us started right off the bat. Being the eternal researcher and shopper, I had an idea of what I wanted to get but also wanted to be mindful that I was taking Mike through unfamiliar and scary territory so we kept it short and sweet. He handled it very well! He had a very valid and logical opinion on how many diapers we should get (84? 72? 30? Sensitive?) and didn’t hesitate about which baby wash to choose from (I narrowed it down to two). I stopped short of buying products geared toward “mommy” (read: feminine supplies) because that seemed to be much scarier than the diaper aisle. Baby steps. For both of us.

The booty.  Such a different meaning now.

The booty. Such a different meaning now.

We didn't open the bag to inspect what newborn diapers looked like!

We didn't open the bag to inspect what newborn diapers looked like!

And of course you don’t go into Target without buying other stuff so we also picked up some other toiletries and kitty litter. The irony was not lost on me that we came home bearing supplies for all things that will be pooping in the house.

Tomorrow I am willingly getting up at 5 o’clock on Sunday morning to accompany Mike to a triathlon about an hour away… just because there so happens to be a Carter’s outlet nearby. What can I say–I’m a giver.

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29 Weeks!

29 weeks

29 weeks

11 weeks to go! Although as Mike and I were talking last night, there is a reeeeeeeally good possibility that this baby will make an earlier appearance. What are the odds this kid waits until the arbitrary date the first ultrasound predicted? And there really isn’t any more room at the inn for a longer stay. Yikes!

Maternity (Leave) by Obscurity

Who knew it would be this hard to figure out what I’m entitled to? Using saved vacation time was a given. I also had a vague idea of what the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was about and that my company didn’t have an official “maternity leave” program but that short-term disability would cover it. Handy bit of trivia: FMLA only protects your job but some other program, like short-term disability, is what would cover salary but they are commonly done in conjunction with one another. No one on my team has used maternity leave so no resource there. I combed through the maze of literature available on my company website and still only got a surface understanding of how it would all work and just came up with more questions. I finally emailed the HR short-term disability contact listed with specific questions and was ignored for an entire month before I decided to email a second HR contact and then next my boss, who forwarded it to the head of HR. Finally some answers! Ironically, another month goes by and the original HR contact emails me and asks if my questions have been answered and if not, to feel free to talk to him. Yeah, sure, thanks for the invitation! In any case, my next set of questions were answered with useful and detailed information in a much more timely manner and I think I’ve finally got a grasp of what my options really are and how they would affect us. Really? Every expecting woman at my company had to go through this runaround? Surely there should be some quick FAQ or cheatsheet that HR has put together for easy distribution? And since this isn’t specifically for maternity leave, these would be valid questions for ANYONE using short-term disability for any reason. Goodness. To give them some credit, it sounds like the information I was requesting would have eventually been revealed during the FMLA application process but I’m trying not to leave pesky things like maternity leave until the last minute!

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Welcome to the Third Trimester!

28 weeks today and the start of the 7th month of pregnancy. Crazy! This week I did a second round of the glucose tolerance test which screens for gestational diabetes. They had tested me at my very first prenatal appointment since I have a family history of diabetes but this second test is typical for everyone around this week of pregnancy. The results came back negative but they did notice that my iron levels were a bit low. That’s pretty common at this point since the baby has gone through a crazy growth phase and my body had to go into overdrive to make more blood to support the both of us and iron is an important part of that process. The doc suggested an over-the-counter iron supplement and then they’ll test me again in another month to make sure my iron levels are at a good number again.

We are also moving ahead on the upstairs remodel! The architect is coming on Monday and from there he and the engineer will see if our plans are structurally feasible and then submit the plans to the city for building permits. If all goes well, construction will start at the end of September and the builders are projecting a completion date by Halloween. Cutting it close, I know, but better close than never! I’m a little bummed I can’t start decorating the nursery yet but we may go ahead and get the stroller and crib so we’ve got something in hand ahead of time. Eeek!

Mission Babymoon: Accomplished

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Well, after an exciting start to the trip, the rest went much, much easier. I’ve always thought that Mike and I travel well together and we’re not terribly high-maintenance, so once we figure out how things work, we’re good to go. We had never stayed at an all-inclusive resort before and it was definitely an interesting experience. There were a few lows and lots of highs but in the end we had a fantastic time doing exactly what we came for. Some of the highlights:

Pro #1: Food, food, food!
Con #1: Do I really have to wear this bracelet?
Our particular resort markets having 5 restaurants but I’m guessing with the low capacity, the really only only have two open at a time. A buffet was always an option and the variety was amazing. Not only for one particular meal but over the course of our stay–you could certainly never repeat a menu and there was something for everyone. And my growing sweet tooth and I were in bliss over the dessert options. They weren’t all home runs but did I try to swing at everything available! In return for all this variety, we had to wear plastic bracelets indicating we were part of the all-inclusive plan for our entire stay. No big deal while on-site but we stuck out like sore thumbs when we ventured off the resort.

Pro #2: Where are the crowds?
Con #2: Yes, it does get hotter in Mexico in the summer.
Whew! I can’t believe I thought it got hot in Colorado. We reacquainted ourselves with the double-whammy that is both heat AND humidity during the day and at night. Aside from our room and being submerged in water, there was no escape. The indoor communal areas like the lobby and restaurants did have AC but someone needs to educate the resort personnel on the efficiency of closed doors and windows in these areas. The upside of coming at the low season was the lack of crowds. We never had a problem finding poolside loungechairs or waiting for a table at dinner. Actually, we didn’t even have a problem scoring a couple stools at the swim-up bar. Our first room was not up to par and we ended up getting an upgraded room. I can’t say we were on a first-name basis with the service staff but we certainly got the head nod and smile of recognition. I’m pretty sure Mike was known as “gin and tonic?” or “uno mas?”

Pro #3: Where are the Americans?
Con #3: Found them.
Our resort was at the opposite end of Cabo San Lucas in San Jose del Cabo. Much quieter part of Los Cabos with a downtown about 1% the size of Cabo San Lucas. I actually enjoyed staying in a more low-key area since I didn’t feel the pressure of doing and seeing everything a good little tourist is supposed to do. It also seemed to have a little bit more of an authentic Mexican vibe. On our last full day of the trip, we finally took a daytrip down to Cabo San Lucas to see the Arch by water taxi and the rest of downtown. This is definitely where all the action is, as marked by the Burger King, Subway, Walmart and the Hard Rock Cafe. Of course, the nice swimmable beaches were at this part of Los Cabos and you could get lost in all the options of where to eat, drink, and shop. At our quaint little resort, maybe half the guests were Americans and the rest from other parts of Mexico. Of course, the Americans we could identify made themselves painfully obvious by talking especially loudly and only in English. Mike and I dutifully said our please and thank-yous in Spanish as well as any other word or sentence we could string together, or at least asked how we should say it in Spanish. Not trying to be heroes or anything, but it was fun to try!
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Los Cabos? Or Lost Cabos?

So, we were up until just past midnight last night finishing work, packing and getting our affairs in order before heading out to Cabos for our ¨babymoon¨ which is suppose to be one final pre-kids stress free escape.  The alarm went off at 5:30 AM.  I showered and headed down at 5:50 AM to feed the cats and I realized my voicemail, email and text were blowing up with a big problem at work.  Oh crap!  We planned to leave at 6:00.  The woman carrying the baby in “babymoon” was still upstairs and I had drops of sweat forming on my forehead at the thought of ruining an event that was meant to counterbalance this exact type of scenario!  Work went on and by the grace of God we got out of there….albeit 30 minutes late.  Stress levels were high and smiles had been packed away in the suitcase awaiting arrival in Cabos before they would return.  I was hauling butt to the airport and running seriously late.  I dropped Melanie off with 8 mins to spare before Denver´s 45-minute pre-flight bag check rule bounced us from the flight.  She made it.   I sped off looking for parking. 

The first shot was a no-go when I accidentally landed in hourly parking.  On the second fly by I made it to the right lot….¨where is a spot…..where is a spot….where the mutha f is a spot!!¨  Eventually I found a space in the back of the lot where I could barely see the airport and started running towards towards the terminal with my bag of fruit swinging wildly in my hand.  I called Melanie and we agree to meet at the security line – she is already there.  When I arrive, we learn the hard way that both of Denver´s security checkpoints are open and we are standing at different ones.  This is not good.  We now have 25 minutes to spare!  She comes to me (not sure how I let that happen when she is almost 7 months pregnant) and we move through the line.  With 15 minutes to spare we race towards the train.  Of course we are at the last of 3 stops.  When the train opens I burst out and run up 2 flights of escalators and down the concourse.  I arrive at the gate 8 minutes before departure….doors are closed and I am given the big FU by the person guarding the closed door.  The only option on US Scare is to leave tomorrow.  I catch the train back to another concourse to see if we can get a flight on United while Melanie waits in a Southwest line.  By phone, we learn that her prices beat mine and I race back to concourse C to catch a flight that is leaving only 30 minutes after the one we just missed.  We get on and breathe a bit easier.

In the air, we realize that we´ll have 25 minutes in Phoenix to make our original connection to Cabo which is on another concourse and a huge haul away.  We give it our best shot.  At one point we split up when signs are unclear which concourse has our flight.  We make it with seconds to spare.  This is NOT the textbook way to start a babymoon.  Women this far pregnant are not built for high stress runs through an airport while carrying bags of fruit.  Despite the complete lack of food and water throughout all of this though, Melanie was doing great!

We land in Mexico (pronounced ¨Mexico¨ in English) and the stress continues as we wade our way through many many many folks trying to pry our dollars away from us.  It´s also 108 degrees and the stress of trying to find our shuttle is wearing us down.  Oh and then the wheel on our suitcase broke!!  When we FINALLY get to the hotel….we are down several hundred dollars, hot, stressed and tired from being up early and running all day.  We finally reach our room and look forward to a break from the 100-plus midday humid heat that has us sweating through our clothes only to realize….you guessed it, the AC in our room is not working.  Melanie needs food and is already leafing through the resort restaurants list, but I convince her to give me a few minutes to try in English….to convince the Spanish speaking folks at the desk that our situation, in a word, sucksmajormonkeyballs.  Without hesitation the senorita at the front desk gives us a new room that is way better in every way (not least of which is a working AC!). 

And with that, we could finally settle in…..of course until the pool bar shut down shortly after my first drink.  And that my friends is why I am here updating our blog on a Friday night at an all you can eat and drink resort in Cabo.  I have heard whispers of a bar in the lobby which I will be checking out shortly.  Until then, stay cool.  Oh, after we finally got into our new room with AC, THIS happened…..

Day One

Day One

Cheers!