The Connection Runners + [RUN]

Greetings From Sunny MaternityLeave

All aboard the S.S. FMLA! My 13-week MaternityLeave vacation has begun!

Oh, so you're not familiar with the S.S. FMLA? It's a beautiful ship, filled with all kinds of glory and wonder, steered by a lost-all-dignity-39.5-weeks pregnant lady with swollen ankles and a congested nose.

Though not your typical cruise ship, the S.S. FMLA includes enticing features like:

Intrigued you are, aren't you?

Though only in my first week of FMLA-sponsored vacation, I've got big plans to see the world but be seen by nobody except my doting husband and a few close, non-judgmental friends. Here's a sampling of what my trip will entail for the next few days:

Weather: Glorious. The weather's always gorgeous in MaternityLeave, thanks to a high-tech temperature control system called The Electronic Thermostat. One touch of "Run Program", and the environment remains a constant and balmy 65 degrees.

Spa Treatments: The S.S. FMLA offers only the most luxurious and top-of-the-line spa sessions. Later this afternoon, I'll head down for the Vicks & Steam treatment in an effort to break up the mucous party taking place in my sinuses.

And if that isn't completely effective at solving my sinus issues, apparently a date with the Neti Pot will be in order:

How is that she looks so completely at ease with that thing shoved up her nostril?
p.s. Thanks, Cassie, for this amazing and disgusting video.

Daily Activities: Pool schmool. Who needs water slides and Hawaiian Tropic when you can catch up on cable TV via the newly installed Dish Network system in your stateroom, pack and repack a hospital bag with far too many unnecessary items, or renew your car's license plates? Allowing every opportunity to get those pesky To-Do List items checked off, the S.S. FMLA is a neurotic pregnant woman's dream.

Planned Excursions: Trading in my scuba diving lessons voucher was the best decision I've made so far. Instead, when the ship docks, I'll head to my local Gap to return a few ill-fitting t-shirts and deposit a check at my bank's ATM.

And, in an effort to kick-start labor, I'll be walking/hobbling around while consuming entire pineapples and drinking red raspberry leaf tea. I doubt I'll observe any tropical fish while out, but if I'm lucky I may feel a real contraction or two. Contractions > tropical fish.

Resort Wear: Forget stocking up on floral shirts and linen pants at Chico's. Here's the resort look I'm aiming for:

Didn't even attempt to Photoshop the pregnant out of this one but rather will add it to the list of reasons I'm not a fashion blogger.

-a dab of Ole Henriksen under-eye cream
-an all-natural updo I call "The Turnip" for its uncanny resemblance to everyone's favorite root vegetable
-the same pair of hand-me-down Karen Kane pants I've been wearing for 3 days
-and an Old Navy maternity jacket that makes me look like I'm 49-weeks pregnant instead of a mere 39

Dining: With such offerings as grilled cheese sandwiches, expertly prepared prepackaged chicken soup, a crate full of clementines, and plenty of sparkling cold tap water, the ship's dining room makes fancy restaurants seem so passé.

And if that doesn't sound appetizing enough, there are approximately two good handfuls of frozen Otis Spunkmeyer double chocolate cookie dough in the freezer just waiting for me to consume them in all of their salmonella-filled glory.

So what are you waiting for? Book your FMLA Trip today! This vacation of a lifetime comes only at the mere cost of the possibility of your water breaking all over your 3-day-old pants at any moment followed by years of diaper changing and Dora the Explorer watching, discussions over dance lessons versus soccer team tryouts, first ear piercings and awkward first date meetings, parallel parking mishaps, and prom dress fittings.

Since I'm not quite sure when this initial phase of the trip will end, I fully intend to cash in on the few (?) days I have to myself and let the fuzziness of Pregnancy Brain take the reins as we head into Labor & Delivery. I'm not sure if that last sentence even made sense, but that's all the more reason to enjoy my time aboard the S.S. FMLA.

ETA: Forgot a good question of the day! Entertain this poor pitiful pregnant woman, folks, and share with me:
-You get to go on a 13-week vacation anywhere, anytime. Where do you go, and what do you do?