Sunday, November 05, 2006

Baby Moon

So it's no secret that Emily and I are expecting a kid come February (if you weren't aware of that yet, one look at the soccer ball Emily is carrying around in her midsection should be sufficient to dispel any doubt). Emily and I decided we should take one more vacation before 3 a.m. feedings and endless crying (I mean me, not the kid) begin. The parenting magazines call this a “babymoon” (instead of honeymoon), but mostly we're just anxious to get some sunshine in the middle of yet another gray Illinois winter.

So we're going to the Riviera Maya, Mexico during the first week in January, and we invited our friends Michael and Kristen along for extra fun. (Actually, I'm just worried that I'll need them to help get Emily out of her airplane seat upon our arrival...) We're going to stay for five nights at an all inclusive resort, where I'll test the theory that zero-marginal-cost food and drink results in stuffing oneself to the point of vomiting. And to pay for the whole thing, we're raiding our change jar.

You may have guessed that our change jar is bigger than the average Smuckers' container. It's a five-gallon water-cooler jug, and we just now finished filling it to the top.

A couple of years ago, when the jug was about 2/3 full, Emily's mom got me a change counter for my birthday, and one Sunday morning, Emily and I skipped church to count what we had so far. Special place in hell for people like us, I suppose.

Emily started the jug sometime back in high school, and we've been dutifully working on it since before we were married—and we continued saving change when we lived in Palau. Over the space of our year there, we managed to accumulate a couple of hundred bucks in change, all dutifully saved in a ½ gallon Red Rooster Ale jug. Emily wanted to ship all of it home via airmail, but I (designated packer/shipper) put my foot down. When I regained consciousness (having learned never to let one's wife within striking distance when she's holding a jar with 30 pounds of change in it), we compromised, deposited it in our Bank of Hawaii account, and then, yes, wrote ourselves a check and converted that exact amount back to change when we got back home. Into the jar with it!

Since we'd been through the counting before and kept track of what we added since then, we had a pretty good idea what was coming yesterday morning when we took it to the bank to cash it in. We emptied it into a half-dozen big Tupperware containers so we could actually carry it into the bank.

And when the countin' was done, we had $8.52 in Canadian dollars, one parking meter token, a Fijian tuppence, a 1 Mexican peso coin, nine mangled pennies that wouldn't pass through the change counter, and $1,599.98 extra in our bank account. If only Emily had let me get my two cents' worth in, it would have been an even sixteen hundred bucks.

Mexico, here we come!

Incidentally, our friend Michael tells me that he recently saw a CNN blurb about BabyMoons, that they're what all the hip and trendy yuppies are doing. Glad to know how up to date Emily and I are. Now that he's put that kind of pressure on, I'm going to have to dust off my macarena before we hit the dance floor in Cozumel.