Sunday, November 27, 2011

9 Weeks (Nov. 24-27)

I am actually a few days into 10 weeks, but I couldn't forget to document how week 9 went down...

The last few days of Thanksgiving break were lots of fun. The day of Thanksgiving, we did a lot of relaxing. Jason's mom did all the cooking - which I think next year I'll volunteer to help her out some, but I'll be honest, this year, it was great to just sit on the couch and read all day - then enjoy a delicious meal! I took advantage of the free time I had to just lie around, read, sleep, and visit with family. We did talk a long walk after the Thanksgiving meal around the farm land behind the Baareman's house. It was really fun to get outside, move our legs a bit, and even pet the horses! The farmland is actually owned by the University of Mississippi and is a research farm, but there are tons of trails and paths to walk around on. It is really funny because many times you can actually hear cows "moo-ing" from inside their house!

On Friday, we decided to venture out to Jackson, MS to participate in the annual Black Friday shopping. We didn't get there until about noon, but I did snag some pretty good deals on presents for family, and a few clothing items for myself at Target! We had lunch at this place called Newk's that was really yummy. I ordered soup and salad, and the cup of soup was gigantic! It was about a foot across, and very shallow, but still I hardly made a dent in it- thanks to first-trimester queasiness - ugh!!!! When will it stop!!? After lunch, we spent some time at Dick's Sporting Goods, where Randy got a Basketball Hoop marked WAY down from like $600 to $200! It was crazy! We also got some plants at a local nursery before heading home. After the drive home, we went to downtown Starkville and enjoyed some delicious pizza at Old Venice Pizza Co. We got the John Wayne pizza - which was really good. Side note- I think that my biggest pregnancy craving so far is pizza. I could really eat pizza every day if I could. I can't tell if this is real craving, or just the only thing I want because it is mainly bread - I tend to only want to eat bread these days. A lot of other things don't appeal to me because the smell of everything has increased like 10 fold. I normally love red onions, but tonight I couldn't stomach them.

That night, when we got home, the plan was to watch a movie together, but instead I went right into the bedroom, laid down and half read/half slept. I think the full day of shopping wore me out! lol.

The next day on Saturday, Jason and I went on a long brisk walk. The weather was beautiful - it was sunny and crisp outside, but not cold. Exercise does energize me, so I really enjoyed our walk. When we got home, I took a shower, and then again was tempted to just lay back in bed and read. So you can see what an exciting life I've been leading lately *sarcasm*! Good thing is, my book is really intriguing - it is the sequel to the Other Boelyn Girl - it's called The Boelyn Inheritance. I have this thing for historical fictional books. We also watched UGA beat Georgia Tech! That day we just hung around the house and then had BBQ for dinner. We also watched a really cute movie called Christmas in Connecticut.

All in all, I was really grateful for my relaxing trip to MS. I think I really needed the time to just do nothing for a few days - it was glorious!!!!

On Sunday, we left pretty early in the morning for the long trek home. We stopped in Birmingham at Panera Bread - primarily for me to get bread- haha. We stopped in Atlanta around 3:00pm and visited with my family. We had a few hours to just stay and chat, so that was really fun. They told us about their trip to Houston that they had taken with the kids and Kristen and Ben. We also got to see photos of their trip. After our brief stay, we hit the road again and made it home around 8 or so I think. I made shrimp, rice and veggies loosely based on a recipe - I'll never do that again! It didn't turn out very well and I couldn't really stomach it. I've found that in the evenings, I really can't eat much other than bread and cheese, or bland stuff like cereal.

We went to bed, didn't clean up or unpack at all (leading to a very CRAZY start of the work week) and were ready for the next week - Week #10!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

8 Weeks (Nov. 19-24)

It's the week of Thanksgiving! I have been waiting so long for a few days off from work and regular life! Jason and I left Augusta around 5:45 yestereday and got into Starkville, MS around 12:30 our time (11:30 their time) last night. Luckily, Jason did the driving and I got to sleep for a lot of the drive. I got so much sleep that I woke up at 6:30 this morning wide-awake!

For the last few weeks, I haven't been feeling all that well - but not horribly either. I just haven't really felt hungry, but instead feel kinda queasy for most of the day until all of a sudden I am starving! Then, even though I am starving, I don't really want to eat anything. I keep telling Jason that it is so weird to be hungry and yet not desire to eat any food! I have gotten to be really picky about the food I eat. There were a lot of days in November when I packed my lunch from home, got really hungry around lunch time, looked at my lunch, and had no desire to eat it. So, needless to say, I've spent more on eating out than I normally do! My focus has just been eating my 3 meals a day, no matter what - even if I don't really feel like eating. Sometimes when I eat, I feel some relief to my stomach, then other times I don't - it is really hard to predict. I think that sometimes my pre-natal vitamin is to blame. I've discovered that if I have that thing without a lot of food, my stomach will get upset.

Another symptom I have had is extreme thirstiness at all times! Sometimes it seems that no amount of water will solve the dryness in my mouth! It is really annoying. It has caused me to drink A TON of water though - which I guess is a good thing. Plus, I have totally stopped drinking soda of any type (and haven't since about week 5), mostly because it made my mouth even more dry and made me extremely gasey/burpy - ewww!

This past weekend, I was so excited that we had a weekend at home (Nov. 19-20). The previous weekend (Nov. 12-13), I had spent a busy, fun-filled weekend with my mom and sister for our annual Girl's trip to Atlanta. Well one sign of my tiredness following all that fun was that I didn't clean the house or even unpack my suitcase the entire week! So, this past weekend, we spent some time unpacking, doing laundry, getting the house back in order, running errands, shopping, etc. I was feeling pretty tired and spent a few hours each day laying down on the couch (either napping or reading). On top of my tiredness, I got sick with a typical cough/cold. My nose was running like crazy and I felt pretty bad. On Sunday, to keep up with the fitness challenge at work, I went to walk on the treadmill and that actually made me feel better - surprisingly. So after a pretty sickly weekend, I was pretty worried about this week. I made sure to get a TON of sleep over the weekend so that I could survive work. Then, to my surprise, I felt better than I had in a few weeks on Monday-Wednesday of this week. I had more energy, more normal appetite, etc. I even had energy to do something other than lay on the couch when I got home! I started to have hope that my pregnancy and sickliness wouldn't ruin the Thanksgiving break that I had been looking forward to!

On Tuesday, we had our first Doctor's appointment. I was actually really nervous about it becuase I thought that it would involve lots of tests, which I have never been to fond of. I was especially worried about the vaginal ultrasound - which some other people had described as a little painful. I was starting to think "what have I gotten myself into? I'm too big of a wimp to have a baby!" Well turns out God answered all my prayers again and everything went perfectly fine! All my tests went off without a hitch - and no it wasn't painful! Plus, we got to see our baby for the first time, hear its heartbeat, and even see its heart beat. It was really comforting to hear the nurse say that everything looked as it should. With the ultrasound, she looked all around my insides and said that everything looked good. We found out that we are only having one baby - no twins - which is a good thing since I plan to work until D-Day! At the visit, we also found out that my official due date is July 1st, but that measuring the size of the baby, my due date is July 3rd - the very same day as Jason's board exam! How crazy ironic is that! We are hoping that the delivery won't conflict with the test. So we praise Jesus for a healthy baby so far! We are very thankful and feeling very blessed right now! We have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!

Introducing our gummy bear! 





Right now we are hanging out the Baareman's on a beautiful Thanksgiving day. The sun is shining, there's a high of 70 degrees today, and we are just relaxing together. I can't help but think how different this Thanksgiving is from last Thanksgiving when I ran my first half-marathon. I actually remember thinking to myself that I should run it last year, in case I was trying to get pregnant this year. Crazy what a difference a year makes!

Oh, a few other things happened this week! I want to make sure that I don't forget anything! Jason ended up telling his co-workers at Trinity Hospital that we are expecting. He said he told them because all they ever talk about at work is babies, babies, babies! So eventually after they asked him enough questions, he spilled the beans! Meanwhile, my parents, the kids, and Kristen and Ben are in Houston right now visiting extended family. My mom asked if she could tell some of her family and her friend Diane about the pregnancy - especially since we had a little bit more confidence telling people at our doctors visit and ultrasound. So I told her she could tell. Then yestereday, I was at lunch at Subway with Stephanie, and a related topic came up and I decided to fess up to her. It was really fun getting to talk to a friend about it though! She said she won't tell a soul until I tell the whole office around the end of the first trimester. Hopefully I can hold this secret in for another month!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

7 Weeks (Nov. 14-20)

So I started this separate blog so I could be completely open and honest about what's been going on.... I've been feeling okay - not completely sick, but definitely not my normal self either. The best way i can describe it is semi-off/queasy. And I feel like this almost all the time. Luckily, I feel good enough to function like I did before. I can work, and even exercise, like I did for the first time in awhile today!

My hunger senses are kinda off too. Like most of the day I feel like I just ate a huge meal. Then, I will suddenly feel hungry and then eat. But then after that, I don't feel relief, I just feel super full and bloated like I did before. I think my main pregnancy symptoms are feeling tired/lethargic, feeling WAY bloated ALL the time (REALLY ANNOYING!), being burpy (eww! ) I feel like I always have air circulating through my body - so much so that I stopped drinking ALL sodas about a week ago. That did help significantly, but didn't get rid of the constant bloated feeling. The tiredness leads to a lot of weird stuff. For instance, my life has pretty much become all about boiling life down to the basics: working, eating, and sleeping. Everything else has just fallen by the wayside - things that used to be super important to me -  like having a clean house, clean clothes, etc. I have just accepted can't happen all the time. Also, in order to get myself to do anything other than working, eating, and sleeping - it takes a HUGE amount of effort. It was really funny today because I was determined to go the gym - it had been awhile. So I got there, and it was raining, and instead of just running in, I laid back my seat and just laid there for like 20 minutes- totally unlike me. It literally took me like 20 minutes to get up the gumption to walk into the gym! Another thing I haven't done that I did before - blogging! I think it is because I don't feel like I am being completely honest - when I try to write about things (like going to the fair, or having girls weekend with my mom and sis) without mentioning the pregnancy at all. I'm not very good at keeping secrets - this is the longest I have ever kept anything to myself!

I should also talk about semi-awkward things about being pregnant and not being able to tell anyone. Let's see if I can remember everything. The first night we found out was a Saturday - and we had planned to go to the Aiken Brewery with some of Jason's PT friends. Well of course everyone at a brewery has beer - except me - I had to nonchalantly decline that one. P.S. I think I did make a few mistakes in my early early pregnancy - before I even knew that I was. First off, I had two glasses of wine for my birthday dinner at Kristen's house - at that point I was probably only 1 week along. Then, I went on a few hard-core runs, which I have decided that I won't do any more of - after lots of reading online and soul-searching about running while pregnant. But anyways, back to the awkward moments. The day after I found out - I had to go to Atlanta for the NMSDC Conference. While there, I got to hang out with my dad and kids, since my mom was in Atlanta with some of her friends. While at the conference, Kevin- a guy I work with asked me how long it would be until I would have kids - I don't even remember what I said, i just thought that was pretty ironic - lol. Then, a random pregnant lady at my conference lunch table asked me if I had any kids - also ironic. The next thing I can remember is that one day I was wearing a pink sweater dress that I had ordered from Target - it isn't a maternity dress - but had some room to grow in it. Well my friend Paul at work told me one day that he liked my dress and that it would make a great maternity dress...clarification - he wasn't trying to be rude, his wife just had a baby, and I think maybe now he knows what maternity clothes look like...also, ever since him and his wife had their baby, he has been telling me at work how awesome kids are and how Jason and I need to have one soon. So anyways, right in front of my other co-worker Stephanie, he brings this weird maternity clothes discussion up and I start blushing and just trying to get out of the discussion by saying we aren't ready to have kids yet! The whole time I was wondering if Jason had told him the news - because why else would be tell me my dress looked like a maternity dress? Also he had a very insinuating tone to his voice. Unfortunately, since I couldn't find a way out of the discussion and i was bright red, I threw poor Stephanie under the bus and told Paul - "well you should give Stephanie a hard time about getting married instead of me a hard time about having babies!" - well I really regretted that... poor Stephanie then had to defend herself too...Next random moment, after the Summit, Stephanie and Adam and I were about to leave and were talking in the parking lot. He was saying something about how cute his little boy is...blah blah, then I asked, "When is he going to get to be a big brother?" Then Adam said - well actually, in May! So Stephanie and I were really happy and excited for him and started asking how his wife Courtney was feeling, etc. We asked him why he hadn't told us yet and he said that they had kept it under wraps and were a little gun shy because they had a miscarriage on their first pregnancy at 10 weeks. Adam said that they had heard the baby's heartbeat and everything and still lost the pregnancy :( . Of course, that was NOT something that I needed to hear - haha. But anyways, it just felt weird to all be talking about Courtney's pregnancy while I was standing right there, pregnant too - but not saying anything.

Unfortunately, the miscarriage story led me to spend the whole night researching miscarriage rates and stuff - not the most fun way to spend the evening! It basically has led me to feel like I can't really get excited about having a baby until I get past the 10 week, or even the first trimester mark of  13 weeks - when the rates of miscarriage fall way down. I realize that I really need to put my complete faith and trust in God that everything will happen as he has planned it - but I still think I will feel somewhat relieved after the 10 week mark!

Last week, we had our Wellness Checks at the Marion Hatcher Center, and I was right there among my colleagues as I'm filling out all the paper work about my health. The screening consisted of taking blood, flu shot, basic check up, etc. When I was about to get my flu shot I had a fleeting thought that maybe my pregnancy would mean I shouldn't get a shot. I whispered to the nurse - so none of my co-workers could here - but I just found out I'm pregnant...should I get the shot? Then I said, but it's a secret - I haven't told anyone! She just smiled back at me and said congratulations and said that the shot would be good to have.

I also went and got fitted for my sister's bridesmaids dress. Her dress got discontinued on Nov. 13th, so I knew I had to order it before that. Knowing I HAD to order my dress was actually what prompted me to buy my pregnancy tests. It was kinda fun because I got to talk to the lady at the store about being pregnant, and how I just found out and all. She was excited for me. I guess I have told more strangers than friends at this point! Side note - of course, she happened to choose a dress that was completely fitted around the mid-section, so that dress should look absolutely dreadful on me come the end of next March! Oh well!

Finally, today at work - we had our company Thanksgiving lunch. As a tradition, we form a large circle and talk about the things we are thankful for. Well tons of people started talking about how they were thankful for babies. Adam announced that he was going to have his 2nd in May, Thomas from Finance announced he was going to become a first time dad in January, and a few others announced they were going to be grandparents soon. The whole time, I just thought that I was really thankful too (for the same thing)- even though I couldn't share it at the time :) .

So that's about it. I did call the doctor this week and will probably go in for my first appointment sometime next week or the following week. I really don't think I believe that I am pregnant yet - maybe going to the doctor and getting a real ultrasound will help me believe it more. When i think about the fact that a year from now, I could have a 4 month old, I get so excited and happy, that I then immediately think - that can't really be true, something might go wrong, don't get too excited... these are the thoughts that are constantly circulating in my brain. I really think I will have to start majorly showing - then I might "believe" it! I can sum it up by saying that in my 7th week I am extremely gassy, burpy, bloaty, sleepy....yeah that's about it!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

6 Weeks (Nov. 7-13)

Originally Written: Nov. 7th, 2011 

So as of yesterday, I am 6 weeks along! I'm still trying to figure out how I want to post on the blog about everything. I'll start with the things that are obviously going on. First off, here's my first preggo pics! Gotta start somewhere - now the whole world knows what I look like at home after showers in the evenings! Photos taken in the middle of Week 5 - Wednesday, Nov. 2. 





Thoughts: On Saturday, we went to the Columbia County Fair with Angelyn. Normally I would have been really excited about going to the fair, but this time, all I could think about was how I couldn't eat the greasy food - partly because of the fitness challenge that my company is doing, and partly because I am trying to eat really well. Also, I started to think about all the fair rides. Typically, I'd be the one to ride ALL the rides, no problem. Well this time, given the new circumstances, I found myself thinking twice before boarding any ride. The first ride we road looked absolutely harmless - the Tilt-a-Whirl.  I knew I could handle that one, so Jason, Angelyn, and me boarded the ride. But once it got started, the little kid ride actually spun around really fast! I knew I could handle it, but I was wondering about the little baby inside of me. Could they handle it? After that, I started getting worried and wondering if I had made a mistake. The next ride was the giant swings. I knew that one would be calm, so I got in my swing without a second thought. Once we were flying high in the sky, with the beautiful sunset off in the distance, I was suddenly filled with more doubts and worries like "How safe is this thing?" "What is holding me up anyways?" - this is very uncharacteristic of me - given that I am normally pretty fearless on rides, roller-coasters, etc. I sat out the third ride as anxious thoughts went through my brain. I am starting to realize that I really need to trust the Lord with this pregnancy and leave everything in his hands. i can't eat perfectly, live perfectly, etc. in order to have a healthy child - I just have to trust Him that everything will go according to His master plan.

Another thought I have had is, "Am I still pregnant?" - I know this one seems funny, but I haven't had it doctor verified yet. So far it has only been verified through 2 Dollar Store tests- lol, and a period that is now a whopping 2 weeks late! I actually almost stopped at the store again to pick up another test today, but realized that my temptation to worry was again taking over and that I needed to place this one also in God's hands. Honestly, everything does seem very surreal still - not as surreal as the first day or second day, but still very surreal. I think this is partly due to the fact that I haven't told a soul at work, and that is where I spend most of my time. I'm pretty determined to not spill the beans there until the first trimester is complete, on Jan 1st, 2012!

Feelings: Up until this weekend, I felt 100% my normal self. Full of energy, etc. On Friday night we went to Secret Church from 7pm-1am (actually it didn't end until more like 2am!). I have attended Secret Church before no problem, but this time, I was absolutely freezing the whole time since they had it in the gym, and also extremely tired. I could have slept through a good two hours of the program since I had been up early and worked all week, or maybe it is some first trimester sleepiness kicking in. On Saturday, I felt completely fine, but on Sunday morning, on the first day of my sixth week, I did feel a little weird. It is hard to put my finger on it, but I felt a little sleepy, a little weak, a little sick, all rolled into one. That lasted from the time I woke up, until around 10:00 after I had had some orange juice and a muffin in Sunday School class. Today at work, I felt the same way. Also, I think I will stop drinking my daily Fresca or Diet Coke, because every time I drink one, it feels like I have drunk like 5 of them and I can't stop burping! I know- gross!

I think I had my first real pregnancy craving on Sunday when I really wanted some Zaxby's fried food. I can't remember the last time I had Zaxby's chicken strips, Texas toast, and french fries - I almost always opt for their Black & Blue Salad. But this time all I wanted the Zak Snack...

Again, I think the main update is that I REALLY can't believe that this is happening! It did become a little more real when we told our parents and siblings, but it still feels more like a dream than reality. I guess it will either take me physically changing - which hasn't happened yet- for me to believe it, or maybe an ultra-sound would help. That's next up on my list, choosing a doctor and setting my first appointment!

Until Next Time,
Laura


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Night at the County Fair

I guess one thing that I really really like about fall, other than the awesome weather, football, bonfires etc, is the plethora of events that are planned during the season.  I, for one, love fairs and it seems that the change in season tends to exponentially increase the prevalence of these traveling fun zones.  They are like circus's that you can actually be a part of.  Anyway, I really really like going to fairs, which my wife attributes to my bold and brash inner child that frequently overpowers my maturity.  So when I heard that the Columbia County fair was coming to town this November, naturally I got excited.  But, alas, the feelings of excitement were not mutual within Laura, for she did not hold fairs dear to her heart.  Fortunately, after much badgering (I guess fairs do make you kind of childish) Laura agreed to go to the fair with me. Yay!

I don't know what it is about the fair that I like so much.  I mean, honestly, they are kind of gritty and old and dirty.  But I guess that's part of the appeal.  I mean, where else on earth can you pay a few dollars to get double fried breaded chicken on a stick with a side of mayonnaise from a vendor trailer that looks like it would barely pass a health inspection.  Nope. Only at the fair.  And that is a big factor in my enjoyment of the fair.  You walk through the fair and here the sounds of chatter and screams while being bombarded with the smell of greasy fried grease.  Oh, you also can get funnel cakes.  Yum.  Sorry arteries, at least it's only once a year (or less in my case)!  When I'm at the fair, I also feel like a take a step back in time.  It's like I'm at some gypsy/vagabond-esque live museum complete with game operators, animals, yelling vendors, and precarious looking rides.  But the best is when all of that ambiance comes together at night and you hear the sounds of the pipe organs playing, the joyful screams of kids on rides and the glowing, colorful lights.  Yes, the fair is a truly cathartic experience.  So I'm really glad that Laura and I decided to go this year with our friend Angelyn.

We arrived at the fairgrounds and parked in a pasture parking lot just about the time to eat dinner.  After paying our $5 to get into the fair, we all just looked around and soaked up the atmosphere.  We began to walk around the fair to see what kind of games we could play, the shows that would be going on, and the rides which interested us.  While doing that, we all got hungry so it was time to make the ever important decision of what and where to eat.  We settled on a little 4 wheeled trailer with a sign on it that said "Big Momma's Soul-food."  With a name like, you can't go wrong.  I had a BBQ dinner plate complete with potato salad.  This was probably one of the better choices at the fair, actually.  With our bellies full of delicious soul-food, it was time to tackle some rousing games while our food digested.


I was enticed by a Skee-ball booth where you could win a stuffed animal if you rolled 200 points or better.  I thought to my self, "Self, you can do that and then I can win Laura a cute little stuffed teddy bear holding a heart!  Plus it's only a dollar."  Turns out, getting 200 points is harder than it seems and the Skee-ball booth is kind of addicting.  Fortunately, with the help of Laura, I realized that I did not have the required skill and/or luck to win that teddy.  And for the price I paid to play to try win it, I probably could have just bought one.  Oh well.  I had more fun than just going to the store.

Ready to win!
Focused on Trying to Win!
Epic fail...but Laura still loves me!

Next we found a cool Pony Race game.  It's kind of like Skee-ball meets the Kentucky Derby.  You would roll a little ball and based on what hole it fell in, your horse and rider moved on this little track.  All three of us set out to play this game, and Angelyn won!  She got a little white/glittery bear for her husband Michael, who was working like a 30 hour shift at the hospital.  After that game, we really didn't feel like playing any more because they can kind of be expensive and we wanted to ride some rides.  So we disappointed an enthusiastic game vendor who desperately wanted us to play his pick-up-a-glass-coke-bottle-with-a-ring-attached-to-a-wooden dowel game for a 6 foot tall stuffed banana when we declined his sincere offer to play.

Now, the rides only cost about 3-4 dollars per ride so we were able to ride a couple of them.  I really like fair rides even though I really don't like roller coasters. I mean, I still don't ride any of the upside down fair rides, but the classic thrill rides like the tilt-a-whirl have a special place in my heart.  Probably from riding them in my childhood.  Needless to say, I got pretty excited when we rounded a corner and saw a rickety old tilt-a-whirl just beckoning us to take a ride on it's sadistic spinning ladybug seats.  It was AWESOME!!  I captured the entire ride in the video at the bottom of the post.  Man, that was just good 'ol classic fun.  If you go to the fair, find and ride the tilt-a-whirl.

Next, we went on some spinning swings and tried this interesting ride called the Himalaya which was just like a fast spinning train.  What made this ride fun, though, was the sweet jams they were playing and the smooth jazz vocal toned ride operator trying to get everyone excited about the ride.  He would say things like "Who's ready to go faster and hear some sweet tunes on the Himalaya tonight" in this deep, rich late night jazz DJ voice.  Hilarious.  After finishing up with the rides, it was getting pretty cold because it was already dark, and realizing that we shouldn't spend anymore money, we all decided to head home and warm up with some hot chocolate.  It was a great night of childish fun!  Be sure to check out the video diary of the experience below the pictures!  And Happy Fall.  I hope that you too can experience a local fair to satisfy your inner kid.
The awesomely retro sign of the Tilt-A-Whirl
 The Ambiance of the Fair at Night
 On the Himalaya with DJ Jazzisoul.  Laura thought she would get too dizzy.
  
Our Video Diary of the Evening

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