Monday, June 15, 2009

Unexpected Pregnancy Symptom #1 – Predicting The Weather

I can predict the weather – who knew? Last week we had some severe thunderstorms while I was at work. The temperature dropped 10 degrees in about 45 minutes, the barometric pressure changed significantly, and I developed a severe sinus pressure headache as the storm started to roll in.

At first, I didn’t make the connection and I was just confused as to why I had such a bad headache all the sudden. I had some headaches during my first trimester, but those were long gone. Then I noticed the temperature change (Weather Channel desktop is very handy!) and started researching the connection between thunderstorms and headaches due to pressure changes. So I took a Sudafed (yes, it’s on the approved list of meds!) and the headache started to wane as the Sudafed kicked in and the storms rolled out.

Fast forward to today…sometime this morning, my head starts hurting again. Definitely sinus pressure because my forehead feels like it’s going to cave in. I’ve always tried to use medication as a last resort and even more so since I’ve been pregnant, but I was just reaching for the Tylenol in my desk drawer when I heard the thunder crash noise that comes from The Weather Channel Desktop when there is an approaching storm. A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect until 6pm tonight.

Next time you want to know if we will be getting storms, just ask me and I’ll tell you how my head feels.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Baby Payne's First Pictures - 19 Weeks

Finally! Ultrasound pictures posted for you to all ooo and ahh over! Sorry it took me a week and a half (insert numerous valid excuses here). :)

This is Michael's favorite. I call it The Thinking Man as a friend pointed out he looks remarkably similar to the statue of the same name by Auguste Rodin.

This one could be slightly scary if you aren't a fan of skulls. His head is still propped up on his arm in that thinking position. Looks like we've got a serious one on our hands.
I think this one's my favorite. He's pretty cute for only being half developed!

Yes, indeed he is a boy as labeled in this picture. Don't worry it's zoomed in. Or he could just be very well endowed. :)

This one's a side view of the head and chest.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Baby Update - 19 Weeks

19 weeks...I feel like my belly in the picture above looks bigger than it is now at 20 weeks! There must be a shadow around the black shirt that's making it look bigger. :) he he he...
We had our ultrasound the day after I turned 19 weeks and those pictures are way more interesting than my belly picture, but for some reason, I can't get them to open on here...frustration. I'll have to load them tomorrow at work during lunch because I have them saved in a different format.

As far as the pregnancy goes though, I feel great. I have to be careful not to stay up to late (uh, like right now) because I have more energy at night, but then I don't want to get up in the morning! That one morning at 12 weeks or so when I woke up at 6:40am...that must have been a fluke because it sure hasn't happened again! Still sleeping pretty well at night...turning over a lot, but some nights I'm actually making it through the night without having to get up and pee!

It's really exciting knowing that Baby Payne is a boy. Oh, wait - I haven't officially announced that yet on my blog have I?! Well, in case you hadn't already found out from Facebook, word of mouth, or LeeAnn's blog, BABY PAYNE IS A BOY!! Yay! We are so excited. Michael of course is thrilled! He's been saying for weeks that it's a boy. He was so convinced he even skewed my blog poll by voting "boy" at least 6 times. Somehow, girl still won though! Well, I'm sorry my friends but you were wrong, he's a boy!

Anyway, ever since our ultrasound last Tuesday, it's been a lot easier to get excited about baby. It's so cool to have seen what he looks like. It sure makes it more real! Between those pictures and my growing belly, I no longer feel like I'm not being completely honest when I tell people I'm pregnant. I'm not sure why, but I felt like I had to have proof for people to believe me. Maybe I didn't fully believe it myself!

We still haven't registered or picked out nursery things or anything, but that's mostly because of time constraints. It's been a lot more fun to actually look at those things now that I can visualize a baby to go with them! I think it also helps that I've been able to feel him move more. I felt him move for the first time on the way to my ultrasound appointment last Tuesday, June 2. I'm fairly sure I'd felt the same sensation a couple times before, but didn't realize it. For some reason, as I was driving to my appt, when I felt the little flutters, I just knew that it was baby moving. Now I feel him moving fairly regularly. Especially in the car. Not sure if it's the seatbelt or the music...funny, I remember LeeAnn saying the same thing about Salem. I need to pay more attention but I know I've noticed it when the radio is on and I'm singing. Maybe he likes my voice. :)

I'll try to get ultrasound pictures and a 20 week update posted tomorrow!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Almost there...

Okay, so I'm not quite caught up yet. Today I'm officially 20 weeks (halfway!) and I still need to do the 19 week post with all the ultrasound pix, but I have to go to bed. It's after 11pm here and I hate going to work tired, so I'll try to wrap these up tomorrow since Celebrate Recovery will only be from 7-8pm tomorrow (instead of the usual 6-9:30) because of VBS at church. Usually, we don't get home till 10 or 10:30 on Tuesday nights...

Baby Update - 18 Weeks

At 18 weeks, we were in Colorado. You've already seen a few pix but here's the official belly pictures for week 18. Love that it's complete with beautiful scenery. Much better than our dining room wall!

I did amazingly well being pregnant in Colorado. I told Michael that we will have some great stories to share with our little one about me hiking up a snow covered mountain when I was four months pregnant! We sure did a lot of hiking while in Colorado and even though I had to take it easy and be sure my heart rate didn't get too high, it sure felt good! I've always enjoyed being active and being outdoors so it doesn't surprise that those are the times I've felt best during this pregnancy.
When I came back to work last Tuesday, I was only inside at my computer for about 30 minutes before I started to feel crummy because I missed the fresh air, daylight (as opposed to florescent lights!), and activity (as opposed to sitting at a compy all day!). It really did take me a couple days to get reaccustomed to being inside all day again. Though I have been trying to get out at lunch as much as possible. Even if it's only to run errands around Brentwood, I feel so much better than when I eat lunch in front of my computer. There is a very small park (maybe not even a park...more like a green space with a walking trail) right behind our office beside the Maryland Farms YMCA. I've been trying to go out there to eat lunch and walk some during my lunch break. It gives me more energy and lifts my spirits! I do miss the clear, cool air of Colorado though. This thick humid stuff in Nashville isn't as refreshing!
Baby-wise, at this point I still hadn't felt him move and also didn't know baby was a him! Looking back, I probably did feel him move, I just didn't realize what I was feeling. Overall, I feel great - no major complaints. I definitely wake up more during the night (used to sleep like a rock), but usually it's just to turn over or because I have to pee, but then I can go right back to sleep. I'm not going to post my weight gain information, but supposedly I'm right on track. I'm trying not to worry about it too much...just focusing on balancing eating healthy choices, trying to at least get a little exercise, and allowing myself to indulge. I've always been a healthy eater, so that's not been too much of a problem...I'm just eating more of those foods!
No strange cravings yet. Really, no cravings at all yet. I do get hungry really fast though. Like one minute I'm fine and the next I think I'm going to start gnawing on my hand I'm so hungry! I try to keep snacks close by for situations like this. People like to laugh at my snack drawer at work...I'll have to take a picture sometime. :)

Baby Update - 17 Weeks

I'm way behind on my weekly baby updates, but life has been crazy for the past couple months! The above picture is from when Michael and I went to NC for LeeAnn's church baby shower. We didn't get to make it to the family one, so we really wanted to be at this one! Before the shower, we stopped by Tanglewood Park where my cousins Ashton and Sharee were taking prom pictures. LeeAnn was 37 weeks and I was 17 weeks.

One More Colorado Post

I just found a video I took while in Colorado that is definitely worth posting. This video is from our hike on Friday on Mt. Evans. You can see how high up we actually were. Watch near the end where I show the ridge we hiked across...that's where I felt like I was in a Lord of the Rings movie!

Denver Day 5 (Monday, May 23)

Monday was our final day in Colorado. Our flight didn't leave till about 6pm, so we had pretty much the whole day to squeeze in whatever else we could before leaving! We considered a few things: 1. Skiing 2. Colorado Springs 3. Rocky Mountain National Park 4. Red Rocks. We choose option 4. We really wanted to ski while in Colorado, but I think Michael was concerned about my "delicate state" know with being 4 months pregnant and all. I probably would have been fine because I've skiied before and I would have only gone on the easy trails, but we decided not to do anything remotely dangerous before trying to catch a flight that evening.

Colorado Springs we voted against because they were calling for clouds and rain down there...we were going to ride a train up Pike's Peak, but decided it wasn't worth it if it was going to be cloudy when we got to the top!

Rocky Mountain National Park came in a close second to Red Rocks. The main reason we choose not to go there is because we'd already done a lot of hiking and were concerned about Memorial Day traffic coming back into Denver from RMNP.

So Red Rocks it was! And I'm so glad we choose Red Rocks because it was so amazingly beautiful! Red Rocks is a public park and an ampitheatre where everyone from The Beatles to Dave Matthews to opera singers have performed. The Red Rocks amphitheatre was a project of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) - actually I think it was their biggest project. It was fascinating reading the history and seeing all the pictures of the build in progress. Now, Red Rocks is a very popular venue and many artists' favorite place to play. What's great is that even if no one is performing, the venue is open all the time because it's also a park.
Here is a view of the amphitheatre from the top. This would be an amazing place to enjoy a concert!

Look in the background of this picture. You can see the huge red rocks jutting out of the countryside all the way down.

When I say huge, I mean huge. These rocks were big. Michael was taking a belly picture for me (for 18 weeks!). The picture below was before he zoomed in.

Even though we didn't go to Rocky Mt'n Nat'l Park Sunday, we did get to do a good bit of hiking. We picked up a trail that led up into the rocks and just started hiking to see where it would lead us.
I'm at 18 weeks in the picture below...
There are severe fines for climbing on the rocks (I'm sure it's a safety thing...), but in the picture below Michael is just following the trail.

After hiking around Red Rocks for awhile, we headed back to Denver and made a stop in Boulder along the way. We'd already been to Boulder briefly twice, but we really liked it there. And Boulder was having it's annual Boulder Creek Festival where there were tons of vendors and cool things to see. Boulder Creek runs right through Boulder and the creek was really high from all the snow melting and rushing down the mountains.

The Boulder Creek Festival is like Earth Day in Centennial Park on steriods. It's about 3 times as big and squished into a smaller space. Evidently, it's the biggest festival in the whole state of Colorado as they get over 300,000 people come through over Memorial Day weekend. We got some great freebies from Kashi, Horizon Organic, Silk Soy Milk, Luna (notice a theme here?? Boulder is very much a hippie/organic/natural kind of place). I bought a necklace from Bead For Life, a fair trade organization that sells beads made by Ugandan women to try and eradicate poverty in Uganda. Very pretty necklace and for a good cause!
So that wraps up the Colorado posts. We were very sad to leave. Michael was pretty much sold on moving to Denver as soon as we got there and continued to ask me when we were going to move to Colorado! I do miss the beautiful scenery and the air there. It's so clear and fresh. And people are very healthy there because everyone gets outside constantly. Wish I could say the same for Tennessee...we hadn't even stepped outside before I could feel the thickness and humidity of the air. And Nashville is nowhere near as pedestrian/biker friendly as Denver! As much as I love Colorado though, it's very far away from home...I'd like to stay within driving distance of North Carolina if possible!

Denver Day 4 (Sunday, May 23)

Sunday we drove to Breckenridge for Dave and Jim to use a workout facility there. They took us the scenic route across Loveland Pass which used to be the only way across the mountains until they built the Eisenhower tunnel back in the 70s. The tunnel is about a mile long and goes straight through one of the mountains. We drove through the tunnel on the way back and it was pretty impressive. However, it was nothing compared to the beautiful views of Loveland Pass. One thing Michael and I found really interesting was the lack of guardrails all throughout Denver and the surrounding areas. I guess they think you'll drive more carefully if you can very clearly see how far you'd fall if you didn't!
When we left Denver, the temp was about 65 degrees. By the time we got to Loveland Pass, it had dropped to 40 degrees...solely because of the elevation - amazing.
We finally had someone to take pictures both of us together!

Isn't God's creativity and beauty in nature amazing? We couldn't get enough of it and were in awe the entire time we were in Colorado.

Michael made Jim pull over so we could get these pictures. Definitely worth it. Glad we were driving the Subaru though and not the hybrid Civic. We may not have gotten stopped!

While Dave and Jim trained at the rec center (Dave did a half triatholon in Hawaii the week after we left), Michael and I explored Breckenridge. Breck used to be a mining town (like I said - most towns around Denver used to be mining towns), but is now a ski town. After the freak ice/hail storm, we went to the visitors center/museum and learned about the history of Breckenridge. Then we walked along the streets and checked out some of the shops. We bought two Christmas ornaments as our souvenirs for the trip and then found this amazing cookie shop!
Even between the two of us, we couldn't eat this cookie all in one session. It was two chocolate chip cookies with chocoloate chip cookie dough sandwiched in between and dipped in chocolate. Only thing that could have made it better was if it were dark chocolate. That was one intense cookie. Mmmm...cookies. These pictures are making Baby Payne want a good homemade chocolate chip cookie. :) You know, or any cookie for that matter!

After we left Breckenridge, we were going to head over to Vail, but it was getting late and it was kind of cloudy and we were afraid we wouldn't truly be able to appreciate it. Dave and Jim have access to a house in Vail where we were going to make dinner and hang out...but they forgot the key...darn.
Instead, we headed home, threw together a picnic of wine (water for me!), cheese, crackers, and Fig Newtons and headed out to Washington Park for a picnic. Evidently, Wash Park is like the Central Park of Denver. On pretty days, it's so crowded, you can't find a picnic table or BBQ open. There's a lake there that used to be open for public swimming in the summer and ice skating in the winter. Now people just fish there.

We were enjoying our picnic when some very curious squirrels headed over to see if we'd relinquish any of our cashews. Well, the guys were suckers for the squirrels and tossed them a few nuts to enjoy. Here's the first squirrel enjoying his cashew in the tree!

The squirrels in Wash Park must be very used to people because this one sure got pretty close to Dave and Michael! I thought he was going to eat a cashew out of Michael's hand!
Below is Dave watching the squirrel enjoy his cashew.

Denver Day 3 (Saturday, May 23)

Saturday we went to Idaho Springs, an old mining town (which really describes a lot of little towns around Denver) and ate at BeauJo's pizza. Who knew there was a Colorado style pizza? Basically, a really big twisted crust that you drizzle with honey for dessert. Since we got a honey wheat crust, it was really yummy.

Next stop was St. Mary's Glacier in Alice. I guess you could call Alice a town, but all we really saw were some houses and lots of dirt roads. And a really small school house that they probably still use considering how far away they are from an actual town. This was a pretty intense 3/4 of a mile..very rocky and steep. But a great hike with beautiful views as you will see!

Michael on the trail. Most of the trail wasn't covered in snow, but there were a few spots we did a little snow trekking.

Below is a picture of part of the glacier. It's beautiful how the snow flows right into the lake. The lake I'm sure is frozen in the winter, but had mostly thawed when we were there. There were marks where people had snowboarded down parts of it...hopefully stopping before they reached the lake!

Side view of the glacier and lake.
Michael enjoying the wonder of it all. You can see some of the snowboard tracks behind him.

We tried to avoid Interstates and took the scenic route everywhere we went. This creek followed the Peak to Peak highway. It seemed like every road we were on had a creek winding beside it. Once we got a little further down and it wasn't as cold, we turned the radio off, rolled the windows down and listened to the creek rushing by as we drove.

Catching Up...

So I'm way behind on posting updates about pregnancy, travel, and life in general. Tonight's the night I will catch up! Here we go...get ready for multiple posts to come flying at you! Okay, maybe not flying...more like one every hour or so.