Thursday, June 23, 2011

It's A Girl! (We Think...)

Pregnancy is a very convenient and all-inclusive excuse to use for just about anything; namely for why it's been two and a half months since my last blog entry. Not only is it convenient, it's also very valid... In the past four months, between trips to the bathroom (both to pee and puke...pregnancy is not pretty, people), frequent naps, doctor visits, working hours, and what limited social obligations I've been able to keep, it's hard to find any time to sit down and write an update that's more in depth that a quick Facebook status post. But at 20 weeks and 3 days into my pregnancy, things have finally started to quiet down and slowly return to normal, which I'm sure Tyson appreciates almost as much as I do.

After what has seemed like FOREVER, we've finally reached the halfway point and are now in the home stretch of the pregnancy. Just 137 days (give or take a week or so) until we get to meet our beautiful daughter, and we could not be more excited!

"Wait, daughter?" you say, "But I thought... Last I heard you were having a boy!"

Yeah, that's a funny story.

At 11 weeks, our doctor made a preliminary guess from an ultrasound that we were having a boy. Of course, there's a lot to still be determined at 11 weeks, and we were very careful and mindful of the doctor's warnings not to take that guess to the bank. At 15 weeks, just before Mother's Day, we asked our doctor if he might be willing to give us another ultrasound and make another guess about the gender since we were hoping to be able to tell our moms as a Mother's Day present if they should expect a grandson or granddaughter. Again, our doc said his best guess was a boy, but warned us that it was still too early to be sure. We told our families just that, and we were all content. But a few days later, curiosity got the best of me, and I bought an over-the-counter gender test that a cousin had told me about to see if we could confirm the whole boy/girl question. The Intelligender test claims to be 90% accurate at as early as 10 weeks, so I felt confident taking it at 15-16 weeks. The results were a very obvious BOY reading, so we proclaimed to the world (via phone and Facebook, of course) that we were having a son, and thus began to plan accordingly.

Fast forward to our 19 week ultrasound last week. I'm half-sitting-half-laying back in the vinyl doctor's office chair with my feet up in those stirrups, and the ultrasound tech asks us if we would like to find out the gender of our baby. We respond yes, and Tyson adds that we are pretty sure we already know what the results will be, since our doctor estimated a few weeks ago that we were having a boy, and a gender test confirmed it. We make small talk with her about the name we have already picked out for our son, when all of a sudden she gets quiet. And then she says, "So... You were thinking it was a boy...? Because what we're looking at here are girl parts."

I can not begin to describe to you the speed with which our jaws hit the floor as she pointed to the three white lines clearly displayed on the screen (classic telltale sign of a girl baby on an ultrasound picture). And then we just laughed, and Tyson said, "Well I instantly hate all boys now." Already an overprotective father to his little princess! :)

So anyway, a girl it is. Tesa Jane, to be more clear. Tesa, a combination of her parents initials, Tyson E. and Stephanie A., and Jane, the name of Tyson's absolutely amazing grandmother, a woman that baby will be forever honored to be named after. And seriously, Tesa Jane? How much more refreshingly Southern can you get? At any rate, she's already quite the d├ębutante in the sense that she does not let me forget she'll be coming out into the world soon. I think even my doctor is flabbergasted with how much she likes to kick and squirm around in there! Tyson likes to say she's already high maintenance like her mother, but I think we all know she comes by it honestly from BOTH of her parents!

I'll try not to let it go so long between now and my next post, but until then, enjoy this YouTube video of what I can only imagine is the happiest baby in the world. Hopefully Tesa's temperament will be similar to this adorable little one!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Baby Bump Update!

This is a new experience for me... I'm blogging in the car on a roadtrip using my new work laptop, equipped with a Verizon aircard. It's amazing how far technology has come even in my 24 years, but I digress...

Anyway, I brought my laptop with the good intentions of getting some work done on the long drive up to Illinois for my cousin's wedding, but some issues with our main server have prevented me from doing so, so what better way to pass the time than write a new blog entry?

There's nothing much new in the Patricks' world, just me being pregnant. Anyone who's been pregnant before knows that's no walk in the park. I think I jinxed myself early on by assuming that since my mom never had any morning sickness with me or my brother, that I was in the clear. Boy was I wrong. At about 6-7 weeks, nausea hit me with the force of a brick wall and didn't subside for almost 2 weeks straight. Now, at 9 weeks and 5 days, I'm just now finally starting to feel semi-normal again, although I never know what sights, smells, or tastes will send me running to the nearest bathroom to dry heave for fifteen minutes. Tyson has been as helpful and supportive as possible, running to the store for the random bland food items I think I can stomach, and getting rid of the ones I can't. And he also doesn't complain that I come home at 5:30 everyday and immediately take a spot on the couch or in bed and don't move until it's time to go to work the next morning. Who knew growing a baby could be so much work, and cause so much exhaustion?

Morning sickness aside, the arrival of our baby is the one thing I've looked forward to more than anything in my life. I thought I was excited about our wedding, but the time flew by for that in comparison to the wait I feel like I have to endure until November when we'll finally meet our little Patrick. Every time I see a baby now, I get choked up and emotional and feel sad that I still have to wait so long. I know those feelings are ridiculous, and 7 months from now I'll be freaking out and thinking how little time I had to prepare for everything. But right now the due date just seems to be light years away!

So far, we've gotten two ultrasounds and two amazing chances to hear the baby's heartbeat. Our OB couldn't be more reassuring and positive about the pregnancy right now, saying everything looks perfect...which makes sense, since I can't imagine my baby being anything less! In our last visit, we actually got to see little tiny body parts...the whole head, and we could even see where the eyes and nose are forming, and arms and legs with little feet... Truly a miracle to see it! And we found out our little nugget is quite an active little thing! While watching the ultraound, tiny legs were kicking nonstop. It was so adorable, and Tyson especially was so giddy he couldn't stop laughing! The doctor told me to get my rest in now, because when TOM gets big enough for me to feel those kicks, I won't be getting any sleep! :)

Funny little anecdote...a true one...that happened to me recently: I'm going to be a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding in mid June. Obviously I'll be showing by then, and the procedures for doing a dress fitting are slightly different than for a non-pregnant person. My friend had called ahead and asked what the process would be for me, and they had told her that they would take my current measurements and ask me a few questions about how far along I was and whether or not it was a first pregnancy, etc. So last weekend I brought my mom with me to David's Bridal to get my measurements done. Of course, it's prom season, so the store was packed with a million teenage girls trying on dresses for that. We were assigned a sales associate who had worked there for less than a week. I explained that I was pregnant, and she asked me what size I normally wear. I told her a 2-4. She brought out three different dresses....sizes 8, 10 and 12. This alarmed me a little, but I didn't say much. She brought me to a dressing room, and right before I went in, she handed me a pillow with two velcro straps and told me I would need to strap it around my stomach underneath the dress. I just stared at her. This was not the process I had been expecting. Coming out of that dressing room was pure misery. I swear I had 50 sets of eyes staring at my huge deformed stomach, with a consultant who was poking and prodding my body but really not making any progress as to what we should do about sizing. In the end, after standing in the middle of that room for ten minutes in front of everyone, it was decided that my normally petite body should order a size 10 dress....3-4 sizes bigger than normal. Not in the mood to argue and really just wanting to escape from the store, I adopted the belief that too much fabric is always better than not enough, and signed the credit card slip and bolted.

So that's our life in a nutshell right now. Well, it's mine anyway. Sleep, pee, take prenatal vitamins, eat something...ANYTHING...as long as I can keep it down, repeat. They say the second trimester is easier...I'm about 3-4 weeks away from that, and I'm sure hoping for even the slightest burst in energy and appetite. Other than that, we're just spending our time making baby plans and, in Tyson's case, waiting for lake and football seasons, respectively. (I think it helps for him to break long waiting periods into smaller, highly anticipated parts...in Tyson's case, it's always summer fun and anything Volunteer related.) Until next post, here's to hoping for less nausea and potty breaks!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes Baby in a Baby Carriage!

Well if you believe everything you read on Facebook (and why wouldn't you?), word in the social networking world is we're having a baby. I must confess, this particular rumor is true! Tyson and I are going to be parents. God help that poor child, he/she never even had a chance at a normal life.

Tyson has already convinced me that our baby's first outfit, regardless of gender, will be a UT Vols outfit. He has also stipulated that Baby Patrick's first outfit home from the hospital will be a completely different UT Vols outfit. I used to think I had some semblance of reasonableness left in me when it came to the Vols, but I think Tyson must have completed my conversion phase without me even knowing it during the last football season. What other explanation can there be for a young, excited mother-to-be agreeing to deck their newborn out in orange rather than the traditional adorable pinks for a girl and blues for a boy? I must officially be just another crazy obsessed die-hard Vol for life. If this kid's blood doesn't run orange straight out of the womb, I'm afraid it's in for a life of torture by its father, and apparently even its own mother. There's no safe ground!

All kidding aside, we could not be happier or more excited about becoming parents. At barely six weeks along, we are already making plans for a nursery, itching to start a baby registry, and have started buying packages of diapers at every trip to the store so that we have a stock built up before the baby even comes. We've bought three baby books and have all but shouted our expectant status from the rooftops to anyone and everyone who will listen. We're pumped. And young though we may be, at my age of 23, almost 24, both mine and Tyson's mothers had already given birth to two children each by this point in their lives, so I have no doubt that we are ready and capable. We know how much life is about to change for us, and in fact it already has for me, but we welcome the challenge and can't wait to start building our own little family.

Our first ultrasound is scheduled for two weeks from today on March 24th. So far, so good at this point in the pregnancy. All my levels look good, and I've had absolutely no morning sickness so far (fingers crossed it stays that way). I tire out very easily, but other than that, not much has changed yet. Tyson has already become the junk food Nazi, denying me anything that wouldn't be good for the baby and asking me incessantly if I'm "supposed to be eating that." He's going to be a great dad! :)

Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks and months for more updates on Baby Patrick's progress. He or she should be making his or her first appearance in the world around November 7th, not even a full 8 months from now!

Friday, February 11, 2011

WARNING: V-Day Lovers Don't Read This

Ok, is it weird that, as a woman, I don't like Valentine's Day? I guess "don't like it" isn't the right way to put it. I guess it's more that I'm indifferent. It's like any other day to me. I don't look forward to it, or expect a big surprise, or even do much planning for it of my own. And I know what you're thinking, clearly I had a bad experience when I was younger when I was alone, or going through a breakup, or had a crappy boyfriend who didn't treat me right on that day... but no. Since high school, I've ALWAYS had a boyfriend on Valentine's Day, and with the exception of one year, they were all really good guys. Even the one exception year wasn't a bad one, it's just not a guy I would brag about.

So what the heck am I lacking that every other girl on the planet has, that makes me not care about this holiday? I have no idea. I used to think it was because I didn't buy into the whole consumerist Hallmark holiday idea, but I really don't think that's it. I mean sure, it's kind of ridiculous that it's pretty much just a day for all greeting card, chocolate, flower, spa, and restaurant companies to triple their year-to-date revenues in one day, but that really doesn't affect me, so who cares? If anything, it's a day of economny boosting that we desperately need in these times.

I've never been a very openly affectionate person, so maybe that's it. I'm not a big fan of public displays of affection, and aside from holding hands and an occasional hug or quick kiss, I've never participated in much of it myself. One of my biggest all-time pet peeves is going to the movies and seeing a couple of teenagers a few rows down in the middle of a heavy petting session while I'm trying to watch what's going on on the screen. It's distracting and inappropriate, and some stuff you just keep private. So maybe I just don't like that that kind of thing increases tenfold on Valentine's Day.

Today is February 11th and Tyson and I haven't even talked about making plans for Valentine's Day. A bunch of our friends have nice romantic evenings planned, or are celebrating early this weekend with some day trips or fun activities, but not us. I'm sure Tyson will do something sweet for me, as he always does. He is really good about spoiling and pampering me, despite me telling him I don't expect it. And I do make it hard on him, because Tyson IS a very affectionate person, and I'm sure it's frustrating to deal with someone like me when it's in your nature to be romantic. But aside from whatever sweet thing that Tyson has planned, I envision that our Monday night will be much like any other Monday night -- dinner in front of the TV watching HIMYM and Hawaii 5-0. And you know what? That sounds pretty damn near perfect to me.

One positive thing I will say about Valentine's Day... In recent years, I will admit I have come to look forward to this day for one reason in particular. My brother, one of the most infuriating, annoying, headstrong, obstinate, and disagreeable people in my life, does a complete 180 on this day. My parents have really raised this boy right, and I have to say, Erin is one lucky woman to have Justin as her boyfriend. In addition to the wonderful day I'm sure he will have planned for her, Justin will get me, my mother, and my grandmother all a Valentine's Day card and gift. He writes the sweetest, nicest things a sister could ever hope to hear from her brother. Seriously, his words always make me cry. And the gifts are always so thoughtful, which is a welcome change for a sister, especially when rest of the year at any gift-giving occasion he relies on me to think of and buy the gifts for our family members. One year he bought me two of my favorite movies on DVD, and last year, in the midst of some very stressful wedding planning, he gave both me and my mom gift certificates to a spa so we could go get a massage together. He is the best, and honestly I think Tyson and my Dad secretly hate it when he trumps them like that! ;)

So there's my Valentine's Day rant. I definitely don't mean to bring anyone down with my V-Day negativity. It's just not a holiday for me, and it probably never will be. In fact, if any of my single ladies wanna hang out on this day, feel free to holla at me. I'll be the one in the sweatpants with a TV tray watching whatever crazy antics Marshall, Lily, Barney, Ted, and Robin get into this week.

I'm So Bad at Blogging...

Ok, so I've been really lax lately with the whole blogging thing. My goal is to write a couple different blogs today to get adequately caught up, but not make the entries too excruciatingly long. We'll see if that actually happens...

So a couple of weeks ago, Tyson and I had our big housewarming party to break in our new house (even though we've had several get-togethers and football parties there already since we moved in). We had a huge turnout, way more people than we were expecting, and we had SO MUCH fun! We had people from both sides of the family come to visit, including Tyson's grandparents from Atlanta who drove three hours to see us, and several friends and even coworkers. It was so awesome getting to see everyone and visit and share our excitement. And I was so proud of Tyson and I for pulling off a good party with good food and fun!

As if Tyson and I haven't been busy and on the go enough, last week I had to go on an unexpected business trip for work to....Las Vegas! Yeah, I just had to go, haha! My company is in dire need of a new accounting and operations software, and the front runner in our software search just so happened to be at an air conditioning/heating/refrigeration expo in Las Vegas. So the company sent me and another coworker out to Sin City to get some more information and talk to the program developers. We stayed at the Bellagio overlooking the Bouldvard and the Fountains, and had an all out amazing time. Below are a few pictures from our trip:
This is the view from my 18th floor hotel room at the Bellagio.

Another view of the city, this one from the 3rd floor of the Hilton Las Vegas.

This inside of my room at the Bellagio.

The beautiful Fountains at the Bellagio.

Vegas at sunset.

The Bellagio from Las Vegas Boulevard.

The lobby of the Bellagio.
While we were there, we ate at Circo, a fantastic restaurant in the Bellagio. I had a duck-stuffed pasta with orange cream sauce, and I had a carmelized banana dripped with chocolate fudge for dessert. We also went to Margaritaville, did a little gambling at the slot machines, went to the minus5 Ice Bar, where everything is made of ice - the walls, the tables, the chairs...even the glasses they serve your drinks in. It's negative five degrees inside, and you have to wear a fur coat and hat to go in! It was such a COOL experience! (Pun intended.)

This is Tammie and I in the ice bar all bundled up!
We got back in time for SBXLV....for those of you who can't decode my abbrev speak, that's the Super Bowl. Again, we hosted a little get-together at our house, and I have to say, there were many highlights for the day, but the main one was NOT the game. First off, my brother's girlfriend, Erin, brought Just Dance 2 for the Wii, which was a huge hit for the girls. Such a fun game! And then probably most importantly, our friends Chad and Andee brought their sweet, sweet baby, Kenadie. (Collectively, we refer to the trio as Chanadie, haha.) Anyway, Kenadie was our core entertainment for the night. She is the happiest, most curious, funniest toddler ever...even our friend Graham, who is not a kid person, said he would like to take her home for a few days. She is the cutest!

So that's just a few things that have been going on with the Patricks lately. We have a lot of things coming up in the next few weeks too, so there are no signs of slowing down! This weekend we are going to a rodeo with some friends, next weekend is another fun outing planned (but I can't mention what it is yet because it's a surprise to someone who might read this...), the next weekend is a family trip up to Gatlinburg to get in some last minute skiing and snowboarding before the season is over, and the next weekend is my best friend's wedding! Only 22 more days until Abbey and Tanner tie the knot, yay!

I will try to get better about this whole blogging thing. I really do like to write and I love to read my friends' blogs just to stay up to date on their lives, so I'm sure there are people out there, even if not many, who like to stay up to date with ours. But as you can tell by my blog content, we've just been so busy lately! Hopefully things will start slowing down soon. Might not make for as interesting reading, but maybe it'll be an outlet for my more creative side. I know it's hiding in me somewhere! Til next time...

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Year, New House

Oh wow, so much has happened since the last post! Tyson and I closed on our new house (!*yay*!), Christmas has come and gone, our friends Maria and Brandon let us ring in the New Year at their wedding, we went on an AWESOME ski vacation, and Tyson started a new job!

The house is absolutely WONDERFUL, although we've been gone so much since we moved in that there are still boxes left everywhere that need to be unpacked. Tyson and I have committed to really buckling down over the next few weeks so that by the end of January we can have a normal, put-together home to live in. It's amazing how much space we have now! You could probably fit two of our old apartment in our house and still have some room left over. One thing is for sure, my parents, Tyson's parents, and Tyson's grandparents are all THRILLED to have all of our stuff out of their basements/garages/etc! They are also probably ecstatic at the thought of not having to move us for several years....heaven knows we've had waaaay too many "homes" in our six years together!

The multiple family Christmas concept is kinda new for Tyson and I, but last year we worked out an itinerary where we were able to fit a trip in to see both of our families, so our plan was to stick with that same schedule this year. Unfortunately, some of the best laid plans can fall through! We had a beautiful white Christmas up in LaFollette at my grandparents' house on Christmas morning, but all that snow and ice prevented us from making it down to Atlanta to see Tyson's family. We were really bummed that we couldn't make it down to see everyone, but considering when we were finally able to leave my grandparents' house a few days later, our cars were STILL having a hard time naviagating the icy roads, we knew we made the right decision. Luckily, Tyson's mom and brothers were coming up to Knoxville the following week to have Christmas with some of the local family and for Andrew's baseball camp at UT, so we were able to see them shortly after the holidays. Not the same, but definitely better than nothing. We will have to come up with a different plan next year too, because we are going on a super fun Disney World vacation with Tyson's family the week before/of Christmas, and we'll need to figure out a way to get back to Knoxville at some point too. Seems like it's always busy, busy for the Patricks!

On New Year's Eve, Tyson and I left work early and headed over the mountains to Mooresville, NC, where our friends Brandon and Maria were getting married. Brandon is the twin brother of Tyson's best friend/best man Mike. Coincidentally, Mooresville is also the city I used to live in before my family came to Knoxville in 1999. I hadn't been back there since we moved, and boy has it changed! I barely recognized it! We spent Friday evening at the wedding and reception, which was SO much fun! Maria looked absolutely gorgeous, and you could just tell how happy they were to be tying the knot. And Tyson and I were way jealous of their choreographed first dance...we definitely didn't have the discipline to stick with dance lessons for ours. We chose the middle school/hugging embrace stance for ours! But like I said, so much fun. Not only were Tyson and I celebrating our first New Year's Eve as a married couple, it was also the five month anniversary of our wedding, which we got to spend with some of our very good friends! We definitely missed our families though!

We spent all day Saturday in Mooresville looking around at some of the old sights in the town....our family's old apartment from before we built our house, the house, my old schools, my church....and we even visited with one of my oldest and dearest friends Stacy and her boyfriend Will. It was a lot of fun to catch up and talk like old times. On Sunday morning we got up early and met our friends Rodney and Callie in Davidson for breakfast. Callie has family in that area of NC and they happened to have spent New Year's there, so we decided to meet up for a quick breakfast before they headed back home and we headed north to Virginia for our ski trip. We ate at this great little place called Toast, which I would definitely recommend to anyone travling through the area or visiting someone at, say, Davidson College.

We arrived at Massanutten Ski Resort in Harrisonburg, VA just in time for the night time ski session. We had met my parents, brother Justin and girlfriend Erin, grandparents, uncle and cousins Corey, Riley, and Casey up there, and we were so ready to hit the slopes! My grandparents and mom took my little cousins Casey and Riley, to the timeshare to check in, and the rest of us headed up the mountain. Corey, at only 11 years old, took to that snowboard like a duck to water....I just can't believe how good he is! I am definitely the least advanced skier/snowboarder of the group. I stick to the beginner and some intermediate slopes...I'm such a wimp! We skied 5 out of the 7 days we were there (well they skied 5, I skied 4...). Needless to say, we were all very sore! We even went to Showshoe, WV one of the days (that was the day I took off....when we got there I took one look at those trails and though, wow, this is way above my level of experience, and decided to do some sight-seeing with my mom and grandparents instead!). I do think I improved overall this trip, so next year maybe I'll be able to take on some more intermediate slopes...but probably no black diamonds in my near future!

I think we were more tired when we got home than when we left, but another wave of snow gave us some more time to recover. School has been canceled for the entire week in my home county and Tyson's new job was canceled on Monday, and delayed on Tuesday and Wednesday! I went in about 30 minutes lates to my job on Monday, and we left about 30 minutes early, and it was delayed a little on Tuesday too. So it was nice to kind of be eased back in to the work week. Tyson is liking his new job so far, although he hasn't really been immersed in it yet. He is working with one of our friends, Clint, who is helping show him the ropes for now. Before long he should be raking in so much that I can quit my job and be a full time trophy wife! Not really, but here's to wishful thinking!

The next few weeks are scheduled to be just as crazy busy as the last few have been for us, but it's all so much fun that I really don't mind. I do miss the lazy weekends and weekly game nights we used to enjoy on a regular basis, but there will be plenty of time for that in the future. For now, we are just enjoying life with our friends and family and getting involved in as much as possible! Who knows when I'll even have time for another post...from the way things have been going, it might be 2012!