Thursday, December 29, 2011

Triple Crown

One of the perks of Matt’s new job with Aflac is that they offer TONS of incentive to do well within the company. I LOVE that and think that it’s a great way to encourage and motivate your employees! I also think that it’s great because it’s ever changing – meaning you’re not winning the same things every single year. Some of the incentives are products, money, and, best of all, free trips! Matt has been working his behind off (I am SO PROUD of him and how great he’s been doing!) and this summer he officially qualified us for our first trip. The upside: it’s a free trip. The downside: it was to Atlanta. Ha. For people who live in Georgia (and have family in Atlanta), this doesn’t initially sound like the best trip. This trip is a trip that you can ONLY qualify for in your first year. Meaning, if you don’t make it the first year, it’s just gone and you miss it. A lot of the other trips “cycle through” meaning, if you don’t make it- you have a chance to go back to that same location in a few years. The reason that this trip is to Atlanta is because the Aflac national headquarters are in Columbus, GA which is very close to Atlanta. So for us, it wasn’t the coolest city to visit, but to people from somewhere like Arkansas, I’m sure it was more exciting.

Another thing that Aflac does is they give you the option of either flying or driving (if it’’s not too far) to your location –– expenses paid. Matt and I drive to Atlanta ALL THE TIME. Literally, we make the trip at least 5+ times a year. It is absolutely the worst drive in the world to me. On the other end, we NEVER fly anywhere. Ever. I’’ve only flown once in my life and that was in highschool. Since it was paid for us either way, we opted to fly. Why get there in 4 hours when you can make it in 1? I’’m not gonna lie, we got TONS of crap from other people for this. Especially other Aflac people who were either going or had been on this trip before. Regardless, we stuck to our guns and decided to do our vacation how WE wanted, not how other people thought we should.

Our trip was Nov 3-6 which was a Thursday –– Sunday. This meant that I had to miss 2 days of school (bummer). Our flight was scheduled to leave Valdosta at 11:10 Thursday morning. We got up, packed, took LL to Grammy’’s, and then headed to the airport. Grammy and Pop were going to bring LL by when it was closer to take-off to see us before we left. We got there, printed our tickets, checked our bags and proceeded to wait. LL got there about 10:45ish and not long after we started to go through security. Grammy, Pop, and LL continued to stay so that LL could see the plane take off. We went through all of security and waited in the terminal right where you board the plane. Let me go ahead and tell you, while I was really excited, I was also VERY nervous. I was newly pregnant on this trip (we had literally JUST found out the week before), I’’m afraid of heights, and I had only flown once. I was a nervous wreck on the inside!

                          Waiting to go at the airport.

They finally started boarding the plane and calling by sections. This is when things started to go downhill. Matt and I were both looking at our tickets and couldn’’t for the life of us find what section we were in. Matt finally went and asked the guy who was boarding everyone what section we were in and they guy told him, “"You’’re not in a section because you don1’’t really have a ticket. You’’re on standby.”" Umm……..what?!?! We had no idea about ANY of this! They called the last section, and Matt and I were able to talk to the guy a little more. Basically, there were 4 of us on standby (and NO ONE on the list knew they were on standby!). Delta, in an effort to make more money I guess, oversold the plane. This is actually pretty standard practice because in bigger cities, you have TONS of people not show up for their flight. In Valdosta, not so much. Basically, there were 4 of us on standby and 1 empty seat available. Matt and I were #’’s 1 and 2 on the list, so we have first pick of that seat. Umm……I wasn't flying by myself, and I sure as heck wasn’’t going to drive while Matt flew. So we gave up that seat to the girl who was behind us. This is the part where we started to get REALLY pissed. I mean, we had just been at the airport for 2 hours for a flight that we weren't going to get on. They said we could get on the next flight, but that one wasn’’t until 5:00pm –– NO THANKS! Matt demanded that they get our luggage off the plane because we knew at this point that we weren’’t going to be flying period.

They made us go back out into the lobby of the airport and this is the point where Matt got on the phone with Aflac. Initially, we thought this was an Aflac problem and something they had done wrong.  After Matt talking to the lady with Aflac, and me talking to the people at the desk at the airport, we quickly realized that this was DELTA'S fault - not Aflac.  But here was the problem - the next flight wasn't until 5:45 that evening.  So if we took that, we'd miss all of the Aflac stuff going on that evening.  Plus, we'd be stuck waiting around Valdosta for another 6ish hours.  Our other option was do drive up there ourselves - but the problem with this was that since Aflac had already paid for our plane tickets, the wouldn't reimburse us for gas $$, meaning we'd have to pay for the trip out of our own pocket.  Not cool for a trip that was SUPPOSED to be free.

Then, I really started talking to the guy behind the counter and he started explaining that they would reimburse us for our ticket amount if we wanted.  At first I thought, "Okay, so what.  It's only from Valdosta to Atlanta.  The tickets can't be more than $200."  That's when he said, "It should be somewhere around $1,000.00.  Each."   Ummm...EXCUSE ME?!?!

Turns out, Aflac books your flights pretty close to the date that you're leaving.  Hence why we were on the standby list.  But what else does that mean?  Tickets are more expensive!  The guy at the airport ended up cutting us a check for $1300 each, AND we have travel vouchers for plane tickets in those amounts, too.  How awesome is that?!  Needless to say, we took the money and ran with it!  It was funny to us, because SO MANY people made fun of us for flying there, but we're the ones who ended up laughing all the way to the bank!

We ended up driving to the hotel ourselves and got there around 3ish.  We checked in and rested for a little while because we didn't have anything to do until about 6.  At this point, I was still VERY early pregnant (about 5 weeks), so I was exhausted and welcomed the chance to rest.  Especially after our crazy morning!

Not so upset anymore!

The inside of the hotel.

View from our room.

The next day, Aflac had scheduled for everyone to take a bus to the national headquarters in Columbus, GA (about a 2 hour trip).  I wasn't feeling great at all, plus I knew that it would be TONS of walking, so I decided to just stay at the hotel and rest.  Matt was really cool with it, and it was nice to have a day just to myself.  It doesn't happen often at home!

I had to get lunch from a shop in the hotel since everyone was being fed while they were on the trip.  This sandwich and a drink were like $20!  Not cool, but I didn't really have another choice.

Enjoying my day to myself!

Aflac headquarters

This is Paul Amos.  He is one of the founding brothers of Aflac.  He's in his mid 80's and he still goes to work every day!

That night was our dress up night at dinner.  We don't get all dressed up much anymore, so it was fun to get to do that!

One of my new fav pics of us!

The names of all of the people in Matt's district who made the trip.

Quite possibly the FUNNIEST thing from the trip was when Emily's mom, Jodi, (who, obviously, also made the trip) talked another guy from Matt's district, Jason, into going up front to "dance" with her after dinner.  Then, when they got up there, she somehow got the band to pull him up for a solo.  He had to sing by himself ("Aint No Mountain High Enough") and he was NOT a good singer AND he had no clue what the words were.  I don't know if I've ever laughed so hard in my life!

Saturday was our activity of choice.  Since it was his trip, I told Matt I was okay with whatever activity he chose.  He picked the aquarium.  While we've both been (several) times before, we've never actually been together.  It was neat to get to experience it at the same time.  Plus, since we'd seen it all before, we could just take our time and not be in a hurry.

In the penguin tube!

That night was our last dinner with Aflac.  They also had an "Aflac Idol" and you KNOW Matt had to participate.  He's a music guy AND he loves attention so it was right up his alley.  He ended up singing "Hey Jude" and he ROCKED it!  I took tons of pictures, but they all turned out blurry because it was so dark.  Honestly, he was a shoe in for winning the whole thing (really!) but then some old lady came out and completely rocked it to "I Will Always Love You".  She totally stole 1st place from him!  But she did do great, and Matt still had a blast.

All in all, it turned out to be a GREAT trip!  I can't wait for many more to come!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

13 Weeks Pregnant!

Yay!  Hello, 2nd Trimester!

Baby Growth: Baby is now about 3 inches long and about the length of a peach!  Our sweet little one now has finger prints and even may be starting to sprout a little hair.  If baby is a girl, she already has about 2 million eggs in her tiny ovaries.  He/She can now put his/her thumb in their mouth and may start to suck it soon.  Both the nose and lips are done developing this week.  The baby is also starting to form the voice box, even though it won't be used for about 7 more months.  

My Symptoms: This week has been pretty crazy.  At the start of the week, I did not feel good at all.  I was even throwing up still.  I've also been battling a cold, so I've been coughing (and unable to sleep some nights) and feeling terrible.  Then yesterday, I really started to feel better.  My nausea has decreased significantly.  My cough is almost gone.  I feel like I might start to be getting some of my energy back!  I'm still VERY picky about my food and things either sound really really good or really really bad.  My back is still hurting pretty badly if I stand for a long period of time, but I think it's just something that I'm going to have to deal with for the duration of the pregnancy.  It's for sure not going to get better as the baby gets bigger.

Weight: I'm still at -3lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight.  This REALLY surprises me because I have for sure been eating.  I'm thankful for it, though!  I know those pounds will start to pack on soon enough!

Belly Pictures: I got my belly stickers in this week!  Yay!

Gender: Starting to really feel like this is a girl.  To the point where, in my head, I almost always think of this baby as a girl.  I think it'll be funny (and totally fine!) if this baby turns out to be a boy and I was completely wrong.  Maybe I'm thinking girl because that's all I know?  When I was pregnant with LL (and my sis was pregnant with her son) my mom did the needle test on us.  Basically, you lay on the floor and someone (my mom) holds a needle on a string over your belly.  Supposedly, if it swings in a line, it's a boy.  If it swings in a circle, it's a girl.  With both LL and my nephew, it was right.  We did that this past weekend, and it swung in a circle (girl).  Then, there's another trick that I heard about (I think from Emily??) where you can see all the children you already have and the one you're pregnant with.  For this one, you put your wedding ring (or some kind of metal) on a string and hold it over your wrist.  From the first time, it will tell you all of your kids in order.  So for me, it swung in a circle first (because I already have a girl - LL).  Then, it swung in a line (confirming what we thought about the last pregnancy that we lost being a boy), and then for the third time, it said girl again.  After we tested it on me, we tested it on my mom.  For the first and second time, it said girl (that's all she has - two girls, no miscarriages, etc.).  On the third time, it sat still.  Weird, huh?  Then we tried it on Matt and my step-dad, and it held still for them (they have kids, but haven't carried them in their bodies).  Crazy!

Maternity Clothes: Nope!  None at all!

Movement: Yes!  In fact, on Friday (the day before Christmas Eve), I felt this baby moving ALL DAY LONG!!  It was awesome!  I didn't feel anything the next two days, but I've felt a bump here and there yesterday.  Such a good feeling!

Sleep: This has been pretty terrible this week because of being sick. Now that I'm starting to feel better, I'm also starting to sleep better.  I've stopped sleeping on my stomach, but it wasn't anything that I really decided to not do.  It just doesn't sound comfortable anymore.

What I Miss: I don't think anything right now!  I'm starting to feel better, I'm not at work - life is good!  

What I'm Looking Forward To: I think we might go see my sister this weekend, so I'm looking forward to that.  I'm looking forward to feeling this baby move more and more.  I'm also excited about getting more of the office cleaned out to make room for this little one!  I've also started searching for ideas for LL's birthday party, and I'm starting to get REALLY excited about it!

Cravings: Still not really anything.  Super picky about food, but not really craving anything.

My Concerns and Questions: I'm struggling with fear right now.  I'm used to going to the doctor every week, so waiting for 4 weeks is a scary change.  Satan is using this to sneak in and tell me horrible things.  I've just been praying to keep him away and staying as positive as I can!

Goals for the Week: Enjoy being home with my girl!!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12 Weeks Pregnant!

Wow!!  Isn't this an awesome number to see!!  I've been looking forward to this day!  Even though, technically, I'm not in my second trimester until next week, right?  I have no clue.

Baby Growth:  Little baby Mullican is a little over two inches long and weighs about half an ounce.  This means that, from crown to rump, our baby is about the size of a lime.  Our little one can now move his/her hands and feet individually.  He/she can also respond to sensations in and around them and can even flinch in response.  They eyes have finally made their way to the front of the head and the ears are in place, also.  Some organs that are starting to work this week are: thyroid gland, pancreas, and gallbladder.  If we had an ultrasound this week, we might be able to see our baby smile, frown, squint, fold the lips, and even wrinkle the forehead!  The baby is starting to grow hair this week.  Finally, my placenta is finally starting to take over to provide nutrients and oxygen to the baby.

My Symptoms: This has been a crazy week!  Overall, my nausea has been better - but the weird thing?  I've been throwing up again!  It started on Friday (my last day of school), and has continued every day since then on an every-other-day pattern.  Weird, huh?  And EVERY time it has been in the morning when I've had NOTHING in my stomach.  I mean, how do you throw up when there's nothing in there?  Because I've been throwing up, it's led me to take Zofran this week.  I've needed it on both Friday (to be able to go to school) and Sunday (to be able to go to church), but that also comes along with a bad side effect: constipation.  So I'm trading one horrible thing for another.  Luckily, I'm out for Christmas break, so I don't HAVE to go anywhere - meaning I can get away without taking meds.   Another weird thing - I survived the three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas break with going to school every single day, being around 120 crazy sick kids, and not getting anything.  But then Sunday night after vacation has started?  Sick.  Totally not fair.  It for sure felt like sinus junk.  My throat hurt and I had a HORRIBLE headache.  I actually ended up asking Grammy to keep LL over Sunday night and all day Monday for me so that I could concentrate on getting better.  I went to sleep Sunday night at about 5:00 and slept most of the time until noon on Monday, only getting up here and there for a little bit.  I looked on my sheet from SouthernOB about what I could take, and loaded myself up on Tylenol and Sudafed.  Both of those things seemed to help a ton and I'm feeling much better now.

Weight: Lost another 2 pounds.  This brings me to -3 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight.  This really doesn't make sense to me.  I know I've been getting for real sick this week, but when I throw up in the morning, I'm throwing up NOTHING.  I mean, there's no food in there.  So it's not like I'm losing nutrients.  And I'm still eating like regular.  I guess the baby is really starting to take nutrients from me now?

Belly Pictures: I'm actually feeling REALLY good about my body right now.  I know that I have a visible belly, but I feel like it's totally starting to look like I've got a small baby bump and not just like I'm fat.  I also think that this is an "acceptable bump" for 12 weeks.  Like, I'm getting to the point where (in my head) it's okay for me to be showing.  I ordered some belly stickers (from this shop on etsy!), so hopefully they'll be here soon!

This is me now and with LL.  Not too much of a difference, right??  Or am I crazy?

Gender: Still really feeling like this may be another girl.  I'm still not putting in my real guess for a few more weeks, but this is the way I'm leaning.  I think we're pretty set on our plan for what to do: find out the gender, tell everyone, but only tell people the INITIALS for the name.  That way there's still some sort of surprise.  But we still have about 6 more weeks to think about it.  :)

Maternity Clothes: Nope!!  Not for a LONG time, hopefully!

Movement: After talking to Marie last Friday, now I know that I AM feeling this baby!  I only felt it once or twice this last week, but it's still neat.

Sleep: Other than Sunday and Monday night when I was sick, I've still been sleeping pretty good.  I'm sure I'll get into a routine of napping now that I'm out for Christmas break.  :)

What I Miss: Not throwing up!  I won't be sad when this part is over!  

What I'm Looking Forward To: This whole Christmas break.  I'm not rushing anything!

Cravings: Not really anything this week?  Still really picky about what sounds good, but not really craving anything.

Best Pregnancy Moment of the Week: Hearing the heartbeat for sure!  And finding out from my doctor that I AM feeling the baby move!  Both things were AWESOME!

My Concerns or Questions: Not really any right now since I just had my appointment.  But I'm sure I'll think of some before next week!

Goals for the Week: Well, I don't need to clean my house!  It all looks awesome right now!  I do need to get some gifts wrapped and there are a few more that we need to make.  Other than that, we're going pretty good!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

11 Week Appointment

Last Friday I went in to the doctor for my weekly shot.  When I got there, the place was almost empty!  I was a little nervous for a second that they were closed.  My appointment was at 3:30 and they close at 4, so I was literally the last appointment of the day!  Let me say - this time having the last appointment definitely worked in my favor!

I got back SUPER quick and barely had to wait at all!  When they weighed me, it showed that I had lost TWO MORE pounds since last week.  ??  What?!?  I'm really shocked because I've actually been eating pretty well!  I guess this baby is really soaking up all of my nutrients!

Matt didn't come with me this time because I had no idea if Marie would look for the heartbeat this week.  Because of the hard time that she had last week, I kind of figured that she wouldn't.  

I got straight back to a room, and Marie came in almost immediately.  And what did she come in with?  The doppler!  I was excited, but still pretty nervous.  What if she couldn't find it again??

She started looking again and said pretty quickly, "Hold on, let me chase this baby!".  Such a good thing to hear!  She finally cornered the baby and got him/her to stay in one place.  She found the heartbeat pretty quickly then and I couldn't help the big grin on my face!  She said that the heartbeat was between 156-159.  Lower than last week, but the bigger the baby gets, the more the heart rate will stabilize and become pretty consistent.  

As we were listening, we'd hear this pretty loud noise every once in a while that sounded kind of like radio interference.  I remember hearing that with LL, and I always just thought it was the machine.  On Friday, Marie said, "Do you hear that?  That's the baby moving."  So cool!  We talked about it for a minute and she told me to wait and that it would happen again - and it did!  

I thought this was a good time to bring up that I had really been thinking that I could feel this baby move.  I asked her if she would tell me that I was crazy if I told her that I really thought I could feel this baby move.  I told her where I was feeling it and what it felt like.  I also told her that I had little gas bubbles all the time, but that this was WAY different than that.  Then she told me the best news - that I was completely feeling the baby!  She said that if I was 250lbs, she would tell me that there was no way.  She said that if I told her I felt it up higher, she would tell me there was no way.  She said since I was thin and since this is my second time, that I was for sure feeling the baby!  AMAZING NEWS!

I also asked her about my uterus being tilted.  I wanted to know if it was going to effect my ability to have a vaginal birth, etc.  Then I got more good news; she said it was already starting to "un-tilt".  As the baby gets bigger (and my uterus gets bigger), it will start making it's way back to a normal position.  It can be dangerous if it doesn't start moving, but that mine is already out of that "danger zone".

I also asked her about how many more weeks she wanted me to get a shot for.  She originally said for 12 weeks, and Friday I was 11 weeks 2 days (and the shot lasts for a week), so I had no clue how many more times she wanted me to come in.  She said that she was feeling really good about my pregnancy and felt really confident in where it was going (umm...GREAT NEWS!) and that if I hadn't been having any cramping (which I haven't), that it would be my last shot.  

She scheduled my next appointment for 4 weeks and told me to call if I needed her!  A part of me is really nervous to have to wait 4 weeks to go back, but I just have to keep telling myself that if she was nervous at all, she wouldn't have me wait this long.  And her confidence is a great thing!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

11 Weeks Pregnant!

Late is better than never, right?  I figured I needed to get this posted before I turn 12 weeks on Wednesday - haha..

Baby Growth: This week, our precious baby is almost 2 inches in length – about the same size as a fig! Little baby is also moving a ton! He/She can do summersaults, kick, and move his/her arms and legs. The webbing between the fingers and toes is now gone! The kidneys are fully functioning and the baby is producing urine. Also this week, blood will begin circulating through the baby’s body. My placenta will (finally!) start functioning this week, as well. Up until now, the baby has been receiving all he/she needs through the yolk sack. Baby is also able to get hiccups now!

My Symptoms: Boy, did week 10 go out with a bang! I felt AWFUL yesterday! I was experiencing roaring in my ears and an elevated heart rate (totally normal for both of these things – I checked). I was also nauseated on top of it. Not a good day! It seems like I’m on an “every other” day rotation now. I’ll feel horrible one day, and pretty good the next. I guess it’s a break, at least! No nausea meds this week, either – so it’s been about 2.5 weeks since I’ve had any. That’s pretty good. On the days that I feel terrible, I get tired VERY early. On the days that I don’t feel so bad, I can usually stay up a little later. My back has still been bothering me, but I’ve been sitting more at work this week, so it’s been better. It was terrible at church on Sunday when we had to stand for a good bit to sing. I’m finding myself having more food aversions. A lot of times, things sound absolutely DISGUSTING to me. This symptom is getting a lot worse. My mood swings are doing a lot better this week.

Weight: The scale at the doctor’s was right last week – I’ve lost a pound! Not bad! If this sticks, I’ll make it through my first trimester without gaining any weight! I gained 25 lbs exactly with LL, so that’s my goal with this baby, too.

Belly Pictures: I still need to order these stickers! I keep forgetting!

Gender: Starting to feel like this is a girl. I won’t make my for sure guess for a few more weeks, but this is still where I’m leaning towards. I think we’ve finally gotten our boy/girl names picked out, so that makes me really excited. We’re thinking about a new plan: finding out the sex, telling everyone, but then only telling them the baby’s INITIALS until they are born. That way, we can go ahead and know the gender, but still have a little bit of a surprise in there. What do you think?

Maternity Clothes: Nope. Not even the hair tie this week!

Movement: Really, I totally swear that I can feel this baby. It usually only happens once, maybe twice a week, but it totally does NOT feel like gas. It’s a legitimate thud inside my stomach. I’m still probably crazy, but I really think I can feel it. I felt LL for the first time at 12 weeks, so it’s kind of par for the course maybe, right??

Sleep: I have been sleeping soooo good. Once I’m out- I am OUT! For the first time ever this entire school year, I overslept until 6:00. I’m supposed to be up at 5:30, so I had to rush around like a crazy person to get to school on time! I’m also still sleeping on my stomach and it’s not uncomfortable at all yet.

What I Miss: Nothing really? I’m feeling pretty good right now! Maybe not feeling sick, but I know the end is near.

What I’m Looking Forward To: Getting out of school!! 2 more days and then I’m free until Jan 6! It can’t come fast enough! I’m also looking forward to my sis being in town this weekend. She and my bro-in-law are staying at my house Saturday (and both kids are going to my mom’s), so it’ll be really nice to have some adult time this weekend!

Cravings: Taco salad from SurEste again. ;) Good thing we’re going back this weekend! Nothing else really.

Best Pregnancy Moment of the Week: It’s not pregnancy related, but my absolute best moment this week was last night at dinner. We had Oma and Opa (and Ben!) over for dinner. At the dinner table, LL was singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reigndeer, Santa Clause is Coming to Town, and Jingle Bells to show off in front of everyone. It is the cutest thing EVER and I’m going to try as hard as I can to get it on video. She does SO GOOD and it’s adorable!

My Concerns or Questions: Still wondering when we should be able to hear the heartbeat on the Doppler since my uterus is tilted. I wonder if she’ll try again on Friday? Also, exactly how many more weeks am I going to get a progesterone shot? One or two? And when they stop, am I going to experience any cramping? I don’t think I have a UTI because I haven’t been feeling weird anymore, so I guess I don’t have to worry about that.

Goals for the Week: Clean my bedroom! We got the rest of the house pretty clean, but now it’s time for our room. It’s horrible right now! We also need to (still!!) get the office ready for my sis.