Tuesday, March 30, 2010

16 Weeks: We're 40% of the way there!

Baby Brown (I'm tired of calling it Baby Brown and ready for it to have a name and gender!!) has been a busy little bee this week. We went to the doctor on Monday for our check up and boy was he/she on the move!! Even the technician was laughing at how busy our baby was! I think Baby Brown may have his/her first nickname, "Busy". :)

He/she is now about the size of an avocado (random I know) is 4 1/2 inches long and weighs 3 1/2 ounces! Baby Brown will be ready for a growth spurt in the next few weeks and will double in weight.

Today we went and had the 3D/4D ultrasound. It was a pretty neat view of the baby! I do want to go back once the baby has more fat. The technician said they look like aliens at this point and sorry Baby Brown but I have to agree a little bit! :) It looks like the baby is smiling in the picture below!
So someone knows the gender of Baby Brown...just not us yet! The envelope is sealed shut (with staples) and is ready to be delivered to our cupcake maker! I need to get that envelope out of my house before I rip into it! Meanwhile, Josh is on envelope patrol.

For some reason I still think it's a boy but neither one of us has a preference one way or another. We just want healthy! I will admit I like baby girl items more but Josh probably would view that as a negative because a girl would undoubtedly cost him more money!

But for now, Busy's gender will remain unknown until Easter Sunday. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

15 Weeks: We're 37.5% of the way there!

I am trying to finally do one of these updates on schedule! Baby Brown now measures about 4 inches long and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple - the fruit...not to be confused with Gwyneth Paltrow's daughter).

The baby can swallow food and hear me and other sounds by now. Yikes! That's so crazy! So I asked Josh when he was going to start talking to the baby and based on his non-reaction, I am assuming that this will probably not happen until after the baby arrives. And he's probably worried I'm going to be talking to him AND the baby now so he'll never get any peace and quiet. But he might as well get used to it now!

So my next doctor visit is in just 5 more days and that is when we are supposed to be able to tell the gender! HOWEVER, we are going to look away and have our doctor write the gender down for us on a card that he'll put in a sealed envelope. Then I will deliver the envelope to my friend Megan who is going to make us cupcakes with either blue or pink gumballs inside depending on what she finds on the card! So we are going to have to actually wait ELEVEN more days to find out the gender at a family gathering on Easter Sunday! Yes, it is going to be soooo tough to not find out at the doctor's office-but I think it will be really fun to wait and find out the gender with our family as we bite into our cupcakes! So be on the lookout for our Gender Reveal Party update!!

No updated bump pics yet. Josh is not the best photographer in the world so I try not to ask him to take pictures that often because it generally turns into a tutorial on how not to cut off someone's head in a picture. Plus there's still not much to show. I think I'll do a better job documenting the baby bump once I start showing more. But come to think of it, I may be less inclined once as I start packing on the pounds...and just in time for swimsuit season. Ugh.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Williamson County: Named Most Conservative-Friendly County in America!

The Daily Caller has ranked Williamson County as the most conservative-friendly counties in America! Each year, Williamson County is ranked in the top "something" in America. Just in March, Forbes ranked Williamson County as the 17th richest county in the nation. But I am most proud of this recent title because it is what makes Williamson County such a great place to live...and eventually raise my child. And unlike the title of 17 richest in the nation, I actually feel like in some small way, I helped us achieve the Most Conservative title! :)

Here is a summary of the Daily Caller's criteria:
  • How counties have voted in the past two presidential elections

  • Median household income, factoring in cost of living

  • Home ownership percentage

  • Married family percentage

  • Civilian veteran percentage

  • State unionization laws, whether a right-to-work state or mandatory union state

  • State tax burden–state income taxes, factoring in available deductions

  • State concealed weapons laws, ease of carrying weapon legally

  • State weekly religious attendance, as measured by Pew

  • State abortion laws, as measured by Americans United for Life

  • Intangibles, such things as a long conservative history, an ingrained military culture, prominent right-wing politicians

Here is their profile of my home, Williamson County, the most conservative-friendly county in America!

More than 175,000 lucky Tennesseans live nestled in the green rolling hills of what is, when adjusted for cost of living, America’s wealthiest county. Home to vast horse farms and country music stars’ getaways, bucolic Williamson County is located just south of Nashville, and tops The Daily Caller’s list of America’s 100 most conservative-friendly counties (click for slideshow of the top 20).

“There’s more guitar-shaped swimming pools per square mile than anywhere else I can think of,” said Billy Cerveny, a singer-songwriter who has lived in the area for 10 years.
This sprawling county is home to the cities of Brentwood, filled with mansions and manicured ranches, as well as Franklin, a storybook American small town. “Franklin,” said Cerveny, is “country chic — it’s where you’d go to find a very expensive distressed antique dining room table you’ve been looking for.”
“It’s not flashy though,” he added. “I mean, Nashville was really excited when they got a Cheesecake Factory.”

Residents are big on regular church attendance as well. “You can’t swing a dead cat and not hit a church,” said Cerveny. “It’s very evangelical in that sense.”

There is certainly a lot of money in and around Nashville. With favorable tax rates and a business-friendly environment, Williamson County has become a magnet for corporations, too.
Large multi-nationals have been drawn to the area, and Nissan North America recently relocated its headquarters here from California — helping the county achieve one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state. According to the county’s bureau of economic development, 21 percent of the local economy is made up of entrepreneurs.

What may surprise some is that the largest employer is not in the music or horse industry, but rather health care. The state’s second-largest hospital, the for-profit Community Health Systems is headquartered here.

The county prides itself on fiscal responsibility. “One of the things that I’m most proud of is that Williamson County is rated by Moody’s as a AAA county. We’re the only county in Tennessee to have that rating. And both of our cities have a AAA rating as well,” said County Mayor Rogers Anderson.
“It’s very important for us to balance our books, and nearly two-thirds of the operational budget goes to public education,” he said. “From bow to stern, we’re all held very accountable in our county.”
“The driving force that people are looking here for is our public education system,” said Anderson. “We have a 92-95 percent graduation rate in high school.”
“We’re very conservative, and we’re proud of what the people here have,” he continued. “We’ve had a very strong growing community, this is a great place to live.”

“It is the best place on earth,” said Representative Marsha Blackburn, a Republican, who has represented the area since 2003. “I have a list of bests that pertain to the 7th Congressional District — best BBQ, best fried pies, just a list of superlatives — and friendly people with the right values in the mix.”

Democrat Lincoln Davis, who as The Daily Caller points out will be one of the deciding votes on health care, also represents a small portion of Williamson County.

“There’s a wonderfully diverse economic base, from financial services companies, Nissan, Mars, a good mix of the auto industry, health care, medical, construction. You have live entertainment, music labels, pro-sports – it’s a beautiful microcosm.”

“One thing that I think is quite unique about this area,” she said, “is the community there is formed of people that love having a solid and enriching quality of life. They fully believe that it is important to give back more than you take. The community is incredibly generous, charity events are numerous. Our friends and neighbors seek out opportunities to give back.”


Way to go Williamson County! And thank you Congressman Marsha Blackburn, Senator Jack Johnson, Rep. Charles Sargent, Rep. Glen Casada, Rep. Phillip Johnson, Mayor Rogers Anderson, our conservative county commissioners and the Williamson County Republican Party for your conservative values and for helping to make this county such a great one to live in. It is often discouraging to see what is happening in DC but at least we are somewhat sheltered here in Williamson County!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

14 Weeks: We're 35% of the way there!

Baby Brown now measures 3 1/2 inches (the size of a lemon) and weighs 1 1/2 ounces. Our baby can now squint, frown, grimace and suck his or her thumb!

No bump picture to post but figured I'd go ahead and post this since I'm already actually 4 days past 14 weeks - it's just easier to update on the weekends! Not that you're missing much yet as far as the bump goes anyway. But I'll still try to get a 14 week (plus a few days) pic before the weekend ends...and before I officially hit my 15th week.

This weekend has been pretty laid back which has been a nice change of pace. We had dinner with great friends Friday night and have United Way's Taste of Williamson at Cool Springs Galleria Sunday night. But that is a pretty laid back event. And something tells me I'll enjoy the food more this year than ever before!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

13 Weeks: We're 32.5% of the way there!

Baby Brown is almost 3 inches long (the size of a medium shrimp) and weighs nearly an ounce. I am now in the second trimester! I still have not been sick at all so can only really hope I get my energy back during this next stage.

I will also post my first "baby bump" picture now so I can record the transformation as it takes place in the months to come. I don't have much of a bump yet but regardless, I am definitely looking and feeling bigger!

Note: I did not get all dressed up for this picture! Josh and I were headed out the door to an event - I'm sure most future baby bump pics will be in sweat pants!
Speaking of our event, Josh and I went to the Legacy Ball tonight. This ball benefits The Williamson County Child Advocacy Center. This wonderful charity helps child abuse victims in Williamson, Hickman, Lewis and Perry counties. This year's theme was a "A Night at the Oscars" and it indeed was a red carpet event!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

If the Crown Fits... :)

So I forgot to update everyone about the charity event I talked about in one of my earlier posts: http://marykateanderson.blogspot.com/2010/01/giving-back-having-fun-doing-it.html.

And since there are so many fun pictures because of the outrageous costumes, I had to share! (I know, Baby Brown updates have taken over lately)! So I did raise the most money for My Friend's House and was named the 2010 Mardi Gras Ball Queen. With the help of so many, I was able to raise nearly $7,000 for a wonderful local charity and like my earlier post said, while having fun doing it!
Here are some of the fun pictures for the night!

Monday, March 01, 2010

My Day with Two Future Presidents

The first future President we got to see today was our very own Baby Brown! I have a feeling it's a "he" but it's still too early to tell! The baby moved and jumped around today which was fun to watch and it looked like its little hand was waving at us the whole time. Maybe he/she is already campaigning! :) You can see the little hand waving below.

Then tonight, Josh and I got to spend some time with another future President (hopefully!) Gov. Mitt Romney which is always an honor. My sister and brother in law were there too and Gov. Romney actually suggested we take the picture below with me and my sister. Then Josh had him sign a copy of his new book, No Apologies, for us.

After the Romney reception, we headed to dinner with great friends at 360 Bistro in Nashville.

A fun and busy day...now off to bed!!