Friday, April 27, 2007

Week 25

It's a good thing at least two of my kinfolk have Internet access, otherwise I couldn't post occasional blog updates, and more importantly, I couldn't keep up with what's going on over at I hate to admit, but I have suffered withdrawal symptoms from not being able to get the scoop on all things Utah, but I feel better now. Thanks, Chris.

The past few unemployed weeks have been some of the best of my life. I have decided to keep a daily routine, which helps me be a more functional and normal human being. Did I say normal. Here is a sample schedule of my morning routine. I won't document the whole day, because I don't have time or megabytes to cover every scatter-brained moment.

6:00 a.m. - Hit snooze button...

6:09 a.m. - Hit snooze button again, only harder.

6:18 a.m. - Finally get up because it has been at least 30 minutes since I last peed.

6:20 a.m. - Stagger to fridge, pour large glass of milk and take prenatal vitamins. Start coffee pot and wait, impatiently. (Yes, I AM allowed 3 cups per day of caffeine. I don't drink sodas.)

6:30 a.m. - Get dressed in walking duds, while sipping first cup of steaming, delicious guilty indulgence with vanilla caramel creamer.

6:35 a.m. - Kiss B goodbye and look for first snack of the day. Cereal, banana, biscuit?

7:00 a.m. - Sit on couch, indulgently sipping coffee and eating. I will do this at least 15 more times today.

7:30 a.m. - Still trying to wake up, sitting on the couch, sipping second cup of coffee. And wondering why did those idiots at NBC didn't replace Katy with Ann Curry. I love Ann Curry. Who the hell is this Meredith chick? Also, what's up with Matt's hair? I smell Rogaine.

7:55 a.m. - Dragging bloated self from couch, heading to the door to meet my two walking buddies. For the next hour, I will waddle along for two whole miles while stopping for no less that three pee breaks. Thank God I live in the country.

9:15 a.m. - Sit on couch until further notice while enjoying the warm afterglow of brisk walking.

That's it. That is the extent of my daily obligations, for now at least. I keep telling myself that my self-indulgent freedom is ticking away, so I don't feel guilty for enjoying this time alone. I am having a wonderful time, visiting with family, planting flowers, and talking to my ever growing midsection. It's the calm before the storm, and I intend to soak it all in. Gotta paint a nursery soon.

Hope you all are well. Holler if you get a chance.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Adieu, and adieu.

As some of you may already know, I'm taking early 'maternity leave' from my job. I had an opportunity to take a voluntary layoff because the company is downsizing, and I couldn't be happier. Right now I'm day dreaming of a vegetable garden, flower beds and Sylvi's nursery. Hopefully I will have the energy to accomplish these goals before I become too morbidly pregnant to waddle around and get things done. The weather is mercifully cool right now, so I can't wait to get outside and get busy. I think they call these pregnancy urges to clean and rearrange everything 'nesting'. Makes me sound like one of those broody old hens that momma had in the chicken yard so many years ago. No, I have not started clucking or scratching, or roosting in my back yard. Not yet, anyway.

I'm sure I will suffer withdrawals from my daily trips to the big city, but at least I won't face the daunting task of deciding what over-priced fast food to eat for lunch each day. I'll miss having daily morning meetings with the crew in the break room downstairs, and laughing my head off at their twisted collective senses of humor. One thing I will not miss is dealing with the innumerable glut of idiots who ring my phone off the hook on a daily basis. The sheer volume of rhetorical and pointless questions still swirl around in my head like a giant cyclone of feces. Mind numbing, I tell you.

Until next post, I bid you all a very fond farewell, for now anyway. I'm not really going anywhere...I'm just going home, sweet home.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

It's a...

Sweet, precious, darling little baby girl!
Little Miss Sylviann 'Sylvi' Estelle Browder is expected to arrive around August 9, 2007.
For those of you who find it hard to 'read' these pictures, she is lying on her side with her little head to the left. You can distinctly see her left eye, and a little pointy chin. She wiggled throughout the whole exam, but cooperated when it mattered most. I have pictures of her 'parts', (or lack thereof) but thought it impertinent of me to post them here. I don't want to embarrass her, she's a lady! So we will accept the word of our professional ultrasound tech, Stephanie, who did a marvelous job and made the whole process informative and very exciting. Thank you, Stephanie. You are so wonderful.
She got a precious picture of Sylvi's tiny feet...

Very soon, I am going to slather those dainty little piggies with baby lotion, and then kiss them and kiss them and kiss them. I will try to resist the urge to dip them in ranch dressing and gobble them up. She may need them later when she is learning to walk.

To make things even more momentous, Aunt Tammy and Cousin Chris were there, too. They took pictures and video of the exam, and then giggled with excitement when Steph announced, "It's a girl!" Thank you both for being there, you are my precious 'sisters' and I rely on you both more than you know. And with whom else could I discuss nipple issues? Not many people, I tell you.

Me? I just kept saying, "Awwwwww! Hi, Sylvi! Wow. Oooooooh, wow."

I know, such profundity is underwhelming, isn't it? Finally, somebody had me at a loss for words. That someone is kicking me right now, and she is named Sylvi.

I will try to post the video here very soon so loved ones far and wide can see just how speechless I was, and how country-fied this here voice of mine really is. It is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The ultrasound countdown...

In a little less than one week, we will FINALLY get to know the s-e-x of this here little one I am cooking up in my dutch oven. I say dutch oven because they get extremely hot and retain heat long after having been removed from a heat source. Kinda like me lately. My thermostat is broken, and now I'm in constant need of a cool drink of water and a fan. AND IT'S NOT EVEN JUNE YET. Lord have mercy on me, a hot, hot pregnant sinner, when the really intolerable summertime gets here.

Many of my friends and loved ones (and even strangers) want to know, "Are you having a boy or girl?" I cannot wait to be able to give a confident and knowledgeable answer to them the next time they ask, but according to many popular opinions, a 20 week ultrasound does in no way guarantee results. Say what?

They say:

"The baby must cooperate, in other words, they have to be willing to show us their nether regions. If they are turned the wrong way, we many not be able to see."


"Some couples who are told a definite sex by an ultrasound technician are stunned when their doctor/midwife proudly announces,'Its' a _______!' The exact opposite of what they thought they were having."

So I guess that means I won't really be able to give a confident answer until the little booger actually emerges. However, if we do manage to see something akin to a teeny weeny, maybe I'll be convinced just a little bit. Either way, I'm hopeful, and anxious, and just a little bit neurotic about it. So far, it will be me, Tammy, Chris, and Brian packed into the little ultrasound room. I should charge admission and start a scholarship fund. Anyone else want to join us?

I still feel great, and enjoying those first little kicks and movements. It's kinda like the feeling you get about thirty minutes after leaving the Mexican restaurant, except not as odorous. At first, it was just a little thump here, a whoosh there. But now, it's full-fledged somersaults, and he/she is having no problem sticking the landing. This whole baby momma thing is very, very interesting.

I will be sure and post here when I get results (definite or not) from the ultrasound next week. And hopefully, post a pic of little Sylvi or Cole for all to see. Oooooooo, there's another message from my little thumper. Yes, I know it's time for our afternoon snack. Gotta go.

Friday, March 09, 2007

At least the kid is normal

When you come from a family like mine, the word 'normal' isn't usually a commonly used descriptive in regard to our character. Clannish, hospitable, and 'just plain nuts' are used much more often. I suppose most outsiders look at our family with stunned disbelief, jaw dragging the ground and think, "Do these people really think they are special or something?" Well, yes, we do actually...that is, if you are thinking short-bus-variety-special. Yes, we are different, but none of us really know exactly why.

Ask anyone who has visited my parents' home during their lifetime, and they can tell you. Or find out from someone who once attended any of the myriad family functions at Cooter, particularly The Easter Egg Hunt, and they will explain. Not to mention all the food-laden extravaganzas at Nanie's house where everyone was expected to eat until bursting, family or not.

We just love everyone and make everyone feel welcome. Honestly, we do. We laugh all the time about everything, and yes, we make fun of each other face to face, and no feelings ever get hurt. Just ask Michelle about the Spread Tooth Song, and she won't cry or slap you silly...she'll sing it to you, with accompaniment if a piano is available. Everyone has nicknames, like Fig, Stretch Armstrong, Snick Snoid, Jazz, Face, Micheline, Wha-wha-wha? and my all-time favorite, Bowl-Sock-Sandal. Not all these nicknames were meant to be complimentary, but we didn't care! We were all raised with an extra-large sense of humor. Apparently, laughter IS the best medicine, even though the majority are inside jokes.

Speaking of medicine, I got the results for my quad-screen blood test today. The test is meant to screen for genetic abnormalities by measuring certain protein levels in my blood. Thankfully, the test was negative, giving a good indication that my little bambino is doing well. So even though momma may be 'teched' just a little bit, the kid should suffer no ill effects from my psychosis. I can only hope that my little one will enjoy a childhood like mine, with lots of laughter, singing, nicknames and Easter Egg Hunts. But there is NO WAY that he/she will be allowed to jump out the top of Papaw's barn, with or without the help of an umbrella or homemade parachute. Batman has retired, and Mary Poppins is over-rated.

The following is a list of things that only the family would understand. If I leave anything out, please comment and tell me what I forgot. Just needed to do a little reminiscing today.

- Blind man's bluff in the hall
- Playing 'library'...what was your pretend name?
- T holding the football for Snick to 'practice punt'
- The Playroom, nuff said.
- Running to Ma and Pa's house for a cold biscuit
- Roller Skate Obstacle Course!!! With M Factor and Cinderella on the turntable...LOL
- Me and Mel getting our Barbies mixed up, and fighting about it
- Jumping off the ladder onto the donut swing, what a rush!
- "I was walkin', down a one-way street...BAM! Nanie, there's just something about this house."
- Playing 'King Cobra' and 'D. Faye' on the trampoline
- Cat's Eye, Life, and Hungry Hippos
- "Aaaaaannnniieee!!! OOoooooovvveeeerrrr....Pigtails!"
- The Go-Cart. No, I couldn't ride it because I was too fat.
- The Go-Cart. Attacked Michelle and nearly choked her to death with her own scarf.
- "Polly, there's a snake on my arm."
- Playing 'house' in the pigpen. Yes, the pigpen.
- Janet and me riding one-eyed Lady, the pony.
- Crawfishing with Bob in the front ditch.
- "Momma, Mitchell called me hoss!"
- Hope-toe.
- Mitch drying his hair out the window of the 442, while I steered one-handed.

I love y'all. Thanks for all the funny, happy memories.

Janet and me, circa 1975.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Lowdown on The Ill Nah-nah.

I was really hoping to break a world record during my pregnancy by being the second woman EVER to survive nine whole months of hormonal surges by never throwing up even once. My mom still holds the all-time title...she went through it four times and never felt better in her life. Sorry, mom. I caved under extreme viral pressure.

I blew (no pun) my chances this past Friday. No, it was not morning sickness. It was more like early-afternoon-stomach-flu-relief-by-spewing sickness. Which, by the way, was precluded by 386 trips to the pot starting at 3 a.m. the previous morning. I know all this sharing is making you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Just make dang sure that feeling isn't mistaken for the bubble guts, because that will warrant a trip to the Dollar Store for more Angel Soft double rolls.

I know, I know....EVERYONE but everyone has already had the stomach flu this year. So what's the problem? I thought I would be totally immune because I use gallons of hand sanitizer and Lysol spray on a daily basis. Yet, somehow, the microscopic assassins made it through my defenses and laid waste to my digestive tract. How, you are wondering? Check this out...

and this...

Oh shock and horror! You mean this stuff could actually increase my chances of becoming sick???? It is terrorist propaganda, I say!

I'm still gonna use the stuff though. One, because it makes me feel better; two, because it smells good, and; three, I don't think Pinesol shooters and a Haz-Mat suit would be a good option for me at this point.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

1st Annual Cousin's Retreat

It finally happened. No, we did not find Osama Bin Laden. We held the first EVER Rice girl-cousin's retreat!

And, yes. We had more fun and ate more cheese than it is legal to admit. Thanks to Steph's prodding us all with a hot poker, we finally succumbed to the pressure and decided it was worth listening to all the whining that would follow when we broke away from our male counterparts (and kids) for more than five whole minutes. We were very sad that Michelle, Misty and Bridget couldn't join us, but we will just be sure that EVERYONE receives an invite next time, m'kay? Yes, Misty, I'm talking to you girl. Attendees included left to right: Stephanie, me, Melanie, Janet, Tammy and Chris.

I hosted the first ever event at Chillville, which was perfect considering I have no home phone, and the cell signal is dodgy at best. This meant that if you wanted to talk to anyone, you would have to stand at the back door and bob your head around like a chicken, or go outside on the back porch and freeze to death. Neither was a good option, so we just checked messages from time to time. It was the next best thing to being dropped off on a desert island, but with better food.

Being with child, and being clueless, I used this time to glean all the knowledge I could from the veteran mothers in my midst. I got tons of great information, including home video footage of an actual birth, and lots of examples of the hell your children will put you through once they reach the age that they can finally walk. I know birth and motherhood aren't all bad, but just don't ever let your kids wear your boots while dancing around in their underwear. It will make you pee in your pants, people.

I had no idea that so many women with so much gear could fit into such a confined space. But we did, and no one got stepped on or elbowed, a least not on purpose. We actually attempted to have a Liverpool Rummy tournament, but we only lasted two hands. We couldn't stop talking and eating long enough to play...are you surprised?

From left to right, me, Steph, Face and Tammy. Of course, we had to switch out camera operators and take another shot so everyone could represent...

Left to right, beached whale, sleepy Steph, Janet and Chris. Where is Melanie, you ask? She's trying to hook up a VHS player to a DVD recorder so she can convert our old family movies. After she almost pulled out all of he hair, I offered to try and help her...

No, that swath of green isn't Ireland, it's my right butt cheek. Alas, I wasn't much help and she eventually figured out. She also took some great family photos of Chris, Aaron and Brynn, plus some of me and my pregnant belly. I will post these later. Mel is a fabulous photographer. Check out her work here: She is also a fabulous dancer and karaoke singer, especially when she has had too much vodka and cranberry juice. Rope the calf, Mel...rope the calf.

Speaking of roping the calf, here's the original roper herself with her precious little one, AnnaClaire. Janet, don't you dare teach that baby that dance. Nanie would flip a grid...

Thank you, ladies for your love, advice and fantastic dip recipes. And thanks to Chris for sharing these photos, hope you don't mind that I used them. The time just went by too, too fast, didn't it? And for the love of all things holy, please let's not forget to invite Mrs. Jim Meziere next time. Otherwise, there will be no divinity next Christmas.