Saturday, May 31, 2008

These boys...

Ok, here are a few videos I took of the boys this evening, that really showcase their... cuteness we'll say.

The Lipsucking thing is new. I'm not sure what to think of it other than I have two odd children. Its pretty cute though eh?

Today we bought Braxton "monster bowling" The pins are all odd little monster guys. Braxton really hasn't gotten the hang of the whole bowling idea so Mark invented a new game. "Braxton Bowling". The craziness of my boys...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Monks, Nuns and the Kitchen Sink

Ok, so I thought I would tell you about a little something called traffic. In case you don't know, the DC area was rated the worst commute in the nation. On average it takes about and hour to an hour and a half to make it 10-15 miles. Even with all the public transportation available, the roads are still filled to the breaking point with cars. Rush hour is always worse. But anyway, I digress from what I really wanted to talk about. Aside from needing some serious "samurai driving skills" to keep yourself from dying with all the crazies on the road, and alot of time to get anywhere, traffic can be quite entertaining. Take today for example. On the way to pick up our fancy schmancy new stroller (to be posted in a later blog) I saw a mini-van full of nuns. Actually I saw two mini-vans full of nuns. Apparently they van-pool. Crazy right? Then on the freeway to pick Mark up from the metro-station I saw a Volvo full of Buddhist monks. Speeding. Coupled with the nuns that makes for a fairly interesting drive. However, it doesn't end there. A few miles up the road there was motorcycle. I probably wouldn't have noticed it, but lately Braxton seems to think the two-wheeled contraptions are the coolest. So as he's yelling "yook yook mommy, a motocyco" I notice that the motorcycle has a very very large kitchen sink tied onto it. Not something you see everyday right? Anyway there was to be one more encounter that made traffic fairly enjoyable today. A unicyclist crossing the street. Against the light. Yes, pedestrians are stupid here too. Anyway, this should inspire you to think about the awful traffic I deal with on a daily basis and thank God that you don't have the worst commute in the nation (you don't have the number two either cuz I don't know anyone in New York City). It should also tell you you should keep your eyes open for things that you don't normally see everyday. I mean, who knew monks drove Volvo's?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Its about time...

Ok, so last week I finally had to break down and start feeding Kieran big boy food. (Cereal with some banana's or apples.) I held out with exclusively nursing as long as I could. If I did it any longer I'd be reported to child services I suppose. That would suck cuz I worked so hard at making them. Anyway, here are a couple of obligatory first feeding photos. In we go. (no, we don't make choo choo noises...)
And back out we come. This being the first feeding and all he didn't like it much. He has since changed his opinion of it... He will apparently be my good eater. It will be nice not to have to worry about that with at least one child.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I think Braxton is an incredibly smart child. Unfortunately for me this means he gets into TONS of trouble. Lately I'm not sure whether I want to string him up by his toes or laugh. Take last night for instance. We've been having this problem of him throwing stuff at Kenny's head. Well he repeated it last night, so off to time out he went (we have a three strikes you're out rule in this house). However, the timeout corner also happens to be the diaper corner. What did he do when he got to the corner? He threw everything out. Of course he was snickering the whole time. So I called him over so we could "talk". When I told him that he wasn't being nice he said "but mom, I didn't throw it at Kenny's head". Jeez. He had a point. What am I going to do????
Here is a picture that I took the other day that I think captures his mischieviousness quite well.

No, that wasn't our gate. In fact we don't even know the people who live there. Crazy kid.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tag, you're it!

Alright, my cousin Lyndsay tagged me. Her tag is fabulous. Its one of my greatest loves, books. I'm supposed to list the last ten books that I've read. So this should be pretty easy as long as I can access my long term memory bank.


1. "The Hollow" by Nora Roberts. Its the second book in the series 'Number of Seven' Trilogy. Essentially three ten year old kids unleash this huge evil that comes around and plagues the town every seven years. As adults they realize they're the ones who have to plug it back up. Not her best work, but pretty good.

2. "Remember Me?" by Sophi Kinsella. My favorite of all time chick-lit writer. Anyway, this chick wakes up in a hospital where her last memory is from three years before. EVERYTHING in her life has changed since then. She's rich, is married to a gorgeous man, runs a company, but can't remember any of it. Oh, she's also having an affair. In her quest to find her memories she figures out she is not compatible with her husband, and has turned into a person she doesn't much respect. Of course, this has a happy ending.

3. "Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" By Christopher Moore. This book is probably incredibly blasphemous. But once you get over the guilt about that its incredibly hilarious. The author decided he needed to tell the stories about Christ growing up that weren't in the Bible. The author actually did A LOT of research in the book and quite a bit of it is biblically accurate. Obviously it wouldn't be so hilarious if he hadn't adlibbed some...

4. "Overachievers, The Secret Life of Driven Kids" By Alexandra Robbins. This journalist/reporter/tell-you-like-it-is writer chronicled nine kids from Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland. Walt Whitman is one of the most prestigous public high schools in the nation. Anyway, she followed these kids around for a few years, mostly their JR. and SR. years, and wrote about how they were driven. Either by their parents, or internally and the consequences. Basically the book is about how we are driving our kids today to succeed, at the cost of everything that childhood is supposed to be about. Pretty good insight into whats going on.

5. "Demons are forever" by Julie Kenner. This is a series about a normal soccer mom, who also happens to work for a very secret sect of the Catholic church hunting demons. In this book she unfoils yet another demon plan to take over the city in which she lives. She also happens to encounter her un-dead first husband, and her daughter finds out about it. She became my hero when I read that she does all this with a three year old boy. Its not nearly as dark as it sounds. The next book in the series comes out in a month or so... woo!

6. "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" by Jeff Lyndsay. Everybody I'm sure has seen the previews for the Showtime (now CBS) series Dexter. This is one of the books its based off of. The book is much better. Just in case you dont' know what its about, Dexter is a serial killer who kills bad guys only. Rapists, murderers, child molesters etc. etc.

7. "Hour Game" by David Baldacci. David Baldacci is a local author, and Mark and I have become completely enthralled by his stories. This is the second in the "Michelle and Sean" series. In this one they come across a murder scene in a small town. As they do more investigating they find out that its a copycat "Zodiac" killing. As more killings happen, they turn out like other serial killers. This bad guy is seriously messed up! David spins a pretty good tale. I also enjoy his books set in the District. Gotta love the conspiracy theorists.

8. "Freakanomics" by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. "A rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything." Some of the questions he poses, then explores and backs up with data and facts are: Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do school teachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with thier moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crimes? My favorite part of this book was the chapter on names. They looked at the parents socio-economic status and then what they were naming the kids. One less educated mom couldn't figure out why her daughter's name was being mispronounced. It was spelled Shithead, and pronounced shateed. A very very good book!

9. "The Book of Fate" by Brad Meltzer. A presidential assassination attempt gets quasi-foiled and leaves one man disfigured and another dead. Then the dead guy is spotted not quite so dead... The disfigured guy tries to uncover what happened. He discovers freemason secrets, presidential crosswords and a cipher written by Thomas Jefferson. Very national treasureish. Very good.

10. "Pride and Predjudice" by Jane Austen, and "Bridge to Terebithia" by Katherine Patterson. I know everybody has read the first. Or seen the movie, or something like that. But it is in my top three favorite of all time books. Bridge to Terebithia was a book I read in the fourth grade. It honestly makes me cry every time. I hated the movie. The book was sooo much better.

Alright, since my cousin tagged about 98% percent of the people I know who have blogs I'll tag two people. Pickle, and BOB. Bob, you can post it to facebook or email me, or get a freakin blog! You've been talking about it long enough.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Yesterday we took Gramma to the zoo. It was beautiful weather, and we had a great time. Here is the photo-story.
We honestly could not walk fast enough for Braxton when we first arrived. Look at the angle in which he is leaning.
The farm house opened at ten. This is two minutes to ten. These kids couldn't wait to get in. Then the awful zookeepers opened the doors, then shoved all the animals outside!!!! I couldn't believe it.
I love big cats. Not enough to want to get close... but you get the idea.
This is the infamous panda. The one that gave birth to a panda cub in captivity. Apparently that is super rare.
Braxton said these Lions were taking a nap. "Daddy said take a nap!!!!". He totally freaked when one of them got up. "He's supposed to be napping!" It was funny. Apparently Braxton knows what is supposed to happen at nap time. He just doesn't.
Did you have fun?????????????????

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Martha - Move Over!!!!!

Last night Mark and I finally got around to one of our "home-improvement" projects. We, and by "we" I mean I did everything but unscrew the seat from the frame. Anyway, we used the fabric that made up the curtains we used in Pittsburgh. (pretty thrifty eh?) Here is the super duper result.
This is the "before" picture. The set was absolutely gorgeous when we bought it, but we knew from day one the white would have to be recovered. It just doesn't work when there are children about.
Here is one of the fabrics we used to cover half of the chairs.

Here is number two. We got this while I was pregnant. The first thing I thought when I saw this pattern was sperm.

Anyway, I"m pretty tickled. I know it doesn't look like these two fabrics are a likely pair, but they are actually coordinating fabrics, using the same colors. Plus, Mark and I are kinda crazy like that....

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


If the birth of Braxton taught me one thing it was this: Boys are born that way. Yes, the thinking bodily functions are funny, being rough and over-active, forgetting the reason napkins were invented, and enjoying boogers. Its the last two that brings me to this post.
Braxton is embracing his boyhood without reserve. (He's very secure in his masculinity, as he gets his toenails painted and carries a purse, we'll work on napkins then gender differences.) He has recently learned how to pick his nose. Something I was hoping he wouldn't learn how to do EVER. But, I suppose that is a pipe dream. Anyway, the one thing un-boy about Braxton is he HATES to have his hands dirty. So, when he picks his nose, after the initial inspection of his prize, he needs to get rid of it. Of course he doesn't usually ask for a napkin. Or wipe it on his pants or sleeve - which is the other alternative. He wipes it on my pants. Yes, I said my pants.
I'm not sure why he's chosen me as the recipient of these great treasures he pulls out of his nose, but he has. I try to look to the bright side of life and think at least its not the walls or his brother...

Saturday, May 17, 2008


(That stands for Kieran Quinn McDaniel, For those who don't know...)
Well, I never get tired of taking pictures of my children. They're adorable, and one of them will still hold semi-still for the camera. Here is what happens when he does that.
I love that both of my boys got my blue eyes.
The "I lost my dentures" look.
I love when babies play with thier toes.
He makes this face alot. The scrinchy nose face. Generally he combines it with the "I've lost my dentures face, but I haven't caught that one on camera yet. When he makes this one he always does a fast paced snort. Such a happy, goofy kid.
And when the photoshoot tuckered him out he and daddy curled up together for a little rest. Doesn't it just make you feel warm and fuzzy?????????

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My fingers!!!!

Here are some interesting stories from my life with Braxton in the last week.

This morning at Panera, Braxton was wearing a jacket that goes past his fingertips just slightly. He's had this jacket for about a month now, and worn it a few times however, this morning he noticed that his fingers couldn't be seen. This is what he said, "OH NO, My fingers! What happened to them? Oh no, My fingers are gone. Daddy, where'd my fingers go? OH NO OH NO OH NO!!!!!!" Then Mark pulled on his sleeve so that his fingers could be seen, and Braxton said "oh, thanks dad". Like the freak out never happened.

Also at Panera this morning there was another small boy there with his parents. However this boy was very upset about something and was letting the whole establishment know. Braxton of course had to inform us that the little boy was crying. Mark asked him why he was crying and Braxton said "because he wants some coffee". Of course.

This kid is nuts.

But oh so handsome.

Potty Time

No, Braxton isn't potty training - yet. We did however buy him his own potty in hopes that it will be soon. I'm sure it won't be, but at least its there if he ever gets the notion to drop his pants and take care of biznes. Braxton was however very stoked about this new purchase. He proceeded to "use" it for the next few hours.

Look at that concentration. He's gonna be a champ someday!
He apparently doesn't get stage fright. He put his "friends: Daddy Elephant, Braxton Monkey, and Kieran Lion" down in front of them and talked to them about going potty. He apparently understands the process, just doesn't want to do it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

On Motherhood

*Disclaimer: I am currently writing this at 12:35 am EST. I'm not sure it will all make sense in the end, but I have insomnia and needed something to do that won't wake my wonderful husband, who gets up with the kids on the weekends.*

On December 28, 2005 at 10:09 am God placed a wonderful present in my hands. Ok, it was actually Dr. McCann who did this - but she was acting as the hand of God. Kinda like the Pope, only the whole white robe thing doesn't really fly with all the grossness that is birthing children. From that moment on my life has never been the same.
I should have known from the beginning that Braxton Xavier McDaniel was going to be an interesting child. During the pushing phase of it all he decided that he had had enough of being face down and thought he'd have a look around. Yes, I pushed my kid's giant head out sideways. Once the hat was on him you couldn't really tell that the normal newborn conehead was on the side of his head instead of the top. I still thought he was beautiful, and didn't think to take the time to ponder what this kind of beginning meant for the rest of my life. This kid has never ceased to amaze me, exhaust me, teach me and test my patience - often times he does all at the same time. I wouldn't trade any of it for the world. (I know every mother says that, but it's because its true.) In one of my psych classes in college I learned that the human body is rigged to perform at its best if it gets some sort of short stressor each and every day. It supposedly keeps the "flight or fight" reflex tuned up. (The suggested stressor was to hop in a cold shower when you wake up!) I have had my fair share of tune-ups in the last 29 months. Some of the things I've been through with this kid have been incredibly frightening. His first stomach flu put him in the hospital for two nights, last summer he had sepsis, and this past fall he did a flip out of a shopping cart onto the concrete floor of Costco. (Just in case you were wondering, I take very hot showers when I wake up in the morning.) But honestly those aren't what I think of when I think how Braxton has made my life interesting. I think of how he was proud of himself when he took his first steps. I think of how excited I was the first time he slept through the night (he was 14 months btw). I think of how when he's sick he calls for mommy, and on the weekends when Mark lets me sleep in, he is so excited to see me his feet almost don't touch the ground getting to me. I think of how when I'm taking his picture he thinks he's supposed to say "smile" instead of do it and how everything lately has become "mines" or "its Braxton's". I think of the fact that I think he is one of two of the cutest boys in the universe! (I'm having a mushy mom moment here, I can totally say that.)
Then, on November 21, 2007 at 1:46 am all that interesting stuff doubled. When God (okay okay, it was Dr. Maxwell this time!) put another wonderful present in my hands. Kieran Quinn McDaniel didn't turn sideways like his brother did - he didn't really have time to, in fact. He sort of shot out like a rocket. Since I had had 23 months to ponder Braxton's beginning, I was a little worried that once Kenny had decided to come out, he did so in four half-hearted pushes. I thought to myself "Sarah, if he turns out half as crazy as his brother what are you going to do?" It didn't take me long to realize that I would probably spend one half of my life tugging my hair out by the roots, and the other half breathless from laughing too hard. Kieran is just now coming out of the "blob baby" phase as I like to call it. He rolls, or rather does this funky half-roll-scoot manuever that I find endlessly fascinating, and explores his world with a fervor that makes you understand nothing will be left untouched, unseen or unheard once he is a truly mobile being. I look forward to this. I look forward to everything that motherhood brings, even the "keep your flight or fight mechanism tune-up" moments. They teach me about myself, and the world.
I've learned that having two children means you are about six arms too short of having enough. I've learned that no matter how patient a person you are, you will always be infinitely short of what you need when dealing with a two year old.
I've learned to look at simple things and see the wonder even they can hold.
I've learned that to the people who love you, you are always beautiful.
I've learned that a person can live on cheerios, chicken nuggets and milk - as long as you're a toddler.
And I've learned that even on the most trying of days, the ending is always going to be great because it ends with a kiss.

I wrote that because I think I'm the luckiest mom in the world and generally all I have to do is look at my kids and think its Mother's day. That day that rolls around every May is just an excuse to order dessert when we go out to dinner.
However, all mothers deserve a shout out for being a mom.
So, to all the moms out there HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!! You definitely deserve it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

NO WAY!!!!!

Alright all you faithful blog stalkers, here it is - a new post. I would apologize for not updating sooner, but I have a very good excuse. For those of you who don't know, I'm returning to school in the Fall. I have a couple of placement exams coming up, one of which has me a little stressed. For those who know me I'm sure you already know that the one that is the equivalent to a tick in my leg is the math exam. Its been three years since I completed calculus, (with less than an A unfortunately) and I'm a little worried that I'm going to completely flunk it and be placed in remedial math. This is probably not the case, but it is better to be safe than sorry so I have been studying in my spare time instead of staring at the computer and dorking around with photos. I know that this means I have neglected you, but when I haven't been studying I have been playing with my kids and hubband.

NEhoo, I did get some good pics of Mark chasing Braxton around the other day on one of our walks. Braxton's hat blew off and Mark was trying to put it back on and... well you'll see.
It was pretty funny to watch actually. Don't know what got into him, but he thought it would be pretty funny to give daddy the run-around.