Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: A McDaniel Review

In the way of "yays" and "nays".
(And in no particular order)

Yay: To surviving another year.


Yay: To surviving Mark finishing another degree. He now holds his Masters in "A lot of fancy words to say I'm even more qualified to build a nuclear reactor". I'd say we're done, but apparently there's a program where the Navy will pay for his PhD... some day it will be my turn.

Nay: To Chip Kelley. Beaver Fans, do I really need to say more?


Nay: To the beautiful hardwood and ceramic tiles throughout 90% of my house. My cold feet problem just became worse. As did the atrition rate of my socks...

Yay: To "Glee". Best new show of the year. This show has given us the line "Mentally ill pygmy ging with bush baby eyes". Love you Bob!

Nay: To Glee songs on iTunes. I do not appreciate listening to the groaning my husband creates each week when he see the the three or four dollars I've charged each week...

Yay: To Google Translator. The blog got it's first international follower! From Portugal! Hi there!

Yay: (I know two in a row... jeesh) To Obama calling Kanye a Jackass. Does Obama hate black people too, Kanye? Say what you will about his politics, we all know he nailed that one on the head.

Yay: To joining a book club! I've wanted to do this since I was about 8! (Now, I just need to get a nook. Seriously.)

Nay: To the first book I have to read for the club being "Twilight". I've already read all four, and don't believe they enriched my life all that much. They did however improve my comprehension of the words: Pale, god-like, beautiful, clumsy, rainy/wet, vegetarian, pale, god-like, beautiful, clumsy, rainy/wet, vegetarian... get the picture?

Yay: To my bestest moving to the wrong coast to be with me. Ok... Maybe not to be with me, so much as I'm a perk of her moving out to be with Mr. Wookie. I'll take it though! Love my left coast lovers!

Nay: To my bestest following her silverback gorilla to the CA in May. Not fair! (insert pouty face here.)

Yay: To Netflix Streaming! Seriously awesome. I don't know how I'd be able to watch four million episodes of "Dr. Who" if it weren't for Netflix streaming...

Nay: To packing peanuts. Bad for the earth. Very, very, very messy. Nobody likes them. Why are they still being made?

Yay: To another pregnancy free year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have several thousand eggs I'm willing to sell. Anybody interested? We know they work!

Yay: To becoming Auntie Da.

Nay: To not having met my nephew yet.

Yay: For another year with these two:

They make every year, month, week, day, hour, minute and second worth living.

Yay: To my husband. To celebrating six years since our first date. To so many years of us being together in the future. To the boys' daddy. The best one a kid could ask for. Mark, you make the years happy.

2010: Look out! Here comes The McDaniel Family Circus! We're gonna rock your world.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Note:

To: My Future Daughter In Law.

Dear Daughter in Law whom I have yet to meet,

When Braxton meets you and is all handsome, sweet, smart, witty, chivalrous, and knows how to clean stuff - I want you to know, no thanks are necessary. Just love him LOTS. I know I do.

Love,
The future (very awesome) Mother-in-Law.


The reason I write that is because last night during Braxton's "Special Alone Time" with mommy and daddy, he chose to fold his laundry. Apparently, Mark and I have done something right.

video

He even sorts socks!

video

So, his technique needs some honing, but assuming the earliest he can marry - I still have 14 years to work with him.

Love you B-rox!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Nerd is Showing...

... For I am in love. With a book. A digital book, no less. How much more nerd is there? Unless that book speaks Klingon, there isn't.


This is what I speak of:

I present to you - the Barnes and Noble "nook". An eBook Reader. (digital book! that doesn't hurt your eyes!)

And I'd like to dress it in this: I got to play with my SIL's kindle, and gaze lovingly at my MIL's nook. I would have to say I'd go with a Kindle, except that I like the idea of being able to share books - so the nook wins. Who doesn't want to be able to have 1,500 books in one spot? Or buy new releases for only $10? Or have a plethora of free books at their fingertips? Save trees?

I want to do all of those things!

I will have one. When, is another matter...

Guess it's time to start saving my babysitting money...

SnOMG! Snowly Hell! ...

It's the Snowpocalypse!

Seriously, want to see a city prepare for the end of times? Tell the Washington D.C. Metro area that it's going to snow.


We went grocery shopping the night before, there was no bread, no meat - with the exception of some reduced fat sausage and a $60 rack of lamb, no milk. Canned foods were dangerously low - as were the staples. Soda pop was out, and people had looks on their faces like this:
Except that it's sunny in this picture, so he's obviously got problems other than snow. Like, maybe, male pattern baldness. (Did you know that you inherit that gene from your Mother????? So, why is it called male pattern baldness?)


The next day, we woke up to about 8 inches of snow. Burrzilla.This kid, up for an adventure - always, did NOT want to get out of the snow. Even for Hot cocoa. Weird.He was pretty stoked about the fact that daddy found him orange/black/grey snowpants. "That match my coat and the Beavers!". Definitely doing something right!
At the end of the day, we had about 26 inches of snow. Way too much for this area to handle. I am crossing my fingers to never see that much, that quickly, in this area, again.


videoThis is how we do sledding, here on the East coast.


(Doesn't my neighborhood look adorable in the snow?)

Birthday Bash '09

Alright, for those aquainted with Mark and I, you know that we have two holiday babies. Braxton, born three days after Christmas and Kieran, born the day before Thanksgiving. The holidays became pretty insane for us in just two short years.

We have worried that due to their birthdays, they'll fall prey to the usual "I don't get enough attention because it's all about Jesus/the Pilgrims" curse. (Just FYI, we don't actually teach the pilgrims version of Turkey day. Just say no to small pox blankets.)

This year we decided to have a party, for both the boys - on the same day - before the all the hoopla started.
Best birthday party ever. Or at least, it was to us. (Even parents had a good time, I have pictures, you'll see.)

Again, there is no order to these. I would wait until Blogger is functioning, but what other day do I have the excuse of "I'm feeling better, but not good enough to do that?". Wow, that was very Meatloaf sounding... Also, I have done pretty much no editing - with the exception of a couple that were just cute, cute, cute. Like this one below..."Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles". (When does that movie come out of the vault? I need it!) Most of the party-goers. My lens apparently doesn't get wide enough to capture all people inside a parachute. The babies got into the spirit! Yay! Cake! I can hear Amy now "Michael! What are you doing?". Caught you! hahahaha. (I told you even the parents had fun!) Bubbles, cheap, but extremely effective entertainment. Yes, it's ok to be jealous of how photogenic they are. I know I am.Patty cake?Honing more skills on how to climb the walls back at home...Super heros moving boulders, what else?This was his first leap off, and the teacher almost had a myocardial infarction. Mark and I didn't even blink. This kind of stuff happens all the time. He is currently trying to see how many stairs up he can jump before it's too far. Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out how long we can make it before we have to take him to the ER for a broken bone...More parents having fun...More boulder moving. My question with this exercise is "Why do they have them balancing, while carrying boulders? That has to be against OSHA regs...". More Jumping...Yes, you are seeing this picture right. Mark threw him. The thing is, he loved it. (Be amazed that the only time we've taken either boy to the ER was because of an infection on the weekend!) He so almost got "squish-ed".

And then we hydrated.

Thanks everybody for coming. You really helped make the boys' birthday's special. It couldn't have been done without you all!

The Smash.

The boys had some issues behaving prior to Halloween this year, and thus lost the privilege of going to the pumpkin patch before Oct. 31. We did, however take them afterwards, when they started behaving again. (After some very crafty parenting manuevers) The pumpkin patch we visit does the "pumpkin smash" the week after Halloween. It was such a blast, we've now decided it's the best time to visit.
No Crowds, You get to see stuff get smashed, catapulted, and thrown to hell and back - what more could a person want?

Note: Blogger is being a wacknut today, and the pictures are in random order according to where the good folks running this show would let me put them.
The smash maze (actually just a row of hay bales lined up with pumpkins in the middle). You get to stomp all over them. Fun for 2 and 4 year olds. Gross for mommies.
SMASHHHHHHH! From 100 feet up, and full of water. They wouldn't let me get any closer. Apparently if I get knocked out by a flying chunk of pumpkin, its their fault or something...This will be one of my favorite pictures of the B-rox for all time. It's him, there's not much more to say, other than I took it while we were in a porta-potty...Can you tell he's having an absolute ball? I love his enthusiasm for everything he does. My little adventure-er. The hayride at this place is pretty spectacular, and I believe we were watching Obama land in a spaceship or something...

I know what you're saying here "gee, that Mommy McD, she sure is a snappy dresser!" Or not...This smash was a double header. Shortly after this, some saftey guy put the fence up and the picture quality went downhill. In the words of Mike Rowe "Saftey somewhere in the top five - never first."
Can you hear my heart melting? Even though only 33% of those boys are actually looking at the camera, and only 66% are smiling?
One of the best days of the year! Can't wait for Pumpkin Smash 2010!

Stomp Stomp Stomp

Hear that? It's Blogzilla! I got sick this weekend, and I feel like I'm on the mend - but not well enough to clean my house. (Or at least that is what we're going to tell Mark when he comes home to a messy house tonight...) So instead, I'm going to take the day and catch up on my backlogged blog posts. I'm also going to make phone calls and eat.
Eating is very important, you know.

So, Enjoy! Or don't...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mental Purge.

Do you remember that post a while back about how overwhelmed I felt, and the crazy list of things I had to do (that as soon as I published I remembered about four more - but didn't have time to edit it...)?
Well, I still have most of it to do. It's totally killing me too.

Between Turkey day down in Norfolk, the Hamthrax attack on our house and the subsequent sleepless nights I have yet to recover from, I've just been a useless blob - barely slogging through the day to day.
The night before last, I ended up getting a whopping 3.5 hours of sleep. Yesterday was supposed to be my day to get the house bright and shiny in preparation for the descendeth of family today. I didn't. I put on all my comfy fleece and crawled my butt into bed for the three hours the boys napped. They were blissful hours, I shall miss them so...

Today isn't looking much better. Mark was supposed to be home today, but has to work the "morning". (It usually ends up being most of the day. *Sigh - then move on*)

So, this was the plan for the day:
Wake up an hour later to run, since Mark is home and can take the B-rox to school.
Run, Shower, Dress, Eat, inhale some Java (repeat if necessary)
Clean the kitchen, and floors.
Fold all the linen laundry that has been sitting in the hallway for two days
Pick the B-rox up.
Get to B'n'N in Springfield to get this coming year's planner
Take Kenny back to Cartoon Cuts, because this last cut has him looking Totally effed up.
Get to Target to get a few gift cards.
Give hugs to the two family members that arrive firstest.
Bake a batch of cookies for Braxton's school's Fala lalalalala.
Go to Fala lalalalala.
Fall into bed and sleep until someone kicks me.


The plan now looks like this:
Wake up at 4:30 for a run I didn't want to do (treadmills blow)
Shower, Dress, Get kids dressed - breakfasted - shoed.
Take B-rox to school
Come home, inhale Java
Attempt to pull myself away from the computer.
Fold laundry
Start cleaning the kitchen....?
Start cleaning the floors...?
Pick up the B-rox
Feed the children
Hopefully *fingers, toes and anything else crossable, crossed* pick mark up at 1ish.
Finish Kitchen?
Finish Floors?
Bake cookies
Hugs for the fam.
Fala lalalala.
Oblivion, until kicked.


Kieran, I'm sure, will survive this wreck of a haircut he has. Until it's fixed I'll only take pictures of him like this:

Wish me luck.

Note: I'm waaaaaaaay backlogged on blogging, and am hoping to find a free moment or two to catch up before the new year. Bear with me until then, please?

Onward Ho...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

They missed one.

Seriously, people need to chill. I did not realize that the "shoes off policy" in some homes was such a hot-button issue.

I can see both sides of the argument the make here, except for that one cranky lady, who was just like "you don't own me!!"

The reason my house has a shoes off policy - even when we had crappy floors? My kids play on the floors. So, while I'm not making cheesebread on the floor, my boys are pretending to. The less germs we track all over the place the better.

I'm pretty sure I'm allowed to make that rule for my house.
People should chill. Why is everyone so cranky all the gosh darn time?

Edited to Note: If you have some disgusting foot condition, (i.e. toe fungus, chronic athletes foot, or something I've never heard of but shouldn't go in my kids mouth), Keep your shoes on. I'll let my kids risk E. Coli.
It's not like I stand guard and make you hand over your shoes upon entering. In fact, most people enter through the front door - and don't even see our shoe pile, and still take off their shoes without prompting. So there.

Take yesterday for example:

I was making a quick trip to Old Navy for some of their Knit lined pants. I usually don't have the problem of being cold all the time like I have recently, so I didn't have much in the way of wigwam wear and needed to fix that problem.
Kieran has gotten to the phase where it's all "I'll do it myself", "get away - I'll do it", and "WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH NO!" So, I'm choosing my battles wisely. (Or at least I hope wisely...) Yesterday's battle was over shoes. He wanted to wear his slippers instead. I was pretty much "whatever, just cover your feet so CPS isn't called on me. That would really mess up the holiday".
We were at the mall, and Kieran was in his slippers. I'm browsing for the pants (i.e. trying desperately to find my size), and this little old lady walks up to me and says: "Don't you think it's innapropriate for him to be out in his slippers?".
"Uhhhh, No. That's why he's wearing them - in Old Navy."
"I think kids of today are over-casualized, and I think he should be in shoes."
*mouth gaping getting wider and wider every second this conversation continues* "Well, he didn't want to wear his shoes. He wanted to wear his slippers. They're warm, and I don't plan on letting him puddle stomp in them. So, I think it's ok - He's only two."
"I still think it's innapropriate."
"I think it's innapropriate to ruin someone's shopping high!"
*Me walking away very awesomely in charge.*
"Smartass hooligans."

I'm pretty sure she didn't say that last one. In my head she did, just to perfect the most awesome conversation I've never wanted to have. Butt the hell out people.

See what I mean by cranky? I don't get it. Hakuna Matata people!

On that note, I hope everyone has a pretty awesome day. I know I will, as I'm about to put myself in my mud room and inhale paint fumes...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Destination: Santa Train

A few weeks ago I logged onto the VRE website and refreshed the page about every fifteen seconds for close to half an hour. Why?

Because Santa Train tickets were going on sale at 9:00 am, and for the first time ever, they were selling them online.
Last year we didn't get to Santa Train ourselves, because they sold out about five people in front of me.

This year, they sold them online, and as soon as the "add to cart" button appeared, four golden tickets were mine. (Turns out the tickets are actually pink...) My vigilance paid off, as they were sold out in FOUR minutes. Nuts.

Anyway, here is our adventure in pictures. Maybe a few captions. Depends on how long my lap can remain ham-thrax kid free.
We spent a lot of time looking out the window. (Duh) Therefore many "looking out the window pics". Overjoyed. Favorite moment was right then when we started moving. "Mom, We're moving - on a real train! Like real people!". Believe it or not, he spent about ten minutes with this face, pouting over the fact that there wasn't going to be a submarine ride next. Apparently he plans on carrying on the "McDaniel's in the Nuclear Navy" tradition. I love these boys. More than the zillion times I plan to say it can express. Love real beard Santas. I'm currently trying to convince my daddy that he should be a Santa. It would be awesome. I'd feel like Tim Taylor's kid. (Follow that logic...)The wifey was there too.
Apparently there is someone out there with a bigger head than Kieran.

Looks totally enthused right?

Great way to spend the morning.

Merry Christmas Folks!