Dec 24, 2009

Merry Christmas To All

Christmas means so much more to me now that I'm a mother. It's easy to imagine the tender love that Mary had for her precious son. How much she sacrificed, bringing Him into the world in such humble circumstances, knowing that He was sent to die for us. I'm thankful for Him. I have come to know that He is my personal Savior. I love Him, and I know that He loves me even when I am not so good. It's my prayer this Christmas that I will be a little better, a little kinder, a little more patient in the coming year. So here's to a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Dec 1, 2009

Today is Miles' 11 month birthday and I kind of feel like it's a big milestone, since it's his last month of infancy. I really love my little guy and am amazed at all he can do as he gets older, but I'm definitely going to miss having a baby. So here are 11 of my favorite things about him right now.

1. He loves to share. The best is when he tries to feed me his bottle.
2. When we play hide and seek around the couch, he likes to lay down on the floor and peek at me under the couch. So cute!
3. He's very mellow and easy-going.
4. His cheeks!
5. He's finally on a nap schedule.
6. He loves to do things on his own, like feed himself or flip the light switch.
7. When he does something he knows he's not supposed to, right before doing it he will look at me to see if I'm watching and give me a cheeky little smile.
8. He makes the funniest face when he is chewing and really concentrating on it. He kind of frowns and sticks out his jaw, which accentuates his cheeks even more.
9. Have I mentioned yet that he's adorable?
10. His laugh.
11. He loves food and wants to eat everything that we eat.

Aug 21, 2009

At the Park!

We went to the park the other day, and got a few cute pictures...

Jul 31, 2009

Welcome to earth, Miles Ryan McDaniel

Better late than never, right? I know I'm kind of a slacker when it comes to blogging, but 7 months is bad for even me. Since I don't want to spend two hours trying to remember and write it all down, I'm just going to take a page straight out of my journal. Hope you enjoy, but if you don't finish this I don't blame you.

Becoming a mother is the most wonderful that has ever happened to me. I was terrified, all the way until the delivery, that something would go wrong and I wouldn't get to keep my baby. Maybe having a miscarriage made me paranoid. But the big day arrived and things could not have gone more smoothly!

The last week or so of December, I was feeling pretty bad. I was so tired and uncomfortable and just ready to be done. I was feeling particularly achey on New Year's Eve, and Matt almost called in sick at work but decided to go in at the last minute. Not wanting to be alone, I went to my parents house and had sort of an early birthday dinner for my mom, whose birthday was the next day. I remember telling them about how badly I wished Matt was there. My dad told me that they would take me to the hospital if I needed them to, but Matt was the only one I wanted with me. Around 10 pm, I figured I would feel better if I went home and got some sleep. Shortly after I got back, Matt came home from work and we watched TV for a whille. We tried to find a New Year's Eve specIal but there was nothing on. We turned to some random rerun instead and I slept right through the new year. About quarter after midnight, I remember waking up with a strange pain. I got up and when I got into the bathroom I lost my mucous plug and my water broke. I started vomiting right after that and then came the real contractions. They were very uncomfortable. AFter ten minutes or so of uncontrollable retching, my stomach was empty and I was feeling really weak. The contractions were getting stronger and faster, about four minutes apart at that time. Being a first-timer, I still wasn't sure if I was truly in labor, so I called the hospital to ask what I should do (I'm amazed they understood me in between the panting and moaning). The nurse told me to come in and get checked, since they couldn't see me through the phone (obviously). By this time I was so uncomfortable that I was pacing frantically around the house, so when I got off the phone I ran upstairs and threw some last minute things into my hospital bag. Matt kept telling me to sit down and breathe, but there was no way I could do that.

When we had everything together we jumped in the Jeep and headed for St. MArk's. We left the house around 1:30 am and I was worried the whole time that because it was New Year's Eve, we were going to either get hit by a drunk driver or get pulled over because Matt looked like one. Matt actually was very calm and in control, but I kept yelling at him to drive faster. Every stoplight was torture! The contractions were so intense and close together that I really believed I might have the baby in the car.

We finally made it to the hospital just after 2 am, when the nurse took one look at me and decided to wheel me into a delivery room right away for an exam, while Matt did admission papers. I changed into a hospital gown as quickly as a girl can when she is doubled over and shaking from pain. As soon as I got up onto the bed the nurse examining me announced in shock that I was dilated 8 cm already. It's a good thing I had already decided against pain medication, because it was way too late to get it anyway! When the nurse realized how fast I was progressing, she hurried out of the room to find an on-call doctor. MAtt was still out in the lobby, filling out papers and calling our parents. We had decided not to call them until we were admitted, just to make sure we didn't wake them up for a false alarm. Fortunately they both live within 15 minute of the hospital and they were able to make it just in time. What I didn't know was that I had accidentally called my mom when I was trying to call the hospital, and she was so worried when she answered the phone and I didn't say anything that she stayed up for the next two hours waiting for the phone to ring. Sorry Mom. When Matt finally did call her, she was ready to go in an instant. Pam, on the other hand, wasn't home yet from a party in Orem, and Cal was leaving the house right as she pulled in the garage. Lucky for her she didn't miss it.

Back in the hospital while I was alone in the delivery room, waiting for Matt and the nurse, I was trying to just breathe through the contractions when all of a sudden I started pushing. I knew I shouldn't yet, but I could not help it, my body was so much stronger than my will. I was afraid that I would hurt the baby or myself by pushing too soon, so I started to panic when I realized that I couldn't control it. I yelled like a mad woman for Matt, who came running in looking very nervous. I barked an order at him to go get the nurse, so he ran out. When she came in to examine me, she found I was at 10 cm and ready to go. I think it had only been about 15 minutes since the first exam, so she was pretty surprised.

It was time to start pushing but the doctor still hadn't arrived, so the nurse told me to start pushing gently and working the baby's head down. I was totally unprepared for this part. Everybody says it's a relief to finally be able to push through the pain, but let me just say that pushing was soooo much worse than the contractions. aFter enduring probably 20 or 30 minute of very slow torture, the doctor came rushing in and said I could give it my all. I did, and a few minutes later out popped my beautiful baby boy (aren't you glad I'm sparing you the details of the episiotomy?). Miles Ryan McDaniel was born at 3:03 am on January 1, 2009, weighing 7 lbs even and measuring 20 inches long. When I felt that warm rush of blood that came with the final push, the first emotional was relief. The next was awe. When they held up my tiny, screeching, wrinkled baby I was so overcome. It was incredible knowing that child was mine, just sent from his Heavenly Father. Right away I felt the mantle of parenthood placed on my shoulders. It's such a tremendous responsibility to have to provide everything for a helpless little infant, but what a gift!

There is so much more that I could say, but let's just leave it at that. I love you Miles!

Jul 22, 2009


So the official blog of the Utah Jazz put out a call for bloggers. They are having a contest, and the winners get to be official bloggers for the Jazz. I thought it might be a cool thing to do, so I entered this:

The Neighbors
by Matt McDaniel

I can still remember the first game in our new seats. Our season seats were off center, upper-bowl. Not too bad, but not good enough. Not for die-hard fans, anyway. We had season ticket holders on each side of us, both couples twice our age.

“Why on earth won’t these people shut up?!” I kept asking myself that same question. Were they drunk? Was I wearing some special uniform that said “Hey! Talk to me!”?

I guess since it was a Friday game and they wouldn’t have to get up the next day, they figured it was okay to drink a few. They were taking the bus home, of course. I’m not a drinker but I didn’t mind them drinking. It’s all fine and dandy, just as long as they didn’t spill it on my shoes when they walked by.

I looked over at the husband, trying my best to avoid eye contact, just so I wouldn’t have to engage in another ridiculous conversation about how this Blake Griffin character from Oklahoma was the best thing since corned beef. I do like a good corned beef, though. But I digress. Well anyway, it didn’t work. He grabbed my sleeve and seemed to try and squeeze some juice out of the fabric. I just bought that shirt. Now...tainted. Personal space was hard to come by up in the nose-bleeds.

Either way, I was there to see the Jazz. The Jazz. The one team I have loved since my childhood. Even my years in Florida going to the Magic games, seeing Shaq and Penny, Dennis Scott, Nick Anderson, even Horace Grant! Truth is, I only really wanted to go to see them play the Jazz.

Even though at every game we would sit by the same people, every game a different couple would show up. They showed up as the same semi-drunk loud mouths we first met, or tired, uninterested sour-pusses. When would I ever get an idea of what these people were really like? Maybe next year they would switch seats, or give up their tickets. One could only hope.

We stuck it out the whole season, though, even watched the playoffs next to these people. We shared some stories with them, we laughed, we cried (the Jazz will do that to you). By season’s end we had actually learned their names! October rolled around and it was time to go back to the games for a new season. During the off-season we had come to miss our fair-weather, beer-laced, season ticket neighbors. Would they return? Maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing after all.

January 1, 2009. 3:03 a.m.. Our baby boy just missed being the first born in the hospital. He was born to be a Jazz fan! We missed several games, but when we returned we were greeted enthusiastically by our neighbors, who couldn’t wait to hear about our little boy. Did they genuinely care? I think they did.

After missing a few more games we sat down in our usual seats, not without passing the guy on the end of the row who was determined to give us crusties every time we arrived. Suddenly, a bag fell on my lap. A Fanzz logo strewn across the front. A big smile came across the face of the giver. Our season ticket neighbor said, “This is for your little guy!” I opened the bag to find a tiny blue onesie, with a Jazz logo and the words, My First Jazz Tee.

Boy, did I feel like an idiot. After all of that time, throughout all of those games, I never took the time to care about them. Here they were, drunk or not, listening to our stories, and taking the time to get our sweet baby a gift.

I guess I can handle a few more Blake Griffin conversations. Thanks you guys.

Jul 4, 2009

The Golden Bear

Whether you are a golfer or not... most likely you have heard of Jack Nicklaus. (not to be confused with Jack Nicholson) Until Tiger proves him otherwise, he IS the best golfer to have ever played the game. Now in his late 60's, he doesn't compete anymore, but continues to influence golf with his line of clothing and golf equipment. He also is well known for his course designs. His newest design, The Signature Course at Red Ledges, Utah opened yesterday, and I got to go get an interview with him! Here's a couple Q's that I asked....

Apr 6, 2009

Luckiest girl

I think there must be people in the world that don't love their children very much, because if everybody felt this way about their baby the earth would explode. It couldn't handle this much love. I mean, I knew I would love my son a lot, but this is just out of control. And the thing that really surprised me is how much he loves me. There is no better feeling in the world than seeing him smile when he recognizes his mama. I just can't believe that I could be so lucky. My pregnancy and delivery were absolutely dreamy, so I kind of figured that the actual child-rearing part would suck. Law of averages, you know. Much to my surprise, Miles has been the most delightful baby. He is so sweet and easygoing. I seriously could not have asked for a more wonderful experience. One of the best parts of motherhood so far has been watching Matt bond with the baby. They have this really cute relationship that's totally unique to them. It's easy to see how much they adore each other. I love my boys!

Mar 4, 2009

I had to cut my baby's clothes off...

...because there was so much poop on them, that I didn't dare pull them off over his head!

Here is the happy boy after his bath

Even happier to be warm and cozy in his jammies

We love our baby Miles!

Feb 28, 2009

Post-Op Appointment

Well, It's been a week since my knee surgery, and time for my post-operation appointment with Dr. Marshall. I thought that when they took off my bandages, I would look terrible under them. It didn't look to bad at all. In fact, I was surprised at how good it did look. Anyway, they took off my bandages and cleaned up the area a little and sent me to get X-Rays. After that, they took out my stitches, which kinda hurt, and covered the spots with tape. They gave me a cool new brace that bends and makes me feel like Robo-Matt. Anyway, after my appointment I had to go get an ultrasound because the Dr. thought I may have had a blood clot. I don't have one thank goodness. So now, I am able to drive, work, shower, etc... but I will still be on crutches for 2 more weeks.

Feb 23, 2009

Dinner With David

So my Mom and I got the rare opportunity to have dinner with David Archuleta. To make this post a lot quicker to write, I am using my Mom's version of the story that she wrote up for her David Archuleta fan site ( She's a big DA fan..

Last Monday, on President’s Day, I had a very choice opportunity to have dinner with David! This was billed as an exclusive dinner with David with only twelve guest and then David and whoever he chose to bring. It sounded too good to be true! The Boys and Girls Club sponsored the charity dinner to benefit their club. I was one of the VERY FORTUNATE ones who won a bid for the dinner! I don’t know how I got that lucky but I did. And I am so grateful for it because it was a very special evening, one that I will treasure for the rest of my life!

We arrived (my son, Matt, went with me) about 6:30 and were taken into a semi-private area of Carver’s restaurant in Sandy, Utah. The tables were arranged in a rectangular pattern. Most everybody was already there and seated except for the guest of honor, DAVID, and his family. There were three chairs for them on one of the short sides of the table and then three more chairs on the other short side where Kim from the Boys and Girls Club was sitting, along with her sister and a photographer. Along the long sides were six chairs on each side where TWELVE VERY LUCKY people were seated. YES! Only twelve fans vying for David’s attention! And about two and a half hours time to talk to him and LOOK at him! Larissa was there from Singapore, and the lady who bought the shirt and the bracelet from the Bonnie Hunt Show Auction. A woman was there with her fifteen year old daughter from New York, some people were from California, a woman there with her grand-daughter was local, as were we.

We had not been there too long before David entered along with Lupe and Jeff. I wanted to clap, scream, whistle and WOOT! WOOT! but nobody else did so I thought I had better show some restraint - and besides, my son was with me!!! Jeff and David kind of just stood by the chairs where they were to be sitting smiling, acknowledging people and such! But sweet Lupe walked around the whole table and shook hands with and spoke to everybody! She is a very kind, warm, genuine person! I told her that I had met her at intermission during the final AI Tour show in Tulsa. She seemed to remember that!

After that the waiter went into a rather lengthy spiel about the menu and all our choices and described each choice at length in a rather flowery, theatrical manner! By the way, when he finished we did all clap!!! David was the first to order and in spite of the waiter’s explanation of everything David had many questions about EVERYTHING! So cute! Finally Lupe leaned over to him and said, “David, they are all waiting! ” As if we weren’t just hanging on his every word and delighting in just being there with him and being able to observe him in a rather cozy, homey setting! Finally, David did order and the waiter moved on! This is what my son observed about the ordering process for David. Too funny!

David ordered: The stuffed portobello, but he asked if he could get it w/o shrimp. The spinach and apple salad, because he was in the mood for something healthy, and decided on that after much debate. He thought about getting the Filet, but after asking “Prime rib? Wait… what was that again?” He went with the Prime Rib. After he got the meal, and saw the mashed potatoes he asked, “Are these mashed potatoes?” The waiter replied, “Garlic Mashed Potatoes sir.” “Oh, okay” David replied, “Why is garlic good for you again?” The Bailey’s Cream pie. David’s comment: “Mmm, this tastes like Oreos or something…” The server’s reply: “That’s because it is an Oreo crust.”

After ordering and while we were waiting for our food to arrive David said he wanted to get to know everybody so we went around the table introducing ourselves and telling him a few things about us and asking him a few things. I thought I would clam up or start stuttering and not be able to think of anything to say but I think I did OK. I don’t think I embarrassed myself or made a fool of myself in any way. I guess I should ask Matt (my son) about that as he did warn me as we were walking in not to say anything stupid, or something like that! David and his family are so easy to talk to. They have an ability to put one at ease and it’s truly amazing. In Larissa’s story she talks about how David was looking over at her a lot and all. I had the same feeling. He seemed to be looking at me a lot and smiling and I thought maybe it was because I was staring at him! I simply could not take my eyes off of him! Maybe he kept looking my direction because of the pretty fifteen year old girl sitting next to her Mom who was sitting next to me. No, I’m sure that wasn’t it! David did seem to text a lot/some throughout dinner in typical 18 y/o fashion! And David did eat EVERYTHING on his plate with gusto! I think if he could have had more he would have. A typical teenage boy!

We proceeded through dinner and we were able to ask him questions all throughout the meal which he graciously answered, along with Jeff and Lupe! There were some things they could not share but were very open to answering any and all questions. After dinner the photographer took a picture of each one of us with David and he signed a CD for each of us. We were able to give him gifts we had brought and did I mention the HUG? I asked him if I could get one of those famous hugs I had heard about. He said, “What? They’re famous?” And I said, “Oh, yes!” and got a hug that was rated as a ten - by me!!! They were in a rush at that point because they were going back to rehearse with the band and they were already 40 minutes late. And he had the get up at 4:30 AM the next morning to catch a plane to Los Angeles. What a hectic schedule - I hope he has a chance to get some rest now and then! Matt offered to help them out with some of the gifts. In fact he already had an armload of gifts. But David wouldn’t let him. He kept saying, “That’s OK - I’m used to it!” (I’ll bet he is!!!) and “I have to help with all the band stuff at rehearsal, too!” Anyway, they had parked in back of the restaurant and arrived and left through he kitchen, just like in the movies, huh?

I know I am leaving out details of the conversations, some of which I already shared commenting on FOD. But this is getting rather lengthy, sorry, so I had better end it now! I just want say that in was an AMAZING experience to be able to meet David that way, where it was so relaxed and casual. He is everything we all say he is. He is genuine and humble. He's funny and engaging. He is gorgeous with beautiful eyes and a melt-your-heart smile! He seems to really care about people and is able to show that through his actions and his words. I am a DAVID ARCHULETA fan for now and forever! I am no longer SLTMD (Still Longing to Meet David) but I am definitely LTMDA (Longing to Meet David Again). I hope all who have never met DAVID will get the chance someday. It is an experience that I will never forget and will hold close to my heart!

Well I don't know if I agree with that last part about him being so cute and all, but it was a pretty cool experience.

Feb 21, 2009

Surgery (First time ever!)

Friday morning at 9 AM, we checked in at the hospital. I was nervous, but I knew that surgery, in the long run would be the best thing to do for my knee. After getting checked in, we were walked down to the waiting area, and then immediately called into the pre-op room. The nurse gave me a gown which was about 6" too short, and so Marci decided it would be funny to take a picture. The nurse then put in my IV, which if you've never had one, is like the worst thing in the world. Then my knee was shaved and marked with a purple marker. Marci went to wait in the waiting room, as my bed and I were wheeled into the operating room. The room was pretty big, and white, with a lot of lights and tables. I laid down and they strapped my arms down, one taking my blood pressure and the other with the IV. The anesthesiologist, without much delay, gave me some oxygen to breathe, and and then said to give him about 6 deep breaths. On breath 4, he said that I'll be out in about 10 seconds. I could actually feel the goo entering my arm and making its way to my heart. As things started getting dark, I remember saying, "Goodnight!".

Next thing I remember is waking up in the post-op room, and feeling my leg in a LOT of pain! I told the nurse and she gave me a muscle relaxer, though she did put it in my right leg, which wasn't the leg that hurt.... Marci came in and showed me some love, while I dozed in and out of consciousness. We made our way out to the car, and eventually home. Since then I've been laying around on the couch, only getting up to go to the restroom. My pain levels aren't too high, but every once in a while, I will jolt in my sleep and stretch my leg really bad. My mom was gracious enough to take Cosmo for the weekend, so that does make things a little easier.

Come and visit us, we'll be here all week! (Bring goodies...)

Feb 13, 2009

That Darned Knee

I hate getting injured! Especially when it means no basketball, bowling, golf or climbing for a year! Here's the scoop:

I was playing ball last Tuesday (as I normally do), when I came down from a jump and felt my knee pop sideways, which is not a good feeling, just so you know. After an intense minute of pain, it started feeling a little better and I was able to put some weight on it. I decided to drive myself home, though some good friends offered to do that for me. While stepping into my Jeep, I felt my knee pop out again! Dang that hurt. I was still okay, and started driving home. On my way home, I decided I'd better go to the ER, due to the fact that the pain and burning were reaching an 8 on the pain scale, and I was feeling sick and light-headed.

Once I got to the hospital, I found the ER, but the normal entrance was closed for construction, so I had to park about 200 yards away from the ambulance entrance and hop myself in on one leg (stopping about every 50 yards). The ER took about 2 hours total, and all I got from them was a referral to see a real doctor, and a prescription for 800mg of ibuprofen, which I would have done anyway without them prescribing it to me.

A few days of hobbling around go by, with improvements in mobility, pain and swelling. Now it was time to see the Orthopedic that I was referred to. The first visit, he seemed a little distant, and eager to pawn us off to the hospital for an MRI. So two days later.... I got an MRI. I'll have to say that keeping my leg absolutely strait and still was painful for a few seconds, and having to do it for 45 minutes was misery.

Two days later came the follow-up visit with the Ortho. He looked at the MRI and seemed to immediately know what had happened. "Your ACL is shredded, and you've torn your meniscus. I'd recommend reconstructive surgery." Oh boy, I thought that I might have pulled something, and that I could just rehab it back to full strength. After all, by this time, I was walking at about 75-80% of normal. I thought that if I got a second opinion, maybe the results could change, so I had my Dad take my MRI to his world-renowned Orthopedic Surgeon in Miami, and without any thought, he suggested reconstructive surgery.

So that settles it. Surgery it is. If you are interested in knowing how they reconstruct the ACL, you may want to Google it. It's pretty interesting. Anyway, here are my MRI images: