Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In My New House

So, literally we have looked at so many houses I feel like shooting myself in the head. I want to just say "my mother told me to pick the very best one and you are not it..." and be done with it. That is not entirely true, but it is almost true.

Regardless of the fact that we have not found a house, I have been realizing a lot of things about my new house (where ever it may be).

1. My new house is always clean. Everything has its own place, there is never any clutter, the floors are gorgeous, etc.

2. My new house is quiet. Everyone takes naps when they should, and sleeps through the night without any issues. No one ever cries for no apparent reason...no one ever wakes others up by being too loud.

3. My new house is perfect for having people over. It will comfortably fit the 30 people who are now regularly attending our community group. It fits Dave's coveted wall screen projector. And when the Stoddards come to visit again with their 5 kids everyone will have their own bedroom.

4. In my new house I will always enjoy cooking and we will never have to order out again. There will always be food in the pantry and fridge.

5. In my new house we always excercise and eat right. We will LOVE going out and taking walks regularly.

Anyway, you can see my freakish thoughts...somehow this new house is going to fix all of my problems...and while it might fix some of the issues (giving Annelise her own room so that she can cry all she wants in it) it won't make me want to clean or excercise...ah well. It was a nice thought.

Friday, February 22, 2008

On Sleep and Moving

A man named Greg just left my home. He was here to give me a quote. A quote on how much it would cost for his company to pack up all of my earthly belongings, put them on a truck and move them to our new home. Now, we haven't purchased a home yet...we haven't even put an offer on a house. But we are close. And I figure once we get this ball rolling it is going to be rolling fast.

Last year I made a deal with Dave. He wanted another baby and so I agreed as long as we could be moved into a permanent residence by the time the second child arrived. The Lord had other plans for us, so when I realized there was no way of buying a home before Annelise arrived I made a second deal. If I have to move with two children under two, I want to hire movers...not just to move the boxes, but to pack us up and move us out. This is my luxury item.

I graduated from college 10 years ago and in those 10 years I have moved far too many times. I moved from KY back to CA. From CA I moved to Acworth, GA...then to a sweet basement apt on Linda. After 11 months on Linda I moved to the Compound, where I lived for 2 years...my longest stay anywhere. I then lived with Bif and Kris for 3 months and then moved to Project Midvale Road for a year and a half. Back to Bif and Kris' for 3 months before my wedding...to PPN for 5 months (my only apartment experience) and then to Henschtal, Germany. We lived there just over a year before moving to Mettweiler where we stayed a year and a half...and back to Atlanta. So, let's see, that is 2 cross country moves, 2 cross Atlantic moves, and 6 moves across town. You see, I deserve this luxury.

So, we have the movers confirmed and now we just have to confirm the house...I know a little backwards, but like I mentioned I think we are close and I needed to make sure we had a solid quote and money set aside for this cost.

Onto my next subject of sleep...we are making progress! My little elf is improving, slowly, everyday. We are now on a decent schedule. The exact times varies every day, but I know generally what I can expect. Annelise goes to sleep at 6pm. The last two nights she is getting up at 9pm to eat and then again at 2am and then at 7am. So that is a 3 hour stretch and then 2 5 hour stretches. Much improved from 3 hour stretches throughout the night. I am hoping this will continue, and improve even more. She has done 5 hour stretches before and then reverted back to 3 hours, but I am hopeful this time it will stick. She is going back down for a morning nap around 8.30 for about an hour. And then will sleep for 3 hours from about 11-2. Yes! Another quickie nap from 3.30-4.30 and we are golden.

She is sleeping better, she is going into her bed (well, technically she sleeps in my bed when she naps) without protest and is falling asleep on her own. MAJOR improvements. I am SO happy. I am hoping that when we move into our new home Annelise will be sleeping well enough to have them in the same room. I know that Sar is working on Jill's schedule too. She even checked out the sleep Bible from the library to brush up on strategy. Yea! It is so nice to be on a schedule and to have both girls sleeping at the same time.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Silly Girls and Fun News

This morning I was in the other room when I heard Annelise begin to fuss. As I approached the living room I heard Hadleigh talking to Annelise. "It's OK, qui, qui, OK". Then she got reallly close to her face and started grunting. It was funny because Dave discovered that when we grunt at Annelise, she will smile. Super sweet. A few minutes later Hadleigh took out her fav book, "Little Quack" and started reading to Annelise. I hope these girls grow up to be wonderful friends. It is something I pray for every night.
Here is a fun little picture of Hadleigh being super silly. She loves to make faces for the camera and give really silly grins. She also noticed that I Was taking pictures of Annelise and wanted to get in on the action.

And here is my little Annelise. She looks a little shocked here. She hates the flash on the camera, but my house is too dark to not use it.
On other exciting news, I just got a call that we have been approved for a loan! This wasn't incredibly shocking news to us...we assumed we would be approved, I just did not think it would be this quick. We actually thought about getting approved last fall, but realized we would get a better rate if we waited. Since Dave is self-employed we needed our tax documents to prove his income. We received our taxes in the mail over the weekend, and sent them to our loan guy yesterday. Now we just have to find a house...though we have been narrowing it down... I am currently getting quotes from movers, we could be moving into a house in another month. Insanity!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sovereign Grace O'er Sin Abounding

1. Sovereign grace o’er sin abounding!
Ransomed souls, the tidings swell;
’Tis a deep that knows no sounding;
Who its breadth or length can tell?
On its glories, Let my soul for ever dwell.
2. What from Christ that soul can sever,
Bound by everlasting bands?
Once in Him, in Him for ever;
Thus the eternal covenant stands.
None shall take Thee From the Strength of Israel’s hands.
3. Heirs of God, joint-heirs with Jesus,
Long ere time its race begun;
To His name eternal praises;
O what wonders love has done!
One with Jesus, By eternal union one.
4. On such love, my soul, still ponder,
Love so great, so rich, so free;
Say, while lost in holy wonder,
Why, O Lord, such love to me?
Hallelujah! Grace shall reign
Hallelujah! Grace shall reign
Hallelujah! Grace shall reign eternally.

I sang the words yesterday and then stopped and went back to read them. Wow. I was going to say I liked a particular verse, but could not decide on which one. Where He frees me from my sin? Where he holds me forever in his hand? Where he makes me a joint heir with Christ? Where he tells me of his love? I can't decide. It is all beautiful. Thank you John Kent for writing such a beautiful hymn!

The rest of service followed the theme of this hymn. I was excited when it came time for communion because we have started a new way of celebrating. When we did it at the Ash Wednesday service I got a little excited, and then was glad to see it wasn't just an Ash Wednesday thing. We went forward by rows to a "station" where we received the bread and wine. Tinnin explained that this also symbolizes that we come to Christ with empty hands, and we leave filled with his grace (ok, it was something probably a little more profound, but it was something along these lines). He encouraged us to really hear the words as we took the bread and wine. This always seems a little akward to me...do I look at the person giving me the bread while they say "This is Christ's body given for you." I decided I would look them in the eye as they said the words, and I found it profound. I actually started to cry. I know crazy, emotional, mommy. I do not know, but something about hearing and seeing them say the words to me was moving. So I will repeat the last words of the song...

On such love, my soul, still ponder,
Love so great, so rich, so free;
Say, while lost in holy wonder,
Why, O Lord, such love to me?
Hallelujah! Grace shall reign
Hallelujah! Grace shall reign
Hallelujah! Grace shall reign eternally.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Fostering Hope

Here is a fun little radio snipet of my dad. He officially "retired" (he actually retired from his day job 6 years ago and then worked as a volunteer pastor at his church for 5 years) from his job at the church 6 months ago, and has now filled his plate with "fun" things. In the last several years he was involved in forming an organization called ACTION (Area Christians Taking Initiative on Needs). Since retiring he has been working with ACTION and recently began to head up a program called Fostering Hope that works specifically with teenage foster children and foster children who have been emancipated.

Well, I am not able to upload the link...but in any case, he was interviewed on a radio show out in LA...8 minutes in the spot light. You can see more about the organization and about Fostering Hope on ACTION's website. Cool stuff!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


It is official. Yesterday was my first normal day since the arrival of Annelise. It was glorious! Annelise took three naps in her bed. Hadleigh took her normal afternoon nap. We took a little outing to the library for a modified playgroup. I made dinner and washed the dishes before I put Annelise down at 5.45 (she sleeps in out computer room which doesn't have doors and is next to the kitchen).

While we were out a stranger even commented on how smiley Annelise was. She said "What a happy baby! Is she always this happy?" To which I responded..."No, she is actually ridiculously fussy." When the woman commented I realized that is the first time a stranger has said something nice about Annelise. They are usually telling me she is hungry, or asking me why she is screaming. Sar and I have discussed this often...why is it that when a stranger hears a baby crying they immediately assume she is hungry. I think people just feel a need to say something when a baby is screaming bloody murder. I always feel the need to correct those crazies..."No, she isn't hungry, she is just ridiculously fussy!" I am guessing that there must be crying amnesia. Once your baby leaves the crying phase you forget that babies cry for no apparent reason quite often. I promise not to let the amnesia get me.

All that to say, it was a wonderful day and I hope it is a trend to more peace in the McNay household.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Weird Things

Well, Brea asked me to write about my weirdness...I feel like my whole being is weird and odd right now...so I will put some of them down on paper. The thing about this exercise is that weird is a relative term. I had a friend in the army who thought being a missionary was weird and a hard thing to make your children endure. She found it odd when I told her some missionaries would think being in the army is weird and a hard thing to make your children endure. I generally think what I do is reasonable and what everyone else does is weird. I think that goes back to the sermon yesterday...in any case. Here are some things that I have been told are weird.

1. I like theology. I think some people think that is weird. I love reading the Heidelberg Catecism for fun! I am no great theologian, but I like knowing and understanding things. I love understanding truths about imputation and justification and federal headship and original sin. I loved reading Luther's Bondage of the Will. I do like reading things on both sides of the fence...as I read Picrilli's "Grace, Faith, Free Will" and Johnston's "Why I am Not An Arminian"...as well as Driscoll's "Radical Reformission" and McLaren's "Generous Orthodoxy".

2. I have an obsession with clean floors. You wouldn't be able to tell this currently as I cannot remember the last time I mopped the floor (and I feel sick when I think about that). But one day when I am able to run the vaccum while my children nap I will gladly go back to mopping twice a week.

3. I have a love-hate relationship with puking. It actually likes me, while I continue to hate it. But I have a LOT of puke stories. I have "christened" many countries and states and houses and hospitals. One time I was even admitted to the hospital because I couldn't stop, and they couldn't stop it. They were convinced I had hepatitis and refused to believe me when I insisted it was brought on by really painful menstrual cramps (is that too much info?). I wish I could go 8 years without puking (isn't that how long Jerry Seinfeld went?)...but alas...it is my lot in life.

4. Christy mentioned a fear of ghosts...I will have to say that I have a fear of (what I will call) the boogie man. I have an overactive imagination, and I am just sure that one of theses days he will come out from under my bed or my closet or my bathroom and get me with a knife. Dave hates this irrational fear because it makes me turn on lights in the middle of the night when he is trying to sleep.

5. I had both of my girls w/o an epidural. Though I think Annelise has scarred me for life, I was able to make it through. Some would definitely call that weird.

OK, so now I am going to ask Sar Courtney, Jess R and Lisa to post their weird things...I am so interested.

Even Wonder Woman Needs a Friend

Growing up, I loved Wonder Woman. I think when I was little I would get up super early in the morning to watch her on TV. I specifically remember watching her on TV when we lived in our green house in West Orange, New Jersey. I bet you didn't even know I lived in New Jersey. I can still sing the theme song by heart. For Christmas Dave bought me season 2 of Wonder Woman on DVD. It has been fun to watch it again. Linda Carter was amazing.

So I have had lots of ponderings on my desire to be Wonder Woman ever since Annelise was born. She has completely shattered any glimmer of hope I have ever had about being super. That has been a bit painful, but I will save those thoughts for another blog post.

At this very minute I am pondering how my life look a bit different if I had a friend. Oh, I know that sounds SO horrifically pathetic. SO before you feel too sorry for me I will try to explain my thought.

I think that part of the difficulty we have had making a decision about where to live is based partly on the fact that we don't have a real community, and I think that is a direct result of some decisions we have made, as well as our insane transition from Germany to Georgia.

1. Hadleigh and Annelise go to bed at 6pm. This makes doing things at night with other couples/families difficult/impossible (unless they come to our house).
2. We decided to become involved in a fellowship at church that is primarily singles and couples without children. We love it because, not only are they the coolest people at Intown, but they are also willing to come to our home for things (Bible study, etc).
3. I got prego with Annelise soon after we moved here and was so sick I had a hard time engaging and meeting new folks.
4. We now have two kiddos, one of which is fairly angry and it is hard to think outside of my immediate need of the moment.

Throw all those things together and we have a disconnected (as in some here and some there) group of friends. I have my playgroup friends who we see on PMO day as well as on playgroup day. I have the women I am in Bible study with one morning a week. I have the women in my community group. I have the women in the fellowship and then other folks that aren't part of any of the groups mentioned above. Would this be called a decentralized group of friends?

All of these things put together make it difficult to decide about where to live. Do we live near playgroup/Intown friends? But I really only see them a couple times a week...so would I spend more time with them if I lived near them...maybe...but not necessarily. Do we move into town and live more near our single friends...but then they all work during the day, so I wouldn't necessarily get to see them more often then I already do.

Ah...the dilemma. And now as I have come to this realization, I am not exactly sure what to do. I am not sure who I fit with, and where I belong, and it all seems bit confusing. I do feel somewhat glad to have come to some more realizations about my hesitations of moving. Maybe now that I am seeing some of the issues we will be able to come to a better decision...or maybe we will be just as confused.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Miss Hadleigh Claire is 23 Months

I know that technically she won't be 23 months until tomorrow, but since I have time right this minute I thought I better post now. Who knows what tomorrow will hold for me?

My first born is 23 months and I can hardly believe that in one more month she will be 2 years old. I am beginning to plan her party and am looking forward to celebrating.

Hadleigh's language has advanced a lot this month. She is putting words together, like "baby sleep", "Dada work" and "You're fun". She is also calling her friends by their names...Jacob, Bre (Brennan), Kate and Zack. These are just the ones she has attempted on her own. As I have mentioned before she is a perfectionist, so won't say a word unless she thinks she can really say it.

We are also teaching her responses to questions. For example I will ask "How old are you?" and I hold up 2 fingers. Her response is "Three". I will then correct her and say "No, two" and she looks at me (as if she knows exactly what she is saying and says "Three!" We are working on it. Hopefully in another month she will realize that isn't as old as she thinks she is!

I am also starting to teach her the catechism. I ask her "Who made you?" and she will respond "God" and get a big smile on her face.

Our nighttime ritual is by far my favorite part of the day. Since Annelise has been born Dave has gotten in on the action (as I cannot always be the one to sing to Hadleigh at night). Dave has taught Hadleigh some new songs, so here is the order of the evening. After her bath we read to her, give everyone kisses and go into her room. We turn on her flashing bug lights and sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider". When Dave started singing this with her I informed him that I only sing "spiritual" songs with Hadleigh as night, but she loves the song and the motions, so...we sing it every night now. After the spider song we sing "Clap your hands all ye people..." you know the one and Hadleigh claps violently. Next up is "Jesus Loves Me" which Hadleigh knows all the motions to, it is super sweet. Her favorite part is showing her muscles at the "he is strong" part. After that Hadleigh asks for "King" and then she lays her head and against my chest and we sing "Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King". Dave and I used to sing this song to her every night when she was an itty bitty baby. I love that she asks for this song by name and that she seems to understand that the song is comforting and restful. After the song we say a little prayer, always asking that Hadleigh and Annelise would never know a day without the Lord. She loves to say Amen and then we sing the Amen song. Hugs, kisses, and nose kisses follow. And she also always checks to see if I am wearing earrings...just a funny thing. And then off to bed with "giraffe" and "bears" and "dabears" and "key" (her blanket). I am glad that Dave has gotten in on the action of the nighttime routine and I think he has added a lot of fun things to it.

We have hit some fun discipline issues this month. Mostly involving her coming to me...as in she doesn't. We have polled friends and I now have a stack of three books compliments of Kris that I need to read.

She loves her little friends. If we are going somewhere I generally say "Guess who we are going to see today?" Her first guess is ALWAYS "Dada" and then after that she guesses Jacob and then Brennan. Last week as we were walking into her school, we walked in with another little boy who is in her class. She got so excited and started jibbering away at him.

Hadleigh had her first puke this month. She actually had her first 3 pukes. We now think it was due to some bad milk. Poor thing would wake up crying and saying "yucky".

Soon and very soon we are going to see the king
Soon and very soon we are going to see the king
Alleluia, Alleluia, we are going to see the king
No more crying there, we are going to see the king
No more crying there, we are going to see the king
Alleluia, Alleluia, we are going to see the king
No more dying there, we are going to see the king
No more dying there, we are going to see the king
Alleluia, Alleluia, we are going to see the king

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Elf is 3 Months

Over the weekend Annelise turned 3 months old. She has become very responsive over the last month and has been smiling and cooing throughout the day. She has a great open mouth smile that almost looks like a laugh.

She loves her baths, and now gets one every night. As soon as she gets in she is all smiles and laughs. She kicks and splashes, but HATES water in her eyes or on her face. In fact she hates anything that touches her face...the wind...a shirt...she just squirms and protests until it doesn't touch.

These days nights are getting better. She goes down at 6pm without protest, and will sleep until 6-7am. She generally gets up every four hours to eat, but sometimes will stretch 6 hours, but after she eats she will usually go back down to bed without too much trouble. We are currently working on organizing her day time sleep. According to our sleep "bible" her morning nap should develop sometime this month. Yesterday after some protest she took an hour nap (in her own bed) in the morning. Today, after much protest she took a 3 hour morning nap. I was happy and sad all at the same time. Happy that she is starting to sleep better (and not in my arms), but sad as I realized this means I am going to be limited with my time out. We will see what the nap schedule holds in the future.

I have felt like her sleep has been the most difficult part about Annelise. She has a hard time sleeping and likes to be held, and even when she is held she will not always go to sleep. I did pick up the sleep "bible" today and as I was looking at average sleep time for her age I have realized she isn't entirely off. She is about average getting around 14 hours of sleep per day. Compared with Hadleigh I feel like Annelise should be getting more sleep, but I need to be content with the 14 hours Annelise is getting.

I forgot to mention that at Annelise's 2 month appt she weighed 10.1 pounds and was 22.5 inches long. She is long and slender just like Hadleigh. Her dark hair is slowing falling out and it does look like red hair is coming in its place. Her eyes look grayish-blue, but I am not counting on that staying. Hadleigh's eyes changed a lot until she 6 months old.