Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fun Visit

One of the best things about living in ATL is that a LOT of folks come through here. It seems to be a great stopping point for folks as they head to the beach. This past weekend my good friends, Brian and Elaine fam stopped by for a couple days. They were on their way to visit family in FL and took a couple days to rest with us. It is always fun to see old friends, and to see all our kids playing together.

Todd and Hadleigh are exactly 2 years apart (Todd being 5 and Hadleigh being 3). Asher and Annelise are 6 weeks apart in age. It was a super fun visit. We have decided that Asher and Annelise will have to be roommates in college, or at least next door neighbors (which is what Elaine and I were). Now we just have to decide which college they will attend! And of course everyone would be happy if Todd and Hadleigh got married...although he might have to become a "scary" Calvinist before Dave gives his blessing...=)


I am so behind in posting...I am not sure why, but this month has just been a crazy one. Actually I do know why, but too much drama for me to write about here.

This was our most recent home improvement project. Technically I was not planning to be so intimately involved in this project. Ah well. Last Thursday we had 120 bags of insulation delivered to our home. We managed to finish 30 bags on Thursday night (Dave was in the attic and I was outside cutting the bags open and feeding them into the machine). And then on Friday (when it was 90 outside at 9 in the morning) we finished 60 more bags. THe remaining 30 will have to wait until the fall when it is a little coller outside. I will say that already we have noticed a 5 degree temperature difference in our home. Amazing. Not only that, but we apparently get to participate in the stimulus package (get a 30% write off on "green" updates on your home). Yea...Uncle Sam, you can give me money back, thanks!

The Garden

I thought that I should give an update on the garden. It is coming along which is pretty amazing. We have been enjoying the basil and cilantro. Oh yum! We love bruscetta and guacamole, and it is super fun to just walk a couple yards and snip off a few sprigs.

My poor peppers are being eaten by something, so I picked up a little spray at the store the other day...after all organic doesn't mean no pesticides! And this one said it was safe to use up to the day of harvest. Nonetheless the peppers are coming along. And the tomatoes...we have so many of them it is crazy. Only one has turned red, but it looks like we will soon have more tomatoes than we will know what to do with!

I had a little drama with the tomato cages. Well, I wasn't convinced that I needed a cage because I had these stakes that I bought in Germany...yea. So, I have been on the hunt for cages for the past 3 weeks. Pikes is out...Home Depot is out...Walmart is out...Lowes is out...did I mention I tried multiple stores of each. I finally found the only stakes left in Atlanta and bought 3. Now, try to stuff huge, overgrown tomato "bushes" into the cages...ugh. It was not pretty, but I did it without maiming the plants too much.
I also have either butternut squash or zucchini growing. I am not sure which it is. I planted both in this row and only one has popped up. At first I thought it was butternut squash because of the shape, and then I thought maybe it isn't because it has stripes like zucchini. Whatever it is we will be VERY happy. I am jsut glad taht something has decided to grow.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The South Will Rise to Stone Mountain

I am a little behind on my family fun days. Two weeks ago we went to Stone Mountain and had a fab time. We drove around the park to look at the "horses on the big rock" and then straight to the playground. The playground is great and the girls had a great time running around on the equipment and then playing in the big sandbox.

After that we drove to the grassy knoll in front of the rock and walked all the way down the lawn. It is always interesting learning more history about the War of Northern Aggression, and Stone Mountain has many plaques that list when each state seceded and then was reinstated, etc. I know this is all serious stuff to Georgians...and it is important to know and understand, but sometimes it all just makes this "Yankee" (or whatever I am) chuckle.
We watched some fish jumping in the pond, some big trucks unloading a musical stage and sound equipment, and then slowly walked back up the lawn. We ended the morning with lunch at Checkers. Fun day with the fam!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Miss Hadleigh Claire is 3.3

My little miss is now 3 years and 3 months old. We are having a lot of fun together. She is very enthusiastic about everything, although sometimes she can be terribly slow. She loves to go to the grocery and get a cookie with sprinkles! She loves to help me pick weeds in the garden and check on her tomatoes. She loves to go on walks and wave at everyone who passes. She loves to play with her friends, and she asks constantly when school is going to begin again.
This morning as we walked the girls waved at every car that passed by us. Some folks waved back or gave a little beep, which thrilled the girls to no end, and some folks just never even saw us. If someone waved, HC would exclaim, "Oh Mama, she waved! She is SO nice!" And if they did not wave, she would say, "Oh they didn't wave, they are just too busy Mama!"
Every time we drive by her school she begs to go. I finally told her yesterday that school is on a break, and it will begin again in September. She seemed to understand generally, that the summer is a special time when we get to spend more time together as a family. We are enjoying the pool as often as possible. I started HC in swim lessons in May at a club pool to get her ready for this summer. She did reasonably well. I was actually hoping that she would be good enough that I could build on what they did. However she is not completely keen on the idea of me teaching her, so I signed her up for another gorup lesson at our pool. It actually has been a bit tumultuous. We have had 3 lessons and 3 different teachers. I think we are finally into a schedule now, but it has been a bit painful. AND, may I say, I think it is ridiculously expensive. I am willing to pay when I taking her to the club pool because I am also paying for the use of the pool...but all I am paying for here is the instructor...and well...I just think, in general, it is good for a high schooler to make minimum wage. But I guess I am WAY off. OK, enough about that rant. With all the drama with the lesson I think that HC is more willing to let me work with her, so I will continue to teach her once June is over.

HC loves to sing and is constantly making up songs. She just sings songs all day long. It is fun to listen to her play and sing. She also is back into reading, and she and I always read a special book together before her nap. I actually broke out Winnie the Pooh again. I read it to her when she was really little, but I think she might enjoy it now. She might be a little young, but we will see how it goes with chapter books.
Her memorization is going really well. The past couple of weeks we have been working on Philippians 2.14-16, do all things without grumbling or arguing... And we have been talking about speaking respectfully and what that means. This has been a big area that Dave began teaching her about, and I have found that it applies to so many things. Whining, complaining, arguing, etc. So, Dave began to instruct her in things she could be thankful for. For example, HC might (maybe I should say she does say this all the time) say, "I don't want to got home!" and then we will correct her with, "Dada, thank you SO much for taking me to the grocery. I had so much fun seeing Miss Mary (the cookie lady) and getting a cookie with sprinkles." So far he has had decent success...but it is interesting to listen to her speak and see how often she does speak disrespectfully to me. It also makes me think about the words that come out of my mouth. Ouch!
Hadleigh has become a little mama. She is always mothering Annelise, for better or worse. It is funny, and sometimes terrifying to listen to the ways she speaks to Annelise...just like I speak to her...hmmm... But she is very helpful in so many ways. She loves to help me around the house, which I am thankful for. It is good for her to play, but also good for her to learn to work and to help, and to be a blessing to her family.

Yea, we are still working on the poop thing. We have starts and stops...don't know...still an issue. Anyway, that is my big girl. She is all 3! And I am enjoying it.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Ah...the Beach!

I must admit that I am not a huge fan of the beach. I know that is crazy to admit since I grew up in Cali, a few miles from the beach...but somehow maybe I just got too much of a good thing. Around here, everyone LOVES the beach and they pack up their families to head to the beach for a week. That is what folks do for vaca. I don't know...again maybe because I grew up going so much during the summer it seems weird to go on a special vacation there. I know, I am weird. Whatev.

So, in my 8 or so yeard of living in GA I have never been to a GA beach...or a SC beach or a NC beach...and actually I have only been to a FL beach once. Actually years ago I went to Cocoa Beach in FL, but other than that the only FL beach I have been to is Clearwater Beach. That is actually a crazy story in itself. You see, my bud Micah was getting married in Clearwater. And I did not know one single soul besides Micah (and his bride, Kelly), so I asked my bud Brea to go with me. And because we were poor social workers at the time, we ended up sleeping with our friend, Katie's parents...kinda random. Anyway, so the plan was the go to the wedding, which is a whole crazy story...they ended up lighting the unity candle with two lighters because the air conditioning kept blowing out the candles...and then after the reception to hit the beach. As we left the reception, which was NOT in the ghetto of Clearwater, but at a nice hotel, we noticed that one of my tires was slashed. Seriously! What? We got towed...I got a new tire...we hit Clearwater Beach...and then this random drunk dude came and harassed us...yea it was all odd. And then we ate at a Greek restaurant for dinner. OK, random, yea that was 10 years ago.

All that to say, I have never been to the beach, really, since living in GA. Last summer Dave's parents went to Tybee Island, which is just outside Savannah and talked about how great it was, perfect for the fam, etc, so we began thinking it might be fun to head down there at some point.

Last Monday I booked a place on Tybee for this weekend. I am not that much of a last minute girl, but I got a great deal, and Dave LOVES when we do things without planning. Although he did agree that we could find a place to sleep. =) We left Atl Thursday night and got off to a rocky start. It seems that everyone thought it would be a good idea to get into an accident that night, so traffic was a nightmare. And it was raining cats and dogs... And of course, both girls wanted to stay up as long as possible, so finally at 10 we shut off the video to try to encourage sleep. And then somewhere around 1030 Annelise vomitted...foul! So...yea, good times. Dave goes, "if this is any indication of how the weekend is going to go, we are in trouble!"

But, once we actually arrived, and got the girls down again (because once we arrived at the condo they thought it was morning or something). We had a great time. I have nothing to compare it least nothing in the south to compare it to. As far as beach in Cali, it reminded me of Pt. Hueneme, only because of the pier and the jetty...and then also a bit like Silver Strand as far as housing goes. We had a great place and were able to park the car and walk everywhere. It was SO nice. The girls LOVED the beach, although HC kept calling it the "big river". The girls loved playing in the sand and loved jumping in the big waves with Dave.

We also took a little trip out to Fort Pulaski, which if you haven't ever been should. It is super cool. It actually reminded me of the fortress in Bitche, France. And while at the fort we got to see/hear a cannon firing.

I think we will go back, though I still cannot imagine spending a week there. A weekend is just the right amount of time for me. We like to explore too many places to spend a lot of time in the same place, but again who knows, it might grow on me.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Elf is 19 Months

My little elf is 19 months old. I will tell you that I learned something new about Annelise this month, or maybe I already thought this, but it is now completely confirmed. Annelise is a daredevil. She knows NO fear. She likes to ride fast on her big wheel. She likes to climb up steps and go down slides. She LOVES the pool. She likes to jump into the pool and has no problem going under the water when she jumps in. Annelise also loves to float on her back, blow bubbles and kick. She is a water baby. I thought HC was my water baby, but I was wrong, it is Annelise. Not only does she love the water, but she is also great at floating on her back, and generally can do it on her own with me holding her head. Impressive.
Annelise has never been a great sleeper, like Hadleigh, however Annelise can fall asleep lots of places. This is a new concept to the McNay household. Annelise will fall asleep on your shoulder, in the stroller, in the car seat. Amazing. I did not know these children existed. Poor thing, I try not to take advantage of this trick, but sometimes she gets too worn out for me to make it home in time. This morning she fell asleep in the stroller on the walk home from the pool, and it was only 1215. You can see her above, she is trying to sleep on the floor on the CNN center.

Annelise LOVES to give high-5's. It is SO cute. She will help buckle her carseat and then ask, "five?" How can you resist this little face? She is still my cuddle bug and gives me hugs and kisses all day long. I do not know what I would do without my little elf!