Meet the McNeil Family

Meet the McNeil Family

Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007

Tonight we celebrated Oliver's first birthday. As you can see, Waverly enjoyed the party hats and Oliver REALLY enjoyed his pig cupcake. He was timid at first, but then dug in and loved every bite. He screamed when we had to take it away from him. He also had a lot of fun opening up the gifts people sent (thanks for thinking of him). He thought his ride-on lion was very did Wavey. We hope you all have a wonderful new year's eve. Here's to 2008 and all of the adventures it holds. Cheers!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy 1st Birthday, Oliver!!!

We cannot believe that it has been an entire year since Oliver arrived. Life is not imaginable without him. We spent much of today reliving his entrance to the world and the hellish weeks to follow. We are SO incredibly thankful that our little boy fought through it and is the incredibly joyful old soul we are blessed with today. Here are a few photos. The first was taken after he was born. The following two were from tonight - his first sugar experience - ice cream! We are having a family party for him tomorrow night with cupcakes. More photos to come...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!

We had a wonderful Christmas. The kids enjoyed opening their gifts and it is so much fun watching them delight in a new toy or book. Thanks to everyone who sent them something - that was very thoughtful. This Christmas was a bit sad for us. We missed being with our friends and family. We hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Lots of love.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Batboy & Big Sister

Oliver loves to be upside down. We have to be careful when holding him, because he will throw himself backwards. I snapped this photo today while Matt was holding Oliver. His hair is getting curly!!

I also took this photo of Wavey this afternoon. Matt and I both think it is lovely - she looks so grown up that it shocked us.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Winter Wonderland

We went to Hyde Park tonight for "Winter Wonderland". They had a little market set up, rides for the kids, sledding, ice skating, and food. It was cute. Waverly was in a bit of a funk tonight, so we didn't end up staying too long and I was unable to get any good shots of her. This is the best I could do. It was still nice to get out and enjoy the semi-mild weather we are having. It doesn't look like it will be a white Christmas for us. We hope you are all enjoying a wonderful holiday weekend. We miss you all. Happy birthday, Jack!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Maybe not in this photo, but it is beginning to finally feel like Christmas. It has taken me awhile to get into the holiday mood this year. I think that getting into the Christmas spirit means realizing that I am homesick for Christmas in PA. We are having a fun, relaxing day. Waverly had her last day of therapy for a few weeks today. I am hoping to wrap gifts tonight and make sure I have everything. Tomorrow we may go out to pick up some last minute items and check out the windows on Oxford Street. It is cold here, but it is supposed to warm up next white Christmas for us in London. We miss everyone so much. Especially at this time of year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Daddy Daughter Afternoon

Matt took Waverly to the National History Museum on Saturday for a fun bonding afternoon. Waverly LOVED the cars and carriages so much. In fact, by the time Matt finishing snapping the photo, Wavey was trying to climb up into the car saying "Drive! Drive!". I spent the afternoon enjoying some quiet time and playing with Oliver. He is going to be 1 year old in just a few weeks - WOW!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas at Winfield House

Yesterday we went to Winfield House for the Ambassador's Children's Christmas Party. We had so much fun and the house is AMAZING!! It is the largest private residence in London, aside from the royal palaces. They had face painting, balloon animals, Father Christmas and story some delicious treats. The ambassador and his wife also gave all of the kids an art set Christmas gift. We had a wonderful time.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Our New Chef

Oliver helped me make dinner last night. He enjoyed banging the wooden spoon and throwing a plastic bowl on the tile floor (what a loud noise that makes).
We have settled back into our routine in London after our vacation. Today I visited the new nursery school that Waverly will be attending in January. Here therapists are taking over a local Montessori school and adapting it with speech & OT therapists as part of the teaching team. We are VERY excited about this opportunity for Wavey. This will mean quite a change to our schedule - it should be interesting.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The "Vacation Is Over" Blues

We had such a wonderful vacation. We spent 8 days in southern Germany & Austria - Bavaria country. We stayed in a lovely town called Garmisch and rented a car for daily excursions around the region. I HIGHLY recommend a visit to Bavaria!! Here is a photo of the views around our hotel.
And another view. The mountains were snowy, but we had minimal snow on the ground for our visit.

Here are the kids our first morning at the hotel.

Here is Waverly on our balcony. She loved it out there. You can see a glimpse of the Alps behind her.

Neuschwanstein near Fussen - Ludwig II built this castle and Walt Disney was inspired by in to create Cinderella's castle at Disneyland. We took a horse drawn carriage up for our tour.

Oliver spent a lot of time in the backpack as we traipsed across the region. He loved it, but boy does he get heavy!! (I know, I carried him up 300 stairs and then back down again.....of course Matt carried a sleeping Waverly up and down those same stairs, so I guess I don't have a lot to complain about).

Here are Waverly and I enjoying a pretzel after our horse carriage ride.

Here is Matt walking around with Oliver.

This is the kids & I at a beautiful church in Nurnberg. We ate at a restaurant started in the 1300s - great food served on tin plates.

Waverly really fell in love with horses on this trip. They were everywhere and she would scream "Horsey - NEIGH!!!" every time she saw one. Very cute!

Here is Matt with the kids (Oliver is slumped over sleeping) in the quaint town of Garmisch.

Here is another view from our balcony - a snow storm was coming in.

Here is Waverly enjoying the balcony and her new scarf.

Here is Waverly and I in Bad Tolz - a beautiful town with a beautiful Christmas market.

Here is the Rathaus in Munich- every hour there is a miniature tournament below the clock. We spent most of our time walking the city and enjoying their huge Christmas markets and visited the toy museum.

Here we are in Salzburg Austria - our favorite stop along our travels. This is the birthplace of Mozart. It is such a fairytale city along the river, with an amazing old town. We took a horse carriage ride around the town, walked the old lanes, enjoyed a wonderful Christmas market where I bought some cool wooden toys for Oliver.

Here is Waverly and Matt in our carriage. You can see other horses passing and Waverly's eyes are looking at them rather than the camera.

Here are Matt and Oliver at the market in Salzburg.

While driving back to the hotel from Salzburg, we passed this sign for "Wendling". That is my family's name and we are from southern Germany. We stopped along the side of the road to snap this quick photo. I regret not finding that time.

Here are Matt and Oliver riding one of the many carousels we took the kids on during our journeys. He LOVED it!

Here are the kids in front of one of the trees at our hotel. They were both SO good on our trip. We couldn't have asked for better behaved kids. They were real troopers. We had a fabulous vacation. This has been a tough year for our family, so we were excited to take a week to get away and enjoy ourselves. Not one time did we think about doctors or therapists or anything else to stress us out. It was perfect.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Shake - Shake - Shake

Oliver LOVES maracas!! He was playing on the floor this afternoon while I was packing, and having a grand time shaking them. It cracks us up. He just loves that sound. Our next photos will be from our time in Germany and Austria. Hopefully we can find lederhosen for the boy and whatever the Bavarian dress is for the girl. Matt is excited about the pretzels - I am excited for the saurkraut.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I was not the best picture taker when my family was in last week. I was so excited to have them here, I always forgot to take out my camera. We were so busy and I have been so tired since they left, that I have neglected my blog. We are back....for a bit. We are heading to Germany and Austria for a much needed week long vacation!! Here are a few photos I snapped of the kids last week. They had SO much fun with Nanna and Grandma. Matt and I did too - it was amazing having 2 extra sets of hands to help with the kids. Plus, we were able to go out sans kiddos twice. What a treat!! We miss you Grandma & Nanna!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

4 Generations!!

We took this photo today at the famous Abbey Road crossing. It is just in front of Abbey Road Studios where The Beatles recorded their albums. Here are 4 generations of Wendling women - Nanna Fern, my mom, me and Waverly.
We have had a wonderful week. Matt and I were able to go out 2 nights - without the kids. What a treat!! Plus, it was so much fun showing our city of London off to our family. It is going to be difficult to say goodbye tomorrow morning....

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Grandma & Nana at the Tower of London

My mom and Nana arrived yesterday morning with much fanfare, but alas no luggage. We spent most of the day here - Waverly was VERY excited to have her Grandma visit. Then we ventured down to Oxford Street for some shopping and dinner. Today we braved the cold and visited the Tower of London. We had a great time, with some of the best hot chocolate in the world. Unfortunately, still no luggage.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Waverly's Birthday Party

Here is a photo of Waverly before all of the kids arrived. We had 9 friends over and their moms for a play time and lunch. We had a lot of fun!! Waverly kept singing "Happy Birthday Wavey" to everyone - very cute. I can't believe my little girl is 4!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, Waverly!!!

Our little girl turns 4 today. Here are her last 3 birthdays - my how she's grown! We are going to have a little family celebration here tonight. Tomorrow we are having her friends over for a birthday lunch.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


We had such a wonderful trip to Disneyland Paris. We were just able to sit back and enjoy the kids, not once thinking that Waverly was anything less than a little girl loving Disney. She was able to meet Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and (her favorites!) Pooh & Tigger. She cried when she had to say goodbye to them. I think Waverly's highlights were watching the live Pooh & Friends show - she was mesmerized by the characters, the tea cup ride, flying Dumbo and the carousel. Oliver enjoyed the rides and his stuffed Mickey Mouse - he also loved eating! I was happy just watching Waverly. She had so much fun and smiled for most of our time there. Matt would probably say his highlight was breaking up a fist fight between 2 mothers - really, he did! I will let him post about that himself later. It was a wonderful get away for us.
Now to prepare for Waverly's birthday party. Plus, my Mom and Nana arrive early Saturday morning. We can't wait for their arrival!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Vive le Disney!!!

We had a wonderful time at Disneyland Paris. I will write up some stories tomorrow, but I am exhausted and in dire need of sleep. Here are a few photos from our trip. Enjoy!