Meet the McNeil Family

Meet the McNeil Family

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Trick-or-Treat...Embassy Style

Today we went to the Embassy to Trick-or-Treat. The different offices decorated for Halloween and handed out candy to all of the kids (and let's face it - the adults too). Waverly LOVED her Pooh costume and wore it proudly - even on the bus ride. Oliver was a kangaroo and didn't protest at all to his outfit - even the hood. They were adorable and had lots of fun running the halls with their little friends. It was a great experience!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Water Boy

Oliver loves to take a bath and play in the water, which is good news because he is one messy little boy. He is getting stronger and loves to hold our hands and stand. Waverly had a great morning at therapy. Her new best friend is a little girl named Sophie who has Downs Syndrome. It is very sweet to watch them hold hands and walk downstairs to their classroom together. We are looking into a more intense therapy group for her - whatever we can do to help her along.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Best Day Ever!!

We took a road trip up to the base yesterday. We had so much fun! It was like we went back home to the States for the day. We shopped at the commissary and bought a cart's worth of groceries. The highlights were oatmeal for Waverly, Wheat Thins and Captain Crunch for Matt, baking supplies for Shannon and some fun finger foods for Oliver. We also had lunch at Taco Bell - while not one of my favorite places to eat, it tasted delicious. Here are 2 photos we took (we didn't take many) of our trip. There is Matt behind the wheel and a quaint little village we drove past. Thanks to Jenn & Noah for letting us borrow your car!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

How Many Couches....

How many couches can fit in our living room - at the moment 7. We are still waiting for the movers to come pick up the couches that came with the flat. Here is a photo of the kids taken this afternoon. I haven't had the camera out all week. We are all over our colds, for the most part. We hope to get out and enjoy autumn this weekend. We are going to borrow a friend's car and head up to the base for some shopping at the commissary (I can't wait!!). Other than that, no plans other than enjoying the family.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Our Flat Smells Like Tabasco

This morning I woke up to the pungent smell of Tabasco and discovered Matt cleaning up the kitchen after the bottle fell out of the fridge and shattered. I have been working throughout the day to get the smell out of the house. Tabasco is stinky!! In other news, we did get Waverly's MRI results, but until they can be compared with her blood tests we are unable to get an actual diagnosis. We are hoping to find something more out within the next month or so. Thanks to all of you who wrote or called to check in on us. This entire experience has been incredibly stressful. Our emotions change constantly, from fear to anger to sadness to hopefulness. We are so thankful to have been blessed with Waverly. She is such a happy and loving little girl. She has become even more affectionate this past week - I think she knows we need some extra cuddles.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Drinking To Our Health

Yesterday we spent the morning at Borough Market. An absolutely lovely fresh and gourmet food market. We have been meaning to check it out since we arrived. And so with all of us feeling under the weather, we thought some fresh air and fresh food would be just what the doctor ordered. Waverly is sipping up some vitamin C with a delicious cup of fresh squeezed orange juice. This is another MUST SEE attraction in London. The food was wonderful!!! They even had sauerkraut - my favorite food!!! (Seriously, it is.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

A Very Good Little Girl

Here is Waverly in bed after a long day. Matt took her to the hospital early this morning (I stayed home with Oliver and unpacked). She was a very good girl and did beautifully for all of the procedures. Matt especially liked how loopy she was when they gave her a sedative to make her relax. She was VERY tired after dinner and headed to bed early tonight. She was happy to find Eeyore in one of the boxes and wanted to sleep with him - you can see that he takes up most of the bed. Thanks for your thoughts, prayers and words of support - keep them coming. We will find out some of the results on Tuesday.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The end of a long day....

I woke up this morning to news that my Mom was in the hospital. She has since been released and thankfully it was nothing too serious. It reminded me just how far away from home I am. We also finally received household items from our pack-out in Ohio (almost 1.5 years ago). It feels a bit like Christmas, opening boxes to see things you haven't seen in so long or forgot about entirely. Tomorrow, Waverly goes to the hospital for her MRI. Please say a prayer that all goes well. I am nervous about my little girl being sedated (again), but we are hopeful that once this is done we will have a more accurate picture of Waverly's developmental prognosis. I am off to unpack more boxes....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bagel Boy

Oliver is teething, so we have started giving him bagels to chew on. He LOVES them - as you can see. I was hoping to post some photos of our flat with all of our own possessions in it (finally), but there was so confusion with the movers as to the delivery. We have to wait 2 more days for our things to arrive. I can't wait to have all of my own kitchen items again!!

Monday, October 15, 2007


I just returned from a wonderful training session at Waverly's therapists' office. It was on Makaton - basically it is a simplified version of the British Sign Language created for kids' communication development. Waverly has been introduced to the signs in group, and they are really helping. I learned the first 2 stages and I am SO excited to implement them into our daily routine. Plus, they will be great as Oliver begins to talk. So the next time you see us, we will be a signing family. :)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Regent's Park

We live so close to Regent's Park and it was such a BEAUTIFUL day. So even though the kids (& Matt) are sick, we ventured down for a walk this afternoon. My camera battery died right when I got it out to take some autumn photos of the kids, but I was able to snap this one. I love it! Waverly is smiling at us and Oliver is smiling at his big sister. This is London and the kids at their best! We miss you all very much.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Oliver has started scooting today. He bounces while he is sitting and moves (ever so slightly) forward. It is very cute. I know that crawling and walking are only a few short months away.

Friday, October 12, 2007


A very good friend of mine produced a movie called, "Chalk". It was shown in art houses around the country and was recently released on DVD. It is comedy about the teaching profession. You can rent it at Blockbuster or Netflicks, or purchase thru Amazon. Check it out!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Sorry for my absence. This week has been busy. Oliver has bronchitis and Waverly is most likely coming down with the same thing. Needless to say they are both not sleeping well, therefore neither are Matt & I. Monday was a fun day for the family. Matt had off for Columbus Day, so he was able to go with us to Waverly's therapists and see what we do on weekdays. We went out for lunch to a Mexican restaurant an acquaintance from the Mexican Embassy told us about. It was WONDERFUL!!! We think it was the best Mexican food we have ever had. It is called Wahaca - go there! The rest of the week was spent nursing the kids back to health. We did find out some interesting news. We discovered yesterday that we were incorrectly told by our ENT at Georgetown that Waverly's hearing loss was genetic, like Oliver's. It turns out she is simply a carrier (as are Matt and I). Now we are back to the drawing board as to why she has lost her hearing. And how ironic to have 2 kids with hearing impairments, both with different causes. I am, of course, worried and stressed out. Hopefully we will get some real answers soon. The waiting is incredibly difficult. We do have a lot of FUN things coming up within the next few months. We have 2 vacations planned, Halloween (we love Halloween), birthdays, and VISITORS!!!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Birthday Party Hat

Waverly was so excited today to go to yet another birthday party. It was held at a local leisure centre, with a fun indoor gym area for the kids. Then we had lunch at a cafe. The highlight for Wavey was the birthday party hat. She has been wearing her hat for most of the day. We had a lot of fun getting together with friends - it really felt like home.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Out & About

This is one of the quintessential London landmarks - the red telephone booth. While most have been replaced, you can still find them scattered around town. We discovered this one last night, while on a walk, just a few blocks from our home. Waverly was very excited to open the door. I don't think she got that there was a phone. She just loved the little room randomly placed on the sidewalk.
Charity, I listened to you. I put my camera in my bag for just this sort of photo. Thanks for the advice!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

That's Wavey!

I just uploaded this photo and Waverly came running over and said "That's Wavey!" It was so clear and so cute that I just had to post it right away. She loves seeing her picture on the computer. It's those little sentences that make me so happy!! Oliver had his 9 month appointment today - he is a BIG boy (31 inches and almost 24 pounds)!!! London is treating him well, I think.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Waverly is obsessed with the song "Tomorrow" from Annie (which thrills me, since I loved that show when I was little). It has been on repeat for most of the day. It is super cute listening to her sing certain words she has memorized. Oliver is still sick with a cold. He has the cutest raspy voice. He has been into a sand bucket for most of the day. He is very creative with it - drumming, hiding things under it, filling it with toys, dumping it out, putting it on my foot, and even plunking Wavey on the head with it (accidentally, of course). Matt has another function tonight, so we are on our own. I went on the Jack the Ripper walk last night and it was great. I will take any of you who come for a visit on a London Walks tour. They are wonderful!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Big Day

Today is a big day for us. Our building is going to turn on the heat!! It has been so cold at night in our flat and the heat for the entire building is turned on October 1st - today. We are very excited for the forthcoming warmth. I took this photo yesterday afternoon while we were walking to a friend's house for a birthday party. (I need to take more photos outside to show you our daily scenery.) It is rainy today - welcome to autumn in London. I am going to go on a London Walk tonight with a friend. It is on Jack the Ripper. It is supposed to be great! We miss you all!