I cannot believe that my baby girl is going to be a year old next month. Sniff Sniff. She's so close to walking on her own. I think as soon as she can stand up without holding onto anything she'll be off. She loves being wherever the action is and as soon as she catches wind that something's going on she's crawling super fast to get there and then cruising once she's there. She LOVES cheerios and stealing Hayden's crackers.
On Thursday we all drove (separately) to St. Louis to the Smart Car dealership to pick out a smart car. We actually placed an order for one in January of 2008, but the waiting list was so long. Turns out a lot of people that ordered cars couldn't actually buy them when their order came up so the dealerships have been able to keep an inventory of them. Josh really wanted a convertible and I thought that would be cool since we're mainly using the car for Josh to drive to work in and run errands. I got to drive it this morning to the grocery store and it was really fun. I had probably half a cart full of groceries and they all fit nicely in the little trunk and the passenger seat. I put the top down on the way home and zipped through the winding roads back to our house. The convertible is cool because it has bars that go across the top of the windows and you can remove those and then store them in the back of the tailgate. The car gets great gas mileage and since we had never put the kids in the other car we didn't think it was a big deal to just get a two-seater.
Our house! Maybe I'll get around to taking inside pictures soon...
It's been almost a year since we moved into our first house. Hayden's bedroom and the dining room are the front windows. Ava's room is behind Hayden's room and our bedroom, bath, laundry, and kitchen sit behind the garage. The playroom/family room is at the back of the house. The previous owner added that after she built it. In Branson it seems you either have a basement or a nice backyard, but not both. There are so many hills and a lot of rock here so homes will literally be built at the top of a hill with a walkout basement, but with a big drop-off. It is really crazy where they manage to build houses here. But since we have kids we decided we'd rather have a yard. We have a beautiful view from the driveway. In a couple months we'll stain the fence, but we have to wait until the wood is "dry" from the treatment process. Our neighborhood has its own well supply and when we were in the thick of the heat wave here we weren't allowed to water the lawn and we had a boil order for a week. Some kind of pump was broken. We just used bottled water for everything, but it was a big pain. Hayden and Ava are starting to fight over toys. I have to remind Hayden he needs to share and he does for a little bit, but then he's back to wanting the toys for himself.
Riding the wheelie bug
Josh gives Hayden and Ava rides on the wheelie bug and Hayden always wants it to be his turn.
Hayden coloring. Picture is really blurry. I was having a hard time getting the settings switched back from the night before.
Getting ready for the fireworks
Still waiting! Ava's shoes kept falling off so we put them away.
Hayden looks serious here, but he was actually jamming to the Journey tribute band
Little Sparkler Ava
So Friday night we headed down to the Branson Landing to get dinner. We ate at the Cantina Laredo, which is a nice gourmet mexican restaurant very similar to Rosa Mexicano that we liked down in Florida. The whole concert section where the fire and water show is was full of empty lawn chairs. People would just drop their chairs off and commence to shopping. How rude! I'm not sure who these people think they are that they can just leave their chairs unattended to hold spots, but then everyone else followed suit! I guess we now know what to expect. So we decided to go down along the water and find a nice spot to camp out until the concert started. Josh took Hayden and walked around for awhile since we had several hours to kill -- oh about 4.5 until the fireworks started. I got us some drinks and we chatted and Hayden charmed the people around us. At 8 the Journey tribute band started and they sounded really good-- from what we could hear. From where we sat the speakers didn't face us so we could tell what song was being sung and we heard a lot of bass, but that's about it. Ava started to get really tired and wanting her bed so it took a little bit to get her to calm down and go to sleep, but then she finally conked out and we layed her down in the stroller. Finally after 10 pm the concert was over and the fireworks started. Beforehand there were some houses here and there lighting them off and Hayden liked those. But for the real show the first two or three were nice and then it sounded like the atom bomb dropped and he got really scared and clung to Josh for dear life. The kids behind us were screaming. Ava didn't wake up for the first bomb, but the next one she sat up and wondered what the heck happened. We decided it was time to go and the family behind us was packing up too. Ok so we parked in the parking garage on the 3rd level and I was beginning to get nervous about us having to wait in a two hour line to get out so I pulled out my power walking moves and hightailed it to the elevator and got there pretty much when it was over and everyone else decided to sprint out too. Luckily the wait out wasn't too bad and they charged a flat $3 fee to get everyone out more efficiently. Normally we would have had to pay $6 for the time we spent there.
On actual 4th of July we went out on the houseboat on Table Rock Lake. We had dinner while docked and then set out to cruise the lake to watch the Chateau's fireworks. Later we decided to catch Big Cedar Resort's fireworks first and then head back to catch the Chateau's. The Chateau is a nice hotel in Branson. Hayden really enjoyed the fireworks this time and was oohing and wowing. It was super cute. He does so well with keeping his lifejacket on. We took it off a couple times because he was sweating, but he made no fuss about putting it back on. By the end of the night both kids were asleep as we cruised back to the dock at 11:30 pm. When we got there we couldn't find Jenn's little dog Fiona and they looked all over for her on the boat. The next day we found out she was hiding from the fireworks. I didn't get any pictures on the 4th of July because on the boat we're pretty distracted with making sure Hayden isn't trying to go down either set of stairs or ride the water slide or something like that and the other one has Ava so the only pictures I took didn't turn out. We were the only ones that didn't spend the night on the boat. Pat's stepmom and her new husband were in town so they stayed and so did Jenn's parents plus Pat and Jenn and baby Maddox.
You have reached the Josh, Lea, Hayden, and Ava Neally webpage. Josh and Lea were married on August 5th, 2006 in Steamboat Springs, CO and have welcomed a baby boy into the family, Hayden Louis on 6/5/07 and a baby girl, Ava Elizabeth on 8/15/08. The Neallys reside in Missouri where Josh is an attorney for Summerwinds Resort Services. Lea is a stay-at-home mom and plans to be until all their little ones are older. They hope you enjoy reading about their family.