Wednesday, February 29, 2012

1 Snow, 27 Trips!

Sure, we had a couple of didn't-even-stick flurries here in Cincinnati this year, but other than that there was no snow to speak of. (I say this knowing full well that March has had some wintry tricks up its sleeve before, so you never do really know.)  Thank goodness we never got around to buying new snow gear this year, because it would've sat around unworn.

There was one day of snow while we were in Xenia - and that day of snow deserved its very own post.

DD took Josie sledding, and if I remember correctly, the number of times she went down the hill at Shawnee Park was 27!  Important note, this means that DD went up and down that hill on foot 27 times since Josie declared after only a few trips with DD on the sled that the real way to sled was flying solo.

Here are a couple of photos I snapped before their big adventure.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Quick Xenia Visit

Gosh, I am so behind that I don't even remember exactly when this happened but at some point this month Lou had to go away for a business trip so we headed to Xenia. In typical fashion, we didn't do much of anything except for hanging out together - which couldn't have been more perfect actually.

Here are some highlights.

Bea spent the majority of her time having fun on the step that I actually let her play on since they are largely off-limits at home.

Josie spent a lot of time cuddling with Bella.

And she amazed us with her question regarding this apple, "Grandma, Did DD get that at a Beatles concert?"

Told you Bea liked that step.

Josie got a new friend and perfected her swaddle. Meet Wally.

And there was painting - and a special lollipop in a special bowl.

DD surprised Josie with special jump ropes and Grandma & DD gave her a great lesson.

(By now you know that tongue means business.)

Bea and Grandma did plenty of playing too.

Have you ever seen to sillier, sweeter little girls?
 (Yea, me either.)

Thanks for having us Grandma & DD!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Winter" at the Zoo

A couple of weekends ago, we took advantage of ridiculously beautiful sunshiny day and headed to the zoo. The Cincinnati Zoo is great. The Cincinnati Zoo with only a handful of people is incredible.  Even the animals behaved differently. It was a lovely afternoon. See for yourself...

Grocery List

Josie left this for me on my desk. Translation:  Carri, banana bread and soup and cheese :)

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Look who's walking!

Bea has mastered those beautifully-wobbly first steps. Fleeting as they are, we had to capture them. Enjoy!  (She has also mastered the fine ancient art of behind-the-door peekaboo and paper-towel horn, as seen here.)


Monday, February 20, 2012

A little more love

I had just a little Valentine's Day love that I had to share before moving on with the rest of the blog catch-up.

Josie made 30 cards this year (and thankfully much less ambitiously-designed than the previous years) and our goal was to hand-sign all of them.   Say what you will about Hallmark holidays and all, but we take this opportunity each year to try to focus on how taking time to create something special for people is actually a nice way to spend a day. She took this work extremely seriously, which is just "so Josie" so I had to share.

The telltale tongue reveals serious work - 
Such care...

And such delight with herself over mastering a heart to dot the "i" in her name (although, thanks Lou, but boy did that slow down the process)

(Special shout-out to Mariah for finishing up the valentines with Josie on Valentine's Eve while Louie and I had a little dinner date before the school parent meeting.)

I should also mention that my wonderful husband completely, totally surprised me with roses and a hot vanilla latte mid-afternoon. Imagine my surprise when I looked up expecting to see Mariah bringing Bea up to nurse but found Lou with flower and coffee instead.  Josie, upon coming home and seeing the roses from Lou, loved them: "I will share these roses that Daddy got me with you mommy." Thanks Jos.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Lou just returned from a couple of days out of town for a work thingy. I know three Schneider girls that missed him. 

(Special thanks to grandma & dd for filling in while he was away. Some great pics from that coming soon.)

Happy weekend everyone. Hope yours is just as snuggly as ours.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

11 Months!

Sweet Beatrice is knocking on the first anniversary of her birth. That's right, 11 whole months old today.

Just look at her, our little Baby Goo, and tell me you don't want to just munch her!

Bea has actually had some pretty big developmental leaps in the last month.  She's proving herself an 11th month old, although it's hard for us all to believe it.

What's new with Beatrice these days?

  • She doesn't want to be fed anything at all anymore. She will just take care of that all by herself, thank you very much.  To date her favorite foods are ravioli, rice, grilled chicken, steamed peas, crackers and kefir by the gallon.  And the little lady has never meant a soft cheese she didn't like. (So funny since she couldn't get near dairy for 8 months!)  She has 8 whole teeth now, and she's not afraid to use them!
  • She is super mobile.  She went from crawling to crawling with one foot up to move faster, to cruising furniture, to pushing anything she is strong enough to move around the house and SHE TOOK THREE STEPS OVER THE WEEKEND!  My mom, Josie and I were sitting in the living room and I said "Bea, show Grandma how you can stand up by yourself." So, I stood her up, let go and 1,2,3 she walked toward me.  I think all three of our jaws hit the floor. Bea wasn't quite sure what to think. And Josie says funny things like, "Awwww, she's getting so big." She took two more steps on her own this morning. 
  • Bea has started to sign. Her first official sign was "cat" and her other big favorites right now are "all done" and the ever-popular "milk" and "more."  She really just starting signing with intention this week so now that we know she is ready we will start signing even more.
  • She has a lot to say these days. That "doh, doh, doh" is most definitely "Jo" which is adorable.  She's got "Mama" and "Dada" down and I am thinking her "Yaya" is probably the end of "Mariah" (our nanny).  
  • Her favorite toys right now are anything that makes music, her push toys and balls. Of course she also loves all the classic favorites like opening and closing drawers and cabinets, climbing stairs, and chasing her sister around.  She's just made the leap to putting the shapes into the sorter correctly and being really deliberate about banging the balls on the pounding bench.
  • And she's getting into books more and more. (Josie's early favorite "Charlie Monkey" was a first favorite for Bea as well.)
  • All in all, she still amazes everyone with her placidness. She's one zen little being and boy do we love her so! 

Here's a little video of mobile Bea who will push around anything she is strong enough to move. She and Josie had just finished playing together with the building kit for several minutes. It's too adorable to watch Josie explaining things to her. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Oh yea, I now round up!

Last week I had a big birthday. The big 3-5.  Good stuff.  Birthdays are just plain fun and this one was no exception.

Special thanks to The Austins who supplied this years's special birthday cake (when Lyla said there was a cake for Kiwi I didn't know she meant a real double-layer, fresh-fruit-filled, Kiwi cake with candles and all!!)

Back in Cincinnati, my actual birthday on 2/2 was great. Lou & the girls got me a new Sony Tablet - that is just exactly what I needed (and wanted)!  And Josie picked out the sweetest butterfly photo holder, which is too cute.  (Sidebar - it is obvious I am working too much when Josie says of my two birthday presents - now you have a little computer that you can carry around so you can work even more and now you have a new picture holder so you can have pictures of us on your desk. BOOO.)  

In other news, Wednesday 2/1 was (okay, I'll say it) probably the highlight of my career in education policy to date.  Just as soon as I figure out how best to tell why, I will do so here.  So, yea, my birthday was great. Super duper great.

Back to Chicago, For Music and More!

Not that we needed an excuse to take a trip to Chicago last weekend, but Elizabeth Mitchell making another stop at the Old Town School of Folk Music sealed the deal.  Perhaps you remember our first Elizabeth Mitchell concert in October 2010 - when Lyla was turning three two, when Jack was just a few weeks old, when Josie was really getting used to the idea of becoming a big sister and before I was put on bedrest with Bea. Perhaps you remember just how important Elizabeth Mitchell has been in our family and perhaps you remember why Three Little Birds represents so much.  So, Elizabeth Mitchell and her sweet little family came back to Chicago and we couldn't pass it up. I didn't take my camera (luckily Tia did) and you can click here to see all her photos. I did snap a few on my phone and took some videos there as well and hope to put them together into another montage one of these days. For now though, suffice it to say that we had another beautiful time at the concert. It was a really amazing thing to have Beatrice there with us this year and a really heart-tugging thing to see how much Jack, Lyla & Josie have all grown up and changed since last year.  (When did our little Josie become one of the biggest kids in the room?!) 
Here we are pre-show.  Keep an eye out for the some EM videos here eventually.

The rest of the weekend was the typical good ole' fashioned family "slow-time" at the Austin condo with all the sweetness and silliness you could expect from our four little ones.  Here are some of my favorite photos from the weekend.

First a special treat -

 And lots of playtime -

And sweet Jackpot -

And a game they invented with "Twilight Sparkle" and "Uni" -

And general silly, sweetness -

And Josie dresses up like a, um, pirate -

And Bea becomes more and more part of the crew -

Always exploring (and in this case trying to get under the table to the cat) -

A quiet moment with Josie and Bea playing together -

A little time to just veg -

Oh - and the two photos that compelled me to buy the new portrait lens that is in route as we speak.

And then - back to reality - the last of the weekend's Doritos on the drive home -

You're are right sweet sister, it's never long enough.  Each trip is just as perfect as the last one - from all this to the great moments not captured - (yummy, super delicious Popeye's feast and our perfect sister time chatting with the babies while the boys and big girls went on a train ride).  Good stuff. Thanks for everything (especially letting us take over your whole room - oh and for the endless coffee!) XO