Friday, March 30, 2012

Beatrice at Age One

That magical thing happened where Beatrice hit the one year mark and is suddenly a toddler and not a baby.  (Sorry there sweets but we'll be calling you "Baby Bea" for awhile longer.)

Here's a little sampling of some of the things she's up to these days with some recent photos of her peppered in for your adorable baby viewing pleasure.  

But, before I get to that I have to share a funny little fact. You might remember that we've all referred to her as "Baby Goo-Goo" for some time. This has been morphed into all kinds of Goo-names like Goo-ball, Gooey, Dr. Gooenstein, etc.  Anyway, long story short, the poor thing thinks he name is Goo! When she sees a picture of herself, she points and says Goo! When she sees a baby in a book, yep, Goo it is. And even when it's a picture of both girls, she will point to Josie and say "JoJo" then to herself and say "Goo."  Funny, right?

Some of Bea's new skills:
  • Waving & saying hi and bye: Some funny moments with this - When we were at the bank last week, a guy walked in and Bea stumbled toward him waving and yelling "Hiiiiii!"  Although she waves good-bye to us all the time, it was hysterical when she walked toward the open door herself and turned around and waved to me. (Yea Bea, you're one now girl. Hit the streets. Just come home when the street lights come on.) Just yesterday she started saying "Bye" when she waves, although it sounds more like "Baaaa."

  • Giving kisses: Real, on the mouth, leaning in smooches that are hilarious. And even sweeter when she just decides on her own that you need a kiss and plants one on you - ready or not. This morning she woke me up by planting a big one on me while I was still sleeping. Can't think of a better way to start the day - even if it is pre-dawn.
  • Saying all kinds of things and versions of things: Mama, Dada, JoJo, YaYa, Hi, Amimal Noises - Woof & Mooo, Random words out of nowhere like "Shoes" (which sounds more like zooos)

  • "Reading" Books: We have at least a zillion books strewn throughout the house. Bea has about 3 or 4 favorites. She repeatedly, several times a day, goes and picks out one of these books and brings it over to you then turns around and sits in your lap.  All of the books that are her favorite have one thing in common - photos of real people, animals and objects.  They aren't illustrated.

  • Eating:  She's just hitting her stride on 'real' foods.  She wants to eat things (like raw carrots and apple chunks) that are still way beyond her chewing ability so we have to watch her like a hawk around Josie's snacks and our food.  We've offered her cow's milk but she's not a huge fan. Her favorite thing to drink besides breastmilk (although she's slowing way down on that too) is cold water and Odwalla Superfood Green Juice (a favorite of Josie's too).  She also loves sucking down those puree pouches. (Will someone please invent a refillable one so I don't have to keep forking out the dough for the disposables?!)  She also loves pasta, rice, grilled chicken, turkey and veggies like broccoli, peas and spinach. 

  • Moving: Bea walks very well now and she's really getting her wheels. Wow she's fast. She's an expert climber too. You can't turn your back for a second or she will be half way up the stairs.  Her new thing is walking backwards. She's got a pretty rad "moonwalk" figured out. 
  • Using tools: Isn't there research out there about chimps and children? What age is the comparison? About now I think. Bea totally has chimp-like behavior (day and night). She's starting to figure out how to manipulate things in her environment. It's cool to watch, albeit messy. (Like the time she went through the recycling to find an empty bottle that she could take over to the cat's dish to fill with water and play "fill & spill" all while I was in the other room with Josie for about 90 seconds.) 

  • Mimicking us: She's doing lots of things that she sees us do - cleaning counters with towels, wiping herself with toilet paper, wiping her own nose with tissues, laughing when we laugh, imitating Josie's crazy sounds, trying to use utensils, etc. Fun stuff. She's also obsessed with trying to put on her own socks and shoes  - which causes endless frustration for her, but she keeps trying. 
  • Playing with water: To Bea, everything is a water table. She's obsessed with water. She would sit in the bath all day. And she loves the sink. Oh, and she loves the toilet. You gotta watch her or she'll run off with something to drop in it! Don't believe me? Ask Josie's pink boot. At least it floated. Ewww.

  • Being busy:  Like most 1 year olds, she is always into something.  Splashing in the cat's water, dumping out a whole box of spaghetti, taking all the clothespins off the cracker bags in the cabinet, unloading the dishwasher, turning anything and everything into a drum. 
  • Dancing: Put music on and she will instantly move! She's got some fancy footwork that we will have to get on video soon. Like her sister, she loves the Fresh Beat Band. (Don't we all? Wink.)

  • Signing:  She does the common signs (i.e. more, all done) but she's got some unconventional favorites. The girl signs "cat" every single time she sees a cat, every single time Venus comes into the room & every single time she sees something even resembling a cat (like say, a goat at the zoo).  She has invented some of her own signs too that we are just trying to figure out.  And although they aren't signs per se, she has mastered nodding for yes and shaking her head for no.  For example, she will get something from the cabinet and bring it to you nodding as if to say "yes, I want you to open this so I can eat it."  Similarly, she shakes her head when she knows something is a no-no, like she will head up the stairs all the while shaking her head "no, no, no" or reach for the coffee and shake "no".  

And just like that we have a preschooler and a toddler. In a couple of months we will have a kindergartener and a toddler. (Gasp!)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Swinging, Montessori-Style

Josie learned how to swing all by herself - start to finish. Once she mastered this feat (and put us out of a job) she was very eager to show her teacher Kim. Josie attends a montessori school where independence is valued, and Josie knew her teacher would be proud.  Leave it to Josie to figure out that the best way to show Kim was to take a video and put it on the blog. Hysterical.

So, for Kim and for all of you, here's Josie swinging 'the montessori way' as she calls it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Listed's some crazy news. We put our house on the market today.  A long set of inter-woven reasons brought us to this decision. And we'll just have to see how this goes. Funny thing is, we have absolutely no idea where we are going next. One step at a time, one step at a time.  So, send some quick sale and peace of mind vibes to the Schneiders and we promise to keep everyone posted.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rainbow Child

There was a huge, gorgeous double rainbow at Lou's parents' house on Friday. Between the rainbows, pizza, homemade sundaes, bingo, popcorn and movie Josie decided it was the best night ever! Thanks Fifi and Bop...and sweet cousin Katrina. Xo!

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Just we two... the zoo! I have so many wonderful memories of little adventures with Josie & it's always so fun to  get away for little adventures with just Bea & me. Yesterday we dropped off Josie at school and hit the zoo right at 9am. That first opening hour at the zoo is always so peaceful and lovely, and yesterday did not disappoint. Such a gorgeous sunny morning and we really enjoyed ourselves.

We had the whole manatee exhibit to ourselves. Very zen watching them together. We both thought that was pretty cool. (Does anyone know if the manatees at the Cincy Zoo are a mama/baby pair? I swear at one point the little one was trying to nurse!)

The guy from the Cincy Audubon Society helped us get a peacock show.  He "showed off" for the peacock that in turn wanted to show off for the rest of us to prove he was more beautiful (and he was).  We were definitely impressed.  (Oh & we saw a flying, squawking peacock. I had no idea they flew like that & I swear it looked like a dragon, which was hysterical that my first reaction was Oh no, a dragon!)

Everything at the zoo is in bloom!  It was such a gorgeous morning and the feeling of spring in the air was palpable. 

"Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, Please shine down on me!"

The sun kept making this "daisy" pattern that I couldn't get enough of? (Ha, who says lens flares are over-done?!) 

Taking some time to stop and smell the tulips.


And I'll leave you with a little video of our time at the Polar Bear tank, which we again had all to ourselves. I think the Polar Bears were putting on a little show just for us. Bea was MESMERIZED!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bea's Little Birthday Celebration

As I mentioned in the video post, we celebrated Beatrice's first circle around the sun with a little celebration for just the four of us on the evening of her actual birthday.  In keeping with tradition, this includes cake, a present, singing and a birthday crown.  (It was fun to pick out Bea's birthday crown with the perspective of having seen Josie in hers for four birthdays now.)

Here are some of my favorite photos from our little family birthday celebration.  Enjoy!

She was captivated by the candle and the singing, but not so much into the cupcake. She had a taste.
But then she was over it. Not a huge fan of the gooey hands.
Then she stuck her finger in her eye and it was game over. So we moved onto her birthday present. We'd have a couple of others for her at the party, but wanted her to have something on her actual birthday. Oddly, she knew just what to do.

This photo I love because it's a scene I see quite a bit. There's Bea looking up to her big sister. In this case, Josie was showing Bea how her little bee squeaker worked.  She really does look to Josie to solve life's mysteries like these.

Oh sweet Bea, in all your one year old awesomeness. My how we love you so!

Josie also enjoyed Bea's celebration. We had worried she would have trouble with it, but couldn't be more wrong.  She did want to blow out a candle, and we obliged. Even more sweet though was when she told us she wanted to blow out the candle to make a birthday wish FOR Baby Bea and not a birthday wish for herself. Oh sweet Josie.
Here she is making that special wish, that she asked to keep secret.
In other exciting news, Josie also got a special dress to wear at Bea's birthday party.  Clearly, she was very excited by this, as evidenced by the fact that she literally twirled around & around screaming "I love it! I love it! I love it!"

More photos of Bea's first birthday extravaganza coming soon.  Xo!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Schneider Shenanigans

It all started when Josie came home from school this week and insisted that we make a leprechaun trap. It didn't take long for her to cover a shoe box in foil and stickers. She propped it up with a stick and there it sat for a couple of days. We didn't really have any plans for making a day out of it, but it just sort of happened. When I asked Josie what she thought we needed to include in the trap to snag us a leprechaun, she quickly determined that salad would be the best know, cuz it's green and leprechauns love green things. Lou & Josie made a salad and we sort of forgot about it. On Saturday morning, St. Patrick's Day, Josie remembered pretty early in the morning and ran to check the trap. There is sat, exactly the way she had left it. She was a little disappointed. I assured her the leprechaun probably just didn't want salad for breakfast, but would be back later in the day - maybe for lunch. Wouldn't you know - when we checked back a few hours later, that leprechaun had made a mess of her salad, but didn't get caught.
That pesky leprechaun. We talked about how quick and sneaky they are. Josie figured the leprechaun was probably mad because we tried to catch him. (And then it was on!)  

Not surprisingly, the little guy headed for our brownies for dessert. When Lou went for a brownie, he found leprechaun footprints! That sneaky thing did a jig - right on our brownies! And barefoot!  At first, Josie cried because she thought we would have to throw the brownies away. Here she is surveying the damage. Once we told her leprechaun feet are really clean and she could still eat them, it was all back to fun & games again. 

Later in the afternoon, we headed to McDonald's for our Schneider family Shamrock Shake tradition - three years running! Josie wanted to take a daffodil from the yard to trade for her shake. The sweet guy in the drive-thru was very appreciative of her gesture. It was so cute, she made us roll down her window so she could hand it to him. Then she said "Happy St. Patrick's Day" with the same enthusiasm that you'd say "Merry Christmas" and hand over a giant gift. So sweet this girl of ours!

Josie, always one to have things 'just so' insisted that we save our shakes to drink on the porch. That's what we did last year, so it had to be repeated again the same way.  

We also let Beatrice in on some Shamrock Shake action - and all cracked up about how enthusiastically she drank it! 

Upon realizing that I wasn't wearing green, Josie made me this barette - all by herself - using some glue, a clothspin and a shamrock from school.  (Who knew? Clothespins make great hair clips!)

Since it was pushing 80 degrees, Lou took the girls for a walk. I caught them just as the crossed the street - Bea in the backpack, Josie holding Lou's hand. 

I did some work in the office while they were out. (Major reorganization and room-swapping going on as a logical next step to the repairs on our third floor. More on that this point in another post soon.)

When they came home, the leprechaun had flipped over the girls' table & chairs. And he left a trail of green glitter in his wake. (Josie, impressed with his strength, determined that it must've been a team of leprechauns and not just one.)  

All in all, it was a really fun & silly St. Patrick's Day.  My favorite part about it however, didn't happen until today.  As I was putting away the girls' scarves and hats from a basket in our 'mud room' area, I found two beaters from our mixer!!  Josie, giggling like crazy, looks at me at says: "Oh that PESKY leprechaun!"

Friday, March 16, 2012

My sweet sick sleepy girls

Hand, foot, mouth virus. All spotty & snotty but still as sweet as pie.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Milk Coma

After waking with a stuffy nose, Bea nursed herself into a milky coma.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

One birthday, two celebrations

On Bea's actual birthday on Thursday, the four of us celebrated at home. Here's the video from her 'real' birthday.

 On Saturday we had Bea's first birthday party at our house. Thanks so much to everyone who made this such a special day!  Here's the video from her party.

Unlike a certain someone, Bea didn't really get too much into the cupcake. She wasn't thrilled about having it all over her hands - or in her eyes. She did love the idea of having people singing to her.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Baby Bea is ONE!

Here she stands at one year old - Little Baby Bea, our sweet sweet girl.  Such a long journey it was to get to Four Schneiders. And every day, we look at this darling little face, amazed and grateful. 

Happy Birthday Baby Bea! 

In honor of her first trip around the sun, check out her amazing birth story:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Downtown Day with Friends

A couple of weekends ago, we hit the city with Josie's best friend Lucia & her mama to go to the "Ballet Toybox" at the Aronoff. It was Josie's first ballet show in the audience (coincidentally her first ballet performance was on the same stage but she'd never seen a show there.)  It was such a fun day with our sweet daughters.

It started with a yummy lunch at Akash for Indian food and the girls were too excited to eat. Luckily, we had the place to ourselves and they took advantage of the skipping space.

The show was very cute - an excellent intro into the "real" ballet.

Josie was very impressed by the "real ballerina's" costume!

After the show, and big tears in the lobby because she didn't want to leave, Josie convinced us to go on a Graeter's run.  The girls had great big huge chocolate cupcakes.

After the treat, the spent a good amount of time running around Fountain Square playing "pigeon chase."   It totally took me back to those first two years of Josie's life calling Fountain Square our "back yard."  We do miss living right in the city and, no matter where we end up, Josie will always have a little city kid in her.

Aren't these two girls just the sweetest things ever?