Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Three Days of Summer's Start: Part Two


One of the biggest highlights of our long weekend was our Lemonade Stand.  Josie has been begging and begging (and begging!) to set one up for months on end. We really do live on the perfect corner for it, and we had a feeling neighbors would cooperate.  On Sunday we had the time to devote a few hours to creating the stand, perfecting our fresh-squeezed recipe and selling the goods. Priced at just 25 cents (now that's a bargain for fresh & organic), Josie earned about $5.  Most of her profits came in the form of tips!   Josie decided to re-invest her money back into her "ice cream truck" fund. 

Here are some photos from "Josephine's Lovely Lemonade Stand."

First, she juiced. And the sweet little thing did all of the lemons all by herself. (Tip: Soaking the lemons in hot water first makes the juicing part really easy & makes the most juice.)

Bea had her own important filling & spilling work while Josie was busy. (Note: Get used to seeing Bea in nothing but a diaper. 'Tis summer my friends!)

Next, we painted. This is the big Amazon box we get every couple of months that holds all of our diapers, wipes, toilet paper & paper towels. It moonlights as a tunnel when it's not being a Lemonade Stand. It was Josie's idea to use this as the stand weeks ago, and her little vision finally became a reality.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS!  Josie was hysterical yelling "Le-mon-ADE!" to all the passers-by.  It worked. We even offered drive-thru service.

Oh, notice above a few of the little details. Josie asked me to write "Fresh-Squeezed Super Duper Uper" at the top to describe her lemonade. She also insisted on "setting the table" with a cup of flowers and a placemat to decorate.  The pitcher is a montessori-style one so she was able to pour the lemonade to customers herself. 


Bea got in on the action, when she wasn't busy stealing the cups to dip into the water table.  She spent most of the day in her swimming diaper. Funny thing is, while she's definitely not talking all the way now (mostly just animal noises and the common baby words), she was totally trying to yell "Le-mon-ADE" with Josie. It kept coming out in these adorable little unintelligible three-syllable bursts: "Di-bud-AME," "wi-la-BAY," "bi-da-LAPE".  Lou swears she got really close at least once.

The rest of Saturday was spent celebrating and sweating. We made it to only ONE of the THREE barbecues we had on the calendar. It was SO hot and the girls ran out of steam really early after being outside all day and all afternoon. They were both in bed by 7!  Ahhh...Summer!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Three Days of Summer's Start: Part One

It's true, Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start to summer.  Suddenly, it seems perfectly normal to  let the baby run through the yard naked and to drink directly from the hose. Popsicles become a food group and showers are put off until after a long day outside ends instead of before a long day inside begins.  We definitely jam-packed our three-day weekend with good ole' fashioned summertime fun.

Here is the first of our three-days start to summer. (All 95 degrees of it!)


The first part of our day took place at the Cincinnati Nature Center.  We had a great hike, a picnic and some time at the Nature Playscape.

This was the plan:

But this is what actually happened.  We assumed Bea would love the backpack, because Josie loved it at her age. But, something about seeing Josie traipsing around the forest led to Bea's insistence that the backpack was akin to a straight jacket. So...we spent much more time doing this:

In fact, this photo pretty much sums up everything that is our sweet girls these days. Josie is all-adventure all-the-time.  And, because Bea wants to do everything Josie does, she is all-adventure too. Little Bea has big ambitions (which can really frustrate her sometimes, poor thing).  Here she is trying with all her little might to climb like Josie.

 It really was a beautiful day. It's so nice to get out with both girls now that Bea is totally mobile.

Josie was thrilled to see real frogs!

And pollywogs!

In the epic battle, of Baby vs. Sun Hut...

 Baby Won!

Hey LOOK! We did it. May Mission: Accomplished (A photo of me with both girls!)
That's Josie with her pet "Roly Poly" bug

And the turtles were great!

A fun little discovery at the end of our hike:

Really, I just look at the two of them together so often and just marvel in amazement at how lucky we are!

Once home, we busted out the sprinkler and baby pool and summer was official "on!"  Really, nothing says "summer" more than a sprinkler and baby pool. Am I right?


Bea loves, loves, loves (and I mean loves) the water.
And Josie loves it, too. In fact, so do Louie & I.  Lou is on the other end of this big stream of water. How funny are they?!

This is Bea at her second favorite spot in the yard  - the roof water rain-catch barrel.  She loves filling up her bucket and watering the flowers - all day, every day.  Problem is, she loves this so much that she totally emptied the whole thing over the last week. (Sorry Mother Earth.)

All told, I think these two photos sum up Saturday the best.  I hope your holiday weekend started just as spectacularly!

Friday, May 25, 2012


Last weekend Josie had her big end-of-the-year performance for the Cincinnati Ballet Academy Children's Division.  All those Saturday mornings paid off! It takes a lot of guts to get up on that big stage, and we were SO proud of her.  She did great and had SO much fun!

(Her class danced to Coppelia - a ballet about a doll that comes to life. Josie had a ballet sticker book with a Coppelia page, so this was pretty exciting stuff.)

Here are some pre-show photos!

Ballet Bun 101

Laughing at Bea brushing her own hair

Stage make-up

 Introducing the one and only Ballerina Josephina!

Posing on the porch:

Everyone gets a turn posing with the big star!

Hey Grandma Fifi - how do you keep escaping the camera? We're going to get you next time! :)

 One of my new favorite photos ever!

Now - there aren't any photos from the actual performance. There are a few reasons for that: 1) No photos allowed. 2) Lack of lighting means not even sneaky non-flash camera phone pics turn out. 3) Your daughter's performance on the big stage is just one of those moments that you really want to experience in real-time rather than through the lens of a camera! 4) Even if 1-3 were not true and I was all ready to go with full equipment, there is no chance I would've had a second to spare for a photo because I was way too busy wiping tears that were a mix of the whole insane cuteness of it all and tears from laughing so hard due to what Josie did to crack up the whole audience. (More on that in a second.)

We will get access to the professional photos and video soon & promise to post them here then! Trust me, it is worth the wait. 

Here are some photos from after the show.


After the show we headed downtown to the brand-spanking-new RIVERFRONT Smale Park which is so super-duper awesome (and made our hearts ache for living downtown again).  It was beautiful and Josephine, Beatrice and Cousin Morgan had a blast running through the fields barefoot. 

As it would turn out, there was another stage for Josie to do an ENCORE PERFORMANCE - this time leading the whole family across the stage through the routine.

Here's Miss Bea doing a great job filling her sister's big shoes (with a little help from DD).

A BIG BOW to end the perfect BIG BALLET DAY!  

Now, you didn't think I was totally going to leave you hanging on what made Josie's performance so special, did you?  Although, I do really hate to try to tell the story because it really is a moment that is best experienced as a surprise. 

You know how any kids' performance is sure to have its hysterical moments? Well, there were two at the Ballet Show. The first was the sweet little girl in another class that spent the whole song trying to fix the bow on the front of her costume. Little darling didn't dance a single move. 

The second LOL moment was our sweet Josie who came out on the stage, took her spot and then instantly made "binoculars" with her hands and focused intently on trying to find us in the audience.  It was funny before the music started, but when she kept doing it again and again - every time she had a second's break between moves or every time her hands went up in the air past her eyes - well, that's when it got hysterical.  Our sweet sweet Josie! We all just love that little girl so much!
(Beatrice really loved the show too. She absolutely loves music and always dances. She was less than thrilled about the possibility of sitting in her seat for the whole show. She wanted to stand up, point and yell at all the ballerinas on stage. Lou took her off to the side so she could be her little 1 year old enthusiastic self without disturbing anyone. As much as she loved the show, it is definitely quite possible that we have another little ballerina in the Schneider family. We shall see. With some of the death-defying stunts she's been trying lately, I think the circus might be a better fit.)