Friday, October 31, 2014

The cold never bothered me anyway (Halloween 2014)

Halloween 2014 will always go down in history as Frozen Trick or Treat. There is more than one reason for that. For starters, Disney's Frozen still has a tight grip on many young imaginations and there was no doubt whatsoever that Beatrice would join the 'army of Elsas' marching across the land on October 31st. In other frozen news, it was freeeeeezing cold on Halloween. There were even snow flurries (only adding to Bea's exuberant joy about her Elsa get-up)!

Suffice it to say, the girls were troopers. We went in with realistic expectations, telling each other that even if it ended up being just a few houses, everyone would come away feeling like they had sufficiently gotten their Halloween on. Who knew that we'd brave the elements nearly two hours until noses were frozen and finger tips were numb?  (There was a midpoint car warm-up and neighborhood tour for a warm little respite.)  It ended up being a really fun, albeit frozen Halloween.

Honestly I think part of the reason they lasted so long is because they were both pleased as punch with their costumes. They decided early on (like early September early on) that they wanted to make their costumes this year.  We obliged and decided to do a little week by week so it wasn't at all overwhelming. And, they were pretty simple costumes.

So, no, I did not make Bea's Elsa dress. 1) I know my limitations and 2) I know a good Amazon deal when I see one. But I did make her a furry cape that she wore for exactly 90 seconds before boldly proclaiming "the cold never bothered me anyway" and throwing it onto the wet grass. Stinker.

Clearly she was pretty into the whole Elsa thing. (And how stinking funny is that wig?!)

Josie's costume evolved a few times - starting first as The Bat Queen of Halloween and ending up a vampire bat with fangs and all.  Clearly she was pretty into the whole bat thing too. (I love their imaginations!)

Here's a few more from trick or treating around the hood. 

Her "Bea face!" 

Her "Elsa Face!"

Halloween bonus feature: 

I'm happy to report that save one really insanely creepy experience with an actual platter of peanuts that this lady invited kids to reach their hands into to "dig out" candy, we had a pretty good peanut-allergy-friendly Halloween.  For the first time, we ended up with more safe candy than unsafe candy. Not sure if that means more people are thinking beyond Snickers or more companies are making their lines safer. Either way, we had two happy girls! (We don't allow any peanuts in the house so sweet Bea gladly set aside the unsafe candy in her basket too.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Just the Two of Us

Recently we started what is probably a new Schneider family tradition - "Just the Two of Us" weekends! It all started when Miss Lyla Anne turned 6 and we received an invitation for her party in Chicago where they live. The timing for a family weekend away was less than ideal, given I was in the peak of business travel. Because we try really, really, really hard to not deny the kids experiences like these just because our adult lives our busy, we quickly launched into "how can we make this work for everyone" mode and VOILA the "just the two of us weekend" was born!

This was Josie's blurry-blissed-out reaction when we told her she was getting on the Megabus with her Dad and taking it straight to downtown Chicago to meet Lyla at the American Girl Store downtown.


Beatrice and I dropped them off in downtown Cincinnati and our special weekend - just me and the wee one begun!  First things first, pink donuts with sprinkles! Because, the best days always start with donuts!

Then a haircut!

And a trip to the Newport Aquarium to meet the real Weeki Wachee Mermaids!

Then we took a train ride with a view of the city.

Next stop? A trip to Grandma & DD's house on our way to the Yellow Springs Street Fair! Granddaddy's basement never disappoints!

Then it was Street Fair time!  There's always something to see at the Street Fair! 

Then we picked up a new furry friend. Bea named him "Chetchy!" (Of course Bea named him Chetchy.)

We picked petunias!

We also drummed (photo above) and danced and twirled and played!

After a lonnnnng fun-filled day, we took Grandma & DD up on their offer to spend the night and Bea sacked out on the floor before we knew it!

In the morning we headed home and decided a trip to Ikea was in order. Bea was THRILLED with her Swedish lunch and treats! 

At Bea's insistence, we then took a trip to Michaels to pick up a fun craft! It had 18 gazillion million pieces and took a couple hours to finish but it was so fun chatting away while we put it together.

So, three cheers for the Just the Two of Us weekend. It was such a good reminder of how much the kids need individual time with each of us. Little Bea really found her voice this weekend and I just let her talk and talk and talk and talk. She's the sweetest little thing and I'm so grateful for the time together! 

Josie's weekend in Chicago was awesome too. Josie & Lou had hours just the two of them to talk on the bus and just hang out. And the Birthday Girl had a pretty great weekend, too!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Punkin Pickin

October is one of the absolute best times of the year to live in this part of the country. We're so fortunate to have our pick of a number of local farms with apples to pluck off the trees and pumpkins to pluck off the vines.  While we've definitely done the Fall Festival circuit over the years, we've all settled on Neltner's Farm in Northern Kentucky as our pick of the season. Especially if you hit it early in October, it's the perfect mix of drifting music, cooling temperatures, rolling hillsides and smiling families.  I'll just go ahead and let the photos to the rest of the work of describing why this has come to be one of our favorite seasonal traditions.