Sunday, March 2, 2014

The longest short month of the year.

What a blur.  February was an intense wave of wonderful occasions like my birthday and visiting guests, a homemade holiday, more and more and more snow, respite at home and the rush, rush, rush of the usual routine.  It knocked us out with illness and overwhelmed us with winter.  Yes, home and work each presented a slew of challenges, but it is finally March! And we survived (albeit not without tears and tantrums of both the adult and child variety).

Here are the highlights of the shortest month of the year that, somehow, felt like the longest...

Bea got into the make-up, more than once!

Josie almost always has a book in her hand.

Winter weather has meant lots of soup and chili.

This happened with Josie. And I was "pinch-me giddy" the whole time.

Snow. More snow. And fun "Waterlogue" app interpretations of snow.

The girls are training to become Fairy Godmothers.

We're back in "get back to it" mode, and Josie has picked up on my extra workouts and expressed a lot of interest in going running this spring. Lou outfitted her in Old Navy's finest and she is SO excited!

MUCH of February was spent watching the Sochi Winter Olympics. The girls really really enjoyed the events and Josie was really into the Olympic stories. (In case you're wondering, Bea wants to be a ski jumper and Josie wants to be a gold medal skeleton runner.) While there's no photo of any of that, this next one is definitely related.  Our side stairs were so frozen with ice and snow that Lou & I just had to sneak away one afternoon and see if it would work like a luge. It DID! And we laughed SOOOOOO hard about the whole thing!

Venus is still crazy and has added the new habit of meowing until she gets milk in the morning, so that's fun. ;)

The girls have spent more than one snowy afternoon going through their closets and playing dress-up. In this case, Josie squeezed Bea into a 12-18 month dress so they could still match. Hilarious. Adorably hilarious.

My birthday extended across the whole month! :)

The sweeties have been sickies.

With a string of snow-bound Wednesday mornings, Bea & I have been doing lots of cooking together. On this particular morning, we made yummy yummy chick pea curry.

Valentine's Day came and went. Tasked with making homemade valentines for school, I decided to make paper with the girls for the first time. Ha - it's even messier with little ones, but I hadn't done it in YEARS and doing so reminded me how much fun it is to do! The valentines turned out great.

Our "Miami Merger" valentine arrived right on cue. And, sweet Lou, who swears every year that we are not celebrating, actually spoiled the heck out of me. (Poor buddy, I got him tickets to see Josh Ritter for Valentine's Day, but then we couldn't go because the stomach bug took down Josie just hours before the show.)

Josie created one of my very favorite works of art yet.

Beatrice is OBSESSED with Playdoh. Obsessed. Like wants to take it with her when she leaves the house obsessed.

And it snowed. In fact, the total for Dec-Feb in Cincinnati was 40+ inches of snow! Spring will come eventually, right?

Our Mother-Daughter February book club meeting focused on Galileo this month and, in honor of his 450th birthday, we went to a party at the Observatory. It was really cool to see all the girls in attendance. They were genuinely interested in the physics experiments and WAY into the astronomy. (That's Josie craning her neck to see the Galileo thermometer.)

The highlight of the night was DEFINITELY when the clouds finally parted and we got a peak into the 20+ foot telescope (the oldest working one in the world is just miles from our house, ahem). We saw Jupiter & Jupiter's four moons - the ones Galileo discovered and that was just COOL.

When the petals all starting wilting on my birthday bouquets, Josie and I made the biggest flower mandala yet! It took us over an hour and it was really great to do it together.

Like I said about Bea and the make-up. Ha.

So glad I captured this little gem on video. 

We spent MLK Day at my parents, since Lou still had to work and I had the day off. We spent the day hanging out in the hot tub and getting taken care of by Grandma & DD. That was awesome. Bea is ready for the Bengals Superbowl-bound season!

Did I mention it snowed a lot? Lou found a new spot near our house with bigger and more daring hills. The girls LOVE going sledding with Lou because they get away with way more dangerous stuff. This dates way back to that Owl's Nest Park sled ride when I was on bedrest and Josie first developed the need for speed.
Bea's eyes look whacko because she was wearing make-up...again, or maybe still.
The girls continue to BEG and PLEAD about getting a dog. In the meantime, they are lucky to have babysitters with great pups! Check out big Hank the Great Dane. 

And these sweeties. They LOVE this little Dachshund (clearly).

A strange thing happened at the end of the month, it randomly shot up to 60 something degrees! But since the ice and snow was so deep, it didn't melt all the way. That meant we got to sled in the warm weather - AKA my kind of sledding!!!

Even with the warm temps, we had to shovel to entice the snow to melt.

Mandala-master Josie surprised me by turning my wilting roses into a little mandala on the kitchen counter.

One of the fun highlights from the month was a visit from my Getting Smart homegirl Caroline. Her hubs Ryan was in town for airline training (Congrats Captain Ryan!!!) and that meant they spent the weekend with us. It was SOOOO fun having Caroline here at the Getting Smart Midwest Headquarters. She was here for the most beautiful day in MONTHS. The entire city spilled out into the great outdoors. 

It was a GORGEOUS day at Eden Park.

We had a really wonderful dinner in Over the Rhine Restaurant Row at Quan Hapa (even if we couldn't get a reservation until 9pm). Lou learned that vegetarians cannot eat balut and we all experienced the joy of the "street pancake."

Caroline gave Josie a tennis lesson.

And we wore Bea out with a trip to Nordstrom Rack.

Caroline took my all-time favorite photo of me and Beatrice!

And we sent these lovelies on their way with bellies full of Zipburgers.

The snow melted (but is now back) and there are little signs of Spring here and there.

There are also signs of a certain someone turning three VERY soon. Here she is in the bathtub where "look I spelled my name" happened.

This happened days later - her first attempt to write her name. See it? 

Speaking of Bea, here is how I found her after a really busy work day that had to go on well after the babysitter left. They were so quietly playing upstairs, so I plugged away in the office. I came up to find Beatrice standing in a puddle of water that led all the way into the bathroom where she had filled various things up in the sink to make a "Playdoh pool." She was dipping dolls into wet Playdoh water and painting herself with the colored water it made. Hilarious. (Much more hilarious AFTER I spent 30 minutes cleaning up the water.)

In case you're wondering, here's how I found Josie that same afternoon.

And speaking of Playdoh, here's another favorite past-time at Casa de Schneider these days - making doll costumes.

Yes, Bea is pushing some limits lately and we never know quite where we are going to find her.

She's really growing independent, growing more creative and just plain growing up. And moments like this when she dons a dress purchased for her big sister who can no longer squeeze into it just about break my heart. 

And speaking of heart, this sweet girl just continues to shine and thrive and blow us away with her beautiful spirit.

So, with that, February was nutso, but we survived it all. And if there's one lesson to be learned from these 28 days of insanity, it is this...

(For the record, we can do easy things, too. Let's do some easy things in March, mmmk?)