Friday, December 31, 2010

Side Bar

Never fear, I will return to our holiday posts in just a moment. But I really want to take a second to commemorate a few of my favorite new "Vivisms.". For example...

GrandMary is now "Née-née." (and no, we do not let her watch "T he Real Housewives of Atlanta).

Koala Bear is "Ko-wow-wow."

The Monster at the End of this Book (a Christmas gift from Aunt Kate and Noah that has been a BIG HIT) is "Gro-ger Page."

She is truly amazing to me every day.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Tale of Two Monkeys...

Happy Holidays!

So sorry for the lapse in posting...we went to Iowa for Christmas!  It was really awesome.  And Vivi was really, really well behaved.  Perhaps because she had...a new buddy?
Yes folks, you are seeing that.  TWO Sock Monkeys.  Vivi's Great Grandma Kappeler hand-made Vivi her new gentleman Sock Monkey.  We went to visit her the first evening we were in Durant, and I am pretty sure Sock Man-key (what?  you tell me a better way to differentiate between them) did not leave her side the whole time we're there.
"Dance with me, my monkey friend."

Russ, unfortunately got a hold of Sock Man-key, and took some liberties with his outfit.  Hopefully Vivi will learn some sweet hip-hop moves from her new monkey friend.  She did spend A LOT of time dancing over the holidays, so...
...bust a move, my little lady!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Frosty the...Sadman

When Grandpa and Grandma Otto were here for Thanksgiving, they gave Vivi the "Frosty the Snowman" book.  She likes it.  A LOT.  We read it at least two times a day, and she now loves to point out the snowmen on our Christmas tree, on my stocking...pretty much any snowman she sees, really (Fah-stee!  Fah-stee! Snoomn!).

So today, when Russ went outside with the dogs, he decided to build her a little mini snowman on top of our grill.
She was glued to the window, so excited to watch as daddy carefully made the snowman, and she and I sang the "Fah-stee Saug."  (That's the Frosty Song, for those of you who do not speak Vivi)
He even had eyes, nose and mouth!  Unfortunately, he also had an equilibrium issue, because as soon as Daddy turned his back on Frosty and came inside, Frosty's top two layers went sliding to the ground.  Frosty the Sadman.  Awkward.
Thumpity Thump Thump indeed.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Breakfast with, I mean Santa.

So, every year the Haymarket Development Council puts on a fundraiser called "Breakfast with Santa."  The event is pretty much what the name suggests.  We have never been, but this year my company sponsored the breakfast, as we are located in said Haymarket.  Russ and I figured what the heck, and Kate and Noah were game, so off to the breakfast we went, despite the fact that it was 10 DEGREES OUTSIDE.  I should have taken this as a sign.

The breakfast itself was delicious, and went well.  We figured perhaps we were in for a great, fun morning!  Here I am with Noah, enjoying French Toast.
Why the face?  Well, folks, I'll let you in on a little secret.  I do not care for people in costume.  I was the kid who would possibly have forfeited her Christmas gifts just so I did not have to sit on Santa's lap at the mall.  Mascots and people in costume in general freak the heck out of me.  CREEPY.  And I was very afraid we would run into the same problem with Vivi.  But.  We were determined to give it the old college try!
And actually, things went really well.  We stood in line to see the Big Man, and she could see him.  She and Russ discussed Santa in happy terms, going over the fact that we like him, and he does in fact say "Ho ho ho."

Then it was our turn and Russ set Vivi on Santa's lap.

She took one look at the man in red, opened her mouth, and you could just see the scream building (the camera woman actually said "I don't think she's breathing!").  And then...Vivi unleashed.

Oh dear.  So, after she calmed down, we took a nice photo of all three of us kneeling in front of poor, tortured Santa. which Vivi still looks traumatized.  It reminds me of the photo from my 5th birthday party, where Billy Bob the Bear (that's right, back when it was Showbiz, before the evil and scary Chuckie Cheese took over. hey marketing department--if you are in the food service business, your mascot should NEVER be a giant rat. wise up).  Billy Bob is hugging me for my "birthday photo," and I am clearly trying to shove his arms away from me.  Vivi, this is just a part of Christmas, so you may have to get used to it.  But I promise, I'll never make you hug a weirdo in a costume that's been in use since 1974.  Mommy loves you.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Et tu, Vivi?

Look out, Jack-Dog.  There may be a new sheriff in town.  And his Sock Monkey.

Sock Monkey came back from San Diego with Daddy, and today became the buddy de jour.  First Vivi wanted to change his diaper (I tried to explain that his red-bottom was a natural thing, but she seemed to think it was due to improper diapering habits).

To be honest, Sock Monkey didn't seem too thrilled either.  Eventually Vivi came to terms with the fact that Sock Monkey might not need a diaper, and moved on to putting him down for "nite-nite."
See, here she is, handing the diaper over to me for safekeeping.  The yellow object in her hand?  A dishtowel.  God help you if you have wet hands in this house; you won't be able to dry them on a conveniently located dish towel.  Vivi has always hated them, tearing them from their holders and throwing them to the floor (why?  why?  so weird).  But lately, they are being stolen and used as "Blankies" for all of her stuffed buddies (and sometimes for Ollie, but that's another post for another day).

So here she is trying to put Sock Monkey down for a nap in the living room.

This involves unceremoniously dumping Sock Monkey on the ground and then tossing the blanket over him.  However, this did not seem to be a suitable place for Sock Monkey to take a nap, in her mind.
So they moved to the kitchen, which was apparently a better spot.  Sock Monkey was successfully put down for a nap, and Vivi wandered off to play with Noah, after yelling "SHUUUSH" at all of us.  Unfortunately, instead of putting her finger to her lips, she usually sticks it up her nose and says "Shhhhhhhhh."  

We're working on it.  Nite-nite, Sock Monkey!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Merry Christmoose?

So, Vivi has  very cool godmother.  To celebrate her baptism day, Aunt Maria found a gift that was really rather perfect.  Check it out.

Yes, that's right.  It's a moose hat.  TOTALLY AWESOME!  And Vivi, bless her heart, will totally indulge me and just wander around wearing it.  Cracks.  Me.  Up.

Interweb, I warn you now--I will never tire of this.  Little kids' outer ware that doubles as a costume will never wear thin for me.  Hurray for mooses!  Thank, you Aunt Maria!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Little Snowflake...

We went and got Vivi's Christmas portraits done tonight!  They are darling, if I do say so myself, and we will be sending them out soon (I promise, I will get Christmas cards sent this year and not leave the task on the back burner.  I PROMISE).

But what does one wear for a big Christmas photo shoot?

A darling little snowflake princess dress.

I coveted this dress from the moment I saw it last Christmas, and Aunt Maria snagged it for me at the end of Christmas sales last year.  It was nowhere to be found in Lincoln, and I was so excited!  And with good reason.  It is just awesome.

It is everything a little-girl Christmas dress should be, in my mind...and it is comfortable enough to roll around on the floor in.  A must for Vivi!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Power of the Written Word

So, I know that I comment fairly often on how excited I am that Vivi loves to read.  And that hasn't changed!  But of late, I find myself more and more amazed as to HOW she is reading.  Observe...

Here, reading upside down.  It IS possible that The Rainbow Fish, when read upside down, reveals important aquatic secrets on the level of the Abbey Road album cover (28if?  anyone?).

And here, reading while sitting backwards in the rocking chair (possibly doing more rocking than reading at this point, might I add).

And, perhaps most confusingly, whilst sitting in the diaper box.  I cannot imagine this is comfortable, but she is totally content to sit in there and read her new favorite, Frosty the Snowman.

At least she's reading, I suppose.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

So while I know that last year was TECHNICALLY Vivi's first Christmas, and it was lovely (snowstorm?  anyone?), I am quite excited for this year as she can participate a little more actively.  So, while she was napping Russ and I put up the tree and decorated.  Then waited, camera ready, when she woke up.

She was pretty excited, let me tell you.
Everything was so shiny and and awesome!

"Hey, you guys!  Check it out!  There is a GORGEOUS baby trapped in this shiny silver ball!"

She then found the ornament given to her last Christmas by her godmother, Aunt Maria.  Now, for those of you who do not know,Vivi really likes stars.  And bears.  And this ornament is A BEAR HOLDING A STAR.  Joyous day!  (Bea-uh!  Stah!  Bea-uh!  Stah!)

Foolishly, I tried to make her feel included by telling her that this was "Vivi's special ornament."  She shot me a shifty look from the corner of her eye, said "Bea-uh,"  in a very decisive voice...
...then yanked it from the tree and took off running.  Sigh.  We've been doing pretty good since, but there has certainly been some "No.  NO!  Vivi, that STAYS ON THE TREE!" 

Thus far, I have not even entertained the notion of wrapping presents.  Can you imagine the carnage?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fiesta of Thanks

Yes, that's right.  It's the last day of November, and I am just now blogging about the biggest day of Thanks.  IT WAS AWESOME!  The days that followed were a bit dodgy, but the day of thanks itself totally rocked.  I was thankful for so many things!

I was thankful that I discovered the cat hiding in the crock-pot bag BEFORE I put the crock-pot in.
(Hippo REALLY wanted to come to Thanksgiving dinner.  Apparently, no one CCd him on the memo that informed everyone this was a kid friendly event.  I would have brought him, just to teach him a lesson, but I don't think that would have flown with Grandpapi).

I was thankful that all our travelers made it here and there safely.  Maria, Paul, Eva, Charlie, Gene and Sue all traveled from Iowa, and Joe came from Western Nebraska!
Here, Vivi gives Charlie the stink-eye for intruding on her ex-turf.  Apparently she is a little territorial about the exersaucer.  Shortly after Charlie exited the contraption, she insisted on being put into it, despite the fact that it made her look like a character from those creepy Giant Baby advertisements from the 40s (google it.  They are super spooky).  She also then climbed into Charlie's carseat and took a nap.  Awkward.

I was (and still am!) thankful for the beautiful wall-hangings and table toppers Sue made for me, my mom and my sisters.
And here we are showing them off.  So beautiful!

And I was thankful for--wait, what's that?  I'm sorry, what did you ask?  Oh.  What the heck are we all wearing on our heads in that picture?  Well, I'm glad you asked.  It brings me to my next point of thanks.  I am glad that I wore a shark hat for most of Thanksgiving day, and no one blinked an eye.
In my defense, I only put it on because Eva insisted.  In fact, she assigned us all hats and insisted we wear them.  I was "the leader of the shark people."  Shark people, nation of one.  Hm.  Fortunately, everyone else was also okay with taking directions from my four year old niece. 
Here, Bird-Woman, the Pony Princess, and our Lady of Ladybugs calmly browse the Black Friday ads.

Sue "The Scary Pumpkin" Otto, and Doug "Leapin' Lizard" Carey.

Beetle the Bard Otto, and Eagle Eye Otto made an appearance as well.

We later realized that Eva herself never wore a hat, just directed us to run around wearing felt caps made for children for the entire day.  And we willingly complied.  And we were all sober.  You see,, I think it was because  I got nothing.  Well, it was fun, anyway!

Happy Month of Thanks, all!  On to the Christmas Season!  I cannot wait to see what it brings for our cute little elf.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Evenings at Chez Otto

I was thankful yesterday!  Really, I was!  See, here, below.  That was my post.

BUT RUSS'S STUPID COMPUTER WOULD NOT UPLOAD ANY PHOTOS.  I figured, what the hell.  This post isn't nearly as cute without photos.  So I'm not going to post it.

Today, needless to say, I am thankful that Russ's computer is over it's pique.  And as for yesterday...

Today, I am thankful that I do not have any night-time or weekend events this month.  That doesn't happen to me very often with my job, and I am loving the chance to spend the evenings at home!  It's amazing to see how Vivi's evening can progress...

First, she had to put Jack to bed.  I think he may be teething as well, since he certainly got sent to bed early...
...and in the tupperware drawer.

Next, it was off to peruse the Black Friday ads...

No time to sit, though.  One can multi-task!  A few crunches, a little shopping...

...and last but not least, a quick bit of modeling practice in front of the fireplace.
"Flowers are all the rage this year, dahling, accessory-wise."

Busy evening!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Today, I am thankful for Vivi's winter coat.  It's been an average of 30 degrees out this week when I leave to take her to daycare, so I am most grateful for its warmth.  We had a hard time finding one I deemed warm enough for her!  We looked quite a few places, and finally found a very cute, very warm winner!  Russ and I were thrilled!

Vivi, not as much.  I also decided to get her the 18-24 months size, figuring that she turns 18 months at the beginning of January (!), and it stays colder much longer than that here in lovely Nebraska (oh, to live in Arizona or somewhere like that, where snow is not a problem). 

This might have been a mistake, in retrospect.

As it is nearly that time of year, I will use one of my all-time favorite movie references..."Randy lay there like a slug."  Yes folks, that's correct.  The coat is so big that Vivi is rendered immobile the instant we zip her into it. It makes her REALLY mad.

I'm hoping the rage will help keep her warm.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Baby, there's no other super-star

Today, I am thankful that Noah left his sunglasses here.

Future starlet, caught in the kitchen!

When we caught up with the fabulous Vivi Otto, all she would say was, "No comment, dahling, no comment."  I am so glad she handles the press with grace and aplomb, not like all those scary teeny-bopper starlets you see running around these days...
"I'll have my people call your people.  We'll schedule a play date!"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

One More to Go...

Today, I am thankful for traditions.  
Every family makes them, intentionally or not.  My family has tons, like playing pitch, or Christmas Eve Mass, or Mom and her Candy Cane pens, or hauling out everyone's most embarrassing stories when  we're all together (Carey family--Kate's got a new one by the way.  Reference The Goblet of Fire when next we meet).

Russ and Vivi have a Hawkeye Tradition!  Every football Saturday, they hang the Iowa flag together...

...and then go and make our Hawkeye windchime swing...

...and yell, "Goooooo Hawkeyes!"

Traditions are the silly little things that help connect you, that make you smile, that make you feel like part of the family.  And while I am betting that she is the only person ever to hang a Hawkeye flag while wearing a pink hippo hat (it's cold here, yo!), I know she is not the first one to enjoy a tradition with her family.  I am excited to see what other traditions our little family forms!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Only Man a Girl Can Count On... her Daddy.

Today, I am still thankful for Russ being home. m Vivi has missed her dad very, very much.  So they celebrated by, to be honest, I have no idea what this game is.  It entailed Vivi running into the blanket Russ was holding...

...then him wrapping her up in it and falling over on to his back...

...and then the two of them laying there and laughing before starting all over again.

Really, I'm not sure what it was all about.  But it made all three of us very, very happy.  Vivi is so happy to have Daddy back home!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Homeward Bound...

Today, I am thankful that Russ is coming home! Vivi and I have missed him very much. Get here quick, Babe!!!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's the little things...

Hola, Blog world!  My apologies for my two day haitus.  But lest ye think me lazy (or worse--thankless), let me fill you in on what happened.  I popped a rib out.  ARGH!  In fact, I did it with some authority.  So on Monday, I was glad that I have a sister who was willing to leave work and drive me to the chiropractor.  I was also glad to have such a great friend for a chiropractor, as he was able to see me immediately and pop it back in to place.  VERY PAINFUL.  Coincidentally, I was even more grateful at 6:30 that he is my good friend and would make a house call to POP IT BACK IN AGAIN.  And once more on Tuesday morning, when the inflamation in my muscles had gone down enough for it to stay in place.  Boo.  Hiss. 

On Tuesday, I was grateful that I have a sister willing to take the day off and care for me and my child, as I was not allowed to lift Vivi on Monday or most of Tuesday, and my daycare was closed (with Russ in San Diego--awesome!).  Thank you again, Kate.  You are truly, truly the best.  I would have been unable to cope without your help.

Today, I am grateful to be able to go back to work!...and for Vivi's double cowlick.

I can't help it.  I have the exact same one.  I know that some day I will tire of hearing her moan over the fact that her hair just won't lay right, but for now I love the Cindy-Lou Hoo quality it gives her.

Besides.  It's one of the little things that makes her mine.