Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fall Foilage

No child's fall, in my mind, is complete without a romp in the leaves.  Fortunately, Grandma and Grandpa Otto had just such a pile!  Even though they themselves cut down the giant tree in their front yard to avoid said piles, the leaves still find them...which rather reminded me of Grandpapi's constant battles with the tree in their front yard, but that is another story for another blog...I think it must be a grandparent thing, this struggle with leaves.

At any rate, Vivi enjoyed it.

There were so many leaves that we were able to bury Vivi in the leaf pile!

With a little help from mommy, of course.

But after spending the day with Great-Grandma, and lots of good time with Grandpa and Grandma, it was time to go home...
...and get ready for Halloween.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Wonders of Grandma's House

Upon waking, Vivi began a careful exploration of Grandma and Grandpa's house, looking to see what she could get, I mean, play with.  And she discovered one of the things her dad loved to play with when HE was little...

The oven drawer.

She played in there for a good half hour.  It was strangely reminiscent of the day she first climbed into her toy box...she just didn't want to climb out!

She hid under the towel (which, to her dismay, she could not remove from the handle), she hung out and chatted with Jack-Dog, and she played A LOT of peek-a-boo.

But clearly, there was still time for quiet reflection, her thoughts turned toward the fact that she was doing the same thing daddy used to do, 30 years prior.   Heavy stuff!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Architect of Destruction

So, this past weekend, we went to visit Grandma and Grandpa Otto!  It was great!  With, perhaps, the exception of the last hour of our drive.  Vivi apparently did not feel like sleeping at that point, and as it was too dark to entertain herself, she was not the happiest camper.  As we did not arrive until 10 PM, one would think that she would have staggered into Grandma and Grandpa's, exhausted, and sat calmly in my lap while Russ ran her bedtime accessories upstairs.

One would think.

Instead, she was bright eyed and ready to play with Grandma!  She LOVED "helping" build a tower of blocks...

...only to dash them to the ground, cackling like a maniac. (Btw, doesn't she look freakishly tall in these photos?  Bizarre, as she is only in the 52nd percentile for height)

However, when she started blatantly attempting to devour the blocks before Grandma could stack them, we decided it was time for bed.

More Durant news to follow!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Day, part 2

So, the pumpkin patch was a little unsettling for Vivi Otto.  She just didn't warm up to it quite like we expected her to...

Until we reached the petting zoo.  Vivi apparently LOVES the petting zoo.

If there were audio to this, it would be "chee-kee.  Chee-kee.  Mama.  Dada.  Chee-kee."

So there we were.  Having a great time, watching the chickens and goats, getting our first big smiles of the pumpkin patch.  And then, Daddy brightly suggested we go inside.

Now folks, here's the thing.  I don't really like petting zoos.  The kinda freak me out.  I blame it on the sheep who tried to eat my totally rad purple shoelaces at the zoo when I was four.  I've been a little leery of them ever since.  And by a little, I mean A LOT.  Goats and sheep run at you.  They knock over little kids.  They try to eat your shoelaces. 

But Vivi was having a great time, and how do you turn down your sweet baby?  So here we are.

See that look on my face?  That's me thinking "Look here, goat.  Move one muscle in the direction of my kid and I will clothes-line you."  Vivi, on the other hand, was having a great time.  She was totally convinced the goats were dogs.  But the horns?  Really weirded her out.  She kept patting them and then saying, "Doggie?  Doggie." (pat pat)  "Woah."  She chased one baby goat around saying "ARF!  ARF!  ARF!" as I ran after her, fearful that it would try to eat the flowers on her shoes (sorry, interweb--I still can't make videos play on this damn thing.  Come over some time.  The video's really cute).

Pumpkin patch petting zoo...I love you for making my little girl smile this big.

And for having polite goats.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Yesterday was a very, very special day in the Otto home.  Yesterday was the long awaited, much anticipated PUMPKIN DAY!  Every year, I anxiously await Pumpkin Day.  We go to the pumpkin patch.  We hang out and have a great time.  We pick THE BEST PUMPKINS.  And then we carve them.  Russ and I have been tagging along with my siblings who already have children for quite some time now (except for the carving part.  At that point, we hang out with our adult friends and drink beer).  But now, WE HAVE A KID OF OUR OWN.  It was time to bring our own little family into the tradition.  So, yesterday we went to the pumpkin patch as a family!  Well, actually, we went together for the first time last year, and Vivi slept through the whole thing.  This year, we hoped for better success.

Still...she was a little freaked out by it at first.  It took a bit for her to get settled.  "Where in the name of Pete have you brought me, parents?  It is very...outdoorsy. 

See our "lovely" family photo for an example of unsettledness at the pumpkin patch.  Sigh.  You could call it unsettledness.  Or abject fear.  Whatever.

But after a bit, she began to enjoy herself much more.  Now tell me honestly.  Have you ever seen anything so adorable?  Sweet little baby playing in the straw.

We'll show you more of our adventures tomorrow.  It was a full day of pumpkin related amazement!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Hilarity Continues...

Ok, I know I just posted about Vivi's amazing fall outer-wear, but check this out.  It's a furry pink hippo hat.  I mean, who THINKS OF THIS STUFF?

Don't worry.  Viv represents Hippo Nation with style, flair, and attitude.  What.  You talkin' to me?
Hippo-Girl with Daddy!

And here, Hippo-Girl munches calmly on the remote while enjoying a quick "pink-hat twin" photo with Mommy!

I would like to add that it was 75 degrees here yesterday.  We did not care.  So Hippo, so Fabulous!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sometimes it's hard to be a superfan...

Evidence that the pressure of helping cheer the Hawks to victory, week after week, can be emotionally draining...especially if you're only 15 months old.
The pressure can be hellish.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Waddle waddle

It's getting colder here in Nebraska.

Fortunately, Vivi has her super stylish penguin jacket to keep her warm and cozy on these chilly mornings!

It cracks me up, especially since Vivi is just learning to walk, and is perfecting a really nice waddle.  And it's funny to have two sets of eyes glaring at me in the morning as I'm trying to get us ready to go.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Holy hell!  
My apologies, blogger nation.  September was one busy month, and I have been remiss in relating the amazing things that have happened in our lives.  In September...

Russ and I went to a wedding in St Louis, and were away for Vivi for the longest time ever.  It was really hard, but... we knew Vivi was having a great time with Grandma Otto.  And we had a blast wishing Serds and Breezy a happy wedding day!

We came back, hung out for a week, and then...the very next weekend, Todd (Vivi's Godfather) married the amazing and wonderful Miss Michelle!  And Vivi's Grandma Otto came back to hang out for the weekend so Mommy and Daddy could enjoy the festivities!  It was such a beautiful, wonderful day, and we are so grateful to Grandma Susie for making the trip so we could celebrate.

Oh.  And Vivi mastered walking.  And talking.  She's up to over 50 words now, and can ask (ahem, demand) for things, properly tell off the dogs when they are (nah-tee) and cajole the kitty who lives next door to come out and play with her when we are on the drive way playing (kee-tee!  mow, mow mow!).

And, on the last day of September, Aunt Kate turned 28.  Hurrah!  In order for Aunt Kate to PROPERLY CELEBRATE, Cousin Noah stayed the night with us.  Heh heh heh.  Vivi LOVES her cousin Noah, and is very interested in every thing he does when he is with putting on hair bows.

So Fabulous! 

But, as he is three, sometimes Cousin Noah is "nah-tee."  No worries--Vivi totally knows what to do with naughty individuals in this house...we kennel them.

Um...awkward!  But Noah didn't seem to mind.  We had pancakes with syrup for breakfast.  I think he'll come back.  Maybe.

If Vivi's not home.