Saturday, April 30, 2011

Her Royal Highness, Vivi Jo Otto

In honor of the Royal Wedding yesterday, Vivi and her daycare buddies had Princess Day!  Ellen found a vintage tea set and made all sorts of amazing goodies and princess crafts (I honestly did not want to leave when I dropped her off yesterday).  Of course, Princess Day required formal attire...and heaven knows, Vivi's closet rose to the occasion.
Here she is, sparing a glance for her adoring public before carrying on with her very important business...

She was a bit put out when I announced that there was not an accompanying tiara.

And here, attended by her faithful hound.
Even though we brought a back up, more casual outfit (you know, for weekends at the palace and the like), she stayed in her princess dress all day AND DID NOT GET IT DIRTY (which is really a testament to Ellen's magic, because home girl did NOT avoid the pink cupcakes).  Happy Princess Day, all!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles...

I have had events the past two nights, so Vivi is getting some quality Daddy time.  She loves hanging out with Russ, and they always find something special and fun to hanging out in our sunny breakfast nook and learning to blow bubbles on a Saturday morning!
"First, you stir up all the bubbles and get them ready."

"Then, you blow like a BIG WIND to make the bubbles!"

"Then you can try to catch the bubbles!"

Hurray for Daddy Days!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hi Ho The Merry-O...'s the Vivi in the Dell.

Vivi found Noah's fabulous hat while she was roaming around GrandMary and GrandPapi's house, and immediately took it as her own.  While it makes Noah look like a cool little hipster, it made Vivi look like she was about to go and chase some cows out of the North 40.
Poor Noah almost didn't get his hat back.  And when Vivi protested its return, clamping her hands down on the hat and shrieking "Nooo!  Vivi hat soooo booteeful!"  he was a really good sport about it.
At this rate, we are going to have to open a haberdashery. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter, Everyone!

So today is obviously Easter.  And we Ottos have a tradition.  

Fuzzy Bunny ears.  I bought them for Vivi last year (matching her Easter dress, obviously) and was so delighted with the results that I decided  to make it a tradition.  Unfortunately, I totally goofed and forgot to get the rabbit ears picture while she was still in her Easter dress.  Undaunted, I felt we could still get a more casual bunny ears picture.  Vivi, however was...shall we say...skeptical.  So I tried to show her how fun it was to be a bunny.
She was clearly not buying it.  So we got Russ involved.
Stiiiiilllll not buying it.  So we handed her a toy snake and asked her to pretend it was a carrot.  This for some reason got her a little more in the mood to be a bunny.
So we got a nice family Easter photo.  Kind of.  Given our past failures, I'll take it.
Like Meatloaf says, Two Outta Three Ain't Bad.  Happy Easter from the Ottos!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

In Which We Ignore the Play Structure...

So, after a few brief forays down the slide, Vivi wandered a few feet...and it was if the giant play structure ceased to exist.  She found...sand.
And once she found sand, it was as though the rest of the playground did not exist.  She was so, so excited about all elements of sand.  She picked it up and let it fall...
...she dug and dug and dug...
...and then she decided that as much of the sand that she could move needed to be up on the little brick wall.  This involved quite a bit more digging and moving.
And while Noah ran all about the GIANT playground and enjoyed the slides, climbing, and everything else that I had hoped would wear Vivi out...we dug and moved sand on to a wall.
So, I'm thinking...paleontologist.  Archeologist.  Something along those lines.
'Cause we did this for like 45 minutes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Slip Sliding Away

Like I said...April began with a few teaser days early on.  Russ was traveling at this point, so Vivi and I joined Aunt Kate and Noah at a nearby park.  It was the first time Vivi had really been to a park, and things were...a bit confusing for her.
"What do you mean it doesn't work like this?  What the heck is going on here?  How DO you work this thing?"

I had to step in and attempt to explain things to her (if you look closely, you can see our matching double cowlicks).

"Aha!  Wonderous invention!  Success!"

She very much enjoyed her afternoon.  I cannot wait for a summer full of playing at the park!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Please for Sunshine?

Despite a few teaser days early in the month (more on that later), it has been gray and gloomy here in L-town.  Vivi has taken to staring out the door in a forlorne manner, preferably while wearing a booteeful hat.
The hat, for some reason, seems to connect her with the sun.  She will give a hefty sigh, and ask "Go ou-side, swing?" in a voice that suggests that she already knows the answer.  When we inevitably say no (it actually snowed here on Friday, yo!), she frowns, then goes looking for her pink hat.  We have several, but this one seems to be the favorite.
In other bizarre, weather-related news, she is TOTALLY FREAKED OUT by short sleeves.  She plucks at them frantically yammering "sleevesdoon, sleevesdoon, sleevesdoon!"  When I tried to explain short sleeves to her she literally cocked a Scarlett O'Hara eyebrow at me and stared at me as though I were trying to trick her into doing something really ridiculous.  Internet, I will not make you suffer her horror when we put her in shorts.

Please for sunshine!  Vivi is ready to play outside!
Or to go fishing.  Or to a Dave Matthews band concert.  Or to go chase the pesky neighborhood kids off of the damn lawn.  Not sure which this picture suggests...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Go Go Gryffindor!

Russ has been traveling quite a bit these past two weeks, so Vivi and I have had some quality time.  However, he did come home for two days between trips, and what he brought Vivi was truly amazing.
You see, Russ went to Orlando.  Home of the new Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios.  I am a Harry Potter superfan, and am TOTALLY JEALOUS.  However, he brought Vivi back an awesome Gryffindor jacket!  It's miles to big for her, but that means she can grow into it while I read the books out loud to her before bed (oh yes I will).
Here she seems to be channeling Neville over Harry, but we all have our moments.

No, Vivi, you cannot steal part of the wooden blinds to use as a wand.  And bring me back my (super sweet Gryffindor) scarf!  You've already got a jacket, for pity's sake!

Thank you, Russ!

Monday, April 11, 2011

And, In Fashion News...

Lest ye think that our sole focus while in Iowa was food and wedding related activities, I present this post.  Other things that interest Vivi?  Making Grandma wear hats.  While I regret that I did not manage to grab a shot of Grandma wearing a diaper for a hat (popular, this year, ladies), I did manage to grab this wonderful little gem...
That's right.  Our three-foot dictator is wearing her own pants on her head, while Grandma is wearing Vivi's shirt as a hat.  Vivi's sad little smile here seems to suggest that she is pushing her little cart home from the gulag...

She soon gave up her Russian roots, however, and insisted that she put on her coat.  At four in the afternoon.  Inside.
It's cold out there in the steppes.

She tried to get Grandma to wear her coat indoors, too, but Grandma wasn't having it.  This did not stop Vivi from parading around in her "boooteeful" hat.  And demanding that Grandma do the same.
Grandmas have the patience of angels.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wedded Bliss

After our unorthodox lunch, we went to Nick and Carissa's wedding.  Vivi looked adorable in her little yellow dress, and we were all anticipating a very nice day!

While I was certainly hoping we would make it through the wedding, I was aware of the fact that an almost-21 month old was not likely to have the patience to sit through the ceremony.  I was right.  Vivi really liked the organ music.  So much so, that as soon as each piece of music was finished, she clapped her hands and shouted "YAAAY MUSIC!"  at the top of her lungs.  It was really quite cute.  However, I am one of those people who thinks you should be able to hear and enjoy a wedding and NOT the toddler behind you, so I stepped out with Vivi and let her run in the back of the church.

This pretty much set the tone for the evening.  Once we got to the reception hall, it was run, run, run.  We had anticpated gettng some nice family photos, since we were all there, and all dressed so nicely.

You would think I would learn, at some point.
Sitting still for photos?  Not a priority for Vivi.

We almost managed to get a nice one with Aunt Becky...
...and then she turned and dived off the chair.

Let's face it, friends.  Whether you are 1 or 31, weddings are for dancing.  And running.
Congratulations, Nick and Carissa!  It was a beautiful day!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Happy Joe's Day

Hola, Blog World!  Apologies for my slight hiatus; things have been quite mad around her!  The Ottos have been busy as bees! 

For one thing, we made a trip back to Durant to attend Russ's cousin's wedding!  Aunt Becky and Uncle Jake came down from Minnesota, so the whole clan was there.  It was great!  And, as many of you know, no trip to Iowa is complete without a stop for some Happy Joe's Pizza.  Vivi LOVES pizza, and we knew that starting her on this tradition was very important.  So, the day of the wedding, we ordered Happy Joe's for lunch.  Unfortunately, Vivi was in a very ambulatory mood that day, and was not very excited about sitting in here chair.  So it was a bit of an odd lunch.  First, she shared with Grandpa...
Honestly, that was going pretty well until Vivi's beloved Aunt Becky got out of the shower.  Vivi basically refuses to be seperated from Aunt Becky when she's around, so she jumped down from Grandpa's lap and bolted into the bathroom to "help" Aunt Becky get ready for the wedding, leaving most of her lunch uneaten.  Now, none of us were very excited about the thought of dealing with a 20-month old who had not eaten since breakfast, so we tried to cajole Vivi back to her pizza.  SHe was having none of it.  If Aunt Becky wasn't sitting at the table, neither was she.  It was nearing go-time, so what could we do?
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  And you eat your pizza in the bathroom.  With a Schmaltz.
Much to the amusement of everyone, Vivi was totally content to sit on the side of the tub and eat her pizza.  Just as long as she could help Aunt Becky get ready.
Lucky, lucky Aunt Becky.  Next up?  The wedding!