Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Day of Feasting...

Thanksgiving!  Hurray!

It was really fun this year (and every year, really).  All the Ottos came to town and partied it up with the Careys!  GrandMary and GrandPapi were brave enough to let EVEN MORE people come to their house, and we all had a really nice, relaxing day.  I am very, very thankful for both of my families.

Of course, everyone brings their own special item for Thanksgiving, and Aunt Becky made some delicious sweet potatoes with a pecan and brown sugar topping (a-mazing).  She also had some help from the world's cutest pilgrim.
Vivi made her pilgrim hat for the Thanksgiving celebration at daycare, and basically refused to take it off for a good 24 hours.  I finally had to take and hide it.

There are lots of steps to cooking.  Fortunately, Aunt Becky had A LOT of help (and a lot of patience).  First, you have to stir everything up.

Next, you need to give it a good sniff, to make sure everything smells juuuust right...
Vivi took this part very seriously.

And last of all, you have to give it a tiny taste test, just to make sure everything is perfect.

And the result?  Did she like it?  Was it fit to grace Vivi's Thanksgiving plate?
Happy Smile!  A solid vote of approval.  Hurray!

~Spoiler Alert~
* You might be thinking my next post will contain a bunch of darling photos of Vivi and her cousins, and of all of the adults hanging out and enjoying eachother's company.  It won't.  Don't hold your breath.  While all of these things happened, I managed to leave my camera at home and did not get a single shot.  Headdesk.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

He's Baaaack!

So...Russ was gone for a week.  Aunt Kate and Noah were kind enough to move in with me for the entire time (seriously, seriously kind).  But Vivi (and I) missed Russ a lot.  So we were both very excited when he came home.  Vivi spent some quality time hanging out with Russ and playing.  I wanted to get some quality photos, but Vivi refused to take her "helmet" off of her head.  Cookie and Russ were quite upset by this.

Finally, after laughing manically in to her helmet for a bit, she did allow for a photo.
Kind of.

They did have a very nice time playing together, hanging out, sharing hats...

...and demonstrating our newest trick.  Vivi really likes to demonstrate her two favorite expressions.  We can exhibit "Grumpy Frown," and "Happy Smile."  Guess which one we've got going on here.
Not that we can get this in a professional photo shoot.  Heaven forbid.  Welcome home, Russ!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I know, I know.  Two posts in one day.  The thing is, I figured you might want to see some Halloween photos before we put up our Christmas tree.

This year, Vivi went as Twink (Rainbow Brite's sidekick), and I made her costume.  With a lot of assistance from Grandma Otto.  It turned out DARLING!

Russ and I were worried that with her natural shyness towards strangers, trick-or-treating would not go well.  However, she proved to be a total natural, and was knocking on doors like she'd been trick-or-treating for years.
She LOVED it.

We went all through the neighborhood and to Aunt Erin's where we met up with a group of hooligans.
Clearly the Halloween fright mob was out and about!

Then we went over to Grandmary and GrandPapi's house and met up with Spiderman.  It was very cute to see these two enjoying Halloween together!
Although Noah looks more excited about things than Vivi.

She was, however, horrified when she found out that despite her best efforts she was not able to steal all of GrandPapi's Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
To be honest, I was pretty horrified too.  I thought we had trained for this scenario.

Happy Halloween to the cutest little Sprite around!


And the most important part of the pumpkin patch?

Giant, amazing pumpkin houses!  She was fascinated.  And oh yes, there were pumpkins.

And Vivi had to organize them.

"I'll just put this one over here..."
This went one for quite some time.

And in the end, she found a special little pumpkin to snuggle with and take home...
I truly, truly love the pumpkin patch.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Cut Above the Rest

Also featured at the pumpkin patch?  Cut-outs.  Lots of them.  You can't really move 10 feet without running into a cut out planted to illustrate whatever area you are wandering through at the time.  And Vivi was really, really into them this year.

At first, not so much.  Grumpiest.  Dragon.  Ever.

But she soon warmed up to the cut-outs and embraced them.  Quite literally. 
She was really, really into this dragon and kept insisting that she "ride" him.

She insisted that I also embrace these cut-outs.  Literally.  She thought these dwarfs looked "sad and grumpy," and refused to move from the spot until I have them hugs so they would "feel better already."
Let me tell you what kind of looks you get when you're a 31 year old on crutches hugging wooden dwarfs while your two year old hollers, "This is a GREAT idea, Mommy!"  Very weird.  I promise.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Might as Well Jump!

I know, I know!  Two posts in one day!  But this madness really couldn't wait.  This year our Pumpkin Patch introduced something totally awesome....Jumping Pillows.  The Jumping Pillows were exactly what the sound like...10 feet by 20 feet of rubbery, air-filled goodness that you scrambled to the top of and jumped to your heart's content.

At first, she was a little weirded out (shocker), and wanted Russ to hold her and jump.
Which she obviously quite enjoyed.  But she soon got brave and asked to go down and have Daddy help her jump.

Turns out, Daddy can help you get some pretty big jumps in.
She was laughing so hard, it was hilarious.

And when one is a little tired and wants a break, the Jumping Pillows are excellent places to rest and make new friends.
Just a quick chit-chat before we continue on...

Fun for all...adults and kids!

As I am still gimped up, Russ was Vivi's partner in crime for all activities at the Pumpkin Patch.  I must admit, I was a little jealous, as some of the activities looked like and absolute blast.

For example...
Going down the 40-foot slide.  Purely for Vivi's sake, of course.  Because she looks like she's having the better time in this photo.

Or, going on a train ride around the entire pumpkin patch.
Awesome!  Honestly, I could have gone on this one, but the woman next to me kept making snarky comments about how little kids were having to wait in line because every mom/dad/grandma/friend, etc had to pile on with each child.  And while I found her rather rude, I kind of agreed.  So I stayed behind.

One also needs a parent to play "field bunker" with the haystack.
"Dad, the enemy is close.  I say at dawn, WE CHARGE."

And someone needs to catch you when you jump off of said haystack!

Other activities I was okay with missing out on.  My mom is from Wallace (don't feel badly if you do not know where this is, as 99.999% of the world is right there with you).  I have sat upon my fair share of tractors.
However, I am not sure I ever sat there with such an adorable sense of determination.  John Denver, eat your heart out!