Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Oh, no.  No it isn't.  It looked like Christmas two weeks ago, while I was busy stitching and sleeping.  But we did take some time to go out and enjoy our year's first snow.  

Or, in Vivi's case, to enjoy eating our year's first snow.
 She tried to be really sneaky about it, but we kept catching her.

I believe this was the point where she told me she was "smelling" the snow.
 According to Vivi the snow smells"reely cold."

 She would have stayed out there all night.
Hopefully we will get some more.  Or not.  It was 57 today, and I am totally fine with it.  We got to enjoy it for a couple of days.  No more needed.  Are you paying attention, Nebraska?  We're good here.

Shades of Maria

I title this post lovingly...and with a new sense of understanding.  

If you read my sister's blog, you know that she has churned out quite a few hand made costumes/gifts/toys/clothes for her children, nieces and nephews, family and friends.  Upon looking at them, you would never sense the sleepless nights, cursing, and umpteen trips to the fabric store that brought them to their (always fabulously) wrapped package.

Inspired by her success and my new found love of Pinterest (I'm sorry, what?  You're not on Pinterest?  Go.  Go now.  I will invite you, it is amazing), I decided I would make everyone gifts this year.  And I had a blast doing it.  But let me tell you, it came down to the wire.  I was sewing the final stitches the night of the 23rd, round abouts midnight.

But they turned out awful cute.

There they are, interweb.  My poor excuse as to why I have been such a crap blogger since early November.  And, because my madness knows no bounds, we're actually missing a pillow.  I made a 7th for April, Jean's daughter, and wrapped it before I realized no one would believe i did this if I didn't document the whole thing.
Only the pillow bodies were machine-sewn; everything else was done by hand.  And THAT'S why I have been absent.  And while the eye's on Vivi's pillow are a bit Children of the Corn-esque (perhaps a darker, or greyer blue?), I had a blast making them.
Merry Christmas to all the littles!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Breakfast with...the Man in Red

So, because we are glutton for punishment, Russ and I drug Vivi, Kate, Noah, and Brandon to the Haymarket's Breakfast with Santa again this year.  Now for those of you who don't remember, last year's photo with Santa did not go well.  Exceptionally unwell.

And this year?
Not a huge smile, but boy will I take this over the banshee shriek we had last year.  Our secret?  Have Noah go first. Monster bait via the cousin.

Also featured this year?  A model train.
Fellow parents, perhaps you can shed some light on to why the hell this is so fascinating.  It was literally a 4-foot track with a train that went in a circle.  No tunnels, no bells, no whistles...and Vivi would have been happy to skip breakfast and spend the whole morning watching this train.  I just. Don't. Get. It.

Still.  Breakfast with Santa was a success, and we had a blast!
Christmas is way, way more fun when you have a little.  :)


So, the month of December has been flying by.  We have been busy, busy Ottos.

But as crazy as a month of a month as it has been, we took time out to put up the tree as a family.  I used to love doing this with my family, and am really glad it is becoming part of our Christmas tradition.

Here, Vivi and her new Lobster Purse (yes, you read that correctly and it is awesome) explore the beauty that is our Christmas tree.

While Russ and I handled the more breakable ornaments, we did save some non-breakable ornaments for her to hang.  She was very excited and took it very seriously.

She was so gentle with everything, and was so excited to be a big helper.

And then the stockings were hung by the chimney with care...
...and the Ottos were decked out with sweet Christmas flare!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Tale of Two Expressions

In what I thought to be quite a witty move, we had Vivi practice doing "Happy Smiles" before going to take the cousin photo.

She really has a nice little smile.
Number of Happy Smiles captured at the cousin photo?  Very few.  Number of grumpy frowns captured  at the cousin photo?
Many, my friends.  Many.


We interrupt this regularly scheduled Thanksgiving re-cap to bring you this amazing news story:

Did the celestial angels  just burst into song at your house?  Because I'm pretty sure they just did here.

We are so proud of you, Vivi!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cousin Photos

While everyone was in town, we decided to take a cousin photo!  We hadn't attempted such a feat since Noah was about 6 months old...well before the time of Vivi and Charlie.  When Grandpapi brought it up, we all wondered why we hadn't done it in so long.

Turns out that it may be easier once they are older and more directable.  Ty, Shawn, Eva and Noah were all great.  Our darling, adorable wild cards, Vivi and Charlie...hit or miss.  Mostly, miss.

But more on this later.

We get our photos taken at a place where you can actually view your photos and then have them printed in the same day.  It's great, really.  But wrangling 6 small ones while trying to make a decision among 6 people is difficult.  So I hung back and watched the small ones play.  It was actually pretty cute.

The great thing about kids is that they can find SOMETHING to entertain themselves.  Most of the time.  In this case, a festive lighted ficus became the fun focus.  Vivi and Eva played "Jungle Kids."  This seemed to involve a lot of hiding.

Eva was very careful to explain "Jungle Kids" to Vivi, who had never played before.  Vivi listened very carefully.

Shawn also dropped by to play in the ficus.  Amazingly, he brought his own fish.  Jungle Kids apparently LOVE fish.

Unfortunately, "Jungle Kids" was brought to a screeching halt when all three Jungle Kids figured out how to break off the rocks from the fake ficus and attempted to feed them to Shawn's fish.
I kid you not, this discovery was almost simultaneous.  Time to re-focus, kids!  Before Mommy/Aunt Anna gets to buy a ficus!