Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Kael

Today is Kael's birthday.  And, as his dad said, I'm sure he is having one heck of a party up in heaven.

We are trying very hard to help Vivi understand heaven, and what it means.  It's not easy at the age of two and a half, but it is so important to us to have her understand that.  We know that this will come with time and age, but we try to explain things as best we can for her age and knowledge.

Derek and Dawn asked us to send balloons up to Kael on the 7th, the anniversary of the day he passed away.  We were very happy to do so, as we want Vivi to remember Kael and to know that he is in heaven.
Of course, we chose Iowa State colored balloons.

We went outside and said a prayer as a family.
Vivi was very sweet, and patted Russ and I as we got teary, and told is "It's okay, Mommy.  It's okay, Daddy."  And then we let the balloons go.  And you know what?  It was okay.  It felt great to say a little prayer, and to send up a sign of love to heaven and one special little guy who is waiting for us there, along with all our other loved ones who we will see again.

Vivi watched the balloons until she couldn't see them anymore, and kept telling us, "Those are for Kael.  Balloons for Kael in heaven."  I think it helps her understand.  I hope so.  I hope she continues to grow in faith and knowledge and will one day find the same comfort that we do in that our loved ones are not ever gone.  That they are waiting to see us again, and that one day we will be reunited.
On Vivi's birthday, there will be a 5-K in Ames in Kael's name, and we are so very excited to go.  To be there with our friends and to get to do something so meaningful will make that day all the more special.

Happy, happy birthday, Kael.  Love, the Ottos

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Very Pinterest Christmas

Pinterest lent itself to more than just my and Aunt Maria's gifts.  Aunt Erin and Aunt Kate also found great ideas on the site!  Aunt Erin made the cutest snow many ornaments for each of her nieces and nephews, and Aunt Kate made...well, check it out.
It's a monster.

Well, it's a pajama eater, to be exact.  It's mouth unzips and you put your pajamas in it during the day.  It's pretty dang cute.
Vivi really likes him.  Currently he hangs out in the basement, eating things like cupcakes and rocks (why not?  what do monsters eat?).  But, as there is A BIG GIRL BED headed to our house...we figure he will help make the transition easier!
Bienvenidos, monster!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Two Looks for the Holidays...

So, Christmas happened.  And it was awesome.  In the grand tradition of the Kardashians, Bridezillas, and other well-known crazies of the 21st century, Vivi did not let the occasion pass without a wardrobe change.  Her first Christmas Eve look was more...traditional.
We found her this lovely, sparkly little girl dress, a perfect Christmas outfit.  What we DIDN'T know was that this little gem would drip glitter like an open wound, leaving a sparkly trail behind us that was relatively amazing.  The people who sat in the pew at the mass after us must have thought that a passel of fairies had gone to war at the previous mass.

Here she is saying, "Gingerbread!" which she now says instead of "Cheese!"  Thanks for that one, Bubble Guppies.
There's no explanation for, it, really.  I think it is pretty hilarious, but do wish it led to an actual smile instead of a ginger-grimace.

Her second look of the evening came courtesy of the Sanchez-Masis.  Aunt Maria joined in the homemade Christmas, and turned out bathrobe/capes for all of the kids.  Vivi opened hers first, and refused to take it off for the entire rest of the gift opening.  The effect was...wonderful (pun intended).
Yes, that's right.  Vivi spent most of Christmas Eve swathed in a Wonder Woman cape.  I was so very proud.
And I kind of like that it makes her look like "The Blob," out to engulf everyone's Christmas gifts.

My baby's got style!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What a Wonderful World It Could Be...

So last night, Russ and I were sitting around watching Pawn Stars on the History Channel when a gent came in with an antique pedal car (what, you don't know what that is?  google it.  they're awesome).  He thought he had a real find and was going to make a ton of money.  Imagine his surprise when Rick told him it wasn't an antique, it was new, because they still make them.  I'll be honest, I have no idea what happened after that point (did Rick buy it still?  How much?  Who knows?) because I was busy waving my arms like a windmill, screeching "Grab the I-pad!" and whacking Russ's shoulder like he was some sort of weird carnival game.

Turns out Rick knows his stuff, and yes, they do still make them.  They sell them on Amazon and they are amazing.  How sweet is this thing?
Later, after Russ and I went to bed, I found that Russ was as intrigued as I was (nearly).  He searched Craigslist, but we didn't fine one.  So we turned off the light.  Silly Russ thought he would get to go to sleep.

Me: Seriously, babe, how cool would that be for her birthday.
Russ: It really is pretty awesome.
Me: I know.  I want one.
Russ: It's pretty cool.  We'll have to talk about it.
Me: I totally picture her zooming down the street with Ollie in the passenger seat.
Russ: There is no way in hell Ollie would ever sit in the passenger seat of that thing.
Me: Yeah.  Good point.  It would probably be her and Jack.
Russ: Yeah.
Me: Babe, if we get that for her, I'm totally going to make Jack goggles and a helmet.
Russ (very quietly): I am totally shaking my  head at you right now.  I just want you to know that.
Me: Challenge accepted.

Ridiculous.  Just to let you know, I did NOT tell him about my dream where they make adult-sized pedal cars and we all go cruising as a family.  Not yet.  Better to break him in slowly.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Things I Should Have Blogged About in 2011

Happy 2012, Blog World.  I am so dang glad to bid adieu to 2011.

I was going through our photos and moving things to the digital hard drive, and found these photos.  I smiled and wondered why I didn't blog them when they were taken.  Then I realized they were taken during the "it feels like too much work to turn on the computer" part of this year.  It made me think about something that I never really addressed while it was happening, and I feel like what the heck.  It's a new year, a new era, and things are good.  So if you don't feel like reading any sentimentality, come back tomorrow.
Fact 1: Getting hit by a truck jacks up your life.
Fact 2: Mentally recovering from getting hit by a truck takes a lot longer than the physical recovery.  Although we're still going through that, too.

It's really something to be totally dependent on other people.  I needed my husband, my daughter, my siblings, my parents, and my friends in a way I haven't since I last had surgery.  And let me tell you, it's one thing to have surgery that you know you need to stay alive, and another to have surgery because some dude ran a stop sign and affects every thing you know about yourself.

I am so, so very grateful for all of you.  Thank you.  Thank you, Russ, for supporting me while I mentally readjusted my image of myself.  For helping me get through all the physical stuff, but all the hard mental times as well.  I could not have done this without you there hugging me when my physical therapist told me I may never wear high heels again (I'm excited to prove her wrong, btw), and for laughing with me I needed to laugh.

Thank you to my family.  For Mom and Dad, for basically letting me live at their house for 3 weeks post-accident (long story--have you ever had a new roof installed?  In August?  It is noisy and hot), and for helping me get coffee, food, and water through out the days when I could not carry anything.  For Kate, for tirelessly being there to help with Vivi, to help look for shoes (even when I got grouchy), and for moving in for a week when Russ traveled, and I couldn't do stupid things like giving Vivi a bath.  For Maria, Joe, Kate, Erin, John, Gene, Sue, Becky and Jake, for all the prayers, support, and the knowledge that any one of you would have been at our house in a heartbeat if we had asked.

To my friends, for visiting me and cheering me up, and for all the prayers and help you gave us, especially Russ while he was being Mr. Mom.

This has been a long, lame road, and I think we are on the upswing.  But all your support made it happen.

And when I was struggling, coming home and capturing scenes like this kept me sane.
 Vivi was always there, always wanting to play, and always cheering me up.  Flying through the living room and laughing her head off.

 How can you be upset when you have this to come home to?  No matter what happened, and continues to happen, I am lucky.  I got to come home.

2011?  Not my favorite year. 

 But this makes it all worth it.
Thank you all, again.  I didn't blog about it, and maybe I should have, but I just don't think I was ready.  But the heck with it.  By the time it gets nice again (sadly, we are back down in the 22 degree area--boo), I will be able to go for a walk with Russ and Vivi.  And that makes it a very, very happy new year.

Here's to 2012, yall.