Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Shoot It!

And from Mommy and Daddy?  Among other things...a basketball hoop.

She's actually rather good at it, despite having my genes.

Some serious training from Russ...
"Bend your knees and push up and out..."  (this brought back shudder-inducing memories of gym class)

And tossing some up high, just for the heck of it...
You don't always need to sink the shot.  Sometimes it's way more fun just to toss it really high...

Team Otto for the win!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Among the many amazing gifts given to Vivi by her awesome friends was one very intriguing package.  Whatever could be inside of....that?
(And no, it wasn't what it looks like, thank heavens)

It was...

Despite her prophylactic-esque wrappings, Cera is amazing (and I can't fault Aunt Kate for the wrap job-no pun intended-I helped with that beast, and it is NOT EASY TO PACKAGE A TRICERATOPS).  Cera is slightly larger than Vivi's Rody, and is made for hours of dino-related fun.

She now presides over the living room alongside Rody, amazing everyone who sees her.
What other three-year old has a ride-on Triceratops?  I ask you.  A fabulous birthday indeed.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Party..Part Deux

So...Vivi had a birthday party.  And it was awesome.  It was also FRAUGHT WITH DRAMA.  For me.  Not her.  You see, almost three months ago, Vivi announced that she wanted a mermaid birthday party.  Fabulous,  I thought!  Darling!   So I started planning.  And plotting.  SHE HAD HER OWN PINBOARD, INTERWEB.  Then, right as I was getting ready to purchase things to make the invites, she announced to me that mermaids were "not very cool," and that she really wanted a "Hiccup and Toothless party."

What's a mother to do.  I wanted her to have a great party.  So...off we went.  Dragons and Vikings it was.  I won't bore you with the 9 million OTHER things that went awry whilst planning this party.  It all turned out fine.  And she loved it.  Aunt Kate and Aunt Maria, and my BFF Jill came through with some awesome genuine viking gear, which thrilled her to the tips of her toes.

Have you ever seen a cuter Viking?

And, due to Aunt Kate's watchful eye, we discovered that Russ's still makes "How to Train Your Dragon" cakes.  Because trust me when I say, no one else does.
That's right.  Toothless, Hiccup, and a Viking War Ship.

Not a bad way to celebrate turning three.
For the second time.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Om Nom Nom..and Dinos

You didn't think we would let a birthday pass without cake, did you?  Heck-to-the-no.  Because Vivi loves both ice cream and cake (sadly, more ice cream than cake) we decided to compromise with the best of both worlds and get an ice cream cake from Coldstone.  She was thrilled.
Apparently, so was Uncle Jake.

While we waited, she could not help but sneak a taste.  Or two.
Or three.  What the heck.  And then...

It was candles out!

The ice cream cake was a big success.

A very big success!

And then?  A day of Dinosaurs!  She unwrapped some truly fabulous shirts from Aunt Becky and Uncle Jake.  But what left her truly awestruck?
DINO DAN!  We have watched this.  A lot.  It is awesome.

And from Grandma and Grandpa Otto? 
DINO SHIRT!  Who wouldn't love that guy?

It was one heck of a third birthday, let me tell you.  We were so excited to spend it with the Otto/Bills clan!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog to bring you some major news:

Vivi turned three on Saturday.

I can hardly believe it.  She is growing up so fast.  And we got to spend her birthday in the most amazing way.  We attended the first annual Kael Man Run in Ames!  Our friends have done something truly amazing and organized a 5 K fundraising run/walk in memory of their son.  The proceeds will help fund adoptions for families who want to share their hearts with a child.  It was truly, truly amazing to be a part of that outpouring of support.  So, we got up bright and early to participate!
Grandma and Grandpa Otto, and Aunt Becky and Uncle Jake were able to make it as well, and they were all kind enough to walk with me, as I am still a little shaky in the ankle area (and let's be honest, a 5K probably wasn't in the cards, ankle injury or no, unless something really big was chasing me).

We had a blast, and it was an honor to be there for our friends.  Vivi amused herself while we chatted by making friends of her own and feeding the fish in the adjacent lake.

When we got back to the hotel, we were in need of a cool-down.  It's stupid hot in Iowa right now.  So, we participated in another one of Vivi's favorite activities...

She spent most of the time jumping off the side of the pool and letting Daddy and/or Grandpa catch her.
She was loving it!

This makes me want a pool of our own...
Happy Birthday, sweet baby girl.  I love you so much, and I cannot, cannot WAIT to celebrate with you on Saturday!  I love you, small one.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Father's Day!

For Fathers Day this year, we got to do something very special.  Durant has an old-fashioned passenger train that runs from Durant and West Liberty.  Grandma and Grandpa Otto were kind enough to get us tickets!

Vivi was very, very excited to get to ride on a real train.

It was fun to do something really special with Daddy!

When the train reached West Liberty, we were able to get off, use the rest room, and grab a drink.  Vivi was weirdly attracted to the Port-a-Pottys.  I was very, very glad that there was a kid-sized train to distract her.
Of course, she wanted to drive.

It was a very, very nice way to spend Fathers Day.
Vivi loves Russ so much!  Happy Fathers Day, babe!