Monday, September 24, 2012

To the Fly Boat, Wonder Pets!

I have so much to blog about.  We have been busy Ottos.  And I have the photos to prove it.  But I'm going to "phone it in," as it were, for this post, because it is too cute not to share immediately.  Our small one, riding in the fly boat, having the time of her freaking life.  I love, love, love how excited she is.
What's gonna work?  Team work!  Celery all around!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dance Party, USA

Lately, Vivi has been trying to trick Russ into dancing with her.  Sounds terrible, doesn't it?  What little girl should have to trick her daddy into dancing with her?

It all starts out so innocently...
 La dah de daaah, dee dummm...

Then, suddenly...wait.  What's this?
 Suddenly, Vivi's legs have all the stiffness of cooked spaghetti, and she starts chanting, "SWING ME!  SWING ME!"

Russ's protests that they are dancing, not swinging, go unheeded as our small jellyfish continues to flop around on the floor, refusing to use her legs.

But, in the end, Russ will always swing her, and it always ends like this.
 To be honest, I don't think he minds being tricked into dancing all that much.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tiny, Shiny, and...Vivi

You know what else was awesome about Fontanelle Forest?  The basement. 

If you actually come inside and go downstairs, there is a dinosaur encounter set up in the entire basement, complete with fossil dig.  Now, I'm sure you are all a bit tired of seeing my child excavate bits of ground rubber, and are inwardly sighing.

But have you seen something so hilarious as this?
 A little pteranodon, digging for fossils (ironic, no?).

Fontanelle Forest houses a number of costumes in the basement, among them the cast of Dinosaur Train, a show very popular in both our house and Parker's.  Vivi and Parker quite monopolized the costumes and were hilarious.  The hugeness of the heads and their tiny bodies was too funny as they raced around the entire area.
Here Buddy models the "Buddy" head with a most charming smile.

Hint: Vivi has tossed around the idea of a dinosaur as Halloween, which I am VERY EXCITED about.
 However.  Don't hold your breath.  We all know how the much talked about "Mermaid Birthday Party" turned out.  Sigh.  Stay tuned, bat-fans...or dino fans.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Day with P-Rex

As we have seen before, Vivi is fortunate enough to have some friends who are just as obsessed with dinosaurs as she is.  This leads to amazing dino adventures, and we recently had an awesome one with Parker "P-Rex" Aerni.

This adventure required a drive all the way to Omaha.  They remained undaunted.
 Note: Parker calls these his special "dinosaur-finding glasses."  I, on the other hand, think they both look vaguely like Elton John, at different life stages.  Awesome.

At any rate, we had to drive to Fontanelle Forest, which is awesome.  A mile long boardwalk through a beautiful forest.  Every year, they have a theme, and you "search" for the theme as you wander along the path.  Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what the theme is for 2012?

Vivi got out of the car, saw this statue/bench, and immediately shrieked, "IT'S A DINOSAUR!" and went to climb up on it.  Having been there before, Parker, is a seasoned veteran, and patiently explained, "No, Vivi.  The dinosaurs are in the forest.  This is a buffalo."
 She seems shocked, Parker, smug.  We moved on.

Lucky for Vivi, there were dinosaurs EVERYWHERE in the forest.  I have to admit, it was pretty impressive.
 Here, a Parasauralofus.  The difference between this and good old Sauralofus?  No idea.  They look the same.  I was glad she did not ask because ?????  But the sign clearly said...

It became a game between Parker and Vivi to see who could spot the dinos first.
Unfortunately, Vivi kept pointing to random things like large sticks, claiming they were dinosaurs.  Competitive, that one.

They soon started to work together to find the dinos.

And they stopped in the middle of the boardwalk to do Vivi's famous "Dinosaur Dance."
Parker has got some seriously sweet moves.

And at the end?  T-Rex.
Vivi was convinced that the T-Rex had been sleeping, and that she and Parker had very bravely woken him up.

This place is seriously a hidden gem of Omaha.  I cannot wait to go back.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Zoo. Omaha Style.

Grandma and Grandpa Otto came to visit last month!  To celebrate, we decided to take Vivi to the Omaha Zoo for the first time.  We were on the road by 8:30.  This is how Vivi and I felt about getting up and flying around on a Saturday:
 (I'm pretty sure Grandpa doesn't mind getting up.  I think he was just playing along.)

Of course, our child found the only dinosaur related thing in the ENTIRE ZOO within 5 minutes of entering the place.  It took quite a bit of time to convince her to move away from the fossil dig.  Never mind that there was an entire zoo (9 acres!) full of never-seen before animals waiting.  We found fossils, people!

Finally, we convinced her to move on by promising to see bears.
 For some reason, none of us really look like we are certain that we really want to see them.  Perhaps you had to be there to feel the excitement.  It was tangible, I promise.

The zoo involves a lot of walking, and for a mom with a bum ankle, a grandma about to have knee replacement surgery, and a three year old, it was a challenge.  So, we decided to ride Skyfari, a sky tram that floats you from one end of the zoo to the other, blisfully able to stare down at the animals below you.

It was bloody terrifying.  I was unprepared for this.  You dangle, helpless, above all KINDS of things.  Water.  Cement.  Leopards that would doubtlessly devour you if the Skyfari chain broke.  Who in the name of Mike thought this was a good idea?  I sat white-knuckled the entire (very long) ride.

Vivi, of course, loved it.

I tried to get a family photo on Skyfari, hoping to distract myself from my terror.
Of course, no.

The highlight for Vivi was the aquarium.  She was strangely intent on seeing a sea turtle.  It really was awesome to see her amazement.
"Mommy!  Sharks are swimming on top of our heads!"

She was fascinated.  And there were sharks AND sea turtles.
I loved it.  I can't wait to go back.  And to ride the train.

Monday, September 3, 2012


This is why we shop at Hy-Vee.

Well, I mean, it's not the ONLY reason.  But it is a big part of it.

At the Williamsburg  Hy-Vee, if you ask for a coin when you check out,they will give you a token so you can ride the horse.  (I have yet to see if they will give ME one, if Vivi is not present.  I'll let you know what I find out.)

She gets so excited when we go there, because she knows what will happen if she's very good.

To be honest, I think the other shoppers get a kick out of hearing her yell, "GO, MAXIMUS!" as they are entering or exiting the store.  
I know I do.