Tuesday, April 16, 2013


And, of course, there was swimming.

Vivi spent a lot of time playing, "Captain" with Russ and Kyler, letting them pull her around on a raft while she "captained" the boat.

I'd let her captain the ship.  She seems pretty happy.

But the real (and very random) hit of the pool was the logs.  A series of four "logs" chained to the bottom of the pool that you could run across to get to the opposite platform.  For the older kids, there were monkey bars to help you across.  These were, perhaps for taller kids.

But certainly not for braver ones.  Height did not stop Miss Vivi.  She simply found a work-around, the logical little thing.  She got Russ to come and steady the logs, and...

...leap-frogged her way across the pool.

She was very, very proud of herself.
 So proud, we did it about 900 more times.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Back to Iowa

We got to go back to King's Pointe in March!  Vivi was very excited to stay at a hotel again.  She was even more excited about the new methods of transportation to which she was introduced.

Who wouldn't want to ride down to the pool on her very own trolley?

 After we swam, she relaxed and watched movies with Kyler and Spencer while we adults watched basketball (a matter of supreme indifference to Vivi).

And, when the IPad grew boring, there was running.  An outrageous amount of running.  Jory (Kyler and Kella's cousin) was kind enough to chase the other three kids up and down the hall as they raced.
 I'm pretty sure the other guests were really excited we came.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Todd Comes to Play...

Vivi LOVES when Todd and Michelle come over.  She has no problem hi-jacking one or both of them to join in whatever game she has concocted.  And heaven help them if Noah is over as well, because resistance is futile.  Some manner of madness will ensue.  Recently: couch pillows.
 It all began innocently enough.  I believe they were planning on building a fort.

This did not last long, because what better use of giant pillows than to squash your goddaughter.  

Noah quickly leapt to her rescue, as did Charlie, the traitor.   Actually, he may just have been trying to lick people's faces.  But I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on that one.

Then they ganged up on him, and Todd was doomed.  DOOMED.

Eventually the "fort" was constructed, although it looked rather like a corral.
 Not necessarily a bad idea.

Every time Todd tried to leave the fort, they both yelled, "NOOOOO!"
I think he finally escaped when we served dinner.  And that in and of itself was a close call.  Unfortunately, Todd escaped to my botched attempt at Pad Thai.  Imprisonment may have been the better option.  But that's a different story for a different blog, my friends....

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cousins Ahoy!

We got in a little cousin time last month.  It was tons of fun!  Vivi is finally getting old enough to play with everyone else, and the boys were kind enough to indulge her.  There was a random laundry basket laying around, and...well.
She had no trouble putting all three of them to work.

They hauled her all around the first floor as she cackled and urged them to, "GO FASTER!"
Strangely, they all willingly complied.

Eventually they got tired, and she managed to sucker Uncle Joe into captaining the ship.
Turns out he can go much faster than the boys.

And, when even Uncle Joe got tired, she spent some time hiding under the basket and yelling, "SAVE ME!  I'M IN A CAGE!"
Shawn was very, very confused as to why someone would willingly imprison themselves. Child ain't no fool.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Get Out, Ollie

Dang right that's a fort.
 Made of couch cushions.  In our living room.  It's Vivi's new favorite pastime.   She pleads very sweetly for us to build them, and then hangs out in there.  It is alternately a castle, a dragon lair, or whatever she is feeling like.

Porter could care less when we make forts, but Ollie?
Ollie really wants in.

And Vivi is having none of it.  Ever.
That's okay.  Ollie is sneaky.

But not sneaky enough.
Yes, that's right.  I'm in there, too, defending the keep from the fierce Schmaltz.  (Child, please.  Like there was going to be a giant pillow fort and I WASN'T going to get in there?  Don't be silly).

"Mom, PLEASE.  I so want to be in there with you and Vivi."
And Vivi's response?  "Get out, Ollie."  Poor thing.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Diggin' Up Bones

One of the gifts Vivi received for Christmas was a dinosaur excavation kit.  When I bought it, it said "Ages 5 and up" on the box.  I pooh-poohed this, thinking that it would be an easy, sand-shifting, 10 minute project.  Imagine our surprise when we finally gave in to her pleas to "dig up a real dinosaur" and unpacked a giant rock, a real metal hammer and scraping brush, complete with safety glasses.  I immediately thought, "Oh, dear."  5 and up may have been generous.  Vivi, however, was thrilled.

At first, she approached with trepidation, tapping it very gently.

That didn't last long.  She was soon banging away at the giant rock (see?  not kidding) like a real paleontologist.
 (who wears fabulous red nerd glasses)

She was kind enough to let Russ and I chip away at things while she honed her brushing skills.

Somehow, Russ escaped the safety glasses while using the hammer.  However, when my turn came, Vivi put a hold on things and exclaimed, "Mommy!  You need to be safe!"  I tried to pass it off as concern for her safety, but...to no avail.

Best not to think about what this says in regard to her confidence in my excavation skills.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Every so often, Aunt Kate and Noah stay the night at our house. This is one of Vivi's favorite things, because a: Noah is there to play in the morning, and b: We are almost guaranteed to have waffles or pancakes.  Both of these are good things.

Somehow, after the last time they spent the night, a pillow fight ensued the following morning.  It was Russ against the two kids.  Not a very fair fight.  They did not seem to care.
 At all, really.

At one point, Noah and Russ teamed up against Vivi.

Clearly, she was really upset by this.

She retaliated by running and leaping on to them.

Which Noah seemed to find hilarious.
Sometimes, cousin mornings are the best.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

From the Man in Red...

And did Santa come through in the end?  Yes, he did.

Which apparently scared Vivi at first.

 Pascal made an appearance, so Vivi can be her own Rapunzel.
 (She had been using a small, green Triceratops as "Pascal" for months, and it was breaking my heart)

Curious George was a big hit!
Even if Grandma looks a little freaked out.

Of course, Santa did not disappoint, and the much-wished for Robot Dinosaur Car was found in her stocking.
He is very loud.  A surprise, there.

And, last but certainly not least...
...a fuzzy pink hat.  Those of you who knew me in college may remember (fondly or not) my OBSESSION with fuzzy hats.  I really feel like Aunt Becky and Uncle Jake were channeling my 22 year old self, and am thrilled that Vivi also seems to share the deep appreciation for wearing fuzzy hats.

Christmas?  A success.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Christmas Eve

...was very busy for Vivi.  She had an agenda!  After Christmas Eve mass, she began.  Energy was riding high, and her plans were....eclectic.   She began by taking Mr Frog for a nice, Christmas Eve drive.

Then, we went to visit Great Grandma!  While we were all chatting, Grandma Otto and Vivi "practiced sleeping for Santa."

I'm not sure how much "practicing" Grandma was doing.  It might have been a functional example.

However, the calmness couldn't last long, so she soon took to chasing Grandma all over the house.  
 Grandma is very patient.

When we came home, Vivi sat down to write a letter to Santa, and put together a plate of milk and cookies, complete with carrots for the reindeer.

Might have been getting a LITTLE tired at this point.
(but see the awesome letter to Santa?)

She tried to put in one good effort of a final smile, and then it was off to bed...
...where visions of dino cars danced in her head.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

On the Road Again...

We Ottos headed back to Durant for Christmas this year!  It was really, really nice.  Despite being delayed one day due to the monstrous snowstorm, we made it back, and so did Aunt Becky and Uncle Jake.  The night we got there, our friends the Daufeldts came over to visit, too.  Vivi was thrilled to have a squadron of new people to play with.  

She celebrated by "letting" Aunt Becky and Grandma push her across the living room on the CornPopper car. It started innocently enough. 

However, it soon descended into madness, accompanied by lots of little-girl giggles.

And many histrionics.
Someone is a BIT of a ham.

And, always, with a big finish upon reaching Grandma.

When that grew tiring, she treated us all to a "dance party performance."
We may need to enroll her in tap.  Or ballet.  Something to break the Carey dancing cycle before it starts.

She then finished the night by riding a reindeer with Kylie.
Which kind of seemed to freak out Sugar, Aunt Becky and Uncle Jake's dog.  Poor thing.  It was so nice to go back for a good chunk of time and really get to enjoy seeing everyone.  More on Iowa to follow...