We are doomed! 10 years has passed and our little girl is in the DOUBLE DIGITS!
Ellen: "No, Olivia! It's really time for bed!"
"But mom! It's not even 8:30!"
"No, don't you remember, we changed hours. It's actually 9:30!"
"Because of... the weather... and stuff... IT'S TIME FOR BED!"
This one is actually pretty big, probably 5 lbs or so.
And since everyone likes a highlight reel...
Note: in the early years, Ellen and Amber would carry auxiliary candy buckets and hand them off as one got too heavy to hold. This time Olivia hauled the same bag the whole time.
Of course I sent her out in the hurricane for these shots. It cost me two Monster High dolls.
Yes, that's a black belt, a little bit more than four years later. Woot!
Notice Olivia in the background acting like a cave man.
Not posed at all. Really!
And that's what six hours at the pool on your birthday will get you. I used to wonder why my parents were so happy to dump me off at the pool as early as possible. I don't wonder anymore.
Onward and upward!
I've got a pair of little girls dancing and singing to Katy Perry with the rig thundering behind them, complaining about kamikaze ninja kittens trying to gnaw their ankles off right now. I'm more than a little wistful, since I know she'll be snarling at me and dating someone who uses "there" possively in less than four years. But I will remember this.
I SAID, I WILL REMEMBER THIS! WHAT PART OF 'TEH THUNDAR' DIDN'T YOU GET?!?
"Daddy! Look! A teddy bear!"
This is our "start of summer" tradition, me and Olivia. It used to be called "Andrews Air Force Base Open House." Nowadays it's called the "JSOC Air Show." It's one of the biggest air shows (airshows) on the Eastern seaboard. This is our "fourth annual." But that's not what's really important, this time.
"Yes, Olivia, but it's early." Really early. We LIKE really early with this airshow, because it seems like half the Eastern seaboard shows up for it. Except for this time, since we finally got smart enough to leverage our good friend Chris with a DOD clearance to take us out on Friday. But that's not what's really important, this time.
"No, daddy, really! Look! A teddy bear!"
It was 9:30. In the morning. There were, I kid you not, two MILES of vendors to patrol, as she looked with greed at this vendor's tent. I didn't even really see the dratted thing, but I knew an opportunity. So, finally I get to teach Olivia this lesson AGAIN.
"Ok, that's great. But there's so much to look at. We know where this vendor is. We'll come back, when the airshow is over."
And, miracle of miracles, she said, "OK!"
Now, she's still not-quite 9, and for the rest of the airshow she was a GENUINE pain in the ass when she figured out what would get her what she wanted.
"I want to sit down! I want to sit down! I want to sit down! Iwanttositdown! You know, I won't badger you anymore if you let me sit down!"
"Ice cream! Ice cream ice cream ice creamice creamicecreamicecream I won't badger you anymore..."
"Camera! Cameracameracameracameracameracameracameracameracamera I won't badger you anymore..."
And finally I boiled over. "FINE!!!! YOU WANT THIS CAMERA, HERE!!! HAVE IT!!!" Chris even looked up, I guess to make sure he'd know which way her head was going to pop off as I threw the strap over her. You know, so he could catch it. Camera, head, at that point I didn't care.
But she didn't mention that bear. Because she (finally) knew that, by waiting she'd get it, no questions asked. She knew I'd made a promise. Little kids forget those sorts of promises. You stay calm, and they get distracted, and it's like ice melting into a drain. Big kids remember, and break a little when they realize their parents have forgotten. I knew that, from all the cracks I carry to this day.
So, after all the hours of baking sun and thwirring propellers and frightening thunder and one helluva performance by Olivia's favorite Blue Angels, we were done. And Olivia says, "Now we can go get my bear!"
Ok. That's fine. I guess I have a big kid now. Easy enough. Back in the day, there would be a HUGE fight that would include me, my dad, my mom, my brother (who only wanted the same thing I did) just because the vendor was, literally, a mile away. But *I* was going to be the big man, not make the same mistake. It's just a walk.
"Ok, Olivia, let's go."
It was only as we were walking toward that quite far distant vendor stand, "BLUE ANGELS SOUVENIRS," that I realized my lesson was boomeranging right back at me. Right in the teeth.
The vendor stand? The only one I remember with that damned bear? Over a two mile strip? The one *I* made her walk past, to teach some stupid lesson?
Yeah. It was closed. Covered up with the black plastic that smothered my dreams of being a decent dad.
Olivia saw it just after I did. It was like someone had put a hair dryer over her head. She literally started to melt.
Chris saved us both. "Hey, Olivia! There's another Blue Angels booth!"
Sure enough, if I dodged my head under the C-17 to our left, I could see that same banner. And they were still open!
Now, I'm not one to be arrogant about being saved. No sauntering here. "Olivia! Maybe you should go run, and make sure they have your bear!"
And, as I watched, the foil came off her trust, she did.
You all *thought* I just fostered kittens! Last year it was a squirrel, this year we have mice. SEVEN of them.
Don't worry. I tell Olivia not to wash her hands after handling them. How else are you supposed to not have allergies against your pets? Get dirty!
On stage. By herself. Will she get on stage with me? No.
We did not get the cold and wet stuff this year, but PINK blossoms was an awesome exchange!
Driving home from Tae Kwon Do, Me: "I found something really cool Olivia. I found some pictures of my old stereo equipment, the first set I ever had back when I was a kid. We only had records then."
Olivia: "Oh that's cool! Did it have the flower, too?"
"Flower? What flower?"
"You know, it's that big cone thing that opens up into a flower, sits on top of the stereo. Like those statues at that awards show last week."
"Olivia, my first stereo was not a gramophone."
"But it would've been cool!"
Olivia's art subjects, like her spelling, can sometimes be startling...
Olivia's Question: "Dad! What's that place you went to? You know, the one with all the copies of things?"
Eventually I guessed the correct answer, "Las Vegas."
Brought me right back to my sysadmin days, running the help desk. Pretty much the opposite of good times then, but plenty good today.
So, on weekends, Olivia gets to stay up 'till 10.
At 10:05, Ellen shouts up: "OLIVIA!!! BED TIME!!!"
"no, mommie, it's not ten yet."
The thing is, her "new" TV includes a cable box with a big f'ing digital clock on the front of it. Being a well-seasoned married couple, as this muffled reply echoed down stairs I looked at Ellen, just at the point she looked at me, as we remembered this fact together.
Ellen, and me, together: "OLIVIA!!!"
Count to three.
"oh, wait, yes it is. Goodnight!"
"Dad! It's out of tune! It sounds like a ukulele!"
Olivia doesn't take surprises well. She got a double dose of that, one from each side. Witness her reaction when, on her triumphant ride back from her holiday camp, when told she was still going to have to practice violin. A digression...
This "camp" was what she insisted on attending, even though I had the day off. Being a dad, I didn't quite understand why it was so important to stuff every Monster High doll she owned (and she owns many) into her backpack that morning. Until I went to pick her up.
"Olivia! Your dolls are so beautiful! Can I take this one home?"
Olivia, gently: "No, but I'll bring her back next time."
"Olivia, can I have this one?"
"No, but when we come back..."
And so it went.
Me, as we walked to the car: "Oh, I see. You just wanted everyone to see how cool your dolls were, right?"
Olivia, looking left as we walked right, and quietly: "No, dad, I was wanting to share."
Earlier, before I set out to pick her up, as Ellen walked down the stairs talking on the phone to her band... sorry, ORCHESTRA instructor, "Yes. I see."
To me: "Her teacher said, 'The other girls yell at her when she messes up, and she just nods and takes it. And then, just when I think she's not paid attention to a single thing I've said, she picks up the bow and plays it better than anyone in the class. That's why I gave her a solo.'"
"DAD! It's not right! It's not in tune!"
So I decided to stick to our practice schedule, even though this is technically a day off. 15 minutes of practice, no more, no less.
"It's not right!"
"Play your D scale."
So she did, and it wasn't right. When she went to the third string, it was a half step, not a full step.
"Again, but slowly this time."
Up, and a half step. Down, and a half step. The fret is marked, and so I know she's got the right fingerings.
And I'll be damned. Not six months of playing, and she can tell when her violin is BADLY out of tune. And I can't.
I have no idea what it really means, other than a little girl who I remember had trouble walking up inclines now can tell when the violin isn't tuned right.
And that makes all the difference.
Our girl playing violin!
"Daddy! We're studying The Odyssey in Latin class! Let me tell you about the Cyclops!"
Ok, when Olivia's talking about literature, the finer points of what counts as Latin literature versus Greek is not all that important. Heck, let's be honest, the Romans read that poem even more often than we do now. What followed was a bit garbled, but passable as that tale.
Fast forward past bath time and a bit of family TV time. Olivia: "Daddy, can we read something from your new Kindle?"
Yes, folks, thanks to a genuinely generous gift from the Qween Mutha (aka Ellen's mom Suzanne), I am now in the 21st century with my reading. But my choice of books is sparse, and not particularly kid friendly. Since you've read this far, you know what I suggested.
"Oh, wow, dad, that would be awesome. Will you read it to me?"
For whatever reason, I can't string two words together out loud but I'm able to read out loud without stuttering or stammering a bit. Reading poetry is fun, especially when it's an English attempt to render iambic pentameter nearly three thousand years old. So I was more than happy to start sailing across
Olympus reading with really interesting
"Daddy! My turn!"
And, for me, that's where the magic happened. There are tales of Gilgamesh which are older but were lost for longer than they were known. There are tales of Abraham and Moses, which are better known. But the Blind Bard's works stand at the headwaters of a river that clashed against that of the ancient Bible and, together, formed the world we know today. It started out being told around campfires crackling, twisted sawdust smoke throwing sparks in the sky. The music is lost, but the words have lived on, words... these words, written by a poet who literally stood at the dawn of writing. Words that were read by Socrates, Herodotus, Aristotle, Augustus, Augustine, Becket, Heloise, Eleanor, Newton, Jefferson, Lincoln, Anthony, Roosevelt, Kennedy, and...
And my little girl, halting, yes, but with growing confidence.
Tell me, O muse, of that ingenious hero who travelled far and wide...
Since it doesn't have a pulse, and doesn't respirate, it's legal. Durability is always an issue with these things, hopefully it'll last more than a few weeks.
Now that I think about it, I'm genuinely amazed this hasn't actually happened to us. Then again, considering she and her mother are chocoholics of the first order, chocolate *anything* generally doesn't last long enough to make it to storage of any sort.
"Ok, two eyes are separated by the nose, but her nose is below the eye, because both of her eyes are connected by one. That's why she's like Mike Wizowsky but she looks a little bit like Ruby but with different colored hair." -- Olivia, explaining very definitively, why the Ruby Doom character Iris has one eye.
Guess who got a NEW RED BELT today!?
Next step. BLACK. GO O!
She's getting there!
Complete in Polar Bear Pj's!
Olivia is now, publicly and officially, a Southerner. While I was trying to pick out a CD just now, behind me I hear, "Daddy! Watch this!" I turned around and there she was, one foot on a wobbly exercise ball, one hand on the (hard wood) coffee table, the other foot busily trying to make contact with another exercise ball. Sorry, the visions of an ER visit and my frantic grabbing to save her prevented me from taking a picture.
Yes, yes, I know, but actually this particular apple comes from her uncle's tree.
And now, the highlight reel...
Note: in the early years, Ellen and Amber would carry auxiliary candy buckets and hand them off as one got too heavy to hold. This time Olivia hauled the same bag the whole time.
Today the veil to the otherside is at it thinnest! Get your seance on!
We are hoping for visits from the AMCG gang that has departed us over the past 6 years.
You can see who belongs to what side in the family.
Olivia is Cleo De Nile from Monsters High this year for Halloween. Yes, the wig is from last year, but I spritz it with gold and made the head band :)
Olivia just knocked out a recognizable version of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on the violin. Not bad for someone who's only had the instrument for a few weeks :).
Update: She let me film her! Olivia's very first performance!
Some notes: They're only using quarter notes right now, hence a few extra "beats" at the phrase ends. Swoozie decided to perform a test flight for no damned reason about 3/4th's through, but Olivia held her concentration and kept going. Ok, so it's more "recognizable" than "passable" but hey, she's 8 and has only been playing for about two weeks!
Olivia is officially a proto-nerd. She just now actually placed several foster kittens in a box, covered them up with a blanket, and then asked me if they were dead, or... ALIVE...
I think one of them should be named Schroedinger in honor of this event.
They start violins out at 3rd grade instead of 6th for a reason. It's like a trombone with four octaves. Best I ever could do on mine was two, maybe three, tops.
O with her Godfather, Mark.
We have big hair, what can I say?
This morning, Aunt Nina got tired of us all sitting on our rears watching TV and talked Olivia into getting on her bike for the first time this year. When she started out in the morning, she couldn't do anything. This was three hours later. :)
Well of course a girl needs her face painted when she attends the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix! Will Power won, Simona de Silvestro ran as high as 4th, and Danica came in 7th. We didn't actually get on TV during the GP, but I think we probably could be seen during the Indy Lights race.
First day of school, more pictures soon!
"Daddy!!! I want to watch TV down here!"
"You have your own TV."
"Daddy!!! Every time I want to change the channel on my TV, I have to get up, walk over, and punch the button. When I want to change it again, I have to get up again."
"Daddy, if I saw that bad guy in real life, I would totally p3wn him."
No, really, that's what she said. I have no idea where she got it from. The nerd is strong with this one...
Olivia, Scott and his Dad, Tom. We don't get to see everyone as much in Arkansas as we would like, but we had a great time! Caverns, unlimited private pool, SONIC, tornadoes! It was great!
Last time we were here?
Vacation Day 1!
We're heading out to Arkansas for vacation, and Olivia's rather excited...
Olivia: Daddy! Turn it down!!!
Me, cranking the volume down: "What?"
Olivia, in her underwear on the steps: "I need tip money."
"I need tip money for my wallet."
Ok, I don't get it either. I think it was her seeing Ellen furiously calculating the tip at our last dinner out.
Me: "Nobody gives you tips. You have to earn them."
"Please???" *blink blink blink*
Me: "Nope, not gonna work. I'll tell you what. You go upstairs right now and clean your room, and I'll give you two bucks."
"TODAY?!? Today's Monday!" (chores day is Sunday, which due to circumstances got skipped)
"Yup. That's the rules. You want tips, you have to earn them."
And then my bluff got called. Olivia: *blink blink* "Okay!!!"
And then she thundered up the stairs. I thought that was that, then I realized I could hear a lot of work going on up there. Thing is, I wasn't sure I had any cash on me. Like a famous gambler once said, betting $25,000 on a deal is fine when it's the house's money. Pressure is betting $100 on a deal with your friends when you only have $50 in your pocket.
Fortunately I scrounged $2, and sure enough, she earned her tip.
WOW!! It has been 8 years!!!
~Don't worry we will get her birthday photo tonight!
Olivia's new game involves a dead laptop (we have several) and a PC-card blank which now doubles as a camera. She calls it "blogging."
From this, in 2008:
That's a brown belt for Olivia!
8 years in the pool. Our mermaid is growing up.
The rest are here...
Many thanks to JM Hoover for the photo shoot!
Ready for the heat.
Thanks for making sure her day went well Pop! We miss you.
The Time Warp!
Scott's birthday is coming up next week, and he knows what he's getting because I told him what he was going to get, more than a week ago.
What present, you ask? Do you not keep up to date on this site? Cats, Anger, SCIENCE FICTION! That's our motto, so it was only fitting to get Scott Portal 2*.
Two weeks ago Scott sat me down in front of our rather large (to us) TV and said: "You're gonna learn how to play Portal."
"I don't want to learn how to play Portal, it makes me ill."
"You will play Portal, and like it. Portal 2 comes out soon and I need a gaming partner."
Eyes husband suspiciously. "Why...?"
"Because, you noob, it's a two person game. Therefore you need to learn how to play."
I've been playing Portal, the original, each night now for the past two weeks. I've learned to swallow my vomit, run, jump, point and shoot portals at the same time. I will, of course, refuse to admit it publicly, but it's actually, well... fun...
Fast forward to today. I took Olivia to dance class tonight and we were going to be driving by a BEST BUY this evening, so I had an idea!
"Olivia! Let's go pick up Portal 2 for Daddy for his birthday tonight!"
Then came the sigh. The sigh that you know is going to lead to some sort of scolding.
"Mom. Dad's birthday is the 25th. Not today. Not tomorrow. On Monday. Monday is the 25th. He cannot have his present until then."
"Why not? Playing a game on Monday isn't fun! We need the weekend!"
"Mom!" *eyes roll* "Did I not just tell you," (and here you have to imagine really big arm gestures, through a seatbelt,) "Monday? M-O-N-D-A-Y. Does today look like Monday the 25th to you?"
Needless to say, I just shut my mouth and kept driving.
[* GRAMMA TRANSLATION: A video game. THE NEXT ONE WHO SIGHS AND SAYS SOMETHING ABOUT MEN AND TOYS OWES ME MONEY -- ed.]
Me: "Ok, Olivia, mommy's gone to a dance meeting, so you can take a shower."
Me: "But mommy said you better wash your hair, so you better."
Olivia: "Oh, no problem dad."
"No messing around. If you don't wash your hair, I'm just going to turn you over to her," and, I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist, I even said it slowly, "Mommy Is Not As Forgiving As I Am." I really wanted John Williams playing just then.
"Yes, daddy, I know. Ok. Byeeee!"
I wasn't kidding, either. She just better have clean hair when she comes downstairs tonight.
It is the end of March and April first is tomorrow.
A few things I found cleaning out the video camera that people insist calling "my phone."
Driving to pick up some burgers for lunch:
Me: "Well, look at that! It's AOL's headquarters. I bet Olivia doesn't even know what AOL is."
Olivia, from the back seat: "I do too!"
Me: "Well, what is it then?"
Olivia: "It's a computer company from back in the day."
This is how we tell when Olivia is actually ready for lunch.
Summoning the "Fire Gods" in between jumping in the jacuzzi and making s'mores!
Bye old snow, Hello new snow!
Olivia's Xmas gift from Granpa Rich and Grandma Janet came in the mail! Belly dance wings!
According to Olivia, this is the best present EVAR!!
Well, of course there's
Not another bald spot!
Ok, deep breath, it's a joke, nobody's gotten hurt. So far.
Thank You Aunt Nina!!
A great big hearty thanks to Jeff for bringing us this blast from the past! Yeah, it's a little long, but it's Olivia's very first day, and our danged website. We'll post what we want!
Me: "Olivia, what did you learn at the new human origins exhibit at the dinosaur museum today?*"
Olivia: "I come from neanderthals?"
"No, neanderthals are your cousins."
"Wow, I have some ugly cousins!"
* It was a "daddy day." Ellen works, daddy and Olivia road trip. Today, it was the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. As far as the name, she's a girl. Contradictions are built-in.
Thank you Grammy and Poppy!
I finally cleared my phone's video cache out, and found these. All were taken in the past six weeks.
The last one was at a recent birthday party. The three year-old Olivia did everything the seven year-old Olivia did every chance she got.
Me: "Olivia, I've never been to the Native American Museum before. Where do we go to get inside?"
Olivia: "We use the entrance, dad."
And now, the highlight reel...
Note: in the early years, Ellen and Amber would carry auxiliary candy buckets and hand them off as one got too heavy to hold. This time Olivia hauled the same bag the whole time.
Of course the snake is real.
She went to bed last night drugged to the gills after having spent the past three days with a fever. She literally danced down the stairs the next morning and demanded to go SOMEWHERE. We, naturally, had canceled all our original plans, and so Ellen on the spur of the moment chose Great Farms, a really nifty re-purposed farm-turned-cheap-theme-park. She had a good time.
Me:"Olivia, you want some tea? I'm making tea."
Olivia: "Oh yes! The Teddy Bear Tea!" (aka-Sleepytime)
"Mom...why does this tea say 'horrible?' Your tea says 'horrible.'"
Me: Uh...no. That doesn't say "horrible", that says "herbal".
Olivia, in a "must talk slowly and carefully" voice I'm sure I'll be hearing more of as the years go on: "But there is a dragon on your tea. It must be 'horrible.' Mom."
So now we're on our second round through The Light in the Attic, a great collection of poems which Olivia likes because they're cool, and I like because it's just enough like singing to make me think I am, without, you know, all that bothersome pitch and tone.
At any rate, Olivia's quite advanced now, which means she got to read The Toad and the Kangaroo all by herself. Which, at the end, she said:
*Dismissive COUGH* "DAD! Why didn't they just name her CANDACE?"
The sideways-think is strong with this one, Obi-Wan."'
Wherein I prove, conclusively, that I and my friends have a sense of humor not to exceed that of a seven year-old.
Olivia loves to tell endless, surreal knock-knock jokes, as well as the occasional "a piece of bacon walks into a walrus" one-liners. The only way to slow them down is to point a camera at her. Why? A) at this point we need to laugh. At anything. And B) ain't no worse than the puns the rest of my friends trot out with horrifying regularity. Enjoy!
"Olivia," I say to the giggling underwear monster laying on the couch, "does a person mummified 3,500 years ago have a right to privacy?"
"Because it's cool!"
"Olivia, do you know what privacy actually means?"
"No, I'm a little kid, duh"
Which triggers a discussion of "alone time" and how a closed door means parents get yelled at when they bring video cameras into the room when imaginary dialogs are being acted out.
"So, Olivia, does someone who's been dead for more than three thousand years have a right to that?"
"No, daddy, duh!!!"
What's that you say? Ellen's child? Duh!!!
So, during story time, the lines Olivia read were:
They'll come by air,
My child? Monty Python? As if...
We headed out Saturday to go to the AAF Tank Musuem Open House to check out tanks and see our good friend, Mark in his WW2 get up.
It shoots through schools...
Mark and one of MANY tanks that were there that day.
Shark shaped, grey on top, inside...BLOOD RED!
Asian markets have the best popsicles!
The papoose I made out of a pillow case holder and some basting tape. It works!
Our new project, Nuts the Squirrel. Nuts is less than a week old and was tossed out of a tree at work from this morning's bad storm. My coworkers found him on the asphalt and brought him inside to me. So we are crossing out fingers that "Nuts" will do well.
No promises on the second one, I wrestled with youtube for 30 minutes trying to edit it:
Due to my changing jobs, we couldn't do a vacation. So it was grammy to the rescue! Olivia got to spend a whole week at Disneyland.
Tell me I'm wrong.
At the Shenandoah National Park today!
Olivia is STILL in Disney till Friday! I have no idea how she is getting all of the presents back here. Grammy did not pack an extra suitcase!
Olivia is in L.A. with Grammy and Nina!
Olivia and I got box seats to go see Mary Poppins at the Kennedy Center, courtesy of Ellen's boss, Dr. Brown. This was only the second time I'd been to the main opera house in fourteen years, and Olivia's first time. While we were waiting, I asked her to provide a bit of a tour of our digs. The show was lots of fun!
Since it'd just stopped raining, temperatures were "only" in the mid-70s. Cold enough to wear my jacket, according to Olivia.
Our first foster baby of the year! This one brought to us by a neighbor who saw him sitting on the side of the road on Rt 123!
Another neat shot I got just 'watching' Olivia and waiting for the right moment. Then...*CLICK*
A gift to me from Olivia. My favorite. Cat Bus.
We got O a bike. She is too large for the smaller size and just a shy small of the next size up, So Dad- *aka* Scott, is working on that.
Hopefully she will have it by the end of the week.
A weekend fun project that Olivia got to make. Tapioca pearls cooked and cooled then added to ice cold pink lemonade, served in a martini glass with watermelon garnish...WIN!
Olivia doing one of her "drive by moments".
So I will..
Because, you know, what I think matters, doesn't...
Olivia's version of a cannon ball.
I took Olivia to a belly dance show this weekend and she decided that she needed to be the dancer too.
Joshua kept her up there for about fifteen, twenty minutes. Then, eventually, it was my turn. Rather than try to take pictures with a squirming 50 pound weight on my shoulders, I handed her the camera. The result?
Not too shabby!
Olivia promised she would leave the umbrella at home. Then she promised she'd leave it in the car. Then she swore she was sorry for hiding it in her bag but she'd never take it out at the airshow.
Olivia was going to *pOp* when she found out that I was taking her to meet a real unicorn on Saturday. Needless to say when it was her turn to pet Sweetie, I asked how it was to pet *magic*. What I got was "Oh Mommy! She is so beautiful!"
The Unicorn fairy thought that the slogan of "touching magic" was wonderful and proceeded to tell me that Sweetie's grandfather's name was Magic.
Olivia's third airshow. Yet another opportunity to ham it up!
While waiting for Ellen to find some kite string (which apparently isn't sold anywhere anymore), Olivia and I made some videos:
You would think Daddy would be dressed first!
Olivia's first formal dance at her school!
"Daddy!!! I'm scared!!!"
Last night, in her bedroom, after we'd come home from her 10 year-old cousin's birthday party. Her boy cousin, and his guy friends, with nerf automatic weapons.
Me, earlier that day: "Olivia, where are you going?"
Olivia, with a neon-green nerf Tommy gun nearly as big as she was, locked and loaded: "to shoot some boys."
So it had been a really exciting birthday party. And now, probably for the first time, Olivia had to try to wind down all by herself. Trooper that she was, she lasted about twenty minutes and then came downstairs sobbing.
Which was fine. I got it. It was a busy day, a long day. So we all got to watch Top Gear together.
But I was not prepared for tonight. Normally, when Olivia decides to make a stand, it goes like this:
"No, Daddy! I will not leave this zoo!"
"Olivia, if you do not get in this car I will ground you for a week."
"No, Daddy! I will not get in the tub!"
"Olivia, if you do not get in that tub I will shave you bald."
And then there was...
"No, Daddy! I will not cross this skywalk!"
"Olivia, if you do not walk with me I will toss your butt over this rail!"
Well, ok, even I knew that one was a little over the top. She proceeded to lecture me about what a terrible daddy I was and how sweet little girls deserved better until we'd reached the other end of the walkway and took the elevator down.
But tonight was unexpected.
"Daddy! I'm still scared! I want to go downstairs!"
"Olivia, it's fine. You're fine. And tomorrow's a school day. You need to go to bed."
"No! I can't! I'll get scared again!"
And around and around we went, until I got tired of bargaining.
"Ok," I said, in a stern but not angry voice, "I'll let you go downstairs. But if you do, if you do, I get to throw away a toy."
In other words, I saw her last bet, and I raised. Usually this is where Olivia folds.
"Fine, daddy," she said, proving she is emphatically Ellen's child, "I still want to go downstairs and watch shows!"
Effectively, see and raise.
"Olivia, if I get to pick, I'm going to pick Butterscotch."
See and raise again.
Butterscotch is this ridiculous robotic horse she got for Christmas years ago. It's huge, still nearly as tall as she is. She hardly ever plays with it, but it's definitely a sentimental favorite.
Olivia knows, she knows, I do not bluff. I could tell by the look in her eyes she knew I was serious.
In other words, I went all in.
Now, most of you out there know the next play, and you'll think she was playing me, but you didn't see the look in her eyes. She knew the stakes, and knew she had the weaker hand. She wasn't bluffing either.
"Ok, daddy," she said, in a defeated, and quite serious, tone, "you..."
you can throw her away."
Some people say children are ignorant. Some people say children are easily frightened. I say these people don't have children. I saw bravery tonight, in the eyes of a child.
Oh, come on. You think I really am a monster? I just spent the past hour and a half reading to her and playing "remember when" games.
Butterscotch is perfectly safe. She always was.
And only now do I realise I have a much more skilled poker player sitting across from me at the table.
Olivia got invited to a birthday part in a bake store. Here's what she looked like.
Ellen's re-coloring her hair. Olivia, shocking I know, came out of her room looking to score a snack.
Olivia: "MOM!!! What smells like donkey poo?!?"
I kid you not.
The first top-down father-daughter ride of the season!
The place is not small by any means. It's about as big as a general large supermarket, but with lots and lots and LOTS AND LOTS of strange stuff.
Another advantage of little girls vs. little boys: little girls love to share their toys. The bike belongs to the other little girl, but they had fun swapping it back and forth without anyone making them or breaking up a fist fight or anything! Amazing!
Yes, I know, next up. Heck it's only been warm enough to actually use a bike for, like, the past two days or so.
The final clip is her breaking a (much thicker than before!) board with her bare hand.
This is what happens when Scott realizes that DROIDS are full of WIN! Video camera in pocket!
Yep...a boogie board. It worked.
Scott: "Oh no. I do not care what she got for Christmas, under no circumstances are you to send the postcard for the thing with a heart beat."
It came in the mail today.
So it seems Olivia's most favorite show of all on Boomerang is Thundarr the Barbarian. It seems post-apocalyptic fantasy adventure has an appeal for children who didn't grow up during the Cold War. Who knew?
I remember it mostly because of Princess Ariel and her costume. In an era before the pronocopia of the Intartubes, we took all the opportunities we could get. 12 year old boys don't need much, after all.
Dig out your own minature *yes its FAKE* dinosaur!
*Yes I say fake because I know there is some weirdo out there that will comment on this site and complain about the exploitation of fossils.
So, since Olivia and I are both on vacation, she gets late nights, which in our house equals 9 pm. I go upstairs about 20 minutes ago to remind her of this, and I notice a... fruity... smell.
Me: "Olivia? Why do I smell perfume?"
Olivia: "I don't know! I don't know!!!"
Suddenly, I'm in 'stern parent' mode. "What did you do?"
"I didn't MEAN to wash Butterscotch!* It happened by accident!"
So I feel the robot critter's mane, and, sure enough, feels like someone opened a whole bottle of shampoo on it.
Olivia: *lots of theatrical sobs, tears, and various pleas for mercy*
Me: "Olivia! You knew better than this!"
"Yes" *sob*... *sob* "daddy... I did!!!"
"So how long should you be grounded for this?"
"A..." *sob* ... *sob*... "thousand years!!!"
"I can't ground you for a thousand years. I'll be dead before then. How long?"
"A..." *snort* ... *sob* ... "day?"
"Ok, you're grounded for a day then."
Olivia, in a 'holy crap I had no idea he'd say yes to that' tone: "NOOO!!!!!"
Ellen was having a private moment in the bathroom while all this was going on, which meant I only got snarled at three times while I was trying to explain it all.
The thing is, Olivia being grounded for a whole day, a day which is predicted for ice storms, is not exactly a walk in the park for daddy.
* Her robotic pony. Damned thing is as big as our coffee table, and very, very furry.
One of the strangest things in our transition to digital cable is Olivia's fascination with Boomerang. This channel specializes in re-runs of Saturday morning cartoons from about 1966 through around 1981. That's right, the same era that's considered the nadir of "common" animation. In spite of the fact she has much more, and much better, animation to choose from, she still comes back to these horrifically cheesy retreads. I guess there's something more going on, something that kept me watching, all those years ago.
I'm trying to figure it out, but every time Fangface comes on, my head explodes. Ellen won't even be in the same room with it. More as it develops...
...well it's not sugar plums!
...make Olivia look at the camera.
Olivia, shouting over the vacuum cleaner as I was cleaning up the popcorn crime scene she and her mother conspired to create last night in her room: "Daddy! When are you going to be done with girl's work?"
Me, stopping the vacuum cleaner: "Girls work? You think cleaning house is girl's work?"
Me, as I unplugged the vacuum cleaner and prepped it for Ellen's use tonight: "What do you think is boy's work?"
Olivia, thoughtfully: "Oh, sitting on the couch, drinking beer, watching football. My work is to dress pretty and read books!"
They're not kidding when they say, "they start early."
Olivia said she wanted to be this character some time last November. We've been building to it ever since. And now she has to put that character away. Can you say, "Post Traumatic Stress"? I knew you could...
Now this is just a rough draft of what I am doing for her.. but the rough draft, not so bad!
It's not everyday I get a nice amount of cash from a long term pet sitting job to do a bit of needed shopping. Needed shopping. As in, getting some seasonal clothing for the child, among other things.
Needless to say we were in Target today, checking out the jeans and shirts on sale when I picked out a cute shirt and showed it to O.
What I got was: "Pffsshhh!!!! Mom! That is SO two years ago!"
Pffsshhh??? Pffsshhh??? This is a Keropi shirt! Keropi never goes out of style! This is not the mall! This is Target! or rather "Tar-jay"
"Mom, we need to be at the mall, not HERE!"
"What's wrong with Target!? Where else can you get cat litter and girl's clothes?!? (Other than Wal Mart)
2 small eyeballs roll at me, "This is so not cool!" Then she walks away to pick out a winter jacket and accessories.
So what did I do? I put the shirt in the basket and bought it anyway.
God help me in 5 years.
2009 vs. 2005. 'Nuff said.
We made our annual visit to the Ren Fair this weekend. MUCH MUCH more to follow. If I can beat Ellen into actually posting the pictures, that is...
The nearby Italian car parts warehouse had its "customer appreciation" day today. Ellen had to practice for a b-dance event, so it was a road trip for daddy & girl!
Olivia: "Daddy. Did you take this picture with an old-timey camera?"
Me: "An old-timey camera?"
"Yeah, you know the one that makes the zippy noise and the picture comes out the bottom?"
"You mean the camera shoots them out the front?"
"Yeah, old timey! And, you have to wave the picture around before you can see it. Oh my gosh, they're so old!"
Ya know, that hurt a lot more than when I read a few weeks ago that they'd discontinued the Polaroid packets.
You didn't think we would miss out on the Chlorine Mermaid series did you?
Now that we've recovered from parrot-induced cable failure, The Grammas will have to start badgering Ellen from more pictures
While I'd like to put a picture or two of Olivia in her 1st grade outfit up, I'm not able to because Swoozie the Dino Burd chewed the cable in two last time she went walkabout. You'll all just have to wait until I source a new one.
Every year one of the Drs from my work leaves for a month to go visit family in Goa. Each year he brings Olivia back a new dress. He has nothing to do with picking them out. Apparently his cousins know all about Olivia and they pick the outfit out for her.
Yep, asleep under an umbrella.
Olivia got invited to a company picnic of some school friends. She loves her cheetahs! Scott and I are wondering how long she won't let us wash her face!
O and a friend.
From Olivia's party today.
We've gone from this:
Onward and upward!
Happy Birthday Baby O! 6*24*03
When you are stuck home for 2 day in a row because some little girl is not feeling good, you become stir crazy.
What do you do? Color her hair!
I still swear this is not her future prom ride. My story, sticking to it. Ellen says "just wait 10 more years." Oh, joy...
Where is Ron when we need him!
Another year, another airshow. Special guest star: Ellen! No, really! I just never got a picture of her that was in focus. Must be the aura.
But what direction?
Olivia's 1st School Musical!
"Daddy! You're getting on my last nerd!!!"
Special thanks to Mark for reminding the picture-taking-retards that if they all group together maybe he can take a picture of them
I'm sure you will all be surprised to learn that Olivia enjoys having her picture taken when she's wearing fancy clothes
From Aunt Nina, who's spending vacation time with Olivia in NY: "Another good olivia quote. We went to the park and she told all the little kids she was a vampire and she was going to drink their blood. So she chased them all around the park. It was kind of like vampire tag."
Can thunderball be that far behind?
Olivia is with Grammy and Poppy for Spring Break!
Taken at friend Joshua's birthday party last weekend. Olivia knew Paramore's That's What You Get well enough to score an 86% on "Rock Band"!
Olivia, let me see your loose tooth?
I can't look?
I'll give you five bucks?
Oh look! It just came out! Cool! Now just swish the blood out and I'll call the tooth fairy.
Well, I have completed yet another ceremony of fatherhood... the vomiting child. About fifteen minutes ago Olivia sat up on the couch doing a fair imitation of a science project volcano. Since we had 5 Guys burgers for lunch, the volcano smelled of french fries.
I've long wondered how I would react to this. I get a bit queasy when I see upchucking in movies, and as I recall my own dad was quite freaked out when I or my brother had a "reverse digestive incident."
But it really wasn't THAT bad. Lift child gently but quickly from the couch, pause. Carry child quickly but carefully, pause, toward the toilet. Place child in front of toilet and then coach the same way I would with college buddies who thought a small jug of moonshine'd be a great way to end the night*. Begin cleanup detail, checking often to ensure child is OK.
Ellen showed up just in time to be Mommy the Hero. She then got to use some of the voodoo juice that presumably won't get the smells or stains out the same way they don't get the cat smells or stains out. Oh well... there's a reason our couch is 13 years old! Take that, you incontinent little fuzzballs. At least one day Olivia'll have a job!
Here's to finding out one is unflappable in the face of a famously gross job of parenting. I would so very much like a drink...
* "Hold your head up higher, it doesn't come out of your nose as much then."
... Olivia has learned that going home sick is not the win-win situation she thought it might be.
Obviously feeling much better Olivia: "Daddy! Let's go outside to play!"
Me: "No, Olivia. You're sick. Sick girls have to stay in bed."
"But daaadeee... it's so nice outside!"
"Sorry kiddo. Not happening."
I always wondered why my parents said that last bit with a sly smile on their face. Now I don't.
Some little girl has 2 loose bottom teeth!
Something about an apple was mentioned while she was trying to wiggle them around to show me.
Pixes? Nope not yet. Haven't fallen out yet. Plus she screamed at me when I mentioned we should tie a string around them and tie it to the front end of the car...
We got 7 inches of snow!
"Daddy, you have to be careful not to drink green water. It's poisonous."
"What happens if you drink poison?"
"You turn into a coyote. But only for two weeks. Then you turn into a vampire. Then it gets REALLY bad."
We stood around Olivia in winter jackets while she enjoyed Mark's outdoor hot tub.
She may not be able to add all that well, and for her organizing money consists more of making a comfortable nest in which to sit. Regardless, her motto of "buy, buy, BUY!!!" was enough to send her old man into bankruptcy in less than 90 mintues.
Stupid Monopoly. Stupid utilities.
*SNIFF* ... she's playing her very first shooter. Sure, it involves a cat shooting lollipops at balloons as super-cute mice descend from them, but it's a start!
We got our first snow day today!
All the way from Disney Land!
Grand Central Station!
My work got an Obama cake, so Olivia got a slice!
THANKS GRAMMY AND POPPY!
We woke up to 2 inches of snow in NY Sunday!
On the last day of our vacation, I made hamburgers for lunch for myself and Olivia. Ever the curious one, Olivia bounced into the kitchen to take a look at what I was doing...
Olivia, in a schoolmarm voice spoiled only by her pixie tone: "Daddy, do you know who Billy Mays is?"
Me, somewhat bemused: "Well, actually, yes... do you?"
Olivia: "Yes. He sells a burger masher that'd be perfect for those hamburgers. No more squishing!"
Me: "But Olivia, I like squishing burgers. They taste better than any--"
Olivia: "Nuh-uh! Billy Mays says his burgers are much better!"
Me: "That's fine, but you're eating squished daddy burgers. Now go back to the den!"
Olivia: "Fine! When mommy gets home I'll talk to her and we'll buy the Billy Mays burger smasher for you for Christmas."
Me: "Christmas was three days ago..."
But by then she'd bounced back into the den to watch more cartoons.
Yeah, yeah, I know. But I was exposed to just as many commercials when I was a kid, and look how I turned out!
Oh shaddup, you.
Olivia loves to dance. She dances in the kitchen, in the living room, and in the bathroom. She even twirls to the car in the mornings to go to school.
Tonight was our usual night of music and dance in the living room. Pirouettes and leaps, with her toes kept busy until she shouted: "Mom! Leap with me!"
Normally I'd love to leap with her, but since I had her, certain things don't work as well when you sneeze, cough, jump etc...
"Olivia I can't jump, I'll pee in my pants!"
With a sudden a huff and a foot stomp I was told: "Then take your pants off!"
I'll put up some Christmas pictures if I can figure out where they're hidden.
After opening dozens of Christmas presents in the past two weeks, Olivia's current favorite toy is...
A beach bucket filled with one full roll of toilet paper dismembered into single sheets. Calls it her "snow."
I guess it's God getting me back for all the times I played with the boxes the toys came in after my unwrapping Christmas orgies when I was a kid. I always did wonder why my parents made such a big deal of it.
When you have a little girl with a fever tonight and she is wanting to paint nails anyway, what better way then a French Manicure?
Well it's not a new bed. This is Olivia's great-great grandmother's bed. It's circa 1860-ish. We DO have an original family photo of that era. :) Cool huh?
The bed was originally brown and was in desperate need of some type of restoration. Annie, one of my great friends, is an antique nut and managed to tell us a great deal about the bed; then she said, in kind words, "It is a great family heirloom... enjoy it." Turns out, it has been fixed several times and while there ARE original parts in the bed, there are only 3-4 of them.
So, purple being O's favorite color, Annie and I chose 'Scottish Moor' and I painted the bed that color, accented it in silver and stenciled the flowers onto it.
Many thanks to Annie for the inspiration of keeping the bed "period," but making it a 'richer version'.
O and I sport the same hair style.
You have serious competition to Wii Bowling in 3 weeks!
O got the white and yellow stripe belt!
YES, I went out as a parrot! Cinderella needed a mascot! Well...she did!
We were getting ready for a show this past weekend and I took this shot mid makeup!
It was like she was in a different zip code or something.
O decided that she was NOT going to be a balloon pilot after she felt the 'hot' that came off the balloon.
But she DID pull the switch.
You roll down... you must roll up. With a 'smile' of course.
She is Pro when it comes to water...what can we tell you?
Scott, Mark and O hit the Rockville Car Show on Saturday.
We did not teach her this song. Her kindergarten teacher did. Yes, Olivia has face paint on.
Olivia and Master Bruce.
Olivia is up for white belt! This is her test session. Complete with a board break!
Nooooo... don't spray me! NO!!!
Olivia sees me dance with the boa, so she practices with Cornbread, our resident Cornsnake.
This year I was told since I was not in costume, I had to ride the elephant with Olivia. I have decided I want one. Except Scott won't let me have one. I only have a front yard.
Olivia was not sure what to make of this fairy. She never spoke to O, just pointed, and gave her a magic rock...which I'm sure she found right by her feet.
Our baby girl is growing up!
There was no crying, nothing. It was a "see ya later guys!" and she ran off to her teacher.
Believe it or not, these 2 are the SAME age!
Olivia came home telling us she can hula hoop around her neck. Here she is with Grammy and Aunt Nina.
Olivia is the ONLY Great Grand Child on either side of the family. She is the ONLY granddaugher on both of our sides as well. Grand Ree just turned 80.
Grand Ree, O and Cousin Vin.
According to Olivia, every "kung-fu" girl has a side kick. Apparently this one has 3 legs and a scratching post.
** yes yes... we know Kung-Fu and Tae Kwon Do are different. To a 5 year old, it's not. **
O going to day care after school now? Hell no! Tae Kwan Do!
I told you all the Black Cat of Doom had a favorite human!
At the WW2 Memorial in DC.
Olivia and Grammy did mini cream cheese and cool whip cupcakes this weekend!
Mark has a jacuzzi. O calls it, "the giant bathtub."
She's getting old enough now she'll soon be able to read these herself.
Per tradition, we've now gone from this:
Onward and upward!
There was a Norman Rockwell exhibit up at the Orlando Science Museum on Friday. LOTS of hands on stuff! Highly recommended!
We hope to have some more photos and blooper pixes up this week!
The only other person I know that can hula hoop really well is NY Grammy!
$50.00 in food, drink and icecream.
$20.00 in souveniers.
9 hours of standing in line for rides and autographs.
$110 in a dress, shoes and tiara.
Actual amount spent: Priceless.
HAPPY UPCOMING 5TH BIRTHDAY O! MOMMY AND DADDY HOPE YOU REMEMBER THIS ONE!
Olivia LOOOOVEES Darby from the new Pooh Bear show.
We are really surprised that she was really into meeting the characters.
I'm a dork trying to have fun with my girl, what do you expect?
O and I played in the sprinklers at Sea World for a bit just to cool off!
The Shamu show was a bust this year. We waited an entire hour in the stadium for the show to start, and one of the whales decides the show needs to be canceled. So what happens? The show got canceled since they could not get a certain whale in a pen where she needed to go.
They may act like cats, but when they weigh several thousand pounds, well, you just let the whale do what it wants.
I will say this... WEAR A HAT IN FLORIDA!
IT WAS HOT!!!
It's FAKE people!
NOM NOM NOM!!!
We got a nice COZY and SOFT bed tonight at our hotel before flying out to meet Scott.
For a certain Daddy out there that has to sit through 'live' T.V.
Ok, ok... so it is the HOME SPA! We had fun with the mud mask anyway.
For, on this day, the seventh day of June, 2008, Olivia has proved her fundamental usefulness to daddy.
She got me a beer. Out of the fridge! Threw away the bottle cap too! I knew this kid would be useful some day.
Oh, don't worry, I'll cherish it while I can. I'm only, what, eight years away from her telling me to f- off three times in two sentences? Heck, it's what her mom does just about every day lately. She'll have learned from the best!
~She is dancing to Frank Sinatra, not classical music. But she did perform a Sinatra ballet for us, and it was quite entertaining.
This was the first time Olivia got to get as close to the airplanes as she wanted. She definitely took advantage of the opportunity.
Not only was this Olivia's first air show, it was her first bus ride. As you can see, she enjoyed posing in her mom's garden hat.
So Olivia, being my child, is enjoying Battle 360 as her "after-bath-time-grown-up" show. It's essentially a multi-part visualization of my favorite WWII book. Since this is the History Channel, interspersed between lots of really cool CGI battles are sound bites from various interviews with veterans and military experts, including one William E. Bodette, 1st Sargent, U.S.M.C. And let me tell you folks, he is every inch The Marine. How do I know?
Olivia, seeing him come on screen for the fifth time in the forth episode she's watched: "Daddy! That man's head looks like a Great. Big. Jar!!!"
I kid you not. And in patented "head-explodes-in-candy-helium-high" cute voice.
I took Olivia to a local pet expo this weekend. What did we find? A CAT kite!!
This is O's first kite flying experience. She had us out there over an hour flying the kite at the local school's soccer field parking lot.
Why yes, I did make a Peep Pie!
Yes, our flowers are blooming! Many thanks to our neighbors for letting us hide eggs in their yard!
Year 2 with roller skating, and she is finally getting the hang of it!
We had a fake hair day.
It was our first REAL snow today so Olivia and I headed out after picking her up from Day Care for some fun. She never built a snowman and the snow was pretty good for one. Until we got a wild idea how to decorate it.
We are very proud of it. NO ONE in the neighborhood has one like ours!
Olivia was the only one Baptized today.
Olivia was Baptized today. Here is the photo of us with her Godfather Mark.
What else is there to do on a lazy Sunday?
Ok, we don't say "smile" or "cheese". We say "fish cookies!".
We went to the Botanical Gardens today with Mark. I managed to catch this pix.
Swoozie will 'step up' for Olivia already :)
Me and O got carried away with a new makeup set she got for Xmas.
They work off of ice now, not a light bulb.
Santa visited Olivia in NY this year!
While we were in NYC this weekend, we hit Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.
Our pookie-pie is home sick today. She sounds like she swallowed troll snot. :/
That better not be what I think it is behind you!?!
It is! Gah!! Last time her hair got sucked out at the roots!
"Scott!! What the f*#%?!? There's cheese in the knife drawer!"
"Wasn't me!" (I actually don't know how it got in there. Not the point.)
Olivia: "Yeah, dad, what the f#$%?!?"
Me: "What'd she say?"
"She said the W-T-F word" (as in "dubya-tee-eff")
Oliva, in her schoolmarm voice: "No mommy. That's not what I said. I said 'what the f$#$!'"
Us, together: "Olivia!!!"
Daycare, I tell ya. She learns it all from daycare.
Olivia and I have this habit of falling asleep in the car.
No kidding, this slide is 60 feet long and 30 feet high.
We took Olivia to The Great Country Farm again this year. This time she was all for the rope swing!
This is WHY I cannot leave Scott and Olivia alone for even an hour.
I learned that, even sitting less than four feet away from me, Olivia can get into the most amazing things. Up this time: a mini-sharpie marker Ellen must've dropped who knows how long ago. Normally I toss them on sight. Permanent markers do not make daddy smile! Somehow I missed this one, and now Olivia looks like she murdered Barney with a kitchen knife. Swear to God, I only looked away for 5 minutes! Big, long, lurid purple spots and streaks from toe to face (face! sharpie!) now adorn everyone's favorite princess.
"It's okay daddy! It's my tattoos!"
We had my younger brothers in town, and as you see, none of them will hold still for a photo.
Thanks to Mark for the pix!
Whatever vestiges of toddlerhood still clinging to my tiny dancer have been flung down the stairs like... well, like the clothes on her back. Olivia is now into naked time!!! I can definitely remember this phase myself, but I thought it was limited to crude gross little boys. I have a giggly "laffy-taffy" shaking her nekkid butt back and forth across the living room proving me wrong.
No pictures this time. I'm not that dumb. But it is damned funny. Now if I can just keep her from sticking her fingers in her crack...
I should mention we hit the Ren Faire again this weekend for the last time this year. I made Olivia's costume this year.
Olivia and I with our Woodbabies!
Olivia liked my puppet so much last year, I bought her one this year.
O had strep last week. She did not feel well.
On this day, at 1:00 pm, Olivia proved she knows how to answer Ellen's cell phone. It took her two tries, but while Mommy was in the shower Olivia fielded daddy's call and yelled at mom until she came down and picked it up. This is something of a double-edged sword for me. Ellen considers her phone slightly, and only slightly, less important than oxygen. If she takes after her mother in this regard, it does not bode well.
I kid! I kid! Geeze. Nobody has a sense of humor nowadays...
They had a MEGA moon bounce at the fair too.
This Friday, my church was desperate for face painters for their painting booth at their yearly fair, so I signed up since I can paint.
I was not expecting to have all the kids line up to me vs. the other painters. Apparently my dragons are the bomb diggity for the boys, and my butterflies for the girls were just awesome.
Then I was told they were expecting some guy in it and did not realize it was me sitting in church for the past several weeks. Apparently "Bones" has made an impression already with the kids. I have the 'cool' car.
Today we find Olivia dancing to the music of "Aladdin."
Olivia has her own camera now, so I had to take a picture of her taking a picture.
Because she got a PONY RIDE!
Yes, we hit the petting zoo today. Can you tell?
Yes yes...get it over with. I have a 'cousin Vinny.
The only distance between the former and the latter are five feet and three years. It staggers me.
Then, I don't think Olivia had ever ridden in the Spider. Now, she rides in it far more often than Ellen does. Maybe this summer we'll take our first father-daughter road trip? You never know.
I only have, what, nine years before she'll never want to talk to me again?
All the time in the world. And it'll be over tomorrow. Lord help us all.
In the past two days: ring pops dipped in ketchup, and hamburger buns dipped in grape soda. Rachel Ray better just watch the hell out; s'all I'm sayin'.
You really don't think that a Swivel Sweeper would do something like this. Usually they are used on a floor, but this little girl tried it on her head.
How I fixed the bald spot.
Why yes, that is permanent marker smiley face on her head.
I've told this story to several people recently, but I'm recording it here because otherwise by the time it's useful as embarrassment material for dates everyone will have forgotten about it.
During our stay in San Diego, we were always on the top floor of a 14-story tower, which, well, towered over the rest of the property. Olivia took to calling this "the building." As in, "daddy, I'm tired, let's go home to the building." Or, "daddy! Why won't you buy me everything in the store?!? You're in time out! Go back to the building!"
Fast forward two weeks later, with Olivia sitting on the floor playing with her various San Diego-acquired stuffed animals*. Suddenly, she says, "Daddy! I want to go home!"
"Olivia, you are home!"
"No, daddy, this home is stupid! I want to go home to the building!"
Well, it's a damned long walk, but we'll see what we can do, kiddo.
* All 32 of them. I think. I lost count.
Yes, I got a new haircut today! :)
We have so many fun photos of many individual animals, that a small entry will not do them justice! So enjoy these for now!
Oh yeah... did we mention the face painting too?
Notice how she will not look at the camera for this shot.
Sorry, my Mastercard is for my business only. But here I bring you a VISA moment!
$65 per adult and $45 per child to get into Sea World.
$9.95 plus tax for the Shamu cup.
A VERY happy little girl, priceless.
Today O and I headed out to the Chula Vista Nature Center. You can check their website out here.
Now for the pixes!
Hope you all enjoyed this picture entry!
Yes, this is a single leaf of kelp. You have no idea how BIG these things get till you see them wash up on the shore.
It's been a long day O! Say goodnight to the beach!
Olivia will swim on her own now with her jacket on. She won't let you hang on to her anymore.
C'mon O! Since when are you shy for a picture?
It is now 7:53PM California time. We are totally beat.
Ellen's big recital was last weekend. This was the first one Olivia let me see to the end. Unfortunately the lighting was just about impossible for me to shoot in, so this is one of the few sharp pictures of the bunch. More to follow.
Olivia, after watching (YAF*) Shrek commercial: "Daddy! There's Shrek, and Donkey, and Piss on Boots!" The staccato delivery was what really sold it.
And the latest flavor combo? Chicken nuggets dipped in chocolate pudding. Coming to a McDonalds near you.
* Yet Another ... Fine. Yeah. Fine
Oh yes, 86 degrees and we have no champagne to celebrate with. So the hose is the second best!
That's right Olivia got a Giant tandem bike! NO MORE TRICYCLE!
Cheetos dipped in strawberry soda. NO REALLY!
Spring is here again at AMCGLTD! It's kitten season! Let the fostering begin!
The top is that scrunchy fabric with a straight skirt. Not bad if I say so myself!
This is the reward Olivia got for not wearing pull-ups anymore. ROLLER SKATES! HEELIES NO LESS!
At the National Arboretum.
Olivia's latest taste combo is...
Cheetos dipped in orange juice. Judging by the lip-smacking, this is quite good. I'll take her word for it.
uh...no Olivia. We already have a giant pony in the house. We do not need more of a zoo. Daddy will kill me if I buy it. Put back the giraffe and Mommy won't get hurt...
I never said she was "normal."
More to come...daily though. There is only so much pasta I can take!
Taken at the museum outing this past weekend.
Olivia, being Olivia, kept trying to boss her cousin JT around as we wandered the museum. Every time he ignored her and swirled off on his own tangent, she'd put her hands on her hips and yell out in a very exasperated tone, "Jaayymes!"
She is, after all, her mother's child.
No-prize to Jeff for sharing with us pictures taken with his snazzy new camera!
Me, Olivia, and my nephew, James at the Udvay-Hazy museum this past weekend.
Olivia even demands the camera!
Funny enough, Ellen doesn't think Olivia pays attention when she goes to work. Don't ask me!
Apologies to The Grammas, we're not making her fly. It's all we can do to keep her from jumping!
This is Nina's hat I made her. Olivia has decided she needed to wear it today.
What happens when a little girl gets in your makeup.
And on the menu over the weekend was: cold waffles, soaked in syrup, dipped in ketchup. Said ketchup was demanded on sight as I was eating my own lunch (of chicken strips and french fries). After finishing her "lunch waffle", she proceeded to eat my chicken too. Ain't growing children grand?
Me: "I think we should get Olivia some video games."
Scott: "Ya think?!?"
Taken at the Nat'l Air and Space (which Olivia picked out, all by herself!)
Note the roller caught in mid-fall, trailing water drops.
EVERYONE PANIC! BUY LOTS OF TOILET PAPER AND MILK!!
Yes, the people here are really that stupid over snow. There were 8 accidents yesterday afternoon when the flurries started on a main road we drove down coming home. One was even an overturned car.
Idiots I tell ya!
One of the tasks of potty training is association. By reminding Olivia that everyone uses the potty, the hope is she's more likely to use it herself.
Yesterday, while getting dressed for a zoo outing during Daddy Day:
Me: "Olivia, where does daddy do poo-poo?"
Olivia, in a bright, cheerful tone: "On the potty!"
Me: "Where does mommy do poo-poo?"
Olivia, slightly muffled by the shirt she's pulling over her head, "On the potty!"
Me: "Where do the cats do poo-poo?"
Olivia, with a suddenly serious face: "On the floor."
Well, yes, there is that...
Olivia, stomping into the kitchen after we'd all come home from work/school yesterday afternoon: "Mommy! I want a juice box! Now!"
Me: "Olivia! You do not talk to mommy that way. Say it nicely."
Olivia: "Mommy! I want a juice box! Now! Nicely!"
After a few more... elaborations... on what nicely actually meant, she got her juice box.
Funny, but the same line said to Ellen from me later was quite ineffective when I wanted a beer from the fridge.
WHAT?!? ARKANSAS LOST THAT WEEKEND TOO!
Once again, a perfect example WHY Olivia cannot be left alone with Scott.
Who needs to watch the post New Year shows when you got your own rock star!
Why yes, that is the FUR-REAL Pony!
Paging Nina, white courtesy phone please...
Yes, Olivia got flowers from a boy! One of her day care friends. His name is Alex, but we're not allowed to say that in front of Daddy, who's been groaning, "What the the hell am I going to do in ten years?" ever since. Of course, Alex was a boy, so he got it all wrong, but she didn't care. And she is SURE proud of them!
Because I've been banished downstairs while Our Empress is exercising...
Ok, one of the goofy "minute hobbies" I have is looking up songs and/or bands whenever they come up on my "Intarnets" oldies radio channels. You learn the damnedest things! Which is why...
It only occurred to me (whilst listening) to think of it when I read that the Allman Brother's Band song "Jessica" is about a little daughter and not a girlfriend that I realized this was, in essence, what Olivia's like right now. Music in motion, fleshtone zipping across your field of vision, only noticed when you think, "wait, what was she carrying?!?" That sort of thing.
I wonder if Jessica ran around naked as much as our monster does? One would think.
Whee! The best thing about two beers after big exercise is making you all scratch your heads and go, "wtf?!?"
Oh hush. I don't write these things for you. If it all works out, when she's fifteen she'll read this stuff when nobody's around and realize I'm just another screwup trying his best.
Being incoherent in public is the advantage of owning your own website.
Well, that, and getting one or more of The Grammas to get vapors and wonder, "What has happened to that child?!?"
We decorated the tree tonight.
This is what happens when you turn your back on Olivia and she gets into the baby powder.
Olivia's gift for using the potty this weekend.
Apparently Olivia's illness was caused by the voting. Damn those Democrats. I had a feeling Olivia was getting a psychic vibe knowing that they would win and in return they made her ill, just like we all will be the next two years.
Olivia wanted to vote again yesterday morning for more stickers. She also liked the polling booth a bit too much, which caused the "tantrum".
In return, this Democratic tantrum turned into full blown vomting and a headache.
Damn those Democrats.
Why yes she is buzzing like a neon sign. Why do you ask?
SOME of Olivia'as loot
What you can't see is the glitter in her hair and pink eyeshadow. This outfit was a surprise for her. She was about to burst when I pulled it out after applying her makeup and glitter.
One of Olivia's favorite chop-sake animation shows always has kids jumping to incredible hights. Today, Olivia got to be the Avatar.
Of course it has nothing to do with me wearing and Arkansas Razorback sweatshirt. No really!
That's Our Princess on top, Joshua as The Camel, with special guest star... rmm... Damion's friend, over there on the left. Yeah... him... he's really cool, we promise!
Welcome to your ticket to 16th century England!
Sponsored by Pepsi
We hit the Ren-Faire today! In full garb no less!
Olivia wanted to live on the bus.
The club was nice enough to make O chicken fingers before the show.
Nina is :"I'm in charge of merch for the band, but I'm also the assistant tour manager and take care of all press functions...interviews, meet & greets, aftershow, etc..."
If you're a parent you should know the movie The Wild. If you haven't seen it, first go here, and choose the clip titled "Curling." Go on. We'll wait. The story won't make sense without it.
Olivia can't get enough of the movie. She's probably seen it four times in the past five days. Which has led to some... interesting... behavior.
The other day I was in the kitchen feeding the cats and here she comes jogging up with my swiffer broom in both hands. For those who don't know what that is, here's a much earlier picture of The Princess in action with it.
"Mama! I need the turtle!"
"I play game with him!" And then she started scooting the swiffer across the floor with a huge smile on her face.
Then I realized what she really wanted to do was use him as a curling disc in the kitchen, on the tile floor. Just like the turtles in the movie are used for...
"No Olivia, you can't use Om for that!"
"But MAMA! I need the turtle to play the game!"
"No! We do not use turtles as hockey pucks in this house!"
Scott, being ever so helpful, then said from the living room, "actually, they're not pucks, they're stones."
Olivia then tried her divide-and-conquer approach. "Daddy! I need the turtle to play! Could you get him for me?"
"No Olivia, no turtles."
The whole time Om just sat in his pen, with this "oh hell no" expression on. Well, from what we could see anyway. He wisely stayed inside his shell.
"No Olivia, no turtles."
Whereapon she harumpfed mightily and, in patented three-year-old fashion, got distracted and forgot about the whole thing.
Hopefully Om will forget about it too. I gave him a slice of strawberry just in case.
To mom, it was an opportunity to clean out the coat closet. To the Princess, it was all about adding to the wardrobe.
Olivia's officially cured! She thought the cast saw was tickly, and was far more interested in building up her sticker collection than she was in her X-rays. Fortunately those turned out to be completely normal, showing the bone healing very nicely. No more arm bags in the bath!
Of course, sometimes Daddy got the hose anyway
Little surpise that at this year's family reunion (last month), Olivia did her best to take complete charge of the hose.
Ok, when I was a little kid staying home sick with a cold, lazing around all day watching cartoons was the best part. Now that I'm the grownup watching the kid, not so much.
Spongebob is only your friend for the first few hours. Then he becomes a short, bizzare, yellow square of doom!
Olivia, while we were sitting on the couch Sunday watching an episode of Mythbusters, observed, "Daddy! That's a skelington!"
"Yes, that's right! And you have a skeleton inside you, too."
She shook her head gravely and replied, "No daddy, I'm not a skelington. I'm a little girl."
"That's right Olivia, but you have a skeleton inside you."
She then got a so-close-it's-scary version of her mom's patented "must talk slowly to the retarded husband" look on her face and said in very crisp tones, "daddy, that is skelington. I am Olivia."
So I tossed a wad of play-dough at her.
Oh come on. It's play-dough. She threw it back! Well, sort of. I got it out of the cat's hair before Ellen got home, at any rate.
Saturday afternoon, while Ellen was doing the five hour tattoo thing...
Olivia, strangely muffled: "Daddy! Lookitme!"
Me, looking up from a magazine article: "Olivia! Get down from there!"
Olivia, upside down with her legs in the air, facing into the back of a chair to my left: "Daddy! I do headstand! Look! One foot!"
Just as I got up to un-headstand the child, she tumbled out of the chair like the proverbial sack of potatoes, landing with a shambling thud on her butt.
Olivia, after a brief pause, lit up with a big smile and said, "Don't worry daddy! I'm Okay. I'm ok--"
Whereapon she tried to stand up, and promptly clonged her head into the underside of the glass table she'd fallen under. Hit it so hard it rang like a bell.
But, since she's also Ellen's child, I was actually more worried about her head breaking the table.
This is what happens when you pretend you are a monkey and jump off the bed. Yes, Olivia has her first broken bones! She broke her wrist in 2 spots. The hard cast gets placed Monday. Otherwise she loves to show off her new boo-boo to everyone.
Olivia and one of her cousins at the yearly family reunion.
Scott to me, as I got home an hour later: "She did a really good job putting make-up on! Check out that precision. Cheeks, eye shadow. All... by... herself?
No, really! Look! Stop looking at me like that.
Ok, church or no church, it's time to put the knife down. Hacking up your husband makes baby Jesus sad, ok? Ok? .."
This is what happens when you leave your child and husband alone together for an hour.
Dry ice is fun!
A witch in training. Definitely Ellen's child.
and she decides it is much better to toss half a stuffed animal box to the floor and lay in the box. I swear she was a cat in a former life.
Olivia and her cousin, Cameron, playing on the water slide.
Olivia's first seesaw ride.
This was just in the kiddy pool. She went on the triple boats with us down the really BIG ones.
Actually this is at Wild River Country, a huge water park here in Little Rock.
Olivia took one swing at the pinata and she was done. So her cousin, James, finished it off.
Olivia is officially a mermaid this year! She even told her Daddy she was. According to Scott, Olivia swam across the wide end of the pool all by herself.
*Due to some computer problems today we were unable to update AMCGLTD. But hey, we were busy celebrating O's birthday!
Olivia ate a total of 4 ice cream cup and 2 snocones on Saturday just to keep cool. Not to mention each of us (5 total) must have bought 2-3 bottles of water each just to dump on her to keep her cool.
We headed to the Celtic Festival in the area today. It was well into the high 90's in the shade. We had a cranky girl on our hands until we strip her down to her pull-ups and Ron dumps water on her head.
O got a package in the mail from her Aunt Nina for her birthday next week. It was a hit. Little girls with unicorns and a cat on a pillow(to Olivia it is a cat on a magic carpet) go together like a PBJ sammich.
Olivia learns that licking the bowl and spoon to cake batter is the best!
Olivia got her big girl bed today! This also marks the first day I got kicked out of her room.
Saturdays are nearly always Daddy Days. Mom works most Saturdays, so it's me and Olivia all day long. We've done it so often we've got a pretty good routine working. But I didn't really know just how ingrained it had gotten until last week.
On Daddy Days the schedule is get up, eat breakfast, watch some shows, get dressed, head to the park, stop by McDonalds for lunch, then hit the sack for nap time. The whole thing takes about five to six hours, which is just enough time for Ellen to get home.
This particular Saturday was beautiful... sunny, breezy, warm enough to not need a coat but cool enough to keep you from frying. Since Ellen's never learned to drive a standard, Olivia and I toodle around in "SpidahCar", going from place to place with the top down and the wind in our hair.
The McDonalds is just down the road from our house, so we went through the drive-thru on the way home. While we waited for our turn, Olivia happily pointed out "McDonahs daddy! Look! Flags! Yellow! Gear shift! Brrumm Brumm! Go home, see Globlin!"*
As we pulled up to the menu board, we got the typical, "hellowelcometomcdonaldsmayitakeyourorderwouldyoulikeacombo?" greeting. Except since everyone who works at McD's seems to have English as a second language, it was more like, "alloellcometomacdonahsmaytakeohdahlikecombo?" I was just opening my mouth to place the order when suddenly from the passenger seat came, in a patented CuteChildtm voice, "Numbah eight plain hambugr dietcoke."
"What was that?"
This time she shouted, "NUMBAH EIGHT PLAIN HAMBUGR DIET COKE!"
There was a brief pause, then, "That will be $5.65, please drive to the first window"
Whereapon Olivia sat back and beamed at me, lifted up her hand and said, "Hi five, daddy!"
Well, everyone kept saying she'd eventually become useful. Now to teach her "get daddy a beer."
* It's a kind of mental ju-jitsu, talking to a not-quite-three-year-old. Just trying to keep up will tend to turn your brain into banana yogurt after an hour or so.
Now that it's auto racing season, Olivia and I are having a good time watching "racecars!" Not NASCAR, but F-1 and (lately) CART and IRL. No, really, there's something about small, shiny cars shrieking around and around a track that really seems to appeal to her not-quite three-year-old attention span. Oh be quiet, Ellen beat you to the "compares nicely with your own" joke a long time ago.
But, like Ellen, I've learned one must be careful which habits are imparted to our self-propelled mimic machine.
We have, for reasons immediately obvious to the females in the family and completely not-obvious to me, a giant dressing mirror in the den. Olivia uses this to dance and preen and practice screamingly funny facial expressions, making her look sort of like Jim Carrey, if Carrey were 3 feet tall and wore clear plastic slippers and a pink tu-tu, that is.
Anyway, yesterday morning Olivia had decided to do a little swirly dance with one of her blankets when on the TV screen behind her a CART driver decided to have himself a little bit of quiet time by bounding over a barrier, spinning the vehicle around twice, and scattering an impressive amount of his car across the landscape*. I said, without thinking much about it, "uh-oh!"
Olivia suddenly spun around, threw her blanket up in the air, shouted in her hyper-cute LittleGirlVoicetm, "GOD!" then threw the towel down to the ground, "DAMMIT!"
Barely suppressing a smile, I turned away from Olivia toward my left, where Ellen had been sitting typing away on her computer next to me on the couch. The look in her eyes as she stared at me would compare quite favorably to the one her snakes get when she puts a dead mouse in their cage.
"She got that one from you," she said.
Which of course caused me to turn back and say, "Olivia, we only say that when Schumacher or Alonso go out."
"Right daddy... soomahker alanso, right." Then she started making rubber faces at the mirror.
She's actually losing her timing a little bit. Normally this sort of thing is reserved for when A Gramma is around.
* The quiet time came at the end, after all the "tink tink p-tang tink" sounds had died down.
Many thanks to BlueLens for the excellent pix!
"C'mon Joshua! Dip me again!"
O really liked Mark's hammock.
This morning I was in the den, reading my newspaper whilst sitting on the ol' rocking chair. Olivia, who was busy doing her standard morning Tasmanian Devil impression, spun her tornado over to me and suddenly said, "Daddy! Whas that?" and tapped on the opposite side of the page I was reading.
I looked, and saw a very large chart, some sort of oil company ad trying to explain which countries are getting their bazillions of profits, and how much. I was trying to frame the whole thing into the standard six-words-or-less that her current attention span allows when suddenly she said, "Daddy! That's a pie chart!"
"Why yes, Olivia, that's exactly what it is."
She nodded once emphatically, said "right," then spun off into the kitchen looking for a juice box.
Ellen, sensing an easy point, immediately chimed in, "what, do you think she's stupid?"
Our child, being, well, our child, has not settled on the standard "comfort favorites" of toys or blankets. Instead, her favorite "comfort thing" is a full-sized pillow Ellen or I dragged down to the den one night long ago when we couldn't sleep. This is "pillow-pillow", as in, "no, pillow-pillow can't go in the potty!" and "no, pillow-pillow doesn't want any cereal!" and "no, pillow-pillow is not for bopping kitties!"
What pillow-pillow is good for, however, is tossing on daddy's lap. Olivia will then turn around and back toward me in her trademark ready for pickup way.
Which she did just a few days ago while we were watching, oh hell I don't know, something pink with princesses and ponies in it. She then flopped, grown now to the point she barely fits on the pillow itself when lying down, reached down and grabbed a blanket.
"Daddy! Watch me! I sleep like daddy!"
She then closed her eyes and produced a sound which was a cross between a chainsaw with a bad carburetor and someone strangling a duck. The cats all stopped in their tracks and looked at her in alarm, and I swear the windows started to rattle. After a few impressive repeats, she stopped, giggled loudly, and went back to watching TV.
When I related this to Ellen after she got home later that evening, all I got was a, "yeah, she's getting pretty good at impersonations, isn't she?"
A kiss from the Princess
Yes, yes. I spent my dance money I earned last night on Olivia. It was worth it.
Amber and I took Olivia to the petting zoo today. It was a hit.
A few days ago, whilst stuck for about 20 minutes in 5 mph traffic, Olivia: "Mommy?
Ellen, who was cross-stitching and not paying attention: "What?"
"I'm sorry Olivia, we're stuck in traffic. You'll just have to wait."
"Ok mommy." Then, in a gradually louder sing-song: "bored bored bored bored I'm so bored bored bored I'm very bored bored bored," repeated for about 5 minutes.
Then, after more creeping: "Mom?
"Aaag! Traffic! I'm going crrrazzzzy!!!" (flops dramatically side to side in her superchair.)
Some sort of backup on 66, I don't know, an accident or something. Complaining about traffic, not even
2 3. She's definitely a local!
Even Olivia knows how to send evil herself into the living room to destroy all stuffed animals who disobey her!
Yes! My girl has her first Minion!
See what happens when you don't give me a binkey fast enough? I zapped him right out of his shoes!
Ellen: "AAGG! No! Olivia, no squirting the juice box in the kitchen. Stop it! Gimme that!" *snatch*
Olivia: "No mommy! Enough! You timeout right now! Stand there!"
My comment, "she's definitely your child," was rather unappreciated by both parties.
What happens when a certain little girl gets into her grandma's jewelry box.
Note the cat collar...
Well we walked to the end of our street anyway...
Uhh... Olivia? Don't you know Princess don't wear dresses in the snow?
When Ellen's away, daddy gets to play, this time with pictures taken during yesterday's daddy day. Why is she in just a diaper? It's the only thing I didn't worry about her staining. Note also the ballet shoes. One must, of course, accessorize.
Olivia: "Mmm, mommy! Taste-a good!"
Ellen: "Aag! No! Olivia! Boogers are not food!"
"Oh Daddy! S'o beautiful!
Olivia decided it was time she was allowed to help roll out tarts this year. I did not have an extra rolling pin, but a paper towel tube seemed to do the job!
I learned the only thing more futile than trying to elect a Democrat to the White House is taking a two year old with you Christmas shopping.
O and her Aunt Nina.
O taking a snooze with Arbor.
Only Ron and Amber will get the title! Thanks for the china girl outfit from NYC!
Why yes, I am a princess. Why do you ask?
Yesterday Ellen, coming home from a multi-hour shopping run with Olivia, trudged up the stairs and presented me with an ultimatum: "Don't say the f- word in front of Olivia, Ok?"
To which I, sitting on the couch watching the Redskins trounce the 49'ers, could only reply with some puzzlement, "Um, ok. Sounds like a plan. Any reason we're starting today?"
Ellen: "No. It's just a bad idea and I don't want you teaching her any more bad habits!"
Me: "Hey, it's not like I handed her that beer!" Which got me one of those "significant" looks. "Well, I did take it right back!"
Just then Olivia, who had been tap-stepping up the stairs holding an animated conversation with one of her shoes, reached the top and walked into the living room. She sighed heavily, looked straight at Ellen, and delivered this judgement:
After one of the most pregnant pauses in history, I said, with that "ancient Chinese secret, huh?" tone, "Ah yes, we certainly wouldn't want her to learn any of my bad habits. That would be just... terrible."
Ellen didn't so much as bat an eye, "Fu-- rrr-- Dam-- rrr-- Darned right!" Then she started unpacking.
It's proving to be a bit of a challenge to discipline Olivia about this. Not only does she drop the ol' f-bomb at the most surreal moments (we're still trying to tease the meaning out of "fuckit Elmo shoe strawberry"), but she does it with her patented Cute Child Voice. We have a really hard time not completely cracking up, which would of course only encourage her.
Well, we still have several weeks to go before the next visit from a Gramma, so hopefully this'll be under control by then. Of course, there's also the potential for Ellen to self-detonate from all her pent-up f-bomb energy.
I'm not sure I want to know which will happen first.
Ok, so I lied. Here is pix #2. This is O's other ballet costume. You see, you have to wear the proper ballet costume to the right Barbie movie. Blue for swans, pink for ice skating. Get it right, or else!
This is dress #1. Dress #2 gets posted tomorrow!
For on this day Olivia, who, like her mother, may be living in the 21st century but is tempermentally better suited to a far more... impirial era, did something unprecedented. Even, perhaps, epochal. I swear after it happened the Devil himself knocked on my door in a snow-dusted parka and yelled at me to, and I quote, "knock it off." Yes, dear readers, it has actually happened. Our miniature empress-in-training actually did it. After more than two years of Making Our Wishes Known to the Servants, Olivia amazed us all.
She said, "please."
For, predictably enough, a handful of M&Ms. I wasn't quite sure I'd heard right, so after she'd scarfed that handful I shook another out and waved it at her.
Me: "Olivia, do you want some more?"
Olivia: "Uh! Uh! Emm! ... Emm!"
Me: "What do we say?"
Olivia: "Pwease?!?" (hop hop hop)
Let's just say I'm darned glad we don't have a surfeit of skilled trumpeters. If we had enough, I'm quite sure there would be angels arching across the sky, announcing imminent apocalypse.
Ah well, I'll guess we'll have to wait for the next time the Cowboys get in the Superbowl for that.
She stole them from Dorothy.
Today, in the bookstore:
Ellen: "Ooo! Look! Swan Lake Barbie on DVD!"
Me: "Swan Lake. Barbie."
Ellen: "She's been trying to twirl to ballet all week! This will be perfect!"
Olivia, on cue from her umbrella stroller: "Bahlee daddy! Bahlee!" [hands over head]
Four hours later, after an hour nap, we're on our second showing. Yep, Olivia has her very first chick flick, complete with horsies, cute animals, strong women, and clueless guys. Hold up your fists guys, I actually sat through the whole thing first time with my girl's head resting in my lap. She actually sighed once and said, "oh daddy... bahlee..."
Well, she did watch an hour and a half of the Redskins game beforehand. That's worth something... right?
*SNIFF!* She has my 'eats small children' smile. *SNIFF*
Note how Olivia is brushing my hair, rather painfully, with a cat brush.
I learned that, no matter how much she complains, you should not let your 2 year old daughter take a nap with a giant chocolate chip cookie.
Those of you saying, "DuH!!!" have not seen a class 4 meltdown. Now shaddup and tell me how to get chocolate out of these sheets...
Olivia also got a new hat whilst on vacation. This was the last day; note the seriously "browned" girl in the 2nd picture. Ellen was spitting nails at both of us for getting so tan so fast:
She liked the one with the broken back that was just part of the pool gear much more than the new one we bought the next day. I think she was better able to balance on it. Class 4 meltdown when we left without taking it with us!
O is an artiste.
Driving a "daahl-pi" (dolphin).
The entire time she is calling the kitty. "C'mere! Psss...Psss...Pss..."
We went to the Virginia Zoo today. Prepare for lots of pixes!
Between nearly every cross street on the boardwalk is some sort of sculpture. We have not found a horse or elephant yet. But this is close. And yes, we have 2 live hermit crabs going home with us.
Yes, another rare photo. I'm usually behind the lens.
The after dinner icecream incident.
Apparently chlorinated pool water from a boat is pretty good!
Tonka is the Sunspree's mascot. She is a 12 year old African Leopard Spotted Tortise. And a very upbeat and friendly one at that. She cannot seem to get enough attention.
This is how it's supposed to go.
Sometimes you're the boogie board, sometimes you're the wave.
Note to The Grammas: Olivia is fine. Since she is our child, she proved quite capable of having a "feet-in-air" wipeout in just six inches of water. She rolled upright on her rear less than a half a second later sputtering salt water and sand.
While at the (what turned out to be) C+ barbeque shop we stopped in for lunch, Ellen gave Olivia one of her hushpuppies, just to see what she'd do with it.
Ellen: "Here ya go O, have a hushpuppie. It's good! Eat it!"
Olivia, looking at it suspiciously: "wha dat?"
Ellen: "It's a hushpuppie! You eat it!"
Olivia, dubiously: "Eat puppy?"
Ellen: "No, it's a hushpuppie."
Olivia, paused, looked around, then in an emphatic whisper asked, "eat puppy?"
From that point on, until we left the place, she would tap my shoulder and whisper conspiratorially, "hush puppy daddy! hush puppy! Eat it!"
Which she did, and in the process proved it is quite possible to make a splatterific mess with something as simple as a fried dough ball. Sort of like our very own Mcguyver in diapers.
She will nap good today!
She got her own bed this vacation!
Of course I went through all the trouble of digging a two foot hole, and built a few sand castles just to get this shot. What kind of photographer doesn't build props? :)
Taken at 7 A.M
Olivia: Teeka vai mah! [shakes your hand vigerously]
Translation: "Thank you very much!"
We live around her pretty much 24x7, and we're still building our lexicon. Lord only knows what our friends make of it.
Lone Watie: I didn't surrender, but they took my horse and made him surrender. They have him pulling a wagon up in Kansas I bet.
Maybe we should call her "Rocking Little Horse" instead?
This is what happens when a little girl wants to wear the brand new Hello Kitty thongs your friend got you for your birthday.
*Note the various body stickers and the hula lei.
Sometimes you know they're just pitching a tantrum over something fuzzy. Sometimes though, sometimes...
At 18 months, our little monster was in a craft store and encountered one of those large styrofoam balls. We're talking something about the size of a small bowling ball, but about 1/10th the weight. She dragged it out of the bin, dropped it on the floor, then kicked it into the wall. As I watched it so I wouldn't have to lose/pay for it (dads of toddlers will understand), I heard a tiny voice behind me shout, "GOAALLLL!!!!!" As I turned around, I noticed she even had her arms in the air.
Something like eight months later (i.e. this afternoon), Ellen walks around the day care center's corner with an obviously distraught Olivia in her arms. As Ellen straps her into the car seat, I'm treated to a class-A meltdown. We're talking about fists thrashing, a bright red face, and uulations that would make an Arab woman take notes. I'm surprised the windows are still in the car.
Me, in a resigned tone: "What did you have to take from her today?"
Ellen, in the same tone: "A ball."
As we drove home, a heartbreakingly sobbing Olivia simply had one word for us...
Olivia: "Soccerrrrrrr!!!!" *sob* ... *snort* "Soccerrrrrr!!!!!"
Me: "Was it a..?"
Guess what's on the shopping list for this weekend?
Sorry Ron, you'll have to make your own. Ellen would notice if Olivia suddenly disappeared and showed up at your house in a shirt, shorts, and gloves. Chicks are unreasonable that way.
"If I get it dirty, that means it's mine, right?"
While it looks like Olivia is offering to share, what tends to happen is she snatches it back as soon as you reach for it, takes a big bite, and then giggles. Good thing she's cute.
"Is that fresh watermelon over there?!? Oh... watermelon..."
A hose, an Elmo bathing suit, and pink jellies. What more does a girl need?
I'm really just waiting for him to get closer. Closer little boy, closer...
A little big for a lilly pad, but you get the idea.
Shortly after, Olivia spun the propeller off. Oops.
Yes! She is finally playing with her rocking horse. It happened today while watching a show on cowboys. Go figure.
Olivia and her cousin Rebecca eating homegrown melon.
Who says Ellen's the only one gets to put up baby pixes?
Of course a hose needs a target...
Special thanks to Amber and Ron for being, respectively, target and assistant. Taken during Olivia's "home" birthday party a few weeks ago.
This was taken at a friend's 4th of July party yesterday in their kiddie pool.
Cute toddler: $$$$$$$$$$$$$
Paper princess hat: $12
Pink "lemon" T-shirt: $9
Catching one of Ellen's "oh-so-elegant" cats with her ass hanging out of the toilet: priceless
Daddy! I'm trying to eat my cake before it melts!
Such a little lady.
You can tell how cold she is in this picture. She was blue by the time she was finished playing with the hose. You can only imagine the fit she pitched when we finally took the hose from her.
Thats an awful big bunch of balloons you got there O. Good thing we only came home with the Elmo and the star ones. Daddy was very upset I had to take the latex balloons in the back bedroom and shoot them like used horses.
Yes, yes calm down. She has a bathing suit bottom on. She is not all nekkid!
Bud is my parents's calorie-challenged potato spud dog.
What's a little girl to do with an oversized purple spotted leopard, a pink kitty backpack and a fuzzy kitty frame to do! Hug them of course!
On this day Tomorrow, in about four hours (Ellen knows the time down to the second, of course), Olivia Rachel Johnson was born. In just a year, we've gone from this:
Onward and upward!