Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Tree

We decided to buy a live tree this year; it will planted in the backyard after the holidays. We had several goals in mind when we chose its location for the holidays:
  • Have a decorated tree
  • Separate cats, kids and the tree
  • Keep the tree alive
The tree is outside on the deck. We won't be home for the actual holidays so it's ok not to have a tree inside.

Vivian and I went out yesterday to decorate it with lights and crystals. We think it might need something else (stars? tinsel? a photo taken in the dark when you can see the lights are on?). And we definitely need to come up with a way to disguise that huge black container. But it's a start.

And unless Vivian goes through a sudden major growth spurt we have achieved another goal of ours ... have a tree that is bigger than Vivian.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Nikolaus 2009

Yet again, Nikolaus made his annual trip to the States to deliver little gifts to little girls. Unlike last year, Vivian gladly took the toys out of her shoes and didn't try to stuff them back in. This year, the hard part was deciding which one to take to church ... :)


Saturday, November 28, 2009


Thanksgiving was off to an inauspicious start when Vivian started to projectile-vomit during the night from Wednesday to Thursday. And continued to vomit several times more. Luckily, once she got whatever it was out of her system, she fell asleep and all was good. She was a little tired on Thanksgiving day, but other than that, absolutely fine. It did mean Vivian got to lounge about in everything cozy and comfy, AND she got to keep her binky all day. What you can't really see in the photo is that her socks have polka-dots, just to round out the collection of patterns and colors.

The rest of the weekend was absolutely lovely.

Aunt Casey and Uncle Ernie came, and brought Grandma with them. They arrived Wednesday afternoon, and proceeded to spoil Vivian the way only aunts, uncles, and grandparents can.

Will cooked a fantabulous Thanksgiving dinner which we are continuing to enjoy as different left-over variations as I'm typing this.

On Friday, Casey, Ernie, Vivian and I headed out to the Science Center to see the huge model train landscape and the robot exhibit. Lots of fun. Until we got back to the car and realized that I had locked my keys inside. Oops. Will came to our rescue with a set of spare keys!

Saturday morning, we all headed out for breakfast and then our visitors took their leave and started their journeys home to Virginia and Maryland.

I had the following conversation with Vivian at random points during the day:

Vee: Grandma?
Me: She went home.
Vee: Casey?
Me: Casey went home, too.
Vee: Ernie?
Me: Ernie also went home. They all went home.

Clearly, Vivian enjoyed her visitors and misses them already! We do, too. Thanks for coming to Pittsburgh!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Where's Vee-do?

It appears our girl is always being buried underneath stuff. :)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dancing Queen

We went to the annual Thanks-giving dinner today that was put on by the Men's Group of our church. The food was yummy, the company good; but we are worried that that musicians may not be coming back next year to perform because Vivian stole their show (or at least the eyes of the audience, they all still listened to the great music). In this video, she's actually dancing in the back, for the previous performer, she was standing pretty much right in front of him (although, I think, he couldn't see her because his notes where blocking her).

On a side note, it was very nice to have one of the ladies of the church come up to us and tell us how great a job she thinks we are doing with Vivian and what a wonderful little girl she is. :)

Executive Toddler

Vivian's been sick, so we've spent the week at home. It is amazing how long the keyboard and mouse kept her occupied, considering they are not hooked up to anything. As long as the mouse-cord it tucked under the keyboard, that is.

I guess she must think that I don't produce any more output with my hooked-up laptop, either. I hope the people at work disagree :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dormont Park

Last Friday was one of those beautiful fall days. Not too cold, sunny ... perfect for a meet-up in the park with Vivian's friends Emma and Corwin and their mothers.

Dormont Park is this cool wooden structure that encourages lots of climbing and sliding, walking across wobbly bridges, and ducking into small openings. Great for the kids. Here are some photos and a video from the day. Notice that we actually managed to get all three of them to sit in the same spot for about 2/3 of a second!

The video:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ancient Toy

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a little colorful gnome, in the garden of a little girl's house. He spent many happy years there. Then, the little girl grew up, and moved away, far away, to a different country, leaving her gnome behind. But her gnome never forgot her. And when that (now grown) girl finally settled down and bought a house, the gnome jumped into the next suitcase traveling to the girl, and moved in with her, her husband, and cats in Annandale. When they all moved to Pittsburgh, the gnome came with them.

And now, the girl has her own little girl. Who, this afternoon, discovered the gnome as a "puppu" (doll) to play with outside. That new little girl even let the gnome sit on her chair. That made the gnome very happy.

The End.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I think Vivian had a fun day today, judging by this picture. Thank you to everyone for all the gifts, comments, cards, calls, messages, emails ... they made the little girl feel very special.

More once I've had a chance to work on a couple of the photos.

Happy 2nd Birthday!

Another year has flown by. Wow. Happy 2nd Birthday, Vivian! Below is a photo from every month. If you want to look at the photos of Vivian's first year again, click here.

December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Tall Girl

"Someone" decided she doesn't need a high-chair at home anymore. We've actually been skipping the high-chairs and booster seats in restaurants for a while. They seem to be more trouble than they're worth. Vivian might disagree; she thinks it's lots of fun to drag a booster seat around the restaurant and sit here and there with it. ;)

Thursday, November 5, 2009


A couple of my favorite moments with Vivian from this week:
  • We were driving home from daycare. Vivian is on her cellphone, having a one-sided conversation, complete with pauses to let the other person speak, and the occasional giggle. Her talking is utter non-sense. Then she says "Bye-bye" and closes the phone. I asked her who she was talking to, and she said "Daddy".

  • Apparently, our little Miss Independence has been watching the boys at daycare a little bit too closely. Several times now, she's pulled down her pants, taken off her diaper, stood in front of the toilet, and held her non-existent boy-parts to pee. When I try to put her on the toilet ("just like Mommy") she holds up her hand and says "[A]way, Mommy!"

  • When I picked her up from daycare on Wednesday, a bunch of the other kids spotted me and started shouting "Vivian Mommy". Vivian was oblivious to it; busy monkeying around with a plastic hard-hat. When Mr. Dan finally pointed me out to her, she turned around, shrieked gleefully and flew full force into my arms.

  • Our "house concerts". Vivian has two xylophone-type toys. We put them on the floor opposite each other and start playing. There are very frequent switches of who plays which xylophone mandated by Vivian, and she also "sings" and claps in addition to playing. I have a feeling it is quite the torture for an innocent listening bystander, but I find it fun!

  • Vivian dragging me in the middle of the "dance floor" (aka the playroom) when the radio is on and then copying my (rather bad) dance moves. We really need to find a toddler gymnastics class or something for this winter!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Goofing Around

Vivian is goofing around with those big soft cuddly hybrid animals that the Barbers have given her. They are very popular toys around here at the moment!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


When Will and I found out that Leonard Cohen had neglected to put Pittsburgh on his tour schedule, but was going to come to Cleveland, Ohio (about 2.5 hrs drive from here), the only logistical question that prevented us from immediately ordering tickets was the question of where Vivian could stay over night. Luckily, Katherine and Michael, Emma's parents, were willing to take the poor abandoned child in. By all accounts, they had a fun time. Vivian didn't really cry until we came back the next morning to pick her up - either because she liked it so much better with Katherine, Michael and Emma; or because she suddenly realized how long we had left her alone (you pick). Will and I had a fabulous time at the show in Cleveland, too.

Katherine posted some pictures of the sleep-over on her blog here.

Thanks, again, Katherine, Michael & Emma!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Trick or Treat!

Saturday was a busy day around here. First, we went to Emma's 2nd birthday party. All day, I'd been practicing both "Happy Birthday" (the song) and "Trick or Treat" with Vivian. As we pulled up to Emma's house, Vivian said "Trick or Treat, Emma!". Hm. That may still require some work. I'm including a little video of our practice, because I'm sure that Vivian will say trick-or-treat correctly next year, and the way she says it now just makes my heart melt every time. I still make her say it even though Halloween is over! :)

Emma's Party

After Emma's party, we headed home. Daddy had carved and lit a pumpkin. We put Vivian back in her monkey-costume and headed out to knock on a few of the neighbors' doors. Vivian's costume was adored by all (Anne, you did such a fantastic job making it, thanks for passing it on!), and by the end of it, Vivian had even learned to take candy from the people, rather than trying to put candy from her bucket into theirs. It was a fun evening.