Sunday, November 14, 2010

Summer archive vid: How to keep cherries yummy

This video makes me think of summer. It also makes me hungry for cherries, and admiring of the carefree Olivia as she eats them in her underwear.

Bee Halloween (2010)

Olivia is making her way up the hill with Nanny and Grampy for Trick-or-Treating ROUND 1 (of three total rounds). Clearly she is excited about what awaits her.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Grampy Post

Olivia has a special relationship with her Grampy. Now before you say that this relationship springs from a shared, and perhaps unnatural, love of both butter (hold the bread) and whoopie pies (see pics here), I have to attest that there appears to be slightly more involved.

Today on the way to school, Olivia simultaneously steered and pushed her scooter while maintaining vigorous conversation. The chat moved from the treasure she had discovered earlier on the path (an "almost-dead cricket"), to her eyeballs, which she said were really good at spotting treasures.

Not one to pass up the opportunity to make a Public Service Announcement regarding healthy eating, I answered, "Do you know why I think that your eyes are so strong? You eat so many fruits and vegetables."

Her response: "I love my grampy."

Now, I KNOW that fruits and vegetables do NOT evoke Grampy. So I followed up, "What made you think about Grampy, right now, Olivia?"

Her answer: "My heart."

Boy if that isn't the most perfect morning conversation. It even topped the two New York bakery croissants I had later for breakfast. And they were REALLY buttery.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The New Room

Only the first 30 seconds or so of this video are good: Olivia's reaction to her new-new, big-girl room. Once you see that, feel free to move on to "A Wavy Windstorm," which is much more chock-full of classic Olivia-isms.

"A Wavy Windstorm," by Olivia Thomas

Olivia enjoys her new home. Here she does some painting on the patio, as well as some impromptu one-foot balance-dancing. It's a multiple artistic medium day, I guess.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sideways running in Dora undies

If Grandpa were in the military, he would have mastered the skill known as "sideways running." Instead, he was an Eagle Scout Troup leader, and soaked up some key battle skills without ever having to actually point (or carry) a weapon. Thankfully, Olivia can benefit from all of this peaceable skill acquisition in the comfort of her grandparents' backyard. Also, in underpants.

Blackberries and . . . ketchup

Olivia just requested ketchup with her huge, organic blackberries. Preston balked. I hooked her up. No "ew" moment followed. Au contraire: she relished the combo. So much so, in fact, that words failed her. My questions appeared to annoy her a bit. Of course, with this unique ketchup scenario, I had to invoke Uncle Todd, King Ketchup himself . . .


Olivia, yard swinging: "Why did Grandpa make this swing for me?"
Mama: "Because he loves you."
O: "Why?"
M: "Because you're awesome."
O: "Why? Why am I awesome?"
M: "Because you're silly and fun and nice."
O makes silly face to confirm above. Mama: "Are grandma and grandpa awesome?"
O: "No."
M: "What?"
O: "They're beautiful."

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Driveway Car Wash

I think that Grandpa has been saving up a whole bunch of activities that Olivia couldn't do in SoMa, San Francisco. Like driveway big wheeling. And driveway lawn-chair sitting. And now, as featured here, driveway car washing. You'll see that Olivia, in spite of the raging Delaware humidity, brings her characteristic flair to the task. She also declares dirty cars to be "dangerous." Luckily, all Nissan-related danger has since been removed from the driveway.

The Big Wheel

Grandma and Grandpa bought Olivia this awesome Big Wheel. The first video shows Session Two of assembly, which followed an initial solo attempt by Grandpa, a trip to the hardware store, intensive consultation from both Preston and Olivia . . . but which ultimately culminated in a ride-able plastic vehicle. Which you will see in all of its thrilling glory in the second video.

Magical. I should add that Olivia ALWAYS wants to go faster. I promise not to record the inevitable collision. Preston thought I moved far too slowly (not at all, in fact), when Olivia steered into the bushes today and did something akin to a stunt from The Dukes of Hazard. If my girl wants to be a stunt double in a popular, thinly-narrated television series though, who am I to stand in her way?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Backyard pool, Hockessin, Delaware

Yesterday was our first full day in Hockessin. Luckily, Grandma was there to help us navigate it. When she went to the dentist, Olivia and I hit the pool. It was a huge hit.

Train station, headed to Fairyland

Before leaving San Francisco, Marion, Noëma, Preston, Olivia and I headed over to Fairyland. (Preston had sold the car, so we took BART.)

Not the MOST riveting, but a cute interaction between Olivia and the girl she calls Sister. (Vous nous manquez, Noëma et Marion!)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Varsity Muddling

If you haven't heard about the sport known as "muddling," you soon will. (Post-game videos below.)

Olivia is a varsity muddler. What I appreciate most about her particular skill set, however, is that she is not one of those one-track-mind superathletes, but instead a kind of "scholar-athlete," or "renaissance player." What I mean by this is that she is able to simultaneously pursue her sport while also recognizing the art and opportunity all around her. And that's no JV skill, my friends. That's varsity.

So when first a dog, and then a a vagabond imp-man made their way onto Olivia's muddling terrains the other day, she was 100% non-plussed. Observe the skill, alongside the delight. I, for one, think it's really amazing to see this level of play at so young an age.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Nanny and Grampy have, according to Preston, surged ahead in the grandparent popularity race. (I'm not touching that one.) They sent a box of shells they had collected at the beach in Florida, complete with postcards showing those beaches and a little bunny purse in which O could put her favorite shells. Pretty spectacular.

One of the best parts of the first video is that Grampy's perennial joke for present opening is that he exclaims, "IT'S A BOOOX!" as if that's what he was hoping for. I swear I didn't put Olivia up to it here.

Day 2: the fun rages on. Olivia loves sorting the shells and finding the one that looks like a unicorn horn. She says things like, "Let's count the shells in Spanish!" which makes Mommy love the gift even more.


Olivia enjoyed playing Noema's harmonica, so Mommy decided to surprise her with one of her own. She loved it.

(One of my favorite parts of Olivia opening gifts is that she says, "I LOVE IT!!" right away, even if she doesn't know what it is.)

Unfortunate timing though: Nanny & Grampy's present arrived on the same afternoon, and after enjoying the harmonica she immediately shifted into "I have ANOTHER present!!" Oh well. Her tiny jams are worth the momentary upstage of the AWESOME grandparent gift.

Attack of the Nakey

Two things Olivia loves: scaring people, and being naked. (Luckily those two things are not synonomous.) Behold, the monster in undies.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bath + bubbles = CREATIVITY

This bathtime video really drives home that when God was making Mama and Olivia milkshakes, he poured chocolate sauce into Mama's, and named Olivia's"vanilla."

I am proud to say, however, that Olivia and I are alike in one very important way: we both feel super creative in the bath tub. Maybe that's why she invited my feet in to join her. Witness Olivia's spontaneous counting of "foots" (aka toes), pretending they're her "BABEEEES!" and unexpected use of Spanish term "el mascote" (pet).

Monday, February 22, 2010

"Shake Your Heiny"/"Paparazzi"

The following intros are designed to help you derive the maximum humor from this series of videos taken by Mama (1) and Oliva (2).

1. Mama introduces the "Shake Your Heiny" to the "Paparazzi" tune. Olivia bites, and performs briefly, but ultimately decides that she would prefer to conduct the videography herself. That's OK with Mama, because she likes performing.

2. NO, THAT IS NOT MY BUTT CRACK. OK, now that that's established, enjoy Mama prompting Olivia about how to capture the best video. Olivia remains concerned that her fingers are in the way, but the resulting video proves that she has overcome that hurdle.

3. La pièce de résistance: final video, complete with O's feedback to performer: "That's NICE." Note that she opts for a location change yet remains concerned about her finger still being in the way. (We place a big emphasis on quality in the Turner-Thomas household.) Also, in response to dAVE portraits -- "Dats my famiyee!"

Monday, January 4, 2010


For Christmas my brother, Todd, bought a frog environment for Makena, his daughter. This is the moment of the frog unveiling--Olivia stands as witness. Within 24 hours the aquarium had been upended, frogs were headed to places unknown . . . but Preston and I corralled them again. They remain, at the time of this post, alive. I think.

The outermost keys

. . . are Olivia's piano étude staples. She met her first piano in Delaware. Loves it. Oh God. I can just see the investment looming now . . .

Doodley-doo ("Let's build another snowman")

OK, so my vocal accompaniment to Olivia's dancing is annoying. But her dancing and eating of the carrots intended for the snowmen's nose offset that factor. Awesome.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Grandpa Wrastling, Part I (or II, depending on how you read the blog)

Grandpa wrestles Olivia with ball as accomplice and Ahnee Kathleen filming. She loves it. If you like this, try "Unparalleled Joy," the previous post. Good stuff. The more Olivia can flop around on beds or carpeted surfaces aided by a grandfather, the better, apparently.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Unparalleled Joy of Pushing Someone Forty Times Your Size

When it comes to kids, Grampy specializes in physical humor. Super-specialty: farts. But for toddlers, you really have to go that extra mile, so Grampy imitated a tree chopping himself down over and over again, tilting precariously and risking crushing the howling two-year-old on the Marriot bed. (Yes -- my whole immediate family -- parents, siblings, and their spouses and kids -- were in a Marriot room spending some QT together over the break. Hey -- when it comes to Christmas, it's time to pull out the stops. And party like a falling log.)

The resulting video, I think you'll find, is breathtaking. Enjoy.