A letter to our devoted readers during COVID-19.

Dear Meet the Otts Readers, I just wanted to send this message to let you know how we are handling COVID-19. It has been quite the year-long week of life upsets and changes, and we want you to rest assured that we are handling it all with you in mind. Here are just a few things we are doing to protect you and stay sanitary during this unprecedented crisis. 1. We will not go viral. I assure you,...

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How to Host Your Own at-Home Day of Family Olympics

My favorite day of the year for the past 5 years or so has been New Years Day, hands down. Although I am an ultimate loser by the end of the day, my heart is full. This is the day we host our annual family olympics, a day of board games, challenges, and competitive shenanigans of a DIY, on-the-spot, at home nature. And the best part of it is, this isn’t a huge complicated affair—it isn’t...

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My Spinning Thoughts: A Moment in Time During COVID-19

I am taking control of COVID-19 fears the way I best know how—by reading everything good sources on the Internet have to offer. Every time my husband mentions something about the Coronavirus, I have at least five facts to either support or debunk what he has said from the various things I’ve read that day. I know more about mortality rates and “epi-” vs. “pan-” and the...

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Valentines Confessions: My Son Teaches Me Something About Valentines

When I was in elementary school, Valentines Day was one of my favorite school days of the year. I remember picking out my design based on what I liked, what it said about me, and which would elevate my likability to the boys in my class—Lisa Frank, Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny. Then, when I got home and opened the selected package, spreading the 4 designs on the table, I would read the messages on...

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A Very Ott Merry Christmas 2019

Around November we start getting anxiety—how will we do it again this year? We avoid talking about it, set up Christmas in our house very early because it feels like we’re doing something, and viciously start scrapping each other’s ideas. “That won’t work!” we say. “Will that be funny?” we ask. We work and laugh and then stop laughing and start wondering...

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Why This Is Pretty Much My Favorite Age

When my babies were babies, I remember believing that each age they reached was my very favorite age. Despite the sleep issues and needs and diapers, the eventual tantrums and whines, the never-ending potty training—oh, the potty training!—the sibling fights, the mistakes made long after they should “know better,” the potty training accidents that were still happening into elementary...

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The Otts Take Boston: A Family Adventure in Beantown

This summer we decided to get going on our list of places our family wants to vacation before the kids are grown and gone. Because we have a puppy this year, we knew we couldn’t tackle any of the bigger, longer trips on the list, which left some of the cities that felt manageable in 5 days. Because neither of us had ever been, and it was starting to feel stupid that it was so easy to get to and...

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Inspired to Travel: How Babies Ruin All the Fun

Our kids had an extra long summer this year because of construction at their school. The summer previous had been a disaster of togetherness—we had just moved and the boxes and lack of neighborhood friends or area activities combined to make me practically shove them on the bus on the first day at their new school. “Have fun, make friends, and don’t come back for at least 7 hours!” we...

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A Midsummer with Big Kids

We are in the thick of summer, and it’s going much better than last year. Last June, we had moved to a new town and knew no one and nothing. I thought we’d spend the summer finding kids, meeting neighbors, establishing roots, settling in. I thought summer would be a great time to move, to give that extra few months to make it feel like home. But when pull a picture from my memory file from...

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We Represent the Lullaby League from the Bathroom Floor

When you learn about Shakespeare, one of the first things they teach you is how to easily distinguish between a comedy and a tragedy. In order to entertain, both may have jokes or moments that pull at your tears, but the easiest way to distinguish is to stick around to the end. In comedies, the main characters live. In tragedies, they don’t. In high school, I loved theater. I had done...

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