On Routines

Wally V has proven to really like routines. Like all toddlers, he thrives best when he knows what is going to happen next, step-by-step. Every morning, I bring Wally Ben downstairs once he wakes up—which is earlier and earlier these days…6:30 currently. I then usually get my work computer out and go through my emails and plan my day’s work. I usually sit at the kitchen table. Wally...


More more more!

Wally Ben has started the toddler thing. No, not the tantrum toddler thing (although we’ve seen glimpses of that and this morning, I even volunteered to take a timeout with him to make it easier). I mean the repeat yourself thing. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Except for him, it’s “Mo, mo, mo.” If we read a book, and he likes it for any particular reason (like the Gingerbread Man...


On taking orders from Charlie Chaplin

Wally V likes things to be exactly as they should be, in their proper places. If a cabinet is open, he yells at us and points until we close it. If we open the microwave to take food out and it scrolls “Press Start” instead of displaying the time, the world must stop until we press the clear button. Only when the numbers are in their proper place will he continue with his lunch. It...


Celebrity interview—Wally Ben: On smiling, modeling, and iPhones.

Sherman Hospital ICE App model Wally Ottenhoff is winning an army of fans as smiley-baby John Appleseed’s son in ads plastered around the area, but his mom is none too pleased. Wally, 18 months, broke into a wide grin and said of his mother Mollie: She calls and tells me to stop letting it go to my head, stop hanging around the hospital offering to sign autographs. She says to come on home...


Baby love—it warms my heart!

Sometimes it makes perfect sense that we say love is felt in the heart. With babies, just like with other kinds of deep and major love, you don’t always feel it. Sometimes you go through the motions, feeding, picking up, reading Click Clack Moo, figuring out new and interesting ways to stack blocks, and getting through the day. But then, here and there, are moments where you are caught off...


My Cousin Kellen

The day his cousin Kellen was born, Wally Ben was playing with his Bs. Ba ba be be ba ba ba be. Me: Wally, you said “baby!” WV: Ba ba be be ba be. Me: Yes, “Baby!” WV: Bay be. After much encouragement, that became one of his new favorite words. A few days later, we put the word into practice. When we met Cousin Kellen, we said “Baby!” enough times to hammer it...


What a mess kids can leave!

Donno (Wally Ben’s Great Grandma) tells a story that her sister Junie’s daughter’s first words were “What a mess!” because Junie would march from room to room saying that phrase over and over. As a mom of an 18 month old, I believe it. I vacuumed yesterday and somehow the room was destroyed with toys by this morning. I live for those 2-3 minutes post-vacuum, when the...


I do not like the car. By Wally Ben

I like a lot of things. I like animal crackers. I like tails. I like clapping. I like fans, a lot. We don’t have any fans in my house, so when I’m at my grandparents, it is a real treat. I get to run from room to room and point at the fans. If I’m lucky someone will spin one for me, or turn one on. And then it goes around and around. It is really something. But, like they say,...


Daddy's Bodyguard Gets Embarrassed.

A few times Wally Ben has shown it upsets him when any aggression happens—usually by wrinkling up his forehead and yelling. If the dogs start to wrestle, he tries to get between them, puts on his best scowl, and does his little low-voiced froggy yell. Last week Wally IV tried tickling my knee, which I HATE like any ticklish person does, and Wally demonstrated his anger again when I screamed and...


Baby Workout Video—WV's 6 Week 6 Pack

Wally IV and I were doing Jillian Michael’s 6 Week Six Pack workout, so several times a week Wally Ben watched us each work out for a half an hour. He loved to watch, especially while eating lunch, since he has a clear view of the living room from his high chair. Food and the entertainment of a parent flailing around—what’s not to like? If he was running free, he sometimes liked to...