Merry Christmas! Our 2016 Christmas Video

It’s Christmastime, so that means it’s time for our annual video of general silliness. We are so happy to share our 1:23 labor of love, tears (mostly mine), Mariah, joy, toil, Buble, poor Ralphie, and Christmas cheer! Enough ado…Since this one speaks for itself, I’ll just tell you one thing: Enjoy! We hope you laughed! If you want to see a compilation of videos of...


When Caterpillars Become Butterflies: That Time We Mail-Ordered Bugs

Every time a kid’s birthday party approaches, my sister-in-law LizE asks what they would like, and usually I instruct, “You just do you.” Because she just happens to be the best gift giver on the planet. When my kids were babies, I suspected this was because of her career as an occupational therapist, where she helps kids develop their motor and fine motor skills. Because of...


Merry Christmas! Kids' thoughts on Christmas 2014

This year, we put our Christmas lights up on a timer. The first night, I knew what time they would be popping on, so I told Wally Ben to think really hard about it, and he could make the lights come on with his thoughts. He crunched his face to concentrate. I couldn’t wait for his amazement when they came on. Read more


Brothers and Sisters: Our Partners in Crime

Last night we spent the night at my parent’s house. The kids slept in one room (Vivvi in a crib and WV in a bed), and we slept next door. This changed up our usual routine in a way that may end up changing up our routine forever.Read more


Kids Say the Darndest Things, Christmas Edition! Plus, our Christmas Video!

We Otts love Christmas. We are that family who listens to Christmas music starting November 1. We try to take the week off between Christmas and New Years so we can properly enjoy the 8 million Christmas parties we have between our two families. We spend ages coming up with the perfect family Christmas Card, and since WV was born, we have tried to outdo ourselves every year. A few years ago I...


A Child's Love of Books

Since Wally was able to crawl toward books, he has at every opportunity. At 12 months old, he would find the mouse on every page of “Goodnight Moon”. At 15 months he’d be too quiet out of my sight for a while, and I’d find him surrounded by a pile of books he was paging through. By 20 months old, when he started talking, he had entire books memorized. He gets this love of...


"I'm Yours", WV's favorite song

Several months ago, Wally started occasionally talking and saying, “I…no…no…I…am…no…more…no…more…I…hmmm…”, and eventually I picked up on the fact that this talking with pauses was, in fact, him singing “I’m Yours,” by Jason Mraz. The “no more”s gave it away. This song was one that came up...


Family fun time

In the weeks leading up to Vivi’s birth, I experienced what probably most pregnant moms of toddlers go through–the feeling that this is the end of my time as a mother of one. The end of before. The end of my time with my one and only–before my heart’s capacity is doubled up. We had a lot of fun as a family of three. Of course, there is plenty of space for one more in all of...


WV sings the alphabet song

Tonight Wally Ottenhoff and I were singing the alphabet and heard WV say the “LMNOP” part, so I paused more to discover he usually knew the next letter. Then when I filmed this video, I expected to feed him a few letters at a time, but he just decided to take it away on his own. What an odd little memory he has. And of course, people, we realize that most of these are not actual...


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...