My Favorite Age

We took Wally to a Chili Cookoff, an annual tradition at my in-law’s church. Mostly this has been the kind of event where I try to shove as much cornbread as possible in front of the kids so I can pretend they don’t exist while I enjoy tasting 20 differently flavored chilis. But this year was different. As we sat waiting for the official start, husband Wally explained the process to...


Sibling love: On the Brother and Sister Connection

Wally and Vivvi were arguing about which show to watch. She wanted “Jake the Pirate.” He wanted “Sofia the First.” He convinced her to his side by offering to give her an old dust buster he found laying around. They sat happily on the couch together, her holding the broken appliance, both totally engaged in the tales of the girl-next-door turned princess. (Husband Wally...


The Big Brother, Or, The Knight in Ripped Jeans

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Vivvi got a mild case of pink eye. I brought the drops home and Vivvi happily let me do the first round of drops—she didn’t know what was coming. The next time, we had struggle and tears. By the third round, this was a two man job. I pinned Vivvi down on my lap and forced her eye open. Husband Wally held the drops, and we tried to coax her to open her eyes. We...


A Visit to the Doctor, or, Kids Can Be More Than We Bargain For

It started a month ago when I scheduled Wally’s 5 year appointment. It was in the books, and for some odd reason husband Wally decided to let WV know that he had a doctor appointment in several weeks. “Do I have to get shots?” WV asked. “Maybe,” W4 replied. And the freak out commenced. Every day for a week, WV started by asking, “Do I have to get shots...


To Laugh or Not to Laugh? That is the Question.

A favorite question for my two year old daughter to ask is, “Is that funny?” She’ll make a face (yes), do a dance (yes), or spit (no), and follow up with a quick check-in—”Is that funny?” So much of being a kid is about asking that question. And so much of being a parent is figuring out that answer. Parenting requires more brain power than anything else I’ve...


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...


OCD or Typical Toddler? I'll let you decide.

If people are creatures of habit, Wally Ben is the mother creature. I know it is a normal toddler control thing to embrace routine. But this boy gives routine a big old bear hug. He squeezes routine until routine’s eyes pop out of it’s head. He unzips routine’s skin and crawls on up inside of it. I can tell you don’t believe me. “He is not more routine-centric than a...


My Two Little Differents—Or, Why We Are Who We Are.

Around the time Vivvi turned one, I started to meet her. For her first 6 months, like any new mom, I was just trying to stay awake enough to not drive into oncoming traffic. For her second 6 months, we were madly house hunting in a market that suddenly became the most competitive it had been in a decade. Vivvi survived on her own somehow. But as her personality started to pop, I realized why she...


My Little Gentleman, Or, Who Are You, and What Did You Do With My Tantruming Son?

WV started preschool at his new school last week. But before that, this preschool likes to ease your child into the first day of class. I understand easing. With an overactive, very spirited, tantruming, tornado of a three year old son, I have become very practiced at the art of the ease. (Wally, when we go to play with the neighbor, you can’t argue me when it’s time to go in. Wally,...