That Time I Became a Playwright…

In August, the theater my daughter is in made the tough decision to go fully virtual for the rest of the year. While we understood, we were hugely bummed. She’s been in their holiday show the past two years, and it has become a part of our lives already. We knew a virtual show was possible—Vivvi participated in one over the summer where she got a monologue about a girl in quarantine who decides…

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The Lion of Palms: That Time We Made a Life-Sized Lion out of Sand

It was hot at the beach that week. Hot and windy. And we were enjoying every moment of it—lugging a wagonload of stuff to the perfect spot we’d staked out early in the morning, digging holes that we hoped would hold the heavy umbrellas in place for some respite from the heat, and slathering on gobs of sandy sunscreen over our burns from the previous days. It was just like any other summer…

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Dear Enemies, Game for Sale

Dear Enemies, Game for sale. Scratch that. Game for free!!!!! Item: The board game Hedbanz Sidenote: You can remember the "cute" spelling of the game's name because it is exactly how you would spell it if I told you a headband was a torture device. Description: Wear a card on your forehead. Ask Yes or No questions and cry until you guess what the card says. Notes: • This game is really fun! Your…

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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 that…

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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 science behind why hand…

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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 if we are crazy, or if it will bring some…

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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 years,…

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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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