He's a genius! Says his mom.

My son is a genius. Like every mom, I have unlimited reasons to believe this, but listen to me here. I have real, genuine proof that anyone in the country would agree with. I know for certain, because I asked my mom, and she agreed whole-heartedly that we must enroll her first grandchild—stat—in the best program around. Enough said. Here's some of my proof. I was checking my email while Wally…


On the transition to the toddler bed

Wally Ben shows a lot of "big boy" traits these days—he climbs into his car seat on his own. He wants to "help" with everything—including minor tasks, like "helping" me get dressed for a work out…"Mommy, now take these socks off. Now take belly off." Uh…not always helpful. Our big boy also (we discovered accidentally tonight) can finish the lyrics for most popular radio songs—Wally 4 was singing…


Age 1 to age 2: The best year yet! (Part 2)

One of the best parts of the year from age 1-2: some of them start to talk so you can get an idea of what they are thinking. Wally didn't really start talking until around 5 months ago, and his vocabulary has since exploded. Wally now says 3-6 word sentences, like "Mommy done shaving Butt," which Wally pointed out would sound really bad if you didn't know he was using his nickname for our dog,…


Age 1 to age 2: The best year yet! (Part 1)

I love the year from 1-2. I love it so much, it makes me hesitant that we have to do another 0-1 come April. If I could pop this little baby out at the age of 1, I totally think I would! (Besides the obvious extra pain a 20-something pound little person would involve, it sounds like a pretty good option.) Skip the only eat, sleep, poop phase (or if you were Wally Ben, cry, eat, cry, sleep, cry,…


On being pregnant, again!

We took a test at the beginning of August, and it was negative. No baby. Bummer. So being the frugal person I am, I decided not to take another test until I had symptoms. Weeks later, no symptoms, although my stomach was growing unquestionably larger. It may have been the daily ice cream runs of Silver Lake. Or the seconds (and thirds—yipes!) of Auntie Debbie's cannelloni. So still I didn't take…


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 has decided…


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 ends with the fox…


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 must be hard…


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 and…


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 guard…