Adventures in babysitting, and a long-time-coming night on the town!

We achieved a new plane of freedom last night—we left the kids with "sitters". Yes, yes, Wally Ben is 3 years old, so this has been a long time coming. But, he was a notoriously angry little fellow as a baby and toddler when left with anyone other than grandparents. He cried for entire hours in the nursery at church. He would be returned to us, red-faced, doing that post-cry 3-tiered sigh that…


The Three Year Old Nap, or lack thereof some days

Like every parent, I love naptime. That glorious 1-3 hour period where there are no little people running around, making noises, demanding to be fed, tazmanian deviling the toys, banging their heads into walls on accident and on purpose, and generally being 3 or less years old. (This is a mom's perspective at the beginning of naptime. Talk to me at the end of the 1-3 hours and I will have much…


Sometimes I could lose my mind, Sometimes I could eat him up

And now for a new blog feature, in which I vent about a frustrating experience that only a child could cook up, but then wrap up with something redemptive that only a child could cook up. The most frustrating thing for me currently is leaving the house when husband Wally isn't home. Not only do we have to do the shoes and coats thing times 3, but we have to get all of our many bags (diaper,…


Taking on the Big Brother Role

Someone asked me the other day a common question: how is Wally Ben handling being a big brother? And the honest answer is, "Like a champ." Before Vivi was born, we wondered if our little drama king would be okay with being dethroned. You can't really guess with a guy who occasionally, mid-tantrum, will run to the nearest mirror to watch himself cry. But he actually seems to love his new role as…


Our First Camping Adventure

Wally IV doesn't like to camp. He dislikes the non sleep, campfire smoke, and lack of facilities. But my family were campers, and I have such fond memories of it that I wanted to give Wally a chance to not sleep, smell smokey, and pee outside. So I decided it was time for a modified camp experience—nostalgia-style, in my parents yard where we had occasional camp experiences when I was growing……


WV Goes to the Movies

We Otts love movies. If we could choose one form of entertainment only for the rest of our lives, we would agree—Hollywood all the way. So we were pleased when we took Wally on our first road trip when he was almost 2 years old, and he fell so in love with the medium that he was up at 3 in the morning requesting more Lion movie. (Well, we weren't in love with the timing, but it did make an 18…


Behind every sane mom…

A few weeks ago, we stood in the hallway of a hotel. Wally IV was spoon-feeding, patiently, spoonful after spoonful of ice cream. This lasted 15 minutes or so. It was 10:30 at night. And the ice cream tasted amazing. To me. He was spoon feeding me. That's right. It had been a long day for Genevieve at a hotel. Wally Ben had the time of his life that day, running around and playing with his cousin…


My kids, side by side

I am told all the time that Wally Ben looks like me. Just as often, I'm told he looks like Wally IV. My theory is that he looks just like Wally IV when he is serious and angry. Otherwise he looks like me (when he is happy and laughing, of course). This is a joke, although his brow furrowing is truly Wally IV-ish. I expected Vivi to look like Wally V had. When Wally Ben was newborn, he resembled…


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 these activities,…


The fools our kids make of us

At 6PM yesterday, I was a bad sitcom. I was wearing an "I'm not leaving the house today and I'm sweaty and 4 weeks from full term" outfit, complete with a streak of honey that I had decided not to wipe off of my shirt's protruding belly in a moment of I'm-growing-a-human-being allowance. (If you have had a baby, you know what I mean—"I deserve a bi-weekly Shamrock Shake, I'm growing a human…