Ten Months With Otis

Wow! Time is flying people. Otis is less than two months from his first birthday, and we got a catalogue in the mail the other day full of “First Birthday Party” ideas. How is this already happening? At the same time, this year has been insanely full and sort of feels like three years in one. Funny how time works that way. This is a week late, and I am going to turn around and he’ll be eleven months! Whew!

Highlights & Milestones

Movement milestones are happening left and right with this kid. I think part of it is having a big sister to keep up with. He has gone from just crawling to speed crawling. It’s nuts how fast he is. He has been pulling up to chairs and tables, and he is trying oh so hard to climb onto Eleanor’s toddler bed. She is always happy to give him a boost. He loves to crawl around the house and explore new things. Most of the time it’s pretty harmless, but two of his current favorite places to sneak away to are the dog’s food bowl and an artificial tree in my parents room that has this grass stuff in the bottom. You can just imagine the mess!

Otis kept going in the teeth department. At this point, I think he may not stop “teething” until all twenty are happily in his mouth. He has six now, and two more on the top are working there way in. He has decided his new skill of pulling up to the coffee table is great to combine with teething and tries to grind his teeth on the edges. I told my mom “he’s distressing it! He knows what’s cool.” I don’t know if she bought it.

My boy said “MOMMMMMMA”. This one is obviously super exciting for me. Eleanor said “Dadda” first, so I am pretty darn thrilled that he said Momma first. My mom said there is an old wives tale that says that whatever your kid says first is the opposite of the gender of your next baby. Well we aren’t quite there yet on deciding future kids, but that will be interesting to see if it pans out if and when that day comes. Anyone else have that happen?

A big highlight of this past month was traveling to Nashville to see some good friends of ours. Shawn and Sarah live in Nashville, and our other good friends that we know from Australia came through there for a weekend. It was so wonderful spending time with them and letting the kids all play together. There are three girls and three boys. The boys are all a couple years apart in age, but the girls are within 18 months of each other. Eleanor and Lilly picked right back up where they left off.

When we went there, we stayed in a hotel, and we were really surprised how well the kids did. Because of that we finally decided to bite the bullet and put them in the room together overnight. For the most part, it’s gone surprisingly well. The only downside is that Otis tends to wake up a little earlier than Eleanor. If only he could adapt to her schedule right? Am I dreaming? It has been a great accountability for Eleanor, though to go to bed when we tell her to. She can’t wake her brother!!

Otis went on swings several times this month, and he just loves it. He’s an adventurous little man, and he still loves to be tossed in the air as well. He went on a carousel for the first time on the 4th of July when we went to the Zoo, and he loved that.

Otis had his first actual cold this month. He’d had little ones here and there, but this was his first lingering one. The boy was still such a happy kid for the most part, and I was so grateful that even though I knew he didn’t feel great, he didn’t seem miserable. He hated having his nose wiped, though!!


  • Food – people food allll the way! Turkey, avocado, bread, apple sauce, crackers, sweet potatoes (and especially sweet potato fries!)
  • Loves drinking water from his new water bottle
  • Being outside
  • Watching trucks/cars/etc – he would do this for hours!
  • Exploring everywhere
  • Chasing Eleanor
  • When Daddy gets home
  • Playing with Reese (the dog)
  • Being thrown in the air
  • Water – bath time, water table, splash pad…he loves it all.


  • Haaaaaaates getting his nose wiped!
  • Waiting for food

How Am I Doing?

I am doing pretty well. I just read what I wrote last month, and I am grateful that although circumstantially things are still a little challenging with what I was referring to last month, we feel stronger and filled with hope for the future. God is good!

I am feeling super encouraged about what I am doing, too, which is a welcome change after the first half of this year. I am loving both of the kids’ ages, even though they have their unique challenges. Overall they’re so much fun, and I especially love watching their friendship accelerate as Otis gets older.

Maternity Photo Shoot // Blair Vargas

I loved capturing Blair Vargas’s beautiful family and her little baby bump. They were so sweet, and it was adorable watching Hazel take photos and run around. Hazel has the cutest little personality, and I think she will be a great big sister in a couple months!!

Congrats on the upcoming arrival of your little lady!!

Three Years With Eleanor

I just scrolled back through to find my post about Eleanor on her second birthday, and after reading that, I am realizing just how big this last year has been for Eleanor…for all of us. The two obvious events – getting a new brother and moving to a new country. Although she had been to the US before, up until December, it wasn’t actually her country per say. She was born in Australia, and she spent the majority of her first few years of life there. It’s sort of hard for me to realize that she’s not actually going to remember living there, and she’s already started to forget some of the people she spent every day with, even though we often look through old photos and FaceTime our friends that are still there.

In the last year, Eleanor went from “beginning conversational” talking to “non-stop talker and singer.” Some of the things she says are unbelievable, and we laugh so hard. She expresses herself with her hands sometimes, and it’s so funny to see how she is like Robbie in that way. She has quite an imagination, and she’ll take us on adventures and missions all day. She has picked up a love for singing, and her ability to memorize songs is super impressive. I’m going to give that one to Robbie, too, because it takes me quite a bit of effort to memorize new songs. More recently we went to see the musical Annie at a local theatre, and you bet it’s been on repeat in the car ever since. She’s got most of the soundtrack memorized!

Some of Eleanor’s favorites over this past year have been dancing, more specifically ballet, and she will be doing dancing lessons for the first time later this month. I can’t wait to see this in action! She loves to help out in the kitchen, and when we got back to the States, my Dad had made her a kitchen helper, which is the perfect height for her to help. She loves dresses and having her nails painted, but she’s also not afraid to get messy and play outside. She loves to be outside, and I am so grateful for my parents backyard, which has been so wonderful as it’s warmed up. She loves singing! She loves reading books, and we’ve been to the library many times. She loves play places and playgrounds, although she’s gotten a little apprehensive on some of the bigger parts of a playground more recently. She also loves any sort of arts and crafts, and when she’s gone to summer camp at points through the summer, she’s come home with so many craft projects.

Eleanor – we love you so, so much, and we are so proud of the little lady you are becoming. You are growing in so many ways, figuring out the world around you and relationships, testing boundaries, loving hard and laughing much. We love being your parents so much, and we can’t imagine what this next year will bring! LOVE YOU!!! Happy 3rd Birthday my girl!!!

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