Eight Months With Otis

What a month! And now we are 2/3 of the way to a year. Excuse me while I go cry in a corner!!!

Highlights & Milestones

A highlight for me this month is watching the brother/sister bond between Eleanor and Otis get stronger and stronger. Earlier in the month I posted a video of Eleanor doing some twirls in her room while falling, and Otis couldn’t get enough. He was laughing so hard! She’s so sweet to him, too! The other day I watched her go over to him while he was in his jumpy chair, and she said, “Oh buddy! Where’s your cracker? Did you eat it all buddy? Oh silly, you dropped it! Here you go, Otis!!!” It’s so sweet to watch her love on him and take care of him. He loves her so much, too, especially when she sings to him. On a recent trip, there were a couple moments on the drive that Otis was over it, and once I showed him a video of Eleanor singing, he was happy as can be. I am so excited to keep watching their friendship grow.

There were a lot of movement milestones this month. He’s rolling all around a room, shimmying himself around to get where he wants, planking, rocking on all fours and sitting up unassisted. He still loves his jumpy chair as well. We have an old one outside, and I think that’s his happy place – outside and jumping. He is probably only days away from crawling. He has it all down except for the arm part, and he’s starting to lunge forward for now. I can only imagine what it will be like when we have him crawling around and exploring.

He’s started eating more foods that have more texture – bananas, avocados, oatmeal, eggs, cheerios and raisins. He really wants people food now and has no patience for purees. I know Eleanor had a lot of these things at 8 months, but I think because he’s our second, he seems too young! I also think with your first you are hyper aware of all the new things to do and try and watch for. With the second, you blink and they’re 8 months!

We went on a road trip this past month to Washington DC to see my cousin retire from a 20-year Air Force career. Just before we went, I could see some movement happening on his top teeth, and he had a slight fever. I assumed they were related, but he was getting more and more uncomfortable. The fever wasn’t really going away much either, so I ran him up to the Dr. before our trip just in case something else was going on. She checked him out, and he looked fine, clear of any bacterial infection. She said he probably has some sort of viral infection and to watch it over the weekend. A couple days later, his fever subsided, and he had a rash all over. I’m pretty sure it was roseola, but fortunately, by the last day of our trip (our drive back), he was much better. His top teeth have mostly come through this past week as well. You can see them in a picture below.

This past month has f-i-n-a-l-l-y consisted of good weather, so we’ve been outside a lot more. We’ve gone on walks, to the zoo, to the park and more, and Otis is such a big fan. He loves to be outside. One of his favorite spots is sitting on the front porch, and he gets super excited with each passing car. He gets especially excited when the big work trucks that are doing construction at the back of our neighborhood drive by. At the park one day, he went on the swings for the first time, too.

Another highlight was a visit from our friends from Australia. They’ve done a huge trip around the world, and they were up in Chicago. We met them in Lafayette one afternoon, and it was so great seeing them. Kate had their little boy two weeks after Otis was born, and his name is Otto. We affectionately call them the “O-Men”. It was so good to see them!


  • Food – fruit purees and people food (bananas, avocados, eggs, bread, raisins, broccoli and cheerios), baby mum-mum crackers and puffs
  • Being outside – walks, parks, sitting on the grass, front porch watching
  • Jumparoo chair still going strong
  • Being tickled (and the anticipation of being tickled)
  • Being thrown up in the air
  • Any toys, especially his sister’s toys when she shares (which fortunately is most of the time at this point)
  • Yelling and growling are his favorite sounds to make
  • Bathtime


  • Do not take food (or anything) out of Otis’s hands if he’s playing with it…just don’t ;)
  • Being in the car for too long if he’s tired
  • Peas
  • When you don’t share your food with him

How Am I Doing?

I’m doing really well. This last month has been like a breath of fresh air in a number of ways – seeing old friends, making new friends, being outside. I’ve re-launched my photography business here in Indianapolis, redesigned my blog and started writing more again. I am dreaming more for the future and all the possibilities. I’ve started a mom’s “Summer Meetup” group that I am excited about. I’ve been doing a bit better with working out and eating well, hopefully continuing to improve upon that. A lot is going really well.

There are challenges of course in this season, but I am trying to be content where we are at and not rush things. I’ve learned so much over this last year about God’s timing and “withness” and to trust that, so I am hoping to remember that in the day-to-day when challenges arise.

I’m loving these times with the kids and figuring out our rhythms. I am trying to get us out a bit more on a daily basis, which I think helps Eleanor a lot. There have been some challenges with Eleanor over the last month or two that we are praying about how to navigate, but I think the more consistent our routine can be, the better. Otis is so chill and laid-back at this stage that it’s helpful when I have to work with Eleanor. And of course, I am optimistic and hopeful that the older Otis gets the more they’ll play together.

Until next month!

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  1. Terri kinney May 28, 2018 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    These two are just plain fun. Love having them here and helping when we can!

    • Ashley Willingham May 29, 2018 at 4:26 pm - Reply

      They are SO much fun! Thank you for all your help in this season – we are forever grateful!!!

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