Dear Otis- 11 Months

Dear Otis,

I am writing you on the eve of your 11 month birthday. You are asleep upstairs and your dad is out of town playing a gig with his band. I know I am a truly lucky lady because I saw both of you today and yet I am sitting on the couch missing you guys. That’s love for sure! How lucky I am to have a family that I can’t get enough of!

Today was a day of ups and downs. You came with me to a festival in Petaluma that I had agreed to volunteer at, and you were the most scrumptious little boy. It was 90 degrees out and you were drenched in sweat down to every last curl, yet you were contagiously happy. Your happiness is an inspiration.


Later you had a friend over, a little girl who is only a few weeks older than you. You haven’t started crawling yet and she is walking. You only respond to “up” (you put your arms up to be picked up) and “in the mouth” (you put food in your mouth rather than throwing it on the floor) and she seems to respond to the entire english language. Later your silly mom was worrying about the differences in the two of you and then turned around to find you eating dog food. Luckily I fished it out of your mouth and calmed you down.  I chastised myself that you could have choked and that I need to be more diligent in keeping my eye on you. I worried that I wasn’t being a good enough mom, that maybe I wasn’t giving you enough attention or stimulation to help you reach your next milestones.  This is where your dad usually offers me some perspective, but as I said before, he wasn’t home.  So I sent a text to my beloved mom friends and they calmed me down and even made me promise to send a picture of your poop if there was dog food in it 🙂

And then I put you to bed and you reiterated their sentiments by cuddling, babbling, smiling, and oozing your special brand of Otis magic. You reminded me that exactly who you are is exactly who I want you to be.

And just who is 11 month Otis?

11 month Otis has a huge heart. You want to share everything with everyone. You share your food with your dad and I and, much to our chagrine, with Lani dog. You even tried to pluck a hair off of your dad’s arm and share it with me.


11 month Otis is a goofball. You laugh a lot and it is my favorite sound of all. I toss you in the air and crawl on the floor and tickle you just to hear that chuckle. You love to fall down. In fact I think you’d probably be walking by now if you didn’t think falling over was more fun.


11 month Otis is curious. You inspect all sides of your toys and are especially enamored with the screws that hold them together. You just know that they are important and love to touch them. You like to put toys inside other toys and take them back out again. You love to touch the leaves of plants when we go on walks. You are fascinated by the world around you.


Here you are being curious about Dad's beer
Here you are being curious about Dad’s beer

11 month Otis is a foodie. You don’t want baby food or even bland kid food. This week we let you try tilapia with mango salsa and you devoured it. The more flavor, the more you like things.  Some of your favorite foods are chicken, broccoli, and hummus.


11 month Otis is a roly poly. You have not started crawling, but you are definitely moving. You inchworm forward and scoot backwards on your tummy, you do 360s on both your tummy and bum and you roll all over the place.  You also love to hold onto things and stand.


11 month Otis likes to do things himself.  You feed yourself and drink from your sippy cup all by yourself.  You are very independent.


In short, 11 month Otis is a complete and utter delight.  You love to dance and play music.  You love to talk and giggle.  You love people and animals and life.  I love every part of you and wouldn’t change an ounce of who you are.  Thanks for bringing so much magic into my life!




Planes, Lakes, and Backpacks

Ok, to be fair, there was only one plane, one lake, and one backpack, but the title just didn’t have the same ring in the singular. Plus this past 4th of July weekend was pretty damn momentous for Otis so I felt the title needed to reflect that. Quick warning- this post is going to be loaded with photos. I just couldn’t seem to narrow them down!

Many of you know that my maiden name is Erhart. What you may not know is that my dad has his pilot’s license and flies a plane that belonged to my grandpa. The plane is, fittingly, called Amelia. So Brad, Otis, and I did not have to sit in holiday traffic on our way up to Lake Tahoe for the 4th. Instead we got to take Otis up in my parents’ plane. The plane gets pretty loud so we had bought Otis ear muffs. He did not care for having his little ear holes covered up and ripped them off a dozen times, but in the end I won and he wore them for about 2/3 of each flight.


He had a grand time looking out the window and playing on the floor. He was so comfortable he did a big poop right after takeoff. Mmmm!


Once in Tahoe we went on a spectacular hike. Otis got to chill in his new backpack that his grandma found at a consignment shop. It is a pretty cool contraption!


We hiked to a beach where we went for a swim to cool off and then enjoyed a yummy lunch amid the granite. Otis loved being in the lake and didn’t mind the cold one bit. He went all the way in except for his head. He was all smiles and didn’t seem to want to get out.


On the way back he was so worn out from his swim and so comfy in his backpack that he decided to take a snooze.


Later that day we played on the beach with my Aunt Jan and her granddaughter, Avery.  Otis went in the lake again but it was a little chilly so he preferred the baby pool my folks had set up on the beach. We didn’t capture any pics of he and Avery in the pool because we all had left out phones inside.

The next day, 4th of July, was a stormy day. Otis witnessed his first thunderstorm and we spent the day playing indoors.

My dad caught this photo from the deck of the condo
Grandma comforting Otis during the thunder and lightning

He chose this day to start “inch worming” forward on his belly. That, coupled with his new love of rolling around the room, means that while Otis isn’t technically crawling, he’s definitely on the move!


With the rain and hail limiting outdoor fun, we spent some time in the “secret room.” This is a storage room that my grandma ingeniously envisioned as a kids’ playroom. I have amazing memories of playing there in my childhood so it was pretty cool to introduce Otis to it! Even Bailey dog visited the secret room.


Otis was in bed before the fireworks started, but he showed his patriotism in his outfit right down to his diapers.

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And then, all too soon, it was time to go home and we enjoyed another gorgeous flight back to Petaluma.

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Oh Tahoe, I miss you already and am counting down until we get to visit again at the end of August. What a great family and nature filled 4th of July!