In which Ollie is hungry and the Tooth Fairy is (inadvertently) a jerk

Oliver lost a tooth the other day, and naturally put it under his pillow for the tooth fairy. On the way up to bed, the Tooth Fairy snuck in to “retrieve the package”. It was naturally pretty dark, so she was confused when she started pulling out sticky lumps from under his pillow. Dried cranberries? And peanut butter pretzels?

“He is sneaking food into his bed!” Sara told me afterwards. “The other day I found a plate of tortilla chips in his closet!”

Now, as background, I should tell you that Ollie is pretty much always hungry and always has been. He has been known to eat a half of bag of frozen peas after dinner, just to sort of top himself off. (Yes, he eats them frozen! No time to wait for that microwave!) Sneaking around at night to get a little snack is not in any way out of the question for him, and if you’re going to do that anyway, socking it away for later is just good common sense.

Still, we can’t have dried cranberries and peanut butter pretzels hanging out in his bed, so the Tooth Fairy left him a little note: “Eating food in bed is bad for your teeth! Clean it up and I will come back. Yours Truly, Tooth Fairy”.

“He’s not going to admit it,” said Sara. “I bet he won’t tell us about the note.”

Sure enough, the next day I said, “So, did the Tooth Fairy come last night?” “No,” he replied. “Really? She just didn’t come?” “I guess not,” he said. Sara and I shared a knowing look.

A little while later I was talking to Evelyn.

“Remember how I made that book about tooth brushing in 2nd grade?” she said. “I had a section in there about how to get more money from the Tooth Fairy. Ollie said he’s going to try one of the ways.” “Oh yeah?” I said. “What’s one of the ways?” “Oh, like leaving a snack for the Tooth Fairy…”

It was one of those Sixth Sense moments where you look back and realize everything you thought you knew was wrong. That poor boy hadn’t been sneaking food into his bed, he had been trying to leave a snack for the Tooth Fairy (for admittedly less-than-altruistic motives, but it was sweet nonetheless). And in light of his intentions, the note the Tooth Fairy had left was…kind of jerky.

The Tooth Fairy naturally felt terrible about all of this, so the next night she tried to rectify the situation:


Ollie didn’t mention that note either, but he did say the Tooth Fairy had visited him in the night.

As for the carrots, I presume he’s saving them under his pillow for a little midnight snack…


“Where I’m From” by Oliver

I am from Whole Foods Cheese Pizza
with multi-grain crust (sometimes),
Battleship with Evelyn,
spider plants around the house,
making applesauce,
and wanting to be a soldier when I grow up
is where I’m from.

I am from birthday cheesecakes,
a brownstone house,
and Wisconsin is where I’m from.

I am from the Packers,
A Series of Unfortunate Events,
and homemade bread is where I’m from.

I am from time-outs
and butterflies.

This is where I’m from

I love this poem to pieces. “Time-outs and butterflies” is about the concisest, most accurate description of Oliver I can imagine.


Oliver bought cookies at a bake sale today, and they look gooooooood.

So good, in fact, that he is now turning a profit by selling them to Sara and me for more than he paid for them. In fact, after dinner he was too full to finish his cookie and he offered to sell me his leftovers for $0.25.

The irony is that that boy is loaded and refuses to spend any money anyway. On the other hand, if anybody was going to raise cheap kids, you knew it was going to be Sara and me.

Happy Birthday to Ollie

The year of first grade is such a big year, and Ollie has changed so much. Reading and writing, having real friends, just being like a person rather than a little kid. He has real interests, he has things that he’s good at and things that he’s not good at, likes and dislikes…he’s not a baby anymore.

At the same time, though, there are so many things about him that are exactly the same. Do you know how many pictures I have of Ollie making a goofy face? He’s still goofy, still such a sweetheart.


One pretty significant change in the last year is Alex, and how much he loves his big brother. “Oliver!” he tries to say the moment he wakes up. “Oliver! Oliver!” It is so…heart warming to see the way that he looks up to his big brother, and I’m interested to see how that continues to develop.

Here’s to another year, buddy. Hope you continue to carve your own way in the world.


(Photos courtesy Jeremy Sanderlin)

Battle Baby

Oliver is afraid to go downstairs by himself. Who can blame him? I sure as heck didn’t want to go into the basement at my house when I was little. Unfortunately, his bedroom is down there so he has to go down there about 30 times a day. “Oliver, you forgot your socks.” “Oliver, put all of this stuff away.” “Oliver, that’s enough, go to your room.”

I tried giving him different strategies, like “try singing a song” or “maybe take this fierce dinosaur stuffed animal with you” but he wasn’t having it. For some reason, he has decided that none of that is sufficient.

However, he spontaneously came up with his own solution. Out of nowhere, he decided the only thing that can protect him is this sweet little stuffed baby, which he has dubbed “Battle Baby”.

Behold the might of Battle Baby! Look upon it’s terror and weep!


When things get particularly dangerous he grabs the strap at the top of Battle Baby’s hat and swings it around like nunchucks. I’m not sure how Battle Baby feels about using her body to batter his enemies, but hey! At least he can go downstairs without accompaniment. I mean, look, I’m not sure why he’s decided this baby can keep him safe, but he’s happy, I’m happy.

Kids, man. Kids.

Missing: two front teeth


Oliver has lost his two front teeth and, in exchange, has instead acquired the MOST. ADORABLE. lisp.

This picture looks a little familiar…looks like he is just a shade ahead of his sister:

They grow up so fast

So most of you probably saw this video from over a week ago now, but I’m saving it here for posterity:

With all the new stuff that Alex is getting up to, it’s easy to forget that the other kids are growing up too!

Ollie in particular just suddenly seems so old all of a sudden. I went to get him out of class early one day for a doctors appointment and I just had to laugh. He’s in real school now! They were doing math, and then when I got there he took care of his math notebook and I was just like, “Wow, he’s like a real kid!”

In fact, Evelyn had some multiplication flash cards the other day, and Ollie was pretty dang good at them.

He has gotten so good at reading all of a sudden. I remember this with Evelyn too, but it’s like he just got to that point where he realized that there’s writing everywhere, and he can read it. He’s reading billboards, the backs of cereal boxes, and addresses on Christmas cards. It’s like a whole new world! It’s so much fun to listen to him read an Elephant and Piggie book.

He’s also a very detailed artist. He can sit and draw for HOURS, and he draws these really elaborate scenes. He loves to explain to you all the little nuances and hidden things he’s added to his drawings, and he gets very clever with them.

And if that wasn’t enough, Ollie started taking piano lessons! It seems absolutely crazy to me, but there it is. He is so excited about it! I can tell he feels grown up too; he’s very proud. And even songs like “Mary Had a Little Lamb” seem so impressive when this little boy is playing them!

Not too long now before he starts writing his own blog!