You, Me, A and B

The chronicles of life with Audrey and Benjamin

Happy eight months, Benjamin

Another month has come and gone. Benjamin is eight months old today!

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And of course that means he’s achieved several more milestones. New teeth are erupting (two in top), he’s perfected the army crawl,  and he’s officially pulling up.

In the past few weeks, he’s gone from this…

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To this!

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He’s really getting the hang of actually chewing and swallowing food now, with very little gagging but lots of mess. Spaghetti and meatballs was a hit recently.

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Like Nana says, he is a bamboo shoot, growing and changing so very quickly.

Happy seven months, Benjamin

Our little man is now closer to his one-year birthday than to his actual birth day. *Sniff*

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Actually, in my opinion, this is when it really starts to get fun.

Benjamin is babbling these days, blowing raspberries, sitting up confidently, studying objects closely and transferring them from hand to hand (or, more often, hand to mouth), dragging/rolling himself to items of interest, and protesting loudly when his big sister snatches a toy out of his hands. (And so it begins…)

Soon after I took the above photo, he shifted onto his tummy, in hot pursuit of the lens cap.

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But then he got kind of stuck in his “swimming” position.

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I kid you not, as of this week he’s also trying to pull up to standing (!). This most often happens when he’s in his baby bathtub; he grabs the side of the tub with both hands and pulls himself into an awkward-looking squat.

Over the course of the last four weeks, he’s tried all sorts of foods, mostly just sliced into chunks or lightly steamed as necessary: sweet potato, avocado, banana, plum, peach, zucchini, broccoli, blueberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, yogurt, cheese, bell pepper, carrot, pear, apple, green beans, eggplant, salmon, egg yolk, and more.

He seems to really enjoy the social aspect of mealtime, and he’s definitely getting the hang of chewing and swallowing.

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He loves cherries (as well as zucchini and broccoli.)

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Benjamin had lots of other firsts this month too–including his cross-country flight, which thankfully went very smoothly!

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On our trip west, he met his Spain family aunts, uncles, and cousins.

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He also had his first swim in the pool.

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And his first trip to the beach!

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Benjamin attended his first wedding this past weekend, but sadly, I didn’t get any good photos. I’m hoping the couple’s photographer managed to get a few. (He was right around the age Audrey was when she went to her first wedding. I don’t think he can top her four weddings in 3 1/2 years!)

Our travels this past month were fun, but I’m looking forward to a low-key August. I told Kenji that I’d like to stay within a one-hour radius from home. So, expect to see more of this in the next monthly-birthday post.

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Happy half-birthday, Benjamin!

Back on December 24, this tiny, helpless, wrinkly little guy entered our lives.

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Today it’s a mere six months later and he’s already grown significantly and become so much more capable.

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About a week ago he started sitting up on his own.

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On Sunday we launched our foray into baby-led weaning, giving him first first taste of solid foods. (It was a super juicy, ripe plum.) He seemed to really enjoy squishing tonight’s dinner of avocado and watermelon. Some of it even made it into his mouth!

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Benjamin’s been hanging out in the jumperoo for about a month now, and he loves it.

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He’s not quite as keen on the swing yet.

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Benjamin adores his big sister.

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He likes hanging out with the cat too, but I don’t think the feeling is mutual. He hasn’t gotten the hang of petting with an open hand yet.

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Another big milestone: Benjamin’s front bottom two teeth erupted this past month, and his constant gnawing makes me think more teeth are on their way soon. I better catch all these gummy smiles while I still can!

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A Good Day

We have a children’s book checked out from our local library right now called A Good Day. The gist of it is that several adorable animals encounter obstacles that threaten to ruin their day — squirrel loses his nut, bird loses his favorite tail feather, etc. — but they overcome their challenges and end up having A Good Day.

That sums up my day with the kids.

Benjamin woke up early to nurse, as he usually does, and never went back to sleep. So the day essentially began at 5:00 a.m. Early.

Unexpectedly, I didn’t feel that tired. I got to drink a full cup of coffee while it was still hot and to enjoy rare quiet time with Benjamin. I sang to him, watched him play, and enjoyed the feel of his soft, chubby skin.

Late in the morning we finally left the house, en route to a new (to us) splashpark in Arlington. Benjamin didn’t nap in the car as I hoped he would. I got the kids/towels/picnic blanket/food/diaper bag/stroller unloaded from the car, and about 10 minutes later it started raining.

Thankfully, I’d set us up under a tree, so we avoided getting too wet and just ate our lunch while waiting out the storm.

Benjamin was happy as a clam the whole time we stayed at the park, despite his missed nap. The fountains mesmerized him and he seemed excited to practice sitting on his own (a brand-new skill, as of today!).

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I forgot to bring toys for Audrey to play with, but a plastic container from our lunch did just fine as a substitute. And when Audrey fell and skinned her knee, she only cried for a moment before racing around collecting water again.

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We made it back to the car before a thunderstorm began, but having completely run out of wipes and disposable diapers, a stop by Target on the way home was unavoidable. And I had forgotten an umbrella.

So, I put Benjamin in the baby carrier, picked Audrey up, and covered both kids as best I could with our beach towel as I raced us all into the store. The storm had stopped by the time we left a few minutes later.

Back home by mid-afternoon, Benjamin went straight to bed, but Audrey didn’t even have “quiet time” in her room. Usually that means “witching hour” begins in force at 5:00 p.m. Tears, accidents, and constant demands are the norm — all while I’m usually dealing with a fussy baby, dinnertime prep, and a “starving” cat trying to trip me.

But we had leftovers to eat and Audrey entertained herself contentedly. Benjamin was in a great mood since he’d just woken up from a two-hour nap.

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Kenji didn’t make it home until 9:00 p.m., but that sure beats the 11:00 p.m. arrival time of last night!

Plus, it’s Friday!

It was A Good Day.

Audrey’s first ballet recital

Back in January Audrey started her first ballet class, at the community center here in Falls Church. (Here she is on the first day.)

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Today it culminated in her first dance recital!

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She was a “Little Bluebird,” dancing to the music from Sleeping Beauty.

Both Kenji and I were nervous for her, but Audrey did great and seemed to have no stage fright. Given her love of singing, dancing, and acting out scenes from Frozen and Tangled at home, we may have a future drama nerd on our hands. (Yay!)

Audrey’s activities: making wardrobe decisions

For quite some time now (a year, maybe?), Audrey has been choosing her own outfits and pajamas each day. Sometimes this means she picks a summery dress on a snowy day, but hey, that’s fine by us as long as she wears a sweater and warm tights with it.

Naturally, Audrey has a few favorites. And by favorites, I mean one particular item strikes her fancy for the week (or month), so she picks that one each day until we convince her that it a) is in dire need of washing and/or b) she has lots of other nice items in her closet and dresser.

For the past several months, this pink tutu dress has made a frequent appearance, usually with these white pants.

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Seriously, I would estimate that she’s wearing this exact outfit in 75% of the photos we’ve taken of her since the fall. (Also, look at how good she’s gotten at using scissors! Cutting is one of her favorite activities.)

In recent weeks, Audrey’s branched out, wearing a different pink tutu dress (thanks, Grandnan!) and a pink dress with white embroidered flowers (thanks, Nana!) nonstop.

But nothing has really matched her love of the first pink tutu dress until Nana gave her and Claire these matching purple nightgowns last week.

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Since last Friday, Audrey has stayed in her nightgown as long as possible after waking up — quite a change from the girl who used to get dressed immediately after getting out of bed — and taken off whatever she’s wearing once we’re back home so she can put it back on.

It’s the perfect outfit for her favorite activity these days: spinning, dancing, and singing to the Frozen soundtrack.

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I think it’s safe to say we have officially entered the Princess Phase.

And then there were four…welcome, Benjamin (and happy three months)!

When I last wrote, we were anxiously awaiting our son’s imminent arrival (we were sure he’d be born long before my December 19 due date) and Christmas was right around the corner.
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Fast forward to today, and our little Benjamin is three months old!
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His arrival certainly made for a memorable Christmas.

I hope to write separately about his birth story before the details get too hazy, but for now I’ll just say: going into labor on Christmas Eve morning was quite emotional. I was excited to meet him, nervous about labor (which was induced insofar as the doctor broke my water), and sad about missing Christmas morning with Audrey. I worried she would be disappointed at missing Christmas morning with us. After all, we (Audrey and I) had only spent one night apart before then.

It turns out I had no need to worry about Audrey. She had a fantastic time spending Christmas Eve and Day with her Bowman cousins. (In fact, she keeps asking about future sleepovers!)
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Thanks to Claire, Santa knew just where to bring Audrey’s presents.
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But the best Christmas present of all was Benjamin Masuda Bohlin.
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On Christmas morning, Audrey and Benjamin met for the first time.IMG_4595

The day after Christmas, we headed home with our tiny new package, all 7 lbs. and 20.5″ of him.
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And since that day, there have been countless kisses, cuddles, and “exuberant hugs” (as my friend so aptly described them) between Audrey and Benjamin.
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I hope, now that I’ve finally gotten something posted on the blog again, that I’ll be able to capture his “firsts” here. (We’ve already seen his first smiles and his first roll from his tummy to his back.)

But I also hope to make note of the everyday moments, especially with Audrey, that are so special. Not to mention the funny things are three-year-old does and says these days!

November recap

With Christmas only a few days away, a recap of our November activities is long overdue!

A major theme of the month: getting ready for Audrey’s baby brother! My due date was yesterday and I honestly thought he would be born weeks ago, since the second child often comes early. So we’ve been ready for his arrival for a while now. The freezer is stocked, the tiny newborn onesies are clean and in the dresser, diapers are at the ready, and the hospital bag is packed.

Most exciting for Audrey: baby beds/bouncy seats and toys abound throughout the house. She’s been “testing” them for baby brother.

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The low point of the month: Audrey’s first (and perhaps only? I can hope at least…) bout with head lice.

She was a trooper, letting us “play hairdresser” after dinner each night. We opted for an herbal spray that made her hair smell like a citronella candle, followed by lots and lots of fine combing and nitpicking. It helped that she got to eat ice cream while we worked on her hair.

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(I had lice too — no fun!) Thankfully we didn’t have a recurrence, so it only meant a few days of gross bug encounters, frequent laundry, and missed preschool.

Between the lice and a fever/cold, however, we were home a lot during the month. During a healthy period we made it to the zoo for some intense animal watching.

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Thanksgiving was fun and pretty low key. Audrey made paper turkeys for Claire, Henry, Nana, and Grandpa, then we headed to Kenji’s parents’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.

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Over the holiday weekend, we made our first trip to the National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center, where Audrey enjoyed chasing James and Arlo (and even rode a space simulator with Kenji!).

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Stay tuned for a Christmastime post soon!

 

Audrey and daddy

I was just moaning about being so behind on the blog (again! Or, still?) that Kenji said, “Just do something quick!” and sent me this adorable photo for posting.

So, here you go!

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Hopefully this will kick start my posts–especially before baby boy arrives in mid-December!

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from Santa Claus and his reindeer!

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I love that Audrey picked her own costume this year–and that this was her choice! She was adorable and she kept her whole ensemble on the entire time we were out trick-or-treating.

She had a great time going door-to-door. After receiving each treat, she said “More trick-or-treating!” We made it through (most of) two streets and came home with quite the full sack!

Hope everyone enjoyed the holiday!

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