You, Me, A and B

The chronicles of life with Audrey and Benjamin

Tag: Audrey (page 1 of 12)

Snow day

Today was the first of what will probably be a few snow days, knowing how things go here. We got about four inches of snow overnight, and even the federal government was closed.

So, it turned into an even longer long weekend!

Audrey was out on the patio playing in the snow immediately after breakfast. (And by playing in it, I mostly mean eating it.)

Little Benjamin was fascinated and envious, naturally.


In the afternoon, I brought a big tub of snow inside so both kids could play with it without freezing their noses and toes.

We also watched a movie (Cinderella), made hot chocolate, had a marathon Facetime session with our California relatives, played with toys, read books, and colored. I even managed to both do and put away laundry.

Benjamin slept terribly last night, mostly likely because his nose is still super stuffy/runny. Thankfully, he napped like a champ today and both Kenji and I squeezed in some rest time of our own.

One snow day down, several more possibly on the way.

Any suggestions for what to do now, aside from counting down the days until spring?

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Love Day from our two little valentines!


We celebrated with heart-shaped waffles, some candy, and lots of hugs and kisses. It’s hard to tell from their sweet smiles in the photo, but both kids are sick with a cold, so we kept the day pretty low key.

Audrey and I did lots of heart-crafting in the two weeks or so leading up to Valentine’s Day, though.

Her school party was on Thursday and, of course, the big highlight was exchanging valentines. Audrey chose to make her own, so we got to work a few days ahead.


I cut paper down to card size and drew a few simple heart designs with white crayons, and then Audrey painted them using watercolors. As she painted, the heart designs were revealed!

She lost interest in this resist technique after a while and then just asked me to draw hearts for her to fill in.

We affixed lollipops and then, voila! Valentines for everyone!


She made bigger cards for long-distance family as well, including a life-sized “hug” made from tracing her outline on banner paper.


On a different day Audrey and I painted construction paper hearts with tempera paint, and then folded them in half to see how it created designs on the opposite sides.


A few other quick projects included the toilet paper roll stamping, heart dog, and heart ladybug from woohome.

Now it’s time for me to gather ideas for spring and Easter-related art projects!

Audrey’s first chapter book

Audrey loves to read. She always has, from the first board books she “read” and chewed on as an infant to the picture books we now peruse together.

You’d hope for nothing less with two parents who majored in English Literature, right?

Since she’s been following longer stories with fewer pictures, I’ve been eager to read a chapter book together.

So, tonight before bed, we read the first two chapters of the first book in the Magic Tree House series.

The verdict? She liked it! It was definitely an unfamiliar experience for her to not finish a story in one sitting, but it got the official seal of Audrey approval: she asked to keep the hall light on in order to look through it for “five minutes.”

I’m curious to see how long it will take us to finish. Reading to Audrey during the day is challenging unless Benjamin is napping. Here’s hoping he takes a good nap tomorrow afternoon so both Audrey and I can find out what happens in the story!


Happy fourth birthday, Audrey

Is it really possible that our sweet, bright Audrey is four?

Have we really celebrated three birthdays since the amazing, exhausting, miraculous day that she entered our lives?


It’s such a cliche, but it’s true. The years have flown by.

Happy fourth birthday, dear Audrey!


I love you so much. So much more than I could ever put into words.

I love that you ask me to tell you a story every day, all day, even though it’s exhausting coming up with new “spooky” stories involving the Berenstain Bears, Belle/the Beast/Gaston, ghosts/monsters, and getting lost in the woods.

I love seeing you learn, and I’m so impressed that you can write Audrey, mommy, and daddy, plus most of your letters, without any guidance.

I love your love of reading, and how excited you get over a visit to the library or bookstore.

I love that you can dress yourself –even zipping up your coat!–despite the fact that it leads to 15 clothing changes each day, with shirts, skirts, and pants strewn about the house.

I love that our dining room table doubles as our “project” space, and is usually covered in a stack of pictures you’ve made plus scissors, paper, glue, paint, crayons, and other supplies for sudden bursts of creativity.

I love how imaginative you are, even though it means you ask me to “be him” all day so you can speak directly to Gaston/the Beast/Brother Bear/the trashcan (I kid you not–we celebrated its birthday this morning).

I love that you enjoy dance class, just like I did when I was younger.

I love your eagerness for Saturdays, when you get to make waffles with daddy and watch your weekly movie.

I love that you treat others kindly and empathetically, expressing concern when someone is upset.

I love seeing you as a  big sister to Benjamin, whether it means affectionately rubbing his head and saying “I love you,” carrying him across the living room, or throwing yourself from your chair because he took your headband.

For all this, and so much more, I celebrate you today and every day, dear Audrey.

Happy birthday, sweet girl.

First snowstorm of 2015

The new year hasn’t started out too promising for us.

Both kids were sick with a stomach bug for well over a week, and even I had it (baaaaaaaad) for a few days. Poor Audrey had it the worst. She lost two pounds. Two pounds! That’s almost 10% of her body weight. Then both kids started running fevers, with accompanying coughs, sneezes, runny noses, and general crankiness.

But then something magical happened.

We woke up to snow!


There’s nothing like a good snowstorm to instantly cheer you up.

Things are already looking up for 2015.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween from Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Sebastian, and Prince Eric!


Audrey has wanted to be a mermaid for Halloween since the day after last year’s Halloween. (Or maybe even before last year’s holiday, but so late that the idea was vetoed.)

Nana made a beautiful mermaid tail, I tied together a little “bikini” top, Amazon supplied a crazy red wig, and voila! Audrey was transformed.

Benjamin, naturally, had to be her crab sidekick.


Audrey really got a kick out of trick-or-treating this year. Being more familiar with candy definitely helped! “Wow, I get even more!” she said as we went from house to house.

She picked five pieces to keep, and tonight the Great Pumpkin will come and leave a new present in exchange for the remaining candy. Win-win!

Happy seven months, Benjamin

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


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.


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


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.


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


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


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


He also had his first swim in the pool.


And his first trip to the beach!


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.


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.)


Today it culminated in her first dance recital!


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!)

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