You, Me, A and B

The chronicles of life with Audrey and Benjamin

Tag: birthday (page 1 of 3)

Happy fifteen months, Benjamin


Our little guy (literally — he’s only 17 lbs. 4 oz!) has a super runny nose again, but aside from that, he’s had a great month.

He can now climb all the way up the jungle gym and down the slide by himself!


In the past few days, he’s said a new word: “ball.” Unsurprisingly, he loves to play with balls. Big, light beach balls, small, bouncy balls — anything will do. I fully expect “cat” to be his next word. We’ll see.

He continues to enjoy reading books, both with us and by himself. I’m hoping to kick off our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten reading log this week. He’s already put quite a dent in it.


Benjamin usually wakes up somewhere in the 4-5:30 a.m. range these days (I don’t know what it is about that time. The end of a sleep cycle? Hunger?), he puts up a fuss whenever it’s time to get in the car seat/stroller/high chair, makes huge messes, and oscillates between hugging my knees whining “Mamaaaaaaaaa!” and toddling away from me.

In other words, he’s a full-blown, increasingly independent toddler. And so very sweet and cuddly.

Happy fourteen months, Benjamin

Benjamin is fourteen months old today!

Here’s a cute video of him toddling around recently. (He loves to wear the bells on his ankles. Whenever he finds them, he belts out his insistent “eeeee!” whine until I help strap them on.)

Benjamin has gotten two new teeth this month, bringing his total up to 10. Today I felt two more breaking through his gums, which may explain some of his recent “love” biting.

He’s putting those teeth to good use, as well as his newest (and oft-used) word, “huh-hoh.” Like when he throws his entire dinner of rice and veggies on the floor. for example.


I’m longing for long walks and visits to the playground, but Benjamin has been perfectly content playing with our pots…


emptying any filled containers he can get his hands on…


and playing hide-and-seek with his big sister.


I made an edible finger paint for Benjamin to play with the other day, but he didn’t really enjoy using it. (Translation: he started to cry once his hands were messy and he realized he was strapped into his highchair.)

He did, however, start scribbling on paper yesterday with a few crayons. He didn’t even try to eat them this time!


Here is his finished picture.


It’s hard to tell in these photos, but Benjamin’s hair is really starting to come in on the back. Stay tuned for baby mullet pictures!

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.

Happy 13 months, Benjamin

Tiny-but-mighty Benjamin is now thirteen months old! And although he’ll always be “Baby Benjamin,” he’s officially moving into toddlerhood.

That’s right: he’s walking!

Here’s a video. In the mere days since that was taken, he’s gotten so much more confident in his newfound ability. Earlier today he walked from the living room into the kitchen without stumbling or stopping once. I was washing dishes and loading the dishwasher, so he was motivated.

Yes, there’s no doubt that the sink is his favorite place to be at the moment. Any time we happen to be washing our hands/dishes/getting a glass of water, Benjamin is there at our feet within minutes, whining vehemently and reaching his adorable little arms up for his turn.

So, thankfully, my sister-in-law let us borrow her handy kitchen tower. He’s a bit small for it, but he looooooooves it.


And there’s even room to share it with big sis.


I’m already dreading our water bill for this quarter.

In other Benjamin news, he now says “Mama” and “Dada,” signs “more” and “all done,” can climb up onto the sofa (his second favorite place in the house), mostly sleeps through the night (at LAST!), has preferred books (Barnyard Dance is hot right now), and generally keeps us running around all day, every day.


Happy eight months, Benjamin

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



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…


To this!


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.


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*


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.


Happy second birthday, Audrey!

Two years ago today we cradled our tiny newborn in our arms, navigating the profound love, relief, and exhaustion that washed over us after her birth.

This morning, she cradled her own brand-new little baby in her arms. Happy second birthday, Audrey!


So we can remember how much she has grown and changed over the past year, here she is exactly 365 days ago (with much less hair!).


Today was an ordinary day made special with treats and lots of birthday wishes and singing. First, pancakes for breakfast, presents, and the drive to get daddy to the train station on time.

A bit later we headed to our regular Friday music and dance class at MoBu, notable today for an Audrey-only ride on the parachute and “Happy Birthday to You” sing-a-long.

After a special snack at Panera we were off to the Falls Church Community Center for their Friday morning drop-in tot time. Audrey was knocked over several times in a row almost immediately by some bigger kids, but she got her nerve back and was sliding and crawling through tunnels in no time.


Back home for lunch, books, and “rock-a-baby,”and then she cuddled in her ever-filling crib for a good long nap. (Two hours! Two years ago, she slept in two-hour increments over all 24 hours of the day!)


We couldn’t let the day go by without playing in the snow, so we bundled up and headed outside once she was up. Sadly, our walk over to the library ended in disappointment (note to self: remember that it closes at 5 p.m. on Fridays), but a quick drive to the neighborhood bookstore made for a swift recovery.


After we picked up daddy from the train station, we celebrated her big day with pizza dinner out, capped with a giant brownie sundae and a handful of vanilla ice cream. Just about perfect.


Like I said, a pretty ordinary day.

Which is extraordinary, because we got to share it with her, our Audrey.

We love you. Happy birthday!

Merry Christmas (and happy twenty-three months)

Merry Christmas! And happy twenty-three months to Audrey, too.


We started the morning bright and early, as usual — but this time we got to begin the day with gifts! After rooting through our stockings, Audrey happily tore into the big present Santa left while she was sleeping…


her new toy kitchen! She immediately got to work putting the little egg-filled pan into the oven, saying “Oo, hot” over and over again.

Kenji made waffles while she played and then we eventually got through opening the other presents. A quick chat with Grandnan, Tickles, and Bicycle and then we were off to mass. Audrey was super squirmy in church but thankfully we were surrounded by lots of other little kiddos, so she was in good company.

Home for a nap afterwards (while Kenji and I cooked) and then we joined Kenji’s family at Nana’s house for more gift opening plus a delicious turkey-and-fixings dinner.

It was a full day but Audrey seemed to enjoy it all. Tomorrow morning the holiday continues with a roadtrip to Rhode Island! A big purple gift bag is loaded with toys and distractions, new apps are loaded on the iPad, and Uncle Alan, who’s coming along for the ride, promises to be entertaining.

Wish us luck!

Happy twenty-two months

Whoops, this time the 25th really slipped past me. Maybe it’s because our week was a mess of broken sleep, high fevers, crying, and an endless runny nose. (Poor Audrey’s been suffering from a bad cold.) Or maybe I’m just in denial that she’ll turn two so soon.

In any case, Audrey is twenty-two months old!

And, if Petsmart’s scale is to be believed, our little love finally made it over twenty pounds. (Audrey climbed up onto the scale during Nimbus’s recent vet appointment. Helpful since we don’t have a scale at home!)

More soon, but for now we all need to catch up on some sleep.

Happy twenty-one months

Guess who’s twenty-one months old? (As of yesterday, actually…it’s been a busy week and I’m behind on blogging, as usual.)

We should have decided to make her a parrot for Halloween, because that’s what Audrey is these days. She’s adding new words to her vocabulary each day.  Everything she encounters is identified by object, color and/or shape, and counted (up to ten). Her favorite phrases of the moment: “this one” and “Audrey/Mama do it.”

Our little love is also sweetly affectionate, hugging new friends at the park (eek, germs!), her dolls, us, books, you name it.

And kissing them, too.

One of Audrey’s favorite objects of the moment is “The Potty.” So far she just sits on it like a chair, but she understands its purpose in a general way. Case in point: she pretended to wash one of her (clean) cloth diapers in it!

In terms of play, Audrey has been getting into role and pretend play, which I find exciting and fun. Today while visiting Nana and her cousins she picked up a little Play-dough container, said “hot coffee,” and then spent the rest of the time there carrying it around, blowing on it and taking a “sip” in between other activities.

We’ve been getting into craft activities too. Audrey seemed to enjoy finger painting with some colored yogurt recently.

I still can’t get over what an amazing little person she is.

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