You, Me, A and B

The chronicles of life with Audrey and Benjamin

Tag: firsts (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.

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 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 half-birthday, Benjamin!

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


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


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


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!


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


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


Benjamin adores his big sister.


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.


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!


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!)

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.



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.


(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.


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.


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!).


Stay tuned for a Christmastime post soon!


Audrey’s first day of preschool

It is almost a year ago to the day that I dropped Audrey off at the Falls Church Day School for her first day of pre-preschool, in the Parents’ Morning Out program.

This morning, with the same backpack but with a new door to leave from, all different clothing, a much more extensive vocabulary, and a fiercer independent streak, we headed back to the school for her first official day of preschool!


Audrey’s in the 2 1/2 year old MWF morning class with nine other children (kudos to those teachers). She has been so excited to start (“I’m ready for school!”), but she did get a bit shy and quiet as we dropped her off. And who can blame her? A new classroom, teachers, and friends to make — that’s a lot for a two-year-old to manage!

She did great, though. No tears when we left, although randomly this afternoon she told me “I cried at school.” Kenji caught a glimpse of her engrossed with a puzzle within minutes and I saw her happily walking back from the playground just before picking her up, so if she did shed tears, I am sure they dried quickly.

Audrey’s activities: movie night (with popcorn!)

We had our first movie night with Audrey on Friday!

The three of us cozied up on the futon to watch Finding Nemo — which, it turns out, is much scarier than I remembered (for a two-year-old anyway).

In general Audrey liked the movie, but watch she really got excited about was the popcorn.

Audrey’s first #1 on the potty


For months now we’ve read potty-related books to Audrey, taken her with us to the bathroom with us, and had her sit (dressed) on the little Baby Bjorn potty chair next to the toilet. I’ve also gotten into the habit of changing Audrey’s (wet) diapers while she stands up — partially out of necessity since she is increasingly squirmy and disinterested in lying on the changing pad.

A little over a week ago our efforts started to pay off when…Audrey peed in the potty for the first time! Over the next two days, she excitedly spent lots of time sitting and reading on the potty, squeezing out anything she could to get her sticker reward. She even was allowed to stick them right on the bathroom wall (shh, don’t tell our landlord).

I immediately got online to order a travel potty and read up on training diapers/underwear.

It all came to a crashing halt, however, when the playgroup came over Wednesday morning. Audrey and her friend Sarah giddily grabbed stickers from the craft station and started sticking them on the bathroom wall, sans potty time.

No complaints from me, though: I really wasn’t planning to dive into true training until after our trip in June. From what I’ve learned, this development — while exciting — will still involve lots of yucky laundry and more difficulty getting out of the house.

Audrey knows the special “potty star” stickers are out of reach on the mantel, waiting for her future successes.

Audrey’s activities: snow day

Wednesday’s highly anticipated ‘Snowquester’ didn’t amount to much, but it did mean a day at home for Kenji and exciting playtime for Audrey.

At first sight of the snow she said “Audrey, snow! Outside!” but since it was only 6:00 a.m. and we hadn’t yet had breakfast (or coffee–eek!) we held off on venturing outside for a few hours.

After bundling her in a t-shirt and tights, fleece pants, a sweater, snow boots (so glad I ended up buying those from the consignment store a few months ago!), a coat, mittens, and a hat, Audrey was released into the glacial backyard.


Just kidding. The snow barely covered the grass! But it was super heavy, wet snow perfect for snowballs. Kenji and I made a few and started pelting the tree.

Audrey was more interested in eating them.


There was enough snow that we had to clear off the car. (Our car out front, too.)


After about 15 minutes of playing outside, Audrey was ready to go back in the house.

Since it was a special snow day, she got her first cup of hot chocolate to help warm up. Yum.


It’s good that we went outside when we did; in the afternoon the snow became mush as it began raining and sleeting. The snow is long gone now except for a few dirty piles in the shade. As we come across the lone piles, Audrey stomps on them and says “Audrey eat!”

I’m guessing this was our last snowstorm of the year since it’s now March and it’s supposed to be 60 degrees this weekend — but who knows! Next winter we’ll hopefully have a big enough storm to make ‘snow cream,’ one of my favorite childhood treats.

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