You, Me, A and B

The chronicles of life with Audrey and Benjamin

Tag: friends

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 adventures: Burke Lake Park

The weather has been absolutely amazing the past few days, sunny and in the high 70s/low 80s with little humidity. Very unlike Washington, DC in August.

So, to make the most of it, we’ve spent much of our time outside at area parks. On Thursday alone we went to three different playgrounds!¬†Yesterday we met a friend and his toddler at Burke Lake Park, which we hadn’t visited since the fall.

Before we headed out the door, Audrey helped Kenji make sandwiches for our picnic lunch. (She’s way more interested in making sandwiches than actually eating them.)


Once we arrived at the park, we headed straight for the miniature train.


It was quite busy, so we had to wait for the next go-round. But that landed us right at the front of the line — and the front of the train!


After the train ride, we headed over to the carousel. Audrey went straight for the little flying elephant (?).


A break for lunch (really, a snack — mostly popcorn and fruit for Audrey), and then she was busy climbing and sliding at the playground.


As we left the park, I realized we never even went close to the lake this time!

Audrey’s adventures: ‘Nordic Cool’ at the Kennedy Center

After last week’s snowstorm, Audrey and I met friends at the Kennedy Center¬†to see the exhibits presented as part of their ‘Nordic Cool‘ festival.


(The photo above was taken only one day after the federal government was closed. And not a flake of snow is in sight!)


We spent most of our time in the multi-media gallery, which included a few Audrey-sized houses.

Since I was there with her, I didn’t read any of the explanatory text and don’t understand the significance of the structures. But, they were fun to explore — perfect for hide-and-seek!


Another room included a bunch of Lego tables, which Audrey played with briefly. About the time we got to this room our friends arrived and Audrey got tired and clingy. (Not a great combination.)

After a ‘car picnic,’ we headed home. Audrey was asleep before we even crossed the bridge back into Virginia.


The toddler-friendly and free exhibit made for a fun morning out!

Happy twenty months

Our girl is twenty months old today!

Audrey has been having fun with friends and inanimate objects alike recently, including Evelyn…



and her stuffed animals.

She’s talking more each day too, though often we have no idea what she’s saying. Some recent words include bowl, soup, truck, yellow, and circle, and she’s starting to string together short, often declarative phrases (“mama, sit.”). She’s singing too! The “hello” song from our Music Together class is one of her new favorites, as well as the ABC song (she makes it to “G” and then skips to “QRS”).

Audrey’s also working fervently on learning to run (very close now) and to jump (this will be a while yet).

What a busy girl she is. We love you, Audrey!

Audrey’s first (potential) black eye

Toddlerhood sure can be tough.

Yesterday Audrey chased her friend James down a grassy hill too steep for her little legs to keep up with, and it didn’t end well. She skidded on the grass, scratching her eye, shoulder, and well, her entire left side, really. (All this after she had already scratched a knee on the concrete around the pool. Ouch!)

But, as you can see, she’s still smiling! She made a quick recovery and was up playing again just a few minutes later. If only I could recover from her boo-boos so quickly.

Her eye is puffy today but there’s no sign of a black eye, yet…

Treepocalypse (and our escape)

In case you didn’t hear, we had a major storm here in the D.C. region last week. A derecho decided to swing by last Friday night. (That term was new to me, too.)

The storm hit our area about 11 p.m. and scared both Kenji and me out of bed. Somehow Audrey managed to sleep through it. We lost power right away, but thankfully we were spared any other damage to the house. It’s lucky the dead tree in our backyard was taken down about a month ago; who knows if it would have made it through the storm still standing.

When we walked around in the morning, we saw lots of debris on our street.

Including this site, of a car flattened by a tree. (At least the owner seems to have kept a sense of humor. The sign on the tree says, “Free firewood! Must haul.”) Another neighbor had a tree fall on their roof. No one was hurt, thank goodness.

The road ours leads to on one end was closed as well because of a huge tree that had fallen. That one wasn’t actually cleared away until Tuesday.

Like everyone around here, we set to work buying pantry items, digging out flashlights, and moving perishables to a cooler as quickly as we could. The weather continued to be miserably hot, so we visited family during the weekend and beginning of the week.

Tuesday morning, when we heard it may be another several days without power (!), we reached our limit and decided to head south to stay with friends. It turns out the power came back late that afternoon, but we were happy to make the overdue visit anyway.

Audrey had so much fun (and so did we). She meandered around with Ella, Annelise, and Iris (who was also visiting), checking out the chickens out back, wandering around the huge yard, and of course, enjoying lots of yummy food.

She even got to watch “My Little Pony” videos with the older girls.

On Wednesday night, the girls ate together at the “kids’ table.” It was adorable. I think Iris’ crown is an especially nice touch.

We came home Thursday to a blissfully cool home with operating Internet, refrigeration, and lights, but it was sad to leave friends. We’ve promised to get together for a camping trip this fall, which should be a fun adventure.

Happy fifteen months

Today Audrey is fifteen months old!

These days, she loves to sit in “big girl” chairs. (Notice the excited open-mouth expression.)

Audrey also loves to be outside, whether in our yard, the playground, or in a park. And yes, everything still goes in her mouth.

Our busy little lady currently enjoys climbing the jungle gym and riding down the slide. She’s also quite the social butterfly (although, when this photo was taken both she and Jad kept toddling off in opposite directions!). At our music class this week, Audrey climbed into the lap of a thirteen-month-old classmate. It was so adorable! If only I’d had my camera handy.


Eating and drinking continue to provide much entertainment in Audrey’s life. She’s just gotten very into sharing her food — feeding her doll (while saying “nom nom”), mama and daddy…

and even this finger puppet!

Audrey likes to help mama with chores around the house too. The vacuum is her favorite tool, but she thinks the broom is also pretty great.

Our little girl continues to amaze us with how quickly she learns and grows, and brightens our lives every day with her love, joy, and curiosity.

Moving on

Audrey’s packing her bags!

We’re moving to our new place in just one week.

It’s been an eventful month. We received an offer on the condo…countered…received another counter…rejected the offer. Then, the buyer came back right before Thanksgiving (which was lovely) with a higher offer and we accepted! We survived the home inspection and the appraisal so now we’re moving full steam ahead to the settlement on the 21st.

Luckily, a house came up for rent in our desirable neighborhood right around the time we accepted the offer. It’s a three-bedroom rambler in Falls Church, Virginia, only a few blocks from great friends and right next to a nice park with a playground and weekly farmer’s market.

Boxes are towering all around us, but Audrey is having fun drumming on them and navigating the open floor space.

We’re excited about the change, but it is sad to leave our wonderful friends here in the building and in the neighborhood. Not to mention Kenji’s walking commute, the grocery store only a block away, my amazing yoga studio, the neighborhood playground…wait, why are we leaving again? Oh, yeah. For the great school district, more space between neighbors, more space in our home, a yard, a quiet street…for our family.

Somehow we’ll have to make sure Audrey still gets plenty of visits with her BFFs, Jad and Helen. (And me with their moms.)

And we’ll look forward to bringing Audrey to Dupont Circle and annoying her by saying, “This is where we lived when you were born!”

Fun Fall Outings

We’ve had nice, crisp fall weather recently so Audrey’s been on lots of fun outings. (It doesn’t hurt that busy mornings/early afternoons typically make for good naps since she gets tired out!)

The Friday of Veterans’ Day weekend we went to the zoo with Audrey’s friends Helen and Jad (and their moms). This photo was taken minutes before all three kids fell asleep in their strollers.

The following day, Kenji, Audrey, and I headed to Burke Lake Park. The weather was absolutely beautiful, as were the leaves, and we had a successful first experience using the Kelty backpack carrier. Bonus: the park was free for the holiday weekend!

Audrey had fun playing in the leaves.

She had to taste them, of course.

Audrey was much more interested in crawling and trying to grab the camera than posing for photos, but we managed to get a few shots of her with mommy.

We headed back outside on Sunday, this time to meet our friend Gabe and a few other people for a walk along the Billy Goat Trail at Great Falls.

The first stretch of the trail took us through a quiet path in the woods. On the return trip, we split from our group and opted to follow the towpath back along the canal rather than clambering over the rocky trail. We managed to get a family photo before Audrey fell asleep in the carrier.

Though we generally stayed closer to home this past weekend, we did visit the neighborhood playground, where we practically had to pry Audrey off the teeter-totter. She’s never had so much fun on it before.

The graffiti in the background makes an interesting contrast to the other woodsy settings, don’t you think? I’m thankful that despite living in the middle of a city, we have access to great parks in the area. We’ve really enjoyed helping Audrey to explore them this fall.

Visit with Amanda, Chris, Ella, and Annelise

A few weeks ago we visited our good friends Chris and Amanda and their daughters Ella and Annelise (plus their dog, cat, and chickens). It was my first time meeting Annelise, and she was just adorable as can be. Spending the night away from home provided a welcome respite from the issues we’re dealing with here, especially because their place is in such a completely different environment than ours (dirt road, chicken coop out back, lots and lots of land. So peaceful.).

We spent a good amount of time gathered in the kitchen. It really is the heart of the home, isn’t it?

Audrey was very interested in Annelise’s Bumbo chair…

and face.

Annelise, being the sweetheart that she is, was totally fine with it.

Audrey was also fascinated with three-year-old Ella and loved watching her walk around at will. (You’ll get there, Audrey! No rush!)

It was great to see such good friends and get all of our girls together. It’s amazing how these little people have enriched our lives and changed them so much over the course of only a few years. I love the thought of them growing up as lifelong friends, just as Kenji and Chris have.

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