You, Me, A and B

The chronicles of life with Audrey and Benjamin

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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 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!

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.


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.

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 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.


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.


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.


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.

Fast forward to today, and our little Benjamin is three months old!

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!)

Thanks to Claire, Santa knew just where to bring Audrey’s presents.

But the best Christmas present of all was Benjamin Masuda Bohlin.

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.

And since that day, there have been countless kisses, cuddles, and “exuberant hugs” (as my friend so aptly described them) between Audrey and Benjamin.
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!

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!

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.

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