You, Me, A and B

The chronicles of life with Audrey and Benjamin

Tag: park

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.)

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

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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!

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

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

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

Audrey’s adventures: 4-H Fair and Carnival

As he did last summer, Kenji has taken off all Fridays in July and August. Although that means he has to work longer days Monday through Thursday, having a series of three-days weekends together has been wonderful.

Yesterday we spent the day visiting one of our favorite spots in Fairfax County: Frying Pan Park, the last working dairy farm in the county.

The park offers traditional farm animals to see — chickens, turkeys, cows, sheep, pigs, horses, and goats — as well as a country store, hiking trails, playgrounds, and a carousel (which never seems to be running). We went yesterday because the park is also hosting the Fairfax County 4-H Festival and Carnival this weekend.

On our last visit, back in June, Audrey couldn’t get enough of the mommy pig feeding the piglets.

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This time, we had to practically drag her from the tractors.

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When we finally made our way over to the carnival, she told us she wanted to go on every ride. Luckily for our pocketbooks, she was only tall enough to ride the miniature train and carousel.

We took a quick break for a picnic lunch, and then took a wagon ride around the farm.

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Audrey even got to end the visit with both chocolate milk and a lollipop. Hello, sugar!

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You can see more photos from the park here.

So long, May. Hello, June!

I don’t usually feel this way, but I’m pretty happy to see May come to end. The past few weeks included some seriously low points:

1. We said goodbye to a friend.
2. We found out we need to move out of our house. This summer.
3. Kenji worked extra long hours, gearing up for his work’s annual meeting.

That being said, it included some high points too.

1. My birthday! Kenji and I went out on a long-overdue date. (Thanks again, Mariana, for babysitting!)

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2. Mother’s Day. Always one of my favorite days of the year.
3. We took Audrey to the National Aquarium in Baltimore and then got to see my friend Carly, who was in the city for a conference.
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4. Audrey rode a pony at the annual Falls Church Memorial Day festival. (More photos and details on this fun event to come in a separate post soon.)
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5. We celebrated Audrey’s last day of preschool until the fall at a special Hawaiian-themed party. (Hmm, this is kind of a low point too. Ha.)
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And then there were the small joys (and yes, frustrations) of everyday life with a two-year-old. Generous hugs and kisses, funny conversations, tantrums, messes, art projects, dress-up, park excursions, three-hour (!) naps, and much, much more.

We’ll see what June brings.

Audrey’s activities: puddle stomping

As she does every spring, Mother Nature is teasing us with warm, rainy days followed by cold, clear ones.

Tuesday’s warm weather and torrential downpours made for perfect puddle stomping in the afternoon.

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After Audrey’s nap, we put on our rain boots and headed to the park.

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Audrey was absolutely delighted to stick her feet in the squishy mud.

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She also got a kick out of collecting rocks and pine needles and throwing them into the puddles to see them splash.

It really felt like spring to smell the post-rain showers air and stay outside right until dinner time.

It was cold again today — but at least we’ve  had a taste of spring!

Audrey’s first popsicle

We took an impromptu hike (brief walk, really) at Great Falls this afternoon, capped off with Audrey’s first taste of that delightfully melty, sticky, sweet summer treat known as the popsicle.

I love her expression in this video.

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.

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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.

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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.

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