You, Me, A and B

The chronicles of life with Audrey and Benjamin

Tag: toddler (page 1 of 6)

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 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!

photo (16)

Hopefully this will kick start my posts–especially before baby boy arrives in mid-December!

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from Santa Claus and his reindeer!


I love that Audrey picked her own costume this year–and that this was her choice! She was adorable and she kept her whole ensemble on the entire time we were out trick-or-treating.

She had a great time going door-to-door. After receiving each treat, she said “More trick-or-treating!” We made it through (most of) two streets and came home with quite the full sack!

Hope everyone enjoyed the holiday!

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 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 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 (sick day) activities: shredded paper sensory bin, baking, and cleaning

Audrey was sick this week, so we spent most of our time at home.

Weeks like this make me realize that although I’m a SAHM,  most days (or mornings, at least) I usually spend out of the house with Audrey — at the area parks, library, friends’ houses, music classes, pool, museums, running errands, or elsewhere. So we were both feeling a bit antsy by Thursday morning.

I decided it was time to try something new. “Sensory bins” — tubs filled with different materials for hands-on play — are all the rage on parenting/kids’ activity blogs. I’ve created a few for Audrey before with rice and dried beans, and she’s definitely enjoyed running her fingers through them, pouring them from one container to another, and using them for pretend cooking play.

Recently I (re)ordered a shredder to deal with old bills and financial statements. (Our last one died quite a while ago and the paperwork had just been piling up in a bag.) The shredder came last week but I didn’t even take it out of the box until Thursday morning. We also kept most of the boxes from our move, including a big-but-not-too-deep one perfect for a toddler’s arms to reach into.

Voila, a new sensory bin was created!


I had Audrey close her eyes while I hid her little plastic Disney characters and animals inside the box. She then dug through the paper to find them.


As she found each toy, she made it jump/dance/balance along the side of the box.


The bin held her interest for a while, maybe 20 minutes or so, which was a success in my book — especially since she rediscovered it after her afternoon nap.

We also did one of our regular rainy/sick day activities: baking! A few super-ripe bananas in the fridge were begging to be baked into deliciousness, so we got to work on a new blueberry banana bread recipe.

Audrey peeled the bananas…


…then mashed them, taking several bites along the way.


I was on my own to finish making the bread shortly thereafter, when she heard a lawnmower start across the street.


After the banana bread was in the oven, Audrey eagerly helped clean up the kitchen. Spraying the appliances and floor is one of her preferred chores.


Thankfully, Audrey seems to be out of the woods with this latest bug. She has a lingering cough and runny nose, but her fever is gone. Just more help building up her budding immune system!

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.


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


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.


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


You can see more photos from the park here.

June-July recap

August is here and the last blog post is dated June 1! Here’s a quick recap of the past two months:

1. In mid-June, we tagged along for Kenji’s work conference in San Diego, CA. The trip started out rough — Kenji had a 103 degree fever the day we flew cross-country — but by the end of the week he was fully recovered and we’d seen (many of) the San Diego sights.


See San Diego photos. (I’m trying out a new system of uploading sets to Flickr since I can’t fit many in the blog posts themselves. Let me know what you think!)

2. From San Diego, we flew north to Portland, OR to visit the west coast Spains. We had lots of laughs, great food, and fun adventures with my brothers, sisters-in-law, and niece. We only get to see them a few times a year, so it’s always a special treat to be together.


See Portland photos.

3. We announced officially that Audrey is going to be a big sister! I’m 20 weeks as of yesterday, and we found out that it’s a…BOY! Baby boy Bohlin is expected on or around December 19.


4. About a week and a half after we got back from our west coast trip, we moved. (Only about a 1/3 mile, thankfully. We love our neighborhood and are so fortunate to be able to stay here.)


Audrey seems delighted with the new house. Occasionally she’ll mention the “yellow house,” as she now refers to it, but never in a sad or longing way. She seems to especially enjoy the two sets of stairs in our new house (technically, a townhouse) and her new room.

5. A few weeks ago, Audrey transitioned from her crib to a “big girl bed!”


This is probably the most exciting event of the summer from Audrey’s perspective. She loves that little bed and really treats it like her own domain. We are not allowed to even sit on it.

Thankfully, naps and bedtime are still going smoothly. She sometimes comes out of bed, stands at the top of the stairs, and calls for water or help finding her paci, but generally she’s been staying in bed after we tuck her in. In the morning she’ll usually call to us until we go in her room.

6. In July, a friend arranged for a group of us to visit the fire station just down the street from us. It was great — Kenji and I enjoyed it as much as Audrey! The firefighters were incredibly accommodating, spending an hour showing us the trucks and the interior of the station. And all of the children left with their own hats.


See fire station visit photos.

So, there are the big events of the summer (so far). We’re looking forward to a visit from Grandnan and Granddad in a few weeks, but hopefully otherwise this will be a fun, but calm, month ahead.

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!)


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.
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.)
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.)


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.

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