You, Me, A and B

The chronicles of life with Audrey and Benjamin

Tag: travel

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.


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.

Audrey’s adventures: cousin Beth’s wedding

In her short life, Audrey has flown numerous times, been to the west coast twice, and now, attended three weddings.

The most recent one was at the beginning of the month, when we traveled down to my parents’ childhood home of Portsmouth, Virginia for my cousin Beth’s wedding. Or, as Audrey knows her, bride.


All three of us had fun dressing up for the big event. (And we looked pretty spiffy, if I say so myself!)


Happily, my parents also made it down for the wedding, so Audrey had time for cuddles and hand-holding with Grandnan and Granddad.


Audrey seemed to enjoy the wedding overall but is was the bride she was particularly, no, intensely, interested in. She kept calling out “Bride and groom, dance!” and insisted on being carried over to the vicinity of the newlyweds.

When Beth took Audrey for a spin around the dance floor, Audrey was in heaven.


The day prior to the wedding we went to the Portsmouth City Park, where Audrey got to ride the Pokey Smokey II, before we went to a family BBQ at my aunt Ruth’s house.


It was a beautiful day, so we had to pause for a few photos by the blooming flowers. Audrey put on her best “cheese.”


It was a wonderful weekend, from the lovely wedding to the biscuit breakfasts with my parents. Kenji and I reminisced about our own big day, and how much has happened in our lives together in the seven years since then.

With another wedding coming up this fall, Audrey won’t have too long to wait until she has another bride to chase after.

Audrey’s adventures: Disney World

Yep, we took our not-quite-two-year-old to Walt Disney World! Kenji had work training at the Disney Institute, so of course Audrey and I had to tag along.


We flew down Saturday morning, but it was early afternoon (naptime) by the time we checked in at the hotel. So we spent the first part of our trip in the lobby while Audrey snoozed in the stroller.

Once she was up, we headed to the Magic Kingdom.

The vintage steam train was one of Audrey’s favorite discoveries.

The other: the carousel (of course!).

We only covered about a quarter of the park, but we did get on a few toddler-friendly rides. “It’s a Small World” really took me back to own childhood visit to Disney World, way back in 1985.

The iconic castle was lovely all lit up in the evening. After dinner and the spin on the Winnie the Pooh ride, we called it a night.


Our first full day at Disney was jam packed.

First, Audrey met a bunch of characters over breakfast. Thankfully the costumes didn’t scare her.

She liked “Bear”…


and the Mad “Hakaka”…

but she wasn’t quite as impressed with Alice or Mary Poppins.

After breakfast, we headed to the Animal Kingdom park. There we went on a ride that felt like an authentic safari, complete with giraffes, zebras, rhinos, and other animals right outside the car windows.

Kenji headed to the first session of his work training in the early afternoon, right around the time I started walking Audrey (in her stroller) in a loop around the quietest part of the park I could find: the outdoor food court.

After her brief nap, the two of us did more exploring.

Audrey liked “Dinoland,” where she could actually touch the (fake) animals.

Even better: the petting zoo, where she could pet a real animal! (The abundance of germs throughout the park freaked me out a bit, but no where more than here. Not to mention the proximity of the goats’ legs and mouths to my little girl. Eek.)

After a long day, we had dinner, headed back to the hotel, and reunited with Kenji. Audrey was out like a light and I was happy to make use of the minty foot rub provided by the hotel.


On to Epcot! But, with a more modest plan of attack, since the combination of short naps and late bedtimes was taking a toll on our toddler (and me).

We explored the park in the morning; our favorite stop was the “Nemo & Friends” ride/aquarium. The tanks were huge and filled with gorgeous fish.

After lunch Audrey finally got a good, long nap — in her bed! And I got some much-needed work done.

Then we took the train back over to Epcot to see the World Showcase and meet Kenji for dinner. We ate at a Mexican restaurant across the walkway from a “house” (pyramid) Audrey enjoyed. Here she is on one of her many trips inside it.


To the pool! The hotel had a nice pool with a kid-friendly splash park, so Audrey and I spent the morning there. She was more interested in watching other kids play in the splash park and climbing onto the poolside chairs than actually getting into the water, but hey, that kept her entertained.

She also tried to climb into the fountain and uprooted a flower (saying “uh-oh” as she did).

After another solid post-lunch nap, we headed back to the Magic Kingdom — with Kenji, who was done for the day by mid-afternoon.

For our last night, we made sure to catch the light parade and evening fireworks. After a final ride on the carousel, Audrey conked out in her stroller.


Home! Disney made the whole checking out process as painless as possible, but it was still a hectic morning between getting Audrey dressed and moving, finishing packing, getting out an e-newsletter on deadline, and schlepping all the bags downstairs.

It was nice to come home, but we had a great trip! Even though Audrey likely won’t remember it, we have lots of fond memories to tell her about.

And like my mom said, when she’s begging us for a trip to Disney we can tell her “But you’ve already been!”

Audrey’s adventures: pumpkin patch

The bad news: We have a mold issue in our kitchen.

The good news: Audrey and I are up in Rhode Island for an impromptu visit with my parents while the repair work is done!

It was a blustery but mild day so we walked Audrey over to the pumpkin patch after her (abbreviated) nap. Yes, walked. The farm is literally around the corner from my parents’ house.

We did our best to catch the perfect smiling-toddler-holding-a-pumpkin fall photo, but Audrey wasn’t too interested in that.

She preferred riding in the wagon.

And trying to push it. Also, collecting rocks.

Audrey’s adventures: Labor Day in RI

I’m trying to finally catch up on posting photos from our summer travels. I’ll start with the most recent trip: Labor Day weekend in Rhode Island, visiting Grandnan, Granddad (aka Tickles), and G.G. Bird (aka Bicycle), as well as some dear friends. (The nicknames were chosen by Audrey during our visit.)

We didn’t make it up to RI last summer, so we were excited to make the most of the gorgeous weather while we could this trip.

One of our first stops: the beach! It is the “Ocean State,” after all.

We were pretty unprepared the first time we went — we didn’t bring a swimsuit for Audrey, only a towel, since we weren’t sure how she would react to the water. She absolutely loved it, though, and ended up splashing in her clothing and then toddling around the sand in just a diaper.

For our second trip to Easton’s Beach, Audrey was more properly attired.

The highlight of that visit was the carousel. She even rode a horse!

Aquidneck Island has quite a bit of farmland, too, which makes for more toddler fun. At one farm only minutes from my parents’ house, you can feed the goats. Audrey initially had help feeding them from the cup, but ended up giving them pieces directly from her palm.

She got a kick out of them licking her hand.

After feeding the goats, we  crossed the street to a different farm (and historic site) where you can feed ducks. Unlike the goats, they weren’t behind a fence. Instead, they greeted us in the parking lot and followed us over to the pond.

Of course, the very best part of the trip was the grandparent-granddaughter (and great-grandparent-granddaughter) time together.

Spain family visit

Over Presidents’ Weekend we flew up to Rhode Island for a few days with my parents and my brother Steve and his family. His daughter, Lily, was celebrating her one-year birthday. It’s always great to see family but it was a special treat seeing Steve, Roxanne, and Lily since they live on the west coast.

Lily and Audrey met once before, when they were both around six months old.

It’s amazing how much they’ve both changed since then.

They were so cute playing together. Or, next to each other, at least.

Reading together with Granddad was an especially sweet moment.

The weather was chilly but we did get out for a walk along the ocean. (Audrey borrowed Lily’s cozy fleece zip-up.)

On our last day, we also stopped by a local farm (a two-minute drive my parents’ house!) to check out the sheep, cows, goats, and geese.

Too soon we had to say our goodbyes and head back to the airport for our trip home. I’m so thankful we had the time together though.

Before we can believe it, I’m sure Audrey and Lily will be e-mail pals. (Is it too much to hope that they’ll write actual letters to each other?)

Russian River finally uploaded

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Russian River, a set on Flickr.

We finally got around to uploading an abridged set of photos from our trip to the Russian River this past summer. Plenty of fun photos of Lily and Audrey (not to mention Steve and Roxanne). Click on through to see the full set.

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