We debated weather or not we should travel in December given Covid, but since we figured we weren’t going to do any travel with a newborn for a good while, we booked an AZ trip for Davin & I to AZ Dec 9-14 (to see my sister, mom&stepdad, and extended family on my mom’s side), then we were going to quarantine at home for 10 days and then do DC trip for Christmas. My sister and BIL were also planning on coming from AZ, we hadn’t been to DC to see Munyans or Schollians (my dad and his family) in 1.5 yrs and my sister hadn’t seen my dad et al for 3.5 yrs. Since Ben & I were working from home, we figured it would be easy to quarantine before DC but my sister is a dental hygienist and we ended up deciding to cancel the trip since we didn’t want to risk her bringing any germs to my 90 yr old grandparents. Hopefully we can make it out there at the end of summer!
Davin and I did have a fun trip to AZ! We stayed with my mom & stepdad and got to see my sister, BIL, and my Memmott family on my mom’s side. It was perfect weather and we had lots of fun at the park, petting zoo, and doing a little train ride with his 2nd cousin, Thea. He loved all the different toys at my mom’s and sat on her bed for hours playing with little cars/trucks/helicopters. Even tho it was only 1 hour difference in time zone, he got up every day 2.5 hrs earlier than normal :-/ and sometimes had a hard time taking a nap. I think it was probably the last trip we will try to squish him in a pack n play. When we got home, I had a hard time waking him up the next morning even after letting him sleep 13.5 hours that night lol! I guess there is nothing quite the same as your own bed!
Then we had a nice quiet Christmas here in Nashville. We did have Christmas Eve dinner with Davin’s friend Juni’s family and we had lots of outside fun – saw the Christmas lights at Cheekwood, went to the zoo some more with Hank and DadMan, Warner with Hank, had a New Years party at the park with Davin’s neighborhood playgroup, and a few firepits. New Years weekend, Davin’s bestie, Hank, moved to Chicago. Hank was Davin’s first friend – Teyanna & Hank’s mom, Beth, met up with the babies at the park when Davin was just about 4 months old. There was lots of tears shed on the mom’s parts; hopefully, we can find somewhere to meet up or visit between here & Nashville in 2021!
In September & October, we had lots of fun times at our neighborhood pumpkin patch, did a 3 mile hike at Warner, Car Museum (cars were cool but hard not to touch and Davin just wanted to sit on Ben’s shoulders forever staring at the kid play area that was closed for Covid … someday kiddo), made homemade chocolate bars (thanks for sending it Vandy!), zoo with Davin’s friend Ollie and zoo with Daddy (someone loves the carousel!), and neighborhood pumpkin carving (where Davin discovered cookies lol).
Early October, the “Paci Fairy” traded Davin’s pacifiers out for a toy garbage truck. Sleep was a bit of a challenge for few days but he was very excited about the truck and didn’t really cry for the pacis at least. And October-November, Ben got to go back to campus (first time since early March) and teach his 3 classes live on Monday/Wednesdays. Half the class would come on Mondays and half on Wednesdays so that they weren’t too crowded, which meant Ben had to make sure they were streaming online for the other half the class watching at home. I guess we should all be zoom experts after this.
For Halloween, no one knew who we were but we had fun dressing up as Davin’s TV show, Tumble Leaf – Ben as Fig the Fox, Tey as Maple, Davin as Stick the Caterpillar, and Lena as Hedge. We had fun doing a Halloween hunt at the park with some neighborhood playgroup friends, Cheekwood, and then Davin’s first time trick or treating! We hope this one good thing from Covid continues – instead of awkwardly having to open the door all night, our neighborhood set up cute tables by our mailboxes w candy the kids could get and we sat back around our fire pit in the driveway watching the costumes and got to talk more w neighbors who joined us at our fire!
In November we went back to Montgomery Bell State Park (where we camped in September) but got a cabin this time! We had a fun & chill 2 nights – and got lots more sleep than the tent! We had to do Wednesday-Friday since every weekend was booked up this year, probably because everyone wants to get outside due to Covid! Unfortunately, on Tuesday Ben cut his finger bad on a new ax and had to get a couple of stitches – which kept him up til midnight so I convinced him to teach his last scheduled live classes (Wednesday) online so he could get a bit more sleep & recover before we had to head out Wednesday evening. The glamping trip was fun and fairly relaxing even if a bit of a stressful start there. Davin loved playing in the sand and making s’mores!
End November/early December we had more zoo, Cheekwood, & park fun with Davin’s friends Hank & Juni! And we had a nice small Thanksgiving (Nashville started recommending limiting indoor gatherings to 8 due to Covid) with Juni’s family – her mom & I are both doing gluten free so it was nice to split the cooking and not have to worry about that! Davin was all about the pumpkin pie!
And Lena may drive us a bit crazy sometimes with her barking & neediness lol but we never get tired of how sweet she is with Davin. #ADog&HerBoy #ABoy&HisDog
August we had a fun visit from 3 of Ben’s younger siblings, Sarah(26), John(17), & Jennifer(15), who live in DC! We had fun canoeing/kayaking, going to the Grand Ole Opry indoor gardens, eating at an aquarium restaurant (1st indoor restaurant since covid!), walking around Shy’s Hill (Civil war cite by our house) and Centennial Park, and did 2 Escape Games (Davin loved it lol)!
Then for Labor Day weekend, Davin & I finally took our trip to AZ (originally booked for February but I kept rebooking for various reasons). It was Davin’s 15th & 16th flights and he did really well! We hadn’t flown since Christmas but he remembered we get pretzels on the plane lol. He doesn’t love using bathrooms outside our house but didn’t have any accidents the whole trip!… altho one day we drove 2 hrs to Payson AZ and held it for 9 hrs to avoid using public restrooms lol :-/. It was still surprisingly hot (110!) but we had fun swimming in my parents’ & cousin’s pool, playing in the stream in Payson, and playing on the playground before 8am … Which was actually doable because Davin didn’t adjust to the time change and woke up every day at 5:30/6am instead of 7:30/8 :-/… he was a bit grumpy some days cause I didn’t get him to bed by 6pm and he missed his nap 3 of 6 days (we survived with with Daniel TIger on the iPad those 3 days lol!) but we had lots of fun and he keeps asking to go back to Nana & Papa’s!
Later in September Davin saw some pics of us camping before he was born and got very excited about that, so we did a one night camping trip. He loved the fire and all the fire food – tin foil dinners (mostly just the hot dog in his lol), lots of marshmallows, and breakfast muffins & sausage! Unfortunately, it was a bit colder than we expected – he slept 3-4 hrs in his pack n play, then got cold (wouldn’t really keep covers on) and so we brought him to our air mattress to warm up w us… he was mostly awake from 1-4am … then finally slept 4-7am… while we were terrified to move and wake him lol… Not surprising he thought it was play time since we have never slept in the same room (much less same bed) since he was like 1 month old … but we might do a cabin instead of a tent next time lol.
And here are some pictures from August/September: Davin & Teddy (nanny share friend) dressing fancy, Canoeing with Teddy’s family, and Cheekwood with Hank!
aka the time of COVID… Ben teaches classes in Quarters 2 & 4 and Q4 starts in March after spring break. He got to teach the first class live and then everything got moved online for the semester. Davin’s preschool he goes to 2 days/week was closed March – August… and beyond? … we shall see! Teyanna taught undergrad Macro 101 in June and that got moved online as well. We’ve appreciated the short commute of working from home but have gotten a little cooped up. Davin has still had a nanny share so at least he has usually had a friend to socialize with a few days a week thru that! March – May was pretty much just being home and going to play in a stream 1-2x/week (parks are even closed). Starting late June, some stuff started to open up again in Nashville, and Davin loved going to the Zoo & Cheekwood (gardens & trains)!
While stuck at home, we decided to potty train Davin in April (27 months old) and he did really good! Almost too good – I was hoping to still wear diapers for nap & bedtime, but he didn’t want to wear one for nap (so we get to deal with wet sheets some days) and for a month he would wake up at night to go potty… but he has since decided diapers are ok at night and we all get to sleep better (guess we will “night train” sometime in the next year, after we figure out how to get rid of the pacifier lol). By about 27-28 months Davin also knew all his colors (purple is still his definite favorite!), counts to 10, is very sweet with hugs & kisses, and tries to prolong bedtime as long as possible lol.
Easter – Davin loved finding easter eggs filled with snacks and little dinosaurs!
April 23: Lena turned 4! Davin & his nanny share friend, Holland, were so happy to sing to her and have peanut butter sandwiches with sprinkles lol
And at the end of April, we ended out nanny share with Holland as she is home with her mom & new little brother. Davin has loved playing with her 2-3 days/week since August 2018! Luckily they only live one block away so we still see them a bit!
May 10 – Mother’s Day: Davin was so cute saying “Happy Mother’s Day!” , Ben made a delicious breakfast, & I took Davin&Lena to the stream!
May 16: 11 year anniversary! got a sitter for the day and drove 2 hrs to some beautiful waterfalls! Burgess Falls and Twin Falls at Rock Island State Park. Even got to swim!
June 1: Tey’s bday – Ben made a delicious breakfast & we took Davin canoeing for the first time! We all loved it and went again with a neighbor friend 2 weeks later!
June 13: Went to Cheekwood (gardens and trains) for the first time in months! We went with Davin’s friend Juni – they live 2 blocks from us and did nanny share with us in May-June while Juni’s daycare was closed. We also had fun having a sleepover with their family when their power went out for a almost a week and it got cold one night – yay for game night while the kids slept!
June 21: Father’s Day – went to the zoo for the first time in months!
July 4 & 7 – For Ben’s birthday (7/7) he wanted to have some friends over we hadn’t seen since March. And the day that worked happened to be 4th of July so we had a fun outdoor BBQ – Davin loved the food, sparklers, fireworks, and following all the big kids around. He also requested Dad have a “choo choo cake” (like Davin’s bday cake back in January) so Ben obliged lol. On 7/7 we got some take-out tacos.
7/5 Tey turned in her grades for the 5-week Macro 101 class she taught online! She had fun teaching but glad that crazy month is done!
7/7-7/10 – Grandpa Schollian visited! Tey’s Dad, stepmom Melanie, & stepsister Brianna got here late on 7/7 after a long 12 hr drive from Maryland! On 7/8 we went to the zoo in the morning (it was very hot!), got Thai takeout, and watched a bit of Hamilton. On 7/9 we went to the Science Center, the park, and played some games after Davin was in bed, and 7/10 they headed back home (and stopped to see some of Melanie’s family on the way). It was great to see them!
7/17 Davin is 2.5! We can’t believe we have such a big kid. Davin is very sweet & loving (lots of hugs & kisses), likes to run hard and play rough, knows what he wants (i.e. is a little stubborn sometimes lol), and we love hearing him sing songs by himself (Baa Baa Black Sheep, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, & ABCs). Davin loves being a helper & playing in Dad’s workshop (maybe more than Ben? Ben moved his home office out to the workshop so it is his mancave for work, working out, & wood working!)… And Davin finally got a short haircut (Ben is becoming a pretty good barber – even cutting his own hair!).
At the end of June we found a new nanny share family about 10 minute drive away. Teddy comes over here 2 days/wk and Davin goes there 2 days/week (same nanny we have had for 15+ months). I thought Davin might be a little timid about being left at their house, since he hasn’t been in anyone else’s house or preschool etc since Covid started in early March… but he ran right in and never looked back… And when I came to get him he wanted to take all the toys home lol guess he has been getting a bit bored being mostly just at our house for 3 months.
We can’t believe Davin is 2 already! We are having fun watching him try so many new words this last month; “Mine!” and “Self!” are his favorites lol but it is fun to watch him learn to do things himself even if it takes him a while. The last day of our Christmas AZ trip he switched to being a little bit of a mama’s boy, after being a HUGE daddy’s boy the previous year. I think he saw me packing up and got worried I was leaving him in AZ lol… sadly this means I get to change diapers when Ben is around (vs before Davin wanted Ben to do EVERYTHING!)… he now insists I do bibs for meals and bedtime songs but he still wants Dad to get him dressed in the am if he hasn’t left for work yet. While he often seems like a little dictator, he is very good at saying please and thank you which makes it very cute. He is still our little explorer, loves all things cars & trucks, is [usually] very loving with Lena, has gotten great at blowing kisses and saying bye bye to everyone, and loves to “help” mom make dinner.
For his birthday dinner we made mac & cheese (one of his current favorite foods) & steak (his favorite food last birthday, but wouldn’t allow on his plate this bday lol). We did a watermelon cake after dinner and he took cupcakes to preschool. Then the following day, we did a little party with some of his friends at Gymboree, with pizza & “choo choo” cake. He still talks about the choo choo cake a month later lol. And when we got home and he opened a couple presents, he insisted we use the paint right away (we haven’t done much paint at home cause it seemed messy lol but it wasn’t too bad). He has been having so much fun with all the fun stuff family & friends got him – ride-able car, play tools, musical instruments & shakers, puzzles, pall pit, & fun books! Plus we just had Christmas lol… Mom alternates between thinking we have way too much … to seeing other cool stuff and thinking we need something new lol.
The morning of his birthday party, we got his first haircut! We love his curls, but it was getting in his eyes and a bit tangly in back but I made sure they left some side curls. The Cookie Cutter was so cute – truck & airplane chairs, tvs, and a slide & balloon for after… Davin was very excited to sit in the chairs before and after… but during he freaked out and cried and sat on my lap… at least he left happy and hopefully next time he will remember it is a fun place.
January kept us busy – Ben finished up making 2 nightstands for the guest room… he had started them Sept/2018 but then life got real crazy and he hadn’t gotten back out to the workshop until recently but they turned out very nice. We hired some guys to take out 8 trees in our back yard and then Ben dug a trench for drainage pipe… hopefully with more sun and less water we will grow better grass this year!
Then Ben went on a long DC work trip Jan 6-14 – his part-time appointment at the Treasury was ending January 15 so he was trying to wrap up lots of data projects (sometimes we are bad procrastinators)… of course I also had lots of school stuff I needed to do too so it was a busy busy 2 weeks. But we did have an awesome day in the middle of his crazy DC work trip – Ben flew home for the weekend and worked 24/7 except ….when we went to Hamilton! It was amazing! We both cried more than I expected and even tho I was excited to finally go, it was even better than I expected!
Below are some fun pics, luckily we’ve had a nice winter and have gotten to get outside a lot – I took Lena on a hike just her and me (she wondered why it took 2 yrs… much easier than taking the kid lol), a couple zoo trips, Percy Nature Center where Davin loves throwing rocks in the stream, and lots of park & bike time! Davin also loved doing a Home Depot workshop with dad (and getting his own apron to wear in Ben’s workshop) and liked going to the Frist Art Museum with mom.
For our Valentine’s I made pancakes for breakfast & for dinner Ben made a delicious steak dinner and we tried chocolate Fondue at home for the first time which was fun. For our Valentine’s date (a week early) Ben & I had fun at Pins Mechanical – duck bowling, pinbowl machines, and giant Jenga. We also tried out some new places to eat – Chopt for dinner and dessert at Milk&Honey.
Anything else in January/February?
I hosted a mini baby sprinkle for 2 neighborhood friends having baby #2, it was so sweet! I’m so glad we found such fun playgroup friends this last year!
We have been way healthier this year (vs last winter Davin had a constant cough/cold/ear infections) but he did get a 1-day throw-up bug the week of his birthday and then a fever for a couple days around Presidents’ Day (which ironically last time he threw up was the week of his 1st bday and last time he had a fever was last Presidents’ Day week lol)… It wasn’t too bad except with the fever he said his mouth really hurt – idk if he was also teething or got a canker sore or what, but it obviously hurt to chew (but not swallow) and he would want to chew cold teethers and wash clothes… I was glad when that passed. In January, we got a mini-potty to try out before bedtime – at first Davin was obsessed and then he refused to sit on it and now he’s moderately interested again lol.
Everyone went to their first Presidential Campaign Rally! But sadly she dropped out before we could vote for her :(.
And finally February 29-March 3 I did a girls weekend with my 2 SILs (Ben’s brothers’ wives) – they flew in and we rented a house in Nashville … only 15 minutes from our house but it had a hot tub and no kids ;-). We had lots of fun chilling and going out to eat!