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!
The first week of December Davin figured out his bike! Its a balance bike – they don’t have any pedals, you just sit and push. He got it in the summer but was standing and walking with it (and didn’t like the helmet rule lol).
And in December, Davin finally started trying more than one new word per month! While in AZ he tried baby goat, animals, Chelsey, Paul, Coco & Boo (Boomer – Chelsey’s dogs), and finally put 2 words together “Mommy sit here! Dada sit here!” YAY!!! (putting 2 words together is a milestone goal for by the time they turn 2) … I know every kid develops at their own pace, but our nanny share girl (only a couple days older than Davin) learned the ABCs and talked in sentences months ago so it was a regular reminder that maybe he should be talking more lol. So we are glad he started trying lots of words even if it is often a guessing game to figure out what he’s saying. Here’s some random pics from December; he also finally figured out how to share with his nanny share friend pretty well :). (For a while it was “Mine!” to everything she touched the first half hour of the day :-/.)
In December, we had fun doing a friend Christmas party – decorating cookies for the kids and funny adult white elephant game, seeing a big Christmas tree & Santa Claus with neighborhood friends, and of course Santa at Petsmart with Lena… Ben was too chicken to put Davin in Santa’s lap so no sad Davin this year lol.
Tey & Davin flew to AZ 12/19 and Ben joined 12/21 and we all came home together 12/26. Before going to AZ, we had our own little Christmas morning in TN with Lena. Davin was very excited about the train table and was so cute rocking his dolls in their new crib. Lena loved her annual caterpillar and we had fun doing a silly string fight outside.
In AZ, we had fun going to the park, the petting zoo, train park & carousel, seeing my mom & stepdad, sister & BIL, aunts & uncles, grandma, and hanging out with my cousins & their kids! And we even got to have brunch with some MD friends who now live in Mexico and were in AZ!
And while in AZ, Ben & I got to hike Camelback Mountain – only 2.5 miles total but pretty steep. I wanted to exchange new rings for our 10 year anniversary but we didn’t get them in time for our anniversary back in May, so we decided to exchange them on Camelback which is where we first said I love you. We did a little sand ceremony that Ben found… cheesey but I liked it. Ben got a Celtic love knot ring and I got a ring with some teal blue stones.
We had lots of fun but Davin was a pretty tired bug at the airport home (he never just sits) but he did pretty good and even pushed his own suitcase (which was nice so the stroller could push his car seat lol)!
Nov 17 – Davin is 22 months! He finally learned to say Lena this month! His words in order of learning them I believe are: Dada, Monkey, Puppy, Hi, Yummy-yummy, farm animal sounds, baby, beep-beep, Mommy, Nana & Papa (he facetimes my mom & stepdad a lot), up, & Lena! He has lots of attempted words (like Ba for Ball & Balloon, Boo for Book, nana for Banana, lola (for Granola), Flow-y for flower, Pumpky for pumpkin, wa-wa for water, etc.) He still loves playing with his kitchen set and play cooking, playing with his dolls (he likes to rock them and feed them), figured out the magnetic tiles, and likes building lego (megablock) towers. He loves all things trucks & cars & helicopters – lately his favorite book is Goodnight Construction Site, he loves playing in the front of the car… a little too much lol, and likes watching helicopters land and take off on YouTube. He loved getting in lots of construction trucks at Touch-a-Truck day at the Science Center and we got to see a helicopter land there… we might have been a little too close tho cause he still gets a bit worried when we are outside and it gets windy lol. We watch a few minutes of tv on my phone here and there to help with diapers/bedtime etc. Last month he loved Tarzan’s You’ll Be in My Heart (called it the baby song), Lion King’s Circle of Life & Hakuna Matata (he roars pretty cute lol), and Jungle Book’s Bare Necessities. This month he likes Pooh Bear clips, Wheels on the Bus, and Old McDonald (ie Ee-i-ee-i) He is usually very active and adventurous (taking off to the other side of the park and climbing everywhere) and is also a bit shy around new people or places. He is usually very happy and sweet and gives great hugs… and can also throw an impressive fit when he is grumpy after nap time or doesn’t want x (get dressed, get in the car, etc) :-/… Mommy is slightly traumatized once in a while but she is working on the arts of patience and brushing it off.
For Thanksgiving we spent 3 nights in Denver, CO with Ben’s older brother Matt & SIL Christina and their 3 girls (6, 9, & 11 – so grown up!). Ben’s younger brother also flew in from college in UT to join! Highs were eating yummy food (I didn’t have to cook anything but oatmeal for 3 days! Thanks Christina & Matt!), playing computer, board, & card games, and just talking and hanging out! Lows were having to wait 1-2 hrs for our rental car when we landed (they didn’t have the cars people reserved… grrr) – it was way past Davin’s bed time but he did pretty good and fell right asleep once in the car… but then for night 2 Davin freaked out about us leaving him for bed and figured out how to get out of the pack n play… took us 4 hrs to get him to bed… but then the rest of the naps&nights he did fine and stayed in the pack n play pretty good.
We got home Saturday night and suddenly December was here!
Davin loved our local pumpkin patch, and it was fun running into a friend the 2nd time there!
He thought Cheekwood’s pumpkin house & Paw Parade was interesting:
He braved the bounce house with me at Tot Time’s Halloween party and I think he even liked being a monkey after a couple times of dressing up! The rest of us were a Lion, Lion Trainer, & Strong Man. Halloween day our neighborhood had a block party but it was the first super cold day so we just walked around the block once (I don’t think Ben was too sad he only got to wear his costume for a few minutes lol). And we did catch our neighbor’s tractor and hay ride a few days later when it was warmer!
We also went to the elementary Fall Festival, Sevier Park Halloween Dress Up(wore last yrs super costumes), and had a fun pumpkin carving play date:
And a few other random October pics:
Ben started teaching in October and so is even busier than normal with work! Normally he works about 50 hrs/wk but seems more like 60+ when he’s teaching. So we plan a weekend at a cabin in Copperhill, TN (in the Smokey’s by Chattanooga) in October before he started teaching and went again on Thanksgiving break to get some fun family time in!
And finally proof that mom got out without the kid: