Category Archives: Adventures of Ben & Teyanna

2019 Family Pictures

19 pics for 2019? Lol the photographer gave me all 300 pics and it was hard narrowing them down! Next time we will have to bring a friend to see if we can get a less serious Davin lol… and you can tell he really loves his Dada … there was no chance of me getting a picture with just one of them! (Taken October 2019, Davin is 21 months old)

Cabin Fun

We decided to check out the Smokey Mountains for the first time and get some good family time in before Ben started teaching in mid-October. We spent 2 nights at a fun Airbnb cabin in Coppertown, TN (about 4 hrs from our house & 1 hr from Chatanooga). We enjoyed the hot tub and it was nice to be off the grid with no wifi or cell service!

We drove up Friday afternoon and Saturday we did a 3 mile hike to Turtletown Creek Falls (after getting a little lost trying to find it – I had saved the directions but not a great map and the directions had a wrong road name…thanks google lol). Ben did great carrying Davin!

Saturday night we did tin foil dinners and s’mores on the fire. Sunday morning we did a short hike at Ocoee (1996 Whitewater Olympics) and headed home! Normally Davin naps 1-4 so we timed the drives hoping he woiuld sleep in the car but no such luck… but no-nap Davin managed pretty well.

… And we liked it so much we went back again the first weekend of Thanksgiving Break (Vandy closes classes for the whole week! woot!)! No-nap Davin got a little cranky on the way there so we stopped at a Bass Pro-type store to get out some wiggles. Saturday was too rainy to hike and Davin seemed like he needed to get out of the cabin so we drove 1/2 hour to civilization and found a bounce house… but Davin of course refused to bounce …. at least he liked the giant Koala bear lol and he was very happy to go out to lunch. We did tin foil dinners on the stove but Ben managed to get a fire going for s’mores. Sunday morning if was cold but dry at least so we did a little hike at Ocoee again … and hallelujah! Davin finally fell asleep on the car ride home!

Labor Day in DC

After a month of no travel (woot!) Ben went to work at the Treasury Tuesday, 8/27 and then Davin & I flew out to DC Thursday, 8/29. It was nice to have a short flight (vs our previous trips to AZ & CA) and we were lucky to get an extra seat for his car seat both ways which made it really easy.

After getting all our stuff and rental car, I finally convinced Davin to nap in Ben’s hotel and then we had dinner (Indian of course!) with Ben & my friend Becky. Friday Ben worked while Davin and I hung out with some Munyans in VA – went to a petting zoo and then headed over to Ben’s brother’s house where Davin took a long nap. Then we all had pizza and hung out and we made it to an airbnb for the night (I think we kept Davin up to 10pm for the first time lol).

Saturday we drove an hour and a half to my Schollian Grandparent’s home in MD. We had fun hanging out with them, exploring the stream, and trying to help a little for the big 90th Birthday Celebration for my Grandpop on Sunday. My dad and his 4 siblings, all but 3 grandkids, and all 15 great-grandkids (Davin at age 1 to HS senior) made it! It was lots of fun to see everyone! My aunts and uncle put on an awesome party and they did tug of war, a three-legged race, kayaking, zip-lining, and huge fireworks (which Davin said he’d rather watch inside where it is quieter lol). I have lots of fun memories of my sister & I spending some of our summers there and it was a good visit.

Monday Davin&I had fun with my Dad, stepmom, and stepsister at Baugher’s petting zoo while Ben enjoyed some time in the hammock by my grandparents’ stream :). Davin really loved all the tractors and go-carts at the petting zoos and my grandparents… At the Friday petting zoo, I was really confused why he was saying “baby” at the tractors…. At home, he had just learned the word baby when I put some of his baby pictures up and got him a doll the week before but it seemed out of place at the tractors… but then I realized he was saying “beep beep” like in his book Little Blue Truck book :).

Tuesday we flew home and are getting back into the swing of things!

July & August 2019

7/7 – Happy Birthday to Ben! He got a VR headset which has been fun!

7/17 – Happy half birthday to Davin! Time is flying and I can’t believe he is already 18 months! His favorite things are still Dada, puppy (can’t do bedtime stories unless Lena is in the room lol), and his monkeys (paci). He likes swim class and reading books (and finding all the puppies in the books). He still loves to eat and pretend to eat. His favorite book the last few months was Goodnight Gorilla and now it is “Pow Pow” – ie Pout Pout Fish. His words are: Dada, Puppy, Monkey, Hi, Ya, No, yummy yummy, ba (ball), and pow pow (pout pout fish).

Ben had 6 work trips in June&July, so we are glad he got a few weeks at home now!

8/17 – Davin is 19 months! He finally learned the word Mommy!!! Yay!!! His favorite book is “What is Poop?” lol – loves all the flaps (thanks Aunt Donna!). He also loves farm animal books like The Big Red Barn and he loves pointing out all the balloons and moons lol (The Night You Were Born, Goodnight Gorilla, & Goodnight Moon).

He also learned lots of farm animal sounds after we went to the county fair this month (neigh neigh for horse, ba ba for sheep, ma ma for goat (who knew goat kids said the same thing as human kids ;), and moo for cow, and something like duck-duck for duck… he’s been panting for dog for a few months lol).

This summer we had lots of fun outings with daddy – Stoney Brook Farms, Zoo, County Fair, Pool, Science Center, etc. And mom & Davin did lots of play dates with friends – more science center & zoo (memberships are nice!), splash pads, Cheekwood story time houses, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star children’s theater, library story time, Frist Art Museum, Sevier & GH parks, Sevier Tot Time, and friends’ houses!

And mom even gets out with friends once in a while including a fun painting class!


June 1- Teyanna turned 30 – woot! We had fun going to brunch at Sinema (Davin was pretty good, altho not as good as last year when he slept the whole time lol). That night, I went out for tacos with some girlfriends and then we came back for cakes Ben made & bought and played games. Lots of fun! Ben got me some fun presents, including a digital photo frame with some preloaded pics and songs that made me tear up. #parenthood. And since I was leaving my 20s, I figured it was time to leave behind my collection of Aeropostale shirts from High School lol… its been a good 15 years.

June 14-20: Davin and I crashed Ben’s work trip to CA! And we had lots of fun with my AZ family who drove out to join us! My cousin Afton and her 2 kids joined us the first 2 days, then my sister&BIL and mom&stepdad joined us on day 2 and stayed 3-5 nights! We rented a cool house with lots of fruits growing (bananas, papaya, tomatoes, strawberries, etc), but sadly it was a bit too cold to enjoy the pool – didn’t realize what “June gloom” was til we got there – a high of 70 and lots of clouds… at least no one got sunburned lol. Ben took an all day CFA exam Saturday and was pretty busy with the WFA conference the rest of the time. He did get to join us at the beach for a couple hrs… and eventually got to join us for Father’s Day steak dinner. Davin loved the sand altho was a little unsure of the ocean. He did great on the flight there… but didn’t get a long enough nap before the flight back and was a bit of a nightmare… finally he did fall asleep the last quarter of the flight and our sanity was restored. His first 6 flights we were lucky and got an extra seat for him but didn’t for these flights which made it a bit harder. Davin loved all the family but was a little shy since last time he saw them in February we had left him overnight. Thanks for lots of fun and for driving out to CA to hang with us!

June 17: Davin turned 17 months old! He has been saying Dada for a while and this last month learned monkey (his pacifer) and puppy. Before he learned puppy he would pant for dog which was really cute (but stopped when he learned puppy). I’d been trying to get him to say dog or Lena forever and then our nanny brought her puppy over and he learned puppy in one day lol. He says those 3 words basically nonstop – he’s gotten very attached to his pacifier the last month and it isn’t possible to leave it in the crib anymore :-/. I think right around 17 months he also learned Hi and he occasionally… very rarely does say mama… altho sometimes I think he uses it to mean he’s hungry :P. He also still uses the signs for more, all done, and hungry, and is getting pretty good at ya and no/shaking his head.

June 23-26: Teyanna went to DC for a health economics conferences (ASHEcon). Sadly my flight there was about 11 hrs late so I didn’t get to see as many people, but I did get to have dinner with my dad, SILs, & friend from the Fed which was nice! There were so many interesting papers at the conference – hopefully I got some good ideas. And it was nice to travel so light… and have a carry on all for me (vs one pocket in diaper bag lol)! Ben did awesome with Davin – and got his first day with him with no help when our nanny didn’t make one day. I was a little sad Davin didn’t seem to miss me… when I woke him up Thursday after being gone 3 days he immediately started asking for puppy and dada like normal. I’m super glad Ben is such an awesome dad and I’m trying not to take it too personally… And be grateful for the perks like I don’t have to do poopy diapers on planes when Ben’s there since Davin can’t bear the idea of leaving Ben for a few minutes lol.


March 17 – Davin turned 14 months! He loves going outside and figured out how to go down the playground slides. At 14 months he refused his 2nd nap and is down to one 1.5-3 hour nap a day… sad day… I really liked his second nap which was 4-5:30 and great for making dinner lol.  By 14 months he had his first “word” – we tried to get him to do the sign language for “more” when eating but instead of the sign, he says “meh” lol.


April 17 – By 15 months, he got 2 molars (left side) so 10 teeth now.  And this month Davin started waving and blowing kisses, so so cute! He also points to his nose, ears, tongue (or sticks it out) and learned to say “uh-oh” … said it A LOT for a bit lol. He loves Lena, his baby pool, and youTube songs (makes for much easier diaper changes). .  We are enjoying the awesome spring weather – Ben got a bike trailer for Davin, we checked out the flowers at Hermitage, and lots of walks & park time.




April 21 – Easter! For Easter we went to to a Unitarian Universalist church service which had a great message about unconditional love, a nursery class Davin loved, and a fun playground and Easter egg hunt after. Then after Davin’s nap we did a hike at Beaman Park. I also went to a Catholic service the night before with my friend, and really enjoyed the music.




May 12 – I had a great Mother’s Day – Ben made a delicious breakfast and dinner, we went on a little hike to Radnor Lake, and I went out to brunch with some friends!



May 16 – 10 year anniversary! Woot! I can’t it has been 10 years already!!! To celebrate we went out to eat at House of Cards – where they also have magicians to entertain you after dinner and between courses.  They have a minimum dress code (like guys must have suit jackets) and so I had fun renting a dress on Rent-the-Runway.

May 17 – By 16 months, Davin learned to climb the ladder to our backyard playset… a little scary cause I liked to cook with the back door open while he played in the backyard. Ben replaced the ladder with a ramp but we aren’t quite sure yet which is safer lol.  This month he got 2 more molars (right side) so 12 teeth so far! Davin is still a daddy’s boy – he is very happy when Ben comes home and very sad when he leaves.  If he catches Ben in the morning before he goes to work, Davin runs to get picked up and then starts waving and blowing kisses to me, as if to say “bye Mom, I’m hanging out with Dad today.”


February 2019

Over Valentine’s/President’s weekend we went to AZ! We decided to take advantage of my family and left Davin overnight for the first time while Ben & I hiked the Grand Canyon. Davin and I got there 2/13 to hang out with family and hopefully got Davin warmed up to everyone. Then Ben got there 2/16 and we headed up to the Grand Canyon while Davin stayed with my family for 2 nights (Thank you thank you thank you!!!) – he seems to have lots of fun.

Nana&Davin_Feb18 MommysValentine_Feb14 Grandpa&Davin_Feb15 ChelseyPaul&Davin_Feb18 Chelsey&Davin_Feb16 Chelsey&Davin_Feb14

IMG_7934The Grand Canyon was gorgeous! When we started in the morning we came bundled up with 3-4 layers of socks, gloves, pants, jackets, etc lol and it snowed about 3 inches. But then it cleared up and warmed up – at the bottom it was about 50 degrees and I even went barefoot for a few minutes. We went down South Kaibab trail to Phantom Ranch (7 miles + 2 extra cause we parked far away lol) and then 10 miles back up via Bright Angel trail. We hiked Havasupai (a side canyon of the GC with gorgeous waterfalls) 9 years ago and so we were surprised that this was actually about 2x the elevation change … so a bit steeper than we were thinking. Luckily Bright Angel isn’t nearly as steep as S. Kaibab trail that we came down but it was still slow going. We should have left earlier that morning because the last 4-5 miles got a little scary — it started snowing again (about 3 inches by the time we got to the rim), got very cold, we heard a land slide, and it got dark the last mile :-/. We were very glad to finally get to our car and then hotel and get warmed up! Lesson learned to head out earlier and maybe not do the whole thing in one day if there is a chance of bad weather. But if you haven’t seen the Grand Canyon, and even if you aren’t into a huge hike, doing just 1.4 miles to the Ooh Aah Point on S. Kaibab and back up would be worth it!

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While we were in AZ Davin turned 13 months!






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We officially have a toddler on our hands – he started walking/toddling at 12.5 months! I got him down to nursing just 2-3xs/day before our trip and by the time we got home he was weaned. Happy (and a little sad) for mom. Luckily he finally figured out a straw sippy cup for water right before our AZ trip… now to get him to drink milk out of something other than a bottle. By 13 months Davin started saying some consonants (baba, yaya, mama, dada, etc) and figured out how to do the sign language for “all done” – which is much better than him just screaming when he’s done eating lol.  Some more pics from the last month:

FirstSnow_DontPutMeDown_Jan20 Davin&Dad_Feb9 Hiking_Feb2 Hiking_DavinDadLena_Feb2 Hiking_waterfall_Feb2