Monday, December 10, 2012

Happy Hanukkah!

We are in evening overload on holiday traditions in the Davis house.  In addition to Nate's Advent Calendars, Saturday night was the first night of Hanukkah.  We celebrated this weekend with a latke dinner and by lighting the candles of Aaron and Nate's menorahs.  And with the first night of gift opening, Nate declared to us all that he is "Goo-ish."  (Jewish)  We don't like to say half-Jewish or half-Catholic because that seems inaccurate.  He's not half of anything.  He's lucky enough to fully be a part of two religious cultures.  As his parents, we make every effort to emphasize the similarities and likenesses between the two.  And no time demonstrates the importance of the three of us being together like the December holidays!

An idea taken from my friend Lori, I put a theme on each night's gifts.  I devised a list last year that I hope will be adaptable as the kids get older.  And of course I created a Google doc to track the themes and gifts. Night one is bath night.  Nate got a robe and Aaron got deodorant   One of them was way more excited than the other.

Night two is for opening the gifts Nate was lucky enough to receive from his aunts, uncles, and grandparents. (see how I got out of buying for all eight nights??)  He enjoyed them all but perhaps the biggest hit was this Leap Frog gift from Aunt Ronnie and Uncle Ed that plays one of his favorite songs.  I give you the Alphabet Song, choreography by Nate J. Davis.

Back to tradition, it's so awesome to watch Nate learn his heritage.  There was a definite difference between his understanding of how we light the candles between nights one and two.  And we love our KidKraft menorah, it lets Nate feel like he's part of the action because he can "light" his own candles.  This one was a wonderful gift from my parents to Aaron the December we were pregnant with Nate.  We bought one for baby number two as his or her Hanukkah gift for 2012.  Can't wait to have two little ones lighting their candles next year!


Speaking of Baby D, yes, we are still pregnant - 39 weeks today.  Quite honestly, I feel great and am really not in a hurry to have the baby.  We're ready for him or her whenever but I'm also feeling healthy and energized and am content staying pregnant for a little while longer if that's better for Baby Sunshyne.  Also, as someone who waited 10 days past her due date with baby number one, I often forget that it's an actual possibility this baby might be born before next Monday.  I guess we'll see what the doctor has to say at our appointment on Thursday morning.

And because who needs modern medicine and their fancy ultrasound equipment to tell you things like a baby's gender, a woman in Trader Joe's took care of it for us.  Yesterday I was grocery shopping (By myself! Which was ridiculously luxurious!) and I kept catching this middle-aged woman staring at me.  Now, I'm pretty big and pregnant so I guess people might be wondering if I'm having the baby any minute now.  But this woman just kept staring at me.  Finally as I was checking out, she came up to me and said, "You're having a boy.  I kept seeing you in the store and I'm surer about this than I've been about any pregnant woman, you're having a boy.  I just had to say something because I don't know if you know.  But I do, I know you're having a boy."

Thank you, random stranger.  I'll go ahead and let me family and friends know.  Sonshyne it is.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sunshyne Davis

Thank you, Cullen, for providing us with such a colorful range of baby name options.  Sunshyne it is.

As for the rest of our family - we've ruled out anything that rhymes with one of our names (Darren = Aaron) and, sorry Will,  naming our child after the IU starting line up probably isn't going to happen.

Nothing much to report from the doctor visit today.  A little bit of movement in the right direction, baby's happy and healthy in there.  They have submitted a request to the hospital to schedule our induction for sometime after 12/17.  I should know more at next week's appointment.  Of course the doctor had to throw in the, "But you might have this baby before we get to an induction!"  Yeah dude, I've heard that before.

Dr. L did comment on how how impressed he is with how much energy I have.  I largely credit the fact that my insomnia is gone and I'm back to sleeping though the night.  You know those people who can function on limited sleep?  I am not one of those people.

Keep baking baby!  We're excited to meet you but want you as healthy as possible.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Full Term

Today marks 37 weeks of pregnancy and officially makes this baby full term!  We're excited and almost ready.  I spent Saturday and Sunday with a welcome and unexpected burst of energy.  I unpacked boxes of Nate's stuff, cleaned clothes, blankets, set up the bassinet, generally getting things ready to bring our not-so-little one home.  I even started packing my hospital bag.  The biggest two remaining tasks on our to-do list are installing the car seat and the tiny little task of choosing a name for our baby.  Right, that.

Aaron is not at all worried about this.  He thinks we'll just figure it out.  I'm not sure what's going to change in the next 2-4 weeks that hasn't already been decided in the past 37.  I guess our problem is not finding a name we like, it's finding one we love that isn't complicated by other factors.  We have both a girl's and boy's name but I'm worried about them for a couple of different reasons.  And there are a lot of names we both like but don't necessarily love.  Basically, we agree too much and are having a hard time forming strong opinions either way.  It is funny to me how our second and third choice boy names for Nate are nowhere on the list for this baby.  And unfortunately our top girl name options for Nate have been ruled out for various reasons, mostly because people we're close to have used those names for their kids.  So we're taking suggestions if you have any!  Just don't be offended when we don't commit.

Another week of side-by-side.  And you didn't think I could get as big this time, Mom!  Looks like this time I'm carrying a little higher, my butt's a little bigger and my hair a little grayer.  Probably par for the course in 2.5 years.
37 weeks (DSC_1140)

37 weeks (DSC_3664)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

36 week (+2 days) check up

We went in bright and early this morning for an ultrasound and visit with Dr. Shrout.  News flash: I grow big babies.  Baby D is currently measuring 7 pounds, 3 ounces (margin of error +/- 1 pound) and 38 weeks and 1 day (+/- 1 week).  So I'm actually 36w2d, but measuring 13 days ahead.

What does that mean?  Baby is big.  If you assume I go to 41 weeks again, we're looking at 10+ pounds.  The good news is that I have a lot of fluid to support the baby and he or she is head down and has a strong and healthy heartbeat.  All of my vitals look great, blood pressure is excellent and they have no concerns.  I'm feeling good, tired, but overall pretty good.  It's getting uncomfortable especially when I sit for long periods of time because there's no room left in my midsection.  And it broke my heart the other day when Nate asked to cuddle with me on the couch but there's no room left with my big belly!

We're starting to talk about scheduling an induction date.  With Nate, we scheduled the date 3-4 weeks in advance and the doctor told me, "You're already dilated,  you'll never make it to 41 weeks but we'll get it on the books just in case."  Ha!  Nate showed that guy who's boss.  Any decisions about when to induce this time will be based on progress on dilation and effacement. So far, nothing.  But that's not at all uncommon in second pregnancies.  Dr. Shrout suggested looking at the week of December 10th but I'd like to get to 40 weeks before we start inducing.  Doctor was fine with that assuming baby and mom remain in good health.  So we'll see!  Starting next week, I go back in every Thursday until my due date.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


In this season of thanksgiving, Aaron and I are perfectly situated to be reminded of all the things we have to be thankful for.  With a new family member arriving sometime in the next month, we can't help but spend time amazed by the goodness we've been given.

And as if to drive home that point, Kate hosted a beautiful party for us this past weekend.  When she asked me if she could host a get together to celebrate the baby, I was hesitant because I felt like asking for shower gifts for a second baby is a little greedy.  But conflicted because we are so very excited about this little one and it felt unfair not to celebrate him or her just as much as we celebrated Nate's pending arrival.  So I agreed but only on the condition that there weren't any gifts.  And I'm so glad I did.

Sunday was a gorgeous day with beautiful weather and a wonderful opportunity to spend a few hours with some of the women I love most.  My Mom flew in for the weekend and Aaron's Mom drove down for the afternoon.  Kate opened her home to a number of my girlfriends and we had a lovely brunch.  And there was pie, so I was extra happy.

36 weeks
As a compromise on the gift issue, we asked if people wanted to bring something that they bring a donation to A Wider Circle.  Wider Circle is an organization here in Montgomery County that, among other great efforts, has a program called "Well Mother, Well Baby."  They offer classes and support for under-privileged mothers and host baby showers for expectant moms.  I was overwhelmed by the generosity of my family and friends.  Wider Circle accepts used goods but a number of people insisted on buying new clothes, blankets, toys.  It makes Aaron and I so happy to know women in our area will receive all of these wonderful gifts and supplies.  Just another reminder of how blessed we are.

And tomorrow I'll see the doctor to find out exactly how big they think this little blessing might be!  More on that after tomorrow's appointment.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Quick Check Up

As we've entered the realm of more frequent doctor's appointments, they're also getting quicker and quicker.  This morning we saw Dr. Band for a brief visit.  Nate was excited to be at Dr. Sine's office but he got over his disappointment of not seeing her when Dr. Band gave him plenty to help with in the check up.  Good, clear, strong heartbeat at 143 bpm.

I'm still measuring big with a lot of fluid so they're going to do another ultrasound in two weeks to estimate baby's size.  Not sure exactly what that will mean for his or her arrival date, but we'll see on the 21st!

After spending a week with my Mom last week, she maintains I can't possibly get as big this pregnancy as I was with Nate.  Below I offer proof to the contrary.

And speaking of my Mom - Happy Birthday, Mom/Grandma!  Here's to all the new senior discounts you'll be afforded now that you're 65.

34 weeks pregnant with Nate:
34 weeks (DSC_3623)

34 weeks pregnant with this baby:
34 weeks (DSC_1028)

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Slightly Belated Halloween

Nate and I flew to Cleveland last weekend for a short trip to celebrate our friend Jackie and Dave's baby shower.  Aaron had to head to Orlando for work so the Bug and I were on our own.  I'm happy to report he was an angel on the flight, no problems getting buckled in which was the sticking point for our Louisville trip melt downs.

The party was great, they hosted it at an orchard and had lots of fall activities like a fire to roast marshmallows and a hay ride.  Nate was in heaven with so many people to love on him.  He loved the hay ride, although he'll immediately tell you, "Papa didn't go on the hayride."  And what's a party without a guy who ends the night by changing into his PJs?
Nate and his Aunties (DSC00843)

As I've mentioned before, three of my four best friends from college are expecting right now.  I'm due first, with Jackie due exactly a week behind me (12/24), Kate due on Valentine's Day and Mary-Ellen due the first week in April.  This allowed for a great picture of three of us with our babies-to-be and Moms all in attendance at the shower.
the Girls, our Moms, and our babies (DSC00854)

Also, although it's so fun to be due in such close proximity to Jackie, what is not fun is being 3 inches shorter and pregnant with my second.  Aaron looked at this picture and all he said is, "Well, you have a history of carrying big babies."  I like the think the horizontal stripes aren't helping either.

The plan was to leave Ohio on Monday afternoon but Hurricane Sandy got in the way by shutting down all DC airports.  So our two day trip turned out to be an 8 day extended visit.  This meant missing Trick-or-Treating in Maryland.  And we hadn't brought along Nate's costume because why would we?

Luckily the storms in Ohio pushed their ToTing back to the weekend so we went to Old Navy and, big surprise, Nate picked out a tiger costume.  Convenient since his costume at home was his absolute favorite thing right now - Daniel Tiger.  Although we didn't have his red cardigan, homemade tiger hat, or wrist watch, he was still a pretty convincing tiger.  And he told everyone he was indeed Daniel Tiger.  Lesson learned, authenticity doesn't score any points with a two-year-old.

Nate scored big in the candy department with a stop at Kate's parents' house.  Another lesson learned, if you want good candy - go to the Dailey's house.  They handed out full sized candy bars.  Of course I had to make sure they were safe for Nate to eat.

Aaron on the other hand, had a very different week.  He too got stranded because of DC airports closing.  But he was not able to stay where he was.  So he rented a car and drove from Orlando to DC.  Then he camped out in his office for a couple of days and then headed to New Jersey after the storm to do the work FEMA does.  Nate hasn't been away from his Dad for this long since 2010 when Aaron went to work on a campaign in Pennsylvania.  That trip ended with a lost election.  Here's hoping this week's results turn out more in our favor.  (And by "our favor" I just mean that we still have two employed adults in our house!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

32 Week Baby and One Funny Kid

Yesterday we went in for our 32 week ultrasound and check up.  Happy to report that baby is healthy and growing.  Based on the measurements, they're estimating another good sized bambino - we're already measuring at the size of a 33 week baby.  If he or she comes on time, no more ultrasounds.  Which made me momentarily sad until I realized that means we're going to get to meet your little one in just 8 weeks!

While in the ultrasound room, the technician asked if we'd like to see a 4D image.  I've never had a desire to have a 4D ultrasound.  Because of the blur when the baby moves, to me they look like mutant aliens.  She offered to turn it on and then switch it off if we were disturbed by the images.  But instead I burst into tears when she caught the baby holding still for a second and we saw his or her little face.  This baby looks exactly like Nate.  Aaron promised to scan the image in this week and then we'll share.

Other findings from the ultrasound - lots of hair and a mover/talker.  Baby is still head down which is always good news.

The ultrasound was followed up by an uneventful appointment with Dr. Resta.  Heartbeat is 150 bpm.

In Nate news, he continues to amuse and entertain us daily.  This morning he was lagging behind as I was trying to get us downstairs to get out the door.  I was bribing him with a toy I was holding so I said, "Nate, come see what Mom has for you."  Without hesitation he shouted, "Is it money???"

Friday, October 19, 2012

3 Days

As previously mentioned, I participated in the Komen 3-Day for the Cure last weekend.  There aren't really words that can explain what it was like.  My teammate Amanda wrote this beautiful tribute to her experience.  And although I'm one of those people she refers to at the finish line, one of the lucky ones with my Mom there to hug me and tell me how proud she was, Amanda's words touch on the overall experience of the event.  It's money for a great cause, but it's also about the shocking realization just how many people are impacted.  I invite you to read Amanda's blog, she says it far better than I ever could.

Now onto the Nate part of the weekend.  Nate loved every minute of having Grandma visit.  I'm fairly confident there wasn't a single, "Mommy?" while I was away.  It was adorable, and heartbreaking, on our way home from closing ceremonies.  He just kept looking at the empty seat next to him, tearfully asking where Grandma was.  I told him she had to go home to Ohio because Papa needs her.  His response, "Nate needs Grandma."  Sure you do, Buddy.  Who else is going to let you drink chocolate milk and watch endless episodes of Curious George?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October Updates

Life around our house has been fairly uneventful.  Aaron's traveling a lot for work so Nate and I have spent the last couple of weeks mostly on our own.  Fortunately he's a great kid who is generally very happy and easy going.  Unfortunately he is two and this means the occasional bout of irrational behavior and, in the case of this morning, peeing on the floor.  Aaron returns home from a week in Seattle this evening and we are all very much looking forward to being together as a family.  Probably Guinness most of all.

This Thursday, my Mom flies in from Cleveland for a long weekend visit.  I will be occupied with other things (over $18k raised so far, thank you to all of you who've supported my team!) but let's be honest, she's not here to visit me.  Originally we weren't sure when Aaron was coming home from Seattle so my Mom graciously offered to come watch Nate in case Aaron was still out of town.  Once we determined Aaron would be back in time, surprisingly Grandma didn't want to cancel her plans.  And I think she's leaving a very jealous Papa at home.  Good news for him, we'll be flying to Ohio in two weeks for Jackie and Dave's baby shower.

And of course, the end of October means Halloween.  Nate's costume is almost ready although I suspect very few people will know who he's supposed to be.  Unless you have a two-to-four year old and watch a lot of PBS Kids.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Another Healthy Appt

Went for our 28 week check today and everything is looking good.  Strong heartbeat although baby wasn't moving much thanks to the sugar coma I'd induced by drinking my glucola. With Nate, I tested high at the one hour and had to go back for the three hour.  The one hour stuff isn't bad.  But I remember the three hour  being disgustingly sweet.  Here's hoping we can avoid that this time around.

My jaw practically hit the floor when Dr. Sine said she'd see me in two weeks.  How are we already at the point of visiting every two weeks?  We compromised though with my already scheduled 32 U/S in 3.5 weeks.  So we're back on October 22nd to see the little one on the big screen again.  Can't wait!

Update: Good news is that my glucose tests were well within normal so I can skip the three hour!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Rabbit and The Dark

Happy Jewish New Year!  We celebrated Rosh Hashanah yesterday with morning services and then the easiest holiday dinner I've ever made - restaurant reservations.  After traveling all weekend and playing catch up on work, there was no time or energy for making dinner.  Being served (and cleaned up after) was exactly what we needed.  Nate was a big fan of the "goldfish" (gefilte fish - he renamed it, not us) and the matzo ball soup.  Aaron on the other hand, was not a fan of brisket that wasn't made by me or his mother.

Nate was adorable in services.  He doesn't quite grasp the concept of whispering just yet, so we spent most of our time in Temple Shalom's quiet room.  We could see and hear the services, but they couldn't hear us.  When recapping the day's events, Nate told us his favorite parts were the rabbit and the dark.  That's the Rabbi and the Ark for those of you not fluent in Nate-ese.

Friday, September 7, 2012

More Travels

Last Saturday we hopped on a plane and headed to Louisville to visit Cullen and Ashley in their new place.  I've written many times about what an angel Nate is on flights.  We've flown dozens of times, short and long flights, all without incident.

He must have read these posts and decided to make a liar out of me.  He had a major meltdown for the first 30 minutes we were on the plane.  Buckling in his car seat was the cause and nothing was talking him out of the fit.  Not treats, toys or even an offer of apple juice, a treat he's never had.  Although we usually subscribe to the "ignore" theory in handling temper tantrums, it's kind of hard to do when you're on the plane and the flight attendants are saying he has to be buckled in before the plane can take off.

Of course just as quickly as it started, it stopped and he was happy for the remainder of the trip.  Thankfully we had really lovely people sitting in front and behind us.  I took a great piece of advice from Dawn and offered to buy those around us a drink.  No one took us up on the offer but I think that helped express that Aaron and I were well aware how frustrating it is to be subjected to a screaming two-year-old.  If Nate's any example of a typical child, I'd fly with a six-week-old a hundred times over before a 25-month-old.

Temper tantrums exhaust both toddler and parent.
Once we got to Louisville, Meghan and Ashley picked us up and the fun began.  Nate was in heaven with two aunts and two uncles to wrestle, play, and mess with.  We visited the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory.  Nate got a mini bat as part of our tour and I happen to know his Aunt Ashley and Uncle Cullen bought him a special Christmas present while we were there.

Although he fell asleep during the factory tour, he managed to squeeze in some batting practice before hand.  Not sure it sunk in though because yesterday he ran around with his mini bat calling it a golf club and putting things on the ground.  I know he idolizes his uncle but the sports cross over is starting to confuse him.

And to round out the baseball themed week, back in DC we went to see the Nats and the Cubs play last night.  Nate loved it, lots of dancing and clapping.  And hot dogs!

It was an exciting game not because it was at all close (sorry Cubbies) but there were two times during the game that both teams rushed the field.  A first for Nationals Park.  In the past our family has been torn on who to root for at Nate/Cubs games but as time goes on, we're falling more solidly in the Nats fan base.  But still, neither of us could bring ourselves to root against the Cubs.  They're just such lovable underdogs.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


There are a lot of things that amaze us as we watch Nate grow and develop.  But this morning I was really surprised by the interaction that took place as we were all leaving the house.  I picked up Nate's bag and told him it was time to go.  He responds, "To the doctor?"  Aaron and I looked at each other confused by what he was asking.  Then it dawned on me that the last time we did our usual morning routine was Friday and that morning included a visit to the OB.

Me: "No buddy, no doctor today."
Nate: "Yes, go see Dr. Sine."

Not only did he remember what we did four days ago, he remembered the name of a doctor he met only once.  Meanwhile I can barely remember what we did yesterday.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Baby Check Up

24.5 weeks and another visit to Dr. Sine.  It feels like the weeks are just flying by!  We had an early appointment today so Nate had to come along.  It was fun to introduce him to the doctor who delivered him and he managed to charm everyone in the office.

No news to report which is always good.  A bit slower heartbeat today, mid 130s but then he or she started kicking and we watched the heart rate jump back into the 140-50s.  My favorite nurse let me close my eyes on the scale and then told me I weigh 120 pounds.  Amazing how the baby's getting so much bigger and my weight just keeps shrinking.

The highlight of the visit for Nate was not hearing his brother or sister's heartbeat, but at the end of the appointment he saw his Aunt Kake in the doorway.  I loved seeing his eyes light up as he ran over for a hug. He's too little to understand what it means to see her (and Uncle Anthony) in the doctor's office but I think he'll catch on in another 24 weeks or so.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Another Week's Vacation

Life's good when you're two.  As soon as we got home from the Outer Banks, Nate left for Philadelphia to spend the weekend with his Bubbie and Zayda.  The week sounded action-packed and exhausting for all involved!  Trips to the fair, breakfast with friends, a day at Dutch Wonderland, Nate is one seriously lucky kiddo.

I'm doing okay

Little gym

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Another August, another wonderful trip to the Outer Banks.  This year we visited the beach with my Aunt Jacki and Uncle Dick, their four kids (and spouses) and 12 grandchildren.  Also there to enjoy the sun was my aunt's nephew, his wife and their three boys.  If you're counting, that's 15 adults and 16 kids in one house.  Luckily the house was enormous and had plenty of room for a week of fun and relaxation.

Although Nate did very little relaxing.  He spent most of this time tagging along with the big kids.
Ryan, Taegan, Shay, Nate, Avery and Stratton
playing with Logan, Landon and Sam (DSC00645)
playing with Logan, Landon and Sam
Our week included a few rainy days.  But even those days were filled with craft projects for the kids, a birthday party including Nate's first crack at a pinata (Avery and Greyson both turned six!) and a trip to the go-karts.  Poor Nate, too small to ride.  But he loved watching and waving at Dada, Richard and RJ.

And on the sunny days, Nate was a beach fiend.  He loved the sand, the waves and the water.  He couldn't get enough.  We're so happy he's like his parents!
pointing because to get him to look at the camera, we asked him where Cyndy was
And no trip to OBX is complete without a visit to Duck Donuts.  We didn't stay in Duck this time so we thought we'd just have to make the drive to get our sweet breakfast fix.  But lucky us, there is now a Duck Donuts open in Corolla!  Needless to say, Nate enjoyed.  And on Sunday morning, when we were back in Maryland, I overheard Aaron ask Nate where I was.  Nate's reply, "Duck Donuts."  I wish kiddo, I wish.

Duck Donuts (DSC_0843)

Friday, August 3, 2012

It's A...

Just kidding.  We don't know.  But we did have our 20 week ultrasound this morning and we're happy to report the baby is growing and everything looks great.  Measuring 5 days ahead of my due date and the baby's head is down - both facts that mean absolutely nothing this early in the game.

We got some pictures but nothing really showing the baby.  He or she is very active and quite stubborn.  It took the technician a good amount of time to get the measurements she needed.  And she was very kind to try and get a good picture for us to take home but baby insisted on putting his or her hands in front of the face and turning away from us.

We followed up the sonogram with a brief visit with Dr. Sine.  Heartbeat is strong and loud, coming in around 141 bpm.  Again, we were told this is an incredibly active baby as she had to chase him or her around to get a long enough stretch of heartbeat.

As an interesting lesson, Dr. Sine told us they've changed their practice of circumcision since Nate was born. In 2010, they were still performing circs in the hospital but now they send baby boys to an outpatient service when they're a week old.  The reasons were increased hospital policies which were delaying patient discharge but also an updated recommendation from the AAP that it is healthier for a newborn boy to wait a week instead of 1-2 days.  Turns out the Jewish people had it right all along!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2 Year Check Up

We saw Dr. Burns this morning for Nate's two-year appointment.  As we noticed on Saturday when he was standing next to his friends, Nate's bigger than most kids his age.  He tipped the scales at 30 pounds (80th percentile) and is 35 inches tall (60th percentile).

He was his usual charming self.  Telling the doctor his name (Nate Davis) and how old he is (dos anos) and then smiling at us all while he drew all over the paper and his legs.

We were confident he's on par with his peers developmentally but it is always nice to hear it from the doctor.  In regards to his MCHAT and ASQ, the doctor made our day when she said, "He's easily the furthest from an autistic child I've seen."  She also laughed when I told her we had to check "Not Yet" for the question about holding, rocking and diapering baby dolls because really all he does is beat them and drag them around.  Her response, "So you're telling me he's a boy."

One shot and not a single tear.  And now that he's a big boy, the reward was a token for the treat machine and a sticker - he picked Donald, of course.

Monday, July 30, 2012


How is it possible that two years have passed since I wrote this?  (well almost two years since I lagged on actually writing about his arrival)

We celebrated Nate's birthday with a pool party for his friends and then a backyard party for family.  Saturday we hosted ten of his friends at the swim club for a couple of hours of quality pool time.  It was a big hit and such an easy party - I didn't even have to clean my house!  A friend of mine said we should do it every year and if Nate allows, we just might.

Sunday we had Nate's Philadelphia family along with part of his Harris family - the Cleveland and Louisville contingent - and some of our closest friends to celebrate with lunch and cake in our backyard.  My favorite moment of the day was after we sang Happy Birthday (and he beamed ear to ear) he looked around the table, smiled and said, "Sing again!"  Of course we all obliged and sang another round of Happy Birthday before the candle was blown out.

Nate's favorite part was not the cake nor the endless mountain of generous gifts.  He is still talking about the moment when he, Sam and Will noticed Donald Duck in the window, waving to them.  All three boys stood there in amazement and waved back for several minutes.  It's a mystery how this happened. I don't think we invited Donald to the party.  Also a mystery is where Aunt Flann was when this waving was going on.  But it is all Nate talks about.  He fell asleep telling me, "Donald waved.  Sam waved, Nate waved, Grandma waved."  And the first thing he said to me this morning when I woke up was, "Nate waved to Donald."  Glad we didn't rent a pony or hire a clown - all we needed was a stuffed Donald waving from the window to make it Nate's favorite party ever.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


On Saturday, we packed up the car and headed to western Pennsylvania to meet up with my Mom and Dad in Ligonier, PA.  It is almost as exact to in between us and them as you can get making a good meeting spot.  And there's a park there so we made a trip out of it.

Idlewild is perfect for the 2-year-old set.  Aaron and I both described it as quaint and they have a large area dedicated to rides for little guys Nate's age.  I was bummed we didn't get to see Mr. Roger's Neighborhood (broken trolley) but we'll hit it up next time.

Nate's favorite attractions:
Watching other people ride the log flume.  Every time someone came down the big hill, he'd yell, "Mas!"

The potato sac slide with his Dad.  Notice he's holding his little arms in the air.

Riding the train.
choo choo! (DSC_0561)
Choo Choo!

And "driving" the cars.

He was also a huge fan of the jacuzzi tub in the hotel room Saturday night.

After we left on Sunday morning, Nate headed home with Grandma and Papa for a Bear's Vacation this week.  They'll bring him back on Friday so we can celebrate the big T-W-O.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Our Night at the Museum

We took advantage of one last Congressional perk and attended the annual Smithsonian Congressional Family Night, this year at the National Air and Space Museum.  Last year we left Nate home with Kate but this time we brought him along.  Allow me to sum up the evening in one conversation that was repeated many times over.

Aaron: (points to a plane) That's a Supermarine Spitfire.
Nate: It's a plane.
Aaron: And that's a P-51 Mustang.
Nate: It's a plane.
Aaron: (points to a plane hanging from the ceiling) That's a Mitsubishi Zero.
Nate: It's a plane, up high.

Nate's favorite part?  The escalator.  And the cheese they served at dinner.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Visting the Doctor

Last week Nate was home sick from daycare.  I had an appointment so he had to come along.  I was nervous about having a toddler in an office with me but it turned out to be fun.  Dr. Band has sons and his experience with kids showed.  He was great with Nate and had him sit on the table next to me and showed him how to use the Doppler.  So Nate was actually the one to find the baby's heartbeat.  Which of course he won't remember, but I think I always will. (146 bpm, right on the border for anyone using the old wives tale to try and predict gender!)

The funniest part of the visit was when Nate grabbed a cup from the stack and began pretending to drink out of it.  The stack was new, clean cups.  But the picture was too good not to snap.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Sunday night, Sierra came to babysit Nate and we joined some friends for an evening of bowling.  At the White House.


Aaron claims this was on his DC Bucket List.  I did not know there was a bowling ally in the White House until our friend Dori invited us to go bowling there.

Another shot of the ally.

And a few action shots.  (Photo edits made to comply with security rules.)

Wearing a long dress was a bad choice.

The bowling class he took in college really paid off.

And the end of the evening. You can't see my final score but I'm happy (and a little surprised) to report I did not even come close to finsihing last.


Monday, July 9, 2012

There's a New Sheriff in Town

Quite literally.  Elmo has reigned supreme in our house for a long time.  For a while, every time Nate saw any kind of screen he pointed to it and demanded Elmo.  But in the last weeks he has developed a new obsession.  And when we put it on, Aaron and I are instantly hooked too.  I'm fairly sure the whole family will be reciting every line by the end of this month.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


A favorite month in our house.  Aaron and I met in July 1998, we moved into our house in July 2007, and of course the biggest celebration, we welcomed Nate to the word in July 2010.  Also a great month to celebrate family birthdays - me, my Dad (aka Papa), Ashley, Brendan, Grandma Shirley, Cyndy, and a couple of my uncles.

The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday.  How can you not love a holiday that celebrates the beginning of our country and is observed by relaxing, visiting the pool, eating hot dogs and drinking beer?  Last weekend, we held our fifth annual July 4th cookout.  Things this year were a little different than in the past since we were going on 48 hours without power.  But we didn't let that stop the fun.  We knew from past years that the partying all occurs outdoors anyway and without power indoors we had to grill all of our food - party or not.  Without a doubt, Nate's favorite part were the cupcakes his cousins Taegan and Shailey made - he licked off all the icing and then went for another one.  Can't wait to see how he enjoys the birthday cake later this month!

We eventually got power back and I spent Monday throwing away everything in our fridge and freezer and then scrubbing it top to bottom.  A chore I've been meaning to do anyway so I suppose I should thank our power company.

Also on the early July agenda was Nate's very first field trip.  Tania and Raul took the kids to the zoo on Tuesday.  Nate was clueless when we talked to him in advance but Tania tells us he was nuts when they got there, running all around and naming every animal he saw.  We're looking forward to taking him back when the petting zoo is open (it was too hot the morning they went).  I think petting a cow might blow his little toddler mind.

This weekend we're having a big yard sale as we clear out the playroom as we get ready to move Nate into his big boy room.  Then we'll likely camp out at the pool as we try to keep cool.

Friday, June 22, 2012

In Other Family News

We have been so blessed with good news lately, it's been a wonderful start to the summer.  And the latest in our string of good fortune is Aaron's new job.

After 11 years on Capitol Hill, today is Aaron's last day in Congress.  He received a Presidential Appointment to serve as the Director of Legislative Affairs at FEMA. Aaron has worked so hard for so many hours in a job I would find endlessly frustrating.  But none of that hard work was for naught.  Back in 2010, when his boss lost reelection, Aaron was flooded with calls and emails from people in both parties offering to help him find something new.  And again when he was approached and nominated for this position, there was no shortage of people stepping up to provide praise and support.

Many times my Uncle David has told us kids a version of this advice - sometimes your name is the only thing you have so make it mean something.  My eyes well up with tears of pride when I realize how much the name Aaron Davis means on The Hill.  Through years of hard work, respect and just being himself, an all around nice guy, Aaron has created a positive name for himself in an industry where having a known name isn't always a positive thing.  Nate and I could not be prouder.

Next stop?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's All Nate's

Nate is big into declaring people's possession of things.  Mama's glasses.  Dada's phone.  Guinness' blanket. Except recently, it's all Nate's.  "Mama's Kindle?  Nate's Kindle!"

We're typically talking about material objects, things that we can remove from his hands (if necessary) and relocate to the rightful owner.  But last night he laid claim to something that's going to be a bit trickier to explain.

PS - This wasn't the answer I was expecting when I asked the question.  The answer is usually "Baby Millie."

Monday, June 4, 2012

On the Road Again

This time to Erie, PA to help celebrate my cousin James and his new bride Leah.  Add another 700 miles to our 2012 total!  Drive was easy and we arrived in Erie just in time for lunch with half the Harris family before the ceremony.  Nate skipped the church and went back to the hotel with his future-aunt-once-removed (more on that later) as his babysitter.  In between the ceremony and the reception we all headed to the hotel for drinks and catching up in the hospitality suite hosted by my uncle and godfather, Uncle Paul.  That's when the fun began!  Nate decided it would be fun to spin in circles in the hotel room.  He was happy and entertaining himself, until the entire room heard an enormous thud and an ear piercing scream.  Please tell me how the one person in the room who hasn't been drinking ends up the only person in the emergency room?

Erie 6/3/12

Fortunately it was nothing that three stitches and a lollipop couldn't cure.  The people in the hospital were very kind and when we told them we were in town for a wedding, the doctor said he'd do his best to get us back in time for dinner.  I think he was kidding.  But sure enough, dinner was going down just as we walked into the ballroom.

The wedding was lovely and it's always great to see family.  I know they don't read this little blog, but I wish James and Leah nothing but years of happiness and friendship.

And in other Harris family news, we're going to have a wedding of our own!  My brother Cullen proposed to his girlfriend of 10 years (I think that math's right, Cullen?) on Friday.  The ring is gorgeous and the proposal story is just perfect.  I can easily speak for everyone in my family when I say we're thrilled to be officially welcoming Ashley to our family.

Cullen recently accepted a job teaching and head coaching basketball at a high school in Louisville, KY.  I've already priced out flights for a visit this fall to their new place.  I'd say that Nate can't wait but since he's always called her Aunt Crusher, I think he's pretty clueless as to what's going on.  But based on his love of dancing, he'll be pretty enthused when it comes time for a wedding reception.  Let's just hope this one does not involve a Nate trip to the ER.

Friday, June 1, 2012

California (part 2)

I'm sorry to have left you in suspense as to what exactly would follow "part 1" of our California trip!  I'm sure you've been checking every day.  I'll make it worth your while with adorable pictures of a bitty baby.

As previously mentioned, Nate was a trooper at Disney and we were able to spend the entire day there. We left around dinner time, stopped for burgers at In-N-Out.  Then we drove to Santa Monica for the real reason we were all in California.  Meeting baby Millie.

photo courtesy of Dara who is quick with the camera

We're happy to report that Nate, although mostly apathetic, seemed to enjoy the idea of his baby cousin and their meeting was peaceful.  My attempts at getting a decent picture of the two of them, however, was not so successful.  Although blurry, this is perhaps my favorite.  Nate was kind of obsessed with the "baby's seat."  When I held her, he liked to remind me that she had her own seat.  I beleive he was suggesting she might be more comfortable there than in his mama's arms.

"baby's seat" (DSC00415)

Millie is a little angel.  She's quiet and calm, the perfect baby.  I couldn't help the tears when we left.  She'll be so much bigger the next time we see her!  Until then, we try to talk with Nate about her everyday as we anxiously await our next visit.

As a happy coincidence, Meghan and Will were also in LA one of the days we were there.  We were fortunate to have a Friday night dinner with the Beers, the Davises and the Schnakenburgs.  Nate was in Aunt heaven.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

California Traveling (part 1)

Lots more travel these last two weeks!  I went to San Diego for work and realized it was the first time I've been to this meeting without Nate.  First in New Orleans and then in Chicago.  But he didn't totally break his streak- Aaron and Bug flew out to Long Beach after my meeting was over.

We met up in Long Beach (almost the smallest airport I've ever been to, second only to the Nantucket airport) and drove to Anaheim for a very brief Davis Family Vacation to Disneyland.  This was majorly exciting for me.  I've been anxiously awaiting the time we could take Nate to Disney since before he was born.  After consulting with a couple of friends, we determined that he is a little too young to justify spending the money for a big Disney trip.  But an already planned trip to Southern California provided the perfect opportunity to do Disney on a smaller scale.

And the trip was a big hit with all of our family!  Aaron's never been shy about his dislike of Disney or his lack of desire to visit Disney parks.  But after seeing pictures from our friends' recent trip to Orlando, Aaron was looking forward to seeing Nate's excitement.  And the little guy didn't let us down.  He seemed to love every minute of it.

The first thing we did was book one night in the Disneyland Hotel.  This is one of the three on-site offical Disney hotels and we were so glad we spent a little extra dough to be on property.  The hotel was nice, the pool was "awesome" (as declared by Nate) and we were able to have a character dinner in our hotel.

 A really cool feature that Nate loved was the headboard in our room.  It was carved to show Cinderella's castle with a fireworks display and it lit up and played "When You Wish Upon a Star."  There were many requests for "Mas!" showings of the fireworks.

Dinner with the characters was another great experience.  Disney really does everything so well.  Nate was very interested in the characters.  But when they came close, he suddenly wasn't to brave.  Well, he was interested in most of the characters.  At one point, a Princess came over to say hello.  Nate = not at all impressed.  First of all, Aaron and I had no idea who she was.  I think I mistakenly called her Cinderella and she quickly corrected me with "Princess Aurora."  (Sleeping Beauty?)  Regardless of her name, Nate was not interested.  He kept telling her "Donald on break."  Because indeed, Donald Duck was on break.  I don't think Princess Aurora cared for Nate's interest in a duck over her because she was a little snappy with us.  Adios Princess, make room for Pluto.  I thought maybe it was the human characters he wasn't interested in but he really liked Aladdin's visit later.  I guess he's just not into Princesses.

Thursday morning we woke up early and walked to the park.  A huge benefit of Disneyland over World - everything is a 5-7 minute walk from everything else.  No shuttles or parking lots.  It made the whole experience so much easier.

The park was another great experience.  It's not nearly as big as Magic Kingdom, which worked in our favor since we only had one day and an unpredictable, still adjusting to time zone, toddler on our hands.  Fortunately we needn't have worried.  Nate was a peach.  He didn't seem to mind the time change at all and napped in his stroller for a couple of hours, allowing us to take turns on some of the grown-up rides.  He liked most everything but his favorites seemed to be Small World, Dumbo and Autopia.

The day ended with a lollipop and a visit with Goofy.  A wonderful day filled with so many good memories.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mama's Day

A beautiful Sunday, gorgeous sunshine, perfect weather and brunch.  Who could ask for a more perfect Mother's Day?


Friday, May 11, 2012

Funny Kid

The other night Nate had pancakes for dinner.  I was in the kitchen rinsing dishes when I heard, "Mama, all done!"  I went into the dining room and this is what was on his plate.

One bite out of each pancake.  Then he laughed his little head off and proceeded to eat the rest of his brinner.

Friday, May 4, 2012


As previously mentioned and documented, Nate did not enjoy sharing a bath with Meredith.  But the problem may have been Meredith's attention to Nate's needs.  Because if you offer to give him a sponge bath, he's happy to oblige.

Nate and his cousin Greyson (known to Nate as GiGi):
bath with Greyson_edited

Thursday, May 3, 2012


When Nate wanted me to pick him up, I'd hear, "Uppie, uppie."  Until the other day when I noticed he stopped "uppie" and now he just says "up."  I'm so happy his vocabulary and language skills are developing but it makes me sad every time one of his little Nate-words become a more grown up version.  He no longer "gumps", now he "jumps."

I realized I need to be better about filming or at least jotting down these adorable Nate-isms.  My favorite right now is the way he says one of his favorite foods, yo-yolk (aka yogurt.)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Perhaps the Molars Win

Either Nate reads this blog and decided to make a liar out of me.  Or Sarah and Kristen were on to something when they suggested the tantrums might be molar related.  Because guess who has been a perfect angel the past two days?  Smiley Nate's back!

He won't let me in his mouth to see if there are two-year-molars peeking out.  But Aaron noticed some crib rail munching the other day.  And based on sudden appearance and disappearance of tantrums, I'm inclined to blame last week on those nasty teeth.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Terrible Twos

Nate is so advanced!  He's a genius!  He's only 21 months and already entering the "terrible twos." *  Lucky, lucky us.

We thought the bad mood was from the HFM.  But Nate got better while his mood did not.  He'll go from smiling and happy to complete and total meltdown in a split second.  And, much to my delight, he seems to save some of his loudest protests for the middle of our dog walks.  Pretty sure my neighbors will be calling CPS any day now.

Most often the tantrums go something like this:

Nate: Cheese
Maura: hands Nate cheese
Nate: No cheese!  No cheese!  (tears and screaming commence)
Maura: Do you want something else?
Nate: No!  Cheese.  Cheese.
Maura: Cheese or no cheese?
Nate: No cheese!
Maura: Okay buddy, you don't have to have cheese.
Nate: screams for another few minutes, then picks up the cheese and happily eats it.

Of course, then he breaks out in his trademark Nate smile and I thank God for my precious son and for making him so adorable and sweet.

This weekend I spent a couple of days in Philly where my cousin Kelly told me she hated to break it to me, but 3 was worse than 2.  So apparently I have that to look forward to.

While we were in Phladelphia and New Jersey this weekend, Aaron was busy driving across the country.  He  left Friday night for Albuquerque to help his friend Khyber move back to Philly.  They left Albuquerque on Saturday morning, passed through Texas and made it all the way to Tulsa.  After a night in what looked like a rather shady sleeping establishment, they got up Sunday and drove to Indiana.  This morning they're about 11 hours from Philadelphia and on their way.  We're hoping to have Aaron back tomorrow!

*Clarification because my mom, my sister Meghan and my friend Kate all took issue with me referring to Nate as "terrible."  I am not calling my child terrible or bad (I know Mom, I know. Your voice will always be in my head.)  The "terrible twos" refers to the stage of two-years-old that is, indeed, terrible.  Not the child who is wonderful.  Most of the time.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bathroom - Follow Up

Last weekend Amy pointed out that we never shared an "after" photo of the bathroom.

Here you have the almost final version.  Since this picture was taken last month, we added a toilet seat, curtain rod and shower curtain.  But I'm too lazy to take and upload a final, final picture.
Worth noting, when my parents visited, my Mom said, "The floors look much nicer in person." So I suppose I should instruct everyone to look at this picture and imagine nicer floors :)

Day 13 (DSC_0088)

For the start to finish:

Nate's New Cousin

In exciting family news, last night we became Uncle Aaron and Aunt Maura.  Weighing in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces we are thrilled to welcome our niece, Coogan Amelia Beer.

We showed Nate pictures this morning and to each one he said, "Nate."  And then of a picture of his grandmother holding the baby, "Nate and Bubbie."  Sorry buddy, not all babies are you.

After about 20 takes and eventually bribing him with more teeth brushing (not kidding, he loves brushing), we got him to send his love to his California family.

Happy Birthday Milly from Maura Davis on Vimeo.

Aunt Dara - We're sure he does wish you a speedy recovery but wishes for the baby and Brendan were all we could get.  And even if he doesn't, we certainly do.  Love to the Beers!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

End of April Already?

Back from Boston and we had a great trip, visiting our friends Mary-Ellen and Tim and their daughter Meredith and an afternoon with Conor and Amy!

Nate and Meredith got along famously.  I don't think I've ever seen Nate defer to another kid like he did to Meredith.  If Meredith wanted something he had, he didn't hesitate to give it to her - cups, Elmo, toys, you name it.  There were tears from both kids when we left, it was both heartbreaking and adorable.

The one thing Nate did not enjoy sharing?  A bathtub.

The trip also included a visit to Elmo at Sesame Street Live, a big hit although the show was probably about 30 minutes too long for someone Nate's age.

Unfortunately, by the time we got to see Conor and Amy, Nate was running a fever and not feeling well.  He just wasn't himself.  We figured it out the next day when we realized he had Hand Foot Mouth.  Poor little guy was out of sorts for a couple of days but he's back in good spirits and his rash is nearly gone.  Meredith didn't get so lucky.  Remember all that sharing Nate did?  Apparently it included sharing his nastiest germs because Meredith also came down with HFM but her case seems to be a hundred times worse than Nate's.  Not sure we're getting invited back to visit the Healy family anytime soon.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Travel, Travel, Travel

Earlier today I tried to make dinner plans with someone and I realized we have no free weekends until mid-June.  I joked that it seems like we're trying to get as many flights in as we can before Nate turns two and we have to buy him a seat.  At least that's how it feels.

This might be a fun year to track how many miles the Davis family travels.  I'm working on the exact parameters.  But I think to constitute family travel, it has to be all three of us and we have to leave the DMV. (District, Maryland, Virginia)  We're talking the entire family, with or without Guinness, packing up and heading out.
Rough calculations have us at 2,406 miles so far in 2012.  We're heading to Boston this weekend, California in May and to Erie in June.  More miles to come!

insisting on helping by carrying the car seat (DSC00178)

Monday, April 9, 2012

More Year-to-Year

Apparently I am only minimally creative or spontaneous when it comes to picture taking.  As we're hitting seconds milestones - like Nate's second Easter - I'm finding so many pictures that are the same year to year.

On the Pratt's front porch after Easter dinner.  Aaron doesn't look too different but the little guy...
Easter dinner at the Pratt's House (DSC_5062)

 And in Target perusing the dollar bin.  (at least they're taken in different Targets)
Finally, getting ready for the Pratt family egg hunt.  Shailey is so sweet with Nate.  This year he followed her around repeating, "Mano?" over and over to hold her hand.  I didn't remember last year well enough to recall she was the one who stepped up to take care of Baby Nate during the egg hunt too.

Nate, Shay and Emme (DSC_5074)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spring Holidays

While they usually fall close together, this year Passover and Easter fell in the same weekend.  Needless to say, the past three days have been extremely busy around here.

Friday we went to Philadelphia to celebrate the first night Seder with Aaron's family.  We drove back here late Friday night and my parents were here, anxiously awaiting our arrival.  Mom and I stayed up until after midnight stuffing Easter eggs for Saturday's big hunt.

Saturday we were joined by the Schochs, the Rings and KB for afternoon cocktails and egg hunting.  The boys had a blast running around the backyard.  Last year Nate was clueless but this year it didn't take long for him to figure it out.  Especially the part where you can shake the eggs to figure out which ones have money in them.  Nate managed to clean up in that category, ending up with almost $10 in change.


Will was probably the smartest kid in the hunt.  He hates grass so instead of participating, he sat in the middle of the lawn and let the older two bring him eggs.  That kid is a genius.

Will: You all work for me!

As soon as we cleaned up from the egg hunt, I started preparing Seder for the second night of Passover.  We were blessed with a table full of family and friends to share the holiday with and I was glad my Dad was able to experience his first Seder.

The fun didn't end there.  Once the matzah was put away (no kidding though, we forgot to look for the afikomen and I just discovered it a few minutes ago) we started preparing for Easter Sunday.  Another late night as we got things ready for the Easter Bunny's visit and starting making preparations for Easter dinner.

This morning Nate woke up at the crack of dawn.  We're lucky he's not quite old enough to get the concept of the Easter Bunny's visit so Aaron and I were able to sleep in a little while my parents played with Nate.  We held off on hunting for the Easter Bunny's treats until after mass.  When we got back from church, Nate discovered all the goodies including a Mater PowerWheels!  This particular Easter Bunny gift came from the same Easter Bunnies who raised me and arranged for my annual baskets.  Let's just say these bunnies seem to have grown more generous in their gift giving since the days of my youth!  (Also, I need to watch the movie Cars because I had no idea who Mater was.)

Thank you Gymboree for your bank-breaking adorableness.
Finally, we spent dinner with my cousins Richard and Cyndy.  It was, as always, a wonderful family evening.  It was the first holiday without Cyndy's Mom and I think we all felt her absence.  But the fact that Cyndy looks fantastic despite being in the middle of chemo was an uplifting sight.  And Nate loves his big kid cousins, he spent the entire time chasing around after any one of them.

Nate got a delayed start on account of his foot being stuck in his bucket.

For more pictures of our Easter fun -

More Easter fun in store tomorrow as Aaron and Nate are heading to the White House for the Easter Egg Roll.  Pictures to come!