Annabelle is on the brink of five and in so many ways, is so very very age-appropriate these days. She squeals with delight at the prettiest and cutest tree ornaments, spends most of her day pretending to be a mermaid or a wild pony, loves nothing more than dress-up, is both a nurturing and a nagging older sister to Clementine, and begs for sparkly nail polish and candy. I love that she is still so sweet and snuggly and wants only to be good (when we point out that she handled something in “not the best way”- which certainly happens – she gets very quiet and serious). But she also wants big kid power – telling secrets, trying “dangerous” moves (climbing on furniture, etc.) and setting up playdates with her friends.

Her enthusiasm is so much fun, although she seems to be getting a little bit harder to entertain (I’m sad that the days of giving her prunes as a treat and taking her to the drug store as an excursion seem to have fallen drastically in her opinion). But it probably comes with the fact that she’s always thinking and dreaming and coming up with fabulous things to do. She casts spells to give our dog fairy wings, reads books that are teaching her how to solve mysteries, and comes up with projects that require such imagination that we have trouble keeping up. The other day she had me and Marc “call her” to get her to sign a permission slip like 12 times in a row. I’m still not sure how the game was supposed to work and what she now has permission to do.

We’ve spent a large part of this past month figuring out what elementary school will be best for our creative, thoughtful and well-behaved child. After reviewing 9 different schools, we plan on making our final decision based on an evaluation with a child psychologist tomorrow. One of the private schools we liked requires this type of testing (mainly IQ), but we’ve also heard wonderful things about how much parents learn from it – understanding how their child thinks, what drives her, what types of communication work best, etc. We are pretty excited to learn more about this smart, sensitive girl… who happens to also be such a snappy dresser (bottom half of her outfit as she headed to school today):

All we know is, we could not be more proud to be her parents. And we can’t believe we have only one month before she’s a big-time five-year-old!

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