Here a chick, there a chick

It was a very busy week in the Davis house. Like, we didn’t have time to grocery shop and sent our kids to school with PB&J on frozen waffles, busy. Like, picked up moose-shaped pasta from Ikea for dinner, busy. Like, Annabelle, can you bathe Clementine? busy. But we made it through, got everyone everywhere they needed to be, clothed, fed and fairly clean. Which made us think, it’s time to add a new level of complexity to our lives – let’s get CHICKENS!!

P1200865Friday was the much-anticipated day and we had so much fun picking them out. Annabelle got a jumpy but friendly Buff Orpington named Honey, who likes to keep her company when she’s reading books, working on math, etc.

P1200922Clementine got an Americauna named Easter Bunny (Bunny for short), who is very cute but has trouble keeping poo off her bottom:

P1200952Marc got a Rhode Island Red named Tipitina (Tina for short) who is extremely fast and already tried to peck his eyeball:

P1200984And I picked out a black Australorp named Alice, who is the shyest and easiest to hold, unless she sees the other three and takes off like a rocket to catch up to them:

P1200971Needless to say, among very fun playdates and even a night out for Marc and me to see Hall and Oates in concert, the chicks were the highlight of the weekend. Now we’ll just see if Annabelle’s enthusiasm for cleaning their cage continues on past day 3!

 

 

 

 

 

San Francisco Celebrating

Has it really been over a year since our last San Francisco trip? Luckily, Elliot and Kiyoko decided to get married there this weekend so we could remedy the situation! We were there from Thursday through Monday morning, and had an absolute blast.

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The incredible wedding at the Academy of Sciences was the highlight of the weekend – with a beautiful and heartwarming ceremony, awesome exhibits, unbelievable food, traditional Chinese lion dancers, tons of babysitter-run activities for kids, and of course, a whole bunch of our absolute FAVORITE people.

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But the days (or shall I say, early mornings and late nights) of cousin time with Des and Jules were priceless. The kids got along so well (I mean, as well as a 6-year-old, two 3-year-olds and an infant can get along) and just simply loved each other so much, and all aunts and uncles really enjoyed getting bits of personal time with their sweet and funny nieces/nephews.

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All that, plus we managed to sneak in extra meals and evening drinks with Venky, Pat, Space, Dassance & Reed, who we don’t see nearly enough. AND, by coming in Thursday and leaving Monday, we had an extra day to spend time with our two favorite non-family families – the Kruses and the Kopelsons!

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Add to all that a cable car ride (and trip to the cable car museum), the girls’ first (professional) manicures, lunch at the Ferry building, and a housewarming brunch that involved nonstop pastries, chocolate dipped potato chips, ice cream and a mariachi band, and you’ve done San Francisco right.
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Of course, even with our extended trip we didn’t get to see all of our favorite San Franciscans, check out the Exploratorium, or get an evening out without our small fries… but that just proves that we need to come back sooner next time. I don’t think it’ll take much arm-twisting!
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Potential

It was a strange week here in Austin – while the northeast was getting pummeled with winter storms and without power for much of the week, Austin experienced three canceled school days and 2 late-arrivals due to the idea that there could possibly be snow (new name “potential for precipitation day”). Of course, this happened on a very busy work week for Marc and me (I was pitching a huge client and he had his regular mounds of work and neighborhood stuff), which made for plenty of ridiculous trading and begging and creative kid-entertainment (some of it outside in the unfathomable 30 degree weather):

IMG_0944By the time the weekend rolled around, we were starting to get a little bit bored with each other, but thankfully had birthday parties and playdates (and parents’ nights out) to keep things interesting when the bribing lost its power:IMG_9162Ab&C were particularly excited to go over Annabelle’s friend Jade’s house for dinner, where we had a lovely adult evening while the kids embraced the cozy indoor sauna and fireplace.

IMG_0962By Sunday, the weather was back into the 70’s and it felt great to lounge outside. And while the afternoon was all about family time, we were excited to take a little break from Alta Vista Avenue to head to a fundraiser for State Senator Wendy Davis, whom we are REALLY hoping will become the next governor of Texas:

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While Wendy’s candidacy is a bit of a long shot, her track record of overcoming obstacles is impressive. It’s not often that we get very political, but we are committed to doing our part to help Wendy Davis make Texas a state to be proud of. Fingers crossed! About Wendy… and while we’re at it, about NO MORE SNOW DAYS in Austin!

 

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Six years old, and we already have a hipster on our hands.

IMG_0922Okay, I guess the glasses could go hipster or nerd, and we’ll call her some of each. On the nerd front, (along with winning science fair last week) our kid is currently determined to memorize her times tables. She’s made me quiz her every day recently, and will not be happy till she gets them all (we’re doing one a week and are on the 4’s right now). Math stresses her out at school because she is so far beyond the other kids in kindergarten and they have her on an older-kid math program, which the substitute (every since beloved Mr. Brandon passed away) doesn’t seem to care to learn. We keep trying to tell her that even if she didn’t learn a single thing in math for the next couple years, it would be okay, and that there is nothing to stress about, but this poor little tightly wound girl was just born that way. It makes us worry what will happen when she starts having actual (timed) tests, but we’ll just have to deal with that when we come to it.  Thankfully, math is not her only passion – if I had to take a guess, I think she’s going to go into a career that is more focused on writing:

IMG_0924I found that picture/sentence in one of her drawers the other day when I was cleaning, and when she saw I had it, she grabbed it, ripped and crumpled it, and explained that it was something silly she made when she was younger… and NOT to tell Dad about it. Such a strange reaction for such a beautiful little nugget! Have we ALREADY hit an age where Annabelle is convinced we couldn’t possibly understand her??  Luckily, most of the day she can pretty easily forget her complex inner workings, dress in tutus, and attempt (for the billionth time, since she could talk) to fly:

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Along with Annabelle’s lifelong dream of flying is a new focus in her life – she got a kids’ cookbook the other day (the Klutz brand – highly recommended) and cannot get enough of cooking and baking for us all! In the span of a couple of weeks, she has made appetizers (orange rounds), dinner (personal pizzas), veggies, muffins, salads and more – it’s awesome! She’s perhaps over-focused on following directions to a T, but maybe that will make her a great pastry chef one day? For now, we’ll settle for dinner help.

IMG_9131Speaking of help, Annabelle has really stepped up lately in helping herself and Clementine. We’ve been drilling messages of empathy and general looking-out-for-other-people to her, and it seems to actually be starting to stick! This is a huge relief – a realization that even when something doesn’t come naturally to Annabelle, she is willing to work hard to learn it. And that no matter how frustrating she can be at times, Clementine is awesome, and deserves her attention. After all, it’s pretty clear that they both have a LOT they could learn from each other!

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It’s hard to be caught in a battle of wills against someone who might actually go upstairs without dinner if it means she doesn’t have to cave and say “please” as part of her request for milk. And it is especially hard to keep a straight face as it’s all going down, when the face you are looking at is this one:

IMG_0687Clementine can be so stubborn, just for the sake of winning, that we already know we can’t give in for fear she’ll know our weaknesses. Is that a normal way of thinking for parents of a three-year-old? At the same time, there is nothing sweeter than having this kid on your side and by your side, giving you smooches and squeezes that are so sweet you can hardly stand it:

IMG_0902When not battling us, Clementine is usually found begging for book after book, and is enjoying sounding out letters of simple words with us as we go. We can already tell she doesn’t hunger for reading like her sister does, but she’ll take any activity that involves her, a grown-up, and an open book, or puzzle, or song, dance or snuggle.  Of course, if she can’t have a grown-up’s undivided attention, she’d rather be building:

P1200111Blocks can keep Clementine occupied for hours, as can setting up elaborate tea parties with her play food. And when we come in after she’s been awake for a while in her room, she has usually laid out a detailed scene in which all of her animals are reading books or tucked in taking naps. She is constantly busy putting things in very specific places, but thankfully doesn’t mind much when you mess with the plan. In general, unless she feels like being stubborn, she is up for almost anything (the complete opposite of her sister) – new plans, new babysitters, new games, new restaurants:

IMG_9150In other words, Clementine is an odd combination of the easiest, most impossible three year old!  Her teachers, coaches and babysitters can’t say enough good things about her. They love that they never have to worry about her and can’t get over how well she works with the other kids in any group she is in! And in general, we love that we don’t have to worry about the basics – her happiness, her safety, her general comfort. So we just keep reminding ourselves – that stubborn need to win? That unwavering focus on what she wants? That’ll do her good in the future. As long as we survive it in the present!