Three.3

With Clementine, I’m never quite sure how I’m going to feel come monthly report time. This month, we had several challenging days, from the rebellions she staged during nap time at preschool to some unbelievably moody evenings, to some lip that would be tough coming from a teenager (One quote after we forced her to go potty but then let her pick out her outfit: “See, sometimes you’re in charge of me, but sometimes I’m in charge of you.”):

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But we must have ended on an up note, because with her in bed, I’m reviewing these photos and thinking, has there ever been a more delicious three-year-old on the face of the planet??

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This weekend we had stunningly beautiful weather and got to spend tons of time outside. My favorite part about this was how the girls played together, often looking out for each other as they battled other kids on the playground (she, as “Queen Esther of Australia), and having so much fun helping each other out:

IMG_1739It was pure love, unstaged – no “closeness for the camera” here. Maybe it’s their complete obsession with Frozen that has shown them that sisters should be best friends, but whatever it is, I’ll take it. Clementine often acts out the role of Elsa and has memorized major portions of the movie (which makes us feel better about her selective counting from 10-20). She also continues to love her “get ready for pre-K” book, and has been really interested in new challenges (balance bike, for example), which shows us that she actually loves to learn:

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Speaking of loving to learn, she got into a new preschool for the fall – a Montessori school that we think will really foster her interest in reading, writing, and just about anything else you show her. Because despite her bold behavior, we keep getting clues into what is actually a pretty deep little thinker. For example, her teacher told us the other day that in the middle of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” Clem burst out with, “If I were her I would’ve just gotten some tape and fixed the chair.”

1979370_10202135611806725_1062648667_oWe love that little brain. Truth be told, we love everything about this kid! Even as she is doubling our gray hairs by the day!

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Regularly Scheduled Programming

It felt good to be back to normal schedules this week, even if it was harder for some than for others (Clementine was in rare form for a few days there). We got to pay attention to the goings on in our own house, for a change, like the fact that our chicks are outgrowing their current home!

IMG_1590This weekend we let them check out their forever home, which they seemed to like for a while, until a cool wind blew in and they all huddled together asking for their aquarium back. So… I guess we’ll give it a few more weeks before they stay out here for good:

IMG_1672Annabelle could relate to the chickens this weekend because she was in her own strange and new environment – the Math Pentathlon championships. 760 kindergarteners and 1st graders competed in 5 different math games from 7:45AM till 2:30PM on Saturday. Annabelle lost all of her games but kept a great attitude about it, although she was a little bummed to give up practically her entire Saturday to the cause.

IMG_1635That was all made better in the evening, when we headed to a neighborhood potluck and invited her adorable friend Roisin over for a sleepover afterward. And by the time Roisin left this morning, it was time to celebrate her friend Lauchly’s birthday party at an awesome gymnasium, where both Ab & C had a blast tumbling, jumping, swinging on ropes and bear crawling along balance beams:

IMG_1690Needless to say, a great weekend was had by all. Such a great weekend that both kids were fast asleep at around 7:15 this evening!

 

 

 

 

South by Spring Break

Did I skip a week of blogging again? Clearly my delicate work-life balance is out of whack, but for a change, this past week brought far more “life” than “work!” ¬†It was SXSW, Spring Break, and both my brother Rob and niece Bonnie were in town. Oh, and so was the rodeo. And even Elliot for a night. Needless to say, plenty of fun was had by all! ¬†Actually, I’m sure that the reason there was no LAST Sunday blog was because both of these goofs came in that very day:

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It was so awesome to have a decent amount of family in town, it reminded me that lack of family is truly my only beef with Austin. We went to parties together, ate meals together, and even just sat around holding chickens together:

IMG_1579But Bonnie did a whole lot more than hang with us chickens. We got her a SXSW wristband as her graduation gift, and she got to see a lot of great bands. We also used a few connections we had to get her some paying gigs photographic some of the artists, including some real legends! Here she is up close with Lucinda Williams:

IMG_9433Of course. pulling all those strings also got OUR favorite girl band on Bonnie’s photo shoot list. She took some absolutely stunning pics of Annabelle and Clementine. Isn’t this one from the rodeo breathtaking?

1956666_10152258612775605_1812625551_oThe whole week was awesome, and the girls were really sad to say goodbye to their super-cool older niece. Marc and I were really bummed too, although since Marc was the designated “go out with Bonnie because we’re not leaving her on her own downtown for a midnight show” uncle, I think his body was ready for a break. The quote of the week as he took Clementine to preschool on Wednesday, “This rock and roll lifestyle is killing me.” Of course, we all would have done it again in a heartbeat! I mean, family, friends, fun (and loads of good food) – isn’t that what life is all about?

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Six.2

Friday we had Annabelle’s teacher conference, and it was hilarious. First of all, on the literacy evaluation she is at the “Nivel Esperado” – which means “Expected level” for kindergarten. But the reason it is in Spanish is because “There was no use testing her in English – the grade school reading levels don’t go that high.” So she was given the test in Spanish, and was where she needs to be… assuming Spanish was her native language.

P1200804Academically, Annabelle is blowing everyone away as usual. Marc recently determined that she actually reads faster than he does, and she and I are now reading the same books in our free time (just started a cool one called Inkheart). And she’s in 3rd/4th grade math, although the times tables have been TOTALLY stressing her out. She’s been begging us to help her memorize them and has even burst into tears, worrying that she wasn’t learning them fast enough. Us explaining to her that she doesn’t need to know them till 3rd grade was no help… the poor kid is having extreme test anxiety before she’s ever even had to take a test! We are watching it closely and doing what we can to keep stress levels down (e.g. we’ve stopped doing Dreambox math), but it’s pretty obvious that it’s just how our unusual (and awesome) kid is wired:

IMG_9155Socially, Annabelle continues to be very popular at school – she gets invited on playdates constantly, just went to her first sleepover party, got a “love note” from a boy in her class, and has even gotten in trouble a couple times for being too goofy with her friends! She remains very focused on what’s “proper,” though – and will call everyone (including her teacher) out on something if it isn’t right. Mrs. Johnson actually says things to me like, “Sometimes when I’m teaching, I’m worried I’m letting Annabelle down,” or, “I could tell Annabelle wasn’t very happy with me today.” I can’t imagine being a kindergarten teacher (of 18 kids!) and having to answer to this girl:

IMG_0972But for the most part, Annabelle is happy and sweet as ever. And has become especially nurturing when it comes to the new Davis family members! She takes charge of cleaning their little aquarium and taking them out for “free time” as much as possible, not even worrying about the poop or getting bored with him like her little sister does:

IMG_1199All in all, Annabelle continues to thrive and makes us so proud. She is becoming more responsible and helpful by the day, is still practicing and enjoying piano as much as ever, she takes good care of her little sis more often than not, has become more brave about a lot of things (injuries, sleepovers, etc.) and is just a fun human to spend time with. We’ll keep her!

Three.2

I used to hear my mom telling Clementine’s Godmother Liz that she was “the most work but the most fun” as a kid and would get a little jealous. But I totally get it now:

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Clementine hasn’t been too tough lately – mainly, she’ll get in a mood where she just wants to drive us crazy for the sake of it (refuses to answer us, or keeps demanding things over and over again after we’ve told her no), but watching other 3-year-olds, we know it could be a lot worse. And on the flip side, she is the toast of the Donkey class (I actually get love messages/texts/emails from parents of kids in her class ALL the time – she is everyone’s favorite) and is generally so adaptable that we have absolutely zero qualms about switching her from the JCC to WAYA this summer (and for the fall) to remove hours of driving from our commute:

IMG_1074One thing that has become very obvious this month, is that Clem’s adaptability has made for a strange dynamic in our house. The fact that she can roll with anything has meant that she tends to be the one who has to. School’s inconvenient? Switch her. Need to get Annabelle to activity X or party Y or working on academic subject Z? Clem can hang. Which has made me suddenly feel pretty guilty about taking advantage of this funny little pea pod. Especially when I noticed that certain skills she had acquired when she was one have long since been forgotten (you should hear her creative way of counting to 20):

P1200391So the other day, when I was getting a stack of new books for Annabelle, I ordered a “Get Ready for Pre-K” book to keep Clem busy. What started as a few minutes of tracing lines became an obsession for her – circling the pictures that don’t belong, coloring the clothes you’d wear in winter, matching up opposites… Any chance she got, she proclaimed, “I want to learn more! I need to work in my workbook!” Turns out, this kid absolutely loves to learn. Oops. Sorry second child!

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Luckily, she’s only three. And in the grand scheme, her adaptability and popularity (obvious results of second child-dom) are probably going to get her much farther in life than remembering the numbers 13, 15, and 17. At least, that’s what we keep telling ourselves!

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So now, it’s up to us – is it possible we can help create the rare and amazing triple-threat – a kid who is smart, popular AND easy going? She may only be Three.2, but I’d say the chances are pretty high!