Three and a Half

Clementine Jane is three and a half today and is as Clementiny as ever. She is tough and tender, sweet and saucy, thoughtful and crazy, and still the most adorable little monkey on the planet.
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She continues to have several humans wrapped around her finger, from us to her nanny to several of her friends, especially her BFF next door neighbor, Charlie. Hearing her tell him what’s up is hilarious, because he seems to realize that it’s her way or the highway, already.
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The other day Clementine was throwing one of her little fits (battles of wills, really). She demanded that I come hold her hand on the stairs and I said I would if she asked nicely. She refused and so I added that it must be done, and with a smile. She told me I’d never see a smile if I didn’t come upstairs and hold her hand… and the standoff lasted with us 3 steps apart from each other, far longer than one between a 37-year-old and 3-year-old should last.
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Clementine has a great memory (regularly brings up things that happened a full year ago), but refuses to remember the number 15 when she counts to 20. She is getting pretty good at sounding out short words, and has pretty much blown through all of the pages in her little “Get Ready for Pre-K” workbook. And she KNOWS she knows things – like when she looked at me skeptically one day (when she was feeling very ruled-over) and declared, “I know about you grown ups…” When I asked her what exactly she knew about us, she declared, “You know, like, you ride bikes just like us kids…. but your bikes are bigger.” Indeed.
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We spent this weekend at a lake house with some friends who have two pretty big dogs and my favorite thing was seeing how much Clem loved them. She is definitely an animal girl, and announced that she is ready for a new dog – a big one, which she will name Hamster. But if you ask, her two favorite animals are ladybugs and beluga whales (we don’t know where this came from but she’s sticking with it).
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If there’s one thing Clem likes more than animals, it’s her big sister. She will do anything to keep up with her, repeating whatever Annabelle is talking about (to the best of her ability, which usually sounds a lot like a classic game of telephone). More than anything, she likes having our whole family engaged in a single activity together (whereas Annabelle cherishes the special time she gets alone with one parent). As a youngest, I can totally relate, and hope that Clem keeps reminding us of the importance of “Whole Family time” for many years to come.
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Happy Half, little monkey. You are our bushel and our peck.

NOLA Getaway

This past weekend, Marc and I did something we’ve never done before – left the kids with Diane and Marco and, for no other reason than to have a great time, went away for the weekend. We chose New Orleans and went with our next door neighbors, and it was the perfect choice for making a Friday-Sunday getaway feel like a real vacation! Don’t we all look relaxed?

P1240875I’d like to say we saw all of the sights New Orleans has to offer, but we basically ate, drank, and saw great local live music the entire time we were there:

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Of course, while there is more to the city, we think that we the eating/drinking/music part is  the #1 way to fully embrace New Orleans culture, and we were not disappointed. We also walked around a lot, mainly so we could make room in our bellies for meals like “linner” or the “second breakfast” of oysters benedict pictured below:

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And we also got some family time in! My cousin Glenn, his awesome wife Nichole, and their two daughters Chloe and Madeleine, who remind us A LOT of a certain two little girls we left behind, welcomed us into their home and it was really cool not just to see them, but to see how “real people” live in New Orleans! We had so much fun that we think they’ve convinced us to come back with the girls during Mardi Gras so they can experience Chloe & Maddie’s favorite thing about NOLA – costumes and free jewelry & stuffed animals thrown at them for hours!

P1240892All in all, it was the perfect getaway and the perfect break from how busy I’ve been with work. In fact, I just realized that in the bustle of the past few months I even skipped my Annabelle & Clementine of the month posts! Look forward to lots of Darling Davis Daughter updates in the next week!

Father’s Week

This was especially fun week for the girls, because for the first time in years (and the only time this summer), they went to camp together – we tried out gymnastics camp and not only was it a huge hit, it was also so cute to see them hugging and kissing and waving at each other from their groups!

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It was also great to only have to drop off/pick up from one location… especially because my work schedule remains a little nuts (was traveling/in meetings till at least 11PM 3 days this week!). Thankfully, these Darling Davis Daughters had the best dad ever to tuck them in those nights… and even better, they got to celebrate him today!

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We had a nice, relaxing weekend over all – our first one together out of the past three – and we made the best of it with swimming, playdates, neighbor time, and a couple of great meals. We also got Marc some nice gifts, of the homemade and Paris-bought variety, all of which went over great.

Weekends like this are so perfect in their everydayness, great reminders of how lucky we are to have built such a sweet life together, and to have these two farm animals to watch over every day (those are winter horse hats – it dipped below 90 on Friday):

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Joint Custody

The past two weeks has been such a blur! I had a business trip in Paris and stayed an extra couple days to sight see…

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coming back hours before Marc headed out to Ithaca for his 20 year college reunion:

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Marc gets back tomorrow, in time for me to head to L.A. for a business meeting. In the end, I think we’ve figured out we will have spent 10 hours of the past 14 days in the same city! But the whole time, due to some pretty complex scheduling, at least one parent has been there for these two at all times:

IMG_2714In the meantime, these two have both finished up their school years (both getting glowing reports and tearful goodbyes from teachers), had award assemblies (Annabelle was one of two kids in her class to get the coveted “Star Student” award, along with a math award):

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passed their swim levels (Clem is now an “Advanced Aquatot” and Annabelle has moved on to “Swimmers” from “Extreme Beginners”), celebrated the first day of summer vacation with an overnight at Mazzy & Artie’s lake house:

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and prepped for summer camp (tomorrow starts a week of gymnastics camp for both girls):

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There is so much more to say about the past two weeks – we finished up at the JCC preschool after 5 years there (the first place we ever trusted with our children), completed a very successful “trial year” at Travis Heights Elementary where we’ve found a wonderful new close knit community, Marc moved his office downtown, I’ve been working my tuchus off, we’ve planned our entire summer (including attendance at a mix of 4 different summer camps before we head north)… and I’m sure I’m leaving out half of it. I think we all could use a bit of a slowdown on the pace of the past several weeks, but we also can’t complain about any of it. Hopefully summer will bring with it a little more time to stop and smell the flowers… if not for the next month or so, certainly when we head up North for family time at the end of July!