Three.11

We can’t possibly be a month away from 4, can we? Because sometimes she seems WAY too big… but MOST of the time, this munchkin is still very much our baby girl (and we’d like to hold onto that as long as possible please!):

Davis12Clementine remains the cutest human who has ever walked the earth, as confirmed by anyone in her path. I mean, seriously.10712682_10152801367420605_8180262597038784128_o

But it’s not even that face – it’s the things that go on in that beautiful and sparkly little brain of hers, the words that come out of that perfect mouth, and the constant ways she is surprising us with her general outlook on like.

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For example – her Christmas list. She started wanting only one thing – the power to read. Because in her view, “once you can read, you can do ANYTHING.” And it’s true! But when discouraged from that particular list item (“Maybe Santa can bring you things to HELP you read instead”) she settled on a stuffed platypus (“Wild Kratts” was her new favorite TV show we downloaded for the Thanksgiving trip), dark chocolate and milk chocolate. I think he can handle that. For this kid, whose nice days finally far outnumber her naughty days (though she is NOT without her naughty days):

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Clementine’s superpowers remain on the social side – we’ve never really seen anyone her age simply draw people in and engage so well with adults, kids, and even animals. She continues to get along fabulously with everyone, and actually (not sure if this is circumstance or preference) seems to have more little male buddies than girl friends. Her closest friends are Charlie (he definitely wins for most hours of play – they literally shows up at our doorstep daily) and Clyde at school. Over Thanksgiving, she was even given the nod of approval by 5-year-old cousin Cole, who is ALL BOY (when they were picking out jewelry to dress up, he asked her if she had any “rusty man necklaces”). It was the sweetest thing ever to watch them fall in cousin-love, even if she did call him Milo for the first 24 hours (especially funny since she called her friend Milo Pablo for HIS first 24 hours – I’m thinking names will never be her thing).

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With boys, with girls or with herself, Clem’s favorite things to do have remained the same for a while now – books, building things, art (drawing, writing letters – which have gotten WAY better, gluing, taping and cutting) and make believe are all activities she could do for hours if her #1 activity – playing with her sister – isn’t “available” (to use Montessori speak). But she will ALWAYS choose her sister over anything else:

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Annabelle isn’t QUITE as smitten as the rest of the world, but even she’ll admit, Clementine is pretty darn sweet most of the time (if not a bit unreasonable), and is almost ALWAYS FUN. Happy 3.11 little pea!

 

12 Years

It was a busy week/weekend as always, but the most IMPORTANT part of it was that Marc and I celebrated 12 wonderful years of married life! And all you need to know about our marriage, you’ll see in this video. Marc decided to “take me back to Hawaii” for the evening, and this show proceeded a very complicated Hawaiian meal (with our favorite Hawaiian drinks and foods). I am so, so lucky.

Maybe by our 15 year, we’ll get to the actual island, but until then this was a pretty awesome backup plan 🙂

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And then it was November

It’s hard to believe how fast this year is flying – and how fast the weeks and weekends fly by too! Between swim lessons, soccer games, birthday parties, neighborhood gatherings and school stuff, it feels like it has been weeks since we just sat together as a family and said, “What should we do?” Which is not to say that we haven’t been having plenty of fun!

IMG_4489Probably the biggest news this week (at least in Annabelle’s world) is that a 5.5 year old boy named Oliver moved in, two doors away. With SO many kids Clem’s age on the block, Annabelle was BESIDE herself that there’s someone even close to 6. Seemingly, Oliver was too. Within 3 minutes of meeting, they were holding hands and exclaiming to each other that they were going to play together EVERY DAY. They are looking into purchasing walkie talkies. I know this because somebody posted a crowdsourced Amazon question on my account on how many houses particular brands of walkie talkies reach. What’s next with that kid? Oh, I’ll tell you what’s next – a neighborhood newsletter:

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Other than that, there is really not much news this Sunday night! Marc spent the afternoons/evenings this weekend going to FunFunFunFest, which is a music festival too far from the mainstream to make me all that jealous, and the girls and I had fun bowling (Clem’s first time I think?) for a school friend’s birthday:

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I also hired THREE sitters Saturday night to attend a school fundraiser. THREE sitters at a total age of 33. They were the cutest, smartest, sweetest little 6th grade girls you’ve ever seen (all Travis Heights Elementary alum who are now at magnet middle schools), and since I was staying in the neighborhood (as were their moms – at the same dinner party) we decided to give it a go. Of course my girls were in HEAVEN, and have requested the trio of Julia, Emma and Tess as often as possible. So YAY! We’ve expended our sitter bench – and with girls who won’t graduate till Annabelle herself is of babysitting age… just in time for all of the holiday craziness to start! Two more weeks till we head east…

 

Six.10

Does this give you a feel for what she’ll look like in 10 years or so?

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What a kid. Annabelle has matured so much recently that it’s actually kind of heartbreaking as a parent. She didn’t even want to wear a costume for Halloween! This, the girl who used to wear 17 costumes on a Tuesday! She desperately wants her ears pierced (I saw a private note she wrote Santa on the subject), and most of the time would rather read a book (or two) than be silly. Yes, that’s right – when I caught her below, she wasn’t trying to be silly, she was comparing stories.

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The silly has been replaced by studious, and Annabelle is doing great academically. Her teachers love her and say she rocks science and math especially. She’s doing some pretty complex 3rd and 4th grade math on Dreambox, and over breakfast, enjoys reading an old, outdated science textbook the school was giving away for free. This weekend she even used it to make electricity (with Marc’s help)!

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The craziest part about all that is that she’s actually also REALLY popular. Like probably one of the most (if not the most) popular kids in her class. She is more of a leader than I would’ve expected in early years (I think her creativity intrigues her friends and they want to come along for the ride).  I absolutely love that about first grade and am crossing my fingers that it’ll last for a few more years.

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Annabelle’s friends are VERY important to her, and she’ll do just about anything to hang out with them. Luckily this fall that meant joining the soccer team, where she seemed to have a pretty good time and wasn’t half bad!
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Now that Annabelle is such a popular leader, she is no longer the best behaved kid in her class – mainly because she always seems to be “up to something.” When her best friends get in trouble, though, she is never in trouble with them and when I ask about that, I’m usually told by an authority that she was very “smart about what happened” or something like that. Not exactly sure how to take that. But she still gets green smiley faces (highest behavior honor) every day, and is generally being sweet to everyone.

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The empathy still hasn’t kicked in as much as we’d like and we continue to work hard on it, but it’s occasionally starting to show in funny ways. For example, when Clementine got a bad stomach ache tonight, Annabelle seemed very removed from her pain… and then I noticed she was researching “how to cure a kid’s bad stomach ache” on the computer.  Baby steps! But with so much else that makes this kid incredible, we know that we are lucky, lucky parents.

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Halloween!

What a fun week and weekend. We had F1 (well, Marc did), Halloween, Pajama Day, Dia de los Muertos, Tie Dyeing with the Daisy Girls (just Annabelle), soccer (another win), swimming, a sitter-night out, and candy, candy and more candy.

To sum it all up, Clementine was the cutest robot of all time (although the costume was pretty wrecked by the end of the night):

IMG_4357Annabelle pretty much IS Hermione, although our kid who used to dress up to go to the grocery store seems kind of “over” costumes (despite her request, we did not allow her to trick-or-treat in regular clothes, though we compromised on a couple items):

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The girls had a blast at neighbor Wilder’s Dia de los Muertos party, where Annabelle formed a gang called the “Chicken Army” (Dumbledore’s Army, anyone?):

P1290853and Clementine decorated many paper skulls:

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And Annabelle loved Pajama Day, and having me come in and hang with her school buddies for an hour – something I used to do all the time but have unfortunately been too busy to keep up. As you can tell, she really doesn’t need my emotional support anymore – it’s pretty amusing that our “nerdy girl” seems to also be one of the most popular kids in the 1st grade. Very curious to see how long that lasts!:

P1290813Marc balanced Formula 1 with time with the family, but was pretty much in heaven for several hours of Friday through Sunday, and I can’t blame him. I sat it out after going the past couple years. I’m sure I’ll go again, but these days the stress of trying to find daytime weekend sitters and rides to all of the girls’ various activities isn’t worth a few hours of track time:

1901380_10152832982260420_5626177898727984664_nAs you can see, it was a beautiful weekend no matter how you spent it. The first crispness of fall, numerous celebrations with a wonderful community, and did I mention the candy?