Believe it or not, once we got settled back in from Mardi Gras, it was a pretty quiet week Chez Davis. The girls were exhausted (one evening Ab&C were pretending they were mom and kid and Annabelle “pretend” put Clem to sleep at 5:45… and she didn’t wake up till the next morning (no dinner even!).
The weekend was pretty tame too, at least by Davis standards. Only 1 birthday party, 1 playdate, swim lessons, some scooter-delivery of girl scout cookies, a bike ride to dinner, and a movie night featuring the Lion King – since they needed to know the story before we see it on Broadway in a few weeks! All of it was a big hit, and in general it was nice to spend a quiet week/weekend. Plus, we have to save our energy for Thursday, when Gramma & Grampa Charlie visit for the long weekend!
Of course, the birthday party DID have a mad scientist and rocket launching and tesla coils and FIRE, so it wasn’t exactly ho-hum :). Both girls were very impressed…
Let’s face it – our kids are the luckiest kids on earth. I mean, what 7 and 4 year old get to spend President’s Day weekend AT MARDI GRAS?
Last summer when we visited New Orleans and met up with my cousin Glenn and his wonderful wife Nichole, we instantly knew we needed to come back with our girls. Their daughters Chloe and Maddie are almost exactly their age and so similar in personality, too! We made plans that day – and to our surprise, Glenn & Nichole strongly suggested that we come for Mardi Gras! Well, it turns out we were right about our kids being instant best pals and they were right about which weekend to come – we all had a blast!!
We ended up doing 6 parades in 3 days, and they just got better and better. The girls watched most of them from these awesome ladder-seats, and became experts at catching loot!
Every night, after an evening parade they’d stumble into bed, and then wake up at the break of dawn to count and divide up their loot:
By day, we’d eat King Cake and gumbo, meet up with friends, listen to hundreds of bands, and generally revel in how awesome Mardi Gras is… and then by night we’d bundle up and do it all over again… (and then go home and hose off the dirty girls while the men debated going out for a late show at Tipitina’s).
There is no doubt that we will be back for future Mardi Gras adventures. We were even invited to roll with a krewe next year! The girls don’t care what we do, as long as they can beg for more stuffies and beads, and do whatever they’re doing with their new best cousin-friends:
About 8 months ago, my oldest Austin girlfriends and I planned a getaway girls trip to Vail. It kind of snuck up on us, but might have been great timing in terms of a total escape from real life, chatting with old friends, wandering around a beautiful little ski village, drinking cocktails in the afternoon, dancing all night (all night being till about 11PM), etc. Mostly, it was so nice hearing IN DETAIL what all of these incredible ladies have been up to lately:
Of course, now that we’ve done it, we’ve decided this needs to AT LEAST become an every 2-ish-years kind of getaway. And I know Marc can handle it – not only did he have no problem taking care of the girls this weekend, but he added Charlie from next door to the mix! The girls slept over Charlie’s on Friday night (we were having a babysitter problem) and then reciprocated by having Charlie sleep over our place on Saturday, followed by great walks and bike rides, kite flying, pizza lunches and all-around awesome 75-degree Austin Winter fun.
Of course, it was more Annabelle, Clementine and Charlie taking care of Marc than the reverse:
By Sunday evening I was back from my mountain getaway and tucking my sweet girls in bed for the night – a very different but just as wonderful end of a day than the one I’d had 24 hours before:
All of it reminding me that I’m lucky I get to get away on occasion, but I’m even luckier about what I get to come home to every day:
I am just so proud of this kid lately. Of course she’s doing great at school and piano and math and reading and swimming and biking and all of that…But she’s also just maturing into such a lovely person. She still has her oversensitive moments and can be a total slob and could still use a little work in the empathy department (though she is improving!), but she is so thoughtful and loving and imaginative and inspired, and is listening so well, and is trying so much (cooking and spying are probably her two favorite things this month), and has especially been incredibly sweet to her sister, who has always ADORED her (look at them at this Karate-themed birthday party!):
She is also always cooking up new ideas – her career aspiration at this point is to be an inventor, which I especially love because I was definitely the same way:
I wonder if Annabelle has been so especially sweet and incredibly well mannered (actually doing what I ask her to do, after only one or two asks – amazing) because of my mom dying. She seems less intrigued/confused by that situation than Clem, but there’s nothing that doesn’t get the wheels turning in that incredible mind of hers. Maybe that’s why her hair is perpetually disastrous? Not that she’ll ever let me cut it…
What can I say – we are so blessed with this girl and we know it. But if she could slow down on how quickly she’s growing up, we’d be okay with that! 7 is a whole new level. Practically a big kid (and off the charts in height according to the doctor!), no matter how small she tries to make herself when she crawls up to snuggle on our laps…. not that we mind that one bit.
It’s been a strange month for Clementine – right after turning 4, her mama disappeared up North on and off throughout the month, her Mamom died, and everyone was a little out of sorts. It certainly caused a few outbursts here and there (primarily to Diane), and it also caused a little strange behavior (a couple accidents – for the first time in probably a year – for example). It also caused her to talk more about death than ever before, although in a very sweet, naive way that reminds me exactly of how Annabelle acted when my dad died.
She told Marc that the night before she dies, she’s going to wear her favorite pajamas. She told Diane that she (Diane) was pretty old, and was probably going to die in a few days. When Diane tried to explain that she was feeling a little more optimistic than that, Clementine looked out the window and wistfully replied, “We don’t get to choose when we die.”
That said, she’s still very much her mighty self, and especially loved showing us just how awesome she is doing at her preschool “family night.” She showed off her tracing, writing and spelling skills, and we were impressed!
She’s also showed us her ability to be brave (NO tears at her 4 year vaccinations), run fast, and of course, fight crime!
Clem is pretty interested in a whole lot of things, from princesses to superheroes to fairies to reading and math to nature. Her enthusiasm for everything and everyone is one of my very favorite things.
While Clem is clearly bright (her understanding of numbers and her vocabulary are solid – she was talking about a kid in her class today who is not very “agreeable,” for example), it’s her EQ that continues to amaze Marc and me. She is so good at getting along with all types of people and understanding where they are coming from. And her personality just sparkles in a way that so many kids and adults are drawn to her. I can’t wait to see how this develops over time. For example, I don’t see her ever asking to be a leader… but at the same time, she’s the type of person that everyone would vote for. And she knows that there are no boundaries that will ever hold her back in any way, except for one: