Four.7

Yesterday, Annabelle told me that Clementine is an SAAA. Turns out, that means “Sometimes Annoying, Always Adorable.” Which pretty much tells you everything you need to know about both Clementine AND Annabelle at this age ūüôā But for today, we get to focus just on this girl:

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You ALWAYS know how Clementine is feeling, and those feelings might change by the minute. Out of nowhere, she’ll BURST out with “You are the best parents in the world! Annabelle is the best sister in the world!” but when you see that BURST look, she might also come out with “Why is everyone always telling me what to do!” Truth be told, Clem is usually the one in charge, ESPECIALLY with Charlie. Her exasperated voice, bossy rules and condescending ways with him (not to mention protective behavior) are hopefully more of a sibling-like relationship (I mean, they pretty much exactly mirror how Annabelle treats her) because I feel very bad for her future spouse if this is just how she relates to the opposite sex! Although for what it’s worth, Charlie takes it all quite willingly, showing up on our doorstep multiple times/day:

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Seeing Clem with Charlie and other awesome, sweet, smart kids her age is so great, but it also shows how different she is, socially, from the average 4 year old. Her comedic timing and subtleties of language are better than ever. The babysitter relayed¬†that when told she was tall, Clem replied, “Davises are known for being tall.” And she was telling us a story the other day with a big build up and stopped in the middle with a “wait for it…. waaaaiiitt fooorrr it” – and the list goes on. Although often, her social skills are lost on her audience, since her audience is often Eddie:

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The love affair with these two! She is ALWAYS running late, because she needs to snuggle Eddie 30 times before leaving the house. And her animal love goes beyond dogs. Yesterday I heard her playing “I’m a snowshoe hare that can turn into a superedog.” How’s that for a specific game? And she REALLY wanted to keep the rat we found in our yard the other day (Marc put his foot down on that one. It’s probably good that he has some authority with us three):

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Academically, Clem is doing awesome. She’s getting good at reading but doesn’t like to try. The other day when I was trying to encourage her, she told me, “I don’t think I really need to learn how to write, because I’d prefer not to share my stories.” But she’ll do math all day long – she absolutely loves it! Maybe she’ll be our little engineer? The most social engineer of all time? Although there’s no rush there – she’s still our snuggly little Clem, the only “little” left in our family, SAAA and proud of it ūüôā

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Busy Bees

I know I’ve been remiss in posting lately. The combination of extremely busy work weeks (for me at least – I presented¬†the full Kinsa sales & marketing plan to the company’s board of directors on Thursday via video conference), crazy camp schedules, and just the general chaos of summer are to blame, along with the added fun of my recovery. But all has been great! Here are some highlights:

1. Annabelle’s first week of horse camp. This was a much more serious camp than last year (18 students total – she was one of the two youngest) and ended in a horse show with trotting and jumps!

P13606772. Lots of Clem and Charlie time – they both did gymnastics camp the past two weeks and rode together each way, played together before and after, and generally loved and fought and made up like the old married couple that they are (sleepovers included. They now have a sleepover almost every weekend). This week they also both ran into a wasp’s nest, where Charlie got 4 stings and Clem got 3. War stories to tell their children:

11737911_10153081755252449_2022402537601368783_n3. Swimming, swim lessons, water slides, and other ways to beat the heat now that “Austin Summer” (and it’s 100-degree stretch) has finally arrived. We can’t complain though – it’s hard to believe it took this long! Today Clementine perfected her underwater somersault while Annabelle went to the big pool with Marc for the real deal (in a few weeks she’ll pass all of the swim lessons where we go, so her only option will be swim team). Here they are after their post-swim bath:

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4. Grown up time РLast weekend, Marc and I attended the Trilogy Alumni conference (here in Austin), where we got to reconnect with old friends, focus on some personal and professional growth topics, and think about the future. We also spent some evenings getting sitters and NOT thinking about professional growth, as evidenced by my drink last night:

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I know there was plenty more, but the highlights should give you a feel. All of us are doing just fine, keeping busy, and embracing summer. And none of us can believe we head north in just one more week! We are ready for serious family time!

 

 

Ovar-Achiever

I have to say that I pride myself in being able to deal with a lot of S#&$, do the best I can, take care of the people I love, and persevere with a positive attitude. But SERIOUSLY world, can you give me a break for, like, a year?

Of course, I wasn’t even able to form these thoughts last Saturday morning, when I was in the hospital emergency room screaming profanities, tearing off my clothes, puking, and experiencing by far the worst pain in my life. The day had started off fine – Saturday July 4 and I left the house before the girls rose¬†to squeeze in a barre workout at my favorite studio – a little healthiness before a day of patriotic indulgence and family time. The class was tough as usual and I was proud of myself because as the trainer instructed, I was “embracing the pain, because the pain is your muscles changing.” I was feeling particularly excited about the 6 pack abs I must’ve been getting, given the sharper than usual stomach pain I was feeling.

By the time I got in the car to drive home, though, the stomach pain was more than the result of a tough ab workout. Within a couple minutes, it was getting REALLY bad. I called Marc, but it went to voicemail. Over the next several minutes, I called him a few more times (to no answer), and by that point was in such terrible pain that I left a message saying I was driving myself to the hospital, pretty sure my appendix had burst. By the time Marc called back (he’d been up to his ears in raspberry & blueberry patriotic pancake batter with the girls), I’d been diagnosed with ovarian torsion and was being prepped for emergency surgery.

Several hours later in the recovery room, I learned that my right ovary had twisted around itself three times and was quickly dying. They tried to untwist it laparoscopically, but after 35 minutes, a lot of blood and “it getting really messy in there” they reopened my c-section scar and removed the whole dead black ovary (sparing you a photo, though I have one if anyone wants to see!). Suddenly, I was recovering from a major, invasive abdominal surgery.

My¬†first question was whether they’d gotten in touch with my husband (I’d been unable to form a sentence when he called my back pre-surgery, but he did talk to the doc). They had, and he’d be visiting soon. My second was whether I could fly to New York on Monday, because (given my awesome timing)¬†this was an incredibly busy and important work week for me, where I was supposed to present¬†the marketing strategy I’d been devising for months. Needless to say, I was instead stuck in the hospital for 3 days with no travel in sight. Of course, that meant that I had to turn the doctor’s recommended “bed rest for 2 weeks, return to work in 6 weeks” diagnosis to “video conference to run presentations several times a day, starting from my hospital bed on Monday” – a challenge that also had me limiting my narcotic painkillers more than was probably recommended.

The surgery to remove an ovary is called an oophorectomy, and OOPH, that’s exactly how I felt for the first 4-5 days. But more than a week¬†in, I’m happy to say that I’m slowly getting stronger,¬†walking a little bit, more comfortable for longer periods, and seeing recovery in sight. I’m trying my best to be a good patient (not lifting things or walking the dog or anything else that could tweak me or set me back) because I’m determined not to do anything to ruin our family vacation in the northeast just 3 weeks away. Because damn it, after all this, I could REALLY use a vacation.

Seven and a Half

Have you ever seen a 7.5 year old more wise beyond her years?P1360172

There’s plenty about Annabelle that has been consistent across almost her entire 90 months on this earth – she’s smart, she’s sensitive, she’s unique and interested in the coolest things. But lately, she’s also become more helpful. With my recent emergency surgery (more on that later) she has taken it upon herself to help make dinner, for example. And help Clementine get ready for camp. And help her fellow campmates by bringing in supplies for free time (mostly materials for finger knitting, finger weaving, yarn bracelet making and other related crafts that have become “the thing to do” for the 7 year old crowd). She texts me with updates from the babysitter and writes her own letters setting up playdates with her friends. It’s like she’s a small grown-up, and it’s all happening so fast!
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But what an incredible small grown-up she is becoming. She’d like to be an inventor when she grows up, which is EXACTLY what I wanted to be at her age. She ALWAYS has plenty to say (tonight after we put them to bed Marc and I realized that she didn’t let any of the rest of us get a word in edgewise at dinner). She is constantly working on improving her cartwheels and roundoffs and other gymnastics moves. She is reading probably 100-200 pages a night of books, mainly fantasy and mythology. She’s working on multiplying multi-digit numbers. She’s become a master of Fur Elise on the piano. And she’s asking questions and talking about bigger issues like marriage equality and racial inequalities
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But she still requires being tucked into bed, and won’t leave for camp without a real kiss and a hug. She doesn’t like to go new places without Clementine, and was very upset that I didn’t say goodbye on Saturday morning when I went to my early workout… which led to my freak emergency surgery and 3 day hospitalization. After all of that, what she wanted to remind me of was that I didn’t wake her up in the AM to say I was leaving…. and I guess this past week has taught me that there’s something to that – you never know what can happen. For better or for worse, Annabelle is ALWAYS thinking about what could happen. Today she said she wished I worked at Tile, because then we could have as many Tiles as we wanted and put them on EVERYTHING we own, so even if there was a tornado and our whole house was strewn all over the city, we could find it all. Now THAT is someone who likes to be prepared for anything.
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Happy half birthday, sweet, beautiful, interesting, complex Annabelle Claire!

Four and a Half

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Miss Four and a Half!
P1350984She’s smart, she’s sweet, she’s funny and she knows how to get what she wants. She loves her dog and hates finishing her dinner (or any meal, especially those that involve some kind of meat). She is getting great at math (we finally succumbed to her begging to start Dreambox) and doesn’t like to work that hard on reading (but LOVES books).
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She still goes along with almost all plans designed by her sister, so much so that in a very naughty moment the other day told me, “I’m not going to do anything you tell me to do – I’m only going to do what Annabelle tells me to do.”
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She finally likes taking showers, and her swimming is starting to look a little bit like a real stroke. She still talks baby talk when you don’t call her on it, but in the next breath brings up complex concepts about planets and countries and homeless people.
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She’s tough – rarely cries when she hurts herself and doesn’t whine about me brushing out her tangles. And she’s tough on us too – tells Marc when he hasn’t done a good enough job cleaning up or lets me know when a shirt I’m wearing doesn’t look right, “You know Mama, if you can see your belly when you are wearing a shirt, it’s too small for you.” I swear, my belly only showed because I was leaning over funny!
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She’s adaptable, but she’s not a follower. She’s agreeable, but not a pushover. She’s empathetic, but holds people accountable. And she’s so. damn. cute.