Five.8 and Eight.8

With Annabelle temporarily taking over AustinDavises for our trip, I wasn’t able to give my last monthly update! So here we are, back to school, with a lot to catch up on, blogwise. Even so, I think it’s only fitting to do this one as a joint Annabelle & Clementine post, since not only did they spend a month on the road joined at the hip; they are now going to the same elementary school! Which seems like a fine place to start:


As our nanny Diane stated after seeing that picture, Annabelle looks like such an elementary school veteran at this point, while Clementine looks like a shiny new penny. Both had a great first week and seem to have really wonderful teachers and friends in their classes. But to break it down:

Clementine, five and two thirds and just starting kindergarten:


This kid is so delicious, it’s dangerous. Sometimes she’s unaware about the effect she has on those around her (her response when a little girl ran up to her and gave her a hug before school started: “I don’t really know her, she’s not in my class. She just likes to hug me”). Other times she knows it, but it just rolls right off (her buddy Travis has decided to have an entirely platypus-themed birthday party because Clementine will like it so much). Unfortunately, she has gotten accustomed to her magical powers, which has made parenting her a challenge. We’ve been working hard on getting her to listen more and understand that our demands are not suggestions. It’s starting to sink in… sort of. The funny thing is that she seems to reserve this behavior for us – her new teacher has given her nothing but high praise and treats from the treasure box!

Speaking of which, if one week in is any indication, Clementine is going to rock kindergarten. She seems to be the only full-on reader in the class (though it’s hard to tell from her descriptions) and she has already completed kinder and 1st grade level math on Dreambox. She may not quite be at the level Annabelle was when she started at Travis Heights, but she is not far behind – and with a self-assuredness that her sister (or Marc or myself for that matter) couldn’t have dreamed of at this age. Marc thinks she’s on path to skipping up like big sis. We’ll see… but I wouldn’t put it past her. Clementine is up for anything Annabelle has done, is doing, or plans to do. She’s such a devoted little sister – no matter how great the day is, Clem’s reported “favorite part” is always seeing Annabelle in the lunchroom.


Annabelle, eight and two thirds and just starting 4th grade:

This kid is just SO. GOOD. She is so happy at school, has so many great friends, and loves learning so much. And she’s still using all of her free time to invent, imagine, research, design… her combination of creativity and straight-up smarts is plain delightful. Her two favorite things on earth these days are “making” (this weekend she convinced her dad to help her make a birdhouse) and riding horses (we’re still putting off lessons in favor of some concentrated camp weeks, but I’m not sure how much longer that’ll last):


I have absolutely no doubt that Annabelle will rock 4th grade just like she rocked 3rd – actually, probably more since she’ll get a full year of it (hard to believe she did 3rd in only ~3 months!). This year she wants to be on the photojournalism team again, the tech crew, and possibly choir and dance. She wants to take gymnastics on the side (my poor gigantic kids and their desire to be gymnasts!) and is continuing to plow forward in piano. And all of this, unfortunately, is on very little sleep. Poor Annabelle developed some sleep anxiety on the tail end of our summer road trip and has had a rough time falling asleep and staying asleep ever since. We’re working through a sleep workbook and talking to some child psychologist friends, hoping she’ll get back into the groove in the coming weeks.

I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that this stunning little human only has 2 more years left of elementary school. Only 2 years to overlap with her adoring little sis and let her in on all of the secrets of the world. Although, little sis seems to know some secrets of her own…


There’s nothing like a month on the road and tons of time with other families to make parents introspective about their kids. At the end of our big trip, Marc and I were more grateful than ever for the sweet, interesting, curious and fun girls we are lucky enough to parent. Sure, we had our moments (and nothing like a giant lice infestation halfway through the trip to try your patience!), but wow. These little ladies were perfect car companions and pretty remarkable house guests, dealing with no personal space of their own as we flew through 18 states in 30 days – and slept in 10 of them. This is a trip we’ll never forget – and I bet it won’t be our last.  But first… time for 9 months of “regularly scheduled programming!”


New Orleans 

Did you know that New Orleans is the most haunted city in America😧😳👻

When we got there we checked in to our HUGE still fancy but HUGE hotel. Then we went to the palace cafe and there were these cool New Orleans singers that came to our table and sung a few songs (they were really good. You should of heard them. I had a Scrumshiddlydumpshios steak and Clementine had angel’s hair pasta. After our dinner we had a bananas foster and the waiter cooked it up close to our table and in one part the flames went so high I lept back a foot. After that we walked back through the lit up night to the hotel and then went to bed.

In the morning I fooled Clem by putting no sound headphones that I wear to bed on my giant unicorn stuffed animal, tucked her in and Clementine totally thought I turned into a unicorn but then found me. Then we went down to Cafe Du Monde for some Scrumshiddlydumpshios beignets with warm hot cocoa. Then we looked down the shops and eventually made it back to the hotel where we checked out and started our drive home


I don’t think you know this but Savannah is a pirate town. To me that’s pretty cool👻😧

When we got there we went to an awesome haunted pirate cafe called the pirate house for a scrumptious lunch. It was kind of spooky. There was also a pirate chest filled with lollipops😝🍭. It turns out that when the Pirates used to go there when they had to much beer and stuff they would pass out and the other pirates would put them down a chute and they would wake up on a ship in the middle of the ocean. Once a Savannah policeman went to have a drink at the Pirates house and woke up on a ship sailing to China. It took him 2 YEARS to get back to Savannah. Later we got really good ice cream from Leopold ‘s After that we went on a walk by the riverfront. There we got Eddie (for those that do not know he is our dog) a bow tie collar and a puppy lollipop treat. Then we checked in to our fancy hotel had a warm bath after swimming in the pool of the hotel and we found out that lit the window doors open to the bathtub (in the picture below mama took a picture through the door things) and then ordered a fancy dinner and then went to bed.

In the morning we walked down a few blocks of Savannah to a coffee shop where me and Clem had croissants and she had apple juice and I had a smoothie (it was good I recommend if you ever go to Savannah eat at the sentient bean for breakfast) then we walked through the park back to the hotel. Then we checked out and left.


When we got there we went on a walk in downtown and then we met Liv and Kai and their mom Carolyn (their dad Eric was on a trip) for dinner and we saw a cool rainbow so big that I had to look through 3 windows. Then we went to their house and met their dog Rosa a tiger stripy brindle mutt and she was super cute.

In the morning we got up and played for about an hour around the house  and then went to the beach. At the beach there was SuperBig waves (and yes I created the word SuperBig) on the biggest Kai tried to use the boogie board as a shield but only I got behind but he held it from the bottom and as it tipped backwards Kai landed on top but I was trapped under and held there for almost a minute but I escaped. The waves were so big that they were practically tsunamis 🏖 😧 After the beach the parents got beer and adult stuff and the kids got frozen yogurt at dolce banana ( if you ever go there try the mint chocolate chip) After that we went home, had dinner and went to bed. 

In the morning only the Davis family went on a carriage ride to see the town of charleston. It was interesting and at the stop I got to pet a mule. After that their dad came home. After the ride we went to the marine biology lab that their dad works at and we were on a mission to catch fiddler crabs for a turtle missing 3 claws and I held a horseshoe crab. Did you know that they have blue blood and are more related to spiders than crabs. and then went kayacking to the beach and me and Liv found a dead horseshoe crab, it was a male, we also caught some tiny fiddler crabs. then we drifted down the slow current. After that we went home and the babysitter came and we played on mine craft and went to bed.

In the morning we woke up and packed our boxes and then played a little and then we left.


When we got there we met Kaylen and Noah the kids who were 11 and 8  Later we went go carting around the block and met some of Noah’s friends and then we had a Scrumshiddlydumpshios  dinner.

 In the morning we played a little more and then we went to the aquarium and saw sharks fish and turtles. And I pet a shark. It felt like leather. After that we played with Pokemon and carted again and then had dinner and went to bed. 

In the morning we got in swimsuits and went to Carolina beach and played and had lunch there (we stayed the for the afternoon) and then we went to the neighborhood pool for about 20 minutes and had dinner and then went to bed. In the morning we went to see the city. First we went to lunch and then looked around the shops and I created my own necklace with even a real shark tooth!. Then we went on a boat tour on the cape fear river and went back. Then me and Kaylen drew and Noah and Clem played in the yard after that we had dinner and dessert and watched big hero 6. 

In the morning we watched some more movies, played, had lunch and then left. Wilmington looks like a cool place to live😀

The outer banks

The outer banks is my favorite beach👍🏻🏝

When we got there we went to tortugas lie a restaurant. Which had Scrumshiddlydumpshios food and we got a seat next to a little aquarium which was cool Then we went to the beach to put our feet in. Then we made a one and a half hour drive to the hotel. In the morning we had an apple ugly. An apple ugly is a famous pastry of North Carolina. Tis also Scrumshiddlydumpshios  Then we went we went to the beach and we wave jumped dove  and made dribble castles. Then we went to the cape hatteras lighthouse the biggest made out of bricks. It was huge! Last but not least we drove to a ferry.

Cape Charles

We got there, played with Louden and Ellie like making cool forts and seeing the house and then walked to the beach where we used the floatie, played in the water and made sand and dribble castles. One of them had a huge moat and a doorway and it was hollowed on the inside. It was fun to make. After that we walked back showered ate and went on our way


When we got there we went to a good dinner place and then stayed at the refuge inn (our hotel) that even had 3 horses! 

In the morning we went to assateague island to my first wildlife refuge biking 6 miles to see horses which we did not but we did have fun on the beaches and collected shells. The beaches had soft sand. After that we went to lunch and then to the island creamery which is supposed to be a very good ice cream place and it was Scrumshiddlydumpshios. And then we went in the pool and the hot tub at our hotel. And after that we went on a sunset cruise and saw some horses and a pretty cool sunset. In the morning we had breakfast and left. 

New Jersey

When we got there we greeted uncle Rob. Then we got to the beach with Austin and Ryder and played lacrosse. And we stayed with them for a few hours at their house with a babysitter and played until late.

In the morning  we got hot bagels and more.Then we went to the beach with them again and stayed for 5 hours. Then  we got huge! ( and good ) subs and went to dairy bar a really good ice cream place for dessert. 

And in the morning we visited mamom and popop’s bench and then we left