Six.7

This girl. So delicious. As delicious as a giant ice cream cone on a 106 degree day! (That is no exaggeration. Holy summer, Austin!). But somewhat more manageable:

The heat was pretty rough, but luckily we opted for indoor camps in July – gymnastics camp, Summer Wonders (the camp for gifted kids where Clementine studied textiles and songwriting), and art camp. She liked them all, but art camp was the favorite of the month – she LOVES getting to dig into art projects and take her time carefully coloring and constructing!

One of Clementine’s personal themes, in general, is taking her time. She is not a good hurrier, and really doesn’t like it. Even in school, she does phenomenally on every single test/assignment/etc. except for the one math level-tester where the goal is to complete as many math problems as possible in the time allotted. She gets it all right… but only gets to about half of it. She can get caught up on a drawing, lego project or book for hours on end. In fact, over the past month she decided that E.B. White was her favorite author and devoured Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Webb and Trumpet of the Swan in a matter of days!! I love that she read the old Stuart Little that I read growing up. It fell apart by the end but served its duty 🙂

Clementine came out with so many thoughtful statements this month (both true and untrue), I really need to write them down. She told me that chickens can’t lay eggs unless they’re married, for example. And I love the big words she uses, especially when she uses them wrong (last night she told me what “expires” her to create the runway looks she sketches while watching her new favorite show, Project Runway Junior). And when I was shocked walking into the bathroom after she controlled her own bubble bath, she gave me this matter-of-fact “It’s soap and water, it’s not like you need to clean it up” statement that was, well, good perspective at that moment:

Plus – just – that face! I can’t take it! We truly cannot get enough of this kid.

Nine and a Half

At 9.5 years old, this kid has it all….

… but what’s it all about? After a month of working with an awesome therapist on what we thought was just sleep issues, it’s been confirmed that she is having a bit of an existential crisis. Her anxious mind races at night thinking about the fact that at some point, everybody dies, etc. In good news, this seems to be improving… and in better news, she is happy as a lark by day!

Annabelle has had the most fantastic first month of summer. Each week, each camp has been her favorite, and she’s been loving them all! She moved up to the more advanced riding group at her Rio Vista Farm camp and even secured a 1st place medal in the end-of-week show:

And her experience at the camp she’d been begging to go to for years (it starts at age 9)- Camp Halfblood, a literally camp based on the Percy Jackson series of books – was beyond her wildest dreams!

When not at camp, she is totally thrilled as long as she is concocting some scientific slime, coming up with a wild plan, practicing strength training (for gymnastics or to get on her favorite TV show – American Ninja Warrior, tied with Cupcake Wars), or building her latest version of a fort (this was how she watched a movie the other night):

She is also as committed to her friends as ever, and her ability to hang with kids of any age has maybe only grown stronger! While she will forever choose her 9 and 10 year old buds, she jumps at the chance to play with two of her biggest neighbor fans, Travis (age 5) and William (4). She was in heaven (as was he) when William asked to come to her horse show, cheered her on like crazy and even brought flowers:

What a cool age this is. Annabelle is still happy doing little kid stuff, but with such big thoughts. She has one more year in elementary school, but she is also chomping at the bit to attend her first place middle school, Kealing (crossing fingers and toes she gets in – that process starts in 6 months). She has narrowed down her zillion top interests to archery and gymnastics, where she told me her goal is “to graduate from the recreational level to the competitive level one day” (challenging but realistic). She is a shrewd savor and money maker, but she saves up for things like magnetic dart boards, not makeup (and first tries to build one herself). Her fashion sense is a combination of “warrior” and “comfortable” – and has NOTHING to do with brands or labels. And she’s lost all but 3 of her baby teeth… but isn’t quite ready to sport the middle school braces look. Her months as a kid (and not a tween & beyond) are numbered… and we’re savoring every minute of them.