Eight.1, Eleven.1

These girls have had quite an exciting first month at their newly minted ages! First I’ll discuss a certain 8 year old:

I’m very happy to say that Clementine’s worries have gotten a little less worrisome lately. Maybe it’s the therapist, maybe the phase is waning… all I know is we will take it! We’re getting less “Why do humans destroy the earth” and more “Annabelle gets mad when I borrow her stuff but then she borrows my stuff without asking” – I had to explain that our nighttime ritual is called “Worry time” not “Tattle time.” I haven’t seen too many tears in the past month… with the exception of the rollercoaster ride that has been her new loft bed.

Begged for, carefully chosen and then put together for hours, she loved everything about it. Except for when she tried to sleep in it. The mattress feels funny, the walls feel to constraining… and now she’s SO SAD because she wants a loft bed but can’t sleep in it and her old bed broke and now she doesn’t know what to do because she wants her old bed but she wants her loft bed but she will never sleep again but but but but…..

She’s currently sleeping on her old mattress under the bed (so far not hitting her head on the built in desk) and I think we’ll give sleeping up top another go over spring break.

Other than this, Clementine is busy with school (the half 2nd grade/half 3rd grade thing is great in theory but proving to be tough logistically), with extra curricular activities (she thinks she wants to switch from gymnastics to ice skating but hasn’t quite decided so is doing both for a couple months), with biking (new bike for her birthday – she LOVES it!), and with turning her Whatacorn business into a Whatacorn website, which has been SUCH a fun project for me to work on with her! (not quite ready for primetime but we’ll let you know when it is). In other words, it’s been a nonstop month for our sweet girl!

And then there’s this fabulous tween:

What you are seeing here is a pic from Archery Nationals, where Annabelle competed this past weekend. She went in confident despite being sick and not practicing the week before (and not really kicking up her practicing in general over the past couple months), and she started off strong. Unfortunately, things took a tough turn and she lost her focus, lost her nerve, and kind of choked in the second half of the competition. But her sweet older buddies came to the rescue, sitting with her, encouraging her with every arrow, and regaling her with their own choking stories – it is definitely a part of archery and by the end, I was thrilled when the whole experience made her want to practice more, not less!

One reason I was especially nervous as things went south was because poor Annabelle started out January with some pretty severe anxiety attacks. First it was about a new elective, then it was about a different class, then it was about… anything that swirled into her brain when she woke up in the morning or went to bed at night. She was getting top grades (seriously, like straight 100’s) and still worried about academics… and it quickly became clear that this was about her own anxiety, not some external force. It was quite a shock after an amazing first semester (and literally 2 days after the epic celebration that was her birthday party!).

Thankfully our fantastic therapist (who was already working on Clementine) had time to take Annabelle back in (the first time since she had those sleep problems at age ~8) and it has definitely been helping. But it is also reminding us that no matter much Annabelle is winning at life, her anxiety will likely show itself to her every few years… probably forever. We’re so glad to have someone helping her find the tools to manage it.

While not specific to one kid or the other, another notable and fun highlight of this past month was Gramma and Grampa Charlie visiting! They got to watch Clem ice skate and do gymnastics, ride her new bike, and more. They didn’t get AS much fun time with Annabelle since she came down with a pretty rotten fever upon their arrival, but there were still plenty of quality experiences… like trying out conveyer belt sushi, meeting Winston the paper mâché horse, etc. We love when they visit and can’t wait to see them again this summer!