almost 5.5 & almost 2, and an overnight trip to logan


there are few remaining signs of the baby girl i used to know. elle is the most lovely, sweet, sensitive, silly little soul. her core is pure and good and kind. i'm terrified to immerse her in this somewhat ugly world; i want nothing more than to hold her close and teach her and love her and help her continue to be the tender girl she is- i don't want her to be sheltered, but i want her to grow up in such a way that she knows how rare such a gentle soul is. i never want her to lose that sensitivity. sure she's feisty and willful, but she is incredible. she cries about everything (tonight she got a paper cut and wept because it hurt too bad to even think of going to swimming lessons in the morning...). she's also strangely brave and curious- about odd things- she will watch any movie without being scared, and doesn't flinch when it comes to normal things that scare little kids. she refuses to let me choose how to do her hair, or heaven forbid, have any sort of opinion on what she wears (^^ notice her in jude's 9 mo. coat above, which is much too small for him and most definitely too small for her). she would never eat if we didn't remind/force her, and her brother passed her in weight long ago. she always loves jude who is violent and unpredictable and abusive. he hits, she cries, then she hugs him and says she loves him even though he hurts her- she's gold, i'm telling you. 


jude will be 2 in just a few weeks- 2! since our disney trip a couple of months ago, his vocabulary has grown exponentially. i mean, i'm sure few people understand him, but he tries. and we get most of what he's saying. he says "HI!!! BYE!!" to everyone he passes, and is genuinely hurt if they do not reply. my favorite moments of him lately are when i sit him down on the toilet (yes.) and squat in front of him to chat, eye-to-eye (the only time i get him still, and have his undivided attention)- we have these little conversations about anything and everything. they only last a minute or so, but they're hilarious. he looks right into my soul. he has this face he makes when he is surprised or excited- an "O-hhh!!" face he makes whenever he hears a puppy bark, motorcycle pass, or knock at the door. he usually makes this face at least once during our chats. he expresses the most overwhelming feelings of joy, and manages to jump around constantly without bending his knees. it's hilarious and confusing and impressive all at the same time. he is a pathetically early riser, just like elle. if we make it to 6am, it's a good day. as irritated as i get, i laugh whenever he lays down in bed next to me with his bottle and at the top of his lungs announces, "HI!!! hi hi hi hi hi...." and repeats that until one of us responds, "hiiii juju." he is entirely obsessed with anything related to a ball. he calls everything circular, "b-ball," and screams whenever one is in range. he loves his dad, but is a complete mama's boy. he also makes the below face mostly anytime i ask him to smile: "nooooo!"
and now about logan...

while we were in nyc last week, mike's uncle passed away. we decided to head to logan and spend friday night at a hotel so we didn't have to make the drive back and forth within such a short amount of time. (plus, we've been wanting to spend the night there for ages now.) we got a hotel last-minute (which ended up being awesome!), and barring the fact that jude and i came down with colds and were miserable, and the fact that NONE of us slept because jude chit-chatted all night, and both our kids are pathetic bed hogs (HOW DO PEOPLE SHARE BEDS WITH THEIR CHILDREN? it's beyond me)... it was a long night. anyway, it made for a nice visit, enjoyable services, and since the kids both fell asleep the next morning en-route to the funeral (shocker! tired? i wonder why?), it gave mike and i time to drive around (and around and around and around- hey, gas is $1.73 a gallon! i don't even feel guilty! that's a 50% savings from just a few months ago), and reminisce about the town we love so dearly. the services were really beautiful, and it was a nice to be with family. elle had a complete breakdown toward the end of the funeral. i was sure she was hurt since she was crying so uncontrollably, but when she finally calmed enough to tell us what was wrong she stuttered, "i just saw all the other people crying and felt so overwhelmed! i feel so sad, mommy! i'm so sad!" it broke my heart, but touched me so much that she has such a tender spirit (see!)- it was a good way to teach her again about the spirit- about life and death and all that we go through. elle kept repeating, "mommy, this was the best vacation ever!" i think all that hotel swimming and free breakfast (donuts, let's be honest) did it, but both kids were on cloud nine the whole time. 

...and just like that, january is done.

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