Inside every turning leaf is the pattern of an older tree

Eleanor turned two last week.  There are so many things about her that I don't want to forget even as I wish these toddler days away.  I know I shouldn't do that, but I do.  I may have actually uttered the words "I wish the Goblin king would come and take you away, right now!" once or twice.  Don't worry El- I would totally brave the labrynth and face down David Bowie in lycra to get you back.

It's all about vocalizing right now.  Loud, piercing screams are usually her communication method of choice.  You haven't lived until you've experienced a trip to the grocery store with Ellie and her vocal chords.  I tune it out.  She's my fourth kid, and I'm tired.  Half the time people compliment me on my amazing patience and the other half, they glare at me for my negligence.  The eye doctor couldn't take it, and suggested I come back when she was in a better mood.  I tried to explain that there would be no better mood.  This is just how she is all the time.  But I don't think it registered.

She talks now too, thank goodness.  No one understands much of what she's saying, but it's very clear to her.

Goldfish are "foofies".  Food falls into one of three categories: fruits and vegetables are "apples".  Treats are "cokies" and everything else is "pizza".

Animals are referred to under the blanket term "ooshang", a derivative of Mustang (our dog). At first I thought "ooshang" meant ocean, but no.  Ocean is "potty".  All bodies of water, from small puddles on up are potties.

I noticed her repeating the "F-word" in the car a few weeks ago.... that F-word.  It turns out that's her new word for foot.  Which was awesome at Marley's class field trip to the beach the other day- the sand was hot, and she kept repeating, in her extremely loud voice "hot f@%&#, hot f#$%&!"  We are very popular at preschool.

Happy second birthday to my little troll.  You have turned my world upside down, but you've also changed it for the better, and I can't wait to watch you grow into yourself.  Your confidence and sense of adventure will steer you true.  I hope you never lose the openness and assertiveness with which you greet the world.

I'm excited for our days together next year, just you and me.  Got my earplugs ready:).

Love you, little one.


Waiting on summer

Eric Jr. lost his reading notebook.  In it are pages and pages of summaries he's written for the novel his class is reading right now.  I watched him all last week as he read the chapters and carefully wrote his notes, and now it's gone.  His teacher is mad at him.  We talked before bed about personal organization, and also about dealing with difficult people.  And I reminded him that there are only three weeks left in the school year!

We're planning on making up to our kids all the craziness of our lives this past year- the moving, the screaming-toddler-sister, the late nights working...all of it- with a month in Hawaii.  It dawned on us a few weeks ago, as we noticed all our neighbors making plans to leave town, that one of the perks of being a professor is that you can go anywhere your hearts desire for the summer*.  And our hearts desire to go to Hawaii, not wear shoes, and hang out with sea turtles for a month, so that's what we're doing.

Also- I hear that church starts twenty minutes late in Hawaii...

I may never come home :).

*Just to clarify- Eric has to work in the summer (and work hard, believe me), it's just he doesn't have to teach, and he was clever enough to pick a field in which his research is portable, so he can do it just as easily in a Starbuck's in Hawaii as he can in his office.