Last week, we savored the seventy degree weather with a quilt spread across the back yard, an ice cream cone form Hanson's Dairy, and Cruz's first experience with bare toes and green grass. Summer was in the air and warm thoughts of a break from school and days at the pool were about as clear as the hot sun on our bare skin.
But as nice as the warming trend was last weekend, we live in Iowa after all and were therefore welcomed with a weekend of forties, rain, and wind advisories. As I picked up Cruz from daycare Friday afternoon and shivered as I filled up my car with gas, I couldn't help but feel October in my bones instead of April.
But because we Iowans are about as weather resilient as it gets, I relished a weekend of sweatpants, comfort food, and movies. And just because there may have been snow flurries falling outside, doesn't mean we can't make a little Springtime inside.
...Springtime means new life, new projects, and new recipes. A pasta with red pepper, zucchini, and fresh basil leaves. A glass of chilled Stella Rosa. And a movie that made me bite all ten fingernails until they were raw (see The Next Three Days...it's a definite nail-biter).
Saturday night, I set the table with place mats, wine glasses, and CLOTH NAPKINS! And while I chopped basil and Beau boiled fettuccine noodles, Cruz jammed along to Ben Harper and curiously chomped on a stolen cucumber from the lettuce salad. He loved everything about cooking in the kitchen, but grew tired of the festivities about the time we sat down to eat. Impeccable timing. I guess I'd be mad too if I 'helped' prepare a delicious meal and didn't get my slice of the pie :). Let's just say, Cruz is no longer content watching us eat.
...New clothes sizes. Saturday morning, as I sat a jammied Cruz in his crib to play while I cleaned his room, I spent an extra half-hour sorting through his clothes. This time, I packed away most of his 3-6 month stuff, smelling the baby smell and refolding each one until they stacked just right. It seems like yesterday I was washing, folding, and carefully placing each piece into a new dresser, awaiting a new baby who would wear it. Now, as I say goodbye to the sweet little winter stuff and look ahead to plaid shorts, t-shirts, and onesies, I can't help but wonder if I'll have another little boy to wear it all someday.
...New traditions. Sunday afternoon, I decided to throw an impromptu Easter party for Cruz and Charly. We mixed enough egg dye for the entire town, munched on sweet chex mix, marshmallow Shredded Wheat nests, and jelly beans, and transformed cupcakes into adorable Easter baskets, all while Cruz played with his plastic cups in the living room, and Charly climbed up and down the stairs. And although they could have cared less about the marble-dyed Easter eggs or the satin ribbon tied around our cupcakes, it felt special to have everyone together. It's a real, down-to-earth kind of special; one that isn't made from weeks of planning, preparing, and perfecting, but a round of applause after a tower of plastic cups is knocked down, or a happy baby eating carrots next to a table filled with frosting, pipe cleaners, and green coconut.
Egg dyeing wore out the littles. They both fell asleep within minutes of each other.
I like this kind of special. Somewhere amidst Cruz's major spit-up, the green-dye-on-the-seat-cushion-catastrophe, and the egg shells in the sink, life just felt right. A messy, comfortable, satisfying right. I think the eggs speak for themselves. They're not perfect, but that's what makes them special.
(Charly learned to give kisses. Cruz tried to take a bite out of her cheek)
Unique, imperfect, art.
...A New idea of sleeping in...Although Cruz is a champ at sleeping, he hasn't received the 'weekend memo' yet. Sunday morning, I heard his soft cry at six o'clock in the morning, and just wasn't ready to get up. I rescued him from his crib, grabbed his blanket and paci, and nestled him in the warmth of our comforter next to his dad. Propped up on my pillow, he laid really still, one hand on his dad's back, one hand on my cheek. Our deep, sleepy breaths put him in a trance, and before too long, he drifted into a sweet sleep. I love these moments in the morning...the ones where life seems to slow down. I watched his little eyelashes flutter, weaved my finger into his warm little hand, and soaked in his baby scent. Moments like these are what it's all about.
...The Newness of The Easter Story. I love our Sunday morning routines. We slow down the morning, play with Cruz in bed, and drag out his breakfast. He starts getting starry eyed and sleepy about the time we leave for church, but perks up again for the opening songs, greetings, and announcements. In such a large church, you'd think you never knew who was and was not at each service; however, Orchard is beginning to feel much like the small town church I grew up in...that is, everyone sits in the same spot! With Beau's client to our left, his old secretary across the aisle, his friend, Cory, to our right, and our school's science teacher behind us, Cruz gets body-surfed for the first five minutes of church. He just goes with it, and seems rather content traveling from one lap to the next. Then, like clockwork, Cruz starts drifting to sleep during the last song before the sermon. I cuddle and sway to the music, hold him tight, and sing softly in his ear. And I always get tears in my eyes, knowing these are the moments I will always remember.
Although the temperatures, winds, and clouds didn't show it, Spring was here this weekend. It was here in the form of three-dozen colorful eggs. It was here in the form of glass of wine, a plate of pasta, and a good movie. It was here in the form of jelly beans, baby kisses, and chocolate eggs. And it was here in the form of a sleepy baby, a parade of palm branches, and shouts of 'Hosanna in the highest.'