Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Flowers and Showers


You can tell that summer is edging out spring when the rain storms come.  Not days and days of cold unrelenting rain, like we saw this winter.  And different than the cool showers that nurture hungry spring earth as the winter thaws.  These showers are strong, steamy and fast, often accompanied by flashes and booms.  You can smell them coming on the humid air, and everything feels a little cooler when they've passed.  Sometimes the pavement steams in their wake.  

The flowers have bloomed, and then wilted, and then new flowers have bloomed again.  A wonderful fireworks display, and even five years after living in this house, I continue to be surprised each and every time a flower blooms.  Where will the flowers come?  What colors will they bring?  Some thoughtful homeowner of years bygone no doubt put time and effort into planning all this out, and here I am just sitting back and enjoying it.  One time in high school, Ben ran into my mom.  After chatting for some time, she said, "It's nice to meet you, Ben."  Ben explained that no, actually, they had met several times before.  She laughed, embarrassed, always forgetting these things.  "That's okay," Ben replied.  "That way you get to meet more people."  A quick wit, that one.  We tell the story to this day, the "first" time Ben met my mom.  And here I am getting to meet more flowers, year after year, always forgetting where and when they will come, what they will look like.  It really is better this way.

Strawberry plants are shooting towards the sky, mint is taking over the entirety of one raised bed reminding me that yes it is an invasive plant.  The babies have one tooth that has broken skin each.  Just barely, and as always with our babies, the tooth breaking skin itself has been easy peasy, but boy do I remember a cranky night or two a few weeks back!  

The babies have been stalking our forks and spoons on their journey from the plate to our mouths, looking longingly and drooling.  On a whim the other night, I mashed up some avocado from my salad, put it on my finger, and offered it to Clara, thinking she would spit it out.  She rolled it around in her mouth and swallowed it, and then started gnawing on my finger for more.  That's how it is when you're twins, number four and five in a family, I guess.  There was no ceremonial "first food," no sitting around the baby in the high chair with anticipation. Just some mashed avocado on a finger.  I guess she liked it.  Every night or two, when I think of it, I'll give them some food.  Usually some mashed up cooked egg yolk on my finger, and they have often been downing a whole yolk between the two of them.  I'm always on the lookout for more nutritionally dense first foods, seeing as how the other alternative is breastmilk, and it doesn't get much healthier than that for a baby.  Egg yolk seems like a good one, and if I can avoid getting too much eye rolling I might try to squeeze in some liver. If you look closely in that picture of Ben holding both babies, you can see that Clara is sporting some egg yolk stains.  Is it just me or are these babies growing up fast?  

I gave the kids their summer haircuts this weekend.  At the end of it all, there was a big pile of honey colored hair on our kitchen floor.  Some strands long, some curly, some short.  A pretty huge mountain of hair, actually, and three very chipper children (even Hugo, who only needed to be bribed with the promise of a "red knockem" aka hammer from Ben).  Ben thinks Lily looks like she's out a Cassat painting, and I have to agree.  Such beautiful depictions of domesticity in those paintings.  As it so happens, there's a Cassat exhibit at the National Gallery, and I think we'll have to go.

12 comments:

Rosie said...

I love how much bouncier Lily's curls are with the short hair + summer humidity! Cecilia is convinced that she needs to grow her hair long like Rapunzel, so her curls are slowly growing out and it's so sad! Luckily it looks like Mary Claire will soon take over the baby curl throne :)

Margo said...

oooh, a Cassatt exhibit! Might have to go to DC just for that.

Love your first foods approach for the wee girls :) My kids both had avocado as their first food.

Adele said...

Yes, curly hair is a mystery to us straight haired people. It's the most beautiful just when everyone else's is a disaster! I'm loving the short curls, too: I have a feeling you have plenty in your future! :-)

Adele said...

Ooh, yes, Margo, please do come and pay us a visit! Cassat and the Collins family, two birds with one stone! :-)

Irene said...

The flowers and children look wonderful! We're also enjoying the fast and flashy storms of rainy season around here.

Adele said...

I can only imagine that Haiti's storms put ours to shame! Can't wait to have you, Grace, and Robbie as part of the landscape around here again! :-)

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer said...

Your children are even more beautiful than the children in Cassatt paintings—and her children are astoundingly beautiful!

Adele said...

Thank you Melissa!

Lauren Oliver said...

Love seeing these pics and reading your thoughts on my lunch break at work- quite the mood lifter! =)

Adele said...

Now lily matches her godmother's beautiful coiffeur! :) great to hear from you Lauren!

Angela said...

We did mashed up black beans as a first food- which are also great finger food whole later on- it's funny how little ceremony these later kids get hey? my first girl got a perfectly baked flower 1st birthday cake- the second- a chocolate zucchini cake in a pan- but the trade off is that she got to eat her birthday cake- and I'm sure I didn't allow the first girl to eat more than a little taste of that beautiful cake!

Adele said...

Ooh, black beans! Great idea. Yes, I remember making Zosia a very elaborate baby mash every day consisting of protein, grains, veggies, and brewers yeast. How the mighty have fallen! :). And zucchini cake sounds just delicious to me!