Friday, March 30, 2012

Rolling in the Deep (Grass)

How come children only seem to enjoy activities that are off-limits and/or dangerous?  I can tell already that Cael will be an adrenaline junkie when he's older, chasing his next fix of rushing train engines or amusement park roller coasters, and God forbid nothing illegal.  The only hope I have to cling to is that he's starting on a small scale, like we did this week when Cael announced that we were going to have a "roll-a-thon" down the small side hill in our yard.

So we rolled.

And rolled.

Rolled some more.

Kept on rolling.

And despite being dizzy and tripping over his feet, my feet and Graham's feet, Cael kept coming back for more. 

I might have looked like a fool, and we might have all been covered in grass stains, but that's okay.

That's just how we roll.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ism of the Day

"Look at me, Mommy!"

"You look silly!  Why are you dressed like that?"

"I'm a grown-up.  I'm wearing Daddy's shoes.  I'm wearing Daddy's hat.  And I made a tie like Daddy wears!"

"You look very handsome!"

"Who do you think I'm 'sposed to be?"

"Hmm, that's tough.  Are you a doctor?" 

"No, Mommy!" 

"Are you a baseball player?"

"No, I'm being Daddy!"

"Oh, I see!  You make a very handsome 'Daddy'."

"Jeez, Mommy.  That was a really easy one."

In my defense, Joel prefers a tie with ice cream on it to one covered in roasted meats.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

News Flash

When I penned my heavy-hearted obituary for the late iMac Foreman, I heard from many of you that I might have a career in newpaper journalism.  I'm not really sure if I should take that as a compliment or a suggestion that you're tired of hearing about trains and "number two" and would prefer me to move on to another career, but after the fun I had writing my first news-style report last June, I decided to give it another shot.

Good afternoon, friends.  Today is Wednesday, March 28th, and it is time for the news of the day.

Breaking News! -- Reports are just coming in that Oscar, a white Havanese dog, has gotten loose and is roaming the neighborhood.  Eyewitnesses have reported seeing the canine in yards both to the east and west of the Foreman home.  A search party has been formed and are following the trail of several piles of partially digested train track.  

Weather --  The cold front that came through on Monday seems to have passed, but resulted in several whiffle balls being blown into the neighbor's yard.  We are also able to confirm that the beautiful and unseasonable weather experienced today is here to stay for the foreseeable future.  Meteorologist Cael Foreman had the following insight to share regarding this weather phenonmenon.

"It's really beautiful outside!  Let's go ride the gator.  And we don't even need to wear clothes!"

In response to Mr. Foreman's enthusiastic recommendation, many renowned dermatologist have urged Iowa residents to continue wearing clothing as well as sunscreen to reduce the harmful damage of UV rays.  Additionally, the Foreman family would like to remind readers that the opinions of Cael do not necessarily represent the views of the entire Foreman family.

Iowa Under Attack --  Fighting persists in western Mt. Vernon today as two rival crime lords, Cael and Graham, continue their brutal and relentless battle for toy domination.  Officials have set up several interception points including the kitchen and the family room, but no arrests have been made.  Speaking on behalf of law enforecement is Mary Foreman.

"We are using all of the tools at our disposal but have not yet been able to apprehend these criminals.  Citizens should be on the lookout for both young men who are armed with makeshift weapons and considered to be dangerous.  Cael and Graham were last seen wearing striped shirts and no pants.  If you locate these alleged criminals, please contact the authorities immediately."

Education -- Two rival area schools have been recently scrutinized as the Foreman family attempts to determine whether Cael (4) and Graham (2), will attend school in the town where they reside, or in the school system where Mr. Foreman works.  The boys' mother, Mary Foreman, cites proximity to friends and church as important criteria, while their father, Joel Foreman, would prefer to have the boys in his music program when they are in senior high school.  When asked for comments, Cael Foreman plead the "eleventeenth" and Graham Foreman requested that his future school offer "bananas, cookies, and purple frogs" as part of a balanced and nutritious lunch.  Debates will likely rage well into the 2012-2013 academic year.

Follow Up -- Lastly we are proud to report that Oscar, the small and elusive family dog, has been captured and returned to his rightful owners.  The family has issued the following statement:

"Oscar!!!  Cut it out, you irritating mutt!"

The family asks for privacy as they struggle to rebuild their family after the dog's safe return.  They are also asking for assistance from area veterinarians with access to tranquilizers.

And that's the news!  Tune in tomorrow afternoon for more goings on in the Foreman Family.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Was There

As a general rule, I try to share the major events and mundane details of our lives in chronological order, lest a random post about having a baby lead any of you to think I've been concealing a pregnancy and not just the over-sized belly of a mother of two.

But every once in awhile, time gets away from me and I simply forget to share a story because it gets bumped for an "ism", a tale about the horrors of parenthood or Cael's latest social offense.  But at the beginning of March, something shocking happened that I wouldn't believe if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

Graham got a haircut, and I WAS THERE.

I'll give you a moment to soak in that information.  It took me some time to absorb it myself, and I made sure to take copious amounts of photographic evidence so that I could remember this momentous event, just in case I never got to experience it again.

His haircut was pretty straightforward.  Hair grew too long.

Paper covered rock.  Drape covered Graham.

Water made hair wet.  Scissors cut hair. 

 Mommy stood so close that the camera got sprayed.  Stylist had to ask me to step back.  If Graham were twelve instead of two, he would have rolled his eyes at me.

Daddy and Cael looked on from the sidelines.  (See how generous and forgiving I am?  See it?)

Graham appeared to age by over a year.  I felt a little sad.

But I was there.

Now who's due for a trim?

Monday, March 26, 2012


Shortly before Christmas, we had a religious experience.  In case you can't remember, we were surprised and blessed when Jesus came to Mt. Vernon.  More specifically, he came to live with us after God smartly stashed him in Joel's white elephant gift. 

Jesus available here
No, NBC, you can't use that idea for your summer line-up.

A lot has happened since then.  After his altercation with the horned beast Oscar during which he lost an arm, he was safely perched on top of the wine tower where he has watched over us and likely observed too many sinful behaviors to count.  The boys would occasionally ask to play with him, but out of fear of yet another amputation or possible decapitation, I let Jesus chill on the tower.

He likes wine, right?

As the weeks went by, Jesus got dusty and was eventually obscured from sight as I accessed and rearranged the items on top of the wine tower until we'd forgotten about the toy completely.

"MOMMY!  Oscar is chewing up Scooby Doo!"

Déjà vu, anyone?  I recognized the figurine as the same Arby's kid's meal toy that had once graced our Christmas tree as the boys began adorning it with random junk from around the house.  It, too, had been misplaced for quite some time until it resurfaced in the clutches of Oscar's jaw. 

Even though he'd already lost an ear and part of his nose, I sprung into action and yanked Scooby from the dog's mouth and did with it what I frequently do with toys in the same situation, which is to set it somewhere up high where the dog can't devour it and the kids can't torture it further.

And that is how Scooby-Doo met Jesus.

In all honesty, I didn't notice Jesus up there when I airlifted the ghost-chasing dog.  I plopped him down on the top of the tower and went about doing laundry, making lunch or trying to disable the popper in the dreaded "ball popper" toy, a device so loud and migraine-inducing that Jesus himself would likely banish it to the desert for 40 days and 40 nights.

A few days later, however, Graham began asking for something I couldn't decipher.


"Graham, don't say 'stupid', please."

"No!  Toopidu!"

"Is that a cartoon character?"

"No, Mama!" And this time instead of continuing the whine-cry-ask-whine cycle he'd invented, he pointed enthusiastically at the top of the wine tower.

"Oh, Scooby Doo!"

Recognizing what he wanted, I blindly reached on top of the structure and felt two items.  I was surprised to see our wounded Jesus there, since he's been out of sight and out of mind for so long, but I was even more surprised-- shocked, even, to pull down a perfect and completely undamaged Scooby Doo.

Wah?  There was Scooby with two completely intact ears and markings from Oscar's remaining teeth.  I sat down for a minute.  I knew that we were near Easter, and I knew that healing is kind of Jesus' thing, but these are toys and I didn't think molded plastic was really his medium.

Just as I was about to head over to the sink to make sure our water was indeed water and not wine, I reached up to place Jesus back on the tower and bumped another item.  I pulled it down to find the injured Scooby, just as I remembered him, cowering behind a bowl of artificial grapes.

So I guess it was no miracle after all, and our plastic Jesus is just that-- plastic.  But just in case, I stashed a broken watch and some busted iPhone earbuds up there.  You never know.

But wait... where did that second Scooby come from?!?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fortune 500

Joel is a music teacher, and unless you or a family member are music teachers, you probably have no concept of the appalling time commitment required of the position.  But here's a good formula you can use to determine the hours a choir director/band teacher/lesson teacher will often experience.

Cael (2.5 months) visiting Daddy at work
Pick a day of the week.  Got one?  Okay, now pick an hour.  Ready?  Now say your day and time out load.

Yep.  You'd be working then.

Joel's schedule is certainly not ideal, but he is good at his job and the main reason he is successful is because he is willing to put forth the effort needed.  But we need him too, so we've had to become creative in our ways of plugging family time in every nook, cranny and 15 free minutes in his day.  So we've created a tradition of sorts, of meeting for lunch almost every Tuesday at our favorite Asian restaurant, Nomi's, in the town where Joel works.

We catch up, each eat half our body weight in orange and sesame chicken, and crack into our fortune cookies to see what the future holds.  I'm not a superstitious person, so I don't hold the tiny slips of paper in very high regard, but we do like to see what advice the universe wants to pass along to us.  And like many people we know, we add the words "in bed" to the end of our fortune and giggle at the results.

I swear we're mature enough to have children.

We've noticed lately that some of the fortunes haven't been properly translated, leading to confusing and funny results.  Given that my Dad, sisters and I often act as the English language police, I began to collect the mistaken fortunes and added a third to the collection earlier this week.

Now, it's true that my writing is somewhat limited to diapers, toys and timeouts, but it appears as though the fortune cookie people could use some assistance in writing their fortunes.  So I took a few moments to pen some fortunes of my own, based on my experience with parenting, of course.

May your days be long, and may your mornings not begin with a knee to the groin.

Your wealth and your waistband will grow exponentially in the coming year.

You have a keen mind and a strong intellect.  And you have Spaghettios in your hair.

In bed.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ism of the Week

"I'm bored.  Can I wake up Graham?"

"No, Cael, he's sleeping.  Why don't you play with your train set?  Or read a book?  We could color again." 

"I don't want to do those things.  I want to play with the pool table."

"Nope, that room is off limits to you ever since you threw the pool balls against our antique piano."


"But I like the pool balls."

"You should play with those colored ping-pong balls Santa put in your stocking."

"I don't like those.  They are really small and not as fun."

"I think they're pretty cool."

"They're not.  I want to play with YOUR balls, Mommy.  You have really big balls." 

Um... thank you?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


"Mommy, do you remember when I shot that dinosaur in real life?  When it was in the kitchen with claws and I took my toy (Nerf) gun and shot at it and it said, "Ouch, Cael!" and you gave me a timeout because I was shooting at people like I'm not 'sposed to?"

"And then the dinosaur came after me because I guess I missed it or something, so I told it to go get Graham.  And Graham was playing with the buckets in the basement, so you covered up the dinosaur with one of those big buckets so he couldn't get away?"

"And Mommy?  Mommy?  The dinosaur was red and purple with a huge green tail and it smelled really bad like Graham's diaper!  But I like green and-- hey, green is my fav'rite color!  And the dinosaur was really scary and it was real, you know?  The dinosaur had really sharp teeth like those scissors.  Not my green scissors, your grown-up scissors on the counter.  Hey!  My scissors are green like my fav'rite color, too!"

"So what are we having for breakfast?  Can we have cereal?  I want to have-- oh, that dinosaur!!!  Did you forget about the dinosaur?  I almost forgot about the dinosaur.  He wouldn't like cereal because that dinosaur only eats bugs and candy.  They don't like breakfast stuff because it's not bugs or candy.  Did you know that dinosaurs like candy?  I knew that.  I'm a genius."

"Then the dinosaur was on FIRE!  And I have a firetruck in the backyard so me and Graham are good firemans.  So we put the fire out even though it was just a pretend fire, so you don't need to be sad.  I told Graham the fire was real and he cried so I gave him a hug, but then he hit me so I told him he couldn't be a fireman anymore and he cried again."

"Graham's just not a good fireman, Mommy."

"But the dinosaur wasn't on fire anymore, so I gave him one of my wood trains and he flew away.  But now I want that train car back.  The one with the whistle, okay?  How do I get it back?"


"Cael, I'm pretty sure none of that happened."

"Yeah.  I'm pretty sure it did."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


There's only one bad thing that can be said about a March weekend spent at an indoor waterpark.

"Cael, don't pull down your swim trunks in public!"

Okay, I guess there are two things.

The second thing is that the warm heat of an indoor park is a bit less enticing when the temperature outdoors is a balmy 82 degrees.  On any other day, I'd be spending every available moment outside, soaking up the unseasonable sunshine.  But last weekend we were happy to forego the warm March day to spend the weekend with great friends and soak up chlorinated water instead.

This trip to Grand Harbor Resort was a repeat of a trip we took two years ago when Cael was Graham's age, and Graham was a lump of belly and toes that slept almost nonstop thanks to the roar of the water and the stifling humidity inside the park itself.

Cael, on the other hand, cried incessantly at the mere thought of water in his face, let alone near his ears or in his hair.  It took more than encouragement to send him down the waterslide, or in the path of a trickle of water-- it took brute strength.

As we got settled into our river view hotel rooms this weekend, I was so hopeful that this visit would provide more actual water play, way less sleeping, fewer Little Swimmer diapers filled with "number two" and just as much laughter as the previous trip.  We dug out our swimsuits and I knew everything would be alright when Cael found a little piece of home.

"Mommy, a train.  Mommy, an engine.  Mommy, on a bridge!!"

I think it was a good omen.  Graham whipping out my bra and wearing like a flotation device?  Not recommended.

The first afternoon spent in the water was a blur.  As predicted, Cael was still very hesitant around the water and didn't want to leave the zero-grade entry and baby slide.  But Joel in his equally stubborn way wanted both of our boys to push themselves and experience the thrill of the water slides and the challenge of the lazy river, so spent most of Saturday emotionally bouncing back and forth until he finally gave in and went down the slide himself. 

"I did it!  I went down the green slide all by myself!  I'M A GENIUS!"

I'm not sure that qualifies as genius-level bravery, but I was definitely proud of him.  Meanwhile, Graham had gone solo down the slide twice, had joined a water polo team and signed up for the 2012 Olympics in London.  I think his best event will be the backstroke.  Or maybe explosive pooping.  We'll see if they get enough entrants.

The boys crashed hard that night.  I'd tucked them in under the covers with Barker and Bloose only to return from our adjoining room to find them passed out halfway through a rousing game of Twister.  I peeled them off of one another and settled into my rock hard bed for a nice night's sleep.

Right foot red.

In the morning, we had a couple of hours left in the waterpark before we had to check out of the hotel.  We spent them sliding, swimming, "hot tubbing" and inner-tubing around the lazy river before we had to head up to our room.  But before we could leave, we had to stand under the bucket.

At the top of the large climbing apparatus where the slides begin, there is a huge bucket that slowly fills with water and dumps out every eight minutes.  We had spent much of the trip avoiding the bucket dump, because getting caught under it meant losing your footing, losing a contact, or possibly losing your swimsuit.  But since we'd taken advantage of everything else the park had to offer, it was a good send-off from the Grand Harbor Resort.  And probably a guarantee that Cael never sets foot in water again.

After a nice lunch, it was time to return home and to the crazy March heat.  In the car with full bellies and their stuffed friends, Cael and Graham once again lost their battle with sleep.

Photobucket Photobucket

We had a wonderful time with great friends, and we truly felt like we'd filled our spring break with activities that we can look back on to keep us fulfilled until summer.  From our visit with Joel's brother Seth to our waterpark adventure, it's been a great spring break, and I have no regrets.

But does this look like a waterslide to you?