Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Class of 2014

I'm back!  What I had planned to be a much-needed week off after Thanksgiving turned into a juggernaut of activity that left me with almost no time to blog, type, or even think.  But as many times as I fall delinquent with this site, the fact remains that I have dedicated too many hours and cataloged too many memories to let it disappear into the abyss of the Internet along with chathouses and Rickrolling.

Since we need to catch up, what better way than with our annual high school yearbook-style superlatives?  So let's look back at some highlights of 2014 , including some events I may not have shared yet!

Biggest Bully - Between January and April of 2014, my family passed around a very ferocious strain of the stomach flu more times than I dished out Pepto Bismol.  Between my sister's household, my household, and every person I encountered over the course of three months, we moaned our way through 14 rounds of digestive warfare before waving the white flag when spring came.

Best (Worst) Hair - Joel managed to take a simple "No Shave November" challenge to new heights by not shaving his beard until last April, and then removing slowly and in pieces to further embarrass me.  By the time his face had returned to normal, he'd donned mutton chops, multicolored rubber bands, and questionable mustaches.  I donned a very red face.

Cutest Sideshow - Cael debuted some top-notch biceps at his Kindergarten Circus last May.  As much as I like to separate myself from many mommy cliches, my chest felt a little tight as Cael, dressed as a bodybuilder, walked out proudly and clueless as to the fact that his muscles were around his neck.

Coolest Newcomer - Adler James Foreman was born on March 24th, 2014 at 10:34am.  Weighing in at only 5lbs, he immediately became not only the smallest family member, but the biggest deal.

Middlest Kid - Joel and I were finally able to exhale after a few weeks at home with Adler and it became clear that Graham would suffer no ill effects from being the token "middle child".  Instead of falling into the not big/not little trap, Graham created his own niche as the snuggliest member of the Foreman clan.

Most Disastrous - As if our house doesn't flood enough, last summer's flash flood brought a few inches of water to our basement and opened the, ahem, flood gates for a much needed but unexpected home renovation.  After one commercial clean-up, two new windows, one new wall, a lot of black mold, all new paint and furniture, yard grading and drainage tiling, we were left with a new basement, a lot of debt, and an ongoing investigation into the $1,000 the cleaning company stole from us.

Most Entertaining - This.  When they are not fighting, this.

Most Patriotic - Cael's cake takes, well, the cake for this one.  After considering dozens of birthday cake themes that I was dreading, (how does one make a 'water' cake?) Cael decided that he wanted an America cake for his 7th birthday, and I was more than happy to oblige.  Until about 2am, that is, when my efforts to craft Lady Liberty's likeness in fondant ended with a statue not holding her torch up proudly, but sagging to her right as if to say, "it's okay here, but you'd be better off over there".  

Cutest Couple - We've been blessed with not only three wonderful kids, but one amazing dog that is very gentle and loves the kids nearly as much as we do.  But while his love may appear equal, a special connection between Adler and Oscar seems to be developing.  Most of the time, unfortunately, that connection starts with Oscar's tongue and ends with Adler's face. 

Proudest Walker - Graham felt like an official outdoorsman last November when we attended his preschool Lantern Walk.  After spending weeks preparing performances and a handmade lantern, we marched around the woods in the dark for an hour before settling in for hot cider and s'mores.  Graham learned the value of a warm pair of gloves, and I learned that even in my zipped pocket, my phone will choose the most inopportune time to come alive and loudly play a One Direction song that I swear I didn't download.

Worst Effort - As much as I have always enjoyed creating a Christmas card to share with our family and friends, I really dragged my feet this year.  Despite getting the card printed way back in November, I discovered that there were only enough stamps to mail out the first half of the stack.  So what is to be done?  Post it here and hope there are no hard feelings.

Brainiest - Because of Adler's questionable development before birth, we have always taken a closer look at his baby idiosyncrasies.  Back in September, that concern led to us to Pediatric Neurosurgery for a skull x-ray to rule out Craniosynostosis.  But Adler wasn't done scaring the pants off of me, and just a few days before Christmas we found ourselves back at the University of Iowa for an infant EEG due to potential seizures.  We got good news from the doctor and a killer halloween costume idea for next year.

Stickiest Situation - My husband was blessed with many gifts-- one being iron-clad confidence, and the other an unstoppable desire to tease.  Perhaps no one sees this as much as Joel's students who have memorized his favorite mantra: Foreman Always Wins.  So I did what any loving wife would do and ordered 8 sheets of custom stickers to win the award for Most Creative Gifter this Christmas.  That's right, I'm a Foreman too...

Here's hoping you had a great holiday and will experience a wonderful new year!

Click here for my gift to you in 2015!

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