Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Awkward Mom vs. Priorities

As if we didn't already know that hers were messed up.

So, our babysitter came over tonight. My house looks like this:

Did I ask her to play with the children, so that I could clean? Unpack? Find the missing checkbook? Learn how to cook? Figure out world peace? Take up knitting? Maybe break down a few boxes? Why am even posing these questions? We all know the answer:

Nope. Awkward Dad and I went out for chili cheese fries and saw Rock of Ages.

Because I have my priorities in order. It might be backwards order....which is still technically an order...of sorts.

I have spent the week in heaven, Readers, and I have many a tale to tell you. We have walked to the pool, twice! We have met the neighbors; they seem nice! (Didn't intend that rhyme, but I kinda like it.) We have played in the yard. We went to the farmer's market and Excellent Mom bought chard. (OK. Forced that one.) Yesterday I felt downright European; we walked to Trader Joe's (By the way, check out Crunchy Mom's Ode here.) and I bought stuff for dinner, took it home, and cooked it. OK. Burned it. But it was an attempt and I have high hopes for this kitchen, Readers. I can't exactly see the kitchen over the boxes, but those hopes are there....just gotta find them.

I am having too much fun. I love this house! I love our neighborhood! I am so busy being in love that I can't unpack. No, that isn't quite true. I did unpack somethings:

It's all about priorities, right?

The location may have changed, but the awkwardness remains. Tune in soon to hear about our house adventures. There will be plenty and they will be awkward. We always have our awkward priorities in order, we promise!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Awkward Mom and Princesses

Costumes count, but they never conform.

So, I am sitting here, watching Super Preschooler play princesses. Princesses is a favorite game of the under 4 set, and it raises its tiara-laded head again around age 14, although the dresses seem to get shorter for some reason. Anywho, I digress. My real reason for telling you about this is to point out how versatile "playing princesses" can be. If I close my eyes, I can see a castle full of them.

Marvelous Preschooler flounces nearby in a dainty flutter of satin and sequins that stands in stark contrast to the screaming orders she flings to her minions. That her minions are imaginary, some passing ants, or her friends, who are actively ignoring her, bothers Marvelous Princess not a wit. Princesses are above such things. Her dresses are plentiful and tend to change at a rapid rate, leaving one to wonder if Marvelous Princess has her very own fairy Godmother, poofing like a Mad Hatter, hiding behind that tree. Her feet, wrists, and hair are all bejeweled and it hurts a little to look directly at her, which is as it should be. At least, according to Marvelous Princess.

Excellent Preschooler dances by in a blur of color and song. Because her mother has an eye for these things, Excellent Princess could be wearing a dress-up dress or her own dress, one can't quite tell. The elegance is just always there, swirling out from her in perpetual dance. Her sweetness creates a cloud around her, and yes, it totally smells like strawberries. I keep looking behind her for 7 dwarfs, a parade of woodland creatures, and the entire Disney storyboarding team, but they are probably really good at hiding. She is belting something from the Lion King to the 2 giraffes she is rocking to sleep, and her curls are swaying to the music, covering her "babies" in a gentle cocoon of fiery red hair.

Awesome Preschooler buzzes by on a mission of extreme importance, 18 toys piled into a basket draped over her arm. She is wonderfully careless to her tulle and lace and doesn't seem to notice her hem trailing into the mud. Awesome Princess has other stuff on her mind; she has friends to help. She shouts hello to the passing birds, boosts her friend up a slide, sings a ditty to a neighbor dog, and hurries off on another mission of mercy, re-skinning her knee in the process. Awesome Princess is no idle beauty. That she is a beauty is apparent in endless eyes and the thickest, shiniest hair ever, but she is not sitting in front of any mirror. No, Awesome Princess is on the move, and her many bruises and scraps will tell you just how much she loves her friends.

Super Preschooler is looking for crowns. Not for himself, mind you. His is sitting on his head already, jauntily jutting to the left. No, Super Preschooler is hunting for his fellow princesses. Crowns. Crowns. He repeats it like a spell, pushing up the tattered sleeves of his light blue dress-up dress to demonstrate that he means business. The poor thing looks so much like Cinderella (pre-ball) that I want to cry. But he claims the ratty old dress I bought for 2 bucks at that church rummage sale is "gorgeous." His quiet confidence totally pulls it off, even the trailing ribbon that the cat is chasing.

Princesses are always in a dress. Super Preschooler is very insistent on this rule. (He also has very particular thoughts on crowns, clearly.) But Princess Preschooler could give a fig what your dress looks like; brand-new, Disney-sanctioned, Grandmother-sewn, your everyday dress, school dress, church dress, Daddy's shirt, an artfully draped drape, or barely-held-together rags. He is down with whatever you want to wear, as long as you let him find you a crown. And maybe some bracelets. A ring or 2. Some pretty necklace....

Princesses (according to Disney) are beautiful, resourceful, and generous. They are curious, good, and forgiving. They are kind to animals. They like shiny things. They aren't afraid of a little danger. They are covert superheros, hiding behind a frothy confection of silk and sugar; don't underestimate them. Once properly accessorized , they are ready for all the adventure any crabby old witch (or mommy) can concoct.

What's that? Oh, you thought Awkward Mom was going to be offline until next week. Well, I can understand that, given that she told you just that. Well, the move went very well (that post is coming) and they discovered that the current cable feed will be turned off the day that their cable is turned on. So, they are stealing it. Yes, well, let's not linger on that fact and just enjoy that fact that Awkward Mom is blogging once again!

Oh my. Just what happened at this ball of yours, Super Preschooler?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Awkward Mom vs. Moving

Go west, young Awkwards!

We are in the process of moving into a house! Readers, a house. Anyone who has read my thrilling ode to stairs knows that it is time to move. I can't even tell you what a mess this apartment is right now. Most of our stuff is at the house thanks to the Awesome, Excellent, Wonderful, and Phenomenal Families. (It pays to have superhero friends.) But we are sleeping here at the apartment, as we are renting a truck tomorrow to move our furniture. It is wild. I can't find knives, combs, Windex. But most disturbingly, I can't find my corkscrew.....

But no need to fear, Awesome Mom is bringing hers over later, and we are gonna have a little wine to celebrate the new house and fortify for tomorrow's move extravaganza. I may have a little extra to cope with the fact that I am going to be without you for a couple days, Readers. Our Internet won't be set up in our new lair until next week sometime! I know. I know. How on earth am I going to survive without you. Without Pandora. Without Amazon. Without imdb. No idea. But I am gonna call on my inner reserves and muddle through. And probably drink more wine.

Back soon, Readers! But while we are gone, maybe you could ponder and come up with a name for our new lair! The Batcave is taken. Stark Tower doesn't really suit a ranch-style house. And Fortress of Solitude is just laughable....Fortress of Screaming, maybe. We are leaning toward the Awkward Asylum, thoughts?

The Supers with the only toys left in the apartment, which look plenty to me. Maybe I just won't unpack the other 857847584899.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Awkward Mom vs. Neighbors

Oh Readers, just when you thought it was safe to walk around your house in your underwear....

OK. So, it is late, but I have to tell you about the awkward shenanigans that just went down. The thing is, our trips to and from the Special Olympics (Shout out to Uncle Awkward on his Gold Medal!) were so awkward-free that I was starting to relax. I was thinking, "Hey, Awkward Mom, maybe you are misnamed. Maybe you have a handle on this whole motherhood thing. Maybe you can start to congratulate yourself and your parenting skills, once in awhile. Could be that you even have a modicum of grace somewhere in there." Sigh. Yes, well, you all know that I shouldn't have even opened my awkward mouth. Well, I thought it. Opened my awkward brain? That sounds weird. OK. OK. I'll get to the point.

It is 9:36 and no one is asleep. Awkward Dad, who has been fighting a stomach thing since we got home, is simultaneously moaning and trying to write a note for work. Super Baby's tooth has finally broken through and the only thing that seems to help is gnawing on my finger. The Super Boys have decided that their room "looks scary" with nothing in it (most of our apartment is packed into the Tower of Boxes in the dining room and it is leaning dangerously to the left), so they have decided to go to sleep in our bed. And by go to sleep, I mean spill an entire bottle of water on my side of it, fling themselves onto the bed from the chest across the room, and sing what sounds like sea shanties at the top of their lungs. The kitchen has exploded, there are Cheeries on every flat surface of the house, and I am screaming for everyone to be quiet.

About 9:45, the boys are winding down, if a little damp, and I am settled onto the couch, glass of wine in one hand and the other hand in Super Baby's mouth. I am watching MobWives on Netflix. (Hey, do I come into your Queue and judge you?) I breathe a sigh of relief and gasp with horror at Renee's fur coat, and then there is a knock on the door.

Now, the yelling 10 minutes ago was pretty intense, so I pause the show and am gearing up to tell our downstairs neighbors (who think we stomp too much and let our children stay up too late...and they have a point) that I am sorry and we are moving in 3 days and would they like some of the jam I just canned (upcoming post, I promise). My geared-up speech dies on the vine, when I open the door to 2 adorable Mormon girls. Now, how did Mormon girls get into our building and why are they trying to convert me at 9:49, you ask? And if you didn't, you should.

Well, a little back story. We live across the hallway from an apartment that is rented by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (Super Preschooler thinks Jesus actually lives there because they have a picture of him on their door.) We have a rotating parade of Mormon youth, on their mission year, living there, and they are lovely neighbors. They borrow sugar from time to time, are always taking out our garbage when I leave it by the door, and completely lose it over Super Baby every time they see her. They are great kids and we have reached an unspoken understanding about religion. When a new pair of them move in, I always make them some banana bread to ensure that they come over to thank me and see the large picture of the Virgin Mary that I have in our front doorway. We are like an ecumenical council over here, it is great.

OK, well, no one needs sugar. What they do need is to borrow the phone. Apparently, they only have a cell and they lost it somewhere on campus. Well, without thinking, I usher them right in and hand them ours. And step on a Lego. And notice the Super Baby is falling off the couch. And look down and see that I am still wearing the too tight Captain America shirt that Super Preschooler bled on earlier today. And chase Super Cat away from taking a swipe at their tempting-below-the-knee-skirts. And realize that a box just fell off my moving pile. And take in the full extent of my messy house in their frozen, polite faces. Then I look past their faces to my television, which I have paused on Drita, clubbing, in a leopard-skin dress, "assets" all over the place.

I am trying not to eavesdrop, as they huddle in the doorway, under the Holy Mother's picture, and I am failing. It appears they might miss a prayer meeting, due to the phone mix up and that sounds serious. I start picking up toy cars, playing with Super Baby, and making all kinds of ruckus in the hopes that they don't turn around and see the ode to perdition that is paused, mid-swig of what appears to be tequila, on my television. I don't even think they have a television. I have moved onto picking up Cheerios when I hear the toilet flush. Oh. No.

You see, I thought that Awkward Dad was in the office, safely working. Nope. It appears that he is in the bathroom and will now leave said bathroom, in plain sight of everyone in the living room. This would not be a big deal, but I know for a fact that, unless a magical wardrobe has poofed itself into our bathroom and that suddenly Awkward Dad can read my thoughts, he is gonna walk out of there the way he walked in: in nothing but his underwear. I somehow teleport to the bathroom door in time to fling myself in front of him. He is momentarily quite pleased to have me so close, until I frantically whisper something that sounds like "Mormons. Underwear. Don't wanna go to hell." He nods, walks backwards down the hallway, mostly hidden by me and my waving arms, and dives into the office. I slam the door and saunter back to the living room like that didn't just happen, and we all silently agree to pretend that it didn't. But I see them nervously glancing up at Mary to save them. Heck, I understand. I have been praying since I realized that I am wearing jeans with spit-up on them, have no idea if I brushed my hair today, and can hear Super Preschooler talking about zombies from the bedroom. I do NOT need a visit from DCFS on top of everything else I have to do this week.

They finish using the phone and all but flee into the hallway. I am all solicitous and friendly, but it probably looks all creepy and weird. I offer them our phone anytime they need it. They mumble that they might need it tomorrow at 8, and I say "no problem," while giving my best June Cleaver smile. But it probably looks more like the Joker. I close the door, thank Mary for her help, and return to the couch. Super Baby is indignant that she doesn't have a finger to chew on. I flip MobWives back on and relax into my personal Sodom and Gomorrah for exactly 4 seconds. Wait. Did they mean 8 A.M.?

Yikes! Well, Awkward Mom needs to get to bed if she is gonna be awake and actually wearing pants at 8 in the morning. Wishing you all a good night, free of shaming neighbor visits and full of trashy TV.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Awkward Mom vs. the 3 Ts

Troubles tend to come in threes......

Point proven.

We are dealing with travel, tummies (as in the upset kind), and tramps (as in that is what we are gonna be, if I don't get my act together and pack up this house)! I'll deal with that later though because right now, T number 1 needs to be dealt with. We are off to cheer Uncle Awkward on in the Illinois Special Olympics. I have my cheering section mostly ready to go:

Their technique might need a little work....

Have a awesome weekend, Readers! I am sure our will be Terrifically Troubled and Awesomely Awkward. Tune in next time to hear about it!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Awkward Mom and the Awkward Symbol

Readers! Check it out:

My ally, Professor PHD, made it for me! She (and it) are so awesome, right? I know!

What's that? Why yes, that is a photo of a scan that I made off of the Word Document she sent me. I couldn't figure out how to make it show up here in Blogger. I did said she is awesome, not me.

So, anyway, here is what I am thinking: How about someone figure out how to tape this thing to a spotlight? Then I just need to get myself a Commissioner Gordon to shine it into the sky whenever awkwardness is a'foot. That way I will know where my particular skills are needed at all times! Good plan? Good plan.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Awkward Mom vs. Poetry

Oh, Awkward are NOT Emily Dickinson....or a 13 year old goth, who thinks she is Emily Dickinson.

Baby Girl,
be the bee.
Of course, you flower,
but I know that you can fly.

To be fair, it would be hard to not write poetry about that face.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Awkward Mom vs. Stairs

Now, just so you know, some villains are just villains; annoying but easily defeated. This is not that kind of villain. This is a tale of a Villain.

I am packing because we are moving in 2 weeks, and, in classic awkward fashion, we are going to be out of town next weekend. It is a sea of boxes (thanks again Wonderful Mom!) and toys and tape and chaos over here. I seriously think the boys just packed the baby, so I don't have long. But I just have to tell you about the Villain (oh yes, no joke, capital V) that I have been dealing with for over a year and am about to jettison from my rouges gallery forever! The Stairs.

Yes, they are always creepy and dark; they are Villain Stairs.

We live on the third floor, so, for all you math whizzes out there, how many flights of stairs is that? Three! That is right; the Count would be so proud of you. Now, I believe I have mentioned what a tricky villain three can be, so just picture the amount of damage three can do, when in stair form. In and of itself, three flights of stairs are pretty easily defeatable, but when are superhero moms ever in and of themselves?

Here is the trick to understanding what I am talking about: picture me as an action figure or Barbie doll. OK. Stop laughing. Are you OK? Need some water or something? That's better. With me now? OK, so, let's say that the everyday version Awkward Mom (who comes standard in a pair of jeans, stained t-shirt, and tennis shoes) battles the stairs solo, like when getting the mail or something. She would bound down and up the stairs, no problem. Picture it? Good.

Now, let's add some accessories, shall we?

Laundry version Awkward Mom comes in standard attire, with a laundry basket with hole, trailing socks from said hole, giant pile of onesies and toddler jeans, and bottle of laundry detergent (with fun feature of always being left upstairs mysteriously). This version of Awkward Mom also has huffing, puffing, and screaming up the stairs to "stop messing with the door!" sound effects.

School-day version Awkward Mom comes in standard attire with half-awake eyes, sloshing can of diet Pepsi, baby action figure*, toddler action figure*, preschooler action figure*, bag of carefully selected and nutritious looking snacks for school, Preschooler's show and tell item, and a 500 pound diaper bag, which contains, in no particular order, 4 different changes of children's clothes in 3 different sizes, Ziploc bags, 6 diapers, chapstick, sunscreen, bag of unhealthy snacks the children really eat, hand sanitizer, 3 toy cars, the Lorax (the book, not the actual guy), a Baby Bjorn, jar of peanuts, 2 child-sized sunglasses, cell phone, container of wipes, bandaids, wallet, and spare pair of earrings. This version of Awkward Mom has huffing and puffing action, plus 10 different vocal phrases, including: "Come on; we're late!" "Why didn't you go before we left the apartment?" "Leave that ant alone!" "Go down backwards; you don't want to break your neck!" and "For the love of all that is holy, will you please hurry up!"

*Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler action figure sold separately, for a million dollars and priceless amounts of worry and love.

Park version Awkward Mom comes in standard attire with school version's diaper bag, plus a gigantic and unattractive sunhat, 3 bottles of water, 2 kites, a jug of bubble solution, and 4 new phrases, which are: "OK, new rule; everyone has to carry their own stuff!" "Well, the baby is exempt from that rule." "I don't care if you think that is unfair." and "Super Toddler, if you don't come down the stairs this instant, we are leaving without you!"

Pool version Awkward Mom self-consciously wears a baggy pregnancy swimsuit from last summer with a worn sundress and flip-flops with a hole in them. She is already sweating and covered in a sunscreen sheen, and her hair is exploding out of her ponytail. She carries the pool bag, which contains, in no particular order: 3 extra swim diapers, Ziploc bags, 3 dry children's outfits in 3 different sizes, 6 diapers, sunscreen, strawberries, water bottle, pool pass, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, bandaids, bug spray, animal crackers, a toy shovel, 2 smashed granola bars, 4 towels, eyeglass container, cell phone, wallet, and container of wipes. She has extreme huffing and puffing action, yelling action, and 3 new phrases, which are: "Super Toddler, I am not kidding, get down the stairs, right now!" "Because Mommy isn't the kind of Mommy who wears a bikini, that is why." and "Are you guys sure you wouldn't rather take a long bath instead?"

Readers, I gotta go, these boxes aren't going to pack themselves, and it appears, that while we were hanging out, some of them actually unpacked themselves, with a little toddler help. Better motor, but make sure you watch out for the Stairs. He is a Villain with a capital V, for sure.

Awkward Mom will be all finished with the Stairs in less than 20 days, but someone needs to tell her that she might want to think about adding some exercise into her routine, as a result. The Stairs are about all that she is getting these days and, if you have ever seen the woman eat, you would know that she is gonna be dealing with a different Villain altogether, if she doesn't figure something out. Oh well, we'll deal with that soon enough. See ya later: Same Awkward Time, Same Awkward Channel.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Awkward Mom vs. Gardens

It should surprise no one that awkwardness is passed down the maternal side of the family tree.

Let's talk about Awkward Grandma! (And by Awkward Grandma, I am, of course, referring to my mother. Awkward Dad's mother is sweet and great, and even if she's not, there is no way on earth I am going to talk bad about my mother-in-law on the Internet, despite the very very slim chance that she will ever see this. Just want my Thanksgivings to be as polite as possible, thank you very much!) So, Awkward Grandma; here she is:

I know. The awkwardness I got in spades. Her beautiful bohemian-ness, she kept for herself. And yes, I am the scowling baby she is gazing adoringly at; Awkward Baby.

My mother is adventurous, generous, and curious. She is many an -ous adjective, but mostly she is fabulous. My childhood was a happy, Muppety, autonomous romp, and, while I think she was assisted by the fact that it was the 80s, most of the credit goes to her. My mother is just fun. She isn't afraid of mess. Ask her to join you on whatever crazy scheme you have going on and she's there, with snacks. The woman loves Halloween and decorates her house like she is selling tickets. (We still make her tootsie pop ghosts every year.) She is typically reading about 6 books at once, and belongs to no less than 3 book clubs. The woman will not sit still and insists that we yell her Trivial Pursuit questions to her in the kitchen, so she can "get a jump on the dishes." She cooks like a house on fire; flying garlic, milk sloshing everywhere, hands flying over burners as she dances along to the Clancy Brothers that are always on in her kitchen. And the woman does not hold to the rule that you should cook something once before you make it for company; no, her dinners are typically 4 courses that she has never made before, some that we would happily never see again. Needless to say, birthdays in her household are an event; ask Awkward Dad about his southwest-themed one, complete with giant cacti and a human-sized Buffalo cut-out. But I think my favorite birthday memory was my mother's 50th; we spent the morning at Graceland and the evening of it drinking something called "Swamp Juice" at a Juke Joint outside Lafayette, while she sang happy birthday to herself, along with the entire bar and a very loud Zydeco band.

Here is really all you need to know: my mother's horse's name is Dante's Inferno, but she rarely rides him, preferring to feed him entirely too many treats and watch him "shimmer in the sun."

Here is Dante shimmering, Super Preschooler leaving, and my mother's heart breaking that she has yet to have a horse lover among us. She has high hopes for Super Toddler, who 10 seconds before this had his hand in Dante's mouth. We'll see....

Now, I know what you are thinking, Readers. You are thinking, "Man, I am hungry." Oh wait, that is me. No, what you are thinking is, "She sounds fabulous, Awkward Mom, not awkward. Are you sure awkwardness doesn't descend from the paternal side?" Oh yes, Readers, I am sure.

My mother trips. She drops things. She loses something important (like glasses) every single time she visits me. But the most awkward thing about my mother is her gardening style. (wait long enough, I am will eventually and awkwardly get to the title...)

My parents recently moved to an enormous house on 5 acres of land, just outside Freeport. They did this just as most of their friends are downsizing to smaller places, which is awkward in and of itself, I suppose. Because my father is still working in Chicago, they also maintain their Evanston house, which my father and middle brother trash like a pair of frat boys, which is also incredibly awkward. But I am here to talk about gardens. My mother and youngest brother have made the permanent move to Freeport and, in addition to watching her horse and monitoring an entire herd of cats, she has decided to garden. Like really garden, not just a couple pots in the kitchen, like she used to. She has enlisted the help of her sister, Aunt Awkward, who farms for real and has a garden roughly the size of Central Park, and we got to be there for the planting this year!

Now, last year, my mother decided (sometime in June) that weeding wasn't for her, so most of her garden didn't make it. Several glorious pumpkins that had taken root in her compost pile survived and made the trek to Michigan to delight the Supers, but everything else? Nope. She has high hopes this year, and my aunt is helping by making the rows incredibly wide and easy to navigate.

First step: Aunt Awkward and Cousin Awkward haul their enormous rototiller out of their truck and prepare the soil. The Supers watch in fascination for awhile because it is noisy and big (2 things they both like), but eventually they decide they too want to play in dirt, so they do this:

No, that isn't my mother's garden. That is just a huge pile of dirt next to her house she feels no need to explain. The boys were in heaven; making dirt roads, discovering worms, little boy bliss. Like the boots they have on? Super Preschooler's are your standard issue Sponge-Bob, but Super Toddler's are sparkly glam boots that we think were intended for a baby girl. They were the only one that fit and, well, they fit him in other ways too. Everyone that knows him knows that Super Toddler is a rock star.

Rototilling takes a long time, so I gave Super P. his sand toys and my mother gave Super Toddler itty bitty gardening tools. (Yes, she is way cooler than me.) Here he is, showing us the difference between a spade and a rake:

About the time their pants become more dirt than pant, Aunt Awkward finishes rototilling and we start Step Two; planting. This is also, incidentally, the last step. Aunt Awkward brings out 6 hearty tomato plants that she has been growing in her house and my mother brings out the 2 of hers that didn't die. They plant these and let the Supers give them some water. It soon becomes clear that this wasn't the best idea and that the young plants are in danger of drowning. Aunt Awkward solves this by telling the Supers to go water the dandelions in the lawn; now the tomatoes are safe and the lawn will be weed-free in about 10 minutes. That their dirt-encrusted pants are now mud-drenched pants is just an unfortunate side-effect, I suppose.

We plant a row of onions, a row of beans, and a row of marigolds; all from Aunt Awkward's stash. Then my aunt asks to see the seeds my mother bought. My mother pulls out 13 different types of pumpkin seeds, 9 types of gourds, something called "Harvest Mix," and a packet of "Baby Boo Pumpkin Seeds" that appear to be solely for Super Baby. Aunt Awkward, whose garden could feed the whole of Europe for months, just stares of her. My mother blithely laughs and says, "Look at this one! It's called Yugoslavian Fingers; what on earth do you think those look like?" It is quickly apparent that she has chosen her seeds completely based on weird names. I can think of worse reasons, but I can NOT think of any reasons more awkward.

The garden was planted in no time flat and Awkward Grandma called yesterday to tell us that "Super Preschooler's pumpkins are already coming up!" She had no answer when we asked her how her weeding was going and changed the subject to ask if it was too early to explore horse-riding lessons for Super Baby. Maternal side, Readers, it is pretty clear.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Awkward Mom vs. Goodbyes

We here in the Awkward Family are incredibly blessed to know many a Fairy Godperson. (Fairy Godpeople just doesn't have the same ring, does it?) Some bring assistance or understanding. Some bring us laughter and joy. Some bring us candy. But all of them help us through the rocky, rollicking, often ridiculous road that is parenthood. Today one such Fairy Godfather left us. Left us way too soon and left a gigantic hole where his generous and thoughtful presence once was. Luckily for us, since he was (and still is) a rock and roll Fairy Godfather with a fabulous sense of style, he also left us some priceless memories and one impossibly awesome onesie that has been worn by every Super and always manages to make me look like a far cooler Mom than I really am.

Thank you, Rockin' Fairy Godfather. Thank you for wrapping my children in your stylish awesomeness. Thank you for wrapping my children in your love.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Awkward Mom vs. Nap Blogging

Once again, Awkward Mom has overestimated how much you really want to know about her...

So, there are 2 ways I blog. One is night blogging, which can also be called: Awkward-Dad-on-call, freedom-fueled, one-eye-open, one-ear-cocked-towards-the-nursery, Pandora-blaring-something-not-child-appropriate, keeping-all-the-candy-for-myself blogging. This blog style usually results in more-rambling-then-usual blog posts that I edit to death the next day, while marvelling that marvelling is really spelled with 2 Ls. This blog style is currently on hiatus due to some ridiculously late bedtimes around these parts and Awkward Dad's insistence that we actually spend time together when the children finally do fall asleep. (I am not a huge fan of "spending time together," when his definition appears to be "watching" a movie on the couch and indignantly protesting that he isn't sleeping when woken up , but we all make sacrifices for our marriages, eh?)

The other way I blog is nap blogging; which can also be called: set the timer and write like crazy for 10 minutes, then set the timer and run around doing all the stuff that needs doing around here for 10 minutes. Wanna be all meta and see what I mean?

OK, so in the last 10 minutes I change Super Baby's diaper, put her on the floor, change Super Toddler's diaper, put his pants back on with both legs in one pants leg, fix that and get kicked for my trouble, put him in the crib, trip over Super Baby who is somehow half under the crib, pick her up, ignore the air-raid siren coming from the crib, walk to the door, get hit in the back of the head with a Cookie Monster, make a mental note to explore early admission to Little League for Super Toddler, close the door and trip over Super Preschooler who is inexplicably playing in the hallway, tell him to move, tell him not to go into the nursery, have pointless argument with him about why he can't go in there, let him go into there to get some toys quickly, remind him repeatedly what quickly means, get heart broken when Super Toddler smiles and asks to get out of the crib, hurry Super P. along by setting down Super Baby and carrying 14 dinosaurs into the living room, set them up on the coffee table, turn on Dinosaur Train, and breathe a sigh of relief. Then, go racing into the nursery and rescue Super Baby, who is now half under Super P.'s bed. Get heart broken yet again by Super Toddler's entreaties to get out of the crib. Close door and make mental promise to not open it again until the screaming ebbs or the neighbors call to complain. Set Super Baby in the swing and actually remember to buckle her in. Congratulate self. Carry laundry downstairs to realize that I forgot the detergent. Run back upstairs to get it. Get Super P. a drink, check on Super Baby, stare into space, remember the laundry, and run downstairs to start the wash. Come back upstairs to a shrieking timer. Write this paragraph and spell check it. Only 2 misspellings; congratulate self.

Alright, in these 10 minutes I checked on a sleeping Super Baby, a sleeping Super Toddler, and a Dinosaur-Train-entranced Super Preschooler. Nap-time trifecta! (Side note: How clever is the combination of dinosaurs and trains?! All they need to do is add Princesses and they would have the Toddler Trinity covered.) I strip the bed, slip on the pillows and fall over, while down there I decide that I really should clean up that cat vomit under the bed that has been there so long that it has completely hardened, get up to get a paper towel, get sidetracked and unload the dishwasher, watch Super Baby have a particularly active dream and get concerned that it might wake her. It doesn't, so I return to the bedroom to Fabreeze the bed, which I spray at exactly the moment a nice gust of wind blows in the window, go to the bathroom to wash Fabreeze out of my mouth, notice that the sink is very dirty, go to look for cleaner and start organizing the closet instead. Only stop when the timer goes off. Come in to type this and am interrupted twice by Super Preschooler: once to start another Dinosaur Train and once to kiss a stuffed frog that apparently isn't a prince. 6 misspellings; I suppose Fabreeze doesn't count and apparently trifecta isn't a real word.

For the next 10 minutes, I decide to check my email and really reply this time. I get distracted by an article about the 10 most famous unsolved crimes, which leads to other articles about the following: Jack the Ripper, D.B. Cooper, and a bank heist in Japan. Freak out when the timer goes off and curse because now I have to type that I just spent 10 minutes dorking around. No misspellings but Blooger wants to change dorking to forking. Forking? Is that a thing?

For the next 10 minutes, I run downstairs to put the clothes in the dryer and the sheets in the washer, forget a dryer sheet, run upstairs to get it, change the Netflix to Angelina Ballerina for Super Preschooler, get drawn into a conversation about how yes, boys can be dancers too but they aren't called ballerinas, have no good answer for why this is, sit there and think about it for awhile, Google it, and find this answer:

"In English speaking countries, most male ballet dancers are called ballet dancers. Most female ballet dancers are called ballet dancers. Only ONE top dancer in a company is called a ballerina. The male counterpart for this is Danseur Noble. Ballerino is the masculine form of the word ballerina which is Italian, but nobody outside of Italy uses that. Sometimes just plain "Danseur" is used for a male ballet dancer. Often they are referred to by their position in the company such as Soloist, Corps de ballet or Principal. In France they are called Etolie (male or female.) A "Cavalier" is any level dancer who is fortunate enough to partner a ballerina. He is the "ballerina's cavalier". He is not called this dancing on his own, or dancing with another female dancer in the company no matter what his rank in the company is. "

Try to explain this to Super Preschooler, who informs me that I am bothering him while he is watching his show. Finally remember to take the dryer sheet downstairs when the timer goes off. Switch the laundry and note (like I do every single time I do it) that taking wet clothes out of the washer is my least favorite part of doing laundry. Run back upstairs and tell you all about it while making 6 spelling mistakes, 4 of which are French. Classy me.

For the next 10 minutes I realize that Super Baby is awake, put her in her Bumbo (thank you Awesome Family!), give her some teething rings, and finish emptying the dishwasher. Then, I pack a box. (Did I tell you guys we are moving in 3 weeks? No? Oh. Well, we are moving in 3 weeks! More on that later, but a quick shout-out to Wonderful Mom for the loan of the boxes!) I decide to balance my checkbook and I do, but then I decide that I need to know who played the blind lady on Early Edition so I scoot on over to Get distracted and watch movie trailers until the timer goes off. (Shanesia Davis-Williams, by the way.)

For the next 10 minutes, I freak out that I haven't planned any dinner. Awkward Dad is on the 12 hour shift and won't be here, so I decide that hot dogs and strawberries sound just fine. Pack another box. Fight the urge, that rises every time we move, to start purging everything we own just so I don't have to move it. Lose the fight and purge some stuff anyway. Hide it in the car so Awkward Dad won't see it. (Don't tell him!) Fetch Super Baby's teething rings from half-way across the room and free her from the Bumbo. Go change her diaper and realize that Super Toddler is awake. Set Super Baby on the floor and get Super Toddler out of the crib. Change his diaper and trip over Super Baby, who is now half-way under the diaper-change table. Take both of them to the living room, turn off the TV, set up dinner, and rush in here to tell you about it and that I gotta go! Apparently Bumbo is not a recognized word....

Well, it is slightly more exciting that watching paint dry....slightly....catch ya later, Readers! Yes, it is true; moving posts are coming!

Have a great night!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Awkward Mom vs. Time

They say brevity is the soul of wit.

How fast do they grow?

Way too fast.

It is also the savior of a hassled and frazzled Awkward Mom. Tune in soon for something a little longer and a little less mopey. Hopefully.