Thursday, February 27, 2014

Awkward Mom vs. Marriage

As with any post that heavily involves Awkward Dad, this is gonna get nerdtastic super fast. Just warning you now.....

I have waxed poetic on the risks of super-hero-dating in the past, so I won't bore you. Basically, you need to remember 5 things:

1. Your dates will NOT be boring. Someone is sure to need saving while you are on your romantic stroll through Central Park and before you know it, you are somehow flying to Latveria so your honey can deal with someone named the Marquis of Death. In these situations it is always good to have your own interests. Take time to sight-see; I hear Latveria is lovely in the fall and the Doom's Day festivals are a sight to behold.

2. If you are both superheros and you are both on the Avengers, it might be best not to hook up. Because that is gonna be one very awkward breakfast in Stark Tower. Just have incredible and unspoken sexual tension; it's better for readership anyway.

3. Your honey probably has his/her suit on under their clothes. At all times. Might wanna factor this in when pondering "romantic" moments. Latex is kinda hard to just slip on and off, you know? Look here, we are all adults, so I am not gonna spell it out. Just factor in some extra time, OK?

4. Your honey's super villain is going to find out about you. They are usually super evil geniuses or have a million henchmen, so you are not gonna keep this relationship on the down low for long. And this super villain is gonna come after you, there is no question here. It is just a matter of how. You have some options. You could break up, citing his/her "job" as the reason. You could get used to being saved at the last moment; not great for your stress levels but good for building trust in your relationship. Or you could take a bath in some radioactive ooze and see if you can develop some powers of your own. I recommend the last one, but I am a modern woman of the world.

5. Just don't date Daredevil. His dating track record is a little death-heavy. If you like angst, you can throw your hat in with Spiderman, but stay away from bridges, OK? I worry about you.

So, just be safe. Or don't date superheroes. Or be a lone wolf; it seems to work for Wolverine. (Unless you count the unrequited love he is clearly in with a currently-dead telepath. Wait. Is Jean still dead? With the X-men, you never really know.) Or date a "civilian," but be aware that, given your superhero status, you will be endangering them all the time. If you can live with that, go ahead.

Or pull an Awkward Mom and find yourself a Foggy.

Here's mine:

He's the one on the left. 
Although, Pikachu is looking mighty fine in this photo. 
I wonder if he has been working out?

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that Awkward Dad is basically Perfect Dad with a killer sense of humor, the patience of a saint, and little to no taste in spouses. To celebrate Super Baby's 10th day of life outside the womb, here are 10 amazing things about Awkward Dad that make me thank my lucky stars that he married me and not one of the Avengers.

1. His casual decision to have 4 children with me during his medical training and residency. Saying he makes this look easy is the understatement of the year; he makes it look like he actually enjoys it. You know what? I think he does!

2. His decision to feed Super Baby around midnight, every night, and still take Super Kindergartener to school, every day, even though it means losing more sleep. He is even using his lunch to pick up Super K. today because he doesn't want any of us out in the cold.

3. The man is adorable. Seriously, check it out:

That smile. Swoon.

4. He is one of the gentlest, kindest people I know. His patients are so incredibly lucky to have someone who honestly and truly cares about their mental health. One time, I asked Awkward Dad if he preferred the more complex mental health cases. A lot of psychiatrists say that they do because they make better case studies or journal articles or are just more challenging. Awkward Dad said, "No. My patients aren't cases. My patients are people. And people with intense and complex mental health issues are usually in a lot of pain, and all I want for my patients is a decrease in their pain and an increased ability for them to care for themselves and their mental health."

5. The man is crazy smart, but he refuses to traffic in that. Most people who meet us don't find out that he is a doctor for months. He doesn't hide it, but he finds it incredibly boring to talk about his career.

6. The man can, and will, talk about anything. With anyone. The day he met my father, they discussed, in this order, plant genetics, hierarchies in ancient civilizations, the Cubs chances this year (there was much laughter here), the history of salt, the origins of the Polish language, and what movies were good that weekend.

7. He is so so so funny.

8. There is nothing he won't do for his children. And I don't just mean the big stuff, like giving them kidneys or stopping bullets from hitting them. I mean, he is willing to look silly to play with them. He is happy to take them on outings, even though, with 4, this requires the planning and supplies of a moon voyage. He looks happy to be with them, even doing crazy things, like going to Greenfield Village with my Halloween-crazed mother and 3 children dressed in their Star Wars finery....

That's a real smile there, folks. He actually likes all the crazy.

9. His happy willingness to work a very intense, tiring job, and then come home to utter chaos. And there is no "hang-on-I-need-a-minute-to-myself-to-decompress," which would make total and complete sense. No, he just dives into the fray, makes dinner, supervises homework, does bedtime reading, gives baths, and urges me to go take a nap. I am starting to think he might actually be the real Superman, and it is only the lack of Lex Luthor showing up at my door with some nefarious plot that prevents me from totally buying Awkward Dad as the real Clark Kent. He certain is a Super Man.

10. He loves me. Warts and all.

Marriage isn't easy. Superheroes or not, marriage takes work, energy, commitment, and lots and lots of chocolate. However, if you have a Foggy, you have kind of an edge. I have an edge. A sweet, cuddly, warm, funny, wonderful, foggy edge.

And just because I know you want to see the baby, here ya go:

Not totally sure about this awkward place he has arrived in, 
but he does know this:
His father is amazing. 
His mom? 
Well, that is who is making this suspicious face at.....

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Awkward Mom and Super Baby

Just so you know, Super Baby started the labor journey about 10 hours after Awkward Mom wrote her last post. This means that Super Baby can be nagged into doing things. Good to know for future reference.....

Well, Super Fetus is Super Baby. And Super Baby is a BOY!

He's perfect. And I don't mean like Perfect Baby. No, he is perfectly awkward, with a tendency toward the slothful and slow (his labor was over 24 hours start to finish). He has little red marks all over the place, scratches from his claw-like fingernails, and a weird birthmark on his forehead. He is still very much "4th trimester," with tiny shrimp-limbs all tucked into his body and a lolling head that likes to fling backwards with no warning. He is very small and gangling and still kinda fetal-looking; so basically, completely and totally beautiful. I mean, look at him! He's perfect. 

We are going back to gazing at Super Baby. Catch ya later! 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Awkward Mom vs. Still Pregnant

Yes, she is still pregnant. And yes, there is still room in the betting pool; just give Awkward Dad a shout. He has claimed "sometime in April 2015," but a lot of other spots are still free!

I have reached "still pregnant;" that horrible phase in the roughly 24th month of pregnancy when everything is done but the birthing. And the birthing can be any minute to 4 weeks away. I know I am supposed to be grateful and I am. I am grateful Super Fetus is happy and healthy. I am grateful he/she wasn't pre-term. I am grateful that I am healthy. (we'll talk about happy in a minute....) I am grateful to be having a fourth child at some point in the near (maybe far) future. I am so very grateful, but I am getting tired and this is getting endless.

Time sits heavy on me, much like this baby sits on my spine. All the tiny clothes are washed. All the doll-like diapers lined up in a little row. Car seat? Installed, rear-facing, and prepped with a blue cover and a pink one. Totally prepared. The baby swing is even up from the basement and clean, but if this baby doesn't hurry up, it may break. The Supers think it is a great toy.

I have reached the point where every conversation I have with someone begins with, "Oh, you are still pregnant?" and ends with "Well, just be patient and enjoy it, it could be any day!" I am unclear which part I am supposed to enjoy. The mood roller-coaster? The restlessness? The random pains in my legs? The sleeplessness? The near constant pain in my back? The constant and pointless Braxton Hicks contractions? Yes, yes, I know they are "practice contractions" and really very important to labor......This is child 4. If my body doesn't know how to do labor by now, then I don't even want to talk to her. Maybe I am supposed to enjoy the birthing story the departing person just told me; where their baby arrived 2 weeks early in a cloud of angel dust and no pain. I guess that is what I am supposed to have enjoyed. So, basically, I am trying to avoid all people right now.

Which I can't do because I have 3 other children who don't want to sit in the house with me and mope. I have no idea why they don't want to do this. They actually want to keep doing things. They want to stay busy and not fixated on every twinge and tweak my body experiences. They don't want to scour the internet for labor-inducing ideas that seem about as accurate as how they used to decide who was a witch. They don't want to restlessly move through the house and sigh a lot. They are not helping me dwell on my pain and disappointment. They want to live in the moment and enjoy every second of the day, regardless of what it brings; a new sibling or just more beautiful, exquisite life to be lived.

Darn genius children.

So, take your time, Super Fetus. Come when you are ready.
That said, you may wanna get out here and claim your swing. 
I found 4 My Little Ponies in it yesterday
and you know what kind of mess they make. 

Dearest Readers, if you see Awkward Mom out and about, looking in pain but not enough pain to go to the hospital, please don't tell her a birth story or offer the advice of "patience." That is unless you want to see her shift from "Still Pregnant" into "Angry Pregnant." 

Offers of food are always welcome though!  

Friday, February 7, 2014

Awkward Mom vs. Hibernation

So, when Awkward Mom decided to take a sabbatical from writing this blog, she was kinda looking at it like a form of sci-fi stasis that compassionate but misguided heroes always put the villains in before sending them off to the Negative Zone or some such place. (Not to be confused with Stasis herself.) Turns out that Awkward Mom's blog sabbatical is probably going to more closely resemble a long vacation at the Fortress of Solitude. If the Fortress of Solitude had Wi-Fi and was inhabited by 3 noisy children. So, not really a fortress or full of solitude at all. Anywho, don't look here for regular bloggings just yet, but she may make an appearance from time to time. When the Messy House of Noise gets a little too much.......

On the eve of Super Fetus' birth (or rather the 20th eve before the due date that I am really hoping is wrong) I am pondering who this whirling womb of bladder punching and spine sitting will turn out to be. It's a natural thought. I have spent 9 months with this person and I don't really know much, other than he/she does not like pasta sauce, enjoys midnights strolls around the house, and likes sandwiches with the passion of Jimmy John. Not a whole lot to go on. Will she be a scientist? Will he be a poet? Will she like dogs? Will he want to read by the windows when it rains? Will he be a she? Will she be a he? Are there two of them? OK, I know that one, Super Fetus is growing solo. So, maybe I also know that he/she likes space!

I am driving the car pool as I am thinking these thoughts and I look back into the rear view mirror, and into the not-so-distant past, to the gestation of three of the children back there. I can hear Super Kindergartener's relentless monologue about the weather in Russia, the various sports of the winter Olympics, and his thoughts on the word 'luge." He's a fan of it, basically. I don't know who he is talking to because Super Preschooler is whispering love poetry at the faint moon that has appeared on the horizon out his window. The little boy we drive home is shouting as loud as he can just to hear Super Toddler shout back, even louder. If this is some sort of decibel game, she is winning. Hands down. Or rather, up. To cover your ears.

I didn't picture any of this during their pregnancies. Oh, I had vague thoughts about scholarship and athletic prowess and adorable dimples. But the sheer power of personality in this beige Sienna is threatening to blow the doors off. (Which would be helpful, as they tend to stick when it is this cold.) And I could not have pictured any of that. Seriously, I always thought we would buy a Honda.

Super K.'s brain weaves and creates the most amazing scenarios ever weaved and created. I fully expect him to build a rocket ship in the backyard one of these days. And yet, he is no cold fish scientist, but one of the gentlest and most loving of friends, who seems to be able to read a room just as fast as he actually learned to read. A sensitive and kind soul, who makes me valentines year-round that announce "I love Mommy!" in delightful burgeoning handwriting that always misjudges the available space and has to call me, Mo-mmy, on 2 lines. There are about 12 of these hanging in the dining room alone, along with an art collection that he calls "Me, Daddy, and all the different lightsabers in the universe." No, my pregnancy wishes for my first born were pedestrian and uninspired compared to the kind genius who showed up 10 days late during a snowstorm.

The bold dreamer that is in love with the moon is like no one I have ever met. Super Preschooler is as unique as his ever-growing family of imaginary friends. His one-sided conversation with the moon is going something like this: "Hello Moon! You are out early today! Did you miss me? I missed you. Super K! Look, the moon came out for me! Invisible Grandpa can see it, can't you? Moon, Moon, Moon, Beautiful Moon. So sweet. Let's go visit Bebe and show her the beautiful moon, and then we can dance." Last night, in front of a glowing, and most hidden by his leaps, television he showed me his ice skating routine. Well, his ice skating pairs routine. Super Preschooler's moves were graceful and inspired, but he claims Invisible Grandpa is the stronger one of the two. I disagree. I think Super Preschooler is stronger than anyone I know; a will of iron stands beneath a grin as loose as his fly-away hair. This teflon poet was not who I expected when I had my second son on a sleety January morning 4 years ago. 3 weeks ahead of schedule.

And then there is the beautiful girl merrily screaming from the seat right behind me. A force of nature in a pair of pink pajamas festooned with monkeys and hearts, Super Toddler knows no limits. No boundaries. And no "noes." Girl does as she pleases and I am frankly surprised that she obeys the laws of gravity most days. She is very life itself; a power that predates the formation of the earth, with sticky hands, something unidentifiable in her hair, and a hunger that wants all the sausage. And wants it right now. She defies expectations. Of course, she does. She defies everything. There is nothing princess about Super Toddler; she is, and always will be, a queen. I could not have foreseen this, even as they laid her restless relentless body on my chest and announced that I now had "my girl!" They were wrong. I don't have Super Toddler. She has me; body and soul. As she did the second she appeared, right on her due date, to scream right in my face.

They all have me. Forever. And Super Fetus too. Whoever he or she is. I can't help but think about him or her; drifting dreams that will disappear the second I get to look in his or her boundless eyes and see the soul lurking there. The soul that I will never truly posses or be able to have. The soul more magnificent that anything I could have thought up about the being currently kicking my ribs. A soul I will have the privilege and pleasure of knowing just a little bit as it blooms and grows and eclipses everything else in my world. A soul that will slip into this family so seamlessly that we will wonder how we ever got along without it before. Without the knowledge or magic or pure energy that this new soul will share with us before heading out into the big, beautiful world to make it even bigger and more beautiful. I can't wait.

Seriously. I can't. 20 days is too long. Someone tell Super Fetus to hurry on up!

Not sure when we'll be back,
but there might be 4 Supers in the next picture you see! 
Well, like 17 really. 
Super Preschooler doesn't like to leave out anyone, even the invisible among us.