I Heart Coffee

Dear god is that some divine elixir.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet my daughter’s Night Waking. Yes, those words deserve to be capitalized. I don’t mean she wakes and cries out, needs comforting, then goes back to sleep (though she does that plenty too). No, I mean she sometimes wakes up in the night, as in completely awake, good morning, what’s for breakfast. When she does this, at least, she is usually in a good mood. But she does not want to lay all alone in her bed. Oh no.

Her Night Waking goes in phases. She’ll sleep fine for months, then have a bout of it that just about kills us. Because, oh, did I mention? When she does wake up in the night, she’s awake for a minimum of two but more typically three hours.

When she was a baby, we thought reassuringly, well, she’ll grow out of it. Then more recently I thought, well, it’s cuz she doesn’t know how to put herself to sleep (after weaning, Hubby would always walk or rock her to sleep, a source of some amount of angst on my part, which has just since late December resolved, and is an entire other story).

At any rate. I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that she suffers from at least some form of insomnia. Not surprising really since I did as well, up until age 24 when devastating heartbreak miraculously and unexpectedly cured me. Hopefully she won’t be cured by heartbreak any time soon!

And what does this have to do with coffee? Do I need to explain?

The Babe, having the better justification of being 3 months old, is no champ sleeper either and has been plaguing me with the Human Pacifier Effect from about midnight on of late. Last night, round about 4 AM, I can tell you that no one in our house was sleeping.

And so, that I could re-wake this morning at 7 am, on a mere 5 hours of sleep (in two separate and frequently interrupted portions mind you) and still have reasonable hope for my day and the world, is due entirely to my top favorite drug of choice, caffeine. Or, more accurately coffee, since I feel that there’s something else in coffee, some other drug as well. No amount of strong black tea has ever given me the rosy, hopeful, rising energy of coffee.

I’ll take that fair trade, freshly roasted, freshly ground, brewed in a stovetop espresso maker to americano strength, with a heavy hand of organic half and half, please.

Good morning!

Morning in Mamaville

I am a morning person. Not the kind of morning person who opens my bright eyes at 6 am and leaps bushy tailed from bed mind you. I am the kind who, if I can pry myself out of bed early enough to have an hour to myself, to wake up with my own thoughts, am so much the better person. There’s nothing I love more than a morning alone with coffee at hand, reading, writing, or otherwise stretching my brain gently to ready it for the day. Like any junkie I’ll do just about anything to get that  hour.

And how does that pan out with motherhood, you might wonder….?

Well, we go in phases. Some glorious, like in early December when the Babe was waking me up at 6:30, and to solve his morning fussiness and consequent need to be (actively) put to sleep, I was taking a walk first thing, with cup of coffee in hand. He only took 8 or 10 blocks, then I’d have another 30 minutes or more at home to think my own thoughts before the Toddler woke up. As perfect as a mama of two could hope for.

That’s long gone.

As his brain matures, he sleeps later, then has a longer wakeful period before getting sleepy again. Eventually, that will mean I can creep out of bed all by my little old self in the mornings. But for now, there’s no creeping. He sleeps light in the morning, if I try to get up earlier it just means we both get up earlier, and that friends is no good. These days he’s waking about 7. His happy period is still short. Long enough for me to half finish making the coffee. Then he starts in on The Sound. My in-laws called it “talky-talk,” to imply that there’s nothing at all wrong with it. And I’m sure they’re right. But it sounds like fussing to me. And makes it impossible to sit and relax with a first Cuppa.

At this point, and I remember this happening with Toddler too, he just wants some stimulation. And who can blame him? He just wants a chance to work his brain a little, like mama. That’s why the walk worked good for both of us. And when he’s done working his little budding brain, he wants to go to sleep. Both my kiddos took work to put to sleep. After two months of age, the days of sitting quietly and nursing to sleep fizzled right out. Then it’s get off your fat ass and put on some miles! With the Toddler I remember thinking I had never walked a tenth so many miles in my own home before.

But our morning walks were getting longer and longer. And don’t forget there’s a Toddler sleeping at home (don’t worry, there’s a Papa there too, who needs his morning sleep ‘cuz he stays up till all hours doing his school work in the only quiet time he can find). She’s been sleeping till 8-ish. So, do the math. What we have is me finally getting the little guy back to sleep just as (literally) the big girl wakes up.

That’s actually not too bad. She’s gotten quite lovely in the mornings, most of the time. I have at least 20 minutes while she eats her granola in a classic groggy wake-up state. Then, quite often, follows some of her best quiet solo play.

But lately, things are starting to overlap. And the wrench has hit the gears with a CLANG!

Perhaps in another week I will look back and realize that this morning was the apex, before a gentle return to things working. Babies change so fast, whatever’s going on you can guarantee won’t be in another couple of weeks.

But for now, let’s just say Mama’s Mornings are not so hot.

I Hate Cars

Yeah, I mean, it’s not like we don’t have one. It’s not like we don’t drive. But I don’t see how those facts interfere with my potential to hate cars.

Lately my early morning routine goes like so:

The Babe wakes up around 6. He wiggles and grunts (do all babies grunt like little pigs? Have I just forgotten?) until I finally dredge myself out of bed around 6:30. Make coffee, strap him into the carrier, and then we go for a small walk, till he falls back to sleep, so I can savor the quiet time before Toddler wakes up. I’m really enjoying this little ritual greeting of the day, save for one thing.

Cars.

They’re everywhere you want to be.

Well, at least, when you live in a residential area and it’s going to work hour… It would just be so lovely to wander around in the neighborhoods, admiring the 100 year + houses, the tropical landscaping, the morning light, if it weren’t for those infernal growling machines. I actually love walking in neighborhoods. I love, voyeuristically, looking at what color people choose to paint their house, the shoes left on the porch, toys in the yard, or are they the immaculately clean type?  It’s like people watching, except it’s okay to stare.

But the cars. They really harsh my mellow.

I can’t help but have (and share) the hippie eco-topia fantasies I’ve been having these mornings. With my head still in a dreamfog, I envision all the cars wiped clean from the earth. I see the streets ripped up, and every household turning it’s portion of that newly freed earth into a productive kitchen garden. Landscaping trees replaced with fruit and nut trees, dripping right into our homes! What a morning walk it would be then! Instead of cars whizzing by, I could call greetings to all the other dreamfogers making their way through the gardens to their (much closer) place of employment. And of course, people would work at their job less, because they wouldn’t have monthly car payments, insurance, gas bills, mechanics. And the crops they could grow in the freed up streets would cut their food budget in half!

Ah, solving the world’s problems before 8 am.

On that note, I found an awesomely hilarious foodie blog yesterday, a new fave, called Just Cook It. It’s not a gut buster like my other fave  Food on the Food, his humor is much more British. But check out his Solving the Credit Crunch with Mandatory Elevenses for a good dry, under your breath, British tummy rumble. (Elevenses is a British cutesy for sitting down to tea and cake around eleven o’clock in the morning. Very civilized.)

And one unrelated post script– thanks for all your nice comments. As requested. They are just the sort of ego stroking I was looking for. Good job.