Wednesday, January 19

Cold Coffee Days

I have been trying to write this post for about three days. The only reason I remember it is because I liked my title. By "cold coffee" I'm not talking about that delicious beverage known to mankind as an iced latte, the perfect treat on a warm summer day. No, I'm referring to the unpleasant sensation of putting your lips in a cup of coffee that you have been carrying around all morning, only to find that the delectable, steamy coffee has transformed into something lukewarm and - to this coffee snob - nauseating. This now seems to happen to me every morning and it is not the most enjoyable way of starting one's day.

So back in time, when I had the leisure and the income to be a coffee snob, nothing would do in the morning but to start it off with freshly ground coffee made impeccably in my French press. My friend Megan and I would meet up in the kitchen at work, fill up the coffee cups, and smuggle the coffee-goodness back to our desks... and enjoy! The afternoon wasn't a proper afternoon if we didn't bring a cappucino or latte back from lunch. Josh and I might wind down our evenings with another cup of (properly made) decaf after dinner with dessert.

Are you gathering from this that I LOVE COFFEE? Because if you haven't yet, you should hone up on your reading comprehension skills. :)

Fast forward a few years and a few babies. I roll out of bed to the sound of Joseph crying and Greta chattering. My eyes are dry and bleary from being up 2 too many times last night. My clothes are damp and sticky from nursing in bed (you have to be a nursing mom to appreciate quite how nasty this feeling is). All I want it... silence and a cup of coffee. So begins the battle to reach that happy shore. I change Joseph's diapers, change his clothes, wash my face, change my clothes (showers come later)... all the while fending Greta off from my new dresser drawers. She is enamored with removing clothes from people's drawers and relocating them in various corners of the house. At this point, it becomes "mommy over baby." Joseph cries in his swing while I stumble into my messy kitchen (messy because El Husbandito made Greta breakfast and didn't clean up) and yes! start on the coffee. Then Joseph is rescued from his swing and nursed before his milk supply becomes contaminated with caffeine. Back to the swing with Joseph and off to the kitchen goes Mommy. But Greta apprehends the maneuver. She waylays Mommy and demands... never mind what she demands, but she demands in no uncertain terms. Mommy buys her off with a cheese stick or half a slice of bread. Ideally, Mommy would have politely offered her a carrot or a slice of cucumber, but "desperate times call for desperate measures." There will be no day without that illusive cup of coffee!  Ahhhh! Pour the half and half into the coffee cup, fill a bowl with cereal and milk, and run for it! Problem is, there is no place to hide from babies, so Mommy opts for the next best option. The kitchen table will at least guarantee that there will be no spills when Greta comes demanding her lion's portion. Which she does. Greta has an incredible ability to sniff out carbohydrates. And what is cereal but carbs? Believing that discretion is the better part of valor, Mommy agrees to share her breakfast with Greta. Just not the coffee. Please not the coffee, Greta!

At this thrilling junction, Joseph makes his presence felt with a few heart-rending screams. How can one selfishly eat breakfast when one's child is starving to death not 3 feet away? Now we are back to nursing Joseph and feeding Greta. And that dear cup of coffee is just sitting there, steaming its coffee life away. Joseph is asleep again. Quick! Put the laundry in before he wakes up. Empty the dishwasher and fill it up again because Lord knows that is complicated with a babe in arms. Where did I leave the coffee? Oh no... Greta has put her finger under a pot lid and is pushing down on it with her other hand... and screaming because it hurts. I rescue Greta and reintroduce her to the magic of her bookcase. Crap. Where did all this dirt on the floors come from? Better sweep it before Joseph wakes up. Time to switch over the laundry.

By now it is 11 am and my vagabond coffee cup has traveled the range of our house. The house is relatively in order, the babies are in order, and silence? Yes, I think I hear silence. Silence and a cup of coffee. That's what I was aiming for this morning. For the record, "silence" means "the absence of unhappy noises." I sit down at the computer, put that coffee to my mouth... ugh! cold coffee already?!?!

But on the bright side, the babies are peaceful and the house is tidy. You have to pick your battles.

Saturday, January 15

Brothers and Sisters

Sitting here in front of the computer with Greta on my lap has suggested the topic of the Greta-Joseph dynamic. Simply put, it has been awesome. Greta looked at Joseph rather sceptically at first, but she warmed up to the idea of "baby!" very quickly. She loves to give him hugs and kisses and pats and pokes and... you get the idea. So much in fact, that she was responsible for Joseph's first bout of pink eye at 3 weeks of age. But it was so hard to keep her away from him because she would cry like a tormented soul if she was not allowed to kiss "baby."

Joseph is 6 weeks old today. Yay for Mommy and Daddy! It's been a long haul, but hopefully it will keep looking up.

Friday, January 14

One month survival skills

I've never been one of those people who can write well when there is a lot of noise in the background. Particularly music. I like music with a beat in its place - as when I'm cleaning house, playing with babies, anything that involves motivation. But for studying, focusing, I need quiet or relaxing, classical music. Unfortunately, neither of my kids care for classical music. It's not from lack of hearing it. I religiously listened to Mozart, Handel, et al. during their pregnancies. But to no avail. Greta was almost guaranteed to fall asleep in the car if we put rap on the radio. And Joseph is following suit. Right now, Greta is in bed, the boys are downstairs playing COD, and Joseph is in his swing. Here I am, trying my best to focus and writing something slightly intelligible. But at a cost. The only way I can get Joseph to lay quietly in his swing is to play my Celtic Rock station on Pandora. Not in a mute undertone. Oh no, he wants to listen to the lyrics. If all of a sudden, I start writing the random lyrics to "Black and Tans," you are forewarned. 

As I've assured myself numerous times in the past month, Joseph is the best part of this whole birth thing. What a crazy, stressful, trying month! It isn't right to call the month in which Christmas falls "a month out of hell," but that is sure what it's felt like. Mother in law drama, coupled with extremely cold weather, baby blues, visiting family, the holidays, and unending rounds of sickness have me completely wiped out. But I think, I really, really think that we are getting to the end of the tunnel (not the end of the rope). Everyone has gone home who does not belong here. The babies are over their colds. I'm not sick anymore. My brother, Daniel, has started school here in Gallup. He'll be living with us for the next semester. He's settling in well. Josh loves having the excuse to buy an Xbox and play Call of Duty "to entertain Daniel, Maria!" Oh geesh.

There was supposed to be a theme to this post, but as I go along, I'm finding that there isn't. And it's a pity, because I sit in bed ALL THE TIME nursing Joseph and writing awesome posts in my head. The problem is that once I sit down to write, I begin to suffer from major writer's block. I was going to write about baby blues, but I'm feeling good tonight and that seems very far away. I will say that we are NEVER going to have sex again during the months of April, May or June because I NEVER want to have a baby in the winter. I'm going stir crazy being in the house all the time and dealing with colds. But I have a tentative solution. I'm going to start working on my thesis again and leaving the house after dinner to do it. I'm going to make dinner, have dinner with the family, then pack up my computer and scoot over to Camille's and write for an hour. The boys can handle the babies that long, right? I hope so.

Joseph doesn't like Flogging Molly, so I have to cut short this riveting post.