Coffee: A New Way to be Not Tired!

June 4, 2012
this used to be a bathroom

Give me some caffeine, and this what I can do.

Yeah! So! Yeah!

Let’s review the past 9 years!

  • December 2002: I get pregnant. Give up coffee like the books scared me into doing (also, was barfing too much to ingest much of anything).
  • January 2003: Dave tells me, in the nicest way possible, that I am much less bitchy without caffeine.
  • 2003: Henry is born! And he never sleeps. Ever. I am too frightened to drink coffee again, afraid that he’ll get a caffeine molecule and, improbably, sleep even less.
  • 2006-2010: I have another kid, then another, and then another.

Sleep doesn’t really happen at all anywhere in there. Yet I don’t drink coffee. Well, I do. I drink decaf. Because I love coffee. The taste, the ritual, the warm mug. All that. (Also the leftover coffee you can make into iced coffee after lunch.) But the kids don’t sleep, so I don’t sleep, and I continue to view caffeine as the Monster Under the Bed who will pinch at their toes if I dare to take a sip.

Then, last week, Dave and I were having Yet Another Conversation about how I have all sorts of lovely intentions, but I never do any of them. That, at the end of the day, I wonder what I did at all. And that it makes me feel like a lame-o.

And the universe spoke. It said: DRINK COFFEE. DRINK REAL COFFEE, JULIE.

And I did! I did! And then I went crazy. I cleaned the house and challenged Dave to a game of basketball even though he’s a foot taller than me (I lost, but got a respectable number of baskets), and then we demolished part of our house! And now I speak only in exclamations!

What took me so long? Why didn’t anyone tell me, remind me, that coffee will make me less tired? That I might get more done?

Hello, joe. I missed you.



Naming Names

February 1, 2010

Children’s Book of the Week coming back soon, I promise. The next one I want to write up requires Henry to sing a song, so I just haven’t gotten around to recording him yet. (Plus I still have three more things — two small, one large-ish — to do for school, and those take priority over children’s book reviews, I’m afraid.)

So, in the meantime, you can all continue to think of good baby names for us. It has to be as awesomely cool as Zuzanna, remember. I don’t want this one to think, “How come I got the dud name?”

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I know I’m big, but…

January 28, 2010

Yesterday a woman said to me, “Any day now, huh?” and I had to swallow and smile and say, “I’ve got four more months!” She totally backtracked and said something about, “Oh, but you’re gorgeous!” and it was all I could do not to say, “Yeah, whatever, shut up, lady.” (Instead I very diplomatically said, “Well, it is the fourth kid.”)

In other news, today is Dave’s birthday, and I’ve got the carrot cake from Smitten Kitchen baking in the oven. Once again I am Good Wife adding walnuts and raisins to a baked good, because I know he wants them.


CATEGORIES: baking, Julie

Thank you for your patience…please stand by.

January 11, 2010

Two more weeks left in this class, and then regular blogging will resume.

Random thought of the day: if we name the baby something that starts with an A, then I can arrange the kids’ first initials to spell out HAZE. Not that there’s any need for that, ever.


Because you all want to know…

December 29, 2009

GIRL! (Eli’s name suggestions so far: Bacon, Ice Cream, Poopy, and something along the lines of Gzhijyw. Really. He spelled it.)


I’m ten minutes away from legwarmers

November 24, 2009

Ok: I hate being pregnant. I know there are some women who get all ecstatic and rejuvenated and glowy, but that’s not me. I’m not glowy. I’m ashen and sullen and there’s a permanent crease between my eyebrows. I hate being sick, that’s for sure, but that ends (as it has, thank you), and I still hate it. I do sort of like the ultrasounds, but honestly that’s just a science geek thing and I would be just as satisfied watching that NOVA special about pregnancy. It’s the lumpiness, the frumpiness, and the clothes, really, that I hate. As soon as I get pregnant I not only get the belly, but also sprout some love handles and generally give off a Bosc vibe. No good. And these clothes — can someone please make maternity pants that don’t fall down? I think I need maternity suspenders.

It’s really just that it’s impossible to look hip and sexy when you’re pregnant. (Or, at least, when I’m pregnant.) Any attempts at hipness somehow just up the schlub factor. There’s no getting around it: me pregnant = schlubby. And it’s just depressing. I know I’ve got at least another year of wearing someone else’s body. I’m trying to make the best of it, but I just want it to be May already (or May 2011). This time I didn’t even move my regular clothes out of the closet; I just shoved the stupid maternity stuff into a big pile in the closet and I just grab whatever’s on top.

Lately I’ve been trying to distract from the schlub factor and burgeoning midsection by clever accessorizing. I’m wearing very large necklaces, for instance. And capris with striped socks. I’ve starting wearing patchouli again; maybe someone will become so distracted by the scent of dirt and pine essence that they won’t notice I’m pregnant. The other day I wore (really) a paisley headscarf that (with the striped socks) made me look like Rhoda Morgenstern on crack, but I think it may have been sufficiently distracting.

When this is all over I’m buying matching lingerie and burning the maternity crap in a bonfire.


Yes, well, there’s something I have to tell you

November 3, 2009

There’s this:

Which, you know, means this:

(Couldn’t resist throwing in another image from the Charley Harper biology book.)

Which, you know, means, um, WHAT!? Or, at least, that was my first reaction. Which was quickly followed by, “Oh you have got to be kidding me.” Then my reaction was to fall to the ground for a while. Then Dave and I burst out laughing, and said the word “Crazy!” about 700 times. Because, I mean, COME ON. I swear all Dave did was sneeze in the same room where I was. People, this is the second time we’ve nailed it before I got my period after having a baby. What are the odds of that? Well, fairly high, apparently, at least for us. We joke that I’m like one of those baboons whose butt gets all red and she does a little dance waving her posterior around when she ovulates. I have no other explanation. But I haven’t had my period since April of 2005, which makes for some amusing conversations when I call the midwives and they ask when my last period was, to try to determine how far along I am, and then are flummoxed when the little Wheel O’ Birth Dates says I’m 220 weeks pregnant. But at least I’m funding my kids’ college educations with money saved from not buying tampons.

So my first 80 thoughts were “Crazy!” and my next 80 thoughts were “Oh, crap!” and my 150th thought was “Well, at least I’ll get to give birth in that fancy new birthing center.” And there was also the overwhelming thought that I’ve never believed more in some kind of divine force that has a plan for my life, or at least in the idea that Jeffrey Eugenides puts forth in Middlesex that the children are these sort of floaty beings out in the ether, and when it’s time for them to be born, they wave goodbye to the others and say, “See you later!” and go floating down the chute into consciousness. Because I feel like the kids were there at our wedding in some ways, you know? So I guess there was one more little floaty being up there waiting to be born.

And then after I found out, I had to mourn for about a week, because, as you know, I was just getting my life in order here! Ugh. (Although this is a very good explanation for why all those crunches weren’t doing a blessed thing.) And then, finally, I started to get excited about it. I think four is actually going to be even better than three. With four kids, no one is left out. And there’s a nice balance. And we already have the minivan, and we’re finishing off the attic to be a giant kids’ room anyway, so why not add one more? Though I do have to say that, as an only child, this is taking a lot of deep breathing to get my mind around. I do love the big pile of kids though, and four is a better pile than three. Plus they can, I don’t know, have their own bridge tournament or something. Or play two-on-two basketball.

Right now I am 11 weeks pregnant. Right after that pregnancy test turned positive, I suddenly had the feeling that there was a giant piano dangling over my head, ready to drop. “Dave!” I said, with urgency, “We’ve got like two weeks before I’m so sick that I’m completely useless!” I ran around buying snacks and food and anything I could think of before that piano dropped. And let me just say that this time, it’s been like six pianos. Brutal. I am a mess. I seriously feel decent for maybe ten minutes a day. The rest of the time I’m either throwing up or feeling like I’m about to. And while throwing up is bad enough, it’s a whole other nightmare scenario when you have kids outside the door yelling, “I’m telling!” or “MOMMY! WHERE ARE YOU?” or Zuzu is insisting on crawling into my lap, and then, when I refuse that, she starts throwing things into the toilet. Can you think of anything worse than your toddler throwing tubes of toothpaste into the toilet when you’re throwing up? Isn’t that Dante’s Sixth Level of Hell?

Also I am so tired that I’ve had to take three naps while trying to write this post.

And so you’ll have to forgive me if World of Julie doesn’t get updated quite as frequently as it has been.

P.S. At our first midwife appointment last week, I got to learn the hilarious technical jargon they wrote in my (now one-inch-thick) file to describe Zuzu’s birth: “Precipitous spontaneous birth in shower. Mother carried baby to bed to birth placenta.”

P.P.S. Also, does anyone have any spare maternity clothes?


Non, je ne regrette rien.

September 15, 2009

When I was pregnant with Zuzu, I had one of those life crisis epiphanies that happens when you are pregnant with your third baby and you’re trying to remember what exactly it was you wanted to do with your life again (start a commune? what? manage a small independent bookstore? when?). This particular life crisis epiphany made me realize there are three lifey things I regret about my 20s, three things I wish I’d done.

I wish I’d been more athletic. I came to exercise slowly, and my attitude about it in my 20s was mostly laissez-faire with the occasional run for the heck of it, an attitude that sums up my life in general then, but that also was maybe more appropriate during a time of boxy sweaters and palazzo pants. At any rate, I wish I’d exercised more in earnest, and gotten really muscly just because I could. (Note that this is a frustrating realization to have when you’re 7 months pregannt, rapidly waxing instead of waning, and having awesome biceps really isn’t on that month’s agenda.)

I wish I’d been smarter about money. For most of my life, on a Money Smarts Scale from 1 to 10, I was maybe a 2 (if 10 is super smart thrifty saver person). I spent whatever money I had and never gave a thought to saving a cent. I wish I’d been more frugal, and realized that it’s actually really cool to save money. You know, there’s still this New Jersey girl inside me who grew up in Mall Land and feels great pleasure from walking through the door with new items stuffed in plastic shopping bags. To a certain extent, I justify shopping by buying used at Goodwill and on eBay, and in one sense that’s ok. Except when it’s not. I could have really used a budget when I was 23. And I still don’t really have one now.

The third thing I wish I’d done in my 20s is to write every day. I wanted to write but I thought you had to sit around and wait to be struck by divine inspiration. I thought that I would write a page of fiction, one time, and it would be perfect and fabulous and I could then email it to family and friends to show them my wonderful writing (oh my gracious this is horrrifying to think of now). If only someone had made me read Bird by Bird.

After the Pregnant Epiphany, I actually did write every day, working on a book, until we were all smacked backwards by the flu and all we could do was lie on the rug wishing someone would bring us oranges. It was five days of not being vertical (during which time we somehow managed to buy a car), and after, with one month to go before my due date, I couldn’t get back into the write-every-day habit.

But I never forgot about the Pregnant Epiphany, and recently I’ve started to realize, you know, that this is my life, and so maybe it’s time to start living it. I might exercise more than I did, and I’m slightly better with money, and I write more often, but none of these things is particularly stellar, you know? I’ll be 40 in a year and a half, and then these will just become things I wish I’d done in my 30s.

At the same time I wrote the daily schedule, I made a daily checklist for myself, which in the spirit of living methodically, I’ll tell you about in a methodical manner, tomorrow. Stay tuned.