Rakish Good Looks
I, EEEEPPP, Round Two

What's That Buzzing? Do You Hear That Buzzing? It's Really Annoying.

I'm not really sleeping much, all of a sudden. Or when I do, I'm not sleeping particularly well. I wake up a lot, usually in some super-cool spastic style at the end of a mildly unsettling dream.* Then my brain gets up and going on its little hamster wheel and I can't get back to sleep because I'm too busy thinking of various phone calls I have to make, and oh do I ever hate making phone calls. 

So last night I finally started mayyyyyybe connecting the dots and coming to the conclusion that I am mayyyyyyyyybe drinking a little too much of a shitload of coffee. Thus, today was to be the day when I Gave Up Coffee. Or at least Cut Back. A Little. Some. 

Punchline: Am currently on cup number, like, five or something. But I'm super productive and type-y and hey look SQUIRREL.

*Oh my God, let me tell you about my dream! Because that's always so interesting and not annoying right? Last night I dreamt I won exactly $45 million dollars in the lottery. I proceeded to write $1 million bonus checks for our cleaning lady and babysitter, and Jason announced that he'd just spent $200,000 on a very fancy block of cheese. And this point I realized I hadn't actually redeemed my winning ticket and couldn't find it. I ransacked a bunch of drawers around the house and thought I found it, but it was a receipt for a sandwich. At this point I woke up, absolutely furious with our dreamselves' lack of financial and organizational sense, so I went downstairs and cleaned out our kitchen junk drawer, while trying to talk my way through the dream because obviously, I HAD already cashed the ticket because how could Jason pay for a $200,000 hunk of cheese? His card would have TOTALLY gotten rejected, right? I mean, COME ON.


Okay, now here's why I hate Twitter. Besides the obvious, in that Twitter is stupid and annoying and I feel like quite a few people should look into this fancy new device called EMAIL, as in TAKE THIS CONVERSATION THERE PLEASE, but mostly I hate it because I mentioned the coffee thing and the dream thing there already, thus scooping myself and my own blog. Why would I do that? I get three or four somewhat interesting thoughts a day -- TOPS -- and I go and waste them on Twitter. 

I mean, the thing about Noah explaining potty functions to his little (girl) playmate in graphic yet thoroughly-innocent detail? I should have put that story where it belongs, here, for maximum future-prom-date humiliation factor. 

(The best part was after I suggested Noah maybe keep that information a little more shrouded in mystery or something, the little girl kind of waved her hand and was like, "oh, we do LOTS of potty talk at my school." So...no big thang, then, Noah's Mom. S'cool.)

(By the way, that's the weirdest part about this whole having-other-people's-children-over thing. Hearing little cries of "Hey, Noah's Mo-o-om? Can I have a snack, Noah's Mom?" And I'm not sure what alternative I'm supposed to offer them. Amy? Ms. Amy? Ms. Storch? For some reason I am deeply concerned that other four-year-olds find me cool, but I don't think they do, probably because of our snacks. I OFFER DORKY SNACKS. OH MY GOD. WE'RE THAT HOUSEHOLD WITH THE DORKY HEALTHY SNACKS AND WEIRD HIGH-FIBER CEREAL OPTIONS.)

(No, actually. I don't know where I'm going with this entry at all! How could you tell?)

Let's see. What else. I just drank another cup of coffee. Ezra is picking up more and more words -- he now says "cheese" but it really just sounds like "chuh." Not to be confused with "shoes," which sounds like "shuh." And "car" sounds like "cuh," only you have have to add a little gargle-sound to it. 

The best word, though, is "hot." He includes a little palms-out hand motion with it, gesturing over and over again at the stove or my coffee (SHUT UP. IT'S HELPING.) or other things that aren't really "hot" so much as "off-limits," like the cat food. It's hard to describe exactly how he pronounces it. Phonetically, it comes closer to "at" than anything else, causing me to imagine he's walking up to the stove and saying "@. @. @@@@@." 

He's talking in Twitter! Or...okay, so there are two things I need to lay off of for a little bit. I can see that now. 

In summary, here's a picture of Ezra chewing on a table. 

Oh! Wait! I'm also supposed to tell you that I have new Isn't That Special column up at The Stir, and that my Project Runway recap (written this morning, on only SLIGHTLY less caffeine) will be up at Mamapop at 2 pm. I know it's not 2 pm yet. Or maybe it is! For you! In the future! But if it isn't (like now), you can go read The Stir column and maybe the Advice Smackdown and then just promise me to go read Mamapop at 2 pm. If you remember. I know! Come back here and read this again so I can remind you. Yes, that makes perfect sense. 


Suzy Q

Are you 30 yet? Cuz that's when I had to stop coffee after noon. It was a surprise and sucked for a few years until I finally got it.

Also, don't you ever feed that child? Although, there might be some good fiber or something in that there table.


D E C A F Coffee or some really good hot tea.


I may be a Southern thang, but we always refer to parents/adults as Mrs./Mr. First Name. (Usually ends up sounds like Miss Wendi, but I'm not picky.) I really like it because you get the familiarity from kids you've known for a long time with a dash of respect thrown in. and then "Miss Wendi, can I have a cooookieeee" is less annoying. (a little)


That $200K block of cheese cracked me up. And I love you on caffeine, though I can see the potential problems. :)


Oh, and I thought I'd tell you I'm in NJ right this very minute. However, I will not be stalking you or trying to find you (though it would be awesome cuz I'm making this really delicious chocolate cake with cookies and cream filling and after one bite you'd totally want to be my friend). I just wanted to tell you that I am reading your blog from a couple hundred miles away, not the usual 3000.

Amanda aka SuperPucky

Preggers here haven't had a "good" cup of coffee in eight plus months here. So highly jealous of your caffiene induced ramble. Two glasses of iced tea makes me stay up all night and pee my brains out.....waah.

Sprite's Keeper

And people bitch about my two cups. Boy do I feel vindicated!
I have dorky snacks too. I was under the impression that three year olds still like goldfish crackers until one recent guest asked when I was going to take them to Starbucks for a frap. Not frappiccino, FRAP.

Aunt Becky

I lay in bed all night planning different, terrible ways to kill the person who wrote the Daisy Sour Cream song. All. Night. Long.


"alll niiighhhhtttt loooonnng!"


I had to cut waaaay back on caffine when it became clear it (and booze :-( ) Did Not Agree with a medical problem.

Since then? Slept like a log. Every single night.

Maria A.

For me the weirdest thing was that as each of my six kids started school, my name changed. It was "James' Mom", then "Teddy's Mom", etc. It took me by surprise every time. Kids start to figure that you are Mrs. LastName by the time they are in second grade.


I just slammed back a large Tim Horton's coffee in about 3 minutes. I was so delighted with it, then sighed miserably when I lost yet ANOTHER roll up the rim. Good marketing I guess, I want to WIN DAMMIT!! (Will probably end up having another by the end of the day).

Life of a Doctor's Wife

You make me giggle so much. :-) Love this post. And I have the same caffeine build up effect. I drink some Diet Coke and then suddenly one day I can't sleep and my heart is racing non stop and I realize I downed an entire 12-pack of Diet Coke in two days.

Good thing this is my only addiction. I can't imagine it's as easy to taper back to say, one hit of heroin a day. (Is that even the proper terminology for using heroin? I do not know.)

beta dad

I grew up calling men by their rank (Army brat), and women Mrs. or Miss (olden days). I don't remember what we did when a woman had a rank. I like the (possibly Southern) convention of Mr./Ms.[insert first name]. Living in VA for many years, the neighbor kids always used that with me, and I, like Wendi, found it to have perfect familiarity/respect ratio.

It always makes me sad when people quit drinking coffee. As if somehow we can't really be friends any longer. It's kind of like when I found out my best friend in college was gay. I was afraid we wouldn't have anything in common anymore. But it worked out all right, after all.

Megan@Blueberry Scones

Oh, God, we're the family with the un-cool snacks, too. I offered oatmeal raisini cookies to the little girl next door, and her parents were like "....Seriously? No, really, is this what you eat?!?"


I hate it when bloggers have Twitter conversations that never make it onto their blog, and the next day their blog is all "Well, as you know from my Twitter feed, the shit hit the fan yesterday, but we're fine now. So, how about those Yankees?" and I'm all "What? Huh? I don't use Twitter! Don't tease me! Either put it on your blog, or don't mention it, but don't assume I'm following your Twitter feed!"


What kind of cheese was it?


Of all the hilarity in this post, I'm going to focus on Ezra's use of the word "hot". Actually, any toddler's use of that word. It cracks me the hell up. It has always been my go-to word of caution for anything off limits as far as little ones go. I wish it worked for a particularly ornery fiance I happen to know...


wow that was some seriously caffeinated blogging for a cutting back day!

totally liked it.

-a diet coke addict


Really, what you have your kids' friends call you is up to you. I usually called my friends' parents Mrs/Mr/Ms lastname but that made it awkward transitioning to calling them by their first names one I was an adult. I usually tell little kids to call me Miss Kate; I figure if that's what the kids called me when I was working with preschoolers than it's fine for home as well.


You may not cut back on coffee if it in any way lessens the hilarity of your writing.

You must suffer for your art.


Just balance it out with a glass of wine (or two) after dinner. you'll be fine!


Tracey - Fancy cheese. With some kind of uber rare black truffle in it.

(Not kidding. It was seriously a detailed dream. I actually only figured out that I was dreaming because the windows in my house suddenly opened with those little crank things instead of just up and down. Winning $45 million in the lottery when I've never bought a lottery ticket in my life? Makes perfect sense. Window cranks? WAIT A MINUTE! I MUST BE DREAMING!)


This post made me laugh so hard that I cried. Especially the dream. You're awesome.


I have the same fibrocystic issue that you do and had to cut back on caffeine because it caused some of my inflammation. I was shocked when, after a long battle with cutting back, the pain and cysts in my breasts actually, really went away.

And then I realized that I enjoy coffee in a calming way. Like, I really enjoy sitting on the deck, reading the paper, with homemade bread/toast and coffee on Saturday morning before anyone else is up. So, I started making half caf coffee. Could be just me or perhaps the socialization via FRIENDS episodes but there is just something so relaxing about reading/typing/blogging/justaboutanyactivity when it is done with a nice mug in hand.


Am I the only one who is thinking maybe Ezra finally got that haircut you've been talking about? The little dude seems to have a new look while enjoying the table. :)


I love coffee, and cutting back was very hard, so I started "tricking myself" into decaf. One pot thats 3/4 full caff and 1/4 decaf, then half and half, until decaf started tasting like normal coffee. Took time, but I didn't have to cut down on the number of delish cups I consumed each day.


Megan - Nope, no haircut. Just a weird angle and surprisingly tame hair day. Today he looks like MacGyver in a wind tunnel.


Amy - I hope people are always kind to you... for many reasons. But right this second because you make me laugh so very hard. At nothing. Thank you.


You're more coherent than I was when I had insomnia. I was less "SQUIRREL" and more staring off into space, taking WAY TOO LONG to decide between peanut butter or cream cheese for my bagel. Since you're still making sense and haven't lapsed into stunned silence, I think giving up the coffee entirely is probably unnecessary.

Off to read your new article at The Stir...


A few weeks ago, while enjoying my Sunday glass of shiraz, as I am wont to do, I realized that for the previous three or four days, the only liquids to pass my lips had been coffee, Diet Coke, or wine. Oh, maybe I had a swig of water at bedtime, but nothing more. I swear I am trying to drink at least SOME water now.

Maybe I've never had a problem with caffeine because I temper it with wine at the end of the day? Yeah, that's healthy.


A least it was a block of cheese and not a measly wedge right?


My baby boy will be graduating from high school in about 6 weeks, then moving to another state (sure, it's adjacent and even shares part of the same name as the state we live in now, but still!) I just realized that when he leaves I'll no longer be Alex's mom. (or as his friends call me now, LastName's mom) So cherish it while you can ;P


Thank you for this entry. I laughed out loud, and also now I feel better that I'm not the only one drinking coffee until my hands shake.

Michelle Pixie

I couldn't agree more about the twitter thing I get all in a twitter just trying to think about what I should say and be all witty in 140 characters or less and then I've just wasted all of my brain power for the day on that crap and I am exhausted and must take a nap!!!


You could never out-scoop yourself for me. I will always read your blog post, even if I've already seen it on twitter, because twitter could never capture all of this. I'm hoping you already know that, but you sort of rock.

And I don't think 4 year olds think parents are people yet. I think that happens at like at least 5.


Dear Amalah, have you ever written a book? If so, I want to read it! If not - in your spare time haha - I seriously think you should write a book. I love reading your blogs. This one was particularly amusing and well written! Actually amusing is a little too mild, it was hilarious!

I'm with those who mention trying decaf. Or at least half decaf mixed in. What I do is drink a cup or two of real coffee early in the morning (heavenly-could never give this up) and then switch to decaf (or half decaf depending on how the day is going...) for any coffee I drink the rest of the day.

And I am also in full agreement with Tracy's comment regarding Twitter. I am So not into Twitter.


Phew - glad to hear no haircut. Baby locks are way too cute to chop!


In India, kids use the term "auntie" and "uncle" when referring to their elders. It denotes affection AND respect. I wish us White People had something similar. It squicks me out when kids call me Miss Kelli. Bleh.


I would like to try the $200,000 cheese.


You crack me up!!!! I am dying laughing about the coffee, the dream, the potty talk, the snacks and the table pic! LOL Plus, you remind me so much of myself! I have a 13 mos old and my husband and I both understand what he is saying but everyone else has no clue! haha For example, to nurse, he says "boob" but it sounds like "bub" and when he sees Spongebob he says "bob." We hear the difference perfectly! Why can't everyone else?! I seriously fight with myself daily about my coffee intake....let us know how it goes!

Bachelor Girl

I am ashamed - literally ASHAMED - to tell you how much caffeine I ingest each and every day of my life. Put it this way: My caffeine consumption is such that you would probably have to inject straight, Colombian-grade cocaine directly into a blood vessel to even make me a little bit twitchy.

And another example, because boundaries are for suckers: My friend Katie spent the night with me not too long ago, and after lights out, she heard the unmistakable CRACK of a Diet Coke can opening. That's when she learned that normal people carry a glass of water to bed.

Kelly, on the other hand, sleeps with an ice-cold, fully-caffeinated Diet Coke on her nightstand.

Her only comment? "Dude, you are SO hardcore."

So perhaps I should lay off too.




Did Ezra get a haircut?!

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