Coffee is my connection to normal

Maybe it?s because it?s a Monday morning. Or maybe it?s not getting enough rest for the last six to eight months. Maybe it?s giving up my snooze button for Lent. Or maybe it?s because there?s a new bottle of white chocolate caramel creamer in my fridge.

Or it could just be the perfect storm of maybes. But I can?t seem to get coffee off my mind.

Growing up, I always wondered how my dad could stand to drink cup after cup…black, no less. But at my current state of fuzziness, I now understand.

Coffee is my connection to normal.

I guess that?s probably how an addiction starts. But it?s much easier to be outnumbered three to one all day if I have a little caffeine in my veins.

I haven?t always been this way. I used to turn up my nose at the suggestion of trying a sip of sludge. I even bypassed all forms of soda, opting for water. In those days, my sole source of caffeine was an occasional piece of chocolate.

Now I welcome any and all forms of a kick-start…and at multiple parts of my day.

I will admit, it was a slow decline, but now that I?m here, I embrace it. What can I say? I like feeling normal.

And I like being able to enjoy the current stages of my kids.

A couple weeks from now will mark the end of the third nine-weeks for Unified School District 410. That means I am only one nine-weeks plus a summer away from sending my oldest to school. I want to enjoy her in those last free moments.

Sometimes I look at her and wonder when she grew up. It was so fun to celebrate Valentine?s Day with her this year. Adding candlelight and a tablecloth to a simple meal of spaghetti made her marvel at its beauty. ?It?s the best Valentine?s Day ever,? she exclaimed. Wendy?s wouldn?t have had the same effect, had I been too tired to execute my plan.

My middle is 21?2 and is at the kids-say-the-funniest-things stage: ?I don?t want the fog to go in my nose;? ?It?s not time for holding, it?s time for breakfast;? ?Thank you, God, for the food…but not the strawberries.?

She?s also Derrick Klingen?berg?s biggest fan. (If you don?t know, Derrick is a farmer from the Peabody area who has several farm parodies on YouTube: We got to know Derrick and wife Kara five years ago in childbirth education class.)

Anyway, back to funny sayings. Middle has her own titles for Derrick?s videos, which have taken my husband and I a few occasions of trial and error to figure out. Here?s the code: Tippy Tractor is ?Daddy D,? Pinky, Pinky, Pinky, is ?I Knew You Were Trouble? and White Pickup Truck…well, that one wasn?t hard to figure out, even without coffee.

And then there?s the baby. He is growing up so fast, and is almost 6 months. And despite his birth order placement, he has had plenty of firsts. He?s currently experimenting with solids. Bananas are his favorite. He rolls over like a pro. He is getting sturdier at sitting up with each passing day.

Over the past weeks, he also went on his first getaway to Kan?sas City. We visited Aunt Lauren and Uncle Ben. We stayed at a hotel. Did a little shopping (I know he was thrilled with that one).

And we went to the Sea Life Aquarium in Crown Center. Sharks swam overhead, along with rays and beautifully colored fish. You could touch sea stars (or for the old-timers like me, starfish). There was a tank of jellyfish. The oldest and middle loved it. The baby was mesmerized. The adults even had a great time.

And I?m so thankful to the sludge for keeping me awake through it all. It really is good to the last drop.

















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