How having baby #2 drove me back to caffeine…and a great bottle warming tip

My drink of choice @ Starbucks: Grande Nonfat Caramel Latte

With a two-year-old daughter and a one-month-old daughter at home, I’ve found my way back to coffee after a 3 year hiatus. I’m not proud of it, but it’s happened whether I like it or not.

I used to be a big coffee drinker. Surprisingly, I didn’t need coffee to wake up in the morning. Rather, I would jones for the java late morning or mid-afternoon as a pick-me-up. I wasn’t too hard-core. I tended to be a “fruffy” (is that a word?) coffee drinker, ordering things like a non-fat caramel latte. I’m sure the hard-core coffee drinkers of Seattle would scoff at that order, but it’s what I like. Occassionally, I’d hit up a venti cappuccino when necessary, like when I went to London for a 3 day business sleep and get 8 hours sleep total.

Once I became pregnant with my first daughter, I quit cold turkey. Even though my doctor said I could have a cup of coffee a day, I decided against it. Once in a great while, I’d have a soda, for some reason that sounded better to me. But for the most part, I really tried hard to keep my system clean and pure during my pregnancy.

After I delivered my first daughter, I remember looking forward to my first coffee. It came once I returned to work after my 3-month maternity leave. I remember waiting in line at the Starbucks near my office and hoping I remembered how to order my drink of choice correctly. I did (how could i forget) and I recall being so excited for the first sip. But about an hour later, I felt terrible. And every time after that I tried coffee, the same thing happened. Eventually, I just said, “Okay, I’m done with coffee.” That was Fall of 2009.

Fast forward to Fall of 2011. My second daughter was born on August 1st. She reminded me how easy a newborn is…that is when you JUST have a newborn. But then I think how easy my toddler is…that is when you JUST have a toddler. Combine a newborn with a toddler and it’s a different story. Thus, my return to caffeine.

I’m lucky. Most nights, my newborn wakes up just once…but on occasion, the wakes up twice. And that’s tough for me. Luckily my toddler sleeps great. And just keeping up with the two of them is exhausting. When I wake up in the morning, I’m often fatigued, with a headache. I can handle the fatigue, comes with the territory. But the headache, argh…not so much. That’s where the coffee comes in. It kind of kills two birds with one stone…helps the fatigue and headache.

I’m not going crazy…I think I’ve had 4 coffees in the 4 weeks since I’ve been home from the hospital. So my average is not obsessive. And I still stick to the “fruffy” drinks. At Starbucks, I go with a nonfat caramel latte (iced or hot). At home, I use my Keurig to make cafe au lait (lots of milk, little coffee). Mommy needs a vice doesn’t she? :)

BOTTLE WARMING TIP: I never registered for the fancy bottle warmer when I was pregnant. I figured I’d go the old fashion route and heat glass bottles in hot water on the stove. But I found an even better way. I use my Keurig coffee maker. I “brew” water (the tallest cup setting) into a large oversized mug (a Disney one I’ve had forever). Then I put the milk in a glass bottle into the hot water and set the oven timer for two minutes. That’s it!

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