Friday, June 06, 2008

Caffeine Madness

Back on Sunday or Monday, I thought to myself, "Gee, it would be a good idea if I turn on the air conditioning now, before the weather gets hot, to make sure it works..." Wouldn't it have been great if I had actually done that? Maybe then I wouldn't have been standing in Target this evening, trying to decide which fans to purchase for our brick oven of a house.

[At least no one has chicken pox this time around...(you would have to click on that link to understand what I'm saying). It really is true that those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it.]

And don't think that this fan decision was an easy one. Oh, no, this is America we live in, folks; we've got enough freedom of choice to make an over-caffeinated housewife want to stick her head in the path of some whirring fan blades by the time she's done checking out all the air-moving options available to the citizens of this great land of ours. Let's see:

  • Standard traditional box fan - cheapest, yes, but it also has the widest gaps for little fingers to fit through; and it doesn't oscillate, which necessitates siblings' shoving each other away from it so each can have a "turn" getting cool.
  • Double window fan - efficient, fits well in window, but not useful during the day when it pulls enough humidity inside to make the ceilings drip.
  • Oscillating turbo floor fan (round) - Efficient, small, but it still looks like someone could get their fingers chopped off (although there would be a silver lining to that situation: the ER is probably air-conditioned)
  • Double oscillating floor fan - Hey! 2 kids can chop their fingers off at the same time! Great idea!
  • "Retro" fan - Looks cool, but form may be triumphing over function...
I ended up buying one double window fan (for non-humid nights) and one tower fan (space-saving design! motorized oscillation! remote control! tiny holes!). It took me a very long time to pick them out. But that didn't matter, because I was full of energy and wide awake, thanks to my drug-pushing friends.

You see, I was at a friend's house for a homeschool party this afternoon when I felt a migraine coming on. She offered me some aspirin-caffeine drug and recommended I take two. Please bear in mind that the most caffeine I have ever had at one time is a can of coke (35 milligrams - I looked it up). Turns out I ingested over 130 milligrams of caffeine in one fell swoop. That would be an extremely strong cup of coffee.

So I've discovered why everyone has way more energy than I do - you all drink coffee. And I don't. Larry looked extremely confused when he came home from work and was greeted by a wife who simply could not stop talking. Usually, I'm barely functional by the time he gets home. I'm just dragging through the dinner hour, calculating the minutes until bedtime. If he tries to start a conversation with me, I cry.

Not tonight, though. I regaled him with several amusing tales of what I had heard on NPR that afternoon, reported what everyone had said at the party, cheerfully babbled on and on about what a mess the backyard is, all the while zipping around the kitchen, filling water cups, giggling at nothing in particular, and generally acting like a 20-years-younger version of myself.

You know, you coffee-drinkers may be on to something.


  1. Reminds me of story about my cousin taking the same thing into her very petite body. A little goes a long way when you're smallish.

  2. Hm. Maybe I'm not having enough of it? Cuz I drink it and I'm still a cranky mess by dinner. Actually, that probably has more to do with the kids...

  3. Oh, I can't handle that aspirin-caffeine stuff when I get a migraine. I don't drink much caffeine at all, and the amount in one dose of the med is enough to make me throw up for hours afterwards. Plus, it doesn't get rid of the migraine.

  4. I'm also caffeine-free. One Diet Coke at lunch is enough to keep me up all night anymore.

    I think if you start drinking it you just get used to it and end up as tired as you were before.

  5. I came off caffeine two weeks ago, as per the dictates of the Flushed French Beach Watchers Diet; much to my husband's chagrin, my rate of verbosity has not slowed one bit.

  6. I used to feel all self rightous about not drinking any caffeine. Then Little Man came along and with him, true, intense sleep deprivation. 10 years worth. Mountain Dew is now my elixir of the gods. Given to me to get through a day without wanting to just shoot myself to get some rest.
    Hey, it isn't coffee, so I can feel at least some what self rightous, right?

  7. LOL! I am also caffeine free! One coke and I am up allllll night!

    Hopefully your AC is fixed soon!

  8. Perhaps the problem isn't coffee, or sans coffee? I found out I have a slow thyroid after the birth of my second child last year. I used to think a "low thyroid" diagnosis was a load of garbage and an excuse to eating more whipped cream on my pumpkin pie. BUT when I read the list of symptoms, I was shocked I had 9 out of 10. It wasn't the sheer exhaustion that was the worst, as I had grown used to it over 7 years. I didn't mind all the weight gain as I was trying to eat myself awake for 7 years. It was actually the fact I was cold all the time in the winter and fall. So, when I complained about that to my Dr, she checked my thyroid...just to check. Now that I have the right about of thyroid, I can stay awake all day, no naps. No rampant need for candy at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and ice cream after dinner. No more need for caffeine after about 10am, since my body can already function. So, you might need to check that out. It changed me.

  9. Six kids and no coffee? How do you function woman?

  10. AnonymousJune 06, 2008

    Oh this reminded me of my friend Justine who gave me and three other friends caffeine poisoning - it was really ghastly, and took 24 hours to wear off!
    Now I only do de-caff!

  11. fannie mae - not very well, that's for sure...

    imajackson - I should get it checked out again; I have before, but it's always been normal.

    jo - I think coffee would be healthier than Mountain Dew. Larry is always pointing out studies to me that show that coffee is actually beneficial. Because he drinks a lot of it.

    hokgardner - I did feel too sick to eat, but that was a double benefit. No headache, and lose weight!

    molly - I do think it was a body-size issue...

  12. I can't stomach coffee and caffeine pills make me vomit BUT Diet Coke with Lime? Elixer of the gods. It gets me through the day. My family calls it my "crack" as I get quite cranky without it LOL
    I'm addict, I know.

  13. I only drink one travel mug of coffee a day. But without it, I'm definitely sluggish.

    I sometimes think about going off caffeine, but then I remember that I have kids in the house who are going to expect Mom to be non-comatose.

    Plus, it's my only vice. I don't drink soda, I don't eat a lot of sweets, I hardly ever have alcohol. And as Larry says, coffee has many side benefits.

  14. Ack. My ac is broke too. It's only 90 out and humid. Look out indiana jones, here we come for some cool air.

    I have a couple cans of diet dr pepper each day. Oh and a cup of tea in the am. I'm thinking I may have to switch to coffee if it will give me more energy....oh the things I could get done!

  15. I miss my coffee. I refuse to feel guilty about it. I'm happier when I have some coffee. It's much better for me than, say, meth. I'm caffeine free right now and an absolute b**ch. I just hope this baby can tolerate me drinking some coffee while she's nursing. The last one couldn't. I might just cry if that's the case again.

  16. Just a comment about imajackson's comment. I too have hypothyroid. Right now it's the most under control that it ever has been and I can't believe the difference. I can finally have my hair long again without headaches. And I had at one point sadly resigned myself to the fact that I just wasn't going to be an active get out and run with the kids parent. But I am. It feels good.

  17. Gotta love caffeine...I love those ads for exedrin...Two pain relievers Plus a litlle something to make it work faster!
    It's aspirin, tylenol and caffeine.
    I just take my pain killers with a cup of coffee!

    A.C. Story: Snorkie spent the fall and winter throwing things into our brand new central air unit...I couldn't turn it on until DH "shop-vac'd" it!!!
    Blessedly this is the first we've needed it...
    I'll send up prayers for your survival!
    Blessings, EJT

  18. So, is the real reason it took you so long to decide on the fan is because the store was air conditioned?

    Personally, I like Cherry vanilla diet Dr. Pepper. That has enough caffeine to keep me awake and alert for quite a while. I drink a can every day. If I happen to forget my daily can, my children will bring me one without being asked. Not that I'm crabby if I don't have it or anything like that.

  19. AnonymousJune 06, 2008

    I once went for a full two years with no caffeine. Then someone, trying to be nice, brought me a frapaccino on a very hot day when I was working.


    And I never looked back. Although I never have more than one cup a day.

  20. AnonymousJune 06, 2008

    That's funny! Yes, the coffee habit is a boon to my productivity. My MIL claims diet pills work the same way, but I'm going to have to take her word for it;)

  21. No A.C. here. Most of the time it's o.k. and the two unbearable weeks during the summer when it's not? Well I go shopping.
    Don't drink coffee but once or twice a year I have digressed to Dr. Pepper to keep my eyes open. Embarrass the heck out of the kids with my giggling, dancing and singing too.

  22. Caffeine makes my world go round. It's a sad realization, but it's true. I'll pay for it someday, surely. Hope the fans help keep you cool!

  23. Mt.Dew works wonders also. The sugar adds to the caffeine. We added you to our blog list because we think you're dang funny. Hope you don't mind.

  24. I like my caffeine in the morning, but if I have it after about 2 in the afternoon, it takes forever for me to fall asleep.

    Fans...lucky you to live somewhere that's cool enough for those to do the trick. We've had our air running for a couple of months now.

  25. Caffeine has never affected either myself or my husband. And it's been passed on to our children. We give them chocolate and soda for bedtime snacks because we're stellar parents like that.

  26. "If he [Larry] tries to start a conversation with me, I cry."

    If HB tried to start a conversation with me when he got home from work I would cry too - from the sheer joyful shock of it. There are some days it would be nice to converse with an intelligent adult. HB only talks to his computers after work - and he sings to them too, at bedtime. (He doesn't sing to the children.)

  27. Seeeeeee? There's a reason I'm addicted (although I just drink a ton of diet coke to get my fix).

  28. OH what a FUN blog to happen upon tonight! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  29. AnonymousJune 07, 2008

    I can't believe you've made it this far, parenting teens and toddlers, without caffeine! You are truly Super Mom.

    Please keep drinking it lots! You will like it.

  30. Caffeine, it's all the rage! Very funny image of you not used to caffeine all buzzed up and chatty!

  31. I live off coffee. P and I have a pot at night before bed! I sleep like a baby.

  32. we got AC for the first time a month or so ago. I can't tell you how excited I am for this summer!
    I can't even handle a coke, I don't go anywhere near caffeinated meds.

  33. AnonymousJune 07, 2008

    I'm certainly not caffeine free, way too much soda, tea, and coffee in my life. But I'm feeling you on the no a/c. We're 90+ degrees today and no working air compressor. Yikes, we're fighting for position in front of our standing oscillating fan! There's a lot to be said for checking these things out during spring :-)

    or, as I call it, nectar of the gods. It helps me do stupid things with more energy.

  35. We have zone ac- a window unit in every room. I still have to clean out a 2 of them, as they are very dust and one has mildew in the louvres. But I have to ones for the bedrooms, kitchen, living room and dining room installed.

    Caffiene is my friend. :) Though, if I drink more than 2 glasses of caffinated ice tea, I am hyper and can't get too sleep at night.

  36. So, I'm now tempted to take those pills, except eventually, you end up on a holter monitor and your Dr. tells you your heart doesn't like the caffeine and then you have to kick the habit. I'll just stick to the low dose chocolate and be sluggish.