I need a nap.
On Thursday, I-bug got a stomach virus at school. Apparently every child and teacher in the school has had it, and it was his turn. I got the phone call about 15 minutes before a meeting I'd scheduled at work, and the other person was already in transit, coming from an hour away, so I felt I needed to stay for the meeting. His teacher assured me that she'd be able to keep him until regular dismissal time. When I got there, he was lying on the floor, covered in his little blue fuzzy blanket, and I found out he'd been sick every half hour. My mom-guilt kicked in, big time. How could I be such a horrible parent, to not rush to pick up my sick child immediately? Stupid hour commute. I spent the rest of the day trying to make him feel better; poor little monkey was writhing in pain, begging me to do something, and all I could do was feed him sips of water from a teaspoon and rub his belly. We both spent the night on couches in the living room. sleeping fitfully and waking every few hours. He didn't get sick again, until today, when he tossed his cookies at lunch. Suffice to say that he has not been a happy camper.
Of course, my body is now too misshapen to be conducive to sleeping in my own bed, so I'm spending most of the night on the couch, anyway, heading to our room for the last hour because I feel guilty for abandoning my husband. Not that sleeping on the couch allows for much actual sleeping, of course. I think I'm running on about eight hours over the past two nights.
We interviewed a postpartum doula today, who said something about always asking clients if they've gotten to sleep. Half-jokingly, I said, "the answer to that question is already 'no'." At least she would ask. Not that my mother has volunteered to come cook and do light housekeeping and help with baby care in those first few weeks (the other day when she was here she told me she didn't put laundry in the dryer because she didn't know what went into the dryer and what didn't), but if she did, I can't imagine her asking me if I need a nap.
How can I be hitting the wall already, when I haven't even given birth yet?
I've been trying to mitigate the effects of sleeplessness (mostly unsuccessfully, of course) with sugar and chocolate, in various forms. (Doubtless, I will have gained at least 5 pounds this week at my next weigh-in.) The leftover cookies that didn't make it to the neighbors or get eaten by my undergrads beckon loudly from the kitchen, and I hasten there when I'm called. These little morsels are particularly tasty, and barely survived a day after the open house for my students. Eaten within a day or two after baking, they're like soft pillows of chocolate (you won't want to keep them too much longer than that anyway). Eaten warm, they're simply amazing.
Perhaps they'll get you through the holiday, too.
4 T unsalted butter
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. peppermint extract (optional, if you like peppermint-flavored crinkles, or other flavoring if you like)
1 c. confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, or a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter together. Stir well, remove from heat and set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs and sugar until thick, pale, and fluffy. (When you slowly raise the beaters the batter will fall back into the bowl in slow ribbons.) At this point beat in the vanilla extract and then stir in the melted chocolate mixture.
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to shape into balls (3-4 hours or overnight).
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place the confectioners sugar in a shallow bowl. With lightly greased hands (this is really important; I sprayed oil on my hands periodically and it worked quite well), roll a small amount of chilled dough to form a 1 inch ball. Place the ball of dough into the confectioners sugar and roll the ball in the sugar until it is completely coated and no chocolate shows through. Gently lift the sugar-covered ball, tapping off excess sugar, and place on prepared baking sheet. Continue forming cookies, spacing about 2 inches apart on baking sheets. (If you find the dough getting too soft for rolling into balls, return to the refrigerator and let chill until firm.)
Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or just until the edges are slightly firm but the centers are still soft. (For moist chewy cookies do not over bake. Over baking these cookies will cause them to be dry.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
These cookies are best eaten the day they are baked.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.