Cinnamon-Vanilla Scented Oatmeal (and Donuts)

I have given up the fight. I am raising the white flag. I am surrendering.

I am never ever going to get a good night’s sleep again.

At nearly 9 months of age, little Ben still won’t sleep through the night. I guess the little stinker likes his 11:30 pm and 2:00 am and 4:15 am and 5:30 am snuggles too much to give them up. And I am too much of a sucker to make him cry it out all night. As the youngest of four, I think Ben might be looking for cuddle time at night because he just doesn’t get enough of it during the day. It breaks my heart.

My level of tiredness and exhaustion is now reaching epic proportions. When Ben woke me up at 5:30 this morning I just could not fall back to sleep. So, I stumbled downstairs to start my day. In the grey morning light in a quiet kitchen I stirred up a pot of this warming porridge. Scented with vanilla bean and cinnamon and sweetened with honey, it tastes like a winter morning. Infusing any hot breakfast cereal with subtle aromatics is quite easy – a simple way to make the day special…

…when the kids trotted down the stairs at 7:30 I had steaming bowls waiting for them. Despite my enthusiasm for this simple and comforting breakfast, they were less than enthused. Mack wanted chocolate chip pancakes, Evie wanted bread with jelly and Vivian would have been happy with a handful of chocolate chips.  Fortunately for them, my efforts were quickly trumped by my dad’s: he surprised them with a box of gourmet donuts from Chicago’s Glazed and Infused.  Captain to their rescue!

Of course little Ben wanted in on the donut action. Maybe if he let me sleep I would have given him a bite. Ha!

Cinnamon-Vanilla Scented Cream of Wheat

2 cups water

2 cups whole milk

1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwide

1 cinnamon stick

3/4 cup Cream of Wheat

a few good swirls of honey


Combine water, milk, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisk in Cream of Wheat, and reduce heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, whisking often.

Stir in honey. Serve in bowls and top with a nice pour of cream.

Did you like this? Share it:

Written by

More posts by:

3 Comments for this entry

  1. Keri says:

    Maureen, I feel your pain and it’s nice to hear someone is going through the up and down all night with me! Someday these babies won’t want to snuggle so much with us. I have to say, I would choose the oatmeal over the donut too! Oatmeal is by far my favorite breakfast, especially in the winter. Can’t wait to try this one 🙂

  2. Coriander says:

    There are some gentle ways of helping a small child learn to sleep all night that don’t involve letting him or her cry all night or anywhere near it. I got some great ideas out of Harvey Karp’s book The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep: Simple Solutions for Kids from Birth to 5 Years, and you might also find some worthwhile ideas in Elizabeth Pantley’s The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers: Gentle Ways to Stop Bedtime Battles and Improve Your Child’s Sleep. If your husband is getting some rest, perhaps he would read these for you and make a plan to help you on your way to getting some actual sleep.

    I have friends who taught their breast-fed/bed-sharing toddler to sleep on her own and through the night, with a thoughtful plan that helped her be comfortable and moved her slowly toward that eventually realized goal of good sleep for her and her family.

    I hope things get better for you soon. It’s extremely difficult to be so exhausted and have so many responsiblities. It can be hard enough to mother when well-rested.

Leave a comment