Kemi, like “chemistry”

Random Musings of the Misunderstood

It’s all about perspective… January 1, 2014

Filed under: Natalie,Sam,sick — Kemi @ 12:07 pm

It felt like I had just fallen into bed, just closed my eyes, just drifted off to sleep when I felt the sharp jab in my ribs.

 

“Honey, Sam threw up in the crib.  I need to you to wake up.”

(Which, let’s be real, really meant, “It’s disgusting and smelly, and I don’t want to do it.”)

 

Poor Sam.  He has had a nasty cold for over a week, and now that it’s (mostly) settled into his chest, when he coughs too hard, he tends to throw up a little.  Not a big deal, really.  I stripped his sheets, remade the bed, tossed the soiled stuff in an empty basket, and tucked him back in.  I was back in bed by 3 AM.  It took less than 15 minutes.  Just as I was drifting off, I thought, “Well there’s a great start to 2014!”

 

An hour later, Natalie woke up to eat.  I stubbed my little toe on the way to the couch.  Then I sat on a toy that had worked its way between the cushions.  When I crawled back into bed, I discovered that Kenny had stolen all the covers.  “Wow.  2014 REALLY sucks!” I thought to myself as I fought for a corner of sheet.

 

Natalie woke me up again before 8 AM.  (Someone didn’t get the “Post New-Year Sleep in Late” memo.)  Once I got her settled with a bottle, I signed into Facebook to complain about my eventful night.  I was looking for sympathy.  What I found was a message from a very close friend of mine, telling me her beloved mother-in-law had passed away.

 

Suddenly, nighttime vomit and a stubbed toe seemed less catastrophic– dramatically so.  I will not be spending my New Year planning a funeral, or comforting my grieving husband, or explaining death to my children.  A washing machine and a quick nap will fix everything for me.  There is no quick, easy fix for her.  Her sorrow will last a lot longer than the pain from my stubbed toe.

 

That’s all for now.  I’m off to hug my kids, and to tell my parents I love them.

 

Tales from Motherland September 11, 2013

Filed under: motherhood,Natalie — Kemi @ 2:35 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

My friend Jeri (Hi, Jeri!) complimented my blog this morning, and linked to it on her Facebook account.  Gaaah!  It hasn’t been updated in three months!  Suddenly there’s so much pressure to write!  I’m not even going to shoot for funny (don’t you DARE stop reading!  Eyes back here, NOW!);  I just need words on the page.

 

There is so much to say, and I am too busy to say it.  That’s the irony of having a blog when you’re a mother:  there is always material, but you’re too _______________ to write about it.  (You’re welcome to fill in the blank with any of the following words (or choose one of your own!):  tired, irritated, overwhelmed, exhausted, angry, frazzled, tired, forgetful, hungry, distracted, lazy.

 

For example, I posted this on Facebook yesterday:

It never fails… when I don’t shower or get dressed in the morning, one of my kids will get sick at school and need to be picked up, and I’ll run into everyone I know.

It’s the mom walk of shame, and unfortunately, I walk it well.

 

What I did not share on Facebook, but that I don’t mind sharing with you, is that I swapped out my pajama bottoms for a pair of jeans, and tried to hid the fact that I was bra-less under a hoodie.  Double bonus points because it also covered up some mysterious stains on my pajama shirt.  (Mystery solved!  I have young kids!)  Yes, it was 80+ degrees outside, and I chose a hoodie and long pants because I didn’t want to put on my bra.  Oh, and because I haven’t done laundry in a week or four, and those were quite possibly the only clean clothes in my closet.

 

And then I ran into the mom of one of Hannah’s friends who was substituting at the school.  “Oh, Kemi!” she said, startled.  “Is that you?  I didn’t even recognize you.”  Bless her for saying that, although I suspect she was just being kind.  And then, when I told her how nice she looked, she said, “I rarely dress up, so when I have a reason to look pretty, I embrace it.”  I thought about hugging her, but I remembered the baby stains and the no bra thing and decided to smile, instead.  I was grateful that I had the foresight to chew a couple of mint Mentos on my way out the door, because I couldn’t remember if I had brushed my teeth or not.  My appearance is all smoke and mirrors, people.  (And spit up.  And deodorant.  And ponytails.  And hoodies.  God bless hoodies.)

 

See?  Material.  But then I spent the rest of my day managing the child who was too sick to stay at school, but not sick enough for computer games, fighting with his sister (who was truly, legitimately sick), chasing his little brother, and generally driving everyone in the house CRAZY because his mean mom wouldn’t give in and let him play the Wii all afternoon, and by the time all the kids were in bed, I was practically comatose.  (“Dinner” was peanut butter and jelly on leftover hot dog buns, for crying out loud.)

 

So much to write, but so little energy.

 

I could also talk about my sweet baby Natalie (Hi, Natalie!) who is now FOUR MONTHS OLD.

(Isn’t she cute?  We love her to pieces.  She is my chunky monkey.)

 

You might want to hear less about how much she poops (she has been alive for 131 days, and has had, AT MINIMUM, 110 blowouts that necessitated complete outfit changes… NOT EVEN KIDDING), but like I said above, it’s material.  I got her up this morning and changed her diaper, and the minute it was off, she released her bladder and peed all over the couch.  ALL OVER.  I was so shocked, all I could do was sit there and watch, her feet clasped in my left hand, as it dribbled out like a bubbling fountain and seeped into the microfiber cushions.  Clearly, I have become less of a “Morning Person”, and more of a “Never Quite Achieves Full Consciousness At Any Point in the Day Person”.  I’m afraid my reflexes are firing a little slow, lately.  And, because my daughter not only has incredible volume, but impeccable aim, she managed to get her pajamas wet.  Soaked, actually.  And they were tucked up behind her neck, so you do the math.  Geometry was never my strongest subject.

 

Then, not even an hour later, I left her on the *other* couch cushion  (you know, the one that wasn’t wet and didn’t smell like Amoxicillin pee…  thank you, ear infection!) while I dragged the middle kids out of bed and got them going.  Then one of the dogs threw up, so I let them outside, cleaned it up, and took an armful of clothes downstairs to put in the washer.  Two steps into the laundry room, my foot hit something soft and squishy and slippery.  I didn’t know whether to be relieved or even more disgusted when it turned out to be chunky dog vomit and not poop.  So washing the dog bed and blankets became Priority One for the day, until I went back upstairs and heard, “Mom?  Natalie’s stinky.  Bad-stinky.  BAD.”

 

Do I even need to spell it out?  Probably not, but I’m going to.  It was a veritable poo-splosion, bubbling over the top of her diaper and squeezing past the flimsy elastic leg guards.  It was everywhere, including the couch cushion.  The kids are so used to the Natalie-Blowout drill, they moved into position with military precision (and without a word from me).  Anthony grabbed a used towel to put under her, and then found a plastic grocery sack and held it open.  Hannah searched the clean laundry basket for a new outfit.  Sam grabbed the wipes and a clean diaper, and put them within my reach on the coffee table.  Five minutes and 40 wipes later, she was fresh and clean, but the couch needed some major attention.  All I could do was throw a towel on it and yell, “DON’T SIT THERE!  DON’T SIT DOWN!  KEEP OFF OF THE TOWEL!” any time anyone got within two feet of the couch.  Once the kids left for school, the cleaning frenzy began.

 

Let me just say, vinyl upholstery covers and those glittery plastic runners my grandma used on her carpet have never held so much appeal.

 

So THIS is why I am an infrequent updater.  So much to say, but so little time.  So little energy.  So much laundry.

SO. MUCH. LAUNDRY.

 

Auf wiedersehen, for now.  Until we meet again…  like maybe when Natalie is out of diapers.  (Ha!)

 

One Month June 4, 2013

Filed under: motherhood,Natalie — Kemi @ 11:11 am
Tags: , ,

 

Natalie is one month old today.  (Yesterday, now, since I am posting after midnight.)

 

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(Oh, yeah!  I survived one month!)

I had grand plans for a blog post– with photo!– of her milestone day.  I thought I’d get her dressed up in a cute outfit and snap some adorable pictures of her, but it’s only been one month.

 

Do you know what one month looks like?

 

*One month looks like a month’s worth of laundry, both clean and dirty, waiting to be washed and/or put away.  They are slowly creeping together, making it hard to distinguish between the two.

*One month looks like a perpetual sink full of dirty dishes.

*One month looks like toys and books scattered from room to room (thank you, Sam!).

*One month looks like Zombie Mom and no sleep.

*One month looks like a disheveled ponytail, no makeup, unshaven legs, and mismatched clothes (when pajamas won’t do).

*One month looks like a plain white onesie and some cell phone shots on Mom’s bed, rather than a picture in a cute outfit and the “real” camera.

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One month is hard.  One month is so, SO hard.

 

One month is worth it, though.  One month is this face, peeking out at me from the folds of her swaddling blankets.  It’s the rhythm of her sucking, and the way she reacts to hearing my voice.  It’s the time we have together in the middle of the night, when no one else is awake. It’s the secrets I whisper to her, and the tears I cry that only she hears.

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One month may not be perfect to anyone else, but it’s perfect for me.

 

Impending Bloom May 1, 2013

Filed under: Kemi,motherhood,The Looney Bin — Kemi @ 1:31 pm
Tags: , , ,

Baby Luna is scheduled for delivery on Friday.  (Unless the storm that brought this morning’s snow also brings us a baby before then.)  While I am elated at being released from what my friend Melissa calls “House Arrest”, and I can’t wait to snuggle my new baby, I would be lying if I didn’t admit to being a little anxious about what will change.

 

This is the last time our family will number 7.

This is the last time I will ever be pregnant.

Last time to feel a baby kick and move inside me.

Last time to bond with Kenny over a new life that we created.

Last time to be pampered at the Women’s Center.

Last two nights of decent sleep, at least for the next few months.  :)

Last time wearing maternity clothes.  (I can’t say I’m too sad about this one.)

Last c-section and recovery.  (I can definitely say I’m not heartbroken about this one.)

 

There are a lot of other things I’ll miss about my life the way it is right now.  I’m sure that several of those will include doing things with two hands, showering regularly, and not having to take a double stroller everywhere.  However, when I think about all I get to look forward to (a new baby, nighttime feeding sessions that are exclusively ours, a new baby, our completed eternal family, and have I mentioned a new baby?), those little things seem trivial in comparison.

 

As much as I love being pregnant (and really, I do!), there is nothing like holding– or, in my case, seeing over the surgery curtain– your brand new baby, knowing that it came from a divine place, and realizing that it is yours.  Yours to love, to nurture, to bless, and to teach.

 

So, while there are a lot of “lasts” in my immediate future, there are equally as many beginnings in store.

 

Here’s to our new family… a family of 8.

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Yay for Spring? April 26, 2013

Filed under: Anthony,Hannah — Kemi @ 9:21 pm
Tags: , ,

Hannah and Anthony were outside riding scooters this afternoon.

 

“Hey, Mom,” asked Anthony, “if there’s a sprinkler that’s on, is it okay if we ride through it, or should we go around?”

 

“It’s warm enough,” I told him.  “You can ride through.”

 

Minutes (and I mean no more than TWO minutes) later, Anthony tried to sneak through the back door.  Luckily for me, he was foiled by his baby brother.  Sheepishly, he asked me if I would take his shoes and put them on the rug to dry.

 

“Just how wet are you?” I asked him.

 

“Not too bad,” he told me.

 

“Let me see!” I said.

 

“Uh, do I have to?”

 

“You do now.  Let me see.”

 

He pushed the door open all the way, and it looked like he had jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed.  He stood there, dripping onto the garage floor, with a nervous smile on his face.  “Hannah is this wet, too!” he protested.  “It isn’t just me.”

 

All I could do was smile.  “So, it’s okay?” he asked.  I laughed and nodded, and he ran back to Hannah as fast as he could, screaming,  “She says it’s okay.  Let’s get wet again!”

 

They rode scooters for nearly an hour.  They probably would have ridden longer, but the neighbor’s sprinklers turned off for the night.  What a shame.

 

It’s a good thing that tomorrow will be warm, too.

 

Luna-tic dream

So, this has been a fairly uneventful pregnancy, until I got to about 31 weeks, when everything fell apart.  My blood pressure is consistently high, there is too much protein in my urine, I have gestational diabetes again (which I am convinced is a fluke, since I’ve passed every test except one, but whatever…), restricted activity, weekly doctor visits, and weekly antepartum testing.

 

On Sunday night, we went to the hospital because I had a headache so terrible, I was seeing spots.  The baby looked fine, so they sent me home after a few hours.  I met with my doctor on Tuesday, and my blood pressure– on medication– was 178/134.  He made me repeat a 24-hour urine capture (yes, it is every bit as gross as it sounds) and ordered a whole bunch of lab tests, and told us if they came back abnormal, he was going to do an emergency c-section at 35 (+3) weeks.  There was an extra sense of urgency because he was going out of town for the weekend, and everything had to fall into place by Wednesday evening.

 

Naturally, the lab lost my blood work, so what should have taken a few hours to process dragged into the next day.  My liver and kidney functions both looked okay, but my doctor still had me on alert, pending the results of the 24-hour urine sample.  Which disappeared– of course it did!– and was unable to be read for a full day.  It came back elevated, too.  While not in kidney-failure range, it was still 3x higher than normal.  The doctor on call was ready to book an O.R., but based on some insurance technicality that says only MY doctor can tie my tubes, they paged my doctor on his vacation and asked him if he felt okay about holding off on the delivery until he gets back.  (He did.)

 

[I won’t get into it in this post, but out of everything scary that’s happened in the past month, making the decision to tie my tubes was the most emotional, heart-wrenching,  guilt-inducing,am-I-making-the-right-choice experience I have had to deal with.  Even knowing my body should not carry another baby without causing significant risk to both of us, I still struggle with the idea that this is it.  Finito.  No more babies for me.  I have cried more about this decision than anything else over the past 9 months combined.]

 

So, Monday morning, my doctor will review the labs and make a decision about surgery.  Will it be Monday?  Will I see him again on Tuesday and he’ll make his choice then?  Will we try to hold off until May 13, the scheduled date, which will make the baby 38 (+2) weeks?  Or go until this Friday, when I will be 37 weeks exactly, and we won’t have to worry about “pre-term” anything?

 

I am exhausted.  Mentally.  Physically, too, but the up-in-the-air-ness about the whole thing has become my full-time focus.  (No wonder my blood pressure is so high!)  I wander around the house during the day, flitting from thing to thing.  I am restless and unfocused.  My attention span is worse than Sam’s.  It’s time.  Even if it’s not time, it’s time.  I’ve never looked so forward to surgery before, even though it will bring the end of one of the best six experiences of my life.

 

I give you all of this information, not because I think you’re particularly interested, but to better illustrate my frame of mind and how last night’s dream reflects my insanity.

 

I dreamed that I received an LDS mission call along with my younger brother.  Nevermind that I am almost two decades too old to serve (and so is Kevin!), or that I have a family to take care of.  In my dream, I was single.  Maybe I was back in my 20’s.  I don’t know.

 

Anyway, I got a very detailed brochure about where I would be serving (Nebraska), who I would be paired with, what my responsibilities would be, why I was called to this specific place, and some background information about the people who lived in this area.

 

My brother’s brochure said, “Dallas, Texas.  Report to Provo MTC by 6 AM on [this date].”  That was all.

 

So, after re-reading my information, I discovered that there were some things missing.  (Duh.)  I knew where I was supposed to end up, and with whom, but I had no idea WHEN I was supposed to leave, or what I was supposed to take with me.  I spent the remainder of my dream trying to throw together two years’ worth of supplies while worrying about whether or not I would get to the right place at the right time.  Needless to say, Dream Me was completely unproductive.  I felt like a chicken, running around in circles with my head cut off.  When I woke up, my heart was racing and I was dizzy and disoriented.  It took me nearly an hour to settle down and go back to sleep.

 

I miss the dreams I had when I was pregnant with Sam.  At least THOSE ended with a baby.  :)

 

Here’s to Luna, and to a delivery that comes SOONER, rather than LATER.  (Which, ironically, is my doctor’s name.)  :D

 

 

Tonight’s sleep disruption brought to you by Duracel. Also, First Alert. February 13, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kemi @ 12:57 pm
Tags: , , ,

Last week, Anthony helped me put in new batteries in our smoke alarms.  (Notice how I didn’t say “replace”?  I figured they actually had to have had batteries IN  them at some point in the past two years to qualify as being replaced.)  I didn’t think I’d have to give them another thought until August, when we were due to repeat the process.

 

And then, sometime after 1 am this morning, the beeping started.

 

[As a side note:  What is with smoke alarm batteries failing in the middle of the night?  Seriously?  You can’t hold it together for another four hours, until we’re all awake and I don’t want to bash you with a hammer?  Or a Tonka truck?  I HATE you, smoke alarms.  You too, batteries!]

 

I heard it on my second trip to the bathroom, and pretended I didn’t.  It took me a little bit longer to fall asleep after my fourth trip, because I started counting “one-Mississippi, two-Mississippi” between chirps.  Some chirps were 20 Mississippis, while others were 6 or 7.  (This lends credence to my theory that smoke alarms are very much alive and inherently evil, since they not only choose to go off in the middle of the night, but have a way of controlling the intervals between chirps.  This would also explain why every time I go downstairs to figure out which battery needs replacing, the stupid thing is silent until I’m halfway up the stairs.  I am 6 1/2  months pregnant.  Also, I am not a ninja.  I refuse to dive into every doorway, hoping to catch the offending alarm before it finishes its masochistic “CHIRP!”)  

 

At some point, I fell asleep again, and forgot all about the beeping until SOMEONE  *coughLunacough*  thought it would be funny to use my bladder as a trampoline.  I dragged myself to the bathroom one more time, and listened to the chirp find its way up the stairs, around the corner, through the kitchen, down the hallway, and into my head.  I used a pillow to muffle the persistent sound, and slept semi-peacefully until morning.

 

This morning, I have been downstairs half a dozen times, and I can’t figure out which alarm is having issues.  I have stood in every room, next to every alarm, pressed “test” repeatedly, and still–  nothing.  I’m about ready to pull all the batteries out and leave the empty alarms behind, just so the beeping will stop.  

 

And suddenly, just like that, I remember why none of my alarms have had batteries in them for a long, long, LONG time…

 

 
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