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.

Advertisements
 

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.)

 

Image

(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.

Image

 

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.

Image

 

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

 

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.

 

Boys are gross. End of story. October 10, 2012

Filed under: Anthony — Kemi @ 1:47 pm
Tags: , , , ,

After being tucked into bed multiple times and threatened with bodily harm* if he dared get off his bed AGAIN, it was a very timid, sheepish, completely freaked-out Anthony who tiptoed his way from the kitchen into the family room, where Kenny and I were watching television.

 

“Mom,” he whispered, tears gathering in his eyes, “there is a bug in my room.  It might even be a spider.  Please, please, please come and kill it before it gets me.”

 

I grabbed the fly swatter on our way back to his room.  He climbed back up the ladder and took great pleasure in smashing the offending creature.  I traded him the fly swatter for a kleenex, so he could clean up the remains.  (There were none that I could see on the fly swatter, so I figured his wall had to be a disgusting mess.)

 

After a few seconds of vigorous rubbing, he crawled to the other side of the bed, looked down at me sheepishly, and said, “So, I think it wasn’t a bug or a spider after all.  I think it was boogers.  From, y’know, when I pick my nose and wipe it on the wall.”

 

What do you say to that?  Besides, “Eeew, gross, disgusting, don’t do it again, tomorrow you’re wiping down your entire wall, I will get you a box of tissues, you are SO lucky your bed is so high I can’t see that, what is WRONG with you, that is so so SO gross and disgusting!”

 

Where do they learn this stuff?  Honestly…

 

 

*Not really.  Settle down.

 

11 months. Unbelievable. May 10, 2012

Filed under: Sam — Kemi @ 3:35 pm

image

I love you, Baby Sam!

 

No Help for Hypochondriacs May 2, 2012

(This post could also be titled “My Mom is the Meanest Mom in the Whole World”, and it might even be true.)

 

So, apparently I really freaked my kids out by being so sick a few weeks ago.  None of us have ever had strep throat (that I can remember, anyway), so it was a BIG DEAL to them.  Like, one-breath-away-from-death Big Deal.  I was too sick to realize they were so panicked, and so they turned to their dad for reassurance, which… well, let’s just say that he’s a bit of an alarmist when it comes to illness.

 

I got better, but the damage was already done.  Every day, for the past three weeks, I have engaged in some variation of the following conversation:

 

Kid:  Mom, I’m sick.

Me:  Oh no!  What’s wrong?

Kid:  Strep throat.  I have it bad.

Me:  What are your symptoms?

Kid:  My eyes won’t stop watering.

Me:  Are you sneezing?  Is your nose running?  Does your throat itch?

Kid:  (insert dramatic swoon here) Yes!  I knew it!  It’s strep!  Do I need to go to the hospital?

Me:  Allergies.  They are ALLERGIES, and you need Benadryl.  Or Allegra.

Kid:  I’m pretty sure it’s strep throat.

Me:  I’m pretty sure it’s not.

 

I’m not even kidding.  Every headache is a migraine.  Every sniffle is strep throat.  A warm or sweaty forehead means one of two things:  either a raging fever, or a raging fever that has broken.

[Common sense would (should!) show that the child who goes to bed in flannel pajamas when it’s 70 degrees outside, and then pulls two fleece blankets over himself, plus a comforter and a quilt, might wake up a teensy bit hot.  Most definitely sweaty.  But who needs a thermometer when one of us has a magic hand that ignores common sense and can accurately measure a fever simply by hovering over the afflicted person.  “Oooh, it feels like 103.7.  Let’s add more layers so the fever will break faster.”  Or (my personal favorite), “It feels like a fever of 101.2.  Based on the amount of sweat on the pajamas, I’d bet this fever was at least 105, and it’s gone down that much on its own.  Should we call the doctor to let her know?”]

 

I have started telling the kids, in what has to be the WORST Arnold impression EVER, “It’s not a too-mah.  It’s NOT.”  And of course, they don’t get it.

 

For the past week, Sam has been running a (legitimate) low-grade fever.  He’s had a mild runny nose.  He’s also teething again, and he really likes to gnaw on his hands, which were looking a little red and chapped.  Thursday night he threw up after dinner.  (It’s the first time he’s ever thrown up, which is a miracle by itself!)

[Would it surprise you to know that parent with the magic fever-hand who claims to be the epitome of calm and collected in ANY crisis– HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Hahahaha.  Ha.– stood at the high chair screeching for the other kids to grab something, ANYTHING, to stop the vomit, but “NO!  NOT THAT!  SOMETHING ELSE!  NO!  NOT THAT, EITHER!  What about a clean towel from the bathroom?  GRAB ALL THE TOWELS!”]

After a bath (and a large load of laundry), poor Sam laid on my lap in a sad, hot little heap for the rest of the night.  He was running a (legitimate) fever, but couldn’t keep anything down, so I used cool washcloths to help him feel better.  Four kids went to bed convinced that their baby brother had some sort of intestinal blockage that would require emergency surgery and a lengthy hospitalization, because what other reason could there possibly be for a baby to vomit?

 

(I KNOW!!!)

 

So, Friday morning he woke up with a rash on his fingers, but with no more fever or vomiting.  Since this is not my first baby, and not the first time I’ve taken a baby to the doctor for a rash, only to be told it’s Roseola, and will go away on its own, I let it go.  By Sunday, they had morphed into these nasty blister-like things that resembled Chicken Pox, but only on his hands.  So, to the InstaCare we went.  (Remember when everyone got Chicken Pox at some point, and it was just part of childhood?  Now they have the vaccine, for which I am EXTREMELY grateful, but kids hear “Chicken Pox” and equate it with imminent death.  Or maybe that’s just my kids.  I could not convince them that I survived Chicken Pox almost 30 years ago, along with their dad, their aunts and uncles, their friends’ parents, their teachers, their grandparents, and pretty much every other person over the age of 20.)  Anyway, not Pox;  Impetigo.  It turns out that the strep version of Impetigo affects primarily the hands, and the staph version spreads around the mouth and nose.  (DO NOT GOOGLE images.  Trust me on this.  Nasty, nasty, nasty.)  So, I guess you could say that Sam had “strep hands”, which sent the family into another tizzy.  It didn’t help when Kenny told them if they touched Sam, they would get it, too, and it would spread all over their bodies.

 

Kendra came into our room Monday night, about 2:30 AM, whimpering.  She is 12 now, and hasn’t come into our room at night for years.  Years and years.  So, this was surprising.  She felt hot, so I used the thermometer (NOT the magic fever-hand).  101.2.  She took two Advil, and crawled back into bed.  I asked her if she was hurting somewhere, and she said no.  I asked why she was crying.  “Because I have a fever.  It’s probably strep throat.  I’m so scared!  Will I get Sam’s rash?”  I reassured her that it was most likely NOT strep, but probably Roseola, or something similar, which was completely mild and would go away in a day or two, and didn’t even give older kids a rash.  She still felt miserable in the morning, so I let her stay home from school.  I knew she was really, truly sick when she spent the entire day on the couch, watching movies and dozing off.  She begged me to sit by her and play with her hair, or tickle her back, or rub her face.

 

When Anthony got home from school, he was not happy about having to share my attention, so he turned into Naughty Boy.  (Annoying siblings and making them miserable since 2005!)  Bedtime could not come fast enough.  Of course, there had to be a massive thunderstorm that woke him up shortly after midnight, and the magic-hand thermometer pronounced he had a fever in the 102 range.  (Because why wouldn’t a fever wake you up, rather than thunder, lightning, and a full bladder?)

 

So, I’ll give you one guess who did not want to go to school this morning.  Anthony stomped around the house in his nightshirt, refusing to get dressed for school.  When I sent him to his room, he sat on Alex’s bed and refused to move.  He kept insisting he was sick, and he didn’t feel well, and there was no way he could go to Kindergarten.  (He would have been more convincing if he’d kept the smile off his face.)  I was tempted to let him stay home for a split second, but then I knew that I’d spend the morning hearing, “Mom, whyyyyy can’t I play Nintendo?  What about my game boy?  Pleeeeeeeease?  Pleeeeeeeeeeeease?  Can I at least play your phone?  I’m feeling so much better now!”  So I told him he could stay home (his face lit up!) but since he was sick, he would be expected to lay on the couch ALL DAY LONG, not getting up to play, not having any computer time, not having snacks or candy or anything else.  (Aaaaand, just that fast, his face fell.)  He practically flew back to his room to get dressed and brush his teeth while I wrote a note to his teacher.  He thought I wrote that he was sick, and should be allowed to call me if he needed to come home.  What I really wrote was an apology to his teacher, for sending him to school in such a rotten mood.  (Good thing he can’t read cursive!)

 

Kindergarten ends in 20 minutes, and– surprise!  He did not die.  Nor did he vomit, cough up a lung, asphyxiate, bleed out due to nosebleed, or go into anaphylactic shock.  He did have a small bug bite on his thumb, which was not caused by a Brown Recluse or a Black Widow, or a hepatitis-carrying mosquito, but as long as we don’t consult the magic-hand thermometer, it’ll probably clear up on its own.

 

If not, there is Calamine lotion in the medicine chest.