Kemi, like “chemistry”

Random Musings of the Misunderstood

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.


How we spent (some of) our summer vacation July 27, 2010

Filed under: Alex,Anthony,Hannah,Kendra,movies — Kemi @ 8:28 am

     My brother Kevin is working on his computer animation degree at the University of Utah, and he had to make a live-action film for one of his classes this semester.  (“Make” = write, cast, film, edit, compose score, produce, etc.)  His professor encouraged them to avoid filming with animals and children (or children who are animals, in this case), but Kevin laughed at the wisdom and went ahead and used both (and then cursed himself– and his actors– later).


[My brother is extremely patient, but after a long, hot day of filming, after a long, hot week  of filming, I heard his voice carry across the field.  “What is WRONG with you?”  he asked Anthony.  After the scene was painstakingly blocked, lit and staged, and just *thisclose* to the camera going on, Anthony punched one of his sisters in the stomach, just because.]


     So, here is the end result.  I love it.  My kids love it.  Kevin’s professor loved it.  I find myself humming the song, and I even heard it in my dreams last night.  (I think I may have spent too many days in the hot sun, breaking up fights and wrangling whiny diva children child.)



Fifth Grade Redux August 26, 2009

Filed under: Alex,Kendra,school — Kemi @ 10:11 pm

     Here are two of the four little darlings on their first day of school today.


Alex and Kendra 1st day of school


     Alex started fifth grade, and Kendra is in fourth.


     Now, for anyone who doesn’t know (I’m sure there are many of you), I used to teach 5th grade.  I LOVED it.  I loved everything about my students, and if I ever went back to teaching, fifth is the grade I’d choose first.  HOWEVER, despite my affection for them, those were some obnoxious kids.  Loud;  silly;  full of potty humor, sound effects and bodily noises.  The year I had Alex was the last year I taught school, and I couldn’t imagine my precious little baby boy ever reaching that 5th-grade age.  (Or the mentality.)  They seemed so old.  So (im)mature.  So far ahead of my little bundle of joy.


     Fast-forward ten years.  Yup, he’s TOTALLY a 5th grader.  (How did that happen?  How did I LET that happen?)


     Having two upper-grade [elementary school] children isn’t even the worst part.  What I want to know is, when did I get old?  How is it possible for me to be the mother of two upper-grade [elementary school] children?




     I’m happy to report that the first day was a smashing success.  Kendra is thrilled with her teacher, Mrs. Nance, even though she didn’t get the teacher Alex had last year.  Alex is elated that he gets to have one of the two male teachers in the school, Mr. Rolley, who is a mad computer genius and seems to have embraced his inner 10-year-old boy with unbridled joy and ferocity.


     It’s going to be a great year, despite the fact that my kids are getting too old, too fast.  (To say nothing of myself.)


A & K school


I am SO not ready for this. June 5, 2009

Filed under: Kendra — Kemi @ 10:45 pm

     We celebrated the last day of school by watching Kendra perform in the talent show (she did a fantastic job!), taking the kids to a celebratory lunch at Burger King, attending a friend’s 40th birthday party and stopping at Wal-Mart for cookies and toilet paper.  (When two of the three bathrooms have empty rolls, you know you’re in trouble.)


     We also picked out three training bras, which my aforementioned daughter is elated about. 


     Her mom?  Not so much.




Can you spell t-a-l-e-n-t? June 2, 2009

Filed under: Alex,Kendra,school — Kemi @ 9:06 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

     I am waiting for R.C. Willey to deliver our new couch (thanks, Mom!) for downstairs, and I’m not being very patient about it.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they told us 3:30-7:00 PM, and then they called at 5:30 and said it would be between 6:00 and 9:30 PM, and it’s 7:36 PM and I’m waiting for the call that says “sometime within the next 30 days, maybe”, or possibly it’s because my kids keep asking, “When will it get here, Mom?” and “Does this still mean we get to watch a movie on it tonight for Family Home Evening, even if it comes at 9:00 and there’s school tomorrow?”  (Uh, no.  Nice try.  Even during the summer, the answer would be an emphatic NO.)


     So, to condense, I am waiting for a new couch with impatient kids who are giddy about the end of the school year and having a real seating place that will hold all of us comfortably instead of two old (reeeeeeealy old) armchairs, a bar stool and an ottoman.


     To kill time, I thought I’d post about two really exciting things that happened last week: 



Parks and Picnics April 7, 2009

     This afternoon, Alex played hooky from scouts and we took the family to the park for a picnic and some playground time.


     The weather was beautiful.  We were a little chilly sitting at the picnic table, but as soon as we moved out of the pavillion, it was perfect park weather.  The kids ran and played on the slides, and Kenny and Alex tossed a football around for about an hour.  (Alex has nearly perfected his throwing and catching techniques.  I’m amazed at his natural ability.)


     Anthony made a little friend, and his mom asked if we could have a playdate sometime.  She left before I could give her my contact information, though, and I feel horrible.  I hope she didn’t think it was personal.  I got sidetracked when Kendra fell off of a giant tube onto her face, neck and then back.  (She’s lucky she didn’t break something.)  The poor kid had sand in every facial orifice, not to mention a terrible abrasion over her left eye, and she got the wind knocked out of her.  By the time we got her straightened up and brushed off, the other mom was on her way to the parking lot.


     Maybe we’ll see her there again sometime .  *sigh*


     All injuries aside, we really had a wonderful time together.  On the way home, we took the “scenic” route past the Jordan River Temple and drove slowly around the grounds.  Anthony had a fit when we told him he couldn’t go inside– at least not yet– and we promised we’d go back another day when we were dressed in something nicer than shorts and sandals to let the kids walk around the outside.  I remember doing that as a kid, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever!


     Alex commented on how nice it felt at the temple, even being in the parking lot, and we had a nice discussion about why Kenny and I chose to be married there, and then which temple the kids would choose for themselves.  (Alex said “Draper!”, Kendra and Hannah both chose Jordan River, and Anthony wanted whatever Alex picked.  That is some big-brother worship right there.)  It all fit very nicely with our new family motto, We Love to See the Temple.


     It was such a nice evening!  We used to do activities like that all the time when Alex and Kendra were little, when Kenny worked at UPS during the day and was off at night.  When he switched jobs, he worked every night, and with the oldest two in school all day, there was very little family time.  When he went back to an alternating day/evening schedule, I guess we were just out of the habit and forgot to pick it up again.  We are determined to move forward, however, and we look forward to a whole spring and summer of parks and picnics.


     Doesn’t it sound lovely?


Nine March 29, 2009

Filed under: birthdays,Kendra — Kemi @ 8:53 pm

     Today, Kendra is nine.  My beautiful girl, growing up so fast (too fast for my liking!), who is gracious and kind and loving, is nine.


     Where did the time go?


     I remember holding her in my arms for the first time, about an hour after she was born.  I spent my time in recovery while she was cleaned up and bathed in the nursery, and a nurse brought her to my room.  When they put her in my arms, I could hardly believe I was the mother of such a beautiful baby girl.


     I used to love to watch her sleep.  It was one of the rare times she let me cuddle her.  I’d pick her up out of the bassinet and cradle her in my arms, and work in all the kisses and snuggles I could get away with.


     Now I don’t even have to ask.  She’s always ready with a hug or a kiss.  She is such a patient big sister, and so good to her siblings.  She also has a sense of peace and calm about her that makes her mature beyond her nine years.  (If she were a Twilight vampire, she’d be Jasper!  And she’ll LOVE the comparison when she sees it.)


     She is growing so quickly into a beautiful young woman.  Her compassion for others is remarkable.  She is such a sweet and special girl!


     I love you, Kendra!  Happy Birthday!