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.


Of wardrobe woes and whales (and wails!) April 12, 2011

Filed under: husbands,Kenny,marriage — Kemi @ 11:22 am
Tags: , , ,

Reason 2, 416,873 I adore my husband:


I am seven months pregnant, and have been wearing the same tired maternity clothes for the past six months (never again will I sacrifice the style I barely had in a regular wardrobe for the comfort of soft, stretchy elastic-waist pants of the maternity sort until I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO) (my children find it HILARIOUS that my waistbands creep up to my bra line in the front, not unlike like a bloated Ed Grimley)

Isn't this an image you wish you could erase from your memory?

and I am pretty tired of everything I fit into, at this point.  But as I was getting dressed today, my husband, who rarely takes notice of such things, clapped his hands together and said, “That is SUCH a cute outfit!  How come you haven’t worn that before?”


I may or may not have responded by sobbing gratefully in his arms, and covering his face with kisses.  Because a) he noticed!;  and b) he said something!;  and c) maybe I haven’t (completely) lost my (tiny) sense of fashion, even with a maternity wardrobe sadly out of date;  and d) he said I looked cute, instead of how I really look, which is like a beached whale.


It was a good morning…  until I walked into the kitchen, and one of my little darlings had to point out that my skirt was at least five inches shorter in the front than in the back.


I’m going to blame my bra.  I think it must be hungry for elastic-waist maternity clothes.  (At least one of us is enjoying them.)    😀


Forever in the Doghouse: A cautionary tale for husbands on how NOT to react when your wife finds her (seemingly) first gray hair. October 5, 2010

Filed under: Kemi,Kenny — Kemi @ 6:07 pm
Tags: , , , ,

The title says it all, no?


I lived a great majority of my life as a natural (dark) blonde, but my hair has a lot of red undertones. I’ve only colored it a handful of times (partly because I’m a huge chicken, and partly because it’s so darn expensive to have it done professionally), but depending on how the sun hits it, my hair color could seemingly change from day to day. It still can, only it’s from drab to… drabb-er. Or slightly less drab. [This was made known to me by my children, when making my Mii. I selected yellow hair, which made them giggle and say, “Your hair is SO NOT blonde, Mom!” and I had to get up and look in the mirror, because since when was I a brunette? (The answer to that is “Since NEVER”, because I am not dark enough to be brunette, but certainly not blonde anymore, either.) At least I could hold my head up high and proudly declare that there was not a single gray hair on my head.]


(Stop laughing.)


(Seriously, stop laughing. I was really sincere, albeit mistaken, in my declarations.)


I dyed my hair a lovely shade of red just before Christmas, and it’s quietly faded back to its not-really-a-definable-color blonde (brown?). With the fade came… (I can barely say it)… A GRAY HAIR. And then another, and then another. Stupid Loreal Superior Preference 4R– you made me go gray! I went out to tell Kenny about my horrifying discovery, and he could barely contain his laughter. (The jerk.)


“Kenny,” I wailed. “Look at this! And this! And this! I found gray hairs!”


“And?” he responded.


“AND they’re GRAY!” I said. “I’m officially OLD!” (To the man who has been steadily graying over the past 15 years. In hindsight, I deserved no compassion.)


“And?” he responded again.


“AND,” I said, confused, “they are my first ones. This is a really big deal to me! Well, at least I made it to 35 before I started going gray.”


To which he responded (with way too much mirth and way too little sympathy), “Oh, Honey. *giggle* You’ve had gray hairs for YEARS.”


And then the realization dawned that when I’m using the flat iron in my bathroom, and the sun streams in through the tiny frosted window, and the hair on my head erupts into a reddish-golden halo with countless metallic strands of follicular loveliness, well, those metallic strands are GRAY, not gold, and there are a LOT of them.


And suddenly coming up with $75 for professional highlights feels less like a luxury and more like a necessity. As part of his punishment, I think I’ll make Kenny pay for them.


The Universe is a Comedian July 5, 2010

Filed under: Kenny — Kemi @ 12:18 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

So, while I was stupidly giggling about my accidentally-patriotic paper towels last week and having a warm fuzzy moment, Kenny was having a different cosmic experience that I couldn’t help but document. Posterity and all, you know? (I love you, Honey!)


For you to get the proper feel for the universe’s darkly twisted sense of humor, I need to tell you about Kenny’s whole week. He started a new job with C.R. England at the very end of May, and while he loves his new job (mostly), there were some gaping holes in his training, and he has been left to figure things out on his own. He decided that it would be helpful to get to work at least 30 minutes early, so he could set up his daily priorities without having to take inbound calls. Monday and Tuesday, he slept in late. He made it to work on time, but only just barely. Then, on his way home Tuesday night, he put on his prescription sunglasses before he left the building and forgot to pick up his regular glasses to switch out once he got home. He was forced to wear his sunglasses inside for the night, and I can’t recall a time in our 15 years of marriage when he’s willingly allowed so many lights to be on at once. (Hee.) Wednesday morning, he got up early, but couldn’t find his keys. We did a whole-house search and came up empty, so I sent him with the spare set and promised to keep looking for the keys. He came back into the house almost immediately with a sheepish grin on his face, holding the extra set of keys. Guess where he found his set? Go on, guess.


In the ignition, in the “on” position.


Of course his battery was dead, and of course the jumper cables were in his trunk, which is only able to be opened electronically, which you can’t do with a dead battery. Luckily, our neighbor was awake and outside at 7:10 AM, and he had a set of long cables we could borrow. Car jumped, husband on his way, and after a gas tank fill-up, he made it to work on time, but only just barely. Again.


Friday morning, he woke up with his alarm, but decided to sleep until mine went off, too. I hit the snooze bar and lifted my arm to stretch, just as he was leaning over my shoulder to look at the time. I popped him in the eye with my elbow, and since he was wearing his glasses, of course I knocked one of his lenses out. (He can’t see a thing without his glasses unless it’s inches away from his face, and he struggled to fix them for at least ten minutes while I stood there sincerely apologizing, and also saying supportive things like, “You know you’re blind. Let me try it.” After which he threw them at me in defeat and headed into the shower, and I got the lens back in on the first try.) Also, do you know what he would have done had I not fixed his glasses on my first try? Put in his contacts. Which would have been helpful to think of on Tuesday night, when he was feeling around in the (not really) dark like a mole in his extra-dark-tint prescription sunglasses.


[I had a quick phone conversation with my sister on Friday morning, and I told her about breaking Kenny’s glasses. She told me that Kenny would need to go live at their house for a week, to rebuild his self-esteem after the week he had. I was laughing. She was serious.]



Okay, so did you notice I skipped Thursday? Thursday was special. Thursday will live forever in infamy.


Thursday morning, just minutes after I kissed him and sent him out the door with some pop tarts and a cup of milk, I got a phone call about 7:15 AM. “Hey,” he said. “I have some bad news. I just got pulled over for a ticket. I’m so sorry!”


I laughed and said, “So much for going in early… AGAIN.” I told him I hoped he had a better day, and then the kids woke up, and I promptly forgot about Kenny’s ticket.


He called me again about 10:00 AM, which he does almost every day, and he asked me if I wanted the good news or the bad news. THINKING HE WAS AT WORK, I picked good. “Well,” he said, “they didn’t find anything.” My mind was racing, trying to figure out what he could possibly be talking about. Who found what? Was he at the clinic? Did he hurt himself at work?


“Okay…” I said. “What’s the bad news?”

“I’m still here.”

“Here? Where’s here?”

“Here. At the police station.”

“WHAT?!?!?!” (I’d like to say I was calm, but I would be lying. What I said probably came out as an unintelligible string of unfinished thoughts, because I’m awesome like that. And calm in all situations. Ahem.)


So, here’s the story of how my husband was not really arrested, but still put in the back of a police cruiser and hauled off to the station for questioning about… wait for it… drugs in his car.



The Co-STAN-za fallout March 4, 2010

Filed under: Kenny,The Looney Bin,TV shows,Uncategorized — Kemi @ 3:30 pm
Tags: ,

     I posted the picture of Jason Alexander on my Facebook page, to show how similar it was to Anthony’s pose from yesterday.  There was some unintended fallout that made for one of  the funniest threads I’ve ever been a part of, and I HAD to record it.  You know for blackmail posterity…


First, here is my husband:


While I admit he does  bear more than a slight resemblance to George Costanza, I still didn’t expect THIS:




Fourteen June 10, 2009

Filed under: family,husbands,Kenny,marriage — Kemi @ 8:11 pm
Tags: , , ,



     You may think it’s the age of my emotional maturity, or the number of times I start a sentence- and a paragraph!- with the word “and” in my posts.  (I DO know better.  However, in my opinion, technical writing and blog writing don’t really belong in the same space, unless you’re writing a technical blog.)  Perhaps you’re counting my parenthetical asides, but you’d be mistaken.


     Today is my (more…)


Happy Birthday, Kenny! April 6, 2009


All morning, Abbie referred to Kenny as "Daddy". Yesterday, she couldn't stop running to his lap for hugs.


     It is my beloved’s birthday today.  He is something that rhymes with “shirty-fine”.


     (To read last year’s birthday post, click here.)


     This will be the fourteenth birthday of his we’ve celebrated together.  In his family, birthdays were no big deal.  (Rather, HIS birthdays were no big deal.)  There were even a few years where his birthday was completely forgotten, or hurriedly thrown together after dinner, and for the most part, there were no gifts.  I promised him that I’d never forget his birthday, and I’ve tried to make up for 24 years of neglect.  It was easy when we were first married.  His birthday was in the spring, and mine was in the fall.  Six months apart meant lots of time to plan. 


     Then we had two kids with birthdays at the end of March, and Easter gets thrown in the mix, so by the time I’ve celebrated three birthdays and a holiday, I’m pretty wiped out.


     (Somewhat guiltily, I’ve started referring to it as “Hell Week”.) 


     We celebrated Kenny’s birthday with my family last night, which is always a highlight of spring General Conference, and ate ourselves sick on tacos and seven-layer bean dip.  My mom did this really cool jello/pudding poke cake, and he got his birthday “loot”, which included “Heroes”- seasons 1 and 2, another Wii controller, some Swedish Fish and a (very!) generous gift card to Lowe’s.  (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)


     To keep in the theme of making each birthday-day a big deal, the kids and I will be taking cupcakes into his work (and I hope embarrassing the heck out of him, because payback is a nasty thing!) and making a(nother) birthday dinner.  Then we’ll end our night by having Family Home Evening and working to implement this weekend’s prophetic counsel.  Probably not the most exciting birthday ever, and certainly not as fun as a big party with friends, but I am hopeful that he’ll enjoy it.


     Probably not as much as he enjoyed this, however:


This was taken at Souper Salad on Alex's birthday.  He was telling the kids those stupid jokes about Ethiopians and Helen Keller, and he pulled some muscles from laughing so hard.

This was taken at Souper Salad on Alex's birthday. He was telling the kids those stupid jokes about Ethiopians and Helen Keller, and he pulled some muscles from laughing so hard. He was trying to muffle his laughter with napkins, but with no success. We were EASILY the loudest people in the restaurant. *sigh*



     I love you, honey!  You  make my life better.  Your support and encouragement keep me going on my hardest days, and your sense of humor never fails to cheer me up.  (Okay, USUALLY never fails…)   😀   You work so hard for our family, and we’re grateful to have you as a husband and father.


     Here’s to another “shirty-fine” years, at least.