Kemi, like “chemistry”

Random Musings of the Misunderstood

Tales from Motherland September 11, 2013

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



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



(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.



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.



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.



NAUGHTY! December 9, 2011

Filed under: Anthony,Christmas,Holidays,motherhood — Kemi @ 2:15 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

It’s that time of year when some (one) of my children begin to fear that their (his) behavior hasn’t been quite up to standard over the past 11 months.  Panic (and hilarity) has begun to set in.


Example 1:  The child who never fails to tell me how fat I am and how pregnant I still look (he’s a real gem, that one), will cover his ears and burst into tears every time Kendra starts singing her choir song about an overweight Santa.  It’s a delightful song, and by the time she gets to the chorus, we are laughing at the lyrics AS WELL AS Anthony’s histrionics.  For some reason, he is terrified that Santa will categorize the entire family as troublemakers and skip our house altogether, not realizing that Anthony is the lone defender of Santa’s waistline.


Because it makes perfect sense to protect Santa, who only brings one gift, and relentlessly mock his mother, who provides the rest of the holiday haul, as well as the gifts for his mid-December birthday.  And has half of Santa’s girth.


Perhaps this year, Santa will bring the gift and Mommy will give the coal!  Or she will just sing the song over and over and over again, to mess with his head.  (It would serve him right, don’t you think?)


(to the tune of “Jingle Bells”)

Santa Claus, Santa Claus, you are much too fat!

I was sleeping peacefully and now my bed is flat!

Oh, Santa Claus, Santa Claus, how much do you weigh?

I’d hate to be a reindeer who has to pull your sleigh.



Example 2:  He spent last evening re-writing his Christmas list.  There are only a few items on it, which is surprising.  (Maybe he set the bar low, thinking it might earn him some extra points with the big guy in red.) (Not to be confused with the fat woman in pink.)


He declined my offer to mail it to Santa;  instead, he brought it into the family room to read it aloud.  “It’s so the elves can hear,” he informed me.  (We have two elves who visit us from the North Pole each December.)  “Game Boy, robot, GB charger, Cars bed.  Do you hear that, Elves?” And then, to me:  “‘Cause they’re the ones who actually make the stuff.”



While I applaud his determination, I can’t help but think that if he’d just behave himself ALL YEAR LONG, December wouldn’t be quite so stressful for him.


Friday is my (least) favorite day. December 2, 2011

Filed under: motherhood,school — Kemi @ 4:22 pm
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I used to love Friday.  It was my favorite day:  the one I looked forward to all week long.  Now, it’s one of my busiest days.  There is no joy in Friday anymore.  No relief.


Friday is my new Monday.


I blame Middle School.  Their late-start Friday throws a wrench in my morning schedule.  If I’m being honest, I also blame Kindergarten, because Friday is their early-out day.  When you add them together, my day looks something like this:




Remember the summer when…? August 1, 2011

Filed under: family,kids,motherhood — Kemi @ 10:25 pm

It’s 9:30 PM, an hour past their bedtime, and my four oldest children are running around in the backyard with flashlights, playing some sort of “tag” game they made up on the spur of the moment.  They are having a blast, and neither Kenny nor I want to call them inside yet, even though the teacher in me is screaming in protest. (They need to get back into the school routine! Early bedtimes! Early wake-ups!)


THIS is what I hope they remember about this summer:  playing night games in the backyard;  riding the TRAX/Frontrunner from Sandy to Ogden (and back!);  swimming in the neighbor’s garbage cans (you’d have to see it to believe it.  I’ve seen it, and I barely believe it);  sibling sleepovers in the basement;  trips to the library;  scout camp;  four-player video games;  movie marathons;  bowling and dollar movies with Dad;  and the unity that comes with being “the older ones” (even though there is a 7-year range in their ages).


If they remember all these things, maybe they’ll forget how many mornings they were forced to eat cold cereal they poured themselves because I was up all night with a new baby and slept in late (or, worse– how many mornings they chose not to eat breakfast because they *coughHannahcough* couldn’t bear the thought of having cereal one more morning), or the places we didn’t visit because I forgot how all-consuming newborns are and still, after 7 weeks, I just can’t seem to get it together to go anywhere further than the public library (and not even the cool one with the puppet theater and the carousel;  and not every week, or even every other week), and– most importantly– just how much  time I spent in the rocking chair, feeding their baby brother.


I hope they see it as a season of growth and independence and bonding and love, and happy memories.  That when we get together for a family BBQ and they are all grown up, someone says, “Remember the summer when Sam was born?” and someone else says, “Oh, YEAH!  That summer was AWESOME!  Remember how we used to…?” and they’ll laugh and giggle and make mental notes to do the same things with their young children.


Except for Hannah, who will still be nursing her grudge against Cocoa Puffs.


All in favor of officially naming the baby “Taco” (just in case), say “yum!” May 18, 2011

Filed under: kids,motherhood — Kemi @ 12:47 am
Tags: , , ,

At the risk of turning this into a pregnancy-only blog (is there even a risk for that, given how infrequently I post anymore?), I had the WEIRDEST dream last night.  Clearly, I’m in countdown mode, and I only need to bring up the bassinet and pack my hospital bag before I’m fully ready to bring this baby home.  If my delivery-filled dreams are any indication, this baby could come any MINUTE, even if I still have a month or so left on the “calendar”.  I am perfectly fine with this, by the way.  As far as I’m concerned, the earlier the delivery, the better.


(For those of you who wonder, I am exactly 33 weeks and 4 days, and have not gone past 38 weeks with any previous pregnancy.  While my “real” due date is July 1, my doctor is planning a mid-June delivery.)


So, I dreamed I had the baby, but for some reason, I had completely blocked all memories of delivery (doesn’t sound too bad, right?), so I wasn’t sure if my precious baby was a boy or a girl.  The hospital staff teased me mercilessly, and refused to tell me, insisting I’d find out as soon as I changed the next diaper.  The problem was (and really, except for the mystery-gender thing, it would have been no problem whatsoever), they kept taking the baby away to change it, so after my three-day stay, I still wasn’t sure whether I had a boy or a girl.


Then, once we got home, someone (Mom, was it you?) put the baby to sleep, and I figured, no big deal!  I’d have to get up to feed it during the night, and I’d find out when we both woke up whether I could call my baby Sam or Natalie.  Only, we both slept through the night (again, a miracle, if only I knew what to call my newborn!), and during the next day, the steady stream of visitors insisted on changing the baby’s diapers, and found it just as funny as the nurses did that I wasn’t sure of my own baby’s gender.  So, naturally, THEY wouldn’t tell me, either.


I woke up in a panic, and after Kenny finished laughing at my dream recap, I vowed to sneak a peek at my chart when I see my doctor next week.  Then I’ll have the double advantage of knowing for certain this baby’s gender (and keeping it to myself, thankyouverymuch)*, and getting revenge for the mockery.


What do you think?  Boy?  Girl?  (Thankfully, I haven’t had a hermaphrodite dream… yet.) (And Kenny doesn’t find that suggestion the least little bit funny.)  😀



*I won’t really peek.  Chill, Kenny.