Kemi, like “chemistry”

Random Musings of the Misunderstood

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

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kemi @ 12:57 pm
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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…


Baby Luna November 28, 2012

Filed under: family — Kemi @ 11:25 am
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How do you tell your kids they are going to have a new sibling when some of them have heard it four times already?

You take them into the mountains on a crisp, October day for a hike and a picnic.





Then you stop to take pictures of them on a picnic table.

You tell them, “Say ‘Cheese!'”  Then you say, “‘Cheese’ is boring.  Say, “‘New baby!'”

(They may look at you like this.)



So you might need to say something else, like, “Say, ‘May 24!  New baby!’  Surprise!”

And then you get pictures like these, which are AWESOME.






And then you tell the rest of your family like this, on Halloween night:



Then, you throw around some nicknames you can call the baby until it’s born.  Boo, Autumn, Taco Salad, Burrito, Pooky, Star… and none of them feel right.  And then on Thanksgiving, your brilliant sister says, “How about Luna?  It’s Spanish for ‘moon’.”  And everyone loves it.


So, Baby Luna* is official!


(*With that name, I hope Kenny’s right about her being a girl!  We won’t find out until May.)


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

Filed under: Anthony — Kemi @ 1:47 pm
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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


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.


Some Thoughts on a Monday April 9, 2012

Filed under: Kemi,The Looney Bin — Kemi @ 6:38 pm
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1.  I love my blog.  I miss my blog.  It gives me an equal sense of pride and embarrassment;  of determination and of guilt.  If only there were more hours in the day, and my baby slept for more of them.  Then I might be able to get my blog groove going again.  I refuse to believe it’s broken.



2.  Last week, my kids had spring break.  Last week, I had both strep throat and the flu.  None of us really had a vacation.  I wish we could have a re-do.



a.  My kids are awesome.  I spent Monday and Tuesday sleeping, with brief periods spent feeding Sam, and then immediately passing him off to one of the kids.  None of them complained about it.  Nor did they complain about being stuck at home for a week, even though we had grand plans, all of which had to be scrapped.


b.  Next year, we will be doing Easter baskets the weekend before spring break.  (This year, we are doing them a week after Easter.  Again, no complaints from the kids.  Did I tell you they’re awesome?  BECAUSE THEY ARE.)  That way, whatever they get, they can spend the week enjoying it, rather than opening a basket and heading right back to school.


c.  While this year has been better than the last, I find myself looking forward to the end of school.  What has happened to me?  I was the kid who cried on the last day of school, because she didn’t want it to end.  Now I’m the mom who dreads Mondays because the kids have to go back to school.



3.  We moved Sam out of our bedroom this weekend.  I had been planning it for a while, seeing as how he is almost 10 months (TEN MONTHS!) old, and still sleeping in the bassinet next to my bed.  (Lest you be inclined to judge, he is such a tiny little thing that he STILL FITS in the bassinet.  The problem is, he’s starting to roll over in his sleep, and it doesn’t give him a lot of room to move around comfortably.)  I thought the week of spring break would be a great time to introduce him to a new room and a new crib, because the kids had a week-long sleepover downstairs and his crying wouldn’t bother them.  Of course, then I NEARLY DIED of sickness (not really), so the crib didn’t get put up, and Sam isn’t such a fan of the playpen.    This week.  The crib will go up THIS WEEK if it kills me.  (It just might.)



4.  I miss Sam sleeping in the bassinet next to my bed.  I miss his cute baby noises, his cute baby snoring, and his cute baby gas, and I hate that I have to get out of bed and walk down the hallway to check on him.  Kenny’s noises are not so cute;  neither are his snoring nor his gas.



5.  I hate the time of year that’s still too cool to turn on the air conditioner, but too warm to sufficiently cool the house by opening the windows.  I go to bed hot, and wake up freezing.



6.  Kenny came home from work, took one look at my face, and gathered up all the kids and dogs and took them on a walk so I could have five minutes of peace.  Then, he took them for another lap.  I really, really love that man.


2011: The (half) Year of the “Read and Feed” January 26, 2012

Filed under: books — Kemi @ 3:10 pm
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Waaaay back in 2009, I stumbled across a blogger who published a list of books she read during the year.  I remember thinking it was a fun idea, so I kept a list in 2010, didn’t get around to publishing it in January, or February, or March, and then felt too embarrassed to post it past that point.


I kept a list in 2011, too.  Surprisingly, even with all the marathon nursing sessions of this summer, I only read five more books than in 2010.  (A male librarian commented on the size of my check-out stack this week, and then giggled like a 12-year-old boy when I explained “read and feed”.  They love me at the library, I tell ya…)


Since it’s still January, and since my friend Katie says that once you have a baby, two weeks late is the new on time (YAY!  My new mantra!), I am going to post my 2011 book list.