Kemi, like “chemistry”

Random Musings of the Misunderstood

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.



Auf wiedersehen, for now.  Until we meet again…  like maybe when Natalie is out of diapers.  (Ha!)


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
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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.


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

Filed under: motherhood,school — Kemi @ 4:22 pm
Tags: , ,

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:




Kindergarten Orientation April 16, 2009

Filed under: Hannah,school — Kemi @ 5:16 pm
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     Holy cow!  How has it already been a week since I last posted?

     (Oh yeah… two birthday parties, Easter and spring break.  I’ve been busy.  And I’m still trying to recover.)


     The highlight of THIS week (and Hannah’s entire month, at least) was yesterday’s Kindergarten Orientation.  Now, between you and me, if you’ve been to one, you’ve got it mastered, but since it was Hannah’s first time and she was DYING to go (dramatic much?), Kenny took the morning off, we left Abbie and Anthony with Grandpa, and we went over to the school together in the pouring rain.  (We would have gone anyway, even if she wasn’t so eager.  It’s a milestone.  It’s just much less fun for parents than it is for kids.) 


     My mom always buys the grandkids a new outfit for school that they get to wear to Orientation, and Hannah was positively giddy over her new dress.  (“Mom, I LOVE my dress!”  “Did I tell you I love my dress?”  “Can I call Grandma at school and tell her thank you for my dress again?”  “I’ve always wanted a dress with a little jacket like this.”  “I LOOOOOOOVE my dress!  Mommy, did you hear me?  I LOVE it!  Can I call Grandma?”  My head nearly exploded.)


     We found our seats and scanned the room for some familiar faces.  I recognized a lot of moms from my work at the school, and there were four other kids of kindergarten age from our neighborhood alone.  Hannah is extremely social and has no trouble making friends, but it will be nice for her to see her primary friends at school.


     The current Kindergarten classes performed a little program for us, and then it was time for Hannah to leave with the teachers and experience a very brief “Kindergarten” day.  Lucky her!  Kenny and I sat through the boring “this is what we do in Kindergarten video” (for the third time!), we listened to the secretary talk about the importance of returning the paperwork (yes, yes, I know all that), and then the school nursing supervisor told us about the immunizations and filling out the medical information cards.  To be honest, for that part, I’m glad I had heard it before, because I was so distracted by the nurse’s skin.  (She either recently returned from a verrrrry sunny vacation or she uses Oompa-Loompa-Orange foundation.  Either way, I couldn’t divert my eyes.)


     A few minutes later, Hannah came skipping back to us.  She wanted to know if she could go with Mrs. Hoffmann (she’s been “our” K teacher) for the rest of the day, and she was disappointed when we said no.  (This kid has been ready for school for at least a year.)  Hannah told us she ate cookies and punch, and they read “Three!  No, wait!  Four!  No, FIVE!” stories and played with blocks in the classroom.  She posed for a picture on the stage, and then she reluctantly agreed to come home with Kenny and me, on the condition that we let her come back for school, when it’s time.


     In September.


     (It’s going to be a long summer.)




Friends in Low Places November 17, 2008

     This year at Riverton Motors, the company is doing a multi-store fundraiser for the Utah Food Bank.  Kenny was placed in charge of one of the nine teams, and it’s his job to solicit donations and motivate, inspire, bribe, beg and plead for his team to not only donate food and monetary donations, but service at the food bank as well.


     We went a few weeks ago with about 22 of his coworkers and their families, and we had a blast packing boxes of food for the hungry.  Tonight was our second stint, and we were labeling boxes of frozen pizza.  There weren’t as many bodies there tonight, but it was still fun.  Even the kids got into the action by decorating empty delivery boxes with holiday themes, in order to spread cheer to the recipients. 


     (This information is in no way related to tonight’s post, except that something happened on our way home from the Food Bank.  Sometimes I am a little long-winded, okay?  Deal with it.)



Nieces and Toddlers and Peaches! Oh my! September 13, 2008

     I didn’t realize it had been so long since my last post.  This week has been crazy, so I will do a super-speedy recap and catch everyone up.  (Because I know you’re all dying to hear about my days at home.)


Monday– I tended Abbie.  Those days start at 4:30 AM, which means I am tired and ready for a nap at 10:00 AM.  Did domestic things like sorting laundry (sorting, not washing.  I missed that step!), cooking dinner, changing diapers.  BORING.

I also made cookies.  (I haven’t made homemade cookies (more…)