It's Wednesday and today I'm going to talk about something that plagues so many families with children. It's kept so hush hush that it's hard to get the proper information to combat the problem. I'm going to talk about lice.
I realize this is a touchy subject. If your kids have had it you're probably not announcing it from the rooftops. However, rest assured that lice is not something that is limited to people with poor hygiene or loose morals. Heck, even Countess de Lesseps has had to battle the horror that is head lice. Unfortunately, I have battled it, too.
In fact, I've battled it for close to a year on and off. We have three kids.Our three kids have six cousins who they play with constantly. All nine of these kids got head lice last summer. This made nine itchy kids, four exasperated mothers, and about a gazillion tears between all of us.
(My head is itching just typing this.)
The first thing we did was run to the drugstore and buy the typical over the counter medication that most parents will go for and follow the directions on the box precisely. Apply pesticide to head of child, allow pesticide to soak into child's scalp for entirely too long, rinse, apply goopy conditioner type product to child's head, comb through with plastic comb and watch the bugs fall off. Now wash every pillow, every blanket, vacuum, suffocate all stuffed animals in garbage bags, soak hair brushes and ties, don't sleep, don't eat, don't breathe until it is all done.
Lather, rinse, repeat in 7 days.
Between all of us, hundreds of dollars were spent but we were finally free from the bugs.
Or so we thought. At one point (and I can't even remember what point it was) one mother called another with tears in her eyes and said those two dreaded little words. "They're back."
So what did we do? We all checked our kids, we repeated the process. We looked into other alternatives. We read about coconut shampoo, denorex, mayonnaise, petroleum jelly, kerosene! Some things we tried and some things we were horrified by. We bought combs that literally zapped the bugs while combing, we coated our children's heads in coconut oil, we threw our hands up, we picked each other over like monkeys.
This went on and on until one day we discovered a solution.
It was so simple we were in disbelief. The best part was that it WORKED. For all of us! I want to shout this from the rooftops! I think everyone should know how we finally rid ourselves from the bugs. So I'm going to share it with you... bookmark it because you'll probably need it one day.
2 or 3 bottles of 91% rubbing alcohol (70% will probably work if you can't find 91%)
1 shower cap for each person being treated
1 good metal lice comb (don't skimp on this, get a good metal one)
1 empty spray bottle
Very simply, apply the alcohol to the child's head. Use enough to thoroughly saturate the hair and scalp. This process, unfortunately, is not pleasant. The fumes are bad so please use it in a well ventilated area. If it gets into the child's eyes it's truly terrible so if your child is too young to keep their eyes closed use the spray bottle at close range to apply and be careful. I haven't tried it but if I ever have to again on a young child I might have him or her wear goggles during this part. Once the head is saturated, cover it with a shower cap and leave it on for about 45 minutes.
During this time wash bedding and vacuum floors. Put hair brushes and hair ties in the freezer for 12 hours. Stuffed animals can be put in the dryer for 30 minutes on high heat. Mattresses, couches can be sprayed down with the alcohol to kill any lone bugs that may have escaped.
After the time is up, remove the shower cap and comb through the hair. My counterparts rinsed the alcohol out, but I actually just let the alcohol dry on the hair while I combed through. Comb through thoroughly and blow dry hair. No, their hair will not be fried or dead or fall out in some ridiculous fashion.... and you're not using pesticide!
Repeat the process in 7 days and you should find yourself lice free!
Now that you're all free from the bugs I'm sure you don't want to do this again, am I right? Lucky for you, I ventured into a lovely place called Lice Solutions which happens to be located in my area. The helpful people there answered all of my questions and suggested something that I am convinced has kept the bugs away from my children thus far. Mint based shampoo. Lice don't like the smell of mint and will look for another head to feast upon if your child smells of it. There are many on the market but I purchased this one from the people at Lice Solutions for about $9 (obviously more than it can be found for but they're a non profit and they were helpful so I'm looking at it as a bit of a donation.) A few days later I was in our local Big Lots and found the same brand of shampoo in a different bottle (older packaging) for a measly $1.50 a bottle. I scooped up all 16 bottles of the stuff at mine but your Big Lots might have some, too. :) If you can't score it at that bargain price, here's a coupon for it from Sally Beauty.
Burts Bees also makes a rosemary mint shampoo bar which I may pick up next time I see it because I think it might be easier for young children to wash their own hair with the bar rather than the liquid. I don't know about your kids, but for some reason mine tend to use 1/2 a bottle for one washing. But I digress....
My little munchkin heads are washed only in mint shampoo now and will only be washed in mint shampoos until they're old enough to purchase their own shampoo. Even further than that, I purchased a tea tree oil foot spray (tea tree oil smells a LOT like mint) and I spray it on their heads before they venture off to school every morning. So far, so good.
That's what works for me!
PS - See www.ourstickfamily.com to make cute little stick figures of your own. :)
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
It's Wednesday and today I'm going to talk about something that plagues so many families with children. It's kept so hush hush that it's hard to get the proper information to combat the problem. I'm going to talk about lice.
Please, I'm begging you. Let's just get on with it. MyMonthlyCycles.com informed me that you were scheduled to give up your wait for the egg last Monday and I have been waiting ever since. Patiently.
I'm running out of patience.
I wouldn't be so antsy if the premenstrual symptoms I was experiencing weren't so wretched. Unfortunately I think The Man might leave me if I can't reign in these hormones soon. Severe mood swings on top of horrendous cramps, backaches, and severe fatigue are really putting a damper on my life. My home that was once tidy is falling victim to the tired and I ran out of steam after only a few hours while shopping yesterday.
For a moment I believed I might be preggers and even went tinkle on a stick to find out. The lovely people at ept confirmed, however, that it is not a little bundle of joy growing inside of me. It it just you stubbornly waiting. Are you trying to tell me I'm getting older? I'm only 31 for goodness sakes... I can't be menopausal yet.
I hope you'll take my desperate pleas into consideration, Uterus. I've got a life to live and I'm really having a hard time living it.
Monday, April 28, 2008
I know today is Monday, I'm not confused. I made this neat little image because I'm thinking of starting a new series on Thursday on my blog.
See, today I'm off to the thrift and consignment stores to treasure hunt. It's one of my favorite parts of my job. I get to scour Palm Beach county for stuff that people with far too much money just decided they didn't need anymore. Thank goodness for the Palm Beach social scene where women wear designer gowns once and donate them. I'm loving it.
Another great thing about thrifting is that I can decorate my house and outfit my family for pennies. I'm always finding stuff I love for next to nothing and bringing it home. Because of this, I'm thinking of starting "Thrifty Thursday" series on my blog where I take pictures of and post all the goodies I find for my family. I'd do it on Thursday not only because of the sweet alliteration but because I'm usually done with my thrifting for the week by Thursday. I think it might encourage other people to get out there and start looking for treasures, too! What do you think? Do you give a darn what I find at thrift stores and how much I pay for it? Does anyone else have a thrift store addiction? Would anyone else maybe be interested in sharing what you find?
Saturday, April 26, 2008
I started a twitter. I have to jump on the bandwagon, yanno?
So if anyone is curious, I'm domesticspaz on twitter and I'd love to network with you. :)
In other news - it's 4:00 AM and I'm going to attempt to get some major work done before 9:00 AM so I can head to the grocery store before dropping Munchkin at Cheerleading Camp this morning.
It's going to be a busy day and I'm on little to no sleep. My favorite kinds of days.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Guess what girls? It's Friday! My favorite day of the week! Why's that? Because we get to Fight the Frump with Fussy, of course!
Have you ever stood in front of your mirror and just squeezed your nose really hard and marveled at all the gook (yes, gook) that comes out? If not, go do it now... I'll wait here.
Did you also notice that your nose is now bright red, perhaps has some fingernail gouges in it, and your eyes are bloodshot and watering?
I will now introduce you to a much more pleasant way to rid your nose of all the gook and have shiny clean pores once again.
There it is, ladies, the Bioré Pore Strip. I've used these before but am newly in love with them now that they have made a delicious smelling mandarin orange variety. Now you can get a little invigorating aromatherapy with your unclogging. (Right now they don't actually offer the mandarin scent in a package all their own but you get 2 free in a regular package.) Not to mention the overwhelming relief you will feel to know you no longer have grime living right there on your nose for all the world to see! There was a free sample in either my Elle or my Redbook (can't remember which one) and I thoroughly enjoyed my strip while relaxing in the tub. How about that for frump fighting?
Next time I'll bring in a glass of wine.
For more frump fighting goodies, check out Mrs. Fussypants!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
This morning I was up at 5AM which is a record for me. There have been more 5AMs that I was GOING to bed than ones when I was waking up. I went to bed around 10 last night due to exhaustion so 5AM rolled around and I popped out of bed like lightly browned toast.
What did I do so early? I made a giant batch of Buttermilk Pancakes, of course.
The Man was up as he couldn't sleep last night and gave up so I sliced strawberries and put them on top of his. The kids all got up since they heard me bustling around and they were all pleased to find pancakes waiting for them. Maybe this is what they'll remember from now on.
My mom used to get up at the crack of dawn to make us pancakes topped with fruit before school. Then she would walk us to the bus stop smiling and kiss us on the forehead before we boarded the bus to school. Ah yes, what a wonderful mother we had.
Rather than the reality where mom wakes up 10 minutes before the bus comes and runs into their bedrooms throwing polo shirts and khaki shorts at them and making sure they have a dollar to buy school breakfast.
This morning after I get the munchkins off to school I'll be emptying out our freezer as it seems to be defrosting from the top down. Hopefully The Man and I can decipher what the problem is in order to save the ice cream. That stuff is up to $5.85 a half gallon, you know.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I think maybe... just maybe someone has slipped my children a meth-amphetamine. I'm not sure... but they're insanely rowdy for some reason today.
I'm hiding in the office.
I hear them attacking one another and screaming in delight when they are caught.
In a minute I'm going to go be the mean mom and make them stop. Then I'm going to tell them to clean their rooms and they are going to proclaim me the worst mom ever.
These days sure are great.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Most of you can probably skip right over this Works For Me Wednesday post because most of you are probably exceptional housekeepers. However, for the few of you out there (and you know who you are) who have a mountain of laundry in a laundry room with the door closed so no one can see, the few that have put off making the appointment for some maintenance guy to come to your house to fix something that needs fixing because you're embarrassed for him to see the clutter you just can't seem to get control over, this post is for you.
I was you. Not even a month ago I was you. I have changed. I have conquered. I am still working on that laundry, actually, but I assure you it shames me no longer and it will be under control in no time.
It all started when The Man took the kids (all three of them) to North Carolina for Spring Break. Have I told you how much I love him lately? Ah yes, I did... just a couple of posts ago.
Anyhow, I was alone in my house for FIVE days. So what did I do? I cleaned, I organized, I purged. I did not tell my friends and family that I was alone (for they would only have monopolized my time) and I saved myself from the hell I had been living in. My best motivation was that I kept telling myself I wasn't going to be getting this chance again. The Man had made it clear from phone calls that he probably wouldn't do it again... and I can't say I blame him. So I kept going.
By the end of the first day I was sore. My body ached. I was dirty. I had a clean bedroom with clean closets and a clean bathroom, though. Cha ching! By the beginning of the fifth day the task was completed from the kids bedrooms to the family room. All closets, pantries, and nooks in between. Things I didn't have a place for finally have a place. Things I couldn't find a place for traveled to our local Goodwill. It's a beautiful thing.
For over a week I have maintained and that is truly what this post is about. It's something I never could bring myself to do before. I think it's because I never really realized how much work it is to maintain a house with five people living in it. Especially when three of them are children. Back in my single days I could vacuum my apartment once every couple of weeks and do laundry about the same. Dishes took 30 seconds to do and I never really cooked.
These days maintenance is a true job. I've made sure I have a clean kitchen every night before I go to bed. I've stayed on top of the little things that just sort of pile up. Kids toys, books, bags of stuff we just bought that get dropped on the kitchen table, all of it gets put away every day. Every night I vacuum our floors and they're actually staying clean! I fluff pillows, fold blankets, do laundry... every day.
I'm so proud of myself for making it work for me!
For more Works For Me Wednesday posts, check out Rocks In My Dryer!
When Dancing with the Stars first began in 2005 I remember laughing about it. The first season was a little laughable actually... the "stars" weren't even B list and the whole idea of them ballroom dancing for the amusement of the American public had me rolling my eyes.
When the show picked up speed (and ratings) over the course of the next four seasons I was a little surprised but still giggled about the whole idea and never bothered watching. Well, except for when Marie Osmond passed out... I watch that on YouTube a couple of times.
Before this season started I caught a promo and saw that Marlee Matlin would be on the show. Being that I loved her on My Name is Earl and currently still love her on The L Word I had to tune in.
So I set our DVR to record the show and when The Man (who still makes fun of the whole idea) was otherwise occupied I tuned in.
It wasn't long before I was hooked. I mean, who wouldn't be? Seriously... the costumes, the lights, the passion, the background stories. I find myself rooting for every single contestant! I'm so sad for them when they are voted off.
Penn Jillette was the first to go. It was true, from the first show I knew he wasn't going to be a dancer. He was so funny, though! Who wouldn't want to watch him? Then it was Monica Seles. It was so sad to see her go, the girl who missed her prom, all dressed in pink and so beautiful. Steve Guttenberg, who I watched a billion times in the 80's (hello? Cocoon, 3 Men and a Baby, Short Circuit, POLICE ACADEMY), the man who was "too happy" for the dance, when he was voted off I felt the tears well up in my eyes. Adam Carolla, who granted has two left feet but he made me laugh every single show, left next and then Priscilla Presley! How could a legend like Priscilla be voted off?
It wasn't until tonight, though, that I actually cried real tears. Maybe it's PMS... who knows? (Okay, yes, I know... I have raging PMS right now... but STILL.) I'm not even sure I want to tune in next week now that Marlee isn't going to be there. She was the whole reason I started watching and I'm just so sad to see her go. I'm not even sure who I might call my favorite now. What's the point in watching?
Oh who am I kidding... I'll be jonesing for a DWTS fix by this weekend.
I'm waiting for Jimmy Kimmel Live to start tonight so I can see her one last time.
Monday, April 21, 2008
It is my beloved's 33rd birthday today. We've been celebrating all weekend and still have more to do today! Oy... the cake.
So, in honor of Mr. Wonderful's birthday, this post will be all about him. He's going to hate this. ;)
When we met I was a sweet 17 year old girl and I was his friend's girlfriend. It wasn't long before little floating pink hearts started flying between us, though. He kissed me one night on a whim. I can still feel that kiss over 13 years later.
It wasn't until several years had gone by that we really committed to one another... and it's been a wonderful ride since then. I can't imagine loving anyone like I love The Man. He's the only one for me.
To most people he seems quiet. People tell me all the time "He never talks!" What they don't know is that at home I can't get him to stop talking! I'm constantly
bitching at politely requesting him to stop making sarcastic comments during the romantic parts of girlie movies or tuning him out focusing intensely when he explains complex technological details about things I'll never understand.
He's an amazing father. If it weren't for him I'm sure our kids would be absolute monsters. He commands respect from our three children while still giving them all the love they'll ever need. He's patient in a way I absolutely am not. He actually takes the time to answer in detail "Why is the sky blue?" type questions. He's patient enough to teach a four year old to play chess. He can bandage a scraped knee with the most thorough care when I'll pour peroxide and throw a Barbie Band Aid on an 8 year old boy and tell him to suck it up.
Mr. Fantastic loves me when I've woken up late and haven't had coffee and I have pillow marks on the side of my face and I snap at anyone who gets in my path. He boldly held my hand through the cesarean section of our youngest child and even held the vomit container to my mouth as I had reactions to the anesthesia. He has worriedly checked my temperature when it sky rocketed out of control as I battled the flu. When I sliced my big toe open and even made my doctor's stomach turn he held my hand for all 8 stitches (and took pictures with his cell phone).
He always has a pocket knife to open packages, takes out the garbage with no complaints, lifts heavy boxes, and fixes broken stuff. He strong arms jars, replaces batteries, listens to car noises, and reminds us all to turn off the lights and shut the door (we're not air conditioning all of Florida, yanno).
He stands by me through all my unreasonable hormonal drama, from ranting and raving to uncontrollable tears. He's there through thick and thin (mostly thick) and stays strong when I'm weak - every single time. He's never once lied to me, always kept his promises, and made me feel beautiful even when I know I'm not.
Happy Birthday to the love of my life. I'm so glad you found me.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Today is Friday and you know what that means...
Did anyone watch Larry King Live last night? I'm not going to go into my opinions on polygamy and underage girls being forced to marry old men here. We're fighting the frump today and have other things to talk about.
I want to talk about this woman:
There she is, front and center.
My heart goes out to this woman. Her child has been taken from her, which is quite possibly the most frightening thing that can ever happen to a mother. I truly feel for her and I empathize strongly with her pleas for the children she loves to be returned to their home.
But that's not what I want to talk about.
I want to talk about the fact that this woman needs a good pair of tweezers. Can you imagine being on Larry King with that unibrow? If there is a crime being committed on that compound it is truly the lack of facial hair control!
This is what can happen if we let the hair go. This is the horror that can ensue.
So don't forget your tweezers, your wax, your razor, or whatever you choose to use. Fight the unibrow, girls!
For more Fighting the Frump posts, visit Fussy!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Monday is The Man's birthday. Yesterday I took the kids out to try and find him an attractive, displayable chess set for his gift. We looked long and hard and came up with nothing. We tried Macy's, Dillard's, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, HomeGoods, ToysRUs, TJ Maxx, and Pier 1 Imports. Nothing. ToysRUs did have a Transformers Chess Set and I actually considered it for a second due to desperation.
We were required to be at my mom's house at 7 and after three hours of dragging three hungry kids in and out of assorted stores I was ready to give up anyhow. So we left. At 10 pm we finally came home. As soon as we opened the door Goober yells in his loudest voice
"Daddy! We couldn't find a ch.."
He tries again.
"THERE WERE NO CHE.."
"GOOBER, NO! Don't tell Daddy what we were looking for. It's supposed to be a surprise!"
Munchkin and Bug giggle and head off to brush their teeth. Munchkin informs me that she would like a blanket for her bed.
"OK, honey, get one out of the chest."
"You just SAID what we were getting DADDY!"
The Man laughs. The gig is up. There goes that surprise.
After the kids went to bed we actually played a couple of games of chess. I've played maybe five times in my life, all against The Man, and never won. The last time we played was in 2005 while on the Disney cruise. I had since forgotten many rules on how pieces moved and The Man actually felt a little bad when he slaughtered me the first time. He lost the guilt the second time and went gung ho on the attack.
I think I should practice.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
The Man is great. Really. I can't ask for a better guy to share my life with.
Last week was Spring Break for the kiddos and we had planned to take them up to North Carolina where The Man's aunt has a rustic cabin. The kids would be able to run and frolic with their cousins, having acres and acres of field and yard to be free in with no worries of a car or abductor coming anywhere close to them.
Until I got the cold from hell. I was sniffly, sneezing, coughing, headache... you know the rest. So we canceled.
But then... at the very last minute... The Man had a wonderful idea. He took the kids and left me home. For five days. Five days of solitude. Five days in my own home with no one to ask me for a drink, to tell me they wet their bed, to hit their brother over the head, or to fight over a pile of legos. Five days that I could clean the house (which I did... it's beautiful), watch mindless reality television (Real Housewives... I love you), listen to music with Parental Advisory lyrics, or just listen to silence.
I got so much done it was amazing. It's truly shocking to realize how much one person can accomplish when there are no distractions. My foyer closet, the one we shove jackets and shoes and board games in, is organized. I stuffed at least eight 30 gallon trash bags full of clothing to donate to Goodwill. I got rid of shoes, broken toys, broken furniture, a broken computer monitor, and yes I also got rid of the Miller Lite apple cinnamon scented candle that my brother in law gave to The Man a few years ago. Buh bye.
They've been back since last Thursday night and he just noticed last night it was gone. Much dismay ensued.
Having ample time alone in your house may not seem like the perfect vacation... but it worked for me!
I'm back! Did you miss me? I've taken a hiatus... a cyber vow of silence so to speak. It felt great. :)
I planned on coming here to post a great Works For Me Wednesday post and then I noticed this news story. I don't have words to describe the feelings this story brings up in me. The fear of losing a child is so intense. It's a thought that invades my mind every day, numerous times. When I let them get on that bus to go to school, when they make the 100 foot walk home in the afternoon, when they play in the pool, when they ride a bike, when they go to sleep... something could go wrong. I can feel thick pain when I let my mind linger on the thoughts too long.
My heart goes out to the parents who lost a child in Uganda the other night. My heart goes out to any parent who has ever lost a child for any reason, anywhere.