Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Surf: From Fun to Serious and Back Again

I am 38 years old today. I've had no special plans. I kind of hoped someone would whisk me away to have sushi for lunch, but I didn't really voice that until yesterday. I got most of my presents before today though I have one coming in the mail and another friend I'll see soon to exchange (we share a birthday). I got some cool goodies, but had a bit of a rough day otherwise. My birthday cake (which I bake myself) did, at least, turn out perfect! Oh, you wanted LINKS in my Sunday Surf? Alright then...

  • I have a journal over on Live Journal. From there, I'm in a community called Handmade Gifts. All year long, people post looking for help with gifts as well as posting gift ideas and tutorials. I've gotten some great ones there. Well this week someone posted a link to Kind Over Matter Freebies. At first I thought the post looked like spam, but I checked it out and there are some really cool printables! I printed out the "Compliments for you or your Coworkers" and left it on the bulletin board in the break room on my last day. I thought it was a nice goodbye gift to leave behind. I am sure you can find a project on this page that you'll like! And guess what... they're free!

  • I'm sure I saw it linked from someone's Facebook, but Shots, NPR's Health Blog published an article this week entitled Virus Passed During Oral Sex Tops Tobacco As Throat Cancer Cause. I'm usually a bit vulnerable to such scare tactics as such articles use, but honestly... I feel like this is just another way to get more people to pay for a vaccine. The article is actually partner content from Kaiser Health News. Based on this article, they're now saying men may also benefit from the vaccine against Cervical Cancer. What a great way to expand your market! In fact, some of the research is funded by Merck, the pharmaceutical company that makes Gardasil.

  • During the holidays, several mom blogs were posting information, articles, warnings, "how to deal" articles regarding TSA pat downs and scans. Even though I haven't flown anywhere since... business trips I took in the early 1990's, I read all of the articles with fascination and a bit of heartbreak. Mothers have truly been wronged on some occasions, as have children. So I simply had to share this short article from BoingBoing. Mind you, I'm not terribly familiar with BoingBoing, but I get the impression it is news brought to you in a slightly more fun attitude or at least less stuffy than most sources. Alaska state rep refuses TSA grope of her mastectomy scars, drives home from Seattle. Reading the comments may get you riled, but otherwise the article is short and to the point.

  • This next link is the sort of thing that might change lives. Somehow it is extra moving when you realize a man wrote it. I think because it is rare that you see men get passionate about this sort of thing (publicly). I think I got this Link from a friend on Facebook and you should definitely read The disease called "Perfection".

  • Through a link I got from Hobo Mama on Facebook, I found Mila's Daydreams. This woman takes the most gorgeous photos of her daughter while she naps! These things are REALLY cool! Her images have been stolen all over the internet, though. She is going to put out a BOOK, though! (Yes, these photos are that good!)
I hope you found several links of interest here this week! I was pleased with these sites as they crossed my reading path. After all, I thought they were good enough to share with you!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Life after Lice

Sasha loves this wind-up bear Gran bought for her. It plays the Teddy Bear Picnic song. When we discovered the lice, all of her stuffed / soft toys went into a plastic bag and were set aside. Out of sight, out of mind.

Sasha on Teddy BearSasha, asleep on her Teddy Bear
November 2010

Today I finally grabbed a toy out of the bag for her today. I wound up the bear and set it up against Ronni's bed. Sasha was so excited to see it! I left her playing with it. A few minutes later, she brought it (and Daddy's Elmo she recently got off a shelf) to me. She wanted all of them in my lap and promptly nursed to sleep cuddling with the two of them.

Sasha with Teddy BearSasha, sleeping with Elmo & Teddy Bear
February 2011

I'm so glad her life can become more normal now. I thought she might have totally forgotten about the toys in the bag, but she did NOT forget about this bear!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Attachment Parenting a Child with Lice - Part IV

My LiceMeister® Comb arrived in the mail along with an extra half dozen LiceMeister® Critter Cards. I plan to hold on to those and give them to anyone with questions about lice. When I got the package out of the mailbox, it brought with it a renewed confidence that I can beat these lice!
The Licemeister Comb
When I got the comb out of the package, I immediately felt a difference! The handle is larger and heavier, easier to handle. It just feels like quality! The cleaning tool didn't make sense when I saw it online in the videos, but when seen in person it did. It is like a flosser. I couldn't see the string in the video.

I had been thinking about ways I might be able to get to Sasha's head with her awake. I put her into her high chair (a kind of special treat as we don't use it often). Then I started her off with crackers & laughing cow cheese. Then cucumber slices. Every time she'd get restless, I'd go find another snack. I was determined to do her hair in sections, properly. I did pretty well until the last 2 inches in the back. She had fig bars. She had snap-pea crisps. She had italian cookies. She had generic fruity pebbles. When she initially showed interest in the comb itself, I gave her the nit comb from the old kit, it had only been run through my own hair (no lice) so I figured she could play with it. She mostly used it to pierce her snacks. She kept putting food in her hair. Crackers on the comb was odd, but I can work with that. She also had graham snacks.

snack distractionsEvery snack I could find to distract while combing!
Plus a comb!

I did find that I couldn't really hunt for nits while I combed, not with her awake. I'll plan to pick while she nurses and comb in the high chair. We may go through a LOT of snacks in the next week! I hope this approach keeps working for me.

I finally called Deborah and we chatted for half an hour. She gave me some really interesting pointers! Use scotch tape rolled around your fingers, and while holding a part in your child's hair, tap the tape on the scalp. You'll be able to pick up tiny lice and SEE what you're getting. On that same note, you can vacuum your bedding, but you can also use tape or a lint roller on your pillow cases. Her important point was not to get so exhausted doing laundry that you have no patience left for combing.

Day 2: So first I'd like to say that the "7-10 days" I kept planning was not from The National Pediculosis Association®. I think maybe it was from the comb set I had purchased. Deborah encouraged me to not be too hard on myself. Also, lice can be eradicated in one sitting (it just isn't likely to happen that way with a 1yo). The more I thought about it, though, the more I figured I needed to cut myself some slack. I've been on a bit of a roller coaster with this lice thing.

By the time Sasha nursed to sleep last night, I was falling asleep myself, so I didn't get to hunt for nits. Tonight I set Sasha up with some dinner in her high chair in front of the television and started on her hair. I managed to quickly get through all the sections again... and found hardly anything at all! In fact, I never found anything that I could definitely confirm was alive! I don't want to get all celebratory just yet. I was using a cup of soapy water and that always makes it harder to identify, but then last night I was still getting stuff on the paper towel when I wiped the comb. Tonight... nothing identifiable. This new comb rocks our socks!

dinner and a showDinner & a Show
More Combing Distractions

Meanwhile, my ex-husband let me know he spent hours picking nits out of our son's hair and doesn't want to do it again. He was checking whether we had deloused our home yet. I do still seem to have some bites on my inner arm. My head still itches. Deborah really thinks I need to use the comb to screen myself. Many adults can comb their entire heads in the shower, but from talking to me she knew I'd want to do it where I could see the results. I'm simply too curious. And it is very common for the mother to be the one re-infesting the little ones. I have to keep thinking I don't have them, but I will be screening myself... probably tomorrow. Ronni will be coming over tomorrow night, finally! It has been several weeks, thanks to being snowed in, since he has been over for a visit.

Day 3: It is Friday and my weekend to have Ronni. Between fetching him and fuel after work and being exhausted, I'm letting myself off the hook for a night of combing. Plus it is the weekend, so I will have plenty of time to comb her again tomorrow. I hesitate to believe that we've won the battle quite yet.

Tyler & Sasha, sharing yogurtMy kids, sharing some yogurt.

Day 4: I found 1 live louse while nursing today. Then tonight I set Sasha in her high chair with a bowl of yogurt and some graham sticks for a combing. I only found 1 more live louse. I'm stinking at nit picking, but the comb still rocks!

Yogurt Snack for CombingYogurt and Graham Sticks for a combing.

Day 6: That's right, I skipped a day. Again. But I feel good about how she is looking and the opportunity just did not seem to present itself. So tonight I heated up some frozen veggies for Sasha & I to share for dinner. She had her portion in her high chair and I did a fairly quick comb-through without doing the sections. I did not find a single... anything! Some food remnants from snacks through the day, but no lice. Not one. I haven't found any nits while nursing, either. I've been checking a little, too. Nothing. I'm still a little hesitant to celebrate just yet, but I gotta admit... I'm getting excited! I love you NPA!

Day 8: I've been flipping through her hair when she nurses, haven't found anything. I got the combs out this morning, though, and did find 3 adult lice. And she was fighting me all the while. I don't know why I'm not spotting any nits. Oh, and Sasha seems to be sick again. Ugh! She has another fever.

skin-to-skin to battle feverSkin-to-skin has been the best solution for Sasha's fevers
soothing, and brings the temp down

Day... 11? (Saturday): Wednesday night was fever, up and down all night. Thursday fever ALL day. It never got too high. Friday night, she was clammy. Saturday morning she woke up with a rash on her scalp! My dad had tried to tell me that lice will burrow into the scalp if left untreated, but I'm sure he is... well he is Dad. He gets some crazy ideas sometimes. Through the weekend the rash spread all over her body. It seems to be Roseola. Still, I took some time to comb through her hair on Saturday. I got some nits and 1 or 2 lice. Is this just going to be an ongoing thing? Maybe. She wasn't very agreeable to being combed.

I combed / inspected Sasha's head every other day or so. I haven't seen anything for several days, but she has really been fighting the comb. I'm hesitant to celebrate. I also haven't had any bites on my arms, to that is another good sign. My scalp doesn't itch ALL the time anymore, either. I did run the comb through some of my hair, though I should have lubricated it more. It just pulled / broke my hair, mostly. If I find the lice again, I'll continue this series, but otherwise... I'm going to consider this the conclusion of my Attachment Parenting a Child with Lice series! I'm glad I could share this experience with you. I hope I didn't bore you.

I'd like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement, especially Deborah from NPA! I'd also like to pat my husband and myself on the back for not letting lice keep us from being affectionate with our daughter, which was the original point of my series. I would hate to think that some bugs could make her feel unloved, though I'm sure many children with lice feel that way!

Remember, if lice find their way into your life, don't feel like you have to hide it. Tell those that may have been effected (you might stumble upon the source)! There is no shame in lice, especially if we all refuse to feel shame for lice! One more reminder: The NPA recommends a weekly comb screening of your little ones. I know we'll at least be on the lookout more regularly. If you can catch them fast, it makes for less work to rid yourself of them.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Roseola

skin-to-skin to battle feverSkin-to-skin has been the best solution for Sasha's fevers
soothing, and brings the temp down

Roseola rash starting from scalpSasha's Roseola rash began on her scalp and moved forward

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Surf: Kid Stuff & Green Stuff

It has been an odd week. I gave notice at my FT job on Monday. Sasha had a fever that kept me up most of the night Wednesday, so I stayed home with her Thursday. She maintained a fever ALL day. Saturday morning her head looked a little rashy. She is now covered with a rash that doesn't itch. Thanks to the moms at the Natural Parents Network on FB, I have figured out that it is most likely Roseola, of which I'd never even heard. She isn't uncomfortable, so we're just waiting it out based on what I've read. On to the links:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Beautiful Valentine

Sasha ValentineOur Beautiful Valentine

Sasha Valentine+ coat
Her Uncle Keith got her this gorgeous outfit

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Surf

This week I worked Monday / Tuesday, but opted to avoid the risk of driving on Wednesday (slick roads). I worked Thursday / Friday through much chaos! I'm SO glad the weekend is here! Elmo and I are discussing more options to make more time together as a family. During the time that I have been at home, here are the links I found worth sharing.

I hope you found at least one or two links here that interested you. I know I enjoyed them!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Body Image - Getting Over It

My inspiring friend Hobo Mama posted about getting comfortable with your body, most specifically the way it looks. She talks about being fat and pregnant. She links to some posts about feeling / being fat and pregnant. I always have a hard time figuring out how to be supportive of such posts because I'm not fat. I worry that anything I say will somehow be less valid or come off as patronizing.

But something in her post caught my eye. It was a request for other fat pregnant women to post bare belly photos. One picture came to mind. It is a photo I requested my husband take because of how funny Sasha was in it. However, when I later saw the photo I was mortified. My one month postpartum belly disgusted me in the photo. So I haven't shared it. The photo isn't really about my body but my sharing it has more to do with refusing to censor ourselves based on our appearance. This is what some (at least *my*) postpartum bellies look like. I hope you enjoy this photo and I hope my post... reads as supportive as it is meant to be.

Sasha, sleeping nurslingSasha, having nursed herself to sleep, wiggled down into a comfy spot on Mommy's squishy belly. This is roughly one month postpartum.

Full Term Bare Pregnant BellyFull Term Bare Pregnant Belly
Photo was taken the day before Sasha was born.

Be proud of your body! It does amazing things! Mommas, be proud of the fact that your body created, labored, and delivered a human being! Wear those stretch marks like badges of honor, battle scars. I know I'm proud of mine and I have them EVERYwhere!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Attachment Parenting a Child with Lice - Part III

Preface: This post is filled with links and information rather than my personal story. I hope you find the info helpful and interesting.
The Licemeister Comb
I am on the edge of my seat, waiting for my LiceMeister® Comb to arrive! I think I may have to brave the 19° weather out there to get to the mail box. The tracking doesn't say it was delivered and I thought it would come to my door, but it is well past noon and it isn't here. The roads are awful, though!

Meanwhile, I've been checking out the links that Deborah Altschuler, the President of The National Pediculosis Association®, sent to me in an email. Some great listening and reading, though some of it is irritating. Let me share and explain.

Wordless Wednesday: More Cold Weather

Sasha in Backward CoatSasha likes to wear her coat around the house... backward.

Sasha in Backward CoatSasha loves her snow boots.
Every time she finds them, she has to wear them.

Attachment Parenting a Child with Lice - Part II

Day 1: Sasha hardly napped. I worked on her head some (as I said in my previous post in this series), but she was restless by the time I got to her head and didn't sleep long. I didn't get much.

Day 2: Sasha slept until nearly noon! By 7 o'clock, she finally went down for a nap (I am going to be up all night with her!). She even rolled onto her belly, so I had good access to the back of her head. There aren't SOOO many. I wound up mostly using a normal fine tooth comb and picking lice out by hand (even the tiny ones). I kept having to pick them out from beneath my finger nails to flick into the hot soapy water. Ew. Every once in a while, I'd tug a hair and she'd roll her head over. That was convenient. Except once she rolled it, I saw a large louse, and then she flipped her head back. Ugh.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Parenting Essentials

Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Parenting Essentials

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared the parenting essentials that they could not live without. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


What one thing could I not live without when it comes to parenting? When I first read this prompt, the product that immediately sprung to mind was my Boppy Cushion! It was the very first thing I got when I found out I was pregnant (thanks Mom!) and I was still in my first trimester! That is how much we knew I'd have to have it. My mother loaned me a Boppy with my last child 12 years ago.

Newborn Sasha on BoppyNewborn Sasha on Boppy Cushion
Note: Boppy says NOT to leave your baby sleeping on a Boppy!
We were, however, always hovering.

Toddler Sasha on Boppy CushionToddler Sasha on Boppy Cushion
She still loves to sleep on it!

Nevermind that I still use the Boppy for nursing ALL the time! I also let her sit on the Boppy on my lap when we share meals. She likes to sit on it like a bench, too. It is a very versatile tool to have in the parenting toolbox. That said, I don't think it is the one thing I have to have.

Monday, February 7, 2011

February Thankful Challenge - Day 7

I like my breasts. I've had times in my life when I didn't, but I do right now. They fluctuate a bit with milk still, but I like them.

  1. I am thankful that my husband finds me attractive, regardless of the various body changes I've gone through since we got together.

  2. I am thankful that we are currently driving a 4x4 truck. I worry less.

  3. I am thankful for my warm home after working in the cold for 4 hours!

All that said, I've made it a week so far without missing a day. I am, however, taking this exercise over to my personal journal where I feel it is better suited. I hope, though, that some of you were inspired to take this challenge on yourself. Thank you Byn for the inspiration!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday Surf: Some History

We have been snowed in pretty much all week. You'd think I would have found the end of the internet, right? Well I really didn't, though at times it felt like it. I've been putting most of my online energy into a new website project and my usual social networking sites. I have, however, stumbled upon some new stuff and been inspired to dig up some old bookmarks as well. I think you'll find something that intrigues and / or amuses you here.

  • Becoming SarahCode Name: Mama shared (on FB, I believe) a link to this article on Becoming Sarah that had me cracking up! It is one of those horribly embarrassing tales that you appreciate the victim sharing. Go relate to her, if you've ever been as embarrassed as her! Sarah Fartypants strikes again. Kills all within smelling distance.

  • I have always wanted to try my hand at sculptures. There for a while I had a box of Plaster of Paris in my closet and intended to make a wire frame of something and then cover it. That same box sat, unopened, and got moved a few times before finally getting donated to Goodwill some 15 or so years later! This site has some very cool new ideas for sculpture that anyone can do and the materials should be inexpensive, too. Tape

    You can also go here for the site of the creator of He has done some crazy, cool things with the technique. Mark Jenkins

  • My husband loves French Toast. He is also crazy about peanut butter and puts it on his French Toast. Back in August, my mother forwarded me a "Daily Dish" recipe for Peanut Butter French Toast. I bookmarked it in my toolbar and intended to make it... at some point. Well today, after being snowed in all week and getting tired of cooking any of my "regular" stuff, I finally made this dish! It is SO yummy! Hubby still thinks it needs to be topped with peanut butter, though! I'm so glad my Sasha can eat PB now! Peanut Butter French Toast

  • I'm sure I got this last one from someone on FB, too, though I have forgotten the exact source. I've decided I need to start noting that when I bookmark cool sites for Sunday Surf. This one needs a little warning with it, though. I am sure lots of you have (or want) Mommy Calling Cards. I know Hobo Mama showed some cool ones and even I want some. I used to have calling cards for just my ex-husband and I. They had our names and email addresses on them, then we'd write our phone number on the back if we gave them to someone that we wanted to have that info. (We were a bit more protective of that contact info.)

    Anyway, this is a very funny article about how ridiculous such things are, but there are a bunch of amusingly offensive cards suggested in the article, too! I would SO do some of these myself!

    Please enjoy Lesson Ten: You Shouldn't Even Need a Business Card to Go to the Damn Park.

Thanks for Surfing my Sunday. I hope you laughed and maybe even learned about something new! Come back next week for more links!

February Thankful Challenge - Day 6

I like that I am an Attachment Parent, but then I can't imagine being anything else.

  1. I am thankful that my husband supports the parenting choices I make, but will still ask / discuss any decisions that he doesn't understand or with which he disagrees.

  2. I am thankful that the car blocking us in after the blizzard did get moved in time for my stir-craziest-get-me-out-of-this-friggin'-apartment day. And that we got groceries!

  3. I am thankful for my friend Angel that does our taxes every year now. I'm intimidated by the tax-doing.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

February Thankful Challenge - Day 5

I like that I seem to finally be losing some more pregnancy weight, though I don't know why. Woot! (I'm thankful for it, too!)

  1. I am thankful for Signing Time. It has been a fun program to watch with Sasha; she is learning so much and communicating more and more every day.

  2. I am thankful that I bought Brita water pitchers. While I don't drink as much water in the winter, I bet Fizzo would not be delivering water this past week after our blizzard!

  3. I am thankful for the guy on a Arachnoboards that helped me save our Goliath Birdeater tarantula last night. Elmo would have been crushed if he hadn't made it and I really did have to DO something. It was a great experience and I might not have figured it out in time without advice found there.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Attachment Parenting a Child with Lice - Part I

I'm sure most homeschoolers (of whichever sort) hope to avoid the lice infestations so common in elementary schools, but it can still happen. For us, Sasha was exposed at Girl Scouts or may have gotten it from her sister after she got it at Girl Scouts. Or, who knows, maybe Ronni got it somewhere else and he is the one that exposed others through Girl Scouts. It is impossible to know for sure.
My Pillow Pets Dog 18"
At least between my two kids, I suspect the culprit to be the big hit holiday gift: Pillow Pets. Ronni got a dog one for Giftmas. Sasha loved it. A lot. So they shared it a bit. Then Sasha (with a Gift Card from Giftmas) got her own Ladybug Pillow Pet, upon which they also both laid their heads.

I had been checking Sasha. I even saw specks in her hair (and should have known better), but no movement. Then one night I was holding her while cooking dinner after work when I saw it... a full grown adult louse. Initiate Freak Out. I did not throw my daughter down and keep her an arm's length away from me. I figured I had them, too. After all, we share a family bed. Lucky for Elmo, he has never had them. I have this suspicion that some people just don't get them. My ex-husband never got them, either, even when the entire house was infested. So that was Thursday evening and it was late. Elmo was already asleep in bed so he couldn't check my head and I couldn't change the sheets (we don't have backup sheets). I had been checked a couple of times the week before, but came up clean. Still, the instant I found that one louse my head itched uncontrollably. By morning, I had scratched myself until my scalp bled.

February Thankful Challenge - Day 4

I love that I am good at being pregnant. I did have some trouble with nausea last time, but still... I am very attentive to health issues, etc. and just enjoy being pregnant. I'd like to do it again.

  1. I am thankful for Byn, who has inspired me time and time again in so many different ways.

  2. I am thankful for Amanda because I know I can count on her to never judge me. I'm pretty certain she'd help me hide bodies.

  3. I am thankful for the lost loves I've had in my life. They helped me to become who I am today.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February Thankful Challenge - Day 3

I love that I am so open-minded when it comes to food I will eat. I'll try (and likely enjoy) a lot of different foods, even if I don't like mushrooms.

  1. I am thankful for Lauren, who inspired me to blog and encouraged me to publish my articles.

  2. I am thankful for Tara, who inspired me to see that I really can do whatever I want to do with my life!

  3. I am thankful for one more snow day today, even if I'll have to spend vacation days to get any money.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day & Thankfulness

groundhogs in my yardGroundhogs in my yard back in 2006
Did you know groundhogs and woodchucks are the same thing?

Happy Woodchuck Day!

As for my February Thankful Challenge:

My Day 2: I am proud that I taught myself HTML years ago. I love that I can write code when blogging. There is so much more coding I could / should learn, but I like that I know this basic language.

  1. I am thankful for my friends. I have learned so much from them. I also appreciate their willingness to learn (usually about odd topics) from me.

  2. I am thankful for power through the storm.

  3. I am thankful for work being closed yesterday and today!

Wordless Wednesday: Snooow

Sasha with SnowSasha's first handful of Snow

Buried SidewalkPath from our Apartment to the Parking Lot

Elmo's celebratory plunge:
Our entire town is closed down - no work!
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