A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: home remedies

How I battled head lice and won

When we last left our heroine, she was about to save her helpless child from a repulsive infestation of head lice!

(You can get all caught up with how I discovered the infestation here.)

Say it with me, y’all: “Ewwwwww!”

I couldn’t agree more.

Even though I was as skeeved as could possibly be, there was really no choice but to suit up and duke it out with those beasty blood-sucking bastards.

As a serial do-it-yourselfer, I really wanted to see if I could McGyver a solution out of everyday household items like duct tape, lighter fluid, and a weed whacker, but my inner parenting voice said no.

So instead, I turned to the refrigerator and the box o’ dog grooming supplies.

That’s right, people. Armed with nothing but a large jar of Hellman’s and my dog’s plastic flea comb, I set to work.

(NOTE: I chose the flea comb, which was clean and hadn’t been used in years, because it had very fine teeth. However, if you go that route, take it from me and do not share that detail with your child’s teacher or school nurse. Trust me on this one.)

First I combed out as many bugs and nits as I could find. Then I slathered my child’s head with my least favorite condiment, combed it through, and wrapped my child’s melon with cling wrap…being careful not to cover his/her nose or mouth. (I know – best Mom ever.)

The Google said the mayo would need to be on for 8 hours to properly suffocate the live lice. Unfortunately for us, our dog wouldn’t leave my sandwich-flavored child alone and we only got 3 hours of “mayo time” in before the grease dripping down his/her neck and the constant attention from the dog drove my child to the brink of insanity.

“MOM! HELP! IKE IS LICKING ME AGAIN!”

So we washed out the mayo, or tried to at least. I haven’t seen hair that greasy since I accidentally left the lid off the Vaseline jar when Mini-Me was a toddler.

Worried the partial mayo treatment wasn’t going to be effective, I looked for another home remedy…preferably one that wouldn’t kill any of my child’s brain cells or turn him/her into an extra large dog treat.

After thoroughly researching the myriad options…

I chose The Cetaphil Treatment to rid my child of lice.

In a nutshell, it requires thoroughly covering the hair with a copious amount of Cetaphil facial cleanser, and thoroughly blow drying it so as to “shrink-wrap” each hair strand therefore suffocating the live lice.

It took three afternoons, evenly spaced three weeks apart, and was a bit labor intensive (takes a lot longer to blow dry hair that is saturated with Cetaphil), but it was safe and it worked. We are officially lice-free.

Supposedly with The Cetaphil Treatment, removing nits is optional because the three weekly treatments completely interrupt the life cycle. But I didn’t want to take any chances, so I ended up buying a professional nit-picking comb called the Nit Free Terminator Lice Comb. The extra-fine stainless steel teeth are much more effective (and less disturbing to others) than my dog’s plastic flea comb.

Oddly enough, I actually enjoyed the nit picking process. This probably comes as no surprise to my husband who has been the brunt of my figurative nit picking for the last 18 years. There was just something remarkably Zen about methodically combing through small sections of coconut scented wet hair in search of buried treasure. Maybe I’m just weird, but I dug it. Perhaps because it was one of the few elements of my life where I could actually see my progress and feel like I was accomplishing something.

How I battled head lice and won by The Bearded Iris

It was also a great opportunity to have uninterrupted conversations with my child. Not that I would recommend a head lice infestation as a way to connect with one of your kids on a deeper level, but seeing the nit comb as half full rather than half empty is one of my finer qualities.

I’ve also learned there are folks who rid people of lice for a living! Apparently they make big bucks too. So I’m thinking I could become a Professional Nit Picker if this blogging thing doesn’t work out. Hey, I already own the comb.

So the moral of this story is this…

1.)  Lice happens.

2.)  Trust your gut and know what to look for.

3.) DON’T PANIC!!!!!!!!!!

4.) Buy a good nit comb. If you have kids, you’re going to need it eventually.

5.) Learn the facts and find the Zen in nit picking.

Or hell, pay me to do it for you—special pricing for readers of The Bearded Iris!

Honestly, the hardest part of this experience was the embarrassment of having to notify the school and my child’s friends. But most of them had been through it before and were very compassionate about the whole thing (the ones who replied, that is). My child was even invited to a slumber party by one of those parents, so I’m relieved to know that we aren’t marked for life…at least for head lice, anyway. {Bless our hearts.}

Triumphantly yours,
Leslie The Lice Lambaster

The Mother of all Cures

You know that scratchy feeling you get in the back of your throat when you’re just starting to come down with a cold? Yes, you know the one… that dreadful little tickle that means “Batten down the hatches! You are about to feel absolutely miserable.”

Well, last Friday night, after I had finally gotten all the kids to bed, poured a(nother) nice big fishbowl of wine, and put my feet up… I felt that tickle.

Oh no. No no no no no. Not now. I absolutely cannot get sick.

My husband had already succumbed to the grippe a few days earlier, so, statistically speaking, I knew it was my turn. Even with all the hand washing and Lysol spraying and Hazmat suit wearing, I felt like the odds were not in my favor.

But I would be damned if I wasn’t going to put up a good fight.

So I hoisted my tired tuchus off the couch and went to the kitchen to whip up my favorite home remedy for stopping a cold in its tracks…

Best home remedy for stopping a cold by The Bearded Iris

Ingredients:

  • one cup of water (cold or hot, your call)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Bragg’s Organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • a teaspoon (or so) of honey
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper (about 1/10th of a teaspoon)

I stirred it up and sucked it down. Then I went right to bed.

The next morning, I was right as rain. Okay, maybe acid rain on the outskirts of Three Mile Island, but still, the point is… I was NOT SICK. The scratchy throat was gone. My nose was not stuffy. My head did not hurt. Score: Iris 1, Cold 0! Booo-yah!

My poor husband did not drink my Witches Brew early enough in his little cold. He used the classic male cold remedy called “denial,” and it totally didn’t work.

As you surely know, I am not a medical doctor. But this is the second time this year I’ve used this little Witches Brew and it is the second time I’ve avoided getting sick. I’m not exactly sure why it works, I only know that it does. But the key is that you absolutely must drink it at that very first moment you suspect a cold coming on. Don’t delay.

Now, a bit of detail about the ingredients:

Bragg Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar. I usually buy mine at Whole Foods, but I’ve seen it at the local Publix too, in the organic bump out section of the oil/vinegar aisle. This ingredient is the most important in the Witches Brew. Don’t just use regular old Heinz vinegar. The Bragg ACV is special because it is raw and unfiltered. It looks cloudy and gross. There are little brown strands of floaty goo in it. Just shake it well and don’t look at it and you’ll be fine. But I suspect that the brown goo is the magic. In fact, Bragg calls that part of it the ‘Mother.’ Look:

Dang, if it is called the ‘Mother,’ you know that sh*t is good. It can probably change a diaper, balance the checkbook, and auger a clogged toilet too.

Apparently, raw apple cider vinegar has been regarded throughout history for its many healing health benefits. Even as far back as 400 BC, Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, used it for its amazing natural cleansing , healing, and energizing health qualities. I learned about it from my crunchy friend Jennifer. She swears by it. Carries it around like the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding with his Windex. Don’t go to her house with a rash or a zit… you’ll walk out of there reeking of ACV.

Cayenne Pepper.  I first became enamored of cayenne pepper when I did The Master Cleanser last fall. That is a story for another day, but let me just say, cayenne pepper is an absolutely amazing health booster. It is good for your circulation, your skin, your mental clarity, and more. Seriously. Just google it, amigo. Or here, let me save you a step.

Honey. Did you know that honey is actually germicidal? It is! Like ACV, the healing properties of honey date back thousands of years. I could go on and on, but just take my word for it, or google it yourself. I have to pay some attention to my 3 year old, Bucket Head, before he sticks a fork in the toaster. Oh, one more thing, if you can get it, local raw honey is much better for you than the mass produced store brands. In fact I think raw is probably better for you with most things, except pork, chicken, and sex, but again… that is a story for another day.

Here’s to your good health!

with love and Purell,

-Iris

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