Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Susanna Beth at 4 months!

My sweet girl is now four months and what a nice stage!  She now...

...actually goes to bed early!  Usually sometime between 7:30 and 8:00.  Of course, that means she no longer naps til noon, but it is good for her to have a more normal schedule.  And I am enjoying just spending time with my husband in the evenings now that my hands are free.

...absolutely loves diaper changes -- I think it is because she gets my undivided attention for a bit.  But as soon as I put her on the bed, she starts squealing and cooing and grinning up a storm.  It is so cute!

... also loves to be naked and tickled.  She has the best belly laugh when I tickle her.  Her sisters love to kiss her belly to try to get her to laugh so loudly.

... loves her play mat and rolls all over the place as she is playing there.

... is definitely teething and drooling all over the place.

... is not quite as attached to Mama and will happily let others play with her when she is not tired.  She still needs Mama to help her get to sleep.  She has to nurse or be walked to sleep... she unfortunately gave up simply rocking in the chair for some reason.

.. Still hates the paci with a passion!  Why oh why?

...  Will take short (under 20 minutes) car rides happily if it is before bedtime.  After 7:30, she will undoubtedly scream in the car rather than fall asleep.

...  Is so much fun!  She loves attention and happily plays and laughs at anyone who will smile at her.  Such a fun stage!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A natural approach to lice removal

This was the post I hoped to never have to write.  I've had super thick and long hair almost my entire life, and lice has been at the top of my list as one of my worst fears ever since I was old enough to hear about it. I thankfully managed to go 31 years without any more than the sympathy itching I always get when I hear of someone else with lice.  But you can imagine my utter horror to find it on one of my girls now that I live in a house with FIVE girls!  (Yes, even Susanna has a thick rat's tail/ mullet that I refuse to cut and in which lice could definitely choose to hide.)  Add to that the fact that we have a ridiculous amount of stuffed animals and baby dolls and I won't even mention the state my house was in the day I found it.  And company was coming to stay with us in two days.  And the thought of putting chemicals on my sweet girls' heads just made me sick to my stomach.  To say that I felt incredibly overwhelmed was a huge understatement!

As soon as I found a patch of nits in my daughter's hair, I immediately reached for the coconut oil.  My husband teases that I use coconut oil for everything, but in this case I was super glad I used it!  I had remembered reading somewhere that coconut oil smothers lice and I immediately covered each of my girls' hair and myself as well.  I called Mark to go buy us a special comb and then we set to work throwing things in plastic trash bags and in the washer and dryer.  After leaving the coconut oil in our hair for several hours, I combed everyone's hair.  Thankfully, I never saw lice in anyone else's hair so I think we got to it fast enough so that it did not spread.  I did find 2 actual bugs in my one daughter's hair, and I cannot tell you how glad I was that I had used the coconut oil so that they were dead rather than running away from me!!!!  A month and a half later with no signs of a re-infestation, I finally feel safe and confident enough to say the natural approach worked.

I did a bit of research that first night to see what I needed to do to keep them away.  THIS article helped me the most.
Here is what I learned:

1.  Coconut oil really does work!  But you still have to comb out the nits.
2.  Rinsing hair with apple cider vinegar before shampoo helps remove the glue holding the nits so they come out easily.
3.  High heat kills both lice and nits.  Just about everything in my house went through our dryer.  And we dried all my girls' hair with the hair dryer for the first three weeks just to be on the safe side.
4.  Neem oil and tea tree oil also kill lice.  So the 2nd day I was paranoid enough to do another coconut oil treatment and I added both essential oils to the coconut oil.
5.  Here are two natural products that are good for killing lice.  I didn't have time to get them and managed fine without them, but I thought they sounded good enough to mention, especially if you have a worse infestation than we suffered: Theraneem Organix Shampoo an Quit Nits Complete Head Lice Kit (a homeopathic and essential oil nit removal kit)
6.  I washed and dried all the sheets and blankets 3 days in a row, then did it every other day for a week just to be on the safe side.
7.  We bagged up each and every stuffed animal and baby doll with hair for 4 weeks.  (My house stayed a lot neater during that time!)
8.  We did the oil treatment and washed their hair and combed it 3 days in a row and then every other day for a week. (Did I mention that I was really stressed and paranoid?)  Thankfully, we never saw anything after the first day, but all the extra work might be the reason it didn't come back.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fun with the ducks...

 Nina and Papa took us to the duck pond on Sunday afternoon.  It was beautiful fall weather and the girls were utterly amazed at all the ducks!

This "turkey-duck" (as we called it) was just walking around and Abbi kept following it around asking it if it wanted to go in the water.

Susanna chilled in  the sling as always :)

Such a lovely Sunday afternoon!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Last chance to swim in Papa's pool!

Last Saturday, the girls and I headed to Grandma and Papa's house for one last pool day.  It was a little chilly, but it didn't phase the girls one bit!  They were so excited!

The big girls played hard in the water for about a half hour, but then got chilly.

Karlie enjoyed snuggles from Grandma...

While Karis soaked up the warmth from the sun and cement..

Abbi, however, did not want to get out of the water.  She was just having too much fun with Papa!

And Susanna Beth happily slept the day away in the swing :)

It was the perfect end to the summer!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

End of August photodump

"who me?"

Daddy snuggles

Our little papoose

Pup-pup is very tolerant to her girls:

The monkey had to be strapped in for some reason...

Reading lesson time with Karis is getting a little crowded these days ... :)

Looks funny to see such big feet on such a little munchkin :)

Fun day at Daddy's work... Abbi was quite amazed at the subway sandwich

A fun visit from our favorite crazy Jon!

Still going to ballet when Daddy is home from work in time (Abbi will only do it if Daddy does it with her :)

Cousin time!

This big trampoline has been sitting outside Daddy's work and Karlie has been begging to do it since the 4th of July when Karis did... kinda hard for Mama to see such a tiny thing fly so high but Karlie had a blast and laughed the entire time!

Happy Birthday Nina!

This messy face deserved a close-up :)