Lice Nits and Fleas, oh my!

I've adored my chocolate lab for all 9 years of our life together. She is calm and patient, sweet and quiet. Last week, after a $350 trip to the vet, I was introduced to a product called K9 Advantage for, what else, FLEAS. In all 9 years of our dog/owner life together, never once have I used a flea product on her.

I raced home, applied the medicine and began scouring my somewhat clean home for evidence of the problem. It wasn't until the following morning, on moving a load of laundry off my bedroom floor that I noticed a small black bug (smaller than an ant) on a white hand towel. When I reached for it it shot into the air. What was that?!

Naive idiot of Earth, meet Ctenophalides Canis, the common dog flea.
I crawled on my hands and knees around the house in search of more evidence. When I stood up, I discovered I had been scraping the skin off my stomach due to a cluster of red raised bites around my belly button. I peeled the sheets off the beds to find three fleas IN MY BED! Those F&*$%ERS were sleeping with me?!?!
Having never experienced the joys of flea infestation before, I looked it up on the internet and educated myself in flea battle. I burned up the vacuum cleaner in the first three days. I accumulated so much laundry on my garage floor it's spilling out into the yard. I blew through three cans of overpriced RAID Flea killer. With these toxic levels in my house, I'm guaranteed the arrival of a three legged grandchild in my future. The pest control guy is scheduled for tomorrow. The carpet cleaners are here now. I already spent the kids' college fund on. laundry detergent and bug bombs.
When I arrived at kindergarten today, scratch scratch, my head tingled with more thoughts of where those damned itchy buggers could have gotten. I was corralled by a mom the minute I stepped into the classroom, "Do you recall getting that Lice Exposure Warning last month in the kids' cubbies?" she asked. I scratched my head and nodded. I had checked Shelby's scalp for 2 weeks after that news as was suggested. She continued, "Well, we got lice again this week. So you might want to check your kids out again."
My head was on fire with itchiness. It was all I could do run out of there with my girls in tow and head straight to the nearest drugstore for more battle weapons. Because that's what I must have: LICE. I haven't stopped itching my entire body since the flea infestation. And now, in addition to having fleas, I HAVE LICE.
And just like that,I formed a new category in my itchy head, where both the dog and kindergarten have fallen, labeled, "THINGS I USED TO LOVE WHICH HAVE RECENTLY BROUGHT ME IMMENSE ITCHY FRUSTRATION."
Not knowing exactly what I was looking for (apparently, I was raised in a bubble), I took the precautionary road and pulled into the Rite Aid parking lot. Scratch, scratch. I trudged through the store followed by a giant black cloud looming over my head. It had red flashing lights on it that blared, "WOMAN DEFEATED".
Armed with bottles of RID and a determination known only among professional athletes and hospital janitors, I rinsed, combed and rinsed both my daughters heads. I raced through the house spraying more toxic potions (now they'll be four legged cyclops grand kids, for sure) and peeling every piece of fabric out of the house to join the rest of our everythings on the garage floor. Where's that "Official Laundry Service" when you need 'em?
John arrived in time to comb the scalp clean off my head.
And when he finished, he looked me directly in my red, itchy, defeated eyes and said, "Babe, I didn't see anything that looked like lice."


Halloween Night Spooks

For the past year or so, I've left the sleepless nights of infant life behind and settled into a welcome routine of 8 uninterrupted hours of glorious slumber.
My girls are of an age where they know the bedtime routine, they welcome it. And more often than not, they fall into a deep 9 to 11 hour sleep leaving me and occasionally my husband, when he's here, to enjoy the fruits of our labor-alone.
It wasn't easy getting to this point, but laying down the "No Kids in Bed" Rule early, set us up for a glorious freedom we now cherish. When I walk into my childless bedroom, the crystal candle holders, the soft lighting, the enormous plush bed gaping open at the sight of me. This is my space, our adult room. Sure, there's a collection of stuffed animals tucked into the closet, and my make up drawer hasn't been organized since my first daughter could walk. But I'll take the good with the bad and manage to keep the floor beside my bed clear of legos and baby dolls.
And then, Halloween happened. And for three nights running, my FIVE year old has come running into my room at various ungodly hours of the night crying and yelping to climb in our bed. WTF??? All my careful planning, years of discipline, what about the "No Kids in Bed" Rule??? And now I share my cozy bed space with a 55 pound body blanket.
Last night was the last straw, 1:40 in the friggin morning and here come the whimpering cries and pitter patter of five year old feet. And suddenly we're wrestling each other at the edge of my bed.
"Shelby, you cannot sleep in my bed tonight!" blocking her path with my open arms.
She ducks around me and continues a frantic crawl up the side of the mattress.
"Shelby! Come on! Let's go back into your bed. Sissy's in there, you're not alone, it's okay.... (she's still crawling in place with my hand on her forehead-realizing I need to up my ante, I groan) I'll come lie down with you."
No luck. She's determined to make it into my bed and she's not listening to a word I'm whispering.
So, in frustration, I remove myself from her path and begin my slow trudge toward her twin sized bed. Hoping she'll follow.
But before I get there, I stop for a potty break and settle onto the cold seat while I listen to John try to reason with her from our bed.
"Shelby," he says through clenched teeth, "you cannot keep coming into our bed. You're a big girl. You need to go back to your room. Mommies already in there."
Next thing I know we're having a family party in the bathroom while Shelby continues crying and whining about wanting to get in our bed.
John makes his move to lift her into his arms and deliver her to her own bed when she goes completely boneless. Her entire body flops onto the floor in an effective five year old tantrum complete with loud crying. It's dark, it's cold.
It's 1:45 in the morning, for goodness sakes. WHAT IS GOING ON!!?!?!?!
After what seems like hours of grappling to get her into her own bed, I lie down beside her in the dark and ask, "What's the matter with your bed? Why do you keep coming into my room?"
More whimpering.
"There's a vulture in the corner over there, Mommy."
OHHHHH. Okay, that vulture right over there behind your door is the reason your dad and I haven't gotten any sleep for three days?!?! Well, lemme just give that vulture a piece of my mind, shall I?
I mean, really. With no cable, no TV, and a limited opportunity for exposure to anything inappropriate, apparently one trip to Halloween Headquarters, a few night walks around the neighborhood and suddenly I have ginormous feathered fowl in our house. I fully intend to address that horrid beast tonight BEFORE we turn out the lights. And I'm crossing my fingers that Halloween Fairy skips our house tonight so we can all get some sleep. Get lost VULTURE!!!


The Naked List

All this talk about nudity has sent me into a frenzy of personal hygiene, self help and physical improvements.
Here's what I've pondered as of late:
A. When did my ass turn into a mom butt? I swear, 5 years ago when I had time to look at my butt in the mirror all the time, it was a tight, 20 something pair of perfect round melons. A few years, a few babies and WHAM! Mom Butt. Saggy, Flabby, Droopy and spreading outward into the thigh region. WTF?
B. Breast Augmentation. Yep, that's right. I've talked about it. I've joked about it. But all of a sudden the thought of getting naked has pushed me to the next step-actually researching surgeons. And lemme tell ya, checking out all those boobies online can make a girl feel pretty good about what she's got up top. Wow, there are some really sad looking jugs out there in the world.
Which brings me to my next point: BREAST PARANOIA. I have developed a visual equation for determining how many women in my every day routine already have implants. And I've decided every woman has them. From the yard duty lady at school to the waitress at our local taco stand. No normal woman wears a size 2 jeans, has less than 5% body fat and sports 32 Ds up top. It's just unfair. And the ratio size 2: 32D rings true everywhere I look lately!
C. How shall I go about evening out the color of my skin? Should I go with the stinky lotion or all out tanning bed? Should I focus on dissolving my bikini lines or just darkening all over?
D. Self Purpose. I step out of my car at the preschool with a new little secret. I'm going to bear all in front of a camera! There's a twinkle in my eye, a new reason to tighten my ab muscles every chance I get, and I have a lightness in my step as I walk the tightrope between motherhood and sexy vixen land. (Of course, I'm always on the lookout for another gravity defying ratio-size 2: 32D)
E. Skin Hygiene. How is it that I put a photo shoot on the calendar and the closer the date gets, the more my skin freaks out?!?! Not only do I have three very unwanted zits on my face, but my dog is apparently out to get me, too! She brought us the gift of fleas. I now have a red version of the big dipper pock marked around my belly button. Is that a gray hair on my head?????? OMG.
F. Should I go with a Brazilian Wax job???