Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Seriously? Am I being punked?

Let me begin by saying that I really did hesitate writing this post for about five minutes. Then I decided that, if you can't be brutally transparent with your internet blog friends, who can you be brutally transparent with?

Now, that assumption may break down at some point but, for right now, I'm going for it and don't try to stop me. You may regret that later but let's move on.

For the past several days, we've been getting emails sent home from the school that went something like this..."Blah, blah blah...lice outbreak...blah, blah, blah...check your children...blah, blah, blah...infestation."

So, if you can't already tell, I wasn't that worried.

We checked all the kids heads and sent them on with the all-clear-thumbs-up of two parents who have never had lice and honestly, wouldn't know what to look for if our kids had it anyway.
Proving my point was the phone call from the school I received at precisely 9:30 am.

"Olivia has lice. Can you come pick her up? Loser."

She didn't really say 'loser', but that's how I felt. That and a slight twinge of nausea since, as soon as I hung up the phone, I had to walk into Chapel School and grab Sadie where she was already surrounded by little girls all wanting to share hairbrushes, headbands, hats, and pillows.

Exaggeration is what makes the world go round, don't you think?

Ok, anyway, LICE!!!!!!!! Shudder. Gag. Shudder.

Olivia has lice. Do you know what that means? It means that I picked up that little blonde bombshell and took her infested self to the drugstore for some pesticide and a lollipop. We spent the rest of the day going from the shampoo station to the nit-removal station and back again.

After we had done this little rotation about infinity times, Trey told me I should stop "nit-picking". HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Knee-slapper, Trey. Knee-slapper.

Oh, yeah, then I did about one kadjillion loads of laundry, vacuumed the entire house nine times, sprayed every square inch down with some concoction I'm sure is illegal in the six states including Nevada, and washed everyone's hair in the house with the pesticide shampoo. We actually looked on the internet to see if dogs could get lice. They can't so we've got that going for us.

This is where I ask for any advice you can give me to expedite the extermination. Anything? Anything? Bueller?

On the plus side, the lice shampoo did make my hair soft and silky with plenty of volume and bounce so I'd consider working it into the regular shampoo rotation IF IT WASN'T FOR KILLING DISEASE CARRYING PARASITES!!!!!!

To keep Olivia occupied while I picked through her hair like an orangutan I popped in the movie Annie. We love a good musical and I thought Olivia could relate to Annie because, being in an orphanage in the United States during the Roosevelt Era, Annie surely had her fair share of run-ins with lice. And can you imagine going through that hair with a fine toothed comb?

Yikes! I'd think Miss Hannigan would insist on buzz cuts for sure.

So, it's been a hard knock life over here today and I'm tired and ready for bed. I'm praying that we'll wake up tomorrow and be free from this present nightmare and that it will not spread to any of the other children.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow. You're only a day, away...unless the lice isn't gone, then I'm hiding under my covers.

And just to clarify, if you put your name in the hat for the Christmas ornament giveaway, I'll draw Friday morning. Don't worry, it's been hermetically sealed in a mailing envelope in my car since I got it so it is all sanitary and ready to go! Promise!

Ya'll have a great day!


Colored With Memories said...

here's to waking up lice free in the morning...

i'm just sad i read this right before bed...i'm starting to itch a little...

Kelli said...

I definitely feel the itchy's in my head. I was working at a summer camp and we had a girl get lice and I was blessed to wait with her till someone arrived to pick her up. I had NEVER felt so itchy in my life. I want to say we had to suffocate the lice out with plastic bags, but I really don't remember! I just found your blog and LOVE IT!

daisy said...

Oh, the memories. Sleepovers were definitely banned after one of those outbreaks.

I took about a thousand loads of laundry to the laundromat, I swear. And sprayed that junk everywhere.

We had to resort to using olive oil or mayonnaise on everyone's hair. You goop it on before you go to bed, put a shower cap on, and wash it out in the morning. The lice smother in the stuff, and it loosens the eggs. But at least it's not poisonous. Research it online for details.

I feel so bad for you!! I hate the things.

Dustin, Nikki, Madison and Sage said...

Yep, the olive oil works. My nieces had lice while their parents were out of town. It was pretty bad. They both have long hair. We covered their heads in olive oil and wrapped saran aound their hair. Almost instantly, the lice started crawling out. We inspected their heads daily and were pretty thorough with the nit comb. It worked!

Love your site! You have such a gift of writing!

Good Luck-

Kim said...

Ah, the wonderful heady chemical smell of lice shampoo! Brings back such not-so-fond memories. Hang in there girl and this too will pass.

The one and only time we encountered the lice, we were living in a tiny apartment and had to share laundry facilities with everyone else on the floor. Stayed up half the night doing the wash when I finally got in there!

Stacy Ann said...

Ohhhh yes, I had lice when I was a young lass. And got it from VBS!! I remember how totally miserable it was, but I was only 4 or 5. I do remember one thing very clearly, my mom let me suck on a pacifier! Sweet mom. :)

Linds said...

Just about everyone will get lice at some stage or another! And we all start scratching our heads at the thought.

Spare a thought for us here in the UK. You can no longer send a child home if they have lice, and I taught one teenager whose head was ALIVE. I still shudder. Football or rugby scrums? Oh yes, the little horrors dance from one head to another. The good thing to remember is that they generally prefer clean hair!

Mrs. Troop said...

Bless your heart. I'm so sorry. We are on round three of the stomach virus (with eight kids) and I think I prefer that to lice. Yuck.
May the Lord give you extra grace and strength today. While you pick for lice and I clean up vomit.
It's a good life, isn't it? :-)

Jessica said...

My oldest got lice from MDO when she was 2 and it was the worst month (yes month) of my life! Wash ad Dry everything on super hot that you can. For those things you can't, you need to choke them out in plastic bags for at least 2 weeks. And the hardest but most important thing, you must pick check and pick the nits until you don't see even one. Just using the comb didn't help much b/c her hair was so fine. This is so time consuming and frustrating, but we got a little lazy on this part and just one was all that was needed to be left on her head to get reinfested.

I hope you get rid of them quickly (oh.. and use the shampoo - the brand name fr/ the pharmacist) and that you will be lice free soon!

I feel your pain!

hannahgarippa said...

Alrighty...I have much to type seeing as how I'm in the charge of the lice check every summer before we leave for summer camp, which means I scratch my head from about June to September positive that I've been infested with lice.

There are several things I've learned along the way...Olive Oil is a great treatment, it does in fact suffocate the creatures. Leave it on for about 20 minutes and then shampoo it out and then do the regular nit picking routine. Also there are people out there that make a bundle picking nits. See, unbelievable.

Also to prevent getting lice try tea tree oil or neem oil or the shampoo varieties of either. The lice do not like the smell.

And so that you all can be further informed. You cannot catch nits from a person only the actual louse, it can't jump or fly it is a crawling creature. And they actually prefer clean heads, kids with greasy or extremely oily scalps or those who put grease in their hair might be repealing the lice.

One of my favorite facts is that lice cannot survive without their human host for longer than 24 Melissa I think you should just move out of your house for the next day or so.

And if you are dying for more information you can go to

Bev said...

Wow! What fun. I have been reading your blog and think you are hilarious. I had been reading adoption blogs and found yours after reading your sister-in-laws. I had to comment on this post. I actually am a school social worker and have to deal with the joys of lice on an almost daily basis. Somehow, by the grace of God, I have never had it although I hug about a million kids a day! Keep your head up and just a quick tip. . .Don't forget to spray your car with that super duper pesticide! Parents always forget the car!!

Kori said...

Ugh. Now my head is all itchy. Thanks.

Hope today is better for you.

emily said...

Oh, LICE! What a bugger.:) another knee slapper for sure.

Seriously, so sorry. The Turner's went through this same thing for weeks-praying you were successful this first treatment. We ended up treating the kids as well to be sure b/c the girls spent the night over a few days before. I did the drugstore treatment and then some environmentally friendly thing I found online. I think.

Pattie and Rob said...

Oh brother, How awful for you. I had lice when I was in the 3rd grade, there was an outbreak in our school.
I've heard and I am not sure but it seems to work for my friends, they always spray thier kids hair with hairspray or put some kind of hair product in their hair before they go to camp or school and/or wearing a hat or scarf also helps. The lice will not go in hair that is not totally clean. So stock up on the Aqua Net and go to town on kids hair.
Hang in there!!!

Candy said...

I knew this would make a good post! You are hysterical! I think the olive oil sounds great and, it seems, effective. Did you know that Arbonne makes a good tea-tree shampoo???? Hope those nasty mites are GONE today!! Love my son's humor and gift for the pun.

Traci @TotalMomsense said...

Well- it looks like you've gotten the info on mayo and plastic wrap- it does work and will also do a pretty good number for shine on your hair- follow it up with a lemon juice or beer rinse and you'll be full of volume and shine!

Jen said...

Lice is my worst nightmare.

The cookies are STILL here. Bring over the milk.

Sitesx6 said...

I'm so sorry about the lice issues, however your misery made for a very funny blog post (Beueller).

I'm sorry I laughed...while you were digging for lice. Forgive me.

I love your blog. You always have something funny going on (or not so funny that is made to be funny).

I'm itching my head in honor of you today. :)

Angela said...

Oh, sister--we have been there. My two sweet little blond headed girls had lice about four years ago. I do not have room here to write all about it but God taught two teachers (hubby and me) a good lesson on humility!!

Annoying as it is, you totally get the nit picking saying now huh??

OH, prayer and a snow day saved us--

God bless ya--

Abbie said...

awww crapballs. :( That is NO fun.

I can remember when we had them once as a kid, my mom put all of our stuffed animals in a big garbage bag and put them in the freezer. It suffocates them...

I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. It WILL go away though, I promise!! :)

Jill said...

My version of the plagues was last year when my oldest got lice. She was the only one in the must be something about her, she was the only one they liked. We tried it all. The pesitsides. The olive oil, mayo on the hair wrapped in saran wrap. It went on for six months. I had her in the chair all the time pulling out the eggs. Finally what worked was using a dandruff shampoo with conditioner. I put it in and then went through her hair strand by strand. It was awful. I am here if you need to chat.

Hauswife said...

You are being punked! It was just a little holiday joke, Melissa. Sorry you didn't get it. :P

SO horrible, and funny, and aweful! The sun'll come out tomorrow... I hope!

Lori said...

Good luck with that! When I was a PT in the school system, we had some kids with lice. I never got them myself but routinely had my fellow therapist go through my hair with a fine tooth comb just to make sure! They give me the heebeejeebees for sure!

5Lips said...

I'm so sorry, Melissa! I hope your time with the little buggers is short.

My only encounter with lice (so far) was when I volunteered at my oldest's school to do "head checks". Being a naive mom I thought this meant "hearing checks". Oh no - it meant checking the heads of all of the children in the school for lice. It was nasty! :)

Alissa said...

I got lice at summer camp one summer as a counselor. I could not get rid of it. I was in college and it was during rush week. My mom had to fly out to visit me at school so she could tree my head every night after rush.

That being said, I've learned a lot since then. Put a couple of drops of tea tree oil in everyone's shampoo bottle and that will help prevent getting it again.

kierstin said...

were you this funny in high school? my foggy memory tells me that you were but i'm also imagining that motherhood has expanded your source material.

i'm really enjoying your blog....though am sorry to hear about the lice. i had it in 3rd grade and was mortified. i still can't see a tiny comb without breaking into a sweat. i hope it's been less traumatizing for Olivia.

Happy Mommy said...

You poor thing..when I found out why you left CS yesterday, I was truly flooded w/ sympathy for you and what you had ahead of you. I'm so sorry!!! When I used to teach, you could always tell when a lice infestation had broken out b/c all of us teachers had our hair in ponytails!!!! I hope no one else gets it. How many times since yesterday have you had the "WE WILL NOT SHARE HAIRBRUSHES" talk????

Tricia said...

oh Friend, I feel for you. as a kid, this epidemic went around our school several times. back then they advised cutting girls' hair shorter as a way of prevention, so I have sad memories of being in our back yard having my hair which I always wanted to grow long, cut off yet again!!

i am impressed with all your valiant efforts to defeat the little buggers!! hoping your house is clear SOON!!

Amy said...

Hi, Melissa! This is Amy, one of Carrie's "Ft. Worth cousins." Love your blog! :)

We battled lice this time last year for two months. No kidding. I totally have PTSD from it and think of it every time I have the slightest normal head itch (which is more often than I ever noticed before lice). We kept thinking they were totally gone, only to find them again two weeks later and two weeks later and two weeks later. I dreamed about them, obsessed about them, eventually went prescription on them several times (probably giving us all cancer).

After all that and some follow up research, here's my advice. The most important thing is the comb-through. My daughter has TONS of long hair and it was a nightmare to deal with, but we had to douse her head in conditioner and comb through every strand about every other night until we'd gone 2-3 rounds without finding a single egg. The process took about 45 minutes (and many tears) each time.

Next, I would recommend original flavor generic listerine poured over everyone's head once a week for a month or two. The alcohol kills any lice instantly. Lice eggs take about 10 days to hatch, and then the lice take about 10 days to reach reproductive maturity. (I told you we did research!) By doing the listerine treatment every week, if any lurking eggs hatched, the lice would be killed before they reached reproductive age. By doing it for a month or two, you go way overboard, but it takes that long to calm your PTSD brain. I keep a couple of monster bottles of listerine around now and anytime I hear about lice cropping up pretty much anywhere in a 10-square mile radius of us, I douse the kids and myself in it. (Hubby thinks I'm nuts and doesn't participate.) So if we run into you sometime and we smell particularly minty fresh, that's why.

You have my utmost sympathy. I never knew little bugs could bring me to my knees in tears, but by round #3, that's where I was. I'm feeling for you.

Sarah said...

Hey - you have received many tips but my 4 year old had live 2 months ago and we found an AWESOME product our whole family is still using daily! Look online for the brand: Fairytales Lice Repellent shampoo/conditioner and hair products for the family. It has tea tree oil, and some other herbs that lice hate. It is only $10 a bottle and seems to be working for us. We were only hit with it once and have been lice free for 8 weeks!