Head Lice Bugging You? It Earnestly Bugs Me.

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Please note, I am not selling or promoting any specific products for profit – I only recommend what I use because I am sure of it’s quality and effectiveness. Also the recipe included is not certified to treat head lice, it only helps with prevention.

When I was in the 7th grade I got head lice so bad that my mother (bless her heart) cut my long hair above my ears with kitchen shears. I cried, I remember holding my ponytail recently separated from my body through blurry sobs. In 7th grade I knew not to share hats, brushes, sweaters or lay next to friends for worry I may get head lice – but I got it anyway. So I showed up one day after all the dreaded “Head Lice Memos” went home, with a boy’s haircut (we went to a pro once I was all cleaned up from lice). I was mortified, I had such bad head lice that I still cringe at the nick names I received from the whole experience, ‘lice queen, lice hotel,’ and other creative names I do not care to mention. My 7th grade self is still petrified of getting head lice, and now that I have a long haired daughter starting school – I have worries, naturally.

Before my 7th grade experience, I got head lice for the first time, in Kindy; I remember sitting to get my bum length hair french braided and sprayed before school. I can still taste the mist of that choking aerosol spray we used to help prevent any louse wanting to get to my scalp. Of course, I ended up getting lice and my first experience with that nasty, stinky shampoo and painful nit catching comb. God bless my mother, she had 4 girls and head lice was quite an event in our house.

I know when I was in school there was a lot of myth and misinformation about lice, and today I still hear the same stuff. Here are some facts, head lice are:

  • 1 of the top 3 reasons kids miss school
  • Extremely common! Between 6-12 million U.S. kids 3-11 years old get head lice each year
  • Not dangerous, but are contagious (and SO annoying)
  • NOT signs of unwashed or unclean hair – they thrive in clean hair
  • Unable to jump, fly or swim
  • Unable to live on your pets
  • Unable to live in your environment (couch, carpet, furniture, pillow, sheets, mattress, car, movie theater, airplane)

Now, I also know that there are A TON of sprays and solutions out there that promise prevention and they are CRAZY expensive so I am going to share my recipe that is super easy and effective, but also will not break the bank. I will also share the prevention tips I follow and so far so good while my littles have attended PreK, VBS and play dates!

Lice Prevention Spray

Recipe:

  • 4 oz Distilled Water
  • 1 tsp alcohol free witch hazel
  • 8 drops dōTERRA Tea Tree Essential Oil
  • 5 drops dōTERRA Lavender EO
  • 5 drops dōTERRA Rosemary EO (optional)
  • 4 oz glass spray bottle (I recycled this one from Urban Oreganics Rose Water Spray)
  • Shake well and spray on wet or dry hair before and after styling.
  • I use this daily with my kiddos, lice can attach to any hair that is 2 inches or longer so if you have young lads with longer hair they can use the spray too!

    Witch hazel – Since head lice do not like clean hair, my kids wash their hair every two/three days, a very small amount of witch hazel can help reduce oil build up

    Tea Tree Essential Oil (melaleuca) – anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties make it effective for preventing lice, treating dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. It can clear the follicles and allow your hair to breathe; also moisturizes the scalp while preventing buildup of excess oil on the scalp.

    Lavender Essential Oil – has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, which can prevent head lice and improve overall scalp health. Lavender is also known for properties that can generate the growth of cells and reduce stress.

    Rosemary Essential Oil – can counter hair loss by stimulating blood circulation in the scalp, which, in turn, promotes hair growth. Its high nutritional value and anti-inflammatory properties make it an excellent ingredient for nourishing the hair follicles and soothing the scalp. It is also known to aid in lice prevention.

    Other oils that are good for preventing head lice – eucalyptus, peppermint and neem.

    Lice Prevention Tips:

    • Weekly lice checks, not sure what to look for? Google human lice/louse/nits
      Wash hair infrequently
      Style longer hair in braids or ponytails
      Use above spray daily before going to school/activities
      Encourage children not to share combs, brushes, hats or shirts
      Keep on the look out for frequent scalp itchiness or complaining of tickling feeling on scalp/hair

    Good luck mamas! If your kiddos end up getting head lice take a moment, breathe and do not panic. There are several ways to treat, kill and clean lice from heads and home. It can be quite a task but worth the work of preventing re-infestation; some natural and OTC treatments may not work as some are resistant; if necessary feel free to call and see your child’s practitioner.

    Please know, and I speak from experience, that parental reaction can have long lasting effects and staying calm, reassuring and supporting to your child who has lice is worth it’s weight in gold.

    You’ve got this!

    x. earnest mom

    Motherhood: A wild and incredibly blessed ride!

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    Wild and blessed, two words that can describe exactly where I am right now.

    I am always shocked when I hear the words: ” I do not know how you do it” or “how do you get anything done in a day?” Honestly, I never feel like I hit the mark, I rarely feel like I have gotten anything done in a day and sometimes the only gage I have that I’ve accomplished something is by my husband’s reaction when he come in the door.

    Seriously, as a stay at home mom to an 8, 4 and 1 year old my time feels like it is spent assessing risk factors from wild toddler antics, throwing snacks out like candy at a parade and refereeing disputes over claims of “bad words being said, walking passed someone too fast or slow, and simply not agreeing on the next show to watch on Netflix.” And yes, my children watch Netflix, I mean yeah, I could totally parent without screen time – I could also churn my own butter but let’s not get too crazy now.

    Friends have told me how I seem to have it all together and that my kids are so lucky. I am here to tell you, looks are deceiving. There are days when I get up before my children, make the coffee and have laundry and dishes running before 9:00 am. Those days are rare. To be honest that happened once last week. The rest of the week looked more like me walking out of the bathroom to my two oldest using a half a stick of butter in each hand from the fridge to butter their toast because there was not any softened butter available. No kidding, this was last Wednesday and I chose to look at the fact that not only did they make their own snack, but they did as a team! Yay, MOM WIN!!! Another day I turn around from loading the dishwasher to my one year old eating a burnt waffle he took from the garbage. Perfection?! NO WAY, but like I said I am wildly blessed by this.

    In my days as a stay at home mom I have learned to let go and let live. My children are growing so fast, right before my eyes and if I do not stop all of my busyness I will miss on theirs. My house is not always tidy, some days my sink of full of dishes and there have even been times that we have run out of clean laundry; but my kids are loved, happy, fed and safe. Those four elements are a language of love for this mama’s heart, and perspective is everything. My home may be messy but we have a place to live, my sink may have dishes but we have food to eat and laundry may be dirty but we have clothes to wear. My kids may be loud but they have a voice, they may be busy but their have a love of life to live. Pretty soon, in a blink, my kids will be on their own; the house will be perfectly clean and too quiet, and I will miss these wild and blessed days.

    I know that I am in no way a perfect mom, but I know I have been made perfectly by God to grow these tiny humans He has given me. I hope that when I fall short I can give them an opportunity to see humility and compassion; when I make mistakes I can help them learn to forgive; and when I hold them, they feel what true love is. I am mothering the best way I know how, I know that the best of me as imperfect as I am is exactly what they need. By this mere fact, I am able to forgive myself the moments when they eat from the trash or use way too much butter, and find joy no matter what. This is us, this is our little life and our little home is massive in love, for truly we are wildly blessed.

    Mamas, no matter what season you are in, please know you are perfect just as you are. I love the saying “to the world you are just a mom, but to your children you are the world.” Our little ones have this amazing God-given power to love us mamas unconditionally, let us too start loving ourselves unconditionally too. Doing our best everyday is the best we can for them, and even when we totally fail, guess what?! They will be right there, still loving us.

    You are seen, you are loved and you are everything to those little eyes that look to you every morning. You are just what your family needs. Be wild and blessed, the days are long but the years are short.

    x. earnest mom.

    From then to now…

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    *Trigger warning, discusses threatened miscarriage, subchorionic hematoma and bicornuate uterus*


    One year ago, we were sitting in a triage room at 3:30 am.  “Threatened miscarriage.”  That was all I heard before I felt cold, afraid and empty.  That feeling could not be shaken over the longest three days I have ever experienced.  We had to wait, the ENTIRE weekend to see if that baby’s heartbeat was increasing or decreasing.  I was made to stay in bed or on the couch, not get too stressed or excited, nor could I lift anything.  Prayer.  Prayer got me through those three days, helped me to smile with my children, helped me to breathe in moments when I thought my breath would be lost all together.  It helped me when the tears would flow without my knowledge until they were cold on my cheek.  Helped me find a way through it all.

    We got to the doctor and after another round of blood work and sonograms, I was diagnosed with a subchorionic hematoma (a bleed on the uterine wall) and  bicornuate uterus (a birth defect that I have had all along).  Due to the size and location of the bleed, I was placed on restricted activity and every trip to the bathroom from there on out was stressful.  Would I lose the baby or would we be okay?  I was so worried, until I was educated more on my uterus shape.

    As it turns out, a bicornuate uterus (which means my uterus is heart-shaped, or has two horns/cavities) is associated with increased adverse reproductive outcomes, such as recurrent pregnancy loss and pre-term deliveries.  I have had this condition from birth and never knew until my third pregnancy.  I never knew because, with a condition that should have proved pregnancy a difficult task or even a risky one; it had never caused a problem.  Once I realized that, I knew that this current pregnancy was not in my control.  It was in God’s hands, just like my previous two and as He tells us we should, I casted my cares (well worries) upon Him.  Comfort, safety and hope; those were what I found after that first week passed and I gave it all up to Him.

    Here we are, a year later with a BEAUTIFUL baby boy.  Born full term, we went into labor naturally, delivered him naturally (unplanned as my epidural was turned off when my blood pressure dropped dangerously low), he is happy, healthy and thriving.  Our earnest boy 2.0 has filled our hearts, we are now a party of five and wholly complete.  For that fact, the tears of joy flow and I know they are there, my breath is full of humbling relief and my smiles are not struggling to be there.  I am in awe.

    x.  em.

    Earnest Mom Comes Clean with Seventh Generation. #comeclean

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    What does #comeclean mean?

    #comeclean is a mission created by Seventh Generation, to demand transparency from companies about which ingredients are being put into our products.  Ingredient disclosure is not mandatory in United States and we are exposing ourselves to thousands of chemicals (toxic ones) daily, even if the package says “natural.”  That is why Seventh Generation is demanding Ingredient Disclosure be mandatory for all companies.  As consumers, we have the right to know what we are bringing into our homes, putting on our skin and exposing our children to.

    WHY IS INGREDIENT DISCLOSURE IMPORTANT?
    If companies don’t tell you what’s inside right on the package, how do you know what you’re bringing around your family and into your home?

    You have a right to know what goes into the products you use. Food and personal care products are required to have content labels, but there are no regulations in place for the ingredient labeling of household cleaning products – especially for the fragrances that scent those products.

    Chemicals of concern can hide behind the term “fragrance” in ingredient lists on your cleaning products – chemicals that have been linked to serious health effects including allergies, asthma, cancer, and reproductive harm. – seventhgeneration.com/comeclean

    Did you know? 

    • Under the FD&C Act, companies are required to list ingredients on consumer cosmetic, personal care and food products in descending order of amount, with the stipulation that flavor and fragrances can be listed under the summary description “flavor” or “fragrance”, and incidental ingredients at insignificant levels do not need to be declared. Cleaning products are not governed by the FD&C Act, and those ingredient declaration requirements don’t apply to them.
    • The term “fragrance” refers to a mixture that may be composed of any of over 3,000 chemicals, including allergens and reproductive toxins.  The Institute of Medicine equated fragrance to second-hand smoke in its potential to trigger asthma. Also, “unscented” does not mean a product is made without fragrance chemicals. This term can be misleading to consumers, particularly to those with allergies related to fragrance, natural fragrances can also cause sensitivities.

    As a member of Seventh Generation’s Generation Good, I

    #comeclean

    #comeclean

    have had access to free samples and coupons to use Seventh Generation products.  I love that Seventh Generation is committed to not only using only natural and safe ingredients, they also take pride in listing every single ingredient on their labels.  Their website also gives an entire glossary and description to every ingredient they have listed so there is zero confusion for consumers, and we can see what we are using in our homes and on our bodies.  Want to know more about Seventh Generation products and Generation Good?  Visit them here.

    Hope to see you join in the #comeclean campaign along with Seventh Generation to make a cleaner home for all of us!

    x.  earnest mom

    It’s That Time of Year! Host a Healthy Baby Home Party for Your and Your Friends!

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    As you may recall, I hosted a Healthy Baby Home Party last year via Facebook.  We had a great attendance and a TON of prizes.  Want to host your own?! Here is what it is all about!

    What is a Healthy Baby Home Party?

    Seventh Generation’s home parties are powered by people like you who are focused on creating a healthy environment for the next generation. Developed with input from non-profit partner, Healthy Child Healthy World, they are a great way to get together with friends, share helpful information, and make an impact!

    Healthy Baby Home Party kits are provided to all selected hosts and are filled with educational info about our environment, helpful tips, a fun game, and samples and coupons from Seventh Generation and other favorite family-friendly brands like bobble, American Meadows and Zarbee’s Naturals

    What is the Application Process?

    • Sign up atgenerationgood.net to join the Generation Good community, or log in if already a member.
    • Accept the Healthy Baby Home Party Application offer on your Generation Good dashboard and complete the application.
    • Applicants will be notified by mid-June if they have been selected to host a party, via an email to the email address assigned to their Generation Good member profile.
    • All selected applicants will then need to confirm their participation by accepting the Healthy Baby Home Party Mission in Generation Good and confirming their shipping address.
    • Hosting spots are open to US residents only at this time. Canadian parties are planned for later in 2016!
    • Full terms and conditions are available within Generation Good in the “Healthy Baby Home Party Application” offer.

    So why not apply?  It is a lot of fun plus you will be helping to get the word out about toxins in our everyday lives that we can minimize for a healthier home for you, and a healthier home for baby!

    x. earnest mom

    Earnest Mom Local Spotlight: The Family Shop

    The Family Shop is a new and exciting parenting retail store opening here in Erie, PA.  Created by Jeff and Kristyn Chiaramonte, their mission is to provide the best quality family care products and services at fair pricing to support families of all income levels. Every customer matters to them. Such a perfect name for their shop as they truly are family focused and family supportive, a community effort that is rarely felt in any big box store today.  They are trying to help the community not only by providing great products to families but also by supporting local “mommy makers/artisans” which will have Erie made products featured on their Vendor Wall.

    The Family Shop will provide great new natural products focused on helping families. They will be offering  a variety of baby carriers/wraps, nursing/maternity apparel, cloth diapers, bamboo feeding tools, educational toys, teething products and more. The shop has a Mommy Corner, designed with nursing moms in mind, it is a quiet corner where mammas can nurse if baby gets hungry during shopping or change their bums without being distracted from the business of the hustle and bustle.  There is also an adorable kids spot that is a space designed specifically for little ones to play, with a huge open window  where kids remain in sight from across the store; moms and dads can shop while their little one plays, and can keep a good eye on them at the same time.

    The Family Shop will have their grand opening starting Tuesday April 26, 2016 10 am lasting all week, they will give away free reusable “The Family Shop” totes on each in store purchase, while supplies last.  The shop’s regular hours of operation will be Tuesdays-Saturdays from 10 am – 6 pm.  During the grand opening there will be large stamp pads available in an array of colors so the customers can use their hand prints to decorate the lower half of the store’s walls.  I earnestly love this idea and cannot wait until my littles are old enough to return and can pick out their own hands on the shop walls.  As the days lead up to the grand opening, stay tuned on Facebook where the shop has been featuring some fun reveals and keeping us updated with any news.

    I am earnestly excited for this store to open, as an Erie resident and mama of two I can see the potential and need for this shop to be a great community support.  Kristyn and Jeff hope to start hosting learning programs from the shop to allow moms and dads a safe place to spend time, grow and learn, and allow children to socialize as well.  The shop is quaint, inviting and welcoming to all customers.  Whether you are curious about baby wearing, cloth diapers, looking to simply connect, or thinking about going bit greener in your home, this is the shop you want to stop by!

    Contact The Family Shop at Yorktown Plaza
    2501 W. 12th Street
    Erie, PA 16505
    814-616-6801
    or Connect on Facebook:
    https://www.facebook.com/Eriefamilyshop
    and Twitter:
    @familyshoperie

    Hope to see you at the Grand Opening!
    x. em.

    Asbestos Awareness Week (April 1-7)

    With this week being Global Awareness Week, I got in contact with Cameron Von St. James to share as much information as I could with my earnest followers about asbestos exposure and mesothelioma cancer.  He shared the moving story about his wife Heather, who has been a 10 year survivor of mesothelioma after receiving a diagnosis and a 15 month life expectancy if she received no treatment.  I was so moved by her experience, I earnestly felt that her story and awareness to the risk of asbestos exposure needed to be shared.

    “Without treatment, I wouldn’t live past 15 months. In November of 2005 my doctor said I had malignant pleural mesothelioma. He said “cancer”, but all I heard was that I might not be able to raise my three month old daughter, and my husband might become a widower after just six and a half years of marriage. I learned that my father, a man who worked in drywall construction, had unknowingly exposed his own little girl to asbestos through his work jacket. Treatment options were limited and there was no guarantee. Today, I’ve outlived my original prognosis and continue to raise awareness of this terrible disease.” – Heather Von St. James, Beating The Odds


    According to Mesothelioma.com’s blog post 5 Ways to Show Support During Asbestos Awareness Week ,  exposure to asbestos was generally thought to be a risk only to workers on sites where asbestos was once used or is currently being used. However, secondhand exposure can occur to loved ones when workers come into contact with asbestos, they carry the fibers home on their clothing. Veterans, teachers who work in older school buildings, workers who renovate older homes, firefighters, people that live in areas with naturally occurring asbestos and many others are also at risk for exposure to asbestos.  Mesothelioma is primarily caused by asbestos exposure and there are many misconceptions today that we are no longer being exposed to asbestos, however reports are finding that we are.  With numerous older built schools still containing asbestos fibers, children and teachers are those among the most at risk of asbestos exposure.  Read more: http://www.healthychild.org/five-myths-about-asbestos-in-schools/

    This Asbestos Awareness Week, be informed, be aware and be safe.  Use the infographic and links below for more information on Asbestos Awareness Week, asbestos exposure, mesothelioma, and Heather’s beautiful journey, miraculous survival and inspirational story!

    Asbestos Awarenes Week

    x. earnest mom.

    Read more:

    http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/jackie/5-ways-to-show-support-during-asbestos-awareness-week.htm#ixzz44ua5rgm5

    https://www.epa.gov/asbestos/learn-about-asbestos#asbestos

    http://www.mesothelioma.com/mesothelioma/

    https://www.ihadcancer.com/h3-blog/03-21-2016/celebrating-10-years-of-mesothelioma-survival%E2%80%90-lung-leavin-day-2016

    http://www.healthychild.org/five-myths-about-asbestos-in-schools/

     

    Host Your Own Healthy Baby Home Party. Earnest Mom Invites You to Apply!

    If We Can Get Monsters Out of Closets, Bring Toys Back to Life, and Heal Scrapes with a Kiss, We Can Get Toxins Out of Our Kids.

    Many of you have recently attended a great party (hosted by yours truly) with a GREAT conversation, Healthy babies and Healthy homes!  Our peer connections, support and advice during that party for me was priceless.  Well, I have GREAT news!  Seventh Generation is currently taking applications for YOU to host your own Healthy Baby Home Party in your community.  This is your opportunity, if you are selected, to be that friend that earnest mom is to you.  Let’s make that change!

    HBHP_5

    Healthy Baby. Healthy Home. Earnest thoughts on Generation Good by Seventh Generation.

    As some of you may know, I was recently selected to host a Health Baby Home Party as a member of Seventh Generation’s Generation Good – I feel so honored to host this in Erie, and I felt to share with you why you might want to join too.

    Seventh Generation is a brand, yes.  It is an all natural and organic brand that provides household products (from paper plates to dish soap), baby products (from chlorine free diapers to body lotion), to health and beauty (feminine care products to hand soap).  They earnestly care about what you are putting in contact with your skin.  Their name is Seventh Generation because they are concerned about the next seven generations after ours and what things will look like for their futures.  

    Recently, Seventh Gen announced that they have teamed up with Whole Foods for a buy/give program.  From May to September 2015, for every package of Free and Clear Diapers that purchased at any Whole Foods Market in the US, Seventh generation will donate a pack of newborn or size 1 diapers to non profit organizations that donate baby essentials to families in need across the US – a program I find quite admirable.

    Seventh Gen’s Generation Good (which can be found at Generation Good ), there are resources for you to find forums of information and tips from parents who are concerned with toxins that our children come into contact with, you can also apply to host your very own Health Baby Home Party – where you will receive free products from Seventh Generation, Zarbees and Bobble, and a lot of information about cleaning toxins out of our homes. 

       

    I am very excited to host Healthy Baby Home Party this coming month – in fact if you are in the Erie, Pennsylvania area and are interested in attending the party please contact me at earnestmomblog@gmail.com.  If you are not in the area but want to participate, like Earnest Mom’s Facebook page to attend the online portion of the party where you will be eligible to win a Seventh Generation Home Prize Pack! (Giveaway open to both residents of Canada and the United States). Date and time will be announced on Facebook page. 

    Please know that Seventh Generation does not endorse this post nor am I receiving any compensation  – its just my earnest desire to share information on a such a global conscious company.

    x

    earnest mom