As Mother’s Day approaches it is the perfect time for all of us to stop and contemplate what exactly the special people in our lives mean to us. We all hold a unique perspective of motherhood in our own lives. Whether we are mothers ourselves or have mothers/special women in our lives that have helped to shape and mold us into the people we are. My own perspective may be much like yours, or completely different. But, at the root of it, we are all simply seeking the kind of love that only a mother or loving woman can offer.
I am the mother of five beautiful children, all of whom are healthy and growing. Of course, there are days I want to scream and give up! But, most of the time even in the chaos there are quiet moments of love and joy that make everything seem worth the struggle.
Just the other day my two and half-year-old daughter was in the shopping cart at the grocery store. As I walked down the aisle pushing the cart I was looking for an unusual ingredient I needed for a recipe I was trying for the first time. A man walked up behind me and started giggling under his breath. This caught my attention and I turned around to look behind me.
Unbeknownst to me my young daughter had taken all the bananas from the back of the cart, squished them open and threw them down the aisle, like a trail of bread crumbs. Even though I felt incredibly embarrassed and frustrated that I hadn’t noticed sooner, it is times like that I know I will never be able to forget and even look back on with a smile on my face for years to come.
That night as I tucked my busy toddler into bed, I kissed her cheek and said, “Good night Princess.”
She looked back up at me with her beautiful, blue eyes and replied, “Good night Princess Mommy.” That is why motherhood is a true blessing. These small, meaningful moments that make being a mother the most precious, rewarding times in our life. This concept is so beautifully captured by the lovely poem, Thoughts of You by Paula Stone.
This Mother’s Day and always, may we always remember the privilege it is to raise children. To be the one they look to for love, encouragement, and hope.
Thoughts of You by Paula Stone
Memories of another time still come
To me and fill my mind, with thoughts
Of you when you were young. I lie awake
‘Till the morning sun comes creeping
Through my window shade, as I dwell upon
Mistakes I’ve made. What I would give to
Go back in time and feel your little
Hand in mine. To cherish each fast and
Fleeting day. To hold you close and kiss
Away, each pain that life will have in
Store and try to give you so much more.
You are part and will always be, embedded in the soul of me. While I’m
As the family gathers together this Holiday season many parents are completely unaware that head lice can be a major problem during this time of year. With presents to wrap, cookies to bake, decorations to bring out and a million other things to get ready the last thing on most parents mind is preventing head lice outbreaks in their home. However, this time of year is no exception when it comes to the transferring of head lice, especially when cousins and family members come to stay!
Did You Know?
Children between the ages of 3-10 are more susceptible to head lice than any other age group.
People catch head lice most commonly through direct head to head contact. This means Christmas hugs, sleeping next to cousins in sleeping bags, or sitting by each other reading Christmas stories.
The next most significant way head lice are spread is through the sharing of articles of clothing or items that are carrying head lice or nits, lice eggs. Did your niece or nephew forget their hairbrush? Maybe you don’t want your kids to share when it comes to daily hygiene items.
Other items that pass on lice often are sweatshirts or hoodies, towels, pillows, stuffed animals, winter headgear or hair ties and accessories.
Head lice symptoms can take up to three weeks to manifest. By then, usually, a full-on head lice problem is apparent.
Adults that live in the same home as small children between the ages of 3-10 are much more likely to catch head lice.
Dogs, cats or any pets do not play any role in the transfer of head lice.
Winter time means that a lot of insects or parasites are dormant because of the cold temperatures, but not head lice. As long as they have a warm human host to keep them alive it doesn’t matter what time of year it is.
What Can I Do To Prevent Head Lice This Holiday?
Take the time to speak with children about the dangers of sharing accessories or items that can carry traces of nits or head lice.
Check your children’s scalp thoroughly before the holidays to ensure that they are not already carrying head lice.
Symptoms to watch for: red bumps or bites along the scalp, rashes and irritations on the scalp, itching that seems to worsen with time, and white, oval eggs that are laid on individual hair strands near the base of the scalp.
Make sure each person has their own pillow, blanket, towel and area to sleep. After guests leave it is recommended to wash all items in hot water and dry in a hot dryer to kill off any potential eggs or head lice.
Check your children’s head for any traces of head lice 2-3 weeks after the holidays to ensure no head lice were picked up during the Christmas vacation.
Lice Clinics of America is your BEST source for prevention and elimination of head lice. We care about your well being and want to help you get over this problem quickly and effectively. Give us a call today to talk through your questions!
At Christmas time a captivating way to bring the magic into your home is to share some Christmas time poetry. Snuggle up with your little ones, grab some hot cocoa and share these classic, timeless poems that can mean so much at Christmas time.
Class Christmas Poetry for Kids
Snowball by Shel Silverstein is a fun way to start! Children will love the hilarious ending and dream of playing in the snow. This classic poem brings the joy of winter to children in only a way Shel Silverstein can.
Snowball By Shel Silverstein I made myself a snowball, As perfect as could be, I thought I’d keep it as a pet, And let it sleep with me. I made it some pyjamas, And a pillow for its head. Then last night it ran away, But first, it wet the bed!
A Chubby Snowman compliments a craft time perfectly! Especially for younger children, what a fun way to incorporate poetry and craft time than a clever, creative poem and craft to make them laugh. Here are a few snowman craft ideas to choose from! Let it snow and bring on the creativity! Let it snow and bring on the creativity!
A Chubby Snowman Author Unknown A chubby little snowman had a carrot nose. Along came a bunny, and what do you suppose? That hungry little bunny, looking for some lunch, Grabbed that snowman’s nose, Nibble, nibble, crunch!
Christmas Bells is the ultimate Christmas classic that has been set to music in a beautiful hymn we all know and love. First start with the reading of the poem, then introduce your children to the song! Pick up some small bells to ring as you sing or read and create your moment of treasured memories.
Christmas Bells By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow I heard the bells on Christmas Day Their old, familiar carols play, And wild and sweet The words repeat Of peace on earth, good-will to men! And thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along The unbroken song Of peace on earth, good-will to men! Till ringing, singing on its way, The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, A chant sublime Of peace on earth, good-will to men! Then from each black, accursed mouth The cannon thundered in the South, And with the sound The carols drowned Of peace on earth, good-will to men! It was as if an earthquake rent The hearth-stones of a continent, And made forlorn The households born Of peace on earth, good-will to men! And in despair I bowed my head; “There is no peace on earth,” I said; For hate is strong, And mocks the song Of peace on earth, good-will to men!” Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The Wrong shall fail, The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men.” Sources: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/christmas-bells-by-henry-wadsworth-longfellow
This Thanksgiving dinner show your kids the power of gratitude with a few of these fun kid-oriented activities. Adding a few special touches to help children have fun, show creativity and express what they feel grateful for is a great way to add that memorable holiday touch to your festivities.
Thanksgiving Story Time Suggestions
Turkey Trouble, by Wendi Silvano and Illustrated by Lee Harper
This fun addition to your holiday collection will have children rolling with laughter as they follow along with this turkey who is in serious trouble. Turkey’s story goes about devising a plan to escape his fate to end up on the Thanksgiving dinner table. With colorful, humorous illustrations to go along with the clever story, this is a great book to keep kids entertained during the holiday!
Scarecrows, by Cynthia Ryant
Here is a story that helps readers understand the importance of acknowledging others in their lives and showing gratitude for all they do to help us. From the perspective of seemingly unimportant scarecrows who watch quietly over the crops, we see that everyone has a special role to play. Children will love the wonderful illustrations to go along with this captivating story that is sure to touch young and old hearts alike.
Author Cynthia Rylant is a Newbery medalist and the author of many recognized books for young readers. Illustrated by Lauren Stringer, also an award-winning author and illustrator, the combined efforts of these two artists create a masterpiece worth sharing.
Make Meal Time Extra Special With These Fun Activities
Fun, Decorative Table Cloth for the Kid’s Table
1-Instead of using a regular cloth to cover the table, create an artistic environment where the children can think about and express the things they appreciate in life. Take a roll of white or brown packaging paper, available at most shipping stores or even the dollar store. Line the table with the blank paper, taping down edges if needed.
3-Place tin cans or mason jars full of coloring supplies, markers, crayons, color pencils or whatever you have on hand in the center of the table.
4-Before children sit down to eat, allow them to decorate the tablecloth with colorful drawings of the things they feel grateful for today!
Showing Gratitude with a Thankful Tree Centerpiece
1- Have the children go outside and gather a handful of tree limbs, small enough to fit inside a vase or large mason jar. Remove any leaves or debris. Choose fun, festive colors like gold, silver, white or red and spray paint the tips of the limbs. Place them in the vase or mason jar and arrange them to look like a tree coming out of the jar.
2- On the kid’s table have a bowl of paper tags in the shape of leaves. Encourage the children to write or draw pictures on the tags of all the things they are grateful for. Hang the tags on the tree for decorations.
3- Before children eat Thanksgiving dinner, read aloud the items children wrote on their leaves.
Tips and Tricks to Keep your Little Ghost Safe This Halloween
-Be Seen in the Dark
Make sure that costumes can be visible in the night. Opt for brighter, easily seen colors for your child to wear. If you need to, have your child wear some reflective tape or glow sticks as a cheap way to keep them visible.
-Keep Costumes Safe
Halloween masks are super spooky but can obstruct your child’s view if they are not the proper size. Make sure they can see where they are going. Makeup is a good alternative to masks or hoods that will keep their line of sight open. Props that are sharp or heavy can hurt someone if your child gets spooked or just gets a little excited over the Halloween events. Make sure all wigs, hoods, capes or extras are fire retardant.
-Gather with a Group
There is almost always safety in numbers, and that includes on the spookiest night of the year. Gather with friends, cousins, neighbors or anyone who you can take along trick or treating to keep everyone safely together. Make sure children are supervised at all times.
-Check Candy for Safety
It can be important to check through your child’s candy for any opened, suspicious or homemade goodies that you don’t want them to have. Make sure that candy is age appropriate as well by removing hard candies or choke hazard size candy for smaller children.
-Don’t Forget your Cell Phone
Don’t slip out that door without your cell phone. Make sure it’s fully charged and ready to capture those scary moments with your child. It’s important to have it handy for safety reasons as well. If you do let your older kids around the neighborhood alone, maybe use walkie-talkies to keep in touch, just in case.
-Use Sidewalks and Don’t Ignore Traffic Rules
Children can become overly excited on Halloween night and forget to cross the street safely. Talk to them about using sidewalks and crosswalks when available. Also, make sure they know to walk on the outside of the road toward oncoming traffic if no sidewalk is available. Pick a larger neighborhood to stay in and give your kids plenty of options for trick or treating to avoid busy or dark roads.
-Be Extra Cautious While Driving
More accidents happen on Halloween Night with cars and pedestrians than most other times of the year. Be alert and use more caution than usual on this festive night. Remind teenage drivers of these risks as well.
-Keep Pumpkins Free from Hazards
Instead of letting children carve pumpkins, have them draw on a face with a sharpie and then an adult can cut out their pattern. Using paint or props to create a spooky face on your pumpkin instead can also be a safer, fun approach to Jack o’Lanterns. Try using battery operated lights or different colored glow sticks to give your pumpkin that eerie Halloween glow this year.
No matter how spooky your costume is this Halloween, an even scarier thought is bringing home head lice after a haunting night of fun and festivities. When ghosts and goblins, vampires and zombies unite for games, dancing, and trick or treating fun, the truth is that head lice happens more often than people realize. At Lice Clinics of America, we always see a spike in head lice outbreaks during the scariest time of year.
Why do head lice outbreaks occur during Halloween time?
Kids compare costumes and try on each other’s costumes for fun.
Children wearing masks can’t resist passing it around to their friends for everyone to have a turn.
Wigs and hats that are part of spooky ensembles are likely to be shared as they can also be fun to try on and wear together.
Anytime that children are spending time together, those involved are more susceptible to catching head lice.
How can I protect my child against head lice this Halloween?
As a parent that the most important thing you can do is to educate your child. It is almost impossible, however, to prevent head lice 100%. Yet, a simple reminder that sharing headgear, costumes, robes, wigs or outerwear for the cold is not a good idea can help you to eliminate the problem.
Perform head lice checks on your child before and after Halloween festivities. Acquire a nit picking comb and sift through your child’s scalp. Be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of head lice or nits. These include:
Red bites or bumps on the scalp
Itching and irritations
White or transparent colored eggs laid near the base of the scalp. These will not flake off easily like dandruff.
Adult lice crawling around the scalp, brown in color and the size of a sesame seed.
If you are not comfortable performing these on your own, Lice Clinics of America offers head lice screening at your local clinic. We can show you what to look for, help you determine if you have a head lice problem and give you expert advice on how to prevent and cure head lice.
If your child attends several Halloween events, take the time to wash or disinfect their costumes before they re-wear them. This includes masks, hats, robes or all pieces that their hair comes in contact with.
What do I do if my child has caught head lice this Halloween?
Remember, symptoms of head lice can take up to three weeks to manifest. The nits that are laid will hatch after 7-9 days and symptoms will start to escalate.
Also, if you do see signs of head lice, don’t make the mistake of thinking that washing the hair is good enough. MedicoRX shows us that head lice are capable of holding their breath for up to eight hours. Water is not an effective tool against eliminating or preventing head lice.
Super lice are now a super big problem across the United States. Several reports indicate the super lice are indeed immune to common over the counter products. This not only makes head lice more difficult to get rid of, but it can literally turn into a nightmare for parents.
Don’t let head lice haunt you this Halloween! Call our Lice Clinics of America office today to talk about our preventative measures and the most effective products on the market at eliminating head lice. We offer expert advice and professionalism that you will not find anywhere else.
Who doesn’t love the warm breeze that blows on a sunny spring day? As the daffodils blossom and the grass grows green many people have plans to head outdoors and enjoy Mother Nature. With the changing of the seasons comes an ever growing concern for head lice. Have you heard of any head lice cases around your neighborhood?
Lice Heat Up As Weather Turns Warm
Sunshine and head lice! Not the best combination. Unfortunately, as the winter months fade children spend more time playing with friends, participating in spring sports, and enjoying the great outdoors with friends. As kids socialize, lice spread. Winter months don’t mean lice is obsolete, just not quite as prevalent. Especially when school is out and kids have nothing but time on their hands, they often spend much more time surrounded by friends.
Lice Never Take a Vacation, Even When You Do
Along with fun spring break plans comes the worry of head lice. As family and friends gather together to camp, vacation or travel it is a prime opportunity for the transfer of head lice. Do your kids love to travel with cousins and share tablets, iPads, iPods or smartphones to pass the time? How about having a sleepover with friends to celebrate the school break? Anytime direct head to head contact is made the chance of infection increases. The best way to prevent this is to encourage children not to share bedding, towels, pillows, stuffed animals, hoodies, or hair brushes and accessories. As vacations usually mean families together in close proximity, sometimes this cannot be avoided. Talking to kids about the dangers of head lice can go a long way in prevention. When you travel home and the trip is over, no one wants the surprise of head lice.
Symptoms Won’t Show for Weeks
Don’t be fooled if you don’t initially see any symptoms of head lice. Once a louse or two find their way onto a new head they begin to feed on the blood of their new victim. They burrow around the scalp and female lice lay up to 5 eggs per day. The eggs are most often found behind the ears, close to the hair neckline and the crown of the head. The eggs are laid close to the scalp so that the heat and humidity from their host can keep them alive. It takes a nit, or lice egg, 8-9 days to hatch. Once hatched, the nymph, or immature louse, will molt three different times until it finally develops into an adult louse. This process takes a week. At this stage, more females lay eggs, up to 100 in their lifetime. Several adult lice can be found on the head after 2-3 weeks and symptoms become more apparent. The CDC states the following symptoms indicate head lice:
Tickling feeling of something moving in the hair.
Itching, caused by an allergic reaction to the bites of the head louse.
Irritability and difficulty sleeping; head lice are most active in the dark.
Sores on the head caused by scratching. These sores can sometimes become infected with bacteria found on the person’s skin.
Lice Clinics of America Are Your Best Resource
The stress of head lice does not have to take over your spring break! The Lice Clinics of America offers the latest technology in removing head lice and their eggs. Using the AirAllé medical device, an FDA-cleared medical treatment our professionals are able to guarantee a one-time application with over 99% effectiveness. Question or Concerns? Call today to speak with a professional who deals with head lice every day.
Saint Patrick’s Day comes and goes every March 17th with millions of people celebrating by parading around in green clothing, sporting leprechaun hats, and four-leaf clovers. The pubs and bars are full of those partaking of the festivities and live, cultural musical celebrations. Does anyone really know what it all represents?
Saint Patrick himself dates back to the fourth century where the Saint was born into a Roman British family. Irish marauders invaded his home when he was just 16 years old and he was forced into slavery back in Ireland. During this time he had six years to think about who he was and what he believed. He decided to find God and follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and father who were both priests in the Christian church of the time. It is recorded that the Lord spoke to Patrick and helped him escape by boat to return home. Once safely home he also became a priest and decided to return to Ireland and convert the Irish Pagan people to Christianity.
His name goes down in history as a Priest who brought thousands to Christianity and spent his life in the service of the Irish people, freeing them from the oppressive Pagan religious leadership that was imposed on their lives. Saint Patrick’s death, March 17th, 461 AD, continues to represent a spectacular celebration in his honor. It is a public holiday in Ireland and a few provinces of Canada. However, it is the most widely celebrated holiday outside of its country of origin by all of those who have immigrated to foreign lands and taken the traditional with them.
Local St. Patrick’s Day Festivities are booming this year in big cities around Texas. Here are two events that are focused on family entertainment and have long-standing traditions with plenty of Gaelic heritage to go around.
Austin -St. Patrick’s Day Festival – Saturday, March 17th Pioneer Farms 12:00 to 7:00 pm
Family friendly at it’s finest this Irish festival is hosted by the Celtic Cultural Center and is a traditional way of participating in St. Patrick’s Day events. There will be a wide array of musical performances from traditional Irish dancers to authentic Irish music. With something for everyone, this party will be one you don’t want to miss. Food, games, displays, educational booths and so much more. Check out the official website for directions and details, http://www.stpatricksdayaustin.com/.
Houston St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Saturday, March 17th 12:00 pm
The 59th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade rolls downtown Houston this Saturday! Don’t miss this chance to gear up in your green and join the Irish celebration! Starting at the clocktower at Minute Maid Park, the parade will move westward through downtown. Lucky’s Pub is hosting an after party for the adults. For details and information check out this link http://hsppc.org/parade-info/.
San Antonio St. Patrick’s Day River Parade – Saturday, March 17 4:00-6:00 pm
Partying on the River Walk has never been better! This St. Patrick’s Day Parade features delightfully decorated floats that actually float along the famous San Antonio Riverwalk. A free event that everyone will truly enjoy, it features live music, Irish food, and entertainment for the whole family. Information about this parade can be found at https://www.thesanantonioriverwalk.com/events/st.-patricks-day-river-parade.
February fills the air with love. Valentine’s Day is a fun opportunity to give those we love that extra special attention to fill their hearts! As parents, it is our job to protect those loved ones from lice and other common sicknesses that are around this time of year. We thought of a few quick tips to help you spread the love this Valentine’s Day and prevent head lice while you’re at it!
Spreading the Love to Your Family
Make Personalized Valentine’s – Take a piece of cardstock or construction paper and artistically print or draw each person in your family’s name on their own paper. Now using color markers or pens have each member of the family write a loving note to one another. List their good qualities or things you appreciate about them. Now roll up the paper, attach their favorite candy with a ribbon and tie it off with a bow.
Fill Their Buckets – “Filling a Bucket” for someone is an analogy often used to demonstrate how they feel about themselves. If someone’s feeling unhelpful, unimportant or like they have little to offer to others it is as if their bucket is empty. They don’t feel needed and loved. Parents and family members can do a lot in “filling the buckets” of those in their family. Notice the good your family members do and then acknowledge it! Don’t miss an opportunity to give a compliment, praise a good deed or point out moments that make you feel proud of them. Go the extra mile and only focus on the positive. In other words, try not to “empty their bucket” with negativity. Leaving kind notes, text messages or just bite your tongue when you feel like placing blame or pointing out a flaw.
Family Time is Worth It – Schedule a day and time each week that is sacred family time. Treat this like an important appointment that cannot be missed or rescheduled. With this time create a pattern to go over weekly schedules, play games, watch family movies, address important topics and create fun, happy memories as a family.
Nix Screen Time at Meals – When it comes time for family dinner, unplug your devices and focus on what really matters. Talk to each other about the day. Listen to the highs and lows everyone experienced. Mealtime is a great time to interact as a family and be involved in each other’s lives.
Preventing Head Lice on Your Loved Ones
Spread Awareness – Make sure your children understand that head lice is a common problem in public schools, daycares, or any type of facilities and activities where children are together in a group. Talk to them about making sure to avoid head to head contact or sharing headwear and clothing as much as possible. If they are going somewhere overnight provide them with their own clean pillow, blankets, and towels. Throw their winter gear and backpacks into the dryer once a week for 20 minutes to kill any possible nits or lurking lice.
Take Time to Check for Lice – Routine head checks on your children are an important step in catching head lice at the early stages. Take a small comb and sift through their hair for traces of bites, rashes, irritations or nits at the base of the scalp. As you do this regularly you will begin to notice what is normal and become aware of any warning signs as they may arise. This is a great way to catch the problem early and eliminate it quickly before spreading to your whole household.
With a new year, comes a clean slate. A chance to start implementing things into our lives we wish we had done before. With that in mind, this is the perfect time to start thinking of ways to help your children learn healthy habits. Here are some traits to start and some things to stop in helping your kids stay healthy and happy in 2018.
Stopforcing children, threatening children or even bribing children to eat their fruits and vegetables. This is not a good long term approach to helping them learn to like it. When they are adults you will not be there to force feed them.
Start ensuring your children are learning to enjoy fruits and vegetables. Take a step back and rethink your approach to healthy eating. Use butter and flavorings on their dinner vegetables to help with the blandness. Set out a veggie tray with hummus and ranch for dipping when they arrive home famished from school every day. They want a dessert? Sure, why not!? Offer a fresh fruit platter with caramel dipping sauce or cool whip. This tip might be hard for you to swallow, but will sure make fresh fruits and veggies more enjoyable for your kids. They will learn to love them and enjoy them in a variety of ways.
Stop thinking your kids won’t catch lice.Believing only dirty people or poverty-stricken people catch lice is just an outright lie. Lice are non-discriminatory and survive off of people from all walks of life. In fact, everyone is likely to catch lice at least once in their lifetime. All social classes, ethnicities, genders and races are at risk. Especially now as super lice are creating more of a problem than ever.
Starttalking to your children about ways to prevent lice. Explain that direct head to head contact is the most common way to catch lice. Followed by sharing head gear or clothing that has remnants of lice or nits, lice eggs, on them. Teach children to avoid sharing hair brushes, hair accessories or hair combs with other people. Help them understand that lice is a normal part of life and not something that makes people dirty or bad. Help your child know that it can happen to anyone and they should be aware to avoid it. Watch for signs and symptoms of lice in your child including: an itchy scalp, red and irritated scalp, or nits close to the scalp.
Stop pestering your child to wash their hands. The more you yell or bug them about something the less likely they are to do it and do it well. Washing hands is such an important step in staying healthy try to not make it a negative experience by being pushy or nagging. Startmaking sure they understand why we wash our hands with a fun experiment. One word – glitter! Take your child by the hand and get it slightly damp. Explain that germs are like glitter. They spread easily and stick to their hands. Sprinkle some glitter to represent all the activities they do throughout the day like petting the cat, touching the doorknob, or flushing a toilet. Show how if they touch their nose or face germs spread to their body and can potentially get inside through the eyes, nose or mouth to infect them. Now wash their hands with warm water and soap. Time it to see how long it takes. This is the correct amount of time they should use to wash their hands. Making it fun and explaining the concept will go a long way in ensuring kids are doing what we ask for the right reasons.