Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bugs: Tropical Edition

This is a little bit of a "complaint" blog, but we live in such a beautiful place, this is a downside...just to balance the awesome out.

So, we have a lot of bugs here.

I haven't seen too many spiders, although I did see one that looks like this:

It is fire engine red on the underside and about 1/3 of an inch wide.  It was "protecting" my green beans, although it did a horrible job because something ate the leaves like my kids at a Sizzler/Golden Corral buffet.

Anyway, we have mosquitoes here.  Lots of them.  They are worst a night and aren't too terrible yet during the day.  They carry two pretty nasty diseases/sickness, Dengue Fever and Chikungunya.

We don't want either one. We know multiple people that have gotten it.  It is NOT fun.

We got tons of mosquito bites in our first house here, the rental we had for a month, because there were no screens on the windows and we had to leave them open so the air moved in the house.  It was a rough month.  I was pretty miserable just for that reason alone.

Anyway, we use doTerra TerraShield bug repellent and it works really well with ZERO Deet.  (BTW, if you want a bottle, it's pretty inexpensive.  Each concentrated bottle gets you multiple bottles of bug repellent.)

Anyway, the first week we were in our current home, we got these horrible, horrible bites.  I didn't know where they came from and I looked like I had chicken pox.  I was freaking out because I thought we had bed bugs because they showed up while I was asleep.  (It was NOT bed bugs, read on.)

Then, some women informed me about Mime/Majes/Midges/No-see-ums.  They are quite possibly, the worst insect ever.  I would like to know what God was thinking when he created them (maybe to drive man CRAZY).  They are so tiny.  Smaller than a gnat.  They come out around sundown and "go home" when it's dark.  So when it is beautiful and feels fantastic out, they're there to annoy us.

They hurt when they bite, like a little needle poke, and you slap where they bit, but they are quick and most of the time you don't get them.  And they love, love to bites at socklines.  They don't carry horrible diseases.  They can carry some skin parasites, but not something that will knock you out for a while.

As if that isn't the worst part:  those dumb bug bites don't start itching until about 5 or 6 hours later, while you are SLEEPING.  So you get to wake up in the middle of the night wanting to scratch your skin off.  It is a joyful feeling.  And it usually itches way worse day two and three.

We went on a walk Sunday night and I got at least 20 bites each leg.  They were unusually thick that night,and this is not normal.  Last night, I wanted to scratch my skin off my leg.  I took another doTerra's equivalent of benadryl and coated my leg in a diluted liquid mixture of lavender, lemongrass, and Zendocrine to help the itch.  Seriously, it is miserable until all the relief kicks in.  Sleeping is optional when you have this many bites.

This is just one side after three days and both legs are bad.  My friend this morning said, "Oh, you know they got you good when other people can see your bites without trying."

Needless to say, I'm a little edgy today after two days of little sleep.

The good news is that the TerraShield works amazing because it's an oil based bug repellent and the  Mime/Majes/Midges/No-see-ums do not like anything with oil (including sunscreen). The bad news is that you have to put it on for it to work and no one was wearing it Sunday.

Genius.  I know.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Talk

The Talk: How to do it and How NOT to do it.

On Wednesday, I had part of the sex talk with the 9 year old. I was really worried about this, but it was SIGNIFICANTLY better than I had anticipated.
With our oldest only being 9, I didn't want to overwhelm her so I let her own curiosity lead the conversation.
We talked about female anatomy, periods, fallopian tubes, eggs, ovaries, sperm, embroys, male anatomy, etc.
I could tell the "nitty grity" was over her head so I just mentioned that the sperm that made each of our four kids came from their Dad. Her face went blank like, "what? How does that work?"
And then voila, we had an anatomy lesson that she was seriously interested in and asked about 20 questions.
I even made a diagram of a uterus out of pringles lid and some saran wrap fallopian tubes.

Props to me.
My favorite fact was telling her about how baby girls are born with all the eggs that might make their eventual children.  She was in awe.  I felt like, 'yep, this is how this talk should go'.
I compared it to oranges...she has "immature" or green oranges that aren't ready and won't be for a while. But as a teenager, they will be like a ripe orange and can make a baby at that time (as a fertilized egg, not a spontaneous pregnancy).
To which she made a "ewww" face and shook her head.  We talked about intimacy and what it was made for.  She giggled a little at that and I tried to not go too in depth.
Reality is, most of it was menstrual-cycle centered because that is going to happen to someone she knows very soon, if not already. (Holy crap.)
And the best part of this all: it wasn't bad. 
In fact, I enjoyed it because I saw her grasp of what I was explaining to her and she seemed very interested.

And then today happened. We visited a really cool manatee rescue center. The tour guide explained how to tell the difference between a female and a male.

We had all ages of kids there, 2-17, and she used the scientifically correct language.

The oldest got it.  No questions.

When the 6 year old asked what a vulva was...oh my goodness.  He turned bright red when I explained it was where the baby came out.

He then plugged his ears when I hastily, simply explained the difference between "anus" and "vulva" along with the tour guide.  He was having none of that in public.  Looking back, it could have waited until later.  Fail: Mom.  

I thought I could just ride the wave of great talks like yesterday.

News flash:  the oldest is SO much more different than the 6 year old.  He was mortified, she was intrigued.

I felt horrible.  That was not how I expected to introduce him to female anatomy; via a huge plywood manatee with the anatomically correct placement of the holes.  Poor kid.