Friday, January 28, 2011

My 'no poo' adventure

A couple months ago a friend posted on facebook that she had been shampoo free for a month. My thought? "Ewww! That's so disgusting. What a freak!" Then, I saw another post about it that explained a little more about what it was and actually started thinking, "This might not be so bad." So after a couple weeks and further research on the topic, I decided to give it a try. Here's my journey.

Thursday: Last day of commercial shampoo.

Saturday: I gather everything I need to mix up what seems to be the go to "shampoo" to use. I mixed 2 tbsp. baking soda w/ 2 cups hot water, let it dissolve, and hopped in the shower. I wasn't really sure where to start, so I dumped a little on and started working it in. It was kind of odd, mainly because it basically just feels like warm water being dumped on your head. I scrubbed, let it soak, and left it on until I was done with my shower, and rinsed it all out. I toweled dried a little and then tried to get a brush, a comb, anything through it. It felt WEIRD. It was kinda like a greasy horse's tail. Very coarse while at the same time very oily.

Monday: Let's try this again. This time I rinsed it out right away and used 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar with 1 cup hot water and used it like a conditioner, just putting it on the ends, and left it on until the end of the shower. This time I was able to brush through the ends, but the top was still pretty greasy.

Wednesday: Same thing, but this time I doubled the ACV solution and dumped it all over. By this point, I was ready to give up. My hair was AWFUL! It had only been a week and everything I read said there was a 2-week to 2-month transition period. At some point I would actually have to be seen in public and I wasn't sure how many I would scare away with my greasy, straw hair.

Saturday: I decide to wait 3 days, because the goal is to go longer in between washes, and perhaps me not waiting long enough isn't giving me the goal results. After searching the internet for ANY alternative to the baking soda, I combine a couple "recipes" and Voila! Out comes the Magic Bullet, a perfect contraption for making homemade shampoos. I mix together 2 egg whites, a tiny bit of olive oil, & about 1/2 a cap full of vanilla extract for my new shampoo. For the conditioner, I mix 2 egg yolks & a peeled lemon. My kids thought I was pretty crazy! So I hop in the shower, rub the "shampoo" into my scalp, & rub the "conditioner through the rest of my hair. I could immediately feel a difference! For the first time in a week I could actually run my fingers through my hair. I leave it on for the duration of my shower and then rinse it out. Now, this part is very important! You must be careful to rinse everything out. Otherwise, when the leftover lemon parts dry, it will look like you have the worst possible dandruff. I towel dried a bit, then went ahead and used my hair dryer (it was my birthday, so I was pretty sure my darling Husband was taking me to dinner, which he did.) The ends of my hair were PERFECT! Very soft, very lush. The top was still a bit oily, so once it was dry I combed in some corn starch to the extra oily areas. It looked pretty good. Good enough to be seen in public. :)

Tuesday: 3 days again, and not too bad. Instead of mixing the shampoo & conditioner separately I made one big batch. I mixed 2 eggs, 2 peeled lemons, 1/2 a large cucumber, & vanilla extract. This recipe makes a lot! I filled 2-3oz. travel shampoo bottles and still had some left in the bottom of my Magic Bullet, so about 3 washes worth. I lean over the tub and start pouring and rubbing in my new "shampoo". Then, I pile all my hair on top of my head, and put on a shower cap. 30 minutes on the timer. I rinse well, dry, and my hair looks AMAZING! All of it, even the top. No grease. I'm so excited! The next day it's still perfect. Just a quick comb through (brushing will make it frizz), and I'm ready to go.

Thursday: My husband lets me do his hair! It comes out perfect from the first wash. (Wish I had discovered this from the beginning.) He's sold.

Now it's Friday (ok, early Saturday morning. I really should go to bed) and it still looks really good. I'll do another wash tomorrow (4 days!!) I'm so very excited to be getting the chemicals out of my hair. My next step will be to try it on the 2 little ones & to get my big boys to give it a try. I've only told a couple people, who of course think I'm weird, but that's ok. I know how weird this sounds. After all, I thought the same thing the first time I heard about it. I think all this GD stuff might be turning me a little crunchy :)

*In between "shampoos" I rinse with warm water and the ACV solution during my shower.

**If you make a big batch and won't be using it all at once, you'll have to store it in the fridge. But beware, it will be COLD when you dump it on your head. Voice of experience speaking.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


So this morning I woke up to a naked 3 yr old cuddled up next to me, 1 boy in shorts only, and 2 boys in their dun-da-duns in the front room. (That's what we call undies around here. Think of the sound a super hero makes and you should be able to sound it out.) I thought to myself, for at least the millionth time, "When did I move into a nudist colony?" At any given time in the day there is at least one child in underwear only. It started with our second oldest son. We would always joke that you could tell where Kurt had been upon returning home, simply by following the trail of discarded clothes. Shoes & socks by the front door (not too abnormal), shirt on the couch (boys often run around without their shirts, right?), pants on a dining room chair (yeah, I have no comment for that one.) And for some unknown reason, a trip to the bathroom warrants a complete strip-down (perhaps it's more comfortable?) Now my oldest is the only, er, normal one and because he's the only one who doesn't share my genes, my darling husband somehow thinks they get this from me. Now where on earth would he get such an idea?
Oops, someone's coming, guess I should find where I tossed my top & pants. Night all.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Where do I begin?

So I've set down to write several times...and my mind goes blank. Yet, in the wee hours of the night when I'm struggling to sleep, I have wonderful thoughts of elegant, poetic, intelligent words. But alas, I awake in the morning and all these have drifted away in the night with my dreams. *sigh*

I am new to Gentle Parenting. Well, mostly new. I breastfed all 3 of my biological children, I even co-slept (mostly for convenience and comfort), and I'm a very lovey-dovey mommy (to the point of people saying I was babying them *rolls eyes*). Even with all that, I've also been modern in a lot of my "discipline" (actually punishment). I've done time-out, rewards with good behavior & punishment with bad behavior, yelling (and saying things I regret) when I get frustrated, and yes even spanking on occasion (again out of frustration, not love. I don't know how spanking can ever be done out of love.) So I'm now at a point where I'm trying to figure out how to take the good things I'm already doing, get rid of the bad, and move fully to Gentle/Graceful/Peaceful Parenting (or whatever you want to call it.) I think this would be a much easier transition if my children were all small, however, I have 2 different age groups: two teen boys, ages 15 & 14, and two younger children, a 6 year old boy & 3 year old girl. (I will talk more about them individually in a day or 2) I guess what I'm getting at is, HELP!! What do I do, and where do I begin implementing these parenting techniques? Do I need to let them know that we're doing things differently? We've already began implementing a lot of it and I find myself apologizing to them often when I do something the "old way" and I'm afraid I'm confusing them. Mostly, how do I help my husband in this transition? I am a SAHM, so I find the time to read up on this subject and also on all the research out there, but he's exhausted when he gets home and only gets the replay version from me. He is doing much better and I was very proud with him the other day for sitting down with one of the little ones and talking it out rather than scolding. He still uses time-outs and occasionally gives them a little pat on the bottom. I'm finding it a lot easier to stop time-outs and have completely stopped spanking. Also, I'm doing pretty well at setting them down and talking to them about whatever the issue-at-hand is and working it out. The thing I'm having the most difficulty with is my frustration. The yelling comes out of me, often before I know it's going to, and I find myself apologizing for my mouth A LOT!! (Not cussing, but things like, "what were you thinking!")

I've been feeling a bit lost. Mainly because the websites, blogs, FB pages, etc. all seem to be relative to babies and young children. Where are the resources for parents of older children and teens? How do I transition parenting my teens to gentle discipline? Do people give up when their children hit the teen years? Or perhaps their children are so perfect they decide not to post anything? (I joke) Am I the only parent who has found this information a bit late in the parenting game? Surely not, so where are all the other parents? I've thought about posting on some of the afore mentioned websites, blogs, etc., but I'm afraid of the feedback from some of the parents. I've been following a few specific groups and though the information from the group itself has been very helpful, I find some of the responses from the parents to be absolutely horrible! They treat other adults in the same ways their fighting to NOT treat their children (but I digress.) 

I realize I only have one follower at this time, so I'm not expecting a plethora of feedback. I would, however like to give a big "thanks" to my dear friend in the virtual world, Dulce de Leche, who has helped me in finding this information. I know you may not realize it, but through our friendship on facebook and my following your blog, you have been an extraordinary help to me and my family!

Blessings and Grace to all!