I feel like I haven’t updated about life so much lately, so here goes. In September, we celebrated Monkey’s first birthday! I can’t believe he’s over a year old already…my how the time has flown. It seems like just yesterday I was waiting to go into labor. It’s been such a wonderful year, I can’t imagine life without him. We opted not to go trick-or-treating for Halloween, even though we dressed the Monkey up (as a Monkey of course!) Next year, though, I’m sure we’ll be out on the streets. Speaking of – we only had 10 people come to our house this year. Sad, really.
I made a dairy and egg free cake for the big one-year party and it was a hit. Everyone loved it…even the Monkey man himself. We had a very low-key celebration with just immediate family and one of my friends and her daughter. It was perfect!
We’ve gotten the sleep situation to be so much better than it used to be. If you can remember from my older posts, Monkey has never been a good sleeper. He would be up every 2-3 hours to nurse every single night…for 11 months. Many times more often than that! Needlesstosay, I was exhausted. About a month ago, we decided to finally start doing some sleep training. I’m not one to question other’s parenting decisions, but ‘cry-it-out’ just never felt right to me, so we opted to skip that approach. I, instead, purchased the book The Sleep Lady’s Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy (after the advice from a friend) and it changed our lives. Like, complete 180. We didn’t follow the book 100%, but we used the suggestions and did what we felt was best. Basically, the husband took over all night wakings. This meant, of course, that I had to night wean. It only took three days for Monkey to get the picture and sleep through the night (and almost NO crying). He now sleeps from about 7:30 – 6:00 most nights, but sometimes wakes just once (rarely twice) – and the husband goes into his room and rubs his back as he falls back asleep. Some mornings he’s up at 5, and even though in the moment I’m frustrated because I want to keep sleeping, I just remind myself how a couple of months ago I was up 3, 4, even 5 times feeding. I’m starting to feel like a human again. So much so that it’s making me think about having baby number two…yikes! Not sure how I feel about that, just yet.
Now, let’s talk about feeding. Monkey has had a heightened gag reflex ever since he was born – whether it’s from being tongue and lip tied, or from his acid reflux, or from something else altogether, we’re not sure. I’ve been working with an occupational therapist to reduce this and it seems to be getting much better. He’s always been a picky eater as well – we’ve mostly practiced baby led weaning with him, but he’s never had a huge interest in solids. Up until a few weeks ago most food just went straight to the floor. And trust me, we’ve tried everything (sans dairy and eggs of course.) I’m excited to report that over the last couple of weeks, things have gotten SO much better. Monkey suddenly has an interest in foods, and while he’s not eating as much as a typical one year old, he’s eating! Three meals a day! This makes Momma so happy. He still gets most of his nutrients from breastmilk, though, and I’m okay with that. Oddly enough, this new interest in solids coincides with the start of some craniosacral therapy that we’ve been doing. Whether or not it’s related, I’m not 100% sure…but I’m leaning towards yes.
The pediatrcian was a bit concerned about his weight the last time I went in, which made me a bit nervous for a few days, but I’m not so worried anymore. I’m a small person, standing at only 5′ 1.5″ and I was small as a baby, too. Monkey’s getting milk from me at least four times a day, plus a bottle of donor breastmilk daily. In addition to his three meals of solid foods. The pediatrician made me feel bad at our last visit saying “He’s not getting everything he needs from your breastmilk.” Honestly, I KNOW that he needs my milk right now, more than anything else. I know in my heart that it’s what he needs. He’s also been just a tiny bit slower to develop in pretty much all areas than your typical child, and I’m totally cool with that. He sat up later, stood up later, crawled later, and is eating later (not to mention, he hasn’t started walking.) He’s not delayed, still well within the ‘normal’ window, just a bit behind most of his baby friends. Strangely, it doesn’t bother me that much. I am, however, little bit worried that since he’s over a year old, I’m going to start getting pressure to stop breastfeeding. FYI – I have no plans to wean any time soon. I have a very strong feeling that we’ll be breastfeeding until he’s at least two, and others will just have to deal. It’s the best nourishment for him, I know it in my Mommy gut…especially with his food issues. The pediatrician is also pushing cow’s milk on him. Even though he came up negative for a true dairy allergy, I know in my gut that he still has a dairy sensitivity, so I’m not going to push it. Instead, I’m making my own coconut milk and feeding that to him in addition to all the yummy breastmilk he’s getting.
It’s funny that when I say I’m going to write a post with an update about life, I really only talk about the Monkey. Well, he’s pretty much my life right now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We’ve been meeting up with lots of local moms lately and it’s been great making some new friends. Other than that, I’ve been cooking a lot lately and I’m hoping to do some knitting here shortly. I’m also looking forward to seeing some snow this year, although I’m a bit nervous for the cold! I almost forgot, I recently spent about a million hours working on Monkey’s video compiling pictures and movies from the first year of his life. Check it out by following the link below if you want, but I don’t blame you if you choose not to watch…it’s long! This video is 22 minutes…the full version was 70!
Can you relate to anything I’ve gone through with Monkey? Do you have a child that develops just a tad slower than your friends’ kids? Do you have differing opinions from those of your pediatrician? What do you do about it?
Well, I made it. It wasn’t exactly pretty, but I successfully lasted five days without washing my hair. [Did you miss the original post about my extended hair washing challenge? Check it out here.] In all honesty, it ended up being easier than I predicted it would be. Yes, my hair was flat out nasty by the end of the five days, but I felt like it was still semi-manageable. Throughout the week I made a conscious effort not to continuously play with my hair so that I wouldn’t get excess oils from my hands onto my hair. I also decided not to use cornstarch at all on my hair…someone commented in my original post that this might hurt what I’m trying to accomplish. The cornstarch would soak up the oil, which might cause my scalp to think it needs to create more oil. I ended up just going crazy and using nothing on my hair at all. Other than that, I followed my plan pretty much exactly, but to recap, here’s what I did.
Sunday night: Washed hair with baking soda/vinegar and then blew it dry.
Monday/Day 1: Wore hair down.
Tuesday/Day 2: The roots were definitely starting to get greasy, but I was able to manage the day with my hair down again. The static was getting to me a bit, so I did end up pulling it back by the end of the day.
Wednesday/Day 3: I knew that I wanted to do my ‘wavy hair’ trick for day three [tutorial here], so on Tuesday night instead of leaving my hair dry in the shower, I got it wet. In fact, I decided to try scrubbing the roots a bit with just water. I thought maybe it would help distribute the oils and make my hair look a bit cleaner. I twisted my hair into two buns so that it would be wavy in the morning. I wore my hair down and slightly wavy all day.
Thursday/Day 4: By day four, my roots were definitely greasy. It pretty much killed me not to wash my hair at this point, but I am determined to make this experiment work! I tried to get away with wearing it down and wavy again but it just wasn’t meeting my (very low) standards. So, I decided to comb through it with a pick and then clipped the top back in an effort to hide some of the greasiness in my roots, and pulled the rest back into a low pony tail.
Friday/Day 5: I woke up with an extra bounce in my step on Friday. I was SO excited that I had made it to day five and I would get to wash my hair soon. Monkey had a doctor’s appointment in the morning and the thought of going out in public with such greasy hair made me gag…so I decided to pull it back into two french braids. The funny thing is, the receptionist at the doctor’s office actually complimented me on the braids. I’m pretty sure she thought my hair was wet, but I’ll take it! I love that braids help to hide those greasy roots.
I ended up waiting until Saturday morning to wash my hair because we were having family portraits done that day and I wanted my hair to be nice and fresh. But, I used my trusty baking soda and vinegar and my hair was as good as new! Today is now Tuesday and I am on day three of not washing for this week…two more days to go! Honestly, I haven’t noticed much of a difference in the greasiness factor this week, but I do feel like the bulk of my hair is less staticky, which is GREAT in my book. I’m going to stick with this five-day plan for a few months and see what happens. I plan to follow pretty much the same schedule, with maybe adding in a hat as an accessory when I’m feeling really gross about my hair. Hopefully it won’t be too long until my hair gets used to this new plan..maybe I’ll even be able to stretch it to longer than five days between washings? Luckily, I’m a stay at home mom so it’s mainly the other moms in my mom’s group that have to put up with the transition period! And now, I must head out as I’ve got a sick little Monkey to take care of, and he’ll be waking up from his nap any minute. Speaking of, I think my next post will have to be all about him. These last few posts have had entirely way too many pictures of myself for my liking.
Have you extended the days between hair washings? How long did it take you to get your hair to be less greasy? How long do you think I’ll last with this experiment?
Earlier this week, I promised a video tutorial showing how I get my stick straight hair to be wavy, overnight…with zero heat. Tuesday night I recorded my routine and am excited to share it with y’all. Please keep in mind, that this is smack dab in the middle of my effort to go 5 days without washing my hair…so when this was done, I hadn’t washed my hair in 2 days…so it’s definitely already looking greasy. But, I’ve been doing this about once a week lately, and it’s been such a nice change of pace from my usual pulled back ponytail. It also seems to help keep the static issues I’ve been having at bay a little bit (probably because I use a tiny bit of hair product.)
Two things I learned in making this video. 1: I really need to find a different way to film videos. My built-in camera just isn’t cutting it. Yuck. 2: I mumble. A lot. I seriously never realized how much I mumble when I talk! Yikes!
Quickly, here’s an overview of what to do:
1. Get hair damp. I usually shower and then wait about 45 minutes to an hour, but you could just spray hair so that it’s damp. Don’t get it soaking wet, you want the hair to be dry come morning. You might want to add a bit of hair gel if your hair tends to lose curl easily.
2. Part hair down the center.
3. Twist one side of your hair starting with a small piece at the top. Twist AWAY from the face, slowly adding a little bit of hair as you go. Add some from the front, then some from the back. This makes much more sense if you watch the video. When you get to where you have all of your hair (from one half or your head) in your hands, twist the hair to the end, and then roll it naturally into a bun. For me, my right side of my head is rolled counter-clockwise into a bun, and the left is rolled clockwise. After finishing one side, repeat with the other. Secure buns with hair-tie.
4. Sleep. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.
5. Wake up and remove buns. If your hair is still damp, use a blow dryer to get it dry before removing the hair-ties. Carefully untwist each bun and then piece apart your hair with your fingers. Keep running your fingers through the hair until you get the desired look.
6. Add a smoothing gloss or some sort-of finishing cream if desired.
If you’re not 100% happy with the results, you can always clip some pieces up to get a different look, or you can take a curling iron and add a few curls. I find this trick to be a great, easy tool for getting wavy hair. I absolutely love that I don’t have to use any heat, which damages hair. We’re also being eco-friendly here by saving electricity! Bonus: If you’re careful, you may even be able to get two days out of your wavy hairdo!
Do you use this technique on your hair? Do you have a different technique you prefer that gets you similar results? Please share!
I thought it was about time to write an update about my experience with using baking soda and apple cider vinegar to wash my hair, or as many call it – the ‘No Poo’ method. It’s been about eight months now since I dove into this adventure, and for the most part I’m loving it. To read about how I started, check out my original no poo post. Also be sure to take a look at the comments – lots of additional advice in there!
So, how’s it going? For the most part, great. I’ll admit, I’ve used shampoo and conditioner a few times – mainly when I forgot that I was out of my wash or rinse and didn’t feel like getting out of the shower to mix it, so yes, I used some of my husband’s products. I swear, though, every time I use shampoo – my hair is oily by the next morning (I’ve been washing my hair at night.) I’m mostly impressed with the baking soda – even when my hair seems to be exceptionally oily, a good scrubbing with my baking soda/water mixture (+ a squirt of honey) really gets it clean.
But, this whole ‘No Poo’ method isn’t all puppy dogs and rainbows. You see, my hair has two major problems. It’s had these problems for as long as I can remember, and almost 30 years later…saying that I’m sick of it is a major understatement. I was hoping that using the ‘No Poo’ method would be enough to fix these problems, but it doesn’t seem like it, alone, is enough.
Problem one: Oily roots. My hair gets so oily, so fast. When I used to wash my hair with shampoo in the morning, by 4 in the afternoon my roots were so oily that they looked like they were wet. Following the ‘No Poo’ method, I’ve been able to stretch my washings to every other day, but even then my roots still look oily the second day.
Problem two: Static. And when I say static, I mean STATIC. It’s been worse lately, which I think has to do with the weather getting colder, but Oh. My. Gosh. I am like a static machine. I’ve been wearing my hair pulled back into a bun or braids for weeks now because I just can’t stand the static. Heaven forbid I try to put a coat or sweatshirt on…my hair winds up a big poof ball!
These two problems leave me SO frustrated. It’s always been a battle for me trying to figure out what the best solution is. I’ve tried more conditioning products, more conditioning treatments, and lately more apple cider vinegar. The problem is, I really have to focus on the ends otherwise the additional conditioners make my roots even MORE oily than they already are. But, I can’t neglect the conditioners in an effort to cut down on the oil because then the rest of my hair creates even more static (if that’s even possible). So, what are my options?
Well, I got my haircut over the weekend, and the hair stylist gave me an idea. After explaining to her the problems of my hair and warning her just how much static my hair contained, she then told me that I really need to stop washing my hair so often. Even every other day is too much. She said that she has the same type of hair as me (tons of fine, stick straight hair) and she washes once every five days. FIVE DAYS! I can’t imagine. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this, I mean it makes sense. Like I said in my original ‘No Poo’ post, your scalp naturally creates oils, and the more you wash them away, the more your scalp thinks it needs to create, which exasperates your oil problem. By washing my hair so often, I’m causing my scalp to produce too much oil, but I’m also washing it out so that it’s not settling in and moisturizing the body/ends of my hair.
I’ve thought about taking the leap into fewer washings in the past, but I’ve never had the courage. I just can’t imagine how greasy and nasty my hair is going to feel after 5 days of not washing it! Yikes! But, the hair stylist (and countless other people/websites online) have assured me that it WILL work, it just takes time. There will be an annoying transition period, but it will work. So, I’m going to try it. Starting today. And, I’m going to blog about my experience. Can I just say that the thought of only washing my hair once every five days (maybe more?!) makes me all giddy inside? I am determined to make this work.
My hair seems to stay less greasy for longer if I blow dry it, instead of letting it air dry (no clue why, but whatever), so last night I washed my hair with my usual baking soda/apple cider vinegar routine and then blew it dry. Here’s my plan for the rest of the week (subject to change):
Sunday night/last night: Wash hair with baking soda and rinse with apple cider vinegar. Blow dry.
Today/Monday/Day 1: Wear down/straight…will pull back if I can’t stand the static.
Tuesday/Day 2: Wear down/straight. Add a little bit of cornstarch to roots if it’s looking oily.
Tuesday Evening: Wet hair while in shower, but do not wash. Twist hair into buns and let dry overnight so that it will be wavy the next day (Stay tuned for a tutorial post later this week.)
Wednesday/Day 3: Wear hair down/wavy – if too greasy, pull back and add cornstarch.
Thursday/Day 4: Wear down/wavy – if too greasy, pull back and add cornstarch.
Friday/Day 5: Pull hair back into pony tail or braid. I am fully expecting my hair to be a grease pit at this point.
Friday night: Wash hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar/blow dry. Start over.
Who knows if this will work, but I am excited to see, and I am excited to keep y’all update with my progress. I’m really hoping this helps my oil/static issues! I’ve heard the transition period, or the amount of time it takes for your hair to get used to this new routine, can last anywhere from a few weeks, to a few months. I’m hoping for the former. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
Have you tried eliminating shampoo and conditioner from your regular washing routine? How’s it working for you? How long do YOU go between washings? Care to join me on this adventure? Lastly, do you have any tips for me or the readers to help solve my oil + static issues?
Today I’m reflecting. Reflecting on my blog. Side note – how obnoxious was that watermark yesterday? I was playing with a new way of watermarking – and at the time I thought it was great, but when I turned my computer on today, it made me gag just a little bit. So, I quickly made a new one that you can see in the picture below. Much better if I do say so myself. Anyway, life has been happening and I haven’t done much updating about it on the blog lately. If you follow me on Instagram, that’s pretty much the best way to keep up with me right now. I always have my phone with me, and it takes just a few seconds to take a quick snapshot capturing my daily (not so) exciting adventures.
Here’s the deal. A few months back, I started accepting offers to write various review and/or giveaway posts. While I love them and am so grateful for the opportunities, I ended up signing up for more than I should have. I over-committed myself. For many bloggers out there, it’s easy to do reviews each week, multiple even, on top of content posts, but for me I just can’t seem to find the time. I told myself when I started blogging that I didn’t want my blog to turn into a review/giveaway blog, but alas, if you look at my last couple of months, that’s indeed what it looks to be.
Let me be frank here, I like sharing products with y’all that I love, and I love even more when companies allow me to give one away to a lucky reader. The thing is, I only want to share products that I truly care about – ones that I am incredibly passionate about. I would never lie in a post and say that I like a product just because I got it for free, that’s not me. But, there comes a point that the review posts suck the motivation out of you, and that’s where I’ve found myself lately. More often than not, I would sit down at the computer all motivated and ready to write… the brain juices would be flowing and I’d have a great idea of something I wanted to share. Then, it would dawn on me that I had to review product A, with products B and C following closely behind. I would feel guilty writing a personal post, when I had other obligations out there that I needed to fill. It doesn’t help that I also like to spend a good chunk of time writing review posts because I want to make sure they are quality for my readers. Review posts are what people see when they google information about a certain product – I want my thoughts to be honest, thorough, and helpful.
So yeah. That’s my story. It’s like a vicious circle. But, I’m proud to say that I’m finally all caught up and it may or may not be what you want to here but I have no reviews or giveaways planned for the near future. This isn’t saying that I’ll never post them again, as I’m sure I will, but they will be few and far between.
Lastly, I want to mention that while I’ve had times throughout my blogging career where I’ve felt the desire to truly grow my blog, you know make a huge effort to get it BIG – especially when I got back from BlogHer. By big I mean where I post almost daily, grow my followers to be in the tens of thousands, and have fun doing it. But, I’ve come to terms with the fact that more than likely, this will never happen to me. Not anytime soon at least. I honestly don’t know how some of these moms do it. I’m a stay at home mom and just can’t find the time to devote to my blog like others can. Maybe I’m bad at time management, I’m not sure…but when Monkey’s awake, I like to be there playing with him, engaging him, and watching him learn and grow. The few times where I’ve tried to blog while he’s awake, I am left feeling extremely guilty. It just doesn’t feel right to me to stick him in front of the TV – every now and then, I’ll admit that I’ve done it, but I just can’t seem to do it on a daily basis. So, that leaves the majority of my writing time to his nap times and after he goes to sleep at night. My mom has been watching him for a few hours once a week so that I can go to the coffee shop and write, but still, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of time. It also doesn’t help that I’ve got a big craft streak in me…meaning I like to spend some of my downtime doing things like knitting, making wreaths, and sewing! I also recently joined a mom’s group, so I’ve been spending lots of time hanging out with other moms and babies. If my blog were to get huge, I’m afraid I wouldn’t have time for those sorts of things anymore. And then of course there’s the whole cooking and cleaning thing, but we won’t even go there. Aye.
Anyway, I’ll quit my rambling now. I’ve been meaning to write this post for quite some time, and I’m glad I spent today’s morning nap time doing just that. I hope it makes sense, I hope it didn’t offend anyone, and I hope I don’t lose any followers for it. If so, I apologize. Otherwise, I hope you stick around!
Are you a mom with a blog? How do you manage your time?