Thursday, March 25, 2010

Not much longer... gotta keep telling myself that

It's been more than 3 months since my husband left for this deployment. Still have about 6 more months until he'll be coming home for R & R. I'm happy about that though, since it means he'll most likely get to meet the new baby then. Originally, they had him coming home in April or May, and let me tell you, I was not happy about that. I've come to terms with the fact that he may not be here for the birth, I would just really like it if he could at least meet the new baby before s/he's three months old.

I really can't complain too much, I get to talk to my husband pretty much daily. Very rarely do we go even one day without talking, and I don't know if we've ever gone more than one day, so far. It is a little annoying that I don't have him here to go run out and get things for me, lol, especially with these pregnancy cravings. It's hard having to rely completely on myself, but really, I've adjusted pretty well, and it's our normal for now.

Not too much longer and my mom will be here. She's coming back to the states this summer, with my brother who is starting college in the fall. He wants to go to a college nearby, so that will be nice. My mom will be living in our guest room, which will be great, since I will need help with my active toddler as my belly gets bigger, hehe. Then I'll have three months of a baby and a toddler and no husband, so she will be here to help me then, too.

Time is going by so quickly and so slowly, at the same time. It's funny how that can happen:).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Babywearing is not dangerous!

Babywearing has been done for centuries, safely. It, in and of itself, is not dangerous. People who do not educate themselves on how to babywear properly and companies that make unsafe carriers are what is dangerous. There are specific slings that are very dangerous. These slings are pretty much like bags, and bear no real resemblance to a proper sling. Here's an article about the sling I'm referring to. And here is an article of a recent recall!

There are also some carriers out there, that although not life threatening, are not good for your baby! Any carrier that allows your baby's legs to dangle straight down is not a good carrier. This is bad for both their hips and spine. And even though you think your baby enjoys being able to look out at his/her surroundings, your baby should never face out in your carrier. This is also very bad for baby's back and hips, and can cause over-stimulation. Here's a link with explanations of the actual physical harm it is causing.

These two types of carriers, bag-like slings and "crotch danglers," make up a very small percentage of the options available. They are simply two of the cheapest, most widely available options, which sadly means they are everywhere.

This blog has a ton of information about the pros and cons of each type of carrier. It also lists the brands to buy and the brands to avoid, for quality, safety, and comfort. It's a great reference for anyone interested in babywearing. I refer to it frequently.

I'm ashamed to say that we used a "crotch dangler" AND we faced McKaleigh outward. Thankfully, not frequently, we only used it a handful of times. A majority of our babywearing was done in a homemade stretchy wrap, and facing outward wasn't something I did often. But still, we did it, and it's because, unless you seek out the information, it's not readily available. Companies that make these poorly made carriers actually show babies being worn facing out, so how is any parent supposed to know the damage it can cause your child? Isn't it sad that companies that make and sell these baby items are so poorly educated on the items they are selling?

Also, unless you've done thorough research and actually know what you're talking about, don't try to tell someone that wearing their baby is dangerous. It is not! I don't know how many stories I've heard recently, of mamas safely wearing their babies being hassled because of all the fuss in the news. It is always by people who have no clue what they are even talking about and have likely never worn a baby.

So once again, babywearing IS NOT dangerous. Bad carriers are.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A complete rundown of the products I use

Last month on payday, I made my list of things I needed, in order to make the things listed below. A trip to the commissary/grocery store, the local natural food store, and the dollar store got me everything. I will admit, the initial investment when you buy the Essential Oils and carrier oils seems pretty hefty, but these will last for quite some time. The EOs are in tiny bottles, but you use them usually in quantities of drops at a time. I bought my spray bottles at the dollar store, and they are of pretty nice quality! I made a day of it and mixed everything that afternoon. Gave away all of my old products and haven't really had to give any of it a second thought!

*signifies a hyperlinked phrase:)

Health & Beauty

Face Wash: I have this split between two small bottles. One stays in the shower, one stays on my counter. I also just bought regular unsalted almonds and put them through my food processor.
-3 oz honey (cleanses)
-4 oz finely ground almonds (gentle exfoliant)
-2 oz apple cider vinegar (toner)
-2 oz water
-6 drops Lavender Essential Oils (anti-aging and anti-acne)

Face Lotion: Apricot Kernel Oil after washing my face. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil any other time.

Makeup: Making the switch to *Everyday Minerals

Lip balm: Currently Burt's Bees Medicated Lip Balm. May try Everyday Minerals's lip balm. Also Goat Milk Stuff(link below) sells a balm I might also try.

Body Lotion: EV Coconut Oil. I've never really been a regular body lotion user, because I hate the feel of lotion, but I love how coconut oil makes my skin feel!

Deodorant: Instructions from *this blog. Super easy, though is quite the work out, haha. Works really well.

Toothpaste: Currently not crunchy! Thinking about using just plain baking soda once the tube I have runs out. I'm open to suggestions, lol. Prefer homemade and simple, over organic store bought products.

Body Wash: For now I use Nature's Gate Organics- Lavender & Aloe. Probably going to switch to *goat milk soap in the very near future, for McKaleigh, too, and probably as our hand soap.

Wash/Condition Hair: Refer to any of *my no 'poo blogs.

Hair spray: I use the water and sugar recipe from *this blog. And, yes, it really does work!


All Purpose Cleaner: The bigger the spray bottle, the more EO you need to use.
-1 part water
-1 part white vinegar
-20-30 drops of EO (I used lemon)

Disinfectant: Smells great! Love using it.
-2 cups water
-1/4 cup white vinegar
-1/4 tsp Lavender EO
-1/4 tsp Tea Tree Oil

Carpet cleaner(spot cleaning): Spray the following combo, let sit for a few minutes. Follow up with a sponge or brush and soapy water. Works every time:). This spray can also be used when cleaning your veggies.
-1 part water
-1 part white vinegar

Toilet bowl cleaner: I sprinkle 1/4 cup of baking soda all over the inside of the toilet, and follow with 1 cup of vinegar. Let fizz for awhile and follow with just the toilet brush.

Dishwasher detergent: Love this one! Have it in a container and just scoop it in. Recipe says to use 1 tbsp per load, but I fill my detergent cup.
-1 cup Borax (find in laundry aisle)
-1 cup baking soda
-1/4 cup salt (I used sea salt)
-1/4 cup citric acid (2 unsweetened lemonade kool aid packets work)

I use a lot of tips from *this site. They have tips and methods for literally any household cleaning situation you can think of!

One month no 'poo-versary:)

It's been one month since I decided to go no 'poo!

So one revelation has come to me... I grew up in an area in Iowa where your water was hard, unless you had a water softener. Well, apparently in Georgia, the water ISN'T hard! I just assumed water was hard every where, unless it was softened, haha!

I'm now only using my old wash routine of baking soda and apple cider vinegar on Sundays. Two or three other times a week, I use an acidic rinse. So far I've used diluted apple cider vinegar, and cranberry juice (not together, lol.) I'm also going to give applesauce a try.

No 'poo can be a big process of trial and error. Figuring out what ratios of baking soda to water and apple cider vinegar to water work for you. Or if these don't do well for you, figuring out which of the plethora of options will work for you.

For troubleshooting, I'll again post the blog that I refer to. Info: Shampoo Free.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Toys, toys, toys

Ugh! So the newest itch I've gotten surrounds my daughter's toys.

They are ALL plastic! Plastic, that I am now learning, may not be all that safe.

Most of them are light up toys or just plain noisy. Which I am now learning is really not great for her development.

So what's a mom to do?

Well I'm sure as heck not just going to keep things this way. I'm going to sell all of her toys! And then use that money to buy her simple wooden toys that will let her use her imagination, and help in her cognitive development. The first to go will be anything using batteries! Eventually, I would like to be mostly plastic and battery free in toy land. One step at a time, though. We'll get there, soon enough.

One thing I really want to do for her, as she gets a bit older, is to give her a HUGE dress up wardrobe. I always loved playing dress up when I was little, but never really had the resources, so that is one thing that will definitely be happening in this house:). Who needs noisy light up toys, when you're pretending to be a doctor/nurse/astronaut/princess?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Update on my lack of 'poo;)

I have changed things up a bit. I'm now attempting to completely forgo my hair touching water between my bi-weekly rinses. I've been doing a lot more reading around and have a very good reason as to why. I have hard water! So when I get my hair wet and put nothing in it, mineral deposits build up on my hair, yuck! If I do need to do something with my hair between washes I will probably just take a shower and use some sort of acidic rinse to prevent any buildup (probably apple cider vinegar,) but leave out the baking soda. Right now I'm trying to get my hair used to only being washed twice a week, because eventually it will slow down the oil production and will no longer look like a greasy mess;) haha!

It's really not that bad now though! I washed Sunday, accidentally used a bit too much oil, so I did a water only rinse yesterday (before learning the mineral deposit thing.) Today it was a tiny bit greasy, but just powdering a bit of cornstarch in there for a minute and brushing it out, has my hair looking like new... well almost new, lol. My ponytail is my new best friend:). And my boar bristle brush does wonders for my hair, too.

Twice a day I brush my hair out really well with my regular hairbrush. Then I go over my whole head with the boar bristle brush several times. After that, I flip my head over and brush out the back of my hair several times. Once I flip back up my hair is poofy and huge, haha! This is just to help the sebum (natural oils from your scalp) move from my scalp out to the ends of my hair. So once I'm done doing this I use my regular brush over it once more.

Around the house I HAVE to keep my hair up, or else I am constantly playing with it, making it much greasier than it'd be if I could just leave it be, haha. I use scrunchies though, so it's relatively easy to go from being up all day, to wearing it down if I want to.

Anyways, just thought I'd share:). I feel like I learn new things everyday!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

All about no 'pooing

I'm sitting here trying to think of just one topic to write about. It's kind of hard to pick just one, so maybe this will just be a little update about everything:). On second thought, I may just dive more deeply into explaining "no 'poo."

No 'poo is going wonderfully. Being a stay at home mom, I never really got too dirty or sweaty, so I didn't shower daily, or even every other day. I would shower about every three days or so. Well now with going no 'poo I've found that if I just jump in the shower every morning to rinse my hair out and do a quick scrub down, I feel great! My hair looks great, and I feel refreshed and ready for the start of the day. After my hair is done going through the detox phase, I may go back to showering every other day, but for now, I'm enjoying this routine.

If I don't shower daily, my hair does get quite greasy, because of the awful detox period, and my hair getting rid of the years of buildup from my old shampoos and conditioners. If I shower everyday though, you can't even tell that I'm not using shampoo or conditioner! Right now I'm trying to keep my washing routine to twice a week, Sunday and Thursday.

In case you haven't read earlier blogs, the actual wash routine is as follows.
  • I put 1 tbsp of baking soda into a cup. In the shower I fill my small cup with water and scrub that into my hair. I let it sit for at least a minute, usually while I'm washing my body, then rinse.
  • Then I take my other cup that is half filled with apple cider vinegar and fill it the rest of the way in the shower. (Note: I used to pre-mix my ACV and water, before my shower, but it was just way too cold, haha!)I pour this all over my hair and let that soak for at least a minute, usually a bit longer, like you would with conditioner. This is usually while I'm washing my face and doing any shaving that I might need to do.
  • After I've let it sit I rinse my hair VERY thoroughly. I let the water run over my hair for almost as long as I let the vinegar sit in my hair. I use my hands to press the water through my hair, and press my hands along my scalp as well. I do this to prevent any of the vinegar from remaining in my hair, and I never have a vinegar smell after my hair has dried.
  • Also, in each step I massage my scalp very thoroughly, like enough that I can feel my scalp move a bit with my fingers. When I don't do my wash routine I also massage thoroughly in the shower and help the natural oils move from the scalp down through to the rest of my hair.
There are a lot of good sites out there to help in learning about no 'pooing and why you should do it. Today I found an amazing site that I'm going to start using as a reference guide. Here's a link in case you're interested.

Honestly my hair looks better than it has EVER looked before. And this is without even using styling products. My hair is softer, silkier, and has more body. I've never been happy with my hair. Even on past "good hair days" it still was never all that great to me. Now I LOVE my hair, and I think it looks fabulous:).

No 'pooing might be "green" and "crunchy" but that's really not even why I decided to try it. I tried it out because I wasn't happy with my hair and I wanted a change. The green/crunchy part is just a plus.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A break in the "No TV"

So I'm taking a little break tonight, for the finale of The Bachelor! I watched every episode this season, couldn't pass up the finale! Honestly, I haven't been paying much attention, but I want to see who wins.

Things have been going really well around here. I'm loving my natural beauty products: my homemade facewash, the apricot kernel oil as face lotion, EV coconut oil as body lotion, homemade deoderant. It's all working really well, and makes me feel great! Then of course there's the twice weekly baking soda wash of my hair and apple cider vinegar rinse:). My hair has never felt better!

McKaleigh and I ate some really good food today. Almost nothing processed, lots of veggies, yummy! I need to look into some more vegetarian meals. I'm not a vegetarian, but I only really eat fish and chicken, and there's only so much fish and chicken you can eat, haha!

McKaleigh has a cold, which really stinks, since she hasn't quite figured out how to blow her nose. Being the great sharer that she is, she has given that cold to me. Wasn't that sweet of her?