Saturday, April 2, 2016

Cumulative Emotions

I realized yesterday how cumulative emotions are. Bug (5) got really upset by something I'd said, and was expressing his upset by crying and yelling and stomping. I sat with him for probably 20 minutes while he worked it all out. That might seem like a long time to be upset about something most people would find trivial, but it's what he needed. And now that he's expressed it fully, he doesn't carry it around with him to add to the next time he feels those feelings.
In working through my own past repressed feelings, I can say it's really hard. And it takes so much time. So much time, because it all adds up. Like rollover minutes, lol. So when you're in the throws of your child's emotions, maybe keep that in mind. You're doing yourself and them a huge favor by holding space for them to safely express themselves. All feelings are valid.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


This afternoon we were in the car. On the radio a song with the lyrics "You saved me from myself" was playing.
Josh asked, "How could someone be saved from themselves?"
I replied, "Well one way could be if they had really negative self-thought, like 'I'm bad, I'm terrible, I'm worthless.' and someone helped them to realize that negative thinking wasn't true."
"So, like, their therapist?" Josh asked.
"Therapists definitely could help their clients eliminate negative self-thinking, but people who love and care about the person could help them realize it too, like friends and family."
"I see."
"The funny thing about negative self-thought, though, is usually it comes from someone else saying those negative things about you first. 'You're bad. You're terrible. You're worthless.' After so long hearing those things your mind changes it to 'I'm bad.' etc."
"So it's just like Inception," Josh said. "Inception /is/ possible."
And there I sat slack-jawed and mind-blown.
But seriously, I love how movies and music and other forms of media help give us launching pads and aids for contemplating abstract ideas.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Water Only Hair Washing Experiment- Take 1

I'm lazy, you guys. Or rather, I prefer not to do things which I don't want to do. So when I heard that washing your hair with water only was a "thing," I figured I'd give it a try. Why not? I've tried just about everything else on my hair including henna dye, no-poo, and even being bald. (The only thing I haven't tried yet that I want to try is dread locks. One day.)

Me bald. It was awesome, and so liberating. I recommend everyone try it!

My Hair Backstory-

I have very fine hair. It's neither thin nor thick, just average. It's got natural wave to it, but nothing orderly. I don't get it trimmed nearly often enough. We have pretty hard water and every time I have gotten my hair professionally cut, they recommend a clarifying shampoo for the build up. I found ACV (apple cider vinegar) to work pretty well if I kept up with it. Prior to trying this water only thing, I had done no-poo (baking soda wash and ACV rinse) for over two years and was very happy with it.

My two year no-poo anniversary.
Then I got nostalgic for my dark hair days of yore and picked up a box of do-it-yourself hair dye, and everything went to crap. My hair wasn't feeling clean from the no-poo anymore, so out of desperation I used some Pantene Pro V a friend left in our shower after staying the weekend. When that ran out I started using the store brand dandruff shampoo my husband buys. I was shampooing 2-3 times a week. My hair was dull and lifeless and boring. I really had nothing to lose with trying Water Only.

It Starts-

I washed my hair on a Friday, then just happened to not wash it again by Monday when I decided to not wash it "on purpose". I got until Wednesday before my first Rinse. I scritched and preened with my boar bristle brush beforehand (here's a great video on how to do that). I rinsed with hot water and pulled as much oil down with my fingers as I could. I towel dried my hair, and blow dried it on the coolest setting. Here are the results-

Not too bad. Some orderly waves in there. Okay. 

I scritched for 5 minutes everyday and preened twice a day while watching tv. Friday I Rinsed again. 7 days since last shampoo. So oily. So greasy. So heavy feeling. Gross. But I powered through.

This is not wet hair, this is how oily my hair is!

I made it through the weekend with a headband. Monday I had to go out, so I did a cute little up-do thing to keep the hair away from my face. I actually got 3 compliments on it! Although I think it was more do to the fact I NEVER do my hair than how great it looked from not shampooing. My husband said it just looked like I had product in my hair. 

Monday night I slept with it in that up-do. I woke up Tuesday and it hadn't moved. Pretty nice. It felt better too. My scalp felt really good, and the hair didn't feel greasy next to my face, even though I looked like Snape's long lost sister.

But Then....

I spent all day Tuesday going through old pictures to make the kids scrapbooks. All these pictures of me with long, shiny, sexy, chemical ridden hair. Well, maybe not that great, but definitely better than what was on my head at the moment. All I could think was, "What was so bad about washing my hair with commercial shampoo anyway? It looked so great!"

Side Note-

I'm 30, and I spent a day looking at pictures of myself in my early 20's thinking, "Damn, what I would give to look like that again!" We never seem to appreciate what we look like in the moment, do we? So next time you look in the mirror or see a picture of yourself, be proud of yourself. Take a minute to love yourself. This is the youngest you'll ever be again.

Anyway, those pictures broke me. I wanted to wash my hair, right now! I picked up some Burt's Bees shampoo at Target and washed washed washed all that effort down the drain. Except, my hair was more oily and disgusting AFTER I got done than when I'd started. 12 days of Water Only, plus a shampoo with Burt's got me this- (sorry for the poor pictures)

It was weird. My hair was still heavy and oily, but I now also had all these little fly-aways and frizz. The back of my head was especially heavy and oily feeling. It did not feel clean AT ALL. So I threw it in a ponytail and headed back to the store. I got a $2 bottle of Suave Daily Clarifying shampoo from Walgreen's and lathered that bad boy all throughout my hair. Here's what that got me-

There's that untidy wave I was talking about.

And my roots from that darn hair color that ruined everything!

So light! So clean! So wonderful! I purposefully didn't use any conditioner afterward because I wanted to see exactly what the shampoo alone did to my hair. It certainly left my hair drier than I'd like, but I think that's to be expected from a clarifying shampoo not followed by conditioner. 

I think this gives me a much better starting point to try the Water Only method again than what I had before. I had tons of build up from the other shampoos I was using, not to mention our hard water. I think if anyone is going to try Water Only, a clarifying wash to begin is ESSENTIAL! The plan now is to scritch and preen everyday and see how long I can make it before I Rinse again. I do plan to use ACV when I rinse to combat the hard water buildup until we get a filter for the shower head. That's not anywhere near the top of the shopping list now though. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Weekend Update

What are we up to lately?
Last weekend we took a trip to Beaver's Bend Oklahoma. We went tubing, swimming, canoeing, rode a train, saw deer, and generally had a really lovely time. Josh was in his element. Bug, not so much. He's not adventurous in that way.
Otherwise, Josh is looking for license plates from all 50 states. He's halfway there. Yesterday we drove through parking garages and lots and found nine new plates, including one from Ontario, Canada! He's built an elaborate cardboard box fort system, is writing a book based on his minecraft adventures with his friends, reading through every Geronimo Stilton book in the library, watching The Sarah Jane Smith Adventures, and is currently playing the piano. Maple Leaf Rag. It's tricky, but he's taking it slowly.
Bug spent all day yesterday mixing food colors together in water, saving his favorite combinations in zip lock bags and taping them to the window so light could shine through them. He was so excited to pick cantaloupe from the garden Monday! He was given snap circuits and transformers recently, and has been eagerly learning how to manipulate both. Last night he read us a story on his own, mostly from memory, but sounding out a few words he forgot. Currently he's playing a felt story from the library.
How is summer going for all of you?

Monday, June 8, 2015

My Kids are Awesome

Anyone who thinks raising a child without spanking, without chores, without rules, without school, without coercion, without manipulation CAN'T produce a person who is kind, thoughtful, self-disciplined, productive, inquisitive, motivated, and ethical, I wish you could meet my children.
I woke up to this on my bedside table. Josh, 10, got up, took care of the pets, made me coffee, and is now practicing piano. I'm so often overwhelmed by their Inherent goodness.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Interruptions are one of my triggers.
We're driving home from the store. I'm getting hangry. Bug asks me a question. I'm answering, and Josh interrupts me.
I fume, "I was just in the middle of answering Bug's question. I don't like being interrupted."
"Oh, sorry", said Josh.
In my head I'm running through what else to say. " So rude! " "Every time!" "Seriously?!" "How many times do I have to tell you?" I'm really huffing and puffing up there, stomping my foot and everything.
We turn a corner and Bug's book falls to the floor. "Ugh! I can't reach my book!" he grumbles.
"Where is it?" Josh kindly asks. Bug points and Josh gets it for him.
We've all seen the quote "We can't make kids behave better by making them feel worse." (Paraphrased) These 4 years working on parenting peacefully and I just now really understand that phrase.
Josh is a kind, considerate, helpful person. One interruption doesn't change that. My berating him for one interruption certainly doesn't set an example of kindness for him to follow.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Trust and Consequences

I was listening to TED Radio Hour- Trust and Consequences and this part of the interview hit home SO HARD.
Interview with Simon Sinek. He's speaking in reference to companies, but think of it in terms of family leadership.
"What's the connection between feeling safe and trust?
They're inextricably linked. The sense of feeling safe comes first, so when we feel safe trust will emerge, and this is what the foundations of leadership really are. The reason we call someone leader is because they choose to go first. They choose to extend trust first, even before, maybe, any signs have been offered that they should. It's the willingness to express empathy before anyone else.
And presumably that feeling changes behavior?
Absolutely. And when we assess that someone would do that and we see that they have that integrity, they would willingly sacrifice their interests for our lives, we cannot help ourselves. The natural human response is trust. And this is the point, which is, as human beings if those in, especially, leadership positions express empathy for our well being, we reward them with our trust and our loyalty and our love to see that their vision of the company [family] is advanced."
Our kids need this type of leadership.