I’m a ‘No-Poo’ failure

My skin is sensitive…. scratch that, my skin laughs in the face of ‘sensitive‘ products and breaks into dancing rashes.  Having dealt with this glorious aspect of myself for my entire life, I am normally pretty good at negotiating sanitary items that will gel with my skin’s moods…. except when they don’t, or when my skin decides that something that usually agrees with it doesn’t anymore… just to toy with me.  Does anyone else have skin that hates them?

After a recent rash (used in every form of the word) of skin distaste, I decided in my wisdom to trash everything I had and start over.  My usual culprits hit the trash – even the ones I had exonerated of any wrong doing.  It didn’t matter, this was war, a war that I was (am?) determined to win after 30 some odd years.  Laundry soap?  Gone! Body wash? Gone!  Moisturizer?  Gone!  Shampoo and conditioner?  Gone!!  At that last spasm of joyful trashing, I paused…. shampoo and conditioner.  I love them.  Truly, I do.  My husband mocks my attachment to thick, goopy conditioner that never helps my dry frizzy hair anyway, but I love it.  What would I use in place of this staple?  Well, as luck would have it, I recently ran across several well-written blog posts (here, here and here) that wax eloquently about the benefits of ‘no-poo.’  Love Pinterest… seriously, I LOVE that site.  It seemed simple enough.

No poo pic 1 - with handy dandy black out squares for brand.

No poo pic 1 – with handy dandy black out squares for brand.

For the shampoo:

1 tbsp (more or less depending on hair consistency and grease level) of baking soda.  This powdery goodness is placed in your hand with a touch of water added – enough to make a paste, then the entire mixture is placed on your head and worked through your roots.  The actual method here varied depending on source, one person diluted the baking soda in half a cup of water then poured on, one used the powder dry and added it to wet hair – etc, etc.  The point was clear.  Baking soda – place on head, scrub in with nails.  Ok, got it.

For the Conditioner:

Like the baking soda, the actual amount used here varied, but they all ran along the same theme:  Round about 1 tbsp of good Apple Cider Vinegar  (also called ACV)- some sources mark Raw, unfiltered ACV (2tbsp, 1/2 cup… etc, etc…) diluted with water then poured over the head with a strong focus on the tips.  While the incredibly strong smell of ACV is supposed to dissipate with a good, long water rinse – a few drops of your favorite essential oil can be added to help that along.

My results……..

It is noted in every single place I looked that there is a ‘transition’ period, a time when your hair will basically freak out and punish you for trying to strip it of the shampoo manufacturer’s attention.  That period is supposed to last anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 weeks, even longer for the unlucky few.  After that…well…. the amazement that was expressed by practically every blog or post could only be likened to worship, or a cult following.  I was intrigued, enough so that I took the bait and dipped my hair into the ‘no-poo’ world.

My results – were not so good.  I will be 100% honest here, my failure is most likely – well actually, it probably is completely my fault.  I gave it a full try for 2 and 1/2 weeks…. and I caved.  I lost it.  I couldn’t stand the feel of my hair, the smell of the ACV – which prior to this experiment had been a salad staple.  Now…. umm…. no.  Just no.  I know there will be advocates of the method that while regale me with  how I failed at this, what I did wrolng – and I welcome it.  I truly do.  I know that somewhere, somehow, I did this wrong.  It is the only conclusion when I think about the thousands who tout this method.  I fully intend, hopefully in the near future, to dip my hair into the ‘no-poo’ waters again.  Maybe that future time will prove different, maybe I will be able to outlast my hair’s transition period without resorting to violence… I don’t know.  My hair will see – and I will tell you if, and when, it does.

On another different, but so related note, My skin DID heal quite well after I ditched the shampoo.  A point in favor of the method and a strong indicator that I will return the baking soda to my roots.

In the meantime, I have found another shampoo and conditioner – a pairing that I will write about tomorrow in another post.  Stay tuned.

If you HAVE had success at the ‘no-poo’ method, please share in the comments. If you haven’t, share too!  I want to hear it all, and I am most especially interested in how I did it wrong…. because I am pretty sure I did.



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I felt her grow today.

I know my children are growing. I see the clothes they have grown out of. I count the new words. I laugh at the new jokes and cheer the new abilities.  We’ve taken first steps into new territories, including preschool, a night away, big girls beds and the very first eye-roll.

While each and everyone of those moments is precious to me (yes, even the eye-roll) I have pictures to record most of it – to jostle my memory and remind me of the smallness that is no longer.  Yet today I found a different sort of reminder, one that made me cry silent tears of loss even as I marveled.  It is such a small thing really – a nothing that became a something in this mother’s heart.  At almost 4, I don’t pick up my eldest as much as I once did, maybe that is why I didn’t notice.  She fell asleep on the couch so I picked her up to carry her to bed – and I had to move her legs to the side of me so I could carry her.  A moment, just a motion – but it felt like the world.  She is growing up, I could feel it in my arms and I saw the proof in how I had to carry her.

The double punch: less than an hour before, her Grandfather told me to cherish and hold these moments, as they would be over too soon.

I know.

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4 years in and I still know nothing.

4 years into this parenting journey and I only know some things for sure:

  • It gets easier and harder.
  • The guilt of having a second one never really goes away, though the joy increases everyday.
  • Trying to put labels on little people is pointless, and even damaging.  The moment I think I have one of them figured out, she changes her mind.
  • My mom actually was right on some things.
  • My mom was also wrong on some things.
  • Gentle Parenting is WAY harder than it looks.
  • Caillou is very annoying…..

A mild attempt at humor, but true.  My girls surprise me everyday and delight me even as they grate on me.  I am more tired than I ever thought was possible and more alive than I’ve ever felt.

They are the way my day begins and the way my day ends.  They are the nighttime smiles and soft sighs, the happy tears and the gritted teeth.  They, in so many ways, ARE me – and yet they are so individually themselves, so unique and oh so different.  They are my husband’s boisterous laugh and his contented grin, the piggy back riders, the messy hands and the crayons on the wall.  They are the stubborn voices that echo through a condo that can barely hold them and the infectious giggles that bounce along my heart.  They have made me, even as they sometime break me – and I know this journey has just barely begun.  December, at Knotts 190

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Wow…. I think I lost this for awhile.

Amelie, November 8th, 2014 - cowgirl boots and a smile.

Amelie, November 8th, 2014 – cowgirl boots and a smile.

Amelie – November 2014. Hat and a smile! =)


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Madeline on October 23rd, 2014. A Sophia night gown should be worn ALL the time, don’t you think?


Madeline Halloween 2014

Madeline’s Halloween costume – Rapunzel! We talked her out of being Elsa, but it was a near thing. She looked beautiful in her flower crown and had a great time!


Anthony and I on Halloween - 2014

Anthony wore his Bender hat – of course. I donned a lab coat and a smile. 2014

Seems that I forgot I had a blog for the family. >.< Two years later and I find it again, which means I need to update and try to recall what this thing was really for in the first place – or rather, WHO it was for. Most follow our lives on Facebook, yet there are those that despise that Social Platform, and rightly so. I feel some days that I should jump ship and find a rescue boat off the Media giant, yet I keep plugging along, adding my own little algorithms to the massive information vortex that is Facebook.

Ah well. On to life – ours that is. The Gilbert’s are doing well.  Amelie turns 2 years old in February and Madeline will be 4; and what a precocious 4 that is! She started Preschool in November, a gift enabled by the generosity of her Grandparents. That twice weekly adventure has resulted in a brighter spark in her personality, something that already shone like a star is now blazing with friendliness. I may be partial, but the girl is brilliant – truly. She loves school, hasn’t cried once at drop off and tells me every school day about her friends. I feel so happy for her, even as my mothers heart is a bit shadowed at the truth of her growing.

Amelie is growing as well, leaps and bounds and light years a day it seems. Full sentences and an attitude to match. Charming, funny and way too sweet, she will barrel over any obstacle and loves a challenge almost as much as her father does. She makes me smile daily, laugh often and thank everything that ever was that she is mine.

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Why Twilight Sucks: A Comprehensive Analysis By A Writer Who Actually Read It

You don’t fuck with folklore…… Perfect line. Love

is this thing on?

Based on everything I’d heard about Twilight, including a basic synopsis sprinkled with some finer details (like the sparkling), I could only assume that Stephanie Meyer was yet another author who managed to squeeze out a literary turd and somehow convince a publisher that it was solid gold. Still, I had never read the book(s), only skimmed them and read a paragraph here and there, so it didn’t seem fair to criticize this alleged turd without sifting through it.

I was right. It’s a piece of shit. And here’s why.

You Don’t Fuck With Folklore: Granted, there are countless variations when it comes to vampire myth, from their powers to their weaknesses…but there are some things that shouldn’t be changed, because they completely detract from the myth itself. Vampires are, across the board, creatures of the night. Now Miss Meyer tells her faithful readers, ‘Nope! They can, like, totally come…

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Teeth, words and a littel sister.

It seems that the days are going by too quickly.  Amelie is already 3 months old and growing by the day.  She is well over the 100% mark for length on the growth charts, both the CDC and the WHO.  She is cooing, laughing, interacting and can sit with assistance.  When she “enjoys” tummy time, she can lift her head with good control and is already turning over.  I think the last is due mainly to frustration because she hates tummy time, but what ever works – right?

Madeline has outpaced my ability to keep up with her.  Everyday her language skills grow and her comprehension is astounding.  She says please and thank you, though is sounds like “pees” and “tank you.” It’s adorable.  She is adorable. 

Let me see if I can remember the current round of words:  Shower, bath, brush, paste, diapee (diaper), Amie, Ozzy, Bella, Bubs, we have moved on to Mommy from mama, night night, bed, nap, food, hummus, eggs, muck (milk,) outside, car, store, walk, door, fan, pillow, blanket – and many others I cannot recall at the moment.  It’s amazing, and humbling to watch her learn.  This little person, this little soul – is ours.  She gets to spend time with us, we have the privaledge of raising her and her sister.  How awesome, and terryifiing is that?

The only downside to this joy is a medical issue that has cropped up in her little life.  She has been having night wakings and fussiness for about the last month or so.  A couple of weeks ago I noticed that she was grabbing her ears while she screamed in the night.  I feared an ear infection so we went to the Peditrian later that day – the good news: no ear infection.  The bad news:  Possible cavity.  Ok, so we made an appointment with a Pediatric Dentist right away, a Dr. Shuffer.   His office is tailored to children with a friendly staff, a play area and easy going manner.  The Dentist himself was a delight, friendly and obviously comfortable with toddlers.  After we explained the symptoms and what her Pediatrician said, Dr. Shuffer had Madeline sit on Anthony’s lap, facing him, then leaned her back so that her head rested on Anthony’s knees with Dr. Shuffer directly behind her head.  This offered her comfort, kept her out of the dental chair, and let him take a look in her mouth in an easy position.  While he was positioning her he told us that he was expecting to see a canker sore or a new pair of molars coming in. 

Well, he took one look at her mouth and said “Oh, hello….”  He then looked up at me and asked how the pregnancy went.  Sick?  Pre-term labor?  Bed rest?  Say, about the 7th month?  I was floored, because that described my experience exactly.  It turns out that while Madeline has NO decay in her mouth what so ever, she does suffer from malformed molars, a situation that arises during development due to the mothers sickness.  This malformation has created molars that are half the normal size with the roots and nerves on the outside, constantly exposed.  No wonder the poor thing was crying.  Our treatment options included root canals and capping – or pulling the teeth. 

Monday, May 20th, she has an appointment to have the teeth removed – at 6am.  We are having her put under Anesthesia.  The thought scares me, but the idea of her going through that while awake and terrified, scares me even more. 

Hopefully, when this is all said and done, our angel will feel better. 

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Her language skills are going through the roof!! Everyday it is something new. This week alone I have heard: slide, swing, drink, food, eat, home, soon, socks, shoes, Ame, juice….alphabet. She is also learning saud alphabet, recognizing letters. It is crazy, I can barely keep up!

She is doing well with her sister, though they are having thei moments. Today Madeline told me to put her sister in the car seat, the cradle, the dresser and the trash. It’s been a hard day.

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New words…

Madeline is popping out with new words everyday, words that I mean to write down…. Yet somehow never do. I’d I record them here, in a quick blog post on the go- maybe I can keep track of these precious memories.

Off the top my head, Maddie’s language skills include the words: no, down, up, shoes, sheep, woah dude, watch, dog, guitar ( said netar) drum ( said scrum), certin letters, mama, dada, gram gram, granpa, Kalene, ( said Alene) wewe for swing, ark fr park, ball, baby, phone… I am certain there are a few others, but I cannot recall. I did mess up a bit in the education department though. For a while now every time she saw herself in the mirror or in a picture, I would say, that’s you, that’sMadeline! Well, mom is here right now. They were looking at pictures and when they saw one of Mads, she asked who that was to which Mads responded, YOU! Oops….

Amelie will be one month old on Wednesday, and she is growing by leaps and bounds. She is adorable, a nursing champ and a mover! Loves to wiggle and squirm. Madeline seems to lie her, but we are not 100% sure. She getting jealous in turns and sweet in turns. Time will tell.

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Amelie Quinn Gilbert

Amelie Quinn Gilbert

From our newborn photo shoot, taken by Christine Phillips, at 12 days old.

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