Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Don't Want Any of Your Poo

I have to say, I'm always looking for ways to save a buck. While I'm by no means a tightwad, I tend to seek out ways to help my family save money here and there without feeling like I've put a complete lock on the purse strings. If you take a look at the blogs I follow, you'll notice a lot of them have to do with money saving, stretching your budget, etc. If you haven't checked out some of these blogs, please do so! (One caveat, may find yourself addicted to some of them!)

On a completely different (though, as you'll see soon, related) note, I have always had tremendous difficulty with my hair. I have extremely thick, yet rather fine, hair. It takes forever to dry, tangles like nobody's business, and falls out in amounts significant enough for me to sometimes think I could supply a bald man with a toupee. If I wash it every day, it gets extremely dry. If I wash it every other day, it's like GreaseFest 2010 on my scalp. If I use conditioner, the grease is worse. If I don't, it's so frizzy and tangled that I look like I might be related to Albert Einstein. It's too wavy to lay right if it dries naturally, yet not wavy enough to let it air dry and go curly.

I've heard more and more people singing the praises of going "no poo." These individuals seek alternative methods of cleaning their hair, allowing the hair's natural oils to help condition and nourish the hair. Supposedly, hair maintained in this manner turns out softer and more manageable. I've long been intrigued by this concept, but I've had major reservations. After doing quite a bit (read: way more than necessary) research online, I decided to give it a shot. Tonight was my first night of going the poo-free route.

Instead of using shampoo, I took one tablespoon of baking soda and mixed it with one tablespoon of water. I massaged the mixture into my scalp, giving it a good scrub, then rinsed it out thoroughly. I then took two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, mixed that with two cups of water, and poured that concoction on my hair. I worked it through, then rinsed VERY well. (On a side note, I've always associated the smell of vinegar with cleaning coffee pots, since that's about the only reason my grandma would ever break out the vinegar...took me right back to my childhood, and quite frankly made me a little apprehensive about pouring the vinegar on my hair, but I went for it). I decided to use apple cider vinegar, as suggested on a number of sites that recommend the "no poo" way of life. It's less strong than the white vinegar, so I figured it might rinse out a little better.

You should have seen the look on my husband's face when I told him what I planned to do with the baking soda and vinegar I brought home from the store tonight. After telling me he was sure my hair was going to smell disgusting, he sort of shrugged and said, "Go for it." (By the way, he insisted on smelling my hair after I got out of the shower, and he said it didn't smell bad...Momma D, FTW!)

After one treatment, I can already tell that my hair is softer and sleeker, and it's taking it a lot less time to air-dry than it usually does. I guess we'll see how it looks in a few days. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Not that I spent a fortune on shampoo (because, to be honest, we're cheapskates and tend to go the Suave route), but this is extremely inexpensive. If it works for my hair, all the better!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

School Days, School Days

Well, it appears that school is back in session for virtually everyone but Bean. Our local public and private schools have begun classes, as has the university where I work. As a homeschooling family, we have control over where and when we do our schooling, and we've opted not to "officially" get started until after Labor Day.

I say "officially," because Bean has already kicked into gear (of his own volition, no less!) with a little bit of work. Last year, we really struggled with getting him interested in social studies and science. We decided not to focus too strongly on those particular subjects just yet, believing phonics and math to warrant more of his attention in his early elementary years. Not that we didn't do any of the other subjects; we just focused more strongly on phonics and math. We ended up purchasing an inexpensive, fairly old-fashioned curriculum for social studies and science. Bean absolutely HATED them. We knew we were going to have to figure out something different for this year.

A few weeks ago, Bean discovered the Magic Tree House series of books. He's pretty much in love. He has always hated reading, so to discover a book series that he actually wants to read has been a humongous blessing. Each of these books focuses on something different (i.e., number one is dinosaurs, number two is knights, number three is mummies, etc). We've decided to base his social studies and science curriculum off of the Magic Tree House books this year. The books average 10 chapters, so the plan is to have him read a chapter a day during the week, supplement his reading with work sheets and activities that correlate to the book's subject, and make a two-week unit plan for social studies and science that go along with each book. For the first time, Bean is really excited about school. He knows our plan is to start the day after Labor Day, but he's already really getting going with his reading, and wanting to learn more about the topics. Of course, since he read the dinosaur-related book, he's now WAY into dinosaurs. I imagine once we get to book number four (PIRATES!) he'll drag out his old pirate ship and want to start watching Pirates of the Caribbean. :)

We've actually decided to change his phonics and math this year as well. We received some phonics curriculum from a friend that was made by the same publisher (yet a different overall curriculum line) that we think will appeal much more to Bean. It has more reading, and less busy work. As far as math goes, we've discovered an amazing website that has lesson plans for mathematics through fifth grade, including games, online work, and lots of time with manipulatives. Since Bean is kinesthetic to the nth degree, we think it will work well for him.

The kicker is, Bean is so excited to try all of his new schoolwork, that he's trying to decide if he wants to really get started before Labor Day. I'm being pretty laid back about it. I've told him if he decides he wants to go ahead and get moving, I'm all for it, but if he wants to wait until Labor Day, that's fine, too. He's still weighing it in his mind. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

New Beginnings

Looking back over the past several months, I've noticed that I had COMPLETELY let my attention to my former blog slide. It's never too late for a new beginning, right? :)

It's been so long since I've updated my blog that I decided to delete my old posts and start all over from scratch. Though I only know of one lone reader of mine (Hi, Sissy!)...and to be honest, even SHE'S probably given up on me by now...I decided to get a fresh start. What better way to do that than with some introductions, huh?

Three Men and a Lady

Don't be deceived...we look shockingly normal in this picture. Nothing could be further from the truth! We're four of the goofiest, strangest, oddest people you'll ever have the privilege to meet (and that includes the baby!)

The Hubs and Momma D

The Hubs is my wonderful husband, B. The Hubs and I have been married for over 9 years. He is my best friend in the whole world, and I'm privileged to get to spend my life with him. When he's not spending time with the kids or with me, he's either working (he's a manager at an entertainment store) or bonding with his beloved XBOX 360. He likes Oreos, orange Sunkist, Mexican restaurants, and movies.

Now on to Momma D (that's me!) I work in payroll for a small, midwestern private university, and I love every minute of it. When I'm not tending to my family, I enjoy bargain-hunting, reading, checking out various blogs, and cake decorating. I like pretzel-flavored crackers, Cherry Coke (though I'm trying to cut waaaaayyyy back on it), those same Mexican restaurants, and the Food Network.

Together, The Hubs and I homeschool our oldest son (not always an easy task when you both work full-time, but it's important to us, so we make it happen), entertaining young people who have graduated from our church's youth group, singing (both of us) and/or playing keyboard (me) in our church's praise band, and playing a variety of board/video games (i.e., SceneIt, Trivial Pursuit, and Guitar Hero...and any game in which I can hold my own against The Hubs!) :)

Bean & Dubs

Bean is our seven-year-old son, J. Energetic, goofy, and sensitive, Bean is definitely his father's child. He enjoys Star Wars, Legos, video games (thanks to The Hubs), Pop Tarts, and his beloved bunny rabbit, Whiskers.

Dubs is our one-year-old son, O. Brooding, moody, and stubborn, Dubs is definitely his mother's child. He enjoys Sesame Street, bouncy balls, making messes, virtually all carbohydrates, and long afternoon naps (and I'm not gonna lie...Momma likes those, too!)

The Bubs (as the kids are collectively referred to around the homestead) enjoy playing together, singing, dancing, and, yes...those same Mexican restaurants.

So, that's pretty much it in the way of introductions! Come along, take my hand, and walk with me through this crazy journey we call life!

This is probably my favorite picture of us, because it focuses on what's truly important in life...SHOES! (j/k!)