Friday, June 28, 2013

Going Green: No-Poo

Ok so I know what you are thinking.

"What is No-Poo?!?"

Or maybe you have heard of it and are thinking "EWWWW!! That is so gross!"

Before you run away in disgust, hear me out, because I thought the same thing. And to be honest, I woke up this morning sure that I was going to have to take another shower to try to clean my hair. However, I was pleasantly surprised!

Ok so to answer your first question, what is No-Poo. It's kind of what it sounds like, you stop using shampoo! Ok go ahead and get the EWWWW, grosses! out of the way. This method does NOT mean that you don't WASH your hair, you just don't use chemical filled shampoos. When you use shampoos that you purchase in the stores they strip your hair of oils. Wait, that's the point, right?!? Well, yes and no. You don't want your hair to be greasy and oily so you wash it but then these shampoos strip so much that your hair then fights back to produce the natural oils that you hair needs to be healthy which makes you overly oily! Really what you are doing is making your hair get oily faster by washing with these shampoos! 

Who knew?! No wonder I HAD to wash my hair every day!

Ok, but if I don't condition my hair it gets too tangled! Well, you can use a no-poo method for conditioner as well! 

Trust me, I was hesitant too. I thought it was disgusting at first but as I read more and more about it, it really started to make sense. So here I am, giving it a try!

It's been about 3 days since I used shampoo. I washed my hair one night and the next night decided to skip it. Of course when I got up that morning my hair felt incredibly greasy and gross. Up in a pony tail it went! Last night I made the washing and conditioning mixtures and set to work when I took my shower. I got up this morning expecting the worst, but so far, so good! There is a transition period for you hair to adjust to not being stripped of its natural oils so I expect for a while I will still be washing my hair every day but I know it is just in the healing process. I really think I am going. To be happy with this change!

So, if you want to give it a try, here is the mixtures I used.

Washing mixture:
1tbs baking soda
1cup cold water

Shaken up in a spray bottle. Just spray it around the roots of your hair and massage in. Rinse as usual.
Don't expect suds, I've heard that is one of the hardest parts for people to adjust too. You don't have to bet all soapy and sudsy to be getting clean!

Conditioning mixture:
1/2cup apple cider vinegar
1/2cup cold water

Shaken up in a spray bottle. Spray it to the ends of your hair and put your hair up in a clip while you finish your shower. Rinse as usual. 

I hope you will give this some consideration and if you try it let me know what you think! If you already use no-poo share your recipes and experiences!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

ADD Adventures

There is a growing trend of learning disabilities being diagnosed, I've seen first hand as I have gone through getting my masters degree in special education. When my boys were little, ok they still are little but when my oldest was younger, I always thought he was so smart and would just breeze through school. We enrolled him in the dual language program at his school so he wouldn't get bored and would be more challenged. He just finished second grade and this year proved to be a very trying one.

First we thought he may be slightly dyslexic or dysgraphic as he was prone to saying small words backwards when reading or writing many letters backwards. However, through the course of this year we have noticed a great improvement so that went out the window. Then it stared to click. Reading over all the notes in his conduct folder there was an overwhelming pattern.

"Not finishing work"

"Not completing tasks"

"Needs to pay better attention" 

Suddenly visions of all the inattentiveness flashed through my brain. It dawned on me. Logan likely has ADD, attention deficit disorder. This learning disability is more often referred to as ADHD where in the H stands for hyperactive, however I haven't observed much hyperactivity in my son so I intend to leave that out. Logan is very inattentive and had extreme difficulty in focusing. This is where his difficulty in reading comes into play. As he reads a sentence by the time he has finished the sentence he has forgotten what he has read. 

Disclaimer: I am no diagnostician and this is just from my observations and opinions of what I see in my son from research I've done. My son has NOT been formally diagnosed.

Through more research we decided to attempt to combat this in attentiveness through diet. Unfortunately there is a lot of conflicting information in this area, however there is a strong consensus that eliminating artificial colors and flavors and maintaining a more organic diet is helpful. This website also has some other information

While we haven't determined if this will work we decided that it wouldn't hurt us to eat healthier and more organic. This journey has been an expensive one. We have been spending a lot of money and more frequently shopping for food. Once we get a better hold on this we hope that we will be spending less money. 

I think Logan has taken to it really well. Fortunately we have been an overall healthy family but this has limited a lot of our snack and breakfast foods. I have adopted a new "have a piece of fruit" philosophy when the boys are "still hungry" or want a different snack that isn't as healthy. They love fruit so it's working pretty well.

What an amazing feeling today, after going shopping at a farmers market, organizing the fridge and seeing almost everything fresh and organic. I know that while we started this adventure to help with the possibility of ADD in Logan it is an amazing step in transforming the health of our entire family.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Can I get a "woot woot!" ?!?

Let us just go ahead and make it official... ORC day... Wait for it... 2!

Go ahead...


Granted, my husband was home and taking care of bed time, which causes most of my stress yelling but they still count! Now I am bound and determined to make it through longer. This should be an interesting task as tomorrow is the last day of school and then it will be all day, everyday, with all four boys. On the plus side, I will be home and should be able to get my house clean.

Now I have two challenges to get through. 

1. Keeping up with the Orange Rhino Challenge and no yelling
2. Cleaning and organizing the entire house while implementing a plan to keep it clean when I am working

Yes, working... I haven't officially been offered a job yet but I have had two interviews and will likely be a full time working mom come next fall. Two kids in school and two in daycare. Hopefully no one being home will make it a little easier to keep things clean but it also means I won't be home as much to actually do much cleaning. I am nervous but I am sure we can figure it all out, it will just take time and all of us working together. 

But for now, we focus on the important things... No yelling... Two days.... Here we go for number 3!!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Staying positive

Yes, I'm slacking. No excuses this time, I just have been lazy. 

Sad to report that I'm still not back on the rhino wagon. Although, I know that I have still be yelling less than I was before. So that's a plus! I still need to get back on the NO yelling wagon though. Tomorrow will be the day. I'm sure of it. I can do it. 

I will do it!

On another positive note... The healthy eating is going well. It's been tough and we aren't completely artificial crap free, but getting there. For Logan especially. Really hoping that by the end of summer we will have a completely revamped fridge and pantry with all natural and organic foods. It's hard because so many foods you buy have this outrageous list of ingredients it takes forever to look and see what is ok and what isn't. My goal this summer is to try to start making some more things from scratch but if I am working full time next school year it is really going to be hard to do. Even if it doesn't help with the in attentiveness issue in Logan it is better for all of us in the long run to eat healthier and more organic foods. More expensive.... But better. 

I think the hardest part is parties and school events. We went to a party the other day and of course there is cake and candy and all these things Logan can't/shouldn't have and since we are just starting on this adventure I let him have little. But it's not even just the sweets, it is food in general. There was hot dogs so just that right there we know likely has artificial ingredients in it and things he probably shouldn't be having in the white bread buns. Then there is the ketchup and the relish that has stuff he shouldn't have as well. Luckily he is a really amazing eater and after the hot dog when he was still hungry he at a ton of plain lettuce and tomatoes (that were meant as garnish for hamburgers) until he was full. I think if it was any of my kids that we HAD to do this with, I'm glad it was Logan. He loves fresh fruits and vegetables and all that stuff so it's not a crazy hard transition for the most part.