Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dirty Little Secret

So, I'm not posting an announcement to Facebook because... well... I'm still in the experimental stage, but I'm still going to go for it and write about my latest endeavors.  First, I started tracking my calories and exercise on MyFitnessPal again. Wee!  It's amazing how many calories I can pack in when I'm paying attention... and scary to imagine how many I was consuming when I wasn't paying attention!  And I do this simply because I don't want to go out and buy new clothes.  I've plenty of clothing with lots of life left in them.  If my clothes are too tight, it's time to buckle down.

The other endeavor is a bit more, ahem... crunchy.  A few of my friends know that I haven't used soap on my face in half a decade.  That sounds better than saying,"I haven't washed my face since 2008." But that's ultimately what it boils down to.  I quit using soap and moisturizer after my first son was born. Instead, I switched to the Oil Cleansing Method (for more information, Google that phrase... there's really no need for me to explain it here when others have documented it so well elsewhere on the internet). I love it, and it has been so nice to not have to scrub my face off every night just to slather cream onto it in order to smile comfortably. I actually only "wash" my face with oil about once a month any more. Other than that it's just a wash cloth and warm water.  Olive oil to moisturize. Cheap and easy!

Starting the OCM was a response to learning how so many chemicals contained within conventional skincare products could really mess up a person's endocrine system (If you don't know how much control your endocrine system plays at regulating so many of your body's functions... I have one suggestion. Google). At about that same time, I also became aware of the same downside to haircare products (cough, cough--Google).  I need not elaborate.  So I decided to take responsibility for my health and quit shampoo.  I looked up how to do so, and followed the many variations of Baking Soda to wash, diluted Apple Cider Vinegar to rinse... but after two weeks, I wasn't getting into the groove.  I was just wearing a hat every day and trying not to make eye contact with people. When I caved and went to Regis for a haircut, the best part was getting my hair washed.  The cut was actually one of the worst cuts I'd gotten for a long time... but the sudsy, warm, scented bubbles took me to another level of existence.  I missed them and vowed I'd never try to quit shampoo again!

But now, 5 years later, I suddenly got the crazy urge to try it again.  Maybe it's because my hair is waaaaaay shorter, and I feel like I can get away with the, "why yes, that is a full bottle of pomade in my hair" look while my scalp adjusts to not needing to replenish its natural oils so quickly.

So, it's been 5 days.  I've taken as many showers, but only once have I washed my hair.  That was Sunday.  I'll share one picture (from Wednesday).

I don't stink yet (any more than I normally do... you know... I quit deodorant almost 20 years ago). People haven't treated me like a freak (well... any more than they normally do). If it works, my hair should be shinier and softer, less frizzy, less prone to looking like an oil spill on day two after a shower, and my endocrine system will truly be better off for it... why NOT give it another go?  I'll let anyone who asks know how it's going.  Other than that the topic is closed.  You (whoever you are) know my biggest, newest "dirty" little secret.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Thank God for Drano and Long Weekends!

When it comes to having fun, we like to say "We're spontaneous..." Which is really a euphemism for "We're not planners."  When we actually make plans, I am proud of myself for scheduling it in.  But it seems that every time we PLAN on a fun thing to do things change anyway.  So a weekend criss-crossing SC to GA and up to NC (which might not seem like much fun with small children, but the friends on either end are WORTH the drive) turned into a weekend much closer to Columbia, SC.  Actually so far we've not really left the city.

Except on Friday morning to pay almost $4,000 in truck repairs.  We unloaded that in Lexington, SC.  And though it's not "fun" to pay for truck repairs, it hurts a little less knowing that we've not paid one cent in interest on financing said truck. And trucks need repairs (big repairs sometimes) if you want to have a trustworthy vehicle, and if you want to sell it someday soon to a family that trusts us to sell them a vehicle into which they will carefully strap their sweet babies.

We also left the city this morning to go chasing a snow storm. I know, many people all over the world are sick of seeing snow, but for these transplanted northerners, it had been too long.  Moving from Anchorage Alaska, where you're buried in snow from Halloween until Easter to Sanford, North Carolina to Columbia, SC?  We didn't see a snowflake from January 2011 until TODAY.  The Weather Channel iPad app helped me navigate while Troy drove toward the place closest to us that might still be snowing by the time we got all ready.  That place was Camden, SC, about 25 miles from our current address. We missed seeing the white showers swirling down, but saw enough snow on the ground to pull off the highway, pile out of the car and have a mini-snowball fight. And by mini, I mean the snowballs were the size of a splotch of ketchup that has dripped off a fry. 

Other outings this weekend (so far):

1) A production of Frog and Toad All Year, at the Columbia Children's Theatre. Fantastic timing, since we just finished doing a three-week unit on Frogs and Toads, including the Arnold Lobel books on which this play is based. 

2) Walmart.  Mainly to buy Drano.  Of course a family can hardly leave Walmart with only one item, so we got some other necessities, but really we needed Drano the most.  To keep the details from boring you, I'll just say that it worked after two days of trying to AVOID using it.  That's why people still buy it, and that's why it keeps getting made.  

THANK GOD for Drano!
3) Our neighbor's front yard.  It ended up being the perfect place for Will to have a REAL snowball fight (his first ever) while the weather took a turn for the worse (or better?) by snowing/sleeting/hailing a bit.  I stayed inside for that one, so I could cook some "Chicken Soup with Rice"  since it's a children's literature kind of day, and a cold one at that! (for those who, not unlike me a few short months ago, don't get the reference, that was my nod to Maurice Sendak's book of the same name). 

Playing a "Right Start Math" card game (very much like "Go Fish") for FUN!

Cold Day=Hot Cocoa!

He stopped drinking this when the marshmallows were gone.

Front row seats at the Columbia Children's Theatre

Which one is Frog, and which one is Toad?  We've had this discussion before.

The kids got the actors' autographs after the show.

We bought a snack of steamed rice at the only restaurant
left open at the Richland Mall food court.
The leftovers were my inspiration for Chicken Soup with Rice for dinner.

Me and my sweet smiley boys!

This is pre-snowball fight (and before I insisted on a waterproof coat).

Chicken Soup with Rice!

Monday, February 11, 2013

There's a Place for Long Status Updates. It's Called a Blog.

So, there are times when a Facebook status update just won't cut it.  There have been a LOT of those in the last few months, but moving and settling, home schooling, and sickness, and trying to make new habits stick (get my face out of the computer screen and deeper into the Bible) make it so finding words to describe life would take too much work. Then to try to type them out... the thought is overwhelming.  Sometimes I can almost taste the desire to write something and put it out there, but I want it to be "good."  And I know that there are the perfect words, but wringing them out of my frazzled brain at the end of a very full day is daunting. So, I vow to not be too critical of myself, not to expect too much of myself, and just write it (even though there may be more engrossing prose elsewhere).   And when words are slow in coming, I'll just post some of my favorite pictures of my favorite memories and people.

Because long Facebook status updates with too many details are one of my pet peeves. But I tend to write more than my share of them...

This is the beauty on the inside. 

This is the plain, unassuming outside.  You CAN'T judge a book by it's cover.

Thanks to the McP and Lewis girls, this week has been a SWEET one.


Will's favorite game at Great Wolf Lodge's "Northern Lights Arcade." He beat that computer over and over, and earned a record of 420 tickets!