Give and then give some more

I have this nasty habit of making piles.  If you couldn’t tell by my post on unfinished projects, things get piled up and forgotten.  Most notably, there is a large pile at the top of the stairs.  It consists of a large box (i don’t know, maybe 3.5 feet by 2 feet by 2.5 feet?) filled with another box, topped with a box filled with several (a few dozen) folded boxes.  It’s a mountain of cardboard.  Adjacent to this, there is a broken suitcase, broken drying rack, a couple boxes of and a laundry hamper full of outgrown clothes, and bags of unwanted toys, etc.  You get the point, lots of things for discard and donation.

I’ve been meaning to sort it all.  Take things to the dump (along with the huge screen tv that broke and now we’re without one in the living room — which hasn’t been too terrible), organize things for donation, and generally clear up the space to declutter our house.  Like all things in life, it’s so easy to put it off than to get the motivation to start.

I got an email reminder the other day, “Big Brothers Big Sisters will be in your area!”  Honestly, there is always someone picking up donations in the area.  Between them, UCP, Kidney people, random strangers, I’m pretty sure if I just leave something outside, it’ll get picked up (We’ve had people wander into our garage and steal shoes. TWICE. We even caught them on camera once.  Weirdos, it was a group of 4? boys stealing womens footwear.).  So after seeing the email, I went ahead and scheduled a pickup for Wednesday morning.

I was hoping this would be the fire under my seat that would motivate me into cleaning that area up — or at least sort between what needs to be donated and what needs to be dumped.  I printed up a list of acceptable donations to get me started.

That’s about as much progress as I had done for the first 2 days.  Finally, after realizing I probably wouldn’t have the time to focus, I pushed myself to just do it.  I cleaned the toys out of the middle of the living room (I think this is why I have no motivation, there are so many steps to do before actually doing anything, I’m tired before I even start), then spread out the piles.  I went through all the clothes, sorting it by size and type, emptying pockets and neatly packing them away.

Ella was amazed at how big daddy’s clothes was.  I was amazed too, not by the size, but by the quantity!  In the end, he had 2 boxes of pants and 1 box of shirts.  I would say maybe over 20 pairs of jeans and khakis, and the same or more of button down shirts and dri-fit polo shirts.  These were all clothes that we pulled out of his closet from when he went down from a size 38 to a 34 and from XL to L.  Just the one size was very significant.  We’re very proud of him.

I went through my clothes, packed up all the maternity clothes, pulled out old handbags that I don’t plan on using ever again, organized the girl clothes, and all the toys that we planned to give away.  In the end, there were 6 boxes and 3 bags.  I’m sure if I make a pass through all the rooms, I can round up some more, but after telling my in-laws about the donation pick-up, they too wanted to give.  I only requested a medium pickup, so I have to limit myself to what I accomplished in one day.

I’m sure as the kids get bigger, they’ll outgrow a lot more toys and clothes.  I would appreciate any ideas on how to set these items aside for donation without having “piles” accumulate in the house!

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Hair update: 10-14 days

At the time this picture was taken, it was 10 days since I shampoo’d.
At this point, my itching is gone, my scalp doesn’t feel oily, and my hair is naturally straighter and I don’t have to spend 15 minutes with a flat iron getting all the weird flips and kinks out!

Also, at this time, Ryan said my hair doesn’t smell clean.  I mean really, just because it doesn’t smell like soap doesn’t mean it’s not clean.  Alternatively, just because it smells “clean”, doesn’t mean that it is (clean).  So I cave, we go to Whole Paycheck and I pick up a bottle of Aubrey’s natural shampoo.

Ugh!  After one wash, my hair felt dry and stripped.  By the next morning, my scalp was itchy and flakey again.  Needless to say, my hair was unmanageable and that day was a pony tail day.  I decided maybe I should go back to water rinsing, but we ended up going to a party the next day where there was a pig cooking on an open fire.  My hair, clothes, and everything I had with me is saturated with an ash-scent.  So another round of shampoo.  Again, my hair felt dry (almost crunchy!) and I could not stop itching.

Don’t mind the photo, I’m very unhappy with the current state of my hair.


I’m so bummed.  My hair looked and felt great, and with just a couple of shampoo washes it has gone monster freak show.  Hopefully, in the next few days of non-poo I can get back to pretty hair.

No poo

No sham-poo, that is. I may get a little TMI here, you’ve been warned. Don’t judge (or do, I don’t really care).

When I was pregnant with my first, I had beautiful, shiny hair. It was awesome.

A few months postpartum, when the hair loss started, my scalp turned itchy, dry, and flaky. I figured it was hormonal, and I just needed time to adjust. It never quite returned to “normal”, but it was manageable (and I tried not to wear dark tops). At my second pregnancy, I was excited for the return of gorgeous hair. I waited and waited, my scalp got more and more itchy.
There were days I would tug on my hair just to feel the relief of the constant crawling-feeling. Some days, I even worried that I had head lice! Following the birth of my second, my scalp just got redonk. Large patches of my scalp would flake off. AND, because the patches were so large they had holes where my hair grew, and would get stuck on the roots. Even the skin around my ears and the nape of my neck were peeling off. I basically looked like I was molting. GROSS.

I tried to do deep massaging washes every few days and between washes flip my dry head upside-down to shake out all the flakes. I’m already sensitive about my ears, but they were tingling like crazy and I was going insane from the itches you can’t reach. I know you’re not supposed to put anything in your ears, but in my sleep, I’d subconsciously claw at them. This would make my ears oily and waxy, and when they would dry out, it’d flake as much as the dandruff and the vicious itchy-cycle would start again.

Late last night, I was up itching, and wondered if there was a correlation between the dry scalp and itchy ears. I’ve read that excessive dandruff and itching could be fungi or bacteria, or maybe psoriasis/eczema, but they all required help from a dermatologist. But when there were results linking both scalp and ears AND showed home remedy, why not give it a try before finding a pro, expensive co-pays, and harsh Rx chemicals?

The results were overwhelming. I stumbled upon a whole “No ‘poo Movement”. There was even a subReddit for it. Many websites suggested washing with a baking soda paste and apple cider vinegar rinse. Hells no. Having a second floor shower, I am hesitant to put anything down the drain. So that wasn’t an option. The result that resonated with me most suggested to not use anything but water. The comments were encouraging and so, I decided I’m going to try a month of no shampoo. All the websites say most people give up within a week, but you will really need to give your hair time to adjust to see results. Hopefully, this will not only address my dry, itchy scalp, but my ear issue as well.

Here’s my picture today (2 days no shampoo):

To help track progress, I just added a reminder for August 14th. Mainly because I may go through this whole experience and never remember to post an update. We’ll see if I still have a smile on my face or if I’m dying to soap up my hair (or caved by then).

Aloooooooooha!

After reading the title, I hope you mentally responded back, “Alooooooooooha!”  If not, go read it again.  Kidding.  It just seemed appropriate that I opened with that greeting, as I am from Hawaii.

I’m not Hawaiian and I don’t claim to know anything (about anything, really).  I don’t intend to be culturally insensitive, but Hawaii is the only place where this issue comes up.  If you reside in California, that makes you a Californian.  This doesn’t equally translate here.   Just because the Hawaiians lived without electricity and leisure activities included surfing and hula, doesn’t mean the same goes for residents of Hawaii.

I recently attended a national conference in Orlando, FL.  Talk about one of the farthest places from home!  Anyway, although people no longer inquire if we have highways, atms, and Internet, there is still a misconception that we live in perpetual paradise.

Thankfully, no one asked how my grass shack weathers in hurricanes, but they did think I lived a stress-free life with gorgeous beach sunsets.  News flash!  You don’t need to instagram how beautiful the sunset is, this sort of thing happens every day.  Don’t believe me? Take a science class.  The sunset in Hawaii is as stunning as from an Ikea parking lot in San Diego as is a sunset over World Showcase Lagoon at EPCOT in Orlando.  It’s is all about perspective. I’m also betting you are tying your Hawaii sunset to a memory, like your honeymoon, family reunion, first trip home after going away for school, what have you, and so you have all sorts of emotions blurring enhancing your mental snapshot.

Ahh yes, but there are those handful of residents that go around toting, “Lucky We Live Hawaii”.  Optimists.  It is a fact that my days are filled with sunshine and rainbows, I’m surrounded by a big blue ocean, and have access to delicious tropical fruits… but mostly in the most literal sense.  Outside it is a sunny, 84 degrees with a nice breeze, but I’m in AC drafting this post on my lunch break.  Of course I’m surrounded by the ocean, I live on an island in the Pacific.  If you asked me the last time I stepped foot on a beach? I would probably tell you, “Sometime last  summer?” (is IS summer), and yes, that is a question.  As for the tropical fruits.  They are called tropical fruits because they are best suited to grow in the tropics.  It’s not like we have a papaya for breakfast everyday and settle down to a pina colada served in a pineapple every afternoon.

Living in Hawaii is great, don’t get me wrong.  It’s a mish-mash of cultures and people, and a unique place to live and raise a family.  It’s a great place to vacation, too.  I’ll admit, I love a long weekend at the Grand Wailea on Maui*.

Those are my thoughts on the matter.  If you got through the post without too much confusion, Mahalo!  (<– Ok, that wasn’t necessary, but you know I had to!)

*I did not receive any goods or services for making this statement.  If you have ever had the pleasure of staying there, you would likely agree.  Also, if you have ever stayed there, you know that if you’re dishing out that kind of money to stay there, you had better love it.