Well, I've taken a blogging hiatus, but I'm back and sharing a recipe for homemade detangling shampoo! Yay!
Since Roo's hair is getting longer, I've discovered the need for detangler. In a big way. So I found a recipe for a homemade herbal leave-in detangler because she had developed a fear of baths, thanks to one eventful evening in the tub with Monkey. Baths became quite an ordeal, hair washing was torture. The detangler is amazing- it uses marshmallow root- and you can find the original recipe at Frugallysustainable.com.
But eventually, one does need to actually WASH the hair. So I searched for a detangling shampoo recipe, but came up emptyhanded. Well, fine then, I invented my own!
Essentially, I combined a variety of recipes for Castile soap shampoo with the recipe for detangler. Here it is!
5 c filtered water
1/2 c marshmallow root
1/4 c herbs of your choice
1 T baking soda
1/3 c Castile soap
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/8-1/4 tsp grapeseed oil
10 drops essential oil of your choice (optional)
Mmmkay. First of all, I know some of you are scratching your heads, wondering where to buy marshmallow root and xanthan gum. I found marshmallow at the local health food store where they sell herbs in bulk. But if you can't find it locally, it seems the fave online herb stores are mountainroseherbs.com and bulkherbstore.com.
The xanthan gum can be found at any grocery in the baking section, and it comes in handy little packets for around 50 cents.
Secondly: the herbs... I'll leave this up to your preferences, but since marshmallow does have a distinct (but not necessarily offensive) odor, you might want to go with something fragrant, like lavender or rose. I happened to have Snooze Tincture blend on hand, which contains lemon balm, chamomile, Passion flower, oatstraw, catnip, and hops and I thought that seems like a healthy blend for hair. I could be way off, but whatevs... Maybe I'll make another batch of lavender/rose for myself.
I used the baby mild (unscented) Dr Bronner's Castile soap (since it is for the BABY), but there are many different fragrances available.
SO. Begin by making your infusion. Bring the water and herbs + marshmallow root to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to 4 cups (around 30 mins). The marshmallow will absorb the water like a sponge. Remove from heat. Strain through a sieve into a large measuring cup. Squeeeeeeze the herbs to extract as much of the marshmallow goodness as you can. See what I meant about the distinctive smell?
Next, add the baking soda. Then whisk in the xanthan gum, a 1/4 teaspoon at a time, until all the clumps have disappeared. Let the mixture cool a little and gently whisk in the Castile soap and grapeseed oil. I used grapeseed oil because it is very light and I didn't want the shampoo to be too heavy or greasy, or leave a coating on the hair.
After it has cooled a little more, add your essential oil(s) and..... Voilà!!! Pour into a bottle and save the rest for refills!
Now, don't expect this to lather like commercial shampoos. It is completely natural and you may experience a phase of greasiness while your hair adjusts to the change.
There are plenty of ways to change this to your specific hair and scalp needs. For instance, using lavender essential oil or adding oatmeal to your infusion will make a soothing shampoo; adding eucalyptus and/or tea tree oil combats dandruff (and repels lice!). If you have particularly dry hair, using jojoba oil instead of grapeseed can add a luxurious moisture to it. Research and experiment....and let me know!
My baby and I sit down for lunch. We are at a busy outside mall, sitting at a bench. I pull out my ridiculously unhealthy chicken sammich and fries, throw back a couple prenatals, wash em down with lemonade, and prepare her lunch. I reach inside and pull the tab on her lunch container. It's open and she knows it is. Excitement!! There's a prize! I gather her close to me and she gets the prize. Na Na! As my little princess finds the nipple and latches on, I find my sandwich and take a bite. We both enjoy our lunches.
There's a couple next to me on the right who eat their lunch and never notice anything out of the ordinary.
There's a woman on the left with her crying baby who can't manage to feed a bottle of (milk..formula..?) while she eats her own food. I see frustration.
The folks behind me notice, then notice again, then are uncomfortably staring at me. Oh well. They eventually leave. My chick and I eat in comfort.
My girl finishes and sits up. My breast was exposed for almost three seconds!! She sits on my lap happily while I finish my [unhealthy] fast food. Then I pop her into the sling and we are off again.
Wes has been fired from Easter Bunny duty. While laying in the bed trying to detach my bewb from Roo's little Hoover mouth, I've never heard so many jellybeans hit the floor: he pulled instead of cut apart the jellybean bag and it exploded all over the kitchen. Then he hid eggs all over the house instead of outside where I wanted them (hey, it's nice weather, the eggs go outside) and then I had to go find them all but he didn't know how many he had hidden so we may find more in a month....
He also sucks at being Santa, but that's a-whole-nother story.
I did use the "I-won't-be-surprised-if-the-Easter-bunny-skips-this-house" threat a few times in the past week. But not on Wes. These kids have been one anvil short of Looney Tunes. And they feed off of each other. Bear can evoke the most ear-piercing responses out of Monkey... but only if I'm trying to put Roo to sleep. Or trying to cook supper. Or trying to use the bathroom. Or trying to do anything besides sit and watch their every move.
We need our own sitcom. Or reality show. Except network television can't show that much child nudity, so maybe I'll just stick to blogging. Last week, Bear tried to remove the tip of her toe. It was so gross. This is why I'm not a nurse. Her foot slipped under the fridge, ripping back her toenail and taking the flesh on the tip with it. shudder...gag... So she is howling and crying and the baby is awake and in my lap but I'm trying to clean up her toe to see if we need stitches and Monkey is hovering around her trying his best to comfort her and so there we all are sitting in the kitchen floor and honestly all I wanted to do was cry. Or laugh. In the end, I just called Mom. Who came to the rescue with butterfly bandages and the opinion that this didn't warrant a trip to the ER.
The next day, Monkey comes to me and says his nose hurts.
"Why does your nose hurt?'
"WHAT marker??" Bear informs me that he has bitten off the end of a yellow marker and shoved it up his nose. I am appalled and ask him to point to where it is. It was almost in his brain it was so high.... So we blow his nose. No marker, but a crazy amount of neon yellow snot comes pouring out... Sweet. Liquid sunshine was draining from his sinuses. So I panic. And call Mom. Who is not concerned in the least. Booooo. She tells me to massage his nose and have him blow. Like I didn't try that first. She again offered the opinion that this didn't warrant a trip to the ER. So, 10 minutes of blowing and 5 bright glowing yellow tissues later, a tiny marker tip comes flying out of his little nostril onto the kitchen floor. Crisis averted. So what does Monkey do to calm my nerves? Climbs to the back of the kitchen chair and promptly falls off on his head. Again, no ER...
But the last two days have been my weekend days, which means that I get approximately 3 hours of sleep per night due to my work schedule. So yesterday, as I am trying to doze while Roo naps and the kids are watching tv (the living room is outside my bedroom door so I can hear what they are up to), I again am listening to crazy sounds from the kitchen. It began as Bear making Monkey chocolate milk but evolved into cries of "Get down!" and "Put your clothes on!!" but I didn't hear any glass breaking so I simply wait for the inevitable tattling that is to come. Bear enters and proceeds to give me a rundown of all that the Monkey is up to: he is naked from the waist down, standing on the kitchen counter, pouring chocolate syrup into his mouth while eating a Crunch bar. The chocolate kind, not the Xanax kind. If it had been the Xanax kind, I would have asked him to share.
So, what did I do? Called Mom.
She came to retrieve my nudist son, but while she was on her way, Bear did everything she could to make the child scream and cry. This consisted mostly of "Come get me!!" and then a door slams and then he screams. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Alone, my children are angels. Together, they are nominees for Supernanny. So I used the ole Easter Bunny threat.
That giant rodent did, in fact, make a stop by our house, no thanks to Wes.
When I get home today, we will hunt eggs, enjoy Easter morning, get ready and go to church. And I just hope that I can help Bear understand the true meaning of the day and that what it represents is the cornerstone of our faith. And while I won't kick the overgrown imaginary rabbit out of our lives, from now on, the focus will not be jellybeans. It will be the true importance of Easter: that thousands of years ago, a man allowed himself to have nails hammered through his body, hung on a cross, and died.... and He did it all for Bear. And Monkey. And Roo. And Wes. And me. And you. So that we can have days filled with snot...er...sunshine.
And on Easter morning, He rose again. And it was all for us sinners who were lost as Easter eggs.