meganursula: (sampson)
There has been a lot going on in my life. Annoying, and adult things. But the real reason it has taken me over a week to write this is that it just breaks my heart.

Our darling boy passed away on 5/8/2016. It wasn't exactly a surprise, because we'd had him at the vets a number of times in the past month for various problems. It all started when he was off his food for a day, so we brought him in for a checkup. The vet did a series of blood tests, followed up by an ultrasound, didn't find too much worrying aside from elevated liver values. In the next few weeks we progressed through giving him a bunch of liver-support meds, more tests, and a thorough tooth cleaning (in case tooth trouble was causing his reluctance to eat.) The vets couldn't find anything obvious wrong, and so we were trying to stay the course, entice him to eat, and watch.

When I left for Ct to see my family on 5/4 we were definitely feeling worried, but not that something was imminent. Josh took Sampson to Spokane to see his family over the weekend, and it sounds like Sampson went down hill very quickly once they were there. On Sunday Josh was going to take Sampson to an emergency vet, but, when he went to pick him up Sampson died in his arms.

There are so many things I feel here. I am coming to terms with the idea that we did the right things, and tried our hardest, but, I can't quite stop questioning - did we miss something? did we make a bad choice? could we have helped him? Is this somehow our fault? Its pointless, of course. He was something around 11 years old (he was not a newborn when we got him in January of 2006, but probably something like 9 months old). We knew he was sick. I hear that these things sometimes happen with dogs. And, we'll never know, but I would hate to think that I missed something that could help him.

I'm glad he was able to live his life up to the end. We went for a walk the day before I left and he seemed to enjoy it. He spent his last day sunning himself in one of his favorite places. He had people who loved him and cared for him the entire time he was with us. I'm glad he wasn't sick and in obvious pain for a very long time. But, dammit, I wasn't ready to lose him so soon. Wasn't ready at all.

I'm also very sad that I wasn't there with him. I feel like I should have been.

I miss the boy. I looked back through my tagged entries here, and a lot of them are about what a pain in the butt he was. And he was. But he was also constant company, with a happy greeting for us and our friends. He knew when one of us was sad, and would come sit with us. He asked for petting at night, cleaned up our spilled food, and let us know whenever someone showed up to visit. Maybe more than that for me - Sampson was my running companion, or walking companion. He was the reason I always felt safe - safe home alone, safe walking at night, safe when some strange person wanted to say hello. He was also my sanity. In my lowest moments a walk with Sampson could cheer me up.

So, my boy. I loved you. I hope you had a good life. Thank you.
meganursula: (cthullu)
I hates them.

I have too many accounts. I used to be fine - i used one algorithm for everything. Then I started to run into the problem where i couldn't repeat passwords, so I needed weirder and weirder keys, so i start using a different algorithm. Then I needed to set things up for work, and I don't want to use my personal algorithm, so I used something else.

Now I can't remember shit. I have a computer I was working on for work that i can't log into right now, because I don't have the password. Seriously. I can't remember. I tried all the reasonable things, and I can't remember.

And I have a work email account that i can only log into because my browser has remembered my password. Except i have another computer for work that is new, so it doesn't know the password yet. And I can't even reset the password to something new because i can't remember the old password.


Dear self

Oct. 27th, 2015 09:39 pm
meganursula: (smile)
It is true that you are feeling overwhelmed, and that the work you have to do is less interesting than some of the other projects. Still, procrastinating it for days on end is NOT GOING TO HELP!!!
meganursula: (smile)
I wrote that I was going to do STP, so I'll also record that I did it.

We rode in two days - I think my total mileage was around 220. (I did 112 the first day, but my gps crapped out the second day, so I can't be sure. The total for the day was supposed to be 104, and we did a few extra, so...)

Day 1:
Departed: Jul 11, '15, 05:34AM
Starts in: Seattle, WA, US
Distance: 112.2 mi
Elevation: + 3343 / - 3197 ft
Max Grade
13.7 %
Avg. Grade
0.2 %
VAM 274 Vm/h
Ascent time 03:43:28
Descent time 04:02:11
Total Duration: 12:17:40
Moving Time: 08:03:40
Stopped Time: 04:14:00
Max Speed: 32.4 mph
Avg. Speed: 13.9 mph
Pace: 00:06:35
Moving Pace: 00:04:19

It felt like a different ride than the last time for many reasons. Some of the good stuff was the same, though. Its still a rush to be out there with so many other people, its still fun to see the country-side, I still like riding my bike. Some of the bad stuff is the same, too, like the road through Oregon was just as boring and exposed as I remembered.

This year the course went through Joint-base Lewis-McChord, and I really liked that. For one thing, we got some nice roads to ourselves, and it was peaceful. For another, it was interesting to see the base, and our lunch stop was in full view of some wonderful planes. There was a pretty massive head-wind much of the way around the base, though.

We stayed with a random host family, and that worked out fine. They were good people, and kind to us, and I enjoyed meeting them.

I was impressed with how well the ride went, actually. I was seriously undertrained, and I was really concerned when a ride a month or so ago left my arms sore for days. Adjusting my handle bars helped some, and my legs seemed to come up to speed. I still ended up with sorer arms than legs, and I'm ruing my lack of ab strength, but over all the ride was totally doable and enjoyable.

My biggest regret is that I neglected to get a picture with my comrades at the finish line.
meganursula: (smile)
I think I am approaching the point where I need to take another vacation day to catch up on work.... Clearly, my ability to adult is suspect.
meganursula: (smile)
Does anyone know how I can get Marie to nap?
She really could use a nap most days, i think. I think this because if she doesn't nap she'll be grumpy and difficult in the late afternoon. She'll also often fall asleep inconveniently at 4 or 5pm.
But, no way no how will she sleep for me at 1 or 2pm.
(I put her in her room, read her a book, close the door... nothin.)

bike highs

Aug. 4th, 2014 02:03 pm
meganursula: (bike)
Last week our kids were in Spokane with their grandparents. The practical effect of this is that Josh and I were completely free to live and work like people not constrained by school schedules and toddler eating habits. As a result, I doubled my working hours (to about 40 hours, which I know isn't a lot, but it is twice as much as I am scheduled for), and I rode my bike for 8 of the 10 commutes. I also rode my bike on Sunday morning with a friend, so I topped out at over 100 miles last week.

100 miles in a week is more than I have ridden in a very long time, possibly since Madeleine was born. (Although, possibly not - I have gotten some Long rides in during the past few years.) My 20 mile ride on Sunday was more than I have ridden in a single go in a long time, too. (I guess not more than a single day, since at least once last week I did the long commute route both ways, which is more like 21 miles.) Its also almost certainly my high-water mark for 2014, since my schedule rarely allows me this much flexibility.

Almost entirely this felt great. Generally, I felt like I had really good energy, and I felt better in my skin than I have in a while (at least consistently - i've been rather variable on that issue of late.) I also quite liked the productivity of being out on the road and to work early in the day, and I'm sure, not for nothing, being out in the fresh summer air was good for me.

Biking went fairly well. I really enjoy riding to work, and I enjoy both the route along the water (Myrtle-Edwards), and the shorter but steeper route through town (Dexter). I am glad that I have discovered two totally reasonable approaches to my commute.

I was occasionally a bit frustrated that I am still fairly slow on the flat (compared to most other 'serious' cyclists, although, its worth reminding myself, not compared to all cyclists), and even more frustrating how quickly I poop out on the hills. I guess, on the upside, I actually felt a bit stronger towards the end of the week, so there is hope that continuing to commute via bike will continue to make me stronger.

You know, I've been pro-bike for a long time. Weeks like this serve to remind me how much I really like biking, personally. There are political and environmental reasons that I feel strongly that it is in EVERYONE's best interests to increase bikeability and the biking population, but, I am utterly convinced that it is right for me.

I find myself wondering how to not only maintain, but increase, our reliance on biking (and decrease our reliance on gasoline engines) going forward. I am a bit concerned about the inevitable down turn in my satisfaction on the bike come the dark, wet, cold winter. I also hypothesize that exercising can keep me healthier, both physically and mentally, but it has not escaped my notice that this week already found me in decent shape, so how do I keep the ball rolling when things aren't so rosy?

In terms of increasing our bike trip-percentage - this really involves the whole family. I am actually quite excited because I have one kid who can make some trips on her own, and because I think Josh and I are going to invest in a system to make it more feasible to do family trips. (I'm sure you'll hear more on that later if it happens.)
meganursula: (run)
The long story short is that getting to the point where I can run again has been amazingly frustrating and difficult. I think I'm finally making progress, but I don't know how that 5k on June 1 will go. I have, as yet, been unable to do more than a 10 minute run, and I'm guessing the 5k will take me closer to 38 minutes. (My mental goal for 'being able to run' is to be able to do a 5k under 35 minutes reliably.)

Last Saturday I ran my most successful training run this year. I made it around the inside loop of Greenlake in 33 minutes, for an 11.8 minute mile pace. Additionally, that was at minute 8 of my 10 minutes long interval, so I tacked on a little tiny bit of distance.

I have identified a few issues with my progress. One that I can't do anything about is my recurrent asthma - even when I'm healthy I'm needing more medication to keep the exercise induced asthma at bay. There are a few things I can do something about: The first is that trying to build ability on one day a week isn't cutting it, so I need to have more than one workout per week. The second is that I believe the couchto5k program isn't really cutting it for me.

Working out more than once per week is obvious, and something that I've know for a long time. It is obviously easier to implement when the weather is nice. My current goal is to be running at least twice per week, but I also think it is necessary to do some strength and stretching. I have an orthogonal goal to be riding my bike more, but that will also help increase my stamina and leg strength.

As to the Couch to 5k - I have identified some fundamental problems with the program. Fundamentally, I think its more like 'Non-running but fit to 5k'.

I have been following the first weeks based on the time values, not distance values. If you do this, the basic distance being covered is not sufficient to get many people up to a 5k.... the final week has a 30 minute 5k, and even at my best I was around 31 minutes. So on this go I implemented a fix for this problem. The idea is to augment all the workouts so I'm traversing at least a 5k in total... in the early weeks there was a LOT of walking to get this done, but, I did append extra short intervals, or repeat the requisite intervals multiple times. (I must admit, the basic premise is actually pretty easy for me to do, because I'm running at Greenlake. The walk down & back added to the 2.8 mile inner loop is more than a 5k. However, even without that, I think it would be reasonable to ensure that every workout was at least 35 minutes, or whatever your estimated goal time was.)

The other issue comes in around week 5, when you jump from doing a few short intervals, to this massive 20-minutes-without-stopping run. I haven't been able to do that 20 minute run yet, despite being at week 5 for over a week. As a result, i've given up on C25k for the rest of my training run, and plan the following:

I have a schedule set up that does a bunch of short interval runs (1 min x 1 min rest, 2 min x 1 min rest, repeat) and then a long interval (10 mins last week). My plan is to gradually remove an interval at a time, and lengthen the long interval so that the total amount of time is still my 35 minute goal time. I think its a reasonable plan, and we'll see how it goes. I expect that, eventually, i'll modify the short intervals, too, but not this week.

Anyway, there are only about two more training weeks until my scheduled 5k. Obviously, unless I miraculously feel quite strong, my program won't get me to a 5k by then. So, my goal is to just stick with it, and keep aiming at getting my base back. -- and maybe looking for a 5k towards the end of the summer to keep me honest.
meganursula: (run)
1. Big Backyard 5k registration is complete. I await my hoody.
2. I have been running a few times since Christmas. Mostly, walking with some jogging in the middle, but, on Saturday I did a C25k week 1 workout officially.
3. I have determined that I should have one day a week that i can walk/run with Marie in the stroller. (Maybe not this week, actually, since today was a holiday.) I have also determined that I should be able to bike Madeleine home from school at least once per week.
4. As to the latter, I need to figure out how to keep the little kids happy in the trailer. Its really my biggest issue. Madeleine needs some work on her endurance, and I need to bring some food for her, but that seems pretty doable. Getting William to comply seems hard.
5. I'm a bit annoyed with my Fitbit; its really just a pedometer, and thats okay in some ways. However, i'm trying to use it to really track my overall activity, and I think its just not really cutting it. For example, today, I took the kids to the museum and was on my feet for two hours wandering around the museum. It doesn't add up to a lot of distance walked, but it should count for more activity than if I were sitting at a desk. Also, it doesn't register biking, so if I bike to pick up Madeleine it doesn't register much activity at all, despite the fact that a four mile bike ride towing a trailer with 60 pound of kid in it is actually work. (Seems like it should count for a circumnavigation of Greenlake, but, the Fitbit does count that type of smooth walking quite well. I think that I might, at some point, try to find a different tracker. Or, who knows, maybe i'll just give up on the idea all together.
meganursula: (smile)
I am going to change my goals for this year.
1. Try to find that even keel, that place of peace, that appreciation for all the is sonorous and beautiful and good.
meganursula: (bike)
This was getting long, so i decided to make it a separate post.

My new jacket is this one:
The other day i ended up wearing it with the pitzips undone even though i didn't have a lot of layers on, so i'm pleased to know there is some warmth in it.

My rain pants are 10 yr. old like this:
I wear them for warmth, as well as for dryness. I unzip the legs to get air if I need it. These rain pants have seen A LOT. They have worn well.

My shoes covers are (5 yr old?) something like this:
(Except not really, i can't find the ones that i have, they have some reflective bits in the fabric so they light up pretty well at night. They aren't waterproof, but they are resistant, and help with warmth.)
If I'm going on a long ride in the winter, i put chemical heaters in my shoes.

FWIW, i have waterproof bike gloves, that aren't that waterproof anymore. I have winter-weight lobster claw waterproof bike gloves, but i don't actually wear them that much of the year around here. (In the summer I wear fingerless bike gloves.)

I have a cap that i wear under my helmet. ( - kind of, but mine is just nylon without the fleece.) It is surprisingly good at adding warmth, and i wear it a LOT. Nice thing, even if the weather turns warm, its so easy to stow.

Still on the wishlist: i'd like prescription glasses. I like cycling in my sports (sun)glasses, but i can't do it much because of the prescription issue and i can't wear contacts to work.
More lights. Fancier lights. Exciting lights. I like lights.
meganursula: (coffee)
There is so much to write here, but I'm having a hard time being organized to write any of it.


I've been in a little acquisitional mode lately.

For my birthday I got two new jackets - a normal jacket from my MIL. Cool thing about this, aside from it being comfy and easy to wear (all day at work, its a light jacket), is that the pockets have zip pockets inside large hand warming pockets. This thrills me, since i'm always worried about things falling out of my pockets even if they zip because i unzip them to put my hand in...
I also got a new rain-biking-jacket from my parents. Its a Showers Pass, and so far seems pretty bad ass. Its a little hard for me to get up the energy to bike to work on a regular basis, but i'm still determined to do it sometimes, and i'm actually pretty excited for that first down-pour-commute with this thing. Works pretty well just in the cold, but i think it will really pay off in a down pour.

I bought myself a pair of corduroys. And then i bought a second pair. Its awfully indulgent. However, i really liked the first pair, and i've recently had to throw out two pairs of jeans for being indecently-full-of-holes, and a pair of old cords is pretty threadbare, too. So I indulged, and i love them, so i'm pretty happy about that. Truth is, i'd feel a little weird going to work down town in yoga pants every day, so its definitely worth spending the small amount of 'extra' pay check to renew my wardrobe a little bit.

Then I got myself a pair of clogs. These were to fit the 'slip on, keep my feet out of the rain' bill. I'd been thinking of boots last year, but talked myself out of new boots (since i do have old boots that i'm still wearing, even though they're not slip-on), so i let myself get the clogs. I love them. I love them so much that i'm wishing i could justify buying a second pair - they slip on, i'm wearing them over warm socks, they are tall enough that my feet stay dry, i can run in them, they are so comfy.

And there you go, i've been spoiled, and i'm enjoying it.
meganursula: (smile)
Things that make you happy:
Mad (playing with her stuffed bunny family in bed, smiles)
Mom: 'I like seeing you smile. Its great to have you happy.'
Mad: 'I am happy. It was a really good day today.'
Mom: 'That's wonderful. I wish all of your days could be really good days.'
Mad: 'Most of them are.

I posted that to g+ the other day. True story. Madeleine does seem to find a lot of joy in her life, and to appreciate the experiences she has. I think Marie is much like this in personality.

What I didn't post is the other half of the story - the William turn of events where he only talked about how much he didn't like school, and how he didn't have a good day, and how he couldn't tell me anything good.

Here is the thing - on any given day Madeleine might have had an objectively worse day of it than William. But at the end of the day she is still likely to say it was a good day, and he is still likely to say it was a bad day. If we ask about best parts of the day and bad parts, she is likely to say 'I can't think of a bad part', and he is likely to say 'I can't think of a good part.'

It seems to just be a personality thing. And its consistent with other aspects of their personality - Madeleine embraces a new experience, William fears it. But it worries me. We know something about self-talk, and what we know is that dwelling on the negative and repeating or exaggerating the negative engenders dissatisfaction. We believe our self-talk. With positive self-talk we can face a challenging situation and deal with it, with negative we fall victim to it. I spend a lot of my life examining my own self-talk in an effort to stay sane and I don't want my kids to develop bad habits with theirs.

We have been talking with William about his dialogue. And we've asked him to be able to express some positive thoughts. Sometimes he tries. I want to be respectful of his negative feelings, while still trying to get him to admit the possibility of positive feelings.

The other night he said 'I am trying to be positive, but i really just don't like school. School just isn't very nice.' Well, fair enough. I'm not quite sure what to do with it. All of our feedback from the school is that he has adjusted well, and is happy and having fun while he is there. Usually I find him smiling at the end of the day. I am sitting on the idea of having him attend fewer hours of school per week. (I don't think zero hours would actually be the right thing, but perhaps more hours at home would?) There are a lot of things in our lives with William that work out this way.
meganursula: (run)
I have been doing the couch-to-5k training schedule for running. I decided to do it because I was having no luck in getting back into running condition. (Running really hasn't been fun in a long time. But I want to be able to be a runner again; there is something useful and cathartic about being able to run.)

I had been thinking i'd swap out some of the actual running workouts for similarly lengthed in-door training workouts. However, spurred by the advice of a friend, and the nice weather, i have so far done every running workout. I have repeated a couple of weeks, so i'm not quite on the week that i would be. I have been doing my best to do augmentary work-outs; i've come up with targeted strength or stretching exercises for basically every day. They are minimal, but non-zero. I'm also doing some sit-up goals with Josh.

Generally speaking i think this has been a positive experience. I have, by and large, enjoyed my 'runs'. They have been doable, and i like the short format of the work-outs. I finally, after years of thinking i should, found a real way to implement an interval workout. I like being able to run full-out for the shortest of the intervals. I also like the time-based format, because i've been able to run around the neighborhood without route planning. I'm glad that i've done all the runs as runs, because I think it is beneficial for me to get out and move a bit. And i've proven that i *can* get out and do a half hour workout, even when the day is long.

On the other hand, after today, i'm sort of convinced that i'm just never going to be able to run again, and i'm terribly frustrated with it. I've gained weight since i started the program, and my knees hurt. My lungs don't work and i'm tired all the time. It took an ibuprofen and two different inhalers to get me out on the road today. And that first three minute interval still seemed like it was never going to end. It took about 1.5 times through the prescribed workout to get around the inner-loop (2.8 miles), so i'm not really feeling that 5k is going to come easy any time soon. I have been able to run a 13 miler before, and i feel like i've been pretty dedicated about doing the work, so its all particularly frustrating.

*Sigh* Maybe its not as bad as it always feels, when i have an asthmatic gasp. Maybe its just all some convoluted excuse to quit my job in favor of long walks. Maybe its just fall depression setting in (you all had better hope not. Not only is September some sort of record for that, but it just is not long enough after summer mania set in).

Unless something particularly dire happens, i'm going to see the entire program through. For one thing, it is a commitment I made to myself. For another, its a commitment i roped other's into sharing to shore up my dedication. For a third, i don't currently have another method lined up for staving off death.
meganursula: (scientist)
I have been at my job since May. I remain honored and thankful that I get to work at this company. I think it is an awfully lucky and generous thing that I am able to work at a technical job, maybe even a research-ish job, on a part time basis. I truly appreciate the fact that i can challenge my brain, and learn something new, and get some exposure outside the home, and yet, i still get my kids every afternoon and have some time to give them a sense of home and peace. I respect my boss for his work ethic, and for the fact that he has been extremely consistent about developing a work space that respects every single employee. He is a smart dude, and I appreciate being able to learn from him.

At the same time, the job is approaching, well, work. There are niggling things - like the morning meetings (which i think could be done via chat often, or by reading the email i send with figures to show results - i do not like having to recap the summary from the last afternoon), or the fact that testing a new idea still takes time (and time i spend waiting derails me). There are bigger things - like my consistent doubts about my ability to actually make a contribution, or that William complains a lot about the length of his school days.

My company is research-ish in that my work, right now, looks a lot like the work I was doing for APL. I am trying to understand technology and figure out how to improve it and make it useful. My role in the company is basically egg-head; i worry about the theory of what we do and less about the details of implementation. I am a bit frustrated with the fact that we haven't really stuck to a path towards an application. The one that we have been primarily pursuing doesn't appeal to me that much (and is at the point where there is a lot more in terms of implementation detail than theory), and i'm a little sad that we can't just provide machine learning for hire; worry about the theory and let other people worry about the implementation. Or at least stick to some of the applications that are more appealing to me.

I suppose, if i am going to be working, I end up thinking this is a good place for me. I have learned a lot, and i will continue to learn a lot. I do truly appreciate the part-time option. I feel like it is a gift that i have a more recent thing on my resume, and that it expands my understanding of the art beyond my single (behind the times) shop.

I wish i could break through the barrier of feeling like my computer chops are so limiting. We have another employee who is sort of a jack-of-all-trades, and it remains easier to let him take care of all that other plumbing type of stuff. And yet, and yet its too limiting to feel like i can't just dig in there and modify things at will. I have been trying to make myself do it suck it up and jump in, but it is very hard for me.
There are days that i just want to quit. If i quit now i haven't screwed up entirely yet, i don't hate myself yet, i can leave before things get that bad.

And there are days that I just wonder what i'm doing leaving my kids at home. William, while he always seems happy at school and seems to benefit from some of the exposure, doesn't love it and I wonder if i shouldn't be keeping him at home now. Marie is so small, and while i know she is home and safe, it pains me to leave her every day and to miss out on some of her funny little joyfulness. Madeleine is off doing her own thing during the day, so i don't feel quite like i'm stealing from her, but i do know that the more things are on my plate the less energy i have for everyone, and she still deserves all the energy.
There are days that I just want to be able to stay home, get the house clean, cook healthy dinners, take my kids on field trips, maybe go for the occasional run...

In the end, I evaluate what i'm doing on a really regular basis. I end up staying at the job because I do enjoy working on the technology. I find it to be interesting and challenging and exciting. I also feel much safer having this job in my pocket, because every passing month of my unemployment made me worry more about my possibilities for re-entry, and worry about my solvency in the case where I needed to be a bigger provider in our family. I also end up staying at my job because I find that it decreases the sometimes overwhelming anxiety i had been feeling with. My best explanation is that having the job gives my brain something productive to spin on when it needs to spin, instead of leaving it to something terrifying. I love my kids and miss them daily, but i feel like I am healthier and more reliable right now than I was last spring.
meganursula: (run)

1. I have started doing the couch-to-5k training program. I am doing a sort of email support group for it, and so far things are going pretty well.

I had started designing alternative workouts so i didn't have to go out and run three times a week, but, so far i've made myself actually do the requisite runs, and it feels pretty good. For the first time in a really long time i am feeling hopeful about running.

2. I am also trying to do some ab-work. Strengthening my core would go a long way towards making myself feel better.

3. (And just writing this i have one of my occasional flashes of panic - because why does this matter since i've started a long slow decline that only ends in death?)

4. I have proven that bike commuting is possible. I have almost proven that biking Madeleine to school is possible. Trying to get myself to put both of those things into action this week or next.

5. I have been fighting with a long term yeast infection, for which i recently saw the doctor. She confirmed my suspicions that i seem to be allergic to the cream i'd been using to treat the infection and recommended using some hydro-cortizone cream for a while to treat the resulting eczema. I seem to be allergic to that, too. *sigh*

(Does anyone have suggestions for something to treat super itchy eczema that isn't hydro-cortizone cream? I have a couple of other random patches that have appeared in addition.)

6. On the upside, i don't have diabetes. I wasn't really worried, but there were a couple of things that made paranoid me, well, paranoid. Actually, my long term sugar levels are on the lower end of normal, so i'm not even borderline. Which is great.

7. I have been discovering that consuming large amounts of pro-biotics appear to help me in many ways. I'm looking for a good an easy source.

8. While, at the same time, trying to work on getting more fruits and vegetables into the family's diet. I'm a little disappointed that i didn't get more traction with my garden this year. It was better than last year, and i hope that it will be better still next year. In the mean time, i've got to find good healthy winter vegetable options. Maybe i'll plant greens.
meganursula: (smile)
[ profile] mamagotcha[ profile] blk (I am wondering if LJ now notifies people when they are tagged in a post?)

Madeleine would like to grow her hair longer, but even I find that I am getting frustrated with how tangled it gets. She has a tender head and is miserable when i brush her hair. I dislike the drama that ensues, but I am sympathetic, having had long hair myself. I would really like to find some ways to make this easier on her, and help her have the nice hair she desires.

In recent months i have tried a new kind of brush (this seems to make the de-tangling less painful, but i find progress easier with my old brush). I have gotten her heavy-duty detangling conditioner to use when she washes her hair. If she doesn't choose that option, her other shampoo options are conditioner-included. We have two different spray-in detanglers (an organic anti-lice option, and no-more-tangles). I also have her get a book to distract her from the work.

I feel like we have made some progress in getting daily serious brushing. This does seem to help avoid large snarls. However, it seems like her hair is getting even 'stickier'. It gets tangled almost immediately, and each brushing is a challenge. It also doesn't lay smooth for very long - it will be shiny and smooth for a very short time after conditioner and brushing, but by the end of the day looks like she has just woken up after a week long bender. I think she might need a trim, but i'm more thinking i need to find a way to improve the texture of her hair...

Suggestions? comments?

Edited to add:
- Having had long hair, i know all the tricks to getting it out via brushing from the ends up, isolating a knot, holding at the scalp while brushing the ends, etc. But part of getting into good habits with her hair has been getting her to sit still enough for me to use those techniques. She is getting better at it, but you are also right that these things are easier to control on your own head.

After some web searches last night i sat with her this afternoon and worked our detangling conditioner into her hair and brushed it. That stayed in her hair until her shower at bed time. Her hair was softer and easier to brush after her shower, so, maybe we just need to do this occasionally? I wonder if working in cream conditioner is just better for her hair than using the spray stuff? We can try doing that before a shower and then sticking with water in the shower.

(I read one web review of no-more-tangles that suggested that the product was responsible for turning the reviewer's daughter's hair 'sticky and frizzy and knotted'. It was the only bad review, but the description of the hair was so close to what Madeleine's has been like that i wondered. I was curious if any of you would bring up the idea, even though it read to be as basically insane.)


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Megan Hazen

October 2016

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