Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wash N' Go for Thick, High Density Curls

At some point late in my last pregnancy, when I'd grown too big and uncomfortable to do my hair, even the average wash day felt like a huge chore that I wasn't up to tackling (can any of you moms relate?). So I came up with an easy way to wash and style my hair that also allows me to wear my natural curl pattern, something I haven't been able to accomplish until now.

Enter the "Pseudo Wash N' Go."

Typically I don't do traditional WnG's because my hair is so thick and dense (read: each strand is thick and I have a lot of those thick strands closely packed together) that it shrinks, tangles and frizzes quickly as it dries. I've tried applying a ton of product to weigh it down, but then product just ends up getting on everything (think of Soul Glo..."Just let your soul GLO! Let it shine throuuuuugh..."). 

Why "pseudo"? Because unlike your traditional WnG you're not washing then wearing your hair out immediately. Actually it's more of a twist-out but I call it a WnG because you're wearing your natural curl pattern.

Here are the steps to achieving a virtually shrinkage-free, hassle-free "wash n' go":

1. Wash or co-wash your hair and detangle. 

2. Part your hair so it falls how you want it to once the twists are out.

3. Moisturize and set your hair in large, chunky twists. I like to start in the back and work my way forward. To moisturize I keep my hair wet with a spray bottle, use SheaMoisture's Reconstructive Conditioner as a leave-in then seal with EVOO. (I've found that the "LCO Method" works better for me than the "LOC Method.")  

4. For extra definition in the front: I do two large flat twists going to the left and one going to the right. This really makes my curls pop and helps keep them defined.

5. Allow twists to dry completely (I let them air dry for a day) then release and fluff. If you prefer a more crisp and defined look then don't separate the twists too much and take your time, especially with the ends so they don't frizz out. But if you prefer some frizz, then fluff away! Big hair is on the way :) 
Top left: two flat twists & chunky twists; Bottom left: air dried & releasing twists;
Right: fluffing and separating

The two flat twists in front going to the left.
This pic was when I'd re-twisted for less shrinkage
(see next section).
High definition from flat twists in the front

How to Reduce Shrinkage With This Technique

Last week I discovered how to reduce shrinkage using this technique. It had been a couple days since I'd taken out the twists and my hair was already getting dry (thank you, postpartum hormones). Instead of co-washing I dampened my hair using the spray bottle and re-twisted using the same technique and products mentioned above. Except this time when I released the twists after they had dried my curls had stretched! *happy dance!* I was thrilled because my curls were still really springy, even in the back, where my curl pattern is the loosest.
Curls are POPPIN'!
Hello, kinks and coils! :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Parenting Playbook

It's 7:30am, I'm barely conscious and both the girls are screaming at me.

Puuddy has just found out that she isn't getting her favorite toys back due to yesterday's behavior. Avaberry is hungry but is refusing to nurse. I want to cry (or scream), I'm so tired. 

As I am learning, every pregnancy and every child is different. Even though I seem to remember breastfeeding being a breeze with Puuddy, I had some difficulty in the beginning with Avaberry. I love breastfeeding and enjoy it immensely, so that was rather tough to deal with emotionally. Flash forward to this morning when she refused to nurse. I quickly figured out that she wanted her pacifier instead. What?! It had been five hours since she'd eaten. FIVE HOURS. Usually after three she's ready to eat my face. I had to fight off the anxiety so I could focus. Immediately I hear my mother's voice in my head:

"Children will never starve themselves."

Ok, phew. Don't panic. It's been five hours since she's eaten but she's gotta eat eventually...right?! 

I lay Avaberry down on the bed. She continues to cry and yell at me, but I calmly explain to her (as if she can understand) that I am not going to give her the paci because she needs to eat. 

I glance over at Puuddy who has a concerned look on her face. I'm sure she's thinking, "Does Mommy really know what she's doing...?" Yes, I do. Well, kind of. After all, you don't get a playbook when you become a parent. But as believers God gives us the grace we desperately need to obey the Holy Spirit's direction so our actions honor Christ who lives in us. 

So how did I apply this to my chaotic situation this morning?

Instead of screaming back at Puuddy to get her to stop screaming (sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? but honestly sometimes that's how I react when I'm emotional and exhausted), I focused on diffusing one situation at a time. There wasn't much I could do for Avaberry except rub her tummy and talk to her in calm tones. I knew I'd have to give her a few minutes to realize she needed to eat. In the meantime I asked Puuddy if she wanted to help me pump (she loves turning the pump on and off). This redirected her attention and instantly turned her attitude around. I finished pumping, put Ava on and she began to nurse right away. Sigh of relief.

Later that morning I was able to laugh about our early morning shenanigans as I shared the story with Hubby over the phone. I'd successfully handled a stressful situation without losing my temper (or my mind, for that matter) and that doesn't happen all the time. I'll be the first to tell you that I am a work in progress, especially when it comes to parenting. But thanks be to God I don't have to do it on my own. He is with me every step of the way, guiding me with His love and reassuring me with His grace. 

For His Glory,

Lauren <3

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Blogging, Motherhood & Instagram

So...What happens when you're a stay-at-home mom preggo with Baby #2 and chasing around your 2-year-old? 
August 25, 2013...almost full term!

You stop blogging!

To be completely transparent - which is how I strive to live my life - for a while there I wasn't sure that I would continue my blog. I subconsciously put blogging on the back burner and instead focused my energy and attention on spending time with our daughter and preparing for our new baby. Our precious new addition was due to arrive on September 28 (she ended up making an early debut on September 17). And as that date drew nearer, I found myself becoming more and more immersed in daily activities with our daughter, careful not to miss a moment as I emotionally prepared for her to never again be my one and only baby. Gosh, that was harder than I imagined. The first time I saw Puuddy after "Avaberry" arrived, I cried as I wrapped my arms around her and pulled her onto the hospital bed with me. I couldn't hold back the tears that flowed from my heart because she instantly looked so big, so far from my womb....I'm still coping with that, trying to adjust to her growth that seems to increase by leaps and bounds daily. I'm not sure that I'll ever get over it. It's bringing tears to my eyes now just thinking about it.

I haven't been completely inactive though. During the interim I have become a big-time "Instagrammer." If you aren't on Instagram, all I gotta say is...you've gotta join! I began doing "mini blog posts" on there - yep, my name is "forhisglorynatural" there as well :) - and found that there's a lot of interest in natural hair on IG. I even gave up Facebook for a while (I'm still not active on there) and now post solely on IG.
Me & Hubby on our last parents-of-one-child date night...
3 days before Avaberry's arrival!

Now Avaberry is here and my life will never be the same. I can't believe how blessed I am, that God chose me to be the mother of these two beautiful, precious little girls. With all the other responsibilities that seem to constantly vie for my attention, being the example of a Godly woman, mother and wife that my daughters need to see is one of my top priorities. But I also feel called to do more.

Which brings me to this blog.

I've decided to keep it going. The reason I'm continuing it is not the reason I started it, but that doesn't matter. As a good friend of mine always says, seasons change. I'm simply in a different season of my life now. Very different. I'm a wife, stay-at-home, homeschooling mom (oh yeah, did I mention that?) and a natural hair blogger. My life, just like yours, is multi-dimensional. So to try to compartmentalize it into categories seems foolish because it's all connected. Whereas before I pretty much blogged about only natural hair, now my posts will be a reflection of my life - my crazy, imperfect, unpredictable and oftentimes hilarious life. But in everything it is my sincere hope and prayer that my light shines brightly for and points to the One who made me, my Father in heaven. He is the reason I am living. It is For His Glory that I do what I do. 

So here I am, beginning my blogging journey again. Won't you join me? :)

For His Glory,


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