Wednesday Advice Smackdown
December 07, 2005
Oh Internet, I was so looking forward to the first Non-Sleep-Deprived Advice Smackdown today, as our sleeping-through-the-night streak was up to five glorious nights in a row, but alas, it is not to be.
Noah has a cold and so do I.
Now I get why I'm sick: I'm exhausted, I haven't eaten a full, hot meal in ages, and I have a 12-pound linebacker leeching calories and nutrients from me at every possible occasion.
On the other hand, I've damn near killed myself to pump precious precious antibodies into Noah every two to three hours for nine and a half weeks and yet the kid still can't fight off the first cold that floats his way.
I'm starting to feel like I have been seriously beaten with the short end of the breastfeeding stick.
Anyway, last night involved lots of tending to a hysterical little baby who couldn't breathe and not so much sleep.
(He's feeling just fine this morning, of course, while I'm warmed-over phlegm on toast.)
(And that's THIS week's version of the same "why my advice sucks" song and dance that I preface every Smackdown with, blah blah, cough cough.)
I have dutifully read your previous smackdowns on the subject of hair, but I still have problems because, as you might say, HATE. Like yours, my hair is long, straight, and oily, but I have learned to style it, and I often get compliments on it. I still have problems, though. Oh, yes.
The main difference twixt thy hair and mine is that I don't really battle split ends as long as I get regular trims. BUT MY SCALP. I have had dry, at-times flaky scalp since I was 16. At the time, I was wearing ugly-ass navy blazers to my uniform-enforcing school and the flaking HAD TO STOP, so I used dandruff shampoos. First Head and Shoulders, then the foul/foul-smelling Neutrogena Tar Shampoo, expensive ones, cheap ones, designer, knock-off, nothing helped. This made me think I had some sort of cancer and was going to die of Massive Scalp Arrest. I studied up and, unless I completely mis-read my own symptoms, I don't have life-threatening issues, just dryness.
Recently, I tried PureOlogy Hydrate conditioner which MINTY FRESH YUM. But it costs so much (boo for first home mortgages, and then yay, I guess) and it doesn't really help as a hair mask weekly for ten minutes like the salon pro claimed. I thought maybe stripping my scalp of yuck by massaging Pureology Purify shampoo on it a couple times per week would help, but nah. I'm currently using this Tea Tree Special Shampoo and Special Conditioner (distributed by Paul Mitchell, GAH) sometimes, but meh. The problem is that I currently reside in Maryland and my hair is SO FREAKING OILY here. Gross. Just gross. I have to wash it every day or the second day I have to pull it up and pretend it's hair spray holding my hairs back.
I have tried to listen to fashion mags and know-it-all advice columnists sent from HEAVEN but what can I do? More moisture? LO, I AM FRIGHTENED! Conditioner only on the ends? THE PAIN, THE FLAKITY-FLAKING! As long as it's been cleansed and moisturized with decent product, my scalp doesn't hurt, but then there's still the oil and weighed-downedness and occasional flaking. Most of all, I still have the dream of some product that makes my hair and myself happy and not at ALL-OUT WAR daily. So, Oh Good-Hair Guru, can I give peace a chance with a good product? And what if it's a technique or weekly regimen? And if it's not that, is it because I don't drink enough water or get some nutrient in my diet, or because I sometimes kick my cat in my sleep?
Desperate Near DC
Get thee to a dermatologist STAT. Oh my God.
Listen, your scalp is screaming for a prescription-strength, medicated product. Pain? Flaking with excess oil? You've got yourself a nice little fungal problem there, and no salon product is going to help that, and BOO to your hairdresser suggesting the Pureology product as a solution, because NO. Just NO.
You could try the over-the-counter version of Nizoral, if you haven't already, but since this is a problem you've struggled with for years, you might want to skip that and go for the prescription-strength version, or perhaps a prescription steriod lotion or hydrocortisone cream.
Will these make your hair pretty and fragrant? Hell no. They suck, and you may have to use them quite a bit until your scalp fully heals (twice a day even), but it'll be worth it in the end, I swear.
After a nice, intensive scalp treatment kills the infection (and that's what even regular dandruff is, so don't feel all gross and dirty -- it's not like lice or something you could have prevented), you can keep it at bay by using the OTC Nizoral once in awhile or a hot oil treatment. And avoid the heavy moisturizing shampoos and conditiors -- opt for a lightweight clarifying one.
I'm currently using Rusk Sensories Clarifying Shampoo and Calm 60 Second Hair Revive Conditioner and am happy with them both. They're very gentle on your scalp and hair, which makes them ideal for girls like us who MUST SHAMPOO EVERYDAY lest we look like bedraggled oil patches. Like I look today! Garrrgghhh.
Could you recommend a good line of make-up brushes that isn't ridiculously
expensive? I'm particularly looking for a good blush brush, and a good
Also, is there a way to search your site, because I think you've answered this question before....
And btw, Noah is beyond cute. Seriously. I'm not just saying that so you'll answer my question. Because I don't like lying, and let's face it, not all babies are cute, no matter what nice people say.
I have answered this before, and yeah, I'm really just too lazy to dump some code for a search bar into the sidebar, so I usually just use Google to find specific entries. Like "amalah makeup brush" or "amalah stupid dumbass moron."
A search for "amalah makeup brush" turned up this entry about Target's line of brushes by Sonia Kashuk.
A search for "amalah stupid dumbass moron" yields like, 300 results.
More questions to come, but now I must search those 300 results because I'm now oddly paranoid that other people are calling me a stupid dumbass moron.
Love your blog and your darling baby! What about 'Sheer Cover' the line that Leeza Gibbons and Melissa Gilbert hawk? It sounds good, too, yet, no way do I want to sign up for anything that keeps coming MONTHLY or whatever. Off to read comments to see if this is covered.
As a rule, I stay away from anything that's hawked via infomercial -- ESPECIALLY cosmetics.
(Although I admit I HAVE bought some stuff from informercials, but it goes on my tile grout, not my face.)
(God, I love the cleaning product informercials. It's like a horror film with a porn movie ending: OH NO! DON'T POUR ENGINE GREASE ON THAT POOR LADY'S COUCH! I CAN'T LOOK! WAIT! IT'S TOTALLY CLEAN NOW! OH MY GOD! DO IT AGAIN! AGAIN!)
(Rinses sponge, lights cigarette, sighs contentedly.)
But! Makeup? I don't trust any product line that isn't sold in a store where I can go and sample it before I buy. Or anything without a simple return policy -- so I'm not paying double shipping and handling if I don't send it back within like, 48 hours.
Rule number two is to stay away from anything that costs $29.99 A MONTH, PLUS SHIPPING AND HANDLING, whether you actually need them to send you more stuff every month or not. Please. No one uses that much foundation in a month, except maybe for this lady.
And rule number three: Leeza Gibbons and Melissa Gilbert? Schwaa? Hardly the beauty icons of our age, no?
More questions to come, but I am now overcome with the desire to crack out my old school OxyClean and scrub my bathroom tile for awhile.
Thanks so much for all the great links and recommendations on maternity clothes. I, too, drooled over the selection at Maternity 9 on the pike, and might have splurged a bit. I'm closing in on 39 weeks, and looking ahead to days at home and attempts at nursing. Do you wear nursing bras and/or clothes? Are they worth the $$$. I got a couple pairs of nursing pajamas from Motherwear, but frankly, the selection of clothes that allow for discreet nursing leave a lot to be desired. And, my breasts have grown so much during my pregnancy, I'm cautious to buy nursing bras NOW for fear that they will be too small when my milk comes in.
How did you handle this? Thanks. Love your site, love your
writing and Noah is adorable.
(Note: Betty just submitted this question today, and I'm answering it because I hold a special place in my cold, tarry heart for 39-week pregnant women because it's the longest and most miserable week of their lives when there is little left to do except scan photos of radioactive cheese casseroles. Everybody else gets stuck in the Mysterious Black Hole Otherwise Known As The Wednesday Advice Smackdown Queue.)
The nursing pajamas are a good call -- I bought a nursing gown from Aimee and absolutely LIVED in it for the first couple weeks of Noah's life, until he pooped on it. Then I realized that I should probably wash it.
Other than that, I don't own any actual "nursing clothes." At home, I just yank my shirt up or wear a lot of cardigans and zip-up hoodies. And out in public...well, I've only nursed out in public twice because Noah is so laid back about eating these days. Boob or bottle, breastmilk or formula, he really doesn't give a damn, just long as I get SOME KIND OF FOOD SOURCE in his mouth within a few seconds of his initial demand.
The first public nursing experience was at the veterinarian's office, when Ceiba was getting follow-up X-rays on her poor Bionic Leg and they took a lot longer than I thought they would and Noah was SCREAAAAAAAAMING and I was in an exam room with this little window to the central pharmacy and all the pharmacy employees were looking through the window and commenting on the poor screaming baby and I finally could not take it anymore and cowered in the corner under a blanket and managed to get Noah latched on with minimal boob exposure.
The second time was just yesterday when I successfully (!) managed to attend a Reel Moms screening, but that probably doesn't count because it was dark and duh, it was just one big baby-feeding party in there.
You do need a couple nursing bras though -- they really are comfortable and convenient and blah -- but ignore everyone who says to buy them now.
I bought a couple cheap nursing bras from Target while I was still pregnant, and yeah, I completely guessed wrong on the size and ended up throwing them all away. (With the exception of a little nursing tank -- adore that one.) So honestly? Wear your sports bras at first until you can go and get properly fitted after your milk comes in.
I was lucky enough to get a coupon for 20% off at Sy-lene's in Chevy Chase from my lactation consultant, so I went there and got fitted and bought three nursing bras, and I have to say, I love them. They had pretty-ish ones with matching panties (and oh, how I hate that word, almost as much as "moist" and "blog," although if you put all three words together you get a fairly awesome name for a porn site) and without the coupon they were about the same price as your average bra at Victoria's Secret. Highly recommended, fine holiday fun.
For non-local readers, perhaps we could get some good online suggestions for nursing bras and brands in the comment section? Fire away, know-it-alls.
Good luck, and be prepared to wear these bras ALL THE DAMN TIME, EVEN TO BED, WHICH HOTT!
Also hott: colds, congestion and FIERY SORE THROATS FROM HELL. No more questions today. Ugh. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will maybe answer them if I am not dead by next Wednesday. Send soup.