I am so happy to report that I think the problem is fixed! I believe the issue was the hidden silicone in my initial sulfate wash or build-up of some kind. Over the weekend I re-washed with a different sulfate shampoo (checked very carefully for any silicones!) and started the process over. Since then my hair is a little bit frizzy but overall MUCH better. My curls are clumping nicely and my hair seems more hydrated than its ever been! I think I still need to figure out which products work for me and how much to use, but I am noticing improvements
I think that next I will get some Curl Keeper since I hear it helps a lot with frizzies.
Now I feel like I can stick with the CG method for the long haul! Thanks ladies for all your support! You are fabulous!