Thursday, March 6, 2014

Asher

 My sweet baby Asher. He's now 10 months old. We have been struggling with eczema since he was 4 weeks old. This has been a hard & frustrating journey. On his "good skin days" his face looks smooth like the above & below. So beautiful! Gosh, I love this boy.
 When he was 4 weeks he broke out all over in a prickly rash. We thought it was from the heat since it was mid May. He's always been hot natured. Our Pediatrician told us to try different laundry detergents. She also said to use no soap in the bath. Just a rinse, pat dry & to use pure vitamin E oil. We had been using All Free & Clear. We tried Dreft next. But it was scented & that wasn't good for him. We now use Ecos Free & Clear. Kind of pricey but it's very gentle. The rash started to fade & he seemed back to normal.
 The rashy spots would come & go. Usually on his face & back of legs. When he hit 4 months he started scratching his face & scalp. It was bad. There would be blood on the sheets. I tried keeping socks on his hands. It was absolutely heartbreaking. I never wanted to put any chemicals on his skin so I tried pure coconut oil & olive oil. It didn't help. The Pedi then told me to stop eating all dairy since he was breastfed. His face started to improve within a week of doing that. The below pics document from the day he went to the Dr. to a few days later. 
 Asher's eczema stayed on the back of his legs. I haven't seen his legs clear since he was about 3 months old. At 5 months old we took him to a pediatric dermatologist. The Dermatologist didn't spend much time with us. Blamed the rashes on his carseat & gave us a steroid cream (Fluticasone). I knew that was not the problem but we did what his said. We would lay a towel over the spot his legs would sit. The eczema on his face & legs didn't go away. The steroid cream seemed to burn his skin after the first use. It was awful! I had patted the smallest amount on the sides of his face. His eyes went bloodshot & he was screaming. I almost drove him to the ER. I washed his face before we left.  Then he started looking better. We stopped using Fluticasone & went back to coconut oil. 

Asher has since outgrown the infant seat & moved into a convertible car seat. The leg rashes have stayed. The spots on his face kept coming back. 

Some of the creams we tried were Aveeno eczema cream, Aquaphor, Shea Moisture baby ointment, Cetaphil, CeraVae, California Baby Calendula cream, Cetaphil Restoraderm, Metaderm, hydrocortisone ....I'm sure I'm forgetting some. We did find that pure shea butter relieved the dryness. 

When he was 9 months I started the Whole30 diet. I wanted to figure out what I was eating that was hurting him. Whole30 is 30 days of no grains, no soy, no legumes, no sugar, no dairy & no alcohol. I got to week 3 & his face was the most flared up it's been since he was 4 months. I thought this diet would for sure help him. I was only eating meat, eggs, vegetables & fruits. 

We took him to an Allergist a few days ago.  This picture was from waiting at the Dr. visit. Asher was incredibly itchy & uncomfortable. The baby skin panel test was done on his back. It took just a few seconds. I was able to nurse him & calm him down. 
Then we waited 15 min. to see what he reacted to. 

Asher is allergic to milk, eggs & peanut. I'm glad that I stopped eating dairy 7 months ago. During Whole30 I started eating eggs every morning. That seemed to trigger this flare up. The Allergist said most babies react to peanut during a skin test & he will most likely outgrow it. The Dr. was very helpful. Gave me lots of ideas on how to relieve the itch. 

Asher now gets 2 baths a day. We have to put an antibiotic cream on his legs, then a more mild steroid cream. For his face we use 1% hydrocortisone. Followed up with Vanicream all over his body.  We will do this for 5 days & then have a follow up appt. with the Doctor. 

I'm relieved to know for sure what foods were triggering his eczema. We had been guessing since he was 4 weeks old. Asher has started eating solids so this news is very helpful to us. I'm praying we can get his eczema stable & relieved soon. I never wanted to stop breastfeeding. For me, giving him soy formula was not an option. I'll post an update on Asher's progress soon.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Life is pretty Sweet


My family is sound asleep & I have a rare quiet moment. Feeling really happy and content. 
Thankful for God's love and blessings. 

Look at this scrumptious little cutie! Asher's first time to "sit with the pumpkins".  
Those big, brown eyes melt my heart. 

 Violet is now a first grader. This is our second year of homeschooling. We love it! 
So grateful for this season in our life.

 Zander will be 3 next month! Feels like his baby phase went by too fast. 
He wants a Jake & The Neverland Pirates birthday :)
 Violet & Zander decided to pull out a box of old clothes. They said it was a bubble bath. 
Of course, Asher needed to join them! 
Matt, Asher & I on our date a few weeks ago ;)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Dairy Free For Baby



I've been dairy free for about 2 months now. 

When Asher turned 4 months he had a bad eczema flare up. He was miserable. Scratching his scalp & face. We would keep socks on his hands but he would slide them off. It was very sad to see my baby like that. He also would cry from gas pains. Our Dr. told me to cut out dairy. Breastfeeding is very important to me & I was prepared to change my diet to contine. So, I stopped eating dairy & his eczema is easier to manage. I don't like milk. But I really like cheese & creamy pasta sauces. Also, there is hidden dairy in so many foods. I will have to do a whole separate post to better explain his skin challenges.

For now I thought I would start sharing some of my favorite things to eat! I have found some yummy foods since going dairy free. There are so many options out there. I've also lost 8 pounds just from cutting out dairy! 

First up is a breakfast option- Breakfast Pita! 

I cooked sausage links in a skillet with a little coconut oil. Then I added eggs, diced red onion & 1 diced shallot. I last minute decided to sprinkle about a tablespoon of nutritional yeast in the mix. Then put the mixture in Oroweat Pocket Thins. Some fresh, sliced avocado would taste amazing on this.




Brownies! (adapted from Real Mom Kitchen)

1 box Duncan Hines Devil's Food Cake (dairy free!)
1 small box instant vanilla pudding (3.4oz)
1/4 C. water
3/4 C. coconut oil
2 eggs
1/2 C. chopped Sweet Chocolate Dream bar (Dairy Free from Kroger)

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Spread the dough in a greased 9x13 pan.
4. Bake for about 25 min. or until done in the center.

These were a big hit in our house! 


This Chicken Wrap made a yummy lunch!

1. Warm up a tortilla in a skillet. I used LaTortilla gluten free. 
2. Spread homemade guacamole on tortilla, add spinach leaves, seasoned roasted chicken & hot sauce.
3. Roll up & eat!

Avocado has become my replacement for cheese in a lot of my favorite meals, yum :)

I hope I can help some of you Mama's that are having to go dairy free for your baby. At first I felt a little sad about having to restrict myself. It also bothered me that I was chowing down on cheese & not realizing that it was hurting my baby boy. 

I'll continue to post about my Dairy Free finds! 




Monday, July 1, 2013

Asher is 2 Months Old

Our baby boy is growing so fast! I took staged "watch me grow" pics with Zander for his first year. Now it's Asher's turn! Wish I had been more creative when Violet was a baby. I took a ton of pictures of her as a baby but didn't really do comparison photos. 




Asher had a great, 2 month check up. He weighed 14 pounds,1 ounce. That's a big gain! He was 7 pounds, 9 ounces at birth. As you can tell, he eats very often. During the day he nurses about every 2 hours. He's still sleeping in our bed with us. We have co-slept with all of our babies. I like to keep him close. Easier to wake up & feed him or change diapers this way. Zander is now sleeping on his toddler bed in our room since baby Asher took his spot. I think he's okay with it though. He likes his big boy bed :)

Asher at 2 Months Old

  1. Loves to be held while he's awake. 
  2. Has rolled from tummy to back a few times.
  3. Smiles! Usually when we tickle his face.
  4. Coos when he's happy & has a full belly.
  5. Likes to stare at family pictures on the wall.
  6. Gets lots of hugs & interrupted naps from his well meaning brother & sister. 
  7. His eyes appear to be different colors. They went from being 1 brown & 1 blue. To now 1 brown & maybe green. 
  8. He has a strawberry birth mark on the back of his neck.
  9. Looks a lot like his big brother Zander.
  10. Super Adorable in every way!




Wednesday, June 5, 2013

6 Years

 My family this past Mother's Day.




Wow, this was my 6th Mother's Day! 

Matt is not into cooking but he found a way to get me biscuits & gravy for breakfast. He had some help from Braums ;) That was really sweet. 

The Saturday before Mother's Day he & Violet were working on something in the garage. Violet kept their little secret. Then they gave me a hand painted candle, flowers and homemade bath goodies. I was impressed! Looked like they had a science experiment going on in the garage with their table set up with bowls and scented oils. 

Zander & Asher gifted me with hugs and kisses.

I'm so lucky these beautiful people are mine!