Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mama, Let's Snuggle


Zander is our wild child. 
Most days in our home you will hear a lot of this...

"stop pulling Asher's ears" 
"get off the kitchen counters" 
"Bring back Daddy's keys" 
"stop scratching Violet"
"where are your clothes?!" 
"Don't color the walls"

But then he has these moments where he just melts me. Today he smiled big & said, "let's snuggle Mama." So, we laid down for a few minutes together. I told him he's such a good boy & I liked seeing him act so kind. Then he kissed both of my cheeks like he usually does. 

I'll never say no to snuggle time with my cute babies! 



Asher's Eczema Update


The left was the day we visited the allergist. 
On the right was 4 weeks later.


 These pictures are about 8 weeks since his first Allergist visit. Doesn't he look amazing?! 

I would cry & pray for his skin not to hurt. It was so hard not knowing what was causing his skin to flare up into hives. He was always itchy. We followed the doctor's orders & used hydrocortisone on his face & steroid cream on his legs for about a week. By then he looked drastically better. Also, removing the foods that he was highly sensitive to greatly helped. He's allergic to dairy, eggs & peanuts. Now we know why he had such a bad flare up while I was on Whole30. I was eating eggs daily. Side note, the Allergist mentioned more than once that there is no way to know how much of what I'm eating is getting through my milk to effect him. The allergist kept saying this might just be how his skin is. But I think these results show that what mom eats effects baby! I mean, Asher was never eating eggs and his face still broke out. I am truly grateful for the doctor's help. So relieved that we know what foods to avoid & Asher will most likely outgrow these allergies. 

Now we take care of his skin through diet & I moisturize his skin at least twice a day. I don't like using steroid cream on him. It's been weeks since we've used it. I've been using Vanicream the past 2 months. It comes in a 1 pound tub & is affordable. I also give him detox baths with epsom salts & essential oils a couple times a week. 

At his 1 month check up to the Allergist, they said, "he looks like a completely different kid!" That made me feel good. For months I had been stressing over what was causing his eczema. Also, changing the way I eat has been hard too. But it was all worth it to help my boy! Asher still has very sensitive skin. There are spots on his legs that still get dry. Just recently he tried a sesame cracker and he got hives right away. I'm seeing this is a learn as you go thing. For now I'm doing my best & praying God will guide me to make good decisions. 





Easter 2014


Our little family on Easter morning. 
I bought the boys matching outfits to wear. Then couldn't find Asher's right before church. I think I cried because I couldn't find it. Then Matt found it hanging in Zander's closet. (oops!) But we made it to church. Then we had both sides of our family come to our house for lunch. It was a great day! 

As you can see, Asher is always on the move!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Happy First Birthday, Asher!

Asher is ONE!



Our baby turned one on April 15. 

We had a circus/carnival party at our house. 
Gigi (my mom) made Asher's adorable party t-shirt. 
He looked so cute! Since Asher is allergic to dairy & eggs that made it a little challenging for me to make him a cake. But I wanted him to have something special & I think cake smashing makes for some precious pictures. 

This is the recipe I used~ 
Decadent Chocolate Cake. Our guest said it was good & "fudgey". 
Asher pretty much just played in it & licked his fingers. :)


We also had corn dogs, fries, animal crackers, popcorn & moon pies. 


Everyone had fun posing with circus props. 



Asher walked all over the place trying out his new toys. 
(He picked up walking quick,btw!)




Happy Birthday, baby boy! 
We love you so much. 
You bring so much joy & happiness to our family. 
I am so thankful for you. 
Love & Lots of Kisses, Mama



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.