Monday, February 25, 2013

Atopic Dermatitis, Er... Eczema

this was a bad day, though not the worst.

In the beginning of November, I noticed a few red spots on the back of JM's legs - behind his knees. I joked that he was getting scabies since the summer was over and he was no longer getting his super long daily baths.  Of course it wasn't scabies- it was eczema.  Well, I diagnosed him. I am 99.9999% I am right in this diagnosis.

The small red spots started to spread and inflame.  He would say it hurt and everyday it was looking worse.  I tried coconut oil (my first remedy for anything) and it didn't do anything.  A dear friend of mine made me a special concoction of Comfry powder, wheat germ oil, raw honey, lavender and chamomile, it helped a little, but was too thick to use easily. 

(To skip my drawn out explanation of learning the remedy, scroll down to Recipe for Fighting Eczema)

I turned to listservs and natural bloggers and nutritionists and learned that I should treat it from the inside out.  Makes sense to me.  The biggest common culprit I read about was dairy (big surprise- not). For JM's first year we avoided all dairy.  His body couldn't handle it in my milk when he was a baby and I cut it out of our diets.  With the summer months being as hot as they were, and JM being as cute as he is, we started giving him more ice cream, which lead to us being more relaxed on his dairy.  We were always out and about and would often grab a slice here and there as we walked around the city (which led to a child who LOVES pizza).  We would get Mister Softee or GROM and sit and watch people for hours. 

Because of the humidity of the summer, eczema doesn't tend to be a problem. As soon as the weather changes and the air becomes dry, BAM! bring on the pain.

I decided to cut dairy out of his diet and see if that made a difference.  In the vein of treating from the inside out, two other common remedies were probiotics (which improve milk allergies and aid in fighting inflammation), and fish oil.

After consulting with my favorite natural pharmacists, I started adding 1/8 teaspoon of Commensal to his morning juice.  It was also suggested to give him a teaspoon of fish oil.  He liked it at first, but then stopped.  I am just now beginning to sneak it into his smoothies again.

To ease his comfort and keep his skin moisturized I bought a really thick calendula cream that I put on at night and after his baths.

Long story short, it all worked!  His legs are WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY better. Not just a little bit, a whole lot better. I don't know what part I should thank the most but the combination was perfect.

Recipe for Fighting Eczema:

  • Short lukewarm baths 2-3 times a week (with butt washing in between) DO NOT Rub dry. Only pat effected area
  • Apply a thick calendula salve to effected area once or twice a day (immediately after a bath while the skin is moist)
bought this at a health food store in NC. This stuff is GREAT

  • Add 1/8 teaspoon of Commensal to juice, rice milk or anything cold daily for 30 days, then reduce to every other day
Adult serving is 1/4 teaspoon, cut that in half for kids

  • Give one teaspoon of fish oil
This also comes in a kids one, but it is the same thing. Again, serving for adult is 2 teaspoons, just give 1 for a kid.

  • NO DAIRY!!!!!!!  Use fake cheese for burritos, use rice or almond milk for everything milk related and use a non-dairy buttery spread in place of butter. We sub So Delicious or tofutti  for ice cream (too much soy is no good either- for a list of other reasons).  A week ago, JM was too qucik and ate some of our regualr cheese while we were prepping for dinner and no joke, his legs were worse for three days after)
I wish I had a really good before and after shot, but I don't.  Picture sad, red, swollen skin, and then don't picture it and you have a good visual. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Guy.

I'm not a big Valentine's Day person. Never was. This year I have a Valentine and he's the greatest.  There are many reasons why. Like the ones I write about now.

The other night after reading books, JM and I were laying in his bed and he yawned and said "Oh, i must be tired."

Everyone says this is such a fun time and a fun age, and it's true. For us. He is his own person. Like a real grown person. Own thoughts, own wants, own needs, own personality.  He might as well be a man- In a two year old's body.

He has still yet to have a haircut, josh shaves his head and I rarely get mine cut.  So, he isn't really exposed to haircuts often.  The other day, he woke up and the first thing he said was "My hair is crazy, I need a haircut!"

Scrambling eggs

There are so many funny things he says.  Everyday it's something new and something hilarious. A lot of the time it's simple things like "Hey Mama, how are you feeling?"  Or "Hey, what are you up to".  If you ask him what he's up to, his response is always "Oh, just ____________." 

"Dad, I'm just laying down, relaxing, eating my muffin"

He is kind, polite, caring, funny, energetic, silly, brave, thoughtful, smart and a million other things.  Sometimes he'll just stop, look and me and say "I love you Mama."  And when he really wants something, he calls me Mama Darlin'. 9 out of 10 times he'll get what he wants.

Mama, come jump with me!

He hardly ever fusses and I can't remember the last time he had a fit or tantrum. He pouts though and will give you the evil eye if he is unhappy about something you did or said, but that's as bad as he gets.  He's only been in time out three times and they were all for not listening and doing what we asked him not to do repeatedly. I hope the next one is the same.

Pouty Pants
Pouty Face
He was maaaad at me

He isn't into naming his toys or stuffed animals yet and usually if you ask him the name of one of his toys he'll just say cat, bear, dog.  The one animal he fully named and the name has stuck is "Monkey Instead".  I was rattling off a bunch of names for this new money he got in his stocking and he kept saying no.  Finally, I said should we just call him Monkey instead? He said Yes! Monkey Instead. That is his name. He is never referred to by his firt name only, it is always Monkey Instead.  He knows what instead means, and uses it in conversation so to me it's funny that it has also become a last name.

We started putting him in underwear during the day around Christmas, and it has stuck. He is 99% potty trained. He has had no accidents (major) and only wears a pull up for bed time. 

He's a pretty great guy and he has stolen my heart.  Josh can be my valentine too, but this year is especially for this little guy. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


We have a friend who makes cakes. Not just like "Hey I made a cake today". More like "Hey I made a fantastic cake, inside and out. AND it was customized and very special."  I like having talented friends and I like the barter system.  See, we (josh) has a skill she needed and she offered her talent in return.  Who could say no to TWO custom cakes?  If you know josh, not him.  Josh's cake was dark chocolate with dark chocolate ganache insides and a frosting made out of something good.  I usually hate frosting, but this was good.  She made josh and JM out of fondant and they were great (that isn't supposed to be josh's hair, it is a beany).  JM loved the cake, but especially loved eating himself.

Then, if that wasn't grand enough, when it came time for my birthday she wanted to make me something special, and boy did she!  She asked what flavor I would want, my all time special cake flavor is Chocolate Lavender, and that is what I got.  It was perfect. Everything about it. The letter, flowers and bows were madfe out of white chocolate and this frosting was also really good.  I only wish I could have shared it with Cicely, cause she would have loved it too.  

I wish I could have taken pictures of the inside, but once we started eating I forgot all about the camera.  I don't know if she has a website, but I will find out.  If you ever need a cake. A very special delicious cake, this is your lady.  For real.  Let me know and I will give you her contact info.  I will also post her website if she has one.

Christmas! It's Here!

As all previous and future Christmas's- this year's was celebrated in NC.  We did a lot of hanging out with family and just taking it easy.  We drove both ways and JM was a dream the whole time. With stops it was 12 hours each way. I'm not gonna lie, I was nervous.  BUT we got the rental car for $60 for a one way.  With tolls, gas and food, the round trip was about $450 vs $1400 + for flight. I've already posted the Farm and Skateboarding pictures from the week, here are my Christmas Leftovers. 

Cousins Enforcing Good Dental Habbits
He was more still for her than he ever was for me
Helping Eating break bread for stuffing (down there it's called "dressing")

Classic JM Hair

He has not stopped playing with the trains or track since


RUNNING around the Mexican Restaurant (best salsa i've had)

At the Shooting Range. We took turns shooting and watching the kids.  The Boy was SUPER sick here.  But this is 20 minutes after advil. It is a wonder drug (when needed)

"Mama, I still chilly!"

Road Trip Bathroom Stop. When you gotta go, you gotta go.