Our Bought with Infant Eczema

So, at nearly four months of age, our daughter developed a rash. It was pretty bad and came out of nowhere! I didn’t notice it much until after I gave her a bath and she’d been dry and dressed a couple of hours. Then, bam!! During a diaper change I noticed her whole front was a bright cherry red!!

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(Forgive the quality of my phone camera mixed with shaky hands and wiggly baby!)

Needless to say I was horrified, of course, and immediately began reading articles and forums. It was a weekend and I didn’t have an after hours number for our pediatrician; I’ve had success in reading mom forums concerning other matters, so it seemed like a good course of action. I read and read, then looked and looked at pictures of other baby rashes. After much research, I decided that Eczema seemed to fit her symptoms best. I then started trying various home remedies to see if we could get the rash under control.

First, I tried coconut oil after another bath; it did help some for a little while, but it didn’t send the rash packing! I then tried an oatmeal bath and that seemed to calm the rash down best.  My husband wasn’t convinced that it was eczema though, so we tried a few rash creams on hand and after some failure there, we started treating it like a heat rash; plain water bath and then leave it alone. The good news was, it didn’t make the rash any worse.

When we finally hit Monday morning and I called the Dr. office, the nurse didn’t seem very concerned. She (like my husband) thought it was a heat rash, told me a few things to try, compiled a bag of free samples for me to pick up and assured me that it would be gone by the next week (baby’s four month check up.) I picked up the samples, bathed her again to try some of the samples, but to no avail. In fact, the product seemed to be irritating the rash all over again. So I ended up washing everything off again and waiting a day or so to try another sample. Long story short, none of the samples worked and I went back to doing nothing but warm water baths. At the four month appointment, the pediatrician told me the rash was Eczema and gave some product names to try for soaps and lotion time.

Can I just say, that I was surprised – no, floored that all of the recommendations (from the nurse and pediatrician) were adult products! I had never heard of such a thing – who knew that anyone would recommend exposing such tender, sensitive skin to (in my opinion) such harsh and strong products?! And surprise, surprise, the adult soaps he recommended were too hard on her skin and made the rash worse all over again! It was then that I decided to pull out the lavender Aveeno Baby wash that had been given to me at a baby shower. Up to that point I’d been using a baby wash brand that my sister loved using with her boys. It wasn’t a bad brand, but I sadly couldn’t use it any longer for her body, but I knew Aveeno Baby was an oatmeal base. I’d had a good response to the oatmeal bath I’d given the prior week, so this was sure to work better than anything else, right?! I also decided to forgo the adult lotion the pediatrician mentioned and only use the adult hemorrhoid cream plus Aveeno Eczema Therapy moisturizing cream; but I didn’t want to use the hemorrhoid cream any longer than absolutely necessary. I’d been instructed to bathe her daily and use the hemorrhoid cream and lotion twice a day. However, I only followed this instruction for a couple of days before I backed down on the hemorrhoid cream to once a day, then cut the it’s use to occasionally during the week and used mainly the Aveeno Baby wash and Eczema Therapy cream. After a couple days more I was also able to reduce use in the Eczema Therapy cream and I only use it when I feel a need. I’ve pulled out the hemorrhoid cream only a couple of times since then, but only if I feel like it’s really necessary. I would always rather use the Aveno first before resorting to adult hemorrhoid cream.

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(What her tummy looks like today)

The rash that started out so terrible looking has now been reduced to only  to some occasional bumps on her arms and legs. Our experience with baby Eczema is probably mild compared to most, but I can’t help but want to share the story in hopes that, perhaps, you will be encouraged. I also would like to suggest that you try Aveeno if you haven’t yet! Though the bath wash/shampoo isn’t specifically made for Eczema, it is mild in fragrance and the oatmeal base ingredient of the product is so gentle on their skin! The Aveeno Eczema Therapy cream is specifically designed for the condition and it works in a matter of days, and is still made for the sensitive skin of a baby.

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(What to look for…)

When no other baby product would work (or adult product for that matter,) Aveeno was there for our baby, and hasn’t let her down yet. Here’s hoping for success in your search for relief to your baby’s struggle with Eczema!

Blessings!

Give Something Back

My husband and I are involved in a small group (a life group, if you will) that has been talking for far to long about various options on how we could give something back in our community. The answer to the questions “what” to give back and “how” really alluded us and we never really found anything that “fit” our group as a whole. We could volunteer at a soup kitchen… But, I worked with benevolence distribution for many years, knew some of the people we would meet there in this small town, and was not willing to expose my family to the possible (and dare I say probable) risks there. We could do something in our neighborhoods, and I’m sure we eventually will, but there aren’t currently any needs that stand out too us. Oh, we help each other; we’ve volunteered to help around the church (not trying to downplay the importance of this), but most of what we’ve done hasn’t hit that special, sweet spot in our hearts as a group. But, all of that is about to change!

You see, one of the Families in the group have a toddler that was born with a hole in her heart which sent them on a 2-2.5 year journey.  But, their active, little toddler had never known that she had a condition that would need corrected after her second birthday, and no one who met her would be able to guess her need for surgery was genuine. After the arrival of her second birthday the doctors began taking steps to plan and schedule a surgery. When the date finally arrived, the family traveled to the doctor’s children’s hospital of choice and began another long journey. What should have been a quick in and out hospital stay, and a week or so of healing ended up being about month total spent in the hospital. The father took as much time off as he dared, but had to return to work before the time in the hospital was over. One of the grandmother’s was able to be there to help during the hospital stay, though – a true blessing! And, all the while the family was able to save money by not staying at a hotel; instead, they were able to stay at the local Ronald McDonald House! The people, the Families, the workers that they met all made such an impact that it didn’t take long as a group for us to agree that this is at least one place where we definitely want to give back!
So, this past Sunday afternoon we prepared a meal we could provide the Families staying at our own local R.M.H. and it was something we were all excited about doing.

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Image borrowed from: http://www.rmhc.org/home

I’ve known the basics about the Ronald McDonald House for some time, but I never knew enough to feel fully schooled in everything they offer. Not that I am schooled yet, but I know so much more now than before. R.M.H. is made up of a LOT of volunteers that each spend at least 4-6 hours of their week dedicated to working the desk,  caring for their guests, and doing a small list of housekeeping for their shift. The hotel like rooms are a perfect getaway for those stressed by hospital life and there is plenty if sleeping options available for the larger Families and even rooms with cribs for those who need them! The rooms are beautiful! For their convince, the guests have access to a laundry room and each room has an assigned fridge and pantry in the House kitchen, plus the community fridge and pantry. What a beautifully, wonderful organization it is, and there is so much more I could tell!

Giving back to your local community is so important. It can take some time to find something that works best for you, your family, or your group, but once you find it, the good feelings just keep coming. Whether the lives you touch are a family of one or ten families of twelve, the new people you end up meeting could become very near and dear to your heart. But even if they don’t, the experience can still change your life. You will never know until you get out there though. There are so many ways you can be a blessing to others, and so many needs needing meet! The beauty really is, that it can be something as simple as mowing the lawn for the elderly – it doesn’t matter, as long as you are giving of yourself and you feel the blessing as a result. So, start looking around at the opportunities in your own community, and start taking steps to work towards some way you can give back. Sometimes, just one simple act of love and care can make all the difference in the life of another!

Blessings all!
Cilla

Episode Wha-Huh??

A long time ago in a cyber net far, far away…

Okay, so maybe not that long ago, or that far away. I knew when I started setting up this blog that I would be doing multiple posts that would tie together. So, I decided that inserted of doing “part 1,” “part 2” and so on of these related posts, I would instead like to call them “Episodes!”

And there you have it! Mystery solved!!

Operation: Baby’s First Birthday Party – Episode 1

So, I knew after the birth of our daughter that I wanted to try to have an awesome party. I also knew that we could afford to buy much for any party we threw. And I knew this would mean I would be making most or all of my decorations by hand and possibly doing even more. Accomplishing some of this would require a lot of time! So, if there would be even a small possibility of pulling it off, I knew I needed to start planning early. And that’s just what I’m doing!

Side Note: I’ll be releasing updates on my progress with this party as I go! As of right now, the planning stage is where I am. But, I’m very excited to begin crafting the party décor! I hope you’ll check back in and join me for the whole of this Wonderland journey. Now, moving on.

To start, I grabbed some copy paper and began sketching a rough idea of what I wanted the house party to look like inside the home. The theme: An Adventure Through Onederland. I plan for each room to be a different place to visit inside Wonderland.
I pulled out a journal that was given to me during my pregnancy and went to town!
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With this journal I started breaking down each room and making some semi-detailed notes for different room themes and decorations I wanted to incorporate. I used the left side of the book to sketch a rough draft of the room, the size, stations, etc., and the right side of the book to list everything I wanted to happen in the room with connecting notes. The next two pages were left free for additional notes regarding anything new I would think of later or anything forgotten this time around.
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(So it was a really rough draft!)

With my breakdown of the house complete, I can now move on to phase 2 – creating a list of things to make vs things to buy! The ultimate goal being, to create a successful party on a limited budget. Realistically, whatever I put on this list will probably look a little different in the end, depending on last-minute time availability.

I hope you’ll enjoy sharing this journey with me and get some ideas along the way for your own amazing birthday, budget friendly parties!

Remembering Flexibility

Once upon a time, there was a girl who had a father who loved punctuality and a mother who was known for always running behind. From a young age she decided she would always make it her goal to be on time, if not early, wherever she went!

This was my story in school, in gatherings and events, and even in meeting personal goals for many years until (cue music to an abrupt and screwy halt) my life took a turn. A turn for the better mind you, but a change nonetheless! This change can be described in one word. Family. As a single person there was little to no issues getting where I was going or doing what needed done. Getting married added a new layer of complexity that I had underestimated in the beginning. Having a child added an even larger dose of complexity to the game and it was then that my suspicions were confirmed. When you have family, you not only have multiple bodies, but multiple schedules, and multiple needs, etc., and nothing is the same. You just can’t expect to always get everything accomplished in the amount of time you desire, or sometimes at all. One of the main ideals you must adopt is “flexibility, flexibility, flexibility.” If you can’t be flexible and roll with the punches, you’ll be miserable and in turn, so will be your family. Now, this doesn’t mean I’m advising you to give up. Oh, not at all! Keep those goals. Keep trying to get done what you want. But, don’t forget to enjoy the ride; try not to stress out; be ready to incorporate a plan “B”; and perhaps more importantly, find and look for the humor in everything!! They say, if mamma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. So, let’s make sure we do whatever we can to keep the needless bad attitudes to a minimum and the enjoyable moments in family just that; Enjoyable.

The Journey Begins

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been trying to “wait patiently” for the opportunity to start my “dream job.” While I attended college, they didn’t offer a major in my field of interest. There wasn’t an internship for me to be a part of, or even a single class I could enroll in. No, my dream job is one you, more or less, just have to dive into and figure out along the way. It’s a very demanding, high stress job, and there are no promotions, raises, or days off. In fact, there are not even vacations and you can’t earn even a dime for all the hard work you put into the long days that often include “overtime.” What is this terrible career I’ve chosen to be the field of my dreams, and why would I even want to consider it?

Believe it or not, there are a good number of pros that come with the job even amidst the seemingly endless list of cons: 1. You are the boss; 2. The rewards of the heart outweigh pocket change any day of the week; 3. You get to be part of something truly amazing. These are by no means the only good reasons in the list, for the job I’m speaking of is, of course, parenting.

That’s right, from as far back as I can remember, I’ve always dreamed of being a mother. To be even more specific, a stay at home mother and homemaker. But when you are a single woman, you can’t be a stay at home mom (at least not easily.) And even if I could have pulled it off somehow, my religious belief doesn’t support having a sexual partner outside of marriage and I fully desired to continue in obedience to those Biblical teachings. Being a fulltime homemaker is also especially difficult to do when you are single. I actually had very little time dedicated to the home, though part of this was by choice. I am very much a relational person who is energized by sharing life with others close to me. If I’d chosen to dedicate the time I felt was needed to keep the house how I wanted it (perfect) I would have been forgoing companionship all together and I decided that relationships were more important to me. So, only basic housework saw my face regularly.

I had hoped to dive into fulltime homemaking as soon as I was married, but after our marriage my husband and I agreed that I should continue working as long as possible to build up as much in savings as we could before having children. I even kept working while pregnant until it was about a month prior to my delivery date; but all that is a story for another time. It was a good decision to keep the second income though.

Today, I truly am doing what I have desired most along the road of life. Not everyone gets to say they are living their dream, but when I finally was able to quit my job (which was a good job with wonderful people, I might add) living my dream is just what I’d begun to do. I couldn’t have been more excited, though it would be some time before I could dive into my newest career of keeping the home. I knew caring for a newborn and infant would be demanding, and it has possibly been more so for me than the “average” mother… If there is an average. That also is a story for another day. But, even with all the demands, the rewards are phenomenal! And I’m so happy to be living this life.

But, this is not the only journey that I begin. I’ve known for at least a year that I wanted to begin a blog, but waiting until I was no longer working a full time job seemed like the way to go. However, with so much work going into beginning a blog, this may or may not have been the best choice. I’ll never really know.  Either way, here I am today, starting new journeys, and sharing my dreams through my love of writing! Now, I don’t claim to be a great writer or even a good one, but I do have a passion for it and have since childhood. I’m very excited about the new road ahead and can’t wait to see where it will take me, and even us!

Welcome

Welcome to my corner of the world! I look forward to spending time with you here in my virtual home. I’ll share my passions, free advice (that you can take or leave at will), fun activities, and more! You are, of course, welcome to share each moment with me every step of the way.

I would like to mention some housekeeping items. Since this is my “virtual home” and I’ve invited you in, I would greatly appreciate it if you would respect each item mentioned:

1. Please make yourself “@ home” here and feel free to engage in conversation.

2. Please be respectful to each other in your responses to one another. If your comments become disrespectful or are perceived to be spoken in a hateful manner, I reserve the right to remove your comment(s).

3. Do not use profanity on my blog. If you choose to do so, I reserve the right to remove your comment(s).

4. I also reserve the right to change and update the House Rules as I see necessary.

5. Have a wonderful and fun time sharing life with me!

Blessings to you all!

Cilla