Battling and Winning the Baby’s Skin Issues

Alistaire turned 6 months old yesterday:

I can’t believe that much time has gone by already. 6 months? He is a big boy, he was 28″ long and 19 pounds at his checkup and is starting an “army crawl”. He so badly wants to keep up with Walker.

And finally I am seeing a change in his skin. I have mentioned before just how bad his eczema was. It was REALLY bad. I used the prescription ointment his Doctor prescribed just enough to calm his skin down. His face looked sunburnt from the red skin, he always had chapped skin. On his face, neck, head, arms, chest…everywhere.Once I got his skin healed I changed his body wash/shampoo. We were already using Aveno unscented for eczema but even that was too harsh. I was approached My True Nature about their products. At this point I figured I had little to lose – everything else was drying him out.

He has used their Daisy Natural 2 in 1 Shampoo & Body Wash for the past month or so, and what an improvement.

The ingredient list:

“Purified water, aloe leaf juice*, decyl glucoside**, sodium coco sulfate**, lauryl lactyl lactate, plantago extract*, white peony tea extract*, natural scent, citric acid, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate *Certified organic and originating from organic farms in California or the Pacific Northwest or **Ecocert product originating from Germany.”

 

 
Features

  • All-in-one gentle cleanser & moisturizer for face, hair and body
  • Plant-based, non-irritating cleansers, get your baby squeaky clean without irritating eyes or skin
  • Full of nourishing and calming organic botanicals including olive oil, aloe, and pure essential oils
  • Not tested on animals
  • Completely free of genetically modified organisms, parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, sulfates, synthetic dyes, synthetic fragrances, triclosan or preservatives
  • 100% recycled and reusable plastic bottle

Previously when he’d get out of his bath his skin was tight and prickly red all over, I would have to apply ointment or lotion over his entire body – and he still looked bad. This was a candid photo on May 28th:

You can see how bad it was – and he was covered in Aquaphor. He would scratch at his head, arms, legs – anywhere he could reach.

A month ago he looked better:

Still had the red patches around his mouth though.

Now after I bathe him on most days his skin looks great. I only to use the prescription ointment 2 or so times a week, instead of 2X a day!

And I love their Clio’s Beary Soft Lotion:

No scent outside of the natural scents of the ingredients. I’ve mentioned before how most lotions/sunblock and makeup cause me to itch all over/minor hives. This lotion spreads easily, isn’t greasy and my skin feels great. The trial size “travel bottle” fits in my purse and backpack nicely, letting me carry it. I have used it on both Alistaire and Walker as well. Smooth skin like a baby should have!

The ingredient list?

“Purified water, aloe leaf juice*, shae butter*, sunflower oil* infused with calendula*, comfrey*, plantain*, chickweed*, St. John’s wort*, chamomile* & yarrow root*, behentrimonium methosulfate (and) cetearyl alcohol, bees wax*, hydrolyzed oat flour*, guar gum, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate

*Certified organic ingredient from organic farm in California or the Pacific Northwest.

Most of our ingredients are locally sourced from organic farms in California and the Pacific Northwest.  Those ingredients that are not produced locally come from Germany.

Our bottles are made from 100% FDA-APPROVED RECYCLED PET plastic.  Our pumps, caps and bottles are all BPA free and manufactured in the USA”

And considering the products work….I can say I like them! Truth be told I am considering trying the shampoo/body wash on myself, I have a feeling I will love it. Small business and cruelty free? An even sweeter deal.

~Sarah

FTC Disclaimer: We received product samples for potential review.

Our Weekend Breads & Well, The Weekend!

Someday soon I really hope summer will visit us, for an extended period! Today it is sunny and gorgeous, a teaser of what we might get. And yesterday, Sunday, wasn’t that bad either! The kids kept me busy when I wasn’t in the kitchen making meals.

Walker smiling big:

In a happy mood:

Playing with the kayaks – it was an odd weekend, almost no one out on our lake! A wonderful weekend for paddling, Kirk got out twice -

The littlest one had his 4 month appointment this morning. My boys are not small. Alistaire was 26.5 inches tall and nearly 17 lbs…which explains why he wears size 9 month clothing at 4 months. Sigh!

Alistaire loves to stand, any chance he can get!

What did I make over the weekend for our daily bread? For Saturday we used up Friday’s loaf. Sunday’s bread was a white & whole wheat bread dotted with curry flavored sprouted sunflower seeds. Monday’s bread was more stade, a simple honey bread.

White & Whole Wheat Sunflower Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp warm water
  • 1½ Tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1½ Tbsp dry milk
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, preferably organic
  • 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 3 Tbsp raw sunflower seeds (shelled) (used Kaia/Kaya sprouted curry)

Directions:

Add the ingredients as listed to a bread machine pan, with yeast on top, reserve the sunflower seeds. Set for a 1½ lb loaf white bread, medium crust. During the mixing and first kneading watch the dough for needing a spoonful more flour. Once the dough has mixed, add in the sunflower seeds.

Once baked, remove promptly and knock out, let cool on a wire rack before slicing. Store wrapped, use within a day or two for best results.

This loaf rose quite tall for a 1½ lb loaf, if your machine only goes that big and not to a 2 lb loaf, I wouldn’t recommend it. It worked fine in mine though, just barely below the lid once baked though.

Honey White & Whole Wheat Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ cups warm water
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp neutral oil, such as sunflower
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1½ cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup organic all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup Vital Wheat Gluten Flour
  • 1½ tsp dry active yeast

Directions:

Add in order listed to your bread machine pan. Set for a 1½ lb whole wheat loaf, medium crust. Once baked, remove promptly, cool on a wire rack.

~Sarah

Babies, Gardens and Raw Brownies

Raw brownies? Oh yes. So good even the Toddler wouldn’t leave me alone. Make sure they sit overnight in the refrigerator for the flavors to meld together, let come to room temperature before eating (although they taste great cold also, I found they get even more chocolate tasting when warmed up and soft….) Recipe is at the bottom, I get to bore you first with my kids & garden!

`

Alistaire turns 3 months today. It is going by so fast! The outfit he has on today, Walker wore when he was 4½ months old and it is already snug on Alistaire. He could be my biggest boy!

Walker has helped me in the yards, working on spring cleaning and shopping for new plants to add as well! We went plant shopping on Sunday and came home with 7 new blueberry plants, strawberry plants and some herbs. I found that I lost 4 herb plants over the winter this year. A bummer but it was a cold one so not a big surprise.

Last year Walker and I added many more blueberry plants to an old raised bed on one side of the back yard, they are all doing well. We went through and spruced up things (there is much more added now, after this photo was taken):

He sees the blueberries as “his”!

I decided to finally add plants to flank the back porch:

We transplanted two rosemary bushes that were about 3 years old:

Then added 3 blueberry plants:

Ford and Walker cleaning up the far back, I got them to clean out the yard gear shack and get it organized:

Alistaire enjoying being out in the sun – the weather has been great the past few days:

Another view of the back porch – on the left I planted 4 Pink Lemonade blueberry plants:

What started it all? When we bought the house it came with this patch in the far back – a smattering of blueberries and rhubarb. Seeing how happy Walker was in the bushes led me to plant more. Many more. We were at 27 plants on Sunday. Heh! Yes, we love blueberries. Especially with alpine strawberries growing under said bushes…and rhubarb! (Which I hope to harvest this week)

Back at the shack Ford was locked inside and Walker was trying to break in ;-)

Then on Monday the Toddler and Baby went plant shopping again with Mommy. Walker picked out 6 more strawberry plants to bring home and I found red huckleberry plants (I had to suppress squealing lest strangers think “what an idiot”). I need to dig holes for the huckleberries today, hopefully after nap time! I came to the conclusion last year that unless it produces edible things, it doesn’t get planted. I want the backyard to be an oasis for the kids as they grow up. And also so they can garden with me. And more blueberries planted may mean I actually get to eat some…since Walker beats me to them!

More photos to come, as everything fills out.

Now onto those delicious raw brownies!

Raw Brownies

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup raw walnut pieces
  • ¼ cup raw almonds
  • 2 cups pitted Medjool dates (about 20)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:

Add the nuts to a food processor bowl, process until finely chopped. Knock out into a small bowl, set aside.

Add the dates and process until a paste forms, add the nuts and remaining ingredients, process on high until a ball forms and the texture is as fine as you like.

Line an 8×8″ baking dish with plastic wrap, with enough extra to hang over the sides. Scrape the mixture out of the bowl into the lined dish. Pat out with a spatula, then cover with the over hanging plastic wrap and pat/press smooth till they fill the pan evenly. Chill overnight in the refrigerator, cut into bars and wrap each bar. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. For best taste, let warm up to room temperature before eating.

I cut ours into 8 bars.

~Sarah

Eggroll Crackers

This little boy loves crunchy, crispy nibbles (especially after going to the library!):

This little man maybe not so (he turned 12 weeks today!)

So what did I make?Well….

Leftover eggroll wrappers? Wonton wrappers? Do you end up tossing them into the yard waste bin way too often? Make them into quick crackers – that are crispy and crunchy.

Baking time will depend on your oven – I wanted mine dark and crunchy, for paler crackers cut it back by 1 to 2 minutes.

Eggroll Crackers

Ingredients:

  • eggroll or wonton wrappers
  • cooking spray
  • spices/salt/pepper

Directions:

If using eggroll wrappers cut in half and then into thirds, wonton wrappers cut in half.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with foil, spray liberally with cooking spray.

Spread the wrappers in a single layer (you may need more than one sheet depending on how many you make). Spray liberally with cooking spray on top, then sprinkle spices as you desire. I did chili powder on half, salt & pepper on the remaining ones.

Bake for 5 to 8 minutes (8 for dark). Transfer to cooling racks, store in an airtight container to keep fresh/crispy.

~Sarah

An Intense Week

A busy and intense week to say the least. Alistaire had his 2 month checkup on Monday, which Walker and I took him to.

Walker having fun in the office (and probably glad it wasn’t him getting poked):

Little man? He is a big boy! 14 lbs and 24.41″ long:

His pediatrician heard a heart murmur he hadn’t heard before so we were sent to Seattle Children’s Cardiology unit in Tacoma on Thursday to have him checked out. The good news is he is OK. He does have a Still’s Murmur but it isn’t anything to worry about.The pediatric cardiology office is an amazing place – not a place one wants to visit but I am grateful it is there. They did an EKG and an ultrasound on his heart (the wand was so tiny) and he slept through the US, nestled on a cozy pile of pillows and blankets! But I won’t lie, it was very stressful waiting for him to be seen. Again, I am grateful that the doctors cared enough to check him out just to be sure. And thankful for state of the art technology. For what could be a rather depressing office it was cheerily decorated and easy to use.

With Daddy in the office:

On a happier note, on Tuesday I got out with my friend Tori and her daughter for a walk on the Soos Creek Trail not far from my house. For as long as I have lived here somehow I had never done Soos Creek. Not sure why either. It is paved but isn’t flat like the rail to trails out here – lots of little hills, weaves in and out of forest, open stretches and even little ponds which had ducks. There was even a picnic table at the pond and we had lunch there while Walker had fun running around.

Here he was trapped in the BOB Duallie with Alistaire, while Tori nursed her baby out of sight on a park bench along the trail (handy when you have infants!).

Tori was due before me, but somehow I had Alistaire before her. She is a week or so younger than him. It was so neat when I found out Tori was expecting the same time as me, we have hiked together for a long time – we met on a ladies hiking trip even! She has a BOB as well. It’ll be fun when they are a little older and we can take them on real trails with the BOB’s. Walker loves that…..

We got about 6.5 miles in, a nice walk.

Walker having an applesauce pouch while on the run….I have been giving Walker DHA lately (he had been getting it in his multi-vitamins but I changed types). Brainstrong had sent me samples of the toddler and kid products, he loves the kid’s gummies. I started him on natural gummie vitamins quite a while back and he chews them well. The toddler version of the DHA is a tiny tube of powder you add to food or drink but nope, he wants the “big boy” ones! We are also trying out prototypes of the new DipaerPod as well this week. They are a very interesting concept. A diaper and a trash bag all in one? Perfect for hiking and long stroller walks….

Alistaire is taking to Buggy and Birdy – Walker showed him how to play with them – and he is fascinated/bats at them.

Last but not least? Smiling like crazy this morning!

May the weekend be mellow!

~Sarah

Not So Little Boys

Walker had his 2 year checkup yesterday morning and I wasn’t shocked. He was 97% percentile for both height and head size (37″ tall and 20 ¼” head circumference) and 63% for weight. Meaning he is my strong not-so-little man! Alisatire goes in a week or so for his 2 month appointment, it should be interesting to see how big he is as well. The boys have the same pediatrician and he mentioned looking at the baby that “wow, he is a big boy!”. Yes, I know. I produce big strong Scottish lads! Or maybe Kirk had more to do with that :D Those boys look just like him!

A typical day for Walker – running around.

Alistaire taking a wee nap:

Walker checking out the playground at our health clinic. They are in the process of building a hospital (finally) for us here, the emergency room opens next week. I hope the playground doesn’t disappear though, it is a great treat for Walker after shots!

This was the first time he was old enough to truly enjoy playing on it!

He had a lot of fun running around. We got fortunate and had a break in rain for a few minutes….

Ooh! Bottom of the slide!

~Sarah

My Little Ones – Growing Up and New Gear For Our Outdoor Life

Alistaire tuns 6 weeks today! He has been growing a lot, very hungry. His 3 month clothing became tight over night and now he fits into the 3-6 month and most of the 6 month size clothing. I am so grateful I saved all of Walker’s clothing! The only issue is that a lot of Walker’s clothing was for spring and summer as he was born late March and well, it was actually a warm spring that year! It has been so cold here that Alistaire has been living in sleep and plays night and day. Kind of a bummer to see cute outfits go into the “garage sale” box and he never got to wear them! Oh well – still plenty of cute 6 month clothing ahead ;-)

From last week:

As I mentioned about it being cold and nasty – we have been having snow every couple days of late! On Sunday Walker got to run out and have fun:

A couple months ago he wasn’t sure about snow, now it is fun to him. He should love it in June and July when we are hiking in alpine and he gets to play on 6 foot deep snow!

Out on Tuesday running around our library :-) Our local library was built in the woods, rather than tearing down all the trees and replanting, so lots of play areas for little ones to enjoy!

Walker turns 2 on Saturday as well! I am planning his cupcakes (I am using a recipe from the new Cake Boy cookbook which I have been reading for review). When I look at him and Alistaire together I am constantly reminded what a big boy Walker is now. There is no baby left, he is a little boy!

Playing on Daddy’s camera gear last night:

And now that I am not pregnant and yay, reached 6 weeks, I can exercise again. Love getting that news! Hiking season is nearly here (OK, if it would quit raining/snowing/hailing). I was at Target and came across this:

It is an Eddie Bauer Backpack w/ Harness. Thing is, it is an actual functional backpack that fits a toddler perfectly. The harness’s leash is a bonus if you will…it can clip on or not – good for when you need extra security while hiking. The actual pack though is better made than most “kids packs” are and is affordable at $15. It has a main compartment that zips closed, a water bottle pocket, a front zippered compartment and a little mesh pocket. And the front has two sternum straps (hence making it a harness system) which also means the pack doesn’t shift around on him. He loves it and wants to wear it everywhere! If you want toddlers to love hiking you have to get them gear that looks like mom and dads – and fits them. He gets to carry his winter hat, mittens, sun hat, a juice box and a snack or two. Nothing heavy, but rather he gets used to wearing his own pack ;-) I did that with Ford when he was young, it worked well. I figure I will watch him and when he is ready I will get him jr. trekking poles – but he isn’t ready yet for those. Too tempting/dangerous for him…hah!

Today was glorious weather though! Sunny as can be! So we went for a walk in the morning before naptime. I don’t miss sunny days if I can help it, especially after all the nasty weeks of weather we have had. When Walker was an infant I had seen Sammy Sacks at Stroller Strides – a couple of moms had them for their older toddlers and preschoolers. I bought one that year (2010) in the regular size. It is big, it now is fitting Walker, he will be able to use it for a couple of years. I got thinking about two weeks ago that buying an infant one for Alistaire might be a good idea, and it was. I received it in two days (they are made in Seattle!). It fit the car seat perfectly, I was amazed at how well it worked. Now I can take him out and not worry about the wind and rain as much. It fits like a boot over the seat and stays on. It can also be used for his Bjorn carriers to keep him warm and dry this spring and summer and as well, when older (like above 6 months) he can wear it over him in the stroller. I went the cheap route and got one of the on-sale prints (flames). Walker has the Blue Hawaiian. They might seem pricey but I can tell you they are worth the cost 0 a dry and warm baby or child is a happy one when going strolling or in a front carrier – especially if it is windy.

Walker with his on:

Alistaire with his:

My boys:

Walker agrees – if you want happy little ones when strolling, make their strollers into cozy little caves! Warm backs, toes and bodies make for happy tikes :-)

~Sarah

Spring Is Nearly Here – Walking Time!

I am so excited for Spring to nearly be here! We are finally getting some nice days for walking once again and I can take Walker and Alistaire out for strolls in their tandem stroller.

We went out yesterday for a trial run, to start getting ready for longer walks and when we got back I went through all the gear I had dumped into the stroller and was embarrassed. My stroller was not ready. Oops. I pride myself on keeping my hiking and walking gear ready to go…and due to my not being able to walk much while pregnant, my stroller kit was badly out of shape! I found expired meals, milk and clothing for Walker 2 sizes too small…lol! Oops indeed! So out came everything and I sorted through it. As a bonus due to it not being a jogger stroller I was able to dump my tire kit (although that wasn’t much of a weight savings I can tell you…pushing 55 lbs of kids plus another 50 or so in gear is a workout!).

After the fiasco last August where Walker’s jogger stroller fell apart on us I had kept the Bob Warm Fuzzy insert and was able to use it with the new stroller – a bonus because now Walker’s back doesn’t get cold when we go out (no liner and toddlers get chilled much faster!). And I can attach his SammySack to the seat bar as well:

For now I have a FullBelly cover over Alistaire:

It works great but the downside is not being water and wind resistant (which the SammySack is). I ordered one of the baby size sacks today for him, I will continue using the FullBelly, just under it, for warmth – it works great as a cozy blanket. That way I have less to worry about when we start doing long trips again, especially with cold winds in the valleys.

The stroller has worked well (outside of a cheap screw falling out second use) but has its limitations. It isn’t a jogger so I am limited to paved paths. For the upcoming months that will be fine as I don’t like taking babies under 6 months on unpaved trails, they bounce too much for my comfort. And the double joggers are all so wide I have fears of them fitting through the poles designed to keep cars off the trails. The nice thing is there are plenty of paved rail to trails where we live. But oh well, it allows me to get outside and get exercise, with the babies along.

Today we walked again, it reached 60 and was blue skies and sunny. The rain will return soon enough so I took them outside to enjoy it. I am working on gaining my hiking legs back after my 5 month hiatus of walking. Slowly I am getting back, I doubled our mileage this afternoon and did two miles. Once the weather is less rainy I am hoping to get back to where I walk to town to get a latte, that is a 5+ mile roundtrip with plenty of hills for working the thighs. What I worry most is getting my feet back into shape, so I don’t get toe blisters, more than anything. The actual walking is easy enough! I want by April to be back up to 10 mile walks or longer so I can be ready to hike this summer with all my boys :)

~Sarah

4 Weeks

Alistaire is 4 weeks old today. Where has that time gone? I know I have no clue….

I have lost about 40 to 41 pounds of the 47 I gained and can fit back into most of my regular clothing which really makes me happy. Right before i got pregnant I had done something unusual…I went out and bought a bunch of clothing from Coldwater Creek. Fastest way to get fertility? Buy new clothing that  costs too much…At least it is all like new – hah! Can’t wait for better weather to get here, it has been so cold/rainy and even snowy. I look forward to balmy spring days so I can take the boys out for long walks in the super stroller. That should help work off the remaining weight until I can start going to the gym again (hope I get cleared for working out next week!).

And I am excited….I am in the second week of weaning off my blood pressure medication that I have been on for the past 4 years. As I come off it I can feel my anemia lifting (it is the primary reason I am anemic, pregnancy only made it worse). I am working with my doctor to find meds that work for me, but am happy to have my energy coming back. Only a few more days and I am done with it. Woo!

~Sarah

Photos Of My Littlest Ones

A couple of photos from this morning of me and my two youngest ones :-)

Alistaire and I, with his eyes open:

Walker, me and Alistaire:

Alistaire napping -

~Sarah

%d bloggers like this: