Monday, July 8, 2013

How Long Has It Been?

A couple of weeks ago I was watching my littlest playing at the kitchen table in her little sundress. It occurred to me, as I watched her chubby little arms, that it was the first time since she was 10 months old that she had bare arms, legs and feet and her skin wasn't scabby/bloody and rough. Then I remembered her first summer when she was five-six months old, I put her in little rompers with bare arms, legs and feet but even then, she had those horrible eczema patches on her body. So this summer was the first time since she was a newborn that she had clear skin! I started crying when I realized that. Makes me want to cry right now, too!

I may not have it all down yet but I'm getting better at managing her allergies. I don't even care right now if she never outgrows them (I reserve the right to change my mind on that). I'm so glad that she's happy and healthy! She is a force to be reckoned with, that's for sure!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Maybe not...

So I remade the salve yesterday without the vitamin E oil. Coconut oil, olive oil, beeswax plus the EOS - LLP and LLM (M being melaleuca or tea tree oil). I applied them on her legs last night which were shredded a few days ago. She slept pretty well during the night. This morning, when I dressed her, I did the same thing. LLM on her legs and knees and LLP on the bottoms of her feet. Twenty minutes later, her legs are bloody. What I don't know is why. Is she itching from the salve? That seems the most obvious answer. But what could be causing the problem now.

I'm beginning to think that putting anything on her skin is just a bad idea. She can't tolerate any traditional lotion/cream which is why I began to make some. But it seems she can't tolerate the homemade ones either. So far only Manuka honey has been really successful but I can't have her bandaged up like a mummy all the time.

I just read an article about a child who can literally only eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or he becomes violently ill. I can't imagine what that family has gone through. Actually I CAN imagine it after dealing with Katherine. I'm just so sad for this poor family and realizing how easy I have it compared to others.

I need to find my positive outlook again. I know I used to have it....I just need to find where I left it.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The list grows

At 2am, after finally giving my daughter some Benadryl, I started running through my mind all the things she'd eaten/come into contact with recently that could cause the new itching. The poor child has a very limited diet that I closely monitor so it couldn't be food, could it?

I thought perhaps it could be the new salve that I had made. Camp Wander has posted a wonderful salve recipe and I made up a batch this weekend. I included the optional vitamin e oil because it's so healing. In fact, in my early 20s, I burned my leg on a motorcycle. I began putting vitamin e oil on the burn every day when I changed the bandages and continued applying vitamin e oil everyday until it was healed. I never had a scar. So I totally believe in the healing abilities of vitamin e oil on the skin.

I had been having some success with my little one's skin using the LLP oils (Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint) on her feet. So I added the oils to the salve and we rubbed it on her skin everywhere she was itching.

Then things gradually started to get worse. I thought perhaps it was the dairy she's been eating (more than usual since that's a once-in-a-while food). But that doesn't usually cause itching. I was stumped.

Until 2 am. Apparently that's when I do my best thinking.

Last year, I made a coconut oil body butter - just coconut oil and vitamin e oil. It made her skin worse and I assumed it was the coconut. A few months ago, I ordered some vitamin e oil to put on her feet. Made everything worse. I assumed it was the wheat germ listed on the ingredients. So I ordered pure vitamin e oil (which, to be fair, I thought I had ordered the first time around). But I hadn't used the oil on her until making the salve.

The only thing all these have in common is vitamin e. So I looked up "allergy to vitamin e" and it turns out that this causes dermatitis. And vitamin e is found naturally in things like peanut butter, mayonnaise, and eggs. Hmm...all of these things are on her deadly list.

I'm annoyed that I have to throw out all the salve I made and start over (mostly because it seems a waste of money). But I will do it anyway. Anything for my little one.

Now comes the question of how to avoid vitamin e. That one's a little trickier than the rest of the laundry list.

Attempt #468

I've tried the "blogging thing" several times over the last several years but life keeps getting in the way and I feel like I don't really have the time. I'm finding that I need an outlet of some kind, though. I've never been one to keep a journal before. But I think I'll try blogging...again. Just for me. We'll see how long it lasts.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I'm Learning...

This weekend was our annual Memorial Day/Hubby's Birthday BBQ. We had a great time with good friends and last minute visit from my wonderful sister.

I didn't take a single picture of any of it! ARG! I never think about taking pictures at the time and then, when it's all over, I'm mad that I don't have any pictures. Maybe next year....

This year I had to figure out what to make for my littlest. So, in addition to the usual birthday cake for my husband (PW's Strawberry Shortcake Cake - you must have this cake!), I made gluten-free, egg-free chocolate sour cream cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. They were so good. They were almost gone by the end of the party.

If you haven't discovered her books already, you must look for The Cake Mix Doctor's books. I have been using them for years - much faster than baking from scratch and I usually get good results which can be difficult baking at high altitude. The Cake Mix Doctor recently published a gluten-free book. I bought a GF chocolate cake mix (pricey!), doctored it up according her recipe, and replaced the eggs with an applesauce/water/oil/baking powder mixture. They worked beautifully and no one knew they were GFEF (gluten-free, egg-free) unless I told them.

On top of that, I had to make my famous cheesy potato dish. There are those who would be really mad at me if my potatoes weren't at a summer BBQ. The problem is that the dish uses cream of chicken soup which has - you guessed it - gluten. So I made my own gluten-free cream of chicken soup to use instead. And I left off the breadcrumb topping all together. Again, everything worked really well and the potatoes were gone in a flash!

I'm beginning to feel much better about my ability to adapt to this new diet for the little one (and the rest of us, I guess). Today's challenge? Gluten-free, egg-free chocolate chip cookies....and I might even try making date syrup to use as the sweetener instead of sugar. Wish me luck!

Oh and remind me to TAKE PICTURES!!

Ferocious Lions

Disclaimer - This is my first attempt at posting a video and I have NO idea if it will work or not. If not, I'll post the link to YouTube since I have it as "unlisted." Hope it works!

I took the girls to the zoo a couple of weeks ago as a field trip. Apparently every other school in the state had the same idea though. Tons of kids were there! But Katherine was big enough this time to see the animals and sort of understand what they were.

The lions were out this time and we saw at least two male lions and three or four female lions. My older girls and their friend, Luke, were roaring at the lions through the glass. And Katherine noticed. Since then, she has been looking for pictures of lions in her books. She found one in her Noah's Ark book and here is the result.

(Please disregard the messiness in the background - we had a busy morning.)

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Ok, people, I'm frustrated and I don't care who knows it!

I am stressed about this new diet we're doing around here - no egg, no peanut, no gluten. My baby has severe allergies to the first two and has a gluten intolerance. She has been gluten free for just over two weeks now and it's working wonders on her. I'm stressed because it's working. Secretly, I think I hoped that gluten wouldn't be the issue and I could go back to normal - to all the cooking I've known for the last 38 years. But those days are gone. And I frustrated.

What do I usually do when I'm frustrated? I bake.
What do I do when I'm upset or stressed? I bake.
What do I do when I'm happy about something? I bake.
What do I do to show my family and friends that I love them? I bake!

Now my mother did teach me not to brag but right now I don't care. I love to bake and I'm pretty darn good at it. If I bake something - even a new recipe - I know that it's going to come out good and tasty. It just always does.

I can't bake now, people!

Every gluten-free recipe calls for egg. This is because, without gluten, baked goods have nothing to give them structure. So if anything gluten-free recipes call for more eggs than regular baking. I have been able to use egg replacers in regular baking. But what now?

I realize this shouldn't be this big of a deal. In fact, my youngest isn't really that into cake and cookies, etc. But I AM! And if it's going to be in the house, it needs to be Katherine-friendly. This kid is no dummy. She sees that other people are eating different things. And she wants what they're having.

I think if we just had to worry about gluten or just worry about egg, it wouldn't be so stressful to me. I've been dealing with the egg allergy for seven months now and, though it's been difficult at times, it hasn't been impossible. The gluten issue doesn't seem impossible either - lots of products, cookbooks and websites out there now to help. But both together feels overwhelming to me right now.

I haven't cooked much since we started eating gluten-free. I'm scared to, quite honestly. I guess it's time to jump in and see what happens. But the outcomes are unknown to me right now....and that stresses me.

I'll feel better tomorrow.

Thanks for listening.

More positive posts to come.