Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ezra's skin


When Ezra was only a few months old we discovered that his skin was slowly getting red patches on his face.


At first I thought it was just baby acne, but it started to spread and it quickly got really bad. Like really, really bad. It started covering his scalp and the oils from his scalp would make his hair sticky and crusty. Washing it with mild soap or even water would cause his hair to fall out. He was so itchy and so miserable. When Ezra's skin was at it's worst, it looked like this...




It was terrifying. It was overwhelming. I felt completely hopeless, defeated and so sad for not being able to take his pain away. I stopped taking the kids out because I couldn't take the questions and the judgmental stares. I started washing Ezra's clothing and bedding in free and clear detergent and no dryer sheets (something we learned from my husband's dermatologist). Ezra had to wear socks on his hands to keep him from scratching his red spots raw. He would scratch them so hard they would bleed. He wouldn't sleep long stretches because he would wake up scratching his itches. I would nurse and rock him to sleep many times during the night. I would cover him with aquaphor and wished I could take every itch away from his tiny body. He had just recovered from having RSV where he needed breathing treatments with a nebulizer every few hours and now this?


After many calls and visits to the pediatrician, we finally got an appointment with a dermatologist. We met with the nurse practitioner and almost immediately she brought the dermatologist in to take a look at sweet, miserable Ezra. They determined that he had seborrhea and eczema with a staph infection. They also thought that his car seat could be giving him car seat dermatitis (yeah, that's a thing apparently. Skin sensitivity to the chemicals used in chemical coating on car seats). We got prescriptions for a hydrocortisone cream for his face, a corticosteroid ointment for his body (called triamcinolone), an oil steroid for his head and an antibiotic to treat the staph infection. I thought some of his problems were diet related, but they were certain it was all skin related and that I didn't need to alter my diet and that I should continue nursing.

When we got home I started his lotions and potions (what my mother calls them) and did as much internet research as I could. I had already looked up a lot while waiting for the dermatologist appointment, but now I had names and a diagnosis. I researched car seats and their coatings and found out that Britax and Orbit Baby were the only two manufacturers that agreed to not sell car seats with those harmful coatings staring January 1, 2013. So I went to Buy Buy Baby and searched every car seat box in their rafters to find a car seat that was manufactured in 2013. The salesman thought I was NUTS. I was so sad to get rid of Ezra's car seat because I had spent so much time revamping it from when it was one of the twins' car seats, but I didn't even hesitate if it would make Ezra better.



Immediately Ezra started feeling better. He (and I) started sleeping better. Things were working.



(Ezra's fancy and new no-harmful-checmicals car seat!)




Ezra ended up needing two rounds of antibiotics to clear up the staph infection, but he was progressing. It was slow, but it was progress and I was jumping for joy.


(the car seat i made a new cover for and had to get rid of)




A year later, we still have to use creams/ointments on him daily, but he doesn't have to use the oil anymore and the concentration for his two creams have decreased with one now being an over-the-counter hydrocortisone. A few things I've learned with this whole thing:

1. What works for my baby/your neighbor/your internet friend's kid may not work for you. Everyone is different with different skin issues. It's a process to find out the right products used in the right combination.

2. We wash anything and everything before it touches Ezra's skin. If not, he gets red bumps wherever he comes in contact with that fabric.

3. If we miss one application (some creams were twice a day in the beginning), it would set us back DAYS of progress. So I never skipped applications if I could help it.

4. After I applied his creams I would slather his body with aquaphor. His doctor said he has the kind of skin that can never have too much lotion on it, but aquaphor really helps. We tried CeraVe creams and lotions, but aquaphor works the best by far. I keep a tub of it on his dresser/changing area and put some on him with almost every diaper change. It really makes a huge difference applying it consistently.

5. Mustela Stelatopia Cream Cleanser is a really good body wash for Ezra. It doesn't dry him out or make him oily. (They're not paying me to say this [neither is aquaphor], but if you're reading this Mustela, you can totally send me free products, thanksssssss.)


I've hesitated putting these pictures online because they eat me up inside, but I'm sure there are many out there that are going through the same thing. I've had many questions on my instagram account on what i did/do for Ezra's skin that it's about time I write it down. I know how awful it is seeing your baby go through something so terrible, so if this helps anyone even in the slightest I will be so happy! Healthy skin is the best. We are so, so happy his skin is clearer and in a more manageable state.



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

the coolest camera bag that doesn't look like a camera bag


Back in July I was sent this amazing camera bag by THEIT. I first saw this camera bag a couple of years ago on a blog and wanted it SO bad! At the time I wasn't working {the twins were itty bitty} and had no fun money whatsoever, so I just kept it in my mind as my dream camera bag. Now, years later, I finally have my hands on one and it was so worth the wait! It fits all of my lenses in snug little padded sections with velcro on the dividers so you can move things around and adjust the space that's needed for whatever you're putting in there.


I've taken this bag to the beach, the city, the fair, you name it, it's been there. It still looks as good today as it did when I first got it six months ago. I was expecting some signs of wear, maybe a stud or two falling off, but I've been pleasantly surprised that even with six months of continuous use it still looks as good as new. And I totally love that my camera bag looks like a purse and not a bulky camera bag. I've taken out one of my lenses and put Ezra's bottle in one of the little sections before, talk about versatility! ;) It has a lot of room for my wallet, keys, a book, plus anything else you can cram in there. This bag has been well-loved and has even fallen onto the ground a time or two and everything inside it {my expensive DSLR and lenses!} have been completely protected because this bag has a good structure behind it and everything is so well padded.


This is the Bossi Bag and it comes in two colors, black or gravel and comes in studded or unstudded versions. THEIT has also come out with a new design called the Lula Bag and that comes in coral or chestnut. You can check out their Facebook page here to stay up to date on new bag releases, coupon codes and photography tips. Thanks for making such a fabulous bag, THEIT!

{all content, opinions and photos belong to me.}

Thursday, December 26, 2013

santa came to town!


this year is the first year the twins have really grasped who santa is, so it was fun playing along and telling them about santa claus this holiday season. they still don't really know why he gives presents to kids, but they love him for doing it! on christmas eve we went to my sister's house for dinner and decorated cupcakes for baby Jesus' (made up, haha) birthday. we also brought down the nativity scene and told them the story of Jesus' birth and then watched this video.


the girls LOVE to dress up in fancy dresses and are so mad when i never let them sleep in them. i've been looking online for cute nightgowns, but never found any that were super cute and less than $50 each (seriously?!). their room gets quite warm in the summer and winter, so they don't need thick and heavy sleepwear, so these little nightgowns i made them are perfect. they couldn't love them more! they took them off for their bath last night, but i'm not ashamed to admit that they still have them on. the bodice is from this pattern, but i changed it a little bit. instead of silk i used cotton and didn't add the tulle or flower broach. 



santa brought the girls games and wooden toys.


and candy, of course.


olivia wears glasses all day, every day, but i'm kind of glad she wasn't wearing them in these photos. she is absolutely adorable in her glasses, but there's something about a little face right after they've awoken from a good sleep. like this picture below of olivia. she looks so beautiful. there's one below of stella too. they're such sweet little girls.


the twins and i went out on a mommy/daughter date before christmas and picked out some toys for ezra. we settled on this police car (just like papa used to have) and a really cool radio flyer ride-on car that transforms into a scooter when ezra's a little older.




this girl is always on the move, so i was totally shocked when she stopped right in front of me and the camera and just smiled. love my silly girl.



stella is eating her fruit snacks from her stocking an holding onto her stuff so her brother doesn't get it. :)



we had such a wonderful morning opening presents. i'll be so sad to pack away the colorful christmas decor and the twins' first tree of their own.


we had such a great christmas and hope you did too!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

i cry EVERYTIME i get our family pictures back.

please tell me i'm not the only one?! i cry good, happy tears because i love seeing these moments captured and frozen in time.

my good friend stephanie of stephanie ryan photography took our yearly fall family pictures and i don't know how she does it, but she just keeps getting better every time! stephanie has taken pictures for us when ezra was a newbornwhen i was pregnant with ezra, when the twins were a year old, and when the twins were newborns. she also took these photos for candy kirby designs.  now prepare yourself for photo overload, i couldn't stop adding more! the colors are just so dreamy.


























there is nothing i love more than this family of mine. we sure know how to drive each other crazy sometimes, but when we love, we love hard. :)

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