Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The story of Eli's skin

It's been 2 1/2 years since all of this happened. But, honestly anytime I tell the story it stirs up the emotions all over again.

Eli was 3 1/2 months old when he started to develop a rash on his elbows. At first it was just red, irritated skin on his elbows. It was the beginning of June and I just figured he was having trouble with the heat. It was a HOT summer.

I was serving in our church VBS program and several other moms seemed concerned about how bad his skin was looking. It had started to weep and ooze. So, I took him to the pediatrician. They diagnosed him with eczema. In my gut I knew it wasn't eczema, but I didn't have any other ideas. I slathered his skin in Aquaphor and continued to use only scent free and dye free soaps and detergents.

Fast forward a few weeks to Eli's 4 month well visit. His skin is still not looking good, but the pediatrician still says its eczema and to give it some time. Again, I didn't think this was eczema, but I'm clueless and I am trying anything I can to get his skin to look better.

I vented my concerns on Facebook about his eczema and so many friends offered advice and home remedies. We tried countless options. Coconut oil, tea tree oil, some Arbonne product, oatmeal baths, bathing more often, bathing less frequently...NOTHING worked. My poor baby and I were stuck inside because the heat would make it worse. I would have to peel Eli's pajamas from his skin each morning.

I was getting desperate.

This is what his poor skin looked like. That's his skin weeping. Both elbows, and his calves. I know it's a graphic photo, but this was our reality for nearly 2 months.


Later in the summer we made an evening trip to the Children's Mercy ER in Kansas City. We had been to the pediatrician earlier in the week and Eli had developed a staph infection on his elbows. After a few days his skin was not looking any better, so our pediatric nurse urged me to take him to Children's Mercy. 2 doctors looked and him and said, this is just a really bad case of eczema. SERIOUSLY???? My sister in law was with me that night and I just started crying after the first doctor said the "E" word. She and I both knew that's not what we were dealing with. I insisted another Doctor look at him. I felt almost disrespectful to the first doctor, but I just knew he was wrong.

I left that hospital defeated and with a prescription for a high powered steroid cream. I went to the local compounding pharmacy to have this special concoction mixed. When I picked it up, the pharmacist asked again if this was for my infant. I said, "yes". He looked me directly in the eye and said,  "Please be careful with this medication. It's a very potent steroid."

We only tried it for a few days before I decided there was no way I was gonna keep putting this on my child's skin. I couldn't shake the serious tone in the pharmacists voice.

I had no idea that this post on Facebook would finally help us find the answer to why his skin was in such bad shape. I've already made this a long story, so why stop now. A friend commented that a girl I went to college with had the same issue with her child's skin, and it was his car seat that was causing the trouble. Within 30 minutes I had "friended" her on Facebook, and she sent me pics of her child's skin and told me which car seat they had. WE HAD THE EXACT SAME CAR SEAT! I immediately started crying. She called me and shared her story of how they discovered what was causing his horrible rash. It was crazy how similar our stories were. She said that they switched car seat and within 10 days her son's skin cleared up.

We did the same. We put Eli in a different car seat and his skin started improving drastically within days.

This is his skin 10 days after switching car seats. We believe his skin was having a chemical reaction to toxic chemicals in the fabric of his car seat.

Just a few weeks later the local news station did a report on toxic chemicals found in car seats. I contacted the investigative reporter with our story and he they did a story on us. I wanted to share our journey, because maybe...just maybe we could help someone else.

We did. Since our story aired, I've been contacted by 5 different moms who found our story online and their child had the same rash, from the same car seat. (My name is pretty unique, so it's easy to find me on Facebook.)

Here is a link to our story. You can watch the video or read the story. NBC Action News Story

This has been a much longer post than I anticipated, but I want to remember the details. It was an extraordinarily difficult time for me as a mom, and I'm forever grateful to my family and friends who believed me that this wasn't eczema. It was so scary. I'm so thankful God placed the right people in my path at the right time so we could figure it out.

Monday, June 10, 2013

quick tip for a clean car

I've been teased by many people for being a bit "obsessive" about keeping my vehicle clean. In fact my neighbor used to tease that she could eat off the floor of my van. :)

Here are the 3 things I do to keep it clean

1. Keep trash out
  • I keep a plastic grocery bag in the car at all times to stash the trash. Empty it when it's full and every time you fill up the car with gas.
  • Take the extra 15 seconds to remove all fast food litter when you get home.
2. Keep "stuff" from accumulating in the car that doesn't belong
  • I keep a small reusable bag in the car to toss in those toys, socks, hats, etc. 
  • Take the bag inside when you get home so your car doesn't become a closet
3. Clean up a mess the day it happens.
  • Invest in a small hand held vacuum. Clean up the cheerios mess when you get home. It will take just a minute but save you from cleaning up crumbs ground into your carpet in a few weeks.
  • Keep a pack of baby wipes in the car. These are great for wiping up spilled drinks and for wiping down a dusty dashboard.

Hope these tips help! Remember your car is your most expensive investment (besides your home). Keeping it clean is important for resale.

*I know I need to add photos to these posts to make them much more interesting. However, I still need to decide whether or not I'm gonna keep up with this whole thing.

Friday, June 7, 2013

sorry Sam

If you know me you know its no secret that I don't really care too much for Walmart. So of course we would move to NWA where Walmart's home office is located. Yeah, it's been quite an adjustment for me. When we lived in the KC metro I did most of our grocery shopping at Costco, Super Target, or Hyvee. In the 2 years that we lived in Lee's Summit I never went to Walmart. Never ever...seriously, never.

So, we move to Arkansas where there is no Costco, Super Target, or Hyvee. It's been an adjustment. We tried Sam's for a few months and I absolutely hated it. The customer service was terrible. And we never had a good experience with the food court. That seems like a silly thing to be upset about, but that is part of the wholesale club adventure for us. Finally, I decided I could keep complaining about how terrible Sam's Club was or we could just quit going. So, we cancelled our membership. It was a great decision.

Last Saturday we needed a few things from the store so we went to Target as a family. We pull in and Micah says, "Why are we at Target on a Saturday?" "Honey, Target on a Saturday is better than Walmart any day of the week." and right on cue 2 tour buses pull up in front of Target and about 100 international Walmart shareholders descend on Target.

God has a sense of humor.

Walmart Shareholders are in town this week. While I was out and about today I heard that this meeting brings an extra 18,000 people to NWA. I'm just glad this week is almost over and NWA will return to "normal"

As for me, I'm REALLY trying to have a better outlook and attitude when it comes to Walmart. It's such a silly thing to get so frustrated about.

and off to Aldi's I go to grocery shop :-)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Stuff Evan Says

Here are a few of my favorite things Evan has said today. Really wishing I would have kept up with this all along, but I can't go back.

"Mom, I have another friend besides Caroline in our new neighborhood. Uh, it's a God name….oh yeah, Jonah. But not the dead one in heaven from the fish, a different Jonah."

"Mom, I'm gonna just wear my shoes to bed. My shoes and my clothes mom…yep, gonna wear them for 3 days so I don't make dirty clothes AND I'm always ready to go. Well, I will change my underwear…don't worry mom."

Monday, June 3, 2013

Back to blogging, maybe?

Been thinking a lot about getting back to blogging. It's really a pretty simple way for me to keep track of the happening in our lives.

I obviously don't blog as a business.

Might be the creative outlet I need and a way to "get it on paper"

Here are a few things I've considered documenting...

-Evan's kindergarten year
-potty training woes with Eli
-my weight loss journey, at least I think it might be a good way to stay accountable
-our home building adventures
-life in NWA
-how we make it work as a one car family
-how/why we live with a minimalist wardrobe
-home organizing tricks and tips
-whatever else pops up in my brain.

don't you just love this stream of consciousness writing?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

funny Evan moments I want to remember

"Mommy, Eli has little bo-bo's like me. Mommy you have BIG bo-bo's" Ah, the joys of nursing with a preschooler in the house.

We were playing outside today and Evan totally ran into the garage door while he was chasing bubbles. I laughed out loud...I'm a good mom, really.

Sometime during the first few weeks at home I was burping Eli in the middle of his feeding. He burped and Evan said, "Him gonna eat from the udder (other) one now?"

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Eli Announcement

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View the entire collection of cards.