Ezra has a rampant case of eczema that is driving most of us crazy. It got a lot better over Christmas and then came back on his cheeks with a vengeance. We have no idea where to look for triggers anymore or how to isolate them if we have theories. I've been off dairy completely (well, not all baked goods with dairy in them) for 11 days and it's also making me crazy. It hasn't seemed to help a whole lot although apparently the dairy can stay in my system for up to two weeks. I'm going to try to stick it out for three to rule that out. I've already pretty much confirmed that Ezra reacts badly to nuts, chocolate, tomatoes and citrus *sigh*.

All these food changes have made me aware of how little meat I have been eating - a few times a month at most. I've started to think more about protein and where things like my calcium are going to come from, it's a good learning experience but frustrating at the same time. I don't know what I'd do without eggs right now. Or the salt and vinegar chips.

UPDATE: For anyone still following this, Ezra's skin has improved a LOT in the last few days after being the worst it's ever been on Wednesday. The great news is that I'm now quite sure that it's not diet related (my diet or his - yay!). I saw no improvement after 16 lean days so I went back on dairy and he's been getting better.

The intentional changes we've made have been:
- To get the down comforter off the bed he's in with me - yes, yes, I know, call child protection for it being there in the first place if you have to.
- With the help of a pharmacist I know (and NO help from my doctor), I found a cream I'm really happy with - Spectro Kids Eczema Care. It's apparently not drastically different from Glaxal but it's worked much better for him for some reason. I use it on his face and any other bad spots. I went basic and am putting Aveeno Baby fragrance free lotion on the rest of his body which seems to be working out fine.
- I think the winner is that we've switched back to his original bottles. We finally clued in to the bottle idea after reading Teri's soother tip, the fact that his cheeks were the worst spot and also that he improved when we took a one week vacation without that brand of bottle.
-Ezra's grandparents would all claim divine intervention - whatever the reason for the improvement I'm very thankful and hope it keeps going that direction. It's so nice to see him getting some relief from the constant itching.

Thanks for all the comments and ideas, I appreciate the support on such a frustrating topic.

"free" time

What have I been up to? I have this baby who will be 7 months old next week. He's pretty good natured but needs all kinds of food, diaper changes, loving and endless entertaining. Then there are two more kids, food to make & clean up, laundry...blah blah. Before the sun came out a week or two ago I was contemplating the phrase "stuck at home mom". I don't really mean it. I get more breaks than the average caregiver and I'd be a bitter woman if for some reason I didn't have the opportunity to be at home.

I end up with a "free" hour every evening that isn't spoken for and into that I fit any and all fun pursuits that I happen to dream up:

- learning Chinese or Japanese brush painting/calligraphy
- reading! I finally got started on Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle". It's a must-read in terms of setting the stage for eating local. It's got me going on my garden planning and looking at seed catalogues.
- personal grooming (does this qualify as fun?)
- talking. with an adult that I love, about cool and interesting things. Or maybe about eczema and sleep deprivation.
- tonite's choice was blogging and that's all I can fit in because my hour is up and I have to sleep.



I don't think I've ever done a music post and may never again but this artist caught our attention last week. I was driving with the girls and there was a major meltdown going on. This Ella Fitzgerald cover by Nikki Yanofsky came on and suddenly it was quiet. Within a minute both girls were smiling and exclaiming over it. That's my kind of music.