Eczema Update

After spending our first year with Nash worrying about the possibility of food allergies, horrible eczema, steroid creams, wet wraps etc… I am feeling so grateful and so relieved that the first year is behind us and that Nash seems better and all that it seems like we are dealing with is a mild case of eczema. This is not to say that eczema isn’t tough to deal with but I think Nash has a pretty mild case and compared to my three-year olds food allergies – I’ll take the eczema any day. I am feeling this huge sense of relief that Nash can eat anything he wants, be around any food he wants and he will not die! For a while I was feeling so afraid that both of my boys would have the severe allergies that Bo does and so far Nash is not showing any signs of food allergies! I know there are many people out there who have multiple kids with food allergies and I am so amazed by your strength, patience and all you do to keep your kids safe on a daily basis.

So many of you have written such sweet comments about Nash’s skin below the pictures I posted of him as an infant and I wanted to update you all with some more current pictures of him so you can see what progress we made. If your infant looks like Nash did – there is hope. I honestly think some of it just got better with age but we also have figured out a skin routine that seems to work for us.

Thank you everyone for all your messages, kind words, prayers and encouragement.

nash_chalkboard nash_cupcake Nash2


We have gone back and forth with introducing eggs baked into things for Bo – our 3 year old. It has been about a year and finally we are baking up to 2 eggs into one dozen of anything. It’s so amazing. Our muffins, pancakes and breads are fluffy and most importantly it’s one less food to really worry about. We still won’t give him just a plain egg yet but I also feel like it would not be dangerous for him to be around eggs. That is huge for us! Now I just need to keep baking more and getting more baked eggs into his diet so that hopefully he continues to build up a tolerance and maybe even soon we could try a plain egg!


what we’ve been up to…

I have been meaning to write a post and update the blog with what we have been dealing with lately but honestly it’s been changing almost week to week that I didn’t really know where to start. Things are much more under control now so I thought I would post about our last 8 months and what has worked and what hasn’t worked in trying to help keep Nash’s eczema. Nash has has bad cradle cap, flaky skin, rashes and weeping sores since he was only a few weeks old. It took months to finally get his skin to finally calm down and we are now on a great regimen of taking one bath a day, sometimes with vinegar, then putting on one layer of a topical steroid oil, using a bit of a steroid cream on the worst areas and then doing a layer of lotion on top. Right now his hands and chin are the worst. His hands because I don’t put the steroids on them for fear he will put them in his mouth and his chin because it’s constantly wet. We have him on a dairy free diet because from all of our testing, trial and errors we believe that casein or dairy are aggravating his eczema but that has not been confirmed. We still have lots to learn but I love reading stories of what worked for others dealing with eczema so I wanted to share what is currently working for us. Although we have tried lots of different lotions, steroids, diet and formula changes etc… I am always open to other ideas of things that have worked for other people – so please share!

A list of what we have tried:

– Neocate formula – didn’t notice his skin was better and he really fought drinking this formula.

– Nutramigen – Took this formula well but it didn’t seem to clear up his skin at all.

– Soy formula – This is what we have just recently switched Nash to. He has only been on it for about two weeks so now we will start to decrease the topical steroid applications to see if the soy formula is helping.

– Wet wraps – when Nash’s skin was infected and really bad we ould wet wrap him at night and that did really help.

– Creams that we have tried: No more Xema, Cetaphil, Vanicream, Aquaphor, Cerave, Coconut Oil, Olive oil

– Medications we have tried – Dermasmooth & Westcort. Both of these steroids help and Nash’s skin still flares up even if we forget to put his derma smooth on for one day. We would love if we didn’t have to rely so heavily on a topical steroid but right now that is all that is keeping it under control.

– Allergy testing – we have tested Nash (only a skin test) for the top 8 allergens and he didn’t seem to react to any of them…which is great….but given that his brother is so highly allergic to a few foods we still wonder if it isn’t some food that is triggering his eczema.

Here are a bunch of pictures of what Nash’s skin has looked like over the last 8 months.

Potato Salad

One of the things my husband always says he misses eating the most is potato salad. I knew I would never be able to find a super creamy delicious recipe that compared to our old favorite, Byerly’s potato salad, but I ran across the following recipe and knew I had to try this new (to us) take on potato salad.  I could eat it every night. It was very easy to make and so tasty. It was a huge hit with the husband too – so you KNOW it’s good. My picture is not the greatest – we had almost finished the whole bowl by the time I remembered to snap a picture.

Recipe for Warm Potato Salad with Bacon and Onion.

Chocolate Cake

I attempted my first dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free chocolate cake and it was a great success. I followed this recipe – it’s very easy. The cake was so delicious! I never used to like chocolate cake but this recipe has me craving chocolate cake on a daily basis. I also made a dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free buttercream vanilla frosting that was amazing and way better than any store-bought frosting. This recipe is what I followed for the frosting. If you can’t tell already I am pretty excited about these two recipes because i feel like I have a super easy cake or cupcake recipe to go to whenever there’s a celebration that calls for treats!

Reaction Photos

Today I saw this series of photographs called the face of anaphylaxis. A mom of a milk allergic boy photographed how scary and life threatening a milk allergy really can be. I feel so lucky when I see this because we have never had to deal with a reaction this serious. Bo has had an anaphylactic reaction where I had to use the epi-pen, call 911 and spend the afternoon in the ER while they monitored Bo but the epi-pen made everything better and Bo’s reaction never worsened. I can’t even fathom how difficult it would be to have your child on a ventilator because of a milk reaction. That is one brave mother, family and little boy.

This series reminded me of some photos I had on my phone. Ever since Bo’s anaphylactic reaction I have wanted to make it a point to try to take a picture of Bo when he has any kind of reaction. I have to say that it is really hard to remember to take a picture when you’re in full on panic mode….but now that we have been doing this for almost 2 years I think I am starting to get better at managing my anxiety in the moment and in the last few months I have remembered to snap a picture of Bo once I knew he was getting better because the Benadryl appeared to be working. I thought these photos would be handy for a few reasons but one main reason I wanted to have them was so that I could show other care takers what to look for or what a reaction can look like for Bo.

The photo on the bottom right is a NORMAL/NO REACTION photo of Bo so that you have something to compare the other photos to. These were all pretty mild reactions and were just treated with Benadryl. We also have NO idea what caused any of these reactions. If it’s hard to tell in some of them his eyes are red, bloodshot and his nose is running…some of the first signs (along w/hives) that he is having a reaction.

Nut-free Granola

This is my latest obsession. I have never made Granola before but thought I would give it a shot after having a hard time finding a really good nut-free option. I added sunflower seeds to mine and put in about twice as much coconut. I just made my third batch. It’s sooooooo good! I’ve been eating it just with some rice milk in it, by the handful and in coconut yogurt – all delicious.

Recipe for Nut-free Granola.

dairy-free and egg-free monkey bread

I made an awesome dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free monkey bread today – thanks to a great blog that I follow, Amandairy Free. The hardest part was tracking down the rolls of biscuits that did not contain dairy. I ended up finding biscuits at Cub Foods – they were the Cub brand biscuit (Pillsbury biscuits all have dairy in them). I followed this recipe on Amandairy Free blog but I changed up two things…I left off the nuts because Bo is allergic and left off raisins because that just didn’t sounds great to me and I added a couple of scoops of dairy-free vanilla ice cream (learned that one from my mom)! I hope you try this and enjoy it as much as we did!

Dairy Free Butternut Squash Risotto

I often hesitate on posting some of the new recipes that I have tried because Bo doesn’t eat them or they just o.k. and not amazing. Tonight, I tried a butternut squash risotto and it was AMAZING and to top it off Bo loved it so I would say this recipe was a huge success. It’s a little time-consuming to make, only because you have to stir it so often, but it is so worth it. I served our risotto with roasted broccoli and that was definitely enough because the risotto is so filling.

Click here for the recipe for Creamy, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Butternut Squash Risotto.


Sunbutter, Chocolate and Banana Shakes

Yesterday we made Sunbutter, chocolate and banana shakes! They were just what the doctor ordered.  I couldn’t find the exact recipe that I was looking for after a quick google search so we just kind of made it up. I’m not good at making my own recipes or documenting how much of each ingredient I used so I apologize for this very vague post. Here’s my best guess at what I threw in the blender!

6 ice cubes

1 cup of coconut milk

2 scoops of coconut ice cream

one small handful of dairy free chocolate chips

2 bananas