Sunday, July 28, 2013

Green Bean Banana Mint

Green Bean Banana Mint Puree
2 bags ORGANIC Green Beans
5 leaves organic mint
1 organic banana

Kitchen Utensils:
Food Network Steamer
Ninja Blender
Beaba Food storage
Martha Stewart mason jars

Steamed 2 bags Green Beans 10 minutes in the Food Network Steamer.
Transfered the steamed Green Beans to the Ninja with some water.
Combined with mint and blended mixture.

The mixture was very refreshing. Although I was worried it was a little too minty so I added a banana to calm the mint flavor slightly.

We have to introduce our foods to the baby one at a time due to the fear of allergies. We started a few weeks back with just Green Beans and we recently tired just bananas. Since there was no reaction to either food it is safe to add the mint.

The 2 bags of Organic Green Beans from Whole Foods filled two Beaba trays which would last us about 1 week. It will be interesting if Jace enjoys this puree or decides he doesn't like it.

Sweet Potato Puree

Sweet Potatoes Puree
4 large washed (scrubbed and peeled) ORGANIC sweet potatoes

Kitchen Utensils:
Food Network Steamer
Ninja Blender
Beaba Food storage
Martha Stewart mason jars

Why sweet potatoes? 
I wasn't aware that sweet potatoes were NOT in the night shades family. They are sweeter than regular potatoes. They also are packed with a number of nutrients like Vitamin A. Since our boy is sick we are looking at food in terms of nutritional value rather than taste.

The 4 large sweet potatoes made enough to fill two Beaba trays with enough to eat for lunch. My thoughts were to add banana or possibly pumpkin. However, since he is so sensitive we have to start with single food items before adding additional ingredients.

Jace loves to help when we make his food. I think too him seeing it put together makes him more interested. Not to mention while mom and sister are drinking carrot smoothies the idea of eating orange puree helps him feel included.

Mashed Peas

Organic Peas

Organic Peas

The first food we introduced was mashed peas. I know people think bananas or pears or generally gravitate towards fruit. I have figure that if someone gave me something sweet like peaches there would be no way I would then eat peas. At least until he is 5 years old I will be packing in as many vegetables as I can.

Peas are loaded with anti inflammatory properties and great for intestines. I figure Jace could use all the intestinal help he can get.

Rice cereal is another story in itself. To me there is nothing nutritional about rice. Sumo wrestlers eat rice to stay large not cheese burgers. Plus the rice cereal isn't just mashed rice it's dehydrated processed flakes or powder that has to be enriched with something to make it actually nutritious. Not to mention packed with arsenic. (Seriously!) Unless your child is underweight by extreme measures why would you add the extra calories? Even then I wouldn't start with rice cereal. It's a bunch of empty calories.

When does someone start introducing food: we waited till 7 months because we breastfeed. Had I been a formula mom I would've started as soon as possible like 4-5 months. It depends on your child but to me Organic fruit and Vegetables seems better than a lot of soy dairy and wheat enriched with vitamins. Just my opinion for now.

Organic frozen peas

Canned peas are disgusting just don't even go there. Also stop to consider why the jar baby food peas are a disgusting poop brown while homemade peas are a vibrant luscious green. I don't have an answer for you on that but it's startling how different they are.

Check where the product originates from. It might sound silly but I won't buy food from China. I also think the further away the origin the longer it sat on a plane, boat or truck. Think I am being silly... start paying attention, most items at the regular grocery store will be from China. Also it changes. Items I buy every week I still check and quite often if the US is out if stock the stamp will say Canada or if at a conventional store it says China.

Steam entire bag of peas.
Time depending on method and amount. I steamed until brilliant green and soft. If you steam too long or over cool them, they will wrinkle and look more like grapes making it hard to mix.

Blend cooked peas with a small amount of water. Add water sparingly to get to desired consistency.

Blend thoroughly to allow the hull of the peas or shells to be fully mashed. Freeze it in portions of 2oz cubes.

Be carful not to feed the food to baby when it's piping hot, but when you prepare it you want to heat it evenly.

We started with one food item a week but we are checking for allergies. You might not need to keep it consistent that long but I make baby food once a week this time. With my daughter it was an on going effort. I will explain why in another post.

Carrot Banana Baby Food

1 lb of organic carrots
scrub thoroughly with a thick cleaning brush used on potatoes
Steam carrots until tender.

I am completely against using the microwave, but if you must that is your choice.
(Microwave directions: place in microwave safe bowl (in other words GLASS) and cover with a very wet rag and you can steam anything) start with 5 minutes.

Must use organic carrots. You obviously want what's best for your child otherwise you'd be at Walmart buying pre made baby food so just buy organic. I think all foods should be organic, but it is expensive so if you must buy chemical infused food buy from the clean dozen list. Carrots and baby food are not part of that list.

Add carrots to blender and a small amount of bottled water.
Blend until smooth.

Add organic bananas before you are ready to serve.
Blend until you reach the desired consistency.

The bananas are sweet and mask the taste of the carrots. You cannot go wrong with the number of bananas. Keep in mind though that they are binding so if your child has bowl problems you don't want to create a constipation issue and should supplement an off meal with something enriched with fiber.

Smoothie option: blend carrot mixture (or juice), coconut milk and frozen bananas. We freeze the bananas (peeled) so we do not have to use ice. My daughter loves this combination. If you need sugar which you shouldn't buy vanilla flavored coconut milk in the cartoninstead it's packed with sugar.

We were eating this every morning for breakfast. The carrots are packed with vitamin A. I have read that eating too much Vitamin C with a rash will make the rash worse so vitamin A us important. I have noticed an increase in vitamin C specifically pineapple causes him to itch and break out.

Since we are now having a bad reaction to coconut milk, I have supplemented it for almond milk and then switched to rice milk. I would not recommend any type of SOY product by any means. (another rant for another night). The best option is coconut milk because of the health benefits if you are not allergic and how you can buy it. You can find coconut milk in its purest form. The more ingredients added to the food the less natural it becomes. I am sorry but there is NOTHING natural about adding any type of flavor whether one calls it natural flavor or not.

Rice milk is nowhere near as thick as coconut milk or healthy but is a healthier option then a lot of things out there including soy.

Current Doctor's

Peek a boo

Peek a boo

The Chiropractor's theory might be a bit odd to most. This was the first time I noticed a difference in his condition. He started with his muscle testing and then offered a correction to combat the allergy.

At first Jace would get worse and then by the next day he looks somewhat better. Every week we went 3 to 4 times a week with the same results.

The problem: EVERYTHING we tried Jace was allergic to and if he wasn't allergic at the visit he soon developed an allergy later. He was showing a reaction to fabric, disposable diapers, polyester, his car seat, blankets even water.

Some items that he wasn't allergic to caused no change in his condition for a week or two and then all of a sudden he would get progressively worse. The latest is coconut. He wasn't considered allergic to coconut when I brought it in so I started eating it. When we started adding foods I added a small bit to see if he was okay and he broke out in hives everywhere. I stopped eating coconut and within a day he looked like he was healing. That lasted a week and this weekend he looks worse than he did before we stopped eating the coconut.

It's almost as if my child's immune system is so weak he cannot even digest food. It doesn't help that people are nosy and cruel. EVERYONE who sees him has to comment on how their child had the SAME condition and if I only stopped eating dairy or changed my soap or got steroids or stopped giving him a bath or saw a Dermatologist... If it was that easy I would have already had an answer.

We bought Organic Cotton reusable diapers. The rash on his bum has passed. I have discovered polyester is the devil. Whenever he sits in a polyester seat he turns incredibly red. We bought new organic cotton bedding. We are currently working to recover the car seat. I don't think this is the only answer but it is at least an answer.

I met a lady with a special needs child at the store. I never would've considered I have a special needs child except we go to the doctor 3-4 times a week. That is not only expensive but very high maintenance. Maybe this condition isn't life threatening although his hands and feet have turned blue and purple at one point. This condition however is life changing. The worst part my daughter suffers. She doesn't understand how much attention he needs. I cannot lay him down if he is scratching. I cannot allow him to rub his face on the floor in fear he will catch staph. She wants mommy time just as much as he needs mommy time, and I need mommy time but when there is only so much time in the day.

The problem my child has no diagnosis so everyone says he will grow out of it, but will he. I want to enjoy my child's infancy. We have yet to get baby photos of my beautiful child because he looks miserable. I feel like I am so stressed and that I am not enjoying the most amazing experience because I am too busy exfoliating dead skin from his face or covering it with ointment or oil.

I still blame myself for this. Had I not eaten this or that or gone here or done that would he have been different... I know I shouldn't and I won't ever be able to tell those answers, but I cannot help but think them.

The New PEDs Dr.

I love our newest PEDs doctor. Maybe I am partial to him because he was my doctor when I was a child. He took all my notes and looked over them. He then looked at my child and said this is definitely not Eczema. 

Anyone who understand Eczema knows that steroids make eczema better not worse. Also eczema doesn't spread. By this time the red bumps were spreading down his child and across his neck. His arms were covered from fingers to elbows and his legs were covered from ankle to knees. The problem that was unexplained was that red bumps would suddenly appear and slowly creep across random areas of his body for no explained reason.

We were told to see a Chiropractor Doctor/Allergist. There is this theory in regards to muscle testing that you can decipher if someone is allergic to foods or items within close proximity to the person by how their muscles react.

He gave us an antifungal medicine to combat the effects of all the antibiotics that we had been given. Unfortunately because babies are developing it was quite possible that the interlining of his intestines were damaged. This was the first time that I had felt relief after visiting a doctor. He told me he wanted me to be on an everything free diet. In other words NO dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs), gluten (wheat, bread, pasta, pastries), soy, nightshades (tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, peppers), and YEAST. In other words my already limited diet was cut in half. 

The problem: my child's skin dries to the point where it cracks open and bacteria gets inside causing a staph infection. The solution was to keep the skin hydrated. How do you do that when every type of ointment caused the rash to get worse. He suggested that it was quite possible he was allergic to petroleum products.

This theory would make sense why vaseline base products made everything worse. Unfortunately the cream based brands didn't change Jace's condition, but this was an answer different than the blanket answer I kept hearing.

The Allergist

Breathing treatments

Breathing treatments

Since the Dermatologist made us worse we went to an allergist.

Diagnosis - Eczema
Treatment - 20 minute warm baths, food diary, no lotions or creams, use prescribed ointment
Medications - antibiotic, steroid ointment (stronger than Dermatologist prescribed), Albuterol for a breathing machine and a steroid for the breathing machine.

My child was hardly 4 months old and they gave him 5 refills of steroids and medicine that has serious side effects. I was appalled when I went to his office. First the PA argued with me about my allergies. I was highly allergic to Milk. I know so because when I consumed it prior to being pregnant I couldn't breathe. Whether someone diagnosed me or not I know that my body cannot handle dairy. The PA told me that blood tests are not conclusive in regards to allergies and that the only way to determine if my child is allergic to something is to feed it to him.

I had been keeping a food dairy for a few weeks, but they didn't want to look at my notes. They wanted me to write down everything from that point forward on their printed matrix. I went home with 5 prescriptions for a child that was 12lbs.

I researched albuterol and the harmful effects it has on people. I grew up with asthma. I had been pumped full of all kinds of inhalers and steroids. Had they figured out I was allergic to milk maybe I wouldn't have been tortured with inhalers and living a life thinking there was no solution but life dependent medicine.

Albuterol is a great rescue drug. If you cannot breathe, yes it is important to use. However, the same drug that allows you to breathe also inhibits this by making your body dependent on it. Thus a never ending cycle. It weakens your lungs and your bodies ability to breathe on its own. I have been without steroids and inhalers for 7 years now. When Jace was first given the breathing machine I had to sit with him and hold the mask because he was so tiny. I found that I was breathing in a lot of the fumes myself. I discovered a few times how my lungs cringed and it was almost hard to breathe for no reason at all like they were remembering the difficulties I once had.

I stopped the breathing machine. I filled the steroids but did not use them. I was stuck. On one hand I had a doctor telling me that my child was allergic to water and it was making his condition worse. His counterpart was telling me that I needed to bath him for long periods of time. His theory was to bath him long enough that the pores opened and you could cover him in the harmful meds he had prescribed. He thought it was an allergy not a skin condition. In other words I was doing this to my child.

I was already Gluten (wheat) free, dairy free, soy free, and peanut and almond free and strictly breast feeding.

I started with the bath using bottled water and bathed him until I couldn't stand it any longer. I tried the eczema creams at the stores. Every time any type of cream touched his face he would turn instantly red. By this point he was so red he looked like his skin had been burned. It oozed and crusted. It was so bad that he would scratch would later become infected.

After this point my PEDs doctor wanted to send us to another state. I decided he had given up with he wanted to pump us full of more antibiotics so I found a new PEDs dr.

The Dermatologist

The peds doctor continued to pump us with antibiotics thinking our unexplained redness would go away. When it didn't... he sent us to a dermatologist...

The Dermatologist... he made me the angriest of all the doctors put together. He diagnosed my child with eczema before I had even removed him from the baby buggy. He laughed at me when I said it is not eczema. He didn't listen a word I said. He said that it was eczema and that I would be back in three days thanking him for saving my child. He said he could've diagnosed him from across the waiting room. Apparently all red faced babies who are teething have eczema.

Diagnosis - Eczema
Treatment - no bathing, cover the child in vaseline from head to foot, no water, use prescribed ointment
Medications - antibiotic and steroid ointment

He told me that it is a RASH, and it was nothing that I was doing to my child or that I was putting into my body because I am breastfeeding. His diagnosis was a RASH. He gave some speech about how my child was too clean and I bathed him too much. I hadn't bathed him in 2 weeks, but according to him the water I wasn't using was causing this red scaled bumpy skin.

Against my better judgement I went to the store and bought all the ointment creams he suggested. Vaseline, Aquafor, Eucerin, Steroids, and more antibiotics.

I covered my child's face from chin to forehead in vaseline. Within minutes the red rash around his chin and ears spread from ear to ear and slowly continued to crawl across his nose and across his forehead. I headed back to the PEDs doctor even more panicked. The PEDs doctor called the dermatologist while I waited to discuss his remedy. He stood by his answer saying that my child has eczema and that he stands by his diagnosis.

The steroids... I didn't cover my child in this medicine which was suggested. I took a tiny amount and placed it around his ear to see what effect it would have. The nickel size red patch reduced to the size of a dime and then a few hours later it was three times the size and oozing with a yellow liquid that turned into a crust and the next morning blood was oozing from his ear.

Photo - after ointment remedies (soon spread to nose and forehead)

A small cough

3 months old

3 months old

Jace is my second child. My first child spent 3 months in the hospital for some unknown reason. I freaked too soon... Jace developed a small cough and I rushed him to the doctor only our doctor couldn't see him. Against my better judgment I saw a random doctor within the practice.

This doctor gave my three month old child an oral antibiotic, a breathing treatment and steroids. I was a panicked mother and went along with whatever she said because I was scared for my child. All logical thinking vanished from my brain.

Everything after that moment changed our lives. The small red patch on his chin turned into something that so far 5 different doctors have been unable to cure or even diagnose. The small patch on his chin first spread to his ears then his mouth then his nose then his eyes and now his forehead. 8 months later my child is suffering from a skin condition that looks like eczema but acts nothing like it.

A small Patch

He had the most beautiful skin...
It started with a small red patch on his chin...


Jace was born 11/6/2012
He was 8lb 15oz at 5:!5pm
21 1/2 inches long

Jace was unlike anything anyone had ever seen. He was so strong he scared even the doctor when he turned his head to look at me when I spoke. The doctor, nurse and assistant all gasped. The nurse said she had never seen a more perfect child. He didn't fuss. He didn't cry. He opened his eyes and found his mom. He was the most alert child I have ever seen. The nurse recommended burping him sitting up. I told her that is not possible, then I showed her why. Jace was so strong that he would literally pull his head out of my hands when I tried to burp him.

The first three months I spent every moment with him. I held him during the day. I slept near him. I changed him. I fed him. I worried for him.

Then I went back to work, and I feel like everything fell apart. That was when our troubles began... I cannot help but think that I did this to my child. I caused this to happen to my child somehow. Everyone says I cannot think or believe that... but it is in our nature to blame ourselves... we are moms...

A blog for our brother

I started a blog for my daughter when she was born. I felt it was only right to create one for my son only he is now 8 months old... I am very behind in tracking his infancy.

Having a child changes your life... Having more than one child changes everything...