Monday, December 28, 2009

Princess's Skin

My Princess has skin issues. Ever since she was a baby, she has had (minor) problems with her skin.

It started off that she had a touch of eczema as an infant. In between the crooks of her arms and behind her knees were so dry and raw, she looked like a plucked chicken in those areas.

I was prescribed a fancy 'smancy' cream made in France by her pediatrician to help with it... I used good old fashioned aloe vera (sabila...the raw, au natural kind) and nothing seemed to really work or get rid of it.

Then we went to the beach. She went into the ocean for the first time (and hated it) but when we got home I noticed her eczema was GONE! No more raw, dry skin in those areas where there used to be. I couldn't believe it. Now, it may have been coincidence but what a lucky one if it was. But I tend to believe that whatever natural 'stuff' is in the ocean, was what really cured her.

Dry Scalp:
Now ever since she was 3 months, I noticed princess had something on her scalp. I wasn't sure what it was so I googled it (since it looked like dandruff) and found out that it might possibly be 'cradle cap'. I had done something bad before I realized what it was. On mother in law's (bad) advice, I put baby oil in her scalp (that's the good part), then I brushed her scalp (that's the bad part). You don't use a brush! A huge chunk of her hair came out, along with the dry scalp on the brush, leaving a bald spot. If I had found out about cradle cap sooner, I would have known to COMB it out, not brush it out.

Anyway, I did this, and did it for a while (putting baby oil and combing out her scalp) yet the 'cradle cap' would not go away. I was beginning to wonder if what my Princess had on her scalp was really cradle cap after all.

I put good ole' fashion aloe vera (good for a myriad of skin ailments) and while it made her scalp look better for a time (while it was still wet), it never healed it and her dry, scaly , flaky scalp never went away.

I had to figure out what to do. It was getting worse.. instead of just 2 spots on her head, it was pretty much all over, in various spots. I hated parting her hair down the middle because then you could see it, loud and clear and it was not pretty.

I finally showed the doctor at Princess's 2 year check-up and she prescribed this medicinal shampoo that I was to use 3 times a day for a month. The thing smelled awful so I had hope it would work. That too was a bust. Plus it made Princess's hair dry and changed the texture.

I finally went to downtown San Jose to the Mercado Central (central market) and bought some natural hair 'ointments'. On hubby's suggestion, I bought natural Aloe vera shampoo, all natural gel for curly hair (the gel I had, this HUGE container, apparently upset hubby) and all natural hair cream for curly hair.

The creams and gel I bought just because my kids have really curly hair (tight, kinky curls) and needed something that could control their curls, make them soft and pliable to styling. Plus, I wanted to get Princess's soft curls back since the medicinal shampoo had changed her hair to this dry, Brillo like mess. The cream worked like a charm. Perfect for my kid's hair.

What I didn't expect was for the cream and the shampoo to work wonders on Princess's scalp as well. Princess's scalp is healed.. or on the way to being healed as long as I keep up with the shampoo and the cream on a semi daily basis. I noticed a HUGE difference and cannot wait for it to be gone totally one day.

Ringworms and viral bumps/pimples:
What I need to find a solution for is the other skin issues she seems to have and no matter what we do, they seem to just keep coming back or popping up. She occasionally gets what looks to me like 'ringworms' on her body... her back, neck, face, arms, legs. I put aloe vera on it and it seems to do the trick of getting rid of it, but she seems to get them more than any regular kid. I think there is a connection to her 'ring worms' and her blanket. Each and every time it gets to a point of being disgustingly dirty and she sleeps with it, she wakes up with ringworms on her body. So now I am more diligent about washing her blanket(s) more often now (she now has 2.. 3 if you count the Dora one, although that is not a favorite).

Also she keeps getting these little 'pimple's on her body, most often on her buttocks area. The same doctor that prescribed the shampoo also prescribed this medicine that helps with it. The ones on her chest and under her arm and on her butt were burnt away by the medicine... which was only to be applied to the bump. I was so relieved that they were gone, only for new ones to pop back up on her butt, and who knows where else. I know they are a virus (similar to warts) , but why does she keep getting them? Boobie had them on his legs too, but ever since his was burnt off by the medicine, he hasn't gotten any more.

My poor Princess and her skin. When will it ever end.

Sir Shits A Lot

That is Fatty's new nickname. I swear to goodness that this kid shits more times a day than a normal person should be needing to shit.

Literally 3, 4, 5 times a day, no joke. And it's not regular poop either, it's that liquid kind, that is a pain in the ass to clean of his ass. Plus, it escapes on occasion too.... Ugh!

When will he potty train? I tried sitting him on the potty once when I noticed he was about to poop and he literally closed his butt hole and held it in...until he was taking a bath that is, then he let it ALL out.

I am running out of diapers faster than I can stack them, and wipes don't last either. I thought I'd be swimming in diapers once Princess was potty trained. But nooooooooooo. Fatty has to make up for all the diapers I would be saving by shitting just enough for both of them each day.

I laughed the first day, but we're now on day... I don't even remember, I lost count. It's not funny anymore. What the heck is this kid eating to make him go to the bathroom so often. It's happened before (what I call 'the runs') but it has never lasted THIS long. Geeez! Looks like I need to go back to buying diapers in bulk.

Well, We Made It!

Or I should say, Princess made it.

It was my goal to get her fully potty trained by Christmas. Meaning, not just day time but night time as well; to get her to be 100% diaper free... and she is officially 100% diaper free. Not even for bedtime, does she strap on a diaper. No more. Diapers are actually lasting me twice as long now (well almost) with just having to diaper my Fatty.

It was by accident that we met our goal (or I met my goal). I forgot one night to put a diaper on Princess (and also didn't put a sheet protector on the bed). The next morning when I noticed my faux pas, I checked her and the sheets and they were both as dry as burnt toast. I figured if she could do it one night, why not try it for the rest of the nights and see what happens (I do put protectors on the bed now).

It's been over a week now and we've had a few accidents, but that is to be expected. I try and limit her liquid intake close to bedtime and make sure she tries and pees before going to sleep.

I will forge forward and I know soon enough there will be no more accidents. She is a big girl now and I am so proud of her. I did it! I mean , she did it. Diaper free before the age of 3. Whewwwwwwwwwwwww!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Has Come And Gone...

And I am glad for it to be over. I love the holidays... I get caught up in the whole season and everything it has to offer. But with the holidays, comes everything else that can get even the most tranquil person a little riled up.

Although I was initially a little sad for it to end, I am glad to be getting on with our 'normal' lives and looking forward to the new year.

It was a really great Christmas (minus a few 'hiccups' with hubby). All in all, my kids had a wonderful day and I had a wonderful holiday; shopping, decorating, planning, wrapping, baking, more shopping, more planning, and just enjoying the season. I will miss it once January rolls around, so I will take the rest of December to enjoy what is left of Christmas and soak it in so it can last me until next year. But boy oh boy, am I excited for the new year and all the good (hopefully) it will bring.

So... Christmas prep started in September for me... but the final preparations started Christmas eve, when I did most of my wrapping and baking.

Mixing up the butter for my butter cookies. Recipe:

All done... light and buttery (ignore the really dark brown one). Since mother in law and I were using the same oven and she was baking her empanadas, the temps got too high for some of my poor cookies... still delish though. I topped a few with chocolate chips and the rest with some peanuts and walnuts.

Mother in law's pineapple jelly filled empanadas

Mixing up the ingredients for my banana bread.. I don't use a recipe, just mash 3-5 medium sized bananas. Mix with melted butter, an egg, a pinch of salt, sugar and flour.. I added chocolate chips and raisins this time around for something a little more special for the holidays. You can add nuts too. Bake and voila!

Banana bread with chocolate chips and raisins.

Rustic apple pie... since the success of my apple pies on Thanksgiving, I have been wanting to make another one. Mother in law was nice enough again to prepare the dough for me (I have to learn how she does it) and all that was left for me to do was mix up the filling, roll out the dough, fill and bake. It was, like, so good; even better than Thanksgiving. The only negative aspect: I only made one. This recipe is so simple... it's practically fool proof.

Pastry crust for 9-inch pie (can use store bought)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 cups (about 5) sliced and peeled apples
confectioners sugar (optional)
Heat over to 425 F. Roll dough to fit pan in a 2 in circle-transfer to foil lined cookie sheet (the round pie plate)
Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon. Add apples (I put a little lemon juice on the apples first). Toss, coat well. Spoon apples in center of crust, leave 2 in edge, fold pastry up to apples unto them, pinch edges at 2 inch intervals. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 F, bake 30 minutes or until apples are tender

Getting ready for the big day!

Princess and Fatty all snug in their bed with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads (well, not really). But we did read The Night Before Christmas, the night before Christmas (get it), just to get them in the spirit.

Boobie came home from brother in law's house and opened his new Nintendo DS game from father in law. No surprise here, Boobie picked this game out himself.

The new pants from brother in law and family... nice!

Ok, so around 11, I decided to get down to business and wrap all the presents. Geesh... my bed looked like a toy store threw up on it.

Fatty's stuff (yes I separated gifts into piles and wrapped them in that order...all Fatty's first since he had some HUGE boxes, then Princess's, then Boobie's). I prayed I would not run out of wrapping paper... and as luck would have it, I did not. I even stuck to my goal of wrapping each kid's gift in their own paper.... Boobie got Christmas trees wrapping paper (fancy), Princess got the real looking Santa in red, Fatty got the cartoon looking Santa in green.

All Princess's gifts.

All Boobie's gifts.

After maybe 2 hours (or so) of wrapping pretty much non-stop, my tree was ready and I was ready for Christmas morning.

I worked hard on the set up (yeah sure LOL).

Hubby brought in the big items and we placed them by the tree... ready to go.

And one last Christmas eve picture of the tree (with the stockings added) before bed... at almost 2 am.

A picture of the gifts Christmas morning before the kids got to them.

Boobie came home (he slept next door at my in-laws) and was so happy to see his bike and all the gifts. I fooled him good... : )

Presents time!

A new Barbie laptop!

Ben 10!

Blocks... YES!

Books... awesome!

X-men action figures!

A new laptop!

A telescope and microscope!

Cool telescope!

A magnadoodle!

Draw to your heart's content Princess.

More books!

A play and learn walker!

Checking out his sister's Barbie power wheels jeep!


More gifts... geeesh!!!

And even more gifts... man!!!

Princess's loot!

The ballet flats I got Princess for her stocking... she is in love.

Each kid's movies in their own cases.

On toy overload... it took them a while to unwind from all the excitement. Too many gifts; they actually got tired of opening presents. Will have to cut back for next year, but I enjoyed watching them open and play with their toys.

Say cheese in your Christmas pj's mother in law made ...

Loving the baby doll bassinet (more like a bunk bed though). Lucky baby dolls! Fatty liked this so much he tried to get IN it! Poor kid doesn't know it's just a toy.

Fatty's piano... playing some tunes.

Princess wants to play too. Notice the Hello Kitty bag she refused to put down all day.

Playing with their toys... ok, so Princess wanted to check out Fatty's 'ride'. I think she likes it. She rides it better than him (he can't push hard enough on the 'pedal' to make it ride yet).

My Princess. I can always count on my little girl to give me a nice picture.

So Fatty loves to push 'things', hence the walker (I know he can walk but it has music and he can push it around all day if he chooses). What does he decide to push around instead? His cousin's baby doll stroller we got her. Kids!

Fatty finally gets to ride with his big sister. It is a one seater but they both fit... a tight fit, but a fit none the less.

Riding off into the sunset...

Beep Beep!

Testing out her tricycle father in law got her... she can ride it just a little bit. It is so cute. Father in law did good, again.

Ride baby.

The battery FINALLY died on the jeep... she rode the thing pretty much ALL DAY!

And a last pic of the tree with some of the gifts, all opened and ready to be played with another day. My living room looks like a toy store. I could open a daycare with all the toys now.

It was a great Christmas, like I said. Now I know Christmas isn't about the gifts, and I know I kinda sorta went a little overboard this year (even though I said I wouldn't... my kids got so much stuff I can't even list it all here... see my list on a previous blog). But in the end, they know what's it all about. And that is what makes the season so special to me.