Friday, April 30, 2010

What Have You Been Up To Abby?????

Guess what I did a couple of weeks ago? Signed my first born daughter up for Kindergarten...that's what! I can not believe this child will be going to Kindergarten in August! When did she grow up?

She'll be done with preschool in May and I am sad that she will be going to "regular school". I know they have to grow up but I keep looking at Lucy and remembering that it wasn't that long ago that Abby was that age and size. *sigh*

Well, besides getting ready to enter Kindergarten and turn 5 in July, the biggest event in Abby's life recently has been GETTING HER EARS PIERCED!!!!!

Her cousin Molly and another friend had gotten theirs pierced which gave Abby the idea. I was all for it but Daddy took quite a bit of convincing. I think he thought it would mean she was all grown up...well her fits remind us that she is a long way off from being grown up :) I had my ears pierced when I was in first grade and when I had Abby I had decided that we'd wait until she asked to do then explain the process to her and if she still wanted to then it would be fine.

I had NO IDEA her daddy was going to hold onto her hole-less earlobes for dear life! She tried for a couple of months to talk him into it...batting her eyelashes, giving extra kisses and hugs, even saying she'd do something (usually clean her room) when he asked...IF he would let her get her ears was funny to watch.

Well, Daddy finally broke down and said okay but he didn't want to be there...chicken. The man can watch a dr. stick an epidural needle in my back but can't watch his daughter get her ears pierced ? :) Anyway, we were going to wait until right before preschool was over but when John went out of town a couple of weekends ago I texted him to see if we could do it. He called me within seconds of the text being sent, all concerned about whether or not I was going to do both at the same time...uh, yeah! As a matter of fact I called ahead to make sure 2 people were working so they could do both ears simultaneously (I wasn't taking any chances that she'd chicken out on #2 and walk around with 1 pierced ear).

We went, she did it, and COMPLETELY shocked me with how brave she was when it happened. I had explained it to her beforehand but I was still expecting tears, screaming, fit (typical Abby stuff). NOTHING folks! She flinched but no sound came out. She did AWESOME!!!!! I was so proud :) She loves having her ears pierced and had to show everyone.

Her daddy????? Said she looks like a teenager...ummmm, not quite.

Excited :)

Marking her ears...don't pierce the freckle!! Actually 1,2,

Cleaning and turning the ear rings for the first time.

All better now!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

So Now the Detective Work Begins...

After thinking about it I decided not to use Aquaphor on Ruby 8 times a day. The dr. had mentioned Cetaphil lotion as being really good and I already had it at home so this is what I decided to do. I cover her head to toe (skipping the fingers because she likes to suck on them and that would taste yucky) in Cetaphil lotion. If she has any areas of eczema I will also apply some aquaphor to those. I am also still using the hydrocortisone but mainly just on her most itchy areas (head and legs).

I put another call in to the pediatrician this morning because now Ruby has another issue which has pretty much validated my thinking that there is an allergy issue going on here. The poor baby has a nasty cough. Her coughing jags usually end with about 2-3 sneezes. Her nose has started running and her eyes are red rimmed and so watery and itchy that she can barely keep them open at times. When she is drinking her bottle she has to keep stopping to cough so yesterday she didn't even finish 4 out of the 6 bottles she had. I have been giving her the Benadryl that the dr. told me I could give her for her itching but it doesn't seem to be doing the trick (or at least it doesn't last very long with the relief it does provide).

The dr. called me back and said I could increase the Benadryl to 1/2 tsp. but that it may not work either. He said between her skin issues and now this we are dealing with an allergy to something but we don't know what. I've been saying that for's nice to finally hear the doctor say it so certain people will stop telling me I am just worrying too much ( husband). Don't get me wrong, the last thing I wanted was to be right about her having any kind of allergy but I've been feeling like I'm spinning my wheels trying to find out what is going on with her when something very obviously IS going on. Now that the dr. has made this determination, I feel like I will finally have some help in finding the culprit of my poor baby's misery. This is where I start using my detective skills (from my P.I. days) to figure out what to do. Hopefully we won't have to say goodbye to the cats!

Ruby is napping right now but I'll post a picture later of her poor pitiful self so you can see what I mean about her eyes.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to my sister Shea and her husband John. They are celebrating their 9th wedding anniversary but they have been together forever :)

I hope you have been having a wonderful day guys...we love you!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Our Littlest Chatterbox!

Make sure you scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the pause button on the music or you won't be able to hear her very well.

(She's watching Food Network in this video!)

Yes Ladies and Gentleman...Our little Ruby has found her voice! She takes after her brother and sisters and LOVES to hear herself :)

She continues to deal with her eczema issues and has recently been on an antibiotic for a possible cellulitis infection in her left thumb. She went for a follow-up visit today to check on it and the dr. said if the infection comes back he'll put her back on antibiotic. If it doesn't come back and the "hard lump" doesn't go away on its own in about a week or two then she may have a cyst that he'll want a surgeon to take a look at.

Her eczema cleared up on the prescription steroid cream and has now started to flair up again. As of today the dr. wants me to lube her up with Hydrocortisone and Aquaphor 8 times a day. He's hoping the humid summer months that we "enjoy" down here will help keep her skin issues under control and we might not have to keep her so greasy over the summer. He did tell me not to drop her in the pool since she'd be extra slippery ;p

Alright, she's fussing now and I have to get dinner started. Be back soon with more pictures and updates!

Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm Here, I'm Here, I'm Here!

I promise I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Our hard drive D.I.E.D. last Friday morning and it has been at the Geek Squad hospital until today. I have reinstall everything again but I had to come here and let ya'll know that I will be on soon to post!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Pictures of Ruby's Rash

I finally got my pictures on my computer. It still won't recognize the camera but I took the memory card out and plugged it in and I got them! I just don't have time to deal with computer issues right now.

Anyway, here are some pics of my rashy girl ;( Poor thing can't stand being itchy so I'm hoping we can get rid of this thing quickly so she can get back to her old self!

Look at those red puffy eyes...

Behind her knees is really bad...

Her neck and chest also broke out...

The creases are the bad parts on her arms but she has the rash all over her arms...

Hi Everybody! Can someone scratch my back?????

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Itchy, Itchy Baby :(

This is an older picture. SInce switching to a different internet security provider my computer doesn't want to recognize my camera and I haven't been able to download pics! UGH!

Okay, after a wonderful trip to Charlestowne Landing today with my friend/college roommate and her two kids and a trip to Chick-fil-a for lunch, I broke down and called the pediatrician again for Ruby.

I kept an eye on her rash all day and I noticed that she was scratching behind her ears more. When I took a look I almost burst into tears for her. The skin behind her ears was raw and it looked like blisters had popped (I hadn't noticed any of that this morning before we left the house). I could tell she was becoming more and more miserable and her neck was covered in the rash and the crease of her neck looked like the back of ears!

We got an appointment for 4:30 this afternoon. As we were walking into the room the Dr. was just coming out of his office and jokingly asked if I was getting tired of seeing him yet...I told him I was about to ask him the same question!

He looked her over and the med student that was working with him today also checked her out. The Dr. felt it was time to step it up a notch and giver her a stronger steroidal cream. He basically said she has atopic dermatitis AND seborrheic dermatitis. I have to lightly apply the steroid cream 3 times a day from her neck down. Then I have to use Lotrimin in her diaper area and in the crease of her neck 2 times a day and hydrocortisone on the other areas 3 times a day. I aksed him if he could write all this on her body with a sharpie so I wouldn 't forget (I was only joking of course!).

I asked him if this could a milk allergy and he said we would do the skin care (creams/ointments) AND the Nutramigen formula together to get rid of the current rash. Once it is under control we will discontinue the skin care and see how it goes. If the rash stays away then we'll put her back on regular formula. If the rash comes back then we'll know it was a milk allergy. If it doesn't then I guess I just have a strange kid ( words not his). If the ointments/creams don't work to start with then he wants to bring in a dermatologist to help. I pray that it doesn't come to that. If things are inconclusive or if we do find out it's a milk allergy then I'll be taking her to an allergist (the Dr. didn't suggest it but it's what I'll do anyway).

Okay, the kicker??? Ruby H.A.T.E.S. the Nutramigen! UGH!!!!!!!! I gave her the first bottle of it this afternoon and she took about 4 swallows then pushed the bottle out of her mouth. I kept trying and she would look at me as if to say, "What's this cra* you're trying to feed me?" and push the bottle out or put the nipple on the side of her mouth and chew on it while grinning at me saying "You're one crazy mama if you think I'm drinking this stuff!"

The can says that it doesn't smell or taste like regular formula so I'm sure she caught on pretty quick. The nurse at the Dr.'s office gave me a sample of Similac's Alimentum formula to try and it says that it has the milk protein but broken down into "tiny" particles that make it better for babies who develop allergies to cow's milk protein. I might try that in the morning with her. What did I do tonight when she wouldn't take the Nutramigen?

I nursed her. Yes, I know it doesn't help if she has a milk allergy but she was miserable and wasn't going to sleep without eating. I didn't have any regular or soy formula left (and I figured if I was going to do that then breastmilk would be better anyway) and I didn't want to throw that other formula at her while she was already ticked off!

Also, she was scratching a lot tonight so I went ahead and gave her the 1/4 teaspoon of Benadryl that the Dr. told me I could give her if I thought she needed it. I hope it works for her so she'll stop scratching and so she can get some itch free sleep!

Sorry if this is a lot but I want to document it so I can remember what I've done/tried. Also, if anyone else has had similar experiences they can see what I've tried and maybe give me more ideas to help my sweet little Ruby. Thanks for the advice that was given on my last post :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Need Help/Advice...

I just spoke with the pediatrician about 30 minutes ago because Ruby started running a low grade fever. I told him that she was covered head to toe in the rash and had been on the soy formula for a couple of days. He asked what I was doing for her and I mentioned everything. he told me to try the Nutramigen (sp?) for a few days to see if it helps. He also told me that if she is scratching a lot (which she is on her head and legs) that I could give her a 1/4 tsp of Benadryl every 6 hours. She has her 4 month well-check next week on the 14th so he said to keep her on the Nutramigen until then at least and we can discuss where to go from there. He said he wasn't too concerned about her temp right now. He told me I could give her Tylenol if I wanted to. Thanks KMama and Jess for your help and advice...this is new territory for us.
I'm still hoping it might just be extra sensitive skin that will clear up soon but I have a feeling it isn't.

Before I post about our Easter weekend I need to ask for some help/advice on Ruby.

She has had a very bad case of excema since just before she was 2 months old. It started on her back and has since moved to all areas of her body. I have tried oatmeal baths (only bathing her every 2-3 days and just wiping her down with a warm wet cloth other days), cetaphil lotion, Aquaphor, and Phisoderm wash. I am going to get some hydrocortisone cream today. I use All Free and Clear laundry detergent and have washed everything before she wears it. I am also having to fight her to trim her nails because she has been scratching her head (her cradle cap has now turned to excema patches).

I had been nursing and giving her a bottle of formula every once in a while at first then she started acting like she wasn't satisfied after 45 min-1 hour of nursing so I started giving her more formula. She is now mostly on formula with her middle of the night feeding being nursed.

Abby and Lucy had excema that I thought was pretty bad but it cleared up in a matter of a couple of weeks. This has been about 2 months and just seems to be getting worse.

Now that it has warmed up I have started keeping her in just a onesie to keep the cool air on her skin. I just read online about keeping a cool mist humidifier in her room as well so I am going to go dig that out.

I asked her Dr. last week about the possibility of a milk allergy. He said it would be uncommon since noone else in the family has one but I don't know of anything else that could be causing it. She was on Enfamil with Lipil which is what my other 3 had. The Dr. suggested trying her on soy formula. I started her on that Monday night. However, the articles I have read about milk allergies in infants state that these babies would also be allergic to the protein in the soy formulas as well. Also, if the soy formula IS going to do the long should it take for the rash to disappear?

Has anyone else dealt with this? I am so worried for her and it brings me to tears to see her poor tiny body covered in this itchy rash and I can't do anything to get rid of it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bump on the head + throwing up = trip to ER

I think it must be a secret rite of passage thing my kids have that they have to have a trip to the ER by age 3. Lucy got hers last Tuesday.

Tuesday afternoon she went in the bathroom with Abby to wash her hands. She was standing on the toilet and leaning over the counter. Somehow she fell backwards and hit the back of her head on the bathtub. Of course she screamed for a few minutes and I held her and checked her over. She wasn't bleeding anywhere and I couldn't find a goose egg where I thought she hit. I asked her to tell me or show me where she hit her head and she wouldn't do either. I thought maybe she was more scared and mad than hurt so I kept an eye on her.

After 30 minutes she still refused to talk and would just stare straight ahead...sometimes not even acknowledging me when I spoke so I called the pediatrician and they asked me to bring her in. I called a neighbor who was kind enough to take Max and Abby off my hands then Lucy and Ruby and I headed to the Dr.

I started getting really worried on the way because Lucy kept falling asleep and she had already had a nap that morning so I knew she shouldn't be tired. I kept calling her name and reaching back to rub on her legs to keep her awake. She didn't start talking to me until we were waiting in the exam room for the Dr. to come in.

Once he had checked her he said she'd be fine but to call back if she started staggering around like she was drunk or if she started vomiting. Well, about an hour after we got home she threw up...a lot. Of course I freaked out (my kids don't normally throw up without a reason). John grabbed Lucy and started cleaning her up while I grabbed the phone and tried to call the Dr. It was about 6:30 so I expected to get the after hours line. Nothing ever happened. The phone kept ringing. After about 45 minutes I told John we needed to take her to the ER. I told him I would call my mom to come and stay with the kids but in the meantime either he could take Lucy or stay with the other 3. He chose to take Lucy...go figure ;p

He got in to the ER about 7:45. I think I finally got down there about 9ish. By the time I had gotten there the Dr. had ordered a head CT but it hadn't been done yet. John left about 9:30 to go home so my mom could leave. About 10:15 they came and got us to take us to radiology. I had to lay on top of Lucy and hold her hands and body still so they could do the scan. She screamed at first but after a couple of practice runs she got calm and stayed so still...I was SO PROUD of her!

She threw up once more just as the Dr. was coming in to say the scan was normal and that the vomiting may be a virus coming on. We got home about midnight.

On Wednesday Lucy was whinier and clingier than normal but I figured it was a virus. Thursday morning I was strapping her in the car seat and she had her mouth open so wide I happened to be staring at the back of her throat...which was bright red...with huge tonsils...that had white patches on them. Hello! Strep throat! She had an appointment that afternoon for a follow up with her pedi. so I asked him to swab her. Yep, strep. We have amoxicillin and she back to her old self...beating up on her big sister ;p

Let's hope we don't have any more trips to the ER for a VERY LONG TIME!!!!!