Monday, February 25, 2013

Eczema Experiments

Right around Christmas Malachi's inner knees turned bright pink. Maybe the extra layers of clothing or leggings triggered it, or eating more variety of solid foods, we don't know. Soon it was also showing up on his forehead, elbows, and under his earlobes. 
February 14: the scratches on his face are from a dishwasher incident unrelated to eczema
"Eczema," diagnosed the other moms at church, and sure enough he soon began to scratch at it.
Our first attempt to soothe it was to rub with coconut oil, since that is antibacterial, antifungal, and moisturizing. We melted in a few drops of lavender essential oil too since that is good for healing skin. This mixture seemed to take some of the dryness and roughness away. We still put this on 2-4 times a day.

The next thing we added (around February 12 I think) was a hazelwood necklace, which is supposed to help various problems in the body (eczema and reflux/heartburn are the most common uses I've heard) by absorbing acid and therefore correcting the pH of the body. Depending on the person's body chemistry, they last for around 6 months. Not all eczema is connected with a pH imbalance, but supposedly 70% of people see some improvement with the necklaces. I wanted to make sure that any improvements I noticed were not just wishful thinking, so I took pictures of his knees when I put the necklace on.
February 19
February 25
The necklace has been on for almost two weeks and I think there has been a definite improvement, although it is definitely still itching. The spots under his earlobes that were bleeding and cracking are completely gone, the dryness around the corners of his eyes is also gone (haven't been putting any oil there since it's so close to his eyes), and his knees look somewhat better too.

I hope that we can figure out what is triggering this, or that he outgrows it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Citrus Cake in the Bread Machine

Perhaps your oven is in use with another project, your house is too hot to use the oven, or you simply feel the need to justify your $12 thrift store purchase of a bread machine. All these would be perfect opportunities to use your bread machine to whip up a tasty citrus cake (a copycat of the Starbucks Lemon Loaf). My recipe is based on this one, which might be a better option to try if you're just going to do it in the regular oven.

If your machine has a dough setting and a bake setting, you can basically override the the machine's preprogrammed routines and use it somewhat like an easy-bake oven. I have used a similar method to make cornbread in the bread machine. Some bread machines also have a specific cake setting. I have a Breadman TR875.

1 c flour
1/2 c. oatmeal flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
2 T. butter, melted
1 t. vanilla
1/3 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
zest of one orange or lemon

1 c. powdered sugar
2 T lemon juice

Put all ingredients in bread machine and put on "dough" cycle. Use a small rubber spatula to help scrape the flour out of the corners and bottoms while it mixes. When thoroughly mixed, cancel the dough cycle, reach in and pull out the mixing paddle, and turn on the "bake" option for approximately 1 hour or until the middle is done. Remove, cool, and pour the glaze over the top.

Monday, February 04, 2013

M: 14 months

While the men were off in Portland, Malachi and I had a fun day. He set foot in the library for the first time (I'm pretty sure I've always held him or had him in the ring sling before) and enjoyed checking out his own books at the self-checkout machine just like Toby always does. He is pretty insistent about doing things a certain way: getting his own hymnal from the pile at church, eating his own food with utensils just like everyone else, and having a bedtime book just like Toby. His favorite bedtime book is the farm book, because it has pictures of blueberries, chickens and puppies. He recently added "woof woof" to his vocabulary and enjoys feeding Toby's stuffed dog.