Thursday, December 4, 2014

Clayton's Skin

When Clay was a newborn-3 months old, we spent a lot of time refining my diet to best support his digestion. He had a lot of issues with blood in his poop, and we finally identified dairy, eggs and gluten as the main suspect. We had gotten it figured out and were smooth sailing.

One of the earlier pictures of his face rash
When he was 3 months, he started attending daycare. Early in the first week, he came home with a face rash. We chalked it up to a new environment/cleaning products. It faded. Then it came back at home. Then it faded. Then it came back. And faded. And came back. So on and so forth.

Early on, his rash was all over his face. It would vary in intensity and we could not connect it to anything.  It was so frustrating, but he didn't seem bothered by it. We kept an eye on it, tried a variety of creams and oils, and yet it still kept coming. It also started changing.

It would change to a more "constellation" type pattern, like the picture in the monkey jammies, or sometimes, his entire face would get puffy, like in the picture next to it.

After fighting it for two months, our doctor finally prescribed us a steroid cream. We were all baffled by what was causing it, and just wanted some relief for my gorgeous little guy. The steroid cream worked...for about three days. Then, the rash migrated. It stopped coming to his cheeks and started forming largely around his eyes, as seen below. It looked like hives along his eyes. This was really nerve-wracking, of course, because it was so close to his eyes!

Then, the cream stopped working all together, and he was back to what he was before--a speckled mess of a baby. 

So, our pediatrician gave us a referral to dermatology. Unfortunately, it took a while to wait for an appointment, due to my daily schedule. We finally went on November 26th, and Clayton was diagnosed with perioficial dermatitis.

Also known as perioral dermatitis,  this is a skin condition that has no real cause and can last for quite a while. It is exacerbated by basically everything, and is treated with antibiotics. So the unfortunate result of switching to the antibiotic and removing the steroid is that for now, his poor face looks even worse, and probably stings. He has been moody and cranky since then, and screams like crazy when I have to put on the cream.

I feel really bad for my little dude, and wish there was some way to make him feel better. I have been cycling tylenol and ibuprofen on bad days, which does seem to help. But in the bath, if water touches his face, he gets really upset, so I know it's bugging him.

Hopefully, in a few weeks, we will see it clear up. If it hasn't by his follow-up appointment in January, we will have to try some other options.

Monday, November 24, 2014

6 months!

Clayton is officially 6 months old! I can hardly believe it!

He can roll both ways, sit unassisted briefly, grab and put things in his mouth, and now, eat real foods!

So far, he has tried broccoli and avocado, as well as butternut squash puree (his favorite so far!) and whole grain oatmeal. 

His sleep is a mess--let's not even talk about it.

He LOVES his sister and she can always make him smile. He also loves watching his doggy.

Clayton adores bathtime!

He is wearing 9 month sizes, and we will see at his well check tomorrow how big he is!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

On Turning 30.

Today is officially 11 days until my 30th birthday.

However, I am not bothered by this at all.

I know many people, my husband included, who struggled with turning 30. Something about that number seems so much bigger than it is.

But I? I have spent most of my life being the youngest in class. I always loved "catching up." I am finally as old as everyone else! I am finally a part of the group! That is until the next month when everyone was once again a year older.

When I reflect on turning 30, I feel nothing but joy.

First of all, I have had 30 years of this here fabulous life. That's pretty incredible.

I have been beyond blessed to end up where I am, doing what I am doing, with the people I do it with. Somehow, education found me, and it has given me a purpose.

I have the most amazing, loving, dedicated husband. He is not perfect. WE are not perfect. But for over 10 years now, we have decided that wherever we are going, whatever we are doing, it's much much better when we are together. I can only imagine what our next 30 years will be like, right by each other's side.

My children are the most incredible humans I have ever encountered. Evelyn teaches me so much, and fills our days and nights with laughter and joy. Clayton has a piece of my heart in a way I never dreamed possible. His happy little smile is all I need to put my heart at ease.

My family and friends are incredible. We have enough money for frivolous Old Navy purchases, while still paying off my student loan debt. We own a home that is far from perfect, but the perfect amount of cozy.

I used to think, at age 15, of all the things I would do or be by 30. I didn't want to have a baby until then, and now, odds are I am done having them.

I know this much: I never could have envisioned this incredibly amazing, absolutely flawed, overwhelmingly beautiful life that I have. I couldn't have dreamed it up if I tried. It's so much better than I ever imagined.

So when I turn 30, I will only continue to revel in that awe. Nothing about me changes with a 3 in front of my age, save for some newer aches and baby weight I can't get rid of. Everything else is just as incredible as 29.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Common Core: Cite Your Source.

That's it.

I'm done.

I am over, over, OVER playing nice in the realm of Common Core.

I don't care if you're a teacher, parent, policy maker--it doesn't matter to me. I am done.playing.nice.

There is so much misinformation out there. Of course, there's misinformation on every topic ever because, well, internet. And that's fine.

The problem is when we start believing the inaccurate sources.

And you know what that makes me laugh?

Common Core would have taught you to critically analyze and question sources before blindly believing them.


My new response to every single comment on Common Core will be the following:


We are working really hard, with Common Core, to get students to answer questions with text-dependent responses. That means, if you tell me that the character in the story was angry, you must include evidence in your response: "On page 7, the character throws his book in someone's face, which shows he is unhappy with that person."


If you want to criticize Common Core, by all means, go ahead. A healthy debate is just that: healthy. Helpful. Part of the process.

But what won't happen? On my watch? Using the general words of vague sources based on no evidence whatsoever to bash a system that WE created to FIX where we have gone WRONG in the past 15 years.

Here's a quick sample.

Common Core involves more testing!

Cite your source.
Because they don't.
Here's my source: Click

Teachers weren't involved in creating Common Core!

Cite your source.
Because they were.
Here's my source: Click

I could go on. But I won't. Because I am about to teach 150 amazing teenagers all day, and they deserve me in the happy mood I woke up in.

Do not hear me wrong. Some states, districts, schools and administrators are doing this wrong. There is no two ways about it. Just wrong. That makes me sad, but that is something we can fix, if we all pay enough attention. But just like any situation ever in the history of the world, do not let the exception define the rule.

Ask questions. Do research. Critique the sources you are looking at.

And always, always, cite your source.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

5 months!

This little guy is growing so fast! I can barely keep up. 

Clayton is 5 months old! He can roll over like a champ, and does so all the time.

He currently LOVES to spit. Anyone holding him does not enjoy it as much. 

He has recently discovered his feet, which is hilarious. 

Clay loves to give kisses, and does so accurately 9 times out of 10.

He absolutely adores his big sister. She makes him laugh without fail. 

He flirts with, and loves, his teachers at school.

He is allergic to the entire world.

Wearing 9 month sleepers, 3 month shorts, 6 month onesies. 

I simply cannot believe next month will be half a year.