How Huggies “Natural Care” Wipes Burned My Son’s Skin

I have very sensitive skin. I know many of our friends and family probably thought I was being a bit nuts when everything on our baby registry was organic and for sensitive skin, but I knew there was a good chance that our baby would end up with sensitive skin like mine. So far, we have been very lucky that he hasn’t had too many strong reactions to anything we have used on him. Normally, we always use Earth’s Best Organic Chlorine Free Wipes for diaper changes (found here), and we have never had any problems. Recently, my husband noticed that we were running low on wipes in the diaper bag and picked up something at the grocery store. Since they didn’t carry Earth’s Best at that grocery store, he figured Huggies “Natural Care” wipes would be an okay option (they claim to be natural after all).

After using them a couple of times, I suddenly noticed a horrible rash all over our son’s crotch and thighs, everywhere I had used the wipes during a diaper change. It was diaper rash to the extreme, except it extended far beyond the reach of the diaper (we had a couple of pretty messy diaper changes that involved lots of wiping). By the next day, the rash had become raw and scabby. Whatever chemicals were in the wipes had literally burnt off his skin. Yesterday was absolutely awful…I wanted to get a picture of how bad it was, but that was impossible with the way he was wriggling and screaming from the afternoon all the way until bed time.

I am a huge proponent of natural health care and remedies, and have been making my own herbal remedies for us and our pets for years now. I am going to start a new series of blog posts about my recent journey into expanding my herbal remedy arsenal for our family’s health care. I happened to have just received my new shipment of dōTERRA essential oils yesterday, so I immediately started adding a few of the oils into the lineup to treat E’s raw, irritated skin. Within 24 hours, he is doing so much better. His skin has started healing up a lot. There is still a little bit of scabby area left, but yesterday his entire inner thigh looked raw like the small raw bit in the photo below.

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This is the arsenal of supplies that I have been using on his skin:
California Baby Calendula Cream (this is what I usually use if he has any diaper rash), Burts Bees Res-Q Ointment (has comfrey as the main ingredient, which is great for soothing and healing all kinds of bumps, scrapes, bug bites, etc.), fresh aloe vera, dōTERRA Lavender essential oil (for soothing the skin), dōTERRA Melaluca essential oil (for its cleansing and antibiotic properties), and dōTERRA Frankincense essential oil (for its healing properties).
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I have used lavender essential oil for many things over the years, but I started getting disgusted by the chemical processes most companies use to extract the essential oils. Most essential oils that you find in stores are actually extracted through chemical processes instead of steam or pressure extraction. Instead of getting a concentrated version of a plant with healing abilities, you end up with a concentrated amount of toxins. I discovered dōTERRA essential oils, and have become enthralled with the company the more I learn about them. They only use organic herbs and produce for their essential oils, and the oils are never extracted by chemical means. You know that you are getting the purest form of the plant essence available. I am really excited to start documenting our family’s journey with using dōTERRA essential oils, as well as some new fresh medicinal herbs that I recently added to my herb garden. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions!

Some of the issues we have been tackling lately with herbal remedies (and will be coming to the blog soon) include extreme teething (getting the first set of molars), bug bites and prevention, digestive problems with one of our dogs and one of our cats, my journey with finding natural remedies for my severe and chronic muscle, bone, ligament, and arthritis pain, and other issues as well. For more information on dōTERRA, click here.

*Update: After I published this post, a friend sent me this news article link. Sadly, this is quite a common reaction to wipes in general. Be sure to check the ingredients on the wipes you use or make your own! The Earth’s Best wipes that we use thankfully do not have the chemicals that the article mentioned, which is why our son never had this problem before.

Valentine’s Day at the Queen Mary with Ehrmann Mixim Launch Party

Last week for Valentine’s Day, we had the honor of attending the Ehrmann Mixim Greek Yogurt launch party on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. The Queen Mary was transformed into the Love Boat for the event, all lit up in pink. After growing up in the Long Beach area, I have been to the Queen Mary many times in my life and I have never seen her look so beautiful as she looked all dressed up in pink!

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We started off the night in style on the pink carpet! So fun. 🙂
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Then we were brought up to the VIP lounge, where the tastings were held.

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If you read my blog regularly, you know that I have had to unfortunately cut dairy out of my diet temporarily while I am breastfeeding our baby since he was having an allergic reaction to cow’s milk proteins, even via my milk. We are hoping that this will only be temporary! So, until I can have dairy again, my husband was more than happy to be my taste tester. 🙂

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I actually remember that when we were on our vacation in Germany a few years ago, Ehrmann yogurts were part of our picnic lunches that we were packing up on most days (Ehrmann is a family owned company from Germany). It is so exciting to see them launch here in the U.S. My husband absolutely LOVED the Mixim yogurt! He said it was smooth and creamy, and not tart like some other Greek yogurts he has tried. We loved that there are two options for the toppings, each in their own individual compartments in the adorable heart shaped containers. I am allergic to artificial food dyes, so I was really happy that there are no dyes in any of the toppings! Before our son was born, I used to get so frustrated with constantly checking for artificial dyes in yogurt ingredients. Thanks for keeping things natural and healthy, Ehrmann!

For any fellow photographers who may be reading this…don’t freak out that something is wrong with the white balance of my photos. 🙂 The VIP lounge was all lit up with these pink lights, making it fun and festive.

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Later in the evening, Ehrmann made a donation to the Children’s Heart Foundation, $1 for every photo that was uploaded to social media with the hashtag #miximlove. I loved that they picked a great charity to help with this event!

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My silly guys had fun playing around with the Mixim staff with the lit up heart balloons! 🙂
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And then, the cutest thing happened! Recently, I did a birthday photoshoot for this adorable little baby girl, who is the daughter of my good friend. My baby boy E came along for the photoshoot and fell madly in love with the little girl that day, as you can see below (more at www.apluscphotography.com). 🙂

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My friend saw my posts that we would be attending and told me that they were going to come to the party as well. When I saw how many people were at the party, I thought there was no way that E was going to find his new little girlfriend for his first Valentine’s date. As luck would have it, as soon as we went down on the main deck for the Guinness World Record event, we ran into our friends! E was pretty excited that he got to spend Valentine’s Day with his new girlfriend. 🙂

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E was not too thrilled that she kept trying to steal his hat. He had to explain to her that they aren’t married yet so the whole “what’s mine is yours” thing doesn’t quite apply yet. 😉

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All of the couples at the event participated in a new Guinness World Record, of the most couples simultaneously feeding each other. 🙂 It was such a fun thing to participate in!

After the tasting, a Journey cover band, DSB, played. The music was great and some amazing fireworks followed the concert.

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E was in awe of the heart shaped fireworks. 🙂

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The party was so much fun! Definitely the best Valentine’s Day I have ever had. I was so happy that I got to go to such a fun event with my two handsome dates. The fireworks show even finished with my favorite song by Heart. 🙂

After the party was over, we decided to walk around the ship a bit. E is quite a night owl like his parents. The boys had fun playing some video games.

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Then they goofed around a bit inside a giant bell on the ship. 🙂

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Definitely a night to remember!
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Thanks so much for having us, Ehrmann! I can’t wait to be able to eat dairy again! Ehrmann Mixim’s six flavor combos can be found now in California, Arizona and Nevada in retailers such as Albertsons, Bashas and Safeway. For more information on Mixim, visit the Ehrmann website: http://www.ehrmann-usa.com/. You can also find them at the following links!
• Ehrmann MIXIM Love Boat Event Page: http://bit.ly/1f8bgQC
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/EhrmannUSA
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EhrmannUSA
• Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/ehrmannusa/
• Instagram: http://instagram.com/ehrmannusa/
• Valentine’s Day Sweepstakes:  http://tinyurl.com/psq3b87

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*This is a sponsored post.

What I Wore Sunday: Finally a Dress Again!

I was super excited about this simple outfit for a few reasons. The first and biggest reason (for me anyway) was that I am finally feeling stable enough again to start wearing some wedge heels! Heels are one of my favorite things, and having my pelvic bones so weak and painful for so long meant that I have had to only wear flats for quite some time now. I am still not pain free, and not stable enough to wear a pair of regular heels yet, but this was an exciting improvement for me. 🙂

I also have been having a really hard time finding any dresses that look good on my figure and are breastfeeding friendly, without being really low cut. I have searched high and low and finally found a dress I liked for wearing to church once in a while. It was a hard process. Most button down shirt dresses are not flattering on me, I can’t do strapless comfortably, and some scoop neck dresses that may be breastfeeding friendly are too low cut for my taste. It is surprisingly difficult to find a good wrap dress lately!

We went by the pier after church on Sunday to look at getting some fish for dinner, and were hoping baby E would enjoy his first time seeing the ocean. Unfortunately, he was too sleepy to pay attention to his surroundings!

Sunglasses: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Purse: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Dress: TJ Maxx
Shoes: a store in “the alley” in downtown Los Angeles

E is wearing an outfit from F.A.O. Schwarz.

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We Are Currently Experiencing Technical Difficulties….

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The past week has been pretty frustrating. It started with an incredibly disappointing loss of photos on one of my memory cards. The weekend before this past one, we had a pretty mellow weekend, running errands on Saturday and relaxing at home before we went to evening mass on Sunday. Nothing too exciting, but we did get some cute pictures of our outfits and some amazing food that I cooked up. Last week when I went to offload the pictures off my memory card, they disappeared as soon as I put the memory card into the laptop. I did everything I could think of, including running recovery software, and nothing worked. Those pictures are gone forever. I was so sad because E had been making some particularly cute faces in some of them! I usually reformat my memory cards periodically to prevent this type of thing from happening, but I guess since I had not done that since E has been born, the cards were overdue. Very sad and disappointing.

This past weekend, my husband had the fun task of working on our main bathroom, which suddenly had developed a bunch of problems within the past week. The toilet stopped flushing regularly, the sink was leaking from the pipe (and therefore starting to rot the vanity and cause mold to grow), the sink was also draining very slowly, and the shower backed up and stopped draining. By Sunday morning, he still hadn’t gotten the shower to drain yet, so I took a shower in our guest bath. After I finished, I went into the front yard to turn on the sprinklers while I got ready to go to church, and noticed that there was water pouring out of the side of the house where the guest bathroom is located.

We initially thought there must be a clog in the main line, but it turns out that they were all separate problems, totally non-related. The timing was crazy! My husband was able to get the leak in the drain in the guest bathroom shower repaired, and after a lot of work, he got our main shower draining again. The toilet and the sink still need work, so it looks like that is how we will be spending our upcoming holiday weekend. We were originally planning to leave that bathroom alone until after we are finished with the whole having babies thing since it is handicapped friendly, and it came in very handy during my pregnancy and postpartum recovery period. We have a few things planned for it that we will do in stages, hopefully getting the most urgent things completed this coming weekend!

So, there may be a shortage of outfit posts for a little bit, since we don’t look the most photogenic while we are running around stressed out and trying to help with an unpleasant project. 🙂 Hopefully once the main bathroom is functional again, we can finish up some of the smaller projects that have been put off for a long time, like finishing the trim work in the guest bathroom and the kitchen!

What I Wore: Father’s Day Weekend Part 2

I decided to coordinate my outfit a little with what my two boys were wearing that day for fun. 🙂 We all wore our black sneakers (although E’s are really just socks that look like shoes) and a vest. E thinks it is quite hilarious whenever I have a hat on or a scarf in my hair, and he thought this white with black polka dot scarf was particularly entertaining. I am happy my outfits are so amusing to him. 🙂

Scarf: can’t remember…maybe Forever 21?
Shirt: JCP
Vest: Nordstrom
Pants: JCP
Shoes: Converse
Purse: Marc by Marc Jacobs

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Father’s Day Weekend Part 2

Since it was our first Father’s Day, I “helped” my two boys put together coordinating outfits on Sunday. 🙂 I even wore a semi-coordinating outfit myself. We started off the day going to mass, and then headed out to the California Science Center. E was very interested in everything, but he was particularly fascinated by the room with three walls covered with movie screens and my dad’s students’ R.O.V. exhibit!

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Unfortunately, E fell asleep just before we went in to see the Endeavour. There will be plenty of time for him to see it in the future though. I am pretty sure it won’t be leaving the museum any time soon. 😉 I can’t wait until he sees it for the first time. While I was pregnant with E, it flew right over our backyard on its final flight into the airport here in Los Angeles, and I have been excited for him to see it since then.

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Unfortunately, E’s grandpa wasn’t there to see his reaction to the R.O.V. exhibit for the first time, but we finished off the evening by meeting up with Grandma and Grandpa for dinner!

Father’s Day Weekend Part 1

This past weekend, we decided to skip our rule of one day of working on the house and one day of fun rule. For one thing, we were a little burnt out on working on the house after spending a couple of weekends getting the house ready for the baptism party. Also, since it was Father’s Day weekend, we decided to take the whole weekend to do fun things. Our Mother’s Day weekend was a little rough with all three of us feeling under the weather (each with different problems), so a fun and memorable first Father’s Day weekend was in order.

On Saturday, my husband and E wore their coordinating t-shirts that I got for them. Below is an Instagram picture showing their t-shirts. They were a big hit all day. 🙂1010309_10151526025612535_20475506_n

We started out the day going to the Heritage Square Museum, near Pasadena, CA. My grandmother used to tell this story over and over about how when I was really little, she was driving me to her sister’s house in San Marino. As we were passing by Heritage Square on the freeway, I looked over and said, “what boootiful houses!”. I am still very fond of old Victorian and craftsman houses, as is my husband. We were crushed when we did not get the first house that we put an offer on, a big historic house built around 1919 (the house was somehow repurchased by the same owner). My husband had never been to Heritage Square, and I had not been since I was a little kid, so we were excited to go. In retrospect, I wish I would have brought some of my other camera lenses with me, but worrying about carting around all the baby gear is usually enough stuff to carry. 🙂

I always thought that Heritage Square was a previously existing neighborhood that had been saved and restored. We were quite surprised to find out that they were individual buildings that were salvaged from around Los Angeles, relocated together and restored. It is so sad that there are so many more houses like this that were destroyed over the years around the city.

E was so cute when we were inside the houses. I really wished photography would have been allowed inside the houses. He had his eyes open so big, looking at all of the details of each house and the furniture. We jokingly told him to take it all in and start taking notes so he can work with us on our house soon. 🙂

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We met a cute cat in the garden. He followed me throughout the garden. He reminded us a lot of our cat Fluffy. 🙂
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Originally, we were planning to go to another museum in the area after we finished at the Heritage Square Museum, but after we dealt with some long baby feeding sessions and diaper changes, it was a lot later than we had planned and too late to go to another museum. We were not ready to leave and go to dinner at the place we had planned, and wanted to do something else. We decided to go for a walk around the Cal Tech campus since it is so pretty and E absolutely loves looking at trees. 🙂

When I was in high school, a good friend of mine was applying to Cal Tech. I thought that it sounded incredibly boring to go to a college without NCAA sports teams. I decided to go to USC, but spent a lot of time visiting her up at Cal Tech on the weekends and breaks. It turned out that Cal Tech was not as boring as I would have assumed, and I ended up falling in love with the school and the whole environment. I wished I had applied there myself. While at USC, I felt that the general environment was full of a lot of superficiality, backstabbing, snobbery, and everyone judging everyone else. I really do not have too many fond memories of those years, with the exception of a few good friends that I made (however, by now most of those friendships have faded away anyway after moves, etc.). A part of me always wonders if I really did not enjoy studying engineering, or if I just did not enjoy the environment where I was studying. Perhaps if I had gone somewhere else, I might have enjoyed it more. I had a lot of horrible experiences where people in my classes were spreading lies about how I was getting an A in a particular class, and even a professor who tried to sabotage me because he was angry that I got a 97% on his midterm without attending his (pointless) lectures when I had fractured my spine. My good grade brought attention to the fact that everyone who had been in the lectures had come close to failing the midterm, or had failed, and I ruined the curve. Oops!

When I would go visit at Cal Tech, people had themed parties that were more than just order a kegger and get wasted (like the parties at USC). They had open mic nights, spoken word and poetry nights, and other amazing themed parties and events. People sat around having amazing conversations, discussing philosophy, politics, and more (and sometimes science topics too). I definitely spent more of my free time at Cal Tech parties than events at my own school. It was the kind of environment that I had pictured when I thought about what college would be like. When I was busy fighting with the university because they were forcing me to live with roommates who never felt a need to study and stayed up all night partying, my friend at Cal Tech got to live in her own tiny dorm room, with no roommates, because the university understood that living alone in a smaller space was more conducive to efficient studying.

My husband does not like it when I say this, but I really hope E will consider going to Cal Tech if he is interested in science or engineering. I know it is silly to try to encourage him toward a particular college as soon as he is born, but I just loved it there so much and hope that one day I could live vicariously through one of my own kids going to school there. 🙂

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After our little campus tour, we finished off the evening with dinner at my favorite restaurant in my old neighborhood of L.A. (Los Feliz), and a drive through downtown. We had a couple of things in mind that we wanted to do downtown, but a worn out and sleeping baby made us decide to head home instead. 🙂