Wednesday, September 21, 2011


As I'm writing this, Ada has become infatuated with my feet.  She crawled over from the other side of the room, pulled off my warm slippers, tasted them, then started tickling my toes and putting them in her mouth! Then we play a little tug of war with my foot, while I try to tickle her with my toes.  She's like a little playful kitten!  Even better than a kitten!

Anyways, today's post: diaper rashes.  Thankfully, Ada doesn't get diaper rashes very often, thanks to the breathable cotton cloth diaper.  Prevention is the best remedy for diaper rashes.  To prevent them, change a wet diaper every 2 to 3 hours, and change a poopy diaper immediately. Here are some things I've found helpful in treating a diaper rash:

Naked time!  Get your baby butt naked!  That rash needs to dry itself out and those buns need fresh air.   And, babies LOVE being naked!  Ada is twice as smiley and giggly when she gets to play naked, wouldn't you be??  If it's winter time, crank up the heat in your house for a few hours.  If the weather is nice, lay her on a towel outside, when the sun's not too intense (morning) and in a little bit of shade.  The sun is very effective in treating all kinds of skin diseases.  Rashes hurt when things, such as diapers, rub up against them.  So getting baby naked makes the rash much more bearable. If your baby can't move yet, lay out some thick towels and lay them naked on their back or tummy during their play time.  If your baby is a mover like Ada, don't bother getting out any towels.  Just get out a rag and maybe carpet cleaner to clean up any pee-pee or poo-poo messes she'll make.  You might be horrified to think about your baby peeing on the carpet, and are shocked that I let her do it.  First of all, baby pee is waaaay easier to clean up than dog or cat pee.  Baby pee is nearly clear and odorless (unless it's like 3 pees on top of each other).  Secondly, the end justifies the means.  I don't mind cleaning up potty messes (you're saving yourself some diapers!) because I know the naked time is really helpful for her booty.

Mommy's milk!  I am always fascinated with how amazing God made our human bodies.  Breastmilk contains living antibodies which do search and destroy missions against anything harmful (viruses, bacteria).  If you are breastfeeding, pump a little extra milk to put on baby's buns.  This soothes and helps quickly heal the rash.  If you give baby a nice warm bath, add some breastmilk to the water.  One time Ada woke up with a rash on her face and her buns (probably something she ate).  So in the morning I got her naked, put some breastmilk on her face and buns, and we sat outside on the deck in the shade.  Within an hour, the rash on her face was 80% gone, and the rash on her buns was 60% better!  I then gave her a bath with breastmilk added, which not only made her skin even softer but continued to aid the rashes.  Her face rash was gone by the afternoon, and her diaper rash was gone the next day.

Ditch the wipes.  When a baby has a diaper rash, they dread diaper changes because that's when mommy wipes their painful rash with a cold wipe!  Ouch!  I hate hearing Ada whimper in pain when this happens, so I don't use wipes at all.  Instead, fill a squirt bottle with warm water, or 1 part baby lotion (preferably unscented as perfumes can be irritating) and 2 parts warm water and shake to mix.  Under baby's bottom lay a towel or rag.  Remove the diaper, spray (more like a gentle mist spray) buns clean with the warm water.  If you don't have a squirt bottle, get a wet wash cloth with warm water and wring out the water over the buns.  Gently pat baby's buns dry with the towel or rag you placed under her.  Before putting the diaper back on her, use the diaper to fan her bottom dry.  If your baby has a messy poopy, just stick her in the tub and spray her bottom clean.

Diaper rash cream.  If your baby has a rash, always cover the rash in cream before putting on a diaper.  You want to keep that rash "waterproof," and the cream helps make a barrier between the rash and the wet diaper.  I really like A+D ointment cream.  It works better on Ada than a zinc-oxide cream.  Try different creams to see what works best for your baby.  And here's a tip on applying the cream: use your ring finger to apply the cream.  Your ring finger is your weakest finger, usually making it the most gentle when applying the cream.  Also, when you use this finger, you are keeping your other  fingers (pointer, middle, thumb) clean that you will use to secure the diaper on your baby.

Prayer! Lay your hands on your baby and pray for God to heal her tush.  We've experienced and witnessed and believe in God's healing touch that we know we'd be silly not to ask God to heal her.  He is so good and loving that He even cares about diaper rashes!

Lastly, these pictures are totally unrelated to diaper rashes, but I always like including pictures in my posts.

Here's a picture of us with Mrs. Hannah Al-Saygh, Ahmad Al-Saygh's (our good friend) mother.  She came all the way from Qatar to visit Ames.  We were so blessed to meet such a wonderful woman who was full of sincerity and life.  She has a granddaughter Ada's age.

This is Ada with Melinda Diehl and Vanessa Peterzen, some very good friends from my college days.  They came to visit us and we had a girls' night this past weekend.  So much fun!  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


This past weekend we finished our bathroom remodel! Who doesn't love before and afters???

This is our main bathroom.  The tub is light blue, walls are stark white, and the bathtub doesn't have a shower.  It created an awkward situation when we hosted overnight guests because if they wanted to shower they had to use our shower in the master bedroom (we have a 3/4 bathroom in our bedroom).  Also, with Ada getting bigger, we needed to transform the tub to be shower accessible so that it's easier to bathe Ada.  Not to mention, I hate trying to shave my legs in the stand alone shower in our bedroom!  

We are sooooo fortunate to know Kyle and Sarah VanGorp.  They came all the way from DES MOINES to help us!  Kyle knows how to fix, remodel, rebuild, install anything and everything.  Sarah has got very good taste and an eye for color complementing, interior design, and decorating. Chris and I wish we were like them! Together they have totally transformed their old, worn out forclosure house into a beautiful, updated and modern home! Check out their blog here. So, Kyle helped and taught Chris how to do plumbing stuff with the shower, and Sarah helped me with painting, decorating ideas, and etc.  She was also great company while the men poured blood, sweat, and tears over the tub. 

The After:
Taa-daahh!!! Dark fern green walls, dark chocolate covered trim and painted vanity, new shower hardware with a wall surround, the tub is painted white (with a tub and tile kit), and the mirror has a tile border.  Total cost of everything: $361.09.  And this included the pizza we ordered.  Every time I step into the bathroom I feel like I'm stepping into a different house!  This is the only room in our house that has color in it right now.  The rest of the house is egg-shell white, with hardly anything on the walls.  

I super-glued tile to make a border for this flat mirror.  Stole this idea from my sister.  Luckily, I found a tile pattern at Menard's that matched our color scheme perfectly! Total cost for this was about $30.

How does posting these pictures relate to this blog about motherhood?  As a stay at home mom, I work all day, but feel like I have nothing to show for it at the end of the day.  For example, I clean the kitchen, it gets dirty, I clean it again, after lunch its dirty, clean again.  Or, clean diaper on, dirty diaper off, clean diaper on, dirty diaper off.  Family's hungry, feed the family, family's hungry, feed the family. With my job, nothing is ever completely forever "done."  In any other job outside of the home, you have task accomplishments.  For example, with Chris' job, he talks to a customer, designs a playground, sells the playground, organizes the installation, and it's done.  He has something to show for it.  I don't regret my job or despise the nature of it.  I do believe that the tasks I do to take care of our home and my family are important and meaningful, but I do miss having "accomplishments."  Now, I don't have a need for "accomplishments" to justify my profession of being a stay at home mom.  I feel really secure that this is where God has called me to be for this season of my life, and I love my job!  But I miss the feeling you get when you have done something, and it's done forever, and you have something tangible to show for it.  Even that piece of paper you receive after four years of college feels good to look at, doesn't it?  That's the sense of accomplishment that I miss.  That's one of the reasons I loved doing this project.  It breaks me out of the mundane, is an outlet for my creativity, and I can say, "Look!  I did this!"  Through this I've discovered my need to do fun projects, be it a bath remodel or a sewing project or painting, for the sake of enjoyment in breathing out a long sigh, wearing a proud smile on my face, and saying "I'm done!"