Claire is 8 months old! So much has happened in these last few weeks that it truly is unbelievable to me that she's only one month older.
Warmer weather means more time outside. There is something so special about watching a baby discover the outdoors. While the windy days of Spring have kept us inside a bit, we enjoy the times when we get to go out and play. Claire had her first swing ride at the park this month! She loved it!
Claire's first Easter was a full affair! A church egg hunt, plus plenty of fun at home and with family. She was able to wear Kate's first Easter dress, which of course, was special!
Another fun event this month was her Great Aunt Janine's 70th Birthday party. While, in my haste I didn't get a picture with our birthday Aunt, I did manage to get pictures of her with Great Aunt Ann (visiting from Nebraska), and Great Aunt Mary (visiting from Texas), both of whom are my dad's sisters.
Aunt Mary brought her special baby dress with her for Claire to try on. There are pictures of many of the girls in the family wearing this little dress. Absolutely precious.
Claire is continuing to discover more around her, and grow stronger. She loves to chew on toys. She is usually interested in whatever you put in front of her, but she has an exceptional interest in phones and remote controls. ;) She sits well on her own and we are starting to put up a lot of our baby gear!
She's sitting up well in the bathtub too! She loves her bath time.
She is an active girl! She loves to be standing up and walking (with help). She has almost got crawling down. She tries to crawl forward, but usually just ends up going backwards. This of course, frustrates her. She wants to be moving ALL the time, so I know she will be quite pleased with herself when she can move about independently. I'm not rushing it though!!!
Her active nature is evident in her sleep as well. She moves all over her crib. She sleeps pretty well at night, waking up a couple of times to eat. No big changes in her sleep habits. Usually one long nap in the afternoon, with occasional cat naps at other times in the day.
I had envisioned introducing her to lots of new foods this month, but all we got around to was green beans. So we have green beans and butternut squash- usually 2 ice cubes worth per day. Still nursing it small bits many times each day. If she drinks a bottle, she usually just has about 3 ounces, or she doesn't drink anything and just waits for me! Ha!
She LOVES the Busy Town cube! It's one of her favorite things right now. Kate still likes it too... we are really getting our money out of it!
Update on her skin issues. Her eczema has been such a huge battle for us. I generally prefer to use natural treatments, because conventional treatments seem to only be a band-aid for things like this- not a solution, but we were in desperate need of a band-aid. So I reached out to her doctor for some help.
She went on an oral steroid and a topical one, and meanwhile we found some natural methods to help us out at well. I will say the medications did heal her up, but as soon as she stopped taking them it started to come back. I'm thankful we've found some natural ways to help with maintenance. She is doing much much better now! If you're interested in what we are doing, you can read... if not... scroll to the bottom!
One of the best solutions I came across was Apple Cider Vinegar baths! I know that these are helping because I've started taking them and they are helping the eczema I was dealing with after not being able to use my old lotion recipe. We are giving both the girls 1 ACV bath a week- warm water, 1 cup of Braggs ACV and 20 minutes of splashing and fun. They love it.
Another life saver has been this Olive Oil Liquid Castile Soap from Country Rose Soaps.
Most castile soaps contain coconut and other nut oils, this seems to be a truly one-of-a-kind product. I can use it as a base for hand soaps, house cleaners, even detergents. We bought a bar soap version to use at bath time. It seems to be very gentle on her precious skin, and it's the very first soap that's been easy on her! SO thankful for this find because literally everything has coconut in it.
We've also found a laundry detergent by Grab Green Natural that seems to be working well. Laundry soap is another product that tends to have coconut (of some form) in it no matter what brand you are looking at. We were using a laundry ball instead of soap, but it wasn't getting out breast milk stains so I needed something else. We still do a double rinse on her clothes, but I feel good about this product.
Lastly, I've FINALLY found us a lotion. I have to make it, but it works! That is what matters. Olive oil, beeswax, and water. That's all that's in it. It's working on me and my girls, and it's affordable to make. You can find the recipe for it here: Olive Oil Lotion
I'm so thankful we've found a way to manage our little Claire's skin. We've come a long way this month with that and I'm so thankful. We have a follow up appointment with a dermatologist next week so I'm interested to hear what she'll have to say. We'll see!
We are ending out the month with a cold- of course! Motherhood keeps me on my toes, but I'm so very thankful for my girls, and especially that I get to stay at home with them. The opportunity to spend each day with my girls, getting to know them, discover with them, love on them- that is truly the greatest venture I could ever take on. I'm thankful for this ride!