Our plagiocephaly journey: Reflections on the helmet

Plagiocephaly helmet reflectionsWhen we first started the plagiocephaly helmet it was difficult for us. I tried to decorate it and make it feel more ‘girly’ but honestly, it was not something I really wanted. Now that it’s been one month since the munchkin graduated from her plagiocephaly helmet it’s much easier to look back on and say it was worth it. This past month has given me plenty of time to reflect on how our plagiocephaly went. Here are my thoughts:

  1. The helmet is only half of what you need. The other half is a really good orthopedic specialist who understands plagiocephaly and how to fix a baby’s flat head. There is a limited amount of time for this to occur, so someone who wants to ‘wait and see’ may wait too long and then there won’t be anything you can do to fix it. We were very lucky to have a wonderful doctor who explained everything to us and what he was doing to make sure the helmet was fitted properly and her head grew appropriately.
  2. It was worth it. Yes, the 5 hour round trip drives for a thirty minute appointment seems outrageous, but I feel like it’s better to spend the time now rather than have a child who may never have a round head. Our specialist even joked that the helmet cost more than his first car (mine too!) but we do crazy things for our children.
  3. It takes commitment. We kept the helmet on for about 22 out of every 24 hours. It’s supposed to be on for 23 hours every day, but 22 hours fit our schedule better. I do not think it would have worked with much less than what we did. We occasionally took the helmet off for bathing, photos, and eating (who wants to clean spaghetti out of a helmet? Not me!), but other than that it stayed on. If you’re not going to be committed to keeping it on all the time don’t bother.
  4. I do not miss taking it off and putting it back on. I was terrible at this. My husband was much better at it than me. I’m guessing it feels similar to someone putting a motorcycle helmet on you. Not terrible, but certainly not super comfortable. It did not help that it made me feel super guilty all the time.
  5. It brought my husband and myself closer together. It was one of the first major decisions we made regarding our daughter and we supported each other in doing it. I cannot imagine doing this without my rock next to me. The fact that we both agreed upon this decision and lived through it together is something I am so glad to have done, even if it wasn’t the funnest at times.
  6. I will do anything for my daughter. She has me wrapped around her little finger. She smiles at me and I love it. She needs a helmet and I’ll buy it. I know I’ll tell her no a lot in the future, but this was something I was more than happy to say yes to. I mean, look at that face!

Madison without her plagiocephaly helmet. After treatment was complete.

 

 

Easter and Spring Biscotti

When I was in college I took tons of photos of everything. Photos of scenery around the Savannah, GA area, photos of my family, photos of my friends, photos of random things I thought were neat or interesting. I’d go home, download the photos from my camera, save them to a CD (gotta love the early 2000’s) and never print them. I was notorious for not printing photos; I just didn’t see the point. Then Facebook and cell phone cameras came along and I took the photos and I posted them ALL online. I have Facebook albums, Flickr accounts, everything went online. I didn’t sort any of them, I just posted them online.

Then I got married and I slowly starting taking fewer and fewer photos. Instead of taking photos I wanted to enjoy the moments in real time with my husband. Do we have photos of what we’ve done? Absolutely! Do I walk by things and think it would be a great picture, but don’t whip out a camera to take one now? Yep, sure do. Do I delete pictures because either myself or my husband feel we don’t look very good in it? All the time.

Within the past year of having a baby I’ve begun taking more photos again. I don’t always print them, but I have actually been printing and putting them in an album. As of right now, it’s even up-to-date (gasp!). This is adulting done right. My new favorite thing to do once I’ve taken photos is to use a photo editor to update them. I’m currently obsessed with one called Baby Pics. It has so many options for typefaces, artwork, and filters. I love them all and can hardly decide which one looks better. Plus – having a cute little munchkin who looks adorable no matter what really helps, too.

With Easter being this weekend I set up a mini-photo shoot for our nearly eight month old. She really only has like a five minute attention span for photos, so I got everything ready, plopped her down in the set, and had my husband try to entertain her while I snapped some photos. I think they all turned out really well. My husband grabbed a few side shots of her smiling while I was trying to make her giggle. Isn’t she just the cutest? And I LOVE LOVE LOVE these filters. And the artwork with the bunny ears? If that isn’t adorable I don’t know what it. No – Baby Pics App is not sponsoring this post I just really enjoy it and wanted to share.

Which one of the photos is your favorite? I’m still deciding which ones to print and would love advice!

 

Once I finished taking photos I felt like baking. Easter to me is the perfect time to bake spring treats. It was a beautiful sunny day the day before Easter for us, but by Sunday it was chilly, gray, and rainy all day. To me, it was the perfect weekend, it gave us a wonderful day outside followed by a family day inside. What better way to enjoy a family day than by baking spring biscottis and enjoying it with some hot chocolate, snuggles, and watching (or teething on) Rogue One (yes, I took the dvd out before I gave it to her). I made the joke that if you are what you eat then my baby is a Jedi.

Maddie Rogue One baby

Anyways, I made spring biscotti by slightly altering my chocolate almond biscotti recipe. I absolutely love funfetti everything, so adding sprinkles made it so much more springy, and added a little joy to the top of the biscotti. Who doesn’t love sprinkles? Sprinkles are the baking equivalent of glitter. Some people love them, some hate them, I can’t get enough of either. Sparkles and sprinkles are my peeps. These came out deliciously ready for eating.

INGREDIENTS
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips
4 tbsp cold butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, lightly beaten

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Stir until combined.
  3. Add butter and vanilla. Stir until well combined. I did use my food processor this time and it worked like a charm.
  4. Add chocolate chips, sprinkles, and eggs. Mix until the entire dough is in one big ball. I had to use my hands to mix it correctly.
  5. Divide dough into two smaller balls and form into logs.
  6. Place two logs side by side on baking sheet. Sprinkle on extra sprinkles 🙂
  7. Flatten logs into the shape you want your biscotti to be in.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes and then remove for oven.
  9. Let biscotti cool for 5-10 minutes. You need the dough cool, but warm enough to not crumble when cut.
  10. Turn slices on side and return to oven for about 10 minutes. I prefer a harder biscotti so I left it in for 15 minutes.
  11. Remove when edges are barely browned.
  12. Let cool and enjoy.

Nutritional Information (1/13th of recipe): 178 calories, 4g protein, 27g carbs, 2g fiber, 12g sugar

birthday cake biscotti

Pizza Tot-chos with hidden veggies

Is it possible that food can be perfect? For me there are two perfect foods, pizza and nachos. Specifically – I love combining pizza and nachos into pizza nachos. Pepperoni, mozz, and sauce in nacho form? It may be the best invention since sliced bread.If only eating pizza or nachos made you skinny. I’d LOVE that. Since it doesn’t, I do my best to make them as healthy as possible and leave them as a special now and then treat.

Recently, I saw online that Green Giant had made a cauliflower tater tot. I mean, tater tots aren’t necessarily one of my favorite foods, but I do love me some tot-chos.  Apparently their marketing worked because I went to the store and picked up some cauliflower tater tots this week. I’m like a five year old sometimes, I sneak veggies into my own meals I’m all for it. Cauliflower tots – sold. This is mom level PRO if you ask me. My husband thought I was nuts as I put them in the cart. I even told him I was trying to eat more veggies and he told me that I was crazy. Maybe I am – crazy healthy that is. Or I may just be crazy. Either way – these tot-chos are going to become a staple for me because the are so so good.

This past week little Madison got her first ear infection which left me at home with her for two days before I could take her back to day care. Knowing that I had extra time for lunch, I decided it was finally time to whip up some cauliflower pizza tot-chos. They really hit the spot and gave me the energy to snuggle with my poor sick baby. I promise these are both delicious and freakishly easy to throw together while holding a baby in one arm. Depending on the amount you make they can be a great after school snack, lunch, or even dinner for the whole family!

Cauliflower pizza tot-chos

INGREDIENTS

Green Giant cauliflower tots
Mozzarella cheese
Hormel Turkey Pepperoni
Pizza Sauce
Other pizza toppings as desired

DIRECTIONS

1. Cook tator tots in 425 degree oven for twenty minutes.
2. Take out tots and top them with desired pizza toppings.
3. Place tots back in oven for additional 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and lightly browned.
4. Top with pizza sauce and parmesan cheese and enjoy!