Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Soon To Be Helmet Free

I have been on a blog hiatus for weeks. So much has happened that I will have to get to later. Right now I want to celebrate that Max has an absolutely perfect looking noggin. It has been a long three months but it has been worth every single minute of my sweet boy in that silly looking head device.

The worst part has for sure been not being able to snuggle up with him like I want to. We don't co-sleep but in the mornings when Max wakes at 6 a.m. and I am not quite ready to get up, I put him right beside us and get a few minutes of morning love. I cannot wait until I can do that without the helmet's velcro strap scratching my face. The bulky plastic is right between my boy and I and it is finally time for it to go.

That is wonderful. No more helmet head, but I can't help but worry.

Is Max going to miss his helmet? Will it be hard for him to adjust without it?

He has worn the camouflage kinderBAND for twenty three hours a day for three months. That is almost half his life.

When we take it off for that one hour a day, he immediately grabs his hair. After just a few minutes, it is obvious that Max wants his hat back on. It has become somewhat like his security blanket.

I am a Mom. I am allowed to worry about whatever I want and honestly it isn't like I have much control over it anyway. When we started this process, I would have never thought a concern of mine would be removing the helmet.

Only three more days until my sweet boy is helmet free. I am hoping he adjusts as easily to not having a helmet as he did to getting it.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Hands, Foot, Ouch!

My kids seem to stay sick. They have had everything from Roseola, ear infections, viruses, and Mila even had the flu at six months. Nothing has compared to what Max has been going through the past few days. Hands Foot And Mouth Disease. My happy, non crying baby has turned into a inconsolable squealing crybaby. His cute baby feet have turned into painful bumps and blisters.

His hands and even his mouth have these unpleasant bumps too. There is no treatment for this illness so there was no way I was taking my son to the pediatrician. I do not want to risk infecting another baby.

Max has had dose after dose of tylenol and motrin to help with pain relief. He just turned six months a few days ago. I am so glad we were able to bring motrin into the mix. It seems to help a lot more than the tylenol.

We are on day four of a seven to ten day illness. He is slowly improving and even flashed a few smiles this morning.

On a better note, Max went to the helmet Doctor last week. We call the Prosthetics & Orthotics office the helmet doctor at our household. Max is doing great. We did a rescan and his numbers are unbelievable. I mean really the helmet doctor could not believe his progress. The numbers do not lie
but we did not need to see data to know our son's head is now round. Max went from off the charts severe to now slightly flat. In fact, the helmet doctor said he would be happy with the results if we were finished with the helmet wearing. We are only on week five of what we thought was a three month journey.

I, of course, said let's be done with the helmet. His head looks great. Unfortunately, it is recommended to continue. Max's head has grown so fast that he has to get another helmet. This is only the second time this has been done at the Prosthetics office we go to. I asked for an award for fastest progress but haven't received one yet.

Although the HFMD has been awful, I am so so glad my son no longer has a flat head. The helmets truly are amazing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Christmas Gifts for Mila

Is it crazy that I am already done shopping for my toddler daughter? Shopping for her is just too easy and too much fun!

As soon as I saw these Disney Vans I had to have them. It was almost impossible to find them in a toddler size 7 but luckily I found them here. Shipping from Australia was actually free and the conversion rate made these shoes about $38, which is actually cheaper than they sale them in the US. So excited I found these. I like them so much I would totally wear these myself. I have not started my search for Women's size 7 quite yet :-)

These adorable Princess shirts are for sale at Old Navy.  I actually found them in store for $3.99.

I have mentioned my doll obsession in an earlier post. I totally bought this for me, Mila.

 What is a dollhouse without furnishings? I found this cute desk at Walmart.

And lastly another gift that may be for me more than Mila, but I know she will enjoy it. Lincoln Logs! I loved these as a kid. They bring back great memories. Building with her will be pretty entertaining. I love seeing Mila use her imagination and play make believe. So much fun!

Christmas is going to be a blast this year. Mila will be two and a half. I so look forward to seeing her light up on Christmas Day!

Monday, November 2, 2015

An Eskimo, Frankenstein, and An Our Generation Doll

Mila made a pretty darn cute Eskimo. She was unsure about Halloween at first but quickly warmed up and, I am confident in saying she had a great time. Mila enjoyed handing out candy a lot more than trick or treating herself. She got really excited when she saw kids coming to the door. "More friends coming" was her favorite thing to say. We allowed Mila to eat three suckers and two packs of smarties. She loved the candy. What kid doesn't right?!

Max was his usual happy self on Halloween. No surprise there. This kid is pretty awesome. He gave out lots of smiles. Only one parent commented on his helmet and she shared a story about how her daughter had to wear leg braces. I have had a few other people randomly speak to me shopping only to tell me how adorable he is. The helmet thing has been just fine. Easy peasy and Max's head is becoming more and more round. Yay!

I have been  obsessed with dolls lately. I started Christmas shopping and as much as I would love to spend the hundred and twenty dollars on an American Girl doll for my two year old daughter, I know better. The Our Generation dolls at Target are super cute and only twenty bucks! I decided to give Mila one for Halloween. Yes, my child got a Halloween present, but I think it was more for me. Well, Mila loved the doll. So much so, that my husband joked that we now have a third child to dress and put to sleep. Audrey-Anne, the Our Generation doll, had to go with us to the neighborhood Halloween festivities. Mila wanted to push her all the way back home in her stroller. That made for a long walk back. Mila wants to feed the doll. Mila wants to dress and undress the doll over and over again which requires help from Mommy or Daddy. Maybe I should rethink the Kendra doll I already got her for Christmas!

Monday, October 26, 2015

White Pumpkins & Photos

I had two things in mind when we went to a local pumpkin patch on Saturday. One was I wanted lots of photos which I succeeded at. Of course, they are not perfect by any means. They turned out pretty well considering my daughter is in the no picture taking phase and my son is just five months old. It would have been nice to get a family of four photo but that just did not happen.

The second thing I wanted was a white pumpkin. White is the new orange at least when we are talking about pumpkins. White pumpkins are everywhere. I see them in home decor stores, on pinterest, and in magazines. I am not sure why I thought they may be hard to come by. I thought I possibly would not find one of these albino pumpkins. I was wrong. There were plenty. I must have influenced my daughter by talking the white pumpkins up. She was immediately drawn to them. Mila pointed and showed me where all the white pumpkins were. When it was time to pick out pumpkins, Mila chose three white and just one orange pumpkin. The small white pumpkins she chose are called baby boos. How cute!

I researched white pumpkins on the internet and found out some interesting facts. Although they are a bit pricier than their orange cousin, they are easier to carve. The skin is less tough and a knife should go right through it. Also, I am sure they are easier to paint. We are not into carving quite yet but I know Mila would love to paint one of these ghost pumpkins.

The white pumpkin is simply just a different variety of the fall favorite. White pumpkins can be substituted for orange pumpkins in many recipes. The texture and taste are similar. Here is a recipe I came across that I definitely want to make.

Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Yield: 6-8 servings
  • 4 cups white pumpkin (about a 5 pound pumpkin)
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves finely minced garlic
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra
  • ¼ cup dry amontillado
  • ½ heavy cream
  • Salt & pepper

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Half and seed pumpkin. Slice each half into quarters. Place on baking sheet cut side up then drizzle with olive oil; add salt and pepper. Roast for about 1 hour, or until pumpkin is lightly brown and tender when pricked with a fork. Remove from oven and cool. When pumpkin is cool enough to handle, remove skin and set aside.
  2. Add ¼ cup olive oil, garlic, and onion to stockpot; sauté until onion is almost translucent. Add amontillado and cook for about 3 minutes more.
  3. Add pumpkin and stock to sauce pot. Add salt and pepper to taste; simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Using an immersion blender, purée mixture until completely smooth. Add cream and mix well. Adjust salt and pepper as necessary.
White pumpkins have been around for a while. I feel like this year they are the popular choice. White goes a lot better with my decorating style. White pumpkins will be an ongoing Halloween purchase at my household from now on. Orange pumpkins are so yesterday!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My Pity Party is over.

In just a few days, Max has completely adjusted to his KinderBAND. He has no problem at all with the helmet. I am not even sure if he realizes he has it on.

Max has only slept in the helmet for a couple nights. The first night he seemed to toss and turn more than usual but last night he slept like a champ.

My husband and I are the ones having a hard time getting used to the whole head device thing. I overheard my husband telling Max he was sorry that he had to wear the helmet. I quickly said to my husband that we are the ones having a hard time with it. Max is fine. It is the truth. This is the same happy baby from last week. He is not complaining at all.

After running into a neighbor yesterday, I quickly realized after explaining everything to her about plagiocephaly and torticollis that she did not feel sorry for baby Max, she felt sorry for me.

I then started thinking about my other neighbor, the one who lives directly across the street.  I remembered that her twelve year old daughter was going through her twentieth surgery that very moment. The twelve year old girl's lungs were functioning at thirty five percent and this is a life threatening surgery. 

Like I have said so many times before it could be so much worse that a fixable cosmetic imperfection. I am one blessed Mommy. No one should feel sorry for me including myself.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Helmet Head & No Tears Shed

We went yesterday to pick up Max's kinderBAND helmet. All sorts of emotions ran through me. I was excited for this process to finally begin. I was sad that my sweet baby boy has to wear a helmet on his head for three months and I was scared Max was going to be miserable with his head covered by this huge piece of plastic.

I have to admit all in all the experience was a good one. Max seemed to have no problem at all with the helmet as you can see and although a couple of times I felt a tear forming, I managed not to shed a tear.

By Monday my sweet boy will be wearing his camouflage head device for twenty three hours a day. The helmet only comes off for cleaning. The thought of this is still frightening. My boy has so much hair and it is going to be covered up almost all the time. I love running my hand through his hair and rubbing his forehead. I am not going to be able to do that for three entire months. And those kisses I always give him on his forehead, they are going to have to be postponed for three months too. I feel the tears coming again but I am holding back.

The fact is Max's head is flat and not just a little flat. It is off the charts flat. This is the right decision. There is no way I am going to look back at this experience and think I wish I did not do it. If I did not do it and this boy was teased in middle school for having a funny shaped head, I would totally regret not getting the helmet. I am doing the right thing but it is still hard.

People are going to stare and question what is going on. They are going to assume something bigger and worse is going on with my son. They may even think I am a crazy mom that does not want my kid to get hurt. I am going to be judged and my son is going to be judged. That is hard for me. Taking Max to the park is going to be an entirely different experience next time we go. Going out to eat, to the mall, or just a stroller walk around he neighborhood is going to be different.

I have heard some really great stories from other moms with helmet heads. I hope to have a great story to share as well. This could open up a conversation with someone I may have never met. This could bring women and friends into my life that otherwise would not have been. I just hope for questions instead of stares. I hope for sweet smiles instead of cruel judgement.

This is just the beginning of Max's kinderBAND journey. To be continued ...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tummy Time

The American Academy of Pediatrics formally launched a "Back to Sleep" campaign, instructing parents to put babies to sleep on their backs during their first year. The campaign has been hugely successful. Since it started in 1992, the SIDS rate in the United States has been cut in half. That is pretty awesome, however there has been a dramatic increase in babies with plagiocephaly or flat head syndrome. About 13% of healthy infants have a funny shaped head these days. Max is one of those babies, Sleeping on his back has undoubtedly lead him to get a flat head. I will for sure take it as the alternative could be far worse.

I did not realize how important tummy time is until I had a son with a flat head. I think a lot of new mommies don't realize it either. Maybe it is assumed that tummy time could be dangerous or the threat of SIDS outweighs the benefits of a strong baby. I mean it actually does, right?

Baby Center states other benefits of tummy time besides preventing flat head. They are:

  1. It helps strengthen the baby's neck, back and trunk muscles. Babies need strong muscle groups in order to sit, crawl, and walk.
  2. Babies who spend time on their bellies look at the environment around them with different perspective. Even before they are crawling, they can explore their world by rotating their head and rotating their bodies in different positions. This may ultimately help with cognitive development.
  3. Tummy time also helps with visual development as your baby learns to track movement and focus on objects,
  4. Babies who spend more time on their bellies are less likely to develop torticollis. Torticollis is when the neck muscles tighten and pull the head in a specific direction.

Parents.com and many other sources recommend introducing your baby to tummy time around three to four months. Oh no. Not when your son has a flat head. We have been doing tummy time with Max since around two months or before. Of course my husband and I were there to catch his bobble head when it fell.

This kid is now a pro at tummy time. Sadly his head is still flat, but his torticollis is almost completely gone and it is pretty awesome to see how strong a four month old baby can be with lots of time spent on his belly.

Max's great big baby muscles have helped him master rolling over too. Max can go from back to belly no problem. We like to think he is advanced since this is a five to six month milestone. He sure did feel accomplished when he learned this trick. So much so that on his four month birthday he kept us up for hours because he wanted to practice his new trick all night long. Back to belly and then stuck until Mommy or Daddy turned him over. Back to belly and then stuck until Mommy or Daddy turned him over. Back to belly and then stuck until Mommy or Daddy turned him over. He was like a broken record, but he was so proud of himself and that was the cutest thing. Eventually with all that working out he crashed and slept until we woke him the next morning. Thank God!

As strong as this kid is, it wouldn't surprise me if he is walking at ten months. I think that is a good thing!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Cookie Monster

This girl cracks me up. She is funny! I love seeing her personality come out and boy has it the last month or so. I could watch this video a hundred times. I may have actually. It makes me laugh every single time. My husband and I may have a class clown in the making.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Sibling Love

I expect every woman pregnant with their second child fears that the oldest will be jealous, maybe even dislike their baby brother or sister. This was a huge fear of mine.

Mila was only twenty two months when Max was born. My husband and I did a pretty good job talking about the baby coming, reading her books, and just generally preparing her for a baby brother.

I guess it paid off because Mila loves Max so much.

Never would I have thought there would be no jealousy. I am sure the sibling rivalry will come but for now it is all hugs and kisses for these too.

I think Max really likes Mila too. He gives her all kinds of coos and smiles.

It is so cute when she imitates him. Mila realizes she is not the baby anymore and sometimes wants to be a baby but in the sweetest cutest way. Mila will put her hand in her mouth like Max or mimic his crys and laughs. She even wants me to hold her like a baby and feed her a sippy cup. She totally plays this up. It doesn't worry me the slightest bit.

Have I mentioned how blessed I am? I love these two so much. There are really no words for it!

And just because I have not posted a selfie lately. Here you go. Happy Wednesday folks. It is going to be a great day for me.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Tailgating With Two

This went down this weekend. My husband and I took both kids to an NC State Football game to tailgate! I had my doubts and even said to my husband that he should go without us.

After both Mila and Max were dressed, there was no way I was staying home. They looked adorable and I wanted to show them off!

It took a good thirty minutes to pack up. We had a diaper bag, bouncy chair for Max, Mila's chair, a cooler, snacks... It seemed never ending and like a lot of stuff but we had it all ready to go.

I wasn't sure how we were going to get both kids and all that stuff to the parking lot a good half mile from where we parked. Luckily my husband had a great plan and threw it all in his huge hockey bag. We had to break a few times on the hike to our tailgating spot, but we made it and I am so glad we did. Mila had such a great time and so did my husband and I. I am so glad I decided to go for it. Two children aren't stopping us! Max was a perfect baby too. Good times!

 Not sure if this Mama is ready for a hockey game with two!