The Cutest Helmet Baby - EVER!

I might be a 'little' bias. But ... don't you just think she's the cutest helmet wearing babe EVER! I do. Our little plagiocephaly baby finally has her helmet.

We've had our fair share of tears today, but she's doing incredibly well wearing the helmet during this "phasing in" transition. I have a strict schedule of how often she can wear it and when it has to be taken off. By the end of day 7, she'll be wearing the helmet 23 hours a day.

We had an appointment with the specialist yesterday, an appointment with pediatric neurosurgery today, and another appointment with the specialist on Thursday to check and see how little O is reacting to the helmet.

It's an adjustment for everyone. Even fitting in the carseat isn't the same as it used to be. Thank goodness for her new big girl Britax. She definitely wouldn't fit in the small carrier seat with her new helmet.

It's been an emotional kind of day.

As you can see, the helmet covers little o's entire head.

And after this long ordeal - here's a model of what we hope her head will look like. This is a model of her soon-to-be-hopeful head. The specialist isn't sure how long she will need to wear the helmet, so we're doing everything we need to do.


The Chef Family

We just returned from our San Diego vacation. We had a condo right on the ocean. It was fabulous and perfect in every single way.

As planned, our family picture turned out a success!


Family Picture in the Making

Is it just me, or is it soooooooooooooo super hard to plan for a family picture. I seriously can never get the 'look' I am going for after we have pictures snapped. I took a "picture" of our little family while trying to find outfits to wear for our family picture.

We are snapping a few last pictures of our whole family pre-helmet because it will be awhile until we can snap pictures with Miss O sans helmet.

The Iron Chef and myself, sous chef, outfits are put (different pants), but the girls, it's so hard to decide! Who knows what I'll end up with.

Let's see if our family pictures turn out as great as planned. I'm going for the blue/white beachy look, but not white/khacki because we already have a picture like that. I started planning for this photo a little too late. Late August to shop for navy blue? Not so much.

Hoping for a few good shots!


Prepping for Her "Helmet"

The specialist said we needed to be wearing hats on Little O ... all the time in preparation for her own special helmet. That's exactly what we've been doing.

With the large amounts of hair on her head, she does just fine with a hat. We've had bows, hats, headbands, etc in her hair from day 1. And, that's the truth because that's one of the first things the hospital does to your babe, throw a little cap on.

We also lowered her crib and took the bumpers out of her bed. Goodbye Pottery Barn Kids oh-so-adorable bumpers. Little O is not only getting ready and starting to climb, but we anticipate she'll be super upset the first few nights sleeping with her helmet. Plus, extra safety now that she's more mobile around the house and we wouldn't want to get her pretty little pink helmet stuck between the bumpers.

I woke up extra early this morning and snapped a picture of my baby. Sleeping in a sweet slumber. Her legs were a bit chilly, so I put a little blanket on her legs while I was awake. Here's a picture from 5:15 am this morning.


New Changes

Baby O's appointment went well. I guess. The news was nothing that surprised me, although I did not take the information well. Many tears were shed today as I realized the new changes that our family was about to embark on.

Little O will be receiving cranial orthotic therapy and her pretty little helmet will arrive next week.

Her helmet will look just like this one - light pink.

Many measurements were taken of her head and diagonally from right forehead to left back side and left forehead to right back side is a difference of 11 mm. To give an idea of the severity, the general range of when a helmet is considered begins at 6 mm. We're almost double that difference.

Miss O is displaying a typical case of positional plagiocephaly, although the exact cause cannot be determined. We've indicated an issue with this since almost birth.

Next week we will also see a pediatric neurosurgeon to check up on a few other issues. Our pediatrician believes she is developmentally where she should be for her age, but neurologically we are checking on a few other issues. We just are playing it safe with this one. Our pediatrician originally recommended me waiting another 3 months because she believed the Little O's head would round out and heal on it's own. That clearly is not the case. The specialist today believed her case should have been started several months ago with physical therapy to build up her neck muscles and then start with helmet therapy at maximum 5 months of age. We are already almost 2 months past that point. I'm glad I continued to stress this as an issue because 'something' was needed in her case.

The diagnosis - head asymmetrical and facial asymmetries as well. That's not an easy pill to swallow if you are a momma. I may be the strong sous chef, but man, I feel like a flawed mom with a diagnosis like that. I feel everyone is going to view me as a bad mom that just sits her child down on the ground all day. I do, I really do. And, I'll probably tear up hearing everyone ask, "What's wrong with your child? etc, etc."

Just not an easy time. But we're changing. One step at a time. We'll make it. We're praying and we're asking others to pray for a swift healing process for Little O's little head. She needs the prayers and so do we. We have a long journey ahead of us on this one.



Plagiocephaly. That's what I'm researching.

Ever heard of it? If not, google it! Plagiocephaly is a type of flat head syndrome. Something Little O has ... or at least that's what her pediatrician thinks. Not sure how it happened, but it's something the Iron Chef and I have noticed from the very beginning about Little O. Possibly the way she was inutero? Positional issues? Neck muscles issues? Really, we aren't sure.

At little O's 6-month routine care, I stressed my concern for her head shape once again. After further analysis, the pediatrician not only thinks her head is assymetrical, but she has a few facial assymetrical aspects as well. Our pediatrician recommended we wait another 3-months. I said, "No WAY!" Bring on the referrals.

I shed a few tears this evening while I was researching this topic. Realizing that Little O may have to go through cranial orthotic (helmet) therapy, doctor visits, etc. We may have a very long road ahead of us ... our first consultation is tomorrow.


Sunglasses Cutie

Little O ~ our sunglasses cutie. How adorable are these parrot glasses on Little O? She didn't like putting them on, but once there were on she smiled ear to ear. We tried on several different pairs during our wedding festivities.


A Favorite Outfit ~ Dresses!

Dress and more dresses. Miss A wakes up in the morning and the first thing she wants to do is put on a dress. Apparently I used to be the same way when I was younger.

The only problem? Two days ago she went to the park, pulled up her dress (we were there with playgroup kids), and told everyone, "I'm not wearing any panties."

Great. The best part? I had Olivia and was headed back to the car to get a few things I had forgotten to bring to the picnic table. I returned and several moms informed me Miss A wasn't wearing anything under her dress.

I asked her why she didn't have panties on. Her response, "I took them off before we left."

Needless to say I made her wear shorts under her dress yesterday so I could be certain there was coverage.

Here's one of her favorite dresses right now. I'm loving the GAP right now for my little girls. So cute! I even found these adorable red shoes to go with the dress.


She's on the Move

She's officially on the move. She's army crawling everywhere. It's such a funny, sideways army crawl, too. Combine her rolling skills and her ability to army crawl, she can get pretty much anywhere she wants to go.


On the Road Again

Well, actually not the road ... a plane ... but the Chef Family was up and traveling again. Our summer has been on-the-go and constantly busy.

One clue --- the city of brotherly love.


Belly Sleeper

I always wondered why Little O hated sleeping on her back. I don't think I've mentioned this yet, but she sleeps on her stomach. Scared me like crazy when she first started doing this, but now, although I put her to sleep on her back, there's nothing I can really do about the constant rolling and sleeping on her tummy.

And, bonus, she will sleep anywhere! Literally. On the cement at the pool during Miss A's swim lessons. I'm so thankful for that!


Dish Washer

Miss A LOVES to help wash dishes. She "helps" me almost every day. The other day I had to run and change Little O's diaper on the floor.

Miss: "Mommy, I need to rinse off the soap from my hands.
Me: "Okay, just turn the water on."

Mistake. We almost had a huge overflow mess all over the kitchen. Well, we did, just a little bit though. And apparently it wasn't just water she added to the sink. I think she used about half the bottle of soap as well. :)


Sheryl Crow & Kid Rock Concert

I was priviledged to attend a Sheryl Crow and Kid Rock concert. Amazing, as usual. And all thanks to this girl -

Such an amazing friend, with amazing qualities, that makes things happen - that's for sure! Thanks, L.

The concert was fabulous and the evening was kid-free with my hubby and super great friends. I honestly couldn't have asked for a better date night. It was my 3rd (maybe 4th?) Sheryl Crow concert and first Kid Rock performance. Wow, "dancing" ladies for Kid Rock, fire, flames, the whole nine yards. I definitely jumped a few times!

Until the next date night with my favorite iron chef (babysitter already confirmed and date already set)!


1/2 Birthday

Little o ---- 6-months already? Seriously? Where has the time gone!


An Artist

Do the iron chef and I have an artist on our hands? She loves to draw, paint, etc. She's actually doing quite well and progressing with her artistic skills.

Here she is, showing off her drawings. She's really into people these days and usually has an entire story to go along with the drawing.


Two Teeth

Little O ... she chews on everything, can't keep toys out of her mouth, yanks items out of her mouth ... and has two little toofers!


Tea for Two

Miss A and I enjoyed some quiet time together this week while Little O was sleeping. We had a tea party and she even helped with dishes (we had real food).


Up North Michigan

A few days in "up north" in Michigan.

Miss A and Little O visited a fish hatchery, spent time on the beach, a visit to Mimi and Papa P's cottage, and a fire in the fireplace (yes, it was that cold).


4th of July Fun

Our 4th of July was spent in Indiana. We visited with many family members during this time, including cousins, grandparents, great grandparents, and siblings. And of course, color coordinating outfits for the girls.

The 4th of July proved to be tons of fun for the littles in our family. Miss A finally had a "bitty" cousin to meet for the first time. All the girls had fun together and Miss A couldn't stop playing with her bitty cousin.

Great memories!