Beginning yesterday, Sweet Pea started wearing a helmet. I've know this was coming but I was avoiding posting about it here. Partly because I just didn't want to have the conversation or answer the questions.
But I am going to answer them and then some hopefully. So let's get started:
Her condition is called "Plagiocephaly" which basically means her head is lopsided.
She's right in the middle of the scale between a normal head and Dick Tracy character.
She will have to wearing a skull shaping helmet for 3-6 months.
The helmet doesn't push on her head, it leaves open spaces where her head is dented so her skull can grow into it. . . like a Jello mold
She doesn't mind the helmet she just ignores it and does what she always does.
She does get sweaty in it, she gets time out of it, but once she's weened into it she'll have it on for 20-22 hours a day.
She did not get this way because we neglected her and never held her. She had the flat spot when she was born and that made it more comfortable for her to lay on that side. . . it just got worse.
The condition is classified cosmetic, though some studies are linking it to future brain problems.
No, our insurance (United Healthcare) won't cover it—because it's cosmetic. The company that makes the helmet gives a discount to those whose insurance won't cover the cost.
The hardest part is when she's wearing it we can't snuggle up close to her face like we used to. . . well we can but we'd be snuggling plastic.
There's more to the story, but I don't want to write it all. I just wanted to answer the questions. I may write more later.
If you had asked me a couple months ago which of the kids was an easier baby to care for I'd have said the girl hands down. Now I'm not so sure. Her sleeping habits have become really annoying.
When we lay her down, she often cries for a couple minutes. We go in and calm her. Then she starts to drift off. We leave the room and 1 minute later she's fussing because she lost her pacifier, so we go in to replace it. This happens every minute or two for about 20-30 minutes.
Then 45 minutes into sleeping (most of the time) she wakes up and squirms and fusses and does that whole thing again.
We do get one longish stretch of sleep from about 10:30 when we go to sleep until between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. Then it's every 45 minutes to an hour and she's up again.
She's back to wanting to be swaddled too. Which is fine, it keeps her hands busy so she can't pull out her pacifier more often, but she gets all tangled up in the blanket when she tries to wiggle out...which makes her cry even more. It's so incredibly frustrating.
As I mentioned before we don't let her "cry it out" because we don't want her to wake up her brother. I think we may need a grandma to take him for the night so we can whip her into shape.
The little monkey and I were outside yesterday. He was playing on his new Cars Slip N' Slide and I was supervising. He was starting t get covered in grass and mud. I informed him we needed to go in soon and he informed me he needed to pee. . . now.
Since he was dirty and we would have to cross the carpeted living room for him to reach the bathroom I decided it wouldn't hurt anything to let him pee outside. I picked the most secluded spot in our yard (behind a bush on the side of the house) and helped him pull down his swimming trunks just a little so he could pee without showing the world everything below the belt—his preferred method of urinating.
I told his mother before he could rat me out and I told him repeatedly that peeing outside was only something to do with Daddy helping. The matter was closed. . .
Until today when he was playing in the sprinkler with grandpa and decided it was OK to pee on a bush in their front yard. . . with his shorts completely down. . . while the neighbors were outside talking with grandma and grandpa. . . with their little girl watching.
I'm sort of proud that he was able to keep going with grandma, grandpa, and his mother all yelling "NOOO!" at him.
So for the past week or more we've been trying anything to get Sweet Pea to laugh. She smiles a lot and gets really close but hasn't done it yet.
Then tonight, we had her in her car seat sitting on the neighbor's driveway and without anyone paying attention to her she started laughing at our neighbor who was talking to us. She wasn't talking to the baby or anything, just talking in general when she let out a pretty big laugh.
Sweet Pea is so smiley. Much more so than Mr Schnicklefritz. He still can't really smile on command. He gives that grimacing 3-year-old smile. But not her. She smiles without command which is nice, but she also loves raspberries and other faces and noises.
The only real problem is that she's at her smiliest after her late night feeding. So when I take her back to bed she lays there and smiles at me while I'm trying to get her to sleep. You're can't tell a 3-month-old that it's sleep time not play time.
Sleep has been a little harder with the second kid due to one main thing. . . she is so loud. I mean car alarm loud. Even when she's crying strictly for attention (the big blubbering "whah's") she has a really loud voice.
And because he'll make us pay for it later we don't want the little monkey to wake up and miss any sleep. So we're less likely to let her cry for a little bit and sooth herself to sleep, which means we are making constant trips down the hall to put her pacifier back. That's not too bad until it's your third trip there in the past 15 minutes. . . at 2 a.m. . . on a night when I have to go to work the next day.
But that's my roll to play. My wife is a heavy sleeper so I'm the one that gets up to take care of her. It makes for some dangerous drives to work nodding off at the wheel.
Everyone talks about the second child not having as many baby photos as the first child. No one talks about the second child not having time on the parenting blog.
This weekend, I found myself looking through old blog posts to see at what age the little monkey hit milestones (like rolling over, smiling, and most importantly sleeping through the night). Just to get a gauge of when events might be coming for our little Sweet Pea.
It made me realize that this space is really sort of a baby book for the kid(s). . . I partly blame this lack of posting on Facebook. It's so much easier to post a quick note there than to write a post here. But Facebook isn't so easy to get that info back out in a meaningful format.
I need to be better about posting. Even if it's just for me.