Friday, April 19, 2013

It's Helmet Time!

At Braden's two month appointment, the doctor told us that he had some flattening on the back of his head that she thought needed some attention. He favored his left side and would always look to the left when he was laying down, which made that side of his head flat. For over a month we did various exercises to try to make him turn to the right and tried to keep him off his back as much as possible. His neck got stronger so he could look both ways just as easily, but his head still had significant flattening. Our doctor decided to send us to a specialist to do some further tests and measurements to see if he needed a helmet to correct the problem. 

We met with that doctor on Wednesday and he said that Braden needed a helmet. Let the adventure begin! He said that Braden has a 12mm difference between the two diagonal measurements of his head (right side of forehead to the left side of the back of his head and vice versa....if that makes sense). Since Braden is only four months old, he said that the helmet would correct about 80% of the problem. If we had waited until he was nine months, he only could have fixed about 10%. Luckily, Braden doesn't have any face asymmetries like a crooked jaw or an uneven forehead. Apparently that can be pretty common with babies who have significant flattening. That was good news for us! So, Braden will have the helmet for three to four months and will wear it 23 hours a day. The hour he isn't wearing it, he'll be bathed and the helmet will be washed. The doctor said his head will get really sweaty and the helmet will start to stink if you don't wash it. Sounds fun huh? :)

We met with the doctor again today to get his head measured so the helmet can be custom fit to his head. I was blown away by the technology! They put a nylon skull cap on his head which was covered with tiny little reflective circle stickers. Then he took a laser gun (I don't know what else to call it) and moved it around his head. The lasers somehow picked up signals from the stickers and transmitted them to the computer. A 3D image was formed, which will be sent to the helmet manufacturers who will build a helmet that will fit Braden perfectly. It really was amazing to watch! The doctor said that a few years ago they had to cover the baby's head in plaster in order to make a mold. Thank goodness for new technology!

I really shouldn't laugh at these pictures, but the whole thing was just hilarious! He looked SO cute in his little skull cap and black cape. When he put little stickers on his nose and cheeks I just had to laugh! 

We know that the next 3-4 months won't be the easiest, but we're so grateful that it is something that can be fixed. We're doing our best to stay positive. If anyone has had a child with a helmet or knows someone who has and has some tips or advice for us, we would appreciate it!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mama's Little Helper

We've already started assigning Braden various chores around the house so he can learn the principle of work. It's never too early to start right? :) I'm kidding, but I have started to bring him around with me while I do things around the house instead of waiting until he is napping. Here are a few things he helped me with yesterday:

1.) He helped me put the clean sheets back on the bed.

This kid definitely knows how to make himself comfortable! We don't ever let him sleep in our bed, but sometimes he gets to wake Devin up in the mornings and have some snuggle time in our sheets.

2.) He helped me smash some crackers to use for dinner

He went CRAZY kicking his little feet! The sound scared him at first, but he got used to it eventually. 

3.) He helped me fold some laundry (sorry no pictures).

After slaving away doing chores all morning, it was time for a nap!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Summer Plans

It feels so good to finally have our summer plans all figured out! Devin was offered an internship position with Ecolab after a long interview process. I'm so proud of him! The internship will be here in Utah so we will be keeping our apartment and he'll commute to Salt Lake. Since his internship doesn't start until June 10th and his volleyball season ends the first week in May, we will be spending the month of May at Devin's house in Pennsylvania with his family. We are so excited! The only time I have ever been to his house was in the middle of winter when all the trees were dead so I can't wait to see how beautiful it is in the summer! I'm also looking forward to spending the month with Devin's parents and little brother Nathan. I couldn't be happier with how things worked out. Our prayers were definitely answered. Just a few more weeks!

Braden | four months

Braden turned four months this weekend! This has been such a fun stage as we've been able to watch him learn new things every day. Here are some things that have made this stage so fun:

- He is all smiles! We used to try so hard to get a smile out of him, but now he does it all the time.
- He recognizes our voices now and will turn his head to find us when we walk into the room.
- He can sit up and play with toys now in his Bumbo. 
- He also really likes to stand on our laps, with help of course. 
- He laughs a lot more now especially if we are laughing.
- He feeds five times a day now and sleeps through the night.
- He loves to be lifted up in the air by his dad, but has to work on not slobbering on Dad while he does it :)
- He is getting REALLY close to rolling from his back to his stomach! 
- We love how vocal he is, especially in the evenings when he is supposed to be winding down. He'll start kicking his legs and doing little yells and coos. 
- He is becoming better with his hands every day! He'll grab a toy and bring it to his mouth. Sometimes he pokes his eyes or gets it stuck on his nose, but for the most part it makes it to his mouth :)
- He had to wait a few months to get his 2 month immunizations because his white blood cell count was too low, but we were finally able to get them a few weeks ago. He was so brave! 

We just love him so much! We are seeing more and more of his personality come out every day. He is such a blessing in our lives!

He still has the best angry eyes!

As long as he keeps making the face in the middle, I don't think I'll ever be able to get mad at him!

 He got his first pair of swim trunks and a sun hat so he's ready for summer!

The picture on the left is a reenactment of how he felt getting the shots and the one on the right is his brave face. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Weekend with the Youngs

We LOVE when the Youngs visit from Pennsylvania! They flew in on Thursday and were here for all of Easter weekend. Braden has changed so much since the last time they were in town, so it was fun that he could actually interact with them a little bit. Thursday night we went to Communal, a local restaurant that serves unique dishes made with produce and other ingredients from local farms. It's family style, so you share each dish so everyone gets to try everything. I was a little skeptical since I didn't recognize half the ingredients on the menu, but it was really good! Each dish had such unique flavors and interesting ingredients. I think my favorite dish was the fennel and mushroom tart (I still don't know what fennel is haha). I wish I had taken some pictures of the food, because the presentation alone made my mouth water. After Communal we headed over to  watch Devin's team beat Pepperdine in volleyball. Since the match only went to 4 sets we had some time to come back to our place. Braden should have been hungry, worn out from the game, tired, etc. but as soon as Grandpa Young starting talking to him, he started laughing! Braden doesn't laugh very often, especially late at night, so it was a nice surprise :) I love just sitting around and talking with the Youngs. It's so nice that I feel completely comfortable around them and love spending time with them. 

The next day we went on a walk to see the construction site for the new Provo Tabernacle temple. I drive by it almost daily, so I've been able to see the progress they've made since the building almost burned to the ground. They have preserved the outer walls of the temple and are building around it. Recently, the outer shell has been put on stilts so that they can work on the foundation and basement of the temple. They left some openings in the fence so that you can look down and see what's going on. The pictures really don't do it justice. It is INCREDIBLE to see how much work goes into building each temple! I can't wait to see what the finished temple looks like!

We continued our walk to Guru's for lunch. Braden had had enough by that point and fell asleep in the stroller. Thank goodness for strollers! :)

That night, we drove down to see the new City Creek shopping center in Salt Lake City. I had heard it was beautiful and had high expectations. It did not disapoint! It was beautiful! I love to window shop, especially when there are extremely creative and beautiful window displays. I think my favorite was Anthropologie with the oversized flowers. Grandpa and Grandma Young found Braden the smallest tie I have ever seen! I'll post some pictures soon. It makes him look about 4 years older. Devin was really excited to see the fountain show, since one of his marketing teachers talked about it in class. It really was incredible! I was surprised to see fire mixed in with the other water features in the fountain. I don't know how it worked, but some of the water looked like it was literally on fire. CRAZY! 

Easter Sunday was a beautiful day! The weather was sunny and warm and church was uplifting and inspiring. After the block, we spent some time playing catch and enjoying the sun in the front yard. Even though we live on a busy street, it is really fun to have a pretty big yard with lots of grass. Braden got to try out his new Bumbo for the first time, which made me laugh so hard. He struggled at first to keep his head up (see pictures below), but he got the hang of it eventually. As a side note, I don't think there is anything cuter than a little baby boy wearing a white collared shirt with no pants! Later, we went to Kristin's apartment to have dinner, dye eggs, and play games. Overall, it was a wonderful day!

We are looking forward to spending a month in Pennsylvania this summer before Devin's internship starts mid-June. I feel like making a paper chain or something to help me count down the days. We're so excited!