Sunday, April 26, 2009


<-- This is not Max, but he will have to do the molding. 

Hi Max!

You are such a beautiful baby boy! You are so photogenic and happy. You are a blessing in my life. This past month, I learned a word I could have lived a lifetime without learning. Plagiocephaly is also called misshapen head and flat-head syndrome. It is caused by repeated sleeping on the same spot. It is becoming much more common now that parents are encouraged to have their babies sleep on their backs to prevent SIDS. 

On Friday afternoon, Sheri and I took you to Children's Mercy Hospital for a follow-up check-up. You had measured at 16 mm at the previous appointment. If you are under 10 mm misshapen, they call it average. If you are over 20 mm misshapen, you are prescribed a helmet. You fell in the mid-range at the first appointment and we decided to see how it was in 3 weeks. Well, on Friday, we found out you are at a 20 mm. It's getting worse. 

My heart sank for a moment upon hearing the news. I am the eternal optimist. I am the "everything happens for a reason" person. Yet, here I was, feeling down at this news. They say it is mostly curable. They say it isn't causing any brain damage at this point. They say. They say. They say. They were trying to be kind. This is a problem. It isn't normal. Luckily, they have a tool to help with correcting the mis-shapen head. It is a fitted, fiberglass helmet.  It is a molded, orthotic device to re-shape the head. 

When we were at the doctor's I put a model into your hands. You are so great. You played with it, lifted it up and down, and then looked at me and smiled. It was almost as if you were saying, "Don't worry, Daddy, I'm okay with it." I hugged you. I squeezed you tight. You are so lovable. 

This is an expensive endeavor for us. Insurance will not pay for the doctor's appointments or helmet (altogether estimated to be around $4000). That's a dent for anyone. We've had our share of medical bills over the last two years (some we're still paying on), but this is your head. I will work 24 hours per day every day of the year if that is what it takes to help you through this. If my part is to earn the money for this helmet, then I take on that challenge. I accept the challenge and will do what it takes. After all, you are going to be a fiberglass helmet model before it is all said and done. :) 

I love you my little one and this is going to be the best thing for you. 

To Your Success, 

Max's Dad (Michael)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nurture over Nature...

Hi Max!

You are a baby of beauty, my little boy. :) You are playing with rattles. You are becoming more of a little human every day. It's incredible to watch. Being self-analytical, it's been interesting to watch my progression as a human as well. I am more sentimental, emotional (coming from a 0 to a 3 or 4), and outwardly loving (key word is outwardly). It's a good feeling. For example, you were recently diagnosed with plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome). 

Plagiocephaly is caused by too many nights sleeping on the same spot. It causes a flat spot on the back of your head. The issue has become more common due to SIDS research that shows that a baby should sleep on their back until at least 6 months. We've had you sleep on your back every night without any type of cushions to have you sleep at a slightly different angle each night. You've developed a flat spot on your right side. Since it is asymmetrical, the doctor is concerned.

We are looking into helmets, because as I told Sheri, "Whatever it takes to make it right, we're going to do." With the news that you may have to get a helmet and that you had a "syndrome," I was more upset than I would have guessed. I want to provide you with every opportunity possible and the environment necessary to allow you to reach your potential. I'm sure every parent feels the same way. 

That is where reality meets ideal. The reality is that these helmets are VERY expensive. I'm sure many parents have faced this with braces. Cosmetic issues aren't covered by insurance. Rest assured, we'll find a way to make sure your head is round, but what a dilemma. I'm going to work night and day so that money is not a limiting factor to your achieving your potential. I have a talent for selling houses, helping people buy the right home, speaking and writing, and helping people. That is what I will do to conquer any issues necessary to raise you as well as I can. 

Also, I have committed to writing a "Parenting For Dummies" book after my Seven Levels of Communication book is finished. There is no reason that preventable issues can't be prevented. How many other parents didn't know to have their child sleep in slightly different positions every night? How many are just glad the baby is sleeping and not worrying about his or her head? Where's the baby manual?! I read Parenting magazine, Baby Whisperer, and more, but no simple, quick-to-read manuals exist that I have found. Readers, if you have one, please let me know!

Max, you are making the world a better place just by your influence on me and your mom. You are already starting to make an impact and I'm proud you are my son. Together, we'll conquer the world. :)

To Your Success, 

Max's Dad (Michael)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hi Max! 

I wish this design was easier to read (click on the picture to see it in full size), but I did it at It is the coolest little site. You put in an URL or a bunch of words and it makes an artistic design out of the words. Too cool. I really liked how this one came out because DREAM and BIG came out close and then BIG and SMILE were in line. The bigger the word, the more times it appears on the site. 

Thought you would think this was cool. Do it with your own words at http://www.Wordle.Net. 


To Your Success, 

Max's Dad (Michael)