lachlan's little amigo doll

lachlan's little amigo doll

This little fellow was stitched together with so much love. Finn sat on my lap and helped trim threads, stuff wool, and guide the fabric through the sewing machine. I worked on him here and there for the week prior to Lachlan's birthday, taking those quiet moments to reflect upon the priviledge of having a little boy for whom I could make this red-headed doppelganger. 


lachlan's little amigo doll

He's a Little Amigo from Growing Up Sew Liberated - the knitted cap is the one Lachlan wore as a tiny babe, and the hat is a retrofitted Huck Finn. The pants and shirt are on-the-fly mama-made patterns. And, thanks to this doll, I also have a doll wig tutorial for you that I've been promising for a long time - it will be live tomorrow afternoon.

lachlan's little amigo doll

lachlan's little amigo doll

Finn, of course, was the one who noticed. "He has a scar, Mama, just like Lachie!" I felt it was important that both Finn and Lachlan have a doll with a beautiful scar. Finn often asks about Lachlan's "ouch" while bathing, and this is a way to address their feelings and questions about it through play. It's just a normal thing in our lives, and the scar certainly doesn't define the doll (as the real scar doesn't define the boy), which is made in the Waldorf tradition of minimal facial expressions so that the child is free to pretend that the doll has all sorts of emotions, not just the bright-eyed, fixed smile so common in playthings. 

lachlan's little amigo doll


Sweet boy. I'm glad you like your little friend. 

one year

skin-to-skin for the first time since surgery

One year ago today, we held Lachlan skin-to-skin for the first time since his surgery. 

Though we didn't dwell on all that he has been through in his one year of life, it has been a week of reflection for me. For, when you have a baby whose heart works only because of the skilled hands of his surgeon, a baby who struggled to nurse or take anything by mouth for the first five months of his life, who was fed with a tube ...


becoming normal

There's something so amazing about the pictures of him on his first birthday, February 27th. He takes it all in, this little one. He's full of sweetness and spunk. At one year old, he asks "waz dat" about every 13 seconds or so. He wants to know everything, see everything, hold everything ... eat everything in this world. Have your cake, little Lachlan. This life is pretty amazing, isn't it?

lachlan turns one

lachlan turns one

lachlan turns one

lachlan turns one

lachlan turns one

lachlan turns one

lachlan turns one

lachlan turns one

lachlan turns one

We ended up baking him the "Baby's First Birthday Cake" from Organically Raised: Conscious Cooking for Babies and Toddlers . It was plates-in-the-air yummy. 


baby doll's bath

baby doll's bath

Baby Doll got a bath yesterday, a warm bath with plenty of bubbles

I think Finn would bathe baby doll every day if given the option. Alas, his bathing fervor does not necessarily extend to his OWN body. Unless, of course, you count mud baths. :)

Given both boys' proclivity for dirt play, baby doll is often handled by little, messy hands. (What does this say for my house? Thank goodness I have an old, brown couch.) Baby Doll, although Finn's Mini Me, gets plenty of love from Lachlan, too. Lots of wide-open-mouthed kisses. Oh, Baby Doll. You're a forgiving little fellow.

The birthday preparations have begun for our little almost-one-year-old love. Finn's on board, Mama has Lachlan's very own Baby Doll doppelganger in the works, and we're perusing healthy "cake" recipes to make for this important milestone. Finn had a very mellow first birthday celebration - we had no party, just a few days at the seashore. But when you give birth to a baby not knowing whether he will live to see his first birthday, you celebrate when he does. There's plenty to celebrate this February 27th. Plenty indeed.

things we do after nap :: colored sand and drum jam

fun activity afternoons

fun activity afternoons

fun activity afternoons


Colored sand (a Scrap Exchange find), various containers, a plastic storage bin, and a piece of laminated cotton fabric on the floor for easy clean-up. 

Super simple, super engaging for the 2.5 year-old.

Meanwhile ...

heart baby has a strong beat!

heart baby has a strong beat!

heart baby has a strong beat!

heart baby has a strong beat!

Sitting babies and drums are a match made in heaven! I'm thinking of having these photos printed off and sending copies to Lachlan's cardiologist and the life-saving good people at Duke's pediatric cardiac ICU. 

"Heart Baby Has Suprisingly Good Beat,"  I would write on the back.


this boy

20110803_L's first swing and swim_6908

20110803_L's first swing and swim_6931

20110803_L's first swing and swim_6911

20110803_L's first swing and swim_6902

Oh, this boy. He only gives you one passing quizzical look in a new situation before deciding to go with the flow and enjoy whatever comes his way. In these past few weeks, as I bulldoze through the day trying to unpack this and find a place for that, this little fellow be-bops along close to my heart. I look down at him in his carrier, returning to reality after drifting into planning mode (I should do this, I need to make that, I must sit down and write back to so-and-so ...) He flashes me a wide-mouthed grin, then bursts into a belly laugh.

This boy. What a gift he is. Joyful. Round. Forgiving.


parenting in odd places


The hospital lobby


9th floor life flight helicopter landing pad


5th floor fish tank, looking a tad crazy

First things first. Lachlan is doing great. His incision issue turned out not to be a serious thing - just a bit of dissolved fatty tissue, not too much in the way of infection. Although we didn't catch them with the camera, Lachlan's smiles are happening all the time. We're just hanging out here for a few more doses of IV antibiotics then they'll let us go home. Lachlan must have been channeling your kind wishes. Thank you so much for your words of support. That was a rough day for me, and I was bolstered by your presence in my life.

Second things second. We, the parents and grandparents, will be oh so happy to be back home again (this time for good!) You know what they say ... home is where the (healthy) heart is. Feeling grateful today for Lachlan's strength and good spirits.


yearning for normal

At a post-op check-up today, the doctors decided to re-admit Lachlan to the hospital due to an infection at his incision site.

If I can see through the tight throat and mother's heartache, I can tell you that my baby is feeling better. His smiles are more frequent, and he seemed to thrive in his nearly three days at home.

He will be getting the infected site drained this evening, and will be put on IV antibiotics. Hopefully the stay will be short. He doesn't have to be in the ICU, just a regular hospital room and he won't be hooked up to all of the wires that constantly measured his heart rate, breathing rate, etc. like before. We should be able to walk the halls with Lachlan in a sling, toting the IV pole behind us.

I'm trying to hold myself together. This isn't really a serious thing, but it is so stressful to be back in the hospital. Plus, I feel like Finn was just beginning to be at ease with his brother at home. This is tough. Wish us well these next few days.

lachlan is home

We breathed a sigh of relief yesterday afternoon when Lachlan was finally released from the hospital, 11 days post-surgery. It was a rollercoaster of a ride, one which reminded me what my mantra was when I was having a rough mothering day - "at least we aren't in the hospital." Lachlan struggled with the hospital environment even though we were there with him all of the time. I think it must have been traumatizing for him to have been poked and prodded so often.

But we are home, and now is a time for healing. He's certainly not completely back to his mellow self yet, and seems to still be suffering from the post-surgery headache that can last for weeks. So we're cuddling up here, comforting a healing baby, re-adjusting to having a baby brother, trying to find the balance between productivity and rest.

Thank you again for all of your positive thoughts and prayers! I'll (hopefully) be back in this space regularly starting on Monday.

grumpy at camp cardiac


Finn, doing his best impression of Lachlan. Or ... simply being a two year-old.

You've probably figured out by now that I don't like taking pictures of Lachlan in the hospital. I could blame it on the flourescent lights, but the truth is that I don't really want any pictures of him in here. His story is permanently written as scars across his chest, and I'm not sure that it's a story that is best told with pictures.

Anyway. Here we are. Lachlan threw us a few pulmonary curve balls the past few days, and we've been dealing with them. Two steps forward, one step back, but it seems like we're over the hump. He seems to be in much less pain, and is calm and alert for a good part of the day now. We're in the stage where they start weaning him off of his various tubes and wires. I'm looking forward to seeing him smile again. Everything will be ok. I can feel it now.

lachlan's bubble pants + envelope tee 3

Had to post this one again. Go get em', Lachlan!