I Heart Team Violet

Team violetLast week my family received some very big, not very good, news about the littlest and newest member of our family. My niece Violet was diagnosed with several Congenital Heart defects. She had an emergency catheter procedure on her heart and will have to endure a few more open heart surgeries (one this week) to make things right. We are hopeful and positive and the outlook is good, but it will be one day at a time until she’s there. I crave information in things like this so that I can get my head to stop spinning and wrap my brain around this set of complications. The bare bones of what she has include:

  • Her aorta and pulmonary artery are flipped – in opposite positions from where they are found in a normal heart. (Official: TGA = Transposition of the Great Arteries)
  • She doesn’t have a mitral valve connecting the upper and lower left hand chambers.(Mitral Atresia or Congenital Absence of Mitral Valve)
  • She also doesn’t have a wall between the right and left ventricle (lower chambers) – she basically just has one big lower chamber. (VSD = ventricular septal defect)

I needed a picture to help see this. Here’s a normal heart and an image of a heart with 2 of the things Violet is dealing with – TGA & VSD. She doesn’t have PS, but do you see in the second picture where that PS is, that space between the LA / LV is the mitral valve and in Violet, there is no space.

Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be one good foundation / organization to look to for information; every case is so unique to that individual (complicated by age and any other health factors). I’m not quite sure how I found the Hjartekatten blog, but I was so taken with the idea of these cats and critters given to children who have to have heart surgery in Sweden. That idea stuck with me and I made Violet her own little “HeartCat”. We were able to visit her this weekend and she was looking good – especially if you look past the feeding tube and a few extra (necessary, but noisy) monitors, she was awake for a good part of our visit and we were able to hold her and get in lots of snuggles.
Team violet Team violet Team violet

She’s got a long road ahead of her, and we are all rooting for her. I love knitting for babies and kids and this just motivates me to do more toys and accessories for Violet & my own kids, as well as the charity knitting projects – PatPats Hats, Hjartekatten, are certainly near and dear to me. It’s absolutely no fun when kids are sick.

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FO Friday – a peek

Crochet practice Oh the cuteness, I can barely stand it! Last night at SnB I practiced my crochet skills on this wee little baby toy.  It’s adorable, and was quick and easy to make, but I’m not 100% happy with it – maybe only 98%! I will be adjusting a few things when I make it again – hook size & stuffing most notably. Working on this and the arrival of two books, that I’ll share next Yarn Along, has given me such a boost that I want to start All. The. Things. And you already know about my issues with startitis.  For now, I am letting ideas simmer as I carefully consider the yarn choices and get those other projects done! I am ready to work the cuff on first sleeve of my sweater, so yay! Here’s to a crafty weekend!

It’s all coming together

I am just about caught up. I think. Last week was thrown for a loop as party preparations took over. We went with a “Hungry Caterpillar” theme (and as themes go, it was a loose one) and this was a very DIY party for Nate’s 1st. Caterpillar balloons IMG_4972
It was a good day, we had a good time, and afterwards I was exhausted. For several days. Party clean-up, catching up on a few loose ends, and then Nate came down with another bug of some sort. Lorelai’s energy has been exponential, and trying to keep up with her is a whole other sporting event.
Cake
I have to get the buttons of the cuff I made from the “So Pretty! Crochet” book and then I will really be ready for the review and giveaway. I have one sleeve done on the sweater for Good Karma Farm – it is going to be so hard to send this sweater back. I love it! I have a new skein of Sock Art Forest from Green Moutain Spinnery all caked up and ready to be cast on once a few other things are set. It’s always something, right? Grr.

In threes

You know how it goes – there seems to be a bit of blogging “meh” going about. I’ve got it too. I want to blog, but have lost some of the energy for it. Could be life in general, could be work (which involves writing blog posts for others), could be house stuff, could be little ones underfoot that are always up to something. Anyway, I am here today! Not playing in “Yarn Along” because I have still yet to find a new book – my nose has been mostly buried in a “Visually learning photoshop” paperback, but that is not going to go on too many “to-read” lists. You are here to see the knit stuff, and maybe the kids.

I have finished three washcloths that are being sent out in packages.
Washcloths

I have knit three (3!!!) swatches for my latest sample knitting job, the Summer Poncho in the Spring/Summer Vogue Knitting.
Swatches
The yarn is lovely to work with. Now that I have figured out my gauge, I am a few rows in – it should be smooth sailing.

I am just past the heel on the first Cauchy sock for Dan. The yarn is Spud & Chloe Fine, in the dachshund colorway. I’ve got three repeats of the pattern across the top of the foot.
Cauchy in progress
I need to put this on magic loop, but have been lazy about going to find that particular needle, so for now, it is DPNs and cuff-down. Old habits die hard.

And a gratuitous cute baby picture.
On the move & under a table
Someone is on the move. I looked and the nutmeg was on his back, feet on the couch. I turned to look at my knitting, looked back and he had flipped and scooted himself back under this first table (which is part of a set of 3 nesting tables) Also that space is what, seven inches wide? How did he do that?

Yarn Along – August 17

The “Better Late than Never!” Edition – of course I had to do this when I realized it was Wednesday, but couldn’t blog it until now.

~From small things

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr.

Yarn Along August 17

So, on Tuesday (you know, While I Waited) I had an appointment to check amniotic fluid levels – turned out that the tech could only find one pocket of fluid to check, and that level was low enough to send me over to the hospital that afternoon. In a manner that was strikingly similar to the situation with Lorelai, they broke my water around 8, and by 10-ish things were really progressing enough that there was no time for the epidural I wanted, and Ta-DAH! 10:36pm, the lil’nutmeg Nathaniel Thomas was here! . It is still so very surreal – I can’t believe I have had another baby. I can’t believe we’re already back home. I can’t believe how similar this one is to Lorelai – he’s slightly smaller than she was (7.9lbs, 19.6 inches), but the head full of hair really seals the deal I think.

It seems a bit crazier to be home this time around – Jackson is constantly on guard / edge, and Lorelai is still full of endless energy. She’s getting to indulge in extra tv time this week that’s for sure. But all is well so far – we could all use more sleep, but we’re healthy and happy, so we just take one thing at a time.

Back to the yarn along-ing. I did bring hexipuffs to my ultrasound appointment, but I didn’t work on them because I thought for sure I would drop the little balls of yarn and they would roll away. Instead I worked on a sock, but that wasn’t the greatest idea either – I realized that I would have to try on the sock at some point to know where to decrease for the toe and I couldn’t exactly reach my toes then. Oh well, live and learn.

Introducing…

Lorelai Hope!
Multimedia message

She’s finally here đŸ™‚ We’ve all got a lot of learning to do, but we’re so so so happy with her.

Last week on Wednesday I went to have a biophysical profile / nonstress test done to check everything out because she wasn’t here yet. They found that my amniotic fluid levels were low. So on Thursday I went to the doctor’s office and after checking me out, told me that the best option was to go to the hospital. My mom was with me, and we made a quick stop at the house and then went to the hospital. Dan met up with us there. And then we waited. And waited. Around 7 or so I was given a gel to help things along, then more gel around midnight. I started feeling contractions more but they were still quite manageable. It was more uncomfortable to be hooked up to the fetal monitoring and in a hospital bed.

Friday morning, we were moved down to the labor and delivery floor around 7:15. Once down there, I was checked out (4 cm woo-hoo!). Pitocin was started, more for augmentation rather than straight induction. The doctor broke my water and told us she was thinking that the baby would be born in the afternoon. My contractions were getting more and more intense. I did ask for the epidural and they were ready and waiting to go on that. As they started the prep for that the contractions were so intense and I felt like pushing. I was checked out again and found at 10:00am I was 10centimeters so I could go ahead and push! No epidural! OMG. Luckily the nurse who came in was great and got right in my face telling me to breathe or relax or push. Also luckily, 19 minutes later, Lorelai was born! When she came out the nurse, doctor and Dan all gave a collective “Woah” – she was HUGE!!! And had a whole lot of hair!! She was 9pounds 2ounces, 21 inches long.

All the grandparents came to meet her on Friday, and one of her uncles as well. On Saturday grandparents returned, along with my brothers and girlfriend. There were tons of photos taken. On Sunday we came home and began to try and wrap our heads around this new life. Dan is the best, taking care of me while I take care of her. He’s great with Lorelai too – he’s changed diapers and is pretty good at swaddling her. She seems to know what she’s doing with breast feeding too – we’re working on our team work.

And that’s where we’re at – it’s been a crazy couple of days. But in the best way possible đŸ™‚

Bored

No baby yet. I don’t have an early bird, the bun is still in the oven and the little butterball is still getting roasted. We had a really nice Thanksgiving at my folks, though it was different – Nana was missed, Virginia was there and the in-laws didn’t stay too long (my MIL had an accident earlier in the week and was not feeling well).

I should be taking advantage of these last few quiet days I suppose. BUT. I’m tired of reading. I’m not really feeling the knitting groove as much as I would like. I’m anxious about the baby. Mom is coming with me to my appointment tomorrow where they’ll monitor the baby’s heartbeat and movement and fluid levels. Hopefully we’ll hear that everything is still fine and all, but still – I’m getting impatient and frustrated and anxious. Given that I have the time during the day of course my imagination gets away from me. And while our friends are well intentioned in calling to check in on us (even Dan’s college roomates are calling to find out!) and my mom is calling to check on me I wish I had something better to tell them than “Nope, sorry, no baby yet.” My brother and girlfriend were woken up by a phone call at 3am thinking it would be us with good news, but it was just someone yelling at them in Chinese. And that person knew nothing about a baby. Sheesh.

I cast on and finished a pair of hand / wrist warmers (from Last Minute Knitted Gifts) for my grandmother – her name is Veronica and that is the name of the yarn colorway. I don’t know if she’ll actually wear them, but maybe as glove liners? I think that I can make a second pair from the first skein and then give them to my mom – not sure if she would wear them either, but I am pretty sure she would appreciate the knitted gift in a pretty colorway that shares the name with her mom. The yarn is “Harrisville Silk & Wool” – it’s a bit uneven in texture, but on the whole I like it.
Veronica Wrist Warmers