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I [heart] Davids · Linus


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1 Year Old Linus

Linus has turned one, and what a year it has been! It is still a little surprising for Dave and I that there is not yet another surgical procedure or medical issue looming in the future. Aside from some waiting to determine if his hip dysplasia is corrected or not, he is as healthy as a kid could be.

  • Weight: 23# 3oz (60th %)
  • Height: 29.5″ (40th %)
  • Head: 18 1/8″ (40th %)

Linus is a very happy baby. As we see more signs of his personality, we are seeing a few more aspects of his emotional tempermant. He gets very angry when something he likes is taken away from him. He gets shy whenever new people are around, but in a flirty kind of way, not like he’s really scared. He seems to be pretty attached to me at the moment. He loves books and putting objects into containers. He has a great time with all his toys.

His motor skills are really developing, especially for someone who was in a cast for three months. He’s got an amazing throwing arm; he throws balls better than Henry does. And now, six weeks out of his cast, he is finally crawling on all fours!! (He has been dragging himself around, quite speedily, while he had the cast and since then.) He is also pulling up to stand on everything and crawling over everything. This morning he climbed up to the fifth stair for the first time ever!

His appetite is phenomenal; we have to cut him off because he doesn’t know when to quit. But his taste buds are not so much like Henry’s. He is a “meat and potatoes” kind of guy. He rejects almost all fruit and prefers crunchy, savory snacks. Since we don’t always have hamburger casseroles waiting in the wings, sometimes he can be a challenge to feed! He still takes a bottle in the mornings and at night. He is quite a messy boy with a sippy cup.

He is a sweet, sweet little baby and I do love him so. I am so lucky to have him in my life.

We tried to get a nice pic of all the kids on the couch. Didn’t quite work out, but hilarious nonetheless!

Free Linus!

Last weekend our good friends were kind enough to host a Free Linus party for our little spica cast escapee. It was terrific. The best part was that Nicole made up t-shirts for all the kids that said “Free Linus” and then she let them choose an assortment of iron-on patches to decorate their shirts. Linus’s shirt just said “Free” on the front and “Watch out world” on the back. It was a terrific party and we had a blast! Thanks, everybody, for helping celebrate!

Cast Off!

Today Linus had his cast removed! He had a spica cast for 11 weeks. We are so happy to be free of the cast. He will wear a hip abduction brace when sleeping only.

He is a super trooper and we are so proud of him.


We got the boys a playset this week! We are so excited to be able to just open up the back door and let them run outside to play. It has a two-story fort with open rails on the top. You access the top fort by either the gangplank or wavy slide. The bottom floor has a nice wooden floor with two half-height walls with a little counter and two solid walls with little windows. There is also a three-position swing set. It is a super awesome playset; we are really very pleased.

We worked with Mark at Backyard Playgrounds, who we highly recommend. They work with you to design a playset that meets your needs, they have a great warranty, and they are reasonably priced. Give them a call if you’re in the market for a new playset!

Videos! (Linus)

Some recent (and older) videos. 🙂

Diapering in a spica cast

This informative post is just a record of how we diaper Linus in his spica cast.

We use a size 2 inner diaper and a size 5 outer diaper. We also use an extra-large Poise pad in the diaper (only at night) and a cotton coil as a dam. For the Poise pad, we cut through the back to allow the inner diaper to soak up urine as well. The pad goes farther into his cast than the diaper does for overnight protection. We place the cotton coil in as a dam against leakage and it goes all the way around the opening, double in some places. Once the coil, pad and inner diaper are in place, then we put on an outer diaper to protect the cast, his groin, and as a last ditch effort to absorb any leaks.

Spica Chair and Table

If you have a baby in a spica cast, let me tell you that no one in your house is going to be happy unless you have a decent place to put the youngster. After several days of struggling with what to do with Linus to keep him entertained, Dave built Linus a little chair and table! A big shout out to our neighbor Brandon who helped by donating his time, tools and design know-how, and to Joy’s parents for sharing their designs.

Aside from needing to decorate it, we’re pretty much finished with the construction.

The table is a wood top that is mostly protected with contact paper. The corners have soft bumpers attached, and the edges have a little railing that helps prevent toys from rolling off. The table has five legs for added stability, and a “U” shaped cut out. The cutout is the most important feature. A baby in a spica cast cannot lean forward at all. The cutout allows the child access to a greater surface for playtime.

The chair features unique supports that put the child’s weight on the cast, not the diaper area. It has a wide, “toe-friendly” base that keeps the chair stable. The child is secured to the chair using a buckled strap or bungee cord.

Hip Baby

Linus has now undergone his fourth surgery this year. Earlier this year, we found out that his left hip was completely dislocated. Last week, a pediatric orthopedist from UNC performed a hip surgery to reduce the hip.

We were lucky in that the only repair necessary to fix the hip was an adductor tenotomy, one of the least invasive methods of getting the femur head back into the hip socket.

After one has a surgery such as Linus’s, it’s standard protocol to apply a hip spica cast. This cast places the femur head in the socket and secures it there. For developing children, this position is important because it is the presence of the femur head in the hip socket that helps the socket grow into the correct shape. That is why the hip spica cast must be applied for a significant length of time. Linus will have his cast for 3 months.

Linus did really great with the surgery. The day after, he was pretty uncomfortable and upset as he tried to move around and his body wouldn’t respond. He had just learned to crawl the week before.

Nearly a week later and he is really adjusting to his new confinement/challenge. When placed face down on the floor, he can spin around and is even managing to make a bit of backward/forward motion. I hope he’ll figure out crawling in the cast; he’ll be so much happier then.

The big question most people have is how to manage the diaper! The cast is made with an opening at the groin for a diaper. The diapering process includes a small diaper stuffed inside the diaper hole, covered by a larger diaper on the outside of the cast.

Here are some pictures from surgery and beyond.

Linus Colostomy Closure

We have cause to celebrate! Linus has had the final surgery that was needed to repair his birth defect. This surgery was to take down the temporary colostomy and reconnect his intestines to his rectum. We are delighted to now be changing his poopie diapers!

Linus’s surgery was at UNC Children’s Hospital and it was a fairly major surgery. We had a good experience there and he did great. They gave him an epidural for pain management for the surgery and a few days afterwards, which I think really helped a lot. The staff was great, too.

You can find details about his surgery and hospital stay at his Caring Bridge site.

Here are some pictures!

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