Thursday, February 26, 2015

One month old!


He is one month old today! He is 6 lbs 14 oz.
Today was his consultation with the plastic surgeon, Dr. Menezes, who is fixing his lip and palate. He will be having surgery to close his lip in one month, followed by another one in two months. He will have his palate repaired when he is 8 months old, and again before he starts kindergarten. About the same time as the first palate repair he will have tubes put in his ears, since most cleft babies have trouble with fluid buildup until their palate is fully closed and developed properly. We are being referred to a pediatric Ear Nose Throat (ENT) specialist for hearing tests and the tubal procedure. At 8 years old, he will have a bone graft done, and then another surgery when he is a teenager. We are already working with a speech therapist, who is helping with feeding properly for now. Actual speech therapy will begin when he is about a year old. He will also have the pleasure of orthodontic care from an early age, as the cleft affects gum development and teeth positioning. It will be a very busy year for him as the craniofacial team begins treatment. Hurray for modern medicine!!

From Brady early this morning

He is at Freeport McMoran Copper Mine in Miami, AZ. 

Aside from not being able to be home tomorrow for Rydon's doctor appointment, which I personally feel makes me almost as bad as a deadbeat dad, I have two worst evers to share. The worst part ever about switching from days to nights and back again all in the same week is the whole day's worth of sleep you lose. The worst part ever about working on a welding crew for those two nights, is still getting a new sun burn, even though I haven't seen the sun since Monday. Finally, I got up at 4:30 Wednesday afternoon to work until 6 Thursday morning, but instead they needed a couple of us to go home at 1am, so we can come back to work at 6am...which means I get to get up in exactly 3 hours and work for 12 more hours. I need the best night time nap I've ever had. Good morning! 

 His safety outfit for the day. I have the line, "Luke, I am your father" running through my mind. Haha!
 The welding crew he is working with.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Grateful for Temple Covenants



I received this email from the Church recently. This article really spoke to me tonight, as I mentally prepare to meet with Rydon's plastic surgeon tomorrow. For the reasons this article so vividly points out, I am not and never was afraid to have a baby with a birth defect. I remember when the ultrasound technician showed me the cleft on her screen I wasn't scared. I remember thinking it was going to be okay, and we could deal with this trial in our lives. I think my testimony of my temple covenants, and the promise of eternity is what gave me such a strong base to begin this trial in my life. While I am extremely nervous for the consultation tomorrow, I am also extremely excited. I am very much looking forward to getting Rydon's lip and palate fixed so he can eat and develop like the rest of his siblings.

Grateful for Temple Covenants
By Cari Florence
How could anything alleviate my sorrow when my unborn son was dying?
When I was just 14 weeks pregnant with our third child, doctors informed us that the baby would miscarry due to complications with his lungs. That news was devastating: I felt heartbroken, terrified, and uncertain of the future. That evening, my husband and I went to the temple with heavy hearts and eyes full of tears. We needed answers, guidance, and strength, and we knew that in the serenity of the temple we could draw close to the Lord. We were astonished at the peace we felt in the celestial room. I knew that even if this baby was not supposed to stay on earth, all would be made right.

Later, on my knees I poured out my soul to Heavenly Father. I told Him I understood that our son wasn’t supposed to linger but that I desired some specific blessings, if possible. I also promised that if my desires weren’t granted, I would not lose faith. I asked that this child might stay with me longer—that he might live, even just a short while, until all our family could hold him. The doctors had said that if by some miracle our baby went full term, he would be born purple, but I prayed that he would be born pink so that our other little boys wouldn’t be afraid to hold their brother. I asked the Lord to let us remember our eternal bond after the baby, whom we decided to name Brycen, was gone.

As the weeks went on, doctors professed shock at baby Brycen’s progression but warned of his certain passing after birth. I felt indescribable heartache, knowing that we would lose him, yet I was also ecstatic that he was still growing. Carrying this son who would not live was a continuous burden; I felt pain whenever others asked about our baby’s gender or due date and I had to pretend that everything was normal. We bought a monitor so we could check his heartbeat daily, always anxious to hear that precious sound. My grief was severe. The Savior’s Atonement gained new meaning for me: I finally understood from experience that Jesus Christ not only suffered for my sins but also felt every sadness, every pain. As my Savior, He truly carried the weight with me so I would never be alone.

At 37 weeks I checked into the hospital, knowing I was officially starting the time clock on Brycen’s life. It was both terrifying and beautiful. The doctors reported that he might live anywhere from 10 minutes to several days. Despite my fears, I felt the Lord’s reassurance. Brycen Cade Florence was born on January 27, 2012. I sobbed the moment he was born—pink, so handsome, so perfect.
Our boys rushed into the room to see and hold their brother; we brought a photographer to capture the moment. Brycen lived only 72 minutes, literally just long enough for each of us to hold and love him. It was the only time we were all together as a family on this earth, but it was everything we had dreamed. The boys couldn’t get enough of their brother, kissing him, singing him songs, and begging to hold him. He even remained long enough to receive a blessing from his father, something my husband had hoped and prayed for.

As a family we have a testimony that “the divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave” and that temple ordinances and covenants allow “families to be united eternally” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129). To us, having an eternal family is everything. The most beautiful part of the gospel is that death will never separate us; we will continue our journeys together.

Through this trial, I have come to know that God is in the details. He cares about us individually. While trials and difficulties will come, God can make them easier to bear. I am now more grateful than ever for my temple sealing to my husband and that our children were born in the covenant. Because of God’s beautiful plan for our families, including the Savior’s infinite sacrifice, we can be together again. I often wonder how I would have withstood this difficult trial without knowing that eternal truth. I am beyond grateful for the testimony I have gained because of Brycen’s short life—God has opened my eyes and heart more fully to His blessings.
Comfort for Parents
Joseph Smith taught the doctrine that the infant child that was laid away in death would come up in the resurrection as a child; and, pointing to the mother of a lifeless child, he said to her: ‘You will have the joy, the pleasure, and satisfaction of nurturing this child, after its resurrection, until it reaches the full stature of its spirit.’ There is restitution, there is growth, there is development, after the resurrection from death. I love this truth. It speaks volumes of happiness, of joy and gratitude to my soul.”
President Joseph F. Smith (1838–1918), Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith (1998), 132.

Smelter

This week Brady is in Miami! ...Arizona :)
He and the crew are working on putting up steel beams underneath a smelter at a mine. The next project is building a platform on top of the beams.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Napping

Today's nap magic was brought to Rydon by Ayla's old purple pacifier. I'm so thankful I never threw it away.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

More of Brady's travels.

He calls his facebook posts about his traveling, "Looking for America." I think it's highly fitting.

On my journey Friday I had the pleasure of meeting two people that really seem to personify the qualities of American idealism that the media forgets, overlooks, ignores, and have become marginalized in society today. The first is the manager of that little hole-in-the-wall motel I stayed at this week. And really, aside from the more interesting architectural design choices, it wasn't that bad of a place to stay. It's a little too close to the railroad tracks, and the traffic on the main road through town where it is is never-ending, but really, it could have been a great deal worse.

And on that not-as-bad-as-it-could-have-been topic, the manager really made my stay there much better than I thought it would be. I misplaced the mouse to my laptop and when I checked out asked if she could have the housekeeper look for it. She said of course, but the kicker was she offered to let me take hers in the mean time. She needs her mouse to use their computerized booking system, but she offered hers to me without any hesitation until I could find mine.

My mouse was found before I left town. I'm apparently blind or more than a little bit sleep-deprived to have missed it, but her offer to stop her work making her life more complicated and difficult having to write down everything and input it later was far above and beyond. And it was solely to help me, someone she wasn't going to be getting any money out of anytime soon. And then holding it for me with a note on my car window that she had it was just amazing. On top of that, the fact that she let me leave my car there instead of having to drive it to the mine was another small sign that occasionally, somewhere people are still generally good and take pride and satisfaction from doing their work well.

The next example comes from Wickenburg, AZ, specifically from the three employees working last night at Filibertos Mexican restaurant. The guy taking the orders and the two cooks worked together as a team should. They were fast, friendly, funny, and perfectly accommodating to this crazy gringo's strange requests.

Not only was the food delicious, but they were engaging, hilarious, and obviously having a lot of fun. The best part was the fun didn't detract from the speed and exactness with which they performed their work. There was a precision to the coordination of their movements that speaks, I think, to a drive to achieve excellence. It is rare to see that very often anymore. Let alone in a basically minimum wage job. If more people worked like them, there wouldn't be many people working minimum wage for years on end. The working poor would actually have upward mobility simply due to their obvious industry. Is it weird to refer to the skilled professionalism of an unskilled laborer? Because that, or at least the personal characteristic that motivates people to develop that, is a big part of what's been missing in the world....I think. I could be wrong.

But there's a song that really seems to somehow capture that motivation. Maybe listening to it on my drive home last night put these thoughts together, but I really felt in the moment that I wanted to share this experience. http://youtu.be/S-G2J3RzURA

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Hidalgo County Courthouse in Lordsburg, NM

From Brady's adventures Thursday:

I have decided to document a few aspects of my travels. Mostly the ones that speak to my soul on some level. Not kitschy Americana or antiques, but historical evidence that there really was a time when American exceptionalism was a way of life. The places and things that prove without it, and what those brave men and women did in the face of overwhelming odds of failure, this country never would have become what it was, and that with more of that grit, it might again someday. Some of it will likely be a little lighthearted, but much of it will have a serious note. Probably most of it will have a little of both. I hope you enjoy my journey to discover what it means to be an American historically, and what it can mean for the America we live in today.




Friday, February 20, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Thoughts from Brady

He posted this on facebook, and I thought it was really good insight, so I wanted to share here too.

 
For the last several weeks it has been on my mind, that something about small towns makes me love America again. The news and the mainstream media are filled with everything wrong with us, from school shootings to the Kardashians. Bring inundated with it so constantly had really made me dislike the decadence our nation is falling into.

But today I figured it out. Those things don't change the real America where people remember who and what makes this country great, where they honor real heroes who do things worthy of emulation and reverence. I saw this jet from the other side of the valley, so I had to stop. It helps that I drove by a stake center on my way to it. You can kinda see it behind the POW-MIA flag. A town of less than 3000 and it has a stake center and a better veteran's memorial than anywhere I've seen in Vegas. And every town I've been to the last 2 months has been like this. I'll make sure to snap a picture if the memorial park in Clifton next time I'm there.

 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's day festivities

Kids got a fun cup with some treats inside from us. We ate lunch at a place in Boulder City called Chilly Jilly's, which was so good. Then we took a ride on the Southern Nevada Railroad. We ALL had a great time. Ayla and Gideon loved riding in the car and then looking for the engine when we made a turn. The weather today is just beautiful! I am so very happy Brady was able to get the weekend off so we could have some much needed family time. I sure love having my husband home. It's a great Saturday at the Lindsay house!