Thursday, February 26, 2015
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!!
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!
The welding crew he is working with.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Sunday, February 22, 2015
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
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
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
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
First he wrote his name on them all. Then we glued the heart shaped feet into the body. ..which is a cup of applesauce. And googly eyes were added last. The feet say from Gideon. The bottom message says have a monstrous Valentine's. He loved making these! Thanks to pinterest for the idea. He's going to have a great party today!