Giving Thanks

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. Like many other Thanksgivings before, I gathered together with my family and ate copious amounts of roast turkey with all the trimmings. Unlike other Thanksgiving holidays, however, this one was Stephen's first. Well...first outside the womb, at least.

We dressed him up in some of his finest clothes, sent to us by his great-grandparents who live in Pennsylvania. Here's the boy and his beautiful mother:

Our arrival at my mom's place was somewhat delayed due to Mr. Man having a tooth-related "I really need a nap" fit. We applied children's Motrin and Oragel and let nature take its course. After half an hour of unconscious bliss, we woke him, dressed him, and to grandmother's house we went.

As always, Stephen's grandmother was happy to see him.

Dinner was tasty! Stephen thought so, too. Grandma put some turkey through the food processor, and the little guy chowed it down. He sampled mashed potatos and gravy, as well as cranberry sauce, candied yams, and anything else that caught his eyes.

Not only were we celebrating Thanksgiving, but we also celebrated my brother's 23rd birthday (which is technically today, but it never hurts to kill two birds with one stone). Stephen and his uncle get along pretty well.

When it was all said and done, we packed the boy up and brought him home. He hit the sack early, and stayed down just about all night long. Could it have been the tryptophan? Should we give the boy turkey every night?

By the way, you can find additional pictures of the boy (if you so wish) from our recent trip to Gen Con SoCal in Anaheim at my other web log, Neuro-Suction.


Going On Three Weeks

Stephen is going on three weeks in his ultra-stylish DOC band. He wears it twenty-three hours out of every twenty-four (did I mention that last time?). The only side-effects we've noticed is that he's had some trouble staying asleep at night, but this might also be attributed to teething -- his top two teeth should be emerging from his pretty pink gums any time now.

What follows are some photos from his 10/26 check-up appointment.

Our appointment was scheduled for 7am. I don't know if that was the wisest choice for an appointment, considering that the traffic on I15 is really, really bad at that time of the morning (see below).

After more than an hour, we arrived at Cranial Tech's office. We were ten minutes late; all things considered, I think we made good time. Stephen spent the first half of the drive playing in the back seat (at left), and the other half napping. His mother and I discussed the traffic. Honestly, I think he had the better part of the deal.

After we were signed in and ready to rumble, we were shown to an exam room and they gave his head a look at. After only a week, there was (at least, to us) some significant changes. His head shows a good deal more roundness in the back. It's damn amazing that only a week would make such a difference.

One way to compare his current head shape to his original head shape is by use of a plaster model that they made from his original head cast. Here is the boy, with the cast of his head in hand.

They routed out his DOC band a little on the sides opposite of where his current improvement can be seen. In that way, his noggin will reshape itself proportionally. He played the whole time.

Compared to the drive down, it was a mercifully short appointment. We get to do it all over again this coming Wednesday, though we're heading in a little later than we did the last time. Thank God.

The office is decorated with murals that have been painted with murals depicting various nursery rhymes. You know, "Hey Diddle Diddle" and the old lady who lives in a shoe...whatever here name was. And, of course, Little Boy Blue, complete with horn and DOC band. Since Stephen was sporting his own blue overalls, I snapped a picture of him and Little Boy Blue.

Yesterday, we took a trip to the San Diego Wild Animal Park. It got off to a rough start, with Stephen being a little bit scared of his introduction to the park. It must've been the plants, the people, and...oh, yeah, the birds. Lots of them. We've learned that he's none too fond of my mother's parrots, either.

Some of our Animal Park highlights follow, starting with...meercats!

The little guys, always a favorite of mine, were out in force, and horsing around in front of the glass partition that surrounded their enclosure. Stephen got a close look at them, and he seemed to enjoy watching them. He likes our cats, so I wonder if he's really able to distinguish between cats and other similarly-sized mammals or not. For all I know, he thinks that dogs and kitties are the same thing.

Next...the balloon.

The Animal Park has a big yellow balloon that folks can go up in for the admission price of fifteen American dollars. We didn't go up...maybe next time. As high as it goes up, you can probably see our house from there.

Then again, probably not.

Flamingos. There are lots of stinky pink flamingos at the Wild Animal Park. You see them when you come into the park, and you also see them when you visit the Heart of Africa.

The Heart of Africa (at left) is reached by walking about fifty miles down a winding path. Don't worry, you get to see lots of animal butts on the way down.

We've got a story about animal butts. Our friend Karen used to say that if you go to the zoo, you shouldn't expect to see anything but animal butts. She, my wife, and I went to the San Diego Zoo one day, and her point was proved. So, this following picture of okapi butts is for Karen.

We also got to see the okapis eat, pee, and poop, too. I won't post those photos, though. Once you've seen one okapi butt, you've seen them all...no matter what they're doing at the time.

In any case, they've got a really great new lion enclosure at the Animal Park that they didn't have before. We weren't sure if there were any lions in the thing, until we took a stroll around and found them hanging out...on the roof of a car, no less.

All the while, Mr. Man rode in his stroller. He napped through much of the Heart of Africa, but woke up after a good stretch and was much happier for the rest.

That pretty much covers the highlights of the trip. It was a good time. I've spent so much time writing lately that I haven't seen as much of my wife and son as I would have liked. If only all of my weekends were spent with them in such relaxing surroundings...

...like Mombassa Lagoon. Mua ha ha.