Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Our Christmas

I hope this finds all of you enjoying a lovely (or not so lovely if you're dealing with this nasty Bay-area weather) day after Christmas with your family and friends.  We had a great few days in the Leyba household.

On Christmas Eve, Savannah and I baked red velvet cupcakes to be served with our Christmas dinner.





Then, in keeping with one of our traditions, Jason, my brother, and I played board games while waiting for a certain little girl to get tired.




We got ready for Santa Claus's upcoming visit.

Santa was good to Savannah.
 And he enjoyed the cookies and milk (though she was really mad that he ate them...one of the first things she said Christmas morning, was "where are my cookies?").

He left her a lovely card.
 I think she was most excited about the chocolate in her stocking (Santa, not Mrs. Claus, was responsible for the stocking....Santa went a little overboard with the sugar!)
Fresh morning buns and croissants for breakfast....oh so yummy.


Savannah's main gift was a new baby doll, which she loved and played with all day.





Dresser for baby clothes.


Sav asked me for my phone and then proceeded to take photos of her baby, just like I take pictures of her :)

Christmas dinner...a mix of super unhealthy (but amazingly good) Southern fare and, in our one nod to healthiness, some veggies not casseroled or over cooked.

Savannah read books to her baby before bed.

Love you all,
Ashley





Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thursdays with Savannah

For over a year now, Jason has been going to SCI-FIT on Thursday afternoons.  Because of the geography of this (SCI-FIT is in Pleasanton, Sav's school is in Sunnyvale...for non-Bay area folks, these are not very close to each other) and the fact that we are a single car family, I've always kept Savannah home from school on Thursdays.  Before Jason could drive, we'd drop him at the gym and would hang out in Pleasanton....we'd get a late lunch, go shopping, go to the book store, play in a local park, whatever we wanted....I think I know all the kid-friendly places located within 20 miles of SCI-FIT :)  Now that J can get himself to and from the gym, though, Sav and I stay close to home.  Thursdays have become my favorite day...I try not to do any work (or, if work must be done, it happens while Sav is napping) and Savannah and I spend loads of quality time together.

I thought I'd share a glimpse into the best part of my week....

This day began with a mild disagreement about how much cold-weather clothing she needed to wear.  She's not a fan of heavy jackets...which doesn't bode well for our East coast trip in January :)

Normally, we go to the Farmer's market that's across the street from our house on Thursday mornings, but it was closed this week for the holidays.  So, we walked down to our local park and played.  I think she was happy with the substitution.



Sonja decided to get in on the sliding...Savannah started yelling, "No, Sonja!  It's not your turn!"

The walking to and from the park, plus all the sliding and swinging, made for a tired little girl.

Post-nap, we made cookies for Jason.  She's quite the accomplished baker!

I really love that I get to have this day with her each week.

And, just because I've been fairly terrible with updates of late, here's some other things we've been up to!

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We had a play date with one of Savannah's best friends at Studio Grow two weeks ago.  This was filmed in the dance studio and, for me, is about the best visual for joy I've ever seen :)

Savannah and I went to my department's holiday party.  

Jason has been using his braces around the house a lot more...this time standing sans walker.  He was trying to determine if he could stand at the counter and use his laptop...not quite there yet.

But he can have some great daddy-daughter time with Savannah.

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and that you are all able to spend time with the one's you love.  

All my love,
Ashley




Sunday, December 2, 2012

Abilities Expo, Thanksgiving, Santa, and Some Pretty Amazing Videos

Hello Everyone!

I really need to get better about these updates, especially since my school schedule is slowing down at the moment (for a few weeks...everything ramps up again in January).

We went to the Abilities Expo in San Jose a few weeks ago.  When we went last year, we were very new to the SCI world and the whole experience was a bit overwhelming--information overload.  This year was different-we knew what we wanted to look at (stuff for J's chair) and had a better time.  It was amazing to see how many people we knew there-the SCI world, even in the vast Bay area, is quite small.  It was also a day to realize how lucky we have been with J's injury.  We've always been hesitant to feel better about our situation because people around us had it worse (worse injuries, more complications, etc etc), but it is hard not to have this happen--not to see that things could have been worse. The only way I can rationalize it is that I'm certain there are people that have looked at our family and been grateful for not having to walk (or wheel) in our shoes.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving day. Savannah helped me bake and cook (she's quite the little chef).  Another Cal grad student came over for dinner (he made the most amazing turkey) and we had a great dinner.  

The real fun for me, though, came the next day when we started decorating for Christmas.  We decorated a wonderful gingerbread house (this was mostly Jason and my brother, Bo--Savannah was more interested in hoarding the candy for herself).  We also put up a tree, planted Amaryllis bulbs, put together a Christmas Lego scene, and assembled our Advent calendar (Savannah got her first prize from this yesterday...she's a fan).




Savannah also visited with Santa...for our Bay area parents, I strongly recommend the Santa at Stanford Shopping Center...he spent over 10 minutes with Sav.  He read her a book about the North pole and gave her a cute little reindeer stuffed animal.

Jason's mom, Gail, has been visiting with us for the past few days.  On a normal day, Savannah is spoiled, but with Grandma in town?  Wow, spoiling is in overdrive :)



But since Gail is in town, I was able to go with Jason to SCI-FIT yesterday and get some video footage of what he's up to these days....wow...I was so amazed at the progress he's made.  Really impressive.  I think the folks at Kennedy Krieger are really going to be excited about the gains he's had in the last 6 months (another reminder for MD folks, email me if you'd like to meet up while we're in town in January!).  


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Walking sideways


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Kicks!!


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I'm not entirely sure what this is called, but it looked difficult.

I hope you all are having a great weekend (and for our bay area friends, staying dry in this torrential rain).

Love you all,
Ashley