Thursday, January 31, 2013


Jason's birthday is Saturday, and it's quite a big one this year: 30!  So, to celebrate this most exciting day, here's a look back at the past ten years.  J's 20s were pretty exciting, but I think the next ten years are going to be even better.

2003 (Sophomore/Junior Year of College)
2004: Graduate from Clemson University

2005-2006: Graduate School at North Carolina State University

2007: A BIG year!  Receive Master's Degree, Get Married, Move to CA!

Jason did, in fact, get his Master's, but he did not go to his graduation ceremony, so this photo of me at my graduation will have to suffice :)
Yes, we were actually married by someone who looked like Colonel Sanders...

Hiking near our new home in Fremont, CA

2008-2009: Enjoying CA and newlywed life, plus we adopt Sonja!
Belated honeymoon to Germany and Austria, March 2008
First anniversary celebration in Napa

Thanksgiving in Disneyworld, 2008

And, at the end of 2009, we're eagerly awaiting the arrival of our little girl

2010: Best year yet, Savannah Grace arrives

She actually was a really happy baby, but I think these crying photos are super cute!

We took her back East to show her off...

Furman University (Momma's Alma Mater)

Clemson University

Visiting great grandparents in Walterboro, SC

Savannah is One!

This photo used to make me really sad, but now I'm happy that the last photo I took before Jason's accident was of him walking with Savannah.

This photo was quickly followed by 5 weeks in the hospital.

But then Jason got to go home and we had to learn to adapt to this new life.


Savannah is two!

And Jason got to do a lot of cool things....

Like try out eLegs

And go to Kennedy Krieger for the first time (and walk!)

And stand at home for the first time in 13 months!

And then start walking at home!


This year has already started off great.
We went back to KKI.

And the aquarium :)

I'm incredibly lucky to have Jason as my partner in life and love and parenting.  I hope our 30s are as exciting as our 20s (though I could go the rest of my life without another traumatic injury, thankyouverymuch...and it should be mentioned I still get to enjoy my 20s for another 5 months).

Happy Birthday, Jason.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

And We're Home!

Before we left our hotel for the airport yesterday morning, I asked Savannah if she was going to behave on the plane.  She looked at me and laughed....uh oh.  Early indications seemed to point towards a not so fun flying experience for Jason and me: Sav REFUSED to use the restroom at the airport before boarding the flight (this trip is our first post-potty training trip...she was great on the way out with letting me know when she needed to use the the interim, however, an unfortunate incident involving an automatic toilet flushing while she was still on it had soured her to the idea of public restrooms), she also made quite the scene at airport security (this involved me running around security trying to catch her and ultimately throwing her over my shoulder to get her out of there....), and was generally uncooperative with everything leading up to boarding time.  A miracle happened after boarding, though.  She sat in her seat through takeoff, happily munching on a bagel and watching a TV show about penguins (I didn't even have to bribe her to stay in her seat!); once the seatbelt sign came off, she got out of her seat, but remained in our row, coloring, "reading" her I Spy books, playing apps on the iPad, and taking the occasional (short) nap.  It was great.  It was, dare I say it, pleasant.  A word I never thought to associate with air travel with a toddler.  She stuck to her guns about the not going to the bathroom while on the plane...meaning she went close to 12 hours without going to the bathroom.  She told me at the outset that she would go potty when we got home...and that's what happened.  Stubborn girl.

Once we got off the plane, antics resumed....Sav didn't want to walk..she wanted to "swim" or crawl on the airport floors.  Yuck.  Oh well, she got a nice long bath when we got home and cleaned up just fine.

If you're wondering about the wheelchair part of flying, I'm happy to report that that's become fairly easy. Security can be a bit of a hassle, depending on the airport (SFO and Heathrow are actually pretty wonderful), so we give ourselves extra time for that.  Other than that, we give the people at the gate counter a heads-up that J will need an aisle chair, we board first and exit last.  The good part about this is that there is no waiting for checked the time we get to baggage claim, everything has arrived.  I remember being so stressed about Jason's first post-injury flight about this time last the span of one year, it's become no big deal.  Most people don't know what we will need in terms of help, but they never hesitate to ask what we need and assure us that we can call on them for whatever during the flight.  I think a lot of this varies by airlines, as we've heard some horror stories from other SCI-ers who have flown, but, so far, we've been lucky (other than having to assure the folks at the beginning of the flight and when booking our flight that, no really, he can't walk on to the plane...we really DO need the aisle chair...).

So, we're home now.  Up far too early today (hooray for jet lag and a toddler waking you up at 5am!).  Loads of laundry and grocery shopping to get to...but quite happy to be home.

Quick KKI wrap up:
What's New:

  • Jason has hamstring both legs!  Woohoo!
  • His PT could, at different points, feel ALL of his abs firing.  Also now has some firing in glutes...also new!
  • Started a new med, called 4AP, that could possibly give him more function/movement back.  It increases the speed at which the nerves fire down the spinal cord, meaning more signals sometimes get through.  We're still in the early days of this and J doesn't go to a full dose til next week (it takes some getting use to...the major side effects are jitteriness and dizziness, both of which J has been we're slowly ramping it up).  We'll see how it works for him...for some SCI-ers, it has dramatic results (we're talking going from the chair to walking).
Moving Forward:
  • Next visit will be the week of July 22.  He will only go for one week that will primarily be a check-up and time to fine-tune what he's doing at home.  The PTs and doctors are really happy with his work at SCI-FIT and his progress.
  • Standing frame arrives on Thursday!
Love you all,

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lots o' Pictures!

Instead of lots of text today, I'm going to share lots of pictures.  Here's what we've been up to!

This sign is outside our elevator...can you spot the problem?

Working on the abs and obliques...Jason wants to get one of these machines (coincidentally, these are for training skiers...apparently, you're supposed to stand on the black cushion and balance as you slide from side to of the many ways the folks at KKI adapt other types of equipment to fit their needs).

A little aquatherapy

While we spent the first week at KKI, Savannah was with Danny and Gail.  She spent a lot of time working on puzzles.

She helped with yard was unseasonably warm last week.

And got some good quality time with Grandma.

When she returned to Baltimore, she was SO excited to go to the aquarium!

Not the best picture of us...

Dolphin show

A day away with Mimi and Aunt the American Girls store!

Very excited about her new puppy.

Port Discovery Children's Museum

Play date with an East Coast friend!

Lunch at KKI

KKI has a great area with toys for kids...including a playroom with free childcare (for children over 3 years old)

Savannah wanted to go on the historic ships in the harbor, so off we went.  It's MUCH colder this week!

After the boats, we went to the top of Baltimore's World Trade Center.  We're a long way from home!

Tomorrow is Jason's last PT session at KKI.  He'll get his home program information and we'll schedule our next visit.  We're also hoping to get in a morning visit to the aquarium.  We fly back to CA on Saturday morning! 

Hope you all are well!

Lots of love,