Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Ethan (again)

So here at the Growing Garcia's we celebrate birthdays for days, weeks, even months. We milk it for all it's worth :-)

Well today was Ethan's "official" Birthday. He turned the big 6. And we celebrated here at home by making his favorite dinner (steak) and having 2 of his friends over (Vinny & Sal).

He also wanted to make his own birthday cake. "An army one with marshmallows" -- to be specific (interesting!)...So he raided his toy box for his little army men and daddy wrote Happy Birthday in marshmallows. It was quite the cake, quite the night and quite the month long celebration...:-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday's Treasure

Check out this kid and her new ride!

Sadie is doing AWESOME! Her hip still hurts a bit. It's more tender than anything. She is doing well in the wheelchair but as soon as we give her a little freedom to move around she's climbing through the car or looking for a game of tag!

CRAZY kid!

It's gonna be a long 6 weeks - for me that is- trying to keep that girl still! She's doing great and eager to get back out there and conquer the world!!

I am SO proud of her and her spunky positive attitude that's why today she is my Tuesday Treasure.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ethan's Birthday, Continued

This past weekend (despite Sadie's accident) we headed to Orlando in honor of Ethan's birthday.

Ethan requested his birthday dinner be at Midevil Times. So we went..along with Nana & Pepe, Grandma & Pop Pop, Mike and Angie, Cousin Gene and Cousin Jackson!

We had a BLAST!!! The video below hardly does it justice.

The kids, days later are STILL talking about it and Ethan and Jackson believe they truly are knights.

Take a look:

Ethan's Birthday Celebration at Midevil Times

Thursday, November 20, 2008

1 Day - 3 dates, 1 ambulance ride and an overnight stay at Lawnwood Medical Center.


Yesterday started out with all intentions of being a perfect day.

Brian is on vacation so we woke up early got the kids ready for school and had a nice breakfast. Then we set off to the mall for a little one on one time before meeting our friends Nick & Heather for lunch and a LONG over due visit.

After lunch we meet another set of friends Lee & Julie for an afternoon outing.

The day was perfect. We had an great time catching up and being with our friends. As we were headed back into town my cell phone rang.

Thanks to caller ID I knew immediately it was the school. When the teacher began to speak I knew instantly something was wrong. VERY WRONG!

She told me Sadie fell from the monkey bars and landed on her leg. Her leg was bent and she couldn't move.

We were minutes from the school which is a miracle in and of itself.

After arriving I ran into the school office and saw what no mother EVER wants to see. Her child in enormous pain and inconsolable. We immediately called 911 and the EMT's arrived moments later.

Sadie was in excruciating pain. It was pure torture to move her from the seat she found little comfort on to the stretcher. She gave a good fight but in the end she aloud me to move her.

We rode together to hospital where she was treated like a celebrity. I can not say enough good things about the ER staff and all they did to comfort and help my daughter!!

They quickly gave her morphine. Which did NOTHING! So they sedated her in order to get an xray.

While the xrays were processing they prepared us for the worse - a broken femur and a trauma hawk to WPB. With all glory to God the xray revealed only a dislocated hip. It seems strange to be excited that my daughter had a dislocated hip. But EVERYONE (nurses, docs, EMT and us included) were SURE it was a broken femur! So a dislocated hip was a dream come true.

The ortho who was on call was fabulous. With some more pain meds (for a total of 3) they set her hip into place and we spent the remainder of the night recovering on the peds floor.

Sadie woke up at 5am this morning requesting ice cream and an early departure. By 9am we were saying our goodbyes - BUTT NAKED. The EMT's cut all of her clothes and so she had NOTHING to wear home. We wrapped snug in a blanket and drove to the nearest store. While she and I sat in the car her daddy bought her a head to toe Hanna Montana outfit. Including panties and shoes.

Sure, I get to move the broken child from the chair to the stretcher, hold her for an IV and watch her favorite skirt be cut to shreds and he gets to be the super star that skips the clearance rack and buys the kid a new wardrobe :-)

Ok, Ok, I'm over it...back on track... :-)

She is now wheelchair bound and restricted from ALL physical activities for 6 weeks.

This small inconvenience is a HUGE blessing in comparison to what Sadie could have gone through. We are rejoicing and SO thankful for all of the prayers, visits, phones calls and above all the mercy the Lord has shown our family!!

****Oh and for the record just in case anyone is counting
(Grandstaff's :-) this is our 7th ER visit between 3 children in just 4 years!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday's Treasure

Meet my parents: Gary & Meloney Gabert...

These two people have (obviously) had the strongest influence on who I am today. Words can not express my gratitude, my admiration, my trust, or my love for my parents!!

Here are just a few reasons why they are my Tuesday Treasure:

My mom had me at the tender age of 15. Yep 15! When the world around her suggested she terminate my life so she could fully live hers she said NO! She went against her parents, her school, her friends - all she ever knew. Not only did she do that but she finished school with a 4.0, served in the army and completed college (also with a 4.0).

My dad, oh my dad! He came into my life when I was 2 but it wasn't until I was 7 and we moved to FL as a family that he became my dad! It was official. He loved me like his own. I bucked a bit (smile) in my younger days but as I got older and saw he never budged. No matter what I said or what I did. HE WAS ALWAYS THERE!!

My parents have supported and embraced all of my choices and decisions: like when I married the love of my life at 19, and 10 years later when we adopted not one but two children Internationally, and then again domestically, moving to PSL, I even convinced them to move too.

They have been my backbone and strength through the most difficult of times (struggles in school, non existent relationship with my bio dad, our infertility)...the list goes on and on!

All of these examples are worthy of an individual due time.

My parents are a true Treasure. I am blessed beyond measure and SO thankful for them, for who they are and for who they helped me become.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Family Fun Night

For our Family Fun Night this week we took the kids to a Demo Derby and Rodeo at the fairgrounds.

I had NO idea how fun a Demo Derby would be. It was like real life bumper cars but the cars really crashed and banged into one another. Dirt was flying, engines were roaring, cars were smoking. One car actually caught on fire. It was SO amazing and SO fun. We can't wait until the next one.

After the Demo Derby there was a Rodeo. This started out fun but then the City Slicker (ME) got the run down on why the bulls and horses buck and kick and throw the cowboy off their back...I spent the rest of the evening feeling bad for the poor animals :-(

The kids had a grand time nonetheless. Madison (MY MADISON) even cried when we left. She wasn't quite ready for the night to end. Who woulda thought??

Here are few pics:

Vin & Ethan

Sadie & Kelli

The Girls

The Boys

The Whole Gang

Ahh, even the parents got a photo opp :-)
Madison posed with with one Demo Derby Driver

The other man of the hour

These two were quite the buds tonight. No worries - our radars are on!! :-)

Oh, and the bulls. The sweet kind bulls. The bulls that never did anything to anyone until their you know whats were strapped and tied then they bucked and kicked and threw who ever where ever. :-( So sad really!!!
The professionals did say that the bulls and horses were trained for such torture and I have to say they were quick to release the you know what's after the 8 second count.
Still sad though :-(

Happy Brithday Stephanie

Today is my dear sister's birthday.

The miles that seperate us are too far but the bonds that tie us also unite us.

From roller skates and summer camps, our preteens to our sweet 16, from boyfriends to husbands and from being to kids to having kids we've enjoyed lifes best together.

Stephanie - my sister - my friend. I love you! I miss you! I cherish you! And today I celebrate you! Wishing you the happiest HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Flashbak Friday- Sadie's Cleft Surgery Part 2

A few weeks back I promised you folks "the rest of the story" regarding Sadie and the repair of her cleft palate.

After 2 years at Miami Children's Hospital we felt lead to visit Shands Medical Center in Gainesville and can I just say WE HAVE NO REGRETS!

We met Dr. Seagle in August of 2006. It was at that appointment that he told us he could close Sadie's palate. He told us it would be complicated and that Sadie would need approximately 4 procedures and a weeks stay at the hospital.

So in September of 2006 we packed up our family and drove to G'ville. Brian's parents meet us there (from GA) to help with Madison and Ethan while we took care of Sadie.

Below are my actual journal entries from that unbelievable season in our life....

God is soooooooooooooooooooo good! Sadie's surgery today was indeed a success! Dr. Seagle was able to close her ENTIRE cleft palate! He did this using only one procedure not the multiple procedures that he was prepared to do. In addition he did the surgery in 2 hours NOT the 4 he anticipated. He said Sadie was an excellent patient and that he was very pleased with her results. As soon as soon woke up in recovery she requested the ice cream and apple juice we promised her. She ate the ice cream and drank 2 glasses of juice. Once we were in her room she requested MORE ice cream and also some Gatorade. Within one hour of being in her room she was begging us to get her out of her bed. She wanted to walk around and check out the hospital.

...Madison & Ethan are having a ball with Pop Pop and Grandma.

Did I mention that GOD WAS SO GOOD?! Sadie's docs discharged her today. She has a smile and puppy dog eyes that NO ONE - not even a professional - can refuse. Each time the doctors and/or nurses came into her room Sadie would ask "can I go now" and when they would say "not yet" her reply was always "can you take this out then", referring to her IV. Shortly after noon today she convinced the entire staff at Shands Medical Center that she would recover better & faster out of the hospital than she would in the hospital. All I could think was you guys know she's just 4 right??? She sure has the power of persuasion. Look out world!

Her doctor has requested we remain here in Gainsville until Thursday "just in case". Our plan for now is to hang low key here until mid-Thursday and then head back. We're gonna take our time and once home remain "low key" for the remainder of the weekend. Sadie will be home from school and speech therapy for 3 weeks to ensure total recovery.

We are Soooo Blessed.

Now the photos - everybody loves the photos:

Sadie and Daddy saying a prayer before surgery.

Sadie in recovery - with her purple ice cream.

Sadie walking the hospital floors 1 hour after surgery!

This "get up" is what Sadie had to promise to wear if the docs let her leave the hospital. The mask was of course to protect her from germs and the arm boards were to protect her from putting her fingers in her mouth. She wore it the entire week without ONE complaint.

Such a trooper.

We were then and we are now SO proud our little girl!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday's Treasure

I know I've mentioned this before but we have this vacant land next door that provides hours and hours of fun for our family!

My children and ALL of their friends look forward to sunny days of "exploring", "building", "camping" and catching unsuspecting wildlife (poor frogs!) on this fabulous piece of property.

Ethan is always the leader of the days activities. He gives direction and instruction and everyone eagerly listens and follows intently.

Just look at this face!

Even Madison (AKA "HOLLYWOOD") enjoys getting dirty on "The Land"

So today my Tuesday Treasure is all about the The Land and valuable memories it has brought our family.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Welcome Home Pop Pop & Grandma

Our family is complete again!

Those of you that know me know I shoulda been a "Walton". I love my family (ALL my family) close together. I need a full house, lots of noise, the coffee pot always brewing, soup on the stove, laughter, card games, deep conversations and even the silly arguments. I need it, I love it and I'm incomplete without it!

Well after being in GA for last 7 months my in-laws are back. YEAH!

Which means brother-in-laws, sister-in-laws, cousins, aunts and uncles will all be in and out over the next 6 months. This is my most favorite thing and I am SO thankful for our close and crazy family!

Let the good times begin:

My Favorite Park

Because Sadie's cleft team is in Gainesville, our family travels there 2 or 3 times a year. We have identified our favorite restaurant (a quaint little Japanese restaurant with a Hibachi grill). We have found our favorite zoo - the Santa Fe Teaching Zoo. For $3.00 you get a personal guided tour of the entire zoo and all of the animals. And for our favorite Saturday afternoon family fun freebie we visit the retired horse farm and feed the horses carrots, apples and sugar cubes for hours.

This past week we headed to G'ville for a "check up". The visit was short and sweet this time (just one night) so we visited favorite park.

These Oak Trees are HUGE - the are big and strong and SO beautiful.

Goofy Madison enjoying a ride on the slide.

Sadie spent much of the afternoon on this hand glider.

And the tire swing - such a favorite - my mom bought one for the kids :-)

My favorite!