Thursday, January 31, 2013

2013 in pictures ~ january

Phebe : January in pictures

snow is falling
walking lilah home from school
apple fritter
jumping on the bed

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013


Our Phebster is all rascal.

She has that special twinkle in her eye and I quite honestly need to have eyes on the back of my head to keep up with this little monkey moo. Today, no less, she opened the central vac shoot and stuck a rather large piece of lego in there! Oh man. Might I add, she has the sweetest personality, so you know, she seems to get away with a lot of stuff, because that sweet little grin is a bit of a winner around here!

And to be fair, this is all probably regular toddler stuff, but our goody girl Lilah set the bar pretty high and never got into a lot of trouble. In fact, I'd say Lilah definitely gave us an easy time, she was a more sensitive child, when you told her no, she took it as "No, I will never ever in-my-whole-life do that again". When you tell Phebe no, she takes it as "Okay, let's try that again in a few minutes when (hopefully) Mama has forgotten" - Phebe seems to have a very short term memory as far as the word "No" goes!

When people ask us how Phebe's English is coming along, we say the only time Phebe doesn't understand us, is when she doesn't want to - it's called selective hearing, or in her case, selective (English) understanding! Like for instance, when we say "Tidy up time" she sings "clean up-clean up", which actually sounds like "plean up-plean up!" ...and she knows exactly what is expected, but that's about as far as it goes! Ha! She's a pretty typical 2 year old - I'm just thankful she's not too stubborn and seems willing enough to work with us. Right now, she's just helping me work on my patience and a whole new set of parenting skills, that I now need!

We sure do love our little monkey to pieces.

And Lilah, she is such a great big sister. I can't get over these girls and the love they have for each other. I caught a sweet moment yesterday, Lilah was putting Phebe's bib on, which she regularly does when I'm fixing lunch. After she buttoned it at the back she leaned into Phebe's neck and kissed her. Be still my heart - I might even have teared up. Truly. I have been blessed with two beautiful girls.

me and my specs!

photo 1: "Who? What? Me?! I did what!!?"
photo 2: "Bahahahahahahahahahaaaa!!"

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sunday, January 20, 2013

a beautiful winter's day...

no fun like snow fun!

“Kindness is like snow - it beautifies everything it covers”

no fun like snow fun! no fun like snow fun! no fun like snow fun! no fun like snow fun!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

mimicking her big sister...

Phebe regularly mimicks her big sister Lilah. Especially 'going to school'. She calls the baby carrier (she's wearing in this picture), her backpack!
And she regularly walks down the hallway, looking over her shoulder as she waves to us, shouting bye-bye with a big grin on her face!

I think I can safely say, the best part of her day is the moment I ask: Are you ready to go get Lilah from school?
She runs around like a crazy woman shouting, "Snowsuit-snowsuit-snowsuit, Lilah-Lilah-Lilah!"


She really does miss her sister - for that 2.5 hours - even though she naps during the most part of it.
This September her big sister will be starting Grade 1, and in school all day. Yikes!

Friday, January 11, 2013

her sweet little heart needs surgery

We've been together four months now. For real!

Four months of loving this little monkey has rewarded itself in ways that stagger me. She is such a sweet lovable girl. She is the first to come running to me and wrap her little arms around my legs for a hug. I doubt if there is a better feeling in the whole world, than that. And then there's the snuggling into my neck when I carry her up to the crib for her midday nap, along with the tiny little pursed lips, waiting for that kiss when I lay her in the crib... Of course, I always have to kiss Tigger first, but I'll take what I get!

She's a happy go lucky girl, she always has a bit of fun up her sleeve and she lives her happiness out loud. It's one of my absolute favourite things about her. She also has a mind of her own, selective hearing and can be all out stubborn - if she so pleases. But I wouldn't change a thing about her. Well, most days! Ha!

I absolutely love her in bunches.

Today we heard back from the head of Cardio, Dr Wong. Have I mentioned he is amazing? Honestly, he just has this way about him that calms me in the best ways possibe. Anyway, he called to tell me that the 6 Cardiologists in today's meeting, all agree that Phebe's heart has been under strain for long enough and they want to close the hole in the next 4-6 months.

I am so VERY thankful the Lord has given us time between bringing her home and before this surgery. Time to show Phebe she is loved, time for us to bond together, time for her to trust us, time for her to realize we are a family and none of us are going anywhere, time for her to understand us English speaking folks, time so she can communicate with us. Thank you Lord.

I know Phebe's strength, her happiness and her gregarious easy going personality is the perfect fit for a patient. And my sweet little sensitive Lilah will be on the sidelines doing all the worrying for her - Lilah sure fits the caring big sister role, perfectly!

Every now and then, reality hits, and my Mama emotions get the best of me. It's just the love I have for this child - I don't ever want her to hurt. But I am focusing on the positive - God gave her to us because, well, most of all, she's our daughter. And she and her Baba will be able to exchange heart surgery stories and compare their scars! Not to mention, we have the best healthcare possible, we have some of the best Cardiologists, we even live 5 minutes away from the Children's Hospital! And the best part, this surgery is going to give her the best quality of life.

God is so good.

my ♥

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

first appointment with the cardiologist

our heart girl!

Phebe had her first appointment with the Cardiologist at CHEO today. She had three tests - a chest x-ray, an ECG and an Echocardiogram.

The somewhat short version is that Phebe has a 5mm (medium sized) hole (vsd - ventricular septal defect) in the lower chamber between the left and right ventricle of her heart. Unfortunately, the blood escaping through this hole is causing her heart to be enlarged.

Right now, it is hard to gage these results, because we have no medical history or past tests to compare these results to. Was the heart originally larger and is it decreasing in size as she grows? Or is it the opposite, is her heart becoming more enlarged as she grows? Those are the questions right now. If we knew the answers, the course of action would be a lot more straight forward.

There is a test they could do, an MRI of the heart, to figure out the amount of blood escaping through the hole, however, that would mean our little girly would have to go under a general anesthetic... and the Dr said, even though this would help him figure out what was going on, there is a high possibility that (after that test) she will need the open heart surgery anyway. So he is hesitant to know if this is the best option. He doesn't want to have to put her through any more extra procedures, especially ones that involve a general anesthetic. And especially since, as of right now, the open heart surgery is a high possibility.

Anyway, all that said, he feels Phebe's case is a little tricky and has decided to take her file and present it at a board meeting on Friday. This meeting includes 5 other cardiologists and 2 cardio surgeons. He wants input from other cardiologists in order to make the right decision. I am thankful that he is a smart man and wants the best for our girl, enough to get other educated opinions before making a decision. And I know that God is in control and Phebe is in the best hands and care possible.

For a 2 year old with a vsd, Phebe is growing very well. She is in the 75th percentile for height, she went from the 5th percentile to the 25th percentile for weight, in just 7 weeks! However, unfortunately with her sickness over the holidays she lost a fair amount of that weight gain. But the good news is, she can put on weight and it's only because of her two years spent in the orphanage that she was 'under target' for weight. The other good news is that she has no outward effects of this vsd at all, no blueness, no loss of breath, etc. and for that we are very thankful. However, there are issues that will transpire if her heart continues to enlarge - these issues would manifest themselves more when she becomes a young adult.

The Dr also mentioned that having the surgery at an early age would be better - she wouldn't remember much, recovery and healing would be easier and her scar would disappear before she becomes a self-conscious teen! Not that I can ever imagine Phebe being self-conscious, she has such a beautiful happy easygoing spirit. At the end of the day, we want Phebe to have the fullest life possible and if that means having surgery, well we are at peace knowing we will have done everything to give her that.

Anyway, that's as much as we know right now. Dr Wong will be calling us on Friday to let us know what conclusion he and the board members have come to and we will move forward from there.

our heart girl! our heart girl! our heart girl! our heart girl!

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

beautiful new aprons

Last week, my girls received the most beautiful aprons in the mail from a dear kind friend.

In fact, I've never even met this friend in person, however she's been a real inspiration to me. She is a marvellous photographer and just last summer I took part in one of her online photography classes. Her blog is The Long Road to China - be sure to check it out, her photography inspires me, all.the.time. This girl, Lisa, is a cancer survivor, mother to three, full-time employee, talented photographer, owner of 2 Hip Chicks store (where these aprons came from!) ...well, I think you get the gist! She's amazing! But, on top of all that, she also devotes a lot of her time and talents to raising money for the little orphans left behind in China.

Lisa has a heart of gold, doing all that she does and also for sending my girls these gorgeous aprons. Thank you so much, sweet friend.

beautiful aprons (from Lisa) beautiful aprons (from Lisa) beautiful aprons (from Lisa) beautiful aprons (from Lisa)

Monday, January 7, 2013


Mooney's Bay toboggan hill

We went to Mooney's Bay toboggan hill on Saturday.

Actually, during the Christmas holidays, when Phebe wasn't feeling the best, Baba took Lilah to this hill for some fun! And since the temperature on Saturday was only in the low minus, as opposed to the high minus... we decided we'd all go and have a little fun!

Lilah: Was in toboggan heaven and couldn't wait to go up and down that hill as much as she possibly could.
Phebe: Repeated the word "COLD!" the whole time we were there. Although she definitely had a good time. Sometimes she just likes stating the obvious!

Mooney's Bay toboggan hill Mooney's Bay toboggan hill Mooney's Bay toboggan hill Mooney's Bay toboggan hill Mooney's Bay toboggan hill Mooney's Bay toboggan hill

Saturday, January 5, 2013

two little monkeys jumping on the bed!

2 little monkeys jumping on the bed!

My sister & two nieces (who live in Australia) sent my girls two gorgeous pairs of pink UGGs and two very pretty dresses this past week. It was love at first sight for my two girls! Lilah, not normally the dress lover, was all over this gorgeous tutu dress, maybe because her favourite colours, orange and blue, were in it! She put it on right away and told me she wanted to wear it all again the following day.

And that's exactly what they both did, the next morning they donned their dresses again and since it was Friday, which is my wash-the-bed-sheets day, which is also the girls jump-on-the-beds day! Well, you can guess what happened from there...

They bring so much joy to each other, and to our home. I am such a blessed and thankful Mama.

2 little monkeys jumping on the bed! 2 little monkeys jumping on the bed! 2 little monkeys jumping on the bed! 2 little monkeys jumping on the bed! 2 little monkeys jumping on the bed! 2 little monkeys jumping on the bed!

Friday, January 4, 2013

her sweet tooth!

"Pease Mom?"

Why yes. I absolutely do have a REALLY hard time saying "no" to that sweet little begging face every time she walks over to me with the box of Quality Street!! Which she tends to do MANY times a day. She'll walk over and just look at me with THOSE eyes and a questioning "Mama?"

When I say "yes", why that smile is as beautiful as it gets! It'll be almost worth feeling like the guiltiest Mom alive when she attends her first dental appointment!

Yikes! Save me please!

PS - Our house is not cold, in fact the temperature sits at 22°C all day. However, the girls are constantly role playing in their hats and scarves... maybe it's a subliminal message to me, that they want to be outside! The past few days have been REALLY cold here in the capital, at around -24°C. Brrr!