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Thursday, February 24, 2011


Can you guess what Mama and Mary are excited about?
Pig tails - FINALLY!

Yes, I know they are small...
(and look like antennae, according to Daddy)

 But she is so excited to have me do her hair like her Jie Jie Sylvie. Actually, I think she is just excited that I take as long of time to do her hair now as I do on Sylvie's. She is still very focused on everything being "equal".

After putting in the elastics, she asks to look in the mirror, 
fingers her ponies, and says "Pretty". I agree!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Playing together...

Sometimes I just need to stop and take a moment to realize just how awesome both of my girls are. Having two 2 year olds can at times be pretty overwhelming, but also so rewarding. They are now able to play nicely with each other and can usually do so for 30 minute periods with only minor referring required.
This morning they pulled out dumped all the mega blocks over the floor and started building. I think it is interesting the novelty some of our old toys have for Sylvie now. She had no interest in playing with the mega blocks before (or the wooden stacking blocks either), but now that Mary likes then - watch out, Sylvie's in there like a dirty shirt!

It's still pretty cold outside (mostly due to the wind), but no fun sitting in the house all day long. So we bundle up and take little walks around the neighborhood. Sylvie insists on holding Mary's hand when we are out walking, and is trying to teach Mary to call out "Car Coming". She is also showing her Mei Mei where all the friendly neighborhood cats and dogs are to pet.
We have to keep reminding Sylvie that Mary can't do everything she can, like running for example. Mary is getting close to being able to run and jump up and down on two feet, but it can't come fast enough for her Jie Jie.

As you can see in the pictures Mary is back to her normal activities, but sleep is still an issue we are working on. She is still wakening several times a night crying, as well as during nap time. While she is easily consoled and lulled back into sleep, it is very exhausting for her and us parents. Poor Mary has circles under her eyes some days from the lack of consistent deep sleep. 

We saw the plastic surgeon again on Tuesday, and he said everything is healing nicely and to come back and see him again in two weeks. Mary can use her cleft bottle again, she can eat anything she would like (not just soft foods), and we can start brushing her teeth - yey! They are having us use steri strips to help pull Mary's lip together, and it also provides some protection against bumping and brushing against her lip. The surgeon still thought it would be another month or two before they will reattempt to repair Mary's cleft lip. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Our first princess...

Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE Sylvie. My first baby will soon be turning (GASP) three years old. She is definitely a little girl now, and is talking up a storm.
Some of the cute things she says lately...
  • "Mama/Daddy look at my eyes". 
This is Sylvie's most common phrase and she says this to us when we are not paying complete attention to her when she is talking. I wonder where she might have picked this up from? The best example of this was yesterday when I was cleaning up some kitty vomit in the bathroom, and Sylvie found some more in the kitchen. She walks over to our cat Georgie and says "Georgie...look at my eyes - no more getting sick on the floor". Somehow I don't think Georgie is going to listen to her...sigh. 

  • "Ma-mia"
Sylvie often calls me Mama and Ma-Mia. But lately, she has started to begin to say Mom and Mommy while slyly looking at my reaction as she does so. I knew this would happen eventually, especially since the children she goes to daycare with say "Mommy"...but I really will miss being Ma-mia.

  • "Mary, go...(open the door/get out of bed/bring me a toy)"
Maybe it is a little unfair, but I love listening and watching the girls on the video baby monitor while they are 'supposed' to be sleeping in their room. Sylvie is a really good listener and follows the expectations at bedtime/nap time. Two of the expectations are to stay in your bed, and no playing with toys in the bed. So our little rule abider follows the rules to a tee, she doesn't get out of the bed and she doesn't bring toys to the bed (we're not really that mean, she does have a large assortment of stuffy friends to hug and cuddle on her bed). However, she realized pretty quick the benefits of having a little sister and will call out to Mary to go and bring her a toy, or go open the bedroom door. Diabolical she is!   

  • Mama...are these Daddy's panties? 
We were all folding and putting away laundry one afternoon and as I was folding each article of clothing, Sylvie would tell me whose it was and what it was. So she is telling me Sylvie's shirt...Mary's pants....Mama's socks ect. Then as I am folding Cory's ahem... undergarments, Sylvie looks at me and says Daddy's panties? I pause, consider, look evilly at at Cory and answer "Yes sweetie, those are Daddy's panties".   

  • "I smell good"
Sylvie loves to watch Mama and Daddy get ready in the morning. If we are brushing our hair, she needs the obligatory touch up on her hair too, if I am putting on my make up she needs a little blusher too. So when she sees us putting on deodorant or cologne she of course wants to try. All through the day she will hold up her arm, take a sniff and proclaim loudly "I smell good". Only slightly embarrassing when we are grocery shopping.   

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Update on Mary...

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to give an update on our Mary's lip surgery failure.

Mary's lip is now split completely open, the most painful part for her was the bottom of the lip actually separating. The past three nights have made it difficult for her to sleep due to the pain - she had her first night of semi decent sleep last night, thank goodness (that meant Mama and Daddy did too). 

At this point her premaxilla (the part of her lip/teeth that was protruding) is still holding, and we think it will continue to remain in place - however, only time will tell. Her cleft was a complete cleft and did go all the way into her nasal cavity. At this point it looks like her it is still slowly opening back up into her nostrils, especially on her left side (where it was the widest). We are not sure if it will open back up into her nasal cavity, as the doctors said it will all just depend, it may hold, it may not.

It is kinda hard to wait and watch, because I really just wanted some level of success from this surgery, and if it holds, she would not need to have this part corrected in the next surgery (in my mind making the next surgery a little easier on her). Plus, I know it sounds silly, but she looks so cute with nostrils (not that she wasn't gorgeous before, but you know what I mean). 

We met with our plastic surgeons again yesterday afternoon. The plan now is to wait for the edges of her lip to heal and new skin to grow there. If they were to do the surgery before this happened, they explained it would be like trying to stitch together "crab meat" and the stitches would not hold. We will be going back to the plastic surgeons each week for them to continue to assess and monitor her healing. When I asked what their time line was (understanding that it is all specific to how fast the healing goes) we were told to expect it to take about 3 months before the skin heals enough for another surgery. This was a little disappointing for me, as in my mind I thought we would have to wait a few weeks, but I understand this is what is best for Mary. 

I just wanted to thank everyone again for their support and messages to this post. I was so upset and disappointed last week, but have been trying to put everything into a better perspective now. We are thankful that there is no permanent damage, and that another surgery will be possible in the next few months. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Home for now....but Second Lip Surgery Failure.

I wanted to start this post by thanking all the people who have helped out over the past few days. We received so many encouraging phone calls, emails, text messages which really helped during those stressful moments. We are also really grateful to our family who helped take care of Sylvie: Uncle Aaron, Aunty Lesly, Cousin Jacob, Grandma Marjorie & Grandpa Roy - you all went above and beyond, we are very lucky to have you all in our family.

Cory and Mary will released from our local hospital this morning. They packed up and drove over to grandpa Roy and grandma Marjorie's to pick up me and Sylvie. I'm sure the grandparents were a little sad to see our Silva-roo go, they really enjoyed the last three days together. Last night (Monday) when I got to the grandparent's house, Sylvie was about to have her nightly bowl of ice cream. After she finished slurping up every last drop, I asked her "What do you say to Grandma and Grandpa?" in an effort to prompt her to politely say thank you. Instead our little princess looked up and seriously replied "More ice cream please". Gotta love that kid!

During the morning however, I noticed that Mary's left lip/nostril looked like it was opening back up again. We called the plastic surgeon and were able to get in to see him and his partner surgeon this afternoon. Our worst fears were confirmed, Mary's second surgery has failed as well. At this point they are baffled why this has occurred. They took extra steps the second time to ensure the stitches would hold. It appears at this time the muscle is still stiched together, but the top layer of her lip is coming apart and open.  Apparently the lip may come apart completely over the next few days/weeks.

The plan now is to wait a couple of weeks and reattempt the lip surgery again. The surgeons want to wait for the swelling to go down and see how Mary's lip looks (as well she has already been under anesthetic twice this week, so they want her to have a bit of a break from this as well). Mary is on antibiotics to prevent infection and we are washing the wound with hydrogen peroxide every day. They tell us there are no exposed nerves and that Mary is in no pain from this - which was one of my greatest fears. They also reassured us that Cory and I did not make any mistakes in after surgery care, but that unfortunately this just happened. Our one surgeon who has repaired clefts for 20 years (and goes overseas every year to help repair clefts in other countries) said he has never had a wound dehiss (not sure proper spelling), let alone twice.

So we are disappointed and sad, we feel so bad for Mary. We will see the surgeon again next week, and are encouraged to come in earlier if we feel the need. Cory did mention tonight that he could see a "positive" in all this, he told me that he was "glad this happened to us". What he meant was that *if* Mary's surgery had been preformed in China, who would have been there to take care of her when it failed? Would they even try to continue to repair it? So tonight that is what I am going to hold on to... We are here to help Mary through this and will be the best advocates for her medical care.