Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve celebrations

A quiet evening home after hectic holidays!

A new tradition...In keeping with Anna's heritage, we each received one gift today...They actually exchange gifts on New Year's eve in Kaz and Russia.

A lovely supper

Sven's true colors.. a roar when Sweden won Canada....hmmm....

Anna opening her gift

Russian building blocs!

As if we didn't have enough snow... Yannik can now make his own! Science at its best.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our little rascals... being rascals!

Who are you calling subborn? I just do what he does!!!

Ah....but we can't keep it up... we are too silly to be stubborn ;0)

Ah... and we love each other too much!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Quiet boxing day....

New toys to play with... Papa and Maman relaxing, awaiting the 20-30 cm of snow that is expcted to fall within the new day.... Yannik can't wait to try out his new snowboard.. and Sven, of course, his new Gnome hat. Think that Maman and Anna will happily stay indoor and play with her new dolls! Merry Christmas everyone...enjoy your time with family!!!

Bon anniversaire petite Belle

We took time to celebrate our first anniversary as a family. We sang Bonne Fete and presented Annabelle with a little present. A year ago...seems so far away now... Our driver's car had broken down.. we had walked to court on a rather cold Christmas morning... nervous and excited at the same time....and had returned exhausted to see our new daughter a few hours later. We've had some challenging times during the last week....perhaps it made me realized how much indeed we cherish our little Belle...Happy first anniversary little one....we love you with all our hearts!

Christmas morning

Chaotic but fun...Annabelle timidly opened her first gift. It took a few before she got into the fun ;0) I believe that Yannik showed her the way. Every gift was much appreciated!

The parents had been on Santa's nice list as well!
My special Babushka pendant from Annabelle and Yannik... I will cherish it!

We know how much Sven appreciate a good "mug" of tea... and anything Scandanavian! Cheers honey!

Christmas Eve pictures - Our first real Christmas together!

They are so sweet heart melts!

All giddy with anticipation...

Last year, Annabelle spent Christmas holidays at the orphanage...This year, we hope that we created new special memories.... of family! Annabelle did amazingly well... better than her parents ;0) She was a model child during a wonderful Christmas service and was just amazed at all the new sights.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Team Canada's new recruit

We know too well the HUGE rivalry in hockey between the Russians and Canadians....and can't help but smile that we've managed to recruit this promising recruit to the Canadian side.. Go Annabelle go!!!!

In other hockey news, Mr. Yannik Oborn scored 9 goals this morning!!! He's glowing! Yannik and good friend Samuel are encouraging Annabelle along! Samuel has even taught his young protege the art of provoking the opposing team... Little Anna is now proudly telling him: " Ah...come on"!!! ;0)))

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My new Petro hat!!!!

Thank you ma tante Yael for my new hat from Petro, via Paris....I love it and will cherish it! My mom assures me that Kaz has the prettiest hats in the world ;0)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The trick is to find a Santa that speaks your language!

Common sense...provide me a Santa that I can talk to and I will glady sit on his lap ;0) (This one spoke French). Still the same request: zhu zhu pet! She says it with such conviction... I am sure that Santa can make that happen.

(For clarification... see the one in the picture - it's Yannik's. Bet you that Yannik can't wait for Santa to provide Annabelle with her very own as well!!!)

PJ party!

Is it just me... or are these two looking more like each other with each passing day!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday Baking!

The tiny chefs at work! What fun... squishing dough... and counting marshmellows... Hmmm... better double check that count.. seems to be that there are a few that ended up in their bellies instead of the plate ;0) to be outdone ;0) Who knew that making truffles was such a dirty job (but hmmm.. yummy too)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Progress report... and the power of love!

We just had our assessment with the Children's Rehabilitation Team and Annabelle passed with flying colors!! We were being overcautious and had requested an assessment to make sure that she was on track and to basically throw away that old medical report. We are delighted to report that Annabelle is exactly where she should be for her age.. no delays (not a big surprise.. she's been amazing us from the start) and is even advanced for her age. She is now even catching up on the infamous growth chart...went from -3% to 25%....a big deal for such a tiny little person!

Isn't love just amazing! Give a child love, attention, support and they will just amaze you. The Baby House in Petro was inspiring in so many ways, but like its director, Dr. Rhimma, explained to us.."They do their best... but it's not like being loved by your family". In the last few weeks, Sven and I have been reminiscing quite a bit about our trip and looking at the photographs and videos of Anna and are amazed at the changes. Annabelle is just so eager to learn. It's heartwarming to see her clapping her hands with excitement every time she pronounces a new word in French. I have also concluded that French may be a difficult language to learn...I think that Sven would agree ;0)) I have to give kuddos to my dear husband here... He undertook to speak only French to both kids (no easy task) and has amazed me by sticking it out. Annabelle's language abilities are in a way a testament to his hard work as well. Bravo Papa!!

Our only complaint... she's lost the "Da!" that Sven and I so loved to hear. It's now been replaced with "oui, oui".

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

She admires... from afar!

Annabelle was so excited to see Pere Noel that she ran right up to him and began saying Poupee and Zhu zhu pet. I thought wow.... not scared of him at all... let's get a picture taken... Well... it's one thing to happily recite the most wanted toys on your wish list.. it's another to actually want to stay on his lap. Sven and I ended up having to be both in the picture and she never once cracked a smile....That's ok Annabelle... I think that Santa has fond memories of your visit in any event!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Isn't there a story about a special snowman made of the first snow of the season?...Hmmm... perhaps we'll keep an eye on this rather nice fellow! Here is Yannik and friend Kate's creation....made of the first snow!

Anna attends her first Santa Clause Parade

What a magical experience for Anna... and with huge snowflakes was perfect! She waved at all the floats as they went by and immediately recognized the big red fellow. In short, a beautiful evening.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The First Time Ever We Saw Your Face

Petite Belle,
One year ago today, Papa, Maman and Yannik anxiously waited in a small office at the Baby House, holding our breathes until the nurse brought you in... the most beautiful little girl we had ever seen, sweet, delicate and shy. I had been so nervous until I looked up and met those gorgeous blue eyes of yours and my heart melted. It's a moment that we will never forget. I remember the first time I saw your Papa's smiling face, the first time Yannik opened his eyes... and the first time you looked up at me. The most cherished moments are the simplest ones. In lots of ways, it still feels like yesterday... yet a whole year as just flown by. You remain a pretty in pink little girl, just like the first time we saw you... but we like to think that there is now a sparkle in your eyes.

It's the first important anniversary to mark... with another one at Christmas. We've had so many unforgettable firsts this year little one, but the most cherished one remains... the first time ever we saw your face!

We love you Annabelle,
Papa, Maman et Yannik

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Annabelle's first "school" picture

Only age two... but here is her first "school" picture, which was taken at daycare.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Anna's reaction when seeying Santa in the parade...on TV!

Toronto's Annual Santa Clause Parade was quite a hit.. Squeels of delight, clapping and dancing....boy... I can't wait to see her reaction when he passes right in front of our door!!! The New Maryland firemen host a charity drive with a small Santa parade that goes in every neighbourhood. Two years ago, Santa was so delighted with Yannik's reaction that he jumped off his float and came to our front door to say hello. It's so funny to see Annabelle react this way to Santa Clause... but I really do think that the orphanage made Christmas extra special for the children... Sadly, I wonder if this was one of Anna's only really special time and that is why she reacts so strongly to him. You can bet that we will make this Christmas special...but not because of Santa... new memories of family to enjoy!!!

How quickly a year "flies" by...

Remember this? A year ago today, we were leaving for Petro, nervous and excited... and just hoping for the best the second time around. I just looked at the old posts and had tears in my eyes, knowing how far we have come. For me, it also meant overcoming alot of fears....the most important one being a fear of flying!!! Having to make that journey to Kaz not once but twice had confirmed in my heart how much I was looking forward to embracing another little one in our family. Today, no flights planned...just attending Yannik's hockey practice, the FOUR of us!!! Taking pleasure in the little things.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Taking photographs of a 2 year old can be challenging!

The first snowfall had us in cheerful mood... so we began decorating the house and the kids looked so sweet that I thought it would be nice to have a photo session.... Well....Annabelle is being less cooperative than she used to be... and this was the result: One rather cute picture of both kids... but our def. favorite: tong out... telling us what she thinks of being photographed ;0)) We were laughing so hard. She is rather quite pleased with her picture! We went through a rascal phase with Yannik....looks like we are entering it with Anna!

First snowfall of the season....

The first snow of the season can put anyone in a great mood...Too bad the joy and wonder doesn't last till March ;0)