New Sisters
New Sisters
 
01 NOV 13 - 08 MAR 14
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

The last 4 months for the girls in Cambodia before hitting the road...

 
 
Some strange sister ritual
 
Sweetest baby Arwen
 
 
 
Aya's big smile
 
Arwen's big grin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
01 AUG 13 - 31 OCT 13
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

Surviving parenthood involves innovative household activities and lots of hours logged at the pool/beach.

 
 
Cool dudes
 
Aya starring Arwen
 
 
 
Arwen + dad on the beach
 
With mom on the beach
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
01 AUG 13 - 15 SEP 13
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

They say that the second kid doesn't get much attention (and a lot less photos). It doesn't help when the second is a quiet angel. Nevertheless, we love our Arwen!

 
 
This kid is smiling a lot now
 
Super happy about Sophie
 
 
 
Pretty much sums up the relationship
 
Exploring life above the floor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
01 JUN 13 - 30 JUL 13
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

It’s been a summer so saturated with beautiful moments, I almost want to pinch myself.

Like Arwen’s first trip outside of Phnom Penh to Kep and Kampot, our favourite Cambodian haunts. Chilled by the rain, surrounded by mangroves, and entertained by Aya’s shenanigans (like peeing off the boat), we won't forget that boat ride anytime soon. Watching the storms roll in while sipping cocktails at the sailing club in Kep.

There was beach, ocean spray, and sea food to the heart’s content at the Independence Hotel in Sihanoukville. And that visit to Chez Claude where we were awfully grateful to be alive after the SKETCHY “cable car” ride to the top of the hill. And so glad we stuck it out and ate there because the food was so good!

And of course there was the turtle that Aya saw on the sand that we are still hearing about 3 weeks later.

There was plenty of cinnamon bun and play dough making, sleepovers with "Ta and Yey" and unforgettable happy hours with friends and family. With Mom and Dad, Chantelle, and Rob and Jen in Cambodia over the summer, we were graced with happy baby cuddlers and toddler huggers, who made ultimate Frisbee and date nights possible.

As summer and maternity leave draw to a close, we carry a multitude of moments along with us.

-amie

 
 
Kids on a starry night
 
Dad and Aya boating in Kampot
 
 
 
Aya on the beach (Sihanoukville)
 
Arwen + Aya in their matchy dresses
 
 
 
Arwen typical look
 
Mommy + Aya (Aya's smile)
 
 
 
Aya finds something interesting on the beach
 
Dark angel Cedar protects the girls
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
23 MAY 13
PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

We walked into the midwife's office like any other normal checkup. Six hours later, Arwen Selah came into the world by c-section. Her acrobatic moves in utero over the past month had curled the umbilical cord around her neck twice making it too risky for a safe and healthy natural delivery.

That's how we were thrown into the Cambodian medical system - a system we've heard far too many horror stories about and were happy to avoid. Thankfully, our experience was far from horrible. Quirky, yes. Funny at times, indeed. But ultimately, we received good care, and at the end of it all, we have a happy and healthy baby, and I'm recovering as I should.

Highlights from our Cambodian Maternity Clinic experience:

-all medical staff, including the obstetrician, padding around barefoot doing their rounds

-The doctor communicating in three languages with me - a constant mix of English, French and Khmer (yes it spun my mind for a loop)

-rice three times a day, everyday, for five days straight. It always came with side dishes of course and most were quite good. But my two personal favourites were:

1. whole mini blackened chicken soup day (visualize baby chicken head, baby chicken feet, baby chicken beak - and no I did not eat it!).

2. Fabulous Kampot pepper pork - with hair still on it day.

First meal out of the hospital was pizza, and I am still indebted to all of our friends who supplemented our meals with coffees, pastries and chocolate.

-Amie

It was hard not to compare our experience with birthing in Cambodia to that of exactly two years ago in Bangkok. It was a little more expensive in Bangkok but for that little more came a whole lot of pampering. We showed up to the hospital with nothing and had all our needs taken care of.

In Phnom Penh, most of the little details were overlooked. None of these things were critical - just annoying. First it was the lights. There were two options - spotlight and pitch black. Luckily some friends brought us a desk lamp. After Arwen's first diaper accident I asked for some new diapers. They told me to try Lucky Supermarket. And on and on like this. Essentially we just had to bring everything we needed.

Overall, the important parts went well and we're just glad that nothing serious went wrong. If there is a good chance for c-section, we'd probably recommend Bangkok or Singapore if you can uproot for 6 weeks but I think we'd still recommend Phnom Penh if there is a good chance for a natural birth. We sure enjoyed being surrounded by friends and neighbors and the opportunity to return home quickly.

-steve

 
 
Tummy time
 
Arwen's Birth day
 
 
 
New Family of Four
 
Aya's first peek at the new baby