Yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, but it also marked one year of being home with Zoe. I was looking back at the pictures recently, and I can’t believe how bald she was! I also can’t believe what a little guy Noah was. Were we nuts? What made us think we could handle a 3-month old and a 13-month old? How the hell did we manage the 27 hours of travel home with the two of them and come out of it sane (relatively speaking)?
I won’t lie: the first few months were HARD. I won’t say that things are easy now, but they are definitely easier now that Zoe can feed herself, they can both communicate more, and they can play together. Here are my cuties playing together on the mall playground a few days ago (it’s impossible to get them to look at the camera and smile at the same time):
Although the 17th is the day we arrived in the U.S., we celebrated “Family Day” on March 1st, the day of Zoe’s G&R (Giving and Receiving Ceremony in Vietnam). This year on Family Day, we went to eat at Viet Bistro with Christian’s parents and my step-dad (my mom was out of town). Tom wasn’t sure about eating Vietnamese food, but I think he did OK. I totally conned him into going. I just asked if wanted to go to “dinner” and didn’t let him know where we were going until he agreed. Viet Bistro is right next to Outback Steakhouse, so we told him that if he was still hungry he could just grab some “Curbside Takeaway” as he left. I didn’t see him head that direction, but it’s possible he did it in stealth mode so that he wouldn’t hurt our feelings.
While we were in Vietnam, we got the kids gifts that we could give them each year on Family Day until they are about 18. We also got them gifts for major events (an engraved business card holder for a first job, blue silk handkerchiefs for their “something blue” when they get married, etc.). This year we gave them some board books that are in English and Vietnamese and some “kissing pigs” (Noah and Zoe were both born in the Year of the Dog, but we were in Vietnam in the Year of the Pig). When you pull the pigs apart they are connected by a string, and they come back together to “kiss.”
One of the dogs (Toby, my furry son, I don’t have forensic evidence or anything, but let’s just say I don’t think you would pass a lie detector test) decided he liked the kissing pigs too. One of the dogs (Toby) chewed the little ears and tails off a set of the pigs. I’m guessing the same dog (Toby) is the culprit who has discovered an affinity for sippy cups (I didn’t understand why we were running so low on sippy cups until Christian started finding them in our flower beds). Anyway, I was p*ssed about the chewed up set of pigs, but I was REALLY p*ssed about it when I discovered the other set was missing completely. I mean, come on! It was our VERY FIRST Family Day gift from Vietnam! I didn’t think we would have it forever or anything, but I also didn’t think it would become a chew toy within 24 hours! Luckily, I spotted it in our back yard a few days later. It was a little weather-worn, but at least the ears and tails are still intact.