9 months!

This is the first celebration of Zoe's birth that she's been home for.

We didn't even know she existed until after her first, second, and third month birthdays had passed.

We hoped we'd have her home before her seventh or eighth month birthdays happened, but that didn't work out.

So today, her nine month birthday, is special to me. It's the first celebration of her birth in which we've all been together.

She has decided she loves her minky, just like big sister. (And, no, that's not big sister's minky, but our friend Heather used the same fabric... after Jocelyn saw it in a fabric bin while she was staying with Aunt Heather and Uncle Neal while we were in Taiwan. As soon as big sis saw it, Heather wasn't given a choice about Zoe's silky side.)

You would have to know where her IV had been in her feet to find the faint scars now. She was in and out of the hospital lots - including one long stay in June and another in July - and needed more than one IV each time because the first one came out, so she also has some faint IV scars on her hands.

She only has one mongolian spot. What's that, you say? Well, see that spot that looks like a faint bruise in the top right corner of the picture above? It's a kind of birthmark that a lot of Asian babies have. They often occur on babies' bottoms, so parents of children with big or otherwise obvious spots have to have them documented by a pediatrician to avoid allegations of abuse by childcare workers who (rightfully) question what looks like widespread bruising.

She's teething. Hardcore. I can feel several bumps in there during the frequent moments when she uses my fingers as teething toys. (Teething toys, though? Not interested.)

She will, however, chew on her paci and even turn it sideways, as in the picture above, to do so more aggressively.

She is a super sleeper, going for 10-12 hour stretches at night (with an occasional whimper for us to put her pacifier back in, but she sleeps through that) and then napping a couple times a day for 1-2 hours each. Except for today, when the teething pain made it two catnaps in the morning and one (hopefully long) nap in the afternoon, which just began twenty minutes ago.

She likes the crib just fine, but otherwise she does not think she should ever be put down. She'll accept it - though not happily - if she can see people nearby, but we're doing well if we can get to stay content for 15 minutes in a swing, bouncy seat, or Bumbo before she is done. All this holding has helped her bond to us quickly, though, so it's a blessing! (Plus she is decidedly pro-carrier - namely our Peanut Shell pouch sling or our Ergo - which helps.)

She loves her siblings, tolerates the dog, is intrigued by the cat, and has settled into the household quite well.

Oh, and oddly enough our sweet girl from a warm climate hates heat. We'll see come winter how she feels about cold.

Happy nine months, sweet Zoe Amanda!