Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Zach and the animals

Zach loves animals.  I'm not exactly sure where he gets this love from.  We don't have any pets at home and he only sees other people's pets occasionally.  Here is one theory though. . .

Zach's Papa, my dad, gave him this Dr. Seuss doggie when he was born.  This stuffed dog is his most prized possession. He loves his doggie, so it would make sense that he would love real doggies as well, right?

When our family was visiting Grandpa and Grandma Snyder in Georgia, one of the activites we made a point to do was to take Zach to the zoo in Atlanta.  He really liked it but was frustrated by the fact that he could not hold any of the animals like he wanted to.  He did finally get to pet a goat.  I was never too far away with the hand sanitizer.

  There was a family of bronze gorilla statues.  Zach immediately went up to the Daddy Gorilla and kissed him. . . on the heinie.

                                                                 Our little lion cub.

Today I took Zach to Parlee Farms in Tyngsboro, Mass.  It's a great place to pick your own whatever fruit is in season (today it was blueberries).  The farm also has lots of animals to pet and feed.  Zach looks like he is upset but he is really laughing.

After trying to eat the food pellets himself, Zach finally gets the hang of feeding the goat.

 This is the only picture I got of Zach and a chicken.  All other photo attempts were thwarted when Zach tried to stick his fingers in the fence to "hold" the chicken.


 The sheep weren't nearly as interesting as the goats, apparently.

 Zach wasn't tall enough to actually drive the tractors, but he got to pretend.
 After all that hard work of feeding the animals, Zach gets a much deserved break and a yummy blueberry doughnut.

 It's the end of a busy morning and now it's nap time for Zach.  With Doggie of course.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The question people always ask

     Now that Zach is over a year old, I often get some variation of the question, "So, are you going to have another?".  I think they really want to know WHEN I'm going to have another.  My answer is always the same.  "Yes, eventually we will have another baby.  Not right now, but at some point."  Every time people ask though, it reminds me of my pregnancy with Zach.  I remember lots of details that make me excited/anxious about repeating the process at some point in the future.

     Mark was away on a work trip when I began to suspect something was up.  I waited until he got back home and shared with him what I thought was going on.  We waited several more days to actually take a pregnancy test to confirm what I already knew in my heart.  The evening before we were to fly to Colorado to spend a week with Mark's family for vacation, I took the test.  The result came up immediately. We were going to have a baby!

     We decided right away to keep the news of our expanding family to ourselves for the time being.  We both needed time to process the huge change that was to come.  We flew out to Colorado and had a wonderful vacation with this secret between just the two of us.  Changes to my body happened right away.  At first I attributed how I was feeling to the climate change of Colorado.  But now looking back I can see that little Zach was making his presence felt even though he was only the size of a poppy seed at that point.  I was so hungry and already getting up in the night to go to the bathroom.  These conditions would remain with me for the duration of my pregnancy.

     A few more weeks went by and I began to feel sick.  Certain foods and drinks started tasting weird.  Some smells really bothered me.  I did not have morning sickness.  I had all day sickness.  Different remedies offered little or no relief.  Eating some crackers before getting out of bed, sea sickness wristbands, and drinking tea, did not really do much to make me feel better.  Popsicles were the only thing that seemed to work and I craved them all the time.  Finally, after about 4 months, the sick feeling abated and I felt almost normal.

     At 10 weeks Mark and I told our families that our family would grow by one.  On my side of the family, Zach is grandchild number 11 and on Mark's side, he is the #1 grandkid.  They were of course thrilled and very happy for us.  At about 12 weeks it became "Facebook official" that we were going to have a baby and our secret was totally out.  Which was good because I wasn't fitting into my pants anymore so I was glad to have a good explanation.

     Even before I got pregnant with Zach, I knew that I did not want to find out the gender of the baby until the actual birth day.  After waiting so long to have a child, I wanted the whole experience.  I wanted that moment of declaration after months of anticipation and excitement and hard work.  At 20 weeks I had my ultrasound and was still firm in this decision.  Mark was very supportive and like myself, was thoroughly amazed at the pictures produced by the ultrasound machine.

     By the third trimester, if there was a medical reason for another ultrasound, I would have totally changed my mind on the whole "not finding out the gender thing".  I couldn't wait to find out if the baby I was preparing a gender neutral nursery for was a boy or a girl.  Time was slowing down and speeding up at the same time.  I was getting big.  Like, really big.  My doctor was all "You might want to cut down on the desserts."  And I was all, "Lay off me! I'm starving!"  Doctors appointments were becoming more frequent and even though at this point I had heard the baby's heartbeat several times, it was still amazing and easily my favorite part of the pregnancy.  Well, that, and no headaches.  That was pretty awesome, too.

     My due date of February 28th came and went.  I hadn't felt any contractions, not even Braxton Hicks ones.  It was now the beginning of March and there was still snow on the ground so I started walking the stairs to try to get my little bundle of joy moving in the right direction.  I went to yet another doctor's appointment on March 2nd.  While I was there my water broke.  I was able to drive myself back home, call Mark at work so he could drive me back to the hospital, and gather all my stuff for my hospital stay.  We got all checked in and settled into our room.  And then we waited and waited and waited some more.  My water had broken but I wasn't actually in labor.  Pitocin was started but that didn't do much the first day.  The second day my contractions really started to hurt but I still wasn't progressing.  In my birth plan I had said I wanted to try and have a natural birth, as in no painkillers.  After being on pitocin for two days and only dialating 1.5 centimeters I wanted the drugs.  I got a morphine shot that made me super loopy.  Finally after three days, the doctor came in and said the baby is not coming down straight, you are not dialating and your water broke a long time ago. We need to do a c-section.  I was disappointed.  I didn't know why my body wasn't doing what it was supposed to do. But at the same time, I was relieved that my baby would be born soon.

    I was prepped for surgery and wheeled into the o.r.  It didn't take long for the doctor to declare, "It's a boy!"  Zachary Quentin Snyder was a perfect 7 pounds, 12 ounces and 20 inches long.  Just like that, I wasn't pregant anymore.  I was a mother.  And that's the memory that makes all the other pregnancy memories fade into the background.  And that is why when people ask are you going to have another, I always say "Definitely.  Maybe not right now, but soon : ).

By God's Grace,

Monday, April 23, 2012

Finally. It only took 14 months or so.

     First of all, let me say that this blog is long overdue.  I have had my reasons/excuses for putting this off. "I don't have enough time" or "I'm not what you would call "computer savvy"( I've already tried to customize my blog page and was told the picture file was too big and of course I don't know how to make it smaller. So instead of a cute picture of newborn Zach, you'll see a stupid road).
     Today it's raining, I'm caught up on the laundry, I went grocery shopping yesterday and Zach is (hopefully) in the midst of a long nap.  It was the perfect storm. The stars aligned, and here it is, fourteen months after Zach was born, a blog to record my Adventures In Motherhood.

     The name for this blog was inspired by the 1987 movie "Adventures in Babysitting", starring Elizabeth Shue. Before I got married at age 35 and became a mother at 37, I had done my fair share of babysitting. My first official babysitting job was when I was 12. Through junior high and high school I babysat to make some extra money. I loved being in the church nursery. I nannied for a summer before college. After college I helped take care of twins with special needs.  I watched my niece and nephews on several occasions.  I taught at a daycare for a year.  I have always love kids, and while I was single, I used my time to invest in many other children that were not my own.  As much as I enjoyed taking care of other people's children, I wanted to be a mother myself. As my 20's turned into my 30's, I began to wonder if that would ever happen.  My own mother died when I was 11 and I longed to have that mother/ child, flesh and blood relationship again.  Being a mother was just something I knew instinctively that I could be good at.

   By God's grace, I married a wonderful man (so worth the wait!) and became a mother on March 4, 2011 when my son, Zachary Quentin Snyder was born.  It was a Friday evening.  I had been in the hospital since my water had broken on Wednesday. The doctors had tried several things to jumpstart my labor but Zach wasn't coming down straight and his head was stuck.  In the end, I had to have a c-section. Now I finally had my own baby.  One that was my joy, as well as my responsibility. From now on I was taking care of a child not for money, but for love.  At the end of the day, I couldn't give this one back and have time off.  The decisions I now make, aren't merely for child safety or entertainment's sake until the parents come home, but will make a lasting impact on the person Zach grows up to be.

     I am almost 14 months into my new season of life known as motherhood.  To put it simply, I love it.  It's challenging, but rewarding.  It's tiring, but exhilarating.  It's convicting, but redeeming.

     One last reason for my procrastination to do this blog is the small streak of perfectionism that courses through me.  I want to write this witty, insightful piece that is clear and concise and contains correct grammar throughout.  Reading what I have written so far, I know I have not achieved this.  The long nap didn't happen.  Zach picked today to find out what a raw serrano pepper tasted like.  Now there is a messy house to clean up and dinner to get on the table.  Editing will probably be thrown out the window most days.  But if I don't post this, warts and all, it may be another 14 months before I get an opportunity to write the "perfect blog post".  So instead of waiting for the time to write one flawless post, I'll grab whatever time I can to record hopefully several ok accounts of my "Adventures in Motherhood."