This past weekend, Zoey, Greg and I were super-busy with Mother’s Day-related plans. On Saturday, we surprised my mom by showing up at her church’s Mother’s Day picnic. It had taken some planning and getting my dad in cahoots with us, but she didn’t know we were going to be there until the three of us were standing behind her in the buffet line and Zoey tapped on her shoulder. Mom was very happy and immediately insisted on taking Zoey in her arms and feeding her little spoonfuls of potato salad while Greg and I got our own plates of food.
A very huge thanks to everyone at Rose Hill church, who made us feel welcome, even though it’s been years since I’ve been there. It was really nice to see so many familiar faces and being in that church sure brought back a lot of memories.
On Sunday, Greg and I were sort of still wondering what to do for the day. Greg wanted to do something special since it was my first Mother’s Day and when he asked me what I wanted to do, I said that I didn’t care as long as we could spend some time with Zoey and take lots of pictures. We had originally planned on going to the zoo with Zoey, but we worried that maybe it was a little too breezy outside to walk the outdoor pathway. So, we decided to kind of make our plans as we went.
First, the present.
Greg and Zoey had given me my first Mother’s Day present on Thursday when it came in the mail. Aside from seeing the amount he paid online in our bank statement, I had no idea what he and Zoey had bought for me. But, oh my gosh, the tapestry with Zoey’s picture on it was absolutely beautiful.
The tapestry is currently hanging at the top of our stairs and every time I go by it, I can’t help but touch her cheek. I love that picture of her (we left the Christmas lights up on the stairs and in the upstairs hallway because Zoey likes looking at them).
On Sunday, we decided to try CiCi’s Pizzeria for lunch. We’d never been there before and since Greg and I figured every place else in Syracuse would be busy due to the holiday and the fact that it was graduation weekend for nearby colleges, we figured CiCi’s wouldn’t be busy.
Let me tell you–we weren’t all that impressed. The commercials make it sound ten times better than it really is (although Zoey liked the fact that they were playing Spongebob SquarePants on the T.V. near or table). The pizza was okay, but there really weren’t a whole lot of options (which sucked considering on the commercial they made it sound like there were ten million types of pizza and pasta. There was one kind of pasta. One. And Greg said it tasted pretty generic and bland). Basically, it was sort like the pizza equivalent of Taco Bell, which is totally NOT what we were expecting.
But that’s okay because we wanted to try it once to see what it was like. Besides, Zoey was all about the pizza and chicken noodle soup broth that Daddy gave her.
Next stop was Barnes and Noble for a little book shopping. Greg carried Zoey around the store while I browsed and picked out a couple of books (I’m trying to get back into reading. Before having Zoey, I read at least twenty books a year). Then they showed me the toy section they found, which meant that Mommy and Daddy had to buy her the one she had her eye on and insisted on carrying around the store until we checked out (the same toy she has pretty much completely ignored since we bought it).
We also checked out the baby books section and bought Dora Goes for a Ride and The Very Hungry Caterpillar for our little girl. As far as I’m concerned, kids can never have enough books.
When we walked out of Barnes and Noble, Greg and I decided that the weather was warm enough to try the zoo. Looking back on it, maybe we were a little foolish because Zoey is still really young. But we thought she’d be into seeing the different animals. And we figured she’d like the ride in her stroller around a place she’d never been before. I guess we were hoping Zoey would have a wonderful time and we’d get lots of pictures of her being awed by animals she’s never seen before. The sun would be shining, Zoey would be laughing and we’d all be happy and holding hands and skipping–or something.
Oh my good Lord, we couldn’t have been more wrong.
Because we hadn’t been planning on going to the zoo until we were in the city, I hadn’t packed a hat in her diaper bag. The sun was really beating down on us when we loaded Zoey into the stroller at the zoo, so our first stop was the gift shop to buy her a hat. It’s the most adorable hat:
Zoey decided as soon as we bought it that she hated it and she tried twice to get rid of it without us knowing. The first time, we were in the dairy barn and she dropped it on the floor without us knowing. We were almost all the way to the bears exhibit when Greg suddenly stopped walking and said, “Where’s her hat?” We rushed back to the dairy barn and couldn’t find it, which bummed us out (because we had just bought it, like, ten minutes before) until we found one of the zoo workers shovelling poop in the barn and asked him if he’d, by chance, found a hat. Thankfully, he had and we continued on our way.
A little while later, as I was pushing the stroller with Zoey in it, she simply threw it out in front of her and I didn’t realize it was off her head until I had already rolled the stroller over it and stepped on it. That poor hat went through a lot, but it’s okay. We managed to hang onto it and even get it on Zoey’s head a few times while we were on the outside trail.
But on top of not liking the hat, Zoey had zero interest for the animals. At every viewing area, Greg and I turned into a couple of obnoxious tourists, pointing and exclaiming like crazy in an effort to get her excited about an animal. Any animal. But we were pretty much met with Zoey looks that said, “Seriously? You want me to be interested when all I want is a nap?!?!”
When we were at the bear exhibit, Zoey was much more interested in looking through the leg holes of her stroller at her striped socks (can’t blame her, though, they’re pretty cool socks).
When we saw the snow leopard, Zoey worked hard at arching her back in an effort to get her hat to fall off.
We saw these guys too, but Zoey didn’t seem to care:
And then we went inside the main building to look at the inside exhibits and Zoey fell in love. With naked mole rats. Yeah, you read that right. Naked mole rats.
I stood her on the little ledge right underneath one of the little exhibit windows–so the naked mole rats were pretty much at eye-level for Zoey–and she giggled while she watched them eating vegetables.
In fact, she loved them so much, she started fussing when it was time to go. But the complaining was short-lived because by that point, she was in need of a nap like whoa and she ended up laying her head on my shoulder while Greg and I decided to forgo the rest of the inside exhibits and hastily found the exit.
After we walked the two-mile trek back to the car, got Zoey in her car seat, turned the air conditioning on and were driving out of the parking lot, I sighed and whispered, “Good Lord.” And Greg burst out laughing.
Our trip to the zoo totally didn’t turn out how we expected, but it was okay because Zoey’s probably still too young to give a crap about really cool animals like elephants and tigers. And she had needed a nap and it was really warm and she hated her new hat.
Okay, maybe the day didn’t go as Greg and I had expected. But I got what I wanted for Mother’s Day–we got some awesome picture and I had gotten to spend my first Mother’s Day with my two favorite people, so I win.
Plus, when we got home, Greg made me an awesome strawberry margarita. A perfect cap to a fun day.
Thank you, Greg and Zoey, for changing my life by making me a mommy and for the BEST first Mother’s Day!