Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas morning

Biscuit didn't know quite what to think on Christmas morning. I got him to follow me up the hall, then about halfway, I ran ahead and turned the video camera on him.

He rounded the bottom of the staircase, and took a look at the big red and yellow Little Tykes car that was sitting under the tree. He looked at me, he looked at the car. He looked at me, he looked at the car. Then he did an about face and walked right back up the hall looking for Da-da.

Jeff finally carried Biscuit back into the living room to check out what Santa left him. He got books, a chair, clothes, big Lego blocks and the Little Tykes car.

It took a while for him to take in everything, but with his gifts from Santa, plus gifts from family and friends, our little Biscuit is having quite a time with all his new treasures.

Christmas photos

Here are a few Christmas photos.

We're a family

Even though Biscuit has been around for a little over a year now, it still sometimes amazes me that we're a family now instead of a couple.

There were several things during the holidays that reminded me of our family status ...
  1. We took a family photo for our Christmas cards.
  2. We went to the Festival of Lights together.
  3. We got a Christmas ornament with three bears on a sled with a place underneath to write "Daddy, Mama and Griffin, 2009."
  4. I ordered stockings with our names embroidered on them.

Being a family is a very, very good Christmas present.

What do I do with it?

As the Christmas season started, Biscuit just wasn't sure what to do when someone handed him a wrapped gift.

He would stare at it, then look at me for guidance. I would start to unwrap it, thinking he would get the idea and help, but he would just watch me until it was unwrapped, then he'd take the toy away from me and go play.

I was pretty excited when I handed him a present from a couple Jeff and I are friends with, and he immediately started poking at the paper. I punched a hole in the package and set it on the coffee table.

Here's what happened next ...

NOW he knows what to do with a wrapped present!

Rest In Peace

Biscuit has experienced his first real loss.
Let us observe a moment of silence for Mr. Colander ... May he rest in peace.

Mr. Colander was the first and favorite piece of Tupperware that Biscuit discovered. It was always the first thing he'd grab out of the cabinet.

Mr. Colander got Biscuit through his first teeth by acting as a giant teething ring. But Biscuit's teething comfort was Mr. Colander's ultimate downfall.

One day a few weeks ago, I found a piece of white plastic in the kitchen floor. I couldn't figure out where it came from, so I just threw it away.

A few days later, I found another piece of the same plastic. It was on the floor about 6 inches away from Mr. Colander. That's when I realized that Mr. Colander was falling apart. It was time for him to go.

Here is a photo in remembrance of Mr. Colander.

A New 'Do

Biscuit was starting to look like a little hippie. So we decided it was time for his first haircut.

Jeff said he'd just take him to the barber he goes to, but I wanted his first haircut to be special. I considered taking him to one of the salons that specializes in kid haircuts, but decided that the lady who cuts my hair would be the way to go.

I made back-to-back appointments for Biscuit and me. I also asked Jeff to come along so he could hold Biscuit on his lap while I took pictures.

We had no idea how Biscuit would react. But as usual, he was pretty laidback about the whole thing. He really enjoyed all the stylists and customers making a flirty fuss over him. He grinned and blinked his eyes at them.

My stylist put a drape around Jeff to keep the hair off him. Then she put a cute little green drape around Biscuit.

She started snipping, and I started snapping. I was also holding a Ziploc bag while the stylist handed over little tufts of hair.

Biscuit was a trouper. He sat still until the stylist was done. Then when she got him to stand up on Jeff's lap for the final touches, he was amazed by his own reflection in the mirrors on both sides of the salon.
In a very short time, he went from a long-haired baby to a styled little boy.

A visit with The Big Man

We refer to Jeff as "The Daddy Man." But Biscuit recently had a visit with "The Big Man."

Yep. We went to see Santa Claus.

Grandmama and Grandpapa Stacks were up for a visit from S.C. on the weekend we decided to go. The boys decided to skip our shopping trip and just meet us later for lunch a the Santa visit.

When I was looking for a Santa for Biscuit to see, several co-workers and friends told us where to go. This man has been helping Santa for 30 years. They all said he is really patient and really kind to the kids. Plus, you can take your own camera to take pictures. And that is what really convinced me. I knew I could get the exact pictures I wanted.

So imagine my dismay when we sat down for lunch and Jeff realized that he had forgotten the camera. The restaurant was about 15 minutes from home, so Jeff left lunch early and went to get the camera. We decided to go over to the shopping center and get in line for our visit.

Imagine our surprise when we got there and there were no other kids or families there. There was no line. Santa and his helpers were standing around just waiting on someone to show up.

They kept looking at us, I guess they were wondering what we were waiting for. So finally, I said, "We're waiting for my husband." Santa looked up and said, "Take your time. I'm just stretching my legs."

I started walking around and saw a sign that said, "No cameras allowed." Of course, for the first time in 30 years, they decided to get a contract with an online photo site.

So here we were waiting on Jeff to drive 15 minutes home to get the camera. Drive 15 minutes back. Park in the madhouse parking lot of a large shopping center. Make his way into the building where Santa was, only to have me tell him that we couldn't even use the camera.

I decided to use my cell phone and tell him about the no-camera sign while he was on his way back. That way, he'd have time to get over being mad at me before he got back to where we were.

Jeff finally made his way back to where we were. We took Biscuit up to where Santa was standing, and Santa started talking to him. I took Biscuit's hand and rubbed the white fur on the front of Santa's outfit. Biscuit just kept looking him up and down, checking out whether he wanted anything to do with him or not.

Finally, Santa went back to his chair and sat down. I took Biscuit over and put him on Santa's lap. Then Santa's helpers started snapping photos. Biscuit, a normally very smiley baby, did not crack a single smile in a single picture. He was tired and sleepy and ready to be home.

Finally, he just leaned his little head back against Santa's chest and stared at the ceiling. He had a look on his face like, "Would you people please hurry up so I can go to sleep?"

We decided that since we couldn't get a smile out of him, we'd choose the photo of Biscuit and Santa looking at each other.

Their visit must have been okay because Santa was certainly good to Biscuit on Christmas morning!

Festival of Lights

Every year in early December, Greensboro has a Friday night of music, food and tree lighting called Festival of Lights.

Ever since Jeff and I have been together, we've never both been off work on that Friday. But this year's Christmas miracle was that we were both off work with no other plans on the night of Festival of Lights. I knew it was going to be cold and crowded, but I told Jeff that even if we were there for 10 minutes, I wanted to go.
So we left our car in the N&R parking lot, hauled Biscuit's stroller out of the trunk, bundled up and walked a couple of blocks to the festival.

Remember that kid in "A Christmas Story" who said, "I can't put my arms down!" Well, that was Biscuit. Check us out.

We left the Festival of Lights and went to a Candle Tea at a co-worker's Moravian Church. Church members dress up in traditional Moravian clothes and they sell crafts, candles, wreaths, chicken pies (made by the church ladies), sugar cookies, sugar cake and other baked goods.

There's a building beside the church that they call the tavern. When you go in, there's a big fire place, a Christmas tree with old-fashioned decorations and lots of candles. They serve pieces of sugar cake and a really sweet, milky coffee. That's a traditional treat for them.

Biscuit missed all of it. He saw so much at the Festival of Lights, that he fell asleep in the car on the way to the Candle Tea.

I couldn't figure out a way to get the sleeping baby into his coat, so I just put him on my shoulder and covered him from head to toe with a thick Winnie the Pooh blanket I had in the car. You could tell there was something draped over my shoulder, but you couldn't see hide nor hair of a baby!

There was a live manger scene in front of the church, including a cute miniature donkey. As I walked past the angel, a man did a double-take and the blanketed bundle in my arms.

"Did you just steal Baby Jesus?" he asked with a smile.

"Yep. I'm taking him home with me," I answered.

We continued on our way until we saw everything there was to see. As we were leaving, I told Jeff that I hate Biscuit wasn't awake so he could see the donkey. Just as the words came out of my mouth, his little head popped up.

I showed him the donkey and with his sleep little eyes, he didn't look too sure about what he should think. I leaned him down and put his hand on the donkey's mane. He felt it for just a second and then jerked his hand back and shot me a look that said, "Why on earth would you make me do something like that?!?"

It was a long, cold, busy night, but it was the first time we had done something like that as a family. It got the Christmas season kicked off right.

Up your nose with a ... finger?

Biscuit and Jeff were in our bed one morning while I was taking a shower. I had propped pillows around Biscuit and he had fallen back asleep. So Jeff decided he'd go back to sleep, too.

As I came out of the bathroom, I saw Jeff shaking his head laughing.

"What's so funny?" I asked.

Jeff said, "Someone woke up before I did and must've been a little bored. I woke up to the feeling of one little finger in each of my nostrils."

What's the old saying? You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose? I guess it's not true after all!

A different kind of bath

The Daddy Man is too tall to give Griffin a bath in the bathtub. So I guess being short has some advantages. I can kneel beside the tub to get the job done.

So when The Daddy Man volunteered to give Biscuit a bath one morning, I was more than a little curious to see how he was going to do it.

Jeff decided that the only water-holding receptacle that would work for him was the kitchen sink. Of course, it didn't occur to him that he should scrub the sink before he stuck Biscuit in there. So I took care of that and made sure the water was warm enough.

Biscuit loves taking a bath. So I figured as long as he was surrounded by water, he'd be fine.

I was wrong.

He did not like the kitchen sink ... at all!

Witness the look on his face. It's like he's saying, "What did I ever do to deserve this?!?"

He's got what, where?!?

WARNING: This blog post includes what may be graphic language to some people! Or it might just be in bad taste to share this, but hey, isn't it the mama's job to embarrass the kid? :)

You know a morning isn't starting well when you hear The Daddy Man say to Baby Biscuit, "Dude! You've got grits on your weinie!"

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Biscuit's a funny little man

A post from The Daddy Man:

Kim had to work Saturday, so the boy and I stayed home. I had a bad cold, and Biscuit had gotten himself a raging case of pink eye. Needless to say, it wasn't a fun day.

Biscuit couldn't decide whether he wanted to be held or put down to walk around on his own. He was sleepy but he didn't want a nap.

As I surfed the TV channels looking for something to watch, I came across a bluegrass quartet singing on a public access channel. Biscuit stopped right in front of the TV and didn't move a muscle until the group had sung two whole songs.

And then when the third song started, Biscuit walked over to the piano and while still looking at the TV, he started playing the piano with one little hand. I think my boy likes music.

Then later in the day, some church kids came around selling candy bars. So Biscuit followed me to the door and was all excited about seeing the little kids.

After I gave them my dollar, I closed the door and Biscuit watched the kids walk back up the sidewalk. He was tapping his hands on the glass, talking to the kids as they were leaving. But once they rounded the corner and he couldn't see them anymore, he sat down on the floor and just wailed. He was inconsolable.

I guess he thought they would stay and play or something, but it was clear that he was not ready for them to go away.

He's a funny little man.

Chairs are great!

Biscuit has learned recently that chairs are great. He has figured out that it's fun to figure out how to get your rear end planted in one to sit down for a while ...

And, he's learned that if nobody is watching close enough, you can also finagle your way into STANDING UP in chairs, too!

HE BIT ME!!!!!

My Biscuit has 6, count 'em, 6 teeth now. And he's learning how to use them on all sorts of things, including furniture, coasters, toys, clothes, sippy cups, food and most recently ... MY FINGER!!!

Here's the proof (and don't look at my horribly dry cuticles!):

School pictures

Can you believe that they take school pictures even in the infant room at Biscuit's day care? This is actually the second time he's had them taken. They do some in the spring and some in the winter.

I asked the teacher if they propped his hand up on that sleigh in the first picture, and she said not only did he prop his hand up on his own, he also crossed his feet like that. I guess he's so used to having a camera stuck in his face that he knew exactly what to do!

Here's our Biscuit, posing for the photographer.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

He won't go nekkid, Part 2

Back during the spring, I wrote a post about all the clothes Biscuit had. We have several hand-me-down hookups, and we were very lucky at our showers to get clothes in various sizes up to 18 months.

Biscuit is still small for his age, so he hasn't gone through clothes as fast as a lot of kids do. He turned a year old on Nov. 9, but he's still wearing a few 9-month size outfits. Most of what he has now is the 12-month size, though.

Biscuit seems to be built like Jeff. He has a long torso and shorter legs. So we have to cuff most of his pants so they won't drag the floor and trip him.

So here's the update. In the 12-month size, Biscuit has:

- 47 pairs of pants
- 32 shirts/onesies
- 19 pairs of pajamas (8 pairs of the fuzzy warm ones for winter)
- 6 jackets and 2 heavy coats

I guess he won't go nekkid this winter, either.

One of my friends is having a baby in early December. I was telling her husband about all the clothes Biscuit has, and then I said, "Do you know what that means?" He asked what, and I said, "It means that next winter, YOUR baby will have 47 pairs of pants, 32 shirts/onesies, 19 pairs of pajamas, 6 jackets and 2 heavy coats!"

Grits and eggs are a requirement!

I had hot chocolate and popcorn as a snack this afternoon, and it took me back to my childhood.

After church some Sundays, my girlfriends and I would go home with each other to spend the afternoon. And at one particular friend's house, her mama always made hot chocolate and popcorn for us to have while we played Barbies.

Then I started wondering what foods would take Biscuit back to his childhood when he's older.

He's doing better with his eating. He hasn't had a bottle in almost a week, and he just hasn't seemed to mind. He loves drinking milk from a sippy cup, and he's getting better at chewing.

Ms. Terri at Biscuit's day care does all the cooking, and she is super excited that Biscuit has started eating some of the regular food at lunch time. One day he ate two chicken nuggets, a few bites of corn and some peaches. Then another day, he had chicken and rice, green beans and applesauce. I'm not sure why Ms. Terri has taken such a liking to our boy, but she makes quite a fuss when I take him in every morning.

She laughed last week because I told her that on rainy nights, Mama would often make breakfast for supper. We'd have grits, eggs and bacon. She said her family did the same thing. So on a rainy night last week, I cooked grits and eggs for us.

I chopped the eggs up into little pieces and stirred them in Biscuit's grits. Then I used one of his little spoons and started to feed it to him. I'm not sure if it was the mixing of textures or what, but he would reach into his mouth with two little fingers, pull out the pieces of egg and swallow the grits right down!

I told Ms. Terri about it, and she said, "Oh boy. We need to fix that. You HAVE to eat grits and eggs." I agree!

I'll keep working on it.

Happy Birthday, Biscuit!

I wasn't sure what we should do for Biscuit's first birthday. I didn't know if I should have a party for his day care friends and some other babies he spends time with or if I should invited a few of my friends over or if it should just be me, Jeff and Biscuit hanging out at home.

I was leaning toward the last choice, because let's face it, Biscuit wasn't going to know the difference. But I was quickly told my Mama and my sister-in-law that there would be a party of some kind.

So finally, I figured out a quick and easy way to do it. Samantha's birthday is only a week away from Biscuit's. So on the weekend we went to S.C. for Samantha's party, we could also throw Biscuit a gathering with just family. Samantha's party was on Saturday, and I figured since everybody comes to Mama's house to eat on Sundays, that we could just add a cake and some presents onto the end of the meal.

I made a small cake just for Biscuit and covered it with Cool Whip and a couple of spots of icing. Then I made a regular cake for the rest of us to eat. I found this cute little decoration kit for a high chair. It included a plastic floor mat to catch flying cake and a first-birthday banner that went around the edges of the high chair tray. Someone had given him a My First Birthday bib, so with all of that in place, we were ready for a party.

I put his cake in front of him, and at first, he wasn't sure what to do. Then he stuck one finger in the Cool Whip and brought it to his mouth. He decided it was pretty good, so he went back for more. He ate pretty much all of the Cool Whip off first, then he beat the daylights out of the cake part with his little hands.

After cake, we stripped him down, cleaned him up and put him in a new outfit. Then we took him into the living room to open presents. As with the cake, he wasn't sure at first what to do with the presents. And that's where the cousins came in. They helped him unwrap his gifts, and then came playtime.

He took a push-toy he got into the kitchen, and when Jeff went to check on him, he yelled to the living room, "I think the boy wants more cake." I asked why he thought that, and Jeff said, "Because he's eating the pieces that fell on the floor!"

Oh well. Maybe he'll get some manners before his second birthday!

My Halloween Monkey

I've got so many Biscuit blogs to write that I had to make a list. I figured since it's already late into November, we'll back up and talk about Halloween.

I hadn't planned on doing Halloween for Biscuit this year. He couldn't eat any candy he got while trick-or-treating. He couldn't wear a mask or any makeup. Prime time for trick-or-treating was right around his bedtime. And with the flu floating around everywhere, I didn't really want to expose him to all those people.

But I was in Walmart and they had these cute little costumes that were made like footed pajamas. Plus, they were on sale for a really good price. So I couldn't help myself. I bought Griffin a little monkey suit!

I still didn't want to take him from house to house, so I asked Jeff to bring him into the office the Friday afternoon before Halloween so I could show him off.

So here's my little Halloween monkey.

Oh yeah? Back atcha, lady!

The road in front of Biscuit's day care is a busy four-lane street with a turn lane in the middle. The problem is that you have to get into that turn lane just after passing through an intersection. And there are those oh-so-nice drivers going the other direction who get into the turn lane about half a block before the intersection and often have to swerve back out of the turn lane to keep from running head on into us.

They desperately want to make a left at the intersection and don't seem to understand why I need to be in their way in the turn lane.

I've complained about this from the first day I took Biscuit to day care. Jeff has empathized with me, but he had never experienced it for himself until last week.

He offered to take Biscuit to day care one morning when I was running late, and I took him up on it. Jeff said he turned on his blinker and pulled into the turn lane. As he looked up, this old white station wagon was barreling toward them, moving gradually into the turn lane. He said he was starting to get nervous because the car wasn't slowing down fast enough.

Finally, the station wagon came to a stop right in front of his car. Behind the wheel was an 80-year-old woman. Jeff smiled and motioned to the day care center to let her know why he was where he was. And she just stared at him and sat there. So he motioned again, and this time even mouthed the words, "I'm going to the day care center."

I'm not sure if the woman was half-blind and couldn't see what Jeff was trying to tell her or if she was just mean, but the next thing Jeff knew, that little old lady's arthritic middle finger popped up from behind her steering wheel. Then she yanked the wheel of her car back into traffic almost getting plowed by a truck.

Jeff was so stunned by her actions, he didn't know whether to be mad or just laugh at her. I guess there isn't an age limit on road rage.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Expanding the menu

Biscuit is finally starting to accept the fact that he will at some point have to eat food with texture.

Remember the "swallowing razorblades" post from last week?

Tonight for dinner, I baked him a sweet potato and added a little bit of butter and cinnamon. And I steamed some broccoli and carrots and put them in a light garlic sauce. He ate about 6 or 8 tiny bites of broccoli with no bad faces or cringes. The carrots weren't quite as well received (I can't really blame him here. I don't like carrots, either!). Then he had about 6 or 8 small bites of the sweet potato.

And for a special post-dinner treat, he had pieces of a ripe banana. I think he would've eaten the whole thing if I had let him.

But I figure his eating is like everything else. He'll get there when he's ready. And until he complains, I'll just keep shoving different foods into his little mouth.

Limited access

Until recently, Biscuit has had pretty much unlimited access to the kitchen cabinets. I wanted to see how interested he was going to be before I went to the trouble of installing cabinet latches.

Let's just say he was more than a little interested.

For the past week, I've had a thick dish towel threaded through the cabinet handles under the kitchen sink (those cabinets hold cleaners and chemicals) and a pair of cabinets across the room (they hold candles, vases, candleholders and other breakables). The dish towels were working fine, but I knew it was only a matter of time before he figured out how to finagle his way in.

So imagine his surprise when he saw that the dish towels were gone. Then imagine his disappointment when he jerked the door, thinking it would fly right open, only to have his little arm stopped short by a little white latch.

He doesn't like the latches one little bit. He spent a good part of this evening jerking the doors and yelling at them.

You could almost see the lightbulb flash above his little head when he made an about face and headed toward the Tupperware cabinet. I swear, he almost looked panicked. But he jerked on the door, and it popped right open. He turned and faced me, then gave me this huge grin, as if to say, "Okay. As long as I have the Tupperware, we'll all be fine."

His new name

Biscuit has a new name. Or at least he does to two of the little girls in the toddler class.

Biscuit's morning teacher is finishing up her degree at a college in town. On the days she has classes, if there are only a few toddlers, they sometimes combine the toddlers class with the infants until Biscuit's teacher arrives.

Yesterday morning was one such morning. It was fun to see the toddlers because the three that were there were in Biscuit's infant class when he started day care back in February. It's amazing to see how much they've changed since then. Of course, I say that every day about Biscuit, too.

Anyway, when I brought Biscuit into class, I set him down and two little girls immediately ran right up into his face. One was yelling, "Fiffin! Fiffin! Fiffin!" and the other was yelling "Fifi! Fifi! Fifi!"

I can't say I like them calling my boy names that sound appropriatefor a miniature poodle, but it's really nice to see him playing well with others.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The proof is in the video

I finally have proof that Biscuit can walk.

Do you know how hard it is to catch him on video? I had to trick him by running down the hall and calling his name over and over.

So here he is doing his drunk Frankenstein stroll. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Musical genius

I’m not at all biased when I say that our Biscuit is a musical genius! He can play two instruments at once while singing his little head off.

I was worried that once he found the guitar and piano in our living room, that we’d have to teach him (as with the TV and DVD player) that those are hands-off items. But the first time he touched the guitar, he was really gentle. He rubbed the slick finish on the body of it. Then he reached up and plucked one string like he knew exactly how to do it.

In his process to get better leverage, he reached up to grab the piano. His fingers just happen to hit right on a couple of notes, and to his surprise, that thing made noise, too!

So he spent about 15 minutes plucking a guitar string, then hitting a piano note, then yelling some kind of sing-songy noise. I’m telling you, we can put some cymbals between the boy’s knees and we’ll have a one-man band!

Here’s the debut of Biscuit, musical talent extraordinaire.

Swallowing razor blades

Biscuit loves to eat. It’s a fact.

If he sees you making a bottle or you strap him in his high chair, you better be ready to stick something in his mouth. Otherwise, he will whine and fuss and holler like he’s never eaten in his life.

The funny thing is that he has so much patience with pretty much everything else. But not food.

So I assumed that he would be raring to go when it came time to let him start trying finger foods. I was wrong!

The first time I tried to give him one of the little puffs that are specifically made for babies who are just starting to eat real food, he gagged and choked, and I finally had to yank him out of his seat and beat him on the back until he spit it up (the puff and half his lunch).

It rattled my nerves way more than it rattled him, so I had to wait a little while before we tried something like that again.

So now that he has four teeth with two more on the way, I figured he was ready. Wrong again!

I’ve tried to give him mashed potatoes, squished banana, bread crumbs and a few other things, but he wanted none of it. He gagged and licked his tongue out and made horrible faces, pretty much like I was asking him to swallow razor blades.

So I bought some of the Level 3 baby food to try. It has the same flavors he’s used to, but the consistency is thicker and even has a few tiny chunks of pasta and veggies.

The first couple of jars were rough. But then I started sending them to day care and giving them to him for dinner. Between all of us, I think we’re finally seeing some progress.

This past Monday night, I baked him a sweet potato and put some butter and cinnamon on it. He ate about five bites of it. I had made a spaghetti squash with garlic and parmesan for Jeff and me, so I figured, why not, and gave him a few pieces of that. I could tell his was a little freaked out by it, but he ate it just fine. I can’t tell you how excited I am at the prospect of this kid loving garlic like Jeff and I do! So then Jeff broke off a few little shreds of broccoli and gave them to him. He chewed a little bit and swallowed it right down.

Biscuit can’t move up to the next class at day care until he eats table food, so it’s making me feel better that he’s making progress.

Maybe next week we’ll feed him some pizza and a steak!

Gimme two steps

The moment has arrived, and now we’re in trouble. The Biscuit is starting to walk. Lock up your valuables, everybody!

Lately, when he stands, you’ll see him holding on with one hand, but when he swaps to hold on with the other hand, there’s a quick second when he’s not holding on at all. The first time Jeff and I saw this, we exchanged a look that was half “DID YOU SEE THAT?!?” and half “Lord, help us. This child is heading for trouble!” We knew that it was only a matter of time.

So one night a couple of weeks ago, Biscuit was crawling behind me as I walked from the living room to the kitchen, and he was whimpering because he couldn’t keep up with me. So when he got to the kitchen, I squatted down in the floor and helped him stand up. Then I just let go of his hands, and he took two steps right back into my arms.

It was amazing! And yes, I cried. Partly because it was so exciting and partly because I can’t believe how fast he’s growing.

He’s up to walking short distances now, and he’s starting to stand up without having to hold on to anything. It’s really funny to watch him figure out his balance when he finally makes it upright.

So watch out world, The Biscuit is mobile!

Why is there a colander under the table?

Once Biscuit started crawling, he soon discovered that there were all kinds of areas of the house that he hadn’t explored.

He can run his hand up and down the return vent for the heating and air system and make a really cool noise. He can slip and slide around in his pajamas on the hardwood floors in the dining room, including spinning around in circles if he gets his hands adjusted just right. He can stand by himself at the doors in the kitchen and watch the wonderful world of the backyard.

With all of those new and cool options, you wouldn’t think that the most fun he’s had recently was when he discovered the Tupperware cabinet!

We call it the Tupperware cabinet, but it holds all the assorted Tupperware, Rubbermaid, Ziploc and Glad plastic containers we have. All sizes of round, square and rectangle bowls with floppy lids, plus a few other cool items including colanders, pitchers and the old-fashioned ketchup and mustard squeeze bottles.

This, apparently, is Baby Heaven. It contains all the things that can make my little Biscuit happy. I can’t even pack up supper leftovers without him pulling out bowls and lids and whatever else he can get his hands on.

I usually go behind him and stack everything back in its place. But one day last week, Jeff came home and said, “Um, why is the colander under the kitchen table?”

I rolled my eyes at him, pointed to Biscuit and said, “Guess!”

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Important Stuff

Jeff and I had to go to a funeral Saturday afternoon for a co-worker's father, and it got me thinking.

First of all, after years of hassling my brother about getting a will done, I realize that now more than ever, Jeff and I need to make a will, too. I want to make sure that Biscuit is taken care of, moneywise and by making sure that he would have a place to go if something happened to Jeff and me.

But the thing that really got me about the funeral is when the man's sons talked about him. They said things like, "My dad was the greatest man I've ever known" and "I've never known a better person."

Hearing those comments really hit home for me. They made me want to try to be a better person for Biscuit. I know there are plenty of things Jeff and I will screw up while we're raising this little boy, but I hope one day that he can be proud of us like I'm sure we'll be proud of him.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Gotta go!

When my boy's gotta go, he's gotta go!!!

In the kiddie pool at the campground, they had these yellow bumps that squirted water out of each side. Griffin must've spent half an hour just putting his hands in the water and watching as it splashed all over his face and body.

When Grandmama Stacks tried to sit him on top of one of the fountains, I was just at the right angle to get this shot.

Hey, what's the point of having kids if you can't embarrass them once in a while?!?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

He ain't skeered!

Saying that I'm afraid of water doesn't quite do justice to the fear that I have. It's only been a few years since I started putting my head under the water in the shower instead of wetting a washcloth to clean my face.

I'm not sure where my fear came from. I didn't almost drown or lose my family in a tragic boating accident. I was never tortured by anyone plunging my head under water. So where did the fear come from? I don't know.

I've wondered if it's DNA. That it might be genetic. That I was born with a fear of water and drowning. Which of course led me to consider that if that's the case, the fear could be passed on to Biscuit.

I missed out on so much because I couldn't swim ... pool parties, skinny-dipping, cannonballs off the diving board, rope swings that send you flying into a pond. But it wasn't just that I didn't know how to swim. It was that I really couldn't swim. I couldn't get any deeper in the water than my shoulders without starting to hyperventilate.

So imagine how happy I was when Biscuit thoroughly enjoyed himself in the kiddie pool on a recent camping trip we took.

The kiddie pool was zero entry, so I held his hands and led him into the water. I figured he'd stop once his feet got wet. But nope, he kept going. He kept walking until the water was up to his chest. And the best part? He wasn't the least bit scared.

I leaned him over so he could put him arms under the water, too. And I swear, if I had let the kid go, he would've glided through that water like a tadpole! He was making all the right motions.

It took everything I had to stay calm, but I didn't want him to sense any kind of anxious feelings from me.

Bending over to help him walk doesn't feel great on your back after a while, so I thought I would lead him out of the water to take a break. He planted his feet and wouldn't move another inch. He was not ready to get out.

I'm so excited that he didn't inherit the water fear. I'm hoping to get him swimming lessons soon. But until then, I'm satisfied knowing that he ain't skeered!

Where did September go?

I have no idea where September went. We went camping with my family the second weekend, and after that, I can't recall much of anything that happened.

I checked in and realized that I had only written one blog for the whole month. I asked Jeff, "How could that have happened?"

Then he reminded me. I usually write blogs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but high school and college football start in September, so Jeff has to work on the copydesk every Friday night to help with the high school stuff, then he has to go to and write stories about a college football game every Saturday, which, including travel, takes pretty much the whole day. So by the time Sunday rolls around, I'm ready for us to spend some time together (and I'm ready for someone else to run around chasing Biscuit, too!).

So I guess I need to find a new blog writing time ... at least until football season is over.

Oh wait ... then comes college basketball.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

One for each hand

Biscuit has figured out that he has two hands. And most of the time these days, he wants to have something in each of those hands.

His new favorite two-handed toys? Socks. That boy can amuse himself for an hour straight with a sock in each hand.

He can sit still and wave them around his head. He can crawl with one in each hand, although it does get pretty dicey once he gets to the hardwood floors in the dining room. As he's crawling, his hands slide too far out in front of him, and he ends up lying on his belly. Then he gets frustrated and starts fussing.

Once he's done with the socks, he'll sometimes grab a block in each hand and try to crawl. It sounds like a pirate with a peg leg walking through the house.

When my niece Alyssa was little, she always wanted something in each of her hands, too, but it was usually something to eat. Jeff used to love to see her walking around holding her little hands in the air, dropping cookie crumbs as she waddled.

As a matter of fact, any time I make cookies, I always have to give Jeff two at a time so he can raise them over his head and copy Alyssa's waddle.

So I guess Biscuit gets his two-handed playtime honest from his Daddy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Out of the mouth of my babe

There's a lot going on with Biscuit's mouth these days.

He's got two pretty little teeth on the bottom in the middle. And he's getting ready to get the two middle ones on the top.

(The picture at right was when the bottom teeth were about halfway through.)

The first tooth gave Biscuit fits. He had a fever, tenderness, diarrhea (which I didn't even know could happen with teething), diaper rash, grumpiness and obviously, mouth pain. We quickly learned that Infant Tylenol and Baby Orajel are our friends.

Because of this, when the second tooth popped in, it really did seem like that's how it happened. It just popped right in ... no pain, no drama.

We're still waiting to see what happens with the top teeth. So far, he's just become the ultimate slobber master. It's worse than having a little puppy around the house. We walk around constantly stepping in little puddles of drool, and we sit down on furniture with wet spots on the edges. Any time we hold him, we either have drool down the fronts of our shirts or on our shoulders. And if we're sitting with our legs propped up, he'll use our legs as chew toys. It isn't so bad right now with only two teeth, but I predict a few bite marks in the coming weeks.

The other thing that's been coming from Biscuit's mouth lately is all sorts of noises. He's mastered the da-da-da, ma-ma-ma, ba-ba-ba noises. I'm not sure how long it will be before he makes those noises and realizes that he's referring to Jeff, me or his bottle.

Biscuit also makes all sorts of random noises. He has a motorboat noise (play video below). It's really funny when he makes that noise as he crawls. It sounds like he has a little motor that's making him go. He also makes a lot of razzing noise (also, see video below). And he makes just plain ol' hollering, whining, laughing, humming, mumbling types of noises (you guessed it, see video below).

I can't imagine what it's going to be like to hear actual words coming from that little mouth. Of course, I'm sure in a few years, when the attitude kicks in, I'll be wishing for the days when all he could say was da-da-da, ma-ma-ma and ba-ba-ba.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stylin' New Kicks

Biscuit is now the proud owner of a brand-spankin' new pair of Carter's tennis shoes (Jeff calls them sneakers, but we're still debating which term our Biscuit baby will use!).

One of the questions I had for the doctor at Biscuit's checkup was what kind of shoes he needs. He's not walking yet, but we are doing the practice runs with him by holding his hands and leading him around the house.

Biscuit and I are going to S.C. for Grandmama Stacks' birthday this weekend, and I knew my nieces and nephew would want to help him practice, too. So I figured we should go ahead and get something to protect his little feet.

The doctor said that some people would disagree with him, but that for right now, all he needs is some soft, comfy shoes that will protect his feet from any sticks or rocks he might step on. These little Carter's shoes are just the ticket.

I was surprised to learn, though, that just as the rules have changed about most everything baby-related, the shoe guidelines are different now, too. You used to have to get those white leather boots with the hard soles. Now, they say that the babies should go barefoot as much as possible so their feet can feel the floor. They say it helps adjust their balance and stride.

Of course, our parents put us to sleep on our bellies with a bottle propped up on a folded blanket without washing off our teeth, after we rode in the front seat of the car with no car seat or seatbelt swigging whiskey and smoking Camel unfiltereds. Okay, maybe we didn't do the last two things, but I'm just saying that it's amazing how much the rules have changed.

But like everything else baby-related, I think you just have call your mama, use some common sense and just do the best you can. And Biscuit will do the best he can in some stylin' new kicks!

Monday, August 17, 2009

9-Month Doctor Visit

I can't believe that Biscuit is 9 months old already. I took him for his checkup last week.

He fell asleep on the way from day care to the doctor, so when we got to the office, I put him in his stroller and wheeled him inside. The receptionist and nurses ooh-ed and ahh-ed over him. And I said, "Yeah, he's cute when he's asleep." I've used that line before, and it's gotten good laughs. But apparently, the people at the doctor's office just aren't my audience.

We really like the pediatrician practice we choose. There are about 8 doctors, so on the few occasions we've had to get an appointment quickly (one ear infection, one shot reaction and one case of the croop), they've always worked us in with no problem and no complaints. We also like all the doctors we've seen so far, especially the primary care guy we chose for him.

Biscuit weighed in at 18 pounds and 8 ounces, and he's 27 1/2 inches long.

Then the questions started. Babies have their first checkup appointment usually a day or two after you get home from the hospital. Then at 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 1 year. So seeing as this was our sixth checkup appointment, you'd think I'd know the routine.

I did start getting him undressed as soon as we went back. You have to have them in a dry diaper for the weigh-in. But I always seem to forget about the questions. And they're the kinds of questions that always make you feel put on the spot. You know, like when someone asks your address or phone number when you didn't realize they were going to ask for your address or phone number.

They ask things like:

  1. How many hours does your baby sleep during the day?
  2. How many hours does he sleep at night?
  3. How often do you feed the baby?
  4. What do you feed the baby?
  5. How active is the baby?
  6. How is the baby's temperament?
  7. How many diapers does your baby go through a day (specify how many wet and how many messy)?
  8. How well does your baby control his or her head?
  9. Does your baby imitate your facial expressions and sounds?
  10. Does your baby put objects into his or her mouth?
  11. Does your baby attempt to roll over?
  12. Can your baby sit with support?
  13. Does your baby pull up into a standing position?
  14. Does your baby use individual fingers to pick up small objects?

And here are the answers:

  1. 2 or 3 hours in short naps
  2. Anywhere between 10 and 12 hours
  3. Three times a day plus a couple of snacks
  4. Three 8-ounce bottles of formula and about 6 or 7 jars of baby food a day
  5. He can crawl and sit up on his own, and he's starting to pull up on anything that will hold his weight. He jumps and jumps and jumps in his exer-saucer and loves to bang the daylights out of his toys.
  6. He's a lot like his dad ... slow to anger and pretty laid back. He usually only cries when he's hungry, tired or doesn't feel well.
  7. 8-10 wet ones and lately, 3-4 poos (His excrement works in increments.)
  8. Very well. Especially if you call his name or he hears a Biscuitville commercial on TV. He also responds to the word "no" so well that Jeff and I have to be careful not to use it too strongly in our conversations or upon hearing that word, he'll drop whatever he has in his hands and look at us for further instruction.
  9. He's starting to. He says "ba-ba-ba," "da-da-da" and "ma-ma-ma." Jeff told him that if he knew what was best, he'd go with the "ma-ma-ma" sound and say "mama" first.
  10. Everything he can get his little hands on except finger foods. I offer him Cheerios, small chunks of ripe fruit and those little baby puffs, but he has no interest in any of that yet. Because of his teething, he leaves little puddles of slobber and drool everywhere.
  11. His roll is more of a flip. And he deploys this move most often while you're attempting diaper changes.
  12. Yes. Although, sometimes he sits on a toy, which causes him to lose his balance and fall over. He doesn't like it when that happens.
  13. As of this week, yes. Although, he's quickly figuring out which things will hold his weight and which ones won't as he tries to pull up on assorted objects around the house.
  14. Not yet. He still uses The Claw to pick things up.

So even though I can sit right here and clearly answer every one of these questions, when the nurse or doctor ask them, I'm like a deer in the headlights.

It didn't help, either, that Jeff couldn't go to this appointment. He had a work commitment. But I sure could have used his help, with more than just answering the questions.

I had some forms to fill out about Biscuit's physical and mental development, and trying to write with my left hand while holding Biscuit in the crook of my right arm, plus trying to keep his eager little hands from grabbing the pen, plus trying to hold the clipboard in place with my elbow ...

I'm just saying, I could've used the help.

Anyway, I had written a list of questions for the doctor and put it in my pocket with my cell phone. But at some point when I answered my phone, I dropped my list. Of course I didn't realize it was gone until I was at the doctor's office. So in between filling out the forms and fending off my nosey little Biscuit, I called Jeff to see if he could help me remember all the questions.

The only paper I had was the forms I was filling out, and I knew I couldn't write on those. So I started making my list on the paper they use to cover the exam tables. When the doctor came in, he asked, "What questions do you have for me?"

I said, "Well, I had to use a corner of this fine tablecloth you have here. Sorry if I messed it up." He laughed and said, "That's part of the appointment, so it belongs to you. You can tear it off and take it home with you if you'd like."

We chatted about Biscuit's development, and he said he was impressed with Biscuit's curiosity and development. I could have told him that we have the best and smartest baby alive, so he wasn't telling me anything I didn't already know! Our doctor has three girls, so he said he'd be glad to take Biscuit off our hands anytime we wanted to hand him over.

But by far, the best part of the appointment was when I realized that I had lied to Biscuit ... but in a good way.

The director at day care said the health nurse had a question about Biscuit's immunization record. She said he was due for his third DPT shot. I thought he had had it already, but I figured I just had it mixed up with one of the other shots he's had.

Come to find out, the way his immunization record printed, it looked like he was due for another shot, but he was all caught up. So I had told him he was getting a shot and then he didn't have to.

I was glad about that, and I'm sure if Biscuit had understood any of our discussion about it, he'd have been glad, too.

So we have a healthy, happy, curious 9-month-old who is caught up on his shots and has some fans at the doctor's office (the doctor included). I hope Biscuit continues to be fascinated and amused by the whole process instead of being afraid to go. Here's hoping!

Power Cords and Cabinet Doors and Trash Cans, Oh My!

As I mentioned last week, our Biscuit is on the move now. And he's getting faster and more skilled every day. Trying to get him to hold still for a diaper change would work a lot better if they made itty bitty straightjackets!

So Jeff and I have been spending a lot of time lately walking around behind this little crawling man. Every so often, he turns around to make sure we're still back there. Then he turns back and heads on his way.

We went ahead and bought a gate for the bottom of the stairs knowing that it wouldn't be long until Biscuit found the steps. I did a lot of research on safety features and installation. Our staircase goes up in the middle of the room, so there aren't walls to connect a gate to.

So I Googled it. What did we ever do before Google?

Anyway, I found several reports of screw-mounted gates that wiggled loose with the movement of the banisters. They also left big, ugly holes in the posts at the bottom of the stairs. One dad (think Tim the Toolman Taylor) suggested that you drill holes all the way through the posts and thread larger-than-needed bolts through with big, clunky nuts on the outside. I'm no interior decorator, but I'm thinking that would not be the most attractive of living room accessories.

I found one woman who had her husband use Zipties to attach their gates. There was also a couple who said they were on the verge of building a permanent fence at the bottom of their steps that they would just step over every time they wanted to go up or down the stairs.

Apparently, my Google search included the words "crazy people" and "lack of common sense."

I changed my search a little and found all I ever needed to know about pressure-mounted gates. They're perfect for when you don't have walls near the stairs, and there's no permanent damage to the banisters. But most importantly, they get the job done. They block the stairs so Mr. Biscuit won't take a tumble.

I found pressure-mounted gates ranging from $20 plastic ones that you step over to $200 fancy scrolled wrought iron ones with a door that opens in the middle. No screws, nails, bolts or Zipties needed.

My first instinct was to go as cheap as I could and still be safe. But the more I looked and the more I thought about it, I decided, if I'm going to have to look at this thing every day for at least a few years, I want it to look nice. Also, I'm not the tallest of people, so I just imagined myself trying to step over a gate while holding Biscuit. Or even worse, I pictured me catching my foot on the top of the step-over gate and tumbling while holding Biscuit down the stairs right into the back of the front door.

That's when I decided that we'd spend more than $20 but still WAY less than $200.
We got this nice wood and metal gate with a self-closing door in the middle that blends in with the decor of the living room. It actually looks kinda nice, as nice as baby protection devices can look, anyway.

So, I've gone to all this trouble and research thinking that I'm doing what's best for my son, only to realize after he started crawling that at least for right now, he has no idea that the stairs even exist. He gets carried up and down them but has shown no interest whatsoever in trying to get up or down them himself.

What does he notice, you ask? Well, all the things I haven't baby-proofed yet, of course.

Power cords and cabinet doors and trash cans, oh my! I guess it's back to the Google search for me.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The rundown

(A post from The Daddy Man)

I took Biscuit into our bedroom to change his diaper. He was wound up, and that's always an adventure.

He squirms and kicks while you're trying to remove the old diaper, sometimes causing more than a little bit of mess. Then he squirms and kicks some more while you try to wrap the new diaper around him. He's also gotten really fast at rolling over. It's more of a flip now than a roll.

We got through the diaper change, and as I was putting back all the tools of the trade, Biscuit flipped over and was gone. He took off crawling for the other side of the bed. He's fearless and will crawl off the bed and fall if he's not stopped.

I got to the other side of the bed to catch him. But when he saw me coming, he turned around and went back the other way. We played this game a couple of times before Kim came in and covered one side while I covered the other.

It was just like a baseball rundown with too many throws.

He's on the move

I know I shouldn't admit this, but at the end of last weekend, I said to Jeff, "I think I liked the boy better when he couldn't move by himself."

We spent the entire weekend saying, "No, Biscuit," "Don't touch that, Biscuit," "Get away from there, Biscuit," "Come back in here, Biscuit."

Yep. He's on the move.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Crawling to safety

The bathroom floor is almost dry now. Earlier today, there were two distinct paths of dampness.

When one of us isn't home and the other one needs to take a shower, Jeff and I take Biscuit in the bathroom with us and let him play. We're lucky that our master bathroom is pretty big, so we spread an afghan out on the floor, throw down some toys, and Biscuit just hangs out.

Until today.

He's been getting more and more mobile, especially over the past week, but I didn't realize how much until today.

Our shower has glass walls, so I could see him playing. But I swear, I think he watched until I needed to close my eyes before he made his move. I rinsed the conditioner out of my hair, and when I opened my eyes, he was gone.

I opened the shower door and leaned out. He had scooted and rolled from our bathroom into our bedroom. I grabbed him up, dripping water everywhere, brought him back into the bathroom and closed the door. He didn't like that at all. He rolled back over to the door and hollered at it. Then he rolled onto his back and started banging his feet against the door.

I got back into the shower and got the water adjusted. Then just as I closed my eyes to soap up my face, I realized it had gotten awfullly quiet. I quickly rinsed my face and opened my eyes. I have a knit robe that hangs on the back of the door. It has a long belt that was hanging down just far enough for Biscuit to get his hands on it.

He had one end of the belt in his mouth and was in the process of rolling over. Guess where the belt was. Yep. Wrapped right around his little neck.

I moved a little quicker getting out of the shower this time. I left another trail of damp carpet behind me. By the time I got to him, he had unwrapped himself and was just grinning at me. I did a quick look around to see if there was anything else he could get into. I didn't see anything, so I finished my shower.

I was reading an article online the other day that talked about babyproofing your house. I thought they were going a little overboard when they suggested that the parents should get down on all fours and crawl around the house looking for things the babies could get into.

After my shower experience today, I'm thinking Jeff and I will be doing some crawling around our house next weekend.

Still fireworks friendly

Jeff, Biscuit and I went to a Greensboro Grasshoppers game last night with some friends. We had six tickets, but unfortunately, two of our group couldn't make it.

We missed having them there, but with two empty seats, it worked out well because we had room for Biscuit's stuff without being crowded in our seats. We wheeled him from the car to the game in his umbrella stroller and had his diaper bag. It probably doesn't sound like those two things would take up a lot of room, but you'd be surprised.

Some of the seats on the row in front of us were open, so Jeff spent most of the game sitting there, which gave us even more space and left an empty seat, so Biscuit had his very own spot.

Biscuit was a little rowdier during this game than he was at the last one we went to. He's had some teething pain, and he's a little more mobile now, so he didn't like being confined to our laps. Jeff took him on a couple of walks just to give him something new to look at, but overall he was still really good.

I knew there would be fireworks after the game, and I was a little concerned about how Biscuit would react. My worries were for nothing because the game went to 12 innings and by then, Biscuit was fast asleep. Enough people had left at that point that I set his stroller up in the aisle beside my seat and fastened him in so he'd be more comfortable.

Right before the fireworks started, I grabbed him out of his stroller and held his head against my chest and put my hand pretty tight against his ear. He slept through the entire fireworks display. It was a really nice display, too. The show included some I had never seen before.

There were two pretty girls in the row in front of us. They turned around to see how he had handled the fireworks. They thought it was pretty funny that he slept through the commotion.

I told them that the funny part was that their long, pretty, brown hair almost became the victim of Biscuit's little hands several times during the game.