Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lots of Mamas

I grew up in a small community where it was okay to call down rowdy kids, no matter who they actually belonged to. I've always felt like I grew up with 10 Mamas and 15 Grannies.

So I was really excited when Biscuit was able to get a taste of that on Easter Sunday. We went to the sunrise service at Mama's church. I didn't know if Biscuit would get too loud during the service, so Mama told me that when we got to church, we should bring him out to the fellowship building to hang out with her until the service was over. Mama is a member of the food committee, so she and several of my "other Mamas" were preparing breakfast for the church congregation.

In the past few years, the food committee members have realized that since sunrise service is so early, it's a lot easier for them just to order biscuits to serve for breakfast. The closest Bojangle's is about 20 minutes away from the church, so Mama and one of the other ladies drove over to pick up the biscuits. (The manager at Bojangle's said they had orders for 900 biscuits for Easter morning and that wasn't counting the customers who were coming in.)

So when Jeff, Biscuit and I arrived at church, we walked out to the fellowship building to find Mama, but she wasn't back yet. Two of the other ladies said a quick, "Hey, Kim," then immediately ignored me and started staring at and talking to Biscuit. (It's okay. I'm getting used to being ignored!)

I told them that Mama said to leave Biscuit with her, but I guess I would take him into the service with me since she wasn't back. They told me really fast that I was not taking him anywhere. I was trying to ask them if they wanted me to stay, but before I could even ask the question, they told me to just go away.

After the service, we all walked out for breakfast, and there was Biscuit, in the arms of one of my "other Mamas" surrounded by all the rest of them!

Jeff and I had a nice breakfast, and I had plenty of time to catch up with friends and people I hadn't seen for a while.

Fancy Easter clothes

I wanted to get Biscuit a nice outfit for Easter. We were planning to go to Easter sunrise services at Mama's church. But I couldn't believe how expensive fancy baby clothes were. There were seersucker suits for $25. There were embroidered overalls for $22.50. I just couldn't see paying that for an outfit he'd only wear once or twice.

So I got really excited when I went into Old Navy and the guy at the front of the store said that for one-day only, each item in the infants section was $5.

We got Biscuit a pair of grown-up-looking khaki pants, complete with little slit pockets on the back. We also got him a blue and white striped oxford shirt with yellow stripes on the placket and a navy sweater vest with yellow and white stripes around the neck.

We have to wash all of Biscuit's clothes before he wears them, and because his shirt and pants were 100% cotton, I had to iron those little tiny duds. I made a good attempt at it, but honest to goodness, my iron was bigger than the pants and shirt!

When we got to Mama's house (in S.C.), she pulled out her starch can and finally got all the wrinkles out. The whole ensemble was so cute. Biscuit even had a hand-me-down pair of navy slip-on shoes, so he was ready to go.

We got up early Easter morning and, of course, it wasn't early enough. So as we were rushing around, we didn't have time to take pictures of him. I told Jeff not to worry, we could take some when we got back home.

I was in such a rush, I forgot to pack bottles and formula in the diaper bag. So we stayed for the sunrise service and breakfast and then headed back to Mama's house. Since we knew Mama and Daddy wouldn't be home from church for a while, we decided to take a nap.

I just put Biscuit down in his fancy clothes so I wouldn't have to re-dress him for pictures later. He woke up hungry, so Jeff started giving him a bottle. ... And then it happened.

Jeff heard the grunting noises and then he heard the other noises. Biscuit's diaper had exploded and there was poo EVERYWHERE ... all over his new pants, shirt and sweater vest ... all over Jeff's shirt ... all over the pillowcase on the bed (we're still not sure how that happened).

So I can tell you that he was looking sharp on Easter morning, but I don't have any proof of it. We're planning to dress him up again so we can take some pictures. I'll be sure to post a couple here.

Growing like a weed

Baby clothes come in 3-month increments, so it should be obvious to me that babies grow fast. But it's amazing how one day they fit into an outfit and the very next day, it's in the giveaway bag.

We love to put Biscuit in the footed, zip-up sleepers. They're easy to put on, you don't have to worry about him keeping his little tiny socks on, and best of all, Biscuit seems to be comfortable and happy when he's wearing them.

So the other day, when we got Biscuit home from day care, Jeff started changing his diaper and clothes. I told him that the little blue sleeper he was trying to squeeze Biscuit into was a little tight the last time he wore it. But Jeff said, "Nah, it's fine," and zipped Biscuit right up.

A couple of hours later, I took Biscuit in to change his diaper. As I unzipped his sleeper, I noticed a red line down his chest. The outfit that Jeff said was fine had left the imprint of a zipper all the way down Biscuit's chest and belly.

Needless to say, Jeff took all the Gerber 0-3 month sleepers and put them in a bag for our friends' little boy Walker.

So of course I took the opportunity to say "I told you so." But then out of sheer guilt, I had to admit something pretty funny to Jeff.

Last week, I was trying to dress Biscuit in one of the same zip-up sleepers. He was wriggling around while I was trying to wrestle him into the outfit. I said, "Boy! Straighten your legs out so I can get you dressed." He kept squirming around, and I told him again, "Griffin. Straighten your legs out."

Then I realized, he couldn't straighten his legs out. The outfit was too short for his legs!

Friday, April 3, 2009


We don't live by "The Books," but we do try to consult them periodically to see what kind of progress Biscuit should be making.

Most of the books that we have list the specifics of child development month by month, but because Biscuit was born three weeks early, he's usually about three weeks behind where he should be.

A couple of weeks ago, I read the chapter on four-month-olds, and I couldn't figure out one thing he should be doing ... razzing.

What is razzing, you ask? Check out these videos, and you'll see!

The family tartan will be worn with pride

I wrote this column for the newspaper and thought since it includes Biscuit, it would be good to post it here.


My family has a checkered past.

And those checks are blue, red and green.

I’ll be wearing that blue, red and green plaid next Monday, not as a fashion statement, but as a tribute to who I am. Or at least where I came from.

April 6 is National Tartan Day. And with my Scottish heritage behind me, I’ll be wearing the plaid pattern, or tartan, that represents my family, Clan Ross.

There are a lot of rules and traditions about how and when tartans should be worn — as kilts, scarves or banners. But all those aside, I just like that I have a physical symbol of my ancestry — an ancestry that begins for me with my Granny.

It’s her tartan that I’ll be wearing next week. It was something of hers that I really wanted after she passed away in January.Granny was never overly concerned with our distant past. She couldn’t tell you about the military victories or losses of Scotland or the holiday traditions and rites of passage. But when it came to our family’s history, she was the one who knew everybody — and everybody’s mama.

She was my last grandparent. And she was the only one of my grandparents who got to know me as an adult.

The best thing about Granny was that, even though she had some definite ideas about what she wanted for me, she never pushed me toward anything. I told her I didn’t want to get married or have kids. But when I came back years later and introduced her to my husband, she never said I told you so. She just told me how happy she was that I had found someone of my own.

And when I told Granny I was pregnant, she was over the moon. She couldn’t wait to meet that new baby.

Granny got to meet my son a little over a week before she died. Something pushed me to take an impromptu trip to Georgia to see her and show off my pride and joy. Two days later, she was taken to the hospital. She didn’t come home.

Speaking in Southern drawls that slowly replaced the Scottish brogues of our ancestors, many of my family members told me that they believe she was just hanging on until she could meet my son. She had talked about how she had lived a full life and that there wasn’t much left on this earth for her.

I don’t know, maybe that’s true.

But I do know that the first time she laid eyes on my son, her whole face lit up. And when she reached out to grab his little hand and he smiled at her, I nearly lost it.

I’m still sad about losing my Granny. But I know that I have all the things in my life that she ever wanted for me.And just as she taught me about family, I’ll pass along our history to my son.

I’ll start next Monday when I wear a little bit of blue, red and green.

Kim Mills also has embraced her Scottish heritage by tasting haggis and taking bagpipe lessons. Contact her at 373-7014 or

Still, after 36 years ...

Griffin is getting over his first ear infection.

He wasn’t acting like himself last Friday night, then his cheeks got red. So I took his temperature, and it was 101.5. I gave him some Tylenol a couple of times during the night, then we went to his pediatrician’s office Saturday morning. They have office hours from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, so that was a big help instead of having to take him to a doc-in-the-box or the ER.

The doctor said that other than his right ear, was looked fine. He kept talking about what a good baby Biscuit is and how cute he is. I asked Jeff, I wonder if he says that to everybody or if he just took a liking to our Biscuit!

We had to give him Tylenol every 4 hours Saturday through today, and we got an antibiotic that he gets twice a day through Tuesday. We’ve had quite a time getting the medicine in him, because he isn’t used to having anything in his mouth but a bottle of formula. But we’ve gotten way more in his mouth than he dribbled down his chin, so I figure we’re doing okay.

But the oddest part about the whole experience is that the first couple of times I tried to give him his antibiotic, I gagged. I thought it was weird because I wasn't upset about giving it to him, and the medicine didn't really have a bad smell or anything.

So I told Mama about it, and she said that I got the same medicine when I was little and had ear aches, and that they had to force the medicine in me. All I can figure is that I must've really hated it, because here it is 36 years later, and I STILL don't like being near that medicine.