Sunday, June 28, 2009

Biscuit in training

I'm not ashamed to admit that I had a hard time sending Biscuit to day care. We went to tour several places while I was pregnant, and I left each one crying. Jeff would say, "Did you not like the place?" And I'd always say, "It's fine. I just don't want to send him off with total strangers for hours at a time."

But I also knew that 1. we can't afford for me not to work and 2. and most importantly, I need to work for myself, too. So I knew the day care thing was something I had to do.

I feel like we made a good choice. Jeff had a cold the day we were supposed to tour this place, so I told him I'd go alone and let him know what I thought. Then if he wanted to do a tour later, we could.

I took a tour and liked the place (still cried on the way out), and Jeff said if I had a good feeling about it, it was fine by him.

As my pregnancy neared the end, I started getting nervous about the place I had chosen. I called my Mama and said, "What if they made everything nice because I was coming for a tour. I wonder what it would be like if I just walked in unannounced?"

So when she came up after Biscuit arrived, Mama and Jeff dropped by the day care unannounced. They were both pleased with what they saw. They liked the people there, and they both said all the kids seemed happy. And that's a good sign.

That said, the first week or so that I was back at work, I cried every morning and called at least once during the day. And every time, everything was fine.

But now that Biscuit has been there for a while, I'm really glad he's in day care. Despite bringing home little illnesses (including the cold I have right now), he's socializing with other kids, he's in a safe environment with people who know about learning and development, and best of all, I've got help with teaching him all the things he needs to learn right now.

The day care teachers told me that when I got ready for him to try cereal or baby food, all I had to do was let them know, and they'd start introducing him to it. I told them that I appreciated their offer, but I wanted to at least get him started. After all, how could I get the great pictures and videos of him and the awful faces he made if I wasn't there for the first few feedings?

But after a few times of feeding and refeeding and refeeding, I was wishing for some help. So I started sending baby food to day care. In less than a week, you could hold a spoonful of food in front of Biscuit, and his little mouth would fly right open. Those teachers (one in particular) had trained my boy.

We've been using his Bumbo chair for feedings, but as he's getting bigger, I wanted to go ahead and set up his high chair. So this evening, he had his butternut squash with corn in his new high chair.

I sat him in the chair and strapped him in. Then I turned around to get the tray off the table. When I turned back to Biscuit, he had both arms raised up. I thought, "What is he doing?" Then I realized, he's been eating in a high chair ever since we started sending baby food to day care. His little arms went up because that's what he's learned to do when the high chair tray is coming his way.

Every time something like that happens, I have a little bit less of a problem with sending him to day care.


Biscuit is sitting in his daddy's lap right now drinking a bottle. The TV is on a local channel and a guy just said he wanted to thank the local restaurant Biscuitville for providing food for their meeting.

When Biscuit heard the word "Biscuitville," he jerked his head toward the TV. He now knows his nickname.

Some people like his nickname and some don't. Everybody enjoys the story of how he got his name.

And just for the record, it goes as follows: Jeff is from upstate New York, and I'm from Georgia and South Carolina. When Jeff found out I was pregnant, he said, "Northern women have buns in the oven, but Southern girls gotta have biscuits." So from then on, he called the baby Biscuit.

Someone sent me a link to another Baby Biscuit blog. I haven't read enough of it to know how that baby got the nickname, but when the mom is talking about their house, she calls it Biscuitville. I wonder if she knows it's the name of a small chain of restaurants?

As people heard our story, the name began to stick. Now I think more people call him Biscuit than his real name. I guess he can make the final call once he's old enough.

Fielding a ground ball

One from the Daddy-man:

Our little boy is changing every day. Once upon a time (actually, just a matter of days ago), you pretty much knew what to expect in the diaper-changing department. What came out would stick to the inside of the diaper. Every time.

But his diet has changed. And that's changed changing time. You've got to be on your toes now, ready to play defense.

Yesterday morning, for the first change of the day, I opened the diaper and my old baseball instincts took over. Turns out, I'm still a solid fielder. I cleanly caught a slow roller before it got past me. Hang a star on that bare-handed play.

Mills, Biscuit Mills

Biscuit could've been mistaken for James Bond last night.

He was at a fancy event. He was dressed in a black tuxedo. He had a custom ride. And all the ladies had their eyes on him.
First spy mission? Real tuxedo? Fancy car? Bond girls? None of the above.
We went to a wedding last night at a nice hotel in town. Biscuit wore a black onesie we found online. It had the white outline of a tuxedo on it. We pushed him through the fancy lobby in his stroller. And the the ladies who surrounded him were mostly moms and grandmas. But still, he looked sharp and got a lot of attention.

This was Biscuit's first wedding. I told the bride that we could get a babysitter, but she said we should bring him. He's a pretty laid back little man, so I figured the worst that could happen is that we'd have to leave the ceremony early.

We got to the hotel early and had to hang out in the lobby for a while. Mr. Nosey had to check out every person who walked past him.
For the wedding, they had set up chairs in a pretty little courtyard. I made sure that we sat in the end seats on the last row, just in case we needed to make a quick escape.
A few minutes before the bride and groom were supposed to come into the ceremony, Biscuit got hiccups ... loud hiccups. I was horrified. We were sitting right beside the video camera and all I could think was that the bride was going to watch her video and wouldn't be able to hear her vows for my Biscuit's hiccups!
Everybody around us was laughing, but I was having a hard time finding the humor. Luckily, his hiccups went away right before the bride and groom came out, and he was a perfect gentleman through the whole ceremony.

For the reception, the bride had made place cards for everybody, including one for Biscuit. I fed him his sweet potatoes before our meal even started, and by the time our salads came out, Biscuit was down for the count.
He slept for about an hour and woke up just in time for music and dancing.
But as I lifted him out of his stroller to dance, I realized his tuxedo was a little damp. We went to the bathroom and of course, there was no changing table. So I figured out that I could wedge him in between two of the sinks and if I could get him to lie really still, we could get things taken care of.
He did a great job and was very patient. And by the time I got his diaper open, I realized that he would need a costume change. I have learned that an extra outfit in the diaper bag is a must, so we were covered. We got back into the banquet room just in time for dancing.
Biscuit loves music. We play old Motown songs and dance around the house a lot. So when he heard some music he was used to, he started jumping up and down in my lap. We even got Jeff out on the floor to dance with us one time.
All in all, Biscuit's first formal affair went off without a hitch.

No means no

We are learning the word "no" ... and we don't like it!

We have a combination DVD/VCR that sits on a shelf under the TV, and it's at the perfect height for some little man to get to.

Biscuit rolled his way over there this morning and started flapping the VCR door open and shut.

I walked over, pulled his hand away, which made him flip over onto his back, then I said, "No."

He looked at me, flipped back over and started flapping the door again.

Again, I pulled his hand over and said, with a little more force this time, "No!"

He then proceeded to have the closest thing to a tantrum that I've seen from him. He let out a holler and jerked his hand away from me. All the while with a tight little scowl on his face. I didn't know whether to laugh or shake him.

Our little back and forth thing happened a couple more times before he finally got the idea that when I said no, he wasn't going to get to do what he wanted to do.

I wonder how long we'll go through this routine before it sticks? 20 ... 30 years?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Say "Cheese!"

I have a lot of pictures of Jeff and Biscuit together. But, as I have complained to Jeff on several occasions, I don't have a lot of me with Biscuit.

There are a couple of reasons for that:. 1. I hate, hate, hate to have my picture taken. 2. Every time Jeff is around to take pictures of Biscuit and me together, it's usually in the morning before I've had my shower and my hair is flying in 80 different directions or on the weekend when I'm wearing no makeup and I've just spent an hour cleaning the bathrooms!

But a friend of mine took this picture of Biscuit and me this past weekend that I really, really like.

My friend threw a dinner party, and Biscuit was in rare form. He was pretty much the entertainment for the evening. My boy is a born showman. Every time the camera was pointed at him, he grinned his little head off. He does that when we take pictures of him, too. Everyone thinks we've trained him that way. But really, he's just a smiley, little kid.

In the picture, Biscuit is fixing to give me one of his open-mouthed slobber kisses. How can something be so sweet and so gross all at the same time?!?

Growing, growing, grown

Biscuit was born three weeks early, and I never knew three weeks could make such a difference. He's been a little behind in size and development since he got here.

The doctor told us that at some point during his first year, he would probably hit a couple of growth and developmental spurts. He said he'd probably pick up weight quickly and would conquer several physical feats all at once.

I'm wondering if this is the week.

Last week, Biscuit was taking about five or six bottles each day, plus a jar of baby food for lunch and one for dinner. Yesterday, he had a jar of food for breakfast, one for lunch, one for an afternoon snack and two, count 'em two jars for dinner. From two jars a day to five in just a few days!

I enjoyed feeding him the first few times. He made awful faces, and I had to feed him each bite three or four times. Babies are born with an involuntary tongue thrust that pushes out anything they think doesn't belong in their mouths. So in other words, if they put something in their mouths, it's fine. Everything else comes right back out!

The day care teachers asked if I wanted them to start him on baby food. They said that some parents let the day care staff teach their babies to eat. I knew they would be better at teaching him than me, but I was really enjoying watching him learn to do something new.

But honestly, after several times of feeding and refeeding Biscuit, then hosing him down afterwards, I was ready to let the teachers have a crack at it.

Within a couple of days, you could hold a spoonful of food in front of Biscuit, and he would drop that jaw with his mouth wide open.

Now that he has the hang of it, it's pretty easy to feed him. The problem now is that you can't get it in him quick enough. As he sits in his chair, if you don't get the food in his mouth fast enough, he will start to lean over toward the jar. It's pretty funny to watch him. I guess he figures the closer he is to the jar, the quicker it will get to his mouth!

I'm guessing that when I was a kid, there were probably one, maybe two levels of baby food. Probably pureed stuff, then pureed stuff that was a little chunkier. It's not so simple anymore.

Biscuit has been on Level 1 food so far, which is just veggies or fruit and water pureed together. They told us to start him on veggies first because if he had sweet fruit first, he might not take to the veggies. I can't say as I would blame him. Who would want soupy peas when you could have yummy bananas?

I went to Target tonight to get him some Level 2 stuff. You wouldn't believe the variety he'll have now. Level 1 included peas, green beans, butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, applesauce, pears, bananas and prunes. With Level 2, they start getting creative. He'll get to try banana mango, green beans with brown rice, apple blueberry, sweet potatoes with apples and more. Some of the combos sound a little questionable to me, but hey, if he likes it, I'll feed it to him.

Biscuit's little growth spurt has led to a bigger size diapers and several outfits that are now in the give-away bag. It's good to see him flourishing, but can't he just slow down a little bit?

The Daddy Man's Day

My first Father's Day, by The Daddy Man

I missed the beginning of my first Father's Day because I slept in. When I finally dragged my lazy butt out of bed and stumbled out into the living room, Biscuit and Kimmy were on a blanket in the floor playing with Biscuit's toys.

Once the boy was played out, he crashed into a nap, and Kimmy made pancakes ... and I helped. She doesn't let me do much in the kitchen, but I'm a master at stirring. She has to pull in the reigns on me, though, because I tend to get stir crazy. "Don't overstir the batter," she said, "or the pancakes will be tough." "How tough can pancakes be?" I asked. She was not amused.

Once my Father's Day pancakes were done, I made myself some Father's Day coffee. The pancakes and coffee came out good, and it didn't take long for both to be gone.

Kimmy gave me several options of how I wanted to spend my day. They included taking a picnic somewhere, going out for lunch or dinner or sending me off on my own to see a movie. I opted out of the plans and told Kimmy I'd rather just spend the day at home with her and The Boy.

Next came presents. I already had a set of baseball cards that Kimmy made for me. There was one for each month of Biscuit's life so far. The front of the cards had pictures of him from each month and the back had stats from that month ... learned to roll over, first Christmas, ate baby food for the first time, etc. They also included his length and weight for each month. They're pretty cool.

And speaking of cool, I got an army green T-shirt with a red griffin on it. Aside from being Kimmy's home town, a griffin is also a mythological creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle.

I also got some cards from friends and family. I got one from Biscuit that talked about how he saves his morning spit-up just for me. I got a nice card from Kimmy, too. She wrote something really sweet on the inside, but she would kill me dead if I repeated it. The teachers at day care made cards for the dads and put the kids' footprints inside. That's a keeper.

We spent the afternoon just hanging out. The Boy is getting big, strong and restless. I spent a good portion of the day helping him stand up so he could bounce up and down and holler.

The day was capped off with a rare ribeye steak, some scalloped potatoes and some broccoli. Fantabulous. It icks Kimmy out to serve what she calls "raw" meat, but it was just the way I like it.

After dinner, we had individual chocolate peanut butter cakes. Two great tastes that taste great together. I ate all of mine. The last few bites were sickly sweet but still wonderful.

Never left the house. Only opened the door to shoot the squirrels with my pellet gun. All in all, it was a wonderful day. Can't wait 'til next year.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The thud heard 'round the world

We went to S.C. for Alyssa's birthday party last week. I had to make her a butterfly cake. Her party was on Saturday, and we spent the night at Mama's.

Sunday morning, Mama went to church, and Daddy and Jeff drove to town to get brake pads and rotors for our car. Biscuit and I stayed home to get lunch started before the whole crew came over.

I took Biscuit to the room where we sleep to change his diaper, and we started playing on the bed. I always grab Biscuit's feet, and he jerks them away from me. But I didn't take into consideration that the bed we sleep on there is a full size, and ours at home is a king.

I grabbed his foot, he jerked it away and ended up having just enough momentum to roll right off the bed before I could grab him.

I have never heard a worse noise than the thud of him hitting the floor.

I ran around to the other side of the bed and scooped him up. I wanted to squeeze him tight and tell him I was sorry and that everything was okay. But I also needed to check him out and make sure that everything could move properly and that there were no bumps on his head.

He was screaming like somebody was killing him and since I could tell he was okay physically, I knew it just scared him.

He cried so hard and so long that he wore himself out and got sleepy. He was still crying and was almost sleep, and I started thinking that if someone has a concussion, they're not supposed to go to sleep.

So the baby was crying, I was crying, I was scared to death that I had hurt him, I didn't know whether to let him go to sleep or not. It was a bad scene.

Luckily, just then Mama came in from church. She took the whole thing very seriously, but I could tell that she was laughing at me a little, too. She said, "Kim, if that's the worst thing that happens to him, he'll be fine."

A friend of mine told me last night that she heard an old wives' tale that says if a baby falls off the bed in his first year, he'll live a long life. Personally, I think some woman's kid fell off the bed, and she made that up to make herself feel better.

And now, I believe it with all my heart!

Hangin' with the mayor

Biscuit went to his first cruise-in last night. Jeff took the Barracuda over to a once-a-month cruise-in and car parade in Reidsville. And because it'll be a while before Biscuit can ride in a convertible, he and I drove over and met Jeff there.

We saw a lot of really nice cars, including a '69 Mustang fastback and a '69 Mercury Cougar (two of my favorites). Jeff really liked a '53 Mercury, a really nice '68 Dodge Charger and a fairly rare '64 Ford Falcon Sprint. Coincidentally, we're watching them rebuild a Falcon just like it on Spike's "Muscle Car" TV show right now. We also saw a '55 Chevy, the last Chevy my daddy owned. He said Chevys got ugly after that.

They barricaded off two city blocks in downtown Reidsville and parked the cars along the sides and the middle of the street. With Biscuit in his stroller, it was easy for us to check out everything.

I was a little disappointed by the parade, though. It would be more accurate to call it a stop-and-go. The cars drove from their parking places to the corner of the block, where they were interviewed on camera (They show the event live on Reidsville Channel 47.). Then they were done. There wasn't a lot of movement to the parade, so I enjoyed it better just to look at the cars standing still.

As Jeff finished his parade interview and drove away, he wasn't sure what to do next. So he stopped a police officer and asked, "Where do we go next?" And the police officer said, "Are you done?" Jeff said, "I think so." And the officer said, "Well, you can go on home, I guess."

After Biscuit and I checked out all the cars, we rolled over and stood with Jeff by the Barracuda. This man came up, motioned to the Barracuda and said, "Y'all need to buy something like this for your little boy." I answered and said, "This IS his. And we just know if won't be long until he's asking to drive it to the prom."

The man stayed and talked for a few minutes. He asked what Griffin's name was and where we were from. Then he stuck his hand out to Jeff and said, "By the way, I'm Jim Festerman, mayor of Reidsville." Then he gave us a pin and said to give it to Griffin when he got older and tell him that Reidsville was a good place to be.

We agreed with him on that and will definitely go back again.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

All Ya Gotta Do Is Act Naturally

We have a good morning routine going right now. It actually starts the night before.

Biscuit usually goes to sleep anytime between 8:30 and 10 p.m. And we've figured out that if we wake him up between 10 and 10:30 p.m. and feed him as much of a bottle as he can stay awake to eat, he will usually sleep all the way through until 7 a.m. (okay, sometimes it's 5:30, but still, it's better than having to get up every 3 hours like we did in the beginning!).

Since 7 a.m. seems to be a good wake-up time for him, that's when I get up, too. Here's how it usually goes:
  • 7 a.m. - I get up. (Some days this is a pipe dream, and I have to get up whenever Biscuit wakes me up. But nowadays, more often than not ... knock on wood ... it's about 7 a.m.)
  • 7:10 a.m. - Fix lunch for Jeff and me. Fix Biscuit's bottles. Get the diaper bag packed. Pick out the tasty-yummy-licious baby food flavor Biscuit will have that day for lunch. Then take all the packed-up stuff, including my pocketbook, keys, work ID and cell phone to the car.
  • 7:40 a.m. - Fix Biscuit a bottle and pass it off to Jeff.
  • After that, my part is mostly done. I jump in the shower and get ready for work. (My getting ready is usually interrupted several times, though, because I'll hear Jeff and Biscuit having fun and I'll get jealous and have to go play for a few minutes, too.)
  • By the time I'm ready, Jeff has fed Biscuit, given him a wipedown, changed his diaper, dressed him, brushed his hair, put a bib on him and played with him long enough that he's sleepy again.
We bought a nice digital video camera awhile back to document Biscuit's comings and goings. And no, I haven't transferred any of the videos to our computer yet! (I have some guilt about falling behind on the videos and still camera pictures.)

Anyway, this morning, I asked Jeff if one morning I could videotape him getting Biscuit ready to go to day care, just as a record of our morning routine.

And this was one of those times I love my husband so, so much: He looked at Biscuit, looked back at me and immediately burst into singing Buck Owens ...

"They're gonna put me in the movies.
They're gonna make a big star out of me.
They're gonna put me in the movies.
All I gotta do is act naturally."