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.