Sunday, January 24, 2010
We can claim his day care on our tax return, so the day care office gives out payment statements in January.
Are you ready?
Do you want to know the total?
Now that I know, I wish I didn't. Where did we get all that money?
When I used to worry about whether we could afford to have children, Jeff always said, "People say you find a way to make it work." I doubted him until we got that statement.
Jeff said that the teacher of the Daddy Boot Camp class he went to told all the dads to just go ahead and accept the fact that a month of day care is equivalent to a monthly payment on a new BMW.
And on top of that, our day care is less expensive on average than many of the day care centers here.
Are you ready?
Do you want to know the total?
$7,005 ... Seven thousand and five dollars.
Where the heck was that money last year before Biscuit got here? I just keep thinking of all the things you could do, all the trips you could take, all the house payments you could skip if you had 7,000 spare dollars.
I guess the Biscuit is worth is. Well, MOST days he is, anyway!
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Actually, it's not as sinister as it sounds.
I have found a great way to get to the grocery store by myself. For the past few Saturdays, when I wake up (usually about 6:30 ... on the weekend!), I brush my teeth, throw on a sweatsuit, tennis shoes and Jeff's Buccaneers jacket, and I sneak out of the house. Then I'm off to Harris Teeter.
I'm usually one of only a couple of customers in the store. They're putting our fresh produce and restocking shelves. Everybody is friendly and extra-helpful. And I don't have to maneuver around other people and their buggies. Plus, no lines at the check out.
On the way home this morning, I decided to get biscuits from McDonald's. I got an Egg McMuffin for Jeff and an egg biscuit for me (knowing I'd be sharing my biscuit with my Biscuit). I was also talking to Mama on my cell phone. Don't worry, I'm not one of the rude people who talks on the phone while I should be placing, paying for or picking up my order. I made Mama hang on.
The total for my bill was $3.65. I opened up my wallet to find $3.42. I thought I had a 10 dollar bill, but then I remembered how I spent it the day before. So I used my debit card at McDonald's for $3.65. Three dollars and sixty-five cents on my debit card!
I've really enjoyed my secret trips to the grocery store. It feels sneaky and like I'm getting away with something. But I think if I do it again next week, I'll check my wallet for cash before I get in line at McDonald's.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Actually, let me explain that a little bit better. Biscuit has to touch EVERYTHING, put EVERYTHING in his mouth and throw EVERYTHING in the floor.
He has also learned that there are actions he can take that will try my patience. And he performs those actions while staring straight at me, almost willing me to do something about it.
So I do what I'm supposed to do.
I say no. I sit him down when he stands on his chair. I take things away from him that he shouldn't put in his mouth. And I help him pick things up after he throws them in the floor.
But the odd thing that I've found is that it's really, really hard to say no, scold him and make him do what he's supposed to do and keep him from doing what he shouldn't. It hurts his feelings, and it hurts my feelings.
I didn't expect that. I didn't expect to have such a strong reaction. I don't remember my mama having a hard time saying no to me. But now I wonder if she did.
I also wonder how much Biscuit understands. Even though he can only say a few words, how many can he understand?
Biscuit's vocabulary is still limited to a few words, but believe me when I say the attitude is there already. I scolded him about something the other night, and he started jabbering and chattering back at me.
So I looked at him and said, "I don't know what you're saying to me, but I don't like your tone!"
He's a 1-year-old, and I told him I didn't like his tone!
Then the other night, he kept standing up in the chair he got for Christmas. I told him twice that he could not stand up in the chair. I said "sit down" several times. So finally, I said, "If you stand up in that chair one more time, the chair is going away."
Guess what he did? He stood up in the chair ... AGAIN!
So I set him down, grabbed the chair and started walking toward my bedroom, with Biscuit right behind me. I put the chair on top of my bed, out of Biscuit's reach but right where he can see it.
Then I headed back toward the living room. Again, with Biscuit right behind me, this time crying and fussing.
As I turned the corner into the living room, I looked back at Biscuit and said, "I don't make idle threats!"
I looked up at my smiling mother-in-law who said, "Do you think he understood you?"
And I said, "Probably not, but it made me feel better saying it. I did what I said I would do!"
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
And today, I found another reason to love day care.
I have a long history with kidney stones and had a flare-up last night. I wasn't able to go to work today, but Jeff got Biscuit ready as usual and took him to day care.
There's not a whole lot you can do for kidney stones besides hurt and wait them out, but sleeping most of today away certainly didn't hurt the situation!
I feel better. I feel rested. And I feel thankful that there are times I can hand Biscuit off to someone else and know that he'll be well taken care of.
Friday, January 8, 2010
He got a cool activity table for his birthday from Grandma and Grandpa Mills, and it plays music ALL THE TIME!!! Luckily for Jeff and me, the music is actually pretty good.
Here's a video of my boy getting his groove on ...
I continue to be surprised at how much information Biscuit takes in on a daily basis. He has a seven-word vocabulary (Ma-ma, Da-da, Pa-pa, hey, bye, uh-oh and ball). He understands simple commands, such as “eat,” then runs to his high chair; “arms up” when I’m changing his clothes or putting his high chair try in place; “no,” not exactly his favorite word; and “come on” and he follows wherever you’re going.
And recently, he has figured out that to get off of furniture, he needs to turn over on his belly and slide off backwards until his feet touch the floor. These might not sound like big things, but to watch him learn these things has been amazing.
That said, there are still some very basic concepts that just don’t make sense to him. And of course, they provide many great laughable moments for Jeff and me.
For instance, the shower in mine and Jeff’s bathroom has glass walls. Biscuit cannot understand it when he walks over and sees water pouring down the glass wall, but he touches the glass wall and his hand doesn’t get wet. He touches the glass then pulls his hand away and looks at it, like, “Where’s the water? Why isn’t my hand wet?”
A friend of ours gave Biscuit a little basketball goal that makes noise when you make a basket. Biscuit now says and understands the word “ball” (see the last blog post for proof). So once he figured out that when you put balls into the basket, you get a cheer and a song, he was all about finding every ball he could to shove into the basket. The balls that came with this thing are a little smaller than tennis balls. So picture him bringing over a ball that’s about the size of a grapefruit, then having no idea why the grapefruit-sized ball won’t fit into a basket designed to accept tennis-sized balls.
His next step was figuring out that balls are not the only things that will fit through the basket. So he’s put trucks, barnyard animals, plastic scoops of ice cream, pacifiers and other things through the net. Yep, it all fits.
Everything for Biscuit is truly a learning experience. Let’s just hope that his learning experiences don’t include his Mama’s road rage or his Daddy Man’s pokiness!
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
One example is that Jeff wears his old sneakers to mow the lawn. I wear my old tennis shoes to cut the grass. So we wonder what bits and pieces Biscuit will pick up from each of us.
So far, he says "Dada," "Mama," "bye," "hey" and "uh-oh."
This morning, as soon as I set him down from his bed, he started walking around saying, "Papa, Papa, Papa." That's how we refer to Grandpapa Stacks.
I called Grandmama and Grandpapa Stacks to let them hear what he was saying. Sadly, Papa wasn't home, but Grandmama heard him. I asked her if we could hang up, then I'd call back and let Biscuit say "Papa" on the answering machine. So of course, once the answering machine picked up, Biscuit started whining and wouldn't say anything.
Then this evening, when we got home from day care, Biscuit started attempting to say "ball." He's so funny trying to twist his mouth to copy what we're saying to him.
And if there was any doubt about whose accent he's going to have, check out this video ...
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
But if I had had time to do it, here's what our Christmas letter would've said:
Dear Family and Friends,
We had a good year this year. We spent lots of time with family and friends, and Jeff and I both still have jobs.
The fall and winter are the busy months for Jeff. He covers college football and basketball for the paper and where we used to have 7 reporters, now Jeff is it. He covers Duke, N.C. State, UNC, Wake Forest, Guilford College, Greensboro College, UNCG and N.C. A&T. So needless to say, he's been pretty busy since August and will be until the Final Four plays out in April.
Grandma and Grandpa Mills made two trips down instead of one this year. They came down in May, and we took a quick beach trip, which was Biscuit's first. We were glad they got to spend some extra time with us.
We took a couple of camping trips with my side of the family. We went to Chimney Rock and Lake Myers. Well, to clarify, my brother and his family stayed in a camper. Grandmama, Grandpapa, Jeff, Biscuit and I went the hotel route. I like that a lot better!
Biscuit has accomplished all sorts of feats and his personality has become so much more evident. He's walking, eating table food and learning some basic words (Dada, Mama, bye, uh-oh - even though it sounds more like uh-uh). We've found out that he likes to play in water, he can't hear music without dancing, he loves to play with our hair or his hair when he's sleepy and he doesn't usually meet a stranger.
Like I said, we've had a very good year. And we're hopeful that this new year will bring even more good stuff!
It used to be that we'd spend two weeks doing research on who was going to have the biggest party, what the price of a ticket included (food, drinks, noisemakers, etc.) and who would have the best "midnight event" (balloon drop, free champagne, etc.).
But this year, here's what made me happy:
- I finished up at work a little early and went to Target and the grocery store BY MYSELF before I had to pick up Biscuit. Being by myself at those stores doesn't happen a lot anymore.
- I came home to a tasty home-cooked meal, prepared by SOMEONE OTHER THAN ME ... namely, my mother-in-law.
- I was actually able to stay up until midnight. The past year has not included a lot of sleep, so staying up even past 10 p.m. is a big deal for me!
- And last but not least, Jeff got home from covering a college basketball game at 11:55 p.m., just in time to wish me a Happy New Year and give me a kiss.
Happy New Year, everybody!