Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas so far




Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Santa

We had a nice, calm Thanksgiving. My parents were the only visitors we had. They came into town Wednesday and left Saturday morning, so the whole long weekend has been pretty low-key.

I accidentally took some non-drowsy cold medicine at 2:15 a.m. Friday morning. So when I was still awake at 3:40, I thought, "Hey, why don't I go to Target?" It was 3:40, I wasn't thinking clearly!

I brushed my teeth and threw on some slouchy clothes, then I got in the car and drove the 10 minutes to Target. I saw a few other cars on the highway and wondered whether they were going to work or going shopping. But as I rounded the corner into the shopping center parking lot, my jaw dropped.

The Target parking lot was full. FULL - as in there wasn't a single parking space left. The parking lot next to the Target one was full, too. I honestly thought when I saw that many cars that other stores were open, too. Nope, just Target.

They had a path cordoned off out the side door, down the side of the building, past four small shops, across the front of Bed, Bath and Beyond and almost to where the door of Michael's is. And the line wasn't single-file, either. It was about three or four people wide in most spots.

I got there at 3:58 and decided there was no way I was going to walk to the end of that line. So I sat in this little cour
tyard at the side of the building and waiting until the doors opened and the hoards of people started filing into the store. I stepped into the back of the line and made my way into the store. It was crazy. I only wanted a couple of things, so I didn't get a buggy.

I was heading back to the electronics department, so I was really, really glad I didn't have a buggy. It was worse than any traffic jam I've ever seen. People were running over the ankles of the people in front of them. Luckily, the only incidents of that I saw were accidents.

They had a whole separate line for the big fancy TVs. That wasn't what I was after, so I just kept on walking.

I grabbed the things I needed and headed to the checkout. Boy was I surprised when I saw the checkout line stretching down the main aisle of the store then turning down the aisle where the food is. It stretched all the way back to candy aisle.

I almost put my stuff down and walked out, but I realized that the line wasn't standing still. It was moving slowly, but it was moving.

I made it to the checkout area, and there was a Target employee directing each person to a cashier. Every single cash register was open. I asked my cashier if she was ready to go home yet. "Not yet," she said, "but come back about 10 a.m. and see how it's going." The employees had to be there at 3:45 a.m.

I grabbed my bags an
d headed to the car. It was 4:38 a.m. All of that hooplah, and it only took me 38 minutes to get done.

I have to say, they have clearly done that drill before because everything was so organized and all the employees were so nice and cheerful. I hope the shoppers returned that favor!

I headed back home and caught a couple more hours of sleep before I had to head in to work. Then I met Jeff, Biscuit and my parents for lunch, then drove over to see Santa.

A friend at work had told me about this great Santa last year, and we were really pleased with him when we took Biscuit there. The man was soft-spoken and very attentive to each child. He took some time with the kids and made them feel really comfortable. We didn't get a head-on photo of Biscuit last year. He was too busy staring at Santa's face and beard.

This year, he was a little more freaked out. Biscuit is either crying or not crying, but for the first time ever, he was doing that almost-cry thing where his bottom lip was quivering, his eyes were darting back and forth, and he was sort of wringing his hands. It was freaking me out.

I've held Biscuit while a nurse gave him shots. I've stepped right over him when he was having a little crying fit while lying in the floor. But for some reason, seeing his response to sitting in Santa's lap, not sure of whether he wanted to be there or not, looking back and forth between the girls operating the camera a
nd me, like he was wondering what he should do. I'll admit it. I teared up.

Santa talked to him and let him hold his sleigh bells, and Biscuit seemed to get a little more comfortable. Then Santa sang "Jingle Bells" to him and asked him what songs he knew. Then after about 10 minutes, Jeff asked Biscuit if he was ready to get out of Santa's lap. "Nope," Biscuit said.

Here's the photo evidence:

Monday, November 22, 2010

He's cracking us up!

Some things Biscuit has said today:

When we see the moon, I say to Biscuit, "I see the moon. The moon sees me. God bless the moon, and God bless me." Well, this morning, we saw a dog on the way to day care. I said to Biscuit, "See the dog?" Biscuit said, "See dog, Mom. See dog. God bess dog. Bess me."

Jeff: "Biscuit, what do you want for dinner?"
Biscuit: "COOKIES!"
Jeff: "You want cookies for dinner?"
Biscuit: "Yeah, okay. Have cookies."

Just now, a Bojangle's restaurant commercial came on. Their slogan is "It's Bo time." Apparently, Biscuit liked that. "BO TIME! BO TIME!" he said as the commercial went off. He's never even eaten at a Bojangle's.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

They don't fall down

I didn't know they still made Weebles ... much less that they could be so much fun!

Friday, November 19, 2010


I grew up in the woods. We didn't have neighbors or traffic. My brother and I could ride our bikes whenever and wherever we wanted without fear of getting run over or snatched up.

But now, I like living in a city.

Growing up in the country, we never started making a recipe until we had checked to make sure we had all the ingredients. The nearest grocery store was 20 minutes away. Where I live now, I have a grocery store exactly 1 mile from my house. Our town has two malls, three Targets, three Walmarts and all kinds of local and chain stores. There's a children's museum. There's a zoo within 45 minutes. There's a science center a few miles away. We have library branches all over the place and parks and playgrounds scattered all over the city. I think all of that stuff will be really good while we're raising Biscuit.

But I have to say, there are a lot of times that I feel sad that he won't have the freedom that I had growing up. We live on a cul-de-sac, but there are teenagers with new driver's licenses, which means riding a bike on and around our driveway can only be done under strict supervision. We have trees in our yard, but not really any that are right for climbing. There's nowhere for Biscuit to explore.

Luckily, it's only a 2 1/2-hour drive to get bac
k to where I grew up. My parents still live there. So does my brother, his wife and three kids. So even though Biscuit won't get to be there every day, he'll still get to have some of the same experiences I had as a kid ... the creek, tractors, dirt bikes, bonfires, walking in the woods, four-wheelers, the dune buggy, the tree house.

We visited my parents last weekend for Biscuit's second birthday, and I stole a little bit of time away to take a walk around the pond. There was no wind that day. You couldn't hear cars on the far-away highway. If airplanes ever do come over, they're so high up that you can barely hear them. On that walk, I heard something I hadn't heard in a while ... complete silence.

It was so quiet that it hurt my ears. I'm used to a busy newsroom, a TV, a playful toddler, traffic, whatever noises are constantly around. But to hear that utter silence really reminded me to make a commitment to share that experience with Biscuit.

Here's a picture I took of the pond on my walk. The water was so still that it looked like a mirror. Can you imagine waking up to see that our your window every morning?

I feel your pain

I gave Biscuit a choice of a grilled cheese sandwich or a peanut butter sandwich for dinner tonight. I'm still sick and didn't feel like cooking, and Jeff was still at work. He chose peanut butter and seemed pretty excited about it.

Biscuit isn't opposed to the crusts on the bread, but sometimes he has a hard time biting them. So I cut his sandwich in half for him. That was fine. But then I tore one of those halves in half, thinking it would help him eat around the crusts.

Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong. "No break, Mom! No break!" Then he wanted me to put the two pieces of the sandwich back together.

I held the two pieces together so the edges matched, but that apparently wasn't right. "Other side, Mom. Other side."

I tried to explain to him that the other sides didn't fit together, but I think it would've been easier explaining a whale lying in my front yard.

I was sharing this story just now with Jeff, and his only comment was, "Now you can feel my broken fruit pain."

Yes. Yes I can.

School pictures

Biscuit got his fall school pictures taken today. All three poses turned out so cute that I can't decide between them.

Check him out:

Biscuit's class was full and without a spare teacher, so I took him down the hall to have his pictures done. The photographer was really good with the kids. He told Biscuit to say "monkey." Then when Biscuit said it, the photographer said, "What did you call me?" and made Biscuit laugh.

The first time we took Biscuit to see Santa, I was standing off to the side, and when they started taking pictures, Biscuit was distracted by me and wouldn't look at them. I started calling his name and trying to get him to smile and look at the photographer. Then I realized that I was sticking my nose in where it didn't belong. Those people were professionals who take pictures of kids all day long, so I realized I should butt out and let them work.

I remembered that lesson today, so when the photographer would pose Biscuit, I would step behind the big camera setup to hide. The photographer looked at me as if to ask what I was doing. I told him that I was trying to hide so Biscuit would look at him and not me. You would've thought I handed this guy a gold brick or something. He said, "Thank you SO much. That is such a huge help."

I guess it worked. The pictures were really cute.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bad advertising

We would like to file a formal complaint with those people who make the lavender-chamomile, relaxing, bubbling, sleepy-time bath stuff.

They lied.

That stuff doesn't relax our Biscuit and make him ready for bed. It winds him up, gives him a second wind and makes him run around the house like a little crazy man.

Does he have to have a bath EVERY day?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

TV invasion

I don't know whether to think this is funny or to be horrified, but TV has invaded Biscuit's real life.

One of his favorite shows on Nick Jr. is "Ni Hao, Kai-lan." It's about a little Chinese girl named Kai-lan, her friends and grandfather. The other words in the title, "Ni Hao," means "hello" in Mandarin Chinese.

There's a little Asian girl at Biscuit's day care ... can you see where I'm heading with this?!?

Yep, that's right. Every time Biscuit sees her, he starts yelling, "Kailan! Kailan!"

And today, when he got close to her, he said, "Nihao."

As my Granny used to say, "Lord God!!!!"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Beat Boys

Our little night owl is still awake at 10:30, so Jeff gave him a bath in some of that nighttime, soothing, bubbly stuff.

I was in the living room playing on the laptop when I heard a weird noise coming from the bedroom.

I walked in there to find both my boys making beat box noises with their mouths.

"Check it out," Jeff said. "It's Biz-cuit-markie."


P.S. If you don't know who Biz Markie is, he's best known for a really bad late-80s song called "Just a Friend" that Jeff and I just sang very loudly to Biscuit, who just stared back and forth like he was watching a good tennis match. Biz shows up on a popular preschooler TV show these days doing beat box and other musical stuff.

Where does he get this stuff?

Sometimes I wish I had some type of recorder glued to my hand at all times.

Right now, Biscuit is sitting in the new chair he got for his birthday, naming all the facial features on one of his little plastic horses. "Eyes, eahs, mouth, nose, eahs, teeth, eyes, eahs ..." He seems to be stuck on the ears.

We were eating breakfast the other morning, and Biscuit announced that he had dinosaurs on his pajamas.

"Mom, dine-sauhs on jammies," Biscuit said.

"Shahp teeth, Dad."

Then he pointed to one of them and said, "T-Rex. That one."

T-Rex? Really? Where the heck did he learn that?!?

We went to celebrate Biscuit's birthday with his grandparents in S.C. over the weekend. Biscuit was watching TV and the satellite blinked out for a minute.

Grandmama came in and said, "Uh-oh. Did the TV go out?"

Biscuit looked at her, turned his hands up toward the ceiling and said, "Looks like it."

Again I ask, where the heck does this stuff come from?!?


I posted this, but now I have to add a P.S.

Biscuit followed me into the kitchen and watched as I emptied the dishwasher. There were some crackers in a zip-top bag on the counter, so he said, "Cacka, Mom?" I love the way he says "cracker."

I knew he would want a cracker for each hand, but he had his pacifier in one hand (no, we still aren't rid of that thing yet!). I opened the bag and held it down for him. He grabbed one cracker, then he started looking back and forth at his pacifier and the crackers. I could see the wheels turning in his little head, trying to figure out how he was going to get another cracker without getting rid of his pacifier.

So he threw his pacifier in the floor and grabbed another cracker. Then he squatted down, still with a cracker in each hand and squeezed his pacifier between the side of his fists. He stood up and walked with it that way all the way from the kitchen to the living room, where he put it down on the coffee table.

Two hands, two crackers and one pacifier ... all within his reach.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Happy birthday, Biscuit

Today is Biscuit's second birthday, and I've been thinking about everything he's learned in just a couple of years. I've read back over some of the blogs I've written, and it's amazing to me that he started out as a cute little slug who needed everything done for him.

And now, he's a walking, talking little man.

Sunday morning before his party, I was putting the icing on the cupcakes. He walked up to me and said, "Doing, Mom?"

"Putting icing on your birthday cupcakes," I said.

"Need birthday cupcakes, Mom."

"You NEED birthday cupcakes PLURAL?" I asked him.

"Yes. Need cupcakes, Mom."

So I gave him one without icing and told him he could have one with icing at his party. He seemed to think that deal was acceptable.

I wanted to make ham biscuits and some other snacks for the adults who were attending the party, and as I got to the end of the ham, I thought, "I think I can get one more slice off of that ham." Well, turns out I was wrong. I got a nice slice out of my thumb, though.

It was a pretty bad cut, so I was struggling to finish the details of the party. So I called a friend who lives near me and asked if she could come to the party an hour early. Luckily she was able to come over and basically finished getting everything ready.

The party started at 2 p.m., and we had five kids (from almost 1 to 2 1/2 years) and 12 adults (counting Jeff and me). We were really pleased with the turnout.

All the kids were great. I figured there would be at least one "that toy is mine and I'm going to smack you in the head to get it." But nope. No fighting. No crying. No biting. No nothing. They just all played.

We took them outside to run around for a while. Then after they were all tired out, we brought them in to get sugar-ed up on cupcakes!

And this is where the drama begins.

I poured milk or juice in sippy cups for all the kids, but I didn't snap the lid tight on Biscuit's cup. So we sang "Happy Birthday" to him and let him blow out a candle. Then he took a huge bite of his cupcake and reached for his milk.

I never knew a sippy cup could hold that much milk. It went EVERYWHERE. All over Biscuit. All over the floor. Splattered on the table legs, the chair legs. It was just an awful mess.

The heartbreaking part was that Biscuit thought that he had done something wrong. He was pulling at his clothes saying, "Sorry, mom. Sorry, mom." Oh, it broke my heart.

I took him to get his clothes changes and to try to calm him down, but he was inconsolable. I carried him back into the dining room but he didn't want any part of his cupcake or snacks. He laid his head on my shoulder and a couple of minutes later, he was asleep.

At first, I thought, "He can't be asleep. This is HIS party." But then I reminded myself. He's only 2. Who cares?

So I put him on our bed surrounded by pillows and went back out to play with the other kids.

Everybody left around 5 or 5:30, but Biscuit was still snoozing. He must have really been tired because we had to wake him up about 6:30. I thought it was pretty funny because Jeff and I were trying to get him excited about the balloons and the presents and the cupcake that he didn't get to finish. But he didn't care about any of it.

I brought him one of his presents, and after telling him exactly how to open it (tear it right here, pull this paper), he finally got one opened. By the time Christmas was over last year, he had the present unwrapping down pat. As a matter of fact, he tried to help everybody else open their presents, too. So I was a little surprised when he didn't show much interest in the stuff he got for his birthday.

He finally said, "You open, mom." So I opened each of his presents, then he would ooh and ahh over each one. It's been funny to watch him play with things because he clearly has a different favorite each time. It's like he's taking the time to get to figure each toy out.

I'm a big ol' worry wart, so Jeff always has to endure what we call the post-party briefing. It's where I worry that there wasn't enough food or that the food wasn't good or that someone didn't have a good time or whatever worries my brain can cook up. And of course, Jeff being Jeff, he spends however long it takes to assure me that "refreshments were served, and a good time was had by all."

And I think he's right.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

2nd birthday party

I cannot believe that our Biscuit baby is 2. Well, he won't be officially 2 until Tuesday, but we had his party today. Four of his friends (ranging from almost 1 to 2 1/2) came and spent the afternoon playing and eating cupcakes.

It started out rough because I cut my thumb open this morning and had to call a friend to ask if she could come over early and help me finish getting everything ready. She was a lifesaver. I couldn't have done everything without her.

Anyway, I'm tired now, so I'm going to post a couple of videos from that same friend, and I'll share more party details later.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fractured fruit

A post from The Daddy Man:

I was feeding Biscuit breakfast yesterday. I had given him his yogurt drink and had just sliced up a banana on a plate. He was eating the banana slices and bites of my Pop Tart, and everything was going fine.

Then he tried to pick up another banana slice, but this time, he squeezed the slice too hard, and it broke in half and fell onto his plate.

He melted down.

"My banana broken. Broken banana," Biscuit wailed. He was inconsolable.

Then he was done. He didn't want to eat anything else. Not one more bite.

Beyond rage

It's a good thing you can't get arrested for intentions. Because I intended to kill some rude lady today.

Biscuit and I took a friend to a holiday market here in town today. We were hoping we could catch some of the holiday spirit by looking at all the pretty Christmas decorations.

And it was working, until ... (insert swear words here).

This ... this ... woman! decided that whatever it was that she was trying to see was more important than my son and his safety. So what did she do? SHE SHOVED BISCUIT'S STROLLER OUT OF HER WAY!!!!!

Can you believe that? I felt a rage fly over me that was honestly quite hard to control.

I threaten violence all the time. I tell Jeff that I'm going to slap him blind. I tell bad drivers in traffic that I'm going to run them down. And I've probably made some even worse threats to other people throughout the years.

But the thing about all those threats is that they were harmless expressions of sarcasm and/or frustration.

Today, scared me a little. The only saving grace in the situation was that I saw the hand and arm of the rude woman, but by the time I turned around, she had been absorbed into a group, and I couldn't tell which woman had done the shoving.
I just had to walk away ... quickly ... to avoid just yelling out to this woman or even worse, to start swinging at any woman in the vicinity.

My friend saw me pushing Biscuit's stroller into an open space at the end of the aisle and came over to see what was wrong. I told her what happened and that I needed to stand there and breathe for a minute.

I would really like to have a conversation with that woman so I could ask her point blank, "What in the name of all that is holy was SO important that you needed to risk injuring a CHILD ... MY CHILD ... to see it or get to it or buy it?"

So much for holiday spirit. She could use a dose of that goodwill to all men stuff!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Night, night

Conversation just now between Biscuit and The Daddy Man:

Jeff: Biscuit, do you want to go to bed?

Biscuit: No.

Jeff: Are you sleepy?

Biscuit: Yea.

Jeff: But you don't want to go to bed?

Biscuit: No.

Jeff: Are you afraid you might miss something?

Biscuit: Yea.

Terrible twos

So I've heard it both ways. Some moms have told me that their kids sailed through their twos with no problems. Others have said they were ready to box up their toddlers and ship them to China!

So I wonder where Biscuit will land?

He's really a sweet kid. He's pretty laid back about most things. Keep his belly from getting empty. Make sure he has a car or a ball in his hand. And when his mouth hurts from teething, give him baby Tylenol and back away slowly!

But sometimes ... sometimes ...

Let's just leave that sentence unfinished!

The biggest thing we're working on right now is sharing. He's the only kid in our house, so he has all his toys all to himself. That's not the case at day care. So the teachers suggested that Jeff and I play with Biscuit's toys (we sure do hate that part), and when he comes to get them from us, we tell him that Mama and Dada are playing with the toys right now and that he can have them when we're done. Needless to say, he doesn't like this particular exercise. But I can see some improvement, so it's worth it.

Yesterday morning, when I dropped Biscuit off at day care, we were getting out of the car and a truck with a loud muffler zoomed down the street. Biscuit jumped, spun around and walked right into the car door. He didn't hit it hard, but it was hard enough that he staggered back a couple of steps.

I was concerned that he was hurt, but before I could even check his head, he pointed his little finger up at me and said, "NOT NICE, MAMA! Hut head!" (hurt head)

"I didn't do anything," I whined back at him. "YOU'RE the one who walked into the door."

Then it occurred to me, I'm arguing with an almost 2-year-old. I'm trying to use logic, and he doesn't even know what logic IS!

Anyway, I'm not sure how Biscuit's twos will be. I guess we'll see starting next week!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Halloween

I know it's a few days late, but here's a picture of our group Halloween costume:

I had bigger plans for our c
ostume this year, but we had to go to S.C. for a funeral last week, and my shopping and preparing time went away. So I needed something that could be taken care of in one trip to the store. Somebody asked me how I decided what color each of us would be, and I told her that it was pretty simple. I grabbed whatever color sweatsuit was available in each of our sizes. Very simple, very easy.

Biscuit and I had sharp points, but Jeff said he didn't want to wear a hat because the black crayon is always the first one to lose it's point. I guess that makes him dull!

Friday night, Biscuit's day care had a Fall Festival. Jeff and I were the only parents who dressed up. I was surprised by that, but I didn't really
care. I love dressing up for Halloween. And if you know Jeff, you know that nothing really shakes him up.

The weird part of the evening was that as soon as we walked in the door, all these kids and adults starting saying hey and talking to Biscuit. And what was even weirder was that Biscuit seemed to know them, too. He has this whole social life that we didn't even know about.

Jeff said, "It's like he's a teenager already with a secret social life."

We figured out that it's all about timing. Biscuit is one o
f the last kids to arrive at day care in the mornings and one of the last kids to leave in the evening. So many of the other parents see him when they pick their kids up in the afternoon.

One man, who I swear looked about 7 feet tall, said hey to Biscuit in a really deep voice. He was standing behind me, and his voice was so deep that it startled me. But it didn't faze Biscuit. He just smiled and said hey. Then another man held his fist out, and Biscuit leaned over and bumped fists with the guy.

We struck up a conversation with a woman we had never seen before. She just went on and on about how much she loves Biscuit. She said, "He has such a big personality. Kids and adults both are just drawn to him." It was a nice thing for her to say, but it was pretty odd that this woman knows so much about our son, and we've never even met her.

The teachers had set up games in each classroom. There was a temporary tattoo station, musical chairs, pin the nose on the pumpkin, ball toss, and other games geared toward the kids. At each station, there was a bowl of candy for the bigger kids to choose from (mostly candy) and a bowl of stuff for the little kids to choose from (cookies and crackers). Biscuit had a good time, and we enjoyed watching him.

We spent the day at home Saturday. It was nice to just chill out with my boys. Jeff usually has some kind of game to cover on Saturdays during this time of the year, but he lucked out and didn't have anything this week.

Back in September, I made Jeff go to a consignment sale with me, just so he could see what they're like. I pointed out that Biscuit's size went from here to there, and if he saw anything we could use, grab it. I was looking for pants and long-sleeved shirts. And Jeff grabbed a Frankenstein-esque one-piece Halloween outfit. G
ood thing he had his priorities straight! It was awfully cute, though. See?

Sunday we had a Halloween party to go to. It was mostly adults, but there were a couple of cute kids there, too. It was funny to notice how Biscuit dealt with each of the other kids. There was a little girl about his age, and he didn't want her to touch anything that was his. But there was a little boy a year younger than him, and Biscuit just laid in the floor and talked to him like it was his job to entertain him.

Biscuit is still small for his age, so even though the other little boy is nearing the same size, Biscuit still seemed to know that the little b
oy was younger than him. It was pretty fascinating to watch his interactions.

We didn't take Biscuit trick-or-treating, mainly because he's not old enough to get it yet. Plus, he still can't eat a lot of the candy he would've gotten anyway. But I'm guessing next year, he'll be ready!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ricky Bobby

A post from The Daddy Man:

I think I'm going to change Biscuit's name to Ricky Bobby.

I went to pick him up at day care the other day. He likes riding in my Mustang because his car seat sits up high enough to have a good view.

As soon as I started the car, Biscuit yelled from the back seat, "GO FAST, DADA. GO FAST!!!"

Okay, Ricky Bobby, here we go. I'm so proud.


Comments from Mama:

1. DO NOT drive that car fast while you're carrying my baby!
2. Biscuit is bad enough, and now you want to name him after Will Ferrell character ("Talladega Nights)? Um, no.
3. Last but not least, I have eyes in the back of my head. You boys better behave!

Good Boy, Sneaky Mama

Biscuit said the blessing all by himself before dinner tonight:

"Bless this food, for our good. Amen."

Then he cleaned his plate, including sweet potatoes, broccoli and carrots.

Okay, so he didn't know he was eating broccoli and carrots. I made a cornbread batter, added diced chicken, cheese, broccoli and carrots. Added garlic ('cause everything is better with garlic) and baked them in a muffin tin.

The boy gobbled them right up ... and he was none the wiser.