Thursday, December 29, 2011


Know what happens when you're feeding your kid applesauce and he has to sneeze?

You get a face full of half-processed applesauce, that's what.

Applesauce in your hair. Applesauce on your glasses. Applesauce in your mouth. Applesauce up your nose.

I was only trying to help. He wanted applesauce, and I wanted to finish watching a TV show. So I told him he could have applesauce in the living room as long as he let me feed it to him.

I guess he showed me the consequences of my actions! Next time, I'll catch the TV show in reruns and make him eat in the kitchen!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dr. Biscuit

We had to take Biscuit to the doctor yesterday. He has had a cold for a little over two weeks, and I could just tell that it was starting to turn into something more serious. I feel so bad for him because at his age, he can't have a decongestant. So his poor little nose has been alternating between stuffiness and runniness for a little over two weeks.

Poor little man.

Biscuit loves going to the doctor. First of all, he gets to ride an elevator. Then once we're in the office, he gets to search through all the multi-colored chairs until he finds just the right red one. Have I mentioned that red is Biscuit's favorite color? 

Once we get called back, we look through the horrible book selection. If you thought the 2-year-old magazines in the adult doctor's office were bad, multiply it by 1,000, and that's how bad it is to have to read a story about a fish who wants to go to school. There was no explanation about how the fish can live on land. There were two pages missing out of the middle. The fish had somehow evolved to the point that it could walk on its tail. And of course its face had shifted down. I guess if the fish is going to walk upright, his mouth and eyes can't be facing straight up.

All that to say that the time between getting called back into the exam room and the time we actually see the doctor seems like an eternity.

Biscuit is fascinated by all the gadgets and the whole process of getting checked out. He asks questions and chats with the nurse and doctor. And when he's unsure about whatever is about to happen next, he always cuts his eyes over for my approving head nod.

When the nurse called Biscuit's name yesterday, Jeff had gone out to the bathroom. So when we got back to the room, I asked the nurse if she could let Jeff know where we were. I told her that he was wearing a blue and white oxford shirt.

"What's his name?" she asked.

And before I could answer, Biscuit said, "His name is Jeff."

"And what do YOU call him?" the nurse asked.

Biscuit smiled and said, "Um, Jeff!"

"You don't call him Jeff," I said. "You call him Dad."

"No. I call him Jeff," Biscuit said. Personally, I think the boy was flirting with the nurse. She just smiled at him and made a big ol' fuss.

The doctor asked if Biscuit takes any medicine, and I told him he has some liquid medicine for his seasonal allergies. He asked how much, and I told him I use half a teaspoon.

"I thought it was 2.5 milliliters," Jeff said.

I just looked at Jeff, confused for a minute. "I thought the bottle says that ages 2 to 6 get half a teaspoon," I said.

The doctor laughed, then Jeff smiled at me. Then the doctor said, "Half a teaspoon and 2.5 milliliters are the same thing."

I just looked back and forth between the doctor and Jeff. "There's a reason I was an English major," I said to both of them. "Biscuit, do you hear Dad teasing me? Tell him it isn't nice to tease Mama."

"Dad, it's nice to tease Mom," Biscuit said, laughing. I can't believe my boys teamed up against me!

The doctor concluded that Biscuit has a sinus infection and said he should have an antibiotic. He scrolled back through Biscuit's file on his computer and asked, "Have you seen any other doctors?"

I explained that Biscuit's original doctor left the practice to teach at a medical school in Virginia, and Biscuit's 3-year-old checkup was the first time we had seen the new doctor we chose.

"I meant outside of this practice," the doctor said.

Aside from pink eye and his 3-year-old checkup, yesterday was the first time Biscuit has been to the doctor in over a year. It's also been that long since he's had to take an antibiotic. Apparently, not going to the doctor for that long is rare for a kid his age, and the doctor was surprised by it.

"That's a good thing, though, right?" I asked the doctor, only halfway serious.

"Yes, definitely. That's a great thing," the doctor said. "It's just unusual these days."

Don't even get me started on these Moms who haul their kids to the doctor every other week demanding an antibiotic for every little thing. But I digress.

The nurse had no idea that she was doing something so great, but she gave Biscuit a fire truck sticker when we left. And then, he got to ride the elevator back down. I'm going to miss the days when these little things aren't a big deal anymore.

Biscuit got two doctor kits for Christmas. One came with a character called Mr. Bump and has a stethoscope, otoscope, thermometer, blood pressure cuff and some other gadgets. The other one is a veterinarian kit. It came with a dog carrier with a stuffed puppy inside, plus all the gadgets to check out the dog.

So with his most recent doctor's visit done, Biscuit turned himself into Dr. Biscuit. Jeff had to cover a football bowl game last night, so I was the sole recipient of Dr. Biscuit's attention. I had my temperature taken, my reflexes checked, my heart listened to, my tonsils looked at and my blood pressure taken.

After Biscuit listened to my heart, I asked, "How did it sound?"
"Great. It sounds great," Biscuit said. "Can you open your mouth and say, 'Ah'?" I did as he requested, then Biscuit said, "That's very good, Mom. You did it just right." I'm a very good patient.

And Biscuit is a good patient, too. He takes his medicine without complaint and doesn't complain. Let's hope the medicine does its job and makes my baby better.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Christmas Rush

We spent a good deal of our Christmas days off on the road. We drove 1 1/2 hours Saturday to spend time with Jeff's family. Then we came home and got ready for Santa Claus.

On Christmas morning, we had to wake Biscuit up. I know, I know, this will probably be the last year we can brag about that. But we just tried to enjoy it as much as we could. Biscuit checked out his haul from Santa, which included a really cool tricycle. Then he had about an hour to play before we had to hit the road for a 2 1/2-hour trip to my parents' house.

Now don't get me wrong. I love spending time with both sides of our family during the holidays. But truth be told, I kinda like it when the holiday is during the week. That way, we can travel the weekend before or the weekend after and spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at home. And with this coming year being a Leap Year, my during-the-week Christmas wish will come true.

We have one niece (13) and one nephew (11) on Jeff's side of the family and two nieces (13 and 9) and one nephew (7) on my side. So it was a lot of fun watching the kids play with Biscuit.

Mama cooked a big ol' Christmas dinner for us. She's always critical about her own cooking, but I can't say I had any complaints. Plus, if you're going to have to drive 2 1/2 hours, I can't think of a better way to end the trip than a plate full of Mama's home cooking.

Anyway, refreshments were served and a good time was had by all.

And here are a few pictures:


Long car ride = long nap

Paging Dr. Biscuit. We have a sick puppy.

"Look at those cool ornaments I can't reach."

"Santa brought me a bike!"

Cowboy Biscuit tears into a present.

"Look at me, Mom. I'm asleep in my sleeping bag."

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has said recently:

Merry vs. Mary: I finally figured out the Very Christmas thing. Biscuit keeps arguing, saying that you don't say "Merry Christmas," you're supposed to say "Very Christmas."

When we were at my parents' house this weekend, my Mama said "Merry Christmas" to Biscuit. He said, "No, Grandmama. It's Very Christmas. Mary is Baby Jesus' Mom."

So basically, every time somebody says "Merry," he thinks they're saying "Mary."

It was like a lightbulb went off over my head. Now I get it. I do have to say that it sounds a little weird for Biscuit to refer to Mary as "Jesus' Mom"?

New horse book: Biscuit got a new book about horses for Christmas. He has remembered and even recited random facts from this book since the first time we read it to him. Although, a few of the facts have blended together into statements that just aren't quite right.

Like this morning. "Mom, is it cold outside? Do I need to put on my coat?"

"Yes," I told him. "It's cold, so you need your coat."

"Mom, horses have great eyesight when it's cold. When they're cold, their eyesight is great."

You learn something new every day, I guess.

Cowboy learning: "Mom, when I'm a cowboy, I will put my left foot in the stirrup and mount my horse. That's what I'll do."

Story time: This is a story Biscuit shared with me this morning.

"One day I was riding my horse outside. And a wild white shadow came and got on my horse. Then a bear started chasing us. And my horse, he neighed really loudly and scared off the bear."

Sometimes you just have to smile and nod.

Definitely my boy: Biscuit has struggled with timing during the holidays. Telling him things like, "Christmas is next week" doesn't mean a whole lot. He doesn't understand when next week is.

But when we told him on Christmas Eve that Santa Claus was coming that night, he got it.

His eyes got big, he took in a big breath, and he said, "Tooo-niiiight?"

So the day after Christmas, as we were driving the 2 1/2 hours home from my parents', Biscuit asked about Christmas. I explained to him that it was over. I went back over all the things we did in preparation -- put up the tree and decorations, made cookies and candy, read about Mary and Joseph and Baby Jesus, gave and received presents and went to see Santa Claus.

Biscuit considered all of this for a minute, nodded his head and said, "Okay, Mom. What's next?"

Yep, he's my boy, alright.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Out of the mouth of my babe ... Christmas edition

Here are a few things Biscuit has been saying recently:

What?!?: Sometimes you just listen and agree. Don't even try to understand.

Biscuit said recently, "When I grow up, I'm going to be bigger and bigger and bigger. And when I'm cold, my hair keeps me warm like horses' hair keeps them warm."

Smile and nod with an occasional "yeah," then smile and nod some more.

Baby Jesus: Biscuit was telling his Grandma all about his Nativity set, and I think for the first time, he really thought about Baby Jesus being an actual baby. So he came up with a plan.

"Baby Jesus has to go to day care. Mom's going to take him," Biscuit said. "The snowman is going to be his teacher."

The Duke: Remember Biscuit's brown cowboys movie? (It's the tame Western that has sepia-toned photos on the DVD box?) Yes, my son's favorite movie was made in 1949. What can I say, he's an old soul.

John Wayne's character in the movie is Capt. Brittles. I'm not sure how Biscuit decided this, but he will argue with you that John Wayne's character is actually named Capt. Griddles. When Biscuit is on his stick horse or his bouncy horse, he says, "I'm pretending to be Capt. Griddles" as he rides off into the sunset.

So Jeff decided the other day to see if Biscuit understands that the character Capt. Brittles is played by the actor John Wayne.

"Do you know who John Wayne is?" Jeff asked Biscuit.

"Yeah. He's a pretty good brown cowboy," Biscuit said nodding and smiling.

For now, I think that's all he needs to know.

Gift request: We haven't talked a lot about Santa Claus or exactly when Christmas Day is. Biscuit doesn't really understand "next week" or "4 days from now," so we've kept him on a need-to-know basis.

Yesterday morning, as we were getting ready for the day, Jeff asked Biscuit, "So Biscuit, what did you tell Santa Claus you wanted for Christmas?"

"I tell him I want firefighters, Dad," Biscuit said.

"And what did Santa Claus say about that?" Jeff asked.

Biscuit thought for a second and said, "Santa Claus, he say 'Firefighters coming right up!'"

Let's hope Santa was listening!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas greetings

We usually do a family photo for our Christmas card, but this year, we just never got around to doing it.

It doesn't seem like it would be too hard to get out the camera and the tripod and get the three of us dressed decently and in some sort of family-looking pose, but with an active 3-year-old and a husband who spends a lot of time covering basketball games this time of year, it's more difficult than you'd think.

Biscuit got his cowboy outfit (suede chaps and a vest) from Jeff's parents for his birthday in November, and I wanted to take some pictures of him in it. There's a stable right down the road from our house, so on Thanksgiving evening, we dressed him in his best faded jeans and put his cowboy outfit on him. 

The only problem was that the chaps were too big, and the only way he could keep them on was for us to put them on backwards. If you know any real cowboys, don't tell them what we did.

Here's our Cowboy Biscuit wishing everybody a Merry (or Very as he says) Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Very Merry Christmas!

I think Christmas morning is going to be fun at our house. Biscuit's excitement is growing by the day.

This morning, as Jeff walked into our bathroom to brush Biscuit’s teeth, he said, “Merry Christmas, Mama” to me.

Biscuit’s head whipped around so he could look at Jeff. His eyes were huge and he had a funny grin on his face. Then he looked at me expectantly.

“Today isn’t Christmas,” I told him. “I know Dad said ‘Merry Christmas’, but you can say ‘Merry Christmas’ even before Christmas Day gets here.”

“Oh,” he said, sounding more than a little dejected.

“Can you say ‘Merry Christmas’?” I asked him.

“Very Christmas,” Biscuit said.

“No, baby. It’s ‘merry’ with an M,” I said to him. “M-m-merry Christmas.”

“Noooo, Mom. It’s VERY Christmas,” Biscuit said with a touch of whine.

I thought about it for a second, and in the grand scheme of things, Merry Christmas vs. Very Christmas is just not worth the hassle of arguing over.

“Okay,” I said. “I’ll have a Merry Christmas, and you can have a Very Christmas.”

He smiled, thought about it for a second and said, "Okay."

It was a good compromise.

Very Christmas, everybody!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bathroom frustration

A post from The Daddy Man:

It's been a while since I posted anything here, but I'd like to remedy that with a rant.

I want to meet the germaphobic genius (insert dripping sarcasm here) who invented motion-detector toilets, no-touch faucets and automatic hand dryers and punch him or her in the nose.

The inventor must not have kids, especially not a toddler.

And here's how I know that.
  1. The motion-detector toilet is very sensitive and inevitably flushes while my toddler is still doing his business. It scares the daylights out of him and completely interrupts any progress he might have been making.
  2. The no-touch faucets have the tiniest sensors ever created. Combine tiny sensors with Biscuit's tiny hands, and you get an almost impossible hand-washing situation. It's hard enough trying to hold the boy up to the sink with one arm and hand and help him wash his hands with the other. Where am I supposed to get that third hand to keep the faucet sensor engaged?
  3. The automatic hand dryers are loud ... very loud. And all you have to do to turn them on is walk in their general direction. And if you're 3 feet tall and happen to walk underneath one, it can be quite traumatizing.
What's so hard about faucet knobs, toilet flush handles and levers on paper towel dispensers, anyway?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Firefighter Biscuit finds a home

When my in-laws come for their winter visit, they split time between mine and Jeff's house and Jeff's brother and sister-in-law's house. So since they'll be leaving our house tomorrow and won't be coming back until after Christmas, we decided to let Biscuit open presents from them tonight.

I was really excited to see him open one particular present ... a vintage fire station playset.

It pains me to say that the vintage playset was made in 1980. I was in sixth grade in 1980. I don't want to think that things I owned at 12 years old could now be vintage! But that was 31 years ago. THIRTY-ONE YEARS!!!

Anyway, Biscuit opened the fire station this evening, and he loved it. He's been playing with it nonstop, swapping the firefighters and the dalmation (aka fire dog) into different vehicles, up and down the ladders and into the fire station.

There's a crank on the side of the fire station that raises and lowers to garage-type door on the front. And just for kicks, it has a bell that rings as you crank the door up and down. You didn't think it was possible to have a completely silent toy for a toddler, did you?!?

Here's Biscuit playing with his new favorite gift:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Santa's Little Helper

Biscuit and I made some Christmas cookies together tonight. Biscuit was decked out in a "Santa's Helper" apron his Grandmama bought him.

Since Biscuit has the attention span and patience of a typical 3-year-old, I have to plan our cooking projects to accommodate him.
So we started with ready-made refrigerated cookies, added sprinkles and then waited a whole 8 minutes until the cookies were done.

Here are a few pictures:

We missed the timer buzzer and got brown cookies. Biscuit loved them anyway!

Who the heck is Dave?!?

I was sabotaged by my own husband last night.

Biscuit loves a book about Paul Revere that belonged to Jeff as a child. It's been his go-to bedtime book for a long time.

Jeff decided one night to ad lib a line, and Biscuit liked it so much that when Jeff read it the next night, Biscuit added on the extra line himself. From then on, Jeff said the line each night, even though it isn't in the book.

Paul Revere says, "We did it! We did it! Right under their noses!"

Then on that fateful night, Jeff read the line above then said, "Yeah, we did it!" said Dave.

I carried Biscuit to bed tonight, and he asked me to read about Paul Revere.

I was reading about how Paul Revere was "riding, riding, riding to liberty." I read about how they did it "right under their noses," then turned the page and kept going.

"What about Dave, Mom?" Biscuit asked. "You forgot Dave."

I flipped back a couple of pages and didn't see anything about anyone named Dave.

Biscuit started to get upset. "You didn't read it, Mom," he whined. "You have to read about Dave."

I couldn't figure out what he was talking about, and the longer I sat there trying to figure it out, the more upset Biscuit got. There were tears and everything.

Jeff was sitting in the living room and heard me reading. He called me, and I stepped out of Biscuit's room to see what he wanted.

Jeff explained how he was reading one night and just added Dave in ... just for the heck of it.

So I went back into Biscuit's room and said, "Hey, let's flip back a page and read it again." I added Dave into the story, and Biscuit got a huge grin on his face.

"That's right, Mom. You forgot Dave, but now you read about him," he said. "Thanks, Mom. Thanks for reading about Dave."

Now, what can I do to pay back Jeff?!?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thou shalt not steal

Biscuit and I stopped by the store to buy a birthday present for a little friend of his a few weeks ago. We went to our usual shopping destination. And Biscuit called it before we even got to the shopping center.

As we leave day care, we go straight to go home and bear off to the right to go to our usual shopping destination. So as soon as the car bears right, he always asks what we need to buy at the store.

I had planned to explain the purpose our trip to Biscuit anyway, because we were going into the toy department, but we weren't going to buy anything for him. He seemed okay with the concept of it, but I was interested to see how things would actually go down in the store.

As we walked into the store, we stopped by the discount aisle up front. I was looking for a couple of little notepads, but Biscuit immediately spotted a horse. He asked if he could see it, and I thought it might make for a good distraction.

"Would you like to hold this horse while we do our shopping?" I asked Biscuit.

"Yes, pease," he said. "I like horses." (Quite an understatement on his part!)

We got the birthday present we were after, and Biscuit didn't ask for a single thing. We traveled on through the grocery section and got cereal and a couple of other things. Then we headed up to the cash registers.

I paid for our merchandise while Biscuit had a conversation with the lady in line behind us. Biscuit seems to have my gift of gab, so he doesn't meet too many strangers.

Then we headed out of the store to our car. Biscuit sat in the buggy seat as I transferred our bags from the buggy to the car. 

With the buggy empty, I started to scoop Biscuit out of his seat. Then I saw it. He still had the horse I told him he could hold as we did our shopping.

"OH, LORD!" I said. And with my Southern drawl, it sounded more like I said, "Oh, lowered." 

I am usually very careful about what I say in front of Biscuit. And although what I said wasn't horrible, it's still something I'd rather he not repeat (Lord's name in vain and all).

So of course he repeated it. Except he can't pronounce his L's.

So Biscuit said, while mimicking my drawl, "Oh, woe-word, Mom. Oh, woe-word."

"Don't say that, Biscuit," I said to him, which of course just encouraged him to say it more.
"What's wrong, Mom?" Biscuit asked as I wheeled the buggy around and headed back toward the store.

"We didn't pay for that horse," I told him.

"Oh, woe-word, Mom. We didn't pay for this horse. Oh, woe-word," he said.

We got to the customer service desk and I told the woman what had happened. She wasn't fazed in the least. "Do you want to buy it?" she asked. I told her I did want to buy it, then paid and left.

Luckily, the "oh, woe-word" comments didn't last past that night. And Biscuit has become super-conscious about us paying for our stuff in stores and restaurants.

Now if I can just keep from each him any other bad habits.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Biscuit saw my parents last weekend. Their names are Grandmama and Papa. 

Jeff parents just arrived today for their winter trip. Their names are Grandma and Grandpa. 

Biscuit is having a wee bit of trouble trying to differentiate between all his grandparents and their names. 

Biscuit and Grandma were on the couch watching TV just now, and Biscuit realized that Grandpa wasn't around. You could tell he wanted to ask about Grandpa, but he couldn't seem to remember his name. 

He looked at Grandma and said, "Where's ... um, where's your friend?" 

"My friend has gone to bed," she said. 

Poor Grandpa.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Awww! Not the face!!!

Jeff and I love to look back through tons of candid photos we've taken in the three years Biscuit has been on Earth. But our mothers, they like portraits. Store-bought portraits.

The closest we've come to giving in to a portrait session is Biscuit's school pictures at day care.

Believe it or not, they have professional pictures taken at day care twice a year - once in the spring and once in the fall. I had to buy the spring ones from last year. They were adorable.

And Jeff, God love him, was pressured by a group of four women to buy Biscuit's fall photos this year. A couple of day care moms and two ladies from the photography studio ganged up on him and guilted him into buying the way-too-expensive photos. I'm sorta glad they did, though. The photos were really good.

So as I scanned through the circulars in the Sunday paper, I found a really good coupon for a local photo studio. It's a place that has been recommended to me by several friends. They say it's low-key and laid back. And there isn't a ton of pressure to buy.

So I decided I would take advantage of the good deal I found, dress Biscuit up and take him to the portrait studio.

Well, until tonight's ... um, incident.

I hate to sound like I'm bragging (and yes, I know I might have to eat my words at some point), but Biscuit has been doing so well with the whole bathroom process. He lets us know when he has to go, and since he's quite routine-oriented (I can't imagine where he got THAT from), we've been able to pretty easily establish the rule of him lifting the seat and putting it back down when he's done.

So Biscuit went into the bathroom tonight, got up onto his step-stool, pulled his pants down and did his business. He grabbed the seat and was in the process of putting it back down, but he was leaning over just a little too far toward the toilet. The seat slipped out of his hand, and on the way to crashing down onto the toilet, the seat caught Biscuit right between the eyes on the bridge of his nose.

Poor Biscuit. He screamed and he cried. And who can blame him? I can't imagine how much that must have hurt. And he bled, too, which always makes matters worse.

Jeff was trying to comfort him, but sometimes even tough little boys need their mamas. Biscuit came walking toward me wearing socks and a shirt ... and that's all. He was so pitiful.

I held him and told him I was sorry it happened. I asked him if he was okay, and through his tears and snubs, he said he was.

"I'm o-o-okay, M-m-mom," Biscuit wailed.

So I guess our trip to the portrait studio will be postponed just a bit. Maybe Biscuit will be injury-free around Mother's Day.

This was after the crying and bleeding, once a little antibiotic ointment had been applied.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Question ... and my answer

"When are you going to give Biscuit a little brother or sister?"

That's a question I get a lot these days. And people don't mean anything by it. It's pretty obvious to most people that Jeff and I are enjoying being parents, so it's a natural assumption that if we like having one kid, we'd like having more.

But since I couldn't get pregnant again, it's been a little tricky trying to answer those kinds of questions. Not to mention that I'm still pretty sad and mad and disappointed about the whole thing. 

I still having frequent dreams about babies. Sometimes I wake up thinking it's real. And that's hard to deal with, especially when you're staring a well-meaning person in the face trying to answer a question that sometimes makes you cry.

So for my own well-being, I practiced until I came up with what I think is a very suitable answer when people ask me about a second child.

It's a tricky thing. If you just say, "I couldn't get pregnant again," it puts people in an awkward position. They don't know what to say. And Job No. 1 as a Southern woman is to make people feel at ease. (Or at least that's what my Southern DNA tells me!)

If you try to avoid answering the question, without thinking, some people will rephrase the question and ask again.

"So do you WANT more children?" they'll ask.

And I want to say, "YES! We want more. But I can't get pregnant, and we can't afford the tens of thousands of dollars it takes to adopt a healthy child, and Jeff told me I'm not allowed to take children away from people I think are bad parents."

Yeah, now that I type that out, it might seem a tad harsh as an answer to a harmless question.

So after going over and over it in my head, when people ask about a second child, I now say to them, "Well, we tried to have another baby and it didn't work. So we're just going to be thankful we got Biscuit."

I think it works. It answers the question without making anyone feel bad. But it also throws out the hint that not having another baby wasn't by choice, so it might not be the best topic to pursue.

Some of my friends get up-in-arms when I tell them that people ask me the question on a pretty regular basis. But as much as I like to talk to people, and as much of an open book as my life is, people aren't being rude, they're just taking part in the conversation.

And I think I finally have an answer for them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few random things Biscuit has been saying lately:

Me, the people: "Mom, you're the people, and I'm the cowboy," Biscuit said to me tonight.

As usual, my response was, "What does the (insert name here) do?" In this case, it was "What do the people do?"

"The people have to sit in your rocking chair until I get back," Biscuit said. Then he walked around the living room and came right back over.

"What's your problem, people?" he asked.

This is when I have to quickly come up with some problem he can fix.

Tonight's response was, "Well, I don't have any carrots for my pet rabbit."

"Oh!" Biscuit said. "I can fix it. I'll take my cowboy rope and lasso some carrots. Wait right there!" Then he made a big show of throwing his lasso, drawing in some imaginary carrots, then bringing them to me like they weighed 100 pounds.

"Here you go, people," Biscuit said. And "people" pretended to feed imaginary carrots to the imaginary rabbit.

New nursery rhyme: Biscuit walked up to Jeff and me the other night and said, "Hey, guys. I know all about Humpty Dumpty."

In unison, Jeff and I said, "You DO? Tell us."

"Humpty Dumpty, he sat on the wall. Then Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. And ALL the king's horses and ALL the kings men, they didn't put him together again."

Jeff and I made a big fuss over his recitation. Biscuit had a grin from ear to ear. Then he started to walk away.

He quickly turned, came back and said, "Hey, guys. The king's horses ... um, they have cowboys to ride them. The cowboys ride the king's horses."

Cleaning up and cleaning out: Biscuit and I were at my parents' house this weekend, so I thought it would be a good time to weed out some no-longer-played-with toys. 

So I called Jeff and had him go to the big toy box in the living room. Then we began to discuss what needed to stay and what needed to go.

Jeff got everything put into a box and into the trunk of his car to take for charity.

Jeff picked Biscuit up at day care this evening. As they were leaving the day care parking lot, they hit a bump and from the trunk they heard, "Choo, choo! Choo, choo!" from this little train that makes noises when you shake it.

"Dad, Dad! I hear a train," Biscuit said. "There's a train somewhere."

"Yeah, I hear it, too," Jeff said. 

Then, luckily for Jeff, a song Biscuit likes ("Jinger Bells") came on the radio and took his attention away from the train. But no worries, I'm sure Santa will replace that train with something really cool.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mash up

Have you heard of mashups? It's where singers take two different songs and put them together in one. They usually have some common words or themes.

Well my Biscuit baby did a little mashup of his own tonight, only his was in story form instead of song.

"Mom, you're the cowgirl," Biscuit said. "And Dad, you are the cowboy firefighter brother."

"What does that make you?" I asked him.

"I'm the firefighter cowboy policeman dad," he said.

"Wow," I said. "What does the firefighter cowboy policeman dad do?"

"He rides his firetruck horse," Biscuit said in a matter of fact tone that made me feel sorta stupid for asking.

It all made perfect sense to him, so we played along.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The pizza guy

I've been wanting to get Biscuit more involved in the kitchen. I've read a bunch of articles about how picky eaters get less picky when they take part in food preparation. That's probably true, but I was mostly just looking for something fun that Biscuit and I could do together. Something I could teach him to do.

So I got a pre-made pizza crust, some sauce and cheese, and Biscuit and I whipped up a pizza this evening. It was nowhere near the best pizza we've ever had, but it didn't matter. He learned to do something new. He saw the process of creating something out of pieces and parts. And he and I had fun together.

Here's my little pizza guy in action:

Monday, December 5, 2011

A close encounter

Do you know how many fire hydrants there are between our house and Biscuit's day care? Well I do!

52. There are 52 fire hydrants between our house and day care.

Do you know how I know that? Because we have to count them every morning.

And every morning, in the process of counting, Biscuit gives me some variation of the following information:

"Mom, firetrucks carry firefighters when they rescue somebody. Some fire trucks are hook and ladder trucks (or hook and wadder as he says it). Some other firetrucks are pump trucks. They carry water. Firefighters use water to put out fires. The pump trucks sends the water through the hose to put out the fire. Then when they run out of water, the firefighters patch the hose into the fire hydrant for more water."

"Sometimes firefighters rescue dogs. And sometimes they rescue people. They climb ladders to reach high up in the sky. The firefighters sleep at the fire station. And when the alarm rings, the firefighters slide down the pole, get their fire coats and their fire hats and their fire pants and their fire boots and they jump on the truck and they turn on the sirens and they go FAST to the fire."

We took Biscuit to the Festival of Lights downtown the other night. We didn't get there in time for the tree lighting, but it was still fun to walk around and hear all different kinds of music and people watch. But the best part for Biscuit happened as we walked from the parking lot to the park where the tree is.

We spotted a real-live fire truck.

Nobody was around except for a couple of police officers, and they seemed preoccupied with the one officer's motorcycle. So I asked Biscuit if he'd like to have his picture taken on the fire truck. The front bumper stuck way out, so Jeff scooped Biscuit up and set him on the front of the truck. That boy was truly amazed! (Jeff and Biscuit both!)

I took a couple of pictures, one from the front and one from the side, and as I got into position to take more, I glanced up and saw a group of firefighters running toward the truck. 

"Um, we're going to have to borrow that truck for a minute," one of the guys yelled.

Jeff grabbed Biscuit, and we hurried to the sidewalk to get out of the way. As soon as Biscuit saw the firefighters getting into the truck, he clamped his hands over his ears. He knew what was coming next. 

The engine turned over, the lights started flashing, the siren started wailing, and away they went.

Biscuit sat there for a couple of minutes with his ears still covered and his mouth hanging open. If 20 years from now I take pictures of Biscuit in his new firefighter uniform, I would not be the least surprised.

(Notice that he has a horse in each hand in these photos. I also wouldn't be surprised if in 20 years Biscuit was a rancher!)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday decorating

Have you ever heard the quote "I hate writing, but I love having written"? Well, I hate holiday decorating, but I love having decorated.

Before Biscuit got here, I always felt like holiday decorations were optional. But nowadays, it's all about creating memories. So like it or not, we doll the place up for holidays.
We have one tree for Biscuit and his ornaments and one tree for mine and Jeff's ornaments. I guess it's like a grown-up tree and a kid tree. And of course, Biscuit's tree is way more interesting because it's got photo ornaments of him, ornaments that people have given us and even a couple Biscuit has made.

Biscuit's tree is pre-lit and has a push-button switch that you turn on with your foot. And guess whose foot is strong enough to turn it on this year?

Biscuit was also able to help hang ornaments this year. He hung the first one by himself and was so proud he came running into the kitchen to tell Jeff and me about it. We had to stop what we were doing and go check it out. 

And since Biscuit hung some of his ornaments, some branches have more than one ornament and some things are hanging on top of other things. And as fussy as I can be about things like that, I'm not moving a single ornament he placed.

Griffin's tree

A new ornament for this year handmade from a pod of okra.

My how he's changed.

Two ornaments, one branch.
New firetruck ornament. Biscuit desperately wants to touch it, but it's blown glass.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Party-planning purgatory

I had an interesting conversation with some girlfriends this evening about kids' birthday parties.

I've never thought twice about inviting people to Biscuit's birthday parties who don't have kids of their own. Jeff and I have some friends who are planning to have kids but don't have them yet. And we also have friends who have chosen not to have children. 

Either way, they're all part of Biscuit's life, so I want them included in the celebrations and milestones.

We didn't have an official party for Biscuit's first birthday. We just had a small family gathering. But for his second and third birthdays, we invited a bunch of people to our house. We don't do anything fancy -- I make ham biscuits and some chippy dippy sort of stuff. And I have cupcakes and cheese puffs for the kids. 

As for activities, I don't really plan anything structured. We just bundle the kids up and let them play in the backyard. The adults do a lot of chatting and catching up, and the kids seem to have a good time, too. It's a cheap and easy party.

But tonight, we were talking about a friend whose son's birthday is in December -- a month during which the weather could be warm and sunny or cold and windy or even icy and snowy. She can't really plan anything for outside. So she ends up having to find party destinations. His first birthday party was at a children's museum here in town. This year it will be at one of the local bouncy-house-inflatable places.

So I guess what I realized is that although it's never been a question in my mind about inviting people with kids and people without for Biscuit's birthday parties, I have the luxury of an inexpensive party at my house, where everybody can just hang out and relax.

My friend, on the other hand, has to pay per person at the destination party sites, plus weigh whether her childless friends would even want to go to a place that's designed specifically for and caters to young children. It's a lot harder for the adults to relax and have a conversation when they are also trying to keep track of the young partygoers among all the other children.

It's a tough balance to strike because you don't want to leave anyone out, but at the same time, you don't want anyone to feel obligated to come to a party where it will be difficult for adults to have fun.

Who would've thought that a little kid's birthday could be so complicated?!?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Music at the ready

I realize that in today's world of instant everything, when Biscuit asks for a song he wants to hear, I should have it right at my fingertips.
I have satellite radio in my car. I have a fancy mp3 player for occasional listening at work or when I'm having a solo lunch. I have the CDs and even cassette tapes that Jeff and I combined when we got married. And I love them all. 

But even with all those musical options, when Biscuit asked me to play him a song tonight, I couldn't do it.

"Mom, can you pay 'Jinger Bells'?" Biscuit asked.

We were listening to Christmas music on a satellite channel, but it was some boy band singing a different song. You could hear bells in the background of the music, so I guess that's what triggered Biscuit's question.

"I don't have that song with me," I said to Biscuit.

"Yes you do, Mom. Yes you do," Biscuit said.

So I started singing "Jinger Bells."

"Not YOU singing it, Mom. I want to hear the other people singing it," Biscuit said to me.

Way to put down on your mother's singing, Little Man!

I finally convinced him that I couldn't play that song for him on the radio.

"Okay, Mom. I get it," Biscuit said. Then he sat there quietly for about 30 seconds. "Can you pay the song about that lady coming around the mountain?"

And the explanation began again.

Next it was, "Can you pay the song about the twinkle stars?"

"No. I can't play that one, either," I said to Biscuit.

And the explanation began again.

Speaking of songs, do you remember this one?

"This is the explanation that will never end. It just goes on and on my friend ..."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Name that tune

Biscuit has learned to hum.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again ... it constantly amazes me how much kids have to learn. I mean, who thinks about the fact that kids have to learn how to hum?!? 

Biscuit has been making cooing-singing-type noises since he got here. And like most babies, he has always had a reaction to music. When he was wee-tiny, I would sing an old reggae song to him (he never complained about my singing voice) ... "don't worry, about a thing, 'cause every little thing, gonna be all right." 

When he was about 1 1/2 years old, he heard that song on TV. I hadn't sung it to him in a long time, so I was really surprised that he had a reaction to it. He stopped what he was doing, got really quiet and just stared at the TV until the song was over. I was amazed and really touched that he recognized it.

I secretly hope that Biscuit is musical. I would love it if he picked up an instrument or if he loved to sing. I have a piano and a guitar, and I allow Biscuit to play them (as witnessed by the many videos I've posted). Biscuit has a drum, a xylophone and several other little fun instruments to play. So if he is musically inclined or interested, I think we've given him a good start.
But hearing him humming around the house. Hearing him make music with his own little voice. It just makes me smile every single time. You can actually tell what the song is by the intonations in his voice.

And if you think about it, do people hum when they're in a bad mood? Hearing Biscuit hum makes me feel like he's happy.
I got my Mama a refrigerator magnet that says, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." Well, in this case, Mama is very, very happy. And I hope Biscuit is, too.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few recent comments from Biscuit:

Cowboy and ringmaster: "Mom, I'm a cowboy, and you're a ringmaster. Ringmasters are in charge. They say who gets to be on the floor. Cowboys have to go to the farm."

I don't ever want to discourage Biscuit from saying what he's thinking, but sometimes I want to look him in his pretty blue eyes and say, "What in the world are you talking about?!?"

Tacos: We had chicken tacos the other night, and Biscuit was excited. 

"Mom, I like tacos. Tacos are good for everybody. Tacos make you feel really really better." 

I sautee black beans and whole-kernel corn in olive oil and garlic to go on our tacos, and Biscuit seems to think that the black beans don't quite look like black beans.

"Mom, can I have some of that corn and blueberries on my taco?" Biscuit asked. I told him he could.

"Corn and blueberries are really, really good, Mom. I like lots of tacos."

Christmas songs: It's always amazing to me when I remember that children are not born knowing Christmas songs. They have to learn those, just like they have to learn everything else.

Biscuit's first Christmas song is "Jingle Bells." But that's not quite how he sings it.

"Mom, listen to me sing a Christmas song, 'Jinger bells, jinger bells, jinger all the way."

Good helper: Biscuit loves to help. Even taking a piece of paper to the trash can makes him very happy.

When I got home this evening, Biscuit came running to greet me.

"Mom. I'm a good helper," Biscuit said. "I help Dad with the laundry, and that was a nice thing for me to do."

"That WAS a nice thing for you to do," I said.

"Yeah, I'm a good helper, Mom. I do good things," Biscuit said.

He's a good helper, and he's humble, too!

He likes to be right: Like most people I know, Biscuit does not like to be wrong. Tonight, he actually argued with me.

"My horse has 10 legs, Mom," Biscuit said.

"No. All horses have 4 legs," I told him.

"No, Mom. My horse has 10 legs because he can run really fast," Biscuit said.

"Yes, your horse CAN run really fast, but he does it on 4 legs," I told Biscuit.

"My horse is the same as the 'brown cowboy' horses, and he's got 10 legs. I can count them, and nobody else can count my horse's legs because they're being quiet."

Wait a minute, did my 3-year-old son just tell me to shut up?!? Yes, I believe he did.

I asked Biscuit to bring over one of his horses, and we counted its legs. When I pointed to each leg and let Biscuit count, his total came to 4. But when Biscuit held the horse and counted, 6 extra legs made their way in there somehow.

"See, Mom? See? I told you. I told you that. My horse has 10 legs."

Oh, and just for good measure, throw in the fact that Biscuit can't pronounce his L's, which means he was arguing about "wegs."

Blessing the food: Friday night, we took my parents to a diner near our house. Jeff, Biscuit and I ordered breakfast food. Biscuit loves the silver dollar pancakes. 

My parents both ordered off the dinner menu. They each got a small garden salad before their entrees came out.

"Can you say the blessing, Biscuit?" my Mama asked.

Biscuit looked around the table and had a bit of a frown on his face.

"There are no pancakes here, Grandmama. I don't have any pancakes," he said.

Biscuit thought he only said the blessing once he had his own food. I guess nobody else's food needs a prayer.