Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sound effects

Jeff is reading a book to Biscuit. And Biscuit is adding his own sound effects.

"Only its eyes moved. Up, down, sideways. Until it spotted a fly. Then the chameleon's long and sticky shot out and caught the fly," Jeff read.

"KAPOW!" Biscuit yelled. "Aaaaaah, snap."

I'm not sure where the "ah, snap" came from, but maybe the chameleon grabbed that fly with attitude.

All da-board

I'm not sure how we got so lucky, but we get the best hand-me-downs of any people I know -- clothes, toys, furniture, you name it.

Our newest acquisition is a train table. A friend of ours at work was getting rid of it because his son had outgrown it. Although, it sounded like his son struggled a bit with the decision to give it away.

Our friend brought his son with him, and he showed Biscuit the basics of playing with the trains and tracks and roundhouse (look at me knowing a train term without having to look it up).

I wasn't home yet when the teaching session took place, but it must have been a pretty good lesson. We haven't been able to pry Biscuit away from the table. And we had pizza for dinner!

Picture 1: Happy, happy, joy, joy!
Picture 2: Schroeder (aka "peeno boy") found his way onto the table, along with Biscuit's flashlight and some assorted cars and trucks.
Picture 3:
Getting your train ready for departure takes some serious concentration.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Meeting Spider-Man

A friend of mine told me about a Spider-Man appearance at a local comic book store, so of course, I had to take Biscuit.

I picked Biscuit up at day care, then we came home and had sandwiches for dinner, then I changed Biscuit's diaper and clothes, and we headed to the car.

It's been so dry here, even though the forecast has called for isolated thunderstorms every day for the past week. So of course, as soon as we got in the car to go, the heavens opened, and it poured. And thunder rumbled. And lightning flashed.

Biscuit doesn't really even understand who or what Spider-Man is. He only knows Spider-Man from the hand-me-down shoes his cousin gave him. And when those wore out, we had to buy more. And he LOVES them. He asks to wear them every day, no matter what kind of clothes he has on.
So as we were sitting in the car watching the parking lot turn into a river, I really considered turning around and going home. I had told Biscuit I had a surprise for him, but for all he knew, the surprise could've been some ice cream or going to the store for a new book.

But I could just picture his face when he saw Spider-Man, so I knew I had to do it.

My umbrella was in the trunk. (Of COURSE it was.) So I put my camera in my pocketbook, then put my pocketbook in the back floorboard at Biscuit's feet. I waited until the rain let up just a little bit, then I got out, shut my door, opened Biscuit's door, unfastened his car seat, lifted him out, grabbed my pocketbook, stepped in about 6 inches of water in front of the curb and ran under the awning of a store three doors down from the comic book store.

We finally made it into the store, and everybody was just standing around. I stood there for a few minutes, too, then I asked a woman (without saying the word "Spider-Man" of course) if she knew what we were supposed to do. A guy who worked at the store said the plan was to have a group photo taken outside, then Spidey would pose for individual photos with each child. But since the rain came, they were trying to come up with a backup plan.

Finally, one of the guys who worked at the store said, "Um, so can all the kids just go stand in a group over there?" I looked at the woman I had been talking to, and we both laughed.

She walked over to the store employee and said, "You're gonna need to line these kids up. They're too young to just know how to form a photographable group on their own." He looked at her and said, "Can you help?" And she did. I found out later that she's an elementary school teacher, so she's used to getting kids in order.

They took several group photos then let the kids have individual photos with Spider-Man. I don't exactly understand what they're going to do with the group photo, but apparently, we'll get it in an email when they're done.

Biscuit's turn came to have his one-on-one photo taken, and I wondered how he would respond. But he walked right up there and grabbed Spider-Man's hand.

"Look. See my shoes? That's you! That's you on my shoes!" Biscuit said.

I asked Biscuit if he wanted to give
Spider-Man a hug before we left, and he walked right up and hugged him. I knew going in that he would either be scared out of his wits or so excited he couldn't stand it. And luckily, we got the second one.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Soda pop

I called the house as I was heading home this evening. Biscuit answered the phone.

"Hello?" he said. (Actually, he said, "Heyo?")

"Hey. What are you doing?" I asked him.

"I play with my cars and with my Dad." Biscuit said. "What you doing, Mama?"

"I'm driving my car home to see you," I told him.

"You coming to see me?" he asked. I could tell he was excited by my answer. "That would be fine."

That's been his typical response for a while now. He uses it for things that are good, and he uses it for things that are fabulous. As in ... "You want pizza for dinner, Biscuit?" "Whoa. That would be fine," he'll say.
"Biscuit, do you want a million dollars?" "Whoa. That would be fine."

When I got home, I could tell that Biscuit had spilled something down the front of his pajamas. When I asked Jeff what it was, here's the story I got.

Jeff said he was putting laundry in the dryer when Biscuit ran up to him and said, "Dad, come quick. Your drink fell down." Jeff walked into the living room and his Diet Orange Crush can was on the carpet in a puddle of spilled soda pop (I don't say "soda pop," but Jeff does).

Jeff let Biscuit taste his Orange Crush the other night, and it was clear that Biscuit wanted another taste. He tried to help himself and dropped the can in the floor, spilling a good bit of its contents.

"How did the soda pop spill, Biscuit?" Jeff asked.

"On the carpet," Biscuit said. "It spilled on the carpet. The lollipop, I mean soda pop spilled on the carpet."

I didn't scold either of my boys, even though I wanted to. I wanted to tell Jeff that you can't leave drinks or food out like that. Biscuit is worse than a raccoon at a campsite about foraging for whatever food or drink he can get his hands on.

I wanted to tell Biscuit that he shouldn't take food or drink unless it's his own.

I want to tell Jeff that spraying carpet cleaner on the carpet and throwing a paper towel over it doesn't count as actually getting the stain out.

But ultimately, it's not that big a deal. The rest of the house is in one piece, and my boys were playing well with each other. And tonight, that's enough for me.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

All police, all the time

I called Biscuit into our bedroom earlier to change his diaper. I heard the cliched pitter-patter of little feet as he ran toward me. Then the footsteps stopped.

I looked at the doorway to our bedroom, and I could only see half of Biscuit. While holding his toy drill in his hands, he slowly peeped around the corner with the drill raised up to chest level. I stared at h
im for a few seconds before he came tip-toeing into the room.

Then it hit me. He was playing police officer, and he was checking the room for bad guys.

All of a sudden,
Biscuit pointed his drill toward the master bathroom and said, "Purr. Purr. Purr."

Then he lowered his weapon or in this case, drill, and he said, "You want to purr with me, Mom?"

"What is purr?" I asked him.

To which he pointed
his drill at the bathroom again and yelled, "Purr! Purr! Purr!"

He never did give me a clear explanation, so I don't know if he is just copying something he's seen, or if he is actually pretending to shoot the bad guys. If you ask him what he's holding when he "purrs," he'll say, "It's a drill."

One friend of mine said that all little boys are born knowing how to make car sounds and guns. From pointing their fingers to pointing sticks to pointing drills, most little boys I know have been through the stage.

Biscuit is fascinated with everything police. And it doesn't matter if it's an actual police officer, sheriff's deputy or security guard. Anybody in uniform with a badge counts.

This is his latest automobile acquisition. We went into the drugstore to pick up a prescription, and he saw it. He doesn't ask for things a lot in stores, and when he saw it, he went nuts over it. "It's a peace car, Mom. See the peace car? I have the peace car, Dad? Dad, I have the peace car? We get it for me?"

We got it for him. And check out what state is on the door. It's New York State Police, an added bonus for Jeff, my New York boy.

I just have a feeling that on some Halloween in the near future, this is what Biscuit is going to look like.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's a surprise

"I got a surpriiiiiiiise for you, Mama," Biscuit just said to me in this tiny little sing-songy voice. "You're going to liiiiike it! It's race cars. You'll like race cars."

Would you agree that he doesn't quite have the hang of surprises? Thanks for the race cars, little man.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Out of the mouth of my babe

It seems like I've been writing of lot of these compilation blogs lately, but our Biscuit baby is talking more than ever, and a lot of what he says is just funny, funny, funny.

Police cars: Our Biscuit baby is crazy for police cars and police officers. He tells us random facts about them all the time. The other day, he walked into the living room and said, "Police cars rescue everybody. Police cars go fast and fast. Police cars save everybody. Police have troll cars." Troll cars? Tiny little cars with crazy hair? Nah. That's how Biscuit says "patrol cars."

Hide and seek: Biscuit is finally getting the hang of hide and go seek. That's mostly thanks to his cousins. They taught him how to cover his eyes and count. The other night, he said, "1, 2, 3,4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Ready me not, here I come."

Interjections: Biscuit is learning how words can add expression to what he's saying. I brought a book home for him this evening. I called him into the kitchen and gave it to him. "Whoa!" he said. "A book. Whoa! It's a new book. I like new books." I'm not sure where he got "whoa." I'm guessing day care. He uses it the right way, although some of the things he finds "whoa-worthy" are a little questionable.

"Ooooooooo! I knocked my milk off the table. Ooooooooo!" Remember when someone in your class would get called to the office over the intercom at school? "Beep. Beep. Biscuit, come to the office, please." And everyone in your class would chime in together and say, "Ooooooooooooo!" It didn't matter if the kid was being called to the office so his Mama could sign him out early, everyone always assumed the worse, "Ooooooooooo!" Biscuit accidentally knocked his sippy cup of milk off the table this morning. And what did he say? "Ooooooooo! I knocked my milk off the table. Oooooooooo!"

More police: Jeff and Biscuit walked up the sidewalk to the front door this evening. As Jeff was getting ready to stick the key into the lock, Biscuit kicked the door twice and yelled, "Open up! Police officers!" Luckily, Jeff got the door open before Biscuit had a chance to kick it in.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Running dialog

I was sitting with my laptop reading a blog just now when I started paying closer attention to the babble that was coming from the living room floor.

Biscuit has 80,000 little cars, some little farm animals and an American flag, and they're all set up in little assorted piles. I'm not sure what the piles are about, but I just started typing a running dialog of what he was saying.

Here's the conversation I'm overhearing:

"Let's get our treasure back. NO!
You can't have your treasure back.

Yes! Let's get the treasure back for our cars.
NO! You can't. You can't. You can't. You can't.
Come back or I'll run over you.
LOOK OUT!!! Big tractor.
Come back, big tractor. We have to get on the dinosaur train.
Chugga-chugga. All da-board!
No! That's our treasure.
OH NO! A pirate caught you. Now you can't do it. And we can't. And you can't do it.
And we can't do our pirate costumes. I catch water in my pirate costume.
They're not getting their costumes on cause they're sad.
They're going back to their cave.
They not getting their treasure back. If they don't have costumes, they're not getting their treasure back."

Seriously. No lie. I'm just sitting here typing as he's saying this. Do you think I could make this up?!?

Also, Biscuit has started adding extra syllables to words for emphasis. He doesn't just say, "I can't." He says, "I cay-unt." And that makes his conversations even funnier.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

You ain't seen nothin' yet

I wish I could capture the look on Biscuit's face when he's basically thinking, "Who are you people, and where are my REAL parents?!?"

Jeff and I get to reminiscing sometimes about our childhood TV shows or cartoons or songs or books or whatever. And of course that leads to singing theme songs or quoting characters or reciting memorized passages.

And all of this leads Biscuit to look at us like we've lost our ever-loving minds!

Tonight, on the way home from dinner, something reminded Jeff and me of "School House Rocks." Then came this ...

"Reginald was home with the flu, uh-uh-hunh.
The doctor knew just what to do-oo.
He cured the infection, with one small injection
While Reginald hollered out INTERJECTIONS!"

"Hey! That smarts!
Ouch! That hurts!
Yow! That's not fair givin' a guy a shot down there!"

Sometimes Biscuit will say, "No singing, Mom and Dad. No more singing."

He has no idea. Wait until he's a teenager going out with a pretty girl, and we show up in the movie theater to sit behind him. THEN we'll see what he has to say!


Mine and Biscuit's photo shoot took only about 10 or 15 minutes, but even that amount of time was a little trying in spots. Check out these outtakes from our shoot.

Father's Day

I saw an idea on a mom blog I follow and thought it would be a cute present for Griffin and me to make for Jeff. I had no idea it was such a popular thing to do. About six people I know were also planning to do it.

Anyway, Biscuit and I had fun in the backyard, and I was just impressed that he never told Jeff what we had done.

I wrapped the picture frame and put it on the dining room table. When Jeff said, "Hey, what's this?" Biscuit told him it was a present for his cousin Josh, and there was a motorcycle in the box.

The Josh part was because Josh's is the first birthday party we go to each year (in April), so every present he sees after that is for Josh. The motorcycle part came from a birthday present we gave my brother in
May. I printed out a picture of Biscuit and Greg on Greg's Harley and put it in one of those picture frames that lets you record a message. Biscuit's message on the frame said, "Uncle Greg's motorcycle. Vrooooooom. Vrooooooooooom."

Biscuit helped Jeff open his present and looked at it like he had never seen it before. "Hey! That's me," Biscuit said.

Craft time

Biscuit's day care always makes crafts for special occasions. For Mother's Day, they put a seed in a tiny little flower pot then made a construction paper flower with a picture of Biscuit on it and stuck it into the flower pot on a stick. For Father's Day, they did a handprint with a poem.

The funny thing is that when Biscuit gave it to Jeff, he said, "Here, Dad. Don't touch that." He was pointing to the handprint, so all we can think is that the teachers at day care told the kids not to touch the wet paint on the handprint.

So Jeff's got a nice gift that he can't touch.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My father-in-law

The day I met my father-in-law, Jeff was moving into a new apartment. Jeff and I were just starting our relationship, and I had been helping him do some cleaning in his new place. As I was scrubbing the bathtub, I slipped and fell in, which resulted in a huge bruise on my forearm.

After I explained what happened and where the bruise came from, my father-in-law said, "Is he worth that kind of damage?" I didn't know if he was serious or not, but I figured I'd take a chance and give as good as I was getting. So I said, "I'll let you know."

Every time I see him, he always says something to the equivalent of "if his son isn't taking good care of me, I should let him know." He knows he doesn't have to worry about that. Mainly because he knows by now that I can take care of myself. But also because he sees how Jeff treats me, and it's obvious that Jeff loves me.

You won't know my father-in-law long before you realize that he tells terrible jokes. The kind that make you roll your eyes. As a matter of fact, a friend of mine was telling me about how her husband isn't good at telling jokes, and she gave me an example of a recent joke he'd told. I was sharing that story with my in-laws, and before I could get halfway through the joke, my father-in-law picked it up and ran with it. He was quite familiar with the joke and thought it was hilarious.

I'll put up with the jokes, though, because I get a lot of fr
ee labor out of him. Every winter, my in-laws come stay with us for a few weeks, and I make Jim earn his keep! He's done so many nice things to our house. Things we never would've been able to pay someone to do.

I guess what I'm saying is that if I'm going to keep the son, I guess I'll keep the father-in-law, too.

Here are a few pictures I like of Jim:

My Daddy

People who "ain't from 'round here" make fun because Southern-raised men and women still call their fathers Daddy (pronounced Deddy ... and I'm going to spell it how it's pronounced, so you'll be reading it the way I say it). I don't care how old I get, my father will always be Deddy to me.

My Deddy knows how to play, and he always has.

My brother and I used to imagine all sorts of scenarios, in which my parents were always good enough sports to take part in.

We made play restaurants, and they pretended to eat. We pretended we were motorcycle cops and left scribbled traffic tickets under the windshield wipers of their cars, and they pretended to pay them.

On our last trip to my parents' house, Deddy used the mowing attachment behind the tractor and mowed a road course into the field in front of the house. The fi
eld used to be planted in soybeans or milo every year, but now it's just tall grass.

When I was a little kid, Deddy took a 1960-something beetle and turned it into a dune buggy. That's what I learned to drive on.
And that's what the road course was for. We took turns driving the dune buggy around the road course. Like I said, the man likes to play.

The day I turned 15, my Deddy took me to the DMV office to get my learner's permit. We left the office and went to one of my favorite hamburger joints. I don't remember why he wasn't working on a weekday, but I was so excited. Growing up where I grew up, you learn to drive before you're even halfway to the legal driving age. I wasn't at all worried about passing the tests; I was just excited about finally getting to drive legally. And Deddy knew how important that was to me. Important enough for him to take me to the DMV on the very day I could get my permit.

Deddy told me one time that the biggest accomplishment in his life is my brother and me. He always wanted me to have a husband and family, even when that's not at all what I wanted. He hasn't said "I told you so." And he better not!

But now that I have Biscuit, I understand what he means.

e are a couple of pictures I like of my Deddy:

Papa and Biscuit take a ride on the lawnmower. Do you see where Deddy's hands are? Not the steering wheel!

The building on the left is our treehouse. It's not in a tree, but it does have the bigger parts of cedar trees as the posts holding it up. The cool thing is that the treehouse has power, a carpeted floor and windows that open. We used to spend the night out there in the summer, where we would play our Atari video game way too late.

My Deddy should be a spokesman for the Frisbee company. He thinks all outdoor events require a Frisbee. Beach? Frisbee. Picnic? Frisbee. Family reunion? Yep, a Frisbee.

Growth spurt

I think somebody might be going through a growth spurt. That would be a good thing, seeing as he's still wearing the same shorts and T-shirts he had last year.

He's 2 1/2 and is still wearing 18-month clothes (with a couple pairs of 12-month pairs shorts that surely must be mislabeled).

A few nights ago, Jeff was working late, so Biscuit and I had sandwiches for dinner. Biscuit had half a peanut butter sandwich and two helpings of baked chips. When he was done, he asked for applesauce, which I gave him. Then he asked for yogurt, which I gave him. That's a lot of food for that little person.

Biscuit and Jeff went out for dinner Thursday night, and Jeff said he ate five chicken nuggets, all but one of his waffle-cut french fries and drank a whole bottle of chocolate milk. Then he asked for some of Jeff's sandwich. He weasled out two small bites before Jeff cut him off. Then they split a cup of ice cream.

Tonight, he ate two tacos with ground chicken, cheese and sauteed corn and black beans. Then he ate some black beans in a bowl. Then he asked for applesauce. Then he asked for yogurt. Now he wants some milk.

Yessir. I'm betting he'll be in those 2T clothes sooner than we think!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Square beach pants

I love the outfit Biscuit is wearing in this picture. I don't know what it is with plaid shorts, but they're just so cute!

I think I mentioned this before, but he calls them "square beach pants." All shorts are beach pants, and the plaid pattern is made up of squares ... therefore, square beach pants.

Do you know when I bought this particular pair of square beach pants? In February 2010. I figured he would be moving into 18-month size clothes last spring, so that's the size I got. That means that at 2 2/3 years old, this boy is still wearing 18-month clothes. He's so little compared to his classmates.

The funny thing is, he almost walked out of these shorts several times today, too. They're still way big in the waist. I don't think the shirt will last much longer because he's gotten a little taller, but the way things are going, he might still be wearing these pants at the end of the summer

Shopping etiquette

A post from The Daddy Man:

The boy and I were out and about this evening, getting birdseed for the birds and lead substitute for the Barracuda. We finished our shopping and made our way to the cash register. A 50-something woman walked up and stood behind us in line.

"What's your name?" Biscuit asked her.

"My name is Nora," she said. "What's your name?"

"I'm Griffin," he said.

"I like that name. It's a nice name," she said.

He smiled and said, "Thank you."

The woman and the cashier seemed pretty impressed with him. And I was, too. It was a small little conversation, but I like seeing my boy being social and using good manners.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Out of the mouth of my babe

Random chit-chat: Sometimes Biscuit's topics of conversation seem to come out of nowhere. And I know where he gets that from ... ME! But I can always track back to the original thought.

Here's an example: Jeff and I were brushing our teeth the other morning, and I said, "Catfish from a regular pond can have a murky-water fishy taste to it. I like farm-raised catfish better." Jeff just looked at me like he always does. "You want to know how I got there, right?" I asked him. "Yep," he said.

So I explained, "Well, Biscuit's sunscreen is out of date, so I need to buy him some more. And I need to do that before we go on our family trip. Although, from the looks of the pictures online, there's a lot of shade around the house we'll be staying in. He would need more sunscreen if we were going to the beach. And speaking of the beach, I asked a friend of mine (who grew up near a beach) if she knew of any good deals on rooms at the beach. I asked her when she and I were on the way home from a cooking class where we learned to cook seafood, including farm-raised catfish." See? It's not that much of a stretch. Although it baffles Jeff's mind to realize that my brain functions like that 100% of the time.

Anyway, Biscuit will occasionally throw out a sentence or two, and I'd really like to know the train of thought behind it. Like the other day, Biscuit and I were walking down the driveway to get the mail. Biscuit said, "My day care has a train table and puzzles and blocks and home living (or home wiving as he says it)." It made me wonder if there was a process of leading up to that comment or if his little boy brain works like most grown men brains in that random thoughts just pop into his head every once in a while.

Disappearing act: My parents, my brother and I were sitting at the supper table one night (We had supper where I came from. Now it's dinner.). My brother and I were still little kids. Greg said, "I can turn off the lights without touching the switch." Mama told him to go ahead and do it. So he closed his eyes tight and said, "See?"

I think Biscuit is taking after his uncle because yesterday morning at the breakfast table, he kept closing his eyes and saying, "Where did everybody go?"

Conversations with toys:
Biscuit has been talking to his toys for a long time, but now, they have actual conversations. Here's one I heard tonight:

Biscuit as himself: "Hey, tow truck!"

Biscuit as tow truck: "Hunh?"

Biscuit as himself: "Come help me. I broke my car."

Biscuit as tow truck: "Okay. I coming."

His horses talk to each other. Then the horses will talk to the cars. Then the cars will talk to the baseballs. And on and on.

One day, he said a truck was the Mama and a horse was the baby. The truck said to the horse, "You pick that up." The horse said, "Okay. In a minute." Then the truck said, "You pick that up ... NOW!" I guess that means that sometimes his play imitates life.

Achoo: Not everything that comes out of the mouth of my babe is words. Biscuit was having applesauce one morning for breakfast, when out of nowhere, my dear son SNEEZED applesauce all over me, all over the table and all over the floor.

Trust me when I say that if I'm on the receiving end of something coming out of Biscuit's mouth, I'd much prefer the words.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pronounced growth

I know all parents say their kids grow up too fast. But it's really true. They change more in the first 3 years than they will in their entire lives. It seems like there are tons of little things that keep reminding me that Biscuit isn't a baby anymore.

Like holding hands. We have rules about when Biscuit has to hold our hands. Mainly, it's parking lots and busy stores, for obvious reasons. But Biscuit also
holds my hand as we walk down the main hallway at day care. It started as soon as he could walk, and it still happens most every morning I take him.

In the beginning, "holding my hand" meant wrapping his little hand around one of my fingers. But now, he puts his palm against my palm, and his fingers wrap around my fingers and his thumb reaches up the side of my hand. It's such a sweet thing. It's such an intimate and loving thing. Sometimes when we get to his classroom, I don't want to let go.

The other big thing that's happened with Biscuit lately is that he can pronounce his R's. He used to say, "I have some gapes, pease?" Now, he says, "I have some grapes, pease?"

Quick side note: Biscuit has his R's but is still missing his L's. We were riding down the road one day a while back, and he said, "Look, Mom. I see a big fag!"

WHAT?!?!?!?!? It took me a minute to figure out that he was talking about the big American flag flying over a gas station on the corner. Today was Flag Day, and the Fourth of July is coming soon, which means all the stores have red, white and blue patriotic flag-laden trinkets everywhere. And of course, Biscuit feels the need to ride around in the buggy saying, "Look, Mom. A fag. There's a fag." Which means that I have to say, louder than him, "YES. THAT'S A FLAG. A FLLLLLLLAG."

Anyway, Biscuit was talking to my brother on the phone the other day, and he said, "No, Uncle Greg!" He's been saying "Uncle Geg" for so long, that it really caught me off guard.

But then it occurred to me that if Biscuit could say "grapes" and "Greg," he should be able to say "Griffin," too. But when people ask him his name, he's still been saying "I Giffin."

So last night, we practiced pronouncing his name. He argued with me at first, but then he started to get it. Then this evening, I gave Jeff a signal, and he asked Biscuit to say his name. Biscuit said, "I Griffin Sterling Mills." He said it right.

I know I should be excited about it, and I am, but I'm also a little sad because it's yet another thing that moves him toward being a boy instead of a baby.

The day that "I have milk, pease? Can me? Can me?" becomes "Can I have milk, please? Can I? Can I?" might be the day I have to cry for a while!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Race cars and Steve McQueen

Biscuit loves cars. His favorites are race cars. Anything with numbers and stripes and logos makes his favorite vehicles list.

So when Jeff let him watch part of Steve McQueen's movie "Le Mans" the other day, he was hooked. The whole movie is mostly race car drivers driving race cars, and there's very little dialog. What could make our race car-loving boy any happier?!?

After he finished dinner tonight, he walked up to Jeff and said, "We go upstairs to watch race car movie, Dad?" Needless to say, Jeff was a wee bit excited.

"Are you and Dad going to watch 'Le Mans', Biscuit?" I asked him.

"Yeah. We're going to watch 'The Mans.'" he said.

I can't say I hated my boys being upstairs in the movie room. I played on my laptop, flipped though a magazine and checked out the sales fliers from Sunday's paper. I like it when they have boy time because that means girl time for me.

Tonight, the boy time didn't get finished. Biscuit tried, but he didn't quite make it 'til the end of the movie. He fell asleep on a Dodge race car pillow (with a dogs playing poker pillow above his head). Maybe he'll have sweet dreams of flying down a highway in his favorite speedster.

Crisscross steak

When I was pregnant with Biscuit, Jeff and I used to talk and wish about what we hoped Biscuit would get from each of us.

There were physical things -- like I wanted him to have my blue eyes and Jeff's height. And there were brain-related things -- I hope he's as smart as Jeff with my sense of making do with what you have. And there were emotional things -- I wished for Jeff's patience and my outgoing-ness.

He got my blue eyes, but he's still in the 5th percentile of height and weight for his age (that means 95% of kids his age are taller and weigh more than he does). He's definitely showing signs of intelligence. He's sorely lacking patience - although I think all 2-year-olds lack that. But he definitely got my outgoing-ness. He usually talks to anybody anywhere or should I say everybody everywhere.

There are still some things that are undecided. Lately, he's been holding his crayons in his left hand more than his right. I'm a lefty. As for Biscuit's size, Jeff said he didn't get tall until his junior year of high school, so there's plenty of time for growth spurts.

As we watch Biscuit grow and learn, we still play the "I hope he gets ..." game. Like tonight.

We stopped by the grocery store to get milk, bananas and a couple of other things. As we walked past the meat department, they had some N.Y. strip steaks on a really good sale.

I said, "Jeff, if you could have anything you wanted for dinner tonight, what would it be?" I knew the answer before I asked the question.

My non-excitable Jeff got this look on his face of a little kid who just got a new toy. "Steak and potatoes!" he said with a big smile. And I thought to myself, I want Biscuit to have that look on his face countless times in his life.

We got home and brought the groceries in, and I started cooking dinner. I eat my steaks medium-well, but Jeff ... he likes his steaks dang-near mooing when they hit the plate. So I looked up steaks in one of my go-to cookbooks to find out how to cook his just how he likes it. I'm used to grilling steaks, but tonight, I was using a grill pan on my stove. That pan has ridges just like the outside grill does.

Let me side step right here and say that I would much prefer to cook steaks on the gas grill outside (if for no other reason than the massive amount of smoke that was in my kitchen tonight), but our grill is broken. My parents are giving me money to buy one for my birthday, but that's not for another few weeks. So that's where my handy-dandy grill pan comes in.

So to get the full steakhouse feel, I rotated Jeff's steak a quarter turn halfway through cooking on each side so it had the nice crisscross marks on each side. When his was done (i.e. still bloody!), I called him into the kitchen and asked him to cut into it to make sure I cooked it correctly.

His eyes lit up when he saw it. "COOL! How'd you get the marks on it like that?" he asked.

"What?" I asked, not because I didn't hear his question, but because getting those marks is an easy thing that anybody could do.

But then I realized that it wasn't about the actual process of how I had done it. It was more about him being impressed that I went to the trouble to take a nice cut of steak and turn it into an impressive meal just because he asked for it.

I don't know a word that describes that, but whatever you call it, THAT is something I want Biscuit to have -- amazement and wonder with a little touch of innocence and awe, combined with the ability to make someone else feel really, really good.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Quite a mess

Does anyone have a shovel I can borrow? Or maybe a bulldozer?!?

Pool time

When I took Biscuit out to play in his pool this morning, the water was still pretty cold. Plus, I set it up in the shade, so there was no sun to heat it up. He never did get completely wet. I got a couple of pictures of him where you can tell he was surprised by the cold water splashing on him.

Also, on the video, it sounds like we have an 8-lane super-highway behind our house. It's just a small two-lane road, but for some reason, it was really busy while we were out this morning, and you can hear it on the video.

Then, to add to that, the people across the street from us were having their house pressure washed, and Biscuit didn't like it. He kept saying that the guy doing the work better not come in our house. At one point, he said, "Don't. Come. In. Our. House. Or I'll huff and puff and blow your house DOWN!"

Not sure what that was about, but here are a couple of videos I took of pool time.

I am sad to announce that Biscuit is starting to act like ... a BOY! He's getting rougher and rougher on his toys. All his cars crash into each other all the time. Anything he can hold, he will throw. And he and his day care classmates are making all these awful nonsense noises. He's so articulate with his words, but it's a copycat thing that's making me nuts.

Witness the craziness ...

Mama Bird

Biscuit loves Fudgesicles, but he can't seem to bite them. I guess his teeth are sensitive to the cold or something. A friend of mine even bought some of the wee tiny kid Popsicles, but he struggled with those, too.

He always gets really excited when I have a Fudgesicle. I'll hold it out for him to take a bite, but he licks it, then very slowly puts his mouth on the end of it, then makes a terrible face and jerk his head away. The few times he's bitten into one, he really likes it once it's in his mouth.

Since the biting is the problem, I bit off a little piece, took it out of my mouth and put it into his mouth. He latched on to that idea right away. He got to eat the Fudgesicle, but he didn't have to bite it. Now, he'll say, "Mom, let's get a Popsicle and eat it together."

I guess some people would cringe and say it's gross, but the grossest part to me is how sticky my hand gets from taking it from my mouth to his. I guess now
I know how Mama birds feel when they're feeding their babies.

So far today

I woke up at 7:30 this morning. I really don't think that's fair. It's Saturday, plus both my boys were still snoozing away.

I spent my early morning blowing air until I was dang-near hyperventilating. I bought Biscuit a kiddie pool last year on a really good markdown at the end of the season. So this morning, I had the pleasure of blowing it up.

Jeff had to go get his hair cut, I got it set the pool up in the yard and filled it with water. I got Biscuit all dressed in his swimmie diaper and bathing suit (which he called his "baby suit") and took him out to the pool. He played out there for about an hour and a half. then we came in for lunch, then it was naptime -- for
me and him both! And now, Biscuit says it's time to go back out for more pool fun.

He just said, "Mom, let's go back to the pool. My feet need sticking in the water."

I could get used to a schedule that was play, eat, nap, then p
lay some more!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Stream of consciousness

I love the recent trend of Biscuit trailing off into stream of consciousness conversations with himself and his toys. Some days, he starts with one sentence, then that reminds him of something else, and then we're off.

Here's what Biscuit had to say on our way home this evening (it's probably not word-for-word because I don't think I could remember all that he said).

"There's our red car, Mom. We ride in a red car. That car is white, Mom. Their car is white. Our car no white, Mom. Our car is red. It's red, Mom. Red is your favorite, Mom. Is red your favorite, Mom? Red is your favorite."

"That's a school bus, Mom. Do you see the school bus? The school bus has sunshine on the side. That sunshine is orange, Mom. It's one orange and two orange. See the orange, Mom? Sunshine is orange. We don't ride school bus, Mom. We ride in red car. This our red car, Mom. Red is your favorite, Mom?"

"We go home now, Mom? We go home and see Dad? No. Dad at work. Dad working, Mom. We see Dad later. See the policeman? See the policeman, Mom? No. He not policeman. He cutting the grass. He cut the grass, Mom. He use lawnmower to cut the grass. He not policeman. Policeman ride in peace car. Fireman not ride in peace car, Mom. Fireman ride on fire truck. Firetruck is red like our car. Our car is red, Mom."

"We stop at red light, Mom? We at red light? Red means stop. Green means go. LIGHT IS GREEN, MOM! GO! GO! GO!!!! A rhombus is like a diamond, Mom, but I like triangles. Triangles are my favorite. I see circles and squares and ovals. I like triangles. A rhombus is like a diamond, but I like triangles. You like triangles, Mom? Your name Kim. Kim starts with K. My name is Giffin. Giffin starts with R. R-r-r-r-Giffin."

No lie. He had this entire conversation without me saying a single word. Meanwhile, I'm sitting there listening, thinking things like: How does he remember my favorite color is red? Did I tell him Jeff is working or did he just assume that on his own? How is he getting a policeman and a gardener confused? How the heck does he know what a rhombus is?!? Griffin does not start with an R. Since he doesn't even pronounce the R in his his name, why would he think his name starts with an R?

Biscuit is so smart, and he just keeps learning and learning and learning. One of the favorite things about parenting for me is watching that child learn. Seeing something click in his little brain is simply amazing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Funny man

When I got to day care this evening to pick up Biscuit, his teacher handed him a sticky note and said, "Can you tell your Mom what this note says?"

The note said that Biscuit needs more diapers. But Biscuit looked at the sticky note and said, "Um, the note say, 'I want PIZZA!'"

Guess what Biscuit had for dinner tonight?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our garden

We have a small raised garden in our backyard. This year, we planted beans, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, bell peppers, heirloom tomatoes and roma tomatoes. Everything is coming right along, and we even got our first roma tomato over the past weekend.

I've been trying to include
Biscuit in the whole process. I don't think he gets it yet, but I love the idea of feeding him something that I grew myself.

And as with most boys, the dirt and water needed for a garden just calls to him. I was using the hose to water the garden yesterday evening, and Biscuit ran back to the deck, grabbed the watering can and dragged it over to the garden. "I want to help, Mom," he said.

I put some water in the watering can, and Biscuit turned it up onto one little corner of the garden. He wanted more, so I gave him more water, and he watered the same exact spot. And then he wanted more.

I wasn't putting much water in the can, so he didn't drown any plants, but he put enough water on that one spot that I skipped it entirely with the water hose.

I hope he'll stay interested in the garden. And maybe he'll even eat some of the stuff we harvest.

Out of the mouth of my babe

Here are a few fun things Biscuit has been saying lately:

Things to do today: On the way to day care a couple of weeks ago, Biscuit said, “I going to day care to run and play and skip and hop and play with my fends and make music.”

I told his teacher what he said, and she paused for a second, smiled and said, “Yep. That about covers our days here.”

Bu-draf: How Biscuit says giraffe.

Favorite food: "What's your favorite something to eat?" Biscuit asked me this evening. My usual answer is pasta, but I thought I'd shake things up a little bit.

"My favorite something to eat is country ham," I said to Biscuit.

Once you pick a favorite, you don't usually get to change it, even if it's an answer you just grabbed out of thin air in the pressure of the moment.

"No, Mom," Biscuit said. "Your favorite something to eat not crunchy ham. You like pasta."

I didn't know whether to be impressed that he remembered my pasta answer (it's been a while since he's asked me about my favorite something to eat) or be tickled by his interpretation of what he thought I said.

Pitching: Jeff took Biscuit to a baseball game last Thursday night. When I take Biscuit out and about, I always cover all my bases. I have all the usual stuff like diapers, wipes and changing pads. But I also have snacks, sippy cups, a change of clothes, sometimes even a book or some cars. Jeff got ready to leave the house that night with nothing.

"Um, what happens if he gets a dirty diaper at the game?" I asked Jeff.

"Oh. I guess I need to take a diaper?" he asked. Now that Biscuit is older, we don't have to carry a diaper bag, but I have several of those bag-type backpacks with strings for handles. So I shoved a few essentials and snacks in there and handed it off to Jeff.

My boys had a good time at the game, and Biscuit couldn't wait to get home and tell me everything he saw. "Mom, we saw baseball mans. And dogs. And peoples."

Jeff said to Biscuit, "Hey boy, how do you pitch to Murphy?

Biscuit replied, "Down and away and up and in."

Introducing Biscuit, the second baseball freak in my house.

That's not my spot: When we got to day care today, a little girl was sitting in Biscuit's spot on the circle time rug. The kids don't have assigned spots, but apparently, every kid in the class knows that particular spot is Biscuit's. So when he saw the girl on his spot, he just stood there looking back and forth between me and the little girl. This isn't the first time I've witnessed this, and I thought maybe I should break this little habit, so
I pointed out to him that there's a red spot on the other side of the rug. I told him it was the same spot just on a different side of the rug.

His reponse? "No, Mom. That spot not perfect for me." The little girl moved and gave Biscuit the spot. I just rolled my eyes and left for work.

Everything is Mama and Dad and Baby: The big fire truck is Dad. The medium firetruck is Mama. The little fire truck is Baby. His ride-on horse is Dad. One of his toy horses is Mama. And the little horse is Baby.

You get where this is going? It's actually pretty cool that Biscuit is finding our family in the things around him. But bigger than that, I love seeing his little brain make those kinds of connections. I think they call it applied learning. But whatever it's called, it's a lot of fun to watch it happen.

Introductions: Biscuit just walked up to me as I was typing this post and said, "Good afternoon, Mama. It's nice to meet you." Then he reached his hand out to shake mine. I shook his hand and said, "It's nice to meet you, too."

Then he said, "Well, okay. It was nice to meet you. Bye." And he went back to playing with his cars.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Random Stuff, Part 2

A few more recent tidbits:

My ball game: Biscuit loves going to baseball games. I've mentioned before that we have minor league team here in town, so we get to take him to games every couple of weeks during baseball season.

We had planned to go to a game last weekend, but we decided at the last minute not to go.
We didn't know it at the time, but Biscuit heard Jeff and me talking about it and had been excited about going to the game. When I explained to Biscuit why we weren't going, he really didn't care. All he knew was that we weren't going.

So he found a way to pay us back. As we left the house each morning last week to go to day care, Biscuit asked over and over and over and over again, "We go to ballgame today, Mom? We see baseball players?"

And I'd have to say, "Not today. We have to go to day care today, but we'll see a game again soon, okay?"

"O-o-o-o-okay," he'd say.

We took him to a ballgame this past Sunday. As you walk into the stadium, you walk up some stairs to the concourse, then you can look down onto the field. We walked up the stairs, and as we got to the top, Biscuit spread his arms out and yelled, "MY BALL GAME! WE AT MY BALL GAME!" What more could I expect of a kid that's half Jeff?!?

All bets on red: Biscuit is a creature of habit. And I know exactly where he got that from. That's me up and down. Routines are king for me, and I think he's following suit.

Jeff dropped Biscuit off at day care this morning, just in time for circle time. There's a big rug with colored spots on it. Each kid sits on a circle, and they sing songs and practice their Spanish, counting and other lessons. As Biscuit walked toward the carpet, he stopped and looked back and forth between his classmates and Jeff.

Finally, this little girl turned around and saw Biscuit. She looked down at the circle she was sitting on. Then she slid over to the next circle. Jeff looked at Biscuit's teacher to see what was going on.

"He has to have a red circle," his teacher said. "Everybody knows red is his color."

This little girl realized she was sitting on a red circle, so she moved over to a circle of another color so Biscuit could have a red spot. I don't know whether to be impressed that they know him so well or be horrified that they let him get away with it!

I'm so excited: Sometimes Biscuit will look at me (or sometimes Jeff), and he'll say, "I so excited, Mom." When I ask him why he's excited, he'll say, "I so excited about you, Mom. I love you." You can bet that'll turn a bad day around!

He's starting to get it: Biscuit and I were shopping the other day - diapers, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, cereal ... basically all the things I hate spending money on. He decided that he didn't want to ride in the buggy. So I told him that I'd let him walk, but only if he stayed right beside the buggy. He did great until we made our way around to the cosmetics area.

There were some car-shaped pinatas on the end of one of the aisles that Biscuit was very interested in, but I needed to get my shopping done.

Biscuit stomped his little feet, started crying and said, "Not THIS row, Mom. I want THAT row."

I picked him up and just stared at him for a minute until he calmed down. Then I asked him, "Biscuit, why are you crying?"

"Um, because I didn't get my way," he whined.

"Well, sometimes you don't get your way," I told him. "But pitching a fit is only going to make it worse. Why are you upset?"

"I want to see cars," he said. So I told him that if he would stay beside the buggy until I was done with my shopping, we'd go see the cars on the end of the aisle. He held up his end of the bargain. He was really good until I finished checking off my list, then we went to see the car pinatas, and all was right with the world.

When I was holding Biscuit and we were having our conversation, a woman about my age was walking down the row beside us. When I asked Biscuit why he was upset, and he said because he didn't get his way, she snorted to keep from laughing. As she rounded the end of the aisle, she just cracked up. That tells me that she's been there!

Random stuff

Here are a few recent tidbits:

Stay-cation: With money being tight for everybody, I think a lot of people are taking days off and just staying home. That's what Jeff and I did. We usually take our anniversary week off to go on a trip. This year, we took the week off and stayed put. We spent one afternoon going out for a nice lunch and catching a movie. But mostly, we just did stuff around the house.

We felt a little bit guilty about this, but we still sent Biscuit to day care every day. We thought about keeping him home with us, but there's no way we could've done the stuff around the house if he had been here. We needed to paint the kitchen, clean out a couple of closets, do some yard work and other such chores. Could you imagine if Biscuit was home when we were attempting to do any of those things?!?

Nice painting: It took me almost 8 years, but I finally got my kitchen painted. It was white above the chair rail with a stenciled border. Below the chair rail was BRIGHT golden yellow. Now, it's Haze on top and Cup of Cocoa on the bottom. In layman's terms, that would be tan on top and darker tan on the bottom!

When Biscuit walked into the kitchen after my first day of painting, he looked around trying to figure out what was going on. First of all, the kitchen was a disaster area. The table was shoved against the counter. My cookbook bookcase was in the dining room, and all my cookbooks were stacked on the table. Oh yeah, and the walls were a different color than when he'd left that morning.

"What you doing, Mom?" he asked.

"I'm painting the kitchen. The walls were yellow and white, but I made them tan," I explained to him.

"No, Mom. Walls not tan. Walls brown. Walls cafe," he said. Cafe is brown in Spanish. I thanked Biscuit for the compliment and decided that I wasn't up to argue about colors with a 2-year-old.

And do you know that at least every couple of days, Biscuit will walk into the kitchen, look around and say, "Nice painting, Mom. You did nice painting."

No costumes: Biscuit is completely enamored with emergency vehicles and personnel. He loves police cars and police mans, fire trucks and fire mans and amublances and, you guessed it, ambulance mans. So I thought it might be fun to get him some emergency worker hats or costumes to play with.

I went to the store, and there was a whole aisle of princess costumes, nurse outfits, ballerina tutus and more. How many costumes do you think they had for little boys? None! I found some online, but that's no fun. I wanted to let him pick out what he wanted in person, not on a computer screen. We do have a really good toy store here in town that has non-battery-operated toys. It's a little pricey, though, so I'll have to do a recon mission to check it out before I take the boy in there and let him get all excited.