Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Toddler food

It seems like kid food has been a busy topic this week. 

One of my friends at work was complaining on one of the social networks about how unhealthy the choices are for kids at restaurants. There were a lot of people who commiserated with her and a few who made suggestions of food alternatives at restaurants.

Then today, I was talking with another friend who said she basically has to force her 2-year-old to eat these days. He used to be a great eater, fruits and veggies and a lot of other stuff. Now, he doesn't seem to care even for some of his favorite things.

I can identify with both friends.

It seems like most restaurants offer chicken nuggets and fries, grilled cheese sandwich with fries or hamburger with fries. And that's fine, except that Biscuit doesn't eat grilled cheese sandwiches. Biscuit only eats hamburgers every once in a while (there's never a guarantee of when that every once in a while is, either). So that leaves chicken nuggets and fries as his only options at a lot of restaurants.

One restaurants we like has honey chicken that Biscuit LOVES. It's an Asian restaurant, so the honey chicken comes with rice and broccoli. Biscuit won't eat rice or broccoli. So the last time we went there, I baked a sweet potato, scooped it out and put it in a bowl with a little butter and cinnamon. I took the bowl of sweet potatoes out of my pocketbook, cut up the chicken on Biscuit's plate, and he was happy as a clam.

And I totally understand where the other mom was coming from, too. There used to be so many things Biscuit would eat that he won't even touch now. And to make matters worse, he'll look at food he doesn't like and say, "Eeeewwww!" Oh, I was VERY pleased when he learned to make THAT noise!

Biscuit is still in the phase where one day we can't get him to each much of anything, then the very next day we can't seem to fill him up. Tonight was the latter.

Biscuit is starting to figure out that certain foods are served at certain times of the day. Oh, he'll still ask for Goldfish for dinner, but he's started to memorize some of the food pairings we give him at meals.

This morning, he said, "Mom, I want a blueberry candy bar and yogurt for breakfast." The blueberry candy bars are fruit breakfast bars, by the way. The breakfast bar and yogurt is a common pairing. So is a breakfast bar with applesauce or oatmeal and a banana.

Tonight, for the first time, he made a pretty good dinner request.

"Mom, I want little pizzas and peaches for dinner," Biscuit said. Sometimes I'll make him little pizzas out of English muffins. Jeff was covering a game tonight, and I couldn't think of anything I wanted, so I told him that sounded fine to me.

You would've thought I told the boy he could buy everything in the toy department.

"PEACHES! PEACHES! Pizza and PEACHES!" Biscuit yelled. Then after he repeated it over and over, he yelled again. "Mom! Mom! Pizza and peaches both start with P. THEY START WITH P, MOM!"

Biscuit loves beans and sweet potatoes, and bananas, applesauce and peaches. Sometimes it's hard to figure out how to handle all the food issues, but hey, my boy isn't starving.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has been saying lately:

Who are we? I've written before about how Biscuit changes our names and characters several times a day. We here things like, "Mom, I'm firefighter Ronnie Gage, and you're Nurse McCall," or "Mom, you run the store, and I need to buy some stuff."

But I think I like his recent roles for us best of all. 

"Mom, we're not anybody right now. We're just family."

Sing it: I was reading out loud to Jeff from the alumni update section of his college newsletter, and as is common where he went to school, there were a lot of Italian and Polish last names. I tried and tried to pronounce one woman's name, but I fear I was butchering it.

Finally, I just spelled it out loud to Jeff.

"C-i-a-r-a-o-l-o," I spelled out.

"No, Mom," Biscuit said. "It's C-I-N-G-O!"

Riveting TV: This didn't come directly from Biscuit, but I'm going to count it because it was about him.

Jeff had to do an unexpected interview and story last night. When he was done, he called the sports department to tell them the story was ready.

The editor he talked to asked him if he was watching the Daytona 500. Jeff's answer showed exactly how his life has changed over the past three years.

"Nope. I'm not watching the race," Jeff said. "Biscuit and I are watching to see what happens next on Umizoomi."

And being a dad himself, the editor said, "Don't worry. It won't be long before he gets into Phineas and Ferb,'' and that's much better for the adults."

Breaking news: Biscuit just walked into the living room as I was writing this.

"Mom, you're the prince, and Dad is the witch, and I'm the firefighter who is going to save you," Biscuit said. Then he handed me a ball and said, "This is your magic bouncing ball."

Then he took the ball away from me, bounced it across the living room floor and yelled, "OH, NO! YOUR MAGIC BOUNCING BALL JUST BOUNCED AWAY!"

"I'm going to talk to the witch now," Biscuit said as he headed out of the living room. "I'll be careful so the witch won't eat me. I'll have to go through the gate, jump on the crocodiles to cross the crocodile lake. Then I will rescue you. Okay, Mom? Is that a good plan?"

Maybe Biscuit is practicing for the best-selling series of books he'll write later.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Yeah, that's the ticket!

A post from The Daddy Man:

Picture it. Day care. This afternoon.

I went to pick up Biscuit, but he wasn't in his regular room. I grabbed his jacket out of his cubby, which I later learned was not the way to go, then I visited each room until I found him.

Before Biscuit even saw me, this little boy (let's call him "Eustace") came running up to me.

"Griffin hurt me," Eustace said.

"I'm sorry that happened. Are you okay?" I asked him. Then I noticed a little red scratch under his eye.

"Yeah, I'm okay," he said and ran away.

Biscuit finally saw me and came running. And then he saw his coat in my hand. And then he lost it.

Kimmy and I love that Biscuit is independent, but sometimes that boy will make you want to pull your hair out. He has to do almost everything by himself. And his independent streak always seems to turn up at the most inopportune times. And when you're in a hurry. And when you're tired. And when your patience has come to an end.

I had to wrestle Biscuit into his coat and haul him out of the building. He was crying and whining, but I just held on to him and kept walking.

Another dad was coming in the door as Biscuit and I were leaving. He has twins in Biscuit's class. He had a concerned look on his face until he heard what I was saying to Biscuit. At that point, he and I did the been-there-done-that nod to each other, and Biscuit and I headed out to the car.

I was curious about what Eustace had told me. I wanted to know what really happened. By the time I picked up Biscuit, his regular teachers were gone, and I couldn't ask them if they knew what went down.

"Biscuit, Eustace said you hurt him. Can you tell me what happened?" I asked.

"Um, it's a secret, Dad. I can't tell you," Biscuit said.

That wasn't exactly the answer I was looking for. "Biscuit, you don't keep secrets from Mama, and you don't keep secrets from me. Did you hurt Eustace?"

"I didn't hit him, Dad," Biscuit said. I didn't hurt Eustace."

"If you didn't hit him, how did he get that red scratch under his eye?" I asked Biscuit.

"Eustace hit me and he pushed me," Biscuit said.

"Did you hit Eustace?" I asked him.

"Eustace wanted his Mom to come get him and take him to the doctor," Biscuit said.

Once we were home, Kimmy thought she might give it a try, so she asked him what happened. Here's what Biscuit told her: "Eustace wanted his Mom to come and take him to the doctor. He fell down, and a spider scratched him."

It went from bad to worse.

First it was a secret, then Eustace was the offender, then it was the spider's fault. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but I think I'll ask his teachers tomorrow morning, just to be on the safe side.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Big-boy room

When Jeff and I bought our house in 2003, we didn't really have any plans to have children. But since we have nieces and nephews, we designated the smallest bedroom for them. We painted it a pretty mint green with white accents and had a basket of toys and games for when they were here.

Fast-forward a couple of years, and after being around our nieces and nephews and some friends' children, we decided that having a couple of our own kids would be the way to go.

Not long after we made that decision, we were at a baby store getting a shower gift for a friend, when I saw the most beautiful crib set. It included a patchwork quilt that had a mint green border and had all different colors in it that could've suited a boy or a girl. It was perfect for that the former niece/nephew room, soon-to-be nursery. Or so we were hoping.

Then fast-forward three loooooooong years later (and many drugs and much drama), and Biscuit was here.

We started with a crib that we borrowed from my brother. His three kids slept in it, and I really liked the idea of it being a "family" crib. Then Biscuit graduated to a cute little toddler bed. He still sleeps in it now.

The bedding is light blue with cars and trucks all over it. It doesn't exactly match the mint green walls, but when we were looking at bedding, we wanted something that reflects his interests. And boy, did we get it right. That boy never leaves the house without some kind of car or truck.

Now, we're thinking about his big-boy room. Biscuit's room is sort of isolated, and it's the smallest of our three bedrooms. So we'll eventually move him down the hall to what is now the guest room. The room is a lot bigger. It has two closets. And it's right beside the upstairs bathroom. We don't have plans to move him anytime soon, but when he's ready, we'd like for his room to be ready, too.

When we moved into our house, I had a dresser, but Jeff didn't. So we went to an unfinished furniture store and bought a dresser he liked. I put a light stain on the top and sides and painted the drawer knobs black. But I never got around to staining the drawer fronts of putting a second coat on the top and sides.

So I told Jeff that I thought we should go back to that same store, buy the same dresser and have THEM stain it how he wanted it. Then I could take Jeff's old dresser, sand it down and paint it to go in Biscuit's big-boy room. We had a plan, and we were excited. (Okay, I was excited. Jeff was going to be fine with whatever.)

We got up on a Saturday, got ourselves and Biscuit ready and headed out to the furniture store. The store isn't on a side of town we frequent, so we didn't realize they had started making room for a road-widening project. The store was on a lot right behind a drugstore. But as we turned the corner at the drugstore, there was nothing there. Not only had they closed the store, they had leveled the lot. There was a big concrete slab where the store used to be and another one where the warehouse used to be. 

And unfortunately, the store isn't going to open back up somewhere else.

I was flabbergasted. I was really at a loss for words. And anyone who knows me knows that is not at all a common occurrence.

We ended up going to the furniture store where we got our bed and nightstands. They didn't have our exact style anymore, but we found something that was the same wood color and that had similar hardware.

So our plan was changed slightly, but we are still painting Jeff's old dresser for Biscuit's room. Well, I am doing the painting. Jeff's part won't come until it's time to haul the painted dresser up the stairs!

I went out this morning and did the sanding, then throughout the day I managed to get two coats of paint on it. It went a lot easier and quicker than I thought it would. I'm going to put at least one more coat on it, so it will have the rich finish that I want, but that'll have to wait for another day.

I did have one complaint, though.

I started sanding the top of the dresser with my little electric sander. But the dust was bothering me. So I got a face mask from Jeff's tool bureau. That kept me from breathing wood dust, but every time I breathed, my glasses would fog up. It was hard to see what I was doing.

Then I started blinking a lot and realized the dust was getting in my eyes, too. So I went back to the tool bureau and grabbed a pair of goggles. They kept the dust out, but every time I exhaled, they fogged up, too.

I called Jeff out to take a before-and-after photos of the dresser, but as soon as he saw my fogged-up goggles, he turned the camera on me. I wasn't at my most photogenic, but then I realized, nobody can see me, anyway for the fog and dust.

So here's what I looked like. Then you can see what the dresser looks like.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Short and sweet

Out of nowhere and apropos of nothing, this is what Biscuit said to me last night:

"Mom, sometimes Biscuit is a dog. Sometimes Biscuit is something you eat. And sometimes Biscuit is just Griffin."

(Note: There's a whole series of children's book in which the main character is a dog named Biscuit.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hi Ho, Mommio

Jeff had to cover a game last night, so Biscuit and I were on our own.

(Have I mentioned that I'll be glad when basketball season is over?!?)

Anyway, Biscuit and I finished dinner, and I was trying to think of something we could do together that was a little out of the ordinary. Then I remembered the games Biscuit got for his birthday.

So far, we've played with a domino set he got, as well as a couple of card games. We've played Chutes and Ladders and a dice game. But I realized we haven't played with the Hi Ho Cherry-O game he got.

Hi Ho Cherry-O was one of my favorite games as a kid, and I decided that last night would be Biscuit's introduction it.

He liked it ... he liked it A LOT!

He liked it so much that we played 13 straight games. THIRTEEN!!!

It's basically a counting game. Each player gets a tree with 10 cherries on it. You twirl the spinner and get either a number 1 through 4, a dog, a bird or an overturned bucket. If you get a number, that's how many cherries you move from your tree into your bucket. If you get a dog or a bird, you have to put two cherries back on your tree. If you get an overturned bucket, you have to put all your cherries back on your tree.

I recognized early on that Biscuit was getting it. He understood the purpose of the game, and he would get excited when he got to put cherries into his bucket.

The one thing that caused him some confusion was the way he should count. One time, he got a four on the spinner. He looked in his bucket and saw two cherries. So he reached over to his tree, grabbed two cherries and put them in his bucket.

"Biscuit, you need to put two more cherries in your bucket," I said.

"No, Mom," Biscuit said. "There are four cherries in my bucket. I got a four."

"Yeah, but you already had two cherries in the bucket," I said. "You got a four, so you need to add four cherries. You should have six cherries in your bucket."

He looked at me like I was trying to explain the theory of relativity. There are some concepts that are just flat-out hard to explain.

And to interrupt myself, one of the games he got for his birthday was a version of the card game War, where two players flip cards over and the one with the higher card gets to keep both cards. The winner is the one with the most cards at the end.

Try explaining the "higher number." As in, I have a 7, and you have a 3. Which one is the higher number and why? I made a valiant effort, but I finally just helped him through that game then suggested we played something else.

So as Biscuit and I were spinning and counting cherries, he realized that landing on a dog or a bird meant he was moving in the wrong direction. He started to get a little grumpy when he had to put his cherries back.

I figured I'd try to nip it in the bud. The next time Biscuit landed on the bird, I said, "Oh, no! That silly bird is going to eat two of your cherries!"

I created a monster. His exclamations got louder and bigger as the games went on.


Then came the moment when he realized that he had lost. I wasn't sure what to expect.

"Yay! All my cherries are gone," I said. "That means I won!"

Biscuit frowned and said, "But I didn't win, Mom."

"That's okay," I told him. "Maybe you'll win next time."

"Yeah, maybe I'll win next time," Biscuit said.

And he did. He won six games, and I won seven. And he was a very good sport every time he lost.

But the best part was when we were done playing. Biscuit and I had just gotten up from the table. He took off running toward the living room, then he stopped and came back. He wrapped his arms around my leg and said, "I'm glad we played the game, Mom. It was fun."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I have no words

Last night, Biscuit asked if he could watch a TV show in my bedroom, and I said yes. In the meantime, I was in the living room watching a show, chatting with my best childhood friend online and building one heckuva fire station out of the building logs Biscuit got for Christmas.

I was quite proud of my creation, and I just knew Biscuit would be very excited.

I called to him and said, "Come look. I built a surprise for you."

Biscuit said he didn't want to come, so I didn't say anything else to him. Finally, he came shuffling into the living room. He looked down at my fire station, walked over to it. And I was sure he was going to grab his fire trucks and start playing.

But do you know what he did?

He started crying, picked his foot up and kicked down my fire station.


My fire station was a pile of rubble. It looked like a tornado had ripped through it.

"Why did you do that?" I asked Biscuit.

"I didn't want to build a fire station right now," he said.

"I built that as a surprise for you," I said. "Kicking it down was not a nice thing to do."

Biscuit walked toward me and tried to crawl up on my lap. But as hard as it was, I put my hand up, shook my head and told him no.

Biscuit was full-on wailing at this point. "I-I-I-I'm very b-b-b-busy, Mom. I don't want to build a fire station right now."

"I didn't ask you to build a fire station," I said. "I built that as a surprise for you. I built it so you could play with it, not knock it down. Knocking down something I built is not a nice thing to do, and it really hurt my feelings."

He tried to crawl up on my lap again, and again, as hard as it was, I held up my hand, shook my head and said no.

The back-and-forth conversation carried on for a while longer with him making excuses for why he knocked it down, and me, basically shooting down every one of his excuses, trying to explain to him that it was flat-out not a nice thing to do. I just kept trying to say the same thing over and over, hoping it would register with him.

I never told him to apologize. I wanted to see if he could put the pieces together and realize on his own that saying he was sorry was what he should do.

The apology eventually came, and the wailing came to an end.

Finally, I let him crawl up on my lap. He laid his head down on my shoulder, and that tired baby was asleep in about 3 minutes. He just cried himself out.

It's hard to see Biscuit so upset, but he has to realize there are consequences to his actions. He has to be held accountable, especially when it involves doing something unkind to another person.

Let's hope the morning is better.


Update: This morning was better. Biscuit was standing on the counter in our bathroom as Jeff was getting him ready for daycare.

Out of nowhere, Biscuit said, "Dad, when you break something that belongs to someone else, that's not a nice thing to do."

I looked at Jeff with my eyebrows raised. "Biscuit, are you the pot or the kettle?" Which of course cracked up Jeff and me.

Hey, we have to get our amusements somewhere!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Equine equipment

Biscuit's birthday party had a horse theme, and it was appropriate because that boys gallops most everywhere he goes. 

He talks about horses and stirrups and saddles, and now, he's added reins.

This evening, Biscuit pulled a red ribbon off of one of his cowboy hats.

"Why did you pull that off?" I asked him.

"Um, these are the reins, Mom," Biscuit said. "You shake these reins, and that's how you yah your horse. When you yah your horse, you say, 'Yah! Yah!' then your horse will run."

Here's Biscuit and his new reins:

He was right; I was wrong

We got a couple of inches of snow last night, so as Biscuit and I were on the way to daycare this morning, we were having to name all the places we could see snow.

After we named houses and car and trucks and the ground and mailboxes and trees and ... well, you get the point ... Biscuit started singing.

Biscuit alternated between two songs this morning. He was singing "Frosty the Snowman" and "Jingle Bells." I told him he was doing a great job singing. And he was.

But then I said, "Biscuit, those are Christmas songs."

"No, Mom," Biscuit said. "Those are not Christmas songs. They're SNOW songs."

I paused for a second and took a quick run through the lyrics to both songs. Neither of them mentions Christmas.

My boy was right, and I was wrong.


That was almost as bad as admitting to Jeff that HE was right and I was wrong!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Out of the mouth of my babe

Out of the mouth of my babe:

Verb tense: Sometimes Biscuit gets the right word but not quite the right tense of the word.

Like yesterday, he had a ball in his hand that he threw to me.

"I'm throwing it to you, Mom. Did you caught it?" Biscuit said.

Dinosaur movie: Sometimes Biscuit makes a plan, and I just have to suspend reality and go along with it. I love that he has a great imagination, and I don't want to stifle it, even if things sometimes don't quite make sense to me. We had this conversation on the way home from day care the other day:

"Mom, home is going to be the dinosaur movie, okay?" Biscuit said.

"Okay," I said. "Can you tell me more about it?"

"Um, you'll be the man. He turns on the movie. And home will be the movie and all my dinner will be popcorn."

"We're not having popcorn for dinner," I said.

"No, Mom! We're going to pretend our dinner is popcorn because our house is the dinosaur movie."

Of course, by the time I was putting dinner on the table, the dinosaur movie idea was long gone. Story lines change pretty quickly around here. You have to be on your toes.

Getting by on a technicality: "That's not a toy," I said to Biscuit the other day.

"I don't want to play with it. I just want to hold it," Biscuit said.

My answer was still no, but I'll give him points for trying.

Big bites: "Mom, if you take a big bite, you choke. Then you pour a piece of water and drink it. Then the chokes will go away," Biscuit said.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Playtime, Part 2

After we finished eating tonight, we were all still sitting around the table. I was reading out loud to Jeff from an entertainment magazine about next weekend's awards show.

I mentioned a movie called "Rampart," and Biscuit said, "Rampart, Rescue 51, Mom," with his hand cupped over his mouth.

"What?" I asked him. I was talking about the movie and had no idea what he was saying.

"Rampart, Rescue 51, Mom," he said again. I turned a questioning look at Jeff, trying to ask him what in the world Biscuit was talking about.

Jeff was laughing as he explained it to me.

"Rampart is the hospital on 'Emergency,'" Jeff said and explained that Biscuit's hand over his mouth was his radio mike. Biscuit got Season 1 of "Emergency" on DVDs for Christmas and has really loved watching them. "When the paramedics from Fire Station 51 call the hospital on the radio, that's how they identify themselves -- Rampart, Rescue 51. Then you're supposed to say, 'Go ahead, 51.'"

"Mom, I'm saying Rampart, Rescue 51 to you," Biscuit said.

And having learned what my response should be, I said, "Go ahead, 51."

Then Biscuit proceeded to tell me that "the woman had fallen up on the ridge" and that there was a big fire there, too.

All during this conversation, this is what Jeff and I look like in our fire helmets:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Play time

Jeff is covering a game tonight, so Biscuit and I are entertaining each other for the evening, while also keeping up with Jeff online and on TV. It still amuses me to see Jeff on TV.

I just had to go clear all the bad guys off the couch. Apparently, there were tons and tons of bad guys, and since I'm Police Officer Mom (at least for right now), it was my job to go round them up and send them jail.

Scratch that. Biscuit just came over and took my police hat off. Now I'm the people. It's my job to say, "There's no fire here. Everybody is safe and sound." 

"There was a fire here, but the firefighters put it out," Biscuit said. "Then the lady fell down at the fire. Then she went across the ridge."

Then, just as fast as we were police and firefighters, we were cowboys. We had cowboy hats, and Biscuit put on his cowboy boots ... over his footed pajamas.

And then there was another involved story, but this time it was about our adventures out on the range.

Then we were race car drivers.

"Mom, what color race car do you want?" Biscuit asked. "I like red race cars. Red race cars are my favorite."

Then he sorted the cars. Looks like this time it was by color.

"Mom, I'm tired. Can I watch TV on your bed?" Biscuit asked.

I told him he could, and I'm betting it won't be long until I'm scooping his sleeping little self off my bed and carrying him to his own bed.

It's been a nice night with my boy.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Here comes trouble

As parents pick up their kids from day care, the teachers start consolidating the classes. So I never really know where I'm going to find Biscuit when I get there. Yesterday, Biscuit and a few others from his class were in the 4-year-old room. 

When I walked into the class, Biscuit was playing with two other little boys. He looked like his usual happy-go-lucky self. But as soon as he looked up and saw me, tears started to pool in his eyes, and his bottom lip started quivering.

Most days when I pick him up, I walk into the room and watch him playing until he sees me. When Biscuit sees me (or one of the other kids yells "YOUR MAMA IS HERE!"), he always yells, "MOM!" and comes running into my arms. 

As soon as I scoop him up, he chews my ear off with whatever wonderful adventure he was on. Biscuit's brain moves faster than his mouth these days, so he'll start stammering.

"Mom, Mom, um, Mom. We-we-we. Um, Mom. We-we-we-we were going on a bear hunt. And-and-and-and we had horses. Th-th-th-then we found a dog, and his-his-his name was Sparky."

But yesterday, he started walking toward me very slowly. Then the tears started to drop from his eyes, and by the time he got to me, he was wailing.

"What's wrong, baby?" I asked him. But he was crying too hard to answer me.

I told him to take a deep breath and to try to stop crying so I could understand what he was saying.

Finally, he said, "Um, Miss Nicole said I wasn't listening, and she got me in trouble." Then the wailing started again. I calmed him down again and asked him to tell me again what was wrong. He named a couple of boys he was playing with and said the teacher called them down and scolded them for not listening to her. "She got me in trouble," Biscuit said.

"Well, no," I said. "If you weren't listening to your teacher, you got YOURSELF in trouble."

More wailing. 

Miss Nicole was sitting in the lobby waiting on her ride when I got to daycare, and I was hoping she was still sitting there.

"Come on," I said to Biscuit. And we headed down the hall.

Sure enough, Miss Nicole was still sitting there.

She saw that Biscuit was crying and asked him what was wrong. Biscuit, who had the snubs by this point, just looked at the floor.

I told Miss Nicole what Biscuit told me, and I could immediately tell that she wanted to smile.

"He was following two boys who get in trouble every day, so I told him to go play in a different center," Miss Nicole said. "At first, he didn't go, so I told him he wasn't being a good listener. After I said that, he went to a different center. That's all it was. I told him he shouldn't do what those other boys do because they get in trouble a lot."

So I asked Miss Nicole out loud if she was mad at Biscuit. She said she wasn't. Then I asked Biscuit if he was mad at Miss Nicole, and he said no. I suggested to Biscuit that he give his teacher a hug, then he wished her a Happy Valentine's Day.

I had asked Miss Nicole when the incident happened, and she said it was around 2 o'clock. 

It happened at 2 p.m., and Biscuit came crying to me at 6 p.m. There's a part of me that feels horrible at the prospect of Biscuit worrying for 4 hours about whether I was going to be mad or not. Then there's another part that thinks, "Hey, at least he realizes that his actions have consequences."

I assured Biscuit that I wasn't mad at him and neither was Miss Nicole. But I also told him that he needed to listen to his teachers. We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

I'm declaring myself a Value Valentine this year. 

I made valentines for 26 kids at Biscuit's daycare and 25 valentines for family and friends.

The grand total? $7.

Okay, if you want to get technical, that total doesn't include the postage I had to spend for a few of the cards, but even with postage, it was a really cheap holiday.

These were the valentines for Biscuit's daycare class:

For the ones I made for our family and friends, I, um, "borrowed" an idea from a mom-blog I read.

I thought they turned out okay, and I just love the shirt Biscuit is wearing.

Here's what I came up with:

Biscuit's daycare class had a Valentine's Day party this afternoon. Here are the valentines he got from his classmates:

Happy husband

A post from The Daddy Man:

What man wouldn't want his Valentine to express her feelings in peanut butter and chocolate?

Eat your hearts out, people!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Snow business

For the past two falls, we've taken Biscuit to the fair, where his favorite thing to do was go down the giant slide. I guess he got this from his car-loving parents, but our boy feels the need for speed!

Jeff was off today because he covered a game Saturday, and I took a vacation day, and we drove a couple of hours to the mountains and took Biscuit snow tubing.

I wanted to make sure Biscuit would go through with it because I had no intentions of driving 2 hours then having him say he didn't want to do it.

The tubing runs were at a ski lodge, so I pulled up their website and showed him a video.

"Can we go right now, Mom? Can we ride the sleds right now?" Biscuit asked. "Where's the snow, Mom? How do we get to the snow?"

I explained to Biscuit that we'd have to drive to the mountains, and he went nuts!

"Dad! Dad! We're going to the mountain to see the snow and ride in the sled. What color is your sled, Dad? I like red. Red is my favorite color. Can I ride a red sled, Dad?" 

He was so excited that he was starting to drive Jeff and me crazy with the 1,001 questions he was asking.

When the landscape started changing from hills to mountains, Biscuit started getting excited again. Then we started to see snow.
"LOOK AT ALL THOSE SNOW!" Biscuit shouted.

We set our sites on the 2 p.m. tubing session. I figured if we left the house at 11 a.m., we'd have a relaxing morning, plus Biscuit's naptime would coincide with the trip.

We did have to stop at a store on the way, when I realized that Biscuit's mittens were in Jeff's car ... back at our house.

Luckily, the store we stopped at had all their winter gear marked 50% off.

By the time we got Biscuit dressed, he was wearing a lined ski bib, a puffy coat with a hood, water-proof mittens with the fancy lining and his cool sunglasses. After we were done, I changed him back into his regular clothes. He was toasty warm with not a wet spot on him anywhere.

We got our tickets, then realized we all needed to strip back down and visit the bathroom. Then we bundled back up and headed to get our tubes. And guess what? They had red ones.

I wanted some pictures, of course, so we brought our little point-and-shoot camera. I wouldn't dare take my good camera out into the snow. I told Jeff to go first, then he could wait at the bottom and take pictures of Biscuit and me coming down. Then we swapped off and I went first and took pictures of Jeff and Biscuit. After that, we put up the camera and had some fun!

The people who worked there were so nice to us. I got into my tube, then Biscuit crawled up on my lap. But I quickly realized that my legs weren't quite long enough to push us off at the top of the hill. So the attendant stepped up behind our tube and gave Biscuit and me a push start almost every time we went down.

Biscuit was the only little kid there, so the guys who worked there and the other tubers all made a big fuss over him. They gave him high-fives, and one of the teenage boys bumped fists with him. And of course, he thought he was just as big as they were.

I did have to have one pretty serious chat with him. When you get to the bottom of the hill, you have to get on a conveyor belt to ride back to the top. They're really strict about staying still while you're on it, and about halfway through our session, Biscuit started getting really excited to be back at the top already. He started shifting around, and at one point, he stepped right on the edge of the belt and almost fell off.

When we got to the top, I pulled Biscuit aside to have a little chat.

I pointed at the belt, and said, "When you're on that belt on the way back up, you have to stand perfectly still. If you move around, you're breaking the rules. And if you break the rules again, we'll put our tubes up and go home."

I hated to sound harsh, but for his safety, I needed to make it very clear what he needed to be doing (and not doing).

Biscuit stood completely still every other trip up the conveyor belt. The guy at the top, whose job it was to make sure people got off the belt safely, heard me having the talk with Biscuit. From that point on, every time Biscuit got to the top, the guy would say, "Good job" or "Way to go."

After we were done tubing, Jeff and I were tired. You don't realize how much work it takes to get yourself stopped on the way down, then drag those heavy tubes to the conveyor belt, then keep your balance on the way back up the hill. 

We were also hungry, and I suggested a restaurant we go to every time we're up that way. It's a casual place, the food is great, and the view is beautiful. It's called Canyons, and that's with good reason. It's perched on the side of a mountain with a view of ... well, the canyon.

I ordered a shrimp chimichanga, and Jeff was having trouble deciding between a shrimp burrito and a shrimp quesadilla. He settled on the burrito, but when Biscuit heard "quesadilla," he yelled (a little too loud for a restaurant), "I LIKE QUESADILLAS! CAN I HAVE A QUESADILLA?" And he yelled it right when our server walked up to take our order. She thought it was pretty funny how excited he was.

After dinner, we hit the road and headed home. Biscuit napped for about half an hour, but luckily, that wasn't long enough for him to be really wound up when we got home.

I'm really glad we went today. It was nice to have time together, just the three of us.

Here are a few pictures from our day:

The view from the restaurant.

Scared silly

I heard Jeff finishing up with Biscuit's bath this evening, and I thought I would go in and see how things were going.

What I didn't know was that Biscuit was heading to see me at the same time.

I left the living room and turned the corner into the dining room at the same time that Biscuit stepped from the kitchen into the dining room.

"AAAAACK!" I yelled.

"MOM! MOM! MOM!" Biscuit yelled, then he started crying.

We scared the C.R.A.P. out of each other. My heart was pounding, and Biscuit was just wailing.

I scooped him up, and we went and sat in my rocking chair for a while until we both calmed down.

Jeff and Biscuit were watching an episode of his "Emergency" DVDs in our bedroom, so I went in to make sure Biscuit was okay.

"You know what?" I asked him. "I was coming to see you, and you were coming to see me, and we scared each other half to death!"

"I know, Mom," Biscuit said. "I'm sorry about that," he said with a big smile.

"I'm sorry about that, too," I said. "Are we both okay now?"

"Yeah. We're good, Mom," Biscuit said, and we both laughed about it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Where's Mom?

Biscuit is on the verge of getting a cold, so we decided to hunker down at home today. He actually took a 4-hour nap this afternoon.

About 6:30, I finally convinced myself to head out of the house, only because we were out of milk.

I left while Jeff and Biscuit were in the shower, but apparently, I was supposed to okay my outing with Biscuit before I left.

Jeff said he dried off Biscuit and put him in his pajamas. Then Biscuit ran into the living room to find me.

When Biscuit realized I was gone, and I hadn't told him that I was leaving and where I was going, he asked Jeff if they could call the police.
No lie. My boy wanted to put out a missing person report on me, and I had only been gone for 15 minutes!

I had my cellphone with me, so Jeff called me and let Biscuit talk to me. When Biscuit got the phone, he said, "Hello? Hello? Is this the police?"

I told him it wasn't the police, it was Mama, and he wanted to know where I was.

I told him I was at the store, but I'd be home very soon, and he seemed satisfied with my answer.

When I got home, I unlocked the front door, then rang the doorbell.

"WHO IS IT?" Biscuit yelled.

"It's Mom. Can I come in?" I asked.

"MOM! You can come in," Biscuit said. And he seemed excited to see me.

That's a nice way to come home.

A fish tale

You have to love when a toddler walks into the room holding a single Goldfish and says, "Dad, can I eat this?"

"Um, where did you find it?" Jeff asked.

"It was under a table," Biscuit said.

"Then let's not eat that one," Jeff said. "Come into the kitchen, and I'll get you some brand-new Goldfish."

Hey, at least he asked instead of just poking it in his mouth.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Random things

A few random things about Biscuit:

Teamwork: Biscuit and I used his blocks to make a fire station today. He drove one of his trucks into the wall, and the whole thing came tumbling down.

"I'm sorry I knocked down the fire station, Mom. I KNOW! Let's work TOGETHER and build it back."

Who am I? Biscuit's imagination is pretty vivid, so there's no telling who he's going to claim to be from one minute to the next. We get all kinds of scenarios and story lines.

Biscuit and I spent today alone together. It was too cold and windy to go outside, so we had to amuse ourselves inside. It seemed like every time Biscuit walked into the room, he would say, "Mom, I'm Capt. Griddles, and you're Mr. Cogill," or "Mom, I'm Firefighter Ronnie Gage, and you're Firefighter Roy Desoto," (Biscuit got those names from the first season DVDs of "Emergency" that he got for Christmas from Grandma and Grandpa). It seemed like we went through about 10 characters each.

My favorite was when he walked in and said, "Mom, I'm the zookeeper, and you're the people." When I asked what exactly it was that the people did, he told me that the people visit the animals at the zoo. He might as well have added, "Well, duh, Mom," at the end.

Words: Biscuit is starting to figure out that letters fit together to make words. He knows the sounds that all the letters make, so it's fun to watch his face when he sounds out words. He gets really excited. His eyes get really big, his eyebrows go up, and he puckers up his mouth.

The other day in the car, we were talking about cats, and I helped Biscuit sound out the letters. Then I helped him spell it, then he repeated it after me. Then we moved on to "dog." We sounded it out, then he spelled it on his own. I was impressed.

This afternoon, I called Biscuit into the kitchen. He has magnetic letters all over the bottom half of the refrigerator. I asked him if he could spell "cat," and he sounded it out and put the letters together. Then I asked him if he could spell "dog." He got all the letters right, but didn't quite get the order. He spelled it "dgo." 

Biscuit has a placemat on the kitchen table with his name on it. He's been able to say what letter his name starts with for a while, but I had no idea he had memorized all the letters in his name. He grabbed a "G" and an "R" from the fridge, then he said, "The next letter is an "I" then another "I." I told him that he had two of the same letters in a row in his name, but it wasn't "I." So we kept sounding it out, and figured it out and grabbed a couple of "F's."

After we got all the letters put together, I said, "What do all those letters spell?"

"Um, that spells 'Griffinator,'" Biscuit said. His old teacher gave him that nickname, and all the kids at day care still call him that.

I was really proud of Biscuit's word play today. I hope he learns to love words as much as Jeff and I do.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cool tricks

So I've shared Biscuit's made-up "Red Cowboy Riding a Red Horse" song. Then I shared the Christmas carols that he's still singing every morning ... and afternoon ... and evening.

So for his next trick, Biscuit will share his beat-box skills and his Edward G. Robinson imitation.

I just don't know how he holds this much genius in that little 3T-sized body!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Christmas in February

My Biscuit baby really got into Christmas this year. He enjoyed the tree, making cookies, opening presents and mostly, he enjoyed the music.

He enjoyed it so much that he's still singing Christmas songs ... in February. We tried to explain to him that some songs were just for Christmas, but he didn't really get it. And then I thought, "Hey, if the kid is happy enough to be singing, let him sing whatever the heck he wants!"

And since his ban on me "taking his picture" was lifted last night, I got him on video singing his two favorite Christmas songs.

I will warn you that sometimes he sings all the words, and sometimes he sings his own abbreviated versions of the songs. And sometimes, when he's feeling especially creative, he'll completely change the words to suit his mood. He stuck to the original words on this video, although he did change the phrasing a little here and there.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Got him on tape

Biscuit has been very anti-video for the past few months. He wouldn't let me video him doing anything. His response was always, "Mom, you can take my picture later."

But something shifted this evening. 

Biscuit and I were sitting together just chatting, and he started singing a song he made up. It was about a red cowboy who rode a red horse and had parts of one of his cowboy books in it. It was also a mash-up of his original song and "Home on the Range."

So I asked Biscuit if I could "take a picture" of him while he sang his new song, and he actually said yes. Then he proceeded to ask me to take a picture of him singing other songs, too.

So here is the debut of Biscuit's song "Red Cowboy Who Ride a Red Horse."

The first time Biscuit sang his song, he had the hiccups.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Word of the day

Jeff and I have worked really hard to only say things around Biscuit that we wouldn't mind hearing come out of his mouth in public. 

Although, I have heard some really funny stories about little kids and cuss words. 

Like one friend's daughter who walked into the living room and said, "We've got to clean this s--- up!"

Or a pediatrician at the second hospital I worked at used to tell us all kinds of funny kid stories. One of my favorites was about a little girl who wore a new dress to church. All the kids went down to the front of the church for the children's sermon, and the minister noticed the little girl fluffing the skirt on her new dress. He realized that the little girl was fishing for a compliment, so he said, "That sure is a pretty dress you're wearing today." The little girl just smiled and said, "Yeah, but it's a b---- to iron." I'm sure her mother was thrilled.

My nephew was playing hide-and-go-seek at Mama's house, and she couldn't find him. Mama and Daddy's bed sits catty-cornered in their room, and my nephew had crawled over the headboard and was hiding in the corner. Mama finally found him and told him to come out from behind the bed. My nephew said, "I'm trying to Grandmama. If I can just get my fat butt over." He was about 4 when he said that.

So far, Biscuit hasn't found any fun words to use. And we're hoping it's a while before he learns any.

But there are times we have to bite our tongues.

Like tonight. I was browning some ground chicken for dinner, when my spoon slipped and I splashed boiling water on my hand and arm. 

I'm not sure exactly how to spell the noise that came out of my mouth, but it sounded something like, "DA-SHOW-WAHHH-OOOOOT!!!!!" Unless I just learned to speak German, I can't think of a single exclamation I might have been shooting for. Although some choice words did flash through my mind.

But at least those choice words didn't come out of my mouth. Which hopefully means they won't be coming out of my boy's mouth any time soon, either.

I like this kid

My son just ran to my husband and said, "I'm ready to go to bed, Dad. Come read me a story." 

Then Biscuit bolted up the stairs with Jeff right behind him. They're up there reading right now.

This was after Biscuit took a bath with only about 30 seconds of whining.

Earlier in the evening, he ate two tacos and some black beans and corn for dinner. He was also sitting in his spot at the table before the food was ever set down. Usually, we have to chase him down for dinner.

I'm not sure what got into Biscuit tonight, but I'm lovin' it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I can't hear!

Why is it that my son never plays with some of his noisiest toys until I'm watching a movie where I need to hear the dialog? Isn't it naptime yet?!?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Biscuit's kisses

As we were leaving day care Friday, I noticed that there were folded notes on the classroom door, one with each child's name on it. When I opened it up, there were two big hearts drawn on it, one listed all the boys' names in Biscuit's class, and one listed all the girls' names. They were for Valentines.

Valentines for 3-year-olds.

My 3-year-old has no idea what Valentine's Day is, and I have to buy Valentine's cards for 26 ... you read that right ... 26 kids?!?

Biscuit and I went to the store and strolled down one of FOUR aisles dedicated to Valentine's Day. They had the little cards with the little envelopes with all the popular cartoon characters. If Biscuit were old enough to know these characters and pick out the ones he likes best, it might be okay. But for some of them, I would have to buy three boxes to have enough. And they're not cheap.

Anyway, after I finished stewing, I came up with a cheap alternative. I bought a bag of kisses and a pack of stickers, and when we got home, I dug up some red card stock.

Cute, cheap and Biscuit got to help. They're not fancy, but I feel better about these than I would have buying some of the others.

So here are the Valentine's cards Biscuit is going to give out this year.

Friday, February 3, 2012

What does a yellow light mean?

If you've never watched the 70s show "Taxi," you need to watch this clip to appreciate this post.

Biscuit was eating dinner tonight. We had PB&Js in the living room because I had a horrible day at work and was not in the mood to cook. 

"We're having PB&J and chips in the living room," I said to Biscuit. 

"In the LIVING ROOM?!?" asked Biscuit (actually it was, "In the wiving room?!?")

We pulled one of his little chairs up to the coffee table, and he sat down and grabbed a chip. He started gnawing on it like a little mouse, then I realize he hadn't said the blessing.

"Hey. You forgot to say the blessing," I said to Biscuit. So he said his usual blessing and went right back to gnawing on his chips. He was eating the chips so fast, I was afraid he was going to choke. But when I called him on it, he didn't quite get what I was talking about.

"Biscuit. Slow down. Slow way down," I said to him.

"Okay, Mom. ... Bless ... this ... foooooood ... fooooor ... our ... goooood. Was that slow enough, Mom?"

"Yes, baby. That was slow enough," I said.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ding, dong, the in-laws are gone

My in-laws headed home this morning, and we're kinda sad about it.

They came down the week before Christmas and split time between us and Jeff's brother and his family. It seems like after that long of a visit, we'd be ready for them to go, and they would be looking for any chance to get away from us and go home. 

But actually, I was hard going to work this morning knowing they wouldn't be here when we got home.

As I was leaving this morning, my father-in-law joked with me and said, "Send us a video of your dance." A few years ago, they said they were sure that I sang a song and did a dance when they finally left. So I waited until they left and handed the video camera to Jeff. Remember the "Ding dong, the witch is dead" song? Well, I changed the words to "Ding dong, the in-laws are gone."

(And before you get all judgmental, they loved the video. They knew I was joking.)

When Jeff took Biscuit to daycare this morning, his parents were still at our house. Jeff strapped Biscuit into his car seat and backed the car out of the driveway. The in-laws were standing in the driveway waving at Biscuit. He waved at them and yelled "goodbye." They waved back at him then started walking back toward the house. The didn't know that Biscuit was still waving and hollering.

"Dad, they can't hear me, can they?" Biscuit asked.

"No, but they saw you wave, boy. You did a good job," Jeff said.

When we got home this evening, Biscuit walked in, looked around and asked, "Hey, where's Grandma and Grandpa?"
"They went home, remember?" Jeff and I both said.

"Oh, yeah," Biscuit said.

"Hopefully, we'll see them again soon," Jeff said.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bad mother alert

I am a horrible, horrible mother. Biscuit just wandered into the living room. It's 11:24 p.m.

A. He should've been in bed a long time ago.
2. I forgot he was still up.

Maybe we should all go to bed now.


UPDATE: We tried to get Biscuit in bed, but he was so tired, he couldn't relax enough to sleep. So we put him in our bed, and less than 10 minutes later, he was out. Jeff carried him upstairs to his room, and Biscuit never moved.

This morning, we had Mr. Grumpy Pants on our hands. But I told Jeff we'd just have to suffer through it because it was our fault.

Jeff said to me, "I wish you could've seen your face when Biscuit rounded the corner into the living room." Jeff worked late last night, and I had a class, so our whole evening routine was thrown off. I truly thought Jeff had put Biscuit to bed, and Jeff thought I had put him to bed.

After Biscuit was more awake and alert and had eaten his breakfast, his sweet boy self kicked in, and things were back to normal. But guess who will be going to bed at 9 p.m. tonight?!?