Monday, April 30, 2012

More Highland Games

Here are a few videos our friend shot at the Highland Games:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Highland Games

We spent Saturday at the Highland games here in town. I have a lot of Scottish ancestors on both sides of my family (so do a lot of people from around this area), so it felt kind of special sharing my family heritage with Jeff and Biscuit.

We saw lots of people in kilts, and Jeff thought it was pretty interesting that the athletics competitors wore kilts, too. As a matter of fact, wearing a kilt is required to participate in any of the athletic events.

There were a couple of weight-throwing events (one with a 56-pound weight and one with a 28-pound weight), where the competitors throw for distance. They had the sheaf toss, which is where they use a pitchfork to throw a 16-pound burlap bag stuffed with hay over a high bar. 

But the highlight of the games is always the caber toss. The caber looks like a telephone pole that the competitors have to throw end over end. The pole is about 20 feet tall and about 150 pounds in weight. The object has nothing to do with distance. The goal is to toss the pole so it flips once and lands straight in front of the thrower. A perfect throw ends with the top of the pole pointing toward the thrower and the bottom end of the pole pointing directly away from the thrower. Throws are judged on the clock (i.e. 12 o'clock is a perfect throw, 11 or 1 o'clock earns lower scores).

A trainer brought his border collies and did a herding demonstration with sheep and ducks. The trainer uses a whistle and verbal commands to get the dogs to herd and direct the animals. The trainer let the kids pet the sheep but said a couple of the dogs have been known to "nip" him, so of course he wouldn't let kids around them.

There were food vendors that had shortbread, meat pies and haggis to represent Scotland. But there was also barbecue, hot dogs and the other usual festival-type choices. I didn't make Jeff and Biscuit try haggis, but Jeff did have a meat pie and a brydie (a flaky pastry with meat inside) and an Irn Bru, a citrus-flavored Scottish soft drink that he said he actually liked.

I thought the highlight of the day for Biscuit would be the border collies. But even as he was watching the dogs, a bagpipe band started playing, and Biscuit's head whipped around.

"Dad! Dad! I hear the marching band," Biscuit said. "I hear the marching band! We need to go find it."

Earlier in the day, Biscuit heard the same band playing, and he was fascinated. Jeff put him up on his shoulders so he could see. After the band played a couple of songs, I asked Biscuit if he was ready to go. 

"No, Mom," Biscuit said. "I want to hear the band."

I was proud and embarrassed at the same time. Proud because if Scotland is part of my heritage, it's part of his heritage. Embarrassed because that was the first time Biscuit had heard bagpipes. I have a set of bagpipes in a case in my living room, and Biscuit has never heard them.

For several months before I got pregnant with Biscuit, I took bagpipe lessons. Since I already knew how to read music, my uncle told me it wouldn't be that hard, and that I should do it. He bought me a beautiful chanter, which is how you learn to play. It looks like a recorder, but a lot prettier and fancier. It has reeds inside and is made like the part of the bagpipes where you finger your notes. On a chanter, when you blow air in, the sound comes out immediately, just like a recorder. But on bagpipes, you blow air into the bag, then you squeeze air from the bag with your arm to make sound come out. It's a little hard to get used to that because usually, when you blow into an instrument, the sound comes out immediately. But the way bagpipes work makes you re-train your breath.

This looks just like my chanter. It's made of rosewood and has sterling silver inlay.

Anyway, when I first got pregnant, I had a lot of problems, and we almost lost Biscuit. So I had to quit my lessons because of the exertion of breath it took to play my chanter. I plan to go back and take more lessons when I can.

I know a lot of people think of funerals when they hear bagpipes, but I love the sound of them.

The games we went to Saturday were pretty small compared to some that I've been to. There were only a couple of pipe bands there. But you know how your ears feel when you leave a loud concert? Well when I get a chance to go to bigger games, where there will be 30 or so bagpipe bands, I always have bagpipes in my ears for a day or so afterward. And I love it!

So I'm glad Biscuit was finally introduced to bagpipe music. And I'm even happier that he likes it. Maybe when he gets old enough, we'll get lessons for him.

But probably the most fun part of my day was when I got to throw axes. Yep, axes.

There were 6 or 8 targets set up, and people could buy tokens to throw a few times. Jeff went first. He missed his first throw, as most people did until they got used to the weight and angle of the thing. But then he started hitting the target.

I thought to myself that if Jeff could throw axes, I needed to be able to throw axes, too. You know, in case we ever get in an axe fight.

So I stepped up and the guy running the thing saw me holding the axe in my left hand.

"Oh, you're a lefty," he said. "Here," and he handed me a different axe.

"You mean there are left-handed axes and right-handed axes?" I asked him.

He held up the two axes and said, "You can't see the difference between these two axes?"

I shook my head no. "Well this one is new, and this one is old," he said. I couldn't believe I fell for that!

The man showed me how to stand and how to hold the axe and the throwing motion I should use. I threw the first one, and my axe flew above the target.

"That was just a little bit high," the man said.

Since he had dished it out earlier, I figured I'd give it right back. "Well, my husband is a bit taller than that target!" I said to him. 

Several of the men around me laughed, although they seemed a little nervous. Maybe they were afraid for Jeff to go home with me after I had learned to throw an axe. My first two throws were high, but on my third turn, I hit the target. That axe sinking into the chunk of wood was a wonderful sound. It was a very cool accomplishment to cap off our day.

And believe it or not, I forgot to take my camera. Luckily, we were meeting some friends there, and they didn't forget their cameras. They hooked us up with pictures. Here are a few of them.

Jamestown Pipes and Drums.

Watching the band play.

Jeff at the axe throw.

My turn to throw some axes. I need some axes and a target
for my backyard. It would be a heck of a stress reliever!

During the caber toss. See the pole on the ground on the left?

My viking husband.

Mama Warrior.

Border collies herding sheep.
Biscuit chasing down the sheep.

When my boy is tired, he goes to sleep. No matter where he is or what's going on.
A bagpipe band stopped right in front of him. He didn't even flinch.

Friday, April 27, 2012

My little pony

Pinto, Biscuit's bouncy horse is almost 2 years old. And Biscuit is almost to big for him. 

It's going to be a sad day for Biscuit when his beloved Pinto moves on to greener pastures.

But it's going to be a happy day for Mama to get the corner of her living room back!

Horse, cowboy hat, firetruck and lots of red. Give him a slice of pizza, and he'd be in heaven!

Luckily, there's no outgrowing Jake the stick horse. Jeff and I have even been known to ride him through the house.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Car show

Sometimes I sit down at the computer to write a blog post, and I have no idea what I'm going to write about. Then sometimes, like now, I have about 80,000 topics but not enough time to get them all down.

I have little notepads around the house and in my pocketbook where I jot down ideas, topics and direct quotes from Biscuit, and even though 80,000 topics was exaggerating just a bit, I honestly do have about 25 or 30 topics to write about.

I'm also behind on some things, too. Like the car show we went to a few weeks ago.

We had to drive two cars because the Barracuda doesn't have the equipment to properly install Biscuit's car seat. That's why we usually only go to shows that are pretty close to us. This one took about half an hour to get there.

In preparation, I packed snacks and filled a water bottle for Biscuit. It's always funny to me when I realize that Biscuit is prepared for whatever might happen, and I didn't pack a thing for Jeff and me.

So I had snacks, water, sunscreen, wipes, a jacket, sunglasses, a hat and the umbrella stroller for Biscuit. For Jeff and me? Nada. 

I put Biscuit's stroller in the car while worrying how old is too old for him to be in a stroller. But knowing how much walking we were going to do, and knowing that he was going to get tired of walking, and knowing that he now weights 30 1/2 pounds, I decided that the stroller was a good plan.

We checked out all the cars. There were some nice vehicles there. Some were worth lots of money (a rare AAR 'Cuda). Some not worth much except for the nostalgia they brought the owners (1967 unrestored Mercury Cougar).

Admission to the Richard Petty Museum was part of the show entry fee, so we took a look around at some of the Petty family cars (his dad, son and grandson also raced), tons of trophies, lots of photos and some unusual collections, including some commemorative rifles and guns, all No. 43 (Richard's car number) of the series they came from.

After the museum, I could tell Biscuit was getting tired. And a few minutes later, he was fast asleep in his stroller. I was really glad I had it.I took Biscuit up on the porch of the museum in the shade. I sat in a rocking chair and told Jeff he could go look at the rest of the cars.

The announcer called for all the car owners to come to the stage for the awards presentation. Jeff won second place in the Mopar division and was very excited. Well, as excited as Jeff gets.

Earlier that afternoon, we had spent some time talking with a couple who owned a 1967 GTX. Jeff was explaining to Biscuit that his parents brought him home from the hospital in a car just like that. It was his Dad's first brand-new car. I doubt Biscuit totally understood what Jeff was telling him, but I love that Jeff shared the story with him.

The woman was talking to Biscuit, then she looked down at his chest and looked back at me.

"He's from a mixed marriage," I said. "I grew up a Ford girl, and his father is a Mopar man." Biscuit was wearing a Mustang shirt and a Mopar jacket.

"We don't care about the namebrands as much as the work that goes into the cars," the man said. "We just love to see people taking care of the old ones."

When I was sitting with Biscuit on the porch, and Jeff was at the stage, the couple came over and stood beside me. When they called Jeff's name. I pumped my fist and said, "YES! He is going to be so excited."

The couple looked at each other, then looked at me.

"Do y'all own that Barracuda?" the woman asked.

"Yes, we do," I said. "My father-in-law restored it."

"I had no idea," the woman said. "We judged that category! We love that car."

I'm glad they have a keen eye for detail and craftsmanship, not to mention knowledge of old cars.

Here are a few pictures from the day:

Hat, shades and goldfish. He's ready to go.

Richard Petty Museum. He won Daytona in this car.

Cool seat in the kids' room. It's an old bumper car.

A couch in the kids' room made out of an old Pontiac trunk.

"Cars" was on a continual loop in the kids' room. Someone was fascinated.

Die cast cars in the museum.

Gold-plated tools, including a spray pot and tire gauge.

Biscuit gets a "neck ride" so he can see the cars on the high shelves.

He's had all the car show he can take.

Yay! A well-deserved second place.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

He's better ... really better

My Biscuit baby is feeling better. Thank goodness.

The reason I know he's feeling better is that he is bouncing off the walls!

Biscuit went with me to a department store after I picked him up from day care. We rode the escalator, and I think everyone in the building knew that he was having a good time.

"MOM! MOM! I LOVE THIS ESCALATOR!" Biscuit yelled.

"Yeah," I said. "This is lots of fun."


"Shhhhhh," I said to him. "You're being too loud in the store."

"Too loud in the store, Mom?" Biscuit asked.

"Yes," I said. "Too loud in the store."

"Sorry, Mom," Biscuit said. "I'm so, so sorry."

Jeff was meeting us at the store, but he hadn't arrived by the time I wanted to go in the dressing room. So I took Biscuit in with me.

"MOM! MOM! There's a mirror," Biscuit said. "There are two Griffins. TWO GRIFFINS! Am I in front or in back, Mom?"

"You're in front, and I'm in back," I said. Biscuit was standing about an inch from the full-length mirror.

"There are two Griffins and two Moms," Biscuit said. "Do you see, Mom? Can you see us? Two of you and two of me."

All I wanted to do was try on a couple of shirts, but Little Man would not let it go. He must've repeated himself 85 times, and because I was so glad he was feeling better, I just pretended each time was the first time I heard it.

As we were walking out of the dressing room, Biscuit looked up and saw one of the mirror alcoves. There was a mirror in front of him, one on a slant to his left and one on a slant to his right.

"WHOA, MOM!" Biscuit said. "Check out it, Mom. Check out it. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. There are SIX GRIFFINS! SIX GRIFFINS, MOM! LOOK! LOOK, MOM! DO YOU SEE?"

"Wow," I said with as much enthusiasm as I could muster.

I swear, almost everything Biscuit has said this evening has been in an almost-yell. If I typed everything he's said today, first of all, it would take me quite a long time, and secondly, I would have to put the caps lock on to indicate LOTS OF YELLING!!!



"MOM, DIEGO HELPED THE SIFAKA LEMUR GET BACK TO MADAGASCAR!" (No lie. And he pronounced it well enough that I did a phonetic search and got the correct spelling in the first entry.



I'm so glad he's feeling better, but CAN SOMEONE MAKE HIM GO TO SLEEP?!?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The illness continues

My poor Biscuit's fever was higher this morning than it was yesterday morning. 

I could tell by looking at him that he wasn't feeling well. We got him dosed up with children's ibuprofen and his antibiotic. By tomorrow morning, Biscuit will have had four doses of his antibiotic. I'm hoping that'll be enough to make him feel better.

Plus, it'll be a whole lot easier work-wise if he can go to day care tomorrow.

Jeff went to work as usual today, and I stayed home with Biscuit. I did some work stuff at home, but there are parts of my job that have to be done in the office. So I went in about 5:30 this evening and just got home.

I'm going to be tired tomorrow morning, but it was actually kind of nice working at night.

First of all, I'm a night owl. Even now that I work a regular day shift, I still love staying up late and getting up late (not that either of those things happens very often!).

Second of all, I used my phone once. ONCE the whole time I was at work this evening ... and that was to call Jeff and check in on Biscuit. Normally, I would take six or eight phone calls in the first hour or so of a usual work day.

Third, I was doing the production part of my job without having to worry about the manager part of my job. So I could put on my headphones and listen to some music while I hammered out pages.

Today's schedule was a little hard, but Jeff and I are both willing to do whatever Biscuit needs. And luckily, we've been able to fit our work in around that.

Let's hope Biscuit feels better tomorrow.

Monday, April 23, 2012

I liked him better sick

Biscuit has a sinus infection. We saw the doctor this morning after he woke up with a fever.

Jeff, Biscuit and I all had colds about a month ago. They ran their course and went away, all except for Biscuit's cough. It's not a really bad cough, but every once in a while, it's bad enough to wake him up at night.

He has allergy issues (as most people around here do), so we give him a dose of allergy medicine every night. That has helped, but his cough has just lingered. Add to that the nasty nose stuff. It's not a runny nose, but Biscuit sounds congested all the time. His voice sounds like a nasally version of his normal voice. And we do manage to get some pretty gross stuff out of his nose every once in a while.

But when he woke up with a fever this morning, I figured I better take him on to the doctor. She confirmed my guess that it is a sinus infection and prescribed an antibiotic for him. He doesn't mind taking medicine, so I'm glad it'll be that simple to finally getting rid of this stuff.

I always wondered how it seemed that my Mama would know I was sick before I realized I was sick. But now that I'm a mama, I get it.

Last night, Biscuit was sitting on the couch, and I could just tell he wasn't feeling well. Then he asked if he could lay on my shoulder.

I love it when Biscuit lays on my shoulder or when he wants to snuggle, but at his age, he only wants to do that when he's upset or sick.

He laid on my shoulder and I covered him with a blanket. He stayed there for about 45 minutes until I realized he was asleep (and until I realized my arm was going to sleep). Biscuit weighs 30 1/2 pounds now. He's still a lightweight compared to other kids his age, but when you're trying to stand up with him on your shoulder, trying not to wake him up, trying not to trip over the blanket and trying not to drop him out of your arm that's asleep, that 30 pounds can seem like 150.

About 5:30 a.m., Biscuit woke up and yelled for me.

"MOM!" Biscuit hollered.

"WHAT, BABY?" I answered back.

"THE SPIDERS ARE ON THE WAY, MOM!" he yelled back.

"NO, THEY'RE NOT. IT'S JUST A DREAM!" I hollered back to him.

"Oh, okay," Biscuit said quietly. Then he went back to sleep. I'm guessing the fever might have brought that on.

When Jeff brought Biscuit downstairs this morning, I looked at his face and knew he was feverish. His skin was flush, and he just looked pitiful.

Jeff and I both needed to be at work today, so we were trying to figure out our plan while we got some breakfast into Biscuit. He asked for oatmeal and dry cereal. That's not a typical breakfast we'd give him, but since he was feeling bad, that's exactly what he got.

Jeff and I decided that we would split the work day in half. He would take the first half so I could take Biscuit to the doctor, and I would take the second half.

Jeff headed off to work, and I got myself then Biscuit ready. I went ahead and gave Biscuit a dose of children's ibuprofen, and he stretched out on my bed.

Biscuit and I headed out to see the doctor, and about 5 minutes into our trip, the ibuprofen kicked in. I guess it made him feel better because he suddenly turned into Mr. Chatterbox. He asked nonstop questions all the way to the doctor's office, then all the way to the pharmacy, then all the way home.

Biscuit: Mom, what are those guys doing over there?
Me: They're re-paving the road.
Biscuit: Why?
Me: Because the road was rough and re-paving will make it smoother.
Biscuit: What's re-paving, Mom?
Me: It's when they put more of that black stuff on the road.

Then we stopped at a redlight.

Biscuit: Why is that man carrying a suitcase, Mom?
Me: That's not a suitcase. It's a briefcase.
Biscuit: What's a briefcase, Mom?
Me: A briefcase holds papers for work.
Biscuit: Where does that man work, Mom?
Me: I don't know, Baby.
Biscuit: What's that building, Mom?
Me: That's the hospital.
Biscuit: Does that man work at the hospital, Mom?
Me: I don't know.
Biscuit: Is he a paramedic? Paramedics drive ambulances to the hospital. Does that man drive an ambulance, Mom?
Me: I don't think so. He's not wearing a uniform.
Biscuit: Do paramedics wear uniforms?
Me: Yes.
Biscuit: Why?
Me: So you know they're paramedics and not teachers or firefighters.
Biscuit: Firefighters wear uniforms, Mom.
Me: Yes, they do.
Biscuit: Why do firefighters wear uniforms?
Me: The same reason as paramedics. So you know who they are.
Biscuit: I like firefighters, Mom.
Me: I know you do.
Biscuit: Firefighters and paramedics are my favorite people.
Me: I thought Dad and I were your favorite people.
Biscuit: Yeah. Firefighters, paramedics and you and Dad are my favorite people.

Then we were at the doctor's office.

These questions continued the whole time we were at the doctor's office. He asked the doctor if she was going to listen to his heart and look in his ears and look in his nose and look in his mouth.

After his appointment, the nurse offered him a sticker. It had his favorite race car character on it. Then he proceeded to tell her that the race car is his favorite because it's red, and red is his favorite color, and the race car has a friend who is a tow truck. And the tow truck is brown, but he likes it anyway.

We got to the drivethrough at the drugstore and the questions continued. We got home and the questions continued.

I could not wait until 1 p.m. when I could put him down for a nap.

He went right to sleep. And for the first time in hours, it was quiet.

Jeff finally got home, and I said to him, "Is it terrible to admit that our sweet son's voice was like fingernails on a chalkboard to me today?"

"What do you mean? It's really quiet in here." Jeff said with a grin.

Next time, I'm taking the afternoon sick-kid shift, starting with naptime!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Questionable parenting

We spent most of the day outside yesterday. When we came inside, we barely had time to get lunch for Biscuit before naptime.

After his nap, I stuck Biscuit in the shower with Jeff, as I picked out some slouchy clothes for him to wear.

I grabbed a tie-dyed shirt he made in his day care class last year and a pair of knit shorts. 

The shorts were acceptable, but before I even got down the stairs, Biscuit looked up and said, "Mom, I don't want to wear that colorful shirt. That shirt is too colorful, Mom."

"This shirt is fine," I said. "It's just a T-shirt. You won't even be wearing it that long before it's time for jammies."

"No, Mom," Biscuit said. "I just don't like that shirt. The colors are too bright. I don't want to wear that colorful shirt."

I was tired from doing a lot of yardwork, and my patience was wearing thing. So I said, "You know what? If you don't want what I picked out for you, go find something yourself."

That'll teach him, I thought to myself. He doesn't even know which drawer his short-sleeved shirts are in. Plus, I don't think he can reach that drawer anyway!

Yes, I know. Very adult thoughts for me to have. But I was tired and didn't need any lip from a 3-year-old.

Biscuit stood there for a minute, then said, "These shorts are okay, Mom. I like blue. And these underwear are okay, too. I just want a different shirt."

"Fine. Then go find one," I said.

Biscuit walked up the stairs, across the loft and into his room. I had turned the TV on in the living room and was distracted by whatever I was watching. Then I heard Biscuit coming back down the stairs.

Actually, he announced his descent ... something we've asked him to do, so we know when he's going up or down. He's had the stairs mastered for quite a while, but that's actually the problem. He sees no danger and sometimes comes close to tumbling down only because he's not paying attention to what he's doing.
So imagine my surprise when Biscuit came into the living room in the process of putting on a short-sleeved T-shirt. Not only did he find the drawer that holds his short-sleeved shirts, he picked out a shirt that matched his shorts!

"I like THIS shirt, Mom," Biscuit said. "This shirt is green, and it has blue on it like the blue on my shorts."

I couldn't decide whether to roll my eyes because he figured it out on his own without having to ask my help or congratulate him on doing such a good job of being independent AND matching his clothes.

This morning, Jeff and I were still in bed when we heard the clicking sound of the baby gate at the door of Biscuit's room. Then we heard the scrubbing sound of the step stool Biscuit uses in the upstairs bathroom.

Biscuit had opened the baby gate (which he's never done before) and went in to use the bathroom.

Once again, I was wondering how to handle the situation. On the one hand, Biscuit took the baby gate down, and he isn't supposed to do that. But on the other hand, he knew he needed to use the bathroom, so instead of going in the pull-up he was wearing, he wanted to go to the bathroom.

The baby gate is there for Biscuit's safety, but the fact that Biscuit realized he needed to go the bathroom is a big deal, too.

So what do I do? Scold him for taking down the gate or congratulate him for getting to the bathroom? Same dilemma as the shirt. Scold him for not wearing what I picked out or congratulate him for finding his shirts and picking out one he wanted.

I've found that teaching Biscuit right from wrong has been pretty black and white. Treat other people well. Share. Don't hit or bite. Take care of your toys.

But nowadays, things are getting more complicated. Trying to figure out a response to situations isn't as simple. Of course, nobody said parenting was simple.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Inspired baseball

I guess after going to the baseball game last night, Biscuit was inspired to play a little baseball on his own.

It really wasn't fair because Jeff got to play baseball with Biscuit while I did yard work. Jeff offered to swap with me at one point, but I turned him down.

"Playing baseball with a 3-year-old is harder work than the yard stuff I'm doing!" I said to him.

I did stop my work long enough to snap a few pictures of Biscuit.

A pitcher's concentration.

Giving the stink-eye to the batter.

Get that pitcher some eye black. The glare is hurting his form.

Good follow-through.

Eye on the ball.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Game night

We had a family night out at the baseball game tonight. We talked about it this morning, but spotted possible rain clouds off and on all day, so we weren't sure until after work.

Jeff needed to stay later at work, so I went to pick up Biscuit at day care. We were walking out to the car, and I said, "Hey. How would you like to go to a baseball game?"

"BASEBALL?" Biscuit yelled, then jerked my arm and started running toward the car.

Biscuit and I got to the game first. On game nights, the street right beside the baseball stadium is closed off with a police car at either end. And every time we go to a game, we have to take a walk past the police cars and talk about the flashing blue lights and the badges on the doors. There's usually an ambulance there, too, so we have to talk about that as well.

Biscuit will get in free until he's 5, and Jeff uses his press pass because he does work in and amongst hanging out with Biscuit and me. So when we go, I'm the only one who has to buy a ticket.

Biscuit and I walked through the turnstile to get in, and the first thing he said was that he would like to go to the playground for a while. I was still feeling guilty about lying to Biscuit, so I gave in, and we went to the playground.

Last year, I had seen a statue of the mascot holding a bat horizontally right outside the playground. Without ever walking over to the playground, I assumed kids had to be at least that tall to get in. That's how the rides at the fair and amusement parks work. But I was wrong. You can't be taller than that and still get in. The playground is made for little kids, so I had been telling Biscuit a falsehood ever since he could ask about it.

Well, it's SUPPOSED to be made for little kids. At some point tonight, the rules went out the window, and the playground was flooded with big kids. Rowdy, noisy, rude, pushy big kids. It's like they all had been smoking crack or something! They were pushing down the little kids. I saw more than one little kid get his or her hand stepped on as they were climbing onto the steps to go down the slide. Biscuit was climbing the rock wall at one point when a big kid decided to come down the same wall. He almost stepped on Biscuit's fingers, and he ended up having to jump over Biscuit's head to keep from knocking him down. When he took his flying leap, he ended up knocking down another little boy. It was pandemonium!

I was so impressed with Biscuit's agility. He scaled the rock wall like he had been doing it for years. There was one climbing wall that had a chain running up the middle. The object is to hang onto the chain as you pull yourself up the wall. And Biscuit climbed right up.

I was scared to watch him, but I couldn't take my eyes off him at the same time. I was so proud of him. He was mostly nice to the other little kids. I had to remind him a couple of times that you go down slides, not up. I also had to remind him to wait his turn a couple of times. Honestly, I wish someone had been there to tell the big kids those things!

For the second time since becoming a mother, I gave the evil eye to a kid. The first time was when a kid at Biscuit's day care hit him in the head with a toy car, right in front of me. And tonight, I offered up my best stink eye to a girl who started shoving Biscuit's shoulder as he was climbing over a piece of equipment. She shoved him the third or fourth time and yelled, "MOVE, BOY!" As the words were coming out of her mouth, she glanced up at me. I took one small step forward, crossed my arms, blew out a big breath, pursed my lips and stared her down. Little Miss Priss turned around and climbed right back down the other side.

And do I feel guilty about intimidating a kid? Nope. Not at all!

Anyway, I felt a little bad that I had never taken Biscuit into the playground before, but once I took him in, he didn't want to leave. We stayed in there so long that by the time Jeff was ready to go downstairs to get his interviews, the game was close to being over, and I didn't even know the score.

Jeff covers the team as part of his beat, so he needed to talk to a couple of players. The clubhouse and manager's office are downstairs under the grandstands, so Biscuit and I usually walk to the bottom of the stairs with him and wait there.

That was our plan tonight, but then I remembered that they have a fireworks show every Friday. I thought about walking up the stairs and finding a spot to watch, but Jeff was in the manager's office, and I didn't want him to wonder where we were.

Then I realized that we could walk to the end of the tunnel where the players come on and off the field, and we'd have a great viewing spot. I scooped up Biscuit and we walked out. I think some of the people in the stands were disappointed because they were glancing over the railings down into the tunnel to look for players. Instead, they saw Biscuit and me. Hey, Biscuit is cuter than most of those players anyway.

Just as the fireworks show started, this guy came running down the tunnel ramp. He got right to the gate that goes out onto the field and stopped. He stared up into the sky, and as the fireworks started, he got this huge grin on his face. I hate to sound cliche, but he looked like a kid on Christmas morning.

As we were leaving, I described the guy to Jeff and asked who he was. He was wearing street clothes, so I didn't know if he was a player or not. Come to find out, he's a pitcher from Cuba. And according to Jeff, he's a big kid. The guy seemed to enjoy those fireworks so much.

As Biscuit and I started walking back up the tunnel, the guy spoke to me, then he looked at Biscuit, pointed at him and said, "Heeeeey" in sort of a growly voice. Biscuit got a big grin on his face, and all I could think was that I hope the guy becomes a famous player so I can remind Biscuit about their encounter.

We had a good time tonight, but we left our house at 9 a.m. this morning and just got home (at 10:56). That's quite a day! I hope we can all sleep in tomorrow morning. (Did you hear that, Biscuit?!?)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sleeping Superman

Biscuit has always been a pretty good sleeper.

And by that I mean that once he goes to sleep, he usually stays asleep. Occasional allergy-induced coughing fits or bad dreams are really the only two things that wake him up prematurely.

And as mad as some of my mom friends will get about this, we've only had a small handful of sleepless nights in the 3 1/2 years Biscuit has been here.

When we're out and about, and Biscuit gets tired, he goes to sleep. He can be in a stroller, and he'll just tilt his head over and pass out. If he's in a buggy in a store, he'll put his hands on the front rail, lay his down down and pass out. If he's in the car, he passes out. I could keep going, but I think you get my drift.

Here's a picture of Biscuit on a recent night. He barely had a bath and got changed into his jammies before he passed out. I couldn't help taking a picture of him because his pose looks like Superman when he's flying.

I had a rough day at work today, and I have a lot on my to-do list right now, including things that have to be done immediately (i.e. buy more allergy medicine for Biscuit), things that have to be done soon (i.e. find a rental house for our family trip, which is harder than you'd think because houses for 10 people most always have to be rented for a full week during the summer) and things that have to be done at some point (i.e. pick a paint color for the front door). 

Sometimes all of these lists get jumbled up, and everything on them seems like it has to be done RIGHT NOW!!! And when that happens, my stress level goes through the roof.

That's where I am right now.

So I'm hoping that I can go crawl into my bed tonight and get some good-quality Superman sleep.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A new book

Some friends at work were talking about children's books and reminiscing about an author they both liked when they were little. 

The four of us ladies who sit together represent four decades (30s, 40s, 50s and 60s), so when the 50-something and 60-something ladies mentioned the author's name they both liked, it surprised me that it sounded familiar.

I did a search online and realized that a book Biscuit got for his birthday this past year was by the author they were talking about. The edition Biscuit got listed 2001 as the publish date, so I assumed that's when it was written. But after doing a little research, I found out it was written in 1949.

1949! I never would've guessed.

The book is about a cowboy. But it doesn't seem old-fashioned because it talks about horses, stirrups, hay, barns and riding the range. And those are still things cowboys use and do. Biscuit has latched on to the book as his weekend nap book. So if we're home on Saturday and Sunday when it's time for his nap, I have to read the cowboy book to him.

After I had read the cowboy book at least 1,000 times, I looked up the author and added some of her other books to Biscuit's wish list, including one about a fireman, one about a policeman and one about an airplane (and as it turns out, written in 1946, 1962 and 1959 respectively).

I got a nice surprise this morning when I found a copy of the fireman book on my desk. And it was an even nicer surprise to watch Biscuit open it this evening.

Here are a few pictures of Biscuit opening his surprise:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Out of the mouth of my babe

A post from The Daddy Man: 

A few things Biscuit has been saying lately:

Deja vu: "Dad, I hit the ball for the very first time," Biscuit said.

"That's so good," I said to him. I pitched the ball to him again, and he hit it again.

"DAD! I hit the ball for the very first time AGAIN!" Biscuit said.

Thanks, Deigo: "Dad, do you know what scissors are?" Biscuit asked.

"What are they?" I asked.

"They're for snipping things that need to be snipped, like nets," Biscuit said.

I'm guessing he's been watching animal rescues on TV again.

Time management: Kimmy asked me to make Biscuit's bath a quick one tonight because a storm was brewing. So I told him he wouldn't have time to play with his bath toys.

I got him washed up then asked him if he was ready to get out of the tub.

"Um, I just need a minute to catch my breath, Dad," Biscuit said.

About 20 minutes later, there was no storm, and Biscuit was still in the bathtub.

Monday, April 16, 2012

More than pizza and pancakes

It has been brought to my attention that if you're a regular reader of this blog, you might think that all Biscuit eats is pizza, pancakes and quesadillas.

Well, it's not true. He eats lots of other things, but really, how many fun stories can you find with plain ol' regular weeknight meals?

Tonight, for example. We had baked chicken, black-eyed peas and scalloped potatoes. Then Biscuit had peaches for dessert. Other than me helping Biscuit get the last little bits of peaches out of the bowl by making firetruck noises, there's nothing interesting about chicken, black-eyed peas, scalloped potatoes and peaches.

Biscuit loves sweet potatoes and would eat them at every meal. I can cover one in plastic wrap and throw it in the microwave. Then smoosh it up, add a little butter and cinnamon, and the boy will eat a whole potato by himself.

He also loves most kinds of beans and peas. He doesn't like green beans or butter beans. But he likes pintos, black-eyed peas, black beans and others.

When I make tacos, I saute black beans and whole-kernel corn with some taco seasoning. The beans shrivel up a little bit, so the first time Biscuit noticed, he said, "Mom, can I have more corn and blueberries?" You know what? Those beans did look like blueberries. So that's what he still calls them.

Biscuit likes peaches, oranges, clementines, apples, prunes, blueberries and bananas. He does not like pears.

For meats, he likes crab, shrimp, fish, chicken, all cooked a bunch of different ways.

If I disguise ingredients, I can get him to eat a lot more than he realizes he likes. I make casseroles with ingredients he doesn't like. But if the main ingredients are things he does like, he usually doesn't notice the rest.

Sometimes I make cornbread batter and mix in broccoli, chicken and cheese. He sees little bits of green, but if it's chopped small enough, he'll eat it anyway.

The freakish things about my boy and food is that ice cream isn't one of his favorite things (although I think he's coming around on that one). He also doesn't like pasta. My son doesn't like macaroni and cheese. He doesn't like grits, either.

Let me repeat, my son does not like macaroni and cheese or grits! If I didn't see so much of Jeff and me in him, I would think they swapped him at the hospital.

So in conclusion, if you step into our kitchen, you will find more than pizza, pancakes and quesadillas.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

New-old shirt

I bought Biscuit a firetruck shirt for $3 at a consignment sale back in the fall. It looked like a short-sleeved gray T-shirt layered over a long-sleeved white T-shirt. Of course, all that Biscuit cared about was that there was a firetruck on the front of it.

As the weather started to warm up, I told Jeff I was sad to have to pack up that shirt. "He just loves it," I said to Jeff.

Then Jeff had a good idea. "Is there any way we could cut the white long-sleeve part off and let him wear it as a short-sleeved shirt?" he asked.

"Hey. That's a good idea," I said. Then I fetched the scissors.

You can see the long-sleeved version peeking out from under Biscuit's bib at the dentist office.

Here is the new version of the shirt:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Yard work

Jeff and I decided to do a little yard work the other day. We have some places along the fence in the backyard where leaves tend to gather.

Somebody decided the he'd like to help. And for the most part, he did!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Following instructions

Sometimes I read the instructions and warnings on toys, baby equipment and baby products, and I just shake my head at the absurdity.

The question in my head is always, "Would someone really do that? Really?!?"

That's exactly what ran through my head when I saw this on the bottom of Biscuit's potty seat.

For the uninitiated, potty seats are made as adapters for little kids to use the regular toilet. You set the potty seat on top of the regular toilet seat, so little butts don't fall in. Combined with a small step stool, they're great because it means Biscuit can get up and down off the toilet all by himself.

So back to the warnings.

Jeff saw me walking into the bathroom with the camera, and he said, "Something in there you want to photograph to send to your brother?" 

Don't get the wrong idea. My brother and I don't send each other poop shots or anything, but with some of the antics we've gotten into in the past, it probably wouldn't surprise Jeff if we did trade gross photos.

Anyway, I showed Jeff the warning and expressed my shock that they would have to put such a warning on a toilet seat.

"They wrote that warning for your boy," Jeff said. "He grabbed the handles, turned it upside down and almost had it on his head yesterday morning when I stopped him."

"Oh," I said. "I guess they DO need to include absurd warnings."