Thursday, May 31, 2012

Family reunion

At the end of our vacation week, Jeff, Biscuit and I drove 7 hours south to our annual family reunion.

My Granny on my Mama's side was one of 12 siblings. She had 5 sisters and 6 brothers, and that's the part of the family this reunion is for. This was the 47th consecutive year for the reunion, but I worry about its future. Fewer and fewer people are attending as the original group is getting smaller and smaller.

My great aunt is the only one of the original siblings left. Many of the first cousins are either gone or stopped coming to the reunion when their parents were gone. It's sad to see the event dwindling, but I have some great memories.

Mama captured a lot of those memories with pictures of my brother and me in different spots around the state park where we have the reunion. So I decided this year that I was going to take pictures of Biscuit in some of those same spots.

My brother and I talked about it this year, and we decided that we'll continue to attend the reunion as long as Mama goes. Some of the cousins show up every 5 or so years, and quite frankly, we often don't know who some of them are. We took photos of all the first cousins, then second cousins, then third cousins. Biscuit fits into the third cousin group, but there were 3 little boys and 1 girl that I don't recall seeing before. We don't even know which of the original siblings those kids were descendants of.

One thing that was different about this year was that Jeff and I had to leave the reunion that Sunday and drive home. Normally, we drive down on Saturday, spend Saturday night in a hotel, go to the reunion Sunday morning and afternoon, then drive to my uncle's house to stay Sunday night. One of the best things about the trip is hanging out at my uncle's house after the reunion talking about everybody.

So after we got on the road home, I put on my headset and called Mama from my cellphone. We had a fun debriefing on who was there, who wasn't, what people wore, what the kids were like, who brought what food, which foods were best ... all the things we would've talked about in person.

I wish the reunion could be like it was in its heyday. I would love for Biscuit to grow up with that kind of gathering in his life. Back in the day, there would be easily 200+ people there. Can you imagine looking around at 200+ people and realizing that you are connected to every person there by blood or marriage? It was a very cool thing.

Even if the reunion peters out at some point, we'll still have plenty of photos and stories to share with Biscuit. I hope it helps him to know where he came from.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has said recently: 

That's not it: "I spy with my little eye something gray," Biscuit said.

"Hmmmm," said Grandmama. "Could it be that bucket over there?"

"That's what I'm not talking about, Grandmama," Biscuit said. Grandmama kept guessing and figured out it was her silver car, but she was smiling the whole time about how Biscuit answered her.

It ain't braggin' if it's true: Biscuit was practicing rhyming words with Grandmama. They were both sharing all the words they could think of that rhymed.

Biscuit: cat, sat, rat, bat
Grandmama: bake, lake, wake, fake
Biscuit: log, frog, dog ... Hey, Grandmama, I'm pretty good at this rhyming. 

No lack of confidence there.

It's still there: On the way to our family reunion, we went through a tiny town that used to be a stagecoach stop. Mama has pictures of my brother and me standing beside the well, so she asked if we could take Biscuit's picture there, too.

While they were posing for photos, Biscuit saw a red car that looked like mine heading down the road. He turned to look at me with a really concerned look on his face.

"Mom, did our car leave us?" Biscuit asked.

"No, baby," I said, trying not to laugh. "Our car is waiting for us right over there."

A new song: My sister-in-law took Biscuit to their church while he was staying with them. He learned a song that he sang to Jeff and me tonight. He put his hands out in front of him to look like an open book. 

And according to Biscuit, the song goes like this ...

Open up your Bible,
Spray every day,
And grow, grow, grow

Money, money, money: "Dad, I want to be a firefighter when I grow up," Biscuit said. "What do you want to be, Dad?"

"I want to be RICH!" Jeff said.

"Um, Dad, what does a 'rich' do?" Biscuit asked.

"Whatever he wants," Jeff said.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

His world has ended

My poor boy has a rough life. If you don't believe me, just ask him. He'll tell you.

I brought Biscuit home from day care today, and as soon as we walked into the house, he said, "Mom, can I watch cartoons in your bedroom?"

"No," I said. "No cartoons until after your bath."

Apparently, this is not the answer he was expecting to hear.

"No, Mom? You said no?" Biscuit asked.

"That's right, I said no," I told Biscuit.

You'd have thought I slapped his face off. His bottom lip ran out, the tears started, quickly followed by whining.

"But Mom, I want to watch cartoons," Biscuit said.

"I know you do," I said. "And you can, after your bath."

"But I want to watch now," Biscuit whined.

"I'm sorry," I said, and I went to the kitchen to start dinner.

"When is my Dad coming home?" Biscuit asked.

"Why do you want to know?" I asked.

"My Dad will let me watch cartoons," Biscuit said.

"No, he won't," I said. "When Mama says no, that means no."

"But I'll ask my Dad," Biscuit said.

"If you ask your Dad, he'll say no just like Mama said no," I told him. "When I say no, that's the end of it."

"But what can I do, Mom?" Biscuit asked. "I don't have anything to do."

"Well, you've got all kinds of toys in the living room," I said. "I can set you up at the table with a coloring book and crayons or paper and pencils. You can draw on your chalkboard. You can play your music instruments. You can go outside. You can go upstairs to play with your train table. You mean to tell me that with all those options, you can't find anything to do?"

Biscuit walked into the living room and flopped down on the floor.

"I'll just sit here, Mom," Biscuit said. "I'll just SIT RIGHT HERE and do NOTHING. I won't do ANYthing. And you won't be my friend anymore."

"I'm sorry to hear that," I said.

My poor boy. I was trying really hard not to laugh, but it was so funny! He was being so dramatic. It was like he truly believed that his world was ending.

I walked into the living room and got my camera. I thought if he saw the camera, he might get distracted enough to forget why he was so upset. I told him I was going to take a picture of him. And do you know what he said to me? Do you know what my 3-year-old son said to me?

"So?" Biscuit said with all the attitude of a 13-year-old.

Whoa! Did he really just say that?!?

I snapped a couple of pictures, put my camera down and walked back into the kitchen. Biscuit knew I was not happy.

"Mom?" Biscuit said. He was sitting in the living room floor with his legs crossed. "Mom?"

I let him call me a couple of times before I answered. "What?" I asked.

"I give up," Biscuit said. "I just give up!" And he crossed his arms in the air and drew them quickly in toward his stomach just to add a little more drama. "I'm just going to sit here and give up."

The boy didn't give up for long. Biscuit met Jeff at the door.

"Hey, boy. What are you doing?" Jeff asked.

"I've been crying, Dad," Biscuit said.

"Why have you been crying?" Jeff asked.

"I give up," Biscuit said.

"We don't give up, boy," Jeff said. "We don't give up."

"Okay," Biscuit said. "I won't give up."

And that was pretty much the end of it.

Here are the photos I took:


As I was uploading these photos, I said to Jeff, "It hurts me to see these photos. I almost hate putting them in the post.

"He's not hurt," Jeff said. "He's just pouting. And it's perfectly okay to call his bluff when he's acting like that."

I know Jeff speaks the truth, but I still don't like to see my baby sad.

Monday, May 28, 2012

A day at the park

Jeff, Biscuit and I met another couple and their little boy at a park near here for a picnic and a fun afternoon.

The park has several playgrounds, a fully restored Dentzel carousel, a miniature train and several other carnival-type kiddie rides.

Biscuit and his friend played well all afternoon, but by the end of the day, they were both ready to head home. As a matter of fact, Biscuit was asleep within 5 minutes of being in the car.

For our picnic, we took supplies to make PB&J sandwiches, chips, brownies and watermelon. I know I could've scaled down for simplicity, but I love picnics, and my boys don't, so I have to take my chances where I can get them.

Neither of the boys could concentrate on their sandwiches for fear that the rides would shut down before they could get on. We finally resorted to the threat that "if you don't eat your sandwich, you don't ride any rides." It worked, and we got some food in both boys.

For the most part, both boys agreed on which ride would be next. And the few times they did disagree, we were able to talk one or the other of them into compromising.

The park is really nice, and we hope to go back there soon.

Here are a few photos:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

New jammies

After Biscuit's bath this evening, Biscuit spied some pajamas he hasn't worn in a while and wanted to wear them. Jeff got him all dressed, then called me to take a look.

The legs are too short. The shirt is too short. The chest is so tight that the neck is almost chocking him.

I think it's time for some bigger jammies.


Thankfully, Biscuit woke up this morning with no fever. So back to our regularly scheduled programming. I'll tell you about the rest of our vacation week.

Here was the schedule for our so-called vacation (from Friday, May 11 to Sunday, May 18):

  • Friday: We left after work and drove 2 1/2 hours to my parents' house.
  • Saturday afternoon: We went over to my brother's house (about 5 minutes away from my parents' house) to hang out with him, his wife and kids (and goats and chickens and dog).
  • Saturday night: We had a surprise birthday party for my brother.
  • Sunday morning: We went to church with Mama for Mother's Day.
  • Sunday afternoon: We had a cookout with my parents and my brother and his family.
  • Sunday evening: Jeff and I headed to the beach (a 2 1/2-hour drive from my parents' house).
  • Wednesday evening: Jeff and I came back from the beach.
  • Thursday: We did laundry and tried to get some rest. That evening, we had dinner with the whole family and put on our own fireworks show.
  • Friday morning: We went to my niece's awards show at her middle school. She won 4 or 5 awards, and because I have Biscuit and my nieces and nephew camera trained, my niece would get a certificate, then turn toward me, hold up her certificate and smile. After the ceremony, my parents, Jeff, Griffin and I headed out of state for our family reunion (a 5 1/2-hour drive). We followed each other all the way there, so we stopped and had lunch together. We spent Friday night at my uncle's house.
  • Saturday: We hung out with family and got food ready for the reunion.
  • Saturday evening: We headed to a hotel closer to the reunion site to spend Saturday night (my brother and his family stayed, there, too). We didn't know until the next morning that some of our cousins were staying in the room right under ours at the hotel.
  • Sunday morning: We drove to the state park for the reunion. About 3 p.m., we left to drive home. We usually spend Sunday night at my uncle's house and go home Monday, but Jeff couldn't miss work Monday, which mean a 7 1/2-hour drive home after the reunion. My brother and his family were driving on the same interstate as us, so we stopped and had dinner with them before we drove the rest of the way home. We got home about 11:30 p.m.
10 days, 3 states, a million people and lots of fun.

My brother turned 40 years old on May 11. It's hard for me to believe he's 40. I still remember all the fights we had as kids, when I would throw one of his shoes out the front door then lock him out of the house. And I still remember all the miles we logged on our bicycles, pretending to be motorcycle cops.

Now he's married with three kids, a nice house and a grown-up job.

His wife mentioned to me back in February that she'd like to do something special for his milestone birthday. A surprise party.

So we set to work. She got addresses of friends and family, and we decided on a restaurant. We were looking for something centrally located to all the guests, but in their town, there are only a couple of restaurants that can accommodate as many people as we wanted to invite.

I made up the invitations, using some childhood photos of my brother that I had borrowed from Mama. Then I addressed all the envelopes. We were expecting close to 50 people.

As I took a final look at the invitations, it occurred to me that I hadn't double-checked with my sister-in-law about the restaurant.

I called her, and we ended up having one of those I-thought-you-called-the-restaurant, no-I-thought-YOU-called-the-restaurant conversations. Turns out neither of us had called. And the restaurant was booked up for the night we needed it.

With one of the two possible restaurants booked up, we had to turn to the other. It was available, but it's not my brother's favorite place to eat. But we didn't really have a choice, so I remade the invitations with the other restaurant's name and address and got them reprinted then sent out.

We got some decorations and ordered a cake with a picture of my brother on his motorcycle on it.

We were at my brother's house the whole afternoon before the party, and we had to work out the details of how to pick up the cake and get to the restaurant without him being suspicious. We also needed to figure out how to explain that we were having dinner at a restaurant we never go to.

Mama came up with a good story. She said that she and Jeff were talking about home-cooking, and she asked him if he had ever been to the home-cooking buffet restaurant near them. He said no, so that was our excuse to choose that place. We had all our bases covered.

When my brother came into the restaurant, we all yelled surprise. He said he honestly had no idea until he pulled into the restaurant parking lot and started seeing cars that belonged to people he knew, including a couple of in-the-process-of-being-redone classic cars that couldn't be mistaken.

It was a good night. Everybody in the room (all 46 people) knew at least a couple of other people, so everybody had at least a couple of other people to talk to. 

The invitation said no gifts, but a couple of people brought gag gifts. My brother got some adult diapers, hemorrhoid cream and a six-pack of nutrition drinks for old people.

And I haven't seen him smile that much in a long time.

Here's a picture of the cake and a picture of Biscuit enjoying himself:

Poor Biscuit ... and poor Mama

Biscuit has a sinus infection and tonsillitis.

And thanks to a doctor's appointment this morning, he now has a bottle of antibiotic to hopefully make him feel better.

But let's back up to Wednesday night.

I picked Biscuit up from day care. Jeff had a baseball game to cover, so Biscuit and I were on our own.

As soon as I picked him up, I could tell he wasn't feeling well. Normally, I walk into his classroom and stand and watch him until he notices me. Then he yells "MOM!" and comes running to meet me.

Wednesday, I walked into his class and stood and watched. Biscuit glanced up from the book he was looking at and gave me a half smile. "Hi, Mom," he said in almost a whisper.

He got up, put up the book and slowly walked over to me. He didn't jump into my arms. He didn't tell me he was happy to see me. He was just so not himself.

When we got home, I couldn't get Biscuit to eat very much. I even offered pancakes, and he wasn't interested.

After dinner, Biscuit asked if he could watch TV on my bed. He usually only gets to watch a couple of shows after his bath, but since he wasn't feeling well, I indulged him. I asked him if I could watch a show in the living room while he watched in the bedroom, and he said that was fine.

My plan was to let him watch TV until he fell asleep, then I'd take him up to his bed. So about 10 p.m., I went in to check on Biscuit. That was when the panic set in.

And I have to say, I don't usually panic. I spent several years working as a phlebotomist at two different hospitals, and after seeing what I saw there, I think I do a good job of keeping a level head about illness and injury.

But Biscuit freaked me out.

I walked into my bedroom and found Biscuit lying on the bed. His arms were twitching slightly, and I could tell he was asleep and dreaming. Except when I got closer, I realized that his eyes were wide open but not focused. He was staring at the ceiling, but he was completely out of it.

I reached over to touch his cheek to try to wake him up, and he was burning up with fever. Every terrible thing I had ever seen affect a child at either hospital came rushing back.

Is he having a seizure? Why isn't he moving? Why are his eyes open when it seems like he's asleep?

I finally got him awake, but as I was asking him if he was okay, his speech was nonsense. He also wasn't moving his head or neck, which is a symptom of meningitis.

Like I said, I'm not usually one who panics, but seeing him lying there like that was just too much.

I finally got him awake enough to talk to me coherently. I gave him some medicine for the fever and held him. He kept shifting around because he couldn't get settled. I'm guessing he was having body aches.

About 11 p.m., I could feel Biscuit's belly rumbling, so I took him to the bathroom. Within about 10 seconds of being in there, he threw up. And then he threw up again. And again. And again.

His head and cheeks still felt hot, but since he had thrown up after I gave him the fever-reducing medicine, I was stuck wondering if he had absorbed any of it or if he needed another dose.

I wanted desperately to call Jeff, but he was working, and I didn't want to disturb him.

Finally, about 11:45 p.m., I called the 24-hour on-call nurse at Biscuit's pediatrician's office. I got the call center at which a very nice man took down all my information, all the details about what was going on with Biscuit and my phone number. Then he said a nurse would call me back shortly.

About 10 minutes went by, and the nurse called. She was so nice and so indulgent. I told her I wasn't sure if I was overreacting or not, but I just wasn't sure what to do.

"Honey, it's your baby we're talking about," she said. "You can't ever overreact when it's about your baby."

I was on the phone with her for about 20 minutes. She asked me all kinds of questions and put all my fears at ease. 

Her: Has his temperature been 105 degrees or over?
Me: No. The highest it's been is 102.6.

Her: Can he move his head and neck without any restrictions?
Me: Yes.

Her: Do you know what a seizure looks like?
Me: Yes.
Her: Has he had one with his fever?
Me: He had some twitching, but it wasn't seizure twitching. When I walked into the room, his hands and arms were twitching.
Her: That happens sometimes with fevers. They cause body aches and restlessness.

After what seemed like 85,000 questions, she said it sounded like some kind of virus, and that the throwing up was probably from sinus drainage. She suggested we continue giving him fever-reducing medicine and said if his fever continued, we should see the doctor.

Yesterday morning, Biscuit still had a fever when he woke up. Fever = contagious, so he couldn't go to day care. Jeff was able to work from home, which helped a lot. The work I was doing that day had to be done at the office.

The funny thing is that Biscuit hasn't complained once. I keep asking him if his belly hurt or if his ears hurt or if his throat hurt, and every time, he says no. I've even tried to rephrase the question, like, "When you swallow water, does it hurt?" Still no complaints.

That brings us to today.

Biscuit still had a fever this morning. Every time we give him medicine, his fever goes down. But then almost exactly 4 hours later, his fever is back up. And since it's a holiday weekend, I figured we'd better take Biscuit to the doctor today. If anything happened over the weekend or on the holiday, it would probably mean an ER trip. Otherwise, we'd have to wait until Tuesday.

So we got to the doctor's office, and Jeff and I were taking turns reading books to Biscuit while we were waiting on the doctor. As soon as the doctor walked in, Biscuit said, "Are you the doctor?"

The doctor confirmed his identity. Then Biscuit said, "I'm Griffin. I'm a big boy."

"That's what I heard," said the doctor.

As he checked Biscuit out, he said two or three times, "He just doesn't act like he feels bad."

I told him other than not eating and being a little lethargic, Biscuit has still been happy and content.

The doctor said he was really surprised that Biscuit hadn't complained about his throat hurting. "It looks pretty bad," the doctor said.

I still want to share our vacation week, but as you can see, it's been a bit hectic at our house. We're going to get Biscuit feeling better. And I'll tell you more what we were up to last week.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

But not the ...

Biscuit has been sorting things out lately.

He's been realizing that a lot of words sound alike but mean different things. He's also figured out lately that people can have the same name without being the same people. As I often say, you just don't realize how much a little person has to learn as they grow into a bigger person.

Jeff and I got this T-shirt for Biscuit when we were at the beach. We brought it home, and Biscuit was quite excited about having a pirate shirt.

Biscuit was admiring his shirt in the bathroom mirror, and I heard him talking to Jeff.

"Dad, this is a pirate symbol," Biscuit said pointing to the front of the shirt, "but not the kind of cymbal you find in a rock 'n' roll band."

When we went to our family reunion this past weekend, Biscuit saw my uncle's West Highland terrier.

"Mom, that dog's name is Luke," Biscuit said. "But not the Luke at day care."

I wish you could express tone of voice in type because the way Biscuit says, "But not the Luke at day care" is like, "but of COURSE you couldn't POSSIBLY imagine that the Lukes were the same."

Jeff was singing "Yankee Doodle Dandy" to Biscuit this afternoon, and Biscuit interrupted him.

"Excuse me, Dad," Biscuit said, and Jeff stopped singing.

"What, boy?" Jeff asked.

"Um, you were singing about macaroni," Biscuit said, "but not like macaroni and cheese.

No, of course not.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Three Little Bears

Jeff came in the bathroom this morning as I was getting ready and said, "Have you heard 'The Three Little Bears Rap'?" 

"I'm guessing our son has learned something new at day care?" I said.

"You have to get him to do it for you," Jeff said. "It's really funny."

So I did. And it was.

Just in case you couldn't understand the words, here they are:

"The Three Bears Rap"

Once upon a time in a nursery rhyme,there were three bears,
Cha, cha, cha, cha, cha.
They went walkin' in the woods, and they were talkin'

Along came a little girl, long blonde curly hair,
Her name was Goldilocks
Upon the door she knocks
She didn't care that no one was there.
She walked right in.
She walked right in.

Home, home came the three bears.
Someone's been in my porridge said the Papa Bear
Someone's been in my porridge said the Mama Bear.
"Hey, Mama She Bear," said the Little Wee Bear, "Somebody has broken my chair. Ahhhhhhh."
Goldilocks woke up and broke up the party.
And she speeded out of there. She speeded out of there.

"Bye, bye, bye, bye," said the Papa Bear.
"Bye, bye, bye, bye, said the Mama Bear.
"Hey, Mama She Bear," said the Little Wee Bear, "Now I can go out and play. Yay!"

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happy anniversary

Last Sunday, Jeff, Biscuit and I went to church with Mama to celebrate Mother's Day. My brother brought his family over after church, and we all ate together. We hung out for the rest of the afternoon and played with the kids. 

We shot pool. We played basketball. We rode scooters and bikes. We took turns taking the row boat out on the pond. And best of all, we sat on the porch and listened to the wind in the trees. My parents live in the woods, so when you're sitting on their front porch, you don't even hear cars on the highway. It's very peaceful.

This is the pond across the gravel road in front of my parents house.
Later that evening, Jeff and I left and headed to the beach. 

Alone. Just the two of us.

We left Biscuit with my parents, and this might sound bad to admit, but I had no problem walking away from my sweet baby.

Jeff and I took our first without-Biscuit trip this past New Year's. As we were leaving, I was pretty emotional. I had a really hard time, and I didn't want to leave Biscuit. But Biscuit had no problem leaving me at all. He knew he was going to spend a few days with his cousins. And he was excited about it. He missed us while we were gone. I could tell that as soon as I saw him at the end of our trip. But he had a great time without us.

And as I remembered that first trip away from him, I realized that spending time away from Biscuit accomplished a couple of important things.

1. It builds Biscuit's independence. He had to tell his aunt and uncle about his routines and preferences.

2. It gives Jeff and me much-needed time together. Jeff and I work in the same building, but we usually only see each other at lunch. And quite frankly, most of that time is spent with us venting to each other about our jobs. When I was pregnant, Jeff and I had a long talk about us and our relationship. We both agreed that if our marriage wasn't good, our parenting wouldn't be good, either. We decided that as long as we put each other first, we'll be able to provide Biscuit with the love and support he needs. Plus, without being too dramatic, Biscuit is looking to us to learn what marriage is all about.

Anyway, we decided that he would spent Sunday night with my parents. Biscuit loves my parents and their house. He can't throw balls in the house, and food is restricted to the kitchen. Other than that, he has run of the place. And he loves it! Grandmama and Papa play whatever he wants to play. They read to him. My Daddy plays his real guitar while Biscuit plays his toy guitar, and they sing songs together. My Mama makes up stories (which Biscuit wants her to repeat verbatim at his command).

Then sometime Monday evening, Biscuit was to head over to stay with his aunt, uncle (my brother) and three cousins ... and 12 goats and 4 chickens and a dog. No explanations needed here. I'll just repeat the important words: cousins, goats, chickens, dog.

As Jeff and I were checking in to our hotel, we saw lots of college-age kids with duffel bags milling around the lobby. And then the fear set in.

It was confirmed when we rounded the corner to the check-in counter and realized that all those kids were checking in. To our hotel. To stay in the rooms near us. And to use the beachfront we planned to use. We were not thrilled.

I went to the beach after high school graduation, and we had a great time. It was one big 3-day party. And as a recent graduate, I was in celebration mode and had no concerns about anybody else. But whether it makes me an old fuddy-duddy or not, I just dreaded knowing that those kids were going to be partying 'til all hours.

It wasn't terrible, but there was one thing that drove me nuts. Those kids hung out on the beach all day, and when they finally went inside to get ready for a night out on the town, they left beer cans, red plastic cups, cardboard boxes, suntan lotion bottles and all kinds of other trash in the sand on the beach. They just left it there for the hotel staff to have to clean up. That was annoying.

That aside, Jeff and I enjoyed our time. We had a kitchenette in our room, so we stopped by the grocery store and got stuff for breakfast and lunch. Having those supplies meant that Jeff and I could sit on the balcony from the time we got up until the time we got dressed for dinner.

This was my perch from the time I got up in the morning until it was time to get dressed for dinner.

We had some great seafood. We saw two movies (something we rarely get to do anymore). And I took Jeff into some of the tacky beach stores that he so dearly loves.

But the best part was that we got to spend a lot of time just hanging out together. And Biscuit was very excited to see us.

"MOM! MOM! I missed you so, so much!" Biscuit said. Then Jeff got the same reception. "DAD! DAD! I missed you so, so much!"

Here are a few pictures from our trip:

The waves as the tide was coming in looked like steps.

Rain moved in every evening before sunset, but the days were sunny and clear.

Jeff found a nice perch on the pier.

This was the view of the beach and vacation homes from the end of the pier.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Out of the mouth of my babe

This past week has been crazy busy hectic. Jeff and I were off work, so we decided to take a short anniversary trip. We celebrated our ninth anniversary on May 3, but neither of us could take time off to celebrate. 

We also visited my parents, went to a surprise party and attended a family reunion. We spent many hours in our car on the road, in and out of three states. We saw tons of people (old friends, new acquaintances, relatives and strangers). And we ate my Mama's cooking, Southern home-cooking, seafood, junk food, birthday cake, potluck, pizza and more.

I'll share more about our week later, but for right now, here are a few things Biscuit has been saying lately.

Good logic: Biscuit and I were sitting in a parking lot when a loud truck went by.

"Mom, what was that?" Biscuit asked.

"That was a loud truck," I said. "It was a truck that needs a muffler."

"Where's he going, Mom?" Biscuit asked.

"I don't know," I answered.

"Maybe he's going to the muffler store to get a muffler," Biscuit said.

"Maybe he is," I said. 

Flavors and colors: We got ice cream one night last week. Jeff had a sundae. I had a scoop of orange sherbet. And Biscuit had a kid-size scoop of chocolate.

"Dad, what do you have?" Biscuit asked.

"I have a hot fudge sundae with New York cheesecake ice cream," Jeff said.

"Mom, what do you have?" Biscuit asked.

"I have sherbet. It's orange," I said.

"Yours is orange, Mom?" Biscuit asked. "Mine is brown."

"No," I said. "My FLAVOR is orange."

"And my flavor is brown," Biscuit said. Sometimes you just have to let it go and hope he'll figure it out eventually.

Being polite: "Dad, can I have some apple juice, please?" Biscuit asked Jeff.

"Yes," Jeff said. "You know why?"

"Yep. Because I asked nicely," Biscuit said. Except he turned "nice-ah-ly" into a three-syllable word. "And you know what else, Dad?"

"What?" Jeff asked.

"That silly lion thinks he can be in the circus. Lions can't be in the circus. They belong in the zoo."

Maybe we need to have a few lessons in zoology and geography.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Taking some time off

Everybody needs a break every now and again, and I've decided to take one from the blog.

Everything is fine with Jeff, Biscuit and me. I'm just tired.

Jeff and I finally got the second blog book put together ... "Bringing Up Biscuit, Part 2." I assembled all the posts I wrote the 2011 and got the pictures added. Then Jeff proofread the whole thing. We made corrections and uploaded it to the publishing site ( earlier this week. It shipped this morning, and we should have the books early next week. It's amazing to me that it took a whole year to write all that stuff and only a few days to print it out in book form.

Here's the cover:

So after that accomplishment, I'd like to take a few days off.

So for the next week or so, posts will likely be sporadic or non-existent.

And in the meantime, just take an occasional gander at this beautiful child! (Not that I'm biased or anything.)


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It was not ... it was, too

As soon as Jeff's parents read the post about Biscuit getting sick in the drive-through, they called to share a story about Jeff.

Apparently, the whole family was out and about in a town about 40 minutes from where they live. They stopped to get some ice cream, and Jeff tossed his cookies. And from the way it sounded, his parents had about as much to clean up as Jeff and I had the other day.

I thought it was funny that they shared a "been there done that" kind of story with me. But when they told the same story to Jeff, first of all, he didn't remember it happening. And second of all, the story started an argument.

"Yeah, you threw up all over that the back seat of that '69 Chrysler 300," Jeff's Dad said. "We had to take it all the way home and take the back seat out to get it cleaned up."

Jeff's Mom agreed with his Dad's version of the story on every detail except for the make of the car.

"It wasn't that 300, it was that Dodge Polara with the white top," she said.

The two of them went back and forth for a little while about which car it was. The never came to a consensus about the car, but that's understandable since they swapped cars quite often. Jeff's Dad would buy wrecked cars, fix them back up and sell them.

As a matter of fact, Jeff told me that as an adult, he figured out that his Dad would fix up a car to sell in July (which paid for school clothes) and one in November (which paid for Christmas presents).

The main thing, though, is that aside from feeling bad for Biscuit, they were able to get a good laugh over how the tables have turned.

Who is that baby?

I just showed this video to Biscuit, and he laughed and laughed and laughed. He never believes me when I show him pictures or videos and say, "That's you when you were wee tiny."

He'll say things like, "Mom, why is that baby saying that?" or "Mom, what's he doing?" And the whole time, he's talking about himself.

This gives me an idea. Maybe I'll video Biscuit watching videos of himself!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Biscuit and I were sitting in the backyard swing one night a couple of weeks ago. We were pretending we were on an airplane.I was the pilot. 

"Buckle up, passengers," I said. "We're heading to the beach on Flight 12."

"Mom! I mean, Pilot! Look out!" Biscuit said. "There's something up ahead. It's blocking our way."

"What is it?" I asked. At this point, Biscuit and I were both using very dramatic, very loud voices. I mean, wouldn't you use a frantic voice, too, if there was something in the path of your airplane while you were flying to the beach?!?

"Mom! It's a spectacled bear!" Biscuit said. "We have to find a way to go around it! What are we going to do?!?"

This continued for a while and included tapirs, condors, lemurs (from Madagascar) and a bunch of other animals I've barely even heard of.

Biscuit learns about these animals from his friend Diego on TV. Each show is about rescuing some kind of animal and usually includes several obstacles to overcome.

Want to see how much he likes the show? Check out his concentration.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Adventures in babysitting

Jeff and I celebrated our ninth anniversary this past week. Actually, "celebrated" is a strong word for it. I was sick with stomach ills that day, and Jeff had to work late. 

We planned to postpone our anniversary celebration until our upcoming beach trip, but we got a good coupon for one of our favorite restaurants and decided to go last night.

I called our go-to babysitters (who are also our friends) to see if they could babysit. They agreed, and mine and Jeff's date was on.

Our babysitters don't have kids of their own, so they see hanging out with Biscuit as a novelty. And thank goodness for that. It means that Jeff and I get to have the occasional night out. We leave them money to order pizza and head out the door with no worries. It's very nice to feel perfectly comfortable walking away from your child.

Anyway, books were read, games were played, pizza was eaten and videos were shot, including this one of the babysitters being quite amused at Biscuit telling them about heart care, i.e. stethoscopes and defibrillators.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Rhyme time

A post from The Daddy Man:

Biscuit was watching a cartoon where all the characters were trying to come up with rhyming words. Kimmy told me about his rhyming adventures on the way to day care the other day, and now, I know exactly how she was feeling.

The boy said, "Dad, sky and try and pie rhyme. Frog and log rhyme. Tree and bee rhyme."

"Good job with your rhyming, boy," I said to him.

"And Dad. Truck and ... um ... f-f-f-f-f-f-firetruck rhyme," Biscuit said.

Whew! That was a close one.

Biscuit's belly update

Biscuit is doing well today. 

Apparently, hot dogs are evil. I knew this already. I only eat hot dogs at cookouts and ball games. But as far as Biscuit is concerned, it will be a long, long time before he gets to have another one.

Biscuit slept with me in our bed last night. I wrapped Jeff's pillow in a towel and spread a towel on the bed under him. I sent Jeff to the guest room to sleep. He didn't like that idea too much because he wanted to be close if something happened. But I told him he would clearly hear me yelling if something happened.

Biscuit woke me up at 7:45 this morning just chatting away as usual. He seemed fine.

My Mama had told me about B.R.A.T. eating after a stomach bug. It's bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. We didn't have any bananas, and Biscuit doesn't eat rice. So for breakfast this morning, I gave him applesauce and toast. He ran around and played the rest of the morning like nothing had ever happened.

He's down for a nap right now and seems to be sleeping well.

I asked Biscuit at lunch how he would feel about having a babysitter this evening so Jeff and I could go out for a late anniversary dinner.

"Mom, I'm not a baby," Biscuit said.

"I know you're not a baby," I said. '"The word 'babysitter' just means that we have somebody come over and hang out with you while Dad and I go out for dinner."

"And you'll come back?" Biscuit asked.

"Of COURSE we'll come back," I said.

It also didn't hurt that I told him we were ordering some pizza for him and his babysitters to enjoy.

Biscuit's belly

We established two new family rules this evening:

1. No more hot dogs EVER for Biscuit.
2. When Biscuit said his belly hurts, believe him and get him the heck out of the car ... IMMEDIATELY!!!

I bet you can guess where this post if heading before I even get started with the story.

We went to a first birthday party for a friend's baby this afternoon at a local park. We showed up about half an hour late because it was pouring rain, and quite frankly, we were having second thoughts about going at all. The party was at a picnic shelter, but with the wind blowing the way it was, everyone was huddled in the center of the shelter waiting for the rain to slack up. So the party didn't really get started until about an hour after it was supposed to.

The rain finally stopped, and someone lit up the grill. There were hamburgers, hot dogs, assorted bags of chips, including Munchos and Funyuns, neither of which I've seen in years. (Jeff had Munchos, and I had Funyuns. I think we both walked down memory lane then decided we could wait another 20 years before trying either of them again.)

Biscuit has eaten a few bites of hot dogs before, but he's never had a whole one by himself. Until today. He had a hot dog, a juice pouch, some chips and a small piece of a chocolate chip cookie cake. It wasn't the best dinner he's ever had, but there are worse things he could've eaten.

After some playing on the playground, some party games and some general running around, we left the party to head home. 

I didn't have any of the cookie cake, so after we left the park, I decided to drive to a local hamburger joint to get a milkshake. I asked Jeff and Biscuit if they wanted one. Biscuit said he didn't, and Jeff said he'd rather have a hot doughnut from the doughnut shop next door. So I got my peanut butter fudge shake, and drove next door to get Jeff a doughnut.

I placed the order at the drive-through, then drove around the side of the building. There were two cars in front of us and a car right behind us. I have no idea why that particular drive-through is so slow, but it is. At first, the waiting wasn't bothering me too much because we didn't really have anywhere to be.

I had heard Jeff and Biscuit talking while I was ordering, but I didn't think anything of it.

Then Jeff said, "Biscuit said his belly hurts."

And before I could even respond, Biscuit lost everything he had eaten.

I have no idea how that much stuff could come back out of his mouth. It was everywhere. On his jacket, his shirt, his shorts, his face, his arms, his hands, the top part of his legs. On the car seat. On the mat underneath the car seat.

And Jeff and I were stunned.

Biscuit has thrown up twice EVER before today (not counting a little spitting up when he was wee-tiny). So we were totally caught off guard. And Biscuit ... for the look of shock he had on his face, he may as well have had dragons flying out of his mouth.

We were trapped. We were still third in line with the other car still behind us. There was no room to pull out of line. We had nowhere to go. I slammed the car in park. Jeff got out on his side, and I got out on mine. We met at the back of the car. I lifted the back door and grabbed two bath towels from the cubby hole on the side.

Note: I always have a couple of towels and a blanket in my car. It's something my Daddy insisted on, and I can't tell you how many times it's come in handy.

Anyway, Jeff and I started to dab at Biscuit and quickly realized there was WAY too much ickiness to deal with in a doughnut shop drive-through.

The car at the front of the line started to move, so Jeff and I draped the towels over Biscuit and got back in. My mind was racing to try to figure out what to do.

"Okay," I said, sounding like I was fixing to explain the space-time continuum. "We'll go to the store right down the street. I'll go in and get a shirt and pair of pants, a box of wipes and some paper towels."

My feet were still wet from having to walk in the rain, so I sloshed through the store getting what we needed as my shoes squeaked with every step. And just my luck, they're doing a remodel on the store, so a lot of stuff was in different spots than the last time I had been there.

I finally got checked out and got back to the car. I was sort of wary about even starting the process, but when I looked at Biscuit, I could see in his eyes that he was looking to me to know how to react to the whole mess.

"Look at me," I said to Biscuit in almost a whisper. He looked up with those beautiful blue eyes, and I said, "Everything is fine. We're going to get everything cleaned up, and it will all be okay. Remember the song? Every little thing gone be alright?" Biscuit nodded his head, still not looking quite convinced.

I helped him out of his jacket, then told him to stand up. I grabbed him under his arms and lifted him out of the car. Jeff and I got his shoes, pants and shirt off. I figured he'd been upset about standing in the parking lot in his underwear, but you know what his concern was?

"Mom, if I don't have my shoes on, my socks will get dirty from the parking lot," Biscuit said.

"That's okay," I said. "We'll put all these clothes and your socks in the washing machine when we get home."

"And they'll be good as new, Mom?" Biscuit asked.

"Yep. They'll be good as new," I said.

We got his clothes changed and put him in the driver's seat. He pretended to drive us on trips as Jeff and I attempted to clean up the mess. Once we were finally ready to leave the parking lot, I cranked up the car and the signal light started blinking, and the windshield wipers were going, my headlights were on bright and the dome light wouldn't turn off. That's what I get for letting Biscuit sit in the driver's seat.

Anyway, we used half a box of wipes and about a third of a roll of paper towels, and there was still a mess. I took the whole cushion part off the car seat and put it in a giant bag. I had bought a cheap bath towel in the store, so I draped it over Biscuit's car seat in place of the cushions. We got him fastened back in, and got all the dirty clothes in a bag. We put all the wipes and paper towels into another bag, and we were finally ready to go.

We spent 40 minutes cleaning up. FORTY MINUTES in the parking lot trying to get throw up off of the boy and everything around him.

When we got home, I took the bags of clothes and car seat cushions straight to our bathroom. I used the massage setting on our shower to spray off everything as best as I could. I wanted to remove as much of the ... um, debris ... as I could before I put them in the washer.

I loaded the washer, and Biscuit and I took a shower. Jeff took the car seat out and sprayed it down with fabric freshener. Then when I got ready to swap the clothes from the washer to the dryer, there was lime green fuzz all over everything. The stupid cheap towel I bought had shed everywhere. I took Biscuit's jacket out and started picking the lint off. I quickly realized that was a losing battle, so I took the towel out and started the washer over.

But wait, there's more.

While Jeff and I were taking care of the laundry and stuff, Biscuit got really quiet. He was sitting on my bed watching TV, and I realized I didn't hear him talking. I ran into the bedroom, and he had thrown up again ... on my comforter.

Well, there's another load of laundry.

So right now, at 12:57 a.m., Biscuit is finally asleep, Jeff is dozing in and out on the foot of the bed, and I'm writing this post, waiting for the washer and dryer to finish cleaning the massive amount of things that have been messed up this evening.

Jeff hasn't thrown up since he got food poisoning in 1989. I, on the other hand, have thrown up a lot in my lifetime. I hope I don't embarrass Jeff when I say that seeing Biscuit sick tonight had him in a pretty emotional state. He was looking at Biscuit with tears in his eyes. I felt so bad for him.

Biscuit seems to be okay now. I'm hoping he just needed to get everything out, and he'll be fine tomorrow. If he has a virus, I'm not sure how Jeff will handle it.

We generally try not to let Biscuit sleep with us, but tonight, we wouldn't have it any other way. Let's hope we all get a good night's sleep and have a happier tomorrow.