Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The long way home

A post from The Daddy Man:

Our friends who are moving away are going from a house to an apartment. So they're getting rid of a lot of stuff, including two bikes, complete with helmets.

Since it won't be long until Biscuit will be riding a bike and the price was really reasonable, Kimmy and I bought the bikes.

Biscuit and I went to pick them up the other night. Our friends live about 20 minutes away ... at least for now. The deal included a bike rack for the back of the car, but it didn't fit quite as tightly as I wanted. So instead of taking the interstate and a four-lane highway back home from their house, we found our way home by back roads.

Biscuit was fascinated. He started asking nonstop questions.

Where are we going?

Is this the way home?

Why are those bikes on the back?

Where does this road go?

What land is this?

Can I wear that helmet?

Are we going to the honey chicken restaurant?

Once we got home, I put the bikes in the garage, and Biscuit lost all interest. His toys in the living room were calling to him.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has been saying recently:

I was lost: Jeff, Biscuit and I went shopping the other night, and as we got to the farthest point away from the bathrooms, Biscuit said, "I have to pee."

Well of COURSE you do.

Jeff told me to keep shopping, and he took Biscuit.

When they came out of the bathroom, Biscuit said that he and Jeff needed to look for me because I was lost. The first place he could think of that I might be was the toy department. Enter ulterior motives.

When I finally called Jeff's cellphone and told him I was checking out, he grabbed Biscuit and headed to the front of the store.

"Mom! We couldn't find you," Biscuit said. "We looked on the row with the firetrucks. And we looked on the row with the cars. And we looked on the row with the Legos. We just looked all the where, Mom."

But not the birds: Biscuit and Jeff sing the Red Robin commercial song all the time … Reeeeed Robin … YUM!

We drove right past the place the other night, and Jeff said the first part, waiting for Biscuit to chime in with "Yum!" 

But Biscuit said, “Guys, you can’t eat a robin. Robins are birds, and that would be nasty.”

“Chickens are birds,” I said. “But you love chicken.”

“That’s different, Mom,” he said, with as much attitude as a 13-year-old. 

But about 10 seconds later, Biscuit said, "Dad ... Reeeeed Lobster ... YUM!" 

I guess you can't eat robins, but lobsters are okay.

Be nice: Biscuit was in the middle of a pouting fit the other night. I made him sit on the couch for a while until he decided he should do what I told him to do, and he was not liking it at all.

I figured he'd been there long enough, plus I was eating an ice cream cone, and I could tell he wanted a bite. I held the cone out in his direction, and I was a little surprised by his response.

"I'm not going to eat any of your ice cream until you ask me," Biscuit said in a really whiny tone.

I humored him and asked, "Would you like a bite of my ice cream cone?"

"Mom, you have to ask nicely," he said, except he stretched nicely into three syllables (nice-uh-ly).

I know I shouldn't have indulged him, but he was so sincere, I couldn't help it. Of course, I also had to turn my head for a minute before I asked him or I would've laughed in his face.

Dangerous weather: We had a quick thunderstorm that moved through here this evening. Biscuit came walking into the living room looking all serious.

"It's not allowed to watch TV when the thunder is too close, Mom," Biscuit said while wagging his finger back and forth. "It's just dangerous, Mom."

I know that guy: Jeff and Biscuit have watched "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" about 1,000 times. John Wayne stars in the movie as Captain Nathan Brittles, but ever since the first time Biscuit saw it, he calls him Captain Nathan Griddles. 

Biscuit doesn't understand that the people in the movie are just actors, so when he saw John Wayne in another movie, he was surprised.
"DAD! Who is that man?" Biscuit asked.

"That's John Wayne," Jeff said.
"John Wayne sounds just like Captain Nathan Griddles," Biscuit said.

"Yes, he does," Jeff said, and he offered no explanation. Biscuit will figure it out soon enough, but for now, we'll let him keep his discovery.

Ick ... just ick: Biscuit found a lizard-looking action figure on the ground at the picnic we went to Sunday. Nobody claimed it, so he brought it home. 

As we were leaving, Biscuit asked, "Dad, what's this guy's name?" 

And without missing a beat, Jeff said, "His name is E. coli." 

Now, Griffin is running around saying things like, "Mom, look! I've got E. coli," or "Mom, would you like to hold E. coli?" or "Mom, watch E. coli jump off the table onto these firefighters."

Let me just say that E. coli has been through our dishwasher.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Book club

I went to a book club meeting tonight. I don't belong to a book club, but after tonight, I might.

I was trying to help a friend find things to do to expand her social circle because she was feeling a little intimidated about the process. I found a website that lists all kinds gatherings by topics and towns. So for our town, I found groups for hiking, biking, eating, sewing, reading, dancing, playing music and more.

I sent links to my friend for several of the groups, but then one caught my eye ... for me.

It's a book club, but it didn't sound like some of the other book clubs I've heard about. One friend said she went to a book club, and nobody discussed the book. Instead, they all sat around and griped about their husbands. Another friend went to a book club and said there were two or three people who monopolized the conversation. Yet another friend went to a book club where she said the people were so analytical, she felt like she was back in college.

None of that appealed to me.

But to sign up for this group, you had to answer a few questions, such as the what was the last book you read, what kinds of books do you like to read and what do you want out of a book club. And luckily, several of the people who answered the question had answers similar to mine.

We met in the back room of a restaurant. We all introduced ourselves, then we talked about the book while we waited on our food. We chit-chatted through the meal. Then we talked about the book some more after we ate.

It was a really nice mix of small talk (which I do pretty well) and book discussion.

I always have that little nagging feeling that I should be spending time with Jeff and Biscuit instead of doing something like being off in a room full of strangers. But I also know that I need time to do things for myself, too.

So whether I decide to go back to this group or not, I'm proud of myself for branching out and going.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Friends, Part 2

We had a picnic today for our friend who's moving away. It was at a nice park, and there was a really good turnout.

As the crowd dwindled to just a few of us, we started packing up, getting ready to go. And I got upset.

I don't like to get upset in front of people, so I waved off my friends and got in my car. 

Sweet Biscuit was very concerned.

"Mom, are you crying?" he asked.

"Yes, baby, I'm crying," I said.

"Why are you crying, Mom," he asked. "Are you sad about your friend leaving?"

"Yeah," I said. "I'm sad because my friend is leaving."

"Don't cry, Mom," he said. "When I'm away from my cousins, and I know I won't see them for a while, I'm not sad. I just say, 'Oh well, I guess I'll see them next time.' You can say that about your friend, too, Mom."

How did my son get so wise in just 3 3/4 years?

Saturday, August 25, 2012


I went to a small school in the country, where the elementary school and high school were separated by an alley. The building on the left was for kindergarten through sixth grade, and the building on right was for seventh through 12th grade. The buses would pull into the alley between the buildings and all the kids would split up between the schools. K-12 students all rode the bus together.

You don't hear much about that kind of thing anymore.

Even my old school (which is where my nieces and nephew go) is now separated into three schools -- kindergarten through fifth grade in the elementary school, sixth through eighth in the middle school and ninth through 12th in the high school. I guess everything does change with time.

Anyway, I graduated in 1986 with 86 kids in my class. And 82 of us had been together since kindergarten. We knew everybody and everybody knew us. Our parents all knew each other, too, so if you got in trouble at school, your parents knew about it before you got home.

We built a history together. And even though we all scattered to jobs, military, college, marriage, kids, houses and other stuff, we all had those 13 years of school together.

I cried when I graduated. I knew there were a lot of those people that I'd never see again. I knew that our school was the one thing every one of us had in common. And without that one thing in common, some of us wouldn't really have a connection anymore.

Newspaper jobs, especially in the beginning, tend to lend themselves to job-hopping. You basically get a job at a small paper, then work your way up until you get to the size paper you like. Along the way, I've met and lost friends. We say we're going to keep in touch, and we do ... for a while. But when one person leaves, and you don't have that job as a common thread anymore, you tend to grow apart.

I've been at this paper for 13 years, longer than I've worked anywhere before. I made some fast friends when I moved here, and I've kept those friends for all these years.

In the beginning, we all worked at night. That schedule limits your access to the outside normal world, so I think that tends to fuse friendships even faster. My friends and I used to have dinner together once a week. And we used to get together for movies, shopping and other adventures.

Just as I made history over 13 years with my schoolmates, I've also created a 13-year history with these ladies. We've seen each other through marriage, buying houses, losing family members and having babies (well, a couple of us, at least). We've talked each other off the ledge when work, husbands, parents, bills and adulthood in general tried to get the best of us.

But it seems that as the years go by, we're all moving physically farther apart. We all bought houses, two of us in different towns, and two of us on opposite sides of the same town. Then everyone but me left the paper for different jobs. One of our group made a complete career change.

The first one of us to leave the paper got another job here in the same town. Then the one who started a whole new career managed to get an internship here in town, too. But then came the next one. She branched out a little and got a job one town over.

These changes have made it harder for us to get together. Our dinners aren't regular anymore, and with different job hours and two kids involved, even going to a Sunday afternoon movie takes a secretary and several calendars.

Fast forward to this past week. One of our group has accepted a job in another town. A town that's an hour and a half away. No more spur-of-the-moment lunches or shopping trips after work.

Then another one announced that she and her husband are moving three states away. THREE STATES AWAY! I just did a map search and learned that it would take me 10 hours and 2 minutes to drive to her new town.

I want to think that unlike the friends I made and lost at earlier jobs, the four of us will make a better effort at staying in touch. I also hope that by now, we have more in common than the job that helped make us friends to start with.

Outgoing Biscuit

Biscuit latest cashier friend is Joan. We met Joan last night at a department store. 

There was a lady in line with a huge mound of clothing, accessories and hats on the counter of the one cashier that was open. Did I mention the woman also had a handful of coupons and was having the cashier individually scan each item to find out which coupon she could use on which item?

So Joan, the jewelry counter cashier came up to us in line and politely said, "I think they're going to be a while, so can I ring you up at the jewelry counter?"

"YES!" I said, and we walked over.

Jeff put his new shoes on the counter and handed the cashier a coupon (40% off any one red-dot sale item).

"Hi. My name is Griffin," Biscuit said.

"Hiiiiiii," the cashier said, all drawn out. "My name is Joan. It's nice to meet you Griffin." (Jeff and I both said later that it was unusual to meet a Joan as young as this girl was. She couldn't have been more than college-aged.)

"It's nice to meet you, too, Joan," Biscuit said. I love how he always adds the person's name at the end of that sentence. It's such a personal touch.

"Um, Joan," Biscuit said. "When we were back there, we were looking at the firetruck puzzles. Do you have any puzzles at your house?" 

(Biscuit doesn't know it, but he's getting one of those puzzles for Christmas. They were on sale for 30% off, then I had a coupon for an additional 20% any sale item.)

"I DO have a puzzle at my house," Joan said. "It has Tigger on it. Do you know who Tigger is?"

Biscuit shook his head no, and I was a little ashamed that we haven't read Winnie the Pooh to him.

Joan put Jeff's shoes in a bag, and we turned to walk out.

"Bye, Joan," Biscuit said.

"Bye, Griffin," Joan said. Then she looked at me and said, "I just love to meet kids who will talk to you. You don't meet them like that very often."

"I love that he talks to people," I said. "I just hope he can talk to pretty girls like that when he's a teenager!" And Joan smiled.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has been saying lately:

Hot pursuit: Biscuit was holding his walkie-talkie and said, "Dad, when I say, 'One-Adam-12, roger ...'"

"I know," Jeff said. "I say, 'One-Adam-12, roger.'"

"NO, Dad!" Biscuit said. "When I say, 'One-Adam-12, roger,' you say, 'ONE ... ADAM ... 12 ... we're ... in ... PAH ... SUIT!'"

"Okay," Jeff said, "One-Adam-12, we're in pursuit. Is that okay?"

"Yep," Biscuit said. "We're in pah-suit."

Calling for a recount: Biscuit was sitting on the toilet this morning taking care of business. And as usual, he was singing and talking and telling stories to himself.

"MOM! DAD! Come quick," Biscuit yelled. "I counted and altogether I have 11 toes!"

"Eleven?" I said. "I think you need to count again."

"1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9," Biscuit counted. "I have nine toes."

"Um, try counting one more time," I told Biscuit.

He knows that he has five fingers on each hand and 10 altogether. And he knows that he has five toes on each foot and 10 altogether. I'm not sure what his problem was today.

"Okay," Biscuit said. "I'll count again. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10."

Then he looked up at Jeff and me, his eyes got big, and he said, "Mom! Dad! I'm so silly. I know that altogether my foots have 10 toes. I know that!"

Fire, fire, fire: "Everything doesn't always have to be about fire and firefighters," I said to Biscuit. "Not everything has to include the word 'fire.' Like fire cars and fire bats and fire balls."

"But Mom," Biscuit said. "Sometimes everything is YES about fire."

This child is either going to be the most gung-ho firefighter you ever saw or else he's going to be so sick of everything fire that he won't even own a gas stove when he grows up. Either way, I'm tired of fire.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Old photos

When Biscuit and I came home Sunday evening, there was a shopping bag full of old family photo albums in the passenger seat of my car. 

Mama sent me home with the albums because I had mentioned to her that with the nice photo/negative scanner I got from my in-laws for Christmas, I could scan in the old photos and put them on DVDs. I originally made the suggestion months ago, but with summer coming, I knew my time would be limited. So I had to put Mama off for a little while. But as I was getting ready to leave Sunday, and with summer winding down, I figured now might be a good time to get started.

The only problem I'm having is that most of the photos have been glued into the albums. That means that instead of scanning individual photos, I'm having to scan whole pages, then break them up into individual photos. It's been a little tedious, but I know when she secured the photos into her albums, there's no way Mama could've seen the coming advances in photo technology that would be put to better use if the photos could be removed individually from the albums.

Anyway, I thought I would share a few of the photos I rediscovered. Even though my fancy photo editing program has done a lot for the photos already, I've got some touch-up work to do on them. But you can still tell it's me!

This was taken on my fourth birthday.

I was taking my brother for a ride on his pedal car. I love that my shirt had my name on it.

This was after kindergarten graduation. Check out the bruises on my shins.

One great Christmas!!! Ant in the Pants, Raggedy Ann and Andy (that I still
have, although Andy is missing an arm), cymbal-playing monkey and more!

This was one of my early attempts at photography. That devil on the left is my brother.
Guessing by his size, I'm guessing I was probably 7 or 8 when I took this.
I think my photography skills have improved a little bit.

This was my fifth birthday that we celebrated at my aunt's house right outside of Chicago.

At the edge of a cornfield in Iowa. Man, Iowa sure is flat!

Me and Elvis, aka Daddy. This is one of my favorite pictures of us. In case you
couldn't guess, this picture was taken during the 1970s! Check out the couch
... and my pants ... and my elephant slippers ... and Daddy's hair.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Weekend wrapup

Our weekend was so busy, it's hard to know where to start.

But I guess I can start with Biscuit meeting the horses.

When my brother bought the horses, the previous owner told him that the reddish-brown one, named Cass, was the calmest of the two. He said Cass was really sweet. The man then told my brother that Domino, the gray horse, could be the problem child. He said Domino would act up every once in a while by bucking. 

But just as different kids respond differently to different parents, my brother said it has been just the opposite with the horses. Domino has been the calmer of the two.

Even so, my brother wanted to try to introduce Biscuit to the supposedly calmer horse.But Cass took one step toward Biscuit, and Biscuit was having none of it.

Then it was time to meet Domino. That greeting went much better.

Sitting on Domino's back, Biscuit looked so grown up. I told my brother that it was like someone took an adult-size cowboy and full-size horse and just shrunk them down.

Check out those eyes. He looks like a Kewpie doll.

This town ain't big enough for the both of us!
After Biscuit had his fill of riding the horse, he wanted to take it for a walk. My nephew was worried about Biscuit and wouldn't let go of the rope. I told him he was doing a great job looking out for Biscuit, then I persuaded him to let me take a couple of pictures of Biscuit by himself with Domino. I had to crop my nephew out of the photos because he was on ready-alert standby in case Domino got rowdy.

My brother didn't believe me when I told him that Biscuit even walks like a cowboy when he's suited up. But sure enough, once he got those chaps on, there was a little John Wayne in his swagger.

With his elbows cocked back, Biscuit looks like he's ready to draw.

After the horse excitement was over, I took my Mama shopping and left Biscuit with my brother, sister-in-law, two nieces and nephew. After some lunch and a nap, they all took Biscuit up to the pond on the four-wheelers so they could go fishing.

Biscuit had never been fishing before (unless you count the time I went fishing while I was pregnant), and he was more than a little excited to see the fish on his hook.

But when it came time to touch his newly caught fish, Biscuit wasn't too sure!

"HE MOVED!" Biscuit yelled. "HE MOVED!" I'm not exactly what he thought the fish was supposed to do, but moving apparently wasn't on the list.

Biscuit and I had a jam-packed weekend, but we helped Mama celebrate her birthday, caught up with family and friends and had a really good time.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Home again

Biscuit and I made it home ... finally!

We were only gone from Friday evening to Sunday evening, but it seems like it was for three weeks.

I checked the video camera this evening as I was unpacking and discovered that the video of Biscuit riding the horse didn't take for some reason. I'm not sure what happened, and I'm quite frankly too tired to be too concerned about it tonight.

Jeff got home right after we did, and Biscuit was excited to tell him about his weekend.

"The horse's name is Domino, Dad," Biscuit told Jeff a few minutes ago. "But not Domino like the restaurant."

I'm a little disturbed that my kid's only domino reference is the restaurant, not the game.

Anyway, I'll write more about our weekend, but here's another picture of Biscuit and his cousin with Domino.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Surprise animal

I told Biscuit when we got up this morning that he was going to be spending the day with his aunt, uncle and cousins while I took Grandmama shopping.

"But first," I said, "we need to see what kind of new animal your uncle has."

"A surprise animal?" Biscuit said.

"Yep," I said, "a surprise animal. I think it's a rabbit. What do you think it is?"

"I think it's a horse," Biscuit said.

He was right. My brother bought two miniature horses.

I have video that I'll post later, but for now, here are a couple of pictures:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Birthday visit

Jeff will be covering a golf tournament all weekend, so Biscuit and I are going to head to my Mama's house for the weekend. Her birthday is next week, so we'll help her celebrate a little early.

While we're there, I asked my sister-in-law if she would babysit Biscuit so my Mama and I can spend some time together (probably shopping!). And while Biscuit is at my brother and sister-in-law's house, his head is going to explode!

Why? Because my brother bought two miniature horses.

My brother and his family are so excited about Biscuit meeting the horses.

My only worry is that sometimes Biscuit gets Kim-excited, and sometimes he gets Jeff-excited.

Kim-excited includes flailing hands, voice rising to squeaky octaves, wide eyes, mouth open. You get the picture.

Jeff-excited is ... well ... Jeff just doesn't really get excited. He smiles and says something like, "Hey. That's cool."

So we'll see Saturday morning whether Biscuit gets Kim-excited or Jeff-excited. And of course there will be pictures.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Another new friend

Today's new friend is Sarah.

Biscuit and I stopped by the store for a couple of things, and Biscuit struck up a conversation with the cute, blonde cash register lady.

"Excuse me," Biscuit said. "Excuse me."

"Hi," the girl said to Biscuit.

"My name is Griffin," he said. "What's your name?"

"My name is Sarah," she said. "It's nice to meet you, Griffin."

"It's nice to meet you, too, Sarah," Biscuit said.

I finished my transaction with Sarah, and Biscuit and I turned to leave.

"Hey, Sarah," Biscuit said. "G-R-I-F-F-I-N. That's how you spell my name. Okay?"

"Okay, Griffin," Sarah said. "I'll remember."

It's amazing to me how friendly people are to Biscuit when he strikes up a conversation.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Double standard

The time has come to explain to Biscuit why some people can do something things that he can't do.

Yeah, I know. Good luck with that, right?

Yesterday, as Biscuit and I were shopping, a girl and her boyfriend were looking at stuff on the same aisle we were on.

"I'll kick your butt!" the girl said to her boyfriend.

I saw it coming. Biscuit's eyes got big and before I could shush him, he said, "MOM! What did she say? Did you hear what she said?"

"Ssshhhh," I said as I put my finger up to my lips.

I hauled us out of there and went over about two aisles. Then I leaned down close to Biscuit's face so he could hear me.

"I heard what that girl said," I told Biscuit.

"Mom, she said 'butt,' and we're not supposed to say 'butt,'" Biscuit said (not seeming to understand that he had just said that word twice!).

"Well, not saying that word is our rule," I tried to explain. "And other people don't have to follow our rules. Just us. Do you understand that?"

"Yeah, Mom," Biscuit said. "It was not nice for her to say that word. If she says it again, she'll get in trouble."

Ugh. This was harder than I thought it would be.

"Well, if YOU said that word, you'd be in trouble," I said. "But that girl has to listen to her own Mom's rules. Her Mom might not care if she says that word."

"Where is her Mom?" Biscuit asked.

"I don't know, baby," I said.

"Are you going to tell her Mom what she said?" Biscuit asked.

"No," I said. "I don't know her Mom. But I'm your Mom, and I want you to obey the rules Dad and I make, okay?"

"Okay, Mom," Biscuit said. "I will."

I don't think for a second that Biscuit understood what I told him, but maybe if even part of sunk in, we'll be one step in the right direction.

But it's one thing to explain that our rules don't apply to a stranger. But recently, I had to justify why I didn't follow our rules.

Biscuit and I were on the way to day care, and he was telling me a story about some firefighters.

"And then the one firefighter fell down," Biscuit said, "and he hurt his leg. And when he hurt his leg, he said, 'Oh my God!'"

"Hey!" I said. "Don't say that."

"Why, Mom?" Biscuit asked.

"You can say 'Oh my gosh' but I don't want you saying 'Oh my God,'" I said.

"But Mom," Biscuit said. "What did you say to Dad when he forgot to give me a bath?"

Well, I certainly didn't want to admit it to him, but I did say, "Oh my God." I have a really bad habit of saying that. 

It might sound like I'm overreacting, but I just don't like the sound of that coming out of my child's mouth. My brother and I weren't allowed to say that when we were growing up, and somewhere along the line, I picked it up as a common phrase. Now, I'm backtracking.

So I said to Biscuit, "I think I did say that to Dad. And you know what? I was wrong to do that. I won't say it again if you won't say it, either. Is it a deal?"

"Yep. It's a deal," Biscuit said.

I know these two examples probably pale in comparison to some of the conversations we'll have to have in the future. I can only hope that Jeff and I can stay consistent and take them as they come.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Nice to meet you

A post from The Daddy Man:

I took Biscuit with me to the grocery store to get some coffee the other night. We ground up the coffee beans and headed to the cash register. The cashier was a boy about 18 years old.

"My name is Griffin," Biscuit said. "What's your name?"

"My name is Michael," the cashier said and reached out to give Biscuit a high-five.

We finished our transaction, and Michael said, "It was nice to meet you, Griffin."

"It was nice to meet you, too, Michael," Biscuit said.

As Jeff and Biscuit were walking out the door, Biscuit laughed and said, "Dad, I like Michael the cash-register man. He gave me a high-five."

Our boy has never met a stranger.


An addition from The Mama:

I'd like to piggyback on Jeff's experience with a similar one I had with Biscuit tonight.

We went to do our toiletry / household cleaner / dry goods shopping. We were in line behind one other person, and Biscuit said, "Mom, can I tell the cash register lady hello?"

"Not yet," I said. "We have to wait our turn." As the lady in front of us rolled her buggy toward the door, we pulled up at the cash register, and I said to Biscuit, "NOW you can say hello."

"Hi! My name is Griffin," he said. "What's your name?"

"My name is Diana," she said. "It's nice to meet you, Griffin."

"We're done with our shopping," Biscuit said. "After this, my Mom and me are going to a restaurant to eat, but Dad can't come because he's playing golf." (Dad wasn't playing golf, he's covering golf at a tournament. Of course, I don't think that matters to Biscuit.)

"That sounds like fun," the cashier said.

"I like your earrings," Biscuit said. "My Mom wears nice earrings, too. But yours have feathers. I like feathers."

The cashier looked at me and asked, "How old is he?" I told her that he's 3 1/2. She laughed and said, "Are you sure? I might have to ask for birth certificate proof."

"He's a little bit shy," I said. "Can you tell?"

"MOM! I'm not shy," Biscuit said.

"I know, baby," I said. "I was just teasing."

"Sometimes Mom teases me and I laugh and laugh," Biscuit said.

I paid for our purchases, and Biscuit and Diana were still talking. Then I started to push the buggy away from the register, and Biscuit and Diana were still talking.

"Okay," I said. "Y'all tell each other bye so we can go."

Like Jeff said, our boy knows no strangers.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has been saying lately:

Check it out, Mom: I was out doing some shopping and called home to let Jeff and Biscuit know I was on my way. Jeff saw it was me calling and let Biscuit answer.

"Hello? Who is it? Who am I talking to?" Biscuit said. "I'm Firefighter Ronnie Gage."

I talked to him for a little while, then Biscuit's voice started getting faint.

Jeff finally got the phone and explained what happened. 

As Biscuit was telling me all about his fire chief, he was holding the fire chief up to the Caller ID screen on the phone. He thought it was a camera that would allow me to see his fire chief.

Unhappy Biscuit: "Dad, you're getting on my nerves really meanly," Biscuit said. Guess how well that went over?

A tall tale: "Biscuit, how are you feeling?" we'll ask sometimes in the morning.

Biscuit gets a forlorn look on his face and says, "Um, well, this big storm came up and my hand was horrible. And then it was later and my throat was horrible. And now, my belly is horrible. I just don't feel very well."

We're not sure where this drama comes from, but he plays it off very well.

Tasty-yummy-licious: "How was your food, Biscuit?" Jeff asked.

"It was very goodly," Biscuit said.

Cracking down: Biscuit came over to me, and in a very serious tone said, "Mom, if Dad drives 60 miles per hour, the police will give him a ticket for breaking the log."

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Rainy day

We had a car show today. It's one we go to every year, so we have a pretty good routine down for getting it done.

We have to drive two cars because the Barracuda isn't equipped for a car seat. But I'm sort of glad it works that way. Jeff goes early and gets registered and gets situated in his parking spot. Then Biscuit and I take my car.

We put chairs, our new canopy and a rain cover for the car in the back of the Barracuda. 

Then in my car, I pack a lunch and a small cooler with water. Quart-size zip-top bags are the perfect size for mine and Jeff's sunscreen, Biscuit's sunscreen and wet wipes. The cool camera bag Jeff got me for my birthday is made to be a camera bag and pocketbook. That's been a big help because it eliminates one of the bags I routinely have to carry. I pack hats and sunglasses for everyone, and today, I packed an umbrella.

Biscuit was wearing his firefighter boots carrying an ambulance and a firetruck, and I was carrying all the rest of our stuff. I closed the front door and was about to lock it when I turned to look at Biscuit. Just as my eyes came around, I saw one of the scariest things I've ever seen in my life!

Biscuit was tumbling feet over head down the front door steps. Tumbling might even be the wrong word for it because he was straight as a board as he cartwheeled down the steps. His head landed on the bottom step and bent backwards as his body slammed onto the sidewalk.

I dropped everything in my arms (thank goodness my camera bag is padded), and ran down the steps. Biscuit wasn't moving. And as much as I wanted to scoop him up, I waited a few second to see if he was going to move on his own. It would not have surprised me if he had just lain there. I was already reaching for my cellphone to call 911 when he propped his arms up and started to push himself off the sidewalk. He started screaming.

I grabbed him up and went running back into the house. I went straight to the kitchen because the first thing I saw was his bloody mouth. I grabbed a paper towel and wet it with cold water and started to dab at Biscuit's lips. I told him to hold the paper towel on his lips then I got his little Elmo cold pack out of the freezer. He complained about the cold, but it must've felt good because he held it there.

These things are great! You keep them in the freezer to ease
the burn of booboos (or in our case, to reduce swollen lips).

I gave him a good looking-over and couldn't find any other evidence of his fall.

"Let's me and you just stay home today," I said. "Would that be okay?"

"Noooooo, Mom," Biscuit said, still crying. "It's gone. See, Mom? It's all better and gone now."

It was in no way gone, but I could tell Biscuit really wanted to go to the car show.

We finally got the bleeding stopped. It wasn't until then that I realized that my keys were hanging in the front door and my camera bag/pocketbook was sitting on the front porch. Good thing we have good neighbors!

I called Jeff on the way to tell him the drama of the morning and to find out where his parking spot was at the car show. 

After I got off the phone, Biscuit said to me, "Mom, when I flipped, that was the coolest part. Was that a cool trick?"

"Um, no," I said. "That was not a cool trick. It scared Mama half to death!"

"No, Mom," Biscuit said. "Don't be scared. It was a cool flip."

My boy is definitely a boy!

Biscuit and I got to the show, parked and got our lunch and stuff loaded onto his stroller. He hopped in, and we started walking.

Biscuit spotted a red truck and asked if I would let him look closer at it. I pushed him over that way, and as we got closer, I realized the truck was firefighter themed. Biscuit immediately spotted the badges on the wheels' center caps. The truck's owner came over and told Biscuit and me that most people didn't even notice those. He and Biscuit struck up a conversation about firefighters and firetrucks. The man had been a volunteer firefighter in his community until he hurt his back.

The man went around to the back of his truck and opened the tool box. He handed a round piece of metal to Biscuit, but I couldn't tell what it was. Biscuit looked at it, then tried to hand it back, but the man told him it was his to keep. Biscuit said thank you without being prompted, and that made me really proud.

Turns out the piece of metal is a trailer hitch cover. The man said he got that one then found one he liked better. Even if the man didn't like it, Biscuit loved it.

We met up with Jeff and found him with my friend's husband. They were talking cars, so Biscuit and I went in search of the Barracuda. We found the car and set up our chairs and had some lunch. Then not long after lunch, the rains came.

And they came. And they came. And they came.

It was a good thing the judges came around early because at the first sign of rain, Jeff and I whipped out the car cover and got the Barracuda covered up as fast as a pit crew.

We were lucky enough to be parked right in front of this little ticket booth-type building. It wasn't being used, so I pushed Biscuit's stroller under the shelter, then dragged in our chairs. We sat there while the storm blew over and watched people running around like chickens with their heads chopped off.

Our safe place in the storm.

Wet feet! Water was running from the road down through our shelter. It was about an inch deep.

At least we had some scenery. The ducks and geese didn't seem to mind the rain.

The rain slacked off a bit, and the announcer called for the show participants to come to the stage for the awards ceremony. I handed Jeff the umbrella and said, "Biscuit and I will be right here when you get back."

I hated not to be supportive, but Biscuit and I were cozy and dry, and I wanted to keep it that way.

There goes Jeff to the awards ceremony.

Jeff won first place in his category. Thankfully, the rain had stopped, and Biscuit and I were there when they announced his name.

Today wasn't the ideal car show situation, but the three of us spent the day together, and that was a really nice thing.

Here are a couple of photos I took of Biscuit while we were under our little shelter.

Look at those eyes. So pretty! So mischievious!

That's the smile I was waiting for. Biscuit was laughing because I was holding the
camera around the side of his stroller and snapping pictures. He couldn't see my
face, just my hands. For some reason, he thought that was pretty funny.


"Jeff! You've just won first place at the car show. What are you going to do now?"

"I'm going to get some ice cream!"


With all the excitement of the car show and the rain, Biscuit never got his afternoon nap.

He tried to catch up on his sleep at the dinner table.

Needless to say, Biscuit called it a night earlier than usual.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Reaching new heights

Sometimes you see something that you want, but you're not sure how to get it.

But then, just like those monkeys on the educational TV channel who use sticks to dig ants out of an ant hill, you figure out how to use the tools at your disposal to reach your goal.

Goal: Firefighter action figure that's stuck up on the kitchen counter.

Tools: Small ottoman that belongs in the living room instead of the kitchen.

Results: Mean old Mom rounded the corner and said in a stern voice, "Get down from there right now!"

This wasn't the first time Biscuit went climbing. Last week, he dragged a kitchen chair over to the same counter to get a boat for the bathtub. 

Biscuit was perched up on the chair stretched across the counter when Jeff busted him.

"No sir, down!" Jeff said as Biscuit's head whipped around. "Move that chair back to where it came from."

"O-o-o-okay, Dad," Biscuit said, clearly disappointed that he got caught.

Not disappointed he did it. Disappointed he got caught!

I remember the days when I could put Biscuit down on a blanket in the living room, walk into the kitchen to get some water, return to the living room and find Biscuit right where I left him.

Those days are long gone. Give me strength!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

New quilt

My great aunt told me she was working on a quilt for Biscuit, and guess what we got in the mail today?

This aunt is my (maternal) Granny's sister. She lives a couple of states away, so we only get to see her once or twice a year. This year, we saw her at our family reunion in May. She's the only one of my Granny's siblings who is still with us.

Anyway, she told me she was making the quilt, and in return, she wants me to record her a CD of piano music, including a song I'm not sure I even still have the sheet music for.

But seeing as we got the quilt today, and seeing as Biscuit loved it, and seeing as my aunt held up her end of the deal, I guess I better start hunting down some sheet music!

The quilt has an embroidered nursery rhyme and picture on each block. Biscuit knew and loved most of them, but his favorite was "Knick knack paddy whack give the dog a bone" with a picture of a cute puppy.

Here are a few pictures of Biscuit checking out his quilt:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


No surprise here, but Biscuit was pretending to be a firefighter last night.

Jeff was a victim of some sort and called the fire chief on the phone. Biscuit held the fire chief in one hand and his cell phone in the other hand. It didn't seem to matter that the fire chief was a quarter of the size of the phone.

Anyway, for Biscuit and the fire chief to make their rescue, they had to get dressed in their fire equipment. Biscuit was going to put on his fire helmet, but first, he had to put on his air mask (aka a Grasshoppers bucket hat).

Here's the firefighter in action:

Biscuit helps the fire chief take an emergency call.

Biscuit put on his "air tank" otherwise known as a bucket hat.

I'm not sure what the deal is with this fake smile, but I'll be glad when it goes away ... forever!

"Mom, first goes the air tank, then the fire helmet," Biscuit said.