Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's all about the money

One of the cartoons Biscuit likes focuses on early math skills. But I think they might show it in multiple countries because they don't talk about dollars or inches. They do everything in units. 

The talk of money and measurements has got Biscuit asking us questions. He asked me one day if I had enough dollars to pay for day care. Then he wanted to know if my debit card was money. I did get a little worried when I was supposed to be the pet doctor, and he brought one of his horses to see me. I told him how much it would cost and he said he wanted to hand me his card like the one I use at the store.

Back in February, Mama sent Biscuit a Valentine's Day card. She put $2 in it, and I told Biscuit he could trade his two dollars for two of the little cars he likes. He got his cars, then a couple of weeks later, he brought me the Valentine's Day card and asked if he could trade the card for another car.

"Um, no," I said. "That's not how it works."

Sometimes I wonder if Biscuit's brain works more like mine or Jeff's. My brain is churning most of the time. I have stream of consciousness thoughts flowing constantly. Sometimes it catches Jeff off guard, and I have to backtrack and trace my thought pattern for him. But Jeff, he can be sitting on the couch, and his head is a blank slate. I ask him what he's thinking about, and when he says, "Oh, nothing," he means it.

Sometimes Biscuit will be playing, and he'll look up and say the most random things, and you wonder where in the world that thought came from. Then other times, you can almost see the wheels turning, and you know he's studying on something. 

Then he'll come up with a question like, "Mom, when you give the woman the money for our stuff, where does the money go?" Try to explain the corporate structure of a store to a 3-year-old. It's quite a chore to simplify that kind of structure.

Lately, he's been noticing that sometimes I give money to a cashier, and she gives me money back. I had to explain why that happened. "Mom, you gave her money, and she gave it back to you."

"Well, the amount of money I gave her was more than she needed," I said. "So she gave me back some change."

Biscuit was very proud of himself and his new-found money knowledge, so when we got home, he was excited about telling Jeff what he had learned.

"Dad, when you give somebody money, and it's not the right amount, they give you a change," Biscuit said. "When you give them too much money, they give you a change."

Not "some" change, but "a" change.

I guess change is good.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A rainy day

It rained here all last night and all day today. I think it's still raining now.

We had planned to go to a festival and car show today, but our plans were changed by the weather.

So my boys and I spent the day at home -- hanging out, playing, napping and generally doing nothing. We don't get those kinds of days very often, so I tried to remind myself to enjoy it and not feel guilty for not getting anything done.

"Mom, let me get up close and you take my picture."

This is the kind of stuff that happens when you have nothing better to do.

"Be still. Don't move. Don't move. Don't laugh," I said to Biscuit.
And of course that made him want to move and laugh even more.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The name game

Biscuit loves fun-sounding words and phrases. He likes and recognizes when words rhyme. And when I make nonsense noises, that makes him giggle even harder.

So I figured he'd like "The Name Game."

Griffin, Griffin, bo-biffin,
Banana-fana fo-fiffin,

I've sung it to him several times, but he was surprised me the other night. As Biscuit was getting ready to eat a cookie, he very quietly sang his own version:

Cookie, cookie, bo-bookie,
Banana-fana fo-fookie,

That's a lot of syllables, and he got it exactly right! (And of course I made him sing it two more times. I asked him to sing it a third time, but he gave me "the look" and said, "Moooooom!")

When Biscuit was just learning to talk, I'd ask him what a certain toy's name was. It didn't occur to me at the time that he didn't have a cache of names to choose from. The only names he knew then were Mama, Daddy and a few others. 

He named his stuffed dog "Puppy." He didn't have a frame of reference to come up with Spot or Fido or Rover.

And speaking of Rover ... one of my favorite stories from my Mama's childhood was that she and her friend Bonnie had imaginary horses named Rover and Un-Rover. One day, they rode Rover and Un-Rover to the store. They had some change to get candy. They got about halfway home and realized they had left their imaginary horses tied up in front of the store.

THEY WALKED ALL THE WAY BACK TO GET THEM!!! For real and for true!

Anyway, we got Biscuit a bouncy horse, and out of the blue, he told us he was going to name it Pinto. To this day, we don't know where the name Pinto came from.

Biscuit's list of names has expanded even more lately. 

His stick horse was Blackie Pinto. Then it became Jake. Then it became Shooting Star. And in the past couple of weeks, it's gone back to Jake.

Some of his plastic horses are named Laddie, Buttermilk and Shooting Star. He has dogs named Ginger, Sparky, Grover, Jingle and Barky. And he has a pirate named Ching-chaw (don't even ask about that one!).

When in doubt, Biscuit will still just add a "y" to the end of whatever the animal or thing is. He has a rabbit named Rabbity and a dragon named Dragony.

But who knows, it seems like every critter is up for a name change on Biscuit's whim.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Come fly with me

A post from The Daddy Man:

Biscuit and I were on our own for meals while Kimmy was out of town for her aunt's funeral last week. I'm not the best cook, so when I picked Biscuit up from day care, I asked him where he'd like to go for dinner.

"I want to go to the pancake restaurant," Biscuit said. "But a DIFFERENT pancake restaurant."

I asked him what he meant by that, and he said, "It's the one on the hill."

He and I had been there once before, and he remembered sitting at the counter on a swiveling stool. He also remembered that the pancakes there are shaped like Mickey Mouse.

We sat down at the counter, and the waitress walked over. "Hey, it's Biscuit," she said. She remembered our chatty little man from our last visit.

Biscuit told her what he wanted to eat and drink. Then while we waited on our food, Biscuit spun back and forth on his stool.

Biscuit cleaned his plate and made some chit-chat with the waitress while I finished my meal. He found out her birthday was near his (she's turning 18, and he'll turn 4). 

Biscuit also showed her his rescue helicopter. She made a big fuss over it as he told her ALL about it. He told her the noises it would make, and I kept telling him it was too loud for the restaurant. She just laughed and said the noise was fine.

As we were leaving, Biscuit said, "Dad, I don't want to go home."

"Where do you want to go?" I asked him. I figured he was hinting around for ice cream or doughnuts.

"Um, let's go to the airport," Biscuit said.

"The airport?" I asked.

"Yep. The airport," Biscuit said.

So we went.

Our house is about 7 minutes door to door from the airport, so we didn't have to make a big trip to get there. We've made the loop before, but we usually just circle around the loading zone and head back home.

As we drove up in front, Biscuit said, "Dad, let's go in."

I pulled into a parking spot and dropped a quarter into the parking meter. "Okay, I put a quarter in the meter," I said. "That gives us 15 minutes to go inside and look around."

"Okay, Dad," Biscuit said. "LET'S GO!"

We wandered around the upper concourse looking for a window to look out at the runways. All the stores in that area were closed with metal gates across their doors. We finally found a glass emergency door. I could just imagine Biscuit pushing on the door, setting off alarms, so I said in a very stern voice, "Don't touch the door. We're just looking outside."

We didn't see any landings or takeoffs, but Biscuit did see a couple of planes sitting on the tarmac.

"Ready to go?" I asked. "Our time is almost up."

"Okay," Biscuit said. "Can I have a neck ride to the car?"

I hoisted him up on my shoulders and headed home.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has been saying recently:

Where did they go? Biscuit is spoiled by his kid TV channel and PBS. They don't air commercials, so when he was watching a movie on a regular channel, he panicked every time a commerical came on. 

"Is it over, Mom? Are Buzz and Woody gone?" he asked.

"No, baby," I assured him. "They'll be back right after these commercials are over."

Regrets? Biscuit did something the other day that Jeff wasn't too pleased with. I never even asked what the offense was, but I did have to tell Jeff later to be more careful about his word choice.

Biscuit came into our bedroom and said to me, "Mom, I did something bad, and Dad was mad. And I said I was really sorry about that, but Dad said don't be sorry, just don't do it again. So I'm not gonna be sorry, Mom. I'm NOT sorry for what I did. But I won't do it again."

I told Jeff how his words had been twisted, and he said, "Well, that's exactly what I said, but it's just not exactly what I meant."

A really good shower: When I was gone to my aunt's funeral last week, Jeff asked Biscuit if he'd rather have a bath that night or a shower with him the next morning. As predicted, Biscuit chose the morning shower. I think he secretly hopes that we'll forget to bathe him, but that ain't gonna happen!

Anyway, as Jeff and Biscuit stepped out of the shower, Biscuit stretched his arms out and said, "Dad, I feel like a new man."

A new man? Really?

Tea or not to tea: There's a restaurant Biscuit and I love to go to. It's a little pricier than our usual haunts, so we don't go that often. I have to remind Biscuit before we go in that he has to order water to drink. Most places serve a drink as part of their kid's meals, but they don't even have a kid's menu at this place. Biscuit and I split an adult entree there.

For kid drink choices, the only juices they serve are pineapple juice and cranberry juice, and Biscuit doesn't like either of those. We let him order chocolate milk at some places, so we tried that once (and only once) at this nicer place. The bartender had to mix it up, and it cost $3 for a small foam cup.

One time Biscuit asked me if he could order sweet tea, but I've had sweet tea at this restaurant before and knew he wouldn't like because it has a fruity flavor to it. Biscuit and I are both sweet tea purists -- no fruit added.

So last week, when Biscuit and I went on a date to this restaurant, the server came over to take our drink order.

"What can I get you to drink?" he asked.

"Um, we have to drink water here because the tea tastes funny," Biscuit said.

Note to self: Explain to Biscuit that some things should stay just between him and me!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Out of Pull-Ups

A couple of months ago, we were running low on Pull-Ups, and I was wondering if we needed to buy any more.

Biscuit has been potty-trained since last November, but as a precaution, we had been putting him in Pull-Ups overnight. Then when I realized we were running out, I thought, "Does he still need to be wearing these?"

Jeff gets Biscuit ready in the morning, so I asked him, "When was the last time Biscuit had a wet Pull-Up in the morning?"

"I don't remember the last time," Jeff said. "I know it hasn't happened since we opened this current pack of Pull-Ups. And there are what, 50 per box?"

"I wonder if he'd be okay with not wearing them anymore?" I asked.

"Let's ask him," Jeff said.

So we called him into our bedroom, and I said, "Dad and I were wondering if you'd like to wear underwear under your jammies instead of Pull-Ups. That would mean that you would pee before you went to bed, then you wouldn't pee again until you get up in the morning. What do you think?"

"Um, that would be fine," Biscuit said. 

And that was that. That night, after his bath, we put him in underwear, then in jammies.

That first night, Biscuit played for a little while after we got him dressed, and it was easy to see that he noticed a difference in how his pajama pants fit. But it didn't take him long to get used to it.

I made sure to tell Biscuit that if he had an accident, it wasn't a big deal. I told him all we'd do was change his jammies and sheets, and he could go right back to bed. He didn't seem at all worried about it.

He's doing great so far, and fingers crossed, he'll keep his streak going.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fun at the fair

One of my friends won four armbands for free admission and rides at the fair and invited us to go with her and her husband Saturday evening. I can take or leave fair rides, so we put a bracelet on Jeff and one on Biscuit, and they were ready to ride.

We started with a walk through the prize-winning chickens and rabbits. One chicken laid an egg as Biscuit and I were walking by. He looked at me, and I looked at him, and I'll bet our faces both registered the same amount of surprise. We also saw a rabbit that weighs half as much as Biscuit does. Of course, seeing as Biscuit only weighs 31 pounds, that's not saying too much!

Our friends don't have any kids yet, so we tried to share Biscuit with them. They took him on a couple of rides, and Biscuit got all excited to watch them go on the swings. "Look how high up they're going, Mom!"

We seemed to have impeccable timing, too. We got to the venue and got a parking spot right in front of the entrance. There were only a few rides we had to stand in line for. We walked right up to the food vendor. Then as we got in the car to leave, it started to rain ... and it rained all the way home.

Thank you to our friends who invited us. We had a good time.

YAY! Biscuit is finally tall enough for rides!

Biscuit takes a break from walking by sitting on Dad's shoulders.

Jeff said Biscuit wanted to steer ... until he hit somebody. Then he let go of the wheel. "I didn't
like that ride, Mom," Biscuit said. "It hurt my neck when those people would run into us."

Biscuit won a little nerf gun at this shooting game. I had to follow through
on my threat of "if you shoot any person with it, I'm taking it away." He shot me
in the rear end this evening. He MIGHT get his gun back tomorrow.

Biscuit rides the train. He's in the second car.

Biscuit and Jeff ride the dragon roller coaster.

Having all that fun makes Biscuit thirsty.

Biscuit took a ride on Geronimo.

Biscuit feeds a llama.

That chicken laid that egg as Biscuit and I were standing right beside him.

That rabbit weighs half of what Biscuit weighs.

Biscuit always loves the slide.

Biscuit looks a little too confident on that motorcycle. He better slow down!

Biscuit wasn't tall enough to go on the big-people scrambler, but we found one that was his size.

The merry-go-round is always a big hit.

A nice night at the fair.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has been saying recently:

Tour guide: "Dad, WELCOME TO THE SOUTHWEST!" Biscuit yelled with his arms raised above his head, while wearing a cowboy hat and boots. "It costs $5 to get into the Southwest."

Biscuit handed Jeff the set of coasters from the coffee table, and Jeff counted out five coasters and handed them to Biscuit.

"Thanks for the $5," Biscuit said. He raised his arms again and said, "Have a good time!"

More firefighters: Biscuit laid down on the carpet in the living room and started moving his arms and legs like he was making a snow angel.

"If you lay down and do this in the snow, you'll make a firefighter," Biscuit said.

A nice thing: Jeff was helping Biscuit wash his hands, and for some reason, Biscuit seemed unusually grateful.

"Thanks, Dad," Biscuit said. "It's always glad you're here to help me."

Bad move on my part: I was checking the weather one day last week, and since I have shortcuts to my parents' town and Jeff's parents' town, I told him what the weather was like in each place.

I said to Jeff, "It's 72 degrees and raining at Mama's house."

To which Biscuit replied, "WHAT?!? I can't believe it! I just can't believe it!" 

Then I made my mistake. I laughed at Biscuit's dramatic response.

"Mom, 'I can't believe it' is not funny. So when you laugh at me, that's cheating."

Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm glad we went

My Daddy's sister died Monday. She had been sick for a while and just couldn't hold on any longer. She was a very nice lady, and she will be missed.

My parents called to say they were leaving early Tuesday morning to drive 5 1/2 hours to where the visitation and funeral would be. I asked Daddy if he wanted me there, and he said no.

"You don't need to drive all the way down here," Daddy said. "You've got work and Jeff and Griffin. There's nothing you can do down here anyway."

He was basically right, but at the same time, I just had this nagging feeling that I needed to be there. I called my brother, and he was having the same thoughts.

"What do you want to do?" he asked me.

"I don't know," I said. "What do you want to do?"

"I don't know," he said.

I told him that it was a long way to go in one day and come back the next. And, I said, Daddy said not to come. Jeff's busy with work, and I'd have to leave Biscuit with him. I knew my brother had work to do, and he has three kids in school, and his wife works part time. There were just all these reasons not to go.

But ultimately, I realized that all that stuff was secondary to the fact that we wanted to be there for our Daddy. I knew that if we didn't go, two weeks from now, we'd regret it.

I left Tuesday morning and drove 2 1/2 hours to pick up my brother. Then from his house, it was another 5 1/2 hours to the funeral home. I did all the driving, and my brother worked all the way there. He must've sent 50 text messages and 50 emails and took 50 phone calls. And I made fun of him because he has a "work phone voice" that doesn't sound like his regular voice.

Our great aunt's house was about 10 minutes from the funeral home, so we stopped there to change clothes. We had built in a little bit of time, so we had about 45 minutes to sit and visit with her.

We got to the funeral home and didn't know much of anybody. But as we walked around the corner to our family's room, we saw Mama and Daddy.

My Daddy isn't a crier, but when he saw us, he teared up. It didn't take but a second to regain his composure, though.

He walked over to us and said, "I told y'all not to come here."

"We haven't listened to you so far," I said. "Why should we start now?" That got a smile out of him.

After the funeral home, Mama, Daddy, my brother and I went to a 24-hour restaurant to get some dinner. It was about 9 p.m. by the time we got our food, and as we started eating, Mama asked, "So where are y'all staying tonight?"

My brother and I looked at each other, both shrugged and said, "Dunno."

So I took out my cellphone and called my uncle (Mama's brother), where Mama and Daddy were staying.

He answered the phone, and I said, "If one were to find oneself in your town with no place to stay for the night, what would one do?"

"One would bring oneself to my house," he said.

"And what if one had one's brother with one?" I asked.

"One would grab one's brother and come on over," he said.

The next morning, we saw a few more people on Mama's side of the family, then we headed to the funeral, which was a graveside service. There was a nice turnout, and the minister said some really nice things about my aunt. 

But something funny happened before the service started.

An older man who was unsteady on his feet was walking toward the tent. He wasn't family, but he needed a chair, so the funeral director was leading him to where he could sit down. As the man passed by, I glanced up and saw this big black bug on the back of his shirt.

Before I could say anything, one of the gravediggers stepped out from under the side tent, walked nonchalantly past the man, scooped the bug off his back, walked out past the rest of the people, threw the bug down and walked right back to his spot under the side tent.

I thought that was a very cool thing for him to do. He and the other gravedigger just smiled and nodded at each other.

After the service was over, this man walked up to my brother.

"Hey, old man," he said. "How are you?"

"I'm good," my brother said. "How 'bout you?"

"I'm good, good," he said. "You still in the business?"

"Yeah," my brother said. "Still gettin' it done. How 'bout you?"

"Yeah," the man said. "I'm still in it, too. Hey, every time I think about you, I remember that night we ate that whole box of those little hamburgers. Remember that?"

"The good memories are the best ones to hold on to," my brother said.

"Man, it was good to see you," he said.

"Good to see you, too," my brother said.

The guy walked away, and I asked my brother, "Who was that?"

My brother said, "I got no idea, but I didn't feel like this was the place to tell the man he didn't know what he was talking about. And besides, it sounds like we had a good time that night."

Some people might be surprised about the ease with which my brother worked his way through that conversation, but not me. That boy has been talking crap for years!

Our parents met us at one of my favorite burger joints as my brother and I were on the way out of town. We tried to remember the last time just the four of us sat around a table for a meal. No spouses, no kids, just the original four.

Even though it was a sad occasion that brought us together, I enjoyed the time with my immediate family, as well as the cousins, aunts and uncles we saw. And as my brother and I were leaving, our Daddy said, "I'm glad y'all didn't listen to me. I'm glad you came."

That was worth the 14 hours of driving and then some.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A quick trip

My brother and I had to make a quick trip Tuesday and Wednesday to attend our aunt's funeral. I'll share more about that later, but we passed through the town where I was born (and the town Biscuit is named after), and I got my brother to take a few pictures with his phone.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Most gifts are nice

There's nothing like leaving your precious one and only child with friends for the evening, thinking he's in good hands. 

Then you come home to discover that your kind friends have bestowed upon him a gift. 

Gifts are nice ... most of the time.

Other times, gifts can be obnoxiously loud toys to play with. Like THIS ONE!!!

A rescue helicopter with a spinning propeller and buttons on the side that make awful noises, like the helicopter cranking up, the whap-whap-whap of the blades spinning, and of COURSE there's a siren. How could a rescue helicopter NOT have a siren!

It's a good thing these friends are such good babysitters, or I might have to trade them in on babysitters who give quiet, educational toys!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Apple festival

Biscuit is at a fun age right (well, he's fun most of the time, anyway). He's old enough to go and do a lot of things, including fairs and festivals. So I've been keeping an eye out for fun things for us to do.

Yesterday, we drove one town over and went to an annual apple festival.

The event was at a park that used to be a fort. It was settled by Moravians (German-speaking Protestants) in 1753. Each family was told to plant six apple trees per family member. Pretty soon, the whole area around what is now the park was covered in apple trees. So since the apples were so important to their way of life, the Moravians still celebrate with an annual apple festival.

Several of the old buildings are still standing in the park, and you can see demonstrations of old-time skills and crafts, such as blacksmithing and candlemaking.

Anyway, we got to the park right at lunch time, so we headed straight for the food area. Jeff wanted BBQ, and I decided I'd share a hamburger and fries with Biscuit. I wasn't sure what I wanted until I saw a food truck with "grass-fed beef burgers" printed on the side. "Yep. I'll take one of those," I told Jeff.

The burger truck was in the sun, so Jeff told me to get his BBQ and he'd stand in line for my hamburger and fries. I got Jeff's BBQ, then Biscuit and I found a shady spot and sat down on the grass.

And then we waited. And we waited. And we waited. Counting the time he stood in line and the time he waited for the food to be cooked, poor Jeff had to wait for 40 minutes for mine and Biscuit's food.

See poor Jeff on the right side in the green shirt? His
patience paid off. That burger was really good.

After lunch, we started walking around the different demonstrations and booths. We saw a blacksmith, a woman making baskets and a woman in a tent with lots of old-fashioned furnishings and cookware who talked about making candles and cooking on an open fire. She had made apple sauce and even an apple pie in cast iron cookware over a fire.

A blacksmith files down a piece he just hammered out.

A woman in old-fashioned dress talks about how life would've been in the mid- to late-1700s.

Even though Biscuit is old enough to spend a day at festivals and car shows and other events, he still doesn't have quite enough patience for the reading it takes to properly visit historical sites. So I only got a cursory glance at the old buildings at the park. I'd like to go back some time and take a better look.

One thing the kids seemed to enjoy was animal races. They started with pigs, then went to goats. It was a little odd, but the animals didn't seem to mind all the attention.

These were the rookie pigs. They're just learning how to race. They were really cute little things.

Then the pro-level pigs came out. The three on the right were ready
to go, but the one on the left got a little distracted.

They named the pigs after current race car drivers.

The goats all ran right over top of each other. They got cheese
doodles as their prize for crossing the finish line.

One area was set up with games for kids. And they were the kinds of games the kids would've played when the park was still a village. They had tug-of-war, hoop and stick races, bean bag toss, an early of form of bocce and sack races. They also had a basket of handheld toys like discs on strings that you make spin around and a little wooden cup on a stick that had a ball on a string. You had to try to get the ball into the little cup. It's harder than it looks.

This little thing was clearly made for kids. The hole wasn't even big enough for my head to fit in it.

Biscuit was good at the bean bag toss.

Go Biscuit go. It looks like they were racing, but the kids just
walked up, grabbed bags and started jumping. Even so, Biscuit said,
"I was trying to beat her, Mom, but she was going really fast!"

Go Biscuit, go!

Uh-oh. Somebody got distracted.

Jeff and Biscuit play tug-of-war.

One thing Biscuit does have patience for is music. As we were walking around, he heard live music and just headed straight toward it.

Biscuit walked right to an empty seat and crawled up into it. The funny part was that the empty seat was the last one on a row, right beside an older man with a white beard. Biscuit just grabbed his seat and focused his attention on the stage. Seeing as little man didn't seem to care that there wasn't room for Jeff and me, we grabbed a couple of seats on the row behind him. He'd look back every once in a while to make sure we were still there, but he just enjoyed the music.

The couple onstage (with a guitar and a fiddle) played a couple
of old-time cowboy-type songs. Biscuit loved it!

There were plenty of chairs set up around the music stage, but it was such a pretty, grassy, shady area, some people just threw out blankets and quilts to sit on.

This was one of the prettier quilts I saw. I love the pattern and colors.

After the music, Biscuit found some rocks that appeared to be the foundation of a building that's no longer there. Several other kids were walking around the rectangle of rocks, and Biscuit asked if he could, too. All the things to do at the festival, and most of the kids seemed to be enjoying walking on the rocks better than anything else.

Walking on the rocks was rough going. I found myself trying
to help Biscuit keep his balance from several yards away.
You can see the pointed-top fencing around the edges of where the old building
used to be. The building in the background is Gemeinhaus. It was built in 1788.
It's the only remaining German 18th century church with attached living quarters.
This picture is from the park's website. It's an eerie shot, but
you can imagine what it would've been like way back then.

If I'm completely honest, the only apples we came in contact with were the ones in the fried pies we ate. But they were so, so good. They were cooking them onsite, and when we paid for them, they handed them to us still warm. Biscuit and I split a pie, and I got exactly half. He matched me bite for bite and talked about how good it was.

I had to laugh at a story Jeff shared with me about food, too. I love kettle corn ... especially the kettle corn they make fresh at festivals and fairs. So when I saw a tent, I asked Jeff if he'd get me some.

The crowd at the festival was pretty varied. But there were quite a few hippy/granola/outdoorsy-type people there. Lots of hiking boots, cargo shorts, braided hair and broomstick skirts.

As Jeff stood in line for my popcorn, a woman walked up beside him and leaned over the table.

"Excuse me, is your kettle corn g-mod?" she asked.

"I'm sorry?" the 20-something salesman asked.

"Is your kettle corn genetically modified?" the woman asked, explaining her slang.

"Um, it's kettle corn," the guy said, smiling at the woman because he really had no idea what else to say. "We have free samples."

But the woman just walked away.

Oh well, that's more g-mod kettle corn for me!

The three of us had a good day together. Biscuit took a nap on the way home, and we hung out and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mr. Sunshine

Before Biscuit was born, I made a sign for the wall of his room that said, "Good morning, Sunshine." I also sing "You Are My Sunshine" to him. So sometimes, he'll snuggle up with me and ask, "Mom, am I still your sunshine?"

"Yes," I'll say to him. "You'll ALWAYS be my sunshine."

I took this picture today at a festival one town over from us (more to come on that tomorrow). Biscuit was sitting on Jeff's shoulders. Maybe it was the blue sky and clouds in the background, but the picture made me think about my Sunshine.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sharp-dressed man

Today, Biscuit sported a T-shirt that featured the name of Jeff's favorite band.The lead guitarist of the band often wears a tie like the one on the shirt.

Biscuit and I had to go buy new jeans for him (still having to buy skinny jeans because the regular cut, boot cut and carpenters slide up and down him without touching his waist or hips!). Lots of people commented on his tie, but the name of the band was so subtle, I don't think anyone noticed it.

But it makes Jeff happy, and that makes Biscuit happy. And if they're happy, so am I.

I'm not sure what's up with that sly little look and grin!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has been saying lately:

Thanks, Mom: Biscuit and I had dinner with a friend of mine tonight. We were supposed to meet her at 6:30, but we had some time to spare. So we went to the dollar store, and I told Biscuit he could pick out two things. He grabbed a race car and a dragon ... both red, of course.

Biscuit's birthday is in November, and I'm not sure how he knows it, but he's already told me what kind of party he wants. So I've been on the lookout for party supplies. I found a couple of things at the dollar store and took them to the checkout counter.

"Right now, I'm 3 1/2. But when it's my birthday, I'll be 4," Biscuit said. "This stuff is for my party."

"Wow," said the cashier. "That's really cool."

"Yeah," Biscuit said. "My mom is buying this stuff for me. I can have the car and dragon right now, but the other stuff is for later when I have my 4-year-old party."

Biscuit paused for a minute, looked at me and said, "Thanks, Mom, for letting me turn 4. That's nice of you to let me turn 4."

The ladies behind the counter found that quite funny, and I have to say, I did, too.

Almost right: Most of the kids at Biscuit's day care get picked up between 5 and 5:30 p.m. And as the classes get smaller and smaller, the teachers move the leftover kids to the afterschool room  and let them watch part of a movie.

The other day, Biscuit came home telling Jeff and me about this movie where the onions were so funny, and they talked funny. The big man always told the onions what to do. And they did it.

Jeff and I wracked our brains trying to figure out what movie would have onions that were able to talk and laugh and do things.

"Do you think he means 'minions'?" Jeff asked.

"MINIONS!" I said. "Of course."

"No, guy," Biscuit said. "Not MINIONS. They're ONIONS!"

Just checking: When I bathe Biscuit, I use the head-to-toe body wash. But Jeff uses a little kid bar of soap and shampoo.

As Jeff was giving Biscuit a bath the other night, he squirted some shampoo into his hand.

"Dad, what is that stuff?" Biscuit asked.

"This is shampoo," Jeff said.

"But not the kind of poo you put in the toilet," Biscuit said.

"Nope," Jeff said. "This is SHAM-poo, not toilet poo."

The whole conversation was funny enough, but then I realized that Jeff never cracked a smile,and he never stopped sudsing up Biscuit's hair. We're so used to these types of comments and questions that they don't even faze us.

Of course, that doesn't mean that I'm going to stop writing them down!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What happened today?

"What did you do at day care today?" Normally when I ask that question, I get a stock answer that I supplied to Biscuit a long time ago.

Not long after he started talking, I asked him that question. He looked at me, sort of confused, and said, "Don't know." So I said, "Did you play with your friends?" And he said, "I pway wif fwiends."

And that's the answer I've gotten ever since then. Until today.

Today, Biscuit and I were on the way home from day care, and I asked, "What did you do at day care today?"

"MOM!" Biscuit yelled. "Home living was a mess. It was all mixed up. Somebody put the dishes in the same place as the food, and the dishes and the food don't go together."

"Oh, wow," I said. "How did that happen?"

"Joe, John and Jack (not their real names) put them that way," he said, clearly astonished that any one human could be so irresponsible. "And then Miss Nicole had to help them put everything back. Home living was just all mixed up."

"Were you in home living when it happened?" I asked.

"No," he said. "Jimmy and me, we were in blocks, but then Joe, John and Jack had to go sit on the rug because they were not listening, and Jimmy and me, we went to home living."

In Biscuit's classroom, they have "play centers" -- the blocks center, the science center (with plastic dinosaurs, insects and other animals), the art center (with pencils, crayons, paper, etc.), the transportation center (with cars, trucks, trains, etc.), the books center, the sand table (which looks like a big dishpan on a stand with sand and sand toys), the water center (another big dishpan on a stand, but this one has water, measuring cups, funnels, etc.) and home living (which has dress-up clothes, plastic dishes, fake food, a play kitchen and other household things). 

Biscuit loves home living the best because that's where you'll find the firefighter helmet and jacket. So when I asked what he did when he got to the home living center, I wasn't surprised at all by his answer.

"Jimmy and me, we went to home living, and I dressed up like a firefighter. And Jimmy dressed up like a jack-in-the-box, and Jimmy was a mean jack-in-the-box, and he had a sword, so I got a sword, and I chinged him, and he chinged me back, and then he went down, and he didn't get back up. But he wasn't hurt. We were just pretending. And then Jimmy, he jumped out of his box, and he scared everybody."

"He scared everybody?" I asked.

"Yep," Biscuit said. "But I chinged him with my sword, and he won't scare anybody anymore."

Even though I didn't quite follow his story, it was a way better answer than "I played with me friends."

Monday, September 10, 2012

Multiple choice

Biscuit has favorites among his toys. So when he brings two toys to you and says, "Which one do you want, Mom?" I always go for the one that I know is Biscuit's favorite.

That might sound like a mean thing to do, but actually, I've used those situations to teach him to rephrase his question.

The other day, he brought a reddish-brown horse and a gray horse over to me. "Mom, which horse do you want to play with?" Biscuit asked.

"Um ..." I said, looking back and forth between them. "I think I'll take the red one."

Biscuit got a concerned look on his face and said, "But Mom, I wanted the red one."

"You asked me which horse I wanted, and I want the red one," I said.

"Oh," Biscuit said as he looked at the floor. His voice got deeper and he said, "Okay, Mom."

"Well, you know," I said. "You can ask the question in a different way. You can say, 'Mom, I want to play with the red horse. Do you want the gray one?' or you could say, 'Mom, I'm going to play with the red horse, would you like to pick one of the others?'"

"Oh yeah, Mom," Biscuit said. "You told me that one time before." I've actually told him more than one time before.

"So do you have a question for me?" I asked.

"Yep," Biscuit said. "Mom, may you like to play with this gray horse? I'm going to play with the red one."

"Yes, I may," I said. I know the grammar isn't right, but it sounded so funny, I had to go with it.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A full day

I sort of dreaded getting started yesterday because I knew there was so much on our list of things to do. Unlike usual, the list was all stuff outside our house (not that I don't have a list of things to do INSIDE the house, too).

Jeff, Biscuit and I left our house at about 11:30 a.m. yesterday and headed to one of the local home improvement stores. Two hours later (yes TWO hours later), we were leaving ... with air filters, paint chips, a toilet flapper, 7-watt low-voltage light bulbs and about a thousand ideas of things we can do with our house.

Our shopping worked up our appetites, so we stopped for pizza. It was such a weird time to eat lunch that we were the only people in the whole restaurant. I didn't mind, though, because our food was fresh and our server was attentive.

Next we headed the other home improvement store. We got a new birdfeeder, more paint chips, a light switch cover, a plug-in cover and even more ideas of stuff to do with our house.

Those places are truly dangerous!

Biscuit still loves naps. And when he gets tired, he goes to sleep. I guess that sounds like a simple thing, but I know moms who could duct tape their kids into their beds, and those kids would still find a way not to take a nap. We have never had that problem with Biscuit.

Some people ask if it's a hindrance to our schedule on the weekends. The timing can be frustrating, but frankly, we don't ever let it hold us back from doing anything.

The reason is, my boy will sleep anywhere. See?

Time for a nap? Yep. Just lay him down and give him a pocketbook on which to rest his head.

 We hadn't planned to be in the second store as long as we were, but Biscuit went to sleep, then we heard thunder and rain. So we decided to wander around and idea shop some more. An hour and a half later (really, no sane person should spend this long in these stores!), we were heading out of there.

Jeff asked if it was okay to ruin Biscuit's dinner, and I asked him what he had in mind. We went to a yogurt shop and got a treat. The place has miniature tables for the kids, so Biscuit parked himself in a red chair and told Jeff and me that we could go sit at a grown-up table.

He struck up a conversation with the couple at the table next to us. They asked him what kind of ice cream he had, then he asked them the same question. The man was having coffee ice cream.

"My Dad likes coffee," Biscuit said. "And cowboys like coffee, too."

The couple kept smiling and looking at us, as if we should be surprised by the conversation he was having with them. I just smiled back and nodded at them. I really wanted to say, "You have no idea how long it takes us just to get out of the grocery store when Biscuit is in a talking mood!"  

After a nap and frozen yogurt, Biscuit was refreshed and ready to go some more, so we hit a few more stores before heading home. And even though all of our purchases at the first two stores were practical, we each got a little something special before we found our way home.

Jeff got fancy toothpicks with spindle ends.
Jeff loves toothpicks. With a toothpick in his mouth, he can give me a kiss without even poking me. I don't know whether to praise his talent or punch him for being rude! I did buy him a tiny little toothpick holder for his pocket. So if you're ever eating corn on the cob around Jeff, you know where to go for the cleanup.

I got a giraffe ring holder.
I haven't worn my wedding rings a lot this summer. First it was because of the Fifth Disease swollen joints. Then it was because when it's hot, the skin under my rings gets irritated, so I have to leave them off for a few days. I always worry about where to leave them, so Jeff got me this giraffe ring holder. I bet his collar is worth more than the other giraffes' collars!

Biscuit got a new basketball hoop.

My Mama bought Biscuit an indoor basketball hoop with a soft ball, and he wanted to put it on the door of his bedroom. The only problem with that is that we can't always drop everything to go up and play with him. So I got him one to go in the kitchen. Yep. That's a basketball net on the back of my kitchen closet door.

Biscuit started tossing that ball like he had done it all his life. But what tickled me the most was his color commentary on his own playing efforts.

"He shoots, and HE SCORES!" Biscuit yelled after his first toss went into the hoop.

"Oh yeah! Oh yeah! Oh yeah!" Biscuit yelled after he got another one in.

"Okay, when I throw the ball to you, Dad, you throw it to the other teamer," Biscuit said. I was the other teamer. So Jeff threw it to me. I threw it to Biscuit. Then he threw it in the hoop.

It was a busy day followed by a fun night.