Thursday, November 29, 2012

Typical Biscuit

Biscuit is a smart and funny kid, and he does and says things all the time that remind Jeff and me of how smart and funny he actually is.

My car is in the shop having some work done on the computerS. I capitalized that S because I can't believe that my car has multiple computers. On my first car, I could open the hood and tell you what pretty much everything was. Nowadays, you have to study the manual to find out how to check the oil!

Anyway, Jeff, Biscuit and I have been sharing a car for a little while. It hasn't been terribly convenient because of the later hours I've worked with our computer upgrade at work, and Jeff has been filling in on the high school sports reporter beat until they can hire someone to replace the guy who left.

But we've worked hard to coordinate our schedules and make compromises when we need to.

Anyway, I worked a little later than usual this evening, so Jeff went to pick up Biscuit, then came back for me. He called and asked if I was ready, and I told him to take Biscuit around to look at Christmas lights or something because I needed a little more time.

Jeff decided to drop by our mechanic's shop.

Biscuit and Jeff walked in the door, and before Jeff could even say anything, Biscuit said, "Hey, Steve. Is my Mom's car fixed and ready to go?"

Steve couldn't help but laugh, but he didn't dismiss Biscuit.

"I'm working on it as hard as I can, and you'll be able to ride in your Mom's car again real soon," Steve told him.

Jeff and Biscuit were waiting at the curb for me when I walked out of work. I got in the car and asked Biscuit how his day was and the usual chit-chat. Then Jeff asked about dinner.

I have to admit that we've been eating out a lot lately because either I'm working late or just wiped out from work, so when Jeff asked the question, I said, "Well, we have some leftovers or I could do something quick at home or we could eat out."

Jeff said, "Biscuit was just talking about how he could smell fish sticks and sweet potatoes."

"Yeah," Biscuit said. "But you know what else I can smell? ... Pizza! I LOVE pizza. We should have pizza for dinner."

And we gave in.

As we were pulling into the parking lot at the pizza place, it occurred to me that it has been several months since we've been to this particular restaurant. Even so, Biscuit looked at the restaurant windows as we pulled into a parking place and said, "Hey! They changed their tens."

"They what?" I asked.

"They changed their tens," Biscuit said again.

I looked at Jeff to see if he understood what Biscuit was talking about.

"Last time we were here," Jeff said, "they had big signs on each window that any pizza was $10. Now, they're $11."

How and why did his little brain hang on to that particular information?

After we had dinner, we went to do a little shopping. Biscuit has been asking for a belt, a new winter hat and gloves. Do you know how hard it is to find a belt and gloves for a kid his age and size? I can find plenty of mittens, but no gloves.

Jeff was driving down one of the rows in the parking lot when Biscuit looked up and yelled so loudly that Jeff and I both jumped.

"FIRE TRUCK!!! FIRE TRUCK!!!" he screamed.

So Jeff drove over and parked on the row next to the fire truck.

Biscuit and I were walking around the truck, and he said, "It's a pumper truck, Mom."

And it was. Then Jeff said, "What else do they call pumper trucks?"

"Engines!" Biscuit said.

I got Biscuit to stand right beside the front door of the truck that had the city fire department logo. Then I took a picture with my phone and texted it to my brother. (My phone isn't fancy, so I can't email it to myself to post here, and I don't have any kind of downloading capabilities, either.)

Just as Biscuit and I started to turn around to head into the store, the headlights, the red lights on top of the truck and some flashing lights on the sides all lit up. Then the engine started.

It scared Biscuit so bad that he took off running across the parking lot. Luckily, his coat has a hood on it, so I was able to yank him back.

Jeff was standing there laughing, but Biscuit and I had no idea a firefighter was sitting in the driver's seat of that truck.

The firefighter rolled down his window, and we walked over to talk.

"I'm sorry if I scared you, Little Man," the firefighter said. "I just thought you'd like to see the lights flash, and to do that, I have to crank up the truck."

Biscuit probably didn't hear the man because he had his hands clasped tightly over his ears.

The firefighter apologized to me for scaring Biscuit, but I told him not to worry about it. He gave Jeff and me a good laugh for the evening.

Biscuit told the firefighter that he went to Station 21 for his birthday.

"Oh," the firefighter said, "that's a good station. They have a hazmat truck and everything."

We finally made our way into the store and got what we needed. And I lucked out and found a belt in Biscuit's size. The hats and mittens were picked over, so I'm still on the hunt for those.

By the time we got home, we had time to give Biscuit a bath, let him play for about 10 minutes, then he was off to bed. The mechanic shop, pizza and a real-live firetruck ... could his night have been any better?!?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has said recently:

More stories: Sometimes Biscuit gets little books from restaurants or other places, and we have to read them, regardless of what the story is about.

Quite often, there isn't much to the story. Like the one I read him last night.

"The End," I said.

"Well that didn't take very long, Mom," Biscuit said.

If you were to bet on what happened next, I hope you bet that I had to read him another book to make up for the short length of the first one.

No respect: Biscuit got some nice block kits for his birthday. He's too young to put them together by himself, but he loves playing with them when they're done. And I've discovered that I love putting them together.

Last weekend, I spent about 40 minutes building a firetruck with doors that open and tool compartments that raise up. It's really cool, and after seeing how much he loved it, I was proud of myself for making the time to put it together.

Later that evening, Jeff and Biscuit were upstairs together. A piece of the firetruck I built broke off, and Biscuit asked Jeff if he could fix it.

Jeff put it back together, and you'd have thought he handed Biscuit a million dollars!

"DAD!" he said. "You fixed it! You fixed it! You pulled me out of the ocean, and you put my toys back together when I break them, and that's why you're my hero!"

And what appreciation do I get for building the dang thing in the first place? Nada!

Coming home: Weekend before last, we went to my parents' house for a combo birthday dinner for my oldest niece and Biscuit. Mama figured out that we'd be leaving Sunday evening, and the following Thursday was Thanksgiving. So she asked if they could just keep Biscuit and bring him home when they came here for the holiday.

Jeff and I got to see a couple of movies and do some shopping while Biscuit was away.

At one point, I asked Jeff if I was a horrible mother. He asked me why, and I said, "I feel like I should be pining away for Biscuit, but I'm perfectly fine without him here. Does that make me a terrible person?"

"Of course not," Jeff said. "It's not like he's gone forever. You know he's coming back day after tomorrow, so it's perfectly fine to enjoy your time without him."

As my parents were driving into town, Mama looked out her window and said, "Hey, there's the farmers' market."

"Yep," Biscuit said. "That's the farmers' market. My dad and I went to a car show out there one time." (And I'd like to mention that I was at that car show, too, but once again ... no respect.)

Then when they got a little closer to our house, Biscuit said, "Just three more turns, and then I'll be home." Then he proceeded to name the roads Daddy needed to take to get him home.

Even though I didn't sit around pining for him, and my whole house was neater and quieter, I was glad for Biscuit to be home.

Listen up: I have mentioned before that Biscuit turned 4, and his ears stopped working. He definitely has selective hearing these days.

A couple of years ago, this restaurant had an annoying song as part of their TV commercial, and Jeff sings that song quite often, to the complete annoyance of Biscuit.

"Dad!" Biscuit will say in a stern voice. "Don't sing that song anymore."

That's usually when I say something like, "Don't tell Dad what to do."

Then Biscuit will follow up with, "Dad, will you please not sing that song anymore?" And Jeff will finally agree.

This morning, right after Jeff brushed Biscuit's teeth, he started singing the jingle. And Biscuit wasn't having any of it.

"Dad," he said. "I've told you more than once not to sing that song anymore. You need to listen to me better."

Hmmmm. I wonder where he's heard that before?!?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I'm back

I have so many things to share, I just don't know where to start.

So I'm going to start with the fact that Christmas is coming, and Biscuit really gets it this year.

I got him a pair of Christmas PJs and thought he would be excited. But when we put them on after his bath, he was confused.

"Mom, is it Christmas?" he asked.

"No," I said, "but you can wear Christmas pajamas anytime after Thanksgiving and before Christmas."

It took a little convincing, but he finally gave in.

Here's Biscuit in his Christmas jammies.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I got nothin'

I'm sitting here thinking about a lot of things Biscuit has done or said lately, and I just don't have the energy to write them down.

I'm working on a big project at work, and we've just moved into the crunch time near the end.

So as much as I'd like to share stuff about Biscuit, I need to take another night off.

Send a prayer out that this work project won't cause me to fall off the edge of sanity!

And I'll share some more Biscuit stories soon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's been a bad day

My son has developed a listening problem. 

He says he hears me. He repeats my words back to me. Then he disregards them outright.

Yep. He better be glad he's so cute with his Play-Doh mustache, or I'd have to sell him to the highest bidder!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Moving up

Technically, Biscuit shouldn't have moved up to the 4-year-old class at day care until today. But after the director went class to class last week to check the number of kids per teachers, she said Biscuit needed to move up early. So his first day in "the fours" as they call it, was last Tuesday.

I didn't deal well with it, and neither did his 3-year-old class teacher.

Last Monday when I picked up Biscuit, his 3-year-old class teacher said, "I've got to tell you something, and I'm not happy about it."

My first thought was that Biscuit had hit somebody and was in trouble or something.

"He's moving up to the fours tomorrow morning," she said. And she had tears in her eyes.

"Why?" I asked. "I thought he would have the rest of the week with you."

"I thought so, too," she said, "but there's a 2-year-old who's ready to move up, but he can't until one of the 3-year-olds moves up."

She was upset, and I felt really bad for her. She loves Biscuit, and she'll miss him.

So the next morning, I walked Biscuit to the door of his new classroom. And it hit me that this would be the last class he has at this day care. After this year, he'll be done here. And it seems like it's all moving really fast. Too fast.

So I start tearing up.

Biscuit's teacher in the 4-year-old class was one of his teachers from the 1-year-old class. So I've known her for three and a half years now.

And you know how she responded to me crying about Biscuit? She laughed at me.

Yep. She laughed. No sympathy whatsoever.

"You know he's gonna be fine in here," she said, "so what are you crying for?"

And my brain knows she's right. But my heart was sad.

We talked about their curriculum and the things Biscuit would be working on in her class.

"Do y'all work on handwriting?" I asked her. "Because his handwriting is terrible."

Her eyes got real big, and she said, "Don't you talk about my baby that way!"

"I'm just saying that he needs to work on drawing his letters, that's all," I said.

She said they definitely work on handwriting. They also do critical thinking exercises, like "Today's weather is rainy. What does that mean?" Then the kids respond by saying they need to wear a jacket or carry an umbrella or wear rain boots.

She said they also work on getting them ready for kindergarten. Kids have to be so much smarter these days before they even start kindergarten. We learned our alphabet in kindergarten. Nowadays, kids have to know some simple words when they walk in the door. It's crazy.

So it sounds like Biscuit will be learning a lot this year. And he's excited about it. Jeff was helping him brush his teeth Tuesday morning, and Biscuit said, "Dad, I wish I could go to the fours again today."

"You can," Jeff said. "That will be your class every day now."

"Really?!?" Biscuit said, and his face lit up.

So I guess I'll suck it up and realize that my baby is growing up.

Here he is ready for his first day in the 4-year-old class:


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Biscuit's day

Biscuit told me back in August that he wanted a firefighter birthday party. Even though it seems like every other word out of his mouth is "fire", I thought he would probably change his mind. After all, three months is an eternity to a kid his age.

But he never wavered.

I showed him three firefighter plates online and let him pick which one he wanted. Then I let him decide between a cake and cupcakes. And he chose the flavor.

We met five of his friends, their parents and some of our other friends at the fire station. Firefighter Tyler gave us a tour. He gave a safety lecture. Then he said, "Let's go look at the engine," and Biscuit was right on his heels. The firefighter books Biscuit has refer to the engines as pumper trucks. And he reminded me of that yesterday evening.

It's funny. He's been dropping facts that he learned yesterday. You can see the wheels turning in his little head, then he'll say something like, "Mom, firefighters wear their walkie-talkies in case they get a call," or "Mom, the firefighters cook their dinner at the fire station."

I hope the other boys learned some stuff, too.

The tour went a little long for kids their age, but I think everybody had fun anyway.

One little boy, who is 13 months younger than Biscuit, got ready to go before the tour was over. The firefighters had explained how they keep the floor so clean in the bays where the trucks are. And I'm glad they were clean because this little boy just laid down on his belly. He was done. No fit. No tantrum. He was just done.

So the firefighter leading our tour looked over and saw him. Then he pointed to him and said, "See? This is what you do if there's a fire with smoke in your house. You get down as low as you can and lay on the floor."

The little boys mom smiled and said, "Yeah, stop, drop and whine."

After the tour, we came back to our house for hot dogs, chips and cupcakes. We had a house full of people. I always love that.

Biscuit got lots of cool presents, too. I felt bad because I would hand him a present, let him open it, then as soon as he saw what it was and got excited, I had to take it away and say, "Yeah, that's really cool. You can play with it later." Then I'd hand him another present.

After everybody left, Biscuit and I sat down in the living room floor and went back through everything. We read all the cards and talked about who gave him what. We got all the toys out of their boxes and figured out how it all worked.

I have decided, though, that my eyesight isn't getting any better. Some of the toys he got that required assembly included tee-tiny little stickers that I had to apply. I think I might have to put a limit on those kinds of toys next year!

Anyway, when Biscuit and I were sitting in the living room floor last night, he put one hand on each of my cheeks and said, "Mom, I love you."

"I love you, too, baby," I said.

"No, Mom," Biscuit said, acting like he was getting mad. "I'm not done telling you yet."

"I'm sorry," I said. "Go ahead."

He grabbed my cheeks again and said, "I love you, Mom. And I had a good, good birthday and fire station trip."

I couldn't have asked for a better compliment.

Biscuit never got a nap yesterday, so he was out earlier than usual. I watched him for a little while as he slept. I think I manage to love that child more every day.

But enough sappy stuff, here are some photos from the day:

Firefighter Tyler explains the safety rules at the fire station.

He said let's go look at the truck, and Biscuit was right on his heels.
Firefighter Doug gets ready to step on the scale to weigh his
gear. We found out that his gear weighs about 50 pounds.

Biscuit and Firefighter Doug in his full gear.

Biscuit couldn't hold the hose nozzle for very long. It was pretty heavy.

I think Biscuit is standing there picturing his future career.

This ladder truck pulled in as we were looking at the pumper truck.
Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing, per Biscuit's request.

Biscuit blows out the No. 4 candle he picked out. I had to take all the No. 4
candles off the rack to get to that red one. Red is his favorite color, you know.

Too bad Biscuit wasn't excited about this firetruck!

Biscuit checks out some Play-Doh he got.

Biscuit loved looking through all his presents last night. He said,
"I can't believe it, Mom. Everybody brought me presents!"

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Biscuit's birthday party

We finally broke down and told Biscuit last night that his party today was going to start with a tour of a fire station near our house.

He was more than a little excited.

Biscuit was in the shower with Jeff this morning, and he was singing and dancing and talking about birthdays and parties and firefighters.

Jeff was trying to get the shampoo out of Biscuit's hair, and he started using the handheld shower head to squirt Biscuit.

"Dad! Don't squirt that water on me," Biscuit said.

"Okay," Jeff said, but he did it again.

"DAD! Don't provoke me!" Biscuit said.

What? He turns 4 and suddenly he starts using big words?!?

We met his friends, their parents and some of mine and Jeff's friends at the fire station. The guys who led our tour all have young kids, so I think it helped them talk to our party group today.

I'll write more about the party and share some pictures tomorrow, but for now, here's some video a friend of ours took:

Happy birthday, Biscuit!

Today is Biscuit's fourth birthday. And I can't believe it's been four years already. 

It seems like only yesterday that Jeff and I were trying to figure out how to be a family with just the two of us. Then all our hopes and efforts came to fruition.

We got Biscuit.

Biscuit has a great sense of humor. He's really smart and is able to apply things he learns to his everyday life. He's a loving little boy. He loves hugs and kisses. He gives great compliments, and even as young as he is, he seems to know what to say to make people feel better. He has beautiful blue eyes, and when he isn't showing off his fake version of a smile, he has a very sweet grin. Biscuit is not intimidated by people. He strikes up conversations wherever we go.

Biscuit loves books, cars, baseball and horses. He loves pizza, honey chicken and chocolate milk. Well, anything chocolate, really. He loves Johnny Cash and often sings along because he's heard the songs so many times, he knows the words. Sometimes we'll be riding down the road, and from the back seat, we'll hear, "I fell into a burning ring of fire. I went down, down, down, and the flames went higher. And it burns, burns, burns ... the ring of fire ... the ring of fire."

Biscuit loves cowboys and firefighters best of all. And what he doesn't know is that tomorrow morning at 11 a.m., we're going to meet some of his friends at a fire station near our house for a tour.

As Biscuit and I were walking into the house this evening, he stopped on the sidewalk, looked up at the sky and said, "Mom, do you want to make a wish on a star?"

"Sure," I said. "You go first."

"I wish I could meet a REAL firefighter," Biscuit said.

"I think your wish might just come true," I said.

This morning, I toasted a waffle and put a candle in it for Biscuit's breakfast. Jeff brought him downstairs, and he was all excited. He closed his eyes, made a wish (probably for the same thing he used his star wish for), then blew out the candle.

As he started to eat his waffle, he looked up with tears in his eyes.

"What's wrong?" I asked him.

He answered me in a halting, trembling voice, right on the verge of tears.

"Mom, we sent out my firetruck invitations, but nobody came," he said. "Nobody is here, Mom. And I don't have any cupcakes. I just have this waffle."

My heart broke right in two!

"Baby ..." I said to him. "Today is your birthday, but your birthday party is tomorrow. All your friends will be here tomorrow. And you WILL have cupcakes."

"I'll have a party tomorrow?" Biscuit asked, his face looking a little brighter. "Everyone will be here tomorrow? And I'll get cupcakes?"

"Yes," I assured him. "We'll have a party tomorrow."

Let's hope Biscuit's birthday wish comes true.

Biscuit couldn't decide between the two fire truck pictures I showed him,
so I made invitations with both and sent half of each out to our guests.

Biscuit's birthday waffle.

Biscuit makes his wish.

The candle is out. Time for syrup!

Our friends who recently moved away sent Biscuit
presents. I let him open them this evening.
Check it out ... a firefighter Christmas ornament.

A new game! Biscuit likes to play games. Plus,
it's something the three of us can do together.

Party pictures to come tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What is it?

Take a look at this photos and tell me what you see.

If you say a bat and a clothes hanger, you'd be wrong.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

"Biscuit, what are you doing with that hanger and that bat?" Jeff asked.

"No, Dad!" Biscuit said. "It's not a hanger and a bat. It's my bow and arrow."

Well, clearly!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The vote

Jeff and I had planned to do early voting this year, but we just never could get it done.

So after work, we picked up Biscuit and headed to the polls. There was nobody in line, and seeing as we had Biscuit in tow, that was a good thing.

As we were arriving at the little church that serves as our polling place, Biscuit asked, "Mom, what is voting?"

"Voting is when we get to choose who will be in charge of our country," I said to Biscuit.

"You mean God?" Biscuit asked.

"Not quite that high up," I said, smiling. "We're going to vote for the president."

"What is a president?" Biscuit asked.

Clearly, this was not going to be easy. Biscuit was in full question mode this evening, and he was slowly pecking away at my patience.

"The president is the person who's in charge of our country," I explained.

"Does the president tell firefighters and police officers what to do?" Biscuit asked.

"Sort of," Jeff said. "The president helps make laws, and the firefighters and police make sure people follow the laws."

I can't even remember all the questions he asked us, but he got really mad at me for shushing him as we walked into the polling place.

Jeff and I signed in and were escorted to our respective voting machines by poll workers. Biscuit went with me.

"Mom ..." Biscuit said.

"Shhhhh," I said.

"But Mom," Biscuit said. "I was just going to tell you that I wish I could vote."

"Shhhhhh," I said, getting a little frustrated because I couldn't concentrate on the buttons I needed to push.

We finally finished and headed out to the car. As I was fastening the straps on Biscuit's car seat, he said, "Mom, I wish I could provoke."

"Provoke?" I asked.

"Yeah," Biscuit said. "Like you and Dad just did."

"Actually, 'provoke' is when you make somebody mad," I explained. "'Vote' is what Dad and I just did."

"Then I wish I could vote, Mom," Biscuit said.

"Well, voting is for grownups," I said. "So when you get to be old enough to vote, Dad and I will go with you and teach you how to do it."

"Okay," he said, and that seemed to satisfy him.

So 50,000 questions later, I can conclude that in the future, my son will be ready to do his civic duty.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Beach videos

When we got ready to leave the beach, Biscuit said he didn't want to go.

"I don't want to go either, baby, but we have to," I said.

"What will happen to our hotel, Mom?" Biscuit asked.

"They'll let somebody else stay in our room," I explained to him.

"But I don't want anybody else to stay in our room," Biscuit said. "That's OUR room."

"I know, but maybe we can come back and stay in that room again sometime," I said. "Would that be okay?"

"Yeah," Biscuit said, but he was truly sad when he said it.

Anyway, here are some videos of our time at the beach when Biscuit was happier. (I have to apologize for the quality of some of the videos. The wind was blowing so hard, I was having a hard time keeping the camera steady. Also, my freezing hands got a little slap-happy with the zooming in and out button.)

  1. Biscuit was excited every time he climbed the stairs to get to the ocean. I guess this is his ocean dance.
  2. Biscuit and his first built-by-himself sandcastle. He even poked his fingers in the sides to make windows.
  3. This video was taken after Biscuit had his fall into the water. He was a little skittish at first, but he got right back in there.
  4. After Biscuit got excited about the waves again, he screamed like a little girl.
  5. If you need a minute of relaxation, here you go.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Out of the mouth of my babe -- the beach version

A few things Biscuit said while we were at the beach:

At the fort: When we were at the fort, Biscuit had lots of questions about the soldiers.

"Where are the soldiers, Mom?" Biscuit asked.

"No soldiers live here now," I explained to him. "They used to live here, but now, it's just a place for people to visit."

"Mom, I have to pee," Biscuit said. So Biscuit and I left the fort and made our way all the way back to the visitor's center. I was quite a trek.

"Mom, where did the soldiers pee?" Biscuit asked.

"Well, they would've peed outside," I told him. "They didn't have bathrooms like we have now."

We walked into the bathroom, and Biscuit said, "Mom, the soldiers didn't pee in this bathroom because this is the bathroom for girls. Except for right now, because I'm a boy, but I have to pee in the girls' bathroom when I come with you. Did the soldiers pee in the boy's bathroom?"

"No, baby," I said. "They had different kinds of bathrooms back then."

As we left the bathroom, Biscuit saw a display with several military weapons. I was glad we could move on from the bathroom conversation. Or so I thought.

"Mom, why do soldiers carry guns?" Biscuit ask.

Holy moly! How the heck am I supposed to handle that one?!? 

Luckily, as I was trying to form my answer, we saw some other visitors and Biscuit struck up a conversation with them about being at the beach. Whew! That was a close one.

The wedding: Jeff and I got married on the beach right beside the hotel we stayed at on this trip. Biscuit is fascinated with our wedding. When he sees any of our wedding photos, he always asks about my "fancy dress", and he wants to know about mine and Jeff's wedding rings and how our wedding happened.

"Mom, when you and Dad got married on that beach, I didn't get to go?" Biscuit asked.

"No, you didn't get to go," I said. "But that's only because you weren't born yet."

"But if I had been born yet, you would have let me go there?" he asked.

"Definitely!" I said.

A former life: Jeff and Biscuit were talking about the ocean and ocean animals.

"Dad, when I was just a baby, we came here, and I saw a humpback whale. His name was Mighty," Biscuit said. He heard that name on one of the cartoon shows he watches.

Biscuit is really interested in time and ages. He often says things like, "Dad, when you were my age ..." or "Mom, when you were a baby ..." But sometimes it's a little different. He'll say, "Mom, when you're my age, I'll let you go to my day care" or "Dad, when you get to be my age, we can come back to the beach." Maybe Biscuit has found a hole in the time-space continuum.

Making a splash: We found a lot of sea shell fragments washing up on the beach. I'm not sure if it was because of the storm or the time of the year or what. But a lot of them were really thick chunks of shells.

In other words, great for splashing.

Biscuit would pick up these pieces of shells and get very, VERY excited about the splashing possibilities.

"WHOA, Mom! Check out this one!" Biscuit would say.

Or if there was one that had an unusual shape or appearance, he'd pick it up and say, "WHAT IN THE WORLD?!?"

After he collected his shells, he would walk as close to the water as he could get without getting his boots wet, then he would lean back and throw them as hard as he could. And as he launched each shell, he would yell, "CANNONBALL!!!"

Has my kid been watching '80s party movies without my knowing about it?

Home sweet home

Leaving vacation is always hard for me. I feel like I have to squeeze in the last few things I wanted to do, the last restaurant I wanted to eat at, the last stores I wanted to shop in and the last few photos I wanted to take. And of course, all of this can't be done in just a few hours.

When my Mama goes on vacation, the last day is strictly travel time. You check out of the hotel ... sometimes even before the usual 11 a.m. ... get in the car and drive home.

Meanwhile, here's how our "leaving day" goes:

  1. We check out at the last possible second (this morning it was actually 5 minutes after the last possible second).
  2. We do stuff, eat, shop and take more pictures.
  3. We finally start driving toward home, spending the first 15 minutes talking about how we should've left earlier than we did.
  4. We wait until way past our usual dinner time to force ourselves to pull over and eat somewhere that can't compare to the good restaurants we gone to during our trip.
  5. Then we get home way too late to unpack or do laundry or do much of anything, really.

Thankfully, we bookended our vacation with weekend days, specifically for the packing, unpacking and laundry duties. Not to mention recuperation.

One more day, then back to the grind.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Last full day

Today was our last full day at the beach. Although, Jeff and I realized that we gain an hour tomorrow night, so we plan to stay an extra hour tomorrow!

I think if Jeff and I could pick somewhere new to live (without having to work, of course), this might be our spot. Jeff and I got married here, on the beach in front of the hotel next door to the one we're staying in on this trip.

Side note: Jeff and I are both sad that we don't get to stay at our wedding hotel anymore. It's a mom-and-pop hotel that was built in the late 50s or early 60s. It's not fancy, but it's clean, and homey, and we loved it there. Well, it WAS clean and homey. The couple who ran it retired and let their daughters take over, and they haven't done the greatest job at running it. The lobby looks great because that's where the daughters stay all day. But the rooms have gone downhill.

The daughters decided to make a couple of rooms pet-friendly. But what they didn't do was keep the pet-room comforters separated from the regular-room comforters. So when I turned our covers down for the night, the back side of our comforter was covered in black and white dog hair. There were other problems, too, so we just decided to take our business to the hotel next door. As sad as it was to leave our other place, we've been very pleased with our decision. This is our fourth stay at this hotel, and we've been happy every time.

Anyway, this morning, as we ate our breakfast, we got to watch a pod of dolphins migrating south toward warmer waters. Then we went down and played in the sand and walked on the beach. Everybody stayed dry today, and I shot some video of Biscuit outrunning the waves. Unfortunately, I don't have my card reader with me, so the video will have to wait until I get home. 

We came back to the room for lunch, then we headed out and did a little shopping, then drove over to a military fort and state park. We had another full day, and none of us wants to go home tomorrow.

Here are a few pictures from the day:

These dolphins were heading south toward warmer water (and plentiful food). We watched
a pod of about 8 of them. They were very playful as they made their way past our hotel.

One dolphin tail and one dolphin fin.

Biscuit had lunch on the balcony. He got a HUGE hamburger for dinner
last night and was perfectly happy when we told him that he didn't have
to eat the whole thing. "You can bring the other half back to the hotel for lunch
tomorrow, okay?" I said to him. "I CAN?!?" Biscuit said. He liked that idea a lot.
Jeff and Biscuit walk into the fort. The fort is at the tip end of
the island, so it's bordered by water on three sides.

This was an active fort during the Civil War, then it was used for staging during World War II.

I love the staircases that lead up to the top level of the fort. There are four of them.

Biscuit mans one of the cannons on the top level of the fort.

I know Biscuit was annoyed, but when we were on the top level, I made him hold hands
with either Jeff or me. There are no guardrails, and that's a mighty far piece to fall.
Biscuit was looking to see if there were any
cannonballs in the cannon. Thankfully, there weren't.
Visitors can read about the cormorants, then check out a fire engine and police car.
This is the view of the channel that runs alongside the fort. Even though it's
close to shore, the water is really deep. This area hosts some very large boats.
Since you can only see sunsets here for a short time each year, I was hoping
to get more pictures of them. It just didn't work out that we were at our hotel at
the right time. This was just after the sun set this evening, and it was beautiful!

Friday, November 2, 2012

More from the beach

Let me start by saying that everyone is alive and well.

Then let me add that my husband almost let my son drown in the ocean.

Well, actually, Biscuit's head never even got wet, but when you are as afraid of water as I am, it was easy to jump to that conclusion.

We were out walking on the beach, and Biscuit and Jeff were trying to outrun the waves. I had walked ahead of them looking for a few seashells to add to the sand table at Biscuit's day care.

I heard a holler and turned around to see Biscuit lying in the water with only his head sticking up.

Biscuit and Jeff would stand right at the edge of the water and wait as long as they could before turning to run away from the waves. Biscuit was wearing a sweat suit and his firefighter boots (which are actually rain boots). Biscuit looked toward me for just a second, and a bigger wave caught him off guard. 

Water rushed into his firefighter boots, so when he tried to turn and run, he couldn't lift his feet. So over he went!

I think my heart skipped a few beats, and I know my lungs went a little wacky because I couldn't catch my breath. Biscuit's head was out of the water the whole time. He even kept his sunglasses on. But I don't recall being so paralyzed with fear. There was no way I could've gotten to him before the next wave came, but I felt myself trying to move ... but I couldn't. I felt numb all over.

After the fact, I'm really glad I didn't run to Biscuit. I think he would've seen me panic, and he would've thought he was supposed to panic. When Biscuit falls, he always looks straight to my face to see how I'm going to respond. I think he's trying to figure out how bad it is by seeing how I react. He's been doing that since he was wee little.

I fought hard today and was able to keep a straight and calm face. I'm not sure if it was fear taking over or if I did it consciously, but either way, I'm glad he didn't see me panic.

Of course, it was all Jeff's fault. Who else could I blame?

He scooped Biscuit up and just started talking to him like nothing had happened.

Then Biscuit looked up and said, "DAD! You're my hero! You saved me! You picked me back up from those waves. You're my hero!"

Jeff looked at me smiling, and I said, "Don't think I'm going to agree with him. You almost let my baby drown!"

Jeff and I each had one of Biscuit's hands, helping him walk back to the room. It was a pretty long walk, and I know Biscuit had to be cold. He was soaked.

We had brought down a bag of sand shovels and buckets to build sand castles, so as we were getting close to the stairs to go back to the hotel, Biscuit said, "Mom, don't forget the sand castle buckets and shovels."

I smiled at Jeff and said, "Dad is going to get that stuff. And he's going to do a lot of other things Mama tells him to do, too!"

"That's right, boy," Jeff said.

When we got to the door of the hotel, I stripped Biscuit down to his underwear. There's a short hall that leads to the elevator, so I figured Biscuit in his underwear would be better than him dripping water all the way up to our room.

He pushed the button for the elevator, and for the first time since we've been here, the doors opened and people were getting off. And Biscuit was standing there ... wet ... just in underwear.

"He fell into the ocean," I said, like I needed to explain that I don't ordinarily let my kid run around in his underwear in cold weather and in strange places. The people just smiled and kept walking.

As soon as we got to the room, Jeff and Biscuit went straight into the shower. Some warm pajamas and a leftover slice of pizza later, Biscuit was feeling good again.

I am so thankful that Biscuit doesn't seem the least bit traumatized by the incident. I could see where it could completely freak him out, but if one of us had to be standing beside him when it happened, I'm glad it was Jeff and not me.

Anyway, here are a few pictures from our day:

The morning started with chocolate chip muffins on the balcony. Biscuit was
wearing Lightning McQueen jammies with remnants of his Halloween costume.

Biscuit was fascinated by the fishing boats.

It's hard to get family pictures taken, but I found a deck
railing in a perfect spot to use the self-timer on the camera.

Jeff explains to Biscuit why the sailboats have to "park" in the water instead of in the boat
slips. There were a couple of sailboats on land, so Biscuit got to see how tall the keels are.

What could be better than your son running
toward you with open arms, hollering your name?
I got 10 kisses. Lucky me!
Biscuit gets very dramatic when he sees something he doesn't expect.
He's almost like a game show host. "Mom ... I see a ... POLICE BOAT!!!

My beautiful boy.
Sunset on the docks. We saw two dolphins heading south as we waited
for the sunset. They migrate toward warmer water in late fall and early winter.
Biscuit capped off his night with a couple of episodes of "Tom and Jerry."