Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Jeff had to cover a basketball game this evening, so Biscuit and I walked over to our neighbor's New Year's party.

Biscuit was the only kid there, but he behaved well and talked to people. Well, at least for the first 45 minutes. For the last 15 minutes (and I might mention after he had a brownie!), Biscuit was too wound up to be in a room full of adults. I was ready to put him out in our neighbor's fenced-in yard!

So Biscuit and I headed home after about an hour, but not without some goodies from my neighbor, including clapping hands, a tiara and a couple of horns (one of which has already been taken away from the boy).

I gave Biscuit one chance to make all the noise he could, and I think he did a good job!

Happy New Year, everybody!

Scenes of the season, Part 1

Here are a few pictures of Biscuit from Christmas week:

Biscuit got this game from Grandmama and Papa.
It's like the old Ants in the Pants game, except that you
try to flip the ants into Oscar the Grouch's trashcan.

Biscuit got a new robe, too. It has small embroidered
sports balls on the breast pocket and a large
embroidered picture of sports balls on the back.

"Look how many presents I have!"

Santa's little helper.

Santa's little helper needs a smaller hat.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The in-laws are in trouble

My in-laws come to our house the week before Christmas and stay through the end of January, alternating time between us and Jeff's brother's family.

I'm usually happy to have them, but after Biscuit opened one particular Christmas present, I might have to unwelcome them!

Check this out and see if you agree:

My in-laws left their gifts to us under our tree for when we got back from my parents' house. I'm guessing they didn't want to be within my reach when Biscuit opened this present.

I should've known something was up when my father-in-law said to me, "You just remember, I had nothing to do with it."

I didn't let him off the hook, though. I told him it was guilt by association.

All I have to say is that they better be glad they got me such good gifts, or they might be sleeping in the shed when they come back here!

And in case you can't tell, Biscuit absolutely loves the thing!

Christmas with family

We spent the weekend before Christmas with my family. Since they live 2 1/2 hours away from us, it's a little too much to do in one day, so we usually go there the weekend before or weekend after Christmas.

My family likes to play, so we did a lot of that while we were there.

We met my brother and his family for dinner Friday night on our way there. Then Saturday morning, we went to my nephew's basketball game. He's 9, and he's really getting into his playing. I think Biscuit enjoyed watching him and yelling for him.

My Mama and I made some candy and cookies Saturday afternoon while Biscuit took a nap. 

And speaking of Biscuit's naps, I don't know what we're going to do come August when the boy starts kindergarten. They don't take naps in kindergarten anymore. I don't know how Biscuit is going to make it through the day without sleeping for a while.

Anyway, Saturday evening, my niece read the Christmas story, and we opened our presents. It seemed like we got done earlier than past years, so I was trying to think of something fun to do with the kids.

At 8:30 p.m. on that December night, it was 65 degrees (it had been 72 degrees that afternoon), so I figured we could take advantage of that and head outside.

Flashlight tag!

We gathered all the flashlights we could find and everyone from 5-year-old Biscuit to my 73-year-old Daddy played. The way you play is that one person is "it." You set boundaries like, you can hide from this driveway to the front of the shop to the house to the road, but not in the field. With that established, the "it" person stays in the house and counts to 30 while everyone else heads outside to hide. You can use your flashlight to find your hiding spot, but then you turn it off and keep still. 

The "it" person turns on his or her flashlight and heads out looking for people. If the "it" person's light shines on somebody, that person who was shined has to run to base (which was the front porch).

Got it?

Most places still have too much light around, even at night, but at my parents' house, there are no street lights. If the moon isn't shining, it's dark. DARK!

I wish I could explain how funny it was to watch Jeff chase my Daddy to the front porch base.

We did cheat one time. All the hiders walked out and stood in the field, even though our rules strictly prohibited being in the field. Then we all stifled giggles as we watched Jeff and Biscuit search frantically around the yard. We let them look for a while, then we all rushed the yard onto the porch. (And the fact that we were standing as a group in an open field, and Jeff and Biscuit couldn't see us should explain just how dark it was.)

We went to my parents' church Sunday morning, then all had lunch together. It's always so loud when all 10 of us are together. The kids are playing and squealing. The adults are trying to talk over the kids. But it's very festive.

It was still really warm, so the kids were outside without jackets. Then my brother hooked the trailer behind the tractor and took us on a hay ride.

We rode through the field.

We rode through the woods.

Then back into the field again.

I'm not sure why Biscuit was holding so tight to
my niece's jacket sleeve. Her arm wasn't even in it.
Despite the serious look on Biscuit's face, we all had fun. At some point, we started singing Christmas carols. It did feel a little weird to be singing, "Dashing through the snow" when we were riding on a trailer with short sleeves and no jackets.

When we looked up and saw these clouds moving in, we knew we better head back to the barn. And we timed it just right. We were back in the house about five minutes when the skies opened and the heavens poured.

A little while later, Jeff, Biscuit and I had to make the dreaded ride home. It always seems to take twice as long to get home as it does to get there. But everybody had a good time, and we have the memories and pictures to prove it!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Hark! It's Biscuit!

Biscuit has enjoyed watching Charlie Brown's Christmas show. And since the song is featured prominently in the show, he decided that he should learn to sing "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing."

Jeff and I didn't teach him the song. He picked it up solely from watching the show.

And that's probably why he doesn't have all the words down just right.

Check out his version of the song:

I'm not sure what "meecee motter" is. Jeff was laughing about it, and I said to him, "You would pass out cold if I looked up 'meecee motter' in a Latin translation dictionary and meant 'mercy mild'!"
Also, the part about "join the men above the skies" tickles me.

But my favorite is that part about "a jealous pope proclaims." We're not even Catholic! He can't be singing about the pope!

We got a good laugh out of Biscuit's song (not in front of his face, of course!). But hey, he was pretty close to on-tune, and he made the effort. And that has to count for something.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Better late than never

Biscuit and I arrived home this evening to find a box on the front porch. As we walked toward it, I was wondering what it could possibly be (especially since we've given out all the presents we had planned on giving out).

Then I saw the return address label and started steaming.

Remember when I said my Christmas cards were lost in transit, and the printers sent me an email five days before Christmas to say that they couldn't reprint them for some reason, so they refunded my money. 

Well, guess what was in the box on my porch today? Yep. My Christmas cards.

So I'm going to send them out anyway. I hate that they're going to be late, but I'm guessing most people won't enjoy the photos any less because they showed up later than they should've.

I'm also cheating a little bit. Thank you cards for Biscuit's birthday gifts just completely slipped my mind, so I'm including those with the Christmas cards, too. 

I was trying to think of a good way for Biscuit to be involved with the thank you notes, but his handwriting is pretty terrible, so it needed to be a way that wouldn't involve lots of writing.

This is what I came up with:

And here's the first one Biscuit wrote:

Being thankful is something I definitely want to teach Biscuit, and I think this is a good way to start.

And speaking of being thankful, after picking out the photos, uploading the photos, cropping the photos, arranging the photos on the card and having the cards printed, I'm thankful that I finally got the dang things!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, everybody!

This holiday season seems to have been rough on everybody. Thanksgiving was late in November, and if I figured correctly, we lost a week between Thanksgiving and Christmas because of it. It's just felt rushed and harried.

And the latest frustration was that my Christmas cards got lost in the mail between the printers and me. They were supposed to arrive by Dec. 13, so I got in touch with the company. By the time they got my message and checked into it, it was Dec. 18. Then on Dec. 20, I got an email saying that my order had been lost, so they had issued a full refund.

So five days before Christmas, I found out that I wouldn't be sending out Christmas cards. Not in time for Christmas, anyway. But hey, maybe I'll send out some Happy New Year's cards instead.

Jeff and I went overboard for Biscuit again this year. We say every year that we're going to use a little more control when it comes to presents for him. Then we see all these cool things we want to get for him.

I woke Biscuit up at about 8:30 this morning. I stood at the bottom of the stairs and yelled to him.

"Are you ready to come downstairs to see what Santa brought?" I said.

"Mom, um, is it presents?" Biscuit asked.

I think Biscuit was worried about whether he had been good enough to get presents vs. a lump of coal. He asked several questions about it yesterday. I assured him that I thought he had been good enough, but he was still worried.

"Yes, it's presents," I said to him.

"What did I get, Mom?" he asked.

"Why don't you come down to see," I said.

Then he scooted down the stairs and headed into the living room.

All he asked for was a Wolverine action figure and new teddy bear. He wanted a brown bear that would sit down like Bobo, so when he's at day care, Puppy won't get lonely. The only problem with this request was that he told Santa, but didn't tell Jeff and me!

Then this past weekend at Mama's, he told everybody that he had asked Santa for a Wolverine toy and a new teddy bear. So I sent Jeff on an errand Monday!

Biscuit came down and looked around at his presents, and said, "Mom, I don't think Santa brought my teddy bear."

"What's in that bag over there?" I asked Biscuit.

"I don't know," Biscuit said. "Let's go look."

And guess what it was?

In keeping with his usual naming convention,
Biscuit dubbed this guy Teddy.
One other thing Biscuit loved was the spring he got in his stocking. After a recent birthday party, the kids were given little gift bags full of party favors. The boy standing beside Biscuit got a spring in his bag, but Biscuit didn't. When he told me about it, I couldn't for the life of me figure out what kind of spring the kid got. Then it dawned on me that he was talking about a Slinky. So Biscuit got one in his stocking.

Biscuit's big gift was a bike. Notice I haven't talked about him being excited about it. It's funny because I told Jeff that once we get the bike outside on a nice day, it will definitely bring out some excitement in Biscuit. But sitting still in the living room, there wasn't much he could do with it.

Despite the rush of this season, we've taken a few minutes here and there to remember what the season is about and to appreciate our loved ones.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

No more grinch!

We went to my parents' house for Christmas this past weekend. We had a really good time, and my grinch-ness went right out the window.

How could anyone be grinchy when they get to hang out with this little man?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has said recently:

Little boy, big words: When my brother and I were kids, we used to come up with all kinds of story lines for whatever it was that we were playing. 

We'd be motorcycle police officers and would write scribbled parking tickets and leave them under the windshield wipers on our parents' cars. They never said a word about having to get rid of all our little paper scraps. 

We'd play restaurant, and our parents would pretend to eat rock hamburgers and stick french fries.

You see where I'm going with this? Our parents always played with us.

So Jeff and I try to do the same for Biscuit. We want him to know that we support his imagination and that we enjoy spending time with him.

But sometimes his storylines get so long and convoluted, we have a hard time keeping up.

He always starts out with, "Just pretend like ..." then follows that with a long string of conversation.

I was sitting in the kitchen last week making a grocery list, when Biscuit came in with a girl superhero and a boy superhero. And here was the conversation:

"Mom, just pretend that she said, 'Hey. Why aren't you guys trying to fight me?' And one of them said to her confidently, 'Because we're good guys, too, and good guys don't fight each other.' "

I don't even know if he knows what "confidently" means. And even if he does, I'm not sure where he heard it.

But I can say confidently that Biscuit's imagination is a great place.

Making a deal: We were out to dinner last night, and Biscuit had brought a little car with him. He dropped the car under the table twice. I have a cool flashlight app on my phone, so each time, I shined it under the table so he could find the car.

Finally, right before we left, Biscuit dropped the car again. He looked up at me, and I think he could tell by the look on my face that I was not pleased.

"Get the car and give it to me," I said to Biscuit.

"But Mom, I won't drop it again," Biscuit said.

"Even so, when you get the car, you have to give it to me," I told Biscuit.

"But Mom," Biscuit said, starting to bargain. "I promise. I promise. I promise I won't drop it again. I cross my eyes I won't drop it again."

Trying not to laugh, I just held out my hand for the car. Biscuit put it on the table and sat there looking really disappointed.

I never did see him cross his eyes, though.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bigger boy

Biscuit finally had his 5-year-old checkup today, and I'm glad it's finally over. It was sort of an ordeal from the get-go.

I called almost two months ahead of his birthday, but the first appointment I could get with his doctor was in February. Um, no.

So they said if we would settle for seeing the P.A., we could have an appointment on Dec. 11. Fine!

I'm not usually picky about these things, but we hand-picked Biscuit's doctor. We read his bio and experience. We met him and talked to him about our parenting philosophy (such as it is). We chose him.

Now if Biscuit has an ear infection or something that needs to be handled right away, I don't care which doctor he sees. But this is a once-a-year appointment. Why can't we see the doctor we want to see without having to schedule the appointment a year in advance?

Which brings me to another point, from the time we started going there, they told us that they don't schedule appointments farther than two months out. So that says to me that if I called right now, I should have an appointment in about two months, right? It didn't work that way for us.

All of this became a moot point because Jeff and I were both sick as dogs the morning of his appointment. Jeff called the office, and they rescheduled Biscuit's appointment for today with a new doctor.

So we got to Biscuit's appointment, and the first thing they did was weigh him and measure his height. Our boy weighs 38 pounds and is 41 1/2 inches tall. That's up 5.5 pounds and 2 inches from last year. And that total takes Biscuit from the 10th percentile to the 27th percentile.

You know what that means? That means that only 73 percent of kids his age are bigger than him right now instead of the 90 percent from last year.

Next, they checked his eyesight.

Biscuit had to stand on a blue shape on the floor and read an eye chart. The nurse asked him if he wanted to read letters or shapes, and he chose shapes. There was a circle, then a square, then a heart, then the outline of a house.

"Can you tell me what the shapes are as I point to them?" the nurse asked.

"Sure," Biscuit said. She pointed at each shape, and he named them. "Circle. Square, Heart. Pentagon."

The nurse laughed because I'm guessing Biscuit was supposed to say "house." 

"He's right," she said. "It does have five sides, which makes it a pentagon. I like this kid."

We answered a million questions about Biscuit, then the doctor came in.

Did I mention that Biscuit brought Puppy with him?

"Who's your friend?" the doctor asked.

"This is puppy," Biscuit said. "He has a doctor's appointment, too. He has a scrape."

"Oh, okay," the doctor said. "As soon as I ask your mom and dad these questions, I'll take a look at puppy."

The doctor started to ask us another question when Biscuit said, "Um, excuse me."

The doctor looked at him and said, "Yes?"

"You know that Puppy isn't real, right?" Biscuit said. "I just like to PRETEND that he's real. You don't really have to check him out."

The doctor laughed and said, "Well, Puppy looks very nice and very soft, so if it's okay with you, I'd like to take a look at him."

"Okay," Biscuit said, smiling at her.

She did indeed take a look at Puppy and found him in excellent health. And she found Biscuit in excellent health, too.

Stylin' and profilin'

No time to write, but I can share cute photos!

Here's Biscuit just before we went to a Christmas party last week. His hair was still wet, but he was looking sharp anyway.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

TV or not TV

We're thinking of scheduling an intervention for our boy.

He would have to stand up and say, "My name is Biscuit, and I'm addicted to TV."

I think Biscuit has watched more TV this past week than he has in his whole life combined. The first day Jeff and I were so sick, he watched from the time he got out of bed until the time he crawled back under the covers (save an afternoon nap).

We were okay with that just because we weren't able to interact with him, and quite frankly, we were staying as far from him as we could. And with the Nick Jr. channel, at least he is learning some things while he watches the shows.

But his problem didn't start Tuesday.

Biscuit is usually allowed to watch two shows each night after his bath. But since the time change, we haven't been as strict on our rule. When Biscuit gets home in the spring and summer, he and Jeff will often play baseball in the backyard until I'm done with dinner. But during the fall and winter, it's dark by the time we get home. No playing outside. And that often leads to extra TV.

A few weeks ago, we had Music Monday, and everyone enjoyed it.

After dinner, we all went to the living room and listened to music I had picked out. Then Biscuit picked out something. Then Jeff picked out something. It was fun sharing what we each picked. I said that night that I wanted to make Music Monday a weekly event.

But that didn't happen.

The problem is that Jeff and I are tube-heads, too. We both love TV. Out of habit, turning on the TV is often the first thing we do when we get home. It's background noise, mostly, because heaven knows there aren't many shows worth watching anymore.

But as much as the TV is white noise for Jeff and me, Biscuit is sucking up everything he hears. And have you noticed how much cussing, sex and violence is on that box at any given time? It's a lot!

Plus, he's becoming dependent on its entertainment. Why use your imagination when the screen can provide the story for you?

As we were putting him to bed the other night, Biscuit had a bit of a meltdown. He got all upset and started crying.

"What's wrong?" Jeff asked him.

Before reading Biscuit's response, picture the saddest face you can imagine, complete with tears streaming down his face.

"Dad, TV is the best thing in the whole world, and I didn't get to watch any shows tonight," the sad little child wailed.

"Dude!" Jeff said. And that was it.

I guess we could've lectured him on how TV is a luxury, not a necessity. Or how some families have a no-TV-during-the-week rule. But Jeff and I decided we'd just try to get back to our old rule - two shows after bath.

Until then, let's hope our poor addicted child can handle a little TV deprivation.

I don't have to like it

We went to a birthday party on the afternoon of this cold and rainy day.

The birthday boy's mom outdid herself on the food. Everything was so good.

And for the most part, the kids got along well. The birthday boy did keep calling Biscuit by the wrong name. He called him Elliott. So at one point, Jeff asked me, "Have you checked on Elliott lately?" It took me a minute to figure it out that he was talking about Biscuit.

Then at one point, there was a poking incident that caused some tears. Then there were some hard feelings when hugs weren't given in the right order. Someone wanted to be hugged first, not last. Oh for the days when those kinds of things were the biggest problems of the day!

Biscuit said he had a good time, all except for when I made him wear a party hat and glasses. He wasn't feeling it, and he let me know he wasn't pleased by not smiling ... Until I let him take the hat and glasses of.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Changing focus

I was looking back at November and December blog posts from the past few years, and I saw where I had posted our Christmas decorations and cookie-making and other fun things.

And then I look over my shoulder at our Christmas tree, which is up and lit but not decorated. And I look at the mantel, decorated but without stockings. I can't remember that just-right spot I chose to store them so they would be kept safe. And I glance out the window, and there are no lighted candy canes lining our sidewalk, even though I promised Biscuit we would put them up two weekends ago.

So after spending two days sick, sick, sick, I finally realized that none of that stuff matters if it's going to stress us all out.

I decided that I will make sure the decorations are put on the trees. I will find the stockings and hang them. And everything else can either get done or not, but either way, we'll spend time together as a family and focus on what Christmas is about.

I did get out Biscuit's Nativity set.

I handed him the box, he opened it up and said, "Hey, Mom! It's my Jesus thing!"

"Yes, yes it is," I said, smiling.

And I don't know if you remember this from 2011, but when I was looking back at those old blog posts, I ran across the picture below.

We never did find out what went down in Bethlehem that year, but somebody called the police, so it must've been pretty bad. And look at those sheep over there gossiping about whatever was going on.

So from now through the remaining holidays, I'm going to try to keep my focus on what's important.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A picture is worth 1,000 words

So how could my dear husband POSSIBLY write such a post and not include a picture of Bobo and Puppy?

Well, mainly because I've never shown him how to insert pictures here, so it didn't occur to him.

But we won't hold his lack of knowledge against him. I took a picture of Bobo and Puppy this evening and added to the post.

You can see it by clicking here. Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sick, sick, sick

Jeff and I are sick, sick, sick. The only saving grace is that Biscuit seems to be unaffected so far. And I hope it stays that way.

We had a work Christmas party at someone's house Sunday, and everyone who went to the part has a nasty virus. From what I hear, the newsroom was pretty empty today. It's scary how many people could get a virus, just by being in the same place. And it wasn't the food, either. All I had was a cupcake, and Jeff didn't have one. So with no food items in common, I'm guessing it's a bug someone was carrying.

Jeff and I haven't seen each other a lot today. We've been sleeping in shifts to keep an eye on Biscuit. These times are when I miss living close to my Mama, like my brother does.

I threw up all night, but since Jeff is not a thrower-upper, he's had other issues.

We compared symptoms a few minutes ago and are pretty well matched up (except for the throwing up).

We have chills, fever, gastrointestinal issues, headache, extreme body aches and overall whiny-ness. I don't think the whiny-ness can be counted as an official symptom, but we both have it!

Biscuit has been so good. We kept him home today, mainly because neither Jeff nor I could stay out of the bathroom long enough to get him ready and take him to day care.

Biscuit has watched TV nonstop today, but I'm okay with that. He's been in a great mood, which has been really nice. I told him I didn't want him to get near Jeff and me, so he walks a comically wide circumference around us. 

I told Biscuit this morning that I wanted him to use the upstairs bathroom today. And I am SO glad we have three. I claimed the baseball bathroom, and Jeff has been in our master bathroom.

Well, that's enough sickly description, and I need to lie back down, so send healing thoughts our way!

Monday, December 9, 2013

A man's best friend

A post from The Daddy Man:

When Kimmy and I bought our house, my Mom saw it as an opportunity to give back all the things I left at her house. I got trophies, baseball cards, toys, pictures and most importantly, my stuffed blue bear Bobo.

Before Biscuit was even an idea, we built a shelf in the smallest bedroom upstairs (that later became his nursery) to hold some of our childhood treasures, including Bobo. The shelf runs the length of one wall, and it's about 18 inches from the ceiling. And of course with it being out of reach, it makes it oh-so-desirable to Biscuit.

He's wanted to get his hands on Bobo ever since he could say "blue bear." And a couple of weeks ago, I finally gave in.

Bobo has been my friend since I was a toddler. My Mom and I were shopping at J.J. Newberry's, and we came across a rack of stuffed animals. I hand-picked Bobo, and my Mom got him for me. We've been tight ever since.

I slept with him every night, so he needed to be washed. After he came out of the washer, he wouldn't dry. The stuffing inside him just refused to lose the moisture. So my Mom took him apart, restuffed him and put him back together again. He used to be skinnier, but when she put the new stuffing in, my Mom fattened him up a bit. It didn't matter, though, because he was still Bobo.

"Dad, I wish you were still a little boy," Biscuit said.

"Why?" I asked him.

"So you could play with that blue bear, and that blue bear could be friends with Puppy," Biscuit said.

He had asked before about taking Bobo down off that shelf. But this time, he came up with a different strategy. He thought he would trick me into taking Bobo down under the guise of having a double-date with him and Puppy and me and Bobo.

I finally took Bobo down, and Biscuit immediately asked to sleep with him. I told him that Bobo has been on that shelf for quite a while, so he could sleep next to the bed, but not in the bed.

Biscuit has been very gentle handling Bobo, so I've let him spend time with him.

"Dad, I'm going to stay friends with Puppy the same way you've stayed friends with Bobo," Biscuit said.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Patience is hard

How can my child be so laid back about some things and so impatient about others ... right now, Christmas.

I blame the whole countdown thing. He has two ways of counting down the days until Christmas. 

One is a flat cardboard box that has a Christmas picture on it. Within the picture, there are numbered panels that open to reveal a piece of chocolate. You start opening panels on Dec. 1, and open the last one on Dec. 25.

The other one is this cute little chalkboard I got off the dollar aisle. It has a Christmas frame around it and a pretty design in the shape of an oval on it. You write how many days are left inside the oval. Biscuit is learning to write his numbers, so I thought it would be fun for him.

But really, the whole countdown thing is making our boy lose his patience.

He said to Jeff this evening, "Dad, 17 days until Christmas is just forever. You and Mom are better waiters than I am."

The funny thing is that he hasn't even mentioned Santa. 

"I just want to open one present," he told me.

Not that I believe him!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has said recently: 

Understanding: I had a hard day today. No particular reason, just feeling overwhelmed by the massive amount of things I need to get done. The several things I wanted to do this weekend and won't get to do. And being tired and run down by this wacky weather we're having - it was 70 degrees yesterday, and it's supposed to sleet tonight. Plus, Jeff had to work today.

So Biscuit couldn't seem to do anything right today.

Finally, I realized that I had been fussing and whining and all around grousing for the better part of the morning.

"Hey, dude," I said to Biscuit. "I'm sorry I'm grumpy."

You know what my boy said to me?

"It's okay, Mom," Biscuit said. "It happens."

Shiny accessory: Biscuit got a glow-in-the-dark necklace at a birthday party today, and he's played with it since we got home. He's been wearing it on his head, around his waist and around his neck. He's twirled it around and around on his arms. He's unhooked it so he could swing it around. He's used it as a fire hose.

He came over and handed it to me. I put it around my neck.

"This is my necklace," I said. 

"I like it," Biscuit said. 

Then I handed the necklace back to him. He unhooked it and wrapped it around his waist.

"This is my belt," Biscuit said.

"Nice," I said.

He handed it back to me, and I set it on top of my head.

"This is my crown," I told Biscuit.

Then Biscuit put his arm across his belly, bowed down at the waist and said, "It's lovely, majesty."

The cowboy way

A post from The Daddy Man:

Biscuit was playing cowboy the other evening. He was wearing a cowboy hat, boots, chaps and a vest as he sat down on the bouncy horse he's almost too big for.

I said to him, "Biscuit, you need to pick up some of these other toys before you ride your horse."

"Sorry, pardner," Biscuit said. "Cowboys don't have any toys.

I wonder how soon he would've dropped the cowboy act if I had scooped up his toys and headed for the front door.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A winter story

Biscuit and I went to see a play this evening called "Snow Queen." It's based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale of the same name.

The story was published in 1845 and is about two kids who are best friends but get separated when the Snow Queen kidnaps the boy. The version Biscuit and I saw was done with an Appalachian twist. The original version's boy and girl were named Kai and Gerda. The Appalachian version's kids were named Cade and Gertie.

After realizing that the Snow Queen has Cade, Gertie goes on a journey to bring him home. She encounters animals, which were done as large puppets. She has to prove her bravery and her love to get Cade back.

The production we saw also feature original music by a local musician, all done in an Appalachian style. And the characters spoke with accents straight out of the old-time Appalachian dialect. They used words like "mayhaps" instead of "perhaps" and said "shore" instead of "sure." I really loved the speech patterns.

My day was a mad dash. Coming back from the funeral trip, I had a lot to catch up on. Plus, today is what I refer to as "Stupid Website Day." I have to put all the stories, photos, headlines, info boxes, etc. from my section onto the paper's website. It's about a 3-hour chore, and after slamming and shoveling my way through my morning, it was all I could do to get done in time to get get Biscuit.

I got to Biscuit's day care, and he was so excited about the play. He was wearing jeans and a T-shirt, and when he found out we weren't going home before we headed back downtown, he was worried.

"But Mom, if we don't go home, I can't change my shirt and look really handsome," Biscuit said.

"First of all," I said, "you're handsome no matter what you're wearing. But we don't have time to go home first, so that's why I put one of your sweaters and your nicer shoes in a bag. We'll change your shirt and shoes when we get there."

We got a good spot in the parking garage, and I helped Biscuit swap out his shirt and shoes.

"Now I'm even handsomer," Biscuit said with a big grin.

We went to will-call and picked up our tickets, and we had an hour until time for the play to start.

"How 'bout some pizza?" I asked Biscuit.

"Ooooo! Pizza!" Biscuit said.

I ordered us a slice each. Biscuit's was about as big as his head.

After we ate, we walked back across the street to the theater.

We people-watched for a while in the lobby, then went to get our seats. The two seats in front of Biscuit were empty, so he had a perfect line of sight.

The action of the play moved a little slower than I thought, but Biscuit stuck with it the whole time. There was one spot where he got a little antsy, but just as he shifted in his seat, some comic relief characters came out and had him laughing.

As we left the theater, I realized that Biscuit was one of only two kids in the audience. The other kid was a little girl, who was probably about 10. But Biscuit seemed to be the attention-grabber for all the older ladies. I bet six or eight of them asked him if he enjoyed the play and what was his favorite part.

I love that Biscuit has enjoyed the two plays he's been to. It's something I didn't have access to growing up because we lived in such a rural place. Plus, I have to take him to these things now before he gets all wrapped up in baseball and car shows with his Dad!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Talking topics

We just got home from my parents' house (2 1/2 hours away), after an emotionally exhausting couple of days. And when I say just got back, I mean about 10 minutes ago.

We had to go for a funeral, and because Biscuit has been asking lots of questions about death and dying recently, I asked Mama if she thought one of her friends would babysit for us.

I'm not trying to avoid talking to him about it exactly, it's more that he's been worried about people he loves dying. And quite frankly, I'm just too out of sorts right now to give him an explanation that I feel would be satisfactory.

Anyway, I was preparing Biscuit for his time with Mama's friend. She was going to keep him in one of the church's Sunday school rooms, which is what prompted his reply to me.

"Listen," I said. "Don't talk her ears off about superheroes, okay? She probably doesn't know anything about superheroes."

Then Biscuit said, "Oh, so she only knows about Jesus stuff, Mom?"

"No, baby," I said. "She knows about all kinds of things, so just talk to her about several different topics, not just the one."

"Oh, I get it, Mom," Biscuit said. We'll do just fine."

And according to Mama's friend, they did do just fine.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dear Santa ...

We've made a tradition of taking Biscuit to see Santa Claus on Thanksgiving weekend. My parents are usually in town, and they like to come along.

Remember a few weeks ago when this happened?

Well, it happened again!

Mama and I went shopping for a couple of hours Friday morning and planned to meet Daddy, Jeff and Biscuit to see Santa. Mama and I got there, and I called Jeff to see where they were. Jeff was walking toward where we were, but he had, shall we say, misplaced Daddy and Biscuit.

I fussed at him and told him to find Daddy and Griffin and get to Santa's place pronto!

Jeff backtracked and found daddy and Biscuit. I looked up and saw the three of them walking toward Mama and me. As Biscuit came into better focus, I could see that his upper lip was shining bright red. The injury above had finally faded to a very pale pink, so I knew right away that it was a fresh injury.

Biscuit had been playing with Daddy, and tripped over his own feet and splayed out on the sidewalk. I would really love for someone to explain how in the world Biscuit can scuff up that spot between his lip and nose without messing up his nose. I didn't see either fall, so I just can't imagine his falling position.

We went back to Mama's car, and luckily, she had a bottle of water and some paper towels. We cleaned Biscuit up as best we could and asked him if he still wanted to see Santa.

Poor Biscuit thought that Santa would be mad at him.

While Jeff dabbed at Biscuit's injury, I went in and chatted with Santa.

"Santa," I said, touching him on his arm. "My son is coming in to see you, and he just fell down on the sidewalk. He hurt his face, and for some reason, he thinks you're going to be mad at him." 

"Well of COURSE I won't be mad at him," Santa said. "Is he okay?"

"Yes, sir," I said. "He's just a little shaken." 

Biscuit and the rest of the crew came in, and Santa couldn't have been sweeter to Biscuit. He asked Biscuit if he was okay, then asked him what he wanted for Christmas.

"Um, a Wolverine toy," Biscuit said.

"What else?" Santa asked.

"Um, books," Biscuit said.

"Books are good," Santa said. "What else? Do you like cars?" 

"Yes, sir," Biscuit said.

"Well, I tell you what," Santa said. "There's still a good while until Christmas, so if you think of anything else you'd like, you just send me a letter, okay?"

"Okay," Biscuit said.

We got the photos taken care of, then headed to the pancake restaurant. That always makes Biscuit feel better.

I could very easily use a photo program to clean up the injury on Biscuit's face, but first of all, my Mama scolded me and told me I better not. And the more I thought about it, the more I thought that the photo does capture exactly what the day was like.

Here's Biscuit and Santa:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The meaning of Thanksgiving

A post from The Daddy Man:

I got to day care today, and Biscuit had a construction paper hat on that he said was a horse. I think they were supposed to make the traditional pilgrim or American Indian headgear, but leave it to Biscuit to go with his favorite animal.

I was gathered his things, including the Thanksgiving books we had sent for his teacher to read, and I told him to tell everyone Happy Thanksgiving. 

Once we got in the car, I asked if they had read the books we sent, and Biscuit said no, he was waiting until Thanksgiving Day to read them.

I told him that he wouldn't go to day care on Thanksgiving, but we could still read the books at home.

"That's okay," Biscuit said. "I just hope I get a Wolverine toy for Thanksgiving."

"What do you mean?" I asked him.

He repeated himself, "I hope I get a Wolverine toy for Thanksgiving."

"Boy, you don't get presents for Thanksgiving," I explained to him. "It's a day that you give thanks for things that are important to you in your life. But there's no Thanksgiving gifts."

He was quiet for a few seconds, then he started to cry.

"It's not like your birthday or Christmas where you get presents," I told him. "You're supposed to be thankful for things you already have."

"Oh, okay," he said. "But for my next birthday ..."

I think we'll be talking more about being thankful.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Light up the holidays

We made our annual trek to the see the holiday lights this evening, and this year, we brought along a friend. Not one of Biscuit's friends, one of MY friends. It didn't matter to Biscuit, though, he took right over and explained every little part of the trip to her.

We had one big disappointment, though. When we got to the gift shop halfway through the lights display, we realized that they had swapped out the concessions group. No more bonfire. No more marshmallows on big skewers. We were all sad, but Biscuit took it harder than the rest of us.

"Aw, Mom," Biscuit said. "We shouldn't have even COME to this place!"

"Dude!" I said. "It's not THAT sad."

It was a little sad, though.

Last year, we got marshmallows to roast, and it was a lot of fun. But I didn't anticipate how messy they would be. Biscuit's face and hands were covered in sticky. And the only bathrooms were porta-potties ... with no sinks. We had no water in the car. No wipes. No nothing.

Finally, I remembered that we had a first aid kit. I opened it to see if there was anything in there that could help. I hate to admit it, but I used an alcohol swab to get the sticky off of Biscuit's hands.

So this year, I was prepared. I had a whole stack of wet wipes, just waiting to tackle the marshmallowy goodness.

We had to settle for hot chocolate and a cinnamon sugar pretzel that we all shared.

I tend to take pictures of the same displays every year. If I think it's pretty one year, I guess I'm still going to think it's pretty the following year. They add some new things each year, and it's always fun to see my old favorites.

Here are some pictures from this year (and remember that it is very hard to get nice pictures at night):

This is what happens when Jeff starts
driving again before I'm done taking pictures!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!