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!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

My good helper

I have a very good helper. He'll do anything I ask him to do. He often does things before I even have to ask. And he always has my best interest at heart.

This post isn't about Biscuit. It's about Jeff.

Sometimes Jeff grinds on my last nerve, and sometimes I want to scream and send him to sleep in the shed.

But most of the time, I couldn't ask for a better partner.

Jeff doesn't see things around the house as my work or his work. He just sees things as "needing doing." He does as much housework as I do. He's always done just as much with Biscuit as I do. Lately, it even seems like he does more with Biscuit than I do.

He grocery shops (as long as I make him a list). He does laundry. He loads and unloads the dishwasher. He cleans the shower. 

My back is hurt right now, and I can't lift a lot or stand for a long time, and Jeff knows that I'm not a good patient. I'm stubborn and independent and don't want to be hindered by anything, much less a back ache. So he finds ways to ease my guilt.

"Okay, it's time for ... 'Dry It or Hang It,'" Jeff said in his best game show host voice. This game has to do with laundry. Some of my things get dried, and some of it gets put on a drying rack or hangers. Jeff holds up items of clothing, and I say whether to dry it or hang it.

Then tonight, we played "Wear It Again or Wash It." We ran a few errands today, and when I got home and changed into a sweatsuit, I left my errand clothes on the bed. As Jeff was getting ready to make up the bed, he came into the living room with an armload of clothes.

"Let's play 'Wear It Again or Wash It," he said, again with the game show host voice. 

He held up the jeans, and I yelled "WEAR IT AGAIN!"

He help up the shirt, "WASH IT!"

This evening, Jeff didn't something REALLY special. He helped put up some Christmas decorations. He always loves the way the decorations look, but he hates to put them up. I usually tell him that if he'll haul the boxes out of the attic, I'll take care of the rest. But this year, he did way beyond his share.

Our house is a little mixed up right now. We have half a bucket of Halloween candy left. The dining room table and front porch are covered with Thanksgiving decorations. And Jeff wrapped the stair banisters with lighted garland.

Yep. My Jeff is a keeper for sure.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday morning

We try not to make plans for early Saturday morning. We like to be leisurely.

Everybody gets up when they're done sleeping (unfortunately for me, it's still my usual time or even earlier). We each eat breakfast whenever we want it (we usually eat together). Then we usually watch some cartoons together.

This is often Biscuit's perch for cartoon-watching.


And sometimes, Biscuit gets really comfy up there.

And sometimes, depending on what we're watching, Biscuit gets a little wound up and starts to slide off his perch.

And when he bites the dust, poor Dad gets a kick to the face!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has said recently:

Biscuit's books: Biscuit loves, loves, LOVES books. We read to him a lot, usually at his request. And every once in a while, he'll say something that makes it evident that we read to him a lot.

Remember how Biscuit scuffed up his face last week? Well, it's healing very nicely, but we've still been telling him not to touch the spot under his nose. He's been really good about it, but it's taken him a while to figure out which parts of his face he COULD touch.

Biscuit explained to me, "Mom, I can touch the side of my nose as much as I want, said Dad."

Not "Dad said I could touch my nose," or even "I can touch my nose Dad said," but exactly as it's often written in his books.

Word association: I've told Jeff that we have to be very careful what we talk about in front of Biscuit because he is all ears and has the memory of an elephant.

He's also getting better at finding the right word for the right situation.

Like when I make him sit down and write a few letters, he used to say, "Mom, writing my letters is bored." Now, he knows that "Writing my letters is borING."

It's the little things.

But sometimes, like the other morning, he'll say something that just tickles us.

Jeff was in the bathroom getting ready, and the hosts of the morning show were having a trivia contest. "Just call in and say the magic word, 'cash,'" the hosts said.

Jeff hollered from the bathroom, "Cash!"

And within a second, Biscuit said, "Register!"

"What? Are you playing $10,000 Pyramid?" I asked Biscuit.

He didn't get why it was so funny, but Jeff and I laughed and laughed. Funny, but that seems to happen a lot.

On walkabout: Biscuit plays superheroes all the time, and you never know which one he is, unless you closely study the props he has - sword, bow and arrow, shield, etc.

Jeff and I were sitting at the table after dinner tonight, and Biscuit came strolling through with a very serious look on his face. He had a bow thrown over his shoulder and had some arrows stuck down in the back of his shirt (when you don't have a quiver, you make do).

As he sauntered through, he used to fingers to make a casual salute, like men would do back when they wore fedoras, and said, "Nice evenin', huh?" and kept right on walking.

I told Jeff that Biscuit could've won an acting award for his portrayal ... even though I'm not really sure which superhero he was.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Replacement gift

So remember how Jeff and I had that big talk with Biscuit about being gracious about birthday gifts? How if he got a gift he already had, he should just say "thank you" and we'd get it all worked out later?

Well, we forgot to have that talk with him before he opened a gift from his aunt, uncle and cousins.

As soon as he tore the paper, he said just as nonchalantly as you can imagine, "Oh, I already have this." 


They just knew he was going to be so excited about the gift they picked out, and instead, their faces just fell.

One of the first Ninja Turtle toys Biscuit asked for was a Raphael costume. Well, it wasn't really a costume, just a red mask and Raph's weapons of choice. And that's exactly what he got from his aunt, uncle and cousins.

I told them that if Biscuit didn't have it already, it would've been the perfect gift because it really was the first turtle toy he wanted. I assured them that we'd get it swapped out for another character, and it would all be good.

So when we got home this evening, we scooped up the package off the porch and after I cut the tape, Biscuit got to check out what was inside.

And here's Biscuit's, I mean, Leonardo's sword in action. (That dang mask just wouldn't stay out of his eyes!)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A few more birthday moments

We took Biscuit to get new jeans this evening after work. He turned 5 and shortly thereafter, he moved into size 5T jeans.

Biscuit's still pretty skinny, so he wears slim-cut jeans. But as fancy as kids' stores are now, we haven't had a problem finding jeans to fit him. 

I looked around online at all the usual stores, and saw that one had their kid jeans on sale. I asked my shopping guru friend if the store and the website had the same prices. She said they usually do and asked if i had a coupon. Thanks goodness for her because I saved 25 percent on my entire purchase.

We got home later than usual and quickly got Biscuit ready for bed. He's still really enjoying his big-boy bed. He actually even tells me most nights how much he likes it.

So in place of a longer post, I'll share a few more birthday photos:

Biscuit is holding a giant card that makes crazy monkey sounds
whenyou open it. We've heard it MANY times since he got it in the mail.

He also got a kids book about baseball, written
by a player Jeff likes a lot. The friend who
sent this to Biscuit is really good at giving gifts.

Biscuit checks out a DVD from Grandmama and Papa.

Biscuit got a soccer net, too. 

Biscuit's uncle helps him look at a shirt he got.

Peter Pan at play

Jeff's Mom gave us all of his Little Golden Books. Remember those?

Well, in the stash, Biscuit found two books about Peter Pan, and he quickly became obsessed. We've had to read those books at least 80 times each!

I have to play Wendy, and Jeff has to alternate between Michael, John, Smee and Captain Hook, depending on which adventure Biscuit as Peter, of course, wants to tackle. Tinkerbell is apparently small enough that we can just pretend she's around.

On one of the shows Biscuit watches, the kids went to a play. Ever since then, Biscuit has been asking if we could go see one. "Cinderella" came and went. "The Ugly Duckling" came and went. I knew "The Wizard of Oz" was coming up, but that one still scares me!

So when I found out that one of the colleges in town was doing a stage production of "Peter Pan," and they had a show on the night of Biscuit's birthday, well of course we had to go.

I told him that he would have to take a nap after his party, and that if he woke up in a good mood, we would go see a play.

He woke up ready to go. We dressed him in a nice sweater. I told him to wear the sweater zipped up halfway because he was wearing a shirt under it that made a matching set.

"But Mom," Biscuit explained, "zippers are made to be zipped."

That was not a battle I felt strongly enough about to fight.

We got to the college and found our way to the theater and then our seats. Poor little Biscuit didn't weigh enough to keep the fold-up seat down. If he slid to the back of his seat to lean against the back, he would start to fold up like a jack knife. Jeff finally propped his leg on the edge of Biscuit's seat to help hold it down.

My biggest concern about the whole thing was that the play might not keep Biscuit's attention. That was not an issue.

The first time Captain Hook appeared, Biscuit slid right up on the edge of his seat. He laughed in all the right spots. When someone was in peril, his eyes got really big.

One funny thing was that when Tinkerbell drank the poison, and Peter encouraged the audience to join him in saying, "I DO believe, I DO, I DO," Biscuit just looked at me like he had no idea what to do. We had explained to him that he couldn't talk out loud during the play, and here was Peter Pan asking him to do the very thing we said not to. And to his credit, he was obeying us perfectly.

I assured him that it was okay to say what Peter was asking him to say because it would help Tinkerbell. So he started saying it and clapping his hands. All the kids around us were doing the same thing. It was actually sort of a moving moment.

The cast was made up of students from the college. The guy who played Peter was quite an acrobat. He scaled towers and rocks and trees and all sorts of set pieces. You could tell that he had worked on his stage choreography. But toward the end of the play, Peter and Captain Hook had it out, and Peter sent Captain Hook overboard. Peter ran back to the front of the stage where he was supposed to hop up onto a wooden crate and give his final big speech. But as he hopped up on the crate, his foot caught the edge of it, and he went tumbling.

All the adults in the audience gasped loudly, but the kids didn't know the difference. They just thought it was part of the act. The guy playing Peter just did a quick somersault and jumped right back up.

As we were leaving, I pulled Biscuit over against the wall to help him put on his jacket before we walked to our car. This young student was sitting on a bench with headphones in his ears.

He pulled the headphones out, looked at Biscuit and said, "Hey lil man, did you like the show?"

"It was called 'Peter Pan,'" Biscuit said. "It was about Peter Pan and Captain Hook, but Peter Pan was the hero."

"Cool," the young guy said. Their short conversation just made me smile.

Biscuit said he'd like to see another play sometime, so I'll keep my eyes open for something good.

Here are some pictures I took that evening:

Biscuit in his zipped-up sweater.
We had to park a block-and-a-half away, so Biscuit got a neck ride.
You can't tell it from this picture, but the rest
of the theater was packed with people.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Big boy

Biscuit's birthday is officially over - even though I haven't finished writing about it!

We went to my parents' house this weekend and capped off our trip with Biscuit and his cousin's combo birthday lunch. Lunch was served, and a good time was had by all.

Biscuit got more birthday presents, and then was so exhausted, he slept all the way home (2 1/2-hour trip).

As an extra gift, my sister-in-law gave Biscuit some nice slim-cut jeans she found at a consignment sale. Biscuit has been wearing size 4T slim-cut jeans, but I've been noticing some of them getting shorter and shorter. So when my sister-in-law said the ones she found were size 5T, I was excited.

I think Biscuit has hit a growth spurt. I was watching him play this evening, and he just looked taller.

Biscuit caught me staring at him and said, "What, Mom?"

He was in the middle of playing super heroes and was pretending he had just climbed up a building and was standing on top.

"Have you gotten taller?" I asked him. 

"Mom," Biscuit said. "I'm standing on a chair."

If he had said it with attitude, it wouldn't have ended well for him. But he just said it so matter-of-fact that I cracked up laughing.

"What's so funny, Mom?" Biscuit asked. "I'm just standing on a chair."

"Yes, you are," I said. I didn't have the heart to tell him that he was the butt of the joke.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Biscuit's birthday

I can't believe Biscuit is 5. But we still have the birthday banner hanging in the kitchen that proves that it happened.

I decided this year to have a very laidback party for Biscuit. And of course, as long as there are friends, a theme he picked and cake, Biscuit doesn't care what his party is like.

I struggled with not getting to do my usual amount of cooking and entertaining, but I hurt my back and haven't been able to as much. And again, Biscuit doesn't care.

Biscuit asked for a Ninja Turtle party, and anyone who knows anything about the turtles knows that their favorite food is pizza. So we ordered a bunch of pizza and some Parmesan garlic bites, and I made some bruschetta with pesto, tomatoes and Parmesan.

It wasn't fancy, but I didn't see anybody leaving hungry!

The party crowd was Biscuit and three other little boys. They played inside for a while. Then we fed them pizza and Cheez Doodles (it ain't a party without Cheez Doodles). Then they played outside for a little while. Then we fed them cake. Then Biscuit opened his presents. Then they played inside some more.

Jeff and I had several conversations with Biscuit about presents. We told him he might get things he already has and that he might even get something he didn't like or want. But we told him that no matter what, people spend their time and money getting presents just for him, and that whether he liked it or not, he should say thank you.

He was very gracious, and he actually did like everything he got.

Here are some pictures from the party:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Poor little man

I promise I'll get to the details of Biscuit's birthday party soon, but I have to post this pictures of my poor boy.

Jeff and I went to Biscuit's day care this morning for a parent-teacher conference.

The teacher said Biscuit is doing well. She went through all the tests he's taken so far, showed us some examples of his handwriting (still bad), showed us some projects they've been working on and went over what we can do at home to help and what we'd like for them to do (work on the handwriting).

We told his teacher that we like to be kept in the loop, so we can help reinforce what they're doing during the day. So it was a good meeting.

I was almost all the way to work when my phone rang.

"I know you just left here, but he fell on the playground and messed up his nose," Biscuit's teacher said.

"I'll be right there," I told her. I whipped a U-turn and headed back to day care.

I walked in the door and poor Biscuit was bloody and visibly shaking. I scooped him up and held him tight. He desperately wanted to lay his head on my shoulder, but with his face still bleeding, he couldn't figure out how to make it work.

I asked him what happened, and he said they were going out to the playground, and the teacher told them not to run. But he and his friend ran anyway. Biscuit got halfway down the sidewalk and stopped, but his friend didn't. He plowed into Biscuit, and Biscuit plowed into the sidewalk.

Jeff was at the house because he was working a late shift today, so I brought Biscuit home and got him tucked in on the couch with some juice and a movie in the DVD player. I worked a short day and swapped off with Jeff. It's really nice to have adjustable hours at work.

I gave Biscuit a very careful bath, but we skipped brushing his teeth for fear of making him bleed again.

Here's Biscuit right before bedtime:

Poor little man.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

That's what boys are made of

Remember the old rhyme about boys?

Frogs and snails and puppy dog tails, that's what little boys are made of.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I immediately started thinking about a little girl. All the things we'd do together. Pretty little dresses. Tea sets and dolls.

Then about two weeks after I found out, I started having dreams about dark-haired boys and men. And those dreams lasted the whole pregnancy.

When we had the ultrasound that could determine the sex, I told Jeff that if it wasn't a boy, I'd fall right off that table. And sure enough, I was right.

There went the baubles and bows and dolls and dresses.

Now that I have a boy, though, I can't imagine it any other way.

Cars and blocks and rough-housing and super heroes. And sometimes, you find subtle little reminders that your child is a boy.

Here's one I found today:

What could make an antique milk glass bowl
from my Granny even better? My boy's basketball.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Happy Biscuit Birthday

I am way too tired to share all the details of Biscuit's big day, but I'll share a picture now and stories later.

Another year

Goodbye four!

As I tucked Biscuit in tonight, I said, "Okay, say, 'Goodbye four!'"

"What does that mean, mom?" Biscuit asked.

"We'll, when you wake up in the morning, you'll be five."

Biscuit got a big grin on his face, leaned his head back and yelled, "GOODBYE FOUR!"

Party pictures to come.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has said recently: 

Shopping trip: Jeff told me one day last week that he would pick up Biscuit and also stop by the store to get milk. And since Biscuit has to know everything, he needed a full explanation from Jeff.

"Where are we going, Dad?" Biscuit asked.

"We have to stop by the store to get some milk," Jeff said.

"Can we go through the toy department?" Biscuit asked.

"We're going to the grocery store, dude, they don't have a toy department," Jeff said.

"Well, Target has milk AND a toy department," Biscuit said.

"That's true," Jeff said. "But we're going to the grocery store."

Ouchie: I had dinner with a friend last night, so Jeff took Biscuit out. Because Jeff is a pushover, the restaurant they chose was based on the attached playground, not the food. So it was all about chicken nuggets and fries for our boy.

Biscuit's lips are pretty chapped right now, and I cannot convince him that licking them makes them worse. And he found out that licking them isn't the only thing that will make them hurt.

"Dad, these dots on my fries are hurting my lips," Biscuit said.

"Those dots are salt, and when salt gets on an open spot on your lips, it burns a little bit," Jeff told him.

"But it's not hot," Biscuit said. "So why does it burn?"

"Have a bite of your apple," Jeff said.

If all else fails, change the subject!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I see London, I see France, I see Biscuit's underpants

It was time for Biscuit to get ready for bed. I told him to take his clothes to the hamper while Jeff went upstairs to get him some pajamas.

I heard him playing, but I didn't think too much about it. Being the happy kid he is, he was hollering and singing and making sound effects.

I was sitting in my chair in the living room when Biscuit walked in with a very sad face.

"What's wrong?" I asked him.

"Mom, I've got some very bad news," Biscuit said. "And I'm just gonna tell you the truth." 

"Okay," I said, wondering what in the world he had done.

"Well, Mom," Biscuit said, with tears in his eyes. "You told me not to throw my clothes. ... But I threw my clothes. And now, they're up somewhere very high." 

I looked at Jeff and started walking toward the bathroom. I walked into the bathroom, but I didn't see anything out of the ordinary.

"Close the door, Mom," Biscuit said, looking at the floor.

Here's what I saw:

Those are his brown pants hanging from the top of the door. And yep, those are his underwear, dangling from the hook where my robe is.

I wanted to scold him, but I couldn't. The whole thing, from the confession to where I found the clothes was just too funny.

I did make him carry them to the hamper, though.