Monday, March 31, 2014

Pajama party

I know, I said I would write about our fun event on Saturday, but time got away from me!

Friday evening, we went to Pajama Jam 2014 at our local science center. 

I got Biscuit dressed in some PJs he likes, then I went to find the only pair I would dare to wear in public. And of course, they were in the hamper. And I don't mean they were lying casually atop other clothes. I mean they were wadded up somewhere near the bottom, wrinkled beyond belief. And Jeff said if I wasn't wearing PJs, he wasn't, either.

The event included: glow-in-dark games and crafts, bedtime stories in front of the big aquarium, a laser show, stargazing in the dome, dance like an animal, snacks, a live band that plays pretty good kid music and more.

We planned out the events we wanted to go to, but it was tough getting around. That science center is a big ol'place, and there were lots of people there. It was hard just getting from one session to the next.

Here are some pictures:

First stop was the nametag table. Biscuit was very
particular about which beads he wanted and in
which order. And God bless them, those employees
just went along with whatever he wanted.

Biscuit loves the weather room, especially these
screens that show how lightning traces its targets.

One auditorium was set up with glow-in-the-dark
games, like bowling. It was pretty simple - water bottles
with sand in the bottom and glow sticks. That's it.

In the Science Theater, the kids got to meet a chicken
named Pauline and a rabbit named Dumbledore. Then they
learned how to do the Chicken Dance and the Bunny Hop.

This is Dumbledore. He was very soft.

As we walked out into the aquarium area, I saw this sign
at one of the exhibits. I pointed it out to Biscuit, and he
was convinced that the exhibit belongs to us.
"Mom, it says 'for Griffin's family,'" he said. 

Biscuit checks out his family's sign.

Biscuit tries out a submarine.

This penguin was sitting right next to the edge of
the exhibit. I wish the plexi-glass had been cleaner.
When the birds would flap their wings,
water would splash up onto the glass.

It was pretty cool to see the penguin's feathers close up.

I set Biscuit on the ledge so he could get a close look at the penguins.

This is a new addition to the aquarium. It has a
weird name (and a weird face), but I can't remember it.

These rays are in a large touch tank, but it was about 8:30 p.m.,
and I guess that's their bedtime. One ray was circling the tank,
and the rest were settled on the bottom, many covered in sand.

Biscuit makes a friend at the aquarium.

It was a fun evening, and I'm glad we went. We went for pizza at 9:15 p.m., and Biscuit thought that was really cool. I figured he'd be in a grumpy mood the next morning, but he was up early and quite cheerful.

Friday, March 28, 2014

A little something

We went to a really fun event tonight, but I'm too tired to write about it. So until tomorrow, here are a couple of recent cellphone photos I've taken of Biscuit.

One day, I'm going to make a photo album
of "Biscuit eating pizza pictures."

Biscuit wanted to make a "scary face"
picture to send to his uncle.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


I've mentioned it before back in October 2012, I talked about the fact that Biscuit has a stutter.

We've never said anything to him about it, and we've asked our friends and family and Biscuit's day care teachers not to mention it, either. From what we can tell, it's a developmental thing that has already gotten better. And if he's still having problems with it when he starts school, we can consult with a speech teacher.

Jeff and I were surprised a couple of weeks ago when Biscuit acknowledged his stutter for the first time.

Biscuit was watching TV, and he said, "Mom, sometimes Piglet says, "I'm sc- sc- sc- scared. And sometimes when I can't think of what I want to say, I say, 'Um, um, um, um ...' "

I'm not often speechless, but I was at that point. I wanted to make sure I said the right thing, but I had no idea what the right thing might be. So I just smiled at him and waited to see if he wanted to say anything else about it.

"But that's okay, right, Mom?" Biscuit said.

"Of course it is," I said. "Everybody talks in a different way, and sometimes when people are talking, they get stuck on some words. But you just keep going until you say what you wanted to say."

"Okay," Biscuit said, then he ran away to play.

Somehow, I thought it would be a bigger deal. I thought it would come up when another kid made fun of him. Or maybe someone mentioned it. Or maybe when he was trying to talk about someone tried to rush him.

But just like that, a conversation I had wondered about was all done and taken care of.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Out of the mouth of my babe

It's been hard to get back into a routine with Biscuit. His sleep, meals and everything was different at his grandparents' house, and now, it's taken us several days to get back to normal. But odd schedule or not, he's still been saying fun things.

Here are a few things he's said recently:

Creature of habit: Biscuit was excited about going to his piano lesson Monday evening because he missed one while he was at Mama's.

His teacher's house is really nice, including almost-white carpet in the living room, which we have to walk through to get to the music room. So at Biscuit's first lesson, he asked if we'd mind taking off our shoes. And of course, we didn't mind at all.

When we got there Monday evening, we walked into the foyer and started taking off our shoes. 

Biscuit said, "Um, excuse me, whose shoes are these?"

Pointing at the different shoes, the teacher said, "Those are my son's, and those are my daughters."

"Well, um, but your son's shoes are in my spot," Biscuit said, in this little innocent voice.

"Griffin!" I said. "Just put your shoes on the other side."

"No, no," the teacher said. "I LIKE that he has a spot."

The teacher moved his son's shoes so Biscuit could put his shoes in "his spot."

I didn't know whether to scold him for being so picky or admire his effort to ask for what he wanted.

In the jungle, the mighty jungle: Biscuit and I were talking about where different animals live.

"Mom, if we went to Africa, we would see lions, giraffes and zebras, right?"

"Right," I said. "We might see rhinos and hippos, too."

"And tigers?" Biscuit asked.

"No," I said, "tigers live in Asia."

"Asia? Is that near Georgia?" Biscuit asked.

"No, baby," I said, "Asia is a long, long way from Georgia. Next time I'm at the computer, we'll look it up on a map."

Later that evening, we had a storm with really rough winds, and I told Biscuit that we might lose power.

He didn't understand what that meant, so I told him the lights would go off.

"Even the lamps?" Biscuit asked.

"Yes," I said, "the lamps, the heater, the clock - anything that is run by electricity."

I helped him find his flashlight, and I got out the camping lantern.

Biscuit and I were in my bathroom getting him ready for bed when the gate on our fence slammed open. It's right outside the bathroom window and scared the daylights out of Biscuit and me. We both jumped.

"What was that?" Biscuit asked, looking really worried. "Was it a lion?"

"No, no, no," I said, "that was absolutely not a lion. The closest lion to here is a 45-minute drive away at the zoo. And I promise you if that lion got out, we would know about it in plenty of time before he walked all the way to our house to open the gate."

"That's good, Mom," Biscuit said, without a single question about what I said.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Out of the mouth of my babe

It's hard to tell stories about Biscuit when he isn't home!

But I can share a few things Biscuit has said recently:

Funny man: Biscuit has been telling terrible jokes that he makes up. They are not funny because he doesn't understand yet how jokes work.

He told one of his own jokes on the way to piano lessons one Monday night, and Jeff and I didn't laugh.

"Well I thought that one was funny," Biscuit said.

At which point Jeff and I both cracked up. We thought it was funny how pitiful he sounded about us not laughing, but he thought we appreciated his joke. Win-win.

Mr. Clean: Despite the fact that Biscuit keeps our living room floor covered in toys, he is very orderly. And he knows when something isn't the way it should be and is perfectly willing to let you know.

We were walking through the store, and Biscuit was sitting in the big part of the buggy. Someone had wadded up a receipt and threw it in the floor. 

Biscuit got a really angry look on his face and said, "Who in the dang world threw that paper in the middle of the floor ... in the middle of the dang floor, Mom!"

To show my support, I pretended to be just as outraged as Biscuit was.

"I can't believe someone would do that," I said to Biscuit, looking at Jeff and smiling the whole time.

Helping himself: Biscuit was upstairs playing in his room, when he called down to Jeff.

"DAD!" Biscuit shouted. "Can you do me a favor?"

Then as Biscuit was trying to ask his favor, he started walking down the stairs.

"Um, um, well, um, Dad," Biscuit said. "Um, can you bring me something out of my firefighter box?"

But by the time Biscuit was done asking for what he wanted, he was all the way downstairs, walking into the living room.

"On second thought, Dad, II'll just get it myself," Biscuit said. "I can find a path through my mess way easier than you can."

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Stories from Grandmama's house

I've enjoyed hearing the stories from Grandmama's house. It sounds like Biscuit is having a good time, and Grandmama and Papa are, too.

I think Biscuit might be missing me a little bit, though.

He walked into Daddy's music room and got a framed picture of me at the beach in my wedding dress. Then he brought it into the living room and showed it to Mama.

"This is my Mom," Biscuit said.

"Yeah, it is," Mama said.

"It's beautiful," Biscuit said. "It's just beautiful."

Mama gets a kick out of the things he says, and it makes me wish she could spend more time him. He's just such a funny little man.

On Tuesdays, Mama and some other ladies from her church cook a huge meal to deliver to the shut-ins in the community. My parents live in a very rural area (20 minutes from the nearest grocery store), so some of the older people are isolated and don't get much company. The ladies make all this food, then they box it up. The cooks and some of their husbands deliver the food and try to spend a few minutes visiting with the shut-ins.

So Mama told Biscuit that she was going to go early to cook, then Papa would bring him in time for deliveries. Mama had told him that they couldn't talk long at each house because they had to get all the food delivered in time.

But when he got to Ms. Doris' house, he couldn't keep quiet any longer.

Ms. Doris is a sweet woman who was old when I was a kid ... or so it seemed.

When I was pianist at the church, Ms. Doris was one of a small handful of people who would come up to me each and every Sunday and tell me that either I did a good job or that they appreciated what I was doing for the church. They had no idea how much that meant to me, and by the time I realized I should tell them, all but Ms. Doris were gone.

Anyway, Biscuit helped carry the food to her door, then he had a chat with Ms. Doris.

"Do you have any brothers or sisters?" Ms. Doris asked Biscuit.

"No ma'am," Biscuit said.

"Would you like to have a brother or sister?" Ms. Doris asked.

"No ma'am," Biscuit said. Then after a brief pause, he said, "But I would like to have a dog."

And before anybody gets any big ideas, as soon as Biscuit is old enough to scoop poop from our fenced-in backyard, we'll consider getting a dog.

Biscuit also spent time with his cousins again this afternoon.

My nephew will be turning 10 in a couple of weeks, and he's tall for his age. He's also used to wrestling and playing with his 11-year-old (soon to be 12) sister. So after my nephew left Mama's house Sunday, Mama said to Daddy, "Sometimes he forgets that Griffin is smaller, and he plays too rough with him."

And Biscuit heard Mama say it. 

When they got to my brother's house today, my nephew ran out to meet them. As soon as he opened Biscuit's door, Biscuit said, "You have to remember that I'm smaller than you, and you can't play so rough."

Mama said my nephew looked a little confused until she explained that Biscuit had overheard her telling Daddy about it. She told him not to worry about it because Biscuit was just repeating what he had heard.

"Yeah, sometimes it seems like I'm wrestling my sister instead of my little cousin," my nephew said. "I'll try to be more careful."

He's a sweet boy who loves his cousin, and that's why I want Biscuit to enjoy this time with our family.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Our rules and their rules

I talked to Biscuit on the phone twice yesterday and twice today.

The first time, I called him around lunchtime yesterday. He went to church with Mama and Daddy, so I gave them time to get home before I called. The only problem was that they had started eating lunch just before I called.

Biscuit talked for a couple of minutes, but then said, "Um, Mom, can I hand you back to Grandmama? Grandmama made chocolate pies, and if I eat all my lunch, I can have some."

Under the circumstances, I was perfectly fine with him handing off the phone. My Mama bakes the best chocolate pies ever. Well, second to the ones Granny used to make, but who do you think taught Mama?

My brother and his family had lunch at Mama's yesterday, so Biscuit played with his cousins all afternoon. That meant he didn't get a nap, and around about 8 o'clock, he was tired out and a little weepy.

"Grandmama, I think I need to call my Mom," Biscuit said.

So I talked to him and made him laugh. That made me and him both feel better.

Then I talked to him this morning.

"What did you have for breakfast?" I asked him.

He hemmed and hawed a little bit but never answered me. And when Mama got back on the phone, I found out why.

"He had a Pop Tart for breakfast and didn't want to tell you," Mama said. "He said that he doesn't get to have Pop Tarts on weekdays, just on weekends."

It's true, but it's not as strict as it sounds.

Biscuit, like many kids his age, is a picky eater. And sometimes when I ask him about lunch, he'll tell me he had some fruit and a roll. Or some beans. Or he just tasted some things and that was it. So I feel like it's important to give him breakfast with some protein and staying power. Not exactly the stick-to-your-ribs country breakfast (because that crazy little man won't eat grits or eggs), but something fairly good for him.

But when he's at Grandmama's house, all bets are off.

Each of my Grannies made special treats for my brother and me when we visited.

My Daddy's Mama made baked sweet potatoes. She wrapped them in tin foil, and we would peel the tin foil and skins and eat them like bananas. She also had mini marshmallows and plain M&Ms. And her biscuits ... man, they were good. She had this aluminum biscuit tin that looked like a spaceship. She would line it with a dish towel, and it would hold leftover biscuits. And I would rather have one of those leftover biscuits than any kind of store-bought cookie.

At my other Granny's house, we would have tea cakes and more biscuits ... and of course, chocolate pies. I never mastered Granny's tea cakes, but Mama figured out the pie recipe and has passed it down. As for the tea cakes, Granny kept them in a big cut-glass cookie jar. She would be on the back porch, and my brother and I would sneak in to get some. It took us forever to figure out how she could tell we were in the jar. Looking back on it, it's hard to imagine how she wouldn't hear that glass lid rattling against the glass jar.

My Mama never cared how our grandparents spoiled us. And I'm following suit with Biscuit. When he's with his grandparents, they call the shots.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sending him packing

I got so tired of Biscuit's antics that I kicked him out of the house. Okay, that's not completely true, but he is gone.

My Mama called me earlier this week and asked if I would meet her and Daddy halfway between their house and mine to trade off Biscuit for a week.

So Saturday morning, Biscuit and I got up drove about an hour and a half to meet the grandparents. We had lunch, swapped over Biscuit's stuff and away they went.

Our self-portrait at lunch ... right before those people took my boy away!

I'm missing my boy.

I called him last night, and he and Grandmama were just finishing up with his bath. He was so wound up, I wondered if he would go to sleep at all, despite the fact that he didn't got a nap. But he did, and Mama said he was being good.

This morning, he went to church, then my brother and his family went over to see him. There was so much excitement at the house that Biscuit didn't nap today, either.

So about 8 p.m., I got a phone call. Mama said Biscuit was a little weepy and said to her, "I think I need to call my Mom."

We talked for a while, and I heard all about his day. And I told him that he didn't have to stay up until his regular bedtime. It's funny, but when you tell him his bedtime, he thinks that's when he goes to bed - no earlier, no later.

Jeff had one more day of basketball today, and I was looking forward to having the day all to myself. I had planned to do some laundry, do our taxes and plan an upcoming trip.

But I mostly just watched movies and felt lonely. I don't know how to be completely alone anymore!

I did do the laundry and trip planning, but the taxes will have to wait another day.

I don't know what I will do with my evenings. I'm on such a routine - leave work, pick up Biscuit, cook dinner, clean the kitchen, bathe the boy, put him to bed, watch an hour of TV (maybe write a blog post) and go to bed - that it'll be hard to step outside it.

We'll meet my parents again Friday to get our boy back, and whether he missed me or not, I'll be glad to get my hands on him!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has said recently.

Big family? Biscuit had asked several times this week if we could go out for pizza, and it never worked out until tonight. (And yes, Jeff was working ... wait, did that sound bitter?!)

Biscuit and I were finishing up as a couple and eight boys walked in and took the large table right in front of our booth.

"Mom, there are eight children at that table," Biscuit said, "and it's all boys, no girls."

"You're right," I said.

We got up to leave, and Biscuit walked over to the man and asked, "Um, excuse me, are all those boys your children?"

The man and his wife cracked up laughing. "NO!" he said. "That one is ours, and all the others are his friends. We're here to celebrate his birthday."

"Oh," Biscuit said. Then he looked over at the boy and said, "Happy birthday."

My poor, shy wallflower!

Crazy people: A local grocery store chain has started using a talking lion in their commercials, and after he tells everyone why they should buy what they need at his store, he says, "But that's just my two cents."

So Biscuit and I were turning out of a parking lot, and a woman ran the redlight and almost t-boned us.

"MOM!" Biscuit yelled. "Did you see that?! Some people just don't have two cents!"

I think he meant that the woman didn't have any sense, but with his tone of voice, he still got her told!

Ointment: Jeff tweaked his back shoveling snow last week, and he's just now starting to walk straight again. He's spent a lot of time with the heating pad and a tube of generic cold-hot muscle cream.

Jeff left the tube of ointment out on the bathroom counter, and as Biscuit was brushing his teeth this morning, he asked Jeff if he could smell it.

"This stuff stinks!" Biscuit said, wrinkling up his nose.

I was walking in while his face was still scrunched up. "What stinks?" I asked him.

"That muscle rub," Biscuit said. "If you rub it on yourself, it will give you muscles. Or at least that's what Dad said."

Is it okay to tell him that he can't always take Dad at his word?!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

General frustration

Biscuit and I have been on the run this week, but not really by our own choice.

We have ants in our kitchen that we can't seem to get rid of, which has sent us out to eat even more than usual this week. I just cannot prepare a meal in there while watching ants crawl across the counter. And we can't figure out where they're coming from.

My section of the paper was sort of a nightmare scenario this week. The writer who was doing the biggest story in the section got the date mixed up, so I had to pull a rabbit out of my hat Monday morning. Add to that the wires services budgeting stories that never showed up and stories that weren't posted according to their budgeted times.

Then throw in that Jeff is spending sun up to sun down at the coliseum for the basketball tournament, and that doesn't improve our situation.

Plus, Biscuit hasn't responded well to the time change. It is 11:05 p.m., and he is still wide awake! Yet when I go to get him up in the morning, he'll be like a little zombie trying to make his way through breakfast.

Biscuit and I have gotten on each other's nerves so bad this evening, I sent him to my bedroom to watch cartoons while I sat in the living room and watched grown-up TV.

So I'm going to quit griping now and share a few pictures.

Our weather has been completely insane this week. There was
leftover ice and snow into the weekend, then we had temperatures
in the 70s this week. Then it was back to the 30s today. So my
daffodils started budding this weekend while surrounded by snow.

Griffin was playing with his stuffed animals over the weekend.

This one is a little blurry, but there's something
about the look in his eyes that I like.

Look at all that hair. It takes FOREVER to get all the shampoo out of it!
Things will get better around here soon.

Basketball will be over after Sunday, and hopefully, we can get rid of the @#$% ants!

Now if I can just get Biscuit to go to sleep!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Repeat performance

Biscuit and I didn't leave the house Thursday, Friday or Saturday. I think that's a record for us, but it was just so icky outside, we didn't want to go anywhere.

We played and read books and practiced piano and watched TV ... and then we were bored.

I was lying on my back in the floor, and Biscuit came walking over to me and pretended like he was going to jump on me. I told him to stand in front of me and put his belly on my feet. Then I lifted him up. He thought it was the coolest thing ever.

"Mom, we're just like acrobats!" Biscuit said.

I put him down, and we played some more. Then Jeff got home, and Biscuit wanted to show him our trick.

I lifted Biscuit up again, but while he was in the air, he shifted his weight and came crashing down on top of me. He smooshed my glasses against my face (but luckily didn't break them), and his shoulder slammed into my mouth.

My top and bottom lip both puffed up, and my bottom lip bled some. And yeah, it hurt.

Biscuit kept apologizing, but I assured him that it wasn't his fault. We were just playing, and it was an accident.

Then a few hours later, a memory popped into my head.

I tried that same move with my little brother (who now stands 6 feet tall), when I was about 10, and he was 6. And if I remember correctly, it ended the exact same way. Me with a busted mouth.

It would've been nice for that memory to pop into my head in time to stop a repeat performance!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bad mom award

We had more ice and snow Thursday evening, and it's taken what seems like forever for it to go away.

I think the biggest problem is that it sleeted and snowed from 4 p.m. Thursday to about that same time Friday, but then it was 50-plus degrees yesterday and 60 degrees today. It's such a tease. You're all shut in for the bad weather, then it all starts to melt away, but the yard is such a swamp, you can't actually go out and enjoy the warmer temperatures.

Jeff has been covering high school basketball playoffs and a college basketball tournament since Wednesday, so Biscuit and I haven't seen very much of him.

Jeff had to slide his way to the coliseum for games Friday morning, after all the local authorities and the National Weather Service said don't leave the house unless you absolutely have to. I guess they don't know how crazy people are about basketball around here.

Biscuit's day care was closed Friday morning, so I decided to let him sleep in. I got bundled up and went out to help Jeff clear the 2 inches of ice off his car. And did I mention that it was still sleeting and snowing? It took longer than we thought it would. It was hard work, and I was sweating under my layers of clothes.

Jeff spun his way out of the driveway and into the cul-de-sac. Luckily, it's a slight downgrade, so once he got going, gravity helped him out. A few other cars had been in and out of the neighborhood, so there were some shallow tracks. He made his way out of the neighborhood, and I turned around to head inside.

As I slowly made my way up the ice-covered front steps, I heard a weird noise. And as I opened the front door, I realized it was Biscuit.

He was SCREAMING my name and crying harder than I've ever seen him cry. He woke up, came downstairs, looked around for Jeff and me and realized he was alone. All alone!

That poor baby thought Jeff and I left him home by himself. But was he hollering for Jeff? No, it was "Mooooooooom! Please come back! Mooooommmmyyyyy!" 

I cannot put into words how awful the sound of his wailing was. And what was worse, I was covered in sleet and snow and had on about four layers of clothes and couldn't scoop him up and hug him.

I just kept saying over and over, "It's okay, I'm here. I would never leave you by yourself. You know that, right?"

Biscuit had been crying so hard that he was gasping between breaths.

"I ... know ... Mom ... but ... I ... couldn't ... find ... you," Biscuit said.

His eyes were red and puffy until he took a nap that afternoon. Poor boy.

And of course, for the rest of that day, I felt like the front-runner for the Worst Mom Award.

Biscuit and I both survived and spent the day playing and watching TV.

Here are a few icy pictures:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Out of the mouth of my babe

Here are a few things Biscuit has said recently:

Get it right: Biscuit got a balloon from a birthday party and a week and a half later, it's still flying high.

Jeff wrapped the ribbon around the banister a few times, and it's stayed in place until this evening. Biscuit reached up to bat the balloon around, and the ribbon came unwrapped, causing the balloon to float upstairs.

Biscuit climbed the stairs and rescued the balloon, but I could tell he was frustrated.

And let me say that sometimes Biscuit sounds like such a grownup that it's hard to figure out whether to laugh at him or scold him.

As Biscuit was pulling the balloon back down the stairs, he said In a very stern voice, "Dad, I had to rescue this balloon. It's safe now, but next time, you need to tie it up properly."

Big words: Sometimes Biscuit thinks he understands what certain words mean, when he really doesn't.

Like the other day when he wanted to reward me for doing a good job.

He said, "Mom, you did such a good job today that I deserve you a new wrench." And he handed me one of the plastic wrenches from his tool box.

Picking the right finger: Biscuit has started to learn notes at his piano lessons. And at least to start out with, he associates his right hand, starting with his thumb, as C, D, E, F, G.

Like this:

The other morning, Jeff was helping Biscuit blow his nose.

Biscuit said to him, "Dad, I can blow my nose into this tissue, but sometimes all the stuff doesn't come out. Sometimes I have to use my D finger to get the boogers out."

I was brushing my teeth and almost choked on the toothpaste.

"Well, boy," Jeff said, "next time you use your D finger to dig stuff out of your nose, make sure you put it in a tissue, throw away the tissue then wash you hands. Okay?"

"Okay, Dad," Biscuit said in a chipper little voice. "I will."

Biscuit's first concert

Jeff and I worked on the night copydesk at the paper for years. The people who worked on the desk are still some of our closest friends. We had a good crew in those days. I don't know of any of my co-workers at that time who would disagree.

Anyway, we had a few traditions for when new people came in. One was to ask what was the person's first concert. That question usually brought one of two responses. Certain answers would bring uproarious laughter at whatever one-hit wonder or really cheesy group the person saw, and the other responses would get a round of congratulations at being so cool so early on.

I'm not sure how Biscuit will rank on the "cool first concert" scale, but his first show was tonight. We got tickets to go see Terrance Simien and The Zydeco Experience at an area theater.

We rescheduled Biscuit's piano lesson from yesterday to today, and Biscuit asked what we were going to do after his lesson.

"Well, we're going to a concert," I said.

"Oh," Biscuit said, sounding kind of disappointed. "Who will be my babysitter?"

"Nobody," I told him. "You're going, too."

"I AM?!" Biscuit asked, sounding very surprised. "Mom, this will be the first time I've seen music on a stage."

And it was, sort of. He's seen music performances before, but they've been outside performances at festivals and other events. Tonight was the first time he's been to an inside venue with a big stage.

There were about 100 people at the show, and Biscuit was by far the youngest. I saw one girl there who was about 13 or 14, but everyone else was grown.

The band came out on the stage, and the first thing Biscuit noticed was that the keyboard player was a little person.

"Mom, one of the music players is a small adult," Biscuit said. "It happens sometimes, Mom?"

Sometimes when we're talking to Biscuit and trying to explain things, we'll answer him honestly and say, "Sometimes it just happens that way." And I guess that's what he was thinking about.

"Yep, sometimes it happens," I told Biscuit. "But you're right. Even though he isn't very tall, he's still an adult." And I have to say, he was quite a keyboard player, too.

It was really fun to see a zydeco band on Mardi Gras. All the musicians are from Louisiana, so I'm sure it was hard for them to be away from their yearly traditions. But everyone in the theater really got into the show tonight. People danced in their seats. They stood up to dance. Some of the couples moved into the aisles to dance. And at one point, a conga line formed and wound itself around the theater and even across the front of the stage.

I worried for a minute that the band might not like it, but they did. They all smiled and made a fuss over the people dancing. The lead singer was throwing Mardi Gras beads into the audience. People raised their hands and hollered, and he threw out handfuls of the necklaces. 

Biscuit decided at one point that he would like a necklace. He threw his hands up in the air and waved them around. The lead singer looked out and saw him. Then he pointed at him and threw a necklace straight to him. Biscuit caught two strands, I had two and Jeff had one.

Simien has won two Grammy Awards for his music. And after the group finished the first song, Simien turned around and reached into a duffle bag. And what do you think he brought out? One of his Grammys. Everybody made a huge fuss.

The lead singer played several kinds of accordions. There was a bass player, lead guitarist, keyboard player, drummer, and of course, a guy playing a metal washboard (or rubboard, as they call it).

I have to say that I didn't go into the concert with any expectations, but the whole show was so much fun.

After the show, Simien came out into the lobby to talk to people, take pictures and sign autographs. We bought a CD and let Biscuit take it over for an autograph. Biscuit introduced himself, and he and Simien talked a little about the show. Then he asked Biscuit to spell his name so he could personalize it for him.

We listened to some of the music on the way home, but we were all too tired to throw out any dance moves.

I did take a few pictures with my phone. So the quality isn't very good, but here they are anyway.

Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience.

Grammy Award-winning singer
and musician Terrance Simien
... and his funny-looking hat!

Biscuit shows off his Mardi Gras beads.

Biscuit with two-time Grammy winner Terrance Simien.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ropin' and ridin'

Jeff had to cover a college basketball game tonight. 

And before you even ask, yes, Biscuit and I are tired of Jeff's wacky schedule lately.

Weekend before last, he covered two college basketball games in one day. TWO games! Then last weekend was the gymnastics tournament. Tonight is a college basketball game. And weekend after next, he'll be covering a college basketball tournament all weekend.

We're ready to have him home for normal hours!

But Biscuit and I have had a lot of fun playing together.

Sometimes when I have to bring work home, he hands me whichever action figure I'm supposed to be, then he just sort of plays around me. He's very understanding about when I'm working. He knows he can assign me a character but that I can't actively participate. I hate it when that happens, but hey, it's work. And sometimes, that's the way it is.

Biscuit's piano lesson was cancelled tonight because we got more snow. Those crazy weather people said we would get some sleet, but now we have about an inch and a half of snow. Just enough to shut down pretty much everything. Well, except the newspaper!

So with our usual plans out the window, Biscuit and I had lots (AND LOTS) of time to play.

We started by playing police. Then we moved on to superheroes. Then we were firefighters. And lastly, we were cowboys.

Biscuit really is too big for his bouncy horse, but we haven't been able to get rid of it yet. He still rides the thing all the time.

I tied a piece of thick yarn into a lasso for him, and he used it to go out ropin' steers.

Here he is after flinging his lasso around his cow. He got this sweet little cow from my nephew for his first or second Christmas. And now the poor thing is getting rounded up.

He's wearing quite the outfit. The shirt is what he wore to
day care. His jeans got wet in the snow, so he swapped out to
the pajama pants he wore last night. Then he added the vest.
See that serious look on his face? I asked him if he wanted to smile, but he said being a cowboy was serious business.

As much as I've enjoyed spending time with Biscuit, I'm ready to get back to the three of us.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Race coverage

Santa Claus really struggled year before last to find a plain, old-fashioned Hot Wheels race track. 

We didn't want electronics or bells and whistles. We wanted the kind of track that were sold when Jeff and I were kids. And luckily, Santa was able to track one down.

This track has all the pieces to make long straightaways, banked curves, loops and more. It also comes with C-clamps, which allow the track to be attached to, oh, say, my dining room table!

I think the best track we've built so far has been when we clamped the track to the table, ran track down to the floor, built a loop, followed by a short straightaway, then a banked curve into a ramp. Very cool!

The track Biscuit has right now is pretty straightforward. It starts with a launcher, goes into a loop and ends with a ramp. And boy is it exciting when a car makes it all the way through.

One new thing that Biscuit is doing, and I can only attribute it to him watching sports with Jeff, is that if a car makes it all the way through the track, he will then "show the video." I guess he means like an instant replay.

Here's Biscuit running a car through his track, then offering to "show the video."

Two great tastes that taste great together

Remember the old commercials for Reese's Cups? The slogan was "two great tastes that taste great together."

Well, I brought that to pass at our house this evening.

When we sat down for dinner tonight, my unsuspecting son was his normal happy self. But when he found out what I had whipped up to eat, he was so excited that I got a hug and a kiss before he had even taken the first bite.

Biscuit's two favorite foods are pizza and tacos. And tonight, I just went crazy and combined the two. The boy was way more excited than he needed to be.

I made a cornbread batter and spread it out thin in a sheet pan, then baked it until it was done. Meanwhile, I browned some ground chicken and added taco seasoning into it. I also sauteed some black beans and corn, just like I do when we have tacos.

When the cornbread was done, I sprinkled some Mexican blend cheese on top, then spread out the meat, corn and black beans, then added a little more cheese. I baked it for 5 more minutes, and it was done.

I meant to take a picture of it because it was pretty, but we were digging in before I even thought about getting my phone or camera.

Biscuit was quite pleased with his meal.

"Mom, I can't believe you took my two favorite foods and put them together!" he said.

I love how easy he is to please ... at least for now.