Thursday, June 26, 2014

A little R and R

I just finished working for the evening. Yep, it's 12:11 a.m. There's just something wrong about having to work more than 12 hours in a day just to be able to take off a couple of days!

Of course, I'm up to my eyeballs in two projects and my regular workload, so that could explain the long hours, too.

But we're leaving tomorrow for our annual mountain trip with my side of the family.

I just got Biscuit's clothes packed, but Jeff and I are still doing laundry. I hope that once we get our stuff packed and get on the road, we'll be able to leave behind the grind of work.

Biscuit seems to be very excited about our trip. Jeff and I aren't quite there yet.

We have a house in a valley with a pretty stream running through the yard. There are 10 beds, just enough for everybody. It has all the modern amenities I love and the grill and firepit my brother loves.

Around here, people go to the mountains in the summer more than the winter. It's a little bit cooler than the beach, plus you don't have to worry about driving in the snow!

I still have some graduation stories, photos and videos to share. Plus, several other things. So hopefully, I can get caught up.

But until then, here's a slideshow of the house we're renting this weekend.

Pretty mountain scenery, here we come!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Moving on up

Biscuit graduated from pre-K this evening. He was very excited, and we were very proud. More details to come, but for now, here's our graduate.

Monday, June 23, 2014

He's baaaaack!

Biscuit has told us tons of stories about his time with his grandparents, uncle, aunt and cousins.

As a matter of fact, when I talked to him Friday morning, he said, "Mom, has it been 12 days already? Do I have to come home now?"

Not "Do I GET to come home," but "Do I HAVE to come home."

My side of the family is going on our annual mountain trip Thursday, so it won't even be a full week before he sees them again. And he did seem happy to see Jeff and me. But I could tell he was sad leaving his people, too.

We meet at a restaurant just off the interstate to make the hand-off.

We didn't get home until 11:30 p.m. Friday, so we pretty much went straight to bed.

I was worried because my Mama and Biscuit slept in the guest bedroom at their house. That's where we always sleep when we visit, so Mama thought Biscuit would be more comfortable in a familiar room.

But here, Biscuit's room is upstairs, and mine and Jeff's room is downstairs.

He was so tired Friday night that it wasn't an issue. He just crashed. But Saturday night, he stalled and stalled and stalled his bed time. And then he wanted to know if one of us would sleep with him.

I assured him that he was back safe and sound in his own bed, and that all his stuffed animals were standing guard around him. He finally gave in. I'm not sure what time he fell asleep, but he came down to our room about 8 a.m. I was just getting up, and he seemed a little disoriented. I told him to go to the bathroom, then come back and climb in bed with Jeff and me.

He did, and next thing I know, Biscuit was laying ACROSS our bed.

The king took over our king!

Good thing Jeff and I were ready to get up!

Biscuit was in desperate need of a haircut, so we took him to a new place, just for kids. He was pretty excited when I showed him that they get to sit in cars while they have their hair done.

It's crazy because they pick between a regular chair or one of three car chairs, then the stylists let them pick a movie to watch while their getting their hair cut. I guess it keeps the kids preoccupied so they sit still.

They gave him a balloon and let him choose a piece of candy before we left. The haircut didn't cost any more than the regular barber shop, and I think she did a great job, so we'll probably go back next time he needs a trim.

After his haircut, we went out for lunch, then to a few other stores to do our regular shopping and to pick up a few things for our mountain trip.

Biscuit spent Saturday afternoon with a friend at a bounce house (pictures and a video to come), then we went to a summer solstice celebration yesterday evening. So with that and our outing today, his weekend was pretty busy.

He heads back to day care tomorrow after two weeks off. Tomorrow is their last day before their graduation. Can you picture 5-year-olds in caps and gowns?! And of course there will be pictures!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The silence is broken

I've never gone this long without posting, but I figured if Biscuit was taking a break, I would take one, too.

We're driving halfway to my parents' house tomorrow evening after work to pick up our boy. I've never been away from him this long.

And since Biscuit got here, our house has never been this quiet.

Of course, Jeff and I haven't spent that much time at home.

We left Biscuit at his grandparents' on Monday. On Tuesday, Jeff left to go cover the U.S. Open golf tournament. And he was gone until the following Sunday night.

So I spent six days completely alone. Well, once I got home, anyway.

It was very weird because I lived alone for several years and slept like a baby. But I'm so used to Biscuit and Jeff being here, that I had trouble falling asleep every single night they were gone.

On the plus side, I saw four movies and went to two new restaurants. Grownup movies. And grownup restaurants.

Jeff and I tried a new place tonight, then sat on one of the benches beside this fountain. It was nice. It was quiet. And all I could do was imagine Biscuit running circles around this fountain like he did last summer.

I've talked to Biscuit at least once, sometimes twice a day since he's been gone. He tells me about the great things he's been doing. He's split time between my parents' house and my brother's house. And everything they have is way cooler than anything we have! At least to hear him talk about it.

Biscuit doesn't talk very long on the phone before he says, "Well ... I love you ... bye." And he goes back to his very important playing.

I called Mama this morning to check in, and when she put Biscuit on the phone, he was so excited.

"Mom, Mom, guess what? I did some AMAZING things yesterday," Biscuit said. "Do you want to hear about them?"

"Definitely," I said. "What did you do?"

"Well, yesterday, I drove Grandmama's car. And then I helped Papa take out the trash. And THEN ... I touched a real-live catfish. Can you believe it, Mom?"

"That is SO cool," I said.

I'm sure I'll be hearing lots more stories over the next week or so.

I did get a few pictures along the way.

I'm not sure why they both had their eyes closed, but there was a
full moon out, and they had to drive out into the dark field to check it out.

From what I've heard, Biscuit spent a
lot of time in his cousins' tree house.

And I heard all about the cool tricks he could do on the trampoline.

Clearly, this child does not share my fear of water!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Boyless, aka without the boy

Jeff and I are driving on the interstate, and our car is awfully quiet. And the backseat is awfully empty. 

That's because we left our boy at Grandmama's house. 

And he'll be there for 10 1/2 whole days!

We went for my niece's birthday, which turned out really well. Then we spent the rest of the weekend at my parents' house.

We had a big traditional Sunday dinner with fried chicken and all our other home-cooked favorites. Then we packed up our stuff to come home.

Well, we packed up mine and Jeff's stuff to come home.

Biscuit will be swapping off the next week and a half between my parents' house and my brother and sister-in-law's house. And Biscuit and his cousins are very excited.

When it came time for Jeff and me to leave, Biscuit came into the kitchen (where Jeff and I were packing up leftovers), and said, "Guys, have a safe trip home. Mom, you enjoy going to the movies, and Dad, you have fun at the golf course."

Just like that, Biscuit was wishing us on our way.

When I told Biscuit that he was going to his grandparents' house for a while, he asked me what Jeff and I would do while he was gone.

"I'm going to the movies!" I told him.

I love going to the movies, and I hardly ever get to go anymore. And luckily, there are several out that I'd like to see right now.

And Jeff will be covering the U.S. Open from Monday through Sunday.

It's funny because even though I know that I left him behind, I've still caught myself thinking about getting his clothes ready for the morning. And I laughed out loud a few minutes ago and worried that I might wake him up.

It's weird and quiet with Biscuit around, but I know he'll have a great time.

I was joking with him over the weekend. "I want you to cry for me every day. (While pretend crying) I want my Mama. Boo hoo hoo hoo."

"Mom, I'm not going to cry every day," Biscuit said. "I'll wait until the 10th day, and then I'll cry, okay?"

"Ooookay," I said.

"And don't grow while you're here, either, okay?" I said.

"But Mom, I can't help it," Biscuit said. "When you're a little boy, you HAVE to grow up to be a big boy. That's just what happens."

"Well, then, don't have any fun, okay?" I said to him.

"Moooom," Biscuit said. And then he paused. "What if I have fun, but I just don't tell you about it?"

"Okay," I said. "I guess that'll be okay."

And of course, I don't want Biscuit to cry. And I do want him to grow and have fun. And I know he will do these things, simply because he is 100% sure that we're coming back for him.

I truly think that's what makes him so independent. He knows we'll be there for him when he needs us.

So I wonder who will handle the separation better ... me or Biscuit?!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Still growing

It seems like Biscuit stays the same size for the longest time, then all of a sudden, he'll shoot up an inch or so.

The car seat in my car has several settings. It started out facing backwards for when he was wee tiny. Then we turned it around, and Biscuit was so excited to be able to see where we were going.

The next step was to take the harness off and use it with a seatbelt while it was still on the base. And that's what I just did ... last week!

My boss was on vacation this week so I've been doing my stuff and hers. That meant Jeff did more dropping off and picking up this week. So Biscuit hasn't been in the car seat in my car.

We're on the way to Mama's for my niece's birthday. When we got the car packed and told Biscuit to get in, I realized quickly that we couldn't leave until we took his car seat to its final level. 

We took off the base, and now Biscuit just looks grown!

Jeff doesn't usually give in when Biscuit asks for gadgets he's seen on TV, but he did this week. Biscuit is the proud owner of a Seat Pet he named Patch.

Patch wraps around the seatbelt to make it more comfy. He also acts as a support if Biscuit falls asleep.

A new car seat setting and a new gadget, Biscuit is just having a banner week!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Lunch swap

Biscuit had a field trip today at day care. They were going to one of the local parks. And for some reason, they had to wear blue, green or yellow polo-style shirts. Not sure about that.

Jeff signed the permission slip the other day but didn't see the notice above the list that said the kids needed to bring bag lunches.

So of course Biscuit gets there with his blue shirt on and no lunch.

Jeff called just as I was leaving the house to tell me what was going on. And of course, there wasn't a crumb of bread in the house.

So after a trip to the grocery store, we threw together a lunch of PB&J, goldfish, fruit snacks and a juice box. I threw it all in a blue lunch bag and wrote his name on it. Then I handed it to Jeff so he could take it to day care.

Biscuit's day care, as well as most day cares and schools these days, are nut-free, and as bad as I feel for the kids with allergies, it annoys me to no end that my kid has to leave his favorite meal at home because of another kid's allergies. That might make me sound mean, but it's just flat-out annoying.

Anyway, the kids got to the park and were ready for lunch. But as soon as they saw what Biscuit had, they took away his PB&J and gave him ham and cheese. And thankfully, he likes ham and cheese.

I honestly never thought about it. When Biscuit eats sandwiches, PB&J is always his first choice. So out of habit, that's exactly what I made. Now that I think about it, we don't have any ham and cheese, either!

Biscuit and I have already been talking about his lunch options when he starts kindergarten. One or all of us is going to be out of town every weekend in June, so I told him when July comes, and things calm down, we'll try some different things and see what he'd like to take. Plus, it has to fit in a lunchbox.

So we'll get all the food stuff sorted out before kindergarten rolls around, but I'm still annoyed about the situation today.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Biscuit at the park

Yesterday and today were pretty tough days, and the rest of the week will probably follow suit. I'm filling in for my boss, whose on vacation. And I'm supposed to have someone filling in for me (don't even ask me about the crazy switcheroo of that situation!), but we've had some breaking stories, and I've ended up doing her stuff and mine, too.

That also means I haven't spent a lot of time with Biscuit so far this week. He and I did play about eight games of Junior Yahtzee this evening after dinner. I beat him more times than he beat me. He didn't like that, but boy, I did!

But that's about all I have to report, so instead of telling a story, I'll share some pictures I took at the park this past Saturday.

Biscuit was very proud of his accomplishments
on the monkeybars. He made it to No. 3
before he had to drop. "Mom, next time, I'm
going to make it even farther," Biscuit said.

He can also do the fireman's pole by himself.
Although I had to scold him because he wasn't sliding all
the way down. He was dropping most of the way. Our
insurance isn't good enough for him to break a leg!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Good news vs. bad news

When I was a kid, I had a book that was about a little boy who had good and bad luck while he was out on an adventure for the day. It would say something like, "Fortunately, John was able to use a parachute to jump from the plane. Unfortunately, the parachute didn't open. But fortunately, he landed on a big pile of hay." That sort of thing.

Well, I could've written that book about Biscuit yesterday. He was just a little out of sync all day long. Well, maybe all three of us were.

We decided to take Jeff's Barracuda, so he dropped the top and got it ready to go.

Biscuit got dressed, then ran out and got in the back seat.

"What's on his face?" I asked Jeff.

"Looks like peanut butter," Jeff said. "Did you wash his face and brush his teeth?"

"No," I said. "I thought you did."

Back in the house we went. And this was while we were already late.

Anyway ...

Fortunately: We started the day with his last baseball game.
Unfortunately: Biscuit just wasn't in the mood to play baseball.

We got an email Friday from the coach that said he had a previous commitment and couldn't make Saturday's game. And I quote, "Parents will need to help out. You know what to do."

He didn't send anyone in his place or anything! He just flat-out didn't show up. So Jeff, another dad and I were pretty much in charge. Jeff manned third base. I was at first, and the other dad pitched. And I'm glad he could pitch because they would've been in trouble if I had to do it.

Our team hit first, and Biscuit's swings were about as lackluster as I've seen them. He didn't hit a single pitch, and the other dad who was pitching was doing a better job than the coach usually does. So both times Biscuit was at bat, he swung three times, missed three times, then had to hit off the tee.

Then our team went into the field. Did I mention that we only had six kids at first bat? A couple more showed up as we were heading out onto the field.

The general rule of thumb with kids this small is to just line them up around the baseline to field the balls. So I put one of our best players on first base, then put Biscuit between first and second. I put our biggest troublemaker between Biscuit and second base. Jeff had the other troublemaker.

My troublemaker is a talented kid, but he's already got quite a mouth on him. He assured all the other kids that he's way better than any of them ever hoped to be. And during this smack-talk, he wouldn't watch the batter. He doesn't listen, either. During the first game, when a batter hit the ball, every kid on the field ran after the ball. Gradually, the kids have learned that whoever the ball comes closest to should be the one to grab it and throw it to first base. But not the boy near me. He ran after every single ball that was hit, no matter where it went.

So one of the first balls hit came toward Biscuit. So Biscuit ran forward to grab the ball. But the bigger, faster kid ran after it, too. The bigger kid grabbed the ball, stepped on Biscuit's foot in the process, then threw the ball to first base.

So Biscuit starts crying. And I wasn't in the mood. So in one of my finer moments as a parent, I said, "You can't cry and play baseball at the same time. If you want to cry, go sit down. If you want to play, get back to your position and watch the batter."

"But Mom," Biscuit whined. "He stepped on my foot."

"Cry or play?" I asked him.

"Play," Biscuit said.

He still didn't hit anything, but at least his time in the field improved some.

Fortunately: We had planned a picnic with some friends. They have a son just four months younger than Biscuit.

Unfortunately: Jeff and Biscuit were STARVING, and we HAD to have lunch.

I picked out a neighborhood park we had never been to, and our friends were going to meet us there at 1:30 p.m. But Biscuit's game was over at 10:45, and we had a long time to go until we could have lunch.

I suggested a snack, but that didn't go over well. Real food was all that would satisfy them.

So we went to a restaurant for lunch. And it was good, but I was grumpy all over again because we were supposed to eat with our friends.

Fortunately: Even after eating, we still had time for Jeff to get a haircut before we were supposed to meet our friends.

Unfortunately: The barber shop was busy, and it took longer than we thought.

Biscuit and I walked across the street to a clothing store while we waited for Jeff to get his hair cut. It seemed like we had been looking around for quite a while, and we hadn't heard from Jeff.

So we walked back to the barber shop, and she was just getting started on Jeff's hair, despite the fact that the shop closed at 1 p.m., and it was 1:12 as Biscuit and I walked in. And I had promised Biscuit we could stop and get him a cookie as a treat to have during the "picnic."

We walked out of the barbershop at 1:25.

We stopped at the store, got the treat and headed to the park.

And then we got lost.

The park is long and skinny and winds around a neighborhood. But it's bordered on two sides by four-lane roads and dang-near impossible to get to.

So of course, we take the wrong turn and can't get to where we need to be. And it's 1:40. And my grumpiness is growing by the second!

We finally get to the park, with no picnic, at 1:50.

We had two and a half hours between Biscuit's ballgame and the picnic, and we were still 20 minutes late! Ugh!

So our friends at their food while we just sat there staring at them. Not at all uncomfortable.

Fortunately: We enjoy hanging out with these friends.

Unfortunately: Biscuit made his friend play Peter Pan and Capt. Hook, which mean sword-fighting with sticks. And can that ever end well?!

Biscuit's wrist got hit, and you would've thought the world was ending. Our boy is very brave, but not at all tough. The other little boy was so upset, and Biscuit's crying wasn't helping him at all. Both boys came back to the picnic table for a while. Some snacks and drinks seemed to make everything better.

They ran around and played until both of them had sweaty heads. And they both seemed sad to leave. So it started out in a questionable way, but ended up okay.

Fortunately: One of my friends retired and has been taking painting lessons. She's done eight paintings and was having an art show at her painting teacher's house.

Unfortunately: Biscuit was tired and sweaty and had no interest whatsoever in art.

There are three things you need to know about the art show: 

1. My friend was proud.
2. I was proud for her.
3. I had to have a talk with Biscuit that went something like this: We've been doing fun stuff for you all day, and right now, for a little while, you're going to behave and sit still for Dad and me.

Fortunately: To celebrate the fact that we made it through our crazy day, we stopped by our favorite local frozen yogurt shop.
Unfortunately: When I walked into the bathroom, it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn't put sunblock on Biscuit or me. We were both sunburned.

For the second time in his five years, Biscuit has a sunburn. Well, he HAD a sunburn. Luckily, he has Jeff's skin tone and despite the fact that my face, neck, ears and arms are all still bright pink, Biscuit's sun has soaked into a nice brown tan.

Even so, I still feel terrible for letting him get burned.

"Mom, you realize me getting sunburned is all your fault, right?" Biscuit said to me.

"Yes, I realize that," I said.

It was just that kind of day!

Also, did I mention all the lost objects we had to track down?

As we were leaving the baseball field, I walked past the dugout and saw Biscuit's glove under the bench. And his water bottle was on the far end of the bench. Then I saw his bat lying on the ground by the bleachers. Where was Biscuit, you ask? He was playing on a big hill of dirt with no clue that his stuff was missing.

Then, on the way to the yogurt shop, I looked back to see Biscuit squinting in the sun. Why? Because his sunglasses were at the art show. So we had to go back and get those. About 15-minute drive round trip.

Then, as we were leaving the yogurt shop, Biscuit couldn't find his hat. It was on a table in the bathroom at the yogurt shop.

The boy survived the day, but just barely. Luckily, today was way more laid back. And we were all in a much better place.