Friday, April 29, 2016

Food Glorious Food

The first-grade classes at Biscuit's school put on a concert last week called "Food Glorious Food." They sang food-themed songs with hand motions and dance moves and a bunch of the kids recited a food-themed poem in between the songs.

Sadly, I don't have any video of it. I do have pictures, though.

As the program started, they played "Food Glorious Food," the song from the musical "Oliver." Then the kids filed in. Three classes at a time stood on the risers, and the other two classes stood on each side of the stage. Each class has school T-shirts in a different color. It helps the teachers and chaperones keep the kids straight.

So I asked Biscuit how the program would work, and he said, "Well, each class will get to step up to the tape for one song."

And he said like I was supposed to know exactly what "step up to the tape" meant. Turns out, it means exactly what it sound like. The classes rotated in and out of position when it was time to sing their songs. Biscuit's class was "on the tape" for "Apples and Bananas." But sadly, Biscuit was on the second row, and we couldn't see him at all.

After his class did their song, they filed up on the risers. Then I could finally see him.

And what did he do? He immediately spotted me in the crowd, waved both hands in the air wildly, then put on a cute smile because he knew I would have my camera turned on him!

The program included:

"Beans and Marines" - "Yes, we're beans, beans, we love to feed Marines in the store, in the store. Oh yes we're beans, bean, we love to feed Marines in the corner grocery store."

"Apples and Bananas" - "I like to eat. I like to eat. I like to eat. Apples and bananas." Then they work their way through the vowels. "I like to eat. Eepples and benenes." Then "I like to ote. Opples and bononos."

"The Muffin Man" - "Do you know the Muffin Man, the Muffin Man, the Muffin Man? Yes, I know the Muffin Man who lives on Drury Lane?"

"Down by the Bay" - Down by the bay, where watermelons grow, back to my home, I dare not go, for if I do, my mother will say, "Have you ever seen a moose sipping on juice?" They repeated the "down by the bay" part, but changed the questions at the end. They included: "Have you ever seen a whale munching some kale?" "Have you ever seen a fly eating a pie?" "Have you ever seen a bear eating a pear?" "Have you ever seen a llama eating lasagna?"

"Fruits and Vegetables" - "Fruits and vegetables, fruits and vegetables, I will eat them every day. Hey! Fruits and vegetables, fruits and vegetables, make me want to shout hooray. Hooray! Chop, chop, chop. Slice, slice, slice. Dice, dice, dice. I will eat them every day. Hey!"

"Popping Corn" - "Popping corn, popping corn. Hear it bang and sputter. Popping corn, popping corn. I like lots of butter."

"On Top of Spaghetti" - "On top of spaghetti all covered with cheese. I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed. It rolled off the table, it rolled on the floor. And then my poor meatball rolled out of the door."

It was a cute program, and we enjoyed watching how the different kids behaved (or misbehaved!).

Here are some pictures of Biscuit at the show:

Biscuit's class is in green. You can see a tiny
bit of his head between a couple of boys.

"Chop, chop, chop."

"Dice, dice, dice."

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Creating a cityscape

The first-grade classes created cityscapes as their most recent school art project. The art teacher at Biscuit's school is really creative and always seems to have nice displays in the hallways.

Last Thursday evening (a few hours before Biscuit's fever started!), all the first-grade classes put on a musical performance (pictures from that later), and parents were encouraged to roam the halls to see the work the kids did. Each class did its own project.

The kids got to choose what they wanted to add, and Biscuit's idea was a firehouse and a couple of school buses. They could only use paper, no crayons, markers, etc. And they could either cut or tear the pieces to create the mural.

Here are some pictures of what Biscuit's class created:

This is Biscuit's main part of the mural. He was a little disappointed in the firehouse.

"Mom, other than the fact that it's red, you can't even tell that it's a firehouse!" Biscuit said, clearly frustrated.

I don't think we'll have to worry about him becoming an abstract artist!

Sunday, April 24, 2016


It seems like every two weeks, I can write a post about Biscuit being sick. That is not the topic I want to be writing about!

The poor kid had strep throat, then two weeks later, he had Flu A. Two week after that, he had strep throat again. And now, he's getting over Flu B!

The first-graders put on a cute musical show Thursday evening, and by the time we got home, he said he wasn't feeling well. I reached up to feel his forehead, and he was hot. The second sign is if his cheeks are hot, too. And they were.

He had a 103 fever. And the thing I thought was, "Not again!"

It's bad enough that we have to pay a $30 copay every time we have to take him to the doctor. And it's not any better that he's missed a ton of school this year. But the poor kid just deserved to have a break!

We've been to several doctors in our pediatrics practice, and they assure us that it's normal. I'd be worried about his immune system, but the fact that his body is making fevers proves that it's trying to fight off illness.

I now have full access to my work stuff at home, which was a blessing Friday. The only problem was that poor Biscuit was feeling bad, and he just wanted to be held and snuggled.

It seemed like I would get some work done, then he would crawl off the couch and come to my rocking chair.

It is impossible to use a computer with a kid taking up your entire lap. And did I mention that the blanket he's using is hot?!

Luckily, nothing I had to do for work Friday was pressing. So I worked when I could and held him when he asked. 

Biscuit had to miss his baseball game Saturday and a play date Sunday. And I've slowly but surely done my work stuff throughout the weekend.

The good news is that he didn't have a fever at all today, so that's the sign that we can send him back to school. His teacher has been really understanding and has helped make sure he hasn't gotten behind. I hope our luck with good teachers holds out!

Let's just all say a prayer and cross our fingers that this poor child can get a break from germs and cooties!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Growing up fast

Biscuit was messing around with his tablet this evening, and I gave Jeff a signal that it was bath time.

"Biscuit, it's time for your bath," Jeff told him.

"Okay, hold on," Biscuit said. "I just need to get ooooonnne more."

"Okay, I'm holding on," Jeff said as he grabbed ahold of the end table by the couch.

"Okay, I'm ready," Biscuit said and turned off his tablet.

"Look," Jeff said, "I'm holding on."

Biscuit looked at me and smiled. 

"Mom," Biscuit said, "Dad is literally holding on."

"Dude, I love that you what 'literally' means," I told him.

"Yep," Biscuit said, "I'm growing up fast."

Jeff and I started laughing.

"What?" Biscuit said. "What's funny?"

"You are," Jeff and I said at the same time.

"I do try to be entertaining," Biscuit said.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Prom photos

My niece's junior prom was on April 2, and she wanted me to take some pictures of her and her boyfriend all gussied up in their formal wear.

We drove one town over from where they live to this garden where all the azaleas were in full bloom. It was really pretty. 

The garden is also in my college town, so after we were done with the photos, I drove through the front part of the campus to show Biscuit where I lived and went to school.

After I shared some stories and told him about having to walk all over campus to get to classes, he declared that he would go to college, but he wasn't leaving home.

"I'm going to live with you and Dad while I go to college," Biscuit said. "I want to be really close to home."

Yeah, let's revisit that in about 10 years!

Anyway, I had a really good time posing my niece and her boyfriend. And although I can't post any of their photos here, I can post a few of Biscuit that I snapped along the way.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has said recently:

Tasty treats: Biscuit gets to have lots of treats when he's at my parents' house. And that's as it should be. I remember special treats that both of my grannies kept on hand for our visits.

So Biscuit consumes a lot of Pop-Tarts when he visits my parents. And recently, he's decided that he likes them better untoasted.

So Mama got a kick out of the question he asked her one morning.

"Grandmama, did you uncook my Pop-Tart?" Biscuit asked.

"Yes, I did," Mama said. "Just like you like it."

Phone time: I called Biscuit twice a day while he was away. He never wanted to talk long, but he wanted to hear from me in the morning and in the evening before he went to bed.

We would discuss what he was doing and what he had been eating and where he had been going. And he always had good stories to tell me.

But I could always tell when he had bigger and better things to do than talking to me.

I called one evening, and he was kind of quiet. We hadn't been on the phone but a couple of minutes, and he said, "Well, is there anything specific you wanted to talk to me about?"

I had to smile.

"Not really," I told him. "I just wanted to tell you that I miss you, and I love you."

"Okay," he said. "I love you, too, but I think I'm going to go now."

And that was that.

Daily reading: Biscuit is supposed to read for 20 minutes each day. They're trying to build up their reading stamina so that when they get to the third grade and have to take the end-of-the-grade tests, they'll be prepared to read the passages and answer the questions.

This evening, Biscuit grabbed a book and climbed into Jeff's chair in the living room. He started reading out loud.

Once he had read a few pages, he said, "Mom, would it be okay if I just read in my mind?"

I was completely distracted and didn't get what he was saying at first.

"What?" I asked him.

"I was reading out loud, but now I'd like to just read in my mind," he said. "Is that okay?"

"Yep," I said. "That is perfectly fine."

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Baseball begins

It's time for baseball.

Biscuit played for our local Y last year, and we found it much more organized and better-coached than the rec league we did the first year. So we signed him up again this year.

They've had three practices, and today was their first game.

Biscuit couldn't play at the first practice. He had the flu. We went so he could meet the coach and the other kids, but I wouldn't let him get near anybody. He and Jeff went to the next practice alone because I was packing his clothes for his spring break trip to his grandparents' house. Then this week, Jeff had a late assignment, and I had to take him. It was windy and cold, and I wish I could've done like a bunch of the other parents and sat in the car. I guess I could've, but if Biscuit was out there playing in that weather, I wanted to support him.

Jeff is helping out again this year, too. It's really nice to see several of the dads helping. And it seems like all of the dads are patient and have the kids' learning and best interest at heart.

Today was another cold and windy day. The temperature was in the 40s, but my weather app said it felt like 39. And I agree! Here it is April, and I had to wear sweatshirt and a coat, and I was still cold. I pulled my coat collar up, and I was wearing a cap, so all you could see of me was my eyes! I felt bad for the kids out there in their thin little uniforms. Some kids even kept their jackets on.

I love seeing all the kids running out on the field. They're so cute in their uniforms and cleats. They did a good job, too. Most of them are starting to understand what SHOULD happen, even if they can't actually MAKE it happen yet. Like, they understand that if they stop the ball, they should throw it to first base, but when they throw the ball, it doesn't actually make it to first base. But as their little arms get stronger, that stuff will improve.

Biscuit struggled in the field today. He was playing second base at one point, and another kid stopped the ball and would've thrown it to second base to get a kid out, but Biscuit hadn't run to the base. He did better with his batting. He got three hits in three at-bats.

This might sound crazy, but I kind of like that baseball is a little bit of a struggle for Biscuit. The music stuff has come easily to him. Don't get me wrong, he practices aplenty, but some of his musical ability is innate. But he has to work hard at baseball, and I think it's a good lesson for him.

Here's Biscuit in this year's uniform.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Cooties, germs and illness, oh my!

My poor Biscuit just can't seem to stay well. We found out yesterday that he has strep throat.

Jeff and I went to my parents' house Friday after work to bring him back home. Saturday, I got to take prom pictures of my niece and her boyfriend at a really pretty garden. Biscuit was playing around and seemed to be fine. But about 2:30 a.m., Mama came to mine and Jeff's bedroom door and called me.

"I think he has a fever," she said.

I have to back up and say that despite the fact that I was a Girl Scout for years and years, I was not prepared.

As Jeff and I pulled into the restaurant parking lot to pass off Biscuit to my parents, I looked at Jeff with my mouth open.

"What is it?" he asked.

"I did not pack a single toiletry for that child," I told him. "When I was in the shower this morning, I was thinking, 'After he comes in here to brush his teeth, I'll pack up his toothbrush, toothpaste, allergy medicine and the rest of his stuff.' But he tricked me by getting ready all by himself in the upstairs bathroom. And I never thought twice about his getting-ready stuff."

After telling Mama what was going on, she said, "He has a toothbrush, shampoo and soap at the house."

There was a grocery store and a pharmacy near the restaurant, so between the two, we got the rest of what he needed.

The thing is, though, I usually pack acetaminophen and ibuprofen just in case, especially when he's going to be there a little over a week.

So when he woke up with the fever, there was nothing in the house to help him.

My parents live on the backside of nowhere, so the closest 24-hour store is 20 minutes away. So guess what happened about 2:45 a.m.? And of course Mama made me wake up Jeff because of course I couldn't drive 20 minutes away and go to into a store at that hour because of course someone will knock me in the head!

We got the medicine and got back as soon as we could. We dosed up Biscuit, and Mama sent Jeff and me back to bed because she knew we had to drive home Sunday.

Biscuit was in the best spirits he could be Sunday morning, then my brother and his family came over to eat lunch after church. His oldest daughter was sick, too.

We drove the 2 1/2 hours home Sunday evening, and by the time we got home, Biscuit's temperature was back up. It was 104.

My sister-in-law took my niece to the doctor Monday, and they said whatever she had was viral. So naturally, we assumed the same was true of Biscuit. We figured that it would run its course.

But it didn't.

When he got up Tuesday morning, he still had a fever. So we got him a doctor's appointment. I went in to work Tuesday, and Jeff said he could work from home and take Biscuit to his doctor's appointment.

Jeff said they spent a good bit of time with the nurse. She asked a bunch of questions and swabbed his throat. Then they waited a little while.

When the doctor came in, she said, "It's strep. I'll send in a prescription." And that was that.

Jeff said it was probably the shortest time he had ever spent with a doctor in an appointment.

So Biscuit has strep throat this week, the flu two weeks ago and strep two weeks before that. It's crazy!

I'll be glad when I have a healthy Biscuit!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Out of the mouth of my babe - Grandparents edition

A few things Biscuit said while spending Spring Break at his grandparents house:

Egg hunt: We planned for Biscuit to spend Spring Break at my parents' house. And then we realized that he was out the Friday before as well. So even though that meant that he wouldn't be with us on Easter, we drove to the halfway point and handed off Biscuit.

That also meant that he got to go to the Easter egg hunt at their church on Saturday. He's been to the hunt before, and we usually go to church when we visit them, so lots of people already know him by name.

I guess he didn't get enough on that Saturday because Sunday afternoon, he asked Mama if they could do some more.

"Grandmama, can we seek eggs?" Biscuit asked.

"What do you mean?" Mama asked.

"You know," Biscuit said, "like someone hides them and someone seeks them."

Mama said after she realized what he was asking for, it made perfect sense to her. And she hid them, and he told me on the phone later that evening that he "seeked" them.

The Easter Bunny: Mama and Biscuit went to the store and on the way home, they had a conversation that really surprised Mama.

Biscuit was looking out the car window.

"I love nature," Biscuit said. "Some people don't believe in Mother Nature. ... I mean, I know she's not a real person. She just stands for nature."

Mama said she just kind of agreed with him and let it go.

Then, he said, "You know, some people don't believe in the Easter Bunny. ... I guess I don't really believe in him, either."

"You don't?" Mama asked.

"Well, I think it's probably something like Mom and Dad or you and Papa get up during the night and leave stuff in my basket," Biscuit said.

Mama said she had no idea what to say, so she changed the subject. But of course as soon as they got out of the car, she sent Biscuit inside the house and stayed outside to call me. I'm not ready for all that fun to be over, so until he brings it up to Jeff and me, all systems are still a go!

The bear facts: Biscuit sleeps on an inflatable mattress at the foot of my parents' bed. They have two other bedrooms, but he likes to be close to them.

One of the first nights he was there, he woke up in the middle of the night and started calling Mama.

"Grandmama ... Grandmama ..." Biscuit called out.

"What is it?" Mama asked.

"Grandmama, I hear something growling," Biscuit said. And Mama said he sounded almost panicked.

Mama started laughing a little bit and explained to Biscuit. "Honey, that's just Papa snoring."

That seemed to satisfy him, and he went back to sleep.

Mama told Daddy about the dream, so the next morning, Daddy said to Biscuit, "I had a weird dream last night."

"What was it?" Biscuit asked.

"I dreamed that I was a bear, and I was growling while I was chasing a little boy," Daddy said.

I don't think Biscuit bought it, but he got a good laugh anyway.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Fully credentialed Biscuit

Biscuit has had some sense of Jeff's job for a while now, but there was still some gray area.

Like the week of the Super Bowl. He was so excited to talk to Jeff about it.

"Dad," Biscuit said. "I bet you're gonna be really busy this week, right?"

"Why's that, dude?" Jeff asked.

"Because you're a sports writer, and this week is the Super Bowl," Biscuit said.

And Jeff had to explain that even though he had covered several of the games that led up to the Super Bowl, he wouldn't actually be going to California for the game.

"The playoff games I went to are closer to home," Jeff explained, "but the big game this week is on the other side of the country."

Biscuit was a little disappointed because he thought he had figured it all out.

So Jeff asked me if I thought Biscuit might like collecting his press passes. I told him I thought Biscuit would really like that because it would be something cool just between the two of them.

So I bought a hook and mounted it on the wall in Biscuit's room. Then Jeff started to give him the passes. And the best part is that when he gives Biscuit a pass, Jeff explains what the event was and what he had to do there.

The passes are from basketball, football, ping-pong, golf and whatever other sports you can think of.

Here's Biscuit's hook and his press passes. And every pass has included a story.