Friday, December 23, 2016

Santa through the years

I was looking back at pictures of Biscuit with Santa, and it's hard to believe that this year was his 7th visit with the Big Man. 

Remember in 2014 when we had to quickly explain to Biscuit that there are multiple "Santa's helpers" in different locations? Biscuit had seen the same Santa for the first six years, but he was having some health problems and had to cut short his Santa time. This year, he didn't come back, so there was a different Santa. Biscuit didn't say anything about it, so I didn't, either. He had a red suit and a beard, and that was close enough!

Here's Biscuit and Santa from 2009-16.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Out of the mouth of my babe

A few things Biscuit has said recently:

Southern boy: We made two trips to New York this summer, and at every restaurant, I had to remind Biscuit, "They don't have sweet tea."

I don't make tea at home much anymore (mainly because Biscuit and I both like it too much). But when we go to restaurants, that's what both of us usually drink.

So poor Biscuit would make a disappointed face and say, "Aw, no sweet tea" every single time.

So after two trips north to be with Jeff's family, it was time for us to head to the nearby mountains to spend a long weekend with my family.

We started talking about what we'd get for lunch on the way, and Biscuit said, "Guys, I just have one question."

Jeff and I both said, "What?" at the same time.

"Which direction are we driving?" Biscuit asked.

"West, why?" Jeff asked.

"Do they have sweet tea in the west?" Biscuit asked.

"As far west as we're going, they do indeed have sweet tea," I told him.

And he was happy.

It's all about perspective: When we were at Jeff's parents' house this summer, one of his cousins came over for a visit. Biscuit was getting ready for the day and came running into the living room to ask me if I could help him pick out some clothes.

When we got to the bedroom, he said, "Mom, who is that guy in there?"

"That's one of your cousins," I said.

"Mom ... really," Biscuit said and rolled his eyes.

"What?" I said. "He is."

"Mom! He a man ... and he has a beard," Biscuit said.

Then I understood. Biscuit's first cousins range in age from 12-18, so it's never occurred to him that he could have a grown-up cousin.

So he got a little lesson in family ... and still couldn't believe that a grown man was his cousin!

Feeling good: Jeff was helping Biscuit get ready for bed when Biscuit said, "Hey Dad, know what the best thing about me today was? 

"What?" Jeff said.

"I was just SO energestic," Biscuit said.

I wish he would share some of his energestic-ism with me!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Trying something new

Biscuit was invited to a birthday party at a local ice skating rink. I didn't tell him where the party was until we were on the way this afternoon.

Why, you ask? This was his first time to go ice skating, and he worries and gets nervous about doing things for the first time. He worries about not being good at whatever he's going to try to do. I'm scared he has control-freak tendencies with a side of perfectionism. And that would be my fault. Those traits come straight from me.

So I gave him a pep talk and said, "It doesn't matter if you're good at this or not. It matters that you try it and just do your best."

When I was a kid, we used to go ice skating all the time. There was a mall about an hour away from us that had a big ice rink in the middle. The rink was in what I guess you could say was the basement. You had to walk down from the first floor to get there. There were two stories of stores above it. When you were on the ice, you could look up to the floors above. And people could watch you skate from up there, too.

My parents and their friends would drop me, my brother and our friend at the rink and go shopping in the mall. We would skate the whole evening, non-stop. We would be the last people to leave. And after today, I have no idea where we got the energy!

I had considered skating today, for old times sake, but I had pretty much talked myself out of it. Then, my boy stepped onto the ice. He was terrified! He actually got tears in his eyes.

Jeff said, "Dude. The worst thing that will happen is that you'll fall."

"Yeah, Dad," Biscuit said, "but I'm afraid that if I fall, I'll break through the ice into the water."

This child has seen too many movies.

"You can't fall through," Jeff explained. "There isn't a pond or any other kind of water underneath. The ice is laid out over concrete."

But Biscuit wasn't buying it.

So I went and got some skates.

I counted it up, and it's been about 14 years since I ice skated. And I was truly shocked to find out that when I stepped out there today, it felt like I had never been skating in my life! I couldn't get going. And I really did think it would be exactly the same as it used to be. I mean, I can't remember the last time I rode a bike, but I know I could get on one right now and ride without falling off.

Anyway, I realized I wasn't going to be a whole lot of good to Biscuit, so we made our way down to the far end of the rink where they were giving the party guests a quick lesson.

Biscuit got the first couple of things down. Hold your arms out in front. Bend your knees a little bit. Keep your skates about shoulder-width apart. If you feel yourself starting to lose your balance, put your hands on your knees.

But Biscuit was moving so much slower than the rest of the class, he got frustrated and was almost in tears. I felt so bad for him. I helped him get to the door where you can get off the ice, and we took a break.

But then, the birthday boy's mom went and got a seal that looked like a little kid ride-on toy. Biscuit sat down, and I skated behind him. It's amazing how just having that little bit of support helped me find my balance.

Then Biscuit decided to try pushing it by himself. And he did a good job.

But his favorite part was when the birthday boy pushed him. That little seal changed his whole afternoon!

Of course, that seal didn't make it warm out there. Biscuit was a ball of snuggle, trying to get warm after he came off the ice.

Jeff and I told Biscuit as we were leaving that we were proud of him for trying something new. We reminded him that you're rarely good at things the first time you try them. But going for it and having fun is what it's all about.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Jeff has been battling pneumonia since early November, and I was wondering if he was going to feel up to having extra people in our house.

My parents come up the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and stay through the weekend. Mama and I do some shopping. Daddy finds something to do around the house. And Biscuit is just overwhelmed with the attention he gets!

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, my brother and his family come up, and we do our big Thanksgiving meal at lunchtime. So Thursday isn't really like a holiday for us.

Plus this year, Jeff was battling pneumonia, and Biscuit and I both had colds. I actually called Mama and gave them the option not to come, just in case we were contagious. They said they would risk it, and I was glad.

When we got up Thursday morning, Mama asked, "Are there any restaurants open today?"

I told her there were, and she suggested we go out for lunch. It felt a little weird going out on Thanksgiving, but the way I was feeling that morning, I was in no shape to cook.

The restaurant I picked is a home-cooking restaurant that is open every day of the year. So they had their regular menu, plus a few Thanksgiving specials. Daddy got chicken tenders with a side salad and mac and cheese. Mama got country-style steak, mac and cheese and lima beans. Biscuit got a cheeseburger and fries. I got chicken souvlaki, mac and cheese and fried okra (I joked about my meal being Mediterranean meets the South.). Jeff was the only one who got a Thanksgiving meal. He had turkey-dressing-cranberry sauce meal.

The restaurant was packed, and our server (Steven) apologized two or three times about making us wait. Apparently, the owner didn't expect so many people, so he only had a couple of servers for the whole restaurant.

We told him we weren't in a hurry and that he could just get to us as soon as he could. And I swear, I think us saying that made him hurry even more!

Steven took all our drink orders, and Biscuit asked for sweet tea with no lemon. He said "please" and "thank you," and apparently, that was a big deal to our server. 

"Can I please have sweet tea with no lemon?" Biscuit asked. "Thank you."

To which Steven replied, "I gotcha, big man." Then he winked at Biscuit.

When he came back to get the food orders, Biscuit ordered his food. And again, the server made a big fuss.

Now don't get me wrong, I love when people make a fuss over my boy. But restaurant servers mostly seem surprised when he acts like a normal person - behaving, ordering his own food, not making a mess, etc. But what that says to me is that there are a whole lot of wild children who don't know how to behave in public!

About halfway through the meal, the server walked back by to check on us.

"How's the burger, big man?" Steven asked Biscuit.

Biscuit had a mouthful of said burger, so he just smiled and nodded.

"You like chocolate cake, big man?" the server asked Biscuit.

And Biscuit nodded again.

So on his next trip by our table, Steven dropped off a big hunk of chocolate cake. Biscuit's eyes lit right up!

When Biscuit finished his food, he slid the cake over in front of him.

"I think I need to do this the proper way," Biscuit said and grabbed a knife in one hand and a fork in the other. He proceeded to eat his cake with the knife and fork.

He did a good job. He didn't drop a crumb.
Of course, that could be because it tasted so good!

When we got home that evening, we took part in another tradition and watched a cartoon special.

Sick or not, it was nice to hang out together. And it was especially nice to see Biscuit snuggled up with Mama and Daddy on the couch with two or three blankets covering the three of them.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Piano update

I had a request to post an updated Biscuit-playing-piano video. He can be quite a perfectionist about it, so I have to video him during practice, when he doesn't know I'm videoing him. So don't tell him I posted this. He'll be mad I posted a practice video with mistakes!