Thursday, March 30, 2017

Word power

Biscuit is funny about words. He loves to try out new ones, especially if they're big.

And what's really funny is that he often uses new words correctly, but if you ask him to give you the definition, he can't put it into words. He's good at figuring out what words mean by the context in which they're used.

Biscuit was playing with his Legos and realized that one of the characters had two vehicles. And apparently, in whatever universe he was playing, that was a big no-no.

"Mom!" he yelled. And of course I thought something was wrong.

He came into the kitchen, and I asked him what he was yelling about.

"Oh, I'm fine, Mom," he said. "I just made a big realization."

"What's that?" I asked him.

"Well, I was playing with this guy and realized he has two vehicles," Biscuit said.

"And why is that a big deal?" I asked him.

And in that tone he uses when he thinks I should already know the answer, he said, "It's completely redundant!"

"What does redundant mean?" I asked him.

He looked around the room trying to think of how to offer a definition, but he couldn't.

I laughed, and he frowned at me. 

"Did I use it correctly?" he asked.

"Yes," I said. "I'm not laughing to make fun of you. I just think it's funny that you can use the word correctly but can't tell me the definition."

Once he realized that I wasn't picking at him, he laughed about it, too.

I just really like how he chooses his words.

When I was sick, I told Biscuit that he needed to keep his distance from me. I didn't want him to get it, too (although my efforts were for naught because he got sick anyway!). 

So he said, "So I can't hug you?"

"No, baby," I said. "I don't want you to get sick."

"And there won't be any snuggle time?" he asked.

Sometimes he crawls into my rocking chair with me to watch TV.

"Nope," I said. "No snuggle time, either."

"Mom," he said. "You don't understand. No hugs and no snuggles is just not a practicality!"

The next day, he started feeling bad and all bets were off!

So Biscuit clearly has quite the vocabulary, but we won't talk about whether he can spell any of his big words!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

We need a break!

For a little over a year, it's felt like we've had targets on our backs. It's just been one thing after another.

Don't get me wrong, I realize how lucky we are to have each other, family, friends, a house, jobs, food, clothes and other stuff. But I feel like we just need a decent stretch of time where nothing really happens. Or at least nothing bad.

You already know some of this stuff, but I think listing it will give you an idea of how overwhelmed we've felt for the past year.

Last year from February to September, Biscuit got sick every 18 to 21 days. It always started with a fever. Then the diagnosis varied from tonsilitis to flu (A and B), strep throat to a virus. A couple of times, when we got a doctor other than Biscuit's normal guy, we were told it was nothing we should worry about. And, of course, there was the trip to the ER when his temperature was 106!

We had blood tests done, but ultimately, nobody could ever tell us why it was happening. And then in September, it went away just as mysteriously as it came. And of course we were looking at the calendar constantly, counting down the days until he'd be sick again. And the one or two fevers he's had since then completely freaked out Jeff and me.

So we were dealing that when in June, Jeff's Dad died suddenly and completely unexpectedly. It was crazy, and in some ways, since we live so far away from Jeff's parents, it still seems unreal.

I can't tell you how many times I've been walking around the house, and I think, "I should ask Jim about that next time they're here."

And speaking of the house, I see him all over the place. He built the cabinets in my laundry room. He built the shed out back. He completely redid my kitchen floor. He swapped out a sliding-glass door for French doors. He turned a big blank wall in the kitchen into built-in bookcases (for my WAY too many cookbooks) and a bench that serves as seating for the table. And there are many more things I could list.

Then in September, Jeff got a bad cough. By early October, I guilted him into going to the doctor, and they said he had pneumonia.

The chest x-ray that showed he had pneumonia also showed that he had a bigger-than-a-lemon mass on his thyroid.

He had bloodwork, an ultrasound, a CT scan and more to get all lined up for surgery. And the whole time, we're wondering ... is it cancer?

By the time all the testing was done, the calendar had changed to 2017. Then he had surgery in early February. Thankfully, the pathology report came back as benign. We were so relieved. And he's still recovering, really. They said his stitches would be in for at least two months. They will dissolve on their own, so he won't have to have them taken out.
He had a blood test last week and goes back for a followup next week. He'll have to be on medicine to regulate all the stuff his thyroid would've done - body temperature, metabolism, etc. We're hoping the blood test results will say that his medicine is just right. If not, he'll have to have his medicine adjusted, then three weeks after that, he'll have another blood test, then another followup. This lovely pattern would repeat itself until everything is regulated.

In February, Jeff, Biscuit and I all got sick. Biscuit said he and I had the flu, but he said, "Dad just wasn't sick enough to say he had the flu." I don't know if we actually had the flu or not, but there were cold symptoms, belly problems, head and body aches and more. So whatever it was, I hope it doesn't ever come back!

In early March, Jeff had to go out of town for four days to cover a basketball tournament. And I was reassured (as I had been before during his trips) that I do not want to be a single parent! It's too hard. I like that Jeff and I share the Biscuit duties. And it's just not the same when we're not all three together.

In mid-March, someone who played a prominent role in my childhood died unexpectedly. I hadn't seen him in a while, but he still lived in the community where my parents live. So I had continued to hear stories about him. And of course I saw him when I went home for visits.

I know if goes without saying, but it's really hard to lose people who mean a lot to you.

So I think this catches us up.

Biscuit will have his first baseball game of the season this Saturday. And Jeff and I just booked a weekend trip to the beach in April (no Biscuit allowed!). And Biscuit will spend spring break with my parents, so Jeff and I are planning to go to the movies to see anything rated PG-13 or worse!

We have had so much support from our family and friends as we've gone through the craziness of the past year. We are truly lucky!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Biscuit the poet

Biscuit's class recently did a study on poetry. They learned about all different kinds and even wrote some of their own.

Biscuit got all deep on one of his. It was called an "I Am Poem," and each line started with a prompt — I am, I wonder, I wish, etc. Then they had to end it by repeating the first line.

Here are a few lines from his "I Am Poem."

I am a friend, funny and helpful.
I wonder why God made me me.
I wish the world was in perfect peace.
I smile when my friends and family are happy.
I am a friend, funny and helpful.

His teacher got a kick out of it. She saved it and showed it to us at our most recent parent-teacher conference. She said he was beyond his years, and I told her that even though I had heard the term "old soul," I didn't really know what it meant until my boy came along.

And while I'm talking about the parent-teacher conference, our latest one went very well. The boy is doing well in reading, writing and 'rithmatic. And the teacher said she doesn't have to get onto him too much — only for talking, and we all know where he got that from!

One recent night at dinner, Biscuit was telling us all about the different poems they learned about.

"Mom, did you know that not all poems rhyme?" Biscuit said.

"I actually did know that," I told him. "But I'll tell you a secret ... I really like the ones that rhyme. I think they're more fun."

"Me, too," Biscuit said.

"When I learned about rhyming poems, my teacher gave us a trick," I said. "She told us to start at the beginning of the alphabet to look for rhyming words. Like if I wanted to write a poem about Dad, I would start with A and get 'add.' Then B and get 'bad.'

Biscuit seemed to study on that for a minute, then I said, "I have an idea. I'll say a line, then you add a line that rhymes, then Dad can add another line. Then we'll take turns starting new ones."

So I started, and Biscuit added a rhyming line, then Jeff added one, too.

"Okay, now it's Dad's turn to start," I said.

Jeff had surgery a few weeks ago (more about that in another post), so he has stitches in his neck. So he pretended to think for a minute, then said, "I have stitches."

Then I added (in a wicked voice), "Put there by witches!"

The Biscuit said, "And by bitches!"

Then it got really quiet. 

Jeff and I were both looking at Biscuit, then we looked at each other and just lost it. We laughed so hard! I had tears coming out of my eyes.

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

"Dude!" I said. "That's a swear word."

"What?" Biscuit said.

"The word you said is a cuss word," I told him.

"I didn't know, guys," Biscuit said. "I didn't know it was a bad word. And I just did what you said with the alphabet."

And he did. A wouldn't work, so he moved on to B!

"You're not in trouble," I said. "You didn't know you were saying a bad word. But don't say it again okay?"

He looked a little relieved, then he grinned.

"I won't say it again," he said.

But Jeff and I just couldn't quit laughing. Poor little man. He was so embarrassed, and we just could not quit laughing.

So as far as I know now, his knowledge of cuss words is up to three. And there's no telling if or when the others will rear their ugly heads!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Second-grade concert

So I'm not going to write an "okay I'm back" post because every time I do, something else happens to pull me away!

So I'm just going to start like I've been writing all along.


The second grade had a concert this evening called "Awesome Animals." Guess what it was about? Yep, awesome animals.

They sang five songs, and some of the kids had speaking parts like in a play. Then Biscuit and a bunch of other kids got to hold up pictures they colored of their animals and say something about them.

Kids brought stuff animals to decorate the stage. They stretched
all the way across the front. They also made paper masks in
art class representing their animals. Can you see the plaid
tiger on the left? Yeah, that's Biscuit's. Our boy is
really smart, but he's not so good with the art.

Biscuit somehow or another got the letter T, which meant he got to talk about tigers, his favorite animal. And he had a hard time trying to decide which fact he wanted to share with the audience.

He finally decided that since everybody knows that tigers eat meat and are orange, black and white, he would talk about what tigers do when they get frightened or angry.

In case it wasn't loud enough, Biscuit said that when tigers are angry or frightened, they growl. And just in case people didn't see the picture he was holding or the mask he was wearing, he said, "By the way, my animal is a tiger." He got a good laugh from the audience.

Then they sang another song about how they couldn't imagine a world without these animals.

It was a cute program. My only complaint was that Biscuit was behind two taller girls, and we couldn't see him very well. Even so, it didn't take him long to find us. And once he did, he made sure to keep an eye on us.

Now, it's time for a game. Can you spot Biscuit in these two pictures? I told him his animal had good camouflage!