Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Couple Of Things

A few Demetrius funnies from the past couple of days:

1 – We went to see the movie Happy Feet.  Demetrius offered me a Skittles from his popcorn/candy pack.  He held it up to put in my mouth, he popped it in….little did I know it was one he didn’t want (lime flavored) after he had tasted it.  Let me just say a half chewed lime Skittle ain’t as good as you think it might be. :-)

2 – We were grocery shopping, Demetrius has had the flu. He’s better, but his tummy has been bugging him – yep…a touch of diarrhea.  He was pretty much over it, but he was chafed.  So as we stood in line to check out with my father-in-law, Demetrius turns to him and says, “Poppy – I think I got poopy butt.  My butt is itchy.”  Now if you want to get people’s attention, that is one way to do it.  He does have a thing about the line at the grocery check out. He tends to get in trouble in this line because he can’t bounce and frolic and run….you just stand and wait (thus, why the grocery store gurus have put trash mags and candy around this area….they know the score).  Anyway, one woman just stared at him…I know she thought he was going to explode or something. It was funny…and we did run to the bathroom on the way out just to be sure…

Now a Maya story:

Maya is an artist. I’ve well documented that.  Last night she got out her paints, and put her paper down underneath (so she doesn’t get it all over…..) but somehow, the paint just got on her, on the couch, on the carpet….it is a good thing it is water based and will come out.

Now we talked about it afterwards, and she looked at me and said, “Being an artist is messy.”  She said it very empahtically, like, ‘what’s a girl to do? It can get out of control!’  She then said, “Paint is messy, just like lip gloss.” She then went upstairs.

I  still can’t find the lip gloss mess in the house.  But I know it is out there on a chair or  the carpet…or Buddy.

Everyone be safe today, okay?  Happy New Years.

Posted by Jerry in 15:44:58 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Grandparents, More Presents and Feeling Better

Well, one set of grandparents are back in Texas….the Kansas set has landed in Alpharetta.  We’ve lost a Nonni and Grandpa and gotten a Poppy and Nanny.  What comes with this – more presents of course. Which we’ll open tomorrow morning, of course.

One can never get too many presents, right?

McEwen asked where Demetrius got his ‘whining and bossy’ behavior from?  That’s an easy answer: he’s been sick and had his grandparents in town, so he’s been waited on hand-and-foot.  I’m not sure it has anything to do with autism – I think it is probably more being a little kid and asking for a Gatorade, and getting it.  Then having the people that worship you the most, the Grandparents, show up immediately after that…I mean, he is the ‘golden child’ (our first kid and my parents oldest and thus first grandchild) so I think he innately understands that it all revolves around him.  I say this from experience – I am too the oldest grandchild and the only boy on one side…the side my immediately family (Mom, Sister, Dad) are closest to….so I think I can relate to what Demetrius is going through. ☺

All joking aside – one GREAT thing about these visits is that he is so interactive with his grandparents…and though he does try to get away with murder: TV, computer, too many sweets; he is also engaging them in discussion to try to get more TV, computer and sweets.

Best of all though – both kids are feeling better and their energy is up.  So they should be more rambunctious and energetic…which is what I want over the holiday.  I mean, lethargic? What I want is them to wear me out!  And we are getting there….of course, they’ll be wearing their grandparents out first.  Then me.  But I know I’ll be wrestling, arguing, playing games (telling Maya not to cheat)….riding bikes, chasing around the neighborhood, being told to go get donuts….

Good stuff.

Posted by Jerry in 02:19:44 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Holiday Whining….

You know how it is with the grandparents – right? Most kids get away with more than they usually do when the ‘out-of-town’ grandparents are around (of course, both sets of our grandparents are out-of-towners).

Well, it kind of backfired on ol’ Demetrius today.

We all decided (D, Daddy & Mommy) that Demetrius needed some structure over the holidays (though he didn’t look at it this way) and he’d go to both speech and occupational therapy.

We went, and they are both an hour, back-to-back. When I picked the boy up both therapists came out and told me he was, “Whiny and was ordering them around.” Ms. Dawn told him, “Hey – I don’t do whining. If you need to get something, you go get it. Ms. Dawn doesn’t take orders from 6-year-old boys.”

The same was reiterated by his occupational therapist, Ms. Michelle.

Where would this behavior come from, they wondered? Not knowing who else was in the waiting room, I answered, “You guys know how it is, the holidays and all….and he’s been sick.”

However, in the back of my head, I keep hearing…..

“Grandpa, get me a sweatshirt.”

“Nonni, I want a cookie…..”

Hmmmmmmm……………where could this behavior come from? ☺

Posted by Jerry in 23:21:56 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Day Photos

Maya and Demetrius in front of the Christmas Tree before going to bed on Christmas Eve

But first, a goofy picture of the Grasso family!

Demetrius in the zone opening the presents Christmas morning….

Maya immediately got to work on an EZ bake oven cake…

She then got to work eating the cake….

Grandpa and Demetrius began putting together a Lego Avatar castle that took about two hours

You put together your Avatar castle…..I’m in My Little Pony Heaven!

Daddy sleeping in Buddy’s spot….Buddy improvises….why would Daddy be napping Christmas morning? Hmmmm….

Like Mother….Like Son…..



Posted by Jerry in 16:10:15 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas Morning

Not too early – we were up at 6:15am. 

I’ll post photos later today or tomorrow.  Till then, here’s a few photos:

Forever living up to the Southern stereotype – some neighbor put an actual stuffed deer’s head on a few 2x4s and put a red light on its nose.  You know, thinking a stuffed-head-of-Rudolph was/is funny.  Again, not a great photo – but this I had to get a photo of as I drove home one night….

We’ve had such a good time with Nonni and Grandpa (and we’ve about got the crud out of our system) that we fell asleep in the leather chair after eating some dinner…Saw Night at the Museum….ate some green beans and Mac and Cheese…..go to sleep…get up, start over 

Posted by Jerry in 16:20:27 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Oh Boy…..

This could have been Demetrius….

So Nonni and Grandpa brought a ‘Santa apron’ for Demetrius.

He put it on and asked to go outside. Why? To climb on the roof and go down the chimney.

Needless to say, that was shot down.

About an hour later, Nonni caught Demetrius trying to climb up the chimney with it through the fireplace.

The apron, after a brief appearance…has somehow disappeared…

Posted by Jerry in 20:00:14 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Sick and Sicker

This morning when I spoke to Kim, she sounded terrible – so we’ve gone from Demetrius being sick to Mommy and Maya. Selfishly – because I don’t want to spend the holiday or my infrequent days off – I hope the contagions are out of the air at Casa Grasso. Of course, this goes for my folks too. There was a time when every time they set foot in the house they got sick from something the kids were carrying. The probability is that it is going to be the case on this trip. I wonder if their immune systems would be stronger if they lived closer to us. ☺

Kim was telling me that she’s been trying to get the boy to do some homework since he’s been home sick. When he doesn’t want to do something you really have to ride him. Especially if he doesn’t want to do something AND he really doesn’t want to be verbal. Kim said she feels at times that she’s either loving him or pushing him, with very little in between. That’s a very accurate statement with Demetrius these days. Luckily, for the most part, it’s the loving more than pushing. However, my comment back, was its predictable behavior at home with the boy. I wonder if he does it at school? Either they handle it better than we do ☺, or he does it more with us due to the comfort level.

For me, at least, it is a bit easier understanding how to manage Demetrius than Maya – who you have to constantly negotiate with…argue with…go through her 5-year-old girl dramas…a bit more of a roller coaster for me with her than with Demetrius.

But I also wonder…..

Is it a Daddy/Daughter thing and a Mother/Son thing? Hmmmmmm….

Posted by Jerry in 00:37:33 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

I may not post until post holidays with some great Christmas photos…but I guess looking back over the year, for the most part, the year was awesome.  There is not much a Dad can really ask for in terms of gifts – thus, the ties and socks jokes.  But here are a few for the year that were good, and one that is a call out for something that makes the Fam sad (yes, the Button clan moving to Singapore).

Could there be a greater gift than getting Buddy in February? He’s added so much – from hair on the floor to a little brother for Maya and Demetrius to a running pal for Jer…but most of all, he has a family that loves him and treasures him now – and couldn’t imagine not having him jingling down the hall and jumping on the kids beds at night.

Our first weekend with Buddy…we are working to get to know each other here. It was so hard for Demetrius initially – autistics have such a hard time with animals (unpredictability, etc…) and putting his hands on him.  Now he demands that Buddy sleep with him at night (periodically).  We have made such big strides…. 

Demetrius’  birtday party – we still treasure the Spongebob and Patrick toys on the cake (and thank you to David Button for blowing out the candle)

What can I say? In early March we lost our first tooth

Very early in 2006 I began to hear about ‘Emily’ everyday. I went to have lunch with Maya in January and met Emily for the first time. I don’t think a thing has changed between Emily and Maya since I took this picture, and I think the picture says it all.

Does a Daddy need to write anything about his daughter? Exactly.  Signed, sealed, delivered. There is only one Maya – and frankly, she has a place in my heart that noone – noone – has gotten to but her.  Every year she’s becomes more a pain-in-the- X*#&, and every year she’s more of a joy for me.  I guess, exactly what a daughter should be

At the bus stop before our first day of mainstream kindergarten.  I slept, maybe, an hour the night before.  All of you who read this blog with special needs kids know the pull and wants we have for our kids to have some semblence of ‘normalcy’ in their lives.  This includes education.  Yes, he was repeating kindergarten – but it was all mainstream, and all worry for Mom and Dad.  How would he do?  Would he fail miserably? Was he prepared? Were we prepared if it didn’t go good?  So many what ifs.  He’s doing fine.  Might I say that his fitting in, playing with other kids, talking to other kids and just being as close to a typical kindergartner – hell, he is a typical kindergartner! – is the best gift?  It certainly is up there with getting Buddy in February

The visuals in my mind I have for Demetrius are clouded by autism: flapping hands, no eye contact, weird body contortions.  But once in awhile I see a photo of Demetrius that just screams normal little boy – or a little boy that is doing everything he can to be all he can be.  The older he gets, the less apparent the autism is to those that don’t know.  I picked this photo for the visual for the blog because he is no different in it than any other child. That’s what someone walking by would see – a little boy like their own son or grandson or brother.  But if you look closely you’ll see the fingers dug deep into the sand for tactile stimulation. It takes work to see his autism – which is the point.  This photo kind of just encompasses what I want the blog to be.  It is also just a great picture of my kid at the beach

The Buttons are moving to Singapore. We’ll miss them. Amanda means the world to Kim and ‘Cowboy Bear’ (Demetrius’ one nickname he’s ever given anyone – David) will no longer be our partner in crime: whether that’s in speech therapy or playing around the house.  We’ll miss these folks as much as we’ve ever missed friends.  Good luck on your adventures Buttons moving all over this world!

I think this is as good a photo of us as there is, as a family, in 2006. I lobbied for it as our XMas card photo – Kim chose another of the kids.  But I can post it on the blog…..

I’m not sure there is a better way to end this posting than with Maya making a goofy face as we sung Happy Birthday to her earlier this month. What a ham

Happy Holidays to all of you guys.



Posted by Jerry in 20:28:57 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Sympathy Sickness

Well, Kim was telling me this morning that Maya has ‘sympathy sickness’…ie, the Christmas parties are over at school and since Demetrius is at home….she wants to be too. Kim also figured by having her there that Demetrius would leave her alone and play with Maya – so she could get the house ready for guests.

Demetrius is also asking Kim about every 20 minutes if it is time to go get Nonni and Grandpa. With their arrival, I think, Christmas officially begins.

I took this awesome photo at the Ferry building across from my hotel (they have Wi-Fi!) this morning as I have been on email working cross-country:

Again, not the greatest photo in the world, but the birds are on the pier eating scraps of scones and muffins outside the Peets Coffee at the San Francisco Ferry Building.

This picture is just a reminder to me to find the little, beautiful things in life that move quickly past us when we are worried about things like being in a City across the country the week before Christmas and possibly having to work during the holiday week.

Posted by Jerry in 19:11:41 | Permalink | Comments (2)

A Short Posting Today

Demetrius is still at home, sick from school – it doesn’t look like he’ll be back in time for his class holiday party. ☹ I know he’s upset about missing that.

Kim’s doing everything she can to break the fever and get him feeling better before Nonni and Grandpa show up on Thursday…and this includes ensuring Maya is kept at bay so she doesn’t get D’s bug (thanks to Ms. Heike for letting her stay over and play today).

I’m still out here in San Francisco – was in meetings until about 2pm today. However, I saw a lot of folks out shopping in the city today…fun to watch. Lots of kids lined up for Santa (I got some shopping orders from Kim that I covered off at the last minute – including a trip to Ghirardelli for Mommy and Maya) bouncing around. Makes me wonder why the hell my book still isn’t published! Jeez – what am I doing wrong here?

The hotel I’m at, the Hyatt Embarcadero, has some beautiful 13 floor lights hanging into the lobby, I tried to grab a good picture from my cell phone…they also have an amazing display of ‘Christmas Town’ that surrounds the giant ball in the middle of the lobby that I’ve also tried to capture with the phone.

Not much else to write about – just counting the days until going home….especially when Maya keeps asking (to be reassured) that I will be home by Christmas Eve…you know, before Santa Claus.

The Holiday Lights coming down from the 13th floor to illuminate the lobby and the werid architecture ball at Hyatt Embarcadero

Train tracks and a Christmas village surround around the base of the gi-normous sculptured ball…kinda cool!


Posted by Jerry in 01:28:09 | Permalink | Comments (1) »