Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I missed that, or was I just not paying attention?

As I’ve reported on this blog/facebook/twitter, Nonni and Grandpa were in for the weekend. Always a good time, and let me tell you, Maya’s got the tour guide bug.  She showed Nonni and Grandpa everything important in Lexington – Magee’s (out of longjohns though), our medicine cabinet (our old house didn’t have these!) and the scary rooms in the basement with the heater, etc….
Demetrius wanted to take them to Target. There are two here in Lexington, you know.

We also went to Movie Tavern, which Maya and Demetrius love.  Now, Movie Tavern was started by two dudes in Fort Worth, and there is one about 1.5 miles from my folks house in Arlington, but Maya doesn’t need to know that my folks know this place… because it is all new to her.  The movie we saw may have been the singularly worst kids movie I’ve ever seen (even worse that Night at the Smithsonian), Shorts.

But, after the movie, and seeing what Demetrius’ high school years will be like (he ate a burger {no bun}, fries, and pretty much a bucket of popcorn and asked for more) when he’ll have a hollow leg – Maya asked the question that was the theme of this very bad movie, what would you wish for with a wishing rock?  Nonni and Grandpa played along, but Mommy answered with, “Oh, I’m pretty sure that all of us would wish for the same thing, Maya.  But right now I wish that it won’t rain tonight.”  Even though I was driving, I saw Nonni and Grandpa shake their heads.  But me? I was confused. Or maybe I’m just slow. Or just half-ass paying attention.  So it took me a few minutes to ‘get it’.

It is a really weird place to be when you realize you can’t really picture what your kid would be like if he weren’t autistic.  And you catch a statement by your wife about it, and wishing it weren’t the case.  I mean, it was completely said with good nature, but still… this is really all we know.  Demetrius wouldn’t be Demetrius if he wasn’t autisic.  He’d be someone else.  Would I want that? I’ve probably at some point pined for it on some posting, or two, or three, on this blog.  But today, I don’t know.  This is my boy, right or wrong, good or bad, autie or neuro-typical.  I guess, at almost a decade, I can’t imagine him any other way.  Or I was just half-ass paying attention – which is often the case, I’m afraid…

Posted by Jerry in 11:20:01 | Permalink | Comments Off

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Toys!

This morning I wake Maya up – in our little game of cooing and waking up I remind her that Nonni Cheryl and Grandpa are coming tomorrow. She jumps up, squeals and basically yells, “Demetrius, Nonni Cheryl and Grandpa are coming tomorrow! It is one day away!”

Demetrius yells back from his bedroom, “I know, NEW TOYS!”

Say it like it is, Super D.

Posted by Jerry in 21:19:27 | Permalink | Comments Off

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Chart

Will the Reward Chart Work? We'll know after 20 or so days....

Will the Reward Chart Work? We'll know after 20 or so days....

Homework with Demetrius can simply be painful. He dawdles and he runs off and then if it gets to a point where you have to take something away, like, say, dessert – meltdown city.  It’s even worse on days where he has therapy.

Tonight was that special occasion where you feel that at the end of the night you are just going to stare at the wall and contemplate that another day of this and we’ll know the real reasons the good lord taught the Irish and Scotch to make whiskey many moons ago.

I decided to take all the good advice and ideas out there in ‘autistic dad blog land’ and create a chart of rewards for Demetrius, that’s long to achieve but focused on homework.  IF he does his home work without fits/crying/yelling/throwing things/telling Mommy he hates her – he gets a check off of one of the number boxes. After 20 checks, he can go to Chuck E. Cheese, then we do it again and we can get a DS game.  Same with Maya.  He’ll hopefully model better if he sees she’s in the same boat for her rewards (Gattitown/American Girl Outfit).

My hope is she doesn’t run away with this and he ends up frustrated, that he can keep up and hit the Chuck E. Cheese reward pretty quickly.

Kim and my reward? Not having to spend the moolah that would have gone to the rewards on the whiskey.

Posted by Jerry in 02:12:48 | Permalink | Comments Off

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Photos For S&#(s and Giggles

Posted by Jerry in 21:20:22 | Permalink | Comments Off

Thursday, August 20, 2009

In trouble cuz of the Fed Ex Lady

Yea, thought that headline might get your attention, for all the bad joke reasons. :-)

Kim tells me on the phone this morning that she was going to have a few hours of ‘Kim time today’ to explore Lexington before she’s got to go and get into car pool line to pick up the wee-ones.  As she pulls out, the FedEx lady pulls up.  Big box from Seattle. Perishable.  39 lbs of salmon. Kim tells her to leave it on the step. The lady tells her that this says its perishable, she can’t and Kim signs for it.

She opens it and finds the treausre.  Tens of lbs. of wild white king salmon.  Fileted in easily grillable filets? Of course not.  Large filets she must cut up and bag and freeze.

So long to the afternoon to yourself, Kim.  I’m sorry, I didn’t mean for universes to collide here, but irony in life can be funny.

At least Buddy is going to really, really, really love to be around you the next few hours.

Posted by Jerry in 18:54:41 | Permalink | Comments Off

Monday, August 17, 2009

Re-Soccering

Over the past few years I hadn’t noticed how filled my weekends were with kid events until I lived without the fam for that extended period with the relo.  It kicked up again this weekend when Demetrius had his first ‘soccer get together’ (Maya’s starts on Tuesday night).  The soccer league D is playing in is a lot like the Miracle League he played baseball in a few years ago.  How this will play out remains to be seen as soccer is very different from the base paths, but we are giving it a go.
As is always the case with Super D, he is giving it the gallant effort we are asking of him, but he isn’t enthused.  Soccer was not something he enjoyed, he felt the pressure of both his teammates and the parents, and as Kim says so aptly, “Demetrius does not want any attention at all on him, if possible.”  His shy nature works against him here.

What we didn’t do with soccer in the past, that worked brilliantly with Miracle League, was to make each game a complete outing. We’d go to Miracle League, and then go to different ‘Demetrius friendly’ restaurants that he really liked afterwards.  Combining the experiences.  With 8am games for soccer on Saturday mornings (no cartoons, wake up and immediately insert him into a stressful situation) and then not be able to enjoy an experience afterward (either Maya has a game or the line to wait for breakfast at IHOP is :45 long at 9:15/9:30am) didn’t play well with him.  We’ll (Kim and I) will have to be better this time around. What this means is, post-game:
•    Take him to eat a tasty treat, post-game, at a location he enjoys with video games and food he likes/can eat
•    Celebrate practices with a trip to Sonic for a grape slushy afterwards
•    If waiting for a ‘Maya game’, let him watch a movie in the van (portable DVD player/min-van DVD player) and play some Nintendo DS
•    Maybe after a great game where he plays hard and pays attention…make a post-game trip to Target (this may be too much and become the ‘expected’)

Soccer is much more than just a game, a snack, and a juicebox for Demetrius.  The game is what he does to ‘earn’ the quarters for video games and the French fries.  He likes to know that he’s getting something he enjoys for doing something that’s stressful.  It is a total experience for him, and once he gets used to the games (his buddy, the cheering, etc…) he’ll have fun.

I hope. ☺

Posted by Jerry in 17:20:25 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The High Dive

I took roughly a week off from blogging, tweeting (and during it a huge DDoS attack) and a smack of FBooking, but really man cannot live online. And if he does, well, he probably will live literally alone.

It is also the last few days of summer break for the kids, so we’ve gone for ice cream after work, wrestled some, took Buddy for walks…and I went to Boston for a few days for the job, which was warmer than Lexington (weird summer).  I enjoy that city.  There is nothing in particular about Boston I could tell you I love specifically, I just like the vibe from Copley Square, to Cambridge, to even out towards Framingham, etc…I just like it.  I’ll probably never live there (the only area of the country we have yet to live in is the Northeast), but I like to visit.  (Sorry Katherine Rooks!  Booked from sun up till sun down or I would have called and/or visited…)

One of the fun things I had not yet done in Lexington was go to the ‘Pirate Pool’ at Woodland Park.  We spent a few hours there on Sunday afternoon.  As we were wrapping up, Kim told the kids to go off the low diving board and do a dive.  But what fun is that? With Mom and Dad picking up towels and the like, why not head over to the high dive, which is much more fun!  And since one of us is literal, “Mom told me to do two more dives”…well, we walk to the edge of the board, put our hands together over our head, lean forward….

At this moment, Kim and I fall immediately into stereotypes.  Kim, covers her mouth and then yells, “Demetrius just jump!”  I stand up and say at the same time, like Rob Schneider in the Waterboy, “You can do it, D!”  Since our voices combine to make even more white noise at a public pool on a 90 degree day at a public pool, he dives in.  I kind of give the out of shape dad jump at him doing it, and Kim ages at least another year, immediately.  He swims over and gets a few high fives from Dad, and I shuffle him to his Momma Gorilla, cuz ain’t no way she’s going to let him jump again. Once was enough for her.

But not to be outdone is his always aware, always watching and listening little sister on the ladder behind him.  “Daddy, watch me!”

Now, one to thing to know about Maya.  Like many kids, rough and tumble about many things, and completely chicken about others.  Like her dad, Maya is completely scared of heights (and spiders).  She goes to the edge, hands over head…and she looks down.  That is a long way to go head first.  She looks up, gets a bit of a panicked look, and just jumps.  I meet her at the ladder on the side.

“Dad, I’m little, I got scared” (when we chicken out, sometimes the ‘I’m still little’ excuse card is played).  “Maya, how many other seven year olds are jumping off the high dive, do you think?” I ask.  “Some, but not many.”  “And how many are seven year old girls,” I follow up.  “A couple.”

She did the math, and became a bit more proud of herself…without taking another two years off the back end of her mother’s life.

—–

A few more humorous moments from the weekend.

We went to get Demetrius his soccer cleats for his US Soccer TOPS Soccer league.  I acutally didn’t get him cleats, we got him Puma indoor soccer shoes. This way he can run around and not eat it on the cement, etc…he didn’t like cleats when he wore them before, and I don’t see the need to actually get him a pair. But I did want to get him a ‘real pair’ of soccer shoes, so we went to the Soccer Center (store) here in Lexington.  We got a sweet pair of Pumas (see photo).   A couple of interesting exchanges.  I showed Maya a pair of Adidas Copa Mundials, which were my preferred cleat when I played growing up.  She looked at them compared to the models with different colors (in fact many aren’t even black and white anymore).

“Daddy, they are old fashioned, your old shoes.”

“Maya, I prefer to think of them as classics.”  This point of differentiation was lost on her.  Nor did she really care, as the ‘girl’ helping Demetrius was more interesting, as she plays soccer in college!  Wow!

Demetrius let her know she smelled like french fries. She was eating lunch when we came in and the store smelled like McDonalds.  I’m not sure she recognized it as the compliment it was meant to be.

And if that exchange wasn’t enough, as we drove away we called Nonni and Grandpa to talk about soccer shoes (Grandpa loves this, of course) and Daddy’s ‘old fashioneds’.  Just after we hung up, Demetrius wanted to know if I still had my old cleats ‘in my closet’.

“No Demetrius, I don’t.”

“So they don’t give you ouchies (blisters)?” (This is a big worry for Demetrius, the last pair did, big time.)

“No Demetrius I didn’t get ouchies because they fit right, you have to tell me if your new shoes hurt, okay?”

Maya: “D!  Daddy didn’t get ouchies when he was a boy. He played soccer alot. Anyway, he was skinny then so he ran faster.”

So after I almost hit the car in front of me….

About two hours later Demetrius and I are at Valvoline getting the oil changed in the min-van, and he’s watching Attack of the Clones on the DVD player.  When the technician cuts the power:

“Hey, what the hell are you doing!?!”

I think we need to cut back on the PG-13 movies…..

Folks, gotta go get ready for work.  Have a great Tuesday and see those new kicks we got Super D below….

Demetrius' Sweet New Kicks

Posted by Jerry in 11:58:34 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

School Starts When?

There was that bad movie a few years ago, well, more than a few years ago called One Crazy Summer.

Well, we knew that would be the case this summer, but still, I couldn’t believe that on Monday that school starts for the kids next Wednesday.

Lets see, the last week of May, moved from ATL to KY.

Second week of June we went to DisneyWorld.

Following weekend we moved into the new house here in Lexington.

The following weekend we had workers in the house.

The next weekend, my inlaws came.

Weekend off.

The following week Kim and the kids went to the beach.

The following weekend our friends the Sellers came up from ATL.

This past weekend members of my wife’s family came.

Lets see – yep, that’s summer.  Next up – my folks over Labor Day weekend.

Our new carpet is definitely getting some traffic!

Posted by Jerry in 15:17:11 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Better At PR Than Me

Another week, another house full of estrogen. This weekend we host Kim’s mom, sister, niece and sister-in-law. Demetrius is, once again, significantly outnumbered.

We were asking the boy today (Kim and I) about his new doctor, if he was ‘old’. Demetrius agreed he was.

Kim’s niece, Hannah, asked Demetrius how old he thought Aunt Rachel (Kim’s sister) was, Demetrius’ answer? “Sixty”

Hannah then got really brave: “How old is Nanny Joan?”

I told Demetrius his booty from Target may be on the line if he answers poorly (they are going tomorrow with Nanny Joan), all joking aside..he better answer correctly…

His answer?

“Nanny Joan is old enough.”

Well done lad, well done…..

Posted by Jerry in 00:09:06 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Proof I love my wife

The Kentucky Theatre has some great old movies that they show on Wednesday nights during the summer. I took Kim last night, and I knew it would be painful (I think Ron Burgendy, Anchorman is a great flick). How? Because it would be the original King and I.  Musicals.  Nice.  Oh well, maybe it will be a bonding moment for the two of us….

Who the hell am I kidding, this will be 2.5 painful hours of my life I won’t get back watching Yul Brenner play a Southeast Asian, poorly, might I add.  This is the equivalent of Demetrius having to eat lunch at the American Girl store bistro.

So we get in line, and it does get worse. The print of the King and I is bad…so they are substituting it with…Oklahoma!

The one redeeming aspect of this movie, the single redeeming feature, is to watch Rod Steiger try to sing and dance. What made him do this movie!?!  I focused on that.

That and Shirley Jones was kinda hot back in the day.

But after a short period of time you move past that, and start to think (inner dialogue below)  things like:

“Is my Camel smoking grandfather on my mom’s side turning over in his coffin?”

“I think I’ve seen this before…oh that’s right, when I had chicken pox my mom watched this one night and because I itched and couldn’t sleep I watched it with her….”

“Singing cowboys in satin shirts named Curly? Got it! So the remake of this movie today is Brokeback Mountain!”

“I bet I could eat two whole buckets of popcorn, sitting through these songs, I deserve it.”

“Should Rod Steiger be doing interpretitive dance?”

“What the hell is interpretitive dance, and is this it, or am I just guessing?”

“The guy in front of me is singing along. I bet he is an ‘arts’ professer at the university.  I bet that this isn’t his wife next to him.”

Other less bloggable thoughts entered my mind too….

Oh, and the worst part, I couldn’t get to sleep!  The singing was too loud and pitched and the old seats were uncomfortable….damn old theatre!

Think I’m exaggerating? Then share my pain:

Oklahoma! Near the end….thank God!

Posted by Jerry in 18:42:54 | Permalink | Comments (1) »