Friday, June 26, 2009

Fun at Casa Grasso – 6:15am – 6:45am

So last night it stormed… loud clanging thunder, the kind that shakes the attic and makes you wait to see if the lights are gonna go out for a few seconds, or a few hours.

The kids have never really been through an extended thunderstorm like that. While Georgia can get intensely hot and rainy, it is not Texas, Kansas…or many other thunderclap prone state-like weather. And before Georgia, sunny-SoCal…so my kids are thunderstorm novices.

As Zeus roared, my kids…and Buddy…got nervous. First, Mommy is out in this (well, she was at the gym…and to little ones, we need to know where Mommy is during all crises) and the kids have….toys out in the mini-van, which may be struck by lightning!

So the kids race out to get their toys, we come back in, and settle into eating dinner, dessert, watching some TV, playing etc….but, something’s missing – where’s Buddy?

Oh no, is he out back? Nope

Oh no, did one of the children-z leave him in the basement?  Nope

Upstairs? Nope?

Well, he’s a scare-dy cat, so he wouldn’t wander off in a thunderstorm, nope, he’s not on the front step….where’s Buddy?

I again look for him, but he’s nowhere to be found, so as I go to shut the garage door, I see him in the minvan, panting, scared out of his coat.  When the kids got in the van to get their toys, he hopped in, when the kids got out, he didn’t. Poor guy.

So lets fast forward to 5am when I go to the gym.  Buddy is aching to go out, like every morning, but this morning, he’s got an upset tummy. Leaves me a present to clean up when I get back from the gym and taking him for a walk…right on Kim’s new rug. Lovely.

It’s 5:50am, so I take care of it, this isn’t my first pile of love I’ve cleaned up from a pet before. 

Afterwards, I chuckle to myself that Kim will never see it.  I did that good of a job….so I go and make coffee, putz around for another ten minutes or so, set the passwords on the television….and head up to get ready for the work day.

Kim sits up in bed, we chat, we talk about Buddy’s tummy and to be careful the rest of the day
(don’t leave him in the house for hours, etc…) and as I am getting in the shower I hear….
“Awwwwhhhhhh, Jerry!” I quickly am told that there was a second pile, and one that I didn’t see, that I stepped in…and that, well, I had been tracking through the house, you know, as I made coffee, went to the garage, into the family room, and ultimately, on to the new carpet we had laid down in the new house…exactly one week ago yesterday.

I played the get out of jail card that I had cleaned the other pile (and I had done it up to Kim’s exacting standards) and this pile was unseen in a dark room.  It worked, I wasn’t in…well….deep dog #*(!, but Kim was less than happy, if she got some coffee, I might just make it out of the house alive….

And I barely did, because was no longer focused just on me….

She was focused on the water dripping from our ceiling…yea, while she was cleaning the carpet of dog doo….she felt a splat of water from the ceiling underneath our bath tub….

Yea, good times.

Posted by Jerry in 20:09:50 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Boxes, Boxes, And More Boxes

And duffel bags, and luggage – it seems to me since 11/30/08 – the date I moved to Lexington, that all I’ve been doing is folding clothes and carting from point A to point B.  As I packed again tonight (last week for Disney, the week before that to/from Alpharetta for the final move to Lexington)…I got to thinking about how many trips I’ve taken and how many times I’ve moved – more like a college guy moving from dorm, to frat house, to home for the summer – in the past six months.  Lots of puddle jumpers to Atlanta, lots of trips home to Atlanta while traveling on biz….lots of travel and bags and luggage.

It is amazing. I can fit almost all ‘my stuff’ (which is really, just my clothes) in a single trip in the beloved Volvo wagon from point A to point B.  Now, it took two trips in a full length moving van to move ‘our stuff’ from the storage facility to the new house.  Granted, ‘our stuff’ is bigger and more important than my stuff…but I sure am tired of feeling in transition.

In a week or two, when we’ve figured out where everything’s gone (drawers, cabinets, etc…) and are settling – I think I’ll take a long, not living in and out of bags, nap, on the couch, with Buddy.

That really doesn’t sound half bad.  I have to remember what bag we’ve packed him in…

Posted by Jerry in 03:14:59 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Saturday Blahs

My friend Extraface has Friday Hehs.  Today, all I have pretty much are Saturday blahs.

It started out great. We had the Skelter for the Shelter race, and Kim and the kids were doing the 2K, and I did the 5K (is it weird that I had the EXACT same time that I had with a race two weeks ago? Maybe?). When I came in from the 5K, I wandered around, and couldn’t see Kim, the kids or Buddy anywhere. After about 10 minutes of wandering around and drinking my water and eating my banana, I see that the doors to the van are open…while kids and parents are running all around outside…oh boy.

There sits Kim and the kids, with Kim stewing. Why? Well, Demetrius, who has been a fuss bucket the past 3-4 days, didn’t want to run the race. So the whole way, it is my understanding, he screamed at his mother he hated her, that she was a bad mom and she was hurting his brain by making him run.  Needless to say, she was mad and shook up, and said she was stared at a little too harshly by some folks.  She talked to D about all the the things we regularly talk to him about in these situations, but to no avail.  He’s been bossing her alot over the past week, so we took his Nintendo DS from him today and told him no movies. Ouch.  He doesn’t know this race, we were in a new place and it was public – all bad, and all leading to a very public fit while I was huffing it in the 5K.

Maya came in third.

More of the same later in the day, but one can only have so much patience, even when you are taking your kids for ice cream and to their favorite bookstores.  Maya got in the trouble-making game herself when we took Buddy for a walk tonight and she saw some kids over at the park playing. “I WANT TO GO TO THE PARK!” she demanded. It was late and we already decided they needed to hit the hay early. This was not an acceptable answer for her, so she screamed, cried, and threw fits for the remainder of the walk. When she got home, she just started crying.  She’s desperate for some social interaction with other kids, and the promise of the park tomorrow does not offset the want to play right now. 

So it’s 9:30pm and they are in bed, and Kim is crashed on the couch.  This part of the move is taking a toll on the family – though Buddy is snoring it up from two walks and a fun run today.  He’s dreaming of sniffing other dogs…well, never mind.

I’ll dream of getting in the house and us getting settled with our ‘stuff’. I think that’s going to be another big hurdle.

By the way, did I tell you?  Demetrius broke our DVD player the day before it was packed up. I believe folks, that is DVD player #6 or #7 he’s destroyed…even with a parents control system on it.  It might be time to give up having a DVD player with the TV and go to old computers with passwords…..of course, he’s an expert on pushing buttons on the computer DVD players to stem…

I need to go to bed.

Posted by Jerry in 02:56:46 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Lexington Wishes

Last night we got to the apt., unloaded and started to unpack, and decided that it might be best for all of us, and all of the neighbors, if we took the kids to the school down the street’s park for awhile.

The kids pretended to be ‘Indiana D and Indiana Maya’ while on the jungle gym while Kim walked Buddy (he went off leash for awhile) and I had to do the theme song for Demetrius to Raiders of the Lost Ark while the kids ran around the play area.

After about :20-:30, the kids started to become disinterested and started exploring a bit around the school, and Kim and Buddy returned.

Kim and I sat on a bench watching D and Maya pick dandelions, and Kim got sentimental, called the kids over (D came, Maya ignored her) and the boy gave his mother one to ‘make a wish’.

Working on such things with Demetrius, Kim told him what her wishes were:

  • I wish that our summer in Lexington will be great
  • I wish that this new adventure in our life in Lexington will be full of happiness and joy
As I finished gagging (I had something caught in my throat), Kim told Demetrius it was his turn. He blew real hard and announced:

I wish that our new house has a DVD player to watch movies, I can play on the computer alot and that I can watch On Demand.

Gagging this time, no, just trying hold back a deep belly laugh.  He was serious, his mother was surprised, and I’m so happy we are altogether again….

Maya? Eventually she wished to make friends, girls!, when she moved into the new house….

Can you tell what everyone was worried about?

Posted by Jerry in 13:21:38 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Friday, May 29, 2009

Reunited with Broken Glass

Last night I was reunited…and indeed, it felt so good.

So good that we had to stop at Bruesters on the way home so Mommy and Maya could have some ice cream, while D and Daddy enjoyed some sorbet.

We headed back to the Sellers house (where we are staying before we leave for Lexington on Sunday….) when, WHAM! SHATTER! CRASH!

As I was backing the van around in their driveway, I backed right into a cherry blossom.  Cherry blossom 1, Grasso Town & Country van, 0.

The window in the hatch, I swear shattered into 10,000 small pieces of glass.

So I immediately went into ‘think mode’ even though Maya was accusing me of not knowing how to drive and that I should never take the reins, ever, of the Mini-Van when she’s in it.  (Demetrius cared greatly that his toys were okay.)

I called the local Chrysler dealership, a few service shops, a few body part depts – all associated with the dealer, knowing we had to get this done Friday or Saturday at the latest – we are driving to Kentucky on Sunday! (Maybe, unless we couldn’t get the van repaired in time!)

This morning I got back from my run, the phone rang…it was the service dept. of the dealership, “We can’t help, we are closing due to the Chrysler bankruptcy.”


“But I can give you the name and number to a great repair company we sometimes used in the past.”

I needed every lead.  So I called, they had an opening today. They’d call back, it would be about $400. Whew.

So we ran some errands (Demetrius discussed how it was ‘now sunny’ in the back of the van…nice way of putting there isn’t a window behind me anymore…) and while Kim was getting her hair done, the kids and I went and saw ‘Up’ (I recommend it!).  The phone rang about five minutes in, the guy could do it now – but not later this afternoon.

S&*@ again.

“Well, I will just come to you at the movies, I’ll fix it while you are watching it the movie.” The only issue would be if it the van was locked, of course it wasn’t….I drove (I never lock the door).  He found it (how many blue mini-vans with Obama/Biden stickers in the theatre parking lot are missing their back windows?) fixed it and literally as we were walking out after the movie he told he was done.

So we went from S&*@ to amen brother! in about four hours.

After we picked up Mommy, got some lunch and drove back to the house (Mommy was driving), as we were pulling up, Demetrius belts out:

“Mommy, I have a great idea!”

Mommy: what’s that?

Why don’t we park down here (bottom of the sloped drive way) and not up a the top?

Good thinking kid….

Posted by Jerry in 22:07:48 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Thursday, May 28, 2009

iPhones And The Final Trip

Read this story on iPhones and autistic kids in USA Today.

Well, I’m at the Lexington airport, taking off in about an hour for Atlanta for the FINAL MOVE!

The movers have about packed up the house, the kids and Kim are moved in at a friend’s house for the next month, and on Sunday we move up, for good, to Lexington.

Now, we don’t take ownership of our house until mid-month at the soonest, so we’ll be in our way little corporate apt., but we’ll have the trip to Disney World to break that up, along with the pool to go swim at.

Not having the fam around has allowed me to dive into the new job, but it’s time, we need to dive into our new life together.  It’s more than time to make this happen.

So the journey is moving from Daddy and the new job to the family and the new expereinces. Phase two officially gets underway very soon….

Posted by Jerry in 21:23:32 | Permalink | Comments Off

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Couple Of Demetrius Funnies For A Monday

1 – Demetrius cut his own hair, told me his mother likes it.  Mommy: No I do not.  Now you will need a hair cut that would be fit for a refugee.  How short did he go?  And how much gum did he have in his hair?

2 – Kim asked each of the kids to pack some clothes for the few weeks we’ll be in the corporate apt. and the rest of our stuff is in storage.  Demetrius packed one pair of PJs, a tee shirt and a pair of shorts.  The rest of the bag is filled with toys and comic books.  Kim asked Demetrius if he needed more clothes: “I’ll be fine, Mommy.”  Underwear? “No, I’m fine…..”

She was asking the wrong question – would he need a bathing suit?  That would get a certain answer?


Posted by Jerry in 19:52:11 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Monday, May 25, 2009

Demetrius Modeling

Demetrius On The New Couch, By The New Coffee Table, Above The New Rug….

Man, he’s a cute kid (and getting tall)!

Posted by Jerry in 03:18:16 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Maybe I’m Worried About This Too Much

There are LOTS of things to worry about in a relocation – everything from final bills to lost boxes and broken furniture….but all of those are replaceable and/or repairable.  What is more worrisome is what I blog constantly about – Demetrius and Maya’s ability to adjust, and what they are adjusting to.

We’ve already found out that their elementary school doesn’t ‘have room’ for them when school begins next Fall. Yes, we knew this was a concern.  One of the schools they are possibly ‘routing’ them to we aren’t too excited about, the other is a magnet for budding artists – ideal for Demetrius and Maya.  With Kim on it, I’m sure they’ll get into the ‘right’ school.

This does of course worry one somewhat, things like, transferring in the middle of the school year, back to our home school, as Demetrius is getting used to the new school, aides, teachers, etc…and then changing again.  I know we need to raise this as a concern with the administration, but I’m feeling less worried, generally, about the district as a whole after reading this piece on the Fayette County Public Schools achieving their highest audit scores ever.  While this isn’t a predictor of SAT or ACT scores, and this piece really focuses on minority education improvements, it speaks volumes to me as a special needs parent.  If they are working this hard to improve among one, more traditionally defined, minority, it is bodes well for another- special needs.

Where this all leads for my two children remains to be seen, but for a ‘relocating’ parent worried about the education of his two children and where they may be ‘relocated’ from their home school next year, it at least tells me the administration is active, interested and moving the needle.

Posted by Jerry in 22:43:04 | Permalink | Comments Off

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fits And Starts (Starting At A New School, In A New City, With New Friends…)

This past weekend the kids and Kim came up, and surprisingly we had a number of ‘fits’ from both of them. 

It would be easy to chalk it up to the fact that they do everything they can to push Mommy’s buttons to get what they want (only one of her, two of them), but to be completely honest, I think they are hearing and beginning to get scared about actually moving.

Mommy went shopping for carpet in the new house.

They heard conversations that included:

“We aren’t taking any of our clothes back, just wash them and put them in the drawers.” (cabinets in my furnished apt)

Kim brought plants up, so my apt is in bloom and they will obviously be transferring to our new digs within the month.

I booked ‘final travel’ back to Alpharetta, so we’ll be moving up all together.

This move is fast becoming very real and scary for them, especially at school as they are going through their end of year motions…and we’ve told them they’ll finish the school year out.

So maybe the fits were just eruptions of nervousness that aren’t simply that far off any more…
I’m not complicating it at all, am I? ☺

Posted by Jerry in 02:44:22 | Permalink | Comments (2)