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, April 22, 2009

Facebook and Nonni Cheryl

I’ve been on Facebook for a couple of years, but obviously, I’m more of a blog guy, and when I have time, a Twitter guy.  But in November last year, the avalanche began.  One guy I knew in high school friended me….and now, I’m not joking, people I haven’t even thought about since 7th grade are reaching out to me.

It is great because of the floodgates of memories are open, and I am enjoying seeing people and catching up. Alot of it to me is just an online version of the high school reunion, but on your terms and on your time.  So you don’t have to go back to your home town on certain weekend to catch up for a couple of hours…you can do it with the laptop in front of the TV, etc…and you only have to talk to who you want. 

So I’m catching up with alot of friends from middle school/junior high.  You know what about one out of every three or four say? That they remember coming over to my parents in junior high and eating the spaghetti my mom prepared before ball games.  Most called them, ‘great memories’.

One doesn’t really appreciate things, or his parents, until one is older, that’s a fact.  But I always appreciated my mother’s spaghetti.  And it is great to know that all of these ‘men’, loved my mom’s spaghetti as much as I did.

It is a good memory for them, actually – that’s probably better than the spaghetti, don’t you think?

Posted by Jerry in 01:40:02 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Nonni Cheryl Is Right

I agree, one of my favorite pictures of me and the boy:

Posted by Jerry in 18:11:26 | Permalink | Comments Off

Friday, January 30, 2009

Long Day…Big Payoff

Whew, who am I kidding…long week!

Payoff is huge though, on a plane back to Atlanta to see Kim and the kids tomorrow. I know you guys get tired of me writing it, but I ain’t gonna stop – every time I see them it feels like Christmas…

It kind of is, in a way, my folks are flying in also for the weekend – because it is Super D’s birthday!  Can you believe it, Sunday the boy is nine years old. Wow.

I was talking with Grandpa yesterday and he was recounting about when Nonni and Grandpa came out to California for Demetrius’ first birthday…I remember him in his high chair, and we gave him a cupcake, the first time he had refined sugar…and he really, really liked it. And he really, really liked wearing blue icing…blue icing…of course, for ‘Bear in the Big Blue House’ Super D’s favorite TV show at that time…

How far we’ve come, from Bear and Ojo to Spider Man vs. Doctor Octopus. Well, we all evolve…except me I guess. I pretty much still love Spidey vs. Doc Ock….

Some Photos from his eighth year….looks like a pretty good one, minus the one of having to do some homework or go to the American Girl store…

Posted by Jerry in 01:56:40 | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Maya’s New Boots

Nonni and Grandpa live outside of Fort Worth, and we are moving to the land of the horse farms…so, of course, Maya needs new cowgirl boots!

These fit her, and her ‘tude’ perfectly….

Posing with her new kickers…

Blue, red, yellow and butterfly-ey

Posted by Jerry in 03:32:59 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Kids and the Grandparents

When we got off the plane yesterday, Demetrius informed everyone he DID NOT want to go out to eat after the flight. He wanted to go directly to Grandpa and Nonni’s house.  He started yelling at us about not wanting to go out!

My mom and Kim debated on how he had sensory overload, needed to relax and decompress, etc..

I knew better.

Daddy and Demetrius talking alone in a corner by baggage claim:

Daddy – Demetrius, you need to apologize for yelling at Nonni and Grandpa right now!

Demetrius – But Daddy, I just wanted my new toys!

Yea, just like Daddy thought….

The boy is smart that way, or should I switch up some words, he’s way smarter than we are in his ways of getting what he wants!

Posted by Jerry in 14:24:57 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Monday, June 16, 2008

Back From The Beach

Hope all is well with each of you. The Grassos just got back from Gulf Shores, AL. As I’ve mentioned before, the Texas Grassos meet us there and we spend a week in the sun and doing other fun stuff, like riding three story go kart rides and seeing new movies like Kung Fu Panda and The Incredible Hulk (I recommend both, but only Panda for younger kids).

Many consider Gulf Shores the ‘Red Neck Riveria’ but that is off putting. It is a great location where the seafood is good and everyone smiles. Sure, there are plenty of tags from the ‘Heart of Dixie’ but I’ve also sat and chatted with folks from as far away as Canada (albeit, this guy was a Mobile, AL native from years before). Another interesting thing is that alot of kids do summer programs from around the world there. We’ve met kids from as far away as Russia, Jamacia and Mexico (and no, they are actually doing management internships and such…don’t be that way).

Still put off? Well, if you like Destin, you’ll like Gulf Shores, just a few miles away. I recommend it greatly. Just don’t pre-judge. We stay at a great little resort area (all family owned houses) with a private beach. Again, check out Martinique here.

Now, what is you really want…pictures!

Demetrius playing in the sand dunes at the beach

Maya heading into the waves, one more time…I have a picture of her the first year we went with a swim diaper on. How quickly things change…..

Demetrius and our friend, Joseph Carragher (little Joseph) on the beach

Kim, Demetrius and Joseph about to Boogie Board at the Beach….

Maya pulling out for her first go kart ride…by herself…..

Demetrius drove like an old pro…that said, he would periodically stop and just look around. He was only in a hurry when he decided to be in a hurry….

There were all these little guppies swimming around us one day. And when Aunt Francine went to take a shower….look what fell out of her hair. Now if you knew Aunt Francine and her head of hair….this wouldn’t surprise you. Lets just say she’s got great, awesome, Italian hair that most women are jealous of….and the kind of hair that can catch and kill guppies

We decorated the golf cart. Here sits Aunt Francine, Maya, and Hannah. Who is Hannah? The little girl that lives next door to the house we rented. Maya and Hannah became friends fast, and couldn’t be separated during the trip. Leaving was very hard and sad. They were, as they say, two peas in a pod….and bonded quickly

Jerry and Kim trying to catch some waves…..

L2R: Grandpa, Nonni, Joseph, Demetrius….

Group dinner: L2R: Grandpa’s head, Elaine Carragher, Joseph (Senior) Carragher, Me, Nonni, Kim…poor Aunt Francine and the Carragher’s nanny Janice had to sit at the bar by the kitchen….

The last night at the beach we went ‘crabbing’. My guess is that crabs don’t have ears…because if they did, they would have heard our loud zoo crew approaching from 10 miles away. The crabs were tiny, which made them less scary. Here is a photo of one that’s about five inches long…which was a big crab for this beach!

All good things must come to an end. Big smiles on the faces of Demetrius and Joseph. They’ll see each other in the very near future, I’m sure. But look at Maya resting her head on Hannah’s shoulder. This is a friend that will be missed. Thank goodness for email and Skype. We’ll chat soon, I’m sure with little Miss Hannah in Gulf Shores…..

A couple of other things:

  • The kids go for a swim in the morning before we pack up and go, but my folks have a longer drive so they head out first. When Demetrius got back from the pool and he realized they were gone he went and laid down on their bed and said he missed them alot and he didn’t want anyone to leave the beach. What better testament could anyone leave for what the trip meant. My words can’t give justice to those Heminway-esque words and actions
  • I’ve loaded some music onto the kids new iPods. So I was looking at the playlists on what songs they like. Some of the favorites are obvious…such as Hannah Montana. But both have basically ‘gorged’ on Gloria by U2. It has to be the melodic voice of Bono. It isn’t like they hear that song often, so I found that interesting.
  • Today they are off to their first week of summer camps. I’m actually working from home (well, if I’m blogging, am I really working?) and it is really quiet. I forget what it is like when they aren’t home. Too quiet in ways….
Posted by Jerry in 15:19:33 | Permalink | Comments Off

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Guest Post From Nonni

Below are my Mom’s (Nonni Cheryl) views on the talk that Temple Grandin gave last week in Atlanta:

Last week my daughter-in-law Kim and a friend of Kim’s saw Dr. Temple Grandin at the CDC Center at Emory.  It was an evening that I can with honesty say impacted the audience and me on many more levels than expected.

Dr. Grandin spoke with integrity, insight and to my surprise much humor.

What did I truly garner from the evening?

That the world of a person afflicted with Autism is not filled with just complication and turmoil.  There is awareness, and the ability to analyze, and then adjustment to situations.  These may not occur as rapidly as the neuro-typical world responses but they occur!

That a support system around them, helps to teach the person on the spectrum that there is an arena for possibility, independence on different levels, and the chance to develop good relationships with people.

That the medical and educational communities are making strides with the understanding and needs of Autistic individuals everyday.

That there were many great contributors to our society who were Autistic.  These contributions changed the course of civilization, and the consequences of those changes were for the greater good.
However, Dr. Grandin herself was the best lesson of the night.  She was intelligent, humorous, curious and very Autistic.  She was enthralling!
I offer my gratitude to the CDC for giving this evening to the community and to the sponsors who paid to make this possible.  My love to my daughter-in-law for being kind enough to ask me to go to the lecture with them.  Now I have so much more hope.

Posted by Jerry in 18:20:12 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Monday, April 21, 2008

Kite Day At Abbotts Hill

Friday was kite day at Abbotts Hill Elementary School for the kindergartners. Here are some great pics (most of the great ones Nonni Cheryl took).

Me and Mackenzie’s mommy walking out to the playground (I’m carrying the Barbie kite)

Chaos begins once the kids come out. It was amazing to find out how many parents had never flown a kite before. This was their first time. You don’t get much wind in the Southeast, so it isn’t an experience that they do every spring.

Maya gets her kite up high in the air, as I look on…..

Letting out more rope to get the kite higher in the wind….

Grandpa taking over for Maya for awhile

Maya running with her kite

Maya’s friend Harrison.  You can only look at the sun so often….

My favorite picture of this set.  Jack is a friend of ours and friday was his birthday.  Check out his birthday hat, yellow shirt, plaid shorts and army fatigue wellies. Look to your lower left and see Maya trying to sneak into the photos. This is as classic a little boy photo as I’ve ever seen

Posted by Jerry in 14:46:23 | Permalink | Comments (1) »

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Big Trouble For Demetrius On A Wednesday

Has it been a couple of months? Lets see, February…March…April… it has been! Time for a trip to GA from grandparents!

Yesterday Nonni and Grandpa flew from Texas (I need to be fair here, Grandpa has meetings in Atlanta) and I picked them up and we all hit Casa Grasso at about 7pm.

As we are getting ready for dinner, Kim tells me about the interesting afternoon D, Maya and Kim had at a friend’s house. Where Demetrius broke a VCR (putting the tape in backwards); went out into the friend’s mini-van and tried to watch movies and then was caught climbing on furniture trying to pull DVDs down from a cabinet.

Of course, he caught heck from Kim, they left early and then Daddy got the story when we got home later in the evening.

So while the adults ate dinner and the children ate dessert, Demetrius got TV and computer time taken away from him (and he didn’t argue, fuss, whine, or cry, so he got it and knew what he did was wrong) and got fussed at by Daddy (he’d taken it from Kim already).

But it was so hard to keep a straight face as he would look across the table at his grandparents for ‘help’ and watch them ‘look away’ and to see them ‘suffer’ as this child, who rarely does anything wrong (don’t all grandparents think that about grandchildren?), get what’s coming to him. Grandpa and Demetrius, after the ‘TV at Patrick and Shannon’s Affair’ ended, went into the basement… Nonni handled it better (hey, she did more of the day to day rearing of kids…she knows I was a little shit a touch better than my dad remembers). But man, was it fun to watch.

It shouldn’t be a practice to enjoy ‘giving the boy hell’, but watching him try to work his grandparents while catching it, and watching them try to manage it, was a hoot.

Posted by Jerry in 15:32:22 | Permalink | Comments (1) »