Graas Family Blog

Mardi Gras weekend
March 5, 2011, 4:46 pm
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With a new city comes a new blog. Find the new spot, which will hopefully be updated more regularly because of the easy phone uploads, at This wordpress site won’t be deleted so when you start to forget how little he once was, you can find it!

View from my Stanley Thomas office on this quiet pre-Mardi Gras weekend day
March 4, 2011, 4:22 pm
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before the trips
November 13, 2010, 1:10 am
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One discovery this summer was the New York City public pools. They are free and the water is very, very clean. I really wish we started going sooner. Nevertheless they closed labor day weekend for the season and our last visit was a little unpleasant for Emil since we had a weird cold-snap the previous couple of days resulting in chilly water.

I also started to feel guilty that Emil didn’t get to a beach this summer. So, a beautiful, early fall afternoon was spent down at the New York Aquarium and beach at Coney Island. I took a ton of pictures and Emil really loved the sand. Since then we have frequented the sand box at a nearby park to get that tactile sensation.

Also, before our whirlwind travels started, we went to a children’s concert at Lincoln Center, purchased new (big-kid shoes), and had a late night out at a super-hip pizza place with his favorite of our friends.

P.S. Sorry I can’t get wordpress to upload additional pictures and I am not at the space limit…..

October 21, 2010, 10:22 pm
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Emil's newish chair - the fun has kind of worn off though!

To say the least, the last few months have been really busy and really lazy, kind of simultaneously. We had friends in town; Emil and I went to Lubbock; I flew to New Orleans for an interview at Tulane; we drove to Louisville/Cincinnati for a friend’s wedding; Emil and I flew to San Antonio to visit FiFi; and, most recently, we drove to Boston for a last-minute weekend trip. I will make additional posts for the trips, hopefully soon!

In the meantime, I went through the awkward process of having Emil evaluated by the Early Intervention program of New York State. We started to get a little concerned about his communication abilities and when the new pediatrician was not too helpful and dismissively said “try calling Early Intervention but by the time they will actually evaluate him he will be caught up” that is what I did. So after being scared that he is massively behind we settled on just getting some extra help in the communication and strength arenas. Nevertheless, the pointers we received even during the evaluation process were helpful and we started seeing growth. He can now:

identify/point to primary body parts

the animal (cow, dog, cat, bird, duck, sheep, horse, lion/tiger/bear) says the appropriate noises

put his shoes away on his shelf

says bye bye regularly

move his hands appropriately for a hammer vs. saw

says knock knock (kind of) for a door

anyhow, his comprehension/vocabulary is pretty amazing since, by far, his favorite activity is to read books. we just have to work on him trying more sounds and building muscle strength.

And now to the additional fun stuff, we will be moving to New Orleans in December! So, unless it snows in the next few weeks, Emil might not see snow for the next 5 or so years. I have accepted a position at Tulane’s School of Science & Engineering as a Development Officer. So, if you have contacts that might be interested in learning more about the school and are philanthropically inclined, be in touch!

August 1, 2010
August 21, 2010, 12:19 am
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We attended the COPA NYC Final game out in Queens to start off August. Emil thoroughly enjoyed running around soccer fields with other kids, scooting down a steep dirt hill, and pushing his stroller around. Jon thoroughly enjoyed watching the game and seeing soccer legend Pele up close; I thoroughly enjoyed taking a nap outside during the second half. The final game was between Jamaica and Poland, and unfortunately our priest was not in attendance, though we were hoping! Poland won and it was an exciting finish with extra time and a shoot out. To celebrate our Slavic kinsmen, we went to the Czech beer garden for supper. Oddly enough, on Sunday nights they have a salsa class so Emil and I danced for a little while before returning to the food and beer. The apple strudel was the closest approximation to our family recipe that I have had in NYC, which helped scratch the itch.

Skunk Hat
August 20, 2010, 11:40 pm
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My dad, Papa Puchie to Emil, gave him a Davie Crockett skunk hat for Christmas. For a very long time Emil has been scared of the hat. He wouldn’t leave it on, didn’t really think it was funny when I had it on, or remotely attempt to put it on himself. I even have a silly jingle that I sing when playing with it but that never seemed to help. But, on July 28, he finally had some fun with the hat. Here is a sideshow with the skunk hat.

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July was Here
August 20, 2010, 11:21 pm
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One would think that while being unemployed I would update the blog daily, but July came and went and, now, August is more than half way over. Anyhow, July was hot, busy and fun.


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