June 24, 2010

5 Ingrained Memories

Of late I’ve been thinking about all the little things that have stuck with me as I’ve gotten older. The little life lessons or pieces of advice that get ingrained in your memory. I thought to myself, “ya know this might be worthy of a blog?”
I put my thoughts into action. I encourage all of my blog readers, all, ahem, several of you to reciprocate and share a memory of yours with the blog community by posting it along with your comments. Enjoy….

How To Properly Separate Two Frozen Burger Patties

As an innocent young man faced with the daunting task of grilling burger after burger on the Livingston American Little League grill this is one life lesson worth my memory. I can remember it like it was yesterday. Pat Ippolito taking a knife and aggressively jamming it between the patties and smacking them against the counter. Voila! Two patties just like that. Perfect separation. Who knew? I know my timid-self didn’t. But now I know. And now every single time I get behind a grill I think of Pat Ippolito and that lesson learned. Thanks Pat.

How To Properly Shake Someone’s Hand

This is the one piece of advice my father game me that sticks out the most in my mind. It was grilled in me since I was, probably, a 6 month old. I remember when I was young and timid, notice a pattern of timidity, and I would be nervous meeting other people. My father would hammer down the point, “SHAKE his hand like a man and always say “How are you?”” I hated it back then. The overbearing nature of it. Didn’t he realize I was shy? But now that I’m older you realize it was definitely a lesson worth teaching. I hate men who don’t shake your hand firm and who don’t look you in the eye. A firm handshake is a first impression. A dead-fish handshake is embarrassing and you will immediately have one strike against you. At least in this guy’s eyes….and my father’s.

How To Ride a Bike

The memory of me learning how to ride a bike has been ingrained in me since the day it happened. I’m sure it happened over a few tries and not this one instance however its this one instance that sticks out. And that is what says something. Picture the scene if you will, Billingsley Dr., circa early 80’s, a nice fall evening, a couple families mingling on the block. My parents sitting on our driveway. My sister was probably somewhere but unfortunately her role escapes me at the moment. Riding in circles in front of our house were Me, Chris and Tommy Place and the one who showed me how to do it, at least as my memory serves, Marge Place. The Place family had an armada of bikes that looked like little BMX bikes at the time. All different colors I believe. Red, Yellow and Green. I wanna say I had the yellow one but who knows. Thanks Marge. Also, for whatever reason I remember drinking a glass of orange juice on the driveway at the time. Odd. I know.

Learning How to Multiply

Another memory that goes untouched in the little mathematical corner of my brain. I’m not sure how old you are when you start learning how to multiply but I remember the actual learning part like it was yesterday. Every day my mom would leave a set of times tables for me to do when I got home from school. I can picture one of the sheets perfectly right now. It was the 9’s.

9 x 1 =
9 x 2 =
9 x 3 =

You get the idea. To this day I consider myself and excellent multiplier. Whether or not it had anything to do with these simple assignments left for me I will always credit my mom for making me do them. Now if only she had left algebra equations for me I might’ve avoided the several failures in that class as the years went on. Nonetheless, thanks mom!

How to Properly Draw a Car

Random. Yes. I know. However, relevant? Yes. Why? Well I remember it clear as day so it must’ve struck a chord for a reason. Sitting on the floor in the living room my father showed me the “trick” to drawing a car. I was amazed. I had been trying forever but was having little success until he showed me. Start with a box, 3 dimensional, and then simply begin rounding out the corners and carving out a little convertible (or hardtop if you prefer). I was amazed at how he knew how to do that. And to no one’s surprise I still enjoy drawing cars and that is exactly how I learned.

June 14, 2010

How Old Is Your Child?

The following is a special post written by our very first
Guest Blogger, Lisa Hopkins

It dawned on me in the last month that referring to my daughter in months (she is 20 months old) was absurd. It sounds stupid. It doesn't seem natural and it's not natural. Was it just b/c I now hit the 20's? Is it the pressure because everyone else does it? Do we think other parents will judge our baby's development if we don't give the exact month? Is it because that's how the pediatrician marks how our baby is growing? Not sure what the answer is but what I do know is saying my daughter is 20 months old sounds STUPID!

Does this aggravate anyone else?

I was at a 2 yr olds birthday party yesterday and this women asked me how old my daughter was.....I respond, 20 months! In this moment I thought to myself, "God, that sounds so dumb. It doesn't even sound like an age!" To be polite I asked how old her daughter was.....her response was, 27 Months!! OK, NOW I HAVE HAD IT! In that very moment I declared that I would no longer refer to my child in months. The line has been drawn. This is crazy! Your child is 27 months? She's not 2? Are you having trouble letting go of the fact you don't have an infant that is 3 months old and thats why you continue to say 27 months? When she turns 3 are you going to say she is 36 months old? How about just have another baby to cure your infant depression and stop referring to your TODDLER as a 27 month old!!!!

So where should the line be drawn? At what "month" does it start sounding ridiculous? In my opinion, I think when they hit 18 months you should say they are 1 1/2. They are still babies at 13, 14 months old that I think as parents we should have the luxury to hold on to saying "months"!!! However, we need to recognize when it starts sounding stupid.....hence the women above telling me her daughter is 27 months!!! End of story!

So with all this said, as of yesterday my daughter is 1 1/2 OR if I am feeling sassy I might say she is "almost" 2 yrs old!!!!!

Cut the chord parents and let go of referring to your toddlers in Months!

June 9, 2010

The End Is Near...

The end is near…

Hi my name is Joe Greco and I am not-so-secretly checking out my wife’s Facebook page to see what people are up to.

Yes. Its true. I have to come clean about this. If I keep it bottled up inside I fear I may one day crack and end up with one of my own pages with status updates like….

“Joe Greco is so bummed tomorrow is Monday!”

“Joe Greco is psyched its Friday”

“Joe Greco is having writer’s block. Ugh!”

Or just as worse I may have to make comments about other people’s posts like…

“OMG congratulations on your little girl. She’s soooo precious! I just wanna squeeze her!”

“I’m so jealous!! Looks like you guys had SO much fun!”

Now do you realize how dire a situation this could become? God forbid I didn’t take this opportunity to talk about this. I’m thankful its not too late to come clean! This desire and societal pressure is beginning to build up inside me like an Icelandic volcano.

One of my loyal readers succumbed to the pressures that is Facebook. It was a shocking announcement from a guy I always thought would steer clear of all things "social networking." It might not have been necessary had he had a blog of his own at the time. He collapsed under the pressure and, quite frankly, as I am now learning its hard to blame the kid.

Facebook pressure is building up steam. I can hear it coming around the bend and chugging along. My only fear is that it comes to a stop and I hear the “Aaaaall aboooard!”

“Joe Greco is finished with his new blog! Can’t wait to post it!!”