November 30, 2010

Tuesday Nights equal GLEE!

and, apparently, benny shares his love of the show with his momma. 

recently, benny has discovered that i can record his vocal stylings on my phone, and he likes to put in requests for songs that he will sing. 
i will then play them back to him until he wants to record a new one. 
tonight, benny wanted to record the theme song to Go, Diego, Go!
if you are familiar with pre-school age television, you will know that his variation of this songs makes a sudden, and apparently unintentional, transition into the theme song for Little Einsteins. 
which benny soon realizes and stops himself, reflecting out loud on what the Diego song should actually sound like...
(warning, yes the screen in this video is black. it was recorded in his room at bedtime and the lights were out. this rendition was sung from his crib to my phone in the dark. precious.)

in glee terminology, this would be a loose interpretation of a "mash-up."
that's my boy. 

November 29, 2010

mission accomplished

last night, my friend kelly was flying into Columbus and staying at my house after an 11 day stay in South Africa. 
today i dropped her off at the airport to make her way back to Wisconsin. 

in preparation for her arrival, and to thank my hubby for running to the airport on my behalf, anth and i made brownies. 
of the box variety. 
which, i swear, are more delicious to me than the ones from scratch. 

the general drill is that mommy does the measuring and anth does the pouring and stirring. 
last night, standing on his usual chair pulled up to the kitchen counter, anth glanced over at the refrigerator and abruptly stopped stirring. 
"mom, can i stop stirring? i have something to accomplish." 
i asked him what sudden mission he needed to complete, and he informed me that one of his drawings was crooked on the fridge. 
"...and i'd really like to straighten that out mom. unless you think you can accomplish that for me." 

November 28, 2010

he knows if you've been bad or good . . .

the wiggle-in-the-tub-so-mommy-can't-wash-me stage is still alive and well in the savarese abode. 
and benny, a little man dedicated to his little causes, put up another good fight tonight at bath time. 
after some deft maneuvering on my part, i managed to grab hold of one of his wiggly little feet and give it a good scrub. 
at this point, he was laying on his stomach in the water and he shot me a look over his shoulder and informed me, "mommy you makin' me SO fwus-toh-wated!"
then he sat up, seemingly just for the purpose of looking me straight in the eye, and informed me in his most stern of 2-year-old voices, "and Santa is watchin' you." 

(Santa, if you really were watching me at that particular moment, i'm kind of  hoping you're on my side about the whole intentionally applied soap thing.)

November 26, 2010

Fail Photo Friday - 14

anthony, like me, is a keeper of things. 
his cubby at kindergarten quickly piles up with papers he collects throughout the week. 
depending on who is picking him up, bern or i typically empty out his cubby on Fridays.
last week, i grabbed his usual pile and brought it home to wade through. 

while sorting through the scrap paper/class work/artwork, i pulled out these drawings. 
upon first glance, i thought it was really kind of precious and wholesome that some little girl had made him these drawings...

...until i gave them a little more attention. 

this momma's heart is not yet ready for this. 
(and, p.s., what does the extra little person in sydney's drawing imply?)

November 24, 2010

on the day after "jump night"

here at OSU, during the week of the OSU v. Michigan game, some of our students on campus engage in a tradition known as "Jump Night." if you are not familiar with this tradition, here is a little YouTube highlight video to give you a taste of the event:

Mirror Lake Jump

Notes regarding the video:
1. yes, that student did indicate that the water she jumped into was "0 degrees"
2. this was the most wholesome one i could find
3. and, bonus, it has a snippet of info on the actual tradition that started all of this...

as a student affairs professional, this night is a work night for us.
which means that, last night, i picked up my boys from school, took them home for the usual routine, packed bags for Thanksgiving, and waited for Bern to get home from class at 10 so i could head back to campus.
needless to say, students make a variety of choices the night of this event that require follow up from our staff who work in the residence halls.
personally, i made the unfortunate choice of drinking a little too much before the big event.
my particular poison was a Cafe Mocha.
and now, after heading back home around 2:30 in the morning, i can't sleep.
so i am using this time to reflect on the lessons i can use from tonight's events in parenting my boys.

but first, a few clarifications:
- i love traditions. i believe they create community and a variety of other potential positive emotions.
- i went to an undergrad that did not ground itself in athletically related traditions, and i truly enjoy that about working at Ohio State
- but, the fact that i look at each of our residents as one of the most precious things someone else can put in my care causes me concern about some of the things i see on a night like tonight.
- i do not actually believe that the things i saw last night are a direct result of parenting. hopefully. but, perhaps here in our field, we don't alway share the seeds we could use help planting in our students minds as they wander off to jump in a frigid lake...

and, as such...

i do solemnly swear to raise my boys so that, when they go ahead and empty out our little nest on their journeys off to college...and face their first big campus tradition night...they will NOT:

- tell random women they love them for helping prop them up on a wall.

- accidentally, and from what i could tell, unknowingly, share the contents of their Speedo

- (amendment: they will not choose to wear a Speedo in social settings in the first place)

- find themselves knocking out their front teeth

- find themselves vomiting in the coffee cup/bowl/other food-related item that is grabbed off of their residence hall room desk for this "repurposed" use

- (note: nor will they force someone to make the decision on their behalf: "what bowl-like vessel on this desk does this student potentially care about the least?")

- lose control of bodily functions my toddler is working to regulate. in a public space. that is not a restroom.

- have the EMT declare them the most intoxicated person they have ever seen

- wander about scantily clad. without ID. and forget their name. 

- confuse people for their parents. then proceed to beg said non-parent not to pull them out of school for their behavior

- think that their friend standing in front of them is actually blocking a crowd of horrified RAs from seeing their birthday suit while they change into dry clothes

- be the guys who don't tell the woman they are walking with that she might want to retie her bikini top so that it is actually applied to her person. no matter how much they or their friends are benefitting from said wardrobe malfunction

these are just a few.
i'm sure as the Incident Reports roll in i could add more to the list...

November 23, 2010

the Giving Season

while walking past the restroom that anthony was using, this is what i just overheard him saying to himself:

"oh, great. all out of toilet paper. That's. Just. Perfect."

1. yes, he said it with that exact punctuation. 
2. his daddy may have given him his looks, but i have apparently blessed him with the "gift" of sarcasm. 

November 22, 2010

this little piggy . . .

  • Scene: this weekend. just an average weekend afternoon. 
  • Anth: hey mom?
  • Me: yeah?
  • Anth:  you know how i was in your tummy when i was a baby?
  • Me: (oh goodness...what will this be?) yes...
  • Anth: well, i've been thinking. that means that ALL of my toes were in your stomach. 
  • Me: mmm hmmm...what made you think of that?
  • Anth: i have NO idea. but it sure makes me feel kinda funny. 

November 21, 2010

"think you can remember that all the way down the stairs, mom?"

- anth, verifying that his request for a cup of water would not be forgotten on my journey to and from the first floor of our home. 

sadly, this was probably a very good move on his part. 

November 20, 2010

on my way to where the air is sweet

today, all three of my boys and i went to see Sesame Street Live.
this was one of those lovely full-circle moments for me, as i recall my mom taking me to the same show, with my friend Julie and her mom, when i was anthony's age. 
in the end, i'm fairly certain that anth was most excited about the popcorn, and ben the pizza. 
the other highlight was watching a stray Elmo balloon make its way to the ceiling of the arena.
but was naptime. 
we weren't expecting too much energy from them at 2pm. 

earlier in the day, i was getting the boys through the bath time routine so they would be all fresh and shiny for the show. 
recently, benny has found it to be absolutely hilarious to maneuver himself in the tub so that i can't possibly get him into any state of clean. 
especially not with soap. 
but, call me crazy, i actually like the idea of soap. 
if i just wanted to get the kid wet, i have a perfectly good hose in the yard. 

as i was watching the clock so we would be on time, i finally told him, "ben, you HAVE to stand up so i can wash your buns. Big Bird does not want you to come see him with dirty buns."
ben shot up out of the water and let me give him a good scrub. 
with soap and everything. 
satisfied that he was actually a respectably clean version of my child, i told him that he could sit down and rinse off. 
he kept standing there for a moment. 
then, in an unusual state of calm for ben, he tilted his head and asked me in a whisper, "momma...why do Big Bird wanna see my boddom?"

um, oops. 
not exactly the point i had been trying to make. 
needless to say, it took me a minute to clarify Big Bird's intentions...

November 19, 2010

Fail Photo Friday - 13

i believe i have clearly demonstrated my early push for all things christmas this year.
this last week, i have been plugging away at addressing the annual slew of holiday cards.
not surprisingly, i like to send photo cards of the boys.
some of these have been really cute. (i'm biased.)
some of them have been great shots of not-so-cute moments.

this train of thought reminded me of a few key pictures that came out of "holiday photo shoots of christmas past."
today, i share the "best" photo from anthony's first christmas in 2005.
needless to say, this is NOT the photo we chose for the holiday card that year.
mainly becuase i responded with, "of course i'm just kidding..." when my husband, after i suggested this photo, responded with, "really, krystyne?"

...i totally wasn't kidding.

November 17, 2010

music to my ears

on the drive into work this morning, benny declared that he didn't want to listen to his music. 
his music is generally Kidz Bop. 
which i find horrid. 
so, i was happy to quickly change over to "mommy's music"
we tried several different songs, and each time he asked for "mommy's other music." 
with a varied and somewhat eclectic collection, this description was not extremely helpful. 

eventually we hit a red light and a car pulled up next to us. 
i kept flipping through artists, and ben kept getting more frustrated. 
anth had been relatively disengaged during most of this process, until he chimed in with, 
"hey, guys. why don't we listen to the lady in the grey car's music? it sounds like a nice song and, for real, she's playing it loud enough for all of us." 

miraculously, benny concurred. 

November 16, 2010

Unsolicited feedback

  • Scene: it was a dark and stormy night. literally. and, currently, the boys aren't quite at the age where a nice storm means tucking yourself into the couch with a good book, and perhaps a warm beverage. they are at the age where thunder means general panic. so i snuggled in with anth to read him a story and stayed there a minute to just listen to the rain together. 
  • Anth: (reaching over and twirling my hair around his finger) hey, mom? 
  • Me: yeah?
  • Anth: i think you're beautiful
  • My Heart: (warmed)
  • Anth: BUT, you were sure a lot more beautiful with long hair
  • Me: (debating response)
  • Anth: at least I think so. but you can keep it like that if you want. it's your body. 
  • (mental note #1: life-lesson regarding ownership of one's body? check)
  • (mental note #2:  "future life lesson for the boys" #483 - teach them the nuances of honesty being the best policy most of the time.)

November 15, 2010

"Look, Mom! Someone salted ALL that grass!"

- anth, pointing out the first frost on the OSU golf course on our way into work this morning. 

November 14, 2010

i feel so merry. . . and. . . bright.


it has begun. 
today before leaving to do homework, bernie lovingly humored me by getting the boxes of christmas decorations out of the basement. 
i thought anth was going to explode, he was so excited to decorate. 
benny...watched Monsters Inc. 

Christmas is a particular favorite in the savarese house. 
bern and i chose to get married over the holidays. 
december 28th.
what better backdrop than a gorgeous christmas tree covered in white lights?
and a bunch of Rat Pack music.
it just makes everything...cozier.  
and today felt like a particularly good day for pine and white lights. 

fortunately, benny kept himself busy by playing in a box from daddy's office move. 

and after anth got tired of decorating, he and benny tried to find ways to fit into the box together. 
in the end, they decided it was best to take turns. 

i put up just enough to hold me over for a little while. 
(yes, i was jonesing for a christmas fix. there are worse things...)
the tree, of course, will wait for bern.

anth's reaction to the whole thing: "Oh, mom! when it gets dark tonight, can we snuggle on the couch and enjoy it?"
(we have since agreed to hot chocolate and a strand of lights in his room)

benny's reaction (while walking around the room and pointing at the various items):
"Santa...Christmas...BIRFDAY CAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
we'll work on that last one. 

November 13, 2010

almost sweet

i have a handful of taglines that i generally use when putting benny to bed at night. 
most often, these are shared just before i close his door. 
(usually after benny makes a little machine gun sound that he calls giving "all the tisses.") 

this week, benny was particularly sleepy one night. 
as i shut the door, i told him goodnight, and "i love you every minute." 

to which he returned, " 'nigh momma. i lub you. fo' a minute." 

as usual, it was sweet. 
kind of. 
now i'm just wondering when exactly these 60 seconds occurred.
or, if he's just saving them for a rainy day. 

November 12, 2010

Fail Photo Friday 12

i only wish i could recall what these poor kids were watching that inspired these reactions...
either way...oops.
(as usual, i stopped to take a photo first)

{taken 3.17.2008}

{taken 7.26.09}

November 11, 2010

on second thought . . .

the other night my stomach was feeling unsettled. 
{no, friends, no more babies. i am still happily eating as much blue cheese as i can}

i went upstairs to lay down, and anth sweetly followed me up there. 
he snuggled in next to me and grabbed my hand. 
then he asked me if i had a cold, and i told him it was my tummy. 
to which he responded, "ohhhhhh...."


"...i mean, if you might throw up or something, i think i'll go downstairs and see if daddy wants to come up and hold your hand."

the kid loves me. 
just not unconditionally. 

November 10, 2010


so...last night i managed to get benny into bed in enough time for anth and i to make some popcorn and watch Glee before he had to go to sleep. 

we are about 4 episodes behind, so no, i don't have an opinion on last night's show. 
and i probably won't until january at this rate. 

so, we are sitting there quietly eating popcorn and listening to a rendition of Losing My Religion, when anth suddenly faux-yawns, stretches his arms out, and puts one around my neck. 

i can't think of a show that would have exposed him to this maneuver. 
nor do i imagine that he learned this in kindergarten.
and though bern might find that funny, he wouldn't have taught him this. 

so, really, you just come standard issue with this one? 

just curious. 

November 9, 2010

statistically speaking...

the number one sentence currently being used in our house HAS to be, 
"no, but you can put it on your list for Santa." 

this would be reason #483 why i love christmastime. 

November 8, 2010

PMM: Proud Mommy Moment's the thing. 
this blog is, by and large, dedicated to the things that my boys do that make me smile. 
or giggle. 
or guffaw. 
mostly, because they are just good, old-fashioned, day-to-day interactions. 
with a little bit of flair. 

but, if i am painting an honest picture, it is not all hilarity ensuing in the savarese house. 
while i do find the humor in their antics, i also find my heart making room for both pride and, for those who know me well, the general sappiness that is always there under the sarcasm. 

so, if you are only here for the general mocking of small children, then:
1. you should probably take a minute to reflect on that, and 
2. this post probably isn't for you. 

so....last week. 
the backstory...
(which, PS, i have plans to make an "Our Story" page kind of like the family photos page...with words - because i feel like i am always drifting into some sort of backstory. leave a comment if that would be helpful/fun/something other than self-indulgent.)
but back to the background... 
my husband and i work full-time. 
he, bless his heart, has been going back to school for his second masters for the last two years. 
it is a working professional's MBA program and it requires that he be in class multiple nights a week. 
because we are academic nerds, he tends to study relatively late. 
we both kind of have a thing for good grades. 
and that whole learning the material part, too.
and, for doing an assignment, or task, well. 

so, last Tuesday, i received the following photo, via text, from my sweet husband. 
because he had realized he had taken anth's homework assignment with him when he dropped him off at school in the morning.
and we were likely to miss each other in the chaos of the day. 
the assignment itself was simple.
draw a map representing the shapes of the objects in your room. 

fair enough. 
because the assignment wasn't due the next day, we ended up working on it later in the week. 
(and by we, i mean anth and bern worked on the majority of it.)
i assumed anthony would spend a bit of time drawing some rectangles representing his bed, dresser, shelfs, etc...

instead, anth and his dad spent upwards of an hour and a half producing this: 

and, thus, i had one of those moments.
a Proud Mommy Moment. 
sitting there, watching bernie guide anth through the process. 
it hit me. 
anthony LOVES doing homework. 
at night, he asks to work on writing his numbers and letters, or reading, before he goes to bed. 
sometimes he forgoes the usual 10 pages of Harry Potter a night for the sake of more practice of his penmanship. 
my sweet boy loves to learn. 
merely for the sake of learning. 
and he has a good work ethic.
i guess this is not all that surprising.
but, still, it is encouraging. 
maybe anth would have been that kid regardless. 
or maybe, just maybe, bern and i have translated a couple of our values into this little gem of a person. 
being a parent is a big responsibility. 

...and sometimes it's kind of nice to have even the littlest proof that you're doing something right. 

November 7, 2010

"Momma! Help! I SUCK!"

- should you hear this bellowed in my house, no worries. 
   benny does not have self-image issues. 
   he just can't get out of the booster seat that he strapped himself into at the kitchen table. 

November 5, 2010

Fail Photo Friday 11

tonight, my husband and I are going on a date.
this date entails him coming with me to see some of my favorite students, from my favorite organization, Off The Lake, perform in a cabaret of musical theatre selections.
bless my husband's sweet heart.
our other dates this fall include a trip to see a friend from work in the musical 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and taking the boys to see Sesame Street Live.

so, i have two seconds in my office before we run to get the boys from daycare and get them to a sitter for our hot night on the town.
so, no fail photo tonight.
well, at least not of the boys.

instead i am sharing one of my favorite photos from my pre-wee ones days.
i took this shot in 1999 on a trip to London.
(notice the classic 1999 overalls in the background.)
my family and i were standing outside Buckingham Palace waiting to see the changing of the guard.
this little boy, and his family, were standing catty-corner to us.

this little boy was REALLY bored.
he spend about 10 minutes entertaining himself in the way you see below.
while his family continued to not notice.

this is my favorite photo from that trip.

November 4, 2010

"no, daddy. . . dese are too 'picy fo' you."

- benny. holding his bag of M&Ms to his chest in a death grip. while suggesting, to his father who had asked if he would share, that he was saving him from the horrible spice content in candy-coated chocolate.

November 3, 2010

Letter to Benny: we had a good thing going...

Dearest Benjamin,

You are such a sweet little peanut of a boy.
However, I wanted to take a moment to write you a letter regarding my concern about the recent developments in Halloween Candy Distribution in the Savarese household.

You see, in the past we had a system that worked well for our family dynamics.
Anthony agreed that all things chocolate were disgusting.
Mommy and Daddy supported him in this decision by allowing him to eat the "candy candy" and we stepped in to "take care of the chocolate items."
Specifically, Daddy got the Reese's and Kit Kats and Mommy the Butterfingers and Almond Joys.
The rest were somewhat evently distributed.

I take ownership of my failure to share this system, and its nuances, with you prior to this Halloween.
However, since you have taken the stand of loving all things chocolate, specifically Butterfingers, I have tried my best to be flexible in our sugar-related policies.

But I must state my utmost concern in relation to your recent success in reintroducing Anthony to chocolate.
He has been converted, and is now regularly requesting all of the "good stuff."
Leaving Mommy and Daddy with Tootsie Rolls and other assorted grossness.

This, simply put, will not do.
I hope that you will seriously consider the ramifications of your decisions before we enter the 2011 Halloween Season.

Thanks in advance,

November 1, 2010

mommies can't have play dates

my dear friend kelly is moving to Madison, Wisconsin. 
(i could write more than a few posts about the complete and utter unacceptableness - yes, made up words are fair game as long as people can understand them - of the whole thing.)

so tonight, the little men and i went to pay her a final visit at her place here in Columbus. 
"telly" is one of my kids' favorites. 
as in, recently, anth asked if the whole family would be over to watch the game. 
"you know, you (to dad), mom, ben, kelly..."
needless to say, we have spent some quality time together over the last 8 years.  
but, i digress. 

tonight, on the drive over, I asked the boys if they were excited to go play at kelly's. 
to which anth responded, "well, i'm going to go play mom, but you can't."
thinking he was implying that he wanted to spend more time with her i told him that he was sweet. 
and he responded, "NO, mom. only little kids 'go play' with other people. old people (*mental note, teach child not to call adults old people) just 'come over for a visit' or 'hang out for a while' at your house." 

thanks, anth. 
i'll be sure to spread the word to all my geriatric friends.