February 28, 2011

get it right, mom

i've had a pretty good head cold recently.
anth is a highly empathetic kid, so while being tucked in, he reached up and circled my eyes with his fingers and said he hoped i would feel better.

it reminded me that my parents used to do what they called "tracing my face" at bedtime.
if current behavior is an indicator of my past behavior, my husband could verify that i tend to verbally process at the end of each day.
reflecting on this fact, my parents were probably just (lovingly) trying to get me to shut my trap.
haha.
sorry, mom and pops.

so, i told anth to close his eyes, and "traced" my fingers around his face, cheeks, ears. etc.
when i got to his eyes, i looped around them, and said, "and then they would trace around my eyes, in the shape of an 8."

anth, eyes still closed and clearly somewhat relaxed, gently corrected me.
"no, mom. that's like an infinity because it's sideways. 8's go up and down."

silly me.
how dare i be anecdotally inaccurate.

February 27, 2011

overacting

Play-Doh continues to be a well-loved pastime in our house. 
so we got it out this weekend upon benny's suggestion. 


anth built a cute little bear.
he was pretty proud of him. 
so he asked me to take a picture...



after taking the picture for anth, i suggested that he take a picture where it looked he was growling at the bear. 
resulting in this...



...which was, perhaps, slightly more intense than what i had been imagining. 

MSB hearts BT

in his previous job on campus, bern worked with the group of extremely dedicated students who put on the annual BuckeyeThon. 
what's BT? 
it's a 17-hour dance marathon benefiting the Hematology/Oncology Department of Nationwide's Children's Hospital. 
want to know more? 
of course you do. 
do that here

because bern has a soft spot for this particular project, he and anth went to visit them last night, and are back there again this morning so show some love and support. 

here are our little men sending them the best of luck for an AMAZING 10am reveal!!!

the love came easily from anth...


but looked a little more difficult for ben...


and even harder upon lifting...




this is benny's new "smile for the camera" face. 
anth had one for a while, too. 


either way, much savvy love to BT!


UPDATE: they raised $222,518.17!!!!!!!!!!!


CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

February 25, 2011

a post for emily...post

i have the best kids.
ever.
i mean, it's kind of a biased hypothesis.
but it's my job to think it's true.
to some (hopefully healthy) degree.

anyway....growing up, proper manners were a big deal in the Welch abode.
(for our friend who was referenced in this post, "Welch" is my maiden name. that means it was my last name before i got hitched. which is a reference to getting married.)

ah, digression...

so...yes...manners.
important in my house growing up.
these ranged from proper use of silverware and other social graces to the sacred act of writing thank you notes.
my grandma shared these with my mom.
my mom passed them on to me.

in the last few weeks, i posted about my adventure with anth during a kindergarten field trip at the OSU Ice Rink.
here's a refresher picture...



not long after, on one of the days i picked up anth from school, i found an OSU envelope in his cubby
it was addressed "for mommy."

i am pleased to say that anth would have made his Great Grandma proud with the following post-ice-skating note and drawing...

so, in return...

dear anthony,

thank you so much for the lovely thank you note and drawing.
and for making my torso look quite toned.

much appreciated.

love (you best),
mom

February 24, 2011

poor prior planning...

benjamin has recently developed a new way to enjoy bathtime.
at the end, after the general dirt-removal and hair-washing routine has been completed, he likes to lay down on his stomach and push off of one end of the tub toward the other end.

to him, this is a VERY exciting and fulfilling use of his time.
kind of makes you wish you were 2 again, doesn't it?

anyway, as he was doing this tonight, anth and i were discussing the fact that it is time for him to start swim lessons soon.
anth glanced over at ben, observed him, and said in his best encouraging-big-brother voice, "benny, you look like you're swimming!"

super supportive, right?

NOPE.

ben takes in this information and shoots back a giant grin.
then, he quickly looks down at himself and back at us.
his face?
horrified.
"oh no, mommy! you wet me be swimming wifout my swim suit!"

the kid was completely embarrased.
after mucking around naked in the tub for the last 20 minutes.

sorry, benny,
my bad.

February 23, 2011

voice fail

so...my friend kelly, who has been mentioned on this blog more than once, uses Google Voice.
it's a pretty festive service, and includes a feature called "voicemail transcription."
this service generates a text message so you can get a quick, readable, version of your voicemails. 
this is a very useful service if the person leaving the message leaves it in a coherent, transcribable fashion.
which, apparently, i don't.

now, i own the fact that i sometimes leave rambling voicemails.
i also, as you will see below, tend to forget what i meant to leave a voicemail about... and stall via dragging out words and throwing out random facts.
i.e., voice mails from me are a real treat.
but this particular one was compounded by the fact that my supervisor and i had a 3pm meeting over coffee, and i was calling kelly on my drive home.
so the speech on this particular message was in overdrive.

i was trying to call and touch base after both of us had failed to make our phone date happen on the previous sunday.
mainly because i was distracted by cleaning the house and washing 5 loads of laundry.
the sunday phone date was scheduled because the one we tried on saturday dropped FIVE times.
this happens to us regularly if we decide to move anything while on our phones in our houses.
including our mouths.
so much so, that we have developed a "who should call the other person back" system.

so, as i left my message post-coffee, here is what google heard and delivered to kelly via text:

"Hey, I'm not saying for Effective Decision from Christine, Thank you for the very few cars, hey cubes state. Hello was calling for defrays you wanted to let you know what it was, but I have to dial by Barry the final. Ohh much failure and then i go home properties guessed it kind of trying to follow the laundry that I watch, and then failed. So. Love from all this. Every back. Maddy."

here is what i actually said:


"Dear Buttface, this is your friend krystyne. thank you for the very cute card. you are cute. um, heyyyyy..., hellooooo... i was calling for a different reason, too,... and i totally can't remember what it was. but, happy valentine's dayyyy. we fail. so much failure. and now i'm going to go hooooome. and then i'm going to wrap bern's giiiiifts. and then fold all the laundry that i waaaaashed. and then, hey....(kids in background, saying "happy valentine's day, kelly")....so, love from all the savaresi. bye lady."

lessons learned from this.
1. both versions of my message are equally useless.
2. you should sign up for Google Voice. if not for info, for the entertainment value.
3. yes, i called my dear friend a buttface.
4. it's what happens when you move off to wisconsin.

February 22, 2011

strong words

in our house, there two categorizations of words that are off limits.
first, there are "bad/swear words."  
these are the standards that would be acknowledged by most english-speakers as the kinds of words you don't want your children to run around using.
then there are "strong words."
these are words that are not actually considered foul language, but those that bern and i designate as ones that we don't want anth and ben to walk around using casually.
they include things like hate, kill, etc.
as in, "you probably don't hate Sally, but you might not like the choice she just made."

anth, being our rule-abider, is pretty diligent about not using words that fall into both of these categories.
he also continues to be diligent about reminding me when i do.
usually this happens after stubbing a toe, dropping something, or on the road.

this morning, we were watching the news about the earthquake in New Zealand while getting ready.
today was also my day to take the boys to school in the morning.
on the way in, i was tinkering around with the radio and left it on a news station that was talking about the quake and the protests in Libya.
after a few minutes, anth politely requested that we listen to music instead.
"mom, today the news has way too many strong words for me... and it's just kind of sad."

true story, anth.

ben?
"yeah, and it's bo-wing."
ben is nothing if not honest.

February 21, 2011

Baking Soda Incident Act II


video

yes, friends, benny was planning on baking his big brother some cookies.
apparently, on my living room floor.

he was also planning to vacuum up the mess with a dustbuster.

the best laid schemes...

(to his credit, at least he got the ingredients right...)

February 18, 2011

fail photo 23 - caught powder-handed

this, my friends, is a sneak peak of a two-part video saga coming your way this weekend. 
the videos will explain how this little pile of baking soda made it's way onto my family room floor. 


neat.



February 17, 2011

it's that time of year again...

at many campuses across the country, it is currently RA Interview season. 
here at OSU, all of our team from RAs up to our Director have been camping out in one of our residence halls and conducting interviews of just short of 500 candidates. 
personally, i find this to be an exciting time, filled with high energy, hope, and cute forms of nervousness on the candidates' part. 
but, it's also tiring for someone who tends to be a bit more on the introverted side. :) 


so...a lazy post for y'all tonight. 


here is a photo of my 1996-1997 UC Irvine Mesa Court RA staff. 
as mentioned in a post a couple of days ago, you will find me in the center wearing my requisite overalls and Doc Martens. 
and, seemingly, just about to tip over. 


for those less concerned about my tragic mid-to-late-90's fashion choices, here is another fun photo of a more recent fashion choice. 
this one would be benjamin's. 
during the ice storms recently, i was using my cozy, lined, winter boots.
ben took a liking to them... 



i encourage you to take a moment to imagine how much i have enjoyed watching him "walk" around our house in these...

February 16, 2011

my little coffee mate

i pretty much love coffee. 
and yet, i've mentioned before, i'm not ALL that amazing at making it. 
at least in a small batch for myself. 
keurig may just be the answer. 
in the meantime, the last coffee i bought was Macadamia Nut flavored. 
i usually go for good ol' plain coffee, but i felt a little...nutty?...that day. 
anth thinks that this coffee smells horrific. 


now, each night i try to make sure to pick out clothes for the next day, pack snacks & sippies for the little kids, make lunches for the big kids, and get my coffee ready to i can just press the button in the morning. 
anth is aware of this evening drill. 
and, has decided to use it to his advantage. 
he has recently started to offer to "help" me with this process...as a bedtime-avoidance tactic. 
his help generally consists of him pulling up a chair and standing there talking about Legos while i do the rest of the work. 
because i consider all of this to be memory-making, i allow his version of help. 
(though, to his credit, when we are making desserts or dinner, he is a legitimate part of the baking/cooking process.)


the other night, while standing on his chair, he veered off of the usual topic of legos and started suggesting cookies at every interval. 
for their snacks in the car. 
for mom and dad's lunch. 
for himself in that moment. 
helpful. 


when i went to get my coffee ready for the morning, stopped talking about cookies and leaned in really close to study what i as doing. 
as i scooped the ground coffee into the filter, he leaned back in sudden horror and literally gasped, " mommy, no WONDER it smells so gross! it's made of DIRT!!!!"

February 15, 2011

college roommates may cause side effects

prologue:
yes, this post is long enough to warrant a prologue...
as a result, i have changed the title of this post, mid-writing, to the following:

- growin' up country
- little man of no means
- king of the booster
- tiny dancer, and
- the long and winding post

i felt it necessary to warn you.
...end of prologue.

i have a (rather uninteresting) secret. 
i like to listen to country music while making dinner. 


now, really, this  isn't the most earth-shattering revelation. 
but, it was a journey for me. 


i grew up in a house where the musical repertoire included classic musicals, Elvis, the Rat Pack, John Denver, The Carpenters, Marine Corps anthems, and yes, a little bit of classic country. 
in jr. high, my musical taste was dominated by long haired men, some in makeup... Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, Poison, etc....
in high school, my tastes ranged from The Smiths to The Sisters of Mercy to Suicidal Tendencies. 
in college, i would have claimed The Counting Crows, Sarah McLachlan and Tracy Chapman in my collection as well. 
all of this was, of course, underscored with the music from my early years. 
except for country. 


this weekend, bernie and i had a discussion about the fact that our ability to connect with new people over music has sadly vanished since iPod conquered the world. 
he was talking about a faculty member who still loves owning physical copies of his music.
he states that this was driven by being a member of the "vinyl generation." 
as a member of what i suppose would be the CD generation, i recall judging people in college based on their CD and book collections. 
these collections were usually prominently displayed in our rooms.
and, by "judge," i mean that if you had a combination of Salinger/Rand/Tom Robbins/The Cure in your room, i was probably much more interested in chatting it up with you than if you had a Britney poster complimented by a People magazine.  
now that the folks i interact with are more often in an office than a residence hall room, i miss the ability to get this data.
i have no idea what the people around me listen to at night or in the car.
which leaves me to judge you on other, less fun, measures...;)


so, i happily made it through most of college with a music collection i was proud to claim. 
and then Kari happened. 
Kari and i grew up a few houses down the street from one another and were close friends in elementary school. 
in high school, she went on to be a cheerleader and i wore a lot of black clothes and white face makeup. 
but, Kari transferred to UC Irvine for what would be my senior year of college. 
i had worked in Residence Life and lived on campus before then, and had decided to move off campus for my last year. 
i don't remember how, but we figured all of this out and we decided, after not really hanging out for almost a decade, to live together that year. 
...with two random roommates we found on an online roommate placement service.
let's just say that these online services were not as well developed in the 90's.  
the stories and antics from this year could fill a blog on their own. 
let's suffice it to say that Kari has a young and playful spirit and we may have reverted back to 5th grade on multiple occasions.
daily. 
and that we had a lot of fun that did NOT include alcohol but DID include things like:
- spying on the cute neighbors with children's science equipment
- wearing go go boots and sweatshirts with the drawstrings pulled tightly around our faces to the local ice cream shop
- watching the TV on mute and providing our own voice-overs, and
- blowing bubbles on our roommates while they were making out with their boyfriends on the couch.  
looking back, i'm sure our roommates were concerned. 
haha. 
sorry, Uzma and Sheerin. 


anyway. 
it was a good year. 
but with all of Kari's fun, she also brought something else with her. 
she harbored a deep love for Brooks and Dunn and all things country music. 
i could handle her extremely flowery bedspread, pristine wardrobe, and flowered wreath above the wall....a stark contrast to my messy pile of books and a wardrobe that included Doc Martens and overalls in a variety of fabrics. 
(they were cool at the time. i swear. at least my friend Joy also wore them.) 
but, country was where i drew the line. 


and then the worst possible thing happened. 
i realized i not only liked, but kind of LOVED country music. 
this dawned on me one morning as Kari was belting something along the lines of wanting "a shot of that redhead yonder lookin' at me," from the shower....and i found myself singing along from the other room. 
it took a while for the old "goth girl" to own this music. 
but in time i embraced it. 
and now i have a soft spot for the country music of the 90s. 
because, somewhere during grad school, i lost track of country and went back to my old ways. 


...until i moved into our current house about 5 years ago. 
the kitchen is in the far corner of the house. 
this means that when i'm baking or cooking, i am basically left to my own devices. 
while i would like to resolve this kitchen/family room disconnect in our next house, the introvert in me enjoys the occasional downtime.
it allows me to flip on the radio to the local station that plays my not-so-current-but-much-appreciated country. 

...i may or may not dance around the kitchen like a shamelss goof while cooking. 
but, where's the fun in stirring whatever's on the stove with your feet firmly planted?  
boring.


so, this weekend, i was making the "easy mexican casserole" from www.singforyoursupperblog.com
(thanks for the recommendation, cheryl! delicious!)
bern was sitting at the kitchen table with benny, overseeing the process of ben eating the  Fun-Dip (aka, straight sugar on a stick of sugar) that a student teacher sent home with him for Valentine's Day. 
i was listening to the radio on low volume. 
Roger Miller's classic, King of the Road, came on. 
without thinking, i turned up the radio. 
ben? 
instantly started shaking his tush in his little booster seat. 
bless his sweet heart, he totally felt the music.
two songs later he proceeded to demand, "get me out, i need to dance!!!!" 


these days, i am camped out in the midwest and kari still lives in southern california.
we have not done a good job of staying in touch.
but, for the fact that she has inadvertently turned my little dinnertime solos into partner dances, i am grateful. 

















February 14, 2011

v-day tisses

so....i wanted to send ya'll a little savvy love for v-day.
i grabbed the camera to take v-day appropriate photos of the boys.
bless his heart, anth declined being photographed.

he opted to draw a picture instead...



ben was more open to the photo opp.
i asked him to make a kiss face...


and this is what i received. 
hmmmm...




perhaps another route...



a v-day "tiss" from benny to you!
happy day of love!

February 11, 2011

first dates are SO awkward

back in december, anth and ben were invited to attend anth's friend Ziya's 6th birthday party at an OSU Ice Hockey game.
Anth and Ziya were in school together for several years, from the time he started at 9 months.  

i think the following two photos pretty much sum up how anth feels about Ziya.
they have a sibling-like relationship involving equal parts of tough and love.
for anth, it's mostly love.
because, in his eyes, they go "way back."


this is anth's greeting to Ziya as he walked in the door.

this is pure preciousness.
(in case you couldn't tell on your own.)

now, Ziya has a little sister who is a year older than ben...Myka.
Myka and Ben were in the same classroom last year until she graduated to pre-school this year.
benny is particularly fond of this little lady.
she's a peanut with curly blonde hair and gorgeous blue eyes.
ben could have cared less about the party and the 43 other people there.
he was going to spend time with Myka.

i think this video and the following two photos demonstrate ben's level of excitement in general to spend time with Myka...

video


(i love their reactions in the last few seconds. best part. besides ben's obvious future career in dance.) 

now the photos...
(thanks to ziya and myka's mom & dad for sharing some of their pics as well!)



look at that grin.
(mental note: these two need a chaperone.)
Ziya and Myka have apparently been asking their parents if they can have a play date with my boys.
their dad finds this concerning.
i find it hilarious.
mostly because i'm pretty sure benny and myka have already had their first date.

case in point....
check out the story of their evening...through pictures...
like many first dates, it started out with the usual distance and distractions...


and then they settled in a bit.
(more preciousness.)  


and then dad totally crashed the party.
not cool, dad.

later, Brutus Buckeye showed up to visit the kids.
this was completely cool...in theory.
but when you're two, an average sized adult person with an epically disporportionate nut for a head can be disconcerting.
ben wanted nothing to do with Brutus.

...and this gave anth his opportunity.


to totally sneak in on ben's date.
not cool, anth.
this lead to some drama for all involved.
(mom was helpful, and opted to preserve the memory.)



fortunately, when you're two, most problems can be solved with a cookie.
benny finds brutus to be a much better snack than he is a companion.


in the end, it seemed that a date with daddy was really the best option.
(insert a small sigh of relief for the girls' daddy.)

February 10, 2011

child's play

over the holidays, my friend kelly sent the boys a few fun presents.
the boys are fans of "telly," so the toys were inherently cool.
one was a Toy Story version of the game Kerplunk, which was a complete throwback for me.
the other was a boxed set of several games along the Toy Story theme.
checker, dominos, puzzles, etc.
the boys go back to this box often when they are looking for something to do.
(anth has not been as thrilled with the checkers as he doesn't always win at that one.)

and, yet, it didn't immediately occur to me what on earth anth was talking about when he walked up to me recently and said, "hey, mom, let's play bimbo. that's a game we can both be good at."

and then it did.
"um, anth, i think you mean bingo."

also included in said box, but notably different.

February 9, 2011

the realities of reality TV

so...with bern in classes over the last few years, i have picked up a ridiculous amount of shows that i enjoy.

like...
comedy: modern family, community, GLEE
drama: house, grey's, make it or break it, the event, parenthood, life unexpected, pretty little liars (if ER, Gilmore Girls or Ally McBeal were still on they would be here, too.)
reality: aside from the biggest loser, my weakness is performance/talent based shows...So You Think You Can Dance, Project Runway, Top Chef, American Idol...
other: jeopardy. (and NBC nightly news when bern is home...)

clearly, i can't physically watch all of this in any given week.
thankfully DVR let's me decide what shows are actually critical, but yes i do tape them all.

this is relevant.
kind of.
just stay with me.

so...bathtime last night.
anth tends to go from 0 to 60 on deciding it is time to get out of the tub.
last night, i was trying to shove a still-slightly-damp ben into his winter pajamas when anth suddenly declared he was ready to get out of the bath.

my feet had been chilly so i had grabbed a pair of socks earlier.
i realized i was still holding them and that they don't do much for improving the warmth of my feet until they are properly applied.
so, as i stood in the doorway of the bathroom, i told anth, "hold on, i just have to do this really quick."
as i started to apply said socks to my person, anth literally sounded like a balloon leaking air as he let out a long, dramatic, "oh noooooooo."

the kid is born for the stage, i tell you.
laughing, i told him, "anth, i'm putting on my socks, not writing the next great american novel."
in the time it took both of these sentences to happen, i was already at the side of his tub.
anth said ok and we went about toweling him off and getting him outfitted for bedtime.

later, anth asked, "hey mom...why are you writing a book about American Idol?"

tragic, i tell you.

February 8, 2011

living with old people

anth likes to listen to the radio as he falls asleep.
we typically set his radio for either 30 or 60 minutes...with no real rhyme or reason.

the other day bern tucked him in, set his radio and came downstairs.
we were trying to catch up on the episodes of Community tucked away in our DVR when we heard anth padding his way down the stairs.

i went up to get him tucked back in to bed.
i went to reprogram his radio.
anth, sweat as a pea, "mom, i think you should put it on a little longer. i'm not old like you. i can't fall asleep in, like, one minute."

i forget that 30-something looks geriatric to a 5-year-0ld.
anth reminds me.
often.

February 7, 2011

i heart homework 6 - it's a wrap

this weekend was a little busy around the savvy abode.
so, we got a tad behind on our homework project.
hence, anth being the honest kid that he is, Friday/Saturday/Sunday are all labeled "Sunday" because that is when he completed them. 
always tell the truth...even if it busts your parents for falling behind on homework management.

but, sunday afternoon was highly productive.
anth completed mass amounts of valentines and his last three days of homework!


"winter makes me happy because you can have a snowball fight."
(i.e., throw snowballs at your little brother while he stands there and eats the landscape.)

 

"my mommy likes to take pictures of icicles."
(note: this is his bird's eye view depiction of mommy trying to take a picture of the trees covered in icicles while daddy was driving on the way in to work. haha.)

the other fun thing about honesty is this...


"when my daddy was walking up the driveway, he fell down."

i drive a Golf.
as demonstrated in earlier homework, it can't make it up the driveway when icy.
my sweet husband tried to get it up the driveway for me.
it protested for him as well.
on bern's way back up the driveway, it claimed another victim.

*note: to bern's credit, the driveway has a much greater incline than anth portrayed here.

anth turned in his packet of homework this morning.
i hope that his teachers enjoy this project as much as i have.

February 6, 2011

i heart homework 5 - slackers

sometime last week, anth went back and added a drawing to his first night's homework to represent the news that he had watched. 


fair enough. 

when i asked him to tell me about the drawing (always safer than guessing) he told me that this was the newsman on the TV pointing to the weather. 
"but i just drew a bunch of squiggles to show the map because that's all the news guys bother to do anyway.  i mean, they don't use words or shapes or anything."