May 31, 2011

i'm not ready...

i went to Kroger this weekend.
and received a text reminding me to get milk.
this was from my husband.
which would not be surprising.

the notable part was that the rest of this was actually from anth.
on his own.
while dad was out of the room.
(note: "grossers" = groceries and "complmints" = compliments)
bern came back into the living room and asked anth where his phone was.
"right here, dad," said anth.
pointing to his pocket.

i sense that i might be in trouble sooner than i thought...

May 24, 2011


benjamin likes to play sous chef in the savarese kitchen.
mainly when mommy is baking.
he is especially good at cleaning spoons with that pesky substance known as dough on them.

recently, ben's favorite thing to do is to stir.
note: i learned to stir the bowl a bit first before handing it off.
the hard way.
this is because when  you dont, and you have an eager child, this results in a small layer of flour on everything within a four foot range of said child.

he was excited to have the opportunity to stir up some brownies for me recently.
and, being the daddy's boy that he is, he is also always proud to show daddy whatever he has dreampt up, drawn, created, or recently accomplished.

bern came into the kitchen just as ben was finishing up his stirring responsibilities.
beaming, he declared, "look daddy! i'm making brownies all by myself! (pause)...with mom."

May 21, 2011


today was anth's kindergarten graduation ceremony. 

it was a sunny day for the big event. 
thumbs up. 

each student had a board of pictures representing their year.

my favorite of anth is this one of him concentrating on his self-portrait.

 anth and anna scope out the other displays. 

 some idle banter.

 benny slowly sidled in closer to the student teacher, amelia. 

 overall, ben was non-plussed. 

 anth and one of his teachers, donna. 

 anth and amelia. 

 anth and mom. 
 ben and spot under bench. 

after some potluck fun it was time to gather up and give out the graduation certificates. 

 here is anth with teachers donna and leann.

 anth's bud jack. :)

 the kids also received certificates for completing their coursework in Spanish with lauren's mom. 

 then it was time to go outside and circle up...

...while satya and his mommy released butterflies!

 anth even got a chance to touch one!!!

then it was time for a class photo. 
note: this is bernie removing benny from said photo. 

 there we go.

and, a classy one for the road. 

mommy's heart may have endured a tad more than it could handle today. 
just maybe. 

May 20, 2011

ha. ha. hahahaha. ha.

Off The Lake's musical stylings reach well beyond the traditional broadway stage.
this little ditty was taken (on my phone, per usual) at their mini-cabaret on Wednesday night.
this event is a little treat that the members allow themselves in the days between their two performance weekends, and is hosted by and for current members instead of the general public.
and, as evidenced here, tends to have moments of sheer hilarity...

(why, yes, the gent on the right, Eric Neunschwander, is playing a melodica.)
(and, yes, i needed to ask OTL member Lauren Decker what exactly he was playing.)
(and, yes, Eric. you are welcome.)
all of this to say, here's to a wonderful closing weekend for the 2010-2011 OTLers!
here's to a great OTLumni night tomorrow! (coined by Brandon Boring...)
so! much! love!

May 17, 2011

graduation lamentation

anth officially graduates from kindergarten this week.
(yes, this is all happening way too fast for me.)

in order to celebrate this moment in the lives of his classmates, his teachers have put together a ceremony.
it will be held this saturday where he attends school.
one of the parents reached out and suggested that we make it a potluck.
knowing my  range of skills in the kitchen, and our schedule this week (AKA, i plan to attend an excessive amount of musicals and we have staff closing events...), i offered to bring a dessert item.
i told anth this last night.
the thought was that he would be excited.


he has officially declared that "having to go to school on a stay at home day" is "definitely not something to celebrate."
his words.

the kid loves school.
apparently, he loves weekends just a little bit more.

May 15, 2011

what we've got here is...

recently, bernie has suggested that i take a slightly more stern approach in disciplining the boys. 
this is not as dramatic is it might sound. 
bernie regularly employs the sit-on-the-stairs maneuver. 
i gravitate more toward the "take deep breaths" and "talk it out" tactics. 
less so toward the time-outs and go-to-your-rooms. 
this is largely because when i put ben on the stairs, he finds it hilarious to get up and walk away. 
and, if i'm being honest, that just results in the general declaration of "mommy is about to be really frustrated."
this is not a helpful tactic. 

tonight, bernie is at a counselor fly-in event for First Year Experience. 
i am at home with the smallest savaresi. 
and, in the middle of the bathtime/brushing of teeth routine, anth did something squirrelly. 
nothing outrageous, but something i wanted him to think about. 
so, i took his hand, walked him over to his room, and asked him to sit on his bed. 
i squatted down to look in his eyes and told him that he wasn't in trouble, but that i wanted him to think about why he did what he did while i helped benny brush his teeth. 
and that i wanted a report when i came back. 
he just nodded. 

i went back to the bathroom and "checked" benny's work. 
by "check," i mean that i followed up his 2-minute round of chewing on his toothbrush with a method that actually brushes his teeth. 

after this, i went back to anthony's room. 
i asked anthony what he had thought about. 
he tilted his head sideways toward the bathroom. 
i asked if he had thought about what happened in the bathroom. 
he nodded. 
i asked if he had thought about why he had made the choice that he did. 
he nodded again. 
i asked him to tell me. 
he shook his head. 
i took a deep breath. 
then i told him i needed him to tell me what he had thought about. 
he nudged his head toward the bathroom again. 
i told him that i really needed him to just talk to me. 
at this point he tilted his head back and gurgled, "but, i can't!"
and started giggling. 
as a pool of toothpaste and water sloshed out of his mouth. 

time out #1?
"A" for effort.
"F" for logistics.

May 13, 2011

OTLove: a formerly private letter, opened

( crashed last night.
as in ALL night.
so i didn't get to put this post up when i wanted to initially.
but, now i can say four things to preface this.
1. i went to see the show last night and it is amazing. the cast, music, crew, costumes, vocals, acting, set, etc. loved it all. go see it if you are in the area. it's hilarious.
2. there was also a special USA Today wrap yesterday - a pet project of my colleague Julius Mayo - in which one of the OTL co-directors, Johnny Robison, wrote a lovely tribute to all that is OTL that reminded me of some of the sentiments in this very post. well said, johnny.
3. it's officially opening night! ahhhh!! break...lots...of legs?
4. i am too lazy to go back and edit all of this to make it sound like i wrote it today. so, just pretend it's still Thursday night and all will be perfect.)

okay, friends.
1. this has nothing to do with the boys. does have to do with other peoples' kids that i have loved over time.
3. it's beyond ridiculously long. (this one has been brewing in my drafts for a while...)
4. so, ignore, or grab a beverage (appropriate to your age group) and get cozy.

i've posted several times about the time i spent advising my favorite student org at OSU.
(sorry, 8th Floor.)
It's been almost a year since i stepped down, and i'm reminded of this because Off The Lake (OTL) is just about to open up their 15th season with a production of The Drowsy Chaperone.
Which you should go see.
in Hithcock Hall.
on May 13, 14, 19, 20 and 21 at 8pm.
with a 2pm on the 14th.
and bring a canned food item for admission because all of the donations go to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
an exciting addition this year is that, on the 14th, they will have ASL interpretation (including the lovely Kayla Cardenas) for the first time!

one of the many things i love about OTL is that, as a capstone to the year, on the last night of the show's run, the cast/crew/pit gather around in a circle, and spend a few hours talking about what the year meant to them and to thank individuals for interactions that have been meaningful to them.
though often sassy, i'm quite the softy...and this event is all goop and mascara for me.

last year, a group of amazing members and advisors collaborated to put together a scrapbook from current and alumni members of OTL to send me off from my 8 years with the org.
personally, i speak scrapbook as the highest form of love-in-keepsake-format.
this in and of itself would have overwhelmed me.
BUT, then some of the students pulled me up on stage after the show on closing night to give it to me in front of the audience.
being a behind-the-scenes gal, i went up there, took the scrapbook, gave some hugs, gave you-are-in-trouble-later looks to the students who pulled me up there, and then gave a really awkward wave to the audience while thinking, "these lights are SO bright."

after all of this, i realized i hadn't said what i wanted to to the students in the group, and the alumni who were there that night.
so, i sent them a long and sappy email.

tonight i will be joining some of my lovely colleagues and RAs in our department for their special open dress rehearsal performance just for us.
the new OTL season officially opens tomorrow night.
and knowing that there are students on that stage who i won't know pulls on my heartstrings a bit.
but, getting to just sit back and enjoy the show, not knowing when to hold my breath or send up a prayer for whatever mic/vocal/wardrobe malfunction has been happening, is something i look forward to.
and the ability to attend, instead of host, OTL alumni night.

in my department, my colleagues and i have recently been talking about the core things we value regarding the work we do with students.
which brought the email i sent to OTL last year to mind.
it touches on some things that i determined i value on my own.
it also includes many key phrases and concepts that i have picked up from others along the way.
many folks i work with will recognize some "Kremerisms" from Steve Kremer, a former AVP/Director of Res Life here who i "grew up" under as a Hall Director.
many of these sentiments would have applied to the students of Baker West who i adored just as much in my time there and were the reason i asked to stay there all four years I served as a Hall Director.
these just happened to be for OTL.

so, because i know some of my old OTLovelies read the blog, and because i'm thinking about you and sending you good vibes for an amazing run...and also because i have been spending some mental energy one what i value about working with students in my current role, i thought i would post the email as i sent it last year to the members and alum at the time.
for those who don't work directly with students on a day to day basis, here is what it means to me...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hey OTLers!

Because my stage fright knows no bounds, I have always stunk at saying something useful in our closing circle. My heart constricts and my brain goes mushy and my voice gets far too squeaky. I’ve always thought, oh well…next year. But since that argument doesn’t work this year, and I feel like I still have things I want to say, please forgive me for being indulgent with our email list. (Or hit delete. Either works. ☺) OTL Alum, there are a lot of you on this email because you are all part of my OTL experience as well. The alum included are not by any means an exhaustive list and I know I'm forgetting folks…but my brain hurts from trying to remember/find emails.

I’m a big processor, so I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what makes OTL what it is.  My colleagues have recently told me that I should find another organization to advise that will “just take less time.” I feel pretty confident saying that there probably isn’t another organization at any other campus that is quite like what we have here.

As I shared in the circle this year, OTL has been the constant in my life through the last eight years, including marrying Bern, having two boys, moving off campus (after 10+ years living on campus, it’s a pretty big deal, lol), and changing jobs. My life has become more and more full, and OTL has been the backdrop to it all. I can’t imagine doing anything that long without taking something with you. And because I started working with OTL at the same time I started my professional career, my time with all of you has taught me a lot about the kind of professional I want to be, as well as some lessons that have been good for me to apply to life in general. After the outpouring of love on closing night last Saturday, I feel that it’s really important that I also say thanks for what all of you have taught and reinforced (because some of these  came from other sources, too) for me along the way.  I was more than overwhelmed and didn’t have the words for this on Saturday. Here is what I have learned from all of you that I will be taking with me…

1.      Come as you are- Many organizations claim that they will make you a better person. Teach you something. Somehow improve you. I haven’t been a part of too many organizations that took people as they were and found the role that fits them best. Or that stood up at their Info Meeting and wanted people to join so they could have this experience. Or that loved you for simply being present. OTL reminds me regularly how well people work together when they are allowed to be genuine. 
2.      Be Kind-  To me, this doesn’t mean being happy when you aren’t or to be “nice” when you don’t mean it. We all have our moments, and if we are genuine, we have to allow for those. I think it’s about figuring out what you care about, and using that energy to frame your actions. Give feedback. Have tough conversations. Just have them from a caring place. Be gentle with each other.
3.      Learn to Give AND Accept Love -  Not all OTLers are going to hop on the love train. That’s okay, it takes all types to make this thing happen. For our non-mushy friends- you don’t have to be mushy back. Please just take in the love you are offered. Save it up for a rainy day.
4.      Learn to recognize love – Yes, this is a ridiculous pseudo-reference to the 5 Love Languages. Gag. But, watching you all over time taught me a lot about really recognizing when people were offering up their love or support in ways I didn’t realize at first. Some of you wrote notes. Some just told each other. Some gave hugs. After a few years, some of you started posting your love on Facebook. Haha. Some of you brought baked goods to rehearsal. And some of you showed your commitment by continuing to show up on time when no one else did. If you are returning next year, spend a week looking around and seeing how folks are showing they care.
5.      Time is a gift-  our journeys, no matter what they are, are only so long. Every time you offer a little bit of your time to someone else, you are giving them something you literally can’t get back. Make time for each other.
6.      Exercise grace over power – A smiling/welcoming audition board will generate far better results for all than one that takes itself seriously.
7.      Common experiences translate well - Because OTL is the unique little thing that it is, OTLers past and present share a common experience. (Broken mics, begging for money, etc.) Come back and celebrate that with the alumni. (I have a nerdy little fantasy of having to eventually do a separate show for alumni night because so many come back. And that we should call it OTL Homecoming. Because home is where the heart is, right? Ok, kidding on the name, but not on seeing your lovely faces each year).
8.      Lists are amazing - They can combine the head and the heart quite nicely. :) Many of you have been subjected to my lists over the years. Womp.
9.      Publicize OTL- While I clearly wanted you all to have a packed house each year, and each audience member brings food to add to the cause, I personally don’t think that is the most important part of getting the word out about OTL. Returning OTLers- publicize the info session heavily. The impact we have on our members is immeasurable. It is so important to grow our presence on campus, and this falls on all of us, not just our Publicity folks. Somewhere out there is another Buckeye, potentially listening to show tunes right now, who hasn’t yet found their place on campus and could benefit from being showered in OTLove. Find them.

Okay, this email sound all serious and preachy. Ick. I have also learned a slew of ridiculous and random things from OTL as well. I now know what gobos, glottal stops and timbre are. I, however, still can’t tell if someone is “pitchy” or “singing through their nose.”  (This has probably helped me smile through a lot of auditions unknowingly. Clearly, not yours.) I learned that there is a force in the universe that does not want me to EVER get to be mafia, and that I actually defy all odds mathematically in my ability to pull a townsperson card. I have learned that someone can walk into a performance with a bag of condoms and videotapes for the purpose of preserving the show and “protecting” our sound quality. I have learned that some people give students far too little credit for what they can accomplish. I have learned that a frightening little retreat house near a farm off of Sawmill Road is potentially one of my favorite places for generating good memories. I have realized that I will never get tired of going to see your shows, even long after you have graduated. I now know that, given any space, no matter how small or how many challenges it presents, Off the Lake can come in and rehearse in it or put on a quality show. I found out that snacks from Buckeye Express taste at least ten times better after midnight and 6 hours of watching auditions. And, I have learned that all those theories about student development that our lovely PJ is about to head off and study at BG have some merit. It’s amazing how much four or five years can change a person if you are there to watch the journey. For those of you who were in OTL for an extended period, this was my favorite part.

This email is far too long. Sorry. You have been the most ridiculously talented, beautiful and loving bunch of people I have ever had the pleasure to know. I can't wait to hear what crazy, fun, amazing new thing OTL does next. Thank you so very much for everything.

I heart you all.



May 10, 2011

benny breaks it down - beyblade

this week, Off the Lake Productions will bring The Drowsy Chaperone to campus for their 15th annual musical production.
in honor of that, i bring you my nugget.
singing his ABCs.
followed directly by the theme song to BeyBlade.

May 9, 2011

with "love," from ben to me

this gem is what came home last year from benny's classroom for mother's day. 

i realize that the quality of this photo is terrible. 
so here, allow me to zoom in on that mug, with an equally low caliber shot.

i feel so loved. 

May 8, 2011

Savvy Celebrations

just in case you were wondering what Momma's Day looks like in our house, here is the cliffnotes version. 

1. you get to sleep in. which, here, was 8am. but, i'll take it!
2. you then cram all 4 family members into mom and dad's bed and watch Iron Man in your pajamas. this makes the boys happy because it's Iron Man, and mom happy because Robert Downey, Jr. has been a favorite since Ally McBeal. 
3. later you get to pick where to go for lunch. somewhere classy? never. Chili's. yum. 
4. followed by starbucks. coffee. always coffee on a special day. 
5. you talk to Jen Shields about the fact that her building is leaking in a variety of ways. :)
6. later you come home and get to open some presents. which daddy and boys did a great job of packaging. but you might forget to take a picture of that part becuase, hey, you like presents. 
7. you also have a fun package that came from your friend, kelly, not for mother's day but as a congrats. 

so you end up with this...the ultimate set of gifts to make krystyne happy...
- anything made by Fossil. (in this case, the bag your hubby noticed you drooling over.)
- a random range of music
- more access to coffee. 
- and vast amounts of popcorn. (that was from kelly. who, yes, is also the one who previously sent me seasoning for Chex mix. hooray for gifts you get to eat.)

and then, when the little men are napping and the husband is mowing the lawn, you get to sneak a second to make this post. 

tomorrow...if my brain does that crazy little thing called remembering...i will post a picture of the world's best mother's day card. 

May 4, 2011

benny picks a new favorite song...

it will probably not shock you to know that i own much of the music from the show GLEE.
and regularly listen to it in the car.
this will be important later...

yesterday, while reading my friend kelly's blog, i was reminded of an important GLEE/OSU moment in my life that i completely forgot to commemorate.
yesterday was the one year anniversary of our flash mob at the Ohio Union on May 3rd, 2010.
i have thought about the fact that that was coming up regularly over the last few months.
and then forgot on the day of.

this is par for the course for me these days.
in the post-MBA splendour of our lives, we are actually experiencing more chaos.
this is not entirely surprising.
our schedule before was:
     - bern: work or in class 3-4 nights a week and studying on the weekend.
     - krystyne: work or at home with boys doing houseish/parentingish things
     - boys: daycare or see above
this was a not-so-thrilling, but highly predictable routine.

now that bern is out of school we have added things like "Gym" and little league baseball to our routine.
these two things should not be all that life-altering.
and yet, i'm am perplexed by exactly how millions of families manage to work, pick up the kids, take them to practice, feed them (a respectable) dinner, bathe them, hopefully engage with them a bit and get them to bed.
before midnight.
and with enough time to, perhaps, breathe a little.
lessons learned so far?
i don't get it all done gracefully, i need to accept imperfections, and i better hold my breath.

so...i forgot it was the anniverary of the flash mob.
which i absolutely loved being a part of, and reminded me why i love the wide variety of what i classify as "work."
(no, none of this was practiced during normal work hours.)
kelly reminded me of it in a blog post that was more of an Ode to the Lost Art of the Mix Tape.
in said post, she asked folks to list what songs would be on their ultimate mixed tape/burned CD/playlist.
though it pained me, and i know the list is not comprehensive (step toward accepting imperfections) can see mine in her comments if you are nosy.
i was only able to narrow it down to 20.

all of this leads to this fun fact: benny has recently declared that his new favorite song is....

drumroll, please....

the GLEE version of Bills, Bills, Bills.
(edit...thanks to PJ, who pointed out that i really am as much of a distracted mess as i said.)
i have chosen not to inform him that, technically, bern and i are floating his entire existence right now.
hence, he would qualify as a recipient of the message of this song. 

May 3, 2011

(almost) exactly alike

the boys LOVE PillowPets.
not sure what those are?
(this would mean that you have not entered a mall anywhere in America in the last 6 months or so.)
they are these lovely creatures.
as their jingle that elaborates on the name explains: "it's a pillow. it's a pet. it's a PillowPet."

our friend the Easter bunny granted the boys their utmost PillowPet desires.
anth now has a horse.
benny has a lion.
they are pretty excited about these, and ben's wanders about the house with him right now.

here they are.   
ben was a little too excited to pose properly with his new friend.  
but eventually, he calmed down. 

while putting anth to bed the other night, he asked me if i would like a PillowPet.
he informed me that he could maybe get me one for my birthday.
or something.
(his words.)
he then asked me to pull up their website on my phone so i could tell him which ones were my favorite.
we did this.
(the giraffe and brown bear were the clear front runners, in case you were wondering about my stance on the cuteness of specific PillowPets.)
we then moved on to other topics like baseball and how many days is it until the weekend...

while i was doing my makeup before work the next day, anth came in to tell me he had come up with a new idea for my PillowPet.
he had decided that we should have matching PillowPets.
so, he said, he was going to get me the Unicorn.
"because, mom, a unicorn is really just a horse with a horn, so then we can match. only yours will look a lot more magical than mine. but i'm okay with that."

some points you just can't argue.

May 2, 2011

incentive system gone wrong

while benny was potty training, bern and i tried a variety of approaches.
the winning one with benny, not surprisingly, was candy.
put a few m&m's on the table (literally and figuratively) and he was in.

unfortunately, now that he has been trained for quite some time, he still occasionally forgets that this is no longer part of the picture.
he woke up recently and immediately asked to go to the "potty."
while sitting there, still bleary eyed and with blanket-imprints on his cheeks, he asked, "mommy, is pee-pee for candy?"
(this was his bartering method while we were training.)

i explained that it was too early for candy, and that he could have a treat after lunch or dinner.
"oh no...."
"can i have my lunch for bweakfast?"