October 31, 2011

The Many Stages of Vader

tonight is all about tricking and treating in our world. 
the boys' friend alex is coming over to join the fun. 
she has a light-up costume, and the boys have their light sabers. 
anth feels that this is a suitable amount of lighting for safe traveling around the neighborhood. 
while i hope to grab some lovely pictures, here are a few of the boys taken earlier this month.

no, i didn't pick the costumes. 
they did. 
but i couldn't have picked them better myself. 

 anth took about 300 shots to get this pose to his liking. 

first there was this. 

and then there was...this. 
within two frames. 
no idea. 

 a moment of sweetness. 

 and then straight back to life as i know it. 

 Intense Vader.

 Defeated Vader.

Can I Please Have Candy Now, Mommy? Vader

Can't Have Candy Vader.

I Am Now Resolved To Battle You For Candy Vader.

I'm Just Going To Get The Candy Myself Vader.

Happy Halloween!!!

October 29, 2011

how did he NOT know?

tonight, during dinner, anth asked us why Kleenex was called Kleenex.
Grandpa Savarese, who was visiting before the OSU vs. Wisconsin game, started to make up a creative story about a gentleman named John Kleenex. 
bern consulted the Wikipedia app on his phone. 
here, we all learned that the material was originally designed as a cotton replacement for gas mask filters during World War I. 
bern read on for a bit, but anth had stopped listening. 
he looked directly across the kitchen table at me, then tilted his head back and held up his palms. 
looking anguished, anth spoke to the ceiling, "how did i never know this before?"

fortunately, anth's severe disappointment in his content knowledge regarding Kleenex was able to be assuaged by a piece of pumpkin pie. 
though the moment made me wonder if, perhaps, mom and dad's love of both Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit has created an unhealthy expectation to know any and all random facts. . .

October 27, 2011

what i said vs. what he heard...

first, thank you very much to alice for taking care of a sick version of benny, Thor hammer and all, today so that i could attend an event on campus. 
i apologize. 

because i had benny with me today, i left work early, and we picked up anth shortly after he got out of school. 
as we were driving home, someone almost drove into the side of our car. 
(for real.)
(i need to clarify because folks who have driven with me know that i eternally think that someone is about to swerve into our lane.)
(this person, in fact, was driving out of her lane in a parking lot and into lane i was in.)
(with her head stuck in her purse that was apparently on the floor of the passenger side of her car.)
(to this, i say, at least put it on your passenger seat, lady.)

Woman With Head Closer To Floor Of Car Than Windshield almost drove into us. 
i swerved to miss her. 
and then i said, "freaking poop!"
(harsh, i know. it's shocking it was not worse.)
eternal rule abider, anth, scolded me.
"mom! if you are going to use bathroom words, i will start using them, too."
i apologized. 
then i told anth i didn't think he would do that because he was a good boy and was smart enough to know that he could choose to follow rules even when other people forget. 
he looked at me in the rear view mirror with sadness. 
"mom. do you realize you kind of just told me that you aren't a good girl and you aren't very smart?"

now i do, sweet boy.
now i do.

October 24, 2011

really, author? really?

one of the requirements in anth's classroom is that the students read for 15 minutes at home each night.
anth loves it.
we love it.
it's a highly lovable thing.

in order to keep the process fresh/exciting, the students are given time to wander around the room and pick a new book to bring home each day.
bern and i appreciate the new reading materials on a daily basis.
as a result, we often ask what book anth picked out that day.
why we do this, i have no idea, as anth categorically forgets what book it was until we get it out of his bag.
sometimes he has a vague notion, like "it's about a giraffe."

a few weeks ago, anth had a vague notion.
about the title of a particular book.
as in, he said, "i don't know mom, it's something like The Manly Fairy."
or, at least that was what i heard.
and immediately, my mind went in a thousand directions.
  • perhaps this is educational
  • perhaps this is about gender stereotypes
  • what on earth are the illustrations in this?
  • i was picturing a story about the plight of the male pixie
  • i was curious how they would handle this sensitive topic at a 1st grade reading level
turns out that, maybe, i should have just pulled the darn book out of the bag first.
because the book was, in fact, called The Manly Ferry Pigeon.
for real.
it was about a bird.
who rides around on a ferry.
that operates out of the city of Manly.
which is in New South Wales.
according to Wikipedia.

you, too, can have this book for exactly $1.00.

so, clearly, you can understand my confusion.
it's not just me?

October 21, 2011

fail photo 42: intensity

this photo is from anth's first day of school.
we were waiting for the school to open the "gates" to the classrooms.

at first glance, on the small screen of my old camera, this photo didn't seem out of the ordinary.
anth was politely abiding my request to smile.
ben was not.
it was pretty much a picture of life as i know it.
but when i loaded them to my computer, and saw them a little bit larger . . .
i was able to see the look on benny's face.
and i thought that, maybe, you  needed to see it, too.

October 20, 2011

how to name your bear

there is definitely a pattern in my life that i must address. 
the children i know don't give their stuffed animals typical names. 

let me go back in time a bit. 
to, say, 1983. 
in elementary school, i had a good friend named Stacy Friedowitz. 
our parents hung out socially as well. 
my little sister adored Stacy's dad, Bob. 
so much so, that she named her stuffed koala bear Bob Friedowitz. 
of course, this thing came everywhere with her. 
including the day that the real Bob Friedowitz took Katie to the park. 
and she left her stuffed koala behind at the park. 
this resulted in a small child wandering about the park with the real Bob Friedowitz, sobbing that she had lost Bob Friedowitz. 
fortunately, Bob found Bob Friedowitz. 
i would say that Bob found Bob, except that 3-year-old Katie insisted on calling her koala by his full name. 

fast forward to 2005. 
shortly after anth was born, bernie's former Assistant Hall Director, now friend, came to see the him with her mom. 
her name is Ankita Rakhe.
they brought him a Build-a-Bear as a present. 
anth still adores this bear, and he has prime real estate on his bed to this day. 
his name is "rocky."
except it's really "Rakhe," pronounced wrong. 
again, a very sweet, but literal name. 

here is anth and "rocky." 
(rocky has since recovered.)

when anth was three, my parents took him to Build-A-Bear. 
where he built-a-cat. 
named Kitty.
who he dressed in swim trunks. 
because cats love to hit the beach. 
because benny was three when my parents visited a few weeks ago, it was his turn. 

ben was more than slightly excited by the whole process. 

except for the noisy parts. 

benjamin dressed his black bear as spiderman. 

and he hasn't put him down for more than 5 minutes since. 

thanks grandma and grandpa welch!
oh, his name?
it has yet to be determined if this is a nod to the show Phineas and Ferb, or because he has fur.
it is Ferb's job to sit in the rocking chair in benny's room at night while he sleeps. 
this is because he put the sound of a dog barking inside him and this is too noisy at bedtime.
according to benny. 

as such, this is the must-have snuggle friend at bedtime. 
it's ben's turkey. 
named Chicken. 

October 18, 2011


recently, while checking anth's work after brushing his teeth, bern noticed that anth was getting a permanent tooth.
behind his baby teeth.
i immediately did the most logical thing.
i googled "permanent teeth growing in behind baby teeth."
and, i found a variety of articles, chat rooms and advice on the topic.
this, minimally, told me that this was a somewhat common thing.
specifically, i learned that that this is nicknamed "shark teeth."

because we are not medical experts in any way, shape or form, we decided to give his dentist a call. 
in prepping anth for the appointment, bern and i let him know that, sometimes, kids have to have a few teeth pulled in order to make their incoming teeth fit properly.
just in case.
anth shared that, if it was going to make everything work better, he thought we should probably just go ahead and have the teeth pulled.

anth's appointment was yesterday.
while he was getting dressed, he stopped to ask me, "mom? should i wear a darker shirt? if i'm going to get blood all over the place, it would probably show up less on a darker shirt."

1. true.
2. apparently we forgot to explain the concept of a consultation
3. my 6-year-old, who is perfectly willing to have portions of his face removed if it is more fucntional, was completely unphased by this prospect. even though he seemingly thought it might entail some form of a blood bath.
4. but the idea of staining a shirt? unacceptable.
5. he is truly his father's son.

October 15, 2011

Atreyu still rocks. As do Kara & Brandon.

last summer, i wrote about bernie's former-supervisee-turned-friend, kara. 
she had come back to campus from her job at Dreamworks to present at our RA end of the year banquet. 
today, kara and her charming fiancee Brandon are tying the knot at a precious little church in Studio City, CA. 
bern flew out there for the big event, and the boys and i had a fun day together here. 

we did a few chores and errands.
then we headed out to Micheal's for some fun halloween craft supplies. 
we did a little crafting. 
and then, The Big Event.
we tried on their halloween costumes. 
(benny had asked previously if he could "trick-or-treat just a little." i told him no and gave him a piece of our candy for putting on his costume.)
suffice it to say that the majority of our afternoon entailed the following...

a tad of this.  

a smidge of this. 

and a whole lot of this. 

the boys were in heaven, and i now know that benny's cape needs to be hemmed if he has a chance of staying upright on the big night. 
our next adventure? 
tonight i introduced anth to the original version of The Neverending Story. 
i was really excited about this. 
bern and i both adore this movie.
based on the cover of the DVD, anth was less than convinced that this would be a decent use of his time. 
halfway through, when we went to make some popcorn, anth turned to me and said, "mom. this movie is legendary. you were totally right."
(no, i did not actually describe this movie as legendary.) 

but i mean, come on. 
you've gotta love Atreyu.

at the end of the movie, i asked anth what he thought. 
he still agreed that it was a really good movie. 
and then, "but, really, if i was that kid, my first wish would be for my mom to come back to life. not to ride around on some dragon. i mean, maybe that would be second."
yes, even after a movie about the importance of imagination, anth finds the logic. 
i love him more all the time. 

while it was a lovely day here, it is a much more exciting one out there in Studio City. 

bern sent along this picture after the ceremony. 
so precious. 
even more precious? 
the fact that the ceremony included her siblings reading from both Adam Sandler and When Harry Met Sally. 
my favorite part is that the reception involves taco trucks. 
genius all the way around. 

so much love, and many happy days ahead to kara and brandon, from all of the savvy fam!

October 14, 2011

fail photo 41: common denominator

i have an endless supply of these "fail photos"
like, say, the one below of anthony. 

anth was 11 months old here. 
he was sitting under the desk while bern was working, and he had put on bern's old headphones. 
he looked particularly cute, so i grabbed the camera. 
and ended up with this. 
not quite as cute as what i was originally viewing. 
for a long time, i blamed a portion of these failed attempts at cuteness on my pathetically slow camera. 
then we got a "better" one. 
still a point-and-shoot, but more up to date. 
because of its size, it's what i took with me to anth's first day of 1st grade. 
(i didn't want to embarrass him too much.)
ben was being particularly sweet, and i wanted to capture the moment. 

clearly, ben attempting to eat anth's face wasn't what i was trying to capture.

nor was i attempting to document anth wiping off ben's kiss. 
obviously, this is the fault of my slow camera. 
thankfully, bern got me a "big girl" camera last christmas. 
problem solved. 

thank goodness i have my new camera to catch sweet smiles like this.  

and delightful images like this. 

and, especially, this. 
which, i believe, is ben doing what Tyra Banks has recently termed a "booty tooch."

obviously, the problem was the camera. 

October 13, 2011

brotherhood: a 2-minute pictorial

my parents were just in town for two weeks. 
we had a great time together, but i neglected a few of my favorite shows while they were here. 
so, in an effort to catch up on the latest with Parenthood, etc., i am totally phoning it in tonight. 
here is a fun exchange between the boys caught on camera.
by me. 
sitting on the couch across from them last weekend. 

anth has a DS.
ben does not. 
ben has, surprisingly, accepted this fact.
he knows that his only role when it comes to the DS is to be an observer. 
this is his hesitant approach to see if anth will let him watch over his shoulder. 

permission granted. 

look at benny.
i love the brief look of older-brother-adoration.

then, concentration on the game. 
generally, the investment in watching a game one is not playing only lasts so long.
which leads to boredom. 
which leads to . . .

allow me to introduce you to benny's Thor hammer. 
you can never really know just when this thing will show up out of nowhere. 
trust me. 

{note: no anthonys were injured in the production of this post.} 

October 11, 2011

an "s" changes everything

my parents have been visiting from California. 
today is their last day here. 
this morning, my mom offered to drop anthony off at school. 
he declined. 
he told them that he would rather i take him so that they could focus on packing their things. 

as i drove anth to school, i asked him about this. 
i explained that, perhaps, it would have been nicer for him to spend the time with his grandma. 
anth immediately got the look on his face that appears when he has been operating on good intentions and things go awry. 
he looked crushed. 
"but, mom! i didn't want to hurt her feelings! i just don't want her to forget anything here. 
especially her delicates!"

i asked anth to explain what he meant by grandma's "delicates."
"you know mom. like her iPod and stuff."

"anth, i think you mean things that are delicate, not delicates."
sometimes plurals aren't just plurals. 

October 7, 2011

fail photo 40 - Macy's strikes again

a while back, i posted a fail photo that was not of my kids.
taken while my parents were in town.

my parents were here again last week.
and we went back to Macy's.
(they have the best selection of Fossil purses, which my mom and i have a tradition of perusing.)
and, lo and behold, there was another display that made me think, "thank goodness i don't have the boys with me."
here it is:

i mean, i get that the brand is "impulse," but . . .?
i'm not sure that the best impulse to suggest is leaving one's house wearing only accessories.
(i guess this all depends on where you are heading.)
and no, i'm not a prude.
i appreciate the humor of a display made of well-placed purses.
(though, if you look closer, the purse on the top right is not even all that well-placed.)
even better?
the view of the mannequins from behind.
my assessment?
someone at the local Macy's is a little bit . . . "frustrated."

note: i showed this picture to my husband. he was completely indifferent about the display. but he did get a good laugh when it came to the action i accidentally caught in the background.

Parents of America,
if you are too distracted shopping for shoes to notice the child whose hand you are holding is in the middle of falling over, please make sure there is not a camera around taking your picture.
just a suggestion, really.

October 6, 2011

potty talk

at the daycare that both anth and benny attended, they label some of the less classy words that children learn, and then repeat, as "bathroom words."
you are only to use these "bathroom words" when describing actual bathroom functions. 
this suits bern and i just fine, so we apply this rule at home as well. 

tonight, ben won the coveted spot of "boy who gets to get out of the tub first."
he did this by letting me wash his hair first. 
on his way out of the tub, anth made a random comment about my system not being fair. 
ben turned to anth and responded, "and you are a poopie."

i turned ben to face me, and reminded him that "bathroom words" were not acceptable, and should especially not be used when talking to your friends and family. 
ben looked absolutely befuddled. 
"but, mommy! i said 'poopie' in dah bathroom!" 

up for a challenge? 
try explaining to a pre-schooler that "bathroom words" are about intention, rather than exact geographical location. 
it's a good time. 

October 4, 2011

vocab words

scene: the ride home from work.
i was driving. 
the kids were sitting in the back. 
(in case those two details needed clarification.)
the boys were quietly talking to each other in the back about their days at school.
i was partially listening to some song or another and partially engrossed in my own thoughts. 
until i suddenly heard applause.
i checked out of my own thoughts in time to here anth declare, "good job benny!!!  i didn't know you knew the word 'torture!'"

i try not to be too concerned by what my children determine to be moments worth celebrating.