January 31, 2011

guess how much i love you

as often seems to be the case, this little snippet was provided by bedtime.

anth and i had been through the full bathtime/toothbrush/story/chat routine and i was officially tucking him in and giving him a kiss goodnight on the forehead.

me: good night sweet boy. i love you best.
anth: no, i love you best.
me: i love you more.
anth: no, i love you more!

(yes, we do sound like teenagers in puppy love trying to end a phone conversation.) 

me: how do you know you love me more than i love you? you're not in my brain. you couldn't know what i'm thinking.
anth: well, i'm not in your brain. but i was in your stomach. (apparently he thinks i ingested him, haha)....(anth pauses to think...) and you were never in my stomach, so i guess i know the most.

...some logic is too cute to argue.

January 28, 2011

fail photo 21: B-E-? spells Ben

as i've mentioned previously, anth is currently fascinated with a craft project called "iron beads," or Perler Beads
they are, actually, quite fun. 
essentially, he wades through a giant vat of multi-colored plastic beads, and places them on little pegs. 
we then involve an adult in the process of literally ironing them so the beads fuse together.
often, we use a pattern.
we have a plethora of little plastic animals floating around our house right now.
recently, anth has been getting creative and figuring out shapes on his own.
this weekend, he made a light saber while i worked on an apple tree.

anth also made an attempt at making a bead project for his little bother.
i mean brother.
it started off fairly well.
the "B" was completely filled in, but still recognizable.
the "E' was slightly larger than the "B", but pretty much perfect in my books.
the "N"...

January 27, 2011

bedtime and buckeyes and brains...

oh my.

at bedtime, anthony and i were engaging in our usual post-book, pre-final-tucking-in chatter.
he asked me what causes headaches.
i momentarily wished i hadn't completed a BA in English followed by a masters in College Student Personnel.
then i started down the path of a medically sketchy explanation.
it included a brief amount of rambling on about tension and different degrees of headaches, etc.

*note: i have a bit of a compulsion to know the answers to things.
i recently spent a day going through a second round of StrengthsQuest training.
i blame my incessant need to immediately Google questions such as these on high levels of Input combined with Learner in my Top 5.
if you are a goober like me, here is more on headaches.
i also found it hilarious that there is literally a site called www.whatcausesheadaches.net.

and we're back.
so, anth and i are both lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling.
i'm babbling about headaches.
anth sees mom is going nowhere and decides to throw me a bone/end this particular topic.
he interrupted me to ask, "so, mom...are brains just kind of my own slushy computer?"

hooray for questions we can answer with complete confidence.
yes, honey.
you have a little, smushy Mac in your noggin.

and then i told him to go find his dad.
in this video.
ok, no, i didn't.
but, way to go, hubby.

January 26, 2011

fail photOTL 20

i've realized that i haven't done a good ol' fashioned Fail Photo in a while.
and that i've been caught up in a string of wholesome or non-kid-related posts.
so, tonight i will combine these things.
i will give you some fail photos. (and it's not even Friday!)
i will share my thoughts on a random non-kid topic.
and in the middle, i will pepper in some music.


tonight is callbacks for The Drowsy Chaperone.
yes, i am once again talking about Off The Lake.
and, i promise, this will stop after today until i chime back in to plug their show in May.
but, i must say, there are worse vices.

not being at callbacks makes me feel....

...a little weepy.

and if i think about it long enough...

...you get the picture.
not pretty.
(note #1: whatever benny was crying about in this moment, i'm the mom whose instinct said "you should probably take a picture of this, then pick him up.")

my solution to this dilemma? 
well, it's wednesday night.
so, being completely honest, i'll probably make a giant bowl of popcorn and gorge myself on some salt & peppered deliciousness while watching Top Chef.
here's a visual to assist you...

(note #2- the kid appears to have an entire bowl of cinnamon and sugar in front of him. seemingly, i told him he can't have a second bowl of pure sugar and he was upset by this.)
(note #3- or maybe he just wanted a spoon.)
(note #4- this post seems to suggest that he spent a lot of time upset in his highchair.)
(note #5- i seem to have spent some good energy documenting this.)

So...in prepping my well wishes to those at callbacks tonight, i creeped around on the various YouTube accounts of Joe Barone (former OTL member/Director, etc.).
I found some of these old videos that i felt a need to share.
some are funny.
some are hilarious.
some are just darn good songs.
all are sung by folks i adore.

So...my thoughts for those at callbacks, couched in YouTube clips.
(aka, these will be a stretch)...

- may you have an epiphany about how to dance if you don't have this skill set.
- may you not find that you have no voice on the day of callbacks.
- a bit shy? just keep thinking, the Co-Directors need to hear my song
- directors, i hope the perfect cast is right in front of your eyes
- advisors, try not to feel too old when they sing songs about being twenty-something
  (oh, wait...that was just me...)
- if you don't get the role you wanted...or cast at all...we can help you come out of the dumpster

it made my brain hurt to make those song titles fit into sentences.
i quit.
there is no possible way to make this last one fit into something even remotely logical.
but, while poking around on Joe's videos, i found this gem.
it is him, singing blackbird.
bern and i both love this song.
so, bern, a non-musical-theatre song, just for you.

so...yeah...this post has wandered all over the earth and back.
but, basically, much love and luck to those singing/dancing/acting their hearts out tonight!

meanwhile, i'll be at home.
one the couch.
with my hanky.
and a clearly overstuffed belly.

January 25, 2011

failure to communicate

bern and i have been sporadically discussing the concept of chores with anthony.
compensated chores. 
clearly, the dollar amount would not be all that high, nor the chores all that complex, but we have been chatting about positive rewards/responsibility/the need to understand money, etc.

recently, while driving the two little guys home after work, i was discussing the topic again. 
i explained to anth that, if he saved his allowance in his Brutus Bank (no piggies here, only Buckeyes), we would let him go to Target and pick out a toy, etc.

anth glanced at me in the rearview mirror as though i had three heads. 
"um, mom. this REALLY won't work."
i asked why this was a problem, seeing as new toys were usually a plus to him. 
"um, you're forgetting something really big here. I. CAN'T. DRIVE."

this, coming from the kid in the back of the car. 
that i was driving. 

January 24, 2011

how to end potty training

in the last two weeks, benjamin decided he was ready to potty train.
bern and i were quick to agree that this was a good decision.
since then, the following things have occurred:

1. he has marched around his daycare room in his t-shirt and "underpants" in order to stick
    out his tush and introduce his peers to the character of the day.

2. today, he carried in his 3 extra pair of "underpants" to keep in his cubby in case of...leaks.
    when we got into his room, he allowed me to help him remove his jacket and hat. BUT, he
    refused to let go of Wolverine, Thor, and Iron Man. i will have the visual of him
    cuddling/swaying with said clump of "underpants" in a bear hug reminiscent of a girl and
    her doll for a long time.

3. this weekend, we had a little accident. (well, not really we, but i like to make this a team 
    effort.) ben walked over to me in a squat/knees out/hilarious stance that made me think
    he was about to draw his gun a la Tombstone...

       benny: mama, help, i'm yucky.
       me: why are you yucky, benny?
       benny: betause i pooped on Thor.
       me: why did you poop on Thor? You can tell me when you need to use the potty.
       benny: i pooped betause YOU teep FEEDIN' me!

       not yet three and already blaming me for his current behavior...

what's in a name?

recently, a colleague pointed out the fact that they had just "gotten" the name of the blog. 

this concerns me. 

so, for once and for all, and so there is not any confusion...

our last name is Savarese.
My Savvy Boys, is a pun. 
(i shall allow our friends at Wikipedia to explain.)

i mean, yes, i am clearly biased. 
i have a positive opinion of my children's intellectual abilities. 
i do find them to be somewhat savvy in the literal sense. 

but...i just wanted to be clear that when i am saying things like "our savvy family," or "in the savvy abode"...i am not being cocky. (another definition lest this last word lead to more misinterpretation...) 
i am just being...punny. 
(yep, couldn't stop myself.)

January 21, 2011

photos: savvys on ice

bernie will complete his MBA in march.
as a result, we are excited to start doing things like schlep the little gents to after school fun.
bern and i have been looking into leagues in our area, and have been asking anth what he most wants to do. 

after much consideration, anth informed us that he wants to play the sport where he is least likely to get injured. 
he has suggested golf. 
bern and i have been encouraging the baseball/soccer route. 
he is concerned that these sports might involve "bleeding." 

but....anth LOVES playing hockey at school with his friends. 
and recently, his kindergarten classroom planned a field trip to the OSU Ice Rink where some of the women from the hockey team were going to be there to interact with the kids. 
anth was elated. 
(now, he had been saying all week that the "boys were going to play hockey, but the girls had to ice skate." i was a little concerned about genderization, but when i got to the rink i realized that it might be my little man imposing those guidelines. that was duly noted and tucked away for the appropriate setting.)

anth's teachers invited parents to come and watch the fun. 
i, of course, came and brought the camera. 
and found out that the parents were also invited to go on the ice. 
which i found to be rather genius. 

here is anth with his part of his class. 

there he is. 
more notably, there is two-kids-to-the-right. 
and 2-kids-behind-two-kids-to-the-right.
off to a good start...

i arrived just as a student was helping anth into his (almost brand new) skates. 
this is anth testing them out on the rubber mats...
the teachers asked that the kids wear their bike helmets for safety. 
anth added the hat underneath. 
this will be trendy.

at first, anth went out with one of the students while mom caught a few pictures.

i really wish i had achieved a clear version of this. 
look at that trust. 

then i came out on the ice to join anth. 
we spent a little bit of quality time together holding onto the wall while i adjusted. 

now, there are some characteristics in anth that are clearly mine, and some that are obvious bernie passdowns. 
in this case, bern and shared part in blessing him with a case of sporadically assigned perfectionism. 
as he realized that this whole thin-blade-on-slick-surface thing was going to be tricky, there was some frustration. 
eventually, anth suggested we go back to walking around on the "easy floor."
i decided it was time for a break, so anth came out and spent some QT with the bench. 
then he took off his skates. 
i let him sit there for a few minutes to ponder his existence. 

when we had sufficiently pondered and decided that it was going to be a long time before the bus would take him back to school, he asked if i would put his skates on again. 
and he sat for a while peering into the rink through the glass. 
eventually, he caved and asked to go back. 

one of the fellow parents was also taking pictures and has shared the next few. 
clearly, our first stop was back at the wall. 

and eventually, inches away from wall.

then we stopped to pose. 
for what, i don't know. 
at no point was anyone taking our picture.
but we look like we were into it. 

eventually anth made the journey to the "center of the ice."
this was a very big deal. 
and finally, he fell. 
with two of his friends. 

and he discovered that falling was not all that big of a deal. 
and, generally, did not involve any "bleeding."

he was even willing to...yes...get a little dirty.
nonetheless, he had other big plans.

as it was time to wrap up, anth reminded me that he had brought an experiment from his classroom. 
he was supposed to push a block and another boy was charged with rolling a cylinder and they were going to see how far they went. 
i am fairly certain that anth reminded his teachers of this approximately 143 times as they exited all the kids from the ice. 

and then...it was his time to shine...

...my ambivalent-ice-skater-turned-confident scientist. 

Setting: later that night as we were going through the bedtime routine...

anth: hey, mom? do you remember when we went ice skating today?
me: i'm not that old yet. 
anth: um. what? 
me: nevermind. what about ice skating? 
anth: you know, i really kind of liked it. i mean, it was fun and all. i just didn't want to make you think it was my thing. maybe soccer is good. 

no worries, pumpkin. 
mommy's powers of perception run at least that deep. 

January 20, 2011

Parental Advisory

fact # 1:  i use a lot of nicknames for people.
often, they have nothing at all do to with someone's actual, given, name.
ones that i can think of off the top of my head include:

- friend
- peanut
- doll
- punk
- trouble

yes, i generally sound like i work in Mel's Diner.

fact #2: sitting on the stairs is a form of...behavior modification...in our house.
both of our boys have spent time "thinking about their choices" at the bottom of our staircase.

fact #3: our sweet benjamin has learned what it means to "tell on someone."
he routinely comes to us and reports various data regarding what anth has been up to and if he finds it suitable or not.

so...when benny walked up to me with a sense of purpose, i figured i was going to hear that "anny" had taken a toy from him, accidentally bumped into him, told him he was too young to chew gum, etc.

Benny: momma. you need'a tell anny to sit on duh staiws!
Momma: why, benja-bean? (yes, poor kid. i will stop soon.)
Benny: betause he bein' a PUNK!

January 19, 2011

a nutty idea

bern and i buy our boys plenty of their own food.
i'm not sure why, seeing as they tend to choose the snacks or food items we hold most dear.
perhaps we should buy more of those.

in the last two weeks, anth has decided that he LOVES my Special K Cinnamon Pecan cereal.
i'll be the grown up and share with you, small child.
this weekend, anth and i were discussing the particular joys of both cinnamon and pecans as we both poured our bowls of cereal.
"mom, they are like, the best."

now, bern and i have completely different palates. 
bern is to mozzarella/provolone as krystyne is to blue cheese/pepperjack.
so anytime the kids choose something that leans toward my preferences, i get excited. 

the cereal discussion reminded me of a recipe i've been wanting to make for a while now.
i regularly frequent the blog kevinandamanda.com.
she does a lovely job of posting pretty photos and sharing fun tips on recipes, photography, blogging, etc.
she posted this recipe for candied pecans that i have been itching to make.
(even more so, i just want to smell them cooking. yum.)

so, i went into the kitchen to grab the recipe i had taken down from the site.
anth likes to play assistant in the kitchen, so i thought we could celebrate our mutual participation in the All Things Cinnamon and/or Pecan Club by baking these together.

i came back out of the kitchen to find anth slowly picking his way through his cereal and creating a small pile to the side of his bowl.
a small pile of...yep...pecans.

me: um, honey. we can get some more of those at the store.
anth: oh, mom. i'm taking those things out of my cereal because they are DISGUSTING.
me: (sets down recipe)

perhaps i can convince benny...

(note: pecans are baking now. and smell like bottled perfection.)

January 18, 2011

a mOTLey crew

at Ohio State, there exists a small, but wonderful, group of people.
i adore them.
they are a student organization called Off The Lake.
or, OTL.
they are a mish-mosh of community service and musical theatre.
they host two annual shows, a fall cabaret and a spring musical, where they collect canned goods and donations for the MidOhio Foobank.
during the year they serve the Ohio State and Columbus communities in the traditional sense by offering their time at the food bank and at events like the Autism Speaks walk each year.
they also lend their voices to a variety of events like BuckeyeThon, The Red Party, and Light Up The Lake, and have a history of singing at local retirement homes/Project Open Hand, you name it...
essentially, they are what i call "good eggs."
if you haven't been a part it's really hard to explain, but they are essentially an extended family with all of the normal dysfuntion and love that comes with that.
and they do silly things that i adore, like shoving/highlighting "otl" into random words.
this year, their spring show will be The Drowsy Chaperone.

tonight is the first night of auditions for the show.
see flyer:

(ps, jenna brucoli, i adore you for this design.)

this is the first year since the 2002-2003 academic year that i am not at auditions.
and my heart is constricting as a result of this.
folks who know me well know that i spent the last 8 years advising or co-advising this group of students.
and that, according to me, i "broke up" with them last year.
(see blog post i wrote for our national housing association, ACUHO-I, last year about this process here. yes, i know there are two typos. barf.)
i decided that it was time for me to go so that i could be more available to the two little boys whose daily festiveness drives this blog.

but, goodness, did i love auditions.
it was an exciting time.
i like beginnings.

typically, right about now, someone is on stage singing something lovely.
someone is quietly trying to slow down their heart rate while they wait.
someone is pacing in the area outside the Performance Space, prepping their monologue.
normally, i would be munching on pretzels and cream cheese.
(trust me, it's delicious.)
and, usually, a few returners are being a tad too noisy in the audience.
occassionaly one of these returning cast members would shake things up by pleasantly surprising us with their growth.
or, their song choice.
(kyle stephens, i will always be sad that i received a page from work just before you performed Britney's I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman. to undertstand why it would be amazing to see kyle sing a bit of britney, check him out singing one of my favorite songs, someone to fall back on.)

but, i miss them.
especially tonight.
so, friends who are returning, and those who are new, i send you my love and good vibes for auditions tonight.
alum, i look forward to sitting with you  on alumni night this may.

much OTLove,

January 17, 2011

simply said

anth's kindergarten has recently been discussing the meaning behind MLK Day.
anth can't quite seem to get the full name "Martin Luther King, Jr." down. 

sometimes he misses one of the names. 
sometimes an "Arthur" sneaks in there.
and sometimes the "Jr." ends up in the wrong place. 

but, on the way home from work Friday night, i was futzing around on my phone finalizing a few things from work that day. 
bern was driving. 
at first i overheard bern offering "it's Martin,  anth, not Arthur," so i knew what the topic was. 

then bern switched gears and asked anth if he knew what the man believed in. 
my sweet boy said, "love." 

in moments like these, my preference for detail is reminded that there are plenty of times when the view of the forest is far more important than that of the trees. 

January 16, 2011

ben's little honey-do list

it has been snowing here as of late. 
and the plows have not yet hit all of the residential streets. 
as a result, our neighborhood is still particularly snow-covered. 

as bern drove our little family onto our street the other night, we heard in a combined goofy-yet-bossy two-year-old voice in the back, "hey, uh, Mr. Dad...(ben waves his hand in the direction of the window with distaste)... can you clean up all that snow mess?"

January 14, 2011

PHP 6 (Fail Photo 19) . . . Play Dohn't

yes, virginia, there is an end to the Post Holiday Posts.
this would be it.

as i mentioned a few days back, we made a journey to Michael's to get some fun crafty things to keep the boys entertained while Mother Nature piddled all over our trip to california.
my mom also brought some stuff out of her usual stash of activities she keeps on hand.
one of them was, of course, the ever classic set of multi-colored Play-Doh.
this was supplemented by a bit of modeling clay from Michael's.
bernie and i decided to join in on the fun.

it all started out perfectly fine.
wholesome, even...

life was...good...

i got into it.
i started to make little Play-Doh animals.
now, i am clearly not about to start a career in sculpture, but it was enough to keep the boys entertained.

anthony suggested that we take a picture of the "little guys" i made out of Play-Doh, and the horse that he had made out of iron beads...

eventually my mom and dad were lured in to the colorful trap.
apparently, no one is immune to the appeal of Play-Doh.
they came over and assessed my work on the puppy, elephant and duck above and declared that i could work in a day care if i wanted.
(i replied that i already did, just for older kids who stay overnight)

a few moments later, my dad retracted his statement about my potential career change after taking a closer look at my other project...

i guess he thought it was less child-friendly.
(the real question is...is it a particularly evil octopus, or has he just not yet seen what's coming his way?)

eventually it was just my mom and i left at the Play-Doh table.
let it be known that we reverted to making dice and a miniature set of bowling pins and ball.
out of Play-Doh.
that we actually tried to use for a small game of bowling.
(in case you were wondering, this did not end up being a very fun game.)

seriously, folks.
it rained THAT much.

January 13, 2011

hot...or not

recently, a box of Nutty Bars surfaced in our house.
and by recently, i mean my sister and her beau left them here when they visited from Kauai in September. 
anyway...anth choose to have a Nutty Bar last night as his post-dinner treat.
(i hear that some call this dessert.)
if you haven't had one before, they are pretty much wafers layered with peanut butter and dipped in chocolate.
anth can sometimes be a...deliberate...eater.
in this case, this resulted in particularly chocolatey finger-tips.

anth wandered into the restroom to wash his hands.
he asked me to turn on the water for him since he was "way too dirty to be touching our sink."
he then quickly interjected to make sure i did not make the water too hot.
(typical to their personalities, ben likes his water close to scalding and anth likes it more in the tepid range)

while i was fiddling with the water, anth asked, "mom...what does hot mean?"
focused on the water, i started to explain that it was a mater of perception, and he quickly stopped me.
"no, mom...i mean, what does it mean when someone says a girl is hot?"
at first i was tempted to explain that, in my assessment, he thinks Cat Deeley is hot.
instead, i explained that it was something one might say if they thoughts a girl was VERY pretty or a boy was VERY handsome.
(yes, i know there is tad more innuendo in this word, but come on...he's 5.)
i was trying to think of a positive example.
"you know, hon...like..."
anth sweetly suggested, "like i bet you think daddy is hot, right mom?"
"yep. i do."
anth giggles.
"and i bet daddy thinks that you're...like...warm. or, something."

thanks, sweet boy.

January 12, 2011

a hITCH in their plans

i have blessed/cursed my children with my Irish skin.
in ben's case, this means that he is all pale and see-through like me.
for anth, it means that winter is a lotion-required season.
anth's hands have been particularly dry this year, and the other night he had been scratching at them as a result.
i was reading ben a bedtime story in his room at the time.
out of habit, anth went and put a little bit of lotion on his hands.
because he had just been scratching, and he used mommy's lotion instead of his, it ended up stinging his hands.
now, anth has been fortunate to not experience much pain in his life.
(knocking on wood)
bless his sweet heart, but as a result, he does not handle it all that well.
he came running into ben's room clutching his hands.
(which, come to think of it, they were both doing the clutching and being clutched. huh.)

so... as he was jumping from foot to foot, as this clearly helps with hand pain, i was leaning over the arm of the rocking chair trying to get him to take a few deep breaths.  
i held his hands between mine to give them a little pressure.
(also a scientific pain healer.)

essentially, anth was getting attention.
benny, watching all of this, and being a fan of attention as most of his 2-year-old compatriots are, decided he wanted some as well.
so, ben sized up our dancing-hand-pressure performance and declared "momma, i sick!"
he followed this up by making fake gagging/retching noises.
this involved a lot of making his mouth into a circle and sticking out his tongue in a u-shape while coughing.
after a few rounds of this, he managed to turn himself into a very healthy boy with a concerningly red face.

at this point, anth climbed up to sit on my available leg in the rocking chair, and cupped my ear to whisper, "mom, you know he's faking, right?"
i managed a straight face and asked, "but what if he's not?"
anth did his usual reflective head-tilt-with-furrowed-brow...
"well, then ben should probably be a doctor, because he can tell when people are sick."
anth delivered this with such seriousness that he clearly thought this was a high honor.
totally offended.
"No, Anny! I be Buzz!"
Anth, still earnest, reached out his red little hand to hold benny's shoulder and say, "ben. you can't be buzz. you can't fly."
ben was heartwrenchingly crushed.
(apparently this had not previously dawned on him.)
anth saw that he had made ben sad, and being the general appeaser that he is, followed up in his best on-the-bright-side voice, "but, maybe you can try to be a bird? or a plane?"

for a kindergartener that usually keeps me on his toes with his vocabulary and intuitive understanding of human dynamics, it's sometimes refreshing to see an occassional slip in the logic.