December 28, 2012

a whole decade of us!!

it's official!
we made it to 10 years together!
we are off celebrating today, but i wanted to publicly say thanks for all the memories to my sweet boy!
how do i know he really loves me? 
part of our celebration includes seeing Les Mis. 
(yes, i do see the irony of celebrating 10 years by watching The Miserables.)

Happy Anniversary, Bernie!!
here's to many more decades together!

think he would have married me if he knew i would blog our life? oops.
in fairness, it wasn't part of the vows.
(want to know more? here's the extended version.)

December 27, 2012

how hot i'm not

everyone once in a while, i start to write a post. 
and then i get distracted and never come back. 
this is one of those posts. 
i just found it with the three images below loaded and no actual content. 
so, here is what happened. . .

bern and i were on the couch watching The Voice one night. 
and they showed a quick clip of Lou Diamond Phillips in the audience. 
and i asked bern, "oh my goodness. how old is he now?"
bern lovingly responded, "ask Siri."
so, i did.
and i found out this:

then, because i'm a punk, i asked siri, "how old is bernie savarese?"
not shockingly, bernie did not have the same level of fame as our friend lou.
So Siri, who responds verbally and in writing, asked out loud if she should search the web for Bernie.
this is what Siri asks when she has no idea what you're talking about.
(i see this response a lot. apparently i only ask ridiculous questions.)

then, bernie wanted in on the action. 
he paused The Voice, got out his phone and asked it, "how hot is Krystyne Savarese?"
(note: Siri can spell Savarese. Most humans can't)

again, because Siri responds verbally, the first two words we both heard were, "not exactly."

this screen had to be recreated to capture it.
but no worries.
i am not exactly hot whenever it is cold outside.
and yes, i will ask again this summer. 

let me tell you. 
i often see bernie laugh. 
i do not often see bernie fall into a sidesplitting, tear-inducing round of laughter. 
Siri telling him his wife was "not exactly" attractive was, apparently, a source of this kind of laughter.
he laughed so long, and so hard, that at some point, he just pulled one of the couch blankets up over his head. 
apparently, he thought maybe he was being rude.
you know what was better?
sitting next to a large, shaking, slightly crying blanket on the couch. 
at this point, i turned The Voice back on. 
sometimes you have to let the laughter take its course. 

lesson learned?
only ask Siri things you really want to know.

December 25, 2012

a christmas fail from us to you

i, per usual, am behind on posting this year. 
here's to a better track record in 2013. 

this time of the year allows us to take some precious time off of work, and focus on our little men. 
and that is just what we are doing!

for now, here are a couple of old pictures from our early attempts at family photo shoots for the annual holiday card:

here is ben. 
letting us know that the shoot was, officially, over. 

and again. 
and again, he tried to tell us the photo shoot was over.

fortunately, these days, we work with professionals for our holiday card. . .

this only highlights that, perhaps, we are the problem. 

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and much love to all!

December 9, 2012

someone call sigourney weaver

becuase i'm pretty sure that benny has an alien inside him.
or the flu.
sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.

if the every-30-minute-vomit-fest last night wasn't enough to convince me my child was ill, what just transpired would have:


aliens, i tell you.

December 8, 2012

why anth has to do his homework

(12 RA applications read, 21 to go. clearly time for a little distraction. . .)

dear anth,

sometime this week, mommy went to get some coffee at the local gas station.
because mommy is classy like that.
(note: keurig really needs to make a bigger portion.)

as i walked in the door, i was greeted by this sign.
i didn't want any Jolly Ranchers, but i read it anyway.
this probably is a residual effect of being a Resident Advisor in college.
so many poster made.
so few of them read.
here is what i saw:

though you don't always apprecaite it, sweet boy, this is why mommy and daddy make you do your math homework every night.


December 7, 2012

fail photo friday: i stink at elf-shelfing

Dear Ernie the Elf,

you made me lie to my kids 5 times this morning.


not enough of a post?
here is the play by play of what happened this morning. . .

on a typical school/work day, the boys wake up and go straight downstairs where they hang out for a little while before breakfast.
today, benny woke up really early, so he snuck into our bed while i was getting ready.
when i headed downstairs to make coffee, benny followed behind me.
fortunately, he was still moving slowly.
becuase the minute i got to the bottom of the stairs, i saw Ernie the Elf.
in the exact same place he had been the day before.
because both bernie and i are awesome, and forgot to move him.

trying to think on my feet, i quickly told benny to stop moving.
he wanted to know why.
so i told him i had left presents out while wrapping last night and needed to hide them.
(Lie #1. - i was actually watching Parenthood.)
benny ran back into my bedroom and i quickly grabbed Ernie from the front room and shoved him in a spot in the kitchen.
immediately after forcefully making Ernie fit in his new spot du jour in the kitchen, i noticed that the light was on in the downstairs bathroom.
and then realized someone was in there.
that someone?
he, apparently, came downstairs right before ben and i did, so i didn't even know he was awake.

in approximately .0003 seconds, i deduced that he would have already seen that Ernie had been in the same place.
i then ran back to the kitchen, picked up Ernie, and immediately heard the door to bathroom turn.
in my most impressive feat of parental calmness, i screamed, "STAY INSIDE THE BATHROOM!"
to which i heard a muffled, "but i'm done in here!"
trying to apply logic to the situation, i then yelled, "STAY IN THERE ANYWAY!"
thinking that i was just being my usual silly self, anth came out of the bathroom at that moment.
probably to see why his mother was being such a spaz.

he took one look at me, saw Ernie in my arms, and then yelled at me, "MOM! WHAT. DID. YOU. DO!?!?"
i realized that neither "murdered Ernie," nor "ruined a cute holiday tradition," were a good response.
in that moment i also realized that, for some reason, i was cradling Ernie in my arms like an infant.
i don't know why.

then i told anth that i had knocked ernie over while trying to reach something in the basket he had been in before.
(lie #2).
anth asked what i was trying to get.
in response, i reached into the basket and pulled out the first thing i touched.
which was my glue gun.
i explained that this is what i needed.
at 6:22 am.
on a Friday.
(lie #3).
anth asked why i needed a glue gun.
i told him i wanted to make a wine-cork-christmas-tree.
(thank you Barb Kefalas for sending me a picture of a wine cork tree last night. goodness knows what else i would have come up with at that moment.)

(lie #4).
anth got all excited about the new craft project and asked if he could help.
i told him that i would love this.
like most 7-year-olds, anth was calmed by the idea of a good holiday-inspired craft project made as a result of the mass consumption of wine on the part of my friends and colleagues. 
he simply walked off toward the family room.

as he was sitting down on the couch, he turned over his shoulder and offered, "just get me when you're ready to email Santa so i can help you explain."
then, "and leave Ernie in the stocking so Santa can find him."

this would be lie #5

Dear Ernie,

i apolgize for the previous letter.
i've realized that, though you may not be able to tell, i am am the parent in this situation.
and that i should probably just acknowledge that my inability to keep up with a seemingly easy activity makes me feel mildly incompetent at life.
thank goodness i have anth to show me the way.

perhaps some ginko biloba for christmas?


December 4, 2012

what would YOU ask The Bloggess?

dear you, 


i was recently given the opportunity to do a radio interview with Jenny Lawson. 
more commonly referred to as The Bloggess. 
because she writes a blog. 
called, The Bloggess. 
among others. 
if you are in the unfortunate situation of not having previously read her blog, you should remedy that. 
now. (this is from today and is a post about her life with an Elf on the Shelf.)
(here is a post about my failures with our own Ernie the Elf.)
(why is his name Ernie? glad you asked. explanation here.)
warning, she does not hold back when it comes to language, niceties, etc. 

read her blog. 
for real. 
it's hilarious. 
unless you are easily offended. 
then, well, sorry. 
read something else. 
this is one of her more famous posts
(. . .)

i may like her a lot. 
as in, this is in my office:

(this picture also nicely highlights my need to dust the far right section of my desk.)
some of my colleagues in other states may also have this framed print, sent to them at Christmas last year. 
if this picture makes no sense to you, then you didn't read the notable post i included above. 
shame on you. 
you're missing out. 
also. Jenny Lawson wrote a book
but don't read that, right now. 
you aren't done with this post. 
you can read it after that. 

she is doing an interview with Writer's Talk
former USACer, Doug Dangler, has interviewed Jenny previously, and called me to see if i would be interested in doing her second one with the program. 
i'll be honest. 
public speaking makes me nervous. 
but at least then you have hand gestures. 
or can point at something and say, "look!"
i have NO idea what do to. 
or what i'm doing. 
but now i get to go and do that which i have no idea how to do next Wednesday. 
this should be fun for everyone. 
here's where you come in. . .

1. i'm still looking for a current OSU student who wants to co-interview! want in? have suggestions? let me know ASAP!

2. have a burning question for The Bloggess? let me know that, too!
currently, i have: 

- why are you so awesome?
- tell me about your writing process?
- can we be friends? and, 
- you're so funny. 
which is not a question. 
simply a fact. 

clearly, i need help. 
thanks in advance. 


November 28, 2012

migration for 4-year-olds

recently, benny's classroom did a lesson plan on migration. 
then the teachers proceeded to do what, to date, has consistently been my favorite pre-school classroom activity. 
both anth and benny have finished many an epic sentence. 

i have a lot of photos of these worksheets. 
taking them is a process in and of itself. 
because i'm 5' 1"
(and a half.)
yes, i'm 5 feet, 1.5 inches tall.
i keep hoping for 5' 2"
considering i am starting to get closer to the age where i will start shrinking, rather than growing, i should probably throw in the towel on this ambition. 
One might say it is not possible. 
to One, i say, it's always good to reserve a little hope. 
even for things that are ridiculous. 
the universe noticed i was short. 
ever since then, i have had:
. . . the highest locker in jr. high AND high school
. . . the highest possible mailbox in the Mesa Court community center in undergrad
. . . the highest P.O. box at the post office
. . . a husband who eternally puts my coffee cups in the part of the cabinet i can't reach. 
. . . and an odd predilection for whatever food is on the highest shelf at the grocery store. 
so, i guess i should say thank you to all the kind souls who have helped me get these items down when i have asked. 
or when you have caught me climbing the shelves in Target. 
i don't even mind if you judged me, as long as i got the right Keurig cups.
which is silly. 
because i can't reach the coffee cups at home anyway.

so,  placing things out of reach has consistently been one of life's little jokes. 
this has also applied to almost every piece of childhood art hung in one of the boys' classrooms. 
i encourage you to take a minute and, standing on your tippy toes, hold your phone as high in the air as possible. 
then try to get it to focus long enough to take a picture. 
to get the full effect, throw in a few running pre-schoolers. 
all this to say, i have a lot of these pictures. 
most of them are of rather poor quality. 
i can't help it.
the universe, seemingly, enjoys mocking short people. 
or, perhaps just me. 

what does all of this have to do with migration, again?
ah, yes. 
. . . nothing. 
but the photo below does. 
benny was asked to share what he would bring along for the winter if he had to migrate. . . 

things to note:

  1. benny has a 6-month-old cousin named Roman. because his request to take him south for the winter followed "pizza" and "macaroni," his teacher thought he also said "Ramen." 
  2. this caused benny some distress, as he wanted a cute human for company, not high-sodium noodles. 
  3. thus he asked for the parenthetical clarification. 
  4. (further evidence that the more "spirited" child is more like mom. i love parentheses.)
  5. my favorite part?
  6. 4-year-old passive aggressive statements about not having dogs.
  7. he would have taken me, but i'm too short to be useful to him. 

November 22, 2012

lazy. but grateful.

it's thanksgiving.
and i'm feeling lazy.
(sadly, i haven't even eaten turkey yet. so i have no excuse.)

but, beyond the usual things i am thankful for like my friends and family and health, etc., i am thankful for you.
this little outlet called My Savvy Boys would be a lot less fun if no one read it.
so thanks for joining my family and i in our many adventures.

because i feel lazy today, and maybe you do, too, all i did today was import photos and post them on a new page.
too lazy to scroll up and click?
here you go.
click here for our latest family photos!

happy thanksgiving!

November 20, 2012

benny: on mirror lake jump night

it seems that me ending up in my office at some point on the evening leading up to Jump Night has become something of a tradition for My Savvy Boys.
if three years in a row can be called a tradition.
exhibit a: year one
exhibit b: year two

here goes on year three:
on our drive in to work/daycare this morning, benny asked why i was going to work tonight.
i explained to him that it was "Mirror Lake Jump Night" here at Ohio State.
as though my 4-year-old should know what this means.
not surprisingly, he didn't.

i encourage you to take a minute and just imagine how you would explain this event, should you be familiar with it, to a 4-year-old.
while driving.
needless to say, benny was having a hard time understanding how a bunch of "big kids" would end up in the lake that, to him, is where you go to visit ducks.
while holding an adult's hand.

mirror lake really is one that is best explained via visual imagery.
so, i pulled up a video on my phone and showed him a little bit.
a very little bit.
mainly because it seems to quickly be heading in the direction of a video i don't imagine most parents sit around showing their children.
as in, most videos that you can neither listen to (swearing) nor look at (lack of clothing), turn out to be less than useful as instructional tools.

benny's observations on the video?

"why are these kids not wearing swimming suits to the pool?"
" why is there a shark in the water?"
" these kids are not listening to their teacher."
" i do not like this idea."

Dear Benjamin,

i write this down because i'm holding you to it.

Mom/Residence Life Professional

November 16, 2012

Benny HGTV - fail photo

(remember when i used to do "fail photos?" oops.)

so far this week, benny has helped us see old halloween costumes as potential home decor items.
today, benny shows us that there is no need to keep the decor just to the home.
why not, say, on the car ride to daycare, take advantage of the halloween stickers still sitting in your bag of treats from yesterday's fun?
there are entire windows back there just waiting for a little bit of this action:

note: no bennys were harmed as a result of this design choice.
they were, however, highly confused as to why mommy and daddy were not nearly as excited about the decor as they were.

November 14, 2012

Benny HGTV - episode 2

you may have already learned in yesterday's episode of Benny HGTV that the simple application of leftover halloween costume components can bring a whole new life to your end-table lamp. 

today, benjamin explores the concept of "when is a 'stache-lamp just not enough?"
and, more importantly, what is enough? 

the answer, my friends? 
think about the inside of the lampshade. 
this area of the lamp is simply not given enough attention. 
what a waste of valuable decorating space!

concerned about applying decor to the inside of the shade? 
fret no more!
it turns out, there is a handy hook under there just waiting for ornamentation. . . 

1. yes. this is my real life. 
2. warning: be careful not to knock Buzz off the lamp when turning it on. or off. 
3. trust me. 
4. designers are artists. artists are sensitive about people destroying their work. 
5. even at 4 years of age.
5. the mustache has since been removed so as to not melt the adhesive onto the shade over time. 
6. Buzz?
7. still there. there are only so many battles one can fight in a day.  

this post, in all its glory, goes out to Gina Hnytka, who gave 10 great years to Residence Life at Ohio State and has moved on to do fantastic work in a new office on campus. 
. . .and who may or may not actually read this blog. 
but who does love a good mustache. 
yet does not have one. 
just to clarify. 

November 13, 2012

Benny HGTV - episode 1

having a hard time making your costume props stay in place?

 not sure what to do with all those halloween leftovers?

fear not!
simply invite over my favorite 4-year-old for a one minute tutorial on how to add a new sense of moxy to what used to be a boring old lamp.

join us this week as we explore benny's point of view on interior design. 
you might just learn a thing or two. 
(warning: they may not be two things you wanted to know.)

November 8, 2012

give or take a few. . .

this was hanging on the door of ben's classroom recently.
they had done an exercise involving a pumpkin, and guessing the amount of seeds was part of the fun. 
were this the Price is Right, i'd say benny and his friend Geeth would be in trouble. . .

November 7, 2012

benny works the polls. . .

while i often highlight benny's more bizarre or "spirited" antics, he also has his equal share of precious traits. 
one of them is sharing. 
he is almost always willing to share what he has with you if he thinks it will make you happy. 
the kid will let you pick ANY piece of candy you want from his bowl of trick-or-treat goods.
(even i keep a handful of my favorite candies out of the bowl on my office desk for safe keeping.)
tonight, when i asked if i could have a Cheeto from his snack bag, he looked through it to find the "best crunchy one" for me. 

benny is also excellent at positive reinforcement. 
sometimes it comes in very genuine moments. 
("these pancakes are delicious, thanks for cooking for me daddy.")
sometimes it is absolutely random.
("good job throwing away your tissue, mommy.")
(i feel the need to note that i do not make a habit of not throwing away my tissues. thus the randomness of this moment of praise.)

i missed an election day gem yesterday. 
bern was trying to vote and get into the office for an 8am meeting, so we were down to the wire toward the end. 
when it was our turn, he grabbed benny and ran off to his "big computer."
my turn came next, and anth and i headed to the other side of the auditorium. 
benny, excited by the whole thing, was paying close attention to what bern was doing back there. 
on the equipment at our polling site, the stations provide you with an electronic confirmation of what you have chosen before you submit it officially. 
this looks like the ballot, with giant green check marks next to your candidates of choice. 

benny, seeing this confirmation sheet, excitedly shouted out, "good job, daddy! you got them all right!"
this brought quite the chuckle from the voters within earshot. 
fellow standing-in-liners, you are welcome. 

November 6, 2012

in which the election makes benny cry. twice.

seems like a good day for a mid-day post.

about two weeks ago, our sweet little ball of energy, otherwise known as benny, started to cry at the kitchen table.
because he found out that 4-year-olds aren't able to vote.

normally, this time of year, the boys are watching TV and being inundated with toy commercials.
in turn, bern and I are inundated with requests to put the items in said commercials on their christmas lists.
benny, having been subjected to the same constant stream of policital ads as the adults living in Ohio, simply wanted the option to choose as well.
he felt he had the right to put one of the candidates on his christmas list, if you will.

(sidenote...being in a swing state + constant mailers + a child who can read but doesn't necessarily understand the nuances of politics = fascinating table conversation.)

so, back to the kitchen table.
benny did not take the 18-year-old age limit well.
thus, bern and i said he could come and help us vote.

benny was super cute waiting in line with daddy.
at this point, he was still pretty excited about the whole thing.
about 40 minutes later when we were waiting in the s-z line, he was much less enthused.
because he found out, after waiting in this line to get into the auditorium, that what was inside did not meet his expectations.
we found this out when, surrounded by a mob of humans (can we get some stantions for these lines, people?), ben loudly asked, "so where is Barack Obama, anyway?"

bernie took anth to see the President speak last spring.
ben was miffed that he was left out that day.
apparently he thought today was his turn.
needless to say, his patience with waiting in line went downhill for a bit.
until it was time to get behind the "big black computers" with daddy.

anth "helped" me and benny "helped" bern vote today.
anth also did the math and figured out he will be 19 and 1/2 when it is his turn.
bern and i are happy that he is exited for this.

benny was just excited that he also got a sticker out of the whole affair.
which, of course, he promptly ripped when trying to move it in the car.
but not before mom got her usual documentation.

anth's school is closed for the day because it is a polling location.
so, he was excited that the day also came with a trip to Panera in the morning.
(yes, i am eating a chocolate chip cookie for breakfast. role model of the year.)

after doing his civic duties, anth was excited for his next big step of the day.
picking his location for his lunch date with mom.
his choice?
i asked, "really?," because i just had it last weekend.
my ever-serious boy's response?
he busted out some "dance moves" and sang, a la Spice Girls, "I wanna really, really, really wanna zigazig ah."
in the Panera parking lot.
this is basically unheard of from him.
so guess what's he's getting for lunch?
chicken strips and texas toast.

all this to say.
vote today.
get your sticker.
or a cookie.
or maybe even some tasty chicken.
just vote.

November 4, 2012


please excuse the totally false title of this post.
because these photos were 100% NOT taken on Halloween.
they were probably taken about a month in advance when the kids picked their costumes.
but, my sister texted from Kauai to tell me to put up some pictures, and i can't go disappointing Katie Mae, so here they are.

why mario and luigi this year?
1. because the boys love their games.
2. because, according to anth, "these are the perfect costume, because you know we're Italian, right?"

Dear Italy,
i apologize on behalf of my son for his assumption that Mario and Luigi are your official mascot.
i'll work on that.

anyway, i took the boys into the yard one sunny day about a month ago to get the "mail-home-in-time-for-halloween" photos.
the boys decided they wanted to get a "jump shot."
i now have approximately 452 pictures that look like this:

and this:

and this:
the keen observer will note that i do not have a shot that looks anything like both of my boys midair at the same time.
i'm not withholding said shot.
it simply doesn't exist.
$20 to the person who can coordinate my kids to make that happen.
instead, i have lots of shots that look like this:

my husband asked me why i had mario and luigi doing cheerleading poses.
($20 to bern if he can get them midair as well. it's fair game.)

ben couldn't stand the mustache.
there was much reapplying of said 'stache during our photo shoot.
(i say this as though it lasted more than 7 minutes)

note: mid-air jump is no more successful in front of a fence.
not sure why they thought it would be.
but it made for a good backdrop.
at this point we headed inside.

i told the boys, "do whatever you want for this last one."
this is what i got: