January 29, 2012

how to always win

most of us are familiar with the game Rock, Paper, Scissors. 
benjamin, however, is not. 

someone recently tried to teach it to him. 
instead, he seems to have learned a game, known only to him, as "Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shooter."
in this game, there are four options of hand gestures. 
the fourth one being a gun. 
which he always picks. 
and, since this game exists only in his mind, he always wins. 
because, according to him,  "shooter" can "blast up" rocks, paper and scissors.

it's a real fun game. 
you should play it some time. 

January 27, 2012

he's got the moves like Vader

last night, i shared a (larger) version of this picture.
anth drew this in class last fall.
and i buried it in a pile of things-to-do-someday.
i recently found it while looking for some other thing to do.
(mind you, i forgot what that was once when i found this, so go me.)

this drawing reminded me of a story that Kelsey told me recently.
if you don't remember, Kelsey one of a handful of students who have that special spot that being both an RA/RM and Off The Lake member can earn them.
and, she happens to babysit my little men on occasion.
and has previously received a lesson in proper fasion terminology from anth.
she and her sister were over babysitting.
and anth asked them to come down to the basement.
here, he picked up his lightsaber and turned it on.
kelsey instinctively grabbed the other light saber and turned it on.
she held it out at him, ready to engage in the typical Darth Vader/Luke scene.

anth, being anth, would have none of it.
he immediately looked at kelsey as thought she had three heads, and asked her and her sister to take a seat on the couch.
"i think it will be better, and safer, if we just took turns showing off our light saber moves. i'll go first."
he then made his way over to our light switch at the bottom of the basement stairs and slid down both sides, dimming the entire basement.
he then took his place in the middle of the floor, facing his babysitting team.
he put his saber up in the air.
and then, with anth's usual intensity, he gave them his most sincere combination of "cool light saber moves" he could muster.

this from the kid who tells me he will never be on stage. 

January 26, 2012

a little more homework to do

hello again.
i'm back.
and, while this is all usually about the antic's of the Savvy boys, today i'm feeling a bit more reflective.

i mentioned last week that i was at a conference in Tampa, Florida.
specifically, i was at ACPA's Donna M. Bourassa Mid-Level Management Institute.
i also mentioned that it was giving me a lot to "chew on."
and, oh, did it ever.
as in, my mental jaw is tired.

as in, i really knew my brain was done when i found myself standing in the tram between terminals at the Atlanta airport, pondering the content of the airport tram announcements.
the tram voice had announced, "you are about to arrive at terminal D as in David," and i wondered if all the Davids out there found this rather annoying.
or, perhaps, validating.
as in, that name was the very essence of "D."
as we pulled up at E, the tram man announced, "you are arriving at terminal E, as in Echo."
and i wondered, why not make it more fun?
as in, "you are arriving at terminal, E as in Egads!"or, "you are arriving at terminal E, as in Eek!"
or, even, "you are arriving at terminal E, as in E-I-E-I-O."
that one would really make people pay attention.
then i wondered who got to sit around a table and make the decision about which word would be used to announce each terminal.
and who, like me, might have offered some sassy suggestions to spice things up.
and then, i realized that i had had all of these thoughts between terminals D and E, and that they really weren't very far apart.
it was clearly time to let my brain turn off for a bit.

i had expected the institute to be full of good content on our professional work.
and it was.
but, when they opened Day One with this TED Talk by Brene Brown, i knew i was there for a bigger reason.
ever since my friend and colleague, Sus, pointed me to explore the work of Brene Brown, i have been a diligent reader of her work and blog.
but i had never seen her speak.
i encourage you to take 20 minutes to watch it. if you like it, check out her site and blog at www.ordinarycourage.com

our five days were spent doing some meaningful, challenging, and ultimately, highly rewarding work centering on connecting the heart and the mind.
yes, we covered things like strategic initiatives, politics, and power.
but, we also used up most of my reserve of cutely packaged tissues.
and we laughed even more.

we were able to have a few of our days on the USF campus, in the Marshall Center, their absolutely gorgeous student union.
if you look really hard, you can see me over there on the left.
we were each placed in a mentor group with one of the MMI faculty.
these lovely people made up Mentor Group 4.
they learned quite a bit about me this week and asked me some very pointed and insightful questions, all shepherded by the lovely and loving woman on the left, Patty.
so, a giant thank you to all of these beautiful people.
who remind me that we all have a little more homework to do.
(shameless plug of my eternally loved Off The Lake students. best wishes with callbacks this week!)

so, i am back in columbus. 
with a lot of new ideas and a bit more clarity. 
and an even longer reading list than usual.
speaking of homework. . .
(and because i clearly can't do a whole post without at least referencing the boys)
. . .i'll come back and tell you a story about this little gem tomorrow:

January 24, 2012

fail photo: a couple things to chew on

the conference i am currently attended has dug into the area of connecting the heart to the mind.
folks who know me will know that this means that i am enjoying MMI immensely.
it has given me a ton to "chew on" and some more to bring back to campus.

the conference also happens to be in Florida.
i've been told a few times to enjoy the sunshine while i am here.
so far, i have deeply enjoyed seeing the sun in a very blue sky.
sadly, it has been mostly out of the conference center windows.
but, i'll take it.

in the mean time, let me phone in another post.
from a break here in the conference center.
that i should probably be using to talk to other humans.

here is a young anth enjoying the beach on a family trip to San Clemente, California.

and, speaking of "chewing on" things, here is anth learning that the beach isn't quite as tasty as it looks.

happy Tuesday, and here's to s little sunshine, wherever you are!

January 23, 2012

fail photo: i dropped my brain somewhere

I'm at a conference.
on being a mid-level manager.
and it's awesome.
but I'm super behind on blogging as a result.
and, after tons of great dialogue, my brain kind of feels like this:


January 16, 2012

things that are impossible

this morning, i was upstairs looking for split pea soup recipes, and bern was in the basement with the boys. 
ben suddenly came flying through the basement door, grabbed a blanket from the couch, and started building a tent. 
this mainly involves stretching a tent from our couch to our coffee table.
"hurry, mommy! put a book on the blanket so it won't fall down!"
i put a book on one side of the blanket, and a binder on the other. 
then i leaned down and asked benny what he was doing. 
"i'm building a tent to hide."
"what are you hiding from, benny?"
"the Impossible Man!"

i wandered downstairs to see what was going on. 
apparently, anth had told benny about the Invisible Man. 
we tried to explain the difference.
benny would have none of it. 
"no, mommy. i have to hide from him. HE. IS. IMPOSSIBLE!"

only one of many times those last three words have been uttered on this planet. 

January 12, 2012

Ben MD

tonight, i had the opportunity to collaborate with a colleague to present a StrengthsQuest workshop to some of Ohio State's PharmD students.
i got home a bit later than usual as a result, and the boys were done with dinner and just about ready for bath time.
after i hung up the phone with a friend i don't call nearly enough, i headed into the kitchen.
benny walked in behind me, and wandered into the bathroom to get some toilet paper to blow his nose.
(note: there are approximately 5 boxes of tissues in various locations on the same level of the house.)

bern and i took a good long look at benny's eyes and thought that he might be developing more than the sniffles.
bern walked in to ask benny if he wanted to take some medicine for his cold before bed.
benny, of course, declined.
"no, dad. i don't have a cold. i'm just sick in my snot parts."

and that was when we knew we had a future doctor in our midst.

January 7, 2012

why ben can't go to the moon

driving home from work the other day, ben noticed the moon in the early evening sky.
and here is what followed:

benny: look momma, the moon! (pause.) but i can't go there. (sigh)
mom: that's only for Backstreet Boys.
benny: what?
mom: nevermind. i was kidding. why can't you go there?
benny: because you don't give me the stuff i need.
mom: a spaceship?
benny: no. i need to shoot all the aliens. and you won't let me have guns.

that's right, friends.
benjamin thinks that mom, and her crazy no-weapons-for-preschoolers safety standards, are the biggest roadblock between him and the moon.

January 6, 2012

fail photo friday 46: bedtime stories

benny's pre-school classroom has been exploring the art of storytelling.
i, of course, love this.

recently, i walked in to find their latest storytelling exercise posted on the wall.
basically, the teachers read the same prompt to each child, and allowed them to finish the story.
the prompt detailed a little brother and sister who wander into the forest behind their house.
when they try to go home, they find that their home is no longer there and has been replaced with more forest/mountains.
they heard a noise and turned the corner and see. . .

given all the stories in the world. . .
(or the 7 basic plots.)
. . . my three-year old chooses to have his parents murdered.

thankfully, he also made himself a hero.

January 1, 2012

minding his manners

earlier this year, anth had to have a baby tooth pulled to make room for a permanent tooth that was growing in behind it. 
like most little boys, he was concerned about his clothes getting stained.
the whole ordeal actually wasn't much of an ordeal at all, and anth was thrilled to get $5 from the tooth fairy for his troubles.

recently, anth has had a new permanent tooth growing in on the other side.
and his baby tooth didn't look like it would loosen up on it's own.
until the last week or so.
and, little victories, he lost it last night.
during dinner.
(approximately 10 minutes later, benny decided to pretend to be a dog and crawl around on the floor on all fours. in his footie pajamas. and one of his knees slipped on our flooring. and he landed flat on his face. this resulted in all of our emergency "icies" being used at the same time.)
anth lost his tooth.
we were getting him ready for bed, and he remembered that my colleague, Curtis, had told him he would get more money if he wrote the Tooth Fairy a thank you note.
we had already explained to him that the tooth fairy leaving him $5 was a one-time deal.
but, he insisted on being polite.
"just in case it works each time."

in an effort to reward his kindness, the tooth fairy left anth $2.

suffice it to say, anthony was displeased with his meager earnings.
bern reminded him to practice gratitude.
i told him that this was a 800% increase on what we used to get.
and, bless his heart, he looked horrified at the thought of getting a quarter and ran straight to his piggy bank  to deposit his cash.