The Tovsky Tribe

Chocolates, Cocktails, Friends, Babies...A Girl Should Never Have Just ONE!!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Back to School and I have no Rope

Today is the first day of school.  This year I send off two fourth graders; neither of which look like the same kid who went off to third grade now that they have broader backs and hairier legs, both of which are really excited to be a part of the "upper classmen" (despite being the youngest grade of that echelon.) I am also sending a happy go lucky first grader who is thrilled to be in the same school, all day, with his "upper classmen" brothers.  It's another back to school, not exactly the same yet very similar to all of the other first days I have had for the past 8 years since Chase and Ryder began as little pre-schoolers in the 2's program.  I sent them off like it was no big deal, not even aware of where their classrooms were physically located, not even sure of their classroom numbers. Yet, none of them cared. They didn't even ask. Big men on campus can find their own way.

So, I am making like it is no big deal, and yet, inside of me, my heartstrings are getting tugged. I wish all of that tugging was an effective abs exercise. It's not!  It should be a momentous day.  I should be, like all the other moms, writing fancy signs on chalk boards and engraving Turner's first day of first grade permanently into facebook memories.  No signs or to do necessary it is permanently tattooed in my memory, for sure.  Really, what I should be doing is tying my kids to the very tree we took pictures in front of and not letting them go.  Not ever.  Because I have a baby in first grade and that just seems wrong. And, way too fast.  And, because, I have 9 year olds who are sprouting into their tween years without looking back, practically without a wave goodbye.  And, because I look at Decker and see his mostly toothless grin and his drool, and know that  before too long he will be on that bus, his brothers "catching rides" to high school with their buddies, and I will have wished I did tie them to the tree.

Believe me.  They needed to go to school.  The hours between Friday and today seemed nearly endless as the boys bickered over everything.  Anything.   "My half of bagel is smaller than your half of bagel."  "NO, I got the shorter haircut.  It is SO shorter than yours." "I am not taking the first shower, you go first," to name a few.  But, there were more.  So.  Many. More.  And, each time, the bickering got louder and echoed more in my ears, I wished a bit harder for Monday to get here.

But, here it is.  And, off they went.  As they do.  With little thought beyond seeing their friends again, and who will they sit next to in this new class.  On to the bus their biggest gripe was that Turner still has two recesses while the twins, upper classmen that they are, only have one.  Off they went.  And, I held my baby and watched them go, grateful they would be apart from each other for the day and sad, so sad, they would be taking another step forward, further away from their childhood. And, from me.

I'd never hold them back.  I am raising them to do exactly as their doing. And, yet, I look at them go. I feel the tug on the heartstrings (still no work on the abs), I look at the tree, and I do sort of wish I had some rope.

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Letter to my Son on his Fifth Month Birthday!

Dear Decker,

Happy 5 months, 5 months happy. That's what you are, really, 5 months happy. Always. Smiles, giggles, a sparkle in your eye- a true breath of fresh air. 

At 5 months you weigh 15.4 lbs, are 26 inches long, and have a head and chest that are 17 inches. You have two teeth, you hair is growing thicker, and, your eyes are, still, very blue.  Every morning when I get you out of your crib it is the first thing I look at....if your eyes are still blue. 

You are calm, easy going, and so much fun to be around because you instantly make me, everyone, smile. 

You eat well, sleep well, and go with the flow, well. You're rolling all around, have your arms and legs in constant motion, and are working on sitting up.  You have had two teeth, the bottom, pop through and must have more coming because you constantly have a shirt wet from drool and fingers in your mouth.

You are ticklish and will get a very pleased looked on your face with every tickle. And, when you laugh, you giggle hard with your mouth wide open!  When I stroke your face with a finger you half close your eyes, half smile, and sit back and enjoy the calming sensation.

You love the exersaucer, your brothers, and to make adorable coo sounds that beg to be imitated. You love to have your toes touch your nose and to have your hands clapped together.

In 5 months you have been to a number of soccer fields, more baseball fields than I can actually count, and a whole lot of parties.  This summer we spend most days parked under a tree at the swim club. You and I sit, shaded, and hang out, while your brothers run wild.  Our tree is a constant detour for all of the kids.  They want to see you, hold you, play with you.  It is wonderful to see all kids, particularly the flock of 9 year old boys, adore you like they do.


I love you so,

Turner at 5 months

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Decker's First Tooth

There is no tooth fairy for the getting of teeth so, instead, Decker welcomed his first tooth with an all-night party.  Well, maybe no party was involved, just the all-nighter.

At 4 1/2 months, Dex had a sharp little tooth break through and  it is now getting bigger every day.  We knew it was coming by the drool soaked shirts and the attempt at the full fist in his mouth.  I had said he was teething around 3 months but was met with crazy eyes because "he is too young to be teething."
Apparently, he is not. Because it's there.  And, more are coming.  And, though he was pleasant and happy, if not wet around the collar, during the day, the night before the tooth appeared he had trouble sleeping and spent a better part of the night crying and wanting to be held.

With a face like this who wouldn't oblige to his cries?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A Letter to my Sons on their 9th Birthday!

Dear Chase and Ryder,

9!  Nine!  9??? Seems more appropriate. 
You never know where the time goes nor how it could possibly pass so fast yet each year is met with the same disbelief as the one that happened "yesterday."

As you've been counting down the last few days til your birthday I've been joking with you that you'd see me cry that day. I'm only half joking, of course. I'm not sad, necessarily, just emotionally roller coastering between nostalgic, for the babies you once were, and amazed, by the big guys you've become. 

9 brings so many things: a maturity that seems impossible alongside the "tween" freshness that is brought; an intelligence that comes from life as well as the classroom; an understanding that can't be taught just learned in time; a social and activity calendar that requires an assistant to track;and so much more that an attempt to list them seems futile. 

But, also with 9, comes the half-way mark of your childhood.  This moment that I'm taking to write this very letter is acting as a pause to breathe, my very own half- time, in the child-rearing of my oldest sons.   I am at the precipice of time, of your childhood. Yesterday, I was still closer to the babies you once were, but tomorrow the scale tips in the other direction. Somehow, I see the second half going so much faster. Doesn't it usually??  I can only imagine what will become of your lanky bodies, and can only dream about what you will achieve from the talents you're starting to show. I may never stop remembering, even yearning for, the coos and the giggles you gave me almost a decade ago but I'll continue to marvel at the changes, the morphing before me and will  never stop admiring the people you are and continue to become.

We are in the summer between 3rd and 4th grade. You're coming off fantastic school years where more was expected from you and more was received. The friendships you've been cultivating have started to take root and the boys you call friends are becoming extended parts of our family. 

Chase, you're fueled on sports. As lean as you are, you are tough and competitive and quite a good little athlete.  This year you've upped your game in baseball and are starting to really compete. And, after a year of recreational ice hockey you'll be trying a year of a more competitive travel team. Hockey is your first love of a sport and we are hoping  3-4 times on the ice, weekly, will really improve your game. And, though you've been playing since you are 3 and have done well with it, we've decided to sideline soccer for hockey. You're happy playing any sport and I love watching you play. 

You love the Flyers and the Phillies and, as a true fan, don't waiver on that love inspite of their less than stellar seasons. 

At school you had Mrs. Sottung and had a wonderful year. Academically and socially you thrived and I'm excited to see what 4th grade brings you. 

You're also in to magic and can perform a number of tricks so well that you have me fooled even though I know exactly how they are done. Like most things you do, you have applied focus and determination into learning your tricks and present them with a pride to envy. 

You are funny and kind and a good friend and brother. You're happy, sometimes mellow, and wouldn't be you if things weren't a bit messy. You are smart and charming and like to be part of the group. You understand manners and respect and are well-liked where ever you go. 

Ryder, no one on this planet fascinates me more than you do.  The way your mind works; the perspective you have; your clever thought process; it all intrigues me everyday.  You are wonderfully creative and imaginative and your talents are blossoming more and more.  The art you create is beyond what I would ever expect from a young boy and, yet, it comes to you with ease.  You can draw just about anything from the image in your mind and the things you put on paper can come to life.

Although your exploration of music is on hold I do hope it is a temporary hiatus and at some point you decide to pursue it again.  A few months ago you got up on stage and sang a song to an audience.  It was fantastic.  I've always wanted to sing sing for an audience and watching you do just that was an emotionally proud moment for me.

You had a great school year with Mrs. Hasness.  This was her final year of teaching and she embraced it, and you.  She, like all of the teachers you've had before her, were awed by your creativity and your sensitive way.  She managed to understand your dynamic being and allowed you to find success. I look forward to seeing how you grow more in 4th grade.

You are kind and funny and make friends easily.  You are a good and loyal friend and brother and anyone who has you in their corner is truly lucky, even if you don't always let on.  You love playing basketball and enjoy playing baseball and played both sports this year in the intramural league.

Amongst all the things that have happened this year the most substantial change for both of you, for all of us, was the welcoming of Decker.  Every moment since you found out about his arrival you've been excited and happy.  You've both welcomed him with such open arms and delight  and watching you fall in love for the first time melts my heart each time you look at him, kiss him, hug him, or tell him you love him.  You're both wonderful big brothers in your very own way and I sit back, astonished, at the young men you're becoming.

To keep the records straight, Chase you gained 5 pounds (56.2)  this year and grew 3 inches(52 inches)  Though that is a pretty good gain you are still the 3rd heaviest in the family.  Ryder you also grew 3 inches (53.5 inches) and gained 13 pounds (83!)  WOW!

You will celebrate this birthday this coming Saturday with your closest buddies at Gravity Forge Training Center which is an American Ninja Warrior gym, which is one of your favorites.  Should be a great party.

With all the changes, with how much you've grown, in so many ways you're still the exact same babies you were. Chase, attentive and focused, eyes wide open with a grin to pause all action; and, Ryder, eyes full of wonder, imaginative and carefree, full of energy and the need to touch everything.

I look at you both and know you're mine but often wonder what it is I did right or if I just got truly lucky, four times over.  You make me proud, every day. 

I wish you the happiest of birthdays, the very best of years. I wish you happiness always. Every moment, every day, I do love you so....

Mommy  (which you never call me unless you want something)

Growing in to the birthday shirt- almost fits!!

Growing in to the birthday shirt- Mr. No Arms

It's been a while since I had written you letters but here are the last ones.
Chase at 6
Ryder at 6

5 year old letter

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Letter to my Son on his 4 Month Birthday!

Dear Decker,

Days keep passing and they become months and suddenly 1/3 of the first year is behind us. Amazing how that happens. Sadly, though, it's not the fast passing of the first year that has me fighting tears, it's knowing, by looking at your brothers, that in a blink of an eye you will be 9.  I cherish these early days with you more than you know. 

At four months old you are a wonderful dream come true. You have earned the absolute love and delight of each of us who lives with you and the many who come to visit. You're nothing but smiles and coos and laughs.  All of the time.  You truly are the happiest baby on the block- no same titled book to follow required. 

You are strong. You have had head control for quite some time. You roll over both ways, you kick with some force, and you've recently started to try to crawl. A sort of army control that does give you some rug burns but also gets you 3-4 ft across a room. For all accounts it is too early for such movement. You've also been sitting in the high chair to hang out and are now playing in the exersaucer, both things I expected to have to wait until 6 months. 

You're a great sleeper and are starting to put yourself on a schedule in spite of the impossibility of scheduling due to our very busy life. You're flexible enough to have a different bed time each night and still manage to schedule yourself throughout the day, each nap coming about 2 hours after you wake.

You take 7 ounces per bottle with 5 bottles a day, though these past few days you've only had 4 bottles and it seems to be working out.  Although you don't fuss about it, you seem to prefer Similac formula over Gerber.  With the Gerber you seem to throw up more and poop more.  Of course, it was the Gerber we were given a lot of samples of.

Your hair is growing in quite well, and the remaining spot on the back, that looked rather silly when you were bald, has filled in nicely and though the hair from your comb-over remains, it looks less like a comb-over and  more like just a part of your hair, with one long strand.

You gained  1lb 3 oz this month putting you at 14.7 (13.4 at 3 months) and grew a half inch and now measure at 24.5 inches.  You seem big, you feel heavy, and, yes, you are growing up too fast.

Your eyes are still a very beautiful blue!!

Most people say you look just like Turner as a baby and, it's true, I see it too.  But, to me, you are just Decker, my little Dex, I just see beautiful you.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Doing Dorney!

Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom

Yesterday, we did Dorney!  4 40something's and 5 kids.  It's sounds like a bad plot line. This adventure was part of, what is turning out to be, the massive kick start to summer and, also, a cousin bonding time before we bid fond farewell to Delaney as she heads back to Camp Nock-a-Mixon for her 3rd summer. 

The meteorologists has been calling for rain all week.  "Friday thunderstorms" was heard repeatedly but it didn't scare us off. It did, however, scare off the rest of the population and we, seemingly, had the park to ourselves.  Just like the Griswold's in the movie Vacation, minus the toy guns.   And, the dead Aunt Edna. Oh, and it never rained.

Being at an amusement park without lines is truly an amazing experience.  In 3 hours we did every ride, multiple times.  Ryder and Delaney were the only kids tall enough to go on every coaster and since Delaney doesn't do the big rides that left Ryder as the sole contender.  But, Todd and I went with him on most of them and I didn't vomit so it was an all around successful day.

It's true, I almost vomited from the first ride of the day, but that was my own fault for allowing a ride that begins with an uphill corkscrew to be my first coaster in 15 years.  And, almost doesn't really count.  It is also true that after that ride, the Stinger, I took a dramamine pill.  And, maybe, there is something to be said that if you need such a pill to go on rides perhaps you shouldn't be riding.  But, either way, it worked and I can say I rode all the big rides at Dorney and didn't get sick.

After many hours in the park, and a drenching from the White Water Landing, we headed back to our cars for a lunch break intermission before heading to Wild Water Kingdom.

At Wild Water Kingdom we stood in the longest line of the day, the ladies room.  And, though the rides were fun and the water wasn't terribly cold, I could have used a warning that partaking in such a park required training, sort of like a couch to 5k runners program, in order to make it to the top of the steps without nearly dying.

Overall, it was a great day.  All of us had a blast and I am pretty sure we raised the bar on the summer just 7 days post-school.

Cousins (Minus 1) before we are Minus 1 for the summer

Looks who is driving!

Fast forward 7 years

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Mother's Day!

A lot of family. A good amount of baseball. A whole lotta love!  A day spent with my all-star, my rockstar, my angel, and my superhero- the boys who made me mom!