The Tovsky Tribe

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

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

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

A Letter to my Son on his 3 Month Birthday!

Dear Decker,

Happy 3 month birthday! It's been 3 months of joy, of smiles, of laughter.  Sure, minimum sleep and seemingly endless feedings have been thrown in there, but it's been mostly smiles and joy.  

You are an absolute delight.  A boy whose big blue eyes and adorable smile fill a room and cause anyone who sees you to open their eyes wider and grin a little bigger.

I stare at you in awe. I spent all those months wondering what you would look like, what color your hair and eyes would be, and here you are in front of me, more perfect than I could have imagined.

Your head is perfectly round.  Your nose is tiny. Your eyes are big and a beautiful blue.  Your lashes are long and light in color.  Your cheeks are rosy. Your ears are small and flat against your head.  Your hair is starting to come in and the remaining hair from birth, the few long strands, I refer to as your comb-over.  Your fingers and toes are long.  Your lips are full and pink. Your chin is defined, in spite of the growing double chin, which is only cute on a baby.  When I trace your face with my finger, which I do frequently, I trace a perfect heart, which I love, of course. Your dimples are still oddly fleeting and I can't decide if you have them or not.

You coo and you laugh and you seem like you want to talk, like you have so much to say.  You smile often, sometimes just a grin and other times a full smile with your toothless mouth wide open.  You are starting to laugh, though not a full belly laugh just yet. You are in perpetual motion when you are awake, with your legs and arms always movng. Constantly. They never stop.  You were the same way in utero.  Sometimes I think that if I threw you in a pool you would swim.  You are very strong, have great head control, and though you need to be held you can sit and stand-up with great strength.  And, recently, you started rolling over.


Although you've been sleeping through the night (until about 6am,) the last few days you've been waking up in the middle of the night again.   We make you 7 ounce bottles and, lately, you haven't been finishing them.  You've also have been funky with your napping these last few days.  Perhaps all of this is just a transition and you will be back on track with all of it in just a few days.

You have a laid back and calm demeanor and are passed around to many adoring people.  You love undivided attention and are a natural attention getter.  People will stop in their step to take a look at you and marvel at you momentarily, or longer.

People say you look a lot like Turner, maybe that is true. To me, you are just Decker, beautiful Decker.

Since I have gone back to work you are watched once a week by Mom-Mom Jill and once a week by Mom-Mom Joan.  Both enjoy their time with you very much. When you are with Mom-Mom Joan you spend a lot of time with Uncle Mat.  You seem to love this as indicated by the huge grin you show the minute he picks you up.  Uncle Mat gets silly with you and takes to school every week.  You're learning a lot of interesting things with him that ONLY Uncle Mat could teach.  Your bond with him will be very special.

You are very much loved by all of us. Your brothers adore you in every way and it is starting to become clear that you adore them right back.  Your grandparents, and aunts, and uncles, and cousins all delight in your presence and each of us is proud to have you as a part of our lives.

Our lives are chaotic and we are always on the go and you have hit the ground wonderfully and joined the chaos without any resistance.  For this, we all thank you.  But, you should know, that the quiet moments, as rare as they may seem, when I am holding you and staring at you, or smiling with you and laughing with you, they are the moments that I cherish, that I stamp into my memory.  They are the moments that get me through each day, knowing I had that with you, my beautiful boy.

happy 3 month birthday, Decker.  I love you so...

Turner at 3 months

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

This is MY 40!

A decade ago I celebrated my 30th birthday at the Four Seasons hotel eating fine food, drinking champagne, enjoying chocolate dipped strawberries, and celebrating with the favorite guy in my life.  I had a great time and wondered, as I was struggling to get pregnant, if I would ever have children to help me blow out my candles.

Me at 30!

April 29, 2005

Now, it is ten years later, and my how things have changed.  I no longer can afford a night in such a hotel, nor would I choose to spend my money on something so lavish, and I now have a small army of favorite guys in my life since we've added 4 sons!  4? In my days of infertility I certainly would not have predicted this.

40!  This is 40!  This is MY 40!  Turning 40 means so many things while simultaneously meaning very little.  For one, I am apparently in some club now.  I was never one for clubs, and this "club" that people keep referring to is really no different.  Yet, people keep welcoming me to it.  I am not sure if the proper response to such a welcome is "thanks?!"  Second, no matter how many times you say age is just a number, which it is, there's no denying 40 is a middle aged number, another 40 years is hopeful.  Middle-aged.  It just sounds old.  And, odd.  What is also odd is that I can now refer to things that have happened 20, even 30, years ago with vivid memory.  How can I be old enough to have a 20 year old memory???  40 is also a new check box in age groups, and finding 1975 in the list of birth years in an online survey takes a lot of scrolling.  And, yay!, 40 also means yearly mammograms, which is preventative and wise and, well, ouch!

When I was 20 I didn't think much about what my life would be like when I was 40 so I can't tell you if this is what I imagined, though I can probably guess I didn't think 40 would involve an infant.  An infant alongsde a mini-van.  And, a muffin top.  Sigh.

I see Facebook posts of all of my former classmates, each turning 40 sometime this year, and every time I think, "Oh my goodness, that person is 40?!"  Somehow, I exclude myself from this group of aged folks knowing I was born the very same year they were.  But, they can't be 40.  And, certainly I can't be either.

I remember when my parents were 40.  If they are 40, then I can't be  older than 18?  The age of 40 sounds as if I am supposed to retire my hoodies and my sneakers for some sort of sweater and flat shoe. And, I shouldn't want to sing songs by One Direction or Bruno Mars at the top of my lungs.  But, I won't retire my hoodies, no way.  You'll see me in one tomorrow, I am sure.  I won't throw away my sneakers.  And, I can't stop singing "What Makes you Beautiful" though I would be doing a lot of people a big favor if I just stopped singing in general.

Mostly, I do think age is just a number and I am aware that today is not so different from yesterday, or even last year.  I am not upset to be turning 40, though I do like to joke. In fact, I will take 40 over not aging at all. It is just that 40 is weird.  Weird to say.  Weird to be. I am sure it is just a coincidence that I have a tooth that needs to be pulled and that I am seeing the occasional gray, straggly hair. 

True, when I get into bed each night, the way my bones and joints crack, it sounds as if I am laying on a mattress of bubble wrap. I am sure this is also a coincidence and has nothing to do with age. Just like it's a coincidence that most nights I doze off of on the couch during my favorite show and I choose sweats and a bottle of wine on my sofa over a night on the town.

But, what isn't a coincidence, what has EVERYTHING to do with age, is the dose of self-assurance that comes with being 40.  An aplomb I never had before, a comfort in my own skin, and the lack of a need to be anything other than me.  The insecurity of my childhood, the self-doubt of my 20's, has no room in the ego of my middle-aged mind.  Maybe because this middle-aged brain can't store as much, and certainly can't remember things like it used to.  Whatever the reason, some of those uncertainities didn't make the cut into this new decade.  And, as I age, my sense of humor remains in tact and laughter is still the very best medicine.

I don't know what 40 is for everyone, I can only tell you what it is for me.  And, 40 is just another day, another year, another birthday.   Sure, things have changed from my former life 2 decades ago, but they are gradual changes that happen over time.  There are many days where I still feel like a 20 year old, wandering free.  There are days where I feel well beyond these 40 years.  There are days I can channel my 20 year old self and feel, even momentarily, that carefree way.  And, there are days where I think fast forward was hit and I am stuck at 50.  But, the average day, I am just me.  Slightly flighty, mostly kind, sometimes crabby, usually laid-back, many times funny, generally positive, sporadically stressed, often tired, ME.
10 years later

And, with Alex!  Always a part of our special occasions

Past birthdays have been spent in the Caribbean, celebrated by a royal wedding, and partying with friends.  This milestone birthday has been long, with a mild but enjoyable celebration each week for many weeks. The actual day was the first beautiful day of the spring, spent at my favorite restaurant with Todd and Decker and then, appropriately so, on the ball field that night cheering on Chase and Ryder in my favorite sport. It was capped with ice cream from Goodnoes where we sang happy birthday on a flameless candle because we forgot to bring matches.   Somehow, at 40, this is totally acceptable.
flameless candle

Me and all of my guys


Each of the boys at 2 months old

Who do you think looks like who?

A Letter to my Son on his 2 Month Birthday!

Dear Decker,

Happy Two Month Birthday!  It seems a little strange to count months, being you're the 4th kid and all, but these first 12, even 24, months so much happens that there's no other way to indicate such milestones.  

Two months.  You're still just a newborn. One who sleeps often. But, as new as you are, I can't quite believe it's been only two months because, my dear boy, it feels as if you've been with us all along. There was always Decker.  Even when there wasn't. 

This past month, if summed up in a word, would have to be described as GROWTH!  In 30 days you gained 3 pounds 7 oz and grew 2 inches (currently, 10 lbs, 9 0z, and 23 inches.)  You no longer fit into newborn clothing and your tiny little toosie is now bigger than my hand.  You're in size 1 diapers, which in the span of a week, went from being big to not so much on you.  Even the doctor was amazed at such growth, part of which may be from the change to formula.  It hadn't been my intention to formula feed you, at least not yet, but the 3 day stay in the hospital for a mastitis kind of got in the way. 

You are not particular to breast or bottle. You're not particular to any kind of specific formula. As long as you're being fed, you're happy. It is exactly this laid back personality that fits in well around here. 

You take just about 6 ounces every 3-4 hours.  This seems like quite a lot to me, for someone your size. At least it did, until I was given your new weight. You still wake during the night once, some times twice, and though I want to love that quiet time with you, I do find myself to be exhausted and usually fall asleep feeding you. I'll wake up in the chair, with you in my arms, hours later!  

In the last couple of weeks you have found your smile and each day you use it more and more.  It's an adorable smile, as anyone would suspect, and lights up your whole face each time you do it.  And, as a result, it lights up my whole world. 

You have a dimple, I think.  Maybe even two. But, oddly, they don't always show. This is not typical of such a mark and I am not sure if they are actually there or not, though I am sure I have seen it. 

Your eyes are big and, remarkably, blue. A color so beautiful I can't help but stare. And, though the odds are against this color remaining, when I am lost in the light color that has so much depth, I can't help but think I will have a blue eyed son. Your lashes are long and light in color, much lighter than the rest of your hair, which remains real dark.  And, though you've lost the hair that was on your forehead you haven't lost too much from your head.

You have pretty good head control, enjoy your tummy time, and are easy going and go with the flow.  Which is good, since you are carted around on a regular basis.  You will often fall asleep at one field and wake up at an entirely differently ball field.  You're passed around from arms to arms to arms without much care and each person who holds you adores you so.

Your brothers love you! They fight over who gets to sit next to you, to hold you, to feed you.  Who knows, maybe they are just looking for reason to fight.  They have changed your diapers, particularly Ryder, given you bottles, and, against my rules, taken you from your crib and carried you around the house.  They are protective of you they way big brothers should be.

And, I adore you.  Each day I just stare at you, I trace your face with my finger, knowing full well tomorrow your face will change, again.  I am trying to savor each moment of your babyhood because it won't  be long before you are running along side your brothers.  You bring all of us so much joy and not a moment passes that I am not grateful for your presence in our lives.

I love you so and am excited to see the boy you become.  You make me a very proud mama, for sure.

I love you, Decker.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Show n share

Show-n-Tell. That's what they called it back when I went to school. Back when you couldn't walk and talk on the phone at the same time without risk of snapping a cord.  Show-n-Tell. I know we had it, but I can't remember one thing I ever showed. Or told.  If I had to guess though, I would say a Smurf figurine was involved at least once.

Now it's called Show-n-Share, probably for some P.C. reason I am unaware of. Turner was up yesterday and he could bring anything he wanted so, of course, he chose his baby brother.  Yep, Decker was the "object" Turner shared with his kindergarten class. 

Proud as I've ever seen him, he sat in the front of the class holding his sleeping, 7-week old baby brother in his arms, smile beaming, ready to show him off to 16 excited 6 year olds.  Hands popped up almost instantly for questions and comments, most of which were a variation of "he's so cute!"  Only two questions were asked ("what is Decker's birthday", and "how much did he weigh at birth?") both by Mrs. Wagner, and only one was Turner able to answer without my help.  But, it didn't matter.  None of it mattered.  All that mattered was the pride Turner felt as a big brother, and the pride I felt as the momma witnessing all of this.

I have a feeling Turner won't ever forget this show-n-share, even 30 years down the road.  Nor will many of his classmates.  Decker, on the other hand, who slept the whole time, will only have this blog post as his memory.

31 days!

One Month. 31 days of pure joy. That's what it has been with Decker.  You see him, You can't help but smile.  You hold him, and you can't help but squeeze him tight. Sometimes, a bit too tight.

He is a great baby who brings smiles to all of our faces. The sleepless nights are not so bad, and other than the first nine nights, where he had his days and nights confused, he only gets me up once or, sometimes, twice.

The healing from his bris was uneventful. His cord fell off, without too much issue, around 11 days.  He takes both breast and bottle well, and feeds on a 3 to 4 hour schedule.  As far as infants go, he is quite easy.

At his first month appointment, he weighed in at 7 lbs. 2 oz. and 21 inches long. We were all very happy with this growth.

When you look him in the eyes, which are still big and bright and blue, he seems happy and content and as if he is smiling with his eyes, because he cannot yet with his mouth. Although, he is trying.   We see glimpses of what will be a very adorable smile.

I can't wait to see what month two brings!!