The Tovsky Tribe

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

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Happy 41st Birthday to me!!

It is after midnight, which means it is officially my birthday.  Although I do not know the exact time of my birth, I do know we are nearing the time (approximately 2am), 41 years ago, when after being 5 days later than due, I rushed into the world and took my first breath in the back of the very police car that was hightailing it to the nearest hospital so that a baby wouldn't be born his car.  This remains to be my most interesting fun fact in spite of any experiences life has given me.

I don't know how I am 41.  I understand chronology and numbers and have a mathematical understanding of time yet I can't grasp the passing of it. I can not comprehend how decades literally span 20 or 30 years yet pass fugaciously by like a dream. You look back and it seems it all happened when you blinked.

It is an interesting thing- having a baby just  7 weeks prior to a milestone birthday. Not so much because it marked the said milestone but because his aging is an increasing tally of the time past since that particular day.  When it seems impossible that a year could have gone by I have this remarkable little human clock that tells me it is isn't only possible, but real.  All of the amazing things that Decker has learned and has become serve as my evidence that time is passing, in the very best of ways, and I do not need to feel one day older for me to know that another candle is added to my cake this year.  The truth is, it seemed impossible that I turned 40, so 41 is like some sort of science fiction fantasy that only could be made for television, yet I did, I am...well, I was.    Impossible things happen all of the time, or so it seems.

41 is that age where you just kind of hang out, uneventfully, in your early 40's.  Enough days have passed to get over the shock of the 4th decades arrival and yet another milestone is still far enough away that there's no real excitement in the new age.

This past year has been an unexpected dream come true as we watched our baby's first year.  It has also been a year of personal high's and lows. I have worked more, and enjoyed it, and have found some ways to let my creativity flow. I am studying to get my securities license, and though I do find it difficult to get the time in to study, I find I am making it happen (though slower than anticipated) and it proves if you make time things can get done. I am trying to make time for the friends I don't see, something I found more difficult than desired during baby's first year.   I lost a good amount of weight and am thinner than I may have been at 31 and in exchange I have gained a few gray hairs and more than a handful of "laugh lines."  I have said on more than one occasion, to any of my younger friends who have recently joined this club, "don't fret, 40 is the best yet," and I actually have meant it each and every time.  I mean, true, I am not having nearly as much fun as I did in my 20's, my patience is less, my memory has dwindled, and my pockets are far more shallow.   But my fun is different, my confidence is more, my memories have grown, and my heart is deeper.  Mathematically it seems to balance out. Life is a series of moments.  Hopefully, more positive ones than negative,  and it is about embracing and handling each of those moments and occasionally looking around at those who surround you and just being grateful.

I know in what will seem like a rather short time I'll be 51 and wondering  where my 40's went, looking for that decade as if it were Waldo hidden in the crowd. So I'll just embrace these days, the chaos, the busy schedules, the into everything toddler and the mouthy almost ten year olds who are confusing the onset of double-digits with teenhood. I'll embrace the weekends of kid activities and sports and birthday parties and accept that paychecks are for bills and groceries  and kid activities and sports. Because I know it is just a passing phase of life that, even if hard at times, will be missed when it is gone. 

Life is a series of phases that cascade upon you often with out warning.  In my 40's I've become aware of this and settle into my wisdom with calm and collection. In each phase there are highs and lows, of course.  I find it is best to handle the problems one at a time while clinging to the highlights all at once grasping them by the handful and stamping them on my memory.

Each year will be met with the same disbelief as the one before it, perhaps even more. I just hope each year is met with a similar positive attitude and overall happiness.

-----
(Continued on 5/1/16)

My day was spent on a lunch date with Todd to our most favorite of places, Kisso.  We have had so many special occasions spent within those bright orange walls and this one was no different and sure did not disappoint.  The rain outside dampened our shoes but not our spirits as we indulged in Alex's food and savored each and every delicious bite.  We enjoyed catching up with Alex, as we like to do, and didn't hesitate to sip on the sake.

After lunch we had to head back home so that we could spend the early evening at synagogue where Chase and Ryder were called to the bimah to accept their B'nai Mitzvah date.  Yup, that really happened.  If that isn't evidence of how fast time passes then I do not know what is.  After synagogue we had some pizza and some cocktails with good friends before heading over to watch what remained of Chase's baseball game.  Another birthday on a ball field....I love that!!

(And, of course, we had our traditional hibachi dinner the night prior.)

Another birthday, another wish made, another year gone by. Happy birthday to me!!


It's not a birthday picture without Alex

We've been coming to Kisso for almost 20 years and this is our first picture under the name!


This was MY 40!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Letter to my Son on his 7th Birthday

Dear Turner-

Another year has passed us by and now my baby boy is 7.  A 7 year old, who is in first grade, is almost as tall as his 9 year old brother, and has shoulders that are broadening and a chest that is thickening. I was only half kidding when I put you to bed tonight and told you that you may wake up taller than me.

You are a special boy, Turner.  There is really nothing else to say.  You have this way of making those around you feel special and lucky and engaged.  You make eye contact and appreciate each moment that anyone spends with you, and it shows.

You make friends, easily.  You are social, and fun, and bring an element to the party that is missed when you are not around.   And, yet, you are independent and mature and O.K. all on your own.  You know everything, but don't ever act like a know it all.  But, if I am looking for something or need to know some information about our household, I can always ask you and be sure to get the right answer.  You are structured, yet not too much, and like order, but are not obsessed by it.  You are silly, and smart, and always have a dance move in your step and a song in your voice.

At school you have Mrs. Delfini.  Some of your school friends are Gavin, Chase, Jake, Alex, and Greyson.  Although you fight incessantly with Ryder it is because you  are very much like him and share similar interests.  You have a bond with Chase that doesn't need to be discussed, it just is, and although you love to tattle tale, it is clear you adore them both.  You don't let them get away with giving the younger brother a hard time and definitely dish it right back at them.

You are an amazing big brother to Decker.  Your care and concern is evident each time you look at him.  You take him in your arms and never hesitate to tell him you love him or tell him how cute he is.  So often you greet him with "Hi, gorgeous face!"  Your empathetic and thoughtful way makes you a natural big brother and you never think twice about making sure he is happy first.  I admire that about you.  It is just who you are.  You care about other people and other things and make the effort to satisfy those around you.   You are a terrific chore doer and are my number one man when it comes to offering me help. You're not scared of hard work, nor a little elbow grease, and are always willing to lend a helping hand.

Your party will be on Sunday, celebrated with The Great Holtzie.  This is a party you've been waiting to have since you were 4, when Chase and Ryder had him at their party.  I told you then, "when you are in first grade" and don't you know that as soon as your party was brought up this year you said "I am in first grade, I get Great Holtzie."  That is how you are.  You don't forget things that are said and expect follow through.  We need someone like you living in this house, for sure.

You will dabble in sports when all of the boys play but you have not, yet, shown too much of an interest in playing organized sports.  Maybe that is not for you.  You do take piano lessons, though they are bi-weekly so progression is slow, but you seem to enjoy them and are diligent about what you learn.  Earlier in October you had a little recital.  You did a great job, as we would expect, and you looked so handsome.

Although you don't talk about it, and it is hard because Ryder gets so much attention for his skills, you are a pretty good drawer.  I hope you will continue to practice the art form so that you can become a talented artist, as well.

You're a unique and wonderful kid.  At 7 years old you are 62 pounds and 48.5 inches.  You are getting bigger and thicker and your back is spreading every day. You have a loud speaking voice and often need to be shushed but also have an endearing smile and contagious laugh. You are quick witted and clever and don't miss too much of what's around you. You're street smart and showing signs of being a good student. 

You're my baby, now and forever, as I like to tell you often, but there's very little baby left in you. 

I love you, Turner. You make me proud every day. 

Mommy 










Turner at 5

Turner at 6


Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Letter to my Son on his 10 Month Birthday

Dear Decker,

The months are passing faster than I can get these letters written. I am sure this comes as a surprise to no one.  And, you've made it clear you aren't waiting for anyone or anything.  In fact, it seems your goal is to outpace time. 

Every day is something new with you; something wonderful.  One morning you woke up and the beautiful hair on your head was several inches longer.  You always had a lot of hair; thick and beautiful, with a healthy shine- hair that was noticed by every passerby.  But, truly, you woke up one morning and it was suddenly long, and super curly (and still beautiful.)   Although it still is fine baby hair, and difficult to control, we do try to keep the bangs out of your face with a nice side part.


If there is a skill you are working on we know it is just a few short days before you figure it out. This month you have learned to clap, which is fantastic, because now everything, EVERYTHING, is met with an applause.  You applaud all of us and you love it when we applaud you.  You can now climb up the steps with ease and have learned to climb down the steps, as well.  Finally learning to turn around at the top and go down feet first you now climb up just to come down.  Although you do it correctly, and we have a lot of confidence in your abilities (reducing our fear) I am pretty sure you have rug burns up and down the front of your legs.  Luckily, you don't seem to bothered by it.




You can now stand up on your own for 30 seconds or more, and have begun cruising.  It won't be long before you are walking.  Then running.  You continue to pay close attention to what is around you.  You seem to study the way our lips move when we speak and you will try to mimic the motion, though not necessarily the sound.  But, with that said, you babble often and your sounds are becoming much more clear.  "More" is a word you say, and sign, and we also think you say Up.  Speaking of up, you point up a lot.  We all assume you are fascinated by the lights as you will point directly at each of the fixtures.  And, of course, there is a lot of "ma ma ma" and "da da da" and you have your consistent hum which you do as you are putting yourself to sleep.

As serious and as focused as you can be you have started to find the silly in things.  A game of peekaboo, a tickle to the neck, or just the silly dances and sounds that your brothers entertain you with can get you giggling and laughing.  We all love it.




You eat just about anything we give you now, you still love your bottles, and bath time is one of your favorite things to do.


We celebrated hanukkah, which was mostly uneventful for you (sorry little guy, next year you will make out just fine) and enjoyed some relaxation and time off together over Christmas.  On New Years we had the Cohens and the Levins here, and of course Uncle Mat, and though you did not make it to midnight, nor did we try, you were a wonderful addition to our small soiree.

You love to touch everyone's noses, touch everything with one finger, and put too much in your mouth.  You like to bounce on your toosh on the beds around the house and enjoy touching the pages of any book we put in your hand.  You also love to touch the television, assuming, like the phone, something happens when you touch it, and when you hear familiar voices "coming through the small box" you grin from ear to ear- fascinated that Mom-Mom or anyone can fit inside the box.

You are truly a pleasure, sunshine on a rainy day.  Just your being, your presence, makes all of us happier and lighter, and it is amazing to be a person that can have such a profound effect on so many, even at only 10 months old.

Everyday I look forward to the things you will show me and the things you will teach me....even as I write this, I can't wait for tomorrow.

Keep being you, keep learning and doing and grinning.  We could not be more proud.

I love you so....
Mommy

Up you go
Mommy Decker selfie
Where's your tongue?



Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Letter to my Son on his 9 Month Birthday!

Dear Decker,

9 Months Happy!  3/4 of your year of firsts is now behind us and as fast as it all has gone it seems impossible that last holiday season I hadn't even met you yet.  This time last year I had no idea that your name would be Decker, or that your eyes would be blue, or that your smile is infectious, as is your laugh.  12 months ago I was still anticipating the shape of your face, and the curve of your mouth.  It does seem impossible that this time last year I hadn't met you yet because now it  feels like I've always known you, as if you were always in our life, making each day brighter, sunnier, happier. 





You may be only 9 months old, but your physical abilities seem to indicate otherwise. Though you are not yet walking (and barely cruising) it is no matter because the ease and agility with which you perform "stunts" is awe inspiring. You can climb.  The steps were where you learned to climb up but everything else is your base for climbing out and down. The high chair. The exersaucer. Your car-seat carrier.   I am hoping the crib is still a while off.

You've finally gotten more teeth. The four top teeth came in all that same time along with a third bottom tooth. That fourth bottom tooth is working on it but seems to be a bit slower than the rest. 

Now, with a mouth full of teeth, you can chew and prefer to eat table food. As a result your diet is far less healthy than it was when you were eating puréed fruits and vegetables. You've also mastered your pincer grasp and can self feed most small pieces that are put in front of you. Of course, once you grasp the food, you can also chuck it across the room with strange accuracy 

We celebrated Thanksgiving, which was fantastic. Aunt Bonnie visited from Florida and was so delighted to see you and be with you, her little DJ. You are extra special in her heart, being that you were named for Jamie, and both the honor of his name that you represent and the absolute wonder that you are fill her with so much joy, as they do all of us. 



Over Thanksgiving break we also went to Maryland for the day to celebrate Uncle Bunny's 90th birthday.  It was so nice to see all of the Citrenbaums, together in one room, and celebrate such a milestone. I was thrilled to have you be a part of it and to have so many people meet you. Although neither you nor Bunny will remember the day it is a remarkable valuable moment for me, and for Pop-Pop, to know you were a part of something so special.

Celebrating Bunny's 90th
You are all over the place and constantly on the move.  And, though you can play nicely by yourself, you are in constant motion, which is evidence that you are a Tovsky brother.  You have mastered climbing up the stairs and are attempting to climb up everything from me, to the bookshelves, to the beds.  You also like to put all the wrong things in your mouth.  If we don't watch you, you will have a nice steady meal of lego pieces.

When you're given a bottle we hold it for you.  Truthfully, none of us mind, and knowing that the time is going to soon end, I do want to give you as many bottles as possible.  However, you act like you are unable to hold your own bottle.  Then, one day, I walk into your room at daycare to find you giving yourself your bottle.  You little stinker!!  Now that we know the truth we still give it to you, but when we need to, if we place your hands on the bottle you will hold it up yourself.

Holding your own at Daycare
You took your first school picture.  The class photo is funny as it is just you and little Phoebe and Ms. Cheryl.  Your individual picture came out quite good. I call you my Superman in the picture because your hair is darker than normal, your eyes are bluer than normal, and you have the Superman curl.

Superman
You still love the guitar, the phone, your brothers, and the bath.  When I sing the Decker song, sung to the tune of B-I-N-G-O, you laugh and pay close attention trying to follow along.  You love that song!  You're still a pretty serious baby, taking in everything around you, studying the world preparing to master it, but you've learned to be silly, to laugh, and to have fun.  And, we all laugh with you. You have been a gift to all of us for the last 9 months and you will continue to be so for all of the days to come.


                                          

I love you so very much, happy 9 months, baby boy!

Mommy
xoxo



reflecting

Turner at 9 months

Chase and Ryder at 9 months

Sunday, November 8, 2015

JDRF One Walk- Three walkers and a Bundled Sleeper

When I was pregnant with Decker I swore up and down that, after his birth, I would walk.  I would walk to lose the baby weight.  I would walk to give my newborn 4th son some fresh air.  I would walk to lose the baby weight.  I would walk as an escape from the chaos within our four walls.  I would walk for my own sanity.  And, I would walk to lose the baby weight.

He is 8 months old.  I have taken him on some walks and I have let him enjoy the fresh air.  And, although it isn't easy in a home with 3 rambunctious brothers, we have even escaped the chaos on occasion.  But, I have not walked to lose baby weight.  Not once.  I can prove this by stepping on the scale.  There are a million reasons, or excuses, that I have given for why I didn't commit to walking: the lack of time (I do have 4 kids and a job;) the need to sleep; and more than once I used the weather as an excuse.  I can't do that anymore.  At least not as an excuse for Decker.

Checking out the comforts of his new seat
Last Sunday (November 1st) I had the honor of walking in the JDRF One walk to help raise awareness and money for Type 1 diabetes.  With relatives and friends afflicted with this disease I knew this was just a small piece of what I could give to help find a cure.  I was joined by three of my sons and lucky enough to be part of a wonderful team, filled with little ones like Decker, that was sponsored by JJ Cole Collections.  The JJ Cole #bundlemegood Moms team earned $1,000 towards the more than $200,000 raised that day for Type 1 Diabetes.


In part of this sponsorship JJ Cole Collections provided the littles on our team with a #teambundleme hat and an original bundleme.  Decker was both in style and warm in his original toddler sized bundleme (in graphite) and his warm and cozy new hat.
                                                                  
Sunday morning was a beautiful day for a walk with just enough chill in the air in the early morning to justify the bundleme.  The bundleme is, for all intents and purposes, a sleeping bag.  The coziest, warmest, most snuggly sleeping bag you can imagine. With just a few velcro strapped openings for the infant carrier buckles it attaches simply to your car seat.  In less than a minute I converted his ol' infant carrier into the softest and snuggliest mobile oasis.  I strapped him in and within minutes he was asleep.  And, sleeping is how he remained for the next 3 hours.  He slept through the in and out of the car, through the steep downhill trek from the parking lot to the welcome area of the walk, and through the loud music and happy sounds of children and adults gathered for a good cause.  He slept while his brothers played in the game truck on site, and through the starting sounds as all of us,   JJ Cole Team #bundlemegood Moms and all of the many other JDRF supporters, began our 3 mile trek through beautiful Tyler State Park.  He slept, as I panted and sweat, and pushed up the many hills, and he slept as two of his brothers darted ahead of me claiming that I walk just too slow.  And, who could blame him?  I wanted to climb right in myself, particularly after the three miles winded me, and take a 3 hour nap. 

                                        

The starting point, we are off!

                                                  


Now, it's true I think he is one cute kid, but how adorable does he look all snuggled up in this comfort?

                                                 


When we crossed the finish line, his eyes opened, he grinned instantly, and you could tell he was happy and comfortable, and was probably unaware of the mitzvah his brothers and I just made.  And, when I pulled him out for hugs and play he was cuddly warm, which was perfect on my skin in the fall breeze.  Truth is, it was a beautiful day and he may not have needed all of that warmth, but the bundleme is a zippered sac that allows you to remove the top part if a beautiful day comes our way in the middle of the colder seasons.  And, the temperature can drop a lot, as it will in the coming weeks and months, and I can still have my boy outside and know that he is comfortable and warm. 

                                          


The bundleme is machine washable and easy to change from car seat to stroller so he won't need the bulk of winter jacket (which also prevents the 5-point harness from fastening close to him.)  And, since we are amidst Chase's ice hockey season, Decker will spend many games cheering on his brother rink side from the comforts of the warm and cozy bundleme.  I think I need to get myself one of these.  Then, of course, I really won't have an excuse to start walking off the baby weight.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Letter to my son in his 8th Month Birthday!


Dear Decker,





8 months, happy.  8 months, so big!  That is one of the things we have been working on, So big, a "trick" you have done, though you have not quite mastered, and it is just so adorable watching you do it.



Life continues to be a joy each day with you, my only complaint is not having enough one on one time with you. We are always going and running. And you're in school most days or in someone's else care.  But, we try to soak up special minutes with you and it is always such a pleasure.

You are active, as you were in utero, and not interested in sitting still when there are steps to climb or walls to pound on. You are also very persistent and very capable, attempting new tricks with an eager determination that allows you, usually, to master them before too long. Your most recent "trick" is the climbing of the stairs.  You practice ALL OF THE TIME and, though it is not quite mastered, you have improved tremendously and are almost there.  Changing your diaper becomes a battle of wills and though we do usually get the diaper sealed I can't guarantee that your pants are always on, particularly when many snaps are involved.





You play well, and happily, all by yourself finding the same charm in your smile that we all see. You can talk to a wall while banging your open hands on it and this can truly amuse you for some time. 

You still love your bottles and depend on them most for your nutrition though you've been slowly enjoying food more and more. Although it is usually baby food we give you, you are starting to show a preference for table food. You're starting to get the chew motion down in spite of having only the same two teeth you've had for the last 4 months. And, though you're teething again, still, always- we haven't seen another pearly white pop through. Not yet anyway.

Daycare has been going great and you seem to really enjoy your days there with Miss Cheryl and Phoebe. And, of course, your days with Uncle Mat are special to you and to him. In his care you learn new and exciting things that only Uncle Mat could ever teach.  

8 months old and you weighed in at 18.10 pounds and 28 inches long.  This is a 2 lb gain and 1.5 inches since your 6 month measurement.  You are strong and solid, so this weight doesn't surprise me, but you are also very lean.

We started with the fall season events, my favorite, and we have enjoyed corn maizing, bon fires, pumpkin picking and more.  And, though your first halloween was mostly uneventful, you sure did look cute in costume.  For the Bright Eyes parade you wore a costume they donated to us, SHREK. I  called you Shrek-er the whole day.  It made me giggle.  For Ryder's halloween classroom party and the Van Aken bash that night you wore the Tootsie Roll.  Somehow, I don't have a great picture but you were my adorable Tootsie pop!  Then on Halloween night, while your brothers ran around trick or treating, you strolled with me, giggling and looking adorable.  I am sure next year you will hold a bigger hand of two of your brothers as you try to keep up as they go door to door.





Time goes too quickly, you're getting bigger every day.  I wish I had more moments with you but I am so thrilled to have you with us as we go through our chaotic days.  You are such a joy and we all love you so.

I love you, Decker!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

You Say Ya Want a Revolution


After a year of begging, and a year of Rec hockey, Chase has given up soccer to play ice hockey.  He is on Philadelphia Revolution Squirt White and is loving every minute of the "cool" sport.

He has improved dramatically in just these first two months and I am excited to see where he ends up by season's end.

He is an offenseman who shuffles between right wing and center.  He is learning to skate better, is making new friends, and is having a blast.  Here's to a great season!  Let's go Rev!


Hockey Tough