The Tovsky Tribe

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

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!! 

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Boy Formerly Known as Baby Four!

2 days. That's how long after his birth it took the formerly known "Baby Four" to be given a name.  Two days, plus the 32 weeks prior since we had found out about the pregnancy.

We had a whole list of names that we, well, really, that I was considering.  Some,  many, were outlandish and crazy.   Some were ones I actually liked.  Few were names that Todd deliberated as a possibility.  Any name he did regard as a potential name for his son, a determination made by his hesitation to say NO WAY, a lack of response at all, or, in some cases, a full-on MAYBE,  got moved to the short list.  The short list was where I assumed our baby's name would come from.

Armed with that list stored in my phone, I figured we would choose from the 8 names and come to an agreement within an hour from his birth, even before I was transferred to a room and was allowed visitors. In fact, of the 8, Todd only "sort of" liked 3 of them so I really never anticipated it would take us almost as many days to choose between 3 names.  Yet, it did.  We were those people that I never understood.  The people that referred to their newborn as "baby." The people that announced the birth of their nameless child.  Yep, that was us.

I had some first choice names all along, names that Todd originally said maybe to but, somewhere between my suggestion and baby's birth, they all became flat NO's.  And, even so, those names were less appealing to me as I held my gorgeous boy in my hand.  Stratton, Keaton, Burke; none of them seemed right for this olive skinned, dark-haired, peanut in my arms.  Dax, the name that I believed we would end up settling on, was now out of consideration as Todd decided he no longer liked it.  And, though I floated a few other names past my naming partner, it was as if he didn't hear me because he didn't even ponder them momentarily.

There we were, left with Dash, the in-utero nickname coined by our close friend, or the under the radar, not much mentioned but still there on the list, Decker. 

We were divided, Todd thinking he wanted Dash and me, unsure, but not wanting Dash. A name I thought was cute but not my son's name.  I debated it for days. I even called him Dash to try it on. It was a bit too cartoon-y for me.  We were stressed out about it and getting near settling on it just to pick a name. But then, the final straw of rejection, not only for me but for Todd too, was the double whammy of the term of endearment "Dashy" and the association of the name with the Kardashian clothing line.  No thanks, not interested in anything Kardashian related. 

And, so, it became Decker.  Dex, as a nickname. A different name!  One, I feel, sounds strong, and intelligent.  

Decker Tovsky.

That's our baby 4. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The most beautiful thing I have ever seen

Love at first sight

If you had asked me three weeks ago what the most beautiful thing I had ever seen was I would have answered, without hesitation, each of my son's faces.

If you were to ask me today, the very same question, I would have a different answer. And, not because my boys' faces are any less beautiful, in fact it is just the opposite. But, in light of our recent new addition, I've been privileged to witness beauty like I've never seen it before. 

Chase, Ryder and Turner are every bit as active as their action verb names imply. They are three different boys who, each in their own way, represent the true meaning of boy.  Hyper, excitable, active, fart-loving, mess-making boys!  They are dirty and crumby and loud and happy to be these things. 

And, still, they each are absolutely delightful. They all have a sensitive side. A charming side. A sweet as can be side. And, they are man enough to show it, when the time is right. 

So, when their baby brother was born, it didn't come as any surprise that they would show him undeniable love.  Yet, I couldn't have anticipated the beauty, the heartwarming and touching way, that they have fallen in love.  Each of them.

Yes, the boys love each other, they love me, they love Todd.  They love their grandparents and their cousins and aunts and uncles, and all of the people in their life that love them so unconditionally.  They love us and I don't doubt it but they never knew a life without loving us.  It is an inherent love, powerful and deep.

But, with Decker, it is different.  We watched them FALL IN LOVE.  For the very first time.  (Hopefully, not for the last time.)  We looked on as they saw life differently, for the first time, as they held their newborn brother in their arms.  We watched them as an understanding developed within them that this tiny little new person made all of our lives better.  We observed them as they realized that they would do anything to make sure their baby was taken care of.  We witnessed them as they took a breath and felt their heart expand, like it never had before.

Yes, we saw them fall in love.  It was, it is, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!