The Tovsky Tribe

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

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

2nd Generation Friends


Devin and Nicholas Sperling

Ryder, Chase, and Josh Cooper

Ellie Betesh

Max Seltzer

Remember when you were a kid and your parents forced you to hang out with their best friends kids? They would promise that you would like them and insist that you would be friends. I do not know about you, but I do not know that many people that can say "this is my best friend, our parents were best friends too." Yet, this is exactly what we are doing to our kids. Only, with our kids it will be different, wink wink!!

Todd grew up with his best friend Adam Cooper. They were as tight as two boys could be and maintain that friendship today. Wouldn't you know that Adam has a son, Josh, just two weeks younger than Chase and Ryder. It is a thrill for them, and for Jill and I, to watch them play and eventually grow up together. Of course, they will be good friends!! They can't see eachother daily, as it is geographically impossible, but they will be friends, indeed.

It does not end there. Our friend Derek is expecting a son in March. Todd and Derek became best friends in high school and despite two totally different personalities they have a unique friendship that is stronger than ever. Another generation of Stewart's teaching Tovsky's spanish? Perhaps. But certainly another generation of good times.

And, it continues. Two of my closest girlfriends have kids just a few months older than Chase and Ryder. Ellie Betesh, the only girl in the posse, will be going through school with my boys and we love to joke how one of them will take her to the prom. Are we joking??? Max Seltzer, along with Chase and Ryder, makes 3 of the 4some on a golf course and we are already preparing for the wonders they will be on the links. Amazingly, both Jenn (Max's mom) and Rachel (Ellie's mom) are expecting, so all 6 kids will be within in 20 months of eachother. More prom dates and a potential 4th? Absolutely.

Then, of course there is Ali and Erik. Though they do not live locally we imagine how much fun it will be when we go out of town to visit Devin and Nicholas, or the yet to be born Berlin Baby. Our boys will look forward to visiting Mommy and Daddy's friends in other states and their "Are we there yet's?" will be about excitement, not boredom.

And, it continues, with the close friends who have yet to conceive but will soon enough. These are the friends of Chase and Ryder's who will be just slightly younger- just young enough for my boys to have some friends to corrupt;)!!

With all of these forced friends, they will barely have time to make friends of their own. And why would they need to? We have hand-picked their friends for them, right from the fine crop of our closest friends. What better screening do they need?

Will we raise the first generation of second generation best friends that can actually say...."our parents were best friends too!"

Friday, January 26, 2007

Higher Education!

Why is it that you do not need a license to become a parent, but it seems you need a degree to open baby toys? It takes a real education to open the securely taped boxes and undo the parts which are fastened by a twistie twisted an innumerable amount of times. My lowly BA degree is clearly not enough, because I have yet to figure out why there is such security on these toys. Who is it protecting, and what is it protecting from? Luckily, it does not take much more than a mind of a baby to figure out which parts go where, particularly when cleaning up.
Baby food is not all that different. I use a number of different brand foods, but the gerber foods in the plastic rectangular container always leave me with a mark. There's a lid, then a foil covering. I understand the need for both of these layers and am not questioning that. It is the damn foil, however, that challenges me. There is not a corner marked OPEN HERE, and everytime you finally get an edge up and start to pull back, it lets the air out and undoubtedly leaves a carrot stain on my white shirt! My fault, mom's of babies should know better than to wear white.
I suppose if I had gotten a Bachelor of Science as opposed to the Arts, the merger of buttons at the bottom of pajamas and other one piece outfits would not end up criss-crossed? You would think a creative mind could figure out which snap goes where, but perhaps a degree in engineering would be more suitable. (For a great blog on this subject, click here)
I am grateful that diapers seemed to have remained at an elementary school level, and hopefully their advancement is slow enough that my kids will be out of them before we must have a masters degree to correctly diaper our children!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Don't Talk to Strangers!

This is what I have noticed more than anything else being the mother and immediate caretaker to twins: When in public, everyone stares, most people smile, and a lot stop to talk. The first question, with the most obvious answer, is are they twins? This used to crack me up....but since it starts 90% of the conversations, I guess the question is not that stupid?? My answer, always the same, YES, then triggers stories of other people's twins, how they are a twin, or a grandparent, mother, aunt, friend, sister, etc. of twins. Perhaps I should say NO to the question next time, just for fun, and see where that conversation leads. Anyway, the conversation continues and within it is always at least two inappropriate and personal questions, usually being 1. Are there twins in your family or were these fertility? and 2. Did you breastfeed them? Let me remind you that I do not know these people...they are mere strangers passing me in the aisle at the supermarket. I always answer these questions, then wonder why I felt the need to be so honest. Perhaps, anyone with a baby, one baby, receives such an inquisition, but my experience is only with two. This was a bit surprising to me in my first public appearances, as I never made it a practice to ask strangers questions about their lives.
I understand, to a degree, the fascination with twins, and perhaps a "your babies are beautiful" and even, "what are their names" may be reasonable, but does it not cross anyone's minds that I have two babies to tend to, and I do not have time to waste talking to strangers?
Amazingly, and despite the fact that Chase and Ryder are no longer squishy faced infants, these same strangers seeing my boys for the first, and likely, last time, always think they are identical twins. When I say NO, they are not, they ask if I am sure, and then tell me how much they look alike. I always answer in kind, in order to be a good-natured and polite role-model to my boys, and tell them I am positive they are not identical. I point out the not-so-subtle differences in their appearances and these strangers usually disagree with me. Which is fine. These are the same people who offer advice about how the babies are probably cold because one inch of skin is showing and it is flurrying outside, or how it is going to be so hard when they start crawling, walking, running in different directions and I may want to hire help. I think what I want to hire is a person who has to have these conversations for me. That would be a help!! In a world where we are taught over and over NOT TO TALK TO STRANGERS, its a whole new set of rules when toting twins.
Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate people noticing the boys. When they notice Chase's dimples, or Ryder's eyes, their heads of hair, or how well-behaved they are, I feel an immediate sense of pride. I grin with delight when they say hello and Chase begins his flirting and Ryder casts a smile. I am thankful when they offer kind words, as nothing makes a mother more proud, and it is these kind words that has me stopping for the next stranger, just one aisle over, and beginning a whole new conversation again.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Chase and Ryder are 6 Months Old!!

Chase and Ryder at 6 Months

When I was pregnant, my friends and acquaintances with twins all said the same thing..."The first 6 months are the hardest." I was warned how we would not sleep, eat, or leave the house much in this first half year, but the second half would prove to be a considerable improvement. I never let these horror stories scare me. I figured I had few choices about handling life with twins so I just took the words as advice and stored them deep with in my memory bank.
Just last week my twins reached this milestone which I was told would be my life saver. I am amazed by so many things in regards to this, such as how quickly the 6 months passed, how big they have gotten, how active they have become, but the thing that amazes me the most is that it was these first 6 months that I was warned were so difficult. Our experience was not quite like that.
Maybe it is because I have a husband who pitches in 100% when he is home. Maybe it is because I have loving family on both sides living near by. Maybe it is because Todd and I both have relaxed personalities so we never make too big of a deal about much. Or, maybe, it is because we are blessed with two very good little boys. Regardless of why, I am proud to say we have gotten through these first 6 months with a coast that just had a few minor bumps along the way.
In the early weeks, the difficulties were two. One was simply tearing myself away from staring at my peacefully sleeping sons so that I could get something accomplished. The other was the lack of sleep, which took a month or so to catch up to me. Once it did it definitely took its toll but the reminder that it was just a phase kept us moving.
As time passed time management was my struggle. I could not figure out how in the few hours between feeding I was supposed to clean bottles, do laundry, straighten up, admire my guys, and breathe. It does not sound like very much to do, but it is. Although I have improved in this area of time management, I do still struggle a bit there.
As they got bigger, and heavier, I could no longer place them both on the boppy lounger for bottle feeds so I found a new system. They started eating solids and they learned patience while I learned efficiency.
Around month 4, Todd and I started to get our lives back. We were sleeping through the night, which improved everything. We were able to leave the boys with sitters (READ: Grandparents) and enjoy a night out. We put them to bed by 8:00pm and the had rest of the evening to ourselves.
I suppose there are things that made the first 6 months tough, but it was really not so bad. I am curious how life will be when they begin to crawl and are off in different directions. Maybe then the remaing 20 pounds of baby weight will start to disappear. However, if I take the advice of my twin-experienced friends, then the hardest is over. If the hardest was this much fun, I am excited for the easier times.

At six months old, though a bit on the smaller side, both Chase and Ryder seem to be fully caught up and achieving the milestones of any other 6 month old. Although Chase rolled over first he seemed to struggle with the desire to do it. Ryder, however, since figuring it out he rolls incessantly. Chase now goes both ways and does it often enough that we no longer need to practice with him. We do, however, continue to praise his efforts with each successful roll. Both boys are on their way to sitting up. Though they have never sat fully upright, they have sat for two minutes each, folded in half leaning on their arms, and they both love to sit up when supported. This is the first step. They both sleep through the night and take great morning naps. Their afternoon naps are not as consistent. Ryder is close to holding his bottle, he just needs to figure out the correct angle. Chase is not yet ready. Chase loves to bounce in his jumperoo and he laughs at himself the whole time he is bouncing. Ryder found a friend in Mr. Sunshine that lives on his exersaucer. Both boys get a kick out of their learning puppy and spend many hours eating their feet. When it is not their feet in their mouth, it is anything else they can put their hands on. Both are good eaters, though Ryder seems to be a bit more picky than Chase. Ryder is a snuggler, Chase not so much. At their most recent pediatrician appointment they weighed in at 15lbs and 14lbs-12 oz, Chase being the heavier (and longer) of the two. And, finally, at the risk of sounding like nothing more than a boasting mother, I am proud to say that they are both very good boys who laugh often, smile much, and cry seldomly.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Happy Holidays!!

What a fun time of year. So much celebrating (READ: Eating and Drinking!).
We celebrated our first hanukkah with Chase and Ryder. It is unbelievable how many gifts two little babies can receive from loving family and friends. Most of the stuff is still sitting in boxes as they are not ready for a lot of it yet. Our first holiday season with our little men was celebrated by their first major colds of the season, a minor case of bronchialitus, and a remedy of nebulizer treatment 4 times a day. They both hated it and fought us the whole 12-15 minutes. We never knew how strong they really are.
Our first New Years Eve with them was enjoyable. Our typical new years soiree it was not, and I did learn that is entirely more difficult to have a party while trying to tend to two babies. A final lesson learned before saying goodbye to 2006.
The best part was that Todd was home all week and Chase, Ryder and myself loved having him around. I think he was excited to go back to work, however:)
I have always loved the holidays. Thanksgiving to New Years is just a fun 6 weeks. As a kid I always used to look forward to getting together with my cousins to celebrate and I am so thrilled to be able to give similar memories to my kids. Getting the cousins together (ages 10-6 mos) is a thrill to watch and we look forward to them continuing to grow up together. I was fortunate to have my cousin for a best friend growing up. Todd also had a very close relationship with his cousin growing up, which he maintains to this day. Unfortunately, however, he does not live nearby. Now that we are adults, these relationships are just as important. All 6 of the first cousins, and the in-laws too, have a really wonderful relationship. We actually enjoy eachother's company and plan dates to hang out. I know we are lucky, and I hope to cultivate similar relationships for Chase and Ryder and their cousins.
On New Years day we celebrated again, this time with the entire extended family. That was fun. 6 of the oldest generation (x2 for spouses) led to 18 of our generation. As we start to marry off and have kids, the family tree continues to blossom. We are now up to 25 cousins (7 of us are married) and 14 children with one on the way. This is just the very beginning and getting everyone together is not only a reminder of a wonderful childhood, but the start of everlasting memories for my boys.
The holiday season is definitely fun and though Todd and I have always had the holiday spirit, it is certainly more exciting when seeing it through the eyes of children. Getting together with family and friends is always special and we know, as Chase and Ryder get older they will appreciate those moments as much as we do.