The Tovsky Tribe

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

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Family Support

Last night, Todd and I went to the Ritz at the Bourse to see the premiere of the documentary: Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner. Though we do find documentaries in general interesting, we have no particular interest in the theater, nor in Tony Kushner. We went simply, in support of Todd Shotz who worked passionately on this project for the last five years.
I have never made a movie, I have never even been involved in making a movie, I hardly make home movies so I will say that I am proud of Todd for being in a position to say he was part of a documentary released on the big screen. With that being said, I must say I found the movie to be awful. With all due respect to the documentarian I just found it boring, uninteresting, lacking entertainment value. Sure, Tony Kushner seems to be a somewhat interesting man, a succesful playwright, and a controversial activist but I am not sure he has a mass appeal. Maybe it was me. At first, I thought, I have to say I liked it, I have to show support to my cousin. But then I realized I am entitled to my opinion as much as anyone else. I did not enjoy the movie! I am sorry Todd, I love you and I am proud of your work and your accomplishments, but I just did not enjoy it. With that being said, however, I want to make it clear that I went to the movie for one reason only, to support Todd. I would go to see another of his projects for the same reason, and I hope he has more movies for me to sit through. I can't guarantee I will like them all, but I will guarantee I will support them all, anyway I can.
It's like Jericho. The previews did not catch my interest, the premise did not seem to appeal to my love for nighttime drama, but I tuned in to the very first episode, and every once since then, to support my cousin (and Todd's brother) Dan Shotz. He is producing the show, and I am very proud of him. I like the show, though it does not rank amongst my favorites, but as long as it airs I will watch it. I want it to catch a buzz, I want it to be picked up, I want it to run for years, even be released in syndication, because Dan deserves it!
That is what family is for, and we are all so lucky to have each other.


I used to see my closest friends all of the time. I even saw my good friends pretty often. It is just what I did, I made plans. I had a full social calendar and it covered a whole gamet of lifetime friends. Beth and I (and Dave and Todd) went out every weekend. Jenn and I walked home from work, then hit the gym. Rachel and I had our weekly brunch. Life for me was about staying in close contact to the friends I considered family and the family I considered friends. I still believe in that life, but find it so much harder to connect.
Now a days, the people I spend the most time with are girls I just met. On the surface, what we have in common is that we have kids around the same age. As we get to know eachother better I know we will find we have more than that in common. These girls are great and I look forward to continuing to mold friendships with them, but it does amaze me that I have to work so hard to spend time with my closest friends.
I live a half mile from Rachel and getting together requires a date on the calendar. And, since both of our schedules revolve around our children's activities, free time on the calendar is not easy to come by.
Jenn is off on Wed. but that never seems to work for us, so weekends become the best time to get together. Of course, that is family time, and unless Todd has another commitment I try to not take the boys away from him on the weekends. Of course, golf season is among us, so soon I will have many more free Saturdays for Jenn and Max and soon-to-be baby boy #2.
Although we are starting to go out more on the weekends, we still do not see Beth and Dave all that often. They do not even have kids yet and we still have a hard time connecting. We were just fortunate to spend last Saturday night with them, and the great time we had reminded me why (not that I forgot) why we spent so many weekends together in the past.
There are others, far too many to list. Siblings, cousins, friends, all of whom we love to spend time with and yet being able to is more difficult than we ever imagined.
I know this is the way of the world. We were once all so tight, we were each other's l ives. We seemed to have unlimited time to spend with others and we always spent it together. Our endless nights in bars all of us together are times that every 20-something should have, and they are some of my greatest memories. But, now we all have separate lives, with our husbands, our children, our families. We are in each other's lives and, like everything else that means anything, we have to work at the relationship. And I will, and they will, this I know and it is worth it. When we do find the time, we pick up where we left off in our chatter, we are amazed by the growth and change of each other's kids, we are fascinated by the depths of our friendship, and we know why we are such good friends, no matter how often we do or do not see eachother.

Tooth Fairy!

When kids lose a tooth the tooth fairy comes, and in exchange for the lost tooth the kid gets a prize, usually gelt of some kind. From what I understand, the gelt amount has increased tremendously since I was a kid. Anyway, it seems that there should be a visit from the tooth fairy when a child gets his first teeth. They have to endure some pain, discomfort at least, and then when it breaks through the parents, if not the kid, are awfully excited.
I found this to be case, the excitement of the parent, when Ryder's first tooth came in 10 weeks and 3 days ago, his second one a week later and when Chase's first two teeth simultaneously broke the skin yesterday. A cause for celebration, perhaps, but how do you celebrate with an 8 month old or two? So, in lieu of candy they can not have or toys they do not need I dropped a few coins into each of their piggy banks and wrote this blog.
Why is it we get so excited? Is it that it looks cute when these tiny teeth stick out from once naked gums? Is it simply the milestone of getting teeth? Is it just exciting to see growth and development as we are supposed to? Its all of these things and more, but it is certainly worth documenting.
So, the cute teeth are there, and there are lots more to come over the next few years. Its shocking, every time, when they bite on your fingers and you are quickly reminded they have teeth!! Those tiny little teeth are sharp as blades, and cute as they may be, they hurt!
We'll need to start brushing their teeth now, and we will teach them how to take care of their teeth, and we will hope that neither of them got the teeth of the Citrenbaum's- cavities and root canals are all too common.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Chase, Ryder and I joined a playgroup. Some of the mom's we have music and gym with invited us in to their all ready established group. We were grateful for the invitation. It is an interesting concept: Babies too young to know what's going on playing amongst each other and Mother's, most in desperate need of adult conversation, attempting at conversing while keeping both eyes on their kids at all times. It is good for everyone!
The first time we went we were quickly introduced to those we did not know. All the mom's are so nice and the kids, of course, adorable. I was intrigued that Chase and Ryder were amongst the oldest. Mostly because I am so used to them being the babies of the group, whether it was with Amy or Jenn or Rachel. Of course, this is all about to rapidly change, but that is for another blog.
It is a wonder to me when kids start to recognize faces, names, voices. Do Chase and Ryder know their new friends? They see them every week, some several times a week. Do the kids of the other mom's know them, know me for that matter? It will be fun to watch, over time, as they do begin to recognize each other, as they start to get excited to see each other and as they continue to mold their own friendships from the seeds that we planted for them.
For now, they will play amongst each other, steal each other's toys, and occasionally and accidentally knock each other over. And, as time passes, we will do our best to teach them the social skills necessary to hang out in a crowd, the manners necessary to be invited back, and the loyalty required to be a great friend.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Sweet Dreams!!

Todd and I just got home from a night out. We left the kids, for the first time, with a hired babysitter. She is a nice girl, and had spent one afternoon with them previously. The feedback was they were good, went to bed with only a few minutes of crying, and all in all it was good night. After dismissing our sitter, Todd and I ran up the steps, as we usually do, to kiss goodnight the boys we did not get to put to bed. There are not very many better moments than the one when we first enter and see our sleeping boys- cuddled into their favorite corners, snuggling their blankets, peacefully asleep. They never look more beautiful, and I want to bottle the tender moment for them, for another time, when life is much more complicated.
Tonight, Chase is on his belly, Ryder on his back, both relaxed and sweet. We stare for a moment, rub their heads, kiss them, tell them goodnight, that we love them and we will see them in the morning. Then we pause again, and look one last time before leaving. I hope they are dreaming sweet dreams, perhaps of the new things tomorrow will bring.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Idiot Proof!

I have never liked baby gates. It's not that I do not believe in their purpose, it is simply that I can never figure them out. It sounds silly, I know. But, I am usually fiddling for a few minutes at the top of the stair case trying to open the gate that I eventually step over.
However, it seems the time has come. Ryder is now crawling and though when we are watching him it does not seem that he is moving all that quickly, when we turn our backs he seems to really start cruising. That's when he can get across the room in no time. Chase is doing the army crawl, and though he is much more trustworthy when left alone in a room, it is only a matter of time before they are racing to the same toy, which Ryder will likely end up stealing.
So for the safety of my children, my house will soon be idiot proofed. Chase, Ryder and myself will be trapped on the different levels of our home. Our relief will either be my stepping over the gate, or a rescue from Todd. I can see it now, Chase on my left hip, Ryder on right, phone in mouth and over we step. It sounds scary. Perhaps, when the baby-proofer comes to install he will give me a brief lesson that will actually sink in. It is not that no one has ever shown me how to use these gates, it is just not something my brain can comprehend. I can tell you, with certainty, the phone numbers of the homes my best friends from grade school grew up in, but I can not learn to open a baby gate.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

A letter to my sons on their 8 month birthday!

Dear Chase and Ryder,

Yesterday you turned 8 months old!! 8 months, it seems old in a strange sort of way. You are getting to be such big boys. Three quarters of the year has passed us by and it all happened just so quickly. Today you were weighed in order to get your Synagis shot. Ryder for the first time since your birth you outweigh Chase, by three ounces--17 pounds 4 oz to 17 pounds 1 oz. This is a gain from your 6 month appointment of 2 pounds 1 ounce for Chase and 2 pounds 10 oz. for Ryder.

The most amazing thing happened in the last few weeks, you began to notice each other. This is a moment that melts the heart of a mommy. You tend to enjoy each other the most when you are in your cribs and you can see one another through the slats. Giggles usually follow and I often stand outside your closed door at bedtime, listening, smiling.

You both continue to teethe, you drool constantly and will chew on anything you get near your mouth. One particular favorite is my hair, though I am sure that does not help soothe the teething. Every morning I check for teeth, but the count remains at 2 teeth for Ryder and none for Chase. Soon enough, soon enough.

Ryder, your crawling has improved. You do attempt at crawling on all four's. You can usually take a step or so, then you fall onto your belly. I can not, however, turn my back on you for very long, because you do manage to get from point A to point B with a rather speedy Army Crawl. Chase, your interest in crawling has not yet been piqued and I often wonder if it is because you are too lazy, too laid back, too uninterested, or too smart. After all, once your brother learns, can't you send him on your errands?

Ryder you have learned to climb up onto your knees. Daddy or I will come get you in the morning and you are peeking out over the top of your crib. It is very cute, but we are aware that all too soon you will be climbing right out of that crib. You can not pull yourself to standing yet, but like most things it will just happen one day, seemingly out of nowhere. You love to climb on me, and though you still need my help to get up fully you continue to try and try demonstrating that determination once again.
Chase, you do not really climb, you usually just sit and grin then ask with a look and the outreach of your arms to be lifted. I almost always abide. You are such an even keeled baby and it takes a lot to really make you cry. Ryder's pulling your hair or stealing your toys is something you often let roll right off of your chest. You smile often, and your dimples are revealed, and daddy and I say that you are the happiest baby we know. Ryder, you are a bit more animated, but also more extreme. You can be hysterically crying and then just start laughing. Your cry is as persistent as your determination.

Chase you are losing interest in your bottle and seem to be much more interested in table food. We have begun trying new foods, some noodles, avocados, chicken, turkey, meatballs, and you are very good at eating the the little puffs. You took to chewing immediately and I imagine it will not be much longer before you are eating only table foods. The sippy cup, however, you are still trying to learn. I give it to you with every meal, but I am not sure you have figured out that it provides you with a drink. We will continue to try, one day, like everything else, you will figure it out.
Ryder, your eating has improved a lot in the last week or so. You are really starting to get the knack for chewing as well and you seem to be starting to enjoy the different textures more and more everyday. Your sippy cup does make it to your mouth once or twice before ending up on the ground. You do tend to hold your own bottle, but only when you are laying down, and never with any consistency. You both love to steal the spoon from me, and will play with it, or even suck on it.

Ryder you have learned to clap, and though it is usually at random, in the last few days you are doing it when we say clap, or even hooray. You smile when you clap and we always smile in return. Peek-a-boo continues to be a favorite of both of yours, along with "The itsy bitsy spider" and the song "Open them, shut them." You both love books and will reach for the pages as I read to you. You enjoy feeling the pages in the touchy feely book That's Not My Train and you both seem to love "The Teacher" page in Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? That teacher, she always makes you guys giggle.

You both love your bath, are both good sleepers, and both laugh when I tickle your faces with the ribboned roll-a-round ball. Ryder when you laugh you shut your eyes half way, and Chase you can often laugh silently, just with that smile of yours and those dimples, but when you are in the mood to give your giggle it is adorable. You love it when I bbbbuuuuuuuuuuuuzzzzz like a bumblebee. I am not sure why that sound makes you smile with such delight, but I will do it for you anytime. Daddy still makes you laugh the hardest and his arrival home after a work day seems to be your favorite part of the day. You are two special littly guys. I realize that the reason male babies are called son's to their parents is because you light up our world. I am amazed every day by everything about you both and am thankful that we have been blessed with such good, happy, handsome boys.

Happy 8th Month Birthday my little baby love's.

I love you so,

Friday, March 2, 2007


Tonight, I returned to my childhood. Growing up (literally 1/4 mile from where I live), I was often fed noodles and egg. This was the meal on nights when we were in a hurry, or if my mom was going out, or if, frankly, she had no time to cook. I loved this meal, and therefore would also have it upon request. Many years later, when I told a former co-worker of mine that this was something I often ate, she simply asked "Were you poor?" This was not something I had ever thought about, not as a child growing up nor later as the foodie adult I became. However, I did find the question interesting and decided to ask my mom about it. Her answer, after a chuckle, was as simple as the question. No, we were not poor. My grandmother created the meal as a way to get some protein into her kids' diets when they really preferred to eat pasta (as many kids do.) Her kids loved it (My mother and Uncle) and, as a result, they both made it for their children. My siblings, my cousins, and myself all enjoyed noodles and egg. Tonight I made this meal for myself. I had not eaten it in 12 years or so, but every bite made me feel like a child again. I guess it won't be long before I am serving Chase and Ryder this meal. I will serve it simply, the good old fashioned way, and let them enjoy the basic meal. And, perhaps, the foodie in me will give it a gourmet edge. Either way, I hope Chase and Ryder can tell stories of this basic meal when they are adults and trace it all the way back to their great-grandmother, who they will never know, but always know of.

If they could speak...

If Chase and Ryder could speak, would they ask:

1. Why is it Mommy, that when you speak to others you use a normal voice, but when you speak to us your pitch gets a whole lot higher?
2. Why do you ask us the same questions everyday? Sure I like the giraffe, yes, it is a blue square, no, I do not want to hold my bottle myself.
3. Do you realize you are tone deaf?
4. Do you dance like that in public too?
and I would like to believe they would also ask....
5. Do you know how much we love you?

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Our Happy Boys!

7 Months 3 weeks!

Wait, you are not me!!

I read during my twin research, 99.9% of which was done during my pregnancy, that twins do not realize they are two separate people for most of the first year. Although I delighted in the moments of them holding hands or cuddling next to each other when they slept, I understood that it was not to be closer to their brother, but simply to themselves. During this research I also learned that around 8 months they would discover there were actually two of them.
Chase and Ryder will be 8 months next week. As it turns out, over the past few weeks we have started noticing glimpses of this discovery and have been not-so-patiently awaiting the moment of truth. There have been some exchanged smiles, but they always seemed to be at random, and lately, Ryder will place his hand on his brother's shoulder in a true brotherly love kind of way. The other night they discovered each other in their cribs (as mentioned in the peek-a-boo slats blog) and the laughter amongst each other was truly a moment I will never forget. Ryder seems to be the aggressor. He is the one who takes Chase's toys or pulls his hair, but he is also the one that initiates the laughter or reaches for a hand, or places his hand on his brother shoulder. I am not sure yet if he is doing any of this with any kind of awareness, but I know some day he will, and I have a feeling I will delight in these tiny gestures for the rest of my life.

Is it possible that finally my boys are realizing that they are in fact two separate beings? Will they find a comfort in each other that can't be found in anyone else? Will they look for each other when out of sight, and smile with delight when found? Will they talk in a secret language and finish each other's sentences? Will just a look speak volumes to the other? Perhaps, and I will revel in every minute of finding out!!

Control Freaks!!

Who needs toys? Playskool, Infantino, I know they spend too much time and money developing new toys that will help babies develop their skills. Most of these toys are great, I am not scared to admit I usually get a kick out of most them (Read: too much time with babies.) But, who needs them, really? All my boys want to play with is the remote controls, the telephones, the cell phones, the camera. Once they focus on these pieces of technology no singing dog can distract them. Once, they accidentally called my parents. Mom-mom and pop-pop were thrilled to hear their grandsons babbling on the other end, we were thankful it was a local call. When we hang out in the den they are really in their glory, 4 remotes to choose from. All different sizes, all filled with lots of buttons. They have the time of their lives. They love to mute the television right in the middle of an important news break (also known as the climactic moment in my nighttime drama) or fast forward through the show I previously recorded. Sometimes, they just hit menu on the TV remote and all sorts of options appear on the screen. One day, Todd and I got smart, or so we thought. We took the batteries out of the dvd remote and gave it to them to play with. Everyone would be happy. Only, Chase and Ryder are no dummies, they knew. That particular remote is no longer a thrill for them. How do they even know there are no batteries in it? The mobiles on their cribs do not have batteries and they still seem to laugh out loud at the dangling animals. Why are they only happy if their button pushing is disturbing my television viewing? I have considered buying them the telephone baby toy, but my boys are too smart, they will just want the real thing.