The Tovsky Tribe

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

Sunday, August 26, 2007

First Flight!

A lost camera, a first tantrum, and a bloody nose was how our adventure began. This past weekend we spent less than 48 hours in Florida. Although the trip was enjoyable and worthwhile, the travels were less than ideal.
Here is the thing about one year old boys, our boys at least, they do not like to sit still for two minutes let alone 2 hours.
Our flight was leaving at 5:15pm. We were aware that this was not nap time, bed time, or even the boys best time of day. We did figure, however, that we could entertain them in many 2 minute increments, plus feed them for a good 20 minutes or so and somehow, pass the time naturally. We were seeing the glass a bit too half full, I realize.
Things started out great and the boys were on their best behavior. We boarded the plane and set ourselves up so that the necessities (books, toys, cups, snacks) were within a one handed reach. Excited to photograph the boys on their first airplane ride I reached for my camera that I take with me everywhere, ready for those moments you just need to capture...only to learn that it was not in my bag. Immediately I knew that it was gone forever, left behind, perhaps, at Crazy Eight Bar in the Atlantic City Airport. I was immediately angry, and without my camera this first flight could not be captured on film. Unable to do anything about it, I tried to forget it for the time being....I was unable to.
The boys did not misbehave, per say, but they did climb up and down from floor to seat, flirt with the nice lady behind us, crawl over us and back, bang on the windows, squeal- often in delight, and so forth.
At take off they both put their noses to the window, watched out and screamed in excitement. They loved it, and Todd and I were thrilled that it was going to be an easy ride. As time passed, however, we felt the walls of the plane sinking in, as the cabin grew too small. Both Chase and Ryder found delight in turning the seats into their obstacle course and there was very little Todd or I could do to contain them.
Despite our best efforts, the descent proved to be troublesome, particularly for Chase who screamed an inconsolable wail for 25 minutes. His back was arched, his arms were flailing, his face was red and his screamed echoed. His flailing led to the bloody nose (mine) and I was never so happy to land.
Upon arrival in Florida, we quickly learned what was missing from our very nice accomodation...cribs. In case you are wondering a king sized bed does not sleep two tired adults and two rambunctious toddlers comfortably. We managed.
Our time in Florida, however, was quite enjoyable. We spent the day on Friday with Todd's mom-mom and it was wonderful for the boys to spend time with their great-grandmother. She looked great and was immediately overjoyed by the presence of her great-grandsons. Friday evening was spent with Todd's aunt. In addition to her spending time with the boys, we got to exchange stories and laughs. Aunt Bonnie's laugh is the best, and she makes for a great audience. Saturday we attended Joannie Herbert's Celebration of Life Memorial. The crowd was overwhelming, and the kind words being spoken were warming. It was not the place for Chase and Ryder, but we were able to keep them maintained, happy to be showing our respects to the mourning and allowing the distant family to meet our precious boys.
When it came time for the flight home we went into it with an open mind. It was now bed time and perhaps we would have different, better results. Not so much.
A basic repeat of the flight to Florida we were left wondering if we will ever fly with our kids again.....which has yet to be determined.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Specchi-OH NO!!

Todd and I enjoyed our first night out down the shore all summer this past Saturday night. We had babysitting, reservations, a cab, all was well. We were able to get a reservation at the well known Specchio, in the Borgata. This was a restaurant we had been wanting to try for quite some time due to the fine Italian cuisine and the wine cellar.
Excited, we arrived 30 minutes early for our 8:30pm reservation and headed down the winding stairway to Ombra, the wine bar of Specchio. The scene was impressive and their wine list was expansive. I enjoyed a Zinfandel and Todd a Cabernet.
Just prior to our reservation time, we approached the Maitr'd to be seated. We took the time to notice the beautiful decor, the contemporary artwork, the jeweled rails. We were seated upstairs at a handsome table and presented with a wine book and our menus. Our wait staff introduced themselves and explained the dual service. So far all was well and the decor and initial service both got A's.
When we looked at the food menu there seemed to be a number of things we both wanted to try. Described as "The Very Best we have to Offer," Todd and I decided to have two tasting menu's allowing us to try a number of things on the menu, all of which would be the best. We were excited by the dual offering on each of the 5 courses.
The meal began with with a mushroom crepite (small crepe) and a lobster and crab cake. Both were decent, thought neither were bursting with flavor, and the crepite had a lot of cheese. Though I do love cheese, it was a bit overpowering.
The second course, the pasta course, presented us with a cheese ravioli and a gnocchi. Again, it was OK, the dominant flavors were butter and cheese, and though the pasta was homemade I was satisfied by the small amount served and was not left hungering for more. At this point, Todd and I felt that it was OK thus far, not quite the punch we were expecting but not so disappointing. However, we knew the best was still yet to come.
The third course, the fish course, was a scallop and arctic char. I ate the scallop first and did find it to be rather tasty and very well cooked. My first bite of the arctic char also happened to be my last. Not only did it lack any flavor at all, but it was completely over-cooked and so dry I reached immediately for my water. I looked at Todd, whose face said exactly what I was thinking, and with less than a bite taken from each we decided to send it back. We do not tend to send things back too often, but being served an inedible piece of fish during the "Best we have to Offer" Chef's Tasting is rather dissatisfying.
Apologetic, our waiter offered us a piece of rare blue fin tuna, which did sound delicious to both of us. However, ten minutes later our server returned only to say he had spoken too soon and there was, and I quote, "not enough tuna left to give it to us."
This pissed us off pretty good. We were paying for the highest ticket item on the menu and yet we were not worthy of the remaining tuna. Instead, we were given halibut, which was even less tasteful, more dry, and more overcooked than the arctic char. We did not think it was possible. We sent this back as well to the surprise of our server who said "this has never happened before, our cooks nail the fish every time!"
We decided to skip any additional attempts at fish and move on to the meat course. It is a shame we were a bit jaded at this point because the meat course was actually very, very good. Perfectly tender, filled with flavor, and we both wished we had ordered the lamb chop and the veal chop as our entrees.
Finally, we were given dessert. I have never actually said this before, but dessert was terrible. The ten layer chocolate cake was as dry as the fish, and the other dessert did not even make it to my memory.
We discussed our disappointment with the restaurant manager who tried to make it up to us with a reduced price. Though this did ease the pain a bit, our overall experience at Specchio was less than satisfying. Although we had a nice evening, we found that the Best that Specchio had to offer was lacking in flavor, tenderness and service. We will have no reason to return to this restaurant despite the very good lamb chops.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Equal the coconut skin!

I had been in search of a part-time babysitter. Someone who could watch the boys for a few hours one day during the week so that I could manage to accomplish an errand or two. I tapped the resource of Rachel, who has many neighbors all with full-time nannies. Nannies know people, they travel in the same circles. Rach was able to produce for me, only instead of a few hours I would get an entire day- 8:30-4:30 and she would clean, organize, straighten and watch the boys, whatever I needed. This seemed like something I could use.

Lela started three weeks ago. I have her on Tuesdays and she has been wonderful. My house is cleaned, my closets are organized, and though the timing is never exactly punctual that is something I can deal with. She is very good with the kids, and the kids seem to like her. All is well. Only there is one thing. Lela does not speak english. I was told she understands it better than she speaks it, but I have been finding that to not be the case. I have only left the boys with her once so far, and they were in good hands, especially since they do not yet speak. Their first words could be in Portuguese.

This past Tuesday I was trying to communicate with my housekeeper. I really just wanted to run down a few things. We were trying to get out of the house for the day so I asked her to please dress the boys. She played with them. Ok, well at least they were having fun. Finally, I got her to take them upstairs to dress them and she was trying to tell me something...I have no idea what. I had found a translation website on the internet so I asked her to write down what she was saying in portuguese and I told her I would translate it. She did. I did. It said "Equal the coconut skin!" I do not think that is what she was trying to tell me, so it seems that even the web is not going to help me communicate with Lela.

I am in a bind. I want to keep her. I like what she does for us, she is very sweet, and she is a huge help to me but it is a problem when I think she is complementing my boys' tanned bodies and really she is aking me if they need a diaper change (or something else of vital importance.)

Any suggestions on breaking this language barrier are welcome!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A letter to my sons on their 13th month birthday!

My precious boys,

Yesterday you turned 13 months old!! Counting the months as an age after the first year is something your daddy has never been into. To him you are One year, one month. I do not disagree with this, but you are still at an age where so much changes month to month that I feel writing you these letters continues to be important. I know we won't and can't count months forever, but there is a lot to report.

Now that you are over a year you are considered a toddler, despite the fact that you do not yet toddle. You are both trying, however. Ryder you have been cruising for quite some time now. In fact, we thought you would have been walking on your own by now, but it seems you are happy in the cruising stage. You will walk, quite quickly, when holding our hands, one hand even and have attempted at a few steps. You have taken up to 7 steps on your own and then fallen but always with a large grin. You get quite a kick out of walking and within weeks, perhaps, you will be doing so on your own. Chase, although you are now cruising just as well, you are not as daring at taking your own steps. You have tried, and today you took 4 before falling. You seem to be most interested in taking these steps after you see Ryder try. We continue to encourage you both to walk, well aware of how difficult life will become for mommy:)

Chase, you are trying to talk. You attempt at a lot of words and have seemed to master a few (bubble, pooh.) You will often mimic what we say, using correct tone but not necessarily the right word. Ryder, your babbling continues and your attempt at words or sounding out words is worthy of recognition. Today, for instance, you said banana three times. You said it clearly, while eating a banana, but when asked later you would not say it again. You do that with many "tricks." You show us you can, but then never go back and do it again. Eventually you will, I am sure.

Chase, you have begun doing peek-a-boo. Your little hands cover your face and then you pull them away. It is adorable. You can also blow kisses! Your personality is friendly and outgoing and you will likely be the extrovert of your father.
Ryder, you are a bit more chill. You seem to like to hang with the guys while your brother flirts with the ladies. You like to high five and laugh when it is funny and be cool when it is not.

We have spent a lot of time this summer on the beach and you are both quite the beach bums. You love the sand (to eat it and to play with it), you love the water and will sit at waters edge and let the wave roll over you. You both can be on the beach for hours and it has been wonderful. You have also learned to nap on the beach, which has worked out well for daddy and I.

Ryder, you have another tooth coming in the bottom and Chase you still only have two, which I find surprising. Despite your lack of teeth you have no problems biting or chewing and it has not stopped you from eating everything you love.

You had your first hair cuts. You both cried for the duration (2 minutes) but made it through successfully. We took you to Personal Touch, where Jack, who cuts daddy and Poppy's hair, cut the third generation of Tovsky boys. Your hair was pretty long, just as I like it, so it is a bit shorter now but you look so cute. You look older now, like little boys. We saved your hair in envelopes, hopefully we still have it when you are reading this so you can see. Ryder your hair seems much lighter now that it was cut and Chase your curls are still there. It will be some time before we cut it again.

Your favorite toys seem to be musical instruments; drums, xylophone's, maraca's. I am trying to teach you to use the kazoo, but as expected you both just love to chew on it. You also enjoy ride on toys and toy cars. I am trying to work on ball throwing with you, but neither of you have quite grasped it.

You can both go down the steps correctly now (backwards), in addition to get off the couch, or the bed or anything that is raised. It is quite impressive, actually, to watch you turn around and send yourself down off the bed, etc.

We have not turned you around in the car yet, as we have been waiting on Ryder's 11 ounce gain. I suppose we probably could by now. I am sure you will both enjoy it much more when you are facing forward.

Chase we do continue to go to therapy with you, once a month. Karen says you are doing great and though the muscle is tight you have full range and full use. This is good news.
Ryder, your exczema continues to flare up, but it does not bother you.

You continue to be happy, good, outgoing boys. I look at you and feel doubly blessed every day. You smile and laugh often and cry and whine little. You give kisses and hugs but do not cuddle for very long. You love to climb and to crawl into the smallest spot you can fit into. You are very much mommy and daddy's pride and joy and you are loved so much more every day.

All of my love,

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Pierce's in Margate

Here are pix of the kids, The three one year olds, Justin Pierce, and Sawyer Pierce.

Monday, August 6, 2007


When Todd and I got married 4 years ago we spent a wonderful 15 days honeymooning in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is an amazing country and I could write an entire post on the wonders of our travels. However this is about something else entirely. During our stay at the amazing Punta Islita, we met another couple, also honeymooning, who in the few short days we spent with them became good friends of ours. It was just one of those things, after a few (ok, many) drinks, and a beautiful hike and canoe into waterfalls, it actually felt like we had known them our whole life.We kept in touch with our new friends, mostly over email. We had an opportunity to hang out again, drinking and laughing, one year later when they were coming to town for a wedding. The fun ensued for the duration of their visit. As it would be, we were pregnant at the same time, and we both welcomed baby boys (though only one at the time for them) just two weeks apart. Our paths seemed parallel.
Just this past weekend the Pierce Posse, as they refer to themselves on their blog, came to visit us in Margate. The honeymoon had been, of course, one of the best times in our lives. We were younger, had less responsibility, and spent 15 days in bliss, guided by love and dreams of ever after, high on the memory of the biggest party of our lives. Now older, and parents, we tried to recapture the laughter echoing in the rain forest. And we did! Despite not seeing each other for almost three years, it seemed as if we had hung out recently, many times, over many years. We got to meet each other's children, congratulate them on the one in the oven, share stories, and hang out the way old friends do. In case we needed any confirmation (we didn't!!) of the good friends we had, our little guys gave us their approval. Ryder found a buddy in Scott and would sit upon his lap and chill out for a while. He has not done this since he has been able to move. Chase, many times in the 72 hours, chose Reid over me, and if you read mom-ument you know this is a serious indicator of how he feels about her. As Sunday approached we felt the dread of having to say goodbye.
Our goal is to try to plan these type of weekends a bit more often. Let our boys hang out and get to know each other, and hopefully spend more time with Justin when we can.
It was a weekend that should have spelled chaos- three one year old boys, a nine year old boy, one gender unknown baby on the way, 4 tired adults desiring a good time, an untallied number of dirty diapers, quite a few empty beer bottles, and a load of beach toys- but really it just spelled FUN. Lots of it!! We are already looking forward to next time!!