The Tovsky Tribe

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

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Marital Bliss

On 11/25/2007 Todd and I celebrated ten years of being together. Two weeks earlier on 11/11 we celebrated five years since our engagement and on 11/26 we celebrated 4 years of being married. Apparently, November is our month. Although 4 years is not the typical large celebration year, when you have 1 year old twins at home every night out is a celebration. Being that our actual day was on a Monday we celebrated early with an overnight stay at the Four Season's Hotel. This is quite the place of luxury and it seems wasteful if not saved for special occasions. We were most looking forward to relaxing and sleeping, both of which we did!!
We checked in about 4pm and settled in on the couch where Todd watched his alma matre (WVU) slaughter their opponents as they near a potential national championship, and I took a much needed nap. We then got ready for our dinner plans while enjoying a bottle of champagne and the hotels complimentary chocolates. We have been trying to dine at the appropriately named Restaurant Bliss for many many months and for one reason or another it never seemed to work out, until Saturday night. Being the food critics that we tend to be, we began our grading upon entrance. A less than half-filled restaurant allowed us to see the dim lit beauty of the small space. We sat upstairs next to the rail, allowing us to oversee the bar. Our server was as good as required of a place like bliss and the menu had many things on it to which to tempt our diverse palates.
We began, of course, with cocktails; a pearberry martini for me and Johnny Walker Black- rocks for Todd. My martini was not nearly as sweet as it sounded and wooed me to have another. Our appetizers included tuna sashimi with king crab meat and lemon wasabi sauce, a yellow beet salad with watercress, boston lettuce, mozzarella cheese and white balsamic vinegar, and a japanese udon noodle in not enough broth to call it a soup. All three were absolutely fantastic, but certainly no larger than a small appetizer size. We shared them all, and despite how it may sound we did not over order. Our main courses included a braised short rib for Todd, though very good, it seemed to lack enough of the braising to make it as succulent as short ribs tend to be. My scallops in truffle sauce with a single chestnut ravioli was very good, the single ravioli being the standout of flavor and leaving you wishing it was served as a couple.
Dessert was a chocolate cake I can't seem to remember the name of accompanied with a fine port wine that was quite delicious both with the chocolate and with out. We left the restaurant satiated and gave the overall experience of dining at Bliss a B+, which Todd and I believe to be a very fair grade.
Our night continued with drinks, at a bar we believe was a kennel in its former life, with Rob and Jamie, Ryan, JJ and Jon. We then joined them briefly at a party before we headed back to our home for the evening, room 333 of the Four Seasons Hotel. We slept til 11, though we did briefly wake up around 8am, enjoyed a breakfast at an old favorite and then headed to home to see our very missed boys. And in our very much anticipated journey towards forever, I am already looking forward to celebrating our 5 year.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Gobble Gobble

"A turkey is a funny bird, his head goes wobble wobble
he only knows just one word, gobble, gobble, gobble"

I think this is a cute song. I learned it in mommy and me and the boys seem to like it. I am not sure how well it went over when I sung it to them as they looked at the raw, dead flesh of an about to be cooked turkey. I hope they still find the song fun!!
Overall, Thanksgiving was great. The soups I made were a hit with the peanut gallery, though I felt that after simmering for nearly 20 hours they both tasted a bit burnt. Being my own toughest critic, I suppose it is more important the gallery approved. Our turkey was pretty delicious, but an overstuffed middle led cause to an undercooked leg (or two.) Luckily, there was more than enough delicious food to go around (plus a whole other turkey) so it was not missed. Amy's banana birthday cake was a hit, and Jill's assortments of cakes left us once again in a position of hard choice forcing us to have a piece of everything. My parents put on a wonderful dinner, the food was all fantastic and all the guests were on time and in good spirits, the indulging of spirits always helps, of course.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. A non-religious gathering of family and loved ones that revolves around food, you gotta love that. I know we all did. Here are some pix from the night.

Here is a picture of Chase enjoying, all too much, chicken noodle soup at Thanksgiving dinner. Notice the glass bowl? It was not long before that bowl was on the floor, in pieces. Lesson: Never give glass bowl to toddler.

Here we see Chase donning a pair of Mom-Mom's glasses. He always loves to wear them, and if I must say so myself, he looks pretty cute!

An attempt at a family picture.

Amy and Madden

Monday, November 12, 2007

Brotherly Love!!

People always ask if the boys play together, if they enjoy the fact that they always have a playmate. The answer is NO. They are still too young to realize they live with their best friend, still too young to grasp the concept of playmate. But, despite these facts, every now and again you catch them playing together like only brothers could. True, this includes pulling hair, pushing, fighting over a toy but it also includes laughter, hand-holding and the occasional evidence that they really do have brotherly love!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A letter to my sons on their 16th Month Birthday!

Dear Chase and Ryder,

Today you turned 16 months old!!! We changed the clocks back on Saturday and as a result you have been waking up a bit earlier these past few days. And so, our day began around 7:30am. Which was fine since we had to be at the doctor by 9:15 for your flu shots....on your 16 month birthday??? The amazing thing about this was your mild reactions. Chase you were first and you cried a bit when I put you on the table and then again after I put you back in the stroller, only because you wanted to be held. During the shot you let out a faint whine. You were so brave. Ryder you went second and it was as if nothing at all happened. You did not flinch, grimace, cry or anything, you just fought me going back into the stroller (as usual) and I let you walk. I was actually surprised by such non-reactions. Then we went off to gym where you both had more fun today than anytime we have ever been there. You were running, playing, climbing, laughing and managed to not spend the whole time at the stereo. Ryder that is your absolute favorite annoyance...playing with the stereo, at home, at the gym, anywhere, but today you seemed to enjoy other parts of the gym as well.
At 16 months I am astonished by how much you learn in a given day. Chase, you learn a new word everyday. Your list now looks like this:
A-Boo (as in Peek-a-boo)
Nana (Banana)
Melmo (Elmo)
Buh (Balloon)

The last three were just added on recently. It is funny how you use certain words. You are always asking for apples, but when we give you one you usually do not want it. You use MORE for everything and sometimes I have no idea what you need or want more of. You say MELMO for Elmo, which is cute. Doctor you just learned today, since we were going and animal you learned over the weekend when we went to the zoo. It really does amaze me that tomorrow you will learn a new word.

Ryder, though you are not quite as verbal as your brother your list of words does continue to grow. You also say MORE for everything and NO is another of your favorites. You continue with your tendency to say a word perfectly then not use it too often but you have added NANA, PLANE, and HELLO to your daily talking. You now blow kisses, which I love, and it is not uncommon for you to stop what you are doing and walk up to me and give me a big hug!! That is one of my favorite things.

Chase you finally got a 5th tooth last week (top right next to center) and it looks like number six is close behind. Ryder you nearly have a mouthful. You have all of your molars now and are just waiting for the 4 eye teeth to come in.

You have both begun to use forks. Ryder you are really good at it and Chase you are improving daily. You seem to like eating with a fork or a spoon, though the spoon is still quite messy, though you have not grasped the concept of a plate. You both have the terrible habit of throwing food on the floor when you no longer want to eat. This is much to the dismay of daddy and I. You also enjoy drinking from regular glasses and using cups with straws. It seems you both like Iced Coffee.

You have learned to follow small commands. I recently asked Chase to get me the Hippo book, and you did, without hesitation. Daddy then asked Ryder for the So Big book, and it was retrieved. I have asked you to bring me your shoes, or to please put the books back, both of what you did. The books, however, we are still learning to put back properly. It is funny, after you follow these commands you will often applaud yourselves.

The few times when I have either of you one on one there seems to be a difference in your reaction to things. Particularly Ryder, who seems to be more responsive when it is one on one.

Chase your new favorite book is Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton. It is a silly book and it makes you crack up laughing. Ryder your new favorite book is Charlie Monkey but you always skip to the last page because when you open it the flies light up and buzz and you love that. You love books. You will both bring some over to me and ask me, without words, to read to you. We put you to bed at night with a book in your crib and if you are not ready to sleep you will look through it. You will also "read" it in the morning when you wake up. This is something I hope you hold onto and perhaps my love of reading (and both of your mom-mom's) will be passed on to you.

You now love to sit on the big chairs, like big boys. You climb right on up and sit at the table. Unfortunately, you also stand on the chairs and sit on the table both of which we tell you are unacceptable. It is really cute when you sit at the table, though. You also love your little table in the playroom. You will sit there to eat a snack, do a puzzle, or watch television. You also love to knock over the chairs, but fun is not fun without some destruction.

You love technology, especially Ryder. Things with buttons and lights hold your attention for long periods of time. You love the phone and the cell phone and when I give you the old one to play with you will both hold it to your ear and say hello. Ryder you will study the phone forever. You have an interesting perspective of toys, which are not so much to play with as to examine, perhaps to see how it works.

You both love peek-a-boo and now will hide yourselves (under crib, blanket, in a corner) and wait for us to find you.

We celebrated Halloween this month and it was a lot of fun. You loved wearing your costumes, enjoyed trick-or-treating, befriended a jack-o-lantern, and enjoyed a chocolate candy bar. You were a lion and a dragon and you each wore each costume, once for the parade then you switched for trick-or-treating.

We also went to DC this month where we spent time with our Citrenbaum cousins. You seemed to have a great time with them, as they did with you and we hope we will get to see them again soon.
Then we spent time with Sawyer (and his parents) and it was fun to see all of the kids together. In DC we went to the zoo, where you got to see some of your favorite animals. A zebra, an elephant, a lion, monkeys. It was a fun time had by all.

You both seem to be very dexterous and agile. At the playground you enjoy the swings, anything you can climb and coming down the slide, often head first. As expected, Ryder you have no fear at the playground and run to every piece of equipment and get right on it. Chase, although you enjoy most things and do them all well, you are a bit more tentative and it seems you may be scared of heights. Often when walking on planks you will hold on to the sides (or my hand) very tightly. You are very good at holding hands and walking, but Ryder we are still working on that. You have very little interest in holding my hand, or anyone else's.

Our activities continue, which keeps us quite busy. Although you both still enjoy music, your favorite part is sneaking out the door and running down the hallways. Ryder you must do this 10 times a class, Chase only about 6. Ryder, sometimes, you sneak out without my knowing. It does not ever take me long to notice you are gone, but you do manage to slip out the door unnoticed. Chase your favorite part of music class is when Miss Marilyn brings out the guitar, and at the end when she lets you strum it.

Although we did transition to one nap a day, lately it as been a bit messed up. You are taking morning naps the last few days (probably because you each have a cold) and it has been your only nap of the day. I am not sure if you would prefer 1 or 2, so we are still working on it. Although you continue to be good eaters, you have definitely lost some interest in a few things, particularly the vegetables. Everyone said it would happen. Chase you do love salad, however, and will eat it right from my fork when I am eating one and you both love edamame, which is one of mommy's favorites.

Life is fun, you are two good boys and we really do have fun all day. You laugh often, smile lots, and cry little. We are so blessed.

I love you so......

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Road Tripping

The Citrenbaum's- Bunny, Danny, Wendy, Ryder, Bryan, Chase, Judi, Sarab and Michael

The weight of an elephant

Chase, Sawyer and Ryder- Buddies

On a weekend when the Flyers beat the Capitals in Washington, we spent the weekend near and around DC. Our journey began on Friday afternoon when we departed Richboro, Pa and headed South to Silver Spring, Md. Both Chase and Ryder were fantastic in car, entertained for a good portion by a dvd and sleeping for another portion. We arrived at the Citrenbaum home right on schedule without any traffic delays and spent a few hours watching Sarah, Michael and Bryan enjoy their baby cousins. It was fun to see 11 year old twin boys show the way to twin boys ten years their junior. Many times I heard them refer to Chase as Michael Jr. and Ryder as Bryan Jr. We then left the boys in the capable hands of Judi and Sarah as we headed into Alexandria, Va for a fantastic dinner in honor of Scott Pierce's 4oth Birthday. Should all 4oth birthday's come along with the same great time as his. After a late night and a quick sleep at Reid's parents home we headed back to the Citrenbaum's where we enjoyed a brunch and the company of the cousins and my Uncle Bunny. It was wonderful to see all of them and to allow Bunny to spend some time with our sons. The day continued with a trip to the National Zoo. It was a beautiful day and it was fun to see the animals live, even for us. Did you ever realize how big an elephant really was? I have a picture of one on a scale weighing in at over 4300 pounds. And, you know, it is pretty cool to see a Panda just chilling out, even if she is spreading herself wide open. The boys seemed to really enjoy it, Chase learned to use the word animal and Ryder is probably storing it away for another time, and it was fun spending the day with Scott, Reid and Sawyer and their friends. We then headed back to the home of Reid's parents where we enjoyed the time watching three one year olds play and repeating, seemingly a million times, the word NO. After the kids went to bed Scott played master chef and cooked us up a dinner that rivaled the restaurant from the night before. We drank a whole lot of wine, thanks to Mrs. Armstrong being a wine enthusiast, but I still know good food when I have it. Sunday morning we rose early and enjoyed our last few hours with our close but living far away friends. It is fun to watch these little boys forge a friendship. Before our final departure we headed to the playground where Chase and Ryder found comfort in headfirst slides and swinging on swings. Sawyer did pretty well at keeping up and the 4 adults had a blast just watching. Is it likely that these boys (and Sawyer's sister who will soon arrive) will form a bond similarly to their parents? We sure do hope so!!
The way home was as easy as the way down and though the boys did really well....mommy and daddy sure were exhausted.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Despite the fact that technically this was Chase and Ryder's second Halloween, due to their infancy for last years holiday we treated this as the first. As a result, it was a multi-event celebration spanning over 11 days. It began with a trip to the Fall Festival/Pumpkin Patch of Shadybrook Farms (See posting) which included the obligatory seasonal hayride and the posed, or in this case unposed, pictures with the pumpkins. Just a few days later we did this again, with playgroup this time, at Styer Orchards and in addition to the aforementioned activities we also went apple picking/apples straight from tree eating (read this posting.)
So far, so much fun, and yet we had not even started yet with the costumes!

Next we had a Halloween Parade which was an adorable display of puffy animals and large smiles. Chase and Ryder were proud as the Dragon and the Lion respectively and despite the excess weight making them a bit clumsier they still seemed to master the playground. A wonderful video was recorded and edited by their buddy Adam's father and despite trying to add it to this posting I have been unsuccessful.

The celebrations continued with a halloween style free play at My Gym where they were dressed as the devils they can sometimes be, and the befriending of a Jack-O-Lantern, hand-carved by me, who was appropriately named (thanks Randi,) Felix.

The grand finale came, of course, on Halloween night with visits from all grandparents and Aunt Carri and Uncle Chad, a switching of costumes, and an adventure down the bend of their first ever trick-or-treating. We carried them from house to house, but let them walk up the path to the door. Chase has a new favorite activity of knocking on doors, so that in itself was fun for him. They seemed to enjoy dropping the candy they were given into the bag, one bag for both kids was more than enough, and we all had fun walking around on what turned out to be a beautiful night. When we got home, they enjoyed their first ever candy bar....a Kit-Kat....which they seemed to love as it smeared all over their faces.
I had not realized how much fun Halloween could be....I am already looking forward to next year!

For more pix from Halloween click here