The Tovsky Tribe

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

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Hannukah came and went like a whirlwind. With plans nearly every night, we hardly had a moment to step back and enjoy. Despite being hectic, it was fun.
The boys did learn about hannukah in school, yet they did not seem to show any increased interest in the holiday with the exceptions of wanting to sing "Twinkle Twinkle Hannukah Lights," spinning, or at least attempting to spin, the dreidel, and the wooden menorah became the toy of the week, particularly for Ryder.
The gift giving and receiving was nice. The boys successfully gave wrapped gifts to their friends and cousins without opening them first. They also managed to gratefully say thank you when they received gifts.
We began the week with a dual celebration with the Tovsky's for Hanukkah and Chad's 33rd birthday. It was nice having everyone together. From Mom-Mom Jill the boys got a stand up microphone, a favorite of Ryder's, and immediately took on the rock star act even asking for sunglasses like the boy on the box. She also gave them a bean bag toss game and the movie 101 Dalmations, all of which they seemed to love. Aunt Carri, in adition to a memory game, gave them each an aorable outfit inclusive of a leather jacket which immeiately became a necessary prop for the microphone.
The week continued, a laptop, a cd player for their room, doodle pro's- which are amongst their favorites, stickers. Bean bag chairs (mom-mom and pop-pop,) which they love, Elmo Live (Rob and Jaime), mega blox (Amy), geotrax trains (Stewarts), the way they made out you would think we did celebrate Christmas. We made hanukkah cookies, we celebrated with playgroup, we celebrated with the Seltzer's and Betesh's, we celebrated with the Solnicks/Levins, we celebrated with the Stewarts, and we concluded the week with the Citrenbaums. One of their favorite gifts, courtesy of the Solnicks/Levins is their first scooter. Our daredevil children had somehow added the word skateboard to their broadening vocabulary months ago. Figuring they were still too young we went the scooter route instead. Excitement filled their eyes and they immediately wanted to scoot around Amy's house. The next morning, blessed with warm December weather, we put on their helmets and their pads and headed to the park for their first lesson. First, however, we did some practicing in the foyer, while the scooters were still out of the box clean.
Considering they are at least 6 months too young, if not more, they did really well. Chase seemed to have a bit more of the natural knck for it. Luckily, their falls were minor and pad protected allowing them to see why they must wear them.
Cute, yes. Ready for the X-games, thankfully, no!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Chase's Twin?

I know you"ll think I am nuts, and perhaps you would be right, but at my ultrasound last week, when the tech left me in the room for 15 minutes so she could consult the doctor this top picture was the image on the screen (the second picture is just for fun) :

At first glance, I just smiled seeing my baby's face. But then, at second glance, I got a quick shiver. I could not peel my eyes from the screen. Sure, it may seem to look like all ultrasound pictures, but if you look at the top picture at the right angle- turn your head to the right 25 degree's- (it's baby's face, by the way) he/she looks exactly like Chase. I
immediately took a picture with my phone and emailed it to Todd, who said he had no idea what I was talking about. Then I asked the tech (when she finally returned) for a printout to show him. So far, I am the only one who sees it. But, still, when I look at this picture, the black and white bone structure, alien-like as it may be by sonogram, I see my first born. I guess soon enough we will know for sure.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

35.5 weeks

Today, at four days past 35 weeks, my pregnancy has officially outlasted my pregnancy with the boys by four days. This is not surprising being that it is only one baby, yet it still marks a milestone in my own mind. Although I have 4.5 weeks left, I am relieved to be delivering in 2.5 weeks as I am not sure I could get any larger or more uncomfortable. My clothes don't fit and I do not even try to hide that fact, and the baby is officially trying to push its way out of me making me feel as if I have just gotten off of a very long horseback ride where we did a lot of galloping. Most days I feel as if there is no way I will make it to the 6th of January, and am convinced I never would have made it to the 20th. Yet, I know everybody says that and I probably will and would have if given the opportunity. Chase and Ryder are feeling the upcoming change in their own ways and have both been extra clingy, luckily at different times. Todd and I are trying to use the next two weeks to have a lot of family time, and one on one time with them. Although, with the holidays amongst us, we are over-run with plans and we intend to spend all free days available just the four of us, until it is no longer just the four of us.
This morning we took a family maternity portrait. The boys were somewhat cooperative in that they wanted to be as close to me as possible and that is exactly what the picture called for. The boys look good, it is me I am unimpressed with. My face is as large as my belly and at 9 months pregnant my belly is really large. I do not notice the extra chins in the mirror, but in pictures there is no hiding it. I guess it's true when they say the camera adds ten pounds. Of course this becomes even more problematic when you are already up many multiples of ten. Ah, what can I do? I am happily very pregnant and have had few complaints along the way. The end is always the toughest but only because the reward is so close. I can almost start to imagine the joy we will feel when we meet our baby and its that, more than the discomfort down low that makes me want to deliver. Boy or girl? Light hair or dark hair? Brown eyes or blue? What name will we choose in the end? This is all part of what I can't wait to find out in a few weeks. And, of course, just to meet our precious third born.

PS: Notice in these pictures we have more hair issues. In the color photo I have a fly away curl that apparently was not noticeable to the photographer when shooting, or me when choosing photos. In the black and white photo it looks as if Ryder stuck his hand in a socket before the shoot and his hair is sticking up. Really it is the graphic on Todd's shirt. Again, this went unnoticed until too late. Still, these were the best of the bunch. imagine that.

Monday, December 15, 2008

School Pictures

We had picture day at school recently. I was oddly excited for this despite knowing cooperation from two year old's is very difficult. The morning of I bathed the boys, gelled their hair, was happy with how it looked, and put them in some nice duds. Then, I sent them off. Chase's hair did look good, but in the class picture they sat him in front of a big stuffed animal with black hair and he looks like he has an afro and Ryder forgot to smile, but it's still cute to see 7 two year old's sitting together.
In the individual pictures. well, they are ok. Only, I am not sure what happened to Ryder's hair along the way, nor am I sure why the photographer did not notice. Here are the pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, December 12, 2008

How ya doing?

When we picked the boys up from school today we got the normal report; they did not eat lunch, they ate snacks, they had a good day. Only today, Ms. Sue had a funny story to tell. Apparantly she and Chase had a conversation that went like this:

Chase; How ya doing?
Ms. Sue: I am doing ok Chase. How are you?
Chase: I am good. How is your mother?
Ms. Sue; My mother is good, thanks. How is your mother?
Chase: she's good.

I am not sure where he got this conversation from, but it sure is funny.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

4:30 am

It is 4:30am. You may think I am awake because I am 9 months pregnant and finding a comfortable position to sleep in as likely as me finding a bra that fits my current size. And, that would be true, but
the reason I am so wide awake that I am writing this is because there are ear piercing shrieks coming from outside our locked door. It did not begin that way. No, it started as a 4am visitor which Todd promptly escorted back to his bed. It developed into this screaming session with both boys, and we are not sure what our next step should be. Unfortunately, it seems, bedtime wars have begun....again. This time it is Chase putting up the fight. The last few days Chase has been a bit clingy to me. Although he has gone to school and to stay with Sandie (not to mention my parents) at the office without even a complaint, when we are home together he must be attached to me. All out fits begin when I leave the playroom to get a diaper, juice, sneakers, whatever it is. All are quick errands that under normal circumstances he would not notice I was gone. But, now not only is he noticing, he screams, the tears begin, along with the pleas of "mommy don't leave me!"
At bedtime it is not so different. Things start out great and Chase gets into bed, he will even claim to be sleepy, but within minutes of leaving his room he is crying and out in the hallway begging me to sleep with him, or for him to sleep in my bed. It is a nightmare.
Several days have passed since I began this posting. The war continues. Last night I was concerned I was going to go into labor. Chase would get out of bed and I, without speaking to him or showing any signs of affection, would swifttly put him back in bed. After about 30 long minutes Todd took over and handled it his way but still to no avail. The fight ended at 10:45pm (one and a half hours later) when I sat in the rocker singing nursery rhymes until he fell asleep. I am not sure whose victory this was but I am thinking it was not mine. With Todd out for three of the next four nights I am clearly dreading bedtime.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Week 34!

One hospital stay, a prescription of modified bedrest, a cancelled vacation, and 4 consecutive weeks of non-stress tests and amniotic fluid checks and we've made it to 34 weeks. This was an important week for the growth of the baby, as they did not want to have to deliver zygie anytime sooner. Luckily, there has been no need.
At 34 weeks I am starting to feel big, well bigger, and am reaching the point of where I will soon be ready to meet this child.
People on the street are often concerned that I may deliver exactly where I am standing. They seem to think I am really low, which is interesting since my breathing is more labored than ever. When they find out I, technically, have 6 weeks left, they usually chuckle and say I won't make it, which is fine since I am delivering in 4 weeks anyway. It is funny how everyone thinks they know something. Most people also "know" it is a girl, though lately I have been getting more boy guesses because it looks like I have a large beach ball up my shirt.
I am bit uncomfortable when I sleep, though I am so tired that I do sleep. I lay on my side (most often on my right), hugging my body pillow and after a few hours my hip begins to throb forcing me to shift. It is this shifting that is difficult, it takes me a good 5 minutes to reset and I am never comfortable the first time. Lately, however, there is only position I can lay in, and it is not a comfortable one, that doesn't allow pains to shoot across my low belly telling me I am either about to go into labor or poop in my pants. This position is half on my side, half on my back, with my fisted hand beneath my butt so that I do not lay flat on my back. My body is at a 25 degree angle, ready to topple at any moment, being supported by a body pillow and a small fist.
I am told I now waddle when I walk, and an oxygen tank would come in handy, but otherwise I feel ok. I still love the sweets, and was gifted a free Ascher's chocolate chip cookie the other day. it was like right out of my dreams. Food, however, is just something I eat when hungry. I do not crave much and want it to be simple as possible. I am also very thirsty. I am ready, when no longer pregnant, to go to kisso or oishi, or maybe both, and get a yellow tail and scallion handroll and a tobiko and quail egg, It's the quail egg I miss the most, believe it or not. Oooh, just saying it now makes me want that creamy, sweet egg.
A lot of my shirts no longer fit and I had to buy a new, larger pair of maternity jeans. We still are not set on names and the room is still not ready. Despite this unpreparedness, we can't to meet our baby, and know, somehow, it will all be ready for zygie's homecoming no matter when that is.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A She Here, A Her There

All along I've said publically that I think Zygie is a boy. For 33 weeks of pregnancy I did not waver once, which is very unlike me.
Last week something happened in my subconscious. Perhaps the indecision which has been dormant within is showing its ugly head, perhaps my subconscious knows something, but while I continue to say boy when I think about it, when I am not thinking she's and her's roll off of my tongue.
In one conversation with my sister I mentioned "she" three times, saying something about when she was born. When I looked at thank you cards last week I only looked at girls cards for the first half hour, until I realized. And, while talking to the manicurist yesterday I referred to Zygie as a her. Yet, if you ask me what I think I will still say boy. Last night I had a dream she was a girl, she looked like me, had dimples like my mom, and only a little bit of brown hair. Two weeks ago I dreamt he was a boy, with a lot of brown hair and he weighed 6 pounds and was born 4 weeks early. Clearly my dreams are conflicted. But, my subconscious is definitely trying to tell me something, perhaps I should listen??

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jamaican Me Crazy!!

Todd and I love Jamaica. It always seems to be, for many reasons, the vacation spot we return to most. We've been there a half dozen times already and intend to continue adding to the tally. In fact, we were supposed to be there right now. Literally, at this moment, we would have been 48 hours in to a Jamaican vacation, soaking up the sun, and relaxing. We also would have been there with four of our great friends and having the time of our lives.
When we found out I was pregnant, we knew I would be 33 weeks along when we boarded the plane for Negril, we were not worried. We figured we would still go, enjoy ourselves, and relax even if I looked ridiculous in a bathing suit and couldn't enjoy one cocktail while I was there. Uncomfortable or not, five days in warmth and relaxation had to be better for the pregnancy than five days in the middle of the winter chasing two year old twins. Not to mention this was our first adult only vacation with the Sperlings and the Klaus' in a very long time. And so, we counted down the months, then the weeks. With just two weeks to go a minor complication in this pregnancy landed me on modified bedrest and prevented the trip altogether. Disappointed as I was at the time, it was Todd I felt bad for. He had been so excited for this trip and I felt as if I had destroyed his dreams. He has been handling it ok. Now that it is the week of, however, I definitely feel the disappointment of being here and not there. I can taste the salty caribbean on my tongue, and the delicious coca bread from the poolside grill in my mouth. I imagine Beth and Dave and Erik and Lori enjoying hummingbirds with extra splashes of vodka, and I laugh as I picture Erik throwing off the fruit and umbrella that is surely accompanying the drink. I know they are having a great time and are likely thinking of us less then we are them. We'll get back to Jamaica, this I know, and we will probably even have the luxury of travelling with all of them again, but it definitely is a sore spot that we had to miss out. I know, though, once we hold Zygie for the first time the trip we almost took to Jamaica will be a distant memory and the love of our child will remind us it was worth it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Car Napping

For the last few weeks 99.9% of the boys naps have been in the car. Since even before their big boy beds they have been fighting us on nap time. Though they are obviously in need of one they will just refuse to lay down awake. This was not particularly great timing with my pregnancy nor now, with this minor complication we have been faced with.
They do, however, fall asleep in the car. So, we let them. And, we leave them there where they can sleep for anywhere from 1 to 3 hours.
Sometimes I feel the mommy guilt, my poor kids napping daily in the car. But, I know they need it, as do I and they sleep for a good amount of time so they can't be too uncomfortable, right?
I would love for them to sleep in their beds, but have not figured out a way to get them to actually do it. So, until they drop the nap all together, car napping it will have to be.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Crash and Burned

Six weeks ago my computer died. As I was sitting paying bills, the horrid blue screen appeared and that was it, dead as can be. I survived, barely, five long weeks without a computer. This survival was due only to the fact that I have a blackberry, which is not a replacement for the computer but became merely a survival tool. It is a very difficult world when you must live without a computer. You may not realize, however, how dependent you are until it is too late. Kind of like losing use of your thumb. Last January I had MRSA on my right thumb. It is extremely difficult to function without your dominant thumb.
Anyway, when I got my computer back, it was stripped of everything that made it mine in the first place. You know when you use someone else's computer and nothing is where it is supposed to be, none of your files are on there, nor your cookies, no saved passwords or log ins? That is how it was, a stranger in a familiar shell. The only thing that made this same old computer with a new hard drive mine was that it was in my possession. On the bright side it functioned a whole lot faster than I remember it ever functioning. Slowly, but surely, I am making it my own.
Last week the external hard drive containing all of the recovered data from my dead hard drive was delivered to my door. I was rather excited to see it and felt optimistic in what I would be able to reclaim. Turns out, nearly a thousand dollars later, a lot of my pictures are toast and the two most important files I had (and need) are totally corrupt. My hard drive truly crash and burned.


At our wedding, being introduced for the first time as husband and wife

A wedding day portrait

Today marks the five year anniversary of our wedding day!! Five in itself is special, but this year it is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving just as it was the night of our wedding, the biggest party night of the year. Yesterday, marked the eleven year anniversary of the day Todd and I started dating, significant for many reasons but mostly because without it we would have nothing to celebrate today.
I remember our wedding day as if it was yesterday. It was the most perfect day, everything went as planned, and is one of the best days of our lives. The memory of it still makes me smile, I imagine it always will.
Our marriage also makes me smile. I love being married and am amongst the fortunate. I married my true love and my best friend. We still know how to have a really good time together, and yet we can deal with all of life's responsibilities together, as a team.
Together we have begun building a life, and everyday we appreciate what we are building.
Things are different from when we met as young kids bouncing around the city. We live in the suburbs, have two homes, two kids and one on the way. We can't put ourselves first anymore, but we do often put each other first, as we should. We don't go out six nights a week anymore, and we don't vacation as much as we would like (particularly Todd.) We've traded those things in for something better, a family, and we would never trade in each other.
Our anniversary was supposed to be celebrated two ways: First, with a visit from our friends who we met on our honeymoon. They were honeymooning too and our friendship was inevitable We were going to get together for our joint fifth, with our kids who are all the same age. We were all looking forward to it. We were also supposed to go away for this celebratory anniversary, and do so with great friends. Unfortunately, circumstances with Zygie prevent us from enjoying these activities. Instead, we will celebrate with a nice dinner tonight, and a weekend in a hotel next weekend. Sure, it's not Jamaica, nor time with far away friends, and yes we are disappointed, but we will be celebrating our togetherness together, which is what matters most in the end. Frankly, there is nowhere else I need to be, than just with Todd.
Five years has passed quickly, sometimes it is hard to believe, but I have enjoyed every minute of this journey. I would do everything exactly the same to this point and I love trekking through time with Todd. Five is special indeed, but it is still just the beginning. Happy Anniversary Todd, I love you!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Expect the Unexpected

I am not the most prepared person. Although I was a brownie, I ditched the girl scouts for athletics, so if preparedness is their motto, as it is in the boy scouts, well it never became my motto. I am not one who rushes to the supermarket before a predicted snowstorm, just in case we get the unlikely blizzard that locks us down for three days. I don't have a hand bag full of things you may never know you need, and I don't keep a first aid kit and a case of bottled water in my car. Perhaps, I should do all of these things.
However, today as I headed to my amniotic fluid check/non-stress test, I was actually trying to prepare for the unlikely, at least to a degree. After being admitted to the hospital for 72 hours last week, being instructed to rest and to hydrate, both of which I find difficult, the possibilty/fear of being readmitted was dancing in my head. Although my gut, yep the same one that insists this baby is a boy, says all will be fine, my mind is playing devil's advocate. So, I did some minor preparations, just in case. To the girl scout, these preparations are probably just a joke, afterall I did not leave a dinner prepared in my fridge, or worthwhile instructions for my children's care. No, what I did do was charge my phone, take a shower (yesterday), bring my anniversary cards with me, leave Leila's money at home, and packed all the pictures I have been meaning to sort into a bag, just in case, so that Todd could bring them to me if I were laid up. And, hopefully, it will all be for nothing, as I am thinking it will. But, I figurd the more prepared I was the better my chances of not needing any of it. Hmmm, should I transfer this philosophy to the rest of my life?

And, in case you were wondering, the test is done, I did pass both and am not being admitted but the instructions to rest, rest, rest and drink, drink, drink remain. Until next week....

Monday, November 24, 2008

No, I'm Chase

That was his answer to the question "Are you handsome?"
I guess modesty can go a long way.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Committed to the possibilty!

It is no secret that since Todd and I found out we were pregnant we both have thought this will be our third son. This is not a wish, just simply a hunch. Although we both would love to have a daughter, three sons would be pretty fun too, so either way we are thrilled! Everyone says this hunch is because boys are all we know and I suppose they could be right about that, but for me, something inside of me just says boy!!! The way I feel is an indicator, which is similar to how I felt when I carried Chase and Ryder in their extra large home. The food I eat is an indicator, again similar to the mass consumption I experienced the first go round. The way I am carrying, may make you think girl, but then my gut feeling takes over and I am right back to thinking boy. And, truth is, I know none of this means anything, the way I feel or the way I carry, so I just go back to gut, which is bigger than average at the moment. The people around us that offer their opinions, both solicited and not, all say it is a girl. They say it with such conviction that they nearly have me convinced. It's as if they know something we don't. And so, as my gut tells me boy, my mind, pregnesia and all, is committed to the possibilty that Zygie will have two X chromosomes. What does committing to the possibilty mean? Well, for one I am thinking about our life. Two boys and a girl, incorporating pink into our blue world, and adding tea parties and princess parties to the sports and the trucks. I am trying to find us a name that we love enough for our baby girl AND we agree on and I am just letting myself realize that, sure, the possibilty does exist.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thirty Weeks and counting....

Today I am thirty weeks pregnant. Technically, there are 10 weeks remaining, but since we have scheduled my c-section for 1/6/09 I officially have exactly 8 weeks remaining. 8 weeks minus the one I am on vacation and minus 2.5 weeks of holiday time, leaving me with just over 4 weeks to get a lot done for Zygie. Hmmm...that is not much time.
Zygie is superactive. Moving around all of the time, it's incredible what I am feeling inside of myself. I do not remember the boys being this active, or perhaps they just did not have enough space for so many flips.
Zygie moves all of the time. In the rare moments when I can sit and watch, I can actually see my belly morph into some odd shape, a watermelon birthing an alien if you will. It amazes me to see body parts float beneath my skin and I love feeling the activity of our soon to be third born.
I have over-indulged in cookies and ice cream, and find apples and clementines to be the most refreshing, enjoyable snacks. The world is still guessing that zygie is a girl but I continue to think 8 weeks we will know once and for all.

Monday, November 10, 2008

That Would Be Great!!!!

Chase has a new expression. Words that, when delivered, make you crack up laughing. If you ask Chase if he wants to, for example, read a book, he will look at you, flash his dimples and say with delight "That would be great, Mommy!" Chase, do you want to go to the playground? "That would be great, Mommy!". Whatever it is we are asking him is never nearly as exciting as the tone of his voice complemented by the gesture of his hands, often mimicking a fist pump. Though his enthusiasm is contagious, I have not gotten him to answer this way to the question; "Chase, do you want to take a nap?"

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Big Boy Beds Update

The transition to big boy beds was easy. So much so that I am left wondering if I should have done it sooner and perhaps would have prevented those sleepless nights.
Despite the fact the naps are on their way out, eveything else is smoothe sailing. They go to bed at bedtime, sleep through the night, and do not fight us to stay in bed. They have not fallen out of bed and just like their mommy when she was a kid they find the bed to be most comfortable in every other position then the one expected. Sometimes they are perpindicular, or angled, or even half way on the table at the head of their bed. But, they are asleep, soundlessly.
Chase and Ryder seem to love their beds. This is proven by the fact that they tell everyone they talk to they are in big boy beds and then proceed to tell them the color (Chase, blue. Ryder, red.).
My babies are growing up fast, next will be potty training.

The Turtle and the Zebra

Ryder the turtle
Chase the zebra
The Tovsky's

The animal farm (minus a turtle) with the vet on site.

For an adult, Halloween, like birthdays, become special all over again once you can experience it through your children's eyes. This year's Halloween was no exception.
Although I thought briefly about being supermom and making costumes, I quickly came to terms that was a dream that would never be realized. So, I searched the catalogues. After our trip to Florida where the hotel had a turtle pond, the boys had become quite fond of turtles and when I saw the turtle costume I knew we had to have it. Ok, one down. Later I found a zebra that was just too cute to pass up. And so it became, Chase and Ryder would be a turtle and a zebra. Although we did not decide who would be what, I knew we had several events (my gym, parade, halloween) and we could switch them up. Once the costumes came in the mail, however, the boys claimed their own. I had no idea how excited the boys would be to wear costumes, dress up if you will. As soon as I took the costumes out of the bags Ryder went right for the turtle and Chase for the Zebra and they could not wait to get the suits on their bodies. Once they did they looked so cute and suddenly I could not wait for Halloween. I had to fight with the boys to take the costumes off and had to hide the costumes afterwards in order to stop the incessant begging for the turtle and zebra.
The My Gym party was cute and the boys took right to the same costumes, only they did not want to wead the headpieces. Unfortunately, due to rain, the parade was rescheduled and we were not available on the rain date. The morning of Halloween began with the Phillies victory parade and concluded with birthday celebration/trick or treating at Ellie's. We all had a great time. Surrounded by all of the grandparents the kids played, dressed in their same costumes- no switching necessary, and trick or treated. The boys loved it. Coincidentally, all the kids were animals so it was the 2 year old animal farm trolling around the neighborhood. They ran up to the homes in Northampton Hunt and said with delight "trick or treat, I'm a zebra (or turtle)" as if the candy giver could not tell. They were so excited as they ran from house to house collecting their candy in their pumpkins, still talking about seeing the phanatic on the truck.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Two and a quarter

Two years four months! And, for such an age, you both continue to amaze us. Your language skills are way beyond your years, participating in full conversations using sentences consisiting of 4,5,6 words. I am actually amazed by some of the things you say, Chase in particular who has recently told Randi ,"I got all dressed up for you" never mind that he was in pajamas, responded "yes, I will, I would love to" in answer to the question of will you play peek a boo with the baby, and "I want to get on the airplane with you, I am already dressed" to Aunt Bonnie as she was getting ready to head out for her flight home.

These boys remember everything and I better sharpen up, as they use names I mention just once or ask for specific scenes from a show they watch that I may not have noticed. Chase has keen observation skills (clearly he gets this from Todd) and asked me where the flags were at the playground. Truth is, I had never noticed flags before but assumed he was right and said they were put away for the winter. Do they put flags away for the winter? Scary when you trust your two year old's observations more than your own. Both of them will notice a tiny picture of a dog, or Mickey, or Elmo or whoever, in obscure places and point it out. I find myself looking high and low and only sometimes do I actually see what they are referring to. Like when Minnie was on the back of a little girls sweatshirt at the zoo and I could not see it despite their claims that there was Minnie. I always know they are correct in what they see, it's me who can't find Waldo in the crowd.

The boys are doing great with school, including the recently added lunch hour. They seem to love Ms. Sue and though they do not talk much about their day they do enjoy going and come home happy. They seem to really love Shabbat, the Rabbi, and Cantor Paul and his guitar.
Ryder still loves his guitar and both boys love to sing. They are really into coloring, particularly Ryder, who focuses very deliberately on the artwork at hand. They have drawn rocket ships, me, mom-mom, fishies, and rainbows all of which look exactly like the same scribble.
Ryder loves a challenge. He will sit down and work on a puzzle or toy for some time so long as it challenges him. When he completes something he will clap and say "Ta Da" and always wants us to recognize his accomplishment.

The boys remember particular pictures from their books and ask to see that page. It's never the overall picture, but some small detail, which I am forced to pay attention to in order to know what they are talking about. For example, in the book "Never, Ever, Shout in a Zoo!". There is a page towards the end of the book where all of the animals are lined up. The way the artist drew the picture the zebra's head is on top of the elephant's tush. At first glance the drawing seems completely normal but when the boys ask to see "biting the elephants toosie" this is the page they are referring to, a reference they came up with all on their own. In the book "The Hippo's go Bezerk," when the hippo's are partying with delight all throughout the hippo night there are some hippos on the roof of the house in the picture. Again, you may not have noticed, but Chase and Ryder call this page the "be careful up there" page and will want me to skip right to it. They notice details, like the cookies the cat is eating in "Tumble Bumble," though the story does not mention it. Are all two year olds so detail oriented? They seem to have a sense of humor, love to be silly, and have inherited their father's love for potty humor.

Although I can't get them to go down for a nap, they will sleep for some time if they fall asleep in the car. They go to bed in their big boy beds with out a fuss.
I can't believe how quickly the time has passed and how our baby boys have become these little people with personalities. The boys always look out for each other, which we love, and though they sometimes fight like brothers, they are really becoming best friends. They play together now, which is not only touching but also is very helpful in that they do not always need us watching over them. And, they both seem genuinely excited for this baby which is soon to come. Twin two year olds, it is not always easy, but it is certainly never boring!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Living through History

What an amazing time in American history we are living through. I am thrilled to know that my third born will enter a world where the Phillies are the defending World Champs and our President is a black man. Zygie will likely never understand that prior to late fall 2008, the Phillies were the losingest team in baseball and a black President existed only in the "I Have a Dream" speech of Dr. Martin Luther King. Zygie will never know, what we know, how things are suddenly changing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sea of Red

On Halloween the city of Philadelphia celebrated the victory of our World Series Champions. Our city was so starved for a celebration of such kind, not to mention it was a perfect fall day of 61 degrees, that over 2 million people filled the streets dressed in red, chanting and cheering.
We decided to take the boys to the celebration so that, if nothing else, later in life they can say they were there. We let them play hooky from school due to a case of Phillies Phever, dressed in our Phillies gear, and packed a days worth of snacks and toys. We planned on taking the train, and the boys were excited to ride their first choo choo. Only it seems all 2 million people heeded the advice of the media to use public transportation and the trains were so crowded you could not get on and they were hours behind. We decided to drive, hit no traffic and got to town in less time than it takes in the middle of the night.

Once in the city we put the boys in the stroller and headed to Broad Street.
It seemed like any normal day in the city, but as the blocks ascended and Broad Street drew closer you could feel the energy and hear the noise. We parked ourselves in front of the Capital Grille, between Chestnut and Sansom Streets and awaited the frenzy.

Todd, Erik, and Dave took turns, two at a time, heading into the bar for a beer or cocktail. They were kind enough to have one of them stay with me and the boys most of the time. Although Ryder did have his first bar experience when all three of the grown boys needed to have the last drink of the day together.

Ryder also had his first taste of body surfing when, in an attempt to get back to our spot, the overcrowded corner of Broad and Chestnut had the guys deliberately navigating through an excited crowd and Todd held his two year old above his head, as if Ryder was flying. Not surprisingly, our little dare-devil loved it.
At our spot we just waited. Surrounded by excited but respectful people, we watched as red filled the streets. We listened as horns blew. And, we cheered as shouts echoed.

Chase and Ryder were so good. They seemed to enjoy the frenzy and only had a minor breakdown of about five minutes each throughout the entire day. Though we did go through most of the snacks and juices, I never had to break out one toy.

And then at about 12:40PM , as indicated by the eruption of millions of simultaneous screams, the parade turned the corner at Broad Street and we got to see our beloved Phils.
Atop the shoulders of the guys, Chase and Ryder were able to see "the phanatic on the truck" as they say, which made the whole experience worthwhile for them.

I did not get to see much but the energy I felt was worth the trip. In fact, it left me wanting to do it all again in 2009.

Let's Go Phils!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Alter Egos

All of the great Super Heroes have Alter Ego's. Superman is known as Clark Kent without his cape and when Spiderman is not a spider he is simply Peter Parker. Chase and Ryder are no exceptions.
They love to wear their blankets as capes. They have been doing this for several months where we tie the blanket around their necks and suddenly it is a cape. At first I told them they were Super Grover, figuring it was the only thing they knew. Occasionally we would tell them they were Superman, but we knew they had no idea who Clark Kent nor his alter ego were.
Recently however, they have developed their own alter egos. On the street they may be Chase and Ryder, but once they don their capes they become Sup-per Morgan and Sup-per Lane. I was amazed when they named themselves, and laugh when they ask to "be Super Morgan" as Chase hands me his blanket. Ryder soon followed suit. And, people say middle names don't mean anything.

Let's Go Mama!

For the last two weeks we have been chanting "Let's go Phillies!" within our home. It took some practice before the boys got it down, but in time for the final victory and the parade that followed our boys chanted like life long fans.
With the series ending (and very much in our favor) and the chants quieting, Todd started last night with "Let's go Obama.". He asked the boys to repeat it, which they did, to the best of their ability, and spent the rest of the night walking the house chanting "Let's go Mama!" As the mama, I did not correct them.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Champions of the World!!

The Phillies are Champions of the World. That's right, in Chase Utley's words, "World Fucking Champions!" 28 years since our first and only other World Series Championship, the Phillies rallied up the city with an unprecedented pride. I am not sure where my vested interest came from, nor my unhinging confidence, but I believed in this championship long before the playoffs began.
It was a historical series, mostly because game 5, the resulting clincher, began at 8:37pm on Monday night in horrid conditions of a cold rain. Although it should have happened much earlier, the umps called the game into suspension due to puddles at each of the bases and hydroplaning occurences while running in the middle of the 6th inning with the game tied 2-2. It took 48 hours from the start of the game to resume, after a delay of an unlikely October snow storm that had a catastrophic effect on our front lawn. At 8:37pm on Wednesday night the game resumed at the bottom of the 6th inning, Phillies at bat on a beautiful Fall night.
The Phillies went into the world series as the underdogs, at least in Vegas. From watching the series I have no idea why. Tampa Bay had the best regular season record in baseball and a supposed offense that had everyone murmuring. The Phillies, however, made the series look easy in spite of leaving a ridiculous number of runners in scoring position, and failing to capitalize more times than not. Yet, they were dominant. They were dominant because they are a good team. The 6-4-3 double play was made to look easy because of Rollins and Utley. The arms on their outfielders made home plate seem close and the legs on Victorino made the outfield seem smaller.
The pitching staff was incredible, which is funny to avid fans who have complained about pitching for too many years. Cole Hamels was the MVP, deservingly. Jamie Moyer pulled through with an unbelievable performance. The bullpen was untouchable and Brad Lidge managed to have a perfect season. A perfect season.
At the plate, the stars shined differently every night. Some nights the heroes were the obvious ones, like Utley's 1st inning homer or Howard's two homer game. Other nights the hereos were the underdogs or even off the bench. All 25 players played a role in the victory, which is exactly what you need to be world fucking champions.
And, as expected, the city is high on the Phillies. If it feels this good for the fans, what, oh what, are the players feeling?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Big Boy Beds!!

After many weeks of nighttime torture, weeks of Ryder fighting us on bedtime, we have moved on to big boy beds. Ryder had become a master of climbing in and out of his crib, in the pitch dark. We had hours upon hours of fights with the toddler, from going to bed, to waking up in the middle of the night and joining us in bed, to waking up at the crack of dawn. Recently, however, we began getting some relief. For reasons we do not know, he began to stay in his crib again. We decided to reward this behavior with a big boy bed. Perhaps, it was the crib he did not like? Today was night one. Chase did great, but this is no surprise since he never gave us a problem. Ryder did really well. He needed to be returned to bed three times but then was down for the count. Let's see if he makes it all the way through the night.

Saturday Morning

This is how a recent Saturday morning went in our home. A 7:45 am wake up, a half hour of Barney in Mommy and Daddy's bed, a pancake breakfast, and a trampling of a brother. Despite how it may look, both boys were laughing as Ryder bounced on Chase, on the trampouline.

You've gotta love the weekends.
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A Crib for Two!

Our night time issues have been finding some resolve as Ryder has managed to stay in his room the past four nights. I am not sure if it is the stickers incentive, the promise of a big boy bed, or maybe he has just surrendered. Regardless, we have seen improvement.
Tuesday night I put the boys to bed a bit later than usual. Todd was out for the night. They chatted and sang for nearly an hour before they fell asleep. I was just happy they were in their cribs. When Todd got home, we went to check on them and this is what we found:

Turns out Ryder did not stay in his crib, but it was too cute to move him or to be upset with him. Maybe all along he just wanted someone to sleep next to.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pumpkins, Apples, and Fall Fun

What an autumn it has been. We have had some beautiful weather and a whole lot of fun. As the season would have it, we've been apple picking, pumpkin picking, and enjoyed a roll in the hay. This is definitely my favorite t