The Tovsky Tribe

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

Monday, January 21, 2008

Go Fish!

Last week, in our mommy and me class, a mother of one of the kids brought in a pet fish. She did not mean to have show and tell, but the guy at the pet store had advised her not to leave it in the car, it was too cold. It was just a tiny fish, in a travel cup and yet Chase seemed to take a liking to the fish. He wanted to just look at it in the cup, despite the fact that there were toys and music and bubbles. So, I did what any {crazy} mom would do and bought my 18 month old sons pet fish.

I totally understand the boys' fascination with the fish. I happen to love fish myself. Their colors, their finesse, I am always amazed by the gilled creatures and love looking at aquariums. I even do (perhaps did is a better term here) some scuba diving so I can be amongst them in their own environment. I had an aquarium once too, it is a whole lot of maintenance and as we know me and high maintenance don't mix. But, a little bowl of betta fish that seems manageable?!!?!

We have one bowl, two fish, both female since male betta's can't live together. The males were prettier to look at but it seemed only right to have two fish. One is blue which is named cookie, the other is red and named bubble. The boys never refer to them by name, though they are two words both boys can say.

They love their fish, however. They wake up in the morning and they want to "see fishies," and as soon as we see them they both suck in their cheeks to make the best fish face they can.

Chase's fish face

Ryder's fish face

Ryder studying their movements

"Nice fishies" they will say as they pet the side of their own faces, imitating me telling them to treat fish (and all animals and people) nicely. It is now part of our morning routine to put the fishies on the island, they sit on the bar stools, and they watch their fishies swim. We feed them breakfast, I repeat "just a pinch" and rub my finger and thumb together. Both boys repeat the action. It usually ends up they dump too much food into the tank despite my trying to control it and luckily we have not killed the fish from overfeeding. Often times they will kiss the bowl, "kiss fishie," then bang on the lid like a drum. It's at the point that the ritual usually ends.
It was fun to give it to them for the first time and watch their eyes and smiles light up. It is nice that they want to see them every morning and say goodnight before bed time. And, maybe over time the will learn to care for the fish and it can be lesson to them that special things need to be taken care of.
I hope it does not complicate things, however, when I am cooking a fish dinner and letting them "help."

Friday, January 18, 2008

So this is what 18 months is like......

It has been a week and a half since the boys turned 18 months and though we made no mention of the half birthday, other than their monthly birthday letter, it seems they are aware they have met this milestone and are refusing to disappoint. Verbally, there have been advancements from both boys in the last few days. Chase repeats everything you say, sometimes he picks out one word of the sentence and sometimes it is two or three. He is also adding larger words to his vocabulary (medicine.) Ryder is actually beginning to use words, bye-bye being his particular favorite. At times you wonder if he really just wants you to leave!!
Though they started dancing earlier, now it is with such enthusiasm and delight. Whenever they hear music of any kind they start their shoulders going. Ryder swings his arms up and down and flashes a grin and Chase rolls his shoulders. Freeze dance is part of our day and they put their arms out, vogue style, when they freeze. Chase loves to say "freeze" and "go."
We have learned to do Ring around the Rosie, and we are working on the Hokey Pokey. If Ryder hears music, whether it is the jingle of a telephone ringing or actual music he breaks out the moves.
They have decided that the MY GYM Hello song is their new favorite and they begin clapping their hands as an indicator that they want me to sing it. I am wondering if and when they will notice how off-key I sing.
They can respond to small commands, they can take direction, and as any good toddler should, they can disobey commands just as well. They have become particular with their eating, finding that throwing food is more enjoyable than eating it, prefer snacking to meals and have learned to help themselves to what is in the pantry. They are determined when they want something and also when they don't, and they are learning to voice their opinions, such as "I do not want water" which they make clear with a simple throw of the cup across the room. Their mischief is peaking, their agility is increasing, their personalities are blossoming. Chase is becoming more of a comedian every day and Ryder continues to be a thinker, a cuddler, and a total monkey all bottled up into one little boy. Mischievous and mysterious one moment, and giggly and silly the next. Not a day goes by that he does not end up bruised or scratched in some way. He remains to be fearless despite these minor bumps.
18 Months and counting......

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Weighing In

The 18 Month Well appointment was yesterday, two weeks after the boys' 18 month birthday. It seems both boys are doing great, meeting all of the necessary milestones, and are typical toddlers. This even includes their favorite sport- throwing food across the kitchen. Despite reveling in their improving arms, this most frustrating activity often leads to skipped meals. But, they did gain weight. Ryder weighed in at 21 pounds 12 ounces, a gain of exactly 14 ounces in three months. Chase weighed 21 pounds at 15 months, and three months later gained a pound and a half and now weighs 22 pounds 8 ounces.
I know the system for measuring length is far from accurate but it took two measurements to learn Chase did not grow at all. This seems unlikely. The first measurement had him shrinking....also unlikely. The doctor has decided they probably mis-measured last time. How scientific! Either way, Chase is 32 inches long, which is only 1/4 inch longer than Ryder, who grew from 31 to 31 3/4 inch in the same three months.
Chase's head did grow a half inch, which may account for his significant (ha ha) weight gain (18 1/2 inches) and Ryder's head measures in at 18 inches (from 17 3/4)
The boys did well with the examination, they seem to like the doctor. Ryder particularly enjoyed sitting on the scale and watching it level.
They continue, as they have for the last 18 months, to fall into the 10th (Chase) and 5th (Ryder) percentiles for weight, and almost the 50th (Chase) and the 25th (Ryder) percentiles in height. No longer tall and skinny, we are heading down to short and skinny. Despite their percentiles, I still can't find pants that fit in the waist and in the legs simultaneously.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Haircut #2

Ok, I admit it, I like long hair on little boys. Not so long that people mistake them, even just for a moment, for girls, but I do like it long. So, it was a push for me to get the boys haircut for only the second time in their short lives. But we did it, and it was quite the experience. Both boys actually seemed to enjoy the experience. Chase just wanted a comb so he could help but he smiled the whole time. When he was done, he excitedly grabbed the broom to help clean up? Despite my asking, his work did not warrant us a discount. Ryder seemed ok with the whole situation, as well. At first, he did not cry or whine but he gave us a look, almost as if to say WAIT...I LIKE IT WHEN MY HAIR IS CONSTANTLY IN MY EYES. But, then he let her go about the trim, happily. Todd thinks Chase's hair is still too long, I disagree. Ryder's hair, which is a bit too short in my opinion, happens to look really good. Here's to another 6 months of growth:)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Buckle Up!

Ryder is not much of a talker. He has proven to us he can say many words but rarely uses them to communicate. He seems to be more of a critical thinker. He goes nuts for buttons, light switches, computers and phones. He loves to twist the tops of the milk carton or the wheels on the bus. He gets excited about putting the shapes into their proper holes and loves putting puzzle pieces where they belong. He can turn a door handle, open a cabinet, push chairs and other things across a room, and his latest hang up is the buckles on the booster seats. He can not be in the kitchen without buckling them and grins and applauds with the sound of the click. When a meal is over, which is often indicated by his throwing of the food across the kitchen, as soon as he is out of his seat he is buckling the straps of his seat, and Chase's. If I unbuckle it, it is right back to work he goes. He does this with such a focus and a determination that it's actually amazing to watch. Someday, I am sure he will say buckle, for now he just likes to buckle.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Before I was a mom...

I knew having children would change my life and my lifestyle. It is the cliche everyone tells you when you are expecting. And, despite having no idea what is to come, it is the one thing you are well aware of, that everything will be different. However, what I would never have known was HOW things were going to change. It never crossed my mind that a shower would become a luxury, and that going to the supermarket alone would be considered time for myself. I thought for sure if I had overnight babysitting I would want to spend the night partying, but have come to realize that sleep is the main priority on such nights. I had no idea that going shopping would almost always mean buying for my kids, never for myself and I did not fathom that watching TV would be something I would miss. I never anticipated that when asked about my life I would immediately update you on my kids, nor that my identity would become completely and totally entwined with theirs. You could have told me a million times and I would never have believed that it would be a marathon of phone tag before catching up with my closest friends, and that even the ease of email would somehow seem difficult. I can promise you I never thought I would enjoy watching Sesame Street, that I would be humming nursery rhymes, or my voice would raise a few octaves and half of my sentences would rhyme. I was in denial that the excess baby weight would never come off, and I am shocked that I find children's menu food rather appealing. I knew I would give up alcohol, coffee, and sushi when I was pregnant, but was completely unaware that my palate would totally change. I still haven't gotten my taste back for cooked fish, and continue to be totally tempted by a big bowl of pasta. No, I had no idea these were the changes I was in for in addition to the millions of much more obvious changes. But, there was a lot of things I did not know before I was a mom, and now that I am one all I know is, despite having one your whole life, you don't know what that word really means until you are one.

A letter to my sons on their 18th Month Birthday!

Dear Chase and Ryder,

One and a half years old. What happened to my baby boys? Occasionally I see signs of the infants you once were, but mostly you are these toddlers who light up my world.
This age is certainly challenging, as most toddlers are. Most recently, Chase, you dumped a box of cornmeal on the floor and both of you played in it as if you were on the beach. Things like that do not stress me out so much, as that is exactly what kids should be doing. It is when you are running in opposite directions in a parking lot, after I ask you to hold my hand, that really gets to me. We are managing however. We are all figuring it out.
At 18 months Ryder you have began teething again. You have four teeth, in addition to your two year molars, left to get and they must be working their way in. Chase you still have 5 teeth. It is actually amusing to see your more than half empty mouth. Your weigh in is not scheduled for another week, but it seems you have both gotten taller, as shirts and pants are all getting shorter.
Ryder, you continue to be adventurous and daring. You still climb on everything, only this month that included out of the crib. We now have your crib tented to keep you safe. You actually seem to love the tent and are often zipping yourself in. You are never discouraged when you fall on your head, which I must admit is kind of often. Chase, your language skills continue to increase. We are beginning to have mini conversations with you, though I am not always sure the information you are telling me is accurate. Ryder, you know how to ask nicely for things, though your please is often in sign language. It is cute the way you give a little smile and bat your eyes when you do the please motion. You have added a word to your vocabulary, "tar" which is actually guitar. You carry the one Uncle Mat gave you all over the house and love strumming it. You do ask me to play too, which is funny, since I have no clue. But, you do not know that:)
You are both going through a phase of not eating quite as well as you once did. Some meals are fantastic, some meals are less than so, but you do not let yourself go hungry. Lately, you have been sitting back in your booster seats for meals, which has been helpful.
We began music class again today. I am still on the fence as to whether we will enroll in the full session. The last session, Ryder, you did not seem to enjoy it to its fullest, spending most of the time sneaking out of the classroom. I am hoping, now that you have fallen in love with the guitar and have recently learned to dance, that you will enjoy it a bit more this session. Chase, you always like music class and I imagine you will again.
The holiday season was a fun time for all. We spent Christmas Day hosting a brunch which included 16 kids. You both had a good time. We then spent 5 relaxing days in Margate and rang in the New Year at Brett and Sue Pinto's home in Margate. You both partied until after 10:30pm and a good time was had by all. All that time off, however, led to a lack of routine making it quite difficult to get back into the swing of things.
Ryder, you are fixated on the buckles on your booster seat. Once we take you out of your seat you then re-buckle both yours and your brother's seat. You are always very proud of yourself and often applaud after you hear the snap. You love it when we applaud with you. You still go nuts for buttons, remotes, televisions, phones and computers, or as you call them "FWA." You are extremely independent, play well by yourself, and are very laid back. You are determined and persevere and do not give up quickly when you concentrate. You have also learned how to open closed doors and are quite nimble with the door knob. The fact that you are about an inch shorter than Chase has not served as a disadvantage since he still can't do it. It is becoming more and more difficult to keep you in one room.
Chase your verbal skills continue to amaze us, you love to be tickled and your personality is extremely extroverted. You are bit more aggressive and are often the one to bully your brother. You want your way and are still learning a lesson in sharing and waiting your turn. You always know when you have poopie and never fail to tell us and you love taking showers. You love Elmo, Cookie, Ernie and Oscar, and will get excited to watch Sesame Street, though you usually only sit for a few minutes. You love to be tickled and belly laugh when it happens, it is just adorable. Ryder you are not quite as ticklish as your brother, but when we hit the spot your laugh echoes. Your voices are so sweet, Chase's is a bit more high pitched than Ryders, and like your cries or your moans, we can tell who's voice belongs to who.
Ryder, you have this thing you do when you say Pop-Pop or whisper it. We are not sure why, but you do it every time and it makes us laugh. It is the only words, so far, that you whisper. You both recognize all family members when you see them and will point them individually in pictures. You both love the playground and are extremely agile and quick. Chase you are a bit more tenative at the playground and it seems you may be a bit scared of heights, though it never stops you. Ryder, you do not seem to be scared of much at all.
You seem to understand most of what we tell you and generally you are pretty well behaved. Although it is Ryder who needs to be climbing the walls, it is actually Chase who tests us a bit more. When you are given a time out in the corner, you will go stand there yourself. Although I count to 10 out loud you never stay there for that long.
Chase, you had an ear infection this month and you were perfectly yourself through it all. It was kind of random that we found out you had it, we would never had known. You loved taking your antibiotic.
Chase you are also very concerned about Ryder. You ask for him, say his name, and make sure he has what he needs, at all times.
Ryder you are starting to develop a bit of your brother's flirt as you are starting to wave hello and goodbye a bit more, and love to blow kisses. You will play peek-a-boo any opportunity you get. Chase, you love to hide. You will hide in closets, behind furniture, in corners. You are amazingly patient until someone finds you.
We went for your second hair cut and you seemed to love it. Neither one of you whined, cried, or even got upset. In fact, Chase, you asked for more when the girl was done cutting.
It is amazing how much can grow and change in one short month. You are exhausting and delightful and it seems to be that you are a pleasure for most to be around. No doubt, it is a pleasure for me and I cherish my time with you. Despite some difficult days I am well aware how quickly you will grow.

Your smiles are warming, your laughs are contagious, and you are my precious boys.

I love you so.


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Family Update

The following is an email that was sent on 12/26 to my extended family updating everyone on our lives:

Hi Everyone,

I have been meaning to write our family update for several days now. This is the first opportunity that I have been able to steal. We have been busy this holiday season. We celebrated Hanukkah, in addition to the 8 nights, with 5 separate parties, the last one concluding just 12 days after the holiday. Not too bad, since the Bermans are celebrating it on Jan. 1, we are actually ahead of the game. Unfortunately, we are not attending that event which means our holiday has officially ended.
The Tovsky's have been busy. Todd just completed his sixth year as Associated Staffing and his 13th year as a Recruiter. He hired a new employee this year and work has been keeping him busy. I just completed my first full calendar year as a busy stay-at-home mom to energetic twin boys, and as a result it is impossible to update you on my life alone. Chase and Ryder are active. They turn 18 months in two weeks and they are every bit their age. Chase is talking very well and has learned more words than I could possibly list. He uses a lot of them in context and others not so much. When in doubt he just says cookie! Ryder has climbed everything in our home and other homes. He has climbed out of his crib and on top of tables. Nothing is too high, too scary, too dangerous. We resolved the crib problem with a tent, but the tables are still fair game. We keep busy with activities and playgroups and are looking into preschools for them to begin in the Fall.
Todd and I do find time to take to ourselves thanks to loyal and loving grandparents on both sides, but our favorite time is still family time. We took the boys on their first flight this summer and it is not something I would recommend to parents of 13 month old twins (at the time!) We also took them on their first road trip, which was a much greater success. We are awaiting warmer weather to resume our walks through Tyler Park and detours through playgrounds in the surrounding area.
We are disappointed to be missing the festivities on 1/1 but hope to have another family reunion, sooner rather than later.

We wish all of you a wonderful New Year and hope to see each of you in the near future.

Love, Wendy, Todd, Chase and Ryder

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year!

Family Picture on New Years Eve!

Who you calling trouble?

Sophia and Chase

We rang in the New Year in Margate!! We spent a somewhat relaxing 5 days by the beach. On New Years Eve we were invited to the beautiful, brand new home of our friends Brett and Sue. Sue, the chef that she is, spoiled us with fabulous eats. The company of JB and Lisa and the Great Holtzie made it that much more enjoyable. Somehow, our kids made it to 10:30 without a breakdown. They had a blast climbing the flights of steps, longer and steeper than they are used to. Ryder went nuts for the NILES system Brett has in his home and all the buttons made him hyper. Luckily, they were t0o high for him to reach. The boys both enjoyed Welch's champagne and it wasn't until about half way through the night that Ryder ended up it with all over his white shirt. Chloe and Sophia were both as sweet as can be,and Sophia was the perfect babysitter! JB and Lisa's little girl, Zoe, was also adorable, and overall it was a really fun night.
We made it home and had the kids in bed with some time to spare before we watched the ball drop with Dick Clarke and Ryan Seacrest. And, so it began 2008. No resolutions have been made, as I tend to not keep them anyway. Sure, I could vow to (again) lose this excess baby weight, but since 18 months later I am not sure you can call it baby weight, I will just leave it off the list. We have began this year by getting things in order, particularly our finances. We hope for ourselves, and wish for everyone else, a wonderful and happy new year.