The Tovsky Tribe

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thirty Three

Today is my 33rd Birthday. 33 is, in fact, one of those ages that seems almost unnecessary. Who gets excited to turn 33? I do like the double number though and since I am eleven years away from another one of these years I will enjoy the next 364 days.
The celebration of my birthday was actually wonderful. Todd took the day off from work, the kids were with a sitter, and we spent the day shopping. I realize how funny that sounds being that Todd and I are both non-shoppers, but when you have a closet full of nothing and twin toddlers, you take any opportunity you get.
I was only partially successful on the spree, but it was nice to spend the day with Todd, at a seemingly unscheduled pace, no kids in tow (though they did score new pants on the journey), just us. We had fun.
We came home, had dinner, then celebrated with cake. We lit the candles and went through a rendition of Happy Birthday that should not be repeated, then had to light the candles a second time by the demand of Chase. It's interesting how I felt the need to have cake, to light candles, and to sing now that I have kids. In the past I was thrilled to skip that step. But, you see things differently when you look through the eyes of your children and you want to try to make everything as exciting as they think it is.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Eggs so Blue

With less than 48 hours remaining in my 32nd year, not age, nor wisdom (no matter how little), nor the lack of a child's innocence could prevent me from seeing the beauty, the purity of nature's creatures. A perfectly built nest, the beauty of a robin's eggs, and the care a mother bird takes of her babies captured my interest. I showed the boys, who chose to squeal in delight at the blue eggs just before giving a winding swat. We backed them away aware that the momma robin would never return if we touched her beloved home.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Coffee, Please!

We all try to instill manners in our children. The constant reminders to ask nicely or to say thank you make us sound like broken records. Eventually, you see the effects of the repeated pleas, when all on their own they use the "magic" words. Though I have mentioned that Ryder has a tendency to be polite without reminders, if he is not being too shy, I find that when I least expect it, both boys are being their most polite. For example, the other day, Chase was on his cell phone and the conversation went like this:
ME: Who are you talking to, Chase?
CT: Mom-Mom!
ME: Oh?!
CT: Hi, Mom-Mom
CT: (after a brief pause) hmmmmmm
CT: Coffee, Please!

I began to laugh. Evidence that coffee often precedes my parents arrival, I was thrilled that even if its just imaginary play, and even if it is coffee he is asking for, he asked nicely.

Yesterday, another example, also by Chase. We were at a birthday party, at a playground in the city. We were leaving and saying goodbye to the people, the balloons, the swings and the horsies (carousel), when Chase stopped, looked and said with a smile "Thank you Playground!"
Unfortunately, I could not get him to show the same gratitude to the host and hostess.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Democratic Primary 2008

This morning I went to vote in this very important Democratic primary. All of this indecision left me, well, undecided. At the beginning of all of this I was a Hillary fan. Being relatively uneducated in the field of politics, pathetically, my reasoning was 1. I like Bill and 2. wouldn't it be nice to see a woman president? Believing that this was no reason to cast a vote I tried to learn a few things. Watching a few debates, slowly I started to lean towards Obama.
Then came the time to vote. Standing within the booth of this historical election I felt like I was in high school again, unprepared as usual, for the big exam. Wanting to choose the candidate that was seemingly best for the job I, admittedly, felt compelled. Compelled to vote for Hillary, for a woman as a woman. Compelled to NOT vote for Hillary just for that reason. I felt compelled to not look at the two candidates as the first woman and the first black man despite it being the obvious factors. I wondered how many of us were having the same thoughts.
Truth is, in my naivete, you may call it ignorance, both candidates seem to be a lot of the same. Intelligent, poised, politicians, and all that comes along with it. Sure, one has more experience than the other, and to some that is a large factor.
So, I stood there, made a gut reaction vote, and walked out. I am interested in seeing who wins but will not be disappointed or happy either way. What I do know, is that whether it is the first black man or the first woman who makes the ballot it is that person I will be voting for come November and it won't be for either of those reasons.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Another Seder come and gone, another year of hecticness. Only, oddly, the hecticness seemed to be missing this year. Sure, I began the preparations 24 hours later than normal and only 24 hours before the meal. This meant at Friday, 4pm, I had not one thing done. Not one thing. Tables were not set, dishes were not out, veggies were not sliced and diced. A panic set in, but it was brief, and all was done with plenty of time to spare.
Most guests were on time, the hors d'oeuvre's and mingling went without a spilled drink or a broken glass, and we sat for Seder only about 10 minutes later than expected.
The Seder was led, as usual, by Uncle Marc from a new Haggadah he had printed, and went smoothly and relatively uninterrupted in less than 40 minutes. We tried to involve the kids (1 4 year old, 3 almost 2 year old's, and a 1 year old) with plastic frogs and plague masks, but most of them decided the toys outside were more fun.
The food was good, and the only thing that went unserved was the matzoh stuffing I totally forgot about. I found it in my fridge the next day. Perhaps it was better this way, as how good could matzoh stuffing really be?
We did also forget to hide the afikomen's, which I had talked up all week to Chase and Ryder about how they would play hide and seek with the matzoh, but I suppose there are worse things considering if we couldn't remember to hide it, it is unlikely we would have remembered where we hid them all, had we done so.
All in all it went well and now if I can only learn to perfect a brisket. Suggestions?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Budding Artists?

This is a picture of our red wall bedazzled by creations of Chase and Ryder. A pen to the wall is how it all begins, be it their careers as artists or their terrible two's.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Here is the thing about having toddlers, you get used to a certain level of noise. Every toy makes a ridiculous sound and Barney songs are on repeat through the tube. Toddlers babble, they laugh, they cry, they whine, they practice using a voice that is more like a scream, and for one reason or another have no interest in practicing their whisper. Yes, life with toddlers means there is noise, lots of it, and always. So, when things are quiet, eerily silent, the kids are either sleeping, not home, or....getting into trouble. Such was the case yesterday when while washing their sippy cups I noticed the silence only to find Ryder eating the tube of triple paste. Lips painted white he grinned, as I snagged the tube. Yes, trouble was the case today when in the silence they had taken a pen to our walls. In the past it has been emptied pantries, spilled confectioners sugar, or an unraveled roll of toilet paper. Silence has meant walls are being climbed, toys are being flushed, and drawers are being emptied. In the headache of all the noise listen for the silence because that is when the real trouble begins.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I love you!!

Today, for the first time, the boys each said I love you!! They said it to my mother, after repeating me, but still...they said it. They never repeated those words before, and believe me I had tried. Needless to say, we were pretty excited.
Tonight, we put them to bed. Our routine was the usual, but Ryder was crying. I went back in to rock him. Chase was still awake. So, while sitting in the rocker with Ryder I was talking to Chase and out of nowhere, or so it seemed, Chase said, "I love you!!" Thrilled, I said, I love you too and then he went on to say it a few more times. May this be the start of something great.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Oh Boy(s)!

Prior to parenthood I would hear parents claiming boys were different from girls right from the very beginning. This was information I disregarded. Not because I believed it as true or false, but because I had no basis and, frankly, no interest.
Now that I am a mommy to two boys and an aunt to two nieces I can say with some certainty that it is true. My sons are two totally different boys, yet they are both very much boy. They are filled with adrenaline and energy that can not be rivaled. They are into everything, at all times, and give a devilish grin when they know they are not supposed to be doing whatever it is they are about to do. I can assure you I have not raised my sons to love tractors and dirt anymore than my sister has made her oldest daughter only wear dresses because "pants are for boys." They are just wired this way. Sure, society plays a part in this development, but Ryder has not learned to scale furniture by watching me!
When I gave birth to two sons, I expected to be squirted in the face when changing diapers and may have pictured a future of soccer games or baseball games. I imagined tree climbing and perhaps, but hopefully not, a trip to the ER. It occurred to me they could be like their Uncle Mat and have a fondness for the martial arts. And, yes, I thought maybe there is a rock star in bloom.
But, it did not dawn on me that I would spend an afternoon in a parking lot pointing out trucks and buses and airplanes and that this would be a fun game. I did not expect to drive around a construction zone pointing out tractors and cranes. I had no idea I needed to brush up on my vocabulary on the vehicles at a construction zone. I currently call them all tractors (which are also on farms) and it won't be long before my boys are correcting me.
I have since learned, turning your back for a second means a dumped box of confectioners sugar (which is no easy task to clean up.) And, an object full of buttons, be it a remote control, a phone, a computer or a camera means an abrupt channel changing, a false 911 call, a broken letter on your computer (in this case an I) and a bunch of pictures of the floor. Raising sons means life is a touch and feel book, just like "That's not my Truck," and finding half-eaten banana's hidden in your pantry. It means jumping in puddles and playing in and then eating dirt. I have learned that raising sons means nothing is safe from destruction, nothing is impossible to open, furniture may be rearranged, and shelves and window sills are not too high to jump from. Yes, raising sons means learning all too quickly why they say "Boys will be Boys."
But, still, when you get a moment to think about your boys, you realize beneath the dirt is what will become a man. They love to stop for hugs, and laugh in delight, and fun is just par for the course. When they look at you with puppy dog eyes and remind you that despite being a bit of a menace they have a soft side too, you simply want to melt. Yes, Boys will be boys, but that is a very good thing.

Happy 21 months!

Dear Chase and Ryder,

Well it is apparent, time is not slowing down for anything. In fact, it continues to pass by even quicker. Neither of you are slowing down either, in fact you are just getting quicker as well. It is amazing how a few short weeks, sometimes days, can allow for so many changes.
Chase, you often speak in simple sentences, offering up a "me no like," or a "Chase's turn" as often as possible. You continue to repeat everything we say and have slowly been forcing us to learn a language that has pleas and commands in just a few words. "seeeeeek" with the long, emphasized E, is your way of asking us to play hide and seek, which is me hiding behind an object and then jumping out. You insist on things being repeated, endlessly. The turtle on Barney gets a "more turtle" before he is even off the screen, and here I am rewinding for the umpteenth time. "more monkey," more tractors, more cranes, more construction, most of which I couldn't reproduce if I wanted to. I, unfortunately, have yet to hear more peas or more kisses (though salad and tickles have made the list.)
Ryder, you have begun to use more words, though some things I am still trying to figure out. Ryder, I have not fully learned your language yet. I believe pip is crib and i know hiyan is hide and seek but that was not an easy thing to learn. Be patient with us my boy, we will figure it all out together. You have, however, started using the word "puter" an improvement from the previous title "fwa." Interestingly, and it may or may not be a coincidence, but since you started using words you seem to pick up the guitar less. Is it that you can only focus on one thing at a time? Was the guitar your way of getting out the frustration of words? Who knows. Much to our delight you have both added an almost regular thank you into your vocabulary. It is not perfectly consistent, but what ever is? You both say it, along with please, and that is really great!!
Chase, you can also count to ten, which you do randomly, but often enough that we know you can. Ryder, I am pretty sure you can as well, but in your little Ryder way you have not really let on that you are able to. But, you chime in when you feel like it, giving us the sense that you can.
You continue to teethe, which means hands in mouths and shirts full of drool. Chase you are getting a lot of teeth at once here, which makes sense since you had so few before. Ryder, you are getting what you have left the four teeth (2 top, 2 bottom) to the left and right of your four middle teeth.
You have been peeing on the potty on random occasion. The great celebration that becomes of each successful pee is not motivation enough to keep doing it. Ryder, you still prefer to pee on the floor, a habit daddy and I are trying to break. Chase, for a while there you were not very comfortable sitting on the potty. You always sat down all stiff, almost as if there were pins on the seat. I knew you would never pee so tensed up so I told you simply to relax. You looked at me, doe-eyed, and repeated, "relax!." which made me laugh. I said, "that's right buddy, just relax there." I handed you your step stool with the Chase puzzle, I said, "relax, do your puzzle." You grinned, "relax!" you said, then started playing with the pieces. Amazingly, you did relax, enjoyed sitting there for a few moments despite the fact that you never peed. You will often use the word relax now, whether it is when you sit on the potty, or when we ask you too. (
We celebrated Aunt Carri's birthday this month, and also Madden's first birthday. We practiced singing happy birthday before both events and you are slowly learning to fill in the right name at the right time. Your version of the song is something like...."happy, you, carri" or "happy, you, madden." All of these birthday's meant a lot of cake. You were happy about that.
We got you both new shoes this month. And, thank goodness we did. Not my proudest parenting moment, but your shoes were so small Ryder you have a bruise on your toe. I am so sorry. I figured it was time, but did not realize the extent. I should have listened when Chase said "too tight."
You do still love Barney, and school buses, and tractors. One of the first things you ask for in the morning is Barney and we often watch it in bed while mommy gets ready. Every time someone comes to visit, Mom-Mom Jill, Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop, their greeting is often "Barney." I suppose you are hoping they will allow you to watch after daddy and I have said no.
You have the cutest thing you do. Before drinking you will click you cup and say cheers. It is hilarious. You do it with each other and with mommy and daddy.
We sing songs all day long. When we are playing, at dinner time, whenever. I sing more nursery rhymes than I actually know, so sometimes I make them up. You do not seem to mind and lately you have requested songs. Your favorites for the time being are "Hello" from Miss Marilyn's music class, Raindrops both on your head and the Barney song, unfortunately I do not know the words to raindrops on your head, and you also like the 5 Monkeys in a tree (teasing mr. alligator.) You ask for this by saying SNAP (like the alligator does) and clapping your hands real loud.
We took you for your first Hibachi experience at our favorite local restaurant (Oishi.) We were very excited for this outing. We had talked about it a long time and only decided you were ready after friends with kids the same age said they had been and the kids loved it. On the drive we talked it up...the silly hat, the food cooked right in front, the noise, the flames. We called it a show and we were all excited. Strapped into your seats you were seemingly excited. The table next to us had begun and you were watching with close eye. Your eyes opened wide when the fire rose, and after you both exclaimed "more hot." The chef played drums with his knives and you liked it and then they sang happy birthday which made you light up. Suddenly, there was a short silence followed by a startling bang of the spatula on the grill which made an ear piercing noise. Chase you jumped out of your seat in absolute hysterics and were unable to be calmed. We had to leave the restaurant, you proclaiming "no show, too loud, no show too loud" over and over. Unfortunately, Ryder really enjoyed it and was saying "moy show, moy show." We will have to take Ryder on a separate occasion. Chase, you still, a few days later, say no show, no show. I guess we are not surprised. You have always had a tendency to get startled by things. The vacuum cleaner used to send you jumping, as did the coffee grinder. You have gotten used to both of those things, as I suppose you will the hibachi show. We will try again, just not anytime too soon.
Chase, you are extremely observant, as you have been since day one. You notice everything that goes on around you and can talk about it at a later time. I am often amazed at what you remember.
You love to say hello and goodbye to everyone...and to everything. Chase in particular will say goodbye to every toy in the room, goodbye to Barney, goodbye to whatever he sees. It's cute.
Mom-mom and pop-pop got you your wagon. This was a belated 1st birthday gift presented to you as the weather is beginning to break. You absolutely love it! It is fun to take you for rides in it even when you claim "more fast, more fast."
You both love to "drive." This is what we call sitting in the front seat of the car (engine off) playing with the wheel and the dashboard. This all started because in order to not have you running in parking lots I would put you in the car and then strap you into your seats one at a time. As a result you have learned to "drive" and want to do it every time we get in the car. Sometimes I let you...other times I do not. It is cute to watch, especially how excited you get. This, I am sure, is practice to what is to come in 14 years.
Yes, it has been a fun month and we are looking forward to the warmer weather that is approaching.

"Please, can we drive?"

You continue to delight not only us, but everyone who knows you. You continue to develop your sense of humor and it is fun to see how silly you can actually be. You are in to everything, all of the time, but we are getting used to it!!! We continue to be so very proud of you, and we love you, every day, beyond measure.

I love you,

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Naptime Cuddle

When we have babies we tend to wish away moments in hopes of greater interaction. We long for the first smile, the first laugh, the first conversation. We find ourselves impatiently waiting to do things with them, the "things" being different for all. What we find however, is that the babies get bigger, quickly. They laugh, smile, walk, talk, and suddenly we become soccer moms. As these milestones happen we then find ourselves just wanting to snuggle with our baby again. If your toddler is like mine, snuggles are few and far between.
Yesterday I had the good fortune of returning to the baby days as my rambunctious toddler settled into my arms for a long snuggle.
Ryder woke up mid-nap. His tent was not closed and he dropped his blanket out of the crib causing an episode of tears that brought me right to his room. I picked up the blanket, and him, and he cuddled himself right onto my shoulder. I decided to take advantage.
I laid down on my couch, Ryder resting on me. And so we stayed for an hour and a half, his little snore just below my ear.
Yes, the baby who rests on you is something we all miss as they grow. I imagine we crave it even after we no longer want more children. If you can sneak the opportunity to have 25 pounds sleep on you, I highly recommend it.
The real challenge: I was watching a dvr'd episode of Two and a Half Men, which is hilarious, and I did not want to laugh and wake my boy.

Un-Roller Coasters

Though we were in Hershey this weekend, the park itself was closed. It is eerie, and interesting to see the coasters looming above you, quiet, without movement. They seemed rather large, and almost intimidating, though I do love coasters.
Here are pictures that barely capture what it was like.

Girls Weekend

I read a friend's blog who wrote "I am no longer a complete person without them {her kids.}" Then she went on to say " I like to think I have a few more layers, but I can imagine how one-dimensional my life seems through the lens of this blog."
She's right. None of us believe we are one dimensional, and I suppose it does us some good to try to be as multi-dimensional as time will allow, but we are certainly not complete without our kids. Our children who dictate our where's and our when's, have morphed themselves so deeply into our "selves" that we become only a part of who we once were.

This past weekend I had a girls weekend at the Hershey Hotel. Jenn, Rachel and I decided to put our responsibilities as mommies (and in Jenn's case, VP of Loan Servicing) on hold for a whole 48 hours and just spend time being us, together. We felt (and luckily our husband's agreed) that this was not only much needed, but much deserved. We had a fantastic time. We were not on a schedule (aside from the 4:30pm Friday massages) and we had very few plans. We just did our thing. We woke up in the morning and read magazines, took our time, waited in line for breakfast, browsed in stores, got manicures. Before our trip there was minor concern from one party of how we would kill our time. I suppose when you are so used to being at the schedule of your children, used to the fact that free time means cleaning up or supermarket shopping, you wonder what on earth you would do with 48 hours to yourself. I am happy to report we had no problem passing time.
I am also happy to report that having never travelled together (which we did not realize until breakfast Saturday morning) that all 3 of us travel well together. Being good friends this does not seem weird, only sometimes the traveller in a friend can butt heads with the traveller in you.

Before we were parents, we were young adults, who led a life as selfish as possible. We did what we wanted, when we wanted, with whom we wanted. For me that meant a lot of time with friends, and lots of them, usually over dinner and drinks (lots of them, too.) It meant time with family, including my niece (since parenthood it has become niece's) and when I was with her it could be just me and her. It meant late nights, trips to coffee shops, bookstores, and the movies. It meant reading books, watching unnecessary television, and spending weekends away. And, as I write this and relish happily in those days, I do not wish to go back because now I know what would be missing....the joys parenthood has brought me!!
Yes, deep within my layers is the person I once was, with the interests and the passions and the free time. I like bringing out those parts of me, as I was fortunate enough to do this weekend. But, now, when I spend the time being me, I do not forget that the largest part of me, the part that completes me, are my kids. You can take a weekend (or longer) from the responsibilities, but you can not shed the layer that holds it all together. I am, however, already looking forward to the next girls trip.

For a posting on a similar subject, written a year and a half ago, click here.