The Tovsky Tribe

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

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Just after the boys turned two we took them for portraits. We had not really done anything like that before and we figured it was time. I was mildly concerned they would not cooperate, and if they did that they would definitely insist on seeing each picture after it was taken. Burying these concerns, I took them to Portrait Innovations. Although Chase was not that into it, you can't tell by the pictures. Ryder hammed it up nice and seemed to really enjoy being a portrait model. Here are some of the good ones, for all 84 of the good and bad click here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Florida- Mom-Mom's 90th Birthday Event

Take 2 at our attempt of flying with the boys, 11 months after our first attempt, and the result was greatly improved. We managed to have exactly zero attacks of hysterics even though they were wide awake the whole flight. Overall, I'd say they were really well behaved, of course that is without gathering the opinion of the people around us. Over the course of the flight the boys enjoyed one half sandwich each (4 triangles,) 2 lollipops (ascent and descent,) and one juice box. They watched 5 minutes of Finding Nemo, which they had never seen before, and 45 minutes of Elmo's Summer Vacation. They colored for one minute, looked at a book for 30 seconds, and had fun sticking balloon stickers all over themselves for about 3 minutes. Of course, in what may sound like easy time to pass, Ryder spent more than half the dvd watching time touching the buttons, as expected, and moving the screen so Chase could not see. He also found enjoyment kicking the seat of the man in front of him, who said nothing but could not have been happy. He must have a lot of grandchildren. Chase sat near perfect the whole time, still we were grateful for the relatively quick flight.
Once we arrived at the hotel we learned our room was not ready, and though this allowed the boys, who had finally fallen asleep, to sleep a bit longer, it was frustrating to be put off longer. When we finally got to the room, we realized the boys had been in their seats for close to 7 hours. It was actually amazing how good they were. Of course once we let them out they each had a meltdown prior to running down the hotel hallways.
We spent the weekend with family near and far. Jaime was in, after just moving to Tel Aviv,with his girlfriend Keren, whom we got to meet. Fresh from an Italian cooking immersion school,and working professionally in restaurants, they are soon to expose Todd and I for what we are, measley home cooks;)
Aunt Bonnie was a gracious host all weekend making sure we were comfortable and well-fed. She welcomed us with hugs and smiles and barely blinked eye as the boys bounced from her walls. She appropriately nicknamed them the demolition crew, and uses the name lovingly.
The hardest part for the boys, but the nicest part for mom-mom, was the party itself. She was surrounded by her family, all 6 of her grandchildren and you could tell she really enjoyed the moment. The boys were a bit unsettled with nowhere to run, but we managed. Ryder discovered microphones at the party, however, and has become a true performer since. He picked up the mike (thankfully it was unplugged) and sang several renditions of happy birthday. I do have it on video.
Overall, the weekend was really nice. Despite being a bit hectic for the boys, they did remarkably well for two year olds.
For Todd, it was special to be surrounded by family he does not get to see very often and to hear stories of his youth and before.
For me. it was a thrill to meet family I had not met before and hear these same stories. We are with my extended family all of the time, something that I love, and it was so nice to have an opportunity to do that with Todd's family. I wish we could do it more often. Here are some pictures of the weekend:

The birthday girl and her only grand-daughter

Ryder the performer

Mom-mom and 4 of her 6 grandchildren

Extended family photo op

Tovsky family photo op

Mom-mom, her daughters, and her grand-daughter

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

13 week ultrasound

We had a 13 week ultrasound of our third child. Amazingly, little zygie looked just like his/her brothers did at the same age. Here are pictures for comparison. The first two are Chase (at 14 weeks.) The second two are Ryder (14 weeks.) The last 3 are the baby at 13 weeks. Click on the pictures to see them larger.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sequential Screen

I am waiting in the hallway, aka waiting room, of the antenatal unit at Holy Redeemer Hospital for my sequential screen. This is a test, newer than my pregnancy with the boys, that is an early screening for Downs Syndrome, and other neural defects. Assuming all will be ok, I am excited to see little zygie via ultrasound.
This pregnancy is going smoothly. I have no complaints about how I feel. I am a little tired, but would be anyway, and do find it to be a struggle to carry the boys, one or both, up the steps.
I still do not have any real aversions to food but just prefer to keep things simple, comfort foods that I do not have to cook. I love peaches and sugar. The other day I bought an industrial size box of nerds. They were delicious. I managed to eat myself nauseous before the box was finished, thankfully, so I can indulge another time.
Now that I am public people are kindly asking me how I feel which means I am not as easily able to forget that I have my third child growing inside of me. Although I have gained three pounds and feel a bit fat, I am not really showing much beyond my residual twin baby belly. My belly has always been my weak spot, carrying twins did not help, so people have suspected a pregnancy long before there was one. Now, at least the belly is legit....(Hours later)
So, the ultrasound is over and everything looks perfect. I forgot how fun it is to see your little one swimming inside of you. I forgot how weird it is to see arms and legs flailing and yet not feel a thing. Zygie looked just like Chase and Ryder looked at this age, part alien, part human, all beautiful.
13 weeks tomorrow and counting.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A letter to my sons on their 2nd Birthday!

Dear Chase and Ryder,

Happy Birthday!! 2 years old. It is truly unbelievable. This birthday did not send me into tears like your first had, but still, I am amazed. We celebrated your actual birthday with a playdate with Madden and Ilivia. We had a good time. Unfortunately, you did not take your nap that day, which led to a long afternoon and a rough night. Ryder, you fell asleep at dinner
and we had to wake you for cake and gifts (a book and a puzzle.) We are having your party on Saturday, a bbq at home with 20 kids and their parents.
We preceeded your birthday with a week's vacation in Margate. We began the week at Sesame Place, where you had fun, but you needed some time to warm up after being terrified by the characters. On Tuesday we spent the day at the beach and we went out for ice cream that night. Wednesday we hung out at the house, in the pool and went to Ocean City at night where you loved the rides!! Thursday was back to the beach and it was beautiful. Friday was the 4th of July. Aunt Beth, Uncle Dave and Jackson came to spend the weekend with us. We took you to your first movie prior to their arrival, Kung Fu Panda. You both did great. Ryder you slept for the first 20 minutes than woke up and sat through the whole thing. Chase, you sat through most of it, got mildly scared in the middle and got slightly restless at the end, but overall it was a great experience. After a bbqdinner we went to the beach to await the fireworks. Past your bedtime, you were both excited for the display but after the first firework, Chase, you were scared out of your mind, jumped into my arms, and cried for an hour. Ryder, you absolutely loved it. Applauded, cheered, and watched in disbelief. Charmingly however, Chase, once you calmed down, you did ask to try again at the fireworks.
Saturday we went to Chuck E Cheese and Sunday we came home to celebrate your
early birthday with the grandparents. It was one busy week. Vacation is fun, however, and I hope we can do it more often.

Your official 2 year weigh in went as follows:
Chase you weigh 25 pounds, are 33 1/2 inches, and your head is 18 1/2 inches. Both your height and weight are 10th percentile bordering 25th. Ryder you weigh 24 pounds, 33 inches, and your head is 18 1/2 inches. You fall definitively into the 10th percentile. You are both exactly where you have always been on the charts.

At 2, you are rambunctious and curious and funny. You are beginning to really interact with each other, talk with each other, play with each other, and of course, fight with each other. it is a pleasure to watch. I often let you duke out your own arguments and step in only when necessary.
Ryder you love to sing. Happy Birthday still tops the list, but occasionally other songs are thrown in. I actually think you may be able to carry a tune, unlike me.
Chase, you love to be introduced. We spent a morning with Beth's niece, Olivia, who loves to perform but has to be introduced first. You watched this, got a kick out of it and now love being introduced. You have yet to perform after the introduction that goes as follows:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, introducing the one and only Chase"
You come out and scream and clap. It's cute. Ryder, you have been getting into this as well.
Ryder, you love to take your diaper off. Unfortunately, you take it off whether it is loaded or not and as a result we have had a few messes. We are trying to find a solution, of which may be to potty train but we are not sure you are ready. We are trying to remain stern as we tell you that your diaper must stay on. We try to prevent it. I can't figure out if you do it because you can, because you are bored, or because you do not want to wear your diapers. You don't seem to care about wearing underwear. We will see what happens in the months to come. Chase, you seemed to have learned this
trick from your brother making the situation a bit more dangerous, though luckily you have just christened your crib with sissy.
Almost instantaneously after turning 2 both daddy and I have noticed subtle changes. You seem a bit more independent, a bit more interactive with each
other. Oddly, you seem older, as if you know you are now 2. Do you want potty train?
Ryder, your new phrase is "Oh my god!" and it is absolutely hilarious to hear you say it, at the funniest times.
Chase, you are very into doing things yourself, whatever it may be. I welcome your ambition!! You are adorable and always ask to try again, after doing almost anything, even if you did not like it. You proclaim "self!" and off you go.
Although you both fall down often, you will both look up, and say "I'm ok," "I'm ok." And, adorably, you will also ask each other if you are ok with every fall, whimper, or cry. You really look out for each other. Always checking in on the other one or telling me the other one of you is sleeping, crying, or hungry.
Its wonderful to watch you forge a friendship despite your different personalities.
Twice this month you went to "camp" at My Gym." I dropped you off for three hours and you both did wonderfully, the worst of it was your asking for me a few times. I definitely think you are both ready for school.
We confessed to the world about your baby sibling to be. It is fun and exciting to have our friends and family join in in our excitement. When we told you the news, on Father's Day, you both reacted perfectly, almost as if it was rehearsed (it wasn't!) You seemed excited and happy, i hope you are when he/she arrives.
You both love babies, particularly Chase, who gets so excited to see any baby. We see Benjamin Stiefel most often, and though you love hanging out with Adam, you will cheer at the sight of Baby Benjamin. You loved spending the weekend with Jackson and wanted to feed him as often as possible. Ryder, although you loved Jackson, your favorite person was Dave. You seem to be a guys guy!!
You know some shapes, triangle, circle, square. You can do puzzles and enjoy them. You know some colors, but inconsistently. Orange you most often seem to get right, and Chase, you think things are usually pink. Ryder, your First answer to color, however, is usually blue. Chase, you counted to 20 twice now, it actually surprised me to hear you do it. We think you must have learned that from Sesame Street. Ryder, your counting is a bit more in typical Ryder fashion and you skip numbers as you please. It seems you know them all but just choose to rearrange them.
It's rather amusing. You can both recite the alphabet from start to finish. You seem to be able to recognize a few letters, but it seems to be inconsistent like the colors. We like to play a version of eye spy, where I will spy an object on the page (or in the area) and you will point it out. We all like that game.
Although we have had less activities this summer we have managed to keep busy.
You are both pretty mature for your age in spite of your non-interest in potty training. You are both very polite and hilariously funny. You are a
pleasure to be around, you love to smile and laugh. You light up my world and make me so proud and not a day goes by that I don't realize how blessed I am to have you for sons. Of course you have your moments, but overall you light up a room and those around you feel your warmth.

Two years old, the time has flown, our love has grown, and continues to. Everyday is an adventure that I welcome. I love you so!!!


Friday, July 11, 2008

Ten Weeks!

This post was written on 6/26/08

Ten weeks yesterday, I sit and wait for my OB. My appt. Was at 2pm and it is currently 3:15. Since I was ten minutes late, I will say my wait time is just over an hour. Thankfully, modern technology allows this lengthy wait time to serve as blogging time.
Somehow, despite my Pocono binging, I did not gain any weight in the last two weeks. Do you think it matters that I took my flip flops off this time and not last? Really, what could they weigh? Anyway, since I had actually lost two pounds last appt my total remains at negative two pounds. I will relish in that for as long as I can, because soon enough the numbers will creep to some unsightly total.
I am hoping to hear a heartbeat today. Dr. Kramer already warned me that it may be too early. He said between 10 and 13 weeks and since I am just 10 it may be too soon. He also told me not to panic if I do not hear it, ha ha ha. Really everyone, Todd, Jill, my parents, me, just want to go public with the news and I am making everyone wait until I hear the heartbeat.
Sure, I would like to tell the world, but the truth is the secret is not bursting from me like it was with the boys. I think partly because it is just starting to sink in, partly because most hours of the day I forget and partly because I like having this moment with my growing baby to myself, and to the family and closest friends that know. Things are different the second go round. I know how quickly it all goes, how fast I will go from ten weeks pregnant to having a two year old and just want to savor each moment of my last pregnancy. Soon enough the world will know our good news for now its just ours.
So here's the info for ten weeks. I am down two pounds, am a bit tired but only if I stop to think about it. Twice this week I sat at the computer when the boys were napping and both times I ended up napping. I have no food aversions or cravings, though I do enjoy decaf mocha frappuccino's and nectarines, though not at the same time. I do not think I am showing at all, though two people (Aunt Barb and Leila) have asked me if I am expecting and I am pretty sure my waist left me without saying goodbye. I am a bit constipated and my legs are bruised from all of the shots, but neither is worth complaining about. All in all I feel good and know that I am amongst the lucky ones when it comes to being pregnant!

Dear #3!

This post was written on 6/1/08

Dear Zygie, yes zygie is what we've nicknamed you, just wanted to say hi. I wanted to tell you that slowly this is becoming a reality and I love you more everyday. Daddy and I can't wait to tell the world about you....soon, soon, soon.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Memory Lane

This post was written on May 28. 2008

Below is what I wrote the day I found out I was pregnant with boys, not aware yet it was twins. I remember it like yesterday and it remains to be one of the best days of our lives.
Two and a half years later it is different circumstances, similar feelings.


The day of truth- and I am pregnant. I almost can’t believe it. The feeling is totally surreal and yet I can not get this silly grin off of my face. I AM PREGNANT. It feels weird to say it, and yet it is the best feeling I have ever known. Todd and I are both ecstatic….more to come soon.

Doctor's confirmation!

This posting was written on May 28, 2008.

So I saw the doctor today. He confirmed what I already knew, I am pregnant. He laughed at me when I told him I took two tests and still needed him to tell me. I suppose I can't blame him. Now, I anxiously await an ultrasound for several reasons. 1. To see a heartbeat and know this is a viable pregnancy. 2. It's always fun to see your little one, even if it looks like a paisley. 3. I need to know that it is one baby. Sure, twins are unlikely, but when it is all you know, well, you just need to know.

In need of verification!

This post was written on 5/27/08

I know that the likelihood of a false positive pregnancy test is, well, unlikely. I know they are accurate. Yet, I am still not comfortable with this unverified status. Still showing no signs, even losing a pound on the diet I have yet to give up, I am having a hard time believing what I know to be true. And, its making me worry. Tomorrow I see Dr. Kramer, which is good. A blood test, a cervix feel, yes he can verify my reality. Perhaps, I can convince him to prescribe me an ultrasound!!

Its still true!

This post was written on May 24, 2008!

It is still true!! At least as far as I know, as I hope. Life is still a blurry mix of a very happy reality and an elated surreality.
Minute to minute, as I go through the day with Chase and Ryder trying to anticipate their shenanigans, there is no time for me to think about the fact that I am pregnant. In fact as I am running around the playground or being used as a jungle gym it is actually quite easy to forget. But, then I will have a rare, quiet moment to myself and it will dawn on me. Holy cow I am pregnant!! I figure if I say it enough times eventually it will sink in.
I remember going through this when I was pregnant with the boys, thinking it could not be. Truth is there is no evidence. As mentioned I feel completely normal, I am looking for symptoms and still can't come up with any. With Chase and Ryder I had the comfort of weekly office visits verifying that despite my lack of symptoms I was indeed growing two babies. This time I have not even seen a doctor yet. So much for doing things the old fashioned way!

It's true!!

This post was written on 5/23/08!

So I insisted Todd buy a new test. Yes, I made him go to the drug store and buy a pregnancy test that was NOT expired. I know, you are thinking what he was saying, an expired test would give a false negative before an unlikely false positive, but still, I needed verification. I had never purchased a pregnancy test before, I guess I still haven't. He brought me home a clearblue easy test, it does not get pee on the stick and after a few moments it says either Pregnant or Not Pregnant, I could not deny this:

So, its true, though its still surreal. I find these smiles randomly appearing on my face, out of nowhere. Todd will look at me and immediately he knows what I am thinking, HOLY SHIT WE ARE PREGNANT!! Then, we look at our boys and grin with delight...another one to love. I have always wanted a third, I am beyond thrilled, yet I am still a bit shocked.

I did call the doc and set up an appoinment. Maybe then it will be a bit more real?! #3, I love you already.

PS: As I had expected, Todd is utterly excited and already anticipating his newest baby.

One Heartbeat!

This post was written on June 6, 2008!

One ultrasound later and despite, thankfully, seeing JUST ONE active heartbeat the reality is still not setting in. Soon enough my clothes will stop fitting and my belly will start growing and then I will feel those flutters and suddenly it will all make sense.
Most of my day goes on like normal though I am definitely more tired. But, when I can't sleep at night, as I lie there I swear I can feel zygie growing. My uterus will start to tighten and I feel light pressure. I know this is crazy since zygie is only about an inch long, but in that moment my yet to be born third child is letting me know all is well and for that brief moment I do know it is real.

Numbers Game!

This post was written on May 30, 2008.

When I first found out I was pregnant with the twins, verification came by way of a blood test which indicated my hormone levels. When a very pleased doctor told me that, one day past week 4 of pregnancy, my levels were at 900. I had no idea what that meant. Later I learned that a singleton pregnancy, at week 4, would have levels lingering around 300. It does not take a math genius to realize the numbers were indicative of multiples.
Here we are week 7 of this pregnancy and once again the verification of my levels came by way of phone. Once again, a very pleased doctor informed me my numbers were fantastic! When I had seen him at the office, just after taking blood but before the results, he mentioned the numbers 8000-9000. When he called, he said my levels were at 26000!! I admit it, I got panicked. I know very little about these numbers but basic math told me that was nearly triple the numbers he had mentioned and my first thought was "Twins Again!" I know how unlikely that is, and I know that there is no reason to suspect, but when all you know is twins you can't help but wonder. The doc reassured me the numbers were perfect for one baby at about 7 weeks. Of course, I will await the ultrasound, on Tuesday, for the final verification that there is only one baby in utero!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Two Lines!!

This post was written on May 22nd, 2008!

Something shocking, something incredible, has happened today. We saw two lines!!!
We saw two lines on a test that is 2.5 years expired. That was all we had and the wondering was eating me up. So, we used it. And, we saw two lines.

My period was late. This is often a tell tale sign of a pregnancy, but I did not see it that way. For one, my cycle was not yet totally regular so I could only be late if I knew when exactly to expect my period. I had nothing more than a ballpark figure. Also, it did not seem likely that after my first experience of baby making, that it could happen without even really trying. Sure, it happens all the time, but not to me. And, I do not feel pregnant, I feel totally normal. Whatever normal is. Not more tired, nor hungry, nor thirsty, nor nauseous, just normal. Lastly, I just started weight watchers, two days ago. Finally after 22 months I decided to get the baby weight off, ironically, just to put it on. So, with all of these reasons I did not see a late period as evidence of much. I decided that if I did not get my period by Memorial Day, seven weeks after my last period, I would take a test. Only I could not wait. Despite my doubts something was telling me to test now!! The wondering was keeping me up at night. The wondering of if it could really happen that fast, that easy, that unexpectedly? So, we tested it. We took a test, an expired test from samples I was given, and as it turns out there were two lines. Holy Shit!! I think I am pregnant. Happy as can be, I am completely shocked. It does not yet seem real, nor possible, so I must just take a moment.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fireworks Explosion!

We celebrated the 4th of July almost like we had many times before. By the beach, with Dave and Beth by our side. Despite the obvious changes, three and a half kids, mommies who can't drink, and daddies who can still drink but also tend to their kids, we had a great time. This Independence day included our late night hang out from the usual suspects and although I have not yet ventured out I am certain this July 5th will involve the same clean up as many 7/5's in the past.
This, however, was one of the first 4th of July's in a while where weather and circumstance did not prevent us from seeing a fireworks display.
We kept the kids up late, and at 8:30 headed down to the beach; 4 adults, three beach chairs, 2 strollers (a double and a single), 1 beach blanket, a few travel drinks, and a camera. We were ready. The kids were ready. One test firework in the air and excitedly both of my kids asked for more. I remained optimistic. Ryder houdinied his way out of his seat and ran about the beach, joyfully. Chase stayed glued, cautious. The show began and this story goes two ways; Ryder looked up in amazement enthralled by the colors and the sounds. He clapped at intervals and cheered and screamed in delight. He rolled around in the sand, stood on his head as he likes to, and then returned to his feet for more applause. It was seemingly one of the best times he has had since birth. I didn't see his reaction to the finale, but legend has it that he was stunned with amazement. His jaw dropped, his eyes big, and the words I like it were being uttered. What a thrill to see your kid so happy. This is exactly how I would have expected Ryder to act.
Meanwhile, Chase's story, different but no less animated, goes something like this: The fireworks began and at the same instant he began with a cry and a plea for mommy to hold him. I could not get him unbuckled and out of the stroller fast enough before he erupted into full tears. As I picked him up, he burried his face into the nook of my neck and shoulder and did not move again for an hour. He held me so tightly I wondered where he stores all that strength and he cried the whole time uttering the words No Like It! He asked me to cover his ears, too loud mommy, and since one was in my shoulder I put my finger in his semi-exposed ear. I rocked him and did a calming ssshhh in his ear, neither of which calmed him, and after I realized he was not giving up on this cry I started to walk home. Of course, walking home did not help, it was just as loud, he was just as upset, but I did not know what to do. The walk home, 25 pounds wrapped around me and no freedom to readjust my hold, was grueling and difficult, but you do what you have to do. Once home we sat on the porch, I rubbed his back, and felt him slowly calm as the fireworks had ended. Eventually, he pulled up his head, his eyes needed to readjust to the light, and he looked at me and grinned, as if there was no problem at all. He said goodnight to everyone, we went to his room, we put on pajamas and read stories like any other night and he was so happy. He looked at Todd and I, flashed his dimples and said "try again!". We asked him "try seeing the fireworks again?" And he said sweetly, "yes, try again!". We laughed and told him next time we will definitely try again. He went right to sleep without a whimper. I guess all is well that ends well.