The Tovsky Tribe

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

Thursday, April 30, 2009

One, Two...34

Today is my birthday!! I celebrated yesterday with Chase, Ryder, and Turner because I wanted to celebrate with my boys and today I am jet-setting to Key West with Todd for some much needed R&R. Today is a great day. I am OK turning 34, in fact I have no qualms at all with adding another tally next to my years. Sometimes I forget how old I am. Someone will ask my age and I will have to think before I answer. I am not sure if this is a sign of aging or a Freudian act of denial. Sometimes, I think I am in my twenties and wonder who is responsible for the three young kids running wild only to discover a decade has passed and those kids are in fact mine! Sometimes, I feel so tired and achy I think I am well beyond my actual years. Most days, no matter what I am feeling, I am blown away at how quickly it all happens. 21 years ago I became a Bat Mitzvah. 16 years ago I graduated from high school and 12 years ago from college. To quantify the years since these milestones is what makes it so astonishing. All of it seems like just a few years ago, it is amazing how quickly you go from one and two to thirty four. Now, I have three young boys whose aging and growth will transform the passing of time into even more of a raceway. Age really is just a number. And I welcome a new number because that is what is supposed to happen. If you are not aging you are not alive and if you are livin' then it does not feel much like aging anyway. So, Happy Birthday to me, until next year!!

Celebrating with my boys

Blowing out the Candles

Celebrating 34 at the airport!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Everything but the Kitchen Sink....

Yesterday we gathered to celebrate my birthday. Nothing fancy, but since Todd and I will be away for my 34th we got the family together for a BBQ and cake. As usual, it was nice being with everyone.
For me, I had everything I needed: my husband, my sons, my sister and niece (though Jay and Delaney were, sadly, absent,) my parents, my mother-in-law, and even my brother was there hanging out! I had everything I needed but the kitchen sink, literally.
That's right, about 20 minutes after everyone arrived our garbage disposal regurgitated the parts of the tomato that did not make it to the salad and left us with a clogged sink. Three inches of water and a disgusting mix of floating, disposed food particles is how our sink currently exists. The drain guy, because indeed there is a guy for everything, should be here this afternoon.
The past 24 hours have brought new meaning to the phrase "Everything but the kitchen sink.". Life is much more difficult than I could have ever anticipated; like when you lose use of your dominant thumb. Even using paper plates, the dishes are collecting. We are storing them, food covered and all, in the dishwasher to be rinsed and washed when the sink returns to working condition.
Though a pile of dirty dishes is beyond frustrating, the inconvenience has really come to us by way of bottles and sippy cups. Washing them in the bathroom sink, the same place we spit out our toothpaste, has a rustic element I have never quite experienced.

Oooh gotta go, the drain guy is here. And, just for the record, the drain guy is not the plumber. Who knew!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Today is Sunday. Today is also the fourth consecutive day of Chase and Ryder napping in their beds. It has been wonderful and has made for better children, well, most of the time.
After 6 months of car napping, if there was a nap, we were noticing recently that though the much needed downtime for me was nice, the boys were waking up as cranky as if there had been no nap at all. Perhaps they had a crink in their neck from sleeping with their chin on their chest. So, no longer pregnant and somewhat used to having three kids, I decided to try and transfer them. If they transfered...great! If not, I would deal with the long, cranky afternoon, though not necessarily gracefully.
Well, four days in and we are batting 1000.
Though Chase wakes up during the transfer, will ask for his covers, and for some music, he has yet to get out of bed before falling back to sleep. Ryder transfers no problem.
Until they voluntarily get into bed and take a nap I won't claim total victory, but for now, this one small success feels good!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cousins- A follow up!!

On New Years Day all of the cousins gathered for our annual belated Hanukkah party. At the time I was one week away from my delivery date of who we now know as Turner. My cousin, Miriam, was 6 weeks away from her delivery with who we now know as Manny. The picture then was of us, pregnant with our mutual third born. Here is the follow up picture, the boys at 7 and 12 weeks celebrating their first Borscht and Keklentin.

There are a lot of coincidences involved including the fact that both boys names are characters on Handy Manny. Of course, it takes being a mom to young kids, particularly boys, to know that!

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Monday, April 20, 2009


Turner has started rolling over. It's only been a few times, but truth is he does not get a lot of time to practice from the confines of his infant seat. The first time was at playgroup last week. We were all sitting at Ellen's simultaneosuly watching the bigger kids run amuck and the newborns lay and look cute. Turner was on his belly cooing and smiling. We were watching as he sat up on his elbows, head raised proud. He was trying to roll, he would lift his leg, then lift his arm, trying to use a combination of gravity and momentum. Then he did it, and we all applauded this milestone.
Since then he has rolled a few times. He always tries, when his mother allows him an opportunity, to go from back to belly or belly to back. He has a cheering squad in his brothers and me. We root him on with a "Go, Turner, Go" and an applause at every success, no matter how small and inconsistent!

Castle Playground

They sure don't make playgrounds like they used to. When we were kids, the playgrounds we loved were small and metal. Monkey bars, straight slides, and swings on chains were all we had and all we needed. We loved it in its simplicity. If and when we needed an extra boost, we would jump off of the seat from the swings apex.
Today playgrounds are right out of The Jetsons. It's almost not worth going if the ground is not rubber, if the slides do not twist, and if the playsets are not made of some durable, weather-resistant plastic. Some are even beyond that, and such was the case last week when we went to Doylestown's Kids Castle Playground. We had heard the talk of the playground "worth the trip," "best playground around," "too big to do alone with the kids," and decided to venture there to check it out for ourselves when Todd took off from work to spend the day with the kids during their spring break. We found all the talk to be true. The castle, which is a huge wooden climbing structure, was only part of what made this playground great. There was a maze, boardwalks, make-pretend shops, including a bank, a library, a movie theater with popcorn, and others. Our boys spent most of their time in the sandbox, building sandcastles, which is wonderful practice for this summer. We hit the swings, climbed the castle, built sandcastles, and had ice cream. Yea, I would say it's worth the trip.

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Monday, April 13, 2009


Long before I was even a thought in this world, the generation that built the foundation of my extended family started a Passover tradition that we continue to uphold. On the first Sunday of Passover we all gather for what we call Borscht and Keklentin. All of these years and I still have no idea how to spell that word. lThis gathering is casual, and usually has the best turnout of our widespread family.
I have been going to this family function for thirty three years and last year was the first time I ever tried the namesake soup. You know what, I really like borscht!!
The kids had a blast running around with their 13 other cousins; playing ball, blowing bubbles, picking dandelions, putting on a show. Even if they wait thirty-two years to taste borscht, I hope they have the same fondness for this tradition as we all do!

Cousin Gavi, Chase, and Ryder looking like trouble!

Cousin Eli

Emma and the bubbles

Chase and the bubbles

Ryder a mess

Chase, Ryder, and Cousin Rafi playing a trio

Dandelions for everyone

Delaney with a bunch

Alexandra and Emma

Harry Kalas- RIP

When I was a kid I loved watching the Phillies with my dad. I was a fan of the game, of the team, of my dad. All games were watched in the same way: sports section of the newspaper spread before him with a makeshift score grid at its top, the television on mute, and the little transistor radio, antenna sticking up, tucked at his side. I always asked why he did this and his answer was always the same "You gotta listen to Harry Kalas!". I had no idea then, actually not until recently did I know, that most households throughout Philly were doing the same thing. I admit it, I did not get it.

Last October when the Phillies won the World Series, despite the half second delay from tv to radio, Todd insisted we watch as my father does; TV muted and radio on, because he said "we have to hear Harry's call when we are the World Champions!". I admit it, I only partially got it.

Today, Harry Kalas passed away! He did so just hours before the first pitch between the Phillies and the Nationals at Washington's home opener. He did so in the broadcasting booth where he would have called the game, should have called the game. His passing, and his life, touched many hearts in Philadelphia, touched many hearts worldwide. Yesterday the Phillies won in a come from behind victory with a Chase Utley homer to tie it and a Matt Stairs homerun to give them a lead. No one knew at the time that this would be Harry's final game, final victory, final "outta here!"

It is all a little eerie. The Phillies finally won a World Series, they had just received their rings a few days ago. Harry stuck around long enough for that prize yet not nearly long enough for life.

My boys won't grow up hearing the voice of Harry the K. Another sportscaster, filling in for but never replacing HK, will be the name and voice that colors the Phillies games they listen to. For them, it will be no different and this new guy may even become beloved. I am sure, however, that their father and grandfather will make sure they know, understand better than their mother, that no one calls a game like Harry Kalas.

For the record here is Harry's call as the Phillies became the 2008 World Champions:

For those of us who lived it, it will never get old, and for my boys it will surely be a classic!

Here is the link to ESPN's tribute:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New Buddies!!!

This is Turner with his new buddy, Sawyer Matthew Cohen. Turner looks a lot bigger, it's amazing what 10 weeks can do!! Sawyer's sister, Ilivia, is a good friend of Chase and Ryder's.

Here they sleep peacefully, fast forward a year or so and I am sure there will be no settling them down!

We look forward to the trouble er, fun!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Letter to my Son on his Three Month Birthday!

Dear Turner,

Happy Three Month Birthday!! In one of the few baby books I read, admittedly most of these few were prior to your brothers' birth, it said the first three months of a baby's life is like it's 4th trimester, still needing the comforts of the womb yet adjusting to being removed from it. I suppose this is true, and therefore I welcome you to the rest of your life:)
You seem much more mature than just three months as you are very alert and very strong and have good head control.
You are the most pleasant baby, laid back and relaxed most of the time.
You seem to love music, your brother's, and anyone who shows you some undivided attention.

You are a great sleeper and are going about 10 hours. We have dropped a feeding as a result and you are now at four a day. As much and as quickly as you ate in your first two months you have reached a plateau and for a while were not finishing any of your bottles. We now make you 6 ounces but it is usually a guess as to how much you will take.

Although you seem like a big boy to me, and one piece outfits are a tough fit on you, when I look at your beautiful little face, it still seems so small.
You now have control of your smile and know exactly how to use it to melt mommy's heart. You smile often, and it seems you may have a dimple on your right cheek. I love it when you smile in response to me. Though you have not laughed yet, you want to and it seems you try when we make silly faces or touch you. You are very ticklish; your feet, your belly, your face.

We have welcomed some friends this month- Sawyer Matthew Cohen and Jagger Dylan Fink. Won't it be fun when you all start playing. Both boys have sisters that are friends with Chase and Ryder.

If I had to guess I'd say you will have light hair. Though your eyes are still really blue I am not sure they will stay that way. You seem to be a look all of your own. Some people say you look like Ryder, others say Chase. Some people say you look like me, others say daddy. To me, you are a big combination of all of us and regardless you are extremely handsome, if I must say so myself. You have a perfectly round head, big eyes, long lashes, a tiny nose, and beautiful skin. I could not have dreamt you more beautiful.

Chase and Ryder love you. They call you "my baby, Turner Luke" and they are very much aware of your presence. They ask for you when you are not In the room with them and they greet you with hugs and with smiles when they see you. From your responsive glow I would say you love them too. I know they can't wait to have you join in their fun.

You are not yet on a set schedule, and who knows if you ever will be with the way I cart you around, but you are definitely establishing more of a pattern, allowing your awake time to be a bit more interactive.

You had your first overnight without mommy or daddy. Mom-Mom Jill stayed with you and your brothers' and it seems everyone had a great time. You did very well without us which makes us so proud.

You coo and you smile and I know you have so much to say. I talk right back at you and it won't be long before we share an actual conversation. Although I love to watch you sleep, peaceful and beautiful all at the same time, my favorite times are when you are awake lighting up my world with your grin. You are responsive and happy and I could not be more proud.

Every moment, every day, I love you so!!


It's Raining, It's Pouring!!

When I was younger I used to love sitting in the car when it was pouring rain. I loved how the sound would be so intense you could feel the rain drops hitting you, yet you remained completely dry.
Tonight was one of those nights. The sky was filled with long, thick, navy blue clouds and the few clear patches were the color of graphite. The textured clouds were like floating suede. It was prematurey dark for early April and the streets had inch deep puddles.
Yes, tonight was one of those nights I could have sat in my car feeling the rain for hours...but who really has hours to pass? So, I enjoyed the moment for the few seconds that I had to myself then returned to my life.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Two Month Portrait!

When you have a baby, included in your six-digit price tag is a 3 day stay (4 days if you have a c-section,) a dosing of good drugs prior to birth, several dosings of OK drugs as needed afterwards, around the clock vital checking, unlimited television of limited stations, and 3 meals a day from a vast menu of sub-par food. As a special gift, your infant gets a free portrait sitting, but to even see the pictures, let alone get a copy, you must pay additional money. We bought the smallest package. A portrait of a three day old newborn is not often something you want too many copies of, because, though beautiful to its parents, newborns tend to look a bit like rats. Here is Turner's newborn shot, which I don't think is half-bad considering he is 72 hours old and weighs barely 7 pounds.

This go round of child-birthing I received a second free sitting- a two month portrait. Although I am sure they now offer this to everybody, since it was not part of my deluxe stay in 2006 I like to believe this is a returning guests gift, like a prize for those crazy enough to come back for more.
The sitting was free, but to view and purchase, there was a charge. At two months old, still blue-eyed, bald, and cute as can be Turner had an hour long photography session that has prepared him in case he should ever become a celebrity baby. In addition to his numerous poses, we also captured a few obligatory journalistic shots, which I do love. He cried out of hunger before the pictures began, but as the photographer promised, you can't tell in the photos. Here are the results of his photographic debut: