The Tovsky Tribe

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Letter to my Sons on (or near) their Three Year Birthday!

Today I am Three
Happy Birthday to Us!

Dear Chase and Ryder,

Happy Birthday to my big boys! Three years old!! Somehow, it seems as though you skipped a year as it all went so quickly. Just like the previous years, as your birthday approached you seemed to naturally mature, hit a milestone or age right before our eyes.
You are these unbelievable boys who continue to blow my mind with the things you say and the things you do!

We celebrated your birthday with a party at the house that included a Funbus. You both had a blast as did all of your friends.

Chase, you are all personality. You are verbal, always. You love to talk, to ask questions, and to talk some more. Sometimes, the questions you ask actually stun me as they are so well beyond your years. And, sometimes, I have no idea what the answer is. You are unbelievably perceptive, and don't miss a beat, ever! You notice the tiniest of details whether it is in a book or in our life, and it is the details you remember. Of course, you remember everything!! It is truly astonishing! You are an extreme charmer and a master negotiator and Daddy and I joke that you will either be a salesman or a lawyer. You are funny and silly and love to laugh. I wouldn't be surprised if you are the class clown someday! Everybody wants to be your friend and you want to be their friend in return. You greet strangers with a hello and want to know their name. You will always call that "once a stranger now a friend" by the name you just learned. You burst with excitement over the arrival of any of your "friends" and greet with hugs and kisses of the warmest kind. You are smart and funny and sweet. You have a contagious smile and an infectious laugh. You love your brothers and look out for both of them. You are special in so many ways and I know how blessed we are to call you our son.

Ryder, you have really come into your personality in the last few months and it is truly wonderful to see! Though you still like to feel out a situation before you start to "rock," I do not think shy can describe you any longer. Introverted, perhaps, but not shy. You are full of energy and personality, humor and passion. You are quiet yet boisterous and sensitive yet tough. You are a momma's boy and yet really independent. You can scale a wall or mellow out with an instrument. You are very bright, a problem solver, and often think a bit out of the box! You love your guitar, first and foremost. You love your brothers with the same passion you love everything, and you are well-liked by everyone who knows you. Sometimes you interact with the group, playing along side of the others. And, sometimes, you do your own thing, alone in the corner, be it strum your guitar or put together a puzzle. You do this with a contentedness and a confidence that makes me wonder if you will be a quiet leader when you are older.
Your passion for music has increased exponentially. You still love your guitar and play it wherever and whenever you can. You love to sing into your microphone and mimic the moves of Neil Young. Occasionally we can get you to perform for all of us! It is too soon to tell if a talent lies within you, but Daddy and I do what we can to foster your love of music. You are a lover who gives tight hugs and big kisses and always offer a smile to everyone. You too are amazing and special and I feel lucky and honored each day!

Although I would love to say you are both perfect, of course you are not! Chase you are a bit of a tester. We tell you "no" and you will look right at us and do whatever we told you not to do, anyway! We have enforced punishments, which is to lock you in your room for timeout, and though you hate those few moments, indicated by the tears and fit that follow, you have not learned to stop testing your boundaries, yet! You are also a bit of a hitter, unfortunately. Luckily, it is usually just me you raise your hands at and not other kids or people, but it is something neither daddy nor I will tolerate. You are also a bit of a whiner. Perhaps it is not your fault as your father and I were both whiners as children, but that fact aside the whining is extremely irritating.
Ryder, although you are laid back and cool and calm, you have a stubborn side. When you decide against something it is quite the battle for us to overcome. You are strong so these stubborn fits do often involve some muscle. You are also, sometimes, a space cadet. Your mind will be elsewhere, perhaps listening to the music in your head, and you will not hear a word we say. I will need to look you in your eye and ask you to pay attention!
Despite these age appropriate flaws you both have begun listening much better than in the past, following directions some of the time.
You started school this year and you both did fantastic there. Miss Sue and Miss Richelle were your teachers for the dubeem (bears) class. Ryder, the teachers did say it took you a few weeks to start talking, but once you were settled you really fit in. You made friends and learned a lot and learned how to follow other people's rules. You were both very popular amongst the teachers and students at the school. You both seemed to enjoy it despite the show you gave me every morning.
This summer you began camp for the first time, Camp by the Sea, in Margate. So far you seem to love being a "sand shark" and I am thrilled you are able to start building such fantastic memories. Miss Maryanne and Miss Susan seem to have taken a strong liking to both of you and I can tell this will be a very enjoyable summer.
Interestingly, you seem to have taken a bit of a role reversal from the personalities you displayed at school, at least according to your counselors. Apparently, Ryder, you are the more dominant one showing independence and a protection over Chase. At school it was the other way around.

For the stats, you had your three year well appointment. Chase you weighed in at 30 pounds, and stand 36 inches tall. This lands you in the 25th percentile for weight and 15th for height. Ryder, you are slightly smaller and slightly lighter weighing 29 pounds and standing 35 3/4 inches.

Over the year you transitioned to beds. We did this once you were both climbing out of your cribs as part of a big game. The transition was smooth other than the fact that you will no longer get in your bed awake to nap and you join us in our bed way too early in the morning.
You also managed to potty train yourselves just in time for your actual birthday. Chase you trained first by waking up one morning and simply saying "I am ready for underwear now!". You were great at potty peeing instantly but as of yet you still have not pooped in the potty. Despite the promised visit to Chuck E. Cheese's once you do, you still prefer to poop in your underwear. Ryder you waited a few days longer to train but mastered most aspects almost instantly. You fought me on a diaper change on a Sunday morning then said "I think underwear will be much easier!" That was it, no more diapers. You both have had some minor accidents, but they have not been a big deal.

In the news: The Phillies won the World Series! Not only had it been 28 years since the Phillies' last championship, but as huge fans the championship came to us as a sort of a gift. We enjoyed the Championship Parade as a family on a beautiful Halloween day. Still high from that victory, four months later the Eagles surprised us all by, after a mediocre season, making it to the NFC Finals. Unfortunately they came up short for an appearance in the Superbowl but since no one, not the fans and certainly not the naysayers, expected them to get that far we had to be pleased we were even a contender.

Of course, in January of 2009 we welcomed Turner Luke as the fifth member of this family. He is many wonderful things and you both welcomed him with open arms. That same month, We, as a Country, inaugurated our very first African American President marking a historical moment you will surely learn about in your history books. We watched gas prices soar into the mid-fours (dollars a gallon) and then down below two. They are not so slowly creeping up again. We are in the midst of a terrible economic recession. People are unemployed and it is hard to come by someone not effected by the down economy. Luckily, your father's business is still hanging in there.
Also, in early 2009 a plane was landed on the Hudson River after a flock of Seagulls flew into the engine. Miraculously, everyone survived and the pilot, undoubtedly, is a hero.
We experienced one of the coldest winter's on record, including more snow than I remember us getting. And, we experienced one of the rainiest June's on record. 17 of the first 22 days had rain and the last 8 days of the month did not offer us much sunshine either. So far, however, July has been beautiful.
Sadly, Harry Kalas died this year, changing the voice of the Phillies forever. Gary Papa passed away changing the face of Action News. Michael Jackson also passed away, unexpectedly and on the same day as Farrah Fawcett. He was the self-proclaimed King of Pop and was a worldwide icon. Someday you will listen to all of his music and perhaps begin to understand why he was a phenomenon.
You are OK eaters. Chase you will try almost anything and do like a good variety of things, of course you mostly eat children's food. You prefer juice as your drink, you love tomatoes, you like crab, and are definitely more interested in what daddy and I eat. Ryder, you are much more particular about what you eat: pancakes, jelly, pizza (usually without the cheese), macaroni and cheese, hotdogs to name a few. You love milk, chocolate milk - which is regular milk with a squirt of Hershey's syrup but never shaken, not anymore. When you are hungry you sit and eat so nicely, but mealtime and hunger don't often coincide, and getting you to sit nicely when you are not hungry is an impossibly frustrating task.

You both love watching television, particularly Chase. Your recent favorites
include Hi-5, Barnyard, Mickey and Barney. Though Mickey and Barney seem to be watched much less often these days. Slowly, but surely, we are turning you into Phillies fans. You are both obsessed with High School Musical. This is a questionable interest. You both love anything with singing and dancing, and somehow you have even adopted the thrill of basketball from watching the movie.
Dancing to HSM3

It's been a year of exponential growth and development. The things you have learned go way beyond the words of this letter. But, you are not the only one learning. Being the mommy to the two of you and to Turner has taught me more about myself and life than any other combined experiences. In an effort to honor the privileged title of mommy I strive everyday to be the best person I can be and give you the most that I can so that you can become the best people you can be. Because of you, I am stronger, wiser, nicer. Because of you I've learned to be brave when I am scared, calm when I am nervous, and to be strong when I feel weak. Because of you I allow myself to be the student and you the teacher. You teach me to laugh at the silliest of things and to remember the tiniest of details. You show me enthusiasm like I have never seen. You've taught me the joy of dancing around the house in your underwear and singing at the top of your lungs. You taught me that spilled milk really is no reason to cry and that there is a reason you crawl before you walk. You've shown me that silliness is always funny and laughter does echo. You've taught me that gourmet food is not always better food and that just because it is the first meal of the day doesn't mean it can't be called lunch. You are responsible for my learning of the lyrics of songs like powderfinger, sugar mountain, squeezebox, and high school musical! And, more than anything, you've extended the depths of my heart and taught me there is no limit on love.

Every year I say I would like to freeze time, and this year is no different. Only I know that I can not. So, instead, I cherish the days we spend, the moments we share, and anticipate what is to come with pure delight.

You are my big boys and every moment of every day, I love you so!


Family Picture on their birthday!

Who Likes to Laugh?

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