The Tovsky Tribe

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

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Breakfast of Champions? Maybe. Lunch of Superheroes? Defintely!

This was the lunch I made for the boys this morning.

Last year, I made them cool lunch shapes using cookie cutters.  That went fine for a while until I got the creative bug and decided that I could cut, freehand, with a knife, Spider-man, Bat-Man, and more.  I decided amidst sandwich making that baseballs needed stitches, hats needed the Phillies emblem, and that a Spidey sandwich needed the webbing.  I started making cut lines with the tip of the knife, and toothpicks dipped in jelly, but neither were effective. 
In my head I invented food coloring pens.  Yes, that was just what I needed.  It turns out, they exist.  So, I bought them and now, I can't help but make the tedious lunch making task even more tedious, or fun, or tedious depending on how you look at it. 
Admittedly, I am a little too excited about the pens.  The ideas are endless with what I could do with them. 
So, this morning, it was Superman PB&J.  Chase was thrilled.  Ryder, the super hero obsessed, artist in bloom, was happy to see such a design but was not happy that the yellow looked so orange because, "Mommy, Superman's S is blue, and yellow, and red.  NOT ORANGE!"  Dude, I wanted to say, it is yellow, on brown bread.  Get over it.  Instead I explained myself by showing him both the pen I used (which was yellow) and the picture I copied.  He said, "the picture is right, the sandwich is orange."  I offered the sandwich to Turner.  Only then did Ryder decide it was OK to keep.  Later, he told me he loved it. 

And, he loves Superman.

Oh yeah, and he loves me:)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Let's Play Ball!

You'd think, by my level of excitement, that it was me getting out there today.  That I was about to take the field for the big game.  That I was journeying down, what could be, the long, fun path of little league.

Chase and Ryder are beginning baseball today.  It is not even little league, nor tee-ball, it is just an indoor baseball clinic for 4-6 year olds, and I am so excited.  I hope they are.  I have dreamt of little leaguer sons, travel teams, dirty uniforms.  Yes, it is no lie that I have hoped that one, if not three,  of my boys would be baseball players and I would be a baseball mom.  Today is the first step.  Chase and Ryder seem excited, in the same way they are excited for everything in their four year old world. But, me, I am excited and nervous at the same time.  I want them to be great ball players, but I promise to be OK with it if they are not.  Oh No!! I do not want to be the over-bearing, sport obsessed parent.  I do not want to expect more than they can give.  I do not want to forget that they are 4 and not 14, that this is their first time playing, and that at least one of their levels of focus is far from where it needs to be.  No, I do not want to forget these things, but I am not promising anything.

May this be the start of a long childhood of baseball.
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First Day of Pre-K!


Chase and Ryder started school this week.  After four (LONG) weeks between the end of camp and the start of summer it was clear that all of us were ready for "back to school!" 

The start of Pre-K was anticipated with much excitement because Pre-K means UPSTAIRS, with the big kids.  A whole level above the toddlers and the infants, even the pre-schoolers.  This is a move in their pre-school world comparable to going to middle school.  I guess.  So, they were excited.  I was oscillating between being excited for them and being heart broken that my baby boys were growing up.  But, shh....don't tell.   
They were excited to see their friends, I didn't tell them that most of their friends from last year were not in their class.

On Monday, Chase and Ryder officially became "Elephants" with Ms. Liz and Ms. Nadine.  They are happy, they made new friends, they see their old friends every day and their teachers wonderful and loving. We are all excited for the year to come.

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I Feel Your Pain!

I know I have said it, I feel your pain.  Someone complaining of needing root canal, or a back-ache, or thirty mounds of laundry, yep, I feel their pain.  Been there.

Yesterday, Chase, was struggling with his seat belt.  This was causing him much distress despite my telling him to sit tight and I would fix it for him when we stopped.  He mumbled something.  When I asked him to repeat it he said, "I feel Ms. Liz's pain."  I repeated it, laughing, knowing that Chase is a literal boy remembering, verbatim, everything that is ever said to him.  He continued, "Yes, and she feels mine."

This is following up to a conversation earlier in the week that went like this:

CMT:  "Mommy, I got in trouble today"   (ALREADY! I thought being only the second day of school)
ME: "What happened, buddy, why did you get in trouble?"
CMT: "I was talking when it wasn't my turn."  (OF COURSE!!  Due to Chase's gift of gab this will be the repeating theme on all report cards!)
ME: "Well, whose turn was it?"
CMT: "Oren's"
ME:  "Well, Chase, you cerainly have a lot to say, but you should wait until your friends are done speaking, raise your hand, then take your turn."
CMT: "Yes, that is what Ms. Liz said."
MOM: "Did you get in trouble?  What did she say?"
CMT: "She said, 'Chase, sweetheart, it's not your turn, it is Oren's.'"

I laughed at the actual statement, at picturing wonderful Ms. Liz saying that, and at the fact that Chase should get very used to hearing that exact statement.

This will be an interesting year of literal translations and verbatim quoting.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Letter to my Son on his 20th Month Birthday!

Dear Turner,

Summer is over. And, as all Summers end, the beginning of this school year is quite hectic.   We are coming off a two week vacation and headed right into the Jewish holidays.  Not quite unpacked, still not cleaned up, you gracefully became another month older.  Happy Birthday little buddy.
I find myself, perhaps in spite of myself, telling people, when they ask how old you are, that you are almost 2.  I don't do this to rush time, but because it's true.  Sort of.  Almost.  And, because when I look at you, you don't seem very much like a baby.  Most of the time.
This month we got your hair cut, and as each curl fell like a feather to the floor you grew, you matured, you became a big boy. I wish there was a way that I  could put your infancy inside an envelope, just like we did with a curl.  Save it forever.  Look at it when we want to.  But, we can't.  So instead, I  embrace, or I try to, the boy you are becoming.

You are a laugher, so silly most of the time. You want to be with and do whatever your brothers are doing.  You can run, climb, jump all without fear. You can eat a lot but never want to take the time to sit.  You're a great sleeper, still, and continue to be a trooper, laid back and flexible to schedules.  You are adding more words to your vocabulary everyday.  Many words are the same and it is important that we know context if we want to understand you.  "Ba Ba" is blankie, and Barney. "Ca Ca" is cookie, and Cake, and Aunt Carri.  "Mya Mya" is milk, and though you ask for it you do not always want it, but can also be more, though more is often accompanied by the tapping of the closed hands, the ASL sign for more.  You have other words, too, and I understand what you are saying most of the time.  OK, some of the time.
The last two weeks of your 19th month were spent on vacation.  We spent  a few days in the Poconos, where we had a great time and visited Boulder Field, which was amazing, even if I had to climb the rocks with you on my hip.  Then we spent ten days at the shore where we went to the beach, spent time with friends, went to the Ocean City water park, and the rides, visited with Lucy, had ice cream, and stayed up late. We also had the rare opportunity to check out the beach during a hurricane.  As hurricane Earl made its way off the coast we went to the beach to check out the waves. Active and rolling, more than I have ever seen, you and your brothers ran around enjoying the beach at dusk, getting messy and wet and hardly noticing the awesome waves.  It was a true vacation and you had a lot of fun.

After that we celebrated Rosh Hashana with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  And, you got to meet your baby cousin Lillian, who was greeted by your favorite thing to say, "baby!"
We are beginning our fall activities which should introduce a bit more structure into your day.  I am excited to be a part of the wonderful things we will do this fall.
Turner, you are a good boy, a happy boy.  You offer smiles to everyone you see and they can't help but notice.  You are so sweet, and so loving, and oh so adorable, and not for one minute do I take for granted how very lucky I am that you call me mommy.

I love you!!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Letter to My Son on his 19th Month Birthday!

Dear Turner,

19 months!  Happy day to you!  We are now closer to two than to one and I am not sure how you went from a squishy newborn to  an "I think I am four" toddler.  You are my angel, as I call you, because your face, your smile, your laugh, you, bring an instant joy to me.  At 19 months you are starting to work your way off my hip and out into the world exploring everything worth exploring and touching even things that should not be touched.  You walk with determination and can run to keep up with your brothers.  You are a happy boy with a warming smile and a giggle that echoes.  You have been welcomed into the world of boyhood because it seems nothing makes you laugh harder than the sound of a fart.  Your own sends you into absolute hysterics but your brother's are totally acceptable as well.  Although you are trying very hard to talk, and yes we are hearing improvements every day, most of what you say is still a mix of sounds.  You've added cuck (meaning duck) and suess (meaning juice) and ca (cup) to your list of words.  When you talk you look me straight in the eye very seriously, your little eyes pulled together begging me to understand what you are saying.  That eye contact is something I hope you maintain long after your words are crystal clear.  You are a trash man. You love to put things in the trash, and more often than not, thankfully, it is actually trash. I will change your diaper and you will look at me with pointed vision and say and "sash, sash" then pick up that diaper and dispose of it properly. You will clear the table of napkins and wrappers or juice boxes saying "sash, sash, sash" all along. 
You love Barney.  Just when I thought I could say good-bye to the purple dinosaur forever you have brought him back into our home with a sheer enjoyment.  "Ba, Ba, Ba" you beg then squeal with delight once he comes on the screen.  Now you will sit and watch the show and demand that "I sit, I sit" next you on the couch.  Once again I am sitting through too many episodes of Barney being totally irritated by the kids on that show.  And, once again, I am, pathetically, singing  the tunes in my head.  I've accepted it.  Again.
You seem to understand just about everything we say and can and do follow small commands.  You wave good-bye to your brothers each morning and smile as they leave the car.  You greet them with that same smile when we pick them up.
You are still not much of an eater, your diet is pancakes, noodles, pretzels, and the occasional snuck in piece of chopped broccoli.  You favor juice to milk and want big boy cups and straws over a "baby's" sippy cup.
You can say "baby" very clearly and will point to each that we see, all day long.   You answer every question with an "idonknow" and an out-turn of the hands. Knowing the answer is irrelevant.  You love the book "Hippo's go Berserk" but skip to "5 hippos come over-dressed" where they are holding a birthday cake.  You point and say "happybirdday" then skip along further to the beserk page and point out the cake again.  Then you skip to the next page and point to the hippo on the roof, "be careful" I say and you laugh.  Then you point to the moon.  Then you skip ahead, again, to the bus and roll your hands over each other until we break into song..."the wheels on the bus go round and round."  This is how we read the book every time.  I am not sure that is how Susan Boynton intended it.
We read "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See?" in a similar fashion with me just telling you the animal name and color before turning the page.  You have been starting to say cck (duck) and bear.  At the goldfish page I alwasy suck in my cheeks and make a fishy face, you laugh and stick your finger in my mouth.  You say ceacher, for teacher, and touch your fingers together to sign "friend" when we get to the children page.  At the end, you point to all the animals and recite them.  Soon, I hope we switch roles in that game.
You are a good boy with a lot of personality and a happy demeanor.  You make me so happy every single day and not a moment passes that I don't marvel at your beauty and your charm and your wonderfulness.  I am not sure how I got so lucky, but I am so very grateful.

I love you Turner!

Due to a camera needing repair we don't have a lot of pictures from early August, but this is one of my summer favorites.

A Letter to my Sons on (or near) their 4 Year Birthday!

Dear Chase and Ryder,

You are now four years old. Big boys. Boys heading to Pre-K in September. Although I shouldn't be astonished, I am.  I can't help it. Every year, I am sure, I will say the same thing.  Your third year will be remembered as the year of the Spider, particularly for Ryder.  You turned from singing and dancing toddlers to wall climbing super heroes practically overnight and there is no doubt you will still be my super heroes long after this passion phases out.
We celebrated your birthday with a whole lot of fun.  You both woke up on the beautiful Wednesday morning excited to be 4!  You now ask everyone you see how old they are.  After hugs and kisses  and birthday wishes you spent the day at camp where you celebrated with Spider-man cupcakes for the whole bunk.

After camp all 5 of us went to Citizens Bank Park to watch your first ever Phillies game.  Our beloved Phils are in quite a slump and lost to the #1 Braves, and it was 104 degrees as we were amidst another heat wave.  But, despite the sweats and the big L we all had a ball.

The whole section sang happy birthday to you and showered you with a confetti I was thrilled I did not have to clean up and then your names scrolled on fanavision at the bottom of the fourth.   We went to the playground, had cotton candy and ice cream, and had a great time.  Even Turner managed to hang in there, though it is possible that he was too hot to even cry.  Plus, a nice man gave Chase ten bucks to give to his daddy.  When Todd thanked him and asked him why the kind man said, "any father who brings his 4 year old twins, and their baby brother, to the Phillies game in a heat wave for their birthday deserves a beer!" Who is Daddy not to oblige?  (Also, our car was broken into leaving us without several valuable items....but, that's not what we care to remember about the day!)
Then, on Saturday, we celebrated with all of your friends at East/West Karate where Spiderman came to help you punch and kick, and a samurai sword was used to cut the cake!!  A great time was had by all.

Chase, you seem to take the role of being 4 very seriously. "I am 4 now, I can do it" you will tell me whether it be swimming without swimmies (which you are still learning to do) or making your bed (which you rarely do!)  You are a bright and social child with a keen awareness for your surroundings.  You pay very close attention to the people and things around you and manage to remember it all.  Unlike me.  It frustrates you terribly that I can't always remember little things, and for that I am sorry.  You are caring and thoughtful and always have a compliment for people.  You do not realize it yet, but this is a characteristic that will take you far in life.   You love making friends and have recently begun to make your own by introducing yourself and asking their name.  You play well with others and like to be included and will often go along with the crowd.  You are funny and silly and want to make people laugh. You have learned to pick up on sarcasm, but have not used it yourself yet.  You know the rules, you expect people to follow them, and are often the first one to tattle when a rule is being broken.  With that being said, however, you do not always follow the rules and it is a clear decision you make when you choose to break them.  You love to test me, all of us, and have learned my weaknesses:)!  You are still very well-spoken, verbal, and inquisitive.  You ask hundreds of questions, all well thought out, and often require well thought out answers.  You love to speak on Ryder's behalf.  You love your brothers, your friends, your cousins, and grandparents with enthusiasm and you love a good time!  You love to describe things as your favorite: color, show, game, sport.  You are still very much a movie buff! You can be very independent when you want to be.  You are very mature and full of life.  You can blow us away with the things that you say, the things that you ask, and the things you remember.  You give and want to receive great big hugs and lots of kisses.  I never have a problem obliging.  You are energetic and happy and funny and charming, and of course, so very handsome.  You, my son, make me so very proud.

Ryder, you are remarkable. You're a soulful mix of passion and personality, enthusiasm and creativity, relaxed and, yet, stubborn.  You are independent with your thoughts yet close to home in your heart.  You love your brothers and your friends and also love to be alone.  You are a thinker and a doer and love to use your hands. You like to draw (and are starting to get quite good) and to do puzzles and to build structures.  Some of your favorite toys are legos and trios. You can figure things out that are supposed to be child-proofed and you can make a mess even if it is mess-free.  You like to dress up in costume and believe you are Spider-man.  You are unbelievably silly and have an echoing laugh that accompanies the smile that lights up your whole face.  You can giggle uncontrollably.  You are tender and caring towards Turner and Chase is your very best friend.  You are friendly and social and a part of the group, when you want to be, and other times find enjoyment in being alone, creating or thinking.  You love music, though you have not picked up the guitar for most of the year.  I am not convinced, however, that your first love is gone forever.  You love everything with a deep passion and an excitement that makes me want to love it too.  This game, this toy, this movie, this song -whatever- is the absolute best thing in the whole world you will exclaim with your wide open eyes and your large as life smile.  You have a quiet way about you.  We may not always realize you are paying attention or even aware, but a time will come when you will let us know that you are always paying attention even if it seems you are not.  You have gotten a lot more independent over the last year and do not feel the need to follow the crowd.  You still love to dress up in costume and have adopted a unique sense of fashion that includes wearing certain jeans, wearing a belt, and keeping your hair long.  You are stubborn, at times,  but also sensitive and empathetic and generous beyond your years.  You are the mysterious type, where whatever is going on inside of your mind is sometimes confused with a lack of  focus.  You are smart and sweet and silly and kind.  You are overloaded with energy and passion.  You, my handsome boy, are a remarkable combination of traits that leaves me in awe and so very proud.

Your third year was a good year.  You both made my job of parenting a whole lot easier as you learned to listen and behave more often than not.  You had a fantastic year at school where you made new friends, and learned new lessons including how to spell and write your name. Although you did many projects I found the ALL ABOUT ME BOOK to be very interesting.  You learned this year that though you are twins with a bond us singletons can never fully understand you are two individuals who may have different interests.  We encourage you to be different where you want to be (and it seems you are) and make decisions separate from each other.    You are spending this summer at Rainbow Academy for camp and it seems that you are both having a very good time.  You have learned to ride bikes and really enjoy it and both of your interests in baseball have been sparked.

For the stats, Chase you weighed in at 33 pounds and stood 39 inches tall and Ryder you weighed in at 34 pounds and stood 38 inches tall outweighing your brother for only the second time that I can recall.   Although, I do not think you are an inch apart in height anymore, because I think, Ryder, you have grown since that measurement. 

In May you both made the big boy decision to give up your blankies.  Although Todd and I would occasionally mention that it may soon be time to get rid of them, you ultimately made this decision on your own, together.  You have not asked for them since but you do, sometimes tend to curl up to Turner's.  Much to his dismay.  You insist on taking showers, and doing it yourself, and learning to swim without water wings, all indicators of you becoming big boys!  You also pick out your own clothes (sometimes) and chose your own sneakers.  Every day, more and more, you need me less and less.  This fact, as expected, makes me both proud and sad- something every mother must deal with.

In sports our beloved Phils tried to repeat as World Champions and, sadly, lost to the Yankees.  The Eagles clawed their way into the Play-offs only to lose their first game to the Cowboys.  The Sixers were absolutely horrendous and are rebuilding, again, including a new coach (and a new draft pick named Evan TURNER!)  And, the Flyers, our beloved Flyers, shocked us all by barely making the play-offs (it came down to a shoot-out the very last game of the season) and going all the way to the Stanley Cup finals, including a history making come from behind 2nd series win.  In the end, they lost, but it was fun to watch, and to believe.

We had the snowiest winter in history with over 70 inches of snow, something we may never see again in our lifetime.  Coming off that winter we've had record breaking heat this summer with 6 heat waves, and over 40 days of 90+ heat thus far and we are only half way through the summer days.

Our economy is still in the tank and, financially, things have been tougher than I ever remember them.  For most people. Us included.  But, we manage.  And we will.  Because through it all, the highs, the lows, the every days I see my boys, I see what you are and who you are becoming and I realize how little everything else matters.  Nothing could make me more proud than my boys and nothing ever will.

I often try to teach you life lessons as we motion through our days attempting to mold the men you will be.  This is my method, for better or worse.  But, in all my life lessons, I hope you take this one:  continue to be the wonderful boys that you are.  Continue to learn and to grow and ask all of your questions.  Continue to laugh and to make mundane moments silly.  Continue to be the loving sweet boys, sons, brothers that you are and everything else will fall into place.  

Happy birthday my dear sons, I love you now and will still love you even when its not cool for your mommy to tell you that!!!!

Love, Mommy

Here are some of the 4 yr (18 mos) professional shots!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Todd played softball with Ohev Shalom this Summer.   As a fan of the game, the boys and I went to most of the games.  By seasons end we knew everyone, and they knew us!!  How could they not?
As it turned out, Todd's team won the championship and were undefeated for the season.   A real accomplishment!
The boys knew that if Daddy won the last game we were going to he would get a trophy.  They were so excited that he could possibly win a trophy.  A TROPHY.  They decided that, just in case they did not win, he still deserved a trophy.  So we made one!!!!

Ohev Shalom did win the real thing, but Todd's real prize was from his boys!!!