The Tovsky Tribe

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

Saturday, January 28, 2012

That's Just What Friends do!

Since the time Turner was old enough to speak we knew he had a special empathetic trait.  He would say things like "don't cry" while rubbing the back of a crying baby, or a "pretending to be sad while playing"me.   He would immediately ask, with a concerned voice and sympathetic eyes, "are you ok?" if we tripped over a rug, or a stubbed or toe, or any other clumsy move that, yes, happens a lot in my house.   Turner would always, always ask, "how are you feeling?" if anyone he knew was sick, or has an ailment they had complained of recently.  His concern was always sincere, and right on target.  
So, the other day, when I learned he played "protector"  I was not surprised, though I was very, very proud.

Turner has been best buddies with Jagger since they were little babies.   Perhaps the friendship was forced upon him, as many are, but their affection for each other is real.  And, mutual.  The bond the boys shared has always been touching to me.  Chase and Ryder, though they had tons of friends at a young age, did not have a friendship like this because they had each other.  Jagger is the other half for Turner.

When he started school last year Turner and Jagger added a 3rd boy, Bram, to their posse making for an absolutely adorable trio of buddies.    But, as most 3 year old boys, they have their moments.  Moments of frustration because they can't communicate.  Moments of rough-housing, because that is what boys do.  Moments of aggression, because even though they don't realize it yet, they are fueled by testosterone like all other makes.

Turner, Jagger, and Bram caught stealing the lollipop right from the pantry!  

They make look quiet and innocent (if not messy) but together they are an adorable trio of trouble

The other day at school there was one of those moments.   A beloved train became the catalyst of some rough play between Jagger and Bram.  Ultimately, it led to Jagger's finger being clamped on by Bram's teeth.   I was not there for any of this but imagine that Jagger shed a few tears over that one.  The situation was handled by the teachers and the boys were separated.

Later when Bram's mom insisted he apologize to Jagger and go give him a hug, Bram obliged.  He walked over to where Jagger was, which was ultimately next to Turner.   His intentions were good and sweet, but Turner was not so sure.  He jumped in front of Jagger with his arms extended and said "I will protect you, Jagger!"  A moment that stopped everyone in their tracks.

I would like to say I taught him that.  I would like to take some sort of credit.  But I can't and I won't.  That was all Turner, protecting his friend, being that empathetic and caring boy that, well, he is.

When we talked about it later, I told him how proud I was.  That, in a way, he was a hero.   He smiled with delight that I was proud.  He doesn't know what a hero is, exactly, but he told me he was happy to help Jagger.  That's just what friends do!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

No, You are Just Mommy.

Sometimes I call Ryder Rooster.  He hates that name.  I do it anyway.  It started a long time ago when I would call him Ryder-roo.  Then I got lazy and started calling him Roo.  From there it became Rooster.  He would argue "My name is not Rooster"  to which I would ask, "What does a Rooster say?" and he would respond, "Cock-a-doodle doo!"  And, I would say, "See, you are a rooster!"  He would laugh, but still, never liked the name.  I still call him that sometimes.  I think it is cute.

Chase, being Chase, got upset one day that I didn't have a nickname like that for him.  I understood and so we decided to come up with one.  He sat there for a moment and then our conversation went like this:
CMT:  Well, if he is Rooster then I should be Chicken.
ME:  Chicken?
CMT:  Yeah, it makes sense.  Since Rooster and Ryder both have R's.  And Chase and Chicken both have Ch's.  And, both Chickens and Roosters are birds.
ME:  Ah, I see.  You are right, Chase.  I mean, Chicken.  Good point.

Then he paused.  And Continued:
CMT:  And, Turner.  Turner should be Turkey.  Ya know, because of the T's.  And the bird thing.
ME: Yeah, I know.  The T. And, the bird thing.

Pause for more thought.

ME: So, is that it?  Chicken, and Turkey, and Rooster.
CMT:  No, maybe Daddy should be Duck.
ME:  Ok.  What about me?  Do I get a nickname?
CMT:  You?  No.  You're just mommy.

I admit I was impressed by all of his reasoning and found his thought pattern to be quite interesting.  But, still, I felt a little slighted.  I mean couldn't he come up mockingbird? Or, meadowlark?  Or, mallard?  I guess, in t he end, mommies are always, just mommies.

A Monkey in Monkey Underwear!

There were times, before this one, that I thought Turner was going to potty train.  Like eight months ago.  Or, back in September when I dropped the last diaper I had with me in the toilet.  But, neither time was Turner really interested in spite of his having good control of his bladder.  He told me this, whole heartedly, as he would shout "I am not ready to wear underwear!"  It did not matter that Jagger wore underpants.  Nor his brothers.  He liked his diapers and rarely gave me a hard time to change him.  So, I let him be.

I am not one who believes in forcing the situation.   It is much easier just to wait until they are ready rather than stay house bound for three days and take the kid to the bathroom every 20 minutes.  That way of training is just not for me, I didn't think.  I did, admittedly, work the bribery angle a bit, as it was already decided, by him, that when he trained he, similarly to Ryder's potty present of a guitar strap, would get a case for his guitar.  But, he could wait for it. Instead he pretended he had a case and would tell me, with a pointed finger, to "watch out for my case right there" as I would approach him while he was strumming his favorite instrument.

Then, on Martin Luther King day, ten days after his 3rd birthday, Ryder was sick.  We were going to be in the house all day, anyway.  With nothing to do.  And, Turner is a kid who has control.  A bit of obsessive control, sometimes, but that is another story.  So, I had a lot of faith in him and decided that MLK day, a day of service, would be the day.   We discussed it the night before and he jumped on Ryder's bed, with delight, chanting "I'm ready now, I am ready now!"  And, when we woke up Monday morning we put him in underwear.

I became someone new for that particular Monday and did things that I think I may have said I would never do.  Like move the Elmo potty down to the first floor and set a timer to take him to the bathroom every 30 minutes.  Ew.  And, we had a great day.  After the second timer went off and I told him it was time to go he looked at me and said "I don't feel it yet.  I don't have to go."  And, being instantly reminded of Chase training, I believed him.  And, I didn't set another timer and he spent the rest of the day telling me when "I feel it, mommy" and we would run to the potty and he would go.  There was never an accident.  Never an almost.  Never an issue.

Until he had to poop.  Then he pooped in his underwear.  He told me he was going to.   He even asked for privacy.  But, when I grabbed him and put him on the potty he wouldn't go, he refused.   We read, we sang, we played guitar and all the while he kept his bung hole shut!  Then we got up and he pooped in his underwear.

The next day we went to the guitar store to "look" for  case.  He found the one he wants but knows he can't get it until he poops in the potty.  At least once.  He seems to be ok with waiting.  I also went and bought him a fresh pack of Paul Frank monkey underwear because he didn't seem to think his brothers hand me down Superhero pants were good enough. Plus, it looks cute to have a little monkey in monkey underwear.

It's been a bit over a week now.  Turner is 100% pee trained and has been since day 3.   He has great control, can hold it for hours, and despite insisting on using only the Elmo potty at home (which is now ONLY in the bathroom) he will use a regular toilet when out of the house.  He always tells me "I feel it" when he needs to go, and sometimes enjoys aiming for the cheerio (or the goldfish) when he stands.  He even wakes up with dry diapers.

As for the pooping.  I have tried to get him to go on the potty but he won't.  He does, however, always ask for diapers, promises it is just to poop in, and then lets me change him and put his underwear right back on.   It took Chase about 3 months before he put he pooped in the proper receptacle, so perhaps it will be the same for Turner.    When he decides he wants a case, I suppose he will use the toilet.  I still have almost a full case of diapers left so until they start to run out, I guess I can wait too.

It is a bittersweet moment as another milestone is achieved.  A bittersweet moment as my baby boy grows up before me.

Short and Spikey

We've got lots of hair in our family.  Both sides of the family have A LOT of hair, and all types of hair.  We've got straight, curly, frizzy, thick, thin, light, dark, darker, long, short, shorter.    We pretty much have it all.  Even the boys have 3 different color, types, and style hair.

Todd and I often always disagree on hair cuts, hair styles, hair lengths, etc.   It is an interesting situation.  We've been disagreeing about the boys hair since they're first few haircuts.  He likes it short to show off their faces.  I like it longer, with style, and a little of bit their personality represented in their locks.   Every 4 weeks we argued over it as I took them (or not) for yet another hair cut.

Around the time that Chase and Ryder turned 3 they started having their own opinions about their hair and every time we went for haircuts they directed Sarah Jane themself.     Last year Ryder started getting even more passionate about his hair and would spend a good amount of time in front of the mirror, styling, gelling, combing.   It became his thing, so much so that it even led to this hairy situation.

So, last week when Ryder (after only a little prompting from me) decided to cut his hair, everyone was surprised.  Especially Todd.  And, we no longer had to disagree about how their cuts look.

After 4 years of long and shaggy, Ryder cut his hair into a short and spikey do.  A style that allows him to still use his gel and combs.  A style that makes him look older, but no less in handsome!  A style that, now, makes me think I have identical triplets.


During.....though I think this could be Turner


A handsome and happy short haired Ryder

They all look alike, now

I won't be surprised if he, eventually, lets it grow again, but for now we love the way his hair looks short.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Welcome Home!

All good things must end.

And, many times, all good things begin again.

Today, a little over ten years after its inception, Associated Staffing is closing its doors. It is not dead, just re-emerging within the walls of another space.  Associated Staffing is bringing its successes, its experience, and its open Job Req's back to where it all began. Judge.

The Judge Group.  It is so very natural to say.  It is, not only, where Todd began his career, learned his recruiting skills, and became the professional that he is, it is where Todd and I began.   Almost 15 years ago. Secretly and, what we thought was discreetly, we sneaked kisses in the elevator then feigned friendship in front of friends and co-workers. I still smile from those memories.

Judge.  It was always a positive in his life. In my life.  In our life.   A place where you worked hard, you played hard, and in our case, you loved hard!

Todd began there as a driven young man, worked hard, and succeeded.  After 7 years there was change.  The market changed, the environment changed, Todd changed.  So, he offered up his most firm handshake, a direct look in the boss's eye, and his word of good faith, and left it all behind.

He began again on his own. As his own boss, Todd found success and freedom, and the roller coaster ride of sole propeitorship. It was wonderful and it was prosperous but, as a decade passed, things changed.  The market changed, the environment changed, Todd changed.  Feeling the loss of camaraderie and craving the ability to teach others his strengths, he was left at a crossroads:  grow his business, or join forces with a bigger beast.

Judge offered him all of the opportunities he was looking for. And, more.  The opportunity to work with other champions in the industry, an opportunity to return to the city, an opportunity to build a team and be a mentor, and an opportunity for growth for many, many years to come.  Judge offered him an opportunity to come home!

Today is his first day. Other than an email saying it was "awesome" I have no idea what Todd's experience will be.  But, for me, its a new beginning after a full circle.  It is comforting to know that, Judge being as they are, Todd will be taken care of, like family.  It won't all be the same, in fact it is mostly different, but, still, when you go home after so much time the trees may be bigger, and the neighbors may have changed, and it isn't exactly how you left it, but it is, still, home!

Good Luck, Todd

Thursday, January 12, 2012

How Michael Jackson's Life is Relevant to Martin Luther King Day

As Martin Luther King Day was approaching, the boys learned all about it at school.  They learned how people were discriminated against because of the color of their skin, a lesson they have learned many times throughout their years at pre-school.

On one particular day, while there were some parents in the room observing, Mrs. Wagner was discussing with the class how sad it is that people would be treated differently because of their skin color.  She went on to say,  "You certainly cant change the color of your skin."

To which Chase raised his hand and said:  "Only Michael Jackson can do that"

This got quite the laugh from all of the adults in the room.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Letter to my Son on his 3rd Birthday!

Cool as can be!
Dear Turner,

Today you are 3 years old. This is, indeed, a fact that I say with a frown leaving you to ask: "Mommy, why does it make you sad?" The answer, my dear, is this:
I am not sad, no, not sad at all. I am proud, and thrilled, and ever so touched by all that you are, and all that you become each day. I am happy to see you aging and thriving and growing and maturing. But, as every mommy knows, letting go of your baby, death grip and all, as he steps over the big boy threshold is ever so bittersweet.

In many ways, Turner, you are far beyond your years. You are wise, and funny, and bright, and compassionate. You are deliberate in your words and keenly aware of your surroundings. You are kind and sensitive and, still, tough and strong. Every day you amaze me with the sentences you use, and the context in which you use them, and the words you choose. You have a street smart about you that would indicate you were raised somewhere other than this in this bubble in which we raise you:)

You are social and friendly. Most kids your age don't even play "with" others and, yet, and you seem to embrace your friendships with passion and loyalty. You have an ability to be boisterous and silly and show signs of leadership. Then, just as easily, you can be quiet, and bashful, and shy, yet charming. You will stop talking and just smile, and let your eyes and grin speak volumes.

Over the last year you started school.  Last year you didn't talk one time, probably because you were hot for teacher, but this year you are showing signs of a quiet leadership. At school, you are helpful, and behaved, and happy. You are compulsive about cleaning.  You come home singing all of the songs and ask every morning if it is a school day. You love Ms. Kathryn and Ms. Eileen. Jagger is still your best friend. Bram is your buddy. And, your girlfriend is either Haley or Dalia, both who turn your cheeks red when I mention their name.

You are the creative type.  You love to paint, you love to use stamps, and your favorite is to jam out on your guitar.  You sing.  ALL.  DAY. LONG.   Every song you can think of (most, which you learn in school) and will strum your guitar every chance you get.  You set up your chair, your guitar with pick, your microphone, and your strum away.  Tapping your foot and making sure I am listening the whole time.

We moved you to a bed in August, a transition that was easy and natural.  You are still a good sleeper (though, lately, have been waking in the middle of the night and asking me to sleep with you) and still nap most days, though not always usually in your own bed.  You are not a big TV watcher, though you will never pass up an episode of Mickey Mouse.  Your new favorite show, however, is Imagination Movers.

Although you have been to a handful of movies (at the theater), you are not interested in sitting through a whole movie.  And, each time, we have had to walk you into the hallway.  You are a busy boy, who can entertain himself.  You are independent and self-reliant when you want to be, and will beg for me to hold you and play with you at other times.  You are the best errand buddy there is.  You don't sit still much, but are not overly rambunctious and it seems you are always developing thoughts and ideas in your head.

Although the last three years have passed too quickly, since the time you were an infant you seemed like a big kid.   Your persona and your smile can fill up a room in a big way.  You are fun.  Fun to be around, fun to have around.   You have a grin, sometimes open mouthed sometimes closed, but always, always, noticed.  By everyone.  Not a day passes that I don't receive a compliment on your great smile.

You have a special relationship with your brothers, whom you call the guys, and they with you.   It is such a nice, warm feeling to watch the three of you engage in your horse play and know that you love each other beyond any fighting and teasing could ever indicate.   I love that you are not scared to fight back with them and I love that, in the end, all 3 of you look out for each other in a way that I could have only hoped for.

At your three year old check up you weighed in at 32 pounds and stood at 37 inches.  That falls as exactly average for both.  You are bigger and taller and thicker than either of your brothers were at this age. (Chase 30 pounds, 36 inches.  Ryder 29 pounds 35 2/4 inches.)

Your 3rd birthday was celebrated in wonderful ways.   We woke up on the morning of your birthday and you were greeted, instantly, by all of us with loud "happy birthdays" and "I love you's."  You went to school where you were the shabbat boy.  Me, daddy, and mom-mom Joan came to your classroom to share in the special day.  You were adorably quiet but we all had fun.  After, Chase and Ryder joined us for lunch at Jakes.   That night the 5 of us celebrated with our traditional dinner show at Mt. Fuji.  We had an absolute blast.  When we came home we spent at least an hour playing and laughing and celebrating you.  I hope you can remember even some of this birthday because it was so much fun.   The next morning we had your birthday party at Dominic's Pizza with Tom the Magician.   Amazingly you had asked, relentlessly, for a magical party.  I suggested three or four other things for you (New Hope Train, Messy Play time, Gym) but all you wanted was a magician.  I am glad I listened to you. Not only was Tom fantastic but you were an amazing apprentice.  For all the tendencies you have to be shy when attention is on you, you reveled in the magic show and enjoyed every single second of the act.  A great time was had by all.


This past year was not a very good one in general.  We had some bad luck, a sad loss, some acts of nature against us, and a down economic year.  Everyone has their crap.  But, through it all, there was always you and your brothers.  Your laughter echoing within our walls, your smile lighting up a room, your hugs, your kisses, your "I love you's," to remind us that our blessings don't always come to us by way of easy times, but by love and laughter and sons.

I wish I could freeze you just as you are today because every second with you is an adorable good time.  But, I can't.  So, instead, I enjoy these passing moments and look so very forward to what is ahead.  To your continued growth.  To your continued smiles.  I look forward to continuing to learn from you as you learn from me.  I look forward to hearing more of your music!!  Everyday.

Every moment of every day I am reminded why I am the luckiest Mommy in the world and how very proud you make me.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Turner Luke!

I love you,