The Tovsky Tribe

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

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Letter to my Son on his 9 Month Birthday!

Dear Decker,

9 Months Happy!  3/4 of your year of firsts is now behind us and as fast as it all has gone it seems impossible that last holiday season I hadn't even met you yet.  This time last year I had no idea that your name would be Decker, or that your eyes would be blue, or that your smile is infectious, as is your laugh.  12 months ago I was still anticipating the shape of your face, and the curve of your mouth.  It does seem impossible that this time last year I hadn't met you yet because now it  feels like I've always known you, as if you were always in our life, making each day brighter, sunnier, happier. 

You may be only 9 months old, but your physical abilities seem to indicate otherwise. Though you are not yet walking (and barely cruising) it is no matter because the ease and agility with which you perform "stunts" is awe inspiring. You can climb.  The steps were where you learned to climb up but everything else is your base for climbing out and down. The high chair. The exersaucer. Your car-seat carrier.   I am hoping the crib is still a while off.

You've finally gotten more teeth. The four top teeth came in all that same time along with a third bottom tooth. That fourth bottom tooth is working on it but seems to be a bit slower than the rest. 

Now, with a mouth full of teeth, you can chew and prefer to eat table food. As a result your diet is far less healthy than it was when you were eating puréed fruits and vegetables. You've also mastered your pincer grasp and can self feed most small pieces that are put in front of you. Of course, once you grasp the food, you can also chuck it across the room with strange accuracy 

We celebrated Thanksgiving, which was fantastic. Aunt Bonnie visited from Florida and was so delighted to see you and be with you, her little DJ. You are extra special in her heart, being that you were named for Jamie, and both the honor of his name that you represent and the absolute wonder that you are fill her with so much joy, as they do all of us. 

Over Thanksgiving break we also went to Maryland for the day to celebrate Uncle Bunny's 90th birthday.  It was so nice to see all of the Citrenbaums, together in one room, and celebrate such a milestone. I was thrilled to have you be a part of it and to have so many people meet you. Although neither you nor Bunny will remember the day it is a remarkable valuable moment for me, and for Pop-Pop, to know you were a part of something so special.

Celebrating Bunny's 90th
You are all over the place and constantly on the move.  And, though you can play nicely by yourself, you are in constant motion, which is evidence that you are a Tovsky brother.  You have mastered climbing up the stairs and are attempting to climb up everything from me, to the bookshelves, to the beds.  You also like to put all the wrong things in your mouth.  If we don't watch you, you will have a nice steady meal of lego pieces.

When you're given a bottle we hold it for you.  Truthfully, none of us mind, and knowing that the time is going to soon end, I do want to give you as many bottles as possible.  However, you act like you are unable to hold your own bottle.  Then, one day, I walk into your room at daycare to find you giving yourself your bottle.  You little stinker!!  Now that we know the truth we still give it to you, but when we need to, if we place your hands on the bottle you will hold it up yourself.

Holding your own at Daycare
You took your first school picture.  The class photo is funny as it is just you and little Phoebe and Ms. Cheryl.  Your individual picture came out quite good. I call you my Superman in the picture because your hair is darker than normal, your eyes are bluer than normal, and you have the Superman curl.

You still love the guitar, the phone, your brothers, and the bath.  When I sing the Decker song, sung to the tune of B-I-N-G-O, you laugh and pay close attention trying to follow along.  You love that song!  You're still a pretty serious baby, taking in everything around you, studying the world preparing to master it, but you've learned to be silly, to laugh, and to have fun.  And, we all laugh with you. You have been a gift to all of us for the last 9 months and you will continue to be so for all of the days to come.


I love you so very much, happy 9 months, baby boy!



Turner at 9 months

Chase and Ryder at 9 months

Sunday, November 8, 2015

JDRF One Walk- Three walkers and a Bundled Sleeper

When I was pregnant with Decker I swore up and down that, after his birth, I would walk.  I would walk to lose the baby weight.  I would walk to give my newborn 4th son some fresh air.  I would walk to lose the baby weight.  I would walk as an escape from the chaos within our four walls.  I would walk for my own sanity.  And, I would walk to lose the baby weight.

He is 8 months old.  I have taken him on some walks and I have let him enjoy the fresh air.  And, although it isn't easy in a home with 3 rambunctious brothers, we have even escaped the chaos on occasion.  But, I have not walked to lose baby weight.  Not once.  I can prove this by stepping on the scale.  There are a million reasons, or excuses, that I have given for why I didn't commit to walking: the lack of time (I do have 4 kids and a job;) the need to sleep; and more than once I used the weather as an excuse.  I can't do that anymore.  At least not as an excuse for Decker.

Checking out the comforts of his new seat
Last Sunday (November 1st) I had the honor of walking in the JDRF One walk to help raise awareness and money for Type 1 diabetes.  With relatives and friends afflicted with this disease I knew this was just a small piece of what I could give to help find a cure.  I was joined by three of my sons and lucky enough to be part of a wonderful team, filled with little ones like Decker, that was sponsored by JJ Cole Collections.  The JJ Cole #bundlemegood Moms team earned $1,000 towards the more than $200,000 raised that day for Type 1 Diabetes.

In part of this sponsorship JJ Cole Collections provided the littles on our team with a #teambundleme hat and an original bundleme.  Decker was both in style and warm in his original toddler sized bundleme (in graphite) and his warm and cozy new hat.
Sunday morning was a beautiful day for a walk with just enough chill in the air in the early morning to justify the bundleme.  The bundleme is, for all intents and purposes, a sleeping bag.  The coziest, warmest, most snuggly sleeping bag you can imagine. With just a few velcro strapped openings for the infant carrier buckles it attaches simply to your car seat.  In less than a minute I converted his ol' infant carrier into the softest and snuggliest mobile oasis.  I strapped him in and within minutes he was asleep.  And, sleeping is how he remained for the next 3 hours.  He slept through the in and out of the car, through the steep downhill trek from the parking lot to the welcome area of the walk, and through the loud music and happy sounds of children and adults gathered for a good cause.  He slept while his brothers played in the game truck on site, and through the starting sounds as all of us,   JJ Cole Team #bundlemegood Moms and all of the many other JDRF supporters, began our 3 mile trek through beautiful Tyler State Park.  He slept, as I panted and sweat, and pushed up the many hills, and he slept as two of his brothers darted ahead of me claiming that I walk just too slow.  And, who could blame him?  I wanted to climb right in myself, particularly after the three miles winded me, and take a 3 hour nap. 


The starting point, we are off!


Now, it's true I think he is one cute kid, but how adorable does he look all snuggled up in this comfort?


When we crossed the finish line, his eyes opened, he grinned instantly, and you could tell he was happy and comfortable, and was probably unaware of the mitzvah his brothers and I just made.  And, when I pulled him out for hugs and play he was cuddly warm, which was perfect on my skin in the fall breeze.  Truth is, it was a beautiful day and he may not have needed all of that warmth, but the bundleme is a zippered sac that allows you to remove the top part if a beautiful day comes our way in the middle of the colder seasons.  And, the temperature can drop a lot, as it will in the coming weeks and months, and I can still have my boy outside and know that he is comfortable and warm. 


The bundleme is machine washable and easy to change from car seat to stroller so he won't need the bulk of winter jacket (which also prevents the 5-point harness from fastening close to him.)  And, since we are amidst Chase's ice hockey season, Decker will spend many games cheering on his brother rink side from the comforts of the warm and cozy bundleme.  I think I need to get myself one of these.  Then, of course, I really won't have an excuse to start walking off the baby weight.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Letter to my son in his 8th Month Birthday!

Dear Decker,

8 months, happy.  8 months, so big!  That is one of the things we have been working on, So big, a "trick" you have done, though you have not quite mastered, and it is just so adorable watching you do it.

Life continues to be a joy each day with you, my only complaint is not having enough one on one time with you. We are always going and running. And you're in school most days or in someone's else care.  But, we try to soak up special minutes with you and it is always such a pleasure.

You are active, as you were in utero, and not interested in sitting still when there are steps to climb or walls to pound on. You are also very persistent and very capable, attempting new tricks with an eager determination that allows you, usually, to master them before too long. Your most recent "trick" is the climbing of the stairs.  You practice ALL OF THE TIME and, though it is not quite mastered, you have improved tremendously and are almost there.  Changing your diaper becomes a battle of wills and though we do usually get the diaper sealed I can't guarantee that your pants are always on, particularly when many snaps are involved.

You play well, and happily, all by yourself finding the same charm in your smile that we all see. You can talk to a wall while banging your open hands on it and this can truly amuse you for some time. 

You still love your bottles and depend on them most for your nutrition though you've been slowly enjoying food more and more. Although it is usually baby food we give you, you are starting to show a preference for table food. You're starting to get the chew motion down in spite of having only the same two teeth you've had for the last 4 months. And, though you're teething again, still, always- we haven't seen another pearly white pop through. Not yet anyway.

Daycare has been going great and you seem to really enjoy your days there with Miss Cheryl and Phoebe. And, of course, your days with Uncle Mat are special to you and to him. In his care you learn new and exciting things that only Uncle Mat could ever teach.  

8 months old and you weighed in at 18.10 pounds and 28 inches long.  This is a 2 lb gain and 1.5 inches since your 6 month measurement.  You are strong and solid, so this weight doesn't surprise me, but you are also very lean.

We started with the fall season events, my favorite, and we have enjoyed corn maizing, bon fires, pumpkin picking and more.  And, though your first halloween was mostly uneventful, you sure did look cute in costume.  For the Bright Eyes parade you wore a costume they donated to us, SHREK. I  called you Shrek-er the whole day.  It made me giggle.  For Ryder's halloween classroom party and the Van Aken bash that night you wore the Tootsie Roll.  Somehow, I don't have a great picture but you were my adorable Tootsie pop!  Then on Halloween night, while your brothers ran around trick or treating, you strolled with me, giggling and looking adorable.  I am sure next year you will hold a bigger hand of two of your brothers as you try to keep up as they go door to door.

Time goes too quickly, you're getting bigger every day.  I wish I had more moments with you but I am so thrilled to have you with us as we go through our chaotic days.  You are such a joy and we all love you so.

I love you, Decker!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

You Say Ya Want a Revolution

After a year of begging, and a year of Rec hockey, Chase has given up soccer to play ice hockey.  He is on Philadelphia Revolution Squirt White and is loving every minute of the "cool" sport.

He has improved dramatically in just these first two months and I am excited to see where he ends up by season's end.

He is an offenseman who shuffles between right wing and center.  He is learning to skate better, is making new friends, and is having a blast.  Here's to a great season!  Let's go Rev!

Hockey Tough

Avi's Bar Mitzvah

Last Shabbos we celebrated Avi's Bar Mitzvah.  He was amazing, and mature, and he looked handsome.  I always love, more than most things, when our family gets together.  Near and far gathered for the simcha and I enjoyed being together and having the boys spend time with their cousins.  Although I am sure there are pictures out there, I took none.   Eventually, they will surface.

But, Saturday night. While the bar mitzvah boy was partying with his friends, many of us gathered at Aunt Barb's to spend time together and, mostly, with the out of towners.

This picture was taken and I just love it.  Cousins are always the best friends you'll have.

Chase (9), Ryder (9), Turner (6), Max (2), Layala (3), and Lily (5)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Turner's Piano Recital

For Turner's 6th birthday he only asked for a few gifts:

-A robe, which may have been his favorite thing, Thank you Aunt Amy, Uncle Jay, Delaney and Madden.

-Lego sets (thank you 90% of the people who celebrated his birthday)

and, Piano Lessons.

So, with the help of Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop, Mom-Mom Jill, and Poppy, (thank you, all), Turner began taking lessons.  Beginning slowly he just went every other week and thrn conflicts (both by us and the teacher) caused us to skip many weeks in between.  But, he kept going.  And, before long came his first piano recital.  10/9/2015

Well-dressed, well-practiced, and bursting with a shy excitement, he got up in front of an audience and performed his first three songs.

We are so proud of you, Turner.  Keep practicing, keep learning.  We look forward to the next one.

Monday, October 5, 2015

A Letter to my Son on his 7th Month Birthday!

Dear Decker,

Today we celebrate 7 Months Happy!  Indeed, we do.

It is no secret that time passes quickly, as we get older time gets increasingly faster.  I am aware that it will feel like no time at all has passed, yet this seven month letter will become a 7 year letter.  Or, 17.

But, as fast it goes, you're not supposed to be in such a hurry.  Yet, you are.  You are trying to outpace time.  Or, at least it feels that way/

At 7 months old you crawl.  And, although you can crawl in traditional style you will also, sometimes, crawl then place one foot down- as if, mid-crawl, you may just get up and walk instead.  At 7 months old, you sit on your toosh, well-postured, for long stretches of time.  Then, you will bounce, on your toosh, as if you are trying to spring yourself to standing position, only you are not ready to fully stand just yet, so you sit back down.  You easily get an inch off the ground.  At 7 months old, you pull yourself up to standing and put your arms up to reach for us. At 7 months, you crawl up the steps, unassisted, though we do still stand behind you in case you should fall.  At 7 months old you do yoga.  You do not know you are doing yoga.  You've never been taught yoga.  Yet, you do a downward dog better than most people I know.  From that position, you will walk like a gorilla for a few steps.  It's only a matter of time before evolution takes over and you straighten up like the homo-sapien you are.

You started eating food right after your 6 month birthday and within a few meals you were well on your way.  You now eat two meals a day and, so far, have enjoyed carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, apples, and pears, most of which I have made.  You've also had a little bit of chicken soup.  All of it you like and you're starting to get the hang of the whole spoon in mouth, swallow food thing.  Soon enough, we will add the third meal in.  You still take 4 bottles a day.

You started day care and have been doing great there.  For the first 5 weeks it was just you and Ms. Cheryl.  Last week, however, Phoebe came to join the party!  You seem to enjoy your day there and are always happy and playing (when you're not sleeping) when I arrive to get you.

You continue to be the easiest, most joyful baby.  You are happy and calm and bring a smile to all of us.  You're a serious boy, who takes in so much information as you watch the world unfold around you.  You watch your brothers' every move, mine, daddy's- and it is obvious that you are just collecting information to use at a later date, when your body catches up to your mind.

On many Fridays, though not all, you still spend your time with Uncle Mat. No one else teaches you like he does, nor communicates with you the way he does.  It is a wonderful bond you have with him.  When he is in the room with you, you do not take your eyes off of him, your focus can't be broken. It is quite fascinating.
Time with Uncle Mat includes Bass lessons....
...and piano lessons

You are truly my special little blessing and it is hard to believe we had a life prior to your existence.  You filled a hole we didn't know we had, and completed a puzzle we didn't know had a missing piece. We are grateful every single day.

I love you so, Decker


you love spending time with your brothers

Turner helps feed you

Turner at 7 months
Chase and Ryder at 7 months

Sunday, September 20, 2015

He Crawls

He's been working on it for months, long before his little tiny body should have been. At 3 months, when he started rolling over, he would try to move his body from one point to another.  But now, at 6 months, he is up and moving.  He didn't do it at 5:00pm and by 6:00pm it was done.  He's a crawler.
 Look at him go.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

He Laughs

His laughter is contagious!

Monday, September 7, 2015

A Letter to my Son on his 6 Month Birthday!

Dear Decker,

We have been half-way around the sun since your birth.  The season has changed twice and is preparing to change again.  A school year has ended, a new one has begun.  6 months.  Half of a year.  It seems like just a few minutes. Yet, the calendar does not need to be turned in order to see how much has changed because Decker, my sweet boy, you are not the tiny little infant we held in our arms when the weather was still so cold.

No, now you are a baby, an active one at that.  You sit up, perfectly postured, for long periods of time.  And, you can get into that seated position yourself, even when lying down.  You roll all around and cover a good amount of surface area with your rolls.  You're working hard to get your crawl down but aren't quite there yet.  You can get  up on all 4's, you can rock back and forth, and you can move an arm forward, you just have not been able to master the balance of moving the arm and the opposite leg simultaneously.

You babble.  You babble often and not so quietly.  You babble when you're happy.  You babble when you're sleeping.  You must just have a lot to say. You coo. You giggle.  And, more than anything else, you smile.  Always.  You really are the happiest baby on the block.

Happy, indeed, but you also seem to be quite serious.  Intently taking in the world around you, you watch and listen and pay close attention to the things you see and the things you hear.  In this way, and in many other ways, you remind me of Chase,  You're not so serious that you don't laugh.  A tickle around your neck ; a silly act by one of your brothers; my singing of one of your favorite songs; any of that can set you off giggling and the sound is pure joy to hear.

But, nothing makes you more excited, more happy, more kicky and punchy with your legs and arms than your daddy entering a room.  His arrival is marked with happy coos and spastic movements, and at that moment it is clear who your favorite person is.

You weighed in at 16.12 pounds, a gain of 1 pound 8 ounces, and measured 16.5 inches long, a half inch of growth.  You are still in size 2 diapers but are getting ready for size 3 and you wear 6 month clothing.  You still only have your same two bottom teeth and continue to stick your fist in your mouth while drooling enough to soak a shirt.  Soon enough more should pop through.

We had a very busy last month and between now and then we have been to the Poconos, where we took you in the middle of the night to the beach to watch a meteor shower.  Without much shock you were easy going and happy to join the party no matter the disrupted sleep.  We've been to Baltimore, where we visited museums, visited with cousins, and had a great time.  All the while, you just hung out, smile on your face, once again happy to be included.  We also went to Hershey Park where, you guessed it, you smiled and cooed and enjoyed the day while everyone around you hit the big coasters.

You spent the summer napping outside at the pool and just going where we went, late nights, long days, all of it was fine for you.  You really are incredible.

6 months old and your eyes are still blue, blue as can be.  And, nope, I am still not 100% convinced that they are never changing.  6 months old and your hair is coming in shiny and soft and a light shade of brown. 6 months old and you love to have your hands clapped together, to be tickled, and to just be with all of us.  You enjoy your exer-saucer and the occasional toy you are given.

Your brothers went back to school and you and I stood back and watched the bus take them away on the first day.  I have a feeling you will miss the noise and the chaos that they bring!  Don't worry, they'll be home every afternoon with it.

Time goes quickly.  You are 6 months today but you'll be 6 years "tomorrow" and I just try to enjoy my moments in between with you.  You bring joy and calm and smiles to all of us and I could not be more proud to call you my son.

Happy 6 Months, Dex.


We all love you so!!


Turner at 6 months

Decker's First Food

We began Decker on food just after he hit his 6 month milestone.  Everyone enjoys helping to feed him.