The Tovsky Tribe

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

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Boy Formerly Known as Baby Four!

2 days. That's how long after his birth it took the formerly known "Baby Four" to be given a name.  Two days, plus the 32 weeks prior since we had found out about the pregnancy.

We had a whole list of names that we, well, really, that I was considering.  Some,  many, were outlandish and crazy.   Some were ones I actually liked.  Few were names that Todd deliberated as a possibility.  Any name he did regard as a potential name for his son, a determination made by his hesitation to say NO WAY, a lack of response at all, or, in some cases, a full-on MAYBE,  got moved to the short list.  The short list was where I assumed our baby's name would come from.

Armed with that list stored in my phone, I figured we would choose from the 8 names and come to an agreement within an hour from his birth, even before I was transferred to a room and was allowed visitors. In fact, of the 8, Todd only "sort of" liked 3 of them so I really never anticipated it would take us almost as many days to choose between 3 names.  Yet, it did.  We were those people that I never understood.  The people that referred to their newborn as "baby." The people that announced the birth of their nameless child.  Yep, that was us.

I had some first choice names all along, names that Todd originally said maybe to but, somewhere between my suggestion and baby's birth, they all became flat NO's.  And, even so, those names were less appealing to me as I held my gorgeous boy in my hand.  Stratton, Keaton, Burke; none of them seemed right for this olive skinned, dark-haired, peanut in my arms.  Dax, the name that I believed we would end up settling on, was now out of consideration as Todd decided he no longer liked it.  And, though I floated a few other names past my naming partner, it was as if he didn't hear me because he didn't even ponder them momentarily.

There we were, left with Dash, the in-utero nickname coined by our close friend, or the under the radar, not much mentioned but still there on the list, Decker. 

We were divided, Todd thinking he wanted Dash and me, unsure, but not wanting Dash. A name I thought was cute but not my son's name.  I debated it for days. I even called him Dash to try it on. It was a bit too cartoon-y for me.  We were stressed out about it and getting near settling on it just to pick a name. But then, the final straw of rejection, not only for me but for Todd too, was the double whammy of the term of endearment "Dashy" and the association of the name with the Kardashian clothing line.  No thanks, not interested in anything Kardashian related. 

And, so, it became Decker.  Dex, as a nickname. A different name!  One, I feel, sounds strong, and intelligent.  

Decker Tovsky.

That's our baby 4. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The most beautiful thing I have ever seen

Love at first sight

If you had asked me three weeks ago what the most beautiful thing I had ever seen was I would have answered, without hesitation, each of my son's faces.

If you were to ask me today, the very same question, I would have a different answer. And, not because my boys' faces are any less beautiful, in fact it is just the opposite. But, in light of our recent new addition, I've been privileged to witness beauty like I've never seen it before. 

Chase, Ryder and Turner are every bit as active as their action verb names imply. They are three different boys who, each in their own way, represent the true meaning of boy.  Hyper, excitable, active, fart-loving, mess-making boys!  They are dirty and crumby and loud and happy to be these things. 

And, still, they each are absolutely delightful. They all have a sensitive side. A charming side. A sweet as can be side. And, they are man enough to show it, when the time is right. 

So, when their baby brother was born, it didn't come as any surprise that they would show him undeniable love.  Yet, I couldn't have anticipated the beauty, the heartwarming and touching way, that they have fallen in love.  Each of them.

Yes, the boys love each other, they love me, they love Todd.  They love their grandparents and their cousins and aunts and uncles, and all of the people in their life that love them so unconditionally.  They love us and I don't doubt it but they never knew a life without loving us.  It is an inherent love, powerful and deep.

But, with Decker, it is different.  We watched them FALL IN LOVE.  For the very first time.  (Hopefully, not for the last time.)  We looked on as they saw life differently, for the first time, as they held their newborn brother in their arms.  We watched them as an understanding developed within them that this tiny little new person made all of our lives better.  We observed them as they realized that they would do anything to make sure their baby was taken care of.  We witnessed them as they took a breath and felt their heart expand, like it never had before.

Yes, we saw them fall in love.  It was, it is, the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


On Tuesday, March 12, 2015 we welcomed Decker to the world the way all good Jewish boys are welcomed....with a public circumcision.

It was a wonderful day, despite my being on my feet too long and landing myself in an absolute state of exhaustion before nights end.

We had done this before, clearly, yet this time seemed different.  Perhaps it was the bittersweet naming, the still raw wounds of losing Jaime.  Perhaps it was knowing, again, but this time for sure, that it was the last time we would hold such a simcha.

We used Cantor Kushner, CantorK, as we had each time prior, and he, once again, performed a flawless and quick circumcision.  What was not quick was the long line of loved ones who were part of Decker's naming, which included both sets of parents, all of our siblings, all three big brothers, and the appointed g-dparents, Aunt Bonnie and Rob.  Also amongst the things that may have been too long was my naming speech.  A combined homage to Jaime and blessing for our dear son, it was 5 minutes of an emotional and nervous delivery that left the room in a teary state.  I have included the speech below.  

"We'd like to thank you for joining us today at the bris of our son, Decker Jaime Tovsky, as we welcome him to the world and bless his name over the Torah.

Decker's English name is for our beloved, Jaime Pitale. Decker's hebrew name is Yehuda Dan Tovsky ben of Peretz Lieb and Vardah Hannah.  Judah Dan. The english name Jaime is a derivative of Jacob.  Jacob had 12 sons, the fourth being Judah.  In honor of Jaime, and of Dex being our Fourth son, we name him Yehuda Dan. Judah was a leader whose tribe's descendants were what Israelites came to be known as. Jacob  conferred his son with the blessing of lion  That just as the lion is "king of the beasts," so too would Yehuda rule over the Jewish People, and that Yehuda should be blessed with the courage of the lion.  the name means praised and thankful and Dan means to be judged by g-d. We are certainly thankful for this little guy and will praise him every single day.  May he live an honorable life that is blessed by G-d's judgment.
Our beautiful son comes to us as an unexpected blessing, the very best kind.  One brought to us, we believe, as a gift from the very man he's been named for, Jaime Darren Pitale.
It was just 10 months ago that we had to say goodbye to Jaime, Cousin Jaime as our boys called him, Giacomo, as parts of the world called him.   It's difficult to grasp that Jaime is gone. It's complicated to realize that his kind soul and easy way are no longer of this earth.It's impossible to understand how a 40 year old man of beauty and of charm could have be taken from our world. And, yet, 10 months ago, we had no idea that we would welcome a little boy who will bear his name and carry his legacy.
Jaime is thought of often, by every one of us.  I think of him when I am eating home cooked food, or drinking italian wine, or when I hear echoing laughter.  I especially think of him when Todd tells a joke that I know only Jaime would have found funny.  He was Todd's very best audience.  The boys think of Jaime a lot.  They talk about him, they remember him.  In the time between his diagnosis and his final departure for Thailand we were fortunate in that Jaime spent a lot of time with us.  He played with and got to know Chase, Ryder and Turner.  More importantly, they got to know him. I could not be more grateful for that time, and that all of us, but especially our sons, have real memories of the amazing guy their brother is being named for, and they can take an active part in teaching Decker cousin Jaime's legacy.
Jaime was a man of love and laughter, a man of kindness and open mindedness.  A man who believed that good food and a bottle of wine can bridge any cultural, language or religious gaps and he embraced  these differences  with passion and devotion. Jaime was laid back with a free spirit. He was relaxed and easygoing yet had strong convictions on who he was and how he chose to live.  He wasn't scared to try new things, in fact he craved it.  Jaime couldn't tie himself down, no, there was a world of experiences out there waiting for him.  And, yet no matter where he wandered, no matter what he did, no matter how far away he was, he kept his family ties very close to his heart .  He was never too far, too busy, or too involved to reach out for a "hi" and an " I love you."  And, when he was with you, it was evident there was nowhere else he wanted to be.  Jaime was an athlete, an artist, a poet, and a cook.  He loved music and movies and books.  Jaime was the embodiment of love and kindness, of passion and of soul.  Materials and deep pockets were of no concern to him, but the depths of a person and the essence of their being was what he valued.
I wish for Dex all of these traits.  May his passion run deep. May he find humor in almost everything, the way Jaime did. May he be kind and sweet and handsome.  May he be passionate of many things and have the opportunity to explore them all.  May he be love personified.  May he, too, have kindness in his eyes and warmth in his hugs and love in his smile. But, unlike his namesake, may he choose to settle a bit closer to home than Thailand.
Decker, you are a welcomed into this world with so much warmth and love.  You are surrounded by friends that we consider family and family that we consider friends.  You are blessed with a very large, extended family, who call "home" where the heart is no matter what their mailing address says.  Many have travelled today just to meet you and greet you, because indeed you are that special.  You have aunts and uncles who delight in you, cousins who adore you, and grandparents who cherish you. And, you, my dear son, complete our family in a way we never imagined.  You are joining a family who can get quite loud, who likes to tell jokes, sometimes inappropriate ones, who believes laughter is the best medicine, and who practices kindness regularly.  We live in a bit of a chaotic harmony and, get ready, because we are often quite busy.  You have 3 brothers who will be the very best friends you will have in your life even if they do decide to torture you from time to time. They will show they way to do most things, even the wrong things, and it is likely you will look up to each and every one of them.  In dad and I you have the two biggest supporters you will ever need. Daddy will always work hard to make sure you're taken care of,  he will make you crack up laughing and will be ready to rough and tumble. He will also make sure your hair is trimmed and you stay on the right path. In me you should know that you and your brothers and daddy will always be number one priority.  Nothing will ever be more important than your happiness. There won't ever be a sacrifice I have to make to that is too large. I will always have your back, help you make your decisions and support your choices, unconditionally.. Together, daddy and vow to guide and teach you and help you and, mostly, to love you more every single day."

Decker handled the circumcision with the same laid back and easygoing way he has handled these first 12 days of his life, and despite the emotional circumstance of his naming, his parents handled it pretty well, also.  We were surrounded by very close family and very close friends, just the way we like it.  And, though I was thrilled to see each and every one of the faces in the room, it was difficult, as you'd expect, to have a real conversation with any one of them.  That's always disappointing, of course, but just knowing that our favorite people were part of the very special day touches my heart in a way these words can't describe.

Here are some pictures from the day:

Decker, you are truly blessing. I love you so....

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Two Weeks New

It's only been two weeks.  It's been 14 days since Decker's arrival and, yet, I can barely remember what life was like without him.  He's joined our family without resistance from any one of us and the transition has been so smooth and so natural it is, as if, he was always here with us. Perhaps, he was, in our hearts.

Love is overflowing in these walls around us.  The 5 of us who lived here three weeks ago have each fallen in love, in our own way, with the newest family member, and none of us can actually picture a life without Dex.

As a result, I forget how young he is, how new to the world he really is.  I forget that he is supposed to be off-schedule and mix up his days and his nights, because that is what newborns do.

My littlest guy is new to this world and new to this family, yet it certainly doesn't feel that way.  He has always been a part of us!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Welcome Baby 4!

I've never been a big planner.  I usually find, in my life, that the best laid plans fail to complete.  Flying by the seat of my pants usually worked for me, at least in my younger years.

But, when you're pregnant with your 4th kid as you approach your 40th birthday and you've had two previous c-sections, doctors insist on planning.  So, we did. And I had a c-section scheduled for Thursday, March 5th.  And, because for the first time, we knew we were having a boy, we planned the bris for 8 days later. 
With this plan set, I also planned my three off days between work and baby 4's arrival.  So many plans. 

I had a feeling it wouldn't pan out. My oversized gut told me so. And, yesterday, March 3rd, two days earlier than planned, we welcomed our very special little boy. 

He is smaller (much) than I expected and has gone nameless longer than expected.  But, though unexpected has been the theme thus far, he is hardly unwelcomed. Baby four is the absolute best surprise in my life.

Things happened rather quickly after we did a lot of waiting and a drop in heart rate and the cord being wrapped around his neck gave us quite the scare, but once they held up our beautiful son for us to see everything in our life had gotten better.  

Baby 4 is only 6 pounds 3 ounces and is 20 inches long.  He has a lean body type and a very small head.  He was born at 1:43pm on 3/3 and in the minutes that followed his birth I fell absolutely in love with yet another Tovsky boy!  

At first glance he reminded both Todd and I of a newborn Ryder.  But, his full head of black hair and lanky body are more reminiscent of Chase.  He resembles both of his biggest brothers, looking like Ryder head on but Chase from the profile.  He has long skinny fingers that look like match sticks and toes that are almost as long as his fingers. His nose is so tiny we wonder if he can breathe and the little bit his eyes have been open gleam a deep blue that will likely become brown months from now.  His cry, seldomly heard, is a squeaky little whimper, and his ears are small and flat against his head.  His lips form a perfect pink heart and his lashes and brows have yet to come in.  I think I've noticed a dimple or two while he's been sucking and his face is that of an angel. 

He's absolutely perfect in so many ways and I am honored and proud to call him my son. 

Baby 4, welcome to the world, to our world, to our special, little (big) family.  We are privileged to have you as the completing piece and I look forward to every day that is to come.  

You could not be more loved or adored!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

New Blog Title (Again), Hopefully, New (MORE) Banter, as well.

Although I haven't posted much, ok AT ALL, over the last way too long, this blog remains an important part of me and of my family.  6 years ago, when I was still an avid contributor, I debated for quite some time over the new name of this blog once our third child was born.  What began as The Tovsky Twins would no longer be an appropriate title and I had set out to find a new title.  As indicated in this post, after far too much debate, I settled on The Tovsky Trifecta.  This name was perfect and was used in reference to my children, separate from the blog.   A better half of a decade has passed since then, and the blog, getting far less visits than it had, was in need of content but not a name change.  Until now.

As we anticipate our 4th child, whose number of days before arrival can be counted on one hand, I am left knowing Trifecta, in any of its definitions, is no longer appropriate for our family.  And, so, here I am again.  Renaming.

I find this humorous, mostly because I still don't have a name for my yet to be born son.  But, since his name needs to be mutually agreed upon by my almost as difficult in this category husband, I've moved on to naming this blog, where I get sole naming rights!

In horse racing the fourth win after a Trifecta is a Superfecta.  I do claim my boys are animals so this would not be a completely out of line name, yet somehow it just doesn't seem right.

Although I do know many people with 4 children, and even some with 5 or more, and we are hardly unique, I would say for all of us 4+ out there that it is the start of a BIG FAMILY.  This thought has been confirmed to me many times by the looks of concern and the "are you crazy?" responses that we have received from those with smaller families in the spreading of our news.

So, as we are about to be moved into the big family category I feel we have earned a title of Tribe. So, yes, that is the new name of this blog, The Tovsky Tribe.

May this re-branding be the start of some more frequent updates and may Baby 4 be the spark I need to start writing again.

We can't wait to meet you, Baby 4.  I am thrilled that you make us a tribe.