Torgesen Family Times

{We are trying to enjoy and record the moments that make life special}
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Alex often will hold on to something (window ledge) and then before you know it (and him apparently too!) he is standing by himself. As soon as he figures it out, though, he sits his bottom down and starts doing something else.
He is pretty fun right now!
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9 month developments

9 things Alex is doing now:

1) standing!!! (I know - he probably will be walking by 10 months! He just

2) crusing along while holding on to furniture

3) 4 teeth! The two top teeth are coming in and they are SOOO cute!

4) not sleeping very well - a GREAT night is still waking 3 times a night. Most nights are uncountable (6-10?) We are having a rough time with this one because it seems like he has to sleep ON us. (and wake up every 45 min?) I've told Lance this is a phase but it's often hard to see that when you're in it.

5) very clingy towards the Mama

6) walking with assistance from a walking toy - very roughly

7) opening cabinets and drawers in the kitchen and making noises by banging them

8) Eating like a horse - he likes "big person" food now - no baby food. He really likes chili, spaghetti sauce and anything that we're eating.

9) this one is for Mama - since I'm losing my milk, so therefore we're feeding him more and more of formula. Good thing it's only until he's one year old. It's expensive! We're blowing through it and just bought 4 cans from Costco.


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When Christmas was growing near - - - Lance asked "how can we have stocking stuffers without "Mom" and "Dad" stockings?" Well, the answer was to make some! I searched a bit for some already made stockings that we could embellish with "Mom" "Dad" and "Alex" but none seemed to be just right. So, off to the fabric store and here are three new wool felt stockings hand sewn by "Mom" and Grandma Sandy. The toughest part was deciding what to put on each of the stockings. Lance's (aka "Dad") is a tree with button lights and snowflakes because he is crazy nuts about getting the perfect tree each year. My stocking (aka "Mom") is poinsettia and holly because of my love of plants. Alex's is a snowman because Lance can't wait to build a snowman with Alex someday.
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All I want for Christmas is my two front


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Busy busy bee

It's that time of year, folks.

Busy. (the reason why I haven't posted in a while...)

We are off from work and now hosting a tamale Christmas Eve family get together at our house tomorrow. We are really exicted. Beans and rice, chips and salsa, tamales, and guacamole! Not the traditional fare at our house.

I think we are all ready, though. The tamales are prepared. The Christmas presents are bought and wrapped. The house just needs a light cleaning and we're on our way!

Here are some pictures of us last year - when we were awaiting our little one's arrival into the world. We took a wonderful road trip to San Diego area.

Here I am somewhere in Eastern Oregon (or NW Nevada I can't remember). I don't even look pregnant! But, was 5 mo along!

Here is Lance (aka Daddy) in the lowest spot on the continent? ---- Death Valley

And here we both are on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Oceanside, Ca.

What a difference a year makes. A family of two becomes a family of three. Pure Joy!

Par-tay poopers

It seems as though everyone (every baby and some of the parents) have developed a stomach bug after coming to our party on Saturday. Ok, not everyone - everyone, but two families so far!

The bug was virulent and highly contagious.

I feel absolutely horrible!

But, I know that it's not my fault, it just happened.

But, I still feel horrible!

For the babies it was a night of throwing up and then days of diarrhea (he missed 3 days of daycare and now Mama is officially out of sick time). Alex threw up from about 7pm-3am when he had it and he was covered in it, along with Mama (me) and our entire king size bed. Everything needed to be washed. The good news is that baby barf is pretty harmless. It's little more than baby spit up - just more voluminous.

And for myself (one of the parents who caught it as well) it was 3-4 hours of throwing up, a low grade fever of 101F, and diarrhea. Lance just had a low grade fever, no barfs, no poopers and a really bad stomach ache.

I took little Alex to the Dr. and they said it was definitely going around.

No fun being sick ourselves about 2 weeks ago and then hearing that everyone (OK, not everyone - but, definitely the majority) of people who came to my par-tay got sick. :(

Help getting the tree up

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riding a car

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Cookies and Kids Par-tay!

Yesterday we hosted a Cookies and Kids party for all the new families I've meet along this wonderful journey. Some people might think I'm crazy, with work, the holidays and hosting a party at my house with 10 little ones.

But, it was a blast.

I cooked up some quick home made chili with cornbread and all the fixins and had some wine, cheese and crackers and veggie tray. That's it! It was fairly easy to get together! We decorated the house and I made my fudge. The deal was to bring some cookies/candy or confection treat to then split up and share with everyone. We had tons of great treats and I think eveyone went home happy.

We sure had a good time and it was totally worth it to me to do all the work so that I could see some of my new Mom friends and the babies! My how they have grown!

My home made chili recipe (well, actually it's my Mom's):
Brown about 1-2 lbs meat (I used ground turkey)
saute one chopped onion
add a little bit of garlic after the onions are sauted
then add some canned tomatoes (I used diced) and some cans of "chili" beans until it looks the right proportions.
Add oregano, cumin and chili spice, salt and pepper to your liking.
Bring to a boil and cook for a while.

Serve with sour cream, onions of some sort and CHEESE!

There you go - chili away!

I love all things photography and pictures

As some of you already know - I love to take pictures. I love my Canon Digital XTi camera that Lance gave me for Xmas 2 years ago. Love. Love. Love. I think I've taken ~2500 pictures.
Not kidding. :)
So, in my look out for all things cool with photography I've found some websites that I thought I would share with everyone. They are really fun!
My first site I would like to talk about is picnik This site is so easy to use, free and fun. (As can be seen from the above Santa hat photo of us.) You upload your photos or interface via flicker or any number of other web storage sites and it is very user friendly to create photography masterpieces.
All for free! Zip. Nada. Nothing. FREE.
You can pay ~$25/year for "premium" features, but right now I'm just having fun with what they've got for free. See what else I've created!

(fun, yet not so out there)

(plain, yet classy)

And the second website is tabblo It's easy.
(yes, you do have to register unlike with the above website)
You upload your photos (or interface with any number of web storage sites i.e. flicker) and there are many templates, colors and ways to get cool collages. The even cooler part is that you can get a pdf format and post to your website - see below - or print from home or print via them. I went the cheap way obviously. I haven't had too long to explore this site, yet. I'm sure there is more fun to be had.

I created this wonderful collage of all things Alex and sent it along with my Xmas newsletter. The possibilities are endless!

If any of you are looking for stocking stuffers and have about $500 in mind to spend - look no further than here . This lens does everything - close up and zoom all in one. It's definately on my wishlish so that I can take more photos and make more Tabblo and funny pictures.


Lance got to show Alex snow for the first time.
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Santa Pictures

I got a great tip from a friend - skip the line up for hours at the mall and make an appointment at Chapters Photography .
Wow! I am so impressed. Not only was the appointment easy to make (online) but it was so easy to get to at Bothell Country Village and the photographer is a Dad! ... he knows how kids are.
Alex was slightly cranky and I said that he might be hungry. They were super flexible about this and we had a great time. Next year I will make the appointment for the morning hours since Alex seems to be less cranky then.
They are not only easy to work with, but are very creative with their photography and are reasonably priced. I got 2-5x7s and 8 wallets for $42! No sitting fee - no anything else fee.

They even threw in 2 more poses (bottom two pics) for free!

Can I make my appointment for next year already?
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34 1/2 weeks in...

...over 34 1/2 weeks out.

I tried to time it just right.

But, then life stepped in and things got too busy (work, holidays, parties, sick, etc) for me to remember.

Remember to post that Alex has now been outside the womb for >34 1/2 weeks. (actually ~37 weeks!)

Can you believe it? Our little man is now almost 9 months old!

He is crawling faster and faster all the time and our two stairs in our kitchen are no problemo. He's up them in 2 seconds flat! He's pulling up on everything - even objects without a hand hold - like our sliding glass door. He's starting to take a step and move his hand along an object in order to move himself along. He's getting his top two teeth at the same time. :) He's still follicly challenged in the hair department, but he's eating well and as Lance's grandpa used to say to him "eat carrots to put hair on your chest!". He likes carrots... so, we'll see! Hopefully some of the hair ends up on his head. He's able to tell when we're going to put him in the highchair, exersaucer or any thing else and straightens his legs when he doesn't want to do it. He arches his back and tells us he wants out of things. Sometimes he even does this when he's not in anything (aka the floor) and he falls back and hits his head (not really funny... but, kinda). We have to keep him entertained when we (physically restrain) change his diaper since he and the diaper changing station aren't best of friends lately. He loves his tongue and we hope that he doesn't (with his new top and bottom teeth) bite it off. We just had to buy him some new pants since he is so tall, otherwise they all end up looking like shorts.

He has developed quite a personality in his 9 months out.

3 tired puppies

After a long night of waking an uncountable number of times - Lance snapped this shot of Alex, Mama and Bella all in bed.
Alex had crawled himself around and was facing the foot of the bed. Bella has weaseled her way into bed again and is now relegated to the bottom edge (often with a nose out of the covers) all with Mama squished in the middle.
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crawling & stairs

Alex is not only just crawling and pulling up.... but, crawling up stairs. Like a mad man! We have to watch him like a hawk now. The lower two pictures are from a time when he was playing by himself in the family room and I was in the kitchen watching him. 2 seconds.... I swear! He was crawling up in the kitchen underneath the table.
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mmmmm..... sand dollars are tasty

Thanksgiving weekend we enjoyed a trip to the beach in Gig Harbor and had the beach to ourselves. We bundled up and walked around. Look what Alex found!
Mmmmm... sand dollars are tasty!
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New word to add to dictionary, part 4

Reverse beaver verb
to crush or grind with the teeth when only the two bottom teeth are in (as in a baby) especially on the underneath edge of a unsuspecting coffee table.

Tree farm, cont.

Riding on the tractor to take the tree back to the car

Mama and Alex ride in the tractor, too.

Mama and Alex wait while Daddy straps the hurking 8 foot tree to the roof of the car

Daddy straps it to the roof of the car.
And we're done. It's now sitting in our garage sucking up some water and staying in the coolness of the garage for another week, until we have time to put it up.

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Tree farm

Today we went to a tree farm not far from our house, red-wood tree farm and picked out a Christmas tree.

Here is the tree for our house - Alex picked it out. He thought it was very nicely shaped with a good top for the star or angel (I can't remember which one we have?)

Daddy is cutting the tree down. It didn't take long and was really easy.

It's all done!

Daddy and Alex pose by the tree
See, continued story.
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Maternal Fetal Medicine visit

Tuesday I visited Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Evergreen Hospital after my initial appointment 3 weeks ago. These are the high-risk pregnancy doctors “perinatologists” (I can’t even imagine how much money they make an hour). I asked for a consult on my pre-eclamsia case and to tell me what the risks are for another pregnancy, if/when we choose to consider this in the future.

The most significant risk factors for pre-eclampsia are:
-Previous history of pre-eclampsia
-History of chronic high blood pressure, diabetes or kidney disorder
-Family history of the disorder
-Women with greater than 30% Body Mass Index (BMI).
-Multiple gestation -Over 40 or under 18 years of age
-Polycystic ovarian syndrome
-Lupus or other autoimmune disorders

I don’t have any of the other risk factors except for the history of pre-eclamsia.

And this is why I wanted to go.

Also, when all this was happening to me so fast in the hospital and the many months after I’ve felt totally out of control with my health. I had no idea what was going on and I had to trust my doctor and many others around me to do the right thing, take care of me and make the right decision.

Partly, I think that I have been very healthy and to now NOT be healthy has been a shock. Also, it’s very cliché … but, when you have your health you don’t think about it much verses when you don’t have your health. And partly, I was so exhausted when Alex was first born I didn’t have the brain power and energy to do anything other that take care of him and myself. I was in pure survival mode.

I asked the doctor about my future likelihood of getting pre-eclamsia again, why it happened in the first place, and what would be different (in terms of monitoring me) if/when we decide to have another baby.

Overall, I was glad to hear what he told me. He told me that although my future likelihood of getting pre-eclamsia was higher, I would be monitored much more. Like ultrasounds at 6, 12, 18 weeks and beyond! I would be monitored by both the normal OB and the high-risk OB.
He told me that the pre-eclamsia can be caused by a deficiency in folic acid due to a problem with metabolizing it and that even though I was taking the recommended 800 micrograms of folic acid in my prenatal vitamins, that wasn’t enough.

They tested me for the gene marker for that folic acid deficiency and I came back homozygous (or positive) for one gene that controls this metabolism. There is data that also suggests that a clotting disorder might play a role in pre-eclamsia and so they tested me for this as well. This came back negative. But, he said that they are finding new genes every day so, just because the 10 or 15 markers that they tested me for came back negative – that doesn’t mean that years down the road when they have more markers to test for that I won’t come back positive for a clotting disorder, as well.

It is very complicated and although I don’t understand much at this point, I will try to explain.
He said that I was a “classic” case. 1) strong family history of high blood pressure (HBP) 2) migraines. He said that blood pressure/pulse rate and pre-eclamsia are connected as well as the clotting disorders, folic acid metabolism and migraines.

I am to take 2 mg of folic acid (4 mg if/when I were pregnant again), baby aspirin (for thinning blood) and 25 mg of Atenolol (beta-blocker for HBP/pulse) a day. These are to treat/prevent problems in the future. All of this medication, along with the fact it will treat/prevent problems related to pre-eclamsia/HBP/pulse/clotting/folic acid disorders, it should help me with my migraines!

Although it took about 6 weeks for my BP to come down to normal after Alex was born and since then it has been fine, the doctor told me that BP isn’t the only measure of heart system health - - - pulse rate is also a measure.

Guess what?

My pulse rate is high (resting pulse rate of ~92-104 bpm compared to the normal person of ~60-70).

I have “pre-hypertension” and that by treating this now it would be much better for me in the long run. Since I’ve been back to work and working hard at work, surviving the layoffs, and working hard at home with an active little boy - I’ve been feeling anxious. Or what I thought was anxiousness.

It seems like it could’ve been the high pulse rate. The feeling that your heart is pumping fast and you need to calm down. Even though, I felt like I didn’t need to calm down. I felt fine, mentally during these episodes.

I knew that I would have hypertension – because of my family history at some point. I just didn’t think it would be at 30 years old.

I guess it’s like the weight loss surgeries - - - the sooner you treat the problem, the better off you are because then you don’t have 20-30 years of damage. In my case, this could’ve been 20-30 years of HBP/High pulse rate taking their toll on my blood vessels and heart systems.
In the end, he said that there was a good likelihood that I would be just fine and that treating me now for these issues will prevent problems in the future.

He also told me to have my parents (MOM and DAD!) take more folic acid since the HBP and folic acid are connected, and that this could help them. I also got one copy of the bad folic acid gene from each of them.

It can’t hurt!

I am still trying to syntesize everything that the Dr. said. So much information!

New word to add to dictionary, part 3

Pirate eye [pahy-ruht ahy] noun Where only one of the organs of sight gets sealed shut because of mucusy-goop like flow from the orbits and excessive length of eyelashes not allowing the baby to open eye and use for seeing until Mother figure can clean the mucusy-goop off eyelashes.

2nd time ever, continued

Seems like Lance has tonsilitis, not strep. He is on antibiotics and is feeling better today.

Since he didn't really eat since Thursday of last week - he is feeling pretty weak and needs to regain his strength by eating healthy foods. So far, he says that mashed potatoes and gravy, soup, yogurt and frozen yogurt sound good.

He is back to work today - crazy Lance! Hopefully he will come home early and rest.

I'm going to need a vacation after all this----it reminds me of people who are single parents with babies. Up all night with baby, take care of everything during the day (work for me), come home and take care of the entire house, along with a sick husband - - - Repeat.

I haven't had a chance to rest, yet.

Hopefully this weekend.

2nd time ever

Lance is sick and called into work. When he called in at first - he said that he would try to make it in that afternoon. But, I reminded him of the fact below and he called back and said he wouldn't be coming in at all.

Fact: I've known Lance for 9 1/2 years and there was the 1st time Lance called in sick - bad Teriyaki - Food poisoning.

Then, today. The 2nd time ever.

He's had a fever since Thursday, fatigue, joint aches and a sore throat. Sunday his fever was about 103.2F. Seems like the flu, but his throat is really sore now, along with the fever from 5 days ago. We'll see what they say.

He's got a Doctor appt this morning at 10 am.

New word to add to dictionary, part 2

Sleep suck [sleep suhk] verb To draw something in by producing a partial vacuum in the mouth, esp. to draw milk from the breast but only while sleeping and/or dreaming.

pulling up

Alex is now pulling up to stand.

He still doesn't want to sit up for very long - like other babies his age.

Some of the theories out there are that he is too tall and falls over because of his high center of gravity or that he just wants to "go" instead of "just sitting around" and doing "nothing" (so boring!).

Either way, he much prefers to be on his tummy scooting around (almost crawling - more like pulling himself along the floor) or now pulling himself up on anything that is higher than ground level (your leg, stairs, furniture, etc).

Just yesterday we got a call from daycare saying he bumped his head becuase he was pulling to stand and fell over. He got a good bump on the left side of his head, but no broken bones or bleeding. Whew! (Still breaks Mama's heart, though) When Lance picked him up that day he was standing in his crib - first time ever!

New word to add to dictionary

Constacold [kon-stuh-kohld] noun

a respiratory disorder characterized by sneezing, sore throat, coughing, etc., caused by an allergic reaction or by a viral, bacterial, or mixed infection that is continuing without pause or letup or regularly recurrent; continual; persistent.

As used in this sentence-

Alex has a constacold with green snot.

Mamma and Daddy kid pictures

Allison ~ 4 months old

You tell me what you think - - - What features do you see in Alex that you see in our baby pictures. I see both of us in Alex. I see my smile in Alex and Lance's expressions and face shape. What's also funny is that I showed the picture of me and my Mom above to a good friend and she immediately said "you have the same hands as your Mom"! I know that I do and I think it's pretty cool. I remember my Mom always used to say that my sister and I have my Grandma's legs - long and slender.
Tell me what you see in these photos - post a comment. :)

Lance ~ 6 months old