Torgesen Family Times

{We are trying to enjoy and record the moments that make life special}
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fall colors

The ideal conditions for fall color are clear weather with warm days and cool nights within a certain range below 45 degrees but above freezing. In contrast, the Northwest autumn is often overcast or rainy with only minimal cooling at night; not optimal for fall color.

But, not this year!

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Pumpkin patch visit

Feeding Goats and Alpacas - 25 cents

Riding a pumpkin like it's a horse - free

Getting a ride in a wheelbarrow from Grandma - free

Riding a hay bale with saddle - free

Playing with tons of gourds with Grandma - free

Pose for a picture with the family - free

Sharing a Pumpkin Patch day with the family filled with memories - priceless

Sleep training update


Alex slept through the night last night - until 6 AM. And went to sleep with just a few sounds, maybe 30 seconds!

Lance woke up this morning this morning at 5 AM and was surprised he didn't have to wake up!

We looked at each other and said - - -

"Did you have to wake up?"

"'Cause I didn't have to wake up!"

"You didn't wake up?"

"'Cause I didn't wake up, either!"

We'll see how tonight goes....

But, overall it really wasn't that bad. The first couple of nights were about 20-30 minutes of crying and some waking up at night. Then, he started figuring out what was happening and was very clingy and woke up a lot at night, but only took 5 minutes to go to sleep. We were doubting ourselves at this time wondering if we were ever going to get through this and if we were doing the right thing. Would he ever learn? Or are we just torturing him?

And then last night. We were so proud of him and told him how proud we are! He slept all night!

Kauai, Hawaii - a WONDERFUL vacation!

We just got back from a WONDERFUL vacation and thought we would share some of our photos and tips and tricks. This was our first adventure flying with Alex. We were scared, a bit about the flight, but the whole week turned out so wonderful!
Here is Alex carrying his own suitcase of toys for the flight in the airport. He just loved the escalator at the airport. He learned the word "airplane" and has been saying it ever since. He LOVED watching the planes take off. Have one parent get on with all luggage, then get on the airplane at last call with a kid - works wonders. There is a wonderful playground in SeaTac airport. It's on the lower left of the central terminal in the picture below. It was a wonderful place to let him play before the long 6 hour flight to Hawaii. Play-doh turned out to be the surprise winner of the most fun toy.

The flight was better than we expected. Alex didn't sleep as long as we would've hoped, but it turned out to be fine. There are diaper changing stations in the restroom on the plane and we used them a couple of times. Having Alex on our lap was definitely a challenge, but it was worth it. On the way back home, the flight wasn't full and we got an extra seat!

This is THE Best book for visiting Kauai Ultimate Kauai Guidebook We saw tons of people around the island reading the same book. We used many of the suggestions in the book, and from friends.

Alex and Mickey

Alex and MickeyWe stayed here Hale Nui in Kapaa on the East Shore. It was a wonderful location and a wonderful 3 bedroom 3 bath house that very comfortably slept 6 adults and 3 children for 7 days. We were close to the grocery store and it was easy to get to the North shore or the South shore. There was a wonderful front yard for the kids to play. We were one house back from the beach.

Alex's favorites for the whole trip were chickens and Mickey, a 7 year old boy that is kind of like a cousin to Alex (Lance's Dad's girlfriend's Son's Son = kinda step cousin?). Anyways - they had a BLAST! They were two peas in a pod. They loved the same things - chickens and playing outside. Alex learned to kick a ball from playing with the boys, learned to drink from a straw while on vacation, and the word elbow. He just learns new words all the time! It's hard to keep up!

Although Alex LOVED the chickens - they did wake us up around 5 AM every morning. One morning, when Alex must have been pretty tired, the chickens woke us up and Alex sat up in bed and said "Chickee's - Bye bye" meaning - Go away chickens - I want to sleep!

We went South and we went North. Here are some Highlights of all the places we went:

South: Jo Jo's Shave ice (I tried the Haupia and tropical flavorings over the decadent macadamia nut ice cream). Lydgate State park along with the playground there. Hamura siamin in Lihue - wonderful noodles, food for very cheap prices in Hawaii. We got noodles, satay and a whole lilikoi pie one night for dinner. It's where the locals go - i.e. you wouldn't find it unless someone told you to go there. It's an interesting place! Kokee State park/Waimea Canyon and Kalalau valley lookout with views of the the Na Pali coast were amazing!

East: Wasabi Ahi salad from Foodland, coconut festival in Kapaa,

North: Kalalau Trail with views of the Na Pali coast - I had Alex on my back and hiked just the first 1/2 mile and it was worth it! But, without a permit, you can hike 2 miles in and 2 miles up to a waterfall. Lance did this along with his Dad and they said it was really nice. The trail was slippery, so we went slow. With a permit - you can hike 11 miles into a secluded beach and camp. Macadamia nut cream pie from the China Young center in Hanalei. It was really good! Ha'ena State Park Beach/Tunnels beach - great beach for playing, snorkeling.

The weather was good for the most part. There was one morning of rain, a really windy day, an really humid day, and some "perfect" days. But, it was all wonderful since it was warm and tropical...
All the books reminded visitors that the waters are dangerous in Kauai, and telling you what beaches are "safer" than others, but even so - 4 tourists died within 2 days because of the high surf. News article Kauai World. Here is a good site for checking out what the conditions are Hawaii Ocean Safety.
Lydgate state park swimming

Alex chasing chickens

Waimea canyon views, Kalalau valley view

In the end - we were tired (and needed a vacation from our vacation, but thankfully we had 3 days to recover before going back to work) but we had such a good time! The time change coming back was pretty rough. Thank goodness for the 3 days at home!
Alex also got his first freckles on his forehead! Tear... Tear... sniff... sniff...
Nobody got sunburned - you know our skin! We loved the spray on SPF since it didn't make you feel all lotion-y.

We would definately go back!

sleep training

Now that Alex has ear tubes, which solves the medical reason he wasn't sleeping we are officially trying to help Alex learn to get to sleep by himself, and when he wakes in the middle of the night, get back to sleep by himself.

This has been going on way too long. He wakes up constantly. I wouldn't even care if he slept with us, but the problem is that he doesn't sleep. He wiggles, kicks, slides his hands under your back, steals your pillow, and generally makes sure you don't get even a solid few hours of sleep.

So, I was taking care of another kid, Jackson, for a day while his parents were at a football game. The routine for nap time for him was easy. Milk, blankie, put in crib, say "night-night", turn on the noise maker, turn off the light and shut the door. They had a video monitor and I could see him put himself to sleep. I was amazed! I wanted that!

So, I've read some books, talked to other Mom's, and generally thought about how I want to do this.

We are instilling a routine (which we had before, but it wasn't the way we wanted it. I was bath, pj's, 2 books and milk, and lay with him until he falls asleep. Which could be 1 minute, or 45 minutes - here is our problem - takes forever and doesn't last that long since he'll be up again in about 1-2 hours). So, the new routine is as follows: bath, pj's, 2 books and milk, snuggle for a couple of minutes with lights on, snuggle for a couple of minutes with lights off and say "night-night" and walk out. We are telling him what is happening and what happens next at each stage, since he really understands what we are saying. We are checking in on him every 5-10-15 minutes if he is really crying. If he seems like he's going off to sleep, but just crying a bit - we leave him.

Saturday night was the first night and it took 30-40 minutes of crying for him to fall asleep. Much better than I expected. He woke up at 2AM, but only cried for 5 minutes. He woke up at 6:45AM and that was fine. We just got up.

What is really a role reversal is that Lance is the one who's having a hard time with it. I'm not. I'm committed and fully think this will help all of us. We have to sleep better, all of us. Alex, Lance and myself. I know it's tough to hear your baby cry, but we are giving it the good ol' college try. If after, 3 weeks it's not working then we'll try something else. Lance was the one who originally wanted him to sleep in his crib, now he wants to have him sleep with us. He was the one who wanted to sleep train him at 4 months old, I wasn't ready. But, I guess looking back - Lance wanted ME to do it. He followed my lead and he is following it today. It's still tough to hear your baby's voice cry for long periods (part of the reason I couldn't do it at 4 months since my hormones were sky high and I was sending my kid to daycare AND starting back to work - a little much don't you think?). The crying is the most difficult thing to listen too, especially when you can't swoop him up in your arms and make everything better.

But, life is tough. Life isn't always fair. Life is pain and suffering sometimes. And we all get through it. We WILL make it through this and we will all be sleeping much more in the future.

Halloween last year

It's hard to believe that he was that small - a little munchkin. He's actually getting pretty heavy and likes to be held quite a bit, sometimes. My wrists start to hurt and I have to remember to hold him in a way that doesn't pull on them.

He is so curious and loves the world around him. We are planning on going to the pumpkin patch this next weekend. I hope the weather is good.

What a superman! Wonder what he'll be this year.....
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This weekend

Alex helped me sweep off our deck this weekend after the windstorm blew down lots of leaves. I was sweeping with one broom and he was sweeping with another. What a helper!

We went to a park on Sunday and Alex enjoyed the toys, but also gave hugs to the fire hydrants. He just loves to hug everything. Especially Bella. One guess as to how much Bella loves to be hugged.... Surprisingly, though, she does tolerate more than you would expect. She must be craving attention bad.

Then, we decided to go to an animal park (his new favorite word is animal) nearby our house after the other park got boring. They have all sorts of farm animals, but Alex saw the horses in the pasture, not even a part of the park, but had to go running over and look at them. It was really funny! I had to drag him away and say that there were many more animals in the park than just these horses in someone else's pasture.
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Alex got to see a cow very close up. He pointed out his nose and his ears and then pointed to his nose and ears. Of course, he wanted to hug the cow. He throws his arms out and says "huuuuu" with a missing "g".

He got to see goats. When we saw the sheep he say "baaaa". We got to see pigs and he makes a funny "oink" sound. Just have to hear it - it's too hard to explain. We also saw a Mama pig and 2 piglets. The Mama pig is pregnant again and will have babies end of November.

We saw a turkey and chickens. Also 5 bunnies - Alex's favorite! The word bunny actually comes out as "munny" and daycare kept asking Lance if we talked about "money" all the time because Alex would always say it. But, now we know - it's just peter cottontail.

Very fun weekend!

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last year at this time, continued

We went on this wonderful hike and got outdoors a year ago. Alex had a pretty good time, but the rhythmic pace quickly put him to sleep.

He's getting such a "little boy" face now, not so much "baby" face anymore.
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