Torgesen Family Times

{We are trying to enjoy and record the moments that make life special}
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Alex and his NEW backpack

Alex and his new backpack

Alex got a new backpack recently and just wanted to wear it everywhere!  He wanted to wear it to the store, to nap time, everywhere!  I just couldn’t help but have my “model” snap a few photos to commemorate the moment.  He can unzip the backpack and put toys in there.  He wants to take his backpack to “big boy school” someday.  But, for now, he just wants to take it to preschool.

I got the back pack at skip hop.  And got one for Sara for when she’s a little older (an owl), too!   I love that they are such simple classy cute backpacks and not all the Disney/commercial stuff you see in the regular stores.  I’m sure we’ll get those one day, but I’m holding out while I can!  So far, I think I’m doing OK.

3 year anniversary - blogging


It’s my 3 year anniversary of blogging.  Wow!


I started this blog as a way to record and remember what is going on in our lives.  I had just gone back to work after Alex was born and wanted some way to “capture” what was happening with him and our new family.  Things were moving so fast and I felt like I would forget it if I didn’t put it down somewhere.  I tried scrapbooking for a while and learned that it wasn’t for me - I needed something more real-time and current with what was happening then.  If I waited too long, I lost my motivation.    I started a blog and learned that it was easy for me and I loved it!  I have blogged about starting solid foods, being a Mom, sleeping, new words to add to the dictionary, teething, hairstyles, my own poem about pumping, remodeling, ear tubes, layoffs, cooking, gardening, Halloween, The beach, dancing with elmo, a carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee, ER visits, pregnancy announcements, hope, birth announcements, birth stories just to name a few. 


A few stats from the last 3 years:


First post: August 30th, 2007

# of posts to date: 431

# of posts in 2007: 73

# of posts in 2008: 134

# of posts in 2009: 121

# of posts in 2010: 98 year to date

most popular post: Baby Phoebe, Part 2

2nd most popular post: 4 generations

# of absolute individual visitors: 1,031

# of total visits: 8,469

Day with most visitors/#: 37 visitors

# of countries: 34 (everything from USA to Norway, Pakistan, Cambodia, Japan, Argentina, Italy, Australia, and many more)

pages/visit: 1.27

average time on site: 33 seconds


Traffic sources over the last 3 years: 70% direct, 7% referring sites (facebook) and 13% search engines (google)

Traffic sources over the last 3 months: 55% direct, 38% referring sites and 6% search engines


Most searched keywords to get to my blog: allison torgesen (306 times), torgesen family times (146 times), toregsen family times (71 times) (misspelled last name), torgesen family times blog (16 times), torgesen family, torgesen, and a few others.


Visitor Loyalty: WOW!  Most of my visitors are repeat visitors! 

Most visits repeated: 201+ times

Count of visits from this visitor including current Visits that were the visitor's nth visit Percentage of all visits
1 times 1,015.00
2 times 298.00
3 times 182.00
4 times 148.00
5 times 120.00
6 times 111.00
7 times 99.00
8 times 93.00
9-14 times 487.00
15-25 times 653.00
26-50 times 1,001.00
51-100 times 1,269.00
101-200 times 1,400.00
201+ times 3,642.00



It’s been so fun for me to blog our weekend updates, our funny stories, our ups and downs.  Here’s to the next 3 years!


Cheers – and thanks for reading!




Boating rules


It started off with just 2 simple rules…


#1: Kids must wear life vests at all times

#2: Lance must steer at all times when going fast, no Alex hands near the steering wheel.


Lance agreed easily. 


Well, this last time we were out on the boat - we added rules #3 & #4


#3: At no time, will water spray over the bow of the boat while going fast. 

#4: At no time, will Allison’s bottom come off the seat while going fast.


Lance, I mean – “Captain Lance”(as he demands to be called) didn’t agree so easily on these ones.  But “First Mate Allison” (aka the mother of his children!) persisted and even had to say that she just wouldn’t ride in the boat anymore unless rules #3 and #4 were adopted by “Captain Lance”. 


 boating 1

Alex funnies

This morning Alex requested to watch “Tom and Jelly” because he and Daddy watched it last night.  So, I turned it on for him and he happily showed me Tom – the kitty cat.  He also said that the mouse was named “mouse”.  And there was a big strong dog.  I asked who Jelly was…. silence.

Also, the other night Alex said to me, after me saying no to something, “it’s not fair”.  I asked “what’s not fair”. He said “life”. I said “yes – you’re right – life isn’t fair – it sucks doesn’t it?”. 

Beach weekend

Ahhhh - the summer time!  All alone at the beach. 


Yeah – nobody could join us this weekend, so we went by ourselves and had a blast.  I’m serious – nobody at the beach.  Summertime and nobody down at the water.


We took out the boat, but I wasn’t thinking and forgot to take my camera.  So, I’ll have to do that next time because it’s pretty amazing to be underneath the Tacoma Narrows bridge. 


We have this great set up on the beach with a BIG umbrella for some shade for Sara and I and what it looks like on the other side.  I just sit under the umbrella for most of the day and it’s so comfortable for us.  I bring the boppy and just nurse her when I need to. 

IMG_3897 blog

IMG_3860 blog


Sara got some tummy time at the beach this weekend and loved looking out at the water, but I couldn’t resist this picture.  Her baby leg warmers, and those buns!  She even got to stick her toes in the sand and see what that felt like.      IMG_3893 blog    IMG_3861 blog

 IMG_3883 blog

Alex had his big dump truck and scooped up many rocks.   IMG_3888 blog

 IMG_3890 blog


And – finally  - a picture of all 4 of us with a timer!  I had to bribe Alex with a bit of a treat for letting me take this picture and there was nothing to bribe Sara with to look at the camera, so we did the best we could.  IMG_3907 blog

Sara is a big girl

26.25 inches (98th%)

15 lbs, 8 oz (82nd%) she hasn’t been taking much from the bottle, although she is getting better, sometimes taking up to 3 oz at a time.  But, she hasn’t gained much weight in the last 2.5 weeks.  She’s getting it, slowly and surely.


She has two teeth coming in on the bottom!


By comparison (parents *shouldn’t* compare children, but always do!) Alex was 25.75 inches (80th%), 14 lbs, 4 oz (38th%) at 4 months. 


Sara in the grass with a new beautiful dressIMG_6557 blog


with a big smile on a hot day, showing one (almost two!) teeth!Sara on the grass hot summer day-3 blog

on a purple blanket showing her blue eyesSara with purple blanket-8 blog

with me on a girls weekend (while the boys were away!)Mama and Sara-8 blog

with big brother Alex, thinking “what is he going to do to me now?” look on her face

Sara and Alex-6 blog

A weekend in Sequim

A weekend in Sequim at the grandparents place…


 Alex and the visit! 012

A tired boy the morning after arriving at ~11 pm on Friday after some really tough traffic (with his beloved teddy who sleeps with him every night who apparently is called “Marshmallow”)

Alex and the visit! 016

Things are looking up – Grandma Connie (aka “Bama Connie”) has toys! Alex and the visit! 022

And apparently feeds him well – he loves oatmeal (the way he says it – it sounds like “oit-meal”)

 Alex and the visit! 027

They picked lots of berriesAlex and the visit! 038

Bama Connie and Alex posing for a picture Alex and the visit! 039

And the discovery of something totally new to Alex – artichokes!  He wandered past them and asked about them, so Connie bought a few and cooked them up.  Guess what Alex’s FAVORITE veggie is right now?  You guessed it – Artichokes! Alex and the visit! 043

Lance was there to help his Dad cut down a tree – so Alex had his chainsaw, working gloves and “chainsaw ears” to help too!

 artichoke 003Alex munching on the fabulous Artichokes.  I guess he LOVED them.  Pulling off each leaf and asking Bama Connie which way to eat it – this end or that end?

artichoke 005


On Monday – I get this email from Bama Connie – a good time had by all!


Hi Allison. 

We enjoyed that little Alex sooooo much.  What a sweetheart.  I loved every second of it...but will admit to being tired after they left.  ha! he is growing up and knows so many things...goes potty all by him self and sleeps well, eats well, and is just a little trooper.  I smile just thinking of his laugh!~  Anyway, thanks for sharing the little man with us....and Lance...he worked so hard and they did a huge job.  Thanks for sharing him too.  Connie

11 tips for going back to work after having a baby

Disclaimer: I do not proclaim or profess to be any sort of expert on going back to work after having a baby in any way – but I do have personal experience with going back to work after having both my babies.  I’ve been thinking of ways I have done this and tried to make the transition easier on myself, as it is no easy task.  It takes work to go back to work!


Man – is going back to work hard!  Each day I wake up at the crack of dawn I feel like I step on a treadmill (going fast with no warm up!) and don’t get off until I fall back into bed each night.  Or I’m on one of those gerbil wheels going around and around.  I’m not joking when I say my days go FAST and I’m BUSY.  That being said, I have thought of a few ways that I have tried to help myself when returning to work after maternity leave.  I know other readers out there might be going through this in the future, so I thought I’d share and see if it could help anyone or get some other ideas (hint hint – make a comment!)


Without further ado…


1). Know why you are going back to work – really think about it.  I’m sure you never thought it would be this tough to go back to work after having a baby, huh?  You thought it would be like this: get pregnant, have baby, have 3 months maternity leave then go back to work – easy peasy, right?  Wrong.  It’s one of the hardest things to do – go back to work after having a baby.  It’s way tough, more tough than you ever imagined.  Suddenly you have this little bundle of joy that becomes a real (outside of the womb) person and bam - you fall head over heels in love with this new person and can’t fathom leaving him/her/them.  Hormones play a big role in this too, and they are powerful, don’t underestimate this.  So, this is why my first recommendation is to figure out why you’re going back.  Most of us need the paycheck, moola, money, dinero.  You might also need health care, your retirement funds to increase, paid vacation days/sick days and other benefits.  This is why we work, correct?  Well, take a look at your financial picture before you go back to work and see if there is wiggle room.  In my case, there was not.  We needed my paycheck, my healthcare – all of it.  I couldn’t go back part time (if they even offered it – which seems few and far between these days!).  Knowing why you are doing this (and knowing the numbers) makes going back to work a bit easier.  A friend gave me the perfect mantra about going back to work – and it has stuck with me ever since.  It’s OK to put on your work hat and make a living for your family.  This mantra has helped me so much over the years.  You go through such a big change with your first baby.  You are now a Mom – a new part of your identity.  There is nothing wrong with going to work and making a living for your family.  In fact, you’re quite lucky. 

2). Plan – I can’t stress this enough.  You will be BUSY.  Way busier than before.  So planning meals and lunches, who does what and when (pick ups/drop offs), simplifying your life and commitments as much as possible will make your new job as a WOHM (work outside the home mom) easier.  And that is going to be your sanity saver.  Since my life revolves (it seems!) around good food, and I can’t think straight if I don’t know what we’re going to eat, I like to plan my meals in advance and have them made already for the week.  If I’ve done my planning well – then I might have 5-10-20 minutes to prep things in the evening, a few nights a week, and serve dinner to my family.  For us, we try to have dinner be a special time where we’re all sitting down together.  Not an easy task, but a good goal.    There are many other things to plan, this is just one example. 

3). Get good care.  This is REALLY important and will allow you to (eventually) not think about your child every minute that you are gone from them.  Transition your child from you to your childcare provider over a period of a week or two, if possible (and phase back into work, if you can). Infant care is SO expensive, but get the best care you can afford.  You won’t regret it.  Plus, it’s only that expensive until they are one year old, then it drops quite a bit and keeps dropping down, especially after potty training.  Although nobody will take care of your baby like you take care of her/him, it will be good care.  You want them to form a bond with your caregiver, this is important and good for their development.  I remember thinking about how horrible it would be when Alex did something for the first time and I wasn’t there – how crushing that would be.  It really wasn’t that bad.  When he did things for the first time in front of me, they were the first time for me and it was just wonderful.  There are pros and cons with daycare – learn some pros and ask other Moms about their experiences.  Some of the pros that I’ve learned are: socialization, learning to share, learning to play with other kids, flexibility, learning from someone else other than you, etc. 

4). Know that other Moms go back to work and darn it – you can too! 

5). Realize that it gets easier with time.  The first month or two (or 3 … or 12?) back will be tough.  Expect ups and downs.  Expect days where you think you can’t do it or where you cry while driving to work.  Expect days where you are really tired and don’t know how you’ll stay awake at work.  But, it will get easier.  You and your baby and your entire family will get into a new rhythm.  Also, expect days further down the road where on Sunday afternoon, you’re actually looking forward to sending your kiddo off to daycare on Monday.  :) 

6). Surround yourself with other Moms who have gone back to work after having a baby recently, and also talk with Moms who did this a while ago.  Nothing is better than talking with other people who are going through the same thing at the same time.  It will also be good to get yourself some perspective from a few years out or more, too.   

7). Pumping tips.  Ahh – the pump.  Your new breast friend – ha ha.  Pumping milk at work is a lot of work, as well.  You bring your pump, pump parts, storage bottles, etc.   But, it is so good for you and your baby.  At least your baby is still drinking your milk when you’re gone to work during the day.   A few tips on making it a bit easier for you: refrigerate the pump parts during the day using a small refrigerator or using a cooler bag with ice packs.  You will probably pump 3 x a day for a while, and that’s a lot of pump parts to wash (in a public area?).  So, do you’re self a favor and just put them in your cooler.  They’ll be just fine and you’ll only have one set to wash.  That being said – have a whole extra set in your pump bag, because, at some time, you will forget a part and the pump doesn’t work without all it’s parts.  Get a “hands free bra” – this is so important.  You don’t want to be holding the pump parts all the time.  Get a big enough cooler bag to store your pump parts and pumped milk.  It’s an easy way to transport everything.  P.S. supplementing with formula is not the end of the world, just keep breastfeeding at home and weekends and keep pumping. 

8). Make the most of your time when you are home.  Sleep with your baby, use your carrier from the time you get home to the time you go to bed.  Do what ever it takes to get more time with them.  You can do most chores after they are asleep.  Make the most of weekends, too.  They are precious and they go by fast.  Don’t worry about whether or not your baby knows who you are – you are the most important person in their life – trust me – they know who you are.

9). Know there is no right or wrong answer, and pros and cons to every decision.  Decisions are not as black and white as they used to be before baby arrived.  Each family has to make this decision for themselves. 

10). You can change your mind.  If you go back to work and it’s just not working – then change it.  It’s not permanent!  If the care you thought would be good is not working for you – look for a new place.  There are so many options out there, not just with daycare options, but with everything.  Do you research and make the changes necessary for you to be happier with your situation. 

11).  Set expectations at work.  Set them early and often.  You might be willing to work late like you used to, but maybe not anymore since now you have to pick up your kiddo before daycare closes.  Let your boss know what your plans are and stick to it.  You might not make the next promotion round, but that’s OK.  You have a whole new perspective right now and it’s OK to be just a good employee, not one striving for the next promotion or raise.  Just do a good job, show up and work hard when you’re there.  But, then – go home and love your baby. 







Make peace with it – it’s ok to put on your work hat and make a living.  Struggling against it, instead of working along with it, costs you energy and this is something you need every ounce of right now.  It will be OK.  Going back to work and having someone else take care of your child will be OK.  Your child will be OK and you will be OK. 



Now – what do you think?  Any thing I’ve missed?


Please leave me a comment!




And a few shameless photos of my two babes!

Sara in Jumperoo-4


Sara 4 month old teddy bear photo

From 7 lbs to ~16 lbs, from 20 inches to ~26 inches, with smiles all the way!


NewbornSara Teddy bear Newborn 4 days old-2 Final-21 monthSara 1 month teddy bear-1 Final-22 months Sara 2 month teddy bear-9 Final3 months  Sara 3 month teddy bear picture-2 blog 4 monthsSara teddy bear 4 months-13 blog

Bat Grandma and Bat Alex

Alex came up with this all on his own – he gave Grandma Sandy her cape and told her that her new name was “Bat Grandma” and off they went to save the day!  They had so much fun running around in their capes. 

Bat Grandma and Bat Alex-4 blog

Bat Grandma and Bat Alex-3 blog

And then finally decided to sit down and replenish themselves with some s’mores by the campfire
Grandma Sandy and grandkiddos-4 blog

And finally – “Bat Alex” let “Bat Grandma” have some time with Sara
Grandma Sandy and grandkiddos-5 blog

Let the teething begin



This is what Sara says about Mama looking into her mouth and trying to find a tooth…

Sara's first tooth-4 blog



And here is her tooth! (See that little white line right by her finger – that’s a sharp little tooth!)  It’s been bugging her for a while, drooling, chewing on fingers, etc.  Now we know why…

Sara's first tooth-6 blog

the short version

I don’t have much time, I’m very busy, so much busier with going back to work and 2 kidlets.  Things are moving so fast now.


I have a baby who STILL won’t take a bottle and will only take 1-2 oz from a sippy (not enough) for maybe a total of 5-6 oz in 9 hours.  After a 2 week transition and one week full time work – I thought she would take it by now.


We have tried lots of bottles and lots of positions, but nothing is helping now.


She is still sleeping good at night, but not taking in enough at night to make up for the daytime.


She isn’t having enough wet diapers during the day (only ~4).


She is happy, though.  I nurse her when I get home and she nurses happily.  Then often falls asleep.  She doesn’t demand to be nursed again a few hours later, but I do it anyways.  And then again before bedtime. 


She’s been really tired, probably due to being hungry and waiting for me. 


She hasn’t wanted to look at me lately, I think she’s mad at me for going back to work.  I tell her than I have to and she needs to learn to take the bottle. 


Although I’m not totally worried, I am starting to get a little worried. 


We’ll see what happens this weekend…


Next week I might have to call her pediatrician to make sure she’s OK.

Alex playing with the hose

Alex playing with hose-4

First day back

The first day back wasn’t so bad. 


I found my lactation room keys that were provided for me and the room is nice.  There is a chair and a table for the pump.  I got lots of milk for Sara my first day.  I wrote our nanny at lunch time and she said Sara was doing well which was so nice to hear – I’m so glad we did some transitioning before coming back to work full time. 


Lance said the morning went OK with Alex and Sara by himself, although Alex wanted all of Daddy’s attention for a while.  I worked all day (only 538 emails to sift through) and went to pick up Alex.  He was the first to be picked up and we made our way home – our “special” time because it’s just Alex and Mommy. 


We got home and Sara gave me a big smile.  I held her and her baby soft skin felt so good.  I nursed her about 5 times in 3 hours.  She was definitely hungry, but also just wanted me.  I put her in the ergo carrier and she just laid her head down on my chest.  It was almost like she was saying – ‘here you are Mommy, I’ve been waiting for you all day and I’m tired now, I’ll just lay my head down on you and snuggle’.  So, I just had to get a picture, of course!


Alex went through a bit of a rough time – testing his Mama.  I didn’t have my hands free and he got into the freezer and got a popsicle after I said no.  He is such a testing boy right now.  He wants me to cower down and let him rule the roost.  But, instead of doing that I have a new attitude - “bring it on” I call it (thanks to my Mom for that!).  BRING IT ON – the tantrum, etc.  We will deal with this, you are not the boss and you do need to do what I say.  I’m not unreasonable, I do let him have a popsicle after dinner, but dinner is first.  So, I’ve found my new currency – take away the super hero costume.    All I had to do was take away his super hero gloves yesterday and suddenly I have a child that is willing to be reasonable. 


After we got the kids to bed, it was clean up time (pump parts, dishes, etc) and I made dinner for Tuesday night. These days are going by fast – I’m busy and they are just flying by. 



Mama and Sara on Mama's first day back to work-11 blog