Torgesen Family Times

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

September garden

september garden

Almost sitting up


Sara is getting closer and closer to sitting up.  And she can spin around when on her tummy. 


She’s growing so fast.

Sara in fuzzy bunz-9 blog

The last bits of summer

We enjoyed the last bits of summer this past weekend at the beach.  We took out the boat, we played in the sand, we enjoyed the weather in the 70’s.  You never know, but this seems like the last sunny warm day of summer.  We played and played.  Sara loved sticking her hands in the rocks and sand.  Alex was balancing on logs and rode in his floaty boat.  We sat under our big umbrella sand enjoyed the day.  We had beautiful weather to take the boat to the Narrow bridge.  I just had to take some pictures, since we bring the WHOLE family.  Rock is near Lance’s feet and just lays down, Bella rides on a seat.  Both dogs really do well and just sit down and hold on.  Sara rides in her car seat since she often falls asleep.  Alex was sitting on my lap and fell asleep too!  And, of course, Captain Lance at the helm. 


Good thing we got out and enjoyed it on Saturday, we woke up to rain on Sunday morning.


Narrows panorama 1 - Copy



the beach sept 2010



boat trip to narrows bridge

Happy Friday

Sara makes such great faces lately.  I thought this one was so funny!  Happy *funny face* Friday everyone!


Sara funny faces-5 final-2

My little batman

I think it’s the end of me deciding what Alex is going to be for Halloween and the start of him deciding.  Oh – how kids grow so fast!  Last year, he was a cute lion with whiskers. IMG_0324 Final[2]

This year, when I asked – the answer was this:

Batman, Mommy – the “real” batman, the “blue real batman” Mommy.  A “blue real batman costume with point-ies” Mommy, as he holds up his pointer fingers near his head to simulate the batman mask. (I gotta get a picture of this!)

He has recently learned that his super hero costume which I got him for his birthday, which he’s been calling his batman costume, is in fact, not the “real” batman costume. Sigh!  I’ve suggested that we call it the super-hero costume, or the superman costume.  He thought that was OK.

So, I ordered his “real blue batman” costume online (thank goodness for online shopping for working parents!) but instead of having the regular batman costume, they had the “dark knight” batman costume.  Looks mostly the same, except it’s black instead of blue.  He probably won’t notice, I thought…

Then, I made another mistake, I told him I ordered it and it would come in the mail.  This was Friday.  He was SO excited to get home, since it would be there in the mail!  I had to break the news to the little batman, that it would be delivered on Monday.  Mommy had just ordered it and the mailman needed time to deliver it.  It would be here on Monday. 

He waited patiently all weekend, but sure enough – his memory is getting better each day!  He remembered on Monday morning that his costume was coming that day.  He reminded Lance in the morning, and reminded me in the afternoon when picking him up.  Luckily, it was delivered when we got home and he opened the package.  He put it on and (basically) hasn’t taken it off since.  Each morning he puts it on, but takes it off to get real clothes on for preschool.  Then, puts it on after preschool, but hasn’t worn it to bed (yet!).   

He has noticed the blue vs black costume and asks me many times why I didn’t get the blue one, maybe I went to the wrong batman store he says.  But, my cute little batman just loves his new costume.  He asks to watch a batman cartoon on tv with his costume on (with point-ies), that is what you see below. 

Alex Batman final

Sara and Mama, housecleaners and nannies

The boys went to wiggle worms (tumbling) on Saturday morning and Sara and I had some quiet time without them.  It was so nice and quiet.


What did we do? 


Nothing much. 


A little snuggling, a little nursing, a little napping, and a little tripod experiment, a little giggling and sticking out of tongues.


Sara and Mama

It felt so good to just enjoy her and relax.  No rushing to get the housecleaning done before Alex got back.  No hurry up and get the laundry started so that I can have clean clothes to wear on Monday.  Just pure relax and enjoy. 


I’ve done a couple of things this week to really help ME out.  First, I hired a housecleaner and they came on Thursday.  The house was sparkling clean!  It was wonderful.  I wondered why I hadn’t done this before!  Second, after our wonderful nanny told us she would be leaving in mid-October, I posted an ad on craigslist for a nanny.  I was worried, since we really like our nanny, would I ever be able to find someone I like that much?  But, after about 45 responses, and looking through each one, I am pretty sure I will be able to find someone good for her.  But, I was kinda freaking out for a while.


It feels so weird to say that I have a housecleaner and a nanny.    Something I will get used to, though.  Very used to – it was wonderful to come home to such a nice clean house and it’s wonderful to have a nanny.  What a lucky Mama I am. 

Sara is such a joy

Sara is so wonderful.  She is so mellow and easy going, flexible and relaxed.  She loves looking at people and so far still likes to be held by anyone else.  Although, that seems to be changing fairly soon – she follows me with her eyes whenever someone else has her.  She will soon enough be in the stranger anxiety stage and only want me to hold her, with Daddy as a acceptable, but lowly second. 


She has been giggling up a storm lately and loves being tickled on her belly and neck.  She gets this big smile and just breaks out in giggles.  She is talking and cooing quite a bit and loves it when you put your finger between her lips and go up and down really fast to make lots of fun noises. 


Alex has come up with her nickname “Nee Nee” and it has sorta stuck.  We have no idea where he came up with it, but he definitely calls her that a lot.  He even told his teachers at preschool that was her nickname. 

 Sara cutie pie ps

Sara is growing so fast and I just want her to slow down.  She’s already in 9-12 month clothing and is so deliciously chubby.  Her knees are chubby, her elbows have dimples. And of course, her cheeks!  Oh – those cheeks! 


She is rolling over and generally prefers to sleep on her tummy now that she can decide.  She can sit up for a few seconds before she falls over and I’m sure this will be next, sitting up.  When she’s on her tummy – you can almost see it in her eyes – she wants to figure out how to move (not the “I need to GO” look that Alex had, different in that she just mellowly wants to figure out how to move her body).  Once she figures out how to get those knees up and under her body, she’ll be off and crawling.   Ahhh – I’m not ready for this!  Slow down little girl!


She has 2 bottom teeth that keep coming in each day.  They sometimes bother her more or sometimes less.  But, we do know that more teeth will come and it will be this way for about the next 2 years.  Drool and all.  The top two are not far away, we know.


Sara sleeps with us and is a lovely sleeper.  She is getting more mobile and ends up next to me even if I pick her up and move her across the bed.  Sara loves snuggling, but doesn’t snuggle/kick/move all night long like Alex did.  Sara is truly lovely to sleep with. 

Weekend catchup


OK, nobody responded to our boy for rent ad.  Well, at least no serious takers… 


It was all fun and games, a joke, but with some of our true feelings about Alex sprinkled right in.  He is pushing our buttons, oh so many buttons, he knows how to push my buttons and Lance’s buttons (and the difference between the two). He is trying to be “the boss” of everything and if one little thing goes wrong, there is a downright fit-throwing tantrum with LOUD screaming.  He has a bad temper right now, too.  He seemingly can’t play even 1 minute by himself with any one of his tons of toys.  Not even 1 minute.  He is testing our limits, sometimes it seems every minute.  Testing, Testing, Testing… He doesn’t seem to have his “listening ears” on very much, especially when he’s about to touch his sister’s eye. 


Of course we love his full of life attitude, his wonderful giggles, his smarts, his curious mind – but, he gets to be so much to take care of on the weekends.  With a full 48 hours of pure Alex for us both (how can one 3.5 yr old ware out 2 adults?), we are worn out most Sundays and are ready to send him off to preschool.  Especially lately, he is just grinding us down.  I think it is all of us being more busy with me being back at work.  Things are just super busy.  SUPER busy.  SUPER SUPER busy.  Three and a half years old just seems to be hard lately.  A few times recently, Lance and I have talked about how we rush around and do this and that, get home, feed the kids, do this chore, that chore – just to go to sleep and get up and do it all over again.  It’s pretty difficult to go to bed thinking you’re going to “do it all over again”.  We know that this is a hard and difficult time for our family – adjusting to a new normal of 2 kids and 2 working parents.  It will get better and better.  We’re just in a rough place right now.  Trying to think of ways that we can make things easier and better on all of us. 


This weekend, Grandma Sandy came to the rescue and had lots of fun with Alex and Sara.  Alex and Grandma Sandy went bug hunting, played legos, read new books that she brought about bugs, sharks, snakes and dinosaurs, baked a peach cobbler, played outside and generally kept him out of our hair for as much as possible.  They just have so much fun together!

 Grandma Sandy and Alex

Meanwhile, Lance had something new to play with… a new lawnmower (the old one just broke one too many times).  So, we are now the proud owner of a new John Deere tractor.  Sara got the first chance to check it out while big brother was taking a nap.  She says she likes it!  Lance’s picture where his sloping his arm means that this lawnmower is FAST!  He was telling me that when you start it in a fast gear and let off the brake – it pops a (little) wheelie!  Crazy!  Alex got his chance to take it for a spin and really loved riding with Daddy. 

 lawnmower 2

Then, we got to celebrate the beginning of football season (yeah!).  Lance was watching some games today and it inspired Alex to put on his football jersey and “football helmet” (he now knows the difference between a REAL football helmet and what we’ve been calling a football helmet, which is really a bike helmet with dogs on it).  He found his big football and they played a little – DOWN, SET, HIKE and GO LONG. 

 football pse 2

It actually turned out to be a pretty good weekend, but it didn’t start out that way: a broken lawnmower, a totally messy dirty house that I didn’t want to spend my whole Saturday cleaning, a cranky 3.5 year old kid… But, we ended up with a new mower, peach cobbler, football in the front yard, and some fun times with Grandma Sandy (who reminds us both how wonderful Alex is, even when we just want to wring his little neck). 

swimming lessons

I can’t believe I forgot to put this up on the blog!  Well, I do give myself some credit – it was my second week back at work.  But, still!  Alex’s wonderful preschool arranged to take the kids to a nearby swimming pool, they can actually walk there.  They signed them up, we paid a little bit of money, and for two whole weeks, everyday they would go to the pool and take some swimming lessons that were just at their level. 


Alex LOVED swimming lessons.  He had so much fun he would almost burst talking about it.  He had some awesome naps during those two weeks, too!  He wore some goggles and learned to “swim like a starfish”.  The weather was so great for these lessons – couldn’t have picked a better time.  He can’t wait to do it again next summer! 


He’s a true water baby!


Alex swimming lessons 2010

boy for rent

For rent for the (whole) weekend: one 3.5 year old boy

Has all necessary supplies (sleeping bag, teddy bear, change of clothes and toothbrush)

He’s fun to play with: plays cars, visit the zoo (roars like a lion on command!), plays with sticks and dirt – doesn’t need much to be entertained.

What he eats: He eats almost anything, especially if you tell him how much stronger it will make him (i.e. green veggies – because the hulk is strong and he is green, he must be eating green veggies!)

He’s even got a new haircut and was bathed in the last week! 

Alex eating cake, new haircut-7 blog

Who wants to rent this special one-time offer for the weekend???

It’s going fast – contact me in the next 3 minutes if you want to secure your spot!

Otherwise – we might just tie him up and put him somewhere where we can’t hear his screams…

How to make Lightroom blogboards / storyboards

I love those storyboards or blogboards that you see on websites and blogs – don’t you?  They are designed to “tell a story” even more than just the individual photos would do with a sequence or by showing relationships between the photos.  They do a wonderful job – don’t you agree? 

I call this blogboard/storyboard “brother and sister love” as  it shows a number of interactions between my kids. 

brother and sister love

Well, there are some that may be free (although I haven’t found them!) but because they do take some work to set up, most people sell this as a product, like… for money (lots!).   I just couldn’t stomach paying that much for something seemingly so easy.  But, yet I wanted the same look.  But I don’t have enough knowledge how to do this in photoshop elements (what I own, but don’t use that often).  Although, I could do the research and try to learn and read a ton and test it out and finally figure it out (after how many hours and hours) – I don’t have that kind of time anymore with 2 kids!  I use Lightroom 3 ALL.THE.TIME and would love to use this in a blogboard/storyboard way.  How could I do this, I thought…


I was reading one of the many blogs that I love (oh there are so many blogs I love to read!) and one reminded me about the Print module in Lightroom 3.  I totally haven’t played around with this module at all – I mean – I get all my prints from professional printing places.  I don’t even have a black and white printer at my house.  If I have to print something, I do it at work or ask my husband to print it at work.  It’s just too much hassle with all the ink and calibrating and plus, they never look as good as I’ve received from a professional printing house. 


So, I took a few minutes one day and played around with the print module in Lightroom and figure out that making blogboards or storyboards in Lightroom 3 was so easy and intuitive – just like everything in Lightroom! 


I started with one of the Lightroom templates and make alterations from there.  I added photo borders to add some space between the photos, which further down the right hand side of the program you can choose the background page color.  I chose white since my family blog background is white – but, oh the possibilities! 



Then you drag and drop different sizes of photos onto the page.  There are some standard sizes available, but endless possibilities when you start playing around with those templates.  Then, you drag and drop your photos from your filmstrip below – just select a picture and put it in the spot you want.  The standard sizes that were added to the page can be customized to fit the picture you want, the size you want, anything!  Here I chose one portrait with 2 intersecting squares.  As I said, just drag your photo from the filmstrip and drop it where you want it. 




You can add your identity plate as a watermark, or add your watermark to each photo.  For my final photo – I chose the identity plate (which is totally customizable!).  This allows you to move the “watermark” anywhere you want and choose the opacity and scale. 




Now, we’re almost ready to print!  But, first – you can choose to have the blogboard or storyboard the size of your pictures or have a bit on the side or bottom for another choice for identification of your studio or watermark.   I didn’t choose that here, but this is where you could add some size of the paper, if you will, to the final size to make that happen.  I chose “print to JPG file” and hit “print to file”.  Choose where to save the image and voila! 



Perfect Blogboard or storyboard for your blog using software that you already have. 


Plus, hit the “plus” sign next to “template browser” and save your template to use again and again.






My final blogboard / storyboard – pretty snazzy huh?

Sara in cute dress

  And shown with a black background, too!  (See how easy templates are!)

Sara in cute dress black background

Next month, I’ll try to see if I can learn something about the web module!

Soccer Summer

We had our ups – and our downs with soccer this summer.  Overall, we think it’s gone fairly well considering everything (something new, baby sister arriving, Mom and Dad attention divided, etc).  But, soccer is over this summer and we’ll be returning to Wiggle Worms (tumbling) this fall.  We gave Alex the choice of soccer or Wiggle Worms and he chose Wiggle Worms.  Next summer, we’re hoping to do outdoor soccer. 


He loves his “soccer jersey” and has learned a few new skills this soccer summer – one of them being a bit more patience.  Patience for  a 3 year old was a bit rough at times, but we made it through.  He has tested our patience in many ways with this soccer summer, saying he didn’t want to go on Saturday mornings.  Not wanting to be “that kind of parent” we chose to not make him go one time after a particularly bad morning.  But, I realized he was learning to push our buttons.  The next time he said he didn’t want to go (after giving his Dad the most puppy dog eyes I’ve ever seen saying he didn’t want to go), I took him and said he could either watch on the sidelines or have fun playing.  Guess who had fun playing after we got there? 


Yes, we all have learned a little patience this summer.  And a bit of when to push and when not to push the limits. 


Alex soccer 2 Alex soccer 1

Grandpa Dave visits


Grandpa Dave visited us this past weekend and got to see our whirlwind busy life!  Two kids can ware you out!  We had a fun time taking some pictures to make our history for the day – a little of “don’t smile” and a little of “smile a little bit” and a little of “don’t laugh!” and this is what you get!


Kids – the things they say make you laugh. 


Alex asks Grandpa Dave “Where did your hair go?”  “Did you wipe it off?” 

Grandpa Dave visits 2

 Grandpa Dave visits