Torgesen Family Times

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

iPhone – my favorite camera apps




There is a famous saying that by Chase Jarvis that “The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You”. (right now)


He has even published a book entirely of iPhone pictures – pretty great, huh!




Well here is my latest and greatest camera – on me all the time – my new iPhone. 





Oh my gosh!  I’m having so much fun!  Here are my favorite “apps” in no particular order (you’ll see the photos of some of these apps below):  Hipstamatic, Camera+, Nightshot, Incredibooth or Pocketbooth, Retro Camera, Shake it Lite, Self Photo, Muybridgizer, just to name a few.






Bella sitting in the sun soaked window – her favorite spot



A “polaroid” of Sara in her high chair



Sara shakin’ her bottle



Sara in the bathtub



Alex, too.



Alex playing soccer



the family playing in the living room



A snowy tree with blue sky (It is up there somewhere - the sky is blue!)


kids in bath3

The kids in the bath together


kids in bath 1




photobooth sara 10 mo

And a photo booth strip of Sara



F&G show (2)

Sara and Mama at the Flower and Garden Show


Alex sleeping in car

Alex fast asleep in the car  (Ok, this one was not taken with my iPhone, but Lance sent it to me on my iPhone!)



Muybridgizer – it takes 9-12 photos in a series and you can play them back like an old movie

Black and White or Color?

I think this one looks much better in B&W.  What do you think?


Alex's eyes-1 blog-2


Alex's eyes-1 blog

Go backwards

Going backwards is an important thing for a baby to learn, especially in our house.  We have 3 one step downs where a baby has to learn to navigate if they want to go where ever they want to go.  And trust me – they want to go where they want to go.  So, with Alex we taught him to go backwards (not a unique concept, but a new one for us being new parents).  He learned the hard way a few times, just like him.  He didn’t see/care/understand that there was a stair coming up and just went off of it front ways.  Sara, on the other hand, carefully puts her hand to where the edge is and tries to figure it out, but stays there at the top of the stairs. 


So, now we’ve now taught it to Sara. 


It doesn’t really take that long, it just takes some phrase that you say each time they are doing it and some physical teaching of the skill.  We would say “go backwards” (in the baby talk tone that parents always have) to Sara and help her put her swing her legs around and then down the stairs first.  You do this a couple of times and your done for the day.  You just repeat every so often and before you know it – you can see the look in their eye when you say “go backwards” and they try to get their legs around to get in the position.   At first, you see the understanding, but not being able to physically do it.  Then, before you know it – they understand and can do it on their own.


Sara can now get anywhere she wants to go and she is so proud of herself that she claps when she’s at the bottom, and gets us to clap with her since she’s so cute!


go backwards

2011 goals



Each year, I look back and look forward.  I think setting goals each year helps you see patterns, make changes where you want to, and help get you to long term goal success.  A feedback loop, if you will.  It’s both helpful in the short term and long term.  It get’s you to think about where your aiming.  Otherwise, I feel like you can just wander around and not really go in the direction you want to go.


Although this year I’ve struggled (obviously, since it’s late February!).  I struggle with putting more goals out there as I totally feel the need to be able to cross them all off.  I am one of those folks, yes.  I want to actually accomplish what I set out to do – 100%, all of it.  But, this year, I guess it’s different.  I want to look back at this list at the end of the year and think I did a darn good job accomplishing 60% of what I set out to do.  That would be success this year.  I want to stretch, reach and do new things.  Life is moving so fast, and I’m not going to wait around, but live it fully.


What really freaks me out is that some of these goals are directly in opposition to each other.  How I will balance these is up in the air.

Less computer time, make photo books. 

Spend less, redo bathroom for kids. 


So, without further ado



Make more goals than I can actually accomplish – check!

start practicing yoga again for flexibility, endurance & strength

start running again during lunch time, after pumping ends

Take at least a photo a week of my kids each

Make a photo book – start with 2010 and make my way back to 2007

Put historical family photos on wall of our office

lose 10+ pounds of baby weight

“Life is meant to be lived … not watched” (much less tv, MUCH less facebook, MUCH MUCH less mindless computer time)

”procrastination is the thief of time” – I find that I can get so much more done if I just do it – stop procrastinating with that pile of paper on my desk that I have to do X and Y with – just do it! 


Lance (a man of few words this year):

lose weight, exercise, healthier

don’t bring home work at night


clean up misc credit cards


Kids (I wrote these for them):

Get Alex in as many sports as he wants (soccer, t-ball, swimming, dance, tumbling, basketball, etc)

Alex start doing chores around the house – right now it is folding towels (he’s surprisingly good at this!) and putting his laundry in the basket, putting clean clothes away.

Ask what Alex wants to do and do it 4 times, no matter what

Figure out where kids will sleep this year.  We would love to leave the spare bedroom for guests, but I need to get Sara to sleep in her own bed sometime this year.  How/when/where we will do this – is still up in the air.

Enroll Sara at a daycare/preschool this summer/fall



Date night once each month

Plan camping trips and a REAL vacation

live within means

monitor miscellaneous spending by writing up on a board, reduce this part of our budget dramatically

go to the beach a lot this summer and go boating

use TV less as a babysitter to Alex

refresh the guest/kids bathroom (refresh is just the nice budget friendly way of saying total redo) 

buy real master bedroom furniture, not metal bedframes and hand-me-down furniture

donate money throughout year, not just at the end of the year

eat dinner together as a family of four - 3-4x/week

overnight weekend getaway for Lance and Allison



build a 200 sq ft cabin at our beach property in Gig Harbor

clear some of the land, build a driveway, a place to park the boat, a campfire area, have a picnic table and spend the night there this summer.

baby tossin’


At first, we weren’t sure what she’d think.  He tossed her a bit higher… a bit higher…


then, the BIG one!


And she loved it (although, I’m not sure which one loved it more, Daddy or Sara)


What do you think?




Sara tossing-13 blog


Sara tossing-17 blog


Sara tossing-2 blog

Sara tossing-18 blog

Alex’s new preschool





Alex started another preschool 2 weeks ago.  It was a tough transition, considering he was really looking forward to “big kid” school.  Some of his other friends had left his preschool and Alex talked and asked to go to “big boy” school.  He wanted to go so badly!  We looked around in December, but choose to keep him there at his current preschool.  He would be the oldest kid there, but it would be an opportunity for him to step up.  Unfortunately, they decided to close down end of January (it was an in-home daycare/preschool). 


So, the decision was made for us! 


We choose Evergreen Montessori in Kirkland and so far it has been great!  I love that Alex is in Montessori type school since he is SO smart and this will allow him to really fly off in whatever direction, and level, he is at and wants to go. 


The transition has been rough.  I had been doing pick-ups (the easiest to do) for a long while, but with this new schedule of having to get to school by 9AM since that is when school started, I would do drop-offs and Lance would do pickups.  His office is literally 100 ft away from Evergreen Montessori. 


The first week (except for the first day) was horrible.  Alex was screaming the whole way to preschool, sobbing with big tears coming down his face saying he wanted to go back to “little kid” preschool.  Once we got to the school, he would hold on to my legs so tight and not let go.  We would drop off his bag, sign him in and wash his hands.  I would try to get him interested in something and then leave.  I would physically have to unwrap his arms off my legs (he’s stronger than you think!) and close the door behind me to get out.  It was so hard! 


But, I’m not unfamiliar with the stages:

1) honeymoon – everything is new and fun

2) transition/adjustment – the rough part

3) acceptance of the new routine and the rest of the time at the school


Little did I know that the honeymoon would be one day!  I finally got it out of him that he wanted to go back to “little kid” preschool since he knew everyone’s name and new all the rules.  He talked about the new rule of having to put something away before taking something else out.  No matter how much reason/logic a child has – they don’t have enough at this stage to realize (even though you say it) that they will make friends and know everyone’s name. 


So, after almost two weeks of this – on Friday – we talked about what was going to happen, and since it had happened that whole week, it wasn’t a surprise. 


We go to preschool

Drop off his bag

Sign him in

Wash his hands

Say bye bye, hug and kiss

Mommy has to go “working”


Finally – on Friday after 9 days – we had a very nice drop off. 


Mind you – teachers would tell me that ~1 minute after I left he was fine. 


So, now we are on to week 3.  Here’s to Monday morning drop off!





Alex was even featured in their weekly newsletter!

image: Evergreen Montessoriclip_image002

2010–looking back


1). What was the best thing that happened to you?

Both: Sara’s birth and her joining our family.  Our family is complete.


IMG_5826 Final

2). What was the most challenging thing that happened to you?

Allison: Balancing two kids, two full time jobs, time for ourselves and time together.  Something’s gotta give!

Lance: When Alex was in the ER with apparent appendicitis and I was in San Francisco on business

3). What was an unexpected joy?

Allison: The boat (trust me on this – this was totally unexpected for me!)

Lance: trip to Leavenworth was much more fun than I thought

the beach 100 degree day-52 Final

P1020115 Final



4). What was an unexpected obstacle?

Both: Changing care for our kids more than expected

5). Pick three words to describe your 2010

Allison: adjust/balance/delegate

Lance: tired/rewarding/no-time

6). Pick three words your spouse would use to describe you

Allison:  strong/caring/planner

Lance: tired/supportive/provider

7). Pick three words you would use to describe your spouse

Lance about Allison: tireless/dedicated/motherly

Allison about Lance: busy/stressed/no-time

8). What was your biggest personal change?

Both: Adjusting our life with two kids

9). What was your most enjoyable part of your work (at home and at work)?

Allison: teaching Alex things, laughing, playing outside and being QC lead for a project at work

Lance: playing with the kids, getting multiple raises

IMG_1760 Final

10). What was your most challenging part of your work (at home and at work)?

Allison: lowering expectations, trying to “do it all” and returning to work after maternity leave

Lance: dealing with mood swings from kids, working late into the night for deadlines

Alex playing soccer-37 Final

11). What was your biggest time waster?

Allison: computer, facebook, reading blogs

Lance: iPad “research”, channel surfing

12). What was the best way you spent your time?

Both: playing with kids, games, talking, together time

Allison: taking pictures, cooking for family

self portrait with Sara in wrap-2 Final

13). What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?

Allison: that I can’t “do it all” – not even close!  I’m stronger than I thought I was.  Trusting my instincts as a mother.

Lance: Can’t be the perfect Dad all the time

14). What word, phrase or statement best describes 2010 for you?

Allison: Adjust

Lance: Sara

Next up – goals for 2011!  And beyond.

A look back to 2010

Each year I try to look back, what I liked, what I didn’t, what I want to do in the future, what I don’t want to do.  It helps me shoot for a target, otherwise I feel as if I would just go one with my life and not have much direction.  I would probably have a mighty fine life, but this is just who I am.  Goals/resolutions – what ever you want to call it – it’s what we’ve been doing for the past couple of years as a family.  I would probably not get the things accomplished that I want to and really enjoy and be aware of this joy if it weren’t for this goal setting.  Looking back is the first step of this process.  It helps us set the entire mood for the year.  When we are making decisions, we come back to the goals and resolutions we made at the first of the year to remember what is most important to us. 


I will post a series of questions and then answer them in the next post.  It’s fun – you play along too!


For 2010:

1). What was the best thing that happened to you?

2). What was the most challenging thing that happened to you?

3). What was an unexpected joy?

4). What was an unexpected obstacle?

5). Pick three words to describe your 2010

6). Pick three words your spouse would use to describe you

7). Pick three words you would use to describe your spouse

8). What was your biggest personal change?

9). What was your most enjoyable part of your work (at home and at work)?

10). What was your most challenging part of your work (at home and at work)?

11). What was your biggest time waster?

12). What was the best way you spent your time?

13). What was the biggest thing you learned this past year?

14). What phrase or statement best describes 2010 for you?


I can’t wait to hear some of your answers!  I’ll give you two hints about where most of my answers are coming from…


Sara in the buff-1 final


Alex popsicle-3 final

Alex’s drawings



Alex has been BIG-TIME into drawing lately, wanting to trace, wanting to draw numbers and letters and my favorite, pictures of himself.  this picture below is when Lance went on a business trip to Florida (Flor-did-da) and Alex and I drew a picture of Daddy on the airplane.  He wasn’t quite sure about it, so I did the first part and he wanted to trace, making sure that I had the propellers up front, just like real planes, Mom.    He then drew Daddy on the airplane. 




Alex's drawing of Daddy on an airplane-1 blog


These next two are self-portraits of himself.  He started off with just a head, arms, legs and eyes, and he always adds the penis, too.  The next one is quite complex with added hair, ears, mouth, nose, fingers and toes. 


I just love these so much, I had to take a picture!  I love how he is developing a sense of what he looks like in a drawing.  I love his creative side.  I can’t wait to see more!


Self portraits Alex 3.5 year old-1 blog


Self portraits Alex 3.5 year old-2 blog

barf boy

Almost two weeks ago (?) Alex wasn’t feeling good and was so tired.  He went to sleep at his usual time, but woke up about an hour later.  He was making funny sounds, I can’t really explain it, but I knew something wasn’t quite right.  He was nauseous and was fighting it, but since he’s only thrown up once (intussusception) he didn’t know what was happening.  We took him to the bathroom and hung out by the porcelain thrown for a while, but nothing substantial.  But, he didn’t want to leave.  We tried to coax him back to bed, but instead he just laid down on the bathroom floor (classic, isn’t it?).  So, I finally brought him a pillow and blanket and he slept half the night there. 


No worse for wear in the morning. 


All better.




nauseous boy-1 blog