Torgesen Family Times

{We are trying to enjoy and record the moments that make life special}
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Beach “cabin”




We’ve been working on our beach property lately.  It has sat waiting and waiting for about 4 years now.  We finally have an idea of a). what we want to do with it and b). that fits in with what we can afford.


The property is a rectangle with the short end on the road.  The long end goes into a nice wooded area with lots of places to explore for the kids.  It’s about 0.6 acres in rural Pierce county, Key Peninsula/Gig Harbor area.  We are about 600 feet from the beach, the glorious beach!, that we always go to.  So, it’s a hike, for sure.  But the way to the beach is all down hill, baby!


We decided that we would put a “cabin” on the beach property to allow us to stay there overnight on vacations and weekends.  It’s about the perfect distance to get away from it all, not too close, not too far (~1 hour, 15 min from our house).  By “cabin” – I mean that there is no plumbing, no electrical, no foundation, which means no permits.  It’s also under 200 sq. ft., one of the requirements for the county to not require any permits.  It’s approx. 14’ x 16’ with a loft.  The loft will only have about 5’ of height and a pull down attic style ladder.  Not only are the permits very expensive, if we were to build a house with plumbing, electrical and a foundation, we would be talking big money, and big taxes on top of that.  We just can’t afford that now, nor anytime in the near/far future. 


Also, the thing that got this all started… is to have the boat parked there during the winter.  Although I had much more fun with the boat that I ever thought was even remotely possible, I still wasn’t thrilled when it was in my driveway for 8 months a year last winter.  Lance has some sort of plans to build or buy a carport type structure to keep the boat covered during the winter.  It’s not supposed to be anything fancy, just enough to keep the direct rain off of it (and it rains and rains (or is grey and cloudy) for what seems about 9 months around these parts). 


Cabin property-2a


Lance spent some good quality time moving the logs that were in the way of where the cabin is to be built last Sunday.  He is sure sore today (and will be sore tomorrow, too)!  We are planning on having a campfire pit, just like the one at home, to be able to cook there and have s’mores, of course!  This is where we will cook the oysters and clams that are plentiful on the beach – yum!  We hope to find (or Lance wants to build yet another thing!) a nice picnic table, too! 


There will be plenty of wooded area left on the property to explore for the kids and to provide nice shade.  Only during high noon, will the property get total sunshine (if it is sunny, I guess!).  There will be a shaded section some time of the day, somewhere on the property (important for us fair skinned Norwegians). 


The way I’m thinking about it is this – “nicer camping”.  Meaning, we will be sleeping in the cabin, which will have beds, sheets, pillows, etc.  But, since there is no running water or electricity, it will be like camping. 


Lance is taking off some time next week to do a lot of work on this property.  The wood is being delivered on Saturday.  Sunday we have help from my Mom and Steve coming to set the “foundation” (post and beam) and get as far as we can that day.  Then, some of next week Lance will either have his Dad or his Uncle, or maybe both, to help him with the rest.  I think his goal is to get a roof on it by the end of his week off.  Pretty ambitious – but since it’s only 14’ x 16’ – I think it’s totally doable!   (He thinks he’s sore now, just wait!)


Cabin property-1a


We sure are excited about this new transformation.  We are excited about getting started, our choice to put a “cabin” and a place for the boat over the winter, a place to get away from it all. 


We can’t wait to show you it all!

Feeding Sister

Alex has been enthralled with feeding Sara lately.  He sees us do it, although she wants to feed herself lately, with a proper fork or spoon.  All by herself. 

Even though she has a strong desire to do things by herself, if big brother offers her a bite – she is more than willing to take it. 

Especially from him.

She opens up her mouth to get ready for the food, he opens up his mouth just like hers.  Just too cute to pass up!

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Two Super Heros




Or two “super herios” – as Alex calls them. 


“I can be superman, and Sara can be supergirl, OK Mommy?”


Happy Monday everyone! 


Have a Super day!


Two super herios-10 blog

Ear tubes – out

Remember way back when – 3 years ago when Alex got ear tubes?


Yeah – it was a long time ago (in kid years)…


Well, at the ripe ol’ age of 4 at his pediatrician checkup, the doctor said we should get them checked out by an ENT since they hadn’t fallen out yet.  Yes, that did ring a bell, but we weren’t in any sort of rush.  Even though it had been 3 years ago, the remembrance of 6 months straight of ear infections and actually how little sleep we were both getting just comes right back to you.  right back!


The ENT (ear – nose – throat pediatrician specialist doctor) is usually tough to get in to see them.  First, you have to have a referral.  Then, you call and they have an appointment 10 weeks from now.  When you have a kid with ear infections this is excruciating long.  OK, I’m exaggerating – it was like 4 weeks.  Then, you have the appointment, say your kid is the classic case for needing ear tubes and you schedule the surgery for another 4 weeks out.  Agonizing since all of this is with an ear infection…. the whole time. 


But, we did make it to the appointment.  The surgery went well.  Alex was 18 months old and was not a happy camper after he came out of recovery (below).  He was scared, not feeling well due to being put under. 


Well, needless to say – we weren’t happy or expedient about them being taken out since they had worked so well.


We called the ENT and asked for something…. like… way out – like August.  Sure, that sounded good.  By the time they would schedule the surgery to remove them, it would be like December.  Perfect, we thought.


We arrived at the appointment at Children’s and got Alex out of school in the middle of the day.  He asked if there were any shots at this appointment (smart boy!), we said they were just going to look at his ears, ask him about his ears, nothing else.  (lesson 1 – don’t promise things you don’t know anything about!)


They did look at his ears, said indeed they were still in and looking good.  But, they should probably be taken out.  We were told when they were put in that they would probably fall out within 1-2 years.  But, if not, then they would be taken out. 


So, we were discussing things with the doctor and he was showing Alex how he would take them out.  You lay on the table, he takes a bright light and uses a little tiny tool that just pulls the ear tube out.  Lance and I were wondering why this super-duper highly paid doctor is taking so much time showing Alex how it would be done….


Then, he said – he can take them out right now. 


Uhhhh – don’t you have to put them under anesthesia?  No, it can be done right here, he says. 


By this point Alex was freaking out… “No, I don’t want them out (scream, scream, tears, tears!)”  Which was totally understandable since we said they they were only going to LOOK at his ears (see lesson #1 above). 


The doctor could see that Alex was quite upset and suggested we just schedule the surgery and put him under.  So, the choices are to take them out now with no drugs, or put my child under and take them out and spend way more money.  Hmmm – option one please. 


We talked with Alex and he was not happy about it.  As we laid him on the table to start the process, I asked him what super hero he wanted to get because he was being so brave. 


Just like a scene from Christmas Story where he asks for a red rider BB gun, Alex asked for a Thor superhero, with a hammer (just like on the Avengers cartoons he loves).  He was so brave, and we of course, said absolutely.  It was a very fast procedure, but it did cause him to be quite upset because it was probably loud and a little uncomfortable to have them removed.  But, we were very glad for no drugs, way cheaper. 


Then, the ENT mentioned that we could keep the ear tubes (they are tiny so they were put in a jar!) and put them under his pillow for the “Ear Tube Fairy”. 


Oh My Goodness – he has just realized there is something called a tooth fairy – so an ear tube fairy was very exciting.   He was fine by the time we got out of that exam room and was talking about the ear tube fairy. 


In the morning – the ear tube fairy brought a Spiderman action figure.  Just what the doctor ordered!




Ear tubes Children's hospital

After ear tubes were put in Alex’s ears – September 2008



And some bonus pictures of what he was like at that time – just the same as he is now.  Spunky, loving outdoors, pushing the envelope (and Mommy and Daddy), daredevil… and on and on.

Funny sitting on log (1)


Walking along a log


Walking along a log (6)


New tricycle (1)


picking peas with Mama


Alex on stairs (2)

Last weekend – tree house and sunshine!

Alex spent the first time ever away from us at Grandma Sandy’s house.  They have been working on a tree house for all the 6 grandkids and boy did Alex have a blast.  He was a little worried the night before “What if I miss you Mommy?”.  We talked about all the ways to deal with missing Mommy and Daddy, calling on the phone, drawing pictures, snuggling with Grandma.  But, it turns out they were having so much fun it didn’t even cross his mind! 


They played on a bicycle, Alex brought his “hammer” (a mallet), they hit wood (what else do boys do?!?), they had s’mores, they had sleeping bags, they probably went to bed way to late.  But, that’s OK – it’s grandma’s house!  One of the other grandkids, kinda like a cousin, came over too – Logan.  Those two, apparently – had a blast.  Well matched.  Alex came home grimy, but happy (and tired!). 


Grandma called on Friday night and said they were having a blast and definitely wanted to do it again this summer! 


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Grandma Sandy's camera-23 blog


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Then, the beautiful weather on Saturday – 80’s, sunny – perfect weather.  Sprinklers, pools, all sorts of fun. 


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pool-sprinkler time-3 blog

Sara helper

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Alex swimming lessons 2011






Day 1 – fun!




alex swimming

Hello preschool




Today Sara starts preschool. 


We knew this day would come far too soon, but we know that it’s the right time for her and the right time for us.  We will have both kids at the same place, at least for a year.  We love where Alex is at and now both kids will be there!  We look forward to her growing and learning, making friends, playing, all the preschool kinds of things.  We love that Alex will be there for her, he is such a great big brother (on a side note – when Alex and Sara were with Grandma Connie and Grandpa Steve when Lance and I went to the reunion – Connie was putty Sara to sleep.  But, Alex came in and laid down next to her and told Connie that he would do it and it was time for her to leave.  He did it!  And she fell asleep!)… Truly – what a great big brother. 


Here is Sara with Renee, our Nanny’s 2 year old daughter.  I asked Sara to give Renee a hug, one of Sara’s favorite things to do.  Over the last 9 months Sara and Renee have become like sisters.  Sara’s face would light up when Melanie and Renee would show up.  She would do her “happy dance” running back and forth and looking out the window.  They would play at the house, outside or a the park.  They would eat together.  Just two peas in a pod. 


She would call her “Nay-Nay” and, during our week off during 4th of July, would often talk about her.


Nay-nay and Melanie will surely be missed. 



Sara and Renee-3 blog