Torgesen Family Times

{We are trying to enjoy and record the moments that make life special}
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Merry Christmas to all!


We visited Santa at Molbak’s this year.  We went there to get our annual Fall photos since our sessions had been rained out twice and I knew it had a nice indoor area.  Well, during our session, this nice man with a white beard came up to us and explained directly to the kids that he heard that Santa comes here after Thanksgiving and he hopes that they would come back and visit.  Alex looks at me after he left and (almost speechless) says that the thinks that was the REAL Santa.  He asks if we can come back and see him after Thanksgiving and I say – of course!  It was a really special moment!


Alex had a list of about 12 items on it.  This kid is going for the gold, literally.  It was great at Molbak’s since the line was short, it was no stress and I got to take my own pictures (in nice lighting).  I highly recommend it! 


Here is Alex and Santa going over his list. 


Alex’s List:

1). Go Cart

2). Remote Controlled Ironman (I’ve never even heard of this?)
3). Electric Scooter

4). Nintendo DS

5). iPhone (the gold one?)

6). Pokemon cards & toys

7). a real Diamond (when asked how big – it is the size of a baseball)

8). Minecraft on Xbox

9). Xbox one (where does he learn this stuff?)

10). Halo (oh yes – elementary school….)

11). Cookie giver  (Santa asked about this one – didn’t quite know what it was.  Well, for those of you needing to know – it is a machine that gives you cookies when you push a button or ask for one – brilliant!)

12). rubber band bracelets (aka - rainbow loom – the most addictive hot toy right now.  kids make bracelets out of thousands of tiny rubber bands). 


Santa is SO smart and said that he would probably be only able to get one item on the list since he has to bring toys to everyone.  Alex agreed to this, but just wanted to make his list comprehensive, just in case. 



Molbaks Santa (2)-small



Sara had her list too.  It only had 1 item on it for many weeks, but recently added a couple of items just before visiting Santa.  This was the first year for Sara that she would even get within 20 feet of him.  Usually he is too scary and she won’t even get close.  But this year, she started off sitting next to him, although not too close.  He read her list (which I helped her write) and they had a special moment.  I loved it!  He really listened to her and her list and she felt so special. 


Sara’s list:

1). a golden treasure box


Much was said about this golden treasure box.  We have no idea where it really came from – but we absolutely loved it.  So creative! And we had to ask lots of questions.  What shape was it?  What was in it?  (duh – treasure!)  How big was it?  Was it shiny or sparkly?  It took some work for Santa to figure out this treasure box – but I think some little girl is going to be happy.


2). Chocolate

3). a Plant

4). a Rock 


Those are the late additions. 


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When it came time for the Santa photo – Santa just picked Sara up and sat her on his lap and Alex scooted in and bingo – photo!  Although Sara was a big uneasy and looking for her getaway – she was so excited to see Santa and show him her list.  He was even giving away small candy canes – her favorite.  Alex was thrilled to see a “real” Santa with a true beard.  He notices this kind of stuff – trust me!  He told me last year that he knows that the Santa we normally get photos with isn’t the real Santa.






What do I say?  What do I say???????  Hurry and think fast Allison…



He goes on to explain that Santa has helpers and he can’t be everywhere seeing all the kids therefore, some Santa’s wear fake beards.  Whew!  But, each of these “fake” Santa’s report back to the real Santa and then he delivers the presents. 


OK – Santa story works for this Momma.  Crisis diverted. 




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Merry Christmas to All and to all a good night!

Sara writes her name


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Sara has really blossomed this year. She is very comfortable with her preschool and loves it tremendously.  I even asked her recently if she missed me when she she goes to school and she frankly said, No.  (insert a little broken mama heart here).  She’s recently has been having leaps in her understanding and school.  Plus, now she’s not napping even at school now.  Our girl is growing up. 


We’ve been doing a lot of this at home lately…


F-F-F-F Fox


B-B-B-B Baby


G-G-G-G Gorilla


S-S-S-S Snake


She is now writing some letters, recognizing quite a few and learned to write her name.   Every chance I get – I ask if she can put her name on a piece of paper.  When she holds that big pencil in her tiny hands and knows exactly what she is writing, it just warms my heart.  The R in her name is my favorite.  It’s kinda like a circle with two legs.  It’s the best R around!


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Gymnastics for Sara


Sara is now done with Soccer and has started her new “thing”.  She was really into starting a dance activity of some sort.  Every time music starts she starts bopping to the beat.  I even researched places to take her that were well regarded and was ready to pull the trigger.  I just needed to find her a leotard, tights and shoes. 


But, then she had a change of heart.  I asked her a number of times, knowing how preschoolers change their minds.  But, she had definitely changed hers – no dance. 


She wanted to go to “Wiggle Worms” aka gymnastics/tumbling. 


So back to the place we’ve been to for ~5 years between the kids.  They have everything from ~1 year old “Wiggle Worms” on up.  My kids just loved the name wiggle worms so much – that it stuck (for every class).  At her first class of the session, I just couldn’t resist and got her a gymnastics outfit that is just perfect for her.  It’s velvet black on the bottom and it is so soft.  And green! 


She loves the class and is very pleased with her new gymnastics outfit.  A great fit all around!


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Karate Alex

Alex had his first class of Karate tonight and LOVED it!  

"Mommy - they taught me how to punch on the first night!!!"

He literally came out of the class area with a huge smile. 

I've been thinking that he might like to try it for quite a while. Last year would have been fine but there were so many new things with the start of kindergarten that I didn't want to push anymore than necessary. 

I think it might be a good match my my little ninja!

Soccer Sara



Sara had a fantastic first soccer season. 


We played in the same league that we did with Alex when he was in the same age range.  It’s a group of ten(!) 3 & 4 year olds and they are always looking for volunteer coaches.  I decided that I’ve watched and helped enough and that I could be the coach this year for Sara.  It was a big job and not for the faint of heart, but I was so glad I did it.  Sara loved that I was her coach and we had so much fun together.  Although it was very challenging  for a few main reasons (like 2 sets of sibling boys!), overall I really liked it and would do it again in a heartbeat.  I learned a lot that would help me in future years.  The first year is always the hardest, right?







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Sara was so excited since she remembers Alex playing soccer last year.  We would play with her on the sidelines and she was so excited to be a “big kid” (my kids are VERY motivated by being “big kids”) playing soccer, just like “Brudder”/Alex. 


We got her shin guards and soccer shorts and she was so excited to find out that the shirts were green! They come in all different colors for all the teams and there was a dark green and light green when they handed them out – I said a little prayer – please give me one of the green colors!  And my prayers were answered!  Sara’s favorite color is green and she was so excited!  She also really liked playing with my whistle. 


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We played all sorts of games and my “goals” for the team were to:

1). have fun

2). make friends

3). learn a tiny bit of soccer


In that order.


I stole that from Alex’s excellent coach for the last two years.  It works wonders.  If the kids aren’t having fun – do something different. 


We played duck, duck, goose (for sheer fun), racing from sideline to sideline (so the kids could start to learn where the infield was), sink your battleship (shooting at a target), dog catcher (slow control over the ball, but then a big kick to make it fun), shooting into the goal (for obvious reasons).  We pretty much did the same thing every Saturday morning, and by the end of the 7 weeks – they really got it!  After the first week I wasn’t so sure this was going to work out!



Being on the field was hard for me in another way too – I couldn’t take pictures AND coach – so I asked my trusty husband to snap a few.  Thanks honey!  I get to be in some of the pictures too!


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Sara scored some goals and she was SO happy about this!  She would run up to me, beaming with happiness and so proud, and almost knock me over!  There were some big 4 year olds out there, that knew what they were doing, and she did it!  I was so proud of her and it was just so much fun to watch her play.  I enjoyed that part the most.  Just watching her.



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Of course, as the season drew to a close, the leaves started falling and that was just so much fun on the sidelines too.


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The league gives out soccer medals to each participant and we did a little awards ceremony after our last game.  They reminded me that for some kids, mine included, this would be the first time they received something like this.  So, make it special and call each kid up one at a time and have everyone cheer to make them all feel special. 


Sara was so happy about her medal and I was too.  What a great way to end a great season. 


What I’ve learned is that we’ll keep doing soccer as long as she’s having fun. 


Sara and mommy, Sara with her soccer medal (2)-small

Two first teeth



Alex lost his two first teeth and was SO happy about this.  You can see in the pictures below how excited he is.


It was new, and it was very exciting! 


And it means you’re a big kid in kindergarten and first grade – big time!  He was so sad last year when he didn’t loose any teeth saying that “everyone” else had lost teeth.  He would even have me feel his teeth saying “see Mom – it feels loose, right?”  I would nod my head and say it felt a little tiny bit loose. 


It would come out when it was ready, and since there was so much change going from preschool to kindergarten, that maybe they were just waiting to settle down into first grade a bit before they came out.  I even joked that Mama had had enough change with him starting kindergarten and that I wasn’t ready yet  -  wasn’t ready for him to have too much happening!  At the end of kindergarten, he asked me (break my heart!) if I would be ready for him to lose his teeth.  I said yes, of course! 


And right on queue, September of first grade rolls around and he has a slightly loose tooth.  We go see the dentist and she makes a prediction that the two bottom teeth will be out before Halloween, and what do you know?  They are out before Halloween!  The first one about 3 weeks before and the second one just days before Halloween. 


I love him growing up so much – but at the same time I want to just freeze him and keep him this way forever.  I just love this age!


For the record, he lost his first one at home (thank goodness!) with Daddy taking a paper towel and gently pulling it out (quickly).  The second one came out at school and the dentist gave him this tooth necklace to put his tooth in if he lost it at school.  Perfect!


Those new big kid teeth are coming in fast now!  I’ve heard once they start to loose teeth – they come out all in rapid succession – and it’s very true!



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Happy Halloween



Have fun and stay safe out there tonight!


Halloween costumes (3)-small


Halloween costumes (1)-small



The red Power Ranger, Strawberry Shortcake and a Robber!

First Tooth


Alex lost his first tooth a few weeks back and it was SO exciting.  That tooth was loose for a while, but wasn’t ready.  He wiggled and wiggled until finally we came home and saw that it was wiggling so much that it stuck out 90 degrees!  He was a little scared, but Daddy took a paper towel, grabbed a hold of that sucker and pulled gently and out it came.  Not even hurtie!


Such a proud picture!


He was so excited since “everybody” had lost a tooth in kindergarten and he was sad that he didn’t yet.  We visited the dentist back in September and they said it was only a matter of time, and predicted they’d be out by Halloween!  Guess what – they were right!


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Ear tubes are out!

The ear tubes are out. 



Remember putting them in? 


Well, they were irritating her ears.   After being in for almost 2 years and they were ready (they were supposed to fall out on their own!).  She got an ear infection where blood was coming out of her ears instead of puss.  Although, this is a bit shocking, it’s not as horrible as it sounds.  She wasn’t complaining about her ears hurting, or even feverish, just saying that her ears were popping.  When we were coming over the mountains in August, at the top she was crying a bit.  Which is weird, since ear tubes are supposed to prevent that, unless they aren’t working properly…


duh duh duhhhhhhh


Ding ding ding!


So, with the first round of antibotics down, which actually cleared it up nicely from the outside, a few days later ---- blood in her ears again…


I wasn’t going to the pediatricians again…  They would just refer me back to ENT or give her another antibiotic.  So, I called ENT myself and with the symptoms, they had us come in within a few days. 


The diagnosis:  They were irritating her ears and needed to come out.  The left one was plugged, which was why her ears weren’t clearing over the mountains. 


Unfortunately, the ENT doc put “easier to fall out tubes” than Alex’s, which were easily removed in clinic with tiny little tweezers and some serious bribing to stay still.  Sara’s were supposed to fall out within a year or so, but since they hadn’t and were a different shape and material, they would rip her eardrum if he pulled them out.  So, going under anesthesia was the only way.  Seriously?


Well,  Children’s is the BEST!  We got a fast appointment right in Bellevue.  We had been to the Bellevue clinic before, but had always had the surgeries to place the tubes in Seattle.  The quickest surgery was in Bellevue, so we were lucky.  It’s a new facility and designed so smart for the little ones. 


First, the elevator is always the coolest part.  We had packed her a backpack with all sorts of distractions and toys (new).  She was so excited to find out what was in there.   Since it’s surgery, you have to have no food past a certain time, and for Alex (who’s HUNGRY in the morning) this was challenging.  But, for Sara, it wasn’t too bad.  She doesn’t seem like a wake up and eat as fast as she can kind of gal.  Not a problem at all, but the distractions are nice. 





But, the waiting room was so cool – that we didn’t really need it!  Painting!!!!  One of Sara’s favorite things.  She painted many rainbows and had so much fun and this was just the waiting room.  They really think of the kids here. 






Then we got called back to her pre-op room.  In Seattle, it was a room where they prepped her, but then would take your child from you to go to the OR.  Or, if you’re me – they you beg/borrow/steal and swear you’ll be OK – and beg them to let you gown up and carry your child back to the OR so they won’t be so scared.  I did this with both kids and it was great.


But, this was EVEN BETTER!  The room where she would be put to sleep was right there!  They had the moving Brave going, very kid friendly, and we did all the pre-op in this room.  There was a bed there and we would be able to stay right there with her. 


I must say this was genius!!!!


She peacefully went to sleep to the sleeping gas they gave her – flavored with strawberry scent.  Her favorite fruit.  We held her hand and she was so peaceful.  They took her to the OR on the bed and we were escorted to another room to wait the 10-15 minutes.


At Seattle, there was a recovery room where we couldn’t go.  So, not only do you not be there when your kid goes to sleep (although I did and was so glad I did), but you are definitely not there when they wake up.  Even though I tried to beg/borrow/steal my way in.  Promising that I wont’ touch or do anything that they didn’t want me to.


At Bellevue Children’s, they wheel her back into the room with her still asleep  - genius!!!!!!









She stayed asleep for ~5 minutes more, and the nurse assured us she was good.  The longer it took her to wake up, the better.  She was getting all the sleepy meds out of her system.


Then, with one big breath – she was up and awake.  She sat up groggily and I was able to be right there. 





We snuggled for a bit, with a precautionary barf thingie. 





But, she knew what she was after.  The nurse didn’t even have time to start naming the colors before she answered “green” to the question of what popsicle color she wanted.  She scarfed it down. 


The ENT doctor came in to let us know how it went.  He said that the ear drums had grown behind the ear tubes, so that was what it was causing the problems.  He said removal was easy and she was good to go.  We will be back in ~ 2 months to check to make sure the hole has closed and everything looks normal. 





Then, I also brought some muffins and other things to eat and she ate those too, with some help from Dad who was “starving” since he hadn’t ate since 7:30 am. 







She was quickly back to our normal “Brave” girl.  It’s funny that the movie Brave was showing in the first room, because I had bought her a Brave barbie with red hair and all.  It was one of her “new” toys that day. 







We went home and Lance went back to work.  Sara and I watched movies, played with stickers and snuggled.  I tried to get her to nap (I was tired) but with no luck. 


Overall – it was a great experience.  I’m glad those ear tubes are out, we loved them while they were in and working – but hasta la vista baby – when they are not.